Sunday, November 12, 2017

Seattle Schools Week of Nov. 13-18, 2017

Tuesday, the 14th
State of the District speech by Superintendent Nyland from 5-7 pm at West Seattle High School.  I would suspect that all the current Board as well as the newly-elected members are likely to show.  Wonder if Mayor Burgess or newly-elected mayor Durkan will show?

Special Education PTSA meeting at JSCEE at 7 pm.

Wednesday, the 15th
Regular Board meeting starting at 4:15 pm.  Agenda


Action Items:
- lifting the 2.0 GPA requirement (a district one and SPS was only one of two in the state to have this requirement).  Reading the BAR, you can see why this had been problematic.

- Superintendent Nyland's COLA raise of nearly $7,000.

- Award of contract for college/career services for high school students to Naviance.  I will have a separate thread on this one so please stay tuned.

- Approval of a contract for a search firm for a new superintendent.  This one perplexes me because the RFP seems to have dates that conflict with this vote (unless this is an after-the-fact BAR).  I'll more to say on this one as well (unless the Board has already picked) because some of the contendors either don't look well-suited for this job and/or have ties to ed reform.

Intro Items:

- two BEX IV items involving technology - one for $1M for new student computers and carts and one for $5.5M for mobile devices for all certificated staff.  Is a $1M enough for new student computers and  carts as compared to $5.5M for mobile devices for staff?

- the 2018-2018 Transition Assignment Plan - better get your concerns into the Board.

Saturday, the 18th
Director Community Meetings
Leslie Harris at Delridge Branch Library from 3-5 pm.
Scott Pinkham at Broadview Branch Library from 4-5:30 pm


Jet City mom said...

My question about the computers is, are they going to be selling the ones they are discarding?
My home computer is 8 yrs old, and has seen better days.

Anonymous said...

Scrutinize the per unit cost of the computers. The last time I checked the district was massively overpaying for some really under powered and featureless rigs. Getting more units into buildings should be the priority.

Mr. Theo Moriarty

GLP said...

The 2019 high school HC pathways should not be part of the 2018-2019 Student Assignment Plan. This section should be separated out and looked at in conjunction with the high school boundaries.

(see page 15 of the document -- https://www.seattleschools.org/UserFiles/Servers/Server_543/File/District/Departments/School%20Board/17-18%20agendas/20171115/I07_20171115_Student_Assignment_Transition_Plan.pdf)

1. The decision about the pathways is completely intertwined with the boundaries and should be looked at with maps, data, various scenarios, etc. Approving the 2018-2019 SAP December 6th and then going on to boundaries after that is a big problem. The Board won't be well informed as to the impact on boundaries and it will be much harder to change course. SPS said in their email to parents about the Advanced Learning Pathways: "Adjustments to the draft high school boundaries will be made to accommodate the final advanced learning service model decision." These adjustments need to be seen before the vote about pathways.

2. It seems odd to have this item introduced at the Nov 15th Board meeting with the existing board, and then voted on Dec 6th with two new board members. I know the work must go on in the midst of a hand off, but this is a huge item that has a ripple effect impacting thousands of students.

I've written to the Board about this, and I hope others will too.


Patrick said...

What's a COLA? signed, public employee who does not make six figures.

Anonymous said...

i believe they passed it on to a january decision. and a new run through operations. strange but they pushed it through in the dark of sight. now who the hell knows.


Anonymous said...

Several items on the agenda:

1) High school grading policy (Action)
- They did not include new means of achieving HS credit, beyond giving the same credit for less seat time. Will other policies instituted, such as granting 0.5 credit for Washington State History taken in MS, or HS PE credit for participation in organized school sports, or elective credit for organized clubs such as Debate or ? Is the policy written in a manner that will allow additional pathways for HS credit, but for actual work done, not just some manipulation of the numbers?

2) Student Transition Plan 2018-19 (Introduction)

Where to start? Several issues:

- The TP codifies the recent Enrollment restrictions based on "staff capacity" instead of building capacity. This is NOT how the district has traditionally operated with choice assignments.
- The TP restricts K-8 6th grade moves to attendance area MS based on "seat availability."
- Why are HC pathways for 2019 in the 2018-19 TP? And why are there 5 HC pathways? There should be more like 2 HC pathways (+ Ingraham option) instead of 5 HC pathways (+Ingraham option), to minimize HS boundary adjustments and maintain minimum cohorts for class availability through 12th grade.
- If the TP was approved by the current Board, but amended with 2 HC pathways, would that be a better outcome than having a vote with new Board members unfamiliar with the capacity issues? It would be irresponsible to approve the TP as is, not knowing the boundary adjustments. Where are school by school HS enrollment projections based on enrolled MS students and program placement??

heaping mess

Anonymous said...

COLA - Cost of Living Adjustment. Not a Merit Increase.


Eagle Mom said...

How do we find out what happened at the board meeting? Are the results listed somewhere? Can we watch a video?