Monday, March 2, 2015

Another open thread

Clearly what's on your mind is eligibility test scores coming in!

There's a large number of comments on this thread already from parents receiving test scores and wanting to discuss the scores and next steps with other parents. Let's convert this thread to be about that.

Please join in if you're interested in talking with others about the test scores or can help out some of the new parents who have questions.

It's March! What's on your mind?

224 comments :

1 – 200 of 224   Newer›   Newest»
Anonymous said...

LETTERS, LETTERS, LETTERS! We need our letters.

Which schools have started or finished achievement testing?

NW Mom

Whittier K Mom said...

NW Mom,

We've received nothing either (no testing or letter). We are at Whittier. I hope SPS gives us some info soon.

Anonymous said...

I wonder what the rationale is for not telling people whose kids were tested months ago about the results. It's not like they'll get some advantage, right? This is so weird.

Waiting, waiting

Anonymous said...

Some 8th graders who tested (for the IBx program (which may be only private school kids?) received email requests for achievement results on Sunday February 21. Some 8th graders who did not meet the 98% eligibility criterion received snail mail letters informing them that they did not qualify for the HCC program on March 2nd (i.e. today).

Anonymous said...

I don't believe that as of 2/27 they had started notifying Wedgwood K parents of Achievement testing. If someone knows otherwise, please post.

Anonymous said...

One of the NE Spectrum schools has started achievement testing of K kids, per the prior thread. That would be Wedgwood or VR. Not sure about Bryant.

Anonymous said...

Open enrollment strategy question: if you put APP down on your open enrollment choice form (but not at #1), do they put your child in APP before they know the test results and not put them on the waitlist for the #1 school? Curious if my child doesn't end up qualifying for APP if then he'll get put at the very end of the waitlist for our #1 school pick. Thinking I shouldn't have listed APP at all....

Anonymous said...

What does Spectrum look like in practice at the elementary levels? Mostly curious about Spectrum at Hazel Wolf and View Ridge.

Anonymous said...

You should be enrolled or waitlisted for your 1st choice school. However, you really didn't need to put down APP at all. You can put that down until Sept 30th and still get a spot.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone have any information on how math works at middle school? My child has been in an option school until now (5th grade) and this has been the year where the lack of challenge seems to be possibly interfering with the enjoyment of school. We haven’t received the CogAt results yet (along with everyone else) but have been solidly in Spectrum territory with 95% CogAt and 98% MAP in the past. Based upon the combination of the 4th grade MSP and MAP scores, the recommendation would be for CMP3 (whatever that is) in 6th grade. Can anyone shed any light on CMP3? Is it a year-long class, like a pre-Algebra? What’s the difference between that and CMP2? Do they both move on to Algebra afterwards? I’m tentatively planning on switching to a comprehensive middle school with Spectrum, but am unfamiliar with how middle school math works. Any insight is appreciated!

Future Middle School Mom

Anonymous said...

We were told by the principal of Fairmount Park to put Spectrum as the first choice (they take Spectrum kids as well as HCC), because you can only get waitlisted for your first choice. There's no point in putting HCC as the first choice, because it is a guaranteed seat. But if Spectrum fills up while you wait for your results, you won't be put on the waitlist.

Whittier K Mom said...

Anon @1:34 p.m.

Really? I already turned in my choice form as SPS said to do it, HCC first, Spectrum second, etc... and now I hear that we could get passed by for Spectrum while we wait. This whole process is really starting to piss me off. UGH!!!!

Whittier K Mom said...

Anon @1:34 p.m.

FWIW, I called Enrollment Services. They said they will not be filling any seats for Spectrum or HCC until ALL the testing is in. So, there isn't a need to put Spectrum first unless you just want to hold a spot while you decide (assuming you get in to HCC) whether or not HCC is right for your kid since HCC has a guaranteed seat and Spectrum does not.

Anonymous said...

For middle school math, the typical APP math pathway is 8th grade CMP in 6th grade (CMP3? - confusing because CMP3 is the third version of CMP texts, but I think the district means the third year, or 8th grade level math).

The table of contents for each text can be found at Pearson's website. 8th grade math overlaps a lot with algebra topics - linear relationships, Pythagorean Theorem, and exponents. If your child is skipping over 7th grade math, then make sure those topics get covered before Algebra 1. 7th grade covers geometry topics, integers, ratios, proportions, and percents.

Anonymous said...

We got our letter today.. not eligible.

Kindergartener in NW Seattle.

Anonymous said...

Emails requesting achievement results for some non-SPS children arrived today. The email is quite ridiculous, and doesn't give any information, nor does it identify the child, which is kind of crazy making. So I can't tell you who might be receiving the info.

Anonymous said...

We just got an email saying we are to show up for achievement testing tomorrow, wed or thurs at JSCEE at 2:45 or 3:45. My child is currently at private school.

Thanks for all all the notice AL office!

Sheesh...

Anonymous said...

if you are planning to appeal, how does that work with open enrollment? the school we would like has both spectrum and non-spectrum options. on private testing child qualified for spectrum (k child so achievement testing not required). should we put spectrum or non-spectrum option first? we like the school either way, though would prefer spectrum placement

Anonymous said...

Our kinder kid scored much lower than we expected! based on preschool and MAP scores.

Anonymous said...

anon@ 4:22, read the website! Put your first choice first. Enroll as if your appeal will be successful.

Another Kindergarten Parent said...

Kindergartener in NW Seattle,

Sorry about the news. Did it say how your child did on the CogAT or just say not eligible (and for Spectrum or HCC)? Was the appeal info in the letter?

Thanks

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know if Kindergarten MAP scores are used for achievement for qualifying kindergarteners?

Anonymous said...

Anon @5:19 p.m. - No MAP scores are used for kindergarteners. Just Woodcock-Johnson for testing purposes.

Anonymous said...

We've had a positive experience with Spectrum at Hazel Wolf for our APP qualified 4th grader. The most visible adjustment is walk-to-math a year ahead, starting in K. They've been letting a few kids walk 2 years ahead, but I can't say for sure that will continue with the youngest grades (any kids currently walking +2 will keep doing so, from what I understand.). Oh - and they usually walk to math with their own grade band, so 4th graders doing 5th grade math would be doing it with other 4th graders. For classroom assignments, they do make sure that there are at least 4-8 kids in a class that are AL qualified before they split them, so there is some clustering, which I think works well. We've also had a reasonably good experience with differentiation, although this year isn't as good. I will also say that the culture is very positive for learning. Liking science and reading is cool and I've seen almost no bullying, negativity. The e-stem model is getting stronger every year with engineering added this year for 4th graders. So far, it's been a very positive experience and I haven't felt the need to make the move to APP.

Anonymous said...

Fellow SPS kindergarden parents-does anyone know if and how families are notified if their child qualifies for achievement testing? By email, by phone or are they just testing in school without notifying the parents first?

Anyone know if they have started testing in the SE schools?

Thanks,

Waiting

Anonymous said...

I thought that for kindergarteners, fall MAP scores could/would be substituted for achievement tests (which concerned us since our kid's school didn't do fall MAP). Is that not the case? Are all eligible kindergarteners being scheduled for achievement testing?
- Still confused

Anonymous said...

AL does not use MAP scores for kindergarteners for qualification, so yes, they schedule all kindergarteners who meet HCC criteria on the CoGAT for achievement testing. Even if your child's MAP scores are 99/99, they won't use them.

You can, however, use qualifying MAP scores for the achievement scores if you appeal for your kindergartner, provided you also have cognitive scores to provide that meet the criteria.

Anonymous said...

Anon@ 8:04, are you sure? Are you just going from what you see on the website or do you have other confirmation? I could see them cutting that corner.

It's IBTS for achievements, also. Not Woodcock-Johnson.

Anonymous said...

Are you sure it's ibts this year? It's always been the woodcock in the past. I'm curious as my 5th grader is supposed to go in this week for achievement testing.

Anonymous said...

From the advanced learning website: information packet k-8

The Woodcock-Johnson Achievement Test (grades 1) or the Iowa Test of Basic Skills (grades 2-8) will be administered to students with no MAP
scores if CogAT scores are at the 87th percentile or higher (98th percentile for 8th graders).

The Woodcock-Johnson will be administered to Kindergarten students if CogAT scores are 98th percentile or higher

Anonymous said...

Another Kindergarten Parent-

We got the Cogat scores (percentile) and also the needed scores for eligibility. To be honest I thought there was only an outside chance my child would qualify, so that wasn't terribly surprising. However the scores were MUCH lower than I expected (well below average) which I think reflects my daughter's slow processing speed rather than low cognitive ability. Given the low scores I do not think she would do well in HCC (or spectrum) but I have doubts about the accuracy of the assessment in general. The scores are so low that it made me wonder if she has a learning disability or other issue- but she's doing well with the kindergarten skills so I don't think so. At least, nothing to worry about at this stage.

Kindergartener in NW

Anonymous said...

Waiting,

I am a NE Seattle kinder parent and was notified about Achievment testing 3 days ahead of the fact by a phone call from AL. Hope that helps.

Anonymous said...

Our kindergartner also did not receive qualifying scores on the Cogat, although they were above average. We have private testing results showing that his cognitive scores would qualify him for APP, but as I am not sure his achievement scores would we are just going to appeal for Spectrum placement this year as K kids don't need achievement scores for Spectrum. I think for 5-year-olds group-administered tests probably have a large margin of error. We'll try again next year. Is there a common form to use for the appeal or parents just come up with their own letter?

Anonymous said...

In K, my kid had one very low CoGat score. (37th percentile) The experienced kindergarten teacher said not to worry, it was not representative of her experience with my child in class. Five years later, a learning disability was finally identified with a full-psych-ed evaluation. I wish I had not ignored that score when we first saw it.

Anonymous said...

We got an email late yesterday, no phone call or letter, to take my ne 5th grader in for achievement testing today, tomorrow or Thursday. Who can arrange a day off work with a day's notice! I've asked if we can schedule something on the w/e. Nope, this week or nothing!

Argh!

Anonymous said...

anon @ 12:13, thanks for sharing that. My first reaction would be correlation does not imply causation. Do you have reasons to think the low Cogat score was caused by the LD? I've been through this process with three kids now, and my honest opinion is that ability to score high on the Cogat test in K is more a personality thing than anything else. I've know several kids to get whacko scores and would hate to send parents searching for undiagnosed LDs in their kids.

Anonymous said...

Our kindergartener got wayyy lower scores than expected--remedial level scores, and her MAP scores were good. The only thing I can think is she probably just laughed through the whole thing or something. So bizarre.

Anonymous said...

Ask AL to recheck/verify score is correctly transcribed if your scores are really way below what you'd expect or otherwise wacky in some way. In previous years mistakes with data entry or other admin has resulted in unexpectedly low or weird scores and that is easily picked up/corrected if you enquire. Also, I believe last year there was a systematic problem with scoring related to the testing company material and that was part/all of reason for delayed results. So, if you have significant concerns let AL know just in case it is a widespread problem.
Of course, not all kids are going to get the results you would like or expect - some because they genuinely don't have the IQ of that level, and others because group test is an imperfect measure.

Anonymous said...

No news either here in the SE for a K kid..
Take your sweet time SPS!

Mam

Anonymous said...

No walk-to-math or pullouts at QAE, so don't expect that. Hope they made that clear at the parent info sessions.

Anonymous said...

"The scores are so low that it made me wonder if she has a learning disability or other issue- but she's doing well with the kindergarten skills so I don't think so. "

Two years ago my kid scored a 75 and "did not finish enough questions to score". Kid was in 5th so enough testing to know that was just wrong. Emailed AL office and asked them to check, which they kindly did. Ooops, make that 99 and 98. Scanner malfunctioned.

Just sayin'

Anonymous said...

Can the scanner malfunction if a kindergartner does a bad job filling in the bubbles?

Anonymous said...

We are in the SW and got the rejection letter yesterday. Based on the advice of my daughter's K teacher we are going ahead with private testing and an appeal.

Anonymous said...

How long does it take SPS to respond to an appeal?

Anonymous said...

We are in the SW and still haven't received the rejection letter for our K kid. We contacted advanced learning, and they said that her scores are not yet ready. She wasn't pulled out for achievement testing, so I'm very confused...

Anonymous said...

It doesn't sound like testing and distribution of results is being done in a very systematic or transparent manner this year. Then again, when does SPS ever

Anonymous said...

On the plus side, all the testing and eligibility reporting chaos might help set the bar appropriate low at the outset for families new to HCC! :)

Anonymous said...

In positive news, I've heard AL is making plans to update systems for next year. I think the plan is for a streamlined, online system with electronic notification to parents. The current testing and notification process was put in place when far fewer students applied for AL services. There is hope.

Anonymous said...

Anon @2:40

I am in the same situation- I think my kindergartener must have been staring out the window- some of her percentiles were single digits!!! (and the others were not much higher)

And she is doing fine in kindergarten, so I guess something is probably wrong, right? Either she has a problem we're not aware of, or the test is way way off. Or she really was just staring out the window or flirting with the other kids (she is a social butterfly).

But I would not be too surprised with average or only slightly above average scores, so I don't know if an inquiry is really necessary.

Anonymous said...

We are in the same boat with low K scores! I am considering asking the AL office to address scoring for the kindergarten tests.

Anonymous said...

A few notes from the "Highly Capable Advisory Committee Meeting" Last night 3/3/15 (some please correct me if I captured anything wrong):

* Most of the meeting (90%+) was consumed by a presentation about the future of the science curriculum for Seattle Schools in general, with some discussion about the impact for HCC.

* It was stated that Advanced Learning has/is submitting a $250K proposal for a new admin system. They are hoping that in the future, scheduling, test results, etc. can be done and made available online through the "Source". AL indicated that their existing system and processes were not designed to handle the 5000+ students that are being tested this year.

* It was stated that AL has been asked to test ALL second graders using the COGAT screener I believe by April.

* Notification Status: AL indicated they've sent out a ton of letters and notifications. It wasn't stated exactly what is left, or when it will all be done.







Frustrated said...

No letter yet for my older elementary school child.

My younger child (who is HCC qualified this year) had COGAT scores in K and 1st grades that were all over the board. I'm told that, especially in the early years, that COGAT can vary wildly and be a "false negative". Just to reassure parents that this test is not the final word! (e.g., some of my son's scores were in the 70s originally and last year were solid 99s, so much for measuring ability--unless magically he was one kid in K and 1st and another in 2nd). Frustrated.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone have actual numbers of kids who were tested in prior years?

We tested in 2009 I think,and I had heard back then that over 5,000 kids tested per year. I'm just wondering if there really is an increase or not.

Under the old system, a parent could nominate a child and there was no gatekeeping, such as MAP scores. I talked to several parents back then who had their kid tested just because it was "free" and they were curious. They didn't expect their kid to qualify for any services, but they were just curious how they might do.

In theory, using MAP as a gatekeeper would have reduced those numbers, but in the face of growing enrollment, the reduction may not have actually occurred.

-make sense?

Anonymous said...

Also, isn't this the first year they are using the Cogat 7 instead of Cogat 6? That change could reduce the number of kids who qualify because of the Flynn effect (ie, IQ increases across the population slowly over time; a test normed 10 or more year ago therefore identifies more kids than a newer test does).

That doesn't account for kids getting single digit percentages when parents expected higher numbers. But it might have a small effect on the growth of HCC each year just because the current test was normed more recently.

-make sense?

Anonymous said...

Your appeal experience:

Can you win without a private exam? Our kid has 98 Q, 97 NV; 89 V. Need two at 98 or above, so close. Teacher is very willing to write a rec. for the appeal. Will it make a difference w/o private test?

And, how long does it take for them to decide?

Thanks

Anonymous said...

They used the CogAT 7 last year.

N.End

Anonymous said...

I think they should eliminate Cogat group testing in kindergarten and provide one on one testing for kindergarten students nominated by a teacher or parent with evidence of need. This is for K only.

In lieu of that, they should improve their quality control for the testing environment and true test completion, and invalidate results where a valid test administration was not achieved.

Anonymous said...

In theory, using MAP as a gatekeeper would have reduced those numbers, but in the face of growing enrollment, the reduction may not have actually occurred.

I think the increase is partly because they started notifying all families of kids with qualifying MAP scores. Before, you had to look for the program. Now, you essentially get an invitation to test. I think a lot of families who might not otherwise have bothered decide to go ahead and see.

HIMSmom

South East K Mom said...

Our K teacher was so helpful and wrote a letter to adv learning on our behalf to check what's happening.

This is the response we got:
This student will receive further testing on the ITBS to determine eligibility for HCC. Parents should enroll her for HCC (first choice) and Spectrum (second choice) during Open Enrollment.
She is in K. Needs to go to 1st grade. Is ITBS for 1st grade? THis is soooo confusing!!

Anonymous said...

2:00pm:

You can try to appeal, but I haven't heard of anyone yet who has successfully appealed if the student hasn't made the score cutoffs. Sorry. Maybe someone else has heard of other outcomes. I hate to be a naysayer but SPS isn't likely to accept borderline scores on appeal.

-justmy2cents

Anonymous said...

South East K Mom-

according to the SPS website they are using IBTS for K and above this year. earlier in the school year the website had said that they would use woodcock johnson for kinders but it now says something different.

we are also in SE K and are still awaiting results....

Anonymous said...

Worrying about whether or not your kid qualifies for HCC in KINDERGARTEN? Get some real worries people. Or don't. They'll come to you soon enough in the wonderful world of SPS.

Seriously, chill out a little. It's KINDERGARTEN.

In addition, whatever program you think you're qualifying for today won't be the same tomorrow. Why freak out over a middling program that has no roadmap, few qualified educators and questionable results. It's ok but it's not much more.

Older and wiser

Anonymous said...

Question about the attendance area and service area on the top of the choice form--I have a current K student at Fairmount Park and I'm doing a choice form for him for advanced learning at Fairmount Park for 1st grade (don't know the results). We live outside the FP zone, and opted in for this current year. He would have been Arbor Heights/Denny based on our address. Since he's at Fairmount Park this year, is his attendance area still Arbor Heights and service area Denny? Or am I listing his attendance area and service area as what it apparently *would* be according to the form if he was in Specrum (?) or HCC at FP?

I'm confused, but on the choice form FP Spectrum/HCC is listed in the Madison service area, but "FP Gen Ed" which we'd default as current assignment to isnt on the form. My understanding is that unless he is in HCC, his pathway would be based on our home address--not the school he's at. Is that correct? So I should still be listing his attendance/service area as Arbor Heights/Denny even though we're not there? Thanks, I have 2 kids and this is the 4th time we've had to submit a choice form, so I have things figured out by now! Always something.

-Lost


Anonymous said...

BTW above I meant to say "I thought I would" have things figured out by now...obviously, I don't!
-Lost

Anonymous said...

I don't think it is fair to criticize parents for being concerned about Kindergarten HCC qualification. Gifted kids can already have socialization issues at this age. If you think the cohort matters for your kid, then you want the cohort as soon as possible.

Anonymous said...

Lost,

I'm pretty sure you don't have to fill in either the attendance area or the service area. They are not among the numbered, bolded sections detailed in the instructions. I think those fields are for the district office to fill out. Anyone can correct me if I'm wrong, but I left them blank and the form was accepted.

Anonymous said...

Lost,
I also turned my form in last week in person without filling in attendance or service area.

Anonymous said...

Thanks! I won't worry about that area of the form then! Hopefully this will just be our last choice form for a while, and everyone will just stay put until middle school :)
-Lost

Impatient Waiter said...

Anyone else getting letters or testing notices in the last couple days? Are they doing these once weekly? Hate the wait!

Anonymous said...

We got ours today in West Seattle!

Anonymous said...

Any letters received for kids NOT in K or 8th grade (the achievement score grades)?

Anonymous said...

I'm in West Seattle with a 2nd grader and I've heard nothing. Her Cogat was 2 weeks. I haven't been notified of achievement testing (either being done or results) nor received a denial letter. I was hoping SPS was only a little bit behind but that may have been wishful thinking.

WS

Anonymous said...

Non sps kids just finished achievement testing yesterday. Not sure how long it takes them to score it.

Anonymous said...

Received my NE K child's letter. Qualified for HCC based on COGAT and MAP scores.

Anonymous said...

That's interesting. I didn't think they used MAP scores for K students but did separate achievement testing. Perhaps they are relying on MAP scores this year because they are so behind in the process and by now most K students have had MAP testing?

Anonymous said...

So they ARE using fall MAP scores as achievement scores for kindergarteners, correct?

Anonymous said...

I have a question about test scores and I apologize in advance if it's obvious but I'm not regularly on this board and testing is new to us...
I have a fifth grader whose MAP scores over the past couple of years have ranged from mid 90s to upper 80's, where they sat last year and in the fall. We had him take the CogAt this year and every percentile was 99, except verbal which was at 97. Because of his MAP he's been assigned to spectrum (meaningless at his designated middle school which no longer supports that model). My question is whether MAP scores at that level are appealable in conjunction with the CogAt scores? My gut is that they're not but because he doesn't even have spectrum as an option we were hoping...
Thanks so much in advance!
Alyssa

apparent said...

Alyssa,

absolutely, submit his qualifying CoGat score (98%+) with qualifying reading and math achievement scores (95%+) (e.g., Woodcock-Johnson via private testing) and your son is HC eligible. Make sure you follow the appeal instructions and deadlines carefully, hope you haven't missed any already. Make your appointment for private testing now before they book out. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much, apparent. We just received the letter yesterday so it looks like I can still submit our intent to appeal. I see a list of private providers on the web page who test and guess I should just go through the names and call until I find one that's available? Or is there someone you or anyone else could recommend? Thank you again in advance. I feel completely overwhelmed and wish there was a place to go for more guidance.
Alyssa

Anonymous said...

That's what we did years ago -- called down the list until we found someone available. The private achievement tests are not as expensive as private cognitive testing, by the way, and they take less time. You can probably get an appointment with someone if you call right away.

Anonymous said...

Received our letter on 3/5 for South K student. Qualified into HCC (you need 2 of 7 CoGAT scores at 98-percentile or above... this includes the combinations, ie Verbal-Quantitative or Quantitative-NonVerbal) and took Fall MAP.

Anonymous said...

How long does it usually take advanced learning to rule on appeals? We submitted an appeal this week using scores from private testing that demonstrate HCC-qualifying results in both cognitive AND achievement. We submitted a supporting teacher letter too. Just wondering how long we will have to wait to hear back--whether it is normally days, weeks or months. And wondering if advanced learning ever denies appeals despite private testing showing clear HCC eligibility in terms of scores?

-Wondering

Anonymous said...

Wondering - If you have the private scores you are in. As to when they'll tell you - who knows. My kid only did the achievement tests yesterday!

WSMom said...

We got our eligibility letter today and are a little confused. We have a 1st grader currently in Spectrum, he was very close to the CogAt cut-off last year so we decided to have him retested this year. He did well- 98/99 in four of the areas and a 97. Low on the nonverbal portion, but well above average and I've heard this is normal for this test. So my first question, do you need to qualify in two of the SEVEN categories? Not two out of the top three?

Now the MAP is our problem- until this Fall, all of his MAP scores have been 95+, but he totally phoned it in. His teacher agreed and said he took 1/4 of the time as the rest of the class. When I asked him about it, he said he answered wrong so he could go out to recess?! Argh. So he is now ineligible for HCC based on that poor decision. My question, which I plan to call and ask Monday, is can they use the Spring MAP scores and this years CogAt for eligibility? Or for an appeal do we have to pay for academic testing? Can't our appeal just be a print out of his spring scores, the CogAT and a letter?

Anonymous said...

They accepted spring map scores when I appealled 2 years ago. I would appeal.

Rebecca Seerveld said...

Hello,

New to this forum and the whole process. We just received the letter that our 1st grader qualified for HCC. However, we are happy at our current school (ALO only) and do not wish to move him as he is also happy there. There is conflicting information on the form and website. Once a student has tested HCC, do they need to retest every year should we wish to move him to a new school and into the HCC program, or are they qualified through graduation (as one statement on the site implies?). Sounds like it's too late this year anyway which is annoying - we got the letter one date after open enrollment and saw no point enrolling in a school far away from our home without knowing whether he qualified. If we want to keep him in in his elementary, but move for middle school will we need to retest him in 5th grade, or is he now "in" and that's that? Anyone have clarity here?

Anonymous said...

Hello,

New to this forum and the whole process. We just received the letter that our 1st grader qualified for HCC. However, we are happy at our current school (ALO only) and do not wish to move him as he is also happy there. There is conflicting information on the form and website. Once a student has tested HCC, do they need to retest every year should we wish to move him to a new school and into the HCC program, or are they qualified through graduation (as one statement on the site implies?). Sounds like it's too late this year anyway which is annoying - we got the letter one date after open enrollment and saw no point enrolling in a school far away from our home without knowing whether he qualified. If we want to keep him in in his elementary, but move for middle school will we need to retest him in 5th grade, or is he now "in" and that's that? Anyone have clarity here?

Anonymous said...

Rebecca - I have the same question about the duration of HCC eligibility. Although I feel like we should trust the HCC language on the website, since the other language still uses APP (I vaguely remember this was the rule last year when I was thinking about the same issue for my other kid). Anyone have additional insights?

To your point about open enrollment, I believe you can still apply for HCC enrollment through 9/30. Per website: "Newly eligible Highly Capable students who enroll by September 30 (see Newly Eligible Students, above) are guaranteed an assignment in the self-contained Highly Capable Cohort (formerly APP)." If you had wanted to enroll your kid in a HCC school that isn't in your attendance area.

Anonymous said...

...you would have had to fill out the form by 3/6. (sorry my message got cut off).

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your reply! Is there a separate step to 'enrollment' than applying for a new school? Do you enroll in the program even if you don't wish to move to an HCC school at this time?

Anonymous said...

Previously(last year and before), as long as he was enrolled in ALO he would retain eligibility. Now I think everybody retains eligibility. You do NOT need to retest. Since you are happy where you are, you don't have to worry about it until middle school, and then you can do HCC (or not).

We are in the same boat as someone above. Qualified on cogat, spring map qualified, fall off by one on one measure so got Spectrum. We're still not sure we want to move (unsure about the upcoming split), but I also don't want to have to retest.

Anonymous said...

received letter today ... HCC qualified ... going to Lincoln next year

Anonymous said...

Who else has not heard? I'm in west seattle and am still waiting.
Twiddling thumbs

Anonymous said...

I haven't heard anything either. I live in the NE and have a kindergartner who took the CogAt in January.

Anonymous said...

No letter or testing notification here either. Our kindergartener took the Cogat in December.

Anonymous said...

Advanced Learning dated our letter 26 Feb, mailed it 28 Feb and we did not get it until 3 Mar. With only 2 working days left to appeal, we sent a letter indicating our intent to appeal, with out any supporting data. Has anyone appealed successfully? If so, what did you use for your argument? Anyone understand how the 8th grade APP standards are different from the 9th grade standards?

No Longer waiting but curious...

Anonymous said...

I successfully appealed for an 8th grader in a prior year using IQ scores plus ITBS scores from a test taken in private school.

There's no way to know how a student would qualify past the 8th grade - and no point because there are no services provided in high school.

Anonymous said...

Received letter last week (K student). Mid to low 90's on all CogAT scores - too low to proceed to achievement testing. We have lined up private testing, in large part due to strong recommendation by the teacher. We know from experience that it's easy for a K student to not do their absolute best on the CogAT and that it can even vary pretty widely day to day.

Local elementary is great so no real heartbreak if it doesn't work out this year. After all, it's just 1st grade.

Anonymous said...

We received qualification notices for 2nd graders yesterday. We haven't heard anything about our K student, who has taken only CogAT so far. Hopefully we'll hear something this coming week.
- another NW Mom

Anonymous said...

Wedgwood K parent: Still heard nothing since taking the Cogat.

Anonymous said...

Our 2nd grader was really close on cogat scores in K and 1st grade. Local school is good so no panic (no private testing, no appeals). It was just K/1st grade ... We got the letter with HCC qualifying results this weekend. Will be going to Lincoln for 3rd grade.

rattleandhum

Ballard K Mom said...

We still haven't heard anything in Ballard on our k kid. Only CogAT tested thus far. Contacted AL late last week and they said his CogAT score hadn't been entered yet. Boy this is drawn out.

Anonymous said...

Anyone know if winter MAP scores are being substituted for achievement testing for kindergarteners? Our K took the winter MAP only, not fall.

- Still so darn confused

Anonymous said...

Just contacted Advanced Learning to ask about achievement testing and they responded very quickly that my kindergarten son's Cogat had not yet been processed. He took it in early February and we are in NW Seattle. His school is only doing Spring MAP testing, so there are no other scores to go by if they don't pull him out for achievement testing.

Anonymous said...

Advanced Learning issued our letter Feb. 28 and mailed it March 6, and I got it today (March 9)
- Wedgwood Parent

PS - for anybody calling down the list -- others are calling down the list too. So start at the bottom (or in the middle) and you're more likely to find someone who has availability

Anonymous said...

How do you know a provider is reputable? Can choice of provider really make a difference to an individual kid? How do you know if they would do better in an office or at home? I've heard one doctor called gruff and heard that another one helps too much, and I don't know what to think.

Anonymous said...

We are new to SPS as my son is currently in private school, and I have to say hats off to you parents who have been dealing with SPS for years because they have driven me darn near insane just within the past few months over this AL process.

My 2nd grader took the CogAT in October. We still have not received his scores or any letter about anything. When I repeatedly emailed the AL staff, I finally got word last week that he was "Spectrum eligible". I have no idea if this means he missed the HCC cutoff or what, but I wasn't planning to put him in an HCC school anyway (hoping for Spectrum at Hazel Wolf). Anyway I'd been trying to find out the dates for the achievement tests since November, but of course they told me nothing and then they email me last Tuesday and give me less than 48 hours notice on a weekday (and one of the three testing dates they gave me had already passed). He took the achievement test on Thursday of last week. I have no idea when the notification letter will come, or even if we'll get one at all (might just have to beg them over email again to get any info). Private school kids really seem to get forgotten a lot in this process, so I recommend to others in the same boat that you need to be very vocal or run the risk of them letting your kid fall through the cracks. I get the feeling they deal with non-SPS families as an afterthought.
-Liz

Anonymous said...

Liz- they deal with SPS families as an afterthought too.
Welcome to the public school in Seattle!

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know if Cogat adjusts for age? My child started kindergarden at age 4 (late Oct. birthday) and qualified for Spectrum for next year. I'm wondering if she'd have a chance at qualifying for HCC if we have her repeat kindergarden. I'm guessing they must adjust for age...otherwise the older kids would have an advantage?

Anonymous said...

The Cogat is age normed.

Anonymous said...

I'm wondering if she'd have a chance at qualifying for HCC if we have her repeat kindergarden.

Is that why you would have her repeat? Or are you thinking about that anyway, and just wondering how it might affect qualification?

Anonymous said...

I can't imagine why you would contemplate having a spectrum-eligible kid repeat kindergarten (unless possibly they were also at the very very young end of the age spectrum (or early entry) and/or particularly socially immature). They'd be bored to tears doing another year of name the colors and craft projects and count objects up to 10 (unless your school offers considerably more differentiation in K than our NE schools did). Or would you plan on supplementing after school - in which case it's not K, it's essentially daycare.
As a means of getting in HCC - crazy idea. By 1st/2nd grade your kid may qualify anyway, without being held back - the early academic advantages of 'redshirting' are often lost by later grades anyway.

Anonymous said...

I thought cogat and MAP were grade normed?

Anonymous said...

According to our child's 2014 Test Score and Admittance Letter to APP from Seattle Public Schools, the CogAT in Seattle is age-normed:

"The CogAT is a standardized test that compares the performance of your child to same-age peers..."

The same letter also says, "Reading and Math achievement testing (aka MAP) compares the performance of your child to children in the same grade...."

apparent said...


"I'm wondering if she'd have a chance of qualifying for HCC if we have her repeat kindergarten."

In order to qualify for elementary HCC, she will have to repeat a year, either kindergarten or any other. Early entrant kids like your own who are younger than their grade level peers are only admitted into HCC by repeating their prior year when they switch. We know because our APP-qualified early entrant kindergartner had to repeat first grade when starting at Lincoln after already completing first grade at our neighborhood school.

It's a separate question whether your daughter will qualify for HCC anyway, or whether she would perhaps be sufficiently challenged a full year younger than her Spectrum classmates, but we have not regretted our family decision to have our now 2nd grader rejoin her same age peers by repeating 1st grade upon entering Lincoln.

WSMom said...

I posted over the weekend about getting our eligibility letter but not qualifying due to Fall MAP scores even though Spring scores were high enough. I emailed the AL department on Saturday and had a response first thing this AM:

"For some reason you son's spring MAP scores did not upload into the decision spreadsheet used by the selection team. His spring MAP scores have been added, which makes him eligible as Highly Capable. We will send a corrected letter today or tomorrow."

Hope that helps someone else!

Anonymous said...

I had other reasons for repeating K (not as a means of getting into HCC).
I think the Cogat is age-normed, from what I read on the letter.

Anonymous said...

The rule about not both grade skipping and enrolling in HCC seems to be applied inconsistently. Our children have classmates that are grade skipped based on their age and still in APP/HCC. Is it because they perhaps entered in MS and not ES, or that the rule is not as hard and fast as it's made out to be?

WS K mom said...

Both my K and 2nd grader were CogAt tested in early Dec.

I received my 2nd grader's results today. She scored 98/99 on her CogAts. 95 on Math MAP and 94 on Reading. She was not eligible for HCC. We are starting the appeals process and I am privately testing her in Reading.

Nothing on my kinder. He has not had any other testing besides the CogAt. No MAP scores, no request for achievement testing. Still waiting

Anonymous said...

Thank you WSMom! I will try the same thing, since I think we had the same thing happen. We had decided not to fork out for appeal, since our HCC elementary is Lincoln, and I didn't want to have her do two years at our local school, and two years probably split off since they won't all fit into w-p. But I'd love to avoid this process again in case later there is more stability, and it makes more sense to join the cohort.

Anonymous said...

We received our scores today for our 3rd grader and I would appreciate some advice from anyone knowledgable about the Cogat test. Scores do not qualify for HCC, and I'm not so concerned about that, but the scores are so odd I'm wondering if I should seek further testing simply to figure out what is going on with my child's abilities/learning style/etc. Quantitative score was 94, Verbal was 50, and Nonverbal 55. This is considered an "extreme" score profile, in that the strength (Q) is >24 percentage points above the other scores. From the reading I've done, this happens in less than 5% of all test-takers. The website for the test publisher says that if you get this type of profile, you should "double-check the integrity of their scores," including finding out "whether the student attempted most of the test items, whether their score reports contain score warnings, and whether the confidence intervals on their plot of scores are reasonable." I'm guessing that if I call up SPS, they are not going to look into this for me, am I right?

As background, my child is a strong reader (well above grade level). Spelling and writing skills are both excellent. Her fall MAP scores are 99 math and 95 reading.

Any thoughts on what might be going on? Worth private testing just to get some clarity? Any insights would be appreciated. Thank you.

-confused

Anonymous said...

Confused - first step; get SPS to recheck. There have been cases where data has been incorrectly entered previous years. They are doing a lot of testing and compiling a lot of results -they're not foolproof.
Then you could consider private testing if there scores are still wacky.

Anonymous said...

In case people were still confused about how long students retain eligibility (like I was), SPS replied in an email to me, "Washington state law recently changed so that now, students who are eligible as Highly Capable retain the designation of Highly Capable until graduation or leaving SPS."

Anonymous said...

anyone still waiting? seems like most kinders have already heard. this is turning out to be quite the long and drawn out process! would be nice to know already.

Anonymous said...

We are still waiting. My NE Seattle kinder took the acheivment test in late February (no MAP scores yet).

Anonymous said...

I hope you all hear soon! We heard at the end of last week and turned around an appeal the next day. Last year I know they didn't really start on appeals until most or all of the notices went out. I'm very curious about when we'll hear.

Anonymous said...

We have not heard anything "official" for our K kid. No letter, no outreach regarding possible additional testing. We had heard from other parents at our school that some kids in another class had been pulled out for achievement testing, and therefore made the assumption that our kid did not qualify. We have since made a tentative appointment to have her private tested, even though the tester won't commit to an appointment until we have the letter in hand.

However, last week my wife started emailing Stephen Martin, and was told that our daughter's scores were not yet ready. She followed up this week, and received a response saying that her cognitive scores are in the HC range, and she will be given the achievement test at school "very soon". Presumably there are others out there in the same position, so I guess we have no way of knowing how close they are to complete.

I've been joking with my wife that at this rate, we won't need to pay for testing for an appeal even if she doesn't qualify on the achievement test. We'll be able to use her SPRING MAP scores! :-)

Anonymous said...

This is all so, so wrong on so many levels, not the least of which is capacity planning.

Buildings get their preliminary enrollment numbers in spring and use them to plan for and hire new staff for the next year. PTAs need the numbers to start planning a budget for the next year, which is usually approved by members in the spring. Particularly at Lincoln, which has been growing as much as 100 kids per year, the staff and the PTA folks need to know how to plan.

I couldn't even find a date on the website for when appeals are due. So if there is no deadline for appeals, and people can enroll to HCC all the way through September 30th, am I the only one getting nervous about what this means for capacity and planning at Lincoln!?

-madness

Ballard K Mom said...

We still haven't heard anything for our kinder kid either. He is at Whittier. :(

WS mom said...

I had my kinder son tested in Dec. We haven't gotten any results or heard of any other kinders at our school (Schmitz Park) being tested so I decided to email AL.

Roger Daniels replied back in less than an hour saying that my son did well and that their test administrator for our school would call me tmrw to set up ITBS testing.

Still haven't received the formal letter in the mail though. For all those waiting, it might be worth it to shoot them an email.

Anonymous said...

My son took the CogAT in Jan. and we haven't received results or been notified if he'll be given achievement testing. When you've contacted AL did you email the general account, advlearn@seattleschools.org, or someone specific?
Thanks,
Still waiting in WS

WS mom said...

Still waiting in WS - I just emailed the general account: advlearn@seattleschools.org. Roger Daniels is the one who responded.

Good luck!

Still waiting said...

I have been responding with Roger Daniels as well re: my kinder kid. I have always gotten the "test scores aren't in yet" reply until yesterday afternoon. Now, this was his response:

Your student's "scores have not yet been reviewed by the selection committee. We should be sending his letter in the next couple of days."

Sounds to me like he won't be doing further testing... What do you think? I requested an explanation. We'll see if I get one. :/

Anonymous said...

Hi-- Another Ballard mom here. I emailed advanced learning and they told me my 5th grader was found eligible for the HCC program. Her letter was mailed yesterday, we have yet to receive it. She was tested back in Oct. Others from her school have been receiving letters as well.

Anonymous said...

My kinder son received the letter and didn't qualify under the MAP test scores. He took the Cogat and got three out of the seven scores above 98, so I think he passed that portion of it. But he took the MAP test in fall and got 93's.

My first question is whether the fall and winter and spring scores are normalized for the seasons. The reason I ask is if a kid takes the test in fall, he is disadvantaged against kids who take it in the spring (who presumably are now more slightly advanced)?

If after a private achievement test where he scores above 95 in reading and math, is the appeal likely to be granted?

Muircat

Anonymous said...

Muircat, yes on both counts. The fall MAP and spring MAP have different RIT cutoffs for the percentiles. That is, an RIT at the 95th percentile in the fall would be at a lower percentile in the spring. So there is no disadvantage.

Yes, if you take private achievement tests and score at 95, your appeal will be granted!

Anonymous said...

Are enrollment projections for HCC pathway schools based only on those that enroll by the March deadline (low projection that could lead to understaffing), or do they also estimate a number based on those newly qualified and likely to enroll?

Anonymous said...

Pretty sure they're based on the March enrollment numbers as they wait until all the HCC designations and appeals have been ruled on (just guessing on the appeals piece) before they assign HCC and Spectrum. The instructions for the March enrollment was to chose HCC first and Spectrum second, I think. That said, you are still assured a spot in your local HCC school. I think they prefer you indicate in March so they can get better projections.

I haven't seen any results yet. This is getting ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

They have semi-accurate historical percentages of people who test, get in, will appeal, etc, and then actually enroll vs stay at their school. They are projecting based on number of people who tested- these first numbers came out before the March deadline, and almost none of that has been processed anyway. I am worried about the April numbers, however, which are usually a little different and which are what budgets are based on.

Anonymous said...

Certainly some people are waiting until after school is out to decide, so I hope they are basing numbers on total kids qualified, not on who has turned in paperwork, because the cat is out of the bag that you can wait until Sept 30.

And there is no end in sight for appeals, which have no due date. It seems like mostly kinder parents posting on this thread. Have other elementary grades gotten results? How bout from the big northeast elementaries?

This is ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

Did anyone have any success contacting Advanced Learning about their kindergartners strange (very low) scores? Was there ever an answer about whether poorly filled in bubbles or skipped questions would mess up the automated scoring?

KinderMom said...

Second grade friend at West Woodland received HCC confirmation Monday.

Anonymous said...

Question on the appeal again. It's good to hear that they will likely grant the appeal if private testing shows 95 and above.

I assume this means that I shouldn't bother with getting a recommendation from his kindergarten teacher?

Muircat

hschinske said...

Historically SPS has gone back and forth on whether early entry/young in grade kids should repeat a year on APP entry. (I think at one point, a bit before my time, early entry kids HAD to repeat, and summer birthdays were strongly encouraged to -- but when my August-born son came along, no one said boo.) I don't know what the policy currently is, but they have most definitely allowed younger students in before, and there have even been a few grade skips within the program.

Helen Schinske

Long ago IPP/APP kid said...

Historical note. I am a December birthday. I went to SCDS for k-2. When I transferred to IPP at Madrona (it's first name before APP), they made me stay back a year and redo 2nd grade.

Now, I have a Sept. daughter and will have to make the decision next year whether to do early entrance or not. My read of the current rules is that they do not allow any early entry kids in the program because essentially they would be working 3 years ahead and that is not allowed. Spectrum is fine, you don't have to hold back there because it would put them ahead at 2 and that is permissible as it's what happens with APP/HCC.

Anonymous said...

If kids start 2 years ahead, and learn at an accelerated rate, then shouldn't they become further and further ahead as time goes on? This would imply grade skipping within APP should be the norm.
J

Anonymous said...

Starting 2 years ahead in the curriculum is not how it was five or so years ago. New to APP 1st graders did not just jump into 3rd grade math. They started with a compressed 1st/2nd grade math curriculum in 1st grade, then a 2rd/3rd grade math in 2nd grade. By the end of 5th grade, they were doing 6th/7th grade units. 6HH in middle school, as it used to be called, was a mix of 7th/8th grade math, which prepared students for Algebra in 7th grade.

For middle school LA/SS, they are now supposed to be teaching the grade level CCSS, with grade level SS standards. Even if the elementary HCC classes are teaching to above grade level standards, the middle school classes revert to grade level. They are supposed to be going more in depth, but it's questionable if that's happening in all classes.

Though the grade skip is discouraged in elementary APP, the same is not true for middle school. Another option is to do early entry for K, enroll in Spectrum, then delay entry in HCC/APP until middle school. Theoretically, it would be like accelerating 3 years, but in practice? And Spectrum varies school to school, if it even exists.

NE 1st grader's mom said...

Hi,

My son, 1st grader in NE Seattle, took the CogAT last month. We just got a letter today stating that he qualifies as HCC. However, I did not choose HCC in the Open Enrollment Application. I only put in Spectrum (based on his last year CogAT results).

Does anyone know if we can resubmit the Open enrollment app to get in Lincoln?

Thanks!
NE 1st grader's mom

Anonymous said...

If kids start 2 years ahead, and learn at an accelerated rate, then shouldn't they become further and further ahead as time goes on? This would imply grade skipping within APP should be the norm.

This is one of the things about APP/HCC that has really bugged me for some time. While you'd expect these kids to be on a steep learning trajectory, widening the gap between themselves and those not in the program, it appears the reverse is true. SPS's HCC/APP program seems to slow down their academic growth, so that by the time they get to 9th grade they're on nearly the same high school path as everyone else--same language arts class most others take, same history, etc. The only exceptions are that they are a bit ahead in science (though the Biology class they take in 8th doesn't seem to be any more rigorous or any faster-paced than that the HS gen ed version), and they are likely to have accelerated in math (which is not HCC in middle school).

I'd love to see some type of "growth rate" comparison of kids in APP/HCC vs. those not to see if this slowing down is really as true as it feels. Then again, while I would interpret such findings as evidence that the program design is bad, I'm sure there are others who would use it to "prove" we don't need APP/HCC. "See, those kids aren't so smart after all--they just peak sooner!"

apparent said...


NE 1st Grader's Mom,

from what several other parents have posted recently, it seems that the new rule is that a HCC-qualified kid can enroll in their assigned HCC elementary school at any time through September (you used to have to choose by open enrollment). So because Lincoln is your assigned HCC school, it sounds as though your failure to list Lincoln as well as Spectrum in your open enrollment should actually make no difference because he can enroll in Lincoln regardless. Do others agree?

Anonymous said...

It sure sounds that way now, apparent.

I just can't believe the amount of work and re-work this puts on the staff. And all the ripples. So someone just assigned to Spectrum vacates that spot for Lincoln, and someone waitlisted for Spectrum gets moved into it, opening a spot who knows, maybe in an option program somewhere...

The number of schools whose enrollment data are going to be off this spring when doing their budgeting could be astounding.

They act like it's no big deal to send out the AL results a little late, but I see it very differently. I wonder how many schools will end up losing staff come October when their numbers vary by just a few kids due to all the musical chairs they're playing.

by, whatever

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for your response :)
-NE 1st Grader's Mom

Anonymous said...

This is not a new rule. APP has always been a guaranteed spot. Enrollment has always closed on 9/30. HCC principals have always told PTAs that APP enrollment can change as late as 9/30. We dealt with this enrollment issue 3 years ago when doing PTA planning. The only thing that is "new" is that more people know they can wait. Most families want to tell their kids over the summer where they will go to school so in practice it has not been a huge problem.
- been there

Anonymous said...

Not so sure about that. Yes, enrollment was open until Sept. 30, but you were at the mercy of enrollment or whomever gave the final ok if you wanted to move to APP in the Fall.

3inSPS said...

yeah wait listed if not in prior to end of open enrollment.

Anonymous said...

In our experience, we were not wait listed when we selected Lincoln after the end of open enrollment last year. I was concerned about the wait list and asked, and was specifically told last year by Advanced Learning that the "Waitlist" for Lincoln was only for those students that lived outside the Lincoln service area.

If you have concerns, call Advanced Learning and ask. They've always been extremely friendly when I've called with a question, although during testing season they can be difficult to reach.

Anonymous said...

I looked at the New Student Assignment Plan Transition Plans this evening. The 2012-13 year was the first time students were guaranteed APP placement through September 30th.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know how quickly they're turning around achievement test results these days? Our daughter had achievement testing on Friday, and we're wondering how soon we should expect eligibility results.

Anonymous said...

To those who are questioning whether HCC-qualified students will be admitted into the program if HCC was not selected on Enrollment School Choice Form (submitted by March 6), it appears that SPS's web site specifically guarantees placement if forms are submitted by September 30:
"In 2015, Open Enrollment for School Choice runs from Feb. 23 to March 6. Families should enroll students applying for Advanced Learning by this date, but many of them will not have received eligibility results by then. That's because a record number of tests are being administered, delaying the process. The testing cycle is continuing through February. These families should still submit a School Choice Form on time, even if they haven’t yet been notified of Advanced Learning eligibility. Spectrum eligible students in grades 1-5 will be assigned on the basis of space availability and standard tiebreakers. Middle school Spectrum placement is guaranteed. 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." http://www.seattleschools.org/modules/cms/pages.phtml?sessionid=5360f4081095c72c5fad01e7710e9580&pageid=230105&sessionid=5360f4081095c72c5fad01e7710e9580

If I'm wrong about this, please let me know. We did not put HCC as any of our choices but our child subsequently got sufficient scores to appeal. If I need to make a visit to John Stanford to figure this out, I'd rather do it sooner than later. Thanks so much in advance for any feedback.

Alyssa

Anonymous said...

Is anyone else still waiting? We haven't heard anything still...

Anonymous said...

We are in NE Seattle and are also still waiting.

Anonymous said...

I worked closely on APP budgeting in the spring on 2012 and all APP principals were informed that kids were free to enroll in APP until sept 30 for fall 2012. Principals were not allowed to say the school was full of it was the child's reference APP school. This has been the rule for some time but APP principals did not advertise it. In 2012 the district started to expressly communicate the 9/30 cutoff to APP parents. Now the web site openly states the rule.
-- Been there

Anonymous said...

I got an email from Roger at AL saying our eligibility letter is being mailed in the next couple of days. My son is entering third grade from outside the SPS system. He took the CogAT in October and the achievement test on March 5th.
-Liz

Anonymous said...

Oh and I am also in NE Seattle.
-Liz

Anonymous said...

I'm in Ballard and was told by Roger Daniels this morning that our eligibility letter was mailed yesterday. Did not have further testing.

Anonymous said...

For purposes of an appeal, is there any reason to submit anything else besides qualifying scores? The appeals page mentions notes from teachers, and evidence of classroom work. Is that necessary? I have the scores to maintain a successful appeal but don't want to overlook other considerations. Seems like it's a black and white issue: you either have the scores or you don't. Thoughts from BTDT parents?

Anonymous said...

We submitted just the scores and a brief cover letter with our appeal last year and it was quickly approved. That's par for the course based on what I've heard from other parents.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous--

When you say your appeal last year was "quickly" approved just based on test scores, what do you mean by quickly? Days, weeks or months? We appealed about two weeks ago based on qualifying test scores and a teacher letter. We are wondering how long we will likely have to wait for a response. Since it sounds like some initial eligibility letters still haven't gone out, I am assuming it will be a while...

-Waiting

Appealing mom said...

Also, does anyone know whether placement in the programs is on hold while appeals are coming in? If you have a successful appeal and get HCC, I know it's guaranteed, but if you appeal and only get Spectrum, are you put at the end of the list?

We were told that we were not eligible for any advanced learning programs based on his CogAT scores. However, we have an outside HCC-qualifying cognitive test score from last year.

We haven't done the achievement testing yet as we just found out. If he doesn't hit the HCC achievement results in private testing and our appeal is only successful for Spectrum, will we be put at the end of the line?

Thanks!

Still Waiting in WS said...

Appealing Mom, I'm wondering the same thing. Please post what if any information you receive. I'm in West Seattle and have not recevied the results from my K son's CogAT. Thanks

Alex said...

Kindergartner mom here, we are scheduled for achievement test at the school tomorrow morning. Got the call on Monday. Pro-actively looking for information on where to take a private achievement test, if scores are not over 95%. Any recommendations? Thank you!

No longer waiting, but still confused said...

We received our kid's letter yesterday and his verbal CogAT scores were FAR lower than expected (based on MAP/private testing).

Parents who successfully asked to recheck scores: did you ask as part of a formal appeal? Or just contact the AL office directly?

(And yes, I realize he may have just blown that section of the test that day. But if that's not the case, I'd like to know.) Thanks!

Anonymous said...

9:33 poster, there are a lot of stories in this thread similar to yours (sometimes for all subject areas of the test). If I were you I'd ask them to recheck the scoring. It sounds like others have done that in previous years and found the initial score to be in error. But with the molasses pace of the AL office, maybe it would be faster to just sign up for private testing and appeal. I guess you could do both.

Anonymous said...

Finally got our K letter in NW Seattle and was found eligible for Spectrum, not HCC. We already had our kid privately tested and scored over 99% for every test. How are these tests so different? Is it just the group testing vs private testing for 5 year olds that is the issue, or is there some fundamental difference in what the different tests are actually testing? Hard to believe 2 IQ tests issued within one month of each other could be 7-10% points apart just because of group dynamics.
Are those who score well on the Cogat more right brained, and those on the WPPSI more left brained or something? It would be fascinating to know how those who get into HCC through Cogat testing are doing as compared to those who had private testing to appeal (not that we could ever know that, but it would still be very interesting).

Anonymous said...

For those with wacky CogAT scores -- per Roger Daniels, the scores can't be rechecked. Test booklets are submitted to the testing company and SPS gets the scores electronically.

Not sure if parents who've had scores rechecked are talking about MAP scores (which may be processed differently)? I have no idea...

Anonymous said...

Like Anon @ 1:04, our K student was not eligible for HCC based on cogat (so no achievement test was administered). At the rec. of the teacher, we secured private testing*, on which our student scored over 99 percentile pretty much across the board. Our appeal will be filed early next week, after the teacher gathers materials.

* The $$$ required for private testing surely puts it out of reach of a huge % of families! There should be a fund or something to help ensure everyone has access because the SPS testing is unreliable....

Anonymous said...

Good to know about rechecking Cogat scores! In that case I wonder if there is any quality control on the part of the SPS test administrators before handing over the booklet. As in, did the K student fill in all the answers, circle bubbles instead of filling them all in, skip one, etc?

Anonymous said...

Received eligibility letter today (NE K). Does anyone know if the current teacher(s) also receive the results of testing? Or have access to them?

Anonymous said...

9:10 pm

Asked our K teacher that question today - and she said teachers do not receive results of CoGAT.

Another question to the group -- thoughts on having kids at 2 schools? Our 2nd grader qualified for HCC, our K student did not. We're considering private testing for the K student - not that she wouldn't be ok in 1st grade at our local school, but we're wondering how being at 2 schools works out. Our 2nd grader seems to be ready for a more challenging academic environment, so we want to send her to APP.

Anonymous said...

We have a second grader at Lincoln and kindergartner elsewhere in NE Seattle.

Logistically, having kids at two schools is not ideal, but otherwise hasn't been a big issue. So far, there have been few music/party/other conflicts. Lincoln has been great for our second grader and we don't regret our decision.

Anonymous said...

It seems like there are so many stories of private testing yielding much higher scores. I wonder why that is? Are there any stories of kids getting tested privately and scoring lower than they did on the Cogat?

Anonymous said...

Yes, but those people don't post about it!

Anonymous said...

The COGAT can be administered by school employees in a group setting, such as a school cafeteria. Typically children are seated with their grade level, handed booklets and pencils, and given directions. Teachers may read the test questions out loud for the lowest grades and call out other group instructions. Children cannot be given individual assistance, such as a rereading of the question if they couldn’t hear it the first time. Children who do well on the COGAT are able to sit still for a long period of time and tune out other distractions. They are able to give standard answers to questions, not creative or divergent answers. The COGAT is good at predicting which children will succeed in public school gifted programs.

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 11:46 PM

Do you have data to back up this assertion about cogat and success in the program?

Anonymous said...

An interesting side note on group intelligence tests (CogAT) vs. individual ones (WPPSI) which tends to show that gifted kids will often score higher on the individual ones:

"Group intelligence tests are commonly used as screening measures, to see if the child should move to a full gifted assessment. They are commonly administered by teachers. Group tests are generally normed on populations of all children, with relatively few gifted children among the mix. When taking group intelligence tests, gifted kids often "over-think" the questions, and perhaps make wrong selections. And since there's no individual tester to clarify unusual answers, the gifted kids often score lower on group intelligence tests.

The most common group intelligence tests, OLSAT and CogAT, are used in districts and programs across the country. Notable gifted professionals recommend them for screening potentially gifted children. However, a small study noted a potential problem with the OLSAT and very gifted children. While the correlation between group and individual intelligence tests is quite high for average scores, in this study that correlation almost disappeared for gifted scores. This means that while an average child will score very similarly on a group IQ test and an individual IQ test, a gifted child may not score similarly at all. And the study suggests that this group test may even result in a negative correlation for some gifted children: the more gifted the child, the lower the group ability test score! ["Investigations of the Otis-Lennon School Ability Test to Predict WISC-R Full Scale IQ for Referred Children" by Anna H. Avant and Marcia R. O'Neal, University of Alabama, Nov. 1986, ED286883] Though this study is no longer available from AskERIC, it can be obtained on microfiche from most education university libraries."

more info here: http://www.hoagiesgifted.org/tests_tell_us.htm

Anonymous said...

There are also bulletins from the Cogat publisher on correlations between its results and individual IQ tests.

Parents, especially of 5 year olds, every second you spend wondering about how your seemingly very intelligent child scored in the 50s or 60s on the Cogat is wasted time. Don't worry about it.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous @ 9:10 -

We have kids at two different elementary schools and it sucks. The older one is already at HCC and the younger one barely missed on the testing, but private testing came in above the cutoff so we are appealing. Even if the appeal fails for whatever reason, we will probably move him to Thurgood Marshall general education program.

Muircat

Anonymous said...

Hi everyone, we just got our results. My child got five 99 out of seven on the COGAT test and a 94 on MAP math test and no MAP reading score for some weird reason. Should we appeal? How would we do it? I skimmed through the postings and most seem to be about private testing for the COGAT and not the achievement tests. Thanks much.

Anonymous said...

You just call the same testers as for the private IQ testing and tell them you need private achievement tests. Same process for making an appointment and appealing. But I would check that MAP reading score first! Maybe you'll only have to appeal for math.

Anonymous said...

We didn't get achievement test results for our kingergarder. Does anyone have the same situation?

Anonymous said...

Our NE Seattle kindergartner only took the achievement tests in the last week; we haven't received any results yet.

Anonymous said...

We received our CoGAT scores last week - after we submitted open enrollment to FP for HCC (1st) and Spectrum (2nd).

Our 2nd grader got 99 on 6 of 7 on CoGAT (which corresponds to his WSPII a few years ago at 99.9%). He had Spring Map math at 99, but his MAP reading scores (both Spring and Fall) were below 87.

He qualified for Spectrum in K, but we never enrolled him or put him in an ALO school (instead going to an option school). However, the letter seems to state that he is eligible for Spectrum? The letter states:

"After reviewing test scores and teacher input, the Multidisciplinary Selection Committee has determined that your child remains eligible as an Advanced Learner and qualifies to continue in the Spectrum Program, or to participate in an Advanced Learning Opportunities (ALO) program, but is not eligible to enroll in the Highly Capable Cohort (HCC)."

This is very, very odd to us. Did the rules change so that our now 2nd grade kid, who qualified for Spectrum in K but did not go, remained eligible for Spectrum?

Momofchattykid

Anonymous said...

Our K kid had achievement testing in late February, and we still haven’t heard a thing…

Anne said...

Does anyone know what the appeal deadlines are this year?

I received my test results and sent my letter of intent to appeal. I am planning a private assessment so my son can retake the CoGAT. The earliest appointment is April 21st with our psychologist. I'm not sure if that's too late or not with no information given to us yet about appeals. Can't find anything online at the Seattle Schools website either.

Thanks,
Anne

Anonymous said...

@Anne - Email Roger Daniels at SPS AL. He's who we've been dealing with. He told us to try to get a date on or around 4/7. You could check with other people on the testing list to see if they have earlier openings.

Anonymous said...

Our K kid also had achievement testing in late February, and today we received a eligibity letter from AL.

Kindermom said...

@ Momofchattykid
"Did the rules change so that our now 2nd grade kid, who qualified for Spectrum in K but did not go, remained eligible for Spectrum?

In a word, yes. There was a lot of pushback from non-ALO school parents (and principals!) on the unfairness of the opportunity to keep an eligibliity based on your geo school's status when a family doesn't choose their school. This changed during your child's 1st grade year. I have a second grader, and our geo school wen through the process of certifying as an ALO school, even though the principal wasn't in favor of it. I think it was to keep families like mine who didn't want the uncertainty of testing in once and then having to retest if we wanted our children to maintain that access path.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone heard back on an appeal? We filed an appeal last week (with qualifying scores) and are wondering what turnaround time to expect.

Anonymous said...

Word is that they anticipate appeal reviews to begin this week (3/23)...

Anonymous said...

We haven't even recieved our eligibilty letter yet - if people start to get appeal results please post! I would hope theu would prioritise initial decisions....

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