We've heard from many parents who are unhappy about enrollment issues like waitlists. My understanding is that the district was switching technology systems. Reading the Queen Anne Elementary principal's blog, it would seem that the whole system has been down, in one form or another.
Principal Elliot's explains that on Back to School Night (an event they are having this week), parents would be able to learn their child's classroom assignment from the school secretary. He then states that "our student information system is not functioning. The old system was purchased by a new company and our district has had to transition to the new company, a formidable task. Our tech department has been working very diligently and we hope to have the system up and running by early next week. What this means is that we have not seen any new student changes at all for the summer and will not be able to make any necessary changes until the system is up and functioning. All classroom assignments done previously are tentative until we are as close as we possibly can be to a final student roster."
This saddens me. For families and for school staffs, it must be very frustrating. I'm sure this transition to a new system is difficult but don't other school districts do this? School is about to start and it almost sounds as if everything is being done manually.
I'll try to get a read on this from Tracy Libros and Communications.
What was also disturbing to read was about furniture for classrooms. Principal Elliot lets parents know this is happening and says:
Hopefully every room will look ready for September 4th but the reality is the final pieces of that puzzle may be fitted in during the last hours before school starts. Our district has had a struggle outfitting a significant number of new classrooms in many schools with even surplus furniture over the last few years and we are facing that again this year. The truth is we will find a way and it will all be good.
I appreciate his positive outlook. But again, our district knew it had capacity issues and that more children were going to get squeezed into more classrooms. No one took quick inventory and ordered desks, etc. to be on-time?
I had reported previously about an organization - The Urban Schools Human Capital Academy - that helps "development of central office leaders with HR responsibilities." It's going to cost the district about $150k to join and again, I'll find out where the money is coming from (meaning district money or somewhere else).
But honestly, if we don't have desks for kids versus spending for yet another initiative at Central, I just don't get it. (And yes, this group is yet ANOTHER Gates Foundation initiative.)
One last thing - this being Queen Anne, there was also this about an event after a welcoming gathering after school starts:
After our conversation you are invited to participate in an item from our last auction. A QAE family will be hosting a champagne brunch at her house just a short walk from school.
The blurb goes on to say that the cost is $35 per person with all proceeds going to the PTSA. That's an original way to raise money; I'm sure most PTAs hadn't thought of this before.