Thursday, September 4, 2014

Ingraham IB and Garfield

By request, a thread to discuss high school options for APP. Of specific concern was that the IB program at Ingraham is completed by APP students at the end of their junior year, leaving their senior year open, but without all the advanced classes they need for their senior year (such as no good full year of English option for APP seniors). But let's also open this to broader discussions of the APP options for high school any issues people are finding with them.


Anonymous said...

I keep hearing about programs that allow high school kids to take college classes -- but in a rumorish way. Do those classes exist? Someone has mentioned such classes at Roosevelt. And, is Running Start an option (the community college classes?), and, if so, how does it change in-state college choices/planning?

Of the several students I know personally in the IBx program, 1 decided to graduate early, a planned graduation in which they took PSAT/SAT testing early and accelerated the process to college, while the other two were somewhat disgruntled by the choices in the senior year but tried to make do because they weren't ready bureaucratically to graduate early.

Anonymous said...

Are you thinking of UW in the High School?

Here's info on Running Start

Anonymous said...

Yes, thank you. Those are the programs I was thinking about, and it is useful to have the links.


RosieReader said...

Principal Floe's 9/5/14 letter to the Ingraham Highly Capable Community can be found on the Friends of Ingraham High School Facebook page. You do not need to "like" or "friend" the site to view its contents. It was posted today.

Anonymous said...

RR, can you please post a link to Principal Floe's 9/5 letter for those (very few) of us not on Facebook? Or is it posted somewhere on the IHS website?

behind the times

RosieReader said...

I don't know how to post it except from FB. Perhaps a more technical person can grab it on FB and post it elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

Clicking through to this facebook link might help, but, you do need a facebook account to access the letter.

That page also seems to have some discussion of how people are handling the senior year of HCC (a discussion of a cancelled sociology course offered by North Seattle CC, at IHS).

I also don't know how to download the letter, but with permission, maybe someone can repost it.


Anonymous said...

We would appreciate it if current Garfield parents could tell us how the accelerated AP program works at Garfield? I have heard that one of the science classes (elective choices for 9th graders) is so popular that a lottery is used to determine which students get in? If you don't get in which science class are you assigned to? Where does the "accelerated" part come in?

Thanks for your insights

8th grade WMS parents

laurenbaa said...

We have a current freshman at Garfield who came from the WMS APP program. He is currently taking 9th grade honors Lit, Honors World History, Honors Chemistry and Honors Algebra 2. The science and math are accelerated based on the prerequisites being already taken at WMS. He could have taken Marine Biology, but elected to take Chemistry instead (I think that this is the first year that freshman are allowed to do that.) One change that I was not real happy about is that the APP kids can no longer take AP World History in 9th grade, which used to be an option. AP World History comes in 10th grade.


Anonymous said...

WMS APP Parent-

I haven't heard of a lottery being held for any science classes -- the lottery comes in with the Marine Biology class (now Oceanography) and the Hawaii trip.

I think its too bad that Ms. Gumas was encouraging all incoming 9th graders to take Honors Chemistry instead of Oceanography. I understand the reasoning from the perspective that you will then be able to take three AP Sciences (Biology, Chemistry, Environmental or Physics).
However, not sure how much that matters since all APP kids will take between 9-12 AP classes at Garfield prior to graduating - which far exceeds the number that colleges typically care about (anything over 5 is counted as 5+ by many schools).

My son said the Oceanography class was, by far, the best class that he has had at Garfield - and he didn't even make it onto the Hawaii trip (he LOST the lottery). Plus, they receive 5.0 college credit hours for the class, granted from UW (which means they are effectively UW students for that year and are able to access the library etc.) at a heavily discounted cost (I think it was around $375). That is better than an AP class, which may or may not count for credit depending on your AP score and college choice.

There are plenty of good science options for APP kids at Garfield.

-GHS Parent

Anonymous said...

9th and 10th graders are no longer eligible to earn the UW credit as part of the College in High School (CIHS).

If you have a 9th/10th student in a CIHS class they cannot register for the UW credit.

This change took place in mid-April. High schools were notified, but course materials were not updated to reflect that CIHS is only open to 11/12th graders.

At GHS this inlcudes the OCEANOGRAPHY (CIHS) class.

Anonymous said...

That seems a little random -- saying that if you are in 11th/12th grade you can get college credit for a certain class but if you are in 9th/10th grade, taking the same class, you can't?

I don't see those guidelines listed on the CIHS website for Washington state.

Can you fill me in on who made that decision?


-GHS Parent

Anonymous said...

Contact the UW CIHS 685-6404 for details on the decision made in April.

They will tell you that they are complying with RWC 28A.600.290. You will also be told to contact your state rep if you are unhappy and ask them to pass HB-2621.

It is also spelled out on the UW CIHS website.

Anonymous said...

Thank you!

I will contact my state rep -- that makes absolutely no sense when the purpose of the program is to provide students that are ready for more rigor to have access to that coursework.

If you look at past years, the Freshman and Sophomores that have taken the course are 100% ready for it and a good majority of them are taking it and getting A's.

-GHS Parent

Anonymous said...

Any report on how current Ingraham seniors are filling their schedule? I saw Floe's letter, but I would love to hear from parents.

Anonymous said...

Any report on how current Ingraham seniors are filling their schedule? I saw Floe's letter, but I would love to hear from parents.

Anonymous said...

I am currently an APP senior at Ingraham. For most subjects, we are simply filling their schedules with IB classes that we haven't had the chance to take yet. There are a wide variety of math, science, and elective courses available to students.

Trying to find an English course, however, is an entirely different matter. There are no English courses that are the same/increased difficulty at the school, as we already completed the highest level of English available during the IB program. The school has offered us one quarter of English and one quarter of sociology taught by professors at North Seattle Community College to cover our English and Social Studies credits. After personally surveying over 25 colleges, however, a large majority of colleges said that one quarter of English would not meet the college's requirement for four full years of English.

We have brought this matter to Ingraham's administration, and offered easy and inexpensive alternatives (including taking courses that already exist at the school, which they refuse to let us into) to the NSCC course, but they refuse to work with the APP students and parents to provide a viable senior-year English option. This has driven a number of students (including myself) to take an online AP Lit and Comp course instead of one quarter of English. Unfortunately, we have to pay out of pocket for the $295-per-semester course, but we are currently working on getting the district to fund it.

It is very unfortunate that the administration has neglected planning for our senior year. Ingraham has been so fantastic up until this point. I have had the best teachers, and the rigorous IB program has been fantastic. I have learned so much. I just wish that had a full, fourth year of advanced English to take.

Hayley (Ingraham APP senior)

Anonymous said...


Thanks for posting. It is great for you to let parents know what is happening so we can advocate as well. That is incredibly disappointing to hear, and yet that was the concern I had last spring when we toured and couldn't get a good answer to the senior year question. All we got was, "We're working on it now, and are in planning stages." I hope they hear the message loud and clear.


Maureen said...

My understanding is that the IBX seniors are asking to be placed in the second year of a two year IB Language and Literature class instead of enrolling in English 265 and Sociology 101 taught 1st period by North Seattle College professors. I understand the staff surveyed a variety of colleges and were told that the college level classes would be considered equivalent to a year of senior level English and Social Studies. I don't know how Hayley or the Ingraham staff worded their inquiry and I don't know if there was overlap in the colleges they asked.

Anonymous said...

Hi All -
I am an advisor at the UW and a quarter of a community college course counts as a year of the same subject in high school. Here's the link that delineates what the UW needs to see on a transcript:

I certainly understand the students wanting to do more (and the UW says that they'd like to see more) but one quarter is enough.

~ UW Advisor

Anonymous said...

Hayley, it's possible there may be some confusion re: terminology on what constitutes a year of English. According to what's on the UW website, 5 credits worth of college English is the equivalent to a year of HS English. It looks like the Eng 265 class is 5 credits, so that should satisfy the one additional year needed.

From UW website:

College Academic Distribution Requirements (CADR)

CADR are admission requirements. Therefore, they must be satisfactorily completed before the first quarter of enrollment at the UW.

Almost all applicants will have satisfied CADR through coursework completed in high school (generally defined as grades 9-12 in the U.S.).

However, students who completed a portion of the CADR in high school may supplement high school courses with qualifying college courses, as long as they are completed before enrolling at the UW.

CADR completed in high school are expressed as high school credits. In general, at the college level, five credits on a quarter system (or three credits on a semester system) equals one high school credit. Usually, one CADR credit represents content covered in a full year course."


Anonymous said...

UW Advisor beat me to it. Sorry for the duplicate info.


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

I think the answer that the info that the CC English course will *count* as a full year of HS credit for UW purposes: is useful. But, it doesn't really answer the concerns of HS students who may be looking to satisfy competitive college requirements on having 4 years of English. Among other things, that suggestion/requirement is based not just on sufficient material being covered, but that the students have engaged in critical thinking/writing/reading for all four years of HS. It is not, I think, a requirement that one can merely finish early/faster/accelerated, especially if you are particularly a English/Humanities oriented student.

I am still getting the impression that the senior year at the IBx program is an unfinished work in progress, with differing goals and motivations.

Does anyone have current/personal knowledge of how the senior year is handled at the IBx program equivalent at Interlake (in Bellevue)?

Anonymous said...

Oops, that was me, bz.

Also, congrats to Ingraham students on the 10 NMS scholars

Garfield comes in at 11, suggesting that Ingraham is building this cohort, too.

I don't want to consider NMS, based on the single PSAT score as being completely reflective of representing the cohort, but it is interesting to see Garfield/Ingraham reaching parity on this measure.

Anonymous said...

And, oops, I know they are semifanlists, not scholars yet.


RosieReader said...

Anonymous @ 9:24 -- Floe's letter made it clear that there were other rigorous courses currently at Ingraham that students could take that would demonstrate critical thinking/reading/writing. Philosophy for example. And I have not seen any evidence that suggests that Sociology and English courses from NSC offered by Ingraham will be less rigorous than any other Running Start class. In some of the email threads going around at Ingraham, there does seem to be some snobbery from some of the people that are disparaging of any course offered by a two year college.

Even so, more than 25 students have chosen to enroll in the NSC Sociology class that is being taught at Ingraham. Unless and until they tell us that the class "wasn't demanding enough," I would be hesitant to reach such a conclusion myself.

Getting into college is about both hard work, good test scores, strong extracurriculars and a fair amount of luck. At the competitive schools there are many fully qualified candidates for each available slot. Who gets the nod can depend on such vagaries as how many applicants they have from that State that year, what well-connected alumna have donated in recent years, whether an admissions counselor is having a good, bad or indifferent day when they review a particular application, etc. It's hard to believe that anyone seriously believes that a decision to take an AP English class on line versus participating in a college level class offered at your high school will make the difference for any candidate.

I wish each and every one of these kids a great senior year. And I hope they all find themselves in the enviable position of choosing between several college offers next spring.

Anonymous said...

Rosie Reader -

I think your response minimizes those seniors' concerns. Of course the English class isn't the only factor in applying to selective colleges, but, it is definitely one (for some - maybe not UW, but others) and it's unfortunate that these kids don't have the options if the specific college of THEIR choice does want this. Or if they just want it. The point is that there needs to be more planning for the IBX senior year. It's a bit late to start planning now for those seniors.

Anonymous said...

To all who have commented:

The Ingraham IBx senior year issue is one that is truly reflective of an administration that has not listened to the questions and concerns of their pioneering cohort and their families.

My discussions with senior year families have indicated that Mr. Floe's letter was the first response any of them had received from the administration surrounding their concerns since last spring. It is also funny to note that the letter was posted on to an Ingraham-wide Facebook page but not emailed to IBx senior families...

In fact, the schools that the Ingraham administration said they talked to, actually provided written communication to several IBx senior families saying that one quarter of English 265 was not sufficient to meet four year admission requirements. An email was shown to our family from the UW admission office saying that while one quarter met the minimum requirements, at least two quarters was preferred.

While we are new to Ingraham and not part of the first IBx cohort, evidence has been gathered by many IBx senior families as to why full year English and Social Science options are needed for the senior year.

Interlake's Gifted program offers it's students two quarters each of UW-taught English and social science. This year, they switched from Bellevue College taught classes and are now offering a UW science technology course as well to their seniors.

From communicating with IBx senior families, many seem completely worn out over fighting about this issue and enrolled in the NSC courses because no better option was available. They have also shared that their students will be writing lengthy extraneous circumstance responses in their college applications to explain the issues they have faced this year.

I have never once heard that Running Start was the problem, just the fact that when Ingraham IBx students enrolled four years ago, they were told the program would mirror Interlake for senior year with full year English and Social Science options, which never came to be. Even since last spring, a multi-disciplinary seminar was apparently cancelled without notice, leaving families in the lurch.

One must acknowledge however, that beside those who run out of mathematics courses, running start at Garfield is not typically pursued by APP students. Also, dual enrollment programs such as running start are not looked upon equally with AP and IB level course work by many colleges.

One of our family's primary concerns with Ingraham is the lack of focus and planning for students to get into highly selective universities, a focus which is much more prevalent at Interlake and Garfield.

Communication between parents and the administration had been on going for more than a year prior to Mr. Floe's letter being released, with no concrete action ever taken to address senior family concerns. The idea of placing students into IB language and Literature Year 2 was actually suggested through communication with the IB office in Europe as a possible solution, but my understanding is that many other alternatives were put forth to no avail.

My child has been told numerous times to graduate early and avoid all the havoc that senior year has caused the current IBx group. It is unfortunate that the administration was unwilling to present any data surrounding their own college research, which they say supports their current decisions.

I hope that by the time my child gets to senior year, these issues will be addressed but I firmly believe that IBx seniors have gotten the short end of the stick in every sense.

As a APP/HCC community, I hope to see an effort to highlight the errors in the planning for the IBx senior year and work together to propose workable solutions for the long-term future of this program.

Freshman IBx Family

Anonymous said...

The points that the Freshman IBX family have brought up are absolutely correct. Running Start is absolutely not the problem with the senior-year option the administration has offered. In fact, if the administration would have offered two quarters of English instead of sociology/english, this problem would have been solved last March, as two quarters of Running Start English would have easily met the four-year English standard for colleges.

We Ingraham students are competing against our Garfield APP counterparts in addition to the accelerated IB students at Interlake. Both of these schools offer their accelerated students a full, fourth year of English, either through a full year taught at the school (Garfield), or two quarters taught by UW College-in-the-Classroom (Interlake). While one quarter of English may the minimum meet the full year standard at some colleges, other schools require two quarters of English to qualify as a full year. We are not looking to solely meet the minimum requirement of high school English, we want to be on equal footing with the accelerated students at Garfield and Interlake.

I, and quite a number of other Ingraham students, appreciate Freshman IBX Family understanding and reiterating our concerns about the senior year. This senior class of APP students took a leap of faith coming to Ingraham to be the first, experimental group in the IBX program. The program has grown rapidly since then. I hope the administration will work out a solidified senior year plan for the incoming classes, in contrast to the plan they have given us.


Anonymous said...

"Unless and until they tell us that the class "wasn't demanding enough," I would be hesitant to reach such a conclusion myself."

I am just trying to figure things out and don't have any personal knowledge. My concern about the offerings senior year (as described in the letter). I was not complaining about the depth of the planned classes (I agree that one shouldn't presume that CC classes will be lower level and know of many students who think the classes at CC are well taught and thorough). My concern was that there didn't seem to be a clear plan for senior year and that the seniors wouldn't have a full year of English (in time, not just in content).

I am hoping that the planning will improve. And, thanks, seniors, for continuing to agitate.


Anonymous said...


I understand your concern. I think the numerous concerns are less about the rigor of the NSC courses, but rather that they are not sufficient to meet selective college entrance criteria in comparison to other students. This uncertainty is something that is causing me to worry as we approach the high school decision making process. Ingraham is a great school and I hope that all of its families can advocate for a group of seniors to be treated equally (all other Ingraham seniors get appropriate year-long english courses offered)


Anonymous said...

Hayley and other Ingraham posters--Thanks for your comments and insights. I'd like to a respond to a number of questions raised in subsequent comments.
1. The Ingraham IBX program was sold to APP families as being modeled after the Interlake program. Interlake students have always taken two quarters of English senior year at BCC and now they take it at UW. I think that's the sticking point with the NSCC model. It's neither two quarters nor offered during the time that students are applying to college.
2. As a professor who has sat on admissions committees, I can assure you that RS is a fine program--as long as students have both content and quantity. Without question, one quarter of English senior year is not going to be viewed favorably.
3. It is incorrect that the administration did a survey of colleges. Seniors in the IBX program did a survey of over 50 schools from small private, to state, to highly selective--not one school viewed one quarter of English with enthusiasm for ADMISSIONS purposes. IB director is now claiming to have engaged in a survey only after the issue was brought to the attention of the district. When the student survey was brought to his attention he refused to look at it. When the SPS supervisor of highly capable services attempted to intervene, the school refused to consider other options that would have provided a year long rigorous senior English course.
4. Meetings with the head counselor at Ingraham revealed that she found the administration's position troubling and recommended students take AP English online if they wanted to attend a selective school.
5. Finally, IBX seniors were surveyed to determine what they would prefer for senior year English--one quarter at NSCC or a year long course at Ingraham. All but one student wanted a year long course at Ingraham. Again, the administration refused to act.
6. Maureen--yes, there was overlap between schools surveyed. Interestingly, Boston College was one such school that the IB director claims he surveyed and that it said one quarter of English would be sufficient. However, BC was just doing an info session last Sunday in Seattle. When we asked the admissions counselor for the NW region her thoughts on RS one quarter or AP English online, she was unequivocal in her response: Take AP English.
7. Rosie--your logic of let's wait and see if it's rigorous enough before drawing any conclusion defies logic. Waiting to see if it's not rigorous is taking risks on a kids' future when the students already gather DATA demonstrating that one quarter of English is not enough. We already know that it puts IBX students in a less positive light compared with Interlake or Garfield kids. Colleges have said so. The administration has created a needlessly stressful situation.

Anonymous said...

HI Everyone,

I'm a parent of an Eighth Grader. My understanding is that someone named Mr. Barbar has been working tirelessly on this issue, advocating for all seniors at Ingraham to have a year long English class taught at the school. I also heard that he was primarily responsible for all the IBX course schedules. From all I have heard, the IB teachers are impressive at Ingraham, but the IB administrator is not. I also heard that parents received no communication about the senior year plan until late last year and that at that time, a year long seminar was one plan under consideration. But, for some reason, the administration cancelled that option and never told the parents. Gosh, it really seems like a huge mess! Has anyone thought to contact Mr. Barbar? He seems like a real advocate. I'm really troubled about my kid's choice of schools.

~Eighth Grade Parent

Anonymous said...

8th grade parent, Barbar, like Hayley, is one of the affected seniors of the pioneering IBx class. Sucks that the kids themselves have to solve this. And kudos to them for their commitment to future IBx kids and their efforts at creative problem solving.


Anonymous said...

The Ingraham situation pretty much sums up why so many parents are frustrated (actually it's more like disgusted) with the district. There is a complete lack of understanding (care?) about those that they are supposed to be educating. How can they be dismissive of something so critically important?

Yes, this situation can be corrected, but apparently not in time for this year's seniors. Unfortunately, this year's seniors only get one chance to have a senior year.

I don't have a senior at Ingraham this year (though I may in the future), but those parents and students must be beside themselves with frustration. My kids are younger, but 8 years in the program has given me a high tolerance for anger at the district (still waiting for the curriculum we were promised six years ago), but this is astoundingly dumb.


Anonymous said...

Ditto what pickle said. There seems to be little real commitment to serving APP/HCC kids on the part of those in charge in this district.

How about if a few UW professors who sit on admissions committees write a joint letter to the editor re: the negative impact this type of course schedule could have on likelihood of acceptance? Maybe some bad press would help pressure district/school admin into providing a more equitable alternative?


Maureen said...

Those of us who have gone through the college admissions process with our older kids know that selective colleges want students to take the most rigorous courses available to them at their school. They do not expect them to take online classes or to create their own independent study classes. They are not comparing students at Garfield to students at Ingraham and jusdging the Garfield kids for taking AP instead of IB classes (or vice versa.) They do want to make sure that the kids aren't just slacking their way through senior year out of laziness or burnout. Colleges don't even count AP or IB classes past five or six. Most schools in the country don't offer anywhere near the advanced classes the IBX kids have taken.

My friends and I went through the college process two years ago with our older kids. I have spent way too much time on College Confidential (the Parent Forum is actually a decent source of information.) I am sincerely worried about the amount of stress the kids we are talking about are putting on themselves. I hope everyone involved can take some time to breathe. (I'm sorry if that sounds patronizing, I have seen how stressful the process can become.)

Anonymous said...

We toured Ingraham for our 8th grader last year and loved it - the school and teachers seemed terrific. But we couldn't get a satisfactory answer to the senior year question, and we didn't want her to graduate early. We wanted 4 solid years of high school, and we worried that internships really weren't in place or would be solely up to parents. In the end, we chose GHS. We're very happy there.
-New GHS

Anonymous said...

We also want four solid years of high school for our (not yet) high schooler, and are planning to take the route of regular IB at Ingraham instead of IBX. It's a rigorous and highly developed program. The IB diploma is prized by colleges. We don't really think it would be best for our student to push through the 4 year program in 3 years.

We do worry that the hardest part of this for our our daughter will be the social angle, being on a different track than her friends of many years. Still, we think this it will be best for her overall. What do others think?


Anonymous said...

I'm not sure how that would work, as APP students come in taking Alg. 2 and Honors Chemistry - classes a sophomore would typically take. I'm not sure what classes an APP student would take in sophomore year if they chose to do IB and not IBX. There might be a handful that decided against IBX after freshman year, so maybe they could chime in. Preference for Ingraham was only given if students were choosing the IBX pathway.

Anonymous said...

Thanks to whoever gave the information about Floe's letter. It's super helpful! The only issue I see is that the course options he suggests certainly sound like good critical thinking options, but sadly, none of them appear to be English courses. Isn't that the issue, that they need four years of consistently rigorous English? I guess I don't understand why Floe doesn't just offer another quarter of English?

~Just Curious

Anonymous said...

Would concur with Maureen. Be careful getting sucked in. Parents and hopefully universities are starting to wise up to this college entrance pressure cooker. I know a number of students who graduated from other high schools who went to UW, UCLA, UVA, UW-Madison, and Chapel Hill. One even managed to get into that west coast Ivy. They didn't take a gazillion AP classes or did IBX. It's not just the coursework folks. It's the kid too.

BTW, I doubt if you are going to get admission to show their hands on how they admit. They can tell you what they like to see and even tell you what you want to hear.

1 more to go

Anonymous said...

Not to get you all in a tizzy, but you should read Steven Pinker's "The Trouble with Harvard" article in New Republic. If you are already on the College Confidential site, this article drove a few nutty.

1 more

Anonymous said...

You are right that colleges "say" they don't compare who took IB or AP. The colleges are looking at what is available at a particular school, but we have no track record to know how colleges will respond to a senior who has an IB diploma, but a wonky no English course on the transcript situation. These are low compensated counselors who look at tons of aps. Do you think they're going to go with what they know--Garfield and Interlake and the language of AP or some crazy IB diploma and then weird senior year with no explanation of the sea change in curriculum? It doesn't take a rocket scientist. It's basic human psychology. Go with the familiar. It takes less work.

Here's the proof from last May:
Ingraham IB Ivy league admissions: 0
Garfield AP Ivy league admissions: 10+
Ingraham IB Stanford admissions: 0
Garfield AP Stanford admissions: 3
(I won't include Interlake--we'd get depressed.)

(Yeah, yeah, I know two APP students graduated early & got into Johns Hopkins and Chicago (initially wait listed and rejected by all other schools.) But, indulge me here:
a. fantastic schools, but not ivy league;
b. one was viewed as in the IB program, which has a long presence at Ingraham and would be familiar to colleges. (You would think IB kids would have a better track record at this stage.)
c. One dropped out of IBX and the other is the only person to graduate early with an IB diploma. That's not what these seniors are facing--i.e. she didn't have to explain a weird senior year course load.)

The most crazy part is that the letter that schools send out explaining the key selling points of a school program has not been updated in years. One group of parents has been working since last spring (not me) to get that letter updated so that schools will understand what IBX is. But, here's where none of you will be surprised: the IB head REFUSED to allow it. Word is, he sees no need for it! I'm having real difficulty understanding how such a letter would have anything but a positive impact. Isn't more communication better? But, oh, I forgot! It's Ingraham administration: no communication is always best. Welcome to misogyny central.... Enough is enough.

Tired father of kid in college, & IBX and IB kids

Anonymous said...

Dear DT,

By the time you have to make a decision for your daughter, the experiment results will be in. Thank You IBX guineau pigs! You can compare college admissions of Garfield, Ingraham IB, and Ingraham IBX.

~Tired Father

Anonymous said...

Have to say that reading this thread depresses me. I feel for these IBX students, any culture where time is spent head counting how many kids at other schools got into Stanford is not healthy.

My advice to you kiddos - take the auto repair class. The teacher is amazing - pure passion! And the skills you learn will serve you well.

A unique class may help you stand out on your college app as it's an interesting and unexpected departure from the IB/AP classes.

Anonymous said...

Tired Father,

I think we have very different goals for our kids' education, but thank you for the info. I can see why you're tired... :)


Anonymous said...

From The Daily Bulletin (IHS news):
IB COMMUNICATIONS. Last spring, the Friends of Ingraham Board agreed to expand to include a new function called “IB Communications.” The purpose of this new position is to assist in the dissemination of information about the IB program to parents and guardians in the Ingraham community as well as be a part of District-wide IB advocacy as needed. Two wonderful volunteers are going to share this work, specifically Maureen Germani, the parent of a junior/first-year IB student (; and Mary Elder, the parent of a sophomore/first-year IB student ( We are very excited about this new role and to have two such wonderful volunteers. They would like to remind everyone of two upcoming meetings:
 Tue 9/23 – Diploma Parent Meeting for all parents & guardians of 1st or 2nd year IB students
 Wed 10/1 – Pre-IB Parent Workshop for all parents & guardians of 9th or 10th grade pre-IB students

Anonymous said...

Tired Father, is Stanford or an Ivy League school the end goal of IB/IBX? The other thing in today's college race, Garfield and Interlake has been at it longer and have an established academic powerhouse reputation in Seattle area.

This won't make you feel better, but on paper, your kid may well score a near perfect 2400, taken 8-10 AP classes, be a track star, and raised $5,000 for the homeless and still won't get an admission seat. Lakeside and and Bush aren't sending all their kids to the Ivies or Stanford either. Only a very small handful get in. It certainly leaves lots of parents scratching their head.

If you fund a chair, add a wing, are a high asset legacy, and/or have a recognizable name or your child is recruited for exceptional talent, then yes, your kid will get in. You can hire college counselor and pay ridiculous fees to help you with the process and figure out your chances. But that guarantees nothing except how warped this whole thing has become.

G&T programs are growing alongside magnet schools and college prep classes which means more better prepared candidates. These Ivies are deluged with Common Application. Out of 40,000 applications, you may get 5,000 that meet a certain threshold and of that, admission can offer less than 2,000 spots (even fewer once you cut out those who have institutional priorities like legacy, first generation college students, recruited athletes and bank accounts.)

The whole set up perpetuates and accentuates the ever widening chasm of class and wealth. The Ivies and Stanford don't even do a good job despite all their rhetoric and huge endowment to close that gap.

Anonymous said...

Everyone who is commenting, I am overwhelmed with the response to this issue. As a current parent in the IBx senior cohort, I can assure you that none of us are focused on "gaming the system" or all going to ivy league colleges. In fact, many of the IBx seniors don't plan to apply to Ivys or Stanford, instead choosing to look at small (but highly selective) liberal arts colleges and universities.

Maureen and others, I can understand how you might take the position that since these seniors have completed the IB Diploma, they will be fine. But from talking to college admission counselors, that is not the case.

Even with all the IB work, IBx seniors will not be meeting one of the most universal college admission standards, 4 years of English. In fact, in an email we recieved from the UW, the current one quarter of Running Start would meet the bare minimium for admission. With so many Washington State students, including IB students, not getting into the UW, this is very concerning.

Just Curious, you are absolutely correct! That is all any of the families have asked for from the beginning. A simple easy solution, another quarter of RS english or a full year option. There are so many empty spaces in the first year of IB English classes, that it would be harmless to consolidate the periods and provide one English class to a group of exhausted seniors.

No one wants to be stressed out, but when you have your high school counselor and college admission officers telling you that you may not be looked at equally to the students pursuing the regular IB diploma program, there is cause for doubt.

The final straw for our family is the fact that this email from Mr. Floe was posted to an Ingraham PTO facebook page by the president who happens to be the head of the IB program's wife. The letter has yet to be sent to the Highly Capable community it was intended for.

The alternatives proposed by Mr. Floe have been avalaible for this entire process, but none are English courses, the only request made by families.

The bulletin annoucement today confirms something that IBx senior families have known for a long time, that Ingraham administration is acting like the IBx program is no different from students doing IB.

The parent mentioned who is the sophomore rep, the term IBx isn't even used, and communciation about issues with the program has been non-existant. IBx was adverstised as a four year program, and really should have its own point person seperate from the IB, which is a two year program open to all.

I am really not trying to sound critcal, it is just that many of us have been fighting alongside our children and have yet to see any positive results.

Please do not place any blame on the students! Many of them have been leading the charge on this and have been put in uncomfortable situations with the administration as a result. It is sad that we have come to this point but if you are in the market for a four year APP experience, I would choose out of district transfer to Interlake or Garfield unless you want a three year program.

Upset Senior Family

Anonymous said...

"if you are in the market for a four year APP experience, I would choose out of district transfer to Interlake or Garfield unless you want a three year program."

Wait, Garfield doesn't offer a 4-yr APP experience. You can take 4 years of classes, true, but they aren't APP classes. Unlike IBX, there aren't classes just for the APP cohort. And to be fair, you can take 4 yrs of classes at Ingraham, too, right? It's just the IB, not the IBX. There are tradeoffs at each program--and the way I understood it, finishing most of your classes a year early was one of the benefits of IBX, along with being able to be in APP-specific classes. Those are both benefits unique to IBX.

I'm still confused about this notion that taking the one quarter or RS English represents just the bare minimum, and that this isn't acceptable. Don't GHS students also take "the bare minimum"--meaning 4 yrs of HS English? I know it's been painted as an equity issue, but is it any more equitable if IBX students get two quarters of college level English, while other seniors only get a final year of HS English?

I'm not sure I see how the comparisons to what Garfield students get really helps, since the programs are so completely different.

Maureen said...

Anonymous said...
From The Daily Bulletin (IHS news):
IB COMMUNICATIONS. Last spring, the Friends of Ingraham Board agreed to expand to include a new function called “IB Communications.” The purpose of this new position is to assist in the dissemination of information about the IB program to parents and guardians in the Ingraham community as well as be a part of District-wide IB advocacy as needed. Two wonderful volunteers are going to share this work, specifically Maureen Germani, the parent of a junior/first-year IB student (; and Mary Elder, the parent of a sophomore/first-year IB student ( We are very excited about this new role and to have two such wonderful volunteers. They would like to remind everyone of two upcoming meetings:
 Tue 9/23 – Diploma Parent Meeting for all parents & guardians of 1st or 2nd year IB students
 Wed 10/1 – Pre-IB Parent Workshop for all parents & guardians of 9th or 10th grade pre-IB students

Yes, Anon on September 12, 2014 at 6:11 PM that is me! Mary and I are working on it and would love to hear from any IHS parent or student or from people considering the program. The staff is fabulous, but SPS has not made adjustments for the increased work load IB imposes. The IHS PTO is trying to create a structure (similar to parent representation for our CBT program) that represents IB and IBX families and take some of the communication burden off of staff members.

Feel free to connect with me and/or Mary and we will do our best to answer your questions.

Anonymous said...

Anon at 9:05pm,

IBx at Ingraham is not four years of APP classes either. Only the freshman year has three APP-specific courses (LA, History, Chemistry), plus the two one-quarter running start courses offered senior year. This is very different from the Interlake model but that is how it has been implemented.

The program has to be compared to Garfield because all of these students gave up going there because they were promised four years of courses. I will not be popular for saying this, but one quarter of running start college English is far less rigorous than a full year AP English course that students would get had they gone to Garfield.

Students who were in the initial cohort were not offered the choice of IB, it was IBx only and even so, doing the standard IB program would have required repeated instruction in certain subjects in 9th and 10th grade. The senior year is one of the most important parts in the college application process but besides that, to my knowledge the senior cohort has been working tirelessly to think up every possible option to actually get to take more than one quarter of RS English, but have repeatdly been shut down or ignored, A course that students at Garfield could take if they chose to do dual Enrollement.

As a freshman parent, these issues don't impact me yet but seeing students being berated and ignored when they are simply trying to advocate for themselves is troubling. I would question any of you to seriously comment on this topic unless you know the full extent of how the Ingraham administration has "not" handled this issue. I would be happy to just see an apology of how students were treated.

Maureen and Mary, you can count on having our full support as you attempt to bridge the communication gaps that surround the IB program. As a family, we will continue to advocate for appointing a staff liaison to be responsible for the non-IB portions of the IBx or APP experience at Ingraham so issues between the two areas do not have to be so intertwined.

I also hope the Ingraham Admistration will man up and say that mistakes were made and work to assist these seniors in describing their situation on college applications and fixing the problems for the 2nd cohort of IBx.

Freshman IBx Family

Anonymous said...

"I have had the best teachers, and the rigorous IB program has been fantastic. I have learned so much."

Thank you, Hayley. I'm glad you feel you've learned a lot at Ingraham.

David Edelman

Anonymous said...

I think it's rude for parents here to say "hey, you shouldn't want to go to high pressure Ivy league/Stanford etc schools so it doesn't matter anyway." It's not for us to decide that. What matters is that these kids took the leap of faith to be the pioneering class, and were promised an Interlake-like program. And their alternative was Garfield. Ingraham isn't a known program like those others (yet!) so these kids have an uphill battle anyway, though I am sure they will do great. But the school shouldn't be giving them any other hurdles to overcome in their college process. Colleges just don't have the time to delve into the minutiae of new programs - they will just want to know if there was 4 years of English, and in this case, it sounds like there aren't. I hope IHS administration changes this for next year, and these kids write sparkling essays about this extra challenge.


Anonymous said...

The pragmatic solution for this year is to take a full year of English online from one of the gifted and talented college programs that offer it. There are a number of choices. Can't afford the cost? Apply for family financial aid, also readily available.

On your student's college apps, supply a note from the school and the student confirming that the option to take a full year of in-school rigorous English was not available, and that the student took the initiative to resolve the problem outside of school.

Better get moving. A number of these programs have deadlines this weekend or in the next week for fall enrollment.

One school can only do so much. IBX is not the only academic issue that needs consideration and teacher resources at Ingraham. I recognize this. The communication between staff and families can improve and it looks like it will. The senior English program may or may not materialize. I appreciate the advocacy on the need for this class but I doubt most parents and for sure no students have ever tried to budget/hire/schedule for a multi-faceted high school. Not every constituency gets exactly what it wants, or unfortunately what it needs. It works the same way in private schools too.

'moving forward'

Anonymous said...

mf, your comments seem to imply that taking gifted programs online is a simple straightforward solution. We have been all the way up to the school board and the assistant superintendent regarding school credit for these programs. Simply put, the gifted programs like CTY and Robinson center are not considered in alignment with school curriculum. No less than Michael Tolley himself told us that our child would not graduate high school if these courses were used. The reasoning that the central administration for this conclusion was, in our opinion, arbitrary and inconsistent between administrators.

The district and the schools do not or cannot provide curriculum challenge and they actually threaten you if you seek challenge elsewhere.


Anonymous said...

Catch 22

Michael Tolley is wrong. (Dang, I typed that with relish!) You don't need four years of English to graduate, you just need it to get into good colleges. So you should be able to submit transcripts for those courses along with your college apps.

open ears

Anonymous said...

What about part-time homeschooling in high school? SPS can't dictate curriculum for courses that are homeschooled (as opposed to courses that need SPS approval for high school credit). I'm not sure what it would do for GPA calculations and class standing.

Anonymous said...

@ catch 22: what Open Ears said is right. Your kid should have more than enough credits to graduate, right? So the reason you're taking a G&T online course is to supplement, not fulfill, requirements. You're not doing it for SPS. You're doing it for colleges. Any college admission process worth its salt will understand the online work from a well-known institution, plus explanatory note.

Tolley is a piece of work. He is conflating SPS grad requirements with competitive college requirements and coming up with the exact wrong answer for the question you were asking.


Anonymous said...

Tired Father,

How did you get the numbers of Ivy admissions you quoted? Is it from counting which schools the seniors chose? I know Ingraham seniors who got accepted to Brown, Columbia & Cornell (those are still considered Ivy League, yes?) last year but decided to go to UW because they did not want to graduate from college with huge debt burdens. Then there are also the kids who chose not to apply to the Ivys; perhaps you missed all the recent news articles on how Harvard, Yale etc are having problems enrolling talented minorities because they don't apply?

Much calculation goes into the choice of universities/colleges: money, location, distance, weather, campus culture, mentors. Many schools can't attract female scholars because all the faculty are males. I had a friend who turned down John Hopkins Medical School after a campus visit because she did not feel safe in Baltimore. It's erroneous to assume that no Ingraham students went to the Ivys because none got accepted.

By the way, the UW had 40,000 applications for this year's freshman class. They accepted less than 5,000, an acceptance rate of 12%. The kids going there are no slouch.

Anonymous said...

Johns Hopkins, sorry

Anonymous said...

The new US News ranking has UW admit rate at 55%. I think you are confusing the number of students in the freshman class (@5000) with the number of applicants admitted.

Dec. 1 application deadline
55.2% accepted

Big difference.

Anonymous said...

As I just posted on the SaveSeattleSchools blog, board and staff, which don't agree on much, did find a commonality in the board meeting yesterday, which is that APP is not a priority for the coming year. This raises a huge number of issues. The takeaway for the Ingraham issue is don't expect much. The bosses downtown have other fish to fry.

APP family

Anonymous said...

Word underground among us Asians, Harvard and Co. are notorious for their Asian quota. So yeah, even if you get admitted, it's better at Cal Tech.

big lie

Anonymous said...

I feel like there are a lot of side discussions going on, about the admissions process in general, and choices made about colleges, and, in fact, I feel like I contributed by bringing up "competitive college" admissions.

The bottom line for me, isn't actually competitive college admissions, but that I expect 4 years of English classes at a high school. And, IBx students can't take 4 years of English at Ingraham, right? or through some other program in SPS? This is a problem with IBx that would affect HS decision making for many. We're hearing of choosing IB instead, or going to another neighborhood school, or staying in the Garfield path if that's available, and simply, the absence of 4 years of English would be sufficient to drive some of those decisions, or graduating early, or leaving IBx for the Transition program at UW.

I've understood that if you zoom through all the math classes and need need Abstract Algebra (Math 5 at Caltech, a Junior level class) as a senior you are either going to have to wait or find a college class.

But, I think it's reasonable to expect to be taking English for 4 years, and that you can't just cover the content of English in 3 years. It is simply too non-linear.

PS (it's Caltech)


Anonymous said...

Personally, that's why I've never understood the point of the IBX program. Seems like a race to nowhere--acceleration to stagnation, or something like that. Why not just let IBX kids start the program earlier than others (since they did some of the prerequisites in APP), but take a greater number of classes, including more HL an AP classes?

I'd be curious to hear what about IBX (vs. IB) appealed to current IBX students. If it was just the cohort, that suggests a flaw in program design...


Anonymous said...

Can't ignore the competitive process in all of this. Until things change, spin it for all its worth.

Look at it as an adversity a kid has to overcome. Make it despite the lack of academic challenge, this child was able to do blah, blah, and using his or her own initiative sought an internship at.... resulting in.... Finally, by all means embrace the guinea pig role. This student is the first, the vanguard, the groundbreaker, the undaunted...

You want depth, flexibility, perseverance, GRIT, girth your loin type of challenge to present to the holistic admission office. Once you're kids are in, no matter what happens, you and they have earned the right to wear that logo sweatshirt to the grave.

Maureen said...

Why not just let IBX kids start the program earlier than others (since they did some of the prerequisites in APP), but take a greater number of classes, including more HL an AP classes?

This is exactly what they are doing. The IB program is defined to be two years so the IBX students can't spread their IB requirements over three years, but they can (and do) take extra IB and AP classes their senior year if they choose to.

Anonymous, I'm not sure if you were being facetious, but I actually agree with a "make lemonade" approach to any challenge a student faces! Our standing joke at home when my older kid was applying to colleges was that he had led too easy a life and didn't have any interesting topics for his essays!

Anonymous said...


What I meant was why not let them take a few IB classes early (10th grade), then have them take the do the 2-yr curriculum in 11th-12th, like the non-APP IB kids do. They won't finish early (just like GHS kids don't), but because they'd get a jump on their IB courses they could take more as HL instead of SL, and and/or could take more electives. They could also take a few exams jr year (instead of sophomore), to make a bit of extra room in sr year for internships/projects.

APP kids attending Garfield end up in pretty much the same classes as everyone else. IBX kids, however, seem to be able to skip ahead in a number of classes (English, science, history). But this creates problems down the road. Why not scale that back a bit, to make sure they have a good endpoint--a senior year that works for most? It could still be more advanced than the traditional, non-APP IB pathway, given the jumpstart and ability to reach higher level classes (and thus differentiate themselves from other seniors).

Just thinking out loud here. My kid is not yet to Ingraham, but we're considering it...


Anonymous said...

Unfortunately I don't trust SPS to invent a new pathway for the APP students any time soon at IHS (or anywhere else). With the IBX program, they just had to copy the program from Interlake and it seems clearly now they are not able to do it.
So with a 10th grader I am thinking that my student will just graduate early - even though this kind of "nowhere acceleration" was not on my mind when we chose the school.
IHS mom

Maureen said...


I think a few kids are doing that. It's called droppping out of IBx and doing IB instead. The problem, as I see it, is that some of those kids wouldn't have been admitted to IHS (out of neighborhood) without the IBX designation, so if they aren't actually going to be enrolled in the program, should they potentially take a spot from another out of neighborhood IB kid? I'm also not sure how enrollment views them. If they are out of neighborhood and aren't enrolled in IBX they might not be able to enroll for the next year? (I know a student who got in from out of district for 9th and 10th, but then was droppped from enrollment for 11th because of the waitlist. I'm not sure if the same thing could happen for (in district, but out of neighborhood) IBx students, probably not.)

Also, if I understand the program, you can't skip ahead to the HL level classess. HLs are two year classes, you can't split them up. My (regular IB) daughter took IB Chemistry her sophomore year because she was ready for it (IHS is good that way), but she went in knowing she couldn't test for it and couldn't take Chem HL her junior year and test for it.

IB is a great program for some kids, but it's pretty rigid compared to Garfield. IBx is even more rigid because of the timeline. But people seem to like acceleration as a model for advanced learners and that plus the self contained cohort for some of 9th grade seems to draw a lot of people to IBx.

Anonymous said...

"I'd be curious to hear what about IBX (vs. IB) appealed to current IBX students. If it was just the cohort, that suggests a flaw in program design..."

I don't know for current students, but in hearing people consider the program from younger kids there are two important features: 1) access -- the IB program is growing in popularity, and access to it won't be available, soon, I think, unless you are in the Ingraham reference are. 2) cohort -- kids are hoping to stay with kids like them, at least as identified by the cognitive/achievement testing (I'm not taking a stand on whether this is the relevant criterion, or whether the groups would be any different in the IB program, but part of the point of HCC & the testing to get it, is the idea that this does identify a cohort that benefit from each other's presence).


Anonymous said...

Kids benefit from being in all kinds of cohorts, including from being in cohorts of kids who are NOT "just like them". I find the positing of the greatest (only?!) value of IBX being to put kids in a cohort "just like them" to be of little merit at best, and misguided at worst. This has nothing to do with the families in the program. This has to do with SPS's offering of "gifted" education.

Either offer a gifted academic experience of worth, or don't offer it at all. Pretending to offer a program with no seal value to the academic cohort the district sold into the program is beyond lazy. It borders on fraud. Selling G&T students into a program that then proceeds to make a strong academic senior years impossible? Outrageous.

Sheep No Longer

Anonymous said...

Sheep no longer, I agree that SPS should try to offer a real curriculum instead of what they have been doing "two years ahead". They called it "accelerated", but they didn't like that word. I didn't like it because accelerate, to me, means to speed up not just to stay two years ahead. Now the new work is cohort. Cohorts are nice, but there should be some substance to the curriculum offering rather than just cohort.

Anonymous said...

I just realized that sending away IBx students after 11th grade with not providing a valuable curriculum to stay for the senior year (to early graduation) could be actually the district's goal for the next couple of years: it will solve some HS capacity problems in the North End.

Senior Parent said...

I was told by my child who is a senior at Garfield that the school counselors are no longer going to write rec letters to colleges. However, all the colleges we are applying to REQUIRE counselor's letter. Anybody else in the same situation?

Anonymous said...

Senior Parent - No way. That isn't possible. It's a basic requirement of the job, right? Seniors need a req letter. I'd march in to the Principal. There must be some mistake.


Anonymous said...

The GHS counselors were at the PTSA Board Meeting last night and announced the change re: letters of recommendation.

They explained that the common app includes a required counselor portion that will still be completed; however, the majority of schools do not actually require a letter of recommendation from a counselor.

They also explained that the majority of the letters that were written were very generic, since the counselors have precious little time right now to actually get to know each individual student enough to write a sincere letter. The reality of too few counselors for too many students.

They did say that if a school DOES actually require a letter of recommendation, then they will look at each of those on a case-by-case basis.

I would suggest having your student get in touch with their counselor directly and talk through their applications. Much better than mom or dad calling the principal, in my opinion.

-GHS Parent

laurenbaa said...

Agreeing with GHS Parent. Yes, all colleges require letters of recommendation, but from teachers, not counselors. The Garfield counselors are still coordinating the teacher recs. Most colleges just want to know things like the student's disciplinary record from counselors and that is part of the Common App, which the GHS counselors are still completing. There are a small number of schools who do require counselor letters and the GHS counselors will do those case-by-case.

Anonymous said...

I think the new Link program at Garfield has started off well. 11th & 12th graders have been paired with 9th graders to become part of the school. I don't know that much about it, but today is homecoming, and the day that hazing has taken place in the past. Today there are organized Link activities including Link partners attending the football game together. I think progress is being made.

Anonymous said...

The GHS program is called Link Crew, not just Link.

new GHS parent said...

My freshman kid is having a great experience at Garfield so far, pretty good teachers (a couple seem outstanding) and TONS of wonderful activities that are keeping her involved and interested from the get-go. But as far as the Link Crew - she met her 2 Link Crew reps at Freshman Orientation, and hasnt heard from them or had any contact with them since. I dont think the Link Crew is all that - maybe it could eventually be something really great, but as of now I havent heard of any Freshmen really benefitting from it (however my circle at this point is rather small, I only know about 15 Freshman families). On the other hand, when I asked my daughter about it, she said she "didn't really care" about Link Crew, presumably because everything (luckily) at this point seems to be going quite well for her and her friends.

Anonymous said...

I'm curious, when the seniors did their research about whether the one college-level course offered at Ingraham would suffice as one year of HS LA course, how did they phrase the question to the universities they contacted? Did they say they are in the Advance Learning program and have maxed-out the LA classes offered by their school, i.e., have taken the classes usually taken by other students in their senior years early; or did they say they only took 3 years of HS LA & one quarter of College level LA? I would think the answer would differ depending on which question they asked. It is not plausible that any admissions committee would judge them as less desirable than students in general ed program, just because they did not literally have 4 years of LA, because they took the senior year classes in their junior year. Just like it would be ridiculous were colleges to hold the immersion kids at a disadvantage because they might not be able to take 4 years of foreign language in HS.

Anyway, I remember that when the IBx program was proposed, the district said that senior year for the IBx kids would be internships. We can & should fault the district for not giving the IBx seniors the internships opportunities, but I don't think it's reasonable to fault them for not offering AP classes for the senior year. Ingraham is an IB school. Those who want more AP classes should go to Garfield. We are very lucky that our kids have the choice of THREE different high schools, unlike kids not in the gifted programs.

Anonymous said...

Oh good lord...the IBX English thing is getting really old. Move on already. Maybe take it upon yourselves to read Excellent Sheep, a much-discussed Ed book out this fall, in which the path to "liberal elite success" is roundly criticized for the lockstep quest for a perfect resume. The APP resume tally is called out for the soullessness and pointlessness. There are myriad other ways for strong students to 'achieve'.

Seriously. Tell your kid to get a paying job during the extra time. Or go volunteer. Or do what poster Maureen kid's did and get involved in a school production that will require countless extracurricular allegiance. Or, gasp, take tell your kid to take that running start course or online course and use the college entrance essays to explain why the "unusual" path had some excellent and unexpected benefits.

And guess what? First year of college your student is unlikely to get the classes or roommates or programs he/she wants/"deserves"/was promised. Life will continue. Consider this minor episode preparation for dealing with the Big Wide World of Imperfectness.

Sheesh. Really...SHEESH.

Anonymous said...

Wow Sheesh,

I hadn't heard that Wiiliam Deresiewicz discussed Seattle's Accelerated Progress Program in his book. I'll have to take a look at it. I'm not sure what you mean by the resume tally though - can you explain that?

Anonymous said...

@7:34 PM anonymous, if an admission office is that clueless, then consider it a blessing not to go there.


app dad said...

"We are very lucky that our kids have the choice of THREE different high schools, unlike kids not in the gifted programs."

Unless one of those schools is IHS or GHS right?

I think having a completed IB degree as you apply to college is quite an accomplishment.

app dad said...

Sorry, ... if assigned to IHS or GHS based on their zip code APP kids have only two choices. Not bad but I guarantee BHS and RHS kids had the same number of choices. Nova, Center school and all the other non-assignment schools too. So settle down on the APP pathway schools being a fruit that a select few can enjoy.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand the problem with the English options at IHS.

According to RCW 28A.230.090, 5 RS credits is equal to 1 high school credit. That is 1 year of high school class.

If you take a calculus class through RS it is one quarter; 5 credits. That is the same as a 1 year AP Calc AB class with a score of 4 or 5, which is the same as the HL math class if you get a 6 or 7. So 1 quarter (5 cr) of RS Calc is equal to 1 year of AP or the 2nd yr IB HL math in high school. Look at transfer credits at colleges that accept them like UW.

Some kids take RS classes so that they can fit in more electives during high school because they are quicker. Many SPS kids take running start classes, including APP Garfield kids.

Why is a 1 quarter (5cr) RS English class at IHS being considered differently from all other RS classes? I really think these families have misinformation.


Anonymous said...

Selective colleges don't want students to have four years of high school English credit, they want students to have studied English for all four years of high school.

I would only enroll a child in IBX if we were planning for early graduation. It doesn't sound like anyone at Ingraham is making better plans for next year's seniors at this point.

Anonymous said...

I don't know why this question didn't occur to me earlier, but is there anything preventing IBX students from taking a full year of college English on their own if this is such a concern? There are plenty of community colleges around, with both in-person and online options. UW also offers courses to non-matriculated students, though more expensive. I'm sure there are plenty of other schools that do likewise. Yes, there are a few more hoops to jump through as a minor, but that's good preparation for college, too. And while cost may be a factor for some students, assuming the units are transferrable it could be considered a downpayment on college. IBX students certainly would not be alone in feeling the need to pay for outside supplementation...

Michael Rice said...


Here is a very thoughtful and nuanced take on the IBx Language Arts for the senior year discussion that has been going on. This link comes via the Friends of Ingraham Facebook page

Anonymous said...

Regarding the fixation on getting into "a good school" -- especally for those people whose defintion includes only 8 universities that offer a distinct type of education, please read William Deresiewicz, New book "Excellent Sheep: The Miseducation of the American Elite and the Way to a Meaningful Life” . It described the consequence of a system where we put young people under so much pressure to collect achievement gold rings -- rather than become educated.

“The system manufactures students who are smart and talented and driven, yes, but also anxious, timid, and lost, with little intellectual curiosity and a stunted sense of purpose: trapped in a bubble of privilege, heading meekly in the same direction, great at what they’re doing but with no idea why they’re doing it,” he writes.

His complaints turn most violently against the Ivy League and its spiritual siblings. The problems don’t start there, though. High schools, the job market, prestige-seeking universities, distracted professors, and parents—especially parents—all contribute to a culture in which kids are supposed to perform before they even start to learn. The trouble, he believes, began in the mid-nineteen-sixties, when the old, aristocratic standard for college admission (were your people the right people?) ceded to the modern meritocracy (were you the right person?). The old model never disappeared entirely, and today’s applicants are expected to be academic overachievers who also have noblesse-oblige-like claims to “leadership” and “service.” They’re meant to do it all, and they do. But they don’t know why, or how, to find fulfillment in the absence of new hoops to jump through.

Learnign is a proces of trial and effort -- successes and failures you LEARN from. But this achivement driven system results is what Deresiewicz calls “a violent aversion to risk.”

If you dont want to read the whole book, try his summary:


this summary in the New Yorker.

I have a child in the IBX program and we LOVE the interdisciplinary IB curriculum. We chose Ingraham because we saw it as a more supportive and less competitive community. So it is sad to hear some of the IBX seniors describe a fixation on "competing with their counterparts at Garfield and Interlake" -- rahte rthan what they wnat to learn in college. Or why a specific college is right for them -- other than because an admissions letter to one of those Ivies constitutes one more trophy on their shelf.

Anonymous said...

To Anon at 6:04 PM
Since it seems that you like to read I invite you to read "The smartest kids in the World and how they got that way" by Amanda Ripley.
You will see the challenge/competition that our students have to face in our modern and globalized world (in the universities and workplace also).

Anonymous said...

@ Book Worm: Yes there is global competition but what has separated US students from other college grads has been the encouragement and opportunity to think creatively and entrepreneurally and humanely about what their HS and college education means in their life - and act on it. That is why other nations with higher scoring student tests still send kids this direction for degrees.

Families who prize education are not equivalent with families who push their kids to rack up AP credits.

Excellent Sheep should be required reading for every family striving for student success. Credentialism is a bigger worry than whether Ingraham provides IBX senior English. If minds with bright potential can't think through this topic, then woe to us.

Anonymous said...

Anon above, you say: "Families who prize education are not equivalent with families who push their kids to rack up AP credits."

You know this how? That is a sweeping generalization, and something you can't possibly know. I know it's not true for me.

Then you say that 12 grade Ingraham students should just "think through this topic" and if they don't "woe to us." Wow.

I am sorry i live in the real world and that is not the way it works. Yes, coming up with solution can show you have grit, but it doesn't fulfill colleges requirements. As Donald Rumsfield said: "as you know, ah, you go to war with the army you have---not the army you might want or wish to have at a later time."

Kids need to deal with the current rules that are already in place. There are LIMITED college spots, and these kids are going up against kids who will have 4 years of English. The school district really screwed up here.

Pretending college requirements are different from what they are is a risk that these students shouldn't be expected to take. I don't have a kid at Ingraham (still too young), but I would be angry too.


Anonymous said...

But, realist, they will have four years of English. In any event, colleges accept kids who are home schooled or are on accelerated schedules and graduate early (UW has a program that accepts 8th graders and another cohort after they finish 10th grade.) Those kids really haven't had four years of High School English.

The IBx kids will have full IB diplomas in hand. I understnad that it is hard to be first, but they did volunteer (or, perhaps, their parents volunteered them. They all had guaranteed spots at Garfield and some at an additional neighborhood school.) I don't see why they would be at a disadvantage relative to kids without a diploma, unless maybe they totally blow off their senior year. And it doesn't sound like that will be an issue.

Anonymous said...

Anon - pick a name.

You are wrong. The IBX families did not choose to have this type of senior year for their kids when they signed up. The district promised to have something in place in time for these kids in 12th grade. The district did not follow through.

The UW Robinson Center is a very small minority of kids and is a poor example. Those kids don't have four years of anything in high school because they did little, if any, high school.

The point remains that it isn't up to some random parents on the internet to decide if something is "enough" for another group of families. The parents were told the senior year would be there and it isn't.


Anonymous said...

IBx students who go to college at the end of 3 years don't have 4 years of high school language arts in high school.

There is a year of language arts classes available to IBx students in the 4th year. Including an IB class or options like journalism. It is just not the classes that they want.

Other students in the district take online classes, community college classes or UW classes to create the resume they want. Or even to work around their dedication to music or sports training.

-attended the meeting

Anonymous said...

Program promises are a dime a dozen. Then student needs change. Or enrollment numbers. Or promised resources. Or staff. Or laws. Or political climate.

If families are bent out of shape about a promise made four years ago about rolling out a new program it is very hard to see how they are teaching their bright students to deal with real life. Circumstances change. Programs change. Less whining and outrage, please. More concrete problem solving for this year's students and recommendations for bettering the program for future students, please.

Anonymous said...

What is it with parents in this city? They want happy talk so much that they are unwilling to see what is happening.

IBX is a brand new program that the district said it would have ready to go in time for this year's seniors. What changed that made the district unable to follow through? Nothing, they just didn't follow through. Again.

What are the ADULTS at the district who are nominally in charge teaching children? That they are liars? That they are going to say things to placate the parents that they have no intention of doing?

I am sorry - you parents can teach your kids that it's ok to allow others to get away with not doing what they say they are going to do, but I don't want to teach my child to be a doormat.

This district is constantly saying things that it know parents want to hear in order to get them to shut up. It also knows that there are parents who only want happy talk who will be happy with them no matter what they do (until it effects their own kids, of course).

Anon above whining about whining - you tell parents they should provide solutions yet you offered none. How can parents force the district to change? Parents have been trying to get the district to fulfill the promises to APP for all seven years we have been in the program. Where has it gotten us? It has only gotten us a watered down program ,strewn all over the city, that shows no signs of improving.

-doormat no more

Anonymous said...

I understand why members of the current Senior class (and Junior class) are upset regarding what is being offered for Ingraham Senior Year.

Three years ago, they believed the district's promises when they started the program.

In hindsight, that may have been considerably optimistic considering that the district NEVER delivers what they say they are going to deliver.

However, when you are forced into a situation like the North-end kids were facing (too many kids to fit into Garfield) they grabbed onto the Ingraham option as a strong alternative and were excited about the possibilities based on the success of Interlake in Bellevue as well as (false) promises of SPS.

Chastising them now, and suggesting that they just need to buck up and figure it out is not helpful.

Anonymous said...

Actually, telling the kids and parents to buck up is a lot more helpful than spinning in circles demanding classes that it is clear will not be forthcoming this year.

Do colleges change course availability? Promised professors? Graduation requirements? Do Employers change expectations? Deadlines? Job duties?

You bet. This year's class is disappointed, and they have a right to be, but it is time to move on constructively. Go get the classes somewhere else, take a different offering at Ingraham, polish up those college applications and move forward. Flogging Ingraham staff isn't going to make the class appear this year and isn't going to help future students.

It is not doormat behavior to work for bettering a program next year while taking decisive steps forward this year. In fact, I think it's called mature behavior.

Anonymous said...

For the record, I don't recommend "flogging" anybody and I understand that Ingraham staff is likely bearing the brunt of the frustration as the district is a big black hole where you are never going to find anyone to talk to.

I just hope you are right, and these kids find out that all this worrying is for naught.

However, telling these kids that "things change" and they just have to roll with it...

You have been following the path of these same kids over the past seven years right? There are very few kids in this district that have been asked to roll with changes the way these kids have. Eventually you become all rolled out.

My guess is they will be more than happy to say goodbye to this district.

Anonymous said...

"...but they did volunteer (or, perhaps, their parents volunteered them. They all had guaranteed spots at Garfield and some at an additional neighborhood school.)"

Hmmmm. And if they'd all just taken their "guaranteed spot" at Garfield back then, there'd be *no* APP at Garfield by now. For once, the district was trying to get ahead of a capacity crisis!

We should be *thanking* these families and their trail-blazing kids for taking a chance on the brand-new IBX program. If they have concerns about the senior year and what it might mean for college applications, we should all, the entire APP community, be taking it very seriously. It doesn't matter what any of us think about the colleges some of these kids might want to attend. They did all of us a huge favor by gambling on IBX. Minimizing or mocking their concerns is really uncalled for.

--new to this thread

Anonymous said...

They didn't all have access to Garfield. IBX is the only program available for highly capable students in high school who were homeschooled or attended a public K-8 or a private middle school in the 8th grade.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 5:13 is absolutely right. (Of course the current senior class doesn't contain any of those kids--new ones weren't allowed to test in until the current junior year cohort.)

pick a name

(not sure why I am the only anonymous being asked to do so,and after only one post! But I'm fine with that.)

Anonymous said...

Pick-a-Name -

I am anonymous at 1:59pm and 2:40pm :)

-GHS Parent

Anonymous said...

My other issue with the lack of support for the seniors at Ingraham is that the parents are once again forced to do the district's job. They are supposed to provide the basic classes for kids - that is their job.

As a parent who worked for hours and hours and hours cleaning up the district's various messes, including a summer of innumerable hours with the move from Lowell to Lincoln, I am tired of it.

-also not a doormat

Anonymous said...

also not a doormat,

They DO provide the basic classes, it's the advanced classes that you want.

App Dad,

Ok, I'll rephrase: Our children have GUARANTEED CHOICES at a MINIMUM of TWO schools. This is not the case with the other student populations.

Anonymous said...

RCW 28A.185.020 says "The legislature finds that, for highly capable students, access to accelerated learning and enhanced instruction is access to a basic education."

So, no, no one wants anything special when they want advanced classes for their HC child. They simply want access to what is considered to be basic education for that child. If they are not given access to advanced/enhanced classes, they are not receiving a "basic education" according to current law.

Anonymous said...

Chiming in as an IBx senior parent here...

In regards to a full year of English, there were no options provided, advanced or not. No full year of General English, no honors courses, nothing...

The "english' options given to senior families were a semester of general English linked to speech, film study, or journalism.

These options are not equal to what any other SPS senior outside of Ingraham has available to them. My student decided with their Ingraham counselor to do an online AP English course instead (paid out of pocket).

I would not continue to comment here if it weren't for the fact that there are many people on here throwing my and many other kids under the bus. IBx seniors aren't anything special, they just wanted to be treated with the same respect as every other SPS senior.

To repeat, there are no basic English classes being offered that count for credit at most somewhat selective colleges. Also, to correct another misunderstanding, all of this has come up because of STUDENTS. Parents had nothing to do with this being brought up and it was STUDENTS who called colleges all over the spectrum to ask about this situation.

Our child's Ingraham experience has been marked by some of the most intelligent and caring teachers that they have ever had, along with an amazing support staff from the counseling office to the main office secretary to the library. You can not find a more supportive environment anywhere.

The one issue that has been highlighted over the past year amidst all the great and wonderful things, is the lack of resources and knowledge about what a highly-selective college requires for student admission.

The counselors know about this but they don't have the bandwidth to tackle this on their own, nor do they have much power to influence decisions made about classes and college prep.

Not just for IBx, but for the entire school, the administrative mindset needs to change in regards to college. Getting most/all Ingraham students into a college should be a top priority. Courses should not be offered based on the simple level of meeting high school grad requirements, they should be geared towards college entry requirements.

You may think Ingraham doesn't have enough resources to do this, but in fact they do, and choose to allocate their class schedule in different ways. Examples of this include classes with under 10 to as few as 20 students, while not providing a full year of history for non-IBx sophomores.

That culture of meeting high school graduation requirements has led to the lack of IBx senior English among other things. If APP families work together with the rest of Ingraham to demand these changes, every student would be better off.

Previously "Upset Senior Family"
now "Working for Better Solutions"

Anonymous said...

Dear Working for Better Solutions,

Please ignore the "make this a teachable moment!" commenters. You have every right to be outraged. The school and SPS Advanced Learning failed to follow through. Good for you for solving the problem, but it doesn't change the fact that the situation was frustrating, and could have been easily solved. I've worked in admissions at a competitive university, and you had every right to be concerned. It's just a fact. It's rude in the extreme that because some families don't want to choose those colleges for their students, they feel it's OK to dismiss others' concerns. Good luck with your educational choices and keep supporting your student!
-Just saying

Maureen said...

Working, from what I understand, IBx senior English is English 265 taught by a North Seattle College professor taught at IHS on the SPS calendar with the IBx cohort. From what I understand, this class is worth at least as much college credit as a self studied AP English class and is free.

Anonymous said...


You are absolutely correct in your belief that the English 265 course is worth the same number of English credits as a full year high school course (no matter the level). What has been very interesting about this entire process is how much definitions and requirements have changed in the eyes of Ingraham administration.

Up until last spring, the English 265 course was to be paired with an in-house senior seminar in English, completing a full year of English for students who were applying to colleges who look for a year's worth of content rather than credit.

For no explained or apparent reason, the English seminar and Social Science seminar were dropped. The situation is uncomfortable because anyone who looks at the class schedule can see that there are several instances where LA and SS classes could be consolidated without hurting any other students, while having room to offer these cancelled courses. It is clear that funding and staffing was not the issue, so what is? If there was a reason, no one has been able (including the counselors) to figure it out.

Ingraham is an amazing school and my child has had the fortune to be a part of a vibrant and supportive student and teacher community. But administration communication with families is non-existent, it just has never been a serious problem until this issue came up.

When my child did their college research along with their peers and counselors, some colleges asked for a minimum of two dual-enrollment/Running Start courses to equate to a full year of High School study. This is not just for highly selective schools, the vast majority including the University of Washington viewed an in-house full year course in a better light.

This was fine until the seminar was cancelled. Once the Sociology class had started, we found out from other families who had students in the course that students would have two different teachers and that the class would not be free even though it was the only option being provided by the Ingraham administration.

Based on the information given to us from some other senior families, they were being asked to pay $22 for the course itself, a minimum of $50 for a clicker rental/$80 if purchased, and up to $100 for a hard-copy textbook. These costs were likely to be repeated fro English 265 in the Winter.

These costs are typical for running start students but in all cases, they have in-school options available. In our case, we had no other alternative provided, no matter what students suggested to the administration. Through working with the counselors, we found in the end that online AP English course was only $70-$80 more and worth it in our mind.

Even with the North Seattle running start courses being offered, 1/3 to 1/2 of the IBx seniors are not enrolled in the courses and have sought other options.

That statistic indicates that changes in the program are needed for future cohorts.


Anonymous said...

Can you namet the selective colleges being cited here? That may shine a light on the matter.


Maureen said...

Posted Wednesday on the "Friends of Ingraham" Facebook page:

Emily Sheldon, Assistant Director of Admissions at MIT visited with 20+ Ingraham students yesterday. Afterwards, she was asked to comment on Ingraham's offerings for IBx seniors, particularly English. Here's what she said:
"I cannot imagine that an Ivy League school would penalize a student for having finished the IB Diploma a year early."

She also heartily approved of internships!

In the comments:

NYU also said something to the same effect today

Anonymous said...

I have another IBx senior than "Working" but my daughter went to the MIT information session and asked the same questions, getting similar responses with a couple of exceptions.

The lady from MIT told her that as long as she was taking a year long English, Math, and Science course this year, she would be fine. Assuming my daughter didn't choose to graduate early (which she didn't), the lady said that it would be beneficial for her to continue studying in those areas to follow MIT's recommended preparations for admission.

In other words, she viewing receiving an IB Diploma very highly as stated in Maureen's post but also viewed it as taking more rigorous classes earlier, not as a full replacement for senior year choices. After all, as Emily (the MIT rep) said, you did not choose to graduate early.

A friend of my daughter's also attended the Stanford talk and asked a similar question, getting a similar response. In both this case and my daughter's, internships were looked upon very highly as long as a student still continue to enroll in the core academic subjects recommended by each university in their "preparation plans."

Even with all the lack of communication surrounding this program, it is comforting to know what admission officers are saying in regards to such an unusual course of study. I have the utmost respect for the wonderful counseling team (including Ms. Bonney!) along with Mary and Maureen, who have stepped into positions that not many others would want to. It is great to see all of them working to provide the best possible experience for all of Ingraham's students.

It is very difficult however to trust anything coming indirectly from the IB Coordinator (Mr. Thomas), as he has ignored or refused to meet or respond to any questions or concerns about anything related to IBx over the past year. This is especially true when the information he provides verbally comes in contradiction with written responses from college admissions officers collected by students and families.

One thing that has not been mentioned is the important school profile that colleges often talk about. I hope all seniors at Ingraham will have an opportunity to look at this before submitting their applications to make sure it fairly represents all students and does not give a distorted view about what "program" was offered to students (especially in regard to IBx).

I am of the opinion that this issue should be laid to rest for this first cohort. However, I think everyone should come together and work out a better solution for next year's cohort. What about a simple block humanities course (one period LA, one period SS)? I guarantee you that no families would have any issues with that.

Ingraham Family

Anonymous said...

So, reflecting back on the IBX experience now that the inaugural class is wrapping things up, what do participating families think of the IBX approach? Given the apparent importance of taking a rigorous senior year, what's value of IBX vs. a more traditional IB approach?

The opportunity to take classes with the APP cohort seems to be one benefit unique to the IBX program, but there's no reason some of that couldn't continue under a more traditional schedule. (Granted it might be harder to make the case though, since APP students don't get that anywhere else. But don't IBX students currently get their own freshman LA class, still pre-IBX?)

Does the need to take supplemental coursework limit the opps for internships? Could internships be done even if on a traditional IB schedule? This is a good time to step back and see if the IBX model is working well for kids, and what could be done to improve it. Adding additional courses, of course, is one approach. (The idea that this creates "equity" is a bit off, though, given some of the perks unique to IBX.) Another approach might be to change the timeline. There are likely other tweaks that could be done, or at least considered. Is there an effort to really evaluate how things have worked and what recommendations for improvement might be implemented?


Anonymous said...

Watching Mr. Vaughn pitch the IBx program to APP middle school parents, I had the feeling that the acceleration of the IB program was about enticing APP families to not choose Garfield. There had already been APP students from WMS at IHS, and no complaints that the program was not strong enough or rigorous enough for APP students. Talking to IHS students who were former WMS students and their parents, most mentioned that the academic appeal of IB was the interdisciplinary character of the program, the extended essay, and TOK. Most of them also were not musical, and I learned that some of those people felt that the non-music electives were a bit thin at Garfield.

I had 3 reasons I didn't want my student to do IBx:

1. Weak middle school prep
2. No faith in SPS ability to actually create internships
3. Concern about SPS/IHS ability or interest in creating good options for grade 12

The prep at middle schools was very uneven, with LA/SS being the weakest points in our experience. I felt that the 2 years of prep at IHS would be useful - and my oldest child particularly enjoyed the pre-IB LA classes in grades 9 & 10. I was also sure that my student wanted to spend senior year in school with classmates - not at an internship. As for the internships, I didn't think they were necessarily a bad idea, I just had no faith that SPS would fund a position for someone to develop 30 - 40 internships. It takes time to create meaningful internships - otherwise the kids end up filing. (I also had a friend with a child at Interlake that said because of the kids' ages, many of the internships were not great - her daughter ended up working at a pre-school, despite no interest in early education.) If there are any IBx students in internships, I don’t think it is a large number.

One of the benefits of IBx was the increased number of students for IB classes – this benefited all students taking IB courses. IHS was able to expand the offerings a bit and the mix was fine. More practically, as the kids advance through the system, it is difficult to implement contained classes – that was my concern for grade 12 IBx. “Ingraham Family” writes that “What about a simple block humanities course (one period LA, one period SS)? I guarantee you that no families would have any issues with that.” I don’t think the issue will be the class – but right now, there are probably only enough students to offer one class – and that will be the sticking point. Will it be during AP Stats, or the only high level Japanese course, or band, or drama, or – you get the point. Some of those classes are more important to students than an LA/SS class. A few students decide to do Running Start, a couple of students decide that drama is their focal point, and all of a sudden there aren’t enough students to hold the class.

As for college counseling - the focus is on getting kids to graduate. I felt the counselors were over worked, and didn't have a lot of experience guiding students who were interested in selective colleges. I just read that Garfield PTSA funds a college counselor. That could be very helpful at IHS.

My very long-winded point is: I have never seen any program in SPS vault the twin walls of budget and schedule at SPS. If a class doesn’t fit in the constraints of schedule and budget – it’s not happening, no matter what promises have been made. I’ve no doubt that IBx has been a great experience for most of the students – but I don’t have a lot of hope that SPS is going to give IHS any resources, incentive or direction to address the problem of 12th grade offerings for IBx. I'm sure the IBx kids will go to good schools, but I don't want any student to have to cobble together a senior year. Anything done will be because of parents advocating. That is my main criticism of SPS: it has no vision of education for all Seattle students, or a coherent plan to build one. It starts programs, but doesn't see them through. Everything is a piece-meal response to whatever the problem of the minute is.

Another IHS IB parent

Anonymous said...

As far as internship goes, you don't have to be in IBX. A friend has a niece who attended a south end HS found a research internship at Fred Hutch. She graduated a few years ago and won some big national honor scholarship (I want to say it's the Coca Cola one). She got accepted to some pretty pretigious schools, but chose UW because of family reasons (disabled mom and younger sibling) and planned to continue on to its med school.

Anonymous said...


While my family contacted a select few (Claremont colleges, U Chicago, Northwestern, and UW), another group of IBx senior families went and got written responses for many colleges throughout the country. I could probably get the full list if you were interested but I know there were 30+ schools on there including Boston College, some Ivys, NYU etc.


Discouraged parent said...

I want to echo the comments about the wonderful environment and teachers at Ingraham. Our experience has been great UP TO THIS POiNT. The administration and parent leadership at the school seem to think the 4th year for IBX is about acceleration while to me it's really an issue of providing a 4th year curriculum for IBX seniors. In IB/IBX, the kids have exposure to two years of amazing English literature curriculum with amazing teachers. To leave a big void in their Senior year is a shame, especially when you factor in the 4th year that was detailed when the district and school were outlining the new choice for APP/HC years ago.

The schools answer is now to send out a survey in November and then have a meeting for parents of IBX Juniors in January. I'm not sure why it needs to have such a slow timeline when there is clearly a lot of concern around this issue and parent energy to work on solutions.

With regard to the internships, there are things kids need to do before they can take an internship for credit through SPS. No one at IHS informed any families of this until May of last year. Coincidentally, this is also about the same time The SPS coordinator said she heard IHS wanted to offer internships. I know of at least one parent who contacted the IB and school leadership several times last year to ask how they could help with setting up the internships. They never received any responses. Knowing this, I was completely shocked to get the email this September asking for info on potential internships for kids since none had previously been set up!

Its upsetting that Mr Thomas is the IHS rep on the APP Advisory Committee, especially with the lack of focus and attention to this issue. Equally upsetting is that there is a vibrant accelerated IB program at Interlake High School that IHS/ SPS could easily replicate.

Anyone interested should google the "Q&A for the accelerated IB option for APP students at Ingraham 2011-2012" to see how the program was supposed to work (page 4). It's pretty clear.

Anonymous said...

"Anyone interested should google the "Q&A for the accelerated IB option for APP students at Ingraham 2011-2012" to see how the program was supposed to work (page 4). It's pretty clear."

Actually, I don't see that as quite so clear. It doesn't say who is responsible for setting up the internships, and there aren't any promises of year-round English and Social Studies. To be honest, it's hard to see how it says anything all that different than what has come about.

"The administration and parent leadership at the school seem to think the 4th year for IBX is about acceleration while to me it's really an issue of providing a 4th year curriculum for IBX seniors." Can you clarify this? How is IBX not really about acceleration? There's really no reason to accelerate and do the IB classes a year early unless you're planning to "move on" in some way--e.g., take a bunch of college classes, get a job, get an internship, take a bunch of electives you missed before, etc. If the big concern of IBX parents and students is having a rigorous senior year, I really don't see why there isn't a push to just guarantee APP kids a spot in the regular IB track instead. Unless the IBX program can provide a bunch of perks to make the acceleration worth it--in which case there are serious inequity issues for those who have to go to Garfield where there are hardly any opportunities for either acceleration or cohort-specific classes--I haven't seen anyone make a good case for keeping the IBX program. The overall positive experience and rigor could apply just as well to the traditional IB track.

Anonymous said...

Actually, I like the November survey/Janurary meeting concept. A survey to everyone will give everyone a chance to weigh in, not just, for example, those who read this blog or go to existing meetings. And between now and January I have an awful lot going on with my IBX junior, so waiting a little while makes sense from that perspective. Also, it will give enough time with those taking the North Seattle class to have some feedback on how that class is going.

Not a hater.

Discouraged Parent said...

I'm not a hater either...just an involved parent that thinks the 4th year of IBX fell through the cracks, causing unnecessary stress and concern for many kids and families. It could have been thoughtfully laid out well in advance of this year.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the link, Discouraged. For those who don't google it, here's what it said about 12th grade. I guess you all can decide for yourselves, but it seems clear they dropped the ball for this year's seniors.

How will the 12th grade internships work?
Following the model in Bellevue, internships will be a regularly scheduled part of a student’s day. Internship opportunities for seniors will be planned and in place by the end of students’ junior year. At Interlake High School in Bellevue, seniors in their Gifted High School Program have participated in internships with a variety of business partners, including: Bellevue Youth Symphony, King County Superior Court, Bellevue City Planners Office, and the UW Cancer Research Center.

How will the 12th grade college classes work?
College classes will be taught at Ingraham by local college professors in English and social studies. The specific courses will be identified by students’ junior year. At Interlake, instructors from Bellevue College go to Interlake High School and teach college courses (e.g., ENGL 237 Writing Fiction I and ECON 260 Economic Development of US). At Ingraham, instructors will also be from nearby colleges and universities.


Anonymous said...

Well, not to be nit-picky, but " ENGL 237 Writing Fiction I and ECON 260 Economic Development of US" sounds like one quarter of English and one quarter of economics/social studies. That sure doesn't sound like "one year of academically-challenging English." In fact, it sounds awfully analogous to what is being offered at IHS this year for IBX seniors. So I suppose that for the past couple of years, Interlake students have been rejected at all the "really good" colleges, right, since they did not get the sacred "full year of English?"

Still not a hater.

Anonymous said...

Pulled from the Interlake Gifted High School Program site:

"The GHSP Senior Year includes two semesters of college-level English and two semesters of college-level Humanities (taught by college professors on the Interlake campus) as well as an internship with a local organization or business. The year serves as a transition from high school to college, while allowing students to gain an understanding of career-level work and the skills and training these field demand".

Much more than is currently being offered, or considered, at IHS.

I am not at all surprised that SPS did not follow through with their promise to the IBX cohort, just disappointed.

-Friend of IBX

Anonymous said...

What about the internships? Does anyone know how many internships are being done by seniors? When we toured, that was really touted as an advantage of the IBX plan. I was skeptical - we went to Garfield, but I'm hoping at least some are in place. Anyone have numbers?
-now GHS

Anonymous said...

Not to defend SPS or IHS on the IBX mess, but I agree--there's nothing in those FAQs that explicitly guarantees anything more than what's being provided. It doesn't say the school or district is responsible for setting up the internships, and it doesn't say the the senior year LA and SS classes will be year-long. And while Interlake's program is referenced as an example, I don't see anything that said they'd replicate it faithfully--perhaps that was an eventual goal, once the program was really in full swing, but given SPS's history re: gifted programming I don't imagine many people were convinced we'd end up there anytime soon.

As a side note, the Interlake program also differs from the SBX program in other ways, too. (It seems it was never intended to be a perfect replica.) For example, the entrance criteria are different (e.g., 99.7 percentile CogAT). Also, Interlake classes seem more focused on also preparing students for related AP exams across the board.

I have no doubt, however, that SPS officials did everything they could to make the program sound as appealing as possible, even if the guarantees and commitment weren't necessarily there. It's a shame, and I hope they get their act together and improve the offerings for HC kids at all of our high schools.

PS - It would also be great to see IBX families advocating for more advanced options for HC kids NOT in IBX. There are no APP-specific HS classes anywhere except IBX, and some AP classes previously available to APP kids are no longer.

Anonymous said...

Friend of IBX, thank you for the info about the current Interlake offerings. It's interesting. But I was commenting on "Just Sayin," who was posting and commenting on materials from 2011-12.

And yes, Interlake has some terrific looking offerings now which is great for those students. But I don't think it's fair to compare Interlake's current program with Ingraham's. First, the Interlake program has been in place for some time. I suspect that it had bumps and skids with its first (and maybe first few) cohort.

Second, aren't there a lot more IBX seniors at Interlake? As the only HS in Bellevue serving those students, I assume so, though I could be wrong. When there are more students being served, its possible to offer a greater number of classes, as Ingraham's IB class/elective options have increased as the number of students taking IB classes has grown.

I'm not arguing things are perfect. They aren't. Ingraham can and should improve in many ways.

Anonymous said...

This thread should be re titled, Ingraham and Interlake. Two differents school districts. Interlake started their "IBX" in 2006 for their PRISM students. Probably a major surprise here, but all was not perfect right off the bat and much that you see now weren't all in in place then. That took time as the program evolved.

BTW, working on the east side, I hear detractors of Interlake as well. It had its flaws and strengths. The usual concerns--which teachers are strong and weak, not enough rigor in certain classes, and getting into the Ivies among some parents. This isn't a unique characteristic of G&T parents, but having a FB page or a blog to vent makes it seems so. And that is where it can actually harm rather than do good (unless that was the intention) as in the bashing of the poor HIMS science teacher after winning the state science teaching award.

On the positive, there does seem to be genuine effort by parents and staff to find ways to improve the program. Finding ways to improve things while working without enough support from JSCEE, relying on an independent entity like NSCC which has different priorities, and within limitation of IHS budget and staff- staff who must balance needs of all its students- must be challenging. Some people may be willing to burn that bridge. However, there are many others who may not see the benefits of their work immediately, but are willing to plod on despite the circumstances, to them- I thank.

Anonymous said...

Friend of IBX, thank you for the info about the current Interlake offerings. It's interesting. But I was commenting on "Just Sayin," who was posting and commenting on materials from 2011-12.

And yes, Interlake has some terrific looking offerings now which is great for those students. But I don't think it's fair to compare Interlake's current program with Ingraham's. First, the Interlake program has been in place for some time. I suspect that it had bumps and skids with its first (and maybe first few) cohort.

Second, aren't there a lot more IBX seniors at Interlake? As the only HS in Bellevue serving those students, I assume so, though I could be wrong. When there are more students being served, its possible to offer a greater number of classes, as Ingraham's IB class/elective options have increased as the number of students taking IB classes has grown.

I'm not arguing things are perfect. They aren't. Ingraham can and should improve in many ways.

Anonymous said...

I was just responding to the remark from "Still Not a Hater' regarding the acceptance rate of Interlake kids to top colleges.

It is obvious from their website that their program is much different than Ingraham's.

They may have adjusted it since its inception, which should drive the point home that offering a full-year of both English and humanities might be somewhat important.

Right now, we can't compare the two programs so we also cannot look at what colleges the Interlake kids are attending and tell IHS students "see - they get into really good schools!".

-Friend of IBX

Anonymous said...

Up until this year, Interlake's Gifted program had 30-40 students, very similar to the first cohort at Ingraham right now. This past year Interlake grew to 54 students, and now similar to IBx, is about to grow to 83 students. This information is publicly available in documents from Bellevue's gifted advisory committee.

If you look at the 2011-2012 document mentioned above, that does not provide a clear enough picture of the situation. From the get-go, the picture was to provide one quarter of College english and one quarter of College social science in combination with "Special Subject Seminars in the Humanities." That quote is taken from the IBx fourth year planning document that was handed out at every information night except the ones held this year.

Community college quarters would be taught on the semester system to qualify for OSPI funding and the seminars would block-end this for a full year of English and Social Science. The idea was that the seminars would be in-house taught until the numbers justify a movement to two quarter of English and Social Science as done at Interlake. This remained the plan until last spring. However, numerous parental and student attempts to communicate about the topic were all ignored throughout the process so one can not be sure when the idea changed.

At the IB luncheon last year to celebrate the beginning of the exam season, IBx students were asked to stay behind to talk to the IB Coordinator. At this point, students were informed about their "new' options for senior year. When several students tried to ask questions about it, they were told point blank that the issue was not to be discussed further and that their "rebellion" attempt was unsuccessful.

If you don't believe me on that point, ask several of the IBx seniors who remember the moment very vividly. That exact terminology was used. I have issue with how this blog post has been discussing promises that were made or not made, when in fact the true issue is how this was handled.

Mr. Barbar, who was mentioned earlier, has digital copies of the numerous surveys conducted last year by students and by Ingraham surrounding this issue. In several cases, the information was passed on to the administration and later was denied to have existed.

In the most shocking case, the Ingraham based survey was used as a justification to not offer the seminar courses because no one had returned it. This data point, while laden with numerous supporting details, should not be sufficient to cause the cancellation of a course. The orange half-paper survey never reached parents in many cases and was very confusing in terms of wording. Questions about it remained unanswered and ignored.

Discouraged parent and still not a hater, I would be very wary of that concept for a survey and meeting. That was the same stuff that was said last year and no meeting occurred until a student (again Mr. Barbar) initiated it. The meeting was then commandeered by Ingraham administration and deviated from it's original purpose. If you are willing to share, I would be very interested to hear where the information is being distributed surrounding this new concept for a junior meeting. If anyone talked to senior parents, they would say that needs to happen now.

Again, I apologize for the negativity if it appears that way! I am very happy with Ingraham and its wonderful and caring teaching and support staff. You could not ask for a better school to be a part of, it is just the utter lack of professionalism and refusal to communicate on the part of the Ingraham administration that can drive someone up the wall.


Unknown said...

Working, and other IB or prospective IB parents, please contact me or Mary Elder with any questions or issues. Our contact info is on the IHS PTO page.

Maureen Germani

Anonymous said...

Maureen- can you share the number of IBX Seniors that are doing internships for school credit this year? Also, when will Ingraham widely communicate the survey and meeting plans for IBX juniors? It has been shared on Facebook and discussed here but many parents do not use either of these forums. Thanks

Anonymous said...

For those in IB, is pre-calculus a prerequisite for IB HL math? Or do students skip from Alg 2 to IB HL math? How does the IB math sequence align with a traditional Alg2 -> Pre-Calc -> Calculus type sequence? When applying to a math intensive major, is HL expected?

Anonymous said...

From information on the web, Calculus is not a prerequisite. On the IB portion of Ingraham's website you'll see a link to an IB Handbook. On page 11 of that handbook there's chart that illustrates the math progression. It assumes that students move from either Algebra 2, AP Calculus or AP Statistics into one of the three IB math options, either the one year Math Studies, the one year SL Math, or the first year of the two year HL Math. The link is below, if it works.

Anonymous said...

I just saw an "IBX Handbook" on the Ingraham IB site that has the same information at page 12.

Anonymous said...

Okay, yes, Alg 2 -> IB math HL may be an Ingraham suggested pathway, but when I look at some other IB schools, they list pre-calculus as a pre-req for IB math HL. Is the leap from Alg 2 to IB math HL too big for some? What's being missed by not having pre-calc first? Did most students taking IB math HL in the IBx pathway have Alg 2 in 9th grade?

Maureen said...

Algebra 2 HONORS at IHS incorporates precalc (they don't use Discovering Math books.). I know there are at least ten seniors doing internships (because the coordinator gave the names of ten students to the IBX communications rep so she could work with them to make a video about their internships. ) I'll find out how many there are total.

Maureen Germani

Anonymous said...

Anonymous @ 5:01 pm: not sure I understand your question . The only way to find an answer would be to compare the curriculums at the various schools, probably for 2 or 3 years before IB, and determine what was and what wasn't included in each. Why would it matter? If you are considering Ingraham, then you need to know how Ingraham handles this. Not what other schools in other districts, or countries, do.

Anonymous said...

And yes, I'm sure it would be too demanding for some. From everything I have observed,HLmath is very demanding. It has definitely derailed some diploma candidates. Perhaps a math teacher who has worked with your student and taught HL Math can tell you whether your student is a good candidate for the class. I'm not sure those of us on this blog can have anything relevant to say.

Michael Rice said...

Good Morning

For the APP students, who have taken Geometry at Hamilton, their freshman year, they take Algebra 2 Honors. We use Unified Math 3 (the pink book) in that class. 2 Honors is a combination Algebra 2/Pre-Calculus class. 2nd semester is mostly trig. The students get the unit circle, some right triangle trig, lots and lots of trig identities, and half angle and double angle formulas. The students are VERY well prepared for whatever IB math class they take. We give a placement test 2nd semester, and from the results of that, we recommend HL, SL, or Math Studies. If a student decides they want to "play up" and take a more challenging course than the one recommend, all we ask is that the student and the parents sign a piece of paper acknowledging that they are taking a class that was not recommended, and that they are aware it may have a negative impact on the students' grade.

We have added IB Further Math this year to go with our 3 IB math classes and AP Statistics and AP Calculus. No matter where your child is as a math student, we have a course for them.

Thank you for all of your support. The first IBx cohort are seniors and I have been fortunate enough to have taught almost all of them. You can be proud of what they have accomplished.

Anonymous said...

@ Michael Rice,

Thanks for that info. Can you also tell us which class the kids who take Alg 2 at Hamilton will take when they get to IHS? I think the first cohort of them is arriving next year. From the IHS IBX guide, it looks like they'd go into Calculus AB, but they'd be missing the precalc/trig preparation.

Anonymous said...

I always appreciate your input, Mr. Rice. Thank you.

I'd think Alg 2 to Calculus would be quite a leap, especially if it is Discovering Algebra 2. I thought the typical progression (non-IB) was Algebra 1, Geometry, Algebra 2/Trig, Pre-Calculus, Calculus. If I'm understanding correctly, IB HL is like Pre-Calculus then Calculus AB, and the Ingraham honors Algebra 2 incorporates some trig and pre-calculus? I'm also curious what pathway would be appropriate for those having Algebra 2 in middle school (assuming the text is Discovering Algebra).

another anon

Michael Rice said...

To the posters asking about making the Algebra 2 Honors to Calculus leap. Mr. Pounder is using the same book for Algebra 2 Honors (Unified Mathematics 3) the we use. He got them from us, so that is how I know.

It does a great job preparing kids for AP Calculus and IB Math HL & SL. It is a combination algebra/trig book (look at chapters 7 - 12). We have been using this book for a long time. I student taught at Ingraham in the fall of 2004 and we were using it then. We have been using it as prep for IB math for the entire time we have been an IB school.

Anonymous said...

All very interesting, but that is one teacher in one school, and he's now retiring. What does that mean for students taking Algebra 2 in middle school in the future, or for those currently at other HCC middle school sites?