Sunday, November 23, 2014

Seattle Schools This Week and Good News

Good News
3-D Lego making at Cleveland High's STEM program.

Chief Sealth wins gold in the Youth Division for their video, Riffing on a Dream at the Social Justice Film Festival.

In the film, inspired by a project called Question Bridge, 13 students sat down in front of a camera and gave their unscripted answers to questions from classmates to prompt racial dialogue within their school.

The SPS story does not name the young filmmakers but you know their names, please let me know. 

Monday, Nov. 24th
No school for elementary and K-8 for parent/teacher conferences.

Work Session two-parter from 4:30pm-8:30 pm
Part One - Evaluation of the Superintendent (open session) - 1 hour
Part Two - Evaluation of a public employee (closed session) - 3 hours 

I would urge you to write to the the Board at with the subject line "Superintendent review" and let the Board know what you think.  I think Nyland is an experienced administrator but it would appear, is being directed by others. His signature on the Gates grant for the preschool at Bailey Gatzert two months before it came before the Board shows that. It also shows that he apparently does not know Board policy or does not plan to respect it.  (Of course, why should he? Senior staff in general don't.)

Tuesday, Nov. 26th
No school for elementary and K-8 for parent/teacher conferences.

Executive Committee meeting of the Whole (COW) from 4:30-7:00 pm, no agenda yet available.  

No Director community meetings this Saturday.


Anonymous said...


"Riffing on the Dream" has the names of the students who answered questions in the credits at the end of the film.


Furious said...

The procedure and process for the Gates prek grant was a complete and utter sham.

Larry Nyland signed the agreement with Gates long before the agreement/grant was put into committee meetings and before the board accepted this grant. In essence, Nyland violated board policy. Nyland acted independently, entered into an agreement with Gates,and accepted $250K long before board approval.

Larry Nyland needs to be held accountable for his actions. The board needs to deal with this issue and reflect Nyland's unprofessional actions in his evaluation and not consider him as superintendent.

The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. Is there anything else Nyland is hiding??

Furious said...

"I would urge you to write to the the Board at with the subject line "Superintendent review" and let the Board know what you think. I think Nyland is an experienced administrator but it would appear, is being directed by others."

I agree. Google: Marysville School district and you will find that policies are fairly standard, these days.

IMO, Nyland is pushing an agenda- independently, violating policy and he needs to be held accountable.

Jane said...

Please be aware that every e-mail you write to the general school board dispersed to various individuals throughout the district.

If you don't want your information shared with approximately 8 individuals throughout the John Stanford Center...use each board member's independent e-mail address.

Elsa said...

Thanks Jane.

I never had any faith in any of them in central administration (including Nyland) anyway but the ones that really hurt are those board members that sit by and ALLOW this nonsence after running as 'reform' candidates really infuriate me.

Really, with 'rah-rah' Alliance allies like Blanford you know what you are getting but voting to oust Peter and Steve and getting what we have is enough to make anyone furious.

"Our house" indeed!

cmj said...

Has anyone seen Riffing on the Dream? I would have loved to, but couldn't.

Melissa Westbrook said...

None of us who have not served cannot truly know what it is like to be on the School Board. I'm sure it's quite different than it looks from here.

But honestly, if you have the power of the purse, you have power. So many times, I don't get it.

Additionally, not follow Board policies? That would be a problem.

Mia said...

Maier and Sundquist were rubber stampers and district operations fell apart. Maier and Sundquist also worked for the Alliance and stripped our schools of counselors, drug and alcohol specialists, summer school while pouring $12M into administration.

This board is an improvement and works to support the community.

Anonymous said...

I watched the video Riffing on a Dream and I think it is very interesting and well done. I like how uncensored it appears to be, and that there are different viewpoints expressed by people of the same race. It also makes me realize how out of touch I am with teen culture in general and especially when it comes to race.

White parent of child in diverse school

Unknown said...


Riffing on the dream is on YouTube.

-west seattle parent

Anonymous said...

This board also brought us an improved elementary math curriculum, which the administrators fought for years. The newer women on the board are a huge improvement over the downtown boys.

Now if we could just get a new high school in the Amgen building.....

S parent

mirmac1 said...

SPS Budgeting instructions 2014-15

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting that link, mirmac! We're working out what the best placement for our daughter is for next year, and I have been wondering whether any aide she had would come out of the school's budget or the central budget. Nice to confirm that per the budget instructions the central budget should pay for most of it.

Mom of 4

Josh said...

"Directors asked Ms. Toner why the grant specifies P-3 in one part of the description and P-5 in another. Ms. Toner spoke about various definitions for early learning and confirmed that at Seattle Public Schools, the Early Learning Department covers PreK–5 because College & Career Readiness works with students in grades 6 and up. She added that P-5 schools aligned with the Seattle Preschool Program will receive a grant ($250,000 each year over three years, totaling $750,000), if the application Seattle Public Schools submitted is approved"