Monday, November 03, 2014

Interesting Items from the Friday Memo

The Friday Memo from the superintendent to the Board is often worth reading. There are some interesting items in it this week for sure.



The superintendent mistook support for the Alliance for Education as support for Seattle Public Schools. Someone needs to tell him that the Alliance is an advocacy organization, not a fundraiser for the District.

There's an update on the RC-CAP, the plan to make our Special Education compliant with federal law. Some really fundamental matters continue to go un-addressed.

  • Need to correct IEPs by November 14th in order to qualify for all the funding for which we are eligible
  • Concerns about lack of interface between IEP online and PowerSchool causing too much handwork and errors
  • Putting procedures and organization structures in place to ensure that staff/parents know where to get good information
  • Stabilize leadership for Special Education and other departments
  • Provide added supports to assist Wyeth and Michaela to put out fires, oversee the entire special education program and fix compliance issues
  • Address communications by letting staff know of our corrective action compliance and addressing parent concerns

How long have they been working on this and they still have these basic problems? That's unacceptable.

The Teaching and Learning Update has a mealy-mouthed counter-whine in response to the complaints that the Board has heard about services for deaf and hard of hearing students. I defy anyone to pull any sense out of this statement other than: "We do stuff to serve these students - all kinds of stuff."

There are some new staff people, including some new folks in some high profile roles.
  • Erin Stoen, Director of College and Career Readiness
  • Chris Drape, STAR Mentor and Seattle Teacher Residency Program Manager
  • Adam Dysart, Multi-Tiered System of Supports Program Manager
These people will soon be held responsible for the failure to implement initiatives that were poorly planned, inadequately funded, and pushed on people without their buy-in. Good luck, newbies!

16 comments:

Melissa Westbrook said...

I am going to looking into the deaf/hard of hearing services because no, all is not what it seems. (And the district has students going out of district for services which costs a LOT of money.)

Anonymous said...

KOMO report on deferred maintenance:

http://www.komonews.com/news/local/Waste-and-neglect-at-Seattle-Public-Schools-281338231.html

--NE Parent

Anonymous said...

Great report, NE Parent. Sad, and unsurprising, but nice to see on the news.
-passing thru

Anonymous said...

Surprise surprise! They focus on Eckstein.

HP

Anonymous said...

Yes, Melissa

There is a disconnect between what the District is saying is in place for deaf/hard of hearing and what parents are presenting to the school board and elsewhere.

And there is really no way to get the District to be accountable to parents on this.

Follower

mirmac1 said...

These three hires are for unfunded Strategic Plan work. They must print the money or something. There remains a lack of transparency for where our funds are going.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Follower, as my Tennessee granny used to say, "there's more than one way to skin a dead cat."

Anonymous said...

In a perfect world, SPS would realize that optimum environmental conditions are conducive to optimum academic performance - how does a kid think properly in a room that's 87 degrees??

And yet, there are new admin hires - what a fascinatingly and totally screwed up world SPS is.

reader47

Anonymous said...

RE:
Chris Drape, STAR Mentor and Seattle Teacher Residency Program Manager
Adam Dysart, Multi-Tiered System of Supports Program Manager


Sooooo.....

Dr. Nyland has the money for

Mr. Drape, whose going to manage people who in turn will drop in on teachers....

and for

Mr. Dystart, who knows what he will actually do...

but,

Dr. Nyland couldn't find money or prioritize budget for two actual teachers? (I am thinking BF Day and Garfield, as two examples).

That is f'ed up.

Hands up, who prefers the two actual teachers to the two who-knows-what-they-will-actually-do folks in the glass palace?

I see a whole lot of hands, from kids, parents, and fellow teachers (in those buildings and elsewhere).

Hands up, who prefers two MORE pencil pushers downtown? Who won't see or interact with these things we like to call "students"?

Not seeing a whole lot of hands.



TOP HEAVY

Pro-sleep Mom said...

Another act of violence at an area school- fortunately, no students were around and there were no serious injuries to adults either: http://www.komonews.com/news/local/Bottle-bomb-explodes-outside-Redmond-elementary-school-281321221.html

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

real change said...


Provide added supports to assist Wyeth and Michaela to put out fires, oversee the entire special education program and fix compliance issues

.. This is code for hire more central staff


Address communications by letting staff know of our corrective action compliance and addressing parent concerns

...This means ?

So lets talk a little bit about what is going on with "parental concerns". SPS continues to hire outside lawyers in responding to complaints. SPS consistently denies any allegations made by parents. SPS continues to violate the IDEA and generate complaints. As far as I know SPS never contacts the parents and tries to resolve issues before hiring the lawyer or responding to OSPI.

Linh-Co said...

Reposting for Anonymous:

Anonymous said...
Adam Dysart was the "curriculum specialist" (no, that does not mean "teacher") in charge of the recent K-5 math textbook adoption committee. In that role he outdid himself in disinformation, manipulation, and outright deception. I would have thought he was in line for a demotion.

-Anonymous

mirmac1 said...

Yes, I thought I had heard Dysart's name before.

I'm trying to figure what in god's name he could possibly know about social-emotional supports?! Nothing in his resume seems to suggest he has an inkling.

mirmac1 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Melissa Westbrook said...

And the steady rise of administration jobs keeps going up and up.

I DO want Sped to be right and on the good foot. But boy, more of the usual suspects.

But maybe that's by design.