Friday Open Thread

What a week!

I'll have a separate thread but the Governor called a special session because the legislature didn't get its primary job - a supplemental budget - done.  They took hours to argue for charter schools and against transgendered restrooms but couldn't get progress on McCleary nor get the budget done.  As I always say - priorities, kids.  (The Governor vetoed more than 20 bills and signed 10 bills but the charter bill was not among them.  Since that bill was delivered at about the last minute, he has 20 days to sign it, veto it or allow it to pass into law without his signature.

Info on upcoming Democratic presidential caucuses here.

YyAnyone who will be 18 by November 8, 2016 and affirms they are a Democrat on Caucus Day is eligible to participate.
Speaking of the presidential election, here's a great article from the NY Times on the struggles for parents about how to talk about Donald Trump (and his appalling behavior) to kids.  

Parents, did you know your kid is concerned about your cellphone use? Truly one of those "do what I say, not what I do" teaching moments.  From My Northwest.
Parents and children agreed on most guidelines, with "be present" being the most common request. But Hiniker says the children were the ones who said, "please, stop sharing information about me on Facebook." 

"Kids felt that parents really should ask permission and talk with children before posting anything [on social media] about them," Hiniker said. "And parents felt that it was more acceptable to put up whatever was on their mind at the moment."
Seattle Schools is not the only district in our region with growing pains. Oak Harbor SD is finding its own way to cope (via KING 5):
Growth at the nearby Whidbey Island Naval Air Station is expected to add another 750 elementary students by 2019.

Administrators are creating two "hybrid schools."

Fifth graders will move out of the elementary schools and combine with 6th graders to attend Oak Harbor Middle School. Seventh and 8th graders will go to North Whidbey Middle. That frees up 17 classrooms in the elementary schools that will become kindergarten through 4th grade. The hybrid plan has been approved by the Oak Harbor School Board. Administrators say it is much cheaper than paying for more portables or building a new elementary school.
Sad story but compelling - a mother shares what she learned watching her 12-year old son kill himself in front of her 15 years ago.

Stephen Colbert is launched a huge fundraising event for teachers - via Donors Choose - across America.
He’s launched a #BestSchoolDay hashtag to encourage donations nationwide.  Fifty-eight celebrities, athletes, business executives and more have joined in the cause, committing over $14 million to flash fund over 11,000 projects in communities spanning 47 states and D.C.
Paul Allen is donating in support of Washington State; Bill and Melinda Gates and the Bezos Foundation (Amazon founder) chose other locales.

I'll have some responses from state superintendent candidates this weekend to my questionnaire plus the assorted pots of money - not dedicated funds - that this district has and some hard questions about what could be done with that money.

What's on your mind?


Anonymous said…
That is a brutal story of the finality of suicide with a gun. Thanks for posting.

Anonymous said…

George Washington University is making SAT/ACT testing optional. American University, where my oldest goes and also in DC, did this awhile ago. The article is interesting in that it talks about the results of dropping the test.

Anonymous said…
Upcoming next week at Hale, Tuesday March 15th:

12-Hour Music Marathon

On Tuesday, March 15th, Nathan Hale High School (NHHS) music students will be performing in a 12-hour Music Marathon to help raise money for our music program. Orchestra, choirs, wind ensemble, vocal jazz and jazz band classes, as well as solos, small groups and combos will all be making music and performing throughout the day. Donations to the Music Marathon help fund this year’s activities, including equipment, scores and supplies, and financial assistance for trips and lessons. These donations provide critical support for our high quality music program at NHHS. Donors can participate at THREE DIFFERENT LEVELS and can pay with CASH, CHECKS payable to NHMB, or CREDIT CARD via the “DONATE” button at

The Music Marathon will take place at NHHS, 10750 30th AVE NE, from 8:40 a.m. to 8:40 p.m. The day will come to a close with a special Young Musicians Concert with Walking Tacos dinner (for eligible donors) from 6:40 to 8:40 p.m. in the NHHS Commons.

Questions? Please contact: Camille Settle at or (206) 715-4574

Hale Parent
Ken said…
Random question -- does anyone know when students are informed of school assignments?
Anonymous said…
Budget struggles in West Seattle already have students petitioning to keep the last woodshop class at Chief Sealth. Are there other schools at risk of losing amazing programs due to budgets or administrative indifference?

Annual fire-drill?
Lynn said…

Initial assignments are available on the admissions website now. The results of school choice applications won't be available until mid-April.
Lynn said…
Updates on capacity planning from Hamilton's weekly newsletter:

Update on Hamilton Capacity Planning for 2016-2017

As previously discussed in our newsletter, Hamilton will be pushing to upwards of 1,200 kids this fall. Although it’s not much consolation in the near-term, the numbers will decrease the following year with the opening of Robert Eagle Staff Middle School.

To handle the overload, Seattle Public Schools is looking at two options:
Putting portables on the outside playtop
Adding a Highly Capable Cohort (HCC) to one of the North Seattle middle schools, like Whitman, as a precursor to the opening of Eagle Staff. Seattle Public Schools has stated that this option is unlikely given the expense of setting up an HCC cohort

Update for Hamilton Highly Capable Cohort (HCC) Students

For the 2017-18 school year, Seattle Public Schools has indicated that HCC students who live in the Robert Eagle Staff and Whitman service areas will move to Robert Eagle Staff when it opens in the fall of 2017. Grandfathering for students may be possible subject to space availability at the middle schools they are attending, however, there will probably be no room at Hamilton.
Anonymous said…
Moving students for one year?! So they could attend 6th grade at HIMS, 7th grade at Whitman, then 8th grade at REMS?! Not a solution. This is worse than the "let's split Lowell and move grades 4-5 APP students to Lincoln."
PM said…
Why don't they just send the REMS HCC 6th graders to JAMS instead of Hamilton? JAMS has more room than Hamilton.
Anonymous said…
Next year JAMS will be full, though less full than Hamilton, and more I don't think making a full school and an overcrowded school both overcrowded for one year is worth breaking up siblings, changing assignments people have already made choices based on, going through two potential changes, etc. I think it will be portables- just for one year, and then everyone will get right sized.

mirmac1 said…
Lynn, are the SpEd student assignments also on the website? Confusing as &^%#$
Anonymous said…
Am I correct in assuming only the default school assignment is currently shown for my child on the lookup tool, and in April the district info will be updated to reflect the choice assignment (assuming it goes through)?

What is the last date to make changes? Didn't SPS shorten the open enrollment period this year to sometime in May, as opposed to Oct. 1?

Anonymous said…
Ingraham has pretty good car and machine shop program. From what I understand, the teacher for the program is constantly fighting to keep it going even though there is a lot of interest from the students.

Anonymous said…
Does anyone know the upcoming standardized testing schedule for SPS middle schools? I can't find anything about it on the district website or on the school website (WMS). I've submitted what I believe to be a blanket opt-out for my 7th grader, but I just want to be sure to know when tests should be occurring so I'm especially vigilant.

-Seattle parent
Lynn said…
You can find the K-8 Assessment calendar here:
Anonymous said…
I'm trying to find a video of a 2013 board meeting - I know the YouTube channel only has recent ones. Is there any other venue to get older recordings? (Were they even recorded?)

- MemoReader
Anonymous said…
MemoReader - they were filmed and it appears they exist still somewhere - try contacting The Seattle Channel - they did prior filming - they only have back to 2014 up, but I suspect they still have the older editions as well, just no longer "live linked"


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