Saturday, June 15, 2013

Open thread

School's out for summer. What's on your mind?

26 comments :

Interested in Lincoln said...

I am looking at APP Lincoln for a second grader for fall of 2015. I would welcome any feedback from families about their experiences at Lincoln. We are seeking a welcoming place where my son can be happy socially and be interested and engaged in learning. I wonder how much pressure the kids feel at Lincoln. How much homework is there? Is there a lot of competition between students? I am hoping that APP is not a pressure-cooker in the upper grades and would appreciate hearing from the community.

Thank you.

Lincoln mom said...

I'm a mom of a girl who just finished 2nd grade at Lincoln. She started there in 1st grade. This year she had regular homework every M-Th which took about 20 minutes on average: math worksheets, flash cards for multiplication and division, some handwriting, and/or some writing (different combinations for different nights). Additionally, she was expected to read every night (as recommended/required for every SPS kid).

We have not found the school high pressure. The kids are engaged but we are not seeing any explicitly competitive behaviors yet... though these are bright kids so they are generally aware of how they are doing and how others are doing. My daughter will say things like "Oh John's great at spelling" or "Zoe's really, really good at math" or "Jason's great at soccer".

Socially it has been terrific for her, and she loves doing group work in class because all the kids participate eagerly.

Anonymous said...

My son just finished second grade at Lincoln. It was his first year in APP. I feel like he has just blossomed this year. He's found a number of like-minded kids who have similar goofy senses of humor, love to read, love silly jokes and songs, etc. Homework has been very reasonable - similar to the prior post, about 20 minutes of math Mon-Thurs; writing once a week. I haven't noticed any sense of competition between the kids.

Jane

Anonymous said...

One of our Lincoln teachers has said about homework: "We don't assign extra unless we feel the need for the kids to practice something we learned in class." I think this is a pretty good philosophy, especially in the early grades, and provided that all the kids are really understanding things in class. It's been a reasonable workload as far as homework is concerned, and I'm not sure there's a need for any more in elementary.

- Allergic to Worksheets

dw said...

A new article today about inBloom and profiteering from student data. The new gold rush. :-(

Truth-Out: School Data Profiteering

Enjoy the read, then email your school board and the superintendent. Let them know in no uncertain terms that we do not want our kids' personal data sent out to these organizations!

Anonymous said...

Hi,

My child is entering APP in 4th grade, and I am trying to figure out what math workbooks/worksheets you might suggest to get some extra math practice in before school starts in the fall? I am very comfortable with math myself, so I don't mind helping out with this prep. That said, I would love to hear what other parents have done to get your child ready for the advanced math level.

Thanks!

Mary

Anonymous said...

Help, does anyone know the direct number for Ms Tracy Libros? My child was assigned to HIMS APP, but somehow she has disappeared from schools' databases. Enrollment is ignoring me, called twice, talked to two different people; they said they will get back to me but never did. We are in the twilight zone, please help if you know how to reach Ms Libros. HIMS has no info currently, eventhough they sent us a class schedule a month or two ago! How can they just make a kid disappear! Got to love computers. We have not moved, nothing has changed; a week ago she was still listed as going to Hamilton. Thanks so much.

CCA

Anonymous said...

We've had some enrollment glitches before and we found going to the downtown office in person was the best way to get things moving (it took weeks to get it worked out). Just make sure you have the paperwork - dated copy of enrollment form or HIMS assignment letter - along with your student number. Good luck.

ben said...

@CCA

I've always had good success working things out via email. On the occasion I didn't make traction I emailed my school board rep which sped things up. Its a long summer I wouldn't waste your time going to the JSIS in person yet.

Anonymous said...

CCA,

How do you know that your child just disappeared from the HIMS database? Is there a way to check online? I have an incoming 6th grade student at HIMS APP also, and your post makes me want to confirm his enrollment.

Thanks in advance,

Just Checking

Anonymous said...

You can check assignment status here (click on CHECK A STUDENT'S CURRENT SCHOOL...):

Enrollment status

Lori said...

to Mary about 4th grade math:

My child just finished 4th grade at Lincoln. They started the year with a review of multi-digit multiplication and long division (using the standard algorithms!) and basics about fractions and decimals. Later in the year, they did a lot with adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing with improper fractions and decimals and converting between them and so on. They also did things with data collection and geometry and pre-algebra, but I don't think you'd necessarily need to prepare for that.

So I think my advice would be to just make sure your child has familiarity or some comfort with multi-digit multiplication and long division. I vaguely recall a few parents at curriculum night expressing concern that maybe their kids hadn't had enough practice with these concepts before transferring. It probably depends where you are transferring from and what was covered in your 3rd grade class.

Anonymous said...

Just checking,
Fortunately my child's elementary school's secretary called and told me that she wasn't assigned to ANY middle school, so I called HIMS and they said they could not find her anywhere. I see that someone very kindly gave a link where you can check enrollment for your child.
I finally found someone in enrollment today who was kind and competent and she is going to fix it. So we've been very lucky, if the kind secretary did not call me I would not have known about the problem. Computers!!!

CCA

Anonymous said...

Thank you Ben and anonymous @6:38am. Much appreciated

CCA

Anonymous said...

To Mary - when my child moved to APP (6th grade), I used the JUMP mathbooks to get her ready for the transition. I really like them. Amazon carries them. They are called "Jump at Home Grade X" (i.e. Grade 1, Grade 2, etc.)

Jane

Anonymous said...

Re Incoming 2d grader:

Neither of my children (1 - 3) has weekend homework. And I haven't noticed competition or negative atmosphere - I think that's more common where kids' abilities have a wider range.

There's basically no busy work. In first grade, both my kids had writing a couple nights a week, in a notebook to be turned in on Fridays, and a little bit of math at home.

In second grade my oldest had math a few nights a week and writing once a week.

In third grade he had only math 3X- 4X a week b/c he got all his writing done at school (I think other kids had writing at home if they weren't as diligent or were easily distracted). In 3rd grade the writing was all related to class projects, not to a journal - but other third grade teachers might have had different writing homework.

Re math for incoming 4th grader:

My son just finished APP third grade. They worked at 5th grade 'level' this year. They did a lot of multiplying and dividing decimals (learning where to place the decimal point in the result) and a lot of long division. They worked with the variety of greatest common/least common things in fractions - there were many phrases and somehow they kept them all straight.

The school will be using "My Math" program from McGraw Hill next year. I think 4th graders will be using the 6th grade curriculum, which has a different name than "my math" but is a continuation. So you could probably buy one of the 5th grade level MyMath books, or use the my math website, to get ready for next year.

--Very Happy APP parent

Anonymous said...

Come meet school board candidate Sue peters in person at a barbecue potluck on June 30 from 3 PM to 5 PM. Details on her webpage, Suepeters4schoolboard dot org slash events. She has tirelessly advocated for ALL of Seattle's public school children for many, many years. I hope she is able to do so from a position on the board, which is why I'm supporting her! She's not a bigwig with deep pocket pals, she needs us to make this happen, and frankly, we need her more!

She has kids in both middle and elementary schools, so her perspective is fairly broad. She also appreciates the needs of students in special education as well as those in advanced learning, she covers the spectrum!
-mom of 2

Anonymous said...

Mary - you don't say what school your child is entering, and the responses to your question I have seen all assume Lincoln. If your child is going to Thurgood Marshall, the principal has a list of math concepts your child might want to work on to hit the ground running. Just email her. The 4th grade curriculum at Thurgood Marshall will not be. "My Math" as the poster mentions below, but the 6th grade "Envision" curriculum from Pearson.
- Thurgood Marshall parent

Anonymous said...

APP PARENTS & North end Parents:

COME TO THE WILSON PACIFIC DESIGN MEETING tonight at Wilson Pacific, 1330 N. 90th (between I-5 and Aurora) at 7:30pm.

This is the ONLY chance for you say what kind of schools you wish to see built.

There is a push from folks who don't have kids, let alone kids who will go to these schools once built, to build essentially a community center. A big mega-school. Whhhyyyy????

The voters passed the Levy to build a K5 elementary for 650 and a comprehensive middle school for 1,000. They need to be separate: it is a big property, and, there is no reason to either join them up or put them side by side and concentrating 1700 kids. Who is going to want to send their students to that? Middle schoolers and elementary aged children (not to mention the preschoolers) are very different developmentally and have very different needs.

This is the ONLY meeting you can/will be able to attend to let the District know you don't want mega school or community center.

Two schools, at opposite ends of the property, with a big field in between that can be used year-round for soccer, little league, football, etc.

Like all SSD facilities, the community will be able to access the WP space after-hours per the joint use agreement (there is the Northgate Community Center and the Northgate Seattle Public Library about a mile and a half away available all the time to the community)

-no mega K8

Anonymous said...

I'm not convinced the W-P scenario of clustering the elementary and middle schools is all bad, and would like to hear the reasoning pro and con. In my hometown, one of the most sought after magnet schools is a K-12 college-prep arts school with an enrollment of 1200. They are housed in a new facility in the urban core of the city. They have an amazing performing arts theater, dance studios, art studios, music rooms, etc. They have a diverse population and coexist K-12.

This proposal, however, is still for two buildings, even if they are clustered on one side, so wouldn't they still have separate gyms, lunchrooms, libraries, and facilities? If that is the main argument against a possible mega school - needing separate facilities for K5 and 6-8 - can't you still have separate facilities with the district's proposed scenarios?

By grouping the buildings, you can possibly connect the spaces with a shared theater and music rooms grouped nearby - one of the downsides of Hamilton's design is the lack of space for the whole community to come together for assemblies and performances.

Placing the fields in the center of the site - in the known corridor for flooding - seems illogical from a practical design standpoint. There is also a need to respect the history of Licton Springs and I don't think overlaying it with ball fields is the way to honor that space.

Thoughts?

Anonymous said...

I agree with Thoughts. I haven't seen clear analysis as to the pros and cons of either. There are certainly plenty of K-8 schools that can co-exist so why is it an issue for W-P? It may not be what some people originally want but let's look at this rationally and put some of the tendency to freak out or overreact aside. I think we can create a community as K-8 and it may make the transition to middle school less hairy.

Open to sharing

Anonymous said...

I don't think we know that it would be an APP middle school. At the meeting they were pretty clear that that is not the case as of right now, and no planning is going that direction. I agree plenty of k-8s have a great thing going. But in this case, it would be 600 elementary kids with an unrelated 1000 middle school kids(so, slightly over twice as large as any k-8, I think, and not option like many of them are, creating a more cohesive community).

In that case, since neither gets the benefit of the continuous community, the costs (middle school kids have to have harsher rules since their transgressions can more deeply affect little kids; little kids end up dealing with sex/smoking/etc at the school. All fine to take on, assuming the benefits of a k-8. Without, why would you want to take that on?). The design also looked very dark, with the "fingers" of the two buildings sticking at each other, with some kind of dead space in between. Obviously cramped, not just neighbors.

I think the board/architects just heard from the non school neighborhood community and the tribe, and were either surprised by it or assumed the school design didn't matter much, because it's obviously not a good design for two schools which are intended to be separate. So we should just tell them. This is not histrionics- the neighborhood is just currently fearing the loss of any field minutes and has been incredibly vocal, and the school district needs to be reminded that though we love that the community uses the fields on school district property and should in all non school hours, the first use for school district property is education of children.

Off-topic question said...

Has anybody had a child identified as a Davidson Youn Scholar? Was it worth it?

Anonymous said...

Hi there,

My understanding is that they will generally give you advice on choosing a school and may communicate with your school if necessary. If your kid is really out there and needs the support, they can help him to find a peer group with regional groups and summer camps. I do know there's at least one child from Seattle attending their school in Reno - and his experiences at their summer camp were life-changing.

Hope that's helpful.

Anonymous said...

School Board candidates? I would like to hear reasons why former PTA pres at Lincoln is behind a particular candidate (as quoted in Seattle Times). Last election, voters supported candidates that were pushing for improved math curriculum, yet here we are with the same old math materials (except for those schools buying their own). Is there any hope?

Anonymous said...

I can't find a job listing for advanced learning program manager online anywhere. Does that mean someone has been hired?

Lynn