Breaking news from the West Seattle Blog; Executive Director Aurora Lora is leaving the district.  She's going to Dallas as an assistant superintendent.   Her last day is July 6th.

That's one TFA gone (and I hear we lost another in HR). 

Decline to Sign flyer here.

Going to the Gay Pride parade?  There an SPS float in it that will be decorated as a school bus.

The Board approved the change to the advertising policy and will permit it on school calendar, scoreboards, etc.  Not sure where (high school only?) and when it starts. Seattle Times' story indicates it will go to high schools only.  Keep in mind, the first year, the district puts all the money into the General Fund (handy, no?)  It's not until year two that ASB students start seeing money and then it's quite vague on how much. 

From SPS (to update your calendar):

Seattle Public School employees will again take unpaid furlough days in the 2012-13 school year to help balance the budget and prioritize classroom funding.

Furlough days for teachers and other Seattle Education Association-represented employees include Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2012, and a half-day on Feb. 14, 2013.

Principals will take a furlough day on Jan. 3, 2013. Non-represented employees, meanwhile, will take Aug. 29, 2012, and Dec. 26, 2012, and upper management staff will take an additional two days on April 19, 2013, and July 5, 2013.

The John Stanford Center for Educational Excellence will be closed on Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2012.


Proud STEM community member said…
I just wanted to make sure to mention the amazing parents that stood up and spoke to the K-5 STEM/MCHS co-housing proposal at the Board meeting last night. Great job staying focused, presenting reason rather than hyperbole, and seeking to represent the best interests of BOTH programs. Woe to the officials who would underestimate this group of families!
Anonymous said…
Perhaps she’ll take Bree D. with her......

Charlie Mas said…
Director McLaren's amendment to the agenda was approved, so the revised Program Placement policy was not introduced last night.
whitney said…
Aurora Lora is leaving.
Next step: Don't replace her. Return to having 5 Ed Directors rather than 6, and use that big salary savings to hire back a couple of school counselors. . . .
Anonymous said…
The 2011-2012 Elementary Progress Report Family Survey (English) has too many spelling errors ("recieve", "attachement", "Baily Gatzert," "Oppertunities", etc.) for a survey from Seattle Schools. How is it that the district administration has so much money for a content management system but so little to hire someone who either has no need for or knows how to use spell-check?

--I rites reel gud u-bet
Anonymous said…
In general, I think Aurora Lora's departure is a good thing. She was in waaaaaay over her head. She had absolutely no idea how to handle several situations that occurred on her watch. It's astonishing that she's now gotten a promotion to a job where she'll be in even deeper.

I feel concern for the STEM families, though, since she was supposedly going to be the district's guiding hand with that program. When some West Seattle parents expressed skepticism that STEM could get off the ground so quickly (ready for a fall start), Marty McLaren (at a PTA meeting at Lafayette) said that one reason she was confident that the district could pull it off was that Aurora Lora had overseen the creation of a STEM school in Portland, and she would be integrally involved with getting this program off the ground.

Aurora Lora was also in attendance at the meeting, and agreed, speaking about her experience with STEM, and about her commitment to the program.

Her departure may be good for most of us, but probably not for STEM. I hope STEM is still able to pull off a good start this fall, and then develop into a strong program. A lot of good families and teachers have taken a leap of faith in jumping to this unknown entity in the first year, and I hope the district doesn't leave them hanging.

STEM Parent said…
No need for concern about us at STEM - STEM will be more than fine without Aurora; in fact we are better off without her and she obviously did not care about us since she kept us completely in the dark about the decision to co-locate a high school with STEM.

There are so many others invested in this school already, we have a very active PTA, an amazing principal and seasoned staff. We're getting Singapore math, engineering is elementary, an updated literacy program that aligns with the common core, an artist in residence program, and actual science labs - to name a few of the things that have been established.
Anonymous said…
So glad to hear this, STEM parent! All of that sounds amazing, except the part about Aurora Lora keeping you in the dark. Sounds like the same old same old there.

I wish STEM all the best, not only because it could offer a great program, but also because it could ultimately elevate science at Madison. With accelerated science learners feeding into Madison from STEM, Madison will be forced to up it's offerings. Right now, science is extremely remedial there, with no honors classes being offered, just extra assignments to get an honors designation. Kids who have had any science at all in elementary are bored to tears. I hope that the STEM principal and STEM PTA will be able to work with Madison to get a program ready for incoming 6th graders in the next year or two. It would be a complete shame for kids who have gotten enthusiastic about science at STEM to hit a wall with science at Madison. Kids coming from other strong elementary science programs would benefit, too.

Good luck!


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