Wednesday, November 06, 2019

Wednesday Open Thread

Odd little thing.  After Brandon Hersey took the oath of office, there was a group photo for the Board taken. But yet, at the SPS website, they only have a photo of kids. Waiting for new members? Maybe but why not use the photo with Hersey and the rest of the current Board?

Great story from KUOW about Nova High School. I can't say it enough - Nova saves lives.

Important policy articles from OSPI.

Interesting article on how the hand grip of kids and young adults is getting weaker.
A recent study in the Journal of Hand Therapy shows that young adults have surprisingly less hand strength and hand grip than older generations, which could be one result from using more electronic devices and less pencil time. Some may even argue that electronics are hindering our students’ education rather than helping them progress because they lack fine motor development skills used for handwriting, pencil grip and brain-building activity.

So why continue to encourage and “push” hand grip strength? Developing your child’s hand strength and fine motor skills is linked to more than just handwriting and pencil grip. Researchers have also found a connection between how the brain transitions from right-brained learning (creative, emotions) to move left-brained learning (logical, critical thinking). If the brain fails to transition from right-brained learning to left-brained learning, children become more emotional instead of logical as they get older. That is why many parents and teachers today see more attention issues in the classroom, sensory struggles, meltdowns , anxiety and emotional grounding issues.
 Lunar Rover STEM Festival, A Night of Free, Space-Filled Family Fun
Join us as we unveil Kent Valley’s Next Lunar Rover at the Lunar Rover STEM Festival on Thursday, November 14 from 5:00 - 7:30p.m. at accesso ShoWare Center.
We’re celebrating our region’s legacy of aero and outer space innovation by memorializing its role in the development of the Lunar Rover. The three Lunar Rovers used in NASA’s historic Apollo Missions 15, 16 and 17 remain on the Moon today. Designed, built and tested by Boeing at its Kent Space Center, the Lunar Rovers were recently designated as historical landmarks by the King County Landmarks Commission.
What's on your mind?


Anonymous said...

IMHO, schools should go back to also teaching cursive. Kids think they won't ever need it, and while they might be able to avoid using it (other than to come up with their signature), they're going to need to read it when they encounter it. More importantly, and to the point of that article, it's a great fine motor skill builder. It's also a good opportunity for teachers to more consciously focus on making sure children are grasping their pencils correctly. An inefficient pencil grip can lead to further struggles down the road, slowing students down in many subjects besides ELA.


Jet City mom said...

Increased time spent in front of a screen is also affecting children’s vision.


Melissa Westbrook said...

Jet City Mom, yes, I am seeing eyeglasses advertised with some kind of coating to protect against computer blue light.

Anonymous said...

As a school OT I can attest to the dramatic increase in fine motor and sensory referrals over the last 5-7 years. So many kids who don't know how to hold or control a pencil or tuck in their pinky and ring fingers. So many kids who don't have the basic drawing or visual motor skills prerequisite to handwriting letters. And yes about the connection between better literacy skills through the whole body movement of forming letters and writing thoughts.

OT Parent

Anonymous said...

What happens to students that have a medical exemption for MMR if there is measles in their school?

Are they required to go home for 6 weeks?


Anonymous said...

I did not know about Nova and its focus prior to my child starting high school. The district can do a much better job of educating us parents. I have a child struggling with gender identity. It is nice to know there is a school in SPS that focuses on supporting those kids.


Andrea Leigh Ptak said...


If your teen is dealing with gender-identity issues, I might also suggest you check out a wonderful Seattle organization: Diverse Harmony. My daughter, now 24, joined when she was in high school and it gave her a tribe outside of school. She made friends she still has today, and she continues to sing as part of their elite, young-adult a cappella choir.

The high school group is a no-cut, audition for vocal placement only choir. Over the ten years our family has been associated with the choir we have seen some amazing performances, and some kids blossom in incredible ways.

I recommend this group to any family with a child who falls into the LGBTQ spectrum, has a sibling of such, or just wants to be a member of an inclusive community. They meet in Seattle First Baptist Church on Capitol Hill but are not religiously affiliated.


Anonymous said...

Thank you Andrea for that information!


Anonymous said...

Geary amendment is defeated. Mic drop.

More Noise Please

Anonymous said...

Burke and Pinkham can't seem to make it to work.

Bye Bye

Anonymous said...

The vote was 3-3 with Pinkham missing. This will be re-introduced in January and pass 5-2.

Power on

Melissa Westbrook said...

Yeah, but that may be too late for TAF. They need consideration, too, and this pitting of HCC against TAF is a dumb move on the district's part.

Anonymous said...

HCC and TAF are not in competition and there is no way their are 5,000 gifted students in SPS.

Where is ABC news on this scam!


Melissa Westbrook said...

Not in competition, no, but the district's weird choice of WMS puts them at odds.

As for the number, do go ask the district; they'll tell you the same thing.

Anonymous said...

You know what's interesting? One of the earliest posts on this blog, 5/31/2006, leads with a link to a Seattle Times column by Trish Millines Dziko.

How can we expect her [new SPS CAO, Carla Santorno] to create an excellent academic system when the board hastily pushed through the school-closure process without thinking about the academic implications? How can the district strategic team move forward when it's dealing with a moving target — a system that has been twisted once again into another form of chaos?

wayback machine

Anonymous said...

There is a big vote dump coming today at 4 pm, but I'm not sure if Eric can over come the 4K vote lead that Rankin has. It's really hard to tease out the numbers off the king county web site. King county numbers reads that they have received 256,596 ballots for Seattle school district races, but the votes counted so far are 379,310 which doesn't balance out.

It really doesn't make sense why other districts get to pick our director. It should be just like the city counsel and the mayor. Each district should choose their director and maybe the voters should choose the superintendent also. If that means we add in a couple of at large directors so be it. In fact we could have both Liza and Eric on the board if that we true.

How can we change how the boards get elected?

MS 10

Melissa Westbrook said...

MS 10, good luck with that. We can't even get the directors of the three largest districts to get a nominal salary, given the huge amount of money they control.

Anonymous said...

Well there was just a new release of data and it looks like Rankin held on. They don't expect very many more ballots or at least not enough to over come the current results.

Congrats to both Liza and Eric for running.

SPS voter

Anonymous said...

Yep I just checked and my ballot which was dropped off on Tuesday around 4PM has been counted.

I think all the Seattle ballots have been mostly counted.

It's over

Anonymous said...

Rankin by 10,000 votes now.

Just saying

Sour grapes said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Video posted by Elect Molly Mitchell for School Board:

"Oh and here’s a funny video some of me and my team made poking fun at the narrative that equity work is about taking things from white people."

Mitchell: (skipping into the room with another person) Hey, Team, we're gonna talk about equity!

P1 (female): (in whiny voice) Equity's gonna take everything away from us!

P2 (male): (also whiny voice) My services! (followed by goofy laugh)


Melissa Westbrook said...

Well, Toxic, and that's probably why she lost.

Anonymous said...

Looks like Eric has conceded the election.

I feared his HCC support would fail him.


True Colors said...

I saw Mitchell's video, too. Shocking to see a former candidate create and post such a disturbing video. The video depicts a childish, unprofessional individual that is not fit for public office.

I'm glad she lost.

Anonymous said...

Was the video taken at her place of employment? Hard to believe she is in charge of student supports, but has no qualms about making fun of students and families.

not funny

Anonymous said...

Yes, "not funny" looks that way. Equity work is not about taking anything away from "white people". I agree with her about that message.

But the video was gleefully poking fun at people, and targeting them by race, who have legitimate concerns about the district providing state mandated services. It's a serious concern. She needs to respect all parents and children, even if she disagrees, as much as she would about any other group of kids.

She made it into an us versus them in her video. Her attitude was callous and immature.

It reminds me of some renting millenials who poke fun at middle class older homeowners with kids concerned about safety issues in their neighborhood, such as skyrocketing burglaries and needles on playgrounds.

It's portrayed as an affluent problem unsympathetic to homelessness, when really public safety/crime and homelessness are both issues that deserve attention.


Anonymous said...

The video illustrates she is a fundamentalist who believes in a one size fits all education despite diversity in background. One of those people who think kids meeting standard or above standard don't also deserve to be educated because somehow it harms those below standard. That is troubling. She has no respect for state mandated services.