Friday, June 19, 2015

District Appears to be Following Thru on Closing Middle College at High Point

From teacher Alonzo Ybarra:

We're ordered to pack boxes today, but the struggle will continue. Thank you to everyone that took the time to write, show up at meetings and stand for social justice education. It takes courage for our disenfranchised youth to speak truth to power. Yet they have remained active in the struggle. I will continue to fight for justice and help grow this movement and I ask for your ongoing support until we achieve victory.


Charlie Mas said...

Middle College isn't an option school, is it? It's a service school, right?

Anonymous said...

Dir. Carr said they only have so much money and need to prioritize where to spend the money. She mentioned there will still be other locations for these types of students.

Sounds reasonable

Melissa Westbrook said...

Sound reasonable, let's just look at what she said.

1) It's about $28K for that location which is not expensive.
2) The principal had been running the program into the ground for a long time. That's why enrollment dropped.
3) For at-risk kids, you need specialized programs like these.
4) Yes, there are other locations for this program BUT how will these kids - in isolated West Seattle - get there? Even if they had a school bus, it would be an hour each way. How much will that cost the district?

Carr is wrong on this one.

Anonymous said...

Ok that maybe true, but she said they give out free ORCA cards to the students. Carr made many references to not having enough money. I have the feeling SPS is in some sort of cash crunch possibly related to debt financing. They have slowly been cutting things, but at the same time have been bringing on new staff down at the JSCEE. I'm not an expert on the SPS budget ways, it just seems that there is an issue and they are moving funds around in a way to get pass the rules and oversight.

You should go see her this Saturday over at Greenlake. You can ask her whats really going on yourself.

Sounds reasonable

Lynn said...

If it's a matter of saving money, why is the district offering to spend a million dollars to build a new classroom at the county courthouse?

Here's a link to Superintendent Nyland's letter to Dow Constantine making this offer.
However, in the interest of slowing the prison pipeline, I would propose to you and to the Seattle School Board a 50/50 division of the $2M cost. Seattle Public Schools would need the equivalent to a deed for the space and an extended year payment plan (10 years @ $100,000 per year).

He is not a very articulate writer. What is the prison pipeline? (Also insure/ensure/assure are three different words.)
The district maintenance backlog should be cleared before he starts offering to replace facilities for the county. (And if this is a county facility, why isn't every school district in the county paying for it?)

Anonymous said...

I have an incoming student - primary - next year who is vision-disabled. I've had initial meetings with his "team" which includes a reading teacher who works a half-hour a day with him, a mobility specialist helping to learn navigation skills, an OT, and a manager sort-of supervisor I guess. These people all float. That is four specialists working with one student at my school although obviously other students at other schools as well. How many do you suppose? I am not judging but it was eye-opening to see the amount of support some of our students require. I wonder if all our visually-impaired students have access to the same support or if it goes to the educated parents who know to demand it.

Does anyone know? Is that routine? I'm also now realizing how much we might have to spend on other kinds of disabilities if that's even a word I should use. This boy is worth and it and wonderful. Still, the dollars add up. Maybe none of us really knows how much it takes to drive education for all. I'd take a bunch out of the building downtown before I'd take it from this child.


Anonymous said...


What do you mean by vision-disabled (what is this child's level of impairment?) I have a visually impaired child who has been receiving services since preschool. The district has been quite wonderful/nothing was demanded. I met other families and felt they all were treated fairly. I have never felt like I had to demand anything and she is doing great. She will be in high school in the Fall. You discuss the 4 specialists, but my daughter met minimally with a mobility specialist for assessments, but did not need continual services. She's never needed a reading specialist, just accommodations (large print, slant board, iPad, etc. etc.) In Elementary she had OT/PT services, but only as long as she needed them. I don't think anything was excessively done.

NE Mom of 3

Anonymous said...

All the other middle college campuses are in the north end, right? How is this equitable? Why aren't they closing one in the north end to save money and keeping this one open? It really seems to me that they don't like this particular program and are using an excuse to shut it down.


Melissa Westbrook said...

Sounds Reasonable, you know that I know this district? I know all about the district finances (if you check my threads over the last week, you'll see this). Director Carr is being very disingenuous about this situation to think this MIddle College location is the biggest budget issue in this district.

HP, there is a Middle College at Seattle University (if you consider that the north end). But again, WestSeattle is fairly isolated. Orca cards are not going to really help these kids (and fyi, all high school kids can get an Orca card thru the district).

Lynn, GREAT find. I'll have to have a separate thread on this because WTH? I cannot believe Nyland. He is operating not as Superintendent but, apparently, as facilitator-in-chief for King County and the City.

Anonymous said...

@NE mom of 3 -
I'm not judging. This child needs braille and is effectively blind. I'm not suggesting he shouldn't have the support. I said I was surprised at the degree of support and have an understanding now of the kinds of needs the District supports and just how much money is needed to keep access to this kind of support for all kids. I said "eye-opening." I'm sorry if I struck a nerve.


Anonymous said...

Carr is thinking long. Taking away Middle College in W Sea means what? Former students will flock to the proposed charter at the Jesus Center building on 35th Ave SW?


Anonymous said...

Tell me again how many six-figure suits did Sherry Carr rubber-stamp for Charles Wright's little fiefdom, and we can't afford Middle College at High Point?

-- Ivan Weiss

Anonymous said...

??? Seriously???. Is this your first year working? Did they have anything at all about exceptionality in your college program? 4 specialists aren't a big deal at all. Think about students residentially placed, with 24/7 care and education, all at district expense. Those are the really costly students. Even those students cost less than many administrators doing what exactly? The district has a half a dozen out of district contracts for students placed in other local educational facilities. These students typically are cabbed daily to and from Bellevue, Mercer island , etc. These contracts cost millions. All that cost because the district simply doesn't want to educate all students.

Sped Reader

Anonymous said...

no wonder teachers rarely comment, and few post their names. Who has time for some defending some quickly written clause in a blog comment which will be taken to the 10th degree of misinterpretation & accusation?


mirmac1 said...

No. I appreciate very much ??? comments. I'm also happy to hear of NE Mom of 3 s experience. Sped Reader gets excited some times.

Anonymous said...

Would better services have prevented

disturbed 9th grade loser dropout shoots and kills 9 victims in South Carolina?

Meanwhile in WA State, the legislature failed for years to satisfy funding requirements of State Constitution in regard to providing ample provision for the education for all children in the common schools.

It is the paramount duty of the state to make ample provision for the education of all children residing within its borders, without distinction or preference on account of race, color, caste, or sex.

The legislature shall provide for a general and uniform system of public schools. The public school system shall include common schools, and such high schools, normal schools, and technical schools as may hereafter be established. But the entire revenue derived from the common school fund and the state tax for common schools shall be exclusively applied to the support of the common schools.

From Article IX


SPS moves to close Middle College on High Point.


Guess technology and online learning and the SBAC testing will do the job, so no Middle College needed.

-- Dan Dempsey

Anonymous said...

--- Dir. Carr said "they only have so much money and need to prioritize where to spend the money."

So perhaps Middle College students should sue the legislature...

Oh I forgot the legislators as a group just do not care about the constitutional rights of students.

Or is it that term "providing for the education"
... schools are open = good enough and that WA Supreme Court is misguided.

--- Dan Dempsey

Anonymous said...

A moment ago I just happened to catch the end of a clip about Middle College High Point on KPLU's Under-reported stories of the week.
When it is online, I'll put the link here.

The segment mentioned that the fact that the District argued that because High Point wasn't on a college campus that this was one of the main problems. Well, MCHS - Northgate (Simon Youth Foundation Mall Academy) is not on a community college campus!

When MCHS had a site at South Seattle Community College, that eventually became the largest MCHS site. SSCC offered the school space *rent free* from 1992 to 2012, yet, although MCHS - SSCC was the largest site for MCHS, SPS in its arrogance did not feel the need to engage with the SSCC.
The original MCHS site at Seattle Central CC was offered *rent free* as well. It no longer exists.
I guess the neither the superintendent nor many on the current school board take into account what happens when the disrespect shown from one educational institution to another leads to consequences that affect young people.

Actually it is clear that the District blames the closure on the students, teachers, and parents. As of June 19th SPS still has not met with HP staff or parents about closing the school.

-Old School Music

Leslie said...

FWIW, I had a conversation with Supt. Nyland after the Candidates for Board briefing on Thursday saying almost exactly that Old School Music. I explained to him (again, see my testimony to Board June 3rd) that the FAQs were incorrect and that then Acting General Counsel English lied about the lease issues and reiterated that Director McLaren and I worked hand in hand to assist Middle College's transition to High Point then. Said there were at least several reasons given for MCHSHP being closed and none were transparent and that this served as a classic what to do wrong example of transparency and that this hurts the community, parents, principal, teachers and most important, the kids.. He said "oh".

Leslie Harris

Anonymous said...

Aren't some of the brand new charter schools for at risk youth opening in West Seattle? The timing of the closure seems odd to me. Maybe the district thought to be helpful by handing them a student body.


Melissa Westbrook said...

Skeptical, yes, I thought of that as well.

Anonymous said...

Leslie Harris wrote:

Said there were at least several reasons given for MCHSHP being closed and none were transparent and that this served as a classic what to do wrong example of transparency and that this hurts the community, parents, principal, teachers and most important, the kids.. He said "oh".

Same old story of Central Office feeding BS to their supposed bosses (or complicit Superintendent).
This reminds many of us of so many previous decisions; many based on absolutely false claims in School Board Action Reports (the $800,000 New Tech Schools purchase for Cleveland High School being just one).

-- Dan Dempsey

Anonymous said...

Interagency has a site in West Seattle. Perhaps some of the Middle College students would be interested in checking that out.