Thursday, November 05, 2015

Latest on the Student Assignment Plan

The district has announced community meetings about the Student Assignment Plan.  I'll be frank.  It's too little, too late and really, it's a waste of everyone's time.  Why?

Too little
1) There are just three meetings scheduled.  There is not one in the SW.  This is very akin to what they did for the "growth boundaries" meetings.  This city, this district has regions.  It is difficult for parents to learn of these meetings and then get to one on school nights.

Too late
2) The last meeting is just two days before the vote. In less than two weeks, the district will notify parents, take their input and consider it in the plan?  No.  In less than two weeks, they will have some public meetings and write down what parents say.

Waste of everyone's time
Check out the FAQs.  They STILL say there are only two changes to the plan.  Who is zooming who?
(Note: there is an Admissions FAQ for various programs AND an FAQ for the Student Assignment Plan changes.  Don't go getting those mixed up. Sigh.)

There is no explanation about why the SAP is being rewritten off a transition plan and not the original  Board-approved 2009 SAP.

They do not explain the BAR statement that "Seats that become available after May 31st will be available for assignments for new students."  Like defining "new students."  Or how you access this option.

The head of Enrollment told the Board at the board meeting on Oct 21st that they were streamlining the plan.  Okay but then we are told that it is not a document in isolation but there are several other places to check for enrollment info, depending on program.

The district can't have it both ways.  Either it's a streamlined document with info in one place or it's a streamlined document with information all over the place.  Giving parents a basic template for information and then telling them to go elsewhere for other info is not good.

The plan has been variously called by the district as a "plan," "a policy," and kind of a "constitution." What kind of communications nonsense is this?

There was very good parent input at the board meeting last night from a parent, Dion Hutchings, who railed against parents

  • having to be "constantly vigilant" 
  • interaction with the district as a "us versus them zero sum game"
  •  and having to be "detectives."  (This one is a theme I have stated for years.) 
Why is so hard to be a parent in this district?  Most parents want to be part of their child's school, support it and get on with their lives.  Going off what Mr. Hutchings says, it is never that easy in Seattle Schools.

I'll gently point out that the staff - especially Enrollment and Facilities - is under tremendous pressure and challenge.  I think we all get that especially parents and staff on the front lines of overcrowded schools.

But that does not  justify taking the power from the Board over the Student Assignment Plan may look to make life easier for staff because they won't have to go to the Board every time they feel they need to make an adjustment to the plan.  

I understand their intent but I don't agree with it.

Their job is to create consistency and coherence to the Student Assignment Plan.

I personally think that parents are smart enough to see thru this and should reject wholesale this latest move on the part of the district.  

I find it hard to believe that the current Board is going to be hoodwinked by this move but I am always surprised how often this Board goes along with what clearly is a rush by staff and now a power grab by staff.

Approval of this latest plan may set up the new Board to have to take swift action sooner than they might given how new the majority is. 

From district Communications:

Student Assignment Plan Community Meetings

The board action for the Student Assignment Plan, originally scheduled on Nov. 4, 2015, has been postponed until Nov. 18 in order to allow for additional understanding and feedback from our stakeholders and families.

Three community meetings have been scheduled to present information and gather feedback:

Nov. 10, 2015
6:30 until 8 p.m.
Ingraham High School Library
1819 N 135th St Seattle, WA 98133

Nov. 12, 2015
6:30 until 8 p.m.
Washington Middle School Library
2101 S Jackson St Seattle, WA 98144

Nov. 16, 2015
6:30 until 8 p.m.
Rainier Beach High School Library
8815 Seward Park Ave S Seattle, WA 98118

A copy of the Student Assignment Plan with the proposed changes, an FAQ and additional information can be found on the district website under Enrollment Planning. Comments and questions may be emailed to


Anonymous said...

Rainier Beach counts as SE.

I emailed them this:

"My two questions:

1) Does the removal of the pathways for the Highly Capable Cohort from Board policy mean that changes to the HCC pathways will no longer be required to go through Board vote?

2) If so, can you address that in the FAQ? This was mentioned as a concern by families over and over again at the 11/4 School Board meeting, so I'm surprised to not see it mentioned in the updated FAQ today. "


kilngoddess said...

How to we go about rejecting it? Not attend the meetings? Attend the meetings and protest? What are your suggestions? I have to admit, I was actually grateful to see the effort, but didn't look at the last date to see the timing of the thing.

I need a message we can give to the SFT community. Any advice would be appreciated.

Anonymous said...

Last night one of the directors (Carr?) mentioned that there was going to be a "committee of the whole (board)" meeting on the SAP. It sounded like it hadn't yet been scheduled. I assume that will show up on the Board calendar? I'm really interested in what is said in that meeting.


Melissa Westbrook said...

Sorry, I meant SW:I'll correct that.

As far as the pathways, they are saying they still exist in the other documents. I would not count on that staying. They are clearly going to change Advanced Learning.

I will wait to offer my idea what to do and let others weigh in.

CL said...

If they refer to "other documents" they need to provide those with out people needing to hunt them down.

Anonymous said...

I'm curious what others thought about Director Peaslee's comments last night. I remember getting the sense that she was complaining that parents' emails made it sound like she and the other Board members would let the staff fool them. She said something like, "This is the process working." She seemed kind of mad at families for getting worried. Director Carr's comments seemed similar.

I'd be curious what others' reactions were to those comments.


kilngoddess said...

Sharon Peaslee seems to always be mad. She stopped having community meetings because she felt too attacked by the community. She and Sherry Carr, and Marty McClaren, have been indoctrinated by the SPS staff to believe that THEY are working so hard, the parent community is a bunch of whiny complainers who can never be pleased. Unfortunately, I also believe the board has endured much more public criticism than support or appreciation, and it's natural to feel more akin to those you think you can count on (the district), than those whose reactions can turn on a dime. And it does seem to have been in the majority of the electorate's nature (including mine) to put people into office, just expect them to do what they want, and go back to our lives.

Several of us already working toward making sure that does not happen with this new board. We keep saying we have a lot of great knowledgeable people who are doing research and can help with these things, why doesn't the central administration listen? The central administration isn't going to listen because they think they have those people too. We need to give this energy to the board. When they seek information, they can get it from district staff and community members. We will try and get people to attend every single board meeting to sit in support of their asking hard questions and pushing back when district staff doesn't provide them with key information. We will say thank you when they do good. We will try and attend community meetings and provide voices of reason and support when appropriate.

I'd like to think it can be a new day. I have low expectations, but I'm always hoping.

Eric B said...

1) Does the removal of the pathways for the Highly Capable Cohort from Board policy mean that changes to the HCC pathways will no longer be required to go through Board vote?

It absolutely means this. And not just HCC, everything. There is not a school, program, or pathway that can't be uprooted at a moment's notice.

As to how to fight, my message is that this is badly flawed in its current form and isn't a rush. It should be postponed at least and preferably completely dropped. People on the dais seemed to be nodding at that last night. Send a short message to that effect to, preferably with a sentence request for action in the subject line. Please, don't follow the example of the angry QAE parents last night and shout at the board or tell them that they are stupid. I think that was what Peaslee was complaining about. We may not agree with their decisions, but they're not dumb.

I also need to draft some questions that the current Board should ask at the committee of the whole meeting.

Anonymous said...

A few comments have mentioned anger from the staff and some board members toward the community in their recent statements, and I agree. Just look at the overview and FAQ on the SPS site, which were definitely written with hostility and anger toward parents. The tone is sarcastic and condescending, with multiple statements assuring families that there are no changes to anything but waitlists and tiebreakers, even though anyone who also links to the staff's own Powerpoint on the same page and/or reads the redlined and final versions of the new plan can plainly see that the waiting list changes and tiebreaker changes are the LEAST of the changes being proposed.

They're angry at parents for calling them out on their bait and switch with the redlined plan after incorrectly titling their community meetings as "growth boundary" meetings, and they're angry with the parents for now making them go through the exercise of having community engagement meetings about the correct topic- student assignment plan changes.

And about those meetings, three meetings in three weeks is all they need to give the community to discuss/get feedback on sweeping changes to all aspects of the student assignment plan when they've made us spend THREE YEARS "engaging" about later start times (and still no vote...)??

Staff wants something=fast track; community wants something=slow track/no track.

The district shouldn't be able to make ANY changes to the student assignment plan unless they relate to tiebreakers or waitlists, since they say those are the "only two changes" in the plan. They need to return ALL prior language related to all other topics. They're acting like that language is just irrelevant and confusing so they're removing it to help parents, which is patronizing and ridiculous. You can bet those words were painstakingly pondered when they were added, and they all mean something important to the families of this district. Nothing should be changed/removed unless it's proposed to the community, explained by the staff, there's adequate input/engagement from the community and it's approved by the board.

Parents know that the reason the staff wants to remove the language is so they can later change the interpretation of what is currently spelled out and we will have nothing to point to any longer to defend against those future changes. They also want to remove the public and the board from the equation for future changes they (the staff) may want to make in the star chamber.

I sincerely hope that the new board will stand up against this ongoing trickery and hold staff accountable. The current board should NOT vote on ANY changes to the student assignment plan. Even if it's just two changes (which it's not), it should be tabled until a lot more discussion takes place.

-Seattle parent

Anonymous said...

Oh good, this KPLU article directly quotes Peaslee on those comments that had me puzzled.

"But board member Sharon Peaslee — whose probing questions at the board's Oct. 21 meeting eventually unearthed the answers that heightened some parents' fears — urged district watchdogs to ease off. She said board members had concerns, too, and superintendent Larry Nyland's request to table the changes was evidence "the system is working."

"I was concerned at the campaign of emails which seemed to suggest that, once again [board members] are incompetent and don’t know what we’re doing, and how dare we let staff usurp our authority. That’s not what was going on — and the board was trying to resolve it," Peaslee said."


Anonymous said...

This SAP revision continues to make me feel uncomfortable. The messaging of what it contains, and the actual black and white of the document do not match. For at least the previous eight years no enrollment/wait list result has been overturned on appeal unless it is based on the actual documented wording in the SAP. It is not like our courts of law where the intent of the original rules are considered. Even if your personal circumstance in regard to enrollment is not documented in no other document, if it is not clearly spelled out in the SAP, your appeal is denied.

Based on what is said vs. what is documented in the SAP there are two matches:
1. Change of the Wait list dissolve date to May 31.
2. Removal of the Distance tie breaker for Open Enrollment.

But, there are more than two changes. So, the messaging and the document go off the rails for these items.
3. Removal of the Sibling tie-breaker for wait list order, after open enrollment until May 31.
4. No guarantee of a seat at your attendance area middle school if you are currently enrolled in a K-8 school. (This is a big change, not minor.)
5. There is no mention of board approval for any pathways (HCC, Language Immersion, Montessori ) in the SAP. (Removal of board oversight for these items is a big change, not minor.)

There is also the matter of sending parents to the scattered fiefdoms of SPS to obtain answers for enrollment vs. refer to one document. If any of you have tried to obtain an answer from pretty much any department at SPS you know the drill. You call, you wait on hold, you don’t get a definitive answer, you’re transferred to another department to leave a message – which is never returned. You call again, receive a different answer. Etc., etc., etc.

Grandfathering: Even if it is being advertised that this is not a big change, actual actions don’t match – so the big red flag goes up. The example is Cedar Park elementary which is already being advertised as opening as a Geo. Split. This, despite Oly. Hills opening with a forcasted 300 open seats. That would seem to indicate plenty of room for grandfathered assignments – yet, not the plan presented.

And then there is the matter of the document being revised and presented is a Transition Plan, not the full meat of the SAP. It really cuts a lot of items out for board oversight.

My view is if the changes intended were really so simple and straight forward there would not be so much word smithing and obfuscation. The changes would be clearly documented in the SAP itself so there would be zero confusion as to what the directors are voting for.


mirmac1 said...


I agree with you. I know that the SpEd Dept does not post its "Linked Schools" chart until the Friday before the two week enrollment period. WTH?! So that they can be full partners on the IEP team, parents need to know which school offers the best environment (full inclusion, self-contained with some inclusion, or self-contained) for their child to gain benefit from their education. Sometimes this means visiting schools and talking to staff.

Anonymous said...

So Peaslee basically acknowledged that this looks like a a JSCEE power grab to her and other board members. How does delaying the vote two weeks change that? What do they anticipate happening over the next two weeks to resolve the fundamental problem? From the look of things, staff are pushing the same version as before, just with new spin.


Anonymous said...

If IB is not longer under the board's vote, can this program be summarily removed by the district - without warning?

I realize this is similar to the above question - However I am concerned. We chose SPS because they had a 3-tier AL plan in place. This is now gone and if we were making the decision again, we would reconsider. We did have an excellent inclusive Spectrum program removed from our school mid-year without warning.

Now we have entered the IB program, with an understanding that it will exist 3 years from now. Just asking for reiteration even though Eric B. already said "yes". IB could dissolve at a moment's notice......

-SPS Parent

Anonymous said...

I posted this elsewhere, regarding grandfathering "if available"...and staff's claim that it has always been the policy.

It wasn't the defacto policy back when the NSAP was implemented in 2010 (there were boundary changes then, too), or when Sand Point, McDonald, Viewlands and Rainier View opened.

Whether or not to grandfather students seemed to begin to come in question with Growth Boundaries in 2013, and of course, with the geo-split for JAMS.

Most parents assume there will be grandfathering, since it was an important part of the NSAP. There are going to be a lot of families caught off guard if their kids are re-assigned, particularly in the far north end in 2017. There are huge swaths of boundary changes planned. There needs to be intense outreach to individual schools.

-North-end Mom

Eric B said...

There's two issues on IB, but the short answer is yes. First of all, IB is a program, and programs have always* been at the discretion of the superintendent. So even under today's rules, the superintendent could probably dissolve IB at a moment's notice, just like they did with your Spectrum classes. Second, the current SAP identifies a path for HCC students to get into IB/IBX at Ingraham. That offers some level of stability for IB at Ingraham under the current rules, since that policy can't be implemented without an IB program. It also feeds students into the IB program at Ingraham, which helps sustain the program. That only benefits Ingraham, but I'm making a rash assumption that since you're looking at AL that you're in that track. The new policy would remove that minor protection from Ingraham as well.

Realistically, I'm not real worried that IB at Ingraham is going anywhere soon. That program is pulling students out of desperately overcrowded north end high schools. If IB ended there, those students would likely return to their attendance area high schools or Garfield, all of which have capacity issues. I am more concerned about IB moving later on, after Lincoln opens in 4-5 years. If SPS decides that they need a program to pull people into Lincoln, they'll move something in an instant.

* At least in recent memory

kellie said...

In 2011, I asserted that the whole capacity system will “lock up” in 2015. In capacity management, you need “space for the dominos to fall.” There is just a minimum amount of empty space required for anything to work and by 2015, we would run out of that bare minimum space.

What happens at that point is anyone's guess, because you can’t predict WHAT will break with no flex space, only that SOMETHING will break.

Here is an alternative narrative for what has happened this Fall.

November is the time that any must-do capacity items for 2016 is put forward to the board. This is when the Garfield boundaries were changed and the JSIS boundaries, etc. November is also when the whole north-end middle school issue came to the forefront.

Schools that were so beyond capacity that something needed to change for the following year should be daylighted by staff or the community at the time when the assignment plan for the following year is processed.

In theory, Staff should be bringing forward the plan for 2016. However, last fall, the report was all is well and in fact, capacity management was removed from the board priorities list, because BEX was underway and everything was handled.

So here is an alternative narrative: Flip says, we need to take all the details away from the board so that IF we need to make a last minute change next May, we can do so without any interference.

Therefore, the “real problem” is that Staff does not know where to put everyone in 2016

When Traci Libros was in charge, I never would have made such an assertion. Traci knew every potentially problematic nook and cranny and was very clear, that the public needed to be involved in the changes.

Anonymous said...

@ Eric B

500 additional seats are planned for Ingraham, as part of BTAIV. I don't think there has been a timeline presented as to when those seats will come online? Will they be added before or after Lincoln opens?

-North-end Mom

Anonymous said...

@ Kellie

It IS rather strange that the only capacity-related/boundary change discussions this fall have been around the 2016-17 Roxhill boundaries, and how opening Hughes will be such a great deal for the Roxhill community...even though the Hughes building will be under-enrolled and the Roxhill building left empty.

And we haven't heard one little word about how the projected 1172 students will fit into Hamilton next fall...

Interesting timing, with four Board members leaving and all, don't you think?

-reality check

kellie said...

IMHO, Flip is trying to put lipstick on a pig. Rather than just admitting there is no space, they are saying, staff needs to control "everything" so that they can make everyone fit next year and they just don't want the risk of having the board "do another Pinehurst."

Now granted, placing Pinehurst in Wilson Pacific is perhaps the most-misguided capacity decision ever. Saving Pinehurst was the right thing to do. However, it was an admission on everyone's part, there there was no room left. That knowledge that there was no room left, should have triggered a full re-prioritization of BEX but instead, we got a half-baked solution, that is costing millions and turns a comprehensive middle school into a K8.

And once again, when the consequences of the "epic bad plan" were daylighted, it was construed as a commentary on saving Pinehurst. No! Saving Pinehurst was the right thing to do. But the solution was just as bad as placing Hazel Wolf in the soon-to-be, largest-ever-building on the smallest lot in the district.

I can completely understand staff wanting to protect against another poor decision of that magnitude. However, the answer to NOT to push this problem further away from the public.

The answer is to actually just DAYLIGHT the real problem that the district is OUT OF SPACE and NEEDS HELP.

Seattle won't be the first district to run out of space. It happens. People are generally supportive when there is a clear need for support.

This mantra of "trust us, we have it all handled" just doesn't ring true.

There is a reason for the PUBLIC in the public schools.


kellie said...

I have one last part to my rant.

As far as I know, Seattle is the only place, where there is a clear distinction between

* the work of eduction that happens INSIDE a building AND
* the physical building itself.

There are a myriad of State Laws that protect "schools." There are rules about public meetings and public process that are required for opening and closing of physical schools. These laws were designed to ensure that the public was guaranteed an ability to participate in the process of public education and the delivery of those services.

I don't think the folks who wrote and passed those laws ever imagined that a school district could find such and effective way to circumnavigate that process by declaring that a community of people participating in education is NOT the same thing as the building in which that education happens.

During the closure process, Summit K-12, did not receive the same rights and privileges as the other schools under the closure process. This is because there was never the possibility that the building would be closed. However, the what most people would consider to be the "school" was in fact closed.

This proposed change will put every single "school community" into the same category as Summit K-12 and most recently the West Seattle location for Middle College.

Any change, up to and including the dissolution of the school community, can be decided internally, and there would be no requirement for board or public oversight.

IMHO, the only reason for such an extreme change, is because there is a real and looming STUDENT ASSIGNMENT challenge. Why else would staff need to control 100% of the assignment details?

Anonymous said...

Ah Kellie. You are the voice of reason so very needed at SPS.

Maybe Director Peaslee, parents get riled up and yell at you in emails because it NEVER seems like anything HAPPENS! Maybe a weeee tiny bit better communication on both sides - the Board and Admin would help, instead of this need to publicly chastise concerned parents.

So - do we write or not? Are we damned if we do AND if we don't?


Eric B said...

@Reader47, please write. Just give reasons and facts and don't call the board incompetent, in league with the devil, or stupid. Oh, and give a clear request of what you want them to do in the subject line so they'll see it even if they don't open the message.

Anonymous said...

If they stick with the same plan and parents don't write in, it will look like the new public meetings actually "educated" parents on the issues and now we're fine with the plan, so the Board would have cover to approve it if they wanted.

I think it's best to write in--just make it clear you're not doing so because you think the Board members are clueless, but rather to provide them with evidence of support and help give them political cover in pushing back against staff on this one. Frame it as trust in the board, support for their efforts to maintain oversight authority re: the SAP.


LM said...

Wrote this letter to Nyland + Board:

Please don't vote on the SAP plan yet.

Here's what I would ask:

1. That the public is treated like adults by the administration.

Please stop hiding behind squishy language and references to documents that don't answer our questions. We understand that capacity planning is tough and hard choices have to be made when budget is limited. As citizens, we are capable of empathy when presented the dilemmas facing our district. But that empathy goes away when you are dismissive of our concerns and when we feel that we are not being treated with honesty. Even in the best situations where there is ample history of trust, integrity and respect between a district and the public, crisp and unambiguous language about where children can go to school and whether pathways are guaranteed is essential. The litmus test should be whether the average parent can find and read the document and immediately know where their children will go to school K-12. The current SAP or "transition" plan does not do that.

2. That the administration not try to subvert or short cut our district governance.

I know you are probably saying to yourselves, "but honestly that not our intention!" I get it! I'm not calling into question your intentions and desire to solve tough problems. It doesn't matter what your intentions are, the fact is that, with your behavior and choices, you are effectively undermining the governance structure in place. The Board owns policy and is accountable to the public. Waitlist dissolution dates and pathways are policy issues. The real problem may be capacity, but the way to solve it is not by subverting the Board's power. I'm exhausted by always having to be so vigilant and don't like second guessing people's intentions. But history has shown that I need to be.

As you read this, please don't put up mental barriers and dismiss me as strident or unreasonable. If this vote takes place, I would go so far as to say that this is a governance crisis. Take a moment to think through what I'm asking. Ask yourself: whose responsibility it is to enact and enforce policy? Do we really want unelected vigilante policy makers? Ask yourself if there is a better way that possibly requires more communication, explanation and outreach. Honestly, get us on your side so we can point our guns at the legislature for not funding us appropriately. Good policy is like great architectural planning: it takes time, analysis, and should not be changed on a whim or due to the fact that we have hard problems to solve. Let's keep these two things separate.

I, and many others, are counting on you to listen.

Anonymous said...

After reading Kellie's "rant" above, I dug out her November 2013 post asking for the Board to hit the pause button on Growth Boundaries.

An excerpt from this post:

"I urge all Board Members to vote the Growth Boundaries plan down in its entirety. Instead focus on a 2014-only plan. I do not make this recommendation lightly. I have sincere and substantial respect for the amazing work of staff, in particular Tracy Libros and Joe Wolf for the immense amount of data they have sliced and compiled.

The bottom line here is that we are out of space and this re-arranging of the deck chairs does not make things better for most families. SPS can’t every three years implement a new, disruptive, and costly long-term plan, justifying the costs and pain as ‘paying out in the long-term’.

Short Version
I simply believe there are just too many fatal flaws in this plan for it to accomplish what it is expected to accomplish. These fatal flaws include:

•Wrong Priorities: Long-term plan that doesn’t acknowledge short-term realities
•Wrong Communities: Failure to put students FIRST
•Disproportionate impact on fragile communities.
•Substantial community feedback to “Go Slow”
•2013 Enrollment Based Updated Projections - Not Available
•Feeder Patterns create un-necessary changes and Gerrymandered boundaries.

Simply put, it is my opinion that this plan effectively re-starts the clock on the gains NSAP was intended to create. This plan is re-boundarying the entire district only 4 years after the implementation of the NSAP, re-creating that substantial pain and cost. The new boundaries are also unlikely to last even another 4 years."

-North-end Mom

kellie said...

I understand Director Peaslee's point of view. School board director has to be the most thankless job in the universe. Board directors sacrifice a tremendous amount of time and energy in service of students.

That is why I will never run for school board. It is a huge sacrifice and your primary reward is a lot of complaints and criticism.

But that's the JB.

kellie said...

Job. You have to love auto-correct sometimes.

kellie said...

Thank you North End mom. I didn't realize how spot on that was.

Anonymous said...

It's sad to see Peaslee in such a state at this point in her tenure, and it's not the same Sharon as a couple of years back. In her defense, she has been repeatedly besieged by certain "advocacy" groups like SNAPP, for example, who tried to blackmail her and the district by threatening to vote against a badly needed levy unless they got what wanted. Then, after going through all that crap, she made the fatal public mistake of reminding us all that "due process" is still the law of the land and a constitutional right during the infamous "Garfield rape" case, where numerous people who knew far less detail than her kept screaming "rape, rape, rape" and condemning her "defending a rapist" and on and on.

So, did she become angry, pissed off and bitter after those deeply personal attacks, threats and insults? Yes, she did. As anyone would. And that is what we'll get from the new board if we act like irrational lynch mobs, instead of calmly making our cases and treating Board members with a little more respect and dignity for the largely thankless job they do.

I have, on occasion, been very unhappy with Sherry Carr for being too trusting and deferential to staff, and for making what I consider to be very poor choices from time to time. But deep down, I believe Sherry is a very good person, trying to do a good job for her constituents and following her own heart and mind, even though her paths differ from mine.

Corner any human being and they are going to fight back. That's what people did to Sharon and she's retaliating with a handful of go F yourselves, and as a fellow human being, it's hard to blame her. It's not right, but it's reality.

We need to resist the bullying and pile-on efforts, such as those conducted by SNAPP during it's ill-fated heyday, and which, as a former APP parent, were in no way representative of the APP community at large, it's values, or how it typically had advocated for itself over the past 30 years.

Want a good board? Disagree all you want and advocate passionately, but do it with respect and without personally demeaning individuals trying to do this hellish, thankless job.


Anonymous said...

Does anyone know when or if there will be an Annual Capacity Management Report from staff this year? I looked online, and online found one for 2013-14?


-North-end Mom

mirmac1 said...

Wise words WSDWG

I say pick your battles. Then be firm and relentless but with respect. Just had a negotiation session regarding an systemic denial of civil rights. We came away with a path forward. There's hope.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know if any high schools lost or gained staff?


mirmac1 said...

One would think HP, because based on the records I've received, the greatest shortfall was among HS enrollment.

GarfieldMom said...

Kellie distills the essence of SPS' communications shortcomings on so many of the tough issues.

"The answer is to actually just DAYLIGHT the real problem that the district is OUT OF SPACE and NEEDS HELP.

Seattle won't be the first district to run out of space. It happens. People are generally supportive when there is a clear need for support.

This mantra of "trust us, we have it all handled" just doesn't ring true.

There is a reason for the PUBLIC in the public schools."

Imagine how much we could accomplish if the district culture was one of being honest about the challenges the district is facing and asking the community to come together and contribute solutions. That's really what we want to see.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Dion! I am seriously considering going back to board meetings to support the new directors as long as I can find a Mad-Eye Moody costume!

Chris S.

Lynn said...

Why must the message (and information) be so tightly controlled by the central administration staff? Think how much more time they'd have to do their jobs if they simply posted information on the website rather than hiding it and forcing people to make public record requests.

Remember when we were kids and we had a math textbook we could bring home? Parents could see what their children were learning and help them with it if needed. Now the math scope and sequence is hidden on a staff-only website. (Tip of the day - if you make a public records request for the scope and sequence, lesson plans, assessments, and linked supplementary materials for your child's grade they will email it to you.) I have the third and fourth grade material if anyone wants it.

Ashley Davies is clearly in over her head. Why not post the materials she's using to create projections so we can stop asking questions about them?

Of course, if we trusted district management, we wouldn't be asking so many questions.

Anonymous said...

Mirmac1: I know it's beyond frustrating and bordering on criminal at times, but this incoming board, in particular, might be the best mix of backgrounds, personalities, interests, and skills that we've seen in decades, so before people start demanding Hail Marys or else, they're going to need some time to settle in.

We all know that right now our district remains FUBAR in terms of how it should operate to serve the community, but I think this vote signals a big change in how it will be overseen, and I think the folks coming onto the board have more chops than the past several boards in terms of getting things done outside the typical paradigm of the zero-sum game mentality.

Like others, I'm not expecting big things, but I am hopeful and do believe this board is our best chance at some stability and sustainability, which, in turn, allows us to focus precious resources on fewer problems with a real shot and fixing some things.

Again, not expecting a lot, but if this board can just steady the ship a bit, I believe we will all benefit. WSDWG

mirmac1 said...

WSDWG, we are of the same mind on this. I'm ecstatic with the composition of our incoming board. It won't be so GD hard to educate directors on law and civil rights. They already know. : )

Anonymous said...

With the SAP discussion, what happens with High School assignments with Lincoln coming on-line in a few years?

Will they align cohorts from ES --> MS --> HS or still have Geo-splits?


Anonymous said...

Regarding Lincoln -

The only clues so far (that I know of) are in the planning assumptions for the 5-year enrollment projections...

"Boundaries are modeled on 2015 boundaries, with the exceptions of GeoSplits occurring at
Cedar Park Elementary, Meany Middle School, Eagle Staff Middle School and Lincoln High

"Lincoln High School is based on three year residents at either Ballard or Roosevelt High Schools,
as a percentage of each grade. The following 2015 elementary attendance areas were used to
approximate the historic Lincoln High School boundary: Green Lake, B.F. Day, West Woodland,
Bagley, and Greenwood."

-North-end Mom

Anonymous said...

Well, I've personally never sent an email calling a director a name or attacking them. on a personal level. There are several for whom I have nothing but distain, but that's true of many in government circles. I get that it's a tough row to hoe having long ago done my public duty on a City decision making board. Isn't it PT Barnum who said you can please some of the people some of the time but....?

It's a challenging job. I just on occasion feel as if we are all whistling in the wind. Because the people who really need to HEAR ultimately, aren't the Board, but the Admin, and they wallow daily in that joyless echo chamber of JCSEE.

So many fires. So little water