Sunday, March 27, 2016

Seattle Schools This Week

Tuesday, March 29th
Special Education Regional Meeting
Portion of the meeting for families is from 6-7 pm at Whitman Middle School

24-Credit Graduation Task Force
6:30-8:00 pm at South Lake High School

Please join us to offer your feedback on how Seattle Public Schools could best serve students under the state’s new high school graduation requirements.

Mayor's Conversation on Education meeting 
Mockingbird Society, Treehouse, and YMCA of Greater Seattle from 6:30-8:00 pm
The 2100 Building (2100 24th Ave S), Community Rooms A and B

Wednesday, March 30th
Work Session from 4:30-7:30 pm
Superintendent SMART Goal #5: Bell Times; and Work Session: Budget

The Bell Times presentation has some valuable history of the bell times issue as well as current updates (including a request from the district for a summary judgment that may come April 1st pending from a challenge to the bell times around environmental impact issues.)

From the presentation, Part Two of Implementation:
Phase 4   Which schools should be on the Opt In List? 
Phase 5   What are the district wide issues that need to be discussed, analyzed and mitigated to support school communities?
Phase 6   What will a school based plan need to have discussed, analyzed and mitigated to support the school community? 
Phase 7    What additional districtwide support is necessary to ensure a successful bell time change?
Phase 8.   What implementation issues need to be addressed after plan is implemented? 

Page 19 of the Presentation then has the breakdown of how these phases should play out.  The Task Force charter is on page 22.

Complete 3rd Tier Analysis for Opt In List

Analyze Historical Community List Change Request for 3 schools

Loyal Heights (BEX IV

Voluntary Opt In List


The Budget presentation is also meaty reading. Page 11 shows that PTA funding is now over 5% of grant funding and is more than combined corporate/other foundation funding.

If you have questions or comments on the budget, you can write to

Thursday, March 31
Operations Committee meeting from 4:30-6:30 pm.  No agenda yet available.

Saturday, April 2
Mayor's Conversation on Education meeting
Councilman Rob Johnson and Soup for Teachers, University Temple United Methodist Church, 1415 NE 43rd St. from noon to 2:00pm.


Anonymous said...

Reading the bell times discussion, it still isn't clear where the 5 minute shift came from, and why - did that actually come out of public comment? I love the new times but was still surprised when (most) elementary went from 8 AM to 7:55 AM

- MemoReader

Anonymous said...

I thought this note included next to the PTA grants was particularly striking: ~37 schools; high $450k low $8k;


Anonymous said...

That was really interesting. As always, we are overspending on admin, and could have reasonable class sizes if we just allocated to buildings instead of downtown, especially "coaches" and mid level supervisors of supervisors. Pretty tragic.

I noticed two other things- first that they expect "miscellaneous" grants to drop from about 1.2 million to 200k. Why are they all going away? Is that Gates stuff we are not doing? Are they just not counting on it, but it will probably come in? Also that South Shore LEV grant- does South Shore really get a million dollars every year? Wow.

The second is that the SPED budget has increased by 50% in the last 3 years. Has SPED quality all for this increase in spending? It is my impression that SPED quality has DECREASED over this same time period. Is this just paying out legal judgments? What are they spending the new money on?


No Option said...

Boren did NOT voluntarily opt-in! In fact, a letter went home from the principal after we found out about the change, encouraging parents to write letters to the district. There are a LOT of very upset families wondering why Boren is the (only?) K-8 being put on Tier 3.

Lynn said...

I think those are schools that have volunteered to give up their tier 3 spot.

Anonymous said...

I believe that the voluntary opt in is for schools that may wish to change to a different tier than Tier 3 if transportation logistics allow for it. Having said that, the district really needs to find a way to put all the schools in Tier 1 that want it. Then they need to figure out what elementary kids are going to do when they get released at 2 pm. But I am still really happy that the older kids (and our younger ones in a few years) will have the opportunity for more sleep in middle and high school.


mirmac1 said...

The Seattle Special Education PTSA will hold a SECOND March meeting tonight at the JSCEE auditorium from 7-9pm. Our guests include SPS' new Manager of Behavioral Health David Lewis. We've asked him to talk about the district's implementation of its multi-tiered system of supports for social-emotional needs (MTSS-B). Hope to see you there.

No Option said...

Lynn and BT, I hope that you are correct. However, that is insanely confusing! Who "opts-in" to protesting their assignment? It should read "change request submitted" or something similar. The phrasing simply doesn't make any sense.

I suppose I will be "opting-in" to having my child NOT take the SBAC... It doesn't make linguistic sense but it certainly has a more positive spin than "opting-out".

Anonymous said...

Yes, No Option, it is definitely confusing! I had to go through the document but on page 13 is says:

2. Create a volunteer list of tier 3 schools for consideration for tier change
in the spring if routing and bus capacity allows – Establish criteria for schools changing tiers that is consistent with School Board priorities

So, I think there is still an opportunity to change tiers and I would encourage everyone to advocate for the tier they want.


Lynn said...

The district is not required to come up with a plan for after school care for elementary students - it's not their responsibility. I wonder how much staff time (which is really money) will be spent on this aspect of bell times changes? As an alternative, they could have announced the changes last June and given parents 15 months to come up with their own child care plans. That staff time could then have been spent on planning related to K-12. (The high school capacity crisis and the implementation of smaller K-3 classes are two examples of things they should be working on.)

Garima said...