Sunday, January 04, 2015

Seattle Schools This Week

Monday, Jan. 5th
Community meeting with Director McLaren
6:00 PM - 7:45 PM at Delridge Branch Library, 5423 Delridge Way SW

Tuesday, Jan. 6th
Paramount Duty conversation at JSCEE from 6:30-8:30pm

The speakers are:
Tom Ahearne, the trial lawyer for the plaintiffs in the McCleary case, will speak on how Washington State is not meeting its “Paramount Duty” to fully fund education. He will also talk about the latest “contempt” decision on holding our legislators accountable.
Andrew Nicholas from the WA State Budget and Policy Center will talk about the challenges of financing basic education and the reforms to the revenue system that can make that possible.

Event is FREE, but seating is limited.  RSVP at:
Wednesday, Jan 7th
School Board meeting, starting at 4:15 pm.  Agenda

Action Highlights:
- approval of a lucrative superintendent contract for Superintendent Nyland
- Transportation standards for the 2015-2016 school year
- Capacity funding. Projects list.

The approved Capital Budget adopted in July 2014 includes $3,550,000 for Capacity Management actions within BTA III ($550,000) and BEX IV ($3,000,000). This action increases that amount by $2,940,000 to a total of $6,490,000. BEX IV Capacity Management funding will be reduced by -$1,260,000 and additional funding will come from BTA III and BEX III Capital Funds as follows: BTA III $2,800,000 (which includes $1,950,000 from BTA III Ending Fund Balance) and BEX III $1,400,000 (KC Impairment Recovery). 

No projects are being canceled or deferred by this action and no contingency reserve funds are being used.

I'd have to go back and look but I don't remember any funds in BEX III for capacity management.  So I'd say that staff may be hedging things with this "no cancelled or deferred projects" but they left out "reduced."   

Most of this seems to be for 38 new portables.  Schmitz Park, they are truly trying to create a portable city (not a village) at your school.  Please remember that your pleas for help fell on deaf ears when School Board elections come around.

- Extension of the Alliance for Education MOU.  
I can't figure out which one is more troubling and/or suspicious to me; the Africatown partnership or the Alliance partnership. 

Intro highlights

- The mystery around the Sprague-Israel contract for employee benefits continues.  This item appears to have been kicked down the road - by my count - at least twice previously and it is again.  

- Bidding on Federal Reserve Building.  There are still no bids on this building; the last day to bid is January 28th.  The district will dip into "unreserved" capital funds to meet the minimum $5M bid if the Board okays this measure.

There is to be an Executive Session at the end of the regular Board meeting.

Thursday, Jan 8th 
Executive Committee meeting, 4:30-6:00 pm  Agenda

Audit & Finance Committee, 4:30-6:30 pm  Agenda not yet available.

Financial Aid Event for high school students.
College Goal Washington Financial Aid Event for Seniors from 6-8:30 pm at Roosevelt High School
Contact:  Krista Rillo
College Bound Scholarship Counselor
Seattle Public Schools

Friday, Jan 9th
BEX Oversight Committee Meeting, 8:30-10:30AM

Saturday, Jan 10th 
Community Meeting with Director Carr from 8:30-10 am at Bethany Community Church


Lia said...

When does SEA negotiate their contract with the district? I suspect A4E wants to be involved.

Lia said...

The Executive Committee will be looking at capacity. There 4 schools that will have expenditures for repurposing classrooms; these schools are listed as P5 or P6. Is it the intention of the district to place prek classrooms in these schools for the city?

If so, has the city provided funding? Note: The Board has not signed a Partnership agreement with the city, yet.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Lia, absolutely but I cannot believe the Board would put that in the MOU. The Alliance's so-called Our Schools group is a joke so getting traction there as a "community" coalition will not work.

You reminded me there is an early draft of the preschool partnership agreement to review.

$200K Club said...

Taxpayers are getting ripped-off.

Nyland will collect $300K.

Charles Wright collects $199K salary and $25K benefits; Tolley, English and Apostle collect $176K plus $24K in benefits.

We're looking at over $1M for a few people.

Anonymous said...

@ Lia

I'm pretty sure the "P" in P5, P6, etc... stands for portable, not preschool, in the capacity document.

My interpretation is that those portables housed something other than regular classrooms, and they are being repurposed into classrooms.

- North-end Mom

Sigh said...

Below is the present MOU with the Alliance and supports teacher contracts:

" Effective teaching: Supporting evidence-based contract reform and new teacher training and support initiatives"

A4E wants to work with principals:

Supporting and developing strong effective leaders throughout SPS, including the School Board, Superintendent and principal corps

SPS has a role at the table, but they do NOT vote:

AFE Board of Directors positions for SPS
There shall be non-voting Ex Officio positions on AFE's Board of Directors for:
 The President of the SPS School Board
 The SPS Superintendent or Interim Superintendent, should one be assigned"

Charlie Mas said...

I reviewed the superintendent evaluation tool. It has some interesting elements.

It is all about goals and is organized in four sections, three of which align with the goals of the Strategic Plan.

The first section has three goals that are part of the first Strategic Plan goal, instruction. They are the implementation of Common Core, the implementation of MTSS, and the implementation of PG&E.

These are all continuing goals and they are all items that we have seen among the Board's annual priorities.

The second section has six goals around improving systems. They include capacity management, bell times, management systems, HR systems, fiscal systems, and special education. I find it odd - and very telling - that special education is regarded as a bureaucratic system issue rather than an education issue. That pretty much illustrates what's wrong with special education in Seattle Public Schools. Also worth noting in this section is that bell times has usurped equitable access to services. Bell times is the new Equitable Access Framework, which means that it won't be done.

There are two goals in the community engagement section: improving customer service and improving the district's culture. This echos the re-interpretation of community engagement as a customer service issue rather than a communication issue.

The fourth section isn't about the strategic plan. It has six goals that are about core competencies. Policy compliance isn't among them. That's simply not part of the superintendent's evaluation.

Anonymous said...

The link for the Executive Committee agenda goes to a document from the December 10th agenda - so Lia they are not looking at capacity in the January 8 meeting.

Just sayin'

Lia said...

I'm looking at the Executive Committee Agenda, just sayin, the Dec. document does deal with mid year and capacity management into 2015-16.

Anonymous said...

Lia, the attachment linked in this blog post is actually a document for the 12/10 Special Board Meeting, not the upcoming Exec Ctte meeting. Just sayin' appears to be correct. If you look at the actual agenda for the upcoming Exec Ctte meeting, capacity mgmt isn't on it.

That said, can anyone explain what's going on with this capacity mgmt document? It looks to me like they are adding 6 elementary classrooms now (Jan 2015), and 31 additional rooms this summer. So if we need 37 new elementary classrooms now, where do they think all these extra kids will go to middle and high school? Is there a similar document that addresses capacity enhancements at these schools???

Half Full

Anonymous said...

@Half Full

They've been adding 30+ portables/classrooms per year for several years now. Mostly at elementary schools

They seem to only plan for "intermediate" capacity on a year-to-year basis.

They opened JAMS this year. It will probably be full next year.

Hale is getting more portables next year. I'm not sure what other high schools can take portables...maybe Ingraham?

- reality check

Anonymous said...

Hale has one double portable already. I wonder where they are going to put the other one. The campus is shared with the community center so I wonder how much of the parking lots are actually school property. Where does Hale's property line sit? I ask this partly due to the recent 2nd Amendment Issue at Hale.


Anonymous said...

Just saw this. We're in for a world of hurt if Liv Finne is the best they can offer up on education policy..


Melissa Westbrook said...

Yikes, you can see my reply at their site but yes, if she's Washington State's answer to public education, we're all in trouble.

mirmac1 said...

I could see the latest A4E faux "coalition" that purports to train board candidate, but would love to recruit corporate reformers, ask their friends at Seattle Met/Times/Stranger(!) to put forth names like Finne.