Seattle Schools Updates

View Ridge Teacher Takes Plea Deal
The Times is reporting the outcome of a case of a View Ridge teacher who sent "sexually-suggestive text messages" to a high school girl who had volunteered in his second-grade class.  The male teacher was sentenced to two months in jail.

He also surrendered his teaching certificate as part of his plea deal but will not have to register as a sex offender.  He will also not make an attempt to get his teaching certificate back and cannot have any kind of supervision of children except his own.

Lowell Loses Its Principal
It was reported to me Thursday night that Lowell's principal, Marion Smith, Jr., quit Wednesday with no little notice to the school community. I have asked the district if they knew sooner than that and, of course, how the principal replacement process will be handled.  Obviously, leaving at the end of the year makes it harder for the district to easily find a replacement.


Charlie Mas said…
Once again we need to ask the question: What is the process for appointing principals? Why is it done one way for some schools and done a different way for other schools? Why do some school communities get a lot of input about their principal selection, complete with hiring committees, while other schools find out about their new principal in the newspaper? What is the process and where is the equity?

Oh, and let's not forget that, according to policy C54.00 all of the option schools are supposed to have substantial input in the selection of all of their staff - including principal.
Ed said…
Good riddance to Mr. Smith.
Anonymous said…
I'm curious about how the View Ridge community handled the troubling news about this teacher.
Future VR family
mirmac1 said…
I would think the exec dir of Schools Pritchett would meet with the ptsa board asap.
Anonymous said…
If levy money is tied to a principal staying in place, will this be written into their contracts?


Anonymous said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Lowell Parent said…
The information reported to you was incorrect. Dr. Smith did not "quit Wednesday with no notice to the school community." On Tuesday, June 16 a lengthy letter was emailed to families (dated June 15) and the same letter was sent home on paper with students. It is a very positive letter about the growth and progress made at Lowell. The letter states: "This past weekend, I was offered and have accepted a leadership position with the Puget Sound Educational Service District."
Ann D said…
I wonder what Dr Smith's departure will mean for the Spectrum program that was started there this past year -- which I heard he wasn't very supportive of. This new Spectrum program was started since there needed to be at least one Spectrum feeder school into Meany MS when it reopens.

I hope the Lowell Community gets to help participate in the hiring of the school's new leader and that they get someone kickass compared to some of the buffoons running schools in our City. They deserve so much more than they have gotten recently.
Westside, that's what is SO ridiculous (and dangerous) about the City's stance on these F&E levy grants. NO district could promise to keep a principal. People get sick or die or move away. The district has no control over those issues.

What it looks like is the City would like to control the district's ability to MOVE principals. Again, that's the Superintendent's call about what is best for the district/school and should not be influenced by the City.

It's a Trojan horse way for the City to start getting its foot further and further in the door to District workings. That's why they won't back down.

Lowell Parent, the PTA president told me about this and said they had no notice. I'm not sure your take on a letter a day or two before school ends would be considered "notice" to a school community.

Anonymous said…
The removal of the creepy teacher from View Ridge was a turbulent time. Initially, no one (parents) knew why he was gone. Then when the news about why he was not returning slowly began to be revealed via the press, it was difficult to reconcile that such a 'popular' teacher was such a creep.

Counselors and abuse experts were brought in to educate and comfort students, parents, and staff.

Staff rallied to support the long term substitute and to keep the school year as normal as possible for students.

Parents rallied and contributed extra volunteer time to support the long term substitute and keep the school year as normal as possible for students.

Overall, it was a painful experience for parents and staff. Staff and parents did an exceptional job of keeping their strain in the background, to maintain a good school year for the kids.

I believe we have emerged a stronger (and more vigilant) community from the experience.

Anonymous said…
Lowell Parent, you know that families were notified of Marion Smith's resignation on the last day of school, by kid mail, and that he spoke to none of the children or parents at Lowell about his departure. Sarah Pritchett, executive director of schools for the central region, stated on the same day, June 16, that the principal position had already been posted. Hard to believe that Dr. Smith found a new job on the 13th or 14th and his position had already been posted on the 16th. Certainly no parents were consulted on the position description or what the community sought in principal candidates. This comes when Lowell's population has doubled in a year (including many homeless and ELL students in addition to the already very high percentage of sped kids) and the school is faced with hiring an assistant principal and seven new teachers. But Dr. Smith will, according to his own letter, be in his present job until July 31, likely hiring a team that won't work for him. It's hard to imagine what kind of principal would want to take on the mess that is Lowell.

Regarding Spectrum at Lowell. It exists on paper only. For the second year in a row, there has been a wait list for Spectrum although there are only two or three students per grade-level already in the program. Enrollment has said it's up to the principal at Lowell to open up more seats. Dr. Smith has stated repeatedly that he has no influence or information available on the number of Spectrum seats available at Lowell. If Meany needs to have a Spectrum program at Lowell, the Meany community needs to become familiar with what's happening at Lowell now and get involved.

Left Lowell
Former Lowell parent said…
Marion was incredibly egotistical and forced many good teachers and parents to leave. It was unprofessional for him to leave at the last minute, but not surprising. In the long run it will be for the best.
Parent said…
Not surprising that Dr Smith is leaving. Anyone that had to endure his endless rambling about himself would not be shocked to find out that he informed us at the end of school that he was leaving. He had to know that he was looking for a new post on months ago. He would have served our community better if he had told us that he was looking for a new job. It would have allowed for a more robust principal search than we will have.
Since we need to hire so many new teachers, he further did us no favor by not getting a new principal on board earlier. The new principal should be the one to hire new teachers not Dr smith, but it fits with his over sized ego that he knows what best for everything and everybody.
Anonymous said…
It was actually on the last day of school when he notified our school of his resignation via a letter home with the students and an electronic copy that the PTA distributed to families via email. Many students were very upset that their principal didn't say goodbye as other departing teachers had the courtesy to do.

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