Saturday, April 30, 2011

Dr Enfield to Talk with...Senior Citizens?

The Mayor's office announced a coffee hour with Dr. Enfield in May.  Clearly, it's a PR push for the Families & Education levy because seniors vote.  This is all good and well but meanwhile, she's booked up solid to speak to parents and other community (who actually have a slightly more vested interest in schools) till the end of the year.   (Thanks to a reader for this tip.)

This also makes me wonder, for the umpteenth time, what is the working schedule for people at Central Administration?  Do they work full-time during the school year and half-time during the summer (or not at all)?  I honestly don't know except that headquarters is a ghost town during the summer.  Anyone?

The Mayor's Office for Senior Citizens invites older adults to attend a coffee hour with Dr. Susan Enfield, Interim Superintendent of Seattle Public Schools. Learn how Seattle's K-12 schools prepare children and youth for the future, and current opportunities and challenges. For more information, see the online flyer, call (206) 684-0500, or e-mail seniors@seattle.gov.


Po3 said...

I think they should just remove the Interim from her title as it is clear she has the job and no search will be conducted.

GreyWatch said...

The Mayor's Office for Senior Citizens invites a diverse range of public officials (elected and appointed) to its monthly coffee hours. Everyone from the Mayor and council members, to department heads from City Light, Transportation, Planning & Development, Arts & Cultural Affairs, etc..

The people who attend are mostly older adults who are extremely engaged in civic matters, and who want to see their tax dollars spent well. I would imagine most of them care deeply about public education, and I anticipate this will be a lively Q&A session.

GreyWatch said...

Forgot to mention that the agenda and scheduling for these events is coordinated by staff in the Human Services Dept, not the Mayor's Office. I'd imagine the recent ouster of MGJ was more of a rationale in booking Enfield than the upcoming levy. I'm sure both will be hot topics though.

Maureen said...

Greywatch, I'm thinking Melissa's point is more that couldn't this meeting wait until July or August when issues that impact students are less pressing. I bet the seniors who attend will have some very valuable input for Dr. Enfield. I sat next to a couple of retired teachers at the City Club forum and they were much better informed than almost all of the parents I talk with.

Anonymous said...

The majority of central office staff work a full work year, summer and other school breaks included, just like at most other employers. However, because it's usually a more convenient time to do so, many staff take their vacations in summer.


Anonymous said...

Melissa, you may want to think about your logic here. As someone who no longer has kids in school, you would have no greater vested interested in school that the seniors who attend this meeting. Oh wait, some of them may be retired SPS employees and grandparents of current students, which would actually make them have a greater vested insterest that someone like yourself. Sheesh, why be snotty about the Sup speaking with the public in any capacity?


Anonymous said...

"This also makes me wonder, for the umpteenth time, what is the working schedule for people at Central Administration? Do they work full-time during the school year and half-time during the summer (or not at all)?"

Anyone who is on a teaching contract (consulting teachers, coaches ect) works the same schedule as school-based teachers, so they aren't at the JSCEE during the summer. Some adminsitrative assistants work the school year schedule too, and the cafeteria closes for July, giving those employees a month off. Some of the supervisors who are administrators are less visable during the summer, much like thier school-based counterparts. And a lot of folks who have continuing education requirements try to fit getting thier clock hours or professional certification in over the summer.

Everyone else works full time, year round, without summer, spring, mid-winter, or winter breaks. Some people take a week or two off for vacation during the summer, particularly those who have kids.

Probably the better answer to your question is WHO is in charge of scheduling public opportunities to interact with Dr. Enfield who thought this was the best use of her time? Probably the new communications director.


Yellow Bird said...

Melissa and AEIC, read what Greywatch said. Seniors are an important demographic for ANY large school district to court, because they tend to be engaged, they tend to have the time to go out and learn more about a topic AND they tend to have fixed incomes. Note that I didn't say LOW income, but FIXED income. Thus, they're going to be very careful about where their tax dollars go.

If there was any group besides parents that needs to hear how Dr. Enfield is planning to run the district it is the seniors. I'm really surprised that Melissa, being so tuned into the district, doesn't realize this. And Maureen, ANY work Dr. Enfield does to engage people in this district's work is time well spent. If she can get even a few seniors on board to help in anyway, the students will thus benefit.

F. Pete Sake said...

You're complaining because she's taking an hour or so to talk with senior citizens? Seems like a great idea to me, and part of the job.

dan dempsey said...

What constitutes a Turn Around? As in a successful turnaround?

Last time I checked Harium was talking about 5 years needed to see if MGJ's plans were working and could be evaluated. So now WS Elementary has been turned around ... in less than a year. Amazing .... my head is spinning.

Melissa Westbrook said...

A comment becomes snotty complaint. All I said was that parents have a more vested interest in speaking with the Superintendent before the end of the school year.

I also said seniors are important because they vote (because they are engaged).

Interesting how some find offense when there is none apparent.

I stand by my statement that headquarters is a ghost town during the summer. Randomly try to call a department (except enrollment) and see how you get.

SP said...

As a parent, I would have appreciated more opportunities for parent ("stakeholders") to meet with the Super, especially during the school year- so when I read that seniors have their own chat time scheduled I can only think it is to hustle up Levy votes, which I guess count more from seniors than parent/stakeholder votes? It kind of feels like a double burn to me, from a parent's seat.

What happened to the Thursday afternoon "Open Office Hours"? The email I received said the Super was booked up through June, but that "We are currently looking for additional scheduling opportunities on her calendar to create more openings. Once identified, I will get back to you."

Well, so far no one has "gotten back to me" and instead of parent time openings we now have senior time. Why not schedule that for the summer?

GreyWatch said...

SP - knowing how the MOSC sets these meetings up, I don't think it was motivated by a levy get-out-the-vote agenda. It may even have been a commitment Enfield inherited from MGJ's calendar.

I don't know much about getting the ear of district administrators, but I do know the best time to talk to state legislators is when the session is over. This is when they have time to listen to constituents. I'd hope admin staff would be on duty in the summer and available to speak with parents.

wsnorth said...

In case nobody has noticed, Senior Citizens (Obama notwithstanding) are running the country and have been for a long time. We need them on our side!