Tuesday Open Thread

Went to the "State of the District" event yesterday hosted by the Alliance for Education and sponsored by Group Health.  (I'm sort of kidding about the the sponsorship but somebody paid for that.)   There were some interesting things said from the Superintendent (frank talk, very long and a reference to God), Mayor (how many times can he say "collaboration" until you realize that it may just be a talking point) and Washington State Teacher of the Year (tests are NOT everything but he likes Common Core). 

You will not hear all this today when the Superintendent gives his speech again at JSCEE at 4 pm.  It's a 20 minute speech.  Also, no food or wine for you as at the Alliance event (but I was rushing out the door to see David Sedaris so I didn't get any either). 

All part of the SPS puzzle (especially around enrollment) - the City announces community open houses around housing.  (What? no love for West Seattle or NW Seattle.)

South Seattle
Ethiopian Community Center
8323 Rainier Ave S
Wednesday, November 19, 20146 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Central District
Garfield Community Center
2323 E Cherry St
Thursday, November 20, 20146 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Olympic View Elementary School
504 NE 95th St
Thursday, December 04, 20146 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Learn more: http://bit.ly/seahousing

Good article from The Atlantic Monthly on national graduation rates.

Last year, 86 percent of students took home high school diplomas, while only 7 percent dropped outdown from 13 percent two decades ago, according to Census Bureau data.

The national average reflects improvements across all demographics but is boosted by significant gains among black and especially Latino high-schoolers.  

What's on your mind?


Anonymous said…
The Garfield gymnastics team was told yesterday that they will not have a team since they were unable to secure a coach. 30 girls were signed up, and now no team.

Does anyone know what the policy is for girls to be allowed to compete at another school (ie: Roosevelt), or if they are just out of luck?

Seems like they should have an opportunity to compete, especially since it seems like the administration really hasn't put a lot of effort into recruiting a coach.

They didn't have one last year either, but the Roosevelt coach allowed them to come to Roosevelt and she coached both teams. The situation was not ideal; however, it allowed them to compete. She apparently is no longer there, so that option is not on the table.

GHS also asked about the girls joining Hale, but were told "No thanks" by the Hale team.

My daughter is upset, understandably, so just wanted to reach out to see if anyone has run into this situation before.

-GHS Gymnast Parent
Anonymous said…
@ GHS Gymnast Parent: Geez, doesn't seem like Garfield tried very hard. 30 girls! This lack of effort on behalf of these girls would never be OK when hunting down football or basketball coaches for male teams.

This is yet another black mark for Howard's leadership and I say you kick up a Title IX huge fuss.

One idea for you since Howard seemingly cares less is to contact UW for recent gymnastics alums and local gyms for their coaches. Coaches don't make very much. Surely there's someone wanting some extra money. Local gyms could view the use of one of their own parttime employees - paid by Garfield for Garfield activities of course -- as a way to turn around and get more business for their gyms during private lessons or clinics using the public school contacts as their base.

What a disappointment to hear Garfield does not value this Strong Girl sport.

---competition mom---

GHS, what was the reason Hale said no? Is it money? I'd like to understand that b/c if that team of girls (and their families) will cover costs, it would seem like the right thing to do.

I would go to both Ex Directors on this one and Eric McCurdy, Athletic Director and ask.

As well, I agree on the Title IX issues. GHS leadership would need to provide that they work as hard on girls' sports as boys.
Jamie said…
Wow, how disappointing for those girls. I know you said you reached out to Roosevelt and Hale. Have you contacted Ballard? I know nothing about the program but I know they have a team.
Anonymous said…
Any news about the schedule for advanced learning testing? We haven't heard anything yet.

- concerned mom
Anonymous said…
Another strike for Howard in my book. No idea why the strong board support let alone the pass on the horrid Garfield rape incident. To me, he's a year or two past his Sell By date.

Let's remember the 'special 3 person Spanish class - he set up for Tony Wroten. Skated out of that one too.

If there really are 30 qualified girls ready to compete in gymnastics Howard himself or his delegate needs to get off their butt and get this situation fixed. It's solvable.

An additional idea: Someone needs to call the Seattle Times sports desk. Immediately. This is a great story for a columnist to chomp on.

Anonymous said…
Last year Ingraham's gymnastics team practiced at Hale - I think that is happening this year too. They might not have the facilities to host 3 teams.

Anonymous said…
Hale's coach said no because the Hale team is very large and because Ingraham practices there after the Hale team. Roosevelt has a new coach this year and isn't able to do two teams. I am not sure why they didn't go to Ballard or ask to team up with Holy Names who has to go all the way to Kent to practice. Garfield has the equipment and Holy Names has the coach.

Anonymous said…
The Garfield coach position was advertised at Seattle Gymnastics Academy. It is hard to get a coach from there or the UW because all gymnasts compete in the Winter so if they are coaching or participating on a team elsewhere, it is hard to add another team to coach. Roosevelt was without a coach until very recently.

Anonymous said…
Huffington Post lists SPS on their list of schools being investigated about their handling of sexual assaults.


Anonymous said…
I don't think they checked with Ballard because the bus ride would take so long after school that it would prohibitive for the girls who don't drive.

The trip to Roosevelt took 45 minutes on the bus and the girls were sometimes late to practice. Ballard would be even further.

We suggested talking to Holy Names, but not sure what happened with that....I will follow up.

We will keep trying, but as it is already the second week of the season and the girls need 15 practices to be eligible to compete, we are becoming resigned to the fact that it is a done deal.

Thanks for the support though - and justifying my outrage and disappointment.

-GHS Gymnast Parent

Jamie said…
Oh you're right, it would be an hour on the bus to Ballard. Hmm. I would check with West Seattle high as well - might be a little shorter bus ride over there.

Very sorry Garfield is not supporting these girls.
Johnny Calcagno said…
HP said:

The Garfield coach position was advertised at Seattle Gymnastics Academy. It is hard to get a coach from there or the UW because all gymnasts compete in the Winter so if they are coaching or participating on a team elsewhere, it is hard to add another team to coach. Roosevelt was without a coach until very recently.

Right. I know from experience that hiring school coaches and specialists for the small number of workday hours under consideration can be difficult under the best of circumstances. I'm not sure if that is the problem in this case, but I wouldn't necessarily jump to the conclusion that there isn't support for a gymnastics team.

Perhaps this spotlight on the issue might help the recruiting. I hope so.
Anonymous said…
What about posting it at SPU? They have a team program that goes up high school age? Or posting it to the college gymnasts who have graduated?

-sps mom
2 cents said…
There are also several other gymnastics facilities around the city that you could also contact for coaches/referrals.

There's West Side Gymnastics in West Seattle, Metropolitan in Kent, Seattle Rhythmic (may know of coaches who do more than rhythmic)...

I agree that you wouldn't see admin just throwing their hands up and calling defeat if this were a football, basketball, or baseball team. How about making sure that the compensation being offered to the gymnastics coaches is comparable to that of coaches of other sports? I'm guessing there is a big difference and closing that gap might make the part-time position more worthwhile.
Meg said…
SANCA might be worth calling about gymnastics - for all they are a circus school, many of the instructors have a background in gymnastics. Chuck or Jo might be willing to talk about if any of the instructors would be a good match.
Anonymous said…
If any of us with kids in the gymnastics community find a promising lead, is there a way to contact GHS Gymnast Parent or some other Garfield parent directly? Please post an email or give the name of the lead team mom/dad or something! It's a longshot, but you never know...

Double-agree that this slack would never happen with a boy-centric sport. Is there really no way to ensure the Garfield athletics department gives it an acceptable portion of due diligence?

Level 5
Anonymous said…
I talked with my daughter who takes gymnastics at SGA and she said several coaches from SGA interviewed for the position at Garfield but were not hired. Not sure why. They still coach at SGA.

Those concerned about bus rides, wouldn't Hale be even further? I wonder if they talked to the coach for Ingraham. Ingraham doesn't practice at Hale until 5:30 or 6 after Hale practices. Currently Hale's team is 46 girls so no room for 30 more gymnasts. I am not sure how big the Ingraham team is but it is usually smaller than Hale's.

Anonymous said…
You can email me: Leslie @ garfield2016class@gmail.com.

We were told that the SGA coaches are not allowed to coach high school if they have any contact with the high school girls outside of season - it is against policy for them to do both...?

Thanks for any and all help.

Anonymous said…
Switching topics...JAMS has been tweaking its daily schedule over the last month and the latest experiment/change moved from 2 to 3 lunches (not grade specific) but it splits 4th period for some classes on some days. Academically, it seems less than ideal. Looking at other middle schools, it appears that Whitman does this as well. How does that really work? How do students get much accomplished when the class period is split by lunch? It gives new meaning to cutting class.

Anonymous said…
Well any coach at SGA is likely to coach high school age girls off season. Most of the Hale gymnasts take gymnastics there in the off season. It does make it very difficult to find a coach. I wonder if this is true for other sports like select soccer or basketball.

Anonymous said…
I remember that a Garfield soccer coach could not coach select soccer as well. this got attention after the football kerfuffle a few years ago. It seemed like a new concern at the time.

Historically Eckstein had 3 lunches including a split period. Not sure what they are doing this year.

-hs parent
Anonymous said…
I believe that the off-season sports issue is true for all sports. That is why the Lakeside Basketball coach got in so much trouble recently for "recruiting" since he was coaching a couple of his Lakeside kids off-season.

The Baseball coach at Garfield has made it clear that he can have absolutely no "baseball" contact with the boys off season. They can do physical training - but cannot pick up a baseball when he is around.

I think coaches are breaking this rule all over the district and in private schools. It is not being enforced too much for any sport.

Another issue that came up during this gymnastics coach search is the fact that high school athletes should not be participating/being coached by their club coaches during high school season. I know for a fact that the girls swimmers all over the district are attending club practices during season. Again - another rule that is being broken widespread, so everyone is keeping "hush, hush" about it.

I have been learning all kind of fun things during this process.

-GHS Gymnast Parent
Anonymous said…
-GHS Gymnast Parent-
Another issue that came up during this gymnastics coach search is the fact that high school athletes should not be participating/being coached by their club coaches during high school season. I know for a fact that the girls swimmers all over the district are attending club practices during season. Again - another rule that is being broken widespread, so everyone is keeping "hush, hush" about it.

This is true for gymnasts too. There is a JROlympic gymnast on Holy Names team who still attends team practice at SGA as well as HS practice in Kent. We were told that as long as she attends all high school team practices that what she does in her off time is her business. My own kid has attended cheer tumbling at SGA before Hale got its spring floor. She is only attending Hale's practice during the season but goes to SGA in the off season.

It doesn't seem fair that Garfield would be denied a coach for one rule when others are being flouted.

Anonymous said…
In reference to the Garfield gymnastics position, that rule has been around since I was a high school gymnast in the early 80s. I was only allowed to compete in one club meet during the high school season. So I had one chance to qualify for state. As a high school coach in the early 90s, I only coached club gymnasts in the off season. High school and club can mix in the off-season, but not during the high school season. Perhaps the principal feels eyes are on him and he'd better follow the rule even though others are not.

Part of the problem may be the pay. Being a high school coach is a labor of love. I was paid $2200 for the season. I put in a lot of time outside of the gym: organizing and running a large invitational, planning practices,travel time,time at very long gymnastics meets,etc. I figured out I was making around $2/hour when outside time was taken into account.

20+ years later, the position pays $0-3300 season, depending on the number of athletes. Club coaches at least make minimum wage.

One more thought, club practices will overlap high school practices and meets. So the coach would have to choose between club and high school during the season. Most likely, their club position would not be waiting for them when the high school season wrapped up.

Here's part of the position description from the Seattle Schools site:

Gymnastics Head Coach – Winter Season. Requirements: Must have a valid Red Cross or American Heart Association CPR and First Aid certification and have taken or scheduled the Adult Sexual Misconduct Class provided by Seattle Public Schools at least within 2 months of hire date. Stipend range is $0.00-$3,313.00.

All coaches are volunteers until allocations have been received and is determined by the number of participants on the team.


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