Sunday, April 01, 2018

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.

Tuesday, April 3rd
BEX V Capital levy community meeting at Madison Middle School from 6:30-8:15 pm.

Seattle Special Education Advisory and Advocacy Council meeting from 5:30-7:30 pm at JSCEE.

Highly Capable Services Advisory Committee at JSCEE from 6:30-7:30 pm.

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

Except that there will be a huge item on the agenda - the naming of the person that the Board wants to offer a contract to be the next superintendent.  I'm hoping that before that happens - it's the first thing on the Action agenda - everyone else on the dais will keep their comments to a minimum.

I am a bit irritated at how the Board has not been clear on announcements about this process.  I was told by Communications that the first time anyone will hear a name is at the Board meeting but another source said he was told that the Board might name someone on Wednesday morning.

Also, on the Board agenda is a contract for MTSS assessments for grades 3-10 for LA and math.

They have been/will be field testing it (they state that they have gone thru the LA questions for racial/cultural bias and have decided on a second field test for that portion).   Embedded in this BAR is a listing of all assessments the district gives, starting on page 9.

Thursday, April 5th 
Operations Committee Meeting from 4:30-6:30 pm. No agenda yet available. 

Saturday, April 7th
Community meeting with Director Harris from 3-5 pm at the High Point Branch Library.


Anonymous said...

The Board Agenda includes an update/addition to Policy 1410, Audience Participation:

At noon on the day before the Board meeting, public testimony slots will be filled according the following priority levels on a first-come, first-served basis within each level:
1. Individuals speaking to action items on the agenda
2. Individuals speaking to introduction items on the agenda
3. Individuals giving comments of a general nature

Sign-ups received after noon on the day before the meeting will be added to the end of the list on a first-come, first-served basis.

Hopefully the change will prevent repeat public testimony of a "general nature" from displacing that on action and introduction items, though it seems introduction items should be prioritized first (action items would have been introduced weeks prior).


Anonymous said...

Did signup used to be Monday at 8am, as opposed to noon the day before (Tues)?


Seattle Citizen said...

Yes. That's an odd change.

Rick Burke said...

Quick clarification on this:
The noon on Tuesday note is not a change to signup schedule, it's just the cutoff for the prioritization process. That remains 8:00 AM on Monday.

It means that at noon on Tuesday, staff can order all testimony signups received-to-date and prepare the agenda documents. Everybody added after that time just gets put onto the end of the queue. This is the process that the Board office has been using for some time to allow document processing time, but it hadn't been formally defined until this policy update.

-Rick Burke

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

@Rick Burke

You might want to save that "quick clarification" for the board meeting.

This forum is political, biased and not open to all members of the public
(due to how it deletes opposing views).

You are a public servant who was elected.

Head Up

Anonymous said...

Wait, what ever happened to Burke's slogan...make SPS great again?

Tool check

Rick Burke said...

@Head Up - Seattle has no shortage of political and biased outlets. That's no reason not to correct a misunderstanding ASAP.

@Tool check - That wasn't the slogan, but hey we're all working on greatness, right?

-Rick Burke

Anonymous said...

@Rick Burke

Since the questions posed indicate that this is likely to be a generalized misunderstanding, why did you not correct this on the Board page? By only dealing with the confusion here, you are contributing to a blog that has actively discriminated against opposing opinion by deleting them. This occurred especially during the debate about high school pathways (as I'm sure you recall).

The fact that you are having a dialogue with a group of selective constituents, on a forum that has a documented history of deleting and barring comments from those who have differing opinions from the moderator, is an ethical problem for you--at a minimum.

This blog discriminates against citizens who have differing opinions by barring their comments. That makes it worse than those other "outlets." It is not an open blog.

Head(s) Up

Rick Burke said...

Sometimes I hear voices making me comment here.

-Rick Burke

Anonymous said...

While the Audience participation proposed change looks like it is just moving the words from one part to another, I remain concerned on the testimony ordering re: consent agenda.

First, the votes on the consent agenda are before public testimony, so public can’t weigh in. Second, the consent agenda items aren’t given a spot in the speaking order. There has been times where there is significant public interest in getting items removed off of consent agenda to a full discussion, but the current alignment doesn’t allow the public to give their voice. I urge this to be amended.

- QueenAnneDad

Melissa Westbrook said...

Heads up, it's a clarification, calm down. And, you might want to tell Director DeWolf that as well as he chimes in on Facebook pages.

"..you are contributing to a blog that has actively discriminated against opposing opinion by deleting them."

First, any Board member can make a clarification here. No matter that you are unhappy with this blog, does not make it a valid voice in this community. And again, you must be new because the amount of vitriol that Charlie and I have let go thru the years is large. I have recently taken a harder line on attacks against me because they generally have nothing to do with the topic and I'm just not taking them any longer. But if you can put forth a civil argument that disagrees with me or anyone else, I don't delete it.

Also, you can define "open blog" anyway you want but I don't run a rant and rave blog. So if that is what you seek, go elsewhere. Or, start your own and learn how tough and tedious this work can be.

Queen Anne Dad, your statements are often what long-time watchdog, Chris Jackins says. What you can do is contact Board members and ask that items be taken off the Consent Agenda. Any Board member can do this and it has to be done if requested.

Robert Cruickshank said...

I for one welcome Board Directors participating in blog comments and Facebook posts. Most school board members around the country do that, and have an active social media presence. That's a key part of being an effective public servant!

Anonymous said...

Blog comments and Facebook posts are fine ways to be effective public servants--as long as the blog doesn't practice deleting posts simply because the moderator disagrees with the message.

Melissa states that she only deletes posts that are personal attacks. Anyone who reads this blog knows that is not correct.

In addition to the classic attempt to get people who disagree to leave ("maybe this isn't the blog for you"), many posts were deleted during the high school pathways debate--for no other reason than because the moderator disagreed.

Anyone who has read this blog knows this is true.

This is not an open forum and has actively barred citizen voices from being heard.

Board directors, public servants, have an ethical obligation to not participate in such a forum since it excludes some of their participants.

Heads Up

Anonymous said...

correction: ...excludes some of their constituents from participating.

Heads Up

Melissa Westbrook said...

Heads up, this is a private forum about a public subject. I do not have to adhere to your idea of “public.” I have no finders so that makes me the boss.

You have made your point, move on.

Anonymous said...

Melissa can run as biased a blog as she wants but when the board members post it becomes problematic.

A responsible blog would NOT censor comments based on content.

A responsible blog would state basic rules of civility and enforce them fairly.

This blog is biased to the point where some people wonder if Melissa gets Amazon gift cards to plug her pro self-contained gifted attitude.

She allows the most vicious attacks on those who find the program misguided but happily deletes contrary comments or just closes the thread when she finds the comments don't go her way.

Anyways, Happy Spring everybody,

Mrs. Dash

Anonymous said...

I concur under the Roberts Rules of Order. The blog is pandering to a select cohort or cluster of minions who agree to agree with whatever the blog mistress states as fact. Opinion are only the facts of those who agree to disagree with her ladyship.

I do miss the witch hunts and histrionics. Funny how this time no comments on the retirement of WMS Admin or that of the Hamilton Principal. They hold no interest at this time. But in the good ole days it was game on. He who accuses excuses and all that.

- Carry On

Anonymous said...

There are several blogs pertaining to education in Seattle. This is one of the few of them that allows you to comment. Read the rules of the blog and follow them, and then your posts won't be deleted. Some of you make this all about MW, instead of the discussion topic.


Melissa Westbrook said...

How is it more problematic for Board members to post corrections or information here than at a Facebook site? Not sure I see that.

Also, we have now gotten off topic so I'll be deleting any more discussion of the blog. If you don't like it, don't read it. Don't like Board members here? Go tell them.

Anonymous said...

I have a child who is HC but not in the cohorted program. Is there anything to be gleaned by attending the HC Services Advisory Committee meeting tonight or is it only concerned with the cohorted students and families?

Does the head of AL attend?


Melissa Westbrook said...

Those are good questions, Mary. I don't really know.

Anonymous said...

@ Mary, I attended those meetings for a while a couple years ago, but even with a cohorted student I found them not all that useful. More frustrating than anything. Maybe times have changed? Someone with a more current perspective may weigh in, but there didn't seem to be many parents attending when I went, aside from the various HCC school parent reps. Some HCC schools don't even have teacher reps, and Nyland apparently doesn't think it's an official SPS advisory committee. All in all, it seems fairly pointless. The same person has been the chair for a long time. Me, I'd like to see a bit of a shakeup and restructuring.

Too Cozy?

Anonymous said...

@Mary-my HC qualified child has been in and out if the cohort for various reasons and I attended two HC Advisory meetings at the height of capacity debate and found the useless. I can’t imagine how they would be better now. I don’t think they even keep notes and they don’t make an effort to get information out or-more importantly-take information in. A new group is needed, or maybe FB has replaced the need for the group.

It would be interesting to see a group emerge for families who opt their HC students out of the cohort.

Group Dynamics

Anonymous said...

After emailing in, they quickly modified the Audience Participation vote to add explicit terminology around consent agenda priority (at same level as action priority), which is a nice addition to allow public voice. In addition, prior to approving the BAR, they had a lengthy discussion at the board meeting around both staff and exec committee, with verbal agreements from both to do so, watching for public testimony comments re consent items so the Board knows to ask to move items to action off of it if testimony is requested. I think these two steps significantly improve public voice on consent items; while rare for there to be testimony on these, for the rare cases there are, it is a great transparency move to formalize the process here.

Thanks Board and Staff!
- Queen Anne Dad