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Record enrollment figures at UWB

  • Written by Woodinville Weekly Staff

The University of Washington Bothell reports a head-count for the 2011-2012 academic year of 3,759 students, also counted as 3,367 FTE (full-time equivalent students). This number compares to an FTE of 2,880 in the previous 2010-2011 year, corresponding to an increase of 17 percent.

The recent increase in enrollment at UW Bothell now makes it the largest of the five university branch campuses in the state. A total of 93 percent of the currently enrolled students are from Washington.

Of the total student population, the top counties of residence are King (56 percent) and Snohomish (29 percent). A total of 20.9 percent of students are benefitting from UW’s Husky Promise program, and 28.9 percent are Pell-grant eligible. There are 132 students who are U.S. veterans.

Of the incoming freshman class (UW Bothell’s sixth freshman class): 2,075 students applied, and 529 enrolled. Of these, half are female and half are male. Of the local high schools represented, top feeder schools include Inglemoor, Mariner, Kamiak, Juanita and Cascade high schools.

The class is ethnically diverse as well, with students self-reporting as: 35 percent Asian American, 13 percent Hispanic, 7 percent African American, 1 percent American Indian, and 3 percent Hawaiian/Pacific Islander  (1 percent did not indicate).

For more information, visit www.uwb.edu.

School board candidates get quizzed at forum

  • Written by Don Mann
Upwards of 100 concerned citizens filled the Ricketts Board Room at the Northshore School District Administration Center in Bothell last Monday to witness a school board candidate forum hosted by the Northshore Council PTSA.

Candidates included challenger Joe Marshall and incumbent Janet Quinn for Director District No. 2, and challenger BZ (Sundstrom) Davis and incumbent Dawn McCravey for Director District No. 3.

The General Election is November 8.

Sixteen questions submitted by community members were asked by moderator Becky Birch — some longer than the answers themselves — in the nearly 90-minute forum as candidates had two minutes to answer under a strict timekeeper.

The following are the first three questions asked, with verbatim answers:

What programs and areas do you consider most vital and deserving of highest protection from budget cuts?

Marshall: It’s got to be those areas that we can agree upon in collaboration in consulting with the parents and the teachers and the principals that take the most precedence. It can’t be something that’s preconceived and comes out of any single board member’s idea. It should be something that is arrived at upon our total agreement and what we can ask the parents and the teachers, consulting them as the experts they are in education.

Quinn: When we had to make a $7.1 million budget reduction we came out to the community to get input from the teachers and from parents and as many people we could find ... and I think that’s the right way to do it. It’s harder and harder, the challenge is, when you have less money coming from the state and more restrictions on that money it becomes pretty challenging. So there are some things that we absolutely have to do; we don’t have choices. A lot of record keeping ... those aren’t necessarily things I would choose and I will continue to talk to legislators to see if we can ease up on some of those regulations, but I think it’s important to challenge our students who need challenge and we need to bring up the students who need help bringing them up to grade level ... I can’t think of any programs that are not important.

Davis: It’s the classroom; it’s always the classroom. We always come back to that. We need to put every available resource we have in our classroom and that’s people. 87 percent of our budget is people and I think the more people that have the opportunity to touch our kids’ lives, the more opportunities they have to succeed. So I think from parent educators to nurses to teachers ... all those people who interact with our students ... it’s people that are vital.

McCravey: We do have decreasing money coming from Olympia and that is a concern. The programs that I would consider most important are those that provide excellence in education. When we start prioritizing things in our district we need to prioritize what’s best for kids. We need to not look at what’s near and dear to some folks’ hearts or just the people. We need to keep things for our students. We need to keep excellent teachers so we need to provide that excellence. The next thing we need to prioritize is provided for us by our new data system. We are now keeping data on all our students. That has never happened before in this district. And with that we receive the information we need about what our students need, where their needs are, where their shortcomings are and where we need to put more education.

What do you feel is the role of parents and community in district processes?

Quinn: I think it’s clear that they should be involved in everything. They’re currently on our curriculum materials adoption committee and enrollment demographics group. They’re on several committees and I think they should stay there. I think that we can’t function as a district unless we have parent input. It’s one of the key components as is input from educators and students and community. The role of parents is key.

Davis: It’s no secret why the Northshore School District is such a great school district.

There’s two things we know that help a child succeed: No.1 is early childhood education and No. 2 is parent involvement. We’ve got that in spades and that wouldn’t be anything I’d ever want to change, and certainly something I’ve always supported and encouraged. As a parent I served on the curriculum review committee so I think that’s a perfect place for people to be involved. We also need parents involved in the budget process. Our school levies and bonds are 24 percent of the dollars we bring to our schools. Those are critical dollars. We need to have our community and parents on board as we go out to ask for those funds.

McCravey: We have amazing business people in our community. I think we have leaders that can step up and help us with business decisions if we need to call on them, and I think we should call on them more. I don’t think we call on them enough. I pushed hard in the curriculum adoption process. We do have a curriculum adoption process that has a curriculum committee and that’s all fine and good but no parents were involved early in the process. At one meeting I insisted that I was no longer going to vote to adopt curriculum unless we started involving parents in the process earlier. Now that announcement goes out from your principals to you as parents asking for input.

Marshall: We ought to involve parents early and often in the important decisions they’re going to be looking at. If there’s a program that has in particular been singled out for being cut, we ought to find the parents and bring in the parents most concerned because their kids are most impacted by it and see if there is a way in which it could perhaps be budget neutral, or to offset some aspect of it. That’s that interaction, it’s about the process and getting the parents to the table. And before we make an argument to the community regarding budget adjustment or any new sense and ideas of funding we’ve got to be able to step up and say ‘OK, here’s where we’ve made the efficiencies. Here’s the effort that we’ve put forward in order to keep things lean and efficient and fiscally responsible.’

What do you believe are the best ways to evaluate school and student performance?

Davis: I get worried about testing because that becomes just one indicator. The others are ... are students happy in school? Are parents involved in school? Is it an open, sharing community? Those are probably better indicators. The only ones that make the newspapers are test scores, though. I’m concerned about that. When I was out talking to people this summer I visited one area where a school hadn’t met AYP (Adequate Yearly Progress) and the parents were very concerned about sending their child there. And I know it’s a very good school — it’s a school I volunteer in...I think people mostly stay in their schools even with that information because schools are a lot more than just testing.It’s all those people involved, strong PTAs, good rapport with the principal and the teachers. I think those are the indicators of good schools and how we should evaluate them.

McCravey: Oddly enough I started getting involved in this entire legislative process because I did not think the WASL was an appropriate test for our children. I saw the WASL when my daughter was in fourth grade and I said ‘what a silly test.’ I was a teacher and it was silly. My opponent and I had a conversation about it quite a few years ago where she told me that she voted that students’ graduation should be tied to passing the WASL. I don’t agree with that. I don’t believe in high stakes testing. There are things being developed at the state level that evaluate schools and student performance. I think that those are appropriate but we have to take it carefully. After all, students are more than a test.

Marshall: My son’s school — Kenmore Elementary — sent us a letter early on saying ‘you guys can go to Arrowhead or Shelton View because we didn’t make the AYP.’ My wife and I decided to keep him there: we know the principal, we know the school, we know that snapshot — which is indicative of much data — is not the entire picture.

There’s an extra energy, extra factors. There are socio-economic factors, family factors. We know that testing alone doesn’t complete the entire picture.

At the same time it’s a method and a new emphasis on testing in the last few years has been one that at least can emphasize rigor, review forms of evaluation ... and an innovation that we’ve seen that we really have to take into account and balance with the rest of the picture.

Quinn: I actually am concerned about our focus on testing. It feels like we’re testing all the creativity out of our kids, and we’re not acknowledging that teachers that are in front of the students for their entire day don’t have ... we don’t acknowledge that they have the insight through their interaction with the students.

So I think that multiple measures of student performance are appropriate. Tests are a necessary evil in some cases, but testing as long as it isn’t ... well, I’m not really a fan of the WASL. When my son and I can read the same question and come up with two different interpretations of it I think that’s a flawed test. So I worry about a test that is flawed to start with and then also subjectively graded.

Bothell teacher is favorite

  • Written by Woodinville Weekly Staff

AndyGault

Photo courtesy of Northshore School District

Bothell American Sign Language teacher Andy Gault is Teacher of the Year in the Evening Magazine Best of Western Washington 2011 contest. Gault was surprised at the start of his second-period class. His first period students stuck around in class and the cheerleaders (he is their advisor) came into the room shouting a cheer “We are proud of you” with the Evening Magazine camera crew trailing them.

City drainage improvement project begins

  • Written by Woodinville Weekly Staff

Drainage system upgrades are being performed near the intersection of 140th Avenue NE and NE 175th Street/NE Woodinville-Duvall Road.

Construction is scheduled to be completed early in November, weather depending.

Work will be performed at night from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m.

Work may occur during daytime hours in areas that will not have an impact on traffic operations. All traffic will be routed through the eastbound lanes during evening work hours.

The upgrades are designed to fix existing stormwater overflow issues that are common along this section of the roadway. Work includes increasing the capacity of the drainage system and adding new storm grates that will minimize clogging due to street tree leaf litter.

This project was recently identified in the City’s 2010 Comprehensive Stormwater Master Plan as one of the most severe stormwater drainage problem in the City.

For more information regarding the Comprehensive Stormwater Master Plan, please visit the City’s website at www.ci.woodinville.wa.us/Live/StormWater.asp.  If you have any questions or concerns regarding the planned and approved work of this project. you may contact Daniel Beck at (425) 877-2295, or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Northshore School District seeks applicants for Enrollment Demographics Task Force

  • Written by Woodinville Weekly Staff

BOTHELL — The Northshore School District is seeking applicants to fill three vacancies on the Enrollment Demographics Task Force. Applicants must be a parent or community member in the Northshore School District to be considered. T

his voluntary position is appointed by the Board of Directors and lasts up to three years.

The task force looks at demographic trends in the Northshore service area, determines the likely impact on our schools, the size of the student body from year to year, and as a result, on the district’s ability to offer equitable programs and services to all students in all schools.

More information is available on the district Web site, www.nsd.org or by calling the Communications Office at (425) 408-7670. The application deadline is Friday, Nov. 18.