News and Events
Dear Students and Families,
The Academic Year 2012-2013 is coming to an end. A year has suddenly passed by, students have grown and matured with new attitudes and ideals. They now look forward to new and independent lives outside of high school, or to the new academic years with fresh hopes as well as expectations. Thus, it is of utmost importance to make sure that our students finish up this year strong and powerful as there are still end of the year exams as well as high stakes exams ahead of many of our students.
This letter is a reminder that there are two services available to all students at Center to help them be successful academically.
Those of you who have been the members of TCS family for several years know that students who take advantage of these services are the ones who receive better grades and pass their courses.
The first is TUTORIAL, which is a session held in each classroom from 8:30am – 9:05am every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Every teacher is in their classroom at this time, ready to give students any help they might need in their subject. If a student needs extra tutoring, clarification about a lesson, to re-take a test or quiz, pick up a worksheet, have their assignment planner checked, find out what happened during an absence, or even do their homework with the teacher nearby – this is the time for that to happen. It’s only 35 minutes, so students should choose one Tutorial per morning. Tutorial is mandatory for students with failing grades. If you would like your student to provide you with Tutorial Verification form each Thursday afternoon, we can arrange for that. Or, you may have your students to ask their teachers to initial student planner: an excellent school to home communication tool. Otherwise, feel free to email your teachers – they are excellent at responding!
The second support service is HOMEWORK CLUB, which is every Tuesday and Thursday from 3:30pm-5:00pm in Center’s computer lab. This is a quiet block of time with a supervising teacher present and 1-2 other volunteer tutors. Students are expected to check The Source and complete assignments. Homework Club is mandatory for students with failing grades, but many other students take advantage of this structured time to free up their evening for other activities.
In addition to The Source, many teachers have created a “Fusion Page” for their students and parents to access detailed information about assignments, weekly course content, and printable material. Just go to The Center School’s website from www.seattleschools.org, and click on “Staff” to find out more.
If you have questions about these topics or need other assistance to help your student achieve a fresh start in a new semester, please contact your Center School counselor at 252-9852 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Seattle Public Schools families,
As you may know, Seattle Public Schools uses a computer‐based test called Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) to provide schools and families with information about student achievement. Schools administer MAP tests in math and reading several times a year to many of our students. Specifically, The Center School is conducting MAP testing on May 28th and 29th as well as on May 31st (make up day) from 8 am to 9 am.
Your student’s Humanities teachers have specific details about the test.
Teachers and staff use information from the MAP tests to monitor students’ academic progress and to design their instruction to help every student succeed. Your student’s MAP scores will be available online, via The Source, the online resource for families and teachers
A student’s MAP results are reported using both percentiles and a RIT score. The RIT score shows what students are ready to learn rather than what they have already mastered, and is used to show a student’s current achievement on a scale that is independent of grade level.
If you have any questions or concerns about the updated percentiles or the MAP test, please contact me at email@example.com or by phone 206-252-9892.
At Seattle Public Schools, we teach more than just our core academic subjects. We expect our students to graduate with a well-rounded education that prepares them for the real world of college, careers and life.
Teaching social justice issues is an important part of academics for our students. These can often be difficult conversations, but they help prepare our students to become global citizens. I cannot stress enough how much I value curriculum on race and social justice. However, these are subjects that must be taught in ways that are ageappropriate and non-threatening.
This week we heard about the Center School’s Citizenship and Social Justice: Advanced Placement Language and Compositions and Social Studies course. I want to thank the many students who attended and spoke at Wednesday’s School Board meeting. This unique high school has a strong focus on social justice, and I know those discussions will continue to thrive in the school community.
As background, on Dec. 21, 2012, we received a complaint from a family at Center School alleging that the instructional activities used in this class created an intimidating and discriminating classroom environment. An investigation of this complaint found that the way in which the race unit at the Center School was taught did indeed create an intimidating educational environment for a student. I asked our team to help come up with a solution that will allow us to keep these important conversations, but will also make sure the curriculum is taught in a way that does not harm any student.
In addition, I requested the Teaching and Learning Department to review this particular course, convening an ad hoc committee to examine the curriculum.
The committee made the following recommendations, which I am implementing.
The race and gender units of the course are to be reinstated, with the following actions occurring as soon as possible:
· The race unit curriculum should be age appropriate and taught in a non-threatening manner. The class should not use the “Courageous Conversations” activities, which were intended as training for adults. The District has used this as professional development and it was not intended for use with students.
· When classroom activities could potentially cause a high degree of emotion for students or potential distress, families should be notified ahead of time and communication to families should include an option to complete alternative assignments.
· There are concerns the current course does not meet the criteria of the College Board for Advanced Placement. In order to make sure the course meets AP standards, the course syllabus and objectives must be aligned with the stated course objectives for AP Language and Composition and American Government and Economics. The final syllabus must be resubmitted to the College Board, including all units and textual materials for approval.
· The manner in which the course is taught must not violate School Board Policies 3207 and 3210, which require that we teach units in a manner that treats all students with respect, does not intimidate or harass students, and does not discriminate against students because of their race or gender.
I want to thank the members of the ad hoc committee for their review of the curriculum and situation. And I look forward to ongoing and healthy discussions about social justice, race and gender issues in our classrooms.
Seattle Public Schools