Thursday, May 19, 2011

Open thread

Discuss anything you like!


Anonymous said...

According to the Capacity Management briefing to the Board, "adding, relocating, and/or removing programs" is one of the options for the upcoming year.

Steve said...

There's a thread about capacity management on the Seattle Schools Community Blog with some comments about Lowell, Hamilton and the APP program. See this.

Here's one comment in this thread:

Lowell meanwhile is predicted to have as many as 700 kids in the fall. That's way over any definition of capacity and more than it had before the split (one of the ever-changing rationales the district gave for the APP split was to ease Lowell's overcrowding -- so much for that).

It seems there is not enough room at Lowell for three thriving programs. Maybe it is time for a true north-end location for elementary APP, and make Lowell SPED, Gen ed/Spectrum. This could ease the crowding from neighboring Stevens and Montlake. I say this reluctantly because in a perfect world, the three programs at Lowell could thrive together if they had more space, and my family would miss the longstanding APP/SPED connection if APP were to leave Lowell.

At what point do the district's overcapacity problems become a fire and safety hazard? Lowell has yet to get those sprinklers promised in the Feb 2010 levy. It houses some of the district's most medically fragile kids. The thought of evacuating 700 kids under these circumstances leaves me as a parent very worried.

Laura said...

From the Lowell Library Volunteer coordinator:


And how long will the library be closed next year with the five extra classrooms in the building?

Lori said...

We were told at a recent Lowell coffee chat that the library won't be used for MAP next year. It will require a lot of effort from parents/volunteers, but I think the plan, at least a month or so ago before it was known that there would be 5 additional classes, was to take the computers to the kids rather than kids to the computers. We shall see.

Steve said...

The fact that our kids don't have access to the library three times a year for nearly three weeks still shocks me. I wish we (the collective "we" - all SPS parents) had pushed the district on this more at the beginning of the year. It is not a valid educational tool if the tool itself cuts off important educational opportunities for our kids. I cannot say that knowing our son's MAP scores this year was worth two months without library access. And there are undoubtedly a lot of kids in the districts that don't get to go to the library except at school. Shameful, I think.

Jessica said...

Canceling AP Calculus (BC calculus) at Garfield is really stupid and short-sighted, Seattle Public Schools!

A high salary isn't everything -- but preparing children for the future is supposed to be a school district's top priority. There's a dearth of qualified US engineers and scientists -- and this is the latest from the Washington Post:

"Over a lifetime, the earnings of workers who have majored in engineering, computer science or business are as much as 50 percent higher than the earnings of those who major in the humanities, the arts, education and psychology, according to an analysis by researchers at Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce.

“I don’t want to slight Shakespeare,” said Anthony Carnevale, one of the report’s authors. “But this study slights Shakespeare.”

The report is based on previously unreported census data that definitively links college majors to career earnings. Earlier studies have looked at salaries immediately after graduation, but the new report covers earnings across a person’s working life and is based on a much larger survey...

...According to the study, the median annual earnings for someone with a bachelor’s degree in engineering was $75,000. The median wage was $47,000 in the humanities, $44,000 in the arts and $42,000 in education or in psychology.

Anonymous said...

Can anyone explain or elaborate on the proposed cuts to Running Start in the State Budget and how they affect Seattle students?

Combined enrollment cap has been adjusted to 1.2 FTE from 2 FTE.

Anonymous said...

It might be good to start another thread about overcrowding at middle school in addition to the crowding at Lowell.

At the Hamilton PTSA meeting last night, Principal Chris Carter reported that there would be five sections of APP for 5th grade next year.

In order to make the master schedule work, they are removing all prep periods from the classrooms. All classrooms will be used 100% of the time with no time for in-classroom prep.

And this is before open enrollment is complete and any choice spots are assigned. It is very likely that even more students will be added during summer enrollment as folks move.

Principal Carter did not report this but it sure seems that APP at Lincoln might become a necessity as there just isn't any room at the main Hamilton building. It was also mentioned last night that Washington was as or more crowded. So that means that BOTH APP middle schools are severely overcrowded.

Greg Linden said...

Thanks, Anonymous @ May 26, 2011 12:51 PM. That's a pretty good idea.

A couple questions so I can get the post right:

Did you mean that 6th grade has five classes? You said 5th, but isn't Hamilton 6-8?

So, both the APP middle schools are overcrowded? Is there talk of splitting to a third? Or moving Hamilton APP out of Hamilton and over to Lincoln?

Seems like the situation is that APP at all levels is overcrowded. Garfield is too crowded too. You still want me to do a thread specific to middle schools though, right? Seems like a good idea, just want to check.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, Hamilton will have 5 classrooms dedicated to the needs of incoming 6th graders next year.

There were projected to have 3 classrooms for 6th grade (similar to this year) but were quite surprised to have 2 additional classrooms added. I don't have any clue about the number of students that would be in that cohort just the jump from 3 classrooms to 5 was a surprise for the school.

I understand that Washington is also expecting to have 5 classrooms for 6th grade APP.

APP is growing. The entire district is growing. Closing schools was a huge disaster for the district and really for APP.

The big issue that I can see at Hamilton is that the plan to manage these numbers is to remove all in class prep time. The classes will run 100%. Principal Carter said the teachers will "follow the students." I have to wonder if this is a contract issue as I can't imagine taking away prep times but I guess all of the schools are now crowded.

Renee said...

Greg it would be great if you could start another thread dedicated to APP Middle School issues - overcrowding, scheduling, or any other info. I realize most readers on this blog are elementary parents but there's a gd # of us who are preparing our kids to enter MS and it will be a whole new world - new principal, teachers, classmates, bldg - so any feedback/info/advice is super-helpful. At class enrollment for my incoming 6th grader a couple weeks ago, the registrar mentioned 110 6th gr APP kids incoming. The 5 classes is a surprise, does anyone have feedback on avge class size? how will this affect language sign-up(of which there are limited availability)?

Anonymous said...

110 6th graders is not that large of a class (current 8th grade was well over 125 if I remember correctly).
If you are getting 5 classrooms (avg 22 per class if I'm doing my math correctly ;)) that sounds pretty generous to me.
They don't have to do that -- 27-28 per class is pretty standard for middle school.

Greg Linden said...

Started a new thread to discuss APP middle school overcrowding, "APP middle schools overcrowded too?"

Anonymous said...

Hamilton class sizes are between 30-40 per class. (Language classes are 40 per class) The 110 number is likely the planning number when they were planning for 3 classrooms. The original enrollment only showed the rollup from Lowell, it did not show any of the new 6th grade cohort due to an enrollment glitch.

I have a new 6th grade APP student and when I contacted the school, they had no record of my student. It took a few weeks for them to find this "glitch" and make the adjustment.

Anonymous said...

Link to check Student Assignment and/or Waiting List Status for 2011.