Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Open thread

What's on your mind?

61 comments:

Anonymous said...

Are there any estimates on class sizes/numbers for next year at Lincoln?

New parent

Anonymous said...

700 kids in 25 classrooms. Expect all grades to have large sizes.

This year, there are roughly 600 kids in 23 classes.

With Pinehurst in the south wing, there should be about 850 kids in the building, using that tiny cafeteria and limited outside play areas (so +250 relative to this year)

But they'll make it work somehow. The teachers are doing great things in their classrooms despite all the logistical and financial challenges.

--the 700 club

Anonymous said...

Source?

Thanks,
New parent

37 Questions said...

I have one child at Lincoln this year, and the other will join him next year. I am glad to only have to be a one school mom next year.

Having said that, I think that next year is going to be an interesting one, given the current issues regarding lunchroom, recess, and parking. Adding 200+ kids between new APP kids and Pinehurst isn't going to make it easier, that's for sure. I really feel for pinehurst community members. We may have classroom space, but they will soon be facing the facilities issues we already do.

Anonymous said...

My child in in 5th grade and has 30 kids in her class. I think all of 5th has that many.

-MM

Anonymous said...

Hi,
What do Garfield APP students typically take (science, LAA)? My 9th grader is actually not to hyped to take Oceanography despite it's popularity. Thanks in advance!

9th choices

Anonymous said...

One of my kids wasn't either. She took Chem, AP Chem, AP Env. All good rigorous courses at GHS.

Sidneyd

Anonymous said...

At Ingraham, my 9th grader is taking honors chemistry which has been the most rigorous science class to date (thanks to an amazing student teacher with a PHD!) and miles above anything at middle school. I think I had heard that it was an option at Garfield as well. Your comment is rather funny as the same UW Oceanography course is being offered as an elective science next year at Ingraham and my 9th grader signed up for it as a second science in addition to IB Biology.

Good Luck!

Anonymous said...

The 695 as enrolled at Lincoln is true. There are maybe 10 waitlisted. Typically about 10 kids don't show up in the end in September, and also the waitlist usually gets in - so it's looking like right at 700. Huge huge growth at next year's 2d grade.

Next year Lincoln is already larger than the projected Wilson Pacific elem. that is supposed to house it in 2017.

Everyone - everyone at every grade level - should attend the Wilson Pacific community meeting on May 13 at 6:30 pm - we need to ask the tough questions about school sizing, and WHERE WILL KIDS GO TO HIGH SCHOOL.

I think the WP plan is three years ago, and makes no sense now - the WP buildings are frankly too small and poorly conceived as designed to solve any problems, but they'll use the only big piece of land in SPS inventory without solving anything. There is NOT ENOUGH HIGH SCHOOL space in the north end.

Crazy idea that could work: turn Hamilton in a mega-elementary for APP and Pinehurst and whoever else district wants to stick in there. Low cost, more seats than WP elem.

Turn Lincoln into a huge middle school, for APP and the Hamilton area. Probably cost less than remodeling the building into a high school and give you more seats than Hamilton currently has.

Build a 2000 (yes, 2000) kid high school ONLY at Wilson Pacific site. That gives you more HS seats than opening Lincoln does, and it's not more expensive than the 2 schools together at WP, and it's WAY BETTER as a High school than Lincoln would be b/c the school and the fields/facilities will be together. Way safer, too - can you imagine having all the HS kids pouring into WP outdoor facilities at the same time as elem. school pickup?

The plans are changeable b/c BEX vote is just about money - plans are basically only an example - and the new HS would be open faster than any other method.

APP and Advanced Learning should REALLY think about something like this - b/c the APP Elem at WP is already overly full, and it's not even built - and the middle school is going to be crazy large by 2017 and there aren't enough HS seats by NEXT YEAR so it's a matter of getting more seats for the bucks, faster.

Crazy huh? Discuss.

Anonymous said...

My student received a course sign up sheet for Garfield yesterday. I see that PE is required unless a student is in band/orchestra and foreign language. I also noticed that Marching Band requires students to start on August 25th and attend sessions from 10 to 4. My question is if I sign my student up for band will PE be waived or does she still need to participate in extra curricular sports to obtain a waiver? If Marching Band requires attendance starting on August 25, won't this interfere with sports try-outs? I have tried to research PE waivers on the Garfield website and cannot find anything.
-Phil

Anonymous said...

You can get a PE Waiver as needed in order to fit Band/Orchestra in your schedule + a foreign language or other elective. My kid actually got a waiver without Band/Orchestra since she was participating in a club sport + school sport and she didn't want to take PE too.

You will have to take the PE Test at some point -- consists of Nutrition info and other things having to do with staying physically fit (heart rate etc.) even with a waiver in order to fulfill the PE requirement during high school. My kid that did take PE said the test actually was not as easy as it sounds:) Have to say - he actually loved PE at Garfield, met a lot of kids that he would not have otherwise met.

Lots of kids do Band and sports at the same time, so they must make accommodations for tryouts. I would talk to the coach of the team for which your child wants to tryout.

Another note - both of our kids opted out of the health class as well (mostly due to teacher issues that year - and that teacher is gone now) - so they had to take it as online course retrieval over the summer. That is an additional option for all kids; however, it does cost $.

There is actually more flexibility for scheduling than it initially sounds like, your kid just need to advocate for themselves and make appointments with their counselor (multiple times if needed) to get their schedules switched around.

Advice is to pick your battles though - some changes are worth the fight - others are not.

-Parent of 2

Lynn said...

If your child takes six classes at Garfield each semester (no TA/office assistant periods) they do not have to take PE. (Any six classes - doesn't have to be language or music. There are some great art and drama electives at Garfield too.)

Anonymous said...

What are the numbers for next year's second grade at Lincoln? Any idea how many second grade classes the school will have?

-New Lincoln Mom

Anonymous said...

Um, how is Lincoln increasing by 100 students but only 2 classrooms next year? Class sizes are already large.

Someone asked for a source - the numbers posted by "the 700 club" are the same as in Principal Geoghegan's Thursday note just emailed out to Lincoln parents. Apparently Lincoln will be the largest elementary school in the district next year.

Anonymous said...

Not all classes are large...yet. 2nd graders currently are at around 24 students. They could go up to 28-30 next year and not actually grow in the number of classrooms. Same would go for the other grades, provided there is some room before hitting a max number. As a result, we may see more split classes. We have one 2/3 split this year but could see other various splits next year.

kp

Anonymous said...

I think they are expecting 5.5 classes of second grade, maybe same for third. The way the numbers have worked out this year it is true that not all classes are huge (first grade is quite small- 21 or 22?) but I would expect class sizes at every grade level next year to be enormous. 31 or 32 in fifth. I think this has to do both with some budget cuts and the somewhat erratic nature of enrollment in the program (if some school closes spectrum the year another school somewhere in the north gets really crowded, there's a spike in some random grade, for example, even harder to plan for long term than a neighborhood school).

It is going to be a rough year, though, with that and the building overall being overstuffed. We chose not to send our youngest child, and I feel like we will have dodged a bullet, and she will definitely have a better year at her very crowded but not quite this stuffed home school (not for our kid who is already there, though).

I wonder what Thurgood Marshall's enrollment looks likes? Did FP draw off much? Did the testing debacle affect things there?

Anonymous said...

Thank you Lynn and Parent of 2,
I was confused because about PE at Garfield because the course sign up sheet says they must take pe and health unless they are enrolled in band and world language. It does not give other electives as an option, it specically says band/orchestra and world language. I wasn't sure if this is new this year. My daughter would love to take drama instead of band, and try out for a sport to satisfy pe. I see that AP World history is not an option this year and thought maybe they felt the need to force kids into music instead of other electives to help with scheduling.
-phil

Sandra Gray said...

Does anyone know if there is momentum behind an APP middle school option in West Seattle?
Sandra

Lynn said...

Sandra,

Not from families - the cohort in West Seattle isn't large enough for middle school. I don't know what district staff is thinking. Once Meany reopens, Washington shouldn't be overcrowded - so maybe there won't be a reason for the district to make the split.

Anonymous said...

Any information or thoughts anyone can share on Sarah Talbot, who will become Laurelhurst's new principal? Laurelhurst has an ALO program in name, but it isn't much of a program. It is teacher dependent. For example, there's no walk-to math or reading. So I am particularly interested in Sarah Talbot's views on advanced learning.

-Laurelhurst Parent

Anonymous said...

Incoming Lincoln folks, remember you can still choose to go back to your neighborhood school until school starts. This is going to be a rough year to join. If your kid is in 3-5, you might not afford to wait, but for 1-2 I would recondider.

Anonymous said...

How big of an increase is Lincoln looking at for its 2nd grade cohort next year?

--incoming Lincoln parent

Pm said...

@8:54

Only if you want to screw the rest of us over. If people don't show up who have said that they will, teachers will have to be fired at the last minute. Not cool.

It will be a great place next year. Don't let the anxious people on the blog scare you away.

Anonymous said...

@8:54:

Thanks for your warm welcoming sentiments. Sorry, you can't scare the incoming first and second grade parents by referencing a dire predicition without any supporting facts. Why will this be a rough year? That's quite a statement to make.

We slogged through an extended and delayed testing process and are going to accept our spot while we are still guaranteed of a spot. Remember, anyone who has been paying attention knows that big changes for admittance are on the horizon.

We're coming, and that may mean some changes. We'll all have to work together to make it work for our kids. Does anyone share the concerns about next years' first and second grade classes? If so, does anyone have some constructive ideas of how to make it a great year for the primary (and secondary) grades?

-New Lincoln Mom



Anonymous said...

@8:54:

Thanks for your warm welcoming sentiments. Sorry, you can't scare the incoming first and second grade parents by referencing a dire predicition without any supporting facts. Why will this be a rough year? That's quite a statement to make.

We slogged through an extended and delayed testing process and are going to accept our spot while we are still guaranteed of a spot. Remember, anyone who has been paying attention knows that big changes for admittance are on the horizon.

We're coming, and that may mean some changes. We'll all have to work together to make it work for our kids. Does anyone share the concerns about next years' first and second grade classes? If so, does anyone have some constructive ideas of how to make it a great year for the primary (and secondary) grades?

-New Lincoln Mom

Anonymous said...

I doubt 8:54 means to be unwelcoming. I have a child there now, and we're stuck there, but if I didn't, in the early grades I also would wait. There are 100 new kids coming and only 2 new teachers. So class sizes will be full to bursting, probably with some oversized classes(and no aides, just extra money for the teachers).

And the building is already overtaxed, more crowded than it was when McDonald and APP were sharing space. Kids eat in the hall for lunch, and aren't allowed to talk above a very low voice at lunchtime, which still results in cacophony because there are so many kids in a small space at lunch. 5th graders don't have recess until 3:15, because the playgrounds are so overcrowded. I have no idea how pcp is going to work- not that well, I don't think. 250 kids more kids will not fit well into the space. We will all definitely be making the best of the situation, and I don't think it's quite worth switching schools for my kid again, but it's not a good situation. I wouldn't walk into it if I had another option. I understand that that sucks (believe me- I'm very disappointed about this), and if you have no other option it sucks to hear, but for people who do I think it's only fair to let them know.

juicygoofy said...

Re: Anon @ 8:54. One can only go back to their neighborhood school if there is space at their grade level (ie, no waiting list.) You can get in your neighborhood school if you move there, but you can't just change your mind. In our case, we can't go back to Spectrum, as we've lost our spot now. In addition, it wasn't our neighborhood school anyway due to a boundary change. It was a hard decision choosing LIncoln for next year, and we knew the risk/s.

Anonymous said...

Juicygoofy, that is incorrect. You are guaranteed a spot at your neighborhood school. I suggest people email Enrollment to confirm if they have concerns. As for Spectrum or a school that is no longer your assignment because of a boundary change, you are correct, that would not be guaranteed.

Another mom

Anonymous said...

It's standardized testing season. If you opted out in the Fall, you need to send another note for Spring testing or they will test your kid and use those scores for purposes for which they were not intended, either to burnish the principal's crown or punish the teacher for not showing student growth.

There is no reason to take those tests except for 6th grade math placement.

open ears

Anonymous said...

And to be clear, they are currently using 4th grade MSP scores in determining recommended 6th grade math placement. I assume 5th grade math scores come in too late to be of use, so 5th graders are probably safe opting out.

If you opt out in 4th grade, it's not like you won't get placed in a math class in 6th grade, though--they'll just have less data on which to make the recommendation. Families are allowed to "opt up" one level, too, beyond what the scores say. The only situation in which it seems you really need to have that 4th grade MSP score is if your're looking for possible placement into Algebra I in 6th grade. Qualifying scores on both tests (4th grade MSP math and, currently, 5th grade winter MAP) are required for that class, and apparently there are no exceptions.

HIMSmom

Anonymous said...

If you are thinking about to send your student to the Robinson Center for the Summer Programs or the Early Entrance Program, you should not opt out of the State testings since they are using those scores for the enrollment decision.

Anonymous said...

MSP scores can be used for Robinson Ctr eligibility, but there are other ways to qualify as well. Participation in a highly capable program is one, so it sound like if your kid is already in APP that's good enough.

As for their early entrance programs, MSP is not an accepted test. Kids need to take the ACT.

HIMSmom

JB said...

On the topic of the Robinson School...does anyone have experience with their summer program for 5th and 6th graders?

Anonymous said...

I have two kids at Lincoln, and, it is going to be awful. Yes, the teachers are great.

Class sizes are what they are, that is the same story for every school.

But, what is different for the students at Lincoln, is that our 1-5 will have to share our gym with a group of 120 other kids from a different school that has a different school culture. Not better, not worse, just different. My family migrated from Lowell, and, we will be there up until it turns into a high school, we are stakeholders, my kids are just as equal as everybody else's kids. No more, no less. And yet, why are they not getting a playground, when Jane Addams K8, who will be at the Marshall building for just 2 years, is getting one from the District?? My kids will be in this building 6 years, and the District has said NO. Keep in mind, the Jane Addams K8 folks got wind of the AS1 in Marshall building plan, and so they testified to the Board that they didn't want them. So, Peasless made sure they didn't get them.

Meanwhile, at Lincoln, they are adding more schools: AS1 AND the medically fragile 18-21 year olds from the Ballard High School and Ingraham and Hale.

But wait, it is even more pressing than it had to be.

AS1's numbers are artificially high: they demanded more Special Education placed students so that they could avoid the continuing threat of possible closure, but, those SpEd families DON"T WANT TO COME TO LINCOLN!! (who could blame them?)

If you had a 6 year old autistic child, and wanted your child to go to your neighborhood school along with all the other kids on your block, kids your kid plays with, and yet, those peers get to go to Lawton or Adams or Bagley, and your 6 year old, with special needs has to go to a high school with no playground, miles from your home, with no familiar faces, and over 800 kids, would you be happy? Seriously, is that the right thing to do to children with special needs? Put them on a long bus ride to a pellmell environment?

This is a bad, bad formula. Don't really see this as turning out well. Don't see the fairness in this. Don't see the "equity" in this.

My point: APP@Lincoln will make the best of it, we always do, but, the last thing I want is cranky parents at my child's school scowling during one of the 4 lunch shifts.

So yes, if anyone wants to bail, I get it. APP is an intervention, so, it is hard not to come. But, If an family doesn't decide to the AS1 program doesn't seem all that stable at all. It would not surprise me if that one shrunk by next September.

Anyway, I don't know what is worse: a principal using kids to pad his numbers, or, the district allowing him to use this tactic. Did anyone notice these were KIDS?

Maybe we should ask the 850 kids in Lincoln to be color coded next year, one school wear blue, the other yellow, and the others red, and that way, as we see children on lost in the building or in the parking lot or in the lunch hall way, we can direct them to the correct place. I am serious.

-color code

Anonymous said...

OPTING OUT...

We are thinking of opting out of 4th grade math MSP. Using it as a factor to decide 6th grade math placement is crazy. Anyone one else leaning this way? Curious if it is just us. The fifth grade class didn't know last year when they took that test it would be used in this way. I am not comfortable with how they are using these assessments given that these assessments were not designed for this purpose. Seems like all that can happen is they will use it as a negative.

Is Thurgood Marshall also doing the "Benchmark" tests too, together with MSP AND MAP? That is a lot of tests. We have good teachers, they know our kids, these tests don't really help them know our kids better, so we are questioning participating at all.

OPT OUT?

Anonymous said...

The 5th grade class may not have known but the 4th graders do now, so why opt out? If that's a factor in determining placement, I wouldn't. The previous year, it was just the MAP score. At least they are taking into consideration more than a single point of data and I do believe there is the option to move up one level. What is the concern, really? The tests have some validity and while teacher input should also be a factor, teachers vary across schools whereas every kid can take the MAP and MSP and it's the same for everyone. If anything, I'd opt out of 4th grade MAP tests because they aren't necessary.

not opting out

Anonymous said...

Going back a few to the person who suggested that incoming Lincoln kids reconsider. I don't really think that it's a scare tactic, just someone trying to point out that the littlest ones are often the most affected by building issues like this. I feel like it's also a scare tactic to talk about needing to choose APP right away, right now, this year, because admission rules may be changing. "Now or never" is what I heard last year too. To me, this type of worry is not a good reason to choose elementary APP.

Another mom

Anonymous said...

OK, How bad is elementary APP, really? Is it a race to nowhere in a bad building?

Mom of a "littlest kid"

Anonymous said...

We're opting out of MAP and most of the MSP, but not math. I don't want to foreclose Algebra as an option for 6th grade, and don't generally find the district to be very flexible. I'd rather not give them the excuse. I believe there are some other 4th graders opting out of some of it. It's not just you.

Jen Scully said...

Hi there. My daughter is going to Garfield APP next year, and we live in Green Lake. Are any parents looking at private transportation options? We found a Metro bus, but I have concerns about cuts to Metro, and also would prefer that my daughter have the chance to get a little more sleep before school. I'd rather not do a carpool thing, but if a group of families is chipping in for a private bus in my area, I'd be interested in learning more. Thanks! --Jen

Anonymous said...

Attend the ice cream social! Lincoln APP is a great place to be.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone have experience with their student taking an online Math class in HS (in order to replace the in-school Math class with an additional elective)? How does this work, does it suck up a lot of extra time or is it usually pretty flexible? Bearing in mind that Math is my son's least favorite subject, however he is leaning towards trying to squeeze in an extra language, or an art or theater class - in addition to band - he is entering Garfield in the Fall, and typically I believe the placement would be Algebra2H. Any feedback is very much apreciated. Any GHS parents successful with this approach?
-CD mom

Anonymous said...

My experience with college online classes was that they were always harder and more time consuming. You cannot raise your hand an get instant answers to questions and instructors cannot use gestures an facial expression to aid their teaching. Often instructors would hold mandatory sessions for online discussions so that the flexibility was not there either. I would always recommend learning in person if you have the choice.

Anonymous said...

Jen,

Your kid can just get on the 48 bus at Greenlake. It's all full of GHS kids at that hour, and it drops them across the street from school. NBD.

sidneyd

Anonymous said...

Jen - your child is going to Garfield next year. I don't believe there is a separate school for APP. Enjoy the community! It's a great place for all!

Anonymous said...

Hi Jen, The 48 has been a fine experience for my daughter these past two years. It leaves Roosevelt H.S. at 7:11 am. There are friends on the bus.
NE Mom

ben said...

@Mom of a "littlest kid" -
I would take some of the previous posts with a large grain of salt. I'm sure your child will have a great year next year. In general, the staff and teachers look out really well for the younger grades and from my experience the younger cohorts this year seem to be doing well.

Ben

Anonymous said...

Jen, you can check on metro site for metro cuts/reduction. 48 shows no change.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know how scale scores on the MSP correlate to number of problems missed in the test? If the cutoff for Algebra 1 in 6th grade is a 525 on the 4th grade MSP (which is somewhere around the 97th percentile) what does it mean in terms of #items missed?

(still think it's questionable to be using the 4th grade test...)

Anonymous said...

As an aside, if a child has a tendency to not show every calculation, it could mean lost points even if all answers are correct. I'm curious if that could mean the difference between making the cutoff or not.

Grade 4 MSP examples

A good example is on pg 33 - right answer, right calculation, but not in the right form (an equation). Also, pg 46.

So, remind your kids to show their work.

Anonymous said...

"As an aside, if a child has a tendency to not show every calculation, it could mean lost points even if all answers are correct. I'm curious if that could mean the difference between making the cutoff or not."

My 99th percentile math kid (ISEE, every single MAP math test) scored 83% on the 5th grade math MSP. She's now in Algebra in 6th grade and sailing through it with no problems. I suspect the test score reflected her doing much of the work in her head rather than on the paper.

Use of a single test for this seems silly. They should administer an Algebra readiness test to kids who are recommended by teachers or who want it. Bright kids in my kid's class are struggling because despite having high scores, they didn't have some of the foundational elements. My kid got hers using AoPS Alcumus, targeting pre-Algebra, over the summer. But we had done singapore through 6B so she was ready for that.

Anonymous said...

They used to use an actual algebra readiness test to test for algebra readiness - imagine that!! They got rid of it when they split WMS and HIMS because they also got rid of 6th graders being able it take Alg 1.

Bob Vaughan was a HUGE MAP test supporter and came up with this great plan after a couple of years of parent complaints. I don't know who came up with using MSP. It's nuts.

-pickle

Anonymous said...

As of today, our family has still not received correct test results for our child's APP eligibility exam taken in December 2013.

Anonymous said...

I'm curious what tests they use if your kid is coming into middle school from outside of sps. My son is in a private elementary but is app qualified. The only test his school does is the ITBS. Would they use his Iowa scores from 4th and 5th grade to place him in 6th grade math?

Momma

Anonymous said...

That's a good question. The typical APP pathway is 8th grade math in 6th, then Algebra in 7th. I think other scores come into play if you are wanting to further accelerate to Algebra in 6th. I'd check with the school your child plans on attending. Jane Addams, Hamilton, or Washington?

Anonymous said...

Anyone go to the coffee with Rina today? Any information about the building situation next year?

New family

Anonymous said...

When can newly enrolled families for next year join the facebook site?

Thanks!

Another new family

Anonymous said...

I don't know about other schools, but you should be able to find the Lincoln APP facebook group by searching for SNAPP.

Rumor? said...

Does anyone know if the above post that John Marshall is getting a playground is true? If it is, APP @ Lincoln and PH @ Lincoln NEED TO DEMAND A PLAYGROUND!

If it's not true, I'd love to know since it is flat-out wrong. My kid at Lincoln barely gets any PE and there is no playground. It's been rough for my active one.

Anonymous said...

So why don't they use Wallingford playfield? Could they if the PTSA hired some IAs to escort and supervise? (TOPS uses Rogers field which is a city park. It is adjacent to the school (i.e., they don't have to cross a technical street) but does take extra manpower to supervise.)

Anonymous said...

I have also heard that John Marshall is getting a playground. But someone is reporting on the sped PTSA email list that Pinehurst will have access to a new playground at Lincoln next year, which I assume would be for the whole building. True? Not true? Apparently the information came from the Pinehurst principal.