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Saturday, May 01, 2010

District Announces College Readiness Workshops

The district is presenting 3 College Readiness Workshops, 2 next week and 1 the week after. This is a great idea but I just saw this notice this week (and am now just getting around to posting it). I check the district website every day so I know this is recent. I'm glad they are doing this but a little more advance notice is always good.

Tuesday, May 4th at Chief Sealth High School at the Boren School library

Thursday, May 6th at Rainier Beach High School library

Tuesday, May 11th at Ingraham High School Library

All the meetings are from 6:30-8:00 p.m.

Topics covered at all three workshops will include:

Why your child should go to college
• Job opportunities for college graduates
• Annual earnings high school graduates vs. college graduates
• Satisfaction and personal growth
• New and exciting experiences

How high schools prepare students for college:
• College Path courses and Honors Courses
• Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate courses
• Grades and Attendance

What you can do to support your child:
• The right courses your child should take in high school
• Requirements for college entrance
• Ideas about where to go to find the information you need

Interpretation services will be available, and light dinner will be provided.

There is a bit of irony here as the district cut the Career Counselor positions so that "ideas about where to go to find the information you need " might mean looking at books in the old Career Counselor office but not finding a human being to help you. (There are also organizations like NELA who help but they are not based at each school.) The academic counselors might be able to help a little (and maybe more at the smaller high schools) but that's not realistic.

Another piece of this for me is that I was going to volunteer to man a Career Counselor office at one high school for all of next year (2-3 days a week) so that kids who need a real person can find one. (I'm not qualified per se but I can at least read essays and offer direction which is better than no help at all.)

However, I find out that the union doesn't like that (even if the job only exists on paper because there is no funding and I'd only be there a year) and I probably won't be allowed to do it. I'll appeal to the Board or union leadership but it's probably a no go. Very frustrating.

11 comments:

SolvayGirl said...

That is very disheartening Melissa as a full-time college counselor is just one of the things that is keeping us (and likely others) in a private school. Sigh.

SIDominic said...

The District cuts counselors whose jobs were to help students and families navigate the obstacle course/track to get into college - counselors in every high school with access for all the students.

The District offers families three college readiness workshops (with very short notice and which will have limited space) which are designed to do a big chunk of what the counselors did?

Families where going to college is part of their 'norm' and where older children have already gone will not need these workshops.

Seems like this approach simply wont be able to deliver the services provided by counselors to all of the disdvantaged families and students and those who have never had to navigate the college path before.

Not much point in pushing for already disadvantaged kids all to be 'college ready' if you aren't also going to help them with the process of applying and getting in, is there?

Too little, too late...

LG said...

This is off-topic, but Betty Patu was a no-show for her constituent meeting at Tully's this morning. A student, several parents and a teacher were there, all frustrated.

I can email her my concerns, but I was hoping to actually discuss them.

seattle citizen said...

OT:
Two articles in today's times, interesting juxtaposition between one article about the mixed (lack) of success in charter schools, and another artilce about the problems with turning every aspect of life into a quantifiable metric, a number, something to be measured and manipulated:
This on the limited success of charter schools (part of the RTT agenda)"Despite Push, Success of Charter Schools is Mixed" http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/02/education/02charters.html

and this on the consequences of turning every aspect of life (thereby also education) into metrics, quantities and numbers:
"The Data-driven Life:
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/02/magazine/02self-measurement-t.html?ref=todayspaper

Melissa Westbrook said...

I'll say outloud what I have been thinking since Betty got elected. I don't think this job is for her and I wonder, given her seemingly poor grasp of what is presented to her at meetings and her unavailability, if she might not know this as well.

People in her district, does she seem visible at community meetings?

SolvayGirl said...

If only the rest of the votes in my area had realized what it would have meant to have Charlie on the board.

Unknown said...

Melissa,

I don't see how or why the union would stop a volunteer. If you were a position on paper then you'd be displacing a position they are fighting to bring back. The school could say they already have a career counselor but a parent or community member that is there to help a few days a week without specifically filling a job shouldn't be an issue. I think it's more in the framing of the issue than the execution of it.

SP said...

Melissa,
There are already volunteer community members trying to fill some of the huge gaps left by the career center positions being eliminated. I'm almost certain that WSHS, Sealth and Franklin all have had volunteers, as often as 3 times a week (or maybe even more). That's in addition to the CAN volunteers, YMCA, Americorps etc also filling in.

It's great the volunteers are stepping up, but I hope that the district doesn't see this (or other schools with more money actually funding these positions) then that becomes a permanently lost position.

dan dempsey said...

LG said...

This is off-topic, but Betty Patu was a no-show for her constituent meeting at Tully's this morning. A student, several parents and a teacher were there, all frustrated.
---------------------

I showed at Tully's at 11....
Asked: Where is the meeting?
(10 to Noon)

Employee thought it had gone to Rainer Beach....

So I tried RBHS and the Rainer Beach Library .... then gave up.

Cara said...

I too was at the Tully's on Saturday. I had to leave at 11. Here's the body of the message I emailed Ms. Patu:

Dear Ms. Patu,

I was at the Tully's coffeeshop on Saturday May 1 and was disappointed that you were not there. I work on Saturdays and arranged my schedule so that I could talk to you in person about some of my concerns about SE schools. There were several people at Tully's waiting for you, and I stayed until 11 as I then had to go back to work. I doubt that I will be able to re-arrange my schedule for your next Saturday meeting. In case I can, how will I know whether you will be there? Could you please send an email to your constituents if you cannot make a meeting?

Charlie Mas said...

Here is the item as it still appears on the Board Calendar:

May 1, 2010
---------
District VII Community Meeting (Patu)
10:00am - 12:00pm
Location: Tully's Coffee
Informal opportunity to meet in -person with Director Betty Patu at Tully's coffeehouse located at 4400 Rainier Avenue South (corner of Rainier and Genesee)