Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Open thread

Summer is almost over already, only one month left. What's on your mind, APP parents?

46 comments:

Mercermom said...

Is there a way to get notice of the existence of this blog out to more APP families? It seems like a potentially good resource for families at different locations to congregate to discuss APP issues, but the level of traffic suggests it's not well known.

Methylgrace said...

I'ld like to know more about with whom to discuss a permanent north-end APP location for the future. Who are the players in the Seattle School District we should be talking to and who are the people in the APP-Advisory Council or Lowell/SNAPP PTAs who are knowledgeable?

I was at the SNAPP (Seattle North APP) PTA meeting yesterday, and there are hints that it won't be at the Lowell location next year. I would like to be part of the dialogue.

APP Lincoln Parent said...

Methylgrace-

The discussion last night was that APP would not (probably) be going back to the Lowell building.

You can try and get on the APP task force that the district is setting up. They will be part of the larger APP discussion. Otherwise, your choice is going to school board members' community meetings and the regular school board meetings. The district will probably set up some of their useless community meetings in November to "hear" from the public.

Nancy Coogan mentioned last night that she welcomes all comments. You could email her and ask her about the APP task force. I know lots of people want to be on that, so there won't be room for everyone.

bf said...

Does anyone know if there were enough people to form the SNAPP? I haven't sent the form in yet, but I will right away if they didn't get enough people.

apparent said...

Reposted from the APP@Lincoln SPS school website:

SNAPP PTA Charter Membership & Donation Forms
Thank you to everyone who came to our SNAPP PTA charter meeting Wednesday night (August 10th). Over 70 people signed up to be charter members! If you would like to sign up please fill out this form and send it to the address listed on the membership form.

Also, many people expressed an interest in donating money to SNAPP PTA to help with getting our play structure ordered sooner than mid-September. If you are interested in sending a check (we cannot accept credit card payments yet) please fill out this donation form and send it to the address listed on the form.

Thank you again to our parents for your overwhelming support of our new PTA!

Marty McLaren said...

I'd like to introduce myself: I'm Marty McLaren, former APP parent; I'm running for School Board Director of District 6, in West Seattle. Ballots are due on Tuesday, August 16th in the Primary.

I'm a retired teacher and the parent of three adult children who went through APP. Two also attended NOVA and one was at TOPS for kindergarten; my grandson attended AS1 for three years. I did my teaching internship in APP and have subbed many times in alternative schools, I have a strong commitment to well-conceived and well-managed alternative programs.

I have many other areas of experience and interest. My platform is primarily focused on the need for the community to reclaim its control over the management of our schools. I envision a school district in which resources and energy are focused in the schools and where a well-run, stable administration supports students by supporting schools.

My website is at Marty4SSD.com; you can email me at marty@marty4ssd.com.

Saffron's mom said...

I just found this blog through a Google search. My daughter is just starting Kindergarten at Blaine in Magnolia this fall but I had planned on her attending Lowell for APP in 2012. She's been tested privately; I know APP is a viable option. I'd just heard that the program had been moved to Lincoln, which I don't have an issue with but the fact that it is in turmoil is troubling. If we do decide to go down the APP route (I assume we will have a pretty good idea by winter) I will be a proactive member of this community.

Methylgrace said...

@Saffron - please contact me off-list and we can chat.

Steve said...

Or, Saffron's Mom, feel free to post any specific questions or concerns about APP here and hear what those on this blog think. Lots of points of view and information for you here...

New Lawton Mom said...

Does anyone know how long it takes to get the results of summer CogAT testing back from the district? Depending on results, we still have to apply for a seat (even if the child already attends a Spectrum/APP-designated school), yes?

Anonymous said...

New Lawton Mom, I don't know but what they have said in the past is to apply as if you got in during open enrollment. I would call the enrollment office. I believe as you are late you may be put on a waitlist if there isn't enough room.

L@L Dad

Anonymous said...

How's your kid's class assingment(s) going? We have mixed results.

NLM said...

OK, found where they said results will be mailed/emailed on the 26th. That should be enough time to get a placement request filed. I just want to get it done and over with already. Source doesn't have a classroom placement for DD yet so maybe the school is waiting on the results too?

Anonymous said...

Am I remembering this incorrectly, or did we at one point have an allocated full day of instrumental music at Lincoln for our fourth and fifth graders? This portion of the Q & A on the Lowell site has been updated as of 8/15 and it now allocates one half day of instrumental. Is that really enough for so many fourth and fifth graders?

Log said...

Regarding to music program at Lincoln, I reposted following answer from SPS:

>>>>>>I asked SPS about the music program planning for APP at Lincoln, and got an answer back from Visual and Performing Arts Manager Carri Campbell. With her permission, I post the letter here:

July 29, 2011

Dear XXX:

I was asked to respond to your questions about Elementary Instrumental Music (EIM). The EIM program provides one, ½ day per week of instrumental instruction at each school. The central staffing allocation is not determined by the number of 4th and 5th grade classes at each location. A half day typically serves 40- 50 students. If a school has more than 40-50 students that want to participate the school or PTSA purchase additional teaching time during the spring budget process. Historically, Lowell has had a significant number of students enrolled in elementary instrumental music. For this upcoming year Lowell PTSA has already purchased an additional full day of instruction to ensure all interested students can participate.

Principal King has recommended the following EIM staffing for each of the Lowell locations:

Lowell - .1 FTE or ½ a day funded by district

Lowell APP - .1 FTE or ½ a day funded by district plus .2 or one full day funded by the PTSA (total will be 1.5 days of instruction)

Yesterday, I spoke to Elizabeth Knighton the elementary instrumental music teacher who will continue to serve both Lowell sites. She felt Principal King’s recommendations would work well. Of the 130 students that participated in the program last year roughly 100 were APP students. So, if next year’s EIM enrollment is similar the APP site would enroll 100-120 and the Lowell site 30 – 50 students. If after the students enroll for EIM in September there are higher numbers than anticipated, I will work with the central office staff to explore the potential of additional funding supports to increase instructional time. Central funding support beyond the .1 FTE would be unique, but these are unusual circumstances and we recognize that it would be a significant burden to the PTSA and/or school to come up with additional funds so late in the year.

If you have additional questions please contact me directly at cjcampbell@seattleschools.org or 206-252-0188. I will be out on Monday but will return to the office on Tuesday, August 2nd.

Best Regards,

Carri Campbell

Visual and Performing Arts Manager

Seattle Public Schools

252-0188

Anonymous said...

does anyone know the 2nd grade teachers at Lowell

Anonymous said...

We are planning an informal get-together for the WMS 6th grade APP incoming cohort.

Details:

What: Informal "Meet and Greet" before school starts

Who: Incoming WMS 6th Grade APP students

When: Friday, September 2, 6:30pm-8:30pm

Where: Volunteer Park across from the Asian Art Museum

Reconnect before the 1st day of school and welcome new members to the 6th grade APP cohort.

Also - current WMS students will be available to answer any questions and share their school experience.

Thanks!
-Leslie Stocker

If you have any questions -- please contact me.

klstocker@comcast.net

bf said...

Does anyone know about the walk zone for Lincoln? We live in East Wallingford and I assume that we'll be walking (our daughter is walking to Hamilton next year), but I don't know for sure.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know who will be teaching 1st grade at Thurgood Marshall this fall? I've heard that the afternoon teacher may be out on maternity leave; wondering whether it will still be a job-share situation, and who the teacher(s) will be.

P said...

Rob Long and Cindy Gano are the co-teachers for 1st grade. When the school year starts, Rob will teach full time in the classroom till Cindy returns in early October.

Anonymous said...

Cindy is the greatest teacher ever!

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know who the 2nd grade L@L teachers are?

Anonymous said...

Re: walk zone

We have not yet received a letter from Transportation, but I called and was given bus stop locations and pick-up/drop-off times. You just need to give them the student ID# and they should be able to provide the info.

Anonymous said...

If Cindy/Rob are teaching 1st grade, who are the 2nd grade TM teachers?

Anonymous said...

At TM, Ann Gilpin is teaching 2nd again this year. Vosti will be teaching a 2/3 split.

Anonymous said...

When is the next SNAPP PTA meeting?

Anonymous said...

The next SNAPP meeting is Sept. 13.

Lincoln Parent

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know whether the 5th graders will be going to Islandwood camp this year? If so, have the dates been set?

Thank you.

New 5th grader

Laura said...

According to the letter Mrs. Roth wrote to her new students, the Lowell fifth grade Islandwood trip is 10/17-10/20. Cost is $215 per student (financial assistance available). The Lowell ALO students are also scheduled to attend this event.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Laura!

New 5th Grader

Lori said...

I can't believe it is September 1, and we still do not have Transportation letters!

What I'm hearing thru the grapevine from parents in the NE who have called for the information, some routes are very long (more than an hour each way) and young children are in fact having to cross major arterials to get to their stop, which could be a safety issue.

Hoping to finally see the letter today so we can figure out how to get to and from Lincoln next week...

Anonymous said...

We are in the NE - our child is assigned to pick-up and drop-off on major streets, but does not have to cross them. The times seem reasonable, but we aren't in the far north or east.

They are not supposed to have to cross major arterials that neighborhood walking routes don't cross. The times, however, can be long, as the approved transportation plan is written so that "ride times will be designed to operate 60 min or less where feasible."

"Feasible" means "ride time for 90% of a given route's population shall not exceed the time standards."

see page 3,"bus stop location," and page 4, "one-way ride time"

Transportation Service Standards

Anonymous said...

Oh, and we haven't received a letter from Transportation yet either.

Anonymous said...

We live in Ballard and received two transportation letters today (9/1). One was dated Friday 8/26 and the other was dated Sunday 8/28, so it seems like they are/were trying to get routes together up to the last minute. In the morning, my son is picked up right outside our door, even though the next stop is an elementary school four blocks away (and was our regular stop for the past three years). I'm not complaining, but they could have kept efficiency by keeping us to that stop.

Deb

Shannon said...

We also received transportation information today. My son's stop is 0.7 of a mile away, across a major arterial (which is near a school so may be a walk-zone cross but is not staffed in the afternoon). It is 11 blocks from our house.

We live 2.7 miles from the school and his ride would be 45 minutes.

Anonymous said...

School starts at 9:25 and buses are scheduled to arrive at 9:10 to allow for a 15 min breakfast. When people talk about travel times, what assumption are they making about drop-off times?

If we were assigned an 8:30 pick-up, and assumed a 9:10 drop-off, the travel time would be 40 min., which is within the time standards.

Lori said...

Maple Leaf families have a pick up time of 8:07AM to get to Lincoln by 9:10AM. That's the longest ride I know about so far.

For others, the travel time is increased by the need to walk up to a mile to the community stop. Example, 0.9 mile walk to an elementary school for a pick up around 840AM. So it's half an hour on the bus, but that walk might add another 30 minutes. If that family drives to the stop, then heck, they might as well just drive to Lincoln.

Sure, the actual bus times are within the standards, but the long walks to the stops are not making people happy. Moreover, it's outrageous that we only get this information 2 business days before school starts (letter arrived 4PM Thursday afternoon at our house) and are left scrambling to figure out where/if there are other stops we could use or who we might be able to carpool with.

So if people are frustrated, it's partly that these schedules have indeed made some commutes longer, despite Lincoln being closer to where many of us live, and because the information is getting out at such a late time. I'm also frustrated because my child would be old enough now to go to and from our previous stop on her own, which I think would have been empowering for her to do. But that is not an option with our community stop, due to distance and need to cross not only one arterial but several small-but-busy streets near the community stop. Yes, of course I wouldn't change things and send her back to her neighborhood school at this point. She's in the right program; it just feels a little like the district continues to make it burdensome to send your child to the right school.

Catherine said...

We got pretty lucky with the morning pick up time at least. Although the stop is 2/3 of a mile from our house, it is only one long block from our neighborhood school, where our second child will be in K. Our pickup time for the bus is 8:43 and our K child starts school at 8:55. So we see our older child onto the bus and then walk the younger one down to her school. The drop off time in the afternoon is 4:15 which is less convenient since the K child is out of school at 3:00. We'll have to make a trip back. But, that isn't really transportation's fault: L@L just ends much later than the neighborhood school. When you add our 2 year old into the mix (and thus a third site) it adds more driving- but again, not transportations fault. The late arrival of the letters is crazy, though.

Bus Schedule said...

I know of one family who has a K child at their assignment school but has to travel to a different school for their L@L child to catch the bus. Very weird and super inconvenient.

Transportation can be frustrating said...

I followed the rules and requested an alternate address for afternoon drop-off via email in mid-July. It, of course, did not show up on my son's transportation assignment. I called and they told me that I never requesteed d the alternate address because it wasn't in their records even though I had an email response from their department. I'm supposed to call back on Tuesday to check whether they fixed the problem.

Anonymous said...

For those families who are new to APP busing, it may be helpful to know that you can request a "green card" from the school office to change the drop off or pick up place for your child. If you can't get in touch with transportation to find out which bus route or location you need, the schools get the bus routes and can help you figure out what to request on your green card. They are good for 2 weeks, and then you need a new one.

Anonymous said...

We used to be the one of the last few bus stops on the way to Lowell. Parents would drive to our stop and let their kids catch the bus from there.

Transportation allows this in the morning (as long as there is room on the bus), but doesn't allow it in the afternoon. They don't want a situation in which children are dropped off without a parent to meet them and then try to walk home.

Shannon said...

Lori,
I liked your point about total travel time being longer this year and I agree that once you get in a car to drive the 0.7 or 0.9 mile to the community stop you may as well drive 2.7 miles in the opposite direction and save your kid 40 minutes or so of bus-ride.

I think we will end up driving to school and using the bus home.

bf said...

I can't believe the transportation office. We never got a letter from the office. I had to call and talk to them to find out that we're in the Lincoln walk zone. They've known that these kids will be at Lincoln since July 8th!

Anonymous said...

I am a Rainier Beach parent of a Garfield APP student. I was just told that there is no morning yellow bus transportation for APP students north of the ship canal or in South Seattle (in spite of the letter I received in March). Apparently West Seattle and Queen Anne/Magnolia kids can still catch a yellow bus. I know that non-APP parents would say "Cry me a river," but it bugs me that I wasn't informed until I called the office.

Anonymous said...

Can someone post the location and time of the SNAPP meeting tonight? Many thanks.