Friday, November 1, 2013

Even newer assignment plan

Update: Kellie LaRue and Melissa Westbrook, among many others, are now asking board memebers to vote down the plan, saying it does more harm than good and that it needs to be replaced with much more limited and targeted changes.

Original post:

The Nov 6 plan is here.

From the page, quoting the part on APP:
North APP elementary (now at Lincoln) will stay at Lincoln until Wilson-Pacific Elementary opens in 2017. North APP elementary will be located at Wilson-Pacific Elementary as a free-standing APP school beginning in 2017.

Two sites (co-located with attendance area students) have been designated for north APP middle school: Eckstein and Whitman. APP at Eckstein will begin this coming fall. When APP at both Eckstein and Whitman are in place, enrollment data will be reviewed to determine if Hamilton would continue as an APP site. Depending on the number of students to be served, Hamilton APP may be phased out in the future.

Eckstein and Whitman were chosen as APP sites because by far the largest numbers of APP students live closest to those schools. Note that Eckstein, currently very overcrowded, has its current enrollment reduced significantly with the opening of Jane Addams Middle School. These changes will also provide some relief to over-enrollment at Hamilton.
The changes from the last version for APP appear to be in the north and mostly center around reducing splits of APP in the north. APP in the south is still getting split into a lot of little pieces, no change in that plan it appears despite lots of "public input" against it.

If you are trying to find what is happening to APP in the documents, oddly APP mostly only is mentioned in the document titled "Reference materials for the Board".

Please discuss.

94 comments :

Zella917 said...

I've looked at the documents and I'm still not totally clear. Are these changes to north end middle school APP starting in the 2014-15 school year? And are students moving to Eckstein and Whitman both for next school year if that's the correct timeline? (Or just to Eckstein first, since JAMS will be opening, and then to Whitman once Wilson-Pacific is open?)

Anonymous said...

Three-way elementary split in the South is a CRISIS for the program integrity.

open ears

Anonymous said...

The 2 (or rather 3) way middle school split in the North is also a CRISIS for the program integrity IMHO.

Anonymous said...

I can only conclude that the District uses our input to make paper airplanes and spitballs - because they clearly aren't using it to inform their recommendations.

Jane

Anonymous said...

Yes, unclear is right. It says Eckstein APP opens next year. But does not says where all other APP students go next year and for how long.
Missy

LoyalHeightsParent said...

Since it's only mentioned in the plan that Eckstein will start APP in 2014 I'm guessing that it will not start in 2014 at Whitman. If Whitman is our neighborhood school, where will my current 5th grader go next year for APP? If we chose to go to Whitman next year for Spectrum with the plan being to move into the APP program when it is implemented (and save ourselves yet another move), would she lose her APP designation?

Anonymous said...

In terms of northened APP middle school: It clearly says that next year the NE APP kids will go to Eckstein (and I'm assuming they mean they'll pull current 6th and 7th graders into Eckstein APP next year). It clearly says that there will be an APP middle school group at Whitman, but doesn't say when. Whitman APP doesn't really fit until Wilson Pacific MS starts and pulls kids from Whitman (assuming WP isn't a 6th grade roll up only but pulls kids in 7th and 8th like the new JAMS will). That would mean Whitman APP in either 2016-17 or 2017-18 when WP starts. Until then, APP who are non-NE will stay at HIMS. Then at some unnamed point (around 2017), they'll decide if they are going to keep APP at HIMS or only have it at Eckstein and Whitman.
NWer

Anonymous said...

I think APP middle (minus the NE) looks like it wil be at HIMS until at least 2016-17 (if the Wilpac starts at John Marshall) or 2017-18 (if the wilpac starts at its new building). So current 4th and 5th graders who do APP for middle, live in the northend, and who aren't NE/Eckstein will go to HIMS. However, what doesn't seem clear is if they might be moved to APP at Whitman at some point during middle.

Loyalheightsparent: spectrum at whitman seems weak to me in its mostly differentiated, not self contained mode. I think I'd choose APP as a program even if it requires a building change at some point.

Anonymous said...

I just discovered what we we wondering about in terms of timing of northend APP middle changes. Take a look at p. 3 (not actually numbered, of course):
http://www.seattleschools.org/modules/groups/homepagefiles/cms/1583136/File/Departmental%20Content/school%20board/13-14%20agendas/110613agenda/20131106_ActionReport_InterCapMgmt.pdf

In sum (copied):

 Assign JAMS and Eckstein APP 6, 7, & 8 to Eckstein in 2014-15
 Open Wilson-Pacific MS in 2016-17 at John Marshall with Wilson-Pacific GenEd 6, 7, & 8
 Assign APP from Whitman, & WilPac to Whitman in 2016-17
 Assign APP from Hamilton and
McClure to Hamilton 2016-17
eg

Anonymous said...

What the?

Anonymous said...

Why are they so desperate to pull NE middle school APP kids back into the NE? Are they or are they not short on middle school seats over there?

Anonymous said...

If tiny "optional" APP programs are a great idea, why aren't they putting them all over the city? Why only in the south? How long before "optional" becomes mandatory? And once it is established that 100 kids is just fine as an APP cohort (300 south-end kids divided by 3 sites), how long before they start messing with and dismantling the much larger north-end program(s)?

If I were a north-end parent, I would be very, very opposed to the south-end splits.

Anonymous said...

I am a north end parent, and I have spoken out against the south end splits. It is bad for the south end kids, and it is bad for the program, and most upsettingly, the very kids who I know the Board Directors are keenly interested in having 'serviced' are the very ones that will be the most isolated.

Everyone in the north who has spoken has spoken out against these splits.

The APP AC, the voice for all participants, has written the District to speak out against those splits.

Thurgood Marshall PTA has written a letter against those splits.

Even West Seattle parents IN THE PROGRAM (as opposed to those with qualified students who don't attend), have spoken out the loudest against the split, especially the Madison part. They can smell a rat (first it is an option, then it is locked in...).

Nobody thinks it is a good idea with merit, (especially the Wing Luke to Aki Kurose plan, because the tiny, unsustainable cohort size means there will be no service integrity obviously!!), except perhaps Mr. Tolley and Ms. Heath.

Where's Waldo? Nah, where's Mr. Banda. Does he really want to do this to highly capable learners who live in the south? Deny access to a strong cohort? Does he know anything about the needs of these highly capable children? Does he care?

-program service integrity first

Lynn said...

There is nothing in the 2014/2015 plan about the south end options. I think the idea might be dropped after the second task force - given that many of the task force members are on the APP AC and they don't support the idea of smaller programs.

It looks like they're going to allow single-subject AL qualification in middle school. If they use that as a reason to provide more rigorous classes in every middle school, maybe the families who want to stay in their neighborhoods will be happy with that.

Greg Linden said...

Hi, Lynn, I don't think that is accurate. There is still mention of the south split in the latest documents.

Page 6 of the reference materials is titled "APP Pathways" and still shows a new three way split in the south (at elementary, middle, and high school, so nine pieces total), a "West Seattle Optional Pathway" starting at Fairmount Park, a "South/Southeast Optional Pathway" starting at Wing Luke, and the current "South APP Pathway" starting at Thurgood Marshall.

I think I was correct to say in the top-level post that the south APP is still getting split into little pieces despite almost all the public input feedback being strongly against it.

Lynn said...

Greg,

Yes - I see that it's there - but it's not included in the Intermediate Capacity Management Plan for 2014-15. That gives staff time to hear from the task force. If the task force holds to the recommendated minimum cohort size, I think the district will follow that.

Anonymous said...

Maybe it's premature, but I'm really interested to hear a yay/nay from experienced APP parents in the NE area on the Eckstein community's willingness to integrate APP.

-New

kellie said...

Most districts do use capacity issues to determine the placement for Advanced Learning programs. What is considered best practices for most districts is to located your advanced learning program at schools that would not fill from a geographic assignment program. Hence, the phrase "magnet schools."

The plans to put APP in the NE immediately either into JAMS or Eckstein is NOT a capacity driven plan. The entire idea that there is extra room at Eckstein or that Eckstein needs enrollment support is ... well there are no polite words for it.

Clearly, capital planning staff have been instructed to place APP at least two locations, when they run scenarios. Therefore, we have seen pretty much every iteration of what "at least two places" could look like, as even an interim location for WP is two years out.

Likewise, with the elementary program in the sound end. Clearly, capital planning as been told to increase access. I believe they were told the same thing in the north end. However, the reality that there is a short fall for elementary in the north end was impossible to dismiss.

Round 1 had part of APP placed at Oly Hills, only because Oly Hills was scheduled to be expanded in order to manage the very steep growth in density near Lake City. So that plan was effectively double booking the same space. Giving the "new" seat to both APP and neighborhood growth.

The whole Oly Hills issue was such a flashback to the Washington / Hamilton split. When the program was split, the rationale was that Hamilton had the fewest number of students for whom it was their closest school, therefore Hamilton was going to need APP or it would never fill.

Then one year later, the new boundaries added West Woodland and Laurelhurst to Hamilton. Neither of those schools were "close" to Hamilton so that extra space used to justify APP one year earlier was now double booked which lead to Laurelhurst being returned to Eckstein.

The bottom line here. While all of the APP splits are interwoven into a capacity plan. NONE of these splits are capacity driven. It is purely political.

Anonymous said...

So Kellie, what WOULD make sense for APP, from a purely capacity standpoint? Have we seen it any prior iteration of the plan, or is there just no reasonable option?

HIMSmom

Anonymous said...

Agreed HIMS Mom. Kellie, I enjoy hearing what you have to say. You have a depth of experience here. Maybe I'm wrong, but I feel you're where I am: the "throw up the hands and give up" phase, as we are not dealing with a rational entity. On one hand, nothing we say matters. On another, they take so much input, it's like crowdsourcing a problem that experts should handle. the result is a mess. I think this district lacks vision and leadership. Look at the strategic plans for Bellevue, Shoreline or Highline. They are GETTING IT DONE. I think until we have a leader with vision and understanding, we're stuck squabbling over bad scenarios.
-Half out the door

Anonymous said...

I disagree with Kellie. I think this plan is all about capacity management.

There is one thing that's blatantly missing from SPS projections: error!

Let's look at APP north middle school projections. They claim that APP at Hamilton would grow from 549 this year to 861 in 2017 and 989 in 2022. Is that an upper bound? A lower bound? A mean projection? What's the margin of error? I got to believe it's pretty darn high margin of error.

Frankly, I think SPS is implicitly acknowledging that they don't have a good projection. They either don't have the means to accurately predict or to effectively limit APP enrollment given the current setup.

This plan - particularly this 3rd iteration - mitigates this lack of predictability considerably. The majority of APP students are coming from the Eckstein, Whitman, and Hamilton zones. Under the new plan, it doesn't matter anymore what they decide. At least, not from an overall building capacity standpoint. Where or a not a student in the Eckstein zone decides on APP or not no longer effects Eckstein's overall enrollment: either way, they are in Eckstein. Ditto Whitman and (if they continue there) Hamilton.

jsh

Anonymous said...

From the other blog:
"Thanks for your highly informed input. We are in a bit of a jam on testing the accuracy of our previous models as we lost our long time demographer. We have had two outside consultants analyze our data to verify staff work, once four years ago and then 1.5 years ago. It is a pretty simple model that does not incorporate any housing data, just birth roll up but it has been highly tuned and has been 90% accurate the last two years. I am not sure that it can be improved in time for the coming vote.
Michael DeBell"

Knowing this I am not surprised anything in the district. They are making HUGE boundary changes without real data. It is doomed to be a disaster.
- Just saying

Anonymous said...

Here is a plan that I don't think has been pitched yet (or I missed it if it has):

Hamilton becomes APP middle school and language immersion middle school.
Whitman remains the same, although they lose Bagley and Greenwood.
Eckstein/JAMS split north/south as another poster has suggested.
Wilson Pacific takes West Woodland, Bagley, Greenlake, Viewlands, Northgate, Broadview, Greenwood. Either West Woodland or Greenwood could potentially go to Whitman if this is too large.
BF Day goes to McClure.

I would add IB middle school to Wilson Pacific to make it attractive for those moving and would co-house a small option language immersion elementary (maybe Spanish only) with APP elementary at Wilson Pacific that would feed into Hamilton. I would also grandfather all incoming 8th graders at their current school. New schools would be "comprehensive enough" with 2 grades.

APP MS would have one central location in the northend in the smallest middle school cohoused with option program.

West Woodland, Bagley, Greenlake, BF Day are super close to Aurora and it would be a very quick yellow bus ride to Wilson Pacific or McClure plus with the exception of BF Day, I don't think that many of those kids walk to Hamilton. (I'm sure some do.)

I'm just throwing an idea out- so don't get all in a snit, people - although happy to read people's respectful reasons why this is a bad plan. Full disclosure: I have a child in APP middle school - although none of the current proposals affect us. And don't call me elitist: I attended Madrona, Meany and Garfield back in the day before anybody wanted to go there. Been there, done that.

White Girl

kellie said...

@ HIMSmom and Half out,

From a purely capacity point of view, there are no "good options." What keeps disappearing from all the conversations is that if both JAMS and WP were fully on line today, you would be able to "right-size" all of the buildings with today's enrollment but there would be no additional left over room for growth.

It is just not possible for a district to run well at 100% capacity. And when you are at negative capacity, lots of things stop working.

With that as the context and the caveat, the option that makes the most sense is for APP to remain at Lincoln. This is because we are going to be at negative capacity for three years until WP comes on-line. Negative capacity means that immediately after being split into either JAMS or Eckstein, there will immediately be a lot of pressure to move APP again.

In many ways, it is a miracle that APP lasted for four full years at Hamilton before it just didn't work any longer.

kellie said...

@ jsh,

There are three components to this plan.

1) real world capacity issues. Both from legitimately over-crowded schools and new capacity coming on-line.

2) teaching and learning issues. Teaching and learning wants to use some of the new capacity coming on line to program to support "equitable access" and this translates as set asides for Sped and this "APP for everyone" re-distribution.

3) the NSAP assignment plan rules. These are the rules set up by the board and can only be changed by the board. This is where the elementary to feeder pattern rules come into the picture.

So we can quibble about how much of this is about capacity and how much is about politics. There is a real capacity component to this work. However, what I was saying is the "APP for everyone" component is not capacity driven. It is politically driven.

My rationale for this is that there are decisions that solve capacity problems and there decisions that make capacity problems worse. Right now, depending on whose numbers you are using, the district is either at capacity or in a shortfall mode.

Language Immersion is a wonderful program that families love AND language immersion makes capacity problems worse because language immersion is so attractive that it increases the market share for SPS.

Dividing APP into multiple locations also makes capacity problems worse. Making APP geographically convenient both increases the number of current SPS families that will elect that option AND it increases the number of families that choose SPS overall.

Please note, I am not saying, this is a bad thing. I personally think that more public school participation is a good thing. It is good in so many ways. However, it is another challenge when there is a capacity shortfall.

IMHO, a proposal that is known to intensify capacity problem, should not be categorized as a capacity solution.

Putting APP in NE Seattle, will only accelerate the enrollment growth curve. This would be excellent, if there were even adequate capacity coming on line. But even with all the new capacity, there will still be a shortfall.

Anonymous said...

I hope WSDWG doesn't mind me copying a post from Mel's blog here:

I don't see this as a giveaway to APP in any way. Instead, I see this plan as a poison pill for APP self-containment.

The district knows co-housing APP with particularly affluent schools is a death sentence for APP self-containment. I don't see Joe Amazon being happy with his kid in a gen-ed classroom while Joe Microsoft's kid is thriving in APP. I see biblical wars on the horizon and capacity management as the excuse to dissolve self-containment.

That APP is truly a special needs program has long since been lost in the ether, replaced by the prevailing notion that APP is where "all the smart/rich/connected kids are." Doesn't matter that kids at View Ridge, Schmitz Park, North Beach, Beacon Hill or Van Asselt are just as "smart" or maybe "smarter." It seems that APP has gone from a welcoming sanctuary for highly capable oddballs, nerds and misfits to a padlocked glass trophy case of some sort - in the eyes of many - most of whom have no experience or knowledge of the program or it's history. (But alas, as goes the country, so goes APP, I suppose).

I hope this plan spells relief for APP North, which will quiet some critics and help some families, but I have serious reservations that a more destructive plan is at work.

There are those within JSCEE, blinded by their politics and personal agendas, who refuse to acknowledge that some kids are indeed very different, even though they appear on the surface to be like other kids. And nobody will suffer more at the hands of such agenda-driven people than the parents of truly highly capable kids who are poor, minority, ELL or as of yet unidentified, because many of those closed-minded, agenda-driven folks at JSCEE will never accept that those kids aren't just like all the others.

WSDWG

--NE mom

Anonymous said...

@kellie

I don't mean to dismiss the political angle or other angles (i.e., what's best for the kids!).

I just see why SPS would go this way from purely a capacity standpoint.

The more APP kids are served by their home school, the less a variable it becomes in future planning.

Take an extreme case: if *all* students in the Eckstein zone suddenly qualified for and chose APP, it wouldn't affect the total number of students at Eckstein *at all*.

So, I see why it's appealing to the planners. That doesn't mean it's the best solution, but I see where the SPS planners are coming from on this.

jsh

kellie said...

@ jsh,

I can see why you would reach that conclusion. However, that is just not the case.

It is somewhat true that if 100% of the Eckstein service area qualified for APP then the additional pressure would not effect capacity directly as it is just a "label" change for students who are already guaranteed a place at Eckstein.

But from a purely capacity perspective, that is not what actually happens. And a big part of that could be what you are calling the "error" rate in the projections but I am calling a non-capacity driven decision.

For starters, APP at Eckstein will increase the retention rate from 5th to 6th grade. The 5th to 6th grade retention rate is higher than average at the APP schools and this is not included in the projections. So that is just more kids than would have been there without the label.

As APP is guaranteed enrollment for more than one service area, the number of APP qualified students in the Eckstein service area is much less relevant, than what the incentive of the APP program provides to the JAMS area to go to Eckstein. As JAMS will be a brand new school and Eckstein is an established school, there will be another bump in enrollment.

When APP was placed at Hamilton, APP enrollment surged. If you look at the heat maps from when APP was only at Washington, it was very clear that distance from Washington was a huge factor in enrollment. Enrollment was most dense in the area 1-2 miles from Washington. Enrollment near 145 on the Shoreline border was almost non-existent.

When APP was placed at Hamilton / Lincoln, there were brand new hot spots at Greenlake, West Woodland and JSIS. These did not exist before. Clearly the students were there but families did not test for the program.

Hamilton is still pretty far from Lake City but Eckstein is not far. By just replicating the same trend lines from the last split, you can easily anticipate that the number of APP qualified students will likely triple in that area.

The planners know all of this. As the planners are the ones that made the maps that I am referencing. I spent several hours going over these types of maps with folks from capital planning and enrollment. They know that additional APP sites only create less enrollment stability not more.

So that is why I am saying placing APP at Eckstein is not a capacity driven solution as it does not solve any capacity problems, and is very very likely to create a few new ones.


Anonymous said...

I know people keep throwing out the idea of just "keeping" APP middle school students at Lincoln, but I'd like to remind folks that there are a lot of kids who start APP in middle school. In our experience, many such families dislike the standalone model, so were doing what they could to make the neighborhood school work as long as possible--in other words, holding out for a more diverse APP experience in middle school. Under the "keep them at Lincoln" plan, they would instead end up with standalone middle school APP in an elementary school?

And does Lincoln really have room to absorb the 500 or so HIMS APP kids next year--in classrooms, cafeteria, gym, music rooms, etc? I'm not familiar with the facilities there, and whether they could reasonably accommodate what would essentially be two different schools (since delivery format is so different)?

HIMSmom

Anonymous said...

I am still unclear on the true intention of the VNESS petition, but it did not result in keeping the APP cohort together, and that clearly was not in the district's plans. The result of lobbying against placement in JAMS is placement in Eckstein. Some Wedgwood/Eckstein families are none too pleased. The anti-APP sentiment is not limited to some JAMS families. The Eckstein plan is worse in that it creates more transitions for neighborhood assigned students. No other middle school has a boundary on the same street it fronts (with the exception of Washington's proposed boundaries...the other home of APP).

I am at a loss as how to respond to the latest boundary proposal, but do think many issues could be resolved by making the middle school boundaries geographically based rather than feeder pattern based. There may not need to be the massive shuffling and gerrymandering of elementary boundaries (which split families) if middle school boundaries could be a separate draw.

apparent said...

Dear Superintendent Banda, and Directors Smith-Blum, Carr, DeBell, Martin-Morris, McLaren, Patu, and Peaslee:

Version 3 of the draft Growth Boundaries Plan is introduced with an explanation headed Major Changes which contains 6 paragraphs, of which the final 2 paragraphs address APP along with a one paragraph rationale. In place of the Version 3's Major Changes paragraphs 5 and 6, and their accompanying one paragraph rationale, SPS board members are urgently requested to adopt this following proposed amendment including Major Changes paragraphs 5, 6, 7 & 8 and more convincing rationale:

"Major Changes
* . . . grandfathered if their attendance area is changing.

* One site has been designated for south APP elementary: Thurgood Marshall. South APP elementary (now at Thurgood Marshall) will stay at Thurgood Marshall and will continue to be co-located with attendance area students. With APP at Thurgood Marshall already in place, all advanced learning task force recommendations will be fully reviewed.

* One site has been designated for south APP middle school: Washington. South APP middle (now at Washington) will stay at Washington and will continue to be co-located with attendance area students. With APP at Washington already in place, all advanced learning task force recommendations will be fully reviewed.

* One site has been designated for north APP elementary: Wilson-Pacific. North APP elementary (now at Lincoln) will stay at Lincoln until Wilson-Pacific Elementary opens in 2017. North APP elementary will be located at Wilson-Pacific Elementary as a free-standing APP school beginning in 2017. When APP at Wilson-Pacific is in place, all advanced learning task force recommendations will be fully reviewed.

* One site has been designated for north APP middle school: John Marshall. APP at John Marshall will begin this coming fall. North APP middle (now at Hamilton) will be relocated to John Marshall beginning in 2014 and will be co-located with other school programs (from 2014-16 Jane Addams K-8). When APP at John Marshall is in place, all advanced learning task force recommendations will be fully reviewed.

John Marshall was chosen for north APP middle school because of its central location like Wilson-Pacific elementary school. Note that by far the largest numbers of APP students live closest to Eckstein and Whitman, so north APP middle at John Marshall will significantly reduce overenrollment at those schools. John Marshall will be filled optimally while Eckstein, currently very overcrowded, has its current enrollment reduced significantly with this redesignation of one north APP middle school site and also the opening of Jane Addams Middle School. This major change will also provide significant relief to over-enrollment at Hamilton. John Marshall was also chosen for north APP middle school because of the large number of public comments that favor designating a single site rather than two or three locations (Public Input 10/11-10/30, Comments 28-400, pp. 4-45). And John Marshall was chosen for north APP middle school also because of the large number of public comments from Jane Addams K-8 families who expressed their intention to transfer to Jane Addams Middle School through school choice, rather than move twice to John Marshall in 2014 and then again to their new JA K-8 building at Pinehurst in 2016 (Public Input 10/11-10/30, Comments 962-1028, pp. 104-111). All maps and reference documents will be revised accordingly.”

* * * * *

apparent said...

* * * * *

Requested Major Change Amendment: Co-house all APP (North) MS in John Marshall with Jane Addams K-8 (*JAK8 interim until new building opens in 2016, use either JM or JAMS portables if needed)

. . . for full text of this requested amendment, see preceding post. For supporting numbers:

John Marshall Enrollment Projections: Capacity 952 MS/852 K8

2014-15: 542+? APP MS (– ? x 6,7&8 Hamilton MS choice) + 808* JA K-8 (– ? x 6,7&8 JAMS choice) = John Marshall capacity 952 MS/852 K8 + portables if needed

2015-16: 542+? APP MS (– ? x 6,7&8 Hamilton MS choice) + 819* JA K-8 (– ? x 6,7&8 JAMS choice) = John Marshall capacity 952 MS/852 K8 + portables if needed

2016-17: 542+? APP MS (– ? x 6,7&8 Hamilton MS choice) + Wilson-Pacific MS (interim) (– 749 JA K-8 @New Building (Pinehurst)) = John Marshall capacity 952 MS/852 K8

2017-18: 542+?** APP MS + Loyal Heights (interim) = John Marshall capacity 952 MS/852 K8

* Note: “Forecasted Enrollment W/O Choice” (Version 2, Slide 24), “These numbers exclude any transfers to JAMS through choice, which would reduce Jane Addams K-8 enrollment numbers” (Version 2, Slide 25) – very significantly, by as much as 50% according to public input; if needed during 2014-15 or 2015-16, portables will placed on John Marshall site and/or on JAMS site which has already been identified as an alternative interim co-housing option for JA K-8.

** Note: APP (North) MS 2017-18 enrollment projection is revised because prior 861 students projection is inconsistent with elementary and south enrollment projections, and no longer considered reliable without advanced learning task force recommendations.

Sources: Version 3 of the draft Growth Boundaries Plan gives an APP enrollment overview for highly capable services (Attachment B, revised, Reference Documents, Table 1 at p.2), showing actual 2013-14 MS numbers of 867 middle schoolers including: 542 at Hamilton APP (North) MS + 325 at Washington APP (South) MS; APP (North) MS enrollment projections in the same Table 1 are aberrant compared to elementary and south APP middle and are not considered reliable. Version 2 shows John Marshall Middle School capacity, and gives a JA K-8 enrollment overview in tables under the heading “North Middle Schools: Full Grade Assignment in Year One” (Slides 24 & 25).

* * * * *

Anonymous said...

kellie - what about apparent's numbers and proposal to move APP north middle to marshall and share with JAK8 (rahter than the Lincoln idea) until WP is online? wonderin'

Anonymous said...

FWIW, the JAK-8 middle schoolers we know (three of them, all in the Eckstein area) are planning to stay at JAMS.

noreaster

Shannon Adams said...

FWIW, my good friends whose kids are in Wedgwood in private school and were APP eligible in the past are interested in whether they could test over summer to get into APP at Eckstein. The plan could even shift some from private to public.

Ballard gal said...

According to the SPS website:

"Summer testing is available only for students who relocated to the city of Seattle after the October deadline and were unable to participate in the fall/winter testing cycle. Independent school students must also be new to the city of Seattle."

The application deadline for everyone (current SPS and private school students) applying for advanced learning for 2014-2015 has already passed. Unless you're moving from far away to Seattle, it's too late for testing. They can certainly enroll in Gen Ed at Eckstein over the summer if it's their neighborhood school. If they live in that zone then Eckstein has to take them as a Gen Ed student.

Anonymous said...

Furthering my feeling that it would be very blurred, potentially contentious, lines between GenEd and APP at Eckstein.

Cal

kellie said...

@ wonderin

I don't know apparent. However, it is pretty easy to spot proposals that are agenda driven rather than capacity driven.

There is not enough room at Marshall for both APP middle and the K8. There is room for one or the other but not both. Depending on how many folks actually go to an option program at Marshall, there could be enough room for another small program but essentially Marshall is a medium sized building and it does run out space quickly.

But that is just an ongoing variation on the theme of there is just not enough room. Period.

All of the various proposals are about shuffling kids around in order to get more efficient building utilization as every building is already full. So only by squeezing out some extra utilization, can more kids be squeezed in.

Effectively that is why the K8 is going to Marshall. In general K8's tend to be expanded elementary schools and as such K8's are a very inefficient use of a middle school building where at least 25% of the capacity is lost to the smaller class sizes of elementary students and age specific services. So moving the K8 is now a cornerstone of the plan because the "simple" process of converting the Jane Addams building from a K8 to a comprehensive middle school all of sudden puts an extra 250 seats in the capacity mix.

Just for extra clarity, my comments are purely capacity related. And purely about how changing the utilization is a capacity decision, not an academic decision. So I can't see any scenarios in which the K8 does not go to Marshall.

They ran multiple scenarios trying to have the K8 share space with the new middle school that was voted into existence last year to start in Sept 2014. In all of the scenarios there simply wasn't enough space to make it work, even with substantial portables because of the different needs of elementary and middle school students. For example, it was really not possible to get everyone through the lunch room.

So John Marshall is just not available for APP at this point in the process.

ben said...

@Kellie

Actually all the building are fungible as far as middle school space vs. elementary space. So the extra spaces you gain in the Jane Addams building by using it for a middle school are lost in the John Marshall building when using it as an interim K-8 and vice versa.

So from a purely capacity driven perspective it doesn't matter which program went in which building the overall capacity calculus doesn't really switch.

Btw: where did you hear about scenarios being run to check on capacity. Were they done by the staff before the first proposal was floated? If so that makes the process seem even more slipshod than I thought.

Ben








kellie said...

@ Ben,

You are correct about the various degrees of fungible. One of the things I have tried to daylight (not very successfully) for a very long time is that this process of shuffling the deck chairs for efficiency is short sighted and doesn't fix anything. I keep signing the refrain that the only thing that fixes a capacity problem is more capacity.

As you stated, the change in utilization does not add any new capacity. However, what the shuffling does do, is that it puts a few more seats in a geographically specific place and those extra seats are needed as middle school seats in NE Seattle.

As for the scenarios I mentioned, they were run by the folks in the Jane Addams building. I don't know all the details as I was not directly involved in the process. However a few parents that were involved contacted me to ask me to check to see if I had any creative ideas that might make co-location work.

Anonymous said...

Wedgwood parents have created a Facebook page about proposed boundaries (version 3). One parent's comment:

"I did send an email to Banda, copied to Martin-Morris and called him on equity and fairness. I didn't say this but basically my son is getting kicked out of his school so that his neighbor who is "smarter" than him can go there in a special program. How equitable is that?"

Not good. Some comments from the meeting are posted on the Ravenna neighborhood blog.

www.ravennablog.com

Anonymous said...

Anyone go to the meeting at HIMS last night? I couldn't make it and would like to know what happened.

-- Former Lincoln Mom

Anonymous said...

I went to the HIMS meeting last night. My take on it was that Sherry Carr said that there will be a new amendment coming which sends the NE APP group to JAMS after all. Everyone else will stay at Hamilton until Wilson Pacific opens in 2017, and then there will be complex splitting (Whitman/Marshall/Hamilton -- I didn't really follow this part). She said that a Lincoln annex is impossible because of costly renovations and the allotment of the space to other groups in the coming years. She said that the creation of and the ultimate shape of the program in the NE does not fall under the board's domain.

We didn't really get to a point where anyone in the Hamilton community articulated a course of action/next step for us as a group. Are we emailing the board with a particular message? After reading the comments submitted by APP parents, it seems like there's not much consensus. As a parent of a sixth grader from the NE, I am just sad.

Anonymous said...

I am suffering from whiplash. It's A, no it's B, let's try C, oh heck, let's go back to B. How do you reach consensus on such wildly different options, that all impact one group or another adversely?

Anonymous said...

Yup - that's what I understood from the HIMS meeting with Sherry Carr last night.

A takeaway for this group (or Lincoln PTA) is that all of the smoothing over with Wedgewood and to a lesser extent, Whittier, is fine and good (really), but those schools’ advocacy to be put back into Eckstein and Whittier only moves the needle back to the 2.0 of JAMS (which does seem likely since that’s what Carr, HMM, and DeBell will propose tomorrow).

My sense from reading the Lincoln FB page, this site, going to the meeting, and talking to folks is that there is some consensus about 6th grade at Lincoln next year (to roll up until 2016) instead of a break to Eckstein or JAMS. It wasn’t current HIMS APP parents throwing Lincoln under the bus, I don’t think -- seems like Lincoln folks are on board with this idea (of course, at the middle level, current APP at Lincoln is only part of future APP middle – only half at HIMs 6th this year).

But is the idea of WP an APP only middle or also gened? Must be the latter because otherwise the numbers don’t work, right?

As I said on the other blog, to the APP haters who troll: I think this idea of Lincoln is about what might work for APP, but it's certainly not a dream proposal. It's about reality and not being pushed into a school that's unwelcoming and pushing out other kids only to be pushed out themselves in a few more years.

Kellie R made very on point comments about not sticking with the doomed (unpredictable, ever changing, getting very weird looking) elementary to middle feeder school plan. Not heard by Sherry Carr.

Wonderin

Anonymous said...

Yup - that's what I understood from the HIMS meeting with Sherry Carr last night.

A takeaway for this group (or Lincoln PTA) is that all of the smoothing over with Wedgewood and to a lesser extent, Whittier, is fine and good (really), but those schools’ advocacy to be put back into Eckstein and Whittier only moves the needle back to the 2.0 of JAMS (which does seem likely since that’s what Carr, HMM, and DeBell will propose tomorrow).

My sense from reading the Lincoln FB page, this site, going to the meeting, and talking to folks is that there is some consensus about 6th grade at Lincoln next year (to roll up until 2016) instead of a break to Eckstein or JAMS. It wasn’t current HIMS APP parents throwing Lincoln under the bus, I don’t think -- seems like Lincoln folks are on board with this idea (of course, at the middle level, current APP at Lincoln is only part of future APP middle – only half at HIMs 6th this year).

But is the idea of WP an APP only middle or also gened? Must be the latter because otherwise the numbers don’t work, right?

As I said on the other blog, to the APP haters who troll: I think this idea of Lincoln is about what might work for APP, but it's certainly not a dream proposal. It's about reality and not being pushed into a school that's unwelcoming and pushing out other kids only to be pushed out themselves in a few more years.

Kellie R made very on point comments about not sticking with the doomed (unpredictable, ever changing, getting very weird looking) elementary to middle feeder school plan. Not heard by Sherry Carr.

Wonderin

Anonymous said...

You don't. Can't please us all. Despite the 4 moves, my daughter just reminded me, she loves school and is doing great in SPS. What an odd duck, but thank goodness she can just roll with it.

Whiplashed 2

Anonymous said...

From the Ravenna blog post about the Wedgwood meeting last night:
The blog author added this comment:

"One parent with a school district employee connection spoke to me after the meeting, and shared a strong feeling that the Board may be interested in breaking up the APP program for that reason alone. Not related to overcrowding in the NE, but wanting to split the program and dilute it."

Makes you wonder why else they would propose such a contentious move that is.....
A) Not what APP wants
B) Not what Eckstein attendance area folks want
C) Probably not what the current administration/staff of Eckstein want (they are not supportive of self contained advanced learning programs and are unlikely to invest in building a strong program at this site)
D) Divisive and creates strong animosity toward APP as an entity
E) Likely to fail and create need for further boundary redraws or shifting of programs within a few years

Sniff

Anonymous said...

Also at the Save Seattle schools blog someone posted that Sherri Carr stated last night that the 6th grade roll up at Lincoln is NOT an option
" She said that a Lincoln annex is impossible because of costly renovations and the allotment of the space to other groups in the coming years. She said that the creation of and the ultimate shape of the program in the NE does not fall under the board's domain."

So- where does that leave us? Not welcome at JAMS. Not welcome at Eckstein. District says can't stay at Lincoln. Good program and supportive admin at Hamilton but no room.
Where can APP go and still get a comprehensive middle school experience?
I guess it can't be done but I really wish we could stay at Hamilton - the program is well established and supported. Is there anyway that boundary redraws could redirect some Hamilton feeder schools to other ones? Could it just be language immersion and APP? Could language immersion be moved? I'm just putting out random thoughts here, not trying to throw some other group under the bus. Have any of these things been explored? Is it really that APP is THE only piece of the puzzle that can be moved or is it just the most politically expedient thing to do?

Sniff

Anonymous said...

So incoming sixth grade APP kids will not only have to deal with a roll-up, but they'll have to do it at an elementary school site, and within an established school where they are the new kids. I get why the current Lincoln families will like this, but it seems about the worst possible rollup scenario for those new to APP.

And will they get a six-period middle school type day? Or is extended elementary school?

And on a related issue, is Spectrum now guaranteed at middle school? HIMS had a very small Spectrum population in past, but I think I heard its guaranteed access now... Is that correct? Seems like that may be the only way to get a comprehensive MS experience.

HIMSmom

Anonymous said...

Carr said that Lincoln is not on the table as a site for any program/group at Hamilton -- sixth graders or otherwise.

Anonymous said...

It can't both be too expensive to use and also too busy being used by other groups. I think it is just a hard sell to Sharon Peaslee, who wants APP split no matter what, and the other board members know that.

Anonymous said...

why can't anyone stand up to Peaslee? Why does APP not have an advocate/voice on the board?

- APP implosion

Anonymous said...

She seemed to be saying that there was no money to fix it up (building new bathrooms, I think) for next year.

Anonymous said...

It isn't just Peaslee. By far more administrators and board directors support APP as a dispersed service vs. a standalone program. This will not change in the next week. Or quite possibly ever.

Seen It

Anonymous said...

Is there a space/forum where NE APP parents or the larger north APP community are talking about what they're writing to the board about the latest proposal or the forthcoming amendment about next year's NE middle school move? I know that everyone feels pretty defeated, but I also know that other groups are flooding the board pretty strongly as large, political blocks. I can send another message with what I want for my own kid, but that doesn't seem like a great political strategy (and might not serve the common good).

Maria

Anonymous said...

There is an APP Advisory Committee meeting tonight:

Tuesday, November 5
Thurgood Marshall Elementary Library
6:30-8:30 p.m.

The meeting agenda will include school reports from the six sites as well as a discussion about the latest version of the Growth Boundaries plan.

See you there!

apparent said...

“The bottom line here. While all of the APP splits are interwoven into a capacity plan. NONE of these splits are capacity driven. It is purely political.” Kellie, 11/2@3.11

Kellie,

I agree that “it is pretty easy to spot proposals that are agenda driven rather than capacity driven.” For me that is Superintendent Banda’s current proposal to split APP into many pieces beginning next school year, Fall 2014. You have suggested the same, noting his “re-distribution” plan would divide APP into multiple locations making APP “geographically convenient” in order to advance “equitable access;” and you add, “what I was saying is the ‘APP for everyone’ component is not capacity driven. It is politically driven.”

You then say that “There is not enough room at Marshall for both APP middle and the K8. There is room for one or the other but not both.” Nevertheless I stand by the SPS capacity numbers sourced as shown in the draft amendment above (10/4@11.42&11.46), and you never challenge those capacity numbers:

If half of Jane Addams K-8 students do not show up at John Marshall for their two year interim stay beginning Fall 2014, which may very well happen because so many middle schoolers have guaranteed seats in the new Jane Addams Middle School, that projected SPS JA K-8 interim number drops from 808 to 404. Some Hamilton attendance area APP families have also indicated in public input and in posts that they would exercise school choice to stay in their neighborhood middle school, so it is not clear how much larger north APP middle school will be than its 2013-14 actual enrollment of 542 (bizarre and unsupported north APP middle school growth projections inconsistent with elementary and south APP do not count as data). The truth is that right now SPS capacity planning has little real clue now how many new APP students will enroll, or how many JA K-8 students will ever set foot in John Marshall. So both north APP middle school and Jane Addams K-8 may very well fit together in 952ms/852k8-seat John Marshall Middle School for JA K-8's proposed two year interim stint without any portables, or with few.

And the amendment proposed above completely covers your own predicted scenario that “[t]here is room for one or the other but not both.” In that event, the requested amendment simply directs implementation of Superintendent Banda’s prior Version 1 recommendation (both Options 1 & 2) to keep JA K-8 where it is now, cohousing with JAMS using portables for two years until the new JA K-8 building is ready in 2016. You nevertheless insist: “They ran multiple scenarios trying to have the K8 share space with the new middle school that was voted into existence last year to start in Sept 2014. In all of the scenarios there simply wasn't enough space to make it work, even with substantial portables . . . .” And you add: “As for the scenarios I mentioned, they were run by the folks in the Jane Addams building. I don't know all the details as I was not directly involved in the process. However a few parents that were involved contacted me to ask me to check to see if I had any creative ideas that might make co-location work.” But as Ben also points out above, having “the [JA] K8 share space with the new middle school that was voted into existence last year to start in Sept 2014" is the exact scenario that was recommended by Superintendent Banda and his staff as both Option 1 and Option 2 of Version 1!

Why did SPS staff propose to the directors this particular scenario in the first place, if it is really completely unthinkable?

apparent said...

“So John Marshall is just not available for APP at this point in the process.” Kellie, 11/4@3.28

Kellie, as one who has always respected and typically agreed with your thoughtful perspectives until now, I suggest that the amendment proposed above to keep north APP middle school intact in one location most certainly does present a convincing capacity related argument – indeed, the very first option recommended but then later mistakenly abandoned by SPS capacity planners earlier in this chaotic process.

You have dismissed that capacity related argument, but you have not answered it.

Your claim that “So John Marshall is just not available for APP at this point in the process” also makes no sense: Moving all north APP middle school to John Marshall for at least two years without splitting is precisely what Superintendent Banda and his staff proposed for consideration as Version 1, Option 1. It still remains a much better solution than all the various alternatives since: Version 1, Option 2, which morphed into the disastrous Version 2, and has now morphed again into the equally disastrous Version 3. Just one disruptive major change introduced in Version 2 includes uprooting JA K-8 for two years from 2014-16, and placing that program into John Marshall to the exclusion of north APP middle school.

You say that “every building is already full.” But John Marshall Middle School is not already full, it will not be filled until the SPS board vote on November 20, and under Superintendent Banda’s current Version 3 recommendation it will then be filled below capacity with an interim use for which the alternative JA K8/JAMS cosharing option (Version 1, Options 1 & 2) has already been proposed by SPS capacity planning staff.

You conclude: “Just for extra clarity, my comments are purely capacity related. And purely about how changing the utilization is a capacity decision, not an academic decision. So I can't see any scenarios in which the K8 does not go to Marshall.”

Kellie, thanks for your clarity, so let me respond as follows: Just for extra clarity, my comments are a combination of capacity related, academic related, and equity related. And purely about how changing the utilization is an academic and an equity decision, not a capacity decision. So I can’t see any scenarios in which north APP middle school remains intact other than by going to Marshall (either cohousing interim with Jane Adams K-8 from 2014-16, or cohousing long-term with some smaller program or programs such as Pinehurst K-8).

Anonymous said...

Apparent - The part that doesn't make sense is that you say 1/2 of JAK8 but the middle school is only about 320. Of the 320, it is guestimated that 1/2 would stay. So, you're still looking at over 600 students from JAK8, not the 400+ number you're using. Given the needs of the K-5 portion of the K8, it makes sense that JAK8 and APP cannot fit in JM together, no?

kp

apparent said...


“Effectively that is why the K8 is going to Marshall. In general K8's tend to be expanded elementary schools and as such K8's are a very inefficient use of a middle school building where at least 25% of the capacity is lost to the smaller class sizes of elementary students and age specific services. So moving the K8 is now a cornerstone of the plan because the ‘simple’ process of converting the Jane Addams building from a K8 to a comprehensive middle school all of sudden puts an extra 250 seats in the [middle school] capacity mix.” Kellie, 11/4@3.28

kp -- Thanks for this estimate (what is it based on?). I know nothing about possible additional portable capacity to close any resulting gap, but remember that the proposed amendment still covers this simply by directing implementation of the JAMS/JA K-8 cosharing recommendation that underpinned all of Superintendent Banda's Version 1 (both Options 1 & 2).

Is Kellie suggesting in her explanation above that all the JA K-8 middle school students could just stay put interim and cohouse for two years with Jane Addams Middle School, while only the JA K-5 students would move interim and cohouse at John Marshall with north APP middle school within JM’s 852-seat k-8 capacity number without portables. Great idea! Second that.

But interim JA K-8/JAMS cosharing (and without 3/7 north APP middle school!) is still the SPS recommended alternative option.

Anonymous said...

Theory: One reason APP doesn't have more board and staff support is because some of the louder-harsh speaking style members of the community are in their faces all the time. Same issue with special education. Same with Eckstein last year, when it unsuccessfully pushed to get JAMS up and running for this year. Administrators get sick of the style of the messengers, at least that's what I think. It is human nature to not like to feel attacked.

Do we have some dogged but diplomatic spokespeople in the mix who can lead us in the next week? If we know staff and directors are tuning some of us out, let's send new faces even if with the same messages.

Seen It

Anonymous said...

The guestimate for JAK8 middle to stay vs go to JM is just...a guestimate from JA commentors. As I understand it, there has been no survey so no certainty as to who would stay or go but if there are only 320+/- middle school kids, the numbers don't work as you suggest. Even if all 320 stay, the K-5 part is a much bigger number.

kp

Anonymous said...

Re-posting from the SSS blog:

crazy idea that could work said...

There is one solution that preserves APP and doesn't push anyone out of any building. Really.

Lincoln served as Hamilton for one year. It is fully capable of working as a middle school, including science rooms, full library, performance auditorium, etc.

The "Lincoln Annex" idea could be modified, such tat ALL of Hamilton is swapped with ALL of SNAPP for 1-2 years while things get sorted out.

This would alleviate ALL the problems with APP pushing out kids at either JAMS or Eckstein, and all the secondary/tertiary effects around the entire north end due to feeder patterns that Kellie has been talking about. It would last only until either:

1) Task force changes reduce the overall APP numbers (very likely, but may take time to roll up, depending on the proposed solutions), or
2) Wilson Pacific opens

This has mild downside for only one small group, and that's the existing students at HIMS who are not in APP. The only real downside would be that the building is not as new and pretty, but it's in the same neighborhood and the same population, preserving 100% walkability, fully music program, pretty much everything. On the scale of how badly other students around the north end are going to be affected by other plans, swapping to a less pretty building is pretty darn minor.

This contains the unwanted changes very tightly, and allows ALL the other programs in the north end to continue on track to be successful and not pushed all around willy-nilly until Wilson Pacific comes online.

Who can get behind this?

Discussion here is welcome (please!), but DeBell is working on an amendment to put APP back at JAMS as we speak. If this alternative seems feasible we'll all need to make sure the word gets out to every board member asap! The Board will need to introduce and vote on this as an amendment, because staff will certainly not suggest it, as they feel they must split APP no matter the cost to the program and to other neighborhood schools. This is purely a transition plan until Wilson Pacific comes online or other measures have reduced APP overall numbers.


This makes great sense to me, but there's not a lot of time to get it in front of the Board for amendments. Anyone see huge flaws? -NEdad

Lynn said...

How does this create more seats? Or is it just that HIMS students avoid walking between schools?

Anonymous said...

I think it's an interesting idea. However, Sherry Carr was all about the lack of funds to fix up Lincoln, to do basic stuff like putting enough bathrooms in to serve the capacity. She said that the immediate renovation problems were in West Seattle, and there was nothing left over. If this is the case (no money), I'm not sure how the board could be convinced. Not to be doom-and-gloomy, but yesterday's meeting at Hamilton made me feel that way.

apparent said...

kp,

Based on the consistently unhappy public input from JA K-8 parents (linked from SPS website) when Version 2 (and Version 3) switched to 2-year John Marshall interim relocation, and away from Version 1 JAMS cohousing, my guess is that your guesstimate may be way too high!

But regardless the numbers actually do work as suggested, because if north APP middle school and JA K-8 cannot fit together for two years at 952ms/852k8-seat John Marshall, even after increasing JM capacity further with portables, then the requested amendment simply directs that JA K-8 cohouse with JAMS from 2014-16, following the alternative staff recommendation already recommended in both SPS options presented as Version 1.

At the very time that so many JA K-8 families have expressed extreme aversion to this recommended interim move to John Marshall, most APP public input comments (also linked from SPS website) express a very strong desire to keep the existing middle school and elementary programs together without further splitting.

Really the idea is quite ridiculous that JA K-8's two-year interim "need" for John Marshall Middle School before moving into its own new building somehow requires SPS to split north APP middle school now, without even waiting for any advanced learning task force recommendations.

Anonymous said...

One thing that is important to note from the meeting is that it seems like the whole moving-kids-to-the-Northeast issue has to do with filling the spaces at JAMS. Whether it's kids from Eckstein or it's APP students, they will be adding some kids to make that a large enough school next year. Some kids will have to move, because there aren't enough current middle schoolers in that service area to fill the new school.

kellie said...

@ apparent,

I just can't support all of your suppositions.

It is extremely unlikely that only half of JA K8 will go to interim housing. It is a great program with a strong principal and a great teaching core. They have a very strong parent group and clearly thriving students. Plus, they have a new school after two years of interim housing.

Even if a few elementary families decide not to go to JM, it is very likely that there are many more families ready to take the newly opened spots. As for the middle school, they need to slim down at middle school in order to fit into their new building anyway. I just can't see that so few JA K8 families go to Marshall that there would be able room for middle school APP.

However, that is my opinion.

Anonymous said...

To anon at 6:50, the reality is that the JAMS service area IS bigger than just Olympic Hills and John Rogers, it's just that every other elementary group is fighting the idea of leaving Eckstein to join JAMS. OH and JR can't fight it because their inclusion at JAMS is really beyond dispute. Sac and WW are a tougher call, but it's really not unreasonable to consider either one or both in the JAMS service area. It's only by putting APP at JAMS that the District can avoid the political fallout of forcing WW and/or Sac to JAMS. For this reason, I'm convinced NE APP will end up at JAMS regardless of any other approaches that may be floated by the community.

-resigned

Anonymous said...

Resigned,
Agreed. Many good ideas, but too late in the game. What the heck has the district been doing for the past year?
JAMS for app.

Anonymous said...

So for those of us who are/will be part of NE APP at JAMS, perhaps we should be strategizing some requests (demands) for that school (could be done with OlH and JR families). If NE APP has to be separated from the rest of the cohort, it should be offered a few carrots in exchange, IMO.

-resigned

Julie said...

Perhaps in the next 2-3 years, JAMS will get over-crowded along with Hamilton and Whitman and all of APP will be forced out...into WPM? Ha ha...sorry. I'm losing it.

Anonymous said...

HMM's proposal
I am writing in response to your email regarding the November 1st version on the Growth Boundary Plan. As written, I do not support the plan and along with Director De Bell will be offer an amendment that will go back to the previous version of the plan with the following changes:

* Assign NE APP students to the new James Addams Middle School starting in 2014
* Have a maximum of 3 classes per grade level at James Addams Middle School
* Assign others APP to Hamilton until Wilson Pacific Middle School is online. At that point Hamilton would also go to the 3 classroom per grade and all others go to Wilson Pacific

That would mean that the middle school and elementary attendance areas in the NE would go back to October 16th revision with some minor changes basis on community input.

Regards,

Harium Martin-Morris


apparent said...


Because Superintendent Banda’s proposed draft Version 3 (11/6) of the Growth Boundaries Plan is a mess, Director deBell and Director Martin-Morris are now proposing their amendment rolling the plan back to Version 2 (10/16), which was also a mess. APP families should maybe request other directors to propose an alternative amendment rolling this deeply flawed plan back still further to Version 1, Option 1 (9/17) – which at least deferred this needless proposed split until 2016, after advanced learning task force recommendations. These were the elements of:

• Version 1, Option #1 (since dropped from Versions 2 & 3):

*Transition all APP (North) MS initially from Hamilton to John Marshall 2014-16.
*Co-house Wilson-Pacific MS attendance area students and all APP (North) MS students at John Marshall 2014-16.
*Co-house Jane Addams MS attendance area students and Jane Addams K-8 at JA MS 2014-16.
*Start two APP (North) MS ½ pathways beginning 2016-17 by splitting off ne ½ to JA MS, then continuing 2017-18 by moving remaining nw ½ from John Marshall to new W-P MS building.
*Co-house Jane Addams MS attendance area students and ½ APP (North) MS ne pathway students at JA MS from 2016.
*Co-house Wilson-Pacific MS attendance area students and ½ APP (North) MS nw pathway students at W-P MS from 2017.

* * * * *

None of these plans is good, the problem with Version 1, Option 1 is that it assumes a 2-way split; its benefit is that APP (North) MS would stay together until at least 2016 after advanced learning task force recommendations are known, which might give SPS another chance to do this right with its new board of directors.

Anonymous said...

Apparent, I thought version 1 was a 6th grade roll-up. The wording was to "transition" APP from Hamilton (vs. move them all now), and I seem to recall when I looked at the projected HIMS and John Marshall/W-P numbers they were consistent with it being a roll-up. Version 2, when it came out, seemed to be acknowledgement that rollups were a bad idea.


HIMSmom

apparent said...

HIMSmom,

Although the text is confusing (the language is inconsistent and it addresses NE and NW separately, so you have to piece both together), it appears that Version I, Option 1 did not threaten roll-ups, although Version 1, Option 2 which has since been favored did so threaten.

Version 1, Option 1 ("Split Later!") states on Slide 39, addressing the proposed NW Wilson-Pacific ½ pathway until it opens in 2017: “Attendance area students at John Marshall 2014-17; transition all north end middle APP from Hamilton to Marshall starting 2014-15 through 2015-16. Start two pathway assignment 2016-17.” And on Slide 37, addressing the proposed NE Jane Addams ½ pathway: “Co-house JAMS attendance area students and Jane Addams K-8 at Jane Addams 2014-2016. Transition north end middle school APP initially to John Marshall in 2014-15 and 2015-16; start two pathways in 2016-17 school year.” The word “all” is certainly used for the NW ½ pathway, and although the language is unfortunately not parallel it does seem implicit for the NE ½ pathway too.

In contrast Version 1, Option 2 ("Split Now!") vaguely states on Slide 39, addressing the proposed NW Wilson-Pacific ½ pathway until it opens in 2017: “Use John Marshall as interim site for attendance area and transition to new APP pathway students 2014-2017.” And equally cryptically on Slide 37, addressing the proposed NE Jane Addams ½ pathway: “Co-house JAMS attendance area and transitioning middle school APP pathway students, and Jane Addams K-8 students at Jane Addams 2014-2016.” It must be this vague language that raised the issue of roll-ups, which the directors all oppose.

Different Version 1 numbers are shown for Option 1 ("Split Later!") and Option 2 ("Split Now!"), but I have not compared or verified them.

apparent said...

HIMSmom,

For your comparison, the ill-conceived Version I, Option 2 has since morphed into Version 2, and is now Version 3. Later revisions to Version 1, Option 2 apart from particular locations are a 3-way rather than 2-way APP (North) MS split (in addition to a 3-way APP (South) ES split), and routing JA K-8 interim to John Marshall from 2014-16 rather than keeping them at JA MS. These were the elements of:

• Version 1, Option #2 (approach revised into Version 2, now modified in Version 3):

*Start two APP (North) MS ½ pathways beginning 2014-15 (ne=JAMS, nw=WPMS) by splitting off ne ½ to JAMS, then continuing 2017-18 by moving remaining nw ½ from John Marshall to new WPMS building.
*Co-house JAMS attendance area students and ½ APP (North) MS ne pathway students at JAMS from 2014 (and also Jane Addams K-8 students interim until 2016).
*Transition remaining ½ APP (North) MS nw pathway students initially from Hamilton to John Marshall 2014-17.
*Co-house WPMS attendance area students and ½ APP (North) MS nw pathway students at John Marshall 2014-17.
*Co-house WPMS attendance area students and ½ APP (North) MS nw pathway students at WPMS from 2017.

*****

Superintendent Banda and his planning staff made a crucial error in Versions 2 and 3, which mistakenly favor this disastrous Version 1, Option 2 ("split APP (North) MS now in 2014!") instead of the generally superior Version 1, Option 1 ("no ill-considered split threatened before 2016, after advanced learning task force recommendations!").

Hopefully for all students, including APP and general attendance area students, it is still not too late for the SPS directors in their amendments to correct this fundamental error.

Corina said...

I would like to ask people to PLEASE email the school board today (they are meeting tonight) asking them to write an amendment to table additional sites for south-end APP until after the Advanced Learning task force has had a chance to do its work. When asked why the plan for south-end APP hadn't changed at all in the 3 proposals, a district official said that they "hadn't heard from people about south APP"! It is a relatively small program, and we need more voices to speak up or these changes will become policy simply through default.

Additional, "optional" south-end sites distract from the burning capacity crises, and will do more harm than good in terms of equity and cost. (The new sites would be tiny programs -- less 100 kids -- with no additional funding or support, for some of the kids in the district who need the most support, and would compromise the strength and cohort size of the whole south-end program. Since this proposal does nothing to solve the major capacity issues facing the district, it should be tabled until the AL Task Force has had time to establish a district-wide plan for advanced learning.) The board meets tonight, so there is still time!

Thank you!

Corina
mom of 2 south-end APP kids

PS Is there a simple amendment that would improve the north-end middle school situation? Perhaps we could all pull together for that?

dw said...

Corina, yes there is a "simple" plan for the north, see the above Crazy Idea, which is actually not so crazy.

Although very odd at first glance, this would solve virtually all of the problems that an APP split right now would push onto thousands of kids across the entire north half of the city. As Kellie has described here and elsewhere, the feeder patterns are a big part of this, but I would also like to hear Kellie weigh in on the HIMS/Lincoln swap plan. It allows the district to preserve walkability better than any other scenario (no changes at HIMS in that regard, vastly better across the rest of the north end). It preserves APP for now, at least until the Advanced Learning Task Force has time to put together recommendations. It better utilizes existing building space (yes, HIMS might be somewhat underutilized immediately, but Lincoln has a lot of space that can be made usable very quickly that might not otherwise be made available). Lots of good things about this plan, not the least of which is that other schools around the city can stop organizing their "No APP In Our Building!" efforts, which are happening everywhere already. Any kind of APP split right now in the north end will be disastrous, socially, politically and from an assignment/capacity standpoint.

Also, I totally agree on the south end APP splintering efforts. Everyone should write their Board reps and briefly state that they do not support continued splintering. It is especially ill-timed right now, with the task force working as we speak.

Anonymous said...

@ apparent, actually, I don't find the text that confusing at all. As you wrote, version 1 said “Attendance area students at John Marshall 2014-17; transition all north end middle APP from Hamilton to Marshall starting 2014-15 through 2015-16. Start two pathway assignment 2016-17.”

Transitioning the NW AA APP kids from Hamilton is a slow process, done over several years. That's a roll-up! It means putting the 6th graders there next year (that's the "starting in 2014-15" part), then again shifting over incoming the APP 6th graders again the following year (that's the transitioning "through 2015-16" part). The following year, 2016-17, is 2-pathway assignment, because the "transitioning" will be done.

Look at the supporting docs. The interim site utilization table clearly showed W-P at Marshall as a roll-up. Also, if you look at the projected enrollment for Marshall included in the initial board presentation around that option, it's again clear that it's a roll-up. It says:
2014-15 projected enrollment: 380 (preliminary)
2015-16 projected enrollment: 770 (preliminary)
2016-17 projected enrollment: 850 (preliminary)
APP at HIMS is currently more than that 380, and that projection is supposed to include the W-P AA kids, too! It's just the 6th graders. A roll-up.

It doesn't sound like there's anyone out there who likes the idea of roll-ups. I have a feeling that you, too, are not supportive of a roll-up--but that option you keep pushing for clearly reads as a roll-up. The idea of moving the entire APP population from HIMS to Marshall--which I would probably support more than any other option yet--had NOT been officially floated in one of the three iterations.

HIMSmom

apparent said...

"The idea of moving the entire APP population from HIMS to Marshall – which I would probably support more than any other option yet – had NOT been officially floated in one of the three iterations." HIMSmom, SPS blog, 11/6@2.36

Version 1, Option 1 (9/17, Slide 37): “. . . transition ALL north end middle APP from Hamilton to Marshall starting 2014-15 through 2015-16. Start two pathway assignment 2016-17.”


HIMSmom,

You're right, nobody including you, me, the directors or anybody else supports roll-ups. Nor does the actual language of since disfavored Version 1, Option 1 ("no north APP MS split now before 2016!") quoted above, which very clearly says transition "ALL north end middle APP from Hamilton to Marshall starting 2014-15 through 2015-16. Start two pathway assignment 2016-17.” That option does not say "some," and "all" does not mean that transitioning 7th and 8th graders stay behind, unless they are Hamilton attendance area students exercising school choice transfers. So for the recommended NW Wilson-Pacific MS ½ pathway at least, Version 1, Option 1 does clearly say "no roll-ups."

For the recommended NE Jane Addams MS ½ pathway, Version I, Option 1 says "Transition north end middle school APP initially to John Marshall in 2014-15 and 2015-16; start two pathways in 2016-17 school year.” You focus again on the verb "transition," but does that verb here not signify "interim location" rather than "roll-ups" at John Marshall until 2016? With no continuing Hamilton APP program and no split looming until 2016, why treat the interim John Marshall resident NE Jane Addams ½ pathway any differently from the interim John Marshall resident NW Wilson-Pacific ½ pathway?

Other language addressing new attendance area students and the alternative language of the favored Version 1, Option 2 threatened roll-ups, which prompted that correction in Version 2, while also further precluding any possibility of north APP moving intact with the addition of the newly recommended 1/3 pathway which would stay at Hamilton.

You are right to point out that the accompanying SPS numbers do not fit with this explicit text and do suggest roll-ups (beyond Version 1 attrition from Hamilton attendance area school choice transfers). But the John Marshall projected enrollment slide covers only the recommended NW ½ pathway, while inconsistently for the recommended NE ½ pathway, only JAMS and not John Marshall numbers are shown (Version 1, Slides 37 & 39).

There is a specific plan for attendance area roll-ups indicated in the table headed “Recommended Interim Site Utilization” (Version 1, Slide 44), showing 952-seat John Marshall in 2014-15 with “WilPac MS 6," the following year “WilPac MS 6&7,” and the year after “WilPac MS 6,7&8"), but there is no reference to north APP MS students anywhere on that interim site use chart. These several inconsistencies are among many obvious instances of drafting by committee. From accounts of the board work session the resulting roll-up question centered around the favored Version, 1, Option 2 ("split north APP MS now in 2014!").

Much more importantly, you call for clear advocacy for our shared position "ALL of middle school APP to move to John Marshall next year," and I do always try to emphasize this by using a word such as "intact." Much better than this fall-back Version, 1 Option 1 (which buys valuable time for task force reports but still wrongly assumes future south ES and north MS splits), please do take a careful look at the better more forward looking amendment which was posted earlier above (11/4@11.42&11.46)

apparent said...

"Is there a simple amendment that would improve the [3-way split south-end elementary school situation and the 3-way split] north-end middle school situation? Perhaps we could all pull together for that?" Corina, 11/6@11.52

Corina,

Thanks for bringing this much larger south-north all APP perspective to bear, it is the most important thing. Although not so far reflected on this blog, the huge public input to SPS from south-end APP families protesting this sudden 3-way elementary split certainly matched the identical north-end APP protest against this sudden 3-way middle school split (Public Input 10/11-10/30, Comments 28-400, pp. 4-45).

The following simple proposed amendment was actually written to stop any further splitting of south or north APP elementary or middle school pending advanced learning task force reports.

To compare the following simple amendment to the current proposed draft Growth Boundaries Plan, read the SPS summary addressing APP in Version 3:

“Major Changes
“* . . . grandfathered if their attendance area is changing.

"* North APP elementary (now at Lincoln) will stay at Lincoln until Wilson-Pacific Elementary opens in 2017. North APP elementary will be located at Wilson-Pacific Elementary as a free-standing APP school beginning in 2017.

"* Two sites (co-located with attendance area students) have been designated for north APP middle school: Eckstein and Whitman. APP at Eckstein will begin this coming fall. When APP at both Eckstein and Whitman are in place, enrollment data will be reviewed to determine if Hamilton would continue as an APP site. Depending on the number of students to be served, Hamilton APP may be phased out in the future.

"Eckstein and Whitman were chosen as APP sites because by far the largest numbers of APP students live closest to those schools. Note that Eckstein, currently very overcrowded, has its current enrollment reduced significantly with the opening of Jane Addams Middle School. These changes will also provide some relief to over-enrollment at Hamilton."

Now, as one simple amendment that would stop any south-end elementary or north-end middle school splits without advanced learning task force recommendations, could we all pull together for this proposed alternative, now so far upthread and with so little time that the text follows here . . .

apparent said...

Amendment: Don't Split South or North APP Without Task Force Recommendations!

Dear Superintendent Banda, and Directors Smith-Blum, Carr, DeBell, Martin-Morris, McLaren, Patu, and Peaslee:

Version 3 of the draft Growth Boundaries Plan is introduced with an explanation headed Major Changes which contains 6 paragraphs, of which the final 2 paragraphs address APP along with a one paragraph rationale. In place of the Version 3's Major Changes paragraphs 5 and 6, and their accompanying one paragraph rationale, SPS board members are urgently requested to adopt this following proposed amendment including Major Changes paragraphs 5, 6, 7 & 8 and more convincing rationale:

"Major Changes
* . . . grandfathered if their attendance area is changing.

* One site has been designated for south APP elementary: Thurgood Marshall. South APP elementary (now at Thurgood Marshall) will stay at Thurgood Marshall and will continue to be co-located with attendance area students. With APP at Thurgood Marshall already in place, all advanced learning task force recommendations will be fully reviewed.

* One site has been designated for south APP middle school: Washington. South APP middle (now at Washington) will stay at Washington and will continue to be co-located with attendance area students. With APP at Washington already in place, all advanced learning task force recommendations will be fully reviewed.

* One site has been designated for north APP elementary: Wilson-Pacific. North APP elementary (now at Lincoln) will stay at Lincoln until Wilson-Pacific Elementary opens in 2017. North APP elementary will be located at Wilson-Pacific Elementary as a free-standing APP school beginning in 2017. When APP at Wilson-Pacific is in place, all advanced learning task force recommendations will be fully reviewed.

* One site has been designated for north APP middle school: John Marshall. APP at John Marshall will begin this coming fall. North APP middle (now at Hamilton) will be fully relocated to John Marshall Middle School in 2014 and will be co-located with other school programs. When APP at John Marshall is in place, all advanced learning task force recommendations will be fully reviewed.

John Marshall was chosen for north APP middle school because of its central location like Wilson-Pacific elementary school. Note that by far the largest numbers of APP students live closest to Eckstein and Whitman, so north APP middle at John Marshall will significantly reduce overenrollment at those schools. John Marshall will be filled optimally while Eckstein, currently very overcrowded, has its current enrollment reduced significantly with this redesignation of one north APP middle school site, and also the opening of Jane Addams Middle School. This major change will also provide significant relief to over-enrollment at Hamilton. John Marshall was also chosen for north APP middle school, and Thurgood Marshall for south APP elementary school, because of the large number of public comments that favor designating a single site rather than two or three locations (Public Input 10/11-10/30, Comments 28-400, pp. 4-45). And John Marshall was chosen for north APP middle school also because of the large number of public comments from Jane Addams K-8 families who expressed their intention to transfer to Jane Addams Middle School through school choice, rather than move twice to John Marshall in 2014 and then again to their new JA K-8 building at Pinehurst in 2016 (Public Input 10/11-10/30, Comments 962-1028, pp. 104-111). All maps and reference documents will be revised accordingly.”

* * * * *

Anonymous said...



Does anyone know if South optional APP pathways have been removed from the table?

3 in APP

Anonymous said...

apparent,

Any chance you could edit a little? Your posts are insanely long and hard to follow.

just sayin

Anonymous said...

South APP "optional" pathways are still part of the official plan. The board needs to submit an amendment (today, apparently) in order to table them for now.

So write the school board!

Anonymous said...

Just wrote the school board:

Dear School Board Director,

I have been following the changes that have been proposed for the elementary and middle school boundaries over the past few weeks.

I realize the process in the North-end is driven by not enough seats for the number of students and I can appreciate the changes that need to be made in order to make sure all schools are functioning at a capacity level that will provide the best educational environment for all kids.

However, I am confused by the proposals in the south end that directly affect the south APP population. Those proposals don't seem to be driven by capacity at all, but have been touted as providing "service" to kids that somehow are not being served at this time. As everyone in the south end has equal access to the APP pathway already, I don't believe the "no service" argument holds water.

Much discussion seems to be surrounding the "adequate cohort size" discussions in the North-end and making sure that those students are being served - i.e.: the proposed stand-alone APP elementary school for the North.

Then the south proposal splits a much-smaller APP population into pieces with no thought to equitable delivery or minimum cohort size?

I do not have any children that would be affected by these changes; however, in the interest of equity and short of immediate capacity issues, I am advocating for removing the proposed changes to the south end APP program until the Advanced Learning Task Force completes their work on evaluating delivery model for APP and other advanced learning across the district.

Thank you for your time.

-GHS parent

Anonymous said...

I just read Kellie's note and wrote the school board asking them to reject the whole plan.

Anonymous said...

HIMS mom thank you for bringing up the word "intact". "Intact" means moving WITH some or all of our experienced teachers who know the program. All these proposed splits will destroy the integrity of the program if it's just random teachers assigned at the various buildings.

It's not just about kid-cohort size.

Anonymous said...

I assume that "limited and targeted" changes will still include moving NE APP students somewhere. Rejecting the plan will still impact this section of our community.

Anonymous said...

Hamilton has been slowly assigning gen ed teachers to APP classes as the cohort grows. Some teachers seem to have been hired specifically for APP classes, such as the high school level science classes. There already is variation in the level of gifted ed experience that teachers bring to APP classes. Sometimes it works out fine, but there are some APP classes for which the content does not seem adjusted for APP students, or strangely the teacher doesn't seem to believe in gifted ed (and yet they are assigned to APP or advanced math classes). So already there is some randomness in the teacher assignments and just because a teacher is assigned an APP level class does not necessarily mean they are the best fit for that population going forward. That said, it's hard to maintain any program integrity without a cohort of teachers having some experience teaching APP or gifted ed. The program has changed with the loss of many veteran APP teachers and it's unclear how teachers will be assigned with the possible splits.

Soon-to-be SPS Mom said...

Has Seattle North APP made any suggestions to the board regarding a potential location for an APP standalone middle school? I don't suppose there would be any way all of APP K-8 could be housed at Wil-Pac?

It seems like no one likes the new Eckstein solution. I'm curious what solutions and amendments are being floated. Without a solid proposal on the table I feel like we are at the mercy of the school board's problem solving abilities, which aren't looking good.

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 12:17 you are correct. There is a stated belief that any teacher should be able to teach any kid, so gifted training and experience is not valued as much as teachers who toe the line on CCSS, alignment with the rest of the school, etc. And yes there are teachers teaching our kids who call AL elitist segregation. It's not like the poor impoverished Gen Ed white and Asian children of Wallingford are being cheated of a quality education, but they sure make it sound that way.

open ears