Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Following the Bouncing Meeting Ball

I don't know what is up but there is a lot of adding and shifting of meetings in these final weeks of school.

For example, there is now a Work Session right before the Board meeting tomorrow.  When I saw this, I went back and checked my "Seattle Schools This Week" thread and nope, not there.  I go straight off of what is on the district's website on Sunday night and this Work Session wasn't there.

This work session is about the Budget but about one very specific topic - how to spend the $11M staff says is now available to spend.  (I have not read an adequate explanation of where the money came from but it's not any outside money.)  You may recall, I reported on this last week and I was surprised at how quickly staff figured out how they would like to spend it. 

I note that I didn't see "Take $750K to shore up IB at all three high schools where it is available because it is working for largely low-income students" on the list.  Even though, it's a program that is working to close the opportunity gap which I believe is job #1 in the district.

This meeting is from 3:35 to 4:10 pm.  Quite a small but specific amount of time to decide, right before a lengthy Board meeting.  Almost like the Board might not have ideas of their own.  I didn't attend the Work Session last week where this was first raised but I have to believe the Board might have asked some hard questions.
On the Board meeting that follows, there is a full speaker list with 10 people on the waitlist.  Many speakers will address all gender restrooms in schools. 

The next meeting change is that the previously "closed" Operations Committee meeting on Thursday from 4:30-6:30 pm is now open.  Here's the agenda . Some interesting items in the 193 page documents.

- Arbor Heights
This project came in $600,000 under bid for phase I; savings will go into the construction contingency dollars for Phase 2. It was planned as a 500-seat school but due to the timetable acceleration and savings, the district added 160 seats without additional cost. 

That would seem to be some trick.  I'm not sure most construction companies can just add on space for 160 more students without charging something (at least a change order cost.)

- Cloud-book purchase. 
Not-To-Exceed (NTE) amount of $6 million total (before applicable sales tax) by the Department of Technology Services (DoTS) over the up to five-year term of the RFP. 

I didn't see a number for how many computers that would be or where they would go but there was this:
Since schools have been asking for a laptop device in this price range, it is anticipated that schools will also use their campus specific funds, funds raised through PTSA, or other means to
purchase this class of device. 

-Educational Specifications for the E.C. Hughes buildingThese are the general ed specs and make for some interesting reading.

- Pegi McEvoy will be giving a bell times update as well as an emergency management plan update.




The Board is then having a closed meeting immediately after the Operations Committee meeting on Thursday from 6:30-7:30 pm.  The topic of the meeting has not been disclosed.

There is also a BEX Oversight Committee meeting on Friday morning from 8:30-10:30 am at JSCEE.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

What is the plan for equitable distribution of these cloudbooks? What is the criteria by which schools will be selected?
-equitynow

Anonymous said...

Not only is IB closing the opportunity gap, it is a major capacity relief valve for Garfield. SPS needs as many HC students as will fit into Ingraham to go there. And Flip Herndon has said that he thinks some HC will have to shift from Garfield to Rainier Beach and Sealth in the years before Lincoln opens. It's not reasonable for the district to rely on IB in this way if they are not footing the bill for it. It's state mandated access to education--should be funded by the district.

2HC

Lynn said...

When did Flip say that?!

Charlie Mas said...

The District should recognize more HCC high school pathways. Strictly speaking, every school is supposed to provide HC services for their HC students, but since those assurances are not credible more structured programs, such as IBX, are required.

Sealth and Rainier Beach could add IBX as Ingraham has, and that would relieve some of the burden from Garfield, but not much. The NOVA Project could be acknowledged as an HCC pathway since it credibly offers individualized instruction and supports learning beyond Standards. STEM at Cleveland might be another credible HCC pathway.

These are all south of the Ship Canal, but some balance could be achieved if Lincoln comes on line as an HCC pathway school as well.

Anonymous said...

It doesn't sound like they have any intention of turning Lincoln into an HCC pathway, but who really knows?

And it's hard to say they'll even keep with the "HCC pathway" idea in the first place, since as you say, every school is supposed to provide HC services. Why let lack of credible services stand in the way?

HF

Watching said...

Using a portion of the $11M to fund IB- for multiple years- is an excellent investment. As I understand it, Seattle is one of the few districts in the state that doesn't fund IB.

Eric B said...

I wholeheartedly support using some of the $11M to fund programs that the District started but doesn't support now. IB and language immersion are high on that list.

On the Arbor Heights savings, they most likely had an option when they went out to bid. The main job was making a 500-student school, but Option #2 (or whatever number) was adding another 160 students of capacity. If they thought the main job was going to cost the $X million they had in the budget, but bids came back from contractors for the main job plus the extra capacity at $X million, then they can exercise the option at the beginning of construction when it can be planned in with everything else. They almost certainly would not have added that extra capacity later on unless it was a completely separate building. Even then it would be expensive to add partway through a project.

Anonymous said...

@Lynn, I asked him in person, aside after a meeting, how he thought Garfield would be able to manage the overcrowding in the years before Lincoln opens. He agreed the projected numbers were troubling, and mentioned the West Seattle HC pathway and IB as options for reducing numbers at Garfield.

2HC

Anonymous said...

Charlie, your suggested pathways assume AP and IB are interchangeable, but they are not. Students will also opt out of the HC pathway if it means access to better programs (music, drama, sports) at high performing neighborhood schools like Roosevelt or Ballard. Students that can't make the trek to Garfield (light rail has restricted Metro options) are unlikely to make the trek to RB or Sealth. The jury is also out on whether IBX is an appropriate pathway, especially given the lack of definition or support for a planned senior year (or IB in general).

-no answers

Beautiful Pena said...

Dear Seattle School Board Members:
There is information going around that you will be having a special Work Session this afternoon to talk about the budget - specifically $11 million that is now available to spend.
If this is the case, I implore you to earmark $750,000 to fund IB at Chief Sealth, Rainier Beach and Ingraham High Schools.
Thank you,
James and Pauline Aldrich , raising a granddaughter who is a Chief Sealth High School student going into 12th grade I would hate to lose all that has been accomplished with this program thank you