Debate the issues facing Seattle Public Schools, share your opinions, read the latest news. Organize and work for high quality public schools that educate all students to become passionate, lifelong learners.
Just curious-is it typical for a elementary school principal to go through kids' lunches, remove "offending" items and bring kids to the office so that they miss recess while they call home to reprimand the parents?This happened to someone I know and her poor 1st grader was in tears thinking he'd done something terrible. I've heard of bans on sweets and all but this seems a little over the top.
Lurker, that seems over the top to me as well. My kid is in 9th grade now and I've never heard of this happening at any school she went to. There was a ban on things like YuGiOh cards, or however they're spelled, but I ate lunch w/my child every couple months for 3 years, and kids brought all kinds of junky food and no one batted an eye. Crikey. What could be that offensive, I wonder?
In elementary, I remember some pretty strong needs to prohibit peanut butter and other nuts (like even if part of whole grain breads) to protect kids who are allergic. But not anything about junk food.
I think punishing a first grader for what a parent packed is not OK. If it has something to do with allergies, the kid should go about her daily routine, and the call could still be made. What kid in the first grade packs her own lunch? And if it is a junk food issue it is really a MYOB thing I think. Nurses (when there were nurses) and PE teachers often teach nutrition, but it is not required to comply with. Plus hasn't that principal heard of the 80/20 rule? If there is a banned substance in lunches, like candy or soda, a message should go out to all parents, and a kid should not be singled out. I've never heard of this either except for the no peanut/no nut classes. Now my son is in a classroom also with no seeds. That is only for food eaten in the classroom.
Going through a lunch is gross! I hope offending principal at least washed his/her hands.
It wasn't banned, he had an issue with there being two desserts. The lunch also included fruit, milk, and a sandwhich. He left a voicemail with the parents that talked about childhood obesity, too much sugar and kids' focus. This particular kid is not a problem student, is not overweight, and gets good grades.The mom confirmed through email that this is what happened. It was not a case of the child embelishing. Thanks for confirming that the parents are rightly upset about what happened.
Early heads up. The Seattle Council PTSA and Madison MS PTSA are cosponsoring a School Board Candidates Forum at Madison on October 18th 6pm. More info later. Great opportunity for WS families to meet the candidates and ask questions.
I know I can probably mine this data for myself, but if anyone knows it off-hand, would you mind sharing? Which incumbents and challengers are in favor of EDM, and which are opposed?Thanks,SPS mom
I assumed when Lurker first told the story that it was an allergy issue -- I would absolutely blow my top if a principal tried to remove food from my children's lunch for any other reason. As a elementary school student, I once ate nothing but strawberry preserve sandwiches and little debbie rolls for lunch for an entire year. I try to pack better lunches for my kids than what I insisted on, but I'd be very upset if a school principal tried to regulate what my child was eating. I might allow a caveat for not eating at all, resulting in hunger related crankiness that affects the classroom (the data on sugar/dies/behavior connections are pretty weak, and I'd be unlikely to submit to those)(zb)
PS: I think schools can also regulate sharing.(zb)
Outside of allergies, what I feed my kid is a parenting decision, not a decision for the school. I also do not expect my child's personal belongings (ie lunchbox or backpack) to be searched absent a fairly compelling reason to do so (ie safety). I would be very upset.
Why are highly paid Seattle principals acting as Food Police?Is that really where the strapped education budget should be going?Sounds as if this principal (like many others in SSD) has no clue regarding the priorities of his tax payper supported employment.
Sounds like someone had a sugar tooth! L@L dad
From the calendar thread:To clarify and add the time:Tuesday, October 18th: 6:30pm-9:00pmCandidate Forum at Madison Middle SchoolAlki and Madison PTA/PTSAs are hosting a School Board Candidate Forum at Madison Middle School. All 8 candidates for the 4 district positions will be our guests for a moderated Q&A session. There will also be representatives for and against the Seattle Families & Education Levy presenting information about the upcoming vote. Attend this event and VOTE SMART!
Lurker posts great bait, but until we know which school, it's all speculative. That said, if Lurker said it was a Waldorf school, then I wouldn't be surprised. My kid's Waldorf teachers acted as lunch police. It's the reason some of the parent helpers stopped helping. You're already signing an agreement to keep your kindy student away from media. Chips too? I don't think Seattle falls into this territory, but if they do, then Lurker, do TELL.
WenD, are you saying I made this up? I didn't put it up as BAIT, I put it up on behalf of a young parent who's hurt and upset on behalf of her kid. It's not my story to tell, but it's a public elementary school in West Seattle. I'm not sure of the school's name, I don't know W. Seattle well.The mom is trying to work it out with the principal, who she says has been easy to work with in the past. I don't have any young students and haven't for some time, so I didn't know if this was something new, or common.At a private school they would absolutely have the right to do what they like regarding kids' lunches, what they wear, etc. But this wasn't a private school.
Lurker,It'd be good to know if the principal is doing this to a bunch of kids.At least from your second hand details it sounds way out of line.The parent should definitely feel they have a right to push back on this, but if it is something the principal is doing to a lot of kids, the push back should perhaps be a little stronger, like getting a bunch of parents together to complain, and perhaps complaining to the principal's supervisor.I remember getting hassled by the "lunch ladies" as a little kid for throwing away half eaten sandwiches. I was so freaked out about it, I asked my parents to stop sending me to school with sandwiches, which, I have to say, permanently lowered the nutritional quality of my lunch. I'm sure the staff thought they were doing a good thing, but they only were doing damage.That said there are probably cases where staff should get involved. My mother was an elementary school teacher and I remember her telling me about a kid at her school who started bringing lunches containing only a raw potato, which they promptly threw away every day. There was a call home for that. There has to be a line somewhere below raw potato but above extra dessert. Extra dessert is definitely on the mind your own business end
does anyone know where the current school board directors and their challengers stand on charter schools? thanks.e
Whoa, what? No, no principal should be going through any lunch unless he/she believes there is something dangerous in there. The schools can't sell junk food but parents can send whatever they want in the lunches. What school is this?SPS, I know at the Town Hall forum they all said they would change the math curriculum but that's not the same as what you are asking. Anyone?E, I also believe that at the Town Hall all the candidates said they would not support charters (asked as a yes, no, dunno question).
from FAIR's website:10/5/11MisEducation Nation: Corporate Media and Corporate Education ReformDuring the last week of September, NBC was staging its second annual "Education Nation" summit--a series of events and broadcasts bankrolled by the corporate interests and foundations aligned with the so-called "education reform" movement.Corporate media coverage of education policy tends to hew closely to the "reform" agenda: promoting charter schools and vouchers, embracing relentless testing and other "accountability" measures, and attacking teachers' unions for standing in the way of progress.On September 27, FAIR brought together four of the most dynamic and thoughtful education experts and activists in the country for a discussion about how the media mangle the debate over public schools.The lively and thought-provoking discussion, led by journalist Laura Flanders, featured education historian Diane Ravitch, NYU professor Pedro Noguera, Leonie Haimson of Class Size Matters and teacher-activist Brian Jones.Was NBC's approach more inclusive than last year's presentation? Are issues like poverty even on the table? And how is is that Wall Street investors and billionaires have become media experts on schools?this link includes ~50min video from the conference:http://www.fair.org/index.php?page=4409enjoy.
Sorry, Anonymous 2:37 was me.
Which incumbents and challengers are in favor of EDM, and which are opposed?As Melissa said, at the town hall they all stood together on the Yes side of the stage when asked about changing the math curriculum. But that's mostly BS.Three of the incumbents Peter, Steve and Sherry voted to accept the recommendation of Discovering Math for high school, which is essentially the same model as EDM. When the courts told them to revisit the decision, Harium also jumped on board to buy the Discovering books, and he was ultimately the swing vote that brought Discovering Math to the high schools. This is not a direct answer to your question, but I think the reality is that you need to look at their voting records rather than what they say to your face. It is, of course, an election year, and there's a lot of BS floating around. If you don't like EDM, you probably won't appreciate that aspect of any of the incumbents.AFAIK, the challengers are NOT supporters of EDM. I know Marty and Sharon in particular are staunch opponents of "fuzzy math".Hope that helps.
Lurker, that reminds me of a friend of mine who was in graduate school at McGill and enrolled her daughter in the Montreal public schools. The Quebec schools were only recently separated from being Catholic-run with government support, and they would audit every child's lunch for excessive sweets and starches every day. The principal didn't do it, but the nuns did. Getting along with the schools was very difficult, partly because my friend spoke no French (in spite of being in a French-speaking city, the language of instruction in McGill is English) and nobody at the schools spoke English (or if they did they would not even attempt to translate).
It suddenly occurs to me that there might not be any Board members at tonight's final Intermediate Capacity management meeting as there is also a School Board forum at Olympic View. If anyone attends the management meeting, let us know how it goes.
About EDM and Charter schools.#1 McLaren, Peaslee, and Martin have been long time opponents of fuzzy - no results-math. #2 The four incumbents running for reelection were the four in a 4-3 vote on New Tech Network contract, which has an extremely fuzzy model.#3 The four incumbents are largely the servants of school reform propaganda.... See the scoop on their support for TFA here. Charter schools will be same song next verse for this crew.#4 PTA Stacks Deck towards Charter Schools
more on Seattle PTSA stuff:http://seattleducation2010.wordpress.com/2011/10/11/the-washington-pta-stacks-the-deck-towards-charter-schools/
Male principal in WS with 1st grade students = Gerrit Kirschner at Schmitz Park or David Dockendorf at Pathfinder K-8.
All I know is that Stand for Children and the LEV support Charters (LEV came "out" on the issue just this last summer) and it looks to me like both organizations are supporting the incumbents.Behind the scenes, these same folks (Lisa & co) have been pushing folks like Frank Chopp for years for Charters. I mean really, George Scarolla is Franks "wing man" in the k-12 community.Correct me if I am wrong.
I know Dockendorf - he wouldn't do that. Nor would the Pathfinder community sit passively if he did. It must be Schmitz Park.
An SPS teacher receives national recognition. With credit to Maple Leaf Life.
I am interested in Ingraham's IB program. My neighbor says it is amazing. Does anyone know what the transportation options are for my Queen Anne 8th grade son?Queen Anne parent
@ Queen Anne parent,If your son chooses Ingraham and is admitted, the District will provide him with an ORCA card because he lives outside the walk zone for the school.
What about Highland Park (Ben Ostrom) and Sanislo (Ernest Seavers)? Unless the SPS website is wrong, they also are West Seattle elementaries with male principals.--WhooDunIt
Queen Anne, in support of Ingraham, I have good friends who had one son graduate from there with the IB program and a current student. Both students were/are very happy (as were the parents who also fought to keep Martin Floe there). Their son is at Reed College which tells you something about the level of achievement for the IB program.
Queen Anne Parent, this year there is a shuttle bus that runs from QA to Magnolia up to IHS and back. Makes one stop in each neighborhood.HS parent
There is no way that Gerrit Kirschner would do that. Never ever.
Sounds like Ben Ostrom. -Been there done that.
I agreee with SE Mom, doesn't sound like Gerrit Kishner at all. Besides, given how over enrolled Schmitz Park is, I doubt he would have the time.
Lots of people attended last night's Capacity Management meeting at Hamilton. The library was packed!The district went through the same presentation materials that are an their web-site, so if you've read that you've got the district's information.They had people write questions on 3 x 5 cards which they collected, had a staff person group together, and then tried to answer some of the most frequently asked questions. At the end, they were planning on having SPS staff available for one on one direct questions, but at the group's request most of the Q & A was as a group. I've got to give them credit for trying to hear the questions, and responding to the group's requests. They did seem sincere. Pegi McEvoy was there, and she was impressive with her knowledge and efforts to get information. I can see why Charlie has said complimentary things about her.I wish I had taken notes - but here are a few things I remember from the Q & A. There were many parents concerned about how they will put portables at some of the schools they have suggested should take portables, in particular Bryant and Thornton Creek. Both schools are concerned about the amount of land on already small sites that will be taken up by the portables, the environment of the portables themselves and the overloading of bathrooms and cafeterias. One man described some pretty miserable bathroom conditions existing already at Thornton Creek. The district reps actually did say that they would go out and walk the Bryant site before making final decisions. That would be a great step in the right direction!Several people wanted firm information on when new north end middle school capacity would be available. That was very hard to pin down. A new building wouldn't happen for 3.5 - 4.5 years, and depends on funding. An interim site to take on more students should be sooner, but there wasn't anything firm.A couple of people brought up concerns with high schools, and how they didn't even look at the impact that crowding is having on high schools, nor look at those on a neighborhood basis. The district did say that they might have time now to start looking at that issue too.Anyone else remember more?On the whole, pretty standard presentation, good parent questions, and an effort on the part of SPS staff to listen and be responsive. We'll see what comes of it later on when the final decisions are made.
Does anyone know who I can contact at the district to get MSP and MAP scores from last spring? My student is not enrolled at a SPS school this year.MC
For the MSP test I'm pretty sure you need to contact OSPI. They have links that tell you how to review your child's test, so there's got to be a way to get the score as well.No idea for MAP though.Tester
Contact the SPS Research, Evaluation and Assessment office at 252-0140, they should be able to email MAP results.parent
Thorton Creek "a small site?" Someone said that? My recollection is a rather large site.
Thornton Creek School is on a large property that has a bunch of fields that are used extensively by the Parks department. There is a shared use agreement and I am honestly not certain who owns the fields any longer. I think the poster was trying to say that TC has a small footprint. The building is tiny and it was intentionally built for tiny people as a K-2 overflow building. The cafeteria is small. The bathroom is unbelievably small. Portables provide a classroom but nothing else. This year the school is having an incredibly hard time trying to manage rainy day recess. The common areas of the building were designed for 200 students. Just because you put down 4 portables, doesn't mean that there is room for 350 students to have rainy day recess. Even before the growth spurt, there were two shifts for rainy day recess due to the small spaces. There are currently 4 portables on the playground and this plan was to add 4 more for a total of 8. The point really is that portables are supposed to be temporary measures for "surge capacity." They are not infrastructure. 8 portables is a little village (without bathrooms or water)
If the district is willing to put 8 portables on a school site, then maybe they should put in a 9th one. It could be used as a small lunch room, a "stage", a room to have dance or band class, and it could have a bathroom. I kinda like the small "village" idea, with a nice courtyard in the portable area with tables and benches, and a garden. It could actually be sweet. It would cost of course, but far less than a rebuild and expansion - which is what is really needed on the TC site.bemena
bemena - sure, put in a 9th portable! And while you are at it, why not put in a row of port a potties, kids don't need bathrooms, running water or sinks to do hand washing.The portable village idea might be wonderful idea in a place like California where it doesn't rain so much but in Seattle it gets more challenging.But I imagine you are not at a school slated to become a portable village. So what do you think about adding 4 portables to Bryant. A school bursting at the seams, where they would put 4 portables that would take at least half of the outside area., making an already challenging recess situation nearly impossible. Adding 13 portables to the already over-crowded northeast to simply manage two years of over-flow only delays the inevitable. According to their own projections, these portables are a stop gap measure to cover two years worth of growth. So what happens in two years, another 13 portables. Two years ago, the City said it was unsafe to put portables at Bryant and TC. What changed??- ne parent
Hi Melissa - I didn't take notes, just relied on my memory, but Kellie is probably right. A couple of Bryant people were talking about a small site, and when some folks mentioned Thornton Creek was small I didn't know if they meant the site or the building fixtures. There were many comments about inadequate bathrooms and other spaces for the existing students.Montlake does have a portable for a lunchroom...so the other poster's idea is possible. It's old, no bathroom, and definitely not cozy - but beter than nothing.
I was just sharing an idea NE parent. No need to jump on me. Note I said one portable could have bathrooms (with running water), not port a potties.And a courtyard can be covered, though I agree, our weather isn't the greatest.For the record, and since you asked, my kid is currently at Eckstein, an over stuffed school with a huge portable city in it's parking lot - I know it's not ideal, but it can be manageable. Lastly, I'm puzzled as to why you are comparing Bryant to Thornton Creek? Thornton Creek has the largest site of any elementary school in SPS. Have you seen it? It is massive. Even with 100 portables they'd still have a HUGE play area with play structure, hills, covered outdoor courtyard with climbing wall and basketball court, a baseball field, and a soccer field - for 350 kids. That's a far cry from Bryant's tiny and cramped play ground, and covered basketball court, that has to serve 550 kids. So, no, of course Bryant shouldn't have portables. But that begs the question, where do you put all the kids? It's a neighborhood school and has to take everyone within the boundaries. What is your solution NE? It's easy to yell no, not as easy to offer solutions. bemena
My entire point is that there needs to be a conversation about new ideas. Continually adding portables to Eckstein is not an answer. I would make the same argument about Eckstein as I did with Bryant and Thornton Creek. I think that Eckstein, Bryant and Thornton Creek are hideously overcrowded right now and that adding portables crosses the line from complicated and crowded to reckless endangerment. Is anyone even considering the student experience at these schools?FWIW, I had a student at Eckstein and we needed to transfer this year because the stress of overcrowding was really hurting my daughter. Opening Sandpoint helped but SP has over 200 students this year and should be full by next year. I am pretty angry that they sold University Heights just days before announcing that they were opening Sandpoint. UHeights is huge and would have helped a lot more. I don't know what they answer is but I know there are a lot of smart people in this area and someone has to have a better idea. What about Magnuson? There is a lot of property there. Can something in Magnuson become a school?What about rebuilding some of these tiny schools? Rebuilding John Rogers and Laurelhurst was originally on the last BEX so they likely already have the building plans to rebuild. Is there a way to fast track that? What about moving Spectrum out of Wedgewood or View Ridge and into Jane Addams where there is room. They are already dismantling Spectrum at WW at least by moving it to Jane Addams there would both be a critical mass of spectrum student and enough room at WW to move some of the Bryant zone to WW or VR.I went to that capacity meeting at Roosevelt three years ago, and there were a lot of creative ideas that night that were completely and totally dismissed by the district. People were so angry three years ago about the crowding and even with Jane Addams and Sandpoint, the crowding is even worse today. - ne parent (I probably should sign as angry ne parent)
"FWIW, I had a student at Eckstein and we needed to transfer this year because the stress of overcrowding was really hurting my daughter. "Could you expand on that? I'm not challenging you, I'm just curious as to how exactly the over crowding stressed your daughter out? I have a kid at Eckstein this year, and I don't think he even realizes it is over crowded."What about moving Spectrum out of Wedgewood or View Ridge and into Jane Addams where there is room."Fantastic idea, and I'd be all for it. Not sure if View Ridge neighborhood families would be happy about shipping their kids all the way up to 110th every day, and it wouldn't help over crowding at Thornton Creek, but hey, something has to give."What about rebuilding some of these tiny schools? Rebuilding John Rogers"John Rogers isn't tiny - they have over 480 kids. It's one of the larger elementary school in the NE."I went to that capacity meeting at Roosevelt three years ago, and there were a lot of creative ideas that night that were completely and totally dismissed"Yup, that was good ole MGJ. Luckily Enfield is at the helm now, and she seems to be much more responsive to the community. In all fairness though, MGJ did open two new schools in the north end, Sandpoint and McDonald. In addition she grew the middle school at JA, and rebuilt Hale with an additional 250 seats. So you could say not enough is being done, but to say nothing is being done, is, well, just not true. There are still district owned buildings in the NE, like University Heights, and Cedar Park. And I like the idea of leasing space at Magnuson - would be great for another environmental science school.You have a lot of good ideas NE. momster
BTW, I apologize if I am jumping on anyone. I just don't understand the whole, portables will be OK thing. One or two portables is probably just fine, not great but manageable. Endless portables as the solution to everything just seems silly to me. And multiple planned portables at some of the most over crowded schools just seems crazy. Am I the only one that thinks it crosses a line somewhere?The issues are different at each location. Portables for PCP classes seem reasonable. Portables as the homeroom for half the school seems crazy at Thornton Creek. Portables at a recently rebuilt building that was specifically built to a very large size leaving no lot coverage to preclude the use of portables. That smells of last resort plan. More portables at the largest middle school in the state? Where is the line? At those NSAP meetings, the district clearly stated they couldn't put portables at Bryant so there would be no room for siblings. Why is OK to put portables there now? - ne parent
@ne parentWhat grade was your child in? My son is a 6th grader and we would love to go to Eckstein. Before the NSAP, our house was in Eckstein's reference area. Now we are sent to Whitman. He has an older sister who is currently an eighth grader at Eckstein. She gets a school bus while he has to take the METRO to Whitman. Just wanted to get the correct info so we can do an apppeal for Eckstein.
"I'm not challenging you, I'm just curious as to how exactly the over crowding stressed your daughter out? I have a kid at Eckstein this year, and I don't think he even realizes it is over crowded."Girl stuff, medical stuff, lost a ton of weight. Somewhere between chronic stomach ache and an eating disorder. She is pretty sensitive and felt overwhelmed by all the bodies in the hallway, lunchroom, etc. She is now in a smaller school and it all seems to have gone away. She is eating and keeping food down and basically OK. I don't think the school needs to cater to my student. But at some point, you can't keep adding bodies and not expect for things to be more complicated. - ne parent
"You have a lot of good ideas NE." Most of them are not mine. They are the things I tend to hear on the soccer fields. I have no idea if they are good ideas or not. But I do know that problem is bigger than portables. - ne parent
"John Rogers isn't tiny - they have over 480 kids. It's one of the larger elementary school in the NE." John Rogers has less than 300 students and if officially listed as a "small" school. Maybe you are thinking about Wedgwood. (which should be a medium school) - ne parent
"There are still district owned buildings in the NE, like University Heights and Cedar Park."University Heights was sold. I don't have a clue about Cedar Park. Where is it? Is it possible to make it a school again?"And I like the idea of leasing space at Magnuson - would be great for another environmental science school."I wish the district were looking at something like this. The portables are going to cost a few million dollars and be immediately full. There has to be a better idea. - ne parent
"So you could say not enough is being done, but to say nothing is being done, is, well, just not true."I don't think I said nothing is being done. But it is clear that not enough is being done. The measures done under MGJ were also minimal compared to the issue. Open a new school and give them practically no support and make the parents do all the work. I think MGJ did the minimum to deal with the issue and here we are three years later with the exact same issue. So yeah, I give MGJ credit for doing the minimum and I give this plan credit for doing the minimum. Is there something wrong with wanting more than the minimum? Maybe there is and I am missing it. - ne parent
So we need a thread on capacity and I had a talk with Pegi McEvoy so that'll be up tomorrow.Good ideas, smart parents, some worthy leadership at SPS but it's a fast track, kids. Our district is not good at fast so let's put our heads together and maybe we can give them some guidance and ideas.
In the meantime, before the capacity thread opens tomorrow, here's a blast from the past.http://saveseattleschools.blogspot.com/2008/11/capacity-management-proposal-response.htmlI'm kind of a dork so I find it interesting (but sometimes painful) to go back a few years & read the real-time discussion about what was going on at that time.
We are currently at Wedgwood Spectrum, and like it very much. But given the reasoning for the program changes being rolled out (basically - a too small school for a district program), I would like to see a Spectrum program move to Jane Adams at least be considered. Overall, I would like to see a coherent strategy for the inevitable enrollment ebb and flow for Advanced Learning and other district-wide programs. But perhaps I ask too much.
Ostensibly Jane Addams is a Spectrum site.
I'm a former Jane Addams parent (my child is in high school now). We were there the first 2 years of the school's existence. At that time there were not enough spectrum kids to have full spectrum classes, so those kids were treated as more of a cohort within their class, and they had a "walk to math" model. I think moving spectrum there from another school could be beneficial. JA has the room, and good leadership. I think there were families who liked the culture of JA, but didn't choose it because the spectrum program wasn't big enough.
"Ostensibly Jane Addams is a Spectrum site."Yes, Charlie. I think what NE mom was referring to was moving the View Ridge and Wedgewood Spectrum programs to Jane Adams. There is PLENTY of space at Jane Addams currently, strong leadership that would support Spectrum, and it would give the current Jane Addams Spectrum program the critical mass needed to be very strong. At the same time moving View Ridge and Wedgewood Spectrum to JA would free up much needed neighborhood seats in those two over crowded schools. It's a spectacular idea.momster
It would also deal with the sibling issues. As an option school, siblings of spectrum students would be guaranteed entry at Jane Addams. - another ne parent
Post a Comment