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Sunday, October 14, 2012

Hot Week for Seattle Schools

Monday, October 15th
Superintendent Banda will be busy as he bounces from the Seattle Special Education PTA meeting and the Seattle Council PTA meeting.  Both are from 7-9 p.m.

The Seattle Council meeting is in the auditorium but it is unclear where the Special Ed PTA is meeting.  I'll find out and post it.

The Seattle Council PTA meeting includes Q&A on I -1240.  It also includes a presentation of the BEX IV levy.

Tuesday, October 16th
Operation Committee Meeting from 4-6 p.m.  Agenda.  To note, Pegi McEvoy will give an update on the BEX IV levy to the group.  Other items include the Student Assignment plan for 2013-2014.

Wednesday, October 17th
School Board meeting.  Agenda.

A rather important one as this will introduce the BEX IV levy list AND the Board will vote on a resolution of a NO against I-1240.  I suspect quite a run for the speakers list especially from those supporting charters and the downtown folks.

To get on the speakers list, e-mail at boardagenda@seattleschools.org or call 252-0040 at 8 am on Monday, the 15th.  

On the agenda, hiring yet another TFA teacher (pretty late to be hiring so it's a puzzlement).  

Here's the submitted BEX IV list at $694.9M.  I will plaintively note that roof work really belongs in BTA as should labs.  I do not understand how BTA and BEX work seems to be all mixed together and now includes academics and other items.  BTA should be for major work and renovations and BTA for major maintenance and technology and BOTH should be for capital work only. 

The Operations levy is at $551.9M.   I note that it is stated that this levy is about 27% of our district's budget. 

The total for both?  $1.2B.  Still breathtaking.

Also on the agenda, redefining high school credit:

This action would revise Board Policy 2420 that outlines high school grading and the awarding
of high school credits.  It adds a requirement that at least a “D” or a “passing” grade (pursuant to
the Counseling Manual’s rules about non-letter grades) is earned before credit may be awarded.
In addition, a provision is added to allow schools to request an exemption from the 150 hours of
planned instructional activities per credit requirement through the process outlined in the
Superintendent’s procedure.


And this - South Transit North Link Construction Easement - Tieback at Roosevelt High School

This agreement is a six-year temporary underground construction easement for Sound Transit
North Link Light Rail project.  This will encumber 7,721 square feet on the south west end of the
Roosevelt High School Athletic Field at approximately 60 ‘to 90’ beneath the ground surface.  An
appraisal was completed and the value of the easement is $25,000.  Per Board Policy 6220, any
real estate contracts with a term longer that five years requires Board approval.  


Okay, but how much more will that easement affect the noise/vibration level at Roosevelt?  I live in the neighborhood and we already dread the years of tunneling and those kids at Roosevelt?  Good luck because it will be day and night.  Hmm.

Thursday, October 18th
Roadmap to College: College Application Completion Event from 3-7 p.m. at Nathan Hale High School

Resources will be provided to support students with their college applications, specifically their college essay. This includes access to computers, printers, and trained writing tutors.

Each student will be given a toolkit with step-by-step guides for applying to local colleges, fee waiver information and writing tips.

For more information and to register, visit www.roadmaptocollege.org.


Friday, October 19th
BEX Oversight Committee Meeting from 8:30 a.m-10:30 am - I wonder what has been said at these meetings about the BEX IV list? 

Saturday, October 20th
 Community Meeting with Director DeBell from 9-11am, Cafe Appassionato, 4001 21st Ave W. 

Roadmap to College: College Application Completion Event from 11 am- 1:30 p.m. at Chief Sealth High School

Family Symposium from 10 am to 3 p.m. at Chief Sealth High School.

The goal of the symposium is to support families as fundamental partners in their student’s academic success. SPS will offer workshops and other resources for families and community partners to help support student academic achievement at home and in the community.

The symposium, which runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., includes a resource fair with community booths and activities for children ages 4 and up. Families will learn how to support their children in the areas of early learning, math, reading and writing, college and career readiness, special education, essay writing for college entrance, graduation requirements and four-year planning, and financial planning. A light continental breakfast and lunch will also be provided. 


In addition, SPS enrollment specialists will be available to help parents complete early enrollment paperwork for the 2013-14 school year, and interpreters will be provided.

27 comments:

wondering said...

Do you know if all of these meetings are open to the public? (Or where I could figure that out?)I am especially interested in the Tuesday meeting, Operations Committee, as I have a child entering school in 2013-2014 and I would like to hear the discussion concerning the Student Assignment Plan. Thanks!

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

Yes, all the meetings are open to the public. The Operations Ctm meeting is in the School Board conference room. You are basically observing; there is no interaction with the public.

The SPED PTSA meeting is in room 2700 at JSCEE (had to delete the anonymous comment).

I am now aware that the "information" session about 1240 may be somewhat skewed to a the pro side. I am unclear about who is speaking and how they were selected but I will be there to make sure they get it right and explain the outcomes in full detail. Half-truths to support either side are not good; parents need full details.

Anonymous said...

I never heard or felt much of anything when lightrail tunneled under my house. Not sure if they are using similar machinery??
TS

Anonymous said...

I checked out the BEXIV list.

Jane Addams K-8 at "new location" 2017.

Jane Addams Middle School, opening 2017.

2017??? The plan presented last Wednesday had the Jane Addams Middle School opening in 2015.

What's up?

-North End Mom

Watching said...

I'm puzzled. I received this information from the SCPTSA. See below:


Information Session on Charter School Initiative 1240

The Charter School Initiative will be on the ballot this November. This is a hot topic, and we want Seattle PTA leaders and members to have the opportunity to better understand what is inside this initiative so you can make an informed decision when you vote. Ramona Hattendorf, Government Relations Coordinator of the Washington State PTA, will be answering specific questions about the initiative as it is written. We will collect questions about the initiative ahead of time. If you have a question you'd like answered at the informational session, please email it to Rita Sheckler at president@seattlecouncilptsa.org by October 8.


Then I see this on the Teachers United facebook page:

"The I-1240 discussions and debates plow on. Chris will be discussing the impact of charters on SPS with the Seattle Council PTSA at the Stanford Center on Monday evening at 7p."

So, why would one site claim Ramona is there to answer questions and Teachers United fb page states Chris Eide will be there discussing impact of charters on SPS. Is this a debate? I've not heard of anyone speaking in opposition to 1240 at the SCPTSA meeting. What is going on?

Anonymous said...

Here is the link to the updated projects.

It looks like there were lots of changes this week, maybe this needs its own thread.

north seattle mom

Anonymous said...

Where will middle school students be in the interim? John Marshall? 2017 is way out there, so what happens until then? Will boundaries be redrawn, with a new cohort starting at an interim site, never to actually step foot in a new middle school?

wondering

Anonymous said...

Wow! They are going to add WP middle school and JA middle school BOTH in 2017.

If my math is correct, this means, FIVE YEARS until there is any additional north end middle school capacity and then when there is new capacity, they go from 3 middle schools to five middle schools.

That just doesn't seems sane. That would mean that in one year they will add over 2,000 NEW seats but during the preceding five years, everyone will be just fine.

I understand that redrawing feeder pattern is a nightmare but it seems to make more sense to add 1,000 seats early and then 1,000 seats later but well ...

- what do I know

Anonymous said...

Well, I've heard talk about expanding the Jane Addams K-8 middle school to 750 seats. I think they would have to assign the middle school kids to it to fill it. That might be part of how they plan to make it to 2017 without opening a real middle school. I hope not, but I'm fearing the worst at this point.

They aren't adding any new elementary capacity to the area until 2017(Olympic Hills), so I doubt they could shrink the elementary enrollment at Jane Addams, since there is so much growth in the area.

That would be a "K-8" with up to 450 elementary kids and 750 middle school kids....and a whole lot of portables!

What a nightmare that would be!

-North End Mom

Watching said...

SCPTSA will have pro and con speakers regarding I 1240. Just got confirmation.

Unknown said...

Watching, I'm not sure that's entirely correct but I will go with hope that that is the case.

I actually think it would have been better to have one person versed in the intiative to just straight-up answer questions.

Anonymous said...

I think they would have to assign the middle school kids to Jane Addams to fill it. That might be part of how they plan to make it to 2017

Why is that? If things are so miserable at Eckstein, people will really just sign up for these other options on their own. But yes, the capacity has to be made available and who knows when they will say the current school that is Jane Addams or Pinehurst is actually full. So far, it isn't full and it's reading and waiting for anybody whose unhappy at Eckstein...

-parent

Unknown said...

Parent and others, understand that you are taking the pleas of Eckstein parents to the nth degree.

They are not in a falling-down building. They are in a building with the resources stretched to the max (and they have been for years and years). They probably are in the top 5 for schools with the oldest use of portables.

This truly has gone on too long. That the Eckstein staff has risen to the challenge, year after year, is to their credit. But overcrowded facilities at a middle school level is not a good thing for anyone.

I don't think it unfair to continue to ask for relief.

I will say that no one should be throwing anyone under the bus. What is being done to JA is WRONG. Ditto to Pinehurst but we have seen staff do this before.

It is up to the Board to challenge the staff to explain themselves.

Anonymous said...

Frankly, I associate the Seattle Council PTSA to the Junior League and have no use for them. They have been co-opted by the Alliance, and relish their access.

Unfortunately, Banda thinks engaging with the SC PTA is engaging with the community. This may have been so in the Anaheim City district, but not here in Gates' backyard.

Gag me with a spoon

Josh Hayes said...

Melissa, it's not unfair at all for Eckstein to want relief -- but as so often is the case with a problem in the "Tragedy of the Commons" mold (Which see), there's an inevitable whiff of selfishness about it. Parents want their kids to be able to go to Eckstein without feeling like sardines in a can, if only some other kids would just go somewhere else. You know, those other kids. The trouble is, this pleas boils down to, "Go away, so we can have our school back." It sounds ugly in those terms, even though it's completely reasonable: hell, a lot of Eckstein families live within sight of the building and yet feel completely squeezed out.

The way the argument has been made just sounds like entitlement - and with good reason! Parents are entitled to have a reasonably safe, effective school to send their kids to! - but the proposed solution sounds, and is, so damn callous that it's really ugly. And of course the real responsibility for this rests with district planners, not parents, and god knows, not with our kids. But they pay the price.

Josh Hayes said...

Argh. s/pleas/plea.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget that the current copresident of the PTSA was also president last year and a driver of FACMAC which behind the scenes pushed for Jane Addams to become a middle school.

She has made herself listened-to downtown by getting involved, but of course that involvement specifically benefits her Eckstein neighborhood.

Some would say, that's the way works. Get involved if you want to influence the process. But not everyone has the ability to devote hundreds of hours, or understands how stealth advocacy works. And anyhow, the system should not work this way - solving one problem by disenfranchising two other important school communities. (And by my estimates not solving the problem, either.)


Bottom line - Seattle Council PTSA leadership, much of the rest of whom also live near Eckstein, is not exactly working for ALL kids on this Jane Addams debacle. That is really disturbing.

DistrictWatcher

Anonymous said...

Don't forget that the current copresident of the PTSA was also president last year and a driver of FACMAC which behind the scenes pushed for Jane Addams to become a middle school.

She has made herself listened-to downtown by getting involved, but of course that involvement specifically benefits her Eckstein neighborhood.

Some would say, that's the way works. Get involved if you want to influence the process. But not everyone has the ability to devote hundreds of hours, or understands how stealth advocacy works. And anyhow, the system should not work this way - solving one problem by disenfranchising two other important school communities. (And by my estimates not solving the problem, either.)


Bottom line - Seattle Council PTSA leadership, much of the rest of whom also live near Eckstein, is not exactly working for ALL kids on this Jane Addams debacle. That is really disturbing.

DistrictWatcher

watching said...

Melissa,

You put the incorrect number down for the board. Some lady is getting an influx of calls.

Also, if you are not going to the board meeting please write the board and ask them to oppose 1240,

Anonymous said...

@parent

Sure, if the situation is allowed to deteriorate even further at Eckstein, more families may chose to go the Jane Addams K-8 route.

But, if the district decides that they need to place 750 middle schoolers at Jane Addams, because there is nowhere else to put them, then I think the only way to get that many kids in the building would be by assignment.

-North End Mom

Anonymous said...

correct number for board sign up is (206) 252-0040

but all the spots are prob. taken

-no on 1240

Charlie Mas said...

I wonder if the District thinks they can get away without the addition to Mercer by shifting a feeder elementary school from Mercer to Washington after Meany is up and running.

mirmac1 said...

Shannon Campion wants the board to shut the heck up!

"Every year, about 14,000 Washington students drop out of school. Traditional public schools are working for some families, but they're not working for everyone. Parents deserve to have another option, and students can't wait any longer.

Ask Seattle Public Schools to Let the People Lead on Charter Schools

Instead of waiting to see what the will of the voters is, the Seattle School board wants to preempt our right to decide. That's not what we want from our elected officials!

This Wednesday, October 17, the Seattle Public School Board is hearing a resolution to publicly take a position against I-1240, the initiative that would bring public charter schools to Washington.

Email schoolboard@seattleschools.org and encourage them to set aside this resolution and let the voters have a say."

Melissa Westbrook said...

Watching, you're right and I am so sorry to whoever's number I put down. I'll put up an apology right away. I've typed that number for years and never gotten it wrong but I sure did.

"Instead of waiting to see what the will of the voters is, the Seattle School board wants to preempt our right to decide. That's not what we want from our elected officials! "

What? Now is the time for ALL elected officials to stand up and be counted. As OUR elected officials we do NOT expect them to stand mutely by and not express any kind of concern or stand over issue that directly impact their work.

Ms. Campion is really stretching it but, as I have found, there's not much the Yes won't say.

Charlie Mas said...

Shouldn't the League of Education Voters also shut up? And Stand for Children? And Democrats for Education Reform? and, really, every single person who offers an endorsement on either side of the question?

mirmac1 said...

Melissa,

How did it go at the SC PTSA last night?