Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Open thread

Summer's back, nice and sunny out! Talk about whatever you like!

This might also be a good thread to share anything fun you found this summer that other APP parents might enjoy too for their kids. Starting it off, I really like DragonBox, which is the best game I've ever seen for teaching algebra, genuinely fun, the puzzles turn out to be the same operations you perform to solve algebra problems. If you like that, you might enjoy SquareLogic, which is a really excellent implementation of the Sudoku-like KenKen game, teaches logic and fast arithmetic operations, addictive and fun. If you have a middle or high school kid, I'd highly recommend Udacity's free Physics 100 class, surprisingly fun, challenging, excellent blend of physics and math, very well done. Oh, and Camp Orkila is great.


TM parent said...

We're trying to plan a family trip around Thanksgiving, and I'm wondering how much school it would be wise for my incoming 2nd-grader to miss, given the accelerated pace. Would 5 days (before & after Thanksgiving break) be a lot for an APP 2nd-grader to miss?

Anonymous said...

The partial week of before Thanksgiving is usually for the parent-teacher conferences in the Elementary schools (because Thursday, Friday is no school anyway). So if you take that whole week off, you are only going to miss the conference itself, but you could schedule that with the teacher for another time.
- Lowell parent

TM parent said...

I forgot about conferences -- that solves our problem! Thanks so much.

Anonymous said...

School supply lists? Does Hamilton have one for each grade and do Algebra students need/purchase their own graphing calculators?

Anonymous said...

A general school supply list is now posted on the HIMS website.

Shannon said...

No mention of commitment to advanced learning in the press release - anyone have experience with Ms Watters? I hope she is a good leader for the school as we are joining this fall.


August 2, 2012

Dear Hamilton International Middle School community,

I am excited today to announce the appointment of Lucinda (Cindy) Watters as your new principal.

Ms. Watters comes to Hamilton International Middle School from Einstein Middle School in Shoreline where she has been serving as Assistant Principal. She is committed to providing supports and extending learning for all students, and she will be a great fit for the Hamilton International Middle School community.

Cindy Watters previously served as House Administrator for two years at Eckstein Middle School. She taught in Shanghai, China for three years. Before moving to China in 2005, Cindy taught in the Puyallup School District for 11 years. She earned a Masters of Education from the University of Washington-Tacoma and a Bachelor of Arts in Education at Pacific Lutheran University. She holds a Washington State Administrative Certificate.

Ms. Watters was selected after a hiring process that began with surveying the community on their desired principal characteristics and included extensive input from staff and families. The selection team was particularly impressed with her overseas teaching experience, which provides an appreciation of and preparation for the work of an International School. She also has strong instructional leadership experience and is dedicated to upholding and building on the Hamilton International Middle School goals and priorities.

Your previous principal, Chris Carter, has accepted the position of principal at Mercer Middle School. We wish him well and thank him for making Hamilton an excellent school. Thank you also to the Hamilton International Middle School community for your deep involvement in selecting your new principal.

Please join me in welcoming Cindy Watters to Hamilton International Middle School!


José Banda
Seattle Public Schools

Anonymous said...

One has to wonder how long APP can remain at HIMS - at this point I'm just hoping for a competent, professional administrator that expects the same in teaching staff.

suep. said...

I had the same thought, Shannon -- no mention of advanced learning. Seems odd when you consider that APP & Spectrum kids now make up about 60% of the population. Maybe this is an indication that the focus of the school will be the international/language immersion aspect, with AL moving elsewhere...? (Just speculating, here.)

Anonymous said...

Any guesses for when new teachers will be hired? 6th grade LA/SS? 7th grade science? 8th grade LA/SS?

Anonymous said...

I thought the 6th grade LA/SS was hired...? I was told it is chacon's student teacher from last year. I don't know her name.

Anyone else hear this?

Anonymous said...

If that's true about Chacon's student teacher being hired as a new LA/SS instructor, that sounds like positive news for the school. I believe she was well-liked and extremely competent.


Anonymous said...

Einstein in Shoreline is known for its support for advanced learners and think this a good news for HIMS. I would not expect to see any mention of AL in the announcement; it's not PC here in Seattle.

Anonymous said...

Now, is it from Einstein or Eckstein or both?
And when does Ms. Watters start at HIMS?

Anonymous said...

Anon at 10:27.

The release about Ms Watters is posted above. It clearly states her history.

Anonymous said...

Eckstein also supports AL programs; probably has one of the strongest Spectrum program in any MS.

I think this is good news for HIMS.

Laurie said...

Sarah Griffith (Chacon's student teacher) was great! I hope that's true that she got the job.

Anonymous said...

Although I've been dispatched to the election team, I'm briefly resurfacing to write an important story about the new student assignment plan in Seattle Public Schools.

For the story, I'm hoping to talk with parents and teachers at the following schools: Jane Addams, Sacajawea, Greenwood, McClure, TOPS, Alki, Pathfinder, Gatewood, Arbor Heights, Ingraham, McGilvra, Leschi and [North Beach]

The story is kind of complicated, so I will spare you the details here, but please contact me directly if you are a parent/teacher at one of these schools, or know somebody who is.

Thanks a lot,
Brian M. Rosenthal
Staff reporter, The Seattle Times
(206) 464-3195

posted 8/8/12 4:38 PM

Anyone heard details?

Anonymous said...

I was just looking at the Seattle Schools website, specifically the school directory page. Currently there is a listing for APP at Lincoln, but no link to any additional information -- i.e., address, phone number, bell times, staff, etc. There is a listing for Lowell on Capitol Hill that links to such information(and every other elementary school has such a link, too). Does anyone know when APP at Lincoln will have this type of information listed on the website?


word said...

Thanks for the Dragonbox tip - my daughter sighed exasperatedly when I told her it would be great for learning algebra but now she has been completely hooked on it for 3 days so far.

Janet said...

Reminder to Seattle North APP Parents of Incoming 1st Graders:

Incoming 1st Grade Picnic
Starts: August 24, 2012 - 5:00 pm
Ends: August 24, 2012 - 7:00 pm
Location: Magnuson Park Playground
Description: Bring your own picnic dinner

Anonymous said...

Transferring family has one child with qualifying cogats from gifted program at previous school (on file with advanced learning) but when called for testing this summer she was scheduled for both cogats and then called again for ITBS. Does anyone know how this is handled? Cgats were from grade 3 and child is entering 7th grade. It is now 1 week until school starts and we have not heard a peep from Advanced learning...can't even get a call or e-mail returned. Anyone out there who can comment?

Anonymous said...

Have you tried talking with someone in enrollment? (Offices were closed today)

Anonymous said...

Yes. Left some messages. I'm feeling very negative right now about Seattle public schools. I have talked to a few parents I met at testing who also have not heard a peep. Also I'm frustrated because my kids told me they tested in a room where apparently next door there were adults shouting at each other throughout the testing. Eeverything about this has seemed very unprofessional. Beginning to think we made an error in judgement.

Anonymous said...

I'd try calling the school you anticipate your child attending and see if they can be of any help. Sometimes you have to go to the John Stanford Center downtown (which is crazy awful right before school, and will not improve your attitude about Seattle schools...) and stand in line for an hour in order to talk to a live person.

Anonymous said...

Thanks I did try that. The people staffing there have nothing to do with Advanced Learning and will not offer any assistance. We don't know where my child will attending it is unclear whether she will be in APP or Spectrum. It's bad enough moving across the country in middle school but 6 days out you really should know which school you are going to. I'm not even sure is an appeal will be possible if we need one.

Anonymous said...

The Dept. head of AL was to be out of the office through the end of August.

I'm not sure where you're located, but if your child might be assigned to Hamilton (North end APP), you could try talking with the registrar on Friday. She can't do much until enrollment has been finalized (and you need to know Spectrum or APP placement), but she may help you get in contact with the appropriate staff.

1. Incoming families for the 2012-2013 school year will be able to pick up schedules and go for a tour on August 31st. Last name A-K (11:00 – 12:30) Last name L-Z (1:00 – 2:30).
2. Ms. Peila’s office (Rm 105C) will be open from 11:00 – 3:00 to address any scheduling issues for NEW FAMILIES.

Anonymous said...

Thank you. I was able to find out we "may" hear today. Good to know if need be we can tour Hamilton tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

We did get word and my child did make it into app. Thanks for the tip on Hamilton.

Anonymous said...

Question: I have a twice exceptional child who did not test into app spectrum or alo. She has dyslexia and adhd. Her private test scores and ITBS should be fine for an appeal for app. However it is our intention to keep her at our home school and do ALO. So we must appeal our testing for ALO. If our appeal goes through and we chose spectrum or ALO for her can we switch her to app for middle school without going through the testing process again?

jujubee said...

For Anon @ 12:03, my understanding is that your child would keep her advanced learning eligibility, as long as she's enrolled in any advanced learning program (including ALO). Here is the text from SPS Advanced Learning - Enrollment Options and Retaining Eligibility web page:

"Enrollment Options and Retaining Eligibility

Testing for eligibility is necessary prior to enrollment in Advanced Learning programs. Students retain their eligibility designations (academically highly gifted or academically gifted) as long as they remain enrolled in the Accelerated Progress Program, Spectrum, or an Advanced Learning Opportunity School and do not need to re-test each year.

See this Enrollment Options Chart for complete information.:

Anonymous said...

Thank you!