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Monday, January 12, 2009

A Little Late But A Reminder

Just a reminder, this week there are two Assignment Plan meetings (one was tonight - sorry)with one a week from Saturday.

Monday, January 12, 2009
6:30-8:30 p.m.
Mercer Middle School, Cafeteria
1600 S. Columbian Way

Tuesday, January 13, 2009
6:30-8:30 p.m.
Nathan Hale High School, Library
10750 30th Ave. N.E.

Saturday, January 24, 2009
10 a.m. to noon
John Stanford Center, Auditorium
2445 3rd Ave. S.

8 comments:

Charlie Mas said...

Andrew and I were at the meeting. The total public turnout was eight.

I was there because I thought it was going to be a quarterly update on the Strategic Plan. It wasn't.

ArchStanton said...

What happens at an Assignment Plan meeting and who attends?

i.e. is there any value in the average new SPS parent going?

Megan Mc said...

Was it similar to the ones they had in October? Presentation on the new plan, break out into groups and discuss what you like or don't like about the current system, and what you want in a new system?

Andrew Kwatinetz said...

Staff way outnumbered the parents at the meeting. (I think there were almost as many translators as parents.) I wonder if it's because they didn't get the word out well or if parents are just tired of meetings -- maybe both. The staff seemed to want genuine feedback - they were very welcoming and I think so many would not have shown up on a weekday night otherwise.
Carol Rava-Treat did most of the presenting -- recap of the budget, the strategic plan priorities, and student assignment issues. Then we broke out into "groups" (we only had enough for 1 group) for discussion of our concerns and priorities. It was less structured than the Oct meetings, but perhaps because of the low turn out. Staff took notes and will post the slides later this week, along with summaries of our input. Many of the concerns had to do with follow-up about closures (e.g. why don't the spec ed kids at TT Minor get the option of moving to Lowell with their classmates?, Should displaced kids get priority in enrollment choice if they don't like their default assignment?) and many were about issues regarding changes to the assignment plan or the strategy in general (e.g. need more details on what quality neighborhood schools will look like).

reader said...
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momster said...

re andrew's comment about district not getting the word out well - don't they send announcements about stuff like this to key communicators (like cpps, bloggers here, pta leaders, etc?)

i got an email from our pta pres (2 in fact; one forwarding the note from the city-level "seattle council" ptsa, one forwarding a note from patti spencer in public affairs). i saw one post here about a week ago - but no bulletins from cpps that i recall.

as a district, not sure what more you can do (on the cheap) than try to get the word out via your advocacy groups and key communicators. free food maybe - but even childcare, food, and translators often fail to get people out.

it's a perennial problem. people howl when the district "springs" something on them, yet there were more likely than not numerous opportunities to give input, get informed, etc.

not blaming people per se, but i do think we all need to assume accountability and responsibility for staying informed.

Andrew Kwatinetz said...

Just to clarify my comments: I wasn't ASSERTING that the district didn't get the word out -- I was just WONDERING. Personally, I heard about it last minute, but I was there. We know that many parents care about changes to the student assignment plan, so if meetings like this are not working to get feedback, we should work to find a better mechanism. It wasn't a cheap meeting for the district -- not sure about the general staff, but I'm guessing the interpreters probably get paid extra to show up to an evening meeting. Hopefully the next two will have better attendance. Personally, I'd rather see the district spend their research hours and dollars to go to the neighborhoods that aren't choosing their schools and find out why.

Jet City mom said...

My D attended a school that didn't update anything on internet- didn't have a PTA, and had all kinds of inaccuracies in the weekly newsletter ( plus it didn't come out on monday)
joys of alternative schools
:)
We still have dial up-
PITA
some sites don't load well.
Some people don't have internet at all and even to come to a parent group meeting, need to be contacted personally- it is a cultural issue- I believe.
I think they need more ways to contact people- they sure bombard us with mailers when they want us to vote for something.

Its good they have some translators at meeting-but how about putting out the translated info before hand?
Also, I don't remember ever seeing an ASL translator- whats the deal?