Sunday, February 07, 2016

Seattle Schools This Week

I note that the next week is the Mid-Winter break but only Monday and Tuesday with school resuming on Wednesday, Feb. 17th.   

Monday, Feb. 8th
Curriculum&Instruction Policy Committee meeting at JSCEE, from 4:30-6:30 pm.  Agenda

I note from the minutes of the last C&I meeting that there are now 21 Racial Equity teams.  It would be interesting to hear more about what these teams are doing and how much variation there is by school.

I also see that the district is asking for a waiver of the 180-day school year requirement of three days so that elementaries and K-8s can have parent-teacher conferences.  This is nothing new but the one thing that caught my eye is that the district saves about $120K by not operating buses to elementary schools on those three days.  Wonder what they do with that savings?

Looking thru the documentation, I see a document from the Alliance for Education that the district is accepting a grant via the Nesholm Family Foundation for services at three middle schools up to $531,655.  This is great but then I checked out what it pays for.
Aki Kurose Middle School - middle school assistant principal, up to $142,313

Asa Mercer Middle School - middle school assistant principal, up to $141,000

Denny Middle School - middle school assistant principal, up to $148,156

Each school also gets a sub teacher for professional development time

This really worries me.  I can absolutely believe that these schools need this staffing but I think - just like with PTA - that it is a very bad thing to fund staff from grants.

Each school has put forth charts (start on page 38) about how they are doing with 6th grade reading and math.  (I believe Denny's is charted wrongly because it appears Denny has been doing better on 6th grade reading for the last two years than overall Washington state but it says "-2.4" not "+2.4."   Denny also seems to be doing worse for 6th grade math but I wonder could that be the new SBAC?)

I couldn't even examine the other schools' documentation because it too so long to load.  Aki seemed to be the problem.  I can only wonder how hard this is for Board directors to try to read thru material that is so varied.  All the charts about school data should be in the same format.  No one should have to try to compare formatting from different schools.

Tuesday, Feb. 9th
Election day for Seattle Schools' two levies for Operations and Capital.  Get your ballot in.

Good piece from KUOW on the levies.
Seattle voters have approved every levy in the last 20 years. But there's widespread frustration that the district is not transparent with its plans and doesn't work with the community on controversial issues.

District officials have said they do take community input into consideration -- but that the public doesn't always appreciate the complexity of the decision-making process.
I'm not sure who gave them that last comment but I think many parents DO try very hard to wrap their arms around the situation.  And, I think the district barely takes community input very seriously.  It's the rare project that has changed because of public input.

Wednesday, Feb. 10th
School Choice forms available online, starting today.

In an effort to reduce wait times at the district's Admissions Center, Admissions is pleased to announce that we will accept early submission of choice forms online.
Please note:
  • All forms received between February 10 and February 16 will receive a date stamp marked February 17, 2016.  
  • We will only be accepting early choice forms online.  
  • Walk-in submissions will be accepted starting February 17 at the Admissions counter.
2016-17 School Choice (Optional) Enrollment, February 17 through March 1, is the best opportunity to request a different school or program for your student.

You can choose to apply for another attendance area school, including K-8 schools; an option school; or programs such as Montessori, Spectrum, and Highly Capable Cohort.  

Board Work Session, agenda
Part One: Teaching and Learning: Special Education.  Of interest is the benchmarking.
Part Two: Math in Focus update, starts on page 22.

Friday, Feb. 12th
BEX Oversight Committee Meeting, from 8:30-10:30 am at JSCEE, room 2750.  No agenda yet available.

There are no Board director community meetings on Saturday, the 13th.


Charlie Mas said...

The documents with the tables showing the programs at each school are practically unreadable. Doesn't anyone in the district know how to create a spreadsheet?

Anonymous said...

What is the status of this item:

BAR for Policy 3246/Superintendent Procedures 3246SP, Restraint, Isolation and
Other Physical Intervention/Repealing Policy 3247 (Jessee/McEvoy/Schiers)


Anonymous said...

And the special education oversight meeting on the 8th contains another powerpoint, where the problems of students "rising" from one grade level band to another are not mentioned, nor are the problems of expanding access to general education opportunities.


Melissa Westbrook said...

Reader, if you go thru the documents attached to the T&L agenda, I believe there is a BAR in there for that item.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Also, at the Ex Ctm meeting, the head of Sped came in and gave a lengthy progress report. The directors seem to take him at his word as to what is and isn't happening. I don't know if things are getting done on paper or if he is giving the total picture about the progress for Sped but I sometimes wonder why the Board doesn't ask for a principal/teacher presentation.

Anonymous said...

Melissa, you are correct - these sped presentations are awfully sanitized, public relations events. It is embarrassing, the level of misdirection going on. What if the Board asked them how a Stevens Elementary situation could go on (and on) or how families consistently never have the information they need by the time of Open Enrollment to make informed decisions? What However even if the Board asked for a principal/teacher presentation it too would be managed and sanitized. SPS is in a time of managed communications. It's creating that downtown echo chamber.

Reality check

mirmac1 said...

As far as I'm concerned "Oversight Sessions" that present the formulaic data in the Carr-preferred Boeing format, are minimally helpful for a board to conduct oversight. Serves minimal purpose, but served to addressed the damning SAO audit findings in the MGJ/Sundquist-DeBell days.

Elsa said...

The money will go to administration, of course.

Making a Choice said...

Does anyone know: Do forms submitted on February 17th get a higher priority for Option School placement than those submitted later in the month???? I can't find that info anywhere, and I'm feeling rushed and stressed to meet the deadline!