Monday, September 30, 2019

This and That

They had some kind of scare on a Longview School District schoolbus; the driver was allegedly drunk.  And yes, thank goodness one kid had a cell phone and called 911.

In the Board race for District 1, the Seattle Times has endorsed Eric Blumhagen for the post.

In his long history of school involvement, some of Blumhagen’s most notable contributions have involved astute data analysis and interpretation. Blumhagen mined meaning from hard data to advocate for later bell times for middle and high school students, and in an unsuccessful attempt to prevent the district from closing schools in 2008 — which, as he predicted, were needed only two years later. In his meeting with editorial board members, Blumhagen, a professional engineer, argued — rightly — that district data ought to be made public before decisions are made, not after the fact.

Blumhagen’s track record and experience lend credibility to his calls for greater transparency and accuracy in statistics and reporting from the district. His laser focus on outcomes would bring new urgency to issues of equity, including disproportionate discipline, and special-education services. He would promote greater accountability for principals, encouraging collaboration and sharing of best practices.
Also from the Times, school districts will start cracking down on parents who have not submitted documentation on their child's vaccinations.
A few weeks into the school year, districts are frantically processing updated paperwork for their students and sending out final reminders to families. While a Department of Health spokeswoman said most K-12 students are already vaccinated — only 3.1% had an exemption to MMR shots last year — they won’t have complete data on this year’s immunization rates until November.

Seattle Public Schools (SPS) officials contacted about 7,000 students who didn’t have up-to-date paperwork in August, district spokesman Tim Robinson wrote in an email. By Friday afternoon, the district had received about 1,000 renewed forms, which school officials are still processing. Now, between 2,000 and 4,000 students still might not be vaccinated, but SPS health officials say it’s difficult to tell because many kids, especially ones from different schools, are waiting on their files to transfer over.

If students aren’t compliant by mid-October, the school district will send a “pre-exclusion” letter giving families 30 days to get vaccinated, prove they’re going through the vaccination process or claim a religious or medical exemption.

California’s new vaccination law no longer allows for religious exemptions — it only accepts medical ones. In Washington, it’s still fairly easy for families to apply for a religious exemption.

The process for banning non-vaccinated students will most likely begin sometime in December or early January, said SPS health manager Samara Hoag.
Last year, 300 students claimed a personal exemption, which is no longer accepted, Robinson said.
Governor Jay Inslee has signed an executive order banning flavored e-cigarettes.  From The Stranger:
"[The executive order] will ask the state board of health to adopt emergency rules to ban all flavored vapor products, including flavored THC products," Inslee said. "We expect the board to take up this request at their next meeting on Oct. 9."

John Weissman, the secretary of DOH, said they did not yet have a definition for what would be included in "flavorings."
Important reading about teens and suicide: Suicide is the second leading cause of death among 10-19 year olds.


Anonymous said...

That's too bad for Eric.

ST losers

Melissa Westbrook said...

It is and it isn't. Many people vote where they read, meaning, don't know the candidates so they look to the Times or The Stranger for guidance (and hopefully, this blog).

But, as you point out, the Times is not so good at seeing their endorsements elected.

It was an odd thing for a newspaper that is pretty much anti-union to not mention that when they spoke about Rankin.