Friday Open Thread

I think we may all agreed on something (but it won't come true) - could we not hear the name "Kavanaugh" for a least a week?  This issue has been so many things but exhausting comes to mind right now.

For the record, though, I think he's a liar and even if he gets on the Court, his black robe will not hide the stain that got him there.  (I also suspect Chief Justice Roberts will take him aside and tell him, "bully for you doing anything to get on the Court; however, don't try that crap here. Ever.")  Of course, he did say himself that "what goes around comes around."  Says the guy with two daughters who themselves might be faced with such a situation someday.  They sure won't go to dad.

There is some irony here as the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to activists fighting sexual violence.

Following up on the NY Times article I posted earlier about mapping where poor kids live and their outcomes, comes news that the Gates Foundation is funding such a study.

From GeekWire:
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will commit $15 million to get a new initiative called Opportunity Insights off the ground. This week, the organization, in partnership with the U.S. Census Bureau, published comprehensive nationwide data and maps that predict the likelihood that kids will escape poverty based on where they live.

The Seattle Housing Authority is conducting a pilot study, showing housing voucher recipients which neighborhoods offer better opportunities for children and assisting them in moving to those areas.
The Board passed a resolution on Wednesday to support Initiative 1639 for stronger gun control laws.  It passed unanimously.

Boundary shifts for Maple Elementary and Van Asselt Elementary are causing some unhappiness for some parents.  There was a district meeting on Monday about this issue.  Here are the (excellent) notes taken by parent, Matt Pearsall.

 SPS has a phone app.  Has anyone used it?
Mobile App Key Features:
  • Customize to display one or more school calendars, staff directories, and news.
  • Easily access popular digital tools for families such as the Source, lunch menus, and more.
  • Change the default language to display the app in Spanish, Chinese, Tagalog, and Vietnamese.
Connect your School Messenger notifications app to easily read or hear messages from your school community and the district.
October is National Principals Month so thank your principal if you are so inclined.   October is also Filipino History Month.

The  district is looking for new members for the BEX/BTA Oversight Committee. Just to note; the committee meets Friday mornings once a month.
The ongoing BEX/BTA Capital Program Oversight Committee is seeking four new members, two new members will serve two-year terms and two new members will serve four-year terms.
This committee meets monthly on Friday mornings at the John Stanford Center.
Applications are due by Wed., Oct. 24, 2018.
There are no director community meetings this weekend.

What's on your mind?


Anonymous said…
I attended curriculum night this week for my students and want to express gratitude to all teachers that take the time to let parents know what the year will look like. Every year I'm positively impressed with the commitment our teachers have to our students.

Anonymous said…
I want to know the updated enrollment projections in SPS for next year and the next five years. How are we to evaluate BEX V without this information?

Anonymous said…
Funny!!! Well, the District OBVIOUSLY reads Melissa's blog **religiously**, because yesterday afternoon, the Executive Director for team 3 on their official website was listed as a person who no longer works for this district. And lo and behold, after it became a discussion point in Mel's blog yesterday afternoon, today it is fixed! Lightening fast turnaround. The ED for "team 3" is now Heather Eberts. She did not work for the district last year, so salary from Kitsap Sun database is not available.

So, to summarize: the district pays attention to and cares about optics. That is what they will respond to. That is what they will fix. However, the substance of the discourse from yesterday on Melissa's blog in Wednesday Open Thread, about how the $1,000,000 cost of the 5 ED employees that appear to do nothing other than shield Superintendent Juneau from having 96 direct reports, that, they ignore. It is beyond ridiculous. That annual million dollars could be split between 2 deputy lieutenants who would take the direct supervision of the principals and do their annual evaluations and the savings could be funneled into hiring additional classroom teachers who would have direct report *kids*.

As for the listening tour of Juneau. Oh please. So sick of that. Remember Enfield's "soup with the sup"? Or, Banda's first year of "listening"? Or Nyland clocking in a bunch of post-retirement years to pad his 401K with a million dollars? He too pretended to 'listen'. Nauseating. It has been a parade of do nothing supers who have foisted horrible and costly decisions onto Seattle and then quickly left. Our kids deserve so much better.

Waste Not

10/4/18, 4:35 PM
Mr. Aramaki was one of the three EDs who was respected and known to be a strong principal, though he was underused in this worthless ED role. The district website still shows him as the ED for "team 3".
Hopefully, those principals of "team 3" schools are managing to get by and conduct the day to day operations of their schools even though they are bereft of their professional cheerleader. How's it going, parents of students in Adams, Louisa Boren STEM, John Hay, Queen Anne, Lawton? Did the wheels fall off?
How is it equitable for students in team 1 or team 5 schools that their principals still get the sage instructional support of their EDs who are still on the job while those in team 3 buildings are cast adrift? (Forgive my sarcasm, it is so frustrating that kids in schools lost teachers when money is spent on a boondogle bureaucratic layer)
For those wanting to see salaries, go to Kitsap Sun database for public employees. Seattle Public Schools is Washington State's district number 171001 within Puget Sound Educational Service District 121. The $176K does not include benefits. Those are $30K, bringing total to $206K.
Waste Not
Eric B said…
Technically speaking, the EDs shield Michael Tolley (or possibly another step in the org chart; it's hard to keep up) from having 96 direct reports.
Richard said…
I downloaded the SPS app. I was already using the Schoology app, which is basically fine. I find Schoology to be an incredibly confusing interface, particularly if you have more than one child. But the app seemed to do the trick.

The new SPS app includes Schoology in it, and the Source, but you log in via a built-in browser. It's not a dedicated "app" the way I think Google and Apple would prefer mobile apps to be. It does seem to surface most of the most-needed information.

What I really like about the app, and this is new for me, is that the schools you choose are part of a comprehensive feed. You can follow schools your kids don't go to, too, in case you want to keep track of high school news while you still have a middle schooler, etc. For instance, although I don't have a higher schooler yet, I learned that Ingraham offers test of world language for high school credit, of nearly any language, similar to World School. Who knew!?

I'm glad to see SPS belatedly enter the 21st century with online SchoolPay and now this app and its general online communications improvements. The app is not perfect, but over time it could mature a bit and become something robust with a less-clunky user interface. I hope the developers keep at it for a while. For now, it's decent if not perfect.
Dina said…
A couple years ago I saw a great link to info on how to refer a student for testing by the school to possibly qualify for SPED services, but now I can't find it. Can anyone point me to something like that?
Anonymous said…

@ Richard and others interested in world language credit, please see below for WA State's Seal of Biliteracy. It's a great opportunity.

CapHill Parent
Anonymous said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said…
There are minor modifications coming to the HCS AC after Michael Tolley sent out a verbose email with the jist being that he was "pausing" the advisory committee. Fortunately he doesn't have any control over the independent group. If he did he would have been able to push through one of the four terrible high school pathway plans that they struggled to impose on the Board last year.

I would add this is in direct conflict with the outreach and engagement (that the AC has provided for decades) and is defined in the State filing. Just not surprised though as IMO Michael Tolley has been playing games with engagement ever since he came here.

More to come shortly.

APP Dad, I'll have some thoughts on the shadow administration that I believe is operating at JSCEE. AL is just part of it.
Anonymous said…
Minor? Hardly. It sounds like they are eliminating the HCS-AC indefinitely (in Newspeak, "pausing") or at least until changes to AL/HC programming have been finalized (without feedback from that pesky HCS-AC group).

Anonymous said…
BS, Tolley has paused his control over the AC. Which means nothing. He never had control over the committee. Pesky continues.

APP dad
Anonymous said…
@ APP Dad, thanks for sharing. That's disappointing, but not surprising. For those interested in seeing it, here's the URL for Tolley's letter:

One thing that struck me is that the HCS AC is (theoretically) being preserved only to be the district's mouthpiece for stage 4, implementation of whatever the Advanced Learning Task Force comes up with. The ALTF will be the group to recommend a mission and vision for advanced learning (and HC services); will be the group recommending what program elements and services (incl. HC services) should be provided at schools; and will be the group making recommendations for equitable access to advanced learning (and HC services).

Unfortunately, as I seem to recall, individuals with HC/HCC knowledge and experience in SPS make up a minority of the Task Force. Most disturbing, the ALTF seems to be lumping HC and AL into the same category in their general thinking, with no acknowledgement of the very real differences between students working a little ahead of their typical peers, and students who are VERY far ahead of--and often very different from--their chronological peers. The ALTF documents posted online thus far don't do a lot to suggest they are looking at potentially different approaches for students with different needs. By subsuming HC under this general AL task force, they seem to be moving further toward a one-size-fits-all approach. It's unclear if there's anybody on the task force who will push for more of a continuum of services, including appropriately accelerated learning for students who need it.

Hoping to be wrong--and also hoping that people pay attention and push hard on this one,

all types
Anonymous said…
@ APP dad, BS does have it right re: that "at least until..." part though, no? It's pretty much what Tolley's letter says ~ they'll be looped in at the end, when it's too late.

all types
Anonymous said…
You have it right about the ALTF, AT. But not about Tolley's control of the HCS AC. He has none. Zero. Ziltch. If he did there would be no HCC HS and other yearly crisis he created.

Anonymous said…
...and other yearly turmoil that he created would not have been called out to the Board.


Read the overly-long letter; a lot of BS.

For a Board who is so worried about equity, they just let this AL/HCC stuff drag on and on. But they destroyed Spectrum that way so maybe that's the plan again.
Anonymous said…
mw you were right to warn the Board about wms. it is not good. you should read chun's letter at the app blog. that is why they attempted to silence the ac?

no caps
Anonymous said…
@ APP Dad, I'm not suggesting Tolley controls the HCS AC. But what does it mean that he's "pausing" the committee? Is it continuing to meet during this "pause," or are meetings on hold? If the latter, that's some degree of control. If is continuing to meet, great--but if it has no role in this process until stage 4, that's a problem.

It would seem that Tolley is using the ALTF to circumvent the HCS AC, making it essentially irrelevant until some stupid decisions are made and the HCS AC can rally the troops and, hopefully, get the district to change course. He's not controlling the HCS AC itself, but he does control the ALTF and that process--the process that may or may not result in the elimination of appropriate HC services.

all types
Anonymous said…
The HCS AC is still meeting just like it did before Michael Tolly came to Seattle. Disregard his email.

No Teachers? said…
Why did they kick all the teachers out of the process?

Look, here's a list of the ALTF members:
Vanessa Meraki (Emerson Elementary Teacher) is the only teacher on the list. The only other two that are anywhere close to teacher-like are Jenny Miller (Huchoosedah I.A., K-5 Liaison) and Rina Geoghagan (Decatur Elementary Principal).

And here's a list of the HCS AC members:
One staff member and one parent from each of the SPS sites that has an HCC cohort:
Cascadia, Thurgood Marshall, Fairmount Park, RESMS, HIMS, JAMS, WMS, Garfield and Ingraham.
(OK, weirdly the district has chosen to post on their web site only the 2014-15 committee members, which is... weird.)

Why is Tolley so desperate to silence teachers in this process?
Anonymous said…
y go to 14-15 anything? 18 isn't bad enough?
No caps
Anonymous said…
Elan Musk Foundation donated the funds to replace drinking water foundations in all 12 Flint Michigan schools. "Flint schools will install new ultraviolet water filtration systems for all its water fountains in school buildings thanks to the $480,350 donation, according to the city of Flint."

He also made a pledge to replace the water in any Flint Michigan home that tests above EPA safe lead level.The sad thing is that lead in our water due to crumbling infrastructure is rampant throughout the country.

Tesla is simultaneously being investigated for lots of accidents and unsafe environment in their factory.

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