Monday, January 21, 2013

Seattle Schools This Week

It's a fairly quiet week around SPS this week. 

Tuesday, January 22nd
Call into the Board office (or e-mail) if you want to sign up for the Speakers list for the Board meeting on Wednesday.  Frankly, you will not be changing anyone's mind if you choose to speak BUT if you want to make a point, out loud and in public, now's the time to go on record.
252-0040 or boardagenda@seattleschools.org

Wednesday, January 23rd
 Rally to support teachers against MAP at 4:00 p.m.  This one is organized by the SEA and I sure hope there is a lot of teacher, parent and student presence. 

School Board meeting at 4:15 pmAgenda


The Agenda includes:

- approval of the 2013-2014 Interim plan.  To note, the cost has gone up from about $3.5M to just over $4M and this would come from BTA III.  This, of course, not was part BTA III planning so I'll have to ask what projects are shelved/delayed by this action. 

Staff appears to still be recommending no changes for that year and making it a planning year.

- Waivers to the teachers contract for Creative Approach schools, starting with Cleveland High School.  These would include not having to take any displaced staff and not following the section on layoffs, class size and grading.
- Ditto for Hawthorne, Nova, QA Elementary, Seattle World School, and Thorton Creek for their CA requests.

- Strategic Plan - I attended part of the Work Session that was about the Strategic Plan last week.  It was a whole lot of wordsmithing and frankly, made me sad.  Because the entire leadership team, including Ex Directors, sat around a table while most the Board hashed this wording out.  It was pretty boring and I have to wonder about the use of time.

I worry a bit about the huge amount of time that I see starting to go towards this effort (not to mention the costs for our out-of-town consultants).

- Apparently the district is requesting a wavier from the 180 day calendar requirement from OSPI so they can take 3 days for professional development for teachers.

If approved by the State Board of Education, staff will have professional development on three full release days, rather than six or more half days.  

- The district is also asking for another waiver of the 180 day calendar requirement for parent-teacher conferences.

This resolution requests a waiver of three (3) days from the 180-day school calendar from the State Board of Education to allow District elementary schools and K-8 schools to have full-day parent/guardian/teacher conferences on the three days that school is not in session.  This resolution also requests a waiver of one (1) day from the 180-day school calendar from the State Board of Education to allow District middle schools and high schools to have a full-day parent/guardian/teacher conference on a day when school is not in session.

When the three full-day conferences are used, parent/guardian/teacher conferences took on a new
meaning and focus for schools and parents.  Teachers were able to teach for five full days, and
maintain their focus on instruction, after which they were able to conference for three full days. 
A critical component of the alternative model has been more time for conferences themselves. 
Some teachers also switched a full-day Wednesday conference for a Saturday conference day,
which allowed working parents to attend a conference on a weekend day.  At some schools,
students participated in the conferences, enabling them to receive the benefit of being part of the
conversation regarding their academic progress.


- The Board is also introducing an item to change the Work Sessions for department reviews.  Currently, every department is reviewed every two years (except for Finance and Human Resources which are annual).  This policy change would have every department reviewed every three years. 

College Goal Sunday from 6-8 p.m. at Ingraham High School.

Thursday, January 24th
College Goal Sunday from 6:30-8:30 pm at West Seattle High School.

Friday, January 25th
BEX Oversight Committee Meeting from 8:30-10:30 am, JSCEE, room 2750.

Saturday, January 26th
Community Meeting with Director DeBell from 9-11am at Cafe Appassinato near Fisherman's Terminal.

Community Meeting with Vice-President Patu from 10 am to noon at Cafe Vitta, 5028 Wilson Ave S.

College Goal Sunday from 4:30-7:30 p.m. at Rainier Beach High School. 

3 comments:

mirmac1 said...

I don't get how BTA III capital funds can go towards Interim Planning.

kellie said...

The transition plan pays for all the portables and building modifications necessary in order to have space for next year's students. The cost of all the portables and modifications does add up.

mirmac1 said...

No wonder schools don't get upgraded technology and PTSAs have to pay for obsolete $800 projector bulbs...