Saturday, October 17, 2015

Seattle Schools Updates

From Sped PTSA:

Please be assured that the October Seattle Special Education PTSA meeting IS STILL BEING HELD on October 20th 7pm - 9pm at West Seattle High School (in the library). 

Confirmed speakers are:
Israel Vela
Executive Director of Schools
Southwest Region
Seattle Public Schools
And Mike Starosky, Chief of Schools.


*Please Note - There is some confusion as our meeting was to originally be held directly after the Seattle School Districts SpEd Regional meeting.  The SPS SpEd Department cancelled their meeting.
They have rescheduled their Regional Meeting to Nov. 10th.


The Seattle SpEd PTSA has decided to keep our meeting as it was originally scheduled on Oct. 20th.
Please help spread the word, and pass this information on! Thank you.


We hope to see you there!


Rainier Beach High School 

RBHS is holding a transportation summit on Thursday, October 22nd around the number of kids at the school who have to walk there thru unsafe territory.  It's at RBHS at 6 p.m.  Guests include Councilmembers Tom Rasmussen and Bruce Harrell. Transit Riders Union petition in support.
Currently, only students who live more than two miles (as the crow flies) from their school are eligible for a free ORCA pass subsidized by the school district. Not only is four or more miles a long way to walk to and from school, often there is no safe route to walk, due to dangerous traffic or neighborhoods.
So the rule is 2 miles+ to get an ORCA card.  But here you have a school that is building its enrollment AND has a more variable landscape for the kids to walk - you'd think some of the administration spending would go to help these students.  I mean if you truly wanted to keep kids in high school, you make sure you have a safe way for them to get there.

From SPS Communications, news that two SPS art teachers have been honored.  Eckstein's Jennifer Heller has been named Middle School Art Educator of the Year by the Washington Art Education Association. As well, Montlake’s Jennifer Lundgren is WAEA’s Elementary Art Educator of the Year. Heller and Lundgren are among five award recipients statewide who will be honored at the WAEA Fall Conference in Leavenworth on Oct. 24.

Both teachers share the conviction that art class should serve as a refuge and an outlet – especially for stressed or struggling students.

“The kids who maybe don’t really shine in their classroom come in here and they can just – we like to say – let their freak flag fly a little,” says Lundgren. “They find their voice in here. It’s really great and powerful to see.”


I love that "let your freak flag fly" - I think that IS what art is about.

Russell Wilson visited Dunlap Elementary and helped out in the garden.  (Be sure to turn down the volume if you watch this video - the screams are very loud.)

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

What the heck is a "Chief of Schools"???

wondering

Melissa Westbrook said...

Oh, that's the newest administrative position. This person is to oversee the Executive Directors' work. Now you'd think that would be the Superintendent's job or maybe the Deputy Superintendent but what's one more layer of bureaucracy between the Superintendent and the front-lines of our schools? The guy they got is very qualified but it's stunning we need the role at all.

Anonymous said...

Could somebody present his qualifications?

Kari Hanson was presented as the director student services, or school services, for special education. I believe she is part of that department's "leadership team". I don't know that she has any particular qualification for helping schools understand their responsibilities and good practice. But, she gets paid a lot. She keeps herself busy doing something.

So what's with this Chief of Schools?

Skeptic

n said...

This is ridiculous. Well-qualified or not. If the super can't rely on the directors then that's one layer of admin they don't need.

Anonymous said...

The Chief of Schools makes $129,475 which is equivalent to a couple of teachers.

http://data.spokesman.com/salaries/schools/2015/92-seattle-public-schools/employees/

Eliminating a number of these leadership positions could more than eliminate the staffing problems that surfaced this month from the anomalous projections arising from <1% of the students.

-SPSparent

Anonymous said...

In looking over the stats on the above page - it looks to me like there is a problem with excess administrators across the state - not just in Seattle. Auburn, for example, has the same number of Deputy assistant superintendents as Seattle. But they have ~1/5 the number of students. They get paid a little less than Seattle's Deputy Sups. but not by that much. Grabbing the lollipop of education out of the hands of Washington state students appear to be endemic to the state, not just our district.

-SPSparent

Anonymous said...

Apply now! Special ed administration jobs galore! Everybody welcome! Axing classroom staff but hiring here!

Eg. Spencer Pan, got his fat-cat job after being certificated for less than 4 years. NO EXPERIENCE NECESSARY to be a fat-cat in SPED in SPS.

Reader

PS. Partial administration list for SPS SPECIAL ED admins in JSEE. For 7500 students we need...

FAT CATS. Salaries well more than $100,000, some with scant experience. (Cut here first!) Salaries and Job Descriptions from Kitsap Sun.
Jessee, Wyeth, Exec Director Special Education
Hanson, Kari, Director of Special Education
Clancy, Michaela, Director of SpecialEducation
Kraemer, Stephen, Teacher-Special Education XE
Olney, Robin, Spec Ed Svcs Supervisor
Carter, Elizabeth R, Spec Ed Svcs Supervisor
Studley, Sherry, Spec Ed Svcs Supervisor
Thorson, Beth M, Spec Ed Svcs Supervisor
Parks, Karla A, Applications Developer – Senior
Campbell, Patricia A, Spec Ed Svcs Supervisor
Pan, Spencer, Spec Ed Svcs Supervisor
Swanson, Teresa, Spec Ed Svcs Supervisor
Seielstad, Allison G, Spec Ed Svcs Supervisor
Landwehr, Michelle, Spec Ed Svcs Supervisor


Program Specialists. (Cut here next!)
Boyd, Glen, Special Education Program Specialist
Herzog, Wayne D, Special Education Program Specialist
Parnell, Elaine, Special Education Program Specialist
Gainer, Heidi, SPED Early Childhood Specialist
King, Stephanie, Special Education Program Specialist
Morgan-Uzzle, Monique R, Special Education Program Specialist
Gurley, Devin K, Special Education Program Specialist
Cook, Catherine M, Special Education Program Specialist
Ichikawa, Maki, Special Education Program Specialist
Pelland, Jennifer A, SPED Early Childhood Specialist
Helgeson, Marcella E, Special Education Program Specialist
LaRosa, Alessandra P, Special Education Program Specialist
Miyata, Sharon, Specialist Special Education
Bammert, Michelle T, Special Education Program Specialist
Chirichigno, Laurie L, Special Education Program Specialist
Sweerus, Andrea L, Special Education Program Specialist
Szablya, Kristine L, SPED Private Schools Prog Specialist
Rincon, Stephanie K, SPED Private Schools Prog Specialist

More Administrators and Consultants!
Barber, Vicki L, Consultant
Durst, Wendy, Consultant
Deegan, Teresa, SPED Administrative Data Specialist
Eustaquio, Elizabeth O, SPED Records Room Technician
Garberg, Lexi E, Admin Data Specialist, Private Schl
Anderson, Jennifer R, Analyst Special Education
Luster, Francine A, Sr Cost Technician
Addleman, Shauna L, Special Education Project Coordinator
Alexander, Anita, Office Helper - Hourly
Lambert, Cathleen L, Hourly - Management (Non-FTE)
McLeod, Peggy, Hourly - Management (Non-FTE)
Klopfer, Pamela, Senior Administrative Asst-260

Compliance – But these aren’t lawyers. They’re just teachers playing lawyer, not on TV, at JSEE.
Littlefield, Roni, Senior Special Ed Compliance Spec 222/8
Allen Leslie, Lori V, SPED Data Compliance Reporting Analyst
Moncrief, Tracy J, Special Ed Compliance Specialist
Fields, Rochelle, Senior Special Ed Compliance Specialist
Fisher, Sharon, Senior Special Ed Compliance Specialist

Teachers working in Central Office. Put our Educators in Schools!
Siegenthaler, Margo, SFP Training Outreach Specialist
Lukens, Laurie J, Instructional Support Resource Teacher
Davis, Maureen, Instructional Support Resource Teacher
Adams, Wendy A, Academic Intervention Specialist
Holmes, Susan, Teacher-Special Education-XB
Shuman, Deborah, Teacher-Special Education-XB
Rosvik, Geir, Teacher-Special Education-XP
Herald, Leif, Teacher-Special Education-XG
Gentry, Derek R, Teacher-Special Education-XB
Raparelli, Stephen M, Teacher-Special Education-XV
Umphress, Elizabeth A, Teacher-Special Education-XV
Anderson, Mallory, Teacher-Special Education-XB
Bader, Toni, Teacher-Special Education-XP
Ray, Steven, Teacher-Special Education-XE
Butler, Susette, Teacher-Special Education-XV
Brockman, Jillian J, Hourly - Summer School Teacher
Jackson, Bobbie, Teacher CTE - High School
Givan-Williams, Lilna, Teacher CTE - High School

seattle citizen said...

TWO mile walks? As crow flies? Could be three....EACH WAY! Two hours walking to and from school each day is ridiculous. And this in one of the poorest parts of the city, where families might not bus fare on rainy days....Give every student past a mile an Orca card.

Anonymous said...

If you think school districts are bad, don't look at city hall, Port of Seattle, or Sound Transit. So many people running things, they literally are creating traffic jams. We have plenty of money to spend in this state. The choice is how we choose to spend it. People are going to vote and lobby hard to keep their high paying desk jobs. If that means higher taxes, so be it. As long as their jobs and future opportunities aren't threatened. Big corporations have this problem too. It starts with the need to cover your track by hiring less capable people (and one or two capable martyrs) for cushion. They in turn do the same. That's why as user of this system, there are always tons of contact names, but very little answer or result that helps your child.

maze runner


n said...

Boy, at 9:43, I hope Melissa doesn't delete you because that is mind boggling. The Seattle Times ought to post that chart. Anybody know Danny Westneat?

Anonymous said...

I signed it. What's the problem? There were so many sped bureaucrats, that html doesn't permit much other commentary. The length of the list, speaks for itself. There are actually more sped staff, but these are the ones most likely to be plain overhead.

If you're wondering why there's no IAs in your school, or why there's so few special educators, or why there's no special ed sub ever in your building, or for your kid's class - try calling one of the bureaucrats on that list. Don't worry, they won't answer, they're too busy recruiting for their own organization.

Reader

Anonymous said...

Let's not forget. All this largess in special education administration spending is AFTER we've spent hundreds of thousands on "consultants". The last SENECA contract was slipped by the board for $500,000 on Oct 7th I believe. So, not only are we paying outsiders who know nothing about special education - for administration, ideas, compliance, etc - we're also paying for the same thing internally.

And, for the cherry on top - we've had an explosion in out-of-district placements for students with disabilities. No surprise in that. When classrooms are cut, and all money is spent in the central office and on consultants - the students still have to go somewhere. And that would be to the most expensive places of all.

Reader

Anonymous said...

Thanks Reader. It probably got lost with all of the strike info, but during the strike I was trying to draw attention to all of the SPED people we have hired downtown. They are decreasing staff in the classroom and increasing SPED bodies at John Stanford. That is crazy! I just want to keep saying over and over again.. money should be going to hire people working directly with kids, teachers/IAs/counselors, etc. Is that so hard for downtown to understand?
Baffled

Anonymous said...

Sped central staff told all schools last year to collect "data" to sack IAs, because it was the only way to pay for sped administration.

1 director = 5 IAs
1 supervisor = 3.5 IAs
1 specialist = 2.5 IAs

Heck, we need to sack 15 IAs, just to pay for the directors! Chop, chop. Shouldn't be baffled.

Reader

Anonymous said...

Reader at 9:43,

Your list, although interesting has some inaccuracies and does not by itself present a clear picture of anything. There is a teacher, for example in the over 100,000 list who would undoubtedly like to make that much, but well, you see.... In the "teachers working in the central office" category, some of them may be funded out of central, but actually work daily with students and may never set foot ""downtown." I personally would find the actual job descriptions more enlightening then this list and its conclusions. It's not so simple.

been there

Anonymous said...

Been there. Kitsap Sun reports salaries. You can look it up. Perhaps it is inaccurate or people have shifted slightly. Jobs change daily. We have no idea why some teachers make what they do, or report in an organization, where they do, or what they even do. Right on. Central may indeed be funding some programs directly benefiting students. They fund school psychs, occupational therapists, braillists.... All of whom directly benefit students. Wouldn't it be awesome if the district published the information itself? I agree!

And to make matters even worse, staff cuts in schools mean that staff with the lowest seniority will be displaced first, eg. They're going to displace the absolute cheapest employees first. Let's displace a maximum number of the lowest paid employees to save the bacon of the highest paid. Does that sound like a good use of tax resources to you?

But, since the district has decided to take a hacksaw to special ed classroom staff, overwhelmingly cutting the lowest paid staff, mostly IAs with the least seniority making $25K year, we should consider the full range of employees working in special education, to make sure that we hack off the parts least likely to provide "a return on investment". By all means, the central staff should decide how to cut itself, along with the classrooms, and should justify every single cut or hire. I'm simply pointing to an untapped source of cuts, which appears to be a good place to look if we wish to minimize disruptions for our most vulnerable students. I'm in no way recommending specific cuts - only a source of excess that so far has been completely untouchable. Is there a problem with that reasoning?

Reader

Melissa Westbrook said...

Reader didn't call anyone a name so no, I'm not deleting it.

I like transparency and we need more of it.

Anonymous said...

Some of the list doesn't strike me as cut worthy - I know one person is in charge of all preschool placements in the north - definitely a needed position, one oversees all school PTs, another OTs, another Speech. Again things that need to be coordinated. At least one person listed as a central teacher is actually out in schools serving preschoolers on IEPs. These are not necessary things.

That said, Reader's list shows the NEED for real transparency. Not just lists of staff which can be mis-interpreted - you do need some central staff, but for the district to actually have an org chart that they share with the public. Where people and responsibilities are identified and parents know who they need to contact AND can actually get a response back.

North Seattle

Anonymous said...

Back in the old days, before we had 3 sped directors, we only had 1/3 of a manager - Colleen Stump (she also did ELL and AL). When it came time to find and cut several million dollars out of special education, she cut it ALL of it from the ranks of Supervisors and Consulting Teachers and spared students and teachers completely. That type of charity would never happen now! It's all about administrator preservation nowadays.(Program Specialist is the new name for Consulting Teacher.) Back then, we had only a handful of expensive, private out-of-district placements. Fast-forward 8 years. Sped central staff has 3 directors instead of 1/3 manager (which is equivalent to a principal). That's about a 9X increase in highest management, and even greater increase in cost because "executive director" is a much more expensive title than manager. We have about 3 or 4 times the supervisors and consulting-teacher/program-specialists. There was no "Seneca" or anything like that, though she did hire the "Urban Collaborative" for a $100,000 report. And now, they never think twice about cutting student services or teachers. Now we have a handful of contracts for out-of-district placements as opposed to handful of individual students. We've also got 1,500 more students. Since we've increased management costs by 3 or 4 times... are services really a lot better? I think we all know the answer to that one.

Elephant

Lynn said...

The board will be considering new assignment procedures at their meeting next Wednesday. There's been some attention to the loss of the distance tiebreaker but I haven't seen any discussion of these changes:

Student Assignment Plan document

streamlined

- Specifics around Programs and Services will be maintained by respective offices (Advanced Learning, ELL, Transportation, etc.)

- Waitlists dissolved prior to start of school


So now Advanced Learning will be responsible for making (and publishing) assignment rules for highly capable students. I think I can predict how Garfield's overcrowding problem will be solved next year. Also - Cascadia's enrollment won't be too large for its building if AL decides to serve first and second graders in their general education classrooms.

mirmac1 said...

Good news! The Seattle Special Education PTSA has regained its domain name. Apparently the pressure was too great on Michael's and Sam's 2-man IEP Advocacy Group to continue redirecting our old domain name to their site. Just wanted to share the good news. Find us at:

www.seattlespecialeducationptsa.org
www.seattlespedptsa.org

Anonymous said...

As a person on this list, I can tell you there are quite a few errors on this list (assignments/positions are incorrect).
Just sayin

Anonymous said...

Thank you been there! I noticed several inaccuracies as well!

Just sayin

mirmac1 said...

"several" inaccuracies do NOT negate the point Reader makes.

BTW, here is information provided with respect to SpEd FTE cuts. I notice some "inaccuracies" here as well (like missing enrollment #s

Draft Oct SpEd FTE adjustments

Anonymous said...

What's the "inaccuracy"? I actually didn't report anything that was inaccurate. There's simply people who support and value the contributions of various centrally hired staff, and others who believe that central staff should be under the same budgetary scrutiny as staff assigned to schools providing direct service. That's not an inaccuracy.

Just sayin, Been There - do you support the staffing reductions of the 30 special ed teachers and IAs out in all the buildings that mirmac has published? North Seattle are those staff "cutworthy"? If they are your kids' special ed teacher, you'd probably say no way. And Just sayin, once again the brunt of this budgetary cutback is in special ed.... More than any other students, students with disabilities are asked to simply eat it.. to fund the central office spending bonanza. You might value some of the necessary work that the people in the list do, but there's no debating it's breathtaking length!

Reader

Anonymous said...

Here is a job description for the position entitled "Special Education Program Specialist" from an Aug 2015 employment listing

Special Education Program Specialist

Here is one for Director of School-Based Special Ed. Services

Here is one for Special Education Supervisor

reader47

Anonymous said...

Reader47, Keri Hansen does not meet the minimum qualifications for the job. I'm sorry but John Hay Elementary is not a diverse community, and she knows absolutely nothing about special ed. And neither do the supervisors. So there you have it. All applicants welcome! No bar too low - for SPS special ed!

Reader

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS:

Education:
Master's degree in Special Education or a closely-related field

Experience:
Three (3) years of classroom teaching experience and two(2) years of administrative or supervisory experience, preferably in an urban school system with a culturally and racially diverse student population; experience with grant writing and F.R.P. processes desirable.

...

Required Knowledge, Skills & Abilities:

Knowledge of:
Theories, techniques and methodologies for use in special education. and school psychology; multicultural assessment and education in an urban setting; state and federal legislation, rules, regulations, and court decisions governing special education and school organization service delivery; computerized management systems; organizational analysis; accounting systems in education; rules and requirements for categorical program compliance; collaborative problem-solving methods; budget development; practices and principles of supervision; current trends in educational reform and restructuring; collaboration and team building techniques.