What Do SE Families Want?

From CPPS:
What Do Parents Want in South end Schools?
SE Parent Leadership Project Kickoff
Tuesday, October 19th, 7pm
Mercer Middle School 1600 Columbian Way
(enter the parking lot from westbound Columbian Way)

To make our public schools in south and southeast Seattle the quality neighborhood schools we want them to be, CPPS SE parents are organizing outreach and training for parent leadership and advocacy in the Aki Kurose and Mercer Middle School feeder patterns.

This project offers opportunity for community members to share their perspectives on schooling in these neighborhoods, to tell about their own experiences and desires for their children, AND to develop a collective advocacy voice for the changes they need.

Join us on Tuesday to talk about:

a community video to tell our schools' stories
parent leadership and advocacy training to meet YOUR needs
a parents' agenda for quality neighborhood schools

Can't make the meeting but have a story to tell? Contact Andre Canty or Cris Fernandez.

To join the SE Parent Network list, contact Stephanie Jones

We hope to see you there! Together, we can advocate for the quality education our children deserve!


wseadawg said…
This should be interesting. It may be the first time anyone, or any organization is asking SE families what they want and need, versus telling them and/or promising another silver bullet to be imposed upon them.

We shall see.
SouthEnd PTSA said…
Rainier Beach and Aki PTSA members had a meeting with Director
Tolley, Friday, 10/15/10.
The Programs we feel would be a good fit for Rainier Beach High School are: Law Magnet, Sports Medicine, Arts (Broadway Bound), IT (Aki President is working out the details).
Our next step is to hold a meeting sharing these programs with Orca, Aki, South Shore Parents for input.
ARB said…
I think Law Magnet should be highly considered. I think it is the most accessible program with less overhead than others. Trains for a wide skill range- from parole officer to law enforcement to lawyer. Two highlyregarded regional law schools in Seattle to partner with, plus low minrity representation in law schools and in bar membership, plus a bunch of regional and national law firms in area for internships. Ideal and neds to beseriously considered.
ParentofThree said…
A Law Magnet school is brillant, as there are so many career choices available in this field besides going to law school.
Anonymous said…
But the RB and AKI PTSAs represent families that already chose those schools. Isn't the point to get the families who did NOT choose them?
There are a lot more schools (especially elementary) that should feed into Aki and RBHS. Shouldn't these people be contacted?
Broadway Bound has already been involved with RBHS without it being much of a draw. IT...well RBHS nixed TAF, but maybe. Law Magnet—sounds good, as does Sports medicine, but what do they entail? Are we talking special programs like at Cleveland? Isn't the District getting ready to diminish programs like Biotech at Ballard, etc.?
SouthEnd PTSA said…
Anonymous you are mistaken. Only 15% of students at Beach chose Beach as a first choice. Not sure of the rating for Aki. We are not looking for a TAF program as it is exclusive. We want a program that has something for ALL. As listed in the original post the goal is to get input from South End feeder schools. If you are interested in participating the doors are open. As soon as we have a date and location we'll be sure to get it posted here so check back. Yes the district is planning on more cuts. We have a Beach Grad who has stepped up and is willing to fund the Law Program privately. We are working on the details. Be a positive voice by bringing solutions to help us make our South End Schools better by working with us.
wseadawg said…
Anonymous: Your "magnet" idea hasn't worked in the SE. I believe the point is to make the school better for the existing population, and those who are going to be assigned there in the coming years, rather than trying to lure people back who've opted out. I would like to see the RB community get what THEY NEED and want RIGHT NOW or ASAP. That has not happened in the past. We've seen many attempts to make RB a magnet, and it hasn't worked.

It seems to me that prospective parents talking to parents who currently have kids attending, or bound for, RB & Aki will be the best referral source and best advertising for those schools in the coming years. If they are happy and satisfied, others will follow.

The RB & Aki communities, and the rest of Seattle, for that matter, have heard promises, promises, promises for years, along with some honest good faith efforts, and some not. But nothing has really worked, because so much is planted from outside, directed from the top-down, or delivered like a supposed crusade to "save" students and schools (SE Initiative).

I'm all for truly organic, community-based, community-relevant programs that fit and serve the community in which the schools sits. Obviously the RB community has it's own unique needs, which have been ill served by trying to turn RB into a mini-Garfield or high-tech academy. People from outside thought it sounded great, but RB folks felt overrun and pushed back because those ideas didn't serve them.

The "if we build it, they will come" method has not worked well at RB. If the PTSA's demands are truly organic and will serve the existing kids in the schools now, then I'm 100% in support of them. If this is more outsiders thinking they can "show them how it's done" we might as well pack our bags and sit this one out. We've seen this movie too many times already.

I urge people not to "sell" fancy ideas to desperate communities, but instead, to sincerely ask and try to determine what they need. Otherwise, we wind up right back where we started, after another wrong solution is applied to the wrong problems.

If it's organic, and arises from the community itself, it will work.
wseadawg said…
SouthEndPTSA: I loved your post, and I hope I'm on target with my comments. I would love to see RB rise to prominence again, and I believe its on its way. It has appeared to me, from the conversations I've had with RB folks over the years, that SPS has done more to hinder than help your community over the years, despite mostly noble intentions.

Its refreshing to see you and the PTSA stepping up & taking matters into your own hands. Keep up the good work.
Central Mom said…
SouthEnd PTSA

You go! Good for you on your advocacy and outreach from your community to the District to inform them on what you feel you need...and then working as a team w/ the feeder schools to build that strong programming draw.
Anonymous said…
If the PTSAs will be reaching out to everyone in the community (including those of us who have young children, etc.) that's terrific. Sorry if I thought the input would be exclusive to the current PTSAs.
And didn't realize that 85% of existing RBHS students did not select the school as first choice. Wow!
Anonymous said…
I'm a SE parent NOT attending SE schools. I would like a school which better represents the socio-economic climate of the entire city -- not just the immediate neighborhood. It would be nice to have a school where there are some stay-at-home parents available to volunteer at the school and create an active PTA. I'd like a school that is safe for my children to attend. Now, what can the school district do to deliver this?
Anonymous said…
Yes, this is like asking a patient of a hospital with a poor record in treatment practices, what they would like in their healthcare.
Anonymous said…
Anonymous, I feel sorry for you.
You can improve your neighborhood school by supporting it and choosing to be involved and work towards solving your concerns. Sending your child out of area does not guarantee them a better, safer etc. education. Check the Police reports and you will learn that the safety issues are less of an issue in the South End. (Of course you wouldn't think that watching the news). I hear you on the stay at home parent. Wouldn't that be nice. Committed and concerned parents will make an active PTA regardless of the socio economic standing. There are neighborhood Safety Meetings you can join. Check out Rainier Beach Empowerment Coalition. If you don't want to be involved in your neighborhood school then at least you can get involved in your neighborhood. Rainier Beach Empowerment Coalition may be able to get you in contact with the community group in your neighborhood that is working to make positive changes. (UNITED WE STAND! DIVIDED we continue to be under served when South End parents wake up and take a stand; the mistreatment from the School District will stop. Until then....
Anonymous said…
I think the point is that when you have "neighborhood schools", they are great for neighborhoods with better family income, family education levels and parents that can afford to be more involved. Proven indicators of educational success for children is family income and education level. So, mix up the income levels down in the SE end. How you do it, I don't care. You can add whatever fancy programs you want, but until there is more economic and educational diversity, it's just not going to happen down here. It's easy for people outside looking in just to ask, "What exactly do you want?"
SouthEnd PTSA said…
SE income levels are mixed. I believe this was the thought around the New Holly Mixed Living Complexes. East of Rainier Avenue in the Seward Park Area income levels are higher than West of Rainier to MLK. Lakewood Area has higher income levels as well. The income is there, but there is no programs to attract the students. Not to mention the sabbotage from the SPS Enrollment Office and SPS's inability to promote true graduation rates of Rainier BEach High School, the stellar number of students going on to higher education 42%, 10 or 12 students who applied to the UW were accepted. Highest in the District I believe. These students had to earn the grades and score high enough on the SAT to be accepted. Rainier Beach must be doing something right despite the haters. We need to publicize the positives.

Also, studies show that income levels are important, but does that have to remain the case? We control our own destiny. The power is in our hands. We have to make time for what is important and that should include education, regardless of our income.
SouthEnd PTSA said…
Community Meeting Nov 10, 6:30pm-8pm Rainier Beach High School's PAC.
We will 5 programs that we are proposing be brought to Rainier Beach High School. We want to hear from South End Family and Community Members. This is an opportunity for you to have a voice in your neighborhood school.

Please help us spread the word! Nov 10, 6:30pm-8pm RBHS PAC

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