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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

APP North Elementary Decision

From SPS:

On Monday, Dr. Enfield said: “deciding whether to create a stand-alone school for APP students or to house the program in multiple sites with existing neighborhood schools is a big decision, and not one I take lightly. Given our upcoming change in leadership, it is also not a decision that I would be here to defend. I am asking that incoming Superintendent José Banda work together with staff and the community on how to move forward with both program placement and capacity.”  Read letter from Dr. Enfield to Lowell at Lincoln families.

For the 2012-13 school year, the District will:


• Separate the two Lowell schools. The Lincoln site will now be “APP at Lincoln,” much like our other programs housed at interim sites, such as K-5 STEM at Boren. This means that Rina Geoghagan and Gregory King will no longer be co-principals, but instead serve as principals of their own buildings. The two schools will also have a separate budget structure.


• Keep APP at Lincoln for the next two school years. Given our capacity issues in the north end of Seattle, we will house the program at Lincoln for the next two years. This gives District staff time to continue working on the larger picture of program placement and capacity. 


So now the two schools are separate and that's done.  My perception is that Lowell at Lincoln community wanted this; I do not know about the feelings of the Lowell building community.

I'm sure in some ways this is a bit comfort for the Lowell at Lincoln community, at least having this decision but then whatever change there is, it still looms ahead.  

I would think that now would be a good time to advocate to Superintendent Banda on what that community wants.  He is going to have to make some decisions based on BEX IV.  Frankly, I think the Lowell at Lincoln community may be in a good place to say, "this is what we want" to him because he doesn't want to make a misstep early on.
 Also, Lowell at Lincoln - I could think about a new name.  You have shed the building and are now "legally" split from them so it seems like a good time to have a real identity.  (It might help keep your community together if you have a new name - harder for the district to split you up in two years if you have been operating as a community under a new name.)


Still no word on King; I wonder why anyone told the Detroit newspaper about him being a principal in that city.  The word had to come from him or Goodloe-Johnson; they didn't just pull his name out of the air.  

35 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think the Lowell (Cap Hill) community also wanted the school split, so that they could qualify for Title 1 money, among other things. Perhaps not a unanimous wish, but that's what I've heard.

SNAPP Dad

Anonymous said...

Yes, my understanding was that Lowell Capitol Hill actually took the lead on calling for the separation.

Lowell family

Anonymous said...

No comment about HIMS, so I will assume we get to stay for another year?

App @HIMS

Anonymous said...

Here is a link to Gregory King's principal position in Detroit. Open the pdf re: principal appointments.
-also confused

Anonymous said...

http://michigan.gov/eaa/0,4841,7-281-59277---,00.html
Sorry - missed the link.
-also confused

speechless said...

Very interesting description..."successfully merged two distinct schools" and "split a school into two sites, and at one point, supervised the two locations."

Charlie Mas said...

Here is the text from the Michigan announcement on Mr. King's appointment:

"Gregory King – Pershing High School
Gregory King has been an educator for twenty years of which he has been an administrator for twelve years. Mr. King has administrative experience in grades pre-kindergarten through twelfth. He served as an administrative intern and as an English Department Chairperson in high school. He taught high school debate and English. He has served as a high school football, basketball, and volleyball coach. Also, he served as a part time adjunct professor for six years at a community college.
Recently, Mr. King has completed his superintendent internship whereby his assisted in developing securing an online professional development platform for teachers and administrators. He was instrumental in implementing teacher collective bargaining agreements and ensuring the district was in compliance. He served as a principal representative in creating a district standards-based report card. Similarly, he served on the classified evaluation committee.
Mr. King is currently leading an elementary school that has the advanced progress program, advanced learning opportunities/general education, pre-school, medically fragile, low-incidence, and the resource special education programs. Under his leadership, Mr. King successfully merged two distinct schools. Similarly, Mr. King split a school into two sites and at one point, supervised the two locations. He has utilized his leadership skills to engage stakeholders.
"

Charlie Mas said...

This is my favorite part:

"Mr. King successfully merged two distinct schools. Similarly, Mr. King split a school into two sites and at one point, supervised the two locations."

So he put two schools together, successfully, and then took them apart again. No one has any questions about that?

Anonymous said...

My favorite part is how advanced he was in high school -

"He served as an administrative intern and as an English Department Chairperson in high school."

Oompah

Anonymous said...

"Administrative intern"? meaning Office TA?

-hahaha

Anonymous said...

The remainder of the document from which Charlie pasted the text covers principal assignments for lots of other schools - elementary, middle and high.

http://michigan.gov/documents/eaa/Principal_Appointment_Roster_-_Harvard_Collaboration_387916_7.pdf

The strange thing about Gregory King's entry is that it doesn't name the schools, nor the district or city in which he has achieved all of these marvelous things. Very strange, indeed.

Oompah

Anonymous said...

It sounds like the split is needed for both L schools in the short term. The students at TM lost Title 1. Why allow this to happen to the Lowell cohort?

King is moving to Detroit to work with his mentor. He's made it clear he wants to move. SSD will say nothing until after the fact. HR policy, saving face, both? He'd better bring his A Game.

I have a family friend who got back into teaching with TFA. She's in Detroit and er story might be unique for TFA corps. She has a BS in child psychology, ed certified for her state and her MA in math ed. She taught for 5 years then took time off for her children and home schooled and tutored. She divorced ans was ready to return to the classroom but with NCLB everything changed. It would've taken 2-3 years of school to qualify for certification in her midwestern state, and there was a glut of highly qualified teachers with MAs. TFA got her back in the classroom quickly. She's a math specialist in Detroit Schools and loves her students. They're doing great. She did well her first year and already has a contract for next year. Some of her co-teachers weren't so fortunate. If this is what TFA can do then it can be a great thing. She's the only TFA Corps recruit in her school who brought years of experience with her. She meets the Detroit "turnaround metrics" and they'll take credit for all her success and she doesn't care. She just wants to keep teaching. We think she's principal material. If TFA is true to form, will her TFA membership trump Dr Maria's Broadie Club in getting her a school of her own? She's not very political and principals rise and fall on who they know. I'll be interested in seeing who stays longer, our friend, Maria, or Gregory.

Mr White

Jan said...

Touche, Oompah. I noticed the same thing. Almost like they don't want folks to start looking at the past schools he was involved with. (Nothing behind that curtain, folks; just move right along.)

Anonymous said...

To conclude: I think my teacher friend used TFA to achieve her goal more quickly and without more student loans. Detroit needed her and everyone's happy. So far I don't see TFA as the best path for alternative certification in WA, where like her home state, there were already more teachers than jobs. For her, TFA worked but their primary goal isn't to help people like her. She's just going to take the opportunity and run with it. In that respect she's still flying under a different kind of radar the way so many good teachers do just to keep doing what they love. Politically, she ignores their bigger agenda. We disagree in theory but she'll tell me what a fail her union was. She'll point to the Wisconsin recall and say, "Labor fail." It would be great if more teachers would - use - TFA to their advantage.

Mr White

Anonymous said...

Wow. That description of Gregory King is almost as glowing as the recommendation Nancy Coogan wrote him for his Tacoma job.

-what else is behind the curtain

Jan said...

Mr White -- VERY interesting "outlier" example for TfA. It would be really interesting I think to look at how an alternative certification program could be used to move people like your teacher friend and others like her past what I view as overly onerous barriers presented by schools of education and certifiers. NOT for the purpose of destroying professional teaching as a profession, but as a way of diminishing what I think are the overbearing effects of CoEs that make teacher training and certification more expensive and cumbersom (and diabolically, less effective) than it could and should be -- all in the name of protecting their OWN cushy jobs and salaries.

Melissa Westbrook said...

One current SPS TFAer IS a fully-certified special ed teacher (and that's why they hired her in that position because of her background). I recall there being discussion in the e-mails among the UW COE professors about why any fully-qualified teacher would join TFA but there could be many reasons.

This is a good story and I'm happy for your friend but there should be an alt cert program open to EVERYONE who would like to teach as a second career. That our biggest state university has one but it's only open to a select and small group of people is troubling.

Anonymous said...

Why must every discussion of Lowell Capitol Hill turn into either criticism of Gregory King or discussion of the challenges facing APP, which is no longer there?

Does nothing else about the school matter to all the people who seem to be working so hard to make Seattle schools better?

- Wondering

ERIK T said...

I agree with Wondering about the blog administrators strange obsession with all things Gregory. Unlike them, I and many other parents spent a lot of time to convince the district that seperating the two schools would be in the best interests of our kids as well as countless hours volunteering at our schools. We should celebrate the splitting if our schools and stop focusing on Gregory, or Rina or all if the evil boggymen that are out there. Maybe with his departure, they can gave the closure they need and we can go back to helping our kids.

Charlie Mas said...

Erik T has written much more about Mr. King than either of the blog administrators.

I appreciate the attempt at an ad hominem attack, but there is no sign of an "obsession" with Mr. King from the blog administrators.

The superintendent released a statement and we reported on it. Someone gave a link to the Michigan announcement and we quoted it. Hardly an obsession; more like basic journalism.

We will stop reporting on Mr. King when he stops making news in Seattle Public Schools. By all indications that should be sometime next week.

erik t said...

What does Mr king have to do with the split, or the challenges that both schools have to do with our schools.
Journalism, is that a joke Charlie.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Given that it is said in the Detroit article that Mr. King helped merged and split schools, it is fair to point that out. He is taking credit for the work around this. So yes, he does have something to do with the split (according to his own resume).

It was also worth pointing out that the schools are now separate and the principals are completely in charge of a single school.

Anonymous said...

@erik t -

What Mr. King has to do with the split is that he is named as the Principal at Lowell:

*Interim Supt. Enfield issued a statement naming Mr. King as the Principal of Lowell.
*There is a mysterious Gregory King named as the Principal of Pershing High School in the following document from the Education Achievement Authority of Michigan:

http://michigan.gov/documents/eaa/Principal_Appointment_Roster_-_Harvard_Collaboration_387916_7.pdf

This mysterious Gregory King has apparently accomplished many marvelous things, but only at unnamed schools in unnamed districts in unnamed cities. Coincidence?

And this is on the heels of Gregory King's "hiring" to be Principal at Bryant Montessori in Tacoma earlier this year.

http://www.thenewstribune.com/2012/02/09/v-lite/2018511/new-principal-came-from-school.html

Ah, but perhaps I simply have a strange obsession with all things Gregory King.

Alternatively, some might simply wonder who will actually be the Principal at Lowell next year. Not having been a part of the Lowell community for a number of years now I can only speculate that there might be interest in Principal selection or assignment for next year.

I could be wrong.

Oompah

NESeattleMom said...

Oompah,
Do you think the high school reference could relate to when he was a teacher in a high school?

Anonymous said...

@NESeattleMom - Yes, absolutely, I believe that is what is intended in the guarded prose of the marketing piece. I just have a smart aleck streak in response to published documents that really ought to have been proof read. The problem with said marketing piece is the apparent fear of those publishing it (or Gregory King himself) of naming the specific schools and communities in which "this work" was done. Leads to awkward writing and silly mistakes.

Oompah

Anonymous said...

I guess the test will be whether anyone still pays any attention to Lowell if King leaves. Or will it just become another Title I school that educated, affluent pro-schools activists never give another thought to because they would never send their own kids there.

Sorry but you all know that's how things are.

- Southender

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

You will never read anything bad about a principal or superintendent unless it's a felony. I've often wondered if this is stipulated in contracts.

Mr White

erik t said...

Yep that's me. Unlike most of you cowards I'll stand by what I think and believe and not have a problem with people knowing.

joan said...

Oh you mean the Erik Tanen who is always helping at my sons school.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Southender, are we all, by virtue of being here, pro-school.

And to the person who named Eric T. - we don't do that here so do what that activity.

And Eric does have a point - very few people do sign their names.

BL said...

My 2nd grader has been at Lowell since kindergarten. I'm grateful that the separation is now formalized. It liberates both schools from the possibility of having the district pit one school against the other or having to fight against the district for appropriate staffing and resources.
Regarding Title 1, this past Fall's FRL % for Lowell at Lowell was pretty far below the Title 1 threshold. I could be wrong, but I don't expect Title 1 funds to come into play as a result of the separation of the two schools.

J said...

Erik T, I don't have a problem with you stating what you believe; I'm just tired of you stating things as if they were fact. You are not a staff member. Please quit speaking for them. Some may like him, but few respect him, and even fewer support him. The school is thriving--because staff quit expecting their principal to show up. To events, to graduation, to field day, to school, to anything of significance really. Look at the way the 5th and 4th grade teachers have become strong leadership and pseudo-administrators. 1st grade teacher fills in as administrator often. The music teacher is putting on school-wide events and creating wonderful end-of-the-year memories. Parents are stepping up and planning and running fantastic art nights and beautiful murals with the Art teacher. Everyone has accepted the facts and are moving on without him. They are going to thrive, and they'll do that much better when he's gone and holding them back with his lack of support and absentee-ism. Can't say that he'll be missed. That's how they feel. They probably wouldn't tell it to you, with your online touting. It's too bad you couldn't listen, because I truly do value what you do for that school--I know it's not easy. I mean that. You don't get enough thanks and you must be ready for school's end. I wish you'd use your muscle in supporting THAT cause, and not a sinking cause delusion of strong leadership there.

Let's support the school, the staff, and the REAL people who are running the ship.

-Former staff

erik t said...

Former staff,
I am well aware of most of the staffs feelings about Gregory, (which is both good and bad) and tried to be their advocate to the district,. In the end he was the principal at the school and we had to work with him and your right to point out the amazing staff who stepped up and showed leadership and caring at our school..It is the teachers that make the school.
I think that to much attention was spent on the negative and not enough on the positive at our school. I spent hundreds of hours in support of Lowell and got tired of armchair critics. It's easy to complain and criticize.
You have no idea how much I'm looking foward to the end of the year. I'm just glad that the district listened to both communities and were able to make the decision to let us create our own schools with our own vision.
Erik Tanen ( retiring PTSA president at Lowell capital hill)

SkritchD said...

Yay