Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Seattle Schools Updates

I'm sorry to report that a Denny middle school student was robbed at knifepoint this morning.  From the SPD Blotter:
The student was reportedly walking in the 2100 block of SW Thistle St around 7:30 AM when two teenage boys approached him. One suspect brandished a knife, demanded money from the victim, and forced him to empty out his backpack. Both suspects then fled with the student’s cell phone.
The student ran to school and contacted staff, who called 911.
Here's something the City can do if it wants to help with public education.  This is just one of numerous incidents for students at Denny and Chief Sealth.  You have to wonder how parents are feeling.

As well, from the West Seattle blog, the principal of K-8 STEM sent home this letter to parents of both K-8 STEM and Arbor Heights:
To STEM K-8 and Arbor Heights’ Families,
I am writing to let STEM and Arbor Heights’ families know that this afternoon at approximately 2:15 pm a young man entered the main doors without checking in. He was immediately noticed and because he did not have school business was politely asked to leave school property. He left the building but would not leave school grounds.
Seattle Police and SPS security were notified and the young man was arrested for trespassing. At no point were any threats directed towards SPS staff, students, or property. Some students observed the arrest during afternoon recess.
Thanks for regularly checking in and wearing visitor badges when you visit our schools. It creates a safe environment where exceptions are immediately noticed.
Sincerely,
Benjamin Ostrom, Principal
Louisa Boren STEM K-8
I find it deeply troubling that a man would not leave school grounds when asked to do so.   Not sure if he was in any way connected to anyone at the school.

The public testimony at the school board meeting tomorrow night will be dominated by the vote on the Seattle Pre-K program.  As I noted previously, the BAR rolls continuing the three existing classrooms plus adding on four more in one action.  I wish the Board had refused this method and asked for two separate BARs for each action.

However, Directors Harris and Geary have put in an amendment

The amendment is asking to drop the 25% holdback of payments to the district by the City based on "performance" and also that the Superintendent create a taskforce for more outreach to families, more inclusion in the classrooms especially around Special Education and the financial impacts that these pre-K classrooms may have on the buildings that house them.

I certainly agree with getting rid of the 25% holdback. If the district is a "partner," this seems unnecessary. The district has been very cooperative and, as well, the City's head of pre-K, Monica Aguire, told the Board that these performance measures aren't really measures. As well, Cashel Toner, head of SPS' Early Learning, told the Board that these measures were being easily met. If all this is true, why have them?

I think the taskforce's charge is a big one but if the City is having problems populating these classrooms (as they did this year), it may be helpful to have help from SPS. And, as well, Special Education must be part of these classrooms. It is unequitable for some students to have access to a 6-hour academic day that other students are unable to access for lack of services. The City should understand the hard job it is in public education when you must provide for every child who comes thru the door.
From Principal Gerrit Kischner at Schmitz Park Elementary (from what I understand, the Schmitz family that donated the land that Schmitz Park sits on is good with this):

We have been informed by Associate Superintendent Flip Herndon that next year we will open our new building as Genesee Hill Elementary School, the existing name of the building.  Last spring, the community participated in the naming process, with over 350 people responding to a survey.  Nearly half of respondents supported the name Genesee Hill, and a third supported a change to Genesee-Schmitz Elementary School.  After the survey, our Building Leadership Team recommended that the Superintendent hold off until a determination could be made about the future of our current site so that we could make sure that the Schmitz Family name would not be lost.  
While there is not a certain plan about what will come of our current building, we know that the space will continue to be needed in the near future, and the facilities will be cleaned and restored starting immediately as we move up the street. I’d like to thank our Naming Committee – Cheri Carl, Mark Wainwright and Jim Abernethy – for their work guiding this process for us. (By the way, we will still be the foxes, and our beautiful logo designed by alumni parent Erik Bell, is incorporated in silkscreens throughout the new building.)

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6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am so pleased to hear that directors Geary and Harris are putting forward an amendment to the Prek bar tomorrow night. It's high time that SPS quit allowing the City to push us around and cater to their every demand. I look forward to this board continuing to recalibrate and renegotiate this partnership so that it is balanced and functional (which will result in a stronger more effective partnership to better serve all students). Kudos to the board for doing the right thing!

-Voteyes

Jet City mom said...

I didnt see the open thread, so I wanted to sneak this in before I forgot.

The husband of a teacher in a high needs school in south Seattle, was killed at Seward Park, during the windstorm.
He leaves his wife and two young daughters.
There is a site to help w college for his children.

https://www.youcaring.com/daughters-of-eric-medalle-539492

Jet City mom said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Melissa Westbrook said...

Oh Jet City, that just breaks my heart. I wish I hug his wife.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Obviously, "I wish I could hug his wife."

Stats Mom said...

JSIS principal is leaving to become principal of new Cedar Park