Friday, January 17, 2014

Principal moved from Thurgood Marshall to West Seattle

Superintendent Banda just moved Julie Breidenbach from Principal of Thurgood Marshall over to Fairmount Park. Thoughts on what that means for Thurgood Marshall, West Seattle, and APP?


Mark said...

Wow, this is pretty huge. We're one of those West Seattle families who struggle with the long daily bus rides and the toll the commute takes on our daughter's quality of life, so we were already thinking very seriously about the West Seattle option. This might be enough to put us over the top.

There were four major issues that were making it hard for me to consider Fairmount Park:

1) The great, well-established program at Thurgood Marshall
2) Lack of clarity about the plan/vision for APP at Fairmount Park
3) Unclear what the middle school path for West Seattle will look like
4) Don't particularly want to move our first grader to her third school in three years, and leave her friends again

With this move, the school board has pretty much allayed my first two concerns, and given me a bit more confidence that the third will be addressed. For the fourth one, we're on our own!

Very interesting...

Marco said...

@Mark, now it makes sense, why the TM PTA fought so hard against establishing an new advanced learning program in West Seattle.

Every time they sent out another email, I wrote to all the school board members and asked them to support it :p

westSeattleSteve said...


The Thurgood Marshall community had no idea that Julie would be principal for Fairmount Park, we just found out this morning with everyone else.

My concern was they would not support the APP community at Fairmount Park and it would be a program in name only (Does anyone else remember spectrum at West Seattle Elementary with only 2 students in the program?). With Julie's guidance I think it will be a successful program.

Anonymous said...

The announcement does not say that she will be principal - it says that she will be "planning principal". Are those 2 different roles?

I have heard that Julie is close to retiring so I wonder if she will be involved in planning of Fairmount Park only and not assume leadership on an ongoing basis. I have suspected that this would be her last year at TM anyway (based on the fact that she is close to retiring) so am not at all surprised by this news.

I do believe that her involvement, even if only in planning, will setup the program for success but am still not wild about transitioning our child for the reasons that the first post outlines.

TM Parent

Anonymous said...

Correction to TM Parent above

The announcement sent by email and the one on the SPS homepage says:

"Ms. Breidenbach will be the planning principal this year and remain principal when the school opens to students."

Anonymous said...

Thanks, the letter to TM parents did not make that clear.

Dear Thurgood Marshall School community,

Today I’m announcing a leadership change at Thurgood Marshall Elementary for the remainder of the school year. Your principal, Julie Breidenbach, has been appointed planning principal for Fairmount Park Elementary, a new elementary in West Seattle that will open for the 2014-15 school year.

Ms. Breidenbach has done an outstanding job as principal of your school for the past five years. I look forward to seeing her share her dedication and passion for excellence with the Fairmount Park community as they work together on their new school.

I am pleased to announce that your assistant principal, Christine Helm, has been appointed interim principal for the remainder of the year. Ms. Helm is ready to step in to continue Thurgood Marshall’s strong focus on reading and academics and to lead efforts in budgeting, planning and staffing. She will work hard to make sure there are no disruptions to this leadership change. Ms. Helm will have the opportunity to interview with the school community for permanent placement as principal.

Prior to joining Thurgood Marshall in July 2013, Ms. Helm served as assistant principal at Whittier Elementary for two years and as principal at Lawton Elementary for one year. She worked as a literacy coach in Seattle for three years and taught for six years in both New York City and Seattle.

Ms. Helm earned a master’s degree in education leadership from the Danforth School at the University of Washington and a Masters of Teaching from City College in New York. Her undergraduate work was completed at St. Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire.

Please join me in thanking Ms. Breidenbach for her years at Thurgood Marshall Elementary and welcoming Ms. Helm to her new role.


José Banda
Seattle Public Schools

Anonymous said...

@Mark...We're thinking the same thing as you with our first grader at TM. I would love for my little one to have time for soccer or swimming or some of those normal childhood activities again. Looks like choice forms aren't due until March. The info. Below is copied from the other fairmont thread by another poster... Signed J.

From the Seattle Public Schools Website Fairmount Park Elementary webpage:

Parent Information Nights

These meetings will be held in the Alki Elementary in the cafeteria:
3010 59th Ave SW
Seattle, WA 98116

These informational meetings will be conducted by the principal and the later three dates will include teachers hired for the 2014-2015 school year

These events could be crowded so we ask that only adults attend unless you have childcare issues and need to bring your child(ren) along.
Meetings will run from 6:00-8:00 p.m. on the following dates:

Thursday, Feb 6th
Wednesday, Feb 12th
Tuesday, Feb 25th
Wednesday, Feb 26th
Tuesday, March 4th

January 16, 2014 at 5:51 PM

Anonymous said...

FYI, A few years ago the spectrum program at Lawton was changed from self contained classrooms to a "walk to" model.

This was implemented by Christine Helm. See the letter here:

I wonder how things will begin to play out at Thurgood Marshall when there are fewer AHG kids because of the "optional" program at Fairmont Park.


Anonymous said...

I'm confused. How is Fairmont Park actually going to have APP is only about 60 kids will qualify?

Isn't the Accelerate Progress Program (APP) in elementary partially defined by self contained classrooms and testing into the top 2%ile?

Because of the numbers, this will be impossible to have self-contained classrooms.

Can academically Highly gifted kids be served through other delivery models? Sure, maybe. There is a ton of debate around this topic.

But this site will not have self-contained class rooms, and therefore ISN'T APP.

I don't dispute that this principal may be very skilled and has a strong history with serving AHG kids.

But it should be called something else, shouldn't it? Isn't this Spectrum?

Anonymous said...

Perhaps more opt in of APP without the long commute from W. Seattle? The 60 number could increase. The long commute for young children was the con for us. We were able to compensate with supplemental stuff at home and our kids didn't have the social needs that other APP students might -which makes decision making easier. Less time on the bus means more time available for other things. There are APP qualified students who chose to remain in local ES and enter APP at MS. Nice to have this flexibility.


Anonymous said...

Anon 12:52, there will be "Spectrum" at Fairmount Park too, as well as general education. I honestly really don't care if they call it APP or Tier xyz, or anything at all. I am thrilled though that SPS is making a solid attempt to serve AHG kids in WS. Sounds promising so far.


Anonymous said...

Great! so if the name doesn't matter to those who want this new hybrid program, then it should be changed to reflect what it is. It is not APP, so it shouldn't have the APP name.

Here is the problem that folks don't seem to understand: Allowing a delivery model for AHG kids to be VASTLY different and still call it APP creates a fundamentally inequitable situation. the district will place you in what they call APP, but if you live in this place you get X (blended classes and 1 grade level ahead because the class is also filled with spectrum kids) and if you live Y you will get some thing different.

APP is self-contained for a reason. This delivery model is the most effective for serving AHG kids educational needs, as well as arguably social needs.

Do some people feel that their kids are serviced as well in a blended classroom setting? Sure, and that is not the issue. those kids can be served in that way, it just is NOT APP.

There are presently about 900 elementary kids who attend APP BECAUSE it is self contained and offers the right educational environment for these kids.

If any one of those kids were actually being served in their neighborhood spectrum program, they would still be there.

I'm all for supporting improving Spectrum so that AHG kids AND others that want the blended model can have it closer to home.

But if we keep calling this hybrid program APP, when it is NOT, it will give the district the permission to "Blend" all of APP.

It will set a precedence, and 900 kids who NEED APP will be negatively impacted.

Anonymous said...

How about: "AHG/Spectrum program" at Fairmount Park

The distinction being APP is self contained and "AHG/Spectrum" is blended ...


Anonymous said...

...the district will place you in what they call APP, but if you live in this place you get X...and if you live Y you will get some thing different.

This is already happening.

Already, some Hamilton APP teachers are not following the APP LA/SS curriculum as it's delivered at WMS. It's self-contained, but is it APP?

If you have attended JAMS planning meetings, you will find that self-contained APP classes are not necessarily being promised. There are plans to stop blocking APP LA/SS and to single subject qualify students for LA. Is it APP?

Anonymous said...

Am I the only one who imagines a FP blended program with say 2nd grade APP mixed with 3 grade Spectrum all of whom are working on 4th grade level or above?

The blending could also be phased out as the program becomes established and attracts more WS AHG students like the ones who now go private or to WS Gen Ed and Spectrum sites. Since the two current APP elementary sites don't have Spectrum they never had the option of this sort of blend.

Grade divisions by age are by nature arbitrary; some of the APP kids are closer in age to the next grade up. Also if I understand the way the qualification works, some Spectrum students might have been APP eligible is they weren't already among the youngest in their grade.

Personally, I might object for social reasons if my elementary children were mixed with students two grade levels ahead or below, but split grade classrooms happen all the time in this district especially when schools are opened. If it allows us to meet the needs of more students working 1 and 2+ grade levels ahead I'm all for it.

This blending wouldn't work for APP 5th graders but those who want to change school in 5th grade can be accommodated some other way. In a year or 2 there may be enough 5th graders in the FP APP pipeline to have a self-contained class.

I predict by year two FP will enroll enough APP-qualified 1rst and 2nd graders for a self-contained classroom in each grade unless the APP eligibility is drastically tightened for next year. Unfortunately WS families who would have been interested in a local APP site didn't know about this option before the AL application deadline.

To say that APP has to be completely self-contained by definition doesn't account for the APP middle schools with walk-to-math and electives. Doesn't that mix Spectrum, APP, and even Gen Ed kids (who may be AHG in math but not LA) at all APP MS sites? Of course I know the pacing and depth needs can be more varied, but counting on a teacher to be able to handle that amount of differentiation is worth 1.5 less hours on a bus each day to many families.

-Was There

Lynn said...

There are only 31 AHG students at TM this year. You're not going to find a whole classroom of them in West Seattle unless the qualifications are loosened quite a bit.

Anonymous said...

Lynn, did you mean 31 per grade? Or total from west Seattle? Either way, I agree. There is no way to create self contained APP classes unless they assign kids from other areas of the city or lower the requirements.

was there, I'm only talking here about elementary, but that's my point. Yes, middle school is only self contained in certain subjects and I was surprised to learn that Washington does what is called blocking and looping and Hamilton only blocks some kids and JAMS will be doing none of it and instead blending classrooms.

there are some major inconsistencies and educational inequity between the already labeled APP sites.

and that is my point. It isn't really a program if there aren't some fundamental aspects that are the same across all sites.

at a minimum, I think that all APP patents would agree that self contained classrooms in elementary is the base line.

and I agree with a previous poster who reminded folks that it shouldn't just be about 2 years content acceleration.

again, what is happening at fp is not APP. Arguably, neither is what is happening at JAMS.

just slapping a label on something doesn't make it that thing.

the task force has a big job ahead of them. Either they will define APP in a way that maintains a minimum level if consistency (I.e. Educational equity) across the program sites, or they will effectively dismantle APP.

Lynn said...

I meant there are 31 total APP first graders at TM this year from the Central, South East and South West regions.

I think Shauna Heath is trying to do the right thing. If she takes seriously her obligation to provide AHG children with accelerated and enriched instruction, and parents are telling her that the transportation time to TM is too much of a burden, creating this program is a reasonable solution. I don't understand why someone would choose it over TM, but maybe it'll work out for them. I'm happy to wait and see.

I don't think we'll see this blended program offered anywhere else. West Seattle has room to keep it's AHG students in the region - we're creating too many elementary seats over here. The north end needs to pull kids out of the neighborhood schools, Central District kids are already served in their region, and parents in the South East don't complain about transportation time.

I do hope that they drop the APP name from the FP program. Just call it what it is - a Spectrum program with guaranteed access for AHG students.

Anonymous said...

I don't think we'll see this blended program offered anywhere else.

I think it's a bit of a slippery slope. It's like the unblocking of LA/SS for APP middle school. Hamilton has had scheduling restrictions with its overenrollment of the past few years so one of the LA/SS sections has been team taught (two different teachers). I don't think it's ideal for those students, but they are then using it as justification that it's okay to unblock the LA/SS at JAMS - they did it at HIMS, and it's okay, etc. But is it okay?

I'm concerned about changes for convenience, rather than changes that fit into a broad vision for AL that are supported by experience or gifted education research about what is best for those students.

Anonymous said...

I agree with:

"I'm concerned about changes for convenience, rather than changes that fit into a broad vision for AL that are supported by experience or gifted education research about what is best for those students."

Here is a relevant and interesting research study which,

"Results indicate that the gifted students in gifted cluster classes demonstrated statistically significant and scientifically meaningful
achievement growth, regardless
of their demographic group."

Here is the full paper:

Lynn said...

Brulles reports in this paper Improving Performance for Gifted Students in a Cluster Grouping Model, that gifted students are better served when grouped in clusters than in heterogenous classrooms. No surprise there - but it's hardly proof that cluster grouping works as well as self contained classrooms.

Lynn said...

I think project based learning would be a great thing at Fairmount Park. It would make multi-grade classrooms with a wide range of abilities easier to manage. If it was humanities-focused I would be interested.

Anonymous said...

Exactly, Lynn. The quoted statement leaves out important information:

Results indicate that the gifted students in gifted cluster classes demonstrated statistically significant and scientifically meaningful achievement growth, regardless of their demographic group.

Compared to what? A good journal editor should have caught that omission!

If you read the report, the comparator is heterogenous classrooms. Well, ok, then. Cluster grouping is better than no grouping at all. No argument from me.

But, how is that relevant for our situation here in Seattle, where we have had a self-contained program for many many years? Can anyone point to evidence that moving from self-contained to clustered or "blended" classrooms is equal or superior to maintainin the status quo?

If I understand the situation at Fairmont Park, it won't be Brulles' cluster model anyway because FP plans to put APP and Spectrum together. The Brulles model actually puts academically highly gifted (AHG) and academically gifted (AG) children into different classrooms for specific reasons.

And, there is recent evidence to suggest that children who just make or just miss the score cut-off for gifted services do not benefit from being placed into classes with higher performing peers. The study author speculates that the problem is that these kids become "a small fish in a big pond." You can read his NPR interview here:

and see another perspective on the study here:

I'm not convinced that dismantling self-contained APP in favor of blended classrooms will benefit anyone, except perhaps the district if they save money on transportation.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I agree with both Lynn and the other poster who say that this study does NOT say anything other than the fact that the kids who were grouped together did better than the ones that did not.

It doesn't compare self-contained V. clustered.

But what it does say is that the heterogeneous class room does not serve these kids.

Justification for Grouping, and I think even further justification for maintaining self contained classrooms given the other research also mentioned about the impact on the kids who were just below the cut-off.

Anonymous said...

As someone commented on the the second study being cited:

This study dealt with the talented and gifted program in ONE urban school district, but the results were extrapolated to apply to ALL gifted and talented programs. This is an unproven correlation, and reporting it as fact is sloppy...This particularly bothered me because the study focused on achievement between fifth and seventh grade. Based on a short-term, three-year period, it drew the conclusion that the programs provided no benefit. What about the long term?

The study also focused on borderline talented and gifted students, but the interview portrayed its findings as true for ALL talented and gifted students. Again, this is sloppy reporting!

Academic research is poorly interpreted in the mass media every day. NPR really ought to be a respite from such nonsense.

There is "research" and then there is research. Both of these studies have the potential to be misintrepreted and to justify misguided changes.

Lynn said...

There's a discussion going on at the West Seattle Blog about why siblings of APP students should be guaranteed transportation to FP.

ben said...

I'd like to point out that if the district wants to change the delivery model for existing APP sites it doesn't need to "sneak" it in by first spinning it up the West Seattle. It also isn't nearly as subtle as some posters seem to think and is unlikely to play semantic games with what is or isn't APP first. Just like with Spectrum, at any point there could be changes (and its fairly likely since we have the 2 APP committees meeting) That is to say all the noise about what the West Seattle program should be labelled is not going to protect the other schools from change.

Also as many have complained about there really isn't much of a formal definition of what the AHG programm is or isn't. That said, I find it a bit silly to start claiming blocked classes in Middle School are its defining characteristic.

Anonymous said...

Ah, but they DO define the services for AHG. They also differentiate between AHG and AG and who is eligible for which PROGRAM. It is all on the Advanced learning pages on

APP is defined as:
"Accelerated Progress Program (APP) 1st-12th Grade
The Accelerated Progress Program (APP) provides a rigorous, accelerated curriculum in language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies that challenges students to apply complex thinking skills when working with core skills and concepts. The curriculum is presented at a significantly accelerated learning pace and focuses on grade level expectations that are significantly above the students' assigned grade level with a significantly advanced level of complexity and depth.

Service delivery is through a self-contained program during grades 1-8. A cohort-based model is available at the high school level during which students enroll in honors courses and Advanced Placement courses in grades 9 through 12 at Garfield High School or in an accelerated International Baccalaureate program at Ingraham High school (see APP/IB at Ingraham).
APP serves students who are academically highly gifted (98/99th percentile range in cognitive ability and the 95th percentile range or above in both reading and math achievement). Students who are academically highly gifted present significantly different learning styles, learning pace, and curricular needs that require comprehensive and substantial modification to the general education curriculum and classroom experience to achieve educational benefit…. “
Again: "Service delivery is through a self-contained program during grades 1-8"

This is what the district has published on their website. This is how they have defined APP. This is what some 900 kids are signed up for in elementary APP and some 700 kids in APP middle school. This is what all of those families expect to be getting in APP, because this is what they are promised by the district in the district's own words on THIER website.

FP is NOT APP by this definition, because it won't be self-contained.

Names and definitions DO matter. If I ordered something from a company (maybe bananas) and they sent me another fruit (maybe Apples), the company doesn’t get to say, “You ordered fruit, and we gave you fruit, so I gave you what you ordered.”

Calling FP APP, when it doesn’t fit the definition is misrepresentation. And it matters, because the AHG kids at FP will be getting apples when they thought they were getting bananas.

Yes, both are fruit, and maybe apples fill the belly just as well, but is it really ok to call an apple a banana?

Anonymous said...

Ben, I don't think anyone said that blocked classes in middle school are THE defining characteristic. However, if you're familiar with the APP MS curriculum--to the extent it exists--you'll know that a KEY component is the integration of the LA and SS. In fact, it is often hard to tell what is LA vs what is SS, because the two are so intertwined in readings, lectures , and writing assignments. My child has experienced both blocked and unblocked classes over the past few years, and the unblocked frequently present challenges. This includes gaps in what gets taught in the split-block classes (since the curriculum doesn't have neat divisions, and teachers assume their counterpart is covering it), unnecessary repetition (teacher doesn't realize the other already covered), slower progress (more time spent in class trying to figure out what's been covered or not, meaning even less time to do the work--and these split block classes often don't get thru as much if the material as their blocked peers do), and inconsistencies in teaching/grading. I'm sure there are other challenges as well. Because the APP MS curriculum was DESIGNED to be taught via blocked LA/SS classes, a site- based decision to undo that really is a huge change. I understand the need to so on occasion--teachers typically teach five periods, so either they teach another class to fill in or they do half a split-block--but it would require a whole lot of additional training, collaboration, and curriculum rejiggering to effectively move to just split-blocks. To me, that idea sounds like the work of folks who have no real understanding of MS APP.


Anonymous said...

Having toured a bunch of private middle schools this past fall, and trying to learn what to expect for middle school next year at HIMS vs JAMS, I'm left wondering whether blocking LA/SS isn't simply a good idea for all students.

Many of the private schools around here block those subjects to let students go deeper into the material, to be immersed in it. And I found a lot of the teachers' explanations of why this works so well to be compelling.

So I really wonder if this conversation about how we teach middle school LA/SS should be expanded to all students. Wouldn't they all potentially benefit from the synergy of blocked classes? Do any of the gen ed middle school programs block these subjects? If not, why not?


Anonymous said...

We have already seen an erosion of the APP LA/SS at HIMS, even with the blocked classes. Teachers seem to have an amazing amount of freedom to create a curriculum according to their vision of APP, rather than trying to follow the topics and literature tie ins of years past.

According to my child, the history texts and World Literature text sit on the shelf virtually unused. They have spent close to two months studying "nonfiction," by reading and writing nonfiction that is totally unrelated to the historical period being studied. According to reports from the US History class, they are spending an inordinate amount of time watching and writing about Food, Inc. (a documentary on US food industry - I'm not sure how that ties in with the Revolution and the US Constitution). I have visions of the students being on one of those Jay Leno "Jayalking" segments that can't answer even the most basic US history questions.

If there is a defined APP curriculum, it doesn't seem to be followed by all teachers and there doesn't seem to be much oversight from AL. It really is becoming more like Spectrum in that it's different at different locations, both in content and rigor. So, when new programs start up at FP and JAMS, it's anyone's guess what "APP" will mean.

-reporting from HIMS

Anonymous said...

Five short years ago we had a choice system and a transparent decision making process. Now we have a boundary system that existed pre civil rights movement with no choice. The decisions are made behind closed doors and the public is forced to accept them. No one seems outraged.

Anonymous said...

Reporting from HIMS-This is clearly an administration problem. If the teacher is choosing to teach what they feel like, oversight from AL will not change that, but oversight from the HIMS administration would.

Having a clearly defined LA/SS curriculum would be nice and is supposed to be implemented as part of the JAMS split. Keeping my fingers crossed that will happen.

Anonymous said...

Part of the problem at HIMS has been the assignment of teachers for APP who have not been supportive of its presence at HIMS in the past. Or, as in my child's 8th grade case, their is a new 8th grade LA/SS teacher, one that has had only one year of HIMS experience, and two new Biology teachers. While Biology has been great (compared to what we heard from last year), LA/SS has been as far from a US History and Literature block that we (and our child) can imagine.

HIMS Family

Anonymous said...

Will the FP kids have the same access to APP in middle school as Thurgood kids?


Anonymous said...

Wondering, you bring up an important point. My child is at t. Marshall now, and we plan to go to FP next year. However, we are positive, no matter if APP is offered there, we don't want to go to Madison. Middle school is different in terms of longer bus rides and Washington has a strong school environment and supports AL, unlike Madison and it's admin. I think we should press for FP APP families to get access to Washington. With the boundary changes in a few years, there will be plenty of space.

WS Dad

Anonymous said...

Anon on January 22, 2014 at 3:20 PM said:

"Having a clearly defined LA/SS curriculum would be nice and is supposed to be implemented as part of the JAMS split."

When you refer to a clearly defined curriculum, are you meaning a JAMS-specific APP curriculum, or "the" APP MS curriculum--which may or may not exist. If JAMS is creating their own, isn't that just more of the same?


Lynn said...

Highly Capable students in Spectrum or ALO programs in West Seattle have access to Washington Middle School. I don't expect that will change - (unless West Seattle families request a program at Madison) because Washington is going to have empty seats. I don't think there's any reason to worry about it.

HIMSmom - I think the curriculum referenced above is for all APP middle schools. The board directed staff to develop it when the growth boundaries decisions were made.

Anonymous said...

And this would be the same APP curriculum that was also promised years ago, when the earlier splits occurred, right?

I'm not optimistic, but guess there's aways a chance they'll finally do it...


Lynn said...

I don't know if this means anything, but this language was included in a board action report (which passed unanimously):

Direct the Superintendent to provide proper instructional materials and curricula for Language Arts and Social Science classes for all middle schools serving Academically Highly Gifted students in the Accelerated Progress Program (APP).

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, that directive has no deadline. If only it had stated something to the effect of: " the first day of the 2014-15 school year."

Anonymous said...

I am glad to see more advanced learning opportunities in West Seattle, which are sorely needed. I have kids in regular ed and APP. Sure the self contained APP thing can have its benefits, but please, we should be open minded about new possibilities. Maybe things will change a bit, and dilute, but if the goal here is to have MORE advanced learning for as many kids as possible, (not just our APP kids), then why not give more opportunities? Sometimes we need to take some risks to achieve a greater good.
For those of you that are screaming 900 kids NEED APP that is a bit dramatic. Come on, we NEED oxygen, and water, but isn't APP a nice privilege we all have in Seattle, and not a God given right?

Lynn said...

You're a little late to the conversation with your scolding. This might work out with Julie B. in charge - but it's the kind of thing you can't trust every principal to pull off. Principals are given way too much discretion in these areas.
I think the goal is to make appropriate services available to every child. That shouldn't require diluting the learning opportunities available to other children.
Highly capable services are no more a privilege than a basic education is a privilege to any student.

Anonymous said...

Anyone attend the info. night tonight? Any new revelations about the school? Instructors? Curriculum?

Anonymous said...

Planning Teachers for Fairmount Park Elementary:

Jennifer Cowan (APP teacher at TM)

Ken Pendergrass (Music teacher at TM)

Another APP teacher from TM. I think I know but don’t want to get the name wrong. Someone who got the email form TM please post this name.

Karin Britt (first grade teacher at Stevens, but many years of experience teaching K, West Seattle resident)

Kevin Peterson (first grade teacher at Stevens, West Seattle resident)

Some Components:

Friday Assemblies

Positive Discipline school

The plan is that APP will be 90% the same as Thurgood Marshall APP program.

As the APP classrooms fill, Spectrum may be phased out in future years. Students who enter for the Spectrum program now will have grandfathered enrollment for all of elementary.

One big difference, FP will be an arts enriched school with many “performance based learning” opportunities that bring the whole school community together.

Readers Writers Workshop

Math will depend on the planning team and the district adoption, but principal was pleased with Envision at TM.

-Future FP Parent

Anonymous said...

Does TM not have separate APP classes? Otherwise I just don't see how the Fairmount Park APP program could possibly claim to be "90% the same as [the] Thurgood Marshall APP program."


Anonymous said...

"As the APP classrooms fill, Spectrum may be phased out in future years. Students who enter for the Spectrum program now will have grandfathered enrollment for all of elementary."

What does that mean? All Spectrum-qualified kids will be in APP classes? I don't know how else to interpret it because those kids (ie, kids scoring in the 87th percentile and higher on Cogat) will still exist in the future, and in the absence of a nominal Spectrum program, they have to be taught either in general education classes or in APP classes.

I suspect this is a glimpse into where the district is headed once its task forces are done. No more Spectrum. Just "APP" in multiple schools throughout the district. The only thing left to decide is the eligibility threshold for APP. Will it get stricter or looser?

Anonymous said...

Principal B mentioned walk-to-math as a way to make sure each child was getting the right level of instruction. She also said about 1/3 of TM APP students are new to the program each year so teachers constantly work with students in the same classroom at different levels. Having both 1-year ahead math groups and 2-year ahead math groups in the building could be very useful in helping kids transition into APP level work in the upper grades. My own thought is it could also help place AL kids appropriately who have different Math/Verbal strengths. There is a meeting later in Feb. about AL at FP after the planning team has had some time to meet. The planning team and final enrollment will determine the exact class configurations.

Please be clear that there was no discussion of ending Spectrum as a program in the district...just that it might be phased out in this one location depending on the space available. There are 2 other Spectrum programs in West Seattle. One that will have more space if the type of APP students that enroll there now eventually are served at FP. The other Spectrum program will have a new building with much more space in a few years just when FP may be filling with neighborhood kids.

-Future FP Parent

Anonymous said...

Please don't start a rumor that Spectrum is ending based on what might be happening at FP. Spectrum students would not go to gen ed. They could stay in the Spectrum program at FP if they ever entered it. If it is discontinued in the lower grades as they age out, other Spectrum students would go to the other Spectrum site in their middle school area. -Future FP Parent

Anonymous said...

From the TM Newsletter:
Teachers Moving Next Year
Three of our beloved teachers have been selected as Planning Teachers at Fairmount Park Elementary, the new APP option school in West Seattle.
The three teachers are: Ken Pendergrass, Alyssa Quinlivan and Jennifer Cowan.
They will continue teaching at Thurgood Marshall for the rest of this school year while also taking on additional planning responsibilities on evenings and

Marco said...

I was at the meeting as well and what Future FP Parent wrote here is accurate.

Anonymous said...

FAQ are up on the SPS Fairmount Park webpage. An informational meeting about advanced learning at Fairmount Park is this Wednesday at 6PM at Alki Elementary.

Future FP Parent