Friday, October 24, 2014

Open thread

What's on your mind, HCC/APP parents?

63 comments :

thegalley said...

I'm interested in hearing from other parents of APP kids who don't/can't/have difficulty writing. My son has just been allowed to "skate through" since 2nd grade (7th now) because he tests well but now that the MAP is including writing - that score is below grade level when his reading and math are high school level. He's falling behind in LA/SS and Science because of his difficulty. Anyone had their APP kids evaluated for writing disabilities? Used outside sources such as Brightmont Academy or Dartmoor School?

Anonymous said...

Writing is hard. It's harder than math and reading, IMO. Writing well means lots of re-writes. It's not just grammar and spelling, but the ability to translate all the stuff that is muddling around in your brain into a cohesive, coherent, and concise format. Then add in cadence, tone and style to give the writing verve and punch. Ack!

To write well, you have to do a lot of it. You need feedback and editing. Lots and lots and lots. For some kids, writing comes more naturally just like math or public speaking. For most of us, it's grinding work. You can't expect a teacher with 150 kids to do this well. It's up to the parents, fellow classmates, or find a writing tutor.

My child struggles with writing and she's a good writer. She's never happy with her writing. She proofs many of her friends' writing and they do the same for her. We found an old english composition textbook at Goodwill (you know the one that defines a participle, dangling modifier, etc. along with essay composition how tos) and supplemented the school's writer's workshop curriculum with that. You know when your 5th grader can't ID adverb or preposition, even a non-native speaker like me know, something is off.

BTW, this isn't an APP problem, it's endemic throughout SPS. MS is when kids hit the brick wall because writing moves from narrative to critique essay, research & analysis paper, and defense pieces. It's a big leap.

Try this place out:
http://www.826seattle.org

struggling writer

Anonymous said...

My child (also 7th grade) says they get writing assignments, but they haven't really been directly taught much in the way of writing mechanics. The "teacher assigns, not teaches," was my child's comment. So...it's hard to say what's going on. I will say I've had to provide a lot of support at home in the way of basic writing instruction (what is a thesis, how do you write one, how do you organize and outline your ideas, how do you cite sources, what does it mean to paraphrase, etc.). I'm not sure who your child's teacher is for science, but will say a few years back that 7th grade science provided good writing practice as they had to type what they called an A-ha thesis for each unit.

Anonymous said...

Writing is hard. It's harder than math and reading, IMO. Writing well means lots of re-writes. It's not just grammar and spelling, but the ability to translate all the stuff that is muddling around in your brain into a cohesive, coherent, and concise format. Then add in cadence, tone and style to give the writing verve and punch. Ack!

To write well, you have to do a lot of it. You need feedback and editing. Lots and lots and lots. For some kids, writing comes more naturally just like math or public speaking. For most of us, it's grinding work. You can't expect a teacher with 150 kids to do this well. It's up to the parents, fellow classmates, or find a writing tutor.

My child struggles with writing and she's a good writer. She's never happy with her writing. She proofs many of her friends' writing and they do the same for her. We found an old english composition textbook at Goodwill (you know the one that defines a participle, dangling modifier, etc. along with essay composition how tos) and supplemented the school's writer's workshop curriculum with that. You know when your 5th grader can't ID adverb or preposition, even a non-native speaker like me know, something is off.

BTW, this isn't an APP problem, it's endemic throughout SPS. MS is when kids hit the brick wall because writing moves from narrative to critique essay, research & analysis paper, and defense pieces. It's a big leap.

Try this place out:
http://www.826seattle.org

struggling writer

Anonymous said...

Writing is hard. It's harder than math and reading, IMO. Writing well means lots of re-writes. It's not just grammar and spelling, but the ability to translate all the stuff that is muddling around in your brain into a cohesive, coherent, and concise format. Then add in cadence, tone and style to give the writing verve and punch. Ack!

To write well, you have to do a lot of it. You need feedback and editing. Lots and lots and lots. For some kids, writing comes more naturally just like math or public speaking. For most of us, it's grinding work. You can't expect a teacher with 150 kids to do this well. It's up to the parents, fellow classmates, or find a writing tutor.

My child struggles with writing and she's a good writer. She's never happy with her writing. She proofs many of her friends' writing and they do the same for her. We found an old english composition textbook at Goodwill (you know the one that defines a participle, dangling modifier, etc. along with essay composition how tos) and supplemented the school's writer's workshop curriculum with that. You know when your 5th grader can't ID adverb or preposition, even a non-native speaker like me know, something is off.

BTW, this isn't an APP problem, it's endemic throughout SPS. MS is when kids hit the brick wall because writing moves from narrative to critique essay, research & analysis paper, and defense pieces. It's a big leap.

Try this place out:
http://www.826seattle.org

struggling writer

Anonymous said...

Readers Writers workshop has created a whole group of kids who cannot write. "Small moments" are no substitution for expository writing. Directed instruction in how to write, plus real feedback is the only way to get through it.

As far as writing disabilities, I have a kid with dysgraphia, so any writing assignment is hard for him. We ended up homeschooling LA second semester (7th grade) and spent the entire time writing essays, diagramming sentences and learning grammar. Basics that he wasn't getting at HIMS.

This year at JAMS, he's FINALLY getting good LA instruction--how to read and summarize an essay/speech. Good mechanics that will help in high school. But, painful getting to this point.

LH

Anonymous said...

YES. I will agree to all of the above. My 9th grader is essentially flailing right now due to the poor preparation in elementary and middle school. I have lots of regrets about not supplementing more and not getting a tutor. We did lots of 826 classes, but not enough. Incidentally, he got all A's in LA/SS in 6,7,8. Just never learned to write. I don't think it's a disability. It's lack of practice. I think he had good individual teachers too, though they were really SS, not LA teachers. He just had too many kids in his classes for teachers to assign meaningful writing assignments and give individual feedback. He skated by, turning in the minimum. Also, he rarely wrote more than 2 pages, and that only a few times. As an old timer, I remember writing 10-12 page research papers or short stories. Probably terrible writing, but it was good practice. We are really paying for it now. Please let us be a cautionary tale! Don't rely on APP writing to prepare them for high school.
-Rare Commenter

Anonymous said...

Also agreeing with everyone else. SPS schools don't do a good job teaching writing--to few assignments, too little instruction, and rarely any quality feedback. No wonder kids have trouble writing when they're finally asked to do so.

For a motivated kid who doesn't mind working hard, the Robinson Center's essay writing class (offered through their Summer Stretch program) is also good.

You mentioned that your son is falling behind in many classes. Are you sure that writing is really the issue, or could there be something else going on? When you look at grades on the Source, is it just writing assignments that are a challenge? Do you see your son spending a good amount of time and putting hard work into his writing assignments at home, or is he perhaps stuck in "I can just skate by" mode? Have you spoken with his teachers yet?

I'd trust my gut on this one--while true that our kids aren't learning to write well in school, if it seems like there might be more to the story, you owe it to your kid to dig a little deeper. Maybe there is a writing disability as you seem to suspect, or maybe it's a problem with reading, or vision, or a social/behavioral issue, or organizational challenges, etc.

Best wishes,
HIMSmom

Anonymous said...

My son's APP 4th grade teacher, 5th grade teacher (at APP@Lincoln) and his 6th grade Humanities teacher at JAMS have all been very helpful in helping him with writing skills. I never learned any writing skills until my freshman year at university. I am very impressed by the tools he has learned.
NEmom

Anonymous said...

"...now that the MAP is including writing - that score is below grade level when his reading and math are high school level."

Do you mean the MSP (which is being replaced by the SBAC this year)? Have there been practice tests in the classroom, and have you been given results?

We are experiencing similar pains as @Rare Commenter. Years of little instruction, the RWW idea of "catching" grammar, and lots of Power Points, posters, and group projects, have done little to develop strong analytic and writing skills. There is also an absence of quality literature (read as a class) that used to be a part of APP middle school.

Anonymous said...

There are several stand alone writing programs targeted at homeschoolers. That's something I will seriously consider when my kid is in middle school. Even if the school will provide explicit instruction in writing, which I doubt, learning to write well requires a lot of individual attention that realistically isn't going to happen in a middle school classroom.

Anonymous said...

This thread now has me on the search for some sort of writing program...I found this article a good start (and a reminder of how limiting journal writing and peer editing can be):

http://www.home-school.com/Articles/picking-a-writing-program.php

Anonymous said...

I would love to hear more about what programs/textbooks/worksheets folks have found most useful for supplementing the writing curriculum. My APP 5th grader HATES writing and its like pulling teeth to get her to do anything extra at home. Any feedback on things you've tried would be great! Anyone know of inspiring tutors?

Anonymous said...

If you think that your child might have a specific area of difficulty with getting their thoughts onto paper or a disorder like dysgraphia you can consider getting full neurophychological testing. If there is an area of deficit it can be targeted, but also they may be allowed accommodations at school such as typing or dictating some assignments.
NS

Anonymous said...

Does anyone had any advice about where to go/ who to see for handwriting (NOT cursive) assessment, testing for dysgraphia etc. I am really concerned about the legibility of my kids writing and awkward looking pencil grip. It used to be fine in earlier grades but has got worse - probably as tries to get more on paper and rushes to get thoughts down. I think there is a tendency to avoid writing too.
I don't know whether it is just typical messiness and/or laziness but I can see it is becoming more of an issue and I worry about what will happen in the future when they have to produce even more written material.
I don't feel like the worksheets that involve tracing and copying letters/words will help as the material is aimed at K-1 level and the words and letters are larger than used in real life writing at this age. They did that in earlier grades and my child could reproduce it fine, it's the real-life writing that is a mess. I think there would be a lot of resistance to doing this sort of material again unless more age/grade- appropriate.
I'd appreciate hearing any of your experiences with this sort of issue plus any suggestions, resources, referrals. I have been looking for OTs but not sure who would specialize in handwriting or even if it is necessary.

Anonymous said...

Our original diagnosis was from an OT, but we had a subsequent one from the UW OWL group (kid participated in a research study there - School of Education, study run by Virginia Berninger).

They periodically look for students depending on the grade to participate in their intervention studies and you get a full battery of testing done for free.

That was 6th grade and we know we will need to get a full neuropsych evaluation for SAT accommodation--so planning on that in high school.

LH

Anonymous said...

At anonym @ 3:21pm:
I have used pencil grips with my kids during homework to get them to hold a pen properly. This slows their writing down some, but that might also help improve legibility. Pencil grips are available e.g. at amazon for <$10. My left-handed child who used to refuse to write/draw for a long time has quite decent hand-writing now.

Anonymous said...

To clarify, I just want to say that the writing problems are not limited to disability accommodation. My beef is with the lack of practice and instruction, for all students. (Side note: my son read one and only one complete novel in middle school, and that was in June of 8th grade). The LA/SS curriculum was just lacking. Power point assignments were mostly social studies projects, and not writing practice. No classics read, and only selected passages from Shakespeare plays, which were offered in translation from the "No Fear Shakespeare" series. My advice to parents is to help your kid learn how to write an essay on a theme in a book or short story, or a short research paper. That is what they need in high school. It's pretty basic. I wish we'd done more supplementing!
-RareCommenter

Anonymous said...

Agree that it's not just a writing issue, but a lack of reading, analyzing and interpreting challenging, quality literature, primary source documents, etc.

former HIMS parent

SusanH said...

Parent of a 7th grader here. Does anyone know if the grades our kids make in these high-school level classes they are taking will affect their final GPA for high school? For example, if my child makes a B (or C!) in his Algebra 1 class, does that mean that grade goes down in his high school record?
Thanks for you help!

Anonymous said...

Middle school grades do not affect high school GPA unless you are seeking high school credit for a middle school class (don't know of many APP students doing this). APP students are expected to maintain a certain grade in APP classes as part of staying in APP. Low grades could prompt some counseling about staying in the program. Math is not considered an APP class (only LA/SS and Science), however, so I'm not sure how it is handled.

I'd be most concerned that my child was potentially getting C's in Algebra...If your child is struggling in Algebra, then you will see even more struggles in Algebra 2 (when grades really count). Focus on covering Algebra 1 content, not the middle school grades, and figure out if there are some holes in mastery of pre-algebra (knowing math facts cold, working with fractions, order of operations, etc.).

Anonymous said...

APP students are not required to maintain a particular grade to remain in the program.

Anonymous said...

According to the draft HCC policy:

Exiting Programs

Students may be exited from Highly Capable Services if the services are no longer appropriate. A meeting of the parent/guardian, teacher, administrator, a representative of the Advanced Learning office, and the student (at parent/guardian discretion) shall precede such an eligibility change.

Anonymous said...

"The services are no longer appropriate" is not equivalent to "the child receives poor grades."

I think a child who is struggling to keep up with the instructional pace would be unhappy in the program and the parents should be encouraged to consider removing them. In contrast, as grades can be based on many things unrelated to the whether or not the student learned the material, they'd make an awful measure of the appropriateness of the services offered.

SusanH said...

Thanks for all your feedback! To clarify, my child is not struggling. He now has a B+ in the class, and if that stays it would be his first B ever. I do know that this class (like Physical Science) is officially a "high school level class" so I was concerned that the grade would affect his high school GPA, but I guess just the classes that you actually take in high school are the only ones that matter...

I was thinking that they were getting high school credit for these classes, but I guess that's the wrong way to think about it. They will just start at Algebra 2 and go from there, for their high school credits. Right?

Thanks again!

Anonymous said...

You can apply for credit for the high-school level classes in middle school (or you used to be able to - it seems like they change policy so often that I can't keep up) and then the grades would count towards your high-school GPA.

Most APP (HCC) families are not doing that for a couple of reasons.

1. The middle-school class is not an Honor's level or AP level class, so the grade from that class would count on the normal 4.0 scale instead of the Honor's scale or AP scale (5.0). This only matters for class rank, but class rank matters because when your child is ranked against other kids that have taken more AP or Honors classes (many APP kids take 10-12 AP classes through high school and everything else is Honors) then their rank will be lower and colleges look at class rank %.

2. I would not enter high school with a ton of high school credits. The way SPS is going, your student could be denied access to classes as a Senior because they have already "finished" high school requirements.

Use middle-school to get used to caring about grades, but grades don't really "matter until high school.

-GHS Parent



Anonymous said...

Here are more writing programs than you could possibly want:

http://cathyduffyreviews.com/grammar-composition/grammar-composition-index.htm

I find the Well Trained Mind Forums to be very helpful. Lots of threads about writing instruction. Use the Google.

Anonymous said...

Students at Garfield were told yesterday that the Latin instructor will be gone at the end of the semester. I can't imagine where the district will place him. Is anyone aware of a school in the district that has 150 or so students who need 1/2 year of instruction in Latin?

SusanH said...

GHS Parent: Thank you so much for that explanation! This is the first time I've understand how it all works. Appreciate it. :)

Anonymous said...

World language is considered a core class - how the bleep can they end it mid year? Those students can't just be absorbed into another language class mid year.

Anonymous said...

Are they trying to end the Latin program at Garfield??

Anonymous said...

Does anyone have experience with the middle school level writing courses via Johns Hopkins' CTY program? If so, would you recommend it?

HIMSmom

Lynn said...

World language credits aren't required for graduation - I think that's the Superintendent's definition of a core class. They're only important for college admissions. (I guess that's not a priority?)

HIMSMom,

We have experience with their summer camp writing classes. For a kid who loves to write - they are heaven.

Anonymous said...

I'm going to be totally skeptical here. Getting rid of the Latin teacher at GHS is a sure way to rally the parents to raise money to save the teacher. Targeting the exact demographic that can fundraise at will. The Latin teacher is going nowhere, the parents are paying the ransom the district wants, and all will be well.

Actually, this isn't skeptical. This is reality. And it is true, World Language is not a graduation requirement in SPS. Ted Howard is brilliant.

Anonymous said...

They have to place the Latin teacher somewhere - don't they? He isn't losing his job. Where are they going to place a Latin teacher mid-year....no other school offers Latin except Roosevelt.

-wondering

Maureen said...

Many language teachers are also certified to teach language arts. Didn't Garfield lose a French teacher in 2011-12 and seniors were told to finish their language on line?

Garfield parent said...

My daughter is in Latin and was told (by the teacher) that there was a rumor that the Latin teacher might be the teacher eliminated, BUT that it's far from confirmed to be so. And we just received a note from the PTA that indicates no teacher has been selected yet. Doesnt it have to be a teacher with less seniority? The Latin teacher has been at GHS for 5 years. I truly hope they do not end this program -- it is so special and the teacher is fantastic, he also runs a Latin club and opens his doors to students every afternoon for tutoring, he is incredibly dedicated

Anonymous said...

Tu ne cede malis, sed contra audentior ito

Latin: Do not give in to evil but proceed ever more boldly against it

Vergil Aeneid

Anonymous said...

To the parent wondering about handwriting assessments--the school district has occupational therapists. If your student has possible issues with pencil grip and handwriting, you could ask that this be evaluated. The district evaluation may not help much (you might still want an outside evaluation), but it could be a starting point. Your student might also qualify for OT during school. (Mine did for handwriting and other issues for many years, but we also had outside OT.) That said, the district's bar for getting help is pretty high and the help was limited in our case. Oh, and moving to keyboarding and/or voice recognition software can be useful and helpful in some cases once the student is old enough.
--Oh yes, OT parent

Anonymous said...

Thanks OT parent. I have asked teachers in the past whether they feel its a problem and they don't seem to - I wasn't sure how to take it further via the school system. Also, if teachers say yes its messy but don't seem to think its a big deal should I chill out about it and trust their judgment ( they see lots of handwriting after all) or go with my gut feeling?
Is there anyone you could recommend as an OT outside of the school district?
Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Regarding OT, I think I would tend to go with my gut feeling. If you think your student is struggling, then there is probably something going on, but my experience is that lots of difficulties aren't enough for the teachers to feel it matters. On the other hand, if the teachers can read the handwriting, it may not be as bad as you think.

I guess I'd observe and ask some questions. For example, if your student were to dictate an answer or an essay to you, would you get a significantly different result? (Meaning, would he/she use more advanced vocabulary, organize differently or something else significant?) If so, there's likely something going on. Also, how long does it take him/her to write? Is it excessively slow? If so, that's a possible sign. Does he/she avoid writing if possible? Does he/she feel frustrated by handwriting tasks and other similar tasks (like fine motor tasks--say, buttoning small buttons)? Would a pencil grip help? Would using a different pen help?

Regarding evaluations, I have a couple suggestions. I'm not clear on whether your student is in upper elementary or middle school. Assuming there is a school occupational therapist at your school, I would start by having a casual conversation with him or her and just asking some questions. You might not get an evaluation (and the OTs are generally overworked), but you might get some good pointers or insight. Or that person might suggest asking for an evaluation at school. It wouldn't cost anything and wouldn't mean waiting forever for an appointment.

If you want an outside evaluation, we used Children's hospital, but that was a long time ago. It wasn't an especially positive experience, but it was OK. I would just go with whatever might be in-network for your health insurance, if that is an option. We used a private OT near Northgate later, again, mainly because she had an opening and took our insurance in-network. She was fine with younger kids. I don't know how she would be with older kids.

There may be other approaches to testing and diagnosing, but since this is what we used, I don't have insights into those. There are handwriting exercises and there are exercises to work on fine motor control (like spinning tops, for example). But you'd need a professional to guide you, of course.

I hope that helps some. Good luck. It is complex to figure out these things to find support for your student, but admirable that you are noticing and trying to figure it out.

OT parent

Anonymous said...

What's up with 9th grade chemistry (IHS)? I've spent one too many weekends teaching basic concepts that don't seem to get covered well in class. Textbook reading is not assigned. This is getting very old very fast.

Anonymous said...

Isn't Algebra 1 and Geometry required for HS graduation? For kids who took those courses (or even more advanced math) in MS, does the Math requirement just become the more advance Math taken in HS?

-- Confused M

Anonymous said...

The galley,

It is common for writing disabilities to 'catch up with' students as the level of writing expectations rise in middle school & high school. Teachers are not trained to recognize or diagnose learning disabilities. Advanced learners can compensate for & mask a disability for years. If your child has a writing disability you need to get an psych-ed evaluation to identify the problem. Traditional writing programs do not address dysgraphia or disorder of written expression. Extra writing practice will not solve those problems. There are specific teaching methods & accommodations that can make a difference depending on the specific problem. It could be visual-spacial, orthographic processing, small motor-control or a combination. It is best to find out for sure if there is a problem beyond poor instruction & what the problem is.

You can get a psych-ed evaluation from school, but they are often denied & they are not always thorough. 2e kids can be harder to diagnose because of their good compensation skills. Private evaluations are available through the LEARN clinic at UW or a private provider like Dr. Amy Summers.

You would find lots of information from the many parents of 2e dysgraphic kids on the yahoo dysgraphia group.

Good luck.

-been there

thegalley said...

To: Been there -
Thanks so much for your comments - your response has been the only one here that doesn't ask questions that we've already ruled out. I can hear that you have , indeed, been here.
He's seeing an outside psychologist now and we are in a referral period waiting for a yay or nay on an evaluation. I was told by a private tutoring institution that the school CANNOT deny my request for an evaluation. ???
I was also told by a Seattle Schools employee that "grades don't matter" that my son will not have to repeat a class in which he receives a failing grade but will only move ahead. This pissed me off more than I can tell you here on this polite blog. I asked what would happen if he failed all his 7th grade classes (not happening) - would he have to repeat 7th grade? She said she's never seen it happen. Smoke coming out my ears.
I have always been a proponent of public schools but I am feeling that my child is being severely underserved and is slipping through the cracks.
My son's problem is not dysgraphia but I think is an executive function (high order cognition) problem. What is 2e?
Thanks for the recommendation for LEARN at UW

Anonymous said...

the galley,

They can deny an evaluation or they can opt to try some interventions first to see if they make any difference before agreeing to an evaluation. That can take the rest of the school year. Some teams are more willing than others to recommend evaluation. There are ways to pressure them if they decline.

2e is twice exceptional, a child who is gifted & has disability. These kids are harder to peg because they can often compensate & mask the disability or the disability can mask their giftedness. One reason why many teachers don't recognize the problems they are having and just think they are lazy.

They should know that grades will matter a lot in 9th grade, where failing means you don't graduate, so now is the time to get any remediation & accommodations in place. 2e kids drop out at a higher rate.

Once you have identified the problem, you may have to go outside of the school to get the services that you need, especially if you need specialized instruction & not just accommodations. That is where it gets difficult. Most middle schools do not provide much individualized instruction for learning disabilities. If you can pay for such intervention outside of school, then your child may progress more quickly.

The difficulty is finding instruction from someone who knows specialized methods that work with a specific deficit. The evaluator may have recommendations. You could also post on the 2e Seattle facebook page which has many app families.

The NCLD website (national center for learning disabilities) has lots of resources on executive function & other learning difficulties. Wa State OEO (Office of educational Ombudsman) gives great advice & will help you advocate with your school both for the evaluation & for services. They are based in Seattle, call them 866-297-2597

-been there

thegalley said...

Thanks so much.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know what is going on with the Latin program at Garfield? Is the teacher going to be let go or are negotiations in progress?

-wondering

Anonymous said...

I was told by a Garfield staff member that the Superintendent misspoke when he named the Latin teacher as the one to be cut. Ted Howard will make that call and he has not done that yet.

Anonymous said...

Oh I hope he does not cut the Latin!

Just encouraging everybody who cares to write to Ted Howard asking him to please keep the Latin program intact at Garfield!

-wondering

GHS parent said...

Does anyone know if its strictly Ted Howard who will make this decision? We've got precious little vague info form the PTA.
My daughter heard the same thing in class, the Latin teacher told his students that it was unlikely (in his opinion, because there is nowhere to transfer him to except RHS and they already have a Latin teacher) - BUT its still possible since I believe language teachers are certified to teach LA as well. It would be a huge blow to GHS and the students if they cut that absolutely wonderful, unique program which has its own club, T-shirts (that the kids all seem to wear almost constantly) and competitions, conventions, retreats, etc. I would say its one of the absolute best clsses ans teachers my kid has this year (Freshman).

Anonymous said...

Writing is not hard, per se, but it is a recursive process, much like other problem solving tasks. If your kid did not receive writing instruction as part of his elementary experience, that is the fault of his teachers. Accomplished teachers integrate writing across the curriculum, whether it's narrative writing about a about a small moment in Readers/Writers workshop, a procedure in Science, a State report, etc. The process is similar, regardless the writing task. If parents are concerned about writing in the elementary grades, be proactive and discuss the types of writing that your child can be expected to do in class. I find it hard to believe that any middle school kids didn't receive explicit writing instruction in elementary school. Our kid started APP in 6th and was very much prepared as a result of her elementary writing experiences.

Anonymous said...

Writing is not a curriculum, it is a process to communicate effectively across the curriculum.

Anonymous said...

Writing,the process, should be taught with a writing curriculum. It's not something our kids are born knowing, and often lags behind reading ability. -j

Anonymous said...

Reposting from the Save Seattle Schools blog…. I'm interested to know if anyone knows if this is true or not. The recent Thursday Note from Lincoln listed all the other programs at Lincoln and Interagency was not one of them……. also the construction issues???

Yes, Lincoln is an interagency this year, that is merely part of the construction noise and dust and solvent odor the kids are subjected to as parts of Lincoln are getting rehabbed. Crews wonder in and out. Port-a-potties are one the asphalt.

Basically, to raze the Wilson Pacific buildings, all the things that were there, save the Cascade children, got pushed into Lincoln, along with Ballard's SpEd program and Hale's SpEd program. No thoughtful program placement or school placement process at all.

People come and go in that site. Construction workers take the playground play stuff the PTA bought (to try and make up for the fact there is no playground) and use it as construction barriers. Really. I am not making this up. Nice. Major development is happening right across the street, roads are closed, traffic in the morning is 'cumbersome'. The Lincoln kids don't get access to a gym in proportional to their numbers (instead, 112 kids get the gym 50% of the time, and 700 get 50% of the gym, rather than splitting it 85/15 to make it fair for all kids), so, Lincoln kids have to double up during their infrequent PE classes -- 2 classes at the same time in one gym. 5th graders -- all 30 of them in a class -- get a measly TWO tables to eat at for their lunch. Two tables, that is the same number 1st graders get -- only there are fewer in a first grade class and their bodies are considerably smaller. The building adminstration does what it can, they are NOT the problem. It is JSCEE. Jon Halfaker? Doesn't care. He was asked about the risk assessment for mixing high schoolers with elementary aged children at Lincoln, and he was unresponsive (think, "talk to the hand" and you get the picture). The Lincoln kids will be there til Sept 2017. Before anyone says, "boo hoo, they are APP kids, let them eat cake", remember, this could be the same callous disregard the district will show to your community too one day. At the end of the day, these are just little kids. That's all. Little kids breathing in glue for the floors that got laid down, hearing the constant pining in their classrooms from the cement trucks and cranes. Some class rooms are less impacted than others. That is about as good as it gets.

Maybe Schmitz Park could go the port-a-potty route too? KIDDING!

As for breaking apart West Seattle Kids by using EC Hughes, the District already thought of this, secretly of course, but didn't get the money to upgrade Hughes.

Facilities ?Planning?

Anonymous said...

Hi everyone, do they send the Transition School/Early Entrance Invite to all APP middle schoolers?

Anonymous said...

I think they started sending it to all APP middle schoolers, or at least those in specific grades. They started that last year, if I recall correctly.

Anonymous said...

"do they send the Transition School/Early Entrance Invite to all APP middle schoolers?"

I think they do not send the invitation for ALL middle schoolers, but only for those 7 and 8th graders who have outstanding grades and test scores.
And the same goes for high schoolers for the UW Academy invitation in 10th grade.

Anonymous said...

How would the UW know which middle school students have outstanding grades and test scores?

Anonymous said...

The Invitation Letters are coming from the SPS Advanced Learning Office.

Anonymous said...

The Invitation Letter also says the following:
"In order to comply with FERPA and protect student confidentiality, SPS has not disclosed any student information to the Robinson Center. This mailing has been funded by the Robinson Center."

Anonymous said...

UW Transition School Information Sessions – Dec. 2nd (CLOSED) and January 8th.
https://robinsoncenter.uw.edu/2014/11/transition-school-info-sessions-december-january/

thegalley said...

It is difficult to respond to a particular comment when you are all listing yourselves as Anonymous. To the Anonymous that wonders didn't my child receive writing instruction in elementary school - of course he did. There just wasn't any follow through to insure that he was able to do the tasks required. He tests well so he passes in the end (previous years anyhow - it looks a lot less likely this year). My son basically hasn't done a written assignment (essay form) since 4th grade. A kid that tested 95 in reading and math APP entrance exam but gets more than a grade below current grade on writing MSP and they think he's just not trying. Makes me furious.