Sunday, May 03, 2015

Seattle Schools This Week

- Forgot about the meeting about the naming of the schools at the Wilson-Pacific site on Monday, the 4th at Lincoln at 6:30 pm.

-  I was mistaken about the issue of Coe Elementary's library naming. A reader let me know that 6115- Plaques, Name Plates, and Donor Walls, was pulled at the last Board meeting, not about 6970, Naming of School District Buildings.

- The Bell Times meeting on Tuesday, the 5th at the New Holly Hall is 7pm, not 5 pm.

End of updates

Lots of activity in the district this week.

Entire week - Teacher Appreciation Week (the district only has Tuesday as Teacher Appreciation Day but I looked it up - it's the whole week).

Say thank you to a teacher.  FYI, remember your favorite teacher K-12? They are aging and if you want to let them know how much they meant to you, time's a'wastin'.

Tuesday,  May 5th
 Operations Committee Meeting of the Whole from 4:30-6:30 pm.

Agenda?  What agenda?

It's now 48 hours from the meeting, so where's the agenda?  How can they have the agenda for the Board meeting on Wednesday but not for a meeting on Tuesday?   What burning issue necessitates this lag? 

Also on Tuesday, the second of the School Bell Times forums, this one at New Holly Neighborhood Gathering Hall from 5-7 pm.  I have questions into staff about some issues that came up at the first one (like why two surveys and which survey will be the hard-copy one distributed to parents at schools?).

Wednesday, May 6th
School Board Meeting, starting at 4:15 pm.  Agenda.

This is one of those agendas that Charlie really hated, just chockful of capital issues, particularly in the Intro part of the agenda.  There's no policy in these -  just getting the Board's permission to spend money.

One big Intro item - an anonymous donor is giving the district $2.7M over six years for use of the Athletic Department.  I'm more than a little surprised that this has had no public notice.

It would appear that the Athletic Department wants to move to use the yearly disbursement to offset pay for play fees.  (I would assume for F/RL students but there is no specification on that.)  The first installment would come in late spring of 2015 if the Board approves it.  The first installment would be for $559,783 for 2015-2016.  That amount would be about the same for the first 3 years and then go down in years 4-6.  (What happens after that is unclear.)

I'm a little surprised that the Athletic department isn't asking schools and the Board for input on how to spend the money given that it will all be spent on fees for a set number of years, rather than investing it in, say, equipment, that might last a lot longer.  I'm not saying reducing pay for play fees isn't a good idea but why is it the only idea?

One big Action item - approving the school calendar for 2015-2016. 

The really interesting part will come early on when Directors Peters and Patu reintroduce their Smarter Balanced resolution.  They are asking for it to be put on the agenda during the Business Action Items portion of the Board meeting.  

What to look for here is for the two directors to see the other directors quietly vote this down OR, as one did at the last meeting, decided to publicly berate them.  (This is violation of the Board's own stated rules of engagement with each other.)  I doubt if it will pass but I think the opt-outs from the SBAC might influence the vote (i.e. they may find one more vote in their favor).

To note - besides the high schools with major opt-outs from juniors, these schools have also had participation:
Arbor Heights, Bryant, Blaine, Concord, Dearborn Park, Denny, Eckstein, John Rogers, JSIS, K-5 STEM, Lincoln, MacDonald, Madison, McClure, Olympic View, Pathfinder, Roxhill, Sacajawea, Salmon Bay, Schmitz Park, Thurgood Marshall, TOPS, Whitman and View Ridge.  Schools with at least 50 opt-outs include TOPS and Pathfinder. 

I also note a bit of a mystery item on the Intro Item list which is the naming of Coe Elementary's library.  I have absolutely no problem with who they are naming the library for (Karen and Richard Kearns).  What is odd is that the Naming policy is currently being revamped and, at the last Board meeting, the Superintendent pulled it off the agenda.

So if it's still being revamped - ostensibly because it needs to be changed - then why are they naming a library now?  Wouldn't you want to wait for the new policy?  Or maybe the old policy is fine and, if so, why change it? 

Also on Wednesday, School Bell Times forum at Garfield High from 7-8:30 pm. 

Thursday, May 7th
Executive Committee Meeting from 4:30-6:00 pm.  Again, agenda?  What agenda?  (I was told the new Alliance for Education MOU would be on this agenda but without the agenda to look at, I'm at a loss.)

Friday, May 8th
BEX Oversight Committee Meeting from 8:30-10:30 am.  Agenda not yet available.

Saturday, May 9th
Board retreat from 9 am-3:30 pm at JSCEE.  No agenda available.
 Hey, I'll lay odds this one will be about....governance.  The amount of time this Board spends on "governance" is ridiculous. 


Lynn said...

On the Athletic Department grant, the donor is providing the funds to make participation free for every student. (The department has no choice in how to use the money.) An amendment to Board Procedure 3520 Student Fees and Charges is attached to the Board Action Report.

Anonymous said...

That will free up some of our Sports Booster funds at Hale. Hale uses the Dumlao fund to pay for fees for F/RL kids. The Dumlaos will need to decide if they want to expand their help though they do pay for things like shoes and tee shirts and hoodies too. Not equipment at this time. I know gymnastics needs some new equipment and I am sure there are other sports in need.


Anonymous said...

Melissa - the policy that was removed April 22nd was about 6115- Plaques, Name Plates, and Donor Walls, not about 6970, Naming of School District Buildings.

Straight Facts

Ragweed said...

Tonight is the community meeting on the naming of the two buildings at Wilson Pacific. The meeting will be held at the Lincoln Building, 4400 Interlake Ave N, from 5:30 - 8:30.

Native Community organizations are advocating for the Middle School building to be renamed for Robert Eagelstaff. At Eaglestaff's funeral in 1996, then superintendent John Stanford announced they would rename the Wilson-Pacific building for Eagelstaff, but that promise was never fulfilled. Now is an opportunity to right that, and to commemorate a contemporary Native leader who made a huge difference for so many people in this area.


Ragweed said...

sorry - that is Robert Eaglestaff (too many typos this morning!)

ProSleep Mom said...

Correction to the time of the Bell Times meeting at New Holly- it is from 7-8:30- don't go a 5 pm. The District has it wrong on their calendar, which is where Melissa got her time from- I have notified them to correct it.

Please go to the meeting! Our voices must be heard. Join the people from the previous meeting and ask for:
1) a clear accounting of the cost of Two Tiers
2) Demand better options, such as Two Tier, or Modified Flip w/ K-8 in Tier 2. These were the top two ranked options from the Task Force.

If you can't go to the meeting, please write the Board and Super and let them know what you think.

Many people don't like either option- and it's no surprise; the task force didn't like them either, and rated them 3rd (Modified Flip) 5th (no change, and 8th (Extended HS day). (FYI, we had 8 options.)

Our 52,000 kids deserve a schedule that aligns with their biology, and supports their health, safety, and learning- PLEASE SPEAK UP! It won't happen without you!

Anonymous said...

Is anyone else bothered by the fact that, ultimately, an interim carpet-bagger who happenstance has tempoarirly placed at the helm of SPS will have all the power to name the buildings at Wilson-Pacific? Nyland really does get to say what happens - and everyone else will fall in line. No matter how stupid.

Seems like logically, the elementary school should be the Wilson Elementary, and per above, the comprehensive middle school could be Eaglestaff. What gives SPS the right to pull of the name Wilson OFF of the building, erase it from the site??

STUDENTS named it, VERY intentionally, in honor of a Nobel Peace Prize winning US President!

Honestly, naming the building in honor of a Scottish born person who was a botanist... relevance? What about Dixie Lee Ray, first female Washington Stare Govenor, who herself ferociously pursued and education? Not sure becoming a PhD back in the early 50s at Standford was 'easy' for a woman back in the day. This is not about her politics, but about her accomplishments which were extraordinary. It is moot, because the fix is in. Somebody sat around and had some bad ideas and now were are stuck with those. Douglas Fir? And, if SPS owes Sharples a building, they probably have to make good on that first.

Regardless, no matter how stupid the name, if we could just get the auditorium, that is the ball-game. We got the lockers, dragging the district and the builders SOJ KICKING and SCREAMING, so at least there is that.

WP bound

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