School Board meeting January 12: graduation requirements, pilot schedule change

Friday, January 23, 2015

School Board Meeting Monday, January 12, 2015
by Marianne Deal Stephens

The first Shoreline School Board meeting of 2015 began with approval of the Consent Agenda, which included:

  • Acceptance of donations from Echo Lake Elementary PTA for Classroom Enrichment and Field Trips;
  • Approval of Salary Schedules for Shoreline Athletics and Activities Association (pay levels for middle and high school athletic coaches and activity advisors);
  • Approval of Extended Field Trips for Shorecrest (orchestra British Columbia performance tour) and Shorewood (orchestra to Festival in Oregon, band to Queen's Day Parade in Victoria, and tennis State competitors to Kennewick).

Graduation Requirements

Director of Teaching and Learning Teri Poff presented the newest State Board of Education Graduation Requirements. These will take effect for the class of 2019, and include: 24 credits; a non-credit High School and Beyond Plan; Washington State History (usually taken in middle school); and three assessments.

Many of the requirements closely parallel Shoreline's present requirements (see comparison), though the total credits required differ. For more information: State Board of Education Graduation Requirements 

High School Schedule change pilot program 

Director of Human Resources Tam Osborne presented an update on the Pilot High School Schedule currently being tested at Shorecrest and Shorewood. All school days consist of three 100-minute extended periods with a midmorning 30-minute instructional period and a 30-minute lunch. There is a set rotation of "A" 1/3/5 period days and "B" 2/4/6 period days.

The pilot schedule is intended to meet the state's increased instructional requirement (1080 hours) and to allow students to take courses at both high schools, as well as to meet many instructional goals.

Director Osborne presented results from a staff/ student survey in which most results were mixed yet a few questions elicited agreement. No group thought that the schedule achieves an even balance between "A" and "B" days, and most groups would like a day in which all periods meet.

Among the staff, affinity for the period length varied according to subject -- science teachers like long periods for laboratory experiments -- and satisfaction with the A/B rotation depended on whether the staff works full or part time. Overall, when asked to rate their satisfaction with the schedule on a scale of 1-5, teachers rated it lowest (1-2), classified staff was next (2), and students and administration had similar marks (2-3). Director Osborne did not present possible changes to the pilot schedule.

Lockdown report

President of the Board Mike Jacobs spoke about the events on Wednesday, January 7th when all Shoreline Schools were locked down because of an incident at Meridian Park Elementary. President Jacobs praised the professionalism of law enforcement agencies involved and thanked all Shoreline School District staff, students, and families for being "calm and flexible". The board and administration will review the events and make changes to strengthen procedures accordingly.

During the Community Comment period, one parent criticized the District's handling of the lockdown. He praised the staff and law enforcement but had criticism for the board and administration. He questioned the long interval between the incident and the first alert and described confusion at the Shoreline Center about which students were present.

Community Comment on AP classes

Also during the Community Comment period, three parents asked the District to reconsider and reverse the recent decision to not offer AP Government and Politics for Seniors. They compared Shoreline to surrounding districts and Social Studies to other academic departments that offer more Honors/ AP courses.

Ridgecrest librarian has article published

During the School Board Reports and Communications, the last portion of the public meeting, Board Member David Wilson recommended the article "Beyond the Stacks: How Librarians Support Students and Schools" by Joanna Freeman, Teacher-Librarian at Ridgecrest Elementary, in American Educator Magazine. 


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