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Thursday, November 04, 2010

Program Placement Proposal Time

It is Program Placement Proposal Time.

This is the time that comes each year when anyone can propose a program placement change. A proposal can be for the development of a new program, the replication of an existing program, or for the closure and/or relocation of an existing program anywhere in the district.

Here's how it works:

1. Use the form on the District web site to write up your proposal. The form can be found here. Anyone can submit a form - a member of the district staff, a principal, a teacher, or a member of the public.

2. Send in your form before the November 24 deadline. You can send it in via regular post or via email.

3. The Program Placement Committee will meet over the late fall and early winter. They will discuss the proposals (although there is no evidence to show that they actually discuss proposals from members of the public.)

4. The Program Placement Committee will offer the superintendent a list of the proposals and recommendations about whether she should approve or reject them. The committee has only ever recommended rejection of proposals from the public. Although the committee is supposed to offer a rationale for their recommendation, the rationale is often thin. They have frequently recommended rejecting proposals because "the committee does not recommend the proposal be adopted." Proposals are often rejected for rationale that is not supported by data. Proposals are often rejected for rationale that did not prove an impediment to other proposals being accepted. The entire process is political and corrupt.

5. The superintendent, in her sole discretion and without any potential for appeal, discussion or reversal, will unilaterally decide which program placement proposals to accept and which to reject. She might also stick in a few new ones of her own.

6. The new programs are announced prior to Open Enrollment.

Despite the pessimism expressed in this description, I have submitted a number of program placement proposals each of the past two years and I will submit program placement proposals again this year. I may not get them all done, so if you see one on my list that you like, you should submit a proposal for it as well. Don't rely on me to submit it.

Among the proposals I'm thinking of submitting:

Move north-end elementary APP to a north-end location.

Move the Washington Service Area Spectrum from Muir to Madrona K-8.

Make the Language Immersion programs into Option Programs for enrollment.

Make the Montessori programs into Option Programs for enrollment.

Re-purpose Roxhill as a K-5 Option School, perhaps duplicating the successful Thornton Creek model, perhaps as a Montessori.

Re-Open Fairmount Park K-5 in the Madison Service Area.

Put a language immersion program (that feeds to Denny) in the re-opened Fairmount Park.

Move the S.B.O.C. into the Van Asselt building.

Re-open Wilson-Pacific as an attendance area middle school. The programs now at Wilson-Pacific can move to Meany if the S.B.O.C. moves to Van Asselt.

Extend Van Asselt at the African American Academy into a K-8.

Move the Mercer Service Area Spectrum program from Hawthorne to Kimball.

Add an international program at Mercer middle school.

Add a language immersion program at Wing Luke (that feeds to Mercer).

Add a language immersion program at Sand Point (that feeds to Hamilton).

Duplicate the successful TOPS program somewhere, perhaps at Rainier View, Viewlands, Roxhill, or Van Asselt.

Duplicate the successful Salmon Bay program somewhere, perhaps at Pinehurst, Roxhill, or Van Asselt.

Duplicate the successful Thornton Creek program somewhere, perhaps at Viewlands, Roxhill or Van Asselt.



There's another one around where to add language immersion programs in the north. I'll have to go back through some old stuff to remind myself of it.

21 comments:

mirmac1 said...

Re-open and Expand the SpecEd Inclusion Programs, everywhere!

Melissa Westbrook said...

Folks, this is one more venue (and thank you Charlie for pointing this out) to make your voice heard. This is a great list and I'm going to try to write up at least 3. If the district heard from a lot of people, it might just start something. Always cc the Board and let them know you sent one in.

Anonymous said...

But I thought we were killing special ed? We don't need inclusion programs, everyone is included in something already, right? Integrated Comprehensive Service! Everybody gets everything... or, actually, everybody gets nothing.

If you want an inclusion program, you better fill out the form. At a minimum it is the document of needs unmet, and district failure to provide an equitable process. And proof that you tried to get something. You never know when you might need that proof, Mirmac.

Sped Parent

mirmac1 said...

I know Sped Parent. Retribution is a favorite pastime for some...

How 'bout Sped PTSA present it. I'll run it by...

Susan Sturms said...

Extremely cool. I learn something new everyday. Any idea who is serving on the "Program Placement Committee" this year? Are their meetings open to the public (for observation, not for input - like many school board work sessions)? The deadline is November 24th, eh? Time runs short for public engagement. I am sorely tempted to say, "what else is new?" But I will resist.
-Susan Sturms

Charlie Mas said...

The Program Placement Committee is strictly a staff committee. Members of the public are not allowed to serve on it. In fact, members of the public are not allowed to be present when it meets. It takes a public document request to get a statement of who serves on the committee and it takes a public document request to see the minutes of the committee's meetings. The only person we know for sure is on the committee is Susan Enfield because it is her committee. Everything else about it is cloaked in secrecy.

SP said...

"Re-Open Fairmount Park K-5 in the Madison Service Area", and then...
"Put a language immersion program (that feeds to Denny) in the re-opened Fairmount Park".

Charlie- If this happens, you would relieve some of the overcrowding at the elementary level in the north end of WS, but having a program which feeds to Denny would further add to the MS/HS "feeder pattern imbalance" in West Seattle. Basically, Denny/Sealth would then receive seven feeder schools, and still only four to Madison/WSHS!

I agree that some kind of a draw would be important to attract new families if FP were re-opened (just like the NE families have asked for also). As of the Oct. 1st headcount there are 262 kids over capacity just from the 4 north end WS schools- that would be a great base for a new school.

Jan said...

Seattle Parent: here is what I don't understand. Why does Sealth have all the "draws?" I don't mean why so many schools -- that is just what the District did, but why do they have the international draw AND IB? What is West Seattle High's strength? What has the district done/offered to make it an attractive pull among students who might otherwise go to Sealth?

SP said...

Good question, Jan-
IB/International focus makes a great combo draw for Denny/Sealth, (the poster children of the district), but we all scratch our heads why Madison/WSHS don't also have the same support from both the district and the school board.

Instead, this latest imbalance of feeder patterns cuts Madison/WSHS programs and services even more to the bone than the district average. These cuts make it even less of an appealing draw when you look at the 2015 projections, which is what parents with middle & elementary kids should be looking at.

The bottom line is that most families will take their default assignment and that will kill off the Madison/WSHS programs entirely.

I was hopeful that the new assignment plan might retain more of the neighborhood students (instead of being an exporter), but the feeder patterns must be re-aligned for this to be a reality. The rest of the fluff offered by the district/board yesterday (more open choice, dual draws, etc.) does absolutely nothing to improve the enrollment inequities.

Charlie Mas said...

The correction to the imbalance in West Seattle needs to be solved through a revision to the student assignment plan, not through program placement.

SP said...

True, Charlie- Feeder patterns must be re-aligned!
But, it sure would help to also have a proper Spectrum program at Madison and a rigorous program at WSHS which would help convince kids to go to their neighborhood school instead of jumping ship.

kid not like the others said...

how do you know Madison's Spectrum program isn't proper?

Madison is, for the third year in a row, a 'School of Distinction.' Why is the district diverting students to other programs and starving a building that proves to be working for kids? It seems short-sighted.

mirmac1 said...

It's obvious isn't it? Madison must be destined to be a charter some day.

SPS thinks to "improve" a school, they must starve it to death. It seems to work well in the SE area.

Charlie Mas said...

Madison's Spectrum program is very new. It's not a fully grown program yet, but there is every reason to believe that it will grow into a viable program.

I think a more critical concern is whether the growth of the Madison program won't come at the expense of the Denny program.

Charlie Mas said...

Here's another critical concern: where are the middle school ALO programs? Why do ALO's make sense in elementary school but not in middle school?

Dorothy Neville said...

Charlie, a middle school alo program would allow an app eligible child to skip out on 8 years of app and then get into Garfield. Dismantle the app at Garfield path and then we will see middle school alos. (and no, I am not advocating that we dismantle or split app in HS.)

Maureen said...

Dorothy, MS ALO would not maintain eligibilty for HS APP. MS Spectrum doesn't maintain eligibilty. You have to be enrolled as an APP student at HIMS or WMS. The ALO/Spectrum thing only applies 1st-7th.

Advanced Learning

Current 8th grade students enrolled at WMS or Hamilton in the Accelerated Progress Program receive an automatic assignment to Garfield.***

Oh and hey, read the funny footnote!

***Other students (including AHG students who are not enrolled in the Accelerated Progress Program at WMS or Hamilton for 8th grade) may request Open Choice seats to Garfield following the new student assignment plan guidelines but do not receive an automatic assignment.

That almost, for a second, makes it sound like Highly Gifted kids who are identified after 7th grade can join the cohort in HS. Almost!

kid not like the others said...

However, testing isn't available for 8th grade. the kids aren't even invited to test. Our AHG/ALO kids have gone on to regular HS or the UW program.

SP said...

Charlie said, "I think a more critical concern is whether the growth of the Madison program won't come at the expense of the Denny program."

Charlie- There doesn't seem to be much ground to worry about that, because any student wanting to go to Sealth will be smart enough to sign up for Denny also (there's even a proposal to give out-of-area kids prioity to Sealth rolling up from Denny). That's the whole "seamless" linked idea. Besides, the District has given absolutely no extra funds or support to start the Madison Spectrum program, so I'm not clear about your "every reason to believe" that the Madison Spectum program will grow into a viable program (at the expense of Denny?). What specifically are you referring to for this statement?

Additionally, we see now in the new data just released online that this year's 6th graders chose their attendance area/default assignment much more in the Denny/Sealth area (86% and 70%), compared to the Madison/WSHS area (73% and 49%). People are choosing programs with their feet still.

Anonymous said...

The SBOC can't be moved into Van Asselt - it's an elementary facility. They are, by definition, a secondary program. The facilities are sub-par for the students' needs.

Also, with the program deep into a redesign, it seems unlikely that they would even look at this.

- Bilingual Community Member

Charlie Mas said...

Moving the S.B.O.C. into the Van Asselt building would, by necessity, require some renovation to the building to make it suitable.