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Friday, January 15, 2010

Upcoming Events and Meetings

Tomorrow, three Board members have their regular community meetings.

Sherry Carr from 8:30 - 10:00 am, Greenwood Neighborhood Service Center
8515 Greenwood Avenue North

Michael DeBell from 9-11 am Caffé Appassionato, 4001 – 21st Ave. W. (next to Fisherman’s Terminal)

Steve Sundquist from 1-2:30 p.m., Delridge Library, 5423 Delridge Way SW (Please note, I see that Steve likes to shake things up so his meetings are at different times and places each time so always check the Board website for a particular date. He also has multiple dates in a month; good for Steve.)

Also, I don't see a meeting schedule for either Betty Patu or Kay Smith-Blum although I did see that Kay had some sort of meeting last week.

Next Wednesday, Jan. 20th., the Board will have a Work Session on "policies" followed by the regular Board meeting. The topic of the Work Session, as I understand it, is them trying to find a philosophy to guide them on what policies to keep, rework and eliminate. The Board will be voting on the Transition Plan at the Board meeting.

From the district's Schoolbeat:

Parent information set for elementary special education risers
Parents and guardians of special education students are invited to attend a meeting being held for those students rising into kindergarten, first grade, third grade or fourth grade.

January 19, 2010 (Tuesday)
5:30-7:30 p.m.
John Stanford Center
Room 1005 (Auditorium)


Seattle Public Schools will hold an open house and recruiting fair on the STEM program at Cleveland High School on January 23. The STEM program focuses on a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics curriculum with students having a choice of two academies: Life Science and Global Health; and Engineering and Technology. For more information, e-mail stem@seattleschools.org or visit the STEM Web site at www.seattleschools.org/area/stem.

STEM at Cleveland Open House and Recruiting Fair
Saturday, January 23, 2010
10 a.m. to noon
Cleveland High School, Commons
5511 15th Ave. S.

9 comments:

SP said...

Also from the School Beat (link on SAP transitions webpage, too):

New district transition document, "Follow-Up to Transition Plan Questions and Recommended Changes"

http://www.seattleschools.org/area/
implementation/
TransitionPlanRecommendedChanges.pdf

It covers new district recommendations for transportation, grandfathering (distance tiebreakers for siblings?), school specific issues and special section on West Seattle issues.
- - - - - - - - - - - - -

I am still concerned about the West Seattle projections by the district. Under the Denny & Sealth sections of this new document, they assume that since approx. half of the Denny & Sealth "assignment area" kids currently do not choose to go to these schools, that the same number of incoming 6th & 9th graders will reject their default assignments, and register & get accepted to schools out of their assignment area for next year. How can they be so sure that families will not just go with the default assignment?

It seems that the district is wanting to encourage the transition to assigned schools on a fast track in other parts of the city, but in West Seattle they are still assuring families that the "same old choice" patterns will continue. Will the schools get blindsided after enrollment proves otherwise and we have Denny/Sealth filled to the max. and Madison/WSHS'e enrollment down by 30% as the district projected earlier?

owlhouse said...

Melissa said "...although I did see that Kay had some sort of meeting last week."

Not sure if you are referring to the Squire Park Community Council meeting last Saturday? Director Smith-Blum was an invited and confirmed guest. She no showed, eventually calling to explain that her store had a sale and she couldn't get away. Andre Helmstetter and Joanna Cullen, both candidates last fall for dist 5's board seat, along with 40+ other community members were there. Hopefully SB will make the next quarterly meeting. Even better if she schedules monthly office hours or coffee chats.

Melissa Westbrook said...

That was the meeting I saw.

gavroche said...

Can anyone confirm the date of Michael DeBell's next community coffee meeting at Caffé Appassionato?

I've seen two different dates -- tomorrow (1/16) and next Saturday (1/23).

His blog says he meets with constituents the 4th Saturday of every month, which would make it the 23rd.

But I wonder if he bumped it up to tomorrow in light of this week's announcement that the Supt wants to move three principals from his cluster, and the strong interest in the QA/Magnolia community to voice their concerns with him.

Any insights?

(Other details: 9-11 am Caffé Appassionato, 4001 – 21st Ave. W., next to Fisherman’s Terminal)

Central Mom said...

I 2nd Seattle Parent. Go read that Transition Plan follow up. Lots of good explanations about questions. But...only 2 staff recommended changes to the current plan wording.

And do not miss this. NO PROMISE OF SPECIAL PROGRAMMING at the expansion schools FOR NEXT YEAR except QA. There is a path laid out for enabling a program, but it is a 3-year plan.

In addition, it lists data from other school districts around grandfathering and transportation during assignment changes. The non-spelled-out conclusion is that SPS is offering far more transportation and grandfathering than the other districts. I'm sure staff will be sure that the board digests this.

Meg said...

So... there's also an $800K contract for NTN being voted on. I have to admit, I really, really don't understand the way STEM is being moved on as if it's an absolute guarantee. Did the board vote for STEM at Cleveland? Yes. BUT it was contingent on "availability of funds": http://www.seattleschools.org/area/newassign/Cleveland_final.pdf, as you will see if you read the fiscal impact portion of the board action report.

There are a number of things that sound great about STEM (lots of which were discussed in the thread about it), and in theory, I love the idea. But pushing forward with it in the face of a budget shortfall seems, at best, short-sighted. There are several programs starting from scratch this year - the planning for a STEM program SPS can't afford means that planning for those programs isn't happening in a meaningful way. Getting a language immersion or a Montessori school off the ground would cost less than 1/10th of what STEM is running.

If you haven't trawled through school budgets in the annual reports, you may not have noticed that Cleveland ALREADY gets $1600 more per student than the average SPS high school. The additional STEM money is intended as just that: additional. I haven't heard a word about otherwise reducing Cleveland's current budget. Cleveland's planning is already taking LAP money that would otherwise fill out the budgets at other schools. Nor does there seem to be much planning for what happens if STEM does NOT prove to be an out-of-the-box success (and maybe I missed it, but there seems to have been no acknowledgment that the Gates Academies did not prove successful, or a discussion of WHY).

I really, really hope the board reminds the staff that STEM was contingent on available funds and that funds are not available this year, and therefore votes: no STEM in the fall, regardless of how many open houses staff moves forward with.

Maureen said...

Cleveland's planning is already taking LAP money that would otherwise fill out the budgets at other schools.

Meg, or someone else, can you explain to me how LAP funds work? Do they follow specific kids, or do they go to schools with certain statistics? I.e., is Cleveland effectively taking the LAP funds that go with their Sophomores through Seniors and using them to educate their (non LAP eligible) incoming freshman?

Melissa Westbrook said...

Maureen, I don't know the answer to your question. It's a good one. I do know that a staffer, Mr. Harman, confirmed at the last Board meeting that LAP funds from some school(s) will be cut and go to Cleveland.

yumpears said...

West Seattle Blog wrote up an article on Steve Sundquist's meeting.

http://www.westseattleblog.com/2010/01/seattle-public-schools-new-assignment-plan-more-transition-talk#more-27371