Wednesday, May 30, 2018

On Inclusion, Diversity and Equity (and Cohorts)

A reader - Isolation from Peer - recently had this to say about inclusion (bold mine):
The HCC issue is part of much bigger philosophical issues at play in the district, which really don't just have to do with HC students. It goes well beyond that. There has been a misunderstanding and an oversimplification of detracking and inclusion. Just because these are OFTEN forces for good does not mean that in every case they are ALWAYS forces for good. HCC is caught in that battle, but HCC students aren't the only ones.

Some students benefit from having access to peers who are like them, from not being the only one like them in their class or school.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Tuesday Open Thread



 Update: Congrats to Garfield High's boys soccer team - 3A state champions!
A former teacher vowed to write to President Trump every single day and one day she received a letter back.  Did I mention she was a high school English teacher?  From the New York Times:

‘OMG This Is Wrong!’ Retired English Teacher Marks Up a White House Letter and Sends It Back

This and That

Stories from NPR Education:

 - Following the lead of an education blogger, former Secretary of Education Arne Duncan urges parents to boycott schools until gun safety measures are enacted. 

Friday, May 25, 2018

Friday Open Thread

Opening with some sad news; a fifth grader in killed himself this week.   Please talk to your kids about their stresses and offer them ways to defuse those.  From KIRO-7 tv:

Thursday, May 24, 2018

EU Notice

 Update: after consulting with someone, I appear to have few cookies on this blog so the notification isn't coming up.

But just so you know, Google may be keeping track of you but I'm not.

end of update

A notice came up on my Administrator page for this blog:

Please Talk to Your Sons

No one is missing the pattern in high school mass shootings, right?  Alienated white boys.

I'd be the first one to say - because I believe it to be true - that it truly is harder to be a teen today than when I was a teenager.  Not to say that we didn't all feel angst and pain - the sting of rejections, slights, bullying, etc. - that's teen life.  Kids can be thoughtless and hurtful to each other (and, of course, bullying is never acceptable).  But kids today are able to do all those things faster and get messages out to masses of more people than we did.  It's pretty horrible.

As the School Year Starts to Wind Down


Sunday, May 20, 2018

Dress Code Dilemma

When the weather gets warmer there is always the issue of dress codes in Seattle Schools, mostly especially in high school.

Apparently, this has been quite the issue at Garfield where several readers let me know that students - almost entirely girls - have been ambushed while coming to school by administrators.  One issue that gives the girls much unhappiness is that boys are able to use the field without shirts on while girls have to cover up.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Not to Start a Fight but Here's News on HCC

Way back in January, I made a public disclosure request to the district for emails and other documentation about the Advanced Learning office.  I recently read a number of emails that offer at least part of the picture of the thinking in that office.  (I have been told that there 10,000 items in response to my question - something of a record for me -and I'll be reading them in installments.)

The emails were largely among several people:
  • Katie May, principal at Thurgood Marshall
  • Stephen Martin, Director of Advanced Learning
  • Mathew Okun, Consulting Teacher
  • Thurgood Marshall parents on their equity team
Details of interest:

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Washington State Charter Schools Convention

I attended the Washington State Charter Schools Convention several weeks ago down in Sea Tac.  And tomorrow, the Washington State Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the lawsuit against the current charter school law.

The convention came on the year anniversary for the head of the Washington State Charter Schools Association head, Patrick D'Amelio.  (Patrick is one of the good guys and boy, I wish he had stayed at the Alliance for Education where he been CEO.)  He said the conference was full but when I looked around the dining room, it seemed to have many empty seats.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

High School Science News

I see that's there's a state science exam,WCAS, coming up for high school.  Just to note, your child does NOT have to take this test.  Right now, all kids that do take it are doing is piloting it for the State.

Federal law requires science testing but it does not require linkage to graduation. However, Washington State Board of Education has chosen to do so.

Taking and passing the WCAS will be a high school graduation requirement for the class of 2021 and beyond.  But that doesn't mean your child has to take it at all for now.

Tuesday Open Thread

Congrats to the Franklin High Mock Trial team for winning the National Mock Trial competition!  The Franklin team came out on top of a field of 46 teams in Reno, NV the weekend of May 10-12.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Parsing the Curriculum&Instruction Meeting Agenda

Here's a copy of the agenda for tomorrow's Curriculum & Instruction Committee meeting with documentation attached.  There are some notable issues that have a deep dive.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Seattle Schools This Week, May 14-20, 2018

Monday, May 14th
Audit and Finance Committee Meeting, JSCEE from 4:30-6:30 pm.  Agenda
Of interest:
- BAR: Families & Education Levy (Stone)
- Informational Only: Coast Property Management Contract Terms (Skowyra)
- Notification of Contracts Exceeding $250,000:Sum of Learning and CHILD (Mills)
- Informational Only: 2018-19 Schools’ Funding Allocations (Purple Book) (Sebring)

- Informational Only:Items Financial Impacts of Capacity Issues (Committee)

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Noteworthy Articles about Teens and College

Every year the New York Times puts out a call for college essays from high school seniors.  This year's is a great collection; perhaps show your middle schooler or young high school student for inspiration.  I think the first writer in the series - Eric Ngugi Muthondu - is going to be a great writer someday.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Ballard High in in Shelter in Place

Update: SPD was investigating a burglary nearby and suspect ran toward school and school went into lockdown to protect students.

Happy Mother's Day

Some ideas (with freebies for mom) from The Stranger.

Friday Open Thread

As noted previously by a reader:
From the Capitol Hill blog, a man high on crack was arrested this morning inside Stevens elementary..
This was Tuesday, May 8th.

Wednesday, May 09, 2018

What's Happening with Charter Schools? Let's Review

It's almost hard to know where to start but one thing seems to be happening - charter schools are having a harder time with the passage of time. 

Monday, May 07, 2018

Thank You, Teachers!

It's Teacher Appreciation Week!

Image result for teacher appreciation week graphic
And that includes substitute teachers!

Also, it's National Nurses Week and that includes our school nurses - thank you to all of them!

For the past 16 years, the Gallup poll has named nurses as the most-trusted profession in its ratings of honesty and ethical standards in professions.

And a shout-out to my own mom, a former surgical nurse for 40 years - people in my home town used to tell me she was the last face they saw before they went into surgery and the first they saw when they woke up.  For this upcoming Mother's Day, I remember my late mom and honor her work.

Seattle Schools Week of May 7-12, 2018

To note, this week is Teacher Appreciation Week and it's Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.

Thursday, May 03, 2018

Board Work Session on Capacity Management, May, 2018

All the directors were in attendance at the Work Session on Capital Projects Annual Report and Capacity Management Annual Report.

Noted capacity expert (and SPS parent) Kellie LaRue was there.  She let me know that surrounding district like Northshore and Bellevue no longer accept out of district students.  They, too, are overcrowded.  What's also interesting is that they have created new high schools or high school space and she suspects that SPS had been pushing off enough students to Running Start to not have started on that until the reopening of Lincoln.

The first portion of the meeting was on the Capital Projects Annual Report and the latter was the Capacity Projects Annual Report. 

Highlights and director comments

Tuesday, May 01, 2018

Board Work Session on Capacity

I'll be attending today but a lot of meaty info here.

Story to come.

Tuesday Open Thread

Volunteering this morning in my classroom, the teacher was explaining to the kids about many dates in May (Cinco de Mayo, Mother's Day, Memorial Day, etc) AND that they were in the last full month of the school year.  Wow, time has flown.

Looks like, once again, Denny Middle School is going hard core for the SBAC.  From the Seattle Opt-Out Facebook page:

Public Education is a Risky Business

If you are a person of certain age, you may remember the report, A Nation at Risk, put out during the Reagan years about how bad public education had gotten.  Turns out, not so much.  From NPR,

What 'A Nation At Risk' Got Wrong, And Right, About U.S. Schools