Charlie and I are at the retreat (he was here most of the day) and I can't resist some early alerts/news:
- the Superintendent says that the number show that enrollment is at nearly 52,000. To understand, this is NOT the case for most urban districts.
- still no clear answer on the Equitable Access Framework. President Smith-Blum pushed back when it was deferred (again). She stated it does not have to be the same for every program but she believes parents needs to understand how programs work and what is the definition for equitable access.
Oddly, Director DeBell pushed back, saying "they could get to this eventually." He called the programs she called out like language immersion "higher level" programs. (Of course, later he called out how his goal is to meet the LI goal of 12 schools. Why that is at the top of the list over a clear understanding of equitable access is unclear to me?)
The facilitator got a big laugh when he asked, "Do you have a policy around this?" Because, clearly, no.
Other interesting statements:
- Joe Paperman, the head of Finance, said it would take "weeks" to be able to say how much it costs to run any given school. Charlie and I just looked at each other on that statement.
- Smith-Blum also mentioned an October 9th Work Session on the budget and said she would like to see all critical partners there such as Seattle Council PTSA
- new Facilities director, Flip Herdon, said that the district had growth but it was uneven. He added that some of that growth to some schools was growth within programs housed at the schools.
- Pegi McEvoy then said that there would be "new program placements" announced in October. Charlie suspects APP at Hamilton might get moved.
Someday, somehow, some way, this district is going to have to address Advanced Learning programs - what they are, how to access them, and where they are available.
- disproportionality and discipline - Pegi McEvoy talked about fewer out-of-school suspensions and new methods to work with this issue (no specifics). She did say principals have been trained on some new ideas. Need more data systems in place to look at how they are doing.
Superintendent Banda said they have reached out to the ACLU and the law school at Seattle U for some of this help. Also, Oakland School District had had tremendous problems in this area and we are studying what they have done to turnaround this issue in their district.