Monday, June 21, 2010

End of another school year

It is the last day of school tomorrow. Another school year done, a summer ahead of us, and planning for the year to follow.

If you have thoughts on this year and the year to come, please discuss!

12 comments :

Anonymous said...

Can anybody share their experience about taking Summer Stretch math fast paced programs at the Robinson Center at UW? Is it indeed possible to learn one year course of Algebra or Geometry in 5 weeks? How intense are those classes?

Anonymous said...

There has certainly been debate about this in recent years. Some teachers/staff don't like it and don't trust that the kids will really truly learn the material and retain it as well as if they had sat in a regular class for 9 months. Some parents like to use it as a way to advance their kids who are looking for more challenge.

My take on the whole thing, knowing some of the kids who have done it, is that I don't think a 3-5 week cram course is a great substitute for learning the full year of material. HOWEVER, if you have a kid that's FAR ahead of his/her peers and already knows a great deal of the coming year's material, but likely has "holes" in some strands, then this might be a nice way to fill things in and solidify the prior knowledge.

Anonymous said...

One more bit of relevant information on the topic of math.

If you think your child will be able to place up one grade level in math for middle school, you'd better verify this with both Bob Vaughan in the Advanced Learning office and Anna Maria de la Fuente, who is in charge of the district's math programs.

Right now there are conflicting reports that APP kids will not be allowed to use the Math Pathway Placement Contract. Initially, Ms. de la Fuente said that it was available for all students, regardless of program. But more recently there has been word that APP kids may not be able to use this contract, even if there is evidence that the advanced placement is the best fit and the parents are willing and able to sign the contract. Why not?

This needs some attention very quickly. If the district does not fix this blunder it will be grossly unfair to kids who are working at a very advanced level in mathematics. Why does every child in the district except those in APP get to take part in this placement?!

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know what the options are for skipping algebra 2? We missed the chance to apply for Summer Stretch, and then found out that underage students can't take pre-college courses at community college. Is it possible to test out (perhaps after completing an online course)?

Anonymous said...

Check CTY at Johns Hopkins University or EPGY at Stanford U for online courses.

Anonymous said...

There is no shortage of online courses: the question is what to do AFTER in order to get credit from SPS.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know what the options are for skipping algebra 2?

First thing to note: be careful how you phrase your request. You cannot "skip" Algebra II, and using such terminology gives the administration ammo to not let your kid move ahead. You want to be sure that all involved know that your child completed the material elsewhere.

What grade was your student this past year (09/10)? I ask because the middle school credit for HS classes will kick in next year, but I don't believe it will apply to classes taken this summer.

If you are concerned only about placement, and not credit (this is the typical situation for middle school kids jumping ahead), then as I understand it, the high schools themselves have (had?) a great deal of latitude in the matter, and you'll probably have to talk with them directly.

If you want SPS credit for an online course, that's not something I can help with, but would be nice if you posted your findings here.

Anonymous said...

The student's just finished 10th, and credit is not important as they will be taking four years of math anyway. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

You can continue with Algebra 2 at school and take pre-calculus on-line at the same time: this way, you can be placed to Calculus in 12th grade.

Anonymous said...

My question isn't so much how to replace the instruction, or when to do it, as what the procedure would be for getting a higher placement as a result. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

You need to talk to the Head of the Math Department at your high school before you enroll to the online course.

Anonymous said...

Per the counselor, okay for placement if the course is accredited. Found a course through Brigham Young University (http://ce.byu.edu/is/site/). According to http://www.seattleschools.org/area/board/09-10agendas/060210agenda/c57.00report.pdf, "At Introduction, Board members requested information on what current online learning activities are underway. We contacted the head counselors in the high schools and discovered that there is not a lot of online activity underway. Many schools reported that they formerly used the Digital Learning Commons (DLC), but ceased when the district stopped funding the program. A few schools have students doing online course through Brigham Young University. Students who do use online opportunities typically take a course for 0.5 credits/semester—the same as they would earn in an SPS class. Students appear to be taking courses all along the spectrum, including math, US history, science, CTE, health and PE."