Shoreline School Board Meeting Summary May 9, 2016: Legislature Fails to Act, Board Approves Plan for WaKIDS Kindergarten Family Connection

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

By Marianne Deal Stephens

Highlights of the Consent Agenda

Director Dick Nicholson requested that item 4d, the Aldercrest Campus Modernization Project, be pulled out for discussion. Director Nicholson asked if, considering the “tight window of construction since the building needs to be occupied [in the fall of 2016], is there a contingency plan?” Deputy Superintendent outlined several additional measures the District has taken and said that “we are confident that it can be done.”

All Consent Agenda items were approved unanimously. Board President David Wilson thanked Ridgecrest PTA, saying that “your work really counts.”

Washington Achievement Index Report

A separate report will discuss the Washington Achievement Index and the seven Shoreline Schools that received awards based on this index. (See the recent District Press Release 4.18.2016).

DIMC Recommendations

Dr. Teri Poff, Director of Teaching and Learning, presented the first reading of the latest recommendations from the District Instructional Materials Committee.
  1. Intervention Material: Step Up to Writing for grades 6-12.
  2. Special Education Material: Unique Learning System for preschool through transition.
  3. Music Material: Spotlight on Music for preschool through 6.
An outline of the Unit Topics for the Unique Learning System curriculum for Special Education.
Source: Unique Learning System/ Shoreline School District

For details on the materials and how they will be used, see the May 9 2016 DIMC Packet. Director Richard Potter inquired about Orff Methodologies mentioned in the review of the music materials. Both Dr. Teri Poff and Board Vice President Debi Ehrlichman answered, explaining that the Orff Method, based on the teaching of composer Carl Orff, includes learning instruments in particular grade levels.

Revisions to Policy 3115, Homeless Students

Director of Student Services Amy Vujovich introduced minor revisions to Policy 3115, Homeless Students: Enrollment Rights and Services. The revisions will “bring the policy into compliance with state law.”

Board Discussion: 2016 Legislative Summary

Director Richard Potter offered a summary of education-related matters in the State Legislature. The State has made no progress on McCleary [the decision that the State is not adequately funding education]. Director Potter described Senate Bill 6195 as the “kick the can” plan. He presented the ways in which Shoreline will be affected by recent legislation: 

Source: Director Richard Potter, Shoreline School District 

Director Potter explained that the State also “did not do anything” about the “Levy Cliff.” Since Shoreline could lose $5 million in funding, we “will have to run two sets of budgets” for 2017-2018. He expressed concern because of the magnitude of the impacts of such a gap, and because it is “a lot of work for the staff” to plan for two financial scenarios. [For a fine explanation of the Levy Cliff, see ‘Levy cliff’ looms over Legislature’s education funding debate from the Tacoma News Tribune.]

Director Potter did not mince words. He said that “it is hard to encourage teachers” when the legislature isn’t doing much and called this year a “shameful performance by the legislature.” 

In this photo from the March 14, 2016 School Board Meeting, Board Vice President Debi Ehrlichman examines one of the mysterious McCleary "Kick the Can” soup cans that appeared in Board Members’ mailboxes.

Comments from the Community

Richard Valentine claimed that the District forces people to “work off the clock,” which is against the law. He also mentioned that, “on a lighter note,” the Shorecrest Orchestra “won their meet in Wilsonville, Oregon.” [He drove the bus for the trip to the Music in the Parks event.]

SEA President David Guthrie commended Dr. Michael Power on the latest test information, saying that it is difficult to “explain something that cannot be explained”. He pointed out WA Kids [an Action Item on the night’s agenda] is “another unfunded mandate given to us by folks that did not ask actual educators what needed to be done.” He also pointed out that Representative Ruth Kagi, who is committed to early childhood, made some decisions that the SEA does not agree with, including supporting Charter Schools.

Emily Thone, a senior at Shorewood High School, appeared with fellow students Sara Tieu and Anthony Tran. Ms. Thone requested toilet seat covers in the student bathrooms; they are now only in the staff bathrooms. The covers would offer “a sense of hygienic assurance.”

Action Item: Approval of WA KIDS Recommendation for 2016-2017

State funding for Full Day Kindergarten will expand to all Shoreline Schools for 2016-2017. As part of the funding package, the schools will administer the Washington Kindergarten Inventory of Developing Skills (WaKIDS). The assessment has three parts: Family Connection comprised of individual teacher-family meetings to build relationships; Whole-Child Assessment with detailed observations of students doing “actual work in the classroom”; and Early Learning Collaboration pertaining to connections between schools and local programs like the YMCA.

Director of Assessment and Student Learning Michael Power and Lake Forest Park Elementary Principal Aimee Miner presented a recommendation that the District establish three full release days so that the kindergarten teachers can hold conferences for the Family Connection portion of the WaKIDS assessment. The release days are for kindergarten students only, and are tentatively scheduled for September 16, September 30, and October 7, all in Fall 2016. The regular October Parent-Teacher Conferences would not be affected. Principal Miner explained that a group of teachers and principals considered several options, including a later school year start for kindergarten only, and chose this full-day model so that kindergarten students could fully participate in the “critical…community-building” that takes place during the first week of school.

Board Vice President Debi Ehrlichman expressed concerns about child care difficulties for families, and hoped that family advocates would work with families to assist them in finding care for those occasional days. She also inquired whether there would be family information sheets available in multiple languages and translators for the family conferences. Principal Miner replied affirmatively to both questions. Superintendent Rebecca Miner pointed out that the recommendation is to put the dates on the draft calendar, and the final ratification of the calendar would take place later. The Board unanimously approved the WaKIDS recommendation.

Action Item: IPPC Recommendations

Assistant Superintendent Brian Schultz and Director of Teacher Professional Practice and Evaluation Anzara Miller brought the Instructional Program Planning Committee’s recommendations before the Board. [See previously published article.] Following an in-depth look at the instructional needs of students, the IPPC recommends that:
  • Early Learning Programs (tuition-based, Head Start, and Early Childhood Education) be co-located on a single site.
  • Highly Capable configuration remain as is, with a committee formed to explore research and best practices for the program.
  • A 6/7/8 middle school program best meets the instructional and social-emotional needs of our students. 
See the full text and background information of the IPPC Recommendations.

Having heard the research behind the IPPC recommendations at the immediately preceding Study Session, the Board approved the recommendation with a slight wording change from the original:

“It is the recommendation of the Superintendent that the Board grant approval to use the recommendations of the Instructional Program Planning Committee to inform the recommendations of the Facilities Planning Committee.” [The last instance of “recommendations” had previously read “decisions.”] The Board’s action passed the instructional recommendations on to the Facilities Planning Committee.

Action Item: Adoption of Revisions to Policy 4100, Regarding Board of Directors Meetings

The Board approved the revised guidelines which comply with the Open Public Meetings Act and allow for flexibility. A new meeting schedule will be published in a separate article. The community can find the School Board Meeting Schedule online.

Action Item: Adoption of Resolution 2016-5, Certificated Employee Reduction Authorization

Director of Human Resources Tam Osborne introduced the item, which is “an extra step of caution” in the event a reduction in staffing is necessary. Deputy Superintendent Marla Miller reinforced Director Osborne’s explanation by explaining that the District would have to notify affected employees by May 15, and “there would not be any reduction due to budget or staffing ratios.” Director Osborne elaborated, saying that reductions could be “at the secondary level by small student enrollment in specialized classes.”

The Board approved the resolution and added wording so that that any reduction not exceed 2.0 FTE. See Background Information; full text of Resolution No. 2016-5; and the pertinent contract section.

Board Reports and Communications

Shorecrest Student Representative Rachel Semon reminded everyone about the Shorecrest musical [Thoroughly Modern Millie] [See review] and pointed out the four Shorecrest students in the audience who are running for the student representative position for 2016-2017.

Director Dick Nicholson attended the recent Astronomy Night at Shorecrest and a KCDA meeting.

Director Mike Jacobs attended the recent Shoreline PTA Council Recognition Night [and was the Outstanding Service honoree], and conveyed that “lots of people are doing great things for the District.” He quipped that the baseball playoffs were in “full swing.”

Director Dick Potter attended the recent Astronomy Night and the CTE presentation at Shorewood, and he pointed out the appearance of Shorewood graduate Blake Snell at Yankee Stadium [see previous story] in his major league debut. Director Jacobs added that he had heard that Snell may be called up [to the majors — the appearance at Yankee Stadium was for that game only] when Tampa is in Seattle.

Director Potter congratulated the schools who received Washington Achievement Awards and pointed out that the two Shoreline high schools are ranked on US News’ Best High Schools list .

Board Vice President Debi Ehrlichman related the experience of going to a Senior Center event where the Power of One Senior Volunteer Program was highlighted. She also attended an Aldercrest community meeting about the District resuming occupancy of the Aldercrest building, and relayed that the community is “thrilled that we are taking over the building.”

VP Ehrlichman also attended a recent PSESD Equity Training and, along with Superintendent Rebecca Miner, went to a UW College of Education “What is Great Teaching?” luncheon. She congratulated the Shorewood and Shorecrest DECA students who participated in the International Career Development Conference in late April.

Board President David Wilson described the PSESD Equity Conference as “very special” and noted that the Shoreline contingent occupied two full tables. [See Achieving Educational Racial Equity.] He echoed VP Ehrlichman’s praise for the Power of One program, which is celebrating its 20th year, saying that this program “represents one of our greatest resources.”


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