Saturday, September 12, 2015

Whatever Your Feelings about the Strike....

Final update for today: As of 20 minutes ago, both sides have stopped for the day (and that's been a long day) and will start again tomorrow.

KPLU is reporting - @kystokes: JUST IN: @seapubschools puts new offer on the table with 'funds to address the 20 minute addition in the student day.' #SPSstrike #waedu

end of update.

Negotiation Update:

From SPS (as of two hours ago):  SPS and SEA are both currently at the table negotiating.

Via KPLU: they have been working since 10 am this morning.

end of update

PLEASE send your e-mails to the Superintendent AND the Board.

They all need to see the evidence of what the issues are to parents and communities.  Don't preach to the choir or just vent to those you disagree with - tell ALL of them.

Easiest way is schoolboard@seattleschools.org

21 comments:

InGoodFaith said...

Whatever your feelings about the strike ... Please let SEA AND SPS know. Melissa included the school board e-mail above. SEA brass include jknapp@washingtonea.org, pcampano@washingtonea.org, and jdonaghy@washingtonea.org. Both teams need to remain at the table and bargain in good faith until a resolution is found.

Christine E. said...

About an hour ago, I sent the following email to Phyllis Campano and Jonathan Knapp of the SEA and copied it to Nyland and the school board. I got an immediate response from Phyllis asking me to flood the Superintendent's and the School board with this message. Most of my content came from another parent so feel free to adapt and use it if you find it helpful.
Dear friends at SEA:

I strongly support the SEA and the teaching and support staff of the Seattle Public Schools. However, I am horrified to hear that the SEA has conceded to higher staffing ratio for the ACCESS program! This program serves primarily students with autism, most of whom have some combination of sensory issues, social/behavioral issues, emotional issues including anxiety and depression, executive function difficulties, and some also have significant medical issues. A higher staff:student ratio in the Access program will not affect my own SPS 8th-grader as she does not need special education services, but I and other gen-ed parents care deeply about the education of all our children, especially those who are most vulnerable.

SPS has had a terrible track record with hiring and retaining Special Ed teachers, and creating even more strain on those teachers by asking them to do the impossible will drive away the good ones we have! If you are working for the best interest of our kids, you need to stay strong for these super-vulnerable students and your colleagues who give it all to support them.

Please, please, do *not* concede to higher ratios for Special Ed teachers. Special Ed teachers and their students need all the support we can give them, and we CANNOT give mixed messages about that to SPS.

Thank you for all you are doing.

Christine Edgar

Anonymous said...

Here's one I wrote to SPS and I cc'd SEA, titled

"ACCESS Kids and Staff will suffer under your current Bargaining Proposal

To Superintendent Nyland, Special Ed Ombudsman and members of the Board:

I am a longstanding supporter of the Seattle Public Schools and have invested three years of my time as a PTSA President, running fundraisers and events and building community support for our schools and the principals and staff therein.

I am also the parent of a 9th grader in the ACCESS program and I am horrified to hear that the SPS is proposing a higher staffing ratio for that program and that SEA is also negotiating this question.

The fact that SPS would even consider this move suggests to me that you don't have a real understanding of what it is like to have a student who qualifies for ACCESS, or to work with kids like this. These students require extreme amounts of supervision and coaching, even the ones that are highly academically gifted. The challenge of dealing with just one of these kids and helping him/her successfully navigate a full day of academic general ed classes is tremendous! Just ask any ACCESS teacher.

I'm sorry to say SPS Special Ed has very little credibility in the public for delivering services and delivering them well. The District has no room for error here! If you truly are working for the best interest of these students, you MUST maintain staffing levels at current levels. Please, let's do our best to retain the dedicated Special Ed staff that we have, and give ourselves the best opportunity to recruit new staff - by ensuring that Special Ed teachers have a manageable workload.

Please withdraw your proposal to increase staffing ratios for ACCESS classrooms. The affected teachers, students and families are already facing enough challenges. Rest assured I have given SEA the very same feedback.

Thank you,
Lisa Melenyzer

Christine E. said...

Even better, Lisa! Which is not surprising, as I stole almost all of the wording of my previous email from a letter you posted elsewhere!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for providing such great example letters! As a special education parent and a gen ed parent I am so worried that case load and SPED program cuts will fall into the shadows of the "headline" issues!

seattle citizen said...

SEA just texted "Negotiations are done for the day. Talks resume tomorrow." Cryptic.

seattle citizen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I want to know why negotiations aren't going into the night and what time are they headed to the table tomorrow morning? NO ONE leaves until this is done. Our children need to be in school. ON MONDAY!

SPS Parent/Teacher

Anonymous said...

I wish they would let us know if any progress was made today.
TS

Eckstein mom said...

Thank you for these letters to SEA and the district regarding the Access staff reduction. I am going to copy them and send them to both!

ProSleep Mom said...

And the 20 minute offer- is that for elem? middle? high school? all? everyday? some days? what happens to PCP time? please write if you know the answers.

Anonymous said...

I want our SEA bargaining team to get the best contract they can for children and staff. I want to get us all in school as soon as possible with a solid contract. I do not begrudge the bargaining team going home when they are getting close to a 10 hour day. My school has a staff member on the bargaining team. We all, including her, walked 25 - 30 miles during our 2 day picket and Friday's service project. The bargaining team was not able to recuperate today. It's most important to get the contract right. There is a lot at stake for students, especially students with the greatest needs.

Eckstein mom said...

Okay, I just combined the two letters above about Access and sent to the School Board, Nyland, and Knapp and Campano. I hope they listen. I know this blog gets a lot of users. I hope more letters are sent because this should be the number one priority. Reduce teacher-student ratio for Access. Shoreline Public Schools has a ratio of 1:9 for Access. 1:15 is insane. How are we setting our students up for success with that?

Anonymous said...

Reposted for Anonymous

Veteran


Anonymous said...
I want our SEA bargaining team to get the best contract they can for children and staff. I want to get us all in school as soon as possible with a solid contract. I do not begrudge the bargaining team going home when they are getting close to a 10 hour day. My school has a staff member on the bargaining team. We all, including her, walked 25 - 30 miles during our 2 day picket and Friday's service project. The bargaining team was not able to recuperate today. It's most important to get the contract right. There is a lot at stake for students, especially students with the greatest needs.

Anonymous said...

https://www.facebook.com/events/1495868097400202/
Link to event regarding caseloads for ESA and SpEd. 8:30 Monday @ JSCEE. Interested parties, please check out.

Sped supporter

Angela Walters said...

SEA has not agreed to the SPS Access proposal nor to the removal of this program from the high schools. Send your comments to the school board!

Annoyed Again said...

This is what I wrote the the school board:

----

The purpose of our administration, the division run by the superintendent, is to ensure the smooth functioning of the Seattle School District. The only reason the jobs in central administration exist is to make our schools run better, more smoothly, and more efficiently.

The superintendent appears to be unable to run a smoothly functioning school district. You, on the school board, should do something about that.

The purpose of the central administration is the make our schools run more smoothly. The purpose of the school board is to ensure that the superintendent does their job. The superintendent getting these negotiations to the point of a strike is unacceptable. He, and you, need to get the schools running again and get this school district functioning again.

monkeypuzzled said...

Sped supporter, here's the correct link to the rally Monday morning (you posted in the link to the Tuesday march). Please, we'd love to see lots of people there--whether you have a kid in SPS or not, and whether or not that kid has special needs. I think we know that when inclusion is done badly, more than just special ed kids suffer, and when it's done right, the whole community benefits. Show up at JSCEE wearing red and carrying signs that reference ACCESS staffing ratios and ESA caseloads. Thank you!

https://www.facebook.com/events/514093172090417/

Anonymous said...

Well stated Annoyed,

I just told my daughter "no school on Monday". Her response: a sad "Awwwwwww".

Nyland, the administration and the Board (with the exception of Sue Peters) are really hurting kids.

-Parent

Fairness for all said...

Could someone please address the following issue:
Secretaries will be greatly impacted by students being in school an additional half hour.
The office calms down once the students have left for the day, and that time is used to work on the many projects we have that are time sensitive.
Has anyone thought about compensating secretaries not just teachers for this additional burden?????

n said...

You know, fairness for all, I believe and trust that our negotiators are honestly trying to make a fair contract for all. That is really why this is so difficult. Extra time seems to be one of the most troubling issues and I believe your concern is uppermost in their thinking. We can't know everything. We have to trust. I do. I really do.