Showing posts from April, 2018

Seattle Schools, Week of April 30th-May 5, 2018

Monday, April 30th Equity and Race Advisory Committee Meeting from 5 p.m. - 7 p.m., JSCEE Auditorium City of Seattle Departure meeting for Webster School , at Adams Elementary from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM City of Seattle departures meeting regarding the modernization and construction of a gymnasium for Webster School. I have heard district activist Chris Jackins reference this issue in his remarks to the Board.  I'm not sure I understand it totally but it appears that the district wants to construct a full-sized gym in an elementary school.

Madison Middle School Security Issue: Epic SPS Communications Fail? Or School Issue?

Our friends over at the West Seattle Blog had this story on Friday: Madison Middle School starts day sheltering in place because of threat

Friday Open Thread

Should the ACT/SAT be given online?  A story of interest from the New York Times: Like Chisholm, Tulsa already gives all its end-of-year tests online. But this is the first year that SAT scores must be reported to the state for Oklahoma’s school accountability report cards, and principals just did not want to risk an internet problem or power outage, explained Erin Lester, director of assessment. There are other challenges for this urban district, too, like how to give an online test to those likely to be in jail, juvenile detention or a mental health facility, a number that could range from dozens to more than 100 on testing day. “Some of the jails don’t even allow computers with internet accessibility,” Ms. Lester said. “We wanted to be equitable.” A teachers strike in Arizona and a teacher walk-out in Colorado are gaining steam.  You have to be humbled and amazed by teachers in Arizona who first got offer a 1% (!) raise and then it went up to 20% but they said no. 

Superintendent-Select Juneau Speaks (and other SPS stories)

It wasn't the most exciting press conference this morning with Denise Juneau, the newly-signed superintendent-select.  But she did do one thing that I think even some of the jaded cameramen were surprised at - she shook hands with everyone in the room. My takeaway from her comments:

OSPI Wants Input

State Superintendent Chris Rykdal is seeking input on two areas.

Superintendent-Select Juneau to Attend Tonight's Board Meeting

Update from last night's Seattle School Board meeting via district communications: Starting July 1, Denise Juneau will become the next superintendent of Seattle Public Schools. The seven-member school board voted tonight to approve the contract it negotiated with Ms. Juneau since announcing her as their preferred candidate on April 4.

Of Interest From the Times

Robert Eagle Staff Middle Schools, Licton Springs K-8 and Cascadia Elementary are all relatively near Aurora and North 90th which makes this very close to the tiny home housing for homeless addicts, the subject of this recent article in the Times.

Tuesday Open Thread

The Washington Policy Center is have their "SolutionsSummit 2018" soon.  Among their discussion sections is education where they say, "How public charter schools are helping kids and saving money."   Wait, what?  I hear a LOT of whining from the right about how charters don't get as much money from states as traditional schools and now it's "we do more with less?"  Hmmm. I attended the City Council's Select Committee on the Families and Education levy meeting yesterday.  Not great.  First, there was a pretty big crowd for 10:30 am; most people appeared to be those who work for non-profits in support of childcare, pre-K and public education sectors.  Many people signed up to speak as did I.  Usually, the public comments come first or just a little later but co-chair Rob Johnson announced that first there would be a pre-K presentation,then a K-12 presentation and THEN public comment.  He said, "Around noon."  Amazing that he thinks

It's Testing Time; Opting Out?

This is a notice from an elementary school.  That's a lot of time for sitting for a test.

Seattle Schools, Week of April 23-28, 2018

Monday, April 23rd Lincoln High School Community Meeting,   Hamilton International Middle School from 6:30-8:30 pm Revisiting the vision Updates on the building Introduction of teachers Reviewing Course Pathways Forming Parent group 2019 School Levies Community Meeting  Seattle World School, 6:30-8:15 pm At the community meetings , district staff members will present information, collect input and feedback, and answer questions. Interpreters will be available by request. If you, or someone you know, would benefit from an interpreter at a community meeting, please email us at . BEX V Capital Levy: Operations Levy: More information, including a Levies 2019 Planning Timeline, is available on our school levies webpage .     Tuesday, April 24rd 2019 School Levies Community Meeting  Jane Addams Middle School, 6:30-8:15 pm Wednesday, April 25th Board meeting starting

Of Interest on Inclusion and Special Education

Free Webinar: Inclusive Education Hosted by  Teachers Who TECH Thursday, April 26 at 6 PM - 7 PM

Friday Open Thread

Three times in a decade - yet another Washington State teacher has been named nationally as the Teacher of the Year.   Congrats to Mandy Manning, a teacher at Ferris High School in Spokane. Manning joins Jeff Charbonneau (2013) and Andrea Peterson (2007) as the third National Teacher of the Year from Washington state in the past decade. In addition to teaching English and math to refugee and immigrant students, Manning also coaches fastpitch and girls basketball, advises the writing club, and co-advises the Gay-Straight Alliance. Manning regularly hosts new teaching candidates, district leaders, school board directors, and legislators in her classroom to experience an inclusive environment and her student-first attitude. As a National Board Certified Teacher, Mandy is an ambassador and facilitator who encourages and guides fellow educators to connect with students and to continually improve their practice. Batter up!  Good news for SPS kids via SPS Communications:

National School Walk Out Day for Gun Safety

I'll be watching the student walk-out at Roosevelt High this morning for the National School Walk Out Day for Gun Safety .  It is also a remembrance of the 19th anniversary of the Columbine school shootings that killed 13 people. The event, which grew out of a petition on , comprises more than 2,000 walkouts nationwide, with at least one planned in every U.S. state and the District of Columbia. Students are expected to exit their school buildings for the day. Organizers have called on people to wear orange, a color that has become associated with the gun control movement. From Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School leader, David Hogg via Twitter: Remember after you guys walk out, volunteer! Spend the rest of your day working in your community. This is also a day of service in remembrance of the Columbine Victims. # NationalSchoolWalkout The Network for Public Education is urging folks to send emails to their congressional representatives.  They have made it ve

GoFundMe for Professional Development for Teacher for 2E Students

  Via Facebook: Teachers in Seattle public schools receive very little to no training in Gifted and Twice Exceptional (2e )* students education. In the meantime, all research points to the fact that especially these children require a deeper kind of learning and engagement  - and in the absence of this they disengage, fall through the cracks or worse. We are a group of parents of gifted and 2e  students that want to see our kids' amazing potential realized, both for their well being and that of Society at large - and we know that teachers are the ones best positioned to make a difference for these children! We would like to send at least one Seattle Public School teacher to an outstanding professional development provided by Bridges Academy's premier research center for understanding and teaching the growing population of 2e students.

Mayor Durkan to Announce Her Education Plan Today

 Update: here's the link to the Mayor's plan.  Here's a link to the video of her announcement today I have not watched it yet.) I want to note that Mayor Murray - in his Education Plan - said he was going to end homelessness for Seattle children by the end of 2017.  (He later denied saying that but it's on the videotape of the event and in the City's materials.)  Durkan's plan says: Increase K-12 and community investments to close the opportunity gap, increase teacher diversity, provide support services including for students experiencing homelessness, and help students most at risk of dropping out of school; More modest.  It would seem to me - of all that the Mayor and the City Council and city leaders could promise to do - ending homelessness for children is one big measure about this issue that they could get done. It appears the number the Mayor wants to go for in combining the Families and Education levy and the Pre-K levy is about $635M which

Tuesday Open Thread

SPS reports that Open Enrollment results are now available. It's National Volunteer Week so thank you to the many parents and community members who give time to our students in Seattle Schools. The City's Department of Education and Early Learning will be having two meetings to talk about their findings from recent community meetings on the Families and Education levy. The Seattle Department of Education and Early Learning (DEEL) would like to invite you to attend a community meeting to hear an update on the feedback received for the upcoming renewal of the Families and Education Levy and Seattle Preschool Program Levy. Over the last several months DEEL facilitated a total of 33 meetings with over 465 total attendees , representing over 105 different organizations to get feedback to inform and prioritize funding investments for the Levy. Below are two opportunities to hear more about the community input we received. Childcare and interpretation available upo

Black Lives Matter (We'll Just Keep Saying It)

Just to note, I don't have a "real" office.  So, when I meet people, I do so at coffee shops including Starbucks (I like their chai mix best). Sometimes, I get there early and I use the restroom. Sometimes, I wait until the other person gets there to order. Sometimes, I stay there a couple of hours but only order one thing. I have never been questioned about this practice by any Starbucks employee. And, I have never been arrrested. Those two guys who were humiliated by both Starbucks and the police now have a record.  Doesn't matter if the charges were dropped; I think you'd have to work to get it expunged.  (Don't tell me the police were just doing their jobs; they could have just asked them to leave and not cuffed and perp walked them out.) As for Starbucks:

Privacy - I Told You So

I rarely say that but on this point, I will. The Facebook issue of them not protecting data - with Zuckerberg before a congressional committee making the tortured argument that Facebook doesn't "sell" data - makes it glaringly clear that we have a problem in this country with privacy issues. What's hilarious is that I'm sure somewhere Twitter and Google are glad for the white-hot spotlight on Facebook.  I'd venture that if you use Google gmail (as I do), their scanning of emails for useful words that advertisers like may be worse than Facebook.  (That Facebook was compiling data on people NOT on Facebook but who only got mentioned there by others is also troubling.) I heard a very unscientific survey where they asked people if they would pay for Facebook if it meant better privacy controls.  I think it was 85% who said "no way."  Well, I'd pay. Facebook really is a good poster child for technology with which we have a love-hate affair.  I

Technology in Seattle Schools

I found this fascinating document at the Technology page at SPS, Department of Technology Services (DOTS) Program Report, Winter 2018. Note to DOTS: too many acronyms used that are not explained when first used.) Fun SPS tech facts:

Friday Open Thread

I'm off to the BEX Oversight Committee meeting this morning - I haven't been in quite awhile but I saw this notation on the agenda:

Tuesday Open Thread

The Times has an editorial about the new mandate from the state about a semester-long high school course in civics. 

NAEP Stats Out for Washington State Students

From KNKX: Eighth graders in Washington state scored above the national average in both math and reading on the assessment known as the nation's report card. Forty-one percent of Washington eighth graders scored at or above proficient on the math test, and 42 percent achieved that level on the reading test. Nationally, 33 percent scored at or above proficient on the math test, and 35 percent achieved that level on the reading test. Massachusetts led the nation on the eighth grade math test with 50 percent of students showing proficiency. On the eighth grade reading test, students at schools run by the Department of Defense for children of military personnel scored the highest, with 51 percent proficient. Massachusetts was second, with 49 percent proficient. James Harvey, executive director of the National Superintendents Roundtable, said his group would like to see the National Assessment of Educational Progress change the terminology because the word “profic

What Personalized Learning Feels Like..From a Teen

Update: looks like this video got pulled which is kind of odd, given how viral it had become.  Wonder if the school/"personalized learning" company got mad. end of update This is a video from a poetry slam at a high school where one girl puts forth - hilariously and poignantly - her issues with "personalized learning."  She talks about no talking, no human interaction. no teacher input, and students having to teach themselves, learning from videos. (Her mother put this video out on Facebook and said it was okay to share.) I hope you consider this for your own child about what you want learning to look like for him or her. It is all about relationships for the best and deepest learning.

Families and Education Levy Changes Endanger SPS School Supports

From Summer Stinson at Washington's Paramount Duty: EMAIL SEATTLE CITY COUNCIL and MAYOR DURKAN and tell them NO CUTS to K-12 PROGRAMS in the FAMILIES AND EDUCATION LEVY.  Mayor Durkan is defunding and discontinuing crucial K-12 public education equity programs by not including them in the upcoming Seattle Families and Education Levy. Examples of programs that have received notices that they've been cut from the Families and Education Levy are: (1) SPS's Family Support Program- - Family Support Workers ensure tha t students and their families have access to basic needs; i.e. clothing, food and housing resources, provide emotional and behavioral support, serve as a link for parents to engage in the school community and assist them with referrals to community agencies,  and (2) a middle school close-the-gap equity program . I've heard from parents at Hawthorne Elementary and Eckstein Middle School about the notices that the schools received about th

Friday Open Thread

Summer job info: Student Assistant Program at Seattle Public Library The Student Assistant Program is accepting applications through 5:00 p.m. Monday, April 30, 2018. You can access the online application here . This program provides an opportunity for students to gain valuable work experience and mentorship at the Library. Applicants are asked to submit a Student Assistant Employment Application, a cover letter, proof of school enrollment and a reference from a educator/employer (form included in the application). So please have these materials available when you go to apply. The Eligibility Requirements for Students include (1.) students are at least 16 years old, (2.) students must be enrolled in high school, college, vocational/technical school, or a G.E.D. program. (Students who have completed a Bachelor's degree program are not eligible.), and (3.) students must be enrolled at least half-time (at least five credits for college students), three out of four

Friday Funny


Statement from Superintendent-Select Denise Juneau

Via district Communications: Denise Juneau, prospective superintendent for Seattle Public Schools (SPS), offered this statement upon the news she had been voted by the Seattle School Board as their top candidate for the job: “I am very honored to be offered the opportunity to join the team at SPS as their next superintendent. “I am ready to work with the school board to help them achieve their goals of educational equity in outcomes, closing the opportunity gaps, robust engagement with community and parents, and providing a quality education for all students. “During the interview process I learned that SPS is filled with committed and dedicated educators. The students I visited with are smart, creative and ready to lead. “I look forward to building on the district’s successes, working with all partners to confront challenges and continue the positive progress already underway.”

Seattle School Board Picks Denise Juneau for Superintendent

The Seattle School Board voted tonight 7-0 to offer a contract for superintendent to Denise Juneau. I believe this to be a great choice and hope she will accept. Harris and Burke will be the directors on the negotiating team to meet with her.

On This Sad Anniversary


Here They Come, Electeds


How Did Swift and Juneau Do With Teachers?

I wanted to consider the relationships that Jeanice Swift and Denise Juneau have had with unions in their respective states.

Tuesday Open Thread

You'll want to put this one on your calendar; Director DeWolf , after four months in office, is finally having a community meeting that is a one-hour event during Spring Break.  It's Monday, from 5-6 pm, at The Riveter (a work space), 1517 12th Ave Suite 101. That's an unusual amount of time and an unusual date for a director community meeting but I'm thinking he's not going to be a usual director. Of course, perhaps it helps to send him a request to meet if you are a group.  He did mention at the last Board meeting that he met with Parents for a Better Downtown.

Denise Juneau

I had printed many good things said about superintendent candidate, Jeanice Swift, and, since I support the candidacy of Denise Juneau, thought I would add some research I had done about her. From Dr. Darlene Schottle who sits on the Montana Board of Education:

Seattle Schools for the Week, April 2-7, 2018

Monday, April 2nd The first of several meetings on the BEX V Capital levy .  This one is at Aki Kurose Middle School from 6:30-8:15 pm.