Monday, September 16, 2013

This Week in Seattle Public Schools

Tuesday, September 17
Wednesday, September 18
  • Regular Legislative Board Meeting, 4:15 - 8:00pm
    Agenda
Thursday, September 19
  • Board Operations Committee Meeting, 3:30 - 5:30pm
    No agenda available yet.
Saturday, September 21
  • Workshop for Booster Clubs and Parent Groups 8:30 - noon
  • Community Meeting, Director DeBell, Caffe Appassionato, 4001 - 21st Ave. W., 9:00 - 11:00am
  • Community Meeting, Director Martin-Morris, Diva's Espresso, 8014 Lake City Way NE, 9:30 - 11:30am

31 comments:

Charlie Mas said...

A very brief school board agenda.

Only one introduction item and it is routine.

The consent agenda items are all routine.

There are only three action items and the only one, the construction contract for Mann, is likely to spur any discussion.

The most interesting part of the meeting could be the internal auditor's report, but it doesn't contain any fireworks.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know if the work sessions on the proposed boundary changes are where the District will also roll out their plan for middle school APP? It seems pretty clear that there isn't enough room at Hamilton for all the north-end APP kids. But it's not clear to me whether some or all of the APP kids will be moved - and if so, where they will go.

Jane

Peanut said...

Thornton Creek school design unveiling on September 25 at Wedgwood Presbyterian, 7-9pm

http://wedgwoodcc.org/new-thornton-creek-school-design-unveiling-wednesday-september-25th

mirmac1 said...

The Superintendent's Special Education Advisory and Advocacy Council will be meeting Tuesday, Sept 17 at 6:30pm in Rm 2700 at JSCEE. The public is welcome to attend. Topics under discussion include the district's proposed OSPI Corrective Action Plan, the status of the new ABCD service delivery model, and the work plan for the coming year.

mirmac1 said...

Message from a reformed TFA-er:

Why Teach For America Kicked Me Out

Right On Jay!

Anonymous said...

@peanut - thanks for that meeting notice about the Thornton Creek site design reveal. I wonder if it will show just one school on the site, or both buildings?

I was looking at the size of the TC site and some other sites on Google Maps.

I find it interesting that there was extreme outcry for SPS proposing to put 1000 kids on the approx 10 acre Thornton Creek site, but I haven't heard any complaints about plans to place up to 650 kids on about 7 acres at Olympic Hills, or worst of all, the plan to put something like 700 kids on a 3-acre site at Pinehurst.

Has there been ANY opposition from the surrounding neighborhood to the plan to put 700 kids, including middle school students, at the tiny Pinehurst site?

I've also heard SPS will have to get code variances to pull this off (building height, set-back, parking, etc...).

Will it be street parking only? I can see that happening for a landmarked site, like Hamilton, where there is no land to set aside for parking, but it seems odd to raze a building, then rebuild with no (or very few) parking spaces.

There is already a high traffic volume in that area, and negotiating the streets there is tough already.

It just seems ridiculous to put that many kids on such a small, congested, piece of land!

- density matters


Anonymous said...

The big to do over Thornton Creek was the loss of sports fields and the fact that it is on smaller streets. At least Pinehurst is on a main arterial.

HP

Anonymous said...

Agenda for the Work Session on Growth Boundaries is posted here. No links to presentation documents - just an agenda. But it does include a section on "Services and Programs" which is probably where the APP stuff will be. If it's there at all (there's no one minding the Advanced Learning store right now).

- Watching

Anonymous said...

The link to the Horace Mann contract (on the agenda for the 18th) doesn't work for me. Is anyone else able to open it?

Lynn

Anonymous said...

Fixed!

Lynn

Peanut said...

@density matters - No idea what the design will show. I dislike the "big reveal at a public meeting" approach. It puts all of the attendees in a "reacting with limited info" role.

It would be better if SPS would post the proposed design on its website BEFORE the Wedgwood CC mtg.

Charlie Mas said...

The Board's first look at the plan will be at the Work Session and it does seem wrong for anyone else to see it before the Board, but that shouldn't preclude emailing it to the Board and posting it online prior to the meeting - unless they are working on it right up to the last second.

Charlie Mas said...

@Jane, Yes, the growth boundaries plan will include program placements for APP and Spectrum.

Since every middle school service area must have an elementary Spectrum program, the District needs to identify Spectrum sites for each of the three new middle schools; Jane Addams, Meany, and Pacific.

There will also be sites determined for APP including two north-end pathways, each with an elementary and middle school, and the possibility of an alternative south-end pathway in addition to Thurgood Marshall-Washington. That's we've been told to expect.

One of the north-end pathways is sure to be Wilson-Pacific. The other should be on the east side of the freeway, but I have no clue about what locations will be chosen. There are no existing elementary schools that can take another 250 students, so all of them appear to be out of the question. The only new elementary school they are building in that area is at Thornton Creek, but all of that capacity is needed as neighborhood school space. So this poses a real challenge. The APP middle schools are likely to be Pacific and Jane Addams. Hamilton will almost certainly not be chosen.

These program placement decisions will have been made through an undisclosed process. The superintendent has adamantly refused to describe how he determines program placements.

Anonymous said...

Charlie- look where they "think" they are adding elementary capacity on the east side of the I5 north of the ship canal.

Remember the thing about minimizing reliance on transportation? Eg. Not shipping students as 'distal' as possible? Remember the University of Virginia studay about NOT creating a "high challenge" building? Rember the reason each building was put onto BEX IV in the first place (hint: it was to accommodate students ALREADY there)?

All the 1-5 kids in Lincoln were promised, in writing, the Wislon Pacific elementary building as a home. It makes sense. It is central, it WON'T disenfranchise anyone else from their neighborhood school or their beloved alt school (remember the District had a plan, that was not executed, to push half of APP into the Salmon Bay school?) and thus it will be the LEAST disruptive for EVERYONE. Unless there is a volunteer community who wants to have their school fundementally altered--anyone? After elementary, if the District wants the two Middle School sites, in the two new middle schools in the north, that at least will not disrupt an existing community, but still, it will yet again result in a 'high challenge' building, so kids who might have gotten interventions with title 1 funds won't (Hello, Lowell & T. Marshall), so it won't be fair or economically efficient.

It's like they really, really are fighting the obvious. And, they are placing programs BEFORE they are having their much-ballyhooed task forceS, plus, they are relying on program projections that are unvetted and, subjectively, highly suspect, from someone who no longer works at the District.

-better plan

apparent said...

". . . plus, they are relying on program projections that are unvetted and, subjectively, highly suspect, from someone who no longer works at the District.* -better plan

* * *
Below are the middle school APP enrollment projections that staff presented to the board, including page references to the previously posted slides.

SPS staff projected for the board that over the coming decade north Seattle elementary APP enrollment will rise by 15% compared to 20% in south Seattle, and that north Seattle middle school APP enrollment will rise by 80% compared to 53% in south Seattle. Without further explanation, this outlier *80%* north Seattle middle school APP growth projection is bizarre. It suggests either inequity or inaccuracy, so what assumptions were used?


* * *
According to the table on Slide 20, the *south Seattle elementary* APP enrollment is projected to rise by *20%* over the coming decade from 317 in 2013-14, to 383 in 2017-18, then 379 in 2022-23.

According to the table on Slide 20, the *north Seattle elementary* APP enrollment is projected to rise by *15%* over the coming decade from 594 in 2013-14, to 675 in 2017-18 (when the new Wilson Elementary and Thornton Creek buildings will open), then 685 in 2022-23.

* * *
According to the table on Slide 20, the *south Seattle middle school* APP enrollment is projected to rise by *53%* over the coming decade from 347 in 2013-14, to 452 in 2017-18, then 530 in 2022-23.

According to the table on Slide 20, the *north Seattle middle school* APP enrollment is projected to rise by *80%* over the coming decade from 549 in 2013-14, to 861 in 2017-18 (when the new Pacific Middle School building will open), then 989 in 2022-23.

* * *
As described by Melissa Westbrook in the Seattle Schools Community Forum, Wednesday, June 26, 2013, in her report on the school board’s Boundaries and Capacity Management Work Session: “They had Rachel Cassidy, the district demographer, come and explain a sheet with potential growth in APP and pathways. ... Both DeBell and Smith-Blum felt that, looking at the sheet that Cassidy handed out, the numbers on growth didn't jive correctly.”

Anonymous said...

@ Charlie
Concerning the possibility of an APP pathway feeding into Jane Addams Middle School - the heat maps of where APP kids live does show a huge concentration in the southern NE region, around Eckstein, and a smattering of green dots in the north-northeast.

I don't know if anyone is paying attention, but there has been a lot of growth in the north end, especially at John Rogers, Jane Addams K-8, Olympic Hills, and Olympic View.

If I'm understanding this line of thinking on APP, if they put an APP pathway in the north-northeast (JAMS and an elementary feeder school), then they are essentially importing kids into an area that is experiencing growth, and may not have enough seats for its own kids when all this is over.

How does this make sense?

-JR Mom

Anonymous said...

I wonder if the APP kids in the north northeast are choosing to stay in neighborhood schools because the APP schools are too far away for their taste. I know a few kids who are in Jane Addams K-8 who chose to stay there rather than go to APP. Many of them are accessing classes in Nathan Hale for example algebra in the 7th grade.

HP

Anonymous said...

@HP
Linked to the Growth Boundaries page, there are heat maps, with green dots representing APP-qualified kids, not just kids enrolled in APP at Hamilton or Washington.

That is the map I was referring too, and yes, there are some APP-qualified kids in the north-northeast, but the vast majority live further south.

I guess it might make sense to put APP at JAMS if the JAMS attendance area included Wedgwood and View Ridge attendance areas, in addition to John Rogers, Olympic Hills, etc...?

-JR Mom

Anonymous said...

Contrary to popular belief, very few APP qualified students are NOT in the program by sixth grade. Indeed, there are few in grade school that are not enrolled. It is an interesting statistic to look at k5 schools who retain their APP qualified students (West Woodland and Viewridge have slightly more than 20 each). J. Addams had fewer than 10.

People who often don't have certain types of learners, nonetheless, feel free to opine about how those learners should be educated. If you don't have a child in SpEd, ELL, FR&L, or APP, "walking a mile in my shoes" is an experience that is missing for you, so perhaps consider listening to the families of those learners.
-myth busting

Anonymous said...

Myth busting, can you share your data source?
numbers

TechyMom said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TechyMom said...

Boundaries are up!

I'm pleased that downtown moves from Hay/McClure to Lowell/Meany. That will mean less crowding at Hay and a big enough attendance area for Lowell.

Anonymous said...

my APP eligible Jane Addams 3rd grader has at least 7 other APP eligible classmates. I know at least 3 others at other grade levels (although not in the same density as the third grade). We live in the Olympic Hills attendance area

AL @ JA

Anonymous said...

- and nobody from the Advanced Learning office has ever asked us why we have not yet chosen to enroll in APP.

AL @ JA

Anonymous said...

My condolences to Debbie Nelsen for having to accommodate the demands of APP parents at a Spectrum school.

-Spectrum Parent

Anonymous said...

"A Spectrum school?" Wow, Spectrum parent. Knowing Ms. Nelson (one of our favorite principals from years ago) I think she will do her job with grace and aplomb.

D

Anonymous said...

@D
You've missed my point. I fully agree that Ms. Nelsen is a great principal and has a wonderful reputation, but it is not "her job" to teach an APP program. She is not obligated to provide advanced learning services beyond one grade level ahead, because the school is designated a Spectrum school (not an APP school). Her official tasks are to serve gen ed kids, special ed kids, ELL kids, and kids who qualify for Spectrum-level services. Add to that, the coverage of 9 grade levels (maybe 10, if there is a preschool on-site). That is quite a lot on her plate!

APP families have a guaranteed assignment to a program that will accommodate their children. IF parents at Jane Addams K-8 are demanding that the needs of their APP-qualified students be met at the K-8, then, in my opinion, they are taking valuable time and energy away from the kids the K-8 program is designated to serve.

If the parents of APP-qualified children aren't demanding their children be taught two grade levels ahead, then I stand corrected.

-Spectrum Parent

Anonymous said...

Spectrum Parent -

Then you stand corrected.

I am happy with the spectrum services and differentiation that JA K-8 is providing. They have been able to differentiate significantly enough for my daughter, who is APP qualified. I'm sure my daughter could thrive at APP academically, but I am choosing not to place her at APP because she is getting enough challenge, has a large enough cohort of students with similar academic needs and is part of a wonderful community of diverse learners.

Knowing Debbie quite well, I think she appreciates what our students and families bring to the school and she and her staff do work to meet the needs of all students - and I trust will let us know when she feels that they can no longer do so, if that day comes.

JA-APP Parent

Anonymous said...

...it is not "her job" to teach an APP program. She is not obligated to provide advanced learning services beyond one grade level ahead, because the school is designated a Spectrum school (not an APP school). Her official tasks are to serve gen ed kids, special ed kids, ELL kids, and kids who qualify for Spectrum-level services. Add to that, the coverage of 9 grade levels (maybe 10, if there is a preschool on-site). That is quite a lot on her plate!

Yet, that is not too different from what the Hamilton principal must juggle - they have gen ed, SPED, Spectrum, APP, and an International school designation. A principal's job is to serve the students at their school, whatever services they may need. Also, some students work more than one year ahead in math, regardless of their AL designation.

Additionally, won't JAMS have a principal other than Ms. Nelson, since she is the principal of JA K-8? As far as whose job it is to oversee APP, that would ultimately be the head of advanced learning, yet there doesn't seem to be a rush to hire a permanent replacement for Dr. Vaughan.

It's pretty sad when a Spectrum parent is pushing against other students getting appropriate services as well. Holy Moly.

chill

Anonymous said...

Props to JA K-8 for being one of the only schools where ALO and Spectrum and walk-to math really mean something. Not surprised that several APP eligible kids are accommodated there.

Look at the staff mix - some from the old Summit K - 12, used to all different kinds of learners, a couple from the old Lowell APP, other excellent experienced teachers and a culture of teamwork and mentoring the newer teachers. And a principal who sets the tone.

So "Spectrum Parent", WTH?

open ears

SPS parent said...

I applaud the move to set Lowell and Meany as the elementary and middle school for downtown residents. This makes much more sense than sending them to Queen Anne, which is further, already overcrowded, and not as culturally compatible. The question remains as to whether downtown really needs a new elementary school as opposed to Lowell. My sense is that it probably does not, but if having a downtown elementary school helps build community and/or encourages more families to live downtown, its probably worth it.