Saturday, April 10, 2010

Kay Smith-Blum at Lowell and TM

Seattle School Board member Kay Smith-Blum met with parents at Lowell on April 5 and Thurgood Marshall on April 6. By request, here is a thread to discuss those meetings.

Lendlees offered a summary of the Lowell meeting in an early thread:
I was there this morning. KSB is a breath of fresh air. She was very forthright and blunt about the issues that are going on and the extent of her influence with the existing board.

She took copious notes about the issues we raised and is planning to bring them to her one on one with the Superintendent this week.

The issues we raised were:
  1. Lowell and TM should not be treated like other schools. We have unique programs that require special staffing not accounted for in the existing WSS formula. (example: you can't have .4 of a teacher)
  2. There is no curriculum for APP yet.
  3. We have very large class sizes (29 in 3rd/5th grade)
  4. We have a large number of split grades.
  5. Everyday Math is a terrible curriculum for APP and cannot be taught in a split class setting.
  6. Why are we getting penalized about lack of stimulus money this year when we didn't benefit from it last year.
  7. Just because Lowell looks 'successful' on the outside doesn't mean there aren't inherent issues that need extra support.
Kay is very much an advocate since her sons went through APP as well.
Can others who were there please comment on and summarize the meetings?

3 comments :

Anonymous said...

I wasn't as taken with KSB as Lendlees was. KSB said she was disappointed with how the split was advertised, but not that they shouldn't have done a split. She said the district should have talked about how they were expanding the program instead of saying they were splitting it. To use a recently popular cliche, you can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig. I think they split the program to hide the TT Minor kids and to make it look like the under-achievement problems at TM weren't as bad as they are. This, obviously, does a major disservice to these kids.

KSB did seem quite surprised at how little money each school has. Lowell is even doing a copy paper drive this year. Pathetic.

I was glad a parent made a point that the school district asks for a student count before the APP appeals are done. APP is essentially under-funded because of this. Neither school gets credit for students entering the school due to a successful appeal.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone have any idea of the number of students that will be at the 4 APP sites next fall? The split happened after assignments last year, and I'm interested to see if the numbers will be roughly half north and half south.

Lori said...

Anon wrote "...a parent made a point that the school district asks for a student count before the APP appeals are done. APP is essentially under-funded because of this. Neither school gets credit for students entering the school due to a successful appeal."

I don't follow. Budgets were made prior to the end of open enrollment, which means that APP doesn't have numbers yet for ANY new students, whether they got in thru the district's testing or on appeal. All eligible students had to go thru Open Enrollment, which ended 3/31.

The appeals process, as I see it, has no negative affect on the budget. It seems to be all the schools would have more realistic numbers if preliminary budgets were not worked on until AFTER 3/31 when parents have indicated their school choice.