Seattle Schools News Round-Up

 Looks like the Seattle Education Association (the Seattle teachers union) is supporting a demonstration on Friday for Starbucks workers who are fighting to create a union. It will be on Capitol Hill where Starbucks apparently closed their last store at Denny and Broadway over safety issues. Oddly, the workers had been begging for a security guard and the company did nothing for months.

When I visited Seattle last, I was quite surprised to see the Starbucks at Roosevelt Square closed. I was told it was because of "safety." One, that place was always packed and especially at RHS's lunchtime. Two, I could think of many other neighborhoods that might have more safety issues. Not saying there aren't safety issues in many areas where there are Starbucks, but you have to wonder if it also has something to do with efforts to unionize. 

Starbucks still has its huge, glamorous Roastery open on Capital Hill; I'd bet there's security guys in there. 

Nova High School art teacher, Becky Laird, was named the Museum of History and Industry's Educator of the the Year. Congrats to Ms. Laird! She donated the $1000 honorarium to Nova. 

Laird is a celebrated ceramic artist, special education, and art teacher at Nova. She was nominated for the award by a parent of a former student. As someone who shies away from the spotlight, Laird only agreed to accept the award if she could do it on behalf of the Nova community. 

“I don’t feel like teachers work independent of the community they are a part of,” she said. 

The district had both the Superintendent and the Mayor at Denny Middle School serving both lunch hours to highlight the quality of food served in SPS.

The district is continuing to have COVID and flu clinics throughout the district. 

SPS is offering high school athletic fans the opportunity to buy tickets digitally. You can still pay cash at the door. 

The last Seattle School Board meeting of the year is next Wednesday, December 14th. New Board officers will be elected then. Agenda. The personnel report reflects that Lawton is losing its principal, Allison Deno. The first half of the meeting has the Superintendent, student members of the Board and directors, all weighing in with comments. 

The second half of the meeting is:

1) an hour for the Board to do "progress monitoring" of SOFG goals. Stats (partial):

Seattle Public Schools are off track to meet their 2023 strategic plan target for 35% of 7th Grade African American males (AAM) to scoreproficient or above on the Spring 2023 Math Smarter Balanced Assessment.

2) Work Session on Transportation, agenda THEY WANT TO CHANGE TRANSPORTATION FROM TWO TIERS TO THREE TIERS (AGAIN)

Highlights:

The 2022 fall period state count data includes an average distance of 2.22, 102 destinations, 9,525 basic program riders and 3,191 specialprogram riders.

The 2022-23 adopted budget is $51,797,460 while the expected Student Transportation Allocation Reporting System(STARS) is $22,498,028. That is difference of $29,299,432.

Slide 9 shows Zum's On-Time Performance and Slide 10 shows First Student's On-Time Performance. They both seem to be doing well, with First Student slightly better. Oddly, the first slide shows week-to-week progress for Zum while First Student just has two data points.

Slide 11 on Ridership Over Time has one devastating data point - the district has seen a jump in "poverty percentage," from 30.1% in 2019-2020 to 40.5% in 2021-22.

Improving Efficiency and Effectiveness in 2023-24, Slide 20

•Return more students with IEPs to General Education routes; creating more inclusive communities

•Partnering with the Special Education department


•Shift bell times for Option Schools and Skills Center back one hour to utilize existing equipment and reduce costs.* (Modified 2-Tiers) (I note there is an asterisk for this item but there is no explanation given for it on the page.)

Shift Bell Times to accommodate multiple schools on one route. (Modified 2-Tiers)

•Move to a three-tier start time. Three tiers would:

- Spread routes over a longer period and reduce street congestion of both buses and personal vehicles and operate outside peak traffic hours

- Require the use of less equipment and personnel to provide the same service level and at lower costs

.- Improve overall service performance and improve meeting Transportation Service Standards’ metrics.

- Three-tiers allow for more flexibility in building routes for students with IEPs and will reduce reliance on alternative service providers. These students are then able to be included in the STARS reporting and additional transportation funds allocated.

Opt-in transportation process instead of routing by eligibility.

Modify transportation to Option Schools.

•Walk Zone changes

.•Adjust Transportation Service Standards for longer ride times

•HC Decentralization
(I assume they mean Highly Capable and that when HC is "decentralized," transportation costs will go down.) 




Comments

Anonymous said…
Tracy Castro Hill on her FB page is rallying folks to testify at next weeks meeting against Ethnic Studies cuts, anyone know anything about that? With dismal SOFG stats for test scores, I don’t think this program has borne out its value. With financials like these, each non-classroom program/expenditure needs to demonstrate its value.

Fail
Unknown said…
Anyone want to take bets on whether TCG will show some humility to get her department funded versus whether she'll guilt and brow-beat to get her department funded?

I might tune in to see what line she takes. I don't think Jones is as scared of her as Juneau was.

But she gives SPS some social justice cred, and she her curriculum can be used to control academic departments at JSCEE and schools.

SP
Fail, I know nothing about Castro Gill's efforts within SPS. It would not surprise me if she rose up if she thought Ethnic Studies in SPS was in danger. Problem is, the way JSCEE staff is acting, I think nearly EVERY program is in danger.

SP, how Castro Gill will act is anyone's guess but she tends to get pretty huffy.

Based on these two comments, as I hadn't been her website lately,I checked it out. She says nothing about SPS and Ethnic Studies.

The website also directs you to check out the "group's" Facebook page and Twitter page so I checked both. Castro Gill also has her own Twitter page - about her work - and a startling new profile picture. (I saw her in a panel discussion just weeks ago so I know what she looks like today.)
Anonymous said…
1. District has actually now made an ethnic studies curriculum available (at least K-5, I did not look farther.) But as a teacher you have to be given permission to view it. Looks like good lessons but without a current, broader social studies curriculum I don't quite see how it will work or make sense to kids. And I'm worried we will be expected to teach it stand alone.
2. Option schools one hour earlier? So if we now start at 7:50 that will be moving to 6:50 a.m.?
3. The meals...I want to think this is true. I do. Lunches are better. But we have had breakfasts that consist of a bag of Doritos, a bagged muffin, chocolate milk, and a packet of Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Clearly a breakfast of champions.
-Seattlelifer

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