Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Tuesday Open Thread

A new study on obesity finds that one-third of the world's population is obese, with the U.S. leading the way. The saddest number?
The United States has the greatest percentage of obese children and young adults, at 13%.
The district released a statement today about the investigation into players "imported" to play on Garfield's football team. The district itself did not release a statement or the report but the Times says:

An independent investigation into allegations of football-recruitment violations at one of Seattle's flagship high schools found no evidence to back up those claims, according to Seattle Public Schools.

Reached on the phone Tuesday, Garfield principal, Ted Howard, declined to answer questions about the investigation's results. He cited concerns with how the newspaper portrayed him and other black employees of the school.
It will be interesting to read the report when it becomes available because the facts haven't really changed; the investigation was to see if any rules had been broken.

From SPS Communications:
Please join us for the African American Male Advisory Committee community forum on June 15, 2017 from 5 – 7 p.m. at Nova High School (821 Cherry Street).
At the forum, the African American Male Advisory Committee (AAMAC) will present their recommendations to improve district policies and practices that affect African American males. The community’s participation in this forum is extremely important, as the Committee is seeking feedback before making their final recommendations to the superintendent in September 2017.
This is good news as it seems to be a long time coming to find out what the Superintendent's Advisory group believes would be the best way forward.

The City Council is having a special session tomorrow afternoon at 4 pm to vote on funding two-tier busing for SPS for the next school year.   As you may recall, President Harrell and CM Burgess were huffy about the idea of using Families and Education levy funds for this effort (but they were not opposed to funding it in theory).  Seven members have to vote yes and I expect that will happen (but it is not certain).  I will keep you updated.

In the meantime, if you don't like the actual times for the buses, by all means, tell the Board and the Superintendent.  It is unclear to me if there is any wiggle-room in the times but it never hurts to advocate. 

On the Families and Education levy.  There were dollars in the F&E levy that could have been used.  The fine dollars from the speed zones around schools were already dedicated to other traffic safety issues.  So it does not seem surprising that the district suggested the F&E levy.  What's surprising is the tone of the pushback - almost like it's an insult to have been asked.  One thing I will be glad for is a new mayor that may revamp the F&E levy and its committee.  Some members said they had been on it for 8 and 10 years, respectively.  That's probably too long without some new circulation in any committee.

What's on your mind?

28 comments:

Anonymous said...

Out of curiosity...does anyone know about enrollment at the City Pre-K's at Thornton Creek? I'm presuming the enrollment was not robust (based on the high price) but, am interested to find out more.

Thanks,
-StepJ

Anonymous said...

The United States has the greatest percentage of obese children and young adults, at 13%.

Seems like a good reason to not dismiss the importance of PE and school based sports!

full circle

Anonymous said...

Although I will point out that my kid is involved in way more grueling athletics outside of school than she could ever obtain in school. All hail PE waivers where applicable!!

-Individual

Anonymous said...

I hope everyone keeps an eye out for the I-1552 signature gathers.

It's aim is to take away equal rights; the gatherers should be ignored or avoided.

http://www.washingtonwontdiscriminate.org/

The country, the world, is at a tipping point and we all need to go out on the limb of more acceptance and fairness as far as we can.

golden gardens

Another NW said...

I noted in the June 9th Friday memo there is a new Two Tier draft schedule that has some high schools schedules adjusted by 5 min others by 10 min (8:45-3:35/8:55-3:45pm). Only those without athletic complexes would release at 3:35: Ballard, Cleveland, Franklin, Roosevelt & West Seattle. Not at all fair to just have a few release earlier and will be letting the Board and Nyland know.

Anonymous said...

@ Another NW, your unfairness comment made me laugh. Are you saying it's unfair that some high schools would get their schedules shifted ten minutes earlier--presumably to facilitate transport to fields/courts since they don't have them--but other schools would get stuck with a 10-minute later slot? Is so, you do realize the inherent fairness of some schools having athletic complexes while others don't, right?

Fair trade

Melissa Westbrook said...

I continue to think it wrong to create high school schedules based on sports, athletic complex or not. Also, favoritism is not the reason some schools have a complex; it's space.

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Sandy said...

"research on five- and six-year-old children in Japan and Germany has shown a connection between short sleeping hours and obesity. In the Japanese study, the later the bedtime, the greater the risk for obesity. In both studies, the shorter the duration of sleep, the more likely the children were obese." --Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Marc Weissbluth, M.D.

So, best-practice bell times might actually help with the obesity problems. Fingers crossed.

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Eric B said...
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Melissa Westbrook said...

I deleted Momof2's comments on I-552 because I don't believe in its stated purpose and I don't want to discuss it here.

Anonymous said...

Sandy, doesn't your chosen quote support flipping bell times back so those 5-6 year olds can get more sleep?? And the "later the bedtime, the greater the risk for obesity?" MS/HS students are being forced into a later bedtime with a late start/late release.

huh?

Anonymous said...

MS/HS kids can't fall asleep until 11 PM or so. Kids before puberty, their circadian rhythms are different. They can fall asleep earlier and generally wake up earlier.

HP

Anonymous said...

Melissa, you're of course entitled to decide what belongs on this blog.

However, it doesn't seem right to leave several posts on one side of the issue and delete all the posts on the other side.

My passion to protect women and girls from a law that contains a dangerous loophole for sex predators is related to my commitment to stand up for and serve kids in the Seattle Public Schools.

I've been a board member of a PTA/PTO for a total of 3 years and am about to start my 4th, on top of other involvement.

Momof2

Melissa Westbrook said...

Momof2, I took the other comments down because it would probably be confusing to others.
But if we're going to start comparing years of service in Seattle Schools, then it would get quite messy. You're not right because of your service.

Anonymous said...

I mentioned my service to argue against the assertion that I-1552 signature gatherers' goals are to "take away rights", since I'm involved as a volunteer precisely because I believe in people's rights and dignity, especially those most at risk of being violated.

Momof2

mirmac1 said...

Elimination of High-Stakes testing for graduation update:

From the WALEG website
http://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=1046&Year=2017

It appears it finally got past some obstructionist legislators and will get a vote soon, I hope. But not in time to help those kids who'll miss out on walking with their class.

Anonymous said...

From the eBark, a message from GHS's principal: "Seattle Public Schools is experiencing strong growth in student enrollment, including more students attending Garfield High School. As a result, four portable classrooms will be installed this summer. We can all look forward to more space at our school in September."
There would be less students if Ingraham's wait list moved...
LM

Sandy said...

@Huh? from 3:23 p.m.

I'm not arguing for flipping back to high school first and elementaries later at all.

Medical sleep specialists have studied kids. Most 4 through 9 year olds are asleep by 8:30 p.m. Based on sleep studies only 10% of 4 through 9 year olds are awake after 9 p.m. at night. Somewhere around age 9 their natural bedtime starts slowly creeping later until average 14-16 are going to bed at 10 or later.

Statistically, based on sleep studies performed by doctors, most children (from age 1 to age 16) wake up naturally somewhere around 7 a.m. About 10% wake up around 5 a.m. And about 10% wake up around 8 a.m.

Children who are sleeping way outside these hours routinely are far more likely to go on to suffer from sleep disorders. And children who need to be awakened for school every day are not getting enough sleep. Sleep deprivation harms children and it can be prevented and treated.

The new two tier times are much more in alignment with children's natural, biological rhythms. And even if it's not the sleep patterns families have their children in and requires some adjustment, it is adjustment toward what is healthier. Sleep problems can impact mental health and obesity and, well, learning. It's important, and thank goodness SPS has done something right for the health and wellbeing of children for once. This switch back to 2 tiers will have long lasting health impacts on the lives of many of the district's 53,000 children. For the better. Thank you, City of Seattle! And thank you to all who worked so hard and so long to achieve this!

Anonymous said...

Obesity is the tip of the eating disorder iceberg. We have lots of kids doing dangerous stuff to lose weight.

I think kids should learn about real nutrition at school, with input from groups other than the dairy and meat industry.

The pro-dairy posters plastering every lunchroom in the district are disgraceful and probably illegal.

If kids stopped consuming baby cow food, which is like rocket fuel to make a calf gain 200 lbs. in a year, acne and stomach problems of kids would likely decrease dramatically.

The high fat food served at school is also a big, big problem. Oil is a killer, it inflames arteries and makes people fat and can lead to diabetes.

The district is poisoning children, in my opinion, plain and simple.

Plant Head

Melissa Westbrook said...

Plant Head, I am with a class of kids in the cafeteria twice a week. I am actually pleasantly surprised most of the time in terms of veggies and fruits. They have carrots, sliced red pepper and sliced cucumber and even jicama. I think sometimes the fruit is not ripe but yes, it's there. Only about half the kids get the milk so if the messaging is there, kids aren't following it.

The entrees aren't great but I don't see them as particularly high-fat and they sometimes have a non-meat offering.

It could be better but "poisoning"? No.

Anonymous said...


"It could be better but "poisoning"? No."

I think current research says otherwise. I bet you didn't know that rice is considered a red food now, i.e. don't eat.

Arsenic levels are too high.

Science marches on, and not all of the research is payed for by food producers and processors.

The heath crisis in America, particularly obesity, you'd have to admit is entirely caused by the type of food we eat.

High fat, high sugar, low fiber, low nutrient food is more common than ever and our collective health is worse than ever.

Science already has found how to eat healthy but that message is advertised into oblivion.

I look at SPS employees, especially kitchen staff and I don't see paragons of healthy eating.

The kids deserve better food and a better education about food.

respectfully,

Plant Head

Melissa Westbrook said...

I don't think making remarks about how others look correlates to the food they are allowed to serve children.

Anonymous said...

When do we get SBA results back? Will we get a report of all the common core standards mastered and ones that need work before summer?

SBA Follow-up

Anonymous said...

What design standards are used for classroom planning of new SPS facilities? The planned addition at Ingraham has only two new science classrooms, for an additional capacity of 500 students. Some of their existing science rooms are currently used for other classes, so the numbers may work out in the short term, but it sounds as though the district is allocating rooms based on a 3 year science requirement even though a significant number of students take 4 years of science. What assumptions are being made for Lincoln's space?

-thinking ahead