Sunday, August 30, 2009

This Week at the School Board

As usual many interesting items on the agenda for the Board meeting on Wednesday. One is to sign off on the money spent on Rainier Beach High School upgrades. I have no quarrel with the money spent but I am on-board with Kay Smith-Blum's idea of making these items/powerpoints more understandable. The chart on the money spent at RBHS is almost unreadable and I'm going to waste somebody's time at the district tomorrow by asking them to explain it. Kay is right; it should be in plain English that anyone could understand (educational jargon not withstanding).

One item of special note to me on RBHS improvements: "Building security improvements via new CCTV system." Now I get that RBHS may have more security challenges than Roosevelt but might the district throw us a bone and give us our first security system?

Also, in tiny type under Calendar reminders was this:

Board workshop on student assignment plan boundaries, Tuesday, October 6,
4-8p, Auditorium


You heard it here; your first look at the boundary maps for the new SAP.

Also under the calendar listings:

Board work session on SPS cohort study, Wednesday, September 16, 4-5:30p, Auditorium

Any thoughts on this cohort study? I'm clueless about it.

Also this week on Wednesday from 4-5:30 before the Board meeting is a Board work session on the BTA III levy.

10 comments:

Seattle Edukater said...

The SPS cohort study followed the class of 2006, starting in 6th grade, to identify early warning indicators for dropping out. Such indicators include unexcused absences and failing classes. Findings from similar studies in Chicago, Philadelphia, and Portland have been used to develop early warning systems and intervention strategies for middle and high school students.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Thanks, I hadn't heard of this.

seattle citizen said...

This is important work, and I'm glad to see it is moving forward. When the "Safety Net" system was reconfigured in...2007, there was the stated intention to develop more ways of identifying students who were struggling, and a more integrated system of support.
This is good. I'd like to see a case management system, and also a system to ensure that every strategy has been used to keep a student in their traditional school before the student is suspended, expelled, or drops out.
It's great that there is increaed interest in providing differentiation, at providing at-level and above-level classes and activities...But it is SO important to catch those falling out the bottom. Many of these students have weak support systems outside of school, which, ethically, makes it all the more important that schools reach these students. There are often few to speak for them (though many on this blog do, for which I'm sure all are appreciative.)

emeraldkity said...

its ironic that one of the schools with the largest safety net for students has been picked at for years and finally closed.

Let me more fully explain.
A K-12 school eases transitions for students through the grades and by providing a place for older students to attend school in the same building as younger sibs, provides a place of community and gives adults/professionals, who know the children a place to combine resources & info.

Because there was a drug/alcohol counselor available for high school students at Summit, when my middle school daughter and her friends had concerns about a friend & classmate, they had an adult that they were comfortable approaching.

( also when the same friends were concerned about my daughter with a different matter, they again were able to get help from the same counselor-)

When my daughter was in early elementary she had a " reading buddy" from the upper grades which thrilled her to no end & was delighted to provide the same mentorship when she was the older student.

I realize it is a moot point now in regards to Summit- but I hope the Seattle education community will support another K-12 school soon

David said...

I'm looking forward to seeing how people react when those maps go public...

Robert said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Robert said...

Yeah I would think all of Ballard would be there; Even those without Kids.

Just think you live 10 blocks north of the school there goes a chunk of your property value.

Those meetings aren't on 26 are they?

seattle citizen said...

emeraldkity, you hit the nail right on the head.

In fact, you expanded my interpretation of "safety net" in a crucial way:

When I think of "safety net," I'm dealing with teh new paradigm that seperates out "reentry" and "credit retreival" students from "alternative" students. This is, in my opinion, a good separation because it addresses the public's perception of alts as "reentry" schools, and uplifts the alternative philosophy while recognizing some of teh issues of "safety net" students....AFTER THEY HAVE ALREADY FALLEN OUT OF THE SYSTEM.

YOU are taking a much broader (and healthier perspective: The school itself, organically, provides the safety net for ALL students, BEFORE they fall. Summit's safety net was merely its encomassing embrace of students needs.

While I still fervantly hope the district strenghtens its supports for students who have "trouble," I hope that it also continues to expand back into all schools. A vision of the "new" safety net, as I understand it, was to try to keep students in their schools, send them back if they have to be separated from the population (suspension, expulsion, etc), and increase teh ability of schools to meet every child's needs, negating the need to send them away in the first place.

This vision, I heard, was to be supported by case managers, increased training of school personnel to retain students, serious study of suspension, etc, to lessen its use...Sounded good. Can't wait to see it.

If they started with YOUR model, the "whole-school" model where the school is designed throughout to hold children and teach them, many of the "safety net" functions would naturally follow.

It is too late for Summit, I am SO SAD to say. And given the article Melissa posts in her next thread, the support of charters by big, big organizations, I fear that it's indeed moot: The Summit 9Addams) building will soon become "Enterprise Success" school, an Edison subsidiary.

dan dempsey said...

Lots of spaces for testimony at the Sept 2 meeting. Just come on down as only 4 folks are signed up for testimony at this meeting.

Charlie Mas said...

On BTA III among the projects that support the Strategic Plan they list the money to make Cleveland ready as a STEM school.

First, we just finished renovating Cleveland, but it needs MORE capital investments!?!

Second, how, exactly, is making Cleveland a STEM school been somehow incorporated into the Strategic Plan? Anything they want to do they claim to be part of the Strategic Plan and it gets slingshot to the front of the line.

There was nothing about making Cleveland a STEM school or creating a STEM school or changing Cleveland in any way that was part of the Strategic Plan. How can they make that claim, why do they think that they have to make that claim, and why doesn't anybody call them on it?