Friday, April 29, 2016

Friday Open Thread

The Viaduct is closed and I see no tweets from SPS Communications about transportation issues so I hope all is well for schools in that area.

Also of note, from The Stranger:
Seattle Public Utilities is investigating whether galvanized gooseneck fittings are corroding, KUOW reports, which might pose some risk. Bottom line: Water is safe to drink, according to SPU. They continue to recommend running the water a few minutes before drinking it. If you want to check if your piping is galvanized, use SPU's website or call (206) 684-5800. Even then, there's a 25 percent chance your galvanized piping includes gooseneck fittings. 
Congrats to Broadview-Thomson K-8 teacher Shana Brown who was selected by the Department of Education as a "great educator."
She will be among several honorees in attendance at the National Teacher of the Year ceremony, Tuesday, May 3, 2016 at the White House.

She is the principal author of Washington state's newly required curriculum: "Since Time Immemorial: Tribal Sovereignty in Washington State". Shana has also conducted trainings on behalf of Seattle Public Schools, the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction and the National Indian Education Association, the organization that nominated her for this honor. 

Currently she is working with the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of the American Indian on their new online initiative, Native Knowledge 360°.
 The district is having an open house for review of K-5 LA curriculum materials.  
A wide variety of materials submitted for teaching reading and writing will be on display for examination and feedback. The feedback is essential to the process of selecting the best materials to recommend for the second round of the review and field-test process.

 The community may also review materials online and at the John Stanford Center between May 2 and May 20. More information, including online access codes and feedback forms, will be available on the SPS ELA K-5 Adoption webpage starting May 2.
Summer learning info up at SPS website including Jump Start for incoming Ks, Summer Staircase for K-4th, and credit recovery for high school students.  (You have to ask your middle school what programs they might be offering.)  The Skills Center also has a great summer program for learning about career fields.

The City is starting Bicycle Sundays this Sunday, May 1st.  There will be 14 such days when Lake Washington Blvd closes to motorized vehicles form 10 am to 6 pm.

What's on your mind?

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

In the case of the old Fire Station #39 site (Lake City), the Low Income Housing Institute will build approximately 70 units of affordable family housing at former Fire Station 39 site, at 12705 30th Ave NE. LIHI is working with the Seattle Department of Education and Early Learning to provide preschool to the families of Lake City on the first floor. It is set to open in Fall 2018.

There is a meeting with LIHI reps and the architect next week, to discuss the plans:

Thursday, May 5, 2016, 6:30 PM - 8 PM at the Seattle Mennonite Church, 3120 NE 125th St in Lake City.

The Fire Station 39 site is within the Olympic Hills attendance area (just west of NE 30th Ave, the (2017) boundary between Olympic Hills and Cedar Park).

-North-end Mom

Anonymous said...

Oops. I meant to post the above post on another, more relevant, thread.

-North-end Mom

Anonymous said...

SPL Ballard branch closing May 9 for 2+ months for renovations.

Unfortunate end-of-school-year timing for students access to resources, computers, etc.

Any plans for PTSA to step-up: keep school libraries open in the late afternoon and evenings, car pools to other public library branches, etc.

-McClureWatcher

Anonymous said...

Update on the drinking water situation(basically, after testing all looks good): http://www.seattle.gov/util/MyServices/Water/Water_Quality/WaterSourcesContaminants/Lead/index.htm

Mom of 4

Anonymous said...

Correction: It's Broadview Thomson K-8 teacher Shana Brown, not Blaine.

BT Mom

Melissa Westbrook said...

Oh now, BT Mom, I'll fix that.

Melissa Westbrook said...

I meant, "oh no!" as in "doh!"

Eric B said...

The bus my daughter takes to Hamilton was 20 minutes late this morning. Not a big deal, but probably resulted in a tardy call today. I don't know about anywhere else.

Ann D said...

I did hear on the radio, perhaps KOMO 1000 AM or else it was KUOW (but I think KOMO), about SPS possible delays on different routes at different times -- and even due to the staggered starts and overlapping buses. It seemed fair to me but most people might have missed it, I just listen sometimes to local news on that station.

Anonymous said...

Did others get an email about split level classes for next year? This was in reference to the reduced class sizes for K-2.

- Northender

Johnny Calcagno said...

Probably not surprisingly, the District seems to be dragging their feet on reinstating Carol Burton at Garfield, which in my opinion should have happened immediately after the court case finished. The choir students, after a year of ineffectual or non-existent leadership - they have essentially been teaching themselves - are disappointed and angry. They released this statement:

Almost a year ago our choir teacher Ms. Burton was abruptly removed from the classroom for violations of field trip policy. Since then, we have gone from a choir program of more than 100 students to a program of less than 40. We have sat in emptying classrooms trying to teach ourselves and have come together against all the odds. Students and parents have put in countless hours trying to keep the program afloat. And while the district has brought in substitutes in Ms. Burton’s absence, most of their backgrounds haven’t been in music, leaving students no other option but to teach the class themselves. After months of stress and overwhelming responsibilities, when we got the call that Ms. Burton won her case we couldn’t have been more elated. As a community, we are overjoyed.
The Seattle School District lost. Justice had finally been served. Ms. Burton won her job back at Garfield. Ms. Burton should’ve been back in the classroom teaching already, but now the district wants to delay her reinstatement even more. They knew that losing the trial was a possibility and if they truly don’t have a plan, that is simply irresponsible and inexcusable. This means more days with students teaching, more days without a proper instructor, and more opportunities for learning lost. Every day that passes is more class time wasted for each of us students when we could be learning with a teacher who is beyond qualified for her job and whom we love and miss dearly. It’s clear here that our best interest as students is not the district’s highest priority. When learning isn’t prioritized, the system is broken. When money and reputation are more of a priority than student’s needs and actual education, the system needs to change.
Maybe the District wants to prove a point, maybe this is their last stand at exercising their authority, but the Seattle School District Slogan is “Every student. Every Classroom. Everyday” and they say that “The core work of the district is to support student learning.” It's about time for them to follow through after more than a year of contradicting this. Our education matters to us, but the district sure hasn't been acting like it matters to them. We're here today in support of Ms. Burton because we won't be swept under the rug and brushed aside any longer. We call on the Seattle School District to let Ms. Burton return to work as was agreed upon in her settlement, and to stop depriving us of the teacher we need. We call on Stephen Blandford, Rick Burke, Jill Geary, Scott Pinkham, Betty Patu, Leslie Harris, and Sue Peters as the Seattle School Board to provide oversight and to hold the district administrators accountable if they do not reinstate Ms. Burton in a reasonable and timely manner. The time for unnecessary red tape and bureaucracy is over. Carol Burton has won and we are ready to get back to work.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Bravo to the kids.

GarfieldMom said...

Thanks for sharing that, Johnny. It seems like the district is just being petty at this point, which is very disappointing, although not at all surprising.

Anonymous said...

The school district should obey the judge's decision.
GHSmom

Anonymous said...

At a recent workplace where I was part of the management team and part of the labor force was unionized, we had two employees whose terminations were overturned through arbitration.

Neither of them returned to work the next day.

In both cases, there were weeks of ambiguities in the arbitrator's rulings that had to be worked out before the employees could return to work. This included figuring out the exact amount of back pay that was earned (not as easy as you'd think, especially when the employee would typically work "extra" that was on top of their regular salary/rate), back vacation, position they'd return to, etc.

For one employee, it took over eight weeks after the initial ruling to return to work. Corporate dug their heels in (which I felt they shouldn't have done) but the employee and his representation were also asking for the moon (which I wouldn't have granted), so all those items have to be negotiated and settled before the employee could return.

I'm not surprised Carol Burton isn't back yet. Frankly, I'd be surprised if she was back teaching before the end of the school year.

northwesterner

Anonymous said...

I can tell you this, at my employer, drinking will get you fired no exceptions. That's also true at company sponsored events.

Do you want to know how many SPS teachers have been protected by the union when caught drinking on the job?

As for the modern day union ...blahhhh

Unions stink

Anonymous said...

Nothing from Communications dept. On viaduct closure because jacque coe left sps abruptly, as did geoff miller coincidentally. Seems to be a huge number of senior staff either jumping ship or being forced out quickly.
-disgusted

Melissa Westbrook said...

Jacque is gone? I didn't know that. Hmmm

mirmac1 said...

The Thursday Work Session on Board oversight of Program Placement. Staff trotted out their mantra "Special Education is a service not a place" YET argued to retain just WHICH schools and WHEN they will provide this service! They passed out this minimally informative "Decision Matrix" during the meeting but it does not appear on the website so was not made public. SPS speaks out of both ends on this. If it is, in fact, a service - then our children should be treated like everyone else during the student assignment process. But NO. Our students are moved around from school to school to maximize number of butts in seats, minimize staff, and plug holes in buildings.

Staff has convinced some directors that SPS needs to be "nimble" because student's services change at a moment's notice - ergo programs must change! As many SpEd parents will vouch - programs do not change for the child, our children are expected to conform to programs (e.g. placing a 5th grader into a K-2 self-contained program or shipping a child off to a different school mid-year due to a change in "placement").

At the same time, Wyeth Jessee tells the board these "services" have specific classrooms and ratios because the IEP requires it. The IEP does not, it describes the services and establishes measurable goals. The district has for years managed SpEd as programs and has been called out on it by the Urban Collaborative report, SEAAC and OSPI. Now the OCR will examine how SPS students with disabilities are regularly denied the same access, choice, guaranteed assignment, community and predictability as other students.

I ask SpEd families to immediately write to the board at spsdirectors@seattleschools.org and urge them to require board approval of SpEd program placement and changes.

Josh Hayes said...

I saw this interesting blog post about the Danielson Framework, and one of the current big critics of how it's been implemented: Charlotte Danielson.

It's well worth a read, especially if you're going through this thing right now. (Full disclosure: I submitted this afternoon my quantitative assessments for my "Professional Growth Evaluation", or PGE. Ugh.)

Anonymous said...

On the one hand Wyeth Jesse says to the board "specific IEPs require specific ratios"... but to parents he says - "you can't put any ratios in IEPs or how many minutes or any location on your IEPs. We decide all that, because Daddy knows best!". Well, which is it?

Evidently, he thinks parents don't go to board meetings to hear him speak his double talk. If Wyeth Jessee is now saying the opposite of what all his minions were saying just a couple months ago, parents should be celebrating. Because before the "riser" process - parents were told they could NOT put ratio's on their IEPs - everyone should just "trust us, we'll put you where you belong", which we all know is code for "where ever there is space". And, "where-ever there is space" is always a place nobody wants to go to - because usually it sucks! The good special ed places are always full - and they are never a "just trust us" type of place either.

Please ask Wyeth Jessee to put it in writing on the website that ratios belong in IEPs. Was that recorded?

Plus. There should be no secret "Decision Matrix" to decide placement. Once again the neophyte know nothing special ed management team is not aware of the absolute right under IDEA for IEP teams to decide placement.

Unless the IEP requires some other arrangement, the child is educated in the school that he or she would attend if nondisabled. [§300.116(c)]

When looking at placement options, consideration must be given to any potential harmful effect on the child or on the quality of services that he or she needs. [§300.116(d)]

A child with a disability may not be removed from education in age-appropriate regular classrooms just because he or she needs modifications to the general curriculum. [§300.116(e)]


Guess Wyeth Jessee didn't get that IDEA memo.

They Lie