Friday, October 22, 2010

APP AC Oct 5 meeting minutes available

APP Advisory Committee had a meeting on Oct 5. A summary (PDF) of the meeting is available.

Worth reading. Most interesting tidbits for me were the enrollment numbers for elementary,
About 70% of the applications for advanced learning come for students in the Lowell/Hamilton assignment areas [and 63% of grade 1-5 APP is at Lowell] ... [perhaps because] schools in the NorthEast are very crowded which could provide an additional incentive for parents to look at other options (i.e. APP) for their students.
the response to a question on whether the new APP teachers are getting any training in gifted education,
Teachers new to APP do not get special training. But ... they are provided with curriculum and other in-service support ... Bob feels that the best way to influence the quality of instruction is to define expectations (students should be working at least 2 years above grade level) and to codify the curriculum
the new data that shows that the APP split had no impact on the diversity of the APP students, and the problems that are appearing due to overcrowding at Lowell, Hamilton, and Garfield.


Lori said...

Do they ever look at the show rates? That would be one way to know whether overcrowding in the NE or elsewhere is having an effect.

By this, I mean, they should be able to easily calculate what percent of APP-qualified children enter APP each year. If the show rate is the same as previous years, then the bump in enrollment is likely just due to the bump in births that started around 2002-2003.

But, if the show rates are higher, then there probably is something else going on that the district should take into account for future enrollment projections.

Seems to me that that's the kind of data one would bring to a meeting like this.

Steve said...

Hmm...I swear in the past Dr. Vaughn has said that APP teachers *do* receive some training in dealing with this student population. I believe "gifted" students are considered to be a "special education" population, and I can't believe their is another special education program that doesn't require some additional training.

I'm not saying it's necessary, but just surprised that there no additional (or formal) training for teachers in APP.

Steve said...

Er..I meant to write "there," not "there." Maybe I'm the one that needs the additional training...

Maureen said...

Lori, it seems to me that over crowding in itself could create a higher show rate as well as be correlated with more kids being tested. People might be likely to move to Lowell/Hamilton if their neighborhood school is bursting at the seams. It might even drive more people to test.

BH said...

Is anyone currently pushing the idea of moving the Lowell APP program to the north end?

We're new to APP this year, and I know there's a lot of history. But given the overcrowding -- and the likelihood of that continuing as the regular ed/ALO program grows in coming years with neighborhood kids -- it does seem like an opportunity to seriously look at a north-end solution.

I can only imagine that a significant majority of Lowell APP families would support moving the program to a central/north location, if it appeared to be a viable option.

There was a good discussion on the idea of moving APP north a year ago on the save seattle schools blog, but I can't seem to find anything about it recently online. Did everyone give up?

(Here's a link to the discussion a year ago:

Anonymous said...

On the Hamilton website under Advanced Learning it states:
"...taught by intructors who have experience and endorsement in teaching gifted students."

So is this statement false?

In my limited exposure to the HIMS APP teachers I don't get the sense that many have any experience with this population or are even embracing the program at HIMS.

I would like to know if anybody else gets this "vibe" from the school.

Steve said...

The Advanced Learning web site lists as one of its "Four Principles" that the APP program "Provide instruction by teachers familiar with the needs of students who are academically highly gifted." Nothing about certification here.

Steve said...

BH, I don't think anyone is pushing to move Lowell's APP program to a school north of the Ship Canal. I think they (we) should be, but I don't get a sense it's happening. It might have to happen should the APP program at Lowell grow as it did this year.

I think this would have to come from the PTA/parents, and perhaps with the assistance of the APP Advisory Committee (although I don't know if that's something they'd do).

I'll bring it up with the Lowell PTA president and post what I get back.

lendlees said...

A bit of history on the split and why there isn't APP north of the ship canal. A group of us worked up a proposal to place APP-North at BF Day as we didn't think the district would re-open any schools at the time. It was met with resounding silence.

So, APP stayed at Lowell (and Lowell stayed open), after we convinced the staff/board that moving the Special Education program would be prohibitively expensive.

Now that MacDonald is being reopened, it could potentially make sense to move APP there, although I really don't think there is enough capacity there. And, if APP moves out of Lowell, then Lowell would be about 2/3 empty and be in jeopardy of closing.

Just my thoughts/ramblings on the topic.

Steve said...

Lendlees, thanks for the history on this. I wonder if it's time to revisit this again, or at least see if there is energy in the Lowell APP community to try to make it happen. I fear the district is starting to think about APP changes anyway, so maybe it would be better to put forth a request instead of waiting for the district to put forth their idea?

On the Seattle Public Schools community blog, there's a thread about the annual Program Placement Process, when parents and others can submit a form requesting a program be created at a school, or moved from one place to another. The due date is November 24.

Imagine if 40 parents submitted proposals through this process to move the "north-end" APP program to an actual north-end location? It still may have no impact, but it will be hard to deny the numbers.