Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Tuesday Open Thread

On the Washington Middle School meeting last night which I attended - two words - not good.  I'll do a write-up but frankly, it was quite the tour de force (with an emphasis on force) from the principal. 

Reminder that tonight is the Board meeting instead of its usual Wednesday.  Here's the agenda.  Tonight the Board approves the one-year teacher contract. 

Is your child's bus late?  This seems to be on-going for more than a few parents, likely due to a shortage of drivers/veteran drivers.  This was discussed at the Executive Committee, with Pegi McEvoy, who oversees Transportation, noting that this is an occurrence at the beginning of every school year.  What are you experiencing/hearing at your school?

Superintendent Juneau did an interview on KUOW yesterday. Also, a link to her ThoughtExchange page so if you are unable to attend one of her listening sessions, you can leave your thoughts there.

Monday might be a good day to set the DVR because we are going to see a hearing on a Supreme Court nominee almost like no other.  (Except, of course, if you are old like me and watched the Clarence Thomas and Anita Hill hearing.) This is history in the making and the committee - especially in this Me, Too time - needs to get it right.  I am hearing that it will only be Judge Brett Kavanaugh and his accuser, Professor Christine Blasey Ford.  It might a good jumping off point  for a discussion with your children if they are teens about boundaries and sexual assault.

Garfield teacher (and author) Jesse Hagopian reports this from his I Am An Educator blog:
Grammy award winning Seattle-based artist Macklemore and three-time NFL Pro Bowler Michael Bennett have teamed up to purchase and distribute copies of the new critically acclaimed book, Teaching for Black Lives to every middle and high school Social Studies and Language Arts teacher in the Seattle Public Schools. 

Michael Bennett said, “This is the book I wish I had coming up in school but it never existed. Now we have the opportunity to educate thousands of youth about the Black history that was too often missing from my schooling—from the building of the White House, to the role of Black youth in social movements, to organizing for restorative justice today.”

Macklemore added, “With everything from history, to poetry, to visual art, these lessons will help educators affirm the lives of their Black students and create deeper dialogue in our schools about the struggles and contributions of Black people that all students need to learn.”

The editors of Teaching for Black Lives will be participating in a Seattle Town Hall book launch event on Monday, September 24th at the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center.
It's official - more U.S. schools have police officers - than counselors

From the Lincoln High Parents Facebook page:

LHS Music Boosters Sept meeting, Wednesday, 9/19, 7pm
Wallingford QFC (area upstairs next to Starbucks)

Meeting agenda: 1) organization formation, 2) potential projects, 3) committee formation.
Come join us! We are especially looking for parents with students at RESMS, JAMS, McClure, Garfield, and Ballard.

What's on your mind?


Anonymous said...

Yesterday, the Washington Middle School bus out to Rainier Valley was two hours late. They merged with another bus due to a lack of drivers, and that 2nd bus took students out to Queen Ann and South Lake Union before heading back to Rainier Valley. Dispatcher on drugs? SPS did not know about this until a parent finally got a hold of a student on the bus in Hour Two of the situation and called SPS.

No words.

Anonymous said...

At the WMS meeting last night, a missed opportunity to directly confront Sarah Prichett about just exactly what her job is. The principal spent quite a bit of energy describing how everything at the school was off base before she got there e.g. positions not being budgeted for, scheduling etc. And Prichett just sat there. Was she not directly responsible, as the former principal's supervisor? Did she not know about any of this? It's a total joke.

I think this community has a right to know why Prichett does not feel herself responsible for the mess that the principal describes. The reality is that nobody is accountable for anything.


Anonymous said...

While I don’t doubt that there may be past issues with WMS budgets, most of the disaster this year at WMS is a direct result of the current principal and her disastrous decisions that have been made with very little input from others and very little knowledge on her part. Agree that Pritchett is useless, but the current principal is trying to place blame on the past when it rightly should land at her feet. They both should be fired. I believe there will be WMS parents/students trying to speak at today’s board meeting, so we’ll see if anyone from the Board or the Superintendent is going to do anything to try to rectify this situation. So far, it looks like business as usual from SPS.
So Typical

Eric B said...

One of the Ingraham shuttles arrived on time last week but delivered students late because the driver was in a minor accident and needed to collect students' names for the record. Not this year, but toward the end of last year, I saw an empty bus clip a power pole turning off Aurora. Both of these are pretty minor in comparison to the 2-hour BS that is happening elsewhere.

I have heard that good drivers leave First Student as soon as they can for Metro or Community Transit for better wages.

Anonymous said...

The start of year busing has always been sketchy for my kids, but this year is by far the worst. Bus has been at least an hour late every morning. No communication as to why or how long this will last. Oh, and we’re at Washington MS, so just a cherry on top of this year’s sundae of ineptitude. Principal moved advisory later in the day so kids are now missing academic classes instead of advisory due to late buses. And she refuses to change this decision even now that she’s realized that late buses are a fact of life at WMS.
No End

NESeattleMom said...

This is why many experienced educators or managers begin without making changes, and after they settle in, begin to gradually make the changes they envision.

Aberdeen Institute said...

Wow, there are a LOT of students in SPS that have autism. I find it a little weird that we can afford a $401,031.49 contract for one of them to spend one year at the John and Diane Kim Autism Institute at the New England Center for Children!!! Whatever therapy and education they're offering, I bet a lot of local kids would benefit from.

Yo, Jay Inslee, this would be an excellent way for some county in Washington state to create jobs. Why don't we build a world class autism institute? Then students from out of state could come to Washington and bring their public education dollars with them. Aberdeen, for example, could use some new successful businesses. And it is a beautiful location for a kid to live in a boarding school, honestly better than the Boston Worcester turnpike.

NESeattleMom said...

Friday's 24th & Yesler 38 y.o. shooting victim died from his injuries at Harborview according to Seattle Times and Seattle Police Blotter

SE said...

Naviance reminder. Tomorrow is the last chance to opt out for this year!

The district still hasn’t posted the list of companies that our students’ data will be sent out to, nor what data will be sent to which companies. In January the school board directed staff to make this information available, and it hasn’t happened. It’s almost too late to be helpful now -- does the board ever force staff to keep their word on stuff like this? The list of companies that will get student data is long, potentially up to 10-12 companies, but we don’t even know how many because the information still hasn’t been made available!

Parts of this service may help some kids, and it may make life easier for some counselors, but there are unquestionable risks to having tons of personal student data dispersed like this. It’s a very different scenario than sending that data directly to colleges or sending only to Common App, whose sole purpose is to gather and forward to selected colleges. Also remember, UW does not accept Naviance, so students still have to gather all their data and input it on their forms in any case.

If you’re on the fence and your student is not a senior this year, consider opting out for this year to get a feel for how things shape up over the next 9 months. There’s very little reason for most kids to be signing up for this and shipping their data off to all these companies prior to senior year. Pass the word along to other parents who might not be aware of what’s happening and tomorrow’s deadline.

Again, this is the latest version of the ever-expanding list of data the district will be sending out:

* Student Information [unclear what this means here]
* Proxy-ID [unclear where this will be used]
* Student first name
* Student last name
* School
* Grade level
* School information
* Teacher information
* Sections/Classes information
* Student classes
* School admin information
* Date of Birth
* Transcripts
* Graduation Date
* All Student Courses
* Student’s official GPA [how does this differ from GPA?]
* ACT/SAT Scores
* Ethnicity
* Gender
* College Bound flag
* SPED flag!
* ELL flag
* Running Start flag
* Parent first name
* Parent last name
* Parent email

Honors None said...

Will the Advanced Learning Committee demand that the district provide a report regarding Honors for All?

Burris Oops said...

Principal Howard said that he has students entering Garfield at anywhere between 4th grade and college level, so it would be impressive if he could catch them all up to grade level and then propel them ahead to honors level work. If HFA works, people will want to replicate it.

Outsider said...

Wasn't it just a year ago that the bus drivers were on strike? It seems that whatever raise they got wasn't enough even to attract enough drivers. Welcome to Seattle.

Anonymous said...

I'm very interested to hear about the WMS principal-PTA meeting. Sounds like a terrible start to the year and I'd like to know the principal's (and perhaps central administration's) justifications for all of the changes.

-future WMS parent

Honors None said...

How do we know that HFA really offers honor level classes?

Anonymous said...

Of course they’re not honors level classes let alone the enhanced and accelerated instruction the state requires for highly capable students. As Principal Howard mentions every year, students enter 9th grade at Garfield with 4th grade reading and writing skills.

Fairmount Parent

Anonymous said...

@ Honors None, maybe blind faith?


Anonymous said...

It seems to me that if honors classes are being used to satisfy state advanced learning requirements, they must develop a unified definition across the district, all schools & classes. Currently there are so many different "honors" type courses being offered. If you have students entering at a 4th grade reading level and others who are far above, you cannot teach all to the higher stated standard in an honors course. This could only possibly work IMO if you combine kids who are already at grade level, with those working above and teach to the higher course standards.