Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Tuesday Open Thread

Better late than never.

Malia Obama has chosen Harvard for her college career.  Not such a shocker but what is interesting is she is taking a gap year and going into Harvard in fall 2017.  It makes sense given she would go in as the daughter of the ex-president and not a current one.  Obama seems downright wistful at seeing his little girl go off to college - very sweet.  The Obamas are also staying put for two years in D.C. for their other daughter, Sasha, to be able to finish high school where she started.

Good discussion on a gap year from NPR


Troubling law signed by Tennessee governor that would allow therapists and counselors with "sincerely held principles" to refuse to help LGBTQ clients.  It doesn't say it in the article but I would assume that means high school counselors as well.  That could be devastating to so many teens who might not have any other adult to talk to.

Do we want Seattle Schools to help SPD monitor kids' social media activity?  They are doing it in one school district in Orlando, Florida.  From the Washington Post:
The school district says it will pay about $18,000 annually for SnapTrends, the monitoring software used to check students' activity. It's the same software used by police in Racine, Wis., to track criminal activity and joins a slew of similar social media monitoring software used by law enforcement to keep an eye on the community. 

SnapTrends collects data from public posts on students' social media accounts by scanning for keywords that signify cases of cyberbullying, suicide threats, or criminal activity. School security staff then comb through flagged posts and alert police when they see fit.
Interesting article from The Columbian about second graders at one elementary school asking the age-old Sesame Street question: who are the people in your neighborhood (and places?)
Noting important elements such as schools, parks, streets, rivers, fire and police stations found on maps provided by the Camas-Washougal Chamber of Commerce, the children got to know their community better. At the same time, they learned how to spell local landmarks correctly and use quality handwriting as part of an activity where they crafted their own neighborhood maps.

Student Trevor King added, “It was fun to color the rivers and the school, and it looked like a regular map!”
The Senate approved Diane Humetewa as a federal judge last week.  She is the first Native American woman to serve as a federal judge last week,
Humetewa was confirmed 96-0 to serve on the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona. She is a former U.S. attorney in Arizona and a member of the Hopi tribe. She is now the only Native American serving on the federal bench and just the third Native American in history to do so.
What's on your mind?

35 comments:

Anonymous said...

May meeting of Highly Capable Services Advisory Committee is tonight, 6:30-8:00, at Ingraham. I'd be interested in hearing what AL has to say about future assignments to IHS IBX, especially after this year's assignment confusion.

-MS parent

Anonymous said...

Carol Burton is not back teaching this week. She was put on administrative leave.
GHS Parent

Gwen St. Clair said...

I was at the meeting as a parent. One quick note, I counted people per row and the number of rows and remember remember tallying over 200 people.

seattle citizen said...

The "post a comment" function on the Give Big thread isn't working for me, so I'll post here (Give Big has been extended through today):
While there are many, many worthy organizations in need of donations, I saw in the paper that Amazon is matching donations to Mary's Place, which is a wonderful organization whose mission is to "[empower] homeless women, children and families to reclaim their lives by providing shelter, nourishment, resources, healing and hope in a safe community."
With so many homeless students in SPS, this is a great opportunity to get more bang for your buck as you help them out.

Lynn said...

What are the option schools doing about the K-3 class size reductions? Most of them can reduce the enrollment cap for those grades and add new spaces in grade four - there are always students looking to move into option schools.

The language immersion schools are in a pickle. They can't add students later because of the nature of the program. They can't add one extra classroom per grade in the early years because kids have to stay in the same language. They could:

choose to forego the class size reduction funds

request a waiver from the state to use the money to hire certificated teachers to provide small group instruction for those grades (this is possible if there is no physical space for added classrooms)

offer just one language per building to make it possible to funnel students from say four third grade classrooms into three fourth grade classrooms

merge the programs at McDonald and JSIS so that one provides K-3 and the other provides 4-5.

Any school with more than one self-contained program is going to have a problem with this.

Benjamin Leis said...

@MS Parent - the short answer is that next year is still up in the air for high school assignment policy. I posted a more detailed writeup if you want more information.

Anonymous said...

For those interested in plans for Lincoln High School, I noticed that they finally posted a bunch of planning docs on the BEX site yesterday. You can find them here.

HIMSmom

Anonymous said...

I haven't read the Lincoln planning docs yet, but one thing jumped out at me: the minutes say a 500-seat theater is ideal. I don't know my theater capacity, but that sounds small for a school that's supposed to serve 1600 students (so will likely serve 2000 at some point). What's standard for a high school theater? I know Garfield is unique with it's 1800-seat performing arts center, but is 500 seats really sufficient? How big is the current Lincoln theater--which is also used by Hamilton and fills up?

500 good?

Anonymous said...

500 seems small. Roosevelt's theater seats 750, plus they have a 150 seat black box theater.

-500 bad



Melissa Westbrook said...

500s, interesting. I haven't reviewed those docs. Soup for Teachers had a discussion about the new Robert Eagle Staff middle school plus Cascadia Elementary at the Wilson Pacific site. One issue raised, that we have discussed here, is that there will be no auditorium at the middle school despite two schools being right next to each other. (Chief Sealth High has an auditorium which I'm sure Denny uses.)

RESMS and Cascadia will have cafetoriums which, frankly, are usually so acoustically bad that it makes any kind of performance less-than-great.

One person at SforT said, "Well, they could use Ingraham or Lincoln's auditorium" which is true (although Roosevelt is also close-by.) But if Lincoln's auditorium is that small, maybe RESMS might go to Roosevelt or Ingraham for big performances.

Anonymous said...

In the same planning documents, they discuss students are "taking less and less PE." Many students choose music or another elective, which requires a PE waiver. But music requires what else? Adequate performance space! The document also states, "smaller theater is good!" on one of the options (schematics of various options included in document).

Are any Hamilton reps included in the planning?

-still reading

Anonymous said...

If Ingraham's auditorium is planned as the RESMS auditorium, will it get a renovation as well?

-still reading

GarfieldMom said...

500 good, where did you get the idea that Garfield has a 1800-seat performing arts center?? That kind of boggles the mind. Garfield's theatre seats 596. The black box theatre seats about 80.

Anonymous said...

Those documents are chock full of info. The second document suggests a school focus of Robotics/STEM.

-still reading

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh. It has slides on outdoor learning, pictures of students on grassy hillsides, sitting under trees and throwing Frisbees - all things they would had space for at W-P site! But at Lincoln?!

-still reading

Anonymous said...

When my daughter was at HIMS, five years ago, they tried to have concerts in their cafetorium, but it meant the student performers had to miss three periods to have all the students get to hear them play. Then they tried putting their performances on TVs so they could watch them in the classrooms. Obviously that was super-boring and not interesting to students in classrooms. Also the acoustics were horrible in the cafetorium. They did have concerts there sometimes, like musicathon, and some others, but usually we went to Lincoln. I can't believe they are going to tear down that Lincoln auditorium. It is very nice. It needs some TLC on the HVAC and some other upgrades. Short-sighted is all I can think of. When they were planning Wilson-Pacific, didn't they say, music could go to Lincoln for concerts? Wilson-Pacific also needs an auditorium, but that is too late now. A 500 seat auditorium is too small for Lincoln. Garfield's Quincy Jones auditorium size would be a minimum for a big high school that Lincoln will be. SPS should not be short-sighted.
Lincoln alum

Anonymous said...

The schedule has schematic design being finalized at the end of June, a 4-5 month period of design development, with construction documents starting in Jan. 2017.

-still reading

Anonymous said...

Garfield Mom, my bad. It's the Quincy Jones Auditorium that seats 1800. It looks like musical events are held in the auditorium rather than the theater? Has anyone seen what size auditorium they are planning for Lincoln?

500 good?

Anonymous said...

Who decided the Lincoln High School focus? Was there any community input?

-thoughts?

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Melissa Westbrook said...

Still Reading, I didn't say Ingraham's auditorium would be available for RESMS; it's just a possible site if they had a big event.

Ingraham has been on every single BEX and BTA. Someday I should add up all the dollars; I suspect it would have bought them a total renovation as most of the other high schools have had.

Anonymous said...

The design process is moving forward without knowing which programs and kids will be assigned to Lincoln (at least they haven't officially told communities, beyond knowing it will be a portion of current Ballard and Roosevelt draw areas). The schematics will be decided on and construction drawings underway before it is decided who will be in the building. SPS planning.

The Hamilton renovation was already underway when it was decided APP would be split and moved to HIMS, then the design was changed to add space for music rooms and the dead-end U shape of the upper floors was done to add classrooms. It was originally designed for full circulation. Is SPS capable of any forethought? Lincoln is right next to HIMS, which relies on the Lincoln auditorium. I can't believe they are wanting to downsize one of the few available performance spaces, after they have already decided to not have performance space at RESMS.

It's like watching a wreck in slow motion.

-unbelievable

GarfieldMom said...

500 good, I still don't know what you're talking about. The Quincy Jones Auditorium IS the theatre. It seats 596. There is no 1800-seat performing arts space at Garfield. ???

Anonymous said...

I'm thrilled to see a Maker Space in the design :)

-positive feedback

Joe Wolf said...

Re. Lincoln site-specific ed spec development

Both current options in play recommend retention of the theater in the East Wing for that purpose. The options do vary relative to space allocation and adjacencies. See slides 2 and 6 at the link below for more detail & context.

http://bex.seattleschools.org/assets/bulkUpload/Lincoln-SDAT-Mtg-5-DRAFT-OPTIONS.pdf

For reference the theater at Ballard HS seats about 500.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

I liked this piece about the problems with the gap year: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/may/03/malia-obama-gap-year-student-loans

The NPR article mentions Global Citizen Year, which appears to cost as much as an extra year of college. I looked at the GCY website, and it mentions how participating students who reapply to college afterward are able to get into more selective schools.

If true, that means the gap year trend may already be further increasing the advantage of the affluent to get into selective schools. ("Didn't get into Harvard, Madison? No worries, we'll send you to Senegal for a year and you can try again!")

(That said, gap years are awesome. I ended up taking MANY of them.)

--JvA

Maureen said...

Ingraham has been on every single BEX and BTA. Someday I should add up all the dollars; I suspect it would have bought them a total renovation as most of the other high schools have had.

Please do that math and then come tour Ingraham (I bet Principal Floe would walk you around personally.) Make sure you see the auditorium.

Anonymous said...

Anyone know if the WAKids delayed start for K some schools were going to do before the strike last year is still a thing (where Ks unfortunately miss out on the first three days of school)

My understanding is that was tied into how no-pay-for-K was funded last year, but I am not sure if this years full day funding changes anything; and/or if this will now be district wide.

- MemoReader

Melissa Westbrook said...

Maureen, I think Ingraham looks a lot better (and getting the math out of those portables is great.) I'm just saying that the work has been piecemeal on Ingraham and a whole at-once renovation might have served the school better.

Maureen said...

Melissa, I absolutely agree with you! The new wing and one outside building are great, but you wouldn't know, by walking through the rest of the school, that anything had been upgraded since 1960. The auditorium, especially, is a relic. I can't wrap my mind around how SPS upgraded theaters at Roosevelt, Garfield, Ballard, Beach too from what I hear, and left Ingraham's in exactly the same state as it was when the building went up. I haven't seen other HS theaters--maybe some are worse.

I encourage everyone to come see NICE WORK IF YOU CAN GET IT performed at Ingraham this weekend (Fri @7, Sat @2 and 7). Fantastic show! The students are incredibly talented and hardworking! But bring a cushion to sit on and make sure you sit about a quarter of the way back, center stage to stage left to make it easier to hear. (Oh, and I doubt it will sell out since the auditorium seats over 1000.)

Anonymous said...

The delayed start for K is still here as part of WaKids. In fact since all K will now be funded full day K, all K classes are now required to do WaKids. WaKids requires individual family meetings. Teachers meet with individual families during the first three days of school. Schools have the option for teachers to meet with families in the evenings and on weekends, but the option of a 3 day late start is part of the program. I would assume most teachers would rather meet with parents during the day as opposed to meeting with parents on their own time on weekends and evenings.
K teach

Anonymous said...

I have to say as a K teacher, I would rather have my kids start at the same time as the other kids. I think the family meetings are a good idea, but it would make more sense to me to have teachers be paid for that time and still start the kids on time. Also, the WaKids assessment is absolutely excessive. A lot of data for little benefit for the teacher or kid. The state wants it, so maybe it is helping them. I wish we had something that was kid and teacher friendly.
K teach

Table said...

There is no difference between the attack Reader made on me and my response... Other than that u agree with what this POS said and disagree with what I said. U profess to be an objective,educated person. Yet you deleted my defense and enabled Reader to post the most vile false lies. Apparently you are neither objective or honest.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Table, I don't know what thread you are talking about but it's not this one. If I deleted your commment, it was for a reason printed above the Comments box.