School Board Watch Oct 28th, 2009

The following are notes taken by a KEA member about what was said at the Oct 28th School Board Meeting.   We will try to post notes to summarize the information at all School Board Meetings for the remainder of the year on this blog. 

Here’s how our member summarized the Board Meeting:

The year end fiscal report was given and confirmed that $22.6M was the ending fund balance. Of course, they always talk about fish sticks and insurance, etc. but be that as it may, we are $4.6M more than we were last year at this time. The undesignated, unreserved ends up at $12.7M. John Knutson said, “Remember, we always budget expenditures higher.”

SAT, ACT, AP, and IB results were given. They still are always surprised that we have an achievement gap in Kent (evidence of poverty/ethnicity in how many kids take and pass these tests). The idea given by Janice Bechtel was to give the PSAT to all ninth graders. That would encourage them to start planning to go to college. The fact that there’s a fee involved was brought up but glossed over. The board wanted that to happen and seemed to feel that can help. Chris said, “Kent is doing okay. It’s not okay to be just okay – we want to be well in excess of the state and national data. How soon can we expect to see gains?” Lee then gave a very long talk about data, about transparency about data, about a “lazer-like focus” on the data without really saying anything.

 H1N1 information was shared. During this time, after talking about how kids hate to miss tests, Chris Davies asked if there has been a message to teachers to back off so kids can stay home; giving them leeway to make up work so they can stay home if they’re sick. This is almost a quote, but didn’t quite get all the words exactly. KEA people made a lot of noise – I cleared my throat loudly. Lisa said it was ridiculous. Then Mary Reiger gave the policy of so many days to make up work. Can’t believe he thought that had to be brought up. It’s insulting. But due to our reaction, Jim Berrios said they had gotten a call from a parent saying her child was being made to shake hands. Israel said it wasn’t mostly spread that way. The whole conversation was ridiculous.

 At the end, KEA speakers raised some points and took exception to some of the info presented.  Mike McNett gave a talk about class size and inaccurate numbers. Connie Compton talked about SPED and the problems with numbers and paras, and Lisa Brackin-Johnson talked about how KSD was not being as collaborative as they claimed they would be by making unilateral decisions and not providing KEA with requested info.

Charles Allen from Kent Parents Coalition talked about how they are continuing to be a watchdog group. He was concerned that the correct info on class size is not getting to KEA, and also not in a timely manner.


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One Response to “School Board Watch Oct 28th, 2009”

  1. EI@LY Says:

    I would like to add to the Oct. 28 Board Watch notes that on the Supplemental Personnel Report, attached to the agenda, is listed Administrative Recommendation-Linda M. Del Giudice, chief accountability officer, effective November 15, 2009.

    Is this yet another administrator? What is the role of chief accountability officer? Can’t the current administrators learn to “work smarter and harder” and make do with the administrators already on staff?

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