Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Open Thread Wednesday

It's cold, it's snowy and the kids are home.

What's on your mind?

38 comments:

Anonymous said...

Since there is no school today, will students have class next Friday, 1/27? Looking at my calendar, it says the 27th could be used as a snow makeup day, but I'm not sure how this works and I can't seem to find any information on the district site...

- snow day

Brian M. Rosenthal said...

Snow day:

Couldn't fit it into my story today, but I did tweet about it yesterday: The district administration has yet not decided whether yesterday will need to be made up. They're consulting policy and will likely make a decision by Friday.

-Brian M. Rosenthal
Education reporter | The Seattle Times
http://www.twitter.com/brianmrosenthal

ben said...

I wonder how likely it is that tomorrow is going to also get cancelled.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

It's important that everyone know that, in the event an employee is on an improvement plan or under review any public slander can be used as evidence that it was the hostile environment that prevented them from doing the job well.

If you have an issue with an administrator or educator, you should refrain from sharing your opinion online. You should also refrain from criticising someone by name when you aren't comfortable sharing yours.

Home in Snow

Anonymous said...

I would count on school for the 27th. It's listed on the calendar as a snow makeup day.

Home in Snow

Anonymous said...

Snow day:

Look at the SPS calendar:
Inclement Weather Days
The first inclement weather make‐up day is Jan. 27; 2nd, 3rd & 4th days added at year end; 5th day is Mar. 16.

-- Calendar

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Anonymous,

I totally support your right as a parent to advocate for or against district employees at your child's school.

All I'm saying is that you make it harder for the district to win a case against the union if you have publicly slandered the employee you wish would be gone. Keep it out of the papers. Keep it off the blogs. Get organized, but you're shooting yourself in the foot by creating a situation where there's public media about someone's performance. There are certain protocols that need to be followed to change leadership or fire a teacher, and when you use their names and try to have an anonymous online critique session, you help them build a case to keep their job.

Home in Snow

Dorothy Neville said...

Thank you, Home in Snow. Anonymous, don't shoot the messenger.

Dorothy Neville said...

Oh, but Home in Snow, it's PASS, not "the union" in this case, isn't it? And PASS is an association, not exactly the same thing as a union, but I am not really sure of the distinction. Just wanted to make sure that we understand this is PASS and not SEA that would have the case for working conditions.

Anonymous said...

Anon speaking about Bryant -- blog policy is to delete unsigned posts. You can still post anonymously, but need to sign it somehow and repost.

That said, having gone through similar leadership struggles, I'd document, document, document. Dates of absences, instances of where she said she'd follow up- but didn't, save emails, jot down notes of conversations. That kind of data sent to your Ed Director and Enfield (I cc'd our school board member too) is the best way to get your concerns heard. The more complaints made to the Ed Director and Super, they'll take notice. Chances are they're already documenting as well.

If you have other parents willing to email, grab your ed director, enfield and school board member email addresses and pass those along.

Good luck
--sps mom

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Dorothy, yes, PASS is the principal's association. You're right that this is the entity that would (and probably is) going to use Anonymous's rant to indicate that this administrator faced a hostile situation and wasn't able to do her job. Then, they'll move her to another school.

But my advice is the same for any parental struggle with an unsatisfactory educator, whether we're talking about someone protected by PASS or SEA. Fight the good fight, but keep it out of the media.

Home in Snow

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Re Bryant

I have been part of the Bryant community for the past four years. Our child started kindergarten the year Ms. Fox started as the principal, so, admittedly, I had fairly limited interactions with Ms. Robinson, but our family has been very happy with Ms. Fox.

She has been responsive in person, via e-mail and, in our experience has shown good leadership through some fairly turbulent times such as the New Student Assignment Plan and boundary changes, working to accomodate split siblings, implmentation of an ALO program and managing a facility that is regularly over-subscribed and greatly beloved by its families, to name a few.

I have volunteered with Ms. Fox on a committee and seen first-hand how challenging it can be to gather consensus amidst change, but she was committed to facilitation and ensuring that a multitude of opinions were heard rather than pushing a separate agenda.

I am unaware of excessive absences, or a groundswell of unhappiness with her leadership. Your experience is obviously different than mine, Anonymous.

I suggest that you approach Ms. Fox directly with any concerns that you have. I think you might be surprised at her accessibility and candor.

BryantMama

Anonymous said...

BryantMama,

Well said.

The different opinions of those affected are one of the many reasons these discussions should not take place with an overabundance of exclamation points, an anonymous sign off, and via a strand of comments.

Home in Snow

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Re Bryant & a PTSA open forum meeting:

Heads up.

Be advised that district policy allows principals to remove any person at any time from the building. No reason needs to be given. If you do not comply with the order to leave security can be called. If you do not comply with security, the police can be called and you will be issued a No Trespass order.

This has been done in other schools to remove (unwanted)parents and can easily be used to prevent the very kind of conversation you are proposing.

Good luck.

-JC.

Kathy said...

From Seattle Edeucation 2010 regarding WSSDA and charters.

http://seattleducation2010.wordpress.com/2012/01/18/this-just-in-legislative-update-per-washington-state-school-directors-association-wssda/

Thanks, Dora!

Sahila said...

Just want to put something out there for thinking about; as some have suggested elsewhere, the charter legislation MAY be something of a distraction (for now), to draw our attention and fire, while huge ed deform changes are made to teacher hiring, firing, evaluation and pay... I remember thinking MGJ's SERVE offering was an amazing strategic move... she offered something completely horrible for teachers to get mad about, something she didnt have a hope of getting them to accept, and while they were frothing at the mouth about SERVE she and the union leadership quietly signed away a bunch of other teacher rights and opened the doors to TFA and charters...

not sure the charter people are confident they can get the legislation passed this time around, so maybe their real aim is to get the other bills passed first... and will try again when there is a new (republican) governor who will publicly support charters - Gregoire has come out against them

Just a few random musings...

ben said...

FWIW: if you're trying to convince others on the net of your opinion or rally others to action an excess of exclamation points, capitalization, and incomplete sentences tend to distract from the message.

Ben

LG said...

no school Thursday - just announced

seattle citizen said...

Ben, who is your comment directed at? Doesn't appear to be anyone doing the things you suggest they don't in this thread.

And hey, this is a blog, people write in all sorts of ways in blogs. It isn't a formal essay.

Sahila said...

thanks SC.... I was going to write something to Ben asking where he got off telling people how they ought to express themselves...

but you beat me too it, and did it much more politely... ;-)

Anonymous said...

I think Ben was referring to all the postings by one anon blogger ... thanks for removing them blog admin!

password problems

concerned parents at bryant said...

‪Anonymous‬ said...‬‬
Hi All Just wondering as we sit here and enjoy our snow day how our community can bind together and save our school Bryant Elementary from the disasterous leadership the district has assigned to us. Linda Robinson was amazing….. Kim Fox would be happy if every day was a snow day. Our parents records show Fox gone more then 11 days this year already!! How many of those days were Wednesday meeting days or Monday or Friday's. You don't want to know.!!! Save our school. PTSA step up already and let us have a candid discussion that addresses the issues at hand. Our school administrator has one of the lowest marks in the district. She really can't believe that passing the buck on this one is going to erase her empty contribution to our fabulous school and community. PLEASE LINDA ROBINSON come back!!!!!!

concerned bryant parents said...

Anonymous‬ said...‬‬
Interesting comment. Why ever would we hide our administration behind a cloak of anonymity?? It is exposure that we need not bureaucracy …. And are we to believe that Ms. Fox is claiming that a hostile environment is preventing her from doing a good job…. Our anonymity as parents is our privilege Ms. Fox has a public position is subject to the scrutiny of us, tax payers!!!! As She works for us! If she was fulfilling her obligations at school there would not be a community uprising!!!! Do your homework and just follow up…On simple facts…IE Absences…Climate survey…. Parent survey…. Nothing to hide but our selves for the moment till we can come together as a community!!! Independently many parents are talking about these issues and have been for years!!! Retaliation and bullying are at the core of the problems at Bryant!!!! WOW Honest SPEAK !!! A large open forum is the best place for this discussion to happen!!!
Re... Bryant elementary 
Home in the Snow… head in the clouds!!!! Yes we need to make our voice heard. Do you not understand the district placed this principal at this school… The district is not going to get rid of her!!! Phil Brockman rubber stamped her work!!! The district wants keep her there. There is no fight not from the district!!! So as parents and community members we need to have a voice!!! Bryant Elementary has suffered enough!!!! What Union are you referring to. Fox is staying at Bryant unless the parents speak up and even then it would be fine if she stayed if she did her job! Is the community aware of how many teachers plan on leaving Bryant or have already tried….Our community is going to be left in a shambles and our school is already run by parents and Brockman….We just want some kind of leadership….. in fact any leadership would be great!!!Fight the good fight just like they did for Joe Paterno!!!!The media is our voice!!! And When the good fight is quiet and hidden good people are hurt!!!!
How many more teacher and parents are we going to let get bullied at this school!! If we are all on the same page here let us have an open forum at he Bryant Library at the next PTSA meeting. When conversation opens it will not close!!! Its the opening that is so scary for everyone. Joe Paterno knew for a decade or more…. When the public found out justice was served. !!!! Let the district protect their bullies!!! Goodloe- Johnson left eventually…. Justice will be served unfortunately it will be too late for some teachers and some parents and worst of all lots of children!!Kim Fox is fabulous for a few parents!! No question about it. as for her participation in committees I am aware of only 2 that she is on. At any rate indeed I was very surprised at her candor not with me but with other parents. Fox seemed to think it was her professional responsibility to tell parents they are the worst parents ever. Bullying is an issue across the board at Bryant. It is laudable how Fox handles it. She promotes it, so it is no surprise when we talk to parents that they are concerned for their children. Ask the teachers how the ALO program is going……. The real truth is there we just need to get it out. Its more of a tsunami rather then a ground swell….. But honestly the facts will show that even with the strongest community in the district Zero leadership has its costs…….. It is amazing how our community reflects the commitment of US our children and our parents and so little of the administration… Time to stop the free ride. Is anyone aware of the bonus Principal Fox got for the web site that was set up by parents that Fox has hardly ever visited!!!!!! Just one example of many how credit is taken but not deserved.!!!! 
I'm very glad your experience with this administration is going well you are one of the select few!!!
Just reposting what was put up before properly ! ANd point well taken. The PTSA needs to have a meeting at Ravenna Eckstein Community Center or some other non district location!!! The real truth will be spoken

Melissa Westbrook said...

Okay, Concerned Bryant parents, we can hear your concern. I have to tell you as an activist and as a former PTSA president, if you want change, you'll have to approach it in a calm, methodical fashion. It never works coming out of emotion.

Gather evidence, get support and then have your meeting.

Anonymous said...

Melissa said the key word: Evidence. Not opinions, not emotional reactions, not gossip, but actual evidence, i.e. facts should be stated and respected.

I get what you're saying HomeInSnow, but you're asking people to chill out with a fairly generic rationale for doing so. Maybe if you elaborated and connected the dots a little better, it would provide better guidance to posters and commenters beyond the generic/hostile work environment stuff. Any disgruntled employee can and will allege that, btw.

I think an emphasis on facts versus opinions will answer most of your concerns HomeInSnow. And, this being a public forum, people in positions of power should expect the public to talk about them, and lawyers and negotiators know the difference between opinion and fact, as well as the weight and admissibility of each in a due process setting.

So long as statements are factual, accurate, and therefore, defensible, I see no problem in people airing them publicly. The public has a right to know such things, whether it makes it harder to get rid of someone or not.

I fear your warnings will have a chilling effect beyond what you might be advocating for. People can learn the ropes on this blog without being told to be quiet. We should first give them the chance by engaging them and sharing what we know. WSDWG

Anonymous said...

Good grief, David Brewster is at it again over on Crosscut...Those darn independent minded new board members!

Oompah

Home in the rain sleet slush said...

Re home in the snow
Yes To both the last comments
Silence is never the answer. If the parents can show that the administrator at Bryant is non effective, abbusive, manipulative, etc they should.
It should be very clear from following the rants above but it even clearer when you put in Kim Fox in the search section.
Call Phil Brockman and ask for Kim Foxs attendance it is public record . What days did she miss, were the Monday Friday and Wednesday? Find out exactly how many sub days Fox has requested to cover for her "lunch duty ". The climate survey is already evidence, The SEA has a disturbing amount of teachers who have complained about Fox. The district is aware of this situation. Brockman was at Bryant for over an hour during his last review of Fox. The longest he has ever been there! Perhaps he is stepping up! Phil has an excellent reputation. It would be hard to believe that he is supporting Fox's behavior. Fox is very crafty though. She manages to thank Phil for his unending support constantly. The web site issue is easy enough to figure out as well . Fox who takes credit and gets paid a bonus for the great site apparently has never been on it or only once or twice. There are ways to know who accessed the site we are in Seattle after all. Thus all of the accusations can be shown with out a doubt to be true. This is just the surface. A meeting off of school grounds is a great idea. Fox has already called security before and had a parent removed from the building that confronted her with poor management . The result of that conflict ( racial discrimination) was Fox had to go to sensitivity training. The list goes on and on of concrete evidence that supports the move to request a new admin for Bryant

ArchStanton said...

Good grief, David Brewster is at it again over on Crosscut

...and Jon Bridge is chiming in
"Won't somebody think of the children! OMG!!

I'll take micromanagement over absence of management, thanks.

dan dempsey said...

Apple: School should center on the iPad by John D. Sutter, CNN

Anonymous said...

Bryant bloggers-

Two of the comments reference a bonus for your principal based on your school's website. I've never heard of such a thing? Where is your information coming from?

SPS Educator

Anonymous said...

PLEASE LINDA ROBINSON come back!!!!!!

As a former wildcat who stays in touch, the staff at Whittier would welcome that. Have you checked with Bryant teachers on this?

former wildcat

looking for leadership said...

Well today is the Martin Luther King Assembly at Bryant Elementary. While the school will celebrate a leader in the fight for equality and diverstiy it is only fitting that Principal Kim Fox is once again planning yes planning to be gone!!!! The question is when is she ever there!!!!

Wake up community! What principal plans in advance to miss these key school and community events and what does this say about there direction and leadership!!!!

Maria said...

It's important that everyone know that, in the event an employee is on an improvement plan or under review any public slander can be used as evidence that it was the hostile environment that prevented them from doing the job well. If you have an issue with an administrator or educator, you should refrain from sharing your opinion online. You should also refrain from criticising someone by name when you aren't comfortable sharing yours. Home in Snow