Seattle Schools Updates

Roosevelt and Garfield jazz bands both made it into the Essentially Ellington competition in NYC...again.  Congrats to both programs.

And because I love high school newspapers - news from the Rainier Beach student newspaper, Viking Shield.

I received a press release today from the district announcing that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar will visit Sanislo Elementary's 3rd-5thgraders tomorrow.   From the press release:

Abdul-Jabbar’s new book “Stealing the Game” recently released, and his book, “What Color is my World?”, a story about African American inventors, is being read as part of the Seattle Public Schools’ Third-Grade Global Reading Challenge.

Of course this is great news because whenever kids can meet the author of a book, that's a good experience.  (That he's also an NBA great is frosting on that cupcake.)  

But I recalled, via a tweet from the West Seattle blog, that Sanislo had Caroline Kennedy just two years ago.  It seems to me that I don't always see the most even distribution of these kinds of events throughout the district.  It would seem fair to make sure that every school - especially elementaries because there are so many of them - get their turn as well.

Loyal Heights has a petition to try to save their playground space from portables.

So more to the eye than it might appear for a bill, SB 6030 in the Legislature to pull back on Common Core.  There's a group - the Coalition to Protect our Public Schools -  whose story on the bill indicates that the bill has bi-partisan support from at least two Dems.

Also along those lines, the 37th Dems voted against the bill sponsored by Rep. Eric Pettigrew to give the Mayor two votes on the School Board.  I was at the House Ed committee meeting when this bill came up and Pettigrew assured the Committee that he had heard from many constituents in support of the bill.  Hmm.

The district is looking for members for the Social Studies Adoption committee for grades 6-8.

The district seeks a diverse group of volunteers to serve on our adoption committee, comprising teachers, parents and community members. The committee's work will begin in March 2015. The timeline below provides information about key, pivotal steps in the adoption process as well as more information on the committee's work. If approved by the Seattle School Board, the new textbooks will be put into use during the 2015-2016 school year. 

►Click HERE to download the parent/community application.
►Click HERE to download the teacher application.

Applications are due by 9 a.m. Feb. 25, 2015. See below for more information.


Anonymous said…
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is also reading from his new book at the downtown library tomorrow (Thursday) from 7:00-8:00. I'm taking our kids because I really admire this man. Like a great president, he has done a lot in his post-basketball life. Very thoughtful, very smart guy who writes a lot. Go hear him!

- KAJ Fan
Anonymous said…
SB 6030 isn't even going to get a hearing. The Senate education committee just cancelled its meeting tomorrow, the last committee meeting before the bill cutoff.

--- swk
Anonymous said…

Seattle schools transportation department contracted out for a minivan to pick up a student. The regular driver was absent so there was a fill in driver. A woman thought that driver was trying to lure the child. SPS denied ever using unmarked vans. However when it happened the next day, SPS then admitted that yes they do use drivers in unmarked vans. (hope I didn't get the story wrong.)
Anonymous said…
Regarding the " luring" incident, the driver stopped and asked the mom IF this was the child he was supposed to pick up to take to school. He had his ID and explained the situation. Mom freaked, took snapshots, called 911, sent an email with photo to Magnolia Voice of the driver and his van (still posted on the MV blog). People got pretty riled up regarding this "luring" attempt. Supposedly, there was a language barrier involved which generated more hooha and nasty remarks. Hopefully, all those armed and ready to fire will catch the updates and not shoot someone. People in Magnolia have already been talking about hiring off duty police to patrol the neighborhood. Living over here, if you don't look like you belong in Mayberry (yes-people really refer to Magnolia as such), you need to be very careful how you appear (doesn't look like you fit in) or your neighborhood will call 911 for "suspicious" behavior or worse, some are ready to shoot first and ask later.

mirmac1 said…
crazyville - that is insane.
From the SPD blotter yesterday:

"UPDATE: Police have made contact with the individual in this case and verified that he is a transportation provider with legitimate business at the school. Both he and his employer were very cooperative with police throughout the contact and officers are confident that no crime occurred. There will be no further investigation at this point."

From SPS tweet yesterday:

"SPS will continue to work w/contracted transportation company to ensure protocols were followed"
Anonymous said…
I take it that the child in this situation is one with special needs? Isn't that the demographic in SPS that gets this door-to-door transportation. Acutely vulnerable kids and ad hoc loosey goosey transportation?

Headache coming on
mirmac1 said…
As the parent of child who has, at times received transportation from the intermittent sub, I'll say that they often were more polite and responsive than the fools I encounter at higher levels of SPS admin.
Anonymous said…
Both special needs and McKinney-Vento students receive specialized transport. It's also used when there are safety issues - such as"
*when a child makes threats to others
*is so disruptive as to endanger the safety of the other kids on the bus,
*is "undeliverable" because no one met the bus as was supposed to happen.

Anonymous said…
Looking at SPS data maps of Spectrum eligible 6-8 students, the difference between JAMS and Eckstein regions is pretty significant. Are Spectrum eligible students within the JAMS boundary better off at HWK-8, or JAMS? Are Spectrum students clustered in APP LA/SS classes at JAMS? Do any current parents of either HWK-8 or JAMS Spectrum students care to comment?

Anonymous said…
Hands down, HWK-8 for spectrum.

It is an awesome environment for learning. We moved from Sac, wish we'd done it earlier.

Wolf Pack

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