Sunday, March 22, 2009

A Few Items from the Board Meeting

I finally watched all of the Board meeting (or all I taped). A few items I thought worth mentioning.
  • They said that there were a total of 9 program requests with 3 granted. These came from principals and the public but they did not show a list nor state which ones were granted. Was one of those yours, Charlie?
  • On the bell times, Mr. Kennedy said, repeatedly, that the transportation times are NOT start times. He self-corrected several times as he really wanted to make this clear to the Board. He stated that principals and staff can decide (hello, what about parents?) on the actual bell time which, I believe, can be within 10 minutes of 8:15. Beth? So, if you are middle/high/K-8, go to your principal or PTA and ask about what the real start and end time will be for your school.
  • It was also interesting to see the list of bus ride times for the K-8s. New School has the shortest at 38 minutes. (I'm thinking because of their preference for the Rainier Valley, they don't go too far away - wonder if New School will get to keep that preference under a new assignment plan.) The next closest is Pathfinder/Orca at 47 minutes.
  • A district transportation guy (I missed his name) stated that they have a pilot program for community stops (where kids and parents gather for one pick-up) and want to work with neighborhoods who are interested in this program.
  • In regard to a query by Director Bass about other pockets of transporation problems, he also said that after the WASL is done, the transportation folks will talk with principals about other potential transportation "hot spots".


AutismMom said...

I do know there were autism (or low-incidence) inclusion programs requested at McGilvra, Bryant, and Madison. So that's 3. I'm pretty sure none were granted. Supposedly, blended K students can remain at McGilvra and Bryant (if at all possible). I'm not sure what would make it "impossible", but they like to keep their options open. Students rising to middle school have been told, you won't rise into a "program"... you'll get "integrated services". So, I think that means, that none of those programs were granted, though access to the schools may have been. We'll see what actually transpired when we learn where people got assigned.... and in the fall when we know what's actually available in the schools.

Charlie Mas said...

Yes, one of the program placement requests was from me, to move the Spectrum program for West Seattle-South from West Seattle Elementary to Arbor Heights.

Eric B said...

So the district is stating two different things on the start times. An email to staff on Friday said that the bus arrival times would be 8:10-8:20 (implying ~8:30-8:40 start time) while the SchoolBeat stated that the class start times would be 8:10-8:20, implying a bus arrival time of roughly 7:50-8:00. I cannot believe how totally incompetent these people are. They don't even know what they are doing, how should anyone else?

Charlie Mas said...

The New School, now called South Shore, will be either an attendance area K-8 or an alternative K-8 with the same assignment rules as every other school of its type. Right?

I don't see how it can be an assignment area school, however, since it is literally across the fence from Dunlap. That's even closer than the three blocks between Van Asselt @ the AAA and Wing Luke.

As an alternative school (or whatever they decide to call schools without geographic assignment areas), the tie-breakers for South Shore will be: sibling, lottery. Of course the District is likely to limit transportation to the Aki Kurose attendance/service area, but no more distance tie-breaker. A student from West Seattle has just as much chance to get in as a student from across the street. The West Seattle student would just have a harder time getting to and from school each day. And they would have to do it without any help from the District.

No more funky assignment areas or special tie-breakers for individual schools. That's the deal, right?

And no more funky transportation rules - they will all be the same for schools of the same type. Right?

ScootCoot said...

And any truth to the "rumor" about "the board" voting on a 10% pay increase for Ms. Goodloe-Johnson...? ("Rumor" has it that this was something overheard during the ending of "the board" meeting on Wednesday)...

Should this turn out to be true, seems to me that's not a good move considering the budget "short fall" Ms. Goodloe-Johnson has been "concerned" with...

momster said...

on this "within 10 minutes" thing - could the principal set the bell time 10 minutes before the bus transportation std, e.g., 9:20? because the bus routes are designed to get kids on site with some time to spare? (makes sense - i'm just curious.)

and if in the tiered school pairs, the middle school decides to go 10 minutes later and the elementary or k-8, 10 minutes earlier, does it work?

just wondering how much latitude the schools will actually have.

Anonymous said...

Who decides if a school is an attendance area K-8 or an alternative K-8? My understanding was that the New School @ South Shore was set up and intended to be a neighborhood school.

Melissa Westbrook said...

South Shore (New School) was originally listed as an alternative by the district. A couple of years ago it was changed to a regular attendance school with an enrollment caveat of a special preference for Rainier Valley students. I doubt it will be an alternative.

SP said...

re: Program Placement
heads up- Today's C&I (Curriculum & Instruction) meeting's agenda was just posted this morning:

1. Grading Policy
2. Promotion/Non-Promotion Policy
3. Mathematics Adoption
4. Program Placement

The meeting starts at 4:30. Items 1 & 2 are repeats from 2/23 meeting.

Charlie Mas said...

I didn't make it to the meeting. Did anyone else get there?

dan dempsey said...

Dear Seattle Parent,

Has that promotion / non-promotion policy discussion ever made it from the agenda to actual discussion?

If anyone ever hears a word on this please post what you hear.

SP said...

Charlie & Dan,
Unfortunately, I could not make it either. There are a couple of problems here-

First, the agenda was not posted until late morning the day of the meeting (it is supposed to be posted on Fridays at the latest, for a Monday meeting). This is a consistant problem with these meetings,

Then, there is no way on this blog to post important, time sensitive info. information in a visible spot (I had to put it in this section with a connected subject, knowing that there was little chance for alerting anyone on short notice).

The most troubling thing is that the agenda is so vague in the C&I meeting (besides nothing noted in the "parking lot" section to indicate what items were not discussed), and no minutes are ever posted.

So much for transparency. Is there any way to find out what the High School Steering Committee is reporting? The last time we were told we needed a public records disclosure request, just to ask for the minutes of a HS Steering committee meeting! What a waste of our tax dollars!

If any one obtains a copy of any C&I minutes, please post them-

Charlie Mas said...

I have seen minutes from these sorts of meetings and they are usually not very illuminating.