Sunday, March 31, 2013

Open thread

Starting to feel like summer here in Seattle. What's on your mind?

15 comments :

Martha said...

http://saveseattleschools.blogspot.com/2013/03/transportation-changes-may-be-coming.html
Check out transportation changes that are being proposed, such as eliminating bus and Orca cards for APP students.

Greg Linden said...

Thanks, Martha, started a new thread for that, "Transportation changes coming"

Anonymous said...

Get in front of Seattle Public Schools and tell them NOT to 'splinter' APP in a misguided attempt to service some high concept 'equity access framework' (that is to be launched April 10th).

NOW IS THE TIME!

To be clear, 'Equity of Access' exists: all who test in, or appeal and are approved, have access and transport. Program service integrity means that a critical mass is needed to sustain a highly-capable learners pedagogy. Splintering it, a la "one APP per middle school service area" means no APP, really. And, it would be a disservice to highly capable learners whose geography meant that their 'cluster' had but 15 or so kids, if that. Yes, it would actually be counter-productive for equity!

Go and tell SPS BEFORE they launch their version of 'equitable access'. This is the time to speak, NOT AFTER they've announced their changes!!

Monday, April 1st Strategic Plan community meeting at Eckstein Middle School from 6:30-8:30 p.m. (Interpreters available in Spanish, Somali, Vietnamese, Amharic and Tigrigna)

-get the bulls-eye off our back

Anonymous said...

The Strategic Plan is posted in the district survey, with each component itemized for "agree" or "disagree."

All it says regarding the Equitable Access Framework:

'Develop and implement an Equitable Access Framework for district services and programs' is the right strategy to reach the goal above.

So, what does it actually mean?

Maureen said...

This Chronicle of Higher Education article may be of interest here (perhaps more for those whose kids are getting close to college age.): Top Students, Too, Aren't Always Ready for College.

One quote:
"They have the grades and the test scores to be here," said my colleague, director of undergraduate studies in math at the Johns Hopkins University. "What they don't have is a deep understanding of why the techniques they've been taught work, the actual underlying mathematical relationships. They walk into to my classroom in September and don't have the study habits or proper foundation to do the work."

Though, I should warn you, the whole thing could be read as an ad for CTY.

There is also a discussion of the article here on the College Confidential Parent Forum. (College Confidential can be kind of awful, but I have found useful info on the Parent and Financial Aid Forums!)

Anonymous said...

Has anyone heard how many classes per grade there will be at Lincoln next year?

New to APP

Anonymous said...

Just completed the Lincoln PTA survey. They asked whether we should pay for things like a Math curriculum (hell YES!), a counselor (HELL YES!!), the library to be open all day (pretty please!) and then the ... assistant principal?? No thank you. Nothing personal, but, the school ran last year without an AP, and we can do without, as will other schools below 600 students. Sorry, but I want my dollars to DIRECTLY TOUCH the kids, not help the administration out. It is not a perfect world; in a perfect world, I would love to get the administration lots of support, but, with limited resources, I want the resources directly aimed at the kids.

In contrast to the AP, a counselor would be an incredible community asset. The teachers are begging for that at the BLT and beyond; lots of 'quirky' kids, with anxiety and social/emotional 'challenges', the help a counselor could offer, such as bringing back the friendship circles and providing support in the classroom for challenging bullying dynamics would be invaluable.

Its not too late to take the survey, they are shutting it down at April 5 midnight -- please do give feedback. The library used to be the heart of Lowell, let's try and aim for that to bring back the culture that once was...

--feeling nostalgic

Anonymous said...

How does bullying at Lincoln compare to a typical elementary? I have a son who gets pushed around in unstructured settings and just seems to be a magnet for kids taking advantage or ganging up on him. I hope kids in APP will be less likely to do this. Is that realistic?

New to APP

Anonymous said...

Very random question -

What are parents doing to make sure their kids learn touch typing? It's not taught in school, and I'd like my kids to be able to type more proficiently. Is there specific computer software anyone could recommend (that's not too childish)? We've done BBC's dance mat typing, which was fine in elementary school, but we're looking for something to solidify skills in middle school.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/typing/

middle school mom

Anonymous said...

I downloaded type-fu.com. It seems to be pretty basic and runs through the progression to increase speed. My daughter used it a bit - but not to proficiency like we used to learn. My son never touched it.

They are both in high school now and type everything ok. Not great - and it takes them more time than it should.

I really wish they would teach it like they used to - it really is very helpful as a life skill.

-GHS Mom

Anonymous said...

I would strongly suggest a typing class. We did one for my son the summer before middle school and while he hated it, it was only a week (2 hrs a day?) and it was the best prep for middle school we could have done. He agrees it was so useful, and cut down on homework time tremendously. Trust us, if your kid can type 25 wpm, it saves you hours. We tried doing the independent software thing, but didn't work for us. Needed the structure of a class, and it requires practice a half hour a day for 30 days or something afterward. Yes, we made him practice daily for a month. It's a perfect for the summer, when he had time.

-Typing was the most useful class I had in HS


-

jujubee said...

This is very timely -- I have been thinking about a typing class for my current 5th grader!

Does anyone have recommendations for a place/camp for a kid to take a typing class in Seattle (preferably North)?

Anonymous said...

New to APP, I can't speak to bullying specifically but there are certainly teasing and related behaviors at Lincoln. My child is new this year (upper elementary) and has definitely had issues. There is definitely a "king of the hill" atmosphere among those who've been at Lincoln longer. Also, my child has had to adjust to the higher academic expectations, and has been teased at times for wrong answers or not understanding things quickly. I think the limited play space is a huge problem as well, as there are so few activity choices at recess - not many options if you want/need to avoid certain kids. I do not think my child is being systematically bullied, but teasing is more prevalent than it had been at our previous school. APP kids aren't angels, not that I was expecting them to be! It may be a better environment than a neighborhood school if previous teasing has been due to the child's academic interests, but overall we have not found it to be an improvement in terms of overall social environment.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Anon. I'm sorry to hear about the teasing but I had worried it would be more prevalent in APP. Honestly, hopefully this doesn't sound terrible, but my son seems to run into the most problems with the other "smart" (some APP-bound) kids at our current school...this is a switch solely for academics, but I hope I don't regret the social effects.

dw said...

No classroom, school or program is perfect with regard to teasing or bullying. That said, for smart, geeky kids, most tales I've heard over the years are that APP is better than other schools, in that way.

It makes sense, because if you hugely stand out as a brainiac in your neighborhood school, you're an obvious target. Once they're in APP some kids may still stand out, but far less, and most kids just aren't going to stand out that much anymore. Some schools and/or teachers (everywhere) will be less tolerant of this behavior, but on average, I believe what I've heard from quite a number of parents, which is that it usually improves in APP.

@April 5 anon: (can't we push for pseudonyms?!)

Something else I've seen over the years is that different grades (graduating years, not ages) tend to have "personalities". Some years have teasing/bullying to deal with, and others have nearly nothing all the way through high school. Unfortunately, it's very difficult to get this kind of information, as it takes time to build, even for parents that are pretty involved at school.