Tuesday, May 15, 2018

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.

Congrats to the Roosevelt Jazz Band for their honorable mention at the Essentially Ellington jazz competition in NYC last weekend.  Props to Ballard High's jazz band which also competed.

From SPS Twitter:
Teachers spoke, we listened! Last Thursday marked the completion of laptop deployment to all 4025 certificated staff using BTA IV funds approved by voters. Thanks to Technical Support Specialists & Instructional Technology Support Resource Teachers for a successful rollout! 

From SPS Athletics:
Congratulations to our 2018 Metro Track Champions!!!
Nathan Hale Boys Team

Job opportunity:
Are you a college or graduate student interested in experience putting educational leadership into practice? We have an Enrollment Planning INTERNSHIP opportunity for you! Applications close on May 25th Apply now:

National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Jane Chu has approved more than $80 million in grants as part of the NEA’s second major funding announcement for the fiscal year 2018. Included in this announcement is an Art Works grant of $100,000 to Seattle Public Schools to support implementation of The Creative Advantage. 

The Art Works category is the NEA’s largest funding category and supports projects that focus on the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence, public engagement with diverse and excellent art, lifelong learning in the arts, and/or the strengthening of communities through the arts. 

“The variety and quality of these projects speaks to the wealth of creativity and diversity in our country,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “Through the work of initiatives such as The Creative Advantage in Seattle Public Schools, NEA funding invests in local communities, helping people celebrate the arts wherever they are.” 

The Creative Advantage has completed research, planning and mission alignment to develop the Seattle K-12 Arts Plan, which includes regional and school-based planning, increased certified arts staff, 21st-century arts learning that is culturally responsive, arts partnerships, professional development for arts and non-arts teachers and arts partners and a comprehensive evaluation. In its sustaining phase, The Creative Advantage has restored arts access to the Central Arts Pathway (CAP), which includes 13 schools with 6,475 students; the South-southwest Arts Pathway (SWAP), which includes 10 schools with 4,552 students; and launched in the entire Southeast Arts Region (SEAR), which includes 21 schools with 10,208 students. 
What's on your mind?


Eric B said...

Congratulations to the Franklin mock trial team! That is a fantastic achievement.

It's getting warmer outside and I'm hearing stories about dress code violations from my kid. There are a coupe of issues, but one is that kids are apparently being sent home to change if they don't meet dress code and are unwilling/unable to change at school. Is that common in high schools around the district? My high school was a long time ago, but the admins had a couple of old and ugly smocks from the art room that students had to wear if they didn't meet the dress code.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Eric, it's a perennial thing - it's warm so less clothing. I recall that Marnie Campbell used to keep some bright orange XXL shirts for people to wear but I would guess that varies from school to school.

I have heard that it is considered sexist because it affects girls more than boys but given girls have a much wider variation of clothing, it's not so surprising.

I used to say on high school tours - you don't have to dress like you are going to church but you can't dress like you just rolled out of bed/going to the club. It is okay to have appropriateness standards (but that's me and I'm old).

GarfieldMom said...

Garfield is having a big dress code brouhaha right now. After not enforcing their dress code for the last 5-6 years, a temporary administrator has suddenly got a bee in her bonnet about it and they started cracking down hard out of the blue. Multiple kids sent home or told to BUY a shirt from the student store. One kid dress coded for wearing his school-issued athletic team uniform. Kids have predictably revolted and are now deliberately flouting the dress code. There has been way more disruption of the educational environment from this sudden crack down than from anything kids have been wearing to school.

I don't have a problem with their dress code, it's quite reasonable. Where the administration has screwed up is in cracking down harshly 3/4 of the way through the school year, with no warning, on rules that have been ignored for literally years. If they want to enforce the dress code, they need to start the year doing so and to be consistent.

Anonymous said...

My child seems to think kids were removed from the AP Bio test for not having proper attire and is fuming over the double standards (shirtless boys on the field are left alone). This is probably *the* most stressful week in most students' year with all the AP testing. Does Garfield really care more about its dress code than kids' success on APs? Does anyone know if the thing with Bio is true?

--L&E mom

Melissa Westbrook said...

L&E Mom, that is weird, weird, weird.

Melissa Westbrook said...

And Director DeWolf just asked about dress codes as part of the discussion around Student Rights and Responsibilities. Howard at Garfield had brought this up to him. It appears to be site-based but staff did talk about "disruption to educational process" which would be somewhat tough to prove. However, I think every school gets to have community standards about what is allowed.

Eric B said...

I'm not surprised that there are dress code issues as the weather heats up. I'm with GarfieldMom that the enforcement seems to be the issue. There were apparently administrators standing outside dress coding kids on their way in to the school. The Garfield dress code does do a pretty good job with not being overly punitive towards girls vs. boys. I do wish they'd just come out and say that they don't want t-shirts advertising pot or booze rather than saying something vague about "services not available to high school students." I know of a couple of students gathering AARP, rental car, etc. shirts as a protest.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Eric, I believe district policy is in place about what can’t be on t-shirts.

Anonymous said...

This from the Garfield PTSA website:

Here is the policy according to the student handbook:

Students are encouraged to feel comfortable and express their individuality in the clothing that they choose to wear; however school is a place of work and students must dress accordingly

Dress must not promote violence, be racist, sexist, homophobic, vulgar, imply gang affiliation, or disrupt the educational environment

Dress should also not advertise or display any product or service not permitted to minors by law

Clothing must cover their torso — front and back — to mid-thigh area (and straps are required over both shoulders), regardless of gender

Footwear must also be worn

I have heard from my student that girls are getting dress coded for the width of their straps, which is not specified in the dress code. I have also heard there is a male classmate who likes to wear crop tops and is never dress coded.


Anonymous said...

Dress should also not advertise or display any product or service not permitted to minors by law.

Does that mean students can't wear political t-shirts, since they can't vote? Or they can't wear "get out the vote" shirts? How about Army/Navy/Air Force/Marines shirts? No t-shirts for rental car companies, rideshare services, etc.?

I'm with Eric B--the policy should just say what they mean. No need to beat around the bush.

say it

Anonymous said...

Today there were teachers/administrators (and Howard) around the school directing students to the main entrance and "catching" them.
My student's teachers are AMAZING, it's sad to see the extent of this punitive exercise.
To what end?
Why now?


Anonymous said...

I too am a Garfield parent but I fault students and their parents who are goading them to flaunt the dress code now, because apparently there is no issue too insignificant for some good ol' Seattle-style OUTRAGE! Please, give it a rest. The dress code is reasonable and while the stepped-up enforcement may have been a surprise for some, any surprise should have lasted exactly one day.


Anonymous said...

My daughter was dress coded. She was wearing mid thigh athletic shorts and a sleeveless shirt. Totally appropriate, she's worn them all year and, in fact, they're her only pair of shorts because it is challenging to buy appropriate shorts for girls.

After an hour of lost class time, and a lecture from Mr. Howard informing them that they would be suspended if they didn't change, another administrator was finally able to see her and agreed her outfit adhered to the dress code. She was free to go back to class, no change necessary, she wouldn't be suspended for not changing. The next day her teacher accused her of changing clothes before she got to the office. This is ugly. The teacher has control over grades, so I told my kid to put her head down, get through the year, and not make a fuss. I guess this L/A teacher wanted to make sure Kafka is relatable, but I'm not sure what the learning goals are here...


Anonymous said...

I don't think this is insignificant at all. Girls who enter puberty earlier than average in the US have a whole host of extra problems- risk taking behavior, depression, addiction- and you know what a big part of the mechanism is for that? Being told their body is "inappropriate." Tank tops that are too tight at one size and show too much cleavage at the next. Shorts that are perfectly appropriate on my late blooming stick shaped girls, but overly curvy on someone with the misfortune to have a wash of hormones 12 months earlier. When my oldest went through I had to buy an entire new wardrobe in the space of 2 months- even setting aside the cost, the logistics of getting that just right are kind of ridiculous. And they go to school and get told about their inappropriateness by generally male administrators, who the girls know are inspecting their bodies for signs of sexuality- gross. There's just no need for this. It would be nice if everyone wore work appropriate attire to school. We have family rules about what the kids can wear. But the price exacted by having administrators at school inspect pubescent female bodies for appropriateness is too high to just get people to wear slightly more modest clothes to school(and you know that only lasts a week). We just should not have dress codes. Uniforms, maybe, but not dress codes.

I'm sorry that happened to your daughter, Franz! That is really frustrating, and I agree doesn't really serve a purpose.


Eric B said...

The thing that baffles me about the whole suspension issue is that schools are supposed to try to keep students in school. Suspensions for dress code seems like a grossly disproportionate response. You suspend kids for violence, not distraction, even more so on a first offense.

Anonymous said...

I am upset by the sexually provocative uniforms forced on female athletes. When will there be some gender equality in uniforms? Look at the length of shorts or bikini bottoms. If our children are in classes for scholastics then are they not on a field for athleticism? We should not turn our daughters out for the viewing pleasure of spectators. If boys get long baggy shorts, then ME TOO.

Not Uniform

Insider said...

Did you know that the Status Quo FEL and SPP levy is broken down in this manner?:

56% Early Learning
33% K-12 Investment
11% Health Care.

That sure is a lot of money for the city to serve 2000 prek students.

Insider said...

New Proposal:

Preschool spending would increase from $43M to %51

K-12 and Community investments would decrease from $25M.8-$23.4M

K-12 School Health would increase from $8.8M- $9.4M

Seattle Promise from $0 to $6.3M

Melissa Westbrook said...

Insider, I noted that previously on my write-up about the F&E Levy Advisory committee. Quite eye-opening and I think it should be stressed during the campaign if it remains that way.

I actually think the day for pre-k should be half-day (3-3.5 hours) rather than a 6- hour "academic day."