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This and That in Seattle Schools

Just wondering if the district is going to offer parents a ny information or guidance on the state of COVID/monkeypox and their child's school . Granted, school doesn't start for a couple of weeks but it's a thought. Nothing so far at the district website.  Speaking of pandemic issues, there has been a case of polio (yes, polio) in New York State. To note, polio is a disease that really affects kids (my older sister had it and has felt its effects her entire life) so this is scary. How scary (bold mine)?   From CNN : A polio case identified in New York last month is "just the very, very tip of the iceberg" and an indication there "must be several hundred cases in the community circulating," a senior official with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told CNN on Wednesday.  The case was found In Rockland County, which has a stunningly low polio vaccination rate. Dr. José Romero, director of the CDC's National Center for Immunization an

July 1st Ad Hoc Meeting and Its Documentation Materials

As I previously reported here , it appears that the Board is moving to wholesale change how the Board works and, by association, how the Superintendent works. I find it both troubling and disturbing and here's why. Could the Board mechanics work better and by extension, Board meetings? Sure. But flip the table? Nope, especially when not a single one of the current members of the Board, when they were candidates, said this was a key item that they believed would help the district. (And do keep that in mind for next year's 4-Board seat election. I think some people might have some explaining to do.) I would have no problem if it seemed to have come internally but I sense that the consultant from the Council of Great City Schools, AJ Crabill, has had a big hand in this. (He seems to be on permanent retainer.)  The new Ad Hoc Committee made up of Chandra Hampson (ever in charge), Liza Rankin and Vivian Song Maritz have been hard at work. I finally did receive documentation on the t

Thinking Again About Possible Revisions to PTA Funding in Seattle Schools

 I've often remarked that you never know what you will find looking around the Seattle Schools website. I'm often seeking one thing and stumble on another. And so it is with Lincoln High School's PTSA webpage .  Their PTSA has a very informative page on fundraising and the system they have (at least for now as a new school) for fundraising and where those dollars go. All bold mine. The good news for Lincoln High: We are delighted to announce that thanks to your generous contributions and known employer matching, we not only reached our $80,000 goal but have just hit $100,000! They go on: Since the re-opening just before the pandemic, every single program at our school is a nascent program, forming and emerging as more students enroll and our school grows. Many of our parents have spent very little time actually in our school and few of us have met in person. We haven’t had an in-person PTSA meeting or event since autumn of 2019! With that in mind we, the PTSA board, reali

Arts Opportunities for Students and Teachers via A Contemporary Theatre

 Via a parent Facebook page: ACT is hosting free Open Houses in August where teens can tour the theater, eat pizza, and learn more about the Young Core Company, Act on Stage theater camp, and TeenACT programs. ACT is also hosting a FREE training for a new arts and civic engagement curriculum this September open to all educators - plus offering free tickets for teachers to their season. Learning at ACT programs ignite a passion for artistic ambition and civic engagement through a variety of inclusive experiential learning and performance programs in order to cultivate belonging, foster growth, and become a more empowered, engaged, and creative community. All programs Pay-What-You-Choose. We’re thrilled to be including young artists in the life and future of ACT. Help us expand our community and spread the word! Visit www.acttheatre.org/learning-at-act/ to learn more, or contact Shana Bestock (Artistic Associate, Education).

Education News Roundup

An NPR story with up-to-date info on monkeypox . I see that it appears to be very much a sexually transmitted disease. I saw a tweet from a high school teacher who said her students tend to do a lot of body-to-body hugs and she's wondering if her school will send out any advisories in terms of monkeypox.  What seems to be a bigger problem, that may coincide with schools reopening, is COVID waves throughout the school year. With the large number of teachers who have left teaching  it's going to be interesting(and I can verify this is nationwide and a huge issue for districts, plus subs being pressed into service as full-time teachers). I wonder if SPS will have any updates for parents and schools about their approach.  Coming from issues around COVID and mask mandates , a story from The NY Times on parents who have become single-issue voters.  Ms. Longnecker and her fellow objectors are part of a potentially destabilizing new movement: parents who joined the anti-vaccine and

This and That In Seattle Schools

 Whew! A lot to let you know about. First up, there's a rumor that JoLynn Berge , the head of budgeting in Seattle Schools, is on her way out. It's unknown if she is leaving on her own or being pushed out.  Next, SPS settles with former Cleveland High School principal, Catherine Brown , who crossed swords with the district over COVID information to her community. SPS didn't want her saying one thing and she did anyone (she says in service to her community and the community seems to have backed up her decision). She is to receive $205,056 and resigned from SPS. She accepted the settlement, agreeing to not trying to sue the district over discrimination and/or retaliation claims.  One side note to this story is who her lawyer is - Shannon McMinimee. Ms. McMinimee used to work in SPS Legal so she knows the district well. I see her name often in cases against districts and she seems to be striving to be the leading education lawyer in the region. I sat in on the Board's ne

Where is All the Money Going in Seattle Public Schools?

A reader sent me this interesting information:   I tried to find past year budgets. SPS makes this hard. But a web site says that the budget for 2018-19 was $955MM, and the upcoming budget appears to be $1.13 billion. So that's an increase of 58 million.   For 2015-16, which was 7 years ago, the year the enrollment of this coming year is compared to, the budget is listed here at $753MM. So, compared to 7 years ago, the enrollment is about the same, but the budget amount of $1.13B / 753 MM is up by a whopping 50.1%. This is an increase of $377 MILLION dollars. Well some of the increase is no doubt ESSER money. But still. If you'd said to SPS 7 years ago your enrollment is going to be the same but your budget will be up by 50.1%, you will have 377 MILLION more dollars to work with, I bet they would have said that's more than enough to get stupendous results. https://edunomicslab.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Seattle-2015-16.pdf As well , the district is getting very good f