Saturday, April 02, 2016

Seattle Schools This Week

Some interesting and important issues being discussed this week.

Monday, April 4th
Curriculum and Instruction meeting, 4:30-6:30 pm, JSCEE. Agenda

Highlights (partial)
Resolution to Consider Alternative Summative Assessments and Reaffirm Student Opt-Out Rights (Burke) 
Brave and ground-breaking resolution (see page 16):
Under Resolution No, 2014/15-33 on Use of Smarter Balanced Assessment, The Board of Directors of Seattle Public Schools:Asked Congress to support the Elementary and Secondary Education ActSupported the State Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn’s efforts to suspend
the use of the Smarter Balanced 2015 assessment scores for any consequential judgment or purpose such as federal school evaluations (Adequate Yearly Progress) 
- Called upon the Washington Legislature to reconsider high stakes graduation requirements until we may ensure assessment scores are interpreted and applied appropriately.
- Called on Congress to continue to permit students to voluntarily opt out of taking SBA tests, but to but to discontinue the penalizing practice of giving these students’ scores of 0%. 
-BAR for contract with UW for EEU services
- Quarterly annual report Equitable Access to Programs and Services - page 48, listing of Special Education services, also see page 55
- 24-credit graduation recommendations (see page 62), including student focus groups info:
Trends:
- Students are divided in their opinions about their current schedules and on-line learning.- Students are consistent in looking for increased support from the school in planning for career and college.
Join Seattle Council PTSA for our annual District Roundtable Monday, April 4 from 7:00-9:00 p.m. at the JSCEE Auditorium.

District staff will be available to talk with you and answer questions. Representatives from Teaching and Learning, Special Education, student data and assessments, Advanced Learning, Community partnership and afterschool programming, Differentiated Learning and Student Social and Emotional supports. 

We will also discuss Washington State funding as the legislative session comes to a close, elect a nominating committee and discuss the changes in state high school graduation requirements.
Look forward to seeing you there!

Growth Boundaries Meeting, Ballard High School, 6:30–7:30 p.m.
Interpreters: Somali, Spanish, Vietnamese 

Meetings are being held in April 2016 to begin sharing information about the boundary changes that will be implemented for the 2017-18 school year. Additional meetings will be scheduled for Fall 2016.
Please visit our 2017-18 Growth Boundaries webpage for a list of the schools with changes and maps showing the new boundaries.
Open the map of all attendance area elementary and K-8 changes.

Tuesday, April 5
Neighbor to Neighbor program and African American Male Scholars Think Tank meeting.
Nathan Hale High School, 6:00-7:30 pm

Wednesday, April 6th
School Board meeting.  Agenda. To note, this is the first meeting where the time for public testimony will start at 5:30 pm, not 5:00 pm.

The agenda is largely BEX and BTA items but also includes a revised superintendent evaluation timeline for 2016 and 2017.

Thursday, April 7th
Executive Committee meeting from 8:30-10:30 am.  No agenda yet available.

Work Session on Board self-evaluation and code of conduct in Board conference room from 5:00-6:30 pm.  No agenda yet available.

Friday, April 8th
End of 3rd Quarter

BEX Oversight Committee Meeting from 8:30-10:30 am at JSCEE, Room 2750.  No agenda yet available.

There are no director community meetings on Saturday the 9th.

2 comments:

Charlie Mas said...

The Curriculum and Instruction Policy Committee is contemplating the division of Policy 2090, Program Evaluation and Assessment, into two policies: one that addresses program evaluation and a second one that addresses assessments. The staff has written draft policies.

The current policy requires the staff to conduct annual program evaluations to determine the quality and efficacy of the district's academic programs. These programs include Special Education programs, programs for English Language Learners, Advanced Learning programs, Montessori programs, Language Immersion programs, and more. The problem is that the District staff does not conduct any such evaluations. We have absolutely no idea how well any of these programs are working, or even if they are working at all.

The solution proposed by the staff is to change the policy so that it no longer requires the annual evaluations. Instead, the superintendent only needs to deliver a single report on how the district as a whole is doing academically.

This is, of course, a solution to the wrong problem. The right solution to the right problem would be for the district staff to conduct the program evaluations that would be a necessary part of any sort of management.

SPS Mom said...

I went to the first 2017-18 boundaries meeting on Monday. Flip and Ashley (new enrollment director) were there as well as translators for 3 languages and a couple other SPS staff - and about 20 community members.

Ashley did a powerpoint about the process since 2013 and then they took questions. The major purpose of the meeting was to get updated feedback from the community on the boundaries voted upon in 2013. There were parents there from various schools (with the largest group from B.F. Day.)

Basically, the answer to every concern was that they are collecting the feedback and analyzing it over the summer to then bring to community meetings in the autumn, followed up by Intro/Vote by the board in Oct/Nov. It was a bit frustrating because they didn't have a summary of the feedback they had received thus far. It was suggested that they have a slide outlining the areas of concern they were already aware of for the subsequent meetings - and they said that they would do that.

An instance of a situation they had already been working on was Cedar Park - they have held community meetings in that region and already had a plan to alleviate some of those concerns. When asked about that in the meeting, they said, "yes, we have been working on that plan to check the viability", but it would have been great to put issues like that right up front. It would help communities feel like they were being heard.

My perception is that they were very careful to not share any of the data analysis they've done thus far on the boundary issues of which they are aware and not to inform us on any possible proposals. I think you're most likely to get information by talking with the staff individually, after the meetings.

If you can't make the meetings but still have feedback, I'd suggest emailing it to growthboundaries@seattleschools.org. I do believe they're tallying expressed concerns.

I suspect those autumn community meetings are going to be VERY interesting. I expect to see some substantial changes put forth by staff.