Seattle Public Schools

Standardized Testing
3:10 pm
Wed October 15, 2014

Four Red Flags Found In One Seattle School's Now-Invalidated Test Results

File image
Wes Chapman Flickr

Someone altered test responses at Seattle's Beacon Hill International School in a way that significantly increased the elementary school's test scores. State education officials have now thrown out the entire school's results after noting "heavy erasure" marks on the test forms.

Whatever the reason for the alterations — both Seattle Public Schools and the state aren't using the word "cheating" — the changes produced some pretty startling test results, as a state analysis shows:

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Seattle Public Schools
9:38 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

State Freezes Part Of Seattle's Special Ed Funding As District Takes Step To Improve

Lynne Sladky AP Photo

State education officials have raised the stakes in Seattle Public Schools' efforts to improve services for the district's most vulnerable students, recently announcing they will hold back $3 million in federal funding until the district can get its troubled special education department back on track.

On Wednesday night, the Seattle School Board members took a step toward potentially getting that funding back, hiring an outside firm to help district officials implement a plan to fix its special education offerings.

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Seattle Public Schools
12:33 am
Thu September 11, 2014

Seattle Schools To Convene Task Force To Review Handling Of Sex Assault Claims

Garfield High School alumna Sylvie Nemeth protests the district's handling of a 2012 case of alleged sexual assault at a meeting of the Seattle School Board on Aug. 20, 2014.
Kyle Stokes KPLU

Seattle school leaders will convene a task force to review the district's handling of sexual assault cases, acknowledging in a statement late Wednesday that "substantial work is required to bring the district into compliance" with federal laws designed to protect victims of sexual violence in schools.

The move is Seattle Public Schools' latest response to criticism of how district employees handled the case of a Garfield High School student who alleged a classmate raped her during a school field trip in 2012.

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Youth & Education
5:00 am
Mon July 28, 2014

Downtown Seattle Groups See Golden Opportunity For Their Own Neighborhood Public School

The former Federal Reserve Bank branch building, located at Second Avenue and Spring Street in downtown Seattle, has sat vacant since 2009. Seattle Public Schools officials have submitted an application to take over the property.
Kyle Stokes KPLU

Seattle Public Schools officials may soon get their best opportunity in years to open a public elementary school downtown, and various downtown interests are now pressing district leaders to take advantage of it.

District officials submitted an application earlier this month to move into the vacant building at Second Avenue and Spring Street, which once housed a Federal Reserve Bank branch.

Federal agencies no longer want the property and are considering whether to deed the building to Seattle Public Schools practically free of charge. If the feds grant school officials' application, downtown groups want to make sure the district follows through.

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Youth & Education
4:30 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Report Faults Seattle Schools For 'Lack Of Urgency' In Serving Most Vulnerable Students

Students listen to their teacher in a special education classroom in Florida.
Lynne Sladky AP Photo

Seattle Public Schools' efforts to educate students with disabilities of all sorts are "in need of urgent, substantial and significant improvement," according to a scathing report released Tuesday, faulting district staff from the administrative offices all the way down to individual schools.

The report itself was commissioned by the district office's special education team as part of an effort to correct, as the authors call it, "an obvious and chronic lack... of urgency" around special education — and to bring Seattle Public Schools back in the good graces of both state officials and of federal law.

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Youth & Education
4:42 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

Seattle School Board Names Former Marysville Leader As Interim Superintendent

Provided by Seattle Public Schools.

The Seattle School Board has named former Marysville School District Superintendent Larry Nyland as its interim superintendent.

The board made the announcement following a special meeting Friday.

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Youth & Education
4:39 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Seattle School Board To Appoint Interim Superintendent At Special Meeting

The Seattle School Board will hold a special meeting on Friday to select an interim superintendent, district officials said.

The 4:15 meeting, which will be streamed online, will be followed by a news conference around 5 p.m., officials said.

The superintendent position is being vacated by José Banda, who has accepted a superintendent position in Sacramento, California. His appointment was finalized Thursday.

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No Child Left Behind Act
4:08 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

With Wash. State's NCLB Waiver Now Gone, Seattle Schools Seeks Its Own Exemption

Seattle education officials have asked U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, pictured, to grant the district a waiver from the No Child Left Behind law. It's not clear how open federal officials will be to Seattle's request.
Jacquelyn Martin AP Photo

Earlier this year, Washington became the first state in the nation to lose its reprieve from the federal No Child Left Behind Act. Now, Seattle Public Schools wants to become the first district in the nation to regain that flexibility on its own.

Superintendent Jose Banda sent a letter Wednesday asking for a Seattle-specific waiver from the outdated federal law.

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Youth & Education
9:16 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

A School In Downtown Seattle? School Board Will Make A Play For Old Bank Site

Seattle Public Schools officials will apply to open a school in the former Federal Reserve Bank building in downtown Seattle.
Kyle Stokes KPLU

Seattle school officials will officially ask to move into a vacant, federally-owned building in the heart of the city, offering advocates for downtown interests a shot at something they've long sought: their own public school.

By a 5-to-2 vote, Seattle School Board members passed a resolution Wednesday night, authorizing the district's application to take over the 119,000-square foot building that, for decades, housed the Seattle branch office of the Federal Reserve Bank, located on Second Avenue between Spring and Madison streets.

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Youth & Education
11:16 am
Fri June 20, 2014

Seattle Schools Superintendent Banda Poised To Leave Post For Sacramento Job

File image of José Banda.
Gabriel Spitzer

Seattle Public Schools Superintendent José Banda expects to leave his post before the end of July after being named the only finalist for a superintendent position in Sacramento, California.

The Sacramento City Unified School District's school board could confirm Banda's hire as soon as July 17.

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Seattle Public Schools
9:33 am
Wed June 4, 2014

Which Math Books Will Seattle Kids Use? School Board To Vote Tonight

Students in a second grade class tackle math problems. A new UW study shows people form their math stereotypes at this age.
AP Photo

Most Seattle elementary students will likely be using new math textbooks next year, and if a few members of the school board have their way, they might not all be the same textbooks.

Seattle School Board members will vote Wednesday on whether to allow school principals to decide between two sets of math textbooks, worksheets and materials rather than mandate which one to use.

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Youth & Education
2:57 pm
Tue May 27, 2014

On Pace For 60,000 Kids By Decade's End, Seattle Schools' Enrollment Grows Again

Portable classrooms at an elementary school.
rafael-castillo Flickr

Another 1,300 children will pack into already-crowded Seattle Public Schools next year as the district rides a wave of population growth that, if trends hold, could swell enrollment to more than 60,000 students by the end of the decade.

Projections district administrators released Tuesday show enrollment growing to more than 52,300 students next school year — an increase of more than 7,000 students from seven years ago, when enrollment bottomed-out after a decade of decline.

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Youth & Education
12:37 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

Seattle Schools To Use New State Funds To Avoid Planned Staffing Cuts

Mary Smith, an administrative secretary at Seattle's Ingraham High School, shows the button she wore last week to protest planned staffing cuts in district schools. Ingraham staff voted to reject their building budget.
Kyle Stokes KPLU

Following a cash infusion from the state and agitation from building-level staff, Seattle Public Schools administrators announced this week they won't be cutting staff members at schools after all.

Superintendent José Banda said the district will use the $8.3 million from the state Legislature's newly-passed budget to restore the equivalent of 50 assistant principals, counselors and clerical staff positions they had intended to eliminate next year.

"We intend to fully restore what was cut," Banda wrote in a district-wide email.

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Youth & Education
4:32 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

Seattle Public Schools: Spike In Marijuana Use Not Just Seen At Roosevelt High

The rates at which Seattle high school students report using alcohol have dipped since 2008, but the district's lead substance abuse counselor suspects marijuana use has crept up since the last survey data came out in 2012.
KPLU

  Roosevelt High School has invited an expert on teen substance abuse to address concerned parents after the the school's principal sent a letter to parents about an increase in drug and alcohol use at the school. 

The letter by principal Brian Vance said the school's number of disciplinary incidents involving marijuana and alcohol use had "doubled" since last year, from 12 incidents to 24.

Seattle Public Schools officials say they've observed a similar trend district-wide.

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Youth & Education
4:14 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

Seattle Teachers Vote Down School Building Budgets In Protest Of Looming Staff Cuts

Mary Smith, an administrative secretary at Seattle's Ingraham High School, shows the button she wore Thursday to protest planned staffing cuts in district schools. Ingraham staff voted to reject their building budget this week.
Kyle Stokes KPLU

Teachers in 25 Seattle Public Schools have voted to reject their buildings' budgets for the next school year, and more may follow suit in the coming week.

Local teachers and union leaders coordinated the vote in hopes of forcing district officials to avoid cutting the equivalent of more than 50 full-time staff positions — clerical staff, assistant principals and school counselors — across the district's 95 schools. 

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