Monday, February 17, 2014

Things that Make You Go, Hmmm

Update: here's a new one.  So if this is just a little pilot student survey of teachers, why is it the most hugely read post 4-1?  That is way off the charts for normal post hits.  (Naturally some of the hits are the same people but when it gets off a certain amount, you know there is a lot more traffic.  And on a holiday weekend.)  Someone called this a "tempest in a teapot";  I don't think so.

1)  Still waiting to find out who is paying for the costs for the pilot student survey of teachers by students.  

2)  Still waiting to find out if teachers are contractually obligated to give out the survey in their classes and/or do students have to take the survey?  Will students be told this is an optional piece of work and allowed to not take the survey if they choose?

3)  I'm also waiting to hear what does the SEA has to say about this issue - both from the teacher level and the union level.  Hmmm.

3)  What's up with the Jane Addams building?  It seems that the building has an issue with water pressure (and does not have a "backflow preventer" on its sprinkler system (this being an old building as are many in our district).  Because of this, the fire alarm has gone off 17 times in the last year.

That means, 17 times that students and staff had to exit the building, wait for the all-clear from SPD and then go back to class.  You can imagine the kind of disruption this is to classroom learning.  As well, it is certainly a cost to taxpayers to have the Fire Department  come out and check.

Now Maintenance tried to "modify" the fire alarm system to prevent this but could not and are finally installing a backflow preventer on the fire suppression system.  (This ties into the issue of our aging buildings.  The district seems to be operating with a lot of fingers in the dike - as well as crossed fingers -  in hopes that nothing will go too far wrong with our aging fleet of schools). 

The SFD issued a Notice of Violation(NOV) on January 30, 2014 and the issue has to be "resolved, inspected and cleared by our local fire operations company."   (Why the SFD waited a year and 17 times before issuing this NOV is unclear.)

So in the Hmmm category, I wonder what the cost is for the backflow preventer and where the money is coming from to pay for it.

4) I'm wondering what JSCEE will look like on Feb. 24th - the first day of Open Enrollment .  It would have been great if the district had the Choice Form available so that parents could look at it, review it and have it filled out and ready to go (along with other documentation needed) when they go to enroll.  Hmm.

Also, why no mention of Open Enrollment at the district's Facebook page.  Hmm.

And, of course, there's all the parents who had their children tested for AL programs who have yet to hear from the district.  

Also, I reviewed the application form and it is not the easiest document to understand.  Very complicated in "if then, then that".   Based on that concern, here is a survey out on enrolling in SPS by an SPS parent if you are interested in taking it.   It's just three questions.

5) Also, there are no community meetings by Board directors, not next Saturday the 23rd or the next Saturday, March 1st.  So any complaining/concerns you want to direct to the Board will have to be via e-mail or at the Board meeting on March 5th.  Why, with 7 directors, can't there be at least one Community meeting with a Board member each Saturday of the month (barring major holidays)?  Hmm.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

i think open enrollment needs to be extended. you have all the families who need to tour schools if there is ap eligibility. you have all the families with students with special needs who are in complete information blackout.

scratching my head in west seattle ...

Charlie Mas said...

This is why community meetings do not work as "community engagement".

The Board's primary community engagement is the public testimony at Board meetings.

It is not these community meetings. They don't happen often enough, they don't come between introduction and action on motions before the Board, and it is unreasonable to expect people to go to seven meetings to speak to the Board.

It is not email. The Board doesn't answer their email reliably enough for that to be community engagement.

It's not voice mail.

In short, the Board has the worst community engagement of anyone in the District.

Anonymous said...

@Melissa
"So in the Hmmm category, I wonder what the cost is for the backflow preventer and where the money is coming from to pay for it."

Hmmm, indeed. I sincerely hope they are not planning to pay for this out of the already meager BEXIV-funded JA building repurposing budget. $7.3M doesn't go very far, as it is.

- North-end Mom

Anonymous said...

Did you also see this in Crosscut from last Thursday?

"Washington's Senate passed a bill Wednesday to better track homeless children in schools. The bill, approved 48-0 in the Senate, now moves on to the House. Seattle Democrat Sen.David Frockt's measure would require school districts to survey their homeless students every other year and report survey results to the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction. The reports are supposed to include numbers of homeless students; what programs they are in; academic performance; standardized test scores; graduation rates; and absenteeism. Frockt said there are roughly 31,000 homeless kids in the state's schools — a number that is on the rise. — J.S. "

found here: http://crosscut.com/2014/02/13/thedailytroll/118750/daily-troll-transportation-doc-hastings-homeless/

--thingsthatmakeyougohmmmmmm

Anonymous said...

In regard to Open Enrollment...I thought that those that were losing Transportation for the coming year were going to be notified by mail prior to Open Enrollment? That would allow families that are losing transportation, and want to switch back to their Attendance Area school to do so during Open Enrollment.

Our family has not received notification and I'm pretty confident that we are one of those losing transportation.

I don't think lack of notification is on the back of Enrollment, but everyone is keeping very, very quiet. Parents that may have wished to return their kids to a walkable school may find out too late to take action for their family.

-StepJ