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Seattle Schools Story in Crosscut
Crosscut publishes a lot of thoughtful pieces on Seattle Public Schools, mostly by Dick Lilly. They recently published one by Melissa Westbrook.
The speaker list is up for the Board meeting tomorrow; not as packed as I thought with just four people on the waitlist. The majority of the speakers are speaking on high school boundaries (with several wanting to talk about Ballard High). There are only three of us speaking about the Green Dot resolution asking the City to not grant the zoning departures that Green Dot has requested. It's me, long-time watchdog, Chris Jackins, and the head of the Washington State Charter Schools Association, Patrick D'Amelio. (I knew Mr. D'Amelio when he headed the Alliance for Education and Big Brothers and Big Sisters; he's a stand-up guy.)
I know I may have said this before but I used to think that a school was only as good as the three-legged stool that it is - parents, teachers/staff and principal. I soon learned that without a good principal, you might not ever want to sit on that stool. I have also often wondered if Seattle Schools had just bad luck/poor judgment about principals or if other districts have the same kind of churn. And principals aren't the same category as teachers. They don't have a union per se but in SPS, they have their own org, PASS (Principals Association of Seattle Schools). They oversee hundreds of students, not a single class. They have to juggle multiple balls of budget, discipline, curriculum and governance of a staff. That plus make parents and students feel good about the school. It was also an interesting fact for Seattle Schools that only until recently, they had three principals who had all graduated from the school that they now oversaw. That was Martin Floe at Ingraham High
Updates: from The Seattle Times , it appears that Franklin High School was also closed yesterday due to COVID and staffing issues. As well, Also on Monday, Lake Washington High School in Kirkland shifted back to remote learning temporarily, according to a statement on the school’s website . The shift was due to COVID-related staffing shortages, other illnesses, and absences. On Monday and Tuesday, Lake Washington students will be learning independently from home (asynchronous learning) while staff plan to make the switch to live online learning with a teacher (synchronous learning). On Jan. 19, students will return to in-person learning. Last week, state schools superintendent Chris Reykdal warned that some local school districts may need to close temporarily over the next three to four weeks. While state-mandated preventive measures make schools among the safer public spaces, a lack of staff may force a district or individual school building to shut down, he said. And here's the