I am getting a press pass to go and hear Diane Ravitch tomorrow morning at the National Association of Elementary School Principals convention being held this week at the Convention Center. I have never heard her speak and I am looking forward to it. I also hope to speak to some principals from other states about their challenges and successes. The Association includes elementary and middle school principals. They are also sponsoring a day of service today for Hawthorne Elementary School in support of their new playground. (I attended an event at Hawthorne this week and there are a couple of threads to come out of that.)
The Snow Days waiver to OSPI has been added to tonight's School Board agenda as an Intro item. This had been brought up at the Audit & Finance Committee meeting and was only passed onto the full Board as the Board members had some different thoughts on this than staff. At issue is money and use of time.
The Board members at the committee meeting were not happy at trimming back yet more days from the SPS school year. The item notes that high school/middle school students would have 175 days and the elementary/K-8 students would have 172 days. The state law on this subject requires 180 days.
The district would have to spend about $500k to have those two days of school plus there is the issue of end of the school year days not being as productive. Most of that money would be transportation and utilities. But you could argue the money has already been allotted for those days in the budget so school should be held.
- PTA - what does it mean to SPS and to you? Do parents need to look beyond PTA for empowerment? Is the fundraising burden getting to be too much?
- Communication issues - what if you were trying to save a program and no one gave you clear information or answered your questions?
- Capacity management and BEX IV (and Advanced Learning)