Thursday, September 19, 2013

Friday Open Thread

Well hello there.

Back from hiatus and a big thank you (and good job) to Charlie who kept this thing going quite nicely.  I did read from afar a couple of times but true to my word to myself, I did not comment or post.

(And by the way, a BIG thank you to all our readers.  Our numbers continue to soar and it's quite amazing.  I like to think that parents are offering this site up as a place for information, discussion and insight.  Ask your PTA to consider a blurb about it for your school newsletter.  We are virtually the only instrument of connection among schools in this district and are happy to be that for this community.)

Yes, I know from the timestamp that it's not quite Friday but I am suffering some jet lag and can't hold out much longer.  Wanted to get this up sooner rather than later.  (But travel does invigorate the mind and the soul so I'm back happy and refreshed.)

I see there are many threads to comment on and new ones to write about but that will be for this weekend.

What's on your mind?

35 comments:

Anonymous said...

I started a Yahoo Group last year called the District V Forum for inter-school community discussions in the central region - Capitol Hill, Montlake, Madrona, Eastlake, Central District, Madison Park

It could use more discussion participants, though I know there are active readers.

http://groups.yahoo.com/groups/sps-dvf/

Ann D

Melissa Westbrook said...

Good for you, Ann. I have aid this is a good idea for ALL regions to join together to advocate for joint interests.

Anonymous said...

The new Stevens Elementary PTA website redesign just launched this week. I was part of a team that worked on it over the past year or so. Sarah Clayton was the Stevens parent who pulled it all together on the development side.

http://www.stevenspta.org/

Ann D.

Anonymous said...

I live a few blocks from Ingraham. Yesterday I noticed a huge swath of parking on the south side fenced off, with various construction equipment thing-ies inside the fence.

Does anyone know what is up?

They're repaving the parking lot? They're building a Tower Of Obedience which will beam the Glory Of His Brilliance from the Bill and Melinda Gate$ Foundation, as well Lakeside-Where-Class-Size-Doesn't-Matter?

Final question, and, as someone who has skimmed this blog for several years, this really really is a DUMB question -

Why did the district wait until 2 weeks into the start of the school year to do a project on scores of parking places? Do they go out of their way to make people think they're just disgustingly incompetent? Wow, I

MeanWow

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Maureen said...

Yeah, from what I understand, the "student" parking lot at Ingraham was "supposed to" have been repaved during the summer. Are we surprised that that didn't happen?

RosieReader said...

MeanWow -- they are redoing/resurfacing the parking lot. And sure, we all wish it could have happened in the summer, when the parking lot wasn't needed, but hey, it's not that big a deal.

RosieReader said...

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2013/10/the-case-against-high-school-sports/309447/

Fascinating article in The Atlantic suggesting we take sports out of educaiton.

Anonymous said...

The District did manage to get the outside of Stevens Elementary painted this summer. Work commenced the day after school ended for the year. The painting contractor was careful to protect the children's play area during their work.

There might be other details about the project but the outside looks much better and they project concluded before the summer was over.

Ann D

Anonymous said...

An updates on what is happening at Horace Mann/Nova?

-Ian

Anonymous said...

Black Education Summit Part II noon tomorrow at Horace Mann.

I thought they had to be out be the 18th - or we were going to lose state funds for the renovation. What are the consequences for allowing the use of district property by private individuals without receiving market-rate compensation?

Lynn

mirmac1 said...

Former short-time Emerson principal and TFA alum Kristina Bellamy-McCain is forming a charter school. What a surprise!

Three women and a charter schools movement

Lynne Varner is hyperventilating over the prospect

another smart tool in the educational toolbox!

search4chin said...

Is there any news on the update that Mr. Ron English was due to deliver regarding Pinehurst K-8(aka AS#1)'s fate during the 'operations committee' meeting last night?

Anonymous said...

On the charter subject, KUOW is advertising an interview with Steve Sundquist on Monday sometime between noon and 2 during The Record. Sundquist is now the chair of the state charter commission.

EdVoter

Anonymous said...

KUOW also interviewed Kristina Bellamy-McCain and some other charter school hopefuls. yesterday I think? maybe this morning? can't remember.

-sps mom

joanna said...

Ann, yes, regions should come together, but remember the District III covers Montlake, McGilvra, and TOPS. District V is the Central District, Madrona, and some of Capitol Hill. Check out the maps. Harium should not be left out of your conversation if you are thinking elected representatives.

joanna said...

Another point to be made is that District V is the most odd of all districts. The part of Distict III
that interacts with it is quite odd. In part I assume that is due to the fact that the elementary school that would be naturally serving a huge chunk of the population is closed, but live there and could for the most part walk to school if it was open as an elementary school. I am sure that the District wanted to make sure that District V had a balance of schools represented that served the students living there.

Anonymous said...

It is loosely called the District V Forum, anyone can join and I was struggling to name it when I started it. It is really more of the future Meany MS feeder schools.

Ann D.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
joanna said...

just another point in a map that was posted on Capitol Hill News. Think about where the elementary schools are and where the kids live. http://crow.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Picture-7.png

Melissa Westbrook said...

Anonymous, I'll reprint your comment but we don't allow anonymous comments. Pick a name or moniker next time.

"Blaine's principal and the 7/8th grade team recently cancelled the 20+ tradition of sending 8th graders to camp in May. This announcement came right before this evenings "Back to School" night and 8th grade fundraiser.Unfortunately, the parents were told this change ,early this week without any chance for parents to be part of this decision.

It's sad that this "rite of passage" opportunity will be lost. More importantly, it's a huge crime that parents weren't allowed in on the conversation. The lack of family engagement is an all to familiar pattern at Blaine."

I would definitely register a complaint to your Board director and Executive Director. I would want to understand how a principal could unilaterally make this decision without any notification or inclusion of parents.

Anonymous said...

I would be wiling to bet this is because of the district's new policy of requiring fingerprinting of all volunteers on overnight trips. The school administration most likely does not want to deal with the logistics of this. Gen Ed Mom

Anonymous said...

A friend had a patient tell her this week that she was relieved to have gotten a seat for her freshman outside of their neighborhood school - because Garfield is a dangerous place for a black boy.

Does anyone have any thoughts on this?

Lynn

joanna said...

I think most people of all ethnic backgrounds in the Garfield attendance by high percentages chose to attend Garfield. It is sad that someone would feel unsafe at any school. I don't know the circumstances for this student. If you are concerned, I think you should contact Ted Howard regarding this comment. I am a little uncomfortable with general negative comments about any school that are just tossed out without any specifics to a set of circumstances, an incident or some specific study. I generally don't repeat such comments on schools publicly unless I know more of the specifics and even then am cautious in that I don't know if it really reflects the general situation. The numbers do not show people of any ethnic background fleeing Garfield.

Anonymous said...

joanna,
I'm sorry - I didn't mean it to be a negative comment about Garfield. I think it's a wonderful school with wonderful staff and have never felt unsafe there. It made me sad too - and made me wonder what I'm missing.

Lynn

joanna said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
joanna said...

Please forgive the incomplete sentences above and a misspelling of "think." For some reason my internet seems slow, and typos seem even more prevalent than usual.

joanna said...

I wish I could delete the earlier post. I could not stand the errors.
Lynn, you may not be missing anything. You would have to have gotten more information to understand the remark. It is a long discussion about all the possible reasons. I think a feeling of isolation breeds fear and anxiety. Feeling that you do not trust the other peers and friends that you know who are going to attend the school and want and need some distance to establish a new set of friends, feeling that others who are entering have a connection to the school and that you do not, feeling that if you are African American, you will be expected to show up for sports when that is not your interest (or another stereotype and the relationship to the school),or feeling that a large comprehensive high school is not the right fit can all be contributing factors, along with others. I think you may hear one person saying something like this about anyone of our high schools. Sometimes it is due to a personal experience or a friend that has a beef with that school for some reason. Speculation can go on and on. You would have to go to the source to find out what the reason is. I doubt that he (maybe it is his family) is representative of all and that there are some individual circumstances involved. I am always concerned to think that a child or adult does not feel safe in a school or in a neighborhood. Sometimes a setting has a very high reputation for safety, but a person feeling isolated will not feel safe. Public safety and feeling safe is a social justice issue. Fear is not good for brain development.

Anonymous said...

Well a vague, hearsay, negative comment like that will be enough for people who don't know much about Garfield or the area to use it to reinforce or help form a negative perception. The damage is done, intentionally or not. No amount of buts is going to take what's written away.

another reader

Anonymous said...

another reader

How then could I find out if there is an environment in a school (for at least some of the students) that needs to be improved? If Garfield had a reputation for being unsafe, I would not have had to ask. It was so surprising to me because I haven't heard a hint of it anywhere. The community seems (justifiably) proud of it's school.

Lynn

Anonymous said...

Lynn, it's gossip, it's clever, and it smells. Substitute APP program or Ballard HS for Garfield and it will still be gossip. I hear all sorts of things every day, but I don't go to a blog and repeat (especially on a blog where most of us are anonymous - the burden of careful writing is greater). It comes off as coy and deliberate to throw the hearsay out there, leave it hanging, and then trying to defend the act by saying "if Garfield had a reputation for being unsafe, I would not have had to ask" and then say "the community seems (justifiably) proud of it's school". If the concern is so great, I go straight to the root, Garfield itself, for answers.

another reader

joanna said...

Lynn, what do you think the response would have been had I posted a question like that regarding any of the other high schools or any school in the District, no matter what the reputation? Why post it as a problem unless you know what the situation is? If such comments about any school alarm me in some way, I contact the PTSA or the principal for more information before broadcasting it to the entire world as though it generally reflects the school and then am persistent in pursuing a response. This is true for even when I have heard remarks about private schools.

Anonymous said...

Two things ...

Was there really no media coverage of the Town Hall debate on standardized testing? I haven't seen any mentions anywhere and search isn't showing anything either.

When will the 2012-13 school climate reports be made available?

Ann D

Anonymous said...

thought this was a good article:

"I Quit Teach for America"
Five weeks of training was not enough to prepare me for a room of 20 unruly elementary-schoolers.

http://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2013/09/i-quit-teach-for-america/279724/

- Muir Mom

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