Reading the Friday Memos

The last Superintendent's Friday Memo on April 3, 2015 says this:

Rainier Beach:
The recent recognition of the Rainier Beach International Baccalaureate program is well deserved. Rainier Beach has benefitted from the state School Improvement Grants, Race to the Top grants, and support from many community partners. The district has supported the IB program as we do for all schools during the first five years. That funding will continue for the next two years. And we are certainly hopeful that added state support will make longer term funding possible. As a result of community complaints, the Office of Civil Rights has opened a file on inequitable funding for Rainier Beach (furniture, curriculum, staffing). Our responses to OCR will show that we are funding Rainier Beach as well or (in some cases) better than other similar schools in the district. 

I feel like there's something a little backhanded in that reply.  Maybe that's just me.

I know that IB schools get something like $50K extra.  I also know that you need to have an IB adviser and that would eat up the $50K right there (or leave you with very little).  I'm not sure how the district doesn't know this from the time they started the program.   

School Support: We have also heard from Cleveland (last board meeting) and (tonight) Dearborn Park and Orca K-8 regarding budget concerns. Half or more of our schools have special programs that require more than the basic levels of staffing that we are able to provide. IB, AP, Dual Language schools each need more staff. Level 1 & 2 schools need more
staff. Counselors have not yet been restored. 

Half the schools in this district have "special programs?"  I wish he had defined that phrase.  Is he talking about Sped, ELL, Advanced Learning, IB, AP, dual language? 

Because I'm pretty sure for Advanced Learning that there are no "extra staff" beyond the ones at headquarters.  

Also, I wouldn't call ELL or Sped "special" - I would call them programs required by law.  

Dual language?  We all know the district certainly isn't paying for IAs so what extra staff are they paying for?

One thing I always appreciate in Superintendent Nyland's Friday Memo is not just that he mentions the schools he visits but gives a detailed accounting.

It was also reported that the Bell Times Analysis Task Force met on April 9th to start creating their final recommendation to the Superintendent.


Po3 said…
Last time the funding per student numbers were published here I do recall that RBHS has the highest funding per student of all the high schools. I also seem to recall that they also have a high student/staff ratio.

With the IB program and possibly an increase in enrollment perhaps these ratios have changed.

Anonymous said…
Yes, another snub to community concerns.

I noticed that the Friday memo indicates that the District is agreeing to turn over some discipline information to OCR. Funny thing, when you ask about this in public disclosure requests, you are told that the information is not available.

Anonymous said…
I know for sure the special ed program was woefully understaffed, and unsupplied. Eg. Bare room with nothing in it. I also know it was so bad that students "in the know" were able to get reassigned to somewhere else. Don't know if anybody complained. I hope so.

Other Reader
Anonymous said…
There are several OCR investigations currently underway across the district. Remember it's SPS litigation management strategy to deny 99.9% of accusations.
If you want an eye opener do a PIR for PIRs. There appears to be some important things in the works...thank you OCR for listening.

That Base
Anonymous said…
OCR = Office for Civil Rights


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