LEARN MORE ABOUT LESCHI ELEMENTARY!
To download a full color brochure about Leschi Elementary click here
To view a video about Leschi: Introduction to Leschi Elementary School, Seattle, WA: A school with a blend of best practices
From December 3rd to March 4th, Seattle Public Schools will hold Kindergarten Early Enrollment events at 10 different SPS elementary schools around our community. Families can attend whichever event is most convenient, regardless of where they live. Click here for more information.
Important Update from the Equity Task Force about the New Blended Approach at Leschi recommended for 2015-16
Goal: To create one program at Leschi that is equitable and accessible to every student.
What: The Equity Taskforce was charged with the looking at our Montessori and Contemporary Programs. We are recommending a single blended approach that will provide the best of both programs to all students at Leschi. Every student would have a team of teachers. One teacher would deliver instruction in mathematics, phonics, grammar, and geography utilizing the Montessori methods, materials and approach. The second teacher would deliver instruction in reading and writing utilizing the Workshop Model developed by Teachers College of Columbia University and science through the National Science Foundation Inquiry kits (which are currently used in the both programs).
Evidence shows that in order to have an equitable learning opportunity for every child, our classrooms must be heterogeneous—integrated by race, culture, home language, and economics. Right now, they are not. Leschi currently has 387 students. We have 211 students in the Contemporary program and 176 students in the Montessori program. We have 9 Contemporary classes and 7 Montessori classes. Racial, cultural, home language, and socio-economic segregation has come to define the two programs. The Blended Model curricular approach offers the best approach to accelerating all students’ learning, starting from their just-right level.
Vision for how the Blended Approach would work:
All students at Leschi would enroll in the same blended approach. Each multi-age class would spend half the day with a Montessori teacher and half the day with a Contemporary teacher. Teachers would work together in pairs to teach two classes of students. Our teams of teachers would work in multi-age grade bands: K/1, 2/3, and 4/5. One of our core values is multiage model because of continuity between families and teachers we would do our best to maintain that teacher, child, family connection as we begin implementation of the blended approach.
Blended Approach Field Test:
This fall, Leschi began a field test in which two K/1 teachers, Ms. Guzmán (Contemporary) and Ms. Chin (Montessori), have combined their classes in a blended model. While this program is new and the full impact cannot yet be evaluated, both teachers are extremely enthusiastic about the initial results, and believe that the new approach is working much better for all students than the previous programs. Here are some of the benefits they have reported:
· Classes are more balanced racially and socio-economically. Research shows that all students learn better in more diverse settings, and our teachers have found experientially that the new balance allows them to focus more accelerating learning by helping each student academically at his or her just right level.
· Teachers work together in collaborative partnerships to meet the needs and see the strengths of each student. Both teachers and parents report that they have better information to help each child, because there are two teachers with different perspectives who know them.
· The children develop more relationships with teachers and staff in the building, which increases accountability.
· Students have the opportunity to learn in a combination of structured work time and self-initiated work (as adults we need to function in both ways).
· Teachers focus on fewer subjects which allows them to go deeper into the curriculum they teach allowing students to develop more rigorous academic standards.
· All students get access to the Montessori math program, which builds from concrete to abstract in a developmentally appropriate way.
· All students have access to Reader’s/Writer’s Workshop out of Teacher’s College at Columbia University in NYC and National Science Foundation Inquiry-based Science, taught by a teacher who is highly trained in these curricula.
Rationale for this recommendation:
We believe that the blended approach would provide a better education for all students at Leschi. We believe that the current two-program system is inequitable, and should not continue for another year. Further, the current field test is working well for the students who are participating in it, and we want to continue their growth next year. Expanding the existing field test for all students is critical to create a challenging and uniform educational experience for all students.
Cost and Funding:
Once the system is implemented, it would be financially sustainable and would not require any more money or time to implement in the long term. The blended program requires an equal number of teachers trained for Montessori and Contemporary education. Therefore, we would need to convert one K/1 Contemporary class to a Montessori class. This would result in a one time initial start-up cost to train one more teacher in the Montessori philosophy and pedagogy, and getting supplies for that classroom. We already have a teacher willing to do Montessori training. The training costs $5,125 and requires 6 weeks over two summers (in the past teachers pay half themselves and the school pays the other half). Leschi currently has extra Montessori supplies to contribute to the additional classroom. The remaining supplies will cost approximately $20,000 (which could be partially through Donors Choose and/or other donations). The new approach would not require any more money or time to implement than our current system after these initial costs.
How Can I Share My Questions or Feedback and How Can I Learn More?
There are Feedback Forms in the office, attached to this information sheet, and online at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1rJwv9pxSN0Qb1GZprrS1WyTFL64mkhgQ2SAaM9nDZDg/viewform?usp=send_form We want to hear from you.
We will have information sessions with Ms. Claytor and members for the Equity Task Force, in addition to opportunities to do informal Q&A on the following dates:
· November 20th 3:30-7 pm: Library drop-in Q&A
· November 22nd 9-3: Library Info Session with Ms. Claytor, Q&A + video of pilot
· November 24th 9-3: Library drop-in Q&A
· November 25th 9-3: Library drop-in Q&A
· December 9th 8:45 am-10 am: Library Info Session with Ms. Claytor, Q&A + video of pilot
· December 11th 5:30-7pm: Blended Future Night
Or please contact a member of the Leschi Equity Task Force:
Myeesha Parker, firstname.lastname@example.org, 206.850.6059
Shana Abner, email@example.com
Jan Munger, firstname.lastname@example.org
Sam McKagan ,email@example.com , 206.335.4325
Chris Ray Merriweather, firstname.lastname@example.org
Brynnen Ford, email@example.com. 206.328.5769
Marian Ahmed, firstname.lastname@example.org
Gerald Donaldson, email@example.com
Leni Bolster, firstname.lastname@example.org
Valerie Chin, email@example.com
Danielle Guzman, firstname.lastname@example.org
Katie Snyder, email@example.com
Rhonda Claytor, firstname.lastname@example.org, 206.252.2950
Volunteering at Leschi
Seattle Public Schools is grateful for each parent and community member who contributes to the success of students. We have thousands of volunteers who work in a variety of capacities in Seattle Public Schools. There many ways to volunteer. Seattle Public Schools Policy No. 5630 recognizes the valuable contribution by volunteers. In order to provide students with a safe environment and allow for a variety of opportunities for volunteering.
All volunteer work must be done under the direction of an assigned teacher, site volunteer coordinator, principal or vice principal.
For the 2014-2015 school year, Seattle Public Schools is now requiring the following for all Volunteers at Leschi Elementary:
** All volunteers are required by Seattle Public Schools to do the following:
Volunteering Check List: Complete these first.
- Volunteer Application
- Background check (WATCH)Screening Form
The background check must be approved by administration before being allowed to participate.