The first item is the introduction of the Amendments to 2013-20 Growth Boundaries Plan for Student Assignment.
Why should you care? Well, if you live in the north end, your child may or may not get grandfathered in their current school with these changes.
As well, the creation of Cedar Park, with a largely ELL/F/RL population, is a recipe for disaster that will ripple throughout the district.
From the BAR under fiscal impact:
Staff estimates that these changes would result in fewer portables at the affected schools, and each portable currently costs the District approximately $160,000.
The fiscal impact of these changes from a transportation perspective requires a more granular analysis and is difficult to determine at this time. The amendments could produce savings, increase costs, or be cost neutral depending on whether the number of students who will need transportation increases or decreases as a result of this proposal. After detailed enrollment counts take place at the end of September, staff will produce a more detailed analysis of transportation fiscal impacts prior to the scheduled introduction date of October 12, 2016.
They cite "community meetings":
The Community Input page starts on page 59.These proposed amendments align with principal and community feedback.
There's a lot of blah, blah on Cedar Park meetings until you get to:
The recommended mitigations as developed by staff (including the principals of Cedar Park, John Rogers, and Olympic Hills elementary schools, the Executive Director of Schools- Northeast Region, the Director of School-Family Partnerships and Race and Equity, the Director of Enrollment Planning, and the Associate Superintendent for Facilities and Operations) are listed in the full Racial Equity Analysis (attached as Attachment C).Page 65 of the BAR starts the Cedar Park documentation. Page 71 has the "potential benefits or unintended consequences" section.
Page 72 has the mitigations like Cedar Park will get all new books and furniture, the district will providesupport for John Rogers if they lose their Title One funding, "bus NE elementary students to utilize the planned health resources at Olympic Hills", etc.
Where are the fiscal costs for those last two items?
Hard to understand how sending low-income students to a new school and then busing them back to their old school(new building with health services that had been built to serve them) for health services is a real answer.
They went thru twelve (12!) different scenarios for this area.
There is also this knee-slapper - an "assessment of facilities/capital needs for Cedar Park and John Rogers."
Isn't that what you do BEFORE you put students in a building?
As well, on page 8 of the BAR is the same grandfathering list - I wonder how many parents in the north end realize what may happen.
There are still two more Attachments D (Grandfathering and Fiscal Impact data) and Attachment E (additional public comments) that are not yet available.
I do not see this as the end of any discussion on this topic.
The second item is the Board’s Governance Priorities and Superintendent’s Evaluation tools for 16-17.
The first thing we learn:
The Board funded an initial $2M for the anticipated goals in June 2016 from unused one-time funds. At the September 2016 Board Retreat, the Board approved an additional $2M for the 16-17 SMART goals. Achievement of several of the elements on the rubric remain budget dependent.So what is that $4M going towards?
- Eliminate the Opportunity Gap
- Improve Systems & Supports
- Create Culturally Inclusive School, Family & Community Engagement
- SMART#3 - Programming Mapping and Review.
By May 31, 2017, the district will create an interactive program mapping tool that enables stakeholders to view and explore the district's continuum of program offerings by school, region and students served. In addition, the district will design and implement a pilot program review process to systematically evaluate the implementation and impact of current program offerings.
I don't want to appear ungrateful but why such a high priority on letting parents/families know where programs are offered. And a "pilot program" to see how the current offerings are doing? Wouldn't that be the first job you do?
- SMART#4 - Funding/Budget
Here's an interesting sentence from that one - The district will conduct a district comparison by major activities and programs, including looking for efficiencies.
So the district is now interested in what programs are where, comparing them and looking for savings? Hmm.
- SMART #5 - Engagement/Collaboration (bold mine)
By May 31, 2017, through established guidelines, protocols and training, Seattle Public Schools will develop a culture of predictable and transparent engagement with stakeholders at all levels, including internal staff, building a collaborative culture with a foundation of trust and confidence in Seattle Public Schools.That's a pretty huge hurdle at this point.
The final item is the approval of the TRI Settlement with the SEA, for intro and action on Wednesday night. This is for negotiated TRI payments with the union (for work outside of the school day like parent conferences, curriculum nights, etc.)
Ah, I remember this one. I reported on it in May 2016.
Over two years, from 2014-2016, the district's former Director of Labor and Employee Relations, Geoff Miller, negotiated this settlement with the SEA. Payments started going out but apparently no one in Budget/Accounting raised a red flag until $600,000 in payments had been made.
And no one in senior management had any idea this was happening even as, in Fall 2015, the district was negotiating the overall CBA with the SEA.
And SEA leadership, who should have known this should go before the Board - no one knew a thing or said anything.
That's pretty hard to swallow.
Reading the BAR we learn that the district hired an independent attorney to investigate what happened. The investigator says this about Mr. Miller (red highlight mine:)
The staff member at issue failed to follow District protocol and did not obtain legal review, costs analysis, or approval by his superiors or the Board before negotiating and executing the agreement. Other than a failure to perform his job properly, there was no evidence that he acted in bad faith or colluded with SEA or others to carry out the agreement. It appears he entered the settlement agreement with a good faith belief that the District would not prevail in arbitration if the grievance proceeded. While the District had prevailed in a similar grievance arbitration in 2011, the investigator determined the settled grievance was substantively different than the prior situation.It's not anyone's job in SPS to make a legal determination if they aren't in Legal but apparently if you acted in good faith, it's all good.
I have no idea why Mr. Miller is not named in the BAR.
This has to be into/action because to the payments had already started going out. The district is withholding $100,000 but heck, folks, let it go. You've already let everything else go.