Friday, February 28, 2014

Open thread

Starting to feel like spring! Discuss what you like!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

What a gifted program should look like

By request, a thread to discuss what a "true gifted program" should look like and how that differs from APP.

Starting this off, one parent wrote:
A true gifted program would look nothing like APP in its current form.

Parents fight for the crumbs of APP. I wish they'd fight for the delicious frosted cake of a true gifted program. A cake that would better-serve more students than APP ever will.
Agree? Disagree? What should APP look like? What would a true gifted program look like? And, realistically, what changes can happen and how?

Update: By request, the comments in this thread are unmoderated and the discussion wide ranging. Wade into the comments at your own risk and expect off-topic rants and anonymized personal attacks. Keep your shields up and, despite what you see others doing, please try your best to keep it civil.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Open thread

What's on your mind?

Should you go to APP?

Parents are getting eligibility letters now. Let's open a Q&A about whether APP is a good idea for your situation.

There's been a lot of discussion in the previous open thread on this already. Concerns seemed to be stability of APP in Seattle, whether it is worth moving to the Eastside or elsewhere, whether private schools are better, the extent to weight the preferences of the child (especially very young children), and how worth it is to keep siblings together when one might be in APP and one might not. Let's keep the discussion going here.

Appeals for APP eligibility

By request, a thread to discuss appeals for entry into APP. Let's make this a broad discussion, so let's cover whether it's a good idea to appeal as well as Q&A about the appeals process.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Open thread

What's on your mind?

APP and Spectrum to become MTSS?

Over on the Seattle Schools Community Forum, Charlie Mas writes:
I think I know where Seattle Schools are going with Advanced Learning. They intend to fold them into MTSS, Multi-Tier Systems of Support.

If the Tier I curriculum proves insufficiently challenging for a student then that student will be switched to a Tier II advanced curriculum ... If the Tier II curriculum proves insufficiently challenging for a student then that student will be referred for testing for Tier III. If found in need of Tier III, the student will be assigned to the school in that service area that provides the Tier III advanced service.

This is a new system, but to student families it will look like ALOs in every school and APP all over the District like Spectrum - one elementary program in each middle school service area and one in every middle and high school.

There won't be annual testing using the CoGAT like we have now. Instead, there will be continuous testing - as MTSS calls for frequent assessments. Access will not be determined by cognitive ability but by achievement - that is, a need for greater challenge than the Tier I or Tier II curriculum.

This shift will mean some big changes ... All of the state Highly Capable Grant money, now spent on testing, will instead be spent in ... Tier II and Tier III ... Students will ... be identified by their performance on regular assessments. Students will be able to move in - or out - of Tier II and Tier III advanced curricula at any time ... Schools won't have finite capacity for Tier II ... Every student who needs it should get it.
Please discuss.