Sunday, June 26, 2011

Seattle Schools Week of June 27-July 1, 2011

Despite school being over, a couple of key meetings this week:

Curriculum and Instruction Policy Committee from 4-6 p.m.  Some key items on the agenda:
  • Highly Capable grant
  • Wallace grant (this is the arts grant that the district won jointly with the City that was mentioned at the Superintendent/Mayor Town Hall last week)
  • adjustments to school report
  • Walk to Math
  • Disciplinary Appeal Council
  • Interventions Report
  • Attendance Policy
The APP Meeting at 7 p.m. at Lincoln auditorium.  Lincoln is at 4400 Interlake Ave North. 

We have discussed this quite a lot but key questions include:
  • If the district does move APP students from Lowell, what grade levels would it include?
  • How long would the move to Lincoln be (probably just a year if SBOC is to move in school year 2012-2013)?
  • What will happen to APP in school year 2012-2013?  
What is the plan for the ENTIRE Advanced Learning Program? 
  • Will there be ALOs available in schools without Spectrum?  
  • Why is Spectrum different at every school that has it?  
  • Why can a child test into Spectrum and yet not have access to a Spectrum seat?  
  • What will happen to APP given the larger numbers of students testing into it?  
Accountability Audit Exit Conference from 4-5 p.m.
An accounting from the district to the State Auditor's report.   These are always interesting.

Work Session on Capacity Management from 5-6:30 p.m. 
I hope we see some good ideas and an overarching plan.  Because here's a great question from reader ZB:

As with Charlie Mas's other plans to open and operate new schools, a big part of my questions are about whether overcrowded problems are permanent or temporary. Is the SPS school age population just permanently -- or long term bigger? Or are we dealing with a spike that will disappear in a couple of years?

We are putting out a HUGE amount of money reopening buildings.  Somehow, two years ago, we believed that we had to close buildings but now we are continuing to reopen buildings and put in portables.  That's a pretty big leap to make.  Of course, something has to be done for short-term spikes but as we see, the surge capacity measures haven't resolved the problems.

We don't have the money to be wrong so I hope I see a real plan on Thursday.  

Also, to put out on the radar for Special Ed parents and educators, Special Ed boot camps:

Washington Education Association has offered these for a number of years; they are open to educators, administrators, families & community members.

July 11-15 Federal Way
July 25-29  Lk Chelan
Aug 15-19  Vancouver, WA

Details at:  Sp Ed Boot Camp 2011

This from Ramona Hattendorf, Washington State PTA government relations coordinator


Po3 said...

Question: Does the super need board approval for the "market adjustment" raises getting handed out?

Melissa Westbrook said...

No, she didn't. The Board helps guide the district on contract negotiations but for non-union folks, I think it's all the Super's call.

Now, I haven't heard word one from any member of the Board at all about the raises. Not outrage, not surprise, not anything. So I would have to believe it's okay with them.

Lori said...

is the highly capable grant the $400K we get from the state to run the Advanced Learning office? Or is it something else?

With all the chaos swirling around elementary APP and Spectrum right now, I'll be curious what this part of the discussion is about.

Terrence J. Menage, Ed.D. said...

Regarding the closures and reopening of schools, what data (demographic and otherwise) has been used in the decision-making process? It certainly appears that the process being utilized is flawed at best and that whatever data and information being considered is equally flawed; considering the decisions, proposals and initiatives emanating from headquarters for some time now, this would follow their pattern.

The muted reaction members of the Board have had regarding the raises handed out for headquarters folks could be another example of the unity they continue to demonstrate. Was it the interim superintendent that pushed for the market analysis to determine that these individuals were being underpaid? Or, was it another example of the established pattern for significant decisions/proposals originating with headquarters administrators? Either way, this is truly outrageous and unacceptable behavior; particularly true in light of current economic conditions and belt tightening that is taking place throughout the district....well, everywhere except district headquarters that is.



Anonymous said...

Anybody know what the focus of the board's "labor negotiations" executive session today?


Charlie Mas said...

The highly capable grant from the state does, in fact, provide the bulk of the funding for the advanced learning office.

Jan said...

Well, given how they are currently mangling AL, there is another chunk of badly spent money!