Thursday, October 11, 2012

Open thread

About a month into school. How's it going?

36 comments :

Anonymous said...

The busses are bad for evryone it seems and the number of parents in front of Lincoln picking their kids up grows every day. One parent had the idea of bus hubs that dropped kids off at the closest elementary school to the students house. Parents are concerned about the number of hours a seven year old spends a bus. An 8-5 day, when the school is only from 9:30 to 3:30 is a little too much.

Anonymous said...

Transportation is a problem across all locations and grade levels of APP now that the district has adopted neighborhood school assignments. The transportation office is a mess and they are going on the assumption that all students are within a few miles of the school they will attending. It is a big problem which adversly affects all of APP and should be addressed holistically rather than per school. Can the APP AC help on this? It can up only briefly at the last meeting but needs attention early in the school year.
Big City!

Marco said...

Exactly. My 6-year old son is on the school bus for an hour each way.

When he gets home at 5pm he has to do homework, reading, and have dinner and than it's basically time to go to bed.

The infuriating thing is that if the bus routes were optimized, it could take about 15 min each way...

Anonymous said...

So far Ingraham's been vastly easier to deal with than Garfield, and my son seems to be happy and doing well. He has a fair amount of homework, but so far it has all seemed sensible and reasonable stuff, both in quality and quantity.

NESeattleMom said...

Hi IHS parent at 2:07 pm,
Were you a Garfield parent before, or are you comparing from what you have heard?
Thanks!
GHS parent

Anonymous said...

Yes, my previous kids attended Garfield.

NESeattleMom said...

Hi IHS parent,
Yes, my child loved IHS but ended up transferring to Garfield because she wanted to be in the orchestra program at Garfield. The curriculum is very different.

HIMS Parent of 8th grader said...

I would love to hear more about the high school differences from families with experience of both Garfield and Ingraham. My child is leaning towards Garfield to be in the orchestra.

HIMS 8th grade parent

hschinske said...

Another option for orchestra might be the Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestra (also conducted by Marcus Tsutakawa). That's obviously not going to work for everyone, but if your preference for working with Tsut is really, really high, and your preference for Ingraham is also really, really high, that might be a good compromise.

None of this is to say there's anything wrong with how Ingraham's orchestra is shaping up. I think it promises to be dang good. But Tsut is a legend for a reason.

Helen Schinske

NESeattleMom said...

Yes, Helen, SYSO is a great option for IHS music students. My child's music teacher wanted us to wait on that since my child has too many activities, and the music teacher wanted practice on solo material rather than orchestra material. She said you can be in orchestras the rest of your life, but now is the time you can work on your solo stuff. Anyway, she may be right that my child would need to give something up to add something else.

NESeattleMom said...

HIMS 8th grade parent--IHS will have a lot of open houses and you will have the opportunity to really get to know the program and the school, including during a school day. Garfield may have one day that your student can "shadow" there. You have to ask Kelly Butler at Garfield if they are doing that, and not miss the deadline for applying to do that. Otherwise your child will not get to see Garfield in action, only in the evening. They don't advertise this day, and they may not do it, since they consider it to be disruptive to the flow of learning. Otherwise, your child can visit the school for the evening open house and also right when school gets out.

Maureen said...

Principal Floe mentioned at the last PTSA meeting that Ingraham will be doing one open house early(sorry can't remember the date and I don't see it on the website) that is technically aimed at private school students, but anyone can come. If you are interested, I would call the main office and ask.

She said you can be in orchestras the rest of your life, but now is the time you can work on your solo stuff.

I am completely clueless about music, but this sounds backwards to me. It seems like it would be much easier for an adult to play solo than to find an orchestra (and time in schedule) to play with and that HS is the perfect time to play with an orchestra. Maybe I'm thinking about an average, recreational level musician and not someone of a professional caliber? Just curious.

NESeattleMom said...

Hi Maureen,
I think it is just our private music teacher's take on children who have a lot of activities. In middle school and especially in high school each activity takes up time. I think since my child is not on a fast track to music stardom, evidenced by not practicing for several hours a day, the teacher is thinking my child can be in college orchestras or community orchestras. We made our own decision. I am very sure for other people SYSO is a fantastic idea right now. My child would have to give up some other activity. Maybe next year...

Polly Nomial said...

We love Ingraham and it was absolutely the right choice for my kid (also a musician and in SYSO). The music with SYSO is great, definitely takes time but is worth it. Other kids play in the Cascade Youth Symphony which has different practice times. I think my child would be in SYSO even if at Garfield.

Ingraham's music program is going to continue to grow. A bunch of new parents have joined the boosters and are partnering with the more senior parents and the teachers in very positive ways. The orchestra teacher is teaching an after school orchestra class for the kids who couldn't fit orchestra into their schedules (and they will get to play in the concerts). Its a great community.

Overall, the transition to IHS has been great and my child is very happy. All of the teachers and staff at IHS have been very helpful and responsive on all questions. They genuinely seem to be engaged in the kids education and success. We could not be happier.

Anonymous said...

I am so happy to hear that people are so happy with the IBX program -- one good thing that this district has done in a long list of bad.

Our kid started at Garfield this fall and is also incredibly happy. He was able to get the electives that he wanted (a rarity in past years as I understand), is loving participating in a fall sport, and really enjoying Marine Biology and AP World History. His transition has been very easy so far (keeping fingers crossed that this continues in this minefield of teenage angst).

Good news for high school APP that both locations are providing a strong academic and social environment for our kids.

I'm taking that good news and running with it on this rainy Monday.

-Garfield HS parent

NESeattleMom said...

Yes, from all I have heard from my child's experiences and from her friends, both APP programs--IBX at IHS and also what is offered at Garfield both have great reviews from students and families. The music program at IHS is definitely growing and has a lot of enthusiasm behind it for its growth. There is a positive feeling at IHS that resonates in the hallways at least amongst the students I am familiar with, and from my experiences this year at IHS.

HIMS Parent of 8th grader said...

Thanks so much for the input. It is great to hear such positive comments! Although the choice is still difficult.

We are involved in SYSO, but it just doesn't compare to the bonding that happens in a daily class. We will try to tour both schools.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for all the info on GHS and IHS. What about if your child plays a band instrument (trumpet) as opposed to Orchestra - are there options at IHS for that? Also I am wondering if the IBX program is more geared towards kids who are academically very driven and accomplished. My kid is getting mostly A's but I have a feeling she's not super-motivated once the work gets really challenging and/or complex. Which frankly it has not been so far at Hamilton. Appreciate any feedback,
-Hamilton parent.

hschinske said...

It's early days yet, and I don't want to jinx anything, but so far my son, who was really getting kind of burned out in middle school, seems much more consistently engaged in his work than he ever has been before. I'm really, really pleased thus far, largely because of his increased maturity, but also with what I've seen of his teachers at Ingraham.

Helen Schinske

Anonymous said...

Not sure what the band is like at IHS -- haven't really heard anyone talk about it as much as they have the budding Orchestra program.

Garfield has an amazing Jazz program (4 Jazz bands) for which you have to audition. It is very competitive and the top band regularly performs on the national/regional stage.

Most Freshman are placed in the after school Jazz band - although there was one Freshman this year that made the #2 Jazz Band (from Hamilton, I believe) and will be playing with the top level Jazz band on occasion.

For regular band (trumpet), your child would do Marching Band as a Freshman. Reviews have been mixed on that experience - some are loving it and some have quit already.

For wind instruments - you have to audition for Orchestra. If you don't make it into Orchestra as a wind instrument, then you do Marching Band.

Think that sums it up -- anyone have any additional comments - please add. We are certainly not experts (yet) on the band experience.


Anonymous said...

Head’s up. Essentially, the crisis has arrived. The lack of middle school seats and elementary seats in the Eckstein area and in the north overall, will absolutely back up on APP.
The lack of planning was atrocious, (who couldn’t see this coming?) but we as a community can’t wait while ‘they’ figure out what will happen. Now is the time for us to talk, to determine what is best for the next 5 years. It is not sustainable to maintain APP in Hamilton as a whole in the coming years (for September 2013, all 3 north comprehensive middle schools may just get by with the overcrowding, but definitely not the following year). It is just a case of simple numbers.
For Hamilton, neighborhood kids, language immersion kids, special education kids, they can’t leave. That means, just like at Lowell, it will be our kids who will get the boot. Again. They are either going to take us all, or, just some of us. Highly unlikely the District will just leave things the way they are for the next 5 years.
How I wish the District could save APP at Hamilton by reverting Laurelhurst back into Eckstein, arguably it’s ‘natural’ feeder pattern, but, we all know that won’t work given Eckstein’s current issues of capacity. And even if the Jane Addams scenario gets sorted out, and so some northern Eckstein schools are switched to feed into Jane Addams so that Laurelhurst could be restored to Eckstein, I don’t know that that will make enough room to preserve the entire cohort or could happen soon enough to preserve the cohort intact at Hamilton.
The question is: for program integrity, and for minimal disruption for our children, what is the best solution? Not the perfect solution, just the best one. And I mean the best, most fair solution for everyone, because we are all in this together. But I hasten to add that our children, just like everybody else’s, deserve to be treated with respect, and not used to ‘seed’ some other school, as has been suggested elsewhere.
There are very limited solution options. Lincoln and Marshall are all that is available for everybody to share (schools that will be displaced for construction, schools that have overflow, etc.).
So, do you want all 6th grade from Hamilton and Eckstein including APP to be offloaded to Marhsall? Or, do you want a temporary APP 1-8, rolling up at Lincoln one grade at a time starting in a couple of years, until Wilson Pacific is ready? Or, do you want all of APP carved out of Hamilton with a couple of feeder elementary schools to go to Marshall while waiting for Wilson Pacific to be built? Do you want the Wilson Pacific kids to go to the campus and be there for a 'renovation in place' experience? None of these are ideal, none of these are desirable, but as I said, there are limited options, and the numbers speak for themselves. There is insufficient capacity for everybody to stay where they are. Somebody is going to have to move. It just becomes a question of who. And I think we all know by now gets that special privilege. It will be APP, either all or half, so that is for our community to talk about. So, start talking now.
And, don’t shoot me. I am just the messenger. Just because the District is going to refrain from discussing in open air our fate, (because you know it is being discussed), doesn’t mean we should sit idly by and wait for it to happen to us. And don’t rely on the APP AC: vets of the Lowell split (parts 1 and 2) should know better. We should strive to be the authors of our own fate.
Hamilton is an awesome community. The new principal may really be an educator who has the ability and the desire to serve all our Hamilton learners wonderfully well. But somehow, I just don’t imagine that is going to be what happens for the long run.
It is important to not be an ostrich with our head in the sand. Intelligent planning, with respectful dialogue can only help.
I am nostalgic for the days when the biggest issue were some ineffective teachers. The good old days.
Possibly a thread: as its a big topic that will be ongoing.
…just the messenger

RosieReader said...

IHS offers band as an elective, and they're pretty competitive in the fall marching band competitions among similarly-sized schools. There's a jazz band as well, which I think meets before school a couple of days a week, maybe every day. This year choir was added as an elective and I understand about 30 students participate, which is terrific for a first year program.

Garfield certainly has a far more extensive music department, but Ingraham's doing okay in that front, too.

Anonymous said...

So, do you want all 6th grade from Hamilton and Eckstein including APP to be offloaded to Marhsall? No. No to JM and no to separating 6th graders. This is the class that went through the first split as 2nd graders, then the APP move as 4th graders. Any plans should keep them with 6-8, and maintain typical class offerings.

Or, do you want a temporary APP 1-8, rolling up at Lincoln one grade at a time starting in a couple of years, until Wilson Pacific is ready? Once again, No to keeping the 6th graders from having a typical middle school experience and offerings (access to higher level band, orchestra and math, etc).

Or, do you want all of APP carved out of Hamilton with a couple of feeder elementary schools to go to Marshall while waiting for Wilson Pacific to be built? No to JM.

Do you want the Wilson Pacific kids to go to the campus and be there for a 'renovation in place' experience? Have you seen Wilson Pacific? It has been neglected and is beyond renovation. Not even an option.

pm said...

The district never fails to amaze me. A letter came home today to APP@ Lincoln families stating that based on the school's October 1st enrollment count, the school will be losing a classroom teacher and reducing PCPs by 0.5 FTE. I can send a copy of the letter to Greg if I can figure out where to send it!

Maureen said...

In the boom years, it was pretty common for crowded schools to annex nearby buildings and spin off part of their population (John Marshall served this purpose for Roosevelt). Why not annex part of Lincoln to Hamilton and have some part of the APP 6-8 population based there? The kids could still do music and sports, language and electives in the Hamilton building but could have core courses in the Lincoln building, until the new Pacific school opens. The schedule might have to be adjusted to give them time to get to the other building, but they are certainly old enough to go back and forth .

Anonymous said...

"Friendship groups" organized by the school counselor?

Any experience with this?

I am imagining this as a form of social control for boys. I'd be happy to be convinced that it's more benign . . .

signed: frisby

Anonymous said...

Frisby - not sure what yr talking about re the Friendship Groups and "social control" for boys...my daughter was invited to be in a Friendship Circle her 1st yr at Lowell in 3rd gr (about 5 yrs ago). They played games, learned some social skills, got to know other kids. My kid is actually fairly outgoing so perhaps she didnt need it as much as some of the shyer kids, but anyway I would recommend it for new kids who want to meet other kids, or who might want to sharpen their social skills. Prob good for 3rd-4th graders, after that they might get bored with the activities.
-mom

hschinske said...

My son was in one for a while, when Karen Harmon was the counselor. I don't know the current counselor, but I definitely trusted Karen's judgment and the friendship group seemed like a good idea at the time.

Helen Schinske

dw said...

re: sending part of Hamilton to John MarshallThe schedule might have to be adjusted to give them time to get to the other building, but they are certainly old enough to go back and forth.

Roosevelt and John Marshall are within walking distance, or less than 1 minute by car. There's really no way to make a similar Hamilton/JohnMarshall split work simply because of the time and logistics that would be required to get the kids back and forth. They would lose the better part of one period every day for the entire year.

It's not just the bus time (and cost!), but the transition times. Think about how long it would take for the kids to go to their lockers (gotta bring everything for the other building), trudge outside, load up onto the buses, make sure everyone is accounted for, then drive to the other building, get unloaded, get up to their respective classes. Then the same thing in reverse (otherwise the home-bound bussing would be a disaster).

There's just no way that much lost seat time would be tolerated by the building or the district, let alone the families.

Maureen said...

dw, Not Hamilton/Marshall, Hamilton/Lincoln. Marshall would be crazy! :)

dw said...

My bad! It's not like me to be careless like that, but you can see how I (mis)read it.

Lest anyone think I'm crazy for thinking anyone might actually propose something like this, I've heard more than one conversation from staff that suggested moving kids around during the day over that kind of distance. Of course it never came to happen, but the fact that anyone was even considering it made me shake my head.

As for Lincoln/Hamilton, it's true they are very close, but would probably be very difficult in reality to figure out the scheduling/logistics to make it happen. Not necessarily impossible, but really challenging without lengthening the day, trimming from home room, or something like that.

As for being old enough to go back and forth, I'm pretty sure they wouldn't be able to do it without staff accompanying them, which would cause other logistical problems.

I guess if things get bad enough and the alternative is split shifts or the like, everything and anything could be up for consideration.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the reassurance on the "friendship groups."

The permission slip is for "group therapy," which to my ear is the alternate to "individual therapy." After Foucault, who reads normalization as benign?

I had only ever heard of "friendship groups" for boys, and this one, it turns out, is for boys only.

I'll let my son try it for a while, but when I feel the ooze of the slippery slope, we're out.

-- frisby

hschinske said...

After Foucault, who reads normalization as benign?

If I didn't believe that normalization could be used in a generally benign fashion, I most certainly would not have sent my children to school, music lessons, or aikido.

Helen Schinske

Anonymous said...

We just got a letter for our 7th grader saying she's eligible for the John Hopkins Center for Talented Youth. Does anyone have experience with this program? Is it worth doing? We'll go to the info session - but I'd love to hear from someone who has first hand experience.

Hamilton mom

Anonymous said...

There are great online and summer programs at the JH CTY, but it is quite expensive. First your student have to test in (there are many 7th, 8th grade Hamilton students who tested in already last year) and then you can choose from the online programs and summer camps. Some online courses you could take instead of a school class (like Algebra 1-2 Honor class) and some classes are addition for fun and / or if your student is interested in a specific subject (like writing courses, etc). If you can afford it or you are eligible for an aids, it is quite worth while IMHO.
But don't ask why our Advanced Learning Office is the one who advertising it...

Anonymous said...

"Queen" videos shown in LA/SS. An assignment copied straight from the web (discovered by student when researching for report - "huh, isn't that plagiarism, mom?"). Can we please get some guidelines for internet use by teachers?