Thursday, January 22, 2015

Open thread

How are things going?


Anonymous said...

Early March is very late in the game to receive results from AL. Open enrollment ends March 6th. The Lincoln tour dates are in February, with the last one on March 2. What a mess.

Sam said...

Does anyone have any information about adjustments to open enrollment deadlines because of the late CogAT testing this year? Because Anonymous above is exactly right: if you get your results in early March and you need to appeal, you have only a day or two to finish open enrollment. What will happen to kids who are low on waiting lists for their requested schools? What's the point of CogAT testing if kids are going to end up in their same inadequate school situations anyway? I'm shaking my head but I'm also worried and stressed about our placement... If you qualify for Lincoln, do they have to let you in, or is there an enrollment limit?

And could I just say, the website for the school district is a HOT MESS. It's all spread over multiple pages with incomplete or contradictory information. It's hard to believe there are professionals running the show.

Anonymous said...

How many more free classrooms does Lincoln have? How many more students can the core facilities handle?

Of course they have to extend open enrollment and perhaps even the appeals process deadline. BUT, if they don't have next year's numbers until April or May, what happens if it's more kids than the building can handle?

There were about 425 students who went from Lowell to Lincoln in 2011. There are nearly 700 there now in APP plus another 150 kids from Pinehurst.

What's the plan if there are 750-800 APP kids next fall?

(oh, and yes, APP has to take everyone who qualifies. It's not like Spectrum, which can have wait lists)

Anonymous said...

Historically, open enrollment dates are not adjusted. If you plan to appeal, you enroll your child on time as if they've qualified (select APP placement). If the appeal is unsuccessful then you default to your neighborhood school. They might extend the appeal deadline, but not open enrollment. If you enroll in APP after open enrollment, APP placement is not guaranteed.

Anonymous said...

I agree that open enrollment dates will not be adjusted. Like last year, I think they unfortunately won't enforce a hard appeal deadline (which just makes more of a headache for Lincoln in terms of getting final numbers.) You will just need to send in your intent to appeal within 5 days of receiving your results. (This is on the AL website as of last Feb).

Also, they did not advertise it, but it came out on this blog last year that placement in HCC is actually guaranteed through Sept 30 because it is considered equivalent to the neighborhood school as a default pathway for HCC students (even though they are not automatically enrolled in it).

Anonymous said...

If you think your kid will get in put forward a transfer to the HCC school, if on appeal or on regular testing they will then be enrolled. Miss the deadline and you may put on a wait list.

Anonymous said...

When Garfield was at Lincoln there were over 1600 students, presumably the same when Roosevelt was there. Lot of room.

Anonymous said...

We didn't decide to enroll our son in APP at Lincoln until last summer. I had talked with the Advanced Learning Office on the phone during open enrollment, and they said we had through the first month of school to make the decision to move, but that once we moved, it would be impossible to change our minds and get back into Spectrum (because of the Spectrum wait lists).

I was told the wait lists at Lincoln were for out of area students wanting to attend, but those qualified students in area were guaranteed a seat.

The Advanced Learning website states that parents must
submit an intent to appeal within five days of the eligibility letter date, and include the testing appointment date.

So while as a parent I would like to know our kids tests results as soon as possible, from an enrollment standpoint in APP/HCC for the vast majority if not all students, the fact that testing is finishing later doesn't seem to matter.

Anonymous said...

Comparing how many students Lincoln can hold as HS vs Elem is not the way it works.

1) class sizes are radically different - Lincoln APP already has 30/31 kids in 4th and 5th grade, but HS can routinely have high 30s in classes. Really can't do that in 2d grade.

2) scheduling changes room use - for instance, in a HS the teacher can vacate the room during the teacher's free period and a different teacher can teach a section of class in there - that's happening at a lot of HS's in the north - basically hot-seating the junior teachers, who rotate between other teachers' classrooms. Can't do that in Elem! Can't have a 4th grade that rotates between rooms that are empty. Thus one teaching station is only in use by one teacher, no hot-seating.

3) Elem kids eat on campus. HS kids have open campus. And the cafeteria was "remodeled" since Garfield, chopped up to add the day care Kids Co in part of it, for instance - so the cafeteria is actually much smaller than it was when Garfield was there.

4) there's a determination that some areas that were used by HS/Hamilton MS are not appropriate for use by the Elem students - ie the underground gyms, b/c there's no safe bathroom anywhere near.

5) it already takes almost 30 minutes to load and move out the school buses at the end of the day. Neighborhood schools have no idea what getting 700 kids onto 12 (14?) buses looks like. It's a military battalion deploying, every single day. HS kids didn't have this challenge either.

Neither the school nor the neighborhood can support doubling the number of kids - and having 20 - 24 buses there? No.

So while yes, they can get more kids in the building - and they will - A SECOND KEY PAD IN THE CAFETERIA WOULD BE HELPFUL.

And some help with buses - a traffic cop for a half hour at the intersection to let the buses get into traffic on 45th? - those would be really helpful. Really.

Signed: challenged

Anonymous said...

I was a parent when the kids first moved from Lowell to Lincoln and it was made clear that much of the south wing couldn't be used for elementary kids. Some of those classrooms have had no improvements to them in years and many of the rooms are too small for the large class sizes of today.

I am concerned that with the massive overcrowding in the north that there is no way they can reopen Lincoln as a high school by 2019. The Lincoln kids were supposed to move to a school that is not even being built now. Where are those kids to go?


Anonymous said...

Some are recommending doing a preemptive private test instead of waiting for the district results. Is this really necessary? Especially if we're confident in our k kid's ability? Is it really impossible to schedule an appointment once results come out if he ends up not qualifying?

Anonymous said...

People schedule appeals testing appointments months ago. It is unlikely to get an appointment now, but worth trying.

Anonymous said...

I have never heard of anyone actually not getting an appointment if they call when they get results. No Idea what 10:21 is talking about. Maybe you won't get your first choice tester for a time you are available, but I believe most people only call when they need to. And it's fine.

Anonymous said...

Some families with appointments will likely cancel when they get their positive results. So, appointments will open up in early March. If SPS sends out waves of resuls like last year, it makes it very hard for parents to book an appointment in advance.

-been there

Anonymous said...

The comments about private testing really don't make a lot of sense.

If the student hits the *minimal* thresholds, then he/she is HCC qualified and you can opt in if you think that is the best approach to intervening.

If your child does NOT hit those benchmarks, barring any special circumstances, such as an ELL or IEP situation, or some impactful life situation that was concurrent with the test taking (i.e., divorce or major illness) then, maybe pre-worrying about getting some appointment is getting a bit ahead of yourself? Because, perhaps, your student is not requiring intervention?

HCC is an intervention for students whose needs cannot be met in other environments. But, if students do not clear the benchmarks, that would indicate this intervention was not designed for their learning needs (except, per above, in the cases of special circumstances, such as ELL or IEP or a particularly difficult situation that would have impacted the student strongly during test days so as to distort performance).

Obviously, you may disagree, but, thinking about having your son or daughter joining a program he/she is not ready for, does not need, nor could benefit from doesn't really make that much sense. It is a bit like putting a child in a Varsity swim team when the child can't do the butterfly stroke. It would potentially be humiliating to try and learn 'on the fly' while the teammates were at the other end of the pool. It could be deleterious to the student's performance, learning, and frankly self-esteem.

You know your student best. Their cognition and achievement should not be a mystery to you, as their parent/guardian. You already know from years of achievement testing. If you have a young student, you may not have years of data, but, HCC students are not subtle. Their precocious reading (and arguing) ability is very, very clear.

Just something else to think.

If student does not preform at the required minimum achievement level, or, does not demonstrate the cognitive abilities minimum, worrying about getting more testing lined up won't change the test results.

Anonymous said...

The appeals process is a means of taking into account the measure of error in standardized tests. If your child is working above grade level, reading voraciously, and yet misses the cutoff by one point on one test, you'd probably want to appeal. Or perhaps previous MAP tests have all been in the 99%ile, but the one test used for identification is at the 94%ile. You are right, a parent knows their student best, and an appeals process allows for more input and finding the best fit.

Anonymous said...

Throwing someone into a pool and asking them to do the butterfly is a pretty bad analogy. The Cogat is not a fail-proof test for the highly gifted.

Anonymous said...

I strongly disagree with 3:32. I understand there are equity reasons for being against appeals using private IQ tests, but as a parent, I would want the most accurate data on my child. If my kid did NOT get the scores on a private IQ test, then I would strongly suspect that maybe my child isn't academically gifted after all. But I wouldn't think that based on the results of the group CogAT.

If kids are young, the group CogAT can be problematic. AL knows this, but there really isn't a better cognitive test that is affordable (as far as I know).

Anonymous said...

@3:32. Congratulations. You came off in your comment every bit the jerk that non-HCC parents believe all HCC parents are. Did you stop to think about the stereotypes you just perpetuated? Did you stop to think how condescending you sounded to great parents/caregivers who may not have the background or propensity to seek out giftedness in their children?

And the Varsity Sports analogy? Please lose it. Quick. Ditto the denigration of private testing, which many families have found useful in making headway in understanding and helping their children.

Besides coming off as wrong-headed you are also flat out wrong in your statement HCC students are not subtle. Their precocious reading (and arguing) ability is very, very clear.

Sure, there are plenty of early readers and extrovert arguers in the HCC cohort. There are also plenty who are not. Giftedness comes in all manner of outward personalities and individual strengths/weaknesses. I am picturing my own kid and his posse right now. They're in the program but none of them particularly like reading and none of them count debate skills among their strengths. In fact, they would have been easily passed over by the school system and we parents as academically highly capable had various outside opinions not crashed into their lives. For one child, an adult noticed a vivid imagination. For another, computer skills. For a third, a propensity to fail in the classroom but to self-start learning in other venues.

Cognition and testing ARE a mystery to the majority of parents out there. Understanding and identifying giftedness in children IS a difficult subject even for professionals in the fields of education and psychology. That's why there is endless discussion on this blog and others like it. That's also one reason why it is hard to obtain money for gifted programs, hard to train teachers in gifted instruction and hard to develop strong programs for the rainbow of gifted students.

Soapbox over.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

@Soapbox -Thank you for your eloquent response to the wrongheaded poster. I won't be nearly so eloquent. To 3.32 poster- Just because your HCC kid is a voracious reader and arguer does not make those defining traits of all HCC kids. And I would argue that perhaps those kids who do not necessarily appear to their parents and teachers as being *clearly* being HCC material (but neither -the -less are indeed highly capable) are the ones most at risk of being underserved in the gen ed setting and just as, if not more in need of the special program than the in-your-face precocious kids. My HCC kids did not stand out to me, or others as particularly brilliant - they likely would be not attracted any attention in the gen ed classroom (except perhaps negative attention for fooling around), but they tested as HCC and they are doing very well in the program. Oh, and BTW - research shows that precocious reading ability does NOT correlate well with high IQ necessarily anyway. Lots of kids who are early readers end up just on par with their same-aged peers by 3rd grade or so.
Parental impressions of academic giftedness do not always turn out to be correct, and some kids that are overlooked are in fact academically gifted.

I agree with the other posters about considering individual private testing (the most accurate form) if you feel the results of group testing are not representative of your child.

Anonymous said...

My experience with private testing: My son was a late reader. He's also a quiet, unobtrusive kid. Never made trouble in his Gen Ed classes, but always made 99% on his MAP.

The first time my son took the group COGAT test (3rd grade), he came home with a very elaborate detailed drawing of a spaceship. He reported that he was allowed to draw as soon as he finished each section of the test, so he rushed through to get the drawing done. I didn't privately test or appeal because I thought, "no, he's apparently not gifted enough for the program."

The next year he took the COGAT test again (4th grade). I said, "now this time, remember to take your time!". He proceeded to take so long with each question that he didn't finish the test. Again, I felt it was somehow meant to be, so didn't privately test.

The following year, he once again scored just a couple of points below the threshhold, so I reluctantly made an appointment for private testing, just to make sure. When tested one on one, he was deemed decidedly in the HCC range, no question. He started the program for 6th grade and his world opened up. He's at the top of his classes and for the first time in his life, likes school.

I so wish we had made the effort to get him in earlier.

Anonymous said...

Glad to see posters pointing out that early reading is not the definitive manifestation of giftedness. Certainly early reading can even out in the later grades.HCC kids, by contrast, are usually reading well ahead of grade level in third grade, but they are not necessarily early to develop reading fluency. In my experience, it just happens very quickly once it "happens".

Anonymous said...

I personally know several families whose private testing results were much more in line with their impressions of their kids than were the Cogat results, and who used private testing to meet the HCC requirements. For the most part those kids have thrived in APP or at least risen to the challenge. Has ANYONE ever given ANY concrete reason for being suspicious of the relevance of private testing? I understand equity concerns. I just don't understand why anyone would question the veracity of the results.

Anonymous said...

If privately tested kids are just "rising to the challenge" they more than likely are not profoundly gifted and do not need the cohort to survive. Millions are spent on private testing, it is a huge boon to Seattle psychologists, and with the very high price tag, out of the reach of most. Seems to have become a bit more classist the larger the program has become, especially in the northend.

Anonymous said...

But if they were admitted to HCC, the private test indicated 98%. What reason would you have to distrust that result?

Anonymous said...

Perhaps there is merit to reevaluating the APP designation at certain benchmarks. This student tested in at 7 years old. Things change? If a student is unable to do the work at an APP level, what difference does is it make what the test scores are on one day 7 years ago? Why should they retain the access to Garfield? It makes little sense, but that is the huge program that APP is today. One way ticket.

Honest Story

Anonymous said...

to anon at 2.51 "Rising to the challenge" does imply it has been a struggle or difficult - it just shows that the kids were capable or doing more advanced stuff, and when presented with it, took it on, and did well. This is the whole reason we want them in HCC - so they can have some academic challenge instead of just coasting along.
How can you read into that - that those kids were therefore not profoundly gifted in the first place and somehow not 'worthy' of HCC/should have stayed in the gen ed. Are you saying the only kids who should be in HCC are those who find the accelerated workload sooo easy that it is no challenge at all??
Academically gifted kids still need to be taught new concepts or exposed to them (they don't just automatically know everything) - they just pick them up faster, with fewer repetitions, and may further their inquiry more than same -grade/age peers. They will also not likely have areas of strength and weakness just like any students (even if their 'weaker' subjects are still >95th percentile). More importantly, these kids need to have the experience of being challenged, having to put in some real effort, and overcome initial difficulty, (or even failure) in order to learn and grow and be able to function optimally in the world as an adult. It is not just about learning the material and getting the grade - it is the whole experience of school and learning and developing skills that will see them through the rest of their life. This is part of the whole reason for having an HC cohort. There are certainly those kids in HCC who are not having their very very very advanced academic needs met but they are probably the top few percent of the top few percent.
The problem with gen ed is that there is so often no challenge to rise to, nothing to stretch the kids and many of them aren't independently motivated at young elementary level to seek out more/harder stuff (and the teachers don't/won't/ can't always identify and provide it to those who would benefit). I'm sure many non- HCC- qualifying kids are also capable of more - if only they were presented the the challenge. But our schools are what they are. In gen ed classes, Highly capable kids will cruise along, always finding it easy enough, never developing the skills like perseverence, coping with failure or not being among the best at something, good study habits, a sense of delight in learning, the ability to seek and receive feedback or deal with criticism.
So what is the solution? It is even less equitable to expect parents to identify and provide all of this for their kids outside of school via homeschooling or tutoring while the kids spend the day languishing in classes that teach them nothing they didn't already know (that is more like daycare not school). Taking this on is a lot more of a stretch in time (for parent and child) and money than a one off expense for private testing so that they can be presented with a challenge to rise to.
I think you're just plain wrong and misguided.

Anonymous said...

Is there a draft document of the HCC middle school curriculum/framework that parents can view? Does anyone know the status of the working group?

Anonymous said...

Ha! Good one, Anonymous at 10am.

-Old Timer

Anonymous said...

I understand the skepticism, Old Timer, yet it was asked in seriousness.


Anonymous said...

Still waiting for those calling private testing into question to tell me why you would mistrust the results as a measure of giftedness.

Especially in kindergarten, scoring well on the Cogat assumes the student is wanting and trying to answer the questions during the group test. This is not especially likely for a variety of reasons.

Anonymous said...

Chapping my hide today: The only open house for McClure and for HIMS are planned for the same day and time, tonight. How are parents trying to determine the best fit for their child who could go to either school supposed to make that decision? How about those who don't know if HIMS will or will not be an option. Which school do they go to?

It is as if the principals at each school are trying to stick a thumb in the eye of HCC qualified families.
When trying to make the same decision two years ago, we attended the HIMS open house, which could not have been less helpful if they'd tried. There was no main presentation, no information on the pros and cons of the HCC classes or even which subjects are HCC and which are not....just nothing to help guide families who are new to HCC and don't know the ins and outs. Certainly nothing to help kids decide. They handed us a map of the school that simply had room numbers and teacher names, but not subjects or those teachers to talk to if you were interested in HCC. There were many rooms with no teachers at all. And now both schools have their open houses the same night.


Anonymous said...

How is Lincoln going to handle all the tours booked by families who think they MIGHT get into APP? The tours are usually packed to the gills already, and they are all scheduled to occur before results are due to be sent out.

I wish that AL would consider sending the results out in waves. For example, by school, or to K students who did not qualify for achievement testing based on Cogat.

Anonymous said...

I am a parent of a kindergarten in a non-SPS school and I am finding the process somewhat confusing. My son tested within the HCC range on a private test last year. We have not gotten the CogAT test results yet. Since he has not taken the MAP test, I have no idea how he might score. My question is: if we find out that for whatever reason the CogAT score isn't high enough, then we'll need to schedule Woodcock-Johnson testing on our own, correct? And if those test results are high enough we could successfully appeal. I'm just not sure whether to proactively do the WJII testing or wait for the CogAT test scores and do it then. My son is also young for his grade with a summer birthday---does anyone know if the WJII test scores are normalized to age or grade? There are kids in his kindergarten now over a year older.

Anonymous said...

Private K mom, you are correct. If, when you get your results, the Cogat score is not high enough for HCC, you will need to get your own achievement testing. You can then appeal with your completed IQ test result plus your new achievement scores if they are high enough.

I think you could wait for your results to make an appointment. Achievement tests are quicker to administer than IQ tests. It is highly likely that you could find an appointment after you get your results. The appeal this year will probably require that you notify of your intent to appeal with a certain time-frame of receiving your result. Not a hard deadline.

I am pretty achievement testing is grade normed.

Anonymous said...

Steamed - That is unfortunate timing. We chose HIMS over McClure, and especially in light of the recent changes at McClure, I absolutely believe it is the better choice for most HCC kids. There are plenty of frustrations with HIMS, often expressed here, and with the principal leaving after this year it is hard to know whether HIMS will change for the better. But the one fact that is certain is that there is a cohort of similar kids there. In elementary school on the Hill, we often heard the "smart kid" label applied to our kid, and the other kids didn't always see the other aspects of our kid's personality. At HIMS, intelligence isn't the thing that makes a kid stand out, so they can feel less awkward (middle school is awkward enough!). Also, we have asked several HCC kids at HIMS whether they ever hear of bullying at school, and they say they aren't aware of any, at least not in the HCC programs. The music program at HIMS is phenomenal. And having multiple choices for high school is also a real benefit (though of course that could change). McClure and Ballard are both great schools, with many strengths, but there are benefits to the HCC cohort.

- Hill Parent

Anonymous said...

P.S. I know that HCC cohort is technically redundant, but it seemed less confusing that way.
-Hill Parent

Anonymous said...

Tour signups are posted on the Lincoln website.
I'm glad the signup mentions that the program will only be at Lincoln for two more years. Parents of current K-second graders need to consider the impact of a move (and probably split).

juicygoofy said...

Hi. We toured HIMS last night, and am now terribly confused about which electives to choose for 6th grade. Given her druthers, my kid would take spanish, choir AND band, but we know only 2 are possible. I'd love to gather other's experiences, not only in 6th grade at HIMS, but beyond. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Looking down the road, taking a foreign language is important if you want IBX to be an option. Students are expected to enter freshman year at the 2nd year level of a foreign language. Band was a good experience for our child - really one of the best parts of the day. The HIMS band director will be retiring after next year. I'd strongly suggest band for next year and leave the decision between band and choir for 7th and 8th grade.

Anonymous said...

My kid did orchestra and Spanish at HIMS for two years. In 8th grade she did orchestra and senior jazz. At GHS in 9th grade she had a disappointing experience in 2nd yr. French--the teacher did not make it challenging enough). For electives she had French and orchestra. So in 10th and 11th she has done orchestra and choir. For world language she is taking a for-credit on-line Spanish that will not be part of her GHS diploma. Instead it will need to be submitted separately.

Anonymous said...

Why is Advanced Learning pushing this idea that families should enroll during Open Enrollment as if they are eligible for HCC, even if they haven't gotten their results?

Enrollment in HCC is guaranteed until Sept. 30.

It's asking too much of families to weigh their options, tour the HCC schools, and make the leap when they are not sure they've qualified. It may drastically increase appeals, too, as people feel they must find a way to get in once they've already enrolled. Doesn't this just make more work and heartbreak?


Anonymous said...

The next meeting of the Highly Capable Services Advisory Committee will be tomorrow:

Tuesday, February 3, Washington Middle School Library, 6:30-8:30 pm

Superintendent Larry Nyland and Washington Principal Susan Follmer will attend the meeting.
Time and schedules permitting, we will hear from both about their views on education for highly capable students.

Anonymous said...

Regarding 6th gr electives, my kid wanted to take the arts class. She had a PE Waiver and took band and art (all year) in 6th, then took SPanish and band in 7th and 8th. Several other kids started Spanish 1 in 7th grade as well, but they moved at a much faster pace than the 6th gr Spanish 1 and were grouped together since all in 7th gr, so by the end of 8th grade they were all at the samelevel as far as entering HS. When she started 9th gr at Garfield last Fall, she decided to move to Latin so in the end, it didnt matter for her whether she took 1, 2, or 3 years of Spanish but she did enjoy it in 7th and 8th gr. One thing I wish we had known is that yr kid's choice of electives at HIMS (and perhaps all MS) completely drives their schedules. eg Kids who took Japanese and Band had the majority of their classes together; kids who opted for a higher-level music class due to private lesson experience sometimes had awkward schedules that required them to take a higher-grade lunch period, things like that. It did affect social groupings quite a bit, IMO.
- GHS mom

Anonymous said...

Come tomorrow and hear from Dr. Nyland about Highly Capable Cohort

The APP AC (now the Highly Capable Cohort Advisory Committee) has regularly scheduled meetings the first Tuesday of the month. They always start at 6:30pm and are held at APP/HCC sites. At each meeting, a speaker comes to discuss relevant topics: the heads of Curriculum and Instruction, Math, and LA/SS have come, as have the newly hired specialists in professional development, etc. Always interesting to hear directly from the District policy makers!


Tuesday, February 3, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Washington Middle School Library

Tuesday, March 3, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Jane Addams Middle School Library

Tuesday, April 7, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Fairmount Park Elementary School Library

Tuesday, May 5, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Ingraham High School Library

Tuesday, June 2, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Garfield High School Library

Please come and be part of the discussion and support public gifted education

Anonymous said...

So if you are considering between an option school and Lincoln but you won't know if your child has qualifying scores before open enrollment ends, should you put the option school first? And then if your child qualifies for APP after open enrollment try to get them into Lincoln then? Have people been successful getting into Lincoln after open enrollment? I don't want to lose a chance on getting into the option school if child doesn't qualify for Lincoln.

Lynn said...

From page 34 of the Student Assignment Procedures:
Students entering APP in grades 1-8 who apply during the period from Open Enrollment through September 30 will be guaranteed assignment to their APP pathway school for next year, based on where they live. Students who live in the Eckstein, Hamilton, Jane Addams, Whitman, or McClure Service Areas will be assigned to the APP@ Lincoln, Hamilton, and Garfield pathway. Students who live in the Washington, Mercer, Aki Kurose, Madison, or Denny Service Areas will be assigned to the Thurgood Marshall, Washington, and Garfield pathway.

Lynn said...

Hmmm. I see HCC at JAMS has been dropped from the procedure. I'll email someone about that.

Anonymous said...

Where is the Lincoln program going to go after the next two years? Is it really too big to fit in W-P or is that still the plan? Should parents of first graders be anticipating a split to an unknown location? That would be a big factor in our decision.

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 4:04, I would email your question to Advanced Learning. But yes, I think you should put the option school first if it is a program that tends to carry a wait list at your grade. You can switch your application to Lincoln if you get in. If you put Lincoln first and don't get in, your enrollment in Lincoln might not be negated until it's too late to join the option program.

Laurie said...

GHS mom--where is your daughter doing the Spanish online? We are debating doing something similar for my son…. Has it been a good experience for her?

Anonymous said...

9:34, yes. It is really too big. I feel certain it will split, who knows to where.

Anonymous said...

Anyone know if you can use last year's Cogat result to appeal for the current year? I know private iq tests are good for more than one year.

Anonymous said...

Thoughts on the latest JAMS schedule changes? It seems kind of wonky - a couple days with 1st lunch at 10:10, 4th period split in two for some students, and the addition of SSR (Sustained Silent Reading). It seems the extra 40 min of SSR was carved out of class time as several class periods went from 55 to 50 min.

Anonymous said...

I received an email from the Highly Capable Services Advisory Committee with a list of school tour dates. It said that the Ingraham IBX tour is Tuesday the 10th. Ingraham's website says the tour is Thursday the 12th for IBX. Does anyone have clarification?

Thank you,


Anonymous said...

Anon. at 6:07,

Where did you get the specific info about the new schedule? My kid came home with a story about the changes, but I can't find any information about it online and I didn't get a message about it.

Anonymous said...

Parents received the following info:
Wednesday, February 4 - Open House for Incoming Students (7 pm in the Auditorium)
Tuesday, February 10 - IB Information Night (7 pm in the Library)
Wednesday, February 11 - School Tour (8-9:30 am)
Thursday, February 12 - IBX Information Night ( 7 pm in the Library)
Thursday, February 26 - School Tour (8-9:30 am starts in Auditorium)
If you have any more questions, concerns, please call Mary Smith at the Front Desk. She is amazing.
IHS mom

Anonymous said...

The teacher showed a copy of the new schedule during class and my child wrote it down. The JAMS website had a link to the student survey (though several 6th and 7th grade APP classes somehow missed participating).


Anonymous said...

What??? APP JAMS students were 'left out' of the student survey???

2 questions:

1. Why?

2. What is being done to rectify this so that the principal has ALL feedback from students?

I can't believe the building would intentionally leave out certain kids, and them absent their feedback, implement Sustained Silent Reading. (APP kids need instruction time and project based learning, 'sustained reading' is something they do, typically in spades, all on their own).

Hoping to learn more

Anonymous said...

JAMS Principal chat is this Thursday, 9-10.

Anonymous said...


To add onto the previous response, the IBx evening event is not a tour. Tours at Ingraham only occur during the day, at least as far as I know. It is instead a presentation and Q+A specific to APP students and families.

Also, to chime in about foreign languages, my son really wanted to continue with Spanish and Ingraham offers six levels of Spanish, Japanese, and French which allowed him, having taken three years of language at middle school to enter at Level 3 as a Freshman.

IBx Family

Anonymous said...

Hoping to Learn,

I don't think the leaving out of some kids in the student feedback survey was intentional. The students were supposed to do it in science class, and some teachers didn't allot the time. I would hazard a guess that the schedule change happened because teachers wanted it, and the student survey offered a little bit more data to support decisions that were already in place. (My son is hopeful that the daily advisory will work kind of how homeroom did at Hamilton).

As for the 20 minutes of reading, I bet the new schedule with the multiple lunches and the blocks left a small chunk of time unfilled, so they filled it with reading. But that's a great question to ask the principal at her community meeting.

Anonymous said...

Some of the student survey questions related to advisory (there were also questions about the RULER social/emotional program):

15. Advisory is 55 minutes long. Is this advisory time
*Too short*Just right*Too long

16. If Advisory was 30 minutes long, would this be
*Too short*Just right*Too long

17. Advisory class is 2 days per week. This is
*Not enough*Just right*Too much

18. Which of the following Advisory options would you like the most?
*Advisory offered every day for 30 minutes.
*Advisory offered two days a week for 55 minutes.[previous schedule]
*Advisory offered two days a week for 30 minutes.

19. Where would you like Advisory to be?
*Beginning of the day
*Middle of the day
*End of the day

There were no questions about SSR. A survey does indicate they value student feedback and want what's best for students, though perhaps we disagree on what's best.

Whatever the reason for the survey snafu (I don't think it was intentional), students may be more resentful of changes if they know they were left out of the decision.

??? said...

Anyone catch the Advisory Committee meeting last night with Nyland? How many folks showed and what was the vibe?

kindergartenmama said...

Does anyone know if any kindergarten students have been given the Woodcock-Johnson test yet for purposes of HCC eligibility? My son goes to Whittier and was given the CogAT last month but we've heard nothing since. The district won't give me any more info than "most families will hear about eligibility in early March." Just trying to figure out when we'll know if he scored high enough on the CogAT to warrant more testing for HCC eligibility. We had him private tested last year for another school and know he meets the IQ qualification for HCC but know that the CogAT is not always accurate for the younger students. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Hi Laurie,
From GHS mom, My daughter does Spanish on line through BYU (Brigham Young University) high school level program. There are two choices, either in a group or totally on your own. She has to send in a recording that is part of the final project and also take a proctored exam at the end. Everything else is on line. She likes it a lot. She has quite a bit of language background but does need the credits. Since she did a couple of years of Spanish in middle school, she does know how to speak it. Some lessons have listening that goes along with the content.
GHS mom

Anonymous said...

Laurie, I think my daughter would definitely recommend the program for any interested student. Before we signed up I called and spoke with the office people and they answered all our questions.

Laurie said...

Thanks, GHS mom--I'll check it out!

Anonymous said...

Given the growth boundaries 'geo split' that will happen out of Hamilton in a few years that will directly affect APP at Hamilton, plus, the question mark beside who will be the principal next year at Hamilton, and Mr. Pounder's exit, I am going tonight to hear about Jane Addams' middle school where half of APP from Lincoln is headed:

Community Meetings with Principal Montgomery - Thursday February 5th

Come and meet with Principal Montgomery Thursday, February 5th, for a community Q&A get­-together.
This is a great time to find out what's going on at JAMS and have your questions answered.

7 PM ­ 8 PM: Northgate Community Center (10510 5th Ave NE - Across the street from Northgate Mall)

All families are welcome!

Anonymous said...

Being in the 98th percentile -- the cutoff -- does not make a child profoundly gifted. It's classified as highly gifted. That's the official benchmark at for APP/HCC. But are you saying the highly gifted don't need gifted education? I don't think parents in other cities consider gifted education only for those who can't "survive" without it. Why do we have to view this kind of education in Seattle in such dire terms? Isn't it a good thing to make sure the highly gifted thrive as well? They could also go off the rails without it.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone have experience with middle school Spectrum at Broadview Thomson? Does it exist at all in practice? I hear that lots of Broadview Thomson Spectrum kids go to Whitman when they hit 6th grade.


Anonymous said...

Went to the JAMS open house. Been meaning to post for those who couldn't make it. Especially since I then went to the Hamilton open house that happened after JAMS'.

JAMS was fantastic! The open house was beautifully organized.

It had a great schedule: 4 mini presentation periods from content areas in the classrooms after a solid welcoming presentation by the principal and her students in the auditorium. There were greeters with a flyer of the school map (nice touch!) and the schedule and location of all choices (math, art, science, PE, LA/SS, etc.) when you first arrived. There were parent volunteers to help you find your way and answer questions. Paula Montgomery herself touched on the highlights of her school, and the part I always love the most was when the school's actual students tell you what they love about their school. There were 3 great kids who were fantastic.

The auditorium was filled with what seemed like at least half of Lincoln families. My kid saw classmates from virtually all of the many classes throughout the years at Lowell/Lincoln. Which was great, because it meant the tribe will continue to all be together as they get to meet new kids too.

The math presentation was really great. Very clear about the pathways. LOVED hearing that 6th graders taking Algebra 1 do so with only other 6th graders! Also great to hear they don't really use CMP, but they were discrete and didn't announce that at the session. They said that after during one on one. The math teachers were recruited from Mercer, which is great because it was known for the "Mercer Miracle" for taking a high F&RL student population and lifting them up to be math stars under their leadership.

Music was next, and, my kid saw a room FULL of Lincolnites with 2 really great teachers. The band teacher seemed really to get kids, with her joke hall of shame pencils and her effusive personality.

The Technology class was also a big hit with my kid. The teacher gave a strong presentation showing all the possibilities. The course was modeled on the best of what Eckstein has offered. In fact, looked like some of the best Eckstein teachers jumped over to start JAMS, so the faculty all seem really solid.

The science presentation was the best thing all evening. My kid cannot wait to take middle school science, and is particularly excited to have the best state-of-the-art science labs in the whole district. I heard from a lot of other Lincoln parents whose children's responses were the exact same.

We didn't go to art, but, parents I spoke with after were really, really excited about that too. Apparently, JAMS offers ceramics and has a kiln, which is very cool. (Maybe all middle schools have this, I just didn't know).

The YMCA does the after school program, and Meadowbrook Community Center is also doing a program too.

The building was beautiful, filled with natural light (we got there early to check it out) and hallways were wide and the cafeteria was spacious and the fields are HUGE.

The principal, Paula Montgomery, has been able to hire excellent teachers. I found out she didn't have to accept any placements. So all of the teachers 'earned' their jobs. Obviously, that has made a difference.

JAMS' open house was a HUGE contrast to the Hamilton one. But then again, I've been to the Hamilton one for a couple of years, and, it was always so 'free form' that it made me think they didn't want APP families to send their APP kids there, that it was their subtle way at trying to dampen attendance. Who knows. The fact that they are facing a principal 'transition' is a big risk. Maybe they will get a rock star like Montgomery. I also found out that Montgomery has kids in APP, so, it was great to know that she 'gets' our kids.

So, that is my summary FWIW.

JAMS bound

Anonymous said...

Agree with preceding poster on HIMS open house, if it was like last year's. An insult to any parent, not just APP.

Ballard open house last night was very informative. My kid and I liked it. Anything to be aware of, for an HC parent? Seems like there will be plenty of challenge available, with AP World history and lit classes. He'll have had geometry so will start with Alg2, honors I think, and could take two years of AP calc...did I understand that correctly? Some college credit available or running start. Nice if you are trying to get a few credits under your belt for a reasonable price (free). Seemed like a likable orchestra teacher with a nice performance by a small string ensemble. Astronomy course developed with the UW looked awesome. We liked the feel of the school. Much closer than Ingraham or Garfield.

Anything to be aware of, for an HC parent?

Looking at HS

Anonymous said...

Thanks 'JAMS bound' for the great summary for those of us that couldn't make it.

I had been trying to find more info about course offerings and sequence at JAMS but the school website was not helpful. Is anyone able to answer these questions….

What is the math pathway for APP students at JAMS?

Are the APP classes for math/LA/science etc self-contained or combined with spectrum or high-achieving gen ed students.

What languages are being taught?

What does the LA/social studies curriculum cover at each grade level?

How do you find the support in terms of helping the kids develop good organizational skills, keeping track of assignments, good study habits, appropriate use of internet etc?

What is the homework load?

I would love to hear from current JAMS APP families about how there impressions.

Lotsa questions

Anonymous said...

I didn't want to write too long of a post above, but, we did get all that info too, so here are some additional JAMS details:

Math pathway:
For APP kids, it typically is Math 8 in 6th grade, then Algebra 1 in 7th, then Geometry in 8th. Math is not 'part' of the APP pathway per se, it is a function of your child's (and everyone childs') 5th grade math test scores. Many APP kids will test straight into Algebra 1 for 6th grade, then they take Geometry in 7th, and Algebra 2 in 8th.

World Languages: Spanish and French. If enrollment numbers grow, they will offer a third language - presumably Mandarin, but, parents who want this should make that desire known NOW. They have to lobby for it. It is a chicken and egg question. High schools don't have Mandarin, so, the middle schools don't teach it. But, the middle schools don't teach it because the high schools don't teach it. Vicious circle! Contact Ms. Montgomery to fervently express you desire.

I didn't go to that presentation, but I spoke to someone who said it is District controlled. That right now, all 3 HCC sites (WMS, HIMS, JAMS) are having meetings to hash out the curriculum so that it is aligned at all three schools for all APP middle school students. That is being led by Advanced Learning. But, that doesn't answer your questions, because that work is not finished. So, what they will do next year may be different (better?) than what they did this first year for LA//SS at JAMS.

In general, it seems like LA has been a really weak component of SPS for elementary and middle schools for year for ALL students (gen ed and APP); not because of the teachers, but because of the fuzzy curriculum (no grammar? book clubs? ugh). Plus, at Hamilton, the teachers have been yanked away from APP kids, so that further complicates the delivery of the course. Now that Washington has a new principal, I am not sure how that program is going to fair either in terms of LA. But, WMS was always seen as the FAR stronger LA school as compared to Hamilton, whether that is true or not, I don't know.

WMS parents use to complain about all the homework. Cindy Watters seemed to be very anti-homework, so it was reported that LA started to get weak for that fact alone (not enough writing assignments). But, with the District's HCC alignment initiative, this may all equalize, including homework.

Study skills, organization:
That is what Advisory is for. JAMS uses Advisory to teach common expectations and also to teach social and emotional curriculum (they use the Ruler, like Lincoln) to support the complex needs of middle schoolers (for example, in 8th grade advisory, they teach about how to respond to hazing the kids may encounter once they arrive in high school, but they don't teach that to the 6th graders). They recruited a head counselor who used to be a WMS for a decade, so again, he is another resource who knows and 'gets' our kids, and, really knows a lot about Garfield.

Lastly, PE waivers. Old timers will know that Hamilton's PE waiver 'policy' bounced around a bit, they required more hours that they had to to get a waiver. That settled down. JAMS is refreshingly very straight forward. It is clear and consistent. But, this first year, they did not necessarily have enough sections of electives other than PE, but that will change this year because the enrollment numbers are growing and they will have a far better sense of who is coming and what they need so the master schedule can be built out to reflect those needs. But, FWIW, I heard the PE teachers are great.

Other JAMS parents will hopefully be able to answer your questions specifically. But, do remember, the District is doing the changes and driving curriculum in ALL middle school HCC locations for all LA/SS, which hopefully will yield a stronger, more defined and equitable experience.

JAMS Bound

Anonymous said...

Homework load: It varies depends on who you ask, but it's been on the light side, almost too light from our perspective.

Math pathway: They are trying to keep math grouped by grade for each course, instead of mixing all grade levels in one class. At HIMS, an Algebra 1 class may have 6th-8th graders, but at JAMS they have a 6th grade only Algebra 1 class. Grouping by grade can create scheduling conflicts, so it will be interesting to see how this is handled in future years.

LA/SS curriculum: It's now supposed to follow the WA state SS sequence, so World history in 6th and 1st half of 7th, WA State history the 2nd half of 7th, then US history for 8th. There is nothing more specific than that. LA/SS has been the biggest disappointment for us (and it's a big part of the day). They are covering very limited content, have no texts (except for WA State history), and are doing little in the way of solid writing instruction. I honestly don't know how it's considered APP level. Maybe it varies by grade (I've heard more positive reports of 6th grade).


Anonymous said...

@JAMS - What grade is your child in?

I noticed quite a few complaints about the LA at JAMs in the past - mind you, also at HIMS so perhaps its a universal problem (either to all APP or all middle school in general)

Do families seek outside tutoring/instruction in LA/writing etc if they feel this is deficient at school and how would one go about that?

I'm a total newbie here - I'v heard people discuss 'blocking' of LA/SS - what does that actually mean? Is is a good idea and does it happen at JAMS?

I guess LA/SS is my biggest concern. It seems so vague and hard to quantify unlike math. Do they not just have certain texts that they study (district- wide) and the APP classes can either go into more depth or move faster/ahead to next grade level analysis?

Lotsa questions

Anonymous said...

At WMS APP SS is set up so that students are doing 8th grade world history curriculum that is accepted as prerequisite for AP world history so they can take this in freshman year of high school at Garfield. Is this being offered at JAMS or HIMS?
If not - why not, how can they explain this kind inequity that will affect HS choices. Why can't/won't they replicate WMS offerings at each site?

Anonymous said...

I'm fairly sure that Garfield is no longer allowing any ninth graders into AP World History based on some other threads from last year.

The online course description also seems to agree:

"HCP students take Honor
Language Arts and Honors World History as 9th graders. They
either start or continue their World Language in 9th grade."

Did something change?

Anonymous said...

"At WMS APP SS is set up so that students are doing 8th grade world history curriculum that is accepted as prerequisite for AP world history so they can take this in freshman year of high school at Garfield. Is this being offered at JAMS or HIMS?"

I don't think that's true anymore. All three APP sites were supposed to switch to the new scope and sequence, which has them doing US History in 8th grade. HIMS switched last year, although the course was terribly weak. Hopefully the new curricular units they are developing will help improve this for future years (although there's still nothing for the current year). There won't be a formal curriculum adoption, however, just the unit development guides that teachers can opt to use.

Anonymous said...

It was on the WMS website - maybe it is out of date. But that is the only MS website out of the 3 that have any information about their course scope/sequence at all.

Anonymous said...

The HIMS info is also outdated. Middle school websites don't have a lot of info on academic offerings. It seems that it's not until high school that you get nice catalogs that describe offerings and prerequisites.

Anonymous said...

Lotsa questions asked: "Do families seek outside tutoring/instruction in LA/writing etc if they feel this is deficient at school and how would one go about that?"

A writing center formerly called 826 Seattle has been frequently recommended by folks. They have a new name apparently. You can check them out at

My kid took a writing class via the Robinson Center at UW, which I highly recommend for a motivated student willing to give up half of their summer. It was an Essay Writing class via their Summer Stretch program, for students finishing grades 7-10. My kid had disliked writing prior to that class, but was really inspired by all the readings, discussions, and lot of writing they did--and now enjoys reading, analysis and writing! They get to unlearn all the bad 5-paragraph-essay habits they learn in middle school and see that writing can be so much more varied and interesting. It's a big commitment, though--essentially three full days a week of class, with lots of homework to occupy evenings and non-class days. My kid regretted the much shortened summer, but was very glad to have taken the class and would have done it again in a heartbeat.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone have any experience sending their APP student to Eckstein for middle school (by that I mean a student who was going to an APP elementary - not just APP-qualified). I'm looking at all the options and wondering whether my current Lincoln student would do OK at Eckstein or whether best to go to an APP middle school. What subjects would an APP 6th grader be able to do at Eckstein - would there be a lot of repetition from what they did in 5th grade?
Thanks in advance.

Anonymous said...

If you choose to send your child to Eckstein, you won't have Garfield as an option for high school. I'd tour my neighborhood high school now if I was making this choice.

Anonymous said...


Seriously, you actually think north end APP students will get the option to go to Garfeild by the time that 5th grader is ready to head into 9th grade, 4 years from now?

No one has a crystal ball, but seriously, it doesn't take a crystal ball to know that just ain't gonna happen. But hey, we can dream, right?

Lincoln high school will be open by then, and 3 guesses as to who they are going to push into it. And the first two guesses don't count!!

History is nothing if not a lesson in the movable feast that is APP/HCC.

Expect a boomerang right back to lincoln. It's inevitable.

So, pick the middle school you think is best for your student for all of the reasons you feel are important, but if high school is something you are factoring in, forget about Garfeild, because that is very, very shakey.

Anonymous said...

Nice tone there.

If there's an HCC cohort at Lincoln, kids who attend Eckstein won't have the option to join in the ninth grade. Choosing a non-HCC middle school may well limit your high school options. If Roosevelt is your attendance area high school and you like their program, it's probably fine.

Anonymous said...

So APP kids need to attend an APP middle school in order to retain their APP eligibility for high school?

So there isn't anything like the elementary situation where can retain eligibility without retesting if enrolled in an ALO school?

Good to know - thanks.

Anonymous said...

Since you're all on the topic of middle schools - how are they determining math placement for middle school now that not using MAP test at Lincoln?

Anonymous said...

The 5th graders all took the math MAP a few weeks ago. The plan is that plus MSP from 4th. That will probably change next year.

Anonymous said...

Students retain their identification as highly capable through their senior year. The highly capable cohort ends at the 8th grade so students can't join in the 9th.

Those students in the cohort receive an automatic assignment to Garfield but it's no longer labeled the highly capable cohort at that point. This is a meaningless difference in terminology created for capacity management purposes.

Anonymous said...

What I was told by Advanced Learning would support Anon 1:02am. They said if I choose Eckstein for my HCC student that I would not have the Garfield option but I would have the Ingraham IBX option. (could this be due to space?) On the website it also says eligibility is through Senior year.

Anonymous said...

RE math placement -
what are the score cut offs?
when do they let you know what will be used i.e. so I can give kid heads up that those particular tests will mean something for a change - i.e. be used for placement.

Anonymous said...

Math in middle school is not an HCC/APP 'course'.

To go into Algebra 1 in 6th grade, you need a 5th grade math MAP score of at least 250. And, introduced last year, you also need a 4th grade MSP of 525.

If you get one of those but not both, there is suppose to be a tie breaker test the District gives, some time in April. Students who hit the 4th grade bench mark score in their math MSP will write this test too.

5th grade MAP score is still being used this year. Who knows what will be used next year for the math achievement standardize test in the future. That future test cut score for Algebra 1 entrance has not yet been established.

The frustrating part? The second criteria, the 4th grade MSP, was added 'just because'. All students who went to Algrebra 1 based on their 250 math MAP did really well in that course, so why they added a 4th grade component is silly. Just more paperwork, with no added value. Maybe it was a way for them to ration rigor, as appears to be the District's MO.

Pounder Fan

Anonymous said...

McClure has changed the way they are doing math placement so check into that. The letter about the spectrum change also discussed the math change. They were finding that kids who scored well enough on the MAP didn't have enough of the foundational elements to support them in Algebra 1. So now they put kids in math based on the math they just took. I think you might be able to present evidence or argue for a placement test to show those elements are in place, but I wouldn't bet on it. My kid was in the Algebra class and most of the 6th graders struggled. If you want your kid in Algebra, better cover that pre-Algebra stuff...doesn't matter how bright they are if they haven't had that. Then if you are at McClure, figure out if you can get them to let you prove readiness.

Anonymous said...

The Friday Memo has a message about Advanced Learning and applications/open enrollment.

...the majority of families will not know eligibility results in time for the Open Enrollment for School Choice deadline (March 6th), but families should still submit a School Choice Form on time, even if they haven’t yet been notified of Highly Capable eligibility. Eligible students are guaranteed a seat in the Highly Capable Cohort if the School Choice Form is submitted. [bold added]

Complete the form assuming your child is eligible for the program you desire.

Step 1: If you are expecting your child to be eligible for Highly Capable (HC) services, be sure to enter your first choice school on the form as if he/she IS eligible for HC services. If you are expecting your child to be eligible for Spectrum programs,
continue to Step 2.

Step 2: Enter your next choice (or choices) as if your child was NOT found eligible for HC, but WAS found eligible for Spectrum.

Step 3: Enter any subsequent choices/Option Schools as if your child was NOT found eligible for HC and was NOT found eligible for Spectrum. If your child currently attends an Option School, please enter it as a choice.

Anonymous said...

It's not about a vendetta against our gifted kids, nor an uncaring SPS and hateful board members. Currently NO SPS abuilding is big enough to guarantee a seat for the ever-expanding gifted population. What's the pop at Lincoln HCC now? 700+ and growing yearly because we're all geniuses who have genius children in Seattle? If all HCC 2nd-5th graders were 8th graders now, they wouldn't ALL fit into Garfield unless the district kicks out all the OTHER kids: Sped, ELL, neighborhood kids. What would happen if SPS kicks out all other kids to guarantee HCC kids a seat at the best school in the district? My crystal ball tells me they'd be facing a gazillion lawsuits AND will lose ALL, and would have to sell all the buildings to pay the lawsuits. What do the rest of you predict?
So either figure out how to reduce the HCC program's runaway growth, or brainstorm some other solutions. Complaining about SPS' and Board's purported hatred against our kids accomplishes NOTHING. Since so far no one is genius enough to change the LAWS OF PHYSICS and turns Garfield into the ever-growing gobstopper of buildings, yes, the guaranteed seat at Garfield will go away once the huge cohorts hit 9th grade.
We should write to Prez O, maybe he has a machine, Beck et al. say he has a weather machine & is causing all the climate change disasters to victimize REAL Americans. If O can control the weather, making buildings grow would be a snap.

Anonymous said...

The district projects there will be 1,230 more high school students than seats in the north end in 2022. This is after Lincoln reopens and the projections assume that HCC students will continue to attend Garfield and Ingraham.

You're absolutely right that the district can't magically make Garfield's building any larger. Given that north end high schools will have to be on either split shifts or year-round schedules without those HCC kids, do you really think moving them north of the ship canal will be the solution?

Anonymous said...

That's the most incredible advantage - FOR THE DISTRICT - of the APP: it allows them to deal with regions that have the worst mismatch between facility capacity and #s of resident students!

By getting 'volunteers' to leave their attendance area schools, they actually save those schools from cracking!

In the North, if it wasn't for Lincoln, Viewridge, Bryant, Laurelhurst and Wedgwood would all be broken. Its not like VR kids could go over to John Rogers, it is beyond full too! In the NW, Loyal Heights, Adams, Whittier, and West Woodland would all be put into emergency mitigation.

As for middle school, if not for APP in Jane Addams, Hamilton would have broken - Eckstein would be at risk too.

Shipping volunteer kids out of West Seattle to Thurgood Marshall has saved WS k5s from breaking (although Schmitz Park is in a state of emergency right now).

And high school north, with Roosevelt at over 1,700, Hale and Ballard completely full, and Ingraham full too, Garfield has prevented the north from utter failure. That's why high school enrollment was fudged this year. The district started subtracting parts of a student day for running start, the district is looking for loose change in the couch pillows in order to make it all work.

HCC is the only tool the district has to move students out of overcrowded facilities to remote ones, & has saved the district millions. The district historically has been brutal to SpEd, landing it in the least desirable seats because that was the only place space was available. But they can't do that to SpEd anymore. Bryant should have a great SpEd program, hopefully it will establish one. Better to bring those students home first before you start in with HCC students. SpEd has been kicked around far too long, & those kids should NOT be subject to longer bus rides than absolutely necessary. Which again points to why it is a real Hail Mary to scoot out volunteers from those overpopulated areas.

APP also generates operating $$ for the district: every child comes with a BEA (state funded Basic Education Allocation), but some kids 'cost' more than the dollars they generate. HCC kids are the cheapest to educate (they do not, contrary to popular belief, get anything more or better or different - no better trained teachers, or better curriculum or textbooks, or a better student-teacher ratio, or more money per pupil- natta! So, having more of them in the system means you can redistribute their dollars elsewhere where the need is greatest. Go ahead and attack, but, you want more of them so you can do more with their dollars to boost wherever the need is greatest. If the kids don't come into the public system, then, their money doesn't either.

So for all the vitriol about the program, it helps the district keep space where it needs it the most, saves capital dollars, and, generates operational dollars.

At the end of the day, you either believe that all kids should get to go to school and learn something, or you don't. 'Differentiation' to target those who preform 3 standard deviations above the norm never works. And that does not address the social and emotional needs of learners 3 standard deviations away from the mean.


Anonymous said...

Thank you EV!

Anyone willing to gaze into their crystal ball and completely speculate about what the district will do with HCC in the north when the program is too big for WP? Any wild guesses about splits and locations? What would you do?

Anonymous said...

They'll all go to WP for sure -- because there is no where else to put them (all other campuses are completely saturated) and because they can put portables on WP both for elementary school and middle school.

They may try again to close Pinehurst k8. They've tried for 10 years. It is now demoted from a school to a program (!), that way it can be 'place anywhere', or simply left at Lincoln. And yes, it's enrollment shrank again, from 150 last year to 110 this year (and that enrollment number was achieved by the firceable assignment of SpEd students to it thus year -- which the SpEd community then ended up fighting). Giving up a wing of the WP middle school to elementary children in a comprehensive middle school that is suppose to relieve Hamilton (that is broken, capacity-wise) and Whitman ( with it's 14 portables) was the most illogical, irrational, expensive and frankly bone-headed thing the Peaslee Biard has ever done. I am shocked Directir Carr would go along with it. Clearly, WP middle school will retain the American Indian focus as it should because of the history of the site. Ironically, by honoring and embracing that culture and integrating that into the whole middle school, instead of ghettoizing it into a program of merely 100 kids isolated into one wing will actually be a good thing for supporting more student learning, not less.

Facilities planning is a mess - due to politics and stupidity. The JSCEE crowd went along dutifully with the 'Emperor Has No Clothes' shinanigans for a decade, and the chickens have come home ro roost. And kids pay the price. Just asks the students about how awful Eckstein was last year with 16 portables, or how harmful the shanty town is to the Schmitz Park kids. And who exactly was fired for allowing Schmitz Park to tip over and drown in 18 portables????? NO ONE!!!

So yes, HCC is the relief valve for everyone else to stay in their beloved schools, so don't hate on them as they exit. It's why we get to stay where we are. And, WP, like the rest of the north, will be carpet bombed with portables. It is already planned out that way.

It's not hard to predict the future when there are absolutely no real choices left. Even if the Board/Super wanted to break HCC, it would come at the expense at absolutely every other student and family in the district, and for what? Can you imagine, if this district, right after they just redid boundaries for everyone everywhere (more split siblings at the edges of those maps), turned around under a temporary new Super (3 years to me amounts to a care-taker government) and did the whole thing again? Just to shimmy in 60 more students here, 50 there, all while ignoring SpEd?

That would probly result in a full scale revolt. But hey, the district would ignor that too, if history is correct. (those classrooms with bathrooms in middle school WP will make great middle school SpEd rooms - possibly for medically fragile middle schoolers? So, in then end, the rooms won't go to waste).


Anonymous said...

Enrollment projections for JAMS next year are around 900. Summer renovations will add maybe 7 classroom spaces, though 4 of those are portables. Yes, portables. Portables are currently being used for gym changing rooms and teacher space until building locker rooms are renovated. Two science labs will be created and orchestra will get a dedicated classroom (the current classroom is the auditorium stage). The stage will still be included in the available classroom spaces.

Lynn said...

I think the current Thornton Creek building will come into play. There were around 275 students from the Eckstein attendance area at Lincoln last year. TC has about 400 students - so all of the Eckstein and JAMS HCC elementary students would fit there.

That would leave room for Licton Springs K-8 in the WP elementary building - which makes more sense than the middle school to me.

This change could be made without redrawing boundary lines.

Anonymous said...

Preschool is going into Decatur - 'old' Thornton Creek building when it is finally freed up -- but it's capacity will be drastically reduced because the 10 portables will have to go away (City zoning law re - lot coverage - and you can bet those neighbors will be watching this like a hawk. You know there's a law suit, right? Those are organized and very savy people and there's no way SSD will accidentally be able to leave/install portables on that property beyond what is legally allowed).

Besides, where Pinehurst really belongs? Is Pinehurst! There is no reason they shouldnt be returned to their building when it is finnished. They are compatible with the Jane Addams K8 aka Hazel Wolf as they are both k8s filled by option choice enrollment from the same area. The folks who took their long standing building but flat out rejected having the Pinehurst kids be in the new Pinehurst building -- even though they are both k8s who draw their students from the Pinehurst neighborhood. Nice, huh? Jane Addams k8 also got the heads up about sharing an interim building with the Pinehurst k8 while the new Pinehurst building was being built, and JAk8 used that insider heads up info to grab testimony spots to plead with the Directs to NOT let that program into where they wanted to be -- with a straight face, they said they were incompatible (huh?). So, that's why Pinehurst ended up disenfranchised out of their building and why they couldn't even go in the Marshall building. So they ended up 5 miles away, instead of 3 miles like their fellow Pinehurst JAk8 neighbors.

How this lands? Who knows. But, what we all know is no one wants their neighborhood attendance area school messed with -- let alone carved up to take in some other program, that will cause more sibling splits if boundries have to shrink. Ask Eckstein how they felt when Peaslee attempted to put APP in it. Lead balloon. Staff quickly dumped that plan, after enraging a lot of neighborhood folks. Again, the idea is to EXPORT 'volunteers' from the most dense/over crowded parts of town (eg. The NE and NW) and land them in the least dense parts that have capacity -- WP). Anything else will have a domino affect on everyone else.

Who here remembers Harium telling people they were going to tear down old Thornton creek building once the new one was built? Ha-ha!!! That was the Party Line from Ms. McEvoy.

It would not be surprising to me if a levy fails. There may just be enough stupidity and poor planning and insensitive communication to make enough voters turn off and go for a first-attempt levy fail (but vote yes when it's brought back within 6 months).


Anonymous said...

ur blowing smoke, wp

10 kids going back toa n elementary won't "break"it. 10 kids could show up from Missouri any day of the week.

I dunno, but it looks like you might be right about a 3 SD cut-off. That, of course is 145 IQ, or .13% of the general population. Do you really think the staff will keep waiting or just lance this boil? Again, I dunno.

Your money argument is not entirely accurate. Transportation, like from WS to TM or WMS, not free.
Also, are there not be classrooms under capacity at a school like WMS due the presence of the corhorted students?

Furthermore, dealing with a burgeoning program that guarantees seats in two or more schools, conceivably creates worse boundary issues, as seen just this year.

And to be honest your seeming concession to the SpEd community rings hollow. AL designated students are also special needs students and deserve equal intensity of instruction at their local school as much as any other students, unless a self-contained environment is deemed essential.

Greg Linden said...

Great series of comments here on capacity, facilities, and where APP is placed. I'm going to open a new thread to discuss it further, "Capacity and facilities".