Friday, September 29, 2017

Uptown Alliance School Board Candidate Forum

The Uptown Alliance invites you to its School Board Candidates Forum on Tuesday, October 10th from 7-9 pm at St. Paul's Episcopal Church. 15 W Roy.


The August primary narrowed a field of candidates to six seeking three seats on the Seattle School Board of Directors. The finalists are:

District 4: Herbert J. Camet Jr. and Eden Mack
District 5: Zachary Pullin DeWolf and Omar Vasquez
District 7: Chelsea Byers and Betty Patu

If you have a question to submit, you may email it to uptownalliance@outlook.com with the Subject: Forum Question.

Cue the ACLU and Yes, Kneeling is Respectful

Apparently some school districts are forcing athletes and other high school students in clubs to stand for the anthem...or else. 
In Louisiana, the head of Parkway High School wrote a letter on Thursday morning to parents and students vowing to suspend or remove from sports teams anyone who demonstrates while the national anthem is played.

"Failure to comply will result in a loss of playing time and/or participation as directed by the head coach and principal. Continued failure to comply will result in removal from the team," principal Waylon Bates wrote.
Cue the ACLU.

Seahawks Players Equality & Justic for All Action Fund Created

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Seahawks stepping up.

ThoughtExchange Email; Did You Get Yours?

From SPS - apparently all families got this e-mail about ThoughtExchange:
Dear SPS Staff, Families and Students, 

Friday Open Thread

Join the Parent Coalition for Student Privacy, Class Size Matters and the NYS Allies for Public Education  for a brief webinar on Tuesday, October 3rd at 8:00pm Eastern.

Registration is required so please sign up today here.

If you can’t join us on Tuesday, don’t forget to check out and use the Parent Toolkit for Student Privacy, created by the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood and the Parent Coalition for Student Privacy.

I will just note that it may pay to ask your teacher about any cloud platforms that are being used in class and if your child has been signed up to one.  You have the right to at least be notified about this kind of action and what data has been used and who has access to it (including third-party vendors).

PTA-sponsored Seattle School Board Forum


The PTSAs of Leschi, Lowell, Madrona, McGilvra, Montlake, and Stevens Elementary Schools invite you to join us for an evening of discussion, education policy, and free pizza. All six candidates for Seattle Public Schools’ Board of Directors will be there to present their platforms and answer your questions. 

Thursday, October 12 at 6 PM - 8 PM at Madrona K-8, 1121 33rd Ave


Childcare will be available courtesy of Launch. Please RSVP by October 10.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Seattle School Board Candidate Forum 2017

League of Women Voters of Seattle-King County and NAACP King County
SCHOOL BOARD CANDIDATE FORUM

Wed, Oct 4 - 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Centilia Cultural Center (at El Centro de la Raza)
1660 S Roberto Maestas Festival St
1 block from Beacon Hill light rail station

Candidates for positions 4, 5, and 7 are scheduled to appear.

We will not be serving refreshments but food and drink may be brought in. We encourage you to patronize the food trucks on the plaza right outside and other vendors nearby.

All League forums are free and open to the public.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Lincoln Updates

Update via Director Burke:

A second meeting has been added because of clashes in schedules on Thursday, Oct 12th, at Hamilton MS from 6:30-8:00 pm.

end of update

Via district webpage:

New Student Assignment Plan: Pay Attention

BEX V? Sure, that's important but it is off in the more distance future.

But the Student Assignment Plan is coming like a freight train and affects every single family in the district.  I urge you to pay attention AND ask your PTA to devote an early meeting to this topic.

Rather than calling it a "new" SAP, they say they are making updates.  I suspect these will be sweeping so it's almost like a new plan.  The SAP would go into effect in 2018-2019 but not changes to high school boundaries or Advanced Learning.  (Editor's note: I'm seeking clarification on when the changes would go into effect for AL; I suspect the same time as the SAP since AL is part of it.)

Here's how the district sees this work:

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Tuesday Open Thread

Update:  the district let me know that they are working to make sure that Garfield 10th graders can take the PSAT on the same day/time as juniors.  Not sure how PTA got info that it was going away (I suspect GHS administration) but the district is diligently trying to sustain PSAT testing for 10th graders at Garfield.

End of update

Garfield is now only allowing juniors to take the PSAT.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Seattle Schools This Week

Tuesday, September 26th
Board Work Session: BEX V Planning, 4:30-6:30 pm, JSCEE, Agenda

I will be attending and taking notes.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

School Board Notes for September 20, 2017

I watched about half the Board meeting last night and it was worth it because of the interesting comments made, particularly by the Superintendent.

I will highlight topics but there was some information on enrollment numbers as well as high schools that you might want to look for and read.

Brother, Can You Spare a Sheet?

Desperation in some Kent schools - makes you wonder what legislators think Kent Schools should be spending their money on.

Just a Thought

I see this from The Stranger on the process to become the next member of the City Council.
After public calls for an open process, the Seattle City Council has announced it will accept applications for the seat vacated by Tim Burgess. After former mayor Ed Murray resigned, the council appointed Burgess mayor on Monday. His council seat is now vacant until November 28, when election results are certified and either Jon Grant or Teresa Mosqueda is sworn in.

The council will take applications next week, then hold two community forums with the candidates. The full council will vote on who to appoint at a special council meeting on October 6.
 I wonder if anyone from the current School Board will apply.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Great Free Event at SAM for Arts Educators

Fall Educator Preview: Andrew Wyeth

Without Comment (But True)

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Special Education Seattle PTSA Meeting Schedule

Website
Facebook

Friday Open Thread

Image result for Fall illustrations Happy First Day of Fall!

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos just rescinded Obama era rules on sexual assault under Title IX.  More news to come.

Saw a familiar name in the staff list for new mayor, Tim Burgess.  His chief of staff is to be Holly Miller, who was the long-time head of the Office of Education.  When it changed to the Department of Education and Early Learning, she was out.  They also hired Eli Sanders, an editor at The Stranger, to be a deputy of Communications.  He plans on still doing a podcast and says he will write about the experience after he is done.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Seattle Parks&Rec Makes Showers Available to SPS Families

From King County 211:

Let's All Send Out Hope and Good Karma

There are so many people suffering in recent weeks from natural disasters.  Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria, and the earthquake in and around Mexico City.  It's almost hard to grasp the magnitude of so many lives upended and so much continued suffering.

Please send out good karma and prayers to all these people.  If you can, donate money to organizations that are helping those in need.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Cary Moon for Mayor

This blog endorses Cary Moon for Mayor of Seattle.

Why Moon over her opponent, Jenny Durkan?

Best Wishes for Rosh Hashanah 2017


To all our Jewish readers and their families celebrating this week.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Deaf Thrive Day this Saturday



No automatic alt text available. 
 FOR ANY ACCESS REQUESTS, please email deafthrive@gmail.com ASAP.

Robert Eagle Staff MS News

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month

Image result for hispanic heritage month illustrationHispanic Heritage Month started on September 15th and ends on October 15th.

Tuesday Open Thread

Let's do some Seattle Schools This Week:

Wednesday, the 20th 
School Board meeting. Agenda

Highlights:
- Intro item to spend over $600K over three years for college/career technology for 8-12th graders, starting this school year. Funding would include one more FTE at JSCEE and "school leads" at each school (presumably a counselor or teacher who takes the training to use the technology)

- Into - Adopting new School Board Policy No.4218, Speakers of Diverse Languages.  Twenty-five percent of students in SPS speak a language other than English at home.

- Intro - One-year extension of Strategic Plan.  This is something of a gap filler between the end of the cycle for the current Strategic Plan and the possible exit of Superintendent Nyland plus the election of new Board members.  Seems like a good idea given all those changes.

- Intro - Approval of property sales of 315 square feet for the South Lander Street Grade Separation Right of Way to the City for $50,000

- Intro/Action - resolution supporting undocumented students

Thursday, the 21st 
Boundary changes meeting for Adams, Loyal Heights and Whittier 
6:30-7:30 pm at the Ballard High Library

Friday, the 22nd
Last day for parent referrals for Advanced Learning programs

Saturday, the 23rd
Three Director community meetings (one of the last for Director Blanford who is not running for reelection.  I'll just point out that if you have concerns over the new Student Assignment Plan, now IS the time to talk to directors.)

Harris - Delridge Library from noon - 2:30 PM

Blanford - Douglass-Truth Library from 10 am-noon

Pinkham - University Library from 4-5:30 pm

There are new STOP paddle cameras on school buses to improve student safety.
Exterior cameras have been added to 120 of the 379 First Student buses that transport our students each day. The cameras capture video of vehicles that appear to be illegally passing the bus when its stop paddle is fully extended. The King County Sheriff’s Office reviews the footage provided by the American Traffic Solutions cameras to confirm the traffic violation occurred. 

The cameras began operation today, Sept. 18. Drivers captured on video now through Oct. 1, 2017, will receive a warning letter to educate them about the new program. 

Starting Monday, Oct. 2, 2017, the King County Sheriff’s Office will begin issuing $419 citations to vehicle owners that have violated the state’s stop paddle safety law. Visit the Washington State Legislature website to read the text of state law RW 46.61.370.
The district, along with OSPI, is really playing up the importance of daily student attendance.  I've seen some parents at the Soup for Teacher Facebook page saying they think the district doesn't consider many issues around attendance like transportation issues (including school buses), chronic illness and family vacations.

On that last issue - family vacations - I remind parents that the district's policy is to allow principals to be the deciders at each school on whether a child who is out of school for vacation will be allowed to make up work upon return.  Check with your school's principal.

What's on your mind?

Monday, September 18, 2017

Please Consider Sending an Email about Protections for ADHD Students

From a reader (thanks!), news from the U.S. Department of Education via ADDitude website:

The Trump administration is planning to rescind a key civil rights protection for students with ADHD. Contact the U.S. Department of Education by September 20 to explain why our children need the “ADHD Guidance Letter” to remain in place.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Friday Open Thread

Not sure what to make of this story in the Seattle Times this morning about a new group in our region created to incubate new types of schools.  Apparently the entire system of public education is "broken" and needs to be "blown up."  (Just to note, I think in this day and age, we might not ever use the term "blown up" about schools).

I have to smile.  This is the same ed reform party line that's been going on for years.  So what's this, a repackaging?

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Running Start and High School Alternatives

Requested by Kellie L:

If you measure on a per year basis, this two year program is the LARGEST SPS high school at the moment and it is not part of the high school boundary conversation or any of the capacity conversations.

I have done a little more research and there are a few more dynamics at play, the community college enrollment includes Running Start as well as a variety of CTE programs and a few program geared towards dropout prevention. This is a huge aspect of the high school conversation.


I wish I had time to flesh out this thread more but I don't except to add a couple of links.

One Student Killed in Spokane-Area High School Shooting

Several of you posted elsewhere about this sad and tragic occurence.  From the Seattle Times:

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Mayor Murray Resigns (Finally)

It was quite the waiting game but I would suppose having five people accuse you of molestation might cause you to act.

It did for Mayor Ed Murray.

Tuesday Open Thread

What's on your mind?

(Fair warning, I'm a little tired of this emphasis on HCC and I think others are as well.  This thread is NOT open to that dicussion.  I'll delete any comments on that subject.)

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Troubling Sped Bus Issue

Over at the Facebook page for the Seattle Schools Special Education parent group, one parent posted this form about riding on the bus. 

Seattle Schools This Week

Editor's note:  I see that staff is starting to post agendas earlier; that's good.  However, the supporting materials are not attached until 24 hours before the meeting.  Not so helpful and with the scant info on the agendas, leaves what will be discussed something of a mystery.

I will be on a hiatus this week but, naturally, monitoring events as they happen as well as posting the Tuesday/Friday Open Threads.

Friday, September 08, 2017

Board Retreat Agenda Has Huge Issues

As I previously reported, the Board has one of its retreats tomorrow.  The agenda is chockful of interesting items.

Friday Open Thread

Thank you for bringing the error to our attention, I have contacted Omar Vasquez about the violation of the inaccurate C-3 report and informed the campaign to correct the discrepancy.  Omar Vasquez agreed to resolve the issue. 


Micaiah Titus Ragins
Compliance Coordinator Washington Public Disclosure Commission

Advanced Learning referral window is open until September 22nd.

A great story from SPS about a five-decade(!) volunteer, LouAnne Rundall, who worked in the Highland Park Elementary library.

Thursday, September 07, 2017

Chief Sealth Student Stabbed to Death the Day Before School Started

In tragic news, a soon-to-be Chief Sealth sophomore, Derek Juarez-Lopez, was stabbed as he made his way thru a park in West Seattle.  He phoned his sister, saying he had been "jumped" and begged her to come and get him.  By the time she got there, he had been taken to the hospital where his family was able to say their goodbyes before he passed away.

This and That

Schools within SPS (and agencies serving those schools) will be receiving grants from King County's Best Starts for Kids levy.  You can see the list for Seattle Schools at the link, pages 8-9.  I also note a grant to the Washington State Charter Schools Association.
King County Executive Dow Constantine today launched two new Best Starts for Kids initiatives that will help schools and their partners better address the impacts of trauma, and promote resilience so that children and youth can bounce back after experiencing adversity.

The combined $1.46 million in funding will provide 98 partners in 14 school districts with tools and training to support children and young people through experiences of childhood trauma and adversity, and expand mental-health support in 56 King County middle schools.
Interesting language in SPS' flyer on"Parent/Guardian & Volunteer Code of Conduct 2017-2018."

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Teachers for Sale? Part One

Where's the line between getting some technology freebies in the classroom and a teacher pushing a particular product to students and school?  Who owns that property - the teacher or the district?  Is a teacher pushing the limits of contract restrictions by promoting products, either in class or on free time?

Wednesday Open Thread

First Day of School!  Let us know how it goes.  SPS wants you to share your photos on Instagram/Twitter with the hashtag: #SPSFirstDay @seapublicschools

Rules of the road when there are school buses from the Inside Out blog from WSP.

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Scenes from Robert Eagle Staff Middle School Ribbon Cutting

I attended the Robert Eagle Staff Middle School ribbon-cutting today and also walked thru Licton Springs K-8 and and Cascadia Elementary.   Bustling and busy were the biwords of the day for these schools.

Friday, September 01, 2017

McCleary: Where We Stand

Editor's Note: I derived this information from many sources but mainly the great Washington Paramount Duty Facebook page.

Heads Up for a Great Art Event for Kids

From SAM Asian Art Museum (editor's note, the events are FREE but you need a ticket):

Off the Walls: Community Day

Sat Sep 16 2017
Asian Art Museum
Entire Building
10 AM – 2 PM
Get Tickets

Friday Open Thread

Last Friday of summer vacation - I feel for all the kids.  But please remember the kids and their schools in Houston and surrounding cities whose school year may not start and, of course, will follow a lot of trauma.  Please donate if you can.

Apps stories
From KING-5, an app called Yellow that is like Tinder for tweens/teens.  Not good.