Thursday, September 25, 2014

Open thread

It's definitely autumn in Seattle. And I guess I should start using HCC instead of APP now. What's on your mind?

53 comments :

Anonymous said...

We finally have an answer from SPS regarding whether they will still be using the MAP test as a barrier to HC testing. Yes, they will be using it and if an applicant is at a school opting out of the MAP and the applicant's prior winter and spring MAP scores aren't above 87%, SPS will give the applicant the MAP test.

From the SPS Advanced Learning Testing page:

"IMPORTANT NOTE: If both spring MAP scores are not at the 87th percentile or above (or you do not have spring MAP scores), but you believe your student is a strong candidate for Advanced Learning, please submit your application by October 2. We will advise you of your next steps. Subsequent achievement scores such as fall MAP data will be considered. (If your school has opted out of fall MAP testing, your Advanced Learning candidate will be provided an opportunity to take the fall MAP)."

-midnight

Anonymous said...

Has anyone heard anything about Spectrum being redefined as "Enriched" but not one year ahead in content? Our 2nd grade teacher at Hawthorne told us she did not expect to receive the new 3rd grade math curriculum because Spectrum would no longer be one year ahead in content, so she was having to punt to differentiate significantly to keep kids challenged. These kids who are supposed to be academically accelerated are redoing 2nd grade math albeit with a different curriculum. This was all substantiated at the recent Open House.
The SPS website has a vague description of Spectrum in which the "one-year ahead" component is only included in an example. Is there a more official or comprehensive outline of HCC/Spectrum to reference?

Thanks,
In the Dark

Anonymous said...

I know this comment will attract derision, but I am sad that our child won't get to go to camp with all of their friends in the 5th grade, and not only that, that there will be a different school at the same time at IslandWood. This is a first. And, not a good one.

I know, first world problem.

But last year, all the 5th graders got to go together as has been the tradition for years. Now, this is the first year they won't, and, they didn't even break then into 2 groups, they broke them into 3. Very fragmented. If IslandWood's cap is 150, then perhaps looking at a different camp could have been considered? It is too late for this year, but for next, it ought to at least be considered.

Yes, truly, a first world problem. I know. But still, I am sad that the same kids keep getting scrambled up year and year and they also keep loosing pieces of what was once such a great program. No more mini debate teams, no more rain forest, no more Egypt, no more culmination of the years with one great uniting trip before further splintering. (Remember, while in the South, all TM grads move on to Washington, now the Lincoln grads will be further split to either JAMS or Hamilton - and it is not likely Hamilton will hold...).

Just a little sad for what was but now won't be.

Anonymous said...

I don't think the whole 5th grade was together in a group at Islandwood, from what I have heard. When my older kid was in 5th (six years ago), two teachers decided not to go due to their own personal opinions--expensive for families, not all kids together anyway, scary for some 5th graders to be away from home. I was super disappointed for my kid then. Last year my younger went and all the 5th grades went. The groups that studied together were smaller than all the kids together. It was an experience that they all had, but it was sort of on their own since they didn't know who they would land with.
NEmom

Anonymous said...

Are the 5th grade teachers team teaching in pairs? That might be why they did 3 groups of 2 classes instead of 2 groups of 3 classes. The paired classes will do a lot together all year long, so it sort of makes sense to build those bonds early in the school year.

I think you're justified to feel sad. Enormous growth is going to lead to challenges. I don't know if the program can handle another year with 50-100 more kids coming. There were only about 420 kids who moved from Lowell to Lincoln in 2011. Now it's 700. That is simply not a sustainable growth rate. But so far, no one is talking about how to make it work until WilPac opens or how to manage a future split, which really seems inevitable at this point.

signed, good luck

Anonymous said...

I agree growth has and will continue to affect learning. It's not a HCC problem either. For parents with children in large classrooms, unable to take certain classes because they are over subscribed, or are wait listed, this problem will worsen. I think HS is going to be a meat grinder very soon for all the students everywhere.

It'll be even more interesting as the district tries to stuff pre-K programs in the schools.

Anonymous said...

We can thank Mrs. Roth for being the sole teacher all those years ago.

Anonymous said...

Ms Roth
Ms Gano/Numatta - now gen ed
Ms Jacobsen
Vosti
Ms Shadow
(pls let me know if I missed a favorite)
-----------

All great teachers. Now we need to replace them... Here is to catching lightening in a bottle repeatedly.

We have had some duds too. No big there is always next year. We are happy this year with a mix of new (completely to APP and full year class teaching) and seasoned APP.

Anonymous said...

Mr Skippy - and he wrote the music to the Lowell way - was there for a long time and remains one of my son's favorite teachers. Mr Sakaue was there for a shorter amount of time, but my son like'd him, too.

Mrs Adams is still at Lincoln, isn't she? She was another good teacher, especially for math. By now she's been there for a long time.

My two kids had a great elementary experience. We were very sorry to not be able to say that for middle school.

Anonymous said...

Mr Pounder.
This is his 40th year of teaching math.
And his LAST one.
:-(

Anonymous said...

Ms. Gano is teaching an APP/Spectrum blended classroom this year.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Sakaue, if it is the same person, is now teaching in the Gifted Elementary School Program at Cherry Crest Elementary. Their entire program is a combination between what we would consider Spectrum/APP with a slightly higher lower end score.

They just spilt from two elementary sites into four this year (just four years after their previous split) and have begun rolling up a second middle school site as well.

High school in Bellevue, while top notch everywhere, is concentrated for Gifted students at Interlake where students participate in a Gifted self-contained accelerated IB program.

Just moved from Bellevue

Anonymous said...

Another teacher at Lincoln just fell victim to the bullying administration.

Anonymous said...

Which teacher? Ms. Stone?
Lincoln alum

Anonymous said...

Anon at 5:51:

Are you referring to Mrs. Bell? She appears to have been the victim of a small group of parents.

Signed,
Very concerned

Anonymous said...

Who is mrs bell? What school? I'm assuming the poster who referred to bullying admin is talking about Lincoln because it seems to be following the typical pattern - bringing up mrs Roth and the loss of old Lowell teachers . Though do people expect the old guard to go on indefinitely and never retire?

Anonymous said...

She was a last minute transfer teacher from another school to 3rd grade this year. I haven't any real knowledge if this is true or not except that her class was redistributed among the other 3rd grade classes today. Our child was told it was just because a substitute wasn't available.

Anonymous said...

Well, if that is true about Ms Bell, it was extremely fast. I don't see how any of the formal procedures (for performance review etc) leading to her 'moving on' could have been followed in such a short time, even if parents had complained (or was it something so egregious??)
Why is every staff member leaving always blamed on admin bullies?
And why does a poster always bring up Ms Roth.

Mysterious.

rebecca davis-suskind said...

To "very concerned" who posted that Mrs. bell "fell victim to a small group of parents," how easy it is to post drivle hiding under an anonymous cover...You know nothing about this teacher or the events that transpired in her classroom. If youd like REAL information, please feel free to contact me and Ill be happy to educate you

Anonymous said...

Anonymous on Oct 2 5:51

Your post is suspect. How do you know such intimate details and why are you posting anonymously? Someone is out sick and you make an extreme statement? Who is your source? You seem to have an axe to grind and seem very unhappy yourself. My first grade student's class was also split up and I heard the principal was teaching second grade yesterday becuase there were no subs.

Lincoln Lynx

Anonymous said...

Principal finally doing some work. She's been sighted buying shoes and coffee during work hours multiple times. Also, Suskind is very credible.

Anonymous said...

Anon at 10:06...I took Suskind's comment to mean that the teacher was no victim of parents and maybe not a victim at all. There may be a legitimate case for her removal. Your comment is pretty bad as well and maybe the principal roving an ineffective teacher is what exactly happened. At this point, there is not enough info to judge. Quit bullying the admin. Some parents are absolutely the biggest bullies all in the name of advocating for their kids.

Not impressed

Anonymous said...

That would be "removing" an ineffective teacher.

Not impressed

Anonymous said...

Not sure what happened in the posting but here it is again.

Anon at 10:06...I took Suskind's comment to mean that the teacher was no victim of parents and maybe not a victim at all. There may be a legitimate case for her removal. Your comment is pretty bad as well and maybe the principal removing an ineffective teacher is what exactly happened. That is her job! At this point, there is not enough info to judge. Quit bullying the admin. Some parents are absolutely the biggest bullies all in the name of advocating for their kids.

Not impressed

Anonymous said...

Wow -spotted buying shoes during working hours multiple times eh, guess she must be a regular Imelda Marcos!
But wait, where do you buy shoes in Wallingford - or are you saying was she seen at Nordstrom??

Personally I don't have a problem with the principal taking a few minutes to do a coffee run for the office or running an errand nearby. But I notice someone that posts here will use anything they can against her.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm... people are no longer allowed to get coffee? Teachers leave campus all the time to get lunch or coffee. And really where are you going to get shoes on Wallingford? People take personal days...This blog is just being petty and mean. But I guess that's what APP parents are known for. Good job APP parents, you are doing your job! It's so easy to post anything anonymously and you don't have to have any evidence to back it up.

Blog bullies suck

Pm said...

Greg-

Can the personal attacks be deleted from this thread?

Anonymous said...

Love watching the pots calls the kettles black. bunch of hypocrites. (And by the way, only person here with any credibility is Suskind. She posted her name. The rest is entertainment.)

Anonymous said...

Greg - a meanspirited personal attack that has zero content regarding actual education, please, can you moderate that comment? 10:06 pm Oct 3, specifically. It is base.

Name calling, which that comment in effect is, ought not to be carried forward.

Rise above

Anonymous said...

Excuse me @ blog bullies suck. Don't tar all off us APP parents with the same brush. You will notice that since the trollish 10.06 post, several posters ( myself) included said we had no issue with coffee runs. And I treated the shoe- buying allegation as the joke it is. App parents are no more petty than any other group of parents. People have different opinions. The only petty post is is the one alleging shoe and coffee buying during work hours. The responses tell you everything. There is somebody (or a few) that posts frequently that hates the Lincoln admin. That poster does not stand for all of us at APP.

Anonymous said...

Hi Rebecca

All of us 3rd grade parents lurking on the blog reading the "she was bullied out" vs "she is just out sick" vs "parents hounded her" vs " admin was doing it's job" post would love you to share the REAL FACTS of the situation. That is the worse thing about these situations (some of the cases of teachers leaving) - always seems like a few parents are 'in the know' and the rest of us have to settle or rumor and hearsay.

Just the facts

Anonymous said...

But here's the thing, "just the facts"

I for one think it is inappropriate to discuss specific employees by name on a blog, regardless of which employee we are talking about, especially when it comes to 'personnel matters' (not saying there is a personnel matter - just mentioning my discomfort with discussing real people by name).

A while ago, several specific teachers at an APP middle school were mention by name or initial on this blog, and that too, just from my point of view was unseemly and inappropriate. For parents involved, they can get info in many ways, including privately email other parents, emailing their class group, or they can get on their school's private ListServ or facebook, etc, but putting rumors on a public unfiltered blog is unkind at best, libel at worst.

Do unto others... Curiosity can be compelling, but civil discourse is worth not having every curiosity satisfied. Just my perspective, I know many will and shall disagree.

Rise above

So I graciously request individuals choose to refrain from discussing any particular staff person in a building.

Rise above

Anonymous said...

@ Rise above, I understand the sentiment. At the same time, there often aren't easy ways for middle school parents to engage other APP parents at their school to understand what's going on with certain classes, teachers, etc. How are you supposed to privately email other parents when you don't have class lists, lists of who is in the APP program, don't have an APP-specific PTA group or subgroup, etc. Just mentioning APP at some schools is practically taboo... It makes it really hard for parents to connect--whether that's the intent or an unfortunate result, I don't know. But for many parents, the only way they can get any info re: APP at their school is via the blogs. I agree people should use discretion, but sometimes it's important to know if the problem you're having is unique or one shared by many other students.

HalfFull

Anonymous said...

Half full, I would say try leaving out APP from your post for a minute and think how any parent with concerns deal with an individual teacher. If you have a concern, take it up with the teacher directly and move up the chain of command as needed. Trying to come here to post anonymously is one big reason why APP has a negative reputation among staff. Comparing staff by names doesn't help the staff even if you meant it in a complimentary way. Many of them are experienced enough not to be taken in and more importantly, can come off as an effort to split staff up. (Yes there are staff and parents who are friends, but people who have that type of relationship do need to be very careful and keep it away from the school and school issues, especially if they have access to info and opinions not readily available to others because of said friendship.)

Jen

Pm said...

I'd also ask you to consider whether you would want your kids to read these types of comments about you. A lot of these teachers have families. Their kids might read this blog at some point and see the nasty comments about them.

I have heard complaints in person about many of the teachers who have been lauded on this blog. Conversely, I am sure that some of the staff who have been criticized here are beloved by other parents. Maybe there are other things going on that have affected job performance--marital troubles, family members who are ill or addicted to drugs, personal illness. Whatever the issue is, they are human beings who deserve respect.

If I were a teacher considering teaching at an HCC school and I found this blog, I would think that all of the HCC parents are whiners who will never be satisfied and I would run far, far away. However, the views on this blog are not representative of most parents that I know.

Anonymous said...

I have rarely seen individual teachers criticized by name on this blog (long time frequent reader and I can't recall a single time). I have often seen individual teachers lauded here (unfortunately, often in the context of them leaving/retiring, and admin being blamed for their departure).
If anyone is routinely called out and criticized here it is the principal. She is the one who is blamed for bullying, so-called great teachers leaving, playing favorites, and now even shopping and getting coffee during working hours! What is with that?! Now I don't know if there is any truth or justification to any of these claims but they are out there. It might just be one person with a grudge. But if the teachers need protecting in case their children one day read it, or lest they think we parent are whiners - what about the principal?? The fact is people gossip and people want to know what is going on. Teachers know that parents talk about them, compare notes, praise, and complain. Do you think they don't do it about us!?
Nowadays, of course, the discourse doesn't have to be face to face at the school gate and of course that means people can/will say things they wouldn't necessarily say if they know that it will be attributed to them. And this is a public forum.

Anonymous said...

to "just the facts"
I'm happy to talk to you, through email or on the phone or in person. It is and was not my intent to slander anyone, I was trying to point out that most folks don't have all the facts about any of these issues discussed on this blog. Please feel free to email me at rdavissuskind@yahoo.com and I can give you my phone number if you'd prefer that thanks

Rebecca

Anonymous said...

Strange, I have read many, many posts on this blog about the incredible incompetency of several HIMS APP teachers: pages and pages of what absolute failures the math teachers, LA/SS teachers, and science teachers the APP kids were stuck with were, all because of APP-hating principals! Yep, both the last principal and the current one always made sure Gen Ed & Immersion get the creme de la creme staff and stick APP with the dregs at the school. When a certain science teacher won an excellence award two years ago, there were posts saying no way was he deserving. This particular teacher was the one who arranged the erstwhile Science Fair at HIMS each year, putting in untold amount of extra, UNPAID hours to do so, and according to those posters on this blog, made a very inferior job of it. Guess what happened last year. That's right, NO SCIENCE FAIR! I figured the incompetent man decided to let those APP parents who knew so much more about teaching science than him take over. I bet he was shocked, SHOCKED I tell you, when no one stepped up!

Yeah, we think either our kids or us must be absolute dumbos, cause we are in APP and are like totally did not see all this horrifying incompetency. And my kids managed to get perfect scores on achievement tests after taking these classes too. I tell you it's a national conspiracy against SPS gifted kids, and the College Board is spearheading it! MAYBE even the Robinson Center is involved! OBAMA must be at the bottom of it all, who else could rig the tests and/or create this seemingly alternate universe that we are in. Did you hear that he has a secret weather machine? True story, just ask Beck & Limbaugh.

Anonymous said...

I stand corrected. As an elementary APP parent I pay closer attention to posts about elementary issues - so perhaps I should have been more specific when say I have rarely seen any teacher-specific negative posts but have seen quite a few about an APP principal - that applies to elementary/lincoln in particular.
That said, however, even with post about middle school - I have seen lots of complaints about classes/quality of instruction but don't recall any that actually 'named names'.

Anonymous said...

We really liked that science teacher at HIMS. He was very devoted to his students. I know that some people have problems with teachers that other people don't have problems with, but my kid who had him for 6th, maybe also 7th?, ended up thinking he was great. The science fair was a labor of love, and we thought it was great.
11th grade GHS mom

Anonymous said...

Greg- new policy and SP just released today. Did you get them?

The APP-AC changed names to HCS-Ac and I heard that some folks stopped getting their e-mails.

Wanna start a new thread?

Greg Linden said...

From the moderator:

There's a fair bit of name calling, personal attacks, and anonymous trolling going on in this thread.

A while ago, I deleted a few of these kinds of comments and was criticized for over-aggressive moderation, so put up the level of moderation for a bit of discussion. The decision was that the moderation should be limited pretty much only to spam and that the community itself should try to deal with responding to trolling and anonymous attacks.

So, because of that decision, I'm not going to delete the earlier comments here in this thread. I know it's tempting and easy, but people should try hard not to use anonymity in these comments as a shield while lobbing attacks at others. I see that some people have been responding to the anonymous attacks in a reasonable and calm way, which is good. Let's try to keep it civil here, everyone, and try to make the forum useful and helpful to parents.

apparent said...


Since the name change, just wondering what to call SNAPP?

I did try saying SNHCC out loud, only to hear the person next to me at the bus stop say "Bless you!" . . . .

Anonymous said...

Am concerned that students don't have the opportunity to wash hands before lunch and snack at school at Lincoln. Are any classes washing hands?

Anonymous said...

Can anyone recommend a psychiatrist their child has worked with? I have a (highly capable) teen with ADHD, anxiety and depression and we are looking for someone new.

Thanks in advance.

Anonymous said...

Wondering about the shelter in place at Lincoln this morning. Police were called because of student in C wing special education with a plastic knife. Implies it wasn't a Lincoln APP student but from one of the other programs.
So Lincoln houses APP elementary, Licton Springs K-8, and I just discovered it also is home of a health science/medical assistant SKills Center Program for high school students (provides technical/career training for those non-college bound I guess). I did not know this but it's listed as a site on the SPS website. It used to also have a program for medically fragile 18-21 yr olds but not sure if that it still there. Any other programs that have been snuck in there that I've missed out?
It's still not clear to me what program the student with the plastic knife belonged to. Where is the C wing and who uses it? And…. must have been either a pretty threatening plastic knife or a pretty threatening student for the police to be called - or is this standard protocol?

Insecure

Anonymous said...

Has anyone heard the official communication from Licton Springs K-8? Are they located in the C building? I assume it was one of their students.

Anonymous said...

It was a 20 yr old special ed student (from Seattle schools blog) . Wow. Could have been a lot worse than a plastic knife.

So what program at Lincoln contains 20 year old special ed students?
Last year there was a medically fragile program for 18-21 yr old - is this still here or is it something else.
And why the secrecy. Anyone would think the district doesn't want APP parents to know about it (and why would that be??)

Anonymous said...

So none of us know if Interagency is at Lincoln or not? How is that possible?

Pm said...

I always assumed the Interagency students were still at Lincoln this year. Last year they were in the separate wing of the building with a separate entrance. I hate to see this event blown way out of proportion. Your child was never in any danger.

AnonMom said...

I volunteer at the school and see the medically fragile students with their adult teachers/aids. I think that it is totally possible that one of their students had some type of episode, but I would say that it is rare. From what I've seen, they have a 1:1 ratio of adults to MF students, and I think the staff had the situation well in hand yesterday.

*I'm* not concerned that my young child is housed on a campus with the MF population. I think each of the student groups are kept fairly separate, and I wish we could learn to support the the MF students better. At the same time, I wish the district was more transparent about who is at the school. I think parents freak out over things that are left unknown.

Anonymous said...

The fact is no one seems to know for a fact that there are additional programs (beside APP and Lcton Spings) on the Lincoln campus and what exactly they are this year. I find that troubling - not because I necessarily think they could be a danger to my elementary aged kids, but because it is bizarre that there it is a big secret about it.
Last year we were told there was a transition program for medically fragile 18-21 year olds. That is different from Interagency. Interagency is a program (at various sites) for youth who are in juvenile detention or have been, are otherwise involved in criminal justice system, getting out or gangs or prostitution etc. It serves a difficult population and is definitely needed as a way of turning these kids around - but - still not sure I would feel comfortable about some of these known offenders sharing the site with young grade schoolers. The thing is, apart from word on the blog I have never heard that Interagency is there. So is it or not? If not, then what is? And why is it not just open knowledge anyway.
If is really beside the point that someone had a issue yesterday (it could equally have been a student from the other programs) but it is weird that the message from SPS/Lincoln still did not say what program the student was in. Just special ed and later confirming age was 20 yrs?
That makes me wonder whether they don't want to draw attention to something that might not be palatable to Lincoln/Licton springs parents?…...

Anonymous said...

Has anyone simply asked Rina what program the student was in? And whether interagent is at the Lincoln site or not?