So the community speakers spoke on several topics including the MLK,Jr bldg as a community meeting site for Madison Valley, several different speakers on the need for Career Center counselors in our high schools, grandfathering siblings, the Superintendent's bonus and several student speakers. (Those kids from Nova always make me smile. So committed, articulate and wonderful. There was also a young man from Ingraham, in a sport jacket and tie, saying how they need their Career Counselor.)
There was a really long report from the Family Engagment team. This is a wonderful diverse group of people working hard on outreach as well as figuring out ways to do new and better outreach. Their goals over the next 6 months are to help parents learn to use The Source, help parents understand the Partnership plan and Strategic Plan and how to advocate for their children. (What I think would be nice is to tell parents about what to expect when they do advocate for their child. It's all good and well to say, "go here for this, etc." but to tell parents what they face in the room with teacher/administrator/counselor might also be a good idea. I'll have to write Bernardo Ruiz about this.)
Betty Patu asked her first question which was about having a Family Support Worker versus a Family engagement person (which each school is eventually going to have - sort of a parent ombudsman is how I think it will be). The answer was that they will have both (not at all schools because the Family Support Worker is funded through the City's Families and Education levy).
Then there was a long presentation on STEM (Charlie, you might want to look at the PowerPoint used). Quite a lot of information and well, the presentation made clear the priorities going forward. Dr. Goodloe-Johnson was in fine form. A little more smiley than usual but she sure sticks to her script.
In overview, STEM is much, much bigger than I thought. This is going to be Dr. Goodloe-Johnson's jewel in the crown and there's isn't much she won't throw out elsewhere or at it to make it work.
I think much of the STEM presentation was from the Saturday presentation but likely with some notation exceptions (that I can't believe Charlie would have left out). Dr. G-J discussed something called the New Technology Network (NTN), a group that helps schools/entities with expertise and training that will help guide the process for STEM. Their role, explained in answer to a later question, will only be for 3 years but they are still working out the cost.
She put up a draft budget that was fairly unreadable. What I did see was that Cleveland is going to be the beneficiary of a lot of money over three years. The starting budget is $1.3M (and I think that's just for the STEM program, not actual school budget), with a 3-year total of about $4M+ with annual on-going costs of around $715,000. The district is working on a more detailed budget (Harium asked about this and Dr. G-J said it was coming). Since I already have confirmed that the engineering part of it doesn't require any special lab AND the science labs are good to go (according to the principal), then you have to wonder what the capital money is being used for.
She stated that they hope to find money from state LAP, "existing providers and technical resources" (whatever that means), potential money from grants, both fed and private. She said the district had identified one-sixth of the funding already. She said that outside funding needs to cover between 25-30% of the 1-3 year costs and the rest will come from the district. And that would be under what mattress?
Also, interesting list of community partners but I did stop short at UW...Bothell? Really? Does the district know that UW Seattle has one of the top 10 computer science and engineering departments in the country? And they are more than willing to help if asked? And yet the district went to Bothell?
- Open House Jan. 23rd
- 7th period support courses added to Spring 2010 for current CHS students
She also said that the Cleveland building could support the academy approach. Yes, we know that. Cleveland has/had academies and yet we are changing that program to a STEM program.
Peter Maier asked about the 8-period day. Dr. Enfield said it was a embedded professional development/planning period for teachers to keep them going in the program. Peter also asked if the SE Intiative money for Cleveland was now being directed for STEM and the answer was yes.
Peter asked about needed building changes like lab upgrades and the answer was yes. Again, this is not what I was told by Project Lead the Way OR the principal.
Kay asked her first question which was if every student gets a laptop (there is a 1:1 computer requirement for STEM) and the answer was there will be a computer for each student but not necessarily a laptop. She was also pleased to see music and art in the school but Dr. G-J said it was there to meet graduation requirements and Steve Sundquist said it would not be the same kind of program as the comprehensives would have.
Harium pointed out that Cleveland students will naturally graduate with more credits than the other high schools and Dr. Enfield said it follows from Core 24 that the state is talking about enacting.
Betty asked about funding and Dr. Goodloe-Johnson gave her a little schooling on budget (she said something like "one of the best learning curves for new Board Directors is how our budget process works"). It actually didn't need to be said, especially in public, but Dr. G-J said it anyway. I'm pretty sure Betty and Kay didn't miss it.
Betty Patu came back in about the funding (she's going to be feisty). She pointed at that when the district needs funding for one thing, they generally take it from another. She said the district has to be responsible for how they move money around.
Then Kay asked about where they had contacts. Technology Alliance? Yes. TAF (Technology Access Foundation where Trish Dziko does her good work). Yes. I think after Dr. G-J gave both answers as one word it occurred to her how terse that sounded so she added on a bit more. It came off a bit curt to me.
Okay, so why did I say as an overview that STEM is bigger than I thought? Well, because Dr. Goodloe-Johnson will take the money from some place. So:
- There goes ANY thought I had of basic maintenance spending increasing, at least for now.
So it becomes more important than ever to tell the Board that we cannot keeping growing that maintenance backlog. There is no "levying", either BTA and/or BEX, to get us out of it. And now we are going to find money, both in capital and operations, for one school.
- Dr. Goodloe-Johnson is making is quite clear that she was directed to do this both from the public and the Board who said they expect better schools for the new SAP to work. Problem is, no one said "open a STEM school and pour all the money and effort into that". This effort, to me, is her interpretation of that desire.
- Another HUGE piece to this is that the new schools coming online will have to wait for STEM to get its footing. This got discussed during the portion about the Transition Plan (also interesting and I'll write that up tomorrow morning). By wait, I mean, she said that "all the programs like Montessori and foreign language immersion cost money" and after all kids, there is a "priority list". Guess what is #1 with a bullet? STEM. She made it clear there will not be any real focus for any of these new schools coming on-line in the first year at least (with Viewlands and Rainier View seeming to get the biggest shaft despite the efforts of Peter Maier to remind her not to forget them). She said people have to be "realistic".
What I have put forth is what I understand Dr. G-J wants and frankly, expects the Board to sign off on and what a great argument - do you want this to succeed or not? Sure, but at what cost to this district and ALL the other schools including the new ones?
(Please, if anyone else attended or watched, tell me, did I misinterpret what I heard?)