Friday Open Thread

Update: in the "We Must Keep Our Standards High" category, from Diane Ravitch:
Malala Yousafzai is the Pakistani girl who was shot by the Taliban on her way to school; she survived to became a world-famous advocate for girls’ education. 

She won the Nobel Peace Prize for her advocacy and courage.  She decided she wants to go to Stanford University to study politics and philosophy.

But Stanford will not accept her unless she takes the SAT and presumably scores the requisite points.
I think this is one reason why my husband liked Berkeley over Stanford (he had degrees from both).

end of update.

Finishing the first early days of the school year; how goes it?

I would urge you to consider carefully the FERPA form you will get in your First Day packet.  Personally, I would sign away as little as I could.  I will verify this but I have been previously told that it is a principal decision about whether students can or cannot be in the student yearbook if their parents don't sign the FERPA form.  Ask your principal.  Keep track of where your student's data goes.

From the Washington Charter Commission:

The Court should allow these schools to stay open and receive public funding throughout the 2015-16 school-year so that Washington’s lawmakers can fix this law.  During this time, the Commission itself would remain operational to provide oversight and continue to ensure the highest level of accountability for these schools. 

I have a couple of long-overdue threads on the charter school ruling. In some ways, I'm glad the strike interfered with my writing of them as there has been much said (and now debunked) about this ruling.  I think the Charter Commission is wrong - if the law is wrong, you don't keep using it.  Again, the Commission and the schools KNEW this outcome was a possibility and did little to nothing to warn parents.

Donald Trump threw off a line to Jeb Bush at this week's debate (and honestly, the entertainment value of these things makes it worth it) that Common Core was a "disaster" under Bush.  That was the only mention of public education but CNN also didn't ask any education questions.  One interesting statement, through, that parents of teens might consider was from Carly Fiorina.   The discussion was about legalizing pot and she explained that she and her husband had lost a child to drug use (her 35-year step-daughter died a couple of years ago).  She said,
But we are misleading young people when we tell them that marijuana is just like having a beer. It's not.
You could take that statement a couple of ways.  One, a teen having one beer is less problematic than smoking one joint, either from a health perspective or an effect perspective.  Not being someone who used pot, I can't say for certain about the effect.  But two things.  Alcohol is a drug.  And, alcohol is very serious issue for teens, maybe more so than pot.

Today is PARKingDayPlus in several neighborhoods in Seattle, sponsored by Seattle Neighborhood Greenways.
Remarkable people in Ballard, Rainier, Bryant, and Ravenna are erecting PARK(ing) Day projects to make their streets safer on Friday, September 18 between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m.
Four winning designs from the first annual Seattle Neighborhood Greenways PARK(ing) Day Design Competition will be built this Friday. These are tactical urbanism projects – quick, inexpensive, and effective demonstrations of how streets can be safer for all of us. PARK(ing) Day celebrates streets for people. #PARKingDayPLUS celebrates SAFE streets for people.
New Zealand needs your help picking a new national flag design.

Look at that, another Director cancels a Saturday community meeting - Director Blanford's community meeting for Sat. the 19th has been cancelled.  However Director Peters IS having her community meeting tomorrow from 11 am to 1 pm at the Queen Anne Library.

What's on your mind?


Anonymous said…
We received a form to allow our child to appear in photos and videotapes the teacher submits for National Board certification. It seems surprisingly broad, and I don't feel comfortable signing. How much does it really hurt the teacher if people don't?

Ragweed said…
I don't know if this is done in other schools, but my sons school includes the standard FERPA form, and then a second supplemental form that allows one to specifically opt in or out of various options (yearbook, school directory, photos on school website, video on school website, et al.). The media release question even has a "maybe, please call to check..." option. It seems like a sensible approach.
Anonymous said…
Concerned that Math in Focus is not going to be used now.
Last year was great with Math in Focus' straightforward language.
Everyday Math seemed to put emphasis on proprietary language for math, rather than teaching math.

Flat Out
Benjamin Leis said…
@Flat Out - What school are you referring to?
Anonymous said…
The FERPA form from both elementary schools my children attend indicates it's an all or nothing proposition. If I don't agree to let SPS release my children's "directory information" to the media, social media, etc., they can't be in the yearbook. This seems coercive, and I suspect there may be some legal problems in requiring an all or nothing release.

Anonymous said…
Anyone else having schedule issues at ghs? It seems to be worse than previous years. For example, my kid has a hole in the schedule and the counsellor has said there are no classes available to fill it. As a result, my kid has been sitting in the cafeteria with a bunch of other kids.

I would appreciate any advice folks here have as to next steps for making sure my kid gets in a class.

-- what now?
NW mom said…
What now, kids are having the same problems at Ballard. i hope it gets sorted out soon.
Anonymous said…
Jonathan Knapp head of SEA is on KUOW right now 10:08. Catch him live or listen to rebroadcast. Interesting to hear his explanation of the strike.

Anonymous said…
@Coerced. That does sound coercive to me. There is a huge difference between getting your kids' photos in the yearbook and releasing info widely. I would complain loudly to your principal and get other parents involved. In my experience, other schools have been able to accommodate.
Lassie, it does not hurt the teacher because some parents will say yes. You don't have to do this and I wouldn't. I've seen YouTube videos which 1) is not allowed under any kind of teaching certification and 2) where teachers call children by name.

Thanks Ragweed for that FERPA info. Good to know.

A math thread coming.

Yes, I think you should go and listen to the podcast of KUOW's Week in Review. The discussion on the strike in the first part of the show was interesting. Knapp made it sound like their strike strategy was based on getting parents involved. That's fine but Soup for Teachers seemed more organic than that.
Lynn said…
There are some changes to eligibility requirements for advanced learning programs this year.

Spectrum eligibility for grades K-2 now requires an 87th percentile or higher score on the CogAT screening form and 87th or higher math or reading achievement. (In the past, students in every grade were given the actual CogAT test and kindergarteners did not need math or reading scores for Spectrum qualification.) This appears to contradict 2190SP which states that Kindergarten students with cognitive scores at the 90th percentile or higher do not require achievement testing to be eligible as Advanced Learners.

Spectrum eligibility for grades 3-7 now requires an 87th percentile or higher score on one CogAT composite score and 87th percentile or higher math or reading score. This also contradicts 2190SP which states Identification as an Advanced Learner requires:
87th-plus percentile in at least two areas on CogAT (e.g., verbal, quantitative, non-verbal, or composite scores)

87th-plus percentile in reading and math on district approved or other nationally normed achievement tests (self-contained elementary programs require BOTH reading AND math)

The advanced learning page now states that District achievement testing in reading and math (MAP or SBA) is required to determine Advanced Learning eligibility. Candidates are required to participate in district achievement testing.
Anonymous said…
Is there anyone here who understands what is happening next year to some of/all of the Spectrum sites? My 3rd-grade daughter is enrolled in Whittier Spectrum, qualified APP/HCC. I have heard our principal is closing the Spectrum program next year, even for students mid-stream. I have had a hard time getting information over the past couple of years, and I need to understand what my choices will be. Last year we implemented a walk-to-math program. If Spectrum is killed, I am wondering 1) How will my then-fourth-grader learn fifth-grade math, or will she be repeating curriculum (fourth grade, what she'll be doing this year); 2) If there is no more Spectrum for her to be enrolled in, I don't believe we'll be able to move her to APP/HCC Hamilton for sixth (our reference school is Whitman). Does anyone know what is happening more broadly or site-specifically for these kids?

I have just heard that the requirement that your student be ENROLLED in a Spectrum program to be eligible for HCC middle is no longer a requirement, too.

(Sorry for cross-post from Tuesday, put in wrong spot)
Natalie, you and all the Spectrum parents (and APP for that matter) need to rise up and get some real answers. This is fairly crazy (if you read Lynn's comment on changes in Advanced Learning) that parents have no real idea what is up and what is happening. It's pretty disgraceful.
Anonymous said…
This is a major lowering of the Spectrum bar. And if this is the bar, there is no longer a point to having the program. That is their endgame, I suppose.

I don't understand how the Cogat testing of K-2 will work? Will they ALL take a screener form, and then those who achieve a threshold score will get access to the full Cogat? Or will MAP scores determine who gets the screener and who gets the full? HCC still requires the full Cogat for K-2 qualification.

Can anyone help me understand?

Anonymous said…

Anonymous said…
Natalie, I don't think Spectrum is being killed off at Whittier, but starting next year, 1st Grade classes will be blended. Kids currently enrolled in self-contained, continue for the duration, and they keep their eligibility. If your daughter is APP eligible, she'll go to Hamilton. I could be completely wrong though, things change for sure.
Whitman/Whittier Parent.
Anonymous said…
The advanced learning page now states that District achievement testing in reading and math (MAP or SBA) is required to determine Advanced Learning eligibility. Candidates are required to participate in district achievement testing.

Interesting. What happens to families that opted out of SBA testing in the Spring? Do they have to appeal? Take the MAP? Will appeals allow outside testing? It reminds me of the matrix for math placement that was announced after students had taken the test. I don't think it should be a surprise to parents that SBA will be used as the achievement requirement, because that's what the district administered, but a clarification prior to testing would have been useful. Have parents even seen their children's SBA scores?

-more questions
Ragweed said…
I think Soup for Teachers was organic, but I think the union strategy was to make a list of bargaining issues that addressed parent concerns and brought parents into the fold.
Anonymous said…
As with MAP, SBA is NOT and SHOULD NOT be used as a threshold achievement test for HCC. It is NOT the purpose for which these tests were developed and to attach admission to HCC to these test results does not pass the straight face test. Instead, it highlights SPS's well-known rep for not understanding a thing about gifted education AND for putting cost-effectiveness - hey we have this box in the supply closet let's just use that! - ahead of doing what's right to identify and serve students.

HCC parent
Anonymous said…
Changing the channel, the slobbery is getting thick!

It's free
Ballardite said…
Ballard High School has 500 new freshman and the school has run-out of lockers. Lockers are assigned in alphabetical order. Students whose last names start with M-Z do not have lockers. #GettingCrowded
Anonymous said…
Lots of schools didn't give MAP tests to grades 3-5 last year, they gave Amplify instead, and, from what I heard, it was a disaster. Amplify scores were never posted on the Source, and apparently can't be used as the gatekeeper for advanced learning testing.

So, now you have a bunch of 4th, 5th and 6th graders who didn't take MAP last year, and some of whom opted out of SBAC.

What a mess! It used to be that all your child needed to be eligible to take the CogAT was a teacher's recommendation. Seemed like a good system.

- North-end Mom
Anonymous said…
District has had the SBAC scores for about two weeks now.

Interesting to note that no mention of SBAC on the newly launched Source:

State Assessments - HSPE, MSP, and WASL

SBAC ???
Lynn said…
HCC parent,

I agree with you and see a couple of other issues. When the advanced learning office says the requirement is at least 95th percentile scores in math and reading, what does that mean? Is it the 95th percentile for the district or the state or for the 20 or so states that administered the SBAC? Does the advanced learning office have access to the score report for whichever group they're using? Advanced learning applications are due October 8th. Shouldn't parents have their child's scores before that date (and hopefully with a few days to consider the results?)

I think we can expect another year of delayed eligibility results and enrollment data.
Lynn said…
SBAC scores by grade are available on each school's state report card now - except for the 10th grade. What's up with that?
NW mom said…
Ballardite - my kid graduated from BHS in June and she had a locker her freshman year but never again after that. Our last name starts with a W. It was ridiculous and I emailed the office complaining. I get that they don't have enough, but to penalize the end of the alphabet kids EVERY YEAR made my blood boil. They should switch it up somehow. It can't be that hard.
Anonymous said…
"SBAC scores by grade are available on each school's state report card now - except for the 10th grade. What's up with that?"

Make a quick call to (360) 725-6348, OSPI Assessment Department of Operations and see what BS they give you.

SBAC ???
Christina said…
What do students do when their school does not have enough lockers to assign them, yet the school handbook declares students aren't allowed to carry or wear backpacks during lunch?
Anonymous said…
Hale is having issues with scheduling too. Once again my kid has no class for third period.
How many times can you take PE? It is ridiculous. My kid would like to take physics at 3rd period but that class is overfull and they are trying to get kids to switch out. I really don't understand why 3rd period is an issue every year. Obviously the kids in 3rd period physics don't want to switch out because there are no classes to take at 3rd period.

Also, if I had to do it over again, we would have skipped PE until senior year. My kid plays a sport so got a waiver for 2 PE credits and only needed 1 but has taken PE twice already due to the 3rd period drought of classes.

NW mom said…
My kid had nice friends who shared theirs with her, and she put stuff in the band lockers along with her instrument. Non band kids would have a harder time.
laurenbaa said…
Garfield never has enough lockers and kids have to request one. It's basically first come, first served on orientation day. My kid has never requested a locker because he says that he doesn't need one and kids who do sports do. He just has his backpack with him all day. Seems inconvenient to me, but he doesn't mind.

I agree that BHS continuing to penalize kids at the end of the alphabet is ridiculous.

GarfieldMom said…
My sophomore at Garfield said they are over capacity by a couple hundred. I think she heard that from a teacher. She certainly noticed much more crowding in the hallways than she's used to.
Ask at the office about lockers; many students don't want theirs. This was my experience at Hale and Roosevelt.
Anonymous said…
APP/HCC criteria stays THE SAME: a 98th percentile or higher cognitive score on the CogAT AND AT LEAST 95th percentile or higher on BOTH a reading AND math ACHIEVEMENT test (the percentile is based on a pool of NATIONALLY normed data).

Before MAP tests, robust, nationally normed standardized tests were used for APP candidates for their achievement scores. Then, along came MAP, given to every child in every grade every year, and, that was a convenient vehicle to grab an achievement score and that was used for advanced learning purposes. MAP was newish as standardize tests go, and the MAP percentiles were 'renormed' ONE TIME because MORE data came available as more students took more MAP tests over the years.

So now that MAP seems to have gone away (really?), the SSD is "forced" to use the new "standard" standardized universal achievement test. Is it Beacon Amplify? Is that what every child in every grade will now take? SBAC is the OSPI-driven assessment only given to certain grades - so it can't cover students in 1st or 2nd grade. It is critical for all candidates to take the SAME achievement assessment to ensure consistency throughout the entire district because these highly capable students will blend together in classrooms as they matriculate up for 3rd to 4th and so on.

MAP was not bad. It was adaptive, so it was good until about 5th grade when APP students would 'break the test'. It was straight-forward general questions asked in a very simple, clear way. It gave a reasonable 'thumbnail' picture of where a student was at for achievement purposes. Perfect? No. Does any test get it perfect? No. Some are better than others, some are worse. Having seen both SBACs and MAPs, MAPs are far better. SBAC is far worse.

Spectrum? This district seems to hate advanced learning. The current Supe and head of Teaching and Learning and the head of Curriculum and Instruction really seem to detest advanced learning. They talk about 'authentic learning experiences' that come when you group students with very dissimilar abilities. Hummm. Please, no debates about this: there are umpsteen threads debating this. As Spectrum is not legally protected, and principals seem very anti-Spectrum (Wedgwood, Lawton, Viewridge, etc) it will continue to be battered unless and until Spectrum parents band together across the district and demand a universal student learning experience.

Eric Anderson, the Director of Research, Evaluation and Assessment for the District has said: "if 10% of Seattle students scored at the 95th percentile or higher on a given test, it is likely that a similar proportion of Seattle students (i.e., approximately 10% would score at the 95th percentile or higher on a new test (even if the new test was more difficult) if the population of students that Seattle students are compared to does not change."

He said SBAC will be State normed; whereas MAP data is nationally normed.

Sticking with MAP as the universal yardstick for all SSD students makes sense. MAP is more 'stable' than this new SBAC: witness the churn from WASL to MSP, and now to SBAC.

The CogAT 'screener' is an abridged version of CogAT and will be given to all 2nd graders in Title 1 schools or schools with high ELL. It is intended to identify advanced learners who may not score high on achievement tests. They can then be streamed into talent development programs (currently being developed) so that they will then actualize on their inherent cognitive talents and become fully qualified for APP/HCC. It is outreach that is a good start. Before, you had to test high on achievement to be able to take the CogAT. This flips it, so that high cognition tips off teachers to nuture talent that may be masked by poverty or language barries.

Old Dragon
Anonymous said…

Schoolology: yuck.

I'm not a luddite, the Source, is fine; but the whole mystery box of Schoolology? No thanks.

What if we do NOT opt to get an account? What about families with no computer access? Is schoolology going to displace the Source? Will you be left in the dark if you don't sign on? Will our children's teachers only communicate through schoology, so we won't get news about assessments or projects?

I really resent this District jumping on board with a vendor that can and will sell my chilren's data and personal info. They say they won't, but then you read their sublet language embedded in their agreement, and it is clear that is is a free-for-all.

When it comes to the net, what we teach our kids is 2 absolutes:

There is NO SUCH THING AS PRIVACY no matter what anybody or any company says


There EVERYTHING YOU EVER DO ONLINE IS PERMANENT no matter what anyone or any compay says about how you can delete or opt out later.

No Schoolology

Po3 said…
WOW from their policy and terms page:

"We utilize certain third-party services to help us understand certain activities, so that we can improve the quality of our service."

"We may disclose your or your child’s personally identifiable information in connection with business transfers and purchases."

"We may also share de-identified and/or aggregated data with others for their own uses."

"In order to create an account, Schoology does require that all users create a screen name and password, which is stored on the site, and collects personal information such as name, address, email, or other information if necessary, depending on the needs of your school or the service."

And of course...

"Schoology shall not be liable if a security breach occurs, if the site malfunctions, or if information is misused or mismanaged in any way to your detriment or the detriment of a third party, whether by Schoology, your school, your teacher, or an unauthorized third party."

Is Schoology the engine behind the Source or is it the replacement for Fusion pages?
Anonymous said…
The district assessment calendar says that Amplify Beacon is "required" twice per year in grades 3-9 (but at the same time, used by about "half our schools"). What is going on with the implementation of this test?

Anonymous said…
The chart also makes Beacon seem interchangeable/comparable to MAP. Are parents not supposed to notice that MAP scores are reported to parents on the Source but Beacon scores are not? How does that make sense?

Anonymous said…
Natalie, Spectrum at Broadview Thomson seems to be changing too. There were never enough kids for a self contained class, but the "cohort" was kept together. This year, I'm told that the Spectrum kids in each grade are split up between different teachers. My first reaction at hearing this (the day before school was supposed to start) was annoyance, but honestly... I don't know the best way to manage Spectrum at our school. I think my annoyance is more that the program is this big mystery. There needs to be a big rethink about Advanced Learning, what it's trying to accomplish, and how to best (and equitably) deliver that.

BT mom
Anonymous said…
How do you find out who any of the department managers (or their contact information) are at SPS. It used to at least have their names on the website and with a bit of sleuthing could figure out the email address, but now there is nothing. No one is names under 'departments' section. Talk about being run by faceless bureaucrats - these ones are nameless too. Why do they have to hide this info. Are they all in a witness protection program? If folks are reluctant to be publically identified as the manager of a department in a public school and answerable to their constituents then perhaps they shouldn't be doing the job and getting the pay for a high profile position. I would really appreciate it if you could do us a public service and post a list of all the heads of department here.

Annoyed by the opacity
Anonymous said…
Also re yearbook/FERPA
It is totally wrong to say a kid can't have their photo and name in a school yearbook (that is sold to their fellow school families and does not contain any demographic or personal info) if you say 'no' to allowing all your kids data to be given away/sold by the district to any interested entity. My kids would be devastated not to be in their yearbook but there is no way I will opt in on that FERPA form. I believe our school sent out a waiver last year near the end of the year so we could give permission to be in the yearbook, so I am hoping it will be the same this year. Otherwise - sad kids I guess.
And SPS - what is wrong with you? You know school yearbooks are totally different. More obfuscating so you can get what you want.

Anonymous said…
"Is Schoology the engine behind the Source or is it the replacement for Fusion pages?"

First, the Source is separate from Schoology. The Source gets you to student assignments and grades that were keyed into the Power Teacher gradebook software (now, no longer owned by Pearson).

Schoology replaces the classroom information pages that were part of the old Fusion software. The public-facing website part of Fusion has been replaced by "Sharp School". Luckily, most of you don't need to know that, as you don't have to log in to Sharp School for anything.

Schoology picks up the pages that students, teachers, and families logged into Fusion for. Fusion used to have daily (ugly!) email dumps of page activity, and Schoology allows families to tailor that kind of activity. There are plans for the grade book software to also add assignments directly into Schoology, but for now it doesn't. Schoology also adds a bunch of behind-the-scenes collaboration opportunities for teachers. We can build curriculum projects, share them, and assign them to classrooms.

Not IT Guy
Anonymous said…
Schools were asked not to send any supplementary yearbook release forms with the FERPA document.

Not IT Guy (again; I wear several hats)
Anonymous said…
@ Not IT guy - does that mean ever? ie, not even later in the year? If we don't get a yearbook release at some point I suspect our school anyway (I don't think many parents will be signing away their kids FERPA rights here) will have a very thin yearbook this year. I certainly hope not but nothing would surprise me about SPS. Why make this change all of a sudden - I wonder who wants the data and what are they offering SPS?

Annoyed, which departments are you looking for? AL or Sped or what?
Anonymous said…
Melissa, I was looking for transportation, but I'm guessing there might be other people who might want to find other dept heads sometime too.

Anonymous said…
@Annoyed: My understanding is, yes, not ever. Unless the district comes back with a clarification that sounds like we can send out a supplemental yearbook release, my reading of their request is not ever.

Not IT guy
Charlie Mas said…
The schools and the district will continue to step all over Spectrum students until Spectrum families stand up and fight.
Call them out on their lies. Make them show you how they are differentiating instruction. Demand rubrics. Picket the schools. Hold your children out of school testing activities. Especially that. Boycott tests en masse until they fulfill their promises.
Anonymous said…
So one of the issues up for debate regarding the contract was the evaluations of Teachers using test and these VAM scoring.

Anyway here is the group that devised much of this.. The Danielson Group after Charlotte Danielson.

Question is there actually a Charlotte. Apparently she quite renown and a very distant picture of a woman receiving a diploma is on her site Then what looks like a stock photo of a nice woman very "teacher like"

Then I read this in Huffington Post asking who is Charlotte Danielson?

Diane Ravitch linked to the story and the comments are interesting yet who is this woman and what the hell is going on

Lord is the biggest hoax since Howard Hughes diary?

I love the quotes on the website that go "The Danielson group saved my teaching.." - A TEACHER 2014. How specific "teacher" no names no actual people signing anything that documents their involvement. And they all seem rather recent although the HUFFPO piece was 2013.

Well I was looking for a career change. I am going to consult.

- SPS Ignored Staff

Anonymous said…
Re yearbook/FERPA, if that is correct @ not IT guy, all I can say is wow, way to go SPS! Punish kids who's parents don't want their kids educational information distributed to military recruiters, education vendors, and who know who else, by leaving them out of their school yearbooks.
Now SPS is making it so you can't have an innocent photo with your name and class in a yearbook that distributed at your own school unless you also allow them to give your kids (and therefore your) name, address, contact details, photo, grade, employment status, awards, sports teams, etc to ANYONE, including but NOT LIMITED to the media, colleges, military recruiters, youth groups?!!! Cause that is like, totally the same thing, right?!
This was never the case before - i have always checked the 'no' box and my kids have always been in the yearbook. How can they do that?? What can we do about it?
If SPS thinks its can pull this fast one to ride over my FERPA rights, well sorry, it's not gonna work for me and I hope other families won't be sucked in either.

Even more annoyed

Even more annoyed
Anonymous said…
I am planning to opt out of information sharing per FERPA, but would really like to have my child's name and picture in the yearbook. Any suggestions for USEFUL SPS contact people we could write to, to bring back the yearbook waiver/opt-in that has worked in the past?

Another Annoyed
I was told this was principal discretion but it may have changed (without notice). I will ask.
Anonymous said…
What's the rainy day policy with the 30 minutes of recess for elementary? Ie does it call out what schools should do to meet guideline given inclement weather? I hope it's PE or other space time, but that's not space feasible in all schools.

- B
Anonymous said…
Thank you MW for asking.

As FERPA is a national law it just strikes me as super odd that an individual principal could give a thumbs up or down on compliance. It would be more believable to me that a) The District didn't want to hassle with extra paperwork so pressured principals to float the "No Opt In" for Yearbooks to parents, b) Principals don't want to hassle with the extra paperwork and/or want to get along with the District, c) The District views selling our kids personal information as a way to add funds to their coffer.

I would love to hear from an attorney about what the true legal rights we parents have. Can we 'Opt. In' to the Yearbook even if we check "No" to the District selling our kids info.? I suspect many parents would be willing to join together for expert advice.

Anonymous said…
Our school has always allowed for yearbook waiver. If they don't allow that, people should complain BIG TIME.
The rainy day policy is for each school to work out. Space, staff, etc. will limit the options available. My experience is that most schools send kids out for recess unless the rain is torrential. We are in the northwest after all.
seattle citizen said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
seattle citizen said…
Why does the vendor, and those rolling out Schoology, pronounce it "school-igy" instead of "schoo-ology"? Isn't the latter more academic sounding ( -ology: the study of...)? The former sounds like a cute marketing name for something that comes squeezes out of a tube.
Anonymous said…
Seattle Citizen,
I totally agree. The June trainers called it schoo-ology, but we were informed in the fall that it is supposed to be called school-igy. Seems affected to me!
n said…
So much to talk about since the strike! My principal said Spectrum is over after this year for several schools but did enroll a first-grade spectrum class. That makes no sense to me. When I asked, I was told the cohort for each grade would be dissolved next year. But, we do get mixed signals from our principal so I'm not guaranteeing that statement.

Schoology: just one more marketed program/communication tool to learn. I understood Source and used it. I barely understood Fusion and rarely used it. Schoology - back to school for me. Maybe this one will be better. Do you have any idea how much time learning and using technology takes up for a teacher? I'm not anti-tech nor am I tech-ignorant. The reality is it takes a lot of time esp. in a school that can't afford to keep it working.
Anonymous said…
If you thought the Bellevue High School football scandal was troubling then try this

High School Football Inc.

From a NY Times Sept. 18, 2015 article ....

The latest experiment in prep football is taking
root, and coaches and officials around the
country are watching with curiosity and wariness.

The huge beyond big bucks "IMG" football academy.

-- Dan Dempsey
Anonymous said…
Re FERPA & photo releases.

I don’t believe this is a subversive attempt from the district to widen the net of student data that can be released. (And I have students in SPS.) From what I understand, when people “opt-in” and sign a separate release giving permission for their child’s photo to be used in yearbook or other document, that release will need to be kept for the entire time the photo is in district use. Since each school typically keeps a copy of their past yearbooks, this means these releases would need to be kept for years and years – a record keeping nightmare!

FERPA states that unless parent signs form to opt-out, the district default is to release; FERPA is really an opt-out form. We’re told that law doesn’t require keeping opt-out forms from year to year, so FERPAs do not need to be kept after the end of any school year. By having the FERPA rule all photo release (including yearbook), each school should have less paper/records to manage from year to year.

I agree that it’s a shame that it impacts yearbook inclusion. I’m not sure what the best solution is for this? It seems that district is trying (in this case) to minimize potential violation and legal exposure?

School Office Staff
Maureen said…
Re photos, what do they do about sports programs? (I know,they don't require releases for drama programs)--my assumption is that if a student submits a photo and bio they are authorizing release. Why would a yearbook be different?
GarfieldMom said…
Maureen, I think the difference is that students don't submit their own info to the yearbook for the individual student photos -- the school provides it. Or at least, the photographer does on behalf of the school. That's the efficient way to do it, of course, the way that makes sense. Can you imagine the poor annual staff trying to consolidate the submissions of 1400 different students?

I do wonder about the inclusion of photos from around school, from sporting events, group photos for teams, performance photos from band, choir, drama, drumline, etc. They aren't being released by the school per se, although they are released as part of a school publication.
Anonymous said…
Update on the Hale scheduling nightmare for the seniors. There are more kids who want to take Physics than there are spaces so they are kicking kids out of Physics if they are also signed up for Environmental Science. Hale has one Physics teacher. You would think they would hire another Physics teacher. Kids signed up for their classes last year. You would think they could plan ahead.

Anonymous said…
Wow, HP

Is that Dr. Nyland's embodiment of "Excellence for ALL?" (except for the ones who have the temerity to want to take Physics and Environmental Sciences?)??

Oh, wait, is the current catch phrase something like Every Student. Every Day. Every Something. Or is it 53,000 journeys? I can't remember.

But this is crap. This is an EMERGENCY. This is getting ready for College, Career, Life. They should find the money NOW to hire another teacher for Hale RIGHT NOW. Remember the scramble to keep the Latin teacher at Garfeild last year? Why do we scramble for actual teachers when the District hires $100K+ whosits to do not-so-clear-what while principals scramble for budget?

This is so unacceptable. The amount of energy Nyland spent on preschool or charter schools this last year, and yet actual K-12 kids NEED A TEACHER TO TAKE A COURSE, and they get shown the door?

Fire the new head of the heads of the principals... and/or Charles Wright, and, use those dollars for the Hale teacher.

I am disgusted at this District. If funding is that bad, then we have to do without something, and that something should be the costly bodies hanging around the glass palace who are not directly making this ship go. Bye bye, Mr. Wright!

I am so, so sorry, and, this may seem counter-intuitive, but, I will be voting to fail the levy. That is the only way to thin out superfluous at the glass palace. The only way. They will truly have to prioritize if we spank them this way. Then, and only then, and with a supremely angry, petulant and entitled attitude of a surly teenager, will they "RIF" the deputies and extra executives, and once they do I will happily pass the levy 6 months later. We will never get their attention so long as we dutifully pass the levy. We will never get them to shed the high honchos who feed at the trough as long as the green keeps filling the trough. Tough love time, for the sake of the kids, who need a science teacher.

Teachers Rock

Watching said…

Democratic Attorney General Bob Ferguson, at the request of private charter school operators, has agreed to petition the court to reconsider its decision, allowing these private charter schools to continue to receive public taxpayer dollars.

Please consider signing petition asking Bob Ferguson to drop charter school motion:
Maureen said…
How big is the class? At Ingraham, my D has 37 kids in at least one class. Harder with Physics of course than Lit or History or language. The strategy there seems to be overload some classes to let the kids' schedules work but try to give the teachers small sections in other periods to balance their load. One year, they taught history in the library to about 45 students. To make as many schedules work as possible.
Anonymous said…
I am also a parent of senior at Hale. My son tells me that there are ~45 students in his AP Calculus class and 34/35 in his Physics class. He is also one of the students taking both Physics and AP Environmental Science. He says that the limit for Physics is 32 students.

I agree with Teachers Rock that the district should ensure they have teachers hired to offer these classes to their students. I'm sure every student in these classes is interested in going to college and taking the requisite courses to be best prepared. It is such a shame that this is happening. It shouldn't be like Survivor...who's going to get voted off the island?

Parent @ Hale

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