Saturday, March 19, 2011

Questions from parents considering APP

From the look of the last open thread, a lot of new parents are considering APP and have questions. Let's create a new thread for Q&A for those thinking about joining the APP Program. Please post your questions in the comments.

Current APP parents, please help by answering anything you can. I'm sure parents trying to decide whether to join APP would appreciate hearing what you have to say.

66 comments :

Fremont Mama said...

I was surprised to find out the first grade classrooms were so small - 19, 20 kids. The 3 second grade classes were 24, 25, 26 kids. Is it typical for that many kids to transfer in at second grade? Our daughter will be starting second grade at Lowell next year and I'm just trying to get a sense of what her class size may be.

Susanne

Lori said...

Hi Susanne,

I don't know whether 2nd grade is traditionally a big entry year or not. But as the parent of a current 2nd grader at Lowell, I know that our cohort was larger than expected by the district (which wasn't surprising to parents, because at least in NE Seattle, our K year required the creation of multiple new K classes at neighborhood schools to fit all the kids born in 2002/2003).

Lowell started this year with a 1/2 split and a 2/3 split, but converted to 3 full 2nd grades maybe the second week of school once it was clear who had shown up. So even though enrollment numbers for APP may be known shortly after open enrollment ends in April, you won't really know how they will configure the classes until September.

If I remember the teachers' contracts correctly, the max size at K-3 is 28/class, and if the classes are larger, the teacher gets extra pay. So that is sort of a "cap" at least in a financial sense (ie, the school has some incentive to keep the size at or below that level)

Anonymous said...

I'd love to hear from parents with kids at Hamilton - both strengths and weaknesses of the APP program and school. My son will attend but I don't have a strong sense of the school from the two tours I wnt on. Thanks!

christine said...

Second Grade at TM? Our daughter will probably be going to TM next year. I would love to connect by email with parents of other potential TM second graders to discuss concerns. Also it would be great to get our kids acquainted before the fall to ease the transition to a new school. ccbittner@mac.com

Anonymous said...

We have a student at HIMS, and it has been a mixed bag. Socially it is a great middle school experience. Academically, I do not get the sense that APP is really embraced by staff and there are some issues. (There is a very long thread on this blog about HIMS that is worth reading.)

Overall, I think it is a fine middle school experience. But do keep in mind that the whole "cohort" idea is slowly disappearing with the new IB/APP track at IHS. I think you will see in the next few years the classes dispersing to attendance area schools as well as IHS and GHS versus what you see happening in years past, where they all mostly went to GHS. (Personally we are considering our neighborhood assginment, but have a year to decide.) So that is just something to keep in mind.

Anonymous said...

My son is in 2nd grade at Lowell this year and there were many new 2nd graders that were not at Lowell last year. I would assume there are more that enter APP 2nd grade because of people trying there local school for 1st grade and find that their child needs more challenge and some kids retested and got in for 2nd grade.

hschinske said...

Lowell has always had a kind of inverted pyramid structure, and the classes have been large, small, and/or split depending on the number who happened to show up for each grade and how they could best juggle them. 39 kids is too many for one first-grade class and they already had three reasonable-sized classes in second grade, so they couldn't justify a 1st/2nd split, sounds like.

Helen Schinske

NW Mom said...

@Anonymous re HIMS: can you be a bit more specific re the lack of support for APP and how it translates to the academics and the classrm experience? Do you feel theres a lack of rigor, or that the teachers assigned to APP classes arent that skilled? What is yr opinion of Principal Carter, has he attempted to resolve concerns? It truly has been difficult to get a sense of how APP is going at HIMS: individual discussions w/random current HIMS parents show some to be disappointed; others think its going fine; then there was that long blog topic a few months ago that made it seem a mess. But what I hear from everyone is their kid is really enjoying school, so IMO that would indicate success in the most impt area. Perhaps its hard to judge the level of APP teacher excellence since now the kids are transitioning into several teachers per day. Im sure many parents would appreciate honest feedback on HIMS, although most here are attending elementary, this is one of the only forums I have found to discuss this.You say yr considering yr local school - would that be instead of HIMS in the Fall, or are you moving to HS? WOuld you recommend HIMS as a non-APP school? Several 5th gr kids in our neighborhood tested into APP this yr in an effort to get assigned to HIMS over the local MS. THANKS so much for yr feedback!

susan said...

Does Lowell have PE? If so, what's it like? Do the kids only play in that outside courtyard, or do they get to go on the playground and fields? I went on the tour, but this is still unclear.

Anonymous said...

Susan: Yes, Lowell has PE for one week out of the rotation (in addition to a week of music, and week of Art). From what I can tell, it is great -- my very active son loves it (once cried when I picked him up for a dr appt that conflicted with PE).

And, yes, the kids use the fields and other playground area at recess. My son plays football and soccer on the field with a large group of boys each recess.

~ballard mom

Anonymous said...

how does split class work? say mixed 1st and second graders, are they sharing one classroom? are they taking some lessons together?arts? PE?, do they split come core lessons?

Anonymous said...

how does split class work? say mixed 1st and second graders, are they sharing one classroom? are they taking some lessons together?arts? PE?, do they split come core lessons?

lendlees said...

Split classes usually have all lessons together except math. Last year my son was in a 2/3 split and there was a 1/2 split as well. The math specialist taught all of the 2 graders math, while the 'regular' teacher taught all the other subjects.

The rubric for grading was different, but the projects and assignments were the same.

hschinske said...

Incidentally, I was told years ago (don't know if it's still true) that one way they put split classes together is to pick older kids from the younger class and younger kids from the older class, so that they have more similar developmental needs and it's easier to manage the class (similar degrees of wiggliness, etc.). So the actual age span might not be much greater than a year, plus the split classes are usually smaller.

Helen Schinske

lendlees said...

Helen - I don't think they use that "algorithm" anymore. There was a very wide range of ages in my son's class last year. But, it was a smaller class which was very nice. And, they all got along really well...

hschinske said...

Thanks for the update, lendlees.

Helen Schinske

Anonymous said...

aren't parents of the higher grade concerned that their children won't be sufficiently challenged if learning alongside the students one grade lower?

Anonymous said...

I would also welcome more clarification re: Hamilton as NW mom asked in previous postings. We are weighing in on sending our child onto Hamilton vs. private school. We prefer to keep our kids in public school, but we have gone through some tumult re: advanced learning in our present school (not Lowell) and would prefer not to repeat the experience again as it has affected the kids' academics and created social rifts within our school community.

We are conceredn with Hamilton's leadership and possibly some staff not comfortable with advanced learning and prefer not to have "a school within a school" as APP and some self-contained Spectrum programs are designed.

Having read previous APP thread re: Hamilton, our question is: has there been any improvement? Is APP settling in within the school and becoming more accepted? School community is impotant to us. We want to be a supportive part of it.

Thank you for any feedback.

--Prospective Hamilton parent

Karen said...

How are the teachers at Lowell? We were impressed beyond words with the 4th grade teacher we saw, but the others in the hallways, etc. looked so YOUNG! I'm not saying young=bad so don't get going on that. I'm simply curious what people think of the teachers at Lowell compared to the teachers at their neighborhood schools.

Bryant said...

We are considering moving our daughter from Byrant K to Lowell 1st grade. However, Byrant has on-site before and after school care. Everything we tried to find seems like Lowell has zero options for before and after school care.

Anyone have any other ideas or options for Before/After school care at Lowell?

Anonymous said...

Bryant, you can continue to use the Bryant before/after care if you are using it this year. I know several families who moved to Lowell last year and continue to use that program. Our Lowell bus even has a stop at Bryant elementary, which these kids use in the afternoon to get there. Check with the person who runs the program to confirm that things aren't changing, but it should be an option for you.

Anonymous said...

For some supplementing on Before and After School Care, there is a rich series of classes kids can take every day of the week. Some of the After School classes end at 4:30 but many run til 5. Includes languages, art, drama, science fun, lego engineering - etc. If you want more details the current season classes are posted on the Lowell Link. I have a sense these would come out same price or maybe even less than reg childcare. ALSO - you can sign yr kid up for reg childcare elsewhere and arrange for them to take the bus that will drop them there (instead of at yr home). You have to ck w/the childcare place to insure its a seamless transfer.

Anonymous said...

Here is the before and after school offerings at Lowell. They try to have at least 1 morning and afternoon class for all grades.

http://www.asaponlinereg.com/Default.aspx?org=832

Anonymous said...

We are considering Thurgood for our son who will be entering 1st grade. I have several questions:

1) West Seattle Parents? Trying to find some local connections to discuss the commute or to see if we will have friends from the neighborhood.

2) For those West Seattle parents, did you consider or try Lafayette Spectrum? We are considering this as it is our neighborhood school, just worried that math won't be challenging enough.

3) Twice Exceptional Learners? Our son has tested in to APP- but he also has Aspergers. Does anyone have a child at Thurgood in the same situation?

Thanks!
West Seattle Mom

Anonymous said...

My son was in APP in elementary but we went private for middle. Is it possible to get into the Ingraham IB APP program for high school?

Former APP parent

Anonymous said...

Right now your student is not considered an APP student so he/she cannot get seated at the APP/IB program. However there will most likely be space and it is in the best interests of the program to include your student. So I would talk to the principal and ask if they would be willing to move your student into the program once you are enrolled in the school.

hschinske said...

Another option would be to enroll him in the regular IB program at Ingraham, which isn't any slower to get off the ground than AP at Garfield, after all. I am not enamored of pushing IB courses down a year for APP students anyway. The *option* to take some courses a year early, for selected students who are sufficiently mature and have the organizational skills to do well, is a fine idea, but requiring *all* APP students to take college-level courses early seems to me to be developmentally inappropriate.

Skipping a grade might be another alternative, but of course that still wouldn't get your son into pre-IB courses with other APP students. But he could do a gap year after his senior year, and sort of recreate what the APP students are supposedly doing with their senior years (internships or whatever).

Helen Schinske

Anonymous said...

Just to be clear, the original discussions around APP/IB at Ingraham allowed for students to test in for 9th grade, whereas currently, a student needs to be in APP in 8th grade to gain admittance.

As it stands now, Advanced Learning is not testing 8th graders for 9th grade entry into APP and they have not indicated any intention of doing so in the near future.

I don't think you can just enroll at Ingraham and ask to be moved into the program.

That said, in past years, several APP students have chosen the regular IB program at Ingraham and have been quite happy with the program (without the acceleration).

Greg Linden said...

Former APP parent, you might also be interested in the programs at UW at the Robinson Center:

http://depts.washington.edu/cscy/programs/

Anonymous said...

"I don't think you can just enroll at Ingraham and ask to be moved into the program"

It doesn't hurt to ask...

Anonymous said...

Is it that important for kids to have APP status for HS? I thought with more offering of AP courses, IB and STEM programs, you can get the acceleration you need if you look for it. Am I getting this all wrong? I am asking because my sister is moving here from Texas and has HS kids who are currently in a G &T program there.

If there is an academic difference, can they get tested privately into APP since the district is no longer doing it?

hschinske said...

If there is an academic difference, can they get tested privately into APP since the district is no longer doing it?

There isn't any "no longer" about it. The district is continuing its longstanding policy that you have to be enrolled in APP for 8th grade, or no high school APP for you. It's not necessarily about the testing; the original question was about a kid who HAD tested into APP, and been enrolled in APP in elementary school, but wasn't enrolled for 8th grade.

Helen Schinske

Anonymous said...

Helen, thanks for your answer. Can you clarify about APP in HS? I thought there are just AP classes in HS. At Garfield, are APP students still in self contained APP classes? Do you have APP classes vs. AP classes in HS?

It seems when you have kids coming back to public school or are transferring into the district for the very 1st time from other gifted programs, there should be a way for these kids to access APP (if it is separated).

Can they later prove themselves and be allowed to sit in classes with other APP students? It seems such a waste that these new kids who are qualified cannot take more advanced coursework. Doesn't it go against ALO mission?

My sister is looking to buy, but may rent first, so would like to get this sorted out. I will also e-mail the ALO office, but if any of you can provide personal insight, it is much appreciated.

hschinske said...

The only accommodation for APP kids in high school, until recently, was the grouping of them as a cohort at Garfield High School, and the subsequent development of a wide variety of AP courses at Garfield (open to anyone who can qualify -- they are not self-contained). As I've posted on saveseattleschools a couple of times, the de facto policy at Garfield has always been to try to starve the APP students out by not providing any formal program, and then turning around and saying why do you need to be here, when there isn't any formal program? A lot of families have clung to the cohort at Garfield because it's all they've been allowed, not because they wouldn't rather have some more palpable accommodations.

The new APP IB accommodation at Ingraham provides for taking IB classes one year ahead. Originally the idea was that these would be self-contained classes, but I've heard recently that they changed their minds and will now be offering mixed classes (10th-grade APP students taking 1st-year IB classes alongside 11th-grade non-APP students, and so forth). I don't have official confirmation on the last part, though.

The other great draw at Garfield is the music program; if your sister's kids are keen musicians she may prefer to get them into Garfield (if she can; it's pretty crowded).

Helen Schinske

Anonymous said...

I always thought the reason for having a cohort at a particular school was to have enough students to be able to offer some of the more advanced classes for kids that have been accelerated a few years, not that they want to to have a self-contained program.

At our neighborhood (non-APP) school, it's my understanding that students can enter high school and take Algebra II and Chemistry as freshman (having taken Geometry and Biology in 8th grade APP), but it's unclear if there will be enough offerings through senior year. This is especially true given the alignment that has been happening throughout the District.

Anonymous said...

For high schools other than Garfield/APP, there are not uniform policies about allowing 9th graders to take advanced math and science. Some high schools allow a freshman to start with Algebra II and Biology or chemistry, but there is no cohort and those students would be in classes with older kids. Some high schools (Roosevelt, for example) will let 9th graders start with advanced math but won't let them skip 9th grade Physical Science.

Walkzoner? said...

In the process of looking at enrollment information for our child, I'm finding no mention of the Lowell Walk Zone for APP assignments either on the enrollment forms themselves, or on recently updated pages describing APP pathways.

Only the Student Assignment Plan doc, last updated July 2009, references the walk zone for APP assignment (footnote 21, page 22).

Does anyone considering Lowell as a walk zone APP assignment have confirmation from the district that this element of the assignment plan is still in place for 2011/2012?

Anonymous said...

walk zone was in the recently adopted Ingrahm pathway info adopted a few months ago.

Anonymous said...

The Lowell walk zone was in the NSAP Transition Plan that was adopted in February.

Badger said...

What if an APP student goes to Roosevelt instead of Garfield or Ingraham? Roosevelt would allow her to take advanced math, but would the physical science be essentially a repeat of what she took in middle school? What does Garfield do differently about science? I’d appreciate anyone who could elaborate further on what would be available to an APP student at Roosevelt versus Garfield.

SIngle Child said...

We just got freshman cource registration package for Garfiled. For APP kids, there is a choice of Marine Biology, Genetics or Ecology (no choice of Chemistry though). For regular ED-Physical Science (no Biology on the form).

Stephanie Bower, APP AC said...

I served on the Ingraham design team and can answer a few questions about high school APP.

--the district IS planning on setting up a way for non-current APP students to apply for APP at Ingraham next year. This year, there was too little time to do the planning, advertise, test students, figure out how students can accelerate in science and history to be at the same curricular level as the other 9th grade APP students will be.
Be aware, though, all signs point to APP/IB becoming an extremely popular option for the APP cohort. The bulk of the cohort will probably remain at Garfield for various reasons.
There is room at Ingraham for about 60 APP spots per grade, and I think these will easily fill in the future...I'm not sure the program could grow in size much to accommodate newly tested-in 9th grader. Also, getting new students accelerated by the Fall will be tricky.
--currently IHS spends 2 years developing students to be ready to do IB in 11th grade. For APP, this is being condensed into 1 year of IB prep. Skipping a grade won't really work with the curriculum.
I believe it is quite unlikely that non APP students will be able to access the APP-IB classes, even if they previously qualified for APP but left(sad though this is--I even lobbied for one particular student I know). This is a slippery slope for a self-contained program.
--reports from former APP students who transfered in past years to the "regular" IB program at Ingraham have said that it has been very challenging and a good experience for APP students.

Too long, more in follwing post.
Stephanie

Stephanie Bower, APP AC said...

Continued...
--yes, classes at Garfield are blended, but some classes do have a majority of APP students in them. With the changes in APP curriculum, APP students now start accessing AP World History in 9th grade. So there is a distinct APP path (math has been accelerated by 2 years for a long time, now History and Science are accelerated as well, LA to follow at some point), but it isn't mandatory that APP students at GHS adhere to that prescribed path.
--new residents to Seattle can qualify for APP if they have missed the testing process for the Fall...I just looked at the AL website where it says info on this process will be posted in May.

I would also love to hear people's thoughts about how Hamilton is going. The posts I've just read seem consistent with most of the comments I've heard.
Stephanie

SanMom said...

I have a 7th grader in Hamilton APP. We are so glad our child is there - many friends have been made, he feels comfortable and welcomed in participating with school activities and after school classes, and the teachers have generated excellent challenges.

Specifically, we were particularly impressed with the 6th grade science APP teacher, Mr. Tanaka, and the quality math from the 7th grade teacher, Mr. Pounder, and the high thinking, collaborating, and knowledge standards set by Ms. Shadow, the LA/SS teacher for my son in 6th & 7th. The international arts teacher, Mr. Barilleau, is quite dynamic, and of course, the band teacher, Mr. Rowe, is incredible.

There have been some academic aspects in which I was disappointed, but overall the education and sense of community has been excellent.

I don't have any knowledge of the inner workings of the administration. All I can say is that my child feels tied to the community, as do we.

Anonymous said...

I think that unfortunately for parents considering HIMS, we are in that period where changes in teaching staff could be on the table, yet any changes won't be announced until after the enrollment deadline. (and I emphasize "could" I do not know for sure any changes are coming.)

If you are considering the school, do not depend on your student getting teacher X for any given class. Base your decision on wanting your child to be in APP, not because of a great teacher you have heard about

Anonymous said...

We're considering having our daughter start at Thurgood Marshall next year - she'll be in 5th grade. I wondered if anyone else has started APP in 5th, and what their experience was? We really like our neighborhood school and the Spectrum program is OK but not very challenging for our daughter. Am I right, that if she starts in APP in 5th, then she will not have to be tested again next year for middle school?

West Seattle Parents

Anonymous said...

The discussion about 9th grade entry to IB/APP is confusing - are you saying that next year students could possibly test in for 9th grade, but there may not be room for them?

Are they going to cap enrollment to the "optional" program that is helping to relieve crowding at Garfield?

And if you can test in for Ingraham, shouldn't you be able to test into the Garfield cohort?

Anonymous said...

West Seattle parents:

Contact me via email (klstocker@comcast.net) and I can give you the name of a friend who's child started at TM this year in 5th grade. She transferred over from Orca.

Leslie

Stephanie Bower, APP AC said...

Am I right, that if she starts in APP in 5th, then she will not have to be tested again next year for middle school?

West Seattle Parents
------------------
Yes, that is correct. If your child is in 5th grade APP at TM, they will automatically be assigned to middle school APP at Washington.
Stephanie

Stephanie Bower, APP AC said...

Thanks for the thoughts about Hamilton...anyone else?

I agree with the Anonymous post, no matter where you go to school, it's not a good idea to go someplace for a specific teacher, but for the whole school or program in general. Teachers often change, retire, have babies, etc....
Stephanie

Anonymous said...

We just got freshman cource registration package for Garfiled. For APP kids, there is a choice of Marine Biology, Genetics or Ecology (no choice of Chemistry though). For regular ED-Physical Science (no Biology on the form).

So, am I correct in thinking from now on only APP students will be able to take Marine Bio before their junior year? (Since Bio is a pre req and all nonAPP kids can't take that until they are sophomores.) Does that mean that the APP freshmen who go on the big trips will be going with Juniors and Seniors? Or will they not be allowed to go? (I think there is a big difference in maturity between 9th and 10th graders) Or maybe they just won't do trips any more?

Actually, it seems pretty likely that the class will change significantly since the nonAPP kids who are really into science won't have space for it in their schedules (most of them will feel like they need Chem and Physics before Marine Bio.). Maybe the class has always been full of APP kids? I don't know.

Anonymous said...

We've found that the bias against APP is equal opportunity. We check the ethnicity box that says "white" and started at a school in the NE.

The principal and a teacher discouraged some families from either testing or moving for APP/Spectrum. Some parents were also clearly against the program.

You know what's best for your child. We're glad we didn't listen to the naysayers.

Anonymous said...

For all non-APP kids at Garield, Marine Bio will now be an elective. The new alignment forces kids to take Physical Science in 9th, Bio in 10th, Chem 11th, Physics 12th. Marine Bio can be taken in addition to these classes, is my understanding. The Marine Bio trips, which up until this year have been exclusively 10th grade trips, will change completely. Not only is amazing science taught on these trips (I've chaperoned Eastern Washington and Deception Pass), but they have been enormous community building within the grade level experiences. Defining that oh-ten, oh-lev etc spirit. Segregating APP, which is essentially what all this acceleration is doing, is going to change the very nature of what it is like to be at Garfield. APP kids will not be in class with other kids in their same graduating year that are not in APP, for the most part. That class spirit will disappear, to a large degree, I'm afraid. It is sad, because that spirit is a powerful thing.

And then there is the whole issue of kids coming from other accelerated science curriculums, both public and private, who have no avenue to redress taking physical science in 9th grade. It is such a waste, and I am just hoping there will be some adjustment made for the sake of kids who love science, have also had physical science (and bio and chem and physics)in middle school, and want to continue to accelerate their learning and love of science, even though they are not in APP. Seems rather arbitrary to exclude advanced kids in high school. You make the grade, you can stay in the class. It is up to the student in high school, and that is the way it has been at Garfield. I don't understand the barrier. Who is it serving? Certainly not the kids.

Anonymous said...

So, with the new science path at Garfield it seems that regular ED kids will not be able to take AP CHhemistry since there will be no time for it left...

Anonymous said...

Bingo about chemistry - and you know, in many cases those kids that scored in the 94th percentile in 2nd grade come into high school with passion and a work ethic that I would think the APP community would welcome into their kids' grade level classes. And those kids have always been welcome, both academically and socially. It has been what has made Garfield awesome for everyone. But no more. I know kids graduating this year going to Williams, Brown and Cornell who were never in APP. But now kids not in APP will not have the benefit of taking the most difficult classes at Garfield, and their transcripts will not look anywhere near as strong as their APP peers. Again, who is this benefitting? Certainly not the kids. Any of them.

Anonymous said...

Whole country takes Biology in 9th grade and Seattle kids have to take Physical Science. Why?

Greg Linden said...

A quick note, the topic here is a Q&A for parents considering APP. Please stay on topic. Please only post here if you are a parent considering APP and you have a question or if you are a parent currently in APP with an answer to a question.

If you have something else you want to discuss or debate, please use a recent open thread.

Anonymous said...

On that last note Greg, can you open a new thread on post-elementary APP? There arent many posts on those subjects and those about to leave elementary or already in MS/HS will find it informative. This particular thread of Questions considering APP is long and a couple wks old so it would be great to get a separate thread that allows posts on academic/teachers or social issues specific to MS/HS APP classes. THANKS!

Anonymous said...

I have a question about retaining APP eligibility. My student qualified for APP in kindergarten. We enrolled him in a spectrum program. According to the advanced learning website, my student will retain eligibility for APP without needing to retest. We are thinking ahead for middle school. Has anyone had any problems with an assignment to APP at middle school that hasn't had a child tested since kindergarten?

Jon said...

My son tested into APP recently and we're trying to register him for Lowell 1st grade. Can anyone verify what forms are required to make the move? I read on the school website that we need to fill out the admission form, immunization form, and school choice form. When I tried to turn them all in at the district office, the counter staff said they only needed the choice form, since we filled out the latter two forms for Kindergarten at his neighborhood school...which is not consistent with what I thought I had read on the website. Thanks for you help!

Anonymous said...

Yes if your son is already going to Seattle Public you will just need to fill-out the school choice form. Just make sure you fill in the APP bubble after you write in Lowell as the school.


http://district.seattleschools.org/modules/groups/homepagefiles/cms/1583136/File/Departmental%20Content/enrollment%20planning/Elem_1112_Choice%20Form%281%29.pdf?sessionid=d4379fb4a376da80ba432062f4e94ff1

Stephanie Bower, APP AC said...

Anonymous at 8:32,
the current rules state that your child will retain eligibility for APP middle school if they are enrolled in Spectrum or ALO, but not if they are in a General Ed. This information is on the advanced learning website.

This is a change from the past when eligibility was retained only through 5th grade and enrollment in APP 5th grade or retesting for 6th grade was required.
Stephanie

Stephanie Bower, APP AC said...

Greg, perhaps you could create another thread?
In the meantime, regarding GHS science:
we started speaking with the GHS Science staff about all this 2-3 years ago.
There are 2 changes that are being confused with each other...one is the APP science acceleration to take Biology in 8th grade. The other is the alignment the district is imposing on GHS with the changes in the student assignment plan and the high schools becoming comprehensive neighborhood schools. The district and school board want offerings to be comparable at each HS. The district is mandating that GHS change to the standard Physical Science, Biology, Chemistry, Physics progression for general ed students. We hoped that the district would allow the Marine Biology, Ecology, and Genetics courses to still be offered as choices and we supported the GHS science department in this, but the school board wants alignment and these offered as electives.

By APP students taking MB, E, G in 9th grade, it is actually helping to maintain these courses being offered at the school, as APP is providing a cohort of students that will fill some classes and hopefully maintain the teachers. These are wonderful and even life-changing classes for some students, and it would be a loss if they disappear.

Some districts offer Chemistry in 9th grade to their accelerated students, but the GHS science dept. doesn't like this idea for 9th graders. But Bellevue does it, as do other districts, and it will be the curriculum in 9th grade at Ingraham for the APP/IB students.
If APP students were able to take Chemistry in 9th grade, then the AP science courses and MB, E, G would be taken with same grade students in 11th or 12th grade.
Stephanie

Christine said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Christine said...

Does anyone know students enrolled at TM APP earlier as usual, so younger than 6 years by cut-off in August for 1st grade, younger than 7 years for 2nd grade and so on? I heard the Advanced Learning Office is rather strict but also heard about students skipping grades, so I wanted to know what it is about.
Does anyone know how to find out about enrollment numbers (predictions at this point) for 1st grade Spectrum for West Seattle (Lafayette/AH). How is the quality? Is AH Spectrum running yet? Will it be worth trying to get in for just one year, if we plan on APP 1st/2nd grade at TM in 2012/13?

Emily Katcher said...

I am also a west Seattle asperger's/app parent! Need very much to connect with others. I have loads of questions re TM, and whether there is adequate support, understanding and community for twice exceptional kids.