Curriculum&Instruction Committee meeting from 4:30-7:30 pm. Agenda
Interesting discussion from the previous meeting about ELA adoption(partial and bold mine:)
Kathleen Vasquez, Literacy & Social Studies Program Manager, spoke about the
upcoming English Language Arts (ELA) K-5 Adoption. The last Reading Adoption took place in 2002. Two Basal Readers text were selected. Three years later, the district adopted a Balanced Literacy Framework in 2005. To support the implementation of the Balanced Literacy Framework, the district purchased classroom libraries for several elementary schools (2005 – 2007). From 2009 – 2013, The Alliance for Education supported the Readers Writers Workshop through the Columbia Teacher’s College. Many teachers believed the district adopted the Readers Writers Workshop, but it is used as supplemental curriculum information. Then the common core standards came about. The district had to think about the instructional shifts – Balancing informational and literary texts, close Reading, and integrating Reading, Writing,
etc. There has not been a common instructional material for K-5 since 2002. This makes it difficult for central office to provide support because there was no commonality. This has been an on-going challenge. The last 6-8 Reading Adoption took place in 1998.
The estimated cost for K-8 adoption is between $6 - $8 million. The estimated cost for a K-5 adoption is $5 million. Michael Tolley explained it comes down to the School Board making choices. If $8 million is spent on K-8 adoption then the dollars will need to come from someone else. The School Board will need to give some direction.
The ELA Adoption timeline provided by Kathleen gives a rough outline on what will happen during Round 1, Round 2, Field Test, School Board Introduction/Action and materials implementation.
Shauna Heath explained that the Instructional Materials Committee (IMC) makes the recommendation from the Adoption Committee, and forwards the information to the School Board. Eric Caldwell, Library & Instructional/Technology Services Manager, facilitates this committee.
As well there's the issue of Social Studies (and hoping for the use of the great Civics for All project.)
Kathleen reviewed the Social Studies standards. Civics is one of the components. The last K-5 Social Studies Adoption was in 1998. Kathleen did an audit to look at the standards against the civics plan – How does it align. Kathleen passed out a document that provided information on what is aligned as well as the estimated costs. She supports developing the plan with the support of hiring another person to help with the work.
Director Geary suggested surveying the schools to see if there is any interest for the mock elections. Shauna Heath mentioned that her department can do a quick survey to see if schools are interested in mock elections. She is concerned about funding – It does not exist.
Michael Tolley explained it comes down to choices and where we want to invest dollars. We need to decide what is it that we are going to do. There needs to be prioritization process. The next step is the survey. Michael will talk to Dr. Larry Nyland about this in terms of the budget.
Tuesday, March 15th
Special Education Advisory and Advocacy Council Meeting, JSCEE, Room 2765 from 5:30-7:30 pm
Audit&Finance Committee meeting, JSCEE, 4:30-6:30 pm. Agenda
Interesting audits of Olympic View and Franklin High. Again, nothing terrible but a lot of sloppy paperwork that is both not following district policy AND not having the oversight required. Both schools had issues with volunteer/chaperone paperwork. Not good. Franklin also had several pre-signed checks laying around. Also not good (Franklin says they will stop that practice immediately.)
OSPI had a report for Dr. Nyland on Title I, Part A, Learning Assistance Program (LAP) and Consolidated Program Review(CPR.) OSPI is pretty happy with the district's work on the ELL front especially singling out Amy Valenti's work.
They are less happy with the district's work on homeless students and meeting the federal McKinney-Vento Act. They believe that SPS' policies and procedures regarding enrollment "should be reviewed and revised in a manner to effectively remove barriers to the immediate enrollment and participation of homeless students.
They also called out issues of protecting pregnant/parenting students from "discriminatory harassment."
There were also issues that the district did not set-aside enough money for Title One parent involvement work nor did they push forward unspent set-aside money for PD for this effort.
They also name several teachers from several Title I schools who are supposed to be Highly Qualified Teachers but are not. Schools include Muir, Rainier Beach, South Shore, and the Seattle World School.
They also asked for an Action Plan to show that they have an athletic program that "equally accommodates the interests/abilities of male and female students."
They also call the district for allowing a "vendor" (I believe in the summer school program) to take 60 students on an outing that cost nearly $1,000. "Entertainment is not an allowable cost with federal funds."
Mayor's Conversation series on public education, 4:30-6:00 pm at the Mt. Zion Baptist Church
Wednesday, March 16th
School Board meeting from 4:15 pm to 8:00 pm. Agenda
Clearly, the most interesting Action item is the City of Seattle Pre-K program agreement. Continue? Expand? I'm not happy to see this all rolled up into a single BAR. I think it should be broken out into "continuing the current 3 classrooms" and then "expanding to four more classrooms." Putting directors in a tight spot is not the way to do this.
I wrote to the Board and recommended an amendment splitting this BAR into two questions.
I also note a capital issue on redoing the field at Franklin. I wish the district could wait a couple of years until the feds decide on the issue of artificial turf fields and the dangers to young athletes.
There's a Superintendent Evaluation timeline Intro item that would change the date from November to June (makes sense to me.)
Mayor's Conversation series on public education, 6-8 pm at El Centro de la Raza
Thursday, March 17th
Operations Committee Meeting from 4:30-6:30 pm Agenda not yet available
Mayor's Conversation series on public education, noon-2 pm at the Rainier Avenue Church
The Board at a retreat on Saturday (I was unable to attend.) Members of Soup for Teachers did go (and, as usual, brought food for those from SPS who were in attendance.) The reports of what was said seems to indicate an unhappiness from senior staff about the Board.
No Saturday community meetings with directors this week.