Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Tuesday Open Thread

I have to getting going but I did want to put up two key items.

One, did you get that letter from Superintendent Nyland? What a hot mess.  Basically, please stay tuned and someday you'll find our the school schedule, bell times, transportation.  The least the district could do is provide a chart so you know at a glance what key dates there are.

I also found this sentence - around early-release dates - off-putting:

In further review of our data we found that Wednesdays are better for teacher collaboration time and maximizes educator participation.

I find this issue of why Wednesday is better for having teachers in place versus Friday (which is when many parents want an early release day) something of concern.  The teachers contract wasn't written to emphasize penalties for non-participation in professional development?

Plus, a odd sentence at the end that I don't recall him placing in other letters:

Thank you for the opportunity to serve as Superintendent of Seattle Public Schools, it is a great honor.

Second, although Director Patu filed her notice about running again, the first official filing is from Zachary DeWolf for the open seat that Director Blanford is vacating (he has said this publicly several times).

Mr. DeWolf is quite the interesting candidate. He is Native-American, gay, and a communications specialist. He was in the Peace Corps and, to my interest, a member of the 43rd Dems (and sits on their board). As they are having an event this week, I'll be delighted to go introduce myself.

I have to smile, though. For being a communications guy, it's a little odd that his website doesn't mention which region he's running from or anything about that region. It's district 5, Director Blanford's region (which I believe will be the most highly contested race).

What's on your mind?  

Letter from Superintendent Nyland:

Dear Families:

This letter is to update you on the tentative school schedule for the 2017-18 school year. There are a number of moving parts, so thank you in advance for your patience as we determine how to best serve our 54,000 students.

We heard from many of you regarding the calendar for next year and a request for key dates. While the School Board will vote on the school calendar on June 7, we have published key dates including the first day of school, last day of school, and school breaks on the SPS website.

Longer School Day and School Schedules:
For many years, the length of the student school day in Seattle has been shorter than our neighboring districts. Starting next year, the school day will be 20 minutes longer, which will support more time for student learning and teacher collaboration. This change will result in the equivalent of two additional days of instruction for students.

Three-Tier School Schedule
With the addition of 20 minutes, school start and end times will change. Family feedback on preferred start and end times for 2017-18 was mixed. In general, families with students attending early start schools wanted 20 minutes added to the end of the day.  Families with students enrolled in schools with later start times (i.e. Tier 2 and 3) wanted the additional time added to the start of the day. Because our transportation department needs a minimum of 50 minutes between start times to serve nearly 100 schools, accommodate for traffic congestion and the limited number of buses available, the 20 minutes has to be added consistently across all schools. The School Board adopted a schedule that attempts to balance multiple needs, starting 10 minutes earlier and ending 10 minutes later.
If the district continues with three-tiers, this is the 2017-18 Arrival and Departure Schedule approved by the School Board in January.

Two-Tier School Schedule
We have heard that many families in Tier 3, schools with the latest current start time (9:35 a.m.) want the district to move to a two-tier schedule. Although our $50 million funding shortfall did not permit the district to make the requested change, the Mayor and City of Seattle heard our families’ request. The city is currently considering whether they may be able to help with the required $2.3 million in funding.

We are extremely grateful to the City of Seattle for their consideration. City support would allow us to eliminate Tier 3, which has been a significant hardship on some students and families, and better aligns school start and end times with the American Academy of Pediatrics and American Medical Association recommendations. You can view the two-tier start and end times approved by the School Board on page 2 of the 2017-18 Arrival and Departure Schedule (linked above).

Next Steps
In the next couple weeks we will be taking a number of school schedule actions to the School Board. If the city funds a two-tier school schedule, the School Board will need to accept the grant and the district may make some slight adjustments to the two-tier start and end times to help maximize high school instructional time.

We know that families and care providers need school schedule information as soon as possible in order to plan for the coming school year. We are committed to notifying families and providers about the final schedule by June 16.

Consistent Weekly Early Release:
Currently, we have a variety of early release days during the school year to support staff professional development. Next year, students will be released early on a consistent weekly schedule. This schedule change supports teacher collaboration and instructional planning. The quality of classroom instruction is the single most effective strategy to eliminate opportunity gaps and accelerate learning for all students. Teacher collaboration is one of the most important strategies we implement to ensure this happens.

The school year calendar is negotiated between our labor partner, Seattle Education Association (SEA) and the district. We have come to agreement on the 2017-18 calendar (page 5) which includes the weekly early release day.

Early release days are recommended for Wednesdays and students will be released 75 minutes early. A 75 minute schedule will eliminate the current five, two-hour early release days providing more consistency and predictability for families and community partners. The final calendar, which includes the early release days, will be introduced to the School Board on May 17 and as previously mentioned, voted on at the June 7 School Board Meeting.

Regarding our decision-making process:
In October we surveyed staff, families, and community partners about schedule change preferences, not knowing in advance what stakeholders might prefer. Overwhelmingly staff and families agreed that early release was preferred to a late start. In regards to the early release day, families preferred Fridays and educators (i.e. teachers, school staff, and principals) preferred Wednesdays. In further review of our data we found that Wednesdays are better for teacher collaboration time and maximizes educator participation.

If you have comments or questions about any of the potential schedule changes, you can always email publicaffairs@seattleschools.org or share your perspective regarding the two-tier versus three-tier school schedule by emailing arrivaltimes@seattleschools.org.

Finally, I recognize these schedule changes are challenging for families managing multiple priorities and working to arrange childcare. Thank you again for your patience as we work to improve our systems in support of students and their academic success. Your partnership in these efforts is crucial.

Thank you for the opportunity to serve as Superintendent of Seattle Public Schools, it is a great honor.
Sincerely,
Larry
Dr. Larry Nyland, Superintendent
 


72 comments:

Book Doctor said...

Is there any way we can speed the 2-tier/3-tier decision up? The 2017-18 school year starts in less than 4 months and families would really benefit from knowing what our schedules will be!

Anonymous said...

What are the timelines for deciding all of this? And can someone please explain the extra 20 minutes but then letting out for half days on Wednesdays? What's the net addition here, if any, to class time?

Concerned parent

Anonymous said...

Was it always 75 minutes early release or is that new??? I thought it was a 60 minute early release.

Mag mom


p.s. 75 minutes is nuts

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

Any chance you could post the letter? I did not receive.

Anonymous said...

During the strike, the district wanted 20 minutes added to the school day, and the union wanted an hour for teacher collaboration each week. They each got what they wanted, but not a great situation for students.

Helen

Anonymous said...

Native, Gay and Demoncrat looks like the perfect storm.


GHU

Anonymous said...

I just want to comment on the amazing ease with which I just referred my child for Advanced Learning testing online - but most importantly, was able to CHOOSE A TIME, DATE, AND LOCATION for the testing. AL has screwed up many, many things in the past, but I appreciate their efforts to make referrals and testing plans much easier and more efficient. THANK YOU.

Pleased

Anonymous said...

US News article on later starts (note one school went from 7:10 start to 8:10 start...not too different from what we had before the flip):

https://www.usnews.com/high-schools/blogs/high-school-notes/articles/2017-02-13/later-high-school-start-times-yield-mixed-results-say-parents-educators

"Practices are later for athletes, musicians and actors, he [Ballard High principal] says, which pushes back these students’ entire evening and often doesn’t result in any additional sleep for these students."

The later start at an Iowa City school "has not reduced the number of tardy students by any appreciable amount as officials may have hoped it would."

Still waiting for SPS data...

-HS parent

Mike said...

So we're adding 10 minutes to each morning (= 50 minutes). Then we add 10 minutes to four afternoons a week (= 40 minutes). Then we take away 75 minutes from the end of the day on Wednesday.

So the math equation is:
(10•5) + (10*4) - 75 = (50 + 40) - 75 = 90 - 75 = 25

So, we're adding 25 minutes to the week, but we have to add 90 and take away 75? And we have to make 4 of the days longer and one of the days shorter?

I totally get that teachers need time for "collaboration and instructional planning." But why do I need to leave work 75 minutes early on Wednesdays to make that happen? I don't think the teacher's union thought through the implications of this. On a Friday this early release might have been considered a gift. On a Wednesday, this is a declaration of war against hard working families. You clearly don't value us or our needs at all.

It's unreasonable to do this Wednesday early release thing to the families of 54,000 students just to get a few more of the city's 3,000 teachers to show up to their collaboration hour. Unreasonable.

NO 1240 said...

National and Urban NAEP results:

""The stark difference in student achievement between charters and non-charters is extraordinarily large in the final year of high school. The national comparisons in the 12th grade show about ~20 point differences favoring non-charter neighborhood public schools in reading, math and science over charters."

https://cloakinginequity.com/2017/05/16/national-and-urban-naep-results-neighborhood-public-schools-23-charters-4/

Anonymous said...

I am concerned with how the shortened Wednesday will affect older students for a couple other reasons. For many classes, music, pe, etc. a shortened class period becomes less useful. It takes time to change, tune instruments and get prepared, so shortened days will become much less productive. For some classes, that might not be an issue, but for test taking days, science lab days, etc. I wonder if high school teachers will find this a burden when planning their weeks and material. It's not clear how the extra 20 minutes a day will affect each school. Do 5 minutes get to each class, longer lunches or passing periods or ??? The day may be longer, but how do we know that it will result in useful instruction at any given school? I'd like to see some guidelines about that, but have asked, and been told that it's up to each individual building how they use that time.

Also, assuming teacher development happens on Wednesday, teachers will available one less afternoon per week to provide homework help, lead clubs or run the extra curricular drama and music, service and language clubs that so many kids participate in. Again, I asked at a meeting, and was told that sports practices and clubs could likely not happen right after school either on those days, so high school students would leave the building for 75 minutes and then have to return later if an activity/practice/rehearsal was planned for a Wednesday. What a waste of time for those kids. Is this true?

Parent of 3 in MS/HS

Peg said...

I asked about after school classes on Wednesdays at my child's elementary school next year. Thinking that if school gets out 75 minutes early, that would be a perfect time for the kid to do a class. But, no. The school doesn't offer after school classes on Wednesdays. And has no plan to change.

???

Anonymous said...

Students will be expected to leave? Not likely. They will stick around, unsupervised, waiting for activities to start, and perhaps get HW done. That's what many drama/theater students do when there are evening performances. It's fine for a small number of students, but not when it's 50% of the student body. And no planned afterschool activities for ES on the early release days? What!?

This has to be one of the most poorly planned initiatives yet, SPS.

worser&worser

RPM said...

Parent of 3, that's yet another great point that those of us with younger kids probably haven't considered. The negative impacts of this for HS kids seem to far exceed the gains. People keep throwing around "equitable" as why we must move forward with this crappy plan. This is not equitable. Mike is completely right on. And, how on earth are the parents who need the older kid to take care of their younger kid supposed to find childcare in mid-June? All of the programs near our house filled up on registration day in April!

Wreaking havoc for 5 minutes a day....it's probably a net loss when we take Parent of 3's comments into consideration.

Anonymous said...

I think there's a math error in Mike's calculation above (90-75 is 15, not 25), although the end result is the same due to another small error. The 10 min is added to the end of all 5 days not just 4, so that (with the 10 min earlier start) each day is 20 min longer. But then the 75-minute early release on Wednesdays means that the extra 100 min becomes a net increase of 25min/week.

Agree with the concerns re: how the time will be used. Elementary teachers probably have a lot of leeway and may appreciate the extra time and flexibility (or not), but what the heck is the plan for middle and high schools? How do you make good use of an extra 20 minutes when you have six periods per day? Make each period 3 minutes longer and add two to lunch? I've heard that teachers/admins don't want that, as they like class start/end times to align with 5-minute intervals on the clock (e.g., 9:05, 10:15). Plus, realistically, what more could they really do with an extra 3 minutes per class? It's nonsense. Maybe it would make sense if they were transitioning to a 7-period day in order to better meet the the 24-credit graduation requirement needs (e.g., steal 5 min from each of the current periods, plus add the new 20), but they aren't doing that. Maybe they'll just make passing periods longer, or add in a short "study hall" period for students to do whatever. Hard to believe it's going to be put to good use, that's for sure. They'd be better off just paying teachers for an extra 20 minutes per day to do whatever planning/prep/collab they need to do and not make the students be there.

messy

Wildcat said...

What's the latest with the waitlists? I was told Whitman would be able to clear their entire waitlist, but my kid only moved up two spaces.

Anonymous said...

I've seen no movement on the waitlist. It looks like there is wholesale lack of desire at Enrollment to adjust the current assignments.

Marmauset

Anonymous said...

The letter was completely incomprehensible, disorganized, and frustrating.

Reader

Anonymous said...

Seriously. What would you people do if you had a real problem? Bellevue and most of the Eastside has been having Wednesday early dismissals forever. Nobody has died. Kids get into college. Kids play sports and join clubs. School isn't day care. No. They don't need to consult you on this, nor consider your weekend getaway schedules.

Parent too

Anonymous said...

Nathan Hale has had late starts on Tuesdays for years. The teachers use it for collaboration time and it allows the kids to sleep in one day a week. My kid loved late start Tuesdays. What they did not love was early dismissal days. Often they couldn't leave because of afternoon activities. There will be a lot of sad kids at Hale if they lose their late start Tuesdays.

HP

Anonymous said...

Parent too, I'm guessing other districts notified families of changes with enough time to make needed adjustments and plan for childcare. It is the middle of May and families and schools have no idea what their schedules will be for next year. Seriously doubt other districts operate like this.

seriously

Melissa Westbrook said...

To note, at the last Audit and Finance Committee meeting, Director Blanford was clear in asking if the City understood the urgency of finding out if the dollars would be coming to fund the two-tier system. He was told it was communicated to City staff and President Harrell. But Mayor Murray's staff still needed to write a resolution and get it before the Council.

I would suggest a couple of things:

- urge the Board to pressure Murray's office and the Council on the urgency of finding out if this is happening
- urge the Board and the Superintendent to remember this the next time the City pushes urgency as THEIR need for more pre-K in SPS

Melissa Westbrook said...

One other suggestion.

Parents and Board members are not part of the negotiating during teachers contracts. But I think that the Board - in advance of a teachers contract - should poll parents on issues like bell times and early release days - on THEIR opinions. Then the Board should take that data to staff and say, "The majority of parents say this. We want consideration of parents' desires on this issue."

Of course parents don't need to be polled on every contract issue; that would not be necessary or appropriate.

But for issues that directly affect the lives of students and their families, input should be sought AND included.

Anonymous said...

Let's compare with Bellevue's Interlake. The school day runs from 8:30 to 3:30, with a 1:20 release on Wed. They have block schedules on Wed/Thu, with even periods meeting on Wed., and odd periods on Thu. They also have a 7th period, Zero period from 7:05-7:55, and Tutorial period from 7:55-8:25. 50 min. periods with only 5 minute passing, and no breaks.

The switch to an early release could allow for similar block scheduling, but this late in the year?

-so different

43rd LD said...

Mr. DeWolfe sits on the board of the 43rd LD. Does this mean Mr. DeWolfe receives an automatic endorsement? There are approximately 30,000 voters in the 43rd.

Melissa Westbrook said...

43rd, no, he'll have to earn it. (I'm in the 43rd and I know they will do this the right way.)

Anonymous said...

Since when are a candidate's leading qualities the nature of their sex life, and race? Or, is this how we roll now that equity is the lens through which we view everything. Seems like a new low. More important might be experience, or children in SPS, to have skin in the game.

West

B Mom said...

When the new school year starts in less than 4 months, my two elementary school children are going to either going to:

OPTION 1 (2 tier)
both go 8:00 to 2:40

or

OPTION 2 (3 tier)
one goes 7:45 to 2:35
one goes 9:25 to 4:05

Anonymous said...

@ so different, a similar block schedule wouldn't work as well here with our current 6 periods, but I like it for 7!

messy

Anonymous said...

@West, I had a similar thought. I want someone who understands the capacity issues, can deftly deal with the upcoming high school boundary discussions, 24 credit requirement, etc...someone who really knows the issues SPS is dealing with (it's a plus when a Board member has/had a child in the system), can deal with tough financial decisions...not much of that came across in the posted info.

too inexperienced?

Anonymous said...

My junior high and high school schedules included a 30 minute lab period attached to each class once a week. It meant each of our classes met the same number of times for 50 minutes, but each got one longer class time that was an hour and twenty minutes. Tests were often scheduled then, or kids were excused (I got a lot of homework done), or projects were worked on. Maybe they could use the extra time that way?

Krab

Melissa Westbrook said...

West, this is all I can find on Mr. DeWolf from Google sources. Of course, I will interview him and find out about children, working with children, interest/background in education, etc. I don't know that it's "low" to state what race/sexual orientation. All of a person's background is what they could bring to the Board. For example, I don't recall an LGBT person serving on the Board. Certainly you don't elect someone to office based simply on race/sexual orientation/ethnic group but it's all part of a big picture.

Melissa Westbrook said...

So, I missed the comment about knowledge of the district.

I value that knowledge quite highly in my own assessment of candidate. There is already a learning curve even for those who come in as activists and, for some, it takes a year or more to get a lay of the land.

I would say for the time that this district sits in, that's too long. But that's up to voters.

Anonymous said...

In these 'hacking' days:

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/05/16/fight-surveillance-culture-activists-release-kid-focused-privacy-toolkit

Privacy activists released a toolkit on Tuesday to help parents protect their children's information online.

The Parent Toolkit for Student Privacy: A Practical Guide for Protecting Your Child's Sensitive School Data from Snoops, Hackers, and Marketers, released by the Parent Coalition for Student Privacy (PCSP) and the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC), teaches families about federal laws safeguarding their information, how to ask about schools' data policies, and how to advocate for stronger protections in an age when records are increasingly stored digitally.

-McClureWatcher

Anonymous said...

Hale has a block schedule. Some days they have all the classes, other days it is the evens and the other days it is odds. Hale has the late start Tuesdays. Hale also requires 23.5 credits for graduation.

HP

Prosleep Mom said...

Are Tier 1 elementary parents aware of the 7:45 start time (7:30 bus drop off; pick ups at a really early hour) that will be the default next year if two tiers is not funded? I get the feeling this is flying under the radar.

Parents need to know the schedule as soon as possible- so do day care providers, etc. I hope people will write the Mayor, City Council and the School Board and urge funding- preferably from the speed camera money, but anywhere they can find it.

Three tiers creates unreasonably early and late schedules for Tier 1 and 3- we are talking tens of thousands of kids here- we need to change to two tiers. Tier 2 is sitting pretty now, but I think everyone is going to have to settle for a compromise schedule.

I think we are stuck with the extra 20/75 minute early release for next year- it's in the contract. Is there evidence to show this creates significant improvement in achievement, closing the gap, etc? I haven't seen any, but I hope so- as it will cause disruption to so many people. Among other things, I wonder about the impact on Running Start students, particularly those who take some classes at high school and some at college. This might make Running Start untenable for some- and we really need the program as a release valve for over-crowded high schools. I haven't heard the specifics for the early release day either- is it just shortened classes, or will there be longer periods 1-3 one week and 4-6 the next? Probably the former, but it would be important to know.

seattle citizen said...

Oh, what many of us would do for a 7 period day...But lots of pushback from admin. Think of the opportunities for students...One student might come in 2nd period, another leave after 6th, the third take seven classes including that elective dance class.....

Block schedules are, currently, a decision made by schools. Ours, whenever it is put to a vote of staff, declines to adopt block scheduling.

Alas.

Anonymous said...

It's especially hard for Running Start students as they are making their class selections now, not knowing if they will be able to also take classes at their school. No one knows the start times, end times, Wed schedule. It's maddening. Will it force more to full-time Running Start, meaning even more lost $ for SPS? Lots of moving parts.

fed up

Anonymous said...

It's hard to see Hale's schedule as a model for all schools, given many of the unique and somewhat one-size-fits-all approach there. And overall, they get less time in each class than elsewhere, with all those extras built into their schedule.

hale no?

Anonymous said...

Not another school bored election. Please no more of "it's time for a change" rhetoric.

It seemed that was the only theme song for the last election.

Following SPS is like running up a steep sand dune. Can't wait to see what this year's theme song will be.

I think I will pass on voting for anyone.

Tired

Southy said...

If we can go from our current 752 bus routes (driven in shifts by 348 buses) to a two tier solution for $2.3 million and that money might come from the school zone traffic cameras AND 8:30 is the most popular start time then how much traffic cam money would it take to get enough buses to start everyone at 8:30? Considering that we'd only have to find the money once since the state would pay for it in subsequent years?

Anonymous said...

I would like to know the cost per trip. 180 school days 2 trips per day. Someone said each bus route cost around $110,000 per school year if so then that comes to $305 per trip or $610 per day?

I bet there are plenty of incentives out their to cut these cost. There only 14 kids on my students bus. I will quit my job and drive them all for $510 per day. Hell I will give door to door service! I will even supply the bus and pay for my fuel.

Look I just saved SPS $18,000.

Bus Driver

Anonymous said...

If the city funds a two-tier school schedule, the School Board will need to accept the grant and the district may make some slight adjustments to the two-tier start and end times to help maximize high school instructional time.

What does that mean? That they've approved 2 Tier start times, but even those may change? Is it possible the MS/HS day may go even later than 3:50?

not clear

Sleep Lady said...

One thing that is clear is that everyone wants to start at 8:30. In that sense, it seems fairest to make 8:30 the midway point between the two tiers.

Anonymous said...

I would also like some clarity on what happens the year AFTER next if the city does decide to fund two-tiers this year. It seems like the common assumption is that some other source of funding will kick in for 2018-2019, but I'm not sure about this. Anyone have definitive information on what happens after the city supports two-tiers (given that it does, of course)?

Confused

Sleep Lady said...

The state pays transportation costs. But they pay based on what the preceding year's cost was. So, if Seattle pays the difference to switch to two tiers for the first year, the state will then pay for that going forward.

Anonymous said...

So why should the state tax payers pay for a luxury bus schedule? The state cost should be capped at a standard metro bus fair per student. Let the districts figure out how to make it work. Go to you nearest school unless their is a legally mandated reason not to, all this busing around funding should be used for more teachers not cross city busing.

Stop busing

Prosleep Mom said...

The state has efficiency standards for transportation- they won't fund a really inefficient system, such as one tier, which would cost over $20 million per year more. Once we get to Two Tiers, they will continue funding that.

And to Stop Busing- kids are only bused if they live beyond a certain distance from the school, or have to cross particularly dangerous streets, or if metro doesn't service their area or if they are special ed or HCC. Busing has dropped dramatically since the days of school choice, when buses went everywhere, and school start times were all over the map, causing huge inefficiencies.

And I think buses cost more in the range of $60K, not $110K. And all that money doesn't go to the driver- cost of buses, insurance, admin, benefits, taxes etc doubtless eat up large chunks.

Walker Mom said...

Ideally students would walk to school or ride their bikes or ride a Metro bus. But 30% of the city doesn't have sidewalks. I mean, a lot of Lake City Way doesn't have sidewalks. And it's in the middle of the commute for a bunch of elementary, middle and high school students. Same with Aurora and I-5. Well, I guess Aurora has sidewalks. Still, parent's aren't eager to send their 5-year-olds to cross it in the dark in the rain during morning rush hour. And for good reason. We can't completely get rid of busing. We could cut down on it by drawing sensible geozones that are centered on schools not shaped like cuckoo gerrymandered political districts. Or by offering the basic ed services kids are legally required to be offered closer to their homes. Or by putting in sidewalks and then expanding the walk zones. But don't worry, there's no luxury bus schedule for anyone.

Former Souper said...

The district received funding information from Olympia on March 29th. I expect transportation funding to be an issue next year.

Anonymous said...

Busing keeps cars off the road. Can you imagine the added traffic without yellow bus service? It's in the best interest of the city to support the busing for that reason alone.

I grew up in a state that provided publicly funded yellow bus service for both public and private school students. I also lived in a large city where no school transportation was provided. I would hate for us to move to the latter.

taxpayer

Anonymous said...

Does the school district ever think that parents read these letters? I feel like they're written in bureaucratic code.

I would like my five-year-old K student to take the bus in the morning, but it comes at 7:08. That means I'd have to be out the door at 7:00, and get her up at 6:20 or so (And next year they want to move that up another ten minutes). I drive her to school so I can let her sleep until 7:00. She normally sleeps eleven to eleven and a half hours a night, so bedtime has to be at 7pm. If she took the bus bedtime would be at 6:30 or sooner, and we wouldn't be able to have family dinner. And it's always a huge rush to get her out the door because she has no appetite at 7am, and I can't send her to school without eating, so breakfast takes forever. The early start time is seriously anti-family.

Anonymous said...

I didn't get through all 50+ comments, but having gone through a couple of years in Highline's Friday early release days I can tell you that for many to most of us (not all admittedly) Friday afternoon at the end of a long week was a horrible time for so-called PD. I'll admit I'm used to Seattle teachers leaving earlier on Fridays but you'll still see several around (not just me) to 4-5pm. In Highline we mostly became clock watchers going through meetings (oops, PD's... how non-teacher PC of me) and we were largely bolting at the first legal minute we could.

Friday pm PD's may work for parents but they will not get the effect most everybody wants.


ex-Highline teach

Anonymous said...

SPS is currently considering boundary changes to Queen Anne hill which will dramatically impact working families. These boundary changes will cut ALL of the kids on the west side of Queen Anne from 11th Ave W and ALL of the kids on the north side of Queen Anne hill from Dravis St and bus them to Magnolia for elementary school at Lawton Elementary and Magnolia Elementary (opening Fall 2018). Many, many of these children walk to Coe Elementary now. The District needs to support neighborhood schools for neighborhood kids.
- Queen Anne Mom, also a gardener

Melissa Westbrook said...

QA Mom, isn't Coe overcrowded right now? I am aware SPS had a community meeting about the reopening of Magnolia; is that where you heard this info? Was there a hand-out?

Anonymous said...

I wonder if they made Magnolia HCC or part HCC if QA kids could stay put? It seems so dumb to bus QA kids to Magnolia when they love walking distance from Coe.

Mag mom

Anonymous said...

LIVE not love. Doh.

Mag mom

Anonymous said...

@ Mag mom, how would making Magnolia a HCC site allow neighborhood kids to stay at Coe? If there are a bunch of HCC kids at Coe (which there weren't, when my kids were there), they are clearly choosing to stay at the local school rather than bus to Cascadia. Why do you think they'd be tempted by a brand new, perhaps partial program in Magnolia?

unclear

Owler said...

Yay! Eden Mack just filed to run for the school board, district IV (Sue Peters' spot): http://electedenmack.com

Anonymous said...

Is Sue Peters not running again?

Peters Fan

Melissa Westbrook said...

Peters Fan, that is unclear and she seems to be holding her cards close to her vest.

Good news about Mack.

Greenwoody said...

My understanding is that Sue Peters had already decided to not run again.

Anonymous said...

well, i think they're shifting enrollment because there aren't enough students in magnolia to fill up magnolia elementary. that's just my assumption. does QA need another elementary?? if so then they might have to bus to magnolia. that sucks.

mag mom

Anonymous said...

Glad to hear about Eden, that's great news. Sad Sue may not run again though...
-H

Anonymous said...

Uh they are in the same district!

My only negative on Eden is she thinks every problem has a finical solution as in i.e more funding. This claim has been systematically proven false in almost every case.

Can Eden turn her focus on the Seattle school district and work with what we have or will she be an obstructionist by protesting by refusing to work within the districts means.

I don't see anyone beating her including Peters.

MJ

Anonymous said...

Eden is solid--she gets into the nuts and bolts of every issue and looks at things from every angle. She understands the constraints of an underfunded district and could make tough choices, but she well understands the importance of increased funding and advocates actively towards this goal. We need to clone her since most people don't have the time and/or energy to learn as much as she has and put a voice to concerns we have for our students. A few key leaders at District may not be happy if she wins, but that's okay.

Anyone new stepping up for Blanford's spot?

Strategic Moment

z said...

@McClureWatcher


Thank you so much for posting the student data link. Here's a clickable link to the actual toolkit. Please people, click here and get an idea of what is happening to our kids these days, and it's getting incrementally more invasive month after month, year after year.

Many parents have become numbed to the notion of privacy through their own use of facebook and other heavily data mined social media, but that's your own choice, where these apps and services are being literally forced on kids, most of whom are too young to understand the repercussions of any of it. The teachers and staff don't understand either, and are struggling to find "free" tools to help, but many of the services aren't really free, your kids are paying the price.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Strategic Moment, I noted one candidate so far for Blanford's district but, wait for it, there will be more.

Z, well said and I want to write a separate thread on this issue.

Watching said...

What z says is true. I'm not confident the Jeannie can be placed back in the bottle. Mining student data has been going on for years. Expansion continues.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Well, the genie may not be able to be back in the bottle but the stopper can. Data is out there but there are ways to place restrictions on it especially for students.

z said...

@Watching,

I'm trying to think of a nice way to say this, but I'm failing to find the words. Frankly, that's just a stupid statement. Child abuse has been going on for years. Expansion continues. Does that mean we give up and throw up our hands in despair? Human trafficking has been going on for years. Expansion continues. Do we say "The genie is out of the bottle. Never mind."?!

Every day, every week, every month, that we continue to allow these abuses to continue, in the name of "personalized instruction" or "longitudinal studies" or whatever the flavor of the week in student data abuse is called, we allow it to continue growing. And the longer we ignore it, the deeper its tendrils reach into all of our childrens' lives.

By shutting down new initiatives, by educating our educators, and district staff, we can prevent it from getting worse, and ensure that subsequent years of new children don't become data-mined widgets to be advertised at, discriminated against, and all the other lovely things that are enabled by mining our children.

Parents, if you care in the slightest about this, you need to speak to your teachers and principals about it. You need to complain when kids are asked to create accounts with outside companies (too many examples to list). You need to complain when the district itself sends student data to other companies and organizations (Road Map Project, ConnectEdu, and many others). You need to tell your children that it's NOT okay to hop online and create accounts without your permission, no matter what their teacher says. There are a lot of reasonable things parents can do!