SPS News

Yesterday, Superintendent Banda and Mayor McGinn announced a new partnership called "Evening Community Meetings in School Libraries" that would open every school library for use by community/neighborhood groups.  The cost would be $15 for meetings held after school hours.

From SPS Communications:

Any local community group or nonprofit organization is eligible to sign up, but the libraries are not available for business or commercial uses, nor for events that have admissions or fees. Reservations will be available from 6 – 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday during normal school calendar academic business days. 

Visit http://tinyurl.com/9ltgx4q where you can sign up for a user account, submit a request for space, and read the Seattle Public Schools rules and regulations (including the payment process and insurance requirements).  

The fee is $15 plus any applicable custodial or heating and cooling costs. Rental does not include use of computers in the library. You can find more details about the program in a fact sheet at seattle.gov/media

It does state in the City's fact sheet that:

o There is no community use of school buildings the first two weeks of the school year.
o Community user dates are available on a first-come, first-serve basis after all other priority users have calendared their events (as nonschool related activities, community use dates are 4th in line).
o Attendance is limited to 50 people per reservation.
o No reservations can be made during breaks or on holidays. Uses will be cancelled if the building is
closed for weather or other emergencies.
• All users must provide proof of coverage for Commercial General Liability Insurance with limits of $1,000,000
and SPS named as an additional insured on any policy.
o If a group does not have insurance, Seattle Department of Neighborhoods can help to identify
organizations that could potentially provide umbrella insurance. Visit
www.seattle.gov/neighborhoods/districts/ to contact a Neighborhood District Coordinator who
serves your area.

Speaking of libraries, Dearborn Park has a new one sponsored by Target and the Heart of America Foundation.  It has 2,000 new books, furniture, carpet and new iPads.   And, each student received seven new books to take home.

Not-so-good news for John Muir's stalled playground - the story in Danny Westneat's column.

"The issue, which relates to an indemnity requirement based in state law, is in the hands of an attorney from the City Attorney's office and an attorney from Seattle Public Schools," said a statement from the city's Parks Department.

Dumb, dumb, dumb.  Here you have parents busting their buns to raise money to help their school and the City and SPS can't get it together?  Shame on them and I hope this column spurs some action.

K-12 Arts - from SPS Communications:

The Seattle K-12 Arts Learning Collaborative will share a report on Thursday, September 27th on the progress of a comprehensive K-12 arts plan designed to increase quality learning for all Seattle Public School students.

Seattle City Hall - Bertha Knight Lanes Room from 6:30-8:30 pm, 600 Fourth Avenue, RSVP required, 206-684-7084.

Seattle School Record Gains in Test Scores.  

In 2012, Seattle students met or exceeded standard on the state exams at a higher rate
than the statewide average in every tested subject in grades 3-8, falling behind only in the
high school reading and writing proficiency exams in grade 10 and the new biology end-of-course (EOC) exam.

Compared to 2011 results, Seattle students in 2012 achieved a 12 percentage point
increase in 7th grade reading, following a similar statewide upward trend. Significant
gains were also made in upper elementary reading with a 4.6 percentage point increase in
4th grade and a 2.4 percentage point increase in 5th grade. Proficiency rates for Seattle
students in grades 3-8 exceeded statewide results in every grade level by margins ranging
from 5 to 8 percentage points in math, and from 2 to 5 percentage points in reading
(depending on grade level).

From the Seattle Times, the first new rules for school lunches in 15 years:

Wergeland-Rammage and cafeteria workers across the nation can't just make fruits and vegetables available anymore. As part of the first changes in school-lunch rules in more than 15 years, the federal government this fall began requiring schools to make sure that each student takes the minimum half-cup serving.
At Greenwood Elementary Thursday, the options were apples, peas, raw broccoli, red peppers, kidney beans, carrots and green salad.
Students don't have to actually eat the required food — a fact that has raised concerns that a lot of it may end up in the garbage. As one Florida school nutrition official told Education Week, a newsweekly: "We don't want healthy trash cans."
But the hope is that students will eat what's in front of them.


Catherine said…
I love the idea of the $15/evening meetings idea - both for the community and for activating the spaces after hours, it will run afoul of our RCWs that require no less than 90% of fair market value for rents. And... who is going to staff the buildings? It has to be a union employee at overtime rates and I believe the contract (custodian/maintenance, not teachers') requires 30 minutes before and 30 minutes after the meeting. What this does is cost the district about $200 for each $15 generated. And what defines a community group?

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