Saturday, September 17, 2011

Two years for Lowell@Lincoln?

In some notes from the Operations Committee meeting, Melissa Westbrook writes:
There was a slight discussion about capacity management and it came up that Lowell at Lincoln will stay there two years. There was agreement around the table that there was nowhere else for them to go. So there's an "answer" to a question in a lot of parents' minds. Is it official? Somewhat.

Problem is, that they were scheduled to discuss SBOC and Nova leaving Meany so as to fix up Meany (for SBOC's new World School) and Mann (to put Nova back where it was previously). THEY, too, are scheduled to go to Lincoln next fall. BUT there was no mention of this during the discussion and I have to wonder how SBOC/Nova/Lowell at Lincoln will work. (I'll just say that if I had to have any high school group(s) in with an elementary, it would be these two. I'm just talking logistics.)
Anyone know more?

Update: It appears there has been an official announcement from Deputy Superintendent Noel Treat, Lowell APP will be at Lincoln for two years, through the 2012-2013 school year.


EveryoneDeservesMusic said...

I don't know if this is the correct place to ask this, but can someone please clarify--my 4th grader came home and said he doesn't get music this year, only the younger grades. Is this true? I believe the old music teacher is back--why isn't she teaching the older grades? Didn't we as parents express an adamant interest in that over the summer? This will undermine our middle school programs and his opportunity to grow as a musician, as he's not interested in an instrument currently offered...

Does anyone know if Capitol Hill gets music K-5? I don't see why it shouldn't be the same for both schools.

Anonymous said...

I was also wondering about the weekly music/art/PE rotation. It doesn't seem to be happening (yet?) this year.

Then there's lunch...with some tables overflowing into the hallway. Are they in compliance with firecode?

I'm hoping these are issues actively being addressed and it's part of the first month adjustments and finetuning...So far my reports are coming from my child, so it's hard to get the full picture.

The place to get answers would probably be at this week's coffee chat: 10 am at Lincoln.

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous: My second and third graders went to music and PE (respectively) last week, so I think the specialist rotation has begun.

@EveryoneDeserves: According to a letter that came home on Friday, only grades 1-3 get music this year. This is reportedly because the music teacher, splitting her time between the two Lowells, is part time at Lincoln. The justification offered is that grades 4-5 get instrumental music instruction.

L@L parent of two

Anonymous said...

And we're okay with this? There are arts standards students are required to meet as a school--music included. The 4th and 5th grades at Capitol Hill DO have the option of instrumental music; however, general music is a part of their regular curriculum, for 150-160 minutes a week. (I called and asked a friend whose kid is there--they get music 4 days a week.)

The issue is that instrumental music is not something scheduled in and required for all students--it's optional, and 1 day a week for 30-40 minutes, at best. It also isn't free, as parents are responsible for instrument rentals. How is this a substitute, or better yet, an acceptable amount of time to prepare our students to be successful in the arts in middle and high school? (30 minutes versus 160)

I'm confused--Lowell@Lincoln has a full time art teacher and full time PE teacher--why is music cut? And why only at Lincoln? Are these cuts necessary?

Also, I was told by a parent that not even all of the 3rd graders will receive music. Is this true?

What's the best way to advocate for equality for ALL of our students? Is this a PTA issue?

-a former music teacher, parent

Anonymous said...

Instrumental music is optional and has traditionally been done as a pullout once a week during class; it's not PCP time. It also requires time at home to practice, with an instrument. It's not the same as music instruction.

My child is choosing not to do instrumental music, so that means no music?

How is a teacher getting their PCP time without music?

-share music teacher parent's concern

Anonymous said...

To post on the original topic -

I have also heard the "two years" for APP at Lincoln mentioned at many district meetings.

These comments are mostly made with exasperation, desperation and/or resignation, rather than as a plan, an intention or a good idea.

As most of us are already aware, there are some pretty serious capacity challenges in the north end. Elementaries are full. Middle Schools are crazy full and High School are about to become over full as well.

Lincoln is the primary solution / overflow space for all challenges so most folks seem desperately unwilling to commit that space to any particular group as any commitment means that all the other problem schools have an even smaller solution set.

AS for the timing, all of the big decisions for capacity for the following school year are generally made by November. So any plans to open a building or make a significant changes for the 12-13 school year needs to be well in the pipeline by Nov 2011 so that information is solid before open enrollment.

The talk of two years is generally an admission that there are no good ideas in the pipeline that could be reasonably developed or funded by November rather than a plan for two years. The resignation is that they need a little more time to get a solution and therefore be ready for November of 2012 for a possible solution for the 13-14 school year.

north seattle mom

Anonymous said...

If there is no possibility that a second music teacher could be hired, another solution may be to have music for half the year for each building. Is there still a drama program that could fill in for the other part of the year?

No music at all for 4th-5th graders (only at Lincoln) does not seem like a reasonable or fair solution.

another L@L parent

Anonymous said...

The lack of music is not a PTA issue. The PTA is not responsible for the hiring of staff. APP@Lincoln was only offered 2 1/2 PCP teachers, so one had to be 1/2. I would email the principals with your concerns.

APP@Lincoln Parent

Anonymous said...

What I meant was that our kids have the right to general music--all of them. The cost of drama would be the same as allowing everyone to have music for the entire year at both sites. I believe the voice of a united PTA would be stronger than individual emails.

-a former music teacher, parent

apparent said...

On the original topic: John Marshall?

Anonymous said...

Other schools don't have general music, so I'm not surprised by this. Mcgilvra won't have music this year, and the only reason they have any art or a counselor is because the PTA pays for all of it. It's pathetic. I'm guessing there are similar situations at other schools.

apparent said...

To discuss the important topic raised by EveryoneDeservesMusic, why not use the separate open thread launched by our moderator Greg Linden with this description: "here is a dedicated thread to talk about Lowell@Lincoln and how it is going." Or else see where EverybodyDeservesMusic has already reposted with a gracious "Oops!", namely the current Open Thread.

The actual topic on this thread -- "Two Years for Lowell@Lincoln" --is important to many readers, so much so that it has been dedicated the thread you are reading now.

Anonymous said...

L@L for 2 years is officially announced:

>>>Dear Lowell Elementary families:

I hope you have all had a good start to the school year. I am writing to provide you with an update on several issues related to Lowell Elementary and future planning for programs and locations.

I am thankful to you for all the hard work that went into moving the APP program to Lincoln for this school year. We have heard from many in the community that moving the APP program again next summer would be very challenging following the hard work involved in the recent move. In addition, before decisions are made about the future location for APP, we need to take the time to complete a thoughtful process that engages all of the advanced learning communities. Lowell APP will therefore remain at Lincoln for the 2012-2013 school year. This two-year period will enable us to conduct a thorough planning process as we move towards decisions about the future of APP, Spectrum and other programs.

In order to begin the important work of working with our communities and planning the future of advanced learning, we will appoint an Advanced Learning Program and Facilities Advisory Committee in coming weeks. This committee will help the district assess advanced learning needs and options and then make facility recommendations. The committee will be comprised of designees from the APP Advisory Committee, Spectrum, PTSA, parents, principals and teachers. It will advise the district’s Capacity Management Advisory Committee, which is also being formed. Our website will be updated soon with information about the new committee and the process for appointing members.

Finally, we remain committed to ensuring we maintain a vibrant school at the Lowell site. We will be working with staff and families as we move forward to ensure we reach that goal.

I look forward to our work together on these important efforts.

Best Regards,

Noel Treat
Deputy Superintendent
Seattle Public Schools

Stephanie Bower, APP AC said...

The two years for Lowell at Lincoln was requested in June by both the APP Advisory Committee and by many parents...this has to do with taking some time (for a change) to make a well-reasoned and informed decision about what happens to APP after Lincoln. Remember, changes in one school need to be thought about in the context of implications for the entire program.
Growth at Lowell eventually impacts Hamilton, etc.

Also, part of why the APP AC requested the 2 years at Lincoln was because there are so many new APP teachers this year...we thought it best for the students to allow new teachers time to gain their footing in the program by all being together for a chunk of time.


Lori said...

Stephanie, have you heard anything about what happens now to SBOC and Nova, the two high school programs that are/were supposed to move into Lincoln for the 2012-2013 school year? It sure seems odd that they aren't mentioned in the district's announcement.

Anonymous said...

Two years is reasonable if it is necessary or it has additional benifits (thanks Stephanie). My concern is that they will take all year now for a full review of capacity management and that parents will still go into open enrollment next year not knowing anything new... Especially as we see Hamilton is on the verge of repeating what happened at GHS and then at Lowell. Also, what about SBOC and Nova are we going to have 1-12 programs at Lincoln 12-13?

Anonymous said...

Thank you Stephanie, for information about the APP AC view and input on this issue. Your comment raises a big question, though:
"we thought it best for the students to allow new teachers time to gain their footing in the program by all being together for a chunk of time."

Reading between the lines, does this imply another split on the way? In the last couple of days, I have noticed wording like "what happens to APP" or "the future of APP," when I hope to hear discussion of "the new location for APP North." Am I being paranoid?

-worried anew

Anonymous said...

astute worried anew!

Worried anew too!

Anonymous said...

Did anyone attend this morning's coffee chat at Lowell?

It wasn't announced in Lincoln's Thursday note and it wasn't until I was checking the Lowell@Capitol Hill link that I realized I had missed it. Kay Smith-Blum was supposed to be there as well.

Curious said...

So does this mean that we potentially could be a separate school from Lowell next year, or are we still going to be tied to them? Meaning will it still function as 1 school, 2 buildings?