Friday, February 03, 2012

Open Thread Friday

As previously announced, there are no Director community meetings tomorrow.

What's on your mind? 

53 comments:

Anonymous said...

So, AL letters came out yesterday. For the achievement part component, how can they use MAP as the achievement part when the recalibration just happened? Which is the correct score? It appears they used the pre-calibrated number (based on the archived source info) but for whose numbers jumped around, how can that data be useful in AL determination? For ex, my kiddo's math jumped up putting her now in the achievement range for APP, but her consistently high (and APP eligible) reading went down a bit, bumping her out of APP range.

Shouldn't they throw out the achievement component in AL determination -alltogether really-but particularly for this year since it's bouncing all over the place w/ recalibration.?

Don't other districts use CoGAT excusivley for AL determination? I thought that was how it was when my other kids went through.

-confused parent

mirmac1 said...

Bust out the tinfoil and make another hat.

Corporate Education Reformers Plot Next Steps at Secretive Meeting


Wonder if Rodney Tom is there?

Jack Whelan said...

The philosophic divide on the board was as evident at this week's board meeting as it was the previous week. Last week the conflict came to a head regarding MD's proposed procedure 1620. This week it was Sharon Peaslee's amendment to the waiver policy to make it possible for a principal, if her school's application for a waiver is denied by the superintendent, to have the right of appeal to the Board.

SP argued that it was the legal responsibility of the board to retain this capability. KSM argued that it was just like giving a possibly wrongfully terminated employee the right of appeal. BP pointed out that in fact it has been a historical problem with regarding waivers to the recent math adoptions. MMc even suggested that perhaps the board should be more aggressive and have the right to review even waiver requests that were granted, which is, curiously, an argument MD made, arguing the amendment was otherwise logically inconsistent.

But I think in MD's case he was attempting a weak reductio ad absurdum because clearly he thought there should be no such interventions from the board in either case. Both he and SC made it clear that these decisions should be left to the "professionals" who get paid to do this work.

No one seemed to want to make the argument that the "professionals" often get it wrong, that they are influenced by the latest edu fads, (or by conflicts of interest), and that an agenda-driven, groupthink mentality often prevails that legitimates bad policy and bad decisions. It's not like that these are abstract possibilities--they have characterized the district's m.o. for the last decade.

As KSM pointed out, this wasn't really an interventionist policy, but one that would be applied only rarely, especially if the board and the super were on the same wavelength, as we hope they will be in the near future. The problem, of course, lies in that they are often not on the same wavelength, and the board, as the representative of community interests, should have some role in adjudicating disputes when there's reason to believe staff and the super got it wrong.

The final vote was 4-3 in favor of the amendment.

anonymous said...

"No one seemed to want to make the argument that the "professionals" often get it wrong,"

And what makes you think the board would get it right when the "professionals" don't? There are no qualifications or experience required to hold a seat on the board.

another mom

Anonymous said...

In Whelan's post who is KSM? Kay Smith Blum? Like the report but initials are too confusing to follow.

DistrictWatcher

Po3 said...

Another mom, having an appeal process in place gives a final avenue for waiver consideration, which I think is a good thing!

Here's an example: Mercer MS was given some sort of waiver to use Saxon math. (the public still is not sure how this came about) And it looks like they are seeing some success. Let's say your MS asks for this same waiver and it is denied. FINAL decision, no appeal. Would you be happy with that or would you like the ability to appeal to the school board?


Personally, I am impressed with the 4-3board!

anonymous said...
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anonymous said...
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anonymous said...

Look, the board makes policy. I'm of the mindset that the super/staff should propose to the board a clear and concise policy on what does or does not qualify a school for a waiver. If the policy is clear and concise there would be no reason for a board appeal.

And lets remember that the board does not have to accept the policy that the super proposes. They are well within their rights to vote it down, and tell staff to go back to the drawing board and try again. They can do that until staff presents a policy that is acceptable to them.

But once the board goes ahead and approves the policy I believe that they should step aside and allow the Super and staff to uphold it.

Another mom

Anonymous said...

Can someone explain what is going on with the Facilities Master Plan?

The link on the Feb 1 Board Agenda still has a draft document. How does the Board review and approve a plan that has yet to be finalized?

The document is a summary of building conditions and capacities. Shouldn't there be a list of capital projects for the next 10 years?

confused

mirmac1 said...

Frankly, as Charlie noted in his lengthy blog post last month, it is a crappy policy. The professionals got it wrong again. It creates a burdensome process that discourages schools from pursuing formal waivers. And why couldn't district funds that would have been spent on the inferior curricula, be spent on the curricula supported by building staff and the community? Give the Board decent staff resources and they'll write a better policy, in consultation with their professionals. Vice versa, have the professionals consult with the Board (like in the Board-Super Relationship Policy). Until that happens, the Board must maintain 'hand' (another Seinfeld reference).

dan dempsey said...

In the Tacoma New Tribune:

House Republicans claim to spare K-12

House Republicans offered a “fund education first” budget Thursday, highlighting what they depicted as $580 million more for K-12 public schools than Gov. Chris Gregoire’s budget would allocate.

dan dempsey said...

" Both he and SC made it clear that these decisions should be left to the "professionals" who get paid to do this work."

... Are Pres DeBell and Ms. Carr speaking of the same class of professionals that brought us Everyday Math and Discovering?

This really is absurd.

====================

District Pass rates for 9th grade low-income algebra students on the OSPI Algebra EoC
38.5% : Seattle (Discovering Algebra)
29.6% : Bethel (Discovering Algebra)
33.1% : Everett (Discovering Algebra)
31.4% : Highline (Discovering Algebra)
43.8% : State average

56.7% : Clover Park (Holt Algebra)
51.3% : Spokane (Holt Algebra)

Percent of Students at level 1 (well below basic) for 9th grade low-income algebra students on the OSPI Algebra EoC
36.7% : Seattle (Discovering Algebra)
38.4% : Bethel (Discovering Algebra)
40.6% : Everett (Discovering Algebra)
43.1% : Highline (Discovering Algebra)
30.8% : State average

19.7% : Clover Park (Holt Algebra)
28.3% : Spokane (Holt Algebra)

================================
District Pass rates for 9th grade Black algebra students on the OSPI Algebra EoC
26.5% : Seattle (Discovering Algebra) (19% of SPS population is Black)
31.9% : Bethel (Discovering Algebra) (10.8% Black)
23.7% : Everett (Discovering Algebra) (4.1% Black)
40.0% : Highline (Discovering Algebra) (11.1% Black)
35.9% : State average

54.9% : Clover Park (Holt Algebra) (13.9% Black)
39.0% : Spokane (Holt Algebra) (3.0% Black)

Percent of Students at level 1 (well below basic) for 9th grade Black algebra students on the OSPI Algebra EoC
45.2% : Seattle (Discovering Algebra)
40.7% : Bethel (Discovering Algebra)
36.8% : Everett (Discovering Algebra)
41.5% : Highline (Discovering Algebra)
37.9% : State average

24.4% : Clover Park (Holt Algebra)
36.6% : Spokane (Holt Algebra)
=====================

The "Professionals" put in EDM and Discovering and would like to continue with same. .... Based on results there is no evidence that the "supposed" professionals are "in fact" professionals.

mirmac1 said...

Sounds like a worthy cause...

Seattle Education Access (no not that SEA)

Melissa Westbrook said...

Confused, as I pointed out to the Board Wednesday night, the Facilities Master Plan is NOT a plan; it's a report of information. A plan has action and this, as usual, has none.

Why the document said draft all over it, I don't know.

That this "plan" doesn't dovetail with BEX IV is a good question.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Anonymous @8:24. My APP eligible child was and remains at 99% across the board. My previously not Spectrum eligible child now is, but of course she couldn't take the test. Where does she fit in?

Seems like using MAP data as the gate keeper is an incredibly unreliable way to determine eligibility.

We have tested in another district and it seems like they used the CoGAT combined with so many other things, including a piece of "art" submitted by the student. Go figure.

-another confused parent

How can we change the math? said...

Dan,

Those math numbers are very disturbing. My daughter is in 1st grade APP. I am a white, non-low income financial analyst who does complex "math" all day, every day.

My spouse and I cannot figure out what the heck our 1st grader's homework is asking her to do so we are no help! We just leave it incomplete since it is absurd. I am very upset!!!!

Floor Pie said...

Parents who were asking about AL eligibility and recalibrated MAP scores, here's what it says in the letter we received from the district:

"The recalibrated percentiles do not change eligibility for advanced learning (Spectrum or APP) students. Original scores from the Spring 2011 MAP test will still be used for eligibility for advanced learning for 2012-13."

Melissa Westbrook said...

Another Confused Parent, back when my oldest son was applying for AL (then called Highly Capable), he, too, was asked to submit a drawing and explain it. It is one of my favorite keepsakes.

been there said...

Don't hold your breath waiting for the math to improve anytime soon - buy some Singapore books and do a few pages each night at home. Seriously.

jd said...

Can I say something positive about the MAP testing? I know it's imperfect, shouldn't be used for teacher evaluation or AL qualification. However, the fact that one of my kids steadily declined from 70th percentile down to single digits finally has her school, doctors, and parents all on the same page about the fact that she's facing challenges, in spite of seeming incredibly bright. It's actually huge for us to be able to document a long steady slide relative to her peers, when arguing for additional services and evaluation.

If it hadn't been for the MAP testing, I don't think her teacher would have ever known how much she struggles to compensate.

Patrick said...

How can we change the math -- Yes, I faced some of the K and 1st grade homework like that too. Problems that could be solved by two equations with two unknowns, but what they expected a 1st grader to do with that I'm not sure. I second the recommendation to get the Discovery Math books and do a few pages every night.

mary s said...

I pulled my son out of 6th grade math in favor of home schooling with the Singapore curriculum. The math teacher at his school was concerned and so asked if my son would take the winter MAP. After flat lining all last year and gaining only 9 points on the test over 2 years, he gained 20 points from last spring to now using this approach. I am sold on Singapore.

All tests aren't the same said...

The other thing that is interesting is that private school kids don't take the MAP to test into AL. My kindergartener was administered the Woodcock-Johnson. I'm not sure how it compares in terms of the reference group that is used to norm the test. My current APP third grader was administered the ITBS last year during the testing cycle, which is normed on a fairly low group compared to some of the other standardized tests.

NLM said...

My DD had an explosive increase on the math MAP after using Singapore all summer. Since transitioning to walk-to EM, she regressed. She cannot keep up with the daily shift in topics. I'm seriously considering pulling DD out each afternoon. If she wasn't so attached to her friends, I'd homeschool in a heartbeat. Mary, did you file notice with the school or the district?

Anonymous said...

From a neighborhood email list--

"If your child's Seattle Public Schools MAP scores changed dramatically when they were recently recalibrated, KUOW Public Radio wants to hear from you! Contact KUOW Education Reporter Ann Dornfeld at adornfeld@kuow.org or 206-221-7082."

Signed,
MadronaMom

Anonymous said...

To part-time homeschool, you file a form with the Homeschool Resource Center, "Declaration of Intent to Provide Home Based Instruction." Of course you should discuss it with the school principal prior to making the change.

Part-time homeschooling is easier in middle school due to block scheduling. I'm not sure how schools handle it for elementary.

The main state requirement is that you still do annual testing to show student progress.

HSing parent

NLM said...

I didn't think you needed the declaration if the child was under 8yo.

Anonymous said...

@Patrick and others about the system of two equations w/ w unknowns.

We've seen this kind of math and been perplexed, too. Our insight? They're supposed to guess and try different solutions, not try to solve the system. It doesn't work for all kids, but our 1st grader did get the concept of the system (and even tentatively, the graphic representation of two lines) when given this kind of problem.

I'm not apposed to the Maghreb curriculum like many here are (though I do think more algorithmic instruction should be provided to those who benefit from it) But, all parents need better info on how the kids are being asked to do some of the problems, especially the ones we know more systematic solutions to.

zb

(captcha word is "graph" weird)

Anonymous said...

Yikes opposed and math curriculum ( not Maghreb). That was spell correction on the iPad and poor editing. I was not comparing math to maghreb.

zb

Anonymous said...

NLM - you're right about the age, the Declaration of Intent is filed for those aged 8-18.

HSing parent

nests said...

Hmph, guess I'll call the school/district for more info.

Anonymous said...

Re the MAP testing mess - any teachers being punished, sanctioned, or fired due in part to (incorrect)low test scores?

-JC.

Anonymous said...

What's up with McClure charging money for a week of school?

It's called "camp" but is considered part of the 6th grade curriculum. So, $150 per kid to go to "camp".

I thought school was free?

And what about all the left behind kids? Are they marked absent or what? What about the "free lunchers" - the poor kids who are humiliated due to their financial status?

And what about the kids who transfered into McClure too late to make the permission slip deadline? Who is watching out for them while their friends go for a week of fun and they stay behind in empty classrooms?

The buck for this mess stops squarely on Sarah Pritchett's desk.

"You are part of the social equity conversation or you are not part of the conversation."

OcccupyTheDistrict

Anonymous said...

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/02/ousted-superintendents-un_n_1249737.html?ref=email_share

Check this out!

--enough already

Eric M said...

I have had an opportunity to visit more than 60 of Seattle's public schools in the last week. (yes, it was a lot.)

I was pleasantly surprised at how tidy they looked, and how much creativity and industry was on display everywhere. I didn't see one dump. I didn't see one place I wouldn't have been pleased to send my kids. The people I met were lovely, too.

Superficial, sure. But we have a lot to be grateful for and to build on here in this district. I have to think a visit to most other urban districts might not have been so cheerful.

Anonymous said...

Eric M,

Not only that...

How many urban districts are outscoring the state average on standardized tests? SPS's outscoring the state average waaaay preceded Enfield's arrival. How dare she take the credit from the years of hard work and dedication of SPS's finest (those who love, teach and work with Seattle's kids)!

Eric, you and your colleagues rock!
Good luck on the election.

--enough already

mirmac1 said...

If I were a teacher I would vote CHANGE in SEA.

Anonymous said...

Eric M,

In your opinion, what does a high quality school look and sound like? How important is student achievement? What evidence of student achievement do you consider most important. How would you support closing the achievement gap as president of SEA?
D

MAP (not Love) Stinks. said...

The diameter of a sphere is 25cm. Three of these spheres are in a cylinder packed so that they fill the the vessel from top to bottom and side to side (diagram included). Identify the expression which represents the volume within the cylinder not occupied by spheres. Choose from three expressions.

a. (3.14 X r^2 x h) - (3(4/3 X 3.14 X r^3)) =
b. (3.14 X r^2 x h) - (22/7(4/3 X 3.14 X r^2))
c. (3.14 X r^2 x h) - (3(4/3 X 3.14 X r^3)) X 3

5th grade MAP question...huh? True!

This has got to stop...NOW!

seattle citizen said...

Over at the League of Education Voters blog, Field Director Kelly Munn tells us that "what gets measured gets done," regarding a possible removal of the writing portion of state tests.

Of course one is tempted to remind her that history, art, music, civics, and all sorts of other subjects aren't on the state tests.

They won't get done, Ms. Munn? And that's okay with LEV, a supported of everything the state tests drive?

One is tempted to comment thusly to Ms. Munn, but one cannot because LEV doesn't let one post comments on LEV. One evidently was too strident or something once, one was...Alas.

Luckily, one other succinctly summed it up for one in the first comment on Munn's disregard for everything not currently tested:
"...you stated “What gets measured, gets done.” Are you sure that is what you meant to say?
It is precisely the immeasurable that contributes most to the growth of an individual and a student, 'measuring' everything is precisely what is wrong with the outsider so-called 'reformers' who haven’t a clue what it really takes to educate each and every student, in my humble opinion, while each assesment just overloads an already taxed teaching staff with yet another test to teach to.
Disappointing, but I see that this isn’t about the students anymore for LEV. moving my support to the educators who have dedicated their lives to their students instead."

Jan said...

No! No! Seattle Citizen -- don't remind her! Because there are LOTS of folks out there who want exactly what you point out. They want high stakes testing in art, orchestra, science, social studies, drama, band, physical ed, etc. -- because there IS an element of truth to "what gets measured gets done." Here -- it is "what gets measured gets all the time and money" -- but surely the answer shouldn't be for every other subject to undergo the corruption of high stakes testing -- and for our kids to have 10 or 20 more hours each year of high stakes tests. What really needs to happen is that we need caring, imaginitive, competent teachers, who want their kids to learn, to come up with thoughtful, insightful ways of measuring student effort and learning. Period. We need them to evaluate the effect (on student time and interest) of their evaluation methods -- because the goal is maximum student learning, not maximum form-filling-out or box checking.

Anonymous said...

I'm not seeing why the example MAP question is so outrageous. It's pre-algebra and it's not beyond the capabilities of some 5th and 6th graders in the accelerated classes. It's a straightforward application of formulas.

-but, still not a MAP fan

Anonymous said...

Oh wait...CMP doesn't teach the formulas.

Eric M said...

Eric M,

In your opinion, what does a high quality school look and sound like?

I have long maintained that an experienced educator can get a pretty good feel for what's happening in a school or classroom in just a few minutes. (Don't freak out. I know the details are important, too. I've been teaching for 25 years.) But if I pop into a building's main office for a couple of minutes after school, even after most students are gone, here's what I notice: signs for student clubs, student art & work, pleasant, helpful, engaged, curious staff, clean, well-lit, freshly painted spaces. Etc, etc. I think the programs we've had that have placed artists in schools to work with students have been particularly effective in creating some beauty in kid's lives.

I wasn't trying to suggest that we don't have things we should work on in this district, either with the physical buildings, or with teaching & learning. I was just communicating an overall quick and unexpected impression from my little odyssey.


How important is student achievement?

Well, that's the entire goal of the enterprise, isn't it? I do insist that achievement is more that what's measured on the MAP test.

What evidence of student achievement do you consider most important?

A classroom teacher's grades, which are based on working with that student day after day, and a wide variety of assessment techniques. I do support the idea of teachers working together to compare, calibrate, and establish performance or achievement benchmarks.

How would you support closing the achievement gap as president of SEA?

We are working hard to rebrand the so-called "achievement gap" as an "opportunity gap". We need to dump the MAP test and shift those resources to, for instance, opening school libraries into evening hours, staffed with professional teachers. We need consistent, available-everywhere, early childhood programs. We need smaller class sizes. We need consistent math tutoring programs. We need graduation specialists that follow students and see them through. We need to push the legislature into upholding the Supreme Court decision to fully fund public education.

Anonymous said...

Seattle Citizen, I actually want the state to keep the writing test. Thus far of all the standardized tests my kids have taken, I value the writing test most. The 4th grade teachers work with the kids to get their writing to move beyond descriptive into more essay style. So there's focus, topic sentence, supporting sentences (paragraphs) of the main point. It is an opportunity to get kids to put their thoughts on paper in a clear, concise, methodical way. It teaches them to think about the point they are trying to make, how to make it and how to support it. With writing, you can't just spew out your thoughts as if you are talking. You have to shrink it down and make words count.

This is an expensive, time burden test to grade. So it's very expensive for the state to measure. But as we move more toward multiple choice questions and standardized tests, this is one area a kid's creativity and critical thinking combined with the ability to display can be measured.

Writing style may change, but I would argue writing matter just as much as STEM as we tweet, text, blog, email our way into tomorrow's world. As we move our workworld/ social world to laptops, tablets, ipads, facebook, etc., you better teach these kids how to write and to do it well! Please keep the writing test on the MSP.


Keep the writing on the wall

Anonymous said...

OccupySeattle,

Find another fight to get your panties in a bunch about. Scholarships cover the cost of those unable to pay. If a child enrolls on the day they are leaving to camp, the paperwork can just be filled out by the parent and off the child goes.

Find another cause.....40 other schools do it the same way.
Sounds like you do not like the principal and are trying to get others on your misguided crusade.

A teacher

Anonymous said...

re A Teacher @3:15 -

Thanks for the heads up that many other schools have camp.

As far as implementing camp week, understanding what can happen with camp is not what actually happens.

For example, scholarships are not an answer if the kid is too embarrassed to ask for one.

And if camp is considered part of the curriculum, what about kids who are not allowed to attend because their parents object to boy/girl over-nights?

McClure's camp is poorly planned and poory executed with no one person in charge. Maybe your school is different? Maybe you don't have any left out kids trying not to cry in the hallways? Or all your kids have suitable camping gear so they don't freeze at night?

I still say McClure's program is a disgrace and it's Sarah Pritchett's responsibility.

Does anyone care enough to "change" things?

OTD

Charlie Mas said...

I'm catching up a little late, but I want to chime in a a few topics.

First, the waiver policy amendment that allows for an appeal to the Board.

There are a lot of problems here and they are all crossover problems.

First, the Board allowed the staff to write the policy. WRONG. The Board should write the policy. Policy is their responsibility, not the staff's. The result was a policy that the Board doesn't really like. If the Board had written a policy that they actually liked, then they wouldn't have to amend it.

Second, the policy should have required the superintendent to write a clear, transparent procedure for waivers complete with criteria for making the decision. The detail should have been in the procedure, not the policy. The policy should be brief and say little more than something like "The superintendent shall establish a procedure with clear criteria for schools to be granted waivers from board-adopted materials." That procedure, like all superintendent procedures, would be subject to Board review. Another fail. There is no procedure, there are no clear, transparent criteria.

So the staff crossed the line and did the Board's job of writing the policy. The Board allowed it. Then one did the staff's job of writing a clear set of criteria, so the determination is open to politics. As a result, the Board then felt it had to reach across the line to meddle in the superintendent's job and allow for an appeal to the Board. If the superintendent had done her job and written a procedure with clear, transparent criteria for approving waivers, then there would be no need for appeals. Moreover, appeals to the Board would be based on objective data - did the waiver request meet the criteria? - instead of politics.

The governance/management line is crossed most often when the someone leaves their job undone. If the Board had done their job, then there would have been no need for the superintendent and the staff to cross the line and do the governance work for them. And if the superintendent and the staff had done their job then there would have been no need for the Board to cross the line and do the management work for them.

Charlie Mas said...

Both of my children, APP qualified, were frustrated to tears by CMP II. I don't think either of them ever had to contend with EDM. These two girls were confident and capable with math until they hit these materials. They became frustrated, they lost confidence, and they lost motivation.

These materials are the worst.

My younger daughter fought valiantly against them in the sixth grade, reported that her entire seventh grade year was a total waste, and refused to attend her algebra class in the 8th grade. I taught her algebra at home that year.

The District officials wanted to blame the disaster on "quality of instruction" or "fidelity of implementation", but, in truth, the materials are just crap.

Actual question from CMP II homework for a middle school student:

"Which is greater, three or four? Explain."

The spiraling curriculum taught them that if they could just fake it for week, the topic would go away.

They get a workbook and an idea gets introduced in most absurdly simple way. They start by doing ridiculously easy work, but all of it horribly labor intensive - making bar charts in which they spend ten minutes writing all of the required labels and twenty seconds drawing the data. It goes along like this for about three weeks. They hate it because the work is so stupid but exhausting. Then, all of sudden, they are supposed to have this brilliant insight into how to solve the problems - they are expected to discover the algorithm. There's about a week in there when they are made to feel stupid and inadequate because they can't discover what the greatest mathematicians in history discovered.

They come to me for help. I can't made heads or tails from the workbook - there's no instruction in it and the publisher has (inexplicably) re-named all of the mathematical concepts. I cut through all the crap and give them the algorithm, I show them how it works but it only makes them cry because that's not how the teacher wants them to do it. They are caught between one boss, the teacher, telling them to do it one way - a way they can't understand - and another boss, the parent, telling them to do it another way, which makes sense but is punished by the first boss. And it is the first boss who has the rewards and punishments.

They go back to school and pretend that they know what they are doing for another week. They fake it as best they can. Then, mercifully, the whole topic goes away and never comes back. The nightmare is over. Even the workbook goes away and is never seen again. There is never any later reference to the subject in class or in the homework. Instead, they start another workbook with another three weeks of insultingly simple but exasperatingly labor intensive exercises.

After running through this cycle a few times they stopped coming to me for help. They would just confidently slide through the first weeks of each workbook, then fake their way through the final weeks until the workbook went away. They got good enough grades, but they didn't learn a single thing.

That's not the teacher. That's the materials. There is no way that any teacher could make those materials work - there aren't enough exercises in the books. After all, once the kids get the concept it's time to move on to the next thing. There's no effort to practice for mastery. And the spiraling curriculum is written into the books as well.

Even if a kid suddenly understood a concept from an earlier workbook, there's no opportunity to go back and review it.

dw said...

Thank you Charlie, for the best write-up I've seen describing how CMP II actually works in practice.

This post should be required reading for anyone who has anything to do with math materials in SPS.

Anonymous said...

re camp,

In our school no child has to ask for a scholarship. If the parents don't pay, that child gets a scholarship. Paying for camp is a donation, not a fee. We can predict the percentage who won't pay & budget accordingly.

If a family feels uncomfortable sending their child to sleep overnight for cultural reasons, we have volunteer parents who bring those children for the day, then take them home again in the evening.

Kids who transfer to the school the day before can still fill out permission forms. They can also come later with the parents who are driving the daytime attendees.

Previous classes have done equipment drives for our supplies closet so that we can outfit kids who don't have rain gear or sleeping bags.

Once in a while we have a child not go to camp and stay in another class at school. But every obstacle is removed, so if that happens it is the family's choice.

I think it helps to have parents involved in the planning. It is very time consuming.

Good luck.

- gone camping

Anonymous said...

OTD, tell you what, why don't you volunteer to help on it if you think  it's so poorly run?  Or, at a minimum do your research before you spout off?  Anonymously complaining in a blog comment doesn't mean you'll achieve the "change" you purport to be seeking.

McClure isn't profiting from the fees collected.  Fees cover the cost of camp and bus/transportation costs.  

Teachers and/or staff spoke with students who needed scholarships, parents were emailed and called and every possible effort was made to match up scholarships with any student who needed one.  Every child who needed a scholarship got one, no questions asked. Thousands of dollars in scholarships, simply because the student, parent or teacher asked.

If parents don't want their kids to go, that is their choice, but don't put that on the school or principal.  The kids who don't go are not marked absent,  they come to school and have activities planned for them. Only a handful of students didn't go, for reasons of parent preference or other personal reasons, but money  wasn't one of them.

New to the district students could sign up until the day of. 

The kids stay in heated cabins so no one freezes.

There are lots of good Occupy causes  to get worked up about, this just isn't one of them.  

-move along, nothing to see here