Friday, September 17, 2010

Upcoming meetings with Superintendent and Board

In the comments to an earlier post, Lori asked:
Is anyone planning to attend one of the Superintendent's coffee chats?

I hope to go to the one at Jane Addams on October 12th. Given that it's at 9AM and many local families will be taking their elementary students to school at that very time, I suspect that meeting will have middle and highschool parents, along with APP parents residing in the NE whose kids take the bus to Lowell. Perhaps it will be a good opportunity to discuss APP-specific concerns.

I may ask if the split last year achieved its desired outcomes and how they are planning for capacity in the future ... I suspect there are going to be capacity issues at Lowell in the very near future.
Seems like a good idea. If APP parents might want to attend any of the Superintendent's coffee chats, here are the dates and places:
Superintendent Coffee Chat Dates
  • Central: Thursday, October 7 at SBOC from 6:00 p.m. -7:00 p.m.
  • Northeast: Tuesday, October 12 at Jane Adams (K-8) from 9:00 a.m. -10:00 a.m.
  • West Seattle:Monday, October 25 at West Seattle Elementary from 6:00 p.m. –7:00 p.m.
  • South East: Wednesday, October 27 from 6:00 p.m. -7:00 p.m. at Mercer Middle
  • Northwest: Tuesday, November 2 at North Beach from 9:00 a.m. -10:00a.m.
Also, Director Kay Smith-Blum announced community meetings:
Kay Smith-Blum, School Board Director for District 5 (Central Area, including Lowell) is having community meetings on Saturday September 25th and November 13th from 10:00 am until 11:30 am at the Douglas-Truth Library (2300 East Yesler Way). These meetings are a good chance to meet with her and voice your concerns about our school district. She would like to connect with as many parents as possible.
APP parents, are there other events with other school board members that you plan on attending to ask questions?

Update: Melissa Westbrook mentions an upcoming meeting with Director Maier:
Director Maier is having a morning meeting on Wednesday the 22nd from 10-11:30 a.m. at the Lake City Public Library, 12501 28th NE.
She also notes that these meetings appear sparsely attended, only three parents at Harium's recent one. APP parents that attend future meetings almost certainly would have a chance to ask questions.

Update: Charlie Mas posted a list of many upcoming meetings, including these with Directors Patu and Sunquist:
Saturday, September 25 at 10:00-noon
Director Patu Community Meeting at Tully's Coffee @ Rainier / Genesee

Wednesday, September 29 at 11:30am-12:30pm
Director Sundquist Community Meeting at Delridge Library
Update: Steve notes in the comments that Director Kay Smith-Blum "encouraged everyone to come to the Community Meeting she is hosting at Douglas Truth Library on Sat. Sept 25 from 10:00 to 11:30 Capacity issues at both Lowell and Garfield will be topics for discussion."

Update: Melissa reports that superintendent is taking questions at the regional meetings. Here is a list of the next regional meetings
Central: September 22 at Bailey Gatzert Elementary School
Northwest: September 23 at Hamilton Middle School
Southeast: September 28 at Aki MS
West: September 30 at Chief Sealth High School
if you might want to attend.


Parent said...

It's unfortunate that the superintendent's Central chat is the same time as curriculum nights at both Lowell and Washington. (I understand it's impossible to avoid all conflicts, but it's unfortunate.) Hope lots of parents from other schools will attend. Since it's in the NOVA/SBOC building, formerly Meany MS, it would be a good opportunity for folks from those schools to air concerns.

CCM said...

If anyone attended the Garfield PTSA/community meeting tonight -- please update us on anything that might have been mentioned that concerns high-school APP.
I'm not a current high-school parent and I figured the meeting would already be over capacity, so I didn't want to show up and take up room.

Greg Linden said...

CCM, someone identified as G posted a brief summary over on the SPS Community blog. Worth a read.

Anonymous said...

When talking about going to these meetings, the APP Advisory Committee said this in their latest e-mail:

"While it is certainly important to express concerns, it is also very important to provide feedback about what is working WELL for your student in APP. Positive feedback is important to ensure the District continues to support APP and other advanced learning programs."

Anyone else see that as a veiled threat? Speak positively about the district's efforts on APP or risk losing APP?

Steve said...

On the Seattle Public Schools community blog there's a post about the Garfield PTSA/Community meeting on 9/20/10. In the comments, it is mentioned that board member Kay Smith-Blum "encouraged everyone to come to the Community Meeting she is hosting at Douglas Truth Library on Sat. Sept 25 from 10:00 to 11:30 Capacity issues at both Lowell and Garfield will be topics for discussion."

Might be a good idea to attend if you'd like to learn/say more about capacity issues at these schools. There is ongoing *speculation* on this blog and on the blog mentioned above about how over-crowding at Garfield (esp.) may lead to the APP high school cohort being split or otherwise not being guaranteed a spot at Garfield for high school. Just speculation at this point, but worth being aware of nonetheless should this possibility arise.

Anonymous said...

I had the same reaction to the APP-AC message. It is so very, very frustrating to have this group as our only voice with the District. This is our fourth year with a child in APP, and I'm not clear what the group actually accomplishes, beyond regularly conveying the impression to parents that we should count our blessings that advanced learning still exists at all. Greg or Andrew, it would be great to have someone from the Committee answer questions from your commenters.


CCM said...

During the split - the APP AC encouraged the APP community to keep quiet because they were terrified that the APP program at the high school level would go away.
I wonder what they are thinking now? Doesn't seem to have done us much good.
As a result of everything we experienced through the closure process - I certainly have "trust" issues with the district. So unfortunately, I think that the overcrowding issue at Garfield will be resolved by kicking around APP again.
I will try to attend the meeting with Kay Smith-Blum to get her take on the issue.

Anonymous said...

My interactions with Kay Smith Blum have all been positive. She has been engaged, articulate and supportive of APP (an aside - her kids went through the program, through High School, I believe). I would suggest that we all attend her meetings and email her about concerns relating to the imact that Garfield overcrowding will have on APP.

Greg Linden said...

Hi, Ruthie. Thanks for the suggestion. I'd enjoy doing a Q&A with the APP Advisory Committee if they might be willing, but I'm not sure what the questions would be. The only question that comes to mind is whether the APP AC should be doing advocacy on behalf of APP. Are their other questions APP parents would like to ask the APP AC?

Shannon said...

I noticed that today's Thursday Note from Lowell included the line "Also, it is important to note that beginning this year, 2010-2011, the required achievement tests are our district-adopted MAP tests of reading and math. All Seattle School District students who want to be considered for advanced learning program eligibility will need to participate in this fall’s MAP assessment."

Does anyone else feel that it may be premature for MAP testing to be a mandated part of the evaluation? I actually like the test - it works and seems to provide meaningful and consistent results for my son - but there are other kids who may be highly gifted and have highly skewed MAP scores.

peaches said...

Not sure the best place to post this... Is the move to Lowell APP (versus Spectrum at a NE school) worth it? Early grades versus later grades? Why or why not? Thanks.