Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Preview of What's Coming at the End of this School Year

I will be better able to flesh this out at the end of the week but I'm hearing some pretty serious rumblings.

It appears one high school principal will lose a job (not just RBHS) and may not be placed elsewhere.

I believe this may be happening as a signal to other principals to get with the curriculum alignment program or else.  (So far there doesn't appear to be any other reason like a criminal act or fraud.) 
Meaning, less flexibility/creativity in how teachers can teach the curriculum and principals will be expected to bear down on teachers who don't follow the direction of the alignment. 

It also appears the district is unwilling to state whether or not they are closing RBHS for a year and then reopening it as a "transformation" school.  This would have HUGE repercussions for the entire district as whether or not you think is something that should be done (or should have been done long ago), the question would be - where would those 350 kids go?

Garfield's boundaries are narrowed and Franklin is taking on more students.  I think they will be full.  Cleveland is an Option school and Sealth should also be full.  Are they seriously going to bus kids up to Hale and Ingraham and out to West Seattle where there is space?

Update:  the principal in question is Martin Floe at Ingraham.  Dr. Enfield sent a letter to parents today telling them this news.  (The letter does not make it clear if Principal Floe will continue on within SPS.)  Neither parents, nor staff, nor students were allowed to give input before the decision was made. 

I'm hearing that the district wanted someone else in there who has experience with IB AND international schools.  It's handy that they have such a person in Margit Moore, an assistant principal at Garfield (hey, she also has experience with APP students), who was a teacher at Bellevue's International School and coordinated the IB program there. 

The parents and staff are being assure that the district will "work with you to collect desired attributes and qualifications for the next principal."  A friend of mine said, "We'll just say, 'We want another Martin Floe'."  The district is interviewing soon and are hoping to name a new principal before the end of the school year.  That's a pretty speedy timeframe.  I'm thinking that there will be one public meeting for staff and parents to give input and then, voila! the person the district wants will be installed.

Anyone know if Garfield APP parents had misgivings about Principal Floe? 

Here is the reason every single school community in this district worries - the district has proven, once again, it will change principals willy-nilly and your community is helpless to stop it.  

38 comments:

RosieReader said...

The Ingraham community just got an email from SPS confirming that the principal is out. I am stunned. I am not aware of anything that should lead to this result. I will be interested if other commenters to this blog point to anything that would justify such a result.

Jamie said...

Wow, I am stunned as well. I have only heard positive things about him.

Anonymous said...

I am equally shocked. Martin Floe has been an outstanding principal. The district will likely hear a great deal from Ingraham parents on this decision.

Puzzled parent of an Ingraham Senior

Anonymous said...

More shocking still is Rainier Beach. Isn't it almost summer? Once again the district spins its wheels down there with no coherent plan. Dumb. We need to know who is behind this one. Superintendent? Staff? Board? Alliance? Stand? Gates? LEV? Who?! I bet it's backed by people who have never stepped foot in the school or its neighborhood.

-skeptical-

Melissa Westbrook said...

I, too, am very puzzled. Martin Floe is a good principal. The district sure trusted him to see the IB application period thru, shape their program and see it become a success (so much so the district decided they needed one in the south end). He welcomed the APP parents and had several meetings with them already. From what a few staff have told me, he is a supportive principal.

The phrase I heard was that he did not give "adequate" support to staff for student achievement. Interesting how many poor performing principals get circulated thru this district and yet they don't find Mr. Floe "adequate" to the job?

I think this is a push from an over-zealous Ex Director. I've heard complaints about her aggressive behavior at Ingraham (so much so that she scheduled a friendly meeting with staff).

I suspect that if he isn't offered another position that his non-renewal of contract will be a warning to all principals about toeing the curriculum alignment line. Keep your teachers in line or you will be out.

Interestingly, there's a principal in Puyallup who just got pushed out (despite hundreds of protesters at their Board meeting) because he went on a school trip he was told not to and because he taught a class when a sub didn't show up. There's probably more but it seems odd that such a popular principal would get pushed out.

That's school's ASB president asked the Superintendent to NOT come and speak at their high school commencement if their principal was not reinstated.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Floe is wonderful! I am very, very shocked and disappointed -

ben said...

Is there a link for info on the possible closure of RBHS or is this just based on someone asking a question and getting a non-committal answer?
Thanks
Ben

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

Melissa where did you hear that closing RBHS for a year was an option the district was looking at?

I can't see how it would be feasible??? Hale has some space with their new remodel but they could not accommodate 350 new students. At best they could accommodate 150 - 200. Ingraham had a couple of hundred vacant seats but they will be getting APP north students next year - I doubt they will be a able to take 100 new students. If south end kids choose to bus up north fine, but forcing them to do it seems awful.

And wasn't there just a community meeting this week about RBHS becoming an IB school?

Hmmmm....

Thanks for the update Melissa

peonypower said...

heard it through the grape vine that the new executive director for Ingraham- Bree Duesseult was no fan of Mr. Floe, and that a teacher who shall not be named (but is a former TFAer) leaked information to the director. I have heard good things about this Principal and I am shocked that he is getting booted. There should be a protest.

Melissa Westbrook said...

I don't have a link about closing RBHS. The Superintendent was on a radio show and gave a vague answer. As well, Michael Tolley, the Executive Director, is also giving vague answers to direct questions.

The sources I have for this information are reliable (although cannot be named). Maybe the district is musing through this believing they need to completely overhaul the school.

That the Superintendent AND the Ex Director won't say "Of course we are not closing RBHS" seems odd. If that is true, why not say it clearly?

dj said...

Isn't there enough room at Cleveland? They could co-house the programs.

Anonymous said...

this is elem principal related, not HS, but I just heard that Coe's principal Tate Loftin is no longer the principal there but don't know any more details beside that. and it was sudden. Any news on that?

-nearby parent

GenericGirl said...

Why not name the teacher? Especially if you're going to paint her/him with a brush that is or is not warranted? Is this a treasure hunt and that was our first clue? If it's true that s/he had information that led to a person's job termination, s/he should be proud to state it out loud. After all, it's not every day one person's actions can cost another person their job. That's something s/he is probably proud of. S/he will probably be delighted to have her/his name out there.

Juana said...

Who is the "over-zealous Ex-director" please?

Melissa Westbrook said...

The executive director for that region is Bree Duesseult.

Anonymous said...

Any suggestions on how Ingraham parents can express their anger/disappointment/puzzlement over the dismissal of Martin Floe? Who do we call or write at the district?

Puzzled parent of an Ingraham Senior

dan dempsey said...

I am still completely disgusted with the proposed D 43.00 Promotion/ non-promotion policy.... set for action at the next Board meeting.

The new D 43.00 does not mention interventions.

As Charlie once said: It seems that struggling students in SE Seattle need to go to school in Renton.

So what would an IB transformation at RBHS do for most of the struggling students in SE schools? Be advised that interventions will no longer be mentioned if the new k-12 policy for promotion is adopted?

"To improve a system requires the intelligent application of relevant data."

Tim said...

I am really surprised that so many people think they know how good the principal was...Other than the public face, nobody seems to be talking about any written evaluations. By nature, they would be confidential, and it is quite possible this principal was not up to basic expectations in areas not known to the general public. It is also likely that some staff at the school know what is going on, but don't feel like ruining their work environment. Most bosses, no matter how good or bad, have some rabid supporters, and some who hate them. Those who are glad to see a principal go are not likely going to speak up if they don't feel comfortable with the colleagues left behind.
Now, of course, I am just supposing and have no information, but it just seems that jumping to the conclusion that the district is wrong to fire one principal out of a hundred might be just a little ahead of the information at hand.

another mom said...

Puzzled Parent, I would send letters directly to the Superintendent with a cc: to Bree Dusseault and each school board member. While the board does not involve themselves in hiring and firing of principals, it is worth including them, especially since this was a bit out of the blue -or at least that's the way it seems. They need to know about unnecessary churn and confusion that this causes in the student and parent community. Let them know that you think this is a bad decision and not in the best interest of Ingraham students.

Anonymous said...

Yup...principal churn. That's probably one of the biggest reasons we opted out of public school once my daughter entered MS (we live in the Aki Kurose/RBHS area). Our elementary saw 9 principals in six years and survived a threatened closure only to be named a "School of Distinction" by the state a year later.

We loved TCS for high school, but then the District considered closing it and moved Lisa Escobar (who I thought was wonderful) to RBHS for a doomed effort a year later.

Though it looks like within a few years the schools will all be cookie-cuttered into similar places—and sadly not all for the better.

SG

Melissa Westbrook said...

I suggest that Ingraham staff, parents and students attend any one of the three community meetings held by Board directors this Saturday. While directors are not involved in personnel decisions, they certainly can hear from constituents about issues AND pass on that information to the Superintendent.

Also, sign up to speak at the next Board meeting. They had hundreds speaking out at a recent Puyallup Board meeting on an ousted principal. Do the same.

I didn't say the district was wrong to let him go (I believe he was RIFed, not fired but I could be wrong). I'm just saying that it seems odd that staff, student and parents (and there are a lot of them) could be so wrong.

GenericGirl said...

OMG. I just saw the update. Margit Moore? She was despised by many in the IB program in Bellevue.

Melissa Westbrook said...

GG, this is my opinion of who will end up at Ingraham. Given the short timeline the district wants, I think they probably have someone in mind already.

Looking at what Ingraham is becoming (a school with APP students and an international school along with their established IB program), I think Ms. Moore is the likely choice.

Not considering Ingraham for APP anymore said...

Given the short timeline the district wants, I think they probably have someone in mind already.

Looking at what Ingraham is becoming (a school with APP students and an international school along with their established IB program), I think Ms. Moore is the likely choice.


I don't know Ms. Moore, but as a parent of a north-end middle school APP student, this is outright bait-and-switch!

From my conversations with others, Martin Floe was one of the big reasons many APP families were confident in making the move from Garfield. Yes, there are other competent IB staff in the building, but with all the unwelcome changes around the district over the past couple years, it's moves like this that breed mistrust. The general attitudes and health of a building is greatly dependent on the principal, and I've heard nothing but positive about Floe.

My gut says there are probably 1 or 2 bad apples in the building that conspired with Duesseult. They should be outed and publicly shamed, and Duesseult should be fired.

-- not considering Ingraham for APP anymore

Anonymous said...

We of the Ingraham staff unanimously signed the resolution that appears in another post on the blog. One staff member on paternity leave even left the hopsital once his wife and baby were in good condition to come in and sign it.

Signature was voluntary, and no-one was looking to see who signed--but at the end of the day, the number of signatures exactly matched the number of staff in the building.

The main charge against him, by the way, is that he 'fails to promote a culture of trust and collaboration in the building.' This, of course, is totally bogus. The building's culture actually one of Mr. Floe's best strengths.

Unfortunately, Ms. Dusseault never took the time to learn Ingraham's culture before she started her work on cutting Mr. Floe's legs out from under him.

Our resolution was drafted, approved, and signed in less than 24 hours. If this response by our staff is representative of a building with a lack of trust and collaboration...I'd like to see what a building that allegedly has a 'culture of trust and collaboration' could do!

Anonymous said...

Does anyone have Susan Enfield's e-mail address? How can we complain about the Ingraham decision?

Anonymous said...

you can e-mail the interim superintendent at
superintendent@seattleschools.org

you can e-mail the school board at
schoolboard@seattleschools.org

Anonymous said...

or

saenfield@seattleschools.org

Anonymous said...

District I - Peter Maier peter.maier@seattleschools.org

District II - Sherry Carr sherry.carr@seattleschools.org

District III - Harium Martin-Morris harium.martin-morris@seattleschools.org

District IV - Michael DeBell michael.debell@seattleschools.org

District V - Kay Smith-Blum
kay.smith-blum@seattleschools.org

District VI - Steve Sundquist
steve.sundquist@seattleschools.org

District VII - Betty Patu betty.patu@seattleschools.org

Anonymous said...

Maybe that 6th Ed Director that the INTERIM superintendent is hiring for the SE will be every bit as effective in helping RBHS as Dusseault has been in helping Ingraham. LMFAO.

Got to say it's not looking to positive for Martin Floe. The last time parents were screaming and teachers presented a near-unanimous petition, it was to register a vote of no confidence in Goodloe-Johnson. They were ignored for months. Until, of course, it all fell apart.

And yet again the District is ready to negate parents and teachers and staff at both ends of the city, RBHS and Ingraham.

I Am "Disgusted And Ashamed of Our District Tonight"

Anonymous said...

Ya think it could be because he is a successful and respected white male? I suspect reverse discrimination.

Anonymous said...

I Am "Disgusted And Ashamed of Our District Tonight," the second Ex Director for the SE will be none other than Bree Duassualt.

ITK

Central Mom said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Central Mom said...

ITK:

Is Dusseault to SE as their new administrator a punchline, a rumor or a printed-somewhere fact?

MiddleAgedManiac said...

All -- there is now a facebook page, "Friends of Martin Floe" where the Ingraham community will be posting information about efforts to undue this travesty/tragedy. It's an open group, so spread the word to anyone with any interest in keeping track of our efforts

Mary Smith said...

Show your support for Martin Floe-Show up at the JSCEE lobby on Thursday -May 12th @ 5:15 PM - Wear your Ingraham Blue. 4 Staff and 4 parents will meet with Dr. Enfield for 15 minutes - we will gather in the lobby and show our support from there.Mary Smith

Anonymous said...

Whoa! I second everything Not Considering Ingraham for APP said and then some. And it is bait and switch alright.

Floe made a HUGE positive impression on every APP parent I knew who checked out the program, including me, and I found the staff and environment at Ingraham so positive and easy going that I joked that "flying under the radar" seemed like the trick to staying sane in SPS.

After what APP parents have been put through in the past 3 years, this is an outrage and a really, really stupid move and a breach of trust by SPS.

This is exactly the kind of stuff - dirty politics - that keeps so many families in private schools around here.

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss, or what?

WSEADAWG