Sunday, March 09, 2014

Seattle Schools This Week

Monday, March 10th

Curriculum&Instruction Policy Meeting, 4:30-6:30 pm, Agenda
Of interest:
- an ask for a waiver for one school day for Lawton
- update on Creative Approach schools
- Math Adoption Progress report

This week has two of the five Community Meetings for the Strategic Plan for each region.  I would take this opportunity to ask ANY question you want because the Strategic Plan covers it all.  

Community Meeting; Southeast - 5-Year Strategic Plan
South Shore K-8 from 6:30-8:30 pm

Wednesday, March 12th
Executive Committee Meeting, 8:30-10:00 am, Agenda

Oversight Work Session: Human Resources, 4:00-5:30 pm, no presentation yet available

Work Session: Data Access & Sharing, 5:30-7:00 pm, Presentation

This is basically a lot of what was said at the committee meeting that they presented it at last year.  It is not good and I'm a little surprised at what got left out.

First, they did NOT fully explain FERPA.  Like the HUGE change in 2011 that is now allowing OSPI to say the Seattle Times has a "legitimate educational interest" and so the Times can access SPS student data. 

Second, parents and eligible students can review SPS records but guess what?  That info that goes out to the Times?  You probably could not ask the Times to review it under FERPA.  That needs to be changed. 

Third, page 17 says there are new templates for Data Sharing Agreements and MOUs - where are they? 

Fourth, if the agreement is violated "access will be terminated."  That's it?  Your kid's info is compromised and all SPS will do is cut off the access?

I have now attended a Board meeting where a vendor explained, in a lot of personal detail, about a student they are serving.  That probably violated (or was very close to a violation) of FERPA.

There is a pending issue with violation of FERPA for multiple students in SPS.  I cannot say the details now (but I'll let the Board know).  This district IS not being the best stewards of student data. 

Thursday, March 13th
Audit&Finance Committee Meeting 4:30-6:30 pm, agenda not yet available.

Community Meeting:Northeast - 5-Year Strategic Plan
Nathan Hale High School from 6:30-8:30 pm

Friday, March 14th
BEX Oversight Committee Meeting from 8:30am-10:30 am, JSCEE, room 2750

Saturday, March 15th
Community Meeting with Director Martin-Morris from 11:00 am-12:30 pm
Montlake Branch Library

I will note here that Director Blanford does not have a single Community meeting scheduled for March or April.  I do not know why.


Anonymous said...

Just thought I'd post this. I've been following the Highline School District...they have a very impressive website and great communication to families. I don't understand why SPS can't do this. Of note, they are facing (probably to a lesser degree) the same capacity crunch we are, but they seem to be out there in front of it, with real data, simple reports, open community meetings and some proposed solutions. Link here: http://www.highlineschools.org/building

I'm not saying they are perfect, and I know Seattle is probably too deep in to start here, but it helps to see how it can be done. Starting with some basic 10 year planning. Also, they have a real strategic plan for the district, with actual measurable goals, instead of vague "serving every student!" language. I probably won't be popular here, but wow, I really miss Enfield right about now. (And before you shellack me, I didn't like her personally either when she was here).
-South Neighbor

Melissa Westbrook said...

South Neighbor, this is also what I hear. Dr. Enfield probably made the right choice in many ways.

Anonymous said...

Seriously, I'd love it if people took a look around their website, to see what a functioning district looks like. The level of info there is astounding. I love their wide range of "innovative schools." (We will be applying as an out of dist student at one). I love that they have it very clear at the top of the page the non-English versions. They have all sorts of resources, from free internet to family support. They have an advanced learning program, and testing for it starts in Feb (which makes so much more sense to me than an Oct 1 deadline, when you have no idea how the year will be or what your kid will need. And the teacher doesn't know your kid yet).They regularly publish the results of community feedback...right now, after their community meetings, where they asked specific questions, more than 70% of folks are supportive of a solution to move 6th grade to middle school, and the public helped prioritize the schools that need the most help. Can you even imagine? While I'm sure there is still internal bickering, it seems no where near the anger we have in Seattle, due to the utter lack of confidence in our leaders. That seems to be the key here...and judging by what is going on there, it seems their faith in the district is well-founded. It just makes everything easier. I encourage all the at least check out their website. We have things we can learn from it.
-South Neighbor

Anonymous said...

Speaking of data access and sharing, someone just posted the following over on the APP blog. Incredible.

"If you haven't received your scores yet, I'd recommend sending AL an email. I did and received a prompt reply -- apparently, our letter was mailed on February 15th but never reached us. A bit more disconcerting is that they included a PDF with our son's scores, but this document also included names, IDs,addresses, and test scores for 60 other SPS students. (A clear FERPA and Privacy law violation). If you also received this PDF, I'd love to know -- hoping we were a one-time mistake."


Rainier said...

There is a Pinehurst bldg variance meeting on March 13th also. Important for neighbors and community to attend. Here is the link: