Open Thread Friday

What did we see this week?

The Board passed the Transition plan which apparently, instead of being just a guide through one year, is rewritten NSAP material . Meaning, they have taken away choice via Open Choice seats. I sincerely doubt that after a couple of years of "transition", the Open Choice seats policy will go back to how it was written in the Board-approved NSAP.

Keep this in mind because it means both the district and the Board will promise, say and write one thing as policy and then change it whenever they want. This is deeply troubling.

One member of the leadership team apparently forgot to publicly disclose something he should have. I am very disappointed but not surprised. If the Superintendent went along for months believing she was above disclosure, it would follow that others might feel the same way. (I'm giving it a couple of days to see if a correction is made.)

Directors Carr and Maier are having community meetings tomorrow, both at Bethany Community church, across from Bagley Elementary. Carr's is at 8:30 am-10:00 am and Maier's is from 10:30-noon. I guess it depends on how late you want to sleep.

Go Steelers and Packers (but I do like the moxie of the Jets as well).


Sarah said…
Bill addresses student sex offenders.
Charlie Mas said…
When discussing the changes in the set-aside seats for open choice at high schools, the Board and Dr. Libros remembered that no specific number of seats was named in the NSAP. The 10% number was from the Transition Plan for 2010-2011. In other words, they feel no obligation to meet that 10% set aside.
Anonymous said…
Race to Nowhere Documentary Film - January 31st- Roosevelt High School

Race to Nowhere, a documentary film about the impact of America's high-stakes, high-pressure culture on America's children will be shown on January 31, 2011, 7:00-9:00 P.M. at the Roosevelt High School Theater. $10 general admission tickets are available online all remaining tickets will be sold at the door for $15.

Check Roosevelt website for more information.

I saw this last year and really liked the after discussion with parents & teachers.

Middle School Parent
Anonymous said…
-Rainier Valley Post reporting both RBHS principals are out

-NY Times reporting that most effective way to learn is through testing, not studying

-Stephen colbert runs a piece critical of school "dis"-integration and the harm it causes

-southend shorttimer
Robyn said…
What's the status of the math lawsuit appeal? I haven't heard anything on it in a long time. Thanks.
owlhouse said…
There seems to be some confusion from enrollment folks at JSCEE. Students looking to transfer to Nova at semester have been told:
--No mid--year transfers are allowed
--Nova is moving to Delridge
--You've not been attending school, so will have to be re-enrolled, and we will only enroll you at your assignment area school
--Want to go to Nova? Appeal your assignment directly to the school board

To be clear, students and parents have been told, in person @ JSCEE, that they are NOT allowed to enroll at Nova, even though there is space.

So, now that it's the end of the semester and staff are up to their eyeballs in time-sensative, student support work, they have to try to educate the enrollment staff about Option Schools??

There are many more stories, but the bottom line is that misinformation from the enrollment office is really hurting us- in enrollment, in staff time, in reputation, not to mention hurting students who are working to be proactive in finding a more appropriate educational setting.

Anyone else been told mid-year transfers are no longer allowed?
Josh Hayes said…
Hey, owlhouse - welcome to AS1's world for the last five years or so. Enrollment "services" has been wrong about alternative school -- ahh, I mean, OPTION school, of course! -- enrollment, identity, philosophy, etc, forever. They seem to be uninterested in getting it right.
ParentofThree said…
"Anyone else been told mid-year transfers are no longer allowed?"

My understanding is that after Sept 30 no currently enrolled SPS student can not transfer to another school.
ParentofThree said…
"Anyone else been told mid-year transfers are no longer allowed?"

My understanding is that after Sept 30 no currently enrolled SPS student can transfer to another school.
owlhouse said…
Hey Josh, I know, even thought that as I was writing. All my sympathy. We've had similar issues in the past, but this is ridiculous.

Po3, Ah, I forgot about that Sept 30 cut off. Hmm. The semester is such a natural break point, especially at HS. Especially for kids realizing they need something other than a traditional, comprehensive HS. It just seems so contrary to our goals to tell kids who are currently not attending school, that they can't come. There has got to be some flexibility here.
Anonymous said…
They apparently don't know about the geozone tiebreaker either. A North End mom just called and Enrollment's answer was whaaaaaaaaat???

Bodes well for getting questions answered about the new transportation plan.

Mission control to Customer Service. We have yet more problems.

hschinske said…
It was a major hassle for my daughter moving from Garfield to Nova at the semester break two years ago -- certainly not as simple as just signing up with enrollment services. I don't remember the details, but we definitely had to apply for some kind of exception, write letters, etc. (and they turned down my daughter's first letter and made her write a more detailed one). While the Nova people thought of changing schools midyear as a fairly ordinary thing to do, no one else did.

Helen Schinske
Jet City mom said…
Hard to miss the news of Tacoma closing Foss high school to save money.
Of course it must be a gimme- given that they have ONLY 1100 students.
owlhouse said…
Good to know Helen. Well, bad to know- but good to be aware of. I think because each year we do have a reasonable number of transfers 2nd semester, I assumed there was a process in place, understood and implemented by enrollment staff.

As I said, the really frustrating part is the seeming lack of support for kids trying to make a productive change.

And the move to Delridge? Telling perspective students/families that the school is moving again really presents a challenge for us.
hschinske said…
For a second I thought *you* meant they really were moving to Delridge. Just to get this straight, they're not, right? it's just that someone came up with this weird idea and is passing it on?

Helen Schinske
Anonymous said…
I think this is the future of alternative high schools. Note the reference mid-paragraph to a "more quality alternative high school experience." Why, on computers naturally!

Mr Ed
owlhouse said…
We are NOT moving to Delridge.

Apparently an idea was floated on the possibility of moving Nova/SBOC to Delridge while work was done on the Meany bldg. I didn't even hear of the possibility until it was doa, but somehow, enrollment staff were in the know and the rumor did spread.
Anonymous said…
I just thought I would share a communications update. One of our children goes out of district for middle school. Every year we have to "release" him from the Seattle District in order to enroll him elsewhere. It is a simple procedure, go to JSC and get a form turn it in and send a copy. What is very interesting to me is that this year the form has changed. Nestled in with the standard name, address, etc. was a large box where you were to write why you were leaving the district. This box has been eliminated. Do they care? Or, were the nature of the comments so negative that they decided it wasn't useful? Or, maybe there was no place in the bureaucracy to put the info. Still.....I am curious.

T in WS
Floor Pie said…
Melissa, thank you for weighing in on the Wallyhood blog about international schools in Wallingford.

I asked over there, so I'll ask it here, too: How do international schools serve their special education students?

(We go to TOPS, so I'm asking not so much for myself but on behalf of special education families in general, and those Wallingford neighbors who are affected by McDonald going international next year.) Thanks!
Charlie Mas said…
First of all, NOVA welcomes mid-year transfers at the semester break.

Second, OF COURSE students change schools during the year. Remember how the transient student population is one of the primary justifications for textbook standardization - I mean Curricular Alignment? Check the annual report on any school and you will see transfers in and out. At some schools the transfers amount to about 20% or more of the average enrollment.

Ballard 9%
Chief Sealth 23%
Cleveland 35%
Franklin 13%
Garfield 7%
Hale 9%
Ingraham 24%
Rainier Beach 45%
Roosevelt 8%
West Seattle 14%

Don't tell me that students can't change schools after September 30 because it simply is not true.
hschinske said…
But how many of those are due to changes in address? If you actually move, I believe the district handles matters differently. See

Helen Schinske
peonypower said…
When we tried to move my son from Hale to Ballard 2 years ago we had to fight. Wrote letters, had the principals on board, and only after he was being threatened on his metro bus ride to school on a regular basis by a non-student did downtown relent. Basically the message was that unless your student was failing at a school they did not grant mid-year transfers. The discussions that I had with downtown were circular and non-sensical.

I see not much has changed.
maureen said…
... but then , what do the mobility number mean? Clearly, many kids are switching schools in the middle of the year. Why should the procedure be significantly different for kids who want to change vs. those who physically move?
anonymous said…
Prior to the NSAP students were not allowed to change schools, for any reason, after September 30th, unless they appealed and the appeal was granted. Not sure if that has changed with the NSAP? For a plan that was supposed to be streamlined and predictable, I have no clue what the rules are anymore or even where to find them. My head is spinning.
SP said…
The long promised Annual Enrollment Report, as announced at the last Board meeting, is finally online (go to the Student Assignment Plan on the SPS homepage). The original enrollment projections were promised in early November so that the SAP worksessions would have data to work by, and pushed down the road until finally promised to appear between the Board Introduction and before the final vote. That obviously did not happen and it is now rolled out as the Annual Enrollment Report released just hours before the final vote Wed. Apparently there's alot to read & digest in this report. From the SAP website:

"Key Facts and Data
Draft data previously posted here has now been compiled into an Annual Enrollment Report as required by the District's Student Assignment Policy (D 03.00) and Capacity Management Policy (H 13.00)."

Guess what? Unless I'm blind, there are no enrollment projections- not for next year, and not for 2015 (see last year's report). What has happened? What will the impact of the current enrollment and the trends for the next few years have on each of our schools?

The Capacity Management Board Policy H13.00 says in the first sentence that there will be an annual report which includes "projected enrollments." Where are the promised and required projections for our schools, or are we just going to put our heads in the sand and hope that it will all "just work out"? Families making decisions for their incoming K's, 6th and 9th graders will be impacted for 3-6years and we are all in the blind.
owlhouse said…
On a different note, Nova is hosting a literature/literacy event this coming Wednesday. We are looking for book donations of all kinds:
--to supplement the Nova/SBOC library
--to donate to Books to Prisoners
--and to share directly with SBOC and Nova students and families

We are especially in need of picture books and early readers.

If you have books to share, feel free to bring them by the school Tuesday afternoon/evening. Thanks!
300 20th Ave E
Anonymous said…
Nova will get books left from Madison's exchange.
on the transfer figure:
what comprises this number? is it all kids who come in and all kids who leave, including those in from outside the district or from private schools as well as those who leave the district? or is it just school to school transfers w/in district? it would make a difference in knowing exactly how important 'aligned' books/classes are. if the majority are in from outside, then it matters less than if they were all intradistrict transfers
seattle citizen said…
article about future city competition, Hamilton students

Interesting. Sad comment is that students quoted seem to not have a great deal of hope that adults are addressing vital issues.
Anonymous said…
I was a parent whose child was part of the Future Cities competition. It is unfortunate the reporter took the lead she did, as there was a ton of great energy in the room yesterday. The models these kids built were incredible.

The HIMS team was all 6th graders competing against 7th and 8th grade teams - many of which were homeschool groups. We were the only SPS School to compete!

These kids did an amazing job and overall they have a great outlook on the future as they see themselves as part of the solution. One student on the HIMS team told the judge he wants to be a structural engineer and build houses that can withstand tornados. He added, wouldn't it be great to build something that can save lives!

This is a great program, it is too bad more SPS schools do not compete.

HIMS Parent
seattle citizen said…
Thanks for providing the much more positive aspects of this event, HIMS Parent! I was remiss, the one comment the student had about adults maybe not addressing issues caught my eye and I wanted to post that aspect as a reminder to us adults...But I surely should have commented on the wonderful program and the enthusiasm, skill, and future plans of the amazing students!
Greg Linden said…
Interesting tidbit in this Crosscut article on cutting central administration as part of reforming Baltimore schools. Melissa, worthy of its own thread?

"What can we learn from the struggles of Baltimore public schools?"

To give each school greater responsibility and shift resources accordingly, Alonso cut central office personnel by 34 percent. "Central office had to give up control so individual schools could respond," he said. The role of remaining central staff was redefined, from enforcing top-down compliance to providing support for the decisions made by each school.

Within the schools, the principals, who once controlled 3 percent of their budgets, were given control of 81 percent. Schools now have the authority to decide how time and money will be used as they hire and fire their own staff, tailor professional development to their needs, and develop the details of their own programs within broad state and federal parameters. In return for this autonomy, the individual schools are held accountable for student achievement.
Anonymous said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Central Mom said…
Greg, I read that article and highlighted the exact same quotes.

He also said that he did not come into the District with a preset playbook/plan (something different than what happened with Seattle's superintendent/strategic plan.) He considers Baltimore its own, singular district and set up his priorities based on that specific district.

Hallelujah! And I agree the article should be its own thread.
Maureen said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Maureen said…
Does anyone know what a "School Service Center" is? There is a manager ($74,859.00 - $103,397.00)job posted at SPS, I'm wondering if this a new position or if it already existed. The manager reports to the "Chief Talent Officer."

"The Manager of the School Service Center will develop service level agreements with central office units (will initially start with Human Resources and Budget). The Manager of the School Service Center will lead a team of analysts to implement a tiered level service model to provide direct and customized support to Executive Directors, principals, school leaders, and central office leaders.

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