December King PTA News

141_4116_r1It has been another frenetic month as usual here at King. Here’s just a few of the details from this month’s meeting:

Enrollment Balancing
Last week, Principal Patterson and Io Eltagonde presented a plan by King School staff to Enrollment and Transfer Director, Judy Brennan to achieve a sustainable student population for King School. This plan proposes changing King’s boundary to include the entire King Neighborhood boundary (part of which now feeds to Sabin) and to gain part of the former Humboldt School area furthest from Boise-Eliot. An alternative plan is to close Sabin school and divide its enrollment area between the two other International Baccalaureate schools, King and Vernon, and to have Sabin be the permanent home for the ACCESS program for gifted students which currently shares space there. This was also discussed at Site Council last week.

Latino parents expressed their concerns that PPS has been separating Spanish-speaking and English-speaking parents in their outreach on this issue and that weakens the voices of parents by keeping them divided. The PTA overall expressed the sentiment that parent perspectives and concerns can only represent the individual parents that express them, and that the district is misguided in habitually looking at the public as monolithic socio-economic and racial groups. There was agreement that parents all have very similar needs educationally and that education should be delivered equitably without regard to race or income. Therefore, parents want the district to not reorganize schools along demographic lines.

Budget/Teacher Grants
The King PTA budget was amended to fix an accounting error and to move more money into the teacher grant account to fund more projects. As a result, the budget for grants to teachers and staff was increased by $1300 to $6300 for the year.
Following adoption of the amended budget, the PTA agreed to fund all five grant requests that have been received. They are:

  • $2000 for portable, durable video cameras for digital media production, social science and art projects.
  • $1382.90 for an online literacy program that rewards reading in and out of school and engages students and their parents in reading while allowing tracking of comprehension and progress toward reading goals.
  • $1085.96 for “wiggle seats” to provide all first and second graders with a means to move while keeping focused on learning in the classroom. Research has shown these to have a positive effect especially with students with attention deficits.
  • $100 for interactive classroom supplies in the ESL classroom.
  • $150 for food costs in the three kindergarten classes for cooking projects throughout the year.

ACCESS Academy
Anna Kulgren, parent and Kristen Sheeran, PTA President of the ACCESS Academy attended our PTA meeting. They were on hand to answer King parents’ questions about what ACCESS is and to get a sense of our community’s opinion of the school district’s proposals to co-locate ACCESS in the King building. They said that ACCESS is being explicitly made an option to all qualifying families and that since this change was implemented, the diversity of the program is increasing rapidly. They feel that ACCESS, if moved to King, would be a benefit for both programs. Discussion was cut short due to the performance of “Armannie” immediately following PTA.