Sunday, April 17, 2016

Seattle Education This Week

Monday (fun day), April 18th (fed tax day)
My property tax postcard said that 47% of our taxes were local and I'd bet that is mostly SPS levies as well as the Families and Ed levy plus the pre-k levy.  Good for Seattle voters but again, I wonder how long voters can keep this up at every single election.

Tuesday, April 19th
Audit&Finance Committee meeting, from 4:30-6:30 pm at JSCEE.  Agenda

 Of interest to me is the Data Privacy Policy that will not be presented by Carmen Rahm, our Tech lead staffer but by Clover Codd, Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources.  Given that, I assume it is about adult data privacy issues, not student ones. 

Staff is also giving more "informational" purchase updates to the Board for items that don't exceed the $250K vote to the Board. This is a good thing to see.

From the minutes in a discussion about effects of catastrophic events on school buildings and the district's coverage:
Washington School Risk Management Pool (WSRMP), provide generous coverage, covering the replacement of all of our building. They cover up to $500 Million of any single loss. We are well covered in terms of the maximum limit.
Mr. Staudt spoke about if the District were buying commercial insurance we would be required to report 80- 90% of insurable values or see our claim payment reduced; this is not the case with the WSRMP coverage. A number of school districts have under estimated their building replacement values and the WSRMP hired an outside firm to estimate.

The District’s buildings are undervalued and we should be at $2.26 billion, even after increasing our property values by $564 million last year to $1.776 billion. We have to bring our values up and have been given until September 2018 to do so. We have a timeline in place and will increase our stated values progressively over the three years, moving to 85% of replacement cost values for September 2016.
Directors ask if there is any way to break out older schools for earthquake insurance. Mr. Staudt explained the District can look at individual schools, however we have looked at the policy before and it was a $4 million annual premium for $25 million in earthquake coverage, which wouldn’t even cover half of a high school. Last time it was looked at this the district decided it had other priorities.
Also of interest are the Classified RIFs which appear to number about 24 this year.  It's a sad thing to see what can't be funded by SPS (partial): truancy intervention specialist, career center specialist, sign language interpreter, 11 family support workers (this from "diminished City Levy grant funding.")

Seattle Channel education live event: Seattle Speaks: Making the Grade.  At Town Hall starting at 7 pm but doors open at 6:00 pm with audience instructions at 6:30 pm.

Take the pre-poll!

- State Sen. Michael Baumgartner, (R-6th), Member, Senate Higher Education Committee
- Eden Mack, Advocacy/Legislative Chair, Seattle Council PTSA; President, Washington's Paramount Duty
- Stephen Nielsen, Deputy Superintendent, Seattle Public Schools
- Betty Patu, President, Seattle School Board
- State Rep. Sharon Tomiko Santos, (D-37th), Chair, House Education Committee

Wednesday, April 20
School Board meeting, starting at 4:15 pm. Agenda

Items of interest:

- the district is purchasing seven single portables and two double-wide portables at just under $1M (installed).  
At high school level, all campuses except Rainier Beach and West Seattle are at or over capacity. 

As of March 2016, Capital Planning staff identified a need for sixty-three (63) new homerooms to accommodate District enrollment and Special Education capacity needs for the 2016-17 school year. Of the 63 projected new homerooms, Capital Planning staff identified a need to place twenty-six (26) of the new homerooms in portable classroom modules at twelve (12) schools throughout the District.
The BAR speaks of the eight portables at Thornton Creek being available soon but word is it from the BEX Committee is that project has run into some issues. Hamilton and Mercer are getting doubles.  Viewlands, Woodland appear to be getting the others. 
- There's an Action item for seismic work on Salmon Bay School and "Decatur School."  I'm sure they mean the Decatur building that houses Thornton Creek.  I haven't heard it called Decatur School in a long time. 
In the Intro items is the 2016-2017 preliminary calendar.  

There is also a resolution from Directors Burke and Peters about "alternative summative assessments and to reaffirm student opt-out rights."

Thursday, April 21
 Operations Committee meeting from 4:30-6:30 pm.  Agenda not yet available.

Work Session from 6:30-8:00 pm.  This is an oversight work session on Teaching and Learning, Part II (Curriculum and Instruction and Highly Capable.)  This is in room 2750.

Saturday, April 23
Director Community Meetings
Director Blanford - 10-11:30 am at the Douglass Truth Library
Director Patu - 10-11:30 am at Caffe Vita
Director Pinkham - 2-3:00 pm at Lake City Library

There is a notation about a community meeting - Whiteness and Privilege in Schools & Education System at the JSCEE from 8:30-1:00 pm.  Several directors may attend which may constitute a quorum.  However, the Board will be taking no action at this meeting.


Anonymous said...

Timely post about quakes on the anniversary of the great San Francisco quake.

4 million per year for 25 million in coverage. That shows the insurers think the buildings are not structurally sound. How's about the district get our kids some safe buildings and make the current ones as safe as possible?

Still waiting for all the crap on ceilings and cabinets to be removed. Is it so hard for principals to walk around their buildings and imagine where things are going to go when the building shakes hard for 1-4 minutes and then ask teachers to remove any hazards? I mean, we all should do it but schools have a special responsibility.

Two deadly quakes in Japan and then Ecuador, it's only a matter of time. As the sky is blue today, we will lose some kids for no reason other than simple things that every teacher could correct today. I'm really surprised when science classrooms are the most cluttered with heavy objects up high.

One biology classroom at Ballard caught my eye during winter tours. Large clay pots with large plants on top of the metal cabinets. I would make my kid wear a hardhat in that room. The kicker was a small bookcase, loaded with books, in the entryway, which would no doubt fall over and block egress.

Another lab at Ballard had all kinds of stuff hanging from the ceiling including a large radiation detector! Come on scientists,

A real-life teaching moment!!!

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Charlie Mas said...

It will be at the Operations Committee meeting on April 21 that the Superintendent will finally make his annual report as required by Policy 3208, Sexual Harassment. The report was originally due in August of 2015 but could not be delivered then because the staff were occupied with collective bargaining. It is unclear what precluded them from making the report in September, October, November, December, January, February, and March.

The 2015-2016 annual report will be due in August of 2016. We can only hope it won't be as overdue as this year's report.

Anonymous said...

Why updating the Decantur building? I wonder when they will unveil their plan for it. HCC, pre-K??

Charlie Mas said...

The Operations Committee meeting agenda has now been posted and the annual report required by Policy 3208, Sexual Harassment, is included. It's the last four pages of a 221 page agenda packet.

Here's the condensed version:
"I find that Board Policy 3208 is sufficient and does not need modification at this

That's kind of interesting since the District committed to revising the policy in 2014. I guess whatever was bothering them in 2014 has gone away.

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