Friday, June 15, 2018

District Updates

Lots of good news in the last Friday Memo from Superintendent Nyland including:
  • 2018 Seal of Biliteracy Recipients: Congratulations to our graduating seniors who have demonstrated their language skills through world language credit testing or by passing Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate exams. They were honored for having received the State Seal of Biliteracy. The seal is intended to highlight the benefits in today’s world of speaking, reading and writing English and at least one other language. Michele Aoki, our International Education Administrator, recognized our students who have successfully achieved a Seal of Biliteracy, noting that students represented 12 high schools: Ballard, Chief Sealth International, Cleveland, Franklin, Garfield, Ingraham, Nathan Hale, Rainier Beach, Roosevelt, Seattle World School, South Lake, and West Seattle High School.  The largest group was for Spanish but there were 20 languages represented in all.
  • Garfield's Chess team placed 12th in the nation.
  • National Board Certified Teachers accredited; there were 106 of them this year. SPS now has 550 employees with this certification.  
  • In Athletics, the Garfield boys basketball team won state as did their boys soccer team.  The Memo does acknowledge Hale's Ultimate Frisbee state win but does not say if it was for the boys or girls.  (I previously reported the girls' team had won nationally.)  For "Academic State Champions" there was a win for the Nathan Hale Girls' Volleyball team.  There were also numerous state winners in Track and Field from Chief Sealth and West Seattle for boys and West Seattle, Ingraham and Garfield for girls.
  • Several schools have been selected to take the NAEP next year (National Assessment of Education Progress - the only true national test that is selectively given).  Those schools are:
  • Elementary and K-8:Dunlap, Fairmount Park, Kimball, John Stanford, Thurgood Marshall, Viewlands,West Seattle,
    K-8: Blaine, Hazel Wolf, Licton Springs, Pathfinder, TOPS
    Middle School:Aki Kurose, Eckstein, Hamilton, Madison, Washington, Whitman
    High School: Nathan Hale, Ballard
  • Michael Tolley reports that the the Creative Advantage program for the arts received a $35K grant from the Laird Norton Family Foundation "to integrate Ethnic Studies Secondary Language Arts and/or Social Studies with Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed techniques, which use theatre as social action to increase dialogue, liberate individuals, and change lives. Visual & Performing Arts will partner with teachers and artists using the Ethnic Studies Guiding Principles such as critical examination, decentering euro-centric perspectives, communal co-construction, etc. to develop curriculum where students explore selected texts and history through theatre."
  • On Naviance - you have until June 22nd to opt out (if you so choose) and the next window is September 4th thru 12th. 
  • I also note in Technology news that they are working on the laptop rollout to all certificated staff but with a bit of confusion for subs and paraprofessionals.  We clarified that presently, all paraprofessional staff use the presentation station computer located in each classroom, not the teacher workstation that was replaced with a laptop. We developed a plan where Mr. Melonson would work with the Department of Technology Services (DoTS) to deploy extra computers for paraprofessional where needed since some of the surplus teacher desktops are still serviceable. Mr. Krull confirmed progress on the plan with Mr. Melonson during the Board meeting Wed. June 6th.
  • As well, head of Tech, John Krull, is continuing in his school visits to find out the needs of specific school communities.
On the downside of the memo:
  • The district is working with the City's Department of Education and Early Learning as well as Seattle community colleges on a data-sharing plan for the Seattle Promise Initiative. Will be interesting how much data they collect from students who are now adults and what controls the students will have.
  • Technology is undertaking what looks like a massive project: In support of Strategic Plan Goal 2 to improve systems, the Budget Management Project is a comprehensive transformation of business processes and technology solutions across multiple departments and disciplines for budgeting, position and staffing control. There are six product workstreams: Prepare Base Budget, Central and School Budget Entry, Position and Staffing Management with Control, Budget Finalization, Integrations, and Reporting.
  • The Superintendent pointed out that the State Auditor had a couple of findings from the recent exit conference.  These were around not fulfilling Special Education work.  There were two audits done of SPS; here's the link for the one with the findings.
  • On SBAC testing: On Thursday, May 31st, the district assessment team was made aware of a possible testing incident at Thurgood Marshall Elementary School. In this instance, students received additional resources and guidance that are not allowed in a secure state testing environment.
    District staff have met with the building principal and their Executive Director and are in the process of collecting written statements from the other individuals involved. Once all information is gathered, the assessment department will write an incident report and send to the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) 
The Department of Racial Equity Advancement (DREA) is hiring.  They are looking for a Racial Equity Advancement Specialist.   The salary range is interesting - almost $45K more for the right person.

I'm also hearing that the issue of people in schools - students, teachers, staff - eating everywhere and anywhere is creating a two-fold problem.  One, it makes more work for custodians (and, if someone spills a drink, a lot more work) and two, insect problems.  I'm hearing that out at Franklin High, they have a cockroach problem.  Given the district thinks it okay to only clean every three days, you'd think schools would be more strict on where you can eat in the building.


Anonymous said...

Anyone with Lincoln updates? The Tuesday Open thread closed with someone saying they will be offering only ONE AP class. That would be consistent with the anti-AP message at one of the Lincoln meetings, but not consistent with the offerings at current high schools from which Lincoln will draw. One wonders if they realize the proposed 8 period schedule is unworkable for students taking multiple AP courses, so rather than abandon the 7+1 advisory plan, they are rationing AP courses. Or are they following the Hale model and restricting class options?

info needed

Anonymous said...

They are following Hale. That is the model she wants to copy. Not RHS/BHS/GHS.


Melissa Westbrook said...

I just put up a thread for Lincoln. I can only say that Hale says parents are happy with their model but that certainly wasn’t the case when they started it.

Future Hale said...

Hale-zone parents who choose to send their students to Hale are happy with Hale's model. But a surprisingly large number of Hale-zone families have opted for private school, Ingraham, Roosevelt when possible, HCC at Garfield, etc. A lot of Hale-zone families are extremely unhappy with the Hale model.

If families have actual choices and waitlists move, then having an unusual system like Hale's is alright. If students' academic needs are met differently depending on what neighborhood their families happen to live in, it's not so alright.

Anonymous said...

The Racial Equity job is a certificated position. The salary range is the same as for any teaching job and dictated by the bargained salary schedule.

Nothere There

Anonymous said...

Why are all of the technology related updates attributed to the "downside" of the Friday memo?


Melissa Westbrook said...

Tech Friend, my error and nor intentional. I’ll fix that.