Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Tuesday Open Thread

Is your 5th grade and up student looking for a great sport that offers individual achievement as well as the benefits of participating on a team?  Seattle Canoe & Kayak Club is having an Open House on Sunday, April 27th and Saturday, May 17th from 10 am -1 pm. 


Come join us at the Small Craft Center on Green Lake at 9:45AM.  Get to see the competitive Junior Team finish their training session, meet the coaches of this exciting sport and then climb into the boats with our team members to get a feel for what it is like to be in an Olympic style Sprint Kayak or Canoe.  You need to bring a parent/guardian to sign the waiver and bring a change of clothes in case you get wet!  Questions?  Contact Tami Oki at 524-1116  or tamaraoki@wonderanimal.com or the Green Lake Small Craft Center at 684-4074. 

Check out the website at http://www.seattlecanoeclub.org/recruiting.  Beginner classes begin in April, the full schedule can be seen at Youth Kayak - Seattle Parks & Recreation https://class.seattle.gov/parks/Start/Start.asp Choose "Programs" then "Boating" then "youth-kayak."

Also the NIFTY film festival is starting this week on Thursday.  

NFFTY (pronounced “Nifty”) stands for “National Film Festival for Talented Youth” and is the largest youth film festival in the world.  But it’s not just for youth. NFFTY occurs each spring in Seattle, Washington and is the premier showcase of the best young directors 22 and younger from around the world. The films of NFFTY represent the voice of this generation, covering all topics and genres, from compelling and provocative, to hilarious and uplifting. NFFTY has the perfect film for a film fan of any age.   (Editor's note: not all films are appropriate for all ages of children.)

What's on your mind?

42 comments:

Robyn said...

I am still up-in-arms that SPS and Mahlum, the WilPac architect, are claiming that there was community and stakeholder involvement for the WilPac planning. Please, don't fall for it folks!

Melissa, the long WilPac document you posted yesterday was such a sales job/scam. All anyone needs to do is read the SDAT meeting minutes. And, naming Chris Cronas as the middle school planning Principal? Wasn't he just announced at a new school in the Fall? So much for planning. I think he attended one SDAT meeting.

If everyone could sign the petition, it would help get SPS's attention. The auditorium is just a starting point. There are many other issues with the project. This was identified by actual stakeholders as an item that could gain traction quickly. Please sign and please post on your Facebook pages asking people to sign!

http://www.change.org/petitions/jose-banda-wilson-pacific-needs-an-auditorium

Anonymous said...

I heard Melissa Gray is the new Montlake principal. Anyone know about her? We have suffered for a longtime and I am hoping for a new era.
Montlake Parent

Anonymous said...

Montlake Parent: Where did Claudia go? Retirement, promotion or move of schools? I had heard she was quite good, so if you could share what you thought was not working, that would be helpful.

I need to make a choice between Montlake and TOPS next year, so appreciate your insights. And I also want to know about Melissa Gray from other readers!

Montlaker too.....

Anonymous said...

Anyone know if there is a way to provide comments to the outside special education consultants holding meetings tonight and tomorrow?

I don't feel comfortable sharing our abysmal experience in front of SPS personnel, nor in front of other parents.

Thank you.

Mom

mirmac1 said...

Mom,

You may submit a written statement. I suggest you send it to mmperrigo@seattleschools.org or hand deliver it tonight or tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

@ Mirmac1:
You have provided an SPS email address. As you are a vocal advocate of public disclosure requests, surely you know that is not a confidential option. If you could provide a non-SPS address, that would be more helpful. I will not attend in person. Thank you.

Mom

Anonymous said...

Mom, are you on the sped PTSA email list? Perhaps someone there would have a potential solution for you in addition to the one Mirmac1 has suggested?

I think Mom has a valid concern and that it would be a good idea to have a way for people to provide comments electronically without having to do it via SPS.

I hope that there is a good turnout at these open mics!

-parent

Another Mom said...

Mom: Could you ask someone else to email it for you?
I would be willing to do so if you don't have anyone else and don't mind a total stranger seeing the details.

mirmac1 said...

I suppose you could provide it via other means but there is no guarantee of confidentiality. Even if you email it to seattlespecialedptsa@gmail.com there is no way the PTSA can assure privacy.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Mom, yes, I believe those consultants will accept any written comment you may want to give them. But good point on not wanting to e-mail it.

On discussions of principals in specific, I ask that everyone be judicious in their wording, remembering that your experience may not be generalized to the school as a whole.

Anonymous said...

One of the biggest haranguers of the district on issues of data privacy cannot provide nor assure a private means to comment to the special education consultant?

No phone number? No non-SPS email? Instead we have to get up in front of parents and staff, write to a pta address that will be read by parents, or send it to an SPS address that can be searched by parents and staff?

The irony is rich - and sad. Is there really no other way?

Jaw Dropped

Anonymous said...

More CCSS/privacy invasion resistance:

http://dailycaller.com/2014/04/21/why-are-the-cops-punishing-common-core-opponents/

A school district asked the police to prohibit certain students from setting foot on school property because their parents had privacy concerns about Common Core-aligned standardized testing, and wished to opt their kids out.

The incident happened at Marietta City Schools in Marietta, Georgia….

“They are collecting data on our children,” said Mary Finney in a statement. “Now, with Common Core there is such a large amount of information and data collected on children. People don’t realize it. We don’t want to sound like we’re wearing tin-foil hats, but they want to track our kids from kindergarten through college.”

The Finney family attempted to opt out of the tests, but administrators were unsure whether they were legally permitted to do so.

And then — at West Side Elementary School — a police officer barred the Finneys from setting foot on school property.
If the kids weren’t going to take the tests, their presence at school was a “kind of trespassing thing,” according to the officer….(more)

-districtWatcher

Blueglass said...

@Mom and others - the announcement mentions that the outside consultants are all with LSU's "T.I.E.R.S." group - they have a website, and every member of that group has a phone number and/or email address listed. Don't know which will be attending tonight, but here's where the contact info can be found

Contact Tiers Form

Team member bios & email

Anonymous said...

I read mom to be saying that she is concerned about retaliation. Sadly, this is a valid concern. The circle- the-wagon mentality against the families is not something that is changing.

dad

Anonymous said...

@Blueglass: That contact information is a much better route for me. Thank you.

@ Dad - yes, besides being pretty private as an individual, I am quite concerned about retaliation. I think it is a valid concern and it would be one thing if it manifested itself on me - but on my child? No.

@ Jaw Dropped - yes, I was quite surprised that after all the talk about confidentiality by some SPEDvocates we are being asked to stand up in a room full of people. If I find that idea awful, I am guessing others might too. Part of the problem with the meetings is that I get embarrassed by my fellow parents almost as much as getting depressed about district actions. I guess I don't think that yelling and public meeting hostility from us parents is going to get us very far. But that's just me. I appreciate the advocacy but disagree with the approach a lot.

So I'm intending to do a private comment and also see about a lawyer, because my way of trying to be quietly forceful about my family's situation isn't working either. There don't appear to be good options in this district for getting results.

Thank you again fellow parents. I appreciate your helpfulness here a lot, including the other mom who offered to email for me.

Mom

Anonymous said...

did something break or change with fusion and/or the seattle schools website? i can't link to our elementary class calendar from a reminder email. been trying to reach a teacher's fusion page on and off during the day and my browser just spins, no error page. i just tried going to www.seattleschools.org and spins too. is it just me?!?

-diane

Anonymous said...

@Diane - My child's teacher doesn't have any recent activity but I was able to log onto the fusion page and see past/older activity so I'm guessing there isn't a widespread problem.

kp

Anonymous said...

@diane

I haven't been able to access the SPS website or links to docs on the website this afternoon. It's not just you.

- North-end Mom

Anonymous said...

@kp can you please tell me the link you used?

i've tried multiple browsers with my saved shortcuts. i also tried just typing www.seattleschools.org - nothing. what's the main URL for fusion?

i can get to any other websites fine. am i going crazy??

-diane

Anonymous said...

@ north end mom ... oops your response came in as i was typing. thanks for the sanity check.

diane

Josh Hayes said...

Some schools did wholesale upgrades of in-house computer systems over spring break; this could have something to do with localized outages.

[pause]

Or not: I can't get to seattleschools.org either. Seems like it's probably a JSCEE problem, although I to am in the north end (but geez, I'm not even trying to get onto my own fusion pages, just the district home page!).

Josh Hayes said...

And I would be happy to forward emails to appropriate addresses, with all identifiers stripped out, if anyone wants someone to do that for them. And I'll refuse to provide those identifiers, of course.

It's another option, I guess. (Given my history as an AS1 hell-raiser, I doubt the district would hire me next year anyway, so I'm not real worried about retribution.)

mirmac1 said...

Jaw Dropped

Yer hilarious. How can anyone non-SPS assure anyone else privacy, when the info is going to an SPS consultant. TIERS does not work for parents. I'm not going to make a promise I have NO control over. My successful OSPI complaints with respect to protecting student data under IDEA have netted measurable results. And, in fact, if anyone wants to be the most effective advocate, one must be willing to step up. But whatever. I'm sure, Jaw, you're doing much more work on behalf of student data privacy. See you there tonight.

Anonymous said...

Article in Seattle Magazine about special education in Seattle and the Exec. Dir.: http://www.seattlemag.com/article/can-new-director-fix-seattle-public-schools-floundering-special-education-department

Chris

Anonymous said...

@Diane - it doesn't seem like I can get to it now...weird. I went to the Fusion page by going to the school website, looking up the teacher, and then going to her Fusion page directly. It did work earlier but now all of the seattleschools.org sites seem to be out of service so can't do it now. Looks like whatever maintenance or updates they're doing is now widespread.

kp

mirmac1 said...

I'm at the open mic night. Parents are bonding together and expressing themselves very well. It is cathartic to think someone wants to listen. The consultants are running it in a professional manner (although they were late).

mirmac1 said...

The consultants posted the following contact info.

TIERS Group
c/of Lisa Roberson
1900 Gravies St
New Orleans, LOUISIANA

You're welcome

uxolo said...

It's rather ironic that a group from New Orleans is helping with public school and Special Education. Nearly all schools are charter, private or parochial.

mirmac1 said...

Sorry for the all caps on Louisiana - new phone and fat thumbs.

Personally, I don't much worry about the consultant's home base. I know, for instance, that the professors in the UW COE SpEd Dept do not necessarily subscribe to Dean's Stritikus' puffery.

A reminder that there will be another session tomorrow night at Nathan Hale, beginning at 6:30pm.

Anonymous said...

Looking at failing school building measures in flush Lake Washington District tonight as well as Everett, Lakewood and Snoqualmie. Makes the Wilson Pacific auditorium 'must have now' petition tin eared. Plan the auditorium now, but build it next BEX. We need core rehab throughout Seattle first.

North of 85th

Melissa Westbrook said...

North of, I would love if they would plan for the auditorium but Flip Herdon dismissed that idea when I raised it to him.

I saw an article about the growth in Lake Washington and their needs. Amazingly short-sighted on the part of voters.

Anonymous said...

I'm not surprised by the no votes on LWSD levy and Prop 1. LWSD needs to look at their numbers, needs, and ask themselves, did they engage and listen to their voters? Same with KC/metro and prop 1 supporters, especially the Chris Hansen like ilks. Around the water cooler, talks aren't the the wholesale rejection of people paying taxes, but the lack of accountability of these initiatives and levies. Some voted yes, but with much misgiving and cynicism. Others are 1st time nay voters.

The electorates are speaking with their votes and it has little to do with party line. There's a real strong belief that there is much waste as to what taxpayers get back from their investment. People are more wary and fatigued coming off a recession. Not everybody is a new hire at SLU or developer. You are looking at frustrated middle class, urban, suburban, and rural voters who are losing ground and clout.

voter

Anonymous said...

I agree with a lot of what voter said, but it's a shame that the Lake Washington bond measure failed. It looks like a majority of the voters DID want it, but it has to pass by a super-majority. Getting 60 percent would be hard on any bond measure at this time of year, I would think. And they needed it, too -- some of the schools out in LWSD are really overcrowded.

parent

Melissa Westbrook said...

Voter, well, I did worry about the last BEX because it was early in line for a number of levies to come before voters. I agree, I think there is fatigue out there.

I think the bond issue is also valid.

Anonymous said...

Josh - try applying in Shoreline. They have an alternative-ish school there somewhere. A friend's kid attends, has been happy there. Not too far away from Seattle...
I would be happy to email anything Sped parents need emailed but are worried to send. There are also sites like Guerrilla Mail, Mailinator, and Airmail that will allow you to use a "disposable" email address so you can share info without facing retribution.

CT

Anonymous said...

"And, naming Chris Cronas as the middle school planning Principal? Wasn't he just announced at a new school in the Fall? So much for planning. I think he attended one SDAT meeting." (from above...)

Why would they name Chris Cronas as planning principal for Wilson Pacific? If WP is going to be the home for APP and he doesn't like self-contained advanced learning, why would they choose him. He dismantled Spectrum at Wedgwood making families run to APP.
NE Mom

Anonymous said...

If WP is going to be the home for APP and he doesn't like self-contained advanced learning, why would they choose him.

The delivery model for APP may change following the review of the task force. Perhaps they will no longer serve the students in a self-contained model. JAMS is certainly going to be doing something different. What that is, it isn't clear.

who knows

Charlie Mas said...

I think the choice of Chris Cronas as the Wilson Elementary principal was done deliberately to signal APP families that the District intends to dismantle the program.

Anonymous said...

At the MS and HS levels, there's a fair bit of sorting based on interest, ability, and achievement rather than on labels already. In my mind that's a good thing. Not all APP kids are ready for algebra in 6th grade. This allows kids who are not APP, but highly capable in math/science (or LAs) to access these advance classes earlier too.

parent

Anonymous said...

I'm more concerned that advanced level work is available and that classes identified as advanced truly offer higher level work. Single subject qualification in MS makes sense as long as appropriate and flexible pathways are available through MS and HS.

Not all APP kids are ready for algebra in 6th grade.
Well, no, that's why the typical APP math pathway is Algebra in 7th grade. Very few students, APP or not, are ready for Algebra in 6th grade.

OSPI EOC results from past three years, with number of those 7th and lower taking Geometry EOC (meaning successfully completed Algebra in 6th):

2012-13: 11
2011-12: 3
2010-11: 11

There will be a bump in this year's numbers as last year HIMS lifted their ban on 6th graders taking Algebra.

Students working at an advanced math level should be given an opportunity to take advanced science classes, just as those advanced in LA should be given a chance to take advanced LA classes (even if they aren't advanced in math). But aren't we still talking abut access to ability based classes?

MSparent

Anonymous said...

Correction:

7th and lower
# taking Geometry EOC

2012-13: 4
2011-12: 3
2010-11: 11

MSparent

Anonymous said...

I'd agree with Charlie re: W-P and APP, and argue that the current state of APP at Hamilton is another signal that the district intends to dismantle APP.

If HIMS APP isn't preparing kids to move on to the AP history course they've traditionally taken in 9th grade at Garfield, and if the district's solution is to just make everyone take a lower level course instead--rather than work to ensure that HIMS APP teaches what these kids need and were supposed to be getting--then that pretty much says it all to me. The district's position is that APP doesn't prepare these kids any better than any other middle school program, so then why bother to keep it? The recent policy change at Garfield seems to provide the "evidence" they need.

(For those interested but not up to speed on the recent issues, refer to the recent APP blog conversations.)

HIMSmom