No school, of course, for the Memorial Day holiday. However, if you wish to speak at the Wednesday Board meeting, they are still counting Monday as the day they use to see who signs up. So if you wish to speak at the Board meeting, do not wait until Tuesday (the next business day). Sign up on Monday starting at 8 am, firstname.lastname@example.org or 252-0040. I note a more sternly written instruction for being on the list:
Provide your "full legal name, topic you will be speaking on, telephone number, and email address. If complete information is not provided, you will not be included on the list."
Interesting that "full legal name" stuff.
Executive Session* to review Superintendent evaluation/Discussion of labor negotiations
This is interesting because of the latter portion. They signed labor agreements with the teachers and the principals. Is this another union contract or is this negotiations over something new? I wonder because of the RIFs and TFA.
The Superintendent is having a coffee chat with members of the Ethiopian community from 6:30-8pm at the Ethiopian Community Center, 8323 Rainier Ave S.
Again, another Executive Session* on the Superintendent evaluation. Interesting how much time they are taking on this issue. (There's yet another one on June 6th and 8th. What's up with that?)
School Board meeting from 6-9 p.m. Agenda This includes the following:
- math update from Cathie Thompson - I'd ask someone more in the know on this issue to look at the presentation and let us know what you think.
- vote on the Ethics/Whistleblower Protection agreement between SPS and the City. The cost will be $125k per year for a 3-year contract. The City will provide a written report to SPS every 6 months. I would assume since the City has agreed to this it will happen (unlike the district who promises updates that never seem to materialize). From the item:
For purposes of comparison, it should be noted that the District has expended approximately $50,000 related to ethics investigations since November 30, 2010 (not including those related to the Small Business Development Program). In addition, the General Counsel’s Office has also devoted approximately .5 FTE (equivalent to a cost of approximately $60,000) to the ethics work in that same time frame. As extensive District staff training has not yet occurred, this District staff time and expense to date does not include the substantial time involved in developing and delivering training to the District’s approximately 8000 employees at over 90 locations.
- approval of a large number of rewritten Board policies
The majority of policy changes were small—collapsing multiple policies into one, as mentioned
above, or changing legal references or updating language. Five policies, however, are either new
and unrelated to WSSDA, or have been substantially changed to meet the District's governance
needs. Those policies are:
Policy 1005: Responsibilities & Authority of the Board
Policy 1010: Board Oversight of Management
Policy 1240: Committees
Policy 1620: Board-Superintendent Relations
Policy 1640: Responsibilities & Authority of the Superintendent
- a number of intro items relating to SPS programs delivered by outside entities (UW, King County, Children's Hospital) as well as a new policy on Debarment and Suspension of Contractors as a result of Pottergate
- one interesting intro item is the Attendance Procedure policy and one change to note:
From the background info:
This policy also states that students who do not attend school must have excused absences, or a truancy petition may be filed against them or against their parents if they have seven unexcused absences in a month or ten unexcused absences cumulative in a school year. Unfortunately, some parents of elementary students believe that merely excusing their children’s absences is sufficient before the law without regard to the critical learning their children are missing in reading and math.
Key to this new policy is this:
Removes wording approving short family trips (vacations) as excused absences. Many schools already include bans on family vacations in their student handbooks, and elementary school administrators, in particular, are unhappy because parents loosely define “short family trips” to include just about everything and elementary students are missing critical academic instruction.
So don't expect that family vacations are a good reason to miss school anymore. I am interested in schools that already "ban" family vacation excuses. Anyone have this at their school already?
- There is also a capital measure be introduced to adjust the cost upward at Denny/Sealth for one phase of the project from $4.9M to $6.1M. Why?
The new site design includes: six tennis courts, a softball field, informal playfield, pedestrian paths, drainage mitigation facilities, and will provide an area for a potential future elementary school.
What is NOT stated is that those tennis courts and softball fields were already bought and paid for under BTA II. The district, after building those sports areas, then had the bright idea to co-join Denny/Sealth, tore them out and now we get to pay to rebuild them. The item states:
A larger than expected amount of unsuitable existing soils was discovered during the GC/CM’s
pre-construction services phase. Funds to remove and replace these soils are included in this contract
Really? BTA didn't discover this the first time they built these sports areas? I guess that finding is like BEX not discovering the kind of bedrock Cleveland sat on during its rebuild (even though that information was in plans from the '70s.)
It would be nice if Capital was honest about the amount of money it plows through while many other needed projects don't get done in this district. It would be nice if the Board actually ever called them out on it.
*Executive Sessions are NOT open to the public.