Monday, September 21, 2015

FYI, Friday, October 9th is a No School Day

Update from District Communications (6 pm Tuesday)
SPS and SEA are working together on a new, revised school calendar...

So stay tuned...

end of update

Update from the Board office:

 I have done some following up on your question regarding school on October 9th, and I have found that we are still working on revising the calendar, as it takes some time to work through with SEA and the other unions. We will notify families, schools, etc. once it is finalized.

end of update

UPDATE:  Waiting for an answer from the district on this one because it seems there is NO clear answer.

To reiterate - I don't know what Friday, October 9th is but when I do, I'll put it up.

End of update

An alert reader brought this to my attention as it had not been on the district calendar this way.  The reader said Eckstein teachers told her that it would be no school that day.  I note that the district calendar page now says "No School - Teacher Work Day."

Mark your calendar accordingly.

33 comments:

Po3 said...

Roosevelt and Ballard HS calendars says Yes school on 10/9.
Garfield and Franklin calendars say NO school on 10/9

I think RHS and BHS have it right.

And also I believe the day off between semesters is also now a school day.

I never go by what the district calendar says. :)

Anonymous said...

Is that a recent reversal? Our 9/10 school newsletter said no school that day, but the 9/17 version had that struck through, with a not that there WOULD be a make-up day that day? It's hard to plan when the message keeps changing...

Planner

Elizabeth W said...

It is now a GO TO SCHOOL day. (I called the main office to confirm.) The online calendar is not updated. Some schools have communicated the change; others have not.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Dammit, is this that hard for SPS?

Longhouse said...

Yes. Yes it is too hard for them.

Elizabeth W said...

In the last hour I have called downtown, where they told me "yes it is definitely a school day" and Eckstein where they told me "nothing is set yet".

Anonymous said...

Just received from BHS:

IMPORTANT DATE CHANGES!

October 9
School in Session
January 29
School in Session
Graduation 2015
The date for the graduation ceremony will change (TBD). Stay tuned!
Last Day of School -- TBD

BHS parent

Anonymous said...

From John Stanford Int'l Principal on 9/18 we received the following:

School Day: Due to the late start October 9th will be a school day (it was previously a teacher professional development day)

Marmauset

Anonymous said...

I'm happy that the kids will be in school on 10/9, but don't teachers need their professional development days?

-curious

Elizabeth W said...

Well, someone is working on the calendar. I just saw an event labeled "test two".

Sigh.

Outsider said...

SPS tossed their web vendor last spring because the website was not accessible enough in some obscure way, and put in a new one. The new one has never worked terribly well -- full of placeholders and boilerplate. Probably no one knows how to operate it yet.

I wouldn't single out SPS for ridicule in this regard. It seems like typical Seattle. The perfect is the enemy of the good, and the continuously screwed up best friend of the perfect.

Melissa Westbrook said...

It's a calendar. Please.

Ebenezer said...

Outsider, you said "I wouldn't single out SPS for ridicule in this regard. It seems like typical Seattle. "

------------------

Your statement makes no sense. Did you mean something else? I don't have any problems with the City of Seattle's website, nor King County's, nor the Library (singular).

So what specifically are you referring to?

Ebenezer said...

"Library's," rather.

seattle citizen said...

Curious asked "don't teachers need their professional development days" because they lost 10/9.
The day before school started, 9/16, had no students but teachers were back in school, as a TRI day that replaced the 10/9 day, though it had likelylittle PD for most, and was, since it was unexpected and unplanned, likely just more classroom prep, etc. Though most teachers had already prepped before going on strike, sooo....
As for the Day Between Semesters, which is a day for MS and HS teachers to grade finals and such (though, interestingly, teachers do NOT get a Day After Second Semester to grade: that day after school went away a couple of years ago - half an hour after the bell rings on the last day of school, when many teachers likely have finals to grade, they are officially done for the year....?), that Day Between Semesters is gone, now, as well, so teachers will have to grade those finals on the weekend or whenever.

Anonymous said...

Yes. Yes, it is far, far too hard for them.

-flibbertigibbet

Outsider said...

By typical Seattle, I meant the urge to spend a lot of money to fix something that was not really broken, after which the thing doesn't work as well as before it was fixed. Such as spending a billion dollars to put light rail to the airport to replace an express bus that was closer to the terminal, faster, and cheaper for riders.

Individual school sections of the website lost most of their functionality after the vendor change. I assume that is because school staff don't know how to use the new system; and there are no resources to train them or restore all the old content. One could infer from other comments that they also haven't figured out how to update their calendar. (No such thing as "just a calendar" -- it's undoubtedly a huge database-driven system with complicated admin utilities and Byzantine scheme of admin privileges.) But I am guessing the new website costs more.

seattle citizen said...

Let's talk PD time, though, or, more generally, non-instructional time when teachers talk to each other, plan, copy, etc. MS and HS just gave up 40 minutes per week of that starting 2017-18. 20 minutes each day more teaching = 100 minutes minus 60 minutes early release each week.
So teachers, who are by state regs now (or soon) expected to offer students MORE instructional time (new 1080 hours of instruction) will have LESS non-instructional time in which to prepare and collaborate.
Most industrialized nations have their teachers instruct maybe 800 hours, paying them for non-instructional time so they can grade, plan, collaborate....
The US? Not so much.
Washington? Less and less.
I know one ELA teacher who had 157 students last year and has 167 this year. 175 by 2017? With no time to grade 525 pages of essays each time they're assigned? To meet with colleagues to plan how to fold that year's standards into lesson plans? To talk to students or parents?
The assumption made explicit by taking away the day after the last day of school is that teachers work for free, and do it often, and it's now built into their workload. No contracted time to do aught but instruct, so please do all those other tasks on your own time.
They want teachers to learn new standards, collaborate, observe each other, mentor...They just don't want to pay for it.
I hope citizens can take this to the statehouse. It's a travesty, and students will continue to bear the brunt of it as this trend worsens. Teachers and other educators are too busy, now, to do much else but try and do their best for students in these times: the citizenry must carry the banner, rally, and bring justice to this system.

Jet City mom said...

Its not that it is too hard.
Its that engagement with the families of their students, is not a priority.
Which we already knew even if we dont get past the example of how they run their community meetings, given their penchant for limiting the sharing of concerns by dividing into small groups.
I really dont know what it would take to change the culture.I dont think we would fare any better with elected superintendent than we do with the school board, but we have to get away from so much testing.

Anonymous said...

Teachers were told that instead of having Oct 9th as a PD day we were going to have 9/16 as a prep day and then teach on Oct 9th. The real reason we had 9/16 as a prep day is because the district wasn't ready to start school.
I have wondered when the district was going to inform parents.
A Teacher

Anonymous said...

Outsider,

The old website was not ADA-compliant and posed access problems for families. So, the upgrade wasn't simply a change for convenience or the quest for a more perfect site.

-- equity matters

Anonymous said...

I would add that screen readers could not read the old site, which is a pretty big deal.

-- equity matters

Lynn said...

The upgrade wasn't made for equity reasons though - the district didn't make the change until a parent took them to court. (Of course.)

Melissa Westbrook said...

Equity, I know all about the new website - there's a settlement in the Agenda for tomorrow's Board meeting. I also know - from looking - that most of the schools' webpages are not working properly.

But the part of the website that is the calendar? I can't believe that can't be working correctly. That's bottom-line info for parents.

Anonymous said...

The School Board approved the 2015-16 calendar, correct? So, wouldn't they have to approve any changes made to the 2015-16 calendar? I didn't see this on the agenda for tomorrow's SB meeting.

- North-end Mom

Anonymous said...

Evidently the district is communicating with some schools but not with others? Or is communicating rumors before decisions are official? or something?

This from Ingraham today

"Calendar Changes – no news from the central office yet on make-up days in the calendar."

-What?

Anonymous said...

So great SPS changed the website for ADA compliance reasons, so now it is ADA compliant but so bad and out of date that no one can get any information at all. It sure is easy to make your website compliant WHEN THERE IS NOTHING ON IT. My kid's school website is a million times worse than before. -NP

SPS Mom said...

I suspect that the confusion about 10/9 is because SPS and SEA still have to agree on the 6 strike make-up days. My guess is that 10/9 is one of the proposed make-up dates but because it hasn't been agreed upon yet, they can't confirm or deny.

Anonymous said...

SPS Mom is correct.

SEA and SPS have to negotiate the days. I think Stacey Howard said three automatic days are the built-in snow days which are the days between semesters, and two days tacked on to the end of the year. Those days are agreed upon in the contract. The other days have to be negotiated. They could not negotiate the days until after the teachers ratified the contract. I am guessing the 10/9 day is a school day as the teachers had a TRI day the day after the TA was reached.

Also, the criticism by A Teacher that the real reason we had a prep day on 9/16 was because the district wasn't ready to start school is another example of a blatant lie, meant to be inflammatory against the district, without any proof. The real reason we didn't have school on 9/16 was because we contract our buses and the bus company needs 24 hour notice to get things rolling. We could not give them the notice on 9/15 by 7 AM because the SEA board and RA had not approved the contract. They did not get the contract to approve until that afternoon. If the district would have ordered the buses in the morning to start the next day, they would have been criticized for that. They were already criticized for mentioning that school would start on the 17th before the RA approved the TA. I don't think the district gets everything right, but I wish people would pay attention to the facts and not blame the district for every single thing.

QA Parent

Melissa Westbrook said...

Again, this is about communication. All the district had to do is make parents aware that there would still be negotiations issues about the calendar after the strike was done.

That parents (and this blog) had to practically goad them into doing so is sad.

So no, I don't blame the district for "every single thing" but if they communicated properly that would happen by far fewer people. They set themselves up for this.

Lynn said...

If the buses were not ready to go the district was not ready to start school. There's no judgement associated with that - it is simply a true statement. The district has to provide transportation and it was not prepared to do so.

Anonymous said...

QA Parent,
Some people were annoyed that we didn't start school right away and thought it was the teachers' fault for not being ready. I am clarifying that the teachers were ready to work. The district was not ready. Stacey Howard said they weren't ready. I'm just clarifying it wasn't a teacher problem.
A Teacher

SPS Mom said...

Just saw this:

From SPS: SPS and SEA have finalized the 2015-16 school year calendar to adjust for the school days missed by the teacher strike.

Pending the School Board's approval October 7 - the following days will be now be regular school days:
Fri., Oct. 9
Fri., Jan. 29
Wed., Feb. 17, Thurs., Feb.18, and Fri., Feb. 19. This is a shortened mid-winter break.
Fri., June 24

At least we don't have school Monday, June 27th!