I started this in Charlie's thread's comment section but it got too long. So, to add to the discussion, here are my notes (I left as Charlie arrived).
From my notes:
-the Board office has two new hires so both Joan Dingfield and Pam Oakes are gone. I'll miss them; they are nice people. One new thing; the addition of the first 5+ people on the waitlist to the agenda so you can get an idea of where you might be on the waitlist
-Lots of energy from TOPS parents who very calmly and clearly explained their issue about transportation. Over 50% of their students will lose their transportation, mostly from the southend. They are asking for a community stop model for buses so their students can continue on. Their hope is for the district to fulfill this request for 3 years. (This time request has something to do with a promise the district made, I believe.)
- it was pointed out that a member of the BEX Oversight Committee is doing business with the district and this has not been disclosed (this from watchdog Chris Jackins).
-I spoke on various issues including the West Seattle amendment. I feel like they could have waited until RBHS's IB program was in place (if there is so much room at Sealth). But with Ingraham's IB likely to fill from APP students, I have to wonder if Sealth's might fill more rapidly. It is interesting that this amendment, which really is very region directed, passed so easily. I have not seen that kind of regional protection very often in the past.
- Then there were the Area 4 parents. What I can gather (because I haven't seen a map) is that Area 4 is a small area in the Central district where about 17 families live and have found themselves buffeted around by the NSAP. (Well, first it was closing TT Minor, MLK, Jr., etc.) They talked about needing cohesiveness to build a school community. One father was particularly effective in stating - very calmly - how they came within 12 hours of having the rug pulled out from under them. As well, he stated that the Stevens and Madrona principals and heads of PTSA had no advance notice of the amendment by Director Smith-Blum (which had been withdrawn before the meeting).
-MGJ announced it was School Board recognition month and recognized the Board.
-Sherry Carr said that the next Budget Work Session will have more OSPI categories and that should make it clearer what areas they are considering for cuts. She also said that she had heard some SPS employees did not feel valued during the discussion over the budget but wanted to acknowledge that they appreciate and acknowledge the hard work of all employees (but yes, cuts will come).
- Most interesting item for me - JANUARY 29th at 4 p.m. the State Auditor will do the exit interview for the loooog awaited capital management audit. It is a public event and I expect it to be beyond interesting. Sherry said she didn't know why it wasn't on the calendar at the end of the agenda (one guess).
-Director DeBell stated that there is to be some sort of report on the SE Initiative (and pointed out this started before most everyone sitting up there had come). He said the "work did not meet the expectations of this Board member" but that they learned from what was done. Ah, but what did they learn?
-Sherry has add a 2nd community meeting for the month this Saturday (the 22d) at 8:30 a.m. at Bethany Church (across from Bagley Elementary). Peter Maier is having one there as well at 10:30 so it's practically a two'fer.
-Kay ruefully said that she will never propose a boundary amendment during a full moon again. I think she really learned a lesson on this one.
-Steve gave a shout out to the South Seattle Foundation which gave 26 mini-grants worth $20k to SPS teachers.
-when asked about how the issue of TC and Salmon Bay would be solved (how many years will they do a one-year fix), Phil Brockman was brought to the podium to mention working with AS#1. This led to Michael saying that AS#1 doesn't have the same pedagogy as TC or Salmon Bay.
-on the professional development waiver, quite the show. Michael said:
I feel quite uncomfortable with the direction of trading off professional development for instruction time for our students. I can't support this resolution. We really have to examine this, this is a Faustian bargain. We are keenly aware of the benefits of extended teaching times especially for low-income students. These were models discussed during the work session previous to this meeting with extended day as the centerpiece. What we are preparing here is backing down from the 180 days that we nomially are supposed to provide in our state which is the lowest of any industrial nation. Most have them have 200+ days. This is the wrong direction and in some cases is not even 170 days of instruction and yet all the research tell us we should be providing more like 200 days.
I agree with Director DeBell for core values kind of place that the idea of racing to the bottom of the amount of days our students have.
Sherry asked about why C&I approved this and the answer was that it was approved to move onto the Board, not in agreement with it.
Then there was a whole dance (one I have seen before so I knew what was coming). Steve said he understood the sentiments and agreed BUT we are contractually obligated to 3 waiver days for the next 2 years. He said well, we could table it.
Then they had one legal counsel come forth and explain this but really, I'm not sure we have to do it quite like he said. I think SEA might be willing to find common ground on this but there was not ONE mention of even asking them.
Peter then tag-teamed Steve and said well, what's the timetable? Oh gosh, says the lawyer, the Board of Education needs this by March (excuse me, there's two Board meetings in Feb.; they could table it). So if you don't do this now, it'll be May for the Board of Ed and then the district calendar, blah, blah, dogs and cats living together.
Our lead counsel then pointed out they could go into Executive Session or schedule one as this was an HR matter.
Harium then promptly withdrew his high-minded objection and said he would vote for it.
Steve brightly suggested that they could go into Executive Session right then but he knew no one was going to go for it. No one moved to table it. They voted and only Michael said no.
This has happened before with Peter and Steve. They look quite reasonable and are just "clarifying" but it always turns out "gotta get it done."