JAMS Meetings; Past and Present

I know there was a JAMS meeting on December 11th and someone requested a thread to talk about that one.

Also, there is another Jane Addams' Middle School "launch/intro" at the JAMS library this Wednesday Dec. 18th at 6:30pm.

Meet the wonderful principal, Paula Montgomery, and hear about the exciting work being done. Lots of Q&A, and a tour of JAMS too!


Anonymous said…
In addition to the parent-run JAMSplans blog (jamsplans.blogspot.com), there is now an official Fusion page for JAMS:


Recent postings include information on how to apply for the Parent Core/Design Team.

- North-end Mom
Anonymous said…
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Patrick said…
Anonymous, I assume the instruments will follow the kids, yes? Eckstein has a rich set of electives and activities because they have a huge number of kids. When Eckstein is split in half, I assume their electives and extracurricular offerings get split in half too. That's the price of not having a grossly overcrowded school anymore.

A 3-year rollup with voluntary enrollment would leave JAMS with not enough 7th and 8th graders to have a viable program, as well as a whole lot of empty seats in JAMS. We've been over that.

A geographic split seems like the least bad way to do it to me, speaking as someone who has no child in Eckstein or future JAMS. JAMS gets a viable program from the first year. Eckstein gets a much less crowded school. The only real loser seems to be JAK-8 that has to spend a couple of years trying to make the best of a mediocre temporary building. But even JAK-8 wins because they get to control their building, rather than have their building shared with JAMS.
Jamie said…
None of the schools my child has attended (Whittier, Salmon Bay, Ballard HS) have provided instruments. If you want to be in band or orchestra you are responsible for your own. Do other schools provide instruments to their kids? This is news to me.
Anonymous said…
I don't thnk the instruments do follow the kids. They're with the program-in this case Eckstein, I know several schools have been surprised to find when their kids left the building, they got zero of the supplies- musical instruments, library books, etc, and the parent groups had to find them for their new building. APP at Lincoln never has gotten music supplies from the district; the ones they had all stayed at Lowell. But JAMs already has a music parent group up and running, and the Hamilton and Eckstein music teachers are in very close contact with principal Montgomery. If I had a musical child, I would feel very at ease based on the meeting last week.

I thought she was extremely thoughtful and sympathetic toward parents who were concerned about the status of special ed and how or whether supports would transfer(or, if not possible, if they'd end up staying at Eckstein, but the first priority really does seem to be meeting the needs of those kids, which she sounds very confident she can and wants to do at JAMS) it seems like she is thinking of that very thoroughly, and I think it will be a great program. I'd also feel great about her direction if I had a child with an IEP.

Less so APP, and I hope people hear some about it this Wednesday.

Anonymous said…

You wrote,"The only real loser seems to be JAK-8 that has to spend a couple of years trying to make the best of a mediocre temporary building. But even JAK-8 wins because they get to control their building, rather than have their building shared with JAMS."


With all due respect to the JA K-8 program, placing a K-8 at Jane Addams almost didn't happen. There was much debate back in the day (2008/2009) about whether or not a K-8 was the appropriate solution for the capacity crisis.

At that time, the justification being touted by various school board directors of why the choice was made to put a K-8 in the building was because it was a "flexible" solution that could expand or contract its elementary or middle school component, in order to meet the capacity needs of the area. We saw that happen, to some extent, this fall, when the K-8 took in 150 or so "extra" middle schoolers.

A 6th grade roll-up at JAMS would have been adequately supported if the Jane Addams K-8 middle school kids were to be co-housed with JAMS in the Jane Addams building, as an environmental sciences/E-STEM academy within the comprehensive middle school (with the K-5 ESTEM kids housed elsewhere).

For what it is worth, from my perspective as a future JAMS parent, this seems a bit less disruptive than yanking 7th and 8th graders out of their existing middle school communities in order to help start a new middle school entirely from scratch, as there would have been continuity for all, including an E-STEM academy for kids in that program.

It frankly blows my mind that JA K-8 parents are (still) complaining about spending 2 years at an interim site, instead of counting their blessings that their program is not being split. Not only that, thanks to last-minute amendments and jockeying, they don't even have to share their interim site with another homeless K-8 program (Pinehurst). Some schools in interim situations have not been as fortunate (McDonald, QAE, APP, etc...).

I've been impressed by Principal Montgomery, and I feel she has the knowledge and tools necessary to pull off what will certainly be a very challenging school launch. I am hoping that the Board and SPS will be every every bit as supportive of her and JAMS as they have been of the JA K-8 and Principal Nelsen.

-big picture
Anonymous said…
The musical instruments and other assets of Eckstein (basketballs, sheet music, library books, globes, music stands, etc) are the property of that building and school. Period. Doesn't matter if Eckstein kids are being pulled out of the building, the stuff in the building belongs to that building. When a PTA buys something to gift to the building, doesn't matter if it is an iPad or flute, it stays with the building.

Some in the District know this, which is why some are already working hard and advocating for JAMS to get the things it needs to have 'parity' with Eckstein and Hsmilton, because that would be 'equitable', and, isn't 'equity' the watchword of this District, the Superintendent, and the current School Board President?

Bottom line: Can't take it with you.


Anonymous said…
Sleeper, you said above:

"Less so APP, and I hope people hear some about it this Wednesday."

Can you please explain this a bit further?

Anonymous said…

I meant I feel less at ease about how the program parts specifically for APP will be run(self contained, for example) and that I heard less. I am still perfectly willing to believe I just don't know what she wants to do, and it might be great, but she hasn't said. Of course the longer not hearing anything goes on, the less I believe that.

I heard a lot of people saying they didn't want to hear about APP, but I believe only one APP parent spoke (and I believe that was about capacity, not APP). The only time programming for APP came up was when she said she thought she might blend LA APP and spectrum, in response to a parent who asked about spectrum students. I am hoping either at the next meeting (or at a Hamilton/Lincoln one if even broaching the subject at the general meeting is too hot) we get to hear about her vision for the APP program at her building, like we did about the other aspects of the program. We heard some ideas about language, special ed, music, and math. Maybe- how she intends to implement the APP program, which is supposed to be specialized, rather than how much we are not going to talk about the program?

Anonymous said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said…
How about asking Eckstein PTA (potentially Hamilton PTA) to share PTA funds with JAMS? Seems fair to me (and I might be a future Eckstein parent).
Shannon said…
I am happy to contribute to public schools but I would prefer a more targeted giving in future... something that ties the resource to the program not the school.

I would prefer not to feel that my kids interests are distinct from the school but that's what happens when you have kids pulled from schools year after year. Its like being a tenant not an owner - I am happy to throw down some paint but I won't be contributing nearly the same love as I would if we knew that we'd have 3 years at a school.

Can someone clarify exactly what questions we need answered about APP at JAMS? Is someone going to ask them? Program-wise?

Are they 'allowed' to mix Spectrum and APP in LAS? for example?

Anonymous said…
Re-posting for anon at 2:57 (because your comment will be deleted if not signed):

You've hit on one of the most controversial sticking points when it comes to splits or building movement. The devil is in the details, as they say. When APP moved to HIMS, parents hoped to at least get some of the music resources (stands, music and instruments) from Washington. No dice. Thus, FOMAHI was formed and through donations, now has a robust inventory. When APP was moved to Lincoln, all of the resources (some PTA funded, some not) had to stay with the building. I know at least one 5th grade teacher lobbied to bring at least some of the microscopes to teach the 5th grade science units, but no luck. Computers, the entire library, and 30 years worth of accumulated Egypt resources (for the 3rd grade APP Egypt unit) had to stay with the school, even if they weren't going to be used. This is what it means to start a school from scratch. Starting with zero. I have no doubt the JAMS principal is going to be great, and will lobby for mitigation funds. But parents will be expected to pony up while the program is building. -wiser now

12/16/13, 2:57 PM

- North-end Mom
Anonymous said…
When the Jane Addams K-8 opened, several area PTAs made a donation to the Jane Addams K-8 PTA, to help get them started.

I'm sure the JAMS PTA would be happy to take donations once they are up and running.

- North-end Mom
Anonymous said…
I gave to the school, not the program. Not sure why this is confusing. We've gone through school closure and changes with NSAP and the younger kid go to a different school than the older one. I'm not about to go into the old school and cart off $1000 worth of library books I wrote a check for.

not mine
Anonymous said…
I have plenty of questions, but I suppose should take them to the APP blog. Before I go I'd reiterate that she seems very capable and motivated to start a great gen ed program, absolutely on par with Eckstein's, with plenty of music and electives, and conscious of her special ed students. It's just APP I have reservations about, and at this point they are just reservations, not judgment.

Anonymous said…
I can't go to the meeting, but it would be curious to ask Ms. Montgomery whether the music stands, chairs, instruments, etc. from the music department that currently exist in the Jane Addams building will be staying at JAMS. They should! I've heard that nothing from the music department will be staying at JAMS and JA k-8 will be taking it all. I'm curious about other items that technically belong to the building too. Since other school communities have not been given the courtesy of taking their PTA funded items with them when students were removed from their buildings (library books, music instruments and supplies, curriculum materials, trophy display cases, science equipment) is this same standard going to be used for JAMS? I don't want any school to have to start from scratch, but some equal treatment when moving students around would sure be nice. I'd like to see Ms. Montgomery ensure that school items be kept in the Jane Addams building. Can someone ask about this? Wish I could be there.

Fair is fair
Anonymous said…
I am pretty sure the k-8 has kept everything property of the PTA, so they can take things with them. The APP program going in might be wise to do something similar, if the district is going to keep shuffling them around at this rate.

-Been there
Anonymous said…
When APP left Lowell, the PTA funds were split on a per capita basis. Say there were 600 students total and 200 students remained at Lowell; 1/3 of the PTA monies would then be left with those 200 at Lowell. It was a rather generous way to split the funds.

When McDonald was at the Lincoln building, they started a library that moved with them. Once APP moved to Lincoln and McDonald left, APP had to build a library from scratch. Hamilton just started purchasing some library books aligned with the APP LA/SS scope and sequence, but those will stay at Hamilton.

It is possible that Hamilton's music program kept some items property of the parent organization in anticipation of future splits.

When Summit K-12 was closed (remember they were there before JAK8?) there were questions around ownership of musical instruments as well.

SEATTLE - Seattle Police were called to Summit K-12 today by parents and staff involved in a dispute over who owns the school's extensive collection of musical instruments.

A group of parents, along with the school's musical director Michael Shantz, say they loaned to the Seattle School District many of the musical instruments that the students have used over the years.

Summit's last day of class was today and it's one of a handful of schools the district is closing for good for cost-cutting reasons.

The parents' group and Shantz say the district won't let them take the instruments that are rightfully theirs. Today they brought documentation to school officials to prove ownership of the steel drums, guitars and other instruments. They called police when the school's principal refused to let them take the 40 or so instruments out of the school.

-been there2
David said…
Fair is fair, other schools are having a minority of students removed from their buildings, not the entire school. I hope it's true what Been There says. JA K-8 should be able to take their things with them. I would hope a brand new school (JAMS) should get to purchase brand new supplies.
Anonymous said…

I'm pretty sure that the construction "soft costs" include furniture (a lot of the furniture currently in the building is sized for little people anyway, and not useful for a middle school), and I think the soft costs also include curriculum, library books, etc...

From what I understand, the "soft costs" of starting up a new school are calculated as a percentage of the construction costs of the school. In the case of JAMS, the BEXIV-funded re-purposing budget is only $7.3M. It is the lowest-funded BEXIV project. For reference, Wilson-Pacific middle school's construction budget is $68.6M. Meany's is $14.2M.

In order to fund the necessary science and computer labs, lunchroom expansion, and classroom improvements, BEXIV-funded improvements to the auditorium and stage will evidently be pretty minimal. From what I've heard there is not enough in the budget to get the stage/auditorium up to performance standards.

Likewise, the gym spaces will not be improved, at least not under BEXIV.

At the community meeting last week, I believe Principal Montgomery said that the books in the library would be moving with the K-8. I think some of them date back to Summit, and the collection includes a lot of K-5 level books.

Since the decision to include an APP cohort at JAMS, the re-purposing plan has been modified to include a second music room, so two music rooms will need to be outfitted. Plus, there will be 6 core science labs to outfit, as well as computer labs.

During a tour of the building, I noticed that the music stands in the band room had JAMS painted on them. I don't know if this was done recently, or if the stands date back to when Jane Addams was a middle school.

Additional mitigation money (beyond the construction "soft costs" will be needed for JAMS, particularly since the program is expected to meet the needs of the 7th and 8th graders who are being reassigned to JAMS from two different middle schools.

There's also the need for mitigation money to fund professional development for teachers over the summer. This was something brought up by a parent during last week's JAMS community meeting.

The DeBell/Martin-Morris amendment (amendment 4) included direction to provide mitigation funding for APP LA/SS curriculum, but none for JAMS in general. So, if you have a kid going to JAMS, please write the School Board directors and ask for mitigation funds!

- North-end Mom
Anonymous said…
I have been at several meetings with Principal Montgomery and Principal Nelsen. They are working closely together to determine what items stay with the building and what items go with the K-8 program. No one in the leadership of either program is trying to 'take' or 'claim' anything that is inappropriate.

This is exactly the kind of reason why it was so important that we got the District to commit to having a JAMS planning principal in place early. This way she has had a year to work with the District and all the Schools and communities that will be coming to JAMS - and the K-8 leaving the building - to position the JAMS program for the best possible launch. This is so much better than the way the District has handled things in other cases in the past. I have every confidence that Principal Montgomery has the best interests of ALL of the affected students well in mind.

Concerned Dad - wanting success for both JAMS and JAK8
Anonymous said…
Thank you Concerned Dad for your good words about JAMS, JA K-8 and the positive effect the planning year has had for both schools. I was distressed by ”Big Picture's” bitter and resentful remarks about JA K-8, but your perspective helps remind me that many families are working hard to ensure the success of their schools rather than sniping at other schools.
No JAK-8 community member I know is thrilled with having to move twice in 3 years, but both our parent and staff communities appreciate that we were allowed to stay in the Meadowbrook site for this year and are focused making the most of our two years at John Marshall.
Thanks again Concerned Dad. I hope other concerned parents read your comment.
- Pops
Anonymous said…
No, nothing about this is helped by doing this in the middle of the growth boundaries political morass, and principal Montgomery was pretty clear that she can and has done this in 3-6 months, and that many districts hire the principal last. Splitting music stands is not a time consuming effort. I am glad for your program you got a year where you wanted, but let's be perfectly clear- you got it at the expense of the JAMS program. Last year this could have been a much more focused effort, with almost certainly a more thoughtfully built community, rather than whatever came out of the city wide amendment scrum.

And no, moving to an interim site while getting a brand new building built exactly to your specifications is not even one tiny bit deserving of sympathy. That's what happens to every program getting a new building, and generally under much less favorable circumstances. I think people would be much less likely to snipe if your community would show some understanding of how much better they're getting it than the rest of us.

JAMS bound
Anonymous said…
@JAMS bound

I don't know. Simultaneously managing the planning for the repurposing of the JA building (which had to be done over the summer to stay within the construction timeline), and the programming and hiring, in time for a Fall 2013 JAMS "opening" could have been a bit much for a newly-hired planning principal.

Plus, it would have been difficult to have rolled out a very robust middle school if the JAMS budget corresponded to only a couple hundred kids, and I didn't hear anything concrete about the sharing of resources between the K-8 and JAMS.

The thing that bugged me most about opening JAMS in 2013 instead of 2014 was that it would have been essentially been assigning neighborhood 6th graders to a K-8, and the K-8 families may have not been very accepting of "outsiders"...families who did not specifically choose their K-8 program or culture. It was quite a shock to these families last winter that their Eckstein-bound 5th graders may be diverted to JAMS, which had no leadership or planning underway.

In some ways, starting JAMS from scratch is better, but you are right about the political debacle that was Growth Boundaries. Every decision was politically-motivated, and not driven one bit by what was best for the kids from a teaching and learning standpoint.

- JR Mom
Benjamin Leis said…
I was also at the meeting and while Paula said she could do a startup in a shorter time she also said several times how much she appreciated having the larger lead times. I'm convinced that the extra time is being used to make the rollout process occur well.

My major concern coming out was whether the Spec-ed model for the whole middle school was going to be settled well. I felt particularly sympathetic towards the few parents who asked about coming from Eckstein. My hope is that some of the basic details can be fleshed out soon in the way that the advanced math options are already done.

Also - it seems pretty lame that the district can't produce a rough list of students who are likely to attend. I can't see what technical difficulties are stopping that from occurring.


Anonymous said…
I keep wondering when or if there will be a survey of the current JA K-8 middle school parents (6th and 7th grade) to get a ballpark figure of how many of them will be moving with the K-8 to John Marshall or staying in the building, with JAMS.

This "data" was missing from all the enrollment projections for JAMS that were presented in the Growth Boundaries planning.

Also, does anyone know if the JAMS community meetings have been advertised to parents at JA K-8? We have been getting notices about them at John Rogers, via our PTA...just wondering if the middle school parents at the K-8 have had a chance to meet with Principal Montgomery to talk about JAMS as an option for their kids?

- JR Mom
Anonymous said…
Sorry if my comments rubbed you the wrong way, though in any city other than Seattle, I bet the school district, if facing the need for more middle school capacity, would have split the gigantic, traditional, K-8 into a K-5 school and a comprehensive middle school with a program within a program-style environmental sciences academy. It's a pretty obvious solution. It would have probably been more cost-effective, and much less disruptive than seeding the new middle school with kids pulled out of their existing schools, plus it would have saved the long-term expense of supporting both a comprehensive middle school AND a K-8 program that wants to be big enough to support comprehensive-like offerings.

I've lived in Seattle long enough to realize that SPS never seems to do the most straightforward thing...too much politics. Anytime a seated school board director produces a promotional video for a program (for JA K-8), and she manages to also get elected school board pres, it's pretty apparent where loyalties lie.

- big picture
Patrick said…
JAMS bound, moving to a temporary site and then moving back happens often when a building is renovated. That is not that same as moving to a temporary site in a different neighborhood and then moving to yet another site in yet another neighborhood two years later. The moving around will be a big disadvantage, especially for an option school. Assignment schools at least have other kids from their neighborhood in the same boat.

If you think JAK-8 has it so great, you could always enroll. There has been no waiting list on grades 5-8.
Anonymous said…
@North-end Mom

The Debell-Martin Morris amendment specifically mentions hiring APP-experienced teachers. We know that HIMS and Eckstein will both have to lose a few teachers when their numbers drop. Does Paula Montgomery have any plan for absorbing some of these teachers along with their kids? Can someone ask her if she is planning on following the board's recommendation?

open ears
Anonymous said…

After reading your latest post, I had to look it up on Google maps.

I guess it all depends upon how you define "neighborhood."

Pinehurst is only 1.3 miles from the Jane Addams building. Since the K-8 will be in the JAMS attendance area, it will draw primarily from the same attendance area that it currently does (John Rogers, Olympic Hills, and Sacajawea).

The geo-zone will shift west of Lake City Way, but it's not like they suggested that JA K-8 be relocated to Rainier Beach (as was the case for Summit), or to Van Asselt, which was mentioned at one point for Pinehurst/AS-1.

- big picture
Anonymous said…
big picture -

OK, we get it, you are burning with resentment at JAK8.

We can all work to the best of our abilities to try and make our kids' schools as good as they can be given the circumstances (legacy of SPS mismanagement and atrocious planning and continuing inability to make long-term decisions) or we can descend into making snide, bitchy, destructive comments in a rather juvenile way.

As a current JAK8 parent and a potential JAMS parent, I'd much rather both schools were set up for success than that either or both schools were set up to fail and I know which approach I think would be more likely to set up the schools for success. (I shouldn't have to spell it out that I think positive work not bitching on a blog is the way to go, but I'm going to anyway).

--accentuate the positive

Anonymous said…
@open ears

If you have specific teachers in mind, then perhaps you could contact them and ask them to apply for a JAMS teaching position.

- North-end Mom
Anonymous said…
accentuate -
Thanks for replying to big picture, I think you pretty much nailed what many readers still following this thread were thinking.
And I hope readers understand that big picture's analysis of how and why the recent BEX and short- and interim- term capacity plans came, and why his/her own pet vision of dismantling JA K-8's program did not prevail, have little basis in fact.
In any case, JA K-8 community members are getting pretty inured to the targets anti-JAK-8 folk keep painting on our backs. We'll continue to persevere.
- Pops
Anonymous said…
@ Pops and accentuate...

The beauty of blogs like this one is that they are a means of expressing one's opinions and views.

I originally objected to a poster's comments that billed the JA K-8 as the only "real loser" in the JAMS/ JA-K-8 saga.

Although I certainly wouldn't categorize them as losers, in my opinion, transitioning 7th and 8th graders at JAMS next year will bear the brunt of the recent Growth Boundaries decisions.

We obviously do not share the same views or opinions. I respect that.

I'm optimistic that with Principal Montgomery's leadership, JAMS will be a great school, despite the initial challenges, and the JAMS community will also persevere.

- big picture
Anonymous said…
Only an APP parent would lament not getting to take the microscopes with the fifth graders to Lincoln because... of course other kids would have no use for them, and lament lising special social studies resources. What happened to "APP doesn't have anything EXTRA... We just have the same old same old".? Come move time, we hear about the extras.... that all need restocking.

Lynn said…
APP fifth graders cover middle school science units - which is why they need microscopes. Again - they're not getting more - they're getting the same things earlier. I'm pretty sure you're aware of that though.
Anonymous said…
Not really Lynn. No microscopes in middle school for the plebes. Sure you were aware of that. Other 5th graders might be able to use some science too.

Anonymous said…
Yes there are, yep. Is it possible your child has just not gotten there yet?

But the problem was, I think, that the Lowell building kept all of them, and so Lincoln had none. My (regular) 5th grader also used a microscope, in her regular 5th grade class, and has again in middle school.

8th grade parent
Lynn said…
Here's the Curriculum Map for the sixth grade science unit "Diversity of Life."
How do you manage the "Introduction to the Microscope" section without microscopes? I haven't been in a sixth grade science class - so I admit I might not understand the situation.
Anonymous said…
big picture -
Thanks for continuing the dialog and clarifying where your coming from. I do believe that some of next year's JAMS 7th and 8th graders coming from Eckstein and Hamilton, will actually welcome the move to a less crowded school, and (for some) closer to home. Nevertheless I share your opinion that it's the transitioning 7th and 8th graders at JAMS being subjected to the biggest hurt from the recent Growth Boundaries decisions. For what it's worth I don't think Patrick's comment about JAK-8 seeming to be the "only real loser" in the shuffle reflects the feelings of most JAK-8 parents; and I'm not sure Patrick is a JAK-8 parent (though he certainly could be).
Patrick's statement about JAK-8 as the "only real loser" -- though he did add that actually "even JAK-8 wins" -- was insensitive to the real pain and anxiety JAMS and other families are experiencing in this process. You took offense. Understandably.
Your 12/17 responses at 12:30, 1:58 and 7:57 however did reveal a lot of resentment of and hostility to the JAK-8 community. I'm a member of that community. I found your specific remarks about our community ugly and your derision of Sharon Peaslee's support wrong-headed and inflammatory.
Accentuate (12/17 11:37 PM) alluded to the "legacy of SPS mismanagement and atrocious planning and continuing inability to make long-term decisions" this is the real culprit for this mess that's messing with all us.
Poor-decision making (by Sherry Carr, Michael DeBell, and Harium Martin-Morris among others who were around at the time) resulted in the closing of schools, the loss of usable buildings, and yes the creation of JAK-8 -- which, however ill advised its conception, became by its third year a strong, well-regarded, and full school. One which serves the greater north NE community well -- playing a role in easing overcrowding in area K-5s as well as 6-8s, serving area ELL and special-needs students whose assignment schools can't, and offering area advanced learners a viable alternative to APP @ Lincoln. I don't believe the district's decisions over these last 18 months to retain and support JAK-8 were made capriciously. Nor do I believe they were made without regard to the needs and wishes of other school communities. Politics, wrongheadedness, poor planning, and mismanagement touch certainly touch pretty much anything the district does; but the implication that JAK-8's success is the result of some back room deal does not bear scrutiny.
I am indeed grateful JAK-8 survived the latest rounds of BEX and capacity management planning; and lest anyone think I don't appreciate the full extent of our good fortune, I'll add that JAK-8 survived latest rounds of BEX and capacity management planning undiminished in size, intact as a K-8, with an new building come fall 2016, and with our own (albeit less than ideal) temporary building in the meantime. I understand that's a lot to resent and/or covet.
So I am heartened by the conciliatory tone of your last email and share your optimism that JAMS will be a great school. It's certainly a fine building, with big windows, lots of natural light, great playing fields, a huge auditorium, and a cool "little theater"/black box performance space. Per the campsite rule, I believe JAK-8 is leaving the Jane Addams building in as good, if not better, shape than we found it in.
My experience at JAK-8 leads me to believe that a positive, pro-active parent community can do much to build a strong foundation for a new school. Sounds like JAMS families are on their way to forging one.
Good luck and best wishes,
Anonymous said…
Hey Pops
Good luck moving out of Marshall when the time comes. But, I suppose, stranger things have happened when the music stops. I like your optimism, though. By that point, there will be new Board Directors, perhaps, given the rate of cabinet and staff churn, a new Super, at least half a new cabinet, and lots of new staff. This District is not long on institutional memory (of course, we parents have it, and so do Melissa and Charlie -- but that ain't worth a hill of beans). So, your promissory note of a new building, and your claim over it, is charming. Like I said, love your optimism, your faith, despite this District's track record in promise-fulfillment. Regardless, it's the leadership and teachers that make a school, and you've got a great principal who is a great advocate and whoever moves down with you, depending on your student numbers, will be fine.

As for JAMS - they are going to be amazing. They sit at the perfect confluence of time and luck -- everyone wants them to succeed, the District is going to make sure those kids, pulled out of Eckstein and Hamilton, are going to get the same access -- so they will be supplied with musical instruments, new athletic uniforms, equipment, a new library collection tailored to their needs, technology, state of the art science labs (with microscopes:-), and fantastic faculty due to the open hire. The best and the brightest are drawn to this exciting opportunity because stars always are ready for and look to be part of the launch of a brand new school. Plus, the parent community is already coming out in droves to support and pitch in! The electives are going to be great; languages, higher math, access to Hale, Small class sizes in upper grades with the mitigation funds, the APP cohort and all of the great energy they bring... yes, it is going to be great!!

Anyway, uncertainty can be uncomfortable, but I know all of the students of the NE will be well served whatever they choose.

-go wolf pack
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