Saturday, August 25, 2012

Open thread

School is just a couple weeks away! What's on your mind?

By the way, in the comments on the earlier posts, there's still some active discussion of the new principals at Hamilton and Lowell (Lowell, not at Lowell@Lincoln), algebra for 6th grade APP, and math curriculum for elementary APP. If you haven't looked at the comments on the previous posts in a while and you're interested in those topics, might take a peek at what is there.

Update: This is active thread (in the comments) with a lot of parents asking questions, especially about Hamilton APP. Please chime in if you have any advice.

51 comments :

Anonymous said...

I have several bus related questions. My son will be a new 4th grader at Lowell@Lincoln in the fall. If bus stops stay the same as last year, his home bus stop will be at Loyal Heights Elementary. He is on a swim team at Ballard Pool 3-4 days a week after school, at 4:00. Will the bus drop him off right at the pool if I request it? I know there is a group stop at Whittier, so if he can't be dropped off at the pool could he get off at that stop on the days he swims? Any Whittier bus stop people know the approximate time the bus drops the kids at Whittier after school? Any info is greatly appreciated!
-Kassy

mom of 2nd grader said...

Last year the bus got to Whittier some time between 3:50 and 4:05pm most days.

Janet said...

If you want to request an alternative stop, contact Transportation ASAP. It might even be too late. You'll have to say that you will use it every afternoon even if you won't, but you can use the other community stop whenever you want. Technically, you are supposed to send a note to ask for a green card when using a different stop or route, but the bus drivers didn't seem to check last year.

Anonymous said...

Anybody get transportation letters yet?

Anonymous said...

Anybody know who the Hamilton 7th grade APP teachers are, or are they all yet to be hired? I see teachers assigned to most of the other APP classes, but can't find anyone for 7th grade APP Science or LA/SS.

7th grade mom said...

Anon at 6:34, I was just going to post this same question. I see one person (Kathryn Ellison, anyone know anything about her?) that seems to be assigned to LA/SS but she has only two sections--and there are at least five. Would love to know what is going on....

Anonymous said...

When you say 2 sections, do you mean 4 class periods? In 6th grade, each teacher had 5 class periods, or 2.5 sections (LA/SS is 2 periods). One class had different teachers for LA and SS.

Anonymous said...

From the HIMS staff page:

The faculty lists a L. Anex for Algebra and Geometry. Is this a new hire? The Librarian, Ms. Christiansen, is shown as 8th grade LA/SS (non-APP?). Ellison is shown as 7th grade APP LA/SS (2.5 classes). Ms. Conrad is shown for 8th grade APP LA/SS.

There's no staff listed for either 7th grade APP science or for another 7th grade APP LA/SS.

Anonymous said...

i was told earlier in the summer that Ms Christiansen (the librarian last yr) would be LA/SS APP 7th gr teacher along with Ms Ellison (former 8th gr APP LA/SS teacher. They wre hiring a new 7th gr science APP teacher and there should not have been a new math hire for APP that I know of.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Pounder is shown as teaching 2 sections of Algebra 1A and 3 sections of Geometry A. Mr. Buchanan is not shown as teaching Algebra this year, but has 6 (!) sections of math - Math 7, 7H, and 8. The weird thing about Anex is that her link takes you to an Eckstein page, but she's listed under both Hamilton and Eckstein staff. Clerical error?

Anonymous said...

Will the APP LA/SS sequence remain the same as last year (1/2 World History in 8th grade and no stand alone US History class for all of middle school)?

Lori said...

My transportation letter from last year is dated August 30. I wasn't expecting it any sooner this year! Hopefully, there aren't major changes to routes and stop times.

Last year, Lincoln families posted route and stop information in the APP_NE yahoo group, which can be really helpful if your assigned stop is not ideal and you want to know other options.

suep. said...

The latest I've heard is that (longtime APP LA/SS teacher) Ellison and someone TBD (new hire?) will teach 7th grade APP LA/SS, and there will be a new hire for 7th grade APP science as well. I think the new math person came from Eckstein.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if it's too late to advocate to new principal that they actually hire folks experienced in teaching highly gifted kids???

Anonymous said...

We are incoming parents in 6th grade APP this year. After hearing so much about the 6th grade HH math teacher, we are considering homeschooling our child. Is anyone else seriously considering this option? It would be nice to have a group.

-interested

Lori said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lori said...

Our Transportation letter arrived today, just FYI to those who haven't gotten their mail yet.

Anonymous said...

We will have an incoming 2nd grader at APP@Lincoln. The person who was originally going to teach my child's class pulled out at the last minute. The letter says that Sean Hamby, who was a 2nd grade teacher last year, will fill in on an interim basis until the position is filled. Anyone know anything about Mr. Hamby?

New to APP@Lincoln

p.s. these captcha fields (or whatever they are called) are darn near impossible for me to make out.

Anonymous said...

If it's the same Mr. Hamby that would sub on occasion, my daughter really liked him.

Anonymous said...

My son is entering APP 7th gr at Hamilton, transferring from McClure. I have read this blog and seen many posts over the year about the problematic APP 6th gr teachers. I am wondering if anyone can provide feedback on the current APP teachers for 7th gr, and whether any changes have or will take place in the level of teaching staff with the new principal. Appreciate any thoughts or feedback. Thank You,

Magnolia parent

Anonymous said...

Most 7th grade APP teachers will be new, or new to 7th, this year - Ellison will be teaching half of the LA/SS and she was previously teaching 8th grade APP LA/SS. The science teacher and other LA/SS teacher have not yet been announced (or hired?). Schedules will be posted on the Source Sept. 1...

7th grade mom said...

Re: Hamilton, I went in to talk with the counselor this week about some scheduling issues. The 7th grade counselor is new; the principal is new. Most of the teaching staff is new. I think we really don't know what we're going to get this year.

The APP science teacher is hired but not listed on the website--but it's not clear to me that they have a second LA/SS teacher in place yet. At least they didn't have it firmed up by mid week. Math teacher is named Anex, from Eckstein, I think.

Anonymous said...

It seems Magnolia's transportation hasn't changed. At least for us the stop is at the same place and almost at the same time than last year.

Anonymous said...

To 7th grade mom:
I think I can say this clear and loud, the 7th grade can only be better at HIMS this year than last year when we lost Ms Shadow and had Mr Tanaka for the second year.

Anonymous said...

Definitely a lot of unknowns for Hamilton's 7th graders this year. If only there were an actual APP curriculum to guide these new teachers!

Anonymous said...

We are also seriously considering homeschooling for 6th grade math. All the math stories from last year are hard to ignore. I will ask other APP parents if they know other homeschoolers to see if we can get a group started.

-potential homeschooler

Anonymous said...

Looks like Hamilton schedules are posted on The Source.

word said...

Our schedule for 6th grade at HIMS is basically a nightmare list of warnings from this board:

Thurik, Chacon, Tanaka

Is there any point in continuing with APP at HIMS?

Anonymous said...

Not knowing what's in store for 7th and 8th, it's hard to say, isn't it?

My only hope is that the new principal takes parent concerns more seriously.

word said...

Yep - we were already prepared to supplement math because of CMP. It is exasperating though because my kid is one of those with a winter math MAP of 249 - didn't quite make algebra (spring was way over 250).

Regardless, I have reread the blogs from last Spring and we are ready to go into watchful endurance mode. I will be interested in everyone's experience in 6th grade this year with these teachers.

word said...

Actually, perhaps I shouldn't have included Tanaka in the "horror list". I have heard the science education at HIMS is very good.

Looking forward to an exciting year of highs and lows.

hschinske said...

What's the deal with transportation to Ingraham, if any? We've gotten Orca card info, but I've heard that in previous years there was a yellow bus from Ballard.

Helen Schinske

hoping for better said...

word, I don't know if Tanaka is truly a "horror", but he's certainly a weak teacher, and has been for many years. The thing is, he's a really nice guy, so you're probably not going to feel like coming in and yelling at (or about) him. Especially when you've got bigger things to worry about (Thurik, Chacon).

The science teachers seem to be under some weird directive to not actually teach the kids anything directly. The level of "discovery" teaching in science is even worse than the math curriculum, where the teachers can sneak in some direct instruction on the side. My knowledge of the details is fuzzy, but I know something is going on there - both Tanaka and Veit have had "observers" in their rooms in recent years that frown on direct instruction.

Also, occasionally you'll find that a teacher does better (or worse) with different types of students and/or may improve after working with APP kids for a year or two. Imagine if you've been working with struggling kids for most of your career and then you're assigned to work with APP kids. Most of what you've learned over the years will no longer apply, and a big mental re-org needs to take place. Some teachers are better at this than others. Not making excuses, just tossing out things to consider.

Anonymous said...

Science has been a big disappointment, not because of the teacher, but because of the curriculum. My 6th grader learned very little from the district materials, but loved the teacher. My child described the book "experiments" as simple demonstrations for which you could anticipate the outcomes. There was no textbook that came home (like so many other classes), so it made it hard to study or learn independently. The bridge building and bottle rockets were the highlights of the year, and that was limited to about two weeks of the year.

word said...

Thank very much for your thoughtful comments regarding science education at HIMS. As a scientist myself I have, of course, not been impressed with primary school science education in Washington state as a whole. Probably the best experience we had in elementary school were the science projects. As the kids got older the best teachers made a serious attempt to encourage the kids to do hypothesis driven research. Unfortunately, it is quite difficult to teach that unless you have personal experience doing it. I am not yet familiar with the middle school science curriculum but I'm sure it will be a fascinating eye opener to learn about it....

NESeattleMom said...

Does anyone have the inside scoop on APP waiting lists for Garfield and if there is any way to get in there if you are on the waiting list? My child is on the waiting list because of previously "opting out" of Garfield, choosing Ingraham APP and then having a change of mind over th summer. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

NESeattleMom,

Good luck getting back into Garfield. Seriously. How long is the wait list now? Every school moves at least a few kids off their wait list over the first couple weeks of school, but as I'm sure you know, it varies a lot year by year.

Would you mind sharing the reasoning behind the desire to change back to Garfield? There are a lot of pluses (and a few minuses) at both sites, but most of the late migration I heard about was from Garfield to Ingraham, so it would be helpful to hear some thoughts about moving the other direction.

APPIBXStudent said...

@hschinske: This is the site for the information on the Ingraham shuttles and there is one from Ballard in the morning http://www.seattleschools.org/modules/cms/pages.phtml?sessionid=d3b4536034430082eb8651c7a57b30ba&pageid=191481&sessionid=d3b4536034430082eb8651c7a57b30ba. @NESeattleMom: I can pretty much guarantee that your child will have a great experience at Ingraham in APP as every single student who went through 9th grade last year can tell you. Plus, unlike at garfield, you will have a good chance of seeing your current APP friends as well as making many new ones. If you still have concerns, I would come in to the main office at Ingraham and speak with either the principal or one of the vice principals as they are always more than willing to help alievate concerns and make your transition easier.

Anonymous said...

"Plus, unlike at garfield, you will have a good chance of seeing your current APP friends as well as making many new ones"

I think if you ask any of the Garfield 9th graders from last year - they also had a great experience - and surprisingly were able to see their APP friends and make many new ones (many not in APP).

Both options are great - pick the one that makes the most sense for your child.

-APP HS Mom

APPIBXStudent said...

@APP HS Mom I had heard differently from some of my friends who went to Garfield but had also heard many praises, as you state. I was attempting to address the fact that the student of @NESeattleMom should not be worried about being assigned to Ingraham APP. Both paths are completly different with positives and negatives that might appeal to people differently, thus waying into which choice they would want to make.

NESeattleMom said...

Thanks, everyone for your active replies to my query about the Garfield APP waitlist. My child is #2. The decision to switch back came this summer as my child considered music as a priority. Yes my child's friends are going to Ingraham. That is why my child wanted to go there, plus the IB program. We are #2 on the waitlist for Garfield. The principal at Ingraham and the secretary have been super welcoming.

Shannon said...

This is probably worthy of a thread - just for FYI purposes.

New Advance Learning Policy Coming...

http://saveseattleschools.blogspot.com/2012/09/new-advance-learning-policy-coming.html

steve said...

Dr. Vaughan and Sharon Peaslee traded some comments, as reported on McLaren's blog. Their views differ, let's say. It says the new policy was to be introduced on Sept. 5th but it's not on the agenda. Who knows. The policy hardly seems to matter anyway.

McLaren Blog: Advanced Learning Programs

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the link to McLaren's blog. Very interesting discussion on the math issues.

[on Algebra for 6th graders]
Vaughan: The Math Department didn't feel that we were in a position to just allow this to be something that parents should just choose to do. It should be based on evidence that the students were likely to be very successful. And I think the thought is that we're going to see how well this group of kids does, the first time we're letting kids in 6th grade take Algebra I, and if it's very successful we're going to expand it.

This is not the first time that 6th graders have been allowed to take Algebra I. They took it at Washingon before the APP split. I agree that it shouldn't be something parents just choose without some evidence. The problem is that the only evidence they propose using is a single MAP test, taken in Winter of 5th grade.

Anonymous said...

I think the measure of if a student sees APP friends at Ingraham will directly relate to if the student has been in APP south or APP north prior to HS.

Please remember that Ingraham is open to ALL APP students, both north and south as an option for high school, just as Garfield is.

As a south parent it is a problem for us that there actually not familiar APP faces at Ingraham.
thank you

Anonymous said...

News from today: New Seattle Schools Superintendent to champion „equity, access and opportunities‟ for all students

http://www.seattleschools.org/modules/groups/homepagefiles/cms/1583136/File/Departmental%20Content/communications/news%20releases/2012-13/20120905_back_to_school_FINAL%20(2).pdf?sessionid=7167fb6230fd6fca733147bf84cf858b

Anne said...

Anyone else trying to have their child dropped off / picked up at Bryant? This year, they don't have a stop there, which is ridiculous given how many kids use the before and after school program. If you're in the boat, please contact me. annehpearson@hotmail.com

Anonymous said...

Any word on who "Teacher A" is for 7th grade LA/SS?

Anonymous said...

To Anon at 3 20pm:
In which school? I know in Hamilton there is a great long term sub in 7th grade LA/SS, Ms Deering, who will stay at HIMS until a new LA/SS teacher will be found.

Not excited about big classes in the lower grades said...

Someone just posted on the Facebook page that one of the 1st grades at APP@Lincoln has 28 students. How are they in the other grades? What about Thurgood Marshall?

Anonymous said...

anyone know when the first APP task force meeting will be