Tuesday Open Thread

I attended what I believe is the first forum for school board candidates last night at Roosevelt High.  Oddly, it was just for North Seattle candidates (not those in the SW).  I'll have a full report but it was strangely listless.

Yesterday I tweeted the news about the 4500 Expedia employees coming over to the Interbay area and the newly announced 2,000 more Apple employees coming to Seattle to the district and the Superintendent.  No response but I suspect there are some families in there so it will be interesting to see how it plays out.
How often do Washington schools restrain or seclude students?  No good data but that may change.  Story from the Seattle Times:
In a report released earlier this week, the GAO found that 70% of the more than 17,000 school districts in the U.S. reported zero incidents of restraining or secluding students during the 2015-16 school year, the most recent data available.
“Our findings raise serious concerns about underreporting and misreporting of the use of seclusion and restraint,” Jackie Nowicki, a director at the GAO and author of the report, told the WAMU public-radio station in Washington, D.C. “It is therefore not possible to know the extent of the use of seclusion and restraint nationwide.”
In Washington, the new federal report said that nearly three out of four school districts similarly reported zero such incidents.  
In Washington, several of the state’s largest school districts — including Everett, Lake Washington and Tacoma, with a combined enrollment of more than 82,000 students — reported zero incidents.
Looks like another big board meeting with folks from the Urban Native Education Alliance coming to speak out on the abrupt ending of the partnership they had with Seattle Schools.

As well, advocates for more progress on the implementation of Ethnic Studies will be there in numbers as well.  I support both efforts.

As I reported previously, when the Board was discussing the vote on the Science adoption, Director Burke brought up the commitments that the district had made to Ethic Studies as well as Time Immemorial Native American curriculum and those financial needs of those commitments.  Head of Curriculum Kyle Kinshita came to the podium to say  - I paraphrase - that at the bandwidth that both programs were operating at currently, they don't need more money (meaning, they couldn't do more at the present time).  Odd.

What's on your mind?


Janis said…
Melissa, thank you for reporting about the data concerning the restraint and isolation of students. NPR ran a similar story last week. Here is a link to the data for Washington state, as reported to OSPI -- http://www.k12.wa.us/SafetyCenter/Restraint-Isolation/default.aspx

In SPS, data is reported annually to the School Board, in August of each year, I believe. Here is a link to the latest report to the Seattle School Board -- ehttps://www.seattleschools.org/UserFiles/Servers/Server_543/File/District/Departments/School%20Board/Annual%20Reports/2018-19/3246%20Annual%20Report%20-%20Data%20of%20Incidences%20Involving%20Restraint%20or%20Isolation.pdfach

The report is made via the Friday memo. Since the last report is short, I'll reprint it: For the 2017-18 school year, there were 141 incidents of isolation and 656
incidents of restraint documented across the District. Twenty-one students at
fourteen schools were isolated and 129 students at forty-seven schools were
restrained. Over 95% of students isolated and over 85% of students restrained
were students with Individualized Education Programs (IEPs). The Coordinated
School Health and Special Education departments continue to provide supports to
School Leaders in meeting mandated reporting requirements.

Anecdotally, those of us with children who have been restrained and isolated believe there is under-reporting in Seattle, but at least there is some reporting. It's a start. The real goal, however, is to improve practice and eliminate the use of restraint and isolation in schools unless, as the state law provides, there is an imminent risk of serious physical harm. Someone who understands how utterly traumatizing this practice is on kids needs to look at the data, review the IEPs and behavior plans of the students who are being restrained and isolated and make sure their plans are appropriate and the staff working with them have been trained in evidence based positive behavioral supports.

Also, there are a relatively small number of schools at which the majority of restraints and isolation are happening. The staff at those schools need training or need to be replaced if they aren't using evidence based strategies that have been shown to work.

There is no educational benefit when a student is restrained or isolated. I speak from experience. My child was traumatized by years of being restrained and isolated in elementary school under circumstances that would now be illegal in Washington because there was no imminent risk of serious physical harm. It led to prolonged periods of school refusal. These are serious issues with lifelong consequences. My student is lucky -- we were finally able to get him the support he needs in school so he can shine. He has not had a single behavioral incident in school in the last two years, because he is well supported in an inclusive school environment.

Unfortunately, I know of many students who haven't been as lucky. I will continue to try to make sure that the School Board and others in Seattle are aware of this issue and are working to improve practice in our schools.
Anonymous said…
While there is generally a correlation between academic achievement and family income, the demographics at Stuyvesant (minority enrollment 80%, around 75% Asian, 45% economically disadvantaged) tell a more complex story. District wide, NYC public schools are 15% White, 16% Asian, 26% Black/AA, 41% Hispanic, and 73% economically disadvantaged (NYC population is around 40% White, 15% Asian). Interesting choice for your argument, @DM2.

Where's DeWolf? said…
KUOW did a piece on Bailey Gatzert which appears to be having significant safety issues.


Has Zachary DeWolf met with these families? He is supposed to oversee Bailey Gatzert.
Anonymous said…
I see the usual proponents of drop-ceiling equity are busy nutpicking comments from this blog again to claim we're all a bunch of horrible racists, while there's very active discussion about how to support parents of color whose kids are being bullied at Bailey Gatzert. I also notice that SCPTSA leaders, including those who are school board candidates, do not appear to have spoken up publicly on that issue, or the issue of SPS having carnivals to promote high stakes tests in direct violation of board policy. What have they said about the displacement of native american programs from RESMS?

It's also ironic that some of the folks demanding more money for ethnic studies positions at the JSCEE (which is a good thing to fund, the board should do it!) also worked really hard to get the district to adopt an online science curriculum that is bad for kids of color and also busts the SPS budget. SPS will literally be taking money that could go to ethnic studies programs and instead give it to a bunch of white billionaires, investors, and executives. And we call it equity.

Drop-ceiling equity proponents seem more interested in attacking Melissa and this blog's readers rather than working with us together to take on a JSCEE leadership that hates all of us.

heavy sigh
Heavy Sigh, I’ll have a separate post on this issue but the point is to listen - fully and completely - to each other and realize that there is plenty of overlap on issues. There are plenty of people who WON’T support ethnic studies or Time Immemorial but to alienate those who do because they don’t agree on every point on anyone’s given agenda is ridiculous.

What is interesting is the head of Ethnic Studies says she DOES have enought money (which is a first that I’ve every heard from any department/initiative). So I don’t get asking for more. What I understand is that she wants two staff positions and that she wants them to be SEA.

It’s confusing.
Anonymous said…
Heavy Sigh,

Can you provide more on this: "SPS having carnivals to promote high stakes tests in direct violation of board policy." What are these carnivals? Where are they happening? What's the board policy being violated?

Also, totally agree with you on the drop-ceiling equity proponents talking out of both sides of their mouths. Much easier to pick fights rather than tackle head-on the myriad, systemic problems in our district and district leadership and lack of transparency and accountability at all levels.

Thank you!

Concerned parent
FYI said…
On page 14-15 of this document they talk about the SBA Carnivals

And this is from Board Policy 2080:
“Students who do not participate in district or state assessments for any reason have a right to appropriate learning activities and shall not be subjected to punitive or exclusionary treatment for non-participation.”
Anonymous said…
Relax FYI, first of all said Carnival is not exclusive to those taking the test, it is actually a schoolwide celebration as in "yay! SBAC is over! There is also no "appropriate learning" in the carnival - it is just meant for kids to have fun. How bad is that?

Anonymous said…
School carnivals should be totally separate from SBAC, and SPS leadership should be working as hard as they can to end the SBAC and high stakes testing.

Anonymous said…
Um, why is the district's head of ethnic studies spending all their time attacking Melissa and encouraging her friends to use racist slurs against her? It's lie she's being paid to attack parents and voters.

Confused, I'll address that issue in a separate post.
Anonymous said…
@YEP, it says

In the past, haven't at least some schools required students to participate in the tests in order to participate in the carnival? Is that no longer the case for the schools holding the carnivals? Since the language says "attendance goals" are "a pre-requisite to participation," are you saying these are really simple "attendance" goals (i.e., showing up to the school at some point on test days, not necessarily participating in the tests) that determine whether or not schools get to hold post-testing carnivals after testing is done? Will they either plan the carnivals in advance and then cancel them if they don't meet their targets, or will they hold off on planning them until they know they can move forward?

No need to be condescending with your "relax" comment, and I don't think @FYI suggested that "appropriate learning" was supposed to happen AT the carnival. It's the Board Policy that requires "appropriate learning," and I think most reasonable minds can read that to mean during the actual test-taking periods.

It's also not clear that there's a particular school being referenced, although you referred to "said school." The document identified multiple schools, although it's unclear if all are included re: the carnival component. Even if you have insider knowledge re: one school, that doesn't mean the concern is not valid elsewhere. The language in the document is unclear, and implementation in accordance with policies is hardly a given in SPS.

legit questions
Green new BS said…
I find it very irresponsible for Expedia and Seattle to move 4500 plus workers to one of the most inaccessible areas in Seattle. Anyone who has had to commute to the area knows how bad it currently is and adding 4500 plus more people is going to possibly paralyze traffic all day.

Currently there is an affordable housing shortage in Seattle and downtown, QA hill, magnolia and Ballard do not currently have much if any affordable units available so the added pressure of the Expedia re-location is going to send the already high prices in those areas soaring ever higher.

Travel is a luxury and it's a green house gas creating monster that seems to run in contrast to the proposed GREEN NEW DEAL by the DNC and now the Seattle city counsel.

So how can a city that's top priority is affordable housing allow such a disruption to the housing market a housing market that the city is so desperately is trying to control? How can a group of politicians committed to THE GREEN NEW DEAL support a industry that frivolously contributes a major portion of GREEN HOUSE GASES to the earth's atmosphere?

On top of that when you add in the pollution from 4500 plus more commuters in stop and go traffic then you have what is know as the liberal hypocrisy syndrome. (copy right 2019)
Anonymous said…
There's a talent pool here, and Expedia wants access. Seattle want the extra tax dollars. It's a business decision, pure and simple. Can you think of an uncrowded, walkable area, with a lot of affordable housing, that also has a huge talent pool, that would be a more appropriate placement for Expedia? Or do you think Expedia should not exist at all, since it's "frivolous"?

Should Seattle be better about walking the walk since they are talking the talk? There's a legitimate argument to made on that front. However, if we are going to hold them to walking the walk, we need to be sure that they are more comprehensively thinking about the potential impacts and consequences of their talk when they are doing that talking.


Anonymous said…
Responding to "Green New BS"

Expedia is moving into the vacated pharmaceutical campus, and expanding it. I guess the City of Seattle could have denied them the permits to do the expansion work underway there, but it's easy to demand that as an anonymous internet "activist", not so easy when you're actually doing the work.

Anonymous said…
I just wanted to express some outrage directed towards Scott Pinkham. Scott I don't believe you when you claim that you were blindsided by the termination of the UAEA agreement.

Here is why , the district sent multiple notices to the UAEA informing the group of its non compliance. Your wife is a elder member of the UAEA and I believe was aware of the possibility of eviction. I believe she would have informed you or at least you as the only native board member should have been engaged with the UAEA during your years on the board and been pro-active in oversight of the relationship.

I think you let down the UAEA and all native students.

Native supporter
Anonymous said…
We could have had a monorail to handle the increased traffic to Interbay. However, the city and Greg "Pork" Nickels killed it. Seattle is a joke - and so is the School district (to stay on topic).


Anonymous said…
4500 more people working in Interbay also likely means many more children attending the schools, especially in the surrounding areas where they will likely live. Many Ballard townhomes are being filled with families as they represent a more affordable option for many who are moving to Seattle from out of town. Why has it been so hard to obtain impact fees as compared to Bellevue, Mercer Island who have been collecting them and using them in part to fund their schools? I understand that to collect impact fees they need to show a correlation between the growth and enrollment, but it has been apparent north end schools have been growing in enrollment for some time now. I don't understand why Seattle has had so much difficulty in this area as compared to the Eastside.

Anonymous said…
Those jobs in Interbay aren’t new, they’re being moved here from Bellevue. There’s not much chance that employees are going to move their children from Bellevue or Lake Washington schools into ours.

Fairmount Parent
Public testimony said…
Native supporter, the UNEA volunteer who was the District's point of contact testified at the last Board meeting that SPS did not actually request data. Given SPS' record with UNEA, I'm skeptical of the claim that SPS sent many requests for information. Public records requests will no doubt show some answers eventually. Until then, I don't think it's fair to throw anyone under the bus.
Anonymous said…
Re: restraint and seclusion:

While SPS does have forms that teachers and/or IAs are supposed to fill out when a child is restrained or isolated, this rarely happens. Kids in SpEd are restrained and isolated often, sometimes daily. As a former SPS IA, I and my co-workers often restrained children in violent rages [like, punching, spitting, scratching til skin is broken, throwing chairs/desks/scissors, spitting, etc.]. While staff is supposed to be trained in proper restraint techniques-- with that training updated *yearly*-- this also does not always happen. One teacher had CPS training over 5 years ago and called himself "trained." Having zero reported incidents, I promise, does not mean there are actually zero incidents. This is actually one of the many reasons I left SpEd. I didn't want to be assaulted daily and then have administrators tell me that my job. Something needs to change because this is NOT ok. I don't know why SpEd staff is so poorly trained to deal with violent children appropriately, but they aren't [some are, for sure, but many are not]. Of all the things in the district that are broken, SpEd is broken the most.

Work Without Assault

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