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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Tuesday Open Forum

Another film-making competition that high school students can enter from the NW High School Film Festival.  They also have a scholarship competition as well.

Looks like the district may not be able to save the Native American murals at Wilson-Pacific after all.  The artist feels he's getting the runaround from the district and has declined permission to digital reproduce them. From the Times:

He repeatedly congratulated the district for the passage of the levy, which he opposed. But Morrison said he’s lost trust in the district, in part because no school official approached him about saving the murals until he started showing up at public meetings about the levy. He also said he’s talked wit
h four different officials, and has no confidence they won’t simply continue to pass him along.

“For many reasons,” he said, “it’s in my best interests to step away.”

(P.S.  This may be one of the last Times' articles I will be able to link to for the blog.  I am unlikely to be subscribing to the Times - as you may have heard they are now charging for digital access.  But, even if I did, I probably would not be able to provide a link to you if you don't subscribe.)

SPS press release on how the sequester will hurt our district.  


o At SPS, we would incur a 14.7 percent reduction in Title 1 funds, or about $1.6 million, equating to about 20 teachers.

o At SPS, we would face 8.8 percent reduction in Special Education, or about $1 million, equating to about 12 teachers. 

o At SPS, this would be an 8.8 percent reduction in Head Start services, equating to about four teachers. 

What's on your mind?   

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

That sequester news is being passed around between SPED parents. But Melissa you left out the most important sentence, and it is general eduction parents who need to take note: You are the ones who will be losing services.

"We have an obligation to serve our special education students, so we would have to cover that shortfall with local resources. Overall, this will mean reduced services District-wide."

As always, SPED and general education students do not exist in separate silos. Unfortunately, most general education parents have yet to understand this.

SPED Mama

Melissa Westbrook said...

SPED Mama, I did provide a link. I didn't print the whole thing.

Patrick said...

It will be interesting to see if the Seattle Times paywall changes how well they report news and how much influence they have with the public. It would be easy to see the paywall as a step along a downward spiral, and even the Times' mediocre and one-sided education coverage is better than we'd get with no newspaper at all.

But I'd have a hard time convincing myself that the Times is worth $52 a year, for myself.

Anonymous said...

Trying to Keep Up Wonders:

Any updates on details for the upcoming board retreat?

Any answers from board president Kay-Smith Blum or Superintendent Banda on whether The Alliance for Education will be steering discussion by shaping the agenda, sitting at the table with board members, or selecting the day's moderator?

David said...

I noticed that the new Source (which parents are supposed to use to look at student information and grades) came out recently. Anyone else think the new version is worse that the old (as bad as the old was)?

I also noticed that the new Source cost over a half million dollars to make. Given what we got for that money, how bad the new Source is, isn't this a bit of a scandal?

Anonymous said...

Our child's teacher hasn't seemed to have figured out the new Source yet - no grades posted for 2nd semester. I'm still trying to navigate it myself.

parent

Anonymous said...

I think I came off harshly in my first post and did not mean to. I do find it important that parents realize they are about to lose millions of $$ in services across the district,4 days from nowthanks to Congress.

I do not think most families understand that what looks like a cut to one constituency (special education) is in reality a cut to everyone.

Anonymous said...

(above) SPED Mama

hschinske said...

It's not so long ago since they said Source was going away, to be replaced by the turnkey product Fusion. I can't even keep track of the stories any longer.

Helen Schinske

Melissa Westbrook said...

About the Board retreat - no, there is no agenda and I have no idea where it is. I'll keep checking but I'm sure I'm the last person they want to see there.

As for The Source, I'm not personally using so I can't comment. I will say the district spent a LOT on the website so that kind of money for The Source doesn't surprise me.

Anonymous said...

I am not sure what the problems with the old Source were but I liked it much better than this new version. Everything was in one place unlike Fusion which is super confusing.

HP

Anonymous said...

Yes, Helen, that is my recollection as well. We have Fusion now, so why isn't The Source being phased out? Any improvements to The Source from this expensive re-do are not apparent from the user side! Even the graphics look worse (although really I don't care what it looks like if it functions well.)

Watching said...

I contacted Starbucks to see whether or not Blair Taylor represented himself or Starbucks at the recent Rhee event. Here is what they had to say:


Currently Starbucks allows its employees to participate in community events regardless of their political position, belief.

Every Starbucks is a part of a community, and we’re committed to helping neighborhoods thrive wherever we do business. Starbucks partners' connection and involvement in communities has always been and always will be a hallmark of the company. In that spirit, we are building upon our legacy of local community service to inspire a change maker spirit among partners and customers.

Anonymous said...

When does Seattle begin working on their calendar for next year? I'm trying to work on a budget for a local non-profit (that closes on SPS holidays). Has anybody heard whether or not that will continue?
And on that note, most school districts vote/approve on academic calendars years in advance- is this typical of SPS and the teachers' union, to not even have a draft available, at this late stage?
TS

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I meant, has anybody heard whether the removal of Feb. break will continue?
TS

GreyWatch said...

TS - my understanding is last year was the last mid-winter break. From this year forward, expect a day or two on either end of the presidents weekend.

As for district calendars, I think it's a bit crazy that we still don't know when the first day of school is for 2013. I'll assume it's the first wednesday after labor day, but who knows.

Anonymous said...

One thing. SPS, and all districts, are required to maintain special education funding regardless of federal sources. So, while it might seem that it's OK to just cut special education (no biggie, just sped kids, right?) The truth is, the funds needed for special education will be gotten from the general funding.

-sped parent

mirmac1 said...

Given that sped students are in general ed oo, they WILL be impacted.

zella917 said...

Has anyone else been able to link to the school/program choice form on the SPS website? I was just looking at the enrollment section of the site, and it says the form will be available starting Feb. 25, but it doesn't seem to actually link to a form at this point. This is pretty frustrating considering the tight deadline for open enrollment.

Anonymous said...

Here is a link, http://www.seattleschools.org/modules/cms/pages.phtml?sessionid=827a2d875cbaa45020f665518986d323&pageid=192380

Scroll down the page to "Apply for a School or Program Choice Assignment for 2013-2014", and then select the grade for the forms.

-StepJ

zella917 said...

Thank you StepJ! I got to the form with your guidance.