Program Placement Timeline

Here is a list of the Program Placement proposals from the public for the coming year. This list comes from the integrated planning presentation to the Board on 11/30

• Duplicate Salmon Bay at Rainier View, Pinehurst, Roxhill, or Van Asselt

• Duplicate Thornton Creek at Rainier View, Roxhill, or Van Asselt

• Duplicate TOPS at Rainier View, Viewlands, Roxhill, or Van Asselt

• Change language immersion programs from attendance area schools to option schools

• Reopen Fairmount Park with a language immersion program

• Change Montessori programs from attendance area schools to option schools

• Change Van Asselt from a K-5 school to a K-8 school

• Locate a language immersion program at Sand Point

• Relocate elementary APP for north end students; possible locations include McDonald, Wilson-Pacific, Lincoln, John Marshall, etc. Start at Lincoln in Fall 2011. Close an elementary school in the Washington Service Area.

• Relocate elementary Spectrum for the Washington Service Area from John Muir to Madrona K-8; could also provide additional Spectrum capacity for grades 6-8.

• Place an attendance area middle school at Wilson-Pacific; start program at Lincoln in Fall 2011.

• Locate a language immersion program at Wing Luke.

All but one of these proposals came from me.

There are also some Program Placement proposals from the central staff. Among these are:

• New ALO programs (locations TBD)

• New accelerated IB at Ingraham

• ELL at Viewlands

• Move EBOC from John Stanford Int’l School (JSIS) to Viewlands

• International education at Mercer

• International education at Ingraham

• International education at a North-end school (TBD)

• New CTE Skill Center and IBCC at Ingraham

• Re-Purpose Pinehurst building (AS#1)

• Add program (TBD) to Madrona K-8 to boost enrollment

• Add program (TBD) to Rainier Beach to boost enrollment

Here's the timeline for their discussion and determination:
Community Meetings on Transition Plan - November 8 – 16, 2010
Annual Enrollment Report - December 2010
Transition Plan for 2011-12: Introduction - January 5, 2011
Annual Capacity Management Report - January 2011
Transition Plan for 2011‐12: Board Action - January 19, 2011
Superintendent’s Program Placement Decisions - Winter/Spring 2011
Individual School Budget Development - Feb 18 –March 14, 2011
Capacity Management Criteria and Metrics: Introduction - April 6, 2011
Capacity Management Criteria and Metrics: Board Action - May 4, 2011

The person in charge of Program Placement has been changed. It was Courtney Jones. It is now Heather Gilbert.

Program placement decisions are developed and discussed in a private staff committee and decided unilaterally by the superintendent. The Board refuses to exercise any oversight. That's not changing, so there is every reason to believe that program placement will continue to be political, corrupt, and driven by operational expediencies instead of principles, data, and academic priorities.


Just to follow-up, this was ever so briefly covered in last night's Work Session. Some the rush might have been because there was so much to cover.

My notes reflect:

- Tracy saying that there were 12 but one got in late because of the snow. I got the feeling she didn't think there was much merit to them.

-Betty asked why, if we have Montessori schools, didn't we keep the Montessori program at Ballard? (She didn't seem to know about Bagley, Graham Hill, etc.) Michael explained it was pre-K but it still begs the question of if we support pre-K AND Montessori, why was it eliminated?

- Tracy said they look at each and evaluate the "accuracy" information provided and look to see if there are requirements that would be needed. She said some might be better for a short-term solution but gave no specifics.

- Kay said one was to relocate Spectrum from Muir to Madrona. She said she supported this one because of the distances involved. She also referenced e-mails about having a true north location for elementary APP and keeping Lowell as APP south. She wanted to know how the evaluation works.

- Susan Enfield, referring to Kay's remarks, said she didn't know about this and referred her to Bob Vaughn. (He was there but said nothing.) Dr. G-J said it would show in the "process review". I am under the impression they may be reviewing how they do program placement but nothing specific was said.

-Sherry asked about moving APP. This year or next? Dr. G-J said they haven't had the conversation in "the big picture" and need to make systemic recommendations.

-Tracy had zipped past the slide that had all the suggestions and Michael asked her to go back. He said he appreciated the requests and the staff work on it and said he even recognized a couple of suggestions as ones he thought of himself. But he did state that program placement is in the Superintendent's authority. (And I think that's the rub.)

That was the end of Tuesday's Work Session agenda. They then moved onto Wednesday's which I will address in a different thread.
dj said…
Wait a second, Melissa. Does Kay mean moving the south kids from Thurgood Marshall back to Lowell and the current Lowell APP kids north? Or starting a new location in the north and keeping some kids at Lowell? Or did you mean to say Thurgood Marshall?

WV says "question." You betcha!
Anonymous said…
Ah well, you seem to have forgotten any from special ed. There were at least 2. Those were all deleted before they got anywhere, evidently.

Special Education Parent
casey said…
Does anyone know specifically what "re-purpose" Pinehurst building means?
Anonymous said…
Forget about duplicating any of the alt programs. They are talking about getting rid of sibling preference for the alt schools and expanding the geo zone for each of the alt schools. The reason for this is to reduce the bussing costs. This is going to make the alts schools exactly like the neighborhood schools.

- choice is finally dead
DJ, I think I understood her to mean leaving students at Lowell and finding another "north" location. You should ask her for sure. No one did so I can only write what she said.

Special Ed Parent, who forgot them? I'm unclear on who you are referencing.

Repurpose means to end (or move a program) and use the building for some other purpose. What I hear is for it to be used for pre-school but that seems to have received pushback from the Board. More explanation on the thread about the Work Session.
Maureen said…
They are talking about getting rid of sibling preference for the alt schools and expanding the geo zone for each of the alt schools.

I haven't heard this at all and I am paying attention. Sib preference is always first. True, some of the GeoZones are way too big, but they claim that few enough people from the Zones have been requesting spots at the alts that it won't make a significant difference (we'll see if that's true when they have a guaranteed seat). Where have you heard that sib prefernece at alts is at risk? (or are you talking about younger sibs not inheriting grandfathered transportation?)
Anonymous said…
I heard this at MDB's coffee. I also have a follow up comment from him at the work session this week that the District staff
have a desire to end or reduce sibling preference at attendance area
schools as well as the option schools. He said it depended on the final size of the geozones.

When I asked why, the answer was capacity management and reducing bussing costs.

- choice if finally dead
Bird said…
I know this came up during the original NSAP discussions, but won't eliminating sib preferences for alt's have a negative impact on the number of people choosing them?

Without a guaranteed sib preference you're asking families to expect to win the lottery more than once, or commit to splitting their kids from the get go.
curious said…
I am so confused about this sibling pref business. Debell says they are maybe taking it away from option schools. I wrote to Martin-Morris who tells me "We had a lengthy conversation just yesterday on the sibling topic. Sibling is a tie-breaker in our current assignment plan for elementary, middle and options schools. Alternative schools are under the option schools umbrella. GeoZone will be after sibling that has always been the plan and there is no plan to change the order." I don't know who has what right and who has what wrong. Libros hasn't gotten back to me.
Anonymous said…
Bird - that seems to be the point. Once you have a geozone and no sibling preference then Thornton Creek and Tops and Salmon Bay are just like JSIS and the montesori programs.

Alternative programs that are only accessible if you live in the immediate area.

This administration really is just slowing taking away even the illusion of choices. the 10% set aside for high school will soon be gone. The alt schools will be either closed or re-zoned into a neighborhood school.

Why the h**l did they move Pathfinder if they were just going to slowly turn the alts into neighborhood schools.

- choice is finally dead.
Maureen said…
They are NOT getting rid of the sibling tie breaker for Option (Alternative) Schools. Look at slides 26 and 29 from the 12/1 Workshop Powerpoint.

Slide 26 shows what was already determined for the NSAP as it will go forward after the transition: (1)Sibling (2)GeoZone (3)Lottery. Slide 29 shows what the staff proposes for the next (2nd) year of the transition: (1)Sibling (2)GeoZone (3)Lottery.

If DeBell said anything different at his coffee, he was wrong.

(Are you sure you're not thinking of Montessori/Spectrum/APP? (Slides 31-34) They may lose sibling preference (for the programs, not the buildings.)
curious said…
Debell is repeatedly saying (even when emailed for confirmation) that the district may want to eliminate the sibling tiebreaker for siblings for option schools. he may be mistaken, wrong, whatever, but he thinks the district wants to look at doing this. i don't know if he agrees with it (he said also that the board would have final say).
curious said…
and he was specifically speaking about alt schools, not programs in schools. but like i said-- he could well have misunderstood what district staff intended. this is why i am trying to get an answer from tracy libros...
suep. said…
Anyone else agree it's time to return the program placement powers to the board, and away from the superintendent?

Melissa, Charlie -- Wasn't it a longstanding policy that the board made program placement decisions, but was changed at the time of Supt. Goodloe-Johnson's Capacity Management Plan of 2008/09, when the board agreed to hand over their jurisdiction on this to the supt?

Clearly the superintendent, who apparently isn't answerable to parents and the community, should not have such unilateral power.

What would it take to correct this?

sue p.
joanna said…
Remember the North End APP students are at Lowell. I believe Kay was thinking to move the current Lowell APP students north and using Lowell for APP Central and South End APP students. I'm not sure where that leaves Thurgood Marshall. I suppose the Lowell students could just move an the others could remain at Thurgood Marshall.
Charlie Mas said…
Sue P.,

The superintendent has had unilateral authority over program placement for a long time. Certainly as long as I've been active in the District (10 years). The superintendent's authority over program placement is by policy, F21.00
suep. said…
Thanks for the info, Charlie. What do you think it would take to change that policy and make program placement decisions the responsibility of the board?

mirmac1 said…
Correct, program placement has been at sole discretion of the Superintendent for years. But it is only recently that decisions have been so arbitrary and without regard for the needs of our students, PARTICULARLY the disabled.

I guess when you're pissing money away on tests, coaches, and central office projects, who can afford special education services?
Charlie Mas said…
While it's true that there has been a change in program placement decisions, I don't recall any golden era when they were made based exclusively on students' best interests.

Up to three years ago the program placement decisions were based entirely on operational expediency and politics. Programs were placed in any school with space available and principals could get programs or reject programs based on their clout.

Now there are now two new factors that can drive program placement. One is ideology, which drove the APP split, and the other is resume building, which created STEM.

The Board is supposed to review the rationale for the program placement decisions, but they don't. Often the rationale is "We didn't recommend the proposal because we didn't recommend the proposal." and that's okay with the Board.
Anonymous said…
Mr. Mas,

I am not in charge of program placement for SPS, I only collected the requests.


Heather Gilbert
Anonymous said…
Mr. Mas,

I am not in charge of program placement for SPS, I only collected the requests.


Heather Gilbert
curious said…
re: sibling pref: i think debell might be confused. he is saying that it is for option schools, but i emailed tracy libros telling her that debell told me this. i just got an email from her back saying, "I think the confusion is that we were discussing changes to tiebreakers for Programs (such as Montessori), not option schools.
For option schools, the first tiebreaker is sibling in the approved NSAP as well as in the Transition Plan."
Charlie Mas said…
We have word that Dr. Libros brushed off all of the Program Placement proposals submitted by members of the public at the Board Work Session on Integrated Planning.

I don't think the Board members brushed them all off.

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