Monday, October 3, 2011

Open thread

A new open thread. What's on your mind?

57 comments :

Jessica said...

Just want to say it's been a smooth, energetic new year at TM APP for our children in grades 1 and 4. Excellent teachers, very stable school environment. Lots of enthusiasm for APP there.

Anonymous said...

Just as I feared From the new capacity management slides:
Stabilized placement of Accelerated Progress Program (APP) and Spectrum. This topic will be the subject of the Advanced Learning Task Force over the next year.

So no answers until 2013 let's hope they get it out before open enrollment this time.

L@L dad

Anonymous said...

Jessica - agree, the postive vibe at TM last year has continued to this year.

There are lots of new APP kids enrolled, too, as indicated by increased classes per grade (5th/3rd) and the size of each class at other grades (4th grade grew from 23 to 29/30 per class).

Donald Tsang said...

Re: stabilized placement

Yeah, I read that, too. But given L@L is staying "@L" for 2012-13, is that really surprising?

What's more surprising to me is kicking Hamilton's overcrowding problem into a BEX IV issue, rather than trying to tackle it holistically.

My current favorite (as-yet theoretical) idea: APP takes over Lincoln permanently, and over the next three years turns it into an APP 1-8 school (1-6 in 2012, 1-7 in 2013, and 1-8 in 2014 and later); Hamilton transitions into being a community middle school.

No splitting of the cohort (just don't let the kids leave Lincoln APP).

Similarly, form a new North-end APP Elementary by just not letting that many kids into L@L. (If we want to stabilize the Lincoln 1-5 to about 300 kids, limit enrollment to two or three 23-25 person classrooms per grade, maybe 48/48/69/69/72?). Create a new cohort with the rest (who, since they've never been part of the APP program, by definition aren't part of "the cohort" that we don't want to split). Some parents who live closer to the new school will undoubtedly want their kids to go there; that'll be voluntary, and therefore okay.

In the long run, to get numerical stability, we have to look at the APP entrance requirements, and have some sort of balanced approach with Spectrum. Having parents send their kids to APP because Spectrum is sinking is a losing proposition for everyone...

apparent said...

Donald,

interesting thoughts. But you lost me when you said towards the end that "we have to look at the APP entrance requirements, and have some sort of balanced approach with Spectrum. Having parents send their kids to APP because Spectrum is sinking is a losing proposition for everyone..."

Are you suggesting (or maybe contributing to the idea) that Spectrum-qualified kids can somehow switch to APP, which somehow seems to float around. That's not the case. You either qualify for APP or you don't, and the entrance criteria are publicly posted.

So no parent sends a kid to APP who doesn't belong.

Anonymous said...

My current favorite (as-yet theoretical) idea: APP takes over Lincoln permanently, and over the next three years turns it into an APP 1-8 school (1-6 in 2012, 1-7 in 2013, and 1-8 in 2014 and later); Hamilton transitions into being a community middle school.

Many middle school students are involved in music and take a language. You can't separate the
grades without losing access to those classes. Some 6th graders take band/orchestra with 7th graders, etc. The same goes for math. The full 6-8 cohort needs to be at one school.

Donald Tsang said...

> You can't separate the grades without losing access to those classes. Some 6th graders take band/orchestra with 7th graders, etc. The same goes for math. The full 6-8 cohort needs to be at one school.


First, we're talking about APP, which already has pretty strong instrumental music in Elementary School. Yes, for one to two years, the smaller orchestras and bands at Hamilton would be a bit of a bummer, but the alternative, having 300 more new students in the school, is ridiculous.

As for math, I haven't done the research, but it's hard to believe a "Lincoln 1-6" wouldn't be able to support a class of extra-advanced math for 6th graders (and maybe the occasional 5th-grader). By the second year ("Lincoln 1-7"), yes, the Hamilton APP 8th graders will be all alone. Maybe we can work out some "walk three blocks to the other campus" for a few classes?


To reiterate, the approach is to extend "L@L" to 6th grade (there might be some limited electives that year), then to 7th, then to 8th. It's two years of transition, attempting "least harm". Would you rather they "split the cohort", like they did at Lowell APP 3 years ago?

Donald Tsang said...

apparent wrote:
>Are you suggesting (or maybe contributing to the idea) that Spectrum-qualified kids can somehow switch to APP, which somehow seems to float around. That's not the case. You either qualify for APP or you don't, and the entrance criteria are publicly posted.

Not at all. It's just that paying $400 to a psychologist gets you a much higher chance of getting into APP. Anecdotally, I've heard of at least one set of parents having their child tested at two separate psychologists in order to get the child into APP. There are certainly kids who, even though they qualify for APP, would do just as well (or better) in well-run Spectrum classes

Just look at the enrollment numbers this year versus the last five. Parents are definitely "fleeing" to APP from Spectrum, as the latter starts to crumble.


Also, the system by which kids who test into APP are guaranteed spots in APP, but kids who test into Spectrum aren't guaranteed spots in Spectrum, is crazy. Between that, and the new standard of 2000+ kids taking the Advanced Learning qualification test every year, we're pretty much guaranteed to keep up the explosive growth of the APP program, to the detriment of everyone.

Anonymous said...

Because of the overcrowding at Lowell and subsequent move to Lincoln, 4th and 5th graders have no music instruction (with the exception of the optional once a week pull-out for instrumental music). Instrumental music in middle school is 50 min a day, every day.

SAL said...

Is anyone else frustrated about the foreign language situation at Hamilton? The website states clearly that foreign language is a core class and that Hamilton offers a three year curriculum. However, against the advise of his department chair, Mr. Carter understaffed Spanish this year and there is an entire section of kids who are stuck learning marimba in addition to taking band. With Ingraham moving toward proficiency placement for foreign language, this loss of a year in middle school has real ramifications for high school. Hamilton has no organized mechanism for deciding who gets to take language in 6th grade and who doesn't. Once the scheduling coordinator decides not to serve your child, you are screwed. Are there others feeling upset about this? 5th grade parents with concerns?
SAL

Laura said...

For those who are wondering about an APP K-8, I encourage you to look at what's offered at Salmon Bay k-8 (http://www.salmonbayschool.org/). The APP cohort would be similar in size. Salmon Bay is a "mushroom model" school, k-5 have between 40-50 kids per grade, and 6-8 have around 100 per grade.

The middle school does have a band every day but only offers one semester of Spanish. It does, however, offer PE everyday for every student. Obviously, course offerings for an APP school would be different, but it gives you an idea of how much you can offer and the variety given the cohort size.

Since I know Salmon Bay quite well, and love what it offers, I'm a proponent of an APP K-8 mushroom model (or, probably in APP's case "ice cream cone model") school. It's very different from say Broadview k-8 or other k-8s in the city.

Anyway, interesting things to think about.

Laura said...

Regarding outside testing appeals:

I heard from Julie B that there was a lawsuit several years back when SPS wouldn't accept outside testing for entrance to APP. SPS lost since the tests done privately are actually more accurate assessments when administered correctly.

I don't think SPS would be able to forbid appeals as a way to limit access to APP.

Re Spectrum serving APP students:

There are many students who qualify for APP who are in Spectrum programs. In other words, they test 98/99 % on IQ and >95% on achievement in both math and reading. I know a few at View Ridge Spectrum right now, for example. If Spectrum weakens, these students will probably move to already overcrowded APP. I think that's the argument people are trying to make about a weak Spectrum hurting APP. How many students this is, nobody knows....

apparent said...

Donald,

you're right when you say that it's crazy to guarantee qualified students spots in APP but not to guarantee qualified students spots in Spectrum. But it still doesn't follow that the flight to APP as Spectrum starts to crumble includes any individual student who is not already qualified for APP. Lack of quality advanced learning Spectrum programs in local schools simply leaves many APP-eligible students with no alternative than joining the APP cohort.

Nor am I at all dismayed at the thought of expanding the advanced learning testing pool in search of qualified students (although the opposite may in fact be happening by the use of MAP scores as the gateway before Advanced Learning services even conducts its individual cognitive and achievement testing).

Thus, I can only subscribe to the second part of your conclusion that "In the long run, to get numerical stability, we have to look at the APP entrance requirements, and have some sort of balanced approach with Spectrum."

As for looking at this year's enrollment numbers compared to the last five, I would love to do that since isn't it about now that they should become available? What is the actual size of the APP cohort that finally wound up at Lincoln after overcrowding itself out of Lowell? Does anybody know?

Anonymous said...

The number I've heard for APP at Lincoln is 425.

And on the topic of appeals, an appeal process is part of the requirements for highly capable programs, as per WAC Chapter 392-170.

Special Service Program - Highly Capable

Shannon said...

Whatever the WAC says, it doesn't follow that private appeals are required. In Shoreline, the district administers a test and you can appeal to the Advanced Learning office if denied but there is no independent testing and the appeal process is not transparent.

Anonymous said...

The WAC states that:

Students nominated for consideration as highly capable students may be screened for eligibility according to district procedures. Such procedures shall be applied equitably and systematically to all nominated students. Equity of access shall be assured for all nominated students. Screening procedures may eliminate students for whom there exists clear, current evidence that the student will not qualify for eligibility under WAC 392-170-055

The Disctict policies have an appeal process, which has to has to be applied "equitably and systematically." In order to ensure equal access, FRL families may ask for additional testing at the cost of the District. Districts don't have to allow for appeals, they can set their own policies. Since SPS' policy allows for appeals, they are required to consider appeals, unless they change their policy.

The WAC also states:

Test results used in the assessment of any nominated student shall be reviewed by a psychologist or other qualified practitioner with training to interpret cognitive and achievement tests. Where specific test results obtained in any assessment do not appear to the qualified district personnel to accurately reflect a student's cognitive ability or specific academic achievement, due to such reasons as test measurement error or environmental, cultural, or economic factor, the qualified district personnel shall apply professional judgment to a determination of cognitive ability or specific academic achievement. In such event, the qualified district personnel shall document in a written narrative the basis for such determination, the instruments used, if any, and the data collected for a determination of cognitive ability or specific academic achievement.

So, the final determination is up to the District, but it must be clearly documented.

Anonymous said...

Both my kids tested in to APP through the school district testing, but my daughter (who was in 2nd grade at the time), told me that it was very hard to hear the tester's instructions and that when one child asked her to repeat it, she refused. Not to mention it's a bit of a madhouse before the testing with all the parents and kids trying to figure out where to go. I had one friend who's daughter's test was scheduled on November 1st at 8:00am. Needless to say, that would be difficult after a long night of trick or treating. I guess, my point is that the district testing atmosphere is really not condusive to getting the best performance out of a young child and often the one on one testing that a psychologist does in his/her office might actually better represent the child's ability. I just wish that the district made one on one testing for families that can't afford it, because it is expensive, and it's not fair that only families of means (and the wherewithall) are the ones that do it.

--BF

hschinske said...

I just wish that the district made one on one testing for families that can't afford it

They do. "Seattle Public Schools will provide in-house appeals testing for families who qualify for the free or reduced lunch program." Most private psychologists also have sliding scales.

Helen Schinske

hschinske said...

Incidentally, plenty of students who are privately tested don't qualify for APP or even for Spectrum. But the more times you test, and the more different tests that are used, the greater the chance the student will fall above the 99th or 95th percentile on one of them. That's just math. If you accept a 99th percentile on Test A OR Test B OR Test C, you'll end up with more than 1% (nationally) being able to qualify. Requiring a certain achievement score as well (AND-ing the scores) knocks that percentage down some, of course.

Helen Schinske

NESeattleMom said...

I am very disappointed that Lowell APP at Lincoln doesn't have music (so far) for 4th & 5th graders this year. I think this is a huge loss for these students. I'm remembering my daughter and how much she enjoyed and learned from Ms. Koroch several years ago at Lowell. My son, in 3rd at Lowell, is enjoying music a lot. I am surprised that they are providing music on Capitol Hill but not at Lincoln. The kids in instrumental music will be less prepared regarding theory and note reading, etc. And the kids who choose not to play a band or orchestra instrument lose out on music totally.

Anonymous said...

My daughter said it would have been very dificult to take instrumental music without music class. It's in music class that she learned how to read notes, etc.

Robin said...

I realize this forum is more visited by Elementary APP parents, however I have a general question about Hamilton 6th grade APP Math. The math teacher this yr is Ms. Thurik. I would appreciate feedback from parents about this class. Our experience so far is that very little actual teaching is going on; and we need to explain concepts in order for her to complete the HW. Not a terrible burden of time so far re the HW, but my kid claims that the class is mostly working in groups and having other kids demonstrate problems. Also the problems have to be done a certain (often more time-consuming) way, thus even if the answer is correct and concept is mastered, Ms Thurik requires them to re-do it the "correct" way. I would be interested in other parents thoughts on this class before Curriculum NT next wk. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Your experience describes our experience last year. Sorry, things have not changed.

Anonymous said...

Robin,
My student's math experience at WMS sounds very similar to yours at Hamilton. I believe some of it has to do with the CMP2 curriculum. I agree the process they use for solving problems is more confusing and time consuming than it should be. My student's math teacher tries to explain concepts, but my child finds her way of doing so confusing and usually needs clarification at home. I feel sorry for the folks who are unable to assist their children with CMP2 math.
MCS

Anonymous said...

Our daughter feels that 6th grade math class is a worthless waste of time. Math comes easily to her so it's really just annoying. But since she is excited about her other 5 classes, my worst fears for this over crowded school have so far not been realized.

I would like to hear more about the kids who did not get Spanish this year. Will those who did get Spanish still get all three years at HIMS, or will they ration everyone to 2 years?

Cautious

protected static said...

We've also run into the 'correct way' issue with Ms Thurik. We mostly shrugged it off as a teachable moment: process matters to some people as much as (or more than) outcome.

klh said...

I don't have an APP student in SPS, but still want to remind those who do that there is one last Community Capacity meeting tomorrow (Tuesday, 10/11) at Hamilton. The information about capacity planning that has been posted so far has been very disappointing when it comes to Middle School and High School. However, they do have a slide that mentions the need to have a interim solution to middle school crowding in the north end of the city. They've thrown out three buildings for possible interim solution sites - Lincoln, Marshall and Wilson-Pacific. Lincoln and Marshall have also been suggested as possible sites for APP, whether a K-8, a new permanent K-5 site, or something else.

Anonymous said...

Fresh from curriculum night at WMS, I've learned that, due to standardization dogma, my daughter's LASS class will be the first one in 8 years that won't be reading the Odyssey, because it is no longer on the approved reading list. This means 8 years or more of developed, refined curriculum is going out the window, in favor of more "teacher accountability" versus "professionalism," as her LASS teacher is required to teach from a new book she's never taught from before.

I am furious to watch APP weakened, year after year, by invasive, unnecessary, time-stealing standardization measures supposedly geared towards accountability.

I'm glad to read that people are happy at the APP schools, but you should know that as a veteran APP parent, while atmosphere is important, content and curriculum are being narrowed, reduced, and sacrificed at the MS level, and even APP teachers are not immune from counter-productive, district lead initiatives driven by billionaires and national Ed Reform groups, and sanctified by quixotic saviors like Tom Stritikus, current (inexplicable) Dean of the UW College of Ed.

Nobody is immune from this threat to our kids' educations. Not Spectrum, not APP, not Alts. It's time to start pushing back folks, before APP is truly a shadow of its former self.

pjmanley

- frustrated said...

It's time to start pushing back folks, before APP is truly a shadow of its former self.

I agree that it's (past) time to start pushing back. But APP is already a shadow of its former self. The program has been split and weakened. Lowell teachers ran away en masse last year. The curriculum has been weakened. High end math in middle school is gone. APP/genEd eachers in middle school are told there's no such thing as an "APP teacher" and swapped around willy-nilly. The entrance criteria appears to be weakened as a result of using MAP scores. Kids who would have been well-served in local Spectrum seats are scrambling to get into APP, thanks to the destruction of their program.

The current Board has no understanding of what APP is, or is supposed to be. Hopefully we'll see at least a couple new Board members next month. If that doesn't happen I'm confident we're on the slow path to destruction.

Anonymous said...

Frustrated, I think you're right. But with growing numbers district-wide, the APP community is becoming a louder voice every day. Of course, due to the "privilege" label, we get no favors from those in side JSCEE, including the Board. With the exception of Kay SB, nobody on the current Board seems concerned about APP's quality, figuring us parents will somehow adapt & overcome, as always. Don't we just love being taken for granted?

Keeping useless, needless standardization measures from compromising the quality any further seems like a good fight to fight, as it directly interferes with the teacher-student relationship, which is the heart of education, so says the "Teacher Quality" gangs.

So, what about APP kids? Why are the TQ zealots interfering with their learning?

pjmanley

Maureen said...

pjmanly, I totally sympathize with your position. District directed curriculum alignment has undercut quality courses in many of our schools. I'm curious if you know if the impact at WMS is driven by the High School level alignment (because AL is making more effort to teach APP kids two grades above.) Is the problem that 8th grade APP kids being taught the aligned 10th grade LA course? (I'm not sure if LA alignment has hit MS yet.)

Anonymous said...

APP/genEd teachers in middle school are told there's no such thing as an "APP teacher" and swapped around willy-nilly.

There really needs to be some discussion around this, as some teachers would benefit from professional development in gifted education prior to being assigned to Spectrum or APP classrooms.

Hamilton's website states that teachers do have gifted ed endorsements and experience, but we're finding that's not true in all cases.

The curriculum has been weakened.

This is due in part to the District standardization, and in part to the absence of a defined 1-8 APP curriculum from Advanced Learning.

If a large part of the APP curriculum is teacher developed and teachers then leave, what standards and guidelines are being followed by the new teachers? How is Advanced Learning ensuring consistency between schools and classrooms?

There are some valid concerns at Hamilton right now related to some of the above issues.

What's more concerning is the thought of APP being further splintered during upcoming "capacity management," without there being defined policies and guidelines around APP programming - clearly defined course content, hiring criteria for teachers, etc.

equally frustrated

CCM said...

My understanding with the problem of teaching the Odyssey (and Romeo and Juliet - which wasn't taught last year in 7th grade APP when it had been before) was because those books are on the "high school list" of approved texts so teaching them in 6th-8th grade would prove problematic once they got into high school as they would be repeating.

I don't believe LA alignment has reached MS; so they are still free to teach what they want - minus the "high school" books.

I agree that the main problem is that the LA APP curriculum is not defined - so it is being dictated by high school alignment.

Also - very sad that the Odyssey is not being taught this year at WMS - my child really enjoyed that curriculum.

Anonymous said...

It's my understanding that the high school LA alignment somehow prevented schools from purchasing books for middle school APP LA.

Also, there was a recent issue at Hamilton with teacher selected material that was totally inappropriate...as much as the District's standardization makes me cringe, some defined APP texts might have helped prevent this situation.

Anonymous said...

I often rack my brain to figure out what needs to be done to enlighten the school board, staff at JSC, school leadership and fellow parents about what APP is and why it is needed for some.

My greatest fear is that misinformation and political spin will rule the day and APP will end up in broken bits on the floor.

So many meetings include a comment from the speaker and/or the crowd that includes some kind of "APP for everyone" message. I am really at a loss. What can be done?

I want to take some action or participate in a movement, but I don't know how or where to begin. Is there something we can each do at the same time to make a difference? thanks!

Beyond Frustrated

hschinske said...

Also, there was a recent issue at Hamilton with teacher selected material that was totally inappropriate

Haven't heard about this -- what was the material?

Helen Schinske

Anonymous said...

Helen, if this is what I think it is, it was a "copy machine mistake", not a curricular decision.

However, I believe the teacher ignored the students when they were trying to bring it to her attention, which is a big problem.

If something else happened other than this situation I'd like to hear about it.

-heard via the grapevine

apparent said...

Frustrated,

you wrote: "The entrance criteria appears to be weakened as a result of using MAP scores. Kids who would have been well-served in local Spectrum seats are scrambling to get into APP, thanks to the destruction of their program."

Not sure what you mean by these statements. The entrance criteria have not changed. How does the use of MAP scores lower them? More often than not these MAP scores are being used as an early cutoff to deny any CogAt testing or later achievement testing to a student.

Any student who moves from Spectrum to APP already has the same eligibility scores as those in the APP cohort, their parents have just not put them there previously. But it is true that lack of local Spectrum takes away an attractive alternative for many families.

frustrated said...

apparent,

I did say "appears", because it's hard to quantify. The big problem with MAP scores is that they are VERY unreliable at high achievement levels, and high achievement levels are the very definition of entry criteria for advanced learning programs.

If scores bounce up/down 12 points (not that uncommon in APP), and typical RIT growth at that grade level is 3-4 points, then you have an error which is 3 to 4 "grade levels". Half of the students scores will be lower than accurate, half will be higher than accurate. So a good chunk of kids any given year will pass the mark that wouldn't with a more accurate assessment. So doesn't that mean that we're just letting in the wrong kids? Yes, but what happens the following year(s)? Assuming an equal high/low bias, eventually all the kids who would have gotten in with an accurate assessment will make it in at some point, but along the way a whole bunch of other kids will have gained entry into the program as well.

Not well-described, but writing in a bit of a rush, hope it makes sense.

BTW, none of this implies anything bad or unworthy about any of the kids, just trying to point out one possible consequence of an unreliable test for permanent access to highly capable programs.

I do have a related question: if your student performs above 95th percentile on MAP, and then they do well on the cogAT, do they still need to do another achievement test?

And to reiterate, much of this would not be a problem if Spectrum was strong, stable and supported by the district. That is the biggest travesty of all.

SE Mom said...

frustrated - how would the entry criteria be weakened? I get your argument about some kids being blocked from taking the CogAT for low scores, but pre-MAP anyone could take the CogAT, correct? If anything, they would be keeping kids out of testing, instead of proactively recruiting kids for testing that may not pass the CogAT.

On the subject of achievement tests post CogAT, that's a good question. I know all kids needed to take the achievement tests after passing the CogAT as of last year. With budget cuts I do wonder when they will remove that last piece of testing in favor of using MAP.

Anonymous said...

If anything, they would be keeping kids out of testing, instead of proactively recruiting kids for testing that may not pass the CogAT.

Because the MAP is such a poor tool at the highest achievement levels, it's actually doing both!

Let's see if I can come up with an extreme example to illustrate. Imagine a test where every student who's "real" achievement level was at the 80th percentile or above alternated between exactly 80 and exactly 100 each year.

In this scenario, each year half the kids in the group would gain entry into their HC program. Many of the kids that should have gained entry were denied, and vice-versa. But the following year, all the rest would gain entry, and none of the previously misidentified kids would be asked to leave (kids are occasionally counseled out of APP, but it's very uncommon). Enrollment in the program ratchets up and up based on test scores, but never down based on need.

Because the test scores bounce around so much at the high levels, some kids are hurt by delayed entry into the program(s), but eventually almost everyone who should have access does get it. But on the other side, a bunch of kids who might not need the services are granted access as well.

This is a gross over simplification, of course, and there are a lot of surrounding issues, both with implementation and overall philosophy about advanced learning programs in general, but I hope this illustrates one small piece of the puzzle.

- frustrated for many reasons

Anonymous said...

A related question: is the AL office looking at only one specific quarterly MAP score each year without regard to the others? In other words, if they use winter scores, and your kid scores in the 99th percentile in fall, but only 80th in winter, will they take the fall score into account for placement in APP? Or the previous spring? I've heard some discussion around this, but I haven't seen a definitive answer.

Even with all the griping about the MAP, I should remind everyone that it's vastly better screening tool than a GLE-based grade-level test like the WASL, which was actually used as part of the APP entry criteria in previous years. They use what's readily available without extra cost. So much of SPS (and other districts) policy is based on fiscal constraints that it's not even funny.

Also, the MAP does have a range where it has fairly reasonable accuracy, in theory. The problem is that for APP-level kids, they're already pushing that limit in upper-elementary school. And because of it's questionable merit for the youngest kids, say K/1, just due to the nature of computer-based tests in general, the range is constrained on both sides. But there should be a window where it's a useful tool. In theory.

-frus

suep. said...

I'm not sure I follow your reasoning, frustrated (though I share your frustration with MAP).

My understanding is that MAP scores are being used to identify and qualify kids to take the district-administered Advanced Learning (CogAT) test. But MAP alone does not qualify them for APP or Spectrum. The kids still need to meet certain benchmarks on the CogAT to qualify for APP or Spectrum.

Yes the MAP is inconsistent, inaccurate and inappropriate in so many ways, extremely costly in dollars, time and energy (I wrote about this here: 15 Reasons Why the Seattle School District Should Shelve the MAP® Test—ASAP).

But unless I'm mistaken (which is possible!), I don't believe it is determining who is admitted to APP & Spectrum. It is being used as a filter to identify kids who perhaps should take the AL test and need an AL curriculum.

But some kids who should be identified for the AL test are not being IDed by the MAP test -- so it is effectively working as a barrier for some families. Conversely it would then follow that perhaps some are being IDed by MAP who ultimately don't fare as well on the CogAT test (and therefore don't qualify for APP or Spectrum).

But I don't believe that MAP scores alone are determining who is eligible for APP or Spectrum. Has anyone heard anything different?

Anonymous said...

MAP scores are only used to ID potential APP students. They then need to take the test, except for math, they use WASL/MSP scores. At least when my student was tested in.

Here's the current process, which if you note DOES use MAPS as enterance into IB, important to note if you are an 8th grade parent interested in this program:

Spring 2011 MAP data will be reviewed for all applicants in grades 1-8. Cognitive testing is administered if MAP scores are at the 85th percentile or higher. 8th graders applying for the APP/IB program at Ingraham must have MAP scores at the 95th percentile or higher. All kindergarten applicants and non-SPS applicants will be scheduled for the cognitive testing.(See WAC 392-170-050 Screening of nominees).

Anonymous said...

Also, ALL APP 8th Grade students still guarenteed a spot at GHS - no further testing required.


Interesting that you need MAPs for one program and not the other.
I also wonder WHICH MAPs scores are used for IB? Fall 8th grade or Winter 8th grade or Spring 7th grade.

HIMS is not doing fall MAPs, so that rules Fall 8th grade out. Scores may not be in by enrollment deadline to use Winter MAPs, that leaves Spring 7th grade, on top of MSP and EOC Math test.

Need more information!

Anonymous said...

I believe MAP testing for 8th graders is only required for those not already in APP. New this year - 8th graders not in APP can test into the IB program at Ingraham only. They do not gain access to Garfield.

Anonymous said...

We have a child new to SPS this year (2nd grade) who does not have MAP scores for 2011. She tested into Spectrum last year, but her scores were borderline APP. We chose not to appeal, but now that we've had another year under our belt, we are thinking APP might be a better fit.

It is unclear what the testing situation will be for her. I have been calling the district all this week, but I would be interested in hearing if anyone else is also in the situation, and what you were told. I would imagine that anyone without 2011 MAP scores would be in this same situation.

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous @ 5:51:

Per the parent information packet on SPS' Advanced Learning site (page 2) it appears that if your child has no 2011 MAP score that they administer the CogAT test first, and will proceed with reading and math achievement tests if merited: "(GogAT is)... Administered if MAP scores are at the 85th percentile or higher. The qualifying threshold remains at the 87th percentile. The entire profile will be considered for MAP scores that are at the 85th or 86th percentile. 8th graders applying for the APP/IB at Ingraham must have MAP scores at the 95th percentile or higher. If there are no Spring 2011 MAP scores (e.g., kindergarten or non-SPS students), the CogAT is administered first."

It sounds like your daughter will be able to take the CogAT test as long as your parental and teacher nomination forms were turned in by the October 6th deadline. Good luck!

NE Mama

Anonymous said...

Did anybody attend HIMS curriculum night?

Anonymous said...

I have heard from my child that the kids who did not take the spring MAP test have been pulled out of class to take it. This includes a student who came from a private school. This happened at my child's middle school, so it may be different for elementary school children.
Daffy

Anonymous said...

Anonymous @ 5:51 on 10/13: The SPS Advanced Learning site has a link to a parent information packet, which includes the following on page two under "eligibility requirements":

(The Cognitive Abilities Test is) Administered if MAP scores are at the 85th percentile or higher. The qualifying threshold remains at the 87th percentile. The entire profile will be considered for MAP scores that are at the 85th or 86th percentile. 8th graders applying for the APP/IB at Ingraham must have MAP scores at the 95th percentile or higher. If there are no Spring 2011 MAP scores (e.g., kindergarten or non-SPS students), the CogAT is administered first."

My interpretation is that as long as your daughter's parental and teacher nomination forms were turned in prior to the 10/6 deadline, she should be able to take the CogAT and would then take any reading/math achievement tests as merited by the CogAT results.

Good luck!

NE Mama

protected static said...

Anonymous at 10/14 9:31:

We did... Why?

Anonymous said...

I was unable to attend HIMs curriculum night and was just wondering if anybody could report back.

Anonymous said...

We attended curriculum night at Hamilton.

It began with a brief intro by Mr. Carter and then parents walked through their student's schedule with ten minutes for each class. There wasn't much time for parent questions, it was more of a chance to put a face to the teacher's name and get a feel for the class overall.

An OPI representative was also there for 6th grade parents. Just a heads up - there was a list of 10-20 kids with missing or incomplete forms, if they're not submitted or complete, they can't go.

The counselors were handing out last Spring's MSP scores to parents (they're also on the Source).

protected static said...

The other Anon. beat me to it, but that pretty much summed it up.

Robin said...

This is for Hamilton 6th grade parents or if you know some (APP or not), please pass it on: when you drop off your child on Mon or Wed AM w/their luggage for the OPI trip, if you have a few minutes to stay and help get the kids organized, it would be much appreciated. Just let Ms McClurg (Mon departure) or Ms Leonas (Wed departure) know you are there to help with kids luggage/name/cabin # tags, and onto the correct bus. Ms M and Ms L have done and will be doing a tremendous amount of work to make this trip happen, and I know they would really really appreciate any additional help on departure morning. If you stay for a few minutes you will also get to meet the chaperones.There is also some administrative info about departure and arrival times posted on the HIMS website, if you didnt get a chance to visit the OPI table last night. THNX!

James said...

Does anyone have any experience with the age/birthdate requirement for APP entrance? My 3rd-grader has an Oct. 8 birthday and we've been told if he qualifies for APP he'll have to repeat 3rd grade. Most all of his friends are in 3rd grade APP this year. According to SPS Advanced Learning, after 5th grade students don't have the Sept. 1 age requirement. Joining APP and transitioning to middle school at that same time seems tough, not to mention not having the practice of accelerated learning for a couple of years.

Thanks,
James