Friday, October 09, 2009

Community Meetings

I am looking for a little help. I can't be at all the community workshops on the SAP boundaries (my Superwoman cape is at the drycleaners). I am going to try to get to one workshop in every region but you know about the best laid plans. Usually the district allows other information to be given out during public meetings. (At the Board meetings, they have a separate table. I'll have to see if they have that for the community meetings.) If not, I can hand out information directly to parents.

I wanted to have half-sheet flyers about this blog to give out so that parents have someplace to go to ask questions and give ideas. I'm sure some schools or regions may have their own Yahoo groups but this blog is good because of the city-wide coverage. I'd like that circle to get bigger.

If you live in the SE/SW/West Seattle and are going to the community workshops, would you be willing to hand them out? I would send you the sheet to print out (as I said it is a half-sheet and since I don't know how many people will show up to these things, 15-20 copies would probably be good) and then take to the meeting(s) you attend.

If you are someone willing and able to do this, please contact me at
melrhs@hotmail.com

Thanks. Let's try to get more parents in on this conversation.

17 comments:

emeraldkity said...

libraries also have bulletin boards don't they? I know the one in Ballard has a board plus a place to leave stuff- I think info about community meetings would be appropriate and a way to reach people who have to go to the library for their internet

SolvayGirl1972 said...

I've posted a link to this blog on The Rainier Valley Post, encouraging readers to check it out.
Though I've already seen some flack about it being "northend whiners." I did try to correct that opinion.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Well, the more people who chime in the better. You can't have a variety of opinions without people from all regions of the city.

Good idea, Emeraldkity. Is that you in the picture?

dj said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Central Mom said...

Here's a question to bring up in community meetings: Montessori isn't defined as Alternative. The District will be offering a number of Split Program schools as Assignment Schools to the community: Leschi, Bagley, Graham Hill. What is the equitable way to assign families to the program within these split schools, which may be more full than in the past and unable to give parents a "choice" within the school? Luck of the draw? Other? Is the District even thinking about these programmatic questions?

And why is a fully Montessori School (Old Hay) being offered up as alt program when the other schools' Montessori programs are being served up as a standard enrollment possibility?

PS: I've never done the WV thing before, but this is too funny:
"weaddle." ... When it comes to SPS programming, "In Seattle, weaddled!"

SolvayGirl1972 said...

Agreed Central Mom. As the parent of a former elementary Montessori student (preK-5th grade), I know first-hand that Montessori is definitely an alternative form of education and not suitable for every child. My child needed to be in a less-structured environment, so she thrived. She's also a visual learner, so the beads, etc. helped her immensely when it came to understanding math. Some kids really need structure and a more traditional approach than what is offered by a Montessori program.

I don't see how the District can auto-assign anyone to a Montessori program without a request. But, to be honest, I have no clue what their intent is here. I do, however, believe it should function as an "option" school and have a larger geographic draw than the traditional program at the three schools aforementioned.

owlhouse said...

o/t
But a potentially useful tool put together by a former and future SPS parent. Check enrollment, test data, choice ranking, % returning students... all in one click.

http://ssthing.org/

Syd said...

I don't think the problem is being auto-assigned. I think the problem is access. The Montessori program at Graham Hill has a waiting list; the traditional program does not. Living 4 blocks away, but out of cluster, we are never going to get in the Montessori program.

SolvayGirl1972 said...

Syd...yes, the Montessori program may have a waitlist, but it draws from a wide range that has at times stretched from Mt. Baker to close to Skyway, so you may still have a chance. Many people will be out of its attendance area. Your bigger issue is if you are trying to enter at the Kindergarten level. The majority of those spots are traditionally filled with the upcoming pre-schoolers. If you are interested in the school, you should call the principal, Chris Morningstar.

emeraldkity said...

oh now that wasn't me- it is my oldest. My childhood photos are more of the bangs cut in the middle of my forehead. ( like SolvayGirl- but not as cute)

I have been trying to get the word out about school changes & other info , but many are having a hard enough time dealing with day to day life ( and even though the district seems to want to make that harder), and I am afraid that the voices we most need to hear are feeling overwhelmed.

uxolo said...

Owlhouse provided us with a link said to be off-topic, but the notion that the assignments factored in sorting by FRL makes this link relevant.

http://ssthing.org/

Note:
school size and certified FTE employees, FRL
Montlake 237 students; 20 FTE; 8.4% FRL
McGilvra 250 students; 23 FTE; 7.6% FRL
Madrona 411 students 26 FTE; 70.8% FRL
Leschi 274 students; 17 FTE; 70.4% FRL

Sahila said...

Now, if I was a cynic, looking at those figures posted by Uxolo, I might be thinking that the District has made a decision - witnessed/confirmed by its actions -
to spend its resources in areas where education/learning/test scores are not challenged by socio-economic factors...

Basically - give rich communities who test well and show us up well more resources and let the poor communities who dont test well (and will probably never test well because societal conditions are not changing, in fact they are worsening) sink or swim, giving them only the bare basic resources we can get by with providing....

No one would really think like that, would they? Especially if they were shouting an "Excellence for All" marketing tagline from the roof tops all around the city???

Nuh, of course they wouldnt...

Now, if only we could have charter schools in this state, to deal with these difficult populations... they could take them on and SPS could bask in the reflected glory of all those good, clean, well dressed, well fed, well behaved, well performing kids in its schools - you know, the ones who really value an education...

dj said...

What I thought was interesting was that the SAP did have language about equity in it, but to this end -- we will now have equity between people who enroll late and people who have it together enough to participate in the February process. That sees a pretty thin definition of equity compared to what I would think most people would believe "equity" to mean.

southend girl said...

It is absolutely ridiculous that Montessori (and I think language immersion) is not being treated equally across the city as an "option". It is more alternative in terms of pedagogy than most alternative schools. There is always a long wait list at GH and Bagley for Montessori(don't know about Leschi?). Clearly there is greater demand than is currently being met. Why not expand the programs and make them options?

I think the comment that Beacon Hill became an international school to serve the community rather than to provide more access to immersion programs hilarious. Is that why JSIS was started out north?

Why don't we have Tagalog, Amharic, Oromo, Somali & Vietnamese language immersion programs in the south end then?

I'd be very curious to see statistics about "heritage" speaker participation at Beacon Hill. All of the folks I know who have kids there or are clamoring to get in are native English speakers.

Sahila said...

dj... you'd probably find that people who enrol late are people who are struggling with understanding the system, are focused on survival issues and have only one parent in the house to take care of all the daily nitty-gritty... again, mostly FRL-eligible people... and I count myself amongst that demographic... I'm chronically late for most things bureaucratic... not because I dont care and am not organised, but because I dont know the system so have to take time to research to ensure I am making the best decision and because I have more urgent survival matters to take care of and its only me doing it...

and I so wish the comfortable middle classers here (of which societal stratum I used to be a member) would stop going on about people who dont care about/value education for their children and really take a moment to think about what being eligible for FRL means on a daily basis...

southmom said...

To correct some information: There actually was a wait list for all programs at Graham Hill last summer.

TechyMom said...

Montlake and McGilvra both have FTE funded with PTA money. It's not the district giving them extra resources. The families in those schools are giving themselves extra resources. Some will say that's inequitable, and some will say it's not. What it certainly isn't is some big conspiracy.

OK, I don't usually do the WV thing, but... suxicate!?! Is that what we're trying to do with the new math curiculum?