Community & Parents for Public Schools of Seattle

CPPS is a local, grassroots network of parents and community members working together to support and advocate for excellent public schools in our neighborhood communities, and throughout our district, city, and state .  
Community & Parents for Public  Schools of Seattle
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January, 2012
Is It Leadership, "Followership" or Partnership?  
Appropriately, we honor Martin Luther King Jr. Day reflecting on leadership.  As a change leader, he set a standard for thoughtful consideration of the issues alongside exhortation to radical action.  Parents wrestling with how to engage in school improvement need to find a similar balance between thought and action, and between preserving what's good about our schools and system and more radically challenging them to serve all kids in all neighborhoods.  

A recent
Crosscut article suggested that we consider "followership" alongside leadership as we embark on the search for a new superintendent and endeavor to change what has seemed like a "stuck" system the past many years.  It's an important idea, but I think not the right one, not really.

CPPS has called for something different from our earliest days.

While we want strong leaders for Seattle Public Schools, and while we need to be prepared to follow their lead, as Crosscut author, Anthony Robinson, suggests, what we really want -- what we hear from parents in all corners of the city -- what we can't seem to establish -- is partnership.

How might that look?  Let us know your thoughts.
Here are some of ours.

Community Organizing Catalysts  

CPPS has invested in parents organizing in their own communities.  As we scale our work and provide regular parent leadership trainings, we hope to see more:       

  • Parents connecting across schools to assert a common expectation of quality and accountability from Seattle Public Schools.  Check out SE Parents' Bill of Rights for Quality Neighborhood Schools 
  • Communities designing enrichment, summer programs, parent education, etc. to meet their needs and collaborating with the district for support, promotion, and connection to SPS improvement plans. 
  • District outreach for improvement ideas from informed parents engaged in constructive education reform.         
Advisory Opportunities    
Seattle Public Schools has initiated increasing numbers of advisory committees, touching areas such as discipline and equity where community members have long felt shut out.  It's a start for community voice, but we also need:
  • Communication about committee ideas and projects for the community members who can't participate
  • More open discussion about what is working, what is not working and what can be improved from the parent and community perspective.  

Policy Push

Seattle is fortunate to have many advocacy voices raising and supporting issues related to school improvement and educational reform.  They apply different strategies and sometimes seek different outcomes, but partnership means they should be included in the conversation.

When leaders choose one approach over another or take a controversial stand (and yes, many stands are controversial), partnership suggests that the community be offered thoughtful reasoning in support of the position, not scrambling to justify foregone decisions.  

School Services

Each Seattle school has its own community, and service to the district may not always best address individual community needs.  Partnership mandates that the district balance system decision-making against local impact and include local partners in weighing the possibilities.   


Partnership implies learning in public and sharing ideas generously.  It isn't easy, but it will make a difference.  Let's look for partnership commitments from our new and future leaders!  


Do your part to help develop parent leadership in Seattle.    Share your ideas       Donate       Join Us On Facebook  

Opportunity Spotlight:

What's Happening for Parents?    

What's NOW? Get involved... 


Join an SPS Advisory Committee!   

  • Special Education Advisory & Advocacy Council  (SEAAC) -- Apply by sending in background information and reasons for interest by Wednesday, Jan 18th   
Help Families Apply for Financial Aid!   

College Goal Sunday Washington aims to reduce the barriers students face in paying for college. You can help students and their families with the FAFSA so they can get money for college. Visit College Goal Sunday for a full list of events:

  • 1/18 6-8pm Ingraham HS, 1819 N135th                
  • 1/19 6:30-9pm Franklin HS 3013 S Mt. Baker Blvd        
  • 1/21 11am-2pm Seattle Public Library 1000 4th Ave    
  • 1/26 7-9pm  Chief Sealth HS  2600 SW Thistle
  • 1/24 5:30 pm Seattle Central Community College 
  • 1/26 3:00 pm Seattle Central Community College        
  • 1/31 6-8pm  Nathan Hale HS  10750 30th NE         
Attend CPPS' Celebration of Parent Leadership work
and learn about future parent training opportunities!!
Join us to see our video and hear about our work --
7pm Jan 31st, Dearborn Park Elementary 
2820 S. Orcas St.   



WHAT'S ON:    


Wednesday January 18 6- 9:00pm  

SPS Board vote on 2012-2013 Student Assignment Transition and ShortTerm Capacity Managment plans     

JSCEE 2445 3rd Ave. S, Auditorium 

The FACMAC (Facilities and Capacity Management Advisory Committee) has worked with district leaders to prepare plans to cope with enrollment growth.  Recommendations affect geozones, portables, Spectrum access, etc.


Kindergarten Transition/Early Enrollment Opportunities 

- Light dinner and free gift; childcare for ages 3+
Bring children's birth certificates, CIS (immunizations), proof of residence, Admission Form, & parent/guardian photo ID 
For more information, call 206-252-0760

Thursday, Jan. 19 -- South Shore PreK-8, 6-7:30pm
4800 S. Henderson St. 98118 ● 206-252-7600
Thursday, Jan. 26- Gatzert Elementary, 6-7:30pm
1301 E. Yesler Way, 98122 ● 206-252-2810

Saturday, January 21, 9am-1pm
WABSE Symposium: Discipline Disparities among Black Children $25   More information     RSVP

Tuesday, January 24 -- School ends 3 hours early!
Furlough day

Wednesday, January 25,

Provide Feedback on Family, Student & Staff Surveys

JSCEE, 2445 3rd Ave. S, Room 2700

Each spring Seattle Public Schools surveys families, school staff and students about instruction, leadership, and family engagement. This meeting offers the opportunity to review last year's results and provide feedback on the surveys.  

Questions, comments, & accommodation requests   

Friday, January 27 NO School - Day Between Semesters

Wednesday February 1  6- 9:00pm  

SPS Board vote on 2012-2013 Transportation plans     

JSCEE 2445 3rd Ave. S, Auditorium 

Recommendations affect middle schools, K-8s, Ingraham High School and the end of some grandfathered routes.


Monday, February 13, 6:30-8:30pm
Seattle Council PTSA Meeting: Budget Nuts and Bolts
JSCEE 2445 3rd Ave. S, Auditorium

SCPTSA Board member Andrea Baumgarten will facilitate a discussion about school budget allocations plus an update on the State Budget and how that impacts SPS.  District officials will also be present to help answer your questions.


Open Enrollment runs February 27th - March 9th

Thursdays, 3:00-5:30 pm  SPS Open Office Hours

John Stanford Center, 2445 3rd Ave. S.

15 minute slots to speak to the interim Superintendent or assistant superintendent of your choice -- they're available on a rotating basis. Make an appointment  


2011-12 School Year Calendar 


Through forums, study groups, newsletter communications and more, CPPS brings parents and community members together to discuss issues, get informed, engage, advocate and lead for excellent public education in Seattle.  


We need your participation.  Contact us for more info:



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Community & Parents for Public Schools of Seattle