Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Missing: Planning and Property Management Specialist.

An email went out yesterday, inviting members of the community and district staff to take part in a meeting to discuss the District's facility use policy.

Wouldn't it be a good idea to include the Planning and Property Management Specialist? The Specialist used to be the person that scheduled the use of parking lots and worked with schools to ensure that district facilities were being rented out according to board policies.

The position has clearly been downgraded to something less than Professional/Technical. Even district management routinely excludes the Planning and Property Management Clericalist from critical meetings that would essentially guide the manner in which she performs her job. But then, with all calls to rent parking lots being channeled to the Director of Facilities AND Operations, it seems the District has successfully downgraded staff qualifications and duties while substantially upgrading staff salaries.

Do we really need someone earning more than $100,000.00 a year scheduling parking lots?

Below is the recipient list for the email posted yesterday.

Nicola Smith, Edmonds Community College
Faimous Harrison, Edmonds Community College
Katie Anderson, City of Lynnwood
Pete Bennett, Pacific Little League
Jeff Bentz, City of Mountlake Terrace
Randy Brockway, Pacific Little League
Bruce Howe, Former Woodway High Fields
Cathy Jackson, Northwest Nationals
Todd Cort, City of Edmonds
Dan Dapper, Community Member
Paul Doherty, Edmonds Community College
Tom Eunson, Fred Hutchison Cancer Research
Ryan Flynn, Sno-King Youth
Chuck Granade, Community Member
Brian Harding, Edmonds School District
Brian Hendricks, City of Lynnwood
Marc Krandel, Snohomish County Parks
Rich Lindsay, City of Edmonds
Brian McIntosh, City of Edmonds
Larry Norgaard, select Baseball
Eric Rasmussen, King's Schools
Ric Raunio, Former Woodway High Fields
Don Sarcletti, City of Mountlake Terrace
Paul Seely, Boys and Girls Club
Doug Sheldon, Pacific Little League
Dan Simmons, Community Member
Rachel Solemsaas, Edmonds Community College
Travis Hutchins, City of Lynnwood
Vernon Beattiger, Former Woodway High Fields
John Wagner, Northwest Nationals
Sylvia Young, Northwest Nationals
Ron Martinez, District PTSA
Rick Jorgensen, Community Member
Tom Krause, Puget Sound Senior Baseball League

District staff recipients are as follows:

Allen, Kevin (BTM)
Baldwin, Craig (MA)
Bartlette, Cindy (EE)
Bennett, Geoff (EWHS)
Bennett, Leslie (SVE)
Betts, Carol (CPM)
Blomgren, Sandy (OHE)
Brister, Barb (MTHS)
Burns, Debbie (BTM)
Cady, Stacey (SP)
Carlson, Kelly (MA)
Cote, Dale (MDHS)
Davern, Vicki (CWE)
Eldridge, Pat (MLE)
Gallaher, Marie (MW K-8)
Gilbertson, Kathy (BVE)
Goettel, Joni (SWE)
Gray, Marsha (SVE)
Hansen, Christine (CLE)
Harris, Shelly (ESC)
Helms, Kay (HRC)
Holmes, Amy (MDE)
Kratz, Christine (WGE)
Krause, Tracy (HRC)
Lally, Jennifer (EGE)
Madsen, Craig (WWE)
Martin, Pat (MDHS)
Ray, Nancy (EWHS)
Raymond, Sue (MMS)
Rock, Danny (HRC)
Ruud, Mindy (LDE)
Stauffer, Diane (HWE)
Stephens-Bell, Mary (EWHS)
Tronsdal, Leann (CVE)
Trotta, Kristi (CPE)
Varriano, Mike (EE, Custodial)
Webster, Sandra (LHS)
Weir, Ruth (HTE)
Whittles, Julie (BRE)

Blog: Perhaps the Planning and Property Management Specialist is bogged down with the key audit.

Monday, September 29, 2008

District seeks to understand their own procedures.

As many of you know, the District has been working to update our facility use procedures, fees, and forms. The School Board adopted 2008-09 fees and updated procedures in August, 2008, and we have found we need to look at clarifying when the fees apply and to which groups. Any language changes that result from this review process are anticipated to be recommended to the School Board at their October 7th regular business meeting.

If you would like to see the currently adopted facility use procedures and rates, here's the link to the District's webpage:


If you have time and interest in meeting with me to go over the facility use procedures and fees, I would welcome your review and feedback. You are invited to an optional meeting for community groups as follows:

Thursday, October 2nd at 7:00 p.m. in Board Room B

We appreciate your interest. Our goal is to support community use of schools, while also being fiscally responsible for covering operating costs that result from that use.

Although it is not required, it would be very helpful to know if you are planning to attend the meeting, so we have ample materials and space. Thank you!

Marla Miller
Asst. Supt., Business and Operations

p.s. I've cc'd the people designated as the facility use contact for each school. Would you please forward this invitation to the leaders of the groups that frequently rent your facility? Thank you!

Board members skip the Auditor's exit conference.

From: Kerns, JoAnn (ESC)
Sent: Tuesday, April 15, 2008 10:47 AM
To: Ann McMurray; Noble, Gary; Paine, Susan; Shields, Pat; Phillips, Susan
Subject: Exit conference w/Auditor


The exit conference with the auditor has been scheduled for Wednesday, 4/23, from 2:30-3:30. We are to invite the Board to attend. Please let me know if any of you are available. Thanks much.

JoAnn Kerns
Administrative Assistant to the Superintendent
Edmonds School District #15
425-431-7003 (phone)
425-431-7182 (fax)

From: Kerns, JoAnn (ESC)

Sent: Tuesday, April 15, 2008 11:04 AM
To: Courtney Amonsen
Subject: FW: Exit conference w/Auditor

Hi Courtney,

Just letting you know that the Board has been invited to the exit conference.

From: Courtney Amonsen
Sent: Wednesday, May 07, 2008 3:16 PM
To: Rita Ann Fadel
Subject: Edmonds SD Audit Completion Letter

Hi Rita,

Last one, I promise. Can you send a copy of the attached exit document to the following board members who were not able to attend the exit conference?

The following Board Members did not attend:
Susan Paine
Ann McMurray
Susan Phillips
Gary Noble

The address is:
20420 68th Ave. W.
Lynnwood, WA 98036 – 7400


Courtney Amonsen
Assistant Audit Manager
Washington State Auditor's Office
3501 Colby Avenue, Suite 100B
Everett, WA 98201-4794
(425) 257-2137 - Main Line
(425) 257-2149 - Fax

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Another "investigation" in Human Resources.

I suppose one could make an argument that the District is being financially responsible in seeking to investigate the improper use of a district procurement card, but there have been greater offenses resulting in more profound losses to taxpayers.

Perhaps the target of this investigation lost a few receipts. Maybe they bought one too many cheese sandwiches. Perhaps they accidentally filled the gas tank in their personal car. It just seems rather odd that district administration is spending time and money going after a few nickels and dimes while they hand out piles of public funds to their own friends.

Public records requests are handled by the same person that initiates investigations into questionable practices. This is terribly incorrect and until internal structures change, the District will continue to bleed money without regard for the public.

June 18, 2008

Courtney Amonsen, Assistant State Auditor
State Auditor’s Office
3501 Colby Avenue, Suite 100B
Everett, WA 98201-4794

Via E-Mail and U.S. Postal Service

Dear Courtney,

This is to notify you that we are investigating a situation at Mountlake Terrace High School regarding potentially fraudulent use of advance travel funds and the District’s procurement card.

A tennis coach was given cash by the building’s Activities Coordinator from the ASB fund to pay for travel expenses related a tennis tournament that occurred on Memorial Day weekend. Although requested to do so, the coach has not provided receipts to fully account for the advance travel funds received. She also appears to have purchased more gas with the procurement card than necessary for the school-related trip.

Our Human Resources department is investigating the situation. As soon as I receive the results of their investigation, I will provide your office with a final report.

If you have questions or concerns, please contact me at (425) 431-7036. Thank you.


Marla S. Miller
Assistant Superintendent

Cc: Tam Osborne, Director of Certificated Personnel

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Grilled cheese sandwiches don't fit in your wallet.

A new unit of account: the grilled cheese sandwich costs approximately 70 cents.

As of today, you would need five shares of WaMu stock to buy one grilled cheese sandwich, assuming no transaction fees or commissions.

The Superintendent earns nearly 300,000 grilled cheese sandwiches a year.

The Planning and Property Management Clericalist is paid 47 grilled cheese sandwiches every hour.

Custodians earn 23 grilled cheese sandwiches every hour.

Early site grading for the new administration site cost 3,038,629 grilled cheese sandwiches plus 273,476 grilled cheese sandwiches in sales tax. This would be in addition to the 3,285,714 grilled cheese sandwiches the District overpaid for the property. The total price paid for the site was 8,000,000 grilled cheese sandwiches.

The annual budget for the Edmonds School District is in excess of 257,142,857 grilled cheese sandwiches.

The New Lynnwood High School in Bothell is expected to cost 171,428,571 grilled cheese sandwiches.

The real Bothell High School cost just 50,000,000 grilled cheese sandwiches to rebuild.

HVAC upgrades at Spruce Elementary cost 2,728,024 grilled cheese sandwiches.

HVAC upgrades at Beverly Elementary cost 3,107,143 grilled cheese sandwiches.

Parking and traffic changes at Lynnwood Elementary cost 512,000 grilled cheese sandwiches.

Blog: More expended grilled cheese sandwiches may be found by clicking here.

A brand new field for a school about to close.

A reader of the blog recently commented that the brand new field at Evergreen Elementary looks great. It struck me as odd since the school is scheduled for closure - pending the charade of a "study" by the Board. Why would the District, when facing budget problems, spend anything on the field at Evergreen when they plan to close the school?

A quick glance through the Capital Projects website reveals that three fields were recently renovated. The fields are located at Evergreen, Cedar Way and Westgate and cost more than $467,653. Assuming that all three fields were of similar condition and required the same level of investment, the cost for renovating the field at Evergreen would be approximately $155,884, plus $14,030 in sales tax. That's a lot of cheese sandwiches.

Added to that expense would be the brand new playground that was installed a couple of years ago. That project wasn't cheap either at $31,500, including sales tax. Even more cheese sandwiches.

Then there are the power and cabling upgrades at four different schools - one of which was Evergreen. The total for those four schools was $408,100, with an average expense per school of $102,025, plus $9,182 in sales tax. Piles and piles of cheese sandwiches.

If you ask the District why they just dumped more than $312,621.00 into a site that is scheduled to close, they'll tell you about their commitment to tax payers when the last levy and bond passed. The District committed to completing these projects and they aren't about to go against the wishes of the community. Of course, the community didn't know that Evergreen was scheduled for closure.

If the School Board read the Capital Facilities Plan at any time since 2002, they would have known that school closures were coming and they could have started a "study" back then - avoiding the senseless spending of untold fortunes on a school limping along toward an inevitable closure.

Regional newspaper allows community comments.

The Herald has taken a bold step in allowing members of the community to make comments at the end of their web-based articles. This new feature allows for greater engagement in real issues impacting our community and nurtures real, meaningful debate.

For many years, the technology existed to allow community involvement in the manner in which news is presented. Finally, all opinions have a voice and meaningful opposition can be expressed, explored and shared with others.

Unfortunately for Mr. Nick, not every participant uses their actual name and the Herald seems more concerned about the message and less obsessed with the messenger. Sounds like the approach of a certain blog I know.

Offering a discounted, brown bag lunch is smart.

Like many people in our community, I was relieved that the Edmonds School District finally reached out to the community for help in coming to terms with the cheese sandwich dilemma.

However, if the Food Service program was able to operate as a real Enterprise Program without interference from district administration, they could have solved this problem before it resulted in a Schrammie.

With the rising tide of a financial disaster and the impact across our community, it makes sense to offer a cheaper alternative for everyone - regardless of social status.Read more about the Edmonds School District at

Mark Zandberg Sep 26, 2008 9:05 pm

Right out of the District Playbook.

Postponing a decision on how to improve the manner in which this district collects lunch money is right out of their playbook.

On the one hand, they can wait long enough to pass off the new strategy as their own and thereby claim the policy came from within their ranks.

On the other hand, it allows the debt from parents to continue to grow, strengthening any case the District may make for adopting some new, twisted way to humiliate children.

I attended the community meeting to discuss the current problem and there were a lot of great ideas that, if implemented, would result in immediate benefits for the children, parents and taxpayers.

Many more questionable decisions by this board and district leadership can be found at

Mark Zandberg Sep 20, 2008 12:53 pm

Mr. Nick knew of humiliating tactic before it was rolled out.

The community meeting last night resulted in a lot of good ideas, but why did we have to go through such an unfortunate process of humiliating children before thinking about alternatives?

On August 12, Nick Brossoit stated during a board meeting that "the food service department is working agresively to collect the amount owed." He clearly knew that debt-collection through humiliation was the "aggressive" tactic being utilized.

It seems clear to me - and many others - that there is a serious disconnect between district leadership and the fundamental elements contained in their mission statement.

More questionable decisions from district leadership can be found at

Mark Zandberg Sep 18, 2008 7:57 am

Stealing elections and taking food from children.

The District is sinking in their own corruption. They have blown millions on bad real estate decisions, violated board policies numerous times, enrich their friends through questionable transactions and nurture a climate of hate within the organization.

Read more about it at

Mark Zandberg Sep 10, 2008 3:11 pm

Friday, September 26, 2008

The District keeps piling on the misinformation.

I read with interest an article in the Enterprise regarding the recent ribbon-cutting of a project at Edmonds Elementary. There was great fanfare and even the Mayor showed up to help operate the freakishly large pair of scissors.

It surely is a great project that resulted in so many great improvements for the playground, the school and the community as a whole. So why would the District opt out of taking a little bit of credit?

The playground and walking path project was a District-sponsored Capital Partnership project. A sizable chunk of the expense was covered with voter-approved capital funds, though the article was careful to mention that no district funds were used. Why would the media make such a claim? Could it be the District's futile effort to distance itself from any spending that may be deemed as unnecessary during these tight economic times? Why not share in the success of one of its schools? Why lie about the fact that a considerable amount of money came from the Capital Partnership fund?

What is equally surprising is the fact that from a long list of partnership projects, this project was the only one the new Facilities Director took over when he joined the District in 2006. The playground structures were already in place and yet it took more than two years to complete a paved walkway and build a stack of cement eco-blocks. It was the new Facilities Director that presented a crayon sketch to the Architectural Design Board that was instantly dismissed as overly simplistic and underwhelming.

I also recall how the school was unaware of the best way to raise funds when the District was matching, dollar-for-dollar, contributions generated by non-District sources. The parent group wanted to have the District match parent funds first - before they collected money from the City of Edmonds. It didn't take a financial genius to recommend that the school raise all of their money first, before having it matched by Capital Partnership funds.

While I am pleased that Edmonds Elementary finally completed their Capital Partnership project, I am disappointed in the District. They are clearly more concerned with leaving the impression of not spending any money rather than leaving the impression of spending money wisely.

Blog: The Enterprise has altered the article to reflect the District's contribution.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

A gut full of cheese sandwiches, no doubt.

A few tidbits from the Board Meeting on September 23, 2008.

According to Marla Miller, the application for the conversion of Lynnwood High School was submitted on September 23, 2008. This would be the formal request to have the restrictions on the property released so the ground lease with Cypress Equities can move forward.

Gary Noble abstained from voting to approve revisions to policies 1260 and 6810 - Conflicts of Interest. It was impossible to decipher Gary's mumbling into a microphone that was shut off, but Gary couldn't vote because the change in policy is intended to serve no other purpose than to protect his seat on the Board. Unfortunately for Gary, his abstention further strengthens the claim that he wasn't eligible to become a board member under the rules that were in place at the time of his re-election. If he felt he wasn't eligible to cast a vote on the revision, he should have felt the same way about filing as a candidate.

The State Auditor's Performance Audit is slated for release on September 30th.

A member of the community made a formal request for all District records relating to the investigation into the decision to close Woodway and Evergreen. Marla Miller provided copies of the District's analysis. There were just fifteen (15) pages, further strengthening the argument that these schools were essentially selected at random, or at best, based upon Marla's gut feeling. A gut full of cheese sandwiches, no doubt.

A student representative, Alan Adzhiyev, asked a rather insightful question. The District has an existing policy that prohibits the withholding of meals from students with medical conditions requiring prescribed meals. If the District moves toward denying meals to students who cannot pay, what happens to students with a qualifying medical condition? How long will it take before a wave of students come to school with a newly diagnosed medical condition? How are food service employees supposed to know who has and who does not have a qualifying condition?

Ann McMurray appeared to be the only board member actually involved in the meeting. The others were either half asleep or trying not to prolong the meeting so they wouldn't miss "Dancing with the Stars".

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The job of the press is to encourage debate.

In the interest of electing intelligent people to the Edmonds School District's Board of Directors, ESD15.org is exploring the possibility of hosting a debate among candidates.

We are not so foolish as to assume the District would support such an endeavor, so renting the school district board room is not an option. Other sites in the region will have to be explored.

ESD15.org will request that members of the community submit their questions through our blog forum, where they will be compiled and prepared for the debate. A moderator will be recruited to help provide structure and guide the process along. The event will be videotaped and provided to our local television stations and/or SCAN for public broadcast.

Hopefully, with a bit of effort, we can elevate the standard of directors on the school board and work toward resolving the long history of poor choices. At the very least, we should be able to identify the deep thinkers and eliminate candidates enamored by cartoons like “Finding Nemo”.

Our school district has an operating budget of more than $180,000,000.00 annually and we deserve to have people working for our educational priorities instead of against them.

If this sounds like a good idea, or you would like to be involved, please let me know.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Policy 1245 will eliminate appointments to the Board.

Board Policy 1245 currently reads as follows:


A member of the Board of Directors may resign from the Board for any reason. When a Board member's permanent residence ceases to be in the school district or his/her director district, the director shall resign immediately.

Resignations are to be made in writing to the secretary of the board.

At its next regularly scheduled board meeting, the resignations shall be considered and the position declared vacant.

The Board of Directors shall have the authority to fill any vacancy on the board in accordance with the procedures of state law. The person appointed to the board shall serve until the next regularly scheduled general election.

The proposed Board Policy 1245 reads as follows:


A member of the Board of Directors may resign from the Board for any reason. When a Board member's permanent residence ceases to be in the school district, the director shall resign immediately.

For the purposes of this policy and consistent with RCW 28A.343.350, a school director elected from a director district [consistent with Policy 1225] may continue to serve as a director from the district even though the director no longer resides in the director district, but continues to reside in the school district, under the following conditions:

(1) If, as a result of redrawing the director district boundaries, the director no longer resides in the director district, the director shall retain his or her position for the remainder of his or [her] term of office; and

(2) If, as a result of the director changing his or her place of residence the director no longer resides in the director district, the director shall retain his or her position until a successor is elected and assumes office as follows: (a) If the change in residency occurs after the opening of the regular filing period provided under RCW 29A.24.050, in the year two years after the director was elected to office, the director shall remain in office for the remainder of his or her term of office; or, (b) if the change in residency occurs prior to the opening of the regular filing period provided under RCW 29A.24.050, in the year two years after the director was elected to office, the director shall remain in office until a successor assumes office who has been elected to serve the remainder of the unexpired term of office at the school district general election held in that year.

Essentially, as the revised policy reads, resignations can no longer take effect immediately. If a current board member seeks to resign, they can notify the Secretary of the Board in writing and then serve until their replacement is elected. If they seek to vacate the position immediately, the District would have a temporary vacancy until the replacement is duly elected during the next election involving board members, regardless of cycle.

This seems like an improvement to current conditions, which is difficult to believe. Why would this board seek to eliminate their power to fill vacancies through appointment?

Blog: For the actual Board Action, click here.

Understanding the Auditor's diagnostic survey.

One of our active contributors has taken the time to perform an evaluation of the State Auditor's anonymous diagnostic survey.

Since posting the entire contents of his evaluation would take considerable space on this blog, I will post portions of his assessment here and link the entire document as a pdf (mdi) on our blog server.

It warrants mentioning that the Superintendent does not agree with making anonymous comments and that it "promotes irresponsible communication". Here is Mr. Nick's exact quote:

I do not agree with your blog concept; by allowing anonymous posts you are promoting irresponsible communication and in fact allowing people to say untruths about the district and staff. No person or organization has a responsibility to respond in any forum to anonymous allegations. Thus, your suggestion that you are personally interested in making the district a better place does not fit with your practices.

By the Superintendent's own flawed logic, the State Auditor must not be interested in making the district a better place either.

Here are a few interesting tidbits from the assessment of the State Auditor's anonymous survey:

The general trend on these questions is that positive agreement declines as you move down the pecking order from central administrators to classified workers.

Red flags include:

Question #10: The district administration operates efficiently.
While head office and building administrators agree at 60%, classified employees disagree at about the same rate (59.6%). This is one of several questions that have a great split between administration and their subordinates.

Question #21: Authority for administrative decisions is delegated to the lowest possible level, as appropriate.
Here again the administration gives themselves good marks: 55.6% central administration and 70% building administrators agreeing, but 38.5%, 35.6% and 12.8% positive for professional staff (counselors, librarians), teachers, and classified (paraprofessionals) respectively. This question probably goes to the Draft 5 Agreement-those affected by a decision will have a say in the decision-that several free comments note has disappeared from the district.

Question #30: Teachers are held accountable for ensuring that students learn.
Only 33% of central administrators agree but 75% of teachers agree. This is a curious response. The overwhelming feeling in the trenches is that teachers are held responsible for student learning yet 2/3 of the central administrators don’t think so? Or does that mean that only 1/3 of central administrators think it’s their job to hold teachers accountable? Or do 1/3 of them think that No Child Left Behind (NCLB) holds teachers accountable and the other 2/3 thinks someone else (themselves?) are accountable? Did somebody read the question wrong? If we are in the student learning business, it seems that there should be some agreement as to who is to be held responsible for that learning.

Question #73: The school district routinely purchases the highest quality materials and equipment at the lowest possible cost.
Central administrators (who are doing most of the purchasing) think yes at 72.2% yet everybody else has issues with that statement: building administration, 20%; professional staff, 34.6%; teachers, 25.9%; classified, 27.7%. Is this a reflection of pianos are does it go beyond that?

Question #28: The district has an effective truancy reduction program.
Not a lot of positive support for this crucial issue: office administrators, 27.8%; building administrators, 20%; professional staff, 21.2%; teachers, 21.5%; and classified 23.4%. General agreement that there isn’t.

Question #8: The Superintendent is a respected and effective instructional leader.
Surprisingly, 44.5% of central administrators and fully 50% of responding building administrators DISAGREE, apparently feeling that he is NOT respected and/or effective as an instructional leader. These are the people who work closest to the Superintendent and should have the best feel for his abilities. If the response to no other question on this survey arouses your interest, this should make you sit up and take note.

Blog: Another revealing trend suggests that every public agency outside of the Edmonds School District agrees with the blog in how it reports information, the purpose it serves and why it exists.

Monday, September 22, 2008

What have they got up their sleeves this time?

The agenda for the next board meeting describes the following action:
First reading, approve revisions to Policy 1245, Board Member Resignation and Replacement.

The policy currently reads as follows:
A member of the Board of Directors may resign from the Board for any reason. When a Board member's permanent residence ceases to be in the school district or his/her director district, the director shall resign immediately.

Resignations are to be made in writing to the secretary of the board.

At its next regularly scheduled board meeting, the resignations shall be considered and the position declared vacant.

The Board of Directors shall have the authority to fill any vacancy on the board in accordance with the procedures of state law. The person appointed to the board shall serve until the next regularly scheduled general election.

It makes an honest person wonder just what exactly they have in mind. Are they aware that it is too late to save Bruce Williams? He already resigned for violating board policies.

Are board members developing a strategy to prevent others from holding them accountable? Perhaps they seek to make all resignations voluntary and replacements temporary, with board members being able to return to their duties after gaining approval from a certain assistant superintendent. Just what scheme could they be hatching?

In reviewing conversations with Nick Brossoit that have appeared on this blog, it would appear as though they might just allow board members to move freely around the District once they are elected. To be re-elected, they will have to rent an apartment in their director district or just lie on their candidacy application.

Note to Board: Just make sure there isn't a restraining order filed against you that restricts the use of your qualifying home address when you seek re-election.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The rat in the kitchen won't eat the cheese sandwiches.

When a certain assistant superintendent decided to embrace an opportunity to enrich her friend, Arnie Tucker, through a poorly-written lease with the sole purpose of funneling money away from legitimate procurement processes, she meddled with Purchasing to make it all happen. The District handed over $40,000.00 in cash and awarded more than $100,000.00 in business that was not competitively determined.

When this same assistant superintendent decided to interfere in property management related issues, the District paid $5,600,000.00 for property valued at $3,300,000.00 - assuming no contamination in either appraisal. That was a loss of more than $2,300,000.00, plus the cost to remediate the contaminated soils.

When this same assistant superintendent decided to sell an 11 acre piece of land adjacent to Woodway during the peak of the real estate market, the District managed to limit the number of potential buyers, made significant concessions to the City and channeled everything through their legal team to avoid detection by members of the public. The losses are hard to quantify but certainly surpass $2,000,000.00.

When this same assistant superintendent decided to move Capital Partnerships away from Property Management, where no management fees were assessed, to Capital Projects where everything is hit with a fat bill for overhead, how did that serve the interests of our community? It isn't a partnership if one partner hires out their share of the effort.

Now this same assistant superintendent is meddling with the Food Services program while its seasoned director is away on extended leave. Is anyone actually surprised by the implementation of this highly questionable policy of providing frozen cheese sandwiches to children that owe more than $10? How do taxpayers get a fair deal by having our best educators teaching hungry children that can't hear anything over their rumbling tummies?

This same assistant superintendent is revising the Facility Use Policy that somehow allows "special friends" to use Class A office space full time without paying the rent required in their signed lease while forcing PTAs to pay to coordinate their volunteer activities for the benefit of the District.

The rule of the game at the Edmonds School District is "Whatever she wants". If you don't agree, you become a target to be squeezed out with little regard for due process or the best interests of our community.

If the Board actually cared about the financial health of the District, they would demand a higher standard or resign, allowing more competent leadership to take the helm.

"Big Cheese" lays the tracks and laces the flow.

No Nick is not capable of balancing a budget. He has no say in this matter. Food, no food. Cheese sandwiches yes. No more cheese sandwiches. Milk with those sandwiches? No Milk or sandwiches. Muffins yes, no. $10.00 tab. No wait, $20.00 limit. No limit at all. What? Hot cheese sandwiches for all. No cheese, no milk. Everyone gets a full meal. Nobody eats at all. Lunch on a tray. Tray dumped in garbage. Kids don't cry, give cake. No desert until finish cheese sandwich. Cheese sandwich with mayo. Mayo expiration date gone. You eat anyway, cuz Barb says.

Wieners in a bun. Wieners not healthy. Juice only! 6 oz. too much. 4 oz. from here on out. Bakers, no bakers. Candy and pop okay ‘til lunch. Don't leave school grounds to eat AM/PM. We have cinnamon rolls. Rolls unhealthy, staff lunch 5 bones. Lunch over before served. Eat snack. No crackers, water only. Not our water so much, but your water from home. Every child fed full lunch unless you want cheese and grapes only. Grapes from Brazil. Salmonella inevitable. Wash hands. No soap. Sanitizer, you supply. Me broke. Free and reduced. No biggie, you qualify. Not you, dump your tray. Get back in line for cheese sandwich. Upset, which line? Too late get to class. Eat a snack from home but not that. Put that away. Raise hand for lunch, wrong hand, no lunch.

No child left behind. Get behind that child! IOU. UO ME. No IOU. $225,000.00 in debt. No debt. General fund covers. Self supporting. Can't support self. Bail us out. Out with plastic. Paper only, but don't throw it here. Marla recycle. Marla repsycho. Paper, wood, plastic? Blue can, one only. No time to pick up. Just dump all in dumpster. Forget recycle. PR stunt only. Parents quiet. Dump leftovers quietly. Don't ask, don't tell. Tell teacher you’re hungry. No snack, almost lunch. Drink some water. Shhhh! in line. You step out. You too. Do you have money? Not for lunch, but yes for ice cream. Ice cream fattening, so is food service director. Lead by example, but not that one. Do as you’re told. I don't care if you’re starving. Tell your folks to feed you at home. But I'm free. Nothing’s free. Get a job. Can I work here? Yeah but we don't pay well. Get back in line.

Superintendent has all the money. Ask for loan from him. Don't bother, He's at meeting on free and reduced. All are fed. FS bankrupt. Poor Sara, poor poor pitiful me. Barb out. Never was in. Kitchens on fire. Guns a blazin. Barb’s hiding. Damage control, spin story. Once Debbie Jakala, now Debbie Joyce Jakala, soon to be DJ. How cool. Kids still hungry. You no help. We're the best. Or we were. Oh well. Faulty land deals, rob kids. Skin and bones. Cancel PE. No energy. Take nap. Wake up hungry. Salaries through the roof. Sky falling. Kids pay hell. Give Hell to lunch lady. Breakfast a go. Go to breakfast. Hurry to class. Toss juice. Wipe up mess. Not his and not with that. Sell entertainment guide to pay for lunch. Lunch sux. Poor nutrition. Falling asleep in class. So is custodian. Fire the guy, but give him free lunch. Bring in sub. Cheap labor so give extra lunch tray.

Espresso machine a must. ESC high on hog. kids hog food. Life or death. BBQ pork ribs. MLE. Where are Taquitos? What's that? Never mind. Grilled cheese. Not too hot. Burned Law suit. What country and what for? USA, not today. Shut mouth, open mouth. Take bite. Be kind. Gotta go, maybe more. Oh wait, in news. PI, Times, KING 5, high 5, too slow. Don't cry, wonder why. Bad home, Nick is worse. Nowhere to go. Well get in line. Leave tray, food in hand, bird in hand, Ferdinand. Eat on time. But not on my time. I'm too good. I make bank. F U all, no need to thank. CUZ I AM NICK! Don't get sick. Cuz you'll need more food that we don't have. Well yes we have but not to share. Kids suck. Have a good weekend. Eat well or starve in hell. Hell ain't a bad place to be. ESD is. What to to do? Protest! Can't do, contract says. Wake up Matt. Are you hungry too? sausage biscuit. Limp Bizkit. Fred Durst. Second Coming. Drop dead Fred. Food revives. Our food kills. Hire consultant, then therapist.

Hold hands. Then wash. Then eat. But hurry, cuz it is of no importance. Give a rats ass. No they don't. Rats for food, maybe good! My name is Nick. Use a map. Can't find it with two hands in the dark. Roadblock to brain. Can't think. Must be hungry. Go to EWH for more free food. Already in dumpster. Resign, retire, remorse, reimburse renegotiate bad contract. Oh my gosh, rehab. Don't. Do. Yes. No. Wait. Go. Stop. Alright. Hold it. Now’s the time. Pull trigger, shoot from hip. Shoot hip, L&I. Stay home. No cook. Back to ESD for free muffin. Chocolate chip, no way. Pay as go. Pay as like. No pay. Big payday! $200,000.00 Clean up after me. I'm a slob. Mind the mess. P's and Q's. In at 9, home by 2.

Original Lyrics by "Big Cheese"

Blog: The moderator of this blog has never attended any Big Cheese concerts and there are currently no Big Cheese songs on the moderator's iPod.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

District swimming in their own misinformation.

It's been a very sad month for ESD. Not only did the District receive a "shrammie" for the school lunch program, but it also appears that, from my little parent perch, that district officials are neither listening nor caring enough about the new community use policy. It seems that the only thing that motivates the board to react is the media – a very sad commentary on our leadership.

Marla told me in front of Nick that "other school districts charge PTA's for facilities use" totally false – I took an hour to check and gave her my findings. Her response? "Whoops! My mistake! I'm very sorry". Ok – once, I get it, clerical error. Then she and Nick said that the fee has ALWAYS been there – just at $1 per hour – so I checked again. After calling all the elementary schools in ESD, I found that no one has EVER charged PTA's for facilities use (except janitorial if after hours). Not 1 hour after I made my calls, did I get an email from Marla "Can you please not bother schools while we are starting schools? Schools are calling me about this" – Right. Let's not bother ourselves with the FACTS. Oh, and don't let the schools actually KNOW about the policy so we have to explain what we did.

Oh – and in the email she sent, she asked me to settle down? She attached the prior rate sheet "proving" that Group I gets charged $1 per hour and conveniently forgot to attach the policy that PARENT GROUPS ARE EXEMPT FROM FEES. Once a mistake – twice, well, I don't want to say.

What gets me is the amount of effort that is going into this to "work with" the district to have them do the right thing. When facts contradict the objective, just ignore the problem until it is a crisis (it worked for the "cheese sandwich issue" didn't it?).

Public Outrage seems to be the only thing the Board understands. Let the parents know what is going on. Local school staffs, inform your parents of the new official policy and ask your parents to express their opinion. (You can't get in trouble for informing people of the official policy can you?) PTA Groups, speak loudly. The people working for the District can't do it for you because of the fear ESC has created. Most people don't know that it even exists and the Board seems to want to keep it that way. Marla is going to present a "new proposal" to the board on 9/23 – I wonder what it will be? Until then, keep charging those fees!

I know some people in executive district administration read this – do the right thing. Don't let ESD continue to lead the way in charging groups to volunteer their time. It's just plain wrong and it's embarrassing to be part of this community.

Rick Jorgensen
Concerned Parent and Community Volunteer

Blog: While "Powerful Partners" has never paid rent and changed their name to avoid their financial obligations described in their lease, they have premium, full-time space in the ESC and pay nothing for it.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Gary Noble should immediately resign.

The residents of the Edmonds School District deserve to know why Board Policies 6810 and 1260 are being revised.

Board Policy 6810 currently states that,
"No person shall be employed by the district who is the spouse or dependent child of any member of the Board of Directors or of the superintendent."

Board Policy 1260 currently states that,
"No member of the Board, or any spouse or dependent relative of such member, shall receive or accept any compensation or reward for services rendered to the District."

Gary Noble is married to Kay Noble, a teacher at Lynnwood High School. Such a relationship eliminates any sense of objectivity in making critical decisions, like building a brand new Lynnwood High School in Bothell.

Despite Susan Paine's claim of "seven or eight months", the Edmonds School District was officially notified of Gary Noble violating board policies on September 26, 2007. Well before the election in November of 2007.

The Edmonds School District's legal counsel responded to my concerns on October 4, 2007, essentially offering nothing more than a smoke screen as a delay tactic to allow Gary Noble to successfully be re-elected.

Marla Miller made a claim during the last board meeting that these changes were merely "housecleaning" and were the result of a recommendation from the State Auditor. However, I lodged the complaint with the State Auditor after the District ignored my concerns. The State Auditor and Attorney General weighed in after reading the current board policies and agreed with my position.

Unfortunately, Gary Noble was ineligible to seek re-election and committed election fraud when he filed as a candidate. Gary Noble swore to uphold board policies and conveniently disregarded the very policy that rendered him ineligible.

The Board Action scheduled for next session proves beyond any reasonable doubt, that the Board was fully aware of Gary Noble's ineligibility and now seeks to conceal this obvious miscarriage of our electoral process. Unfortunately, the other candidate in the last election, never had a chance to mount a meaningful opposition when the Board was blatantly working to protect Gary Noble's status as a member of the school board.

Gary Noble might be a nice person and he might be a respectable member of our community, but it doesn't change the fact that at the time of the election in November of 2007, Gary Noble was ineligible. If he started an election campaign under the newly-revised policies, he would be in compliance, but unfortunately, the last election was undermined by fraud.

Gary Noble should do the honorable thing and immediately resign his position and allow the community to start the process of rebuilding what was once a respectable school board. Refusal to do the honorable thing will force this community to take the necessary steps to remove Gary Noble from office - and it won't be a recall election because Gary Noble was never legitimately re-elected in November of 2007.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Nick Brossoit earns a much deserved Schrammie.

A few comments from the KOMO blog...

I agree with all of you and this also shows what happens when the wrong individuals are put in a position of power. Regarding the salaries of the district heads, I feel they are extremely out of line considering the teachers who make far less are the ones who TEACH the children. Either way, throwing away food in front of a hungry child is unacceptable and fiscally irresponsible considering the $200K deficit from the previous school year in cafeteria spending.

Just because their parents may be irresponsible (or just broke) is NO excuse for embarrassing a child in front of everyone.

I agree with the others so I do realize how the $200K came to be and my point was that punishing a child that has no control over the situation is very hostile. Everyone here has brought up valid points and now it's time for the school to remedy the problem.

I think it would be more logical to take it out on the parents since they are the ones financially responsible anyway. Nothing like embarrassing a kid at the beginning of the school year and then expecting them to focus on school work. I would be one upset parent.

I agree. I'm upset just thinking about the poor kids. It really angers me the treatment of kids as throw aways, maybe the parents aren't taking care of their kids but don't make it worse.

Oh, I believe it, humiliating children is a whole lot easier than telling parents that they owe the school money, and a lot cheaper than sending out billing statements. Well, except for the whole wasted food bit, that can't be cheaper.

Doesn't the school district get money from the federal Government for each meal they serve? The National School Lunch program. How can they lose money if they get reimbursed for every meal served?

You probably just hit the nail on the head. Since they 'served' the lunch before they pitched it, they're probably counting it as a served lunch, which begs to question the legality of such action!

Nice. I'll remember that the next time I'm wanting to make a deaf 5-year old cry.

You have GOT to be kidding me! Why does he think that humiliating these kids will solve this problem? If the tab for unpaid lunches is really 200K, then turn the kids parents into collections--- don't publicly shame the kids in front of their peers. This is a ridiculously cruel solution-----can't the district come up with a better one?????

When I first read the story, I was flabbergasted! Those poor kids, how can they punish the children for the parent’s misdeeds, or lack of funds? It does not take much to be harassed and bullied at school, can you imagine the taunts if this happens? What is this school district thinking? I’m so glad my grandchildren do not attend in any of the schools in this heartless district!

Kind of hard to believe that the Edmonds school district lost out on $200,000 in lunch money last year. Didn't they have a policy in place prior to this year? I know that the school my kids go to allows for one lunch to be purchased if there is no money in the student's account. After that, they can't get a school lunch until that one has been paid for, and money added to the account for future use. It works very well, because the kids have to pay (or have money deducted from their account) before getting their lunch. What a concept - pay before you get your lunch! Regarding the food being thrown away - what a waste! Wouldn't you rather have a student eat the food rather than throw it away? There are starving kids in Africa.........

Not to mention the children that are starving here in the US!

This is what bugs me about anything run by the government. They can't change the process so they add to it. All that needs to be done is to put the money taker at the beginning of the line instead of the end. The dry cheese sandwich has been around for a long time for students without money but to throw away food is just wasteful.

This is heartbreaking! How humiliating for those kids, I hope the parents realize who they are when they see this story and pay their debts to the school. At the high school level kids are denied report cards at the end of the year and diplomas to graduating seniors until all fines and debts are paid, but these are little kids! No one can concentrate on reading and math when their tummies are grumbling and the fact that they throw the food away makes it even more infuriating! I understand some cafeteria workers are refusing to do this, any word on if action will be taken for the ones that do refuse? Can the PTA and Parent Boosters get involved with fund raisers to get the debts down? I know this isn't their problem to solve but anything would be better than what this jerk came up with! Good call Ken!

This just burns my bottom!!!! I don't know about all the other parents out there, but if my child was denied a hot meal because of some situation to pay for their meal, and to embarrass them in front of other school mates and peers, I would make a scene like no other. Shame on Mr. Brossoit!! I know in our school district lunch would be served to the student, but a letter would be sent home to the PARENTS to notify them of the problem. And also, if their accounts were still owing at the end of the year, then no report card, annuals,or any privileged stuff like that would be issued. I also find it hard to believe that they were 200,000 dollars in the red for it. Seems to me Mr. Brossoit should look for another job. He can't do the one he's doing now.

Blog: I couldn't imagine a more appropriate way to celebrate the anniversary of Bruce Williams' "resignation".

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Revisions prove Noble cheated to stay on the Board.

I attended the board meeting last night and wasn't surprised by the manner in which one particular issue was handled. First reading, approve revisions to policies 1260 and 6810 - Conflicts of Interest.

If the Board was going to have a "First Reading" wouldn't it have been nice of them to actually read the revisions being proposed? They weren't typed up and provided to everyone that attended the board meeting. They weren't discussed in any way, shape or form. It was as if they didn't want anyone to know what the policies contained and what they soon will not contain.

Pat Shields was confused. For a moment he thought the Board was planning to revise Board Policy 1270 to get him off the hook regarding his ethical issues. One thing at a time Pat. Your turn is coming.

Marla Miller characterized the revisions as just standard housecleaning. That the State Auditor stumbled upon these board policies and independently recommended they be revised.

There was no mention that the concerns were initially uncovered by the blog. No one mentioned the inadequate legal counsel the District received when their lawyer dismissed the blatant conflict as falling squarely within an exception under Washington State law.

Susan Paine described the discovery of these questionable board policies "seven to eight months ago", but the Auditor had only just arrived in the ESC and certainly wouldn't have spent those first few days reviewing board policies.

What happened to full disclosure? Why wouldn't the Board just come clean and share with their constituents the reasons for revising board policies 1260 and 6810? If they truly believe they are doing nothing wrong, why hide behind the process? Why conceal the real motivation for accommodating one of their own?

I suspect the reason why board meetings don't attract a crowd is because nothing is ever actually shared with the audience.

I am saddened that in order for Gary Noble to be re-elected, he had to cheat. He was ineligible to seek re-election to the Board and his cronies denied a better candidate the opportunity to serve his constituents and the best interests of the Edmonds School District.

Note to Duncan: I have taken the day off from work.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Often a noble face hides filthy ways.

There was a time, not long ago, when the moderator of this blog was the only one reading board policies. It was September 26, 2007 when we first drew attention to the fact that Board Policy 1260 posed a problem for Gary Noble. It was September 27, 2007 when we described just how much influence Kay Noble had on important decisions like building a new Lynnwood High School.

On October 4, 2007 the District's legal team drafted a rebuttal to the claims this blog was making. In fact, it was Duncan Fobes who specifically stated "the relationship between Mr. and Mrs. Noble falls squarely within an exception under Washington State law".

On October 7, 2007 the blog raised the question regarding Board Policy 6810 that states, "No person shall be employed by the district who is the spouse or dependent child of any member of the Board of Directors or of the superintendent."

On April 23, 2008 State Auditor completed their evaluation of the blog's assertions and agreed with our position, specifically recommending that "the most stringent policy be followed or policies be revised".

My question now is, if the District's legal team clearly demonstrated that the relationship between the Nobles fell "squarely within an exception under Washington State law", why would there be a need to revise board policies?

Blog: For themselves. By themselves.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Board will revise policies to allow Conflict of Interest.

For those of you wondering just how low the Edmonds School District will stoop to accommodate the needs of their friends, just peruse the agenda for the school board meeting on September 9th. The Board seeks to revise board policies to allow clear conflicts of interest to occur.

Such action clearly demonstrates where the District's priorities lie - not with students, not with the community, but solely with Gary and Kay Noble. The Noble School District would be more appropriate and actually has a nice ring to it.

I find it bewildering as to how leadership can assemble a crowd of four real estate agents to discuss the District's rapidly eroding image in the community and just a short time later seek to change the rules so their friends can stay in their positions of power.

There isn't an image problem. The image is a realistic depiction of actual conditions. The reputation of the Edmonds School District stinks and every whiff has been earned.

Blog: Unfortunately, Gary Noble was in violation of Board Policies when he sought re-election in 2007 and, like his former counterpart Bruce Williams, committed election fraud when he filed as a candidate.

The District brings in the freshest subs.

Hey Mark, I thought you would be interested in the latest stupidity in Human Resources.

On the second day of school, one of my friends who teaches in my building was pulled out into the hall by our principal. She was told that he had just received an email from Jim Roberts who's the ESC dude in charge of certified staff. The email indicated that her certificate had expired and she needed to be removed from the classroom until she could get it renewed. That required her to drive to Olympia to be fingerprinted etc.

In the meantime, a substitute has been brought in to teach her class until she can be re-certified. Other teachers in our building also had the same thing happen on that day. Yes it is their responsibility to make sure that their certificate doesn't expire....but if Jim has that information, you would think he'd have sent that out in JUNE!!! not the second day of school.

What's really disturbing is that my friend was informed that 60 teachers across the district also received the same treatment! That's 60 classes disrupted because some bimbo at the district can't send a timely email. That's 60 classrooms with the district paying substitutes! Idiots! I don't have any information to substantiate this other than word of mouth and what I've seen happen in my building.

Keep up the good work!

The impact of the new facility use policy.

Yesterday, I had a meeting with Nick and Marla regarding the facility use policy of school facilities and associated fee schedule. The new policy (effective now) is that Parent Organizations (PTA, PTSA, PTO, Booster Clubs, etc) are charged up to $300 a year for use of facilities and even more if they have a fundraiser that invites people from outside of the district.

Now, it’s completely reasonable to make sure that extra labor (such as custodial and weekend energy fees to heat/cool the building) are paid for so that the district doesn’t bear the burden; however, it is unprecedented in the local area that PTA/PTO organizations are charged facilities and scheduling fees for serving the community with activities for kids like Ice Cream Socials, Book Fairs, Science Fairs and the like. It comes down to 3 arguments, “other districts do this”, “wear and tear” on the building and “the PTA groups think its ok”.

First, other districts do NOT do this. I called every school district around Edmonds (including Seattle) and NONE charge anything to a parent club – most offer the facilities free to any non-profit serving the school district. Marla claims that this is not the case and is sending me her data – I look forward to seeing this.

Second, “wear and tear” is a pretty weak argument. I heard a couple of anecdotal stories about a parent group that left marks all over the floor and the school had to clean it up – well, let the group responsible clean it up – don’t make one bad apple spoil everything.

Third, that “PTA groups think this is ok” – well, true, she talked with the “liaison of the PTA groups” and they had no problem and true, Nick instructed her to talk to other PTA groups but I suspect that all the voices will not be heard on this and quietly go along. I urge any PTO/PTA representative to make their opinion heard – send Marla an email (you can copy me at rick.jorgensen@gmail.com). Whether you agree with the District or not, make your position clear. I will be at the Board Meeting on September 9th and will forward any comments I receive from the respective parent group.

I should close with a statement that Nick, Marla and I do agree on a great number of items with the policy, were considerate in discussing the topic and responsive to my inquiries. I really do thank them for the manner in which they treated me and this issue. That being said, I still disagree with them and think that this is the wrong direction for the district.

Rick Jorgensen

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Bergeson is eight years too late with proposal

We note that OSPI head Terry Bergeson thinks that the No Child Left Behind law needs fine-tuning. ("Bergeson offers fix for 'No Child Left Behind' " Friday). The question we would ask is "Where has she been for the past eight years?"

NCLB is a grossly flawed law that is tearing our schools apart. Bergeson has been at the helm of the state schools for 12 years, whipping the schools to conform to "accountability" at the expense of our students' good education.

She has repeatedly dismissed the criticisms that she now proposes. Perhaps she hears the footprints of an opponent in the general election and thinks that she needs to change her tune in order to win in November?

We and hundreds of other educators on the front lines have long pointed out the flaws of NCLB, but Bergeson has shoved NCLB down our throats without listening to our concerns. Effective leaders dialogue with the journeymen they supervise; Bergeson never did.

Bergeson does not deserve another term as state superintendent of public instruction because of her past blind support of NCLB. This change of heart only underscores how wrong she has been for the last eight years.

Richard and Chris Reuther
(Unwilling) Former Teachers, Edmonds School District

Blog: This entry was not written for the blog but was published in the Seattle PI on September 2, 2008. The author forwarded it to the blog for informational purposes and I posted it for our readers.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

It's not the three "amigos" that first come to mind.

From: Miller, Marla (ESC)
Sent: Friday, August 29, 2008 8:02 AM
To: @All Edmonds Email
Subject: Info: Update on Recycling

Greetings, and welcome back to this exciting time of year!

Last spring I sent out an e-mail with some specific tips regarding energy conservation, including recycling. Although we’ve been able to recycle plastic, aluminum cans, and glass along with paper for several years, I learned from some schools that we have had an inconsistent practice regarding recycling, and we have room for improvement districtwide. The enthusiasm I heard for getting students and staff involved in an effective recycling program is great, and beginning this fall, we are asking every school and district facility to fully implement recycling of glass, cans, plastics, and paper.

The “three amigos” [also known as George Marschall (maintenance manager), Bob Hansen (custodial/warehouse manager), and Brian Harding (director of facilities operations)] have done an outstanding job this summer to flesh out the tools and guidance needed to ensure we fully implement an effective recycling program for the district. Because we are not creating new waste to recycle, we are focusing on how to handle the materials we already discard in a more environmentally responsible manner, without creating more of a time- and workload issue for our custodians.

The blog finds the use of "three amigos" to be many things at once. First, it is a rather transparent attempt to cozy up to the recipients of this email message by using overly-familiar and blatantly condescending terms for staff. What management chooses to call each other behind closed doors should stay out of broad circulation. No matter how familiar they may be with each other, management continues to maintain a chasm between themselves and support staff.

Second, it suggests some degree of parity among these three individuals when in reality, one supervises the other two. Of course, the film would not have been as funny if it was called "One Jefe and Two Amigos".

Third, like the film by the same name, it would have had greater success at the box office if it excluded the least humorous amigo.

Summary: For several years, schools in the Edmonds School District have not been recycling in a manner that would suggest a regard for our future. While teachers may have thought that a recycle bin meant things were being recycled, more often than not it all ended up in the trash.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Options program relocated to College Place Middle.

District to close Options.

The blog is receiving calls on the tip line regarding the shift of Options to other, existing schools. The middle school portion of Options, for instance, will be housed at College Place Middle with the same staff as before. Given this news, it isn't surprising that all 12 Options teachers still have jobs at the District. Saving $200,000.00 couldn't be a result of eliminating teachers.

Options achieved success because their educational environment was segregated from mainstream students. Perhaps the District made the decision to relocate Options away from Former Woodway High School to free up additional space for Scriber Lake Alternative High School. Afterall, they won't be moving to their new site any time soon and would likely appreciate a concession of some kind.

By reintroducing Options back into existing schools, of course under another name, the District removes one of the greatest features of the program - moderately isolated and significantly focused instruction.

As for the new name by which the same program will be called, give Pat Shields a call. I am sure he could point us to the mastermind behind the "Powerful Partners" transition to "Powerful Tutors". Was anyone actually fooled by this obvious attempt to avoid paying rent?

At the end of the day, the outcome is inevitable. Fewer students will survive their thirteen-year stint in basic education and the District will continue their trend of diminishing enrollment.

The blog recommends the name "Druthers".

Monday, September 01, 2008

We have English teachers to make it all very clear.


Ms. Kay Noble
ELL (English Language Learner) Teacher
Room 58
Lynnwood High School

This webpage will give you information to help you succeed in my classes. You'll find my email address and my phone number above. Please contact me if you need help. I am available during tutorial every morning in my classroom and after school by appointment.

I've also included a link to Skyward so you can check your grades frequently. If you need your login/password, please check with your Advisory teacher or the Counseling secretary.

I want to help you succeed at Lynnwood High School!

Ms. Noble

As an ELL Teacher, the casual observer may be of the opinion that you have a highly-developed ability to articulate the meaning of statements made in English. Please help our readers understand the following statements:

1. No person shall be employed by the district who is the spouse or dependent child of any member of the Board of Directors or of the superintendent. [
Board Policy 6810]

2. We recommend that the most stringent policy be followed or policies be revised. [
State Auditor's Exit Conference with the District on April 23, 2008]

3. Please explain the difference between "
Termination of Employment" and "Leave of Absence".

Teachers that work with small children sometimes adopt the speaking patterns that best support the process of being understood. Such teachers are easy to point out at social gatherings because their rhythm of communication is terribly deliberate and the manner in which they pronounce even simple words can make others cringe.

Perhaps the same can be said of teachers that work with non-native English speakers. Such a teacher might just adopt a perspective that leaves her convinced that no one understands English quite like she does. Mildly complicated expressions like "
Conflict of Interest" may be viewed as inexplicable in this teacher's world. Even lawyers have taken a crack at explaining the concept and have failed to adequately do so.

Thank goodness we have English teachers to make it all very clear.