On the School Board meeting agenda are two action items for state waivers from the 180-day school requirement - one is for parent-teacher conferences and one professional development. Each waiver is for 3 days.
The one for parent-teacher conferences has staff stating research and data sources as being that they asked the principals. (I could quibble about that but I won't.) However, they then state that the district had a survey of parents in late December/early January and 93% (0ff over 1600 responses) preferred closing schools (instead of half-days). Great, so the district asked both principals and parents and found most in agreement.
Contrast that to the item for the 3-day waiver for professional development. The research and data is the Strategic Plan and the SEA contract. That's data but I would not call it research.
Here's what they say under "Community Engagement:
The District’s strategic Plan “Excellence for All,” which has professional development as a component was adopted after obtaining input from thousand of teachers, principals, District staff, families, students, and community stakeholders. The collective bargaining agreement between the District and SEA, certificate non-supervisory employees was approved by the School Board in September 2010 and it has a professional development component.
I do not recall at any public meeting about the Strategic Plan being asked "do you support losing teaching days for professional development?". I recall that we were told professional development is important and that most people agree.
So the district saying "Oh we have community input that professional development that includes losing school days is good with parents" seems false.
"Research and data" and "Community engagement" is whatever staff says it is and the Board (again) never challenges it. I know that on most Facilities items they are using 5 and 6-year old data sources that say that we're in a terrible time for construction. (We were 5-6 years ago but not now.) No one every says, "How come you keep using the same data info year after year?"
Why? Because staff doesn't want to have to justify their recommendations with either research/data or community engagement so they throw anything up there with little to no challenge from the Board.
It's a lot of CYA cover based on not much information/documentation. If students are losing teaching days, it should be a lot better than "because we say so."