Wednesday, September 05, 2018

First Day of School Open Thread

How did it go?

I saw this on Facebook:
Washington Middle School, 60 minutes late with robocall one hour ahead of time. Mercer Middle School, 27 minutes late and counting... No robocall, husband is driving all the kids to school that he can pack in. A bunch of 6th graders who were already freaked out and now get to be late on their first day
Also, SEA will vote on Saturday to ratify their new contract.

I visited the new-with-old Loyal Heights ribbon-cutting yesterday.  It's very nice, lots of light.  It seems very big for an elementary.  I'll throw some photos up soon.

One thing I noted (and told some kids who were touring) is that for some of the bathrooms, the boys are on the right, girls on the left but it changes in other bathrooms. I told them to be sure to look at the sign before they go in.  (There are no doors to the restrooms, just the stalls.  The majority of boys' bathrooms have one stall, two urinals; the girls have just two stalls.) 


Anonymous said...

I was also at the LHE opening, since my two boys are alums. I also thought it seemed very large for an elementary. But what I noticed is the brand new (interior) concrete steps have cracks in them. Will this be remedied by the contractor?

LH Mom

Patrick said...

10 months to go!

Anonymous said...

REMS is overcrowded - 3 lunches and my 8th grader has 36 kids in his algebra class. It sounds like there is very little freedom at lunch, and sounds like middle schoolers are being treated like grade schoolers. If this keeps up, it will make for a tough (but extremely welcome) transition to high school.

SPS really messed up with REMS/Whitman assignments.


Anonymous said...

I’ve been following the Naviance conversations from the sidelines, but now that I’ve got the beginning of year packet in hand, it makes me a little bit uncomfortable. The handout seems like a marketing pitch for the product with a link to even more promotional material on the district web site. That’s usually a sign of trouble.


The list of student information that will be sent to Naviance is lengthy, and doesn’t align with what I remember from a few months ago. Did I miss something?

Shouldn’t the career interest profiler activities be possible without ANY personally-identifying information? Just google “career exploration”, there are dozens of sites that provide this for free, using many different types of methodologies.

Can students not opt out of this? Why are parents required to do this?

Did anyone go to the meeting at Cleveland last night, and was it useful?

Melissa, aren’t you on the committee that oversees this? Can you provide any insights?

Mag mom

TechyMom said...

The kid is in love with Garfield :)

Anonymous said...

SPS absolutely messed up with RESMS/Whitman. Will anyone be held accountable for it? Will our school board step in to fix this and fire those who were responsible for this mess? Or is the JSCEE exempt from accountability?

Assigned Seat

Anonymous said...

Today is the first day of school for Meany 7th and 8th graders as the 6th graders had the campus to themselves yesterday to ease the transition. Is Meany the only middle school to have done this?

Garfield seems to be on the same bell schedule as last year. There was chatter in the spring about moving to an 8-period schedule in advance of the entire district. The kid had a good first day, happy to report.


Anonymous said...

Without sustained agitation from families to the board, the REMS/Whitman thing will go unresolved. Families absolutely have to be e-mailing and calling school board members en masse. Posting about it here or complaining about it with other parents will do nothing: get daiy e-mails and calls going.

Crazy Boundaries

Anonymous said...

Kid really loves BHS! Lots of kids from middle school & said most teachers seem enthusiastic & great. Have no idea how she has no more than 30 in her classes with the school being so overcrowded right now, but apparently had far more crowded classes at HIMS before the Eaglestaff split. They had the incoming 9th graders & new students start first for a few hours and get familiar with their classes prior to the older kids attending. IMO it was a great way for the incoming freshman to get acquainted with the school. They also had an orientation for 9th last week (separate orientation for 9th parents) & assigned older kids as mentors.
BHS parent

Melissa Westbrook said...

As to RESMS, I know this is a big issue that is going to be discussed by the Board. I know that boundaries and the SAP is one topic at today's Operations Ctm meeting which I am attending. I'll ask Director Mack directly. As well, Director Burke and I were speaking at the ribbon-cutting for Loyal Heights when a mom came up and talked to him about this very issue.

Mag Mom, I am indeed on the Information Technology Advisory Ctm and we did discuss Naviance at our last meeting. As I reported previously, the Board WAS initially told that it was okay to just have four student identifying items. Naturally, now we are being told that Naviance needs more, that the student might do this anyway on their own if they were looking for information (I doubt that) and that the counselors are all for this.

Yes, there are many free sites but the kinds of things that counselors need help with - questions about class rank, GPA, etc. - they claim can be more easily done with Naviance. My question then is what is the Source and/or Schoology for? Those are some pretty basic pieces of info for high school students.

I'll ask - I think students can opt out. They just can't agree to use Naviance by themselves. Meaning, if a parent opts their child out, the child can't opt back in.

I will put up a separate thread on the Naviance meetings and will be attending at least one of them.

Eric B said...

The Board can't fire anyone but the superintendent, so they aren't the people to look to for that kind of accountability. Fixing the assignment patterns is definitely in their power though.

First day went well. Having one teacher occupying the teachers' lounge as her classroom is a little odd though. On the plus side, a senior teacher took that spot so it wouldn't go to a new teacher. That's really good to see.

LH Mom, I don't remember the cracks in the stairs. Were they wide (could you stick a piece of paper in them?) or just visible lines? Wide cracks are a problem, but just about all concrete has visible cracks. I was more concerned about the width of the stairway in the southwest corner of the building--I think it should have had a center handrail.

StringCheese said...

FNH, Denny also starts 7th and 8th grades a day late to allow 6th graders to get their bearings. We loved it as 6th grade parents and my 8th grader certainly didn't mind an extra day of summer vacation! We think it is an absolutely wonderful idea that should probably be implemented everywhere.

pop said...

I'll ask - I think students can opt out. They just can't agree to use Naviance by themselves. Meaning, if a parent opts their child out, the child can't opt back in.

As it's set up right now, a student cannot opt out using their Source account. Only a parental account can do that. In fact, a student looking at their Source account can't even verify that they've opted out! This needs to be fixed, any influence you can push hard on, since there's a short window to opt out?

Anonymous said...

@String Cheese, I think other schools used to do that but stopped because all students need to be able to their 180 (or whatever it is) days in. If the SPS school year only covers the minimum state required number, you can’t really exempt some students, can you? Although I think seniors get to graduate early, but maybe that’s a special rule?

HS soon

Melissa Westbrook said...

Thanks, Pop. I'll ask.

Anonymous said...

@Eric B,
This was the southeast staircase. They seemed like more than just visible lines to me.

LH Mom