Friday, January 06, 2017

Friday Open Thread

     Update: The order of items for next week's Work Session that includes the SAP Transition Plan has been switched. The budget for next year will be discussed first, (from 4:30-5:45) and THEN the SAP Transition Plan will be debated from 5:45-7:00 pm . I don't know why the switched has happened but I venture that perhaps the high interest in the topic spurred the change to try to allow more parents to attend.

I     I am somewhat disappointed as this is the same night as the talk at Garfield High but it was probably the right thing to do.

     Also, Director Burke is having a community meeting on middle school assignment on Tuesday, January 10th from 6:30-8:00 pm at Green wood Elementary. 

Also to note, there is no interaction between those at the discussion table and the audience.  But signs are allowed.

end of update.

Dearborn Park closed today due to a water main break.

Our city has lost another great activist (and former School Board member), Al Sugiyama.
Mr. Sugiyama ran for the Seattle School Board in 1989. At that time, Asian students made up about a fourth of the district population, but an Asian American had never been elected to the School Board.

“They had no voice on the School Board,” he said in another UW interview. “ … There was a common thought that an Asian American could not win. I saw that as a challenge.”

He won, and during his eight years as a board member, he advocated for bringing language programs to schools in Seattle’s South End. He opposed the district’s busing program, which he said didn’t improve academics for students.
Very troubling story from the PI - a female student at Chief Sealth was being blackmailed sexually by another former student.
The harassment and coercion persisted for about 15 months between late 2013 and early 2015, police reports say.  Seattle police believe he may be connected to additional sexual assaults of other high school students. 

The relationship between Martinez-Mancha and the student one year his junior was revealed to school authorities in late January 2015 when the girl wrote an essay for a class about the extortion and assaults, police reports indicate. The teacher verified with the girl that the story was true and reported the matter to a school counselor, a mandatory reporter who called police.
Again, no community meetings with directors this weekend.

What's on your mind?


Anonymous said...

Push back on DeVos. Keep it up.

As one U.S. senator denounces Betsy DeVos' record in Michigan, six others are demanding President-elect Donald Trump's pick for Education Secretary untangle the "complicated web of political and not-for-profit organizations" she has spun over her career pushing a corporate education agenda nationwide.

Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) met Thursday with DeVos, a former head of the Michigan Republican Party who has championed conservative education policies in that state and around the country. Her efforts have been largely successful in Michigan, where DeVos has spent two decades advocating for more charter schools and less oversight.

But investigations by the Detroit Free Press and others have found that work to be detrimental to students—an opinion apparently shared by Stabenow. (more)


Anonymous said...

Whoa! This CSHS story gives the implication that the teacher isn't a mandatory reporter and only counselor was. All certificated school staff - principals, teachers, counselors, nurses, psychologists, SLPs, OT/PTs, and social workers - are mandatory reporters.


BTDT said...

Read the PI story. Wonder if the Title IX officer did an investigation of the sexual harassment that was going on a Chief Sealth.

ConcernedSPSParent said...

Has anyone heard Nyland say anything on the CSIP fiasco?. I would hope he did something to correct the fact Principals, Exceutive Directors and the Chief of Schools let 40 incomplete CSIPs be presented to the Board. It seems every week we see an example of his lack of leadership.

Anonymous said...

I'm feeling really impressed with Burke, he seems very engaged and responsive. I wish he was our area's rep.

NE impressed

Anonymous said...

Wasn't a beloved principal at QA let go because he blew off the CSIP?

Agree: Director Burke is working VERY hard for all families and he is thoughtful, sensible and not pitting groups, schools, families, ideologies...against each other. Thankful!!!

Fix AL

Caylie said...

I agree about Burke, too. I like how he actively seeks input, seems open minded, and remembers that we're talking about kids. He represents me and I couldn't be more pleased.

Anonymous said...

We are getting multiple robocalls on our landline and both cell phones from SPS regarding one of my kids being tardy this morning. Three calls to each number so far. Weird.

-North-end Mom

ConcernedSPSParent said...

Multiple calls today as well, and I attended a community meeting with Burke very happy. So much better than Sherry Carr IMHO

juicygoofy said...

I would not have mentioned this, except for prior compliments regarding Director Burke, but:

His comments after heartfelt testimony from students at this week's school board meeting were alarming and dismissive of the student's concerns about being moved during middle school. He said, “Appreciate you coming. Wherever you go, I’m asking you to rock that school. I say that because I am also expecting to see you as part of our transition to Lincoln HS. Because this is a practice run. We’re going to be doing this again as we figure out how to start up Lincoln."

It was not clear to which students he was talking. There were students in the crowd from multiple schools, neighborhoods and programs. In any case, to announce that he will be expecting the SAME students to navigate a similar disruption in high school, is most certainly going to cause resentment.

Sorry. Not sure if I can trust him.

Anonymous said...

@juicygoofy--that sounds pretty transparent to me! If I were you, I would be more concerned in a Board member said something like:
I can't stomach your program, or
We won't move you around multiple times, don't worry!

He was being honest and trying to keep positive. It may have come across as insensitive, but I'm sure that wasn't his intent.

Fix AL

Anonymous said...

Juicygoofy--- I agree with your observation. I think Burke is great. But in this case, did Burke miss some of the testimony? One parent had mentioned her child will have been moved 6-7 times in all, possibly among the most moved in SPS history due to capacity issues etc. Each time this kid lost his closest friends. In addition each time there was a split kids, even for those who remain, they lost peers. To ask these families to move yet again in 8th, while others from other schools get a choice to remain, is not equitable. To ask them to then move again due to capacity in 10th grade is not putting kids first. It is putting them last. It is also putting some kids before others. I have alot of empathy for those who have kids moved due to SPS issues.
-paying attention

Anonymous said...

Thanks, paying attention. I always greatly appreciate it when Kellie posts something because she lays out the history with facts including examples of choices made over the years that have put us in this position.

When is the call for parent input to redesign the Advanced Learning and HCC delivery model so it is more equitable and accessible for everyone who needs depth AND acceleration?

Fix AL

Melissa Westbrook said...

I'm just going to interject here about the issue of friends. My sons went to an elementary in one region but we moved at middle school to a different region. It was hard on both of them but particularly the younger one when he went to middle school.

But you know what? He made new friends and, more importantly, he is - to this day - still friends with kids from his elementary school. As well, he is still good friends with a childhood friend he never attended school with.

Your child may not have the same day-to-day experiences but it is possible to stay friends.

I am not trying to negate a multiple change situation but it does happen to military families quite often.

Fix AL, good luck with that. I believe something far bigger is happening.

Lynn said...

A task force made up of advanced learning staff, teachers, principals and parents reviewed the highly capable service delivery model a couple of years ago when the state law changed. They won't be looking at it again. A review of advanced learning services is long overdue. Planning has begun and decisions are expected to be made prior to the 2018-19 school year.

kellie said...

Yes, there are a handful of students who are part of the RESMS move that were also part of the Lowell to Lincoln move and it does matter when students are treated as ballast. That said, those numbers are very small, probably less than a dozen students.

IIRC, about 50% of the students involved in the JAMS geo-split were also part of the Lowell split. That was a huge impact on multiple "unscheduled" moves and those students, particularly the 8th graders really felt it.

The Eagle Staff opening and boundaries were decided in Nov 2013. All of these students involved in that move knew that this move was in the works, before the start of middle school. Based on how the enrollment numbers for the Eagle Staff area have grown vs the immediately adjactent areas, it is really clear that many families made other choices to avoid this split, because it was known and scheduled.

To be extra clear, SPS completely blew the opportunity to make this geo-split clear and simple. It would have been a very easy thing to have included notes to families in the future Eagle Staff area notifying them that their middle school assignment at Hamilton was only temporary so that there was no ambiguity and that step was not taken.

When the portables were placed at Hamilton last year, so that families would not be making two moves - first to John Marshall and then to Eagle Staff as was the original plan. This information could have easily been communicated to the families in the Eagle Staff zone to celebrate one move, not two, and help mobilize the strong start to Eagle Staff.

There were many many opportunities to make this change easy for families and they were not taken. I can only hope that some of these lessons learned will apply to the opening of Lincoln and that drawing boundaries for Lincoln becomes a huge priority soon.

Anonymous said...

Melissa-- What do you think will happen to advanced learning that will be far bigger? Do you anticipate that they will change the delivery model? I think (if I understand) Lynn seems to suggest she thinks that will not happen.

I personally anticipate single subject opt in courses for middle school. Have no idea how elementary may change. Regarding equity, I am wondering why the district cannot create a program to take 1-2% of the highest performing kids of low socioeconomic free and reduced lunch status and offer them the option of accelerated classes alongside others.
- one idea

juicygoofy said...

Yes, thank you Kellie. Your comments are always fair and informative, and I look forward to reading your input on all issues, not just capacity.

To follow up on the enrollment numbers for Eaglestaff verses the immediate areas, would you please elaborate some? How could a family within the Eaglestaff attendance area have made plans to avoid the move? Similarly, how could a student on the HCC pathway not have chosen to go to Hamilton?

kellie said...

Thank you juicygoofy.

Enrollment Services made a detailed sheet of the various grades and feeder schools involved in Eagle Staff. Unlike everywhere else in North Seattle where the subsequent grades are larger, indicating enrollment growth, the projections for the Eagle Staff area showed the reverse.

Additionally, all of the cohorts numbers were significantly smaller than the graduating classes of the feeder schools, Bagley and Greenwood's numbers were particularly odd.

Ashley Davies made a comment at one the meetings that they were looking at a 95% cohort survival rate for the Eagle Staff area. The means that they were anticipating a 5% drop from the 5th grade enrollment for Eagle Staff. The comment she made that caught my attention was that 95% was likely high based on how that area had been behaving.

Where did the students go? That is a great question and one that doesn't have a solid answer as SPS does not track where student go when they leave. There is a way to find this information using OSPI data but that would take someone that really wants to investigate and crunch those numbers.

Most likely many are going to private school. I would suspect that a few have secured choice seats at Eckstein or JAMS or enrolled in a homeschool program. Ironically, Eckstein now has space for choice students. Some may have gotten space in Shoreline before Shoreline closed their door for middle school.

Anonymous said...

@Kellie-more and more of my friends in the NW are moving to private by Middle School and a few pulled the plug and moved to shoreline or in sold their beloved bungalow and got the hell out of Dodge.

Fix AL

kellie said...

The bottom line here is that there are no good answers.

A geo-split causes challenges for both the students and families that move as well as those that stay in place. This is also true for staff. The split also causes staff changes as there is a reduction in staff of all types as the school that loses students.

A 6th grade roll up causes challenges for those 6th graders that never get a comprehensive experience.

Something that is often overlooked is that the opening of JAMS as a comprehensive middle school as a conversation started in 2004 during the first round of closures. During the 04-05 closure round, it was proposed that Summit K-12 would be either relocated or converted to a comprehensive middle school to meet future middle school demand. It was 10 years later than JAMS opened as a middle school.

So while the opening of JAMS was extremely hard on the students who had the surprise relocation AND this conversation was not easy or neutral, the depth and breadth of a 10 year conversation fueled the strong start, including the hiring of an extraordinary principal, Paula Montgomery, who had a full year to build community.

To be extra clear there was nothing easy about it. Summit was closed and those students were treated terribly in the closure. They did not receive any cohort preference and were scattered. Jane Addams K8, now Hazel Wolf was born and the students and families for that program were moved to an interim location while awaiting a new home, and had years of program uncertainty.

All-in, the opening of RESMS, should have been built on all of the lessons learned and ensured a positive student centered transition. That was the entire reason that mostly Sherry Carr insisted that boundaries for the future Wilson Pacific and Meany Middle Schools were drawn in November 2013, despite known bad data. She insisted that everyone involved have time to plan and not be subject to all the churn that was the creating of JAMS.

While there were many many problems with the 2013 Growth Boundaries, the 2013 Board was thrilled that they had "solved the problem" of students being geo-split without notice. That the primary reason they gave for pushing these boundaries that they knew were not going to work, was that commitment to students and how hard a surprise move can be.

But due to an extremely ill-considered promise of Grandfathering at Whitman, significant staff turn over, no capacity oversight committees, and the absolutely failure of staff to deal with the middle school imbalance last Spring as was dictated in Amendment 12 .... we have this mess.

There were lots of problems with FACMAC but the one thing that FACMAC managed to do exceptionally well, was sound the alarm on problems like this in advance. Had there been a "squeaky wheel" watching capacity, this issue would have been daylight much sooner.

Unfortunately for everyone, this issue only came to light this Fall, when staff released their Growth Boundary plan for 2017 with unplanned geo-splits 850 elementary students. At that point, it was simply to late to really fix the middle school imbalance.

I truly applaud the current board. They are sincerely trying to make the best out of a bad situation that never needed to happen.

kellie said...

@ Fix AL,

The enrollment data really supports your observation. Middle School growth in NW Seattle was significantly lower than projected. Those students went somewhere and those with the financial means, typically leave first.

Watching said...


I do not believe Director Burke is insensitive- at all. There was very compelling testimony to grandfather 8th grade students. At least one board member was moved from their school in 8th grade.

The district is facing a $74M shortfall and the district is preparing to potentially lay off 200-400 teachers related to a potential levy cliff ($3)M). The board will be making very difficult decisions. As I recall, the costs of grandfathering students ran into hundreds of thousands of dollars.

I recommend that individuals write their legislators and ask to support a bill to delay the levy cliff, and work towards fully funding education.

Jan said...


Would you send your well thought-out and reasoned comments to the Board? Many of us are concerned with the bigger picture such as normalizing enrollment while the Board is being inundated with notes from people fighting over the smaller picture addressed by amendments 1 and 2. Neither address the big picture.



Charlie Mas said...

Fix AL, the principal at Queen Anne was not dismissed because he failed to complete the CSIP. As I recall he was dismissed for failing to complete teacher evaluations.

Schools have turned in blank CSIPs without consequence and, when the blank forms were questioned by the public, district staff noted that the plans are two-year plans so the previous year's approval did not require an updated plan.

Charlie Mas said...

I have gone through the 42 CSIPs again. Many of them have been updated to reflect Advanced Learning services. Some of them have not.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

The new reality for RESMS

He said the working theory is that all of the victims bought heroin from the same person, given the timing and geographic proximity of the overdoses.

According to information provided by Whitcomb and the Seattle Fire Department’s Real Time 911 website, medics responded to the 7800 block of Aurora Avenue North at 11:18 a.m., then the 900 block of North 80th Street at 1:23 p.m., and less than 20 minutes later, to the 900 block of North 102nd Street at 1:40 p.m.

Bad placement

Melissa Westbrook said...

Last Warning, you need to leave. I do not like your threatening tone nor your threatening moniker. People are entitled to their opinions and you are not welcome to come here and threaten them in any way.

Anonymous said...

Well color me annoyed.

I was just speaking with a parent of my daughters friend who lives in the Olympic View area. They are in the new area for RESMS. They did not even know that if they wanted to continue to attend their current middle school for 8th grade (Eckstein), that they need to apply during Open Enrollment. They didn't even know about RESMS.

Is this the case with other families in the new RESMS area? Did you receive any notice from SPS about the change, or did you just find out via this blog or another means?

If you live anywhere near the new RESMS please go to the SPS website ( and search for the -address look up tool- and input your address to see if you are in the new RESMS area. Your child may be impacted. But, with no notice from SPS you may not even know you are about to be geo-split to a new middle school next year.


Anonymous said...

I have written to the School Board and requested that Enrollment Planning notify families prior to Open Enrollment if they are in the new RESMS area and that EP notify families of their choice options during Open Enrollment.


Anonymous said...


I believe some students at Whitman were given notices to take home, but others who live at an impacted address were not given a notice. This is creating even more confusion. It's not clear what's going on and why these RESMS meetings are not happening at Whitman and the other impacted middle schools. Whitman has a huge auditorium which would be perfect for a regional SAP meeting. I don't trust SPS to hold open and honest meetings. It seems they (SPS) only want to here from incoming 6th grade parents and couldn't care less about the impacted 6th and 7th grades.

RESMS Parent

Anonymous said...

@ RESMS parent
There are really two issues right now. Three years ago, Whitman area families were told they could opt back to Whitman when RESMS opened. The situation there is really more reflective of the fact that Whitman will actually have open spots during open enrollment simply because of the opening of RESMS. Unclear how much the district itself has been communicating this but the Whitman PTA has tried to communicate this in the absence of SPS community engagement leadership. Second, Directors have added further to the confusion by introducing Amendment 2 which would allow Greenwood and BT to feed back to Whitman vs RESMS. To his credit, Director Burke has been saying that while he hadn't been able to fully communicate this with those two schools, he wanted to leave it open for a conversation. Shifting this group back to Whitman will help rebalance those numbers and also keep RESMS from being over capacity in just a few years however it sounds like there are families in those communities with varying opinions. Director Burke is holding a meeting on Tuesday @ Greenwood Elem. In parallel, Amendment 1 was introduced by Director Peters and the gist of that amendment is to allow all current 7th graders in the entire district to grandfather or stay at their existing middle school for next year, with transportation dollars. This comes with a cost (min 780k), has different impacts in the north vs south end, doesn't help the capacity issues of middle school, and could really cut in to the population that should be at RESMS next year. It’s understandable that families don’t want to move schools but low enrollment could have an extreme impact on the budget and thus the offerings at RESMS. There's been no community engagement aside from a small group of families in the north end currently in 7th grade who want to stay at HIMS. It seems that current 5th and 6th grade families have not been made aware of this amendment and how it might impact their kids at RESMS. Bottom line, the district should be aiming for all schools to have great programs based on balanced enrollment and a budget that follows.
-Long Road

Anonymous said...

Why isn't SPS holding at least one meeting at Whitman before all this shifting goes down?


Anonymous said...

Have you see all the drug addicts and prostitutes walking around the old Wilson site. No really it's happening. Is Seattle really about to drop 1500 kids there? What about the news there's going to be 100+ homeless drug addicts dropped less than a city block away from the 2 new schools. Tell me this is not North Seattle's future.

Old School

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
James Jones said...

what is tourism management course?
Advanced Leadership

harada57 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.