Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Tuesday Open Thread

Concerns about traffic around Bailey-Gatzert makes the Capitol Hill Times.
Surrounded by arterial streets and now First Hill streetcars, Bailey Gatzert Elementary can be a dangerous destination for students, a majority of which walk or bike to and from school daily. Luckily, it is high on the Seattle Department of Transportation’s list of priority schools in need of improvements.
“It’s like an island surrounded by these really fast streets,” said Brian Dougherty, SDOT Safe Routes to School coordinator, who also attended the walkabout and offered suggestions for noted trouble spots.

Several community groups plan to work with Bailey Gatzert parents, teachers and the principal to develop a plan for requesting funding to possibly study traffic issues in the neighborhood or make quick improvements, such as improved signage, striping at crosswalks and enhancing visibility. Dougherty told the Capitol Hill Times he will wait to receive Gyncild’s report from the meeting and then assess how SDOT can quickly make a number of traffic improvements on its end.
Kudos to Ingraham High School's Improv Group, SHEILA,  for their second win in a row at the Jet City Seattle Open.

A total of eleven teams began the competition two weekends ago before the field narrowed to six for Saturday’s semifinals and three for the finals last night.

In addition to the trophy, SHEILA wins a chance to come to a Jet City Improv rehearsal and the opportunity to perform at our annual fundraiser, The Brew Ha-Ha.
In advance of the Seattle Speaks show on April 19th on public education in Seattle, they have a poll going.
As the state Legislature defers fully funding public education for yet another year, what are the implications for the Seattle school district?  The first City of Seattle Education Summit in 25 years will happen this spring, and there's a lot to discuss:  an overcrowded district, the achievement gap, discipline inequity, new programs and decaying buildings.  Are we on the right path to funding and providing a quality education for our students? How can we improve graduation rates? What can the community do to ensure students are prepared to succeed? Join host Brian Callanhan for a town hall discussion on our live, interactive show Seattle Speaks. Presented in partnership with Seattle CityClub, Town Hall and Seattle Channel.
What's on your mind?

16 comments:

H said...

I remember reading here that the district has pulled back their frustrating Scope and Sequence requirements for math, so that next year schools can go back to implementing Math in Focus with fidelity. Can someone point me to an official source of that news? Trying to follow up with our elementary school about whether they will be using MiF next year. (They've used no math text at all this year -- just worksheets.)

Anonymous said...

Kudos to Garfield's Orca Bowl team who won the Regional Orca Bowl Ocean Sciences Competition last month. They'll be headed to North Carolina in April to compete in the National Ocean Sciences Bowl against about 20 teams from around the country. The knowledge required to compete is just staggering. Many thanks to all the teachers who've taught and mentored these kids.

For more information and to test your own knowledge, see the Ocean Knowledge quiz available on the Ocean Bowl website nosb.org

Proud Garfield parent

Kathi said...

This piece about the inequity of school library funding is interesting and disheartening.
http://seattlereviewofbooks.com/notes/2016/03/21/heres-what-you-can-do-to-fight-the-inequality-in-seattle-public-schools-libraries/

Anonymous said...

Teach for America to cut National Staff by 15%.

So says the Washington Post.

-- Dan Dempsey

Anonymous said...

Do any parents have experience or thoughts on the class dojo app? My child's teacher just started using it and, while interesting, I am a bit uncomfortable with the level of tracking and how the data might be used in the future. This is new for me so any thoughts positive or negative would be useful. Does SPS have any policy about tracking apps such as these?

Thanks,

Coalback

Anonymous said...

SPS does not use the number of students enrolled at SPS developmental preschools in the student count. This is absurd as school personnel (principal, nurse, OT, PT, psychologists, etc) are responsible for these students just as they are responsible for all the other students. This is a way the district is drastically understaffing schools.

Concerned Teacher

mirmac1 said...

Good point. What about Headstart and ECEAP preks? There are 460 of them, versus 230 Dev PreK kids.

NO 1240 said...

Here is an article that links DFER and Koch:


http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/35314-how-democrats-for-education-reform-pac-channels-out-of-state-dark-money

z said...

@Coalback, Do any parents have experience or thoughts on the class dojo app? My child's teacher just started using it and, while interesting, I am a bit uncomfortable with the level of tracking and how the data might be used in the future. This is new for me so any thoughts positive or negative would be useful. Does SPS have any policy about tracking apps such as these?

You are not wrong to be worried about the level of (behavioral) tracking that this app does. Dangerous from a data-in-other-organizations perspective and also from a real-time-in-the-classroom perspective. Read these for more info:

NYT: Privacy Concerns for ClassDojo and Other Tracking Apps for Schoolchildren

This short article itself is mostly pointless, but the many comments from real parents are extremely enlightening.
A Parent's Review of ClassDojo

As for SPS policies, it's very unlikely that your classroom has permission from downtown to use this tool, especially if the kids are under age 13 (which requires your explicit written consent). Teachers are being lured into signing up for services like this without consulting either IT or legal staff downtown, and it's a mess. I would advise you to call both SPS IT and SPS Legal. It doesn't need to be an unpleasant call, let them know you're just checking in and want to make sure that they are aware this program is being used in your school. They want to know. There are almost 100 schools in our district, with thousands of teachers, many of which have no clue that they are not supposed to be signing up for services like this on their own. They need a gentle reminder, and it should come from downtown.

Please comment again (on a fresh open thread) and give an update.

Anonymous said...

I came across a bundle of planned boundary changes for the 2017-2018 school year. There are a lot. I counted 48 elementary and K-8's that will have their boundaries adjusted. Plus, it looks like all of the middle schools in the district will have changes as well.

Has anyone heard or know if geo-splits are planned as a part of the implementation?

-StepJ

Anonymous said...

Correction to my previous post. Eighteen elementary schools are scheduled for changes in 2017-2018. It looks like most every elementary north of the ship canal.

-StepJ

Northender said...

When does the calendar for the next school year come out? Are they still negotiating with the union?

TechyMom said...

Washington/Meany will be a geosplit.

Charlie Mas said...

What's the status of SB 6194? It was delivered to the Governor on March 10. When does it become law without his signature?

Charlie Mas said...

I just looked at the future map for 2020 and it has some surprising choices.

Broadview-Thomson K-8 feeds to Eagle Staff and Viewlands feeds to Whitman, so the B-T students will drive through the Viewlands attendance area to get to their middle school, but the Viewlands kids won't be going there.

Washington has only three feeder schools: Bailey-Gatzert, T. Marshall, and Kimball. Part of the Kimball attendance area is south of Alaska and Mercer, the middle school that is closer for them. It has to be this way because if Kimball fed up to Mercer (as you might expect), then Mercer would have to give up a school to Washington. That would be Beacon Hill, the northernmost school for Mercer, which would be fine except that Beacon Hill is a language immersion school, so it has to feed to Mercer, which was selected as the International middle school for the southend. This is a case in which program placement drove the feeder pattern rather than vice versa.

Meany is drawing from seven schools: Lowell, Montlake, Stevens, McGilvra, Madrona, Leschi and Muir. There are going to be students in the Leschi area who live very, very close to Washington but will be assigned to Meany. And some of the kids in the Muir attendance area who get assigned to Meany will have a long way to go each day.

In West Seattle two of three schools (Gatewood, West Seattle, and Sanislo) get assigned to Madison and the third gets assigned to Denny. The district chose Gatewood and Sanislo for Madison, despite the fact that their attendance areas extend further south than West Seattle's, which goes to Denny.

Lowell is the assigned elementary school for all of those downtown kids, whether they are in South Lake Union or the International District.

Anonymous said...

I think I recall from last year that there is no place to find initial enrollment projections by building online anymore? Is that true? I am looking at the 2015-2019 projections, and am wondering how close they got for 2016, to see how much slack should really be put in for projections a couple years out(especially for the larger schools, Cascadia, and the middle and high schools). But I can't find initial 2016 enrollment projections.

-sleeper