Dr. Nyland mentioned that the Board met on Yom Kippur and that they shouldn't do that. Or whatever.
Internally, the District has 17 initiatives designed to help eliminate opportunity gaps. 17? Want to know what they are? The staff will report on them at the December 5th Board retreat. Or you could check out the Eliminating Opportunity Gaps web page where you will find 20 (not 17) initiatives.
- Continuous School Improvement Plans (CSIP)
- Practitioner's Academy
- Continued PSAT/SAT access for all
- Everyday Matters Attendance Campaign
- Expand summer learning access
- Moratorium on non-violent suspensions
- Principal development
- New employee orientation
- Equity and race teams
- On demand 24/7 professional development
- Whole child support: RULER, Positive Behavior Intervention Support
- Trauma Informed Learning
- District-wide professional development focused on relationships
- My Brother’s Keeper: Success Mentors Summer Institute
- City Partnership and Mayor’s Educational Summit
- Labor partners
- Listening campaigns and convenings
- Family University and Family Connectors
- African American Advisory Committee
- Professional Development for Education Partners
The Superintendent will make a decision on where to place north-end Highly Capable Cohorts (HCC). Since there are already more HCC students at Cascadia at Lincoln (770) than can fit into their new building (660), the Superintendent will reveal his placement decision prior to Open Enrollment, which begins in mid-February 2017. He has a list of options. Odd that he seems to think that this is his decision.
The new Equity and Race Advisory Committee held their first meeting on Saturday, October 8th.
Michael Tolley wrote about converting Madrona K-8 to a K-5 elementary. There are currently 62 students in grades 6-8 at Madrona - 15 in 6th grade, 25 in 7th grade, and 22 in 8th grade. Madrona will be in the Meany attendance area when Meany re-opens as a middle school. They are considering doing the same with ORCA, returning it to an elementary (K-5).
Mr. Tolley also wrote about north-end elementary HCC placement. While he acknowledges that the decision is up to the Board, the staff will only present one option: Decatur. The staff are also working to narrow the Board's choices on north-end middle school HCC placement.
There's a report from the Capacity Task Force that everyone should take the time to read. Regardless of the content, the report itself is worthy of attention.
Here's the short list of options for north-end elementary HCC, according to the staff. All of the ideas are horrible except one which is only bad, but the staff is leaving the decision to the Board.
There's a paper on the idea of making Cedar Park an option school. Among the reasons not to do it we find this one:
"In order to be assigned to Cedar Park, families would have to apply through the school choice process. The school choice process creates an additional barrier for families particularly high poverty and ELL families. This population of families lives in close proximity to the school but would still have to go through the choice process in order to be granted a seat at the school."
So... option schools are racist. Is that what they're saying?
Here's a good reason:
"Cedar Park’s enrollment is determined by those who apply. If not enough students apply to sufficiently fill classrooms across all grades, the school could be under enrolled resulting in a need for significant mitigation funds and numerous split classes. Given the potential budget deficit, mitigation funds will be extremely limited for 2017-18."In short, the District isn't confident that they could create an option school so attractive that they could fill it. And, let's face it, not many would change schools in the fifth grade unless they had to, so the only way to get kids into the fifth grade at Cedar Park is by forcing them in there.
There was some additional data about HCC, but it all appeared pretty pointless. The data isn't going to change anyone's mind either way.