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Friday, May 24, 2019

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.

Additional funding received from the state and/or local levy has been directed to schools and classrooms. Learn more about the 2019-20 budget shortfall and state investment next school year. This means that some functions and supports provided at central office can no longer continue.
The district appears to be getting cozy with the Alliance for Education again.  The Alliance held their annual luncheon recently and the Superintendent was front and center.  There was also an announcement that Amazon has set up  - thru the Alliance - a $250,000 out-of-school fund for SPS students.  No word yet on how it will be used/distributed.

It's an all Seattle final for the state girls high school Ultimate Frisbee championship tonight between the teams from Roosevelt and Franklin.  Good luck to all!

Ballard High Schools' Digital Filmmaking program marches on in excellence:

The Northwest Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS) has announced nominees for the Northwest High School Awards of Excellence. Students from the Ballard High School Digital Filmmaking Program earned Northwest Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences graphica staggering 18 nominations (over twice as many as any other school). These awards celebrate the most outstanding productions from five Northwest states: Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana and Alaska. Productions are nominated by NATAS industry professionals. The winners will be announced on June 8 at the 56th Annual Northwest Emmy Awards.

All the nominated productions had their premieres at the Ballard Film Festival (BFF). This event screens new films by BHS Digital Filmmaking students at the end of every semester. The next BFF will be Saturday, June 15 at 7 pm in the BHS auditorium. Tickets are $5 for students and $10 for adults and will be sold at the door. 

The Washington State Board of Education revamped its "Schools of Recognition" criteria and this year there were many Seattle schools that made the cut - John Rogers, McDonald, Middle College, Seattle World School, View Ridge, Viewlands, Washington, Adams Elementary,  Alki, Beacon Hill, Fairmount Park, Coe, Graham Hill, Hawthorne, JAMS, Hay, and Muir.

Despite strides and efforts, discipline meted out in schools still appears to be disproportional.  Story from Crosscut (with a great interactive chart):
Despite enduring racial disproportionality, discipline rates across the state overall have shown mostly steady improvement in the four years following the reporting requirement. However, the state saw a sharp increase in its discipline rate in 2018.

However, officials at OSPI say better data reporting by schools and changes to what information was factored into the new discipline rate may partially explain the uptick.
Once again, despite the high interest in the Science adoption votes at next Wednesday's Board meeting, there are no director community meetings this weekend. 

What's on your mind?

11 comments:

parent2 said...

I would like to say the reason I support this blog is:

We live in one of the richest cities on earth yet despite the efforts of so many great educators our schools are poor in comparison. (Other well-off regions have much better investment in their schools - eg Montgomery County Maryland.) We have a weakened media environment with few journalists covering the schools. I do not agree with everything on this blog or the tone of some of the comments but I appreciate that there is an individual willing to put in the effort to serve this necessary role. We badly need watchdogs and activists.

Anonymous said...

Apparently, the district is not renewing the subscription for the online materials to the US History curriculum. It is used across the district, for all 11th graders (those not taking AP). A survey was sent out last April and only 7 teachers responded. Many teachers do not recall seeing any survey. The subscription is vital, as there are many resources, (including note taking, voice read text,etc) as well as the fact that there are not enough actual books; so many students rely on the online version. -TeacherMom

Jet City mom said...

parent2, I have been involved in Seattle schools for 40 yrs.
I feel that better socio economic diversity would better serve all kids.

I currently volunteer with an outside program at a school with 56% FRL, yet my neighborhood school (which was blue collar when I moved in), has only 5% FRL.

That isn’t right.



Honors for All said...

According to page 18 of the file linked at the bottom of this comment, "Honors for All" is a research project at Garfield High School directed by former Gates Data Fellow Eric M. Anderson. Now in its 3rd year, Dr. Anderson says data is being collected now (last winter and this spring). The "deliverables" will include a final report delivered by fall 2019.

Dr. Anderson explains: "this study will use a case study approach" and the final report may include student data for select schools. May?!! The board must require data for all schools involved and all students involved, broken down by demographics, etc. What if it harms students, just not the ones whose cases are selected for the brochure?

It seems to be a trend that we use Seattle students as research subjects now. One reason trials on human subjects generally involve ethics paperwork and informed consent forms is that sometimes patients are harmed by the study. Sometimes there are side effects. In an educational de-tracking study, it is critical to make sure FIRST of all that the students we wanted to help were not harmed. And ideally the students we wanted to help would be all of the students. This means we would need to look at how all the students did. Not just select case studies.

https://www.seattleschools.org/UserFiles/Servers/Server_543/File/District/Departments/School%20Board/Annual%20Reports/2018-19/FOR%20INTRO%20I02_20181114_Policy%202090.pdf

Here’s what Garfield said to the public about the Honors for All plan:
https://www.scribd.com/document/318333032/Garfield-High-School-HFAPlan-Doc

Melissa Westbrook said...

Jet City Mom, could you expand on your point? I'm not sure I get what you are saying.

I agree with Honors For All; the district sure is involving students and their data in a lot of what looks like research - both in and out of the district - without really admitting it.

Jet City mom said...

as you know, the district went to the Supreme Court to win the right to assign by race.
Which they lost.


Schools with high FRL rates attract outside funding. Grants, and programs which can act as a bandaid, to support high needs students.
Which is better than nothing, but outside programs can be short lived, not cohesive with the rest of the school and with their own agenda.

Schools nowadays need parents to chaperone, to lobby, to raise funds for supplies and field trips.
Parents who are working two jobs, possibly relying on public transportation don’t physically have the time to also beat the bushes for funds to beautify the school or to push for after school programs.
By having a socioeconomic mix, I think you would be more likely to find parents who have the time to do that.

I also think that it benefits students who come from wealthier families to learn that not having money isn’t a character flaw.
I realize that it isn’t only the lower income schools who get bypassed by the district, but while the demographics of the city has been changing, I also have wondered whether redrawing boundaries actually causes further separation between haves/ have nots, perhaps precisely to raise the FRL enough to qualify for more grants and outside funding.

Maybe I am over simplifying things, but ya know, this is their childhood.
Their experience is setting them on the course for their life, and maybe it is because it’s the end of the year, and I again see teachers taking off early to extend their three day weekend, that all the frustrations I had with my own kids education comes back.





Anonymous said...

Nauseating trip down bad memory lane of SPS superintendents.

Juneau has clearly shown her hand as being divisive and uninterested in anything but classic corporate ed reform (which may come to bite her in the behind when investigations could result in charges: they can run but they can’t run forever and they certainly can’t hide, RCW‘s are black letter law not subject to the intimidation or threat of retaliation that is evident in SPS’s JSCEE). Don’t expect her to last more than a couple of years. An empty chair would be a lot less expensive than her and less damaging. Only hope is she’s going to have to be accountable for the Amplify debacle- it may have start before her watch, but she’s here now and that hot potato is her baby and her responsibility. Policy has been broken, laws have been broken, she’s got to own that. Juneau’s failure to address this is definitely going to follow her for the rest of her career. She just hasn’t figured that part out yet.

Nyland was the handmaiden for Tolley and Heath, who gladly & able took apart education insofar as they could (so many examples). He took at least $1 million off of our kids and did nothing in return. But he padded his retirement nest egg very well at our kids’ expense.

Banda, who could forget Banda? Pretty much everyone since he did absolutely nothing here. But he spent money like a drunken sailor, greatly expanding the number of bodies down at JSCEE and greatly inflating their pay. He had a nick name among staff that alluded to his there-but-not-there quality.

Looked him up. Found out he used Sacramento for his 30 month contract to get to hit a Californian pension mile stone: he got an EXTRA $61K per year in perpetuity on top of his existing $223k PER YEAR pension.

Sacramento school chief says he will leave at end of year

January 19, 2017

Sacramento schools chief talks about his tenure leading the city district - and what's next

Jose Banda, hired 30 months ago as superintendent of the Sacramento Unified School District, announced Thursday during a trustee meeting that he will leave the district at the end of the school year. He said he's open to becoming a superintendent

José Banda, hired 30 months ago as superintendent of the Sacramento Unified School District, announced Thursday night during a trustee meeting that he will leave the district at the end of the school year.

Jay Hansen, president of the district’s trustees, said Banda’s announcement came at the start of the public session during Thursday night’s regular board meeting.

Hansen said the district will begin an immediate search for a replacement.

Banda was hired in mid-2014 from Seattle Public Schools.

...
Banda’s time with the Sacramento district enables him to make good on a desire he shared with Seattle radio station KUOW in June 2014, when he said pension considerations were partly a factor in coming to Sacramento.

“As I near the latter part of my career, it’s an opportunity to get back into the retirement system that I spent almost my entire career in,” he told KUOW.

By completing his three-year contract in Sacramento, Banda stands to receive an extra $61,400 annually in retirement, or a combined $223,300, according to a Bee analysis reviewed in 2014 by a financial planner who is expert in public school pensions. Banda spent 32 years as a California educator.


Maria Goodloe-Johnson. The person who stared at her smart phone during community engagement meetings. She didn’t even pretend to care. Under her culture of fear and arrogance, fraud occurred. She was fired. And her Seattle performance gold parents so much so that they reached out to other school districts that had put her on their list of potential hires so that they knew full well what had gone down in Seattle.

Juneau would do well to remember that because she’s young enough and ambitious enough to want to move on and up.

Law & Order

Melissa Westbrook said...

More detail on the district calendar via SPS Communications:

"We will be providing a 1-page English and translated calendars for families that like paper based or don't have computer access. It will include all the breaks and important information families are accustomed to. What it won't have is the beautiful photos of students and enough space to take notes and use as a planner.

Most likely it will be distributed in the First Day Packets and will also be posted online - we are still discussing the distribution method. This summer we will also push the SPS app that can also be translated into multiple languages and includes the calendar along with other helpful resources. And of course the website also has the main calendar and high level summary calendar.


There have been questions about the cost savings. The calendar costs around $30,000 to print and distribute. We have consistently tried to cut costs while at the same time providing a useful tool. Because of our budget shortfall, the communications department has fewer dollars to allocate to projects and we lost a full 1.0 FTE.

These factors, plus that the calendar is currently only printed in English made us look at other, more inclusive options. We fully recognize people will be disappointed but are committed to making sure the same information is more accessible and that the dollars we did get back from the Legislature go directly into classrooms and schools. While our cut is small compared to larger departments, it is significant for a team of our size."

Anonymous said...

It is being reported on Nextdoor that a couple of Eckstein students were assaulted at a business near Eckstein. Has anyone else heard anything about this?

HP

Anonymous said...

I do not understand the 2019-2020 calendar. No school for most until Sept 11th???????? A full week mid-winter break?

Signed, oh bother

Anonymous said...

September 4 you mean. But I agree midwinter break is excessive. A full week off every other month is hard in terms of child care and work. I only get 10 days of paid vacation myself, which I use in summer, and most people have none. And our schools pantry for food backpacks is empty by spring break. Not really equitable, is it SEA.

Diane