Showing posts from August, 2021

And the Beat Goes On at the Broadview-Thomson Encampment

 The district had a meeting tonight at Broadview-Thomson K-8. I don't see it on the district's calendar but there were people there.  Reporter Erica C. Barnett was live-tweeting and here is some of what she saw/heard. I'll add some comments in-between. 

Sad News at Aki Kurose Middle School

 Via The Seattle Times : A 17-year-old boy suffered life-threatening injuries and a 14-year-old was in police custody after the two exchanged gunfire Thursday evening outside Aki Kurose Middle School in South Seattle, according to police.   Seattle police spokeswoman Valerie Carson said the younger boy was sitting on the steps in front of the school about 6:30 p.m. when he was approached by the older boy. It appears they both had firearms, she said.   The 17-year-old was struck multiple times and was lying in the street when officers arrived, she said. So questions: - How were there TWO underaged kids with guns?  - School isn't even open so I wonder why they ended up at the school? No comment from the district yet (at least on Twitter). 

Oh, the Things You'll Learn (Part Three)

The last Student Services, Curriculum & Instruction Committee meeting was held on August 18th.  Reviewing the minutes of the last SSC&I meeting on June 8th, a couple of items of interest:

Oh the Things You Will Learn (Part 2)

 Next up, Executive Committee meeting held August 18th.  Public testimony at school board meetings may be changing. In the minutes from their previous meeting, it was discussed using an online form rather than either email or phone-in. The minutes don't say whether it was noted that not all members of the public or parents/guardians have email capabilities.  It includes the  proposed Board goals for 2021. Here's one. (Editor note: the table I had put in is not showing properly and I don't know how to fix that.) "Reinsert humanness in our interactions with one another, staff, labor, community." Didn't know they had not been doing this.  Superintendent Search It appears that the work will start any time now with a selection in April/May 2022 and a new superintendent coming in July 1, 2022. Timetable: They will be hiring a consultant for community engagement/RFP for headhunters by the end of August, 2021.  By October, 1 they will publish the RFP.  November, hire

Oh, the Things You'll Learn

Update. Found out what the "Garfield Superblock" in the BTA V levy is.  Robert Stephens, Jr. has been one of the voices pushing the public agencies who each control a section of the Garfield High School campus, Seattle Public Schools and the Seattle Parks and Recreation Department, to fulfil a promise made back when the school was undergoing a major renovation that opened in 2008 that cost the district over $100 million.   As part of the public process to approve building a new Quincy Jones Performing Arts Center, Seattle Public Schools had to be approved to get a variance in order to build fewer than the required number of off-street parking stalls. As part of that process, the district was required to provide a public benefit as a mitigation.   That project was the Super Block improvement project. “The community was just forgotten about,” Stephens tells CHS.   A center of these improvements is the Legacy and Promise Promenade. This pathway would fulfill the long-envisioned

Seattle Special Education PTSA Asks for Virtual Option For Grades 6 to 12

  The Seattle Special Education has sent a letter to the district about lack of services.

Seattle Schools' Advanced Learning - What Next?

 I follow a Seattle parent page on Facebook and several parents were asking about what Advanced Learning will look like in the coming years. The short answer?  Students currently identified as Advanced Learners will be transitioned to Highly Capable (Building Based Services) with differentiated services provided in the neighborhood school. Sweeping change is necessary to uproot systems born from institutional racism and move the district forward toward genuine and authentic, culturally responsive services that prioritize the needs of every student. There are four Phases for this work, the first starting in school year 2020-2021and continuing through in school year 2027-2028. The cohort model will continue until 2027-2028.  This is ONLY for K-5 services. It is unclear what happens in middle school where there is a scaled-down cohort model only for a couple of classes. High schools have no "HC" program per se - high schools have Advanced Placement classes or International Bacca

Latest on Seattle Schools and Collective Bargaining

I've been reading a lot of chatter lately at a couple of sites about the negotiations between the district and the SEA (Seattle Education Association, the union that represents teachers). Here's what the district says (partial and bold mine):

This and That

Checking the election results now a week later:

Talking Seattle Schools Superintendents and Board Members

A reader sent me this interesting l ist of all the SPS superintendents and board directors from the late 1880s on.  It contains their years of service, when they served and racial background. One board director served for 32 years! And current director, Lisa Rivera Smith, is the district's first Latina member of the board.  Of course, it wouldn't be SPS without a couple of errors.  1) No notation that Jose Banda was the first Latino superintendent. 2) The terms of both Brandon Hersey and Zachary DeWolf expire this year, not in 2023.  3) They don't note that Director DeWolf is the first openly LGBTQ male member and that Cheryl Chow was the first openly LGBTQ female member. (You could quibble if Chow was open about it but she didn't make it a secret. She just didn't talk about it as DeWolf does.)

Two Workshops Keep Board and Staff at Seattle Schools Busy

The Seattle School Board had a busy week last week. Several of them attended a Zoom conference, 2021 Harvard and Council of Great City Schools ABC Leadership Institute, lead by the Council of Great City Schools. The CGCS :

Seattle Schools and Its Website - Why Can't They Get It Right?

Today was the unveiling of the new look for Seattle Schools' website . I really had hoped - as I do each and every time they tinker with it - that it will be better. You know, more accessible, easy to find pages, etc.  It's not.  I always say that after a website is redesigned, go get someone who has NEVER used it and give them ten areas to find. I can tell that didn't happen this time. I can say the home page looks more attractive.  However:

About Comments

 I have received several comments that I have not printed because: - The comment was just an insult to me. - I am having a problem with getting a duplicate of every comment (plus spam ones) and sometimes it's hard to keep up. If you think your comment was within the bounds of this blog, please ping me again. - A comment was cryptic. Reader Cassandra sent a comment that I will partially reprint: Since no one is allowed to argue with the district's diversity agenda, this is what we get. Torturers allowed to speak from positions of authority and paid from the district coffers. People afraid to speak up because they will be accused of racism. Censor away, enabler. I HAVE challenged the district's "diversity agenda" and reported on issues of race within senior leadership.  But Cassandra also made a claim about a diversity training that is to happen at SPS and who is leading it. Looking at the district website, I can't verify that is happening. So Cassandra, if you

American History - What Will We Tell the Kids?

This is the last in the series on Critical Race Theory but there are now other elements to consider like teaching about equity and ethnic studies.

And Then There Were Two

 Looking at the election results from yesterday’s primary, we see that in District 4   Vivian Song Maritz and Laura Marie Rivera beat current interim director Erin Dury handily. Maritz received 56.41%, Rivera received 23.18% and Dury received 11.10%  And Dury barely beat perennial candidate, Herb Camet, Jr. - he had 8.62% of the votes. There were 82,883 registered voters for that region and just over 18% voted. In the District 5 race, candidate Michelle Sarju hammered her opponents. She received 81.60% of the vote with her General Election opponent, Dan Harder , receiving 13.85% of the vote. The third candidate, Crystal Liston got 3.85% of the vote. There are 74,051 registered voters for that region and about 17.51% of them voted.  Interestingly, the race for mayor shows the same anemic numbers for voter turnout. Out of 493,453 registered voters, only 89,414 of those voted, which works out to just over 18%. What do people think of the top vote getters in the mayor’s race, Lorena Gonz