Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Live Blogging from Board Meeting

Always tough on my iPad but here goes.  Room is filling up.  I see people from Wedgwood, likely Mann building supporters, and Kimball Elementary (about walk zones and feeder boundaries to middle school).

People are smiling but I wonder how long that will last.

Sorry, too hard to keep up and think about what is being said.  I will try to get something up tonight after I leave the meeting.

190 comments:

mirmac1 said...

Gave up my (waiting list) spot on the CCAP and Boundaries/New service model, addressing equitable access for special ed students (many minorities), because it pales compared to ACIC and North APP stuff. Not really. See y'all the 20th.

NW mum said...

When did the testimony start?
I just turned on the meeting at 4:30 and someone from Mann was speaking.

Anonymous said...

@NW mum
That wasn't testimony. That was a presentation that was given during the superintendent's comments.
- North-end Mom

Anonymous said...

anyone know how to stream this (see http://www.seattleschools.org/modules/cms/pages.phtml?pageid=229839)

When I click on the live streaming link, I get an error "may need software" prompt.

I have a mac

-uncertain

Rebecca Nelson said...

I don't think the online stream works at all. I've got a Mac, too, and Quicktime didn't know what to with that link at all. Cable channel 26 or nothing, I guess.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Uncertain,

Give your Mac a chance to load, or download Flip Player (you should be prompted).

- ML Mom

Green Lake Parent said...

Online streaming is working for me. I have a PC.

Green Lake Parent

Green Lake Parent said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

For the Mac users:

Download Flip Player here:

http://www.telestream.net/flip-player/

- ML Mom

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

reposting:

5:03 PM: Board getting nasty to Superintendant and, to a certain lesser extent, each other, about Mann. Sherry Carr mad at $ loss. Many of Bd joining her. Quite fun to listen to.

I am reminded of US Senate committee hearings, for some reason!

And funny note, my captcha is '3 herooes' - honestly, three heroes on the board isn't gonna be enough. We need 4.

This is a really tough issue and clearly really dividing the board. Director Patu wants to serve the kids, and is pro-ACIC.

Q from Peaslee: "Is it true that this whole process [moving ACIC] has collapsed?"

Banda: "No blueprint... it's ongoing ... never going to be very neat ... we want to continue, they have stepped up and are moving along track to becoming a community certified organization. They've brought in outside consultants...I don't see this as this ends the day. Beginning of trying to develop a strong partnership..."

Here's my take: I just learned Kimball elementary, who is here in force, doesn't even have a cafeteria. The kids eat in their classrooms.

Just like ALL this Board time is being sucked up by a very small group with a disproportionate voice, all the African American kids in Kimball, Dearborn Park, Pinehurst, and everywhere else who are WAITING so politely here are losing their voice to a group that seems to have little interest in representing anyone but themselves. Those schools, and the many, many children of color in them, once again lose out. This time to a different group of color.

Signed -- need 4

Anonymous said...

thanks! just in time to hear the testimony.

hmmm....no incendiary remarks. haven't heard this intro before.

-uncertain

Anonymous said...

uncertain at 5:15:

The Mann stuff was all BEFORE the public comment period, going on now - that's why public comments started late. The Board's Mann discussion went in conjunction with decision to table the Mann part of agenda, and a requested presentation about Africatown, etc.

People from other schools around me are shocked by the domination of ACIC on agenda - and wondering how they got all those time slots when lots of people were trying to get through at 8 am and they were way down wait list. Despite this issue being taken off vote, no one is yielding their spots to other schools - ACIC is still talking, but their vote is not going to happen. Means all these other people don't get a voice tonight.

Argument from Wyking Garrett and KSB over time...!

signed -- need heroes

Anonymous said...

Security was called after a woman started yelling following a speaker who spoke against Africatown, and they temporarily blacked out the meeting. Now on again.

- North-end Mom

Anonymous said...

Ed Lambert ceded time to John Chapman from Pinehurst.
Thank you for that.

-North-end Mom

Anonymous said...

lots of good testimony.

Glad they're getting to people throughout the city, and hearing more comments.

Julie Van Arcken is up! She's my favorite! she's like a rock star!

signed -- need heroes

Anonymous said...

lots of good testimony.

Glad they're getting to people throughout the city, and hearing more comments.

Julie Van Arcken is up! She's my favorite! she's like a rock star!

signed -- need heroes

lowell parent said...

Had to leave to pick up my son and drove by the Mann building and what surprise to see a lot of people still in the building. According to Banda, Africatown had left the building and anyone else would be removed.
I don't think they will honor any agreemnent or tell the truth. Its absurd that they can still be holding up the process of renovation to the Mann building.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Have you thought about taking on an intern? I bet a student could do live blogging at a number of events.

Oops, that was me, zb

Anonymous said...

Now that they are on break, can anyone give highlights about testimony? I just got home and caught the director's statements.

Also, what is the latest on Mann?

Thanks,
SMH

Anonymous said...

I have a question for everyone who signed the (mostly) Wedgwood petition referenced tonight in which one of the requests was to allow Eckstein students to stay at Eckstein: How would you propose to get JAMS up and running? Are you in favor of a roll-up there? What if you had a 5th grader who would be a 6th grader in that roll up next year? How would you feel about that? Is there another solution you have in mind? I really don't mean to be argumentative -- I just don't see any way to get JAMS up and running without removing kids from their current assignment to Eckstein, and if someone has a suggestion, I would be very interested to hear it.

--curious

Melissa Westbrook said...

Good thought on an intern. I'd have to think about it.

Look who's at the Board meeting - Sue Peters. Look who isn't here Stefan Blanford. The place was packed but I think I would have seen him.

Anonymous said...

Of course Sue Peters is at the Board Meeting. It doesn't matter that she is tired, had an election day party last night, seems like she will win the school board position: she only cares about the students who need her voice, to make anything (if not everything) better for them. Now. She will be stepping into her position with no downtime for sure.
I hope she will win!!! We will be very lucky for having her on the Board. Can't wait...
SPS mom

Maureen said...

So Dale Estey isn't there? Does that = concession?

Anonymous said...

Did HMM present his amendment?

N by NW

Anonymous said...

DeBell his proposal (with HMM) will be to cap APP at 270 per school, 3 classes: one each in 6, 7, 8. Big claim is that this would be predictable by assigning elementary schools with the right number of kids to each middle schoo - but this doesn't sound predictable at all.

and those cohorts are too small... DeBell made many mentions about not "swamping" gen ed with app. HMM claims "90% satisfaction" with version 2.0. (Isn't APP 10% of the districts students?)

Smith-Blum asks: "what was the engagement with the APP advisory committee and app community?" Carr: met with community & Lowell at Lincoln. Says they liked "2.0 better than 3.0"... no one mentioning keep APP together.

Smith-Blum - we owe it to families to maintain instructional quality of the program. She spoke about going to program advisory committee and affected families at elementary and middle school level. She mentions "quality of the program first" and buy in by families and instructors. Emphasizing instructors need to be involved.

interesting discussion.

-uncertain


Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

That's bogus from Smith-Blum. She is bringing up problems - playing the good cop - without bringing a single solution or at least proposal. She also is generally at odds with Debell etc so cannot rule out political motivation for tweaking the Debell proposal at the meeting.

Smith-Blum has not been a friend to APP and has not done anything to improve staff's proposal for the south end. She is going to waltz out of service next month with some nice platitudes to the community but leaving the mess in her wake.

Frankly, there is no friend of APP on the board that I can see. The program will be weaker not stronger next year in all director districts and none of them care enough to stop the trainwreck.

Frustrated Parent

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

@Frustrated Parent
that is a bummer, because it sounded like someone was maybe getting it.

The members all talked about the overwhelming volume of emails they have received. I suggest if you send an email: make it brief and put your main point in the subject line. Heck, if a lot of people send in an email with just their signature and a single clear point in the subject line, that would get their attention.

-uncertain

Anonymous said...

single email subject line:

Keep APP together at one middle school

send it to all the directors, with some rationale for why it works.

It works because it takes students out of the overcrowded schools, and it will maintain the integrity of the program. It can be co-housed with an option program.

-uncertain

Anonymous said...

When people are talking about keeping APP at one middle school, I assume you mean the entire district. Is this another proposal? It would help the south tremendously, but is W-P big enough?

confused



Anonymous said...

OMG just forget it from Martin Morris.

Meeting is ending and he has spentt 5 minutes berating the Dept. Superintendent about not getting a personal notice of a staff senate lobbying effort. All huffy because "I'm busy traveling and lobbying Olympia legislature all the time and I need to know these things" yada yada. Way more engagement about being slighted than say about handling the people and problems in his own district. (Hey Mister - try more butt in seat time and less flying off to meetings that are primarily being attended to polish your resume and then maybe we'd have some solutions at our end of town.)

The capper: Smith Blum notes he was personally invited to the meeting but that he apparently both forgot he got an invitation AND forgot that he called in. Useless.

We have no leadership from the guy representing the area with the worst capacity problems. God forbid he attempt to understand program complexities. We are doomed.

As an aside, did everybody miss ridiculous note he sent out referring to JA as JAMES Adams? Make that doubledoom.

Frustrated Parent

Lynn said...

confused,

They definitely do not mean the entire district. In the South End, we'll end up with one program at Washington and (theoretically) two more optional sites at Aki and Madison. Not next year though. Someday.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

I found DeBell's oral presentation about his proposed amendment to be very compelling. I'm cautiously optimistic and look forward to reading it with the finer points worked out. It should be available Friday.
TS

Anonymous said...

curious asked, " How would you propose to get JAMS up and running? Are you in favor of a roll-up there? What if you had a 5th grader who would be a 6th grader in that roll up next year? How would you feel about that? Is there another solution you have in mind?"

Personally, I would much prefer my kid were in a small school with a full cohort of 6th graders and maybe a class or two of both 7th and 8th graders than to have my current 7th grader pulled away from ALL of his good friends as well as plans that he has counted on since 6th grade (going on a special band trip and playing in a jazz combo with his friends...luxuries, I know, but still, things he has counted on and worked hard to achieve). Electives for Eckstein 6th graders are very limited (music and visual arts, I think...no foreign language). So 6th grade at Eckstein is not that much more "comprehensive" than what a roll up would look like at JAMS. And JAMS could even partner with Nathan Hale across the street to provide other opportunities for kids.

What about the following plan, which would also minimize stress for JAK-8. I am assuming 960 capacity at Addams and 755 current enrollment (but if these are off by too much, and portables aren't feasible, the plan would need to be modified)...

Current Eckstein 6th/7th graders: All students who attended Eckstein as 6th or 7th graders for 2013-14 would remain at Eckstein through 8th grade. This needs to be a priority.

Current JA K-8 students: These students would stay in their building through 2015-2016 and then move to the new site as planned. To make the proposals outlined below work, it may be necessary to use portables and/or limit the number of new students and entering kindergarteners during the transition period.

Students in the New Eckstein Attendance Area who will begin 6th grade in 2014-15 or 2015-16: New 6th graders who live in the new Eckstein attendance area would attend Eckstein.

Students in the New JAMS Attendance Area who will begin 6th grade in 2014-15 or 2015-16 would have two options:

1) Enroll at Eckstein as a “JAMS at Eckstein student.” As much as possible, these students would be kept together at Eckstein (classes and lunch period together whenever possible) to make the ultimate transition to the JAMS building in 2016-17 more manageable. Unlike current 6th and 7th graders, the students/families enrolled as “JAMS at Eckstein” will know about the future change and can plan accordingly.
2) Enroll at JAMS. The number of students who choose this option may need to be limited due to capacity issues at the Jane Addams site.

I imagine I'm missing something, but I'd be interested in people's thoughts.

-grandfather

Anonymous said...

Can someone clarify? Is the DeBell and HMM proposal keep all kids at Eckstein who are currently enrolled or just the Wedgwood kids? We're John Rogers reference and no one talks about the needs of the upper Lake City students.

I do like Smith-Blum's emphasis that you have to get staff involved and psyched (perhaps 2-4 weeks additional planning time before school starts, personal asks for teachers they think could be leaders to join the JAMS school, of course get a very dynamic music teacher, etc.)

Thanks,
JR StudentityCyb5743

Ed Lambert said...

Is anyone else bothered by the fact that in the comments of blog there generally seems to be much more active engagement in issues around APP students than around the crisis of our schools failing students of color? Most of the discussion on the AIC has been negative opinions about their tactics, but fewer supportive remarks about their motivations.

I don't think that is just my imagination, and I do think this blog is fairly representative of Seattle as a whole.

Does that concern anyone else?

Lowell capital Hill parent said...

Ed,
APP parents are extremely self involved when in it comes to thier special little darlings and it is hard for them to see a bigger picture. I may not agree with you regarding AIC, but the failure of SPS and Afican American kids should be of greater concern than having to bus an extra ten minutes.

mirmac1 said...

Ed. That concerns me. Alot.

Given the latest revelation that the district has slid to an OSPI finding of Level 4 - Special Education "needs substantial intervention" - I can't imagine the district will concern itself deeply with tweaking APP cohort management while civil rights and federal law violations continue. If it does, then we're in more trouble than we think.

Anonymous said...

Yes, that concerns me, Ed Lambert. I wish people cared about all the kids in the district rather than just improving the situation for their own kids, but at the end of the day I am working flat out to figure out how to get my own kids a decent education at their school and looking at some supplementation in certain areas and that takes time to research, and I work and I'm maxed out. I wish our school was more diverse but it's better than some and it's trying to serve all kids equally and doing a pretty good job at some things. So I feel good about volunteering there as much as I can. Honestly, I wish I could support the More4Mann folks, because my own kid had one terrible demoralizing year where she was labeled dumb and started to think
of herself that way, and I can't IMAGINE spending a whole school career being marginalized like that. I hear that there is a crisis. I get it has been going in for too long. It's not fair. It has to stop. But I want to understand what the More4Mann group is doing to address the crisis that is going to change things for the kids, and I can't find any information, and whenever a white person asks I see the response come back "we don't have to tell you". And I wish you would tell us, because some of us do care. My kids are in public school because I believe in the idea of public education and I'm shocked at how. "Me me me" the culture in SPS can be. I don't want to be "me me me" but it's hard to understand people who don't trust you enough to tell you what they are doing, and I do want to understand. Can you help?

Gen Ed Mom

Anonymous said...

Partly I guess people comment on what they know and I think we are all having quite different experiences. I asked a very general question on an open thread about consistency of curriculum across schools and the district in the Gen Ed program. In my observation it's not incredibly stable and varies a great deal from
school to school and teacher to teacher with kids often repeating material and missing material from grade to grade and not great implementation of State standards. Then I asked how the Common
Core standards would affect that. Crickets. One reply from someone who agreed with me and no further discussion. On the same thread, someone asked what to do because her APP qualified kid was not in the highest Math group in his self contained Spectrum Classroom (an incredibly specific question about one kid in one classroom) and right away Melissa and a bunch of others jumped in to advise. So, a lot of people spending a lot more time worrying about how to get one kid into a higher Math group, and not much time to think about the curriculum that most of the kids in the district use. I have noticed similar patterns when a question about Special Ed or inequality comes up. We live in our worlds, and other live in theirs. It would be nice to feel we all have some common concerns, but it's hard to feel that here.

Gen Ed Mom

Julie said...

Ed Lambert,

I see your point. However, it may be more reflection of how one part of town is totally disconnected and ignorant of the problems many schools are facing in the other. There is no dialogue. I am flabbergasted that a certain school doesn't even have a cafeteria! What is going on? I've only recently learned about Pinehurst and Native Indian Heritage program and their plight through this blog even though they are located in my neck of the woods. Was it malice or callous self-absorption that made me unaware? I think it was simply I didn't come across any of these information until now. Today I wrote to the board and the superintendent in support of these programs and the beleaguerd schools in the south. It isn't much but it is certainly a start.

Though some parents here may be self-aborbed right now, I would give most the benefit of the doubt and say they are simply working with their own piece of the puzzle. And as an APP parent, the APP issue comes up because it is such a big piece of the puzzle that is used to disrupt many families in the north.

I would love to hear more about what is happening in other parts of the district and the truly dire problems some are facing so that it gives everyone better perspective and hopefully motivation to do something about it.

Anonymous said...

Gen Ed Mom
I don't think you are fair here with Melissa and her blog. This is not only THE one place you can get the most information about anything happens in SPS but you can ask questions and if the people reading here knows the answer, it is very likely you will get it. If they don't know it, then maybe they talk about something else. Melissa has neither control over who is reading her blog nor who is writing comments - but she can delete the ones with no names :-). Since this is not your first complain again her and her blog I don't really understand why are you keep coming back...
SPS mom

Anonymous said...

Wow? Really? It's probably easy to pick on something like APP but I find that most parents are pretty self-involved when it comes to their kids. Why some people choose to not comment, I don't know. But clearly, APP folks have things on their mind, read this blog, and have no qualms about participating. It doesn't mean they're any more self-involved. Kudos to them for being aware and participating.

Stumped

Ed Lambert said...

Gen Ed Mom:
Your comments reflect what I hope is a silent and compassionate majority.

I trust the sincerity of your request, but I also see that many folks on this blog ask similar questions with an air of immediate suspicion and put themselves on the judge's bench by making the AIC 'prove' something to them. These questions are NOT asked of dominant culture groups in the same way.

I support their stance that the AIC does not have to prove themselves, especially when the questions are very often passive-aggressive barbs and/or an intentional brain drain on their already taxed resources.

I am VERY sorry that no one chose to cover the press event the AIC held Saturday. The AIC went into detail on their programming and approach. IMO, hearing that information is what caused Sharon Peaslee to become such as ardent supporter.

While I do not speak for the AIC, I will share a few summary tidbits I can recall:

- The AIC has a team of Ed PhD's, teachers and parents.
- They are developing detailed curriculum plans
- They are developing specific and detailed guidelines for how to better relate to students of color. Many are wonderful and simple ideas, such as to value rather than suppress the cultural skills they bring to school (high verbal interaction). Let the students know you as whole people with a life outside of school. Know the students as whole people, etc.
- They plan to develop this curriculum and approach and share it across the city.
- They plan to develop this curriculum and approach and then encourage other cities to duplicate their success.

They did not make the parallel, but IMO this is very similar to the wildly successful Mexican Studies curriculum used in Tucson. Sadly, that fine program faced similar opposition from a white supremacist culture.

Hope that helps. Please support the AIC!

Julie said...

Gen Ed Mom,

Yeah, I totally know what you mean. I think I read the post and yes...the crickets. Unfortunately, I think I also contributed to the cricket sound as I sat there with a dumb expression on my face. There was nothing I could contribute to as I knew nothing about Special Ed and what Common Core standards are. But you know, I do care about the general education and equity - I think about it all the time as I look at my General Ed child's classroom. And I'm sure there are others like myself here. Even if I am also an APP parent.

Ed Lambert said...

Julie:
I would offer that the problem is the time pressure created by an out of control culture that has all of us struggling to get ahead - either in our work or for our kids in the class.

The fact that workers have so little security and freedom creates an anxiety that pervades our relationships, our classrooms, and our communities.

Maybe if we all were not working so hard to make some rich dude richer then we could take the time to actually know and understand the problems of others in our city.

Lynn said...

Dude - if dominant culture groups were 'occupying' School District buildings, I would be asking them the same questions in the same way. Feel better?

Ed Lambert said...

Lynn - dominant culture groups, BY DEFINITION, do not have to Occupy buildings because they CONTROL them already.

So, no, I don't feel better.

Anonymous said...

Hi Ed,

Well thanks for replying to me. As you can see, I am asking the same questions of the dominant culture. I just got called out for criticizing Melissa on her own blog. SPS Mom, I do appreciate Melissa and Charlie and the information they provide, but I do find it very skewed to APP/AL issues and it is discouraging to me that fewer people here care to comment on any aspect of the other programs in the district. I would like to have some real discussion about General Education. No one here seems all that interested. I still get more real information about SPS here than I can get from the newspaper. And it is Melissa's blog. And she can (and has) deleted my comments and she can ban me if she wants to. I have had a few people say I bring a different point of view and they appreciate my comments. So, you don't like me and want me to go away, and if Melissa feels the same, I guess she'll ban me. But I hope she doesn't.

Ed, I tried to research on my own and couldn't find the names of the people involved. At a bare minimum someone might create a web page with some basic information. I do not want to insult you, but I can't support something without knowing who I am supporting. If you really do want broader support, there is probably going to have to be a little more outreach. I say that as a person who absolutely wants the Seattle Public schools to improve for all kids and especially the kids who have been the most disenfranchised. But I can't support you just out of guilt or to prove that I care. I have to know WHO I am supporting. If I can't learn more about your group I will have to wish you well without active support. I hope you understand.

Gen Ed Mom

Anonymous said...

JR Studentity,
The details of Debell's amendment have not been worked out yet, but he did specifically say that Wedgwood would be back at Eckstein. He hopes to have the complete amendment (with details) ready to share by Friday. However, at another point in the board meeting, staff did reiterate/confirm with the directors that Version 3.0 has JAMS fully opening (6-8) next year. They all nodded. None of them indicated they had plans to amend that decision. (at least yet anyway).

Ed,
I don't perceive the commenters (and readers) of this blog to be well dispersed throughout the city. There are certainly representatives from all neighborhoods from time to time, but to me, the vast majority of commenters seem to be highly educated and concentrated in the north-end. I don't fault the blog for that disparity. Reading a blog for the latest information, about an executive meeting for example, is not something our struggling families have the time, resources or luxury to do. I also agree that the vast majority of parents have no idea what is happening in schools outside of their own region of Seattle.
TS

Anonymous said...

Gen Ed Mom:

I think the crickets you heard after asking about Common Core are due to the fact that parents don't have much information. It's a big push at the school my kids attend but no one (principal/teachers) can really explain (in everyday terms) how it magically creates a more rigorous school day for students. Basically we've been told "it has higher standards that the teachers HAVE to teach to". What those standards are and how the teachers will receive PD to teach to those standards ... crickets.

Yet another unfunded directive from SPS.

Just like the empty promise of ALO.

Just like their declarations "students should receive art, music, PE, for x amount of hours/week.

N by NW

Jan said...

Ed -- and Gen Ed mom: here are my observations -- based solely on my own personal experience --
1. I don't recall reading Gen Ed mom's questions - but would probably have not answered because I would not have had an answer. My kids did not transfer from school to school, so I can't speak to uniformity of curricula, and while I have the common core standards printed out -- I haven't digested them (nor am I up on how they align with state standards -- though I would love to know). If, on the other hand, you ask a specific question on how I managed my IEP issues for my sped kid with respect to the WASL (or HSPE), or what we did with a spectrum eligible kid for whom there was no room at WMS -- well, I would have been right on it! I concede that your questions were far more important -- but they would have been beyond me (alas). I think people's responses are less a reflection of the relative worth of the question -- and more a function of whether they think they have a response that might be useful or enlightening.

As for non-district entities that lease school property and then refuse to leave when the lease is terminated (by its terms) -- I am inclined NOT to think well of them, though I imagine I might be able to think of an extreme case where an exception could be made. But if Hamlin Robinson (also serving a noble cause) had told us to suck eggs when we wanted the TT Minor Building back -- because giving dyslexic kids hope, and dignity, and the ability to read trumped -- in their view -- whatever plans the District has for its students -- I doubt that many people would have thought it justified. I know I would not have. While I concede I haven't really done enough research to draw any conclusion, I have yet to be convinced that an entity renting property from the District could not relocate to another space -- and rent from another landlord.

The fact that Sharon Peaslee is supportive means something. Clearly, I need to know more (and don't -- yet) about ACIC, but I don't think it is fair to infer that those who do not support ACIC's current tactics are necessarily "dominant culture" folks -- or unsympathetic to the sorts of programs that ACIC is developing. They just think it inappropriate for a private, unelected group to unilaterally decide to take a District-owned school building "off line" in a time of great scarcity.

Jan

Ed Lambert said...

Gen Ed Mom:
I missed the presentation at the start of the board meeting, but one of the educators from the AIC (I believe Dr. Qaasim from Shoreline CC) made a presentation that may provide you with more info.

I have found the group to be extremely welcoming to supporters.

Jan said...

Gen Ed mom: while I can't answer your questions -- I hope you stay. It is nice to have a lot of different voices, and I appreciate yours.

Jan

Ed Lambert said...

Jan:
Please consider that the folks at the AIC may have a very different level of urgency than most readers of this blog.

Their level of urgency is based on their experience of reality, and IMO it should be respected rather than called into question.

If more folks from this blog had attended the open public events at the AIC, they might have more empathy for that sense of urgency.

Anonymous said...

Early in the thread:
Just like ALL this Board time is being sucked up by a very small group with a disproportionate voice, all the African American kids in Kimball, Dearborn Park, Pinehurst, and everywhere else who are WAITING so politely here are losing their voice to a group that seems to have little interest in representing anyone but themselves. Those schools, and the many, many children of color in them, once again lose out. This time to a different group of color.
Love this.
I was at the board meeting tonight representing NE and felt a little embarrassed that we were so represented whereas further south seemingly has next to no representation. And big issues. It's important to get perspective people! Please get out of your niche and look around and let's work together to solve these problems.

-disheartened

Anonymous said...

Ed,
Thanks for the details, that is much appreciated. It sounds like excellent things will eventually be coming out of the AIC, but it also sounds to be in its very early stages- when do they plan to begin training or have materials available? I've worked in a district that did extensive Ruby Payne training and it was incredibly powerful, for staff and students. I would look forward to something similar in Seattle.

The educational failure of children of color is a national problem, one that is not unique to Seattle, which is why I'm confused by their current plan of action. If their goal is to partner with SPS, and eventually expand nationwide, wouldn't it be more advantageous for them to sign a lease and move out? Why are they choosing to burn a bridge, how does that benefit their cause? If they had come to the district with an action plan and had been ignored, I could see the justification for an occupation, but that isn't what happened. The district must have seen value in their ideas since they offered them space, yet they continue to be uncooperative, destroying their future chances at partnership. It makes me sad, as it does sound like they have a good vision.
TS

Ed Lambert said...

TS:
They have a great vision indeed.

However, the most recent moves by the district are making it incredibly difficult for them to do anything other than worry about their survival.

The AIC educators largely moved out on Tuesday under the promise that the lease would be brought to a vote Wed. The portables that they MAY get a chance to move to are COMPLETELY sub-standard -- mold, birds nests, no bathrooms.

NOW, the district has put them in a really difficult position. It is unclear where they can move and when they can get a lease on even those spaces. There is still NO promise from the district that they will ever actually implement programs to better serve students of color.

If your child's life was on the line, what would you do?

Anonymous said...

What I learned about HMM and MDB's amendment, from watching the School Board meeting, is that neither of them have made an effort to involve true prospective JAMS families in the discussion. That's right....there are families who know their children will be assigned to JAMS and these families thought they would be allowed input into the programming and design of the school.

We have a planning principal whom I have met, and think is fabulous, but from what I gather, we can't start public meetings around the programming of JAMS until we know who will be assigned to the building.

Unfortunately, these programming decisions are already being made with input from Hamilton, Eckstein, and Wedgwood families, but nobody bothered to clue us in on the next big plan for the implementation of our middle school.

The entire conversation around JAMS at the Board meeting was whether or not the APP cohort could be accommodated there. Only Marty McLaren asked if the JAMS planning principal had been consulted prior to the planning of the amendment. The response is that she will be meeting with Michael Tolley to discuss plans for APP at JAMS later this week.

I was appalled at Michael DeBell's lame attempt to justify putting APP at JAMS because it would introduce "diversity." Is that his excuse for putting APP at the middle school with the fewest resident APP kids?

Putting a self-contained cohort of mostly white affluent kids into a school with a substantial population of students of color, in my opinion, reinforces the stereotype that you have to be wealthy and white to be smart. This is not what our children need. They have not seen this at the elementary level. No elementary school in the NNE has a self-contained advanced learning model. Neither does our local high school Nathan Hale).

In my opinion, what our kids need is for every child who is performing above grade level to have access to honors-type classes, so their needs can be met, regardless of whether or not their parents tried to have them tested into Spectrum or APP.

What happens if there are kids who qualify for math 2 grade levels ahead, but they are not designated APP? Will they be allowed to take advanced math, too, or will the course be capped to accommodate only APP kids?

Nobody has bothered to meet with our community to gather input on what we want from JAMS.

Oh wait! There was that community meeting at Hale, back in September, where there was a very good turn out, and an overwhelming response from NNE- area parents to keep APP out of JAMS.

I guess the comments from that meeting are now "obsolete?"

- North-end Mom

Anonymous said...

WOW. This is a mess.

The district sold off buildings and closed schools in 2008-09, because enrollment was "declining"

But it wasn't declining, and their projections were wrong.

Now we have a serious capacity problem, and the district is trying to throw together a comprehensive plan in a few short months, with STILL incomplete analysis and BAD numbers and serious lack of real community input.

PTSA VP Linea was right. This is the districts Challenger.

Amendments won't fix this. Duct tape won't help.

They NEED to actually update the enrollment projection analysis (HIRE a DEMOGRAPHER!!!!!) and do the long range plan right.

SOOOOO MANY issues can't be resolved in this BECAUSE THERE ISN"T ENOUGH CAPACITY IN THE PLAN FOR THE NEED:

--TT Minor is needed as an AA
--WORLD School needs a home
--Beacon hill
--AS1 (Pinehurst) needs a home
--Indian Heritage needs a home
--Hamilton and Eckstein needs middle school space next year.
--West Seattle will need a middle school SOON, and the don't even realize it.

There are other issues, but I won't go on.

And what was that presentation about OSPI placing the district in a "LEVEL 4" for SPED?!?!?!?!?!

I can't be the only one that sees that ALL of this (Mann, APP, SPED, all of the issues listed above) is BECAUSE the district has caused a serious capacity problem causing people to fight over limited space.

They won't acknowledge that their numbers are wrong and the analysis is incomplete.

This plan can't work, because it isn't based in reality and it doesn't solve the capacity crunch.

The emperor has no clothes.

Really. He doesn't. We all see it, and the guy is standing there naked thinking he's got a fancy suit on.

Eden



Anonymous said...

What happens if there are kids who qualify for math 2 grade levels ahead, but they are not designated APP? Will they be allowed to take advanced math, too, or will the course be capped to accommodate only APP kids?

That is a question for the principal. Principals have unusual power in deciding the math placement. At Hamilton, it is repeatedly stated that math is ability based, separate from APP. A student does not need to test into APP to get accelerated in math. I'm not sure I'd consider the classes honors level, however. It's about accelerating along the pathway. Previously, even APP students were prevented from accelerating (3 years ahead), so math placement is a good discussion to have with both the planning principal and Teaching and Learning.

Oh wait! There was that community meeting at Hale, back in September, where there was a very good turn out, and an overwhelming response from NNE- area parents to keep APP out of JAMS.

And why is that a neighborhood's decision? Substitute "SPED" for "APP" and it's no kinder. Kids need a school no matter their designation. It's hard to know the best scenario given the lack of direction around APP, but wow, imagine being an APP student in attendance at that meeting and hearing parents applaud because they want to "keep out" APP.

saddened

Anonymous said...

Eden --

Yes, yes and YES!

Anonymous said...

From what I heard last night, Maple Leaf wants to stay together. Wonder if they'd want to stay together at JAMS..

-probably too late for this though

Anonymous said...

I appreciated last night's testimony from AIC. I learned more about their efforts, and I would like to know more. As one poster wrote "educational failure of children of color is a national problem" - but that does NOT mean we shouldn't try to solve the problem here. It is shameful.

I also appreciate Ed's voice on this blog. Maybe we can start to put more energy into the larger issue of the (essentially North/South) educational inequities in our city. I have been dismayed by the actions of our current board and as others have written, am just trying to keep my head above water and address the problems closest to home - where I have some hope of offering a solution. The district has us fighting over scraps and it truly is a zero sum game. But maybe some of my own dissatisfaction is due to my understanding of bigger problems that I am ignoring.

Some possible solutions:
1. Start working for better funding of education. It does start with the money. Washington state is near the bottom of per student funding.

2. Find a way to come together - facebook? in person meetings? I am not that kind of organizer, so hoping someone has ideas. Is PTSA the way to come together?

3. We need to address PTA funding. We have a system now that has some very well off public schools. Our elementary raised almost $140k in their fall annual appeal! I know other schools raise more. While our school needs that money, we need to start sharing. It is a lesson to our children. And don't give me the argument about the additional money the FRL kids receive from the state. They get it because they need it, so we should share our "extra".

4. Ok now APP: I am very happy to see testing of all second graders in South Seattle. How do South Seattl families feel about this? I expect this will bring more kids into APP. Could APP - with all it's parent energy - serve as one bridge between the North-South communities? With Wilson Pacific coming online as a middle school, would it make sense to make it an all-city APP middle school? Is that fair to South Seattle APP students? (I have wanted this for a long time, so this is admittedly self-serving, but does it serve others?) At a minimum, more (and regular) all city APP events could begin to help.

5. SpEd: I had no idea the depth of the problems. I don't even know how to begin facing this.

-uncertain

mirmac1 said...

As someone who cares deeply about special education, the Level 4 determination does not concern me. It has to do with untimely correction of incompliant documentation. At SEAAC the other night, parents and advocates were apprised of the heavy lifting going on with regards to SpEd, and we will continue to track that VERY closely.

So no I don't think we're going to hell in a handbasket.

I do believe the district needs to simply take back buildings it gave away, for emergent public needs. Get the ball rolling on eminent domain and condemnation proceedings.

Anonymous said...

RE: AIC- They should look to how the former Beacon Hill Elementary was taken over by the people advocating for their community. Now called El Centro, it is a very functional and popular center with an amazing group of people providing much needed support many people. Something the SSD cannot do.

RE: SPED- The Feds should take over. It is going downhill...

Sped Parent

Anonymous said...

It is not too late to shelve this thing and start over. Do the very minimum to relieve crowding and go back to zero. It is a mess and the Directors know it. Kellie and others have made the point that this proposal solves nothing and will only necessitate more boundary changes -more anger- in the not too distant future.

North-end Mom is 100% correct in that the District needs to develop an educational plan for JAMS with the community before they all get there. Additionally, if APP is to move to JAMS either for the long-term or short-term, they also need to be involved.

The S.end deserves the same consideration as to program placement and development before any boundary changes happen. The whole thing is just nuts.

And to end my rant I will say I too appreciate the different perspectives of those who post here. But readers who simply come here to complain ad nauseum about this blog, its content, and posters need to start their own. Give it a rest.

MC

kellie said...

@ Ed,

Your original question was very far up the thread but I can offer you an answer.

By and large folks are not APP obsessed. The disproportionate about of APP comments have more to do with politics than anything else.

At the moment, the district is significantly over 100% capacity. The few isolated pockets of extra space here and there are more than off-set by severe over-crowding in multiple schools. As such, bringing new capacity online both directly and indirectly impacts every student in the district.

The reason APP is at the forefront of these conversations is because (for some inexplicable reason), Teaching and Learning has decided that it is a huge priority to place APP FIRST as part of the new capacity, This despite many requests from APP and other communities to place APP LAST. APP has been repeatedly willing to take the left-over space after neighborhood kids, sped and ELL get first dibs.

However, that simple truth is lost in the noise and the effect becomes that "everyone has to talk about APP first." As long as teaching and learning continues to insist that the cohort must be placed before any other decision can be made, then folks are going to continue to obsess about where APP goes.

APP has volunteered to stay in interim housing for the foreseeable future just to make this easier on everyone else but ....

Anonymous said...

Which buildings Mirmac1? Some of the sales of school properties happened 25+ years ago.

Eden - I agree, it is shameful that District thinks it can redraw boundaries with poor data. There were 500 more kindergartners in the 2012-13 school year than they anticipated.

What's that saying about moving things around?

Ann D.

Charlie Mas said...

Is the amendment offered by Director DeBell available someplace for people to read?

Anonymous said...

What Kellie says times 100. Kellie, have you considered running for a school board position?

MC

Anonymous said...

The saying I was thinking of was "moving around the deck chairs on the Titanic".

Applicable to our situation?

Ann D

Anonymous said...

@saddened
I have no problem with JAMS serving the APP kids within its attendance area (whatever that may be). However, since the region has the fewest number of APP kids than any other region in north Seattle, it makes very little sense (at least to me) to house an APP cohort at JAMS.

Think about it, we are launching a brand new middle school, with a very non-homogeneous and diverse population, with a very broad spectrum of educational needs (SpEd included!). There are enough challenges. Planning for the additional needs of a segregated advanced learners population seems like a bit much at this point.

Maybe it would all work out, I don't know, but what I really resent is that while the Hamilton, Eckstein, and Wedgwood communities have evidently had a say in the crafting of amendments pertaining to JAMS, those of us with a guaranteed assignment to JAMS have not.

- North-end Mom

Anonymous said...

For those who don't understand why the APP group is very active/agitated right now: my son and 200+ of his APP middle school classmates are in a quandary. Where they are wanted (Hamilton)there is no room. Where there is some room (Eckstein, JAMS), they are not wanted.
If they go to Eckstein, people accuse them of creating an elitist white/Asian, high SES school. If they go to JAMS, they're accused of crowding out the low SES, minority kids.
It's not his fault that he is white and Asian and not from a poor family. It's certainly nothing to be ashamed of that he learns academic subjects faster than others. He deserves a school that welcomes him like it welcomes everyone else and that will put a concerted effort to give him a decent education at his level, like it does for everyone else.
The problem is that a group of 200+ kids is a big group to put anywhere. Please remember that they didn't ask to be pushed out of their current school (Hamilton). Many of them do live south of Eckstein, although few of their parents actually advocated for them to be placed at that school.
Along with many other posters here, I realize that many other neighborhoods have serious issues with the boundary changes too, and I feel for you. I strongly support your right to advocate for a good plan for your kids as well.
Momof2

Anonymous said...

Charlie- He outlined the idea verbally last night, but the details are not clear.

They said that amendments would be submitted to staff by Friday.
Then staff has to "make sure it works."

I suspect we won't actually see this Frankenstein plan with the amendments suggested from all until until the Friday before Nov. 20th.

The gist of what he is proposing is reverting to the 2.0 plan with geo splits for Eckstein to create JAMS, and splitting APP middle school 3 ways with a cap on enrollment of 270 for APP at JAMS starting next year and at HIMS in 2016/2017 when WP comes on line.

Peasley wants to see Pinehurst and Indian Heritage at Lincoln temporarily until they can find a place for them.

KSB wants a different home for the World school so that TT Minor can be a AA school.

Patu wants to make sure that the Kimbel neighborhood isn't bussed 7 schools away.

There were other "wants" that will get added as amendments it sounds like.

You all have been at this for a lot longer, so I'd love to understand how this gets passed.

I mean, basically what they will be doing is a 4.0 plan, but not calling it that. It will be a Frankenstein plan that still doesn't actually solve anything long term, and only causes tons of churn.

Really. The Emperor has no clothes. This plan can't work. Amendments won't fix it.

Kellie is right. The feeder pattern is a fundamental problem.

The data is inaccurate, incomplete and fundamentally flawed.

In my opinion, the only responsible thing for the board to do right now is to vote the whole thing down, have staff focus ONLY on the emergent issues for 2014, and START A REAL PROCESS GROUNDED in DATA and based in REAL analysis.

The definition of crazy is doing the same thing again and again and thinking it will yield different results.

They need to stop trusting bogus analysis, especially when they don't even have a demographer on staff!!!!

I can't express enough how fundamentally crazy this is. It is trying to fly a plane without a pilot. It is walking around on a cliff blind folded.

Is there ANY WAY to get this board to stop the crazy?

Eden

Melissa Westbrook said...

On the issue of the type of discussions, Charlie and I write about a wide variety of subjects. But we like to keep a thread on-topic and sometimes if someone asks a question or makes a comment off-topic, I choose not to answer because of that. It is important for fidelity's sake to keep the thread line clean for those who come later to read it.

We have talked about Common Core and I have more to come. But I also only have so many hours in a day and, as well, because the district and PTA have not done a good job in explaining this to parents, I think most readers don't feel qualified to comment

The point of the blog IS to daylight issues. I only started realizing the many issues around the whole district when I started going to Board meetings and committee meetings and Work Sessions. One interesting thing said last night by several Board members is how pleased they are that parents ARE thinking of other parents and voicing support.

"I support their stance that the AIC does not have to prove themselves,"

I'm not sure what that means. If you mean, they need to provide a proposal to the district - which the public can see because the district is a governmental entity - then yes, they do. Because the district needs to examine how the programs would work, which ones would be of value (I think 18 is too many for one space and to track) and how to create metrics to judge outcomes.

This is how it is done and how the F&E levy does it. I'm not sure why it would be any different. No one is asking for extra effort, just attempting to understand what the effort will truly look like. The 10-minute presentation last night did little to clarify that issue.

I will also say that the district has signed no partnership agreement or lease agreement. I am hard-pressed to think of a location to move these groups to within the district. I know there are other locations nearby Mann (that was pointed out last night). We all know there is a capacity crisis so it's going to be a lot harder to find space that isn't already allotted to an existing school/program.

We have never "banned" anyone. There are a couple of people whose comments I won't respond to because they have called us names and been generally unpleasant but no banning.

Uncertain, you want us to work towards more funding for schools? Well, a lot of people have and for years and year and we have quite the issue with some members of our Legislature in some areas of the state. One thought would be that when Rodney Tom comes up for election, throw money at his opponent. He's a major obstruction to that money.

I am going to write two separate threaads - one on the Growth Boundaries testimony and Board discussion (which I need to watch and take notes) and the other on Africatown.

So much to do.

Po3 said...

After last night, I think it is time to start a petition asking HHM to stop spending the bulk of his time traveling to education conferences and focus on the the issues related to SPS and specifically his district.

I also would like to see an accounting of his expenses related to all this travel - who is paying for this?

Anonymous said...

Yes, the focus need to go back to teaching and learning. While we have another AL taskforce to continue what has been started by FACMAC and previous AL taskforce, this cannot be the district's nor the board's priority.

What we need urgently is the task force on teaching and learning with the focus on basic education. Include ELL, SPED, AL, alt/option programs and services. A K-12 re-hauling of math, science, and LAs for starters. Core curriculum is coming and the district can take this opportunity to re-examine the whats and the hows it is teaching and learning. What works and does not work. What needs fine tuning. Look at the building based math programs scattered all over this district. Look at the quality and effectiveness of reader and writer workshops and are these methods teaching kids to read and write well? Can we improve this method by including more phonics or tightening up writing skills standards. Science has been reduced to science kits in ES and MS. And the quality is very much teacher dependent. Science is one area where the hands on give kids a chance to be creative, experimental, have fun, take risks in their thinking while incorporating reading, writing, observation, math, problem solving, organizational of thoughts and presenting their ideas and results in class.

We go forward and rebuild the foundation in every schools regardless of the programs or services in them. That should be the Board and the superintendent primary directive along with capacity management.

reader

Anonymous said...

Fair enough Melissa. I have made more of an effort to stay on topic since you pointed that out. And I would just like to reiterate again, the comment I was talking about was posted on an open thread, so it wasn't that it was off topic. It was just something that most people here weren't that interested in discussing. I was merely pointing out that I know it's your blog, and you are certainly entitled to run it however you like. But I do appreciate you not banning me even though some here have asked me to leave.

Gen Ed Mom

Anonymous said...

Yes!! What reader said. -
And what Eden said. Yes to both.

Gen Ed Mom

Anonymous said...

My main point the district needs to improve not just the way it teaches our kids, but what it is teaching our kids. Quality of what these kids get matters just as much how it is delivered by ways of programs and services. That is what I wish Melissa, you and Charlie, would focus on.

I don't know if you guys have the connection to bring in Cliff Mass or local teachers (they can have an alias) as guest bloggers. Bring in Rita Green and her crew to write a piece on what they found to work in their school. It will allow folks to share ideas of what works and doesn't, present perspectives all around the district. I think we need a place like that. Can this blog be that place?

reader



Anonymous said...

Yes - substitute the term SPED for APP and what would you think about these neighbors shouting "we don't want that program in our school". How on earth would it be acceptable for neighborhood school parents to band together to block SPED or ELL or some disadvantaged group from having a program at their school.
Yet it's OK to for these parents to say don't want APP because they're the "elite', over-privileged", "smart (or they're not so smart and they don't really need a self contained program"- depending on your point of view), "white" and "think they're better/more deserving than everyone else" so "hell no we don't want them at our school"!
These are kids - just like yours- who are taking advantage of an existing program that meets their educational needs. The program exists, the kids in it have qualified for it according to the districts requirements, and they need to go to school somewhere.

It sucks how this district pits parents/communities against each other. I just don't hear of this happening in other districts in the area.

SNiff

Tasleem Qaasim said...

One comment only for this blog and each one I may visit today and I won't return so don't respond to me.

There is no relevancy here for underserved students in Seattle because one this does not appear to be an compassionate blog on this issue from what i am told and that is fine. We are all entitled to our opinions.

I spoke at the Board meeting last night not for 3 run down portables from SPS, but for a community of courageous young adults who are doing everything in their power to save our children and our youth and who happen to be African Americans and I am proud to stand with them on this mission. I painted the truth and those who prefer the lie have no relevance.

This mission has nothing to do with several individuals on a school board, bloggers, or mayhem.

This mission has to do with kindergartners with glowing faces because they've reached the milestone of being school age, and by 3rd grade referred for EBD and MR, this mission has to do with a 5th grader being suspended because he blow his nose in class, this mission has to do with an 8th grader who stood up in civil disobedience because his science teacher called him out for all the other white kids disobedience, this mission is driven by the heartbreak of a black mother at the microphone last night but no one mention, or the angry outbust of "TOO MUCH FOR TOO LONG", which the news exploited". I don;t expect most of you on this blog to understand, not because you are white, but perhaps too privilege. But even I, a black woman could look around and see the fear and hurt in white parents' eyes because their children will have to travel across dangerous roadways, and their despair because we all know if something does not change, we are seeing the "last days of PUBLIC EDUCATION". I spoke like everyone last night because, what I will do to help our children ultimately has nothing to do with anyone else except GOD. To the writer and readers of this blog.

mirmac1 said...

University Heights and MLK come immediately to mind.

mirmac1 said...

SNiff, uh...that happens all the time.

Anonymous said...

To NE Mom (comment at 4:52 a.m.) - I completely agree with you. My child may or may not be attending JAMS next year (depends on what version gets passed, and any amendments), but I do feel that folks are overlooking how to best get that school up and running, and that APP is not a good fit for that school. (I also have an APP-qualified child, so I am not supporting the "not here" mentality against APP, but just acknowledging that it's not going to be a good environment for the neighborhood kids for all the reasons NE Mom articulated.) This is yet another reason why APP needs its own home, NOT in a neighborhood school. Many people have suggested to co-house it with an option school somewhere, which is the only thing that makes sense. It seems that EVERYONE but the District supports the idea! It's just crazy that the District won't listen.

Also, someone on this blog argued that schools should not get to decide whether APP will be placed there (in other words, schools shouldn't be able to say "not here"), and yet that is exactly what Eckstein just got away with!! The power of Wedgwood families to demand (and get) exactly what they want is truly amazing.

Love the idea of Maple Leaf at JAMS - would need to look at a map to consider it further - but they are begging to stay in the NE, and JAMS needs more neighborhood kids. It might be a great fit.

-NE

Anonymous said...

mirmac - does it really? I am embarrassed! - I guess I haven't been around long enough! I haven't come across it in the couple of years I've following SPS shenanigans, or maybe it's just not happened in my neck of the woods.
So I apologise if I've come across as insensitive or short-sighted or naive.
I genuinely did not think school communities would feel it was appropriate/acceptable in Seattle, in this day and age, to band together to try to block SPED or ELL services or whatever being introduced to their schools. I thought we were better than that.
So perhaps I am perfect example of how parents so often get caught up in their own particular little 'world' or 'struggle' as far as school issues/resources go and fail to see the wider picture. Without a blog like this many of us would never have our eyes opening to issues involving other communities/programs - we're not likely to hear about it at our neighborhood school PTA meeting or read it in the Seattle TImes. So I commend anyone who raises awareness about issues that involve their school/program/service. Even if we don't all agree - at least we are informed.

Sniff

Transformer said...

Re: Kellie, 11/7/13, 8:30 AM
Dear Kellie,
I like the idea of "APP LAST" for a couple of reasons:
. ▪ It makes sense to wait until the APP makes its recommendations and the district implements new rules regarding APP qualification.
. ▪ Since we now have the opportunity, it makes sense to wait to make any APP program changes until Sue Peters, who'll bring extensive subject matter expertise to the Board, takes office.

I also have a few questions:
. ▪ When you say, "APP has volunteered to stay in interim housing for the foreseeable future"
. a) Who exactly do you mean by APP? (teachers? staff? parents? students? north, south or both? K-5, 6-8 or both?, teachers?)
. b) By "stay in interim housing", do you mean "stay where they are now (e.g. in Wallingford)" or "willing to go to whatever interim site the district can drum up?
. ▪ Given your knowledge of numbers (classrooms, students now and projected, etc., could the following previously posted (not by me), self-described "crazy idea" work? -- theoretically if not politically
......There is one solution that preserves APP and doesn't push anyone out of any building. Really.
......Lincoln served as Hamilton for one year. It is fully capable of working as a middle school, including science rooms, full library, performance auditorium, etc. .
......The "Lincoln Annex" idea could be modified, such that ALL of Hamilton is swapped with ALL of SNAPP for 1-2 years while things get sorted out.
Your thoughts?
. ▪ Last not least, would you be willing (please) to draft an amendment which would incorporate your "APP LAST" idea and give it to overwhelmed but nevertheless potentially receptive Board Directors?

Would love to see other readers chime in too, especially if oriented toward turning discussion into action.

Thanks.

PS Kellie, your analysis of the problems with the feeder pattern model (on yet another thread is) RIGHT ON! Please include a directive to replace middle school feeder patterns with geo boundaries in your draft amendment too ;~)

Melissa Westbrook said...

(What was that song? Dizzy, my head is spinning. Like a whirlpool, it never ends. Yeah, that's how I feel after the Board meeting.)

We have always said anyone could send us a guest post. I haven't actively sought them because I haven't had the time to think of who and find their e-mail. But yes, submit something. I know Rita, I can ask her.

Bus Ride is a Bus Ride said...

If Laurelhurst needs to ride a bus to Eckstein anyway, why don't they just go another 20 block North to JAMS? Same goes for View Ridge. A bus ride is a bus ride for a kid. The Wedgwood community can walk to Eckstein.

Wouldn't moving Laurelhurst to JAMS create a more balanced middle school - instead of the proposed Eckstein which would house the 3 wealthiest neighborhoods in NE Seattle? (L-hurst, View Ridge and Bryant).

Balance Eckstein/JAMS

Anonymous said...

Re: the Maple Leaf community.

One thing I'd like readers of this blog to know is south ML and north ML have different needs.

South ML has been etched out of the neighborhood by the last round of SPS boundary changes (Olympic View to Greenlake Elementary). They have re-assigned our area often over the past few years (Sacajawea to OV, OV to Greenlake, Greenlake to Sacajawea [proposed]).

Maple Leaf parents (to the north) are a very passionate group. It's admirable. But please know they DO NOT represent the views of everyone in the Maple Leaf community.

Many southern Maple Leafers want to remain in the Eckstein attendance area (neighborhood school with cohorts) or support some of our neighborhood assignment to Hamilton (Greenlake Elementary cohorts).

But I don't hear a resounding hurrah for the JAMS area, at least for the kids entering middle school over the next couple of years.

Assigning our Greenlake Elementary and remaining Olympic View kids to JAMS means they don't attend a neighborhood school. They also don't attend a school with cohorts, at least for the next couple of years.

Just wanted to share another perspective on our neighborhood.

ML mom

Anonymous said...

There used to be a school near South Lake Union, The Cascade School, with its playground near REI now a public park - Cascade Park. That was in the 1950s

Fairview Christian School availed themselves of a beautiful property in the 1980s. The former Fairview School is at 78th NE and Roosevelt.

Other than MLK Jr Elementary and Colman, I'm not aware of other former school properties in Central Seattle.

Ann D.

Anonymous said...

Balance Eckstein/JAMS makes a good point. We might all agree that Ecksteins walkable neighbors should be able to attend this school but why Laurelhurst or the less walkable parts of View Ridge (i.e. easternmost parts). If we want balance at JAMs then this seems like a sensible move - if they are going to bus somewhere, why not to JAMS instead of Eckstein? Has anyone proposed this before?
If Laurelhurst no longer feeds into HIMS would this create enough room at HIMS for APP to stay- even if only as an interim measure until a more rational plan can be made regarding it's location.
Also, I have asked this before - is APP really the only moveable segment at HIMS? Are there any other options to reduce the pressure on HIMS and allow APP to stay there, even just for another year or 2 until there is a more well-considered plan for MS APP (perhaps one that is based on the ALO taskforce recommendations). Why make some rush and rash moves right now when they are unlikely to be viable long term moves and may be affected by the any recommendations re changes in delivery model etc anyway?

SNiff

Anonymous said...

Balance Eckstein/JAMS and sniff -

I know plenty of kids in the eastern boundary for View Ridge Elementary who walk to Eckstein. Replacing Wedgwood in the proposal with VR would likely bring similar objections.

-VR>Eckstein parent

kellie said...

ML mom-

I know that there are always many voices in a neighborhood and I can imagine a strong desire for many to remain at Eckstein.

However, the 3.0 plan has ML going in three directions and none of them are Eckstein. (HIMS, WP and JAMS) The 2.0 plan, which the HMM and MDB amendment were referencing returning to, has most of ML going to WP and only the side of ML that is East of Roosevelt going to Eckstein.

This is the challenge with these amendments, you won't know what is in them until they are out.


Anonymous said...

Let's face it, no one wants change unless it benefits them. Wedgwood families are all geared up in support of an amendment to revert back to 2.0 because they will be the primary beneficiary. Regardless of the fact that there are still lots of problems with 2.0.

I absolutely empathize with Wedgwood families. I think they've lived in a bubble and haven't had a need to pay attention to the capacity issues that have been around them. I don't think anyone is going to come out unscathed but it's sad to me that communities like Wedgwood that have mobilized for a good reason, will do so to the detriment of other communities. I don't blame Wedgwood per se. It's just a sad reality. I'm torn since my kids are not going to Eckstein. I want to support Wedgwood but not to the detriment of my own kids.

Wedgwood mom

Anonymous said...

Kellie - If no ML students go to HIMS and Laurelhurst is not going to HIMS would that allow for APP to stay at HIMS for the time being anyway. I realize this may not be a viable longterm option but would it be an viable interim measure to allow proper planning, taking into account any recommendations that may come out regard AL.

Is it absolutely imperative that north MS APP is divided and redistributed RIGHT NOW? I have heard that this is not just a capacity driven decision but rather a political one.
Surely, it defies all logic to make these kinds of strategic moves according to some hidden board agenda now, when a task force is just been assembled to determine the future provision of, and delivery modules for AL.
If there is room at HIMS for MS APP (or even if there is room to keep 6th grade at Lincoln) for the next year or 2 then the board/district should not be permitted to follow some hidden agenda and rush to split and redistribute it in the absence of any plan/rationale/taskforce recommendation to do so. Seems like it just setting the scene for yet more changes/moves etc in another year or 2. Talk about instability. APP parents should vigorously oppose this.

Sniff

Transformer said...

Kellie,
I see you're still following this thread. I'm hoping you'll answer my follow-up questions (posted 11:41 AM today) to your post (8:30 AM) about an "APP LAST" approach. Ignore my last question if that's hanging you up -- I'm not trying to put you on the spot, just to understand.
Muchas Gracias,
T

ben said...

There is no way all of APP will fit in HIMS in the long term. I can't see how to justify maintaining an untenable situation while at the same time disrupting large numbers of other students. Do you really want to repeat this conversation again next year?

The final north end feeder patterns for MS just need to be established and the various populations routed towards their end homes sooner rather than later. If half or a third of APP is going to JAMS for instance it should be there on day one and part of the community building.

There's no ideal split here but prolonging the process is not really benefiting the wider community. Given my druthers all the feasible alternatives would have been laid out in a single proposal with a list of pro/cons and we could have had a month long discussion about which ones worked best and then a vote. There are a very finite number of variations that can actually occur.

Obviously that hasn't happened, but the logistical pressures and all the rancor and discord associated with this process haven't disappeared.

Ben




kellie said...

@ Transformer,

Sorry, too many items to try to follow up on today.

APP has volunteered to be an annex for Hamilton and Lincoln. It is not ideal but it is very generous for that community to go to interim housing and potentially forgo many aspects of the comprehensive experience so that there is more wiggle room for everyone else.

A critical component of capacity management is that you need "room for the dominoes to fall." With some portion of middle school APP at Lincoln, that just gives everyone a wee bit of wiggle room.

IMHO, I don't think there is anyway that a APP elementary and Hamilton swap could happen. If for no other reason, than I don't think anyone would authorize the money from the general fund to pay for the move/swap. It is a very interesting idea and has possibility but just like my idea of abandoning feeder patterns is criticized for being "too late."

I have been contemplating what an amendment from me would look like for a few weeks now and I am frankly stumped. I can't find a way to amend this so that the parts that are most harmful are removed. But then again, I am also stumped at why folks think that it is really OK to split hundreds of siblings at elementary just to keep the illusion of feeder patterns. So ....

Frankly, if I had any influence at all, which to very clear, I don't, I would have focused exclusively on executing the items that need to be done for 2014 and only after those items were nailed down, would I start building this 2020 vision.

Transformer said...

Ben,
I'm hoping that long term plans include more stringent APP requirements -- including (but not limited to) periodically reassessing existing students in the program to determine continuing eligibility. This is the work the task force is doing, yes? With better policies there will be fewer students in the formerly redlined neighborhoods north of the ship canal in the APP program -- maybe they can stay in HIMS, or fit in Wil-Pac, or...

It doesn't make sense to assign middle school north APP this year.
. ▪ Let the task force do its work.
. ▪ Let the new board oversee the implementation of better AL programs and policies.

Kellie,
Still hoping you'll chime back in.

Transformer said...

Kellie,
Our posts crossed paths. Seems to me you are able to present articulate points to this blog, why not also send them to, say Director Peaslee or Smith-Blum such that they can at least consider incorporate your ideas into an amendment of its own. Look at the eleventh-hour switch that gave JA K-8 an extra year in its building and JAMS a year with a planning principle. If the relatively green JA K-8 and future JAMS families could influence the board surely a veteran like you could.
And, I'm sorry, but I really would like to know whom you mean by "the APP community"? (And I'm sure I'm not the only one)
~T

Anonymous said...

Most of View Ridge walks to Eckstein. Maybe not those north of 85th, but that's a tiny fraction of the school. Please don't bus us to JAMS.

--walk

ben said...

@Transformer.

There are a few problems that I see with your assumptions.

The most basic is that capacity has become too great of an issue to wait anymore on a committee. We've been basically doing what you outline for several years and delaying making critical decisions because they're painful. Unfortunately, the baby boom continues regardless of how competently executed our district planning is.

Secondly, your assumption that the AC committees will tighten eligibility seems unlikely to me since one of their stated tenets is increasing diversity. The focus seems to be instead on identifying more eligible students not less. But honestly, anything's up for grabs in terms of the model long term. It wouldn't shock me to see a serious reconsideration of self-contained delivery.

Which leads to the most important issue. Historically the advisory committees have not had much impact on the district. At the end of the day their recommendations are trumped by a combination of staff directives and then external lobbying by the affected communities to the board members. This may be too cynical but I don't expect thing to happen differently this time either.





Bus Ride Is a Bus Ride said...

okay fair a good chunk of View Ridge is walkable to Eckstein.
So to keep the max. number of kids walking to school, why is the plan to send Laurelhurst to Eckstein instead of JAMS?

Balance Eckstein/JAMS

Anonymous said...

Transformer, the PTA, and almost every APP parent (with a couple exceptions- every school has them), would prefer the annex/interim space over immediate split. I think we are aware of the likelihood of an eventual split, but that does not mean it's a good idea today, and I maintain that kellie is right, and splitting APP today is worse for the entire north end than if we waited until 2016, and if there is a split, split to Hamilton/w-p. which was the direction the district appeared to be heading last year, and is still a much more sensible plan.

-sleeper

Transformer said...

@ sleeper:
Thanks for your response. If you're still following this, please explain what you mean by "annex/interim space": An APP K-8 at Lincoln? Something else?
And more questions:
..1) By the "PTA" whom do you mean? The APP at Lincoln PTA? The APP at HIMS PTA (if there is one)?
..2) And do you mean the PTA board? The PTA membership at large?
..3) What is your data source when you say "almost every APP parent"? A poll? A survey?
..4) Sue Peters is an APP Parent -- does she support the "annex/interim space" idea? Or is she one of the "exceptions"? How about Jean Bryant? Geeta Teredesai? Gail Herman?

Please be specific. I'm trying to assess, as a parent with no kids in APP, whether to advocate for a short term capacity mgmt/BEX IV rollout plan that includes this idea
--that Kellie first called "APP LAST" (@Kelli,11/7, 8:30 AM),
--that you referred to as "annex/interim space", and
--that I'm now wondering if I could accurately label as "APP K-8 @Lincoln until JAMS and W-P are up and running"

I'm having a hard time buying the idea that this scenario is endorsed by virtually the entire "APP community" (let alone that this endorsement is motivated by a spirit of self-sacrifice for the greater good). That doesn't mean it's still not a good idea. I could evaluate better if I had a clearer picture of whom you mean by the "APP Community" -- the number/percentage of APP families endorsing this idea, the grades represented, the names of the key people behind the creation and promotion of the idea, really anything to give me and other SSS blog readers a better idea of whom you're talking about.

Thanks again

Anonymous said...

I mean the Lincoln PTA. I believe Hamilton is supportive, too, but am less familiar with that body and do not know their official stance. I have heard they definitely prefer it to having kids pulled from upper grades next year; they weren't saying as much that I heard until that idea was on the table.

By annex I mean use of several classrooms, probably for block classes or foreign language. Yes, I think people do want less crowding for the NE- most of us have kids in those schools. And we'd also like to have our program keep going, like any school. We are not picky about the space and are willing to deal with some crowding to both keep our program going and help with the NE crowding, which we also see as our problem. So I think it is altruistic, really. But I am also a very pragmatic person, and always prefer solutions that benefit everyone over picking winners and losers, which this process has seemed to encourage.

Geeta is the PTA president, so yes, she is supportive of this idea. Sue Peters is great, but a politician, and so has been a little vague. I recall hearing her say APP middle should not be split next year, and this is about the only way to do it, so I'd assume so. Yes, Gail Herman has been supportive of this idea. I don't know Jean Bryant. I am pretty uncomfortable speaking for other individuals. You should ask them yourself. This is the official SNAPP position. (Lincoln).

My data source is nearly zero pushback to the idea (though some to its political feasibility) at any PTA chat, sidewalk conversation, or in the FB page, with the same exceptions you see here. This is the official position, and to the extent there is dissent, it is much quieter than the other times schools I have been involved with have been trying to advocate for something, and this includes Lincoln.

Gotta go to work,
-sleeper

Melissa Westbrook said...

First Professor Qaasim says everyone is entitled to their opinion but then says she's the one telling the truth and the rest of us are lying.

She right and wrong on her statement that this has nothing to do with bloggers, school board members or mayhem to the mission of educating children.

What happens in SPS is not under any blog's control. That's true. Educating children IS the school board's concern and that will not change. Mayhem will be the outcome of any process that does not see the Mann building secured. Holding up renovations at two schools in the same area that you want to help does hurt educating children. That Africatown dismisses this issue is baffling.

Any time you have a person screaming at a public meeting for two minutes, someone will notice. That's not explotation, that's news. She did that for a reason and I believe it was to call attention to her issue.

If she is saying she is a mission from God that's fine but it's not part of the conversation with the district.

It's too bad she said she won't be back because I did want to ask about her title. Africatown calls her Dr. Qaasim but Shoreline CC, where she teaches, does not. Confusing.

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