Disqus

Friday, May 31, 2019

Technology Making Major Purchases

The district has announced the following:

Friday Open Thread

What a finale to the Scripps Spelling Bee - for the first time in history, they have multiple co-champions (8!).  After they had gone 20 rounds, Scripps decided that they would do one more round and whoever was standing would be champion or co-champions.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Tonight's Big Science Adoption Vote

Update: at the Board meeting, the amendment from Pinkham/Burke has been withdrawn.  This changes things for me; I think the adoption will (sadly) pass.  

Also, I saw three teenagers - two of them to speak tonight and one in the audience - not stand for the Pledge. A bit startling.

End of update.

My last communication to the Board on the Science Adoption.  I also want to note that some communities of color are not excited about Amplify.  One of them is the Urban Native Education Alliance who will be speaking at tonight's Board meeting.  They say their learners do better will hands-on as well as group work.  Amplify doesn't have a lot of that.

My email today to the Board:

I write to you one last time asking you to consider voting no.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Tuesday Open Thread

Congrats to the Garfield High girls softball team which finished first in the state.  They are the first Seattle high school team to ever win this title.  Great job!  From the Times story:

Sunday, May 26, 2019

From the Executive Committee Meeting on May 22, 2019

I have frequently said that the real business of the district happens in Board committee meetings and Work Sessions.  So it was last week at the Executive Committee meeting.  (I truly hope there is someone out there who hears me when I say, someone should be covering these meetings.  The minutes are better than they were years ago but they don't cover all the nuance or detail that someone being there can.)

President Leslie Harris chairs the committee, with Zachary DeWolf and Rick Burke as members.  Director Burke was calling in from China (where he was for business) with Director Eden Mack also on the phone. 

Agenda discussion (partial)

Friday, May 24, 2019

Yet Another Reason that Washington Middle School's Principal Needed to be Exited

I print this email to show the extent of what was happening this year at Washington Middle Schools.  I also print it to show that this business of saying it was just HCC parents complaining is just bunk.  The principal was an equal opportunity offender and this was a grievous offense.

I also - again - point out that the Executive Directors seemingly cannot handle issues arising in their schools.  (bold mine)

I suspect this complaint was the final straw in exiting Principal Ginolfi as principal at Washington Middle School.

Subject: Complaints against Emily Butler Ginolfi

Looks Like Amplify May Be the Provider of Choice in SPS

Sometimes you just can't make this stuff up.

Friday Open Thread

The district has announced they will no longer print and distribute paper calendars to families due to costs. They say you can print one yourself from their website or use their app.  They used to sell space on the calendars.  As someone said on Facebook, they couldn't get a business to be a good corporate citizen and do this? I can't believe it's saving that much money.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

The Entire Board Must Vote No on the Science Adoption

You'll note the use of the word "must" in the headline for this post.  I have gone from "should" to "must" based on new information I received today via public disclosure documents from the district.

Monday, May 20, 2019

Seattle School Board Races Update

Readers, some of you may have seen my name listed at King County Elections to run for Rick Burke's seat in District 2.  I did that for strategic reasons, namely, I didn't want someone to sneak on the ballot at the last minute with no challenger.  There are two candidates now for that position and so, true to form, I'm not running.  (Everybody at JSCEE can exhale now.)

Note to those who are not as in-the-know about campaigning.  You file to run with King County Elections but you are not truly running until you register with the Public Disclosure Commission.   (Yes, I know legally when you file, you are a candidate but to get and spend money, you need the PDC registration.)

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Saturday Open Thread

The Seattle International Film Festival has just gotten underway; lots of good films for kids and teens in their Films4Families.

The district has selected a new head of Advanced Learning (via Kari Hanson, Director of Student Support Services, partial):

"Adversity Score" for Students Taking the SAT

From the New York Times:

Problem:
Scoring patterns on the SAT suggesting that the test puts certain racial and economic groups at a disadvantage have become a concern for colleges.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Zachary DeWolf Should Step Down .....NOW

Update: in other Board news, there's finally a candidate for District 2 (Rick Burke's district - he has not filed yet), Lisa Rivera Smith.  Smith is a past PTSA president at Hamilton MS and the current co-president of the yet-to-open Lincoln High School.

There's another challenger for Director Harris - Crystal S. Liston. I can find nothing about her.  Anyone?  

end of update

DeWolf missed an important Board meeting last night where an entire adoption - K-12 - took place.

Where was he?

Campaigning for City Council.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Betty Patu Stepping Down Early

Patu announced this from the podium during Board comments.  Her last day, if I understood her, will be June 26th.

President Harris said that an application would be organized because the Board selects who finishes her term to 2021.

Know a good person in Patu’s district?  Tell them to stay tuned.

Roosevelt Jazz Band Wins Essentially Ellington

Great news from NYC - the Roosevelt High School Jazz Band has once again won top place in the Essentially Ellington Jazz contest.  This is the fourth time that RHS Jazz has won which ties with Garfield High School's four wins.  No other schools in the country can match these records.

Congratulations to both Roosevelt and Garfield for their inspired work. 

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Final Science Adoption Thoughts

Update: I mistakenly thought the three Science adoptions had been introduced at the last Board meeting.  It certainly sounded like that would be the course of things after the Committee of the Whole meeting for Curriculum & Instruction last week.  So the big vote won't be until May 29th.  There are good and bad aspects to this schedule.

Friday, May 10, 2019

Science Adoption Update

In a previous post, I said I had attended Director Rick Burke's community meeting last Saturday.  I came to listen to others but I also wanted to point out ongoing issues with the science adoption especially for K-8.

The most important thing to do is tell the Board what YOU think.  Despite the fact that whoever created the process for input on the various science curricular being considered decided that ONLY their form would be considered for input, Board policy says any kind of input - written, electronic - could be submitted and should be considered.

Write to the Board at: spsdirectors@seattleschools.org

For example, I hope the Board realizes that there is a weirdly low number for input on the K-5 Amplify curriculum.  It's something like 12-15.

There has now been an amendment put forward by Directors Burke and Pinkham to reject the Committee recommendation for Amplify for K-5 science.  They instead believe the choice should be HMH Science Dimensions.

Director Burke's Community Meeting

Last Saturday, Director Rick Burke had his regular community meeting.  It is a bit disturbing that he was the only director having one and that, this Saturday, May 10th, there is not one single director community meeting.  This despite the high interest in the science adoption looming at the upcoming Board meeting on Wednesday, May 15th.

Best Wishes to Our Muslim Neighbors


Friday Open Thread

May 17th is the cut-off day for candidates to register for public office in Washington State and that includes for Seattle School Board.  This is what is known so far:

Thursday, May 09, 2019

All Good Things Must...Change

I believe change IS coming to Seattle Public Schools.  This change for me has been a long time coming and I have talked about it with family, friends and colleagues for a couple of years now.
For now, I will simply state that I no longer want to cover what this district is doing except as part of the larger picture (or, as an example) of public education. 
I'll see this current school year thru but, starting in July, I won't be writing about Seattle Public Schools.  The blog will have its regular Tuesday/Friday open threads for any topics you like.  Yes, I will still be moderating to keep it civil.  (And I may have to think up a snappy new name.)


What I will be covering are topics like charter schools, personalized learning (which seems to be coming like a freight train - your child's school experience is going to look less and less like your own) and student privacy.  I mention those because I think that those subjects will become ones that directly impact SPS.  Of course, I welcome guest posts and any suggestions for topics.  (Write to me at sss.westbrook@gmail.com.)

 And, I plan to throw the bulk of my energy in getting the current denizen in the White House out in November 2020.   No matter who you support for president, I think we all know next year is going to be a long, unpleasant slog to November.
  
I'll write about what I think see coming for SPS in Part Two of this thread. 

Wednesday, May 08, 2019

Is This Your Child's Next School Day?

APTOPIX School Shooting Colorado
David Zalubowski / AP
This week's school shooting at a Colorado school marks a number of strikingly sad events.

- First charter school shooting
- First K-12 school which means - look to the right - very little kids.  (Not that teens are any better equipped but that face says it all.)
- Second time in recent weeks an 18-year old student sacrificed his life to stop a shooter.
- There were two shooters and one was a female student. 

Sunday, May 05, 2019

Seattle School Meetings, Week of May 6-12, 2019

There are four Work Sessions this week; two on Tuesday, May 7th and two on Wednesday, May 8th.

Advanced Learning Task Force Updates

(Editor's note: as with other discussions of Advanced Learning, I will monitor comments closely.  No attacks or name-calling; you can make a point without being unkind.)

The Advanced Learning Task Force Meeting will be meeting this week on Tues., May 7, 4 - 7 p.m. at JSCEE.

Friday, May 03, 2019

High School Revisioning

Overshadowed by the Science Adoption is the current revisioning of high school in Seattle Public Schools.  Part of the change is the pending state requirement for 24 credits to graduate from high school (versus 20 credits).  Naturally, this has far-reaching consequences and needs.

Friday Open Thread

Update: Looks like a real mess over at Eckstein today.  From the Ravenna Blog Twitter page: