SPS Board Meeting Recap, Bargaining Team Updates

Closing Push for our Fall Survey
Our response window has been extended to Oct. 22!

The Unite Summit Bargaining Team will meet at the end of the month. If you have not yet done so, please fill out our fall survey at: tinyurl.com/USFallSurvey. We have extended the response window to Oct. 22 to give us a chance to gather as much input as possible before our meeting. 
Your responses will inform our work as we move into bargaining our first contract, so please take a few minutes to give us your thoughts.

Welcoming a New Member of the Bargaining Team

We are excited to announce that veteran math teacher Doug Wills is joining our Bargaining Team as the elected representative from Tahoma!

Here are the current elected members of our Bargaining Team:
Denali HS: Liz Grewal, Science
Denali MS: Amber Steele, Electives (Drama)
Everest: Evan Anderson, Science
Expeditions: Liz DeOrnellas, Journalism and Creative Writing
K2 HS: Brendan Boland, English
K2 MS: Haley Ralph (Holt), History
Rainier: Isela Mosqueira, Spanish
Summit Prep: Dan McClure, Science
Tahoma: Doug Wills, Math

News from the Summit Board Meeting
The Summit Public Schools Board of Directors met on Oct. 10 from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. You can find the agenda and the materials packet here; official minutes are not yet posted. 
A few points of interest from the meeting:

Our CEO and Superintendent are focused on improving both attendance and enrollment at our campuses. They singled out K2 and Denali as campuses where they’d like to help lead on student recruitment.

As part of the Superintendent’s push toward our organization’s excellence goals, SPS has set a few goals that are more aggressive than the benchmarks that TLP has set for other Summit Learning campuses. Two examples:

  • SPS aims to have 60 percent of students setting goals in every content area every week.
  • SPS aims to have 100 percent of students receive checkpoint feedback within 48 hours. TLP sets its benchmark for timely feedback at two weeks. SPS teachers are already at 100 percent on this goal under the two-week benchmark. When questioned by board members regarding the amount of teacher time it takes to give feedback and the utility of optimizing the percent of students who receive feedback within 48 hours vs. setting aside time for longer check-ins with specific students, our superintendent argued that the 48-hour benchmark is necessary to prevent students from falling behind.

The meeting closed with a review of the Marshall Street Initiative, Summit’s focus on extending the work of SPS into the larger education community. The initiative currently includes the following programs:

  • Teacher Residency, led by Pam Lamcke
  • School Leader Certification, led by Greg Ponikvar
  • Prepared Parents, led by Mira Browne
  • Networked Continuous Improvement, led by Kyle Moyer
  • Postsecondary Pathways, led by Amy Sandoz

The end of the meeting packet (starting on pg. 48) provides Adam Carter’s presentation on the current state of those initiatives.

While we believe these wider initiatives have the potential to have an impact, Unite Summit aims to refocus attention, energy, and resources on the day-to-day needs of our students and our campuses. As mentioned at the start of this newsletter, our Bargaining Team is working to gather teacher input on your highest priorities, so please give us your perspective at tinyurl.com/USFallSurvey if you have not yet!

If you’d like more context on the meeting notes listed above, which were provided by the Unite Summit representative who was able to attend the board meeting, please contact us at unitesummitteachers@gmail.com. Official minutes, when finalized, will be posted by the board on their website

We believe that is important that all stakeholders have a chance to fully participate in the governance of our school organization, and we also know that many teachers, parents, and students who wanted to attend the Board Meeting were unable to attend because the meeting time conflicted with both school and work hours.

We hope Summit Public Schools and its board will consider that such scheduling, and the fact that board meetings happen only four times a year, makes it difficult for all voices to be heard and for all stakeholders to feel they are a valued part of the decision-making process at our organization.