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Monday, April 04, 2011

It's Questionland Time for Dr. Enfield

Over at the Stranger Slog, they have an area called Questionland where they pick a topic, get some experts and then you can ask away.  April 13th the expert will be none other than Susan Enfield.  They take questions beforehand so get your questions in soon. 

26 comments:

Megan Mc said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Melissa Westbrook said...

Megan, will you please write me at
sss.westbrook@gmail.com. I don't have your e-mail address.

Charlie Mas said...

Ooh! Ooh! I have a question!

I'm concerned about compliance with District Policies. As superintendent, how does she enforce the District's policies? If someone were to report the violation of a policy to her, what steps would she take to enforce the policy? What is her process? Does the Board have a duty to enforce policies as well? What is the Board's process for enforcing policies when violations are reported to them?

Po3 said...

Your question wont fit.

Charlie Mas said...

I'm like Cinderella's sister. I'll make it fit.

Eric B said...

I've got a stupid question in prep for Board testimony. How many "teaching coaches" (ie coaching teachers to teach better) and "data coaches" (helping teachers/teaching coaches figure out what changes to make) are there in the District? One would hope that this was a straightforward question that would be easy to answer.

But to get to something that is more pertinent to Dr. Enfield, here's my actual question:

The budget is obviously a huge issue. Will the proposed budget be posted before the end of April? If not, how do you plan to get public input on the budget before the May 15 deadline for layoff notices to unionized staff?

WV: hemavam Clearly it knows the Bloodmobile is coming to my workplace this week.

KG said...

Dr. Enfield,

Will you please re-examine keeping the .5 elementary counselors? They are very important in early intervention in students daily lives. You can easily reduce the coach positions as they are not as important as the counselor position. Please do the moral thing here.

lendlees said...

It wouldn't take my question...gave me a 'suspended account' message.

So, if someone else can post it please:

"What is your plan for dealing with the large maintenance backlog at our schools?"

Kathy said...

Eric,

Have you checked the capital budget?

At the last meeting, the district was trying to put 30 HQ staff onto the capital budget.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Yes, it quite interesting how many people get paid out of Capital. The IT department for one (most of them).

ConcernedSPSParent said...

Does the district have a definition
of what should go in the capital budget?. Also, what is the downside
of being a little liberal with the
definition?

Thanks!

Charlie Mas said...

Boy these are some great questions. Be sure to post them on Questionland.

Anonymous said...

KSB sent an email with details about the science alignment - Physical Science and Biology will be required of all high school students starting with next year's incoming 9th graders.

Ballard Biotech (only) will pilot a test-out of Physical Science - they need to pass an end of course exam. If they don't pass they must take Physics as part of the two year science requirement.

Why can only Ballard students test out?

Argh

Maureen said...

Argh, Do you know what they will do with private school students who have taken Physical Science and Bio? What about kids who take it over Summer Stretch at UW? They should at least offer to let them study for and take the final exams being offered to APP 7th and 8th graders.

Anonymous said...

Well, write your Board members. KSB's note does not specify what will happen in such cases.

Argh

anonymous said...

Anyone know, if only Physical Science and Biology are required? Do kids have to take Chemistry and physics as was originally proposed? Or could juniors and seniors opt to take horticulture, genetics, astronomy, etc., instead?

Anonymous said...

The high school curriculum alignment process is nearly complete. The Alignment Committee suggests the following courses for preparing students for college and careers: Physical Science, Biology, Chemistry, and Physics. However, only the first two courses will be implemented for the purposes of alignment as only two Science credits are required for graduation at this time.

State standards for high school schools cover Physical Science and Biology content. The district has an obligation to teach the content standards, either through district-developed courses that result from the district's curriculum alignment work or from validated site-based courses.

It has been recommended by the Alignment Committee, and approved by Dr. Enfield, that the requirement for Physical Science and Biology, as the two courses required for graduation, begin with next year's 9th graders. No current high school students will be impacted by the newly aligned curriculum requirements.

Several school teams have turned in validation requests for Science courses. Science coaches have worked closely with these teams and it is anticipated that all courses turned in for validation will successfully 'pass' the process and will be validated.


This is the line that gets me: The district has an obligation to teach the content standards.

It would be great if the "obligation" to teach content standards was taken seriously through K-12. Ironically, it's being used as justification for a forced pathway that will actually limit access to science classes.

Maureen said...

yes, no, yes (at least according to KSB's email)

Another said...

The standard college prep sequence would include Biology, Chemistry, and Physics. Wouldn't being forced to take Physical Science make it difficult to schedule some of the science electives or to take AP courses?

Why does so much of the "alignment" seem to penalize and limit those that want to go beyond the baseline pathway?

Charlie Mas said...

Another's question is the one for the superintendent:
"Why does so much of the "alignment" seem to penalize and limit those that want to go beyond the baseline pathway?"

Maureen said...

(sorry, that last one was in response to Peon's questions)

The district has an obligation to teach the content standards, either through district-developed courses that result from the district's curriculum alignment work or from validated site-based courses.

So does "validated site-based courses" mean that online courses won't count? "Validated" by whom? SPS? WA state? What if you come from Lakeside or Boston or were homeschooled? There must be a method (and if it exists for them, there should be away for qualified SPS kids to opt in as well)

As far as I know, they have made no attempt to discover what standards are being covered in my kid's K-8 science classes. I know a junior in Chemistry at Garfield who JUST LAST WEEK started the first new Chemistry topic he has had since 8th grade. He was thrilled to be able to take Marine Bio last year--challenging and mostly new material. Now kids like him will have to sit through 2.75 years (instead of just 1.75) before they can learn anything new. Stupid and wasteful.

And Another is right. With the added complication that there will be fewer kids who are able to sign up for science electives so fewer courses will be offered (this will impact APP students as well, so I hope those parents are arguing for increased access for qualified students.) Schools like RHS that won't have a critical mass of identified APP kids will be particularly hard hit. They already had to cancel BioChem/Organic this year so the teacher could cover another section of basic Chem, and they aren't offering AP Chem next year.

Stupid and stupider.

(Sorry, I'm taking this thread further off topic--maybe we could have a thread for HS curriculum since I think 9th grade registration is going on now?)

Anonymous said...

This is the suggested science sequence from a random college-prep high school (Stanton College Prep, a public magnet school in FL):

Science

For Honors students, the common sequence of Science courses is:

•9th grade, Biology I Honors

•10th grade, Chemistry I Honors

•11th grade, Physics I Honors

•12th grade, AP Biology+Biology 2, AP Chemistry+Chemistry 2, AP Physics+Physics 2, or AP Environmental Science.

◦- if you have a clear career goal, choose your science accordingly:

■Health and medical related careers - AP Chemistry and AP Biology are better for Pre-Med;

■Engineering and Architecture related careers - AP Physics is almost a must.

■Ecology or any Earth Science related careers - AP Environmental is an excellent course for any physical science, or ecological careers.


With SPS's proposed science alignment, how would this pathway even be possible?

Befuddled parent

Anonymous said...

As an aside, the only requirement to get into the public magnet is that a student has taken Algebra I. From there it's a lottery.

Yep. No special testing. No requirement to be in a G&T program in middle school. If you're up for the challenge you can go for it. You just have to win the lottery...

Befuddled

SE Mom said...

Yes, a separate thread for high school science would be great. Also (on a related note) interesting article in the Seattle Times today:
"Surviving Algebra II today might pay off tomorrow."

h2o girl said...

On the HS science note, my 8th grader signed up for classes with the Ballard counselors last week (they came to Salmon Bay) and she got a letter stating she could sign up for a science placement test to skip Physical Science (formerly called Integrated Science) and take Biology in 9th grade. Only kids who will also be in 9th grade geometry are eligible for the placement test. This will be nice because her friend who is a freshman currently at BHS told her the integrated science class is repeating many things they did in 8th grade science at Salmon Bay.

mirmac1 said...

Melissa,

In response to your question re: capital budgets, the Govenmental Accounting Standards Board has clear guidelines for appropriate accounting and financial reporting methods.

The SAO would be very familiar with these.