Sunday, November 14, 2010

Open thread

A new open thread for everyone, discuss what you like!


Anonymous said...

I would love to have a conversation about what the minimum baseline requirements for APP should or could be (or have been).

What is an ideal cohort size?
What is a minimum set of required classes for a cohort be effective?
What is a reasonable minimum entry requirements?
What is a reasonable entry grade level limit if any?
What is the minimum transportation options?
Is geographic proximity important or does it only matter that there is good transportation options?
Is there a minimum after school enrichment requirement?
Is band and athletics "an extra" and the responsibility of the parent group to provide or for the parents to participate via community groups, like local soccer clubs and local orchestras?

I honestly don't know the answer to any of these questions but the splits have made me think about this alot. I think if the APP Group were able to articulate a set of minimums it might make it easier to have a conversation both with the district and each other.

I would really like to stop all the finger pointing about my kid needs this and simply have some defined minimum offerings.

-signed baseline

lendlees said...

Any reports on the Garfield meeting last night? There are only a couple of comments on the saveseattleschools blog.


Meg said...

I have a couple of questions, too.

If an accelerated IB program at Ingraham was truly, truly optional, what do people think of it?

My second question's more involved, so please bear with me. It looks to me as if with either a forced split or an optional additional HS choice, the decision is not a program placement decision, but a NSAP decision.

-HS APP isn't a program, per se, but the default assignment of APP 8th graders. The district says this repeatedly; APP families seem to say as much, too. Presumably that's why people can't test in for 9th grade, because APP isn't a defined program after 8th.

-under the NSAP (and the old SAP), students with default assignments can stay at their assigned school.

-under the NSAP, students who request an assignment that is not their default assignment must re-apply every year.

-APP students at Garfield have Garfield as their default assignment. And since HS APP is not a defined program, a forced move of it is not a program placement decision. If there's forced removal, something needs to change in the NSAP, and therefore requires a board vote.

What do you all think?

hschinske said...

Oooh-OOOH-oooh. I think you're onto something, Meg.

Helen Schinske

Anonymous said...

Oh Meg, you have opened a can of worms policy issue. But the other item that struck me is if Ingraham at grades 9 & 10(?) is a self contained program -the letter that I read said something about self contained honors or something like that- are kids then allowed to test into the program at 9th grade?


Meg said...

If it's a defined program with tets-in criteria, any kid in the district should be able to try to test into it. And really, it would only be fair.

Meg said...

test-in criteria.

Anonymous said...

Meg, I agree. But tets-in or test-in, most important is if the Ingraham option is developed, it needs enough time to done well. Not something thrown together in haste because GHS is crowded. Can it be done well? I don't know.


Anonymous said...

I meant in needs enough time to BE done well. I hate when I hit the publish button too quickly.


Anonymous said...

I have a question regarding the Lowell walkzone.

I've seen a group of at least 6 kids waiting for a bus on Aloha near Lowell around 9am, and they get on a bus that says Lowell on the window.

I understand that wz kids are not supposed to get the bus, so perhaps they are from general ed? If so, why would the district provide transportation for kids that live so close?

-CD Parent

Stephanie Bower, APP AC said...

Cohort size,
at Garfield should be about 1/4 of the school, or 100 APP students per grade. This put is closer to the enrollment of about 5 years ago. A larger cohort is needed here because enrollment in APP drops as the kids move from 9th to 12 grades, and because the classes are not self-contained.
there are enough students projected to be in APP to have the 400 cohort size and a site with 60 kids per grade at Ingraham. There is also some discussion of opening up testing in at high school, to fill seats in Ingraham (not garfield) and to allow other students access to a high school gifted program.

At elementary and middle school, the rule of thumb has been a minimum of 2 sections (classes) per grade. Enrollment various each year, sometimes dramatically. Split classes end up being offered to handle the changes, it is not ideal to say the least.

Entry requirements are determined by SPS. Bellevue has higher entry requirements. SPS having a self-contained program is somewhat unusual,lots of districts don't follow that model. Entry requirements are constantly scrutinized because there is perception that they exclude underrepresented populations.
It used to be that most students entered APP at 3rd grade.
The peak numbers are in 8th grade, with only 84% or so going on to high school at Garfield, and the numbers more or less dropping each year there as students select other options.

Geographic proximity became important last year when the splits were implemented for APP, and this year when the student assignment plan changed for everyone in the district to a neighborhood vs. choice) system. Clearly, there are some kinks to be worked out.

Schools provide basic "extras" like music and athletics, but superior programs generally have a lot of parent support too. Yes, that's dollars, time, energy from parents to make a lot of things work.

Hope this helps, baseline.

Anonymous said...

If the district wants to develop a strong IB program, and some kinds of science technology thing, and pockets of small highly capable programs scattered all over the city, then fine. Be open about it and go for it. But the APP program as it was designed was intended to serve a particular population of highly capable (very highly capable) students who were not also required to be high achievers in all aspects of their life, wise beyond their years and so socially adept that they adapt quickly to any program and self aware enough to fill in any gaps in education on their own initiative. These kids might be way advanced in one area (usually academics of some sort) but age level or way behind in others. APP as it was worked for them in ways that no other program did. As this program has been broken up in the last few years, it serves this original group much less well than it used to. Sometimes people sling the gifted label around like it was an entitlement or like an achievement. For kids who are so out of whack that they would be lucky to find one almost-peer in a whole school, let alone a grade or classroom, how fortunate they were to live in a large enough city that APP could accumulate a whole group of them together.

I hope that somewhere, with all the changes made and all the new ones being proposed, someone somewhere is looking out for this most difficult population that APP was intended for. I fear it is mostly only individual parents, most of whom have no idea what they need or whether schools can provide it. Seattle is losing a lot by progressively killing APP - no matter whether they call it replicating success or making it more accessible. The bottom line is they are taking away the elements that made the program successful for the original core target in order to convert the program into something else. Which is a shame because the original core target group really needed this program - and the new target group(s) could probably be served just as well many different ways.

Seattlemom said...

An email went out from APP AC today that trumpeted a "win" regarding the "grandfathering in" of current students at Garfield (the option of forcibly re-directing these students to another school is "off the table" according to this email). My question: by using the term "grandfathering", it seems implied that new APP students (incoming 9th and younger) are NOT going to have the Garfield option. THeir status seems "un-grandfathered", therefore it sounds like a done deal that some or all of the younger APP kids (based on residence I'm assuming?) will be headed to a different HS: Ingraham, local HS, etc. If that's the case APP-AC - if you KNOW ANYTHING ELSE - please TELL US! THere is also chatter re changing the Lowell boundaries, perhaps re-directing QA/Magnolia to TM, which would theoretically affect the path to WMS. AGAIN: APP AC if you know this is coming down the pike, be straight with us - your constituents - and share all info so we can, as individual parents, protest or not as we see fit. We dont have much time to deal with these actions, so if you know something else now - PLEASE DO SHARE!

Anonymous said...

I agree with SeattleMom. Though it is wonderful for current Garfield families to be guaranteed a predictable pathway at Garfield. What does it mean for families with younger students? Are we always to wonder and worry where our 'ungrandfathered' kids are going to end up. Will my student be able to start at Garfield next year and then be assigned as a sophomore to our local academically weak high school, or worse yet an undesirable high school across town? The uncertainty is maddening.

Seattle-Ed2010 said...

I'm not seeing this news as particularly bright for everyone. I read it the same way you do, Seattlemom -- current Garfield students get to finish their 4 years there, but incoming 9th graders will be denied access.

I'm starting to see the Ingraham offer as merely a sweetener to a sour deal. But it is based on a lot of promises from a district that is best known for breaking promises. So I see the Ingraham IB offer as essentially meaningless.

I see the news about option 2 as shallow victory at best, or possibly the district trying to make us feel our "advocacy" has worked.

This is not a dig at the APP AC. This is an observation about the manipulative MO of the district's HQ.

Kinda like the original plan to boot APP completely out of Lowell. There's a real possibility that was never the real intent -- just a way to manouver the APP community to "bargain/lobby" for the less-worse option -- half booted to TM -- and somehow claim a little victory.

-- sp.

ArchStanton said...

I'd like to hear from those who attended the meeting at Ingraham last night.

So far all I've seen is this post by pjmanley on the other blog.

Anonymous said...

My 8th grader daughter and I attended the Ingraham meeting last night and heard the proposal for the Accelerated IB program. We were quite intrigued. I am cautiously optimistic that it could become an excellent alternative for some kids.

The IB diploma is a rigorous and coordinated curriculum that has high value with college admissions officers. Gifted students would be in self-contained classrooms in 9th grade -- so the 9th grade academics are potentially more rigorous than at Garfield. It appears than some of the 10th-12 grade classes might also be only highly gifted students. So the gifted group would feel more cohesive. So overall, this curriculum held more appeal to me than a mishmash of AP courses at Garfield.

And the Ingraham teachers are already teaching the curriculum, so it might require less start up time than I had originally thought. The also are proposing to make it possible for gifted kids not currently in APP to test in -- which should both bring in new students and reduce the complaints that kids can't enter a "gifted program" in Seattle after 7th grade.

It was also clear that Bob Vaughan was passionate about its potential, based on the outcomes in Bellevue. And the Ingraham principal and staff who attended the meeting seemed excited about the program and having our kids.

So, the Accelerated IB option does not seem to me like "throwing a bone" to APP parents. I think its the core of a very good idea. Some of the other parents sitting around me had similar opinions.

I'd urge the APP community to continue to advocate for Garfield as an option for kids who want a big comprehensive program -- and also to direct some of our energy towards creating a great alternative program around IB.

--Parent of a Hamilton 8th grader

Anonymous said...

Greg, Can you start a new thread on the IB meeting? I think it is important that we see it at the top.

lendlees said...

Hamilton 8th Grade Parent-

I agree with you about the program being very intriguing. The folks at Ingraham sold it well, were incredibly welcoming (as apposed to some schools where APP has come in), and having the woman who started Interlake there added a great deal to the allure.

I think what would really add some credibility to an Advanced IB program is to offer it at Sealth right away as well. That way folks who find it interesting, but live in the south end, would have equal 'access' too (the district mantra).

So, while I think the program is potentially a good fit for a lot of students, I still think this whole process has been less than ideal. And the veiled threat looming over APP parents that unless a sufficient number of APP students choose this option, they will be forced into it is still very, very real.

Meg said...

I left some time after 8:15pm, so wasn't there until the bitter end (it was FREEZING in that auditorium). The presentation is on the advanced learning site.

In theory, it looks like it could be good. Great, even. Dr. Vaughan is hoping to get up to 60 kids (per class, I think) for 9th and 10th grades next year. The Ingraham principal seems excited that he could be getting an influx of nerds, and I think the school administration being friendly to nerds is important. The program itself could be a good alternative for kids that Garfield doesn't work for. And, something I really liked: kids who are in a regular comprehensive school, not APP, could test into it and join in 9th grade, because unlike Garfield, accelerated IB will be a defined program.

All that said... parents of APP 8th graders: who's willing to sign their kid up? Headcount?

I don't have an 8th grader, but can say that I don't see it for my family - we live in Garfield's attendance area and it is by far the closest high school to us. Unless Garfield looks like it will a really poor fit for my kids, we're likely to send our kids there.

My guess would be that very, very few current APP 9th graders will go - the split got voted through when they were in 7th grade, they spent last year apart and are finally together again (yes, I realize current 8th graders were in 6th grade at the time of the split).

I'm not in possession of an 8th grader, so it would be easy for me to talk about the advantages of this.

I will add: despite Dr. Vaughan's visible enthusiasm, to me this still feels like an option that's being offered with an implicit threat: if we don't find a way to siphon off some of the APP kids from Garfield, the district will. I was a little bit troubled by the 2011-12 Garfield APP "projections," which assumed no loss from any APP grade level, something that doesn't happen, but the projections create the appearance that APP will eat Garfield up.

Seattle-Ed2010 said...

I think they are playing with APP projected numbers to make their case.

Some kids peel off from APP starting in middle school and on up.

Somewhere I saw some numbers -- maybe from you, Meg -- that showed that APP enrollment overall has been pretty steady over the years.

My theory is that we saw a jump in the number of kids taking the advanced learning test last year because parents were worried about the new student assignment plan and wanted at least one other option (APP) for their kids. I don't expect we'd see that many testing this year, even without the MAP test filter.

More kids likely joined the Hamilton APP program these past two years just because of the more convenient north-ish location (and maybe the new building).

But otherwise, I don't think APP growth is that erratic. Meg can probably correct me on any of this.

I do think Vaughan and the district are playing with numbers a bit to make their case to oust APP from Garfield.

And of course the boundary was drawn too big.

The biggest boost in enrollment in Garfield this year that I saw is non-APP freshmen.

I just wish the district would be honest with us for once about its plans and not rig things to create a "forced" outcome that somehow always penalizes APP.


don't be so happy said...

An email went out from APP AC today that trumpeted a "win" regarding the "grandfathering in" of current students at Garfield

Let me tag onto this comment and say that among a number of 8th (and some 7th) grade parents I've heard from, at the meeting and since, that this is NOT "great news". This is only good news for those kids already in Garfield, but it is bad news for everyone else and for the program in general.

If IB at Ingraham doesn't pan out (I hope it does), a split of some kind is almost certainly in the cards. What better way for the district to take a huge chunk of the APP community's solidarity out of the picture?! I give them credit this time for making a strategically genius move with this announcement.

Sure, there will still be high school families that will argue to keep the program together in subsequent years, but the passion and urgency will not be there. Look at the title of the email. It's easy to call it "good news" when your kid is already sitting at Garfield right now.

The consequence of taking option #2 off the table is that if a split is in fact pushed through, the current Hamilton 8th graders will be shoved into a new high school by themselves. If you think the HIMS situation has been tough now, imagine a single cohort of about 80 9th grade nerds stuffed into a 4-year high school where the program has no history, no teachers with APP experience, unknown administrative support, probably no significant music program, zero support for them to take out of level math, the list goes on.

If a forced split happens (and we can all still hope and work toward making sure it doesn't), then it needs to be a clean split, including all grades. That would at least have a prayer of holding most of the north cohort together. We would most likely follow it. Hamilton APP is struggling as it is, a high school phase-in split will kill the program. The bulk of the families will just take their seats at Ballard or Roosevelt and the other kids will be left with nothing. At that point it will be relatively easy for MGJ, if she's still here, to kill high school APP outright. After all, the kids are getting what they need at their local high quality, everyone achieving high schools!

Everyone listen up! You need to think this through a lot more thoroughly, and not only in the context of your own current Garfield students.

Maureen said...

And in a slightly different skew on don't be... post: Is there a conversation going on somewhere--some other blog maybe?-- about the impact of a weakened APP at GHS on the other students and families at Garfield? That is, is anyone worrying about support for College Access Now, the Urban Scholars, any tutoring APP kids may do for struggling classmates, access to advanced courses for nonAPP identified GHS kids... ?

I'm thinking that the GHS PTSA must be facing those issues head on, but I haven't seen where that conversation is happening. I do hope that someone out there is focusing on the community and not just the cohort. I recognize that this is the APP blog, so I don't suppose that conversation has to happen here, but from what I understand, there is a strong APP parent presence on the GHS PTSA, and I would expect to see some cross posting going on.

Anonymous said...

don't be so happy said: The bulk of the families will just take their seats at Ballard or Roosevelt and the other kids will be left with nothing.

What seats at Ballard or Roosevelt? They're full already. So the domino effect would virtually undo the very idea of the 10% option, plus overcrowd 2 popular schools instead of one.

I'm not disagreeing with you. But Ballard and Roosevelt have big dogs in this fight too. They need to wake up and realize what would hit them if SPS splits APP at Garfield. Ka-Boom!

I think we're all wise to think the district's first option is to lean towards a split, but this time, there's no room for it.

This situation cries out for deeper thought and better long term decisions. Ultimately, the Board will likely support whatever the district wants, guaranteed. So we need to get together with folks in all the affected schools and figure out what will work, right-quick.


don't be so happy said...

What seats at Ballard or Roosevelt? They're full already.

That's the point. With the NSAP they're guaranteed seats in those buildings and there's nothing the district can do about it short of redrawing boundaries.

If a strong, attractive, well-attended north end APP/IB/whatever program doesn't happen, then a split will merely push the overcrowding problem from Garfield to Ballard/Roosevelt and boundaries will eventually have to be moved anyway.

According to the Nov 3 APP growth charts, there are 1514 APP kids across the city. 815 live within Ballard, Roosevelt, Hale and Ingraham boundaries. Of those 815, 604 are within Ballard and Roosevelt, so fully 3/4 of north end APP families are in Ballard/Roosevelt. Even if you only lose 1/2 of them it would be like a split followed by another split.

The district may be counting on a phase-in split to ensure these effects don't kick in all at once. But the result would almost certainly be the destruction of the program as we know it. A rip-the-bandaid split like was done with middle school and elementary would be terribly painful, but at the end of the day there's a much higher likelihood that the program would survive.

Current high school families that breathed a sigh of relief with the latest word from MGJ are only thinking about themselves right now and not the well being of the program. I hope as people think through it more thoroughly attitudes will change.

lendlees said...

Don't Be So Happy--

I've been trying to point out this exact problem as well. In fact I designed a spiffy little survey that could point this out quantitatively , but no one at the APP-AC has taken me up on the offer of going live with it.

Supposedly Dr. Vaughan is going to come up with his own...sometime.

Anonymous said...

lendlees - sounds like the AC and Dr. Vaughan want to control the outcome? Hard to say but I am surprised especially since didn't you say that this is what you do professionally?


CCM said...

Question - how do you move high school kids into an accelerated high school IB program that starts sophomore year when they will be in their Jr or Sr year next fall? Or are you talking about just moving the current 9th graders at GHS?
I don't see how you move the entire HS cohort.

Howard said...

Don't Be So Happy - I'm a current Garfield parent, so take this as you will.

You make the excellent Capacity Management argument that a forced N/S split will not work. The Garfield capacity issue is really a Garfield/Ballard/Roosevelt capacity issue, and removing the northend APP students from Garfield will simply move 100-150 of them to Roosevelt or Ballard, which are already at or very close to capacity. And it will also result in an APP cohort of only 100-150 at Ingraham.

But this problem exists whether the district "rips the bandaid" or not, so I'm not quite following your argument for a 9-12 split now.

As to the arguments against moving current Garfield students:

1. The option on the table is accelerated IB starting in 10th grade. That leaves rising 11th and 12th graders high and dry.

2. The current northend 9th graders are already on their third school in three years. Forcing them to change schools every every year for four consecutive years is simply too much to ask of one group of kids, regardless of the long-term needs of the program.

3. I suspect that the non-academic disruption of a forced change in schools is more severe at the high school level, but if so, I think others can articulate that case better than me.

The larger point remains - Accelerated IB, if done right, could be an excellent option for some families - but not all. It should be an option in addition to Garfield, but not in place of it, because (a) that would be more equitable, and (b) it will address capacity issues as any other plan being considered.

don't be so happy said...

Howard, I agree with everything you say with one exception:

But this problem exists whether the district "rips the bandaid" or not, so I'm not quite following your argument for a 9-12 split now.

First, I'm not arguing for any kind of split! However, if the Ingraham/IB proposal fails, I strongly fear that a split is coming. And if a district-mandated split occurs (not necessarily IB, but APP!), a split at all grades is MUCH more likely to hold the program together than a phase-in. Certainly we would lose kids in both scenarios, but if 1/2 the program landed in a building with supportive staff and a bunch of teachers from Garfield, I think it could survive. I do not think that a phase-in split will survive at all.

No matter how it comes down, another forced split will be inequitable to some kids. Yes, it would be truly unfortunate for the 9th graders to change schools again, but I'm looking at this from the standpoint of saving the program rather than the (duly noted) unfairness to a particular set of kids.

It may be moot at this point, now that the grandfathering announcement was made, but if Ingraham/IB doesn't get off the ground, this grandfathering could easily be the death of APP in high school.

don't be so happy said...


I've been trying to point out this exact problem as well. In fact I designed a spiffy little survey that could point this out quantitatively , but no one at the APP-AC has taken me up on the offer of going live with it.

Supposedly Dr. Vaughan is going to come up with his own...sometime.

If the district puts together its own survey, the results might be suspect, but we'll have to wait and see (if it even happens). The questions should be publicly reviewed before going live, but does anyone think that will happen?

Unfortunately, the APP AC is really a gate-keeper right now because they are in control of the mailing list. I wonder how many people read the DiscussAPP blog, and if that might be a good avenue?

Your mini survey is a good start, but it doesn't distinguish between kids in different grades and it doesn't consider that there are multiple split options and scenarios.

For example, if 1/2 of APP was assigned to Ingraham, making a full 9-12 program with teachers reassigned from Garfield, I'm pretty sure we would accept that placement, depending on the community buy-in. If it's a phased-in plan without significant district support (and probably low attendance numbers), we'd look at other options.

I don't know how much information we can hope to get from a survey, and sometimes simpler is better, just trying to get people thinking.

Sue said...

Hey pjmanley-

We at Ballard already realize the implications from this. We are already being affected because of Garfield. We are looking at boundary changes AGAIN, that will again impact our school and neighborhood and community, because a) Garfield is overcrowded b) Ingraham and Rainer Beach are not and c) the district demogropher/enrollment/etc have no clue about how to solve this problem that is going to continue every year.

You say we have big dogs in this fight, but right now they feel more like pugs.

Syd said...

And from the other side of the city, we realize that moving north end APP kids out of Garfield pretty much destroys the APP program for any south end kids.

Anonymous said...

The option to split up APP and move currrent GHS students was simply a "decoy option" so that they when they took it off the table and then come back and say, hey we gave you your bone.

It worked! A small group of APP parents got to keep their kids at GHS, at the expense of the entire APP community. And now the program will be split beginning with the HIMS 8th graders.

And those of you wondering how they will make room at BHS and RHS for our students? Look for boundry changes because most APP families will go to their assigned school and the rules of the NSAP can't deny us the seat.

What the collective community should begin to lobby for is:
the testing of 8th graders to secure as seat in the IHS-IB program and yellow bus transportation to and from the school. That will increase equity and access and make the program attractive to families who have seats in BHS and RHS!

Anonymous said...

Hey guys -

The problem is there are 177 8th graders slated to rollup from Washington and Hamilton. They drew the boundaries around Garfield way too big, but even with that, if say, 160 APP 9th graders show up in Sept, it leaves only 240 spots for neighborhood kids. Garfield is so overcrowded now, and cannot accommodate another 500 plus freshman class. Last year, the cut off on the north was at Aloha. All of Madison Park, Montlake and North Capitol Hill did not get in to Garfield...they were assigned to Hale. Not exactly fair either, but they do not have an organized voice.

We are all fighting over scraps. Equity for ALL should be demanded from the district, not just equity for APP.

hschinske said...

yellow bus transportation

Not going to fly in this economy. Or they'll put it in place for a year and then say sorry, belt-tightening, state stopped paying for APP transportation, nothing we can do.

Helen Schinske

none1111 said...

re: yellow bus transportation to Ingraham

This is one area where APP parents might actually hold a little sway, although it would be tricky. Just a few weeks ago the district asked all APP families to make sure their kids rode the bus during a particular week. This was to boost the rider count in order to boost funding.

If APP families were able to unify and tell the district we need yellow bus to Ingraham or else we'll all NOT ride the bus during that week next year, that could potentially cost the district real money. Of course it runs the risk of pissing off the administration. But that seems to be the case for most concerted action taken by the APP community anyway. It's all in how it's presented. At least this action would be directly related to the cause.

Given that the metro situation to Ingraham is as bad as it is, I think the district may have to pony up and offer some kind of alternative if they really, truly want to encourage APP kids to give the Ingraham IB/APP option a shot. It's an experiment, and families are really going to need some carrots to take part. This is one possible carrot.

hschinske said...

We CANNOT count on the state continuing that funding. It's incredibly unlikely to make it through the next round of budget cuts. I don't think we should base any plans on its existence.

Moreover, I think such a boycott would be very poor PR for APP. I don't mind pissing off the administration at all, but I do mind pissing off other parents.

Helen Schinske

Anonymous said...

"yellow bus transportation"

Remember that Metro passes also cost the district $$$. And from what I hear there is very little savings in terms of Metro v. Yellow bus!

hschinske said...

Teen Metro passes are what, $27 a month, perhaps $270 a year? How on earth could 30 students at $270 a year come anywhere close to paying for a yellow bus route, especially if it were both ways? And that's assuming a pretty full bus.

Helen Schinske

Maureen said...

I was told last year that a bus costs $52,000 per year (though this year I heard $40,000 from a less reliable source). I have heard that SPS nets a small amount of money on bus passes.

Anonymous said...

Well there is always the argument that it does cost money to educate children and part of that cost is in the form of transporation.

If providing yellow bus to IHS-IB will relieve the overcrowding at GHS and not overcrowed BHS and RHS...then that is money well spent.

none1111 said...

$3500/year/student means only 15 kids to pay for a $50k bus. More kids than that and the district makes money! Assuming the numbers we're hearing are valid.

Helen, why are you so adamant that funding will not be there next year? Sure, it could disappear, but there are so many budget items that could disappear I wouldn't give this any more or less weight than most.

I do agree about not pissing off other families though. The advantage is that it would be directly related to the cause (unlike some of the proposed WASL boycotts). I think it might be doable if the goal and message was clear and made very carefully.

I'm not necessarily advocating for this, BTW, I'm just tossing stuff out to think about. Mostly I'm concerned that if transportation to Ingraham is as serious concern as it sounds like, and if the district really wants to push this program as an alternative to Garfield APP, something has to give.

CCM said...

The transportation issue is a big deal (or deal breaker) for the IB program for us.
Our child will be in 8th grade next year, and we will look at both APP pathways as options (assuming all this is pushed through - which it looks like it will be). IB sounds like something our daughter might really like.
However, we live on Capitol Hill, and looking at the trip planner for metro bus, she would need to leave at 6:50am and wouldn't arrive at Ingraham until 8:20am and would have to make two transfers.
Her first transfer isn't bad - but her second would take her to 175th & Meridian - where she would then have to take a bus back south to 135th & Meridian...???
That's crazy. The other option for her might be to sneak onto the Lakeside charter bus at 23rd & Aloha - although the parents that are paying $1000 a year for that bus might have a problem with it...

ParentofThree said...

"something has to give."

That is my point exactly. If they can spend $800K on STEM, surely they can find some money to transport APP students to IHS-IB to eliminate the overcrowding issues at GHS and not create additional overcrowding issues at BHS and RHS.

Sometimes you just gotta throw some $$$ at a problem.

CCM said...

I was joking about the Lakeside charter -- but then I started to wonder if that might make some sense. It would cost the district $1k per kid to piggyback on charters already set-up.

Much more than $270 -- but far less than $3500.

Those buses must be coming in from all areas of the city already considering that Lakeside's draw is huge -- might that work?

The Lakeside bus for Capitol Hill goes to Seattle Prep - then straight to Lakeside - but Ingraham is close to there so adding an additional stop maybe wouldn't be a big deal if there was room....?

CCM said...

Oh - just reread the $3500 post -- that's what they get right now for funding - I misunderstood that.

Forget my "great" idea....

Anonymous said...

To clarify the transportation funding - the $3500 is what the district told APP families ridership is worth for their students. Extra funding from the State is provided for APP students under a "special needs" category.

The District then puts the $3500/student into a general transportation fund to help cover transportation costs for all district students.

TechyMom said...

CCM, you might look at Sealth. The #11 bus (on Madison) turns into to 20 downtown and goes very close to it.

CCM said...

Thanks Techy Mom -- but we are in the Garfield area - so I probably wouldn't have my child on a bus to elsewhere unless their was a specific APP "pathway". IB Ingraham sounds a bit different than what Sealth has in place.
We certainly will make the rounds next year though - probably both private and public - to make sure we (and she) are making the best choice for our family.