Ann Dornfeld | KUOW News and Information

Ann Dornfeld

Reporter

Year started with KUOW: 2008

Ann Dornfeld reports on issues of racial inequity for KUOW.

She previously covered education for the station. Before that, Ann was a roving freelance public radio reporter, focusing on environmental issues, for KUOW and national shows including Morning Edition, All Things Considered, The Environment Report and Marketplace. Ann has reported on a rare bioluminescent bay in Puerto Rico, penguin habitat loss in South Africa, mangrove destruction in the U.S. Virgin Islands, coral reef conservation in Bonaire and invasive lionfish in the Bahamas. She covered a major earthquake in Sumatra, Indonesia, for NPR News and The World.

Ann also worked as a reporter and Morning Edition host at KLCC Public Radio in Eugene, Oregon, after internships at KUOW and Alaska Public Radio Network. She got her start spinning hip-hop records at the radio station of Oregon State University, where she majored in biology and environmental sciences.

She has won awards for her reporting from the Society of Professional Journalists, The Associated Press and Public Radio News Directors Incorporated. Ann has also received both investigative and data reporting awards from the Education Writers Association for her coverage of ongoing recess cutbacks and physical education shortages in Seattle-area schools. Her photography has appeared in exhibits at the American Museum of Natural History and the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. 

Ways to Connect

Seattle Public Schools was considering this vacant building as a potential location for a downtown elementary school.
Flickr Photo/Joe Wolf (CC-BY-NC-ND)

The Seattle School Board has turned down an opportunity to acquire a vacant Federal Reserve building in downtown Seattle.

Whittier Elementary School third-grader Kai Holec said ever since his lunch period got shortened to 15 minutes this year, he hasn't been able to finish his meal before it's time to go to recess.

And that's not enough to keep him going.

AP Photo/Elaine Thompson

UPDATE: 11/5/2014, 4:19 p.m.  

At last count, Initiative 1351 continued to be closely split with 49.5 percent in favor, 50.5 percent against.

Original Post

A statewide initiative to reduce K-12 class sizes is too close to call in early returns: 50.6 to 49.4 percent, with the "yes" votes slightly trailing.

Initiative 1351 would decrease average class sizes for all grades, but especially for the youngest students.

Flickr Photo/Nick Amoscato (CC BY-NC-ND)

The Washington State Supreme Court heard oral arguments Tuesday regarding the constitutionality of the voter-approved charter school law.

KUOW Photo/Ann Dornfeld / KUOW

Even though the school doors are closed all week, there’s a steady stream of visitors to Marysville Pilchuck High.

They weave ribbons through the fence that runs along the school field.

Gently lean one more bouquet of flowers between hundreds like it.

Ann Dornfeld / KUOW

Hundreds of students at Garfield High School in Seattle walked out of class Thursday to protest district cuts that could cost the school a teacher.

The city of Seattle is scaling back plans for its subsidized preschool program.
Flickr Photo/Barnaby Wasson (CC BY-NC-SA)/http://bit.ly/1LQhs3d

Seattle voters will see two competing child care initiatives on their fall ballots.

A proposal from the mayor and City Council would create a subsidized preschool program for 3- and 4-year-olds.

Flickr Photo/Benjamin Chun

  When Beacon Hill International School in Seattle submitted its tests last spring, district officials spotted improbably high scores schoolwide.

Now, the state schools office has invalidated test results for the elementary school. This is the first time an entire school’s state test scores have been thrown out due to tampering.

Courtesy of Highline Public Schools

In a modern kindergarten class, you rarely see one lesson underway at once.

At Bow Lake Elementary in SeaTac, these new kindergarteners are studying reading – and social skills – and how to work as a group.

KUOW Photo/Ann Dornfeld

  On a sunny afternoon, 18-year-old Margaret Rim bounces her infant son on her knee in an empty classroom at South Lake High School.

A public health nurse, Emma Spohn, sits down next to her.

PoorStart
KUOW Photo/Nick Danielson

Preschool can look like fun and games.

But high-quality preschools use play to teach children the academic, social and developmental skills that they’ll need for kindergarten.

Mercergov.org Photo

Mercer Island schools reopened Tuesday as officials said the city’s water supply was safe again after increased chlorination over the weekend. But they advised residents to first run cold water from every tap in their homes for five minutes, starting on the highest floor.

KUOW Photo/Ann Dornfeld

Although the tunnel boring machine known as “Bertha” is at a standstill, work is still underway to replace Seattle’s Alaskan Way Viaduct.

This fall, Seattle voters will choose between two early childhood education ballot initiatives. If you want to weigh in on the issue, you'll have to pick a favorite – even if you want neither to pass. KUOW Education Reporter Ann Dornfeld gives us the latest on the two competing ballot initiatives .

Flickr Photo/Joe Wolf (CC-BY-NC-ND)

There’s more discussion this week about a potential new school in downtown Seattle. As KUOW’s Ann Dornfeld reports, the idea is controversial.

Flickr Photo/Barnaby Wasson (CC-BY-NC-ND)

The backers of an initiative to increase pay and training for child care workers in Seattle have filed suit against the city for the way the measure will appear on the fall ballot.

KUOW’s Ann Dornfeld reports.

The Seattle School Board voted unanimously Friday to make Larry Nyland the interim schools chief to replace outgoing Superintendent Jose Banda.

Seven organizations have filed to open charter schools in Washington in the state’s second-ever round of applications.

The proposed schools include California-based charter chains… a bilingual school… and a school that would teach partly in sign language.

Three of the schools would be in Spokane, with the rest in Seattle, Sunnyside, and Pierce and Clark Counties.

Three of the groups had applied unsuccessfully to open schools last year.

The state’s charter school authorizers will decide which applications to approve, if any, by mid-October.

Institute for Learning and Brain Science / University of Washington

A University of Washington study published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science gives clues about how talking to babies from an early age helps them say their first words.

Ann Dornfeld / KUOW

Patti Oliver Bailey sat on a sunny wooden deck in Seattle’s Rainier Valley on a recent afternoon, surrounded by toddlers digging through a box of pink sand and bright toys.

Ann Dornfeld / KUOW

A coalition of teachers and their supporters marched through downtown Seattle Thursday afternoon to the headquarters of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

The local branch of a national organization that calls itself the Badass Teachers Association was protesting the education reform efforts the Gates Foundation has generously funded, from charter schools to the new Common Core State Standards.

Flickr Photo/a.pasquier

The Seattle City Council voted on Monday to send two competing early childhood education initiatives to voters this fall. One initiative was proposed by council President Tim Burgess and Mayor Ed Murray, and the other by a union that represents child care workers.

Seattle Public Schools

Seattle Public Schools Superintendent Jose Banda has been named the finalist for superintendent of Sacramento City Unified School District. If Banda accepts the position, he would be leaving Seattle after two years, with two years left on his current contract.

KUOW Photo/Ann Dornfeld

An African hair braider is suing the Washington State Department of Licensing after an investigator told her she needs a cosmetology license to stay in business.

The suit is one of several filed across the country on Tuesday by hair braiders protesting state regulations they say don’t apply to them.

Flickr Photo/Wanda Dechant

Last week, the Seattle School Board voted 4-3 to adopt a new elementary curriculum, Math in Focus.

Parents and teachers had lobbied the district for years to use Math in Focus, described as “Singapore math.” Singapore has been consistently ranked as the highest-achieving country in the world.

Flickr Photo/USDAgov (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Nearly half of public school students in Washington state receive free or reduced-price breakfasts and lunches at school – about half a million children. But when school’s out for summer, it can be a struggle for low-income families to make their food budgets stretch.

Kjetil Korslien / Flickr

The potential bankruptcy sale of a company that stores online student data – including personally identifiable information for about 20,000 Seattle middle and high school students – has concerned the Federal Trade Commission and Seattle Public Schools. 

The nonprofit organization Playworks has trained several dozen schools in Washington -- including Bellevue Public Schools -- how to turn recess from the traditional free time into an organized activity period.
Courtesy of Playworks

The recess for the youngest students at Ardmore Elementary School in Bellevue doesn’t look like your typical recess.

Flickr Photo/Joe Shlabotnik (CC-BY-NC-ND)

In decades past, elementary students had recess several times a day.

Today, parents and teachers across the country report dramatic cutbacks to that free time. In Seattle, the length of recess varies dramatically from school to school – from an hour to just 15 minutes.

Fourth-graders at Schmitz Park Elementary in West Seattle play capture the flag in their outdoor P.E. class.
KUOW Photo/Ann Dornfeld

At a playfield in West Seattle, physical education teacher C.J. Sealey referees with a piercing whistle. Sealey aims to get these kids moving – after all, state law demands that elementary and middle school students get at least 100 minutes of P.E. every week.

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