Sunday, January 24, 2016

Seattle Schools This Week

It's an interesting week at SPS.

Monday, January 25th 
Understanding the School Budget - presented by the finance team at SPS.  It's at JSCEE from 6-8 pm.  I hope people go to this event because the district is trying to help further understanding of this important subject. 

They’ll share helpful information such as:
  • When the 2016-17 school planning dates occur
  • An overview of the budgeting process
  • How funding is determined and schools are staffed, including understanding information around class sizes and the process for parent involvement
Also, Elliott Bay Book Company is having an event about becoming an activist for any topic.  It's at 7 pm.

Now in When We Fight, We Win: Twenty-First-Century Social Movements and the Activists That Are Transforming Our World (The New Press), longtime social activist Greg Jobin-Leeds joins forces with AgitArte—a collective of artists and organizers—to capture the stories, philosophies, tactics, and art of today’s leading social change movements. Some of the featured organizers include Patrisse Cullors-Brignac, Bill McKibben, Clayton Thomas-Muller, Karen Lewis, Favianna Rodriguez, Rea Carey, Gaby Pacheco, and other prominent changemakers—all sharing lessons of what works—and what hinders—transformative social change.

Tuesday, January 26th
Loving Our Kids for Who They Are: Parent Education Event on Gender Diversity
Queen Anne Elementary from 6:30-8:00 pm, childcare available ($5/kid)

Expert on gender diversity, Aidan Key, will lead a dynamic discussion to help parents understand gender nonconformity and transgender identification in kids. He will also address ways to discuss these topics with kids, benefits experienced by children in relation to these topics. This frank and open discussion will leave plenty of room for questions, including ones about bathroom sharing, sleepovers, faith, etc. 

Please join us for this very special event, for parents to broaden their education on these issues, learn how we can support others, and walk away with the message that is beneficial to everyone - how we can fully embrace and love our kids for who they are.

Wednesday, January 27th
Work Session at JSCEE from 4:30-8:00 (!) pm
Agenda includes:

Budget
- Status of this year's budget
- Levies
- Status of budget development for 2016-2017
- legislative update
- Governor's proposed budget
- FY 2016-2017 - Understanding class size ratios
- Central services budget development

Superintendent SMART Goal #1: MTSS - what it is, theory of action, etc.

Executive Session on evaluating the performance of a public employee: this is closed to the public and should start around 7:30 pm.

I'd love to put in a plea for the district administration to clearly and completely explain ALL the spending at JSCEE - whether they call it "central administration," "central office, " or "central services."  All those services combined - how much are they spending? 

This is an issue that truly gets the district in a lot of trouble with McCleary and the legislature because most people see a lot of money going into JSCEE and, seemingly, not as much going to schools.  This lack of true transparency in the spending hurts our district.

Thursday, Jan. 28th
BRIDGES Program information at JSCEE from 6-8 pm.
Come learn about Seattle Public Schools' special education transition programs for young adults with disabilities ages 18-21. Meet transition teachers, adult-service agency providers, and ask questions.

Beyond Measure, a documentary about ed reform from the people who made Race to Nowhere, from 6:30-9:00 pm at Garfield High School's Quincy Jones Performance Center.  Filmmaker Vicki Abeles will be in attendance and have a Q&A after the film.  Free Admission

Friday, January 29th
To note, the revised school calendar reflects that this IS a regular school day. 

Demographic Research Information Session
Enrollment Planning is pleased to host our second Demographic Research Information Session on Friday, January 29, from 12-1 pm, at the John Stanford Center in room 2700. 


Our demographer, Dr. Natasha Rivers, will discuss the recent housing study with Integrated Economics that explores the relationship between housing and enrollment. Dr. Rivers will also briefly discuss a set of topics ranging from the Seattle Let’s Move transportation levy to the challenges of addressing inequality in a growing city with economic opportunity and increased homelessness. The presentation, followed by a question and answer session, highlights how these topics currently and may potentially impact enrollment in the district. SPS staff and public are welcome to attend. Comments and questions may be emailed to nmrivers@seattleschools.org.

 Saturday, January 30th

Director Community Meetings
 With Director Burke, 10-11:30 am at Greenwood library
With Director Pinkham, 3-4:30 pm at Broadview library

To note, the blog will be powering down this weekend and into next week for personal reasons.

18 comments:

Rick Burke said...

Here's one addition to the upcoming events which is particularly relevant as we work towards long term planning and short term mitigations for capacity challenges.

Demographic Research Information Session, Friday, January 29:
Enrollment Planning is pleased to host our second Demographic Research Information Session on Friday, January 29, from 12-1 pm, at the John Stanford Center in room 2700. Our demographer, Dr. Natasha Rivers, will discuss the recent housing study with Integrated Economics that explores the relationship between housing and enrollment. Dr. Rivers will also briefly discuss a set of topics ranging from the Seattle Let’s Move transportation levy to the challenges of addressing inequality in a growing city with economic opportunity and increased homelessness. The presentation, followed by a question and answer session, highlights how these topics currently and may potentially impact enrollment in the district. SPS staff and public are welcome to attend. Comments and questions may be emailed to nmrivers@seattleschools.org.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Thanks, Director Burke!

Reba Jean said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Charlie Mas said...

I just flipped through the MTSS presentation and I am completely shocked.

The Superintendent is presenting MTSS as if this is the very first year of any sort of MTSS implementation. He is calling this, the 2015-2016 school year, Year 1. This is NOT Year 1. This is at least Year 3 if not Year 5. Are we to understand that there has been absolutely no progress on MTSS to date? None?

Calling this Year 1 for MTSS is exactly the sort of revisionist history (lies) that sows distrust for the district administration.

And yet, here we are, starting at the very beginning with assessments, scheduling out three years of "next steps" around assessments until we get close to where they want to be WITH JUST ONE COHORT OF TEACHERS. That's assessments. They are just starting to talk about how they will talk about the rest of MTSS.

This isn't just unacceptable, it is unforgivable.

Charlie Mas said...

Let's not forget that the School District has dismantled programs that were working based on the belief that MTSS would replace them. The programs have already been dismantled but MTSS is years away from deployment.

Outsider said...

Here is the definition of MTSS (Multi-Tiered System of Supports) from the Colorado state website (chosen at random):

"Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) is defined as a whole-school, data-driven, prevention-based framework for improving learning outcomes for EVERY student through a layered continuum of evidence-based practices and systems."

Given that definition, it would be fine if this was year -50 of implementation, and it was implemented with just one teacher, preferably about to retire.

Note that ominous phrase "data driven" -- that means testing, lots of it. One component of MTSS is "Universal Screening and Progress Monitoring," and Universal Screening is "a type of assessment that is characterized by the administration (usually three times a year) of quick, low-cost, repeatable data collection of academic and behavioral skills of all students. It shows how functional the curriculum and instruction are in the school and detects whether or not students are making acceptable progress in the curriculum." Translation: MAP tests three times per year, which SPS had to abandon due to parent and student opposition.

Why on earth would Charlie mad if MTSS has been slow-tracked? It would seem like the general opinion of is blog and its readership is that MTSS should be deep-sixed. MTSS seems like that perfect mush of MBA jargon, corporate ed reform, and central control that is best towed out to sea and sunk. Am I missing something?

bubba said...

Yes, you are missing something. Data-driven does not mean "assessments". Likewise, it does not mean MAPS 3x pee year. What it does mean is that each school will have systems in place/process for identifying student needs and interventions I place to ensure that students are not over/under identified for special education services. I'd it helps, consider thinking of MTSS as RTI and PBS combined. If it helps more, consider best practices...

Anonymous said...

According to this post, it appears MTSS year 1 would have been 2012/13. That would make the current year Year 4 of implementation. That's some serious revisionist history! (Note: In 2012, they said comprehensive MTSS would be implemented district-wide by 2014/15.)

I hope the Board pushes back on this nonsense. Might be good to get a copy of that old Friday memo from 8/17/12, which is conveniently no longer available on the SPS website... Maybe if the documentation isn't easily accessible, the years don't count? Awesome! In that case, sign me

Always 29

Lynn said...

bubba,

The district's plan for MTSS-A(cademics):

Our Theory of Action

If high functioning teams of teachers collaborate...

to analyze common formative assessments...

then teachers will make instructional shifts...

that result in opportunity gaps closing.

More info begins on page 32 of this presentation. Hint - it's all about creating and administering assessments and reviewing the results.

NESeattleMom said...

Dr Nyland was at Garfield HS this evening taking questions from students and parents. My daughter expressed frustration with his answers

Lynn said...

I wanted to go to this but couldn't make it. Is there anything you can share?

Melissa Westbrook said...

I am hoping people do let us know what was said. I may have a guest post.

mirmac1 said...

Thinking of you Melissa.

mirmac1 said...

As per usual MTSS-B gets short-shrift. "B" is for socio-emotional and behavioral supports. Requires no testing. Maybe that's why it comes a distant second at JSCEE. "B" goes beyond RULER; it is counselors, trauma-informed care, positive behavioral supports, restorative justice, parent training. Where's the data on how that's going? Guess that is hard to do. Assigning each kid a test score is easier.

Anonymous said...

"Assessment" is not inherently bad. Would you prefer teachers taught without gauging students' levels of preparedness beforehand, and without checking to see that students had actually learned the material afterward? Are one-size-fits-all approaches best, since they don't require formative assessment and tailoring of instruction? The ideas behind MTSS aren't bad--it's implementation that's likely to prove challenging.

Had

Anonymous said...

Formative assessment might mean something unusual within SPS, but usually means assessments a teacher is doing within a class as part of teaching. It could be something like a chapter test, or it could also be something like students doing problems on the board.

I think some of the jargon in the presentation is saying that formative assessments could be used to diagnose why/how some students haven't learned what the teacher is teaching, and then use that information for more targeted teaching.

LisaG

Charlie Mas said...

I've gone back and reviewed the MTSS presentation. Maybe I mis-judged it. Maybe this isn't about the MTSS Implementation but just the implementation of a specific professional development piece, the instruction that teams from 30 schools will get from Formative Training Institute. Maybe this is a presentation about just that PD that is starting this year and running for three years.

Nope.

The presentation is clearly titled "MTSS Progress Overview". It begins with six slides to introduce the idea of MTSS and how it is supposed to work. The slides towards the end, which speak to the SMART Goals, make it pretty clear that Dr. Nyland is talking about MTSS implementation in the broad sense. The purpose of the presentation is clear. It is not to entertain the Board with a story about one specific professional development effort, it is to update the Board on progress towards the Superintendent's SMART Goal: Implement MTSS.

In that context, 2015-2016 in NOT Year 1. In that context the discussion that completely ignores the work done since 2012 is not a "Progress Overview". In that context the Superintendent had better not still be spinning his wheels and trying to get traction with inaction like "Offers a clearly articulated and aligned plan for the delivery of the assessment framework, instructional tools and interventions." He should be well beyond articulating a plan and well into monitoring and adjusting the implementation based on outcomes.

Anonymous said...

Re: Nyland at GHS. I wan't there. I heard a few questions my kid told me some students had asked. One question was that in this student's AP Bio class they were out of paper. This student made a comment referring to Nyland's raise and that it could have been used for paper. My kid also said some of the questions he was asked, he had noncommittal answers. I may get more info later. Some of the students had night orchestra rehearsal so they were only able to enter during their break. I heard about a question from one parent, so I know some parents were there. The only thing I heard from my kid were non committal replies that did not enlighten us.
NEmom