Monday, March 18, 2019

More Science Adoption Updates

From a reader:

This Friday and Saturday, March 22nd and 23rd, the SPS Science Curriculum Adoption Committee will be meeting.  MaryMargaret Welch, head of Science for SPS, will likely call for a vote on adopting Amplify Science.   

MMW has been blocking the Adoption Committee from seeing performance data on Amplify Science in 8 Grade Schools, and 11 Middle Schools, for 2017-2019.   This is contrary to the requirements spelled out in Board Policy 2020, for Waiver Curriculum Materials adoption (new materials being tested).

 Please write to the Board and give them your input.  spsdirectors@seattleschools.org

The Board needs to hear from a large number of parents and teachers, especially those who have been affected by the Amplify Curriculum, which was imposed without Board approval - a distortion of the Waiver Process. 

March 22, 9:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., JSCEE, 2765, 2750
March 23, 9:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., JSCEE, Auditorium

I will try to attend some of the Friday meeting; I would suggest that someone go to the Saturday meeting and take notes.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

BEX V Work Session

This was the second Work Session that came after the Budget Work Session.  Both were held at Garfield High School.

Friday, March 15, 2019

Go Talk to Your State Legislator

From Washington's Paramount Duty:
The Balance Our Tax Code coalition, which includes Washington's Paramount Duty, has collected information on the legislature's upcoming town hall meetings. Please click here to find the date, time, and location of the town hall meeting for your district -- and make a commitment to attend!

Friday Open Thread

On the heels of the horrific shooting at a mosque in New Zealand yesterday, I give one suggestion.

There is video out there of at least part of the shooting (the shooter put a camera on his head).   I would suggest telling your child to NOT watch it.  I know, if you tell them, they might not have known and might want to watch.  However, I urge you to tell them there is never a good reason to watch a live killing of anyone and, in this case, dozens of people.  There's always some smart kid at school who might want to come up and ask your kid, "Wanna see this?"  Tell your child to say no. You cannot unsee that kind of thing.

Superintendent Juneau issued a statement/apology about the issue of the district letter to parents about testing and Ramadan.   She said this:

Thursday, March 14, 2019

"Staffing Capacity" Explained

From our sage, Kellie LaRue:

The District Seems to Have a Problem with Religion (or at least holidays)

Once again the district missteps on religious holidays.

You may recall that last fall, members of the Jewish faith were not happy that the 2018-2019 school calendar had kindergarten starting on Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year).  The district did apologize.

It seemed odd that happened because OSPI has a published list of holidays and important dates for many religions.

Indeed, I also wrote this at the beginning of the school year:
There was also some unhappiness this year over testing during Ramadan (which just happened to fall during the testing window).  For those who might not know, fasting is part of Ramadan until sunset.  Most younger students do not fast but many older students do and taking a test on an empty stomach is rough.

What this all points to is a need to figure out how to better balance communities' concerns with the district doing its job of educating all students. 
So you are large and in charge at the district and you KNOW from last year that having testing during Ramadan - a Muslim holiday that lasts a month and includes fasting during the day (but generally not for younger children) - was a problem.

And yet, somehow someone at JSCEE doubled-down and not only scheduled the testing during Ramadan but also drafted a letter sent to principals that said that maybe parents could allow their child to eat/only partial fast and to get enough sleep.  

None of this had to play out in this fashion and yet, here we are. Again.

One principal, Katie May at Thurgood Marshall, sent it to parents and you can imagine the unhappiness.  (The letter is at the end of this thread.)

On Getting Into College

In the wake of the college admissions cheating scandal, there have been a number of worthy articles.

The story in short via The New Yorker:

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Tuesday Open Thread

In case you missed it, there is a Facebook group for science in SPS called Save Science in Seattle Schools.  If you have concerns about science in SPS write to:
MaryMargaret (mmwelch@seattleschools.org), head of Science,
Rick Burke (rick.burke@seattleschools.org) Jill Geary (jill.geary@seattleschools.org), head of the Curriculum&Instruction Committee
Diane DeBacker (dmdebacker@seattleschools.org), Chief Academic Officer

March is Music in Our Schools Month in SPS as Superintendent Juneau writes in her journal.  As well, a local group, the Newcombe Foundation has a program for getting musical instruments to students in need in some areas of the Puget Sound region including Seattle.  Their deadline for application is April 30th.

Monday, March 11, 2019

Updates on the Budget Issues in Seattle Schools

  • It appears that the numbers being used for student enrollment at some schools do not match the enrollment numbers at OSPI.
Anyone know a reason that might be?
  • Budget submission from school committees are due this week, and most have been given new information less than two weeks ago.

Science Updates for Seattle Schools

Update:
At the Board meeting, Director Jill Geary, head of the Curriculum and Instruction committee, said that she would welcome questions from parents/staff about the Science adoption.  She said knowing the questions would allow her to pass them along to staff.

End of update

Once again, I have to shake my head.  (At this rate, Linda Blair will have nothing on me and many days, I do feel like my head is going to go around and around, trying to take in all that this district's dysfunction has to offer.)

(Yes, I just said the district is dysfunctional which is something I have denied for a long time.  No more.  And this thread is just the start.)

Updates on the ongoing Science adoptions:

Sunday, March 10, 2019

The Latest Strategic Plan

Not to give it away but it's the just about the same draft Strategic Plan as before.  It comes up for Intro at this Wednesday's Board meeting.

It's interesting that the Superintendent, in an interview with the Times, called the early draft of the Strategic Plan "just words" and, well, that looks a lot like what is going to be.

It is astonishing to see after months of working with consultants, online survey input and, of course, the work of the Steering Committee, no real change.  How a draft document can allegedly undergo that type of input/oversight and stay nearly in the same place is a mystery.

Except that it's not.

The consultants? Talked a good game at one Work Session and were never heard from again.

The online survey and community meetings (all done in January in a fairly rushed fashion)?   I do not recall results being tabulated and released.  I just did a check and don't see them at the district so what was said/conveyed to the district and the Board is unknown.

Let's first compare and contrast the last Strategic Plan which was created in 2013 under Superintendent Jose Banda.  I like to think of the new Strategic Plan as "Strategic Plan Unplugged" as compared to the previous one.  It's fairly stripped down.

Friday, March 08, 2019

Seattle Schools Budget Work Session

After yesterday's Work Sessions, I confess to many feelings - feeling flummoxed, confused, irritated and even feeling admiration at so many people trying to do their best.

The entire Board was present as was the Superintendent.  Garfield principal Ted Howard was also in attendance.

Budget head JoLynn Berge led the discussion for staff.  She noted that 85% of districts around the state are in the same place as Seattle.  However, she didn't note that many districts do not have the ability to pass levies the way Seattle Schools does.

She said the next Work Session on the Budget on April 3rd will be to find consensus on restoration issues. 

Friday Open Thread

 Update: Director Rick Burke will be having his community meeting this afternoon at 4 pm at the Fremont Branch Library.  Director DeWolf will be joining him.  They will be talking about science/science adoption. I apologize for the late notice but his meeting was not on the district calendar when I wrote this thread.

end of update

8:35 am - Look at that snow come down (at least where I am).  I hope this backs off, melts and allows everyone in schools to get home safely this afternoon.

I'm late in getting this out but here's a link to OSPI's Washington Report Card where you can view by district or by school.  Makes for some interesting reading.

The New York Times reports that wealthy white school districts provide more money than poorer school districts that serve students of color.  Missing from the article is any mention of private funding via PTA or booster groups.

Happy International Women's Day!

Here's one of my new favorite girls/women: Swedish climate champion, Greta Thunberg.
From the NY Times:

Tuesday, March 05, 2019

Board Work Sessions on Budget and on BEX V Implementation Planning

 Update: here's a video of the Superintendent "explaining" the shortfall situation.  It's nothing new; I think most parents understand by now that 1)there are new K-12 dollars but also 2) the Legislature also took away the level of dollars accessible in local levies.  More to come in a new thread from my attendance at the Work Session on the Budget.

end of update

There are two Board Work Sessions scheduled for Wednesday, the 6th, at Garfield High School.  The Budget Work Session starts at 4:30 pm while the BEX V Implementation Planning Work Session starts at 6:00 pm.  Agenda 

Tuesday Open Thread

 Today is a meeting for the Advanced Learning Task ForceOn the agenda is a discussion of twice exceptional students, looking at research-based "Successful Practices" and "To prepare for Service Delivery recommendations."  Looks like good work being done.

Just to note, many, many other districts in the state are struggling with cuts.  It's not just Seattle Schools.

A good story from KNKX on the Dyslexia Advisory Committee for the state that is working on screening tools for districts. 

Please Keep a Lookout for Zoe Burns


Superintendent Juneau's Conversation with the Times

In an interview with the Seattle Times, Superintendent Juneau says "she’s learning how to be more patient."

Monday, March 04, 2019

Site-Based Interview Team Training

Special Site Based Interview Team Training – Saturday, March 9, John Stanford Center from 1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

This special training will focus on preparing individuals to participate on interview teams for S.E.A. represented positions and Principal positions.

Anyone interested in serving on an interview team for an upcoming hiring process is encouraged to attend. This training is open to all administrators, certificated and classified employees, as well as parents, students and community representatives.

Please come - in order to have more community input, get more diverse input on hiring for these critical positions - now's the time. The training is a prerequisite for participating in hiring committees.

Please share far and wide!

Best,
Leslie S. Harris, Director District 6,
President, Seattle School Board
leslie.harris@seattleschools.org

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Cuts Happening Throughout Seattle Schools

From Facebook:
I just learned that my school Franklin will be losing 6 full time teachers next year. Other South Seattle schools are also apparently losing teachers. For a district supposedly committed to equity this is shocking. We'll have to either cut out some of our electives ( we already are pretty limited - 1 ceramics teacher, 1 drawing/painting teacher, 1 music teacher, 1 drama teacher in the arts, for instance, so what do we lose?) Or cram more students into core classes if we lose non-elective teachers. I teach English. 65% of our kids speak a language other than English at home. Around 70% are free or reduced lunch eligible. Let's lose 6 people at the Central Office ( I'd like to see the Director level abolished) and keep teachers in the buildings.
There was some discussion about how Running Start students aren't count and therefore, the school's enrollment count drops.  Maybe Kellie LaRue could give us some insights on this issue.

More comments:

Wednesday Open Thread

 According to the Seattle Times, Amazon apparently is not going to fill Rainier Square after all (using it as leverage to get rid of Seattle's head tax).  They want to sublet.  Here's a thought: be a good corporate citizen and allow SPS to use one floor (or lease at low-cost) to create a downtown school.

And also from the Times, who thinks the McCleary funding is all done, a story that "most districts are projecting budget shortfalls."  Who would have thought that would happen?

Seattle Schools Survey on D

Opportunities for Students

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Seattle Schools Decides on Snow Make-Up Days

From SPS Communications:
The winter weather and related schedule changes have been a challenge for many and we thank you for your patience. In February, school closed for five days due to the series of snow storms.
This year’s school calendar included two make-up days in June (June 21 and 24); the three additional make-up days will be added to the calendar following those days as outlined in the 2019 Collective Bargaining Agreement, with the Seattle Education Association.
  
The last day of school for students in grades preschool through 11 will be June 27.

Monday, February 25, 2019

High School Updates

Update - Tuesday night:  These two high school policy items have been postponed to a later meeting.

end of update

The Board meeting this Wednesday has a couple of items of interest for high school parents.  I am honestly shocked that these changes were not widely distributed and discussed at high schools before any kind of change.

The first is Amendment to Board Policy No. 2024, Online Learning; Repeal of Board Policy No. C16.00, Acceptance of Correspondence or College Courses for High School Credit.

Per reader Yikes' comment from the Friday Open Thread:

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Charter Schools: Education Reform Losing Its Luster

A fascinating outcome from this little blog is the growth of the number of stories we cover on state and national issues.  For myself, I had always wanted this blog to be about Seattle Public Schools and the issues and challenges it faces.  (Over the years, I've had many people ask me about Bellevue or Lake Washington SDs and frankly, one district is enough to track.) But, after a period of time, it became impossible just to focus on Seattle Schools.

One, because in Washington State, our schools never were fully funded.  That ongoing struggle impacted Seattle Schools and other other districts for decades.

Two, because no district, especially the largest one in a state, exists in a vacuum.  The national issues of No Child Left Behind (now ESSA - Every Student Succeeds Act), Common Core, charter schools, vouchers, school safety, etc. all came into play as issues that did affect SPS.

Third, the influence of billionaire philanthropists who thought that public education would be an easy fix for them.  Because rich people must be smart at everything.  (And, of course, for those who want to privatize public education and destroy unions, starting with the biggest unions which would be the teachers' unions).

Did you miss this a couple of weeks ago, from CNN:
Donald Trump Jr., the President's son, seemed to invoke striking teachers during a speech last month in El Paso, Texas, when he dismissed "these loser teachers that are trying to sell you on socialism from birth."
Wow.

From Rethinking Schools:
Through headlines like “Rotten Apples” and “Why We Must Fire Bad Teachers,” the corporate media blamed educators for the failures of our schools while ignoring the cuts that were making teachers’ jobs increasingly difficult. Converting public schools to charters and using standardized test scores to close schools and fire teachers have been touted as “solutions” to our “broken” education system that conveniently did not require increased or more equitable funding.
But is that the whole picture today? From CNN:

Friday, February 22, 2019

Check Yourself Middle School Mental Health Screening Tool - What SPS and King County Didn't Want You to Know

Continuing on with the story about the Check Yourself mental health screening tool for middle school students in the Puget Sound region.

King County is funding  this effort thru the Best Starts for Kids levy. Seattle Schools (as well as about eight other districts) is participating.

 I believe in helping middle schools students who may have mental health issues, big and small.  I'm glad King County wants to help districts help those students.

But the way this effort being cared out is wrong and, I believe, in some aspects, is being done illegally.

Again, I tell parents - do NOT allow your child to take this screener.  Period. 

Any parent who wants to know how to file a complaint with the Department of Education, 
I have an expert standing by who will be happy to help you. 

Friday Open Thread

Via SPS' Twitter feed: Congratulations to Dominic Damon on becoming the first wrestler from an SPS school to win a state title!

I - love - this - kid; show your kids that having a talent, any talent, is something to be proud of.  So wonderful.

Yet another kid to love for his incredible talent- show your kids this video as well.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Board To Hold Work Session at Garfield

The Board seems super excited about this.  I mean it's great to do this out in a school but 1) it's a Work Session so you'll just be sitting there and listening - there is no public interaction and 2) wish they would do a Board meeting.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Tuesday Open Thread

Via Twitter: 
Congratulations Jasmine Gayles on eclipsing 1,000 career points! 
This would be West Seattle High School basketball star, Jasmine Gayles.

Have a senior? Have them open a BECU account because then they can apply for these scholarships.

Amazon has a number of summer camps/internships for STEM-minded kids of all ages. 

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Tell City Council Candidates - We Want Safe Sidewalks Everywhere

In the Friday Open Thread, I mentioned how difficult it is for students and adults with disabilities during big weather events.  
We are going into an election season for City Council that will see many new members.  I urge you to bring this up with candidates - all parts of the city need sidewalks and they need to be ADA accessible.
Here are the comments from that thread that I found compelling.

Friday, February 15, 2019

Friday Open Thread

I was listening to KUOW's The Record where they were discussing challenges during the snow days. Jessyn Farrell said that she believes the district and the city should talk more and earlier.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

New Head for Advanced Learning Should At Least Have Some Background Experience

Update: Peters tells me that the AL head job description hasn't been posted yet; what is there is just some old description they have for the job.  As she points out, it is odd that even the old description says nothing about 2E students or even accurately describes the scope of the job.

end of update

The following is a guest post from former Board Director Sue Peters.  I note that in addition to the departure of head of Advanced Learning, Stephen Martin, SPS is also seeing the exit of Executive Director Kim Whitworth (corrected, my error).

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Upcoming Charter School Applications in Washington State

There were 12 NOIs (Notices of Intent) submitted to the Washington State Charter Commission this fall. 

I'd be surprised if more than six even submit an application; it's a heavy lift to get done.

There were some surprises as I researched each NOI.

First surprise?

That the two assistant principals at West Seattle High School, Scott Canfield and Garth Reeves, have submitted an NOI.  That would be for Cascade:Midway High School in south King County to start in 2021.  They are getting help via the Washington Charter Schools Association which accepted them for their School Leadership and Design Fellowship.

What is the State of Charter Schools in Washington State?

The state of charter schools in Washington State is uneven at best.

Since the original 2012 law was passed for 40 schools in five years, we are now at 12 charter schools.  The first charter school - First Place - closed in a year due to both financial and management issues.  Now, a second charter, Soar Academy in Tacoma, a K-8 school, is closing at the end of this school year, mainly due to Special Education costs.

Soar's closure will end the only K-12 continuum of charter schools in the state.

And yet, the Seattle Times, a local charter cheerleader, hasn't bothered to cover it.  An oversight? I doubt it.

From the News Tribune on Soar's closure:

A Terrible Anniversary on Valentine's Day

Tomorrow will mark the one-year anniversary of the 17 murders and 15 injuries at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.  Students who survived and have spoken out have been called "crisis actors."  It is hard to believe in a country built on democratic speech that anyone would attack children speaking out after what is likely the worst day of their lives in a place where they should feel the safest.

From Rolling Stone:

Wednesday Open Thread

Great news on the passage of SPS levies.  However, technically, levies are just a pot of money that the district can do whatever they want with it.  Of course, it behooves them to do what they promised to do.  Oversight is key and I hope the Board and parents and the public make sure that happens.

Interesting story on teens who DO want to get vaccinations despite what choices their parents have made in the opposite direction.

Washington's Paramount Duty has changed their Lobby Day at the Legislature to Wednesday, Feb. 27th.  Sign up here.

Speaking of the Legislature, here's the Washington State School Directors Association (school board members), has a weekly legislative update for news on public education related issues.

Statement from OSPI on Waivers Due to Snowy Weather

On February 8, Governor Inslee issued a proclamation declaring a statewide state of emergency related to this week’s winter storm. We expect the proclamation to be lifted at midnight on February 15, 2019.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Seattle Schools News Updates

Wednesday, Feb. 13th - schools are closed (again).  

Election results - both levies passed.

Operations - 65.81% Yes
Capital - 68.19% - Yes


Election Day (How to Vote if You Can't Get Your Ballot Sent)

HOW TO VOTE if you don’t have mail service and can’t get to a ballot box.

Monday, February 11, 2019

District to Cease Use of Some Education Software That Doesn't Meet ADA

I came across this memo that could have significant implications.

To: Seattle Public Schools Staff
From: Kyle Kinoshita, Executive Director of Curriculum, Assessment and Instruction John Krull, Chief Information Officer, Department of Technology Services (DoTS)

 
Seattle Public Schools is committed to conforming with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and ensuring students with disabilities can access educational software. Classroom student digital resources must be accessible to ALL students, including the visually impaired. This year, SPS has been reviewing its educational software for ADA compliance.

Tuesday, February 05, 2019

Washington Middle School Upheaval Update

An update on the story at Washington Middle School where the principal flipped schedules at the semester with no warning to students or teachers.

The students did hold a protest outside the school last Thursday. They also wrote a thoughtful letter about their concerns.

The principal, Emily Butler-Ginolfi, has not acknowledged the letter nor the protest as of the date of the letter.

Reflecting what the 8th graders have been learning in class, the letter starts this way:

Happy Lunar New Year!






Tuesday Open Thread

Get that ballot in for the Seattle Schools’levies; even The Stranger says yes to them.

There’s a levies rally this Saturday, the 9th, at Cascadia in support of the levies from 10-11 am.

Another snow day.  I have been seeing rumblings from parents on Facebook about the school year calendar and there being three snow days (but one passed in January).  I'm surprised at the number of people who make plans for the last day of school.

Prospective Students Encouraged to Apply for Academy for Rising Educators

From SPS Communications:

Created through a partnership of Seattle Public Schools, Seattle Central College, and the City of Seattle’s Seattle Promise scholarship, the Academy for Rising Educators (ARE) initiative is targeted at high school students in their junior and senior years who have an interest in the teaching profession.

Slated to begin in the summer of 2019, students will have the opportunity to take courses and participate in internships to complete the prerequisite requirements for a paraprofessional position in the district; earning a salary and full benefits.

Friday, February 01, 2019

Saturday Open Thread

Open House for the Science Instructional Materials at Nathan Hale HS from 9 am to 3 pm.

Several articles of note.

Nice story in the Times about Ingraham High School's champion basketball team from 50 years ago when Governor Inslee played for the team.

Strategic Plan: Moving Fast

A reader requested a thread on the feedback to the draft Strategic Plan that was discussed at a Board Work Session this week. I see that the Steering Committee is having another meeting on Monday, Feb. 4th; I'll have to see if I can attend.

I did not attend this Work Session; here is the agenda/attached documentation.

Discord at the Start of Black History Month/Black Lives Matter Week

Black Lives Matter week is Feb. 4-8.  The district has information here about activities.  From their webpage (partial):

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Times Editorial Weaponizes Special Ed Students for Their Own Purposes

The Times can't seem to ever get it right.   Here's what I said in the Comments section:

The Times is looking for a new editorial voice and shucks, I was going to apply but with this editorial, well, I'm going to blow that chance.  I have been a public education advocate in this city for over 20 years and written the most widely-read public education blog in the state for nine years (Seattle Schools Community Forum).  I know this district and I know it better than the entire Seattle Times editorial board. (I'd take all them on in a debate anytime, any place.)

The Times is wrong. Period.

Wednesday Open Thread

Good luck to all school districts in the country over the next couple of incredibly cold days.  Here's a hilarious snow day video from two talented administrators in Michigan.  (Thanks to President Harris.)

It was a somewhat tense Work Session last night on the City's Families, Education, Preschool and Promise levy.  Directors Pinkham and DeWolf were not in attendance; all other directors were as was the Superintendent. I'll have a separate post on it but suffice to say the City knows the Board is not happy about the fund-sharing with charter schools.  (I also examined the charter school law and, with the help of the Washington Charter School Commission, I now see the clever loophole that allows this.  Just know, this is a choice, not an obligation, that the City is making.  They do not have to shar the funds.)

Monday, January 28, 2019

City IS Going to Give K-12 Education Dollars to Charter Schools

Update 4:

After talking with SBE and the WA State Charter School Commission, I find that the law is worded in a clever manner.

Charter schools cannot themselves raise money thru levies.  Meaning, they can't have their own levy election.

And, there is no provision in the current law for them to receive levy dollars.

However, there is also no provision that they can't, if offered, receive levy dollars.

I believe the meaning is that they can't expect to receive levy dollars if a levy passes but, if some kind soul (or city) wanted to give them levy dollars, they can accept them.]

Also, the old charter school law said that only charters that existed when a levy passes were eligible for funds.  That portion of the law is now gone, meaning, that as more charters come online, the smaller the number of K-12 dollars for SPS.

International Privacy Day

I say this over and over -  
I don't believe privacy is dead and I certainly don't think that should be so for children.

Save SPS Librarians

In recent district work sessions on the latest budget, it has been indicated that they are suggesting cutting many librarians to half-time.  Personally, I find this unacceptable.  Kids need librarians for many reasons.  As well, if the library doesn't have someone watching over it, I think space might get taken away for other purposes.

Friday, January 25, 2019

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Tuesday Open Thread

Looking at all the drama over the viral video of the students at a Kentucky Catholic school's field trip to Washington, D.C., there's all kind of learning there about what NOT to do on a field trip.  I just wonder what the adults supervising those kids were thinking.  None of that had to happen. 

Several superintendents struck back the Seattle Times about the Times' opposition to Seattle's Operations levy.  This op-ed included Superintendent Juneau (and former superintendent Susan Enfield).  I feel they made solid points. 

Monday, January 21, 2019

The Many Voices Of PTA

As most readers know, I have been a long-time PTA member and supporter.  Just as I am both cheerleader and critic to Seattle Public Schools, so I am to PTA. 

At this point in time it appears that PTA in Seattle Schools is in flux. 

A small number of schools have abandoned PTA and are not PTOs (Parent-Teacher Organizations, independent of PTA).  I hear from some readers near-weekly about their school considering going this route.

SCPTSA, over the last couple of years, has lost about 800 members.  That is a huge number and probably devastating to the organization in terms of money and advocacy.

Please Send in a Comment on Proposed Title IX Changes

My letter to Secretary DeVos on proposed changes to Title IX. I urge you to comment as well.  I did include text from Know Your IX:

Friday, January 18, 2019

Friday Open Thread

A smart third grade teacher, Liz Kleinrock, put together a good lesson about consent.  (Laying the groundwork for when the kids get older and interact in other ways.)  Talk to your kids about this important part of life for kids at school.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Lincoln High School Info

Update: From a photo taken at the meeting last night, a huge turnout.

Tuesday Open Thread

 UPdate: I believe this survey is thru the "Equal Opportunity Schools" initiative.  Oddly, this group just happens to have suddenly been getting some of their staff on various district committees.

end of update

I am hearing that as of about 1:30 pm that Garfield students were being pulled from class to take an online survey using their student ID number. Does anyone have any information on this?

About Lincoln High TONIGHT:

Monday, January 14, 2019

Seattle Schools' New Strategic Plan (Draft)

 Update: Of interest for this discussion, the district's scorecard.

Previously, I wrote about the Work Session the Board had for new strategic plan.  I had said this (partial):

Sunday, January 13, 2019

News for Those with Students with Disabilities

Mark your calendar! NEW DATE for Special Education PTSA general membership meeting.
Wednesday, January 16
7:00-9:00pm

John Stanford Center (2445 3rd Ave S, Seattle)
Rm 2750

Please join us!
For questions email Helen at president.seattlespedptsa@gmail.com

Seattle Special Education website.

This and That

Lin-Manuel Miranda hears from his 8th grade teacher via CBS News.   Miranda had turned in a play or musical for a homework assignment and the teacher, Dr. Rembert Herbert, told Miranda that he had a special talent and "to stop hibernating at the back of my class."  Miranda, a former substitute teacher, says that turned him around.

Teachers matter.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Friday Open Thread

Please check my update on the Science curriculum adoption; it includes how to give input.

The District is laying off Director of Logistics head for Transportation, Kathy Katterhagen.  This from the Seattle Times.

Wednesday, January 09, 2019

Seattle Schools Levies; The Times Pounces

In a fairly incoherent editorial yesterday, the Seattle Times slams SPS for their Operations levy. (And takes one swipe at the BEX capital levy.)

They say the district is asking for more in the Operations levy than they say is legal and "jeopardizing a 40-year effort to reduce inequity among schools across the state."

To note, OSPI signed off on Seattle's levies so if there was something illegal, they didn't find it. I am fairly certain that OSPI knows more about it than the Times.

Also, it is the Times that had advocated in another editorial that districts to take a "wait and see" attitude on the McCleary spending plan for a couple of years. Problem is that every district has budgeting folks who actually know how to forecast and nearly every single district in this state will have a shortfall by 2020. No crystal ball needed.

They say about the McCleary spending plan:

This and That

The district welcomes a new COO, Fred Podesta.  He most recently worked on homeless issues under Mayor Jenny Durkan.  While Mr. Podesta does have a plethora of experience, he was also the guy who had three different jobs in city government in a 25-month period.  Hmm.

I had an opportunity to speak with the Superintendent at last night's Levies meeting at John Rogers Elementary.  (They are getting an overhaul and not a decade too soon - one long-time BEX watcher and parent, Kim McCormick, told the crowd that she had been advocating for a new building when her child was there in kindergarten - he's now a freshman in college.)

I did ask Juneau about possibly televising Work Sessions for the next couple of months, due to the permanent closure and teardown of the Viaduct.  She said she wasn't sure about that.  She also noted, as can anyone who works in the downtown corridor, that it was going to be trying for JSCEE staff.  They may try to stagger some work schedules.

Science Curriculum Updates

Update:  Here's a link to all the candidates for Science adoption.

Tuesday, January 08, 2019

Tuesday Open Thread

The January 9th SpEd PTSA general membership meeting is POSTPONED due to the unavailability of multiple board members having to meet family obligations.  

Stay tuned for a rescheduled meeting date.  Thank you for your understanding!

Editorial from the News Tribune on Governor Inslee's plans for CTE (Career and Technical Education) for students. 

Saturday, January 05, 2019

Writing to the Board

School will resume again on Monday the 7th.

I have been writing to the Board on several issues, trying to get clarity (and some traction) on several issues.

Here are the topics I have written to them about:

Friday, January 04, 2019

Friday Open Thread

Time for school to start up on Monday, the 7th.   That is also the start for new student registration for 2019-2020.