Friday, November 04, 2016

Friday Open Thread

No Saturday community meetings with directors this week.

The district is starting a partnership with Seattle Public Library called Library Link
This program will automatically provide a library account to students at three middle schools; Aki Kurose, Mercer and Denny.  "The Library Link pilot program is a good example because access to digital resources isn't necessarily equal for all students in the district. By partnering with the Seattle Public Library, we're hoping to have a solution for that."
Interesting article from the Columbia Basin Herald about a high school that is trying to do more "outside school days."  
“All the questions they had will serve as a springboard in the classroom, and that’s the difference between this experience and your typical school field trip,” Dermond said. “Usually, field trips aim to reinforce what has already been dispensed in the classroom. We wanted our field trip to create questions that we can answer in the classroom.”

“If you looked at their discipline records, you’d probably think to identify them as ‘problem students,’” Dermond said. “But if you observed them in this setting, you’d have correctly identified them as leaders.”
A blast from the past I stumbled upon; a story from Marysville in 2007 where then-superintendent Larry Nyland was grappling with boundary issues.  Another fun fact I didn't know; he and new SPS chief of curriculum, assessment and instruction, Kyle Kinoshita, worked together in Maryville School District.

A great story about a twice-gifted high school student in Kentucky, Jack Bradley. 
"Although I do not believe our election process is rigged, I do believe that in many ways, our education system is."
He and his family have started an organization called JackBeNimble to advocate for transforming special education by elevating student, family and educator voices, and by working with school districts to examine limiting assumptions and to encourage greater innovation.   
The Economist has its usual meaty writing in this article about what they believe is the direction that either presidential candidate will go on various policy issues including education.  College funding is on page 7 and K-12 is on page 9.  

Nice contest from Pacific Northwest Ballet - grand prize is two roundtrip travel vouchers on Alaska Airlines and tickets to PNB's Nutcracker.  Twenty other people will win a pair of tickets to the Nutcracker.

What's on your mind?

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

Melissa,

Your part in getting Mr. C possibly fired has been shared with his students at Ingraham High. You should be ashamed of yourself for trying to leverage this innocent event into anything other than what it was.

I have lost all respect for you and this blog.

Dianna

Anonymous said...

Dianna,

Wait, I thought it was Ana Sofia Knauf at The Stranger who reported the story. I don't get how that implies that Melissa tried to get Mr. C fired.

Kelly

Anonymous said...

Who has said that he faced any disciplinary action at all, much less any potential firing? No one that I have seen.

-- Ivan Weiss

Anonymous said...

I love this witch hunting blog. Man two for one this week.

Why anyone felt compelled to put that story from the SLOG up then the one on Emerson without actually speaking to any of the individuals involved directly, just extrapolating quotes from online sources shows this is just gossip mongering and spreading rumors but hey when someone puts a comment with a name that has not gone through what? Spell check, verification or permission from the great leaders they are deleted and derided.

I do love that one and the condescending manner that comes with it.

Yes we know, this is your blog, you are activist/reporter/mommy blogger/whatever.

- color me shocked!

Melissa Westbrook said...

One, I didn't spread any rumors. I reported what the Slog reported; there are real issues at Emerson. As well, yes, there are two findings now from complaints from staff members against Dr. Drake. Something is happening but the real issue, as I said from the start, is what is the district doing to help this school.

Two, blame me for reporting a story about a Seattle High School? I know many of you do not have any regard for The Stranger but yes, they are real reporters. That story was reported to them by a mom at Ingraham. Do you blame her as well? I have said on this story that I feel Mr. Floe and Mr. Colino did the right things and that the district has overreacted.

What is interesting is that whenever there is a story that has some degree of embarrassment for a school, people start circling the wagons. But one person is not a whole school. I understand wanting to keep it in the family but this is a public school district and sometimes airing this kind of thing makes others more aware.

Color Me Shocked, if you bothered to read our comment policy, we don't accept comments signed anonymous. As well, we don't accept longer than a two-word name so please do that next time.

Yes, I am an advocate for public education and it is my blog and yes I'm a citizen-reporter. Color me ... so what?

Anonymous said...

Melissa's part in getting the Ingraham teacher fired? She simply reported a story that was already out there. FYI, the story made the local TV news, too. Here's a Kiro 7 link: http://www.kiro7.com/news/local/seattle-high-school-teacher-suspended-for-controversial-halloween-costume/463887455. By the way, it says the teacher is on paid administrative leave, not fired. He sounds like a good, thoughtful teacher who is embracing this as a learning opportunity, so I would anticipate his job is safe. If Mr. Floe has allowed him to wear this costume for years, it's hard to see the district could make a case against the teacher.

But on the subject of Melissa's role in all this, wouldn't it be great to think that SPS is so carefully listening and jumping into action on everything that's reported in this blog? That would be awesome!

HF

Anonymous said...

Lord of the flies has begun. For real !


BYOB


kilngoddess said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
kilngoddess said...

So Melissa posts information that has been readily shared on Facebook, Twitter, other blogs, ad nauseum, and she's the one responsible for the outcome? She's responsible for the situation at Emerson and Ingraham? It's pretty simple to sit back from your comfortably anonymous screennames on this blog and spout your snide outrage and astonishment.

These are incredibly difficult conversations to have and clearly people are emotional and uncomfortable. It doesn't mean we shouldn't be having them. People disagree and have strong opinions and express them - color me unsurprised and ready for that.

~ Richelle Dickerson

Anonymous said...

Just to introduce another topic - at the very end of the Executive Committee agenda for 11/3/2016 is a briefing paper called: Board Meeting Minutes Options Analysis for Nov. 3, 2016 Executive Committee. Apparently, there is an issue with how much time and money is spent capturing the minutes for various Board related meetings - from the document:
This investment translates roughly into $2,000-$2,5 00 of staff time for the month
spent on minutes, or $22,000-$27,500 over the course of the year. This figure does not include the time spent by executive staff reviewing the minutes prior to approval.
Unfortunately, our web analytics program cannot determine how many members of the public review approved minutes, so we cannot measure benefits


They go on to introduce 5 different options for how to handle this, including purchasing recording equipment and keeping the full tapes in the Board office with only bare details on the webpage.

Somehow this seems like throwing the baby out with the bath water to me - of all the things to economize on, being good public communicators does not seem like the highest of priorities, nor the wisest of choices.

Full details here at very end of agenda - there's some interesting stuff about a $315000 settlement with an employee as well.

Executive Committee Agenda 11/3

reader47

Anonymous said...

Dianna:

All I can say in response to your latest comment is that I dearly wish that Melissa had as much influence at SPS as you (falsely) claim she has. We could get rid of a whole lot more people than Mr. Colino, who I hope -- and I expect -- isn't going anywhere.

-- Ivan Weiss

Melissa Westbrook said...

Reader 47, I saw that in the Ex Ctm minutes about minutes. I have seen board minute - mostly from charter schools - that just have the barest outlines of what happens. You can glean nothing from them. The Board minutes have improved but many times, they do not state which director said what and that IS important. I take notes all the time for meetings I attend and while it can be a pain, it's not that hugely time-consuming.

Also, I don't care about "analytics" because minutes of public meetings are a requirement for democracy. So I do agree; that would be hard to measure.

As for that settlement of $315,000 to a teacher for "discrimination, harassment, and retaliation," I'll be interested to see what school that is when the final documentation is posted on the 10th.

seattle citizen said...

Reader47 - minimizing meeting minutes...might... (alright, enough alliteration)
Fewer minutes captured -less transcription and distribution = less known. Seems very, very opaque.
Which is the exact opposite of transparent.

Anonymous said...

2e stands for twice-exceptional, not twice-gifted.

open ears

Anonymous said...

They posted maps of how many portables could be places at all of the schools.

http://www.seattleschools.org/cms/One.aspx?portalId=627&pageId=15678264


- kt

Green Lake Parent said...

kt - Thank you for posting that link!

-Green Lake Parent

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know where they come up with the numbers for portables? The report shows "0" portables allowed at Cascadia, but we all know there are hook ups for many portables. Why does the map show a number that is not true/accurate?

Shell game

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