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.

4 comments :

Robert said...

not necessarily redundant but that it was incorrect as there is no 6th grade assignment to Lowell... The "author" added it in error and then took it out.

Separate note: Looks like the Legislature added back in the funding for HC students. Travesty averted!

another mom said...

While it is a good thing that the grant was restored for this fiscal year, is it still on the chopping block for the next year's budget?

Lori said...

In talking to a few parents who have been going down to Olympia and speaking directly with our representatives, YES, there is still the possibility that funding for highly capable education could be on the chopping block in the Governor's 2011-2013 budget.

It is also important to note that yesterday's decision was made by the State House. The State Senate still needs to consider the issue. So fund restoration is not an entirely done deal.

One of my House reps emailed me yesterday and said something I found very troubling, and I have since had it confirmed with these same parents. If the district loses the state funding for the AL office, the district is on the record as saying that they will no longer be able to test or admit students to APP or Spectrum. If the funding is not granted in 2011-2013, there will be no new students coming into these programs (or at least that is the district's threat right now).

Many of us assumed that they could just use MAP scores (rightly, or perhaps wrongly) for identification, but considering that the entire AL office would be gone, who would look at the MAP data and make the determinations? That staff would be gone. I don't think most parents realize that there are very real threats to both APP and Spectrum at this point in time.

The budget is dire. Everything appears to be on the chopping block, even transportation and radical solutions such as shortening the school year by 1-5 days to save money. I received an email today that says this option has some support in both the House and Senate as a way to prevent program cuts. I don't know about you, but as someone who is self-employed and tries to work during the school day, one less week of school hits my pocketbook directly. Not crazy about this idea, but what are the alternatives? There are going to be cuts; families need to get involved now to help steer the conversations.

Anonymous said...

I would rather have less school days then loose APP, if that was the given choice.