Seattle Schools Week of June 4-10, 2012

 This week has a large number of Executive Sessions (closed to the public) for the Board.  Most are on "Evaluate a complaint against a public employee."  I suspect some of these may be about schools in the news over the last several months who had principal issues. 

Wednesday, June 6th
School Board Meeting - Agenda
Our first Board meeting that starts at 4:15 p.m. with the Speakers List at 5:00 p.m.  Please remember to give testimony, you should call/write tomorrow morning starting at 8 am -  252-0040 or

The Board will run through the Consent agenda, student presentation, and superintendent comments by 5 p.m.  Then there is Public Testimony, Board comments and then Business Action Items.

The agenda has some interesting items.  To note:

- Amending Policy #2255, the Alternative Learning Experience Schools (namely, Cleveland, Nova, Intergency and Cascade Parent Partnership Program (homeschooling).   The policy is required to name the schools to the State but the district wants waiver for Cleveland.  The item says "the only reason they are an ALE is the 150-credit hour requirement for credit."  What is puzzling is that the last Board meeting, it was stated that the the district had applied and told that waivers were no longer being granted.  I don't quite get this one.

Also, here's what it says for "community engagement" - Discussions with ALE principals and program managers constitute the community engagement for this work.   Sorry, still not community engagement but nice try.

- realignment of Board Director districts because of population changes from the Census.  No Directors will change districts nor will any schools change districts.  However, some of you (very few but some) may now be in a different district.  Check the maps

- Social Studies adoption.  The amount has now gone down from $400k to $250k.  As you may recall, Charlie reported how C&I had to go to the Board and explain that they didn't ask the right questions to schools and basically didn't do enough work when initially putting together the budget.  No mention of that here, of course. 

There is one tantalizing bit - One high school is considering using only e-books rather than hard-copy books.  They don't name the school but I have to think it might be Cleveland because what other high school would have enough laptops /e-readers for students to use?

Under Intro items:
 - 2012-2013 Student Rights and Responsibilities - I urge parents to read through this; these are the polices that affect your student.  It might be good to know what they are.  Interestingly, there was also this:

Fiscal impact to this action will be $ 0. The SR&R will be available to school staff, parents, and
students on the Discipline webpage of the District website. Also, schools may print out copies for
students and parents as needed. 

So fiscal impact to the DISTRICT will be $0.  I'm assuming if schools print them out, it's on their printing dime.  
-renewing the NWEA contract for MAP for nearly $500k.  What is telling is here is how it is all about how it helps assess the students but nothing about its uses for teachers.   Also this:

Expanding to a web-based, online version of MAP:  Starting with the 2012-2013 school year, MAP will be available to a limited number of schools using an online or web-based version.  The District will identify a select group of schools to pilot this version of MAP testing.
- Reading & Writing Project Network Contract for $343k for professional development services.  No contract available or info.  

Friday, June 8th
Community Meeting with Director McLaren at the Southwest Library, from 10:15 am to 12:15 pm

Saturday, June 9th
Community meetings
Director Carr from 8:30-10 am, Bethany Community Church, access from N 81st by playgorund
Director Martin-Morris from 9:30-11:30 am, Diva Espresso, Lake City Way
Director Smith-Blum from 10-11:30 am, Capitol Hill Library


mirmac1 said…
And Mark Teoh, head of REA, is on the RIF list...?
Charlie Mas said…
Quick review of school board agenda:

New early start time: 4:15

Consent Agenda: nothing of note or controversy

Public Testimony - now scheduled for 5:00pm Will they have to stretch or rush the earlier parts of the meeting to fit them into 45 minutes?

Action Items:

The only change in the A.L.E. policy 2255 is to update the names of the schools. It's unclear why that level of detail appears in the policy.

An inappropriately detailed depth of board involvement is reflected in the additional expense for social studies materials as well. The Curriculum and Instruction Committee reviewed requests for funding on a school-by-school basis. They should not have.

Introduction Items:

Promise Neighborhood House grant MOU is a good thing.

The costs of the MAP test are much greater than the cost of the NWEA contract. Not only in school resources and technology, but also the entire misguided school segmentation scheme. The MAP Test was sold as a formative assessment and it is used for everything but that.

The changes in credit marking policy (2420) for homeschool students is a good piece of work and promptly done.

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