Update on this story: As mentioned previously, the Reddit post got taken down but still a living thing via several saves. I went back and looked at it and it has over 300 comments. Gotta say, most view it as Board PR and saw it what the word salad that it is. I don't think Hampson did herself any favors with it. end of update Well, I certainly got a lot of people's attention which is a good thing. Updates: - The Seattle Student Union put out this press release in support of SEA. - The Reddit post has been deleted but as others have said, screenshots are forever (and I have them). - A story in the South Seattle Emerald pits Special Education PTSA president, Janis White, and SEA president, Jennifer Matters, against Director Rankin and former PTSA president, Sebrena Burr. Janis White, the SEPTSA president, specified why she felt the need to pressure the district with a rally at this particular moment. White wants to see parents on the Special Education Task Force “[s]o that
I'm at a loss for words, because I didn't know about any of this, and Melissa has continued tirelessly working on behalf of kids in this city throughout what I'm sure has been an extremely difficult time personally.
Whether or not you choose to come back here (and I hope you do, whenever you're ready), know that you have made a difference across our city's education landscape, and beyond.
I wish you the very best getting through a difficult time, much love and hugs to you and your family.
We can all talk a good game, but there are few who can do, or have done, so much for so many in our community. We're lucky to have you, MW.
Be well in this rough time and know you're loved and appreciated by thousands throughout the city.
I'm here for you, Melissa.
I don't know the family, but
has info on a UW fellowship in his honor.
@Chris S. and others wishing to make a donation in honor of Melissa's husband, Gaetano Borriello,
The UW's Computer Science & Engineering department has established the Gaetano Borriello Endowed Fellowship for Change, honoring Gaetano, the UW’s Jerre D. Noe Professor of Computer Science & Engineering. You can read about more about the work he did in improving the lives of under-served populations through the use of technology here: http://bit.ly/1CX1GOs as well as a link where you can make a donation to the endowment fund.
I hope you know that we district employees value what you do soooo much. You are the only we have of knowing what's actually happening in our district.
You have been a tireless, effective voice of fairness and transparency.
I am checking in and grateful for your support.
A fellowship has been started in my husband's name and could help students who support change for the world.
The Gaetano Borriello Endowed Fellowship for Change
That would mean the most to me and my family to continue his work.
(Or donate to any scholarship fund at your school in his name - for field trips or scholarships for college. My husband was all about helping students and I would be grateful for any extra support you could give to SPS students.)
Pettigrew argued that there was only ONE school board member that served more than one term and that was Betty Patu. Wrong. Michael DeBell, Harium Martin Morris and Sherry Carr served- or will serve- 8 years. As an aside, I've always thought it is interesting that board members work for, essentially free, and superintendents leave after a few years. Pettigrew claims we need- " A new perspective." What perspective would that be? The board and district have access to all kinds of consultants. Pettigrew feels that an appointed board member would tie into the school district. We already have individuals serving on the Family and Education Levy.
Lisa McFarlane from DFER signed-in to testify in favor of HB 1497.
Individuals that testified against HB 1497 included Larry Nyland, Martha McLaren Catherine Ahl from the League of Women Voters, WEA and WSDA. Larry Nyland testified that he was "delighted" to work with the board.
When is Pettigrew going to research his bills and provide accurate information?
Your sons must be so proud of their parents accomplishments.
Thank you for everything you have done for students - parents - educators.
We are all keeping you in our hearts.
But I agree, his grasp of the facts and inability to do research are pathetic at best.
P.S. All my best, Melissa.
I stumbled upon this blog in the middle of a sleepless night last Fall (2014). My kids are elementary age and enrolled in SPS. I have found the quality of education to be absolutely terrible. As a single parent, I struggle to make it through each day and there is nothing left for "advocacy." I spent a number of years feeling as if nothing could be done. As a result of your contributions, I have come to see that I need to do something. I'm not sure what it is yet but at least I am not alone in my desire for all of our children to be inspired in their learning. As you pause from your work here, consider the baton passed in some small way to an overworked, but very concerned, parent. May light and love sustain you during this time. Sincerely, WS Parent
You have made a difference for my family. I admire your work immensely. Thank you for being a force for good, and for your inspiration.
The tide recedes, but leaves bright seashells in the sand. May you find solace.
The Gaetano Borriello Endowed Fellowship for Change. It seems like a great way to honor Melissa, her husband, and her family. Those looking for additional donation possibilities might also consider Donors Chose. You can fund a Seattle classroom project or help a local teacher with much needed supplies.
I've been primarily lurking here for the past 6 years -- we left the Seattle Public Schools after 4th grade -- and I'm constantly impressed with the thought, desire, and unbelievable amount of work that Melissa puts into this day in and day out. It's a thankless task, in so many ways, and it's exasperating to see her advice, and the advice of so many others here, being ignored time and again. That said, I feel there are so many more things that might have gone wrong with the system had Melissa not been here knocking on those doors and rattling those cages.
Thank you for your tireless work and your undeniable care. Our condolences to you and your family. We're honored to make a contribution to the Fellowship and encourage others to give as well.
I don't know. I DON'T KNOW! Well gee, Mr. Spicoli, will you graduate? I don't know!
Somebody needs to bang some checkered Vans against Pettigrew's head, because apparently, he's so wasted! But seriously, that's an accurate quote from a very, very confused and clueless person. No kids in SPS, yet he wants to tear it apart. What theater! What hypocrisy. Yes, Eric, I do hope you are reading this and feeling ashamed right now.
This Saturday will be the Chief Sealth HS annual Black History Month celebration of Jazz, Blues, Funk, and R&B. The event begins at 7:00 pm in the Chief Sealth Auditorium - 2600 SW Thistle St.
We will feature musical performances from the Total Experience Gospel Choir, Septimus, Westside Blues, as well as the Chief Sealth International H.S. and Denny International M.S. Jazz Ensembles. Please help us show our appreciation for our amazing guests by packing out the house!
My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
I look forward to your eventual return because I so respect and admire your integrity. I look to this blog to find out what is happening in the district I work for: without the information you shine a light on I would be in the dark.
Take all the time you need—we're grateful for your inspiration and will work to continue the fight in your absence.
As a past District Council chair, and a long time representative, I know we get very very few education updates from either elected officials, district personnel, or other education groups around the city. We would like to change this. Realizing that education is critical to community, and volunteer time precious, we are open to different approaches to kick-start the communications without significant amounts of additional time commitments from anyone. An approach we are interested in gathering reports/information from various existing committees, groups, individuals already active in education advocacy, and create a consolidated briefing type report. We’d love monthly or quarterly briefings in person at the CNC meetings, but not (last Monday evening of the month in city hall), and/or a report that we could distribute.
With all the bits and pieces flying about - charters, down town school, preschool for all, new super, state funding, class size initiative passing, capacity issues, etc, I think our broader community would do well to get more information than we’ve historically been getting, from people closer to the issues.
Are there any individuals or groups that you think we should approach, or that you might send our way? Any particular reports, blogs, etc. we should be aware of to include? Please contact us through: email@example.com or you can post below and we'll watch for them.
You have had a direct effect on my family over the last couple of years. My husband became involved in SPS math education directly as a result of your blog. He couldn't have done it without you.
We also feel much more aware of what is really happening behind the curtain. We have one child in an SPS school, and one child soon to enter public school (or not, we are still deciding). We feel a lot more empowered by your information, and glad that you have been fighting the fight.
I hope that we can keep this fight up.
-Parent of Little Ones
9 of the 11 people signed up for public testimony at tonight's board meeting are going to talk about Leschi's request to drop their Montessori program. I'll be interested to hear what they have to say.
Despite the often uphill battle, I think the committee contributed in a positive fashion as much as we could - and I was proud of my involvement.
All made possible because of Melissa's thoroughness, openness, and frankness.
I am in awe of her ability to keep going, and I feel even more impressed with how much of herself she has shared with the public even while facing such personal challenges.
Take care of yourself now, and your family - don't feel torn. You have served.
(Just heard Garrison Keillor read George Washington's words upon hearing he was nominated President, about not wanting to leave his quiet home after so long in the public service.)
Signed: Math Counts
The candidates in District 5 were weaker, but the voters picked the strongest candidate.
Thank you Melissa for your unstinting dedication and tireless work for public school. So very sorry about your great loss, I wish I knew what to say that would help during these painful days. Courage. Time does heal eventually, sort of. Grieve your way, don't let anyone tell you how it should go.
Utah proposes bill to appoint ENTIRE school board.
As for me, I have no words...
I do have tremendous admiration for Gaetano's and Melissa's strength and contributions to make things better for young people.
The testimony is in support of the blended model at Leschi(speakers include current teachers, parents and PTA).
You have created a wonderful resource here and your advocacy much appreciated.
I have a question to readers - how does one find out about middle and high school course offerings ( and sequence) at SPS middle and high schools. The SPS website "academics" page, curriculum section just links to OPSI state standards and the individual schools I have glanced at provide very limited listings of their subjects, if at all and no information about what subjects are prerequisites etc for subsequent ones etc. Contrast this with the Bellevue School district which has an impressive 64 page booklet you can download that describes the courses and sequence into high school etc in great detail! How is one supposed to plan and make choices in this district??? Can anyone suggest how to obtain this info without having to wait to attend individual school open houses. Is there no umbrella information for the uninitiated at all or am I looking in the wrong place.
Melissa, I am so sorry that you & your sons are going through this tragic time. I hope you will find the solace that you need.
I think that most high schools have course descriptions & graduation requirements on their websites. Try looking under the counseling depts.
The problem with planning is that things change. Graduation requirements are different every year & different school to school. Course offerings change as demand changes, programs move & teachers retire. Some courses may be straight forward like math pathway, but others are not so static. And as schools get more crowded, scheduling can affect what courses you can take too.
Do you have questions about specific subject areas?
Thank you for the kind words about Education Lobby Team member Catherine Ahl's testimony against HB 1497 and the League of Women of Voters -- a natural next step for women and men who have cut their democratic teeth volunteering for PTAs and school governance. We invite you to check out the monthly LWV Seattle-King County Education Committee. The League is a truly grassroots, volunteer-powered organization advocating on many many local, state, and national issues. Check us out at seattlelwv.org.
Thank you for the kind words about Education Lobby Team member Catherine Ahl's testimony against HB 1497 and the League of Women of Voters -- a natural next step for women and men who have cut their democratic teeth volunteering for PTAs and school governance. We invite you to check out the monthly LWV Seattle-King County Education Committee. The League is a truly grassroots, volunteer-powered organization advocating on many many local, state, and national issues. Check us out at seattlelwv.org."
Here's a little more about Catherine Awl: http://pugetsoundblogs.com/league-of-women-voters-kitsap/2013/05/03/catherine-ahl-gets-liberty-bell-award/.
It's trite to say "time heals". It doesn't, not wholly. It makes them bearable. Take all the time you need. Be gentle with yourself (that's a hard thing to do). And know that many of us love and admire you for the difference you have made and the fights you have fought.
Holding you in my thoughts.
My thoughts are with you and your family at this time.