Friday Open Thread

City  Council Member Tim Burgess is taking a (non-scientific) survey about your thoughts on an income tax for wealthy Seattle families.  I put this up because, in the end, if passed, that tax may play a part in funding for the district.

FYI if you have a child in Special Education:

As previously mentioned, I will post all available opportunities to hear/meet the candidates for Seattle School Board.  This came from Alec Cooper, candidate for District V.  He will be at Broadcast Coffee, 1918 E Yesler, on Saturday from 10 am-noon.

There are no director community meetings this Saturday because of all the graduations they are attending.

What's on your mind?


Adan said…

When you say, "FYI if you have a child in Special Education," that probably should say something more like "if you care about living in a state that values all children, even those in Special Education" or something like that. Funding for kids in SpEd isn't just an issue that affects their parents. It's about what kind of society we want to live in.
Point taken and well said, Adam
Carol Simmons said…
Thank you Adan and Melissa,

Does anyone have the Minutes of the SPS Work Session that was held yesterday?

Thank you

Steve said…
If you're driving to the Solstice Parade in Fremont tomorrow, park at B.F. Day Elementary (3921 Linden). $25 suggested donation helps support arts, literacy and everything good at the school. Easy parking in the heart of Fremont! Open at 9:00am until the lot is full.

Lynn said…
Income earned for the use of SPS facilities belongs to the district not the school and must be deposited in the district bank account within 24 hours of receipt. This was an issue in a recent audit at Rainier Beach.
Funny you should say that, Lynn. The district has not always followed that course. They used to allow Montlake to charge for parking at the school for UW football games (which was fairly lucrative). I'm not sure how much of this goes on but if that was a recent finding, probably so.
Obvious said…
I have a a feeling it's because of the demographics of the people these schools serve. Montlake and BF Day versus Rainier Beach. Rainier Beach gets the audit. Hmmm...
Lynn said…
Here's the Rainier Beach audit report.
Anonymous said…
Rainier Beach High School was selected for an audit because the District received multiple concerns regarding untimely payments to vendors...During our review of disbursements, we confirmed that many vendors were indeed paid late. We also noted that in many cases the purchases were initiated without a pre-approved purchase order or personal services contract.

The reason for the audit is stated right in the Executive Summary.


...The School did not...maintain all required volunteer documentation, and we cannot verify that all of the volunteers were properly screened.

...The School did not follow District policies and procedures related to field trips.

...The School did not follow District policies and procedures related to building rentals...outside groups did not provide proof of liability insurance and did not pay the required rental fees...In lieu of paying the established rental fees to the District’s Building Rentals Department, the outside groups made donations to the School’s girls’ basketball team.
HCC Parent said…
Geary was recently quoted in a KUOW article. She claims to care about special education students, but dismisses students at the high end of the scale. Too bad. HCC is an intervention for special need students.
Unknown said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said…
June 16th has passed. Any waitlist movement out there?

Anonymous said…
Scuttlebut from kid at Ingraham is that a group of teachers is working to get rid of IBX. Why are teachers the arbiters of who receives AL services?

what the

Anonymous said…
Interesting piece on vouchers from Robin Lake, director of University of Washington’s Center on Reinventing Education:

a reader

Anonymous said…
"Scuttlebut from kid at Ingraham is that a group of teachers is working to get rid of IBX. Why are teachers the arbiters of who receives AL services?"

I heard from IB/IBX staff and IBX parents that there have been multiple issues with IBX
1. Senior year internship has not worked out as planned.
2. Many kids have not yet developed the organizational and other skills needed to do well, it is a very demanding & stressful program.
3. Colleges prefer students with 4 years of demanding coursework. IBX is a disadvantage.
4. They developed honors courses for 9th and 10th that work well as prep for IB.

The principal said IBX it is still an option for next year. Our child enters year after next so might not be an option at that time.

We personally have no issue with IB instead of IBX. It is the same program. We know two sets of parents who had a child do IBX and they prefer their younger one to do IB.

-HCC parent
Anonymous said…
re Waitlists, I originally thought the district said they would be making net-budget-neutral waitlist moves (and staffing moves to accommodate them) by mid-June. Now I have heard that principals were told that there will be no more staffing adjustments until the fall. So disappointing.

Anonymous said…
Related to issues with IBX:

"1. Senior year internship has not worked out as planned."
- Was there ever a plan?

"2. Many kids have not yet developed the organizational and other skills needed to do well, it is a very demanding & stressful program."
- The program requires "organizational and other skills" from teachers as well. It's especially stressful for students if teachers do not adequately cover the IB standards, or if pre-IB classes are not preparing them for IB. Some classes prepare students well for IB requirements, while other classes do not. There is a steep learning curve and an added time commitment for teachers taking on IB classes. Yes, IB is demanding, for both teachers and students.

"3. Colleges prefer students with 4 years of demanding coursework. IBX is a disadvantage."
IBX was sold to students under the premise that "demanding coursework" would be available senior year. Advanced LA and SS classes were supposedly planned, and students could take additional IB electives. SPS has dropped the ball on that one.

4. They developed honors courses for 9th and 10th that work well as prep for IB.
- There are no options for advanced science. IB courses are not available until 11th grade, unless a student opts for IBX.
- 10th grade SS is only 1 semester. They will end junior year having only 2 1/2 years of social science.

It's one thing to offer two pathways - IBX for those wanting more acceleration, and honors/IB for those wanting the traditional IB pathway - but it's another thing to actively work against one of the few options available for HC students.

also parent
Anonymous said…
I'll add to what "also parent" said"

1. So do better. Intensify the efforts to support students in finding those internships, or in finding alternate plans if more appropriate.
2. Many kids HAVE already developed those skills, and can thrive in IBX. Why deny them that chance? I guarantee that there students in HCC who are more than capable of taking on a challenging program a year ahead of what's typical.
3. Why can't you get 4 yrs of demanding coursework with IBX? You can. Take college courses that 4th year and you'll have 4 yrs of coursework even more demanding than what colleges typically see.
4. That's fine. It sounds like kids who aren't ready for or interested in IBX have some options, although as "also parent" pointed out, the options still aren't great.

It sounds to me like they are, to some extent, trying to blame the kids for the fact that the school or district doesn't have its act together in terms or providing the appropriate support (e.g., internships, support for teachers); counseling (e.g., screening out kids not ready, facilitating challenging 4th yr courseloads); and providing strong academic foundations (e.g., weak HCC middle school programs).

The KIDS are capable of doing this. Is the DISTRICT?

A reader, I plan to have a thread on vouchers and had seen this. Man, isn't that clever?
Anonymous said…
Re: the vouchers piece, I noticed that the article doesn't mention any private schools that would have appropriately served her 2e student either, so I don't see how a voucher would have helped.

Nice try
Anonymous said…

A link to minutes from June 1st High School Task Force meeting posted on the discussapp blog state that there was a "suggestion" of eliminating HCC after 8th grade. Also....possibly eliminating AP classes?? It sounds like coming from..... members (staff?) of High School Capacity Task Force?

Anonymous said…
@ B, I emailed Jon Halfaker about that, as the minutes show he was at that meeting and I thought he might know if this had been discussed in some other setting instead. His response was this:

There has been no discussion of ending AP classes at high schools. I can't recall that specific comment off the top of my head but I can be clear that ending AP was not a discussion point.

If such discussions are in fact happening--and this wasn't just a random, unwarranted comment by one person--they seem to be happening under the radar and elsewhere...

Asked Jon

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