Tomorrow's Meetings

Sherry Carr still has a community meeting but now Steve Sundquist is having one.  (I'm thinking he knows he should be out talking to people.)

Sherry Carr - 8:30-10 am at Bethany Community Church 
Steve Sundquist - 10-11:00 am at Fauntleroy Church in the Fellowship Hall

There is also the district's Family Symposium: From Cradle to College & Career.   This is at Ballard High School from 9:30 am to 2:00 p.m.

Families can get information and resources on early learning, math, apprenticeships, college readiness and more. Seattle Public Schools is committed to preparing all students for graduation – ready for college, careers and life. An important component of this commitment is strengthening family and community engagement Districtwide through sponsorship of seminars and workshops, such as the Family and Community Engagement Symposium.

Here's a link to the workshop schedule.   They will have activities for kids. 

Then there is the Board Retreat which is open to the public but not for interaction with the Board.  It's from noon - 5:30 p.m. at the New Holly Library, 7058 32nd Ave. South. 


seattle citizen said…
Sounds like some interesting information at this symposium. Here are its sponsors:
Seattle Special Education PTSA
Seattle Council PTSA
Alliance for Education
Title I
Title III

The Alliance will have a table and is springing for lunch.

This seminar is intriguing (I wonder who is leading it, the Alliance, CPPS, SSEPTSA or the PTSA?):
Parent Advocates and Parent Leadership
Families will learn about parent rights and responsibilities for engagement and the possibilities of parent leadership in the public schools. They will discover how to access information and training to equip them as parent leaders and specifically learn about a parent leadership training opportunity this spring for parents in SE Seattle schools
Po3 said…
Superindent Enfield robocalled me today and invited me to the symposium.
Charlie Mas said…
I'm going to try to get to the Board Retreat.

If the superintendent is there, then she can't be at the Family Symposium, can she?
Maureen said…
The symposium sounds cool. I think they held one in the south end last fall and appreciate the fact they are doing one in the north end as well.


I got an email and robocall TODAY about tomorrow's event. Why didn't they send that last week and just send a reminder today? (Or did I miss that?) What is the point of contracting with a PR firm if they can't handle basics like this? Or do they only work on Superintendent image issues?

I would like to attend, but I'll be at the ACT YPF.
Anonymous said…
Saturday morning is also the date that all the State Legislators are holding their town halls. joanna
seattle citizen said…
Re legislators:
Sen Kline, Rep Santos, Rep Pettigrew: Garfield Comm. Center 10:30

Sen Murray, Rep Peterson, Rep Chopp - 1st Baptist 1111 Harvard 2:00

Sen White, Rep Frockt, Rep Gutierrez Meadowbrook Comm Center 108th and 35th NE 12:00
anonymous said…
"I got an email and robocall TODAY about tomorrow's event. Why didn't they send that last week"

I thought the same thing, but then reminded myself that the district was dealing with MGJ's firing last week, and that this was Dr. Enfieled's first week on the job. This probably got lost in the muck while everyone was re grouping.

The late notice was, in my opinion, understandable given the circumstances. And honestly, just getting the notice (even late) is an improvement in and of itself.
Speaking of the Alliance, did you get your letter?

I received a letter saying:

"I want you to know that we at the Alliance take our role as fiscal stewards very seriously and are committed to the highest integrity in managing private dollars that augment district resources."

They conducted a review of their records and report "no funds were misspent."

I appreciate the letter. I would say that while the funds may not have been misspent, I would question a lot of what they fund and why.
Anonymous said…
I just got a Pay for K bill that said I was in arrears, but the same bill noted that total fees through 2/28 were $1,242, yet also noted they had received $1,449 in payments from me.

To be fair to SPS, I sent in my March payment on 2/27 which is later than usual in a shorter than usual month, but the bill I was sent notes that they received and processed that check on 3/1, technically making it one day late.

The part that really irked me was that they note ON THE SAME BILL that they have in fact received the payment, and they mailed this statement out on 3/4, three days after they cashed the check.

Surely there is a programmatic way to cross-reference this and prevent printing and postage costs, as well as my time to "refute" the issue. :(

seattle citizen said…
(Two parts)
For those who are curious about how the Alliance spends the foundations’ money, the list of the Alliance’s investment of the Gates, Broad, Boeing and Stuart grants’ in SPS’s Excellence for All tells us.
The grants were awarded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation ($7.2 million), the Eli & Edythe Broad Foundation ($1.2 million), The Boeing Company ($307,000), and The Stuart Foundation ($254,000).
Here are the five main categories, and I've added the parts of their descriptions from their links that seem to be action items or goals, things they're doing.

College Readiness – "Curriculum:...a consistent, district-wide approach in reading and writing, math, and science...adopt consistent curriculum in these subjects, as well as social studies and world languages..Course-offerings: [AP, IB, Honors]...increasing access to these courses in two different ways:

First, the district is working with high schools to expand the number and types of courses offered; this past year, with support from The Boeing Company, Rainier Beach and Cleveland High Schools both dramatically increased their AP offerings.

Second, the district is administering the PSAT to every 9th, 10th and 11th grader to build a college- going culture and identify students who have the potential to be successful in AP classes. This powerful data shows students that they too, have the ability to succeed in higher level classes. Teacher Support:...teachers need the training to make sure they can appropriately challenge all students while providing the kind of personalized support that students need to be successful. Seattle Public Schools is in the process of developing a comprehensive approach to student supports and interventions. At the same time, the district is supporting more teachers in receiving AP training.
Supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and The Boeing Company

Community Engagement – "partners with a number of community organizations to engage the Seattle community in public education. Representatives of communities and organizations sit on the Alliance for Education’s Community Engagement Task Force...strengthening our school-community partnerships and providing all students with the supports necessary to succeed in school and in life."
Supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
(continued next post)
seattle citizen said…
Alliance's Broad/Gates/Boeing/Stuart money spending, Part the Second:

Data, Assessment, and Performance Management – "real-time data to meet students’ individual needs...(MAP), which provides real-time information about the academic performance of students, including mastery of specific reading and math skills. Unlike typical standardized tests, students take MAP assessments three times during the school year, allowing teachers and principals to monitor and immediately support student growth. Real-time data also serves as an early warning system for students and schools that are falling behind by tracking information such as attendance and grades...To ensure that teachers and principals can access this kind of information easily and in a timely fashion, Seattle Public Schools is developing a new data system. This data system will ensure that teachers, principals and administrators have the information they need to make critical decisions about instruction and where to direct resources. And the district is committed to tracking progress not just in school buildings, but in the central office as well. With new assessment and data systems, Seattle Public Schools will be able to provide the public with annual report cards that show both student progress as well as progress in areas like transportation, facility management, and human resources"
Supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and The Eli & Edythe Broad Foundation

School Board Development – "support for school board leadership development in the areas of governance, roles and responsibilities, policy, and other identified areas of need as determined by the board and district regularly with local and national facilitators to address these and other areas such as raising public awareness about the board’s work."
Supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Staff Development – "...overhaul human resource systems...attracting the strongest candidates and supporting those that we already have...develop and train the next generation of principals and other school and district leaders..."
Supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The Eli & Edythe Broad Foundation, and
The Stuart Foundation

Word Verifier is going to the exambly in the auditorium on Monday, so its principal can lecture it and the other WVs on how to take the HSPE exams.
seattle citizen said…
The Alliance spends some nine million dollars (grant money from Gates, about 7 million, Broad over a million, and the Boeing and Stuart Foundations) on alignment, "data" (MAP), Performance Management, Community Engagement (the Alliance engaging its "coalitions"), training the board (to be good Reformers), training staff (to manage their damn performance with data and alignment or hit the road)
Jet City mom said…
Sounds like some interesting information at this symposium. Here are its sponsors:
Seattle Special Education PTSA
Seattle Council PTSA
Alliance for Education
Title I
Title III

Im glad to hear they are still doing the special education resource fair. ( I am assuming it is the same thing- this is the time of year it was held)
When Olchefske was here, I attended a few & found a lot of information about area camps, tutors, various speakers on different issues as well as getting to meet more of the SPED parents in the district.
It has been held sporadically since then, but it is important for the community to share information.
seattle citizen said…
It was the Family Symposium: From Cradle to College & Career, not a special ed resource fair. The Special Ed PTSA was sponsoring, among others, tho', and there were five seminars addressing special ed.
Charlie Mas said…
Mel, Dorothy and I were at the Board Retreat. We were the only civilians there. It was excruitiating.

How these people DITHER!

I swear that Board Retreat just re-covered the exact same topics that were covered at the last Board Retreat I attended eight months ago.

They are discussing a plan to appoint a committee to develop a timetable for a pilot project to write a plan... AAAARRGGHHH!

After the last meeting they wanted a list of programs for annual or bi-annual Board review and a calendar for those reviews. I went home made the calendar and sent it to them after half an hour's work. Eight months later and they are still dithering over whether some of them - not saying any specific ones, just some of them - could be reviewed only once ever three years - in theory.

They are crafting a policy that will define their oversight responsibilities and it doesn't make any reference to their authority (and duty) to oversee superintendent procedures. I mention it to Kay during a break and she mentions it to the group, and they all acknowledge that they have that duty, but, for some completely mysterious reason that's never clearly stated, they don't want that codified into their statement.


Sitting through four hours of this made me want to eviscerate myself and then hang myself with my own entrails.
Dorothy Neville said…
My sense of the retreat was a bit different from Charlie's report. While I can understand Charlie's impatience for real change, I can also understand why things like this governance document can be so slow to craft. The district and the board have both been operating rudderless for decades or even longer. Changing that in a permanent way will take more than a weekend retreat or two.
The retreat was a lot of wordsmithing and if you have ever done that in a group, not fun.

I'm probably going to write a separate thread because some key issues came out about governance.
Maureen said…
Mel, Charlie and Dorothy, Thank you so much for going and reporting back!

Can someone report back about the Family Symposium? How was attendance? What was useful? Thanks!
Chris S. said…
I went to the 46th district Town Hall. Saw some matching t-shirts - uh oh - oh, they were Planned Parenthood, whew.

Lots of people with lots of different issues, but lots of TEACHERS and when they spoke about education, lots of support for them. Great to see teachers and parents sacrifice weekend time and get all wet in defense of pubic education.
I heard that the 43rd Dems didn't talk K-12 at all. Interesting.

Oh Chris, you fell victim to the scariest part of ever using the word "public" - lose that "l" and it's gets funny.
SP said…
Melissa- I'm interested in what key issues came up at the Board retreat about governance?

Was there any mention of using WSSDA's(WA State School Directors' Assoc) services for Policy wordsmithing for governance? Why try to reinvent the wheel?

Apparently the district already has contracted WSSDA for a policy review. WSSDA's model policies include specific governance policies. A large percentage of districts use this- check out Evergreen (Clark) School District's Policy # 1005 "Key Functions of the School Board"- including sections on: Vision, Structure, Accountability, Advocacy, and Planning.

Tacoma, Northshore, Kent etc. also have similar. Why start from scratch?
WSSDA also has information on the governance role of school boards, and Board responsibilities (including first bullet: "Planning and Goal Setting- This responsibility cannot be delegated").
Dorothy Neville said…
SP, I believe that they are using the WSSDA policies, but that they are not enough. They don't give enough guidance for such a large district with such a large capital program. So in addition to WSSDA, they are using models from out of state districts as well. Since I hadn't followed this work from the beginning, I am not sure I captured the details correctly on that, but I do believe that's the essence.

Michael and Sherry are the team working on this. I would guess that either of them could offer a much better answer.

Sherry said something I found interesting. After the terrible audit, they asked the SAO -- well what about other districts? And the reply was that some were doing a great job. But they didn't provide names. So Sherry et al investigated and asked around for good examples of governance. The districts that are held to high esteem, however, didn't really have great governance, they had great financial controls.
Lori said…
I went to the 43rd district Town Hall, and Melissa heard correctly. No questions from the public about K-12 education at all. The UW had a great turnout, so higher education dominated the Q&A session, as did health services organizations. One woman introduced herself as a retired elementary counsellor, and I was hopeful she'd talk about K-12 issues, but she only talked about her pension being cut.

I waited in the line the entire 90 minutes, standing next to 2 teachers who were going to ask about K-12, but they never got to us. It was frustrating because they said there would be a 30 second limit for questions, but the moderator did not hold anyone to that time. Those who got to ask "questions" had as long as they wanted to pontificate and speak tangentially (eg, the guy who yelled at our reps for not ending the Iraq War - not sure who he thought he was speaking to! I don't think Frank Chopp is to blame for Iraq!).

Anyway, at least I do know from previous conversations that the 43rd reps know and care about K-12, even if none of their constituents mentioned it Saturday.

Interesting aside, only 5 districts statewide voted Yes on 1098, showing a willingness to let us tax ourselves out of this mess. Those were 46th, 43rd, 36th, 34th and 37th. That's not even all of Seattle. It shows what an incredible battle we/they have trying to convince the other legislators to deal with the revenue side of the budget.

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