Sunday, December 13, 2009

This Week's Meetings

(Update: Reader Dana let us know this meeting is not happening. See her post for details.) Monday the 14th - Eckstein's PTSA Parent Forum about inclusion in Spectrum classes.
I will have to check if this is still going on; there is no information at the Eckstein website except the date. I'll probably pop up there to check it out if it is happening.

Tuesday, the 15th, Board Curriculum and Instruction Committee meeting, 4:30-6:00 p.m.
No details on the discussion here.

Wednesday, the 16th, Steve Sundquist is having his Community Meeting from 10-11:30 am.
I'm not sure where. Anyone?

Also on Wednesday, the long-awaited Board Work Session on the Transition Plan from 4:30 -8:00 p.m.
(It also says it is about the budget). I did write the Board and ask them to press for clarification on this "one-year transition rules" and what it means. Here's what I wrote:

"Is the transition plan to be just for one year or is it a multi-year transition plan with a review of the rules at the end of each year? I have to say that either way it sure leaves families twisting in the wind not knowing if the rules will change at the end of the year or not. That may work for staff but it doesn't work well for families who want the predictability promised by this new SAP."

Thursday, the 17th, there is a Board Operations Committee meeting from 4-6 p.m. Also, there is the Public Hearing on the MOU between the City and the District on the issue of Memorial Stadium at 5:30 p.m.
I'll be testifying at the latter one. You do not have to sign up in advance to testify as for previous public hearings on the SAP and levies. (I had to press the district on this - they had no information posted on the front page of the News and Calendar section on this nor did they give information about testifying.)


Dana said...

The Eckstein PTSA meeting was rescheduled for 12/10 to accommodate a guest speaker. I was told that discussions about full inclusion with the parent community will not occur in the immediate future, as Spectrum will be remaining at Eckstein.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Thanks Dana for the update.

StepJ said...

Director Sundquist's meeting is at the Delridge Library.

Wednesday 16th, 10:00 - 11:30 am
Director Sundquist Community Meeting
Delridge Library, 5423 Delridge Way South

Megan Mc said...

The Curriculum and Instruction committee will cover:
Committee Discussion
a. Policy Review
 Testing Policy-C.21-final reading
 Materials Adoption Policy-C.40-first reading
b. BMI – PE Requirement & waiver discussion
c. Program Placement discussion

Charlie Mas said...

There's some good news in that Curriculum and Instruction Policy Committee agenda - they are taking up Program Placement in a timely manner. While I suppose it's good that they are also moving forward on the Policy review, where's the review of Policy D12.00 that the Board directed the superintendent to do eleven months ago?

Melissa Westbrook said...

Director Carr had promised at her community meeting that she would put the PE BMI issue on the agenda and was good on her word.

I did ponder what Dana said as it indicates something changed at Spectrum. I think because Bob Vaughn (and likely Susan Enfield) didn't know about Eckstein's pilot on Spectrum inclusion may have something to do with it.

Spectrum, as a program, has got to have some parameters that stay in place school to school. Beyond that, if one school gets to try their own ideas about learning, why not all? I am still waiting for the Superintendent to explain earned autonomy and how schools can achieve it and use it.

Charlie Mas said...

I'm starting to hear some very disturbing questions about Spectrum and ALOs. Any confusion about what they are supposed to be and how they are supposed to work represents a failure at the district level to set clear expectations and enforce them.

TechyMom said...

Charlie, Can you elaborate?

Unknown said...

Tomorrow night at 7pm, in the library at TOPS K-8 there is a VERY important meeting happening for all alternative schools. We have a one time shot to speak with Seattle Public Schools Superintendent Maria
Goodloe-Johnson and Chief Academic Officer Susan Enfield. This will be an informational meeting explaining the unique challenges alternative schools face and a moderated questions and answer session. If you have concerns about what the district feels our role in Seattle Public Schools is here is your chance to show your support. Please, we need everyone that we can muster. Unity and numbers is the only way we can
make an impression. If you have any questions please contact Chris
Stewart or me.

Seattle, WA 98102

For those that wish to attend but don't want to drive there will be
carpooling available from Thornton creek. Contact Chris Stewart.

Thank you,
Michelle Brown
district relations co-chair

Unknown said...

Posting again because when I cut and pasted my previous comment I realized it wasn't clear. The meeting with Sup. Goodloe Johnson and CAO Susan Enfield on alternative education is on Tuesday, December 15 at 7:00 p.m. at TOPS.

Kelly Charlton said...

Links to documents relating to the sale of Memorial Stadium

Memorial Stadium Memorandum of Agreement November 18, 2009 DRAFT

Memorial Stadium Redevelopment Proposal

Memorial Stadium Lots - King County Records Parcel No. 1988200640

Memorial Stadium Parking Lot - King County Records Parcel No. 1988200775

Mercer Garage Property - King County Records Parcel No. 5457800310

seattle citizen said...

I wonder how MAP, differentiation, and Response to Intervention fit into the ALO/Spectrum/Honors/AP formulas, and vice versa.

The intention (one of them) of MAP test is to identify student "levels" for scheduling purposes and for differentiation. RtI is a structure that uses three levels of intervention to respond to students who aren't "at level" in a classroom: In-class response, out-of-class response, and district level response.

While it seems the gist of the RtI is to identify and remediate behavioural issues, and the gist of MAP is to identify and remediate academic issues, it also seems that the two should work together (three, when combined with differentiation) would also work together (or, in my opinion, SHOULD work together: Behavior and academics are inter-related and often correlate)

What I'm getting at is that if these systems are being promoted at the district level (and they are), then it would follow that they would inform (if not dictate) identification and response for both academic and behavioral levels.

In my opinion, this should include identiication and response to advanced levels in both behavior and academics, but of interest here is academics: If MAP identifies advanced students, what "interventions" will be called upon to address these advanced levels? As has been noted here before, people are interested in what is meant by "honors" or "ALO. Spectrum is no doubt an advanced program, but does it fit into the systemized network of providing instruction at various levels that the district is moving towards?

Differentiation is coming, mainly around academic levels (tho' where that is impacted by cultural or multi-intelligence factors would hopefully have some attention). This means that in-lclass multiple level instruction, lessons, activities, and achievement. Once a student is identified as not being "addressable" in classroom, the next level (a developmental class, perhaps, or, in my view, an advanced class) is offered or mandated.

So look for developmental (remedial) classes in schools, and also, one would hope, advanced. But what will those advanced classes look like in this model, given the indicators in play and the identification system used?

Anonymous said...

What is the meeting at TOPS about exactly?
Is this about Thornton Creek keeping their feeder status to Salmon Bay Middle School?

owlhouse said...

Anonymous @ 8:09,
Back in October Mary Bass suggested that the ASC arrange a meeting with Dr. Enfield, our new CAO. The idea was to introduce ourselves, learn of her experience with alt schools and collaborate in strengthening alt and all schools in SPS. Dr. GJ was cc'd on the invite and took us up on the opportunity. We expect Holly Ferguson to attend as well.

While the meeting was intended as an introduction all the way around, we expect a number of issues to be addressed through sharing historical context, dialogue, and question and answer time. Discussion will likely include the SAP, transportation, feeder patterns, board policy, curriculum alignment and more.

Charlie Mas said...

People know what APP is and is supposed to be. It is a self-contained program (in grades 1-5, in LA, SS, and science for grades 6-8) for what the District is calling academically highly gifted students. Self-contained APP means that only APP students are in the APP classes.

There was supposed to be a curriculum for APP that was supposed to have been implemented with the start of school this year, but the curriculum (and the implementation) are late. I don't know if it will ever come now. That curriculum would have been about two years advanced in reading and math where developmentally appropriate.

People should know what Spectrum is supposed to be, but many, including those responsible for Spectrum programs, do not. It is supposed to be a self-contained program (in grades 1-5, in LA, SS, and science for grades 6-8) for what the District is calling academically gifted students. Self-contained Spectrum means that only Spectrum students are in the Spectrum classes. Since schools often cannot fill a class with district-identified Spectrum-eligible students, they are allowed to fill the class with students who the teachers believe are ready and able to succeed with the Spectrum curriculum. The entire class is then taught to the Spectrum curriculum.

There was supposed to be a curriculum for Spectrum that was supposed to have been implemented with the start of school this year, but the curriculum (and the implementation) are late. I don't know if it will ever come now. That curriculum would have been about one year advanced in reading and math where developmentally appropriate.

Advanced Learning Opportunities (ALOs) are less well defined and understood. There is no set delivery model for ALOs (like the self-contained classrooms for APP and Spectrum). They could use any number of other legitimate models for providing advanced instruction. There does, however, have to be some model at work. It cannot simply be teachers doing their best to differentiate instruction. There must be a system at work. Just as the identifying key factor of Spectrum is the self-contained delivery model, the identifying key factor of and ALO is an inclusive classroom with students of all skill levels. ALOs are expected to deliver the Spectrum curriculum. In addition, unlike APP and Spectrum, there is no eligibility requirement for ALOs. They are available to all students on a self-selection basis.

That's how it is supposed to be, but that's not how it is. There are Spectrum classes with students of all skill levels. There are Spectrum classes that do not offer the requisite acceleration. There are ALOs that have set eligibility requirements. There are ALOs that don't have any system at work. There are ALOs that don't offer the requisite acceleration.

When ALOs were created the District committed to setting and maintaining some quality standards. They have never enforced them.

Charlie Mas said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Charlie Mas said...

Aaaargh! Traffic on the 99 was so horrible yesterday afternoon that it took me about an hour to get to SODO from Ballard, so I had to skip the Curriculum and Instruction Policy Committee meeting.

Did anyone go?

I'm just dying to hear about it.

Charlie Mas said...

Sherry Carr gets props in a Seattle Times editorial on the BMI measurement question.