Showing posts from June, 2022

What's Left for Public Schools, Part One

Gallup reports that: Americans' confidence in the court has dropped sharply over the past year and reached a new low in Gallup's nearly 50-year trend. Twenty-five percent of U.S. adults say they have "a great deal" or "quite a lot" of confidence in the U.S. Supreme Court, down from 36% a year ago and five percentage points lower than the previous low recorded in 2014.     Since 2006, confidence has averaged 35% and has not exceeded 40% in any survey.     Confidence in the Supreme Court is down by double digits among both Democrats (30% to 13%) and independents (40% to 25%) this year, but it is essentially unchanged among Republicans (37% to 39%). Why might that be? A politicized Court? A majority of the Court wanting to be strict constitutionalists?   Per the usual schedule, SCOTUS released a flurry of June decisions. But three of these have the power to fundamentally change the course of our country. One was about states making their own gun laws, another

Cleveland Community Fights for Their Principal

Back in 2015, then-Superintendent Maria Goodloe Johnson  Susan Enfield attempted to exit the principal at Ingraham High School, Martin Floe. As we all know, a superintendent is the last call on who is principal but the community at Ingraham High School was not having it. They didn't believe her stats on Ingraham achievement and were able to point out other principals with the same or worse results. She bowed to the criticism and Floe remains principal to this day. Will history repeat itself? At Wednesday night's Board meeting, the overwhelm majority of public comment was over the firing of Cleveland's beloved principal, Catherine Brown. A couple of teachers told the Board they are leaving Cleveland, with an athletic director taking early retirement. They claim more teachers are going to follow their lead. From the Seattle Times : “Due to the treatment of Catherine Brown, I’m leaving the district,” Paige Wilson, a Cleveland teacher, told the Seattle School Board at Wednesday

Seattle Storm Event for Teens

 FYI Join us Friday evening, July 1st in our suite(!) to watch the Seattle Storm take on the Indiana Fever! This is a free event, made possible by a generous donor. This event is for ages 13-16. Come celebrate the beginning of summer! •The evening begins at Sugar Bakery near Climate Pledge Arena •Enjoy a sweet treat while we get to know the group! •Short walk to our suite at Climate Pledge to watch the game •Pick up at 9:30

Roe V Wade Overturned

 Going to just jump right in here because this decision will affect most women (even if you, like me, can no longer have children).  I should read the opinion(s) but I'd like to keep my breakfast down.  The course of many girls and young women's lives will change because of this ruling.  It will FORCE some of them to carry to term, a baby they don't want.  It will FORCE some to carry a fetus that came from rape or incest.  It will KILL some either by a young body unable to carry a child OR trying some back alley way to abort the fetus.  Any girls or young women who think, "Oh, I'll just get a pill for the abortion," ladies, they are coming for that next.  It will certainly create a cottage industry in any border cities which means - again - some girls/women will die from an abortion by an unqualified person.  Some girls and women will have to give up their dreams about jobs and college. But here's where women my age come in. If your daughter wants to conti

Seattle School Board Meeting - New Budget and HCC Plan to OSPI

The Board has their regularly scheduled Board meeting on Wednesday; here's the agenda. One happening you need to know - the Board meeting is going to include a 90-minute Work Session on the budget. So if you tune in at the beginning, starting at 4:15 pm, you'll be listening to a Work Session and public testimony has been moved to 6 pm.  Of note in the Budget: - The enrollment projection is somewhere between 50,183 and 49,650, a difference of a little over 500 students. I'd bet it'll be in the lower range. This is on page 4 but on page 5 I see the number, 48,748. Hmm. - Special Education services has climbed to 17.8% of the budget. I don't even have to look to say that's an increase. - The district is continuing with their squishy central spending because there is "central administration" and "other support." Central administration is management but they don't put something like nutrition services (making the food) into central administra

Ballard High School Principal Named

From Superintendent Brent Jones, Dear Ballard High School Community, I am pleased to announce Ms. Abby Hunt has been selected as the next principal of Ballard High School. The BHS interview team, comprised of students, family and community members, instructional and support staff, and central office staff, were impressed by Ms. Hunt. In addition to her clear core values, strength in relationship building, honesty, integrity, and prioritization of student voice, she is committed to Ballard High School and the Ballard community. Ms. Hunt is currently an assistant principal at Nathan Hale High School where she has worked to operationalize racial equity, enhance family engagement, and support educators in their instructional growth. Prior to this, Ms. Hunt served as dean of students at Kentridge High School in the Kent School District and has been a language arts teacher in Seattle, Chicago, and Belize. Ms. Hunt is an equity-driven leader who is passionate about being a part of a collabora

The Principal Turnover Saga at Seattle Schools Continues

 The South Seattle Emerald has a good story on the SPS game that is musical chairs principals.  They go in-depth about the changes at Cleveland STEM (Catherine Brown) and Franklin High (Drew O'Connell).  The end of this school year is bringing continued uncertainty for two South End schools. Franklin High School will begin next school year without the principal and vice principals who guided them through this tumultuous year. And there will be no members left of Cleveland STEM High School’s administrative “ dream team ” in charge when the pandemic began. Cleveland:  At the end of last school year, Cleveland Assistant Principal Ray Garcia-Morales accepted a position to lead Chief Sealth International High School in the neighborhood he grew up in, and longtime Principal George Breland reportedly accepted a role with the district. Joined by assistants Trent Pollard and Megan Claus, this left the newly promoted Brown to continue the legacy of an admin team that had been together sinc

Pritchett Named As Head of HR

Looks like current head of HR, Noel Treat, is leaving....again.  What a game of musical chairs for Pritchett who has been all over SPS including sharing duties with Carrie Campbell as the " assistant deputy superintendent the Office of Strategy Deployment and Responsiveness. " I'm still not sure what the work was for either Campbell or Pritchett in that role. But again, here's SPS putting an administrator who has zero experience in HR to head HR instead of a real HR professional.   From SPS Public Affairs: Dear SPS Staff, I am pleased to announce that Dr. Sarah Pritchett has agreed to serve as the interim assistant superintendent of Human Resources beginning June 14. She will be taking over for Noel Treat, who is leaving Seattle Public Schools this week to take a position in private law practice. Dr. Pritchett has significant experience with our district, and I’m confident she will make rich and informed contributions in this new position. As ​assistant deputy superi

Noted Youth Author at King County Library

 From King County Libraries : In honor of PRIDE Month, join a discussion with Lev Rosen , author of  Jack of Hearts and  Camp . Please register.  You will be emailed a link no later than one hour before the program. If you do not see an email, check your Junk or Spam folder. Reasonable accommodation for people with disabilities is available by request. Email  at least seven days before the event. Automated closed captioning is always available for online events. Suitable for ages 13-17. (As of now, there are 81 spaces left. This author has one of the most banned books across the nation so this may be of interest to some students.) Meet the Author: Lev AC Rosen Tuesday, June 28, 2022   Add to Calendar 4:00PM – 5:30PM Online event

Roosevelt High School Shuts Down Early Today

Updated to reflect that SPD did the sweep and that my statement about an SPS policy of good news only was sarcasm on my part. end of update RHS closed early after a bomb threat was phoned in. The school was first in a shelter-in-place and then students were released around lunchtime. SPD did a sweep and found nothing. Per what seems like an SPS' new policy of "only good news!," there is no statement about the incident at SPS' Twitterfeed nor at their website.  

Seattle Schools Graduates - Congrats!


Sand Point Elementary Incident Update

Update #1 Here's a link to a psych evaluation of the suspect in November 2021. It is shocking reading. Main findings: -  In consideration of these factors, I am of the opinion that Mr. Harasam currently lacks the capacities to understand the nature of the proceedings against him and to assist his counsel in his own defense. (bold theirs) -  The Court’s order indicated that  at least one of the charges  is designated as a “serious offense” as defined  in RCW 10.77.092. Should the Court find that Mr. Harasam is not competent to stand trial and that he  meets the criteria for competency restoration treatment, psychiatric treatment is recommended in order to assist in improving his mental condition so that his competency may be restored. -  Mr. Harasam is  and therefore is under continuous monitoring for discharge readiness. Considering this, an additional evaluation by a Designated Crisis Responder for civil commitment under RCW 71.05 does not appear to be warranted at this time. - T

How is the Seattle School Board Changing? (Part Two)

The Executive Committee of the Seattle School Board meeting on May 25, 2022. The committee is made up of Board leadership - President Brandon Hersey, VP Chandra Hampson and Member-at-Large Lisa Rivera Smith.  Ellie Wilson-Jones, Director of Policy and Board Relations, gave a presentation, 2022-2023 School Board Meeting Calendar, a fairly innocuous title. Let's unpack what is in it. -  The Board has adopted Student Outcomes Focused Goals and Guardrails and is working to implement the Student Outcomes Focused Governance model. This governance work is anticipated to include revisions to Board Policy No. 1240, Committees, to realign the standing committees of the Board and their charters. Therefore, it is expected that changes to the Board ’s  calendar will be needed during the 2022-23 school year. To support planning work for the fall, it is recommended that the Executive Committee move forward with setting a planned calendar for 2022-23 at this time and that the calendar later be rev

How is the Seattle School Board Changing? (Part One)

The short answer is - a lot. What do I currently see and then predict given the focus of the Board? - The Board will continue with an honored tradition at SPS which is "what we say is transparency is what transparency is." Or "what we say family engagement looks like, that's what it looks like." The family engagement will be a tightly controlled meeting, talking about only what the district/Board want to talk about. One big change that is still going on with this current Board is the lack of community meetings with directors. Only Harris, Song Maritz and Rivera Smith have them. And only Harris does them in person (and sometimes with lasagna).   I just listened into about two (exhausting) hours of the Executive Committee meeting. I'll get to the meat of the meeting in this post but man, they just want committees and more committees. Calendars and more calendars. Superintendent Jones said there needed to Rivera Smith made a wry observation about "bandwid

Sand Point Elementary Incident

Update 3:  Just to be clear, there were four separate incidents that day with that suspect. The first at View Ridge Swim and Tennis Club, then Sand Point Elementary School, then blocks away when the suspect tried to steal a DHL delivery truck and then later, on a city bus, as officers tried to arrest the suspect and he fought with them, either breaking or straining an officer's wrist. The report says it took four officers to hold him down.  Here's a link to the police report on all that happened with the suspect that day.  The police report is near the bottom of the listings. I note that another document in the list is for a mental health evaluation. The officer on the scene at Sand Point Elementary says this: This report is intended as a summary of the events that occurred under case #22-139699. I have paraphrased conversations and do not include an exact summary of events. For exact quotes or exact sequencing of events, I would refer the reader to my body worn video & ICV