Friday, April 5, 2013

Capacity at Hamilton

By request, a thread to talk about the rather severe capacity issues at Hamilton and the current status of doing something about it. According to one parent, "There is no space for portables. [Hamilton's] functional capacity is listed at 973 and it's projected to be over that by 73 students next year, 169 in 2014-15, and 316 in 2015-16. APP is at 49% of Hamilton population next year."

131 comments :

Anonymous said...

A strong rumor is that there will be a split at HIMS after next year. So, current 6th grade APP students will be split AGAIN. I am hearing it will be a NW/NE split with NW staying at HIMS and NE going to Jane Addams. Obviously nothing has been announced, but something needs to happen at HIMS, and we all know which population they are going to go for.

-pickle

Maureen said...

If they are considering that, I hope the split isn't purely NE/NW. I hope they look at how long it takes to get to both locations and make the split more like SNW and NNE. Really, they should just wait for Wilson Pacific to open since it will be more centrally located than either HIMS or JAMS.

And BTW, what exactly does "strong rumor" mean? :)

Anonymous said...

I have heard it directly from someone "in the know." Whether it will happen or not I don't know, but I do know the person who told me is in the position to know what is being talked about by the district

It is just talk since nothing has been announced, but it is obvious HIMS that not going to last as is after one more year.

As far as a SNW and NNE, I don't see that happening. Crosstown traffic can be far more difficult than many of the N/S routes. There aren't that many places to cross I-5. They can't wait for Wilson-Pacific. HIMS has NO space. If the district ever planned ahead, they could plan for such things.

-pickle

Anonymous said...

Hmm...I hadn't heard the rumor, but thought the writing was on the wall for such a plan. The new JAMS would need an instant population (with music program!) to get started and Hamilton is full. It will be crushing to my daughter if it comes to fruition, as she went through the first split and lost touch with some good friends - a NE/NW split would mean the same.

Anonymous said...

I think it is a given that something will happen to APP at HIMS after next year (although, who knows, maybe it will be another June surprise this year! ☹). As such, I see two lines of questioning. One, are we OK with being split up? If yes, how split up? I mean, at what point do we worry about APP being diluted like spectrum has been? If it’s splitting the group in two between JAMS and HIMS, is that OK? Or is it at the level of dividing the group by the 3 middles that isn’t OK? Also, are such splits a shift in policy or simply a temporary solution until say, Wilson Pacific opens? If a shift in policy, is that somehow even worse for the south end (I’d venture to say yes)? If we’re not OK with being split up, then what do we propose? That requires analysis of all of the shifting terrain: JA regular middle school (JAMS), Wilson Pacific, only two locations in the N for temporary housing (Lincoln and John Marshall). I’m frustrated with the way that APP gets moved around (and so does special ed – I’m not saying we’re totally special snowflakes here), but I think we’ve got to quickly get past our (deserved) emotional response and start problem-solving.
Analyzing

Anonymous said...

Analyzing-

What you say is all well and good, but where has being proactive gotten us in the past? I have had my kid in APP for 7 years, so I have been burned and burned again. We all know what the definition of insanity is.

Yes, I am pessimistic. I think the district wants to split APP into tiny bits and place it all over the district, much like spectrum. Does that benefit the program or the kids? Absolutely not. Does splitting APP all over the place show that the district has no idea what the program is and that it's only meant to serve a small segment of the population? I think so. It shows that the district needs to go back to elementary school and learn what percentages are and how they work. There just aren't enough kids all over the district to have APP in neat little sections with neat little groups of kids in each area.

-no hopeful

Anonymous said...

As far as APP splits in elementary school, I would personally like to have a south end split and an APP program located in West Seattle. I know there are many who have opposite feeling on this than me, but just weighing in with my preference.

-Split Personality

Anonymous said...

Hamilton is just now working on getting some of their curriculum more defined for the APP classes - more than three years after the first split. I shudder to think about going back to square one with another split.

Anonymous said...

Wilson Pacific is not that far away. I would actually be a little surprised by another APP split given that it's only a few years until it comes online.

I heard that they were leaning toward John Marshall in the interim, standalone like Lincoln is now, or maybe Lincoln, making it a 1-8 for a couple years. Not ideal, but better than a split, though also just rumors right now. I think there is too much turmoil with what they are doing in the NE for APP to be decided yet.

Anonymous said...


Not hopeful: I hear you and I could have easily written what you wrote because I’ve experienced it and agree. While we haven't been in APP for 7 years, we have been in the district for 6 - and gone to bat on a number of issues (BEX, NSAP, math, 2E support, etc.= exhausting). I'm mostly pessimistic, too, but also unwilling to sit back. However, I understand that’s a personal decision. It drives me crazy not to be involved, but I have friends who are driven crazy by being involved. I think my friends and I see the pros and cons of each of our coping mechanisms. None of us have much confidence that either strategy has any impact, so we go with our own needs. How’s that for optimism?! My experience so far is that the district bean counts more than listening to substance or reason – they count the # of complaints or responses they get, not the quality (ugh, that might be a district-wide theme…). I agree that dividing APP up into tiny bits is disastrous. We’re not really facing good solutions, so I guess I’m also thinking about what’s better of the not great knowing that APP is what will be impacted to deal with capacity problems at HIMS.
Analyzing

Anonymous said...

All this decision-making about APP is ridiculous because the District has not yet articulated a plan for advanced learning. In the absence of a plan for what is now APP, Spectrum (is it reasonable to say that that even exists anymore?) and ALO, the District has no business moving us around like pawns on a chess board. Our kids and our families have to stop being the doormat for lousy planning and lack of strategy/foresight. Trouble is, I don't think we have any leverage over the system to get anything done.

- Continually Outraged

Anonymous said...

What I recommend is to push for aligned curriculum across all APP sites and then insist that any and all new APP site use thr APP-aligned curriculum - then it won't matter how many sites there are as long as it is the SAME program.

It may even be time for an education director to be assgined to APP across all sites to ensure that the program is aligned.

Anonymous said...

To the previous poster:
That was my idea also: before we (or the district) start to talk about moving / splitting APP again, how about they provide the necessary, and promised (3 years ago!) general APP curriculum, so the different sites could work alone and together also?
HIMS mom

Anonymous said...

An aligned curriculum was part of the promise of the last split. It's no where to be seen. you can't believe anything the district says because chances are they won't follow through. There is no accountability or follow through.

-realist

Anonymous said...

Well, as Charlie suggested in his update on broken promises about APP alignment in 2009, 2010, and so on, what about the test boycott leverage?
Analyzing (and getting more depressed!)

Anonymous said...

The other issues is teachers. How are we all enjoying the teachers at HIMS? There are some good ones, but there are far too many problem teachers that no one wants for their children. There used to be a requirement that APP teachers had some training in gifted ed prior to being able to teach in APP. We also lost that in the last split.

-realist

kellie said...

It is highly unlikely that there could be an APP split between HIMS and Jane Addams anytime soon, simply because there is no room at Jane Addams.

Jane Addams will be receiving portables this summer so that they can manage their growth of the already enrolled students plus the expanded middle school. The only way to make room for APP at Jane Addams would be to re-locate the K8. At the moment there is nowhere for the K8 to go.

Clearly something is going to have to change but without NEW buildings, there really aren't a lot of options. I wish there was a way to expedite Wilson Pacific because it would be lovely to have that open.

Anonymous said...

This whole situation is so distressing. We have an older elementary child whom we switched to Lincoln in part to help establish social connections before middle school, as our previous school did not feed to Hamilton. Our child has had a bit of a rough adjustment, but has made some good friends, all of whom live in a different sector of north Seattle than us, and would be assigned separately in the event of a split. Now we're looking at more uncertainty, and the splitting of what honestly sounds like a pretty weak middle school program already. The best part of Hamilton seems to be the music program - would have to start that up again from scratch at a new site - and the physical plant. By all reports the teacher quality is highly variable and the curriculum has some real weaknesses. People seem to like the general direction the new principal is taking. Splitting middle school APP in this environment sounds like a disaster in the making.

I worry that the Lincoln PTA Board seems to accept this as inevitable. At the last general meeting there was a big emphasis on the value of a comprehensive middle school experience, and it seemed like they were pushing 6-8 no matter what, even if a split resulted, as opposed to considering supporting other options.

Did anyone else feel this way after that meeting?

Anonymous said...

Kellie-

I know you have a lot of experience in the capacity issues of SPS. I don't see how the district CANNOT do a split the year after next of APP at HIMS. I don't want it, mind you, and I don't believe the district will do it well - I went through it last time. HIMS cannot have portables, so if there's no room, there's no room, unlike some of the other schools. I don't think the district would boot neighborhood kids, so that leaves APP.

What would you guess the district will do?

As for the Lincoln PTA seeming "to accept this as inevitable," what should they do? Many of them have been through this same fight before. Do you know how those worked out? As someone posted above, isn't that the definition of insanity? I know a lot of long-time parents are burnt out. I have been through this three times now with my kid. I can't do it again. I hope the new parents can put up a fight.

-pickle

Anonymous said...

1) APP cannot fit in Jane Addams as long as the k-8 is there. And, they are not going anywhere because a) they really don't want to go to Marshall (the only building left), and b) they (unlike APP) have DEDICATED school board director protecting them.

2) Even withOUT APP feeding Hamilton, Hamilton has a capacity problem. If this is the last APP class to get to go to Hamilton, and they are allowed to graduate up and out, they'll be gone by June 2016, and Hamilton will have a severe over-limit problem. It has nothing to do with APP, and, even removing or splitting APP in an attempt to save HAMILTON WON'T work. Splitting APP won't solve any problem and it will just make the program vulnerable. Anybody notice Mr. Banda come out in full support of APP?

3. That leaves Wilson Pacific. It can fit all of APP middle schoolers plus have an option program so that we get out of the itinerat-roommate business. Until we have a home of our own, we will remain everyone's favorite target. You heard the noises made at Garfeild about APP lately? Have you also heard the noises about IBX at Ingraham? It is an endless cycle. House the middle school flock as one at WP with an option program, and not only do we get out of harm's way, and, everybody else's school is freed from the burden of instability as well, the community would be freed up to focus on education. Imagine that.

4). McClure has 100 seats, that's all, because the families in the area reject the school. If that school got it together, it too would be having a capacity crunch. You can't put any APP in that school. It too cannot take any portables, by the way.

5). There's a mayor's race. They have no problem with excellent schools. They want them, to attract people to our city, instead of moving to Bellevue and working in Seattle. So get vocal. APP at WP solves a lot of problems and makes things better for 5 communities all at once.

6). The interval between now and WP- that is a seperate discussion. Lesser of two evils. Lincoln or Marshall. Pick. I'd rather be part of a community sympathetic to gifted Ed than a very small part of what essentially would be a sixth grade academy that would be rolling up in Marshall. The 4th, 3rd, and 2nd grades are not going to get a comprehensive middle school experience. So, what is the better alternative. Our PTA did not see fit to discuss this at the last meeting, instead, they wanted to talk about the glories of Hamilton, because they felt they were doing the parents of younger children a favor, enlightening them about how great middle school really is, that they should not want to not go to middle school. The wasteful part about that was that these folks won't have a choice, unless they abandon APP and go back to their neighborhood assignment comprehensive middle school. Someone clearly said, can't we talk about what's going happen because Hamilton wasn't going to be available. That question was just brushed aside. If anyone can explain what the PTA was thinking, that would be good. The silence is also surprising. There are some members of facmac who do know the numbers, so why the PTA doesn't leverage them, I don't know.

So what do you all want, lincoln or Marshall for the interim years before WP is ready?

Splitting the program would be detrimental. We don't have that written, aligned curiculum promised years ago, and the district is in no position to deliver it now. They have a deficit and problems that are overwhelming in terms of special Ed.

On the 'qt', there is a PTA member who wants JA because it means their child will avoid the 'interim roll up' middle school. So they are pushing that hard behind closed doors. Yes, they are advocating for a split, because they think (falsely) that it will lead to an instant school at Jane Addams. The flaw in the logic is the fact that with JAMS starting and the K8 not going anywhere, there won't be any room there for years.

- not that complicated

kellie said...

@ pickle

I feel your pain. The notion that something has to give is real. Something has to give because nothing is holding together.

The most challenging part of capacity management that gets glossed over, is that you need to already have space in order to change anything. The only space in the district is John Marshall and it is large but not huge. Smaller than Hamilton. That.Is.It. Nothing else.

There is a smidge of space at Lincoln but not much. Not after they carved out the space for the Homeschool Resource Center to go there, (leaving Wilson Pacific).

Someone is going to have to go Marshall next year. Most likely the "roll up" for Wilson Pacific. To me the thing that is scary is how quickly these 5 middle schools seem to fill.

The pace of growth for Seattle School is extraordinary. Typically, districts having this much growth often have to go to split schedules before they are able to bring NEW capacity on line. Wilson Pacific will buy a little bit of time but new property is going to be needed is this growth rate keeps up.

Then there is the question of high school.

Anonymous said...

Not that Complicated:

"On the 'qt', there is a PTA member who wants JA because it means their child will avoid the 'interim roll up' middle school."

Was the above said by the same person who pushed for the North/South split last time, also on the qt? I would think she would have seen how well that worked out and not pushed for it again. I guess convenience for your own child is more important than anything else.

-not hopeful

Anonymous said...

Kellie-

Thanks for the response. This is all so depressing - and scary. I can't even think about HS yet because I am too busy thinking about the next two years of middle school.

I was just told that there is another elementary school going into Lincoln next year. The person who told me couldn't remember which one is going in. Is there still a "smidge" of room at Lincoln with elementary APP, the other elementary school and the resource center there? It seems like Lincoln is getting awfully packed now, too.

-pickle

Anonymous said...

does anyone know the functional capacity of lincoln and john marshall?

Anonymous said...

I hate to say this, but in order to keep North APP's numbers at a manageable level in both elementary and middle school cohorts, new students should be provided transportation to Thurgood Marshall and Washington. This would even out the APP numbers on both ends and give them access to more established programs than what we are currently getting in APP North. TM has Julie and mostly veteran APP staff, a similar situation exists at Washington. And the commute would be the same for us, as we live in West Magnolia. What's not to love?

Magnolia Mom

Anonymous said...

Anon at 2:36 is right on.

APP middle school MUST be seen as one program at two (and possibly in the future 3) sites. The more opportunities for collaboration and alignment between WMS and HIMS teachers, the stronger the program. With the loss of Ms. Hoffacker, Ms. Shadow and Ms. McClurg during APP's time at Hamilton, the program has had a hard time becoming more solid from year to year.

We know it is likely to be moved or split again, and we'll have the same challenges bringing a new staff up to speed. The support and connection with the teachers at Washington is crucial. I hope Bob Vaughan doesn't cave on this and will advocate for teacher meeting time, gifted PD, and program fidelity between sites. It is more important to stay APP than it is to stay at Hamilton, and Hamilton is such a lovely building that I'm not sure people understand that.

We can be a strong APP elsewhere (hopefully not competing with a neighborhood school population) as long as we are solidly aligning with our sister APP school. I'd rather be all together in Marshall than diluted at HIMS. APP parents built the music program at HIMS and they can replicate it in a new place.

Anonymous said...

I think it is time to include APP in the boundary change process for 2014. With Thurgood Marshall and Washington at or close to capacity, district wide APP solutions are needed. Based on the numbers, APP as a city wide draw, maybe at Meany, could support it's own middle school. If APP were to move out of HIMS and WMS, there would be enough capacity to support all of the other programs. North APP can stay at Lincoln until their new WP elementary opens up and at some point, Thurgood Marshall APP would need to change too. But as Anon at 12:36am said, PD time and connections between sites are essential. At least for now, we must try to avoid anymore splits.

Anonymous said...

With regards to capacity, agree with anon 12:06 if push comes to shove. No to house all middleschoolers at W-P. It's too far (isn't that all the way by North Seattle CC?) and like Washington for location and vibe.

kellie said...

@ pickle, The homeschool resource center is going into Lincoln next year. After they move in, there is a little more room, but not much.

As for how much capacity Lincoln and Marshall have, I think it is easier to think in homerooms. I don't know how many homerooms Lincoln has left, because so much of the building is not habitable.

Marshall has about 30-35 homerooms.

Washington is as over-crowded as Eckstein. There is no room to move anyone there either.

Meany is also fully occupied until either NOVA or the World School move and that is scheduled for even later in the cycle than Wilson Pacific.

Anonymous said...

Magnolia Mom, what is not to like is that Washington and Thurgood Marshall are already at capacity. There isn't room for an influx of kids from the north,

south is crowded too

Anonymous said...

Magnolia mom - you don't seem familiar with Washington's and Thurgood Marshall's capacity issues. It is Thurgood Marshall that has 2 full portables this year and is adding another classroom next year. I don't see any portables at Lincoln. They even have room for a homeschool center that can be placed in any district space.
- South end

Anonymous said...

From early March: "The 2014 APP @ HIMS meeting on Tuesday night is being postponed until April."

Is there any expectation of this meeting happening?

kellie said...

TM and Washington are also full. The interesting (for lack of a better word) challenge with capacity at the moment is that essentially every school is full.

There are a few schools with a bit of space and they are all the usual suspects. McClure has a little bit but could easily fill from the neighborhood. Madronna K8 has some space but is filling. Lowell has space but only because the boundaries were drawn to leave space for APP, so a boundary redraw is in order.

But there isn't much more. My best guess is that you might be able to cobble together 1000 empty seats district wide, with the bulk of those seats being at Rainier Beach. No matter how you look at it, the district is full and we are growing by 1500 students per year.

There is little to nothing that can be fixed by changing the boundaries and feeder patters. The only thing that is going to help is genuine NEW space. There is some of that on the horizon but not enough space and not fast enough.

If Wilson Pacific was going to open next year, it would most likely be not full but but there would be a descent cohort. However, it is three years to Wilson Pacific and anything that happens for those three years will be a patch together job of some sort.

Likewise with Meany, if Meany were open next year, it would also be pretty full but we are most likely 5 years from Meany.

Anonymous said...

Here's what I think will happen:

APP 1-5th and 6th - 8th will be at Wilson Pacific when it opens in 2017. I might add that WP is geographically very central for the entire northend, unlike HIMS, and is easily accessible by 99 and I-5. I know it seems particularly far to Magnolia and QA folks, though. Then I think prior to 2017, APP middle can be housed at John Marshall. However, I was looking for an updated list of elementary school remodels and can’t find it on the BEX site. It seems like other schools need to rotate into John Marshall. I did finally find a John Marshall functional capacity listed at around 760, which is quite a bit less than 30-35 homerooms, unfortunately. The same doc listed Lincoln’s capacity at 1K, though that sounds suspect from what you say, Kellie.

Managing capacity at HIMS: while it’s true that moving APP out only buys some time, I think they will do it (and I’m not on the board of the Lincoln PTA, but do see it as inevitable). To deal with continuing capacity issues at HIMS, since the district is redrawing lines now, I think they’ll end up peeling West Woodland off and into Whitman and they’ll pull Bagley and maybe others from Whitman into Wilson Pacific for middle. They likely won’t take away McDonald and JSIS from HIMS because of the language pathway. Looks like they’re planning for 1K students at WP middle so there’s enough space for APP and general ed.
analyzing

zella917 said...

I also think the district will send middle school APP to Wilson Pacific. This would allow fewer boundary changes for the other feeder schools and free up space at Hamilton immediately. The question is when the roll-up, probably at John Marshall, would begin. I'd love to have my current 6th grade student complete her middle school years at Hamilton, but I'm not too hopeful about that prospect right now.

Anonymous said...

The school district has received information on the adverse health effects of locating a school in such close proximity to the freeway (John Marshall). It does not meet USEPA guidelines on setback from freeways. It's concerning that they are moving forward with reopening this school.

http://www.epa.gov/schools/siting/

http://www.epa.gov/schools/siting/downloads/Evaluating_Impacts_of_Nearby_Sources_of_Air_Pollution.pdf

Anonymous said...

Off topic, I just saw in the Hamilton newsletter that Mr. Tanaka got a science teacher of the year award. We haven't had him yet, but based on a few things I've heard this came a surprise to me. Thoughts from anyone with more experience?

HIMSmom

Anonymous said...

HIMS Mom-

Let's just say the judges of this award have never seen Tanaka in the classroom. Anyone who thinks he should get an award like this has never been a child. My kid's least favorite class is science and this is a kid who has always LOVED science. Tanaka makes science BORING!!

-sheesh

hschinske said...

Is it the Ivar's award? He got that a couple of years ago. I believe it's by student nomination.

Helen Schinske

Anonymous said...

I have never heard of the award that he won. I am not sure if it really means something or not. Maybe it just rotates around the science teachers who participate in the science fair.

I agree with the above poster about Tanaka's unreal ability to suck the life out of a child's interest in science.

It's this:

"Lastly, I want to congratulate science teacher, Darrel Tanaka, who was honored with the Mary Haviland Science Teacher of the Year Award this weekend at the Washington State Science and Engineering Fair in Bremerton."

-another HIMS mom

Anonymous said...

I have heard that parents were nominating Mr T for this award (they needed I think 5 nominations) and their reason was his after school involvement at HIMS with the Science Fairs and Science Nights. It was not for his in class teaching abilities. But of course the award wouldn't say that.
Unfortunately I have to agree with the previous poster also: "Tanaka's unreal ability to suck the life out of a child's interest in science".
Another HIMS mom

word said...

I questioned my daughter who has 6th grade science with Mr. Tanaka. She feels he puts a lot of work into the tests and the vocabulary sheets. She also likes the vocabulary sheets and finds them useful (many kids don't like them though). My daughter also said that she feels that kids don't listen to him enough. I (as a parent) find this believable as I have noticed he is a quiet speaker with a dry sense of humor.

I will quote my daughter's hilarious 6th grade wisdom:
"Well....at the beginning of the year he was pretty boring but now I think he feels we are not as horrible as he thought......"

We volunteered for science night and I would say that he puts in a huge amount of work on science night and that it was a brilliant success and a great learning experience for the kids.

-Our 2 cents

Anonymous said...

Should a teacher be given a "teacher of the year award" for an event, or should it be for their everyday teaching?

I vote for the latter.

-sheesh

Anonymous said...

http://www.wssef.org/M%20%20Haviland%20Award%202012.pdf

Anonymous said...

Wow, out of the 9 descriptions, Mr T has 2 (the last 2) and he received the award.
The sad part is that can you imagine the other science teachers in the State if Mr T won this year?
This is really disturbing news.
No hope in science

Anonymous said...

Has the district ever responded about the air quality issues at John Marshal?

Anonymous said...

No, but I wouldn't really expect them to. Given where we live- an urban area, the sort of air flow we have (as a port city, versus someplace like Sacramento, a valley city), limited land options, the fact that there is a private middle school there within a block that has had no ill effects, and the fact that this is an interim location for middle school aged students, I'd assume 20 minutes with any environmental lawyer will tell them this is not a problem per those guidelines or any others. Which I'd agree with. John Marshall is an excellent location. The bigger problem is the lack of comprehensive experience, but I'm not sure that's fixable at this point.

Anonymous said...

I will agree with the above poster. In a perfect world, we wouldn't have a school there, but here we are. Desperate times and all that. This is a non-starter legal argument (see TOPPS and JSIS too). I respect those parents who choose not to send their kid there, but I think they will be an extreme minority. There are few options for APP. Let's not splinter off into multiple issues. If we're going to JM, let's figure out how to make it work. Don't just reject it without viable alternatives. It is a DONE deal that someone is going in JM - the school board has said. Let's not waste time with arguments that don't work. Let's keep the focus on what is best for APP students during this transitional time before WP is open.
-Realist

Anonymous said...

The risks are not just for the children attending JM, but for the staff as well. The school district should do an environmental review prior to placing students or staff at that location, especially since they've been informed of potential health risks. It's not a non-starter, because JSIS and TOPS are pre-existing locations. They were occupied prior to the newer guidelines put forth by the EPA. The school siting guidelines were meant to be used prior to deciding to renovate a building for school use.

Anonymous said...

But it's interim. There is a lot more leeway for interim locations, since pollution health effects are cumulative.

Anonymous said...

FYI - it seems like JA k8 is gearing up to remain, perhaps indefinitely, in the JA building. And they are definitely convincing the board and SPS staff that there is no space in their current building to be shared with a new JAMS. Big fear that they will somehow manage to hold onto their real estate for ever, rather than vacate for the new JA Middle School that is desperately needed to help relieve pressure at Eckstein (which is only getting worse). How does this impact APP? Well, if there is no JAMS, then the only new neighborhood MS is Wilson Pacific - and it will be so full with neighborhood kids from the north that APP will not possibly fit into it as a full 6-8 and will absolutely be split. So, for APP Middle School future, JAMS must begin ASAP somewhere, or else it runs the risk of never happening, which will result in only one new comprehensive MS, and that will absolutely fill the only space that could house all the APP Middle schools students. Program goes poof. PLEASE if you have any pull with Eckstein, school, school board coffee hours, keep advocating for Jane Addams comprehensive middle school to start. Hire a principal. Get it going. Because otherwise ...

Sign me: very concerned cynic.

Anonymous said...

There is no plan, or intent, for the Jane Addams K-8 program to stay in the building indefinitely.

Yes, the building will be full next year, and will have portables. There was a renovation plan that would have added 4 more homerooms to the building but that was delayed so that the new JAMS planning principal would be able to decide how to use those spaces, so that will add 4 additional rooms to use during the first year of the co-housing.

The JA K-8 community is not advocating against portables or co-housing. Please don't buy into the scapegoating of Jane Addams K-8.

JA parent

ben said...

I'll second the last posting. The JA community is actively planning its move to the new building. Its not a secret cabal with plans to hijack the existing one and has no extraordinary leverage with the board or staff. In fact its part of the capacity solution, absorbing excess elementary students that would overflow the surrounding schools and increasingly with the upcoming year doing the same at the MS level (the number of 6th grade home rooms looks to double while in fact Eckstein is still predicted to contract slightly) What the community has done reasonably effectively was to try to consider the overall goals for the quadrant and cooperate with the district on a plan to get from here to there. Unrealistic options like staying in place were explored and dropped and other options like offering to take on more homerooms of middle school students were brought up etc. Personally, I believe this has been more effective than some of the gaming of the system that I've read and seen here. Advocating to rearrange other schools in the hopes of ripple effects on space alienates more of the wider community. Having prominent members of the PTSA openly advocate against the recent Levy can't have had a positive effect on the trust levels with the administration either.

Ben


Ben




suep. said...

I share the concerns of Ben and JA parent about the unseemly tactics and messages of some north-end PTSA boardmembers in the past few months.

Please know that these people do not represent the APP or other north-end communities, but their own interests.

I am also concerned that they may have done damage to our schools (APP in particular) with their negative and imperious campaigns. I know certain school board members were not impressed with their efforts.

Look, we are all legitimately concerned about the lack of space for all our kids and the future of the schools we have built and value. But I agree with Ben that trying to force one school to take the hit, or to push our own kids' interests at the expense of the well-being of other kids, will accomplish nothing but acrimony and alienation. It also won't solve the greater problem of a capacity shortage.

Anonymous said...

APP parents, who are against an APP split and yet worried about Hamilton being way over capacity, would you like the neighborhood kids to be moved out of Hamilton instead as APP keeps growing?

Living in the neighborhood

Anonymous said...

Neighborhood-

No one wants anyone pushed out of anywhere. Just as it's not a neighborhood's fault that the district CANNOT plan, it is not APP's fault either. APP students have just as much of a right to space in a building as any another student. APP families told the district and the school board that HIMS was not big enough to house APP and the neighborhood. Look at what the district did even though their numbers should have backed up the parents' claims that this wouldn't work.

Unfortunately, no one in the north is going to come out of this capacity mess unscathed.

APP families have been through a recent split. The district promised all sorts of help to make sure the split got the support (teachers, supplies, curriculum) that it needed to be stable. They did not do those things.

I am fully aware of which population is going to get shoved out... AGAIN.

-once bitten, twice shy

Anonymous said...

I understand the pain of the lack of a fixed location for APP. But it does not really make sense for neighborhood kids to be bussed elsewhere so that more APP kids can be bussed to Hamilton. As has been mentioned many times before, it is the fact that APP is a program (and kind of like an option school) that makes it more moveable since it does not have ties to the neighborhood and since most kids get bussed anyway. Unfortunate, but true.

Living in the neighborhood

Anonymous said...

Living in the Neighborhood-

Sorry to tell you this, but there are LOTS of APP kids who are also HIMS neighborhood kids. Instead of being moved AGAIN with APP, many of those kids would likely choose to stay at HIMS instead of being in a lot of upheaval. HIMS could still be in a very similar situation that could still affect you.

As convenient as it is for you to throw other kids out of the building, you may just get your own kid re-drawn into another school.

I am not sure why you are coming onto an APP blog and trying to convince people that their kids should be thrown out of a building AGAIN.

-careful what you wish for

Anonymous said...

Living in the neighborhood

There is another way to look at this, that language immersion is actually an option program too. The District staff and School Board is engaged in this precise conversation right now, and has been engaged in it for the last two years.

Just saying. There needs to be enough room for all children, not just most. I understand the impulse to automatically throw APP out on the street, but what I am saying is that APP is not the problem. Insufficient capacity is the problem. All that is being discussed now is how to slice and dice a scarce resource.

The slice/dice conversation is the wrong focus. Truly, we all need to go to the state and the federal government to
Get funding for more capacity. The only thing that fixes a capacity problem is more capacity. Messing around with kids in buildings, anybody's kids, (especially the ELL or sped students, who historically have taken the most hits of being shuffled around hither and yawn), is never the answer. And I think we are reaching portable saturation point at many of the most impacted school properties. Jane Adams and Nathan Hale are a case in point. Hale is out of space too, it is not just a Hamilton problem, and they can't put down portables apparently, so their portables were going to be put on Addams' property this year. And, Addams was going to have its library carved up this year to get more classrooms in order to avoid portables. There are lots of capacity woes to go around. Plenty for everyone. This is NOT an APP problem. Killing, or effectively killing the APP program to solve capacity issues achieved nothing, other than hurt students, all students. A study has shown that having a few highly capable students in a classroom HURTS overall student learning, because the students in the 10th percentile actually declined, the study authors presumed that the environment showing them the students who were excelling "easily" had the effect of shutting them down, so their test scores actually slid, and the 90th percentile student showed no growth in the classroom either. In contrast, without those children together, the 10th percentile students showed the most game.

Bottom line: we need state and federal dollars NOW in order to get ADDITIONAL capacity online faster. Please be part of the solution, and email and meet with your elected officials to press upon them the urgency of the problem.

We are all in this together

Anonymous said...

Careful what you wish for -

The reason why I look at the APP blog is because I have a child that qualifies for APP and we may or may not decide to send him there in the future. I also thought this blog might be open for different points of view even if they do not follow the party line. Even though Hamilton would be most convenient for us for APP as well, I still do not believe that is best for the school and neighborhood for it to become a majority APP. I personally do not think that another split of APP at middle school level sounds so bad if the program keeps growing (would still have a lot of momentum behind it at either location). Kids would have to be transported less far. But yes, a more central location and its own school like Wilson-Pacific would be even better. And yes that would affect my family too.

I certainly do not believe that SPS has done a good job at capacity planning and wished that they would have not produced these overcrowding issues. We are all affected as programs, boundaries etc. keep moving around, and I am just giving my perspective.

Living in the neighborhood

Katie said...

Attendance area schools are NOT Neighborhood schools. There are families all across the district that live a few blocks from one school and are assigned to a different school.

With 2 new middle schools in the north end, the boundary changes could be quite dramatic. There is no reason to assume that JSIS will continue to go to Hamilton, just because it is close. It is unlikely that Wedgwood will continue to go to Eckstein.

Who knows, maybe APP goes to Whitman and everything else gets shuffled.

Magnet programs like APP tend to get put in either a geographically isolated school or an undesirable school. IBX at Ingraham is likely to be very successful because of the location.

So my guess, pick the least desirable location and most unexpected location and APP will be there

Maureen said...

A study has shown that having a few highly capable students in a classroom HURTS overall student learning, because the students in the 10th percentile actually declined, the study authors presumed that the environment showing them the students who were excelling "easily" had the effect of shutting them down, so their test scores actually slid, and the 90th percentile student showed no growth in the classroom either. In contrast, without those children together, the 10th percentile students showed the most game.

We are all..., Do you have the cite for that study? I'm wondering if the effect varies by age group.

IBX at Ingraham is likely to be very successful because of the location.

Katie, what do you mean by this? IB at Ingraham is already very successful, but I think most would say it is despite the location. It's hard for a choice program to be on the outer boundaries of the district. (Or are you saying that IBX will be successful because it's in the north end, unlike Garfield?)

katie said...

@ Maureen,

Hard or not, choice programs are supposed to be on the outer boundaries of the district. That is why they are usually called magnet programs.

When Lincoln comes online there will 5 high schools and 5 middle schools north of the ship canal and most likely Ingraham's boundaries will be even smaller, creating less competition for IB and IBX from the attendance area.

The middle school home for APP is an issue because there is so much competition for the current 3 middle schools.

My guess is that it is only a matter of time until APP at Garfield becomes APP at Rainier Beach

Anonymous said...

"Magnet programs like APP tend to get put in either a geographically isolated school or an undesirable school. IBX at Ingraham is likely to be very successful because of the location."

Disagree. I didn't see APP as a magnet program or at least it wasn't that way when my kid tested in. APP MS went to HIMS, a newly renovated $73 million dollar MS. Ingraham got IBX because at the time it had more capacity to take in APP students than Ballard, Roosevelt, Nathan Hale.

The only school that is capable to take on larger population right now is RBHS. They just got the ok for the IB program to draw in more kids and even without that, purely because of demographic number, RBHS will most likely grow next year.

I haven't heard of plans to remove APP from Garfield, but I'll check. HS capacity will be (already is in some places) an issue for all students, not just APP. So don't look at this as a victim. It will be a shell game until more buildings spaces are available or repurposed.

I don't really understand the need for APP cohorts in HS as the coursework separates out. If your kid needs more, then seriously look at UW EEP. We plan to.


katie said...

Sorry you disagree but we have a geographically based assignment plan now, which likely is different from when you tested in. Under the choice plan, capacity issues were rare and easily managed by the magic wait list.

In a geographic system, special programs tend to be put in schools that would not typically be filled from the neighborhood. Ingraham got IBX because there was plenty of space even if all the neighborhood students went there. Hamilton got APP at a time when the school did not fill from the neighborhood alone. But most of all, APP went to Hamilton because that was the only way that the closure of Meany could be justified.

The APP to RBHS is just my cynical conjecture. Something is going to have to give at Garfield and APP is seen to be the moveable feast.

Anonymous said...

The difference with Garfield is that a very large number of the APP students attending are actually in the GHS zone - as outlined on the "hotspot" map over at the Seattle School blog showing a large number of APP qualified in Capitol HIll, Montlake, Madrona, Madison Park etc.

In addition to the APP qualified there was also a very large influx of private middle school kids into 9th grade this year due to the guaranteed neighborhood assignment. Many of these kids will be in the same APP classes with the APP students starting next year due to a different math pathway that qualifies them for Pre-Calc and Chemistry. They basically replaced the APP North kids that went to Ingraham.

The good news for Garfield is that the demand for high-level classes will be maintained if this patterns continues with upcoming classes. Also, with the smaller geo-zone for Garfield, I do believe that the over-crowding will be alleviated in the coming years as long as the Hamilton kids shift to Ingraham.

The bad news for the district is that they can try and assign APP HS South to RBHS - not sure why anyone in the GHS zone would go when they are getting what they need at GHS. That leaves a very small cohort of kids to shift south....

-GHS Parent

Anonymous said...

GHS parent said, I do believe that the over-crowding [at Garfield] will be alleviated in the coming years as long as the Hamilton kids shift to Ingraham

Ingraham IBX is open to anyone - North or South - that tests in as an 8th grader. It is not a pathway just for Hamilton. It is a different program from Garfield, so I'm not sure you can count on less demand for Garfield's program. The APP cohorts coming to Hamilton in the next few years are much larger then previous years. Even if a larger percentage choose Ingraham IBX, there's still a sizable group that will choose Garfield.

Anonymous said...

@ Katie, why do you say there's no reason to assume JSIS will continue to go to HIMS? That's the international school pathway, right? Have you heard plans along these lines, or is that more cynicism as well?

HIMSmom

katie said...

@ himsmom

I say that because of the many, many families all across the district that live a few blocks from one school and are assigned elsewhere. Assignment schools are NOT the same thing as neighborhood schools.

Just because Hamilton is your closest school is no reason to assume that is going to be your attendance area school. 5 middle schools instead of 3 will make for a lot of changes. I don't think it is "safe" to assume anything. There are many folks in the NE that think of Eckstein as their neighborhood school that will likely wind up at Jane Addams or Wilson Pacific.

It is not just APP that can be moved. With the language immersion pathway also at Ingraham, why can't language immersion go to Wilson Pacific.

I don't know anything. I don't think anyone knows anything. 2014 is the plan for all new boundaries and feeder patterns.

dw said...

@Living in the neighborhood: I personally do not think that another split of APP at middle school level sounds so bad if the program keeps growing (would still have a lot of momentum behind it at either location).

Some of your points are good food for thought. However, EVERYONE (not just you) NEEDS TO STOP TALKING ABOUT APP GROWTH AS IF IT'S INEVITABLE OR A GOOD THING! PLEASE!

APP has grown because it was split (brought closer), because Spectrum has been mostly dismantled, the economy brought a few private kids back to SPS, and because entry criteria has changed (using MAP, futzing with metrics).

These are all one-time effects, though they will take a few years to roll up through the system. Unless the advanced learning department continues to lower the entry bar there is no reason to believe that APP will continue to grow.

Nor is there any reason to think that "growth" in a special needs population is a good thing. I hope everyone understands that there are not twice as many highly gifted kids in our city now as compared with 10 years ago. 10 years ago the vast majority of kids in APP were true outliers, they really needed it. Now, for better or worse, a significant percentage are kids that would have done perfectly fine in a strong, well-supported regional Spectrum program, or a strong, well-supported ALO in their neighborhood.

For many families, APP has become a Spectrum replacement, for bright, diligent kids. But APP was never meant to serve all those kids. It was designed to serve kids who's needs just flat out could not be met by a local or regional program.

Make no mistake, I'm not blaming parents for putting these kids in APP. I know a bunch of these families, and they're just doing what they feel is best for their kids in light of what is available to them. The mistakes lie with district executives and the Advanced Learning department. In general, they have made less options available to elem/middle families, and they have destroyed the (comparatively) strong programs that used to exist.

At this point, growth is bad. Some shrinkage would actually be a good thing, but until/unless Spectrum is rebuilt and parents are confident that it will be supported over time, I don't see much shrinkage in store, just slight growth that matches the overall city/district.

dw said...

@We are all in this together A study has shown that having a few highly capable students in a classroom HURTS overall student learning, because the students in the 10th percentile actually declined, the study authors presumed that the environment showing them the students who were excelling "easily" had the effect of shutting them down, so their test scores actually slid, and the 90th percentile student showed no growth in the classroom either. In contrast, without those children together, the 10th percentile students showed the most game.

Along with Maureen, I'd love a link to this. Or researcher names so we can look it up.

It's difficult to get this data because you need to have proper control of your data sets, to know that there isn't self-selection bias, etc. I know that Dina Brulles (Paradise Valley, AZ) did some studies a while back that clearly showed similar results, though I don't have a link handy. Basically, by carefully grouping kids into classrooms based on their needs (what a concept!), teachers were able to better meet ALL the kids needs.

This isn't rocket science. The wider the range of kids' needs in any classroom, the less time a teacher has to work with any particular group/level. This is as unsurprising as basic laws of physics, and yet there are many people, including teachers and principals, that don't understand it. It's depressing.

juicygoofy said...

@ dw "I hope everyone understands that there are not twice as many highly gifted kids in our city now as compared with 10 years ago."

I don't have any statistics what so ever, but is it just possible that there ARE quite a few more gifted kids than compared to 10 years ago? If I look at the parent population of my child's school, where about 1/2 of the spectrum students are identified as APP by 6th grade, I see highly intellectual transplants who were drawn or relocated to Seattle within the past 15 years. Microsoft, Amazon, and other tech careers are the norm. Ivy league graduates, Dr.s and Phds and are plentiful. It seems natural that there could be more gifted children in Seattle than 10 years ago...and lots of them.

Note: I do feel the recent growth of APP @ LIncoln is also largely due to relocating to the north and the watering-down of Spectrum...

dw said...

Juicy, there might be some small increment due to external factors like that, but nowhere near the outrageous growth the program has seen over the past 10 years. Seattle has been far above the norm as far as education level for many years. It's not a new thing.

If you work in tech (and/or are an APP parent!) it's easy to get a distorted view of "normal". Remember, the vast majority of people, even here in Seattle, are not Drs, PhDs, Techies or Ivy Leaguers.

Also, the acceptance rates for APP grew more than 50% over the course of just 3 or 4 years, a few years back. That, along with splitting N/S and destruction of Spectrum are the primary drivers for APP growth.

Anonymous said...

In case you haven't seen this.

http://www.seattleschools.org/modules/groups/homepagefiles/cms/1583136/File/Departmental%20Content/enrollment%20planning/Enrollment%20Projections%202013-14.pdf?sessionid=63a0af5ee784e81cd33f139b1d9c3088

Hamilton is looking quite “heavy." Eckstein is still predicted to dip. The Eckstein SA is projected to grow by 296 kids (grades K-5). That’s the equivalent of one School.

Anonymous said...

According to the numbers, the HIMS growth is largely APP students. 2013 APP enrollment would be 50% of the total projected enrollment of 1101 students. Compared to Oct. 2012 numbers, there is a projected jump in 6th grade APP enrollment (71 students) as well as in 8th grade APP (60 students), while 7th grade APP enrollment is projected to increase by only 2 students.

Yikes.

juicygoofy said...

Hi again,

Yes dw, I believe that the biggest reason for the recent growth in APP, at least in the elementary level, has been the watering down of Spectrum and the move to Lincoln. In fact, my daughter has been APP qualified since K, and we did not send her to Lowell because of the distance. Lincoln would have been a better option for us.

We stayed at our neighborhood school, so my observations are of a general ed. population and our neighbors on a modest street. I am constantly amazed at how many parents with young children have relocated to Seattle in recent years...and almost all are because of a job either in or related to tech.

The point I was trying to make is that there probably ARE more gifted children in SPS than 10 years ago.... not that it is the sole reason for the astounding growth, but a factor to be considered.

Anonymous said...

There isn't any info on the overlap of kids that are both neighborhood and app.

Hamilton is our assignment school but we wouldn't have done app at Washington.

Anonymous said...

Wow, 60 new kids joining APP at HIMS for 8th grade next year??? I had been assuming the increase would be primarily at 6th grade... I don't have the current 7th grade figures, but doesn't that mean about 1/3 of the 8th grade cohort will be new next year? Is that a typical infusion of "new blood" at 8th grade? It sound very high to me. I wonder what the impact will be--and I hope the new kids are already working at a high level and are able to jump right in. On the plus side, it may mean some new blood on the teaching side, too.

HIMSmom

Anonymous said...

HIMS mom,

It appears the above poster was referring to year over year growth. There will only be two new 8th Grade APP students at HIMS and only eight new 7th Grade APP students at HIMS next year. Just the larger cohorts moving up. But 225 in 6th Grade APP, that's 7 sections of classes! Distance must be a factor, as they also adjusted the Ingraham APP number to 90. I guess everyone got in who applied because I see no APP waiting list for Ingraham. Just 63 Gen Ed.

Off to Ingraham next year, HIMS looks headed for troubled waters...

HIMS 8th Grade Family

Anonymous said...

Yes, the numbers just reflect a larger 7th grade cohort moving up to 8th grade, not new 8th graders.

Anonymous said...

Based on these numbers - looks like Garfield 9th grade will be 120 -- increasing from 95 from WMS, so that means the extra kids are from Hamilton since you can't test into Garfield APP in 9th grade.

That would mean a little bit of influx of new kids to IBX at Ingraham with 90 kids (ostensibly 77 from Hamilton and 13 new kids)....so all of the kids who tested in at 9th grade and applied were apparently accepted as there is no APP waitlist.

-SPS is getting something right

Maureen said...

It seems like some APP 8th graders must be going to a reference school, NOVA,Center, UW Early Entry or private. If so, even more than 13 new qualified students are joining IBx.

Maureen said...

Back to the issue of HIMS capacity(!). Are there any classrooms available at Lincoln? What about putting four LA/SS block classes over there? 8th and maybe 7th graders could spend their morning or afternoon over there and have a slightly longer lunch period to walk over or back. Four classrooms would get 120 or so kids out of the building at any given time. Not ideal, but better than moving all of APP to John Marshall.

Anonymous said...

Next year there will be APP students in the IBX program @ Ingraham from WMS also (not just from HIMS and newly tested students), that is how the numbers for the IBX students are adding up.
HIMS mom

Anonymous said...

HIMS Mom-

That would mean even more HIMS students choosing Garfield then. A friend of mine whose child is in WMS 8th grade says she he heard of 2 WMS students that chose IBX. Majority is still definitely Hamilton.

-crunching the #s

kellie said...

The high school numbers are ... daunting. While the middle school APP shuffle is a crazy making, at least there are plans for THREE new middle schools. There is only a plan for ONE new high school.

Just going by the BEX projections (that haven't been updated to reflect already existing higher enrollment), with Lincoln added as a high school and RB enrolled at full capacity, there would be 42 extra high school seats district wide in 2017 when Lincoln comes on line.

That is not a lot of give and already existing increases in enrollment are greater than 42. While the APP numbers maybe more visible and in theory easier to move than general education students, the simple fact here is that we are short of high schools seats as well as middle school seats.

APP is not the capacity problem. The capacity problem is more students than inventory in certain parts of town. In other words, even if APP was only at Rainier Beach and even if every APP student went to Rainier Beach, we would still have a high school capacity problem.

IBX has done a great job of buying everyone some time to address the high school issue. However, Jane Addams as a K8 was also a strategy that bought some time to deal with the middle school capacity issue and we are dealing with that now.


Maureen said...

kellie, do you know how Running Start kids are accounted for? In theory, it seems like if we can get more kids out of the buildings as seniors we can open up some seats. In a related, but less happy, issue: any success we have at decreasing the drop out rate is going to make the crowding worse, isn't it?

Anonymous said...

Kellie is completely correct. However the time IBX has bought Garfield has ended, according to the protections Garfield will be back up to 120 APP 9th Graders, the number the district wanted to avoid two years ago and this will keep increasing unless a more aggressive turnaround campaign is in place at Ingraham. I can't see the district forcing people to go to IBX but it seems like soon there will be little option. The music program is growing by leaps and bounds next year though with an audition only symphonic orchestra. That should help. We are just leaving HIMS, but it seems that at 549 students, it could be enough to support it's own programs if moved to Lincoln. 1101 students cannot fit in the current HIMS building and at least the district might be able to take advantage of the great leadership at Lincoln already with advanced learning programs.

Just my thoughts.

kellie said...

@ Maureen,

I have no idea how running start is calculated. And yes, those numbers assume no change in the drop out rate. A small improvement in retention would greatly intensify the capacity challenge. IMO, I think that the capital facilities plan should be based on a straight roll up with a zero drop out rate. I think we should have "space" for kids to be successful, as well as for the ones that are enrolled.

TechyMom said...

I wonder what the chances are of getting IBX spun up at Ranier Beach? That could take pressure off Garfield, and provide a much-needed draw to Beach. I also like the idea of IBX at the edges of the city and Garfield in the center. Sealth too, but it may already be too full?

Anonymous said...

Lincoln is full. There's another group going in there next year already.

Maybe there is an option for a couple of classrooms here and there for HIMS, but that is far less than ideal. A five minute passing time isn't enough to get over there and both Lincoln and HIMS are large buildings.

I expect a July surprise. I don't all the kids fitting, even with the additional planning for the jump in kids. They didn't plan for this many extra, and. I can't believe there will be room.

-pickle

Lori said...

pickle or anyone, what was the HIMS projected enrollment earlier this year, before the Board voted to "do nothing" for 2013-2014?

I've looked back thru my notes but can't find what number they thought HIMS could cram in next year.

I want to know how that number compares to the recently released projection of 1100 for HIMS in the fall.

lendlees said...

Projected # @ HIMS: 1039 (516 APP). From someone's numbers above, the actual increase in APP is 133 vs. the 100 the district projected.

So the HIMS increase isn't solely due to APP.(61 total vs. 33 APP)

Anonymous said...

Lori,

I don't have any links to back up what I am saying, but I believe that Ms Watters planned for the worst thinking of three additional classrooms and thought she could squeeze that in. Obviously, these numbers are one classroom worse than the dire predictions she worked off of.

-pickle

Anonymous said...

@Lori - The SPS projections dated 1/29/2013 show HIMS projected to be at 1072 (516 of them APP).

North-end parent

Anonymous said...

What about moving Hamilton Attendance Area Spectrum to McClure? The transportation costs would not be huge and McClure has enough space to accommodate Spectrum but not APP. A robust spectrum program at McClure could also help to relieve some of APP's numbers as well. My children would go to two different schools but I think everyone would benefit.

HIMS Family

Anonymous said...

HIMS Family your idea is so reasonable, but we hit the old problem of "program" vs. "school".

As we have twice seen, APP can get picked up on a whim and moved because it is a separate program placed in a building. Spectrum is part of the school and is supposed to be offered at neighborhood schools.

open ears

Anonymous said...

I actually don't think it is reasonable to just remove Spectrum students from Hamilton. Spectrum is offered at all comprehensive middle schools - why should Hamilton suddenly be an exception? And who would you remove the year after that? Crazy talk.

Anonymous said...

Will APP@HIMS not fit at Lincoln? A co-location with APP Elementary and a population of 550 give it enough students to offer good music and foreign language programs on it's own. This seems to be better than a move to John Marshall or a spilit. Can we start the advocating now? I find it hard to believe we can get by next year and definitely not the year after, so why not move now and avoid the surprise?

Anonymous said...

Anon above,

NOOOO!!!! HIMS APP will NOT fit at Lincoln. Clearly something needs to be done, but Lincoln won't work.

The only possibility in the north Is John Marshall. Watch out, here come the air pollution people.

-gas mask

also_anon said...

BF Day could be redirected to McClure. Language immersion could go to McClure. If McClure truly has space, it should be utilized. Queen Anne is really not very far from Fremont/Wallingford.

Tami said...

@Anonymous@10:19 - SPS may have tried to get Garfield 9th grade below 120, but pushing Washington students to go to IBx at Ingraham isn't likely to help for more than a year or two. Looking at the numbers projected for next year at Hamilton APP - 7th grade and 8th grade are 160, and 6th grade is 225. Of course, not all of the Hamilton APP students will choose Ingraham, but many will.

Last year, Ingraham had 288 9th graders, of which 49 were APP. This year 301 9th graders are projected, 90 of whom are APP. That's a 12% increase. In 3 years, unless the in-neighborhood numbers decline precipitously, the 9th grade could be closer to 400+ students. That's a big increase, and one that keeps moving up the grades.

Years ago, Ingraham had 2000 students - and a heck of a lot of portables.

Anonymous said...

Tami, thank you for the thoughful look into these numbers. I think, as the district is given money for APP transportation, if they provided an afternoon return bus to QA/Magnolia and to Garfield, that could assist in some of transportation problems. You bring up an issue that has been raised before, Ingraham could accommodate the APP growth and in a couple of years, could be over 50% APP in the 9th Grade Class. Garfield cannot, and has no room to expand. Maybe a change in the default assignment is needed, plus the fact that APP/IBx is actually a program compared to simply a designation at Garfield.

Just My Thoughts

Anonymous said...

Garfield and Ingraham/IBX are different programs. Are you suggesting the default assignment for HIMS should be Ingraham, even though it is a distinctly different option from Garfield?

disagree

Anonymous said...

Garfield is an amazing school but all classes are offered to everyone, regardless of academic background in middle school. Besides the Science and History acceleration (the exact same classes, just earlier), APP means very little once enrolled at the school. I am just suggesting that a flip is made so all APP students are automatically assigned to Ingraham IBx and can apply during open enrollment to Garfield and get a spot no matter where they live. If Garfield wasn't the default assignment and transportation (funded by the state for APP) was provided in the PM, it could help with the overcrowding problems.

Just My Thoughts.

Anonymous said...

Hmm, interesting way of putting it:

"Garfield is an amazing school but all classes are offered to everyone, regardless of academic background in middle school." The big "but" doesn't sound like Garfield is all that amazing to the writer, especially given the remarks that come after. l

Looking through the comments, starts to see trend with the opinions and suggestions. Lots of sending other programs away from Hamilton or sheparding HS kids to Ingraham IBX even though it's obvious space will run out. Then more suggestions to send other programs out of Ingraham. Oh wait, no let's send APP to newly rebuilt W-P so we can all be on one campus. Perfect. And no need for charter.

by design

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with Just My Thoughts about Garfield, the 9th Grade LA Honors class is a joke (at least for our family). There is such a wide range of learning abilities, it is almost impossible for anyone to learn anything. The extra curriculars, music, and science are great but LA/SS and World Language are quite lackluster. My child has actually submitted an application to transfer to IBx, hopefully missing the 9th grade prep for IB won't kill her. She hopes to also join the new symphony orchestra.I know this isn't the experience with everyone at Garfield but the teachers are very hit and miss. Just because Garfield is the "traditional" pathway doesn't mean it's the best either.

Anonymous said...

By all means do tell us what is so extraordinary about 9th grade LAs at Ingraham vs. Garfield (or Roosevelt or Hale or Center School or NOVA) and why Ingraham has quality consistency in its teaching staff, but nowhere else. Specifics is helpful and telling.

by design

Anonymous said...

The only possibility in the north Is John Marshall. Watch out, here come the air pollution people.

-gas mask


You can make light of the potential health effects, because after all, they may not show up for years or even decades. Before you discount concerns, perhaps you should educate yourself.

This article provides a good description of the science:

Big Road Blues

“For people who move away from the highway, it’s like they quit smoking,” says Wig Zamore. Is the converse true? Is living, working, or going to school near the freeway like starting smoking? Think about it.

Anonymous said...

You are right about the risk. There are risks in everyday living...in my son and daugher playing soccer and skateboarding and the risks for injuries and concussions. My husband runs in marathons. I'm training for one right now. I found out this week just how risky that is, but I still want to do it.

Anonymous said...

I am anon@ 10:27, in response to by design, I am not suggesting Ingraham's LA department at any grade is better overall than Garfield or than any other school but that the classes are designed to fit with the pathways of middle school students when they arrive and can provide additional challenge to those who desire, unlike at Roosevelt, for example where everyone takes the same 9th Grade LA course, at Ingraham there are three options, LA 9, Intro to Lit and Comp 9H, and APP Langauge Arts 9. Once you get into IB, no matter if you are APP or not, there is a general ed English course, Journalism, and the option of two IB two year English courses. If you were to have a problem (not that you would) with a particular class, there would be another option to choose from, and if APP, there is a designated class for you, helping to challenge all students.

Leaving Garfield

Anonymous said...

Are you suggesting accepting the risks associated with choosing to participate in sports is somehow similar to accepting the health risks of a school assignment?

I found out this week just how risky that is [running marathons], but I still want to do it. Seriously? A one time horrific event, and you are suggesting this is now a risk you assume in running a marathon?

rationalize away

Anonymous said...

No, not at all. That's the point I was trying to make. If air pollution is such an overwhelming health concern, why choose to live in a city like Seattle at all? Forks might be better for that (but not for other things). What do you do when we have air stagnation days (or weeks)? If you want to live life by actuarial statistics, do so by all means.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps I would understand this more if this concern was about reducing overall air pollution for the Puget Sound area. When I think of all the places we go to and live by, many are by railroads, freeways, and major bridges. Think of the cut, UW, bike paths, playfields, parks, stadiums, shopping mall, etc. What about hwy 99, 45th ave. and downtown streets and long car idling time waiting for lights to change and traffice to move adding more particulates in the air?

Anonymous said...

It's not about eliminating risk, but reducing it. Pollution decreases exponentially with distance from the freeway. If the school were sited just a few blocks further from the freeway, the exposure risks would be greatly reduced. Barriers such as trees or sound walls can reduce the pollution, but JM has neither.

Perhaps a graphic is needed. A study was done on a similarly situated school in Providence, RI. The introduction has a general graph of relative particle concentration vs distance from the freeway (pg 10). JM is about 50m from the freeway.

http://envstudies.brown.edu/theses/archive20112012/Thesis_ShermanSelix.pdf

The linked study also showed a correlation between indoor air quality and outdoor air quality.

Anonymous said...

I read through the study and article. It's an interesting thesis. But at the end, the plan isn't to remove schools or homes from freeways, but reduce overall air pollution in the neighborhood. If freeways were such a problem (vs. clogged arterials, and RRs), then either move the freeways or limit all development surrounding freeways. I don't see that happening anywhere. SLU is growing, downtown and many neighborhoods are getting denser (and that's how the pols, investors, and planners want it) without much improvement on getting us here and there efficiently.

The practical situation maybe to wear a mask afterall if the concern is that great. As a family with allergies and asthma, I don't treat air pollution lightly. We chose to live here(argubly it's a choice because our workplaces are in Seattle and we didn't want to do the long commute) so we make accomodations because we can't have it all.

Anonymous said...

The thesis also cites research that resulted in placing restrictions on citing of schools near freeways. California's SB 352 "prohibits the siting of any school boundaries within 500 ft from the edge of a freeway with greater than 50,000 vehicles per day and requires health studies for existing schools that fit this criteria."

JM is an existing building, but is not currently being used as a school by SPS. If they followed the CA law, JM would not be put into use as a school since the building is approximately 150 ft from the freeway, well below the minimum 500 ft setback. Also, it is the school boundary, not just the building, that must be 500 ft away.

We don't yet have the same laws here, which will probably allow for the reopening of JM, despite the potential adverse health effects.

Anonymous said...

Also_anon
So the children from the three neighborhoods closest to HIMS, who are walking and biking to Hamilton now, should get up at 6am and wait in the dark to take Metro to McClure, to make room for APP, who are bused in from all over the north end via school bus, yes?
Why stop there? Why not empty the school of all others and give that pretty, shiny new building wholly over to APP? Then all those 200+ parents who wrote in for tips on how to win their appeals though private testing would all be able to get into APP!
And I've read may times on this blog that the teachers at HIMS are not good enough for APP kids; I have a great idea, why not send them away, and have the Eckstein staff reassigned to APP, I hear that they are excellent.

Ye Gods and little fishes

Anonymous said...

Are you kidding me? Anon just made a suggestion not a war cry. Many HIMS APP kids live in those areas as well, some Spectrum kids don't even live in the Hamilton Attendance Area. Where do you expect APP to go? Once APP leaves, Advanced Learning will have little support in HIMS, just count on it...

Fed Up

also_anon said...

Wow, just throwing out an idea. Last time I heard that was not grounds for tar and feathering. Oh, I forgot, it's a blog where people show their true colors. If I had an idea that hadn't already been mentioned as to where to locate APP, I would have thrown that idea out as well. McClure isn't big enough to house APP. I guess we could do a switcheroo and send APP to McClure and send McClure gen Ed to Hamilton. I'm fine with that. I'm also not against John Marshall for APP. I would like my child to go to a school that has a spot for every student and where they stand a chance of the teachers knowing their name. BTW, there are two elementary schools closer to my house than the one my kids are assigned to so we don't all get to go to our "closest" school and lots of Ballard kids are getting themselves to Ingraham rather than walking and biking to Ballard so QA Magnolia kids can come to Ballard. I'm sure the evil APP parents are somehow resposible for that as well. And I learned a long time ago that shiny and new does not always equal quality.

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous at 8:08,
I am well aware that some APP students live in HIMS attendance area, thank you. My child is one of them! I just find the self-absorption of some APP parents offensive. And the attacking of teachers by name on a public blog, while remaining anonymous themselves, reprehensible. Hamilton is a school with several different programs, yet it seems that APP is the only program with parents who consider themselves separate from the rest of the school community. If you wish to keep yourself separate, then you should ask for your own school; if you are part of a school, then you should consider and respect the other populations; and BE part of the school, not just of APP.


Ye Gods and little fishes

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 9:52pm
"if you are part of a school, then you should consider and respect the other populations; and BE part of the school, not just of APP."

Could you please tell us what do you mean by this? I don't really understand it.
I can only speak for myself but I do respect the community at HIMS, and I am there at every occasion to help, to volunteer in the school and it doesn't matter to which population. And I see many many APP parents who are doing the same (Have I seen you there @ Science Night, or Pi Night?). Also, there are a lot of APP parents who are there, at every meeting, related to the program, to the school, to the PTA, FACMAC, etc. and advocating for our (yes, also your!) children in their spare time...
Actions speak louder than words

Anonymous said...

Ye gods and little fishes,

Our family does not consider ourselves separate from the school community, APP is 50% of the school but at least from the district, and the previous HIMS administration, we were not treated as such. The first capacity management solution was to keep 6th Grade APP at Lincoln. While I don't condone the use of names of teachers, people on this blog aren't complaining just for the sake of it, they are responding to the questions of others. Besides this, HIMS APP is finally starting to really work and be accepted. APP, in itself, is a community, and our family has found that in order to be accepted, APP can't be 20% of the school or less. We love HIMS and are a part of it, but know in the end APP will probably be the only group looked at to move out of the building when the time comes.

Fed Up.

Anonymous said...

You mean comments like these: "The other issues is teachers. How are we all enjoying the teachers at HIMS? There are some good ones, but there are far too many problem teachers that no one wants for their children."

I won't repost the comments about the teacher winninig the science award. Reading through those makes me cringe because they don't actually shed insights, but are very clear on the disdain and are unhelpful comments. This kind of writing reflects badly on all of us and us, I mean the whole school. Put yourself in the principal's shoes or any of the teachers, including the ones you personally like, how would they read this? It's an unverified anonymous attack on one of their own on a public forum. There is no way to get at the motivation or truth behind this. It could be a disgruntled person or persons. Who knows. What if instead of a teacher, it was about one of the kids? or a parent?

While a blog can be a useful platform for info and thoughtful discussion, it also can accentuate and magnify a (personal)problem and play mischief. I measure all postings carefully and verify independently.

It's a crazy week in the news and I'm for one ready for peace and goodwill. Take care

Anonymous said...

I see the teacher rants as a symptom of a poorly planned split and lack of definition around APP curriculum. I can't condone calling out teachers by name, but there continue to be issues with some classes that are a result of assigning teachers to APP classrooms when they have neither gifted ed training nor a solid grasp of what's appropriate content. Without a defined curriculum or some consistent texts between classes and schools, the problem is exacerbated. To the new principal's credit, there is some collaboration between HIMS and Washington and they are trying to bring more definition to the APP curriculum. Also, it wasn't until this year that 6th graders could officially take Algebra 1 again - a promise that was made with the split - and it took how many years?

Progress said...

Anon@ 9:59, Exactly! My family, and others we have talked to, don't want to leave Hamilton because the principal seems to be commited to creating some sort of standard APP curriculum with the assistance of the staff. This achievement has never been possible in the history of the program. Same, with the Algebra 1 situation, although I am not a fan of mixed grade math classes for several reasons. I think the use of individual names should be discouraged on this blog in order to keep a sense of civility. How would you like it, if you were discussed in that way?

Progress

Maureen said...

How do you (we, I) know if a teacher has "gifted ed training" or not? I have been on teacher hiring committees and know that ELL and Sped training are a real thing (i.e., certification). Is "gifted ed training" a real thing, or is it about what individual teachers choose to do for their personal professional development?

Anonymous said...

Some states require teachers to have gifted ed endorsement or certification in order to work in specialized gifted ed programs. An example from Illinois (scroll to Section 227.25):

Required Qualifications for Gifted Ed Teachers

Washington does not have such requirements, but that does not prevent the district from creating their own policies for assigning teachers to gifted ed classrooms.

Anonymous said...

More on the gifted endorsement -

According to a 2008-09 report on the State of the States in Gifted education, "twenty states require teachers in specialized gifted education programs to have a certificate or endorsement in gifted education." The table on pg 239 goes into more detail about individual state requirements for teachers.

http://www.k12.wa.us/highlycapable/workgroup/pubdocs/2008-2009_State_of_the_States_Report.pdf

Anonymous said...

I see it as inevitable that APP will be moved out of HIMS to somewhere else at some time. I've been weighing and sorting through things people have said and I now understand and agree that the problem for APP is the lack of defined curriculum and direction. There's no real leadership at the district level, so that means parents have to be advocates. That leads to a situation where parents can, at times, seem shrill and critical. It also makes parents want to have more of a pack and not be divided up, not just because of wanting a student cohort, but because if there is no leadership or alignment, then it helps to have a critical mass. In this vacuum of care, planning, and leadership, it helps to have a principal who is working for students in APP. If Cindy Watters is doing that, then it makes it harder to leave HIMS. However, if there were definition for APP and advanced learning – qualifications for teachers, defined curriculum, leadership, consistent programming at schools – then being moved, changes of teachers, and changes in school leadership wouldn’t be as threatening.

I do wish we were less critical of each other – or maybe what I mean is less harsh. I mean, even if we cannot easily assume best intentions, we can acknowledge that this SPS situation is crazy making for many people for many reasons, so sometimes people will act crazy! I’m going to commit to civility -- asking and clarifying before assuming the worst.

I feel sort of paranoid about using a consistent moniker because of not really understanding the way that people can be traced online. However, I do think being anonymous makes it too easy to be irresponsible in postings.

Analyzing


Anonymous said...

Thank you "'Anonymous' at April 19 at 9:07 for your thoughtful comments. I too cringe at those postings and wish those criticisms could be used in a more constructive manner.