Superintendent Nyland will have a press conference at JAMS followed by a ribbon-cutting for the renovated school at noon. He will also be at the ribbon-cutting for Fairmount Park Elementary at 2:45 pm. (I'm taking ideas for questions to ask Superintendent Nyland.)
Wednesday, Sept. 3rd -
First Day of School
Superintendent Nyland will be visiting several schools that day including Rainier View Elementary from 9-10:30 am, then the World School from 11-11:30 am. He will join World School students for lunch.
School Board meeting starting at 4:15 pm. Agenda
I note that the family of the Garfield field trip victim is organizing a rally before the meeting and I expect a fair number of people to again press the Board to do more.
They have a fairly long agenda but I suspect that they will whip right thru it as the Consent agenda (with an unusually large number of items) will be just one vote and the Action Items may or may not generate any discussion.
They are to vote on the Comprehesive Correction Action Plan (CCAP). I would think from the attention from the story in the Times, that the Board might have some questions. But the Board seems unwilling to truly press the staff on these issues so maybe not. (The Times also had an op-ed about the difficulties for immigrant families to access Sped services. What saddens me are that some of the issues are the exact same issues my husband faced decades ago when his family immigrated. I would have thought that major issues - like dialect differences and asking children to translate - would have been addressed by now.)
Intro items (selected):
- one is the "redirection of selected lease and rental earnings to the General Fund." As usual, I find the BAR confusing. It's a procedural item (as they have done this before). They want $2.6M for the General Fund from these earnings. But mum's the word as to WHAT they are using it for. Maybe someone on the Board will ask for an accounting of this spending. (Seeing as you'd think these kind of building-related funds would go to actually taking care of our buildings and I'm pretty darn sure that's not what they are using the majority of funds for.)
- another one I find somewhat troubling (and I saw this at the Operations committee) is amending the Board policy on Holidays to add in a new law passed in 2014 and to add in a token new holiday.
In 2014, the legislature approved Senate Bill 5173, which amended RCW 1.16.050 to entitle school district employees to two unpaid holidays per calendar year for reason of faith or conscience or an organized activity conducted under the auspices of a religious denomination, church, or religious organization. (To note, employees already get two unpaid days so there is no cost to this one.)
In 2014, the legislature also approved Substitute Senate Bill 6078, which also amended RCW 1.16.050 to call out the Friday immediately following the fourth Thursday in November as Native American Heritage Day.
This one surprises me. I thought that most Native Americans did not approve of Thanksgiving to begin with so designating a holiday the day after Thanksgiving seems tone-deaf to me. (I missed the discussion in the Legislature about this so I may be wrong.)
Friday, Sept. 5th
Superintendent Nyland will be at the 9:30 am ribbon-cutting for Dearborn Park as it becomes Dearborn Park International School.
Director Peaslee's first Community meeting in many months. It's from 3:30-4:30 pm at the Northgate Branch Library.
Odds and Ends
Hmm, the Seattle Times is conducting a survey about their "Education Lab" ("you could win a $100 gift certificate"). I took it and they ask you how many individual stories you have read. I was pretty surprised at the number of stories I either passed on or missed.
Speaking of being heard online, the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (you know the Common Core assessment our state signed up for) is asking for anyone to participate in their "Online Panel." They say it will take three hours (but you can take two days to finish it). I haven't done it but it appears you choose a content area/grade level (and contact info). This will take place between October 6-17, 2014.
Communications has hired a new staffer to replace long-time employee Teresa Whippel. Her name is Stacy Howard and some comes from Seattle U from Media Relations and has worked as an assignment editor at KOMO-tv. She has a daughter in SPS.