Colville Parents Meeting February 3, 2016 6 – 8pm

Announcing a Colville Parents meeting on Wednesday, February 3rd at the Colville High School Cafeteria from 6:00pm to 8:00pm.

We will be holding an open and very informal meeting for all concerned citizens of the Colville School District in regards to the new transgender policy as well as any other Colville School related issues. Although this is a Colville Parents meeting – we invite any and all people from outside Colville to attend and, in fact, we encourage your presence and input.

Please note – this is NOT a Colville School District function, this is a meeting put together by the concerned parents and citizens of our community.

The purpose of this meeting is to:

– Give the community a place to have an open, respectful discussion regarding the new transgender rule.

– Idea Exchange: Brainstorm options and discuss possible solutions – learn what the people in our community want and are willing to do on this issue.

– Bring and share all information that you feel will be useful or helpful to others. If you have the ability to print out paperwork, we will have a sharing table set up. If you can’t print, then we still would like you to bring the information so that we can find a way to share it.

– Questions, answers, comments, discussions. It may be that there are more questions than answers at this time, but we are hoping with enough people sharing, we will be able to find answers together.

– Gather and share contact information for anyone who wishes to do so.

Rough Schedule:

6:00 – 6:15 Meet and greet and make connections.

6:15 – 6:25 A short update regarding the transgender rule and how it affects our community and our schools.

6:25 – Open discussion with our community. We will give each person who wants to speak time to speak. We want to keep the conversation moving along and to get as many people speaking as possible, so we ask that the comments be brief.

7:50 – Clean up, return chairs and tables. (We only have the room reserved until 8:00)

We would like to keep the discussion mainly about the transgender issue. We welcome questions along with any ideas or solutions people may have.

Task Force: We are hoping that at least one person chosen for the Colville School Board Nondiscrimination Task Force will be in attendance and be able to update our community and gather information they can share with the Task Force at the next meeting.

RSVP: In an attempt to know how many people might be in attendance, we would like people to let us know if they plan to attend. You can contact

Scott or Lynette Martin at:

colvilleparents@yahoo.com

or on our colvilleparents facebook page

If you have any information or suggestions for the meeting, please let us know.

Thank you.

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STAND against the Transgender Rule/Law Now in Effect for all Washington State

Picking LockIf bureaucrats want to get something done that they know the public doesn’t want, they have to sneak around and do it behind our backs. That’s what happened. Like a thief at night, the rule/law was placed into effect by the Human Rights Commission and the OSPI Equity and Civil Rights Office behind closed doors and behind everybody’s backs. It was NOT passed by our legislators (although they did foolishly give the Human Rights Commission the authority to do this).

As of December 26, 2015 MEN CAN NOW LEGALLY ENTER ANY WOMEN’s BATHROOM IN WASHINGTON STATE.

Text of New Human Rights Commission rule/law WAC 162-32

The text is difficult to find because it was passed by a committee, not the legislature and it is not on the government WAC pages yet. Here are a few links to the text of the rule/law:

Permanent Rules Human Rights Commission

Proposed Rules Human Rights Commission

Restroom Access

 

ASSISTANCE

Here are links that have been extremely helpful to us with information and assistance for the people who are against this rule/law:

Advocates of Natural Rights  are helping us to fight this issue in Washington state.

Family Policy Institute – this link includes an article about the new rule/law.

Alliance Defending Freedom is helping us fight this issue nationally.

 

WHAT CAN WE DO NOW?

There are a few things we can do now:

1. Contact your legislators and ask them to repeal it.

2. Sign a privacy statement for your children and give it to the school. Go to the Pacific Justice Institute  and click on “US (Non-California) Students US Notice of Privacy

There you will find a form to fill out and turn in to your school district. This will provide your school with the responsibility of maintaining your child’s privacy rights regardless of any other laws. The form looks like this:

Notice of Privacy

3. STANDSTAND2

It’s time that we the people stand up for our rights as a group. We have a lot more power than we think we do. If we stand alone, we may fail, if we stand together, we are a powerful force that they will have to deal with. That’s why the Colville School Board is always trying to shut us down as a group. We need to show them that we stand together and will not back down on this issue.

It’s time to tell them that our rights are more important than their issues. This one is for OUR children. It’s time for us to help our own children instead of expecting others to do it for us, because after all this time of trusting them, they have now become extremely UN-trustworthy.

MEETING

We are still working to set up a parents meeting to be held shortly. We are looking for a facility to hold the meeting, once we find a building, we can set up a date and time. If anyone has any suggestions for a meeting place. Please let us know.

Contact us here: colvilleparents@yahoo.com

Parent Teacher Conferences

3340467206_4f1f87673f_z_flickr.com

Wednesday, January 27, 2015 was Parent Teacher Conference day. On the afternoon of January 26, 2015, I received a phone message reminder. It’s nice that the school sent a reminder, but sad that it was the night before.

I remember a day when schools actually had parents attend these days. They gave the parents a written notice with plenty of time for the parents to rearrange their schedule. Parents can’t just drop everything and take off with a moments notice, they need time to arrange with their boss, so they can take off work.

I’m also assuming the teachers can’t see every parent at the same time, so it seems like it would be more beneficial to give at least a weeks notice so that everyone could arrange their schedule.

But that’s just me.

I’m sure the school will say that the conference days are listed on the school calendar, so parents have already had plenty of notice and that’s a fair argument.

My point is that if the school is going to send a notification, it would be nice to have it at the very least on Monday, so parents have a couple of days notice instead of getting a phone message on the night before the scheduled day. It’s kind of hard to call your boss to get permission for a day off when your boss isn’t at work. Parents have very busy schedules, and don’t always put every date in their calendar, especially when it’s several months off.

In my mind, when the school sends a message the night before, it seems as if they don’t actually want to have parents attend.

7071223009_3c49174fcc_bThe school also says that less and less parents attend every year. Why is this?

– Is it because parents don’t care how their children are doing in school?

– Is it because parents are not properly informed?

– Is it because parents trust the schools more now than they did years ago?

– Is it because standards based grading means nothing to the parents or the children and nobody understands what’s going on anyway?

– Is it because conferences are during the day when parents can’t attend instead of at night when parents have free time?

– Is it because parents have much busier schedules now and can’t drop everything on a minutes notice?

Superintendent Pete Lewis Fired from Previous Position in Fairbanks

Fired_stamp_commons.wikimedia.orgThis post is informational for the good people of Colville. I believe it is important for this community to understand as much as we can about our new Superintendent. I find it important for people to know that Mr. Pete Lewis was fired from his last position in Fairbanks, Alaska for

“significant allegations of employee misconduct towards students”

handcuffs-294516_640To put it more bluntly, an employee named Claude Fowlkes III was arrested for allegedly raping a student multiple times on campus.

Prior to this, Mr. Lewis was made aware of multiple complaints that Mr. Fowlkes was grooming students. The action Mr. Lewis allegedly took was to transfer Mr. Fowlkes to another building without informing the principal of his past behaviors. This action by Mr. Lewis is what allegedly led to the rapes and to Mr. Lewis’ own firing.

Here is an excerpt from a Fairbanks article written on the KSL.com website  http://www.ksl.com/?nid=157&sid=29870313

The board cited a “total failure of leadership” by Lewis in the investigation and retention of employees, including Claude Fowlkes III, 34, a tutor at Hutchison High School who was arrested in March and charged with six counts of abusing a student at the school.

“Significant allegations and observations of ‘grooming’ and other alarming behavior with students were either not understood or were not dealt with in a serious manner,” Haas said in a statement signed by all board members.

Problems began at Fowlkes’ previous assignment at another Fairbanks school, Haas said, but the Hutchison principal was not made aware of them, Haas said.

Fowlkes from 2008 to 2014 was the subject of at least three complaints regarding conduct toward male students or minors. He violated district policy and engaged in inappropriate behavior with a male student at Tanana Middle School, the board said, but remained employed.

The superintendent’s unwillingness to perform his duties or inability to do them exposed students to harm and the district to legal vulnerability, the board said. Despite inappropriate student contact, Fowlkes received a glowing recommendation [by Mr. Lewis], Haas said.

You can find links to more informative articles at the bottom of this page.

5222712198_a24e1ba298_b_flickr.comQUESTIONS

– Do you as a parent feel our school board was honest with us in every way?

– Why did the school board hire Mr. Lewis two days after he was fired from Fairbanks, AK?

– Why did our board feel the need to rush in a superintendent to our district that had been fired for “significant allegations of employee misconduct towards students”?

– Should this community have been properly informed of Mr. Lewis’ past mistake before he was hired?

– Did our school board do a thorough hiring process, or was Mr. Lewis rushed in? (See post ‘Questionable Interm Superintendent Hiring’ https://colvilleparents.wordpress.com/2014/11/12/questionable-interim-superintendent-hiring/ )

– Did our school board skip the steps in their own policies that require them to inform the public of a superintendent or interim superintendent search? (Once again, see “Questionable Interim Superintendent Hiring post). If so, why?

– Did our school board rush Interim Superintendent Pete Lewis into a permanent position without a proper Superintendent search (according to school policies) before the public could be informed of Mr. Lewis’ past? (See post ‘Superintendent Hiring Procedures’ https://colvilleparents.wordpress.com/2014/11/26/superintendent-hiring-procedures/ )

– Do you, as a parent, feel comfortable with Mr. Lewis in charge of your children?

Continue reading

Why I Hate Standards Based Grading

15a30f91a0b84b7ac737c756e657813e_pinterest.comI’m not going to mince words here, I really do HATE HATE HATE standards based grading. Why? Because it explains NOTHING. The parents, children, teachers and even the administrators cannot explain exactly what a student has learned, or how well they have grasped the subject. Let me give you an example from one of my experiences:

When my daughter received her first standards based report card:

– We didn’t know what the grades meant.

– We asked our daughter what her grades meant to her and she didn’t know.

– We asked the principal and he didn’t know, he told us to ask the teachers.

– The teachers sent us lots of paperwork, but it didn’t really explain our daughters understanding of what she had been taught.

– We went to the administrators office and after a very long conversation using lots of fancy verbiage that we assumed was an attempt to confuse us, make us feel stupid, or make us leave, they finally admitted that they couldn’t tell us exactly what her grades meant.

End of Story.

What I can’t understand is how so many people believe something is wonderful when nobody can explain what it is or how it works beyond an incredibly generic and non specific concept. The people who love it will tell you it gives them so much MORE understanding of where a student is. Really? Then why can’t you explain my child’s grades when I ask for them?

Here’s another way to explain what’s wrong with standards based grading. Let’s look at the rubrics used by other schools to explain to their staff, students and parents how it works.

Rubrics for Standards Based Grading

I’m inserting links here because they all take a lot of room to explain.

http://www.minnetonka.k12.mn.us/academics/gradingandreporting/reportcards/Pages/GradingRubric.aspx

http://washburn.mpls.k12.mn.us/standard_level_grading

http://www.exemplars.com/resources/rubrics/assessment-rubrics

Pretty clear right? *sarcasm* Every school has a different method for grading. Why is this a good thing? Where are the “standards” in standards based grading?

My child receives a “4” in Washington, but an “8” in Minnesota for the same grade. And then you have different grading rubrics for different subjects. Talk about confusing on a grand scale. They expect us to understand something completely unexplainable – AND they expect our children to understand it too.

The school will run you around with so much double speak on this subject that you are supposed to leave feeling like they are so much smarter than you. It’s not true. I am not stupid and neither are you Do not think you have to accept a ridiculous concept as having any kind of merit when it comes to your children’s futures. If they can’t explain what it means, then it has no meaning.

Grades are a tool used to measure a student’s understanding and knowledge. If a carpenter uses a fluctuating measurement system, anything they make would fall apart. So what good is a fluctuating grading system to our children? Will their futures fall apart if we keep standards based grading in our schools?

Standards Based Grading in Colville Schools (as explained to me in percentages): (if anyone at the school wants to contact me to tell me my chart is wrong, don’t bother.  I get different answers every time I ask and I don’t have room to put in a manual full of explanations – so this is my best interpretation with what I’ve been given.)

4 = 95% or better (A+)

3 = 60% to 94% (C- to A)

2 = 1 to 59%  (D to F – or student wrote their name on the paper.)

1 = Fail

As you can see, the majority of the students will receive a 3, which is anywhere from a C to an A.

The school will tell the parents;

“Your child is doing good, they are getting a 3”.

Well, what the heck does a 3 mean in the first place?

Is it an “A”, a “B”, a “C” or “Nearly failing”?

That statement is worthless when the value of the three is meaningless.

So standards based grading is great if you just want to get through school, but for those students who want to excel, it is bewildering and frustrating on every level.

My son was always grade conscious, but when they went to standards based grading, he didn’t understand his grades anymore and nobody could explain them to him. He became frustrated and apathetic because he didn’t understand what was expected of him and what he WAS doing no longer had any meaning.

For the rest of his school career, he just muddled his way through by pleasing the teachers. This ridiculous system taught him to just ‘do as he was told’. It didn’t seem to have anything to do with actually learning (or teaching?) the subject matter – which is what we thought school was for in the first place.

ANOTHER ANNOYANCE: Continue reading