Wed. November 13th, 5:30 pm
John Stanford Center for Excellent Education at 3rd and Lander in SoDo
This will be the first preview of proposed, first-draft Board Director Amendments. Note that whatever is presented today may not see daylight in the end.
The Seattle Council PTSA hosted a meeting last night with district staff. Here is what one person heard:
"It is clear that there is going to be pain involved for almost every school in the district. It was like an opera of issues.
The schools that were the happiest were those that got to meet with the district and work out solutions they could live with.
The district does seem to need help working out natural neighborhood boundaries.
Tomorrow the school board members are having a work session to hash out amendments to the Round 3 proposal to be presented on November 20th. Amendments can range from being in small in scope -- a small boundary adjustment --to a complete scalp -- an amendment to scrap the plan and replace it with a whole other plan.
Non-board members are welcome to attend as observers but cannot participate. Only Board members can put forward amendments.
There were very few hints about what were in the amendments, disappointing to those of us who have to explain all this to our families.
We expect a flurry of amendments tomorrow at around 5:30 and then after that as the board members may retract and change some amendments before their Friday amendment submission deadline. Staff is working round the clock to provide the information for all these amendments.
One major amendment will be from Michael DeBell and Harium Martin-Morris that would go back to version 2.0 with tweaks -- APP back at JAMS not at Whitman and Eckstein, is the rumor.
Sherry Carr was exploring an amendment. DeBell reports some Board members have 10 amendments in the works.
If SPS is operating under normal parliamentary process (and I'm not sure about that) there could be amendments presented during the November 20th vote. (Editor's note: I can say with certainty that no new amendments will be put forth that night. The Directors all know how difficult and disrespectful that would be to staff and the public if they did so.)
Of course, we could slow this train down and do what needs to be done for 2014-15, let the newly elected Board members get seated and then tackle it in a thorough way. The Seattle PTSA would very much like school PTAs to support that position.
* The staff did get the message that Wilson Pacific feeder schools including Bagley are very concerned about the transition plan for Wil Pac MS
* Specifically, that version 3.0 asks some kids to go to 3 different middle schools and possibly 2 different high schools before they graduate from SPS.
* The schools that surround Green Lake were united in demanding more predictability -- that the slicing and dicing takes a toll.
* The Olympic View area split by I5 that includes some of our current Bagley families was a big topic of discussion
* A Special Ed advocate is concerned that they are not planning resources for specific kinds of special ed support (general ed versus resource room for example)
* Special Ed wants clear feeder patterns for twice and thrice challenged kids so that they don't have to choose which challenge to get support on
* APP wants a home and does not want to be put in a school that forces neighborhood kids out.
* We were assured that there will be Spectrum in every middle school with every Specturm qualified kid guaranteed a seat, but they seem uninformed that Whitman dismantled its Spectrum program this year
* Not looking good for sibling grandfathers, although they will work with families to get all sibs in one school, but don't promise the first choice school
* Not promising allowing 8th graders to stay at Whitman instead of moving on to WIl Pac MS > they can't get the numbers to work out
Big issues remain:
Feeder School vs Geographic Boundaries
Middle School Rollup verses Geozone splits
Balancing Option school geozone boundaries with needs of neighborhoods
Transportation - incredibly they haven't really worked on transporation. Broad hint that transportation for grandfathered kids may be coming to an end.
Families impacted by transition
* Staff did say that they will take a look at the numbers for current 4th graders and if they can will keep kids at Whitman for 7th grade
and then ask them to go straight to 8th grade at Wil Pac MS.
*Could there be a school within a school at Whitman? Keep all Wil-Pac kids together?
* Greenwood Elementary advocated for getting a Wil Pac MS PTA up and running soon.
* District will be looking at the numbers every year during the transition and expect tweaks.
* One parent suggested turning schools around I-5 into Option schools to relieve pressures on their boundaries.
That seems like it could be part of the solution for stabilizing Bagley boundaries.
* Roosevelt HS is overenrolled by 200 already, there's a shortage of books-- and that's before the population boom has hit"
Thanks to our readers for this input. I think I may have to make up a scorecard before the Work Session to see if I can track these amendments and the ripple effects they may have.