Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Open thread

Discuss what you like!


Formerly known as Cali said...

I have two issues I'm thinking about (will have a second-grader new to APP this Fall), and hoping sage parents can help me with:

(1) Sounds like there's a lot of transition happening at Lowell over the summer - multiple teachers leaving, and two teachers changing grades. Gave me a little pause. Are the teachers departing of their own accord? Are they being encouraged to find a better "match?" I don't ask searching for gossip, but to get a sense of what we're entering into (and thus how I can prepare myself and my child for this huge transition). What's up?

(2) Our child does not know yet about the change in schools (we wanted him to have full "buy in" with this school year, and we didn't want him to have to deal with people pulling away from him or treating him differently because he'll not be at their school next year). We're getting ready to tell him about the change, about the "wonderful new school" and "amazing programs and opportunities" -- but I can *REALLY* use help with what to say to keep it upbeat and completely avoid any "you're smarter than...." stuff (ick). My child is a deep feeler and not so hot with change (especially when foisted upon him rather than him being in on the process). I literally can use examples of things to say, how to explain the school and why it's a better fit, why more challenge is better, etc.


Anonymous said...

Why keep wearing shoes that are not the right fit? Same with schools. Different schools are a better fit for different kinds of learners. We told our daughter that we found a school with other kids that learned like her. Didn't say anything about higher or lower, just similar approach to learning.



Mercermom said...

We just said that we thought Lowell would be the right program for him. Our child was in kindergarten, and did not take the news well. ("I want to Btay at my school! It's not your decision!") But he transitioned without a hitch and is very happy (and we think in the right place academically).

Anonymous said...

From Lowell Thursday Note
...We also wanted to let everyone know about some of our staffing changes for next year as well. We have some teachers who will be moving or taking on different roles. Allison Fenzl will be moving to Cambodia this summer with her family, this is an amazing opportunity for Allison and we are very excited for her, but we will also miss her greatly. Kristen Anderson has decided that she would like to work closer to home as her children get older and she considers childcare and school choices for her kindergartner. Our beloved Bob Schilperoort has also decided that he would like to pursue other endeavors and has decided to retire. As we look towards next year, our goal is create and support collaborative teams. We are thrilled that Brent Hinson and Althea Chow have both decided to return to full time. Nancy Sears will be our full time librarian. She is planning on attending a national librarian’s conference as part of her professional development. Happy spring!

Anonymous said...


We did not tell our son until the current school year is over. I would recommend this so that your child don't have to worry and stress out about it. We told our son about it a week before the 1st summer new students get together. Once he played with the new kids he was happy and excited since he will get to meet and make new friends.

Anonymous said...

House Bill 1524 (Recognizing the international baccalaureate diploma)has been signed by the Gov. It is now law. If you get an IB diploma at Ingraham or Sealth you don't have to worry about PE, Occ Ed., health, etc. It has been an issue for full diploma students to fit all of their classes in...No more.

Ingraham Parent

Jessica said...

We've talked to our son throughout the year about the possibility that he might switch, always saying that it wasn't certain but it was possible. And when we asked him what he'd learned that day at school, his answer was usually "nothing." His current school is a lovely community but he still brings home alphabet worksheets even though he's already learned to read.

So when he was admitted to APP, we didn't say it was certain but instead suggested that APP would give him the chance to learn more at school. And when I asked him recently how he felt about changing schools, he said, "I'll miss my friends, but I'll learn more in APP." We convinced him -- and he also convinced himself.

Anonymous said...

I have a question about moving my student up one level in math at WMS using the district math contract. My child is not currently in APP at Thurgood, but will be in APP at WMS for 6th grade next year. I received a letter recommending my child take Math 7. I have contacted a councelor at WMS, who has referred me to the head of the math department. I've e-mailed him, and have received no response. My student is not yet assigned to WMS because we went through the open enrollment process, and won't receive an assignment until the end of May. The math contract must be turned in to the school by June 1st. Has anyone else had this experience with WMS? Do I keep trying to contact the head of the math department or is there a better way to go about it?

Single Child said...

We had no problem with the head of the WMS math department last year when we transferred to the 8th grade APP and wanted to make sure that we are assigned to Geometry instead of Algebra 1. However, I think they have a new head of the math department this year. I suggest to e-mail again and "cc" to the principal and to the counselor. Good luck.

Lori said...

former Cali, I suppose how you approach it with your son depends a lot on his current satisfaction with school (and how old he is). We moved our child last year in large part because she was unchallenged, bored, and frustrated in 1st grade.

I believe very strongly in *not* labeling kids as "smart" or "gifted" and instead focusing on hard work and effort (which were things she was not experiencing at the old school). So, we've never referred to APP as a gifted program. Instead, we talked about how different people learn in different ways. We pointed out that she tends to grasp new concepts quickly but some people need to have information repeated more often and do more practice to really learn something. We explained that the program at Lowell has a lot of kids who are quick learners like her, and as a result, they can cover more material each year.

We shared with her a handout that described the curriculum (eg, 2nd grade does 3rd grade math, 3rd grade does 4th and 5th, etc), and she just lit up with excitement at this idea. She also had fun seeing what other things were offered in various grades, like science and history.

I'm also a fan of managing expectations, so we told her that things might feel hard sometimes at Lowell, but that that would actually be a good thing because it would mean she was being challenged to learn new things. She sees me and my husband playing sports and exercising, so we used that as an analogy: working hard in school is exercise for your brain, and it's really important to exercise your brain, just like it's important for the rest of your body. And, if your current school doesn't provide enough challenge, sometimes you have to try a new school. She was on board right away, again, probably in large part due to how boring 1st grade had been.

I don't think anyone treated her differently in June after she knew she was leaving. Although, we probably could have done a better job helping her find a way to explain it to kids who asked why she was leaving.

The Lowell Open House is coming up later this month, and that can be a great time to have the conversation and introduce your child to the school. We met several other families for dinner first then went to the Open House together. The about-to-transfer kids met up with neighborhood kids who had transferred the prior year, and they all had fun. Definitely worthwhile to attend.

Anonymous said...

I've seen a couple mentions on this blog about a Lowell open house in May. When is it? How will it be communicated? I have an incoming 1st grader.

Lori said...

5/25 is the date for the Lowell Open House. I think we got a Welcome letter from the school shortly after the end of Open Enrollment last year that included the date/time for the event.

Any new families get anything like that yet this year?

MontMom said...

What I have heard is that since families won't be receiving open enrollment results letters until the first week of June, the Open House for NEW students is going to be rescheduled. (I heard this from someone on the icecream social committee.)

Formerly known as Cali said...

Thank you very much, everyone, for the responses: very helpful (for him AND for me).

Anonymous said...


We just told our son that he will be moving to Lowell for 1st grade. We emphasized that he will be in a class that moves fast, and that he will get to do both 1st and 2nd grade work in 1st grade. Since he loves anything that moves fast, he was very excited. We also talked about all the ways that he will be able to keep in touch with his friends at our neighborhood school.

Anonymous said...

Just read that Ingraham's principal was fired today.

I had heard from many that he was a big reason that people felt positive and comfortable with the Ingraham APP option based on his excitement to house the program.

Hopefully the APP AC will be whispering in the Superintendent's ear when she's choosing a successor -- we definitely need a leader that will support the accelerated IB option for APP in order for it to be successful.

Seattle-Ed2010 said...

What's going on at Ingraham? Bait & switch for APP?

I just read this too, and this sounds like bad news for the school and for APP -- and another bait & switch by the district.

I agree that Floe's welcoming attitude towards APP -- as well as other positive things I had heard about him -- contributed greatly to people's confidence in the proposed APP/IB program there.

Has SPS thrown that out the window, conveniently AFTER open enrolled is done?

Seems to me that nothing has changed at SPS since Pottergate except the face of the supt. Business as usual.

Why was Floe fired?

His staff has issued a complete statement of CONFIDENCE in him, so this smells like a disruptive, possibly political move by SPS.

By the way, the "executive director" in charge of Ingraham's district is a young former charter school administrator named Bree Dussault, who was hired last year by corporate ed reformist Goodloe-Johnson. I have heard rumblings that she is not popular among school staffers in that district.

If Floe's firing is the result of corporate ed reform bullying, then Ingraham is no longer a desirable option for my kid or APP in my view.

--Sue P.

Seattle-Ed2010 said...

The firing of Floe is a big deal -- but hopefully not a done deal.

If the district is serious about making Ingraham a successful APP/IB school, this is the exact wrong way to go about it.

(Greg L. -- Can you please start a new thread about Ingraham, Floe and the future of APP/IB?)

There is a groundswell of support for Principal Floe, and apparently now a Facebook page for him. (Info pasted below.)

Any future Ingraham parents, APP or otherwise, who care about this issue and the district's treatment of Floe should write to the school board and Interim Supt. Enfield today.

(Reposted from the SSS blog:
Blogger MiddleAgedManiac said...

All -- there is now a facebook page, "Friends of Martin Floe" where the Ingraham community will be posting information about efforts to undue this travesty/tragedy. It's an open group, so spread the word to anyone with any interest in keeping track of our efforts.

5/11/11 8:44 AM

-- Sue Peters

SPS/APP parent
Co-editor, Seattle Education Blog
Founding member, Parents Across America
Education blogger, the Huffington Post

Seattle-Ed2010 said...

I should add -- we should write to the board and Enfield asking that Floe be reinstated

-- Sue p.

Anonymous said...

Sue, what is the link for the facebook page for Matin Floe?

- Parent of Ingraham student

Seattle-Ed2010 said...

I just tried to find it myself and couldn't. So maybe it's not up yet. I'll post it when I find it.

Btw, according to the SSS blog, a protest/demonstration of support is planned for tomorrow (Thurs.) evening at the John Stanford Center (district HQ), against the firing of Floe. From:

Anonymous Mary Smith said...

Show your support for Martin Floe-Show up at the JSCEE lobby on Thursday -May 12th @ 5:15 PM - Wear your Ingraham Blue. 4 Staff and 4 parents will meet with Dr. Enfield for 15 minutes - we will gather in the lobby and show our support from there.Mary Smith

5/11/11 9:11 AM

Also, Linda Shaw at the Seattle Times has started to follow the story.

--Sue p.

Maureen said...

Here's a link to the Friends of Martin Floe Facebook page.

Anonymous said...

Just got information about new student/family social at Lowell.

.......Lowell is hosting a New Student/Family Ice Cream Social on Thursday, June 9th from 6-7:30pm. There will be a scavenger hunt for the kids and ice cream (of course!), and Mr. King will be there for the early part of the evening. We decided to do this in response to the late-send of enrollment letters this year and concerns over having too many people in the building at one time. Official letters will be mailed from Lowell notifying new families about the Ice Cream Social, which will likely be sent the first week of June as the office anticipates a new student list by May 31st. That said, many prospectives were informed about our Open House during tours. Therefore, we are getting prepared for prospective families to show up at the Open House, since no doubt some will want to take advantage of meeting teachers, etc. As for the Open House, it is set for May 25th, and all current Lowell families are invited.

Methyl said...


I wanted to let you know that my son's first-grade teacher is changing to teach at 3rd grade, by choice, since that is where she was originally certified. She is a fabulous teacher and is supported by her principal. This transition is NOT a cause for concern.


Your daughter is lucky to have you for a mom. Good job about setting expectations well, and being non-judgmental about how people learn. I love the image about "brain exercise"

I've been having trouble submitting posts; things get lost during the login process, so that may be the reason why there are so many anonymous posts here, and at the save-seattle-schools blog ...

Corina said...

5/25 6:30-7:30 Open House
6/9 6:00-7:30 New Family Ice Cream Social & Scavenger Hunt

The Open House will be held as previously scheduled. Because the district is giving Lowell the contact info for new students so late this year (5/31 or so), Lowell has added an Ice Cream Social as well. Official invites will go out as soon as possible, but in the meanwhile, mark your calendars and pass the info along to any new families you know. Welcome!