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Thursday, October 31, 2019

A Conversation about HCC (Let's Listen In)

Now to the conversation last weekend at the Central Area Residents Against Violence Facebook page about HCC.  I am teasing out parts of the conversation but you can go to the page and read everything.

Updates on Advanced Learning

The information I present comes from several sources.  One of them is a member of the Advanced Learning Task Force, Kari O'Driscoll.  (I'll just state that when I was on the Closure and Consolidation Committee, we were warned NOT to talk about our work and allow the designated folks on the Committee, the chairs, to make all public comments. But that was ages ago - maybe service on a taskforce or committee has changed since then.)

It appears that Superintendent Juneau and staff are forging straight ahead with changes to HCC without waiting for the recommendations from the Advanced Learning Taskforce or Board approval.  Actually, I don’t think they need the Board’s approval but letting the Board know there are changes being made BEFORE they enact them would be a professional courtesy.

Evidence (phrasing in red indicates findings)

Happy Halloween!

A reminder: if you have to drive tonight, please be extra careful and look out for trick-or-treaters.

Image result for happy halloween image

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Rankin and Hampson Dismiss SEAMEC Ratings

This came up in a different post today:
LGBTQ Dad said...

As a father of a LGBTQ child, it saddens me to see Rankin supporters laughing at SEAMEC's candidate ratings on the SPS Community facebook page (formerly Soup for Teachers).

Yet Another Seattle School Struggles with Racist Talk

From the West Seattle Blog via a reader tip:
West Seattle High School principal Brian Vance has disclosed that students have been disciplined for use of “racist language and symbols.” Multiple recipients forwarded us this letter he sent to families last night:

Yet Another Seattle School Struggles With a Principal

Update: apparently this is a draft.  End of update

This time it's Loyal Heights and their PTA is fighting back.  They are organizing to get signatures for a petition and they are asking for documentation from parents about issues they may personally have had with the principal, Geri Guerrero.

Tuesday Open Thread

National College Fair this weekend at the Washington State Convention Center:
Friday from 9 am-noon
Saturday from noon to 4 pm

On Elections and Candidates

Just a heads up on a candidate for King County Council - Girmay Zahilay - who is challenging incumbent Larry Gossett.  I have talked with Mr. Zahilay who is all the things you might want for the Council.  I have found Gossett to be equally compelling so I don't envy those who are voting for that race.

However, I did find out that Mr. Zahilay served on a charter school board in NYC, starting sometime in 2017.  It's unclear to me if he still serves (I would think not).

As well, in a photo at Crosscut, he is joined in a photo with former school board candidate Omar Vasquez as well as Dexter Tang, both local ed reformers.   This information certainly gives me pause and I wish I had learned it sooner because I would have asked Zahilay about it when I spoke with him.  I do have a message out to him.

The ratings for candidates, including for Seattle School Board, are out from SEAMEC.

Monday, October 28, 2019

This and That

An excellent op-ed from Jordan Cahoon, a senior at Kent-Meridian High School, on how we talk about individual schools and the effects of a school's reputation on the students enrolled there.

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Hazel Wolf K-8 Struggles with Racial Slurs

The story was from the Seattle Times about students at Hazel Wolf K-8 having a protest over the lack of action from their administration on the use of racial slurs. What the Times writes versus what some of the comments - which seem to be from PTSA/staff - are quite different.  As in most of these cases, there are two items to remember.

Friday, October 25, 2019

Times Weighs in on NE Seattle School Board Races

I’m not sure you can have a bigger contrast between the Seattle Times’ article about the Board race between Leslie Harris and Molly Mitchell versus this article about the other two races, both in the northend.  The Times is a lot more even-handed here and that’s what you should expect in this kind of article (unless one candidate is severely deficient in skills).

Oakland Unified School District - Making Progess for AA Males

Oakland Unified School District is the first district that I know of that uses targeted universalism (and has for seven years).

Friday Open Thread

Update: the district announced today - via Twitter - that Franklin High School is now 1:1 for computers in the school.  The district plans to be 1:1 at high schools with higher levels of F/RL first and then start with 9th graders at the other high schools, with the eventual goal of all high school being 1:1 for all students.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Seattle Times Skewed Reporting (Again)

Readers alerted me to the latest story from the Times' so-called Education Lab.  (Currently, the Gates Foundation is paying to seemingly get the Times to write about what the Foundation wants them to. They sent one reporter to Australia to look at a program for homeless youth in schools. Nice work if you can get it.)

I want to first put forth my thesis on what is happening.

Tuesday Open Thread

Seattle Alliance of Black School Educators Candidate Forum for Seattle School Board

Two Great School Concerts This Week

Editor's note - The Roosevelt HS concert info was sent to me and the Garfield HS concert info was in a reader comment.  I cannot find info at the SPS website or Garfield's webpage.  Two high schools have concerts with the Seattle Symphony and the district can't advertise it?

Monday, October 21, 2019

On Remarking on Seattle School Board Candidates

I know that when we get this point, where the General Election is on the horizon and readers have passion for/against candidates, people then want to push harder.

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Got Ballot? District 6

We need to reelect Leslie Harris, the incumbent and not elect her challenger, Molly Mitchell.

Got Ballot - District 3

District 3 is a bit of a challenge for me; not the most solid/best choices in this race between Rebeca Muñiz and Chandra Hampson.

I'm voting for Rebeca Muñiz in this race.

Got Ballot? District 1

Update: see the bottom of this post.

I received my ballot just this week; I believe everyone registered to vote should be getting theirs soon.  I'll have a post for each race.

District 1 - Eric Blumhagen

Friday, October 18, 2019

Cell Phones in Seattle Schools: Away for the Day or Away We Go?

KUOW had this story a couple of weeks back:

Looking at the Strategic Plan

The district has a slightly new look at their website.  There's a little human figure on the left side that if you click on it, brings up an accessibility menu.

On the other side, there's a "Contact Us" link. It allows you to send a concern/compliment/query to staff (apparently anonymously if you want).  I am not sure if either are truly live but the "Contact Us" link's phone number is 123-456-7890 so probably not.

There is also their Strategic Plan page which reveals a couple of ideas that I didn't know about the plan. (It's also gives you a chance to look at the new slogan and logo for SPS.)

Friday Open Thread

Here's an article from the Wenatchee World about dual-language programs in their schools.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Tuesday Open Thread

From My Northwest: Good News: Washington Youth have Fifth lowest Obesity rate in the U.S.
Bad News: Washington youth between 10-17 are at an 11% obesity rate.  

Board Agenda for Wednesday, October 16th

I know.

I know I said I wasn't going to do this but I had checked in at the district webpage for updates and was browsing the agenda for this week's board meeting.  I lay it out below but this isn't even all of it. I wish someone would pick up the reins just on Board meetings because I think the pace of change is going to pick up.

From the Board's agenda for Wednesday night's Board meeting, their legislative priorities:

Weigh in on New High School Graduation Requirements

You have about two weeks to weigh in at the State Board of Education on new graduation requirements. From the Seattle Times:

Monday, October 14, 2019

Voting for Seattle School Board Candidates

Update: Can't make the Tuesday candidate forum?  There's another one on Thursday, October 17th at North Beach Elementary from 6:30-8:00 pm.

Brave New World for Kids

I have often said, "I sure would not want to be raising a child right now."  It is a very different world than even 10 years ago and so much to watch out for without being a helicopter parent.  Kids absolutely need to know how to monitor their world and take hard (for their age) hits and get back up.  Meaning, you are there to always have that blanket of love and acceptance but your child needs to know how to put on their own coat of resilience AND zip it up.

The New York Times had two important parenting articles and both are issues I have raised before.

Friday, October 11, 2019

New Director of Racial Equity Advancement for SPS

I'm not sure it has been officially announced but a source tells me that Manal Al-ansi will be the new Director of Racial Equity Advancement.

Friday Open Thread

In case you hadn't heard, there will be several traffic issues this weekend in the Puget Sound region so keep that in mind as you are out and about.

The Burke Museum - in its new building - reopens tomorrow.  It will probably be mobbed but I'd like to eventually see it. I'm sure any field trips to it would be exciting for students.

Wednesday, October 09, 2019

Seattle Time's Westneat Speaks Out on Advanced Learning/HCC

Update: Superintendent Juneau issued a statement yesterday about the majority vote of the Curriculum & Instruction committee to not move forward to the full Board the changes to Policy 2190 about Advanced Learning.  I myself have not often seen a superintendent issue any kind of statement on Board committee decisions; I find it odd.  From the statement:

The Times on Math and Ethnic Studies

Like many times when SPS either tried to roll something out without clear communication OR when something gets out too soon and the district has to rush to explain, the Math rubric for Ethnic Studies is one of them.  And that brings us to the Seattle Times' story on that issue.

Tuesday, October 08, 2019

Tuesday Open Thread

The district finallly put up a public notice about the rash of overdose deaths from pills laced with fentanyl by several teens in the Puget Sound region including one at Ballard High School.   Several surprises (at least to me). I am surprised at the amount of time it took.  I am surprised that it didn’t get “above the fold” location on the district website for at least a couple of days.  I am surprised at the seeming lack of urgency in that notice.  School board directors? Might want to tell the Superintendent that her pet projects don’t supercede student safety.  (Editor’s note: I don’t know how I missed it - and I checked but readers say they saw the notice more promeniently placed. I stand by the lack of urgency in the district notice; maybe the one to parents was stronger.)

From OSPI on parents’ rights to view the results of their child’s state test scores.

Sunday, October 06, 2019

WA State Charter Schools to Benefit from DeVos Largesse

The Seattle Times has a story about how Washington State charter schools are eligible to apply for dollars from a $20M grant that the Washington State Charter School Association will receive from the Department of Education.

Saturday, October 05, 2019

Important Curriculum & Instruction Meeting Coming Up about HCC

Update: fyi, I will not be at this meeting.  But if you go, take notes, take video (upload to YouTube) and let us know your thoughts.  I’m thinking they will likely move the meeting to the auditorium as the Board conference room can fill up fast.

End of update

At next Tuesday’s Curriculum&Instruction committee meeting, a policy change around HCC is going to be introduced (and likely pushed by) Chair Jill Geary.  The meeting is in the Board conference room, starting at 4:00pm, instead of the usual 4:30 pm.  Agenda here.   Looking at the agenda, I would say the topic would come up around 4:30 pm; however, sometimes items get pushed to the top for various reasons.

The Advanced Learning Taskforce hasn’t even made its recommendations and word is that members of color do want to keep the cohort model.

Friday, October 04, 2019

What Tracy and Her Pals Think of You and This Blog

I say this so much but many people do NOT read for content; rather, they pick out bits that suit their personal narrative and think they understand a topic or what others are saying.

Friday Open Thread

Looks like staff at the top levels at JSCEE are shifting.  

Wednesday, October 02, 2019

Heads Up Parents on Drugs That May Be Circulating

From Facebook:
Make sure your kids know not to take Rx pills not prescribed to them (no matter the circumstances). 

I'm an addiction researcher at the UW and we are seeing some deaths among teenagers in King County taking fake Rx pills that are actually fentanyl.
From Public Health Insider:

Two Videos of Note

The first is this one from NE Dad:

Tuesday, October 01, 2019

Things That Make You Go, Hmmm

  • How come Superintendent Juneau demoted Principal Emily Butler Ginolfi out of Washington Middle School and made it clear that EGB would be an assistant principal at lower pay and then reversed that by appointing EGB to Licton Springs K-8? 

Tuesday Open Thread

Wishing a good and sweet year during Rosh Hashanah to all our Jewish friends and neighbors.  (I see that many images for Rosh Hashanah include pots of honey.  That makes me smile as my name means honeybee in Greek.  Although, as I learned when I visited Greece, they don't use it as a girl's name.)