Also, let me mention that Garfield is having "prospective student tours" this and next month. More information under "News and Events" on their web page.
For students who are in the Ingraham IBX program, is there a plan in place for what those students do in 12th grade? I've heard something about internships but are those internships actually in place? Or is it up to the student to try and finagle an internship somehow?8th grade mom
According to reports from the APP-AC meeting, plans for senior year are under discussion. The are working with North Seattle Community College to offer a college level class at Ingraham. Internships are not lined up and it sounds as though they are tapping into parent connections as a starting point for creating some internship opportunities. So, it sounds as if it's up to the student at this point. It will probably take a few years to get some more predictability for that senior year. I attended a college with co-op opportunities - after the first year or two of classes, students alternated a quarter of classes with a quarter of work. There was a list of companies that provided co-op opportunities and students went through a hiring process with interviews, etc. It was a long established program and students had the option of finding their own co-op job, but most students interviewed with companies that had a long history of working with the university. There were jobs out of state as well.I'm not sure how it will work with Ingraham IBX, as some students are not even 18 years of age. With the college level internships, students were paid, they took on real assignments, and many were hired on after graduation. -middle school parent
My student is drawn to the IBX program because of the possibility that he could be "done" with high school, that is actually have the credits to graduate, at the end of 11th grade. He is the personality type that would rather work really hard for 3 years and be done, than take it easier but graduate in 4 years. Depending on opportunities for the 12th grade, would he be free to graduate and go on to college a year early, or would the district try to prevent that?
I think the district would be thrilled if students left early. The IBX program would make this easy. We are not sure that it is a good fit for us, as we would like a full schedule for our daughter's senior year, and there seem to be no answers as of it as to whether this can be accommodated. We're leaning towards Garfield, despite the crowding. But grades 9-11 look great at Ingraham. -want an established program
I'm trying to make sense of the yearly class options for IBX. 9th grade is pretty well laid out, and it looks as if students need to take Year 2 of foreign language in the summer between 9th and 10th grade if they are starting with Year 1 as a Freshman (HIMS students wanting to start French, for example). Do students take a class at a community college??I am not understanding the sequence for science. 9th grade Chemistry, then 2 years of Biology (or just Biology HL if Biology was taken in 8th grade?)? Physics is shown as being taken in senior year as an option. Or do students double up on science in junior year in order to get chemistry, biology, and physics? For the math options, if a student is on the APP pathway and takes Algebra 2 in 9th grade, what classes are taken in 10th and 11th? How do IB classes correlate with the typical precalculus and calculus designations? Also, do students still take some of the AP exams, even though they are working toward an IB diploma?The biggest question I have - if there is an increased demand for IBX, will there be a limit to how many students they accept for the program? How will assignments be made if spots are limited?
At Garfield how is it determined which students take Algebra 2 and which take Algebra 2 honors. Do APP students usually take honors?
My daughter and I toured Garfield today. My question is about the Oceanography class. Do all freshmen who satisfy the Biology requirement and sign up for the Oceanography class get in? Does anyone know of students that sign up for this class and don't get it? It seems to be a pretty popular class.-ferny
APP students who are eligible for Algebra 2 take Honors.Re: the Oceanography class - I haven't heard of Freshman APP students not getting the class; hopefully Spang will be back teaching it next year.This year, quite a few sophomores who took Biology as freshman went into Chemistry instead of taking the Oceanography class - so there was plenty of room in for the freshman. I would highly recommend taking the Oceanography class - and take it for college credit. I believe they get 5 credit hours for $350-$375 - very affordable and completely transferable. Plus - definitely encourage your kids to put in for the lottery for the Hawaii trip. It is an Incredible experience.-GHS Parent
Re Honors math-Today at Garfield tour one of the math teachers (she teaches Alg2 and Honors Alg 2) told us that placement was based on recommendations from middle school math teacher. She also said to stay in honors a B average must be obtained.
Anonymous at 8:09 posted: For the math options, if a student is on the APP pathway and takes Algebra 2 in 9th grade, what classes are taken in 10th and 11th? How do IB classes correlate with the typical pre-calculus and calculus designations? For these students, who are doing the IB program at the 10th & 11th grade, they have the option of 3 math classes: Math Studies (1 year) Math Standard Level (1 year) or Math Higher Level (2 years). Studies is more of a survey class that is for the "non-math" IB candidate. We basically relive the high school math progression, but add some statistics, some logic, and just touch on Calculus. Standard Level is a 1 year class and incorporates elements of Pre-Calculus, Calculus, and Statistics. It is kind of a mash up of Math 120 and Math 124 at the UW.Higher Level is a 2 year course and is mostly a Calculus course, with some statistics added (IB does not offer a standalone stats class). It is a combination of Math 124 and 125 at the UW.When the kids finish their IB math, we also offer AP Calculus and AP Statistics, so those are options for the 11th and 12th grade years.Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
Thank you Michael. So if an IBX student completes the IB diploma requirements at the end of 11th grade, will they be allowed to stay at Ingraham to take AP Calculus in the 12th grade? Or other AP classes such as chemistry or physics? If they take the one year IB math class do they have room in their schedule for an elective in the 11th grade? Thank you LG
Does a current 8th grade student who qualified for APP, but stayed in a Spectrum middle school, have the option of attending Garfield and Ingraham for high school?
From Advanced Learning:APP/IB Option at Ingraham High SchoolI think your child would have needed to go through the AL testing this past fall to qualify for APP/IB (IBX) at Ingraham. For Garfield to be an option, a student needs to be enrolled in APP at Washington or Garfield for 8th grade.
Garfield tour was amazing this week! Huge turnout from the Hamilton kids. They were by far the biggest group there. -Impressed
Any thoughts on AP vs IB in general? AP or IB - Which is best for my kid?8th grade parent
Here's an interesting comparison of AP and IB courses (from 2007, so some AP coursework may have changed since then):http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED499005.pdf
Can a current or experienced Garfield parent clarify the Science class pathway? Looking at the course descriptions, I see Oceanography, Environmental Science, Ecology, and Honors/AP Physics/Bio/Chem. Would a science-driven student get to take all of these classes? Would a student need to give up some electives in order to fit in more science, or would the typical science pathway include all these classes? I guess I'm trying to get a sense of the science dept opportunities, including challenging labwork and quality of teachers, for Garfield vs Ingraham. My son is very interested in science but also would want to take advantage of electives such as music (band), drama, and language. He shadowed at Ingraham and was not impressed with the science class, but that was one random day/teacher...so looking for feedback/guidance from other parents here. Thank You!!
Re Science pathways:Kid 1 took Bio (this was before it moved down to 8th), then Chem, then AP Chem then AP Env Sci. Kept two electives the whole time.Kid 2 took Bio in 8th, Ocean in 9th, Chem in 10th, is now in AP Env, and will take either AP Chem or AP Physics next year. Been doing a language and orchestra all along. APP kids don't tend to take Ecology. It is a less rigorous offering.Can't rave enough about the Ocean/Marine Bio class, its rigor and depth, plus 5 UW credits. Wow.sidneyd
Thank you Sidney D, that is great info. Glad you felt positive about Marine Bio - it does sound like a pretty unique class. Any feedback about the other science teachers? My understanding is that this year there's a different Marine Bio teacher, perhaps not as interesting as the previous teacher..?? Anyway that is the crux of these 2 programs (Ingraham vs Garfield) - they both seem great but IMO the passion, creativity, and effectiveness of the teachers is what will make or break the school experience. This is difficult to assess from the tours/open house.
The Oceanography class (formerly Marine Bio) has historically been taught by Stever and Spang -- both are excellent teachers. Stever is teaching this year, Spang has the year off but we are hopeful he will be teaching the class again next year. Our kid had Spang, learned a ton and loved the class.Our son is only a sophomore, so other than Oceanography, we only have experience with the Chemistry teacher. His teacher is very good, the learning is solid and we are happy with the class.Our child seems to be on the AP Chem and AP Physics path - thinking he won't take AP Env or AP Bio - but it is great that he will have options based on interests.I don't know why you couldn't give up an elective to take another science class if you wanted to. As long as you get your requirements (Fine Art, Occ Ed, Health (many take online)) taken care of.-GHS Parent
I'm not sure I'm understanding how the IBX pathway fits with the standard courses that one takes pre- or post-IB.In math, for example, say you have an APP 8th grader taking Algebra II. Traditionally they would then take Pre-Calc in 9th, Calc in 10th, and then have room left for a 2nd year of Calc, Stats, and possibly moving on to a Multivariable Calculus class or something off campus after that, no? It sounds like with the IBX program, however, a mathy student would take 2 years of Math Higher Level, and only be ready/able to take Calc in 11th grade--a year later than they would at Garfield? And they wouldn't have access to Calc BC, only the AB version? Similarly, 8th grade APP students take Biology--theoretically a HS level course, and while it doesn't earn them HS "credits" is does seem to fulfill prerequisite requirements at Garfield, allowing them to take a different science class in 9th grade. In the IBX program, however, it looks like these same students have to then take 2 additional years of bio if they want to be able to take a HL exam in science, since all the other science classes are only SL? Does an APP student with 8th grade bio behind them have the option of skipping first year IB Bio, moving right into the 2nd yr HL class? If not, it seems like the middle school pathway needs some adjustment to better align with the IBX program. Three years of Bio is ridiculous. All in all, I'm worried that the current APP middle school curriculum doesn't align well with the IBX program, and that math/science kids will find that they face a repetition and delays in their course progression. Is there perhaps more flexibility in scheduling in practice than the IBX guide suggests? And a related question--I know there are a number of mathy kids in Hamilton APP who take their math via independent study because the school can't offer the appropriate course. Can these kids continue to do this within the IBX program, or are they required to take the IB Math classes in order to get the IB diploma? Is the highest level of math offered via Ingraham's IBX program really the equivalent of something lower than your basic calculus class? If so, do most math/science focused kids opt for Garfield?HIMSmom
I am also wondering about course progression and flexibility. Would one say that in general, the IBX program has a set course progression that is basically laid out, with no real variance except maybe (1? 2?) electives per semester...whereas with Garfield the student would have more flexibility to vary course selection, perhaps as their interests change or to accommodate workload (eg take more or less AP classes based on whatever else is going on for them that semester)? Thats how it looks to me on paper, but perhaps I'm not understanding the process. There also seems to be constant and intensive support at Garfield for college and scholarship prep/application, not sure if that happens at Ingraham and all the HS, but it seems to be a strong focus at Garfield, which seems like it would be extremely helpful. Welcome any feedback on this, thanks to all the current HS parents taking the time to comment; and thanks to Greg for maintaining this forum!
After careful consideration and research, my conclusion is that IBX is great for the liberal arts and independent study kids. Math and science at Ingraham just can't touch the offerings or depth at Garfield. They are both great programs - and both have flaws. But the curriculum alignment issues with the math and science programs make Garfield a better fit for our kid who is math/science oriented. That said, the critical thinking and writing skills that would be developed at Ingraham shouldn't be ignored. -Looks like GHS for us
Our family is still in the process of deciding if Ingraham or Garfield is the best choice, but we had a long conversation with a person on the Ingraham staff today, and feel far more confidient in our knowledge of their mathematics and science options. In fact, we were told that out of last year's 8th grade APP cohort, that more math and science minded students chose Ingraham over Garfield, with the more "liberal arts" minded students (with music as a primary focus) choose Garfield. I thought I might share the clarifcation provided by that staff member:In Mathematics9th Grade APP students would take Geometry Honors, Algebra 2 Honors, or AP Calculus AB depending on their last course. Ingraham's Alg 2H course is intensive and they advise most APP students to skip pre-calculus. 10th Grade APP students could take Alg 2H if they were Geo H in 9th or would enroll in one of three IB mathematics options: Studies (a one year less intensive math course), SL (a course that covers a wide range of challenging mathematics concepts, at a similar challenge level to AP Cal AB), or HL (a two year course that is generally considered to be much more challenging and interesting than AP Cal BC, and covers all the calculus material from that class).In 11th Grade, APP students take Studies or SL if they started Geo H in 9th grade or if they took SL or Studies last year, they take either AP Cal AB or AP Statistics. HL students would finish the second year of the course. In 12th Grade, math is not required for APP students, but they could take AP Cal AB, AP Statistics, or independent study IB Further Math if they completed the HL course.In Science:Ingraham has been working with the two new HIMS Biology teachers and WMS's Ms. Gumas to provide a linked curriculum for students coming next year. APP students all take Gifted Chemistry Honors in 9th grade, which is similar to the Garfield course but goes more into depth based on prior student knowledge. Then students build off of their studies in 8th grade Biology (the 10th grade standard course offered at Ingraham and Garfield)to take gifted IB Biology SL, which is similar to AP Biology, in 10th grade. After that point, students are not required to take any addition science courses but have the option of Bio HL in 11th grade. As electives in 10th grade or in 11th and 12th grade, students can also take Chem SL, and Physics SL, both of which are open to independent study at the HL level. Supposedly IB Env Systems and Societies will began being offered next year.I hope that helps to answer some questions at least.-HIMS Family
I dont see how Ingraham staff could possibly know how many "math and science-minded" vs "liberal arts minded" students choose which school, or why...of course those that want the best music program as their main priority will have to choose Garfield over Ingraham but otherwise, that statement does not make sense to me. Also, from what my kid saw when shadowing IHS, the 9th gr Chem (pre-IBx) did not go deep at all, although that was only one teacher/one day, and I have no idea how that compares to GHS. I know that in general, coGHS is supposed to have really good science teachers, at least thats the reputation -- not sure about Ingraham. Thanks for clarifying the specific course pathways HIMS Family, that is extremely helpful. I am re-posting Sidney's info on GHS science pathway here, for comparison:Kid2 took Bio in 8th, Ocean in 9th, Chem in 10th, is now in AP Env, and will take either AP Chem or AP Physics next year. Been doing a language and orchestra all along. APP kids don't tend to take Ecology. It is a less rigorous offering. Can't rave enough about the Ocean/Marine Bio class, its rigor and depth, plus 5 UW credits. Wow.Again, thanks to all the parents taking time to share their experience and feedback here!
I would agree with MS mom...seems disingenuous (and incorrect) for IHS staff to say that liberal arts minded kids chose Garfield. If you call GHS, they would probably have their own opinions. Likewise to say that IHS's chemistry course is "more indepth" than GHS's seems speculation. I don't think IHS staff can speak to the depth of GHS courses, in my opinion. I'd want to see some data. It's fine for them to say their program is great - but they shouldn't say that they are the math/science school. I would encourage parents to call BOTH schools and do research independently with families at both GHS and IHS. Clearly music focused kids go to GHS. I've heard frustrations with both schools, after talking to families with kids in upper grades at each. But definitely some of the math/science pathways in the upper levels at IHS need some ironing out. Also, again it is an opinion that the IB math is "much more interesting and challenging that Calc AB/BC". So I would just take things with a grain of salt. They are both GREAT programs. Just beware the hype from their offices!-Do the research
Adding to the experiences, we called Garfield and were told what HIMS family was told at IngrahamBut the opposite! That Ingraham is far more liberal arts in terms of offerings. What to believe? Attending the school events is the only way I think!WMSMom
I would have add, as do the research said, this was the opinion of the Ingraham staff member. Supposedly the Ingraham chemistry course is being aligned with the Garfield course standards but supposedly will be designed to build off of previous APP science courses. WMSMom, I willHave to make my own inquiries! Thanks everyone.HIMS Family
Can anyone tell me out of the first APP groups that went to Ingraham, what percent received the full IB diploma? I had talked to a couple of parents of kids who were struggling a fair bit in IBX and others who said some APP kids moved to the regular IB program. (My APP student is bright and capable but neither of us is interested in a stressful high school experience.) kt
We have a child in the "pioneer" class of APP at Ingraham in 11th grade and no APP students have gotten to the point where they could recieve their full IB diploma. Our child and the 37 other APP 11th graders take their 2nd year IB tests this May and will find out about recieving the diploma in July. Our child's group of kids started at 46, and the nine or so, went to running start or left the school. Only one switched to regular IB, from my knowledge. It has been intense but my child enjoys the program and the peer support. With everyone headed to the same goal, the work becomes slightly easier. I think they (as a group) may have created a Facebook page to share assignments and such...Ramparent
For those interested in Garfield, please note they have added a "prospective student" evening presentation on 2/4 from 6-8 pm. This may focus more on clubs, activities, and life at Garfield HS as opposed to touring the classrooms (not sure, that is just my impression). Other than that, there is one daytime tour date left on 2/11 at 9am. *On another note, can a current IHS parent speak to the level of support with college prep, scholarship applications,etc? Seems at Garfield they really focus on this, really even starting in 9th grade. What about college recruiting at IHS vs Garfield? Seems like this would be pretty important.
I just got off the phone with Guy Thomas, IBX program head at IHS. He clarified a few things. Ingraham requires 4 HL (High Level) (as opposed to SL Standard Level) courses for their diploma, and two have to be in English and History and ONE in a math or science. This is an IHS req, not an IB req, he said, as all schools have their own reqs. You CANNOT take your two HL classes in math and science, and only one HL in one of the Eng/History. (This is the complaint I had heard from upper grade math/science IB students and their families). Also, they do not offer HL physics or chemistry at all - only SL. He explained it is a numbers thing - GHS just is a lot bigger and can offer more courses (AP physics, bio and chem) because they have more students. There are not enough kids who want to do HL physics or chem. This is probably a deal breaker for our math/science kid. Just thought I'd pass it on, in case anyone wants to ask about it directly themselves at the open house night.-Rare commenter
The Ingraham course catalog does list Chemistry HL, but says it's not offered every year--and I, too, had heard it's not available in practice. Maybe that had changed, or will be soon?The catalog also lists Further Math (SL and HL), but for some reason that's never stated as the pathway for advanced math students... Year 2 of Further Math also doesn't seem to be on the course option sheet for 12th graders, so I'm guessing the catalog presents a more optimistic view of what's actually offered. HIMSmom
Rare commenter:I also talked to Mr Thomas and he said something different last year: he said that they require 3 HL courses for the IB program and if a student wants to do the 4th HL course and exam, s/he need to have a special permission to do that. I wonder if they changed the policy since last year?IHS mom
IHS Mom - You would have to ask him. He indicated to me (when I pushed) that a student could potentially request special permission, but he would rarely (and probably not) grant it. It didn't seem to be a real possibility, just a hypothetical. That isn't enough for us, but you could call yourself. HIMS mom...he said they had offered HL Chem in the past but it had been "quite a few years" since they had enough numbers for it. Again, you could ask about this at open house. I just was sharing what he told me. Sometimes it helps to just know what questions to ask!Rare commenter
For all the parents asking about what is offered and what is not offered at Ingraham. Our philosophy is that student demand drives our course offerings. All the courses mentioned are on the options sheet, but we have to have enough students sign up for the class. As an example, for the 2012 – 2013 school year, I wanted to teach AP Statistics. Only 15 students signed up. That is not enough to support a class, so I did not teach the class. For 2013 – 2014, 45 students signed up, so I have 2 sections of AP Statistics. I can’t speak about Chemistry HL because I teach math. The reason we don’t have IB Further Math is because it is a two year class, so an IBx student would have to have been through the equivalent of IB Math HL (which is more rigorous than the AP Calculus AB & BC courses). It is the rare student that has that level of math by the 10th grade. If we had critical mass, We would offer it. I know we have multiple Open House events coming up in February. There is one on the 5th, 12th and the 13th. The 5th is a general Open House, the 12th is an IB/APP Open House and the 13th is an IBx Open House. I encourage everyone who is considering Ingraham to attend at least one of these events. I have found that face to face conversation gets questions answered more thoroughly than through blog posts or e-mails. There will be people from every department at every meeting and the administration will be there also to answer any and all of your questions. On a personal note, I will be attending the meetings on the 5th and the 13th. I look forward to meeting many of you then.
Thank you Michael,I agree that one on one conversations are best. However, this forum is for parents to share information. It is particularly important when both schools are (understandably!) touting their program as the best, and commenting on the offerings of teh other. I think most parents in this thread have said that independent research on both schools is required. I was trying to share what I had heard so that parents could compose informed questions at the open house or when calling the school. It is very hard to compare the schools - they are such apples and oranges. Both GREAT programs, and solid educations, but each family has to figure out what is the best fit for their child. It has been very time consuming for me to tease out the science/math comparisons at each school, and I thought I would share what I learned - not sure but I feel vaguely chastised by you, so thought I'd respond. Thank you for adding your first hand perspective.-Rare commenter
Rare commenter:Reading the previous posts it is not clear to me how many HL courses required by IHS for the IB diploma. In the first place you said 4, then another commenter said 3 and in the next post you agreed with something (I think with the 3). Could you please clarify it?MS mom
MS mom,I don't understand the particulars myself, so it's best you ask the school directly. I understand the req is 4 HL classes, and two have to be in Eng/His and one in a science or math and the 4th is one of the other disciplines? An arts or foreign language? I am not clear exactly. I was hoping to replace the 2 Eng/History HLs with one SL/one HL and have my son take 2 HLs in science and math, but that seems not possible. I think its about the sequencing, and it isn't feasible to be taking 4 HLs at once, due to workload. (Which makes sense). I was just hoping for a SL in English instead. Sorry if I confusing ...I was just trying to give folks some base line for questions to ask. It is hard for newbies to discover this info that is second nature to the veteran parents. This is probably why I rarely comment. :)-Rare commenter
Here is information regarding the full IB Diploma requirements from the IB website. Students are also able to get certifications if they do not take all the classes required for the diploma. Universities accept the HL tests and NOT the SL tests for credit. Make sure you check the College websites to see what tests and scores are required to get credit. UW is really high at 5 other private universities require 4’s and other public universities require 3’s. Our oldest daughter graduated from Chief Sealth with an IB Diploma. "The Diploma Programme is a two-year, full-time programme. Students must choose one subject from each of groups 1 to 5, thus ensuring breadth of experience in languages, social studies, the experimental sciences and mathematics. The sixth subject may be an arts subject chosen from group 6, or the student may choose another subject from groups 2 to 5. At least three and not more than four are taken at higher level (HL), the others at standard level (SL). HL courses represent a recommended 240 teaching hours; SL courses cover 150 teaching hours." From the UW website: In most cases, five quarter credits (or more) are granted for Higher Level subjects in which a grade of 5 or higher is earned. Students who earn an IB diploma may be awarded up to 45 quarter credits for a combination of subject grades and 15 general education credits distributed equally among the three Areas of Knowledge (general education) areas: Visual, Literary, and Performing Arts (VLPA), Individuals and Societies (I&S), and The Natural World (NW). No credit is awarded for Standard Level subject grades. Consult the Higher Level Subjects table for detailed information about credit awards in particular disciplines.Current WS APP parent
Yes, definitely browse college websites if you're interested in college credits, as there can be some big differences. For example, Garfield offers an AP Calculus BC class, and a 4 or 5 on that AP exam will earn you credit for both Math 124 and 125 (first two quarters of calculus) at UW. IB Math HL, however, can only earn you one quarter of calculus (math 124), and that's only if you score a 7. Math- oriented kids in the IB program will probably want to plan on taking AP Calculus after they finish their IB math, although even then they only have access to Calc AB and not BC.HIMSmom
I have a child with math/science passion in the first IBX cohort. Our experience...Ingraham math department is excellent --in their knoweldge, teaching skill and caring for students-- as exemplified by MR Rice, who chimed in here. IB bio with Ms Dinter is awesome. She has those APP kids working their tails off. But she may retire soon. Physical sciencesis more of a mixed bag. English department is also outstanding. We've aprpeciated that the IB program has pushed on math/sceince child to really stretch and develop outstanding writing and presentation skills...for a more well-rounded student. Also, 2 students in the first cohort are choosing to graduate at the end of 11th grade and apply to college this year. In April, we'll see how they fair.
Rare Commenter wrote: not sure but I feel vaguely chastised by you, so thought I'd respondI'm a high school math teacher, when I chastise, I chastise directly, just ask any of my students. :-)I appreciate the amount of effort all the people on this blog put forth in support of their child's education. For those of you who chose Ingraham, I look forward to meeting you and your children over the next few years. I'm in room 42, feel free to stop by anytime to say hello.
Thank you Mr. Rice, you are clearly a true gentleman and outstanding teacher. Thank you for all you do for IHS students. I will indeed stop by and introduce myself in person. Rare commenter
Just want to jump in on the HL Literature and History topic at Ingraham. Ingraham only offers Literature and History at the HL level. They don't offer either class at the SL level. That's an IHS decision, and, as previous commenters have mentioned, it has to do with capacity, in part. I think there's also a desire to give the cohort (the whole IB/IBX Diploma Candidate cohort) some common classes/experiences. As an IB (not IBX) parent with a college freshman and a IHS Junior, I can assure folks that the course work (both quantity and type of work)well-prepare kids for college. Comments from college freshman along the lines of "my IB classes were harder" are common. Both Ingraham and Garfield are terrific schools with lots to offer. Each school has its own pluses and its own drawbacks. It's a hard choice in the moment, but I really don't think you'll go wrong either way.
This is a post from College Confidential that I thought was helpful assessing AP vs IB program:Re getting into good schools, Its all about taking the most rigorous courses available to you. For this purpose, AP and IB are considered equal. This evaluation takes into account what is actually available at your school. So you would not be penalized for going to a school with no IB program or relatively few AP offerings. Only for taking less than you could have where you are.Schools have great respect for the IB program, but it does not give you a leg up over AP. They have a different approach. IB is more comprehensive core curriculum program, AP allows more flexibility. The material covered varies as does the expectation of what you will do with what you learn. AP you can always scale back an AP class one semester if yr feeling overwhelmed. You can select which areas to focus on. IB will own your summers, and many programs require attendance in classes after school. Some say that IB is about depth and AP is more about breadth. IB prides itself on inspiring students to think critically and to find links between disciplines. It is also very language based, which is not always a good fit for students who are more interested in focusing on math and science. IB has a community service hour requirement and an extended essay requirement. AP courses are selected individually based on your interest. Ultimately the teachers will determine how rewarding and how stressful each class is. Both are intended to be challenging, high level classes that will prepare you well for college. Neither is a golden ticket to a top school, but AP is accepted at more schools for college credit.
Starting this fall, AP Macro and AP MicroEcon at Garfield will count eaither as History or OcEd class. Good news for APP students in need of 0.5 History graduation credit.
Single Child, can you please elaborate on why APP kids are missing half a history credit compared to others? Thanks, HIMSmom
HS History credits for APP kids: 1 credit for AP WorldH+1 credit for AP USH+0.5 credits for AP USGOV=2.5 credits. SPS graduation requirement: 3 credits.
I see. So APP students can skip the year-long history class others take, going straight into AP World History. I had missed the caralog's explanation of that up front, so thanks. But now for a related question: The Garfield catalog says students can do this because APP kids take World History in 8th grade... But do they? My APP 8th grader is not--it's US and WA history instead this year. Is it different for Washington Middle School? I seem to remember something about this being a recent change to meet state requirements??? And given the change, will the history pathway change for next year?HIMSmom
My D took first year of World H and WA state history as an 8th grader at WMS and started Garfield with AP WorldH.
The WMS website says this: the main emphasis of the second semester is "Foundations of World History" which is a curriculum based on prerequisite work taken by high school freshmen at schools offering AP World History in the sophomore year. This course is accepted in lieu of the prerequisite and allothe main emphasis of the second semester is "Foundations of World History" which is a curriculum based on prerequisite work taken by high school freshmen at schools offering AP World History in the sophomore year. This course is accepted in lieu of the prerequisite and allows APP students to elect to take AP World History in their freshman year. This allows APP students to elect to take AP World History in their freshman year. Garfield also offers a full year project-based AP American Government class for one credit and Contemporary World Problems for .5 credit. There shouldn't be a problem getting all the required credits and it's possible to get four.
We have a sophomore at GHS, planning for Junior year courses right now. He is considering the 1-year Projects-based AP Government class - which sounds very interesting; however, we have heard that the class is difficult to get into as a Junior as Seniors that still need 1.0 credits of History get priority. So he is thinking he will take the Semester class of AP Gov and then do the Current Events/Contemporary World Problems class, which is a new addition this year. We have heard very good things about the Current Events class.-GHS Parent
Well that sounds great, for WMS students . What about Hamilton's APP 8th graders, who are not taking World History this year? HIMSmom
That was in follow up to Lynn's posting. HIMSmom
Seriously? If WMS is not doing the US History for 8th grade, but HIMS is, does it put the HIMS APP students headed to Garfield in a different class for freshman year? Do HIMS students need to self study, or are they just out of luck? This is pretty infuriating given the content of the class so far - watching a Food Inc video and doing group project after group project. There is an occasional worksheet based on their assigned US history text, but the class is very light on US history.
My understanding was that they needed WA State History in middle school - which our WMS kid studied for a semester in 8th grade and then they did the World History Foundations in a semester (regular full-year 9th grade class). I hadn't heard that they needed US History in middle school? Believe me, they get US History out the ying-yang in AP US Sophomore year. Can't imagine they are gaining valuable learning on the topic in middle school that would not be attained in high school AP.-GHS Parent
Our child's 5th grade APP class barely touched on US history so I was glad that it would be covered sometime in middle school. I think they do need US history at some point, before AP US history. They need to have a foundation and familiarity with the general sequence of events and the key moments and people in US history - basic cultural literacy. Unfortunately, that doesn't seem to be happening.
I agree with the US History foundation to an extent - our kid studied Revolutionary War, Civil War and the Civil Rights Movement at Lowell. Are they not receiving any type of US history in elementary at this point?I don't believe that he has been hindered whatsoever in AP US History by not having covered additional material in middle school. APUSH is VERY comprehensive and between the weekly essays/outlines/discussions the kids are receiving a very solid understanding of events.-GHS Parent
I know that Ingraham IBx changed their APP freshman history class to a newly constructed world history class centered around the book "ways of the world" by Robert strayer in order to prepare for a lack of foundations of World History at either HIMS or Washington. Garfield, when we called, had no answer, besides that if the material had not been covered, they couldn't go into AP World freshman year. HIMS Family
Friends, You didn't see the rest of the WMS course description for Mr. Schmitz APP 8th grade.************************* United States history is considered concurrently, and interspersed with Washington State history during first semester and continued into second semester. The main emphasis of the second semester is "Foundations of World History" which is a curriculum based on prerequisite work taken by high school freshmen at schools offering AP World History in the sophomore year. This course is accepted in lieu of the prerequisite and allows APP students to elect to take AP World History in their freshman year.******************************APP kids don't need to take an entire semester to cover WA St. History, so Schmitz rolls it in with US, then does the AP World stuff 2nd semester. My older kid tells me that in the AP classes at GHS, you can tell who had Mr. Schmitz. They are more prepared than the GHS kids who took the full year World History prerequisite. Same with APUSH 2 years later. At HIMS, both Mr. Carter and Ms. Watters have strongly pushed for more US in middle school for APP. It was felt that the AP World foundations covered much of the same content as 6th and 7th grade, while US was lacking. HIMS kids are supposed to be getting the AP course prep with US content (doing AP-style note taking and questions). The kids do get a thorough immersion in AP World in 9th and AP US in 10th at GHS and they do pass the tests. I'm not sure about if the HIMS content is aligning with what IHS wants, because this is the first year HIMS is doing it this way. sidneyd
Could you describe in more detail what you'd consider AP style note-taking and questions? My child went huh? when I asked about note-taking. We have not seen much in the way of solid writing preparation. I'm concerned about my child not being prepared for next year, but am at a loss for how to address the gaps. It's like we need an afterschool writing boot camp.-8th grade parent
My IB student (and her sister before her) are asked to write all the time. In every class, including math, where she just completed a lengthy "individual assessment" which is a required part of every IB class. I assumed at this point in time that all advanced/honors classes in high school include a great deal of writing, but I don't have AP experience. Perhaps some parents can weigh in?
HIMS Family said:"Garfield, when we called, had no answer, besides that if the material had not been covered, they couldn't go into AP World freshman year." So does this mean current APP HIMS 8th graders, who are getting a US-focused history class instead, will NOT be eligible to go straight into AP World History like the kids from WMS will? That was my fear when I raised this issue, but in all honesty I thought GHS would just look the other way...Or, as sidneyd suggests, they WILL be allowed to make the leap, since they are theoretically learning the skills they'll need to succeed in the class (e.g., "AP style note-taking"), even if they're not necessarily getting the content? (I'm not sure how the argument that "they've already learned it in 6th and 7th grades" holds up, if WMS sees the need to teach it again in 8th grade, and those kids are better off because of it...)Sidneyd also said this is the first year HIMS is doing it this way. Does that mean next year's incoming GHS freshmen coming from HIMS APP will be the first cohort to be denied access to AP World History in 9th grade? Just because HIMS kids have done fine in the past, it's a new ballgame now, right? And if GHS has caught on that they aren't getting World History in 8th grade, will they really let them skip that prerequisite? (And while we're at it, is it just in the SS component where WMS and HIMS APP have gone separate ways for 8th grade, or is that the case with LA as well? The LA component at HIMS this year seems completely unrelated to the SS. What is WMS reading/covering in APP LA for 8th?)HIMSmom
WMS does not block 8th grade LA and SS. The LA teacher at WMS does get together with Conrad and Greenberg to plan content on an occasional basis, so there is some connection between the schools in LA.Back around four years ago, before APP students took AP World in 9th grade, they took World History Honors in 9th. They did the history of the Americas and Wa. St. in SS, and the literature of the enlightenment, the romantic era, and American lit up to current authors such as Maya Angelou and Sherman Alexie. So it was connected to SS even though it wasn't a humanities block.APP history at your service.Yes, Charlie, at middle school there is an APP curriculum, but people don't necessarily follow it, especially if their principals have expressed other priorities.sidneyd
My bigger concern, beyond the placement at Garfield, is that my child is learning very little in 8th grade LA/SS this year at HIMS. I don't feel the skills needed for high school are being developed. My child's LA/SS grades are based largely on a current issues powerpoint (group project) and assignments related to a Food Inc video. They did a poster/drawing on the Bill of Rights - not an analysis or writing assignment, but a poster. The class is supposed to be US history, followed by WA State history. So what's a parent to do?
We are considering GHS for our child. Can someone explain what the education is like if your kid is has not been through the APP program in middle school? What are the Gen Ed classes like? How tracked are the classes? I went on the recent GHS tour, but it wasn't that informative and no one from GHS has replied to my inquiries. Thanks for any help you can provide. RP
APP teachers from 6th and 7th grade at WMS and HIMS have had time paid for by the AL office to codify what is covered and tie it to common core. This exists. This has not happened with 8th grade, although the LA teachers do meet on their own time and coordinate some things. This is someplace that Stephen Martin could lead the way, as Bob Vaughan did with 6th and 7th humanities block. I agree SS is VERY different at the two sites. Before a third site (JAMS) opens, and the new 8th grade gets set up, there should be meeting time between the 8th grade teachers with input from IBX and GHS. It would be ideal if the high schools could assume that a student coming out of any one of the three middle schools has covered similar content.sidneyd
RPAnyone can sign up for honors or AP classes at GHS, although some classes have prerequisites. You need to take biology before you can take Marine Bio/Oceanography, e.g.sidneyd
Hi,My son is in 7th Grade at HIMS APP. Should we be doing school tours this year or is it okay to wait till 8th grade? Any advice, sage elders?Current disposition: Kid who is all-rounder, self-motivated, doing Japanese & will do Algebra 2 in 8th Grade. Leaning to IBX Ingraham myself... but feeling vague... overwhelmed... puzzled.Issue: I never went to school in the US and this discussion of AP credits, progressions and stuff is just culture-shock all over again. We just went to school and did the classes that everyone did and went to college like everyone did and COLLEGE was when you made choices. I need an Idiots Guide To High School.Shannon
@ Shannon,Personally, we've found it helpful to go to some of the open houses a year early, just to start making sense of the options that might be available. It gave us a chance to listen a little more closely over the past year, ask the right questions, tailor any independent study options, etc. I'm sure we're in the minority, though, and for most folks it's probably fine to wait. The blogs can help provide a lot of info until the time comes.HIMSmom
ShannonIngraham is having a general Open House this Wednesday, the 5th, an IB information meeting on the 12th and an APP/IBx meeting on the 13th. I know you are still a year away, but these meetings may be of use to you. Teachers and administrators will be there to answer any and all questions you have.
Shannon, I agree that its helpful to attend tour/open house of schools yr family is interested in, in 7th gr. Because for one thing, the # of tour/shadowing/HS info nt options seems to decrease since last yr so you cant count on what will be next yr. If you have the time, it will be a low-pressure way to start to get a feel for the place; if you can take yr son, it might be helpful to have him also relate better to the options as Fall-Winter will roll around before you know it. My daughter felt much more prepared to review and decide on the options this year, given that we did take a tour of GHS and IHS last year.-mom
We are going to go to the tours in 7th grade - this will give us a year to ponder the options and allow my daughter to think about the options in an informed manner. Hope to see more 7th grade families at the tours so we don't feel….foolish!!The only thing I worry about is that the district changes their rules so fast, so arbitrarily and with so little advanced warning sometimes I wonder if planning a year ahead is even worth it. Regardless, we are planning to do the Garfield tour, Ingraham IBX night and also our neighborhood school in 7th grade (this year).-HIMS parent
I just called Ingraham to try to get a shadow visit for my son and were told, in the nicest way possible, that there is a huge waiting list and the shadow visits are full. The cat is certainly out of the bag for IBX..Hamilton Family
Hi Ham,But it is still possible to visit IBX information night (Thurs) right? That is not the same thing as a shadow visit. HIMS parent
Tonight is an information night for prospective students at Garfield. Would this essentially be the same info as presented on the daytime tours? Or would it provide additional information, does anyone have insight into this? Thank You.-WMS mom
Meet with department heads to learn about programs--in the Commons.Prospective Student Night6:00-8:00 Student Store Open6:00-6:15 Commons Coffee and Cookies; Jazz Band6:15-6:45 Commons Greetings and IntroductionsPrincipal WelcomeIntroduction of Department HeadsPTSA President WelcomeJazz Choir PerformanceCounselors/College NetworkASG President WelcomeQ&A6:45-8:00 Parents/students on their own schedules; ASB officers available for guided toursCommonsPTSACounselingCollege NetworkASB/ActivitiesAthleticsTeen Health Center/Garfield NursePOST Outdoor EducationMessengerClassroom VisitsScienceMathLanguage ArtsSocial StudiesWorld LanguagesMusic7:30-8:15 – All Music MeetingFine ArtsDramaNorthender
HIMS Parent,Yes, I was told it's next Thursday in the Library and does not require a reservation. The office recommended coming to the general open house tomorrow as well, to learn about the non-academic things as well. I guess the shadow list has been full for three months. Kind of dissapointing, but Garfield doesn't offer shadows, so it's okay.Hamilton Family
HelloIngraham is having an Open House, tonight (02/05) at 7:00 PM. We will be having an APP/IBx Open House next Thursday at 7:00 PM. I look forward to meeting many of you either tonight or next Thursday.
Hello -I'm wondering if any parents that attended the Roosevelt Open House on January 30th could share their impressions of how Roosevelt would work for APP students. My daughter is an 8th grade APP student at Hamilton. We are leaning towards Ingraham IBX but want to consider Roosevelt as well (since we live nearby). Unfortunately I had the dates mixed up and missed the open house.I know that Roosevelt has lots of AP classes for the last 2 years, but I'm a bit concerned about the 1st 2 years. I've been told that all incoming freshmen take the same language arts class, and can choose to "make it" honors by agreeing to do extra work (probably not the best fit for my daughter, unfortunately).Thanks for any feedback!
On a similar subject to Paige above who asks about Roosevelt for a current HIMS APP student, we attended the Ballard HS Open House (our reference school) and were very impressed with the Academy-style learning, specifically the BioTech Academy and the Marine Science Academy. The BioTech progression offers Genetics and other specialized science classes, as well as linking LA/SS to these classes, so the kids form a cohort and end up having a more integrated curriculum. My kid is not interested in IBx because she does not want to be in a "tracked" program, and wants something more flexible than IBx. So we are choosing between Garfield and Ballard. Appreciate any general thoughts or feedback on APP middle-school kids transitioning to HS other than Garfield or IHS. Also if you have any experience with Ballard HS in particular, would love to hear about it. Thanks!
The way Roosevelt's LA was explained, all students take the same LA class freshman year and "bring honor" to the class by doing additional reading and classwork. It sounded okay until they mentioned students need to meet at a time outside of the school day to fulfill that requirement. To my daughter, it sounded like punishment for wanting to do honors work, but I'd be interested in hearing from parents that might have children there. My daughter put Roosevelt at the bottom of her list after that. There are also some required AP courses - AP Human Geography and AP Literature and Comp.
HIMS parent,Correct me if I am wrong, but IBx doesn't seem any more tracked than Garfield. LA and SS offerings are designated for all APP students at Garfield or Ingraham, and to take advanced courses in those areas at Ballard or Roosevelt, you follow the same pathway with everyone else. I think that only in 9th grade do our APP students take three classes together. Science has similar elective choices at all schools,and math is pretty similar everywhere. As we are also making a decision along the lines of yours, I am curious to the reasoning behind your daughter's description of a tracked program. Another HIMS Family
Garfield isn't tracked at all, as all classes are open to anyone who has the prerequisites. The classes that they take "early" (AP World, Marine Biology, AP US, Precalc etc.) include upperclassmen that are at the same point in the sequence.Last year there were several private school students that started the math sequence with the APP 9th graders because they had taken Algebra and Geometry in middle-school.There are no APP-only classes at Garfield.-GHS Parent
Did not mean not "tracked" - meant to say no "APP-only" classes. Of course, there are tracked classes as you have to follow a given sequence to proceed to the next class. However, no one is refused a class for which they qualify.-GHS Parent
To clarify my description of a "tracked" program - perhaps that's not the correct term. What I'm referring to is that the only kids entering IBx program/classes are current APP kids (or those who test in this year) - yes? My kid is looking to branch out from all the Lowell/HIMS APP kids she has been with since 2nd gr., and as GHS parent points out, even the AP/Honors classes at Garfield have a variety of kids and grades attending. ALso what I meant is that IBx requires students to follow a rather rigid sequence. GHS, or perhaps Ballard, would provide the chance to experience different areas of focus, such as more science or even Theater, Art, or other electives. And the student can manage their workload by increasing or decreasing the # of AP classes per semester, which really is not an option with IBx. At least that's my understanding.
With an AP pathway, it's on a course-by-course basis, so you can take AP courses of your choosing (schedule permitting). You can also get credit for high scores on AP exams while not having to take all the AP classes offered. With IBx, it seems there are fewer options and it's an all or nothing option - you need to go for the full diploma, or? You are committing to a pretty defined class sequence, with many out of school class requirements (Theory of Knowledge, Extended Essay, volunteer hours). Do students even have time for extracurriculars? I'd be interested in hearing how work loads compare. I don't want my child to be unable to participate in sports or other school activities. And, what's up with that senior year?
9:29am...You hit the nail on the head for our family too. We have all of those same concerns about IBX. Since Garfield has had APP students there for 30+ years, you know that students will get a solid 4-year education, in a college-prep environment, with a wide variety of non-tracked class choices, and excellent music opportunities. All of the uncertainties and heavy out-of-school requirements for IBX have helped us to decide that Garfield is the best choice for our child. We were hoping that IBX would have looked like a more attractive option. I'm sure it's a very good, solid program but we're not willing to take the chance on the uncertainties and we want our child to be able to have time to explore new extracurricular clubs, sports, or whatever. But I'm glad that their are choices so people can find the school that is the best fit for their child. Northender
Each school has its pluses and minuses. One school might be strong for particular classes, but not for others. One benefit to the IB program is that teachers get additional training and some work is graded through the IB program, so there is a level of quality control and outside feedback that you don't get outside of IB. Just because the program has been at Garfield for some 30 years does not mean that no uncertainties exist. There have been scheduling and teacher issues. I suppose Hamilton has prepared students for that...
HIMS Family,Thank you for the description. I just got a bit confused. After talking to the coordinator at Ingraham, IBx invloves only three APP only classes at the 9th grade level, and of this year's 9th graders, about 60% are former HIMS 8th graders. All other classes throughout the years are taken with other non-IBx students, so in his words "IBx is different, only in terms of sequenece." In terms of electives, students have room for at least one spot all four years, and apparently, many take two sciences at once. I was concerned as well about the rigidity, but was eased when I learned, that the high school sequence at any SPS school requires the same LA and SS classes assuming you want to do Honors/AP/IB. After talking to Garfield, I got a mixed message in terms of the avalibility of project-based year long AP Gov for Juniors, saying that Seniors get first priority. At Ingraham, all students who are taking IB get access to all the courses they need. Ingraham seems to be willing to work with students who might decide IBx is not the right choice and don't have to pursue the full diploma (I guess several students have done this already), and it seems like they put a lot of effort on not tracking the students as a cohort, and intergrating with the rest of student body. However, Garfield is an amazing school with many special courses you can't find anywhere else. We just like the idea, after the HIMS whirlpool, to have our child take classes that have a constructed curriculum that is easily accessible. Throw in the Yellow Bus transportation, and it drives a hard bargain...Another HIMS Family
I would love to hear from current Ingraham IBx/IB parents: What is your kids overall experience at Ingraham like? We toured Garfield this morning, and my son was drawn in by the Garfield student spirit, the music program, and the numerous extracurricular possibilities. How do your children experience Ingraham IB/IBx outside of academics? Thanks for any insight.Ballard mom
Hi HIMS parent,Sorry to be so long noticing your post. We are also considering GHS vs Ballard. We will go to tonight's IBX info night at Ingraham but are leaning against IBX because we also, want a flexible program. My daughter has an immense extracurricular music and dance load and an interest in Biology/Biotech. For that reason we don't see a reason to rush through high school on an accelerated academic program, though we do want a good selection of challenging AP classes. We were impressed with BOTH GHS and Ballard with respect to academics and student enthusiasm.Here are our snapshot impressions:1-We were disappointed that the GHS principal was not there to welcome prospectives. The attitude from the faculty and administration was a little bit of "Garfield has nothing to prove to you". Didn't really get to meet any teachers except a a brief and knowledgeable discussion with the math dept. head and a solid presentation from the music teachers.2-Ballard, the principal was in hard core recruitment mode. The teachers and administration were all there to answer questions.2-As we all already know GHS music program is superb. Students attending GHS will probably have an opportunity to travel to and win many music competitions. The downside is that solid good musicians will be part of the pack. I imagine that wind participation in orchestra will be VERY competitive.3-Ballard music. Solid but smaller. Winds interested in orchestra would be an after school club rather than a class. The upside is that one would be more of a big fish in a small pond, offering more chances for solo performance. That said, the performances by the students that I saw at Ballard were top notch.3-Ballard film program. My kid is not interested in this but, boy, anybody who is should check it out. The students win awards every year and many go on to the NY film academy and CalArts. It is the existence of these types of diamonds (the result of dynamic individual teachers) that make me question the wisdom of the SPS's desire to normalize education across all schools.4-APP integration GHS. Garfield is totally on top of this and (as you might expect) very experienced in tracking the APP students into the right classes. Didn't see any red flags.5-APP integration Ballard. Individual teachers we spoke to were very much NOT experienced in tracking APP students. Some seemed confused as to whether math readiness tracks with science readiness (which is does in the APP students). This was concerning to us but then we talked with the Ballard counselor and she was very on top of this. She seemed very cognizant of which classes the APP students should take and is on the front line of setting up their schedules. I think this is why the individual teachers are not as well informed - the office takes care of the tracking and the numbers of APP students are fewer.So the bottom line - we couldn't decide!! Lucky we have a year to think about it!!Probably we will have a great experience at the Ingraham IBX night as well and be even more confused.I think a lot of people who complain about SPS education and terrible teachers should visit these tours. Unbelievable energy on the part of students and teachers. This decision will be tough and I will appreciate any more parent input.-head spinning
So I was reading a recently released report by the college board. Apparently, while lots of students are taking AP courses, they are, on the whole doing very poorly on the AP tests - only 30% of students taking the most popular tests are getting 4s or 5s. This makes me realize that one can offer AP courses like Garfield or IB like Ingraham, and you can like one type of testing better than the other, but if the classes aren't doing a good job of getting the students ready for those tests, it is all moot. So, does anyone have information about percentage of students in Garfield AP courses that do well (4 or 5) on the AP test or on the percentage of students at Ingraham that do well on the IB assessments? (I would assume this means 5,6 or 7). (By the way the college board report is at http://media.collegeboard.com/digitalServices/pdf/ap/rtn/10th-annual/10th-annual-ap-report-state-supplement-washington.pdf)
Not every student is capable of learning college level material in high school - but more schools are requiring them to take those classes. (Roosevelt for example.) I think if you want to look at scores by school, you also need to know if those classes are optional.
Our sophomore took the PLAN at Garfield this fall (practice ACT) and their score was in the 99% nationally, but the 84% for Garfield. Shows you that Garfield over indexes for high scores (their counselor told them to "ignore" the Garfield index as the school is not a good measure of how well they did since so many kids score off the charts).Anecdotally, I did not hear AP World History scores from last year under a 3.0 from anyone at either Ingraham or Garfield and the majority were 4's with quite a few 5's.These are kids sharing their scores, so obviously if they scored lower than that they may not share.Overall I do not think kids are having a big problem with low scores, just from listening to parents of older students that have taken several AP courses.-ugh testing
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