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Friday, November 30, 2018

Friday Open Thread

Tick tock.  We have 60 days to give input on Secretary Betsy DeVos' desired changes to Title IX.  I cannot stress enough how important it is to put in a comment as DeVos wants to make sweeping changes that would give almost more help to the accused than the victim.  Almost worse, it relieves institutions from responsibilities that they should be accountable for in order to protect students.

Seattle's Promise Program for Community College

From the Seattle Times, a story about how the new 2-year City scholarship program will work.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Catching Up On District Meetings - Work Session on Strategic Plan

Update 2:

From my letter to the Board and the Superintendent:
I'm also wondering about Manuela Slye who is now on two committees -- Equity and Race plus this one AND on the International Schools/Dual Language Immersion Task Force. There is no other Latino/Latina person?  Because it seems unfair that one person is on so many committees (plus it must be a lot of work for her).

What's odd is that there are no attached bio info on anyone. To have a committee that will be part of charting the future course for the district and there's no info on them is not right.
end of update
Update: a link to the presentation and a link to the minutes.

end of update

The first meeting to catch up on was a Work Session on October 29th which was a presentation by District Management Group (DMG), the consulting firm that will be directing the work for a new strategic plan under Superintendent Juneau.  All the Board members were present except for Director DeWolf and Director Patu.  Juneau noted this would be the first of several Work Sessions on this topic.  (There is no link to the presentation materials but I have requested one.)

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Seattle Schools, Week of November 26th-December 2, 2018

Tuesday, November 327th
Work Session on Families, Education, Preschool and Promise levy from 4:30-6:00 pm.
Work Session on Secondary Revisioning from 6:00-7:30 pm.  Both at JSCEE.

Agenda/presentation.

Friday, November 23, 2018

Ways to Show Mastery of a Subject

Interesting idea - asking kids what they do know about a subject (that didn't get asked on the test).

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Happy (Grateful) Thanksgiving


Image result for happy thanksgiving image 
Life is exhausting sometimes.  And it sometimes feels like more goes wrong than goes right.

But yes, when thinking of life in relative terms, most of us have a lot to be grateful for in our lives.

One step I've taken is what I call appreciations.  Just let someone know you appreciate them.  I wrote to Jimmy Carter years back to tell him what he meant to me and he sent back my letter saying "thank you" with his signature.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Tuesday Open Thread

The Times editorial board - doubling down on their views on McCleary funding - wag their collective fingers at State Superintendent Chris Reykdal, telling him to "rein in local school levies."  I'm not sure that's Reykdal's lane, to tell districts what their ask of their local communities should be.

Seattle Schools Special Education News

The Seattle Public Schools Special Education department is aware that many of our students have experienced, or are still experiencing, inconsistent and unreliable transportation services since the beginning of this school year. We recognize and acknowledge the disruption this has caused our students and families. We are also frustrated and appreciate your patience during this time as we work with First Student, our service provider, to resolve a driver shortage.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Boundary Work Session Today

Here's the agenda for today's Board Work Session on boundaries.  It's mostly about Magnolia, Licton Springs/RESMS and Maple/Van Asselt elementaries.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Got a Middle-Schooler? Check This Out

Specifically, do you have a middle school child at JAMS, Whitman, Madison, HIMS, Meany or World School?

If you do, I urge you to tell them that if they are asked to take a survey called Check Yourself, that they refuse.  (It goes by the moniker "SBIRT" which stands for Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral To services. I would give you the webpage at SPS but it is brokenHere's the flyer.  Here's the district's webpage on Prevention and Intervention. It does not state that parents can opt their child out of SBIRT. 

Technology and the Hard Stuff of Living

I read what I think is great op-ed in the New York Times - How Plato Foresaw Facebook’s Folly
by Bret Stephens.

His premise?

Technology promises to make easy things that, by their intrinsic nature, have to be hard.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Friday Open Thread

Update
 To put on your radar - the Board is having a Work Session on Boundaries on Monday the 19th from 4:30-6:00 pm.  I would think they would be discussing Licton Springs/RESMS as well as Maple Elementary.  I will be attending.

end of update

A couple of good articles have crossed my desk via my kids' former (and amazing) Montessori teacher, Gail Longo.

The first is on getting your kids to go to sleep from Parenting Science.  One addition I make is anxiety.  I see a lot of anxious looking kids and that could come from a variety of reasons.  It couldn't hurt to ask your child - carefully - about what worries they have.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Seattle Schools' Anitra Pinchback-Jones Wins Milken Educator Award

2018 Seattle Anitra Pinchback Jones reaction 1In a great piece of news, today Rainier View Elementary principal Anitra Pinchback-Jones won the Milken Educator Award. Congratulations!

From the Miklen Family Foundation:
Pinchback-Jones was named a 2018-19 recipient of the national recognition, which comes with an unrestricted $25,000 cash prize. She is the only Milken Educator Award winner from the state of Washington this year, and is among the up to 40 honorees for 2018-19.

Updates on Sexual Harassment/Violence in Schools

From the group, Stop Sexual Assault in Schools' Facebook page:

We invite anyone who’s concerned about sexual harassment and assault in K-12 schools to watch the student-centered video “Sexual Harassment: Not in Our School!” at SSAIS.org/video.

Also, a good story from NPR, How Schools Can Reduce Sexual Violence:

Tuesday Open Thread

The Times is looking for answers to the question:

With housing instability on the rise, how do you pick the best school for your child?


Also, this didn't take long - an editorial from the Times about sharing the recently renewed Families and Education levy dollars...with charter schools.   So, to all the people who said they would fight to not have this happen? Let's see you put your effort in to tell the City Council to stop this during implementation. council@seattle.gov

I'm thinking that between the health services dollars and the K-12 dollars, each of the three charters in Seattle might get about $100,000 a year.  So, $300,000K.   Does anyone think this won't affect the existing health services and K-12 programs already in SPS?

The Times editorial board also weighed in on McCleary saying this:

Monday, November 12, 2018

On Veterans Day

In what can only be called jaw-dropping, about 50 boys at a Wisconsin high school - posing for prom pictures last spring - did a Sieg Heil salute (with a couple doing an "ok" white nationalism hand signal).  I note there are several boys who did NOT participate and look visibly uncomfortable.  The boys who did participate are laughing.

I am providing the link but I am not going to put up the photo.

Thursday, November 08, 2018

Wednesday, November 07, 2018

Post-Election Education News

There were local as well as state outcomes for the mid-term elections.

Naturally, the big story in Seattle is the overwhelming passage of the latest iteration of the Families and Education levy.   When I tell people in other parts of the country how invested Seattleites are in our city - via our many levies for libraries, public education, parks, etc. - most are stunned.  It is much harder to get levies passed in other states and speaks well of our metropolis. 

All along, my goal is speaking out about the form the F&E levy had taken was to help voters understand what they would (and would not be getting) from this particular investment.

Two things that will be interesting to watch unfold for the levy.

After the Families&Education Levy, what about SPS' Levies?

It will  be interesting to watch how Seattle Schools messages its own two levies especially given that the Seattle Times recently wrote a fairly hostile editorial and called SPS "dishonest." 

Monday, November 05, 2018

Upcoming Events of Note

Tuesday, November 6th 
Are you interested in the dual language/immersion program at Lincoln High School? Michele Aoki and dual language pathways principals will be there, including Ruth Medsker. Come learn and ask your questions about dual language at Lincoln. 

6:30 pm at John Stanford International School.  
Spanish and Japanese interpreters will be there. Childcare will be provided.

Sponsored by the JSIS, McD and HIMS PTAs.

Wednesday, November 7th
First of two meetings about Robert Eagle Staff Middle School crowding problems.

On the Eve of the 2016 Midterm Elections

I will be so happy for tomorrow when we finally learn about the mid-term election outcomes - nationally, by state and by city.  It will tell us all where we are headed as a country.  I hope all my readers took the time to vote.

But, after watching the campaign around Prop 1 unfold, I have a few thoughts.

Friday, November 02, 2018

Friday Open Thread

Well, here's a truly disgusting Halloween story - several teachers/staff at an elementary school in Idago thought it hilarious fun to dress up like the "MAGA" border wall and caricatures of Mexicans.  And put it up on the district's Facebook page. Their superintendent had it taken down and is wagging his finger and yet, doesn't think they are racist.  It's hard to look at these photos and not think that they aren't.  From the Idaho Statesman: