Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Tuesday Open Thread

 Summer learning opportunities via the Families&Education levy for rising kindergarteners to rising ninth graders.

Summer learning classes in math and science for teachers via UW's Computer Science & Engineering Department. 

Seattle Schools would like your feedback on your enrollment experience.

Please complete these surveys below to partner with us in making improvements for the Open Enrollment/School Choice process:
  1. Admission Staff Experience
  2. School Choice Experience
Please join us at the next general meeting of the Seattle Special Education PTSA! The meeting is scheduled for Monday, May 23 at the JSCEE at 7:00 pm. We will have guest speakers talking about different interventions/resources available for our students including the areas of dyslexia, mental health and ABA therapy. Also we also hold the election for next years board members. It will be a robust and exciting agenda. Hope to see you all there!
    What's on your mind?

    31 comments:

    Anonymous said...

    Newly posted FAQ on the waitlist May 31/Aug 15 deadlines and impact on seats after those dates: http://www.seattleschools.org/cms/One.aspx?portalId=627&pageId=10120314

    - MemoReader

    Disgusted said...

    LEV sent an e-mail. They want to decide the manner in which funding will be spent. Whatever LEV wants....

    Anonymous said...

    I don't know if families are aware that SPS developmental preschools or Seattle City preschools will be using the elementary (where they are placed) school's resources (nurse, PT, OT, principal, etc.) but are NOT counted in the overall student count. This is truly absurd and is and will be stretching schools to do much more with less.

    - very concerned teacher

    Melissa Westbrook said...

    Disgusted, could you send me that e-mail (sss.westbrook@gmail.com.) Thanks

    Concerned Teacher, this has been a topic of discussion around the district and I think parents are starting to see that there is no "free" in "free preschool."

    Lynn said...

    concerned teacher,

    It's odd that they're not included in the school budget allocations. When evaluating the city's offer, the district assumed each classroom would cost a school almost $14,000 in administrative and office staff time.

    See page 42 of this document.

    Anonymous said...

    Yes there is some admin allocation but no increase in FTE for those serving the students beyond the classroom teacher. This has been very difficult for schools this year and more difficulty will occur for next year.
    - vct

    Anonymous said...

    Hey Melissa,
    I thought your email address was ssss.westbrook@gmail.com. That's how you posted it many many months ago. I've been sending docs to that address for months. Please tell me it's yours.

    Concerned

    Melissa Westbrook said...

    No, it's with three s (Save Seattle Schools.) So sorry if that was not clear.

    Anonymous said...

    OMG, I'm possibly SOL if those docs end up on the internet. I should have sent a test email first. You would think the owner would have emailed me back to inform me of my error.

    Concerned

    Anonymous said...

    It is possible that there is no ssss.westbrook@gmail.com and they just went into limbo. I am not sure how good gmail is about letting you know about nonexistent addresses.

    HP

    SPS Mom said...

    Scholarships available to Seattle students (8th-12th) to participate in 3 week camp with students from other countries through UW program:

    Middle and high school students from here and abroad are invited to make international friends and build their cross-cultural communication and leadership skills on the UW campus this summer! This program is coordinated by FIUTS (Foundation for International Understanding Through Students) and is open to local and international participants.

    The FIUTS Seattle Language and Culture Institute (www.fiuts.org/slci) welcomes middle and high school students from the U.S. and around the world to Seattle. Participants from the Seattle area spend each morning in workshops focused on cultural competency and global leadership; international students spend the morning in an English language class. In the afternoons, FIUTS staff lead the whole group on guided trips to locations around the Seattle area for fun and educational excursions.

    We now have a limited number of partial scholarships available for local participants! Please contact Ellen Frierson at ellen@fiuts.org for details.

    2016 Seattle Language and Culture Institute Dates:

    International Participants: July 13, 2016 - July 27, 2016 (Residential Camp)

    Seattle-area Participants: July 11, 2016 - July 29, 2016 (Day Camp)

    Additional details and online registration forms are available at www.fiuts.org/slci

    Susan said...

    My kid needs very minor accommodations in the classroom. School is saying they need a 504 (to put her closer to the white board). Are there are negatives for signing this? Pros/cons please of signing off on a 504 for very minor accommodations.

    Anonymous said...

    Can anyone tell me how college advising works for Gen Ed kids at Garfield? I'm trying to help a young lady who's at a loss after a very unsuccessful "application season" and I'm not sure what the process is there. My own kids went to smaller schools with more homogeneous populations and had very different experiences.

    Tryingto Help

    Melissa Westbrook said...

    Susan, I had a similar situation and I opted for the accommodations over a 504. The issue for us had not been clearly understood by us until high school so we were okay with that. But, if your child is younger, you might want to get that 504.

    (But I will say that the high school then was not-so-helpful around an issue with what did and did not appear in the yearbook about our student and having that 504 might have been a good idea.)

    Lynn said...

    There is no college advising for any kids at Garfield.

    Susan said...

    Ok, thanks, Melissa, I just wanted to make sure I wasn't signing up for somethings that have been mentioned in other threads for sped kids like remedial classes, life training skills, etc. etc. I know I am not getting those right, but some of the comments about what their kids are forced to endure (or not be allowed to endure) due to having some type of plan/asterisk next to their name gave me pause.

    Anonymous said...

    There is college advising at Garfield. College Access Now (CAN) works with kids, first generation, underrepresented minority etc. for a couple years guiding them through the process. Urban Scholars exists to support high achieving kids of color ar GHS from 9th grade through 12th grade, including the college process. I believe you have to apply to participate in both programs. For the average college bound student, however, there is no college advising. Most people go it alone or hire a private consultant.

    CCC

    Melissa Westbrook said...

    CCC,years back at Roosevelt, when the district cut career counselors, parents were coming in to help with student essays for admissions forms. We did have materials available on many schools but none of us were trained counselors so we didn't feel qualified to give advice beyond "have a safety school, make copies, track dates, etc."

    It was frustrating to all but I did feel like we did contribute somewhat by reading and guiding the essays.

    Anonymous said...

    CCC-thank you for that information. This young lady would have qualified for both of the programs you mention, but I don't know if she applied or even knew about them. Having volunteered to help my fair share of kids, I know that unless they know to ask, some kids just assume it's all on them, and teachers/guidance counselors don't always point them in the right direction. I'll ask her if she knew about either program. We're still trying to figure out next year.

    Tryingto Help

    TechyMom said...

    Some of the most successful people I know started at community college. A year or two of good grades at a community college makes for a strong application to 4 year public universities. Some of our local ones are now offering BAs as well (Bellevue College and Seattle Central College, maybe others?)

    Maureen said...

    Trick with entering a four year as a transfer though is that the best aid packages generally are available only to freshmen. Depending on her interests, target schools and strength as a candidate, she might be better off taking a gap year.

    Anonymous said...

    I love the "Admissions" survey.

    We don't "admit" people to public school. This isn't private school; there is no rejection process. It is so off-putting. Why do we not call it enrollment?

    In terms of the nursing/admin support, it's an interesting situation. Many (most?) schools don't have nurses around anyway and it would be very uncommon in any preschool/pre-K program I've ever seen to have a nurse or significant admin support/principal. So on the surface I can see why those kids weren't considered. But especially if they're being included in the building rhythms, I can see a need for some additional building support.

    NE Parent

    Anonymous said...

    @ NE parent. Do you think these kids arrive with no paperwork to be processed? How are the teachers supposed to be evaluated for "quality" if the principal doesn't do it? Who is cleaning their classroom and yes that means the many "oops I peed my pants (or the dreaded poop)" accidents that come with the territory of preschool. Are the kids immunized? (Nurse job.) Do they have lice? (Nurse job.) Is the room safe in case of earthquake or 3-year-old aggression (administrator job). Are they fed? Cafeteria shift. And clean up. Did they get on their bus? (20 phone calls to @(#*@ SPS transportation. That's the school administration job too). Did they slip out of the classroom? Red alert for principal. Do their parents sending their babies off to school for the first time have concerns? (Meetings for principal.) Do the kids have special needs? More meetings for principal and call in the specialist staff.

    And the city thinks none of this should count as overhead for the school and supply additional funds to compensate? What a load. A FREELOAD.

    DistrictWatcher

    Lynn said...

    What's really irritating is that the district budgets the additional admin and support staff hours into the costs of pre-K and doesn't pass that portion of the state funding on to the schools. It's clear budget staff are aware that they're stealing resources (principal, nurse and office staff time) from our K-5 students. Where are they spending that $12,800 per classroom? I suspect early learning administration costs.

    Anonymous said...

    Techymom and Maureen-we are looking at community colleges. My own kids know quite a few students who went that route-especially with Bellevue or Central, and have successfully transferred to UW or WSU. My understanding of aid, though, is that while transfers tend to have less access to MERIT aid, FINANCIAL aid is need-based, which is not necessarily related to what year you come in. This young lady should have a very low expected financial contribution, so should qualify for significant financial aid. I will certainly look into the specifics with her, though.

    Again, thank you for the suggestions.

    Tryingto Help

    Anonymous said...

    Girls at WMS protesting the dress code.

    http://q13fox.com/2016/05/11/seattle-middle-school-students-create-petition-challenging-dress-code/

    There's an article in the Ballard T'man about dress code too. The author had teachers at Whitman tell her she was distracting them and it really grossed her out.

    http://www.ballardtalisman.com/opinions/2016/05/03/following-the-dress-code/

    Ballard Bridge

    Anonymous said...

    Not entirely related but the college discussion makes me think.. My stepdaughter is planing kind of a "gap year/community college combo" thing after she graduates this year. She's not sure what she wants to do, or if college is right for her, though she certainly has the grades to be admitted many places. Part of me wishes she'd go ahead with college - the other part knows she's not emotionally ready.

    Every kid is different - I wish there was less pressure to "know" what you want to be/do at their age. I personally went to college for a few years, had to quit to take care of family matters and went back in my 20s. I was by far a better and more motivated student the 2nd time around ;)

    reader47

    Melissa Westbrook said...

    Reader 47, I linked a great story on NPR on gap years. Might be helpful to check it out.

    Maureen said...

    reader47, I have two kids who have done/will do the standard HS, straight to four year college thing, so this isn't my strength, but I have spent a somewhat ridiculous amount of time on the Parents Forum at College Confidential
    over the past five years and one of the bits of accepted wisdom there is that if you want to end up at a four year college/university that does offer merit aid or that does not meet full need (per The CSS Profile), then think hard about taking any college level classes during your "gap year."

    The accepted wisdom is that if you enter one of those schools as an upperclassman (transfer status, not like a freshman) that you will not be offered as good an aid package as you would get coming straight from HS, or straight from a gap year with no course credit earned.

    Now, for a school that only uses the FAFSA for aid, does not meet full need, and/or has an established relationship with community colleges (as it sounds like is the case with Trying to Help's protege, that "wisdom" probably doesn't apply. BUT, if the kid is thinking, I want to take a year off and then apply to (insert top fifty Liberal Arts College name here) they should check with some of those target schools and see what eight community college credits (or whatever) might do to their status.

    College Confidential is not for the faint of heart, but if you stick to the Parent Forums and the Financial Aid thread, you can pick up some useful info. (Do NOT go near the "Chance Me" and "Ivy" threads. They are crazy!)

    Anonymous said...

    Thanks Maureen & Melissa
    As weird as it sounds, the funding issue isn't really a concern - that aspect is covered (as long as she doesn't decide to go someplace like Harvard or Stanford ha!).

    If she ever decides to go it'll likely be something low key - she's just not an academically motivated kid, despite being intelligent beyond her years. I have siblings who have similar traits and have become very successful in their fields without college. I just wish there was way way way less pressure to "succeed" for kids these days - life is a journey with many paths and its ok not to know which is the right one immediately ;)

    reader47

    Anonymous said...

    @Trying to help - Consider UW Bothell - it's a small, community minded innovative campus. A lot of great things going on there!

    Many of the local community colleges are offering 4 year B.A. degrees (North, South, Seattle Central), Bellevue, etc. Sone of these schools have articulation agreements with UW that allow students to transfer credits for specific classes towards their UW major. - NP