Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Open thread

A new open thread. Have at it!

161 comments:

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

How do I find the Lincoln facebook page? I tried searching and don't see it.

--another APP parent

Anonymous said...

Having just gone through the whole APP testing process for my Kindergartner, I'm very concerned that the process seems discriminatory to disadvantaged groups for the following reasons:
-the nomination process occurs so early in the year: our teacher said she hadn't yet evaluated our son, and so didn't know if he was a good candidate. I'm sure there are many kids out there who have great potential but haven't had time yet in the first few weeks of school to show that. Can testing dates be pushed back later? Even a matter of a few weeks might provide time for teachers to identify candidates.
-testing only occurs if parents and/or teachers take the initiative: we had to pursue this for our son since our teacher hadn't recommended him for testing based on the above comment. Many parents may not have the wherewithal and knowledge of the system to do so. I've heard that some school districts have all Kindergartners tested. I imagine that's quite costly, but what if there were some requirement, such as having teachers identify a certain number of likely candidates? What about some assistance to teachers to help them identify candidates?
-testing dates seem to be primarily on the weekend: parents need to be available on the weekend to transport their child to the testing site, often not at their school. We were able to request an alternate date since we were out of town, and it ended up being during the school day at our son's school, not great for missing out on class time, but I would imagine this would remove another obstacle for many parents. How about if instead of the fall MAP, every K student took the CogAt?
-the test itself is controversial, though it seems to me the MAP is more the issue than the CogAt.
-the appeals process which requires private testing which can be quite costly favors those who can afford to do so.

Generally, the more hoops parents have to jump through, the more discriminatory the process is bound to be, as it will favor those with more resources, time, energy, and English language skills to help them navigate the system. Not only is it sad to see how "white" the advanced learning programs are, but I know a number of white parents who are loathe to put their child in such a system, because of the inherently racist message it sends about the comparative abilities of kids of different races/ethnicities. This is particularly apparent on the south side where the racial makeup of the GenEd classes and APP classes is so marked.

-Concerned about the demographics of APP

lendlees said...

The 2014 APP @ HIMS meeting on Tuesday night is being postponed until April.

Hopefully this doesn't cause a lot of confusion. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

To: Concerned about the demographics of APP

If you look at the numbers, the APP population demographics generally mirror the Seattle population as a whole, but are disproportionately whiter than the Seattle school district population.

I interpret this to mean that the APP program is attractive enough to retain whites who otherwise would have left the public school system, for whatever reason.

I'd be very careful about using words like "discriminatory" without having real data to back up your assertions.

Signed - let's use our words carefully

Anonymous said...

To Concerned:
- The nomination process is the same for ALL students (While I agree with you that this doesn't help the teachers I don't see disadvantage or discrimination there).
- Th appeal is free for the FRL students arranged by the district.
So I second the previous poster: let's use our words carefully.
Also, you are welcome to attend the monthly APP AC meetings where these kind of issues usually come up and being discussed.
The next APP AC meeting is on the 2nd of April at Lincoln.
Good luck

Anonymous said...

Our family will be new to APP next year at HIMS. I'm very interested in these discussions and the upcoming meetings. Can someone please post the link to the Lincoln Facebook page and/or other sites where APP-related meetings are announced? I'm interested in both the April 2 APP AC meeting and the 2014 APP dicussion that has been rescheduled to April (is there a specific date yet?).

Also, what is the "APP AC"?

Many thanks.
New to APP

Anonymous said...

New to APP
Welcome. I hope you will like it...
This is the google site of the APP Advisory Committee (AC) site I know:
https://groups.google.com/forum/?fromgroups#!forum/app-ac-seattle
I think if you are new and interested you should go back and read from the first letter of this school year (9/12/12).
You will see the members of the committee, the subjects they were discussing in the monthly meetings (from the minutes) and you could gather other interesting information related to the APP also.
Good luck

NW Kindermom said...

Can anyone remind whether Lincoln does summer meetups/play dates for the new students? Our elementary school did this last summer, and I'd love to attend something similar this year. I'd even help organize. :)

Anonymous said...

To Concerned about the Demographics of APP,

What you are describing is the process for K students who are new to the District. Above the K year, the district uses the spring MAP score from the prior year and sends a letter home with all students who score above a certain threshold to alert their parents/guardians that they are eligible to do advanced learning testing. The district implemented this procedure in an attempt to identify students who might not otherwise be identified by their parents or teachers, so as a mechanism to address your very concern.

Our students get tested during school time, not the weekends (a plus and a minus to in my opinion, but less of a barrier, for sure). In terms of timeline and the idea of pushing it out a few weeks, the district tries to balance the tumult of the beginning of the school year (particularly for K families who are new to SPS) with the reality that they have to accomplish (getting nominations, scheduling testing, conducting testing, returning the results, and allowing time for appeals) in light of the open enrollment and school assignment timeline. BTW, I don’t work for the district and I’m not saying this process couldn’t be improved; your characterization of the process is mostly inaccurate because it’s based primarily on the K experience which is markedly different (but does have the issues you describe).

I understand your concern about the demographics of APP and that is a systemic issue that our district does not address well enough (though with the above it does appear to be trying). However, it certainly isn’t the fault of kids for whom APP is a needed and a good fit. It’s not the fault of the parents, either, who are tasked with meeting the needs of their particular child. Saying that some are loathe to put their kids in APP because they see it as racist is implying that families who did choose APP to meet the needs of their child are racist. We live in an unfortunately racist world, but I seriously doubt most parents choose APP for racist reasons or want to cultivate racism in their child by sending them to APP.

Being new to SPS is confusing (being old at SPS is confusing!), but there are ways to advocate more broadly than one’s own child and try to forge the type of change your criticisms call for (attend the APP meetings other posters have mentioned, go to a SPS Board meeting, write the School Board, write the Advanced Learning Department, send out communication about advanced learning at your own school). However, because the SPS system is confusing, it is important to do some research or at least carefully characterize your criticism as based on your own (at this point) limited experience.

SPS Mom of 2

Transitioning back to neighborhood school said...

Curious if anyone can share their experience transitioning a child out of APP back to their neighborhood school. Though our child solidly met the bar across all testing, after 6 ½ months in APP it’s becoming clear that it may not be a great fit. Interested to hear if reintegration at the neighborhood school (and yet another transition) went smoothly or if it came with unexpected challenges or downsides. Also it would be super helpful to hear from families that returned to APP for middle school (or in other words tried again). Thanks.

Anonymous said...

To concerned: historically, all SPS advanced learning applicants are tested during the school day. O ly non-SPS kids are tested on the weekend. My 2 SPS kids were tested (without notice to me) on a school day, pulled out of class. Only my non-SPS child was given a Saturday test date for obvious reasons. If the 50 or so kids there, I didn't 't meet one SPS kid. They were all private school kids. Can you confirm that your kindergartener is currently enrolled in SPS and was nevertheless initially assigned a Saturday test date? That would be highly unusual and costly for the district. This was not how it was done in the past or st my childrens' schools this year.
- tested during school

Anonymous said...

Transitioning, would you share what grade your child is in and why it hasn't been a great fit? We've had ups and downs but overall are staying put because the academics are sorely needed.

2 year APP mom

Anonymous said...

We go to Thirnton Creek, and we're originally given a Saturday test date that we couldn't make, so they scheduled it during the school day. I believe the letter pretty clearly stated what to do if you couldn't make the original test date, both for my kindergartener last year, and third grader this year.

Different Saturday person

Anonymous said...

All the testing letters say Sat test dates are possible. Both my SPS kindergartners (along with lots of other grades at their school) were given Sat test dates both times. It is not just non-SPS kids who get Sat test dates. Yes it could be inconvenient but I believe they will reschedule if you have a conflict. Personally, I'd prefer to have a Sat test date and be forewarned (able to make sure kid got a good night sleep prior, had a good breakfast etc, and that they had some idea what to expect) than just have them pulled from class without warning (which sounds like was the case for some people?). Nothing wrong with a weekend test date with fair warning and ability to change if necessary. I don't see how is unfair to anyone (it may be more unfair to those just yanked out of class without warning).
Sheesh, when you see the lengths people go to to accomodate their kids crazy sports schedules, it seems funny complaining about a one off academic thing in the weekend?

Testy

Anonymous said...

NW Kindermom: last year there were several Lincoln playdates for the new kids.

Anonymous said...

I'm curious. Do parents and teachers refer to APP@Lincoln as "Lincoln"? It makes talking about it so much easier. The school could really use a name that rolls off the tongue better.

APP@Lincoln newbie

Anonymous said...

In fall 2010, my kindergartener was tested for the CogAt on a Saturday, as were all kids from our NW elementary who had qualifying MAP scores and whose parents requested testing for AL programs. Afterwards, she was given the Woodcock Johnson achievement tests during a school day. So Saturday testing has been used significantly in the recent past.

I agree with Concerned parent that the more steps required for a parent or guardian to initiate and participate in the process, and the faster the process occurs, the less likely those who are unfamiliar with the educational system or who are not convinced of the value of these educational opportunities are to pursue them. And when teachers have little actual experience with their students, many will tend to rely on (perhaps unconscious) assumptions and biases concerning student abilities that are likely to reproduce the status quo socially.

The ray of hope here is that students do not need to enter these programs in kindergarten. They can test in later years, when both parents and teachers are more likely to see academic potential.

--- 2nd grade APP mom

Anonymous said...

Does anyone have any insight on what's going on with middle school capacity planning for 2014? With little notice, a meeting is announced to have a "conversation about future middle school options for APP", and then, also with little notice, the meeting is postponed to an undetermined future date.

Surely, with a known capacity problem in 2014, the school district could put together a plan for gathering family input and incorporating it into a solution.

The clock is ticking and I don't see any action. Are we just setting ourselves up for another "crisis"?

Anonymous said...

Maybe the question is what to do with students for next year. Open enrollment ended this Friday. By April, the district should have a pretty clear idea about whther or not the plan to promote JAK8 had any effect on NE capacity issues, and what numbers Eckstein and Hamilton should anticipate for next year (2013-14).

Anonymous said...

Anon at 7:46:

If you think parent input will have any effect, I have a bridge to sell you. This district is keeping APP in constant crisis mode, and couldn't care less about the kids/parents. There are problems all over the district that have been in crisis mode for YEARS.

I don't know how blaming parents for being proactive is productive, though. The parents asked the district for a meeting, got one set up and then is was cancelled/rescheduled. This is the parent's fault how?

I have spent a lot of time over the last few years and it is really irritating to hear others complaining about the volunteer efforts that others are putting in.

So, instead of complaining, what are your suggestions?

-realist

NW Kindermom said...

APP@Lincoln newbie, during one of the parent tours, the principal made of point of saying they try to avoid the "APP" label and build the school community around the "Lincoln" designation. It's a bummer that the school district can't come up with a name that stays with them instead of the building, since I'm assuming when they move in four or five years they'll leave the Lincoln name behind.

I would agree that at the kindergarten level, the decision to have a child tested was very parent-driven, and it did seem to weigh in favor of families who knew how the system worked. I do take comfort in what 2nd grade APP mom, but I would be annoyed if I hadn't been clued in in time to test this year. We only knew because some friends told us about the deadline.

Greg Linden said...

From the moderator: By request from the person who posted the comment, the first comment in this thread, which was a copy of an announcement for a meeting that has been postponed, has been removed to avoid confusion.

Anonymous said...

Lincoln FB page is called "SNAPP PTA":

http://www.facebook.com/groups/194692223931506/?fref=ts



Anonymous said...

Concerned Parent again-
I actually meant to post this under the input for strategic planning post which would have made a lot more sense I think - my bad! I was in no way trying to criticize parents for partaking in a flawed system, merely trying to provide feedback that was requested. Obviously replying under the wrong post did not help!

Sounds like some of my comments triggered a few people but please know everything I said was accurate based on my experience of the process with a child in Kindergarten in 2012/2013. I do understand there are slightly different policies in later grades and the policies seem to change yearly, but what I said was true for us.

So, to “Let’s use our words carefully”, I would love to know more about the data you reference. I can tell you in our very diverse K class, no kids of color tested into APP and the school’s Spectrum class is disproportionately white. If you look at African Americans as a group, the discrepancy is way worse. My understanding is that this is the same city wide. Gen Ed is way, way more diverse than APP. You can see this in the school’s reports on demographics and proficiency on state tests. Every school I’ve looked at reports very similar scores between their Spectrum program and the white demographic. Scores for minorities are under by about 50% or more in many cases which I take to mean that the Spectrum class is primarily white. Clearly, the school system needs to strive to do more to close the achievement gap. I think to say that “the more hoops parents have to jump through, the more discriminatory the process is bound to be” is a fairly benign statement and I stand by it.

To Anonymous at 10:02am, while the nomination process is the same for all, it can still be discriminatory- even when no individual intends it to be so. A system that requires families to jump through so many hoops to advocate for their children is much more likely to filter out those with less resources. I think it’s fair to say SPS should look more closely at this.

To SPS Mom of 2, I wholeheartedly agree that the kids who do get the advantage of the APP program are not to blame and parents who choose to partake in the system are not racist for doing so. But the fact that some parents are so bothered by the idea that their kids could receive the wrong message about race, is a valid perspective and I respect their decision. I think SPS should be aware of that as well.

I’m very open to hearing more about APP demographics so if you have sources beyond the school reports, please forward!

-Still concerned…

Anonymous said...

I'm glad for "concerned about demographics" comment. The commentary may not sit well, but it's definitely food for thought. MAP isn't a reliable indicator for all the reason we in this blog have discussed (see previous threads on CogAT and MAP scores being all over, along with private testings). And not to mention all the reasons why many people here and elsewhere suport boycotting MAP altogether.

We do need to think about a better net to catch kids we may miss for APP. Discussing it is not faulting kids in the program. On the contrary, not acknowledging may be more harmful. I think we need to acknowledge how much of an advantage people who are able to network whether by accessing this blog, face to face, on FB, etc has over people who may not have the time because they don't know about such a program even the questions to ask, work FT and PT, don't have the language skills to navigate or don't have friends/acquaintances in the know. To say it's all fair because FRL kids can apply for appeal, the district will pay for it isn't good enough. You still need to know such a process is possible. (Many parents don't qualify for FRL, but still find $300-400 for pvt. test daunting, not to mention time off from work) Even if people can afford it, why do we have over 250+ comments discussing the appeal process, who to go for testing, or test scores?

There are many troubling issues with APP. One thing I've discovered from talking to friends in challenging schools that have many needs, APP and the appeal process along with CogAT testing is not someting teachers/principals freely discuss with parents or even widely known among parents. I informed a friend in one of these schools about APP. She asked the teacher about the form in the Fall and what she was told that they think my friend's children is getting the academics they need and the kids are happy, so why move? My friend who works 6 days a week and whose English is not that great accepted this. It's frustrating because I've known her kids since they were born and I think they would have done well in APP. Right now, my friend is having second thought as her oldest is looking at HS and the neighborhood HS has poor academics (small AP offerings) along with social issues. The alternative HS isn't that much better. She is looking at parochial schools and scholarship through her church. I like to encourage the child to be tested again, but I don't know how well this child will test for APP as a teenager (13yo) vs. at 5 or 7 year old. Has anybody gone through this? The oldest child gets straight A's in school, but the school does not have strong academic record. And we know how important cohort effect is.

APP provides great advantage. That is why we work so hard to get our kids in it.

another POV

Anonymous said...

To the "transitioning back" commenter: Have you spoken with your child's teacher about whether APP is a good fit? We also had concerns about our child, who tested in but, frankly, has always been more "bright" than "highly gifted," and tends to put forth as little effort as possible. We were worried he wasn't capable of keeping up, and considered moving him back to our neighborhood school (which is not very strong academically, and only offers ALO). Then I spoke with his teacher. She said he's absolutely capable of doing the work, but he needs to step it up and make the effort. We had a come-to-Jesus talk with him that night, and he was focused and participating in class the next day. Now the question is sustaining that involvement. My hope is that once he sees how successful he can be with a little more effort, he'll be more inclined to make it. In the meantime, we'll be pushing him to do his best (which, funnily, he never resists or complains about--he just won't do it if you give him the choice).

Why don't we just return to his neighborhood school? Because our zoned middle school is middling at best, and high school isn't much better. We're taking the long view that, wherever it happens to be located at the time, APP will give him a better education than our other public options.

I don't know what your reasons for leaving might be, but I suggest talking with your child's teacher before making a decision. Good luck!

Zombie said...

"Still concerned", we've been over this ground a lot in the past. Your claim that APP is not diverse is false. APP actually has very similar racial diversity to the children of Seattle.

The City of Seattle says the city is 70% white, 8% black, 14% asian, 1% native american, 2% latino, and 5% two or more races.

APP says it is 69% white, 17% asian, 4% latino, 3% black, and 6% multiracial. That is almost the same.

As "Let's use our words carefully" already said, the APP population demographics generally mirror the Seattle population, but are different than the current Seattle public school population. A reasonable way to interpret that is that the APP program is attractive enough to retain people who otherwise would have left the public school system. If you want to discuss whether it's a good idea for public schools to use alternative programs like APP, STEM, and TOPS to try to attract people who might otherwise leave, that's a discussion we could have, but it's simply not true that APP's diversity is out of line with Seattle's.

Anonymous said...

Actually, those demographic numbers are not "almost the same" and do support Concerned's point. The demographics of APP do not mirror that of the city - not even in the generally sense. Specifically, if you look at the percentages of Af-Am and Native American students, it becomes very apparent that the District, for whatever reason, has done a terrible job of identifying APP-capable students from those groups. While it may look like these percentages are only off by a small amount, so there is no need to worry, the opposite is in fact true. Those numbers are statistically significant and should be of concern to the district and the advanced learning department.

-- couldn't hold my tongue any longer.

Anonymous said...

@concerned parent, another POV and couldn't hold tongue - thank you.
I'd like to say more but this does not feel like a safe forum to talk from personal experience or data.
thank you for pursuing the discussion.

- parent of african american app student.

Anonymous said...

Two things which I think has exacerbated the pursuit of APP is spectrum dismantling and NSAP. For my friend whose eldest child is in a conundrum over HS, NSAP has removed the golden ticket of Garfield out of their reach. This was where their cousin went before NSAP kicked in and the 10% set aside seats went poof. In areas where there are poor or middling schools at best, APP is now a desired pathway. It offers choices. That's true even for neighborhoods with strong schools.

This 13 yo kid reads voraciously, works 1 grade ahead at school and gets straight A's without breaking a sweat. At our last get together, the kid borrowed my daughter's Odyssey as they both are into greek myths, 2 of my Dickens (which spurred my own kid to check out A Tale of Two Cities), all of the Mary Stewart's Arthurian quintet, and most curiously, A Day in the Life Of Ivan Denisovich (why I asked & the kid tells me it's the curious title and curiosity about gulag, a word she never heard of before). The kid fits so many of the qualities you look for in APP. The younger one likes to work the elder's math HW assignment just to annoy the older sibling with a little competition. Go figure. They both do extremely well in their school, but you get the feeling, it's also just too easy.

another POV

Anonymous said...

Someone here posted a link to the SNAPP FB page, but it is a "closed group." We are new to APP - does anyone know how to request to become a member of the group? I can't seem to figure it out on the FB page. Thanks.

new to APP

NW Kindermom said...

new to APP, there's a option to "join group" that is to the right of the title "SNAPP (Seattle North End APP)" and just below the member photographs. It's above the ads and the line of text that says how many members.

Anonymous said...

When does the school usually decide/communicate how many classes per grade level there will be? Are there ever grade-level splits? What happens if there's a weird number of grade-level kids, like say 78 first graders? I'm just thinking about the FTE issues I heard about this year.

New

suep. said...

@Concerned & others -- I wonder if we all could try to pinpoint where the failure occurs in identifying kids of color for APP.

For example, Concerned said "in our very diverse K class, no kids of color tested into APP..."

Do you mean that, of all the kids of color who took the AL test in your child's class, none tested in?

Or, do you mean that none of the kids were invited to take the AL test because their MAP scores didn't qualify them?

Or, are you saying that kids of color who were invited to take the AL test based on their MAP scores may or may not have pursued it (owing to lack of information, or other reasons)?

I'm trying to figure out where the ID process falls apart for these kids.

Would sending home more information about the district's AL programs (maybe in multiple languages) be helpful in informing families about their options? i.e. Do we need to do more outreach?

Is MAP proving to be more of a barrier than an identifier for AL kids?

Is MAP too flawed a tool because it relies on computer skills, which not all kindergarters (or kids) have?

Is the CoGat test or district testing environment inadequate?

I did notice one year that the free appeals that the district offers FRL families was only available on very short notice during a very brief window, so a family would have had to act quickly to avail themselves of it. Shouldn't that be more flexible and publicized more?

What is the incentive for teachers or principals to identify advanced learners and suggest they pursue APP or Spectrum and possibly leave their current school? I have heard of principals and teachers discouraging families from pursuing APP. In an era where schools and teachers are deemed successes or failures based solely on student test scores, it's possible that school administrators don't want to lose their high performing kids to another school. So how do we counter that?

Thanks for everyone's thoughts.



suep. said...

Two more thoughts to add:

Are families of color whose kids do test in to APP (or Spectrum) not choosing it because they don't want their child to be in such a small minority? (I know of two families who have determined or deliberated over this.) This leads to a bit of a chicken and egg situation. How do we break out of it?

Also, are some highly capable kids of color instead choosing private schools, where there may be scholarship opportunities available to them (in an effort to increase diversity in those schools)?

Or are these kids instead languishing, unidentified, in gen ed classes in SPS?

Thanks again. -- Sue

Anonymous said...

I have heard from friends that e.g. on Mercer Islands all 2nd graders get tested for the gifted program. No application required. In higher grades, one has to apply for testing. Similarly in Shoreline, they seem to test all 1st graders (or at least pre-screen them). I like these models where every student receives the Cogat at least once w/o having to apply for it. 2nd grade seems like the right time.

- northend mom

Anonymous said...

@suep.

I can't shed light on whether any kids of color in our K class were actually tested, but it did seem like the teacher had not put thought into who she might nominate for testing. Again, I can't blame the teacher as it was so early in the school year - I think it's too much to ask, really. I also think it's a flawed system for parents to nominate their own children, as we also had no clue if our child was in the high end of the range. We decided to do so anyway, and it all worked out for us, but I wonder what other children might have been identified if there was a better net in place.

I am glad the CogAt is used in K rather than the MAP as at that young age, it should be about potential, not achievement. So I like what I've heard about other districts who require all kids to take the CogAt, or who wait two years and then base admission to the APP program on the MAP to allow time for kids to catch up.

It's a good point that there's a disincentive for a teacher or school to nominate kids for APP testing if they might lose their top students, so why not remove that factor and have automatic testing? I know, cost. But if the CogAT replaces the Fall MAP, and the current cost of CogAt testing, maybe it's doable?

Also, I had tried yesterday to post some interesting data on demographics, but it doesn't seem to have made it up. The gist is that there is a doc on the SPS website that shows how various ethnicities are represented in advanced learning programs. Theoretically, the percentage should be the same across the board if there was equal representation (at 8.5% which is the percentage of all students in advanced learning programs). The reality is that whites were overly represented at 13%, while all other ethnicities were underrepresented with African Americans at under 2%.

I also wonder about someone else's comment that some kids of color may be siphoned off to private schools, which would be ironic that the current state of APP would be drawing white kids in from private schools, and the opposite true of some kids of color, but if that is the case, we should be asking why that is happening. It's to everyone's benefit to have a diverse public program.

-Concerned

Anonymous said...

We know a dozen families of color, most black, but some Hispanic, who tested for APP but chose not to go that route, in part because APP's reputation regarding minority students. Two are private, one on scholarship, one with the help of family. Most of the rest are in options schools or K-8's in the district, a couple are in their neighborhood schools. More than one mentioned that principals don't exactly encourage kids like this to leave for APP, for whatever reason, and that teachers don't seem to notice them.

Suep, maybe you could poll families like this or those who tried it and left to find out why. You were at Lowell before the split-weren't there some who didn't stay in your time there?

-We moved away

Maria Renninger said...

We've been out of APP for two years while homeschooling, so I'm out of the loop. But we're planning to return to Lincoln in the fall, & we're interested in this discussion on access and demographics re APP. Suep thanks for pursuing with those insightful questions/points.

I'm wondering if the APP community could join the district in outreach efforts. When we were at Lowell, one of the ALO teachers (an African American) asked me to talk w/a few of the ALO parents about signing up their kids (all African American students) for APP testing. She told me she had called one boy's family at home several times about it, and talked to the others when she could. She thought maybe connecting with an APP parent would help. I'm white, so I probably wasn't the optimal connection. But she was a busy teacher doing what she could in that limited testing-nomination timeframe. And I think her idea is on the mark - when our daughter first tested in, back in K, we had the chance to talk about the program w/older APP kids and their parents. We found that to be very helpful. Has there been consideration of an organized/diverse outreach effort by the APP community? Maybe during that fall nomination window, and again during the appeals window? I know APP parents have been occupied with keeping the program stitched together with whatever thread they can find. But maybe outreach is a way to help with that stitching? A win-win?

Anonymous said...

Testing for gifted programs (in SPS and other school districts) utilize both tests of aptitude (IQ) like the CogAT, in addition to achievement tests (math and reading) - SPS uses MAP for this purpose (SPS also accepts other widely accepted tests of aptitude and achievement for basis of appeals). Some other school districts also require tests of creativity (such as Renzuli) in order to qualify. So it is not a matter of using CogAT at certain grades or MAP at others - some posters seem to be confused about this. For K students this year the fall MAP was not considered initially since not all schools took fall MAP tests. So K students who qualified on basis of CogAT were given additional math and reading achievement tests by the district. MAP results were allowed for use in appeals. Just wanted to clarify that for people who were unclear about the process.
It is great to discuss about reasons for lack of diversity - Suep- you have raised excellent questions.
Maybe another reason (which could apply to anyone but could possibly be disproportionately felt in some race/socioeconomic groups) is that it can feel, sort of - awkward - for lack of a better word, to nominate your kid for testing (if has not been identified by school/teacher). It sort of implies that you think your kid is 'something special', or 'better than' or whatever. Most of us don't exactly know for sure our kids are APP-level - not all of them are reading at age 3, doing algebra at 4 (most are far more typical I bet) so it's hard to know if its worth testing.
Maybe some groups of parents have a lower threshold for 'giving it a go' whereas others don't have the information or the confidence to even try.
Maybe qualifying for APP (while something to be proud of) can also feel a little uncomfortable in some settings, and choosing to leave a neighborhood school in favor of one that is perceived as perhaps a bit 'elitist' by some (not me) might be hard to do.
Although it is not PC to say so, another issue is that there may be fewer students in some of these ethnic/socioeconomic groups that achieve qualifying scores because of entrenched socioeconomic disadvantage, lower educational levels of parents etc. The high scorers' are simply not there in the same numbers as in some of the more affluent, well educated sectors.
My belief is that most APP families value diversity and do not consider a less diverse school environment to be a positive thing (assuming academic/other standards are good). I think most would welcome increased diversity in the program. It would be great if we could do better at identifying and attracting capable kids from diverse ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds to the program. But I don't think the failure to do so can be blamed on the parents who choose APP, APP admin, or even entirely on SPS Advance Learning ( They have tried -I heard Bob Vaughan once personally phoned up a whole bunch of high scoring FRL kids to encourage then to test, apparently with minimal success). This largely reflects a bigger societal issue.

Testy

Anonymous said...

Thurgood Marshall APP becoming incrementally more diverse. Tour the school if you are a family of color. Remember the statistics for APP diversity lump together all the APP schools. Thurgood Marshall has more students of color and many biracial students.
-- Seeing gradual changes in APP at thurgood Marshall

Maria Renninger said...

To clarify, I wasn't effective in reaching out to the ALO parents at Lowell. They were very nice about it to me, but the teacher told me later she didn't think any of them signed up for testing. It felt like a missed opportunity.

Seeing gradual changes in APP at TM: I'm curious whether you might know if TM is seeing kids coming to APP from ALO programs? (I'm fuzzy on how the ALO program works, or if it does.)

Anonymous said...

Can we have a new thread on APP Middle School 2014? Wondering if anyone has information on what plans are under consideration?

ben said...

Using city wide racial demographics is highly misleading when considering the racial composition of APP. The white population in the city (like the rest of the country) is disproportionately older. The school age population is much more diverse than the city.

For the district this year the stats were:

ETHNIC GROUP 2012/2013
American Indian 504 1.0%
Asian/Pac. Islander 9,050 18.1%
Black/Afr. American 8,818 17.7%
Hispanic/Latino 6,269 12.6%
White 21,924 44.0%

You can do the comparison to the prev. APP stats above.

Ben

Anonymous said...

I think many teachers at many neighborhood schools discourage kids from leaving to go to APP. This was our experience with our APP qualified daughter at John Hay. Our daughter is the type of student who even if she is bored, is quiet and compliant - and tests well. Her elementary school teacher had every incentive to keep her at John Hay and not have her go to APP. If you have a child who acts out when they are bored, then teachers are more likely to encourage APP.

My daughter went to John Hay K-5 and we switched her to APP in 6th grade. I never once had a teacher at John Hay suggest that she should be tested for APP. My point here is that it isn't just the "challenging schools" (as mentioned by POV in the March 6 comment) that don't encourage families to send their kids to APP.

Jane

Anonymous said...

Those numbers are just the kids in public school, though, right? When I add them up that looks about like the SPS enrollment numbers. Not all the school aged kids- something like 25% of the kids in Seattle are in private, and that is, not surprisingly, more white.

I think there is undeniably a push pull that happens- white kids stay in the system who would otherwise go, and I personally know half a dozen talented kids of color who left after being recruited for private, all for complicated reasons. The private schools certainly want them, for wonderful, positive reasons- who wouldn't want a more diverse, talented student body?! I don't know exactly how that affects the numbers, but it's something. Our (white) family personally would have to send one of our kids to private if there was not an APP program (but not the other two, because we couldn't afford it, and we very much cannot afford to send even one and thank the lord for APP every day- but he can't be served at all in general education classes). So we are sitting here munging up the data.

I don't think all teachers at other schools like the APP approach- I actually think that is fine. It's not for everybody. It's not fine if it becomes discriminatory, of course, but the teachers at our home school weren't generally in favor of it for most of the kids who qualified, thought it stressed kids out and was too much work for little kids. I don't think it's pernicious and gaming the system to try to keep high scorers- they just like the way their school does things.

TechyMom said...

I looked up 2010 census data. This spreadsheet from the City of Seattle Census Data page shows the total and over-18 population of Seattle. I subtracted the over-18 from the total and calculated the percentages to get these numbers of the racial breakdown of children under 18 in Seattle. I'm going to assume that the preschool population is not significantly different from the school-age population. That might be wrong, and I'd love to see that data if someone can find it.

The racial breakdown of children under 18 in Seattle in 2010:

57.4% White
12.4% Black or African American
0.8% American Indian and Alaska Native
12.8% Asian
0.6% Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander
3.8% Some Other Race
12.1% Two or More Races

(from earlier posts for easier comparison)
APP is
69% white, 17% asian, 4% latino, 3% black, and 6% multiracial

SPS:
ETHNIC GROUP 2012/2013
American Indian 504 1.0%
Asian/Pac. Islander 9,050 18.1%
Black/Afr. American 8,818 17.7%
Hispanic/Latino 6,269 12.6%
White 21,924 44.0%

So, both are true. APP is more white that Seattle's children, and SPS in general is less white than Seattle's children.

Personally, I think both of these are issues that SPS should be working on.

Maureen said...

Wow, Techymom, thanks for doing that! This issue comes up over and over again and I don't think anyone has ever bothered to track down the numbers and do the math. I cut and pasted it for future reference!

TechyMom said...

Thanks :)
Actually, I'd appreciate it if someone would check my calculations, based on the published spreadsheet. I noticed after I posted that there isn't a line-item for Latino or Hispanic, and that seems odd.

Peanut said...

There is a line item for Hispanic/Latino of any race.

The numbers work out to 9,943 children (10.6% of the under 18 population in Seattle).

Anonymous said...

Greg, how about a thread on leadership of AL, specifically Bob Vaughan? It's a topic on the other blog.

-APP parent

Anonymous said...

jane, I did not say this happened in ONLY challenging schools. Of course, you will find this at Hay and other high achieving schools. The big difference is parental knowledge and access to info if you have school staff unwilling to recommend kids for APP. I know John Hay well and would argue if you brought up APP among parents, many would know what that is. Hay is a very strong performing school and has APP kids whose parents chose to keep them at Hay and transfer them to Hamilton APP for MS (or Washington before the split).

That is not the experience in other schools. My friend asked for the AL testing form. First time, indirectly by having her child requested it. When that didn't get anywhere, she asked for it and got the response she did. She comes from a W. Indian/african culture that respects education and teachers and where you rarely go against the word of a teacher. Mind you, she works FTand can't volunteer at school during school hours, so I suspect she has minimum contact with staff and more active parents. Her school provides a pull out for math when it comes to differentiation for advanced learners, but it is a very small group of kids. They don't have a cohort big enough for even a spectrum like setting.

I can only repeat that discussing a better net to capture kids for APP is NOT faulting the children or parents already in the program. Like others who have made this suggestion, I think if a school district is going to have an AL program, testing should be done in grade 1 or 2 for all kids. That should be the rule rather than the exception. We can talk about cost, but other school districts manage to do this and run their AL programs with far less drama.

another POV

Greg Linden said...

Sounds good. I started a new thread, "Vision and leadership for Advanced Learning".

Anonymous said...

I think Jane's post highlights an interesting point.

My child was also at John Hay and had a teacher who both wrote a letter to AL AND signed my child up for testing because she HIGHLY recommended APP for my child. The principal was brought in, and he agreed (this isn't the current principal) we should pursue APP. We had a 100% opposite experience with John Hay. We ended up placing our child in elementary APP and, we were very happy with the decision.

It shouldn't be that teacher's and principal's antipathy towards AL programs prevents parents from even knowing about it. I have major issues with the MAP, but at least Vaughan is using it to send letters to all families of high scoring kids to tell them about the testing window. He is still missing kids because of a lame test, but it's better than the nothing that happened before.

-former Hay

Anonymous said...

I have heard a rumor that the 9th grade IBX at Ingraham will be limited to 60 students. I have also heard that there are about 20-25 students who have tested into APP this year, all of whom must go to Ingraham if they want to do APP. This wouldn't leave many remaining slots.

I am hoping that the source of this rumor is completely wrong, but I'm wondering what anyone else had heard anything similar.

-Nervous in the Northend

Anonymous said...

At the IHS tour the principal said that they have room for everybody and will make adjustments as needed. For example, if they need 3 IBx sections v. 2 IBx sections it sounded like that could be done. No capping was discussed.

I also know that not all HIMS students choose IBx, some are going private and some are going to their reference school (BHS and RHS), providing of course they get a seat as all APP 8th graders are assigned to GHS. All 8th graders who tested into APP are assigned to their reference school.

So my guess is there is a whole bunch of seat shifting going on and in the end it should work out!

Anonymous said...

In response to the last anonymous,

Our family has heard that lots of 8th Grade Washington APP families have or will apply for the IBX program at Ingraham next year. So don't count on little competition for those seats.

South end APP family

Anonymous said...

What I understood from the Ingraham principal during our tour was that Ingraham will make sure there are slots in each program IF your student gets into Ingraham. They adjust the types of sections (IB, APP, non IB) to match the assigned students.

Hopeful APP parent

Anonymous said...

How do I find out if my child got accepted to the APP program at Ingraham? If she is not accepted, we plan to send her to Ballard, our neighborhood school as we were not extremly impressed with Garfield when we toured there.

8th Grade HIMS family

Anonymous said...

8th Grade HIMS Family-

I'm interested to know "why not impressed" by Garfield? Anything specific?

We must have been on a different tour as we were totally impressed...maybe looking for different things?

Just wondering what you saw that was a concern?

-Another HIMS Family

Anonymous said...

"How do I find out if my child got accepted to the APP program at Ingraham? If she is not accepted, we plan to send her to Ballard, our neighborhood school as we were not extremly impressed with Garfield when we toured there."

Did you fill out the Open Enrollment form listing IBx as your first choice and Ballard as your 2nd choice?

If you are a current APP student it is pretty likely you will get IBx - if you are a student who tested into APP this year (for 9th grade) there is a slim chance you will not get a seat at IHS.

(it's too late, but you could have also put regular IB at IHS as your second choice and Ballard as your 3rd choice)

In any case, I think assignment letters will be mailed in April sometime.

Maureen said...

If you are a current APP student it is pretty likely you will get IBx - if you are a student who tested into APP this year (for 9th grade) there is a slim chance you will not get a seat at IHS.

Are newly qualified students treated differently than current APP students with respect to IBx assignment?

Anonymous said...

"Are newly qualified students treated differently than current APP students with respect to IBx assignment?"


Current APP students are all assigned to Garfield. New APP students are assigned to their reference school. How the system treats them is unclear - but I would think that the first students assigned to IBx would be current APP; then a second pass is made to assign the new APP students.

Then the next pass would be to assign those non-APP students to IB who have requested it. These may be the pool of students who do not get a seat at IHS, becuase they also have to make room for the reference area students. So it would seem to me that they will be the last ones to get in.

Should be interesting to see how it shakes out.


Maureen said...

How the system treats them is unclear - but I would think that the first students assigned to IBx would be current APP; then a second pass is made to assign the new APP students.

Why?

It seems to me that (if there are a limited number of IBx seats) they should assign the new APP students to IBx first (since they don't have a guaranteed APP seat at Garfield) and then fill the remaining available spaces with existing APP students. That way more advanced learners needs will be met.

Anonymous said...

Wondering if you know the assignments are working with IBX getting first assignments or if its just your opinion on how it "should" work.

Why do regular IB students get 3rd choice and maybe don't get in vs. IBX students? Is the school putting more of a priority on the IBX students?

Question again would be "why" -- they are all taking the same classes - just different years.

In my opinion they should be treated the same and IBX Freshman should be taking classes with IB sophomores and Juniors so there is more flexibility with the scheduling.

Giving a certain group of students priority with regard to assignment creates an inequity that I, as an APP parent, don't agree with.

-Another opinion

Anonymous said...

The cohort of APP students in IBx at all grade levels mirrors the program model at Interlake and was presented as the only way to continue to build upon the learning background of current APP students and prepare them for the IB program. From what we have heard from current 9th grade IBx families, the three cohorts are well liked and will continue for 10th grade.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know what the opinion about the grade level cohorts is outside APP at Ingraham? All we've heard is positive things about it from APP families in 9th grade.

-curious middle school parent

Anonymous said...

We are considering APP for our current 5th grade student and are curious about math. Can current 6th grade parents comment on pros and cons of algebra 1 placement vs 8th grade math, and comment on their experiences?

Anonymous said...

Our student is in 6th Grade APP and in Ms. Anex's Algebra 1 class at Hamilton. However, they did not come from APP at Lincoln and is finding, along with other non-APP elementary peers for Algebra 1 to be a large challenge. We would advise going to Math 8 (6HH) instead. This is so your child doesn't skip three grade levels of math over the summer,assuming they came from standard 5th grade math.

Anonymous said...

If your student has the winter math MAP of 250 (official cut off for Algebra 1 in 6th grade) than I would definitely talk to her/his teacher about this question and ask for recommendation. Also, I would take into consideration if your student is doing extra math (like tournaments, etc), how hard does s/he want to work, enjoys math, likes the challenges, etc.
The MAP score alone can not tell you any of these points...

Anonymous said...

There really needs to be more to placement than a MAP score.

We're wondering about the classes beyond Algebra should we decide to accelerate. Do students hit a wall later on because they have skipped ahead too fast?

Anonymous said...

At least at Ingraham Ibx, home schooling in math for algebra 1 in 6th grade, geometry in 7th, and Algebra 2 in 8th grade made no difference by 10th grade as they were back in the same class with their peers who did not accelerate. The only benefit was the ability to take an AP math class in Freshman year.

Anonymous said...

For those that are concerned about their 6th graders in Algebra - do you feel they will prepared to take and pass the EOC?

Anonymous said...

My child is one of the students who scored about 250 and placed into algebra. I was not able to attend the meeting yesterday afternoon -- can anyone give a recap? Also, I expressly asked his/her teacher for direct feedback about whether or not the child should enroll in algebra, and the teacher responded by saying that they did not have time to address this individually. In the absence of any sort of individual response, could someone let me know how we are supposed to make an informed decision about enrollment? I am very confused here.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I am 10:40 above. My comment should have read "above 250" rather than "about 250," to the extent that anyone is planning to respond by saying that the score itself mattered.

Maureen said...

@curious middle school parent,

Does anyone know what the opinion about the grade level cohorts is outside APP at Ingraham? All we've heard is positive things about it from APP families in 9th grade.

I guess I am somewhat qualified to answer this. I have a 9th grader in the regular pre-IB program. She interacts with IBx kids in drama,at Frisbee and in a couple of clubs (latin!). She likes the IBx kids she knows (and actually doesn't always know whether or not they are IBx). My kid at least appreciates the level of nerdiness the school embraces which is probably enhanced by the IBx kids.

The IBx families do seem to be driving an increase in involvement in various ways (after school Gage art classes, more candidates for ASB, more music offerings) that are probably good for everyone. The only negatives I've heard expressed are a questioning as to why IBx class sizes can be so small (a rumor of a 16 person core class which seems so shocking as to be impossible given that many preIB 9th grade core classes had over 40 students until the end of October) and a concern about the impact on non IBx kids' class ranks for their college apps. Rank is determined by weighted GPA and IBx kids have access to more classes where an A gets you a 5.0 than non IBx students do so even with all As, a non IBx kid will never be able to outrank an IBx kid with all (or even mostly) As. I expect this will hit the fan in two years when the first IBx students are seniors.

Note that the cohort impact is mainly for 9th grade, so someone with a 10th grader (where the kids are mixed up more) could have an different, and probably more useful, perspective.

Anonymous said...

The MAP test is NOT an algebra readiness test and it is not a good indicator of abilities.

You should try and figure out if your kid has the skills to do Algebra. You can do an internet search for "algebra readiness test" and give it to your kid. Can they do it? Also, are what program will your kid be entering from? A Gen ed kid will skip three years of math, Spectrum they skip two and APP they skip one. This can be okay for some kids, but I know there are kids struggling in algebra now because the leap was too great.

No matter how your kid did on the MAP, the algebra teachers expect kids in their class to have certain skills. The MAP does not check for these.

Algebra placement using MAP was pushed hard by Bob Vaughan (and supposedly several in the math department disagreed with him) and is a concrete indicator of poor decision making. Too high of math placement does not benefit the kid. I would be sad to read about a kid misplaced in math who now thinks they "are not good" at math.

-pickle

Anonymous said...

Also, I expressly asked his/her teacher for direct feedback about whether or not the child should enroll in algebra, and the teacher responded by saying that they did not have time to address this individually.

What does your child want to do?

In terms of content, we have spent about one school year - one lesson 5x/wk at home - covering what it takes 3 years to cover with CMP. It's amazing how much more efficient traditional books can be.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Maureen for your thoughtful repsonse. This is similar to what we have heard as well. We also have heard that APP/IBx and non-APP IB students, once accepted to Ingraham have guarenteed access to IB/IBx classes while some APP juniors were denied history at Garfield this year, because the non-APP seniors had priority. It sounds like Ingraham treats all students more equitably for high-level classes and the cohorts help to discourage inter-program quarrels that could arise.

-curious middle school parent

Anonymous said...

I am wondering maybe someone knows: Can students change classroom from Algebra 1 to the regular 6HH math class if s/he feels it is too hard i 6th grade?
Another curious parent

Anonymous said...

Prior posters, do you have specific math materials or readiness tests you can recommend? I can google as well as anyone, but I am not an education professional or math expert and do not know what is actually reliable.

Anonymous said...

Curious middle school parent -

Two things -

One, the AP Government class that seniors at Garfield had priority for this year (and this year it was all seniors, all 350 plus of them, because the accelerated curriculum being pushed down to middle school did not start til the year after these seniors left middle school)is a graduation requirement. ALL seniors had to take that class this year. There is not a 5th year history class in place at Garfield yet for the accelerated APP kids. I think it is in the works. To have 5 extra sections of AP Government to accommodate the juniors, in addition to all the seniors at Garfield, was not possible.

Second - when the IBx kids hit their senior year at Ingraham, many of us will be very interested to see what they are actually offered in terms of classes. There is no guarantee of anything. They are effectively done with high school work after 11th grade. Garfield has a glitch with one class that is being fixed. Ingraham has a whole year to provide a top notch program that does not currently exist.

I think that it was equitable to this year's seniors at Garfield that they did have priority for AP Gov so they could graduate.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 10:40, are you referring to the meeting at TM yesterday? If so, I'll try to summarize quickly. A large number of 5th graders scored 250 or above on Winter MAP and they (TM staff plus a math teacher from WMS) wanted to have a conversation with parents about pros and cons of Algebra I placement, with the lens that the MAP score is just one data point and shouldn't be the only consideration in your decision. Key things to consider are whether your child is really strong in math/loves math is organized and is a self starter. The kids will be in a mixed grade class and that could be intimidating on top of a more challenging curriculum and more homework - and that on top of the transition to Middle School. And they will be skipping 8th grade math. They did encourage further discussion with teachers to get their perspective as to whether your child is ready for Algebra next year. Hope that helps, also other parents who were there - please chime in if I didn't capture everything in my summary.

Anonymous said...

Very interesting - TM, of course, is using materials other than CMP. Do they have a larger percentage of students qualifying for Algebra 1 than from Lincoln? I would love to see a comparison of MAP scores.

Here's a basic pre-algebra book I'd recommend ($20-30 used on Amazon):

McDougal Littell Pre-Algebra

It's a good resource from 4th-6th grade APP as it covers just about all of the topics, but in a more traditional and straightforward manner than CMP. Answers to odd-numbered problems are in the back of the book.

An algebra placement test, from Saxon:

Saxon Math Placement

Another algebra readiness test from McDougal Littell:

McDougal Littell Algebra Readiness test

I'm not an expert, just a parent trying to supplement district texts that I find woefully inadequate.

Anonymous said...

About the Garfield history class, it seems like some APP Juniors gained access to AP Government due to open space and are taking a new "contemporary" world problems class in senior year. It seems to us that all or no APP juniors should have gotten in.

-Garfield parent

Anonymous said...

AP Gov is a one semester class. Three years of social studies is required to graduate. Perhaps the World History that APP 8th graders take provides a year of social studies credit for high school? If not, the APP seniors next year who have not had AP Gov this year as juniors will have to take both classes, Gov and contemporary world issues, to fulfill the three years of social studies requirement. They won't miss out, just a different timetable.

Before the social studies curriculum was accelerated in APP middle school, the SS pathway at Garfield was 9 - World History, 10 - AP European History, 11 - AP US History, 12 - AP Gov. It was challenging for everyone who wanted the challenge, 9th grade World History not so much. Now, the APP kids take AP World in 9th, AP US in 10th, and there is only AP Gov left to take, the one semester class, in their junior and senior years. The contemporary world issues class is the addition for next year, I guess. Non-APP high achieving kids, having not been "accelerated" in middle school social studies, slog through 2 years of MORE World History (World History 9 and AP World in 10th, then AP US in 11th and AP Gov in 12th). Neither scenario is ideal, and I would certainly opt for the curriculum when every high achieving student at Garfield was on the World/AP Euro/AP US/AP Gov track. To accelerate APP, the kids who have not been in APP are decelerated. And APP doesn't win out either by having only 2.5 years of social studies in high school.

Anonymous said...

For next year's 8th graders, I understand the SS curriculum will no longer include World History, so the pathway returns to 9 - World History, 10 - AP European History, 11 - AP US History, 12 - AP Gov.

Anonymous said...

Are you sure APP 9th graders won't still take AP World, then AP US 10, and AP Gov/Contemporary Issues in 11th? Non APP would have World 9, AP World 10, AP US 11 and AP Gov 12. That is my impression.

Mercermom said...

Our older child, now in 9th grade, has always had a high comfort level with and apparent aptitude for math, and has routinely tested at the 99% level on assessments. When he entered 6th grade at WMS, placement beyond 6HH was not offered as an option or the subject of general parent discussion. He did not seem bored by the math he did at WMS, and has continued to perform extremely well in his math classes. Given the additional expectations overall in APP in middle school, I don't see why I would have wanted him to accelerate another year, when that would just mean that he was on track to finish Calc B/C by his junior year. Unless I had a child who was very enthusiastic about math, as opposed to just capable of doing more complex math, I see no value in moving to pre-Alegebra in 6th grade.

Anonymous said...

At Hamilton, teacher placement in part drives the decision about whether or not to accelerate to Algebra 1.

Old thread here:

http://discussapp.blogspot.com/2011/10/open-thread_24.html

When you read stuff like this: My son loves math and as far as I can tell is quite good at it. But [] is deflating all of his excitement and there is all sorts of tension between the two because he is so uninterested in what she is "teaching" (which seems primarily to be that his name needs to be written in a specific place on his assignments).

or this: My child and I are also frustrated with 6th grade Math at Hamilton this year. I think that it is both the CMP books and the teacher which makes the math both hard to understand and boring.

It complicates the decision making process.

Anonymous said...

Anon above:

Math is going to be different next year at HIMS. I am not sure if it will be better or worse. Grade level separation is ending, at least mostly. 6th grade HH math (mostly 6th grade APP kids) will no longer be mostly APP. The classes next year will be mixed. So, all kids needing the HH math (8th grade CMP), will be placed in the class. From what I understand, 8th graders and 6th graders won't be mixed, but there will be much more mixing than there is this year. Math is not part of the APP curriculum in middle school, but math has still been pretty separated up until this year.

It also means that 6th grade APP kids are no longer guaranteed to get the problem teacher. Your kid still could get her, but it's not guaranteed like it is this year. I am guessing that avoiding this teacher will be a common request next year. With this change, she could also change what she's teaching. Trying to game the system may get you stung. What if she teaches Alg 1 next year?

-pickle

Anonymous said...

For one, our family is concerned abou the ending of grade level math next year at HIMS. While our child tested into Algebra 1 in 6th, we aren't coming from APP and decided to hold back to 6HH with the hope it would be in a class with other highly motivated students. If grade level mixing starts with 6th and 7th grade, isn't there a strong likelhood that down the road or even next year, a 6th Grade APP or 7th Grade spectrum student could be taking math with 8th graders who won't even be ready fro Algebra 1 in 9th grade?
-Interesting issue from incoming HIMS family

Anonymous said...

I am very torn about putting my 6th grader in algebra. He scored high enough and loves math, but has other challenges (i.e. maturity and organization) that might make it difficult. But after having the not so great teacher with my older child, I'm afraid that it will make him really dislike math and I'm not sure I'm willing to take the chance.

Does anyone have the 6th grade math teacher this year? Is she getting better?

Hamilton and Lincoln Mom

Anonymous said...

Choosing Algebra 1 if your child has qualified isn't exactly "gaming the system."

Anonymous said...

"Choosing Algebra 1 if your child has qualified isn't exactly "gaming the system."

March 27, 2013 at 6:43 PM"

I think you and Bob Vaughan are the ONLY people in the city who believe that the MAP test actually tests for algebra readiness.

-pickle

Anonymous said...

Hamilton and Lincoln Mom,

Our family didn't come from Lincoln but the mentioned 6HH math teacher seems to have started to learn from her mistakes. Our older child had a much worse experience, and the teacher seems to not get as angry as before about the little things about names etc. We also had the option for our younger child of enrolling in Algebra 1 but we wanted them to be in a math class with only their grade level so we chose 6HH.

Current HIMS Family

Anonymous said...

I think using the MAP test for algebra readiness is bad policy. However, that's the policy and if your child meets whatever cutoff is set, you are not "gaming the system." You qualified fair and square. Of course that doesn't mean your child is truly ready for algebra, or that algebra is the best placement. That's another discussion.

anon@6:43

Anonymous said...

Back to the question about Garfield's history course sequence, after recently talking to the IB staff at Ingraham, they stated APP students would get three full years of History and then a year of a College taught social science seminar. That seems slightly more secure than the constantly changing Garfield history pathway. Can anyone at Ingraham in the IBx program testify to this?

HIMS 8th Grade Family in the choice process.

Anonymous said...

Scoring over 250 on the winter MAP is clearly not algebra readiness. My 4th grader scored over 250 this year. I know my child is not ready for all that algebra 1 entails, nor is it even offered in 5th grade. Why rush things? I suggest trusting your child's current teacher and looking at your child's classroom performance. Does she turn in homework ? How are her study skills? Does she enjoy math homework and math in general? Is she emotionally mature? Don't enroll her in algebra 1 for the "honor" it represents. It 's just one piece of data - a test score- that 4th graders are achieving also.
- 4th grade parent

Anonymous said...

HIMS 8th grade family.... Why don't you contact Garfield or better yet go in and talk to the folks there? You'll get it straight from the horse's mouth. What does your kid want to do and his/her interest?

WP



Anonymous said...

By "gaming the system" I don't mean that anyone cheated. Yes, parents are following the "rules," but the rules are insane.

Placing kids in Alg 1 based on scores from a test unrelated to Alg readiness in order to bypass a poor teacher can slow the class down for kids who are prepared to succeed in Alg. Yes, Bob Vaughan set really stupid standards for this class, but that doesn't mean it's in the best interest of the child, or other kids in the class, to knowingly place an unprepared child in that class.

There are 6th graders in Alg 1 this year who are having a REALLY hard time. How is that good for the kid? I am sorry that Bob Vaughan has again ignored the advice of others and refused to alter the entrance criteria. It would have been very easy to give a paper Alg readiness test to those kids who scored well on the MAP.

-pickle

Anonymous said...

Not all parents or teachers know the proper placement when all they have is a MAP score. I would think most parents want to make the best choice for their child and wouldn't put them in a higher level class just for the "honor" as someone suggests. Why would a parent knowingly request the placement if they thought their child was unprepared?

Anonymous said...

Anon at 2:13

I know first hand several parents who placed their kid in Alg 1 SOLELY to avoid this problem teacher. One of the kids is now really struggling.

-HIMS parent

Anonymous said...

The Garfield history pathway is not "constantly changing". In the past (until 5 or so years ago), AP European History was offered, then the school moved toward a more global perspective and offered AP World.

That was the only change.

It was noted that students coming out of APP middle school were well prepared to take this class and 3 years ago started taking it in 9th grade after intentional preparation in 8th.

They take AP US in 10th, and can take AP Gov as a semester or year-long class in 11th.

The first group will be seniors next year and will be offered new social studies choices.

A separate issue is the change from Washington State and AP World part 1 in 8th grade to Washington State and history of the Americas. This is because the structure of the two-year Ancient Civilizations program of APP 6th and 7th grade was not giving students exposure to US history, which gen ed gets in 7th. This is a return to the previous 8th grade APP social studies content, before AP World part 1 was introduced.

open ears

Regretful Mom said...

I agree that the Algebra I in sixth grade APP issue is a quandary. My daughter was in APP at Lincoln and qualified for Algebra I based on the MAP. Her teacher thought she was ready, she did some studying over the summer, so we did put her in Algebra I. She enjoys the class generally, but got a C for the first semester. (Which is unprecedented for her). Now we're working with her to try and make sure she can at least get a B for the second semester, but we're unsure of what to do for next year and going forward. Would it be worthwhile to have her go back at take the 6HH class that she skipped, or to repeat Algebra I, or just go on in sequence? We'll talk with the teacher about it too, but I'm sorry at this point that we chose to put her in Algebra I.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the above commenter. Our experience has been similar as well, with our child barely managing to get a B in Algebra 1 and then being looked down upon by the 7th grade APP students who had 6HH math, and while not the best class, were much better prepared. I highly advise families who don't want to spend most of their time assisting in math homework (as we are) to forgo early placement and take 6HH. By High School, they will all be at the same place anyway.

-APP@Lincoln and HIMS Family

Anonymous said...

@open ears

Thank you. We are another family pondering the IBx vs Garfield debate from Washington. A surprising number of my child's peers have said they signed up for Ingraham IBx and this is swaying my child tremendously in that direction plus they have a new audition symphonic orchestra, more in line with the middle school and Garfield offerings. We haven't yet submitted the paperwork to change the assignment as we live in Central Seattle but the welcoming atmosphere by everyone in the school has been unprecedented from the splits of the past. At Garfield, the programs are superb but whenever we used the word "APP", we were told that everyone takes the same classes at garfield, just in a different sequence. This is fine by us, but is there a perception among non-APP garfield families to APP is elitist just like there has been to some extent at Washington? At Ingraham, the proof of the program pathways complementing each other (APP, IB, and Gen Ed) and everyone getting access to challenging education was appealing to us.

--8th Grade Family in the process of a debate

Anonymous said...

Sorry about the mistake, ...*that APP is elitist...

Anonymous said...

Oh please not this again. At some point, you have to deal with it and you have gotten this far bearing the label. Sounds like IBX is a terrific choice for your 8th grader. Hopefully, the kid likes it too.




Anonymous said...

Garfield Open Ears,
I can't speak to a "constantly changing" history sequence, but please tell me more of the rumors that Garfield is planning to get rid of Honors LA... After open enrollment.
APP mom

Anonymous said...

I am sorry anonymous, we are a different family than the one that posted above, from Washington, not HIMS. APP mom, we keep hearing similar rumors. We are really just trying to verify what exactly is going on at Garfield next year.

-8th Grade Washington APP Family

Anonymous said...

Sounds like people need to ask Ken Courtney, the Garfield rep to the APP advisory committee, (and the elusive Bob Vaughan) what is up with LA9H (and what is the source for the rumor of its demise?). He may also be able to tell us more about Social Studies offerings for seniors in the 2015 class.

We need similar specific info about senior SS from IBX for that 2015 class, the founding population. They are not getting any younger, and we hear vague plans about proposed senior-year history courses.

As to the elitism charge from gen ed parents at GHS, it's the kids who go to the school, not the parents, and the kids place great value on the diversity of their peers at school and would rather not be sequestered in self-containment anymore. As long as they can get all the AP classes they need they are fine with the rest of GHS having access too. So ignore sour-grapes parents.

open ears

Anonymous said...

We have a 7th grader at WMS and with the change to US History this year, will APP students go back to the "regular" pathway for Garfield history as they will no longer have taken the first half of AP World and the advanced course pathway will only be an option at IBX? We too are curious about the SS offerings at both schools senior year. Our child seems to want to remain with his peers and often complains his math class has many people who aren't interested in learning (including APP students, mind you).

One year down the road...

Anonymous said...

APP students will do History of the Americas and Wa St. in 8th and will be fine going straight into AP World at GHS or IBx.

open ears

Anonymous said...

Current 8th Grade HIMS Family here, we are off to IBX with our older child but our younger child is in 7th grade APP and at IBX they do History of the Americas in 10th Grade. This isn't the same as US history in 8th next year is it? Also at the IHS presentation night, they said AP World would be gone next year, if we are correct in interpreting that. Garfield still offers it, as far as we know in 9th grade. But hopefully the AL department will take a closer look at this sequence for both pathways before any problems arise.

Anonymous said...

According to my understanding of the change, once World History is dropped from 8th grade APP, they will return to the following pathway at Garfield:

9 - World History Honors
10 - AP World History
11 - AP US History
12 - AP Gov

Anonymous said...

Thank you for clarifying that nothing is "being taken away at Garfield" in regard to history.

Three years ago they experimented with making it more accelerated, with APP 9th graders taking AP World History in 9th grade instead of 10th grade. Now it is changing back to the order that the previous poster outlined. Guess 9th graders can choose between taking AP World History in 9th or 10th next year?

At the middle school level, starting next fall APP students will study US history and WA history in 8th grade (instead of WA and world history). We're happy that our student will have some US history in middle school rather than a huge gap between 5th grade and 10th.

Anonymous said...

To the parents who are wondering if the "problem math teacher" at HIMS has gotten any better - our perception is NO. Still doesn't teach and can be nasty to students.

The other math teachers at HIMS are good to great, though, so the odds of having a good math experience at HIMS will be far greater going forward.

However, they'll still be stuck with the "problem" science teacher...

Anonymous said...

to 8th Grade Family in the process of a debate

Sorry to say it, but at some point the elitist charge will come to Ingraham just as it did Garfield. Can't change human nature.

-don your earplugs

Anonymous said...

Anon at 7:15 and March 27 at 10:48

Where are you getting your information, or are you making assumptions?

No, GHS is not going back to APP kids taking honors World History. This year's 8th graders are doing the first half of AP World and then will go straight into AP World at GHS.

We have not been told specifically what the 9th graders at IBx will do next year if IHS drops AP World, but presumably it will be appropriately rigorous.

Next year's 8th graders at WMS and HIMS will take History of the Americas which will be taught in such a way as to continue prepping them for AP World in 9th.

open ears

Anonymous said...

We are already at Garfield, but how can "history of the America's" cover the first 12 chapters of strayer, the AP world history book. Unless they move to the Ballatd model of everything in one year. I can't see how this would work.

Anonymous said...

For those considering placing their 6th grade student in Alg1 - be aware this could affect their schedule in the sense they might have to miss 6th grade lunch and eat with the 7th graders. Might not seem like a big deal to you but for the MS kids, this lunch time with their peers tends to be pretty important and the only opportunity for socializing during the regimented school day. Depends on the kid i guess. Supposedly the math classes will be more grade-mixed next yr, so not sure how they will manage schedules but its something to consider. This lunch period issue can also be an effect of choosing an advanced orchestra or band class.

pm said...

I thought that you might appreciate this article:

http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/2013/03/gifted_and_talented_education_cities_try_to_make_programs_more_inclusive.html

Anonymous said...

The article is very informative but does not reflect the situation in Seattle. I don't believe if a student tests in, they can be denied admission or classifcation as Spectrum or APP, no matter the race. For all we bash Dr. Vaughan for, he has been trying to identify minority students to enter these programs, even if as a result, more whites are being identifed as well. It's not a race isssue, but an issue of exposure.

HIMS Family

Anonymous said...

Symphonic band and orchestra are scheduled for 4th period (8th grade lunch period). A 6th or 7th grader playing in the highest level misses their grade level lunch period. Because of the kindness of teachers, they are able to join classmates for 7th grade lunch on Fridays. For some kids it's worth the trade-off.

Anonymous said...

I have the same question as anon@9:31pm - how are they going to cover Strayer's world history while also doing WA State history and US history? "History of the Americas" is also more than just US history, so what exactly is going to be taught - US history or "history of the Americas?"

The sequence posted fits with what the Garfield history teacher suggested at open house (honors World History, then AP World History). He had just heard of the upcoming change to 8th grade history, so perhaps it was speculation.

Maybe open ears could fill us in.

Anonymous said...

Can anyone tell me what the problem is with the 6HH math class? Do you have to supplement at home? Is the teacher uncaring? Any advice for preparing a kid who will be taking that class next year? Thanks.
HIMS next year

Anonymous said...

All we have heard from conversations with Garfield is being in APP and completing the advanced course work at Middle School in History will have no bearing in 2014 when APP students will return to the regular history pathway with no accleration. This has led us to look at IBX even though it's so far away, at least there will be challenging history courses. And all of this has been discovered by our 7th grade child as there has been no communication to us about what is happening.

WMS Family

Anonymous said...

Re: No challenging history courses at GHS - let's get real.

Today's seniors - who did not have the History acceleration are doing just fine - and I would say even great.

Garfield seniors this year are just now receiving their college acceptance letters and have been accepted to top colleges including Princeton, Stanford, Columbia, Dartmouth, Pomona and Duke.

That was without taking AP World History in 9th grade.

-The kids are all right

Anonymous said...

Amen, The Kids are Alright -

Also, don't discount that Garfield is a name brand with the elite college admissions offices. They have accepted kids from Garfield for years and know what they are looking at, not only in raw scores and grades, but also reputation of the kids who have come before them, knowledge of the leadership opportunities, excellent music program, 4A athletics, and ability to create all their success in the very urban and diverse environment that is Garfield. College admissions offices like Garfield kids, even if they have not taken AP World in 9th grade (which none have to date who have graduated).

I'm wondering why they made the switch away from APP 9th graders taking AP World. Were the results on the AP tests not satisfactory? It seems odd to decelerate if the acceleration was working.

Anonymous said...

Have they made the switch away from AP World yet at Garfield? We have heard and talked with the advanced learning department about this and they said the original move to APP 9th AP World was because the old history sequence wasn't challenging enough. I am sure the seniors are doing well, but if you ask them, how hard was 9th grade history, was it even interesting? Plus this means that the acceleration in middle school means nothing, and when you reach 9th grade, you will technically be "repeating" one year as APP is supposedly two years ahead.

So Many Changes

Anonymous said...

Does Garfield want World History Honors as a content prerequisite for AP World, or do they just need to make sure that kids have four years of history in HS? My kid is a 10th grader happily taking AP US History, despite having had no US History since 5th grade at Lowell, unless you count tangential content from Washington State history. The AP courses are very thorough, so why the big need for a prerequisite? IB isn't requiring prerequisites for IBx courses. If the kids are strong students, they will be fine in AP World.

sidneyd

Anonymous said...

IB and IBx seem to emphasize common backgrounds in subject areas, neccisating the cohort of APP students in English, Science, and Social Studies. This seems to have been good for both groups of students (coming as a non-IBx parent, I don't know for sure. Maybe Garfield is implmenting a similar model, with next year's upcoming "APP" Contemporary World Issues course and with the change back to World History Honors in 9th as there seems to be some resistant to grouping APP kids in a class together. I am curious to figure out more about this, as we have a seventh grade daughter in APP at HIMS already trying to make a decision.

Anonymous said...

From above, I also have a 10th grade son in the regular IB program who came from the immersion pathway at HIMS.

Middle and High School parent

6th grade said...

@anon 1:44PM March 29

"However, they'll still be stuck with the "problem" science teacher..."

Uh, which "problem" science teacher? 6th grade or 8th grade?

Speaking of which, how many 6th graders are getting anything out of Tanaka's class? Is he actually teaching them anything, or just assigning them YouTube videos to watch? Are the kids getting anything out of his class? Are parents teaching the kids everything at home? Can the parents even follow along with what he's doing in class?

Not to mention, his grading policies seem to change like the weather. A disastrous class as far as I'm concerned. Just wondering what others are experiencing.

Anonymous said...

From last year's discussion...

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.

Anonymous said...

Anon at 10:24

I spend a lot of time telling my HIMS 6th grader that they will have crappy teachers sometimes throughout their education; 6th grade science at HIMS is one of those times.

We have also had several discussions about Tanaka's grading. It's one thing if my kid really deserves a "C," but I have no idea what's going on with this grading "system" and my kid doesn't understand it either. There seems to be random red dots with no explanation and then the grades seem to be changed up and down at a whim.

Then those tests. What are those? Giving 12 year olds hours long tests with confusing questions and material that was never taught, is ridiculous.

Yes, science is a complete bust this year.

-pickle

Anonymous said...

Every single year. Unfortunately, you may be dealing with it every single year at HIMS.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the previous posters about Mr T and Ms V. We had them for 4 years all together for my 2 children. Unfortunately I didn't see any improvement with either of them over the years. Actually I think their "teaching" is getting worse as we speak. And even if they had observers in the classrooms, nothing happened. First I thought it is because of Mr Carter, the previous principal. But now we have a new principal, additional PD hours (or even days!) and still nothing.
My plan is to see the new 7th grade teacher next year and homeschool my younger student for Biology in 8th grade. The damage these 2 "teachers" caused to my students, who loved science, is unmeasurable.

Anonymous said...

Is it really that bad that parents would homeschool for biology? Can you describe a typical class? Also, how do you homeschool for biology, which should be a lab based class, with microscopes, etc.?

-looking ahead

Anonymous said...

Biology class: "Students, you have to read and fill out this and this page from your book. Please let me know if you have any questions." And if the students have any questions she is too busy to be on the phone or do something else, so it is very rare that the students get an answer. But this is actually better than if she tries to explain something because she is so confused about basic things and she contradicts her first sentence with the second one.
About the experiments: there was one last year when they looked how the plants grow for months (my student did the very same experiment in 2nd and in 5th grade, maybe it was appropriate at that time?). Recently they are using the pipettes for hours. I think I could do the same experiments at home with no problem with a help of a Biology book or online course.
And the tests? They look like they are copied from a college level book and most of the times the questions are not related to the study guide she gives out 2 days before the test or the book they study from and the students have problem to even understand some of the questions.

Anonymous said...

Wow, the 6th grade science class is bad in exactly the same way as the 8th grade class.. This is one of those classic "it would be funny if it weren't so sad" kind of situations. To hear that the 8th grade teacher doesn't appear to understand science is very sad. I don't think Mr T of 6th grade science understands it either.

We will see what kind of principal Ms W is this summer. If neither math or science is dealt with, she isn't serious about wanting HIMS to be a good school.

-sheesh

Anonymous said...

Additional info to the Biology tests: usually they have a multiple choice and a describing part where the students have to write the answers. Usually the multiple choice questions are really hard and often there are questions that nobody can answer correctly. These questions will be an "extra credit" questions when she grades the test so this way at least there are some students who get a B for the test (since As are very rare).
Since she just started the SBG this semester when she can't give extra credit for bringing in a tissue box for example, I wonder about the final grades.

Anonymous said...

So it's essentially an independent learning class? Argh. In that case, I understand the plans to homeschool.

Now, if the problems were only limited to science...

Anonymous said...

On the upside, we've been happy with Ms. Ryan for 7th grade science at HIMS. I know it's her first year but seems like a good hire by Ms Watters. Anyone else have opinions about her class?

--7th grade mom

Anonymous said...

My daughter also has Ms. Ryan for 7th grade science and she seems fine. And we're super happy with Mr. Pounder for Algebra - it's the first time that our daughter has ever said that math is her favorite class!

Hamilton Mom

Anonymous said...

Agreed on Ryan and Pounder. My 7th grader (for whom math has always been easy) says Algebra is by far his favorite class, and he looks forward to it every day. He says it is really hard and challenging, and has about a 90% average. We couldn't be happier about it. And Pounder doesn't put up with any nonsense - sends a kid to the hall (including our darling) if they're fooling around. Only happens once!
-Wish they could all be like this

Anonymous said...

We have Mr. Gussin for Algebra--he has also been great to work with. All in all 7th grade is a huge improvement over 6th.

--7th grade mom

Anonymous said...

For our family, seventh grade APP was worth the wait. All core subjects with Anex, Ryan, and Ellison have been intersting and challenging to our child. Even if we were a year behind, our child said he would still choose 6HH for math as it (although terrible) prepared him well for Algebra this year. He says the 6th grade APP Algebra 1 students are have some trouble keeping on top of the math, I have no idea if this is the case in all classrooms but seems to follow a general trend I've heard from parents. Maybe, if there was an APP pathway for Math, all these problems could be solved with no controversey.

7th Grade Parent

Anonymous said...

I've also heard good things about Mr. Moriarty (7th grade LA/SS teacher).

Hamilton mom

Anonymous said...

Let's just say experiences in 7th grade LA/SS are mixed.

Anonymous said...

I agree about Pounder, excellent teacher. My son is very happy with Moriarty (LA/SS) as well. Ryan (new science teacher for 7th gr) - not so much. My son finds her uninspiring, admittedly that could be the curriculum, which was not terrific last yr either but Mr Levin made it an exciting class. However he also says Ms Ryan often flies into rages over small issues or perceived "infractions" like asking to go to the bthrm or get water, and she apparently admits that she has anger management issues. He said she often seems stressed/unhappy and "you never know where you stand with her" - sometimes she will make or laugh at a joke, sometimes (unpredictably) scream at the kids. Our son is somewhat sensitive so I don't know if other kids have mentioned it. It's apparently her first year teaching, maybe she didn't know what she was in for!

Anonymous said...

Our child hasn't mentioned the same issues about 7th grade science - I really have no knowledge of the events described above. It's been the best science our child has had at Hamilton. As engaging as last year's teacher was, the curriculum was very weak. I feel that our child is learning solid science concepts this year and doing well with little oversight at home. The teacher helps them keep a very organized science notebook and they write an essay at the end of each unit. There is in-class review for tests and my child feels prepared for each unit test. They have a text that stays at home - which is more than they had last year. The text is very conceptual, but the teacher provides more of the practical problem solving activities. My only comment is that I expected more concepts to be covered this year. There are some glitches that go along with being a first year teacher, and I've told my child to allow for them.

We are terribly frustrated with LA/SS. The two classes don't seem to be following the same curriculum - our child's class will get lots of projects (very time consuming, with a drawing or "creative" component). We are mostly concerned about what's not happening in class. There is little writing instruction and practice, there is little discussion of literary terms, and there is no vocabulary program. Aren't those all supposed to be a part of LA? Some of the required historical fiction books are at what I'd consider a 4th-5th grade reading level. They are continually told they are poor students and need to pay attention. They might sit through hours of powerpoints being read to them. I expected so much more from a 7th grade APP level class.

Anonymous said...

Anon at 8:04, can I ask which LA/SS teacher your child has? And to the previous poster, I hadn't heard those stories about Ryan--I'll have to ask my kid.

--7th grade mom

Maureen said...

Is 7th grade APP science the same class as 9th grade Physical Science?

(From the RHS course catalogue:
Physical Science
9—Year
1 period, ½ credit per semester

This yearlong physical science course is required for all 9th grade students. The focus will be on Physics (motion, forces and energy), Earth Science, and
Chemistry (atomic structure, periodic trends and bonding). In addition, students will learn scientific skills such as collecting, organizing, and presenting data using modern technology, and scientific methods
for problem-solving. This course will be taught to prepare students for additional science classes at
RHS.


Do they use the HS textbook?

Anonymous said...

Yes, and yes. They use the Hewitt Conceptual Physical Science book and have covered motion, forces, and energy. They are just starting the chemistry portion. I think they were supposed to have covered Earth Science in 6th grade.

7th grade parent

Maureen said...

Thanks!

Anonymous said...

My daughter has Ellison and she seems to be really focusing on LA over Social Studies units and they seem to behind in one area but ahead in another. She apparently told the students she is creating a new curriculum for their class in LA and that seems to be working well, from what my student says. She is in one of the block classes. However, she says that Ellison has said she is focusing on developing the new US history course for next year, so this could be a reason. Overall, we are much happier than last year's 6th LA/SS. Is it true Ms. Kanaa is leaving next year?

7th APP Family

Anonymous said...

I'm so happy to hear that Mr. Pounder is still teaching and that kids are still loving him! He was my teacher at Washington (back when we were IPP) and he was by far my favorite of the IPP teachers. I hope he is still there when my son gets to Hamilton! :)

Anonymous said...

Clarifying my comment above regarding Ryan - apparently where her attitude is a problem is in Homeroom. This is where my son has said she "flies off the handle" and gets frustrated/angry with kids, etc. Maybe not so much in the actual Science class. But still something to be aware of. Good to know that others have not experienced these problems with her though.