Archive for the 'Seattle' Category

18
May

Seattle Public & Private School Resources

I’m giving a talk at Ignite Seattle 14 called How to Go to Kindergarten – it’s an introduction to the public and private school system in Seattle for parents (or parents-to-be) who are unfamiliar with the territory. I’ll link to the video once it’s online, but in the meantime, here are some resources for your research:

General

  • GreatSchools is a relatively independent source of student and parent reviews of public and private schools in the area. (Note that this search does not include Shoreline schools.) As always, community reviews can vary, and there’s definitely some astroturfing going on.

Public

  • Find your attendance area school. Here’s a fun fact: during the 2010-2011 application process, our assigned school changed two times. They’re more stable now.
  • School Reports shows the attendance area map and some school data for each school (these links seem to work randomly).
  • TheĀ Student Assignment Plan is a 35-page PDF that explains what I talked about for ~1min.
  • Advanced Learning explains the range of accelerated programs.
  • Save Seattle Schools is the leading blog for the Seattle public school system, with authors who are well-informed, generally thoughtful, and strongly opinionated, and commenters who pour out their thoughts and invective. If there’s a revolution, it will come from here. Greg Linden runs the Discuss APP blog, focused on Seattle’s program for kids in the 98th+ percentile: there are also thoughtful comment threads, which are occasionally pulled into posts.

Private

  • PNAIS is the governing body for independent (e.g. non-religious) private schools in the region, and has a canonical list of all accredited schools. (Again, don’t forget to include Shoreline.) There’s no similar body for all parochial schools, but the GreatSchools list seems quite comprehensive.
  • Here’s a spreadsheet for the Private School Cost Estimate I presented during the talk. Feel free to copy and modify. As I mention in the notes, there’s a very wide cost range, especially among parochial schools.

A final note: I’d love any feedback on this talk. I tried to focus on the importance of thinking about the opportunities of school selection and taking charge of the process, plus talking a bit about the foibles of each. I attempted to avoid advocating for any particular path, but I might well have failed, and I know how emotionally charged this topic can be. Feel free to email me your thoughts: scottru at gmail. Thanks!

30
Jun

Starting a Seattle CTO Support Group

I’ve been thinking for a while about trying to put together a Seattle “CTO Support Group” and have mentioned this to a few folks, and I’m finally kicking this off. I posted basically this message to the Seattle Tech Startups mailing list this past Friday, but I’m not sure who that hits and misses. I’ve had ~20 people express interest so far.

Opening thoughts:

  • Attendees are CTOs (or whatever title denotes “head of technology” – software and ops) at local companies/govts/etc. Starting point is that this is one person in a company, feel free to tell me that this doesn’t make sense for your organization, but the goal isn’t a replacement for other tech gatherings with more open invites.
  • Figure the makeup of the group will determine the balance between small/medium/large companies, private v. public, funded v. bootstrapped, etc. Early folks have been primarily (but not entirely) small startups.
  • Would have regular get-togethers – breakfast? lunch? – hosted by some company, ideally in a regular location (prob. in downtown Seattle or Pioneer Square) or in a rotating location.
  • Get-togethers would be 70% mingling, 30% presentation (probably from someone in the group) on an interesting topic – could be technical, could be managerial, could be look-at-the-industry. Assumption is that the content and topics are meant for hands-on leaders and are real-world, not stuff we’d read in a Gartner report if we read them anymore. Obviously interactive.
  • Assumption is that everything is under FrieNDA.

If you fit the description and would be interested enough to attend regularly, let me know (and if you have a preference b/w breakfast or lunch, or another bright idea, let me know that as well). There’s an “Email Me” link in the sidebar of scottru.com. I’ll likely host the first one in the next N weeks at WhitePages HQ in downtown Seattle (and probably could host regularly, we have a good space depending on size).




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