Saturday, December 29, 2012

Open thread

Almost a new year. Thoughts on APP in Seattle Public Schools in 2013?


Anonymous said...

This is our 5th year in APP with our two kids. Like many of you we lived through the Lowell/TM split and closure scare, last year's move to Lincoln, this year's emergency fund-drive at Lincoln, and now the question of where the 5th graders will go. I have to say, the district has finally worn us down. Uncle! We're hoping that our older one can finish at Hamilton without any drama, and we're working furiously on private school apps for our 5th grader. It's really unfortunate- we love our APP teachers and community... but we are at the point where the obscene price of private for 3 years actually seems worth it for some stability (that is, IF we get in & get some aid). -Seeking Stability

Greg Linden said...

"Seeking Stability", I moved this to a top level thread, "Leaving APP?"". It's a good topic for discussion, let's talk about it more over there.

Anonymous said...

hi there,

our child qualified for APP last year, during kindergarten. we chose not to transfer to APP Lowell/Lincoln because it seemed unstable, crowded, and we were told that, essentially, our child didn't "need" to be in the APP community because she is social (not trying to offend anyone here, just restating comments from others and trying to find answers). we feel like the school is trying to accommodate both our child and the other APP kids at the school. unfortunately, the grade level cohort is very small.

can anyone attest to the stability of the program, the location or possible location move and also, if you have a social kid, how they do in the APP population at Lowell/Lincoln.

thanks in advance!

a conflicted parent

Anonymous said...

I have two social APP qualified kids, one at Lincoln, one not. I think they are both fine where they are. I do think it's better for my more competitive kid to be at Lincoln and for my less competitive kid not to be.

Though the instability of the program would worry me for my third grader, I'm not as worried about it for my first grader- it looks like under the different plans the program will be stable by the time middle school hits for that grade, and I intend for him to be in APP the whole way through. But 3rd grade, yikes. We're like the people above- assuming we'll have to go private, holding out just the tiniest bit of hope SPS will miraculously get it together so we can stay.

--NE parent of 2

Lori said...

The annual Northwest Gifted Child Association Symposium is coming up on February 9th. It's in Puyallup this year, which has a great organization for identifying and supporting gifted learners in their district (called ABC, the Academic Booster Club).

I learned a lot at the conference last year and hope to go again this year.

The keynote talk is about resilience and emotional intelligence. Breakout sessions include talks about social/emotional needs of gifted adolescents; anxiety, perfectionism and procrastination; and a session called "Gifted 101." Good stuff for parents and teachers alike.

Anonymous said...

From the APP AC minutes:

"Of interest, Bob mentioned that all students with high MAP scores are encouraged to test for advanced learning programs. In Seattle Public Schools, 12% of the students are testing in reading at
the 95% (APP threshold). 18% of the students are qualifying in the 95th % in math on MAP testing. This is demonstrating that there are high numbers of kids in Seattle who could potentially qualify for APP. The cognitive ability threshold is still at 98%.

The Advanced Learning office has received almost 5000 applications for testing this year, for placement in programs next year."


Alice C-T said...

Does anyone know when Hamilton will be doing school tours for incoming students/families??

Anonymous said...

I don't know if there will be daytime tours, but there is an evening open house scheduled for Feb 28, 6:30-8:30.

Greg Linden said...

Anyone else having transportation problems (extremely late buses) the last couple days? Just wondering if there is enough of a problem for a thread on it or if the problems are only in a few spots.

Anonymous said...

18% of the students are qualifying in the 95th % in math on MAP testing

Does anyone else think the MAP numbers call for a change in the entry cutoffs, or the use of a better test?

It has me even more concerned that the MAP test is being used as the sole test for Algebra readiness.

Anonymous said...

Certainly these MAP numbers call for a different test. The qualifying percentages are likely to be >20% at high-performing elem schools. It's a bad system that's causing undue stress on parents, teachers, kids and the program. Can anyone that was at the meeting speak to whether Bob implied concern over the proportions?

Anonymous said...

The cognitive test is more important than the MAP (although results of group Cogat testing are quite screwy before kids are allowed to read their own questions in 3rd gr).

Anonymous said...

The bar should be at 99% for MAP, or whatever it takes to screen ~10% of the student pop.

NE Dad

Anonymous said...

Shouldn't be the APP for the top 2% of the student population?

Anonymous said...

Yes, but the district testing is used for Spectrum testing also.

--Lincoln Mom

Anonymous said...

I don't think so. It is something like 3% qualify in our district, because we are a highly educated populace. Those MAP numbers(12 and 18%) are for qualifying in one subject- it goes down once you look at who qualifies in both, and down much further once you add in the CoGAT bar.

But it wouldn't make sense to just make APP the top 2% of a district- it is supposed to be that kids in that zone learn differently and are better served together in a different program, so we should serve all of them we identify. Even if it is 3% instead of 2%.

I used to agree that the MAP bar should be raised to 99% since so many of the kids in my NE school qualified. 99% on both tests was very common, and the kid I kept there who gets those scores every time is not out of place in her general ed classroom at all. But now having seen how much harder it is for kids in lower performing schools, and how much more out of place those kids are in their neighborhood schools I'm for the level we have now. I think it would be cruel to deny APP access to those kids in lower performing schools who benefit so much from it just so you can keep out 2 or 3 NE elementary kids who maybe don't technically "need it."

-NE parent of 2

Anonymous said...

Excellent perspective, NE parent. Thanks!


Anonymous said...

Can anyone help me please to understand what does this SPS News Release mean for the APP?

"School Board to consider annual short-term capacity management, new student assignment transition plan
The main proposals for student assignment changes include:
Simplifying tiebreakers used for school choice. Adding a distance tiebreaker for elementary and middle schools. Implementing a Geographic Zone for use as a tiebreaker for K-5 STEM at Boren. Designating the Jane Addams building to become an attendance area middle school. The new attendance area middle school and the current Jane Addams K- 8 environmental science option school will be temporarily co-located in the Jane Addams building. Moving the Laurelhurst Elementary attendance area from Hamilton International Middle School to Eckstein Middle School."

Methylgrace said...

Hi Greg (I finally put 2 and 2 together and realize that it's karate where we met),

With respect to the buses, my son was 25 minutes late on Monday the 7th, ( he did not take the bus Tues and Wed). As I was on the phone complaining and asking where my kid was, the bus showed up. Turns out there was a substitute driver on route 772.

p.s - the captcha is really difficult, both audio and image. Can you change it?

Greg Linden said...

Sounds like the transportation issues were either temporary or isolated or both, so I'm not going to start a thread on that.

Sorry about the captcha. The issue is that, when I tried removing it before, spam went way up, like to several a day, too much for me to manage easily. An alternative to the captcha is to put moderation on, but that means comments wouldn't appear for hours many times, which also doesn't seem good.

If the captcha is really painful, I can try yanking it again and see if the spam comes flooding back again, but I suspect it will. Do you want me to try removing it again? I'd rather not, but I'll run the experiment again if there's a lot of interest.