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Tuesday, April 17, 2018

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 upon request by EOD Tuesday, 4/17.

Saturday, April 21st 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Location: Bitter Lake Community Center – 13035 Linden Ave N, Seattle, WA 98133
RSVP: HERE
Or
Monday, April 23rd 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Location: El Centro De La Raza room 3076– 2524 16th Ave S, Seattle, WA 98144
RSVP: HERE
The Levy Oversight Committee for the F&E levy is having a meeting today and I'll be attending. They finally got up some minutes (albeit from several months ago) from their meetings and it reveals a bit about why Mayor Durkan probably thought it was worthwhile to get money from the F&E levy for her Promise Program - they had a $3M underspend last year.  Also, the discussion around the amount this time sounds like close to $700M which they call "mid-range" and is a lot higher than every before.

A story here in the Seattle Times about the F&E levy and concern over its direction from some quarters (including this blog).

A very sad article in the NY Times about the state of public education in schools in America as told by teachers.

Great story from KQED on art and its effects on student learning.

Finally, I love, love, love this idea of how to calm kids down and get their upsets out.  This should be in every elementary school.

What's on your mind?

26 comments:

Eric B said...

I took a quick look at the current waitlist summary (http://www.seattleschools.org/UserFiles/Servers/Server_543/File/District/Departments/Admissions/School%20Choice/2018-19_Waitlist_Report/2018-19_Waitlist-Summary_ADA.pdf)

A couple of notes:
Nathan Hale shouldn't have a Gen Ed waitlist at any grade. They draw mainly from Roosevelt and Ingraham, both of which are more crowded than Hale.

Ingraham shouldn't have an HCC waitlist, and probably shouldn't have a Gen Ed waitlist. Ingraham draws from Hale, Roosevelt, Ballard, and Garfield (HCC). Hale is the only one of those that is less crowded than Ingraham. Ingraham can also add portables, which only Hale can also do.

West Seattle and Chief Sealth both have waitlists of around 45-50 students at 9th grade. Last year, almost all of the students at one were from the other, so they should have swapped those students.

Cleveland has a 9th grade waitlist of 60+ students. If the school's not full, that is unfair to Cleveland.

Ballard, Roosevelt, Garfield, and Franklin all have waitlists of about 50 students for 9th grade. Don't expect those to move.

At least Rainier Beach doesn't have a waitlist this year. Small mercies.

Anonymous said...

Ingraham will have a large construction project starting this summer for the addition that will add space for 500 additional students in 2019. Ingraham is expecting extra portables on top of the 3 already there plus the construction trailer(s).

Momof2

prek said...

Durkan's campaign promise included free college tuition. During her campaign, she never once mentioned that she planned on cutting Family Support workers.

It looks to me like the city is in the midst of a horse and pony show to get support for prek and free college Will they tell citizens that they plan on making drastic cuts to SPS support systems which include Family Support workers?

The city uses data to inform decisions. What will happen to test scores when family support is cut?

Seattle will be putting a levy on the ballot. I seems to me that the city- with it's enormous ask- has shown disrespect to Seattle Public Schools. Unless the terms of this levy change, I'm a NO vote.


Just Asking said...

Do family support workers provide services that families can't access outside of schools? You don't need to have a kid in K-12 school to get transitional housing or the other kinds of supports that FSW help hook students and their families up with? So, couldn't families with school aged kids still access all the same services, just not through the schools? I'm not trying to stir up trouble. I genuinely don't understand.

Say a single mother with 3 year old twins needs transitional housing. She doesn't go through an elementary school's family support worker, does she? So if her twins were 8 instead of 3, and SPS gets rid of family support workers couldn't she still go to whatever office or agency she would have gone to before her kids were school aged?

Anonymous said...

I am not surprised there is an Ingraham HCC waitlist. The district was trying very hard to lead us to believe there wouldn't be without actually getting to the point of saying so. I also see the Center school has a sizeable 9th grade waitlist- aren't they having trouble with enrollment and therefore low staffing? Why not let more kids in?!

It's frustrating to have the waitlist information but not enrollment projections for individual schools. It's hard to know what to make of this with only half the information. Are there really no more easy swaps to be made? This looks like a large portion of people unhappy with their assignments who could easily be made happier with a swap.

-sleeper

Anonymous said...

Thornton Creek just got a new principal. Something of a strange pick after a hiring process that was rushed, lacked transparency and involved mystifying surveys for parents. The new principal is a hire from out of district, has little experience teaching in American classrooms although much experience abroad and brings a bilingual ed/close the opportunity gaps agenda to a school that would seem to need that skill set far less than many many other schools...

Mystified

Eric B said...

Sleeper, you can get that data via public records request by asking for:

Post Open Enrollment projections for each school
Waitlist data with currently assigned school, grade, waitlist school, waitlist program, and waitlist rank

It'll take about a month to work its way through the public records process.

Anonymous said...

But wait — default enrollment for 9th grade for currently enrolled 8th grade HCC students is Garfield UNLESS the HCC student files an enrollment form for their attendance area high school. — AND THAT FORM IS NOT DUE UNTIL MAY 31 2018. So, how can the district have numbers? For example, in case of Roosevelt, there might be 75 students who have not yet turned in their form. Not a trivial number!

How can the district think they’ve got their #s yet? Don’t they know their own rules published on their own website?

And a waitlist at Ingraham? That is utterly ridiculous. They are adding 500 seats there. They need to upload the 9th grade so that when those seats come on-line, there are students there already to absorb the capacity. Empty space is expensive space. That is not justifiable. The new person in enrollment really has yet to demonstrate any fundamental competency.


unimpressed

Anonymous said...

upload! upload! I am a robot.

Harry Mudd

Anonymous said...

What is moderate intensive? I see kids on the waitlist who are classified as moderate intensive.

HP

Anonymous said...

@sleeper The district had said they could "possibly eliminate" a waitlist for Ingraham but only for HCC. There are only 3 on the waitlist, and they did raise the cap this year from the cap of 90 last year. We personally know of 3 HCC kids who chose Ingraham who will not be attending Ingraham (going private or will be changing to neighborhood) so that list will definitely move.
NW

Anonymous said...

Kids who are going private also picked a neighborhood school prior to admission notification and they will be taken out of the equation thus lowering numbers and theoretically waitlists should move.
KL

Anonymous said...

I heard differently from the district, NW. That they would be "raising the cap above demand" or "getting rid of the cap." I don't think I ever heard anyone be so honest as to say they would just "possibly" eliminate the waitlist, actually, and I heard a fair number of district officials speak to the issue.

Sleeper

Anonymous said...

Mystified, here is the new principal announcement from Bryant.

"Dear Bryant Elementary School community,

I am pleased to announce that Ms. Charmaine Marshall has been selected as the new principal for Bryant Elementary School. The interview team, which consisted of representation from central office administrators and Bryant parents and staff, found her passion for empowering students through learning and her desire for inclusivity to be a great addition to the Bryant community.

Ms. Marshall is joining Seattle Public Schools from the Federal Way School District, where she has served as the Dean of Students since 2017. She has worked collaboratively to provide authentic and relevant experiences to all students. In her role, she has coordinated social-emotional supports and developed an afterschool reading program for underperforming students. She is an instructional leader who has also served as an Assistant Principal in Florida and North Carolina since 2000. She has experience opening a language immersion school, which was recognized as a Magnet School of Distinction.

Principal Marshall received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of the West Indies in Jamaica and her Master of Science in Educational Leadership from Nova Southeastern University in Florida.

Thank you to Principal Dan Sanger for his leadership at Bryant Elementary, we wish him the best in his retirement. Ms. Marshall is committed to building on the strong foundation Principal Sanger and the Bryant community have laid.

Principal Marshall is looking forward to meeting Bryant Elementary students, staff, families and community members, her official start date will be July 1, 2018.

Please join me in welcoming Principal Charmaine Marshall Elementary School community,

Sincerely,

Mike Starosky, Ed.D."

JM

Eric B said...

NW and KL: That's how it should work in theory, but not really how it worked last year. I hope they change it this year.

Where it went stupid last year was that the "staffing capacity" nonsense hit both the school that the student was on the waitlist for and the school that the student was currently assigned to. For example, they had no intention of moving the Center School waitlist because that would take kids out of Ballard. Never mind that Ballard was overcrowded and didn't need the students, or that Center desperately wanted to keep their enrollment numbers up. Either the receiving school or the sending school could stop a waitlist move. I think the Center waitlist did eventually move, but it took a lot of lobbying of and by the board.

If they apply that same logic this year, those 3 HCC students who are on the Ingraham waitlist are probably assigned to a school that is somewhere between desperately overcrowded and dangerously overcrowded, but they won't let them go to Ingraham because it might affect staffing at the sending school. Again, I hope they change the approach this year. The fact that Center has a waitlist doesn't encourage me.

Anonymous said...

@sleeper I was referring to what was posted on their website http://www.seattleschools.org/departments/advanced_learning/enrollment_information/
which states: "Ingraham has typically had 90 seats for HC and a waitlist. For the 2018-19 school year, we anticipate being able to accommodate more availability for HC at Ingraham and thus greatly reducing, if not eliminating, a possible waitlist."
NW

Unknown said...

My son is on eaglestaff hcc 6th grade waitlist. AA school is Hamilton .We know someone on the Hamilton hcc 6th grade waitlist whose AA is eaglestaff. Is there a way to contact enrollment and facilitate a swap?

Phinney.mom

Anonymous said...

NW, I was thinking about public statements, direct responses to parent questions about whether Ingraham was guaranteed for their child. The website isn't always right either, thinking of the HC appeals policy websites this year(there were two, and they conflicted). I am just going to continue not really trusting what the district says, either in person or on their website, either.

Phinney.mom, the policy last year was that both kids would need to be first, and possible neither school could have been overcrowded or underenrolled at the grade level of the proposed swap. Some people did manage to work the system, but it was very "gluey." Start with the principal, but the actual swap will need to be done at the district level.

-sleeper

Eric B said...

Phinney.mom, you'll probably need to work the school board on this one. Their direct intervention was the only reason some swaps happened last year. If possible, offering swaps should be done much earlier than before. I'd suggest talking to Burke and Harris first.

Anonymous said...

@ Phinney.mom, students higher on the wait list should have priority. Just because you know someone with whom you can make the swap doesn't mean you should get priority. If there's an ordered wait list, it should be respected--presuming, of course, that SPS follows through on actually trying--HARD--to make all the switches that are possible.

HF

Reader Mom said...

A new study of more than 11,000 7-year-old twins found that how well children read determines how much they read, not vice versa. Furthermore, the authors of the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry study found that how well children read is highly heritable, while how much they read is influenced equally by genes and the environment.

Interventions should focus not only on promoting reading skills but also motivation to read.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/04/180411111038.htm

Elsje van Bergen, Margaret J. Snowling, Eveline L. de Zeeuw, Catharina E.M. van Beijsterveldt, Conor V. Dolan, Dorret I. Boomsma. Why do children read more? The influence of reading ability on voluntary reading practices. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 2018; DOI: 10.1111/jcpp.12910

Anonymous said...

In response to Just Asking's question: "Do family support workers provide services that families can't access outside of schools?"

When my daughter was at our neighborhood elementary and I was involved with the PTA, we had a lot of interaction with our Family Support Worker. They provided our low-income families (60% of the school was FRL) with so much more than assistance in finding housing. Their services ran the gamut from helping an expectant mother get ready for the new baby by putting out the call for used items such as a car seat, baby clothes, etc. to making sure kids had food to eat over the weekend. They also worked with the school counselor to help families of any income level who were going through difficult times.

Having this service be a part of the school helped make the school part of the community for the student's parents and the entire family. It did a lot to keep parents connected and involved with the school. Without them, parents have one less reason to step foot inside the school. That's never a good thing.

Solvay Girl

Melissa Westbrook said...

Just Asking, one of the real differences from having a Family Support worker at a school and accessing needs outside of school is that obvious issue that most parents take their child to school and so, are already at the building.

Transportation tends to be a huge issue for many low-income families and resources are not always accessible in one place.

As Solvay Girl says, the Family Support workers do a wide variety of items. They know those families. They can pass on information to teachers to better help them know what's happening in a child's life that may be having impacts in the classroom.

I think Durkan's plan would force families to go out to more CBOs and have the unintended consequence of making life harder for those families.

Anonymous said...

Another huge factor in accessing support is knowing what support is available and how to access it. Many families in need may not have a clue about all the different types of assistance that are potentially available to them. A family support worker does. When you add in the on-site access and the relationship building that happen via FSWs at school, it's easy to see why this can be a more successful approach. There's a reason that those successful models of pre-K programs include wraparound services.

HF

Just Asking said...

Thanks for the thoughtful answers. It makes good sense.

I wish the district at least provided counselors for all schools. A student whose family needs support could be attending any school in the city. The assumption by the district that only some schools even need counselors (or FSW) is weird. Schools don't need this type of help, human beings do.

Sigh.

Melissa Westbrook said...

We need counselors in all schools, agreed.