Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Growth boundaries and APP

A thread to discuss the latest growth boundaries proposal (slides and handout).

For convenience, here is an excerpt of a piece specific to APP from the handout:
NORTH
APP middle school enrollment is already too large for one north pathway (large enough for two to three pathways). The recommendation is for two north APP pathways with guaranteed assignments:
• Wilson‐Pacific Elem > Wilson‐Pacific MS > Garfield (or optional APP/IB at Ingraham)
• Olympic Hills > Jane Addams MS > Garfield (or optional APP/IB at Ingraham)

SOUTH
Projected APP middle school enrollment is too large for one south pathway, but not large enough for two. The recommendation is to maintain the current pathway with guaranteed assignment:
• Thurgood Marshall > Washington > Garfield (or optional APP/IB at Ingraham)
• Add APP services in West Seattle as an option for APP‐eligible students in grades 1‐8. Fairmount Park > Madison > Garfield (or optional APP/IB at Ingraham)
Update: For a broader analysis (and some more comments on APP), don't miss Charlie Mas' post, "Growth Boundaries Plan".

95 comments:

Anonymous said...

Also being proposed, general ed Wilson Pacific ES students will be co-housed with APP elementary students at Lincoln starting next year. Both general ed and APP elementary students would move from Lincoln to new Wilson Pacific campus in 2017.

- Chris

Anonymous said...

It's not clear to me whether ALL APP student would move from Hamilton to Marshall next year, or only the new 6th graders. Different parts of the presentation online seem to indicate each of those possibilities (one place says all, but another place indicates just 6th graders).

Anonymous said...

I am totally confused about the proposed APP Middle School Map - where are Magnolia and Queen Anne APP Middle Schoolers going?

Anonymous said...

When I look at the map, it looks like QA/Magnolia will go to Wilson-Pacific.

Jane

Anonymous said...

Wilson pacific.

I have to say, it looks not bad (perhaps I had extremely low expectations), but I hope they don't try co-locating JAMS, the Jane Addams k-8, AND the JAMS APP students. That sounds like an absolute cluster. They should keep the app students at John Marshall until the k-8 moves out, or as close to that as possible.

Anonymous said...

Looks like QA and Magnolia are in the NW (Wilson-Pacific) pathway, shown with the pink border.

HIMSmom

Anonymous said...

I agree, it would be best to temporarily keep all the APP kids together at John Marshall, rather than splitting the NE group off earlier. It's already going to be a small group of APP kids since only 6th graders, so at least let's try to have a critical mass of those. Course options will likely be pretty limited otherwise.

HIMSmom

Anonymous said...

Anon at 5:39, I think the reference to "all" APP students moving was about all the 6th graders from both of the new pathways, as opposed to just those from the NW pathway (with the NE path kids moving to JA sooner).

HIMSmom

Anonymous said...

Yep, I'm confused. What is happening to existing middle school APP students at Hamilton? Do they remain and age out? Does this mean they won't be split for a second time?

Kass said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

OK so from my read of it, current app students at Hamilton stay at Hamilton until they head to HS at Garfield/Ingraham. Current 5th graders at Lincoln will go to John Marshall for their next three years. Current 3rd and 4th graders will be temporarily at Marshall, before they get split off to Wilson pacific or Jane Adams to finish middle school. Is that right?

Puzzle Lover at Lincoln

Anonymous said...

-reposting from open thread - it belongs here

They are talking about slicing and dicing the SAME APP kids, again.

They are proposing pulling off general ed kids and pushing them into the Lincoln building, when, those kids' buildings are still opening and going (not sure why), and then making it one really big school. Not necessary, will be very disruptive to families going to numerous other general ed schools (what about their general ed siblings?), and, will be hard to administer for PLC teams.

They are talking about slicing and dicing middle school APP north kids. Sending them off to John Marshall building, (at least keeping them together), but then pulling off and diverting other kids who would have gone to Whitman MS (Northgate ES and Broadview Thomson students), sticking them to the Marshall building for the role up.

If there is no building for Lincoln APP to go to for the time being, and, no body else wants to be diverted to a yet another temporary holding site, then, why not leave all APP at Lincoln, and roll up there? The big take away is that our kids WILL NOT GET A comprehensive middle school experience, thus, instead of being sliced and diced, better to stay together and have a single principal who is focused on the pedagogy relevant to these students. There will be so much chaos, (not just for this group, but every one else too), lessening the pain and rationalizing the plan to be education-effective (as well as socially and emotionally compassionate) as well as cost effective (same buses)ought to be maximized.

Seriously, it is understandable that there is no middle school space north of the ship canal for the time being, (Jane Addams co locates the K8 and the middle school -- so it is full up), so, if we can't get a middle school, then we should consider the pros/cons between being isolated for grade 6 alone in a WP roll up in Marshall, vs., staying at Lincoln as a temporary 1-6, then, 1-7, then, 1-8 until Jane Addams, Wilson Pacific are ready.

My kids will be nomads, tribeless nomands. We will work hard to make it work, but, some consideration from the District for these kids is only fair. There is a better solution than what they are planning.

Lincoln, 1-5 now, 1-6 next year, 1-7 next, 1-8 finally, then, it busts apart to go to the elementary campus (or campuses) and the middle school campus (or campuses). No, not ideal, but, consider the alternatives. Its the life boat to get through this storm, getting through it together, with our teachers and administration focusing on teaching these students. That's as good as it gets.

-together we thrive, divided we get ignored

Anonymous said...

-reposting
It's not just Lincon kids to consider though. There's also a significant group of kids who enter APP at middle school, and these are often kids who didn't want to be at an APP only school. It would be extremely awkward to "start" Lincoln in 6th grade. I'm not saying that option isn't worth considering, but that there may be some different perspectives.

HIMSmom

September 17, 2013 at 7:09 PM

Anonymous said...

@HIMSmom

But, guess what? They are not coming!

If they are already APP-eligible but have chosen not to come into the program, chances are that although they are fully qualified, socially and emotionally, they do not have a *desperate* need for it. As such, they will consider their choices, and, rather than come to a *desolate* 6th grade roll up in an interim site, which has no grass or turf fields, or track, and, has no known principal, no jazz or orchestra band, or even a PTA, and, they would be a small part of a co-housed single grade roll up, they are NOT coming.

Remember, these same kids have a dual choice, they can stay and go to Eckstein (which is where the majority come from) or Hamilton with the rest of their K5 friends. Both are fantastic, stable, great buildings with great principals and music programs established. Both are stable, although overcrowded. As such, this WP roll up plan would not relieve pressure from Eckstein or Hamilton, because those kids simply wouldn't come.

Change the offerings, (pick between Eckstein or Hamilton APP - to - pick between Ecksein or roll up isolated grade 6), and the choice that families will make clearly will change too. No more opting in. And, that would boomerang back on the rest of the entire learning communities back in Hamilton and Eckstein, as the entire buildings would continue to get more and even more overcrowded. It would even push down into the K5s, as wary parents seeing the path ahead would not move their kids out of Loyal Heights, West Woodlands, Bryant, etc. And, those schools NEED to export kids too. Desperately.

I agree that we need to think about everybody. And, to attract those not-yet-opted-in or newly qualified 6th grade APP students (which would help relieve the 3 existing middle schools), the interim 4 year housing plan needs to be made (1) PALATABLE (rather would DESIRABLE, but, let's not talk unicorns here), as strong of a choice as possible, education-wise and community-wise, and, (2) STABLE, as stable as a nomad, homeless/buildingless community can be.

Staying at Lincoln will engender stability, consistency, and clarity. The educators, already experienced with these learners, will continue to provide for their well-understood needs. Perhaps they could walk to Hamilton for zero period for instrumental music... But, that can't happen if they are pushed out to the Marshall property.

This is not my first choice, Hamilton as-is is my first choice, but, that is off the table, so let's salvage this as best we can for the next 4 or 5 years.

-we are all in this together

Anonymous said...

West Seattle parents: if there are enough students who qualify, and want a program over here, speak up, tell your friends to get their kids tested

Anonymous said...

@ we're all in this together,

Sorry, but I'm not buying it. The fact of the matter is that there ARE kids who start APP in 6th grade. I don't know the number, but I believe it's a significant group. I know that most of my child's APP friends joined in 6th grade, not earlier. Same with our family.

Similarly, with all due respect, your argument that those who haven't joined prior to 6th grade somehow need it less than the others is baloney. How do you know this? Perhaps the opposite is actually true, and that families of kids who most need advanced opportunities realize that APP won't be sufficient in early grades, so they stick with their high quality local school and supplement and enrich in order to provide a better fit for their kid. It gets a lot harder to do that in middle school, however, so it makes sense to switch then.

Please don't suggest your kid needs APP more than mine just because we managed to provide for our child's needs in those early grades without enrolling in APP.

HIMSmom

Anonymous said...

Interesting "discussion" about the Advanced Learning under the "Growth Boundaries - Frequently Asked Questions" site:
http://www.seattleschools.org/modules/cms/pages.phtml?sessionid=49a84c7580e512613728d607d546eaf9&pageid=297189

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, but I think we've had enough. We're either leaving the district, or going to our reference middle school, which is ironically Hamilton. Our kids are not going to continue to experience the nomadic life, and suffer the indifference of the district. We are done

- last straw.

Lori said...

Thanks for the tip to look at the district's FAQs. Wow.

Check out their rationalization for creating two north-end co-housed elementary APP programs versus one program at Wilson-Pacific:

What is the research behind your belief that "creating additional pathways (not a single, stand-alone APP school) benefits both APP students and general education students academically as well as for social/emotional growth"?

There are multiple examples of research that support a heterogeneous social and emotional environment. One such example is Adams-Byers et. al., 2004, surveying students they identified a desire to be in a diverse group for social/emotional reasons. The research does not suggest not instructing highly capable students as an instructional group at their level, but it does suggest that a heterogeneous group/cluster opportunities increase the achievement of all involved."


Well, I pulled that 2004 paper to see what it says, and guess what? It's not a study of elementary students at all. They asked 44 kids (small sample) in grades 5-11 (adolescents and teens) who were in a summer camp for gifted kids (not a year-round self-contained program; also note these kids had to score 90% percentile or higher, not 98/99 as in APP) about their perceptions of self-contained gifted classes (not cohousing) versus mixed ability classes (again, not cohousing). I'll let the authors sum it up for you:

"On the whole, the participants perceived homogenous grouping more positively with respect to academic outcomes. They learned more in the more challenging environment provided by homogeneous classes. However, they had mixed feelings about which setting better met their social needs. Participants seemed to value having both similar peers in homogenous classes and the social diversity of heterogeneous classes. A troubling finding that emerged was the preference of a few of the students for heterogeneous classes because they were easier and enabled them to attain a high class ranking with little work."

Let's look at that last part a little more closely. Why did some of the kids prefer the mixed ability classrooms for social/emotional reasons? It's not what you think. It had little to do with friendships. It mostly was because they liked feeling superior to the other kids, which is exactly what you *don't* want to happen. You don't want their self-worth tied to how easily they can do well in school; you want it tied to effort and persistence:

"the main disadvantage of homogeneous grouping noted by students is not, from the perspective of most educators, a disadvantage at all. Highly able students who experience a drop in self-esteem when competing with equally talented classmates have “built their houses upon sand” in the sense that they have come
to define themselves as worthwhile in relation to less able peers, which also often means that they have expended little effort to excel. Educators would prefer that these highly able students build their sense of self-worth on effort and personal improvement. Educational psychologists would
disagree with gifted students’ assertions that being the top
student among a classroom of less able peers is a desirable
advantage, especially when that ranking is due to ability,
rather than effort. Such a focus detracts from a mastery
orientation.


Amazing that this is the paper the district chose to cite.

Anonymous said...

We're probably joining "last straw" at Hamilton next year. We've had it with being housed in temporary space. Quite a few of our 5th grade APP peers that live in the Hamilton feeder zone seem inclined to do the same thing.

Can anyone give me any input on the likely differences in academic offerings between Hamilton without APP and the future 6th grade APP housed at Marshall? I have a hard time seeing how Marshall could offer classes that would not be available at Hamilton.

Last Straw 2

Anonymous said...

This should be brought to the attention of Board members. Staff is misrepresenting research [lying] in order to justify decisions. Not ok, and would be a fireable offense in many jobs.

Anonymous said...

If students choose HIMS intead of APP, they should still be able to access higher level math (though there may not be a big enough cohort to offer higher level math come 8th grade) and LA/SS should be accessible at Spectrum level, but higher level science would not be offered - no Physical Science (7th) or Biology (8th). They also lose the pathway to Garfield, if that is a consideration for your family.

Anonymous said...

Wow - thanks for pulling up that paper Lori. Does someone at the district really believe this supports their plan or do they just think they can pull the wool over parents eyes by citing supposed supporting evidence.
I hope this is pointed out to the district. I am dismayed (as usual) by the running of this district.

Anonymous said...

If we chose to send our APP 5th grader to Hamilton's Spectrum program next year instead of the APP temporary holding facility at Marshall, would we lose the Garfield HS pathway? Wouldn't their APP qualification still grant them access to Garfield?

Last Straw 2

Anonymous said...

Garfield is only a pathway for those enrolled in APP for 8th grade, unlike elementary school where APP qualification (but not APP enrollment) will allow enrollment in middle school. You have the option of retesting in 7th grade, for 8th grade APP enrollment. Enrollment in the Ingraham IBX program would also involve retesting, but you wouldn't need to be enrolled for 8th grade. Of course in that time, the rules could change, as could the pathway to Garfield.

Anonymous said...

Overall, I like the plan and it answered the HS question by adding Lincoln HS in 2019 with 1600 seats (?). It's going to hurt, especially for the Pinehurst folks. We came on just before the last round of school closures (Summit was our 1st choice) and at least with this plan, I can see 10 years down where the students might end up. I didn't get that with NSAP implementation.

"Nan"

Anonymous said...

So, would John Marshall just be a 6th grade APP school next year, or would there be other groups there as well?
Also, would kids have access to band, sports, etc... at John Marshall??
Lisa

Anonymous said...

Lisa, my interpretation is that Wilson-Pacific 6th graders would roll up at John Marshall as well. It would be nice to see a breakdown in the projections--how many W-P kids vs. NW pathway APP kids vs. NE pathway APP kids--to better understand what might be available under the different options.

HIMSmom

Lori said...

I've been told by people I trust that the 2 options presented yesterday are:

1) Start JAMS roll-up at JAMS in 2014, but the APP part of that roll-up goes into Marshall due to space. Only neighborhood kids go into JAMS. At the same time, they start the WP roll-up at Marshall, so it *could* be all of Lincoln's 5th graders PLUS current 5th graders at the WP feeder schools. As a roll-up, it's just 6th graders.

2) Start JAMS at JAMS in 2014, including the APP kids, not just the ones in NE Seattle, but also the ones slated for WP. They seem to be considering busing kids from Queen Anne, Magnolia, Ballard, all the way to the corner of NE Seattle for a few years until WP comes on line.

Other options not on the official slides or handout may include:

3) Keep APP at Lincoln and roll-up there until 2016/2017.
4) Revisit idea of portables at HIMS and continue sending APP there until WP is built.

If anyone attended the work session and can indeed clarify or confirm what I've posted, please do!

Anonymous said...

It was my understanding that with option 2, the NE APP MS cohort would go to the Jane Addams building with the JAMS neighborhood kids and the K-8 still being co-located, but the W-P APP MS cohort would still move to Marshall.

~someone who was there

Anonymous said...

At the June work session on Growth Boundaries, the presentation said that a middle school APP cohort should be 270 to 360 students, last year there were 123 in the proposed Eckstein attendance area and 36 in the proposed JAMS attendance area. The APP middle school split isn't right.

The projected North APP 6-8 enrollment doesn't make sense either. APP enrollment is projected to increase 135% between 2012 and 2022 (from 420 to 989.) Total North enrollment is projected to increase 45% (from 4,652 to 6,724).

Lynn

Anonymous said...

I am wondering if this plan might actually increase Hamilton's overcrowding issues. I am considering leaving my child at Hamilton, where there will be band, sports, etc....rather than move her to a 6th grade APP temporary roll-up site. If others do the same, then Hamilton will continue to have overcrowding issues. Missy

Steve said...

It seems that keeping current Lincoln 5th graders at Lincoln for 6th grade makes more sense then stranding them as their own grade at Marshall. I know there are logistical issues supposedly preventing consideration of sharing resources (band, teachers, etc.) with Hamilton, but I can't imagine those logistics are more difficult than trying to recreate a middle school experience for a single grade at a new school (Marshall). Personally, I'd like to push for this. I don't have confidence that the District will create something at Marshall that is better than what we can create a Lincoln for the 6th graders.

Anonymous said...

For those considering opting out of APP in favor of HIMS next year, remember that there's no guaranteed access to Spectrum. The Spectrum component at HIMS is currently very small, and I don't imagine they'll be adding more Spectrum classes. Your kids would likely end up in gen ed if they went the HIMS route.

HIMSmom

Anonymous said...

Steve, keeping the APP 6th graders at Lincoln and rolling them up there would make perfect sense if they were all coming from Lincoln to start with, but there's usually a sizable group that starts APP in 6th grade. For a student who opted out of Lincoln in elementary and was looking forward to APP middle school, I can't imagine instead going to "Lincoln 1-6." While I agree the "6th grade only" thing at John Marshall is unfortunate in many ways, at least there will be more middle school students there since the new Wilson-Pacific MS neighborhood school kids will be rolling up there as well. Having a larger pool of 6th graders in the school, and being in a new setting, will probably create a much more welcoming environment for those joining APP in 6th grade than if they were to be the "new kids" at Lincoln. It also allows for more options re: sports, music, afterschool activities, etc.

HIMSmom

Lori said...

The district's FAQ about growth boundaries says this about middle school Spectrum:

"Eligible students in grades 6-8 get a guaranteed assignment to Spectrum at their attendance area middle school."

Our letter from several years ago that said our child qualified for APP also said that we could enroll her in Spectrum instead. So the question is: have the rules changed or are they going to change such that APP-qualified students can no longer opt into Spectrum instead? Or would HIMS just have to accommodate an increase in the Spectrum population? Hmmm.

joyce said...

The middle school spectrum "guarantee" is funny since Whitman just did away with Spectrum after open enrollment.

Anonymous said...

One thing I find out about the new maps: Wilson Pacific made sense to me as the single APP north school middle school.

But now that we have JAMS taking half of APP, why not leave the other half at Hamilton? Wouldn't that be less disruptive? And wouldn't that address the capacity problems at HIMS?

That would also free up space for Greenwood and Bagley to feed into Wilson Pacific, the closest middle school. And possibly Olympic View and Viewlands too. Seems like better walkability / commuting all around.

Dazed and Confused

Anonymous said...

Dazed - I wondered the same thing, but on a transitional basis only. Is there anything stopping JAMS from rolling up with APP in place next year? I don't like the idea of my 6th grader being separated from friends, but if a middle school APP split is going to happen anyway, then could the NW APP kids stay at Hamilton for another couple of years, or even until Wilson Pacific opens? Of course, then the Wilson Pacific rollup would already be going, with attendance area kids, and perhaps some in APP would prefer to shape that from the start.

And another thought...I'm sure this year's Hamilton 6th grade families are breathing a sigh of relief that they dodged a bullet this year. And if I were them, I'd be resistant to pulling my kid out after one year... But looking at the bigger picture, what if, next year, all north-end APP 6th and 7th graders were at Marshall instead of Hamilton? The idea being that you start with something closer to a comprehensive middle school in terms of kids, teachers, support staff, programs, and parent know-how. Sure, there will be some 6th grade families next year that have an older kid and have an idea about how Hamilton worked, but most of us don't really have much idea about the middle school program and wouldn't be nearly as prepared to help make it a success.

Lots of hands

Anonymous said...

Lots of hands,

Last year we went to Hamilton's openhouse specifically to ask the principal for an assurance that should we opt in to APP, and the program is moved later, we can leave APP and STAY at Hamilton. I think you will find that many families who are in the Hamilton reference area will make that choice, rather than going to WP or Marshall. After several years of driving and busing, it is great to be able to walk to school. Especially since many of them will have made friends with kids in other programs. My daughter has 3 best pals right now, one in special ed, one in gen ed, and one in immersion. She will not agree to leave Hamilton.

CCA

ben said...

Historically over a series of moves Seattle parents have always chosen to enroll their children in the the gifted and talented programs despite building conditions, various locations and vociferous complaints at each transition.

People can supply their personal stories about what they are going to choose for their children but I wouldn't infer that means everyone is going to make the same choices and if I were the staff I would assume the past trends are probably predictive of what enrollment patterns will be after a program move.

Ben


Greg Linden said...

I hope Charlie doesn't mind, I'd like to quote what he said in a comment over on the Seattle Schools Community Blog here (so more people can see it):

Look at the designated APP middle school sites - Pacific, Washington, and Jane Addams, and you'll see that they have a reduced number of feeder schools. This is to allow space in the buildings for the APP cohort. You might be tempted to dismiss this as just good planning, or even discount it further and consider it just competent planning of the most ordinary nature, but I remind you that it is a standard of planning they did not set in their previous models.

Hamilton continued to appear on District planning documents as having hundreds of open seats - even when the school is stuffed to the gills - because they neglected to count the APP students in their planning model. This time they not only counted the APP students in the building, but they counted them first and then only added as many neighborhood students as the remaining space would allow.

They also took care that there were enough general education students to form viable classes and not to allow the concentration of special needs students to exceed a workable level.

Anonymous said...

Ben,

Certainly I am speaking only for myself. However, I have heard many parents, and kids, express the same sentiment. Of course most of us are people who chose to stay at other elementary schools with our APP eligible children, and only opt in to the program this year for 6th grade. So perhaps you are correct that there are people who will be willing to remove their kids from Hamilton after only one year, and send their kids to the new roll up APP programs. I have read here that some consider that a stand alone program and cohort is better fit for their kids. I just
think it unlikely that people whose children are happy at Hamilton will be willing to move to the new school, especially if they are grandfathered in.

CCA

Anonymous said...

CCA, I don't think any of the options presented have current HIMS kids relocating for 7th grade. I could be wrong, but it seems like the reference to moving "all" the north end APP kids is actually specific to those who are "transitioning", which I interpreted to mean those 6th graders who are rolling up into the new school. If it were truly ALL HIMs APP students moving over, the 380 student projection for John Marshall would be way too low, especially since that also includes Wilson-Pacific roll-up kids.

HIMSmom

Steve said...

If I understand things correctly, Hamilton is becoming an "option" school, and that means they'll have a cap on the number of kids who will be able to go to this program. Neighborhood kids won't automatically get into Hamilton; they'll have to apply like everyone else. Is this correct?

If so, why is it that limiting the size of the Hamilton option program to accommodate APP appears to not be on the table? APP is always asked to leave when the school gets too crowded. Why? Now that Hamilton is no longer a neighborhood school, shouldn't APP get at least the same priority for the space, at least for the transition time until Wilson-Pacific becomes available?

Maybe a naive (and difficult) question, but I think it should be on the table if my assumptions about what "option" means.

Steve

Anonymous said...

Where did you get the impression that Hamilton was to be an option school? The two language immersion elementaries nearby are to become option schools, but I understand Hamilton to be a neighborhood school, which you go to by address (guaranteed assignment).

Anonymous said...

No, Hamilton is not becoming an option school. There are some changes as to which elem schools will feed into it, and APP will gradually be removed (by not having APP 6th grade next year, and letting the current APP kids finish up), but it's still the neighborhood MS.

HIMSmom

Anonymous said...

Are any north APP elementary families with young kids organizing against placement of NE elementary APP at OlyHills? Several commenters indicating that this is a bad idea, but doesn't technically affect kids unless they are current 1st grade or younger, so our concerns may be drowned out by the MS concerns.

Next generation

Steve said...

My apologies. John Stanford becomes an option school, not Hamilton...

Anonymous said...

I am a parent of a first grader in north APP who chose to not stay at our Spectrum neighborhood school. I'm new to all of this and frankly a bit freaked out.

For me, location is important, but quality of education is more important.

And, yet, it's hard to have a good program if you don't have a home.

Here's the really scary thing: If we continue being a program without a home, or pushed out of all of our temporary homes by the neighborhoods (sort of like a backwards NIMBY thing) then the quality of the program decreases.

I've been spending WAAAAY to much time dealing with the crazy bus problems and now trying to understand this crazy "boundary" (AKA relocate APP again and again plan) plan, when I could be putting my energies to better use volunteering to help out our students.

This notion that we can simply keep picking up APP kids and plopping them down in some school or another with essentially startup services and facilities each time is absolutely crazy.

Again, we need a place to call home. Or, I think that the district won't be able to meet the State mandate of providing adequate services for AL kids.

With that said, I'm with the other voice on here that have strong concerns about co-locating APP with the neighborhood at both WP and Oly Hills in 2017.

And even if the 2017 plan turns out ok and we have a home to enjoy then, I'm also concerned about what the transition will mean for the grades higher than 1st. That leaves 3 (or 4?) grade level cohorts in transitional MS scenarios. This during some of the most formative years. Not cool, and certainly not an adequate education from my opinion.

But I want to focus on the NW quitrent, instead of the NE for a second.

Here are my main problems with this proposal for the NW quadrant:
1. Both WP and Oly Hills (weirdly located within something like 6 blocks of each other, right?) are on the far north end, far away from basically all of the APP currently identified kids. This equals long commutes, particularly for west Ballard, Magnolia and Queen Anne for the NW side of the equation.
2. Really, why are we getting the shaft and getting kicked out of Hamilton? To me it makes way more logistics sense to send the further north elementary schools to WP MS, and leave APP at Hamilton, where we've been for years and have been building a home.
3. Why are we co-locating the elementary APP with neighborhood schools at all? They continue to have challenges providing enough seats for the last few self contained spectrum program. 78 kids on the waitlist for spectrum last year! Why would it make any sense to co-locate APP and gen ed in two schools that are literally blocks from each other, on the far end of the North end? Only to have the neighborhood eventually push us out again?

Ok, so WHAT IF for the NW Middle Schools:
--The boundary line for the feeder schools into WP MS is drawn horizontally from Highway 99 to essentially Golden Gardens. EM feeder schools are those to the NORTH of that line. These would include: Green Lake, Whittier, Greenwood, Loyal Heights, Bagley, North Beach.

Hamilton STAYS APP and is also feed by McDonald, John Stanford, Adams and West Woodland. Maybe Green lake too, depending on numbers?

For the EM APP plan for the NW, I'd be totally cool with locating at WP, as long as the cohort is kept large and strong (likely only housing APP there instead of also housing neighborhood kids. WP WM reference area kids (which there should not be many of as some one pointed out, could go to Oly Hills or...

thoughts?
Eden

Anonymous said...

Sorry, let me correct my boundary suggestion. It would be from I-5, not 99.

Eden

Anonymous said...

FYI to Eden,

Olympic Hills is different than Olympic View, the school close to the WP site.
Olympic Hills is at 13018 20th Ave NE, which is 3.4 miles from WP.

Mom of 2

Anonymous said...

Ok, I'm a goof. I totally misread the map and didn't notice that Whitman MS.

What about essentially two diagonal lines going west from I-5. Would result in this:

Hamilton: Stay APP and fed by McDonald and Stanford (which are supposed to become options schools so who know where the kids in those areas that don't want to got here will be?) also BF Day?

Whitman (defrayed by Salmon Bay K-*): West woodland, Adams, Whittier, Loyal Heights, North Beach,

WP: Green Lake, Bagely, Northgate, Viewlands, Broadview Thompson

Did I forget any schools? Does that make sense?

Eden

Anonymous said...

Thanks mom of 2! The names are so very confusing and similar and there have been some many changes and I can't seem to locate a list of schools anywhere that tell me.

Does anyone know if that list might exist? Name, location, type of facility, numbers of classrooms, maximum current student capacity, current usage AND what would be so helpful is if they also explained which "schools" or programs will be (or proposed to be) in those building.

Also, what do you think of a total re-jigger of the boundaries for the NW quadrant?
Eden

Anonymous said...

Eden, I'd love to see part of APP remain at Hamilton, but with the current level of overcrowding, the growth at neighborhood elementary schools, the growth of language immersion (MacDonald hasn't yet sent immersion kids to HIMS, but will soon), and the fact that converting JSIS and MacDonald to option schools potentially brings more kids from outside the Hamilton reference area INTO Hamilton, I don't see it happening. (But if it were, you'd need to include Green Lake in the list of Hamilton feeders, as that will now be the reference school for Wallingford.)

HIMSmom

Anonymous said...

HIMS Mom thanks for the thoughts!

Since I'm new, I'm not totally aware of the ins and outs of the politics of previous capacity planning decisions, so I'm not really considering any of that here.

I guess what I'm suggesting is that the boundary for the Hamilton feeder area should be reduced to adequately provide capacity to the existing (state mandated) APP program and the international schools (formerly the reference area schools anyway.)

Additionally, while Green Lake may have historically fed into Hamilton, it might be closer to WP, or at least equidistant? How they deal with neighborhood gen ed capacity when they've turned the two main reference schools into options schools is a problem they've created, and not one of capacity per se, but optional (though totally awesome I must say) programmatic decisions.

Maybe they need to turn McDonald into half gen ed to provide access for the neighborhood kids that don't want the immersion program? Is it really fair to send all of them up to Green Lake?

It is interesting to me that the international schools are not state mandated, but their capacity needs are trumping both gen ed AND APP at Hamilton, though APP takes the full hit. (Of course, I would have loved to been able to get my kid into that program, but alas, we couldn't afford a house in the neighborhood. :)

Devils advocate, why don't McDondald and JSIS feed into WP? If they are going to be option schools, why do the pathway to Hamilton necessarily stay intact?

This has been a HUGE inequity in service delivery. JSIS and now MCDondald have been reference only for YEARS, and now that they finally are willing to open them up to the rest of the students in the district, they still swallow up APP's space in Hamilton.

And Wallingford gen ed kids will go to Green lake (NOT IN THIER NEIGHBORHOOD) if they don't/ can't get into either of the option international schools in their neighborhood?

So, what I suggesting MIGHT be a fair compromise to all, Basically:

-- McDondald accommodate a gen ed program, and JSIS, formerly THE reference schools for Wallingford continue to feed into Hamilton, along with BF DAY.

--Green lake (and it's reference area) feeds into WP, along with other more closely located NW Elementary schools.

From an equity standpoint, MCDondald should share the gen ed capacity load of the neighborhood, instead of pushing APP out entirely.

Now, of course, I'm making some guesses about how much space is where, which if anyone who has a handle on the numbers wants to help me run the scenario to see if it might work (forgetting the politics for now).
Eden

Anonymous said...

JSIS and MacDonald are "international" schools, as is Hamilton. That's why the pathway. The district wants to increase language immersion access , not decrease it as requiring part of one school to revert back to gen ed would do. Not to mention that it would be a huge burden to the school to try to run a Spanish immersion program, a Japanese program, AND a gen Ed program all at once. It would likely be much more expensive as well. If they are true option schools open to a lot of students from other neighborhoods there's no need to be so close to Hamilton since they have the direct pathway anyway (which is necessary to continue language at appropriate level), but that's where the schools are. If they are instead served primarily by the neighboring area "geozones"--as they should be, given these kids no longer have a walkable school and given that Green Lake can't possibly accommodate all the JSIS and MacD kids, then most will continue to live in the immediate Hamilton area anyway and should not be shipped up to W-P.

HIMSmom

Anonymous said...

HIMSmom and Eden:

It's hard to talk about Hamilton capacity until we know more about JSIS and McDonald geozones.

Under the proposal Hamilton would take (roughly) Fremont, Wallingford, Phinney, Greenwood, and Greenlake kids plus option kids from JSIS and McDonald.

If those geozones are small, we'll have more out-of-area kids going to those elementaries, and eventually into Hamilton.

If those geozones are big, we'll have mostly in-area kids going to Hamilton. I.e., Hamilton would be mostly in-area kids.

The other big question is APP growth. Page 3 of the handout has APP about doubling in size over the next 10 years. At that point, half of APP in the future about full APP today - which is stretching Hamilton already.

Honestly, given that growth, I'm skeptical APP middle school kids would fit into 2 non-dedicated buildings (WP and JAMS) as proposed anyway.

Dazed

Anonymous said...

HIMS Mom, thanks!

However, I'm confused. With the current plan, Hamilton IS reverting to a mostly Gen Ed program by feeding in all of the neighborhood schools along side the international schools, so I'm not sure I understand the point your are making.

I agree that it actually makes sense for Hamilton to stay an International Middle school, and MORE sense to co-house APP kids there than Gen-ed. APP-AC's recommendations, if I understood correctly, was that co-housing with an Option school would be appropriate both educationally and socially, but co-housing with Gen Ed is problematic for many reasons, not the least of which is that APP keeps getting evicted by neighborhood capacity.

Additionally, I might not have this right (again, I'm pretty new to this whole complicated mess) but currently Green Lake feeds to Eckstein, right? Why wouldn't it make sense to now feed into WP in 2017, which is much closer to the school anyway? Just hop on 99 and your are there in 5-10 minutes. :)

I also read that those north end elementary schools have gone through several boundary changes resulting in feeding into different MS's. Wouldn't it also make sense to give those neighborhood ES families an awesome new Middle School closer to them? We can't fill it up with just APP kids, so we HAVE to co-house MS, anyway. Why does that need to be at WP? I think we will have healthy cohorts of APP kids at both a South end of the North end school (Hamilton) and a NE at JAMS.

Admittedly, I don't know if the capacity numbers work with this line of thinking, which is why we should run the scenario and check it out. If the numbers don't jive, I would concede that housing all of APP at WP both ES and MS in 2017 might be ok. But I still am not ready to give up on Hamilton being the middle school for my first grader (and potentially my twins) in full disclosure. :)

Magnolia, Queen Anne and Ballard APP families, even with bussing, will be dealing with hour long commutes to be housed at WP. I'll deal with it (as I imagine others would too) for elementary school if we can be guaranteed the elementary cohort will be kept together.

But since MS is ALREADY co-housed, I think there might even be tons of logistical, social and programmatic benefit to having Hamilton and JAMS as the APP middle schools.

And since most of the Wallingford neighborhood WANTS the language immersion programs, even once they turn them into Option schools. That "Geo boundary" that has yet to be defined will determine how many "neighborhood" kids are left.

Seriously, we are already in Hamilton. It's the only home that has remained consistent in the North end.

And there are a limited number of seats that will feed into HIMS from McDondald and JSIS each year, regardless of if they pull from the whole district.

I know that you all been dealing with this whole mess much longer than I have, which has two sides.

One is that you understand some of the politics and drivers better than I do.

BUT I'm bringing a fresh look to the mess, and I want to be sure that our first graders will have a good path to middle school.

It will be my kids who will be dealing with what ever MS school plan comes out of this.

Even further, I think that IF we can find a way to stay in Hamilton for 2017, the transition plan might actually be easier to sort out in a way that would keep current Hamilton parents happy. MAYBE.

Can we take a fresh look at the idea, please? Anyone with numbers, please help me out. :)
Eden

Anonymous said...

@ Dazed, yes, the geozone issue is key. I emailed in a question about that, as haven't seen anything in the presentation materials about that. They "must" have that info, otherwise how could they make these projections? (ha!)

@ Eden,

My comment about reverting back to gen ed was re: the option elementary schools, not HIMS. You had proposed one of them drop immersion partly to take on gen ed as well, and I was suggesting why that might be a challenge.

You also said "I agree that it actually makes sense for Hamilton to stay an International Middle school, and MORE sense to co-house APP kids there than Gen-ed." Immersion kids get a guaranteed pathway to HIMS--so it's not really an "option" school for them. More importantly, there aren't nearly enough of them to make a viable program, and most of them are gen ed. In other words, you can't get rid of the gen ed program from HIMS if it's the language immersion pathway, and you have to add a lot of neighborhood gen eds in order to provide a full slate of gen ed classes.

Again re: Green Lake Elem., its boundaries have changed dramatically with the proposed plan. Where it fed before is not so relevant now. With the new option school conversion, GL is now the neighborhood school that serves the houses immediately surrounding Hamilton. I don't see how it would make sense to bus those kids to W-P. If there are any changes to the Hamilton feeder schools, it seems like they should come from the NW side of the school, not the NE, which has all these complicating factors...

And just to be clear, I have a 5th grader who will bear the brunt of this middle school mess. Glad to hear you're thinking of your 1st grader, but trust me, a whole lot can change before then!

HIMSmom

Anonymous said...

HIMSmom,

I don't think we know that immersion students will have a guaranteed assignment to HIMS. The new student assignment plan says:

Students attending JSIS from outside of its service area could apply to attend Hamilton and would be eligible for the feeder school tiebreaker. Tiebreakers for assignment to attendance area middle schools are: (1) sibling, (2) feeder school and (3) lottery.
The feeder school tiebreaker is for students applying for attendance area middle schools. Students get tiebreaker priority when applying for the attendance area middle school associated with the elementary school the student is attending. This gives priority for students to stay with their cohort group and go to the same middle school that their elementary classmates will attend.

Unless this rule is changed, assignment to Hamilton will be guaranteed to students living in the Bagley, B.F. Day, Green Lake, Greenwood and West Woodland attendance areas. If there are seats available after that, the tiebreakers listed above will apply. Realistically, all the students assigned to JSIS and McDonald will be living in those attendance areas - so the only students at risk of losing their spots are the ones who move out of the area before they begin the 8th grade.

Lynn

Anonymous said...

@ Eden

You make some interesting points, but I wanted to comment specifically on:
"Magnolia, Queen Anne and Ballard APP families, even with bussing, will be dealing with hour long commutes to be housed at WP. I'll deal with it (as I imagine others would too) for elementary school if we can be guaranteed the elementary cohort will be kept together."

WP is a great location for Ballard-area and other northwest families. For most, it wouldn't be any longer commute than going to Lincoln or Hamilton and WAY closer than the commutes to Lowell and Washington used to be. Would I rather have Wallingford as a regular destination than a school just off Aurora? Absolutely, but distance isn't an issue for most in the northwest. From Queen Anne, Hwy 99 provides pretty straightforward access to WP.

-North Beach

Anonymous said...

I think it’s a lost cause trying to keep APP at Hamilton in the long term – and I don’t think it’s one worth fighting for. If APP middle school moves to Wilson-Pacific, it will be in a brand new building that is centrally located for the north-end.

The more important questions for me are:

1) are we ok with the north-end elementary and middle school co-horts being split up into NW and NE co-horts? Or do we want to lobby to prevent this split? Should this be our top priority?

2) What changes do we want to lobby for re: the transition period for middle school APP kids while we’re waiting for W-P to come online? Would it be better for middle school APP to go to Lincoln so they could access Hamilton music, sports and afterschool programs during the transition period?

3) For Wilson-Pacific – how strongly do we care that APP will be co-located with neighborhood schools that could potentially lead to a situation of there not being enough room for both APP and the neighborhood school (aka what happened at Lowell and what’s happening with Hamilton)? Is the proposed neighborhood attendance area small enough that it’s unlikely to grow to the point where it will displace APP?

Jane

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the clarification, Lynn. Maybe I should have said "virtually" guaranteed. :)

But unfortunately for those us us who wish to keep APP at HIMS, that uncertain immersion pathway is just another reason to pull APP out. Can you imagine if the district let kids into immersion elementary schools, then didn't let them continue on that track for middle school? They need to make sure there's enough room for the increasing immersion numbers on the horizon. If JSIS and MacD are widely opened beyond the neighborhood, SPS will need to revise the rules to ensure an immersion pathway or risk destroying the MS immersion program completely.

HIMSmom

Anonymous said...

Also, I'd love to know why the District is projecting APP middleschool kids to grow by 80%. This is much higher than roughly 20% growth rate they are assuming for elementary APP and for the District as a whole. I've emailed the District but haven't received a response.

Jane

Anonymous said...

Jane, I would love to see APP stay at Hamilton. But if that can't happen, I think I would rather see it at Lincoln with access to Hamilton's band, sports, etc....
Unless, of course, W-P can offer all of those things to our kids right off the bat.

Anonymous said...

I wasn't proposing Lincoln as an alternative to Wilson-Pacific. I was wondering if it would be a better interim option than John Marshall during the 2014-2017 period before W-P opens.

Jane

Anonymous said...

If using a portion of Lincoln to help solve the 3-year interim middle school problem is even an option (and I'm not sure it is, given other plans for the Lincoln facility), then I think it should be considered an annex of Hamilton. The point of making this work--rather than sending APP 6th graders off to begin a WP rollup--is so that the upcoming APP middle schoolers can have a comprehensive middle school experience. So if they're part of Hamilton, there's no reason to assume it means the 6th graders "stay" at Lincoln. Instead, it could mean that certain offerings (I'm imagining certain 2-hour block classes) could be held at Lincoln to alleviate some pressure at Hamilton. And it might make even more sense for 7th or 8th graders to make that short trek between locations than for 6th graders to do it.

Lots of Hands

Shannon said...

I have a son in 7th Grade APP at Hamilton and a son who may enter APP for 3rd Grade (currently in 1st Grade).

We live near the proposed boundary for the split between the East and West Cohorts and so, although we are 0.9 mile from WP we would be assigned to Olympic Hills 3.2 miles away and then Jane Adams. 3.1 miles away.

My 7th Grader started 3rd Grade APP at Lowell, then moved to Lincoln and is now at Hamilton. Hamilton has been our best experience to date. We do not want to move.

If our APP option for elementary is Olympic Hills, we will not do APP. We will hope to get him in at a local elementary or option school. My reasons:

1) The location far north of the cluster.
2) The mis-match between programs (Olympic Hills being 70%+ FRL and APP being low) smacks to me of "get APP to fund the program and buy the books and make the music and smile a lot" and frankly... I am done with it. It doesn't make for an easy co-location. It doesn't make for true diversity and collaboration. It makes things Awkward.

I am relieved that we look like "dodging the bullet" as someone said, with our APP 7th Grader.

Life is good right now and I am hoping to bury my head in the sand for a bit. I wish I could delude myself that I am getting back at the district with any threat to forgo APP. Of course, I am not. But the sand is warm, my friends. Dark and warm :)

Fatigued and jaded APP parent.

Anonymous said...

WOW, this whole thing is very complicated.

After tons of thoughts/discussions and reading up, I wonder how folks feel about the following:

We need to advocate strongly for WP elementary to be our designated APP elementary program when it opens in 2017. The best (?) arguments for this are that neighborhood capacity in the North end is better served by Oly Hills (APP should not be taking seats there), and since WP is not walkable, it does not serve neighborhood kids appropriately.

Secondly, the MS plan of splitting into two schools when both WPMS comes on line in 2017 and JA MS in 2016 (?) seems to be a tenable solution in the long term from both a capacity stand point and all the other reasons pointed out here. Of course, where the boundary is drawn for who goes to WPMS and who goes to JAMS may have further discussion as time goes on, but I don't know that's worth spending time fighting now. (yes, I'm bummed to come to the realization that Hamilton will not be APP in 2017, but I'm starting to buy the Wallingford neighborhood 2017 capacity argument)

And, as HIMSmom pointed out, the more critical challenge to solve is how to keep APP at Hamilton until WPMS and/or JAMS open up.

NEXT YEAR our APP MS kids don't have a home given the proposal. It isn't ok from an educational delivery standpoint to move them again and yet again.

I think that we have (maybe) some room to shift off of this crazy "move the same APP kids for the 5 millionth time, it's ok, they are used to it." path that district is suggesting. That is, IF we make a compelling argument with a unified voice. AND manage to get 4 votes out of the board. And maybe get some other friends outside of APP to support us. Meaning, we need to show benefit to the north communities of the plan.

So, what exactly might our alternative proposal for this 2014-2017 period look like?

1. JAK8 gets the temporary home at Marshall instead of us while they wait 2 years for their building?

2. Feeder schools for 2014-2017 that are pointed toward Hamilton get left where they are for now and JAMS starts taking neighborhood middle schoolers which will help with the NE middle school capacity?

3. Additional capacity needs at HIMS is resolved (temporarily before APP moves to WPMS in 2017) through:

housing some of HIMS programing at Lincoln?

Portables?

Thoughts? I'm actually becoming a little hopeful. But ready to have the ideas shot down, so....
GO!
Eden



Anonymous said...

I don't want to split middle school at all (and think that is more important than not splitting elementary, if we have to pick. Maybe we don't?), but if we do head that way, I certain want the kids not to be split until their programs are up and running, and the full slate of grades are there. Definitely not half of app 6th grade up to JAMS while it is starting its neighborhood program; that's the worst possible option in all ways. So does this keep app at HIMS entirely, and then they all split off out of there in 2017? That sounds potentially tolerable. Or some classes at Lincoln? I also am coming around to thinking 6th grade at Lincoln is not that terrible, compared to the other(very terrible) options, if we try to find ways to help be welcoming to new 6th graders.

JA k-8 has an extremely powerful advocacy group and fans on the board. It was their desire not to move that delayed much of this a year, on "planning" grounds. They don't want to move. I agree with you that they maybe should, that this should be on the table, but not that it is terribly likely they will until they get their new building.

Anonymous said...

So why aren't they co-housing NE APP in the new Thornton creek building? The new TC building will house 600+ and by all reports Thornton Creekers aren't keen on doubling their size anyway. The site also has the advantage of having another (albeit decrepit) building on site in case APP has unplanned growth.

Is it because this scenario doesn't increase any gen ed capacity to relieve the rest of the overcrowded NE neighborhood schools?

2boysclub

Anonymous said...

I think it's too pretty to house it with TC. Too close to home and too appealing. It is too easy to get into APP from the NE schools. I think egos would flash as APP grew into a monster, and people who say APP kids are not that special will become increasingly correct.

OH reduces the sheen on those pretty APP kids. It makes sad it has to be like this.

Anonymous said...

I am starting to hear a lot of support for keeping APP at Hamilton until 2017!! Not sure how this could happen and solve the overcrowding issues at Hamilton. Ideas that we could present to the board? It seems like a reasonable request that APP stays put until it has to move in 2017; rather than moving again and again. Missy

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous at 4:29 . . .
I agree with your conclusions (SPS will never permit APP at TC or Eckstein for political reasons). However, I do not understand your statement that "it is too easy to get into APP from the NE schools," and that "people who say APP kids are not that special will become increasingly correct."

Do you think a different (easier) APP-admission standard is applied to kids in the NE? Why would you think it is easier for them to get into APP? And why are they "less special" than APP kids who come from other areas of town?

-curious

Anonymous said...

I am not the original commenter, but if you live the NE, you know that APP kids might appear less "special" there, if you simply take "special" to mean rare. They are simply not rare. Nothing implied about an easier qualification process.

--NE mom

Shannon said...

Can someone explain the Jane Adams MS path for APP NE?

Does it mean that the JA Middle School K-8 will be moved out and a 'neighborhood' MS program will be co-housed with APP MS or that the APP MS and the Local one will be at a different building?

Shannon said...

PS. There is no way APP can stay at Hamilton another year. We don't fit now and there are no good local options for the language immersion and other local elementary feeders. They set APP up for this by poor planning but the school is horribly full.

There are not enough lockers, rooms have been reassigned, there is gridlock at dropoff and curriculum night was insane. There are 34 kids in my son's Geometry 1, 32 in LA.

Its squeezed.

I think we should focus on the best solution and not hope for Hamilton to magically get fixed.

Anonymous said...

I'd rather have my child at Hamilton next year than in recycled "temporary" space at John Marshall with limited classes and extracurricular opportunities. I've had enough.

Hamilton is our reference middle school and we are probably pulling out of APP for 6th and 7th grades to attend Hamilton. We plan to keep our APP eligibility through the school district's guaranteed placement in Spectrum. We might re-join the APP cohort in 8th grade if we feel the need to track to one of the APP high schools.

Many other parents I've spoken with feel the same way. I'd be interested in talking with other parents of 5th graders at Lincoln considering the same decision.

Moderator - would it be worthwhile to have a separate thread on this topic?

This is not what I want, but I feel the school district administration has driven us to it.

Signed,
Voting with our feet

Anonymous said...

2 questions:
1. If you leave APP and go to Spectrum, do you retain APP eligibility in middle school? I heard that that only applies to elementary school. I looked at the website online, albeit briefly, and it's not obvious to me.

2. While Elem. Spectrum students are automatically senrolled in Spectrum MS, APP and ALO kids opting to go to Spectrum would have to apply during open enrollment. Is Spectrum a guarantee in Middle School? Meaning, if you opt for Spectrum, you may be assigned to your reference Spectrum MS but does that guarantee class assignment?

I'm really hesitant to consider opting out of APP for these reasons. Sure, my child could retest in but I'm wondering if staying at Hamilton or Eckstein as a Spectrum student will really be a better choice.

kp

Anonymous said...

Well, I dug a little deeper and see the handy dandy chart...so APP kids retain eligibility but if they're not in APP in 8th grade, they are not guaranteed automatic assignment to Garfield.

I still don't know much about Spectrum in MS. Do all Spectrum/ALO/APP kids get into Spectrum or is it based on space availability? If the latter, is is lottery or who has priority?

Thanks.
kp

Greg Linden said...

From the moderator, started a new thread for those considering leaving APP, "Options for out of APP"

Pistoff said...

I'm tired of all of the uncertainty and unappealing options. We live in the Hamilton boundary, and we will pull our kids (who are currently in 3rd and 5th grades) out of APP and send them to Hamilton instead, when the time comes for them to go to middle school. We will NOT keep them at Lincoln for 6th grade nor will we send them to John Marshall or Wilson Pacific. I've talked to other parents who feel the same way as us as well.

Anonymous said...

Any idea why Bagley, Greenlake, and Greenwood wouldn't feed into Wilson Pacific instead of Hamilton? Seems like more a neighborhood school for them. Then that would leave room for APP at Hamilton? Am I missing something?

Anonymous said...

I don't get this. The school district is supposedly all about neighborhood schools. Why are they putting these schools as far as possible from the major concentrations of APP students?

We should also be far less sanguine about the continuing dilution of APP. It has already resulted in significant erosion of the quality of the program. Why do we continue to buy the fiction that we are doing something positive by dispersing APP kids all over the city.

The don't want to put APP kids in schools near where they live and they don't want to put them in a centralized APP school, so they have created a system of non-neighborhood, non-specialized schools for them. Is this really consistent with the mandate to serve highly capable children?

Bob

Anonymous said...

Bob: be really careful about "they don't want to put APP kids in schools where they live." Many at district DO -- they want all APP kids to just stay at their neighborhood schools (capacity nightmare) and be served through "differentiation" and teacher training (Ha! We've seen how much training they give the APP teachers on gifted. Think that pile of nada will roll out to anyone else?). So please, don't even think "serve APP where kids live" because that equals nothing. That equals 1 - 2 kids, in a general classroom, being asked to teach the struggling kids as a teacher's aide. Been there, done that, LOVE that my kid is learning something new every day at APP and gets to be a student instead of a teacher's aide. Would bus him to the moon for APP.

Lori said...

Let's start thinking about the possible logistics of the 6th grade Marshall plan. Those of us who went through the Lowell/Lincoln split probably have some insights from that experience that are relevant.

If they go with option 1 (start WP roll-up in building and put APP@JAMS 6th graders there too), does that mean some of the kids will be the responsibility of the WP principal and the others, the JAMS principal? Will there be 2 different school/OSPI numbers associated with the Marshall building? Who will parents go to to help teachers request their missing work stations, library books, and all the other things it took a long time to get at Lincoln? If I have a question about something going on with my JAMS kid, do I call the JAMS principal, who I assume will be working on site at the JAMS building?

Even more complicated, what PTA(s) will support these kids? And, yes, they will need it because as we know from our Lincoln experience, parent support, ranging from physical labor painting walls and installing playground equipment to financial support for books, playground supplies, even rugs for the classrooms, has been critical for success at Lincoln. Will we need 2 PTAs if they split APP next year? Will a new JAMS PTA help support our APP kids who are physically removed from their building (out of sight, out of mind)?

Will the current Hamilton PTA provide seed money for the new PTA(s)? If not, fundraising had better start this winter because a new PTA can't buy anything until it has money in the bank. They won't be able to wait until next fall to start fundraising.

A lot of the current Lincoln parents have already gone above and beyond setting up a new PTA and working hard to make Lincoln a great experience. Can we count on the same folks to do it all again? Personally, I'm tired and need a break. But a whole lot of people are going to need to step up to pull this off if in fact the 6th grade Marshall plan is approved.

Sorry if I seem to be putting the cart before the horse. But my brain only knows how to assess the viability of these options by diving into the details. There will be a lot of work to do to pull this off in the months ahead and for the duration of the stay at Marshall. Parents need to understand this going in.

Anonymous said...

And will teachers be JAMS staff, W-P staff, or both?

Will kids take classes from a combo of JAMS and W-P teachers both (since APP kids will likely be mixed in classes, regardless of ultimate destination)?

HIMSmom

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous:
I agree. The fragmentation of APP into the table in the corner of an ALO classroom would be a disaster. I don't want to put APP in every school. I would prefer one or two APP schools and would happily get my kid there, but to advocate for that is "elitist". I just don't get why they would put an APP school on the border with Shoreline. This makes no sense.

I just see the district fragmenting APP, but not putting the schools where the APP students live.

Bob

Shannon Adams said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shannon Adams said...

I don't think that a stand alone APP 6th Grade would be so awful for the social side of the kids, the cohort is big enough that it would be a good group. However, the resourcing and subject offerings would be a great burden on the parents / staff. There would be detriments all over for the program.

In 6th Grade, my son was more upset by being put in 7th Grade Lunch due to schedule difficulties than anything else at MS. Sixth and seventh graders don't really hang out together as part of the MS experience.

Anonymous said...

Listen to Lori!!!

Remember when they proposed splitting off Lowell 4th & 5th grades to Lincoln?

This is like that.

Families with kids in different buildings, a fractured PTA, no library (the HIMS one is finally becoming adequate for this population), a rump of a music program. Ugh!

Speak up against the Marshall plan unless all grades go together.

open ears

Anonymous said...

Yes, ugh. Several current 6th and 7th grade families have gone through it and are done. Spent. By advocating all grades go together, you are asking them to do it all over again. It would also decimate the options for Hamilton students remaining. For every 5th grade parent that advocates for all grades staying together, there is probably a 6th or 7th parent advocating for grandfathering. What may be best for one group is not best for another.

Anonymous said...

If we do end up getting stuck with a 6th grade roll-up, are there any cool new classes we could get added to help excite some of the kids--make it a unique opportunity? It would probably take some strong advocacy up front, so might be worth brainstorming now???

Someone had mentioned French. And personally, I feel it's a shame drama isn't offered as one of the arts electives. Also, I know a lot of APP kids who would have liked some sort of more advanced computer programming class or app development academy. I'm sure there are some great ideas out there.

This is not to say I'm resigned to the roll-up, but just trying to get the ideas flowing so we could ramp up quickly IF it happens...

HIMSmom

Anonymous said...

Lori - your 10:49 am post is excellent and raises a lot of really good questions. I have no problem with APP moving to Wilson Pacific in the long run - but until W-P opens, is there any way that middle school APP could stay at either Hamilton or at Lincoln (as some sort of annex to Hamilton)? I'm very concerned about how the principal, PTA, afterschool sports, music, etc. would be addressed if kids are temporarily placed at John Marshall. It's different than when an entire school is temporarily put at Lincoln because the principal, PTA, etc. go with the school.

Jane