Friday, April 04, 2014

Friday Open Thread

There is just ONE community meeting tomorrow.  Director Carr said at the Board meeting that the district calendar had been in err and she is NOT having hers tomorrow, the 5th.

Director McLaren is having a community meeting tomorrow from 10 am to noon at the Common House of Puget Ridge Cohousing Association, 7020 18th Ave. SW.

You may have heard about the earthquakes in California this week.  I urge you to visit this FEMA webpage on earthquake readiness for your family.  Our area can (and probably will) have an earthquake and you're going to want to have a plan.  How do you contact a significant other with cell phone service either tied up or not working?  What is your school's plan?   Do you have earthquake supplies at home?  In your car?

Seattle Center's Whirligig starts today and runs thru April 20th with Thursdays being free.   My kids always liked this event.

Education Thought of the Day:  If we insist everything is evidence-based, how can we encourage innovation? There's a contradiction. (I think the credit goes to Pasi Sahlberg.)

In case you missed this from King County Health:

A person who was confirmed with measles traveled to several western Washington public locations while contagious.  The woman traveled to Seattle for a Kings of Leon concert at Key Arena on March 28, when she also was at the Best Western Loyal Inn and the Wasabi Bistro. The next day, she was at Beth’s Café, Aurora Suzuki, Starbucks at First and Pike, and the Pike Place Market. 
Coming threads - Student survey on teachers, Education items that make me say, hmmm, Wilson-Pacific project - newest case study in how flawed BEX projects can become.

What's on your mind?


Anonymous said...

Nova is hosting "Music Night Out" tonight. It's an all-ages, cafe style show featuring students, parents, staff and alums in a range of musical styles. Great music. Tasty food. Good company. Join us if you like!!

Music Night Out @ Nova
Fri, 4/4, 7p- doors 6:30
@Nova- 300 20th Ave E, 98112

on Facebook @ "Nova Music Night Out"

-Nova mom

Michael Rice said...

Ingraham staff had another budget vote this week. The budget was basically the same one that was rejected 58 - 1 last time. This time it was rejected 60 - 0. have not heard what the next steps are, but I am very curious to see what happens. Enrollment is rising and the need to have a fully staffed clerical staff as part of the core budget is more important now than ever.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know where we can get information about how earthquake ready our schools are?

Gen Ed Mom

Anonymous said...


Is there anything that parents / students can do to support Ingraham staff on the budget issue? (We did sign Mary's online petition previously.)

Incoming Ram

Anonymous said...

@ Michael Rice

How can the budget be the same if JSCEE says it gave money back to the schools? I have tried to follow the budget issue this year but am having trouble understanding the mechanism. I don't know if JSCEE is being deliberately or unintentionally vague. Have schools been given a budget cut or not?

(I am admittedly down on SPS this week given the amount of test MSP test prep my grade schooler has sat through in the past 5 days.)


Joe Wolf said...

Photo Friday:

Links below to sets from my Flickr page:

West Seattle HS:

Roosevelt HS:

Garfield HS:

Franklin HS:

Franklin was one of SPS' first historic modernizations; it will be a candidate for some systems renewal in BTA IV.

Melissa made a good point recently about the not-holistic approach to upgrades at Ingraham; RBHS has had that approach too. I hope we can include both campuses in BEX V.

Finally, two sets of the cherry blossoms at the UW I shot after work on Monday.

Dusk Series:

Traditional Series.

Michael Rice said...

Savvy Voter writes: How can the budget be the same if JSCEE says it gave money back to the schools?

It has to do with the difference between discretionary funds, (which is where the funding for the clerical staff is now coming from) and core staffing, which is where we (and most people) believe the funding should come from. By having the money be discretionary, we will be fighting this battle again next year. A strong clerical staff is a core function of the school, not a discretionary part.

Incoming Ram writes: Is there anything that parents / students can do to support Ingraham staff on the budget issue?

Yes, contact the School Board and Mr. Banda and express your feelings about this situation.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Unfortunately, it may take a year of NOT having the needed clerical staff to get parents to notice.

When you can't get thru to the school in a timely fashion, can't get the needed forms when you want them, students can't get information and everyone gets directed to the "website" to get answers, then it will become clear why you need those clerical staff.

I'm a little surprised principals haven't stepped up because the clerical staff still there will have ever-more tasks to complete.

Anonymous said...

Joe, those are really fantastic photos! Thanks for sharing.

Parent of 2

Joe Wolf said...

parent - Thank you! My pleasure.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Those are great photos.

To note about Roosevelt (just because I had one son there and worked on the archives):
- the blue lantern (they are really more verdigris) on the top row is one of a pair. They were a gift from the class of '22 (I know it was the '20s). Regrettably, the district didn't want to put them up but, after some pressure, did. (No use having nice things if you don't use them).
- also in the top line of photos on the right is that roped off area? It's a mural done by a WPA artist.
- the countertops in library are the marble from the former boys' locker room. The library used to be the auditorium.
- that motto is, naturally, a saying from Teddy Roosevelt

Anonymous said...

WEA to encourage parents to opt-out of state testing!

Watching said...

WEA to encourage parents to opt-out of state testing!

RosieReader said...

As I understand it, the budget proposed by the Ingrwhwm principal included full funding for all three formerly-at-risk clerical positions. So the negative vote is basically a vote against allowing the principal to have discretion in deciding how to staff the school. Which makes no sense to me. I actually like giving discretion to the principal on things like this. Much as the principals now decide on the numbers of educators by department, etc.

RosieReader said...

So Melissa, at Ingraham at least, the principal did "step up."

Anonymous said...

An e-mail just went out from SCPTSA to PTA Leaders about the General Membership meeting on Monday--

"Seattle Council PTSA General Meeting April 7th.
Superintendent Banda will be attending the first part!

Don't forget the SCPTSA General Meeting on Monday April 7th from 7-9pm. Superintendent Banda will be stopping by for the beginning of the meeting!

The meeting is at the JSCEE auditorium, and we hope to see you all there. We will also be voting in our new executive board, Ken Gotsch (SPS CFO) will provide a short presentation on the SPS budget process, and there will be round table discussions with SPS leaders from the following departments:

• Pegi McEvoy (bell times)
• Flip Herndon (capacity)
• Tracy Libros (enrollment)
• Michael Tolley (teaching and learning)
• Ken Gotsch (finance)
• Bernardo Ruiz (family engagement/equity and race)
• Bob Westgard (transportation)
• Carmen Rahm (technology)

See you Monday!

Katherine Schomer
President, SCPTSA"


Anonymous said...

Also at Seattle Center and free is World Rhythm Festival. Music and Dance performances and classes in the "armory." has the schedule.

Glad I Left

mirmac1 said...

Eden, I don't know why the heck I don't get those announcements, given that I'm an officer in a PTSA. Aggravating. Thanks for the info.

seattle citizen said...

Smells like Reform Spirit - Communications bullet-points reform agenda after superintendent meetings: 500 people attended the five regional superintendent meetings, and, according to District Communications two of the three immediately noteworthy ideas from the small-group discussions and the Idea Cards distributed to attendees are (the third is about cultural competency, which is NEVER reformish - it's necessary):

• Give parents access to the data they need to gauge their students’ progress.
• Provide assurances that the district is committed to closing opportunity gaps and ensuring equitable access to rigorous curriculum and highly effective instruction in all Seattle Public Schools.

Smells like the reformers wrote this release. Maybe someone can go through the Idea Cards and notes, etc, when they are posted (see below), and see if this is just District spin.
They say that the "District is compiling information from each meeting, including those received [sic] from Idea Cards and the answers to three questions:
1). If you were in charge of the District, what would you change to better serve students and strengthen relationships with families?
2). What role will you play in partnership with the District to ensure Seattle Public Schools provides the best quality education for every student?
3). How can the District most effectively communicate the progress of the Strategic Plan with families and the community?
The answers from attendees, along with an executive summary, will be posted on the Seattle Public Schools website by the end of May. In addition, administrators will determine which feedback will be incorporated into the Strategic Plan, which runs through 2018, and a timeline for the work to be completed."

Also, watch for that timeline for work completed and see it is.

More than 500 family, staff and community members attended Superintendent Town Halls, gave valuable feedback

Joe Wolf said...

Melissa - thank you for the backstory on Roosevelt. I'm very happy you pressed to get the entry lights put back ... they are very, very cool.

Glad you enjoyed the photos!

I meant to include my photo set of Nathan Hale in my original comment. Here it is:

maureen said...

Do you know a High School age actor or musician who is looking for a meaningful, FREE activity to participate in this summer? Have them check out Black Tie Production's original musical, Emerald City: A new musical about Seattle, a young man, and what it means to belong. .

It is being produced, written and composed by two Ingraham High School students. Performances are scheduled for the end of July at Ballard High School. Actors and musicians are being sought from all and any schools. Auditions begin April 28th. The composer has produced two other original musicals at Ingraham to great acclaim!

n said...

topic idea: at my school we have three shared positions and I have a student whose parent is in a shared-position at another school. She agrees as do the teachers at my school that people in shared positions are giving the District time-and-a-half effort for half-time pay.

I have no problem with shared positions but I'm looking ahead at how that affects full-time teachers. Yes, we are working time-and-a-half as well but can we really compete with more rested teachers who often specialize: one teaching mornings (reading...) and one teaching afternoons(science, math)?

From a parent's perspective, I guess that would be the best wouldn't it? Two teachers specializing and both working 150%.

Also, what do parents think about a longer school day? I've had conversations at the primary and intermediate level with younger teachers who say they would probably work less hard if they had more time to actually teach kids. More contact time. As it is, we are rushing at elementary to get everything in that is called curricula these days. It seems to be the more veteran teachers who won't work without more pay. Me, I'm older, but I'd love to slow down a bit. That would solve a lot of problems for me.

I wish teachers would chime in on these kinds of issues as well as parents.

Lynn said...

I'm not interested in a longer school day - unless that extra time is spent on recess, PE, art and music.