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Saturday, August 08, 2009

Have You Noticed?

Have you noticed:
  • this notice at every school's webpage:
"If you came here to view Classroom Information & Homework, this information is now available on The Source. The move to this new system allows us to provide you not only general classroom and homework information but also attendance, state assessment information, class pages, and grades specifically for your student. (Grades are only available for students in grades 6-12 students at this time). The Source will be available to families on August 14th, but school schedules won't be available until September 10th. Click here to register and view The Source!"

Good to know. In reference to The Source it would also be good to know what the district is going to ask teachers for in their new contracts. They currently only have to use The Source twice a quarter which is just not enough. If parents want to keep up with their student's work, then The Source has to be used more.
  • that on the Schools page at the SPS website that all the K-8s are put together (even Alternatives) but under Alternatives only AS#1 and Thorton Creek are there (along with the smaller, less well-known schools like South Lake and SBOC). Why would that be? Nova isn't listed either under Alternatives. I'm fine with putting all the K-8s together so you can see them all at a glance but why not put an asterisk for those that are alternative? Why not list all the alternative schools under Alternative?
I think anyone using that page would be confused.
  • Just like Tribbles or mushrooms, there are signs popping up at schools all around the district, touting the work done there under BTA II. Complete with all the School Board members and the Superintendent, it's a little PR to try to get people to say, "Hey, we have to vote for that BTA levy, look at what they did at our neighborhood school." Sure, it's a good PR thing to do but it sad to think how much of that money got misused at places like Denny.

8 comments:

Megan Mc said...

Interesting. AS#1 hasn't really used The Source in the past, but I know the new principal wants the middle school grade teachers to use is this year. I'm not sure how the grading component will work in a school that doesn't do grades... I can definitely see this opening up a new discussion about student evaluations at the middle school. Will The Source format work for Alternative schools? Does NOVA use it?

During open enrollment, I requested that the alternative schools be listed in the broader categories of Elementary, K-8, or High School to increase exposure to parents who wouldn't about them otherwise because the alternative label can be misunderstood.

As for the weird Alt listings, I wonder if the Alternative schools listed are the only ones that will be audited? It seems weird that they would drop TOPS, Salmon Bay, Orca, Pathfinder, and especially NOVA.

Sahila said...

Off topic, but nowhere to post this... its already on

http://seattle-ed.blogspot.com/


THE QUESTION IS, IF THIS (THE SIDWELL EXPERIENCE) IS WHAT OBAMA WANTS FOR HIS DAUGHTERS, WHY ARE HE AND ARNE DUNCAN PUSHING FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT, AND SO MUCH LESS, FOR OUR KIDS?


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/gerald-bracey/shouldnt-obama-and-duncan_b_251958.html

Funny how Sidwell's focus and intent so closely resembles the policy contained in C54.00 that defines alternative education...

WAKE UP, SPS... we're being sold a bill of goods by the Superintendent and Board and we're just rolling over and taking it...

Sahila said...

Off topic, but nowhere 'miscellaneous' to put this...

Heard this piece on KUOW today and it has a lovely little piece in it on education....

http://www.prx.org/pieces/28122-fake-city-real-dreams

owlhouse said...

Megan,
Nova does not use The Source. The school has a "coordinator" system, connecting students/teachers/parents directly to "check-in" on school related progress and needs. I don't know if there will be an expectation that Nova move to using the Source, but expect that students and staff would be highly resistant to any means of communication that does not directly involve the student.

As a parent new to the system, I didn't have any experience with The Source- but am a big fan of Nova's system- finding it respectful, timely, relevant, collaborative and otherwise conducive to my student's success and my parental peace of mind.

I can't make sense of the district's classification system for alternatives and am also curious as to how the audit will be applied. I wonder if principals know? Before the end of the school year, I know our community was expecting to be part of the process...

Melissa Westbrook said...

The Source is completely accessible to students (at least in high school) as well as parents but if Nova already has something that works well for all, more power to them!

owlhouse said...

Accessible for students to read, or accessible for them to input their own information or interpretations of work progress? Again- I don't know exactly how things flow through the Source- but at Nova, a file sharing system that does not incorporate student control/voice would be problematic. At the core of Nova's student-centered democratic learning community is the expectation that students have the right to and responsibility for their own education. Because the student-school relation is primary and the parent-teacher relation secondary, students must play an active role in all discussion and planning of their schooling. (my words, based on my understanding.)

Melissa Westbrook said...

Students can read the Source but not input into it. However, by having that access, they can see how the teacher thinks he/she is doing and correct any errors (homework that was turned in, etc.). The Source needs more use by teachers because the usage varies so much from teacher to teacher that you can never be sure of the accuracy. This is all the better for teens who say it's wrong.

hschinske said...

"As a parent new to the system, I didn't have any experience with The Source- but am a big fan of Nova's system- finding it respectful, timely, relevant, collaborative and otherwise conducive to my student's success and my parental peace of mind."

My daughter transferred to Nova in midyear, and my experience last year was quite different. From your references to the student being involved in communications, I suspect my daughter's the main weak link, but I have to say her coordinator was not very forthcoming either. She'll have a new one this year and I intend to try to get off on a better foot and ask more questions about exactly what information I'm supposed to be getting at what stage. Because my experience was basically "If you don't expressly ask, you hear NOTHING," and that really doesn't work at all.

Helen Schinske