Also FYI, the district is looking for members for its School Wellness Task Force.
Seattle Public Schools is seeking members for a Task Force to review, revise, monitor, communicate and evaluate policies and procedures governing school food, competitive foods, nutrition education, physical education and physical activity.
The Task Force will operate for an 18-month period, December 2013 to June 2015.
To be considered for the School Wellness Task Force students, parents, family and community members should complete and submit a nomination form by Friday, Dec. 13, 2013. The invitation letter, nomination forms, and a complete description of the committee are available online.
Tuesday, Dec. 3rd
Oath of Office from 5-6 pm in the JSCEE Auditorium. It is open to the public. Sue Peters, Stephan Blanford and returning Director Betty Patu will be taking the oath. There are opening remarks, the oath, new Board member comments, and a short reception.
Special Education Advisory and Advocacy Council Meeting from 5-6 pm in the JSCEE Auditorium.
Wednesday, Dec. 4th
Board Meeting starting at 4:15 pm. Agenda
Agenda highlights include:
- Native American presentation by staff.
- Program Evaluation and Assessment Annual Report - looks like a lot of assessments (see page 5). I don't see much in the way of "program evaluation" at all.
- Election of officers. I'm predicting Sherry Carr will be President of the Board.
- Action item: Acceptance of federal RTTT dollars for implementing IB at RBHS, Chief Sealth and Ingraham. The funding is a little over $250k (and that's why it comes before the Board). What is quite interesting about this item is the lengthy explanation of why the Board should vote yes. You don't see this kind of volume in most items. Also, I do find it interesting when staff uses Strategic Plan goals to back up things they want but manage to avoid that when they are having problems meeting these goals in other areas.
- Intro item - BTA III work at 15 schools. This is okay with me but there are some oddities. Like "replacing motors" at schools for energy efficiencies. Okay, I'll bite - what motors? Are they talking the HVAC or what? There is a budget attachment that talks about roofing upgrades for three schools. I'm thinking the wrong budget was attached. Also, the change order memo says there were no change orders and yet the board item itself says: "change orders - $223, 638.00".
- Yes, the wrong budget was attached to the previous BTA III item - it should be here. This one - for the roofs at Whitworth, Olympic View and Salmon Bay is a whopping $476k over budget ($645k). I wish I could explain where the issue was but unfortunately, the change order only says "emergency work relating to a rusting roof structure over the library" without referencing which school. I am a little dismayed at this "emergency" because it is stated that they had 2 shifts, 7 days a week for a week to get it done. "The school was without their library for about 1 week, whereas it could have been over one moth (sic)." I would gently venture that for almost $500k, a school could have been without a library for a month. Wait, so now I'm reading an attached Action Report from August 2012 that says it is Salmon Bay that had the bad roof and yet in that action report, it sounds much more dire. But what is confusing is why wasn't this work done sooner? If they knew in August 2012 of this issue (and it's now December 2013), couldn't this have been done without a costly rush?
- Then there is the Intro item about Cedar Park. It's another seemingly rushed idea. They can't house all of Olympic Hills' programs (they have to find space for an Early Childhood program of 51 students). They won't have a library but want a separate computer lab (probably for MAP testing). They will have 8 portables (two as resource rooms). There is also no art space - most of the building doesn't even meet the ed specs for an elementary. Then the NEXT school to be in there will then have to decide how to use the space. It's all very haphazard planning to me.
- There is an Intro item for reopening John Marshall (at over $6M) but all the documentation has "place holder." It should be there because the public has a right to know how the money is being spent.
Charter Commission meeting in Hoquiam, WA from 11:30 am to 6 p.m. No agenda available yet. The Minutes from November show these clarifications to charter school applicants:
- There are no federal grant funds available for charter schools within the state of Washington There are not state start-up funds available to potential charter school operators
- State monthly apportionment dollars will become available to established charter schools on the last day of September of their first year of operation
- The Commission emphasized the importance of applicants following written instructions in the RFP and not rely on third parties for information or verbal directions.
Meet new Director Sue Peters at Couth Buzzard Books, 8310 Greenwood Avenue N at noon. Hosted by Seattle Education blog and Parents Across America, Seattle.
Saturday, December 7th
Board retreat from 10:15 am to 4:50 pm. This will be an interesting day as the new Board gets to know each other. It will be at City University at 521 Wall Street. It is open to the public. No agenda yet available. I did see a preliminary agenda and yes, the Alliance for Education stamp is figuratively (and literally) all over it.