I am writing to let you know that Principal Rina Geoghagan has been selected to become the principal of Decatur Elementary School.
Ms. Geoghagan brings experience and extensive knowledge of the HCC program and the Cascadia community. She was instrumental in the original move of the APP/HCC program from Lowell Elementary to Lincoln High School, has served as the design principal for the new Cascadia site, and has demonstrated strong leadership during the conversations and decisions regarding Cascadia and Decatur. We are excited that she will be able to bring this expertise and passion to serving the Decatur community.
We are looking at finding an interim principal to support Cascadia during the final months of the current school year. Executive Director of Schools, Jon Halfaker will be meeting with the Cascadia Building Leadership Team prior to Mid-Winter Break to share updates and next steps.
- Garfield appears to be moving to cap the number of AP classes a student can take in a year.
"10th Grade AP Info. Night — Wednesday, Feb. 15 Attention 10th graders who are interested in taking multiple AP classes next year! Garfield is hosting a 10th Grade AP Info. Night on Wednesday, Feb. 15 @ 6 PM in the Quincy Jones Performing Arts Center. Parents, families and students are invited to learn about the stress and workload of junior year from AP teachers, counselors, and other students."Apparently, a "contract" is being sent home to try to deter students from taking more than three AP classes.
"At Garfield, we are committed to supporting and encouraging each student's academic, emotion and social health. In order to best anticipate and support our students' emotional health, starting with the 2017-18 school year, Garfield is requesting students limit their AP course load to three (3) per year. For students and families who choose to take more than three AP courses, Garfield now requires the below contract."However, a parent points out:
GHS student 2017 course selection sheet is due on Friday, yet the 2017-18 course catalog has not been posted on the website nor handed out to students.- Director Rick Burke will be giving up a Friday evening on the 17th to host another community meeting on the reopening of Lincoln High School.
I see that Director Burke is holding out hope that he will be able to divide the group into topics but it didn't work last time and I kinda doubt it will work this time.The agenda will include general information updates about the current and near-term work on assignment boundaries and principal selection, 24 credit graduation requirement, and some Q&A to get started, and then folks will have a chance to circulate through multiple stations and share concerns, ideas, questions that can help us move the school planning process forward.
Get your ideas brewing about the following topics:
- Enrollment & BoundariesPlease feel free to share this information with other interested families, and I hope to see you at Hamilton, Friday Feb 17th 6:30-8:30 PM"
- Academic Programming
- Music and Fine Arts
- Community-Building and Family Engagement
- Community and Higher-Ed Partnerships
- Anything that doesn’t fit in the above…
- The Curriculum&Instruction Committee of the Board meets today. I looked over the agenda and sent this to the members of the Board:
A few thoughts on the C&I agenda.
1)Ethnic studies resolution discussion from NAACP
I am against this idea. Why? Because when our district teaches history, they should be teaching the ENTIRE history of our country which includes Native American, blacks, Asians, Hispanics, etc. The good, the bad and the ugly. But there should be specific emphasis on the many contributions all of these groups have made to forming the country we have today.
Creating a separate ethnic studies curriculum separates those kinds of treatments and accomplishments. It will take more time out of the school day and it will cost more money.
Find and use a history curriculum that is fully-fleshed out (like Howard Zinn) and you don't need a separate course.
I would gently suggest you ask the NAACP how they know that all the white students in HCC are "wealthy." I would suggest they have no way of knowing that information. You must operate on real data. (Editor's note: this is part of the resolution.)
2) Perusing the HCC part of the agenda, I see several things I don't understand.
- on page 12 of this section, it states, "District provides educational opportunities that take into account each student's needs and capabilities." "District reviews services for each student periodically to ensure services meet each student's needs and capabilities."
Could you ask what form each of those takes? Because parents at my blog do not see this happening or even know what it should look like. Is that the report card?
- the district also states that they use the CEDARS gifted values four primary structures including;
General education - would that mean MTSS or ALOs or what?
On page 14, the form is for CEDARS values #35 and sadly, the district does none of these (partial): mentorship (grade 12 but I'm unsure what form that takes), partnership with industry (doesn't that happen at all at Cleveland STEM?), supplemental academic competitions, supplemental summer enrichment or acceleration and supplemental before or after school services and programs.
- page 18 says that there are surveys made at both levels (elementary and secondary) of administrators, parents, students, teachers - is the district doing separate ones for HCC students or is the district saying their climate surveys cover all students? It would seem you might need a different kind of survey for groups like ELL, Sped and HCC students.
- page 23 says there are 150 kindergarteners in HCC. When did that happen because the district says the program is grades 1-12. I know this chart isn't the number tested because it's a lower number than the number the district states elsewhere that are tested.
- On the Student Data Portal Field Test - I have strong reservations here.
1) we are now going to systematically track student behavior in the overall student database. Very troubling. Who will get to see that data under current weak FERPA regulations? You need to find a vendor who has a stellar reputation because this is the kind of data that cannot be allowed out to just anyone.
Page 34 in the packet says " participating schools will form a site-based team who meet regularly to review student data and use it to determine need and align support." Again, you must be very careful who has access to this data and how it is secured. NO site-based team should ever allow their data to be seen by anyone who has not gone thru district channels.
On the new Assessment policy, you might want to include the issue of opting-out. It is going to continue to happen, you know about this issue and the policy should include it.
I also note on page 25 of this section that the authors think "moderate" is "How much do stakeholders care about the problem/opportunity to be address and the decision to be made?" is off. I would say it's "very high."
It also states that this "selected tool" will allow schools to "analyze data and create reports." I can only say that if the schools need an on-line tool to do this, we are all in trouble.
- The agenda for the Board meeting on Wednesday night is also available and I wrote to the Board about some issues there as well:
1) I believe that any new Board policy - no matter what its topic - should have a real vote of the Board. There are two new policies that are on the Consent agenda. I find that very troubling.
2) I applaud the district's stance on being a safe place for all students. One reader is saying the ICE is coming to district schools starting tomorrow. I would suggest a high alert to schools with high numbers of minority students with the Superintendent's protocol.
3) On the Capacity Management BAR:
- At Garfield High School no Capital solutions are available to provide the eight (8) additional classrooms needed to support projected enrollment growth. Non-Capital solutions are needed to support Garfield’s enrollment for the next two school years (2017-18 and 2018-19).
This is quite the dilemma. Where, in the General Fund, are there extra funds for the Garfield capacity issues? And why hasn't this been brought up in Capacity discussions? I do not believe I heard this mentioned before.
- It states that the Bridges program needs to move to Ingraham - at a very high cost for just two years, $640,000 - before it moves back to Lincoln. Given that Lincoln space will be at a premium and Ingraham has space to grow, why not leave the program at Ingraham?
I know that the program used to be at the Marshall building with all the infrastructure including a toddler playground. Has all that been torn out/refurbished at Marshall?
4) on the roof replacement BAR, I see some things that I hope you will consider addressing to staff and ask for proof that it happens:
At Ballard High School the BTA IV Capital Levy included the replacement of the entire single-ply roof assembly. During the investigation it was learned that the Gymnasium steep slope standing seam metal roof was in poor condition as it is inappropriately fastened and needs to be removed and correctly attached to prevent water intrusion. In addition, the sheet metal wall panel cladding system has no weather resistant barrier as required by code and must be removed, substrate repaired and then reattached to prevent further water intrusion into the building. Project budget adjustment increase request totals $4,660,000 and includes additional construction costs, construction contingency costs, design fees and permit fees.
So, who put in the original gym roof at Ballard and "inappropriately fastened it" and who didn't put in a weather-resistant barrier "as required by code"? I would assume any warranty on the work is long gone but whoever the vendor was, the district should not hire them for any future work. That kind of sloppy work that later costs this district money should not be rewarded with future work. Considering this is the highest cost item in this BAR, you should make sure Capital calls this out. I will be requesting this information from public disclosure and letting the public know the name of this company.
5) How come you can put the Safe Place BAR up for intro/action at this meeting but not Board resolution on fully-funding schools and avoiding the levy cliff? Both things are VERY time-sensitive.
6) About City pre-K, you are seriously going to allow them space at Cedar Park? A school that has very little space to begin with to serve K-5 students coming in? With what bathrooms? C'mon. What will the optics look like?