by Ari Robin McKenna
The end of this school year is bringing continued uncertainty for two South End schools. Franklin High School will begin next school year without the principal and vice principals who guided them through this tumultuous year. And there will be no members left of Cleveland STEM High School’s administrative “dream team” in charge when the pandemic began.
Continue reading Catherine Brown Demotion Completes Admin Overhaul at Cleveland and Franklin High Schools
by Danielle Marie Holland
As a single parent of a child in Seattle Public Schools, I am particularly sensitive to the hardships many families have faced returning to in-person learning. While many of the hidden pains and challenges stemming from the pandemic are leading the news, our broken busing system seems to be going completely unnoticed.
Continue reading OPINION: Our Kids Deserve Better Than Our Broken Busing System
by Ari Robin McKenna
Students of Color who attend Ballard High School (BHS) say they felt less safe at school after an ad hoc group called “Friends of Keven Wynkoop” ran a full-page ad in the Sunday Seattle Times in February calling on the district to reinstate the former BHS principal. Wynkoop had been put on paid administrative leave after the district found he had retaliated against a student.
The ad, which cost $9,850, suggests that their concerns about Wynkoop’s treatment of Students of Color have been dismissed, six Students of Color told the Emerald.
Continue reading Ballard Students of Color Say $10K Ad in the Seattle Times Makes Them Feel Less Safe
by Ben Adlin
Nearly two years after the pandemic began, Seattle Public Schools has announced that masks will become optional across the district beginning Monday, March 14. The change comes after Washington’s statewide indoor masking mandate ended at midnight Friday.
In preparation for the statewide change, the State Department of Health updated its COVID-19 guidance for schools last week, advising that masks should be among a set of “optional prevention measures.” Seattle and King County health officials have issued similar guidance, saying they follow the lead of the State Health Department.
Continue reading Starting Monday, March 14, Masks Will Be Optional in Seattle Public Schools
by Ari Robin McKenna
There has been a series of historically cascading phrases to describe racial inequity in public school systems nationwide. “Achievement gap” was preferred for a while — but that phrase was inseparable from standardized tests proven both to consistently favor white students and to delineate “achievement” that actually just mirrored the family income levels of test takers. Then, “opportunity gap” began to replace it, but reeked of well-meaning naïveté. The phrase leaves room for the “gap” to have been arbitrarily created, and for a deficit perspective to persist about Communities of Color, when structural racism impacting educational opportunity is well-documented nationwide. Lately, the phrase “education debt” has gained traction, and puts the onus squarely on school districts to actively address past disparity.
Continue reading How SPS’ Equity Tiers Are Used to Address Educational Debt
The Morning Update Show — hosted by Trae Holiday and The Big O (Omari Salisbury) — is the only weekday news and information livestream that delivers culturally relevant content to the Pacific Northwest’s urban audience. Omari and Trae analyze the day’s local and national headlines as well as melanin magic in our community. Watch live every weekday at 11 a.m. on any of the following channels, hosted by Converge Media: YouTube, Twitch, Facebook, Periscope, and whereweconverge.com.
We also post the Morning Update Show here on the Emerald each day after it airs, so you can catch up any time of day while you peruse our latest posts.
Morning Update Show — Tuesday, Feb. 15
LIVE — School Board President Hersey | Update on Seattle Public Schools | LIVE — Queen Bri of Rainier Avenue Radio | Black History Month Events
Continue reading The Morning Update Show — 2/15
by Ben Adlin
If you were caught off guard when you received your ballot last month, you’re not alone — by today’s standards, the buzz around the State’s special election next Tuesday, Feb. 8, has been mellow. But if you care at all about schools (or taxes), it’s time to tear open that envelope and get going on your civic duty.
Continue reading Help! What’s on the Ballot for Next Week’s Election?
by Vallerie Fisher
Seattle voters have another decision to make this year — and this one should be a no-brainer! Seattle Public Schools (SPS) has two critical levies on the ballot and as a South Seattle educator, I urge you to vote “YES” by Feb. 8.
These levies are voted on for renewal every three years — most recently in 2019. Seattle voters have supported these levies year after year because our students rely on this funding for everything from textbooks to after-school programs. These levies are an investment in our children’s future and well-being.
Continue reading OPINION: Vote ‘YES’ for Seattle Schools by February 8
by Ari Robin McKenna, photos by Chloe Collyer
Recently, in Mx. Sam Cristol’s ethnic studies class at Cleveland STEM High School, students were discussing the effects of COVID-19 in Seattle. “We started with the idea of all of us being frustrated with the way that these issues are being handled — and not handled, for that matter,” said student organizer Nya Spivey, “and then we were like, well … what as students can we do?” Spivey and classmates Mia Dabney and Ava May decided they could do something, and so they did.
Continue reading PHOTO ESSAY: Student Voices, Demands From Last Friday’s COVID-19 Walkout
by Sally James
Washington’s medical officials are bracing for the next few weeks in the latest surge of the COVID-19 pandemic. But they also offered a glimmer of good news at their Wednesday, Jan. 19, media event.
“The next several weeks will be very difficult,” said Umair Shah, M.D., M.P.H., secretary of health of the Washington State Department of Public Health (DOH). Even though case counts have leveled off in most of Western Washington, they are still rising in Eastern Washington. Hospitals are struggling with too many patients and barely enough room or staff to care for them properly. Gov. Jay Inslee has sent National Guard personnel to help several state hospitals.
Continue reading Western WA’s COVID Cases Level Off, Hospitals Brace for Surge, More Masks and Tests Available