Friday, April 15, 2011

Open Thread Friday

 Update (via reader Salander) - The head of HR, Ann Chan, just five months into her job has resigned.   Now interim CFO, Robert Boesche, is in charge. 

I think the question is - who IS in charge down there? 

So we lost the head of Facilities.   (At least in that position - I have a feeling they may keep Mr. Martin on temporarily to guide the BEX III projects which was his previous position.  But at some point, he needs to go permanently.)

Also, today is the last day for Open Enrollment which closes at 4:00 p.m.
 
Community meetings on Saturday

Director Martin-Morris - at Diva Espresso (Lake City) from 9:30-11:30 a.m.
Director Maier
- at Bethany Community Church (across from Bagley Elementary) from 10:30-noon.

51 comments:

StepJ said...

School Theater Productions coming up:

from myGreenLake...

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at Green Lake Elementary on Friday and Saturday.

And Nathan Hale HS presents High School Musical 2.

Disney Channel's smash hit musical comes to life on stage! Join us at Nathan Hale High School for Hale's spring musical action-packed extravaganza production of High School Musical 2! Rated G, fun for the entire family.

Dates: Thursday-Friday-Saturday May 5, 6, 7, 12, 13, and 14 at 7:30, plus matinee on Saturday May 14 at 2:00.
Tickets through Brown Paper Tickets, http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/171031 or at the door, $12.00 for adults, $5.00 for kids (small service charge through Brown Paper Tickets, but don't risk losing out by waiting too long!).

Nathan Hale is located at 10750-30th Ave NE, Seattle. Hope to see you there!

Floor Pie said...

Special Ed question:

Earlier this week, Special Ed PTSA forwarded an e-mail from Marni Campbell regarding a pilot program at Bagley and Graham Hill called "K-5 Intensive Services" that's starting next year. From what I can tell, it's sort of a stepping stone between ICS and inclusion programs?

I was asking about it at our team meeting and no one seemed to be famliar with Intensive Services. So maybe one of you folks knows:

- What does "Intensive Services" actually entail? What does it look like?

- How is this different from autism inclusion? How is it different from ICS (integrated comprehensive service)?

- Is "Intensive Services" replacing autism inclusion at Bagley and Graham Hill?

Thanks in advance! I'm still new to the world of special ed, and it's all a bit confusing for me...

Charlie Mas said...

Questions for Board members on Saturday:

Where can I find a comprehensive list of the projects in the Strategic Plan - complete with the date it was added or removed, a budget, the detailed timeline described in the Plan document, and a record of how the Community Engagement Protocols were met?

How has the Board held staff accountable for the failure to meet the Community Engagement Protocols in the Strategic Plan?

MAPsucks said...

Remember back in the day when everyone thought some mysterious donor was paying for MAP? That "grant funds" were covering the cost? That's what the Board was told in 2009. Well, the 2009-2010 tab was paid out of the general fund.

SP said...

Another inconsistancy question, re: HS Graduation rates

For 2009-10, The District Score card lists 67% on time grad rate ("4 yrs or fewer").

The REA/SISO Data Profile District Summary lists 81.4% on time rate for the same year (cumulative 2010 cohort at 77%).

Why the difference?

zb said...

I find these grant funding stories at SPS bizarre, and not like what I'm familiar with in terms of grant funding. The moneys seem like they're fungible, accepted without much forethought, and allow private donors to direct their resources to specific efforts without thought to overall priorities.

It's definitely different than what's done at universities.

Now, mind you, this complaint applies to parent-generated funding in SPS, too. It raises the same issues. It would be impossible, for example, to donate a few thousand dollars to a UW department and direct that the money be spent on, say, a centrifuge. If one even had a centifuge to donate, there would be paperwork and financial implications that would have to be worked out before the UW would accept the donation.

SPS seems to operate on much different lines that seem to result in SPS accepting money because it's a donor priority and then somehow putting taxpayers on the hook for the program the donor started. (MAP, TFA, STEM, . . . .)

zb said...

How much money was spent on MAP in 2009-2010 (and 2010-2011) (well, and I'm not talking about the personnel costs)

Anonymous said...

Oh great the MGJ selection of MAP was not paid for in 09-10 by the mystery donor....

Try these confusing statements by Arne D and Obama on testing from Duncan's WBEZ interview:

President Obama said recently that testing and too much teaching-to-the-test is punitive. It makes school boring for students. He'd like a scenario in which tests are given every few years to establish a baseline of student performance. That's not the plan under your educational model. What do you think about his comments?

Arne D: No, the President and I are absolutely consistent:
and
Well, we do have districts where there [are] state tests, local tests, district tests - and when that kind of thing happens, that's when folks are getting carried away.

--- Dan Dempsey

Anonymous said...

WBEZ Chicago 91.5 FM

Here is the Arne Duncan interview.

-- Dan Dempsey

TechyMom said...

Looks like there is some house-cleaning going on downtown. I take this as a very positive sign.

Anonymous said...

If someone wanted you to commit to buying a yet to be developed car, but they had not decided if it would be a three wheeler or have six wheels would you jump right in?

The legislatures approval of Gov. Gregoire's pushed Common Core State Standards will make even less sense than the above JUMP right in.

CCSS will unleash the largest expansion of testing.... What are Obama and Duncan discussing above? They are talking about something other than what the CCSS and RttT are aimed at.

This is such total BS.

-- Dan Dempsey

Melissa Westbrook said...

TechyMom, Ann Chan was there 5 months. Bill Martin hadn't been Facilities manager that long. It would seem a lot more a sign of bad hires/people jumping ship than good housecleaning.

MAPsucks said...

License fees only:

2009-2010 - $367K plus tax
2010-2011 - $413K plus tax

From the inital SBAR of 6/2009:
The source of revienue for this contract is BTAII funds that have been designated for strategic plan priorities in FY10 This was deleted in the final SBAR. There was probably some more doubletalk at the presentation.

SeattleSped said...

Floor Pie,

Yes, SPS SpecEd tried to slip that in under the radar. "Intensive Service Model" or "Other Service Model", crappy descriptors, huh.

It's basically autism inclusion without the autism. In other words any child that needs that level of service to succeed as a gen ed student, can get it.

Why it's being rationed out at only two schools, while all the other needy children 'round town still suffer in ICS, Hell if I know! We all confused, and upset.

Anonymous said...

Floor Pie,

SPS doesn't want kids with IEPs to get any services because it costs money. To that end, they tried to kill the inclusion program and dump all the kids into general ed without sevices, or with practically no services. Intensive services just means "a lot". "A lot" means a teacher and 2 aides for 8 kids. Some insistent parents have finally broken through, and it looks like they will have to keep the 2 programs: Bagley and Graham Hill available for those squeeky-wheel parents. Those programs have been there for years. They didn't tell anyone about it, because they don't want you to know about. Your IEP can't recommend anything it doesn't know about. Right? You can't request services you don't know are there. Right?

What do the "intensive services" look like? They look like whatever the teacher and 2 aides can provide. There's no big mystery there.

special ed parent

Melissa Westbrook said...

YOu know, what TechyMom, after exercising and thinking about it, maybe this is a good sign. It's something to keep a careful watch over, though.

Anonymous said...

And no Floor Pie,
It isn't a "new stepping stone" between ICS and inclusion. It's really exactly the same as the inclusion programs already in the buildings. There are/were 8:2:1 in the inclusion program. The "new" program is 8:2:1. The inclusion program supported high needs students. The "new" proram supports high needs students. The autism inclusion programs provided the special education of the 8 students in the building, whatever the needs were/are. The "new" program provides the special educatin for the 8 students in the building, whatever the needs are. The autism inclusion programs has kids without autism in it. The new programs will (supposedly) have kids without autism in it. Are you noticing a pattern?

The only thing notable about the program is that they didn't tell anyone about it during the "riser" process, which is on a completely separate timeframe from "open enrollment" that everybody else gets.

special ed parent

Sahila said...

dont know if its spring cleaning within SPS or not...

heard on the grapevine that Ms Chan is a friend of Arne Duncan(word is he called Maria to support her hiring Ann). She headed HR for the operations side of Chicago schools.

KG said...

Yes, how about spring cleaning the central mess down to 6% for real.
If Enfield and Board do not do this then it is only more of the same and there will be no changes to help the schools. I suspect more of the same, only looking as they are improving things.

Salander said...

DATE: April 15, 2011

TO: Seattle Public Schools staff

FROM: Dr. Susan Enfield, Interim Superintendent

RE: Organizational structure

During my first month as your interim Superintendent, I have had the opportunity to talk with many of you about how we can improve as a system. Seattle Public Schools is a teaching and learning organization, and our structure needs to reflect that core mission.
Our district is in a state of flux, given the current budget situation and personnel changes. To provide some clarity in this uncertain time I have created a transitional organizational chart. This chart reflects a more streamlined central office that better serves schools and students — in other words, how we can become an organization focused on customer service and continuous improvement. It also reflects the feedback I have heard from many of you, and members of our community, that we must work in smarter, more coordinated ways across schools, the central office and the community to support high-quality teaching in every classroom.
Given our current budget situation, I want to stress that the process of restructuring our central office has a near zero budget impact. This organizational chart is effective today, but our structure will evolve in the months ahead, and you are all essential participants in that process. I welcome your feedback.
And now for the changes. First, I am creating a new department to improve internal controls and stronger accountability. The new Office of Internal Audit will have at least two positions and ensure we are all adhering to key operational policy and procedures. This position replaces the former district internal auditor position and will report directly to the Board of Directors through the Audit & Finance Committee.
Second, given that our core mission is teaching and learning, I am making title changes to reflect this priority. The Chief Financial Officer is now the Assistant Superintendent for Business and Finance, the Chief Operating Officer is now the Assistant Superintendent of Operations, and the Chief Academic Officer is now the Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning.
Third, instead of a Chief Talent Officer, we will hire an Executive Director of Human Resources who will report to the Assistant Superintendent of Finance. Creating a Human Resources department focused on being in service to schools is a key part of our central office restructuring. This department must also serve as a model for what we stand for as an organization, and it will.
Fourth and finally, I have made the decision to keep the Executive Directors of Schools reporting to me because that gives me a direct line to principals and staff in our schools. Additionally, both Aleta Paraghamian and Venetia Harmon will be providing support to me, and Janet Chin will continue to provide support to Mark Teoh and Pegi McEvoy. Ultimately, she will assist the new Assistant Superintendent of Operations.
The following sections outline additional changes within Teaching and Learning, Business and Finance and Operations.
Teaching and Learning
Executive Director of Research, Evaluation, Assessment and Development
Position renamed and moved from Operations.
Research, evaluation and assessment will be able to more closely collaborate with Teaching and Learning staff. This is critical as assessment must support decisions made about curriculum and instruction in the classroom, school and district.

Salander said...

Director of Curriculum, Instruction & Support
Position renamed from Executive Director of Instructional Services.
This title better reflects the work done within the Instructional Services Department, in particular the role the department plays in supporting teachers and other school staff around professional development, curriculum selection, standards alignment, and the development of instructional tools.
Director of Health & Safety
Position moved from Operations.
Much of the work done within this department directly supports students’ academic outcomes. The move to Teaching and Learning will invite stronger collaboration and integration of services.
Manager of Early Learning
Director of Early Learning position eliminated.
This director position was eliminated due to budget cuts. In order to continue the work and ensure that early learning remains central to our improvement strategy the former manager of Early Learning Professional Development will become the Early Learning Manager and will be a direct report to the Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning.
Library Services and Instructional Technology
Library Services and Instructional Technology is moving to Teaching and Learning.
Both areas support instruction in the classroom, and this move will allow a greater level of connection and collaboration with the rest of the Instructional Services staff.

Salander said...

Business and Finance
Human Resources
Human Resources is now under Business and Finance.
Human Resources has a significant relationship with business functions, most notably in the payroll and accounting arenas. In addition, one of most highly audited areas of the school system is the accounting of certification records (staff mix). This has become an increasingly larger focus by the State Auditor’s Office in checking for compliance and sound internal controls.
Enrollment Planning
Enrollment projections and reporting are key business functions. In the 2010-11 General Fund Budget, enrollment currently drives more than 40 percent ($221 million) of the district’s revenue.
Audit Response/Internal Controls
This function has been currently coordinated by a Project Manager shared among several departments. Given recent concerns raised by the State Auditor’s Office and several other special reports, as well as the School Board’s decision to establish an Office of Internal Audit, this position will be responsible for receiving and coordinating efforts arising from audit issues.
Operations
Logistics
This function coordinates and supports the movement of students, staff and inventory and includes warehouse/distribution, fleet management, mail, student transportation and the service center. Currently, these areas have been managed by multiple departments, resulting in a lack of prioritization. Given the increased focus on support to schools, additional coordination is required to ensure effective use and delivery of resources as well as timely customer support.
Facilities Operations
This department will coordinate the more traditional General Fund efforts in building maintenance, custodial services, grounds services, Self Help, environmental services and property management. Additionally, the department will oversee Capital Eligible Maintenance work that is completed by District staff. This should increase collaboration between Facilities Operations and Capital Projects.
Capital Projects
This department will coordinate all capital efforts including those projects tied to the BEX (Building Excellence) Program, BTA (Building, Technology, Academics) Program and Small Works. This department will also work with enrollment planning to address capacity management issues and long-range enrollment projections.
Technology
Technology has strong ties to both academic and operational applications. Given the significant funding this department receives from BEX and BTA, as well as the major recent efforts in VAX migration (including the SAP and student record applications) during the transitional reorganization, Technology will report to the Assistant Superintendent for Operations.
Conclusion
Given the number of positions we have eliminated, the process of restructuring our central office has a near zero budget impact. I believe thoughtful and strategic change to our central office will result in significant improvements in how we serve students and schools.
If you have questions about the new organizational chart please contact your direct supervisor or me. I welcome your feedback and look forward to working with you to support students and schools. Together we will make Seattle Public Schools the model for other urban districts in the nation.
Thank you for all you do.

Charlie Mas said...

I don't really see these changes as, well, changes.

Anonymous said...

There is an org chart on SPS' website.

A friend to Seattle

dan dempsey said...

The Change that is needed is to let schools handle instructional decisions and have downtown limit themselves to Book keeping for which they receive at most 3.2% of Budget.

Central admin continually proves to be expensive and when it comes to instructional materials, practices, and curricular decisions incompetent.

When you repeatedly fail at something .. get some other organization to do it.

Moving all the things that Central Admin is extremely poor at doing to the schools is the logical thing to do. Thus I expect it to never happen as too many Central Admin wizards would need to leave and then the Supe could not justify her salary for running a much smaller version of the formerly large downtown circus.

Th decisions made are about all Education Politics about adults ... and have nothing to do with the improvement of student learning.

Note the similar explosion in Bureaucracy at OSPI over the last 15 years.

dan dempsey said...

Dear A friend to Seattle,

We best refer to that Chart as a directional chart....

Organizational Chart would imply some type of organization downtown. Dis-organizational Chart might be more appropriate.

Dumbfounded said...

I have a feeling that our interim superintendent is cleaning house of anyone who has proven to be unethical...as a way to improve the district and increase community trust--although she is not the type to announce this. I suspect that this house cleaning is behind what happened to a principal who recently announced she would not return next year. After years of district investigations into civil rights abuses and intimidation and harassment of employees and families--she will be gone and this school will finally be able to regain some of what it's lost. I hope it is the work of this new superintendent and I hope she cleans house until it is absolutely SPOTLESS!

mirmac1 said...

How can a true housecleaning and re-org NOT translate into budget SAVINGS!? Otherwise we're just shuffling the deck.

WV: oddish

dan dempsey said...

DumbFounded,

I sure hope so. Good analysis.

TechyMom said...

The disinflation of titles also sends a very clear signal to the management types at the district. No more Chief Whatever Officer. They're directors and managers and assistant superintendants, and many of them are no longer reporting directly to her. Departments that don't directly support classrooms rolled into those that do. Business functions organized around audit findings. Several firings on the same day the reorg is announced. With my middle-management glasses on, this looks like a very clear step towards culture change. Good for her.

mirmac1 said...

Looks a little better, but the body count is still too high and I'm sure there's no 3% paycuts threatening...

http://www.district.seattleschools.org/modules/groups/homepagefiles/cms/1583136/File/Departmental%20Content/communications/documents/20110415_SPS_TransOrg.pdf?sessionid=6220b7fc65656162503fb3af0f7b9994

Central Mom said...

Techy Mom, I picked up on that same wording nuance. The entrepreneurial business set won't like the change, but most people, including myself, will. Chief Talent Officer was a ridiculous Tech Start Up 20-something employee title and silly for our district. The CFO-to-Assistant Superintendent title change sends that same (better) message.

Yes, I know we need talented, ethical skill sets to fill these positions, and we need the housekeeping to further defund Central Office in favor of individual schools, but it's a start and one I heartily applaud.

And like I said in another thread, that HR head didn't even flippin' live in Seattle from what I was told. Her kids and husband were in Chicago and she commuted. We have a solid core of HR professionals in this town. An end to such nonsense -- catering to the Arne Duncan crowd -- is much welcome.

Still Wondering about SPS Spectrum Future said...

I wish Dr E all the best and I hope that she will engage the community as much as possible. I read about your chat with Susan last week, Mr Mas, and found it unfortunate that the new boss can't be a little more candid. That's politics I guess. Her answers in the Stranger Questionland blog were pretty good, I thought, although she dodged Spectrum, which seems to be a real hot button. I've been reading the Lawton CAS minutes and it it sheds a little light on the thinking of some of the staff members and I don't really like what they say. Basically you have Magnolia, a self-selected white upper middle class enclave being the most stubbornly egalitarian with regard to public education. It's like they dread a meritocracy where kids with gifts can excel without having to pay for it. I mean the kids who have the money will succeed no matter what, that's our system, but some at Lawton(and I dare say many of these - like the principal and the leading staff proponent of blending) went to private colleges.Ironic or twisted, I don't know, but certainly noteworthy.

Charlie Mas said...

Here's a link to that org chart.

SP said...

..."and the Chief Academic Officer is now the Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning."
From the organizational chart it looks like Cathy Thompson just got herself a raise into the old CAO position. It also looks as if Cathy's old position ("Instructional Services") doesn't exist or was merged with the CAO? So, Enfield's old position plus Cathy's will now be just Cathy. Hmmm...our new "core mission" is teaching and learning with half staff?

Also, some consulting teachers are listed at the bottom of the Special Ed tree, but the majority of Consulting Teachers (Title, LAP and pvt. school coordination) are all listed in the Business & Finance wing,under the Grants department. I get that maybe their salary comes from the grants dept but does that mean they also answer to the finance grants/finance dept. and not to the Currliculm & Instruction department?

mirmac1 said...

Wow! Busy news day!

Investigator clears one Seattle schools attorney, has concerns about another


http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/education/2014788254_ikeda16m.html

'course I think Ron English is dirty.

dan dempsey said...

Mirmac1,

Your above hyperlink does not function for me.

mirmac1 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mirmac1 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mirmac1 said...

Here's the link

Jennifer said...

And will the "new" people coming in downtown all get bonuses to come here, like MGJ's did?

Hard to find good people around here for these $ 120k+ jobs I guess, so in lean times SSD keeps them under $25k to set an example?

Jennifer said...

And if she is after the unethical, there's still a long way to go...........

Go Susan! Keep pulling that thread!

We hardly know ye..........

Melissa Westbrook said...

What I keep wondering is how MGJ got a 50% raise for Fred Stephens without someone saying something. It almost seems like there should be a policy that if you go above a certain range, the Board should be consulted.

Mr. Stephens went from $100k to $150k. That's a big chunk of change to suddenly come out of Operations.

Kathy said...

Melissa,

Good point about significant HQ raises and policy.

A 50% raise is absurd.

Kathy said...

After HQ positions were eliminated, MGJ handed out raises to those left in HQ.

The raises were intended to compensate for additional responsibilities.

Does anyone know the number and percentage of increases given to those in HQ?

Anonymous said...

Need help finding someone:

My mom saw an article in the paper a month or two ago, right after MJG was let go, about the city(?) bringing in someone to take internal complaints. I need to get ahold of this person, but obviously am not recalling any information that would help me find them. Anyone have a better memory on this than I?

Thank you
former teacher

mirmac1 said...

There's an ethics hotline set up with a contracted outfit to allow insiders to make anonymous complaints.

someone said...

@former teacher

This is the Ethics Hotline info:
New Ethics Hotline

Seattle Public Schools has launched a new anonymous hotline that anyone can use to file a complaint about an employee’s suspected ethics violations, fraud, abuse of office, or other illegal conduct.  We have retained the services of The Network, an independent reporting service that allows you to communicate your concerns via Web report or toll-free telephone, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, without fear of retaliation.  You may make a report by using one of the following:

Report Online: www.tnwinc.com/SeattleSchools
Call Toll Free: (877) 452-3593

Inside as well said...

Kathy:

The only way to figure out the percentages on administrative raises (and there are lots and have been since July, 2007) is to look at current and year prior.

Meg can do that.

no one said...

Seattle Public Schools has launched a new anonymous hotline that anyone can use to file a complaint about ...
Report Online: www.tnwinc.com/SeattleSchools
Call Toll Free: (877) 452-3593


Just remember, if you call 800#s (and 888, 877), you cannot disable caller ID, so the company knows exactly what # you are calling from. Always.

And if you use a web site from your regular work or home address, this information can usually be tracked as well.

Bottom line: the anonymity of this service is dependent on how well you trust this company. If you want to be safe, take a laptop to Starbucks or some place with open WiFi.

no one said...

Melissa, the spam filter ate a comment above.