Monday, February 9, 2015

Open thread

Early February, but it feels like spring in Seattle! What's on your mind?

234 comments :

1 – 200 of 234   Newer›   Newest»
Greg Linden said...

One thing that's on my mind is that the name change to HCC seems slapdash. Many documents and many people still refer to APP, including some new documents coming out of the district.

I'm finding I have to use HCC/APP now, which is awkward. A lot of people seem to be using "HCC (formerly known as APP)", which is also awkward. Maybe I'll just go back to using APP here on this blog? Or should I just use HCC?

Anonymous said...

I'm wondering whether there is any evidence that what HCC kids are doing in middle school LA and SS is any more challenging (or to any higher standard) than what they are doing in the gen ed counterparts. If HCC, Spectrum and gen ed teachers of the same subject aren't collaborating across levels to develop their lesson plans or class outlines or whatever, how do the teachers have any sense whether or not they are properly differentiating services? As a parent, I don't feel like I've seen anything I wouldn't expect a gen ed student to be asked to do at this grade. My child has a lot of potential, but the HCC classes don't seem to push him to achieve to his ability. It's frustrating.

The same goes with middle school HCC science. It may be accelerated a bit--they do physical science in 7th and Biology in 8th--but it seems that the actual curriculum they use is the same shallow, slow-moving gen ed science curriculum everyone else gets. If HCC kids need faster pacing and greater depth in order to be challenged and/or maintain interest, how is simple acceleration really supposed to help?

Half Full

Anonymous said...

The large sign out in from Lincoln makes your point. As does the school website, and the emails that are sent out by school fusion. They all say APP.

Given the inconsistency, I suggest using HCC/APP.

Anonymous said...

NATO spent a long time using "FYROM (Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia)" in documents b/c of Greek objections to the Republic of Macedonia's name.

These things happen.

Thankfully people can know more than one thing at a time and make the connections. I hope!

Anonymous said...

Anyone gotten notice of achievement testing yet?

Steve said...

If anyone attended the February 3 APP Advisory Council meeting, it would be great to hear what was said. Superintendent Nyland was there, and perhaps there was something substantive said? Thanks!

Anonymous said...

@ Half Full, the answer is no, the curriculum is neither more challenging nor to a higher standard. You get access to faster math progression and that's it. Oh, you get "the value of the cohort" which can be strenuously argued as to whether that's an overall benefit or not.

Anonymous said...

You get access to faster math progression and that's it.

But since math isn't part of HCC in middle school, and placement is based on prior test scores and/or prerequisites, that doesn't really count, right?

Half Full

apparent said...


Lincoln is like The Artist Formerly Known as Prince: The School Formerly Known as APP . . . Formerly APP at Lincoln!

Anonymous said...

"But since math isn't part of HCC in middle school, and placement is based on prior test scores and/or prerequisites, that doesn't really count, right? "

What I"m learning is that you have to probe to find out what this means at *your* school, and not rely on the literature. In other words, what does this mean at Eckstein? v Aki Kurose v . . . .

And, is placement in Algebra I in HCC/APP the standard curriculum? Is it generally available, or is it being phased out? And is it available outside the HCC schools?

Anonymous said...

Oops, I meant, when do the kids take Algebra I in the HCC/APP curriculum? 6th garde? 7th grade? 8th grade? Are they placed.

anon@4:10

Anonymous said...

Hi Anon@4:14, or Anon@4:10,
HCC/APP students normally take Algebra 1 in 7th grade. Some take it in 6th grade.
JAMSmom

Anonymous said...

One thing that has always bugged me about the SPS description of APP/HCC is the two years accelerated description. For me, acceleration is a rate that doesn't stay stable two years ahead...that's why I feel it is a misnomer. In an ideal world, there would be a curriculum of going faster and deeper for HCC/APP. Being and staying two years ahead doesn't mean that much to me. Just my personal opinion.
JAMSmom

Anonymous said...

The math placement varies by school no matter what the district says. Check your own school as to math placement.


It is true that the rest of the HCC curriculum is nonstandard to nonexistent. Maybe kids are surrounded by other bright kids and so the conversation is deeper? That's the idea at least? From what I can tell, like every other school, the level of depth is most closely tied to specific teacher and teaching staff philosophy, not to any stated program.

The schools I have seen with the most across the board deep middle school teaching are Washington and TOPS. Too soon to tell about Jane Addams. Too late for Hamilton. Eckstein OK in many places. McClure spotty but better than previously. Don't know about West Seattle or South, but not hopeful. Sealth, however, has a much better-established program than Ingraham, so rigor eventually appears even if not in middle school.

Anonymous said...

I have an email from Michael Tolley stating that math placement is at the discretion of the Principal. If your Principal has a capacity issue he/she will construct obstacles and "rules" to obfuscate appropriate math placement for your child. That is what happened to us.

-Been There

Anonymous said...

@been there

Please,

POST THAT MICHAEL TOLLY MATH PLACEMENT EMAIL


How capricious! How fun!!! How way-to-ration-rigor!!

Please, please, please post it?

Consistency do rocks! Makes me feel so confident in their integrity! Hey, Anna Box! You can go home now. Your boss' boss just made your purpose redundant.


mathyness

Anonymous said...

Our Principal did consult with Anna Box. She appeared to be very resistant to math acceleration of any type. This concerned us because it, obviously, has ramifications for APP/HCC. I noticed, in fact, that the math placement policy on the SPS website changed soon after we consulted her to codify the policy that math placement is discouraged and any acceleration will be based on capacity.

"http://www.seattleschools.org/modules/cms/pages.phtml?sessionid=5a122e5917655983970bd2e4c2554766&pageid=212610&sessionid=5a122e5917655983970bd2e4c2554766"

So it is a moot point now. Ms. Box has done her job. I don't mind it if the district decides to impose draconian, regressive policies - just so long as they are transparent about it and aren't making it up as they go along. Which I think they are…..

-Been There

Anonymous said...

I should add that, it does't matter how much you accelerate the present middle school math curriculum. It is still quite poor. Our family would benefit by less acceleration and a better, even more traditional, tried and true curriculum. Both HCC and Gen Ed would benefit from this. But we do not have it at this time. Our reason for acceleration is because we have sought better math courses outside of the district to avoid the district's idiotic choice of math textbooks.

Maybe Anna Box has a point - maybe acceleration through the present math curriculum is pointless. Faster nothing is still nothing.

-Been There

Anonymous said...

Wow. Very enlightening. The language did indeed change to emphasize "if room in the class is available." It does seem they are remaking policies to increase restrictions, rather than working to provide flexibility for advanced students. Is the minimum grade a new requirement as well?

A student must maintain a B average in the course. Schools may reschedule a student after one quarter in an “opted up” class based on student performance and teacher recommendation.

I am okay with a performance standard - you don't want a student misplaced - but do other students get demoted if they don't maintain a B average? Given the squishiness of middle school grading, is it reasonable?

I agree with @Been There that what's needed is better math, not super acceleration through the present MS and HS math texts. A student taking Algebra 2 in MS is not necessarily getting the same class as a student taking an honors Algebra 2 in HS.

Anonymous said...

How do high schools handle math placement for students taking coursework the summer between 8th and 9th grade? They are accelerating, not skipping coursework as the placement contract suggests.

Anonymous said...

"How do high schools handle math placement for students taking coursework the summer between 8th and 9th grade? They are accelerating, not skipping coursework as the placement contract suggests."

As others have suggested, this appears to be a building decision, and requires asking questions until you get the answers from *your* school. They handed out a leaflet at the Roosevelt open house that plain face interpretation suggests that they are going to put kids in Algebra 1 in 9th grade unless fairly rigid criterion are met, and that once placed in Algebra 1, the student will not be able to take Calculus.

Personal discussion of your student's circumstances might get a different answer, but that's the info they're passing out.

Anonymous said...

Based on our experience I think the problem is that kids are coming out of elementary lacking the basic foundational elements. So bright kids who do well on the MAP and who impress their teachers were being put into Algebra, where they floundered, not due to lack of ability but merely because key concepts had never been taught. This did no one any favors. But neither does the alternative, putting kids in a slow-moving (for them, because mathy kids pick stuff up quickly, once it is presented) math class with a poor curriculum.

If you can't homeschool math, you're SOL, I'm afraid. We homeschooled our mathy kid with Singapore materials in elementary b/c our ALO school was actually ALO hostile. A gift in disguise to us, because it forced us to homeschool. Kid took Algebra as a 6th grader and sailed through while other kids with equal MAP scores and math affinity were taking on water and sinking. Not fair....they just hadn't had direct instruction on a few basics. We then put her into an online intro to Algebra course...part 2 of a very rigorous curriculum. You need to get Algebra very solid to manage calculus, if she wants to go that far. She had sailed through Algebra and the EOC with a good teacher last year, but with the online course she said she learned more in the first three weeks than the entire previous year. This tells me that getting your kid into MS Algebra may not be the big hurdle. It's getting your kid the content they need that's the tough part.

For kid #2, not as mathy, if we don't get into our private school we are going to sign her up for an online math course. Me teaching her does not work well, relationship-wise, so we'll enroll her as a .8 and be sure she gets what she needs.

Sorry for the length. Once you get me going on the topic of math......

Anonymous said...

Don't take this as gospel but I'm pretty sure I was listening to the math dept head at Ballard talking to an advanced placement kid's parents at the open house and talking about possible pathways, including that some kids go to Running Start when they run out of math at Ballard. I spoke to him next and he said my kid could get put in Alg 2, but seemed to indicate that the EOC would not be what he would use, rather some in-house testing to be sure the Geometry skills were solid.

Verify, but that was my impression.

Anonymous said...

Garfield makes accommodations for kids who have accelerated outside of the classroom.

There are a few freshman in AP Calculus AB this year and they are excelling in the class. They, in fact, are doing better than many of the Juniors who have never had any outside math (our son was never interested in going to Kumon or taking any online math classes, although he is a "mathy" kid and math typically comes very easily to him).

Calculus is the first class that many APP kids are finding difficult - and I do think a lot of it is attributable to a less-than-stellar teacher. However, the kids that obviously have had outside tutoring or ongoing supplementation are faring much better even with a poor teacher, so looking back we probably should have looked at some outside prep. We are paying for a tutor now and its working just fine, but its a little annoying.

-GHS Parent

Anonymous said...

equal MAP scores and math affinity were taking on water and sinking. Not fair....they just hadn't had direct instruction on a few basics. We then put her into an online intro to Algebra course...part 2 of a very rigorous curriculum.

Which online math course? Art of Problem solving? John Hopkins?


To add to the Algebra 1 in 6th grade discussion, FWIW:

The feedback is that the kids from Lincoln do just fine in Algebra 1 in 6th grade -- because they have been accelerated in both PACE and in the level of math. The go fast not for speed for the sake of speed, but because that is their inherent learning style. You can show them exponents for 1 lesson, and, they've got it, absolutely solidly. That is the point of the gifted program, it is about the way kids learn. They learn fast. Now, some kids in that program seem to not be fast as that, they made need 2 repetitions, but, that is a whole other topic. Learning style is the crux of why APP/HCC is necessary ( together with the social and emotional needs of highly capable students).

The point is, Lincoln students, especially the ones who entered in 1st or 2nd grade, are very well grounded. They have already been doing middle school math for 2 years (4th and 5th grades) in elementary school so by the time they enter middle school, they have already have covered math 7, plus the 'mathy' kids get extra challenge, so they do standards that are in 8 as well. And, they don't use CMP, they use a far superior text in that school.

Students coming into middle school from other excellent schools, even if they have scored high on MAP, have NOT had classes on middle school math, unless homeschooled or supported in another way, so it is an apples to oranges comparison. Students from Lincoln are prepared and have always done great.

In fact, I know Lincoln kids who are bored in Algebra 1 because it is NOT accelerated. Math is NOT an HCC/APP course, so, they move at a standard pace, which is far too slow for some kids, and, definitely too slow for 1 of my kids. Which is why we are thinking of homeschooling math in middle school. So that our child continues to love math, and doesn't begin to hate it.

Math

Anonymous said...

Outside tutoring to make up for below average teaching - that's another topic for discussion. Students are capable of the work, but aren't getting solid instruction, so parents get tutors or provide help at home if they can. Parents are rightfully supporting their child, but it ends up perpetuating the situation because student grades are in part a function of outside help. They obscure just how deficient the instruction may be. You barely have time to help your own child, let alone deal with the teacher situation. I'm sure this is not a situation limited to APP, but it seems that schools are less likely to deal with it when the students are otherwise capable. When the teacher gives extra credit for random non-academic stuff or gives full credit for assignments that are done incorrectly (and doesn't bother to check them), you know it's a bad sign.

...getting your kid into MS Algebra may not be the big hurdle. It's getting your kid the content they need that's the tough part.

I couldn't agree more. We are thankful we made sure our child had a solid Algebra 1 foundation. It was a lot of extra work at the time, but it is paying off in Algebra 2/Pre-Calculus. Students without solid algebra skills (general algebraic manipulation that involves polynomials, factoring, and complex fractions) will have a much harder time. There's limited time to keep up with basic work, let alone try to fill gaps.

Anonymous said...

ALso interested in what online math courses you used

Anonymous said...

The point is, Lincoln students, especially the ones who entered in 1st or 2nd grade, are very well grounded. They have already been doing middle school math for 2 years (4th and 5th grades) in elementary school so by the time they enter middle school, they have already have covered math 7, plus the 'mathy' kids get extra challenge, so they do standards that are in 8 as well. And, they don't use CMP, they use a far superior text in that school.

That may be true of students coming out of Lincoln now, but I don't think it could be said of students of the EDM/CMP days - so maybe current APP students from 7th grade up? There was a time that math was part of APP/HCC. AL had a defined math sequence for those classes. Removing math from APP may allow for single subject acceleration, but it also frees SPS from having to provide appropriate level instruction.

Anonymous said...

I've heard different accounts of how successful the entire 6th grade Algebra I cohort has been doing coupled with the message that the district was trying to encourage kids to take it in 7th instead. Does anyone have any more info?

Anonymous said...

I'm guessing the previous poster used Art of Problem Solving which I've heard is good for some mathy types. You can also purchase books from AoPS.

John Hopkins CTY uses some of the Thinkwell courses, which are video courses designed for homeschoolers. You can pay $$ for the John Hopkins course, or $150 for the course directly through Thinkwell.

For basic skills practice, ALEKS is an inexpensive option (we haven't used it, but know several families that do). You simply buy a subscription for a given period of time.

Depending on how independent your child is, you can also look into Math Without Borders DVDs. They are video lectures designed to go along with the Foerster Algebra texts (highly regarded). You are on your own for tests and assessments, however.

We simply worked through a used Algebra 1 text, no videos, nothing extra, just a solid and very traditional text.

Anonymous said...

She had sailed through Algebra and the EOC with a good teacher last year, but with the online course she said she learned more in the first three weeks than the entire previous year.

We had a similar experience with Algebra II in another school district. My kid took the standard course and aced it, then took an online Honors version of it over the summer in order to get the prerequisite for an online class the next year. The "repeat" version of Algebra II, taken via Stanford's EPGY program, was much more rigorous. I highly recommend outside math supplementation for kids (and parents) willing to put in the time (and resources).

Anonymous said...

Given that reports cards are coming out soon, I figured now is a good time to ask this:

Do any of the HCC middle schools have parent conferences? According to the new Superintendent Procedures re: HC services and AL programs (2190SP), individual student education plans for Highly Capable students are reviewed annually as part of a school’s parent/teacher conference at elementary and middle schools.

Hamilton does not have conferences, and we've never had an individual student education plan as far as I know. Do WMS and JAMS have conferences, and has anyone seen one of these plans?

If they just wrote this procedure recently, you'd think these things must exist somewhere. But if they do, why not everywhere?

HIMSmom

Anonymous said...

Original poster here. Yes, we used Art of Problem Solving, Algebra 2, which is the second half of introductory Algebra for them. You can use their Alcumus problem sets free of charge to see if you like their style. The class went from Sept-Jan, so now we have her set up to take a Counting and Probability course March-May. The textbook looks interesting...just got it yesterday. Their textbooks are very complete.

Format is a live once-a-week 1.5 hour class and a very challenging problem set each week. There is a bulletin board for the class where students can help each other with the problems. I've heard their Geometry is algebra-based and rigorous, another reason we had her take the Algebra rather than powering into Geometry.

They live up to their name. They see problem solving as an art, and that math is all about learning to solve problems. If you can't solve the one in front of you, can you turn it into something you can solve?

Also some excellent videos up to the end of pre-algebra concepts, IMHO better than Kahn, but YMMV.

Anonymous said...

@HIMSmom - The plans being referenced may be IEPs (Individual Education Plans) for students that are 2E.

Anonymous said...

Anon at 1:00pm, that was my initial thought, too, but it doesn't read that way. It's in a separate section, which seems to be much more broad. Here's the language for that whole section:

Community and Family Engagement

Individual student education plans for Highly Capable students are reviewed annually as part of a school’s parent/teacher conference at elementary and middle schools. High school students create and review their four-year High School and Beyond Plan with a school’s counselor.

The Advanced Learning office works closely with the Highly Capable Services Advisory Committee (HCS AC) to share information and receive feedback from parents or guardians, students and teachers about the Highly Capable program. The HCS AC holds monthly meetings and is composed of parents or guardians, teachers, principals and Advanced Learning staff members.

HIMSmom

Anonymous said...

Re: Achievement testing (anonymous)

My understanding is that SPS will notify families whose children need achievement testing when they notify about Cogat scores. And they aren't notifying anyone of cogat scores until ALL of the kids have been tested, and testing is taking place through the end of February.

My daughter tested in November (or maybe it was October- it was ages ago). No word yet.

I really am curious about how she did on the cogat, but I strongly suspect she did not reach threshold for achievement testing, so I'm not stressing out about it too much.

-Waiting Mom

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know what is going on with Wilson Pacific? I remember reading last year or the year before that it was supposed to be the new location for HCC/APP in 2017, but I don't believe they have broken ground.. and there are some new administrative obstacles.

??

Waiting Mom

Anonymous said...

The general ed classroom has been a disaster for my son. Now that Adv Learning results are delayed I have to roll the dice between AL (and the possible Spectrum wait list) and the local alternative school, also with a waitlist. Even if my son gets into AL, he may not make it in on the waitlist and then my chances at the alternative school are all but gone. What a total mess.
-West Seattle

Anonymous said...

It seems likely at this point that Wilson-Pacific will be delayed and not open in September 2017. The educated guess is that the District will assign more students from neighborhood elementary schools to Jane Addams and that APP will likely be moved from HIMS to John Marshall once the K-8 moves out next year.

However, the APP at Lincoln setup is unsustainable. It is likely to grow to over 700 students next year, and could easily be spilt into two groups. However, since there is no room to put APP in the North End, unless Wilson-Pacific opens, I couldn't tell you.

Ingraham IBx Family

Anonymous said...

Went to Ingraham tonight for this:

IBX Information Night, February 10, 7 pm, Ingraham Library
This is an information night just parents of students who are in the Highly Capable Cohort and are interested in the Ingraham IBX Program.

... but ended up in a general IB orientation instead. They said that the IBX info would be on Thursday, but I can't find any info about that. Does anyone know? I realize now that I was in the auditorium. Was that going on in the Library at the same time?

Anonymous said...

Regarding IEPs... No that is all lies made up by management. No IEPs. No, AL does not work closely with anyone, nor do they communicate. They only schedule tests.
J

Anonymous said...

Here is how it goes as I see it. Lowell is the north of the south of ship canal facility including QA and MAG and Capitol Hill. The others go to WP and TM. No way you can get 700 kids in any k5 school. And it will be a tussle to get those kids into WP with neighborhood kids across the street. We need three and I would say that is the mix. WP, Lowell and TM for 1-5.

Anonymous said...

This was posted on an earlier thread:
"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...

You can't split the Capitol Hill kids out of Thurgood Marshall - there are only around 300 kids in the program in total.

Anonymous said...

I think the IEP language was in the earlier policy too, but I don't have a copy of that anywhere. A friend who teaches gifted ed in a nearby district asked me years ago about my child's IEP for APP, and she was stunned that SPS doesn't do that. Her district does. I think that's why I had looked for the policy a few years ago.

As to capacity, I'm concerned that because the testing results are so delayed this year, any dire capacity situation at Lincoln won't really be known until, what? June? I'm having deja vu about the Lowell eviction in June 2011! Not that they can evict the whole program, but what if enrollment hits 800? Is there room?

APP@Lincoln has been growing by 75-100 kids per year. We started with about 425, hit 525 the next year, then 600, now nearly 700. I hope someone in the building has an idea for where new classrooms might go.

signed, random thoughts

Anonymous said...

I wonder if FACMAC or anyone has looked into having APP 5th graders move to the middle schools in the short-term to help with capacity? How soon before JAMS and HIMS are both completely full again?

And since WP elementary isn't being built to handle 700+ kids, maybe that building could do APP 1st-4th and the 5th graders go to the middle school on the same site? The very advanced 5th graders could even benefit by having access to more advanced math options.

Just brainstorming. Never seen any numbers for this. But given that there is nowhere to split APP@Lincoln into 2, maybe this sort of solution helps?

signed, more random thoughts

Anonymous said...

HIMS will be fuller than ever next year. Definitely no room to add any fifth graders. I don't think any ofbthe north end middle schools have room for them.

Anonymous said...

Really? HIMS will be fuller next year than it was 2 years ago before they pulled the NE APP kids out for JAMS? What's enrollment this year?

Anonymous said...

Waiting mom, you will not receive your student's CogAT scores before achievement testing. Students who have qualifying CogAT scores will receive achievement testing BEFORE any results are sent.

It does not make sense to have everyone waiting for their results while achievement testing for a small percentage, but that is how it is traditionally been done.

Anonymous said...

I read a comment from Stephen Martin about reforming the appeal process this year because it is unintentionally misused by parents. I think it was in the task force minutes last year.

Will the appeals process remain the same this year? I don't think he was meaning to question the integrity of private testers but I also wonder if they are ever audited.

Anonymous said...

So if my child has a qualifying CogAT score I will be notified about achievement testing.. presumably after everyone has been tested (I agree- makes no sense- but that sounds like what they are doing).

If my child does not get a qualifying CogAT score they will just send me some sort of results..

I guess they have to do the achievement testing pretty quickly after they test everyone for CogAT. It just doesn't seem possible to do it all by March 6th, since we're not supposed to hear anything until the end of Feb at the earliest.

I can imagine what this will be like in 2 years when we're going through it with my younger daughter. We are counting on getting her into some kind of gifted program because she's constantly seeking challenge and she drives everyone crazy. Right now we don't have such high expectations for our older daughter, so the wait is less stressful.

Waiting Mom

3inSPS said...

On moving 5th graders up to MS... I think that is brilliant and wrong at the same time. Sure it might help with capacity but it also would mean that the 5th grader will now have 6 teachers instead of 1-3 teachers. It is a big change and although I think developmentally they are ready for it, it is too much of a sacrifice. No recess. No feeling of being the oldest.

On appeals it will be the same at least that was the TF's recommendation. The real issue was with the principals loosing kids to APP and not knowing how to staff. On our first kid to go to APP we got some neighborhood school pressure to keep them there and I believe it was for that reason. The fact is that about 1/5 make it on appeals and most of those are from affluent applicant families. But if you are FRL the district will pay for the individual testing but few families take advantage of that. The change, to my understanding, is to send out a more compelling appeals letter for those families to remove the "stigma" with the hope to get more FRL families to appeal.

Anonymous said...

" And they aren't notifying anyone of cogat scores until ALL of the kids have been tested, and testing is taking place through the end of February."

Does anyone know why they don't release the scores until all the kids have been tested? Is there a justifiable reason? Do they pay for one time scoring of the CogAT, or something?

Or should I chalk it up to a general desire to make parent's heads explode?

Another Waiting Kindergarten Mom said...

So, has anyone heard of any kids doing achievement testing yet for kindergarteners? Would love to know whether that is proceeding yet or not.

Are they doing them school by school? My son is at Whittier.

That March 6th deadline is rapidly approaching.

Thanks!

Anonymous said...

"Waiting mom, you will not receive your student's CogAT scores before achievement testing. Students who have qualifying CogAT scores will receive achievement testing BEFORE any results are sent."

Does that mean some people have gotten achievement testing already?

Lynn said...

For Anon @ 10:43:

Here are the October enrollment numbers for HIMS:
2010 853
2011 918
2012 974
2013 1094
2014 956

Anonymous said...

Which is why the majority of Lincoln 5th graders NEED TO GO TO JAMS!!!

It's not about Hamilton next year, it is about Hamilton the year after next!!! When those APP 6th graders become HIMS APP 7th graders with a new pile of APP 6th graders coming in --- that's when Hamilton BREAKS!!!


The simple way to fix it now so that nobody suffers? HIMS bound APP@Lincon kids -- go to JANS for 6th

Jams is full, but it can take portables. Plenty if then. The kids in Wallingfird - JSIS, McDonald, West Woodland, BF Day - they MUST go to HIMS, but the APP kids from the north NW, or phinny -- they could go to JAMS and save HIMS from sinking.

Enrollment doesn't plan beyond one year. That much is obvious. It lands on the families to make smart choices. In essence plan for themselves because the District isn't going to.

Head to JAMS, and avoid another Lowell emergency repeated at Hamilton the year after next.

There are just so many kids, not just APP -- but all kids -- so you have to do right by your kid to try and get them some stability. 3 schools in 3 years (hamilton, Marshall, WP middle school - then onto high school) is too too much! Avoid that crazy train by coming to JAMS, and save the wallingford kids at the same time.

At 950+ HIMS is already too full. They can't take a portable.


stupid district

Anonymous said...

@ stupid district - you do know that SPS doesn't even have a permanent enrollment person right? the planning isn't going to get any better anytime soon.

the only other space option will be reorienting south where there is still space in lowell for HCC K-5 and with meany reopening in 2 years? there will be HCC space again in Washington. not saying it's a good idea but besides cramming JAMS it's the only thing i can come up with. lord knows i stopped waiting for solutions from the district many years ago.

Anonymous said...

There's a big difference between using open enrollment to switch schools and systemically fixing a capacity problem. So assuming you could swing the transportation issues, you could try to apply out of reference area to JAMS when you're assigned to HIMS and if they had space and you won the lottery you'd get a placement. But all of the students who are assigned to HIMS could not do this en masse. A change like that where there aren't spare seats requires a real boundary redraw at the district level.

Anonymous said...

@stupid - really? JAMS is most likely to be maxed out next year, and that's with 4 portables already on site. Renovations are being done in stages over the next 2 summers.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, really.

I agree that JAMS will be "maxed out", basically, fully enrolled, next year. But, you are missing the point. HAMILTON IS MAXED OUT THIS YEAR.

So, JAMS will be full next year?

So what.

Schmitz Park was fully enrolled 10 years ago. Didn't stop them from portabling-up.

Eckstein suffered by being over-enrolled at over 1,200 students for at least 8 years. 14 portables there, on their 14 acreas. So what.

JAMS will now have its turn in the sun. They have 18 acres. HAMILTON CAN'T take a single portable. You can't export anyone off of Hamilton, except for the APP students. Whitman is full too, btw, they have 14 portables.

The problem? Hamiton is broken, and Wilson Pacific Middle School (what's left of it, anyway, after the elementary kids are pushed into it) won't be opened for several years. So, this means JAMS has to take one for the team. Eckstein did for YEARS. Now, guess what, it is JAMS' turn.

BUT, here is the kicker, it is up to individual parents to see the writing on the wall and dodge HIMS.

If the PTAs of the K5s who feed to HIMS (I'm looking at you, JSIS, West Woodland, etc) are smart, THEY would lobby the district to let/send ALL Whitman resident APP matriculating 5th grades to go to JAMS with transportation, so that their kids are NOT put into split shifts year after next.

But hey, those folks are not reading this, and they don't understand that even without APP students, and, even WITH WPMS opened, HIMS still can't fit all of Wallingford's children into Hamilton.

Bascially, it comes down to head's up next year's APP 6th graders - get out and avoid the mess that will be Hamilton -- middle school lasts for 3 years. JAMS is certain. Start there, finish there. HIMS? Not so much.

So, JAMS will be portabled. So what. It is not Hamilton's fault. It is not APP's fault. It is because there are so many middle schoolers, this district needed 2 new comprehensive middle schools north of the ship canal, not one, and, they refused to plan to get this to happen even when the numbers were obvious.


stupid district

Anonymous said...

@stupid said, JAMS will now have its turn in the sun...So, this means JAMS has to take one for the team. Eckstein did for YEARS. Now, guess what, it is JAMS' turn.

Many students at JAMS already "took one [or two or three] for the team." Many of the students were formally at HIMS and Eckstein during their peak enrollment, and were forced to split and move. Some were at Lowell, then split, then moved to Lincoln, only to be split and moved to JAMS.

[insert expletives here]

Parents can't select an option that's full. Placement in a non-pathway option is on a Space Available Basis.

Anonymous said...

stupid district,

I am getting the sense that you are not signing your own child up for the switch to JAMS you are proposing.

Take one for the team? Come on. Many JAMS students ARE Hamilton students that were yanked out after sixth or seventh grade. I think it's great to discuss capacity issues, but the tone you use here negates the difficult experiences many of us have had these past couple of years.

Anonymous said...

Dear @stupid district, It is easy to make assumptions about other schools that we are not associated with. Some of the JAMS 7th or 8th graders have been moved from their building twice already, when Lowell closed and North APP split to Lincoln, and when the North APP middle school divided from HIMS to JAMS. So they have definitely taken one for the team already. JAMS has many challenges that are being managed by the administration. It is a new school and has a very diverse student body.
JAMSmom

Anonymous said...

Yes, Hamilton is full this year. I wouldn't go so far as to say it's "maxed out" or "broken," though. Is it filled to (at least) optimal capacity? Definitely. Can it get still fuller? Absolutely. It had at least 100 more students last year before the JAMS split--and it did seem maxed out then!--so we know it's feasible to cram those extra bodies in. Unfortunately, the preliminary estimate is that HIMS will be at about 1100 again next year--possibly even 60 kids MORE than in that maxed out year.

So yes, HIMS will be unbelievably full next year. The year after that is likely to be even fuller, if that were possible--but since there just isn't room, there will likely have to be some other changes before then. Who knows what they'll be... In the meantime, administration and staff will continue to do what they can to make it work. I will say that the overall student experience didn't seem that different to my kid whether the enrollment was in the low 900s or pushing 1100, so that's something. But if you're worried about your kid getting lost in the crowd, or worried about a potential split down the road, you'll probably want to weigh your options carefully. Then again, with all the unknowns, it's challenging to even do that.

Too bad capacity issues are what first comes to mind when we think of SPS exceeding expectations, eh?

HamHawks

WP Disaster said...

The really unfortunate thing that no one will be held accountable for is Peaslee's placement of the K-8 in a much needed middle school. She should have put the K-8 in the elementary school since the north-end APP kids won't fit in WP elementary come 9/2017.

This is one of the biggest, most appalling and by far most appalling mistakes I've seen in my 5 years in the SPS system. The most shameful part of it is Peaslee's unwillingness to listen to her 'constituents' concerns and suggestions.

The better solution would have been listening to FACMAC recommendations.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, plus that decision was completely rushed at the last minute, with no real vetting. That and putting Pinehurst in the Lincoln building with no discussion with the current occupants. That whole meeting was surreal, seeing how major decisions get made.

I also don't understand why the new building for Hazel Wolf is opening a year sooner than the WP buildings. Wouldn't prioritizing the opening of at least the WP MS have made more sense? As it stands, what is likely to happen is HW moves out of Marshall in 2016, and part of HIMS moves in for a year while awaiting WP to open.

If WP opened in 2016, the HIMS split could go directly to its new location, and HW would have 3 years interim at Marshall instead of 2. Given that APP@Lincoln will have had 6 years of interim siting by 2017, a 3-year interim stint isn't really that bad.

Was there a reason why WP MS couldn't have been slated to open in 2016?

--priorities

Anonymous said...

@ priorities: yes there are a number of reasons WP couldn't and can't open earlier - the mural controversy, the sacred land controversy, the neighborhood controversy, finding homes for existing programs controversy, the permitting process, the bid process, the building process, the fund release process

please do keep up or at least not armchair qb major capital projects. makes HCC look real silly.

btw, you do realize that finding space for HCC is a district low priority, right? we're to get what we get and not throw a fit. personally, finding less crowded space is lesser priority than making sure K5 HCC isn't dismantled, or that 6-8 HCC gets a real program because right now it isn't even rigorous, or even really a program.

Anonymous said...

No need for condescension. The Pinehurst building was only torn down in the past few weeks, so they apparently believe that they can put the building up in about 18 months if it's to open by 9/2016. If it only takes 18 months to do a teardown and rebuild, that's what I'm questioning.

It will cost more in the long run to move part of HIMS into Marshall for a year than it would to reverse the order of things. Two programs needing interim siting means two program moves instead of one. Why accrue extra moving-related expenses if you don't have to? Why make one group of kids have 3 years in 3 different buildings when there are other options?

None of it matters of course. What's done is done.

-priorities

Anonymous said...

They need HW to open earlier so that they can have John Marshall for Olympic Hills, so they can get going on THAT project. And they can only do so many of these at a time because the money only comes in so fast. I do wonder if they will need to move Licton Springs again in order to physically fit the bodies from Lincoln and Hamilton who will be there in the next two years. That was a really bad siting decision.

Anonymous said...

So Olympic Hills and kids from HIMS will likely share the Marshall building at some point, like the 2016-2017 school year? All these musical chairs!

Anonymous said...

I was around during the meetings and discussion about how to manage the burgeoning MS population until WP came on board. A number of proposals were floated that put MS kids in John Marshall (either starting a WP roll-up at John Marshall, the 6th grade academy, APP MS move to Marshall) and the parents in the NE all rallied against all of the proposals that put MS kids in the Marshall building.

The HW program was moved out of the JAMS building so that JAMS could be launched in its eventual home so that the JAMS kids wouldn't have to be in 2 different buildings - and rightly so because many of them had "taken one for the team" during the APP move from Lowell.

I would also say that most would agree, in retrospect, that giving JAMS that 1.5 years to ramp up with a planning principal was MUCH better than trying to get JAMS open in less than 6 months (there were many parent voices at that time that wanted that building to be turned over immediately for a middle school). JAMS has its challenges, but I think it's a testament to the good use of the time that the community seems to be doing very well.

There's really no way the WP building can be built in time for a 2016 start date. The permitting process (and appeals of permits) slows things WAY down and, someone above mentioned other issues beyond the permits which are specific to that site.

And, a correction - Olympic Hills will be moving into the Cedar Park building for their interim space, not the Marshall building. I can't, at this moment, find the document that outlines who is scheduled to be using the Marshall space for the next 2-5 years, but I know there is a document.

RE: FACMAC recommendations - Actually, what happened in the NorthEnd is very close to what FACMAC recommended according to a slideshow from a Board meeting on Dec. 19th, 2012:
http://www.seattleschools.org/modules/groups/homepagefiles/cms/1583136/File/Departmental%20Content/facilities/20121219_ppt_capacitymanagement.pdf?sessionid=526e064895718e80872f6db5906b8639

~ North End Parent

Anonymous said...

You know, for nearly 30 years ALL the kids who needed APP went to Washington from Ballard, Lake City, QA and everywhere. Now that HIMS and JAMS are open, people can only myopically visualize solutions north of the cut! If I lived in the Laurelhurst/UD/Bryant/Eastern Wallingford area, I'd be signing up my 5th grader for WMS where they still teach APP curriculum, and they still block LA and SS for all 6th and 7th graders. If FP wants to roll up into Madison, there will be plenty of room at WMS. At 7:30 am Monlake cut traffic is nbd.

open ears

Anonymous said...

North End Parent, I would disagree that "most" people now think JAMS needed 18 months to open, unlike any other new comprehensive middle schools, including the last one the principal opened. I do think people are trying to move past this, but I wouldn't mistake that for thinking it was a good idea or should be repeated in the future. We should have moved faster, kept it out of the growth boundaries soup. We should move faster with future middle schools. Like every other district in the country.

I think the FACMAC recommendations they are talking about above are the WP/high school ones later.

WMS sounds great, but then my rising 6th grader wouldn't be able to go on to high school with their peers. No way is Garfield still going to be an option for them in 3 years.

?? said...


North End Parent, I would disagree that "most" people now think JAMS needed 18 months to open, unlike any other new comprehensive middle schools, including the last one the principal opened. I do think people are trying to move past this, but I wouldn't mistake that for thinking it was a good idea or should be repeated in the future. We should have moved faster, kept it out of the growth boundaries soup. We should move faster with future middle schools. Like every other district in the country.

I think the FACMAC recommendations they are talking about above are the WP/high school ones later.

WMS sounds great, but then my rising 6th grader wouldn't be able to go on to high school with their peers. No way is Garfield still going to be an option for them in 3 years.

Reposted foranon

Anonymous said...

Dear Open Ears, Is it an actual possiblity in SPS APP/HCC to send one's middle schooler to WMS from the north end? I didn't think we had any choices besides neighborhood middle school or JAMS. We actually like the 5 minute drive to JAMS. But I didn't know we had a choice/possibility.
JAMSmom

Lynn said...

I've been wondering how advanced learning will handle identification of high school students.

Here's a link to the information. There's a two week window between the announcement and the nomination due date.

No testing is required - instead the student submits a 500 word essay on his or her academic goals. In return, they receive (as expected) nothing.

Anonymous said...

Guaranteed AP seats are something.

Anonymous said...

Guaranteed AP seats? Where does it say that?

And that essay prompt? Ick. Not about academic goals, Lynn--it's "tell us how you're an example of giftedness."

Oh, and what else are they going to base it on for incoming 9th graders? They won't have ACT/SAT/PSAT scores, and those middle school GPAs don't seem all that meaningful either.

It all seems like a lot of work just to have the option of getting into IBX, but I guess for kids who really want IBX and don't currently have that option it's something. Mostly, however, it just seems like SPS minimally meeting the requirements to at least have something.

HIMSmom

Anonymous said...

"Are guaranteed a placement in any offered Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate courses in which they choose to enroll and meet all prerequisites. While any high school student who meets the prerequisites may enroll in AP/IB courses, Highly Capable students are guaranteed a seat."

And no access to IBX as it must start in 9th grade.

Anonymous said...

So I guess as it is right now, no student anywhere is guaranteed access to AP classes? And with this change, HCC-identified kids will be guaranteed access but no one else will?

Something about that bothers me. It's like the whole situation where access to elementary APP is guaranteed but Spectrum can have a wait list. I don't get it. Every student should have access to an appropriate education. If they offer Spectrum, and you are eligible for it, you should be able to access it. No wait lists. Period.

Same with this high school thing. If a student has done the pre-requisites and wants an AP class that is offered at the school, they should be able to take it. Setting up a guarantee just for HCC will only further the cries of elitism. And, as the high school capacity problem worsens, it will only exacerbate the problem. The HCC kids will get the "good" classes but once those are full, the other kids wanting AP classes will have to go without. Am I wrong?

--ugh

Anonymous said...

I totally agree that only guaranteeing for HCC is a problem - which is why keeping kids co-horted makes sense because it brings the opportunity to offer multiple sections of each AP class and opens up the schedules for many more kids, including non-HCC kids.

The problem with a smaller cohort of kids that may want to take 8-12 AP classes in high school is that the class will get canceled if it isn't full - which I'm guessing is what happened to AP Biology at Ballard?

Just because it says the class is offered in the course catalogue, it doesn't mean it will be offered if only 6 kids sign up for it.

There are 5-6 periods of AP Calculus AB at Garfield, but then it whittles down to only 2-3 periods of BC. The # of students signing up drives the # of sections available.



Anonymous said...

Another HCC rule pulled out of the downtown's a$$. Thought put into the rule or ramifications? Less than zero.

Anonymous said...

Another HCC rule pulled out of the downtown's a$$. Thought put into the rule or ramifications? Less than zero.

Anonymous said...

Sorry for the misinformation in my earlier post. I was thinking in terms of entry into HS, not once already there. Yes, someone has been busy making up new rules! I wonder if they've bothered to tell the high schools? Sounds like no more limits on the number of AP classes you can take, and possibly more sections of offered classes?

HIMSmom

And I had missed the part about guaranteed access to AP classes.

Unknown said...

Do any of you know of any kids being closed out of AP or IB classes? From what I've seen at IHS they just let everyone in. If capacity is an issue, would they throw out non HC students to make room for HC students who register later, or would they just squeeze them all in? It seems like this policy doesn't really offer anything the kids don't already have.
maureen

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

Maureen, I believe there are AP classes with waitlists at Garfield. Since schools haven't had to track HC status all the way through high school before, I doubt HC kids have had priority re: available spots. If that's the case, there could be some benefit to a guaranteed spot (depending on how implemented, of course).

HIMSmom

Anonymous said...

I have to say, it seems really really wrong to eject kids from an AP class because some other kids wrote 500 word essays telling the District how smart they are. Especially if we are talking about AP Calc B/C or AP Physics or something. It seems to me that the only ethical solution is to expand the size of the class. That is what they do at Ingraham--they have had on the order of 50 kids in IB social studies classes. They had to hold the class in the library.

maureen

Anonymous said...

Well, there is a bit more to it than just writing a 500-word essay. There's a GPA requirement, teacher recommendations, review of transcript, looking at SAT results if taken, etc.

And while perhaps currently every student who signs up for an AP or IB class gets into it, I really do worry if that will still be possible in another year or two when the high schools are beyond full.

Really weird how this seems to have come out of nowhere. Did the most recent taskforce come up with this plan? Do they know about it?

-ugh

Lynn said...

The task force didn't discuss identification of high school students. It's required by the law and this is someone's attempt to appear to provide an identification opportunity and services.

As everyone has noted, services are non-existent. Identification is only possible for families who go looking for this information on the district website in the next two weeks.

Guess what else OSPI requires the district to do? They have to provide an identification opportunity for newly-enrolled students within three months of their enrollment - and provide services during the year of enrollment. (Under our current procedures, a student who enrolled in the district on October 3rd of 2014 will not receive services until September of 2016.)

Anonymous said...

It seems to me that these high school changes are the first step in eliminating the Garfield pathway. If there is now guaranteed access to AP, what is the need for Garfield? No one can say the cohort anymore because this change will make one of various sizes at all schools (not that writing a 500 word essay is the same as testing into APP). I am not saying I agree with any of this, but I think the district is trying to get rid of the Garfield pathway because Garfield is too crowded.

-stroop

Anonymous said...

It's not that Garfield has gotten too crowded, it's that the HCC/APP cohort has expanded beyond the capacity for any one high school (or two) to take the entire cohort. Garfield's freshman class is optimally 400 students. For years and years, pre-split, pre MAP, pre the explosion of the cohort, the APP cohort at Garfield, was about 125, give or take. A good quarter of the class. It's hard to get a handle on the number of APP/HCC in 8th grade right now, or at least I'm not finding the cohort separated from the middle school population, but Washington, Hamilton and Jane Adams currently have 901 8th graders (that's the Feb 2015 count). If even a third of those are APP/HCC (and I think it may be more) that's 200 more rising 9th grade students with guaranteed access to Garfield than just a few years ago. It is just not possible for one high school to absorb this many kids, or even two high schools. And now with the new state rules, kids who can get qualified as HCC during high school, and can claim they can't get AP classes at their current school (likely AP Calc BC, Comp Sci) will also have access to Garfield as it stands now.

There are neighborhood kids that come to Garfield for high school from private schools, TOPS, spectrum at Washington, and soon Meany, many with the drive and desire and ability to excel academically in high school. It seems wrong to threaten to exclude these students from AP classes because they are not part of a protected class. Nevermind how it makes APP/HCC seem elitist, etc, it is just wrong for high school kids to be denied the ability to succeed at the highest level, if they are able.

Garfield is not overcrowded. APP/HCC has gotten too large for the old system of high school preference to continue to be a placement model for the large cohort.

Lynn said...

Here are the HCC enrollment numbers for the current year (from April 2014):

HIMS
6th 182
7th 146
8th 103

JAMS
6th 131
7th 76
8th 69

WMS
6th 138
7th 98
8th 135

And just for fun, the high school numbers:

Ingraham
9th 101
10th 80
11th 43
12th 44

Garfield
9th 173
10th 110
11th 89
12th 82

Yes - Garfield is overcapacity, but so is every high school in the north end. I don't think they'll change the assignment plan for high school until Lincoln reopens. At that point, even two north end pathways might not be enough.

All of the students south of the ship canal (excluding Magnolia and Queen Anne) can still fit in Garfield. If you pulled out the out of attendance area students, Garfield would have about 300 available seats.

Which schools do you think will go to split shifts first?

Anonymous said...

It would no doubt be a roll-up, Lynn so only the incoming class of 9th graders would lose the Garfield option, and only those not in the Garfield attendance area.
Unfortunately the numbers don't look promising. We'll know soon if there's to be a change. HCC families should tour their local HS just in case.

Anonymous said...

Thats a bit silly. Families will know where the pathway is every year prior to open enrollment. Sure tour your local hs if you think it will work but the situation is not that unstable. I agree they will probably attempt to maintain the status quo until Lincoln comes online.

Anonymous said...

So my daughter will be coming into Ballard from Whitman, she tested into APP back in elementary but wanted to stay with friends and it's worked out fine, but now were going to get actual service at Ballard in the form of guaranteed seats and a transfer to Garfield or Roosevelt or wherever if they don't offer an AP course she wants.
Sounds good from our perspective.

beaver-to be

Lynn said...

Has she been enrolled in Spectrum or an AOL since she first qualified?

Anonymous said...

We enrolled at Whittier when choice was possible and she tested into Spectrum in K and then APP in 5th grade.
She's only at grade level in math now that Algebra 1 is grade level at Whitman and no Biology yet, but it's been rigorous enough to keep her engaged and out of trouble and I think she has the study skills developed to do very well at Ballard.
She's very social and was dead-set against leaving friends and going to Hamilton after we toured, so we decided to try Whitman and unless it was horrible to stay. It's been great for her and it looks like Ballard will provide as much she will need.
I guess if she wants AP Physics we have a problem, but we'll cross that bridge if need be.

b2b

Anonymous said...

This is a naive statement:

"Thats a bit silly. Families will know where the pathway is every year prior to open enrollment."

The district HAS made changes to both pathways and curriculum structure offered at schools AFTER open enrollment in the past.

What's silly is underestimating the incompetence of this district.

The district could also easily argue that removing Garfield is not changing the pathway, but rather putting the pathway closer to each child's home.

Anonymous said...

It's obvious where this is going. Rising HCCers go to their local high schools, period. There already is no HCC cohort in high school. Just access to AP programs.

HCC high schoolers will go to their local high schools with guaranteed access to AP classes, plus their promised 'guidance instructor' to meet their needs. If you think that service will be more than lip service, you don't know SPS.

It's going to be just like special ed - HCC is a service not a place. I predict the change within 2 years. The capacity pressures and lack of staff interest in HCC are such that there is little chance for a different solution.

Long time watcher

Anonymous said...

But then there will be room at Garfield, so you'll be able to get in as a non-assignment area student. A whole other game will be played!

Anonymous said...

The APP/HCC program is a PROGRAM. In high school, it is very specifically a COHORT. There is a reason it IS COHORTED. It is a very different model and service than SpEd. Not better, worse, less or more worthy -- just DIFFERENT.

Read the policy. It IS COHORTED. In high school.

RAINIER BEACH is empty. But it has a new IB program. It will come on strong. It is a great community and it has a rocking PTSA. A capacity solution for high school south is right there. Expect boundary redraws of Garfeild to RB. SSD has done that before, they will do it again. And, with it's new IB program, RB's fortunes are rising, so the coming redraw will not be surprising. In a capacity crisis, this district simply cannot afford to run an empty building. This district will fill it, and they will fill it via a boundary/attendance area in order to guarantee results. And this has nothing to do with APP/HCC or garfeild's overcrowding. It has everything to do with the inexcusability if running and empty building will other other high schools are bursting. Once they fill RB, the natural consequence is Garfeild has room, which means kids from the north, where high school capacity is a crisis, can be relieved with this pressure valve. It all hangs together, but only if approached holistically, with a big picture point of view.

The District is out of options. They must relieve the north. Putting Roosevelt and Ballard into 8 or 9 periods when those kids could go to Garfeild, and the south could be better framed do Rainier Beach will be operating at capacity... that will be the only viable and equitable solution.

Big Picture

Anonymous said...

What would be the point of going to Garfield if the HCC isn't there?

Anonymous said...

"The APP/HCC program is a PROGRAM. In high school, it is very specifically a COHORT. There is a reason it IS COHORTED."

Actually, they are highly capable SERVICES. "Program" may have been included in the old APP name, but in terms of SPS definitions they considered it a service.

And just because it has been cohorted in high school in the past does not mean it will necessarily continue to be so. The reason for the cohort was to ensure an adequate number of similarly capable students, an academic peer group that would support a sufficient number of AP class offerings. The growth in APP/HCC over recent years has partly removed that as a challenge, at least in some non-HCC schools. Additionally, new rules such as those that allow people to obtain the HC designation later (can try again each year of HS), the ability to obtain HC status based on a whole different set of criteria (essay, GPA, etc. vs. cognitive testing), and the ability to maintain one's HC designation even if not in a HC program means that there will be even more kids eligible for these HC services that what we've already been seeing. Guaranteed access to AP classes may entice some to apply when they would not have done so otherwise because they wanted to go to the neighborhood school--but now they can do that with perks. Additionally, guaranteeing access to AP classes means there may have to be additional sections of some classes available, since you can't waitlist HC kids. More AP classes at the local schools means less need for the Garfield option.

I agree with others--I think it's just a matter of time before the Garfield pathway is gone. It may not mean we go 100% toward the local school, but possibly some model where there's at least one AP-rich option HS per region.

HF

Anonymous said...

The language on access to another school, after 9th grade HCC identification is pretty wishy washy. I think access to another high school is going to be administered on a space available and qualitative basis, not because a student doesn't have access to a single AP course.

(but, of course, we can't know what the future will hold in this rapidly changing system).

Anonymous said...

My question for the beaver to be is would your daughter really move schools for AP physics?
It's only Mechanics which is offered, a one semester class on classical mechanics,no modern physics at all according to the College Board website on AP. There's a two part physics AP course that looks much better for the serious students. Also, completing all of Calculus, with 5's on the tests, and then moving into more advanced math on-line or at UW, would probably be better preparation for an aspiring physics student.
As almost everyone agrees, the students who take the most rigorous classes at their school, not necessarily in their entire district, are getting full consideration and entrance to top universities.
I'd also think independent study with one of the PhDs on Ballard staff or a UW prof who teaches there would be more than adequate.
Sounds like your daughter will do well no matter.

Anonymous said...

Re: moving boundaries to shift everyone south to fill Rainier Beach, making room at GHS for "the cohort" -

The southern boundary of Garfield is currently just blocks from the school, just south of Jackson. The northern boundary is the ship canal/Montlake cut. Shipping kids from Madison Park, Montlake, Madrona, Capitol hill miles south past Garfield, is outrageous. Perhaps give "the cohort" preference to Rainier Beach, making it a choice rather than forced bussing. It would keep the cohort together and not force the rest of the high school students in the city to shift south, losing huge portions of their day and sleep to travelling to school.

The sixth grade cohort in APP/HCC this year is a whopping 451. That number will grow with the new state rules allowing entrance during high school, and presumably some more students entering the old fashioned way for 7th and 8th grade. 451 plus is bigger than any 9th grade in any Seattle school this year except Garfield at 465 (that includes 173 APP/HCC kids). This year's 9th grade APP/HCC cohort is 274. In 3 short years it will be over 451!! For years, before the change in entrance requirements and the split to Lincoln, the entire cohort fit comfortable into Garfield, averaging about 125 every year. Something has to give. Even the most staunch defenders of the HCC must see that there is something not quite so 1-2% of highly giftedness with these numbers. And if you self-contain in high school, which would be completely doable with cohorts the size of the largest high school grade bands, it would be the whitest and lowest, by a huge margin, FRL school in SPS. The old model of cohort preference in high school can't work because APP/HCC doesn't resemble the program/service/cohort it was when the old model was working.

Anonymous said...

It's not self contained in high school, it's COHORTED. Big difference.


And, you miss the point, the total SIZE of the 6th grade is bigger than the 9th overall. And, the 4th grade total enrollment is even BIGGER than the 6th. This is NOT an APP problem -- this is a problem of a capacity crisis for all! Foisting it in APP is like getting mad at SpEd because they need way more capacity (each SpEd student is a gen Ed student first, and has a seat in a general Ed classroom AND has an entire ADDITIONAL classroom where there are 7 students (not 30)). SpEd is mandated by state law (and fed too) and is about 14% of SSD. Way over proportional. As one would expect in an urban district with excellent health care providers.

Don't blame students for capacity problem. Blame Nyland (he may be new - but he took the job), the board for not listening to the experts who have warned them for years, and Flip Herndon. Better yet, try to fix it by demanding transparency and accountability.

-shafted

3inSPS said...

Gosh where to start.

HCS is the new name and the S stands for Service. It was actually changed from a program to be inline with the State's law for AHG students.

Often times students opt to not continue on the pathway so don't be alarmed by 8th grade numbers. Where do they go: Private, neighborhood, IBx, alternative and running start. Also, only 8th grade HCC students are guaranteed seats at GHS not newly identified HS students. The IBx Pressure valve has been great for the program and I wouldn't be surprised to see a STEMx solution down the road.

Finally IBx has some self contained classes GHS doesn't. I don't anticipate much change to GHS it is all the other schools that will need to change (will they?).

Anonymous said...

RE: Physics at Ballard
Your daughter could take an amazing astronomy course designed and approved for credit by the UW. She could do running start as a senior or study AP physics online. She could take other AP courses and leave high-level physics until college, where she'll have 4 years, and more if she goes to grad school. I have a bright kid who might be interested in physics, math, music, or who knows what else....I mean, she's 13. Who knows where her interests will be 5 years from now?

I want to know why we should chose Garfield over Ballard. I know some really bright kids at Ballard. Maybe not as big a cohort as at Garfield, but big enough? If she wants tons of rigor, there's IBX at Ingraham.

But isn't HS supposed to be fun, also? We toured Holy Names and it seemed to be a bit "race to nowhere", with the head of school spending her entire presentation on how many app classes kids took, how many passed exams, how many got into what schools. My kid could handle all that and pass those exams, and get that scholarship money, I have no doubt. But what would it do to her? And what's the point? I'm trying to find a middle path that keeps her challenged and engaged, and allows her to develop all of her interests and have plenty of down time, too.

So again, why Garfield? What am I missing?

Thanks.

Anonymous said...

The total number of students in 6th grade in SPS is not more than 3 times bigger than it was just 5 years ago. Growing from 125 APP/HCC students fairly consistently year to year to 451 plus APP/HCC students in a 6th grade cohort this year is nearly quadrupling the APP/HCC cohort in the time that SPS has grown by a fraction of that. It is not apples to apples.

Anonymous said...

Hi Anonymous at 2:01 pm,
My GHS daughter would say that GHS is fun. Since the summer before 9th grade she has been the person choosing her path. She is trying to take AP classes, but it is not some competitive race there. It is friends having fun together and supporting each other in their endeavors. Why go there? Some people go there for Latin, for music, for Environmental Science, for other things... Not everyone needs to go there, but for those who go there, it is not just hard work.
GHSmom

Anonymous said...

" We toured Holy Names and it seemed to be a bit "race to nowhere", with the head of school spending her entire presentation on how many app classes kids took, how many passed exams, how many got into what schools."

I am looking for a public HS exactly like this (but not religious). Any suggestions?
Thanks.
Mom

Anonymous said...

Bellevue's Interlake High School.

http://blogs.seattletimes.com/educationlab/2014/09/10/national-merit-scholarship-semifinalists-named/

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the link to PSAT scores. Lakeside dominates, of course.
On the sidebar there was an article about hazing at Garfield in fall 2013. It said it was the kids taking AP classes, the smart white kids, who were into it. It said a hundred kids were in a park blind drunk, some wearing diapers and getting paddled.They threw things at the principal and called him racial slurs.
Now they have a new program to combat hazing. Anybody know if it worked?


Anonymous said...

I'm also wondering if "froshing" is still happening.

I just read this horrifying article,
http://www.seattlepi.com/local/article/Assistant-Principal-Garfield-hazing-5132074.php

A student almost died one year and the parents were not interested in pursuing any charges. Any HCC parents have any information about this as it seems popular with the students who are in the HC program.

Stephanie

Anonymous said...

It has been part of the GHS culture although the administration has been trying to stop it. The two days it has taken place in the past was Homecoming and Purple and White Day. So if you do what the principal says, which is pick up your kid on those days, or know where they are, you can avoid your kid experiencing it. There are very strong warnings that come from Principal Howard against it. I really don't know much about the culture of the people who took part. I do know a few things. Ninth graders normally have to want to get froshed by an upper class person. After that froshing/hazing incident at the Arboretum, Principal Howard instituted a 9th grade program called Link Crew where upper class people are trained in welcoming 9th graders in to the school to make them feel like they do not need to get froshed. If your kid does not get froshed as a freshman, it is likely that he/she will not be involved ever because only those who have been froshed will do it to others later.
GHSmom

Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous at 11:33 pm,
Please don't generalize about one person or a small number of persons who may have gotten super drunk and said racial slurs. That person or persons may not have been GHS students. It could have been a friend. I just don't think it should be generalized that everyone who was there was wearing diapers, super drunk or saying the slurs. The froshing has been part of the culture, but it is often innocuous, from what I have heard. My kid, luckily, did not take part and I am on guard against it. I am totally against it in every way.
GHSmom

Anonymous said...

"wanting to get froshed" "innocuous"

Those are the misconceptions that parents seem to have, whether it's from their own experience or not.

Hazing is not a good way to build solidarity and cohesiveness. Positive methods are perhaps not as powerful, but avoid the psychological and physical dangers of hazing.

Anonymous said...

Froshing is not part of Ingraham's culture, as far as we've heard. They also have Link Crew, but students need to miss class for some of the activities (not cool, as work gets missed and needs to be made up).

Anonymous said...

I'm curious- has anyone looked checked Mercer Island HS to see if it's still accepting out of district students? I know it was a few years ago.
-sp

Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous at 9:54 pm,
I agree with you about hazing. I was trying to share that the "froshing" was not all heavy drinking and diapers. However, I have argued with my GHS child about how any of it is bad, including the innocuous things. The reason it is bad is that it can lead to worse. Also what is not bad for one kid can be humiliating for another. That is why I took Mr. Howard's warnings seriously. Kids at that age are vulnerable to being influenced by their peers. It is important to avoid letting your kid have these experiences. I personally think it could normalize it so much that when they are in college it could be much worse.
GHSmom

Anonymous said...

@ SP Mercer Island is a nondiverse school that doesn't even rank as high as Garfield and Roosevelt in US News and World Reports rankings. (Yes, I know you have to look at the rankings with a wink but they do an ok job at comparing public high schools in a broad sense.)

Why would you want to send a kid through the traffic to Mercer Island HS?

Additionally, there are plenty of problems there, too. Affluence comes with its own set of issues including kid attitudes and the usual drinking/drugs.

Truth is SPS high schools work pretty well for the majority of SPS kids. With a little guidance kids can have a challenging interesting four years.

Anonymous said...

I'll say why I'd consider Mercer Island over Roosevelt -- I was talking to a parent whose kids will be moving into MI high school (and haven't formerly been in the MI school district), and the principal and community there was extremely welcoming. Their kids have already taken placement tests and can begin planning their schedules.

Roosevelt was not similarly welcoming (a soft standard) to out of SPS students, on their visit. Without that feeling of welcome, that people are on your side trying to help you, the bureaucracy of Seattle public schools is truly daunting.

Anonymous said...

PS: I'm talking of MI & Roosevelt students for whom those schools are their reference schools (not for out of district/out of reference placements).

SusanH said...

Why Mercer Island?

Well, we live in Rainier Beach, and most families here have an "anything but Rainier Beach High School" frame of mind. A few years ago, we knew several families that sent their kids to Mercer Island High School (all our neighborhood babysitters went there). Solid choice, they all did well there and went to good colleges. I think Mercer Island might be an odd choice when you are comparing it to Roosevelt and Garfield, but only so many families are fortunate enough to live in those coveted neighborhoods.

(I don't believe Mercer Island High is still open for out-of-area students though. Last time I checked, anyway...)

Anonymous said...

IMHO the difference between the Roosevelt and MI reception is the difference in district management much more than the schools. MI is a tiny district and by all accounts better run than SPS. But their district refused to vote for its last capital campaign so go figure. Ack. Rich folk.

As far as comparing MI to Roosevelt or Garfield, my family did some shopping around when buying a home, knowing we'd have capable academic kids in high school soon enough. FWIW here's where we landed: The best high schools in the area, if you want to go by 'rankings' are on the East Side. I too have looked at the US News and WP ranking page. Here is the latest update.

No surprise to our family, the top ranked schools have almost no families of poverty. They do have reasonable ethnic diversity numbers, but a little digging shows that the kids are largely of Asian or increasingly Indian family origin. Many are families of high tech workers.

The next on the rankings, Newport and Interlake, have similar ethnic profiles with notably more economic diversity.

Then you get Bainbridge, which is largely white or Asian and well off plus a ferry ride away, Aviation H.S. in Highline which is a great melting pot but a specialized program, and then you've got Roosevelt and Garfield. Diverse in ethnicity and income.

Then you get Mercer Island. No income diversity at all. Same ethnic profile - largely white, some Asian - as the rest of the top east side schools. But it doesn't stack up in rankings to good ol SPS top schools or the other top east side schools.

Knowing our oldest was on the accelerated learning track, we opted to stay in the city. We believed our child would get a solid HS experience AND a much better world experience than transplanting to one of the white, wealthy Islands (MI, Bainbridge) or heading out to the burbs of our childhood. Our hope has come true, to a large extent.

Different families have different values, but our growing real estate taxes (we couldn't live here if we tried to move today) shows that there are a lot of families who agree with us that both school quality and vibrant (diverse) community matters a lot. An added bonus: not being car dependent to get to most of our errands and entertainment.

Seattle sold

Anonymous said...

Seattle Sold -- are you telling where you are, or how the schools are working for your kids (keeping their privacy intact)?

I really *want* to hear positive stories of how people are making SPS work for their academically inclined HS student, for all the reasons you describe. I like living here; I want a diverse environment for my children and don't want a hothouse. But after the Roosevelt open house, I was at least casually looking for houses in Mercer Island on Zillow.

BTW, the upbeat info and stories at the Friends of Ingraham FB page are fabulous, as is Roosevelt's school newspaper, examples where I can see how good the schools are. And, in the time I've spent in the Roosevelt building, I've been pleased with the conversations I overhear from the kids, who seem to be enjoying learning. I love hearing stories of how things work right.

But, the bureaucracy is making me worry. I was pleasantly surprised at how smoothly scheduling testing worked but my stomach started churning with how everything has been handled since.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 3:38,
Are you also thinking of GHS? My daughter is having a great experience at GHS. I doubt that Mercer Island is free from social problems. I think they just have different problems, and if they affect students they may be just as bad potentially as any other social problems. In other words, my opinion is that going to an island won't make it so you are free from problems.
GHSmom

Anonymous said...

Stephanie,

Please do not conflate HC kids with kids who take AP classes. Those populations have overlap at Garfield but there are many more kids who take AP classes than come from the HCC. The "rich white kids" who live in Madison Park or Montlake near the arboretum likely also take AP classes, while HCC is an all-city draw. Also, it's annoying that an opinion quote from a student about who may have been at the arboretum that day is being repeated as fact. Please don't generalize to broad groups.

open ears



Anonymous said...

Open Ears -

There are many rich white kids from Montlake (especially) and Madison Park who are in APP. And from Magnolia and Queen Anne and Capitol Hill. Have had a couple kids go through Garfield and the APP kids who were likely to be involved in school "traditions" were from all over the city, including Madison Park and Montlake. That remark was needlessly disparaging of students who are academically high achieving but, for whatever myriad of reasons, did not enter APP between 1st and 7th grade. They are not morally beneath the APP cohort, and the kids actually form a pretty awesome community. The froshing situation seems to have escalated over the last few years and the administration has made great efforts to curb the behavior, and has been pretty successful. This is not an APP vs "the others" situation, however. With social media the kids who gather at these events come from other schools, too.

Anonymous said...

Will anyone notify kindergarten parents before they get pulled out for achievement testing, like they did for the Cogat testing? Or do they just pull them out with no warning?

Anonymous said...

Advanced Learning is sending a really mixed message about deadlines.

The "deadline" of March 6th (end of open enrollment) is all over the AL website. They say "Families should enroll students applying for Advanced Learning by this date, but many of them will not have received eligibility results by then."

Then, they also tell the truth, which is that families can choose APP until September 30th. "HC eligible students are guaranteed a seat in the Highly Capable Cohort (self-contained classroom) at their pathway HCC school as long as the School Choice Form is submitted by September 30."

It will be awful for the schools if people don't decide until summer or later. Hence the double-speak about March 6th.

But really the deadline only exists for Spectrum. Which is essentially both full and non-existent and not worth enforcing a deadline over.

Anonymous said...

Did everyone see the story about the AP-focused 'top' school mentioned above? Apparently a kid overstressed by his academic demands - he was a 4.0 student - was plotting to shoot up the school.

Before they took the comments down all kinds of people said The Bellevue International School is focused more on academic report cards than the emotional and social growth of their students. Take it lightly or not, but the east side highly capable-focused schools aren't the promised land.

Anonymous said...

I take random, anonymous comments on the internet with a HUGE grain of salt. Do any of those people actually have kids who attend the school? Who knows?

I used to help with school tours at both Lincoln/Lowell and one of the most common questions from prospective parents was: "Is this school a pressure cooker?" There is a stereotype that schools that focus on education are "pressure cookers." It's certainly not something we experienced in Lowell/Lincoln.

There is the same rumor about Lakeside. When people without kids there talk about it, I hear how competitive it is and that it's very high stress. That doesn't fit with what I hear from the parents I know there.

Anonymous said...

@ 7:01. That's the point isn't it? It isn't the parents perspective at all. Who cares what the parents think. It's what the students themselves think. Students know what's what. If they appear healthy and challenged at school great. If they are buckling under academic or social pressure not great. Parents on parent tours are not to be trusted. You only get the rah rah ones for the school.

I read that International School article. The parents were shocked. Shocked! The kids not so much. They're the ones that turned in the kid. They're also usually the ones to report sexual abuse-harassment (View Ridge this year) bullying and lackluster teachers. Do Lincoln Hamilton and JAMS work? We won't find out on this blog. We will find out by talking to our kids and their classmates.

Anonymous said...

Anon at 8:57 -I disagree. You say parents don't know what's going because only the kids do, but then you end by saying parents should talk to their kids. Don't the parents learn from their kids what's going on...???? Kids don't write on this blog, and I don't believe that all the people that post here are ignorant. I can certainly tell when my kids are stressed out and when they are not.

Problem teachers? My goodness do I hear about that. My child had one at HIMS that was lackluster (to say they least). They told me about it, and I went to the principal.

I thought the sexual harassment case of a teacher at View Ridge was a high school age girl who went to her parents with her concerns? We don't know everything about the View Ridge situation. Sometimes the perpetrator hides their behavior so well that it's only when the victim reports that anyone finds out.

You also make sweeping generalizations. I was NOT a rah rah parent. I told parents the truth of our experience at the school. It was not perfect, but what is?

Anonymous said...

Sometimes I want to hide under my bed. That story about the International School is scary. Thank the stars for students who have learned to speak out in these circumstances.

Anonymous said...

After seeing several comments about Roosevelt being unwelcoming...
We had the exact same impression 3 years ago, and chose Ingraham IBx instead and never regretted it. It's not perfect, but welcoming, rigorous, supportive, fun. Well worth the commute.

Chris

Anonymous said...

Roosevelt's draw area is largely on the well off white side. Ingraham's draw area has more of a spectrum of household income and ethnicity. The school makeup naturally leads to a community without white-wealthy social mores-barriers. Which leads to news from the saveseattleschools blog. Apparently the bill to split SPS into 2 has made it out of committee. Given the lack of a cohesive gifted program in this district and the lack of achievement for kids who need supports to make standards I don't see any great loss for our cohort if the district is divided.

Anonymous said...

don't see any great loss for our cohort if the district is divided.

Hello? All-city access to Garfield (or Ingraham IBX, take your pick). Gifted Ed in general. They could eliminate anything that remains of HCC and move to an ALO model at every school. The list goes on.

Anonymous said...

No they couldn't take away APP services. Provision of services is now state law. How they provide those services is up to the district. I think self contained is more likely to happen in a smaller district. Maybe some kind of coherent curriculum too.

One of the problems of our current district is APP falls to bottom of barrel in priorities.

Anonymous said...

How has the transition to first grade math been for HCC kids this year? Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Reading comments about Holy Names and thought I would add my two cents. My daughter graduated from Holy Names last year and overall it was a stellar experience. I get where the "race to no-where" comments come from in regards to open house presentations, but that was not our experience. She was able to participate in sports, arts, clubs, academics with great teacher support. And we are a non Catholic / non Christian family. Worth considering.

Anonymous said...

One of our kids graduated from Roosevelt. I think that Roosevelt is not welcoming. Why should they be, they have more students than they want. If it doesn't work for your kid, they are fine with that. I agree that Ingraham is much more welcoming generally, both staff & students.

To find a place at Roosevelt, a student has to work at it. The easiest way is to join something. The music & drama programs are built in communities. Start running with the cross country team in the summer, or join ultimate frisbee or poetry slam or robotics or debate team or any of the other after school clubs.

While I don't think it is good to have the school be so unwelcoming, it is not the worst thing to learn how to make your own community before heading off to college. Those lessons made the college transition easier for my kid.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing that, Anon at 8:24. It's a good reminder to us all that community doesn't just happen on its own. An impersonal or unwelcoming Info Night may give us a glimpse of how a school is run, but it likely doesn't predict a whole lot about students' ultimate experience there. A lot of that is up to the student and his/her willingness to engage, step out of their comfort zones, be proactive, etc. I'll encourage my upcoming HS student to heed your advice and get involved early!

Anonymous said...

Re: The question about transition to first grade math above:

For our child, there were a rough few weeks at the start of the year when she seemed to be bewildered by the jump in content. She's always been great with math concepts but wasn't really a whiz at calculations (as about a quarter of her first-grade Lincoln class seemed to be). Once they finished review of second grade material and moved into third grade instruction in October she took off, and the pace/level has been wonderful. She loves math now and is learning with just the right amount of challenge. Hope that helps!

Anonymous said...

Will the 6-8 Social Studies materials adoption include materials specifically for HCC/APP?

Kindergarten Mama said...

Not to whip a dead horse, but, has anyone heard if they've started doing the achievement testing for kindergarteners for HCC placement? My son is at Whittier and I am curious if he will be tested. He did the cognitive testing last month. I know all the general info about how lots of people applied, everything is late as a result, etc... but would love to know if anyone is actually being tested now. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Email Advanced Learning and ask!

Kindergarten Mama said...

I did and they sent me a form letter about how many lots of students applied and that most people will hear about placement in early March. When I replied that I knew all that and wanted to know when the achievement testing would be done, they stopped replying.

Super unhelpful. :(

Anonymous said...

Someone asked: Will the 6-8 Social Studies materials adoption include materials specifically for HCC/APP?

I was wondering the same thing, and sent some earlier emails to ask around. I'll let everyone know what, if anything, I hear back.

HIMSmom

AnonMom said...

Kindergarten Mama, Testing has been a bottle neck in the three years I've been following APP pathway. If you're willing to be persistent, call the department (206-252-0130) or go down the list of people (http://www.seattleschools.org/modules/cms/pages.phtml?sessionid=3b7a3731e8ad888e481b2731c8fb6988&pageid=288298&sessionid=3b7a3731e8ad888e481b2731c8fb6988) and tell them you'll call daily until you reach someone with concrete dates. Reiterate how frustrating it is to have set deadlines from the district that they aren't meeting.

I'm curious how the 2nd grade test-everyone-in-the-south is going. I haven't heard anything, good or bad. Have they started this program? Does anyone know anything?

Anonymous said...

I heard that they tested everyone in the SE last year (fall of 2013.) Results of the trial weren't made public but the process was more time consuming and expensive than anticipated. I don't think it happened this year or is anticipated to happen in the future.

Anonymous said...

I heard that they tested everyone in the SE last year (fall of 2013.) Results of the trial weren't made public but the process was more time consuming and expensive than anticipated. I don't think it happened this year or is anticipated to happen in the future.

AnonMom said...

Ugh. That's disappointing. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

How was the Lincoln tour last week? Did the principal address where the program will be in 2017? Thanks!

Anonymous said...

SE testing experience led the TF to recommend universal testing for all kids at 2nd? grade and again at 5th. This as well as all the TF recomendations were included into the SI policy and procedure letters

Anonymous said...

I don't see anything about testing all 2nd and 5th graders in Superintendent Procedure 2190SP. Am I missing it, or are you referring to somewhere else?

HF

Shannon said...

The HS choice form has options for Ingraham HC and for plain Ingraham and of course other schools. There are no options for IB. The person at the enrollment counter told me that the IB assignment is made within the school. Is this consistent with what other parents hear?

Anonymous said...

We went through this process last year with our current IBx 9th grade student. Here's how the process worked then:

If you are entering from HCC/APP (or expect to be based on AL testing during 8th grade), you should select Ingraham HCC (last year it was Ingraham APP). That is the IBx track.

If you are interested in regular IB, then you select Ingraham General Ed. My understanding is that IB is open to any student at Ingraham who wants to do it, and they indicate they want it once at Ingraham.

The challenge is in applying to Ingraham General Ed if Ingraham is not your attendance area high school. Last year there was a good sized waitlist. Some out-of-attendance-area 9th graders got in on sibling preference and some by lottery, but the waitlist itself didn't move very much and there were many on it who never got in.

So my understanding (at least as of last year) is that you are guaranteed IBx if you are coming from (or just tested into) HCC/APP, but if you are looking for IB or Gen Ed then it's on a space-available basis, as it would be applying to any high school from out-of-area.

IBx Parent

Anonymous said...

HF, you are correct. My mistake School Board Policy No. 2190 doesn't reflect across-district plans to screen all students in a grade... But I am sure that is one mechanism to identify that will be incorporated down the line. Those procedures are written pretty loose.

Oops

Anonymous said...

Shannon,

Any Ingraham student can choose to take individual IB classes or the IB diploma program. That is a choice that students make during sophomore year & begin those classes junior year if they decide to do the IB diploma. For individual IB classes they can take those anytime they have the prerequisites finished. It is not an enrollment choice. It is a course registration choice.

HCC IBx program is different because it is not a course registration choice available to all Ingraham students. IBx students do the diploma program starting sophomore year. IBx is an enrollment choice, evidently called HC this year.

When we enrolled, Ingrahm IBx was guaranteed, Ingraham gen ed was not guaranteed for out-of-area students. I do not know if HC is guaranteed this year.

-Ingraham parent

Anonymous said...

I'm touring Lincoln next Monday. My daughter is in kindergarten and tested last fall, still no word about eligibility or achievement testing. I think there is a small chance she might get into HCC. I really don't know if I will move her to Lincoln even if she is found eligible- I'm using the tour to help me make that decision.

I think it would help reduce the number of kids being tested if there were some formal way of touring & researching the HCC option BEFORE choosing to test. It seems that a lot of people test first and consider the options later, and a good portion of them might decide not to test if they really knew what HCC was like.

My quandary is that my daughter is happy in her kindergarten class, and she seems challenged enough. I may be projecting here, but I think that she will rise to average wherever she is (I am like that too- and I have spent my education in both mediocre and extremely competitive environments). She won't complain about being bored wherever she is, because she likes school and she is very social. She will probably cry if I take her out of her school, but then she'll adjust to wherever she goes. So it's up to me to make sure that she is adequately challenged, even if she doesn't seem to be blowing everyone away with her abilities (she hides them). If she tests into HCC then it's an indication that she could do fine there. She will never be happy being at the bottom, but she will also never work hard just to be at the top, even if she really is capable of it.

I think that I would not switch schools for Spectrum, because that program seems to be on its way out. It's not clear to me that the work will be any more challenging, though if she's in a cohort of more capable kids then maybe she would have to work a little harder to not be at the bottom. I toured Whittier last year and I just didn't get a good vibe, so I think I will pass on Spectrum.

I do have a question, if anyone is still reading this. Any ideas about questions I should ask, things I should look for when I tour Lincoln? I will be trying to imagine my daughter there, and if she would be happy. I will want to see if it is a pressure cooker, how much homework they get, etc. I want her to meet her potential, but I don't want to scar her. Also she's an artistic kid who loves doing projects, so I'll be looking for that sort of thing. And I will ask about what is going on with W-P and what will happen in 2017 if W-P isn't ready yet.

Is there anything else I should be thinking about?

I'm also thinking about my younger daughter, who is a lot more intense, competitive and academically oriented than her big sister. I have no doubt that she'll test into HCC or whatever they are calling it in 2 years. But I'm also considering private school for her, because I'm afraid that something like HCC might turn her into a shark. Maybe I'm wrong. It would save me a lot of money.

waiting mom

apparent said...


Waiting Mom,

if they attend, HCC at Lincoln will not scar your elder daughter, nor will it turn her younger sister into a shark. HCC is a warm, welcoming, supportive educational environment with all kinds of very different kids and teachers, not competitive, and reasonable homework. We have two such kids there now, so we know from experience. See for yourself when you tour, and all the best with the testing and your family decision.

Anonymous said...

waiting mom,
Wholeheartedly agree with apparent. Lincoln is not a pressure cooker. It is actually less so than our neighborhood school.

It's our first year at Lincoln, but I find that they really do back up their talk about appreciating the gifts and differences of all students and they do their best to guide the students away from competition and results, and toward effort and acceptance.

Anonymous said...

Our daughter switched to Lincoln starting second grade. When asked how it compares to her old school, she says she likes the math because it’s more challenging, but the playground is not as good (she’s never complained about the playground, but if asked, that’s her answer). Also, the library has a lot more books. Otherwise, to her Lincoln and her old school are about the same
.
Is Lincoln a pressure cooker? Maybe it is in fifth grade, but for our daughter hardly in second. Our daughter gets math homework four days a week, but usually finishes it on the bus. She has to turn in writing once a week.

Two factors to consider that may become more relevant over time depending on which school you are coming from. From our daughter’s kindergarten class, there are now five kids at Lincoln. I’m guessing by fifth there will be one or two more. We had a major concern that her academic peers and friends would keep leaving. An even bigger concern was that although she wasn't bored in kindergarten and first (she said she didn't learn much though in first grade math) was that by fourth or fifth, it would become a problem, and better to move sooner than later.

no regrets

Anonymous said...

Northeast elementary parents, have any of you had achievement testing in View Ridge, Bryant or Wedgwood?

Anonymous said...

To waiting mom,
Also have 2 kids at Lincoln starting in early grades and agree with the earlier posters - it is not a pressure cooker. Maybe the East coast gifted/magnet type schools are, but Lincoln isn't. It just seems like a normal school - well except for the less-than-idea facilities (but they are trying to make the best of it). Homework loads are not onerous. I suspect that there may even be less parental comparison of kids performance (i.e. who's in which math group/reading group, who's APP/spectrum- qualified etc) than in our previous school - though I might just be oblivious.

Anonymous said...

I am another NE kindergarten parent and have not heard of any achievement testing happening yet, but I would also be interested to learn what others are experiencing.

Also for others waiting to find out about HCC eligibility - are you planning to submit a school choice form now or wait until after you get results? The SPS website says, "families should still submit a School Choice Form on time, even if they haven’t yet been notified of Advanced Learning eligibility." However, it then says, "HC eligible students are guaranteed a seat in the Highly Capable Cohort (self-contained classroom) at their pathway HCC school as long as the School Choice Form is submitted by September 30." Emails from SPS have had similarly mixed messages.

another_NE_parent

Anonymous said...

Please do list APP@Lincoln for North elementary kids if you think they will test into HCC. This will allow SPS to help plan for the right number of kids. I know, SPS is not good at planning and preparing in advance, but if parents don't make timely selections, we can be assured that SPS won't properly plan. So, please help SPS get the right forecast. Select APP@Lincoln during open enrollment if you think your child will qualify and, if so, you want your child to attend.

-Hideaway

Anonymous said...

I am a parent of a NE Seattle kindergartner and was informed today (by a phone call) that my son would be pulled out for achievement testing this week.

I plan to submit a school choice form because although it appears a space in an HCC school is guaranteed if the form is turned in by September 30th, I don’t believe the same is true for a spot in a Spectrum program classroom at our neighborhood school in the case that he doesn't qualify for HCC.

Anonymous said...

Hi Hideaway,

Thanks for your response! Our challenge is that we aren't yet sure if we want to move our child to HCC if she qualifies or leave her at her neighborhood school. We are trying to weigh the options, but it is really hard to ask the questions we would like to ask to our current principal, other parents from our neighborhood with HCC children (both those who have chosen to move or stay at the neighborhood school), and our child all based on a hypothetical scenario of her testing in. After knowing the results, it would be much easier to have those conversations, which could help us make the best decision for her.

Still, you make a really great point. We would never wait until September to fill out a school choice form, but are just trying to figure out if we at least have the option to wait until we get her results (which will hopefully come in early March). I was also curious how others are handling this dilemma.

another_NE_parent

Anonymous said...

Thanks to all! You can see what my anxieties are.. I'm really glad to hear that the kids at Lincoln are happy and not under pressure. I look forward to the tour.

You may have guessed that I am from the east coast.. I am the product of a variety of gifted programs & schools in NYC, of varying quality and levels of intensity.

Maybe I can now stop crying that there is no equivalent to Stuyvesant HS in Seattle. WHY would I want to put my kids through what I went through...?

waiting mom

Anonymous said...

Also, that's a really excellent point that the kids currently in kindergarten at my daughter's school might be leaving over the next few years for different schools, such as HCC and Spectrum. So happiness at the school today may not mean happiness at the school tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

We all want to work toward a more ethnically diverse HCC program, but no one mentions the persistent gender imbalance.

Gen ed teachers much more frequently recommend that bright wiggly boys switch to HCC, while hanging on to their helpful, bookish girls. These girls either are not recognized as gifted, or are considered to be "doing fine" in the regular classroom. What's better - doing fine, or thriving in a community of kindred souls?

Please don't base your decision for her future on her kindergarten friendships. Nice kids make friends everywhere, and you can maintain your neighborhood friendships through playdates and sports.

The trajectory of prerequisites for higher classes in high school starts with your 6th grade math placement.

If you think this is a kid who will one day want to do the rigorous IBx program, or be part of Garfield's Latin team or orchestra, or have access to a large menu of AP classes, don't make choices for her future adult path based on her kindergarten friendships.

open ears

Parents are much more willing to put boys on a bus across town, while wanting to keep girls close to home.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, anon @ 3:39. Glad to hear the achievement testing has begun.

Anonymous said...

Regarding the gender imbalance mentioned by open ears:

You got me curious; our child's first grade class is evenly split on gender, so I did a quick search and found that the most recent OSPI data for Lincoln (2013) had it at 46 percent female and 53 percent male. This is identical to the gender percentages at our neighborhood school, and isn't far off from district-wide percentages (48 percent female, 51 percent male). Maybe some years are skewed for gender balance at Lincoln, but I don't see an overall imbalance from these numbers or from our (albeit limited) experience.

To add to the conversation above about "pressure cooker" environment: I've been very pleased with the reasonable homework load (just a quick nightly math sheet and spelling words for the week) in first grade. Most of our friends in neighborhood schools tell me their kids have a bigger homework load than our child does. The learning has been challenging and stimulating, but our child actually seems much more relaxed now than she did in kindergarten.

Anonymous said...

if you think this is a kid who will one day want to do the rigorous IBx program, or be part of Garfield's Latin team or orchestra, or have access to a large menu of AP classes, don't make choices for her future adult path based on her kindergarten friendships.

I think that's a bit over the top. Not choosing HCC now won't ruin your kid's life, or even determine their high school future. Kids can move into the program much later if it seems right, and they'll have access to the same opportunities. Choose based on what you think is best for your kid now and in the more immediate future.

Anonymous said...

I will point out that we moved our daughter to APP in 3rd grade. Our girl was an extremely creative, free spirit that found joy in playing in the mud, painting abstract colorful pictures and plunging into new experiences with abandon. She read like crazy, several books at one time.

Once in the APP environment, the focus became schoolwork and achievement - math and writing etc. She has thrived in that environment as well; however, we know that it also fundamentally changed her path. She lost that creative side to her and her free spirit was put in a box.

In hindsight, maybe we should have delayed the move and kept her at an elementary school that more nurtured her creative side.

However, as a high school student she is now again getting an opportunity to pursue the arts and is loving advanced photography, ceramics and journalism.

Its hard to know exactly when the right time to move might be - but suggesting that every child has to be engaged and challenged by schoolwork every minute of the day when they are 7-8 years old is misguided, in my opinion.

Let them be kids - and if your child is happy where they are - don't make the move until they are showing signs of discontent. They can move in middle school and be just fine fitting in with the cohort.

-Older APP (HCC - whatever) Parent

Anonymous said...

I am willing to change my daughter's school, even if she is against it, if I believe it will be best for her short & medium term interests. But her current happiness is a factor in the decision. I feel fortunate that a student can enter HCC in any grade through 9th- it takes some pressure off the decision right now. In other cities this is not the case.

I don't need to wait for my daughter to be unhappy. But at the same time, I don't want to force a change that will go against who she is as a person. She is an artist and a free spirit, much like Older APP Parent's daughter. But that doesn't mean she can't also be a student.. it's just hard to be both.

Well, this forum has helped me think about this subject. It might all be for nothing- she may not qualify for HCC! I don't think she's a shoe-in.

waiting mom

Ballard Mom said...

Well, I'm glad to hear that the achievement testing is at least beginning for HCC. Any Ballard parents get a call yet?

? said...

Older APP (HCC - whatever) Parent,

I have three kids in HS, MS and Elem. and would say they all spend no more time, probably less, on academics in the APP/HC based on conversations with other private and public school kids. All went over from K, so that may be it, but they are all creative in their own way. Put another way I just don't see APP to be a creativity drain. Did your kid go to HIMS or WMS or did they just miss the splits?



Anonymous said...

?-

Our student went to Lowell/WMS/GHS - so yes, missed the splits (other than one in middle school).

She is doing fine in APP and I mentioned that she is excelling - so the issue is not that it took more time than anything else or stressed her out.

However, the focus of the program is certainly not creativity - with the exception of the Ancient Egypt project in 3rd grade and the wonderful airport design project in 4th grade (thanks Mr. Schilperoort). From what I have heard recently, neither of these projects are happening in the current curriculum.

As I said - high school has been a godsend because she has been able to add interests to her school day.

I disagree about the private schools. The straight academic curriculum isn't a focus at many of the schools (other than Lakeside - which we would never have chosen for our kids). Private schools have a lot more opportunities to make the arts a part of the curriculum and we have many friends that have been very happy with that option.

The APP program has many positive aspects, but in our opinion, creativity and the arts are most definitely not of them.

Nothing is perfect.

-Older APP Parent

? said...

Lowell had great PTA funded art and I believe WMS has art as an elective which would be open if not involved in their music program which is also an outlet for creativity. But I get your point as well and thanks for answering my question.

Anonymous said...

Older APP Parent, I haven't heard of those cool projects, and I wish they still did them. However, our daughter has done some great projects in her third grade class at Lincoln. She interviewed another student about what that student needed to make his/her year a success. Then she designed a device to assist that student in meeting his/her goal. She created a prototype of the device. It required communication skills (interviewing), creativity (problem solving), and engineering (creating a prototype).

Also, the third graders this year get to work in the garden with a gardening teacher for 30 minutes every other Friday. She wrote a story based on gardening themes.

It seems like Lincoln is really emphasizing project-based learning. I know more about what the third graders are doing, but I think other grades are doing it too. I just saw an announcement for the culmination of the second graders animal projects. I enjoy the project-based learning because it natually incorporates creativity and other "squishy" (but important) skills.

Also, my daughter's class has more girls than boys. I don't know whether that holds true for the whole school.

happy@Lincoln

Anonymous said...

The program has morphed and changed over the years, so the experience of @Older APP parent's child may be very different from what students are experiencing in the program now. It's just different.

The elementary units used to be the Rainforest and China in 2nd, Egypt in 3rd, Colonial history and the Constitution in 4th, and the Civil War and Civil Rights in 5th. Some teachers had created their own projects as well.

My biggest concern in middle school - the pendulum on the homework load has swung so far to the "no homework" side, that I don't feel students are being well prepared for the demands of high school. Some parents may be fine with it, but my child is complaining they aren't reading much, or writing much, or learning much. They really know how to put together a PowerPoint, however. I was hoping for a happy medium of meaningful homework that didn't overwhelm.

Anonymous said...

I don't know that HCC is any more/less artsy or creative than gen ed or Spectrum in middle school. There's not really a curriculum, so art isn't built into the core classes. It's teacher dependent, and HCC teachers don't seem to promote creativity more than others. HCC middle schoolers have the same art/music options as others.

Anonymous said...

We haven't gotten a call for achievements (in the northeast. ) Should we assume our child didn't qualify?

Thanks.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't assume anything yet, 3:04.

I think the program has been pretty good and not very pressure cooker(though I agree, NOT good for creative/out there types who are not good with quick transition and having a lot of output expected). But I think it would be hard to sign up a rising first or second grader, knowing that they are just going to have to split it by the time they leave, probably when those kids are in 4th or 5th grade, since it already won't fit in the new building. 3 elementary schools is too many to have to go through. The program is not THAT great.

Anonymous said...

I sent an email to the advanced learning office and here's the response I got:

You should have received an email from our office on January 30th stating that the vast majority of applicants will receive their eligibility decision letter with test results in early March. Please check with your school to make sure that your email contact information is correctly entered into the system.

We are send out our first letters today and will continue to do so over the next couple of weeks.

Roger Daniels
Consulting Teacher
Advanced Learning Programs

PS you all continue to make excellent points. I'm going to have to re-read this once I know what our status is. I really would like to minimize disruption, so maybe we'll wait until there's a long-term home for HCC.

waiting mom

Anonymous said...

The 6-8 Social Studies materials adoption is happening this spring and will include materials for HCC (grade 6/7 Ancient and World History and grade 8 US History). The first meeting of the committee is scheduled for Mar. 2 and public review of materials will be Mar. 27-14. The materials will be at the JSCEE library (no mention of materials being available at schools). Applications for the committee were due at 9 am this morning.

Anonymous said...

Clarification on public review of 6-8 SS materials...

Round 1: March 27 - April 15 at JSCEE (all submitted materials)

Round 2: May 22 - June 12 at regional middle schools (narrowed list of materials)

The Board vote won't happen until Sept. 23, and PD for teachers is scheduled Oct. 5 - Jan. 4, so when will students have texts?

Anonymous said...

@ Anon at 5:20,

Can you clarify what you mean when you say the "6-8 Social Studies materials adoption is happening this spring and will include materials for HCC"?

Did you receive confirmation from the Advanced Learning office or someone leading the adoption effort that they will in fact be looking at materials specifically tailored to the needs of HCC students? Or are you just basing your statement on that fact that announcement mentions that "the district’s commitment to cultural relevance and accessibility for teaching Special Education, English Language Learner (ELL) or Advanced Learning students will guide and inform the selection"? I have a question in to the AL office on this, but have yet to hear back.

Since HCC is already moving away from the acceleration model in favor of (a promise of) greater depth of coverage and increased text complexity, I'm interested in seeing how the adoption process will ensure that we have an appropriate variety of materials adopted to meet the very different needs of our HCC students, as well as appropriate materials for all other student populations with unique needs. My fear, however, is that they'll be looking for more of a one-size-fits-all approach. Have you heard that this is not the case?

Anonymous said...

Lincoln tour feedback?

Anonymous said...

Are they planning on using grade level materials with the belief they can add complexity for APP/HCC simply by differentiating tasks? Who knows. I don't know if the SS materials will be the same or different than what's adopted for all students, just that HCC is being included. I'd suggest parents provide feedback during public review.

Anonymous said...

The projected 6,7,8 social studies HCC topics listed aboe are exactly the same as our neighborhood middle school. There is no differentiation in subject matter so presumably the approach or depth of discussion will be more challenging?

Anonymous said...

FAQS about Common Core and Gifted, from NAGC:

http://www.nagc.org/resources-publications/resources/timely-topics/common-core-state-standards-national-science-0

...Instructional approaches in reading, for example, could include matching gifted readers with texts that are commensurate or slightly above their documented reading level.

...a student who enters kindergarten reading at the second-grade level should receive instruction pitched at third-grade books and materials with matching comprehension questions and writing assignments.


Appropriate materials for HCC should include texts of a higher complexity and reading level, not just more complex tasks with grade level materials.

Anonymous said...

There is no differentiation in subject matter so presumably the approach or depth of discussion will be more challenging?

That's part of my reason for concern. When they aligned the SS scope and sequence across HCC, Spectrum and GenEd last year--and eliminated the option for HCC students to skip ahead into AP World History in 9th grade--they promised that there would be not only greater depth of coverage, but also greater text complexity. If everyone is using the same texts, that's not increased text complexity. There should, at minimum, be some more complex supplemental texts available for HCC. The idea that we can just have one basic curriculum and then have teachers differentiate to provide the increased rigor and depth is wishful thinking. If they don't have access to the additional materials to do so, it will only happen inconsistently, if at all. The current approach of having teachers find random materials online hasn't worked well for rigor, nor has promoted consistency or equity across HCC.

The Board, when it approved opening JAMS as an HCC site, required the district to adopt an LA/SS middle school curriculum for APP. That was never done, and I was told the reason was lack of funding. Now that there is apparently money for a new SS middle school curriculum, it really needs to include an HCC component. But if they are envisioning the ol' "Hey, let's just have everyone use the same exact curriculum" approach it seems problematic--and contrary to the intent of the Board, and in conflict with the "rigorous curriculum" at an "advanced level of complexity" reported to OSPI re: our highly capable grant. Simply leaving it up to the teachers to make the course sufficiently deep and complex, in the absence of official curricular supports, seems like it would be unfair to teachers and students alike. If the curriculum is differentiated, shouldn't the approved the materials reflect that somehow?

One other thought: If the end result is that we have one set of approved SS materials appropriate for all levels (GenEd, Spectrum and HCC), it also becomes a lot easier to argue that we don't really need HCC--teachers can just take care of everything via in-class differentiation, right?

Lassie

«Oldest ‹Older   1 – 200 of 234   Newer› Newest»