Monday, April 09, 2012

Seattle Schools This Week

Tuesday, April 10th
Director McLaren Community meeting at Delridge Library from 1:15-3:15 p.m.

Audit&Finance Committee Meeting (audit) from 4-6 p.m.  Agenda includes
  • MLK FAME covenant compliance update where we find out if FAME is honoring its agreement with SPS, 
  • a 2010-2011 Financial, Federal and Accountability audit update (not sure what this is), 
  • ALE policy update
  • a "special attention" item from Director Carr called "A&F operating rhythm."
BEX IV meeting at Mercer Middle School from 6:30-8:00 p.m.  
Eckstein's meeting seem to focus more on capacity issues especially Lowell at Lincoln.  Denny's meeting seemed to focus on issues around Arbor Heights/Roxhill.  I was a little surprised as I didn't see as many parents from Alki, Lafayette or Schmitz Park as I thought might come out.  It will be interesting to see the focus from the communities in the Mercer area.

Wednesday, April 11th
Executive Committee meeting from 8-11 am.  This is a three-hour(!) meeting so clearly, there's alot to cover.  Agenda includes:
  • review of agendas for pending Board meetings, 
  • BEX IV community engagement, 
  • discussion of the MOUs with Seattle University and Alliance for Education, 
  • start times for Board meetings, 
  • international education work session discussion, 
  • superintendent search update including the community focus group and school tours for the finalists. 
There will be a mini Executive Session immediately after it called "Real Estate Transactions."  This perks up my ears as I wonder what else the district could be selling at this point in time.

Board Work Session on the Budget from 4-6:30 p.m.

Thursday, April 12th
Audit&Finance Committee Meeting (finance) from 4-6 p.m.  Agenda:
  • legislative update, 
  • preliminary general fund projected ending balance, 
  • potential RIFs 
  • "annual fixed asset report."   Definition of a Fixed Asset:
    It retains original shape and appearance with use.
    It has a life expectancy of over two years.
    It most often represents an investment of $2-5k or more.  This includes land, buildings,building improvements,  and furniture, fixtures and equipment.
  • There is also a follow-up item on International education funding which I have been meaning to write a thread about since it has been under discussion.  This might be the week to do it. 
Friday, April 13th
The Board will be busy all day going over superintendent finalists' resumes with HYA, the consulting firm hired to manage this effort.

Opening of the Naramore 2012 Middle and High School Art Show 
Seattle Art Museum from 6-7 p.m.

The exhibition of more than 200 artworks will be on display April 13 to May 27 at the downtown art museum. About 150 students from Seattle Public Schools will participate in this year’s Naramore exhibition. Various media and techniques – including ceramics, pencil, oil and acrylic painting, collage, and photography – will be on display.

The evening’s opening night ceremony will feature SAM’s Teen Night Out which will include live music, art tours, open mic, free admission and a showing of Gauguin & Polynesia: An Elusive Paradise.  For more info, Kyle Minaglia, 252-0050 or kfminaglia@seattleschools.org


Dorothy Neville said...

Don't know what the real estate thing is, but they had been talking about selling some odd bit of land left over from another sale. Something too small for anything the district could use. Proceeds would be for the JSCEE bonds.

Melissa Westbrook said...

That's right; they didn't sell off all the Fauntleroy land.

Someone said...

Wow that story re: schools for SLU in the Times this morning is outrageous! What planet are these people living on that they are willing to commit $32 million just to make special "friends" happy, but will allow other schools to fall apart. oooooooooh!

Melissa Westbrook said...

It's fairly indefensible except if you are running for School Board next fall.

My worry is they will take it off the list and then magically, after they get the levy passed, it will appear again. It's possible but they would have to be willing to abandon some other school's project.

Patrick said...

If you are running for school board next fall and you think campaign money is more important than what the voters think. Funding a new school for SLU is a great way to piss off every parent at an overcrowded school, i.e. most of them.

Anonymous said...

Not really Patrick. If your kid happens to attend John Hay, and his/her class was in the bandroom or out in the hall, you might think a school downtown was a great idea. John Hay currently serves all the kids living downtown. If they had their own school, then it might go a long way towards rightsizing John Hay.

And really, has anyone really seen a single piece of evidence pointing to the big rich business interests - supposedly "driving" this? Anybody can blame things on "the rich boogey men", but proving it seems a lot harder.

Besides, the city planners have been steering Seattle into high density neighborhood planning for a long time and encouraging people to move downtown. There's lots of good reasons for it. But, if that happens, schools need to be available in the places where they live.


Anonymous said...

Makes sense if DeBell is running for a political office next year, and giving up his school board position. He would get major big-business backing if he could deliver a nice boondoggle like this on his way out the door.

parent - there are a huge number of school buildings in our district right now in serious need of maintenance, and we have overcrowding everywhere. It is the worst in the north and west parts of town. No one doubts that Hays may have its problems, but there are a lot of other schools ahead of it in line.

- wish we had a real school board leader, sigh

mirmac1 said...

Well if you worried about the "Moderate Voice" vote on QA, then you'd be DeBell.

Parent, I have gone through months' worth of Planning Commission and DPD info. There is no evidence of a sudden baby boom in the neo-Seattle Commons. Frankly, how many +3-bedroom units do you think they're planning to build?

District officials HAVE said they have a BFF relationship (not so many words, but you get the meaning) with "city planners...Mayors Office...developers in the South Lake Union area. Last I checked there were no mom and pop developers there (they were mowed down by the Vulcan warship).

suep. said...

I agree that making a new school in the SLU area a sudden priority is odd.

While it's true that John Hay is overcrowded, the new Queen Anne Elementary is not. Nor is Lowell in Capitol Hill. And then there's TT Minor, which the district still owns. Any of these could serve downtown or SLU kids.

Meanwhile there are nearly 500 actual (not hypothetical) elementary kids in limbo in Lincoln High School with no permanent building allocated to them.

And there are many other existing schools in the district where $32 million could be better spent.

Hard to believe that only 3 short years ago, such visionaries as Goodloe-Johnson and her willing rubber-stampers DeBell, Carr, Chow, Sundquist and Maier voted to close schools.

Anonymous said...

Just saw the notice on the district website about this BEXIV meeting Wednesday evening.

Seattle Public Schools hosts meeting to discuss environmental impact of potential Building Excellence IV (BEX IV) projects

Seattle Public Schools will hold a public meeting on Wednesday, April 11, to discuss the Environmental Impact Statement process now being conducted for the Building Excellence Program, Phase IV.

Date: Wednesday, April 11
Time: 7-8 p.m.
Place: John Stanford Center for Educational Excellence, 2445 3rd Ave. S., Seattle 98124.

Seems like short notice.

- North End Mom

Melissa Westbrook said...

I reported this from the BEX meeting at Eckstein but there were no details other than the date. I find it hard to understand what they can offer given the project list is not firm.

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

"Hard to believe that only 3 short years ago, such visionaries as Goodloe-Johnson and her willing rubber-stampers DeBell, Carr, Chow, Sundquist and Maier voted to close schools."

Hindsight is 20-20. Same conclusion to close schools was drawn by the esteemed "committee for excellence in education spending"... or whatever that big committee was... and by Raj Manhas, and plenty of others. No need to blame it all on the last one holding the bag. Even, if they were wrong in the end.


suep. said...

Ah, but this isn't hindsight, observer. This was foresight and reality, and the board majority in 2008-09 demonstrated a sense of neither.

Hundreds of us in the community saw very clearly then and there in 2008, right when Goodloe-Johnson proposed her damaging and expensive "Capacity Management Plan," that closing and splitting apart schools was a costly, avoidable mistake.

In fact, those of us in ESP Vision created a petition opposing the closures which garnered over 1,750 signatures district-wide.

We marched and rallied in protest, leading the TV news that night.

We protested at the school board meeting on Jan. 29, 2009 when our hapless board majority voted to close the schools anyway.

Then, just eight months later, in the fall of 2009, Supt. Goodloe-Johnson and co. announced they would need to re-open schools after all, at a cost of $48 million or so.

Hundreds of ordinary parents had the foresight to know that the proposed closures were a bad idea.

Our school board did not, and they chose to ignore us. Their judgment was seriously flawed in 2009, and if the same characters are supporting more costly schemes like the SLU school, then we all have a legitimate claim to skepticism.