Friday, August 22, 2014

Friday Open Thread

Feel like your child does not return your phone calls/texts in a timely manner?  One mom was frustrated with the low/no response of her own children and created, Ignore No More.  If your child doesn't answer, you have a code so that you can block incoming calls/texts and disable gaming on their cell phone.  That'll get their attention.

Did you get a phone call from School Messenger with a message from Superintendent Nyland? I was hearing that this was going to happen but didn't know the content of the message (which I believe may be about NCLB.)

What's on your mind?

39 comments:

Anonymous said...

I received the call from Superintendent Nyland. Seemed pretty reasonable.

On another note, Nathan Hale High School will be starting 10 minutes later due to transportation changes. They will be starting at 8:40 AM and ending at 3:10 PM.

HP

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Po3 said...

I got the don't worry about all the failing schools robocall also.

I also could care less - testing fatigue.

Was a good reminder, however, to pay attention to common core testing. My policy is if the is not required to earn a diploma - my students will not take the test. SAT/ACT is the exception to the rule. :)

Anonymous said...

We just left the district, so didn't get a robocall. I'm curious - what did it say?

Chris

Anonymous said...

Very happy to report that my friends did receive resolution on their transportation issue.

Turns out the key was the interim enrollment manager confirming to Transportation, that based on address their area of the Green Lake area is in the Eckstein area - not Hamilton.

Thank you to reader "best wishes" for all the links and information. I was able to pass along and it helped to bolster the confidence of my friends that "per policy" they were eligible for transportation.

-StepJ

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know what the August 19 Executive session was about?

Was this possibly about the SPED exec director?
:

Review the Performance of a Public Employee

Potential Litigation

Evaluating a Complaint
against a Public Employee

--Michael

Anonymous said...

Here is the call: https://msg.schoolmessenger.com/m/?s=Am45-qeCm0I

-GOB

Melissa Westbrook said...

Over at the Washington Policy Center they are claiming that 33 different letters were sent to parents in the district. Anyone know about this? I can't understand why this would be (I'll have to ask about this on Monday.)

"The Seattle School District, the largest in the state, has sent 33 different letters to parents whose children attend low-performing schools. The two-page single-space letter looks like the routine welcome-back-to-school-we-are-committed-to-your-child’s-education notice parents receive every year. The parents who wade through it find it raises more questions than it answers. Few parents will discover they now have the choice under federal law to transfer their child to a better school and get free tutoring. "

They are claiming districts are not explaining that parents can ask for tutoring and free transportation to a better school.

Well, first, I can understand if the district is not explaining the tutoring. Under the thumb of Duncan, schools would have to offer free tutoring to 97% of Seattle school students. That would put quite a dent in the budget.

Second, transfer to one of those 3% schools? For everyone? How would that work?

Can't Imagine said...

I'd love to know where these 3% are located. According to the call we got from Nyland, the bar for NCLB was 100% pass rate for ALL populations by 2014. I have a hard time believing that any school could ever achieve this. Are 3% of WA's schools dedicated only to an academically gifted population without needing to service any SpEd or ELL populations? I tried to look up a few things on the DOE sites but gave up...

Seriously, who is at 100%?

More DATA! said...


Obtained from the Family and Education Levy mtg. via Seattle City's Office of Education:

"It gives them a different data point. S. Blanford asked if the data
OFE uses is publicly accessible. I. Muñoz-Colón said it is not. We can give schools their data
where they can identify their students to see if there were gains for them. K. Aisenberg said in
spring of last year we started receiving identifiable student-level data to analyze, though we
haven’t received the data yet for the current school year. S. Blanford said it seems like, with
getting small datasets and analysis at small level, the school can tell which student data is
associated with. This is a hot political question around data-sharing that we are grappling on
the School Board right now. As a former executive director, he knows there is value in sharing
data across organizations. We need to get to a place where we can defend that practice in such
a way that students’ information is protected, because it is, and that folks understand the
rationale for why it’s so important for organizations who work directly with students have
access to these data to inform their work. People see potential for misuse of data and we need
to ensure there are appropriate types of protection. K. Aisenberg said OFE has changed its
practices now that OFE receives identifiable student data. Data-sharing is done through a
secure site with SPS. Nothing is printed with student name or number. Reports containing
student groupings with fewer than 10 students is suppressed."

Charlie Mas said...

here is a fun and productive exercise for the upcoming board member community meetings.

Print out copies of the sexual harassment policy, 3208 and the accompanying superintendent's procedure, 3208SP.

Read the policy and the procedure aloud, stopping at each required action and asking the board director "Was this done as the policy and procedure require?"

It should be instructive.

Charlie Mas said...

@Can't Imagine, it is possible that 3% of schools have fewer than 10 students in a category and therefore do not need to report for that category.

Patrick said...

Should we have gotten our transportation assignment letter by now?

Hazel Wolf @ John Marshall

More DATA! said...


From the Pre=k-3 city mtg which included SPS and LEV:

P-20 Education Data Project
• The Washington Institute for Public Policy has a report deadline of December 31 on P-20. All the data goes to the Education Research and Data Center (ERDC) but currently not much data goes to the early learning providers.
• There are a couple of things that the City of Seattle is doing with ERDC. We provide the names and birthdays for the children in the SEEC program, and look to see if they show up in the Kindergarten programs. We do not have agreements with other districts, and would have to set them up. ERDC manages that, but OPSI says we need the district to agree. There is currently no form for doing this.
• We will pilot these feedback reports from K-12 to Pre-K providers. The two pilots will be Seattle and the Roadmap area.
• We want to come up

Anonymous said...

Patrick,

Yes, you should have received a letter by now telling you ineligible for Transportation, or your route and stop information.

Per other posters there have been some issues with Hazel Wolf families being told they are ineligible for transportation.

You are eligible for transportation to Marshall if your address is within the boundary for JAMS. You are also eligible for transportation for the next two years if you live with the Eckstein area and are outside of the walk zone for Marshall.


-StepJ

Anonymous said...

Also waiting on letter from transportation re our elementary school bus - would be nice to be able to plan ahead (with a week and a half til school starts) and find out what the bus time/routes (even eligibility) is. Have other folks got letters already?

impatient

Anonymous said...

I heard they weren't sending letters out until today. So I would expect it Monday.

-sleeper

Melissa Westbrook said...

More Data, is this info from meeting minutes? Thanks, for this info - one more reason to wonder about the Preschool for all initiative.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps, the no letters went out previous to the yes letters. But yes, received a letter about two weeks ago.

-StepJ

More DATA! said...

This one from the Family and Ed. Oversight Committee:

"It gives them a different data point. S. Blanford asked if the data
OFE uses is publicly accessible. I. Muñoz-Colón said it is not. We can give schools their data
where they can identify their students to see if there were gains for them. K. Aisenberg said in
spring of last year we started receiving identifiable student-level data to analyze, though we
haven’t received the data yet for the current school year. S. Blanford said it seems like, with
getting small datasets and analysis at small level, the school can tell which student data is
associated with. This is a hot political question around data-sharing that we are grappling on
the School Board right now. As a former executive director, he knows there is value in sharing
data across organizations. We need to get to a place where we can defend that practice in such
a way that students’ information is protected, because it is, and that folks understand the
rationale for why it’s so important for organizations who work directly with students have
access to these data to inform their work. People see potential for misuse of data and we need
to ensure there are appropriate types of protection. K. Aisenberg said OFE has changed its
practices now that OFE receives identifiable student data. Data-sharing is done through a
secure site with SPS. Nothing is printed with student name or number. Reports containing
student groupings with fewer than 10 students is suppressed."

Interesting comments from Blanford.

What Project? said...

From: Miller, Holly [Holly.Miller@seattle.gov]
Sent: Friday, January 24, 2014 2:33 PM
To: Blanford, Stephan
Cc: Kristi Skanderup
Subject: RE: Following up......
Hi Stephan and Kristi, How does lunch on Feb. 10th or 11th work for you guys for our special
project with Stephan?
Stephan, can you help OFE get before the Board to brief them on the UPK planning process?
Thanks so much.
Holly
Holly Miller, Director
Office for Education
City of Seattle

Interesting said...


Interesting article on Mid-level leadership. Familiar names, here:

Seattle: Jonelle Adams, Eric Benson, Roger Erskine, Adam Gish,
Stephanie Haskins, Aimee Hirabayashi, Stan Hiserman, Gayle
Johnson, Laura Kahn, Dick Lilly, Lisa Macfarlane, Nancy Murphy,
Kristi Skanderup, and Elaine Wetterauer.
We are grateful to the members of the Cross City Campaign
board for their review and comments on Leading From the
Middle.

http://www.utdanacenter.org/umln/downloads/dc08/leadingfrommiddle.pdf

What Project? said...

From: Blanford, Stephan [mailto:stephan.blanford@seattleschools.org]
Sent: Friday, January 10, 2014 1:49 PM
To: Miller, Holly
Subject: RE: Following up......
Hello Holly:
You should figure out a few dates that work best for those that you and Kristi are thinking
of inviting, and let me know so I can get them plugged into my schedule. I"ll do some
thinking about who would be appropriate from my perspective, but may have to invite them to a
subsequent discussion once I know what this thing is going to look like.....we might be able
to strategize a little next Tuesday?
Stephan
Dr. Stephan Blanford
Director, Seattle School Board,

Anonymous said...

@StepJ and Patrick -

The JAMS boundaries don't align with the current feeder school boundaries, and, in some neighborhoods, the JAMS boundaries do not align with the approved future boundaries for the elementary feeder schools.

I am not surprised that the folks in transportation are confused.

- North-end Mom

Melissa Westbrook said...

I have seen this kind of working together with the City by a single Board member on a single project before (that would be Michael DeBell).

President Peaslee announced a Board Work Session on "Seattle preschool progam(which again, not the district's mandate) but they will devote a whole work session, at the start of the school year, for it.

I continue to ask, as do others, who is funding the City's campaign? We see that there is a Cross City Campaign
board."

Luckily, it's not just me - other reporters and those interested in City politics are starting to ask some hard questions.

Anonymous said...

StepJ I think that's probably true. I called Thursday to ask about my kids' specific stop information, and they said they expected "letters" to go out Friday. They must have meant with the route info if you are eligible.

I will say we have had a heck of a time getting things fixed and fairly scary situations with lost children more than once, but every time I have talked to a human at transportation they have been very helpful. They are asked to do a lot with very very little, and for the most part I think they pull it off.

-sleeper

Transparency Please said...

It is worth noting that the city uses a divide and conquer strategy. The city considers principals that support their vision as "strong". I guess...if a principal doesn't buy into the city's vision..they are "weak".

BERK reports that there are 3 preschool math curriculums under review. One is a PEARSON product and one is a McGraw Hill product. Very nice that PEARSON offers online work for preschoolers (sarcastic). Isn't their research that indicates preschool children shouldn't be on computers?

The city is pushing their pre-K program. Really, the pre k program is a combination of child care and pre k, which is ok, but the city is being disingenuous not calling attention to the child care aspect.

Providing support for child-care and preschool for those making over $100K is questionable.

The city is NOT talking about their initiative being aligned through grade 3. The city is NOT talking about the fact this initiative is a research project. I'm just advocating for the facts to be made available to the public.

The city has NOT indicated that there is a push for an organization to PROFIT off of Head Start. Again, this may be ok, but the city is not coming forth with all of the facts.

I 107 is looking better and better.

Transparency Pease said...

It should be noted that SPS HAS been a partner with the city in relation to their preschool initiative.

Henderson is very busy planning facilities for a growing school population. He and others have spent considerable amount of time with the city on the preschool initiative.

More DATA! said...

Taken from above:

"There are a couple of things that the City of Seattle is doing with ERDC. We provide the names and birthdays for the children in the SEEC program, and look to see if they show up in the Kindergarten programs"

Very creepy.

Melissa Westbrook said...

The district has no official partnership role. The Board has never - as a whole - had a discussion of this issue. That Herndon (I assume that's who you are talking about) is helping the City without any real governance discussion is troubling.

I'm not sure about I-107 either.

Both initiatives
- what they are
- who can access them (and how that access will be decided)
- how they are funded
- who is funding the campaigns

All this needs to be daylighted.

Transparency Please said...

"That Herndon (I assume that's who you are talking about) is helping the City without any real governance discussion is troubling."

I agree. I think this is part of the city's MO. They recruit staff and tell the board it is the job of staff to 'lead". It should be noted that Burgess offered to take Henderson and others out to dinner to discuss the city's pre k initiative. Not cool.

Transparency Please said...

Tim Burgess is the CHAIR of the city's education committee. During the I 1240 campaign, Burgess was asked, repeatedly to take a position on charter schools and he refused.

Tim Burgess and Ed Murray need to publicly state whether or not they plan on partnering with charter schools. Burgess needs to make a public statement whether or not he will use this pre k initiative to bring charter schools into Seattle.

Anonymous said...

"I can understand if the district is not explaining the tutoring. Under the thumb of Duncan, schools would have to offer free tutoring to 97% of Seattle school students. That would put quite a dent in the budget."

I don't think that's actually the case. From what I've seen, the tutoring only needs to be available to low-income students (FRL eligible) at failing Title 1 schools, so it's a smaller pot. And the tutoring is supposed to focus on getting kids to grade level standards, so any kids already above that level might not be interested, either.

There are also provisions for prioritizing eligibility, in case there's not enough money to provide the services for all who want them. In other words, it sounds like the district isn't on the hook for more than that 20% set aside, no matter what. Personally, while I think this whole NCLB thing is nonsense, it's also possible that requiring these supplemental services to our highest need schools might be a good thing. Fingers crossed it's implemented well, and with good outreach.

HIMSmom

Melissa Westbrook said...

Transparency, Burgess doesn't need pre-K to have a charter in Seattle. That said, it might make it easier if Seattle schools has no room.

HIMS, my point was these services were always available to exactly the schools you describe.

Anonymous said...

I really don't know how Seattle and SPS can think of providing PreK without thinking of the funding and the class room space. PreK needs class rooms that are different than regular class room. For example, normally you wouldn't put PreK in a high school with empty rooms. I find it a bit strange that they worked on that behind the scenes for a year and then seem to be going forward. What money will they use? Doesn't SPS have a mission statement to provide K-12? Has their mission statement changed? Maybe they think K-12 will be easier if their students have first attended preschool. I think preschool is fantastic, but I don't think it should be similar to the way Kindergarten is now taught (very academic). I think preschool is great if there is a lot of outside activity and learning through play. Has anyone though of Parks and Recreation providing more preschool? Those building may be underused during the school day. Maybe another entity other than SPS could provide the money. SPS should be thinking of providing services where they have ongoing challenges: SPED, ELL, FRL students, etc.
NEmom

Patrick said...

The Transportation Office must have seen my post! The letter came today.

Josh Hayes said...

Transportation definitely has some odd things going on - today we got the notes telling us our two Ingraham students would be getting their ORCA cards at school, but we've never qualified for it before. We didn't move. The school didn't move. Whaaa?

Maybe the universe expanded, and so now we're farther away than we used to be. That must be it.

Lynn said...

Josh,

The transportation service standards have changed for the coming year. High school students who live more than two miles from their assigned schools receive ORCA cards. Previously that distance was 2.5 miles.

I wonder how students are supposed to get to school that first day without their ORCA cards.

Josh Hayes said...

Ah, I can answer that! The form comes with a one-time pass on it instructing the bus driver to allow one trip. So, they take it to school and get their ORCA card and it's all good.

It's no surprise that both my kids already HAVE ORCA cards, but they can save 'em for next Summer, or for ferry trips, and the like.