Seattle Schools Week of November 14-18, 2011

A fairly busy week after election day.

First up, the community engagement meetings have been announced for Intermediate Capacity Management.

  • Monday, Nov. 28, 6-7:30 p.m. at Denny International Middle School Library, 2601 S.W. Kenyon St.
  • Tuesday, Nov. 29, 6-7:30 p.m. at Eckstein Middle School Library, 3003 N.E. 75th St.
  • Thursday, Dec. 1, 6-7:30 p.m. at Washington Middle School Library, 2101 S. Jackson St.
The meetings will include presentations by Seattle Public School Capital Projects and Planning staff members, followed by a question and answer period. Comments from the community will be collected, recorded, considered and included in the District’s Short Term Capacity Management planning process. For information on the District’s capacity management process, please visit
For further information, please contact Tom Redman, Capital Communications,
Email: Phone: 206-252-0655

Joint Town Hall of SCPTSA and Seattle Schools from 7-8:30p.m. at district headquarters???  This is listed on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday - must be an error and I can't find anything about it at SCPTSA's website. 

School Board and SCPTSA community meeting on desired traits in our next permanent superintendent  from 7-8:30 p.m   Roosevelt High School, 1410 N.E. 66th St.

Community Meeting with Director Sundquist from 1-2:30 p.m. at the Delridge Library,
5423 Delridge Way SW

Audit&Finance Committee meeting (Finance) from 4-6 p.m. in the School Board conference room.  Agenda.  It appears we may finally get a full update on the district funds in reserve as well as a look at the 6000 series Board policies.

Operations Committee meeting from 4-6 pm. - This is an unusual situation for two committee meetings to be at the same time; I'll check on this one.  No agenda available yet.

School Board and SCPTSA community meeting on desired traits in our next permanent superintendent  from 7-8:30 p.m at Denny Int'l Middle School, 2601 S.W. Kenyon St.
Annual State of the District speech by Dr. Enfield from 11 am - 1 p.m. at a luncheon sponsored by the Alliance for Education at the Wing Luke Museum, 719 South King Street.  Seating is limited, RSVP to  The program will be recorded and shown on Channel 26.

State of the district/district scorecard/Operations Data Dashboard meeting from 4-5:30 p.m.  I assume this is a more brief state of the district presentation from the one presented in the morning. 

Community Conversations with ELL and Special Education Directors from 6-7:30 p.m. at Concord International School, 723 S Concord St

School Board Meeting from 6-9 p.m.  Agenda.
A lot of "to do" things here;
  • Legislative priorities,
  • approval of the MAP contract,
Here's something curious in the new contract:

Whereas, the Agreement has been extended since that time, and the parties desire to extend it for an additional year; and

Whereas, execution of Amendment No. 1 on behalf of the District was by an individual who lacked authority to do so under District procedures; and

Did I miss something?  (I must be blanking because I don't remember this issue.
  • approval of CSIPs approval of the ALE plans for Cleveland, Interagency, Homeschool  Resource Center and NOVA, 
  • approval of Readers/Writers Workshop, 
  • allowing Cleveland a waiver from the OSPI ALE recs (and again, no community engagement though the district tries to make that sound like it happened). 
I see one red flag in this agenda which is a continuation of a contract with a state Educational Services District for help in capital planning.  There seems to be some discussion around whether this is a "new" contract or a "continuation" and which way staff should treat it in relation to the Board.  (The Board has to give approval to any contract over $250k.)  Charlie (somebody) read the Background and tell me if you don't get a whiff of worry over the language there.

School Board and SCPTSA community meeting on desired traits in our next permanent superintendent from 7-8:30 p.m at South Shore K-8, 4800 S. Henderson St

BEX Oversight Committee meeting from 8:30 am-10:30 am in Room 2750 at headquarters


MAPsucks said…
Oh *(%^#!@

They're using their CYA excuse kind of late on this one. But, h*ll, when it works every time (students newspaper censorship, anyone?), why not?

If this "unauthorized person" be Mark Teoh...isn't using the "new kid" rationale getting kind of long in the tooth? Didn't everybody and their second cousin have to get training on procurement practices? Or is that just what they told the State Auditor after the first couple of audits it came up?

WV: I coulda swforn this audit finding was checked off as "complete"!
MAPsucks said…
Based on previous years' records, NWEA is quite proactive with regards to getting agreements signed, invoices sent and PAID. Was no one getting their emails or returning their phone calls? I mean they ARE a well-connected vendor, not some lowly parent.
dan dempsey said…
Board meeting 11-16-2011

Here is something that also is missing... from the Action Report the Board will be asked to approve for the Cleveland STEM 150 hour per credit waiver..... the actions required to satisfy the law are missing. SEE THIS.

Oh that crazy Board with its 4-3 decisions ...

That is OK ... just violate the law and don't worry about it. If anyone appeals ... just ship it and District funds off to Freimund, Jackson, and Tardiff in Olympia. .... No real need for the Board to actually engage the public in a discussion of legal requirements.

"Careful review of all options for closing the Achievement Gaps" = (6-0-1) never mind we don't care.

"Competencies required for each credit and how such competencies will be demonstrated" --- Does the Board care? -- Enfield and Tolley do not.
dan dempsey said…
About the Cleveland waiver ... What do Randy Dorn and Dan Newell think about WAC requirements?
Charlie Mas said…
The waiver application for STEM appears complete - at least they offer an answer to the third question now.

Given what we now know about the OSPI, we can presume that the waiver will be accepted. Apparently it is the OSPI's practice to grant everything requested of them since they have no standards, no means to set standards, no interest in setting standards, and no ability to enforce standards.

I don't know why the District doesn't just cut the school year to 160 days - except at Level 1 and Level 2 schools. The OSPI will automatically approve all of the necessary waivers and the District will save a ton of money.
Charlie Mas said…
A quick review of the community engagement sections of the Board Action Reports reveals - once again - the stunning lack of interest that the Board and the staff have in any real engagement with the community they ostensibly serve.
Kathy said…
The district will be receiving $3M for increased enrollment. Yet, the district will look at ways to decrease the WSS. What is wrong with this picture?
mirmac1 said…
So far I've seen some incomplete CSIPs online...
Charlie Mas said…
mirmac1, which ones?
mirmac1 said…
I see a number that do not have their funding tables completed. Some say unspecified, others are blank.
SP said…
I'm confused about the Cleveland waiver to OSPI for the 150 hours. This waiver from the state requirements for seat time is completely separate from any kind of ALE status & complex annual reporting/accountability requirements, even though the waiver application from SPS does a great job of muddying the waters....From the application, "At this point the district is planning to seek a waiver for Cleveland High School to allow the school to run as a regular, non-ALE program and therefore receive full funding. The waiver request is for a waiver of the 150 hours/credit requirement. Because hours are the only element of Cleveland that constitutes their ALE status, and because the loss of funding for Cleveland is upwards of $300,000 per year, we believe that we should remove the ALE status and receive full funding for the school."

It seems as if the district is blowing off the ALE status which just last year they were proclaiming how the ALE and STEM was such a great combination.

What is the process to REMOVE a school from an ALE status? Doesn't the district need to do this officially, in order to qualify for the full 1.0 FTE funds (instead of the 0.9 FTE given for all ALE schools)? Middle College has also announced that it wants to get rid of the ALE funding restrictions (and has adjusted their schedule apparently to qualify for the 150 hour standard).
Anonymous said…

I thought the same thing about the work session on Wednesday as a regurgitation of Dr. Enfield's lunch time presentation. However, the term Operation Data Dashboard was part of the title and I recall that there was a new Policy 1010 on board oversight that called for a dashboard. Could this be the same thing?

A friend of Seattle
mirmac1 said…
You will see the Gates/Alliance master plan for widget, I mean, student Data Warehouse is here. This is a fascinating document on how the district will claim to use data (but still doesn't) to make decisions and roll out half-baked initiatives like Teach for America, STEM, etc.

Here's a Broadie talking about nifty dashboards so the principal can sit on his/her keister and can manage from his/her desk. None of this "management by walking around" business. Broad Dashboards, "Here's a Broadie mock-up because we just edu-crats and really don't know WTF we're doing."
Anonymous said…

Why is more data such a bad thing? I didn't see a recommendation that this information takes place of observing classrooms. Assuming collecting this data is cost efficient, making it easier for administrators to get at data to help facilitate decision making is a good thing. What am I missing?

A friend of Seattle
mirmac1 said…
This demonstrates who and what is driving the real priorities at JSCEE. Did you see all the language about "educating the board" and the "external stakeholders" holding SPS admin to BCG's and McKinsey's Strategic Plan. It's clear who's running the show.

If principals weren't out there observing, talking, and leading before, what does a dashboard do to improve this? So much about what makes a wonderful, enriching educational experience is simply not measurable and illustrated with nifty bar graphs. How about staff morale? Will that be a pie chart on the principal's or administrator's dashboard? Parental involvement? Quality of curricula?

Show me where this is actually working for the benefit of the students? Will this simply be another mutimillion $$ boondoggle like the VAX migration turned out to be?

Believe me, I'm in a line of work that utilizes dashboards, that is conducive to tracking paper, dollars and schedules. If I ran my project from a dashboard, I'd be *^$#&! Success in my field takes experience, people skills, and in-depth knowledge. No different than education.
Anonymous said…
Board agenda approval of Readers/Writers Workshop?

Just like that?

No community discussion/input?

Even Michael DeBell has admitted publically that WW is a bad curriculum. Not to mention the many, many teachers who are appalled by it. And parents who are finally realizing their kids can't write an academic essay, much less a college applilcation essay or a job cover letter.

Who is making the bucks off this (one more) railroaded decision?

Horse now leaving barn through open door.

mirmac1 said…
So far I have been singularly unimpressed with the writing assignments brought home by my daughter. And I don't mean her writing, rather it is the short, quickie, formulaic format of the assignment.
Charlie Mas said…
There is no community engagement for anything. This is a demonstration of this Board's failure.

The Board should have been kicking back any motion without community engagement. They never did. By accepting motions without community engagement - and by skipping the community engagement on their own motions - the Board clearly signaled the staff that community engagement was not necessary. Consequently, the staff stopped doing community engagement.

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