Thursday, January 27, 2011

Open thread

What's on your mind?

Update: A lot of parents interested in APP and new to APP asking questions in the comments. Please chime in if you might have answers for them!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Last minute changes to APP in transition plan?

Lifting from the comments, Sue P writes:
The district's agenda for today's school board meeting has a number of last-minute changes, some of which affect APP.

It looks like they are proposing to eliminate the Lowell APP walk-zone option. I'm guessing they want to direct more kids to Thurgood and fewer to the already crowded Lowell.

Someone ... says the district is NOT proposing to allow incoming 9th graders to test into the APP/IB program at Ingraham. If that is true, this contradicts what many of us were told about a month ago when they first pitched the Ingraham idea to us all.

Details here: Many Changes in Tonight's Board Agenda

Tonight's school board meeting agenda (PDF).
The Transition Plan Revision 2 document (PDF) is what people are talking about here. That version is marked up with edits.

A quick note on the Lowell walk zone, it appears that two of three references to the Lowell walk zone were eliminated, but one remains. I'm not sure what that means exactly, but Robert interprets it as just eliminating redundancy.

Update: The APP AC sent out a summary of the finalized changes. In brief, seems reasonable, the default path from both Hamilton and Washington middle schools is Garfield with Ingraham IB as optional. Not sure about 9th graders not in APP trying to get into Ingraham APP/IB; The APP AC says, "Students newly eligible for APP must apply during the Open Enrollment period to guarantee placement in APP", but that may not specifically address the question. The walk zone at Lowell is unchanged. To deal with overcrowding at Garfield, the district is using a combination of a smaller assignment boundary, reducing open choice seats, and relying on movement to the new IB program at Ingraham. More details here.

Monday, January 17, 2011

How loss of state funds will impact Seattle APP

Specifics on how the loss of Highly Capable funding in Washington state will impact Seattle (from the APP AC):
The $400,000 annual categorical funding (the Highly Capable Grant) that our District receives from the State is used for:

a) identification and testing of all students who apply for advanced learning programs (ALO, Spectrum, APP)

b) salary for some staff in the Advanced Learning office who develop and oversee programs

c) a small amount of curriculum and professional development

These funds do not go directly to classrooms, students, or teacher/principal salaries in any of the advanced learning programs. Because our district sees implementation of these programs as basic education for gifted students, students/teachers/principals are funded through the District's general, "baseline" budget, not the state grant, with advanced learning students funded at same rate as most general education students.

[The cut] will be retroactive to September 2010 .... With advanced learning testing done in the fall/winter, and now nearly halfway through the academic year, most of the $400,000 is likely to be spent [and] the District will have a $400,000 hole in their budget which they will need to make up in some other way.

It appears that the APP transportation budget, which comes from a separate funding pot, is not impacted for the rest of this fiscal year.
The budget is not yet finalized. You can write your state legislators to let them know how important APP is to you and that you oppose eliminating state funding for highly capable education.

Update: Rumor has it that funding for highly capable students may have been restored in the state budget?

Update: Lori has more details.

Update: And the funds are cut again.

Update: And back again. Wheeee!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Another open thread

It's a new year! Discuss what you like!

Update: There is a good discussion starting in the comments of the impact of losing Highly Capable state funding.