Friday, October 18, 2013

Friday Open Thread

Reminder: two Director Community meetings tomorrow, Sat. the 19th - a good time to talk boundaries.
Director Martin-Morris - 9:30-11:30 am - Diva Espresso at Lake City Way
Director De Bell - 9:00-11:00 am - Caffe Appassionato  near Fisherman's Terminal

One FYI if your PTA or other non-profit needs help with digitizing records - there's a Data for Communities Program thru Captricity.  They have an on-going grant program to help organizations and projects with up to 10,000 pages of digitization.   One of their areas of focus is K-12 education.

And in the "Dumb, Dumb, Dumb" category of school punishments, this story came out this week. about a teenaged girl in the Boston area who got a call from a friend from a party who was too drunk to drive and needed a ride home. From CBS Boston:

Two weeks ago, Erin received a call from a friend at a party who was too drunk to drive. Erin drove to Boxford after work to pick up her friend. Moments after she arrived, the cops arrived too and busted several kids for underage possession of alcohol.

A North Andover High School honor student, Erin was cleared by police, who agreed she had not been drinking and was not in possession of alcohol. But Andover High told Erin she was in violation of the district’s zero tolerance policy against alcohol and drug use. In the middle of her senior year, Erin was demoted from captain of the volleyball team and told she would be suspended from playing for five games.

This school (and district) is sending the WRONG message about doing the right thing.

What's on your mind?

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

Here is a link to the presentation from yesterday's Growth Boundaries work session.

http://www.seattleschools.org/modules/groups/homepagefiles/cms/1583136/File/Departmental%20Content/school%20board/13-14%20agendas/101713agenda/20131017_Presentation.pdf

There is a new staff proposal to "implement full grade assignment in year one." (see slide 24 and 25).

Basically, it is assigning JAMS and JAMS/Eckstein APP, grades 6, 7, and 8, to JAMS, in the JA building, beginning next fall. The APP kids living in the Eckstein SA would have the choice of going to Eckstein as GenEd or going to APP at JAMS.

JA K-8 is relocated to John Marshall, so no co-location with JAMS for the K-8.

Wilson Pacific would start up (grades 6, 7, and 8) in John Marshall 2016-17.

They give enrollment numbers for all the north middle schools, and it looks like the building utilization would be pretty good, if everyone does what they want them to do.

- North-end Mom

Anonymous said...

Heard today:

collection development for the Common Core Standards:

http://www.slj.com/2012/03/standards/common-core/all-aboard-implementing-common-core-offers-school-librarians-an-opportunity-to-take-the-lead/#_

>With the new guidelines scheduled to go into effect in 2014 or later, informational texts will soon take center stage. Fourth graders will be >expected to read the same amount of fiction, or “literary” texts, as informational texts. And by the time those young learners reach eighth >grade, they’ll be expected to read 45 percent literary and 55 percent informational texts. In their senior year of high school, the scale will >dramatically shift to a relatively modest 30 percent literary texts and a hefty 70 percent nonfiction texts.

Some school libraries are dumping fiction books.

HP

mirmac1 said...

KOUW's Ann Dornfeld reports on the wealthy backers of Dale-Estey. She interviews Diane Ravitch. Great report!

Could A Wealthy Few Decide Seattle's School Board Races?

Melissa Westbrook said...

HP, I have a TON of info on all this so thanks for the reminder. Parents need to know what this all looks like.

Anonymous said...

The linked article on Common Core and library resources is actually quite helpful - it's advocating improving the selection of nonfiction offerings, not getting rid of fiction. It discusses improving nonfiction offerings (Guns, Germs, and Steel was one example) rather than relying only on textbooks.

MSparent

Anonymous said...

"Yes, I’ve taken some money from corporate contributions, businesses large and small," Dale Estey said. "And you know what? A lot of people work in the private sector in this town, and we need to have a healthy private sector in order to have a healthy community."

What does having a healthy private sector have to do with this race? Um, did she grab a soundbite from another election?

--Going with Peters

Johnny Calcagno said...

Are Private Schools Worth It?

A new book argues that public schools are actually academically superior.

Johnny Calcagno said...

And another Friday link for you...

Nine Garfield High students disciplined for hazing, two get 20-day suspensions

JvA said...

Here's one for the "laugh or cry" files:

I just drew a circle around my area, and found that the school they want to rezone us for is the EIGHTH closest grade school to our house.

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-C8Avx_tYxc8/UmHzH2384vI/AAAAAAAAAm0/h9SoEilBaGM/s1600/SevenSchoolsCloserToUs.jpg

We're at Maple. Maple and Dearborn Park are nearby. After that, there's Orca K-8, which wouldn't be too bad. Then Hawthorne, Kimball, John Muir, and MLK. THEN Van Asselt, where they want to send us.

Is anyone else getting rezoned for the 8th closest school? I feel like we're being punished.

kellie said...

@ JvA,

Yes, there are many folks all across the district that are assigned to schools that are not close. There are two reasons for this.

Because of the closure of schools in the 80 and the subsequent sale of properties, there are a lot of "school deserts" across Seattle that do not have ANY nearby school. This puts a lot of pressure on other schools to absorb these areas and the domino effect means that you could live a few blocks from a school and need to go elsewhere.

The second reason is the "feeder pattern" nonsense. Because elementary and middle school assignments are in a locked "feeder pattern," there is an unintendended consequence that means if there is a "problem" at any ONE school in the entire feeder pattern block, that EVERY school in the feeder pattern block is affected.

Compare this to Garfield. When it became obvious that Garfield's boundaries were too big. Garfield's boundaries were changed and then the domino effect changed boundaries for Franklin and Rainier Beach. And NOTHING else.

But the whole changing Dearborn Park to an option schools means that every single school in the south end, has to change because of feeder patterns. If feeder patterns were abandoned, then what would happen is that middle schools would be assigned by address and it would be untouched in this round of changes. There would be some changes to Dearborn Park immediate area but not much because well ... those student in the area are still going to that school, so nothing is really changing.

Anonymous said...

The Indian Heritage School really didn't want to leave the Licton Springs site but its gotten little coverage or discussion.

It sounds like the program is tiny and that it also has been suffering from mismanagement. Part of me wonders if they might not pair up well with NOVA -- perhaps as a satellite program?

The description on this YouTube video is quite impassioned, give it as read as well as watching the video.


Indian Heritage School Community Comment to School Board - May 2013


GMG

mirmac1 said...

Bainbridge school district loses bullying lawsuit

Good! Is the Seattle School District paying attention? They would rather discipline our disabled students, then protect them from those who harass and bully them.

Anonymous said...

Kellie -- Good point about the school deserts.

Except they're now creating an artificial school desert by making Dearborn Park an option school. We're ultra-close to BOTH Maple and Dearborn Park (actually in the official walk zones for both schools). But now they want to make us bus to the eighth closest school.

I went and looked at all the maps again for the whole city -- there's no one else they're sending to the eighth closest school. (Delridge and Green Lake/Wallingford also look wonky, but not this bad.)

At the last school board meeting, some parents were talking about how the new assignment would put them 0.9 miles away from their school. I was thinking, man, I'd love to get to go to one of the grade schools within 0.9 miles of my house, instead of the one over 2 miles away! :)

--JvA

Anonymous said...

In regards to the fiction vs. non-fiction, there are schools dumping some of their fiction offerings because there is not enough room for more non-fiction without reducing the fiction books. I am not sure all librarians under stand the common core guidelines. The Hale librarian told me this when I asked her: In our house, the 70% includes databases to which we already subscribe, so no we’re not getting rid of our Fiction in place of Information Text, and I’m sorry to hear that that’s happening.

I have to say that the Hale librarian is awesome and also that Nathan Hale HS encourages lots of reading of fiction throughout the year.

HP

Rufus X said...

WA charter school applicants so far (including Green Dot):

http://www.governor.wa.gov/issues/education/commission/applicant.aspx

(Apologies if this has been posted before and is old news.)

Anonymous said...

Not as bad as you JvA, but it was neat to do your little graphic for my house also. I live in the NE corner of area 116 (east Crown Hill), and there are apparently five elementary schools closer to my house than Loyal Heights. We're definitely in one of those elementary deserts, as the former Crown Hill Elementary building was sold off back in 2008ish.

-LBD

Anonymous said...

In regards to fiction vs. non-fiction:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/18/opinion/sunday/the-neuroscience-of-your-brain-on-fiction.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

“…the old-fashioned virtues of reading novels can seem faded, even futile. But new support for the value of fiction is arriving from an unexpected quarter: neuroscience. …Stories, this research is showing, stimulate the brain and even change how we act in life.” (more)

Once upon a time, there was a story more powerful than a non-fiction venn diagram…

…The End

kellie said...

@ JvA,

Yes, that was exactly what I was saying. By making Dearborn Park an option school, they are creating a school desert.

Moreover, they are making one, when they don't need to make one. They only make JSIS an option school after enrollment blew up.

There is no reason why they can't just make very small boundaries for Dearborn Park and that would leave some seats for choice students. To not have any boundaries for Dearborn, they create the ripple effect that comes from a school desert.