Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Tuesday Open Thread

First up, I have received some news about an out-of-town environmental science field trip at Garfield - one that has been taken by students for 40 years - has been abruptly cancelled.  It had been approved, then reviewed and then denied...on the Friday before the break.  The reason may have been:

1) There was an issue w/ a student who drank last year and, in accordance with to SPS guidelines, sent home, 2) After initial approval,the trip was on hold pending the teacher finding an SPS administrator to join the trip (along with with the teacher and previously approved professionals/grad students/PhD's who had gone on the trip before), and 3) It is unknown what will happen with the non-refundable deposits paid for this trip.
I have never heard of the district or a school requiring that there be an SPS administrator on a field trip. 

And oddly, it appears that a different high school got permission for their environmental science trip.

We all know that Garfield has had its out-of-town field trip problems but why say yes, have parents/students do the work of getting ready and then pull the plug?  And what about those deposits?

I'm not too surprised, given the latitude that the district gives principals, especially high school principals but hurting students this way seems wrong.  Schools, all of them, should give timely responses to requests for permission for trips AND, if they are denied, provide a full explanation.  Again, what do we pay those Executive Directors to do?

I don't always like ReadyWashington but thought I would let teachers know of this opportunity:
Ready Washington and Puget Sound Educational Service District are hiring a cadre of Washington Teacher Leaders from all content areas from each of the nine Educational Service District Regions in Washington State. Teacher Leaders will contribute to the conversation and engage other teachers in talking about connections and best practices for Washington State Learning Standards and preparing all students to graduate college and career ready. CORElaborate is especially interested in amplifying the voice of K-12 teachers using arts integration, teachers of English Language Learners in the general education classroom, science, STEM, social studies, math, CTE, and English language arts.
Details about this unique and exciting opportunity, including the application are available on the CORElaborate website. We hope you'll consider joining the next #WATeachLead cadre!
I was recently told that there are a couple of blogs written by current/former SPS staff.  I have been unable to find them.  Anybody?

Boston Public Schools is considering changing bell times for the same health reasons as SPS did but boy, they had really early starts for their elementary kids.  Looks like they are pulling back on that idea. 

The changes would mean later start times for many high-schoolers, but elementary students and their families at more than three dozen schools may see starts of 7:30 a.m. or earlier.
From SPS Communications:
This fall, six educators from across Seattle were recognized for excellence in teaching. The honorees are nominated by their school principal, colleagues, students or student’s families; and selected based on their extraordinary efforts inspire and engage students.

Danielle Woods, Leschi Elementary School, Maret Poole, McGilvra Elementary School, Teresa Scribner, Cleveland High School, Jessica Torvik, Nathan Hale High School, Brian Robertson, Broadview-Thomson K-8 School, and Jennifer Morris, McDonald International Elementary School, were recognized as a 2017 Symetra Hero in the Classroom.

Each of these teachers were recognized for creating a positive climate for learning in the classroom. They all go above and beyond daily responsibilities to make a significant contributions to help students reach their academic and social potential.

Throughout the fall, the Symetra Hero in the Classroom awards and a donation for classroom books and supplies were presented to the educators in a surprise school assembly in each school. The honorees also received Seahawk home game tickets and acknowledgment during on-field presentations at the game.
SPS administrative offices are closed, starting Friday Thursday, December 22, 2017 until January 1, 2018.  However, President Leslie Harris will be having a community meeting on December 23rd at Delridge Branch Library from 3-5 pm.  Expect food and she doesn't like to eat alone.

I am still slogging thru the last Board meeting and will have a write-up of that soon.

What's on your mind?


Anonymous said...

Good things happening in Tacoma: http://www.thenewstribune.com/opinion/article189898799.html

So, as their Super says: what gets measured gets done.... it appears SPS is measuring the equity gap rather than progress for all students, since what “gets done” is squeezing out the gap by bringing down top performers via elimination of AL services. I would like to see a shift in focus with the new SPS super to measuring growth for all students.

Measuring Stick

Anonymous said...

SPS is short-changing the HCC students.

What's new?

Just Sad

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Melissa Westbrook said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Patrick said...

Dec. 22 is Friday, not Thursday :)

Anonymous said...

To juicygoofy & Kellie-- I clarified with enrollment planning. To be clear if an HC student opts out of Garfield pathway and chooses neighborhood school, they have a neighborhood seat, not a choice seat. So the choice rule of being able to remain at current school would not apply. Therefore under current SAP, HC 10th graders in 2019 in change areas from BHS/RHS to Lincoln would be moved to Lincoln whether Lincoln can provide curriculum or not.
Current HC 8th

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Statutory Requirements said...

Directors are responsible for oversight. There is at least one high school that seeks to move all LA, SS and Math 9th grade classes to Integrated Honors/ Core. Directors need to ask the district to see high school Core 24 plans.

The district must meet their statutory requirements for both special ed. and advanced learning. I'm not confident the latest plan will help certain students move into general education classes.

Anonymous said...

Interesting take:
Moskowitz and Mussolini

Eve Moskowitz has been the beneficiary of many puff pieces. Her charter network in NYC has grown rapidly. The above piece is quite critical of her operation.

-- Dan Dempsey

Anonymous said...

Measuring Stick wrote good things are happening in Tacoma.

Tacoma high school grad rate soars; will college follow?

I am hardly convinced that Tacoma is doing an adequate job of educating students.

This article is a major puff piece ... I find this article short on data involving learning.

You can read my comments below the article.

-- Dan Dempsey

Anonymous said...

Measuring Stick if you check the NY Times article on School Effectiveness ..

you will find that based on learning improvement from grade 3 to grade 8

Seattle ranked #3 out of the 200 largest districts in the USA with a 5.7 learning growth in 5 years. Tacoma had a learning growth of 4.7 years.

Anonymous said...

Dan Dempsey posted above.

Anonymous said...

What are 9th grade math classes? Math isn’t a single-grade course in high school.

Fairmount Parent

Anonymous said...

And that "one" school would be?


Anonymous said...

Now that a 529 plan can be used for PS tuition it's going to be harder to get into our area's private schools. Hopefully some schools will expand their programs and not raise tuition too much.

Parents need to start saving now.


Anonymous said...

Why are you here MJ?


Anonymous said...

This is the "Seattle Schools Public Forum". At least that's what the title reads. So private schools in Seattle are also Seattle schools. So if you don't want comments regarding private schools then I suggest the title be changed to "Seattle Public School Forum"


SusanH said...

Oh come'on. Did you read the blog sub-head?

"Debate the issues facing Seattle Public Schools, share your opinions, read the latest news. Organize and work for high quality public schools that educate all students to become passionate, lifelong learners."

This has always been a site to discuss Seattle Public Schools. I mean, I don't care that you mentioned the 529 thing, but don't act like this site is intended as a forum for private schools as well.

Anonymous said...

Private schools have a direct impact on Seattle public schools in so many ways.

What we need is s state version of a 529 for property taxes.


Anonymous said...

Agree with MJ that the 529 is pertinent. Our hesitation at private for high school was financial. We started 529s when kids were born. The 529 rule means we can access that money and move. SPS high school academics seem OK, but the uncertainty of how Core 24 and boundaries will play out allows us to will leave. We can't be the only ones.


Melissa Westbrook said...

MJ, very funny. No, we won't have random thoughts about how to help private schools or charter schools here. But good luck with that.

And if only I had a dollar for every reader who said they were leaving the district for various reasons. I do think it happens but not at this rate.

Anonymous said...

Melissa, you post about charters all the time. And advocate against them. It is disingenuous to exclude a discussion which touches on 529s and private schools. SPS, schools on the Eastside, the earlier comments about Lakeside's new "downtown light" school - they have all been discussed freely on this blog.

Anonymous said...

Holy cow, I didn't know 529 savings could be used for private school starting in 2018.

Yes, You really Can Pay for Private School With 529 Plans Now
from the NY Times

That's big deal, and could impact public school enrollment.


Anonymous said...

Why shouldn't local taxes be used to offset the cost of private K-12? Many of you want special programs and services for all sorts of class types in SPS, some mandated but many are not. These programs are NOT open to all students very similar to how our state run tax payer subsidized university system rejects thousands of applicants from local families every year.

Taxpayers purchased the land built the facilities and pay the inflated salaries at these institutions yet those same tax payers children don't get to attend. How grand that you don't march to highlight the injustice of that!

It's amazing how private schools can graduate so many students without spending millions and millions on administration? I feel that waste of dollars by SPS is coming to a end, not by any type of board action but by taxpayers finally saying , ENOUGH!.

I expect USDE funding to be drastically cut in the next few years and will have an impact on WA state.

BTW 529 is really just hot air. Minimal returns and no tax breaks on deposits only tax free interest. This is a nothing burger! We need a pretax program like a HSA. Oh

I think it's coming.


Melissa Westbrook said...

What I mean is I won't be having cheerleading for privates or charters. Informational stuff, sure.

"Why shouldn't local taxes be used to offset the cost of private K-12?"


Because we are already paying for a public school system. Don't want to be in public? Fine, then you pay for the school that you want especially when they don't have to follow some state regulations on services.

"These programs are NOT open to all students very similar to how our state run tax payer subsidized university system rejects thousands of applicants from local families every year."

I'll just note that UW has its largest in-state freshman class -ever - this year. If kids can't get it, it's largely due to space. That's a challenge but again I'll note that they are building a brand-new Computer Science and Engineering building right across the street from the current one.

Anonymous said...

Is the Garfield trip the same trip where the rape occurred a few years ago? After all of the problems Garfield has had with trips, a heighten set of expectations isn’t a bad thing in my book.


Anonymous said...

Just to be absolutely clear: Melissa, are you now stating that you will be deleting any comments that are in support of ('cheerleading") charters?

You've always been clear of your opposition to them but this seems to be a new position vis-a-vis this blog.


Anonymous said...

I don't think JSCEE focus is on students. The size and cost of SPS administration continues to grow with tangential student results. I believe JSCEE is focused on JSCEE.

In addition to JSCEE's ever rising personnel cost, JSCEE has engaged in a technology purchasing cycle that has not produced any measurable improved efficiency or ROI.

Could our schools run and keep student achievement at current levels with deep cuts at JSCEE?

Could JSCEE become the the downtown high school?