Friday, October 19, 2018

Friday Open Thread

New internal audits at Seattle Schools available here.
I saw a document letting neighbors in the Ravenna/Roosevelt area know that the Roosevelt Reservoir is NOT going to be lidded.  The City seems to have decided they may need it in an emergency. 

From ProPublica, an interactive report on districts around the country and racial inequality issues.  You can drill down by school as well.   

Saturday events:
 Seattle Public Schools Science Instructional Materials Adoption Committee Meeting
(K-5 and 6-8 combined committees)
Sat., Oct. 20, 2018, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
John Stanford Center for Educational Excellence (JSCEE), 3rd Floor Commons

Director Community meeting with President Leslie Harris at Seattle Public Library - Delridge Branch, from 3-5 pm.

On Sunday, Oct. 21st, I'm excited to hear from the students leading the March for our Lives movement sponsored by Town Hall.  
Since the tragedies at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, the March For Our Lives movement has taken a stand against senseless gun violence. The Parkland students work together with young leaders of all backgrounds from across the country to hold politicians accountable and combat the normalization of gun violence.

March For Our Lives brings Jammal Levy, Alex Wind, and David Hogg, all survivors of the Parkland shooting, to Town Hall’s stage to share Glimmer of Hope, a book that tells the story of how a group of teenagers raced to channel their rage and sorrow into action—and went on to create one of the largest youth-led movements in global history. Joined by actor and activist Sophia Bush, these students bring their urgent conversation to Seattle to offer us a chance to come together and take action and work to create a safe and compassionate nation for our youth.
What's on your mind?

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Beloved Custodian Gets Big Surprise

How about some good news in a school? Very sweet and uplifting.

Tuesday Open Thread

The passing of Microsoft co-chair, Paul Allen, is sad news.  He gave much to the community in so many directions - music, art, sports, libraries and a whole building is named for him at UW.  I saw him earlier this year when the final beam was being placed in the new Computer Science & Engineering building, this one named for the Gates.  

Hmm, I note that Rainier Beach High School has moved much farther down on the BEX V list (which they said could accomplished between 8-12 projects).  RBHS is now 10.  I'm hoping that this does not mean that staff could say, "Whoops, we can only get 9 projects done."

Fun event coming up this Thursday at the Seattle Art Museum from 5-8 pm - a community event to celebrate their newest show - Peacock in the Desert; the Royal Arts of Jodhpur, India. 

Celebrate the new exhibition, Peacock in the Desert: The Royal Arts of Jodhpur, India with a free public opening featuring live performances, an art market, music, and art making. RSVP requested.
  • Peacock In The Desert Bazaar
    Local artists, makers, and organizations will share their wares.
  • DJ RDX
    Original mixes all night long.
  • Humaira Abid
    Make art with this local artist.
  • Jhimiki & Maatal
    Catch live dance performances.
  • My Favorite Things Tours
    Led by Laila Kazm, Malvika Wadhawan, Humaira Abid, and Noor Asif
What's on your mind?

Gates Foundation Flounders

An interesting article from Geek Wire which itself comes from one in Non-Profit Quarterly in August of this year.  I loved the NPQ title:

Why Smart People (at the Gates Foundation) Can’t Learn

Monday, October 15, 2018

Who Gets to Go to Maple Elementary?

It's a topic that heating up over at Facebook.  It's worth discussing because of the central issue - historical patterns of enrollment or racial equity? 

Should kids who have traditionally gone to a school always go there? 

Where does the need for racial equity start for a school? 

And, most of all, are district promises really just that - a promise and not a guarantee?

Here's the basic story (this from the Equity in Seattle Schools blog):

Amazon Donates $2M For "Immediate Needs" Fund for SPS Students

Via GeekWire:
Amazon is announcing a $2 million grant to help Seattle school students. But the focus isn’t the latest shiny education technology. Instead, it’s that missing raincoat, a weekend backpack full of food, or unaffordable school supplies.

Amazon’s donation to the Alliance for Education, which is an organization that works closely with Seattle Public Schools, will create what the company calls a new “Right Now Needs Fund” to meet the urgent needs of individual students. The Alliance will administer the grant, designed to cover the current 2018-19 and the following 2019-20 school years
Amazon says the Alliance will distribute the funds to schools based on student needs, with higher poverty schools getting more support.
The only condition, Amazon says, is that fund spending has to directly benefit students and can’t replace items currently in the district’s budget.
This is great news.  Naturally, though, I have a few caveats.

I want this money to be tracked down to the penny as to how much actually goes directly to SPS students or classrooms.

I'd like to know how much the Alliance will charge for the bookkeeping (as they currently do for PTA funds).

I want to note that SPS has no official, documented relationship with the Alliance for Education.  That MOU was severed several years back when the Alliance overstepped - multiple times in multiple ways - in district work and function.

I also see that an Amazon VP is also a member of the Alliance's Board.  Could this be a move to get the Alliance back into the good graces of SPS?

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Friday, October 12, 2018

Interested in Hearing For/Against Arguments for Seattle's Families&Ed Levy?

I don't know how many other debates are coming up; this will be my fifth.  But if you are interested, the debate is Saturday, October 13th at Byrd Barr Place (the old firehouse at E.Columbia and 18th and formerly CAMP and Centrestone) at 722 18th Avenue.  It's sponsored by the Squire Park Community Council. 

The event, which starts at 10 am,  includes other topics but the Families&Education levy discussion starts at 10:45 am.  I am the against and former Director Stefan Blanford will argue for.

It should be interesting, particularly because this event's format allows each side to ask the other side a question.

Public Education Stories of Interest

A great story worth showing your tweens/teens about a Rohingya boy who escaped - but not for a long time - from persecution in Myanmar, leaving his family behind.  He ended up in Mercer Island.
This story was created in KUOW's RadioActive Intro to Journalism Workshop for 15- to 18-year-olds at Jack Straw Cultural Center. 

What's this? Some school districts replacing libraries with maker labs?

Friday Open Thread

Updates:  

There a new survey from SDOT called Safe Routes to School Racial Equity Analysis.  Plus there is a separate survey just for high school students.  They also have:
  • Partnered with 10 schools serving at least 85% students of color to promote the Racial Equity Survey and to conduct in-depth conversations with students and families about the lived experiences and challenges of getting to and from school
  • Attended over 50 community events catered specifically for communities of color, immigrants, and refugees
  • Partnered with nearly 40 community organizations to promote the Racial Equity Survey, and conducted focused outreach such as focus groups and coffee chats at over 10 community organizations
  • Received nearly 250 survey responses from guardians and high school students in the 2017-2018 school year
  • Refined our survey outreach practices to make survey participation is more accessible and equitable for the second round of surveying in the fall of 2018
I'm sure they will find that neighborhoods that have sidewalks feel safer sending their kids to school than neighborhoods who don't.

Apparently the district is threatening teachers at Garfield over the recent walk-out.  One issue that troubles me; were parents ever truly told what happened and why? The number of differing stories here certainly make it sound like students got caught in the middle of it all.  From The Stranger:
GHS students and teachers gathered in the gym for two hours on that Friday in September. They are losing pay for that two hours.

Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources Clover Codd, Executive Director of Schools Sarah Pritchett, and Garfield High School Principal Ted Howard sent a "Memorandum Letter" (sic) to GHS informing the teachers involved in the sit-in of their punishment. To them, this was a violation of the teachers' contracts.


"The decision to suspend the normal student class schedule, regular instruction, and normal student supervision was a unilateral action not sanctioned by the GHS administration or the District," the letter read. 

Every teacher involved in the sit-in received this notice. Teacher leadership is currently drafting their response. 

"Any future unilateral and unauthorized absence from your classroom will result in progressive discipline," the letter concluded. "At this time, the District has decided to not pay you for the time you were absent from your assigned classroom."
end of update
Do check out my latest post on my opposition to the newest Families & Education levy; yes, charter schools will get levy dollars if it passes and the Mayor and City Council seem to not care.

AFM Attacking Children Throughout U.S.

Parents, be aware of an uptick of acute flaccid myelitis, with six cases in our region.  As well, there are pockets of cases throughout the U.S. including in Minnesota and Illinois. From KIRO-tv:

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Families, Education, Preschool & Promise Levy Updates

Thru the course of the last several days, I have participated in several debates on this levy. 

Here's the Seattle Channel debate with myself, former Councilperson Tim Burgess, activist Saul Spady and Nicole Grant of the King County Labor Council.

Updates:

Monday, October 08, 2018

I'm Not Voting for the New Families&Education Levy; Here's Why

I want to preface this thread by noting what former Councilman Tim Burgess, the co-chair of the current levy campaign, said at an event. He said that voters have always supported this levy because it supports Seattle's kids.

Okay but here's the thing - every single time ANY levy comes before voters, they should examine it. Question it. Review it. There should be no emotional blackmail - "it's for the kids! - for any kind of vote. Because tax dollars are so precious, whatever we spend them on needs to have clarity in vision and the confidence that the dollars will be well-spent.

I came to this decision to say no to the levy with sadness because I have supported this levy since its inception. But this current levy, the Families, Education, Pre-school and Promise levy is a radical change from previous ones, both in scope and cost.

Saturday, October 06, 2018

BEX V List Getting Closer (Along with a Huge Price Tag)

I attended last week's BEX V Work Session.  Here's the presentation.   The work on BEX continues next week with another work session on Wednesday, Oct 10th at JSCEE from 4:30-5:30 pm.  Given the short time for the latest work session, I suspect this will be the final list as they want to introduce the list at the Board meeting on October 17th.

Friday, October 05, 2018

Friday Open Thread

I think we may all agreed on something (but it won't come true) - could we not hear the name "Kavanaugh" for a least a week?  This issue has been so many things but exhausting comes to mind right now.

For the record, though, I think he's a liar and even if he gets on the Court, his black robe will not hide the stain that got him there.  (I also suspect Chief Justice Roberts will take him aside and tell him, "bully for you doing anything to get on the Court; however, don't try that crap here. Ever.")  Of course, he did say himself that "what goes around comes around."  Says the guy with two daughters who themselves might be faced with such a situation someday.  They sure won't go to dad.

There is some irony here as the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to activists fighting sexual violence.

Wednesday, October 03, 2018

Request for Help from UW Doctoral Student

Hi everyone!

I am a second-year graduate student at UW in the College of Education getting a PhD in School Psychology.

Wednesday Open Thread

Tonight's Board meeting should be a lively one.  The Board is voting on a resolution in support of Initiative 1639, for better gun control.  I suspect that there might be more than a few people coming to protest this action.  Agenda here.
Approval of this item would adopt Resolution No. 2018/19-4, which declares support for Initiative 1639, which would require increased background checks, training, age limitations, and waiting periods for sales or delivery of semiautomatic assault rifles; criminalize noncompliant storage upon unauthorized use; allow fees; and enact other provisions.
As well, SPS teachers may be coming in numbers to protest the recent cuts/realignment of teachers throughout the district.  There's a timely article from Philadelphia's The Inquirer.

Superintendent Juneau's Listening Tour/Regional Meetings Continue

Thurs., Oct. 4, 7 - 8:30 p.m.
Central/North Town Hall

Co-hosted with PTA partners
Location: Ballard High School
1418 NW 65th St.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

BEX V/Budget Work Session Today

Today's Work Session has two parts; BEX V and the budget for next school year.  I'll be attending the BEX V section.  Here is the agenda which contains both parts.

Key pages
Page 23 - List of short-listed BEX V projects.  I don't know that I agree with the whole list but it looks solid.  It appears that the downtown high school is off as there needs to be additional discussion.

Page 64-65
Probably the most complete list I have ever seen (thanks, Director Geary!) of BEX/BTA funds spent for every school.

Page 111 is the start of the Budget section which is, well, pretty much bad news.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Tuesday Open Thread

Did anyone attend the Superintendent's Regional meeting last night at North Seattle CC?  Just wondering if any Nova students showed up to protest the teacher cuts at their school.

What We Tell Teens about Teenaged Behavior

As Thursday's big Judiciary hearing showdown looms, some important reading from the New York Times on how some teens view this issue.  I urge you - no matter your stance - to sit down and actually talk to your teen and listen to your teen about what he/she sees and feels at their own school.
Maycee Wieczorek, a 17-year-old in Rapid City, S.D., said it felt odd as a student to hear grown-ups dismissing the significance of Mr. Kavanaugh’s character in high school.

“For me and my friends his past is our now,” she said.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Seattle Schools This Week

Editor's note: I will be taking this week off (mostly) for a happy family event.  I'll try to put up a Tuesday Open Thread and a Friday Open Thread.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Superintendent Forming Student Advisory Board

Superintendent Juneau has been clear - from her first interview on - that she values student voices.  Putting words into action, the district is creating a Student Advisory Board.

Friday Open Thread

Update: FYI, Payless Shoes is having a 50% sale on all kids shoes, including dance shoes, thru Sunday.  I know this can be a big cost to families so I wanted to put it out there.

Well, it's the next-to-last day of summer and the dreary news from the district - on the cutting of teachers at some schools/movement to other schools - sure makes it feel that way.

My two tweets this morning:

Teacher cuts at some Seattle schools but district seems to want to say that it's a huge number of $$ but really, in the count itself , not so big. They can't have it both ways. 

Can't say it more clearly; Seattle schools staff at Nova, World School and Interagency save LIVES. Cuts to their staffing hurts KIDS.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Seattle Schools Cuts Teachers at Some Schools to Move to Other Schools

Update 1:
- I have heard that Intergency will not have two teachers cut but Nova is still on the list.  Still need to confirm
- I understand that Nova students will have a press conference at 9 am in front of their school.
- I believe that students from affected schools may be showing up to Superintendent Juneau's listening tour stop at North Seattle Community College on Monday night at 5:30 pm , Room CC1456 ('The old cafeteria').
- Story from KNKX's Ashley Gross

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Advanced Learning Referrals Due Soon

From Advanced Learning:

Washington Middle School Meeting

At last night's Board meeting, there were several parents there from Washington Middle School.  All were not happy with what is happening at their school.  Here were their complaints:

Seattle Schools Transportation Update

Via SPS Communications (bold mine):

This is an update on transportation services contracted with First Student. Anytime there is a late bus, students, families and schools are impacted. We apologize for this disruption. Getting students safely to and from school on time is a top priority. 

Naviance Updates

Last week I attended the Naviance community meeting at Roosevelt High School.  There were about 30 parents and students in attendance.  There was one counselor from Hazel Wolf.

Unfortunately, there is no link to the presentation documentation at the district's Naviance site so I'll have to request that info.

Public Education Stories of Note

In the category of "Things that Don't Surprise Me Any Longer in Public Education," the richest guy in China, Jack Ma of Alibaba fame, is stepping down from his company and going to focus on public education.

What makes this story different?   For one, Mr. Ma WAS a public school teacher.  That certainly gives him more of a voice of authority than say, Mark Zuckerberg or Bill Gates.  According to the Times:

Special Education Stories of Note

This story from Education Next - The Better Question: How Can We Improve Inclusive Education? - came from a previous story they had published - Has Inclusion Gone Too Far? - which in turn came from yet another story - How Can We Improve Special Education without Asking Uncomfortable Questions?"  (Links for other stories at the first one.)

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Tuesday Open Thread

On the Washington Middle School meeting last night which I attended - two words - not good.  I'll do a write-up but frankly, it was quite the tour de force (with an emphasis on force) from the principal. 

Reminder that tonight is the Board meeting instead of its usual Wednesday.  Here's the agenda.  Tonight the Board approves the one-year teacher contract. 

Is your child's bus late?  This seems to be on-going for more than a few parents, likely due to a shortage of drivers/veteran drivers.  This was discussed at the Executive Committee, with Pegi McEvoy, who oversees Transportation, noting that this is an occurrence at the beginning of every school year.  What are you experiencing/hearing at your school?

Superintendent Juneau did an interview on KUOW yesterday. Also, a link to her ThoughtExchange page so if you are unable to attend one of her listening sessions, you can leave your thoughts there.

Monday might be a good day to set the DVR because we are going to see a hearing on a Supreme Court nominee almost like no other.  (Except, of course, if you are old like me and watched the Clarence Thomas and Anita Hill hearing.) This is history in the making and the committee - especially in this Me, Too time - needs to get it right.  I am hearing that it will only be Judge Brett Kavanaugh and his accuser, Professor Christine Blasey Ford.  It might a good jumping off point  for a discussion with your children if they are teens about boundaries and sexual assault.

Garfield teacher (and author) Jesse Hagopian reports this from his I Am An Educator blog:
Grammy award winning Seattle-based artist Macklemore and three-time NFL Pro Bowler Michael Bennett have teamed up to purchase and distribute copies of the new critically acclaimed book, Teaching for Black Lives to every middle and high school Social Studies and Language Arts teacher in the Seattle Public Schools. 

Michael Bennett said, “This is the book I wish I had coming up in school but it never existed. Now we have the opportunity to educate thousands of youth about the Black history that was too often missing from my schooling—from the building of the White House, to the role of Black youth in social movements, to organizing for restorative justice today.”

Macklemore added, “With everything from history, to poetry, to visual art, these lessons will help educators affirm the lives of their Black students and create deeper dialogue in our schools about the struggles and contributions of Black people that all students need to learn.”

The editors of Teaching for Black Lives will be participating in a Seattle Town Hall book launch event on Monday, September 24th at the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center.
It's official - more U.S. schools have police officers - than counselors

From the Lincoln High Parents Facebook page:

LHS Music Boosters Sept meeting, Wednesday, 9/19, 7pm
Wallingford QFC (area upstairs next to Starbucks)

Meeting agenda: 1) organization formation, 2) potential projects, 3) committee formation.
Come join us! We are especially looking for parents with students at RESMS, JAMS, McClure, Garfield, and Ballard.

What's on your mind?

Friday, September 14, 2018

Friday Open Thread

I attended a great talk last night sponsored by Town Hall.  The speaker was Professor Justin Driver and he talked about his book, The School House Gate, which covers public education cases in the Supreme Court.  Interestingly enough, one of the cases he writes about in the book is the race tiebreaker case from Seattle Public Schools.   (He also talked about one of my favorite public ed cases, one in which a student got into trouble for his sign, Bong Hitz 4 Jesus.)  I'm going to read the book.

He did mention one issue about the Seattle case that I hadn't known - the district had a box on the enrollment form for race that had to be filled in (if the parent didn't do it, the district did).   I let him know that the parents who brought the case never got what they wanted - a high school in their area - and that the racial tiebreaker had worked both ways (for white students wanting to get into Franklin).

Speaking of Town Hall, they have a great series of family concerts coming up.  The next one is October 13th at 11 am at The Royal Room by the Bushwick Book Club Seattle.  Tickets are $5 for adults/kids over 12.  Kids under 12 go for free.

It appears that several states are dropping the PARC/SBAC in favor of state-produced assessments.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

SBAC Results Released by OSPI

From OSPI Communications:


OLYMPIA—September 13, 2018—Results from state tests given this past spring were released Monday by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI).

Called the Smarter Balanced Assessments, the tests were taken in English language arts (ELA) and math by students in 3rd through 8th grade and by high school students. The tests are based on Washington’s learning standards, adopted in 2011. Students in grades 5, 8, and 11 also took new science tests. These tests are based on the Next Generation Science Standards, adopted by Washington state in 2013.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

“I Am Native” Film Honors SPS Native American Students and Staff

From SPS Communications:
“I am Princess. I am Crow, and I am Seattle Public Schools.” This is the self-introduction from high school student Princess, one of the featured students in the short film, “I Am Native.”

At the Sept. 5 Seattle School Board meeting, Gail Morris, Native American Education program manager and Stacia Hawkinson, Native Education consulting teacher, debuted the short film, which showcases Native Seattle Public School high school students and staff sharing their stories, hopes, and dreams for their future.

“This film was made to affirm and honor Native American students in SPS, and to create identity safety, as many Native students feel invisible in their schools, here and across the nation,” shares Morris.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Assignment Plan Changes Being Considered

I attended the Operations Committee meeting last week.  Here's some info on what is being discussed for changes to the Transition Assignment Plan.

Staff needs to get any changes approved by the Operations Committee by November or early December at the latest.  Then they would need full Board approval by late December or mid-January.

Tuesday Open Thread

The 17th anniversary of 9/11; a sad and terrible day for our nation.  Here's some thoughtful words from one conservative I do listen to, Rick Hess:
The horror of September 11 brought with it a period of quietude and reflection. Seventeen years later, I find myself wondering sometimes how it is that the forces of craziness, mudslinging, and oversimplification, on the right and the left, seem to have run roughshod over our better angels. And I can't help but think that those of us in and around the nation's schools shoulder a solemn responsibility in assisting to light a better path. We should recall that every day, but especially amidst the craziness enveloping this somber anniversary.
This Mississippi teenager won the title of Homecoming Queen AND kicked the winning point for her football team.

Sunday, September 09, 2018

BEX Updates

The district has scheduled several community meetings on the final BEX list.  There are two this week (see Seattle Schools This Week thread for dates/times).

There was a BEX/Facilities Master Plan meeting in late June.  Minutes.

BEX/Facilities Master Plan Task Force (Part 1)

Part One of this thread series will cover the Facilities Master Plan TAsk Force.

The district's Facilities Master Plan Task Force is winding up its work this week.  I was very pleased with the make-up of the group which included the very wonky Kellie LaRue and the extraordinary mind that is Meg Diaz in addition to others.

Below are their first recommendations (which do not seem to have changed from what is being presented tomorrow).  Their final recommendations start on page 5 of this document.

To note, I have rarely seen a group in such agreement, given the number of votes that were unanimous.

Here are their overarching recommendations released on August 13th:

Seattle Schools, Week of September 10-15, 2018

From Saturday's SEA vote on a new contract (via SPS):
Seattle Education Association (SEA) members approved the educator contract. SEA represents the district’s educators, substitutes, paraprofessionals, instructional assistants and office professionals.
Among other things, it looks like it was about 10.5% across the board for all positions, more nurses and secondary counselors, and more race and equity teams.  The latter one confuses me because it's unclear to me what was stopping any school from creating a team.  I was told by one teacher that while this will bring more teams online to more schools, it also comes with little to no support from the district (for PD, etc.).

Monday, September 10th
First day of Kindergarten - good luck to parents and the newest SPS students!

Washington Middle School Woes

 Below is a letter that Washington Middle School parents received from the principal.  Frankly, I was gobsmacked at seeing so many issues and that the principal seems to want to place blame on HCC  for several of them.  Additionally, the situation that WMS is in seems to show that Capital and Facilities do not seem to understand what happens when they take large numbers of students from one building to another in the name of "capacity management."

Friday, September 07, 2018

Friday Open Thread

Your Friday laugh - Trump says that someday his speeches could be as revered as President Lincoln's.  Actually, the "failing" NY Times - in November 20,1863 - said good things about the Gettysburg Address.

On the strike front, Tacoma, Tukwila and Puyallup teachers are on strike.  FYI, there are laws against strikes but they involve no penalties.  However,  From the News Tribune:

Thursday, September 06, 2018

Roosevelt High Takes a Stand on Cell Phones

And it's, "Put them away in class."

Is Juneau the Next John Stanford?

Probably too early to say that?

But it feels a little like that because Juneau is on a tour like no other.  She is burning up the road to go see and be seen.  It feels very genuine, just like Stanford.

Naviance Information

The district is having five meetings at five high schools to explain the use of the Naviance system for college and career guidance.
The College and Career Readiness team will hold five regional information meetings to give parents and community members an opportunity to talk directly with staff about the benefits of Naviance, the plan for implementing this tool, the steps we are taking to protect student data, and the opportunity for families to opt out of this tool if interested.  
The first was this week at Cleveland High School - did anyone attend? Here's the district's Naviance page.

Wednesday, September 05, 2018

First Day of School Open Thread

How did it go?

I saw this on Facebook:
Washington Middle School, 60 minutes late with robocall one hour ahead of time. Mercer Middle School, 27 minutes late and counting... No robocall, husband is driving all the kids to school that he can pack in. A bunch of 6th graders who were already freaked out and now get to be late on their first day
Also, SEA will vote on Saturday to ratify their new contract.

I visited the new-with-old Loyal Heights ribbon-cutting yesterday.  It's very nice, lots of light.  It seems very big for an elementary.  I'll throw some photos up soon.

One thing I noted (and told some kids who were touring) is that for some of the bathrooms, the boys are on the right, girls on the left but it changes in other bathrooms. I told them to be sure to look at the sign before they go in.  (There are no doors to the restrooms, just the stalls.  The majority of boys' bathrooms have one stall, two urinals; the girls have just two stalls.) 

Saturday, September 01, 2018

Tentative Contract Agreement by Seattle teachers and Seattle Public Schools

As of about 10:30 pm last night, a tentative agreement has been made.  Announcement from SPS.

School will start as planned next week.

SEA membership to vote next Wednesday.

Details as they become available.

Friday, August 31, 2018

Friday Open Thread

Negotiations continue on for the new teachers contract and will thru the weekend.  In another thread, someone suggested that maybe the district WANTS the teachers to strike to call attention to how badly this legislation was handled.  Hmmm.

In sad news, a 9-year old boy killed himself over bullying because he said he thought he was gay.  What is troubling is how adults take that in a sexual manner rather than what it undoubtedly meant - he feels different from other kids. Many LGBTQ folks have said they felt that way from an early age but didn't say it.

Friday Strike News from SPS

Seattle Public Schools and Seattle Education Association (SEA), the Seattle educators' union, continue to actively negotiate. On Wednesday and Thursday of this week the team spent hours going over proposals in great detail.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Seattle Schools Tentative Strike Update

I see nothing new from either the district nor Seattle Education Association.  I hope they are making progress. 

I think the truth - at least for Seattle Public Schools - lies between the teachers' rhetoric and the district's rhetoric.  They could both be right.  Again, this is self-made by the Legislature and boy, do we need to go after them come a new session.  McCleary fix becomes Job#1.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Strike Updates


Image may contain: one or more people
Yesterday at the Seattle Education Association membership meeting, a vote was taken to authorize a strike.  The answer was yes, if the district and SEA do not come to an agreement before school starts on Wednesday, September 5th, the teachers will be on strike.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Seattle Schools This Week

Tuesday, August 28th
African American Family Gathering welcomes Superintendent Juneau, South Shore K-8 from 
6-8 pm.

Tuesday Open Thread

The Seattle Education Association membership is meeting today and will vote on striking.  Tomorrow, Wednesday, August 29th is scheduled to see negotiations but I guess not if the teachers go on strike.

Here is an excellent summary from Summer Stinson, the head of Washington's Paramount Duty, about how we got here.  Pressure needs to be brought upon the Legislature and the Governor to fix what is really a big mess.  I'm not sure there is a confident or happy school district in the entire state about what the future of school funding really looks like.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Seattle Schools v. Seattle Education Association; Who's Bluffing?

Earlier today, I updated the thread on the teachers contracts around the state.  (FYI, in case you didn't realize it, ALL the districts in the state - because of the revisions due to McCleary - had to renegotiate their teachers contracts.  Hence the heavy activity.)

Public Ed News

On gifted education:

Friday, August 24, 2018

Friday Open Thread

 I saw this notice - that the Starbucks at Oak Tree center is closing.   That center continues to have several closed storefronts and one large supermarket that is not well-used.  Interestingly, the movie theater renovated and it's very nice now.  I bring this up because the district owns that land.  I asked legal counsel, Noel Treat, about this and if it might be possible to use that land (it's large) but he says most of the leases run to 2045.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Updates about Teacher Pay

Update 2:

The last I heard about SPS and the SEA is that they had not settled at Thursday's negotiations.  Luckily, SPS opens later than other districts so there is still time to avoid a teachers strike in Seattle.

SPS' website says nothing so it is frustrating to not see regular updates.

Favorite Teacher on Donors Choose? Donate TODAY!

The Gates Foundation tweeted that they are matching donations - by 50% - to donations made today, August 22nd, to teachers' requests on Donors Choose.

Still Waiting

No automatic alt text available.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

You've Come a Long Way, Baby (Not)

This sign - in a Houston middle school that has since taken it down - is akin to the advice that someone at Garfield paid comedian Steve Harvey to tell to Garfield's female population. I heard it didn't go over well at Garfield either.

Tuesday Open Thread

I'm a little pissy today as the district is a continually frustrating group.  My main issue is two-fold.

If I have trouble finding information at the district's website, I can only imagine the difficulty for people who don't know the district (or the less-than-clear manner in which to find links).

Second, the lack of timely information.

For example, I didn't know that Nate Van Duzer in the Board office got a replacement.  That would have been information that could have easily been put up on the Board's webpage but wasn't.  Here's info on his replacement:

Sunday, August 19, 2018

This and That

Families who do not want their student to use Naviance can opt-out by changing
their preferences in the Source. The opt-out window will be September 4th-September 19th.

From the Parent Coalition for Student Privacy, a toolkit for parents on this topic.

Crazy Rich Asians?  Not just a movie.  From the NY Times:

Seattle Schools This Week

On waitlists, here's the page and the pertinent wording:

Immigrant Students and their Rights

Also to note, the Washington State Constitution says "all children" living within its borders shall be educated.  It says nothing about citizenship.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Friday Open Thread

Lots to report.

First up, a report on a shortage of EpiPens.  This comes back-to-back with this report from NBC News about a generic finally being available given the cost that has sharply risen over the last couple of years.

Next, I attended the August meeting of the Washington Charter Commission.  As usual, it was interesting and I'll have a separate report.  They did state that one of the newest charter schools,Willow Charter School in Walla Walla, opened on Monday.  That's early.   This leads me to another story about more school districts, in Washington and nationally, going to a 4-day school week.

Women in STEM? Don't Count Them Out

A great essay by UW's Computer Science and Engineering's Professor Anna Carlin, in reply to another essay by Stuart Reges, Why Women Don't Code."  It's worthy reading.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

A Chance to Stand Up for What is Great in Our Country

I stand with the journalists at the Boston Globe, the New York Times, and hundreds of other media outlets in saying that the press is not the "enemy of the people" and a free and open press is what has kept this country going as a beacon of democracy.

That the person in the White House - who has always been something of a media whore so this stance seems puzzling - tries, over and over, to whip up anger at the media to the point of people at his rallies threatening reporters personally is shocking.

The basic message that Trump fails to hear - Don't shoot the messenger.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

What Would You Call It?

Districts generally require employees who make final decisions on the use of taxpayer dollars to businesses to have on file disclosures about any other sources of income or connections to businesses that work with that district. 

But there is evidence that the line between some school districts' senior employees is getting blurry and it's downright murky in other ways. 

To wit, the story of Dallas Dance, former superintendent of Baltimore County Schools who was sentenced to six months in jail for perjury for not being honest about all his income sources.
From the Baltimore Sun:

Monday, August 13, 2018

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Hey Kids, Want to Open a School?


Basketball superstar LeBron James is partnering with Akron Public Schools to open a public school in that district, the "I Promise School".  It opened on July 31st.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Friday Open Thread

From Ready Washington, a survey about the High School & Beyond Plan for high school students.   This is not a coalition I entirely trust - they lean a little ed reform for me - but sign up if you think it will help your understanding about this issue.

Thursday, August 09, 2018

Arne Duncan's New Book

Duncan's book is called (and it's a mouthful as he seems to want to give himself a pat on the back) -
How Schools Work: An Inside Account of Failure and Success from One of the Nation's Longest-Serving Secretaries of Education.  It's a long title for a book from for a guy who's been in education work for decades and it clocks in at  just over 250 pages.  The book was released on Tuesday, August 7th but has already generated much discussion (I have not read it yet). 

He starts out this way:

 “Education runs on lies. That’s probably not what you’d expect from a former Secretary of Education, but it’s the truth.”

I think that's pretty harsh but perhaps not entirely untruthful.  The reviews have been decidedly mixed.

Wednesday, August 08, 2018

Wednesday Open Thread

Back from a great vacation break and lots to catch up on.

First, let's look at the district schedule for this week.  There's one big item that jumps right out happening today:

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

New Orleans "Miracle"? Let's Look at ALL the Facts

The New York Times had a two-part op-ed series on the changes forced on New Orleans and their Orleans Parish Schools because of Katrina.  Both were written by David Leonhardt.  Mr. Leonhardt states that he is going to talk about the good and the bad of what happened in New Orleans but rather than do that, he makes excuses about anything negative, hypes up the good and leaves out quite a lot of the bad.

I know you're thinking, "Why should I care about New Orleans and/or charter schools?"  I say it's important to keep up with the landscape of public education across the country because issues tend to land.  As I noted in the Tuesday Open Thread, I believe that the WA Supreme Court is likely to uphold the latest version of the charter school law (and I doubt they will rule this year and certainly won't - as they did last time - right before school starts).

A few quick updates before exploring the "New Orleans miracle."

Tuesday Open Thread

Blog note: I will be taking a bit of a hiatus and so the blog will go into quiet mode.

Boy, do I like this: one soccer ref for school-aged kids has had enough and has a Facebook page where he logs terrible/outrageous behavior by parents at games.  From the NY Times:

Monday, July 23, 2018

My Interview with Superintendent Denise Juneau

I was granted a 30-minute interview with new superintendent, Denise Juneau, on July 16th.  She seemed in very good spirits.  Juneau has a winning way where she neither comes off as know-it-all or gladhander.  I see a quiet strength but we'll have to see if she uses it. I hope my first impression holds true.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Friday Open Thread

Private school report from Education Next tells us (bold mine):
  • Private nonsectarian elementary schools serve a small percentage of the nation’s students, but a growing share of high-income students. Just 1 percent of middle-income students enrolled in those schools in 1969, and the percentage grew slightly to between 1 and 2 percent in 2011. But the enrollment rate among high-income families grew from 2 percent in 1969 to 6 percent in 2011. 

Thursday, July 19, 2018

The District and Union Both Have a Problem: Exhibit A - Muir Elementary

I reported here about the alleged rape of a child at Muir Elementary during school year 2016-2017 by an IA, Albert C. Virachismith.  The child said nothing to his parents until the next year when that IA had been moved to another school.

I'll just state outright - unions, especially teachers and police - need to stop protecting bad actors.  Yes, follow protections in the union contract of how a member is supported when being called less-than-effective.  But the level of the support should be a minimum when you have a member who clearly needs to be exited.  When all the proof is in and the person is given the opportunity to change and doesn't, then that person should then be exited from the job.

The Times had a recent article on this story which adds new information that presents a real challenge to both the district and the union because both could have made different choices that could have protected this child.  I believe both should provide a clear explanation of why they proceeded as they did (but they won't).

I'll try to condense the Times story AND add in what a trusted source has told me.  (The Times article has several links to district documents.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

What About PTA?

I'm a long-time supporter of PTA but I now find what comes out of the local, state and national orgs to be somewhat confusing.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Tuesday Open Thread

Governor Inslee has opened a new state office called the Department of Children, Youth and Families.   The home page highlights adoption, early learning, foster children, child development services and child protection services.  On their Outcome Goals, they list: education, health and resilience.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Washington State Board of Ed Seeks Input

 From their website:

The State Board of Education is in the process of developing its 2019-2022 Strategic Plan and is seeking your input to help define a comprehensive vision for the future of education in Washington state.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Target Offering Teachers Special Deal

From Target - great for teachers, not sure what it solves for parents.

Friday Open Thread

We had an issue where a Facebook post was reprinted at this blog without attribution about the issue of disagreement at RESMS over use of the facilities by the Urban Native Education Alliance   Did the author post it?  I don't know.  If not, who did?  Don't just throw something up without explanation.  If the point was to show there is disagreement within the Native American community, I'm not sure that's news.  There's always disagreement among groups.  Please help readers understand your point.

Please read comment rules and follow them. 

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Bill Gates, Part 1: How Much Will He Spend Before He Admits He Doesn't Have the Answers for Public Ed?

The latest about the Gates Foundation is the Rand Foundation report on the Foundation's efforts in teacher evaluation around using test scores.  What was the Gates Foundation doing?

Bill Gates, Part 2: Still Not Getting Great Outcomes for Public Education

Noted UW professor Wayne Au had a conversation with the Fair website about the Rand report on the Gates Foundation's efforts around teacher evaluation.  I believe this to be an important conversation for two reasons.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Tuesday Open Thread

 Update: from a reader, the reader board at Whitman Middle School welcomes a new principal.  But the district has made no announcement so it's unclear when/why this has happened.  Again, this principal movement is like watching a ping-pong match.

Not sure when the principals' association, PASS, has their contract renegotiated but when it is, parents should let the Board know that there has to be a better way on principal selection/assignment.

end of update

In the happiest of news,  the entire Thai boys soccer team and their coach have made it safely out the cave where they were stuck for two weeks.  Huzzah!

Sunday, July 08, 2018

Seattle Schools, Week of July 9-14, 2018

Monday, July 9th
First meeting of the Facilities Master Plan Taskforce from 2-5 pm at JSCEE.  Agenda.

Wednesday, July 11th
School Board meeting, starting at 4:15 pm.  Agenda

Saturday, July 07, 2018

Saturday Open Thread

In an astonishing ruling, a federal judge said that "Access to literacy"is not a constitutional right.  The ruling, not so ironically, came from Betsy DeVos' home state, Michigan.  From the NY Times:

Friday, July 06, 2018

Got Any Unregistered Young People in Your House?

Via Twitter:


5 more days left to register online before the August Primary! July 9th is the deadline to register online and via mail before the Primary on August 7th. 

To register online please visit:

 For more information please visit:

Thursday, July 05, 2018

Waitlist Work Session/Native American Program Reduced at RESMS

 Here's the agenda which includes the BEX V Work Session on the Facilities Master Plan (which was something of an irritant as it was advertised as BEX V but was really about the FMP).  The Waitlist presentation starts on page 99.

I fear that this thread may disappoint some of you as the actual movement of the waitlists was not the focus of the Work Session on June 25th.

Of interest (in random order):

Tuesday, July 03, 2018

Tuesday Open Thread

Wishing all our readers a safe and fun 4th of July. The U.S.A. may be in troubled times but it's worth remembering how it started and the fundamental goodness of most Americans.

Here's a great video (from Canada about diversity AND working together) - show your kids.  Our country used to embrace multiculturalism and immigrants.

Using Race for College Admissions

In the biggest education news of the week, Trump has decided that using race in college admissions will no longer be encouraged.  This rescinds measures put forth during President Obama's administration.  From the New York Times:

Sunday, July 01, 2018

A Call to Keep Balance on the Supreme Court

As most of you must be aware, the U.S Supreme Court last week handed down a number of controversial opinions.  As well, Justice Anthony Kennedy announced he would be leaving on July 31st of this year.

Kennedy, the swing vote on the Court, has been a reliable voice for letting the Constitution guide his decisions.  Because of that, he has been the lead vote in many decisions that have made both sides either mad or glad.  But, he was a balance to the Court being a one-sided entity.

Our nation needs balance now, more than ever.  The decisions made with a one-sided Court will change the course of history for your children and grandchildren.

Welcome to New Superintendent, Denise Juneau

Superintendent Juneau is now onboard as Seattle Public Schools' new leader.  Here's a message from here via the district's webpage.

She has created what is being called her "Entry Plan." Partial excerpts:

Friday, June 29, 2018

Friday Open Thread

 Happy 80th birthday to public education champion, Diane Ravitch.

This weekend sees the opening of the Special Olympics in Seattle.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

National Public Education News

The biggest news today is the Supreme Court ruling that overturns the public unions' requirement that non-members pay a portion of fees for union services.  The issue was some public sector employees not wanting to support unions' political advocacy while the partial payment would ensure that they paid a little for the services they did access.  This affects teachers in Washington State, one of 22 states where "agency fees" are collected.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Care About ALL Children

 Update: today a federal judge ruled that the practice of splitting families must cease.
A San Diego federal judge issued a preliminary injunction Tuesday at the request of the American Civil Liberties Union that calls for all children affected by the Trump administration’s “zero-tolerance” immigration policy to be reunited with their parents within 30 days.

“The unfortunate reality is that under the present system migrant children are not accounted for with the same efficiency and accuracy as property. Certainly, that cannot satisfy the requirements of due process,” he added.

Under the order, children younger than 5 years old must be reunited with their parents within 14 days, while older children must be reunited with their parents within 30 days. Within 10 days, federal authorities must allow parents to call their children if they're not already in contact with them.
Good news.

end of update

What sad, sad time in our country.

Tuesday Open Thread

I'll have a separate thread on the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" policy that splits up families but I urge you to stand up against it.  There will be a Families Belong Together protest this coming Saturday, June 30th at the SeaTac Detention Center, 2425 S 200th St, Seattle at 10 am.  

Directions: Link Light Rail to the Angle Lake station is best. The detention center is right across the street.

Please note: we don't need to hear from anyone saying, "But the parents broke the law." Right upfront, I'd say yes, that is true.  But children should never be hurt for the sins of their parents.  There was no need to do this, it's clear the administration has no idea who is where and this may take months or even years to unravel.

Imagine if it were your child.  Enough said (I hope).

I attended both Work Sessions yesterday on the Facilities Master Plan/BEX V and Waitlists.  The Board asked some very good and very direct questions.  I'll do a full thread but here's the link to the two presentations.    Chock-full of interesting (and somewhat astonishing) data (Franklin High more underenrolled than Rainier Beach?)  I direct you to the following pages:
  • 41-43 - info on each school building and site classification
  • 44-46 - school demographics
  • 51 - ed specs page 
  • 57 - schools in the worst condition - I would consider this page to list the ONLY schools under consideration for BEX V (except the staff's baby, a downtown high school/elementary school)
  • 58 - Facilities rankings, worst to best.  Worst elementary? Alki.  Worst middle school? Whitman. Worst K-8? Salmon Bay.  Worst high school?  Ingraham (which I call BS on - the amount of capital funding that has poured into Ingraham pales in comparison to RBHS). 
  • 96 - Ever wanted to know about other land the district owns but is leased? Here it is.
Waitlist Presentation starts on page 99.

The Seattle Times' Danny Westneat had some thoughts on SPS as his daughter graduated from Garfield this year.  He points out the strides (and storms) that the district has been thru in those years and finds good in it.

Good news, bad news from the Capital Hill Seattle Blog: 

CB 119256 will set up funding to power the Mayor’s ORCA Opportunity program to provide the passes to Seattle Public School students at no charge at a cost of about $4 million per year. 

But, if approved Monday afternoon, another part of the $11.5 million annual boost in transportation spending from new sales tax and vehicle license fees implemented in 2014 would go to a limited private bus system.

The update on the private bus service:
Committee chair Mike O’Brien has pushed a vote on the legislation back two weeks to pound out issues around the private operator plan.


What's on your mind?

Monday, June 25, 2018

Seattle Schools, Week of June 25-July 1

This is the last full week for Superintendent Larry Nyland.  If you want to send him an appreciation, his email is superintendent@seattleschools.org.

I note this story at the district's webpage about world language offerings.  But over on a Facebook page, I see that some high schools are only able to accommodate juniors and seniors (there is a two-year language requirement to graduate starting with those in the class of 2021).  Is this common at most high schools?  

Friday, June 22, 2018

Summer Fun and Help

From Seattle Public Library:

- Summer of Learning Early Learning
- Summer of Learning for Kids
- Teen Book Bingo
- Adult Book Bingo

From the City of Seattle:

The City of Seattle funds a summer meal program, providing no-cost breakfasts, lunches, and snacks for kids and teens ages 1-18 years. The 2018 program runs from Tuesday June 26, 2018 through August 24, 2018. 

Summer Fun for Deaf/Hard of Hearing kids

Friday Open Thread

Last day of school, always a mixed feeling.  I have to smile looking at the window at this typical "summer" day for the last day of school.

The district will be participating in the Gay Pride Parade this Sunday:

High School Science Updates (almost) Straight From the District

I was sent a couple of memos that went out from the head of the district's Science Department, MaryMargaret Welch.  Pretty eye-opening but more to the point, troubling.  It sounds like this whole revamping needs a reset (and some oversight by the Board).  I'll print the key memo at the end of this post but here are the concerning issues.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

National Education News

From Education Week:
The Trump administration, which is in the midst of a top-to-bottom review of the federal bureaucracy, is turning its eye on the U.S. Department of Education and the Department of Labor, sources say, with the possibilities ranging from a shifting of some offices to an even more radical combining of the agencies.
Did you hear?  The first top tier public research university - the University of Chicago - says they don't care about your student having an SAT score.

From NPR's Education Roundup:

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Families and Education Levy Approved by Council to Go Before Voters

The Times has an article about the City Council approving the levy sent by the Mayor (after some massaging by them).  The City Council cut back on how much the pre-K program would get, favoring programming already at SPS elementary schools.

Good Reflections from College Grads on High School and College

The first is an op-ed written by a recent college graduate, Grace Gedye, from the Los Angeles Times, about the stress that students have in college, The tough pre-college talk I wish my parents had initiated.

Tuesday Open Thread

Civics is coming back in a big way and hooray for that.  In this day and time, we need smart citizens.  The NY Times had this article today.

2018 Graduations Have Started


Image result for 2018 graduationBest wishes to all the families of Seattle Public Schools' grads.  It is a very exciting time and I hope each family feels the pride of seeing your child getting to the goal of graduation.  

Update on Kindergarten First Day Of School

I queried the district about this issue and this was their response:

Thank you for contacting Seattle Public Schools with your concerns about the overlap of Rosh Hashanah with the first day of Kindergarten. We acknowledge the difficult choice this presents for families who naturally want their children to be a part of significant observances in all aspects of their lives.

Like other districts, Seattle is working to reconcile operational exigencies like labor contracts with the traditions significant within an increasingly multicultural community. Our hope is to find a way, through opportunities afforded by our transition process, to make each child’s first day special, whenever it occurs - as you can see in a posting on the SPS home page

https://www.seattleschools.org/cms/One.aspx?portalId=627&pageId=44178052

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Hamilton Moves to Garfield Model for Spectrum Students

Or, at least, that is what the letter sent home by the principal would seem to indicate.  Then letter is printed in its entirety at the end of this post but I'll put out different statements.  (Also, fyi, Hamilton parents, that principal, Tipton Blish, is leaving.)

I've said this before - I might not have as much of a problem with the changes to Advanced Learning IF everyone at JSCEE was being honest about what they are doing.  Changes are not just a Thurgood Marshall thing or Garfield thing and now, Hamilton thing.  This is an Advanced Learning  program change.

And let me just say to those in the district who have anything to do with the program - what a bunch of cowards.  Stand up for what you believe and clearly explain it to ALL parents.  Don't use your principals as proxies.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Seattle Public Schools enters apparel agreement with Cloud 9

From Office of Public Affairs


SEATTLE – Seattle Public Schools announced a three-year deal today that makes Adidas the official athletic uniform partner for the district’s athletics program following a competitive bid process. The agreement with Cloud 9 Sports, which is an official Adidas distributor, will be in effect through the 2020-2021 school year.

Religious Accomodation in Public Schools

Sometimes it's hard to understand how SPS functions as it does.  I know (because I know the people) that SPS has many talented, bright people.  But then there's issues like the current upset over the 2018-2019 school calendar which has kindergarten starting on Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year).

Eid-al-Fitr

On this last day of Ramadan, Happy Eid-al-Fitr to our Muslim readers.

Lincoln High School Issues

I have a new policy of cutting off Open Threads when I write the next one but I see at the Tuesday Open Thread that several people had started a discussion about Lincoln High.  Below are those comments and now here's a thread to continue that discussion on.

Friday Open Thread

 Quick - what American has spent the most time in space?  That would be Peggy Whitson who is retiring from NASA.  Show the kids this article from NASA.

District Updates

Lots of good news in the last Friday Memo from Superintendent Nyland including:

Thursday, June 14, 2018

BEX V Work Session

The Board had a Work Session on May 30th about BEX V.  Director DeWolf was the only Board member not attending.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Tuesday Open Thread



Congrats to Nathan Hale - national girls high school frisbee champs!

Speaking of Hale, tonight they are having a welcome dinner for incoming new students.  Good for them.

Is that the Dalai Lama with a Denny shirt?  Yup.  From SPS Twitter:



Wow!  On a recent trip to Dharamshala, India, Lori Markowitz, representing the Youth Ambassador program at Denny Intl Middle School, presented the with a school "we all belong" sweatshirt as a gift from the Denny community!

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Seattle Schools, Week of June 11-16, 2018

Quite a busy week as we roll up to the end of the school year.

Of special interest - a district survey on communications.

Monday, June 11th
Audit& Finance Committee meeting, 4:30-6:30 pm at JSCEE.  Agenda

Among the items on the jam-packed agenda, I see these ones of interest:

Items Requiring Board Action
1. BAR: City of Seattle Families & Education Levy (FEL) CBO’s (Stone)

5. BAR: Private Schools Proportional Share Services (Mills)
9. BAR: Economic Stabilization Fund (Berge)
10. BAR: Resolution 2017/18-18, Fixing and Adopting the 2018-19 Budget (Berge/Sebring)


Special Attention Items
- Policy & Procedure Update: 5253 Maintaining Staff/Student Boundaries (Codd)
- Annual Report: JSCEE bonds/building update (Fleming)
- Notification of Contract Exceeding $250,000: Project Management & Quality Assurance (Berge)


Magnolia Elementary Boundaries:
Community Meeting to discuss updated information about setting boundaries for Magnolia Elementary School.  McClure Middle School, 6:30-7:30 pm.

Tuesday, June 12th
Curriculum&Instruction Committee meeting, 4:30-6:30 pm at JSCEE.  Agenda.

Of interest:
- Annual Approval of Schools (C-SIPs) (Starosky)

1. High School/24 Credits Update (Perkins)
a. Proposal on Foundational Personal Fitness Course
b. Proposed Changes to Credit Attainment Policy
c. Professional Development Plans for High School


2. Instructional Materials Update (Kinoshita) 


- School Board Policy Nos. 2021, 2022, 2023 – Electronic Learning (Kinoshita/Krull)
- School Board Policy No. 2200 – Equitable Access to Programs and Services Quarterly Report 
Special Attention Items
1. Annual Assessment Report (Roach)
2. Advanced Learning Update (Hanson)
3. Counseling Update (Perkins)
4. Naviance Implementation Update (Perkins)


Wednesday, June 13th
 Magnolia Elementary Boundaries: 

Community Meeting to discuss updated information about setting boundaries for Magnolia Elementary School.  , 6:30-7:30 pm. Catherine Blaine K-8. 

Special Education PTSA Meeting,  JSCEE, 7-9 pm

Work Session for SMART Goals for 2018-2019, JSCEE from 4:30-7:30 pm (includes an Executive Session at the end) 

Thursday, June 14th
Work Session on Families & Education Levy, JSCEE from 5-6 pm (there will be an Executive Session immediately following the Work Session)

Executive Committee, JSEE from 3-5 pm.  No agenda yet available.

Maple and Van Asselt Boundary Change meeting, 6:30-7:30 pm, Maple Elementary.

No director community meetings Saturday, June 16th.

Friday, June 08, 2018

Great Turnout for Franklin High School Call to Action

Hundreds and hundreds of Franklin students came out today to line Rainier Ave S in a call to action following the death of senior Ryan Dela Cruz last weekend.   Wearing bright orange t-shirts, they stood for an hour, shouting and waving.

Supported by many Franklin staffers, the students made their voices heard.

I also talked to several people including a couple of students from Washington Middle School (whose mom allowed them to join the action).

A big shout-out to this restaurant in the photo below that generously offered bathrooms and water to the students.  


Curriculum and Instruction Board Committee Meeting Round-Up (including Naviance Updates)

 I attended the Curriculum & Instruction meeting on May 15th; Rick Burke was chairing with Zachary DeWolf in attendance and Jill Geary on the phone.

I will make a plea to department heads and directors that I have made in the past; for all documentation there should be a title, who created it, department, date and contact info.  I just don't get why this is so hard to do.

Friday Open Thread

Update: OSPI is looking for members for the Washington State Dyslexia Advisory Council. Deadline is July 12th.

It's been a tough week for celebrity deaths and, for the purposes of this blog, the school-aged children they left behind.  News came earlier this week that fashion designer, Kate Spade, who was an inspiration to many women for her work and her person, killed herself.  Today we learn that world-class chef and traveler, Anthony Bourdain, has also killed himself.  Both leave behind daughters.

Please, talk about suicide with your children.  Doesn't have to be super heavy or dwell on details but let them know that life, well, with all it's ups and downs, IS beautiful.  And, there IS help and light at the end of the tunnel. 

Suicide Hotline
King County Resources

And, today is a Call to Action at Franklin High School in memory of senior, Ryan Dela Cruz, who was killed in a Seattle park last week.  I'll be participating in the events.

Director community meetings on Saturday:
Director Rick Burke - 4:00-5:30 pm at Greenwood Library

I'll have updated info soon on the use of Naviance.

What's on your mind?

Thursday, June 07, 2018

Ed News Roundup

Our favorite secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, had this interchange with Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont about the new taskforce on school safety.  Note her kinda creepy smile thru most of it. From the AP: