I have not finished watching my tape of the School Board meeting. There was an article in the Times this morning about it. Apparently the Transition Plan passed, 6-1 (with Betty Patu voting against). Both Director Martin-Morris' amendment for Thorton Creek and Director Carr's amendment for JSIS passed. And, South Shore got its own Geographic Zone amendment for next year. Nice.
So here's an open thread for the meeting.
Here are my notes:
- I must have missed it but apparently Kaaren Andrews of Madrona is leaving mid-year for Interagency. There were several speakers about this including many children. This mid-year stuff strikes me as hard on everyone and particularly for the poor principal coming in. A good point was made when one speaker said that Ruth Medsker, the middle school director, told a parent that "it was in the best interests of the district" to move Ms. Andrews and the parent's reply was, "Yes, but what about the best interests of Madrona?"
- Meg Diaz did a great job in explaining how STEM at Cleveland would be financially hard on the whole district. (Interestingly, there was a lot of backpedalling on this issue during the STEM presentation by Dr. Enfield. The Board should take note of both Meg's remarks and the backpedalling.)
- Chris Jackins, another district watchdog, brought up the issue that there is a WAC about districts not creating racial inbalance through enrollment plans. He claims this would happen at 12 schools in the district.
- Lots of TOPS speakers who are worried about the transportation issue. I thought our blogger, Johnny Calcagno, did a great job in calmly laying out the issues. Looking at how the additions to the Transition Plan, which came on a Friday before a holiday weekend, got in there, well, you have to believe this was planned.
- Several seemingly exhausted parents spoke on the issue of grandfathering siblings. There were a couple of people who I think were on their last energy and I felt for them. One speaker, Walter, pointed out the long list of who could get in - home schooled kids, private school kids and kids new to the district - just not siblings. On this issue, I think it would have been worth trying to put older sibs at the younger sibs' attendance area school and see how it played out. If the goal was everyone who wanted a neighborhood school at that school, they should have tried it. They seemingly have little data to support their claims and the district is waiting to see how it plays out. Why not play it out at the attendance area schools?
- Dan Dempsy pointed out that New Tech Network, which we are buying into for the next 4 years for $800,000 for the STEM program, has a lot of flaws.
- There was one speaker, with lots of support, who asked for the reinstatement of Career Counselors at the high schools.