Seattle Schools This Week

Tuesday, May 3rd
Teacher Appreciation Day.  #ThankaTeacher
Naramore poster art
If I could thank a teacher, I'd thank my second grade teacher, Mrs. Gates, for her kindness and letting us listen to musicals, I'd thank my 5th grade teacher, Mr. Springer, who was a giant to me (he was 6"3" and I was very small but he was a giant in his patience as well), and Mr. Brendan, my band teacher in both middle and high school ,who believed in excellence even in a small, dusty border town.

Operations Committee Meeting at JSCEE from 4:30-6:30 pm. Agenda
Looks like a pretty straightforward meeting but there is to be a bell times update (but there is no attachment to the agenda.)

International School and Dual Language Immersion programs meeting from 6-7:30 pm at Mercer Middle International School.

African-American Male Scholars Initiative Community Meeting from 6-7:30 pm at the New Holly Gathering Hall.

GiveBIG day - all day - please consider donating to a group doing good works for Seattle children, whether in education or not.

Wednesday, May 4th
 School Board meeting, starting at 4:15 pm.  Agenda
The only Action item is approval of the contract with UW's EEU for ed services for Special Education students, ages 3-6.  Finally.

There are seven Intro items, all related to Operations/Facilities.  I anticipate this will be a short meeting although the public testimony could be interesting given that Center School students and parents are unhappy about possibly losing their staffing for arts programs.

There is to be an Executive Session immediately after the Board meeting about an SPS employee.  Might that be Carol Burton at Garfield?  I'm hearing that the district is stalling on bringing her back into the classroom.

Thursday, May 5th
Executive Committee meeting from 11 am to 1 pm.  No agenda yet available.
Something of a switch-up in time as these meetings are generally first thing in the morning.

Friday, May 6th
Naramore Arts Show at SAM from 5:30-7:00 pm.

The Naramore Art Show celebrates over 200 artworks by Seattle Public Schools middle and high school students at the Seattle Art Museum’s Community Corridor -- and it's free!

Exhibition dates: March 24 to May 22, 2016 Awards Ceremony & Teen Night Out: May 6, 2016, 5:30-7 p.m.
Floyd A. Naramore, whose name is honored by this exhibition, was a visionary architect who invested deeply in his community and in the education of our students. He designed over 22 schools, including Roosevelt, Garfield and Cleveland high schools, and several middle school buildings.

Saturday, May 7th
Community meeting with Director Leslie Harris from 3:00-4:00 pm at the Southwest Branch Library.


Charlie Mas said…
I have read dozens of versions of the Student Rights and Responsibilities Handbook over the years and it only just now occurred to me that there is no explicit statement in the Handbook asserting a student's right to opt out of lessons that the student finds objectionable or to opt out of standardized testing.
Here is the short and vague list of student rights listed in the Handbook:

"As a member of the school community, students have the right to:
• An orderly and safe school;
• Courteous and respectful treatment;
• Be listened to and have their voice heard;
• Have equitable access to classes, services, resources, and extra-curricular activities;
• Be known and cared for at school; and
• Have equity in terms of consequences.

"Additionally, as citizens, students have constitutional rights and schools cannot unduly
infringe on those rights. Schools may, however, set reasonable limits on those rights in order to meet their obligation to educate.
• Freedom of speech
• Assembly
• Petition
• Press
• No unreasonable search and seizure
• Equal educational opportunity
• Religion

There is nothing in there about the students' right to guide their own education to some degree, although it does say that students have a responsibility to "advocate for their educational, social, and emotional needs". There is nothing about having access to the classes they need to graduate or the supports they need to be successful. I suppose there are some other rights that students and families want. Did anyone even ask the students and families what rights they want?

Also, I have to wonder what it would look like if students insisted upon their right to courteous and respectful treatment or to be listened to and have their voice heard. How does that play out in real life? Does it play out in real life? The Handbook says that schools have a responsibility to "provide opportunities for student voice to be heard". Other than at The NOVA Project, what are those opportunities at your child's school? Can you imagine someone demanding this? What would the principals say? Does student government address this, or are student governments shut out of any decisions of substance?

With all of the talk about inequitable access to programs and services, why aren't we seeing students demanding their right to equitable access to classes, services, resources, and extra-curricular activities? Why aren't students demanding equitable access to IB courses, Montessori style instruction, or language immersion? Most of all, why don't we hear more about students demanding the right to the implementation of their IEP at their neighborhood school?

Here's another thing. The Handbook lists students rights and responsibilities, the school responsibilities, and the District's authority, but it does not list the School's rights or the District's responsibilities. There is nothing about student family rights or responsibilities. Have they none?

On the whole, the Handbook is dominated by the rules of student discipline, with little mention of rights and responsibilities. I wonder if more and more specific information could be provided about student rights and responsibilities in the Student Rights and Responsibilities Handbook. Honestly, why don't they just leave off the fluffy pages at the front and call it the Student Discipline Policy and Procedure Handbook.
Charlie Mas said…
The folks at Nutrition Services really nailed it with their graphic about the causes of low participation in the food program and the solutions to the problem.
Charlie Mas said…
I just read the old Student Rights and Responsibilities document and I discovered that the entire section of Student Rights above the constitutional rights is all new.

Well done, but let's finish the job.

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