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Friday, May 10, 2013

Friday Open Thread

Garfield and Roosevelt High School jazz bands are once again competing at the Essentially Ellington Festival in NYC.  This year they are webcasting the performances so you can see them for yourself.  Here's a link to SPS with the details.  Roosevelt came in second last year.  Good luck to all the performers and their band directors!

Three community meetings with Board directors tomorrow - Carr, Martin-Morris and McLaren.

Don't know if you saw this video of a high school student who challenges his teacher's teaching ability.  It's making the rounds and it's interesting viewing.  Both the teacher and student keep their cool but you are not certain if anyone is right.

Happy Mother's Day to all the moms.  

What's on your mind?

19 comments:

Eric B said...

The Seattle Maritime Festival is this weekend, with tugboat races, fireboat demonstrations, a chowder cookoff, and free harbor tours. Most of the action is from noon to 5 at Pier 66 (Bell Harbor). It's a fun day for kids of all ages and their toys.

In the shameless self-promotion department, there's also a quick & dirty boat building competition, in which I'll be competing with my 4th and 9th grade daughters. We're building a boat from 9 to 3 and racing at 4.

mirmac1 said...

A couple of nice stories out of West Seattle:

Arbor Heights Elementary to implement "eSTEM" curriculum in coming years

Learning revised: West Seattle’s STEM School presents a plan for the future

Why can't all schools use Singapore Math, if it is proven to be better?

Anonymous said...

Critique of teacher goes viral

I'm curious how this incident would be handled in SPS. Students aren't supposed to have cell phones in class, they can't record without permission, and then there's the teacher. According to the article, the teacher in this case was put on administrative leave.

Having been in the position of needing to report particular classroom incidents to the principal, I sometimes wish we had audio recordings, even though I know it's against the rules and it violates privacy rights, etc. It becomes a he said she said situation. My child has become cynical - "they can't physically abuse you, but they can get away with mentally abusing you."

unnamed

Carol Simmons said...

My husband and I attended the LEV Forum at Langston Hughes Center Wednesday night regarding out of school suspensions. The panel consisted of speakers who were mostly from the Tacoma area and one speaker from the Seattle Interagency Program. We were hoping the forum would discuss Institutional policies and practices which contribute to student out of school exclusions. This was not addressed while we were present. The presenters did a good job of discussing creative approaches to classroom discipline problems. The suggestions, recommendations, and experiences were sound and perhaps needed to be shared again but most of our teachers use these methods. Too often it is the Institutional policies and prpcedures which push students out of school and these were not addressed. The presentation was a good refresher course for educators and parents with excellent points regarding reasons for student behavior and examples of how to respond in a positive manner to classroom "discipline problems."
LEV and OSC need to address Institutional policies and procedures which lead to out of school exclusions and disproportionality in academic achievement between certain groups of students of color and white students such as program placement, tests, cultural and ethnic sensitivity, curriculum, resource allocation, special program enrollment, punitive state and district discipline rules and regulations. This Forum seemed to be once again "blaming the victim."

ballardmom said...

Don't know if folks saw this. It's really misleading as they are only comparing these 2 schools to state averages at this point. Makes it sounds like most kids at Whitman and Ballard are druggies and alcoholics.
Just bad reporting as usual.
http://www.komonews.com/news/local/Survey-Kids-at-2-local-schools-use-more-pot-booze-then-average-206544441.html

Anonymous said...

Missing MSP Tests at Green Lake Elementary...

When asked about this, the school and the district said that the vendor lost the tests. These tests were subsequently found and are now being manually scored but not in time to be included as part of the Achievement Index rating.

When I asked Randy Dorn's office to explan what happened they told me a little bit more. It turns out Green Lake Elementary mistakenly returned the booklets to the vendor with their package of “not-to-be-scored” materials during the Spring 2012 administration.

The district is re-communicating the testing protocol to the school in the hopes that this won't happen again.

Fey

RosieReader said...

ballardmom, do you know here the actual survey results are reported?

ballardmom said...

RosieReader, I don't know who even did the survey. The article says nothing about where the survey came from and only mentions that district-wide results will be released in a few weeks.

I did some googling and found this:
http://ingrahamhs.seattleschools.org/modules/groups/homepagefiles/cms/1708844/File/HYS-YRBS%20Parent%20flyer%202012.pdf

Which lead me to this:
http://www.doh.wa.gov/DataandStatisticalReports/HealthBehaviors/HealthyYouthSurvey.aspx

GreyWatch said...

I attended a meeting at Hale a few months ago on alcohol and drug use which is where I first learned of the state healthy youth survey.
http://preventionworksinseattle.org/uploads/Haggerty_slides_Jan_2013.pdf

Students from RADD (raiders against destructive decisions) also presented. They were quite an impressive group of kids.

Melissa Westbrook said...

What kind of dopey reporting is that? They said nothing of substance and the survey results aren't even available.

mirmac1 said...

..."their package of “not-to-be-scored” materials...

Please tell me this is not the USUAL trashing of test results from students in special education (including my child who is a great student). How does this not: a)skew real-world results for students; and b) demonstrate how testing for outcomes is about as authentic as a three-dollar bill?

I need more information. I asked about MAP and was assured all kids scores are considered. Yet I've seen enough insider emails that I don't believe it.

Maje said...

My daughter's MAP score was posted and her reading score is 20 points lower than her Fall and Spring scores. (She never took the Math test because she was sick.) I was going to talk to the Principal about it because the tests were given ten minutes into the first day back from Spring Break. However, now I'm wondering if it is even worth it. With all this talk about problems in testing, I wonder if I should even care about her MAP scores.

Anyone think it's worth the effort to follow up?

Melissa Westbrook said...

Maje, I would say no. If Fall and Spring (or do you mean Fall and Winter?) were meeting standard or better, I'd chalk it up to the issues you stated. I can't believe the principal could give you much more.

Anonymous said...

Nathan Hale High School wins a state award:

Nathan Hale High School is a recipient of the 2012 Washington Achievement Award for special recognition in Closing Achievement Gaps.

From the principal:

Dear Families,
I am happy to report that Nathan Hale High School is a recipient of the 2012 Washington Achievement Award for special recognition in Closing Achievement Gaps.
This is an extraordinary accomplishment and is a direct reflection of the hard work of our students, the dedication of our teachers, and the support and guidance of our parents and families. We especially appreciate Nathan Hale’s recognition in this specific area because closing achievement gaps has been a main focus for us in improving our school. In recent years we have implemented several interventions that have improved the achievement of our students:
 All of our staff members have engaged in numerous professional development activities to increase cultural competence as well as improve skills at effectively teaching students based on their different individual needs.
 We have kept class sizes small in the 9th grade Academies to give all 9th graders a strong start to their high school educational experience.
 We have provided students who need extra support in Algebra and Geometry an additional math “lab” class that they take during the school day.
 We also have provided students with additional math instruction and practice for state assessments in our After School Homework Center.
 We meet with students who are not achieving at expected levels to develop a plan for improving their achievement.
 We have all 9th and 10th grade students take a full year of science in 9th grade Academies and 10th grade Integrated Studies teams and require all students to take 3 years of science.
 Create a learning plan and provide additional after school support to students who are struggling in science.
We would also like to thank the Nathan Hale Foundation for the funding that they have provided which has helped to bridge the gap between budget cuts and the money needed to keep our educational programs at their current high level.
The Washington Achievement Awards (WAA) celebrate the state’s top-performing schools and are sponsored by the Washington State Board of Education and the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction. This highly selective award is based on our school’s performance on the Achievement Index and uses criteria set by the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) flexibility waiver. You can visit the OSPI Washington Achievement Awards site to learn more about the awards, the criteria for selec-tion, and the Accountability Index.
The selection process for the WAA is very rigorous and all of us can take great pride in this accomplishment.
Take care,
Jill Hudson, Ed.D., Principal
Ensuring that ALL students become honorable, thinking, skillful citizens


Interesting that they note the support of the Nathan Hale Foundation which pays for homework help and after school EOC exam study workshops. Too bad all schools don't get this support from the state.

HP

Anonymous said...

Give big is on May 15, and I'm checking out the list of donors. http://www.seattlefoundation.org/GivingCenter/GiveBIG/Pages/Default.aspx
There are some educational orgs listed I'm not familiar with, anyone see ones actually worth supporting? Whenever I publicize this stuff my friends ask who they should support, but I don't work directly with any of these groups and know little about most. It's tricky as Alliance is on there, and it all sounds so good for the children...

donate!

Chris S. said...

Give big: The library is always at the top of my list. 826 is good, and the League of Women Voters is preferably to LEV/Alliance as a lobby group. Also, Antioch University trains child-centered teachers.

Northwest Mom said...

I just looked up my incoming kindergartner's waitlist status and he moved from 12th to 13th on his school ... I thought the numbers should go the other way? In what cases would he 'lose ground' on a wait list? Whom should I contact to discuss this for clarification?

Melissa Westbrook said...

NW Mom, you should call the school and ask. They are usually the ones to move the list. Otherwise call Tracy Libros or or staff in Enrollment.

Northwest Mom said...

Update: I did call enrollment services and they said in very rare cases they make a mistake ... Guess I'm just lucky.