Friday, April 28, 2017

K-5 English Language Arts Adoption

From Kyle Kinoshita, Chief of Curriculum, Assessment and Instruction to K-5/K-8 school leaders:
Dear Elementary and K-8 School Leaders:

At last night’s Budget and Finance Board Work Session, the Board approved funding for the K-5 English Language Arts adoption, Center for the Collaborative Classroom, to be implemented in the fall of 2017.

The Board had already approved funding for a K-2 adoption as part of the Levy Cliff restoration plan. Based on feedback from school leaders, concerned that a partial adoption would splinter professional development for staff, the teaching and learning and budget divisions recommended a full adoption to the School Board. You can view the budget work session presentation here.

How is the district paying for a K-5 adoption?

In order to reduce costs, additional monies from Capital Projects will be used to fund the adoption for nine schools currently under construction. The district also anticipates receiving some additional funding for 2017-18 based on the proposed House and Senate education budgets. Any new state funding will first be used to complete the adoption.

Next Steps

The district literacy department staff will be providing school leaders a detailed timeline on delivery of the instructional materials and associated professional development in the next few weeks.

In the meantime, they have created an informational video about the K-5 Adoption hosted on Sharepoint explaining the adoption process and providing a general sense of the new materials. Please share with your staff.

Thank you for your patience as this year’s budget process has been especially challenging. The ELA Department and participants on the adoption committee are really excited about the potential of the new instructional materials to improve reading and writing performance for all elementary students and to accelerate our efforts in eliminating opportunity gaps.

Sincerely,

Kyle
end of letter

I'll just note that taking money from Capital for what really should be Operations is troubling.  That some of it is coming out of money for new buildings is also troubling.  What does that mean they won't get that was budgeted in?

5 comments:

NE Parent said...

I don't know all of the details, but I generally support the prioritization of books over buildings. The district supposedly spends over $15,000 per student per year. It seems like the amount spent per books must be less than 1%. At the UW, books and supplies average over 7% of tuition.

Kate (Belltown) said...

Maybe I'm missing something, but how can capital funds be used for curriculum adoption?

Melissa Westbrook said...

Well, it falls under the umbrella of one levy, BTA, which used to stand for Buildings, Technology and Athletics but, over the last 10 years, that "A" has morphed to "Academics." Which means fewer dollars actually going to building maintenance and building needs (which technology does fall under).

Melissa Westbrook said...

So I didn't read the letter clearly - the funding from Capital for K-5 ELA is for the nine schools (not all schools). It was pointed out to me by parent, Kim McCormick, as a "soft cost" for those buildings.

However, she also pointed out something else interesting: that Cedar Park Elementary's principal is being paid for out of BEX IV. I would assume this is for year one. That's kind of weird.

https://www.seattleschools.org/UserFiles/Servers/Server_543/File/District/Departments/School%20Board/16-17agendas/03_15_2017/I04_20170315_Action_Report_Budget_Approval_Cedar_Park_packet.pdf

Melissa Westbrook said...

From Director Burke today:

"Planning principals (and curriculum) from capital budgets: Each time we open a new school, the capital budget (for any project, BTA or BEX) includes multiple line items for predesign, design, build, commissioning, furniture, technology, and planning staff. This has been the norm for all past projects, but we haven't really highlighted it until we started drilling into our budget gap this year."

Not "highlighted" it because no one "started drilling" down on it? This is information that should have been transparent for ALL new buildings.

As I said to the Board, the fluidity of money from Capital to Operations and back is troubling. I may go to the State Auditor and ask them to look into it, if only for transparency's sake.