Thursday, January 05, 2017

SPS This and That

At last night's Board meeting, Deputy Superintendent Steve Nielsen alluded that things didn't go well in Olympia. Here's what local activist, Sarajane Siegfriedt, reports at her Facebook page:

At 46th Legislators Town Hall meeting, Sen. David Frockt revealed that Speaker Frank Chopp pledged today that a bill addressing the "levy cliff" would be the first to pass the House and go to the Senate.

However, in the Joint Education Task Force meeting today (via TVW), Senate Ways &.Means Chair John Braun said that they do not intend to address the levy cliff (expiration of added levy funding lid) until after McCleary is funded. In other words, the GOP will use it as a bargaining chip. 

 If the schools do not get an extension by March, their budgets will include pink slips to teachers and staff for next fall.

This - is - wrong (and I KNEW this is how it would play out and tried to tell both the Governor and Chopp.)  Thanks to the Governor for believing this would get done when he could have forced a Special Session to get this levy cliff nonsense done.

Understand, that the GOP members in the Legislature are now not just holding an entire state's public school children in wait for fully-funded schools, they apparently will allow some districts to endure pain and hardship.  

Oh look, Hale's basketball team has been picked #1 in the state. Again, I have to wonder outloud that given the influx of out-of-state and out-of-district players to the team, is the district checking to make sure all of them live in Hale's boundaries?  Tweet this morning from SPS:

Congrats Nathan Hale Boys Basketball Team! Ranked No. 1 in nation by

(Editor's note: I checked MaxPreps' website and they say #1 in WA state and #12 in the nation.)

Apparently, Charlie's grousing on the CSIPs has yield some (kinda) results. He notes to the Board:
In the few days since I last wrote to you on this topic there have been significant changes in many of the school CSIPs posted on the District web site. A lot of the documents which, just a few days ago, had no reference to Advanced Learning or services for advanced learners have been edited so that they now include those elements.
I guess that's a good thing.
It's certainly not good that the school BLTs, the principals, the Executive Directors of Schools, and the Chief of Schools didn't think to include references to advanced learning or advanced learners on their own, but at least they were responsive when made aware of the oversight.

One little question, though: Were these changes to the CSIPs all discussed and approved by the school BLTs or were these changes made autocratically by the principals? And, if they were approved by the BLTs, why do the CSIPs all still have November dates on them? It seems that even when striving for compliance, Seattle Public Schools is awash in a culture of lawlessness.
Given that not all schools even have BLTs, probably not is the answer to your first question, Charlie.  As for the other question, hard to explain.

Lastly, looks like things are still not great at Emerson as yet a third letter of complaint against the principal,  Andrea Drake, by a staff member was upheld by a district investigation.   My intel is that Drake had a few extra weeks off (but not for disciplinary reasons) and Barbara Moore was assigned to Emerson.

But now Drake is back and apparently did something to cause that staffer to now file a complaint of retaliation against Drake.

Wonder how long this little drama will go on?  I can't imagine it is good for the morale of the school.


Anonymous said...

Dear Robert Eagle Staff Middle School Families and Community,

Welcome to 2017! This is the year when our school will come alive, and I couldn’t be more excited!

First, I want to begin with a welcome to our newest staff member on our Design Leadership Team, Shana Brown, who joins us from Broadview-Thomson K-8. Shana is a caring, inspiring teacher, and she will be a powerful leader and partner in our vision and design work.

Second, I apologize for yet another schedule change, but since the School Board has decided to delay the final decision on Student Assignment Plan amendments, which potentially impacts who will be coming to Robert Eagle Staff Middle School in 2017-2018, we will reschedule the planned January 10th Family and Community meeting.

Note that beginning in late January, we will begin holding regular, twice-monthly community meetings so that we can work together as partners, in collaboration with our staff Design Leadership Team. Those dates will be announced after the planned Board decision on January 11.



Thank you and happy new year!

Marni Campbell

Principal, Robert Eagle Staff Middle School

Anonymous said...

The kids at Nathan Hale are super excited about their basketball team. It's great for student morale as far as I can tell. The MaxPrep website seems to lag in updating its individual school info pages. From its most recent updated nationwide rankings following the Les Schwab Tourney in Portland last week, it moved Nathan Hale up to the #1 in the country spot after it defeated the #1 team Sierra Canyon.


Melissa Westbrook said...

That's great Marmauset but I'd like to know that all those transfers are valid. I have my doubts. And, how long will this coach stay? I'll bet a year or two.

RLF said...

And what about WIAA tenets against recruiting and moving to a new school in order to play for a particular sports team? And, what about those neighborhood kids who get aced out of participation because recruits are moved in? Seems like something is wrong with the spirit of this. Is this too parochial a way to think about the situation?

Anonymous said...

Nathan Hale's Girls Ultimate Team (Varsity) is ranked 4th nationally. It's not just Boys Basketball that is good. - Hale Parent

Melissa Westbrook said...

The WIAA informs me they don't investigate where players live so that would be up to the district.

Hale parents, I was a Hale parent. I like Hale and I know the good things about that school. I would be suspicious of this move, no matter what school it is. And, if investigating does turn up issues, no one will be happy.

Anonymous said...

The real issue should be neighborhood kids not getting to play very much. Top talent should play outside of school, like top music talent plays in SYSO, or top students can go to UW early admittance. High school shouldn't be professional sports training camp.


Anonymous said...

Well I can see that the Eaglestaff transition team is off to a low bar. Having worked with Ms. Brown and the history of problems with regards to Broadview Thompson, it just says that problems can move from school to school. What it also says that it this may be like Madrona with B-T shutting down its inferior middle school. That cannot be necessarily a bad thing as it may help Whitman.

- Old Timer