Wednesday, June 4nd
School Board meeting, starting at 4:15 pm. Agenda.
It is quite a long agenda with a longer-than-usual Consent agenda. I was surprised to see a item like this not being discussed with Intro and then Action but they need to get work done on the North Queen Anne Elementary School as soon as possible for the move in of the Cascade Parent Partnership Program. I find this also disturbing in its rush as there is no contract attached to this Consent item (and may not be until Tuesday). Not a lot of time for public review on spending over $400k in capital dollars. The very odd notation for where the revenue is coming from is "capital funds." BEX IV? BTA III? CIP? What?
I also raise the concern over BEX IV funds being used to replace the elevator at Jane Addams Middle School. This elevator has been problematic for several years and yet it was NOT on BEX IV. The BEX IV funding for JAMS is very small at $7.3M and did not include this elevator. This is NOT a renovation, it's a replacement and should be coming out of BTA III which IS for big maintenance. I suspect less will get done at JAMS because of this money shift.
I also note the inclusion of an item on the Consent agenda to keep a 2.0 GPA average to participate in athletics. This is a source of many discussions around the district.
Action Items (partial):
First one up (and good thing) is Math Adoption. It will likely take quite awhile as Board directors hash this out and the staff makes its case.
Then there is the update to the PE policy which is swell but has no dollars to cover it so it's basically nice words on paper. I do realize that the district has many forces pushing it (like new pushes from the Legislature) but I also have seen this kind of rubberstamping and promising to get to funding it someday before.
Intro Items (partial):
I note that the Student Rights & Responsibilities Handbook is on this part of the agenda. I find that interesting because the district says it is quite strict on the issues of violence/threats/use of weapons against other students/staff - indeed, calling it "zero tolerance" and yet I know of one incident where a high school student had a weapon, threatened to use it against another student (this AFTER a fight nearby the school the previous week with the same student) and yet, this student only got suspended for two days.
I am astonished if only for the safety of other students and staff. I believe at this point this student was moved to another school but that really is not the issue. What is the policy for dealing with students who act violently towards other students/staff? If it's not expulsion or long-term suspension, then the district is setting itself up for a lawsuit.
There's also a couple of items about Sped students. One is that schools were not aware of the significance of Disability History Month and their obligation to recognize it.
The other item is around training teachers, bus monitors, security staff and administrators on proper use of isolation and restraint for students with IEPs and 504 Plans.
President Peaslee didn't have many community meetings this year and apologized at the last Board meeting saying she had many meetings to go to and would try to do better next school year. I note that KaySmith-Blum and Michael DeBell did have their meetings when they were both Board president. Smith-Blum did one once a month and then concentrated on school visits and DeBell still had community meetings. (Peaslee said she would like to have school invite her for visits but I think that makes it difficult for the general parent/public population as one school might have specific questions pertinent to their school.)
There is a Board retreat next Saturday, June 7th, starting at 10:30 am in the JSCEE auditorium.