Then a mom spoke about her concern over the new PE plan to measure the BMI of every SPS child starting in 3rd grade. She said that she had concerns over it being hurtful and detrimental to children and that this needs evidence-based research on why we would do it as a district. She stated that PE teachers are not health-care providers and really don't have a good way to communicate to either parents or students about the measurements. And, she pointed out how much time it would take to measure and record every student (thus taking time away from actual PE activity). Sherry was very on-board with this concern. She stated that one of her own daughters had eating issues and felt that it could hurt boys and girls who have eating issues and/or body issues. She promised to look into it and bring it to the Curriculum and Instruction Committee meeting. Also, Gary Sievert, an SPS parent and member of the Seattle Council PTSA Board, mentioned that as a volunteer volleyball coach, he was finding it difficult to understand when and how PE waivers are granted for outside sports or club sports. Sherry agreed that this is a vaguely worded issue and promised to look into it as well.
I also saw a sheet about the McDonald parent group. Here's some info at their blog if you are interested. They have a survey going that needs to be done by December 14th. As well, they also have a Yahoo discussion group. They have a couple of meetings this week including one tomorrow night.
- Join us Monday, December 7th at 6:30 p.m. for a meeting at Lincoln High School Auditorium with School Board Director Sherry Carr and Re-opening Schools Project Manager Scott Masengill to discuss the design team formation and structure,
- Attend our Program Panel Discussion from 9 - 11 a.m. on Saturday, December 12th at Lincoln High School Library (use 44th and Interlake entrance)
Sherry said that Tracy Libros is continuing to collect sibling data via Early Enrollment, principal surveying families and a possible on-line survey. The parents asked about the timeline for the collection and Sherry said she didn't think it would be available until the Board Work Session on Transitions on the 16th. So please, keep in mind doing the Early Enrollment - that data will help the district tremendously. Also, has anyone had a principal survey occur at their school yet?
It seems that Bryant, JSIS and possibly Lafayette are the schools most likely to have the sibling issues. Most schools will be able to accomodate sibs even if out of the attendance area.
Sherry said there were a couple of things that could be done for these schools. There could be a "surge capacity" for a couple of years (not chronically overenrolling any school but just for the bump years). She also said that she had asked Dr. G-J and staff to pull out all the stops to make this happen (portables, looking at building use,etc.)
The interesting thing to me is that I keep hearing parents say they don't like lottery as the second tiebreaker. They all seem to want distance or a geographic zone one. This is precisely what they want to move away from as it always favors those who live nearest but parents, especially in elementary schools, think those who live nearest (after those in the attendance area) should get in first.
I asked Sherry if she would fight for grandfathering sibs or making sure sibs can be at one school (i.e. the older moves to the younger's new attendance area school). She said she would advocate both.
I left that meeting and went to Harium's. Not as many people came but there was good discussion nonetheless.
I again mentioned Memorial Stadium. Harium had a lot to say and even though I still need to read the MOU and other documents, I believe Harium when he tells me it's a good deal. He outlined the details to me. He also does not support moving the Memorial Wall and I think he would fight to keep it as part of whatever stadium/amphitheater that is built. I left feeling better about this issue.
As I mentioned, Harium also feels the sibling issue can be handled well. It's great that we have two Board members who feel strongly on this issue. He was a little cagey about all the reasons but again, I have faith in him that he wouldn't feel this way if he didn't think it could be done. He did mention a 3-year sib window in passing but I think that was just off the top of his head.
He mentioned the Superintendent has a monthly news update and were we all getting it? I haven't. Anyone else?
We also talked about foreign language immersion for all the newly opened schools (except Old Hay). He would support it if they could find the teachers. He was quite candid that the Board had not followed-thru as they should have for program placement. He said that they hadn't asked to see all requests submitted so staff only gave them some of them (presumably the ones they agreed with). He said that the C&I Committee would make a specific request for this to happen. He said another issue is the "pathway" one of where these schools could feed into for middle school. I also raised the issue that there is no pathway for foreign language immersion for high school.
There were a couple of parents there to advocate for alternative schools and a pathway for those schools as well. One parent said she thought that Michael De Bell may have felt that Thorton Creek parents were not as open as they should have been about moving to JA and that maybe he wasn't as open to listening to them now. This was her impression. Harium said he is pushing for this in the Transition Plan and made that clear to the other members of the Board in an Executive Committee meeting where they discussed SAP amendments.
One of our readers here, Joan, pressed Harium on the issue of the Broad Foundation and its influence in our district. I hadn't known (understood?) that the facilitator for the Board and the Superintendent for the Superintendent's review was from the Broad Foundation. Harium said he saw the problem and that they would not be doing that again. I hope not; no matter what anyone thinks of the Broad Foundation, the Superintendent has several ties to it and should not be guided through her evaluation by anyone there.
Harium also mentioned that the Board was working its way through their policies. He mentioned that a grad student had created a spreadsheet for them so they can see where policies overlap. He said that we could request to see the spreadsheet through Susan Enfield.
I left before the meeting ended so I don't know what was discussed past this point.