Shoreline School Board meeting summary March 14, 2016

Thursday, March 24, 2016

The Shoreline School Board honored Mr. Leo Valenzuela, who has served Shoreline Schools since 1958. Photo by Curtis Campbell, Shoreline Schools Information Officer.

By Marianne Deal Stephens

Prior to the meeting, the Shoreline School District honored Leo Valenzuela, the 2016 Support Person of the Year. A steady stream of colleagues, family members, former students and community members lauded Mr. Valenzuela for his contributions to thousands of lives over more than 50 years in Shoreline Schools. According to his many admirers, Mr. Valenzuela led students as a teacher and counselor with a motto of “Firm, Friendly, and Fair” and now exemplifies leading with love as he interprets for  teachers and families.

A few minutes after 7:00pm, the School Board convened. Board Vice President Debi Ehrlichman noted that Student Representative Rachel Semon was in Ireland leading the Shorecrest Flag Team which accompanied the Shorecrest Band to Dublin.

Consent Agenda 
The Board unanimously passed previously reviewed items:

Revisions to Graduation Requirements
Director of Teaching and Learning Teri Poff offered a first reading of planned revisions to Shoreline Graduation Requirements. In 2014, the State Legislature passed a 24-credit requirement to begin with the Class of 2019. Shoreline currently requires 22.5 credits to graduate, and will adopt changes in order to help all students meet the 24-credit requirement. Shoreline applied for and received a waiver; new requirements will take effect for the Shoreline Class of 2021.

 Current and future Shoreline Graduation Requirements. Shoreline Schools image.

The major core areas of English, Math, Social Studies, and Science, are largely unchanged. Dr. Poff explained that there “is some flexibility” in the Arts and World Language credit requirements: subject to approval, students may be able to substitute a course for one of the arts or language credits.

Graduation requirement legislation and policy includes language about “personal pathways”. Dr. Poff explained that the published graduation requirements are essentially a college track. If students have goals that do not involve attending a 4-year college, “it may be beneficial to substitute” one arts credit and/ or one language credit for a course in the student’s target area.

As they do now, students have other requirements in addition to academic credits:

  • Take Washington State History
  • Pass State Tests  
  • Complete 40 hours Community Service 
  • Complete a High School & Beyond Plan
  • Complete a Culminating Project 

Following the presentation, Board Vice President Debi Ehrlichman noted that with 24 required credits, high school is full-time, with little flexibility. She suggested that “we should change our terminology a bit”, saying it would be nice if, instead a “4-year high school plan,” it should simply be a “high school plan.” Dr. Poff acknowledged that students may end up needing more time with the increased requirements, and concurred that the District should help “take the stigma away from taking a bit longer” to complete high school requirements.

One way to deal with the increased requirements is to help students start earning high school credit in middle school. Currently, some students “bring up” their language credit(s), and the District may increase options for middle school students so that students have a “six year window” for earning high school credits.

For Detail on Graduation Requirements
Graduation Requirements Presentation by Dr. Teri Poff, Shoreline School District
Policy 2410 High School Graduation Requirements (Proposed)

First Reading of Anti Harassment Policy
Assistant Superintendent Brian Schultz presented proposed Policy 5308 by explaining that the District has “appropriate and parallel policies in the student and personnel sections” of policy documents. In this case, there was an existing student policy but the District did not have the corresponding staff policy.

See Student Policy 3308 Prohibition of Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying/ Cyberbullying and Proposed Personnel Policy 5308 Prohibition of Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying/ Cyberbullying.

Power Outage Closure Necessitates State Waiver
On Monday, March 14, both Einstein Middle School and Shorewood High School were closed due to the power outage in west Shoreline. Since the entire school system was not shut down and the District would prefer not to add an extra school day for only those two sites, the District will submit a request for a partial waiver. Superintendent Rebecca Miner described the process and requested the Board’s agreement.

Community Comment
North City Water District Manager Diane Pottinger spoke about the Water District’s “Fix a Leak” challenge in which many Shoreline students participate. Later this year, she will invite school district personnel to tour the Water District’s new pump station.

Mr. Richard Valentine expressed concern over changes he has observed in District employee procedures.

Reports and Communications
Superintendent Miner and a few of the Board Members handed out medals at the 18th annual Shoreline Math Olympiad on March 12 (see previous story and photos).

Director Richard Potter gave a shout out to Shorecrest’s basketball teams for their State achievements. He has attended the well-received Community and Technical College event, and continues to attend the STEM for Her presentations at Shorecrest.

Director Mike Jacobs went to baseball jamborees on Saturday, March 12, and attended the Booster Auction that evening. Referring to the booster auctions (the Shorecrest auction was March 5), he said that there had been “good stuff in the last week.”

Director Dick Nicholson described the Shorecrest Band’s public rehearsal as theatric and impressive.

Board Vice President Debbie Ehrlichman attended several of the community forums about the proposed calendar changes, and the recent “One Love Festival” at Kellogg Middle School. She got a glimpse at the Shorecrest Honor Society applications and had a good conversation with a Shorecrest counselor. She commended the Shorewood and Einstein groups who placed in the Northwest Orchestra Festival in Oregon, and the Shorewood Choir and Shorewood Cheerleaders who were named 3A Academic Champions.

Vice President Ehrlichman drew attention to soup cans that were on the board table at each director’s seat. The cans “are great, considering what went on this past week,” referring to the state legislature’s continued failure to fully fund education. She displayed “What does it mean to fully fund education?”, a Seattle Times special project discussing McCleary, local levies, and education funding in Washington.

 Soup cans with “Kick the Can” labels inspired by the common name for the State Legislature’s 2016 measures on education funding were on the Board table for the March 14 meeting. Superintendent Miner said that the cans appeared in the Board members’ and administrators' mailboxes. Here, Director Dick Nicholson signs papers after the meeting with cans in the foreground.

Board President David Wilson went to both auctions and attended the recent robotics competition. He thanked David Guthrie, Michelle Carroll, and David Tadlock for adding their experience to a recent calendar forum and complimented all in attendance for the civil discourse. He encouraged everyone to attend the calendar forums since any changes will affect the neighborhood.

Full meeting minutes will be posted on the School Board Agendas and Minutes page.


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