Disqus

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Tuesday Open Thread

What's on your mind?

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

hot enuf fo' ya?

: )

Anonymous said...

How soon do high school schedules come out? I have a freshman anxiously awaiting it at home.

FHP

Eric B said...

We just got an email saying that Ingraham's schedules would be released tomorrow on the Source.

Anonymous said...

I hear the Ingraham schedules are preliminary. The students will be able to check the Source as the schedules firm up. I think Ingraham is the only school using the Source in this way. Their counselors are also in taking calls.

Ingraham parent

CCM said...

Garfield had their high school schedules up on Source last week - but they were taken down as I'm sure changes were still being made (my Freshman didn't have an LA class but had 3 electives).

They have their Freshman orientation all day on the 27th -- my thought is that they will get schedules at that time.

Not sure how the other high schools are handling it.

-another (NEW) HS parent

Anonymous said...

I had heard that the schedules for Hale were up on the Source too for a short time. We are new to Seattle public schools so we don't have source access yet. I keep looking on the Hale website for an orientation day but so far nothing.

FHP

Melissa Westbrook said...

What's up with these high schools? Why wouldn't all the orientation days be up on the website? Not good.

Anonymous said...

Re: Hale's orientation day - it's always the day before school starts and is called Raider Day. You should be getting info on it soon. I would suggest that you go to the Friends of Nathan Hale High School Facebook page as an extra source of info. For other schools also, they often have a Facebook page maintained by parents which can have more current info of interest to other parents.

Hale parent

Anonymous said...

Hey Melissa, maybe Leslie Rogers in, um, Communications, could do something about this. Or maybe this kind of information sharing is not Strategic enough.

Oompah

Melissa Westbrook said...

Hale Parent, thanks for the info but this is the DISTRICT's job to put this info out. And, some people, as I have discovered, don't like Facebook.

Oompah, I have already inquired to Communications.

Maureen said...

I feel like I've had more communication from Ingraham in the last four months than I had from Roosevelt in my son's four years there. I think most of the communication decisions are left up to the office staff at each school.

Anonymous said...

Some schools are definitely better at communicating than others. From my exchange student, Hale seems to be better once school starts but before school it is lacking. Hale website leaves a lot to be desired. Roosevelt has a beautiful website. From Roosevelt parents though I have heard that communication is very poor there.
FHP

Melissa Westbrook said...

So the word from Communications is yes, principals decide.

That's fine but the district should tell them;
1) it needs to be on the website and in the office for parents don't use computers
2) it needs to be timely (like tell every school by August X, you MUST have info available)

I'm sorry but every single year, it's this question of schedules and orientation and every year, it's "the principals decide."

I think it just isn't very parent/student-friendly. It forces parents to have to keep up at the website or parent web group and for basic info like this, that's not very professional or helpful.

Jan said...

Odd. I keep trying to line up behind Melissa here, because there is much sense in what she proposes. But I somehow can't. I guess I think it is fine that the principals decide. All of it. But I also think that the EDs should know what is happening, WHAT the principals have "decided" and whether it was implemented competently. Were parents happy (this should not be hard to determine). If there was a delay, was it justified (illness, broken waterpipes or a huge August move-in to the school, or huge programmatic changes that make it pointless to do schedules until those changes have been implemented)?

And then, hold them accountable by factoring it in, as part of school administration and family/school communication -- both of which should be things that go into a principal's evaluations. I agree that the current status isn't as parent-student friendly as it needs to be. I just want to get rid of the person downtown whose job it would be to write the rules for this and monitor them -- and move it to the schools with the understanding that it matters. What I hear above is not just "the principals decide," but "the principals decide, and no one cares what their decisions are." To me, those are different things.

Anonymous said...

Jan @ 7:42 & Melissa -

this is the kind of stuff which should be kicked around through online surveys and some meetings with an exact deadline for a decision, and

ALL SCHOOLS WILL HAVE:
1. schedules for upper classes by JulAug___

2. Freshmen orientation will happen in august between __ and __

...

just collect input, pull out your King Solomon sword, cut the babies in half, and move on.

there are how many thousands of freshmen at how many schools - this kind of critical administrivia detail stuff shouldn't be run according to letting a thousand flowers bloom - get it done, clearly and efficiently, so people can figure out how to make more important things happen for the 14 year olds.

can't this district

DoAnythingRight?

Anonymous said...

I don't think staff has been back in the office for long. It is a little early to expect everything.

Having said that, there should be a date by which all schools have necessary community and parent information on their websites. That is professional and courteous.

I can tell you that some principals are very tough with teachers having deadlines so there's no reason office can't have a few themselves. Schedules, class lists and other routine information should be available by an agreed upon date throughout the District.

These are the things that contribute to the District's less than stellar reputation for procedure and policy.

JMHO.

n...

Anonymous said...

Why is there such a huge difference between the websites at the various high schools? Some are wonderful and some are awful. This is true for academics and for athletics. Do they rely on parent help for these websites or do they have someone in charge of them at each school?

FHP

Anonymous said...

Another website question: why did the district mandate that all websites be changed last year (they are all now under the umbrella of SPS). Both the Hamilton and Ballard websites used to be excellent; now they are nearly useless.

Oh wait -- we were told this was mandated, but I see Roosevelt still has its own site RHSSeattle.org. And yeah, it looks like a pretty nice, useful website. Similar to the one we used to have at ballardbeavers.org. Notably, the entire music program website has been reduced to two paragraphs (no links) under "student activities." Of course athletics gets its own tab, but even that is seriously reduced in information capacity.

Melissa Westbrook said...

N, not asking for "everything". Asking to post WHEN schedules are available and when the orientation day is (and that day was probably decided on before the end of the previous school year).

FHP, no, I think every school is in charge of its website. Some of them are managed through the district (if a school doesn't have a person who can do it and that's where you see even less information). Parents are not allowed to work on district websites (at least that is my understanding) and the school can restrict what parents ask to put on it, hence the PTA websites.

Again, every school website should have the SAME info on the home page. Address, phone, attendance office phone, hours, etc. It is silly to have to search through various websites to find basic info.

Anonymous said...

And, some people, as I have discovered, don't like Facebook.

Thank you Melissa, count me in that bunch. If it's only on facebook it doesn't exist. Never ever going there for anything.

The thing is, there are so many other free tools and web sites that allow people to put public information online, why would anyone think it's a good idea to use facebook, a site whose entire business revolves around selling it's customers? Misleading them over and over, unilaterally changing their privacy policies until they might as well not exist.

In any case, I agree with Melissa, there should be some minimum standards as far as information that the schools need to have on their web sites, like dates for all school functions, including orientation days. Whether a building has their own private web site or not, the district provides web sites for every building now, so there's no excuse.

Not looking for trouble, just

- logging out

lendlees said...

Re: School websites. Two of the schools that I've been involved with have the PTA communications chair in charge of the website, mainly for content.

School staff can post items (usually on the Announcements page and calendar), but the majority of other items are taken care of by parents who sign on to be web administrators (which needs principal permission/sign off).

They do try to have some consistency from school to school, but SPS web folks are busy enough just getting the vendor to fix bugs. They are super helpful and run training sessions quite often.

As far as having a certain date for schedules and such, that is definitely a site-based decision.

Anonymous said...

Hey, I realize school websites are important and all, but wanted to note, since this blog hasn't done so yet, the passing of an Seattle education icon, Louise McKinney.

See: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2018926549_mckinney16m.html

Also known as wife to Rev. Samuel McKinney, Mrs. McKinney was a teacher and principal in schools throughout Seattle and worked with the District well after retirement. I had the good fortune to meet her a few times and she was passionate about her work. May she rest in peace.

Whatever name