Monday, February 27, 2012

Low limit on APP students at Ingraham

Suep asked Bob Vaughan about "whether there is or will be a cap on APP seats at Ingraham". Excerpts from his response:
Full implementation for APP at Ingraham for 9th grade for next year is two full classrooms of APP students. This means there is room for 64 APP students ... When originally conceived, the APP/IB option for Ingraham envisioned as many as 60 students per grade level over four years.

As to why there might ever be any limit on enrollment in this program, remember that capacity needs to be available for nearby resident students. Also ... Ingraham is the guaranteed pathway school for rising language immersion students coming from John Stanford and MacDonald International Schools through Hamilton International Middle School. Space needs to be planned for these students, as well.
Bob Vaughan's full letter is available.

As other parents pointed out, this means that only about 60% of students in elementary APP in the north-end of Seattle will be able to go to an APP high school in the north-end, and it will get worse if APP in the north continues to grow as expected.

APP parents north of the canal, were you expecting to be able to go to APP in the north through high school? Anyone see any good options for adding capacity for APP in the north at the high school level?

Update: In the comments, Suep adds a new clarification from Bob Vaughan.

32 comments :

Anonymous said...

We live in the Garfield attendance area, but really like the accelerated IB program. Don't assume that only north-end kids are trying for those Ingraham spots. And, since Ingraham is open to kids who test into APP in 8th grade and don't live in the attendance area, I think you can expect to see a fair number of kids from private middle schools and TOPS applying. I hope SPS creates similar accelerated IB programs at Sealth and RBHS.

Anonymous said...

My student is not interested in IBx or Garfield, which is why I am asking about getting into our neighborhood assigned high school. It's closer to home, offers enough AP classes, band, drama.

lendlees said...

This begs the question of why aren't JSIS and McDonald students being capped at 60 seats as well? Why aren't they being served at their neighborhood school (Roosevelt) rather than Ingraham.

I anticipate this will be a huge issue, especially as Anon pointed out at 2:05--this year students who haven't been in the program at all are being given an option to test into Ingraham's IBx.

Anonymous said...

I echo the concern that it is important to remember that just like Garfield, so is Ingraham, open to ALL APP students and not just northend ones.

-from a southend family that has not felt welcomed by APP north families

Anonymous said...

in response to a question on the previous thread: on Friday we got an assignment letter for our APP student to Garfield with some instructions about how to make a change if needed
"hope that helps"

suep. said...

Here's the clarification I just received from Bob Vaughan (pasted below).

A few things stand out for me: It sounds like "enrollment services" are calling the shots on this, whatever that means.

And the meaning of "warranted" is also ambiguous.

I'm guessing BV means "fall 2012" -- i.e. this year. But I'm not sure.

My take on this is it sounds like "enrollment services" is only planning on 64 seats of 9th grade APPers in the fall, and for some reason may be unwilling to open a new class for any over than 64, unless, perhaps there is a whole classroom full past 64 who apply. I'm guessing, because another class would mean another teacher, the district may be pinching pennies here and may be trying to avoid that expense. Which, of course, is ridiculous because the very point of establishing APP at Ingraham was to help fill an under-capacity building and help relieve overcrowding at Garfield (and, arguably, at other high schools in the north-end). It was a good idea, so why are they tempting to curtail it shortly after they began it?

Okay, here's BV's response:

What I said is that currently our enrollment department is planning for two classrooms of APP 9th graders for fall 2013. If more students than 64 choose to apply, enrollment services will consider whether an additional class is warranted. If it were decided that an additional class were not warranted, and there more than 64 applicants, then allocation to those seats would follow the tie breaker rules adopted by the School Board. I can’t be more specific than that.

I remain optimistic, however. Why?

· There is flexibility to consider adding an additional class at Ingraham.

· Principal Floe clearly wants every APP student who applies.

· This year Ingraham served 2 classrooms of 24 and 23.

· APP students wanting but not assigned to Ingraham will crowd an over-crowded Garfield.

Enrollment planners are also aware that the rising cohorts of younger APP students are larger than this year’s 8th grade class.

Sincerely,

Bob Vaughan

Robert C. Vaughan, Ph.D.
Manager, Advanced Learning
Seattle Public Schools
206-252-0130

Anonymous said...

This may not be why the seats are being limited, but it's my understanding that IB teachers require additional certification. It could be the seats are limited by the number of IB instructors they have at the school.

suep. said...

Maybe, but IBx doesn't kick in until 10th grade, so that doesn't immediately explain why APP 9th graders wouldn't be admitted to the school.

Anonymous said...

I have heard from a current 9th grade APP family at Ingraham that there is some tension at Ingraham from current families (not APP) re: them feeling that the IBx program may take teachers from the regular IB program.

As the number of IB instructors is limited based on required certification, it would make sense that they need to keep that in mind when admitting new students.

suep. said...
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suep. said...

Perhaps, but, SPS decided to offer both IB and IBx at IHS, so it is up to the district to follow through with the necessary resources to make these options feasible, and not do a sudden 'bait and switch' on APP kids who are hoping to attend IHS.

This does not have to be an either/or proposal. The simple answer is to hire more, qualified IB teachers for the entire school to match the growth of the IB program.

RosieReader said...

Speaking as a IB, not APP Ingraham parent, I agree that there's a tension regarding scarcity at Ingraham, but I don't think it's any different than anywhere else. For the past several years there have been annual staffing reductions. So the question then becomes "who's going to teach what?" Everybody wants "the best" educators for their particular group. Luckily, sometimes different people conclude that different educators are "the best." But sometimes there's a sense that there are too few "good" educators, and then everyone wants the same small pool of folks in their classrooms.

I think Martin Floe does as good a job as possible at making sure that the various constituencies are generally feeling, overall, like things are "good enough" for their group. Yes, sometimes my students have had an educator I would have preferred they not have, but that's life, right? I haven't heard it's any different for the APP 9th graders, for the "regular" students, or for "regular IB" students.

APP parent who thinks Garfield is great said...

I really don't see why the district's limiting of seats at Ingraham is such a big deal. There are a lot of students who do not attend their first choice option school. Why should APP kids be any different? Each APP kid is guaranteed a slot in a great school. Garfield has the best reputation of any public high school in Seattle (and I speak from experience because I do admission interviews for a competitive, out-of-state college). This is one of those cases when complaining is what gives APP parents a bad reputation.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the APP Garfield parent. APP students were never promised a seat in the IBx program, it was designed as an additonal pathway. I look at it like option school just like Center or NOVA. I can sign up, but I am not guarenteed a seat, but I know I have a spot at Garfield no matter the outcome.

Anonymous said...

And don't forget, APP students are also guaranteed a spot at their attendance area high school. If that is Roosevelt, Ballard or Chief Sealth, APP students have 2 great choices for high school, and potentially 3 if they get a spot at Ingraham IBx. There are many kids who have no choice but a mediocre high school in SPS.

suep. said...
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suep. said...
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suep. said...

How does asking for consistency and clarity about where our kids are able to go to school constitute “complaining”?

When I first asked the APP Advisory Committee whether there was any truth to the rumors of a cap on APP admission to IHS, none had heard anything about it. Only when my query got to Bob Vaughan did we get an answer and apparently it was news to the APP AC. So clearly this information has not been widely known or understood.

The fact is, APP families do have legitimate reason for grievance these past few years. Our kids have been evicted, their schools split in half or redirected to new schools almost every year recently. Right now we have kids in limbo at Lowell at Lincoln (with nowhere to go after 2013), and murmurs of overcrowding at Hamilton that may lead to yet another APP eviction. Our kids have been jerked around a lot by this district, so we parents are understandably wary of any new changes that may be sprung on our kids again.

With this history of eviction and reconfiguration of APP, the current "guaranteed" path to Garfield is no guarantee, in my opinion. After all, the district itself only two years ago proposed barring north-end kids from attending Garfield. What’s to stop them from resurrecting that plan? That would fit with the pattern of north-south APP splits at elementary and middle school.
(Seattle School District reveals plan to evict its gifted kids from their high school – targeting this population for the third time in two years)

When the district first proposed IBx at IHS, it was referred to as a “pathway” – not an “option school.” The district never said anything about "caps" or a "lottery." At the time, the concern was that not enough families would make the leap of faith over to this brand new program in a school that did not have everything Garfield offered. So for the district, only one year later, to talk about capping APP enrollment in Ingraham is a complete switch. The district is sending us mixed messages.

Yes there are other solid high school options out there (and that's great news about Ballard's jazz band making it to Essentially Ellington this year). But not every APP family lives near Roosevelt or Ballard, and even if they do, those schools have potential capacity issues as well. So I believe it behooves the district to make Ingraham available to all the kids who want to go there.

The basic point is, if there is an APP cap at Ingraham, APP families need to know this so we can plan accordingly, because this means that the IBx option is not a sure thing for APP kids after all. And yes, I think this would amount to a bait and switch on the part of the district.

Anonymous said...

Sue P.,

This is irony at it's finest, isnt it? SPS keeps moving APP to underutilized schools. Then, they also make these same underutilized schools pathways for other uber-popular and very large elementary schools (language immersion) as well as guaranteed neighborhood schools. It doesn't take a rocket scientist, I mean enrollment "analyst", to figure out how badly this will all turn out for that school as a whole and the APP kids - ALL kids. Parents fighting each other over scraps...

We live very close to Ballard, but can't go since QA/Mag kids get to go. Not saying they shouldn't get to go since they have no school, but we should get to go, too, living so close. Now, Ingraham is our school & our kid is in APP. Will we end-up at Garfield? That's lame!

So, yes, we have right to complain that SPS keeps making underutilized schools over-utilized in short order. Why on earth did they make Ingraham home to north end APP high school and the language immersion HS pathway? Again, any parent could tell you how this would end-up.

My gut says APP K-8 will get it's own school and APP high school kids will end-up "served" at their neighborhod high school. Unless, of course, Garfield gets destroyed by the district and ends up being the only APP pathway for HS kids since SPS will need to then fill an under-utilized Garfield.

-Seems so obvious to me

Anonymous said...

Anonymous on February 28, 2012 3:17 PM said "And don't forget, APP students are also guaranteed a spot at their attendance area high school. If that is Roosevelt, Ballard or Chief Sealth, APP students have 2 great choices for high school, and potentially 3 if they get a spot at Ingraham IBx."

High school is a few years off for us so I'm not up on all the details, but aren't there important differences between a neighborhood HS and an APP one? For example, I just checked Roosevelt and it looks like all 9th graders take the same language arts class. Since APP students are supposed to be working 2 yrs ahead of grade level, how would that make sense?

Also, with the current overcrowding at Garfield, do folks really think we can just sit back and assume that Garfield will still be an option in a couple years?

So frustrating!

Anonymous said...

The only consistent thing about the AL program is its inconsistency and unpredictability. You can argue that is probably true for all things run under SSD's management by crisis style.

Anonymous said...

Update from last night's APP A/C meeting please?

We couldn't go -- too much homework -- thanks Mr Schmitz!

-Still deciding

Anonymous said...

APP AC meeting will be next Tuesday, on the 6th of March. Last night it was a APP highschool night at Lincoln.

Anonymous said...

I know that the meeting was about APP high school but was under the impression that it was sponsored by the APP A/C - so yes, I'm asking for feedback from that meeting.

Thanks.

-still deciding

Elise said...

Still Deciding--

I am the APP AC rep for HIMS. If you send me an email, I will forward an email to you from Ken Courtney, Head counselor at Garfield with some very handy links about both schools.

elisehillyer *at* gmail.com

Anonymous said...

Based on BV figures there is room for 17 additional students in the IBx program, or 33 percent inrease. I am confident there will be space for all students next year. The folllowing year may be a problem, but hopefully they spend the time wisely planning for a 3rd ibx classroom.

GeekGoddess said...

I have a question about "gauranteed" placement at Garfield. If my APP 8th grader enters the choice/lottery track for IBx at Ingraham, does she lose gauranteed placement at Garfield? This happened with an older student of mine: her first choice was a HS other than the gauranteed HS for her MS program, and by chosing another HS first, she lost her seat at the gauranteed HS. It is evidently the way the computer algorithm works. ("The way it is.")

suep. said...

Anonymous said...

Based on BV figures there is room for 17 additional students in the IBx program, or 33 percent inrease. I am confident there will be space for all students next year. The folllowing year may be a problem, but hopefully they spend the time wisely planning for a 3rd ibx classroom.


If that's the case, then maybe Vaughan did not make a mistake when he referred to 2013 (not 2012) in his explanations of what might happen at IHS IBx. Maybe this year there will be room, but next year, it's uncertain. That means this capacity issue/possible cap will affect current 7th graders who may be planning to attend IHS for IBx in the fall of 2013.

GeekGoddess said...

I realized it would be good to clarify the upshot of my question above about losing a seat at Garfield by choosing IBx. It is possible that an APP 8th grader who chooses IBx as first choice could end up neither at Ingraham nor Garfield. If the number of APP 8th graders who choose Ingraham IBx is greater than the cap, will those who "lose" in the lottery for IBx still be guaranteed a seat at Garfield?

Jessica said...

Just want to also point out the irony that when the Ingraham program was introduced as an option to Garfield last year, some parents complained the real goal was to break APP at Garfield up to undermine the program and a big question was whether enough students would choose to go. Today, the concern is that the Ingraham program is too small. It takes time for the district and parents to adapt. It's a good thing that Ingraham's APP/IB program is doing well. Let's give the district a chance to figure things out.

suep. said...

Jessica I see the irony differently. The district asked APP families if they would opt for IBx at IHS over Garfield to help alleviate overcrowding at Garfield. Enough families have agreed to try this new option that the IBx program is growing. You'd think the district would be happy about that success and support its growth. But now the district is indicating that it may no longer want that many APP kids at Ingraham after all.

What's there to figure out?

It's the district that's being inconsistent, not the families.

Maureen said...

So do we know what has actually happened (in terms of numbers)?