Thursday, March 08, 2018

Friday Open Thread

I hear that after all this rain, the weekend should be nice.  Cross your fingers.

I attended the Board meeting and I'll try to have some feedback on that.  But in terms of interacting with directors, I note that Director DeWolf - despite promising to have some community meetings in March - still has not had a single one.  He does seem to like to go to public events so maybe you can catch him there.  Director Geary noted that she seems to be busy on weekends but has her Tuesday morning coffee at Zoka behind U Village from 8:00 am-9:30 am.  She also said that you can call her to talk on the phone (but I don't know what number you would call). 

There are no director community meetings this weekend. That's probably because the Board is having an Executive session to review superintendent applications from noon to 4ish. THEN, they are having a Work Session on questions for those candidates that the public can attend.  But that will only be until 4:30 pm.  I'd like to attend but I'm not driving down to JSCEE to hang around for a half-hour session.  Weird. 

I note that there is a BEX Oversight Committee meeting tomorrow morning from 8:30-10:30 am at JSCEE.  One troubling item to me is that the district has apparently hired Bassetti Architects as consultants on BEX V and yet also gives Bassetti a lot of business.  I wonder how other businesses feel about this "in" that Bassetti has.

Interesting article from The Columbian on the question of whether a large school district can be divided up - in this case, Battle Ground SD.  The answer:

Whether smaller districts would better serve constituents is a subjective measure, one that, for now, will have to remain untested. A district cannot, under state law, divide and reorganize into multiple separate districts.

State law sets strict standards for the creation of new school districts. According to the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, new school districts can only be made of two or more whole school districts, parts of two or more districts, or territory that isn’t part of any district. So Battle Ground, for example, can’t be officially divided into its north and south schools as two new districts.

“The statute does not allow for the formation of a new district that is comprised solely of territory that currently lies within a single district,” said Dierk Meierbachtol, chief legal officer for OSPI.
Bellevue School district students are planning a walk-out next week on the 14th.   From the Bellevue Reporter:
The Facebook event “Enough: National School Walkout, Bellevue High School,” states the demonstration will last 17 minutes to honor the 17 lives lost in the Parkland, Florida school shooting.

Bellevue School District spokeswoman Eileen Harrity confirmed other high schools in the district are planning similar rallies for the same time and day.

The board passed a resolution Tuesday backing those students’ actions to gather peacefully and express their views as long as they complied with district policies.
On that note, advice from the ACLU for student protestors.

Betsy DeVos visited Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, site of the latest mass shooting.  It didn't go well.
She also told reporters she toured the school with student journalists, and vowed to return to sit down with them and further delve into the issues.

Carly Desomond, editor of the school newspaper, The Eagle Eye, however, said DeVos “refused to even meet/speak with students.”

When further pressed on the issue of arming school staff, with questions surrounding training standards and student opposition to such a program, DeVos walked away from her podium and ended the press conference.
Oh look, another shooting at a school, this time in Alabama.
One student was killed and another was in critical condition after an accidental shooting during dismissal time at a high school in Birmingham, Alabama, police said.

At least two gunshots were fired, killing a 17-year-old female student and injuring a 17-year-old male student at Huffman High School, said Birmingham police Chief Orlando Wilson. He said police considered the shooting accidental, but did not elaborate.
What's on your mind?

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

So WHY is it that when the EEU Inclusive Kindergarten is proposes closure (due to the district's position that it offers inclusive programs and/or opportunities within multiple, if not most schools for) there is wide spread panic, media attention, and social media coverage? BUT when the district and the city "created" isolated, "regional" "INCLUSION" sites, that only allow certain kids based on age, income, and prioritize geozone for nondisabled students while limiting special education seats AND displacing "self-contained" programs-- HOW IS THIS OK!?!?!?

Leader proposed that SPP mission is to decrease the number of transitions that preschoolers experience. She proclaims that inclusions means ALL teachers teach ALL children. I call B.S.

The only way to ensure that ALL teachers teach ALL children is to align wth continuum sites @ continuum schools. Another way is to require proper skills and education of the teacher, provide flexibility. THIS does NOT mean throwing more staff into a program that needs more support. IT DOES mean learning from what works-- programs that focus on meeting the needs of students with more significant disabilities requires a teacher who teaches ALL children because the have this skill-set and because they come to the classroom ready to teach. It was apparent that you have a vision, but little insight to what works because the you are dismantling the very things that parents, teachers, students, I.A.s, the union and the School Board are advocating for! You are not correcting you course! WHO is guiding your work? You were the ONLY one who spoke to the benefit of of closing down inclusive opportunities for more students when you decided to limit access and seats to sites that offered a individualized and continuum of services for preschoolers.

If inclusion was every and interest or if you actually understood and stood by your beliefs, WHY WOULD YOU EVER CHOOSE TO CO-LOCATE, LIMIT SEATS, and SHUFFLE KIDS AND STAFF?

You are so proud of yourself, aren't you? The board was right, you have you do not have the bandwidth to oversee and engage in this work.

You were the only one who could speak to the SPP Plus piece. Why isn't the special education department, educators, parents speaking in support of segregated sites that offer a different "placements" which require more transition between sites because of the different requirements.

Madrona closed, kids were moved out, now the next year same kids move back to madrona from Gatzert so that other kids can have an inclusive site??? We are talking about MY 4 YO who will be attending their 3rd preschool next year?? Based on the concept of "Inclusion", misinformation, and ego??

WAKE UP!



Melissa Westbrook said...

Wake Up, I appreciate your passion.

But your post is a bit incoherent and/or cryptic (which I dislike).

"BUT when the district and the city "created" isolated, "regional" "INCLUSION" sites, that only allow certain kids based on age, income, and prioritize geozone for nondisabled students while limiting special education seats AND displacing "self-contained" programs-- HOW IS THIS OK!?!?!?"

Are you talking about the City's enrollment rules? Because the district has nothing to do with that. They enroll kids via the district's enrollment office but my understanding is that is it.

"Leader proposed that SPP mission is to decrease the number of transitions that preschoolers experience. She proclaims that inclusions means ALL teachers teach ALL children. I call B.S.

It was apparent that you have a vision, but little insight to what works because the you are dismantling the very things that parents, teachers, students, I.A.s, the union and the School Board are advocating for! You are not correcting you course! WHO is guiding your work? You were the ONLY one who spoke to the benefit of of closing down inclusive opportunities for more students when you decided to limit access and seats to sites that offered a individualized and continuum of services for preschoolers."

Who are you talking about here?

Anonymous said...

"Oh look, another shooting at a school, this time in Alabama."

Your flippancy on the death and injury of students is disgusting.

uhura

Melissa Westbrook said...

Sorry you took that as flip; it was not meant that way.

But my record on this issue is quite good and I have been consistent in the need to protect our schools.

prek said...

I would like to see EEU's financials.

The city is receiving $51K for each prek student. The city and the district must do better. With $51K per student, I am having a hard time believing that they can't cover costs.

Anonymous said...

Melissa,
A quick, 'Thank you!' for your hard work. I went to the Learning Garden Network Winter Workshop for Seattle Schools (that was hosted by Tilth Alliance) on March 3rd. Without your blog, I would not have learned about it. I am not an educator. I am not a landscape designer. I am just a volunteer who works to make things a little nicer at school. It was a great way to connect with others and learn about various programs for gardens and green space.

QA Mom,AlsoAGardener

Money Matters said...

Does anyone know what the new supplemental budget passes by the legislature means for SPS? Is it enough money to improve class sizes?

Melissa Westbrook said...

QAMom, you are welcome. I just throw out what I think might interest parents and students. President Harris has always kindly pointed out that her daughter would not have traveled on a trip overseas because I had a small notation of that opportunity.

Money Natters, I wish anyone, other than parents and teachers/staff, cared about class size. But I think it’s too tough a nut to crack, both for money and space. I wish teachers and their union would push back harder.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

I have a question about some workshop this week in Seattle and one of the speakers is the Superintendent of Nashville Public Schools.. is he a contender for the Supe gig? If so you need to know that man comes with substantial baggage.. his bff just was convicted of perjury.. Dallas Dance was featured in a NYT article about STEM...

Funny that Joseph would leave the week he announced a funding freeze, a Teacher is under the gun for another sexual indiscretion (there are about 5 Title IX suits at present) and well a lot of other stuff.. but hey you can have him!

But is there a way someone on this blog would know?

- Nashville.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Nashville, we are not going to know the finalists for a couple of weeks. The Board is interviewing semi-finalists this week (I believe) but the public will only be told of the 2-3 finalists.

Thanks for the heads up - I would have done a through search of anyone. We also don't want the former chancellor of D.C. schools.

Anonymous said...

Joseph was not he was Super of Prince George County Maryland. Dallas Dance was he bff and they worked together at Prince George.. see scandal about grad rates there for that plus other

But it is odd that the timing of this trip to Seattle and his letter to the Schools about the budget and in turn the only ally he ever had here, The Mayor, well she resigned and is on probation herself so not a good person to provide a recommendation!

But this dude has a three peat history and he will be coming up to the third year, our school board is turning at least 3 seats and I don't think they will be in love..

Thank you and I will check this blog if you update with this.. but again I got a feeling y'all!

- Nashville

Melissa Westbrook said...

Anyone know what the protest today at Green Lake Elementary was about? I saw it as I drove past but couldn't read the signs and didn't have time to stop.

Anonymous said...

Florida is a weird place. They just passed a minimum marriage age law, pushed by a women who was married at 11, yes 11 years of age, to the church deacon who raped her when she was 9 and whose child she was forced to birth at age 10.

The article tells about a 15 year old boy marrying a 14 year old girl and a 90 year old man marrying a 16 year old girl.

Read the article, there had to be a compromise to even get the age to 17 because pregnant girls need a to have husband!

Google

Jet City mom said...

A parent on Reddit states that her child has been denied transportation for a week, because not enough drivers.
Shouldnt students with IEPs who are assigned transportation as part of their IEP have priority?

Anonymous said...

This popped up on my Facebook today: https://crosscut.com/2018/03/new-seattle-schools-superintendent-not-so-fast?utm_source=crosscut-facebook&utm_medium=social

-Pragmatic Xennial

Jet City mom said...

Is there some reason why Seattle always uses the same executive search firm?

Melissa Westbrook said...

I don't think they do but they have in the last couple of searches.

Jet City mom said...

Houston fired Ray & Assoc because they didnt allow for much community input.

I remember that being a concern in previous Seattle searches, which is why I wondered why the same company is their go to.

https://www.chron.com/news/education/article/HISD-board-to-replace-superintendent-search-firm-6836337.php

Melissa Westbrook said...

Jet City Mom, I was mistaken. The last time a search firm was used it was Hazard, Young, Attea and Associates. And that was for Goodloe-Johnson. Nyland was just installed.

Jet City mom said...

Never heard of them,
but Ray and Assc was more fsmiliar, especially as the candidate that seemed more promising, dropped out but they did not then expand their search.


Seattle Public Schools – Superintendent Search Process – Background

“In November 2006, the Seattle School Board launched a national search to replace current Superintendent Raj Manhas, who announced his resignation effective August 2007. The School Board hired Ray & Associates, a national executive search firm, to conduct the search. During January the consultants led a series of discussions and meetings where staff, families, and community members provided input on the qualities and experience that are needed in the next Superintendent of Seattle Public Schools. Based on that input, the Board adopted a Superintendent Profile, which contains nine key elements.“
http://www.eduleadership.org/seattle-school-board-announces-two-finalists-for-superintendent/