School doors will be closed, but the libraries will stay open through most of the break . At Stanislo Elementary, they’re encouraging kids to make use of that. The school is having an event at the Delridge Branch’s meeting room from 2 p.m. until 5 p.m. on Dec. 31. They’ll have snacks, board games, and a computer on hand, so that families can learn about the public library’s electronic resources. They’ll also give away free books, said Stanislo teacher-librarian Craig Seasholes. The Seattle Public Library’s branches are open regular hours through most of the break, closing on Dec. 24, Dec. 25, and Jan. 1, and closing at 6 p.m. on Dec. 31. And while they are open they are hosting a variety of free events for school-aged kids, including movies, craft sessions, and something called Lego Mania! (The exclamation point is part of the name.) Lego Mania has been running at the Northgate Branch of the Seattle Public Library every Monday after from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. since August. (It’ll stop for a while starting in January, because someone else is using the room.) The librarians put out three plastic tubs of legos, play some music, and let the kids create. It’s been very popular, says Northgate Branch children’s librarian Claire Scott. During the second week of the break, the event will go to three other branches. Lego fits with the library’s mission because it is a very educational toy, promoting math and engineering skills, Scott says. “It all connects to the learning goals we have as a library,” she says. Scott enjoys watching how different kinds of kids work with Legos. For some, it’s a social activity, and they work together. For others it is a chance to retreat into the world of building. “Different kids have different things they need.” Stops for the Lego Mania! Tour: Dec. 31 South Park Branch from 2 p.m. until 3:30 p.m. Jan. 2 Columbia Branch from 1 p.m. until 2 p.m. Jan. 3 Lake City Branch from 1:30 p.m. until 3 p.m. -By Fiona Cohen
At the Seattle World School, they have a lot to celebrate. It’s the third school year since Seattle Public Schools merged the Secondary Bilingual Orientation Center- a school where newly arrived immigrants went for up to 18 months get the skills to go to other public schools-with a secondary school whose purpose is to prepare English language learners for college or careers.
The school, one of six Creative Approach schools in the district, specializes in teaching academic subjects in ways that work for English language learners without any dumbing down. The staff all has professional training in teaching for these learners. All but three have ELL endorsements, and those three are on track to earn their credential by the end of the year, said Veronica Gallardo, Seattle Public Schools’ Director of ELL and International Programs. The school continues to draw an amazing diversity of kids, as you can see by this graphic, made by a World School 8th grader.
And it is getting results. In winter 2012, World School ninth-graders showed far greater improvement in Math MAP scores than ELL students in any other high school, with more than 90 percent meeting or exceeding growth expectations. They were second in the district for improvement in reading with more than 75 percent meeting expectations. [Read more...]
Last night, I started reading the New York Times’ extraordinary series, The Invisible Child, about a homeless middle-school student named Dasani, her family life and her school. I couldn’t stop reading it. I stayed up past midnight. One thing that kept me up later: an increasing number of children share her predicament. Last school year, there were an estimated 26,ooo homeless K-12 students in Washington, 1,324 in the Seattle School District.
At Thursday’s Road Map Results Report meeting, Community Center for Education Results executive director Mary Jean Ryan asked participants to fill out cards with their resolutions for how to help the project meet its goals next year. Here are a few, showing the range of people this project brings together.
Good news: more high school students in South King County and South Seattle are taking college credit courses than ever before – and the participation rates are increasing across all ethnic groups.
Bad news: students in the region have a higher poverty rate and a higher rate of homelessness than they did four years ago. In the 2012-13 school year there were 72,000 low-income students, and 3,156 homeless students.
The take-home message from the Road Map Project region’s 2013 results report: the goal of doubling the 2010 number of students on track for college or a career by 2020 and closing achievement gaps is attainable, but people are going to have to work hard to make it happen, said Mary Jean Ryan, executive director for the Community Center for Education Results, at a Thursday morning gathering in Renton.
“Honestly, it is going to take every bit of resolve and determination that all of us can muster,” she said. [Read more...]
It’s one bubble on a form, but for those tasked with raising Native American achievement in Seattle Public Schools, it’s a big problem.
Seattle Public Schools collects demographic data on its students by asking them to fill in the appropriate box on a form. In 2011, they added a new ethnic category: multiracial.
This resulted in a large group of students who had previously identified themselves as Native American changing their definition to multiracial. They might still be eligible for funding under federal grants supporting Native American education (any student who has a grandparent who is a Native American or Alaska Native tribal member is eligible for Title 7 funding, for example), but you couldn’t find them in the district’s computer system.
Sharon Peaslee was elected president of the school board for 2014 by a 4/3 vote, with Sherry Carr, Stephan Blanford, and Harium Martin-Morris voting against.
They unanimously elected Betty Patu vice-president.
They unanimously elected Marty McLaren member at large.
So that’s the executive committee.
Patricia Warren, senior business agent and organizer with Teamsters Local #174, the school bus drivers union, testifed at tonight’s school board meeting that with First Student aren’t going well. The main sticking point: health care coverage. The drivers took a strike vote a couple of weeks ago, and voted in favor.
I talked with Warren in the hall after she spoke, and she said bargaining is continuing, a federal mediator is coming, and the union won’t do any job action until January, at the earliest.
More news from the school board meeting later.
The Lumina Foundation announced today that it is partnering with 20 regions around the country, including the Road Map region of South Seattle and South King County. The foundation will give the region access to expertise from a variety of sources as well as up to $200,000 over three years. It is “up to” $200,000 because whether the region gets the money depends on whether it reaches certain goals. The Lumina Foundation aims to increase the proportion of Americans with post-secondary credentials to 60 percent by 2025. The Road Map Project aims to close opportunity gaps and double the number of youth in its region who are on track for college and career by 2020. Here’s the Road Map Project’s announcement about the partnership with Lumina.