West Seattle, Washington
Charleston, S.C., superintendent Dr. Maria Goodloe-Johnson will take the top spot here. It’s on all the newspaper sites but the most interesting coverage is liveblogging of the meeting, announcement, and ensuing questions on the unofficial SPS/Save Seattle Schools blog.
If you’re not a parent or school worker, it might not be on your radar, so a friendly reminder, Seattle public schools (and most if not all private schools in the city) are out all week for spring break.
Both finalists for the Seattle Public Schools superintendent job were in town this week, and both visited four schools including Chief Sealth HS here in WS. If you’re interested in more on the finalists and what district-watchers think of them, there’s excellent coverage on the unofficial Seattle Public Schools (formerly Save Seattle Schools) blog.
Getting a jump on our weekly “what’s happening this weekend,” which will be up tomorrow as usual — we wanted to give you 24 (or so) hours notice about two benefit events, both happening tomorrow (Friday) night. #1 — From 6 till 8 pm in the West Seattle High School commons, it’s the annual chowder cookoff, with chowders from local restaurants offered in what the school calls a “blind taste test.” More info a ways down the school’s home page. #2 — The West Seattle Big Band is playing @ Evergreen HS (between White Center and Burien) as part of an “Evening of Swing,” 6:30-9:30 pm, benefitting the school music program.
A WSB reader with kids @ Lafayette Elementary across from the store’s south lot forwarded us this e-mail bulletin from the school, complete with handy phone number if anyone wants to call the store’s manager to ask whassup with all this. Full e-mail text, plus a photo of something interesting we spotted in that same lot this morning, after the jump:Read More
It’s school $-raising season, and the parents at Madison Middle School asked us to share this request: Donate to their upcoming auction. They’re looking for new items, open to just about anything — art, gift baskets, sports souvenirs, you name it. If you don’t have schoolkids in your family, you may not realize how important these annual fundraisers are — a couple WS elementary schools, for example, are raising $ to fix deteriorating playgrounds. To offer an item (or find out about auction tickets), click here to e-mail the Madison auction chairperson, who also explains where the $ will go:
The auction benefits the Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA) programs and this year’s fund a wish item is a message board much like the one in front of West Seattle High School which will help to communicate to the parents/community the events at the school as well as important messages that somehow seem to get lost in a pre-teenager’s backpack!!!
Turnout at our precinct was pretty lousy by the time we voted at midday — only one other voter turning out for the school propositions. If you missed our thoughts on them a few days ago, just scroll down this page. Whether you vote no/yes, yes/yes, whatever, they do have “validation requirements,” which means TURNOUT. Only takes a minute. (Meantime, in a much less important but much more fun vote, thank you for helping us win our “bracket” in the Metroblogging Seattle blog-popularity contest — now we advance to the second round, so we’ll be begging you again Thursday to take a sec to vote, again, for WSB.)
Yard signs have finally popped up, but, especially if you don’t have a kid in Seattle Public Schools, you still might not be entirely aware there’s an election on Tuesday. Yes, there is — almost $900 million dollars worth. Here’s our 2 cents, if you haven’t already voted by mail, or haven’t really thought much about which way to go: Seattle School District Proposition 1 could be considered discretionary; it spends hundreds of millions on construction projects (including a new Denny Middle/Sealth HS campus here in WS) that some say don’t represent the most urgent needs for this kind of $. However, Seattle School District Proposition 2 is NOT discretionary. A “yes” vote on Prop 2 renews a levy (in other words, no change in tax rate) that provides a quarter of the district’s budget. If you vote no on Prop 2, students WILL be hurt. And unlike some of the people in this article, many local families don’t have the $ to just say “oh well, it’s off to private school then” (and trust us, even if they do, some private schools are startlingly overrated). No matter what you decide to do regarding school Prop 1, please vote yes Tuesday on school Prop 2.
Before we get to the 2-part (more like 4-option) viaduct vote in March, don’t forget the 2-part school vote next month, with a big West Seattle project on the ballot, as the Times reminds us again today. (Then if you’re still trying to sort out the viaduct conundrum, check out this excellent Slog breakdown, with reader comments that inspired us to suggest the slogan No/No, The Way to Go.)
The previously mentioned Seattle Public Schools “when do you want to make up snow days” survey is up (scroll to the bottom of this page). It asks participants to rank six options in order of preference — but murkily notes that some combination of the options will be required to make up all of the days missed so far this year (not to mention whatever’s yet to come). They’re laying pretty much everything on the table — “mid-winter” break, spring break, end of year. We’d just as soon get rid of “mid-winter” break — it’s so unnecessary, coming so close to Christmas vacation, and not that far ahead of spring break. But our opinion may not matter anywhere near as much as the teachers’ union’s opinion; here’s what you get on the “thank you” page after taking the survey:
The district will tally and consider the response, discuss and bargain the calendar with the Seattle Education Association, and announce the revised schedule as soon as possible.Ã‚Â
In the middle of this article, Seattle Public Schools’ spokesperson says we may find out next week what the district plans to do about making up the days lost to snow, ice, wind, all that fun stuff that’s smacked us in the past couple months. We were going to suggest that SPS follow Issaquah’s lead and survey parents about their wishes … then we went to this page on the SPS site and discovered that the district plans to do exactly that. Says a survey will be linked from that page no later than 5 pm today (you can bet we’ll be checking). Can’t wait to see what the options are.
Now that the kids are back at school, let’s see what they’re up to. Took an unexpected turn around the web and found this feature about the West Seattle High Auto Shop. (And it’s not just a boy thing!)
Looks like Seattle Public Schools decided to open 2 hours late today. That may even have been overly cautious, since it hasn’t even dropped below freezing yet (we can hear the snow from the roof melting slowly through the rain-gutter drainpipe), but better safe than sorry. For next time (somehow you know there’ll be one), a city source tells us that whenever Seattle Public Schools has a weather closure, there are “snow camps” for child care at Hiawatha and Southwest Community Centers. We can’t find details online but you can check with the centers: here’s contact info for Hiawatha and Southwest.
There’s a lot at stake for West Seattle in the school vote coming up five weeks from today. The measures are mentioned as part of this “year ahead for Seattle Public Schools” story in today’s Times. To find specifics, you have to scavenge through the SPS site; a no-frills doc outlines the half-billion dollar bond measure that we’ll be voting on, a large chunk of which would go toward combining the Denny Middle School & Chief Sealth HS campuses on this side of WS (new turf for the Denny/Sealth field is in the bond plan too). But when you go vote, keep in mind the bond measure is separate from the $400 million levy the district needs just to keep running. And neither will pass, no matter how many “yes” votes, if not enough voters (at least 40% of the # who voted last November) show up.