Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Crazy Board Meeting

No, not the crowd but the people on the dais.  Who are they?

To bring you up-to-speed:
- big crowd of Garfield/RHS students in support of Latin
- big crowd of Hay/Coe parents against placement of Interagency
- big crowd of Native American parents/community
- Director Martin-Morris on phone from somewhere

Then, the Superintendent (and staff) went off on a looong tangent about "Program Evaluation and Assessment Annual Report.

1) no program reports - not one.  Did School Board speak up?  Nope.

2) lengthy report from Tolley, Heath and others that was more like a Work Session.  I could not believe how long it went on.  Tolley said 10th and 11th graders  are taking Smarter Balance test and 10th grade counts for graduation.  I will have to ask how they can make 11th graders do this.

McLaren spoke up and said how great Common Core is ("there are quibbles") and it's already approved.  I could not believe my ears.

3) Superintendent had remarks about City preschool program, again praising voters and noting he was with Mayor today and there is a "committee" being started with district leaders on it (unclear who).  He said that the district needs to help "all our students." News flash: preschoolers that are not Sped are NOT SPS' responsibility.  Get State dollars for that and we can talk.

4) He also said parents of students affected by data breach were being contacted "as best we can" electronically.  WHAT?  They need to send a letter to every single family.

I have also been told that Marty McLaren told SCPTSA should would be voting Yes on the Gates Foundation grant for preschool.  I am astonished.

The real beneficiary of an approval of the grant is the City.  Not SPS.  I can only hope that other Board members vote on fiscal and prudent grounds i.e. get a partnership agreement FIRST.

The biggest shocker?  I had read all the attachments for the Gates Foundation grant action item. But somehow I missed (and it was pointed out to me) that Superintendent Nyland signed it...on September 26, 2014.

How this happened and why, I don't know.  I think this very wrong.

Just starting Speakers List now.


Anonymous said...

If you want to get a letter from SPS regarding the data breach simply file a citizens complaint with OSPI. BTW, OSPI told me they will be onsite in 2015 to audit the corrective action determination made form the breach and just not take SPSs word that they have "FIXED" the issues.

I wounder if SPS is stupid enough to fight my CC over the data breach? I was told they are using Curran Law firm to represent them in the breach. You know, Curran law the firm Ms schiers worked at before coming to SPS. Funny how SPS just keeps fighting and sending money over to Curran Law firm.

From: English, Ron
Sent: Monday, May 19, 2014 4:31 PM
To: Banda, Jose L
Cc: SchoolBoard
Subject: Re: Conflict of interest in the legal dept.
I have forwarded this to the City Ethics Office for their action. I will note that we have spent
about $1 million annually on outside legal fees of all kinds and that I made the decision to
hire the Curran firm.
I welcome a review of our litigation management practices.
Ron English
General Counsel


SPS dad said...

10% to English in kickers like seats to games etc.

Answer me this why do we have annual legal cost that couldn't be better served in house?

Also what is our total legal bill... English isn't free.

Do we have similar outsourced cost for IT?

My general thought is to aggregate legal cost including payments to victims of failed procedures, risk management or laziness and then compare it to other districts. I am concerned that our cost will be much higher. Why? Because our district is corrupt in all aspects but most is in regards to transparency and policy. Clear those two up and 80% of the lawsuits go away.

Finally I feel we have a storm brewing from the exposure from sending expansive data files to lawyers who have no reason to be looking at our kids medical info in the first place and by EMAIL! You can't email medical records for a reason; its not secure.) I believe SPS or the solicitors are open to a HIPAA violation for this breach and I will not hesitate to pursue that once they confirm that my kid was betrayed. Looking at recourse for a HIPAA violation- public notice and 10,000 fine for each violation. 8k x 10k are a lot of Ks.

If someone isn't fired over this we should protest ever board meeting going forward.

Mary G said...

@SPS dad

Any medical records submitted to school districts automatically become educational records AND are no longer protected by HIPPA. If you submit psych records to the district as part of your child's eval, they become educational records, not health records. HIPPA does not cover schools. Even school nurse records are not considered health care records under federal law, and are not covered by HIPA. An exception is health care clinics inside schools, generally run by outside organizations. These would be subject to HIPPA, but generally speaking health care records sent in to a school district are no longer recognized as such when submitted. They are covered by FERPA.

"At the elementary or secondary level, a student’s health
records, including immunization records, maintained by an educational agency or institution subject
to FERPA, as well as records maintained by a school nurse, are “education records” subject to
FERPA. In addition, records that schools maintain on special education students, including records
on services provided to students under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), are
“education records” under FERPA. This is because these records are (1) directly related to a
student, (2) maintained by the school or a party acting for the school, and (3) not excluded from the
definition of “education records.”

Please see here for further info:

Additionally, I am not sure that any records a lay person would consider medical records were emailed to the guardian.

Either way, the district can't be fined for HIPPA violations based on this incident.

Anonymous said...

@ SPED dad

Did you file a Citizens compliant?

If you do you can get the answers you seek.

BTW I think schools are exempt from HIPPA or at least the fines part of it.


Charlie Mas said...

Link to Board meeting video:

Charlie Mas said...

Board questions about the Program Evaluation & Assessment Report starts at 60:00. None of the questions were about the absence of any program evaluation in the program evaluation report. Instead the questions were about typing skills, the need for a 10th grade ELA test, and teachers changing role to include data analysis.

Charlie Mas said...

Discussion of the Advanced Learning policy begins at 62:00 of Part 2.