Tuesday, November 30, 2021

MORE Killings at an American High School

 America, what have we done?

This is today's shooting at a suburban high school. The kids hear someone knock and say "Sheriff" and realize that it's the shooter and run to jump out windows. 

Today is Giving Tuesday and Everytown for Gun Safety is getting a dollar for dollar match from Michael Bloomberg. Consider donating.

I hang my head in shame. Who does this to kids?

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Ballard High School Principal put on Administrative Leave

Readers, I have been reading many articles and hearing from many parents about issues at Ballard High School around the leadership of principal Kevin Wynkoop.

Important to note is that on Monday, December 1, the administration is having a meeting for students about the issue of sexual harassment. This via Rob Gannon, Deputy Superintendent. Wynkoop is not mentioned. 

Q & A Session for BHS Students from 3-4 in the PAC. District email sent to families. 

This special Q&A session is being offered for Ballard High School students after school on Wednesday, December 1, 2021, from 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center.

The information session will be facilitated by staff from the SPS Title IX Office and will include opportunities for students to ask questions. 

A similar virtual informational opportunity is being developed for all SPS students, parents, and families later in December. More details will be forthcoming soon.

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Harrell Announces Picks for Advisory Groups

 Some interesting picks for the various advisory committees for Mayor-elect Bruce Harrell.  Full list here.

Under "Education and Youth"

-  School Board Director Brandon Hersey - Wow, if he becomes Board president (and I think he will), he's sure going to have a busy new year. But at least it's not Stephan Blanford. 

- Superintendent Brent Jones - Jones has his hands full as well in the new year.

- Rep Sharon Tomiko-Santos -She's a long-time supporter of public education in the Washington State Legislature.

-Vivian Song Maritz - Something of an oddity given she does not have a high profile in public education in Seattle but she's also a bright, involved public school parent. 

Teachers Matter

ask Adele

Monday, November 22, 2021

Seattle Times Finally Prints the Seattle School Board Harassment Story

Well, well, well, look who FINALLY printed the investigation story about Board directors Chandra Hampson and Zachary DeWolf being found to have used "positional authority" against two senior staffers. 

The Seattle Times.

Thursday, November 18, 2021

Around the Horn with the Seattle School Board

Last night there was a school board meeting and a LOT of the meeting got taken up with farewells to Director Zachary DeWolf and Director Erin Dury. This was their last meeting as directors. (The new directors - Michelle Sarju, Vivian Song Maritz and current member, Brandon Hersey - will be given their oath of office on November 30th. Their first board meeting as directors will be December 1st.) Director Lisa Rivera Smith was not in attendance. 

I'll be honest; I always dislike these public farewells. I'm fine with noting it, taking a photo, and the Board president extolling their virtues, etc. but man, these extended lovefests just don't seem right at a public board meeting. Director Harris was talking about having margaritas with DeWolf. Save it for the party.

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Lincoln High School PTSA Working on Race and Equity

May be an image of text that says 'Lincoln High School PTSA's Diversity, Equity & Inclusion committee presents a Six-Week Online Course: FROM ALLY TO ANTIRACIST Cultivating and Committing to Action in the Face of Life's Obstacles with Jonathan W. Kanter, Ph.D., Director, UW Center for the Science of Social Connection and Behavioral Scientist, UW Medicine Office of Health Care Equity Wednesday Evenings 7:00 to 8:30 pm Dec. 1, Dec. 8, Dec. 15, Jan. 5, Jan. 12, Jan. 19 Limitedto 100 Participants Suggested donation for 6-week course $250 το SIGN UP & DONATE, TEXT DEI το 41444'

Dear Alumni and Staff,

The Lincoln PTSA DEI committee is offering this 6-week online course as a fundraiser. It will be on zoom, and any interested alumni and staff, wherever you may live now across the country or the globe, is welcome to join. The funds raised will be shared with Alliance for Education, and used to support equity at Lincoln and across public schools in the Seattle area. To register, email lincolnptsadei@gmail.com or text DEI to 41444.

Thursday, November 11, 2021

Something is rotten in the state of Denmark (And in Seattle Schools)

 There is also something rotten at JSCEE.  I just don't get what they put in the water there that makes people working there think and act in dysfunctional ways that will NEVER turn out well. Or they will get found out, sooner or later. 

 I know some think I get a kick out of pointing this out. I don't. That it happens over and over again - and that's over the course of my 20+ years of district watching - is just saddening. 

I still have public disclosure requests into the district over the Hampson-DeWolf HIB investigation. The public records section of the SPS Legal Counsel have been nothing but polite and helpful. 

There are two things I want to report out of the last pile of documents I was sent which were the invoices for the costs of the investigation. 

The overall cost for two law firms and a mediator came to just over $120,500. Sadly mediation, which cost $33,000, was for naught. It appears the investigation started in November 2020, two months after the formal complaint was filed.

Viewing the invoices, I added up costs, researched names listed that I did not recognize and read thru the invoices. There's a tiny bit of legal work that made my jaw drop.

And I want to call that tiny bit of work out, here and now. 

Review and edit transcript of 9/16/2020 SPS Board Special Executive Committee Meeting

Continued review and edit of 9/16/2020 SPS Board Special Executive Committee Meeting transcript.

Tuesday, November 09, 2021

Seriously and Just Like That? No School on Friday

Update via The Seattle Times, both SPS and Bellevue SD are closed on Friday.

Bellevue said it was canceling school Friday because of staffing shortages, “anticipated inclement weather, and COVID-19 restrictions,” according to its website. After-school programs will also be canceled, but athletics will continue as scheduled. 

And, across the nation:

School districts across the country have also canceled school Friday, and some have also cited shortages in staffing and substitutes. Others said it was a day for students and staff to recharge during what has already been an exhausting year of school thanks to the pandemic. And some schools are closing for the day to vaccinate students. 

San Diego Unified School District students have the option of taking Friday off as a mental health day, The San Diego Union-Tribune reportedThe Associated Press reported a school district in Virginia closed the first week of November over concerns about mental health and burnout. 

From Seattle Education Association:

“Educators are stretching themselves to the limit to provide COVID-safe, quality services and learning for all of our students but we cannot succeed without adequate support,” the teachers union statement continued. “The state Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) needs to hear how the staffing shortages and systemic underfunding of public education is directly impacting our abilities to meet the needs of children in this pandemic.“

From the Board president:

Seattle students and staff have repeatedly expressed how overwhelmed they are this year and that feeling has been exacerbated by the extra COVID-19 safety protocols, Seattle School Board President Chandra Hampson said. She called it a “well-deserved” break and she said she stands by the decision, which was made by interim superintendent Brent Jones.

One Seattle Times' comment said this:

It is irresponsible journalism to leave out the fact that the Seattle Public schools calendar originally had Friday as a no school day for teachers and students. Teachers made plans and then the calendar changed.



To address staffing shortages, school districts can expedite two emergency certificates for educators, according to a letter OSPI sent superintendents in late September.

End of update

 From FOX 13 News:

Ballard Principal Found to Have Retaliated Against Student

 From the Seattle Times:

When Ballard High School senior Eric Anthony Souza-Ponce first heard his English teacher describe a class essay assignment — to write about how the Frankenstein monster in the novel by Mary Shelley represented oppressed people — he was taken aback.

To Souza-Ponce, who is Latino, the essay was asking students to write about “why oppressed people do bad things,” he said. “It perpetuates that people of color do bad things.” 

This was in January 2021.

Thursday, November 04, 2021

Garfield High Scare

Update at 1:10 pm Told by Tim Robinson, the PIO for SPS, that yes, there was a bomb threat, students cleared school and sent to football field and SPD is investigating. 

End of update

Update at 1:07 pm. Told by SPD that "there is something happening there" but that I would have to ask the district's Public Information Officer. Can't be really serious if SPD is not on the scene. Will update as I learn more.

end of update

 I am being told by a parent that Garfield High evacuated today at 12:30 pm due to a "bomb threat." I cannot find info anywhere. No SPS tweet nor anything at Garfield's Facebook page. I tried calling the school but no answer. 

Anyone hearing anything?

Defining Math in Seattle Public Schools

There's an elective math course at Garfield High School  labeled "BUSINESS MATH 130" that look straightforward in the course listings but there's a lot more to it than "business math."

This and That

There's a Town Hall tonight from 7-8:45 pm, to assist parents in making COVID vaccination decisions for their children. This looks good but they have waaaay too many speakers at 15(!) including the U. S. Surgeon General, Dr. Vivek Murthy.



The district has finally set a timeline for the homeless encampment at Broadview-Thomson, from My Northwest: