Community & Parents for Public  Schools of Seattle
 Action Passion and Leadership for Excellent Seattle Schools

CPPS is a network of parents and community members working together to ensure quality public schools for all Seattle children
In This Issue
Important Dates
The Election
Simple Majority, 4204
CPPS's New Technology
Hidden Gem: Meany Middle School
New Study Groups Forming
District News and Announcements
Special Education Fair
High School Graduation Requirements
Quick Links
Join Our List
Join Our Mailing List
Issue: # 11 November/2007
Greetings!
Welcome to the new version of our monthly e-newsletter!  We are continuing to provide news, opinion, opportunities to get engaged and important dates and events while improving our communication with you.

This month, we are introducing a new feature series on schools you should know about.  Our readers and friends have tipped us off about several "hidden gem" schools.  During this season of enrollment planning, we want to clue you in and spread the word about some of our district's best kept secret schools that are doing great educational work.  Let us know if you have a "hidden gem" to recommend.

Please let us know what you think.  You can e-mail priyas@cppsofseattle with comments or questions on tech or kerry@cppsofseattle with comments on content.
IMPORTANT DATES

    November 14: Appreciation for Dedicated Service & Outgoing School Board Directors' Last Board Meeting
    November 15: SCPTSA Legislative Roundtable
    November 16: Application Deadline for Family Partnership Advisory Committee
    November 28: Newly Elected School Board Directors Take Oath of Office
    November & December: Superintendent Community Meetings by District
    November 30 - Dec. 1: PPS National Leadership Conference, Jackson, MS
    December 1: Special Ed Program Fair
    December 4:  WA State Board of Education Community Meeting on Preparing Students for Life After High School

 
Looking for these dates in a calendar format?  Add them to your Google Calendar!
Election 2007
 Voters call for a Clean Slate on School Board
Four years ago, voters responded to the district's budget crisis ($34 million overspent) and a recently ousted superintendent by rallying around four activist board directors on Election Day to set things straight.

In a repeat of 2003, voters went to the polls last week and elected four new directors.

For election results and important dates, read more here:
IT'S A VICTORY
4204 Logo Simple Majority Campaign Declares Win for the Constitutional Amendment

The Simple Majority campaign and education leaders came together yesterday to declare victory for the constitutional amendment, EHJR4204, that will allow a simple majority vote (50+1) for education levies versus the super majority (60%) in Washington State.
 
Click here for complete article.

For more information about EHJR 4204, Simple Majority for Our Local Schools, the
simple majority website.
Technology Upgrades!
 CPPS gets new technology to better connect with you! 
As you can tell, CPPS is starting to take on a new look.  All of our communications are being improved to help you get important information with speed and ease!
 
Along with the blog, we have a new Google Calendar.  If you already have a google calendar, you can add the CPPS calendar to yours, keeping you up-to-date on important events.  We will also have a page of up-to-date newslinks and newsletter articles archived. CPPS is launching a new blog page, with a variety of community contributors.  Feel free to bookmark the page and check back as the conversations begin! 

If you have any comments or ideas about the new technology or are interested in being a blog contributor, please email priyas@cppsofseattle.org. 
HIDDEN GEMS: MEANY MIDDLE SCHOOL, Jaguar Pride
meany middle school pic by Gretchen Plank, Meany mom

Meany Middle School has been a blessing for our daughter, Sophia.  She has blossomed, educationally, which we are really excited about.  Sophia enjoys learning from her inspirational teachers each and every day, she is thinking ahead towards high school, and has set goals for college.  She shares something new she's learned, every night at the family dinner table.
 
Our concerns with our first child entering middle school were, would it be a good fit for our child, would the educational environment be challenging enough and would Sophia receive nurturing one-on-one assistance that she received in elementary school.  Thankfully, we had no reason for concern.  Sophia loves Meany! 

To read the rest of this article, click here.
 

NEW STUDY GROUPS FORMING
 State funding and middle schools hot topics!

The 2007 Legislature created a Joint Task Force on Basic Education Finance to "review the definition of basic education and all current basic education funding formulas".  It is imperative that parents be engaged as these critical decisions are being made.  CPPS is organizing a study group to ensure the education priorities of public school families are being addressed.  For more details, including how to participate, click here.


CPPS is aware that the transition to middle school is a significant one for all families, and in particular, one that raises a lot of considerations for parents in Seattle Public Schools. CPPS has launched a study group on middle level education in Seattle.  For more details, including how to participate in the middle school study group, click here.
DISTRICT NEWS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
Parent Advisory Committee seeks new members
Application deadline: November 16
Seattle Public Schools is seeking new members to serve on the School-Family Partnership Advisory Committee. The committee will implement the School-Family Partnership Policy, and will advise the Superintendent on ways to most effectively involve families in teaching and learning. For more information, including the link for the nomination form, click here

Superintendent continues community meetings
Dr. Maria L. Goodloe-Johnson will continue meeting with community members to learn about each of our school districts.   She will be accompanied by the School Board Director from the district she is visiting on each of these informal gatherings.  This is a excellent opportunity to have a conversation with our superintendent.  To learn more about these meetings, click here, and then click on the "Community Gatherings by District" link.
 

Community invited to provide input on Facilities Master Plan
The Seattle School District is inviting the community to fill out a survey which will guide the update of its existing Facility Master Plan (FHP). The planning process is an effort to outline a systematic schedule of improving school facilities. For more information, including a link to the .pdf, click here.
SPECIAL EDUCATION PROGRAM FAIR
Mark your calendars:  December 1st
The Seattle Special Ed PTSA will co-sponsor a Special Ed Program Fair with SEAAC and Seattle Public Schools on Saturday, December 1, from 9 am to 12:30 pm at Meany Middle School. The Fair is designed to serve families with school-aged children with disabilities and will showcase the gamut of Special Ed programs and locations in the Seattle School District. The Fair will also provide families with support in locating appropriate programs.

The fair will feature a keynote speech on helping our children with transitions. Workshops will include school assignment and program placement policy, school visits, riser process, enrollment calendar, procedural safeguards, IEP/progress reports, WASL/WAAS, post-secondary programs, ITP, and graduation requirements. Display booths featuring organizations and schools serving the special education community will be open during the entire fair.

  Call for Volunteers
We will hold an organizational meeting for the December 1 Special Education Program Fair on Tuesday, October 23, at the John Stanford Center at 7 pm. We could use some extra hands to make this fair a success. Please join us! Contact Nancy Speer at nancyspeer@comcast.net for more information.
WA BOARD OF EDUCATION REVIEWS GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS
 Washington State Board of Education to Hold Community Meetings on Improving Graduation Requirements to Better Prepare Students for Life after High School

December 4, 6 - 8pm
North Seattle Community College, College Center Bldg Cafeteria
9600 College Way North
 
As part of its effort to improve requirements for high school graduation to better prepare students for life after high school, the Washington State Board of Education will hold community meetings across the state to hear the public's opinion on the topic.
 
During the meetings the Board will discuss how the economy of our state and prospects for high school graduates have changed since the state last reviewed
high school graduation credit requirements 22 years ago; offer a conceptual framework for improving state graduation requirements; and listen to public input.
 
In the near-term, input from the meetings will help the Board to define the purpose of the high school diploma and identify the content for a required third credit of math. The feedback also will be used by the Board to draft recommendations for new high school graduation requirements, which it will release to the public in spring 2008. During a second round of community meetings in spring 2008, members of the public will have the opportunity to provide feedback on the draft recommendations before they are finalized.  For more information, please visit the State Board of Education website.
 
We hope you enjoyed our new format.  Remember to visit our new blog page in the next couple of weeks as we begin to use that tool to engage in issues facing Seattle Public Schools.  If you have a middle school child, you may want to check out our hidden gem for November, Meany Middle School.  Happy Thanksgiving!
 
Sincerely,
 

CPPS Announcements
Community & Parents for Public Schools of Seattle