Seattle Schools This Week, November 14-19, 2016

Monday, November 14th
Public comment continues for K-5 ELA materials

Curriculum & Instruction Policy committee meeting
4:30-6:30 pm at JSCEE.  Agenda


- Annual approval of schools - The CSIP dance which means almost nothing to students and parents.

- Creative Advantage/CTE Media Arts Skills Center Programs and Creative Advantage Regional Arts Showcase- this appears to be approval of a new arts program thru a grant that is to be introduced at the Board meeting on Wednesday.

The Creative Advantage is a city-wide initiative to establish equitable access to arts education for each and every student in Seattle Public Schools. The Creative Advantage is made possible through a public-private partnership with Seattle Public Schools, the City of Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, the Seattle Foundation, and community arts organizations.
A part of Career and Technical Education, the Seattle Skills Center provides a 2-year sequence of advanced learning with hands-on application of both industry and college preparation programs. Current programs in the Seattle Skills Center include medical careers, digital animation and gaming, aerospace, culinary arts and more. 11th and 12th grade students from any Seattle Public School can apply to attend a skills center program. This funding will help create a new Media Arts Program within the Skills Center.

The revenue source for this motion is Vulcan Foundation grant of $465,000 to fund two projects: Creative Advantage/CTE Media Arts Skills Center Programs and Creative Advantage Regional Arts Showcase. Funds will be given to The Seattle Foundation as the fiscal agent, then distributed to SPS. These funds will be for two years, from December, 2016 through December 2018. Seattle Public Schools plans to spend additional funds to support the media arts skills center program, but these funds are not a required as a match for the grant.

- 20 Minute Added to School Day survey results, starts on page 71 of the agenda

Teaching and Learning recommends that 10 minutes be added to the beginning of the day and 10 minutes be added to the end of the day at all school. (sic) This option was the top second choice of PASS, SEA, families and CBOs. The first choices for each group varied based on the tier of the school. For example, Tier 1 groups top option was to add 20 minute to the end of the day; Tier 2 and 3 groups preferred to add 20 minutes to the beginning of the day.

Teaching and Learning also recommends that the collaboration time be a 1-hour early release on Wednesday. The survey results showed that all groups (PASS, SEA, families and CBOs) preferred early release over late arrival. PASS and SEA preferred Wednesday; families and CBOs preferred Friday. Because collaboration time is a gap closing measure, we allowed the professionals doing the work to make this decision. Fridays are the highest day of staff absenteeism in the district. We value this work and all staff need to be in attendance.

*However, the School Board is still researching the possibility of imlmenting (sic) a two-tiered transportation model. 
Wait, what? More staff are absent on Fridays and therefore, the parents and CBOs wishes are to be ignored for early release to be on Friday.  Seems like if the district made the early release on Friday a mandate, the district might see less absenteeism on Fridays.  

- Advanced Learning update, starts on page 73 of the agenda

I can only say this looks like a long and drawn-out process to review Advanced Learning and it makes me very suspicious.  Frankly, it looks like a way to cover the slow destruction of the plan (a la Spectrum.)  I think AL parents should demand NO changes to any AL program until this work is done.

- Page 78 is Centrally Adopted Materials Overview of all materials adoption.  It's a handy reference guide.

Tuesday, November 15th
There will be a closed session of the Board from 4:30-5:00 pm.  Not sure what this is about but I suspect it's about the $315,000 teacher settlement that will be introduced/action taken at the Board meeting on Wednesday.

Then there will be an Executive session of the Board which is probably about the Superintendent's evaluation from 5:00-7:00 pm.

Both of these sessions are closed to the public.

Wednesday, November 16th
Board meeting starting at 4:15 pm.  Agenda

Transitions Family Workshop for 18-21 year old Sped students.
Original Van Asselt from 6:00-8:00 pm

Thursday, November 17th 
BEX Oversight Committee meeting from 8:30-10:30 am, JSCEE, Room 2750

Operations Committee of the Whole
JSCEE from 4:00-7:15 pm.  No agenda yet available.

Saturday, November 19th
Community meeting with Director Pinkham at the Northgate Library from 3:45 pm to 5:15 pm.


Anonymous said…
I read that as more staff would miss the collaboration time if it was on Friday, which would kind of defeat the purpose of having collaboration time - no? Hard to collaborate when many part-time staff members (like the .6 or .8 staff) aren't there because Friday is not their work day, and so many more full-time staff members are absent on Friday than Weds. Collaboration only works when everyone is there.

Anonymous said…
Does anybody know if we will still have monthly 2 hour early release days, in addition to the weekly 1 hour early release days?

Yes, CT but that's not how they phrased it and if they meant in the manner you are stating, they should have said that.
Anonymous said…
The table detailing curriculum adoptions is a depressing read. Now that they are opening new schools, they are suddenly realizing they have no consistency among schools and some adopted materials are out of print?? What have schools been doing all these years?? What a sad state of affairs.

Anonymous said…
Does this mean Hale will lose its late start Tuesdays?

Anonymous said…
Is the proposal to have early release Wednesdays (60 min of time to be added to other 4 days), PLUS an additional 20 minutes added to each day, for a TOTAL of 35 minutes added to the day Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday? For elementaries, an 10 min earlier start means starting at 7:45 (and arriving by 7:30 for breakfast). Crazy. Will the new MS/HS day be 8:35-3:40? Issaquah is moving to start times around 8:00 for high school and 9:00 for elementary (what SPS had years ago before moving to 3 tiers).

-more craziness
Anonymous said…
I am still furious that they are asking elementary school students to sit at their desks even longer each day. I think these kids have already reached the point of diminishing returns and this approaches cruelty. Did the board get a copy of the 1000s of comments made about this policy???

Nw mom
Lynn said…
The proposal adds 20 minutes four days a week and reduces one day by 40 minutes. Yes - they're changing bell times for a net increase of 40 minutes each week.

Kids at our elementary school are already half asleep for the first hour of the day. I drive my child to school and have to wake him at 6:30. What time are kids who ride the bus getting up? Buses are supposed to arrive by 7:40 - which means the first pick up is st 6:55. It's time to put children's mental and physical health needs first.

We should be switching to a two tier system whether the student schedule changes next year or not. My understanding is that the schedule change was added to the contract to ensure teachers will be working longer hours for their increased pay. If that's the point, there's no reason the district and SEA can't agree to an hour long planning meeting at every school every Wednesday after regular school hours without an early release.
Please note my reporting on the C&I meeting that will happen today (it's under Seattle Schools This Week.)

Shoot me questions here and I'll see if they get answered.
Anonymous said…
NW Mom-- Jill Geary clarified at the last Sat community meeting that the 20 minutes could include more time for recess. IMO that would be great. My child has never felt he had enough time to eat, play and go to the bathroom at lunch.
-another NW mom
Charlie Mas said…
I see that it will soon be time for the annual approval of schools, which means it will soon be time for Mr. Tolley's annual contorted explanations of how a school actually does have a current and complete CSIP even though the version on the district web site is neither current nor complete.

A lot of the CSIPs will have blank sections or sections with meaningless boilerplate language. Yet we're told that school staff collaborated on writing these documents and that the Executive Director of Schools closely reviewed them and discussed them with the school principals. So what was their discussion like around the sections of the CSIPs that are blank or meaningless?

This year, as in previous years, the district staff have promised that all schools will address how they will serve their advanced learners in their CSIPs, but this year, as in previous years, that promise will be broken.

And, finally, this year as in previous years the Board will scold the staff but vote to approve the schools and the staff will act contrite and promise that they won't make these exact same mistakes next year - just like they did last year and every previous year.

There are a number of these annual pageants on the Board calendar in which the Board expresses their dissatisfaction but grants their approval and the staff expresses their commitment to improve but repeats the same failures year after year.
Anonymous said…
On Tuesday is the last of the Ed Sped for High Schools meeting at Lincoln. The Ed Specs are what will inform how Lincoln is built. If you are one of the many people who attended Dir Burke's meeting last month, this meeting is an actual opportunity to give input.

- kt
Anonymous said…
@ kt, the ed specs will inform how Lincoln is built??? I thought they already completed the Lincoln renovation design phase.

too late?
Anonymous said…
What are the chances Director Harris' amendment gets bumped to the top and approved at the beginning of the meeting Wednesday night?
Motion To Postpone - Approval of this motion would postpone consideration of the proposed 2017-18 Implementation Amendments to the 2013-2020 Growth Boundaries Plan until such time that staff comes back with the 2017-18 Student Assignment Plan, to include middle school pathways, a report for Lincoln High School boundaries and use, and the demographic and Free/Reduced Lunch/socio-economic status and disaggregated data regarding racial balance or imbalance for each proposed change. (Director Harris)

Lots 2Cover
Lots2Cover, I had asked that question here as well. I think it is probably off the table at this point.
Anonymous said…
@MW--why is it likely off the table?

Lots 2Cover
kellie said…
@ too late?

I attended the ed spec meeting last week. The design at Lincoln is not complete and it won't be complete until the board approves the ed specs for high school.

As for too late, when APP was first split from Washington to Hamilton, Hamilton's design was not only finished but the building was under construction. After the split was decided there was significant changes made to the building plan in order to accommodate the music program.

It is not too late to give input. The fact that there is "no constituency" for Lincoln is a major problem. If there were constituents, this meeting would be full and the input from the students and families that will attend would need to be taken into account.

I commented on the other thread that the large gym could easily be converted into an indoor field but that would only happen if there were parents concerned about athletics who show up at the meeting.

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