Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Wednesday Open Thread

So, some high drama tonight at the Board meeting. 

From the speakers list (with a long wait list), we see most of it is over the resolution for a No on 1240 from the Board.  Judging from the names I recognize that would seem to be in agreement with this resolution, the Board will get lots of encouragement (although I do see a few that will disagree and I'll be interested to hear their argument).

Unfortunately, there are 4 TFA people on the list apparently to endorse the latest hiring of one TFAer (which no one else is protesting).  It sure would be nice if they gave up those spots to parents with BEX concerns.  If I hear enough good words in support of the No on1240 resolution, I will give up my spot.

I am actually hoping the Board, while discussing the resolution, does make some statement about groups that try to stifle their right to speak out on election issues that directly affect our district and the Board's work overseeing our district.  Neither Stand for Children or any group has the right to tell the Board they cannot speak out. 

That was a good debate last night; I wonder how women can get into Romney's "binders full of women."  

One new event to make note of that you might want to attend is tomorrow night (Thursday, October 18th) at Queen Anne Elementary.  They will have a double-header event:

6:30-7:15 pm - discussion of the Creative Approach process (and QAE's proposal)
7:30-8:30 p.m. - debate on I-1240 to create Charter Schools

It sounds like a good chance to hear more on both subjects.  They do want you to RSVP.


65 comments:

Anonymous said...

Melissa, Did you attend the PTA meeting this week on charters? I wanted to see it, but could not.

I am wondering 3 things:
>>Who spoke for both sides
>>How many people were in the audience
>>Whether a particular argument for either side seemed to resonate with the audience

EdVoter

Anonymous said...

More I-1240 coverage

http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2012/10/17/08washington_ep.h32.html?tkn=UNYFmTwsPao2nHvb5SP4936yQ8xyos5QN1lD&cmp=clp-edweek

http://seattletimes.com/html/northwestvoices/2019447987_charter17lets.html

Public School Parent

Melissa Westbrook said...

Ed Voter, I did attend but did not stay. I was going to post a different thread because there are some troubling issues. But to answer your questions:

- it was not a debate but a discussion so they didn't feel the need for "sides". That said they had Ramona Hattendorf, the WA State PTA Governance person; Holly Ferguson who had been the District's Governance person; Phil Brockman, Executive Director of Schools; and Chris Eide, head of some teachers group and an avid supporter of charters and 1240.

So when you have an avid supporter of an issue on a "discussion" panel, it is a bit suspect.

- audience - low turnout, mostly PTA members on boards at their schools/Seattle Council Board members. No media that I saw.

- Ramona had handed out a document that is the Washington PTA's "basics". I read through it and found it truly lacking so by the time we got thru Banda and to the discussion and Ramona got started, I couldn't take it. (I also had not been feeling well.)

So I can't tell you about the discussion. I do know someone who was there and I'll ask her for her input.

mirmac1 said...

Hah! Sounds like we had a better turnout at the Seattle SpEd PTSA upstairs! Banda and crew arrived 45 mins early (what! Not much to say or discuss at the SCPTSA?) He got a chance to witness a thoughtful and meaningful discussion among parents and staff about the direction program placement and CBA negotiations over SpEd staffing should take.

He gave his usual stump speech then entertained questions. Unfortunately he deferred many to one of the interim interims who tended to deliver campaign speeches(the other interim interim SpEd director has yet to bother to show up to any SpEd community meetings).

One thing I notice is Banda is far more focused on, as he puts it, equity and access to programs/services, and far less focused on "closing the achievement gap" jargon. That gives me hope.

mirmac1 said...

You have tonight and tomorrow night to take your student to the Admiral Theater in West Seattle to see "Bully" at 7pm. This film gives a powerful message that ANYONE can start a campaign against bullying by being an Upstander, not a bystander. Parents are encouraged and empowered to push for action by school officials. Please take advantage of this opportunity to have a conversation about bullying with your student.

Anonymous said...

@EdVoter

Marysville special education PTSA
hosted debate.

http://www.heraldnet.com/article/20121015/NEWS01/710159933/0/SEARCH

Public School Parent

Anonymous said...

APP@Lincoln parents just found out that the District is going to cut one teacher plus a half-time .5 PCP (art) teacher. Losing a full-time classroom teacher is going to mean a major re-shuffling. And since we have a 1-25 teacher/student ratio, we're going to have some huge classes. I am so upset by this.

Are any other schools having to deal with similar staffing cuts? And I'm sure there are schools with higher teacher-kid ratios - but 1-25 doesn't sound horribly low either. And because we're in a former high school, the classrooms are physically much smaller than other elementary school classrooms. I don't know how they're going to squeeze 30 kids into the rooms. I know there are schools with lower ratios - so I don't understand why Lincoln is being targeted.

Does anyone know where we can find the Oct 1 enrollment data?

APP@Lincoln Parent

Anonymous said...

Also, is anyone aware of any other schools that have just been told they have to make staffing cuts?

APP@Lincoln Parent

Bagley Mom said...

We need to get organized and demand the board do something about enrollment/staffing issues. The weighted staffing standards is so inaccurate it's absurd.

Kids are being reshuffled all over the district. At Bagley, where classrooms were overcrowded for the crucial first five weeks of school, we're getting a new teacher. Now tiny children in grades K-3 are going to be moved around to redistribute class size.

Unacceptable.

Registrars know what the next year's enrollment will be in JUNE. Enrollment paperwork is due in MAY. It is unacceptable to me that our district can't adequately and accurately staff buildings until October 1.

Christina said...

Those binders must be larger than a Governor's cabinet or a corporation headquarters' corner office.

ben said...

@APP parent.

I sympathize with the disruption you're experiencing BUT you lost me at the argument over room size. I've seen the classrooms at Lincoln and they are completely normal in size. Sadly yes your kids will still fit into the existing rooms and receive their education. Your only real hope on that score is a violation of the teacher's union contract or the fire code which is unlikely in this case. Also, overcrowding is pretty much par for the course across the district.

My school's principal tends to err on the other side and start with over large classes (My son's K class was originally 33 kids) and wait to redistribute which is still disruptive but apparently gives more choice in the hiring decision.

I'd love to see the district become more flexible too since some of the class size splits it forces are uncomfortable. But of course that costs money and the district is still in a deficit on top of everything else.

Ben

Anonymous said...

So having all of the classes in a grade have over 30 kids is normal? Which given that our average class size is 25 kids, if we lose a teacher, it's going to bump up the classes for a grade to well over 30. For example, there are currently four 2nd grade classes each with about 25 kids. If you cut one class, then you're adding 8 kids to each of the other three classes - putting them at 33 kids per class.

Ben - is having 2nd grade classes with 33 kids pretty standard for other elementary schools?

APP@Lincoln Parent

Steve said...

Tracy Libros at the District just forwarded to me the link to the October 1 enrollment counts, for all schools. See http://www.seattleschools.org/modules/cms/pages.phtml?pageid=217382#enrollment.

Anonymous said...

APP @ Lincoln parent,

More likely they will make a split grade for the lower grade and/or larger upper grades (4 & 5) with >30 kids. This happened to us. Not pretty and disruptive at the beginning, but at the end of the year, it all worked out. Good Luck.

another mom

ben said...

@APP-Lincoln Parent - I don't know the answer on average class size but I can say the typical thing to do there would to be create a split level 2/3 or 1/2 class not to to create 2 super-sized 2nd classes. Again most of this is up to the principals discretion. (And yes this happens all the time)

Do you have any details on what Ms. Geoghagan plans to do? From the outside this looks really clumsy on her part or she's expecting the noise from the PTA to save the day.

I also don't mean to sound harsh. It sounds like 2 people are going to get fired mid year which is dreadful. The classes are going to get shuffled which as I said before is highly disruptive and when all is said an done there's going to be a higher kid-teacher ratio which no one ever wants.

Ben




Anonymous said...

Related SEA contract language in regard to class size:

a. Maintain an average SPS ratio of students to full-time equivalent teachers at no more
than 26:1 for grades K-3, 28:1 for grades 4-5, and 150:1 for grades 6-12...
b. Elementary Class Size Building Ranges: The SPS will take actions to limit class size to a
building range of 28 or less for grades K-3 and of 32 or less for grades 4-5...

...Beginning 2012-2013 in situations in which the limit is exceeded in a regular class in
grades K-5 by one (1) student, following the October 1st enrollment count, SPS will
address the overload. The preferred solution is to reduce class size to the negotiated
levels;...The individual teacher will be compensated for any days after October 1 during which he/she
has an overload.


Is the district considering APP@Lincoln a "building," separate from Lowell, so the class size ranges are taking into account only classes at Lincoln?

Also, per contract language, split grade classes are supposed to have 2 fewer students than average and not be given to first year teachers.

SEA Teacher Contract

Class size info starts somewhere around p 80.

a reader

Lori said...

Thank you, reader! I was hoping to find that information somewhere.

More discussion of the Lincoln budget cuts is going on at the APP blog for those interested.

Anonymous said...

Ben-

We hired as the district told us too. In fact, we hired one teacher fewer than we were originally thinking. We did not artificially create small classes. Our classes range from 23-27 students this year, I believe. We came in 6 (Yes SIX) children short of the projection, and the district is now telling us to reduce our staff by 1.5 FTE. Similar sized schools are not being asked to eliminate staff.

Yes, I think if this decision is followed, a split will be created. Given that most of our staff is new, this is going to be very difficult.

Lincoln parent

Anonymous said...

What I find so puzzling about the District telling Lincoln they have to cut a teacher is that the District hasn't shared their criteria for why they decided Lincoln should be the school to lose 1.5 teachers. There are other schools with teacher/student ratios less than 1 - 25. What was the District's rationale for picking a school with a 1-25 ratio rather than a school with a 1-17 or 1-20 ratio?

I realize this question implies that the District would be have rationally and transparently. Argh.

APP@Lincoln Parent

ws said...

I just looked at the October enrollment numbers for Schmitz Park. If you multiple the K class by 6 you end up with 774 kids in that school in five years. Even if you drop that to 100 kids (approximate 1st and 2nd grade cohort size) with the thought that this year’s K is a fluke you end up 629. Way to close to 100% capacity at what they (district) plans to build. Please note I am not advocating for larger elementary schools but this just points the fact again that the boundaries in the north end of West Seattle are a mess.

Watching said...

app@Lincoln,

SPS is facing a funding gap of $15M. Vote NO on 1240 which would divert funding from local public schools.

Eric B said...

@Bagley Mom, registrations can and do change pretty regularly through the summer. If people move to town (or to a different neighborhood), they don't have to tell the District about it until the day before school starts to get a spot at the school. Projections are the best tool we have, but they're also fuzzy. This year, the north region got 10% more K students than expected, and West Seattle got 14% more. I don't know how many of those showed up at the last minute, and how many were registered by June.

On the APP side, 6 kids short equaling 1.5 FTE lost smells pretty bad.

Anonymous said...

APP @ Lincoln Parent,

I used to sit on the BLT and this stuff used to confound me and this was before they switched to WSS. More recent BLT members, please chime in as it has been a while for me.

My understanding is you cannot look at staffing ratio based on overall number of students. You need to look at WSS for each school and see how that the number of FRL, blingual, and spec ed students affect budget and staffing. If a school has higher number of these kids (fed dollars), they will get higher budget allocation for resources, including staffing. To compound the confusion, some schools may have grants and additonal PTA funding to help with staffing ratio (frowned upon officially).

x-blt

Mary Griffin said...

@mirmac1,
We did have a good turn-out at the PTSA/SEAAC meeting, and I thought Banda made more of an effort to listen and respond than I have experienced with any administrative figure from SPS. So that was all good. I was also hopeful in the language used regarding the need for training in de-escalation and restraint and the need to have a system to maintain records. In addition, it was nice to hear that someone thinks it would be nice to notify parents about when their kids are restrained or secluded. This is in contrast to what I have heard previously from the interim exec director of SpEd. But whether any of this will actually boil down to a records system, policy mandates on training and parent notification and, of course, the necessary money to make any of that happen, is yet to be seen.

Mary Griffin said...

The Seattle Times sponsors a full-page ad in the Times for Rob McKenna. According to the article, they are also doing a full page ad for marriage equality. I'm guessing a full page ad for charter schools was number three on their list.

RosieReader said...

Just looked at the enrollment numbers. Overall, it appears there are 5015 K students this year. There are 4598 1st graders, and 4433 second graders. That's a remarkable increase.

Question for the APP@Lincoln folks -- where was the enrollment drop-off? Grades 1 and 2 are so much smaller than the upper grades. Is this normal, or is it a new thing? Just curious, no axe to grind or dog in this issue.

Mary Griffin said...

Here's a photo of the ad for McKenna paid for by the Seattle Times (in kind donation worth~$80,000.) http://bit.ly/U5kVkf

Anonymous said...

The cohort size in the earlier grades of APP have traditionally been smaller than the upper grades. More students test in over time, making the upper grades larger.

APP parent

Charlie Mas said...

The enrollment at APP @ Lincoln is 524 distributed like this:

Grade 1 - 53
Grade 2 - 93
Grade 3 - 137
Grade 4 - 135
Grade 5 - 106

The elementary staffing ratios, per the CBA, are "26:1 for grades K-3, 28:1 for grades 4-5"

The total of K-3 students is 283. Divided by 26 is 10.88. The total of 4-5 students is 241. Divided by 28 is 8.61. By this reckoning, APP @ Lincoln should have 19.49 classroom teachers. Add 20% PCP and you get another 3.90, for a total of 23.39 teachers. Round that up to the nearest .5 and you get a total of 23.5 classroom and PCP teachers.

Here is the budget for APP @ Lincoln for 2012-2013. There are a total of 25.0 classroom and PCP teachers. They appear to be 1.5 teachers over the line.

The District is right to reduce the staff there.

The school was staffed with five 2nd grade teachers for 93 students. That's an average class size of 18.6. With four teachers the class sizes will be 23, 23, 23 and 24. That is well within the 26 per class ratio required by the contract. One of the second grade teachers at Lincoln should be re-assigned.

The staffing ratio for Level 2 Special education K-5 is 1:18. Given the 14 students at Lincoln with IEPs that would mean one more teacher for a total of 24.5. There are no bilingual students there. This staff allocation is independent of the general education teacher budgeting.

Anonymous said...

More charter coverage

http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2012/oct/17/another-shot-for-charter-schools/

Public School Parent

pm said...

Charlie--

No, here's a list of current staff: http://seattlenorthapp.org/school-staff/

There are only four second grades. We have too many 3rd grade classes--6. But if there are 5 3rd grade classes, the number of students is above the recommended 26 students.

Lori said...

Charlie, the budget you linked to is not the one currently in effect.

That budget projected 22 classrooms for 550 kids.

We currently have 21 classrooms for 524 kids.

Thus, one cut was already made from when that budget was designed last year and when school started in September.

The original projection supported a student to teacher ratio of 25/1 (550/22). Our current ratio is 24.95 (524/21).

They are cutting 1.5FTEs because our student/teacher ratio fell 0.05 students short.

SeattleSped said...

Word is there are changes in the SpEd Dept CO org chart? Of course, SpEd parents are the last to know....

Lori said...

Let me put this another way.

Charlie's bottom line is that based on 524 kids, some of whom have IEPs that affect the WSS, Lincoln should have 24.5 FTEs, consisting of homeroom teachers and PCP.

The reality is that we currently have 24 FTEs, consisting of 21 homeroom teachers and 3 FTE for PCP.

The district's cut takes us to 22.5 teachers, consisting of 20 homeroom teachers and 2.5 FTE for PCP.

If Charlie's calcuations are right, then the district is NOT giving Lincoln what it should get under the WSS.

Maureen said...

Bagley Mom says: Enrollment paperwork is due in MAY.

I don't see how this applies under the NSAP. My understanding is that a kid can just walk in the door at their neighborhood assignment school now and get a seat. I agree that it is hard on kids to have to rearrange after school has started, but I think a school is generally better off having enrollment underestimated and get to add staff in October vs. overestimating and having to fire someone (see the situation at APP@Lincoln.) Of course, both are hard on the kids.

The NSAP makes it much harder to estimate enrollment at all schools. I expect it will get even more difficult as more and more people adjust to the fact that their neighborhood school has to take them whether they sign up the year before or not.

APP@Lincoln parent, where are you getting your class size number? Are you saying there are 21 teachers at APP@L? (525/21=25), so if you go to 20 classroom teachers, your ratio goes to 26. Not great, but not a big difference (and likely will hit the higher grades.)

Maureen said...

Re APP@L issue. Is this really unusual? My memory is that it was much worse years ago at Lowell (back when they were cramming classes into closets). I was on the BLT at TOPS for years and 25 was a really small class there (generally K wasn't even that small, my S had 31 in his 1st grade and there was once a 4th grade with 34... And all of them had to walk 4 miles to school uphillinthesnow :-))

Anonymous said...

Staffing ratio using student head count is a guide and not a must. Unfortunately it's not uncommon to have a 5th grade class with a size of 30 or more in some schools, even though WSS staffing ratio model is 1:28 or Kindergarten class of 25 even though WSS calls for 1:23.

And when looking at WSS, SPS puts this in the header:
"Weighted Staffing Standards Model 2012-13
The ratios and allocations in this model are used as a guide to staff Seattle Public Schools. Some building allocations will vary due to special programs, students’ needs, classroom space and other circumstances."

x-blt

Anonymous said...

My concern is mostly with the timing of the decision re Lincoln. The school year is well underway and elementary kids have bonded with their teachers and classmates.

I see no District accountability for their faulty enrollment projections; their lack of competence becomes the school's problem.

While I know the budget issues are very real, it's a bit hard to swallow these cuts when so many salary dollars are spent questionably in this District-- e.g., two Regional Directors in the south end, Curriculum Coaches, etc. It's hard to justify cuts at this point in the school year that will directly affect students when there are so many places at JSCEE to cut with little direct impact.

-- Cut the Fat, not the Classrooms

Anonymous said...

Maureen - The difference with APP enrollment is that you have to test in and apply, so they have a pretty good idea of numbers before the school year starts. There are a handful of students moving into the district over the summer and a handful leaving, but there is much more predictability in APP numbers than with a neighborhood school.

parent

Anonymous said...

Back to tonight's meeting. I will be awaiting the No Charters board vote with interest, because as I've said elsewhere weasley Steve Sundquist (board president voted OUT last year)said he was against charters while campaigning but is now suddenly all over town pushing FOR them. Disingenuous-R-Us style. He apparently hangs with the hugely icky Stand on Children organization, which is pushing charters hard.

Stand on Children also dumped money into last year's race on behalf of Carr, Martin-Morris and Maier. A lot of money. Carr and Martin-Morris are on the board still and Martin-Morris is seemingly particularly cozy behind the scenes with the charter people, especially the now-getting-paid-to-push-charters Lisa McFarlane. So will those board members go against their moneyed supporters or not? Or most likely will they vote against charters with a lot of weasel words that will allow them to SUPPORT charters the minute they are no longer on the board Sundquist-style.

Someone, please take written notes so that comments can be put into the blogosphere PERMANENTLY.

DistrictWatcher

Maureen said...

parent, true they have a clearer idea of enrollment with APP than with neighborhood schools. But they know enrollment EXACTLY with Option schools that have wait lists (because they choose the class size and move the wait list to pick it.) That didn't keep them from creating large classes when they chose. It sounds like APP@L lost more kids over the summer than they projected and now has to cut back. Would it have been better if they over estimated the summer melt and made the classes too big to start with? Both are painful. (BTW, my 9th grader has been in a core class of 44 since school started. One of these days, a new teacher will start and about 1/3 of her class will (randomly) be assigned to a new teacher. She loves her teacher and will be sad if she gets moved, but the poor guy has over 200 kids to grade for now, so it has to happen.)

Anonymous said...

I understand the frustration with the change coming now for Lincoln, but the October 1st date has been used in previous years. You may not have known about it as it hadn't affected your school previously, but that's what was used last year to reduce staff at our school.
Been There, Done That

Anonymous said...

How many schools, k-12, are seeing Fall adjustments of 1.0 FTE or greater? APP -1.5, Bagley +1.0 looking for some perspective.

Bigger Picture

Anonymous said...

What I don't understand is how falling short of enrollment projections by SIX kids leads to a cut of 1.5 teachers.

I'd also like to know if we are the only school whose actual enrollment was less than the estimated enrollment.

APP Parent@Lincoln

Anonymous said...

I would like to follow the meeting tonight but cannot go to it. We also do not have a TV.

Is there a place that it is streamed online?

Thank you for the information you share. I cannot find it anywhere else.

Newbie

Anonymous said...

Charlie,

Your math is off...APP at Lincoln has 21 classroom teachers and 3 PCP. Total of 24 - which your own math suggests is .5 FTE over the mark.

I guess my question is, if you applied this same math to other schools, wouldn't you find the same or even higher misappropriation of teachers? We would anticipate this to be true, just looking at student-teacher ratios, and so why the cut at APP at Lincoln?

Questioning the math.

ben said...

@Questioning the math. The staff allocations are done based on numbers of students and extra factors like sped. So looking at just the student-teacher ratio is deceptive. You have to consider the school size as well, along with the population of kids at the school. Even if all the schools had just "normal" students what you'd see was a range of ratios in each school size group. In other words you have to compare Lincoln only to schools within the same size range and then account for the different profiles of each school w.r.t. to extra staff that they get.

That's not to say you might not find a discrepancy but the student ratios are not a smoking gun.

Ben


Anonymous said...

Charlie,

Your math is off...APP at Lincoln has 21 classroom teachers and 3 PCP. Total of 24 - which your own math suggests is .5 FTE over the mark and so does not explain the 1.5 FTE that is being cut.

I guess my question is, if you applied this same math to other schools, wouldn't you find the same or even higher misappropriation of teachers? We would anticipate this to be true, just looking at student-teacher ratios, and so why the cut at APP at Lincoln?

Questioning the math.

Someone said...

Newbie - if you haven't found it - it's online here:
mms://mediaserver.seattleschools.org/live

Anonymous said...

Seattle Sped,

Stacey McCrath-Smith got moved up to interim direct. Not Ex Director, director.

-SWWS

Anonymous said...

OMG. I am watching the board comments on 1240 and it is EXACTLY what I thought. Harium Martin-Morris: Oh, I am on the record as opposing charters and I'm still there, but if they SHOULD happen to pass then...(basically they aren't so bad and he likes them except he can't say it in this venue.) He totally wants to have his cake from the Corporate Reform crowd and eat the board position too. He is a complete, sneaky ass on this matter, IMHO. Except he isn't even sneaky because he is so transparent in his groveling to not lose his Corporate Ed toadies.

However, I will call myself wrong on Carr. She was much stronger and firmer on her I said no and I mean no stance. She explained why eloquently. I apologize for tarring her with my weasely suspicions.


DistrictWatcher

Jan said...

Interesting discussion on moving AH up (based on Sharon Peaslee question). It comes down to the tradeoff of kids with NO space (mostly northend but also SP) versus kids with horrible space (AH) -- and the kids with NO space are winning. This seems like a reasonable tradeoff to me (acknowledging that I have no kids in that crumbling building -- and that others may see it differently). They are at least TALKING trying to think creatively (what is "internal borrowing?) to have cake and eat it too?

Jan said...

Phil is being identified as "the man" for the Pinehurst community. Pats on the back and a promise to "move forward" with conversations, "honor them and their work," etc. But nothing that hints of even an ephemeral commitment to maintain the alt program there. Eeee. Scary. Hope the vagueness is only vagueness, and nothing more.

Sherry is pleading for the District to post/make information available so people can figure out what in the hell is going on (my words, not hers) in terms of the data driving the proposals, how the WP site will work with two schools (playgrounds, etc.).

And Peaslee confirms that, astonishingly enough, a downtown school is still on the list! AARGH!

Anonymous said...

Here is an idea for Pinehurst. Why not move TC into the new school they are building on the property and Pinehurst into the smaller building. The two option programs should be able to share the space nicely and even collaborate.

Both schools do Sped pretty well so that would also likely be some expanded options for Sped.

You can draw a larger geo zone right around the neighborhood to help take some pressure off the area.

- not a pinehurst family but think this could work.

Anonymous said...

$$$$$$$$$

http://www.heraldnet.com/article/20121017/NEWS03/710179873/0/SEARCH

That 's alot of tutoring or after school programs. It's not about the kids !

Public School Parent

Unknown said...

How did the school board vote on I-1240?? I had to leave the meeting early.

-Public school mama

RosieReader said...

The October 1 count has been used for many years. Someone asked about other impacted schools. This year Ingraham saw a much larger number of students than had been budgeted. Overall # of students is 1018, 325 fresh, 272 soph, 196 jun, and 225 seniors. As a result there will be new teachers added, I believe there will be two new educators. And a currently-part time counselor will more to more time, and maybe even full time.

SeattleSped said...

RosieReader, word on the street is many SpEd parents advocate to be placed at Ingraham, instead of Ballard with its psuedo-services for many Sped students.

RosieReader said...

According to the data from the District, Ballard has 187 SpEd (11.6%), and Ingraham has 130 (12.7%). Both are below the District average of 13.78%. Since I'm not an SpEd, I can't comment on how the schools might support their SpEd students. I do know our PTSA, or Sports boosters, etc., tries hard to respond positively to all the grant requests submitted for our CBT programs, Special Olympians, etc.

Anonymous said...

Our neighboring school, Lawton lost at least one teacher and an assistant principal due to lower than expected enrollment last fall. Like it or not, I think we are stuck with WSS, Oct. count, and up/down staff sizing as long as this district is running deficit. Before all the changes to the district's website, it used to have a WSS primer on how school budget is calculated and the waiver process, etc. Now can't find it anywhere. Too bad!


math mom

Lori said...

thanks for that info, math mom. Any chance you remember any details, like how many students under projections Lawton was? How did they resolve it? Did they need to create split-grade classes?

Anonymous said...

Lori, don't remeber specifics, but Lawton 2011-12 was projected to have more than 450 students which by WSS would give them an asst. principal and a teacher. The Oct. count was less. I don't think it was a large number, more like 10 or so kids, but enough to trigger the downsizing. Class size got bigger. I believe this may also affect things like nursing and PCP allocation. As far as split class goes, our school and Lawton has had them in years passed due to awkward grade size breakdown, but don't know if Lawton had to resort to that last year.

Within WSS guideline, there is a waiver process that the principal can apply for. It applies only to high performing schools. Again much of this depends on overall district budget and your school admin and teaching staff and what they want. I was told by my principal WSS doesn't allow for much leeway in terms of staffing manipulation. If your school has a BLT, would suggest asking them for your school WSS info or ask your school principal directly.

Obviously, it's best to get it right the first time, but I think enrollment cannot be predicted to the exact number which makes it tough every spring (planning time for next year's budget) if your enrollment number is near a WSS allocation cutoff. I also heard it's better to staff up than staff down because of hiring issues.

math mom

Anonymous said...

Any time you have have major changes within SPS such as school closure, NSAP, new option school, transportation, or changes to a school or its program, you are going to get less exact enrollment projection. For APP, I would guess it's tougher to predict enrollment number because while you have a predictable APP seat number for APP kids, not all APP kids plan to sit in those seats, but rather remain in their NSAP or option school or until they decide to make the change.

math mom

Anonymous said...

"Before all the changes to the district's website, it used to have a WSS primer on how school budget is calculated and the waiver process, etc. Now can't find it anywhere. Too bad! "

really?!

I did a google search on "Seattle Schools WSS" and easily found it on this page: http://www.seattleschools.org/modules/cms/pages.phtml?sessionid=&pageid=263011

http://www.seattleschools.org/modules/groups/homepagefiles/cms/1583136/File/Departmental%20Content/budget/wss/2013/wssmodel13.pdf

Anonymous said...

Yes, Really!? the district published that annual info. But the website used to have a better explanation so you can see how PCP time is figured and the recommended elementary general ed teacher size ratio per grade, not just bilingual and Spec. Ed breakdown. It offered explanation why they swtiched to WSS and included examples how to figure out WSS (what's LAP, title I, etc.) That's the stuff I searched for and couldn't find anymore. It may be on the website still, but I didn't have any luck finding it.

Math mom