Tuesday, May 04, 2021

Brent Jones Speaks

 Here is the first public statement from new superintendent, Brent Jones. As statements go, it’s about what you would expect but some editing might have helped. 

One key item - he does not say schools will reopen in their buildings in September. He just vaguely talks about “prepare for fall.” 

Also of interest is the fill-in form to contact him available at the district’s website.

Dear Seattle Public Schools Families: 
It’s a privilege to return to Seattle Public Schools as the interim superintendent. As I came to work this morning, it felt like coming home. 
I have spent more than half my life in SPS. I started at Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School and graduated from Franklin High School – go Quakers! Most recently, I served as the district’s chief of equity, partnerships, and engagement and helped lead creation and adoption of the district’s bold strategic plan, Seattle Excellence. The five-year plan is laser focused on supporting students of color who are furthest away from educational justice. Unlike past plans, Seattle Excellence acknowledges that until our district changes systems and disrupts legacies of racism, we can’t fulfill the promise of a high-quality, world-class education – an education that every student deserves. I am also a parent of a graduating SPS senior. 
My commitment to SPS is personal.
Our city’s public schools need to offer students and their families the very best – rigorous learning, a deep commitment to educational justice, innovation, and a clear path to life success. 
There are lots of fantastic things happening for students in Seattle Public Schools and much to be proud about. I also know that many of our students encounter systemic challenges and barriers to a great education; challenges made worse by the pandemic. 
As the district plans for a full-time return to school this fall, we have an opportunity to come back stronger than before by centering the perspectives and needs of our students and families in our decision-making.
Over these few months, I am committed to moving swiftly to prepare for fall, communicating our progress, and providing a consistent and high-quality educational experience for all students as we close out this current school year. 
I am grateful to the School Board for this opportunity to serve and I look forward to engaging in this work with you and our students. If you have questions or comments, you can contact my office by using Let’s Talk
In partnership, 
Superintendent Jones


Welcome Home said...

The Food and Drug Administration is preparing to authorize use of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine in adolescents 12 to 15 years old by early next week. There does not appear to be a shortage of vaccines, at this point.

Parents are asking about fall plans. It is time for the superintendent and board to acknowledge that students 12 and up will have access to vaccines. There is no reason for middle and high school students not to be in school full time- in the fall.

Mighty Moh said...

My sixth grader only last week turned 12. Plenty of 6th graders won't be able to be vaccinated, some not at all through the school year. His rising 6th grader sibling will be 12 in October, nearly two months after the beginning of school. So the district needs to be prepared to offer a robust online option for 6th graders if it's back to normal for 7th graders and up.

Anonymous said...

To add Pfizer announced they will seek FDA approval "expansion for their vaccine" to be used as well in the 2-11 age early Sept. Forecasts also indicate areas of our country will obtain extremely very high vaccination rates that will make risk extremely low for people in those communities, who are still unvaccinated. With safety mitigations in place, it will be minuscule. Many people will be able to engage in near normal activities. The CDC has instructed all states to plan for full time in person K-12. The CDC has stated they will drop mitigation layers ongoing, as rates of virus plummet in communities. Schools will likely still retain some safety mitigations in place, such as face masks, despite widely vaccinated teachers and students.