Native American Program
The Superintendent announced the following:
- there is a tribal history curriculum via a bill that was in the Legislature. This school year that curriculum will be provided to 4th graders in the SW region (and other unnamed schools). Later it will be in 4th,8th and 11th grades across the district.
- Gail Morris is the new director of the Native American program. She is a member of the Muckleshoot family and has worked on the Washington State Indian Education Association.
- the Native American parent advisory committee has been set-up and will be aiding the Superintendent
In my remarks I gave the Superintendent full credit for finding getting things done for the program that seemed to stymy other superintendents. (But I dinged the Super and the Board for not giving one iota of attention to Hispanic Heritage Month. One notation in the school calendar but not one mention of it at any Board meeting, no press announcement, no Hispanic students addressing the Board. That's a shame.)
Student RemarksThe high school students speaking last night were from Hale and they spoke to an issue that many high school students have - namely, where the money? The issue is the loss of massive amounts of money that ASBs used to get from soda pop sales. This is money that the district promised to mitigate (especially to schools like Cleveland and RBHS). They also stated (and it's true) that the district promised to give the money from advertising in the school calendar to the ASB and yet no money has appeared. Good for them.
Some really poignant and moving testimony for this program. The Superintendent noted that he had met with the community but that was all he said.
The Superintendent stated that there are no effects to the district so far especially around federal grants. However, if it goes on, he said there could be issues (I believe he meant weeks or months.)
Director Remarks (I printed what President Smith-Blum had to say about the Garfield incident elsewhere.)
Director Peaslee pointed out that in Forbes magazine's listing of the 400 richest people in the world, 9 of them live in our region. It also called Washington the #9 best state to do business in. She said with those attributes our state would be able to fully fund public education.
Cascade Parent Partnership Program
There were several speakers advocating for what used to be called the Home Resource Center. It is now called the Cascade Parent Partnership Program. It's a pretty amazing program with an incredible cross-section of parents and kids, a lot of them at this meeting. (It was the first time I ever saw a woman in a burqa at a School Board meeting.)
I'm not sure most people are aware but the district has a darn good support system for parents who want to homeschool or have a mixture of homeschool and at-school classes. They have 10 certified teacher, counseling services, parent coaches, and Sped.
From their flyer:
- 15% of students have an IEP
- 35% of students/families come to Cascade due to school anxiety issues
- 74% said they would not be in the district if not for the program
- 33% are F/RL
- 59% white, 21% black, 10% Hispanic, 7% Pacific Islander, 3% Native American
It was pretty amazing testimony especially from an African-American grandmother who said she had worked in the district for 37 years. She said when her grandson was at Van Asselt, he was in Sped and she would get frequent calls about his behavior. She said since enrolling him in Cascade, she has never been called about his behavior and he's not in Sped. She said she felt like part of a community.
To note; the program is funded by the district but the district gets the full student funding, no matter how many educational hours are spent at home.