Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Open thread

Juneuary, ugh. But school is almost out! Let's have an open thread to talk about summer plans, the next school year, and anything else that is on your mind.

63 comments:

Anonymous said...

We are starting the process of looking at college options for our kids, and one of the benefits of the Garfield path is that college recruiters "know" Garfield and know Garfield kids to be well-rounded, street-smart as well as school smart. Garfield students are accepted to top schools at a higher rate than a lot of other high schools based on their established historical acceptance rates.

Task for Ingraham kids -- the college recruiters don't know about Ingraham or IBX. You need to let them know what a fabulous program and school Ingraham is and educate them about the unique opportunities that it offers its students.

Communicating that to the local recruiters will help current and future Ingraham students get noticed AND accepted to the top Universities in the country.

It will only take a couple of years for Ingraham to become established based on top students graduating from there, but if your kid is a current sophomore or junior - you need to make those connections now.




Anonymous said...

Will there be staff changes at Lincoln next year?

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know who is on the unofficial committee working on middle school APP LA/SS curriculum? Is there any way for parents to provide comment?

RosieReader said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
RosieReader said...

While I agree that it's a good thing to educate college recruiters about a school or a program within the school, I question the foundation for anonymous's statement that "the college recruiters don't know about Ingraham." In the 10 years that I've been around Ingraham we have consistently seen our graduates get into all variety of terrific colleges and universities. This certainly suggests the recruiters know us and the terrific students we have been graduating from Ingraham for year.

I love the energy and enthusiasm the IBX program has added to Ingraham's already vibrant community. From my perspective, it is another great program added to an already great school. I do worry about posts like the one above, which implies that Ingraham was somehow lacking before IBX. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Capitol Hill mom said...

This is a note to parents whose children were taught by Arlene Vosti at Lowell or Thurgood Marshall. Remember hearing all about her dog Wynnie or mummifying a chicken?

Vosti is retiring this year due to illness. If you appreciated having her as a teacher, please consider writing her a note. She enjoys hearing from former students and their families.

You can send an email to teacher Cindy Gano, who will print it out for Vosti. Cindy's email is cmnumata@seattleschools.org

Thank you

Anonymous said...

For those who may have missed it, I just saw this on this week's HIMS newsletter:

APP Survey
Leaving Hamilton next year or returning for 2014-15? Please take a moment to fill out our survey once for each child in APP. As the parent representative of Hamilton to the APP Advisory Committee, I sometimes find it difficult to fairly speak for you and represent the positions you would wish on the issues faced by the APP community. I would like to know more about what you think and how you felt this last year went. Survey responses are anonymous, and results will only be shared in aggregate.

Follow this link to complete the survey.

In addition, we have set up a Google group specific to Hamilton's APP community. Due to confidentiality concerns, among others, it is not possible to specifically target families involved in APP unless it is through an opt-in system. We will be sharing information relevant to APP, middle school, and Hamilton in particular, from meeting notifications to quick position polls, survey results, and opportunities to gather your opinions and improve communication for us all.

You can sign up here.


HIMSmom

Anonymous said...

To clarify, the info above re: the HIMS APP survey and email group was originally posted in the newsletter by Hamilton's parent rep to the APP AC, not me. Sorry if any confusion.

HIMSmom

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU for this post and link to the survey. I haven't found HIMS to be, in general, very communicative on APP issues so this is helpful.

-Appreciative

Anonymous said...

Thank you. Let's hope they get a lot of valuable feedback about APP at HIMS.

Anonymous said...

Happy to help! I don't know that a lot of people are paying attention to school newsletters and blogs at this point in the year, so I'd suggest forwarding the info to any HIMS APP parents you know--and asking them to do likewise!

HIMSmom

Anonymous said...

Hi, my son is entering 3rd grade at TM next year and I'd like to help prepare him for the 3rd grade math curriculum over the summer. I understand they will stay with Envision. Could someone recommend a work book or generally what he should be able to do by 3rd grade at TM? He's very good at math but had a HORRIBLE math teacher last year (which is one reason we are moving him to TM)

Thanks for any recommendations!!

-New to TM

Capitol Hill mom said...

My son just finished third grade at TM APP. The best way to prepare is practicing and memorizing math facts, so he can quickly add, subtract, multiply and divide single digit numbers.

Math at this level is still pretty basic: area, perimeter, etc., and all the kids learn together. Also, new kids join APP every year and teachers are used to getting everyone spooled up to the same level.

But teachers always say that knowing math facts at this age is important because the kids focus on the interesting part of what they are learning, instead of getting slowed down or struggling with a simple calculation.

Anonymous said...

Anyone have information on which teachers will be returning to Lincoln next year? In recent years, an excessive number of teachers leave for one reason or another. What's the story this year?

Anonymous said...

I hear vastly different and equally balanced mixed messages about the Vice Principal and Principal at Lincoln. Anyone have first-hand experience with one or both of them? My experience has been lukewarm at best so I'm left wondering. The teachers my child has are good though come with not much experience. Since my child is happy so my interactions are limited.

Anonymous said...

New to TM - I really like the JUMP math books (and used them to prepare my daughter when she switched to APP). You can get them at Amazon.

The Math 'n' Stuff store is also a great resource. It's at 8926 Roosevelt Way NE and also has a website.

Jane

Anonymous said...

The APP-AC emailed a list of FAQs about the "team" (not an official committee) that is developing the APP scope and sequence for middle school APP LA/SS.

Does anyone else have concerns about how the members are not being named (is it balanced between HIMS, WMS, and JAMS?), the selection process for teachers is unknown (are long time WMS teachers involved?), there does not seem to be a process for community input (as in a formal material adoption process), and AL is not leading the process, but being "consulted?"

The outside organization named as doing a material review does not appear to have expertise in gifted education. The FAQS also state they are changing to grade level content, but teaching to above grade level skills. They are not going through a formal materials adoption process, so it's unclear what common texts will be chosen and whether or not they will be appropriate for advanced learners. It almost seems that they are trying to avoid a formal material adoption process.

tinfoil hat

Anonymous said...

Does it mean anything for APP that Banda is leaving? Was it him that promised Wilson Pacific as stand-alone APP elementary?

AMF said...

To new and existing TM 3rd graders: I have a daughter who is entering TM in the fall as a 3rd grader. I corresponded with 3 other parents who want to organize a get-together over the summer so we & our kids could meet. Email me if you're interested in being included! arlene@arlenefairfield.com

Anonymous said...

TM has open library hours on Tuesdays. As for math i would have your kid plug into Kahn academy now through HS math. It's a great resource.

Anonymous said...

To: New to TM

Envision aligns with the Common Core, so you can take a look at the Common Core math standards for Grades 3 and 4, and then cover those things at home this summer. You could also buy the 3rd and 4th grade Envision books on Amazon.

It's not necessary to do any of that; as a previous poster said, you just need to make sure your child is super automatic on math facts. But if you want to do some extra work to smooth the transition to 5th grade math, those are a couple ways you could approach it.

TM Mom

Anonymous said...

Why is TM staying with Envision, and how can they possibly have already decided that when the Board just selected Math in Focus a few weeks ago?

-- parent to incoming TM 5th grader

Anonymous said...

5th graders use another text as envision ends at 6th grade.

TM uses envision because they had a 3 yr trial that ends next yr. They will evaluate that verses MIF

Anonymous said...

Math Connects grade 7 is the 5th grade text at TM. If they don't score over 250 on the math 5th grade MAP fall / winter then the most probably will be placed in cmp 8th at WMS in the 6th grade. I would strongly urge you to avoid CMP and tutor this summer/Kahn Academy perhaps? I don't know how that wouldn't confuse a kid... And it would take most of the year to just decipher CMP as it has its own language not at all related to "math."

Anonymous said...

I understand wanting to avoid CMP, and perhaps trying to accelerate to Algebra in 6th as a means of avoiding CMP, but aren't you then accelerating to Discovering Algebra? What's the true benefit?

What has bothered me in the current APP middle school math pathway is that there is no honors level math, just accelerated math. Students are simply accelerated and covering content on a basic level rather than covering content at a much more complex and challenging level (which would mean not using the Discovering texts).

At a certain point, will it catch up to students that they haven't been doing the most challenging work? Yes, they might have completed Algebra and passed the EOC, but if it's Algebra lite, where does that take them?

How does Algebra 2 in 8th grade compare to an honors Algebra 2 class taught in high school? What will be the most beneficial in the long run?

Anonymous said...

I hate to say it, but the most beneficial in long run is probably to do independent study for math. Then you can do more honors level classes and avoid the "lite" offerings. Or if you can't avoid these, at least go for heavy supplementation.

We went independent starting early, and managed to avoid EDM and CMP altogether. My kid absolutely loves math, and has a deep understanding of what he's learned, including the ability to see the broader applications of these methods to new types of problems. I don't think that would have been the case if we'd gone the SPS route all along, either accelerated or on schedule. In most cases the curricula just aren't deep enough to keep math lovers engaged.

HIMSmom

Anonymous said...

I am with anon at June 21, 2014 at 8:41 AM

Greg what about a separate thread on Kahn Academy?

I am committed to that for the summer to bridge the huge gaps in math curriculum brought about by SPS' poorly chosen texts but would love to know what others have found.
-AL dad

Anonymous said...

I am with anon at June 21, 2014 at 8:41 AM

Greg what about a separate thread on Kahn Academy?

I am committed to that for the summer to bridge the huge gaps in math curriculum brought about by SPS' poorly chosen texts but would love to know what others have found.
-AL dad

Anonymous said...

We have a child that has zero interest in Khan Academy or videos in general. Simply finding a solid math text and working through it (traditional texts still have odd answers in the back of the book) has been better for our child.

Does it not seem crazy that a program exists with the intent of providing appropriate challenge for advanced learners, yet we are discussing ways to provide appropriate challenge outside of the program??

Anonymous said...

Agreed anon it is nuts... What I really want to do is just avoid CMP having road that train before for 6-7-8 I don't know how anyone could ever jump in at 8 - it is not that it is teaching anything different but it has its on verbiage for the age old conventions.

-AL dad

Anonymous said...

Hi Greg,

Would you start a separate thread re: the HIMS APP survey and email group, linking to my June 19, 2014 8:22 AM post in this open thread?

I recently spoke with the HIMS APP-AC parent representative who is behind these outreach efforts, and it seems like the initial announcement was kind of lost in the mad rush of school ending. Since the information is also kind of buried here, giving it a separate thread might make it more visible to families checking in here this summer. This is the first effort I'm aware of to try to develop a strong APP parent community at HIMS, and it's definitely needed!

Thanks for considering,
HIMSmom

Anonymous said...

A thread on outside math resources for APP students including Kahn Academy is a great idea!

-SPS' highly capable math stinks!

dw said...

tinfoil said: Does anyone else have concerns about how the members are not being named (is it balanced between HIMS, WMS, and JAMS?), the selection process for teachers is unknown (are long time WMS teachers involved?), there does not seem to be a process for community input (as in a formal material adoption process), and AL is not leading the process, but being "consulted?"

YES! I not only concerned, I am angry.

This is yet another completely opaque process executed by a mostly secret committee. It may not be appropriate to have parents on the actual committee, but it shouldn't be a secret who is on the committee, nor how they were chosen. The "align all programs" plan is suspect from the onset, not to mention the loss of many years of APP curricular development by the existing teachers and Marcy Shadow. This is a terrible shame.

My understanding, (and this is only rumor, but I've heard from multiple people at different schools) is that the principals unilaterally picked the teacher reps, and did so without regard for their experience in APP. The Hamilton rep has barely any APP/gifted experience, and there are other teachers with much more experience who are not only not on the committee, but not even being consulted. I think we (parents) should all be questioning how this came to be, but of course it's summer now, and we all know how key timing plays a part in so many SPS processes. By the time we're back to school in the fall it will be too late.

The outside organization named as doing a material review does not appear to have expertise in gifted education.

Yes, this is extremely troubling as well. Having a material review sounds like a good idea, but unless the review is done by people with solid gifted ed experience, why even bother, other than to check the box that said they did?

Anonymouse said...

Regarding Khanh Academy, it's a useful resource, but there are two things to note:

1) Don't be fooled into thinking it's all your kid needs to have a solid understanding of the material covered in a real classroom. It's a great resource, especially to understand mathematical procedures (and it's getting better at the other parts as well), but it's not a standalone replacement for a class.

EdWeek article about Khanh (article is June 2012)

2) Beware of student data mining.

Data Mining Your Children (see mid-page 2, though the entire article is good)

The site (Khan Academy) tracks the academic progress of students 13 and older as they work through online lessons in math, science and other subjects. It also logs their location when they sign in and monitors their Web browsing habits. And it reserves the right to seek out personal details about users from other sources, as well, potentially building rich profiles of their interests and connections.

Some of the policies were re-written after this article was published, but the bottom line is, as founder Sal Khan said: "Data is the real asset".

At the very least, sign your kid up with a nickname. It will make it a little harder to marry together with data from Facebook and other social media sites.

Anonymous said...

Thanks anon for the Khan advice. What I am wondering is can a kid prep up to algebra II or do they have to endure Discovery and all the other poorly chosen

-SPS' highly capable math stinks!

Anonymous said...

It is not too late for parents to speak up about the APP alignment. Write to your school board members.

I support efforts to bring about some kind of alignment, especially with another APP site at JAMS, BUT the lack of transparency and the selection process for the "team" (not a formal committee) are questionable. The way this team is operating sidesteps any public input or review. It's not even clear if Advanced Learning has final say in anything.

If you knew just how different 8th grade APP was at HIMS and WMS this year, you would be very concerned. HIMS does not seem to have any interest in preserving the traditional APP LA/SS curriculum, and some new (to APP) teachers do not have a grasp of what is appropriately challenging for APP level classes.

Will the final decisions be binding if there is no formal adoption process? Will the new scope and sequence be enforced, or will the programs at different sites diverge even more?

Anonymous said...

Who is the Hamilton rep for the alignment work?

Anonymous said...

-Alignment work
From the June 19th APP AC letter's attachment:
"The Hamilton and JAMS principals are working directly on the team".
Plus Ms Paris (from the rumor of the building).
Ms Ellison, the only teacher with extensive APP LASS (WMS) experience is NOT on the team.

Anonymous said...

On another note, I hear Mr. Pounder is not scheduled to teach any Geometry classes next year. On the plus side, he will officially be teaching an Algebra 2 class.

aging out said...

Pounder has zero geometry classes next year? Seriously?!

This is something that can change up until the day classes start, because enrollment and class selection/placement is fluid until the last minute. So there is still some hope.

However, is there any good reason why a guy who has taught a particular class for not just years, but decades is being pushed to teach other (non-APP) classes? The guy knows this material inside-out and upside-down, and has very successfully been teaching it to kids for many, many years.

What I'm seeing is a move to erase any notion of "APP teachers". Ms. Watters appears to be taking these matters into her own hands, killing one of the only two things (its cohort and its teachers) that APP still has remaining.

I see only two ways to stop it.

1) Huge pushback by parents. I mean *HUGE*, as in bombarding all the Board members, the Ed Directors, the APP principals themselves, and the media in general. Moderate pushback won't be enough.

2) Gifted Ed credentials in Washington State. Many other states have this, there's no reason we shouldn't have it here as well. Principals aren't allowed to swap teachers around between GenEd and SpEd classrooms (thankfully!), and they should not generally be doing the same thing between GenEd and APP.

People, your chance is NOW to slow down this runaway train. Many APP teachers have already been pushed out and bullied out in recent years (Every.Last.One of the experienced APP teachers at Lincoln are now gone), and the move at middle school is to erase any distinction. Changing the curriculum to "align" with GenEd in middle school is part of this process.

APP is barely hanging on by a thread at this point. I'm sorry to say it, but parents of younger kids, you folks need to be stepping it up if you want anything at all in the coming years.

Anonymous said...

Mr Pounder already had only one Geometry class this past year. So I think having him as an Algebra 2 teacher is a great thing for him and for the involved students as well (and I really hope this won't change). But we all have to face the fact: he is planning to retire soon...

Anonymous said...

All APP students take algebra, so I wouldn't exactly say he's teaching non-APP classes. I think the broader concern is that other math classes are generally not taught at an advanced level (they pretty much follow the Discovering text instead of materials developed over years of teaching highly capable students).

aging out said...

Anon made 3 very disjointed comments.

Mr Pounder already had only one Geometry class this past year.

This is incorrect. He had 2 sections of geometry, 3rd and 4th periods.

So I think having him as an Algebra 2 teacher is a great thing for him and for the involved students as well (and I really hope this won't change).

I totally agree, but it has nothing to do with the entire balance of his classes being Alg1 or lower.

But we all have to face the fact: he is planning to retire soon...

That's true, but again, I don't see how this relates to any of the above.

There are bad things happening at HIMS. Most parents aren't aware of the extent to which experienced APP teachers are being pushed out of teaching APP kids. The goal of the principal is to essentially eradicate any notion of "APP teachers" at all, dictating that any teacher can teach any class. This is BS, as any gifted ed credentialed teacher will tell you.

aging out said...

All APP students take algebra, so I wouldn't exactly say he's teaching non-APP classes. I think the broader concern is that other math classes are generally not taught at an advanced level (they pretty much follow the Discovering text instead of materials developed over years of teaching highly capable students).

There are multiple issues at play.

Yes, all APP kids take algebra, but not all kids taking algebra are APP. And it's completely possible that he'll be teaching pre-alg next year, those details are all just speculation at this point.

Any experienced gifted ed teacher will tell you that effective teaching methods are different for gifted kids. A classroom of APP 6th or 7th graders taking algebra is very different from a class of 9th graders taking algebra. Sadly, this becomes all too apparent when you mix them in the same classrooms, i.e. 6th graders and 8th graders taking algebra together. The age difference alone makes it less than ideal, but the kids flat out don't learn the same way, and it can make for an uncomfortable situation for the kids as well as frustrating for teachers.

Of course there are differences in learning types and skills in any classroom, but there are broad differences between (historical) APP and GenEd students, and by moving the teachers around willy-nilly, the students are losing a "best fit" situation -- FOR NO GOOD REASON. Sure, sometimes schedules dictate that not every classroom is a perfect fit, but when it's happening systematically throughout a building (and to some degree throughout the city), that is a big problem. Right now the principals are 100% in control of this, and the only real way to stop it is by getting gifted ed credentials here in WA.

ben said...

Has anyone directly talked to Cindy Waters about this? It would be interesting to hear an official statement about this or any of the other changes.

Anonymous said...

...pretty sure Mr. Pounder is only teaching Algebra, not pre-alg. The district has decided middle school math is ability based, and not tied to APP, so Ms. Watters can assign teachers and students as she sees fit (whether or not we agree). Without clearer policies around advanced learning, and few advocates for APP in general, the principals really are in control.

What about at JAMS? How many of the teachers have any experience working with gifted students?

Anonymous said...

When teachers don't have experience teaching gifted kids, things can really spiral downward. My child experienced this in two HIMS classes this year. Teachers tend to repeat information more than is appropriate for these fast learners, so kids start to get bored and tune out. Teachers mistake this for a lack of understanding of the material, so repeat it more, sometimes even more simplistically than the first time around. Talk about sucking the life out of the class.

Unfortunately, there does not seem to be any interest in assigning teachers with who understand gifted kids to teach gifted classes. It seems like it's all part of that Seattle antagonism toward academic giftedness.

Anonymous said...

I agree that bad things are happening at HIMS.

If math placement is ability based, why was my student placed at the inappropriate ability level while others with the same scores were advanced? It was clearly based on capacity.

I think we need push back. I am ready. Sign me up - lets have an HIMS APP-parent meeting.

-I'mReady

Anonymous said...

Aging out
Thank you for your corrections even though I don't agree with your description that my comments were "very disjointed".
1. I was told by a staff member at HIMS that Mr Pounder had only one Geo class this past year.
2. With this I was referring to the fact that he was already teaching Alg 1 classes mostly this past year.
3. With the warning of his upcoming retirement I was referring to the fact again that soon we have only teachers at HIMS who are inexperienced in teaching higher level math and /or gifted students (and using the Discovery books). This could change though in the upcoming years, I agree with that.
Sorry for any confusion.
Anon at 10 56 AM

Anonymous said...

I'mReady
Have you signed up to the google group account?
Have you sent the info to your friends who might missed it in the last Newsletter?

APP Survey *NEW*
Leaving Hamilton next year or returning for 2014-15? Please take a moment to fill out our survey once for each child in APP. As the parent representative of Hamilton to the APP Advisory Committee, I sometimes find it difficult to fairly speak for you and represent the positions you would wish on the issues faced by the APP community. I would like to know more about what you think and how you felt this last year went. Survey responses are anonymous, and results will only be shared in aggregate. Please go to:https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/PCDZB87
to complete the survey.
In addition, we have set up a Google group specific to Hamilton's APP community. Due to confidentiality concerns, among others, it is not possible to specifically target families involved in APP unless it is through an opt-in system. We will be sharing information relevant to APP, middle school, and Hamilton in particular, from meeting notifications to quick position polls, survey results, and opportunities to gather your opinions and improve communication for us all. Please sign up at:
https://groups.google.com/d/forum/hims-app
As always, please contact me with any questions or problems at nzooks@yahoo.com.
Thank you!
– Noelle Clemons, HIMS Parent Representative to the APP-AC

Anonymous said...

I have signed up for the Google group - thanks for the notice.

Also, over the last two years I have spoken to Cindy Watters fairly often concerning the following issues:

1-math placement (arbitraryness)
2-staff deficiencies in 6th grade math teaching
3-staff deficiencies and lack of a consistent instructor in 7th grade math (3 months of weekly substitute teachers!?)
4-credit for math placement using outside courses.

In each case, her stance has been that HIMS math is doing fine and no outside courses will be considered sufficient.

My kid has been doing great in math with extremely high MAP scores but that is derived from our supplementation. I hate that the school can take credit for them. We have experienced unbelievably terrible math instruction (with the exception of one young but promising upcoming teacher) at HIMS. This is not just an APP problem as it can happen at any school but the amazing thing that I find hard to swallow is the lack of support there is for motivated students to work outside of the classroom. My kid feels like she is doing something wrong by taking extra math classes. For the APP crowd - this should be encouraged not vilified. Can't the administration be a bit more encouraging about this? Academic endeavors take practice and training just like baseball…...

-I'mReady

Anonymous said...

124@I'm Ready,

Your child can homeschool math via an on-line course.

McClure doesn't have enough kids in Geometry or Algebra 2 to make classes in those subjects feasible. So the school has given us options to have our kids register as a .8 at McClure and do math via a district approved online course.

I want to put my 7th grader in Art of Problem Solving, which is not on the list. They are accredited in California but not here, as they haven't applied. Doesn't matter, because when your kid gets to HS, the MS credits "disappear".

You can get HS credit for Algebra and above, but you have to apply for it when your child enters HS, with their HS. Have to pass an EOC or 11th grade proficiency test as well, and it probably needs to be an SPS course as well. But if you don't care about the credit (because you believe your kid will take 3 math classes in HS), you can sign up as a .8, have your kid do the work at home, ask for a schedule with 5 continuous periods, and if you can manage the transportation, have your kid study a far superior curriculum.

For us, it works very well.

McClure Mom

Anonymous said...

McClure mom's right. Not difficult to do. Kid took metro. Students do need to be self-motivated and independent to do this. So not always the answer for those requiring more cohort push to get them where they need to be. Still there's flexibility in the system.

South of downtown

Anonymous said...

Given my children's math experiences in SPS, it is hard to know how much of the frustration is due to the poorly chosen math texts.

It doesn't seem right that the school gets credit for your child's scores when the content is largely covered outside of school, and it's frustrating that there is such variability in classes, but that is not something you as a parent are going to change.

The reality is that your child's math education needs to move forward and you are not likely to see any significant changes before next school year. I am assuming your child will be taking Geometry next year, in which case your child will probably have the same teacher as this year (as it sounds like Mr. P won't be teaching Geometry, and also assuming your child is staying at HIMS).

If you are not seeking high school credit for middle school classes, then you don't need to seek credit for an online/homeschooled course. Just keep records and grades from the course should you need to create a homeschool transcript. If your child is taking the Geometry EOC, then placement in the next class should not be a problem.

Another option for homeschool math classes is Math Without Borders. They are whiteboard video lessons that go along with well chosen math texts - Foerster Algebra 1, Geometry - A Guided Inquiry, and Foerster Algebra 2. The price is reasonable (you purchase the text separately), though it still requires a bit of effort on your part to grade tests and assign problem sets. This option assumes you have some math background...

Anonymous said...

And if you are really opposed to the school or teacher getting credit for high scores that reflect outside work, just opt out of the MAP and MSP. We did. You can show progress other ways (e.g., EOCs, course transcripts).

HIMSmom

HIMSmom

Anonymous said...

Has anyone heard how many new teachers are being hired at Lincoln? How many classes are expected per grade level?
Thanks
Sara

Anonymous said...

Is anyone familiar with the online math options through SPS, and would there be a course considered honors level, or are they focused more on credit recovery?

If McClure is offering families the "option" of reducing to 0.8 FTE it suggests a part-time homeschooling arrangement, in which case they can't dictate what courses a family chooses.

For high school credit, SPS has the following guidelines:

3.2. Correspondence, Online, Private School, or College Courses (other than RS) for High School Credit: Students must
submit an Equivalency Course of Study Proposal to the Principal or the Principal’s designee for approval prior to beginning the experience in order to ensure that credit will be recognized. All equivalency courses of study attempted for credit, must be documented on a student’s ranscript per WAC 392-415-070. Students may not opt to omit based on course
outcome.


The above is for high school, however, so, it's still not clear how they can dictate courses taken in middle school unless you are seeking high school credit. In that case, wouldn't the course approval need to come from the high school?

It seems schools are operating under their own rules and avoiding providing equitable opportunities for advanced math students. If they state math is not part of APP, but only offer advanced math classes at APP schools (well, at least as of this coming school year), how does that work? Will the policy change for this coming school year?

Anonymous said...

"It seems schools are operating under their own rules and avoiding providing equitable opportunities for advanced math students. If they state math is not part of APP, but only offer advanced math classes at APP schools (well, at least as of this coming school year), how does that work? Will the policy change for this coming school year?"

I believe for all MSs that it already has changed with 6th grade placement based on test MSP/MAP and if need be on an algebra pre-test. Dependent on those scores your child should anticipate either CMP 6-8 or algebra 1 (three year acceleration). APP or not. (All APP students should be placed into CMP 8 or Algebra 1 in 6th grade.)

-AL dad

Anonymous said...

AL Dad,

"I believe for all MSs that it already has changed with 6th grade placement based on test MSP/MAP and if need be on an algebra pre-test. Dependent on those scores your child should anticipate either CMP 6-8 or algebra 1 (three year acceleration). APP or not. (All APP students should be placed into CMP 8 or Algebra 1 in 6th grade.)"

But if your kid attends McClure, you can have Algebra in the 6th grade, but nothing further. They are making incoming parents of kids placed in higher math sign a form acknowledging that after Algebra, they have to make other arrangements for math.

McClure Mom

Anonymous said...

That's the problem with the district claiming math placement is independent of APP designation. With an APP pathway school you are guaranteed math through Geometry and as of now, through Algebra 2. If this is available only at APP pathway schools, and your child does not qualify for APP, yet does qualify for advanced math, where does that leave students? Telling parents they are on their own does not seem like a solution, yet with so few students affected and in the absence of a formal district policy, they will probably continue with this plan until challenged.

If the school cannot offer an appropriate level class, a middle of the road alternative would be a district-wide policy providing students access to online coursework during the school day. Is this something being discussed as part of the ALTF? Perhaps parents need to write in support of some alternative, as telling parents they are on their own just doesn't cut it.

Anonymous said...

McClure stopping at Algebra 1 is not right and I think that is something the changes to the WAC should address. Highly capable kids at all schools will have to be provided services. I say "bully any admin into serving your bright kid should be the name of that legislation."

Lynn said...

The WAC only requires services to students identified by the district as highly capable. McClure's plan stinks - but unless these students are APP-eligible, the new law won't be the solution.

Online math during the school day might be the best bet.

Anonymous said...

Depends on individual school. Know one student in south end school walks to nearby HS with a group to take geometry or algebra 2. That student is going to Aviation next year. Don't know if any of these kids are APP, but they are very strong academically and would do fine in IBX or HS AP classes.