Seattle Schools This Week

The district's info on buses and inclement weather for what may be an up-and-down weather week.

Also, two items of note to put on your calendar.

One, a community meeting on Cedar Park and its designation as an Option School.   This is on Thursday, December 15th at Cedar Park Elementary from 6:30-8:30 pm.

The other is an Option School Fair that the district will be holding on Saturday, January 28, 2017 at Cleveland STEM High School from 10 am-2pm. 

Monday, December 5th

Student Assignment Plan meeting from 6:30-7:30 at JSCEE.  

At UW, Education and Society Film Series: Starving the Beast.  Sponsored by University of Washington College of Education Master in Education Policy program
Kane Hall 120 from 7-9 pm.
Some of the most pressing issues facing America's educational systems will be discussed during the "Education and Society" documentary film series. Watch "Starving the Beast" and join a conversation about the funding of public higher education. 
Examine the ongoing power struggle on college campuses across the nation as political and market-oriented forces push to disrupt and reform America’s public universities. The film documents a philosophical shift that seeks to reframe public higher education as a value proposition to be borne by the beneficiary of a college degree rather than as a public good for society.
The event is free and open to the public.

Tuesday, December 6th
 There is notice of a possible School Board quorum as the Board has been invited to a luncheon with Superintendent-elect Chris Reykdal.  

Wednesday, December 7th
School Board meeting at JSCEE, starting at 4:15 pm.  Agenda

- the Board is slated to approve grant funds from the Seattle Foundation/Vulcan Foundation of $465,000 for two projects.  One is the Creative Advantage/CTE Media Arts Skills Center program and the other is the Creative Advantage Regional Arts Showcase.
- election of new officers for the Board.  I'm thinking that it's likely the Board will continue on with Director Patu as President.  I believe she's likely to leave the Board when her term expires in Dec 2017 (but I have no inside knowledge of that.)
- one-page narrative of Superintendent Nyland's second year of work for SPS
- introduction of the Student Assignment Plan that already has one amendment.  This comes from Director Peters and is to grandfather all rising 8th graders with transportation affected by the opening of Robert Eagle Staff Middle School and the reopening of Meany Middle School.

Thursday, December 8th
Audit&Finance Committee Work Session, JSCEE Board conference room from 4:30-7:00 pm.  No agenda yet available.

Robert Eagle Staff Middle School Family and Community Planning meeting from 6-7:30 pm at Loyal Heights Elementary at the John Marshall building.

From Washington STEM and the League of Women Voters:

Have you ever wondered about the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) programs in our schools.  What does it mean to be a STEM program? How are they implemented?

 Join the League of Women Voters of Seattle-King County, 1620 18th Ave, Suite 101, from 11am to 1pm.

Friday, December 9th
BEX Oversight Committee Meeting, from 8:30-10:30 am, JSCEE, Room 2750, no agenda yet available.

Saturday, December 10th
Community meeting with Director Peters at Magnolia Library from 11 am-1pm.


Anonymous said…
Why should only 8th graders staying at Whitman receive transportation? Also, why is Whitman the school being the most disrupted from opening RESMS. The boundaries make no geographical sense. The NW corner does not align with RESMS, it's always has been Whitman or Thompson and parents will fight so it remains that way. I think the people at JSCEE are confused about who controls this part of the district.

From the emails going around it looks like very few current Whitman students will choose to leave and attend RESMS. We shall see who wins this fight.

I'm also confused why it's Sue Peters that's driving the issue, I thought Scott Pinkham was this areas director. Why isn't Scott Pinkham invovled? Maybe he is, but we can't read minds.

Whitman parent
I think the motion is for any rising 8th grader who is affected by middle school changes to grandfather for 8th grade at their current school and received transportation. Scott Pinkham may be working on his own amendment, I don't know.
Anonymous said…
Is it just me or does it seem like Peters and Harris are the only directors trying to make a difference. What is the rest of the board actually doing?

The current board has been in place a full year and can anyone articulate what each individual board member had accomplished to improve the outcomes of ALL students?

What major improvements has the new board achieved for ALL students.

Anonymous said…

In addition to directors Peters and Harris, directors Burke, Pinkham, and Geary wrote and introduced several amendments to the Growth Boundaries plan which was approved last month, and which avoided the geo-split of almost 900 kids in across North Seattle. They have also consistently held monthly community meetings, where they actually listened to parents. I am impressed by how hard the Board has been working on the boundary and assignment issues.

-North-end Mom
Anonymous said…
@Tops--I echo the comments of North-end Mom. The Board has been working very hard, they have been thoughtful, and most importantly--they just worked together (with the glaring exception of Blanford) to stop a major train wreck that was to be the new Growth Boundaries plan. They were amazing. I hope we can get beyond capacity planning soon so they can sink their teeth into curriculum and instruction, and get the MTSS debacle on track.

Fix AL
Anonymous said…
The Peters amendment doesn't account for a couple situations that will need to be addressed in the SAP and its amendments.

What happens to students joining HCC in 8th grade? Say you're a Whitman 7th grader who just tested into HCC. This amendment means you can stay at Whitman and forego HCC, or you are sent off to REMS, which will likely have a tiny 8th grade class--and an even smaller HCC 8th grade cohort.

Or say you're new to the district, qualifying for HCC during summer testing. You don't have a current SPS school at which to be grandfathered, so you're sent to your HCC pathway middle school--REMS--even though they don't have a viable 8th grade HCC cohort.

In my opinion, the amendment should also include a provision for new HCC 8th graders to attend an established program. If they are in the HIMS area but HIMS can't spare the room, at least let them have a guaranteed spot at JAMS. After all, the student applied for AL services for a reason, so don't send them to a nonexistent HCC 8th grade program.

Lynn said…
I think the amendment should state that REMS and Meany will offer only 6th and 7th grades for 2017-18. That would alleviate the requirement to plan for tiny 8th grade cohorts.

If Whitman has enough room for students to remain rather than move to REMS, why not retain one elementary school that would otherwise move to REMS at Whitman and give Licton Springs the space they need? If Licton Springs doesn't grow to fill the space, it can be taken back.

Can anyone remind me why REMS isn't just HCC and Licton Springs? So many kids from so many schools are being redirected.
Anonymous said…
What problem is RESMS designed to solve?

I do not believe we need RESMS as a traditional middle school, so please use the entire building as Licton Springs or some other alternative school. Maybe the bureau of Native Indian affairs can use the whole complex and get federal funding to run and maintain it. I think that would be a fantastic form of reparation to our area's deserving native population and also set SPS apart from the rest of the country.

SPS Nation
Anonymous said…
A link to updated enrollment projections:

Assumptions for GHS/IHS have HCC enrollment capped at 90 9th graders until the new addition opens in 2019. The remainder seem assigned to GHS (they were removed from neighborhood school projections). Under such a scenario, GHS would have a projected total of 914 HCC students in 2018-19. what's the real plan?

Lynn, an HCC only middle school? Not a chance.

looking ahead
Anonymous said…
Lynn asked: Can anyone remind me why REMS isn't just HCC and Licton Springs? So many kids from so many schools are being redirected.

Optics. A shiny new school for HCC. Never. No how, no way. Maybe if there were an empty crappy building, but not a decent school.

Anonymous said…
@ looking ahead, I think you meant just IHS HCC, not GHS/IHS HCC, right? Garfield HCC isn't capped (in theory, at least). But your larger point it correct--there's no way GHS can accommodate continued HCC growth as the sole pathway. Those projected 914 HCC students in 2018/19 are part of a project total Garfield population of 2011 that year. Are we supposed to believe they'll let GHS grow to over 2000 students? They already can't manage to get everyone a full schedule, and students starting next year will NEED full schedules every year given the new 24-credit requirement.

reality bites.
Anonymous said…
Ah yes, but if you drop that shiny new thing in the toilet many people would rather flush it then touch it.

Think about it.

SPS Nation
Anonymous said…
Lynn's link has gotten me closer to the answer I have never gotten directly from downtown. The enrollment projections estimate about 90 HCC freshman students coming into Ingraham for IB and about 180 HCC freshmen headed to Garfield.

Don't know how many families want into IB but the chart tells me what downtown and Ingraham have never admitted. Some of the HCC families who want into Ingraham IB probably aren't going.

North of 85th
Anonymous said…
North of 85th, that link contains simplified assumptions for enrollment projections. First, it assumes all HCC students attend either GHS or IHS. It doesn't take into account HCC students choosing their neighborhood school. If enrollment in IBX is limited, it's possible HCC students will choose BHS and RHS in higher numbers. Second, it assumes a cap on HCC enrollment at IHS, which has already been exceeded. Some 120 HCC students (?) enrolled in IBX this past year. The 90 student cap on IHS HCC enrollment would just exacerbate the GHS capacity issues. Would students opt for IB at another school, if that was the district's next solution? Highly unlikely. The HCC enrollment at IHS is largely from north end high schools.

It is unclear how the district will handle high school HCC enrollment in the next two years. What's clear from the numbers is that Garfield cannot take the projected number of students should IHS IBX be capped at 90.

looking ahead
Anonymous said…
The only reason 120 students went to IHS this year is someone downtown screwed up and didn't post the right enrollment information. They didn't say HCC enrollment at IHS is not guaranteed but is in fact by lottery. So after a parent uprising they let everyone in who thought they'd been guaranteed entrance. Then they changed the wording. "No guarantee" for the coming year is now policy. It is by lottery. Somone tracking this told me that JSCEE told him kids not in the cohort but who also qualified for HCC may also try to get in to Ingraham IB.

If the projection from JSCEE for next year is 90 and we know at least 120 went this year, and with the HCC cohort size rising to 9th bigger than last year's, North of 85th's comment seems right. Maybe even conservative. North End HCC families need to have a backup to IB plans.

Tea Leaves
Anonymous said…
And also- next year's 9th graders are the ones who would be pulled their junior year of high school to start Lincoln. Currently they assume if they go to Garfield they will be pulled to start Lincoln, but not from Ingraham. I imagine demand for Ingraham will be far higher this year. I am expecting more or most people will choose neighborhood schools rather than Garfield, after the 90 who are lucky enough to get into Ingraham. But it will be interesting to see.

Anonymous said…
There will be fewer than 90 if Ingraham fills with neighborhood students in the gen ed program. Those students are guaranteed a spot at Ingraham. HCC is not. Guessing that is why enrollment is so vague about how many spots there are for HCCers next year. It needs to see what the neighborhood count looks like.

Anonymous said…
True. I know they like the cohort in packs of 30, so maybe it will just be 60 this year if neighborhood enrollment is way up. Regardless- way down, and demand will surely be way up. I have been hearing that so far the neighborhoods that feed into Ingraham have not been as impacted by growth as south Ballard and the south NE. We'll see when enrollment time comes around.

Lynn said…
I think that 90 student number will only be reduced if Ingraham is more overcrowded than Garfield. That's the point of IBX - providing relief to Garfield. Remember too that Ingraham has space for portables.
Anonymous said…
Do they have room for both portables for extra capacity *and* portables for construction? That would be great news if so.

It would make sense to me to spread the crowding pain, but I have no sense that that is what they actually intend to do, and instead that they intend to keep Ingraham from being too crowded, period. I think they must also think hcc students will stop choosing Garfield in large numbers and instead choose Ballard or roosevelt (tougher call if you're an hcc student zoned for Hale). Or that this level of massive overcrowding isn't that big of a problem.

Anonymous said…
They started the IBX program at IHS to help with capacity at GHS, but if it's too successful in drawing away students (from not only GHS, but RHS and BHS), they're going to undersubscribe HCC at IHS and oversubscribe at GHS? It just doesn't make sense. At the same time, GHS is coming off as unwelcome to HCC students. A conspiracy theorist would think they are trying to force students back to their neighborhood schools.


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