Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Discussing appeals

Based on interest in the open threads, here's a new thread to discuss appeals, the appeal process, and receiving the results of appeals when they come in. Please also use this if you want to talk with other parents about not getting accepted but not appealing and maybe trying again next year.

52 comments :

Anonymous said...

Any more parents have word on appeals? We submitted our appeal with supporting test scores the second week of March and have heard nothing.

Anonymous said...

We have a K child at a private school. He missed the cutoff for APP by 2 points for reading achievement but met cogat/math scores. So far we have been underwhelmed with the support of his current school for differentiation, particularly in math. We really liked the program at Evergreen but he did not get in this year, although they encouraged us to apply again next year. Anyone have suggestions for school programs (public or private) for a kid who needs an accelerated curriculum? Has anyone had luck applying in subsequent years when not accepted at a school like Evergreen or UCDS?

-Hoping for a light at the end of the educational tunnel

Anonymous said...

Has anyone heard back yet on an appeal? We filed our appeal the first week of March and still haven't received a response back yet--although I heard through the grapevine that they were going to begin reviewing appeals last week.

--Waiting

Anonymous said...

Sent in our appeal in early March and received an email confirmation almost 2 weeks ago that it had been received and that a decision would be made ASAP. Astounded at how slow this process has been. Waiting.

Anonymous said...

Sent our appeal in at the end of February, got a receipt by e-mail March 12, still crickets. Would love to know when people start hearing.

Appealing mom said...

We got a late notice that we did not get into HCC. We are getting an appeal and our son has testing this Thursday (the first available when we got our notice). We sent in an intent to appeal immediately. When I heard back from Roger Daniels, he said he hoped most would have the testing done by the first week of April. That said, I wonder if they are waiting for most/all to come in before they do the appeal review. Just a thought...

Anonymous said...

Do you mean the private testing all done? I hope not. That would be insane! I do know they generally wait until the district results are all out, but I think those are all out now. I was actually sort of expecting our appeal result this week, since we sent it in 6 weeks ago now. But still nothing.

Anonymous said...

Received our appeal letter in the mail yesterday- our K student had a successful appeal and is now eligible for HCC. We sent the appeal in on March 18th.

Anonymous said...

Sent in our appeal in our appeal in early March, notice of successful appeal was dated April 6. Received today.

Anonymous said...

We appealed for Spectrum and got it, but our child's cognitive scores would qualify him for HCC and I'm regretting not appealing for HCC to begin with. Is it too late to do private testing for achievement and appeal for HCC?

Anonymous said...

I would do the testing either way. If the scores are both at 95, you can use them to appeal if they'll allow it. If they won't allow it, it's so late in the year that you could use them for next year's testing cyle, (And FYI - the private IQ scores are good for three years.)

Anonymous said...

We submitted our appeal papers on March 23. Just received notification today in the mail (dated April 6) of the successful appeal results.

Muircat

Anonymous said...

For what it's worth, I highly recommend private testing. My child's TBS scores were 97th in math and 99th in reading, but he was placed into Spectrum because he tested at 96th on the SPS cog test.

As I suspected that he wouldn't test well in a big-group setting, I'd paid for private testing in December. On that CogAT, he tested 99th in all category but one, and his GAI was 99.6th %ile.

I submitted this to SPS Advanced Learning, and the appeal was very swiftly resolved (so swiftly that I received an immediate email confirmation of HCC acceptance prior to the official letter).

A lot of kids don't test well in large-group settings, esp if they are anxious or perfectionistic. Private testing carries a price tag, but if you really think that your child cannot possibly be accommodated in Spectrum, it's worthwhile.

Lynn said...

It's not a question of whether your child could be accommodated in Spectrum - it's how you think they'll fare in general ed at their attendance area school. Only five elementary schools offered self-contained Spectrum classes last year and two of those are phasing out the program (John Muir and View Ridge.)

Anonymous said...

@9:35 am

But this is a serious problem. There are many kids in the "Spectrum" range who would clearly do well with accommodation beyond general ed, but who would struggle w/ a class geared for kids at the 98th +, not to mention when you get to higher than 99th, at which any public school service will necessarily need external accommodation.

I am new to the public system (my child is transitioning from a small independent school), but the lack of a "vanilla gifted" category is worrisome. Either these children will be left w/ Gen Ed, or may be stressed to be put into HCC.

Anonymous said...

Agree--the reason I'm looking at HCC vs Spectrum is because it seems impossible to get Spectrum placement in practice since our attendance-area school has no such program and seems to offer a fairly sub-optimal academic environment anyway. So it ends up that we'll either have to move to Shoreline, stay in private school, or try for HCC placement if it's appropriate. It seems like all schools should offer Spectrum, especially because it's hardly a pull-out program anymore.

Anonymous said...

@ April 11th 7:30 PM

"It seems like all schools should offer Spectrum" —I absolutely agree. When I was back in public school (different state, and many decades ago), each school had a "gifted program." Frankly, I'm not sure if I was placed in it due to SB test scores (of which I had many—it seems they tested me yearly) or teacher recommendations, or both. I don't know if this was done at a school level, or a district level.

I believe the gifted kids (back when it was Ok to use that term) were together for language arts, math, and—I think—science. I honestly can't remember—only that it was low stress (nothing like I'm experiencing w/ my son), and we were given significantly higher-level work (not just "more homework"). I'm sure that I was likely one of the upper-end students in that group (i.e., I doubt that it was limited to 98th+, as HCC is), but it was doable.

Because of where my child tests (well over 99th GAI), I am glad that there is the HCC option. But whereas I recognize that many such kids—esp if they are also high achievers—cannot really be accommodated in a Gen Ed class, I feel that the kids in the 90th+ range could and should also be provided with additional accommodation.

The idea that a kid who doesn't test in the 98th + CogAT / 95th + achievement doesn't need accommodation is ludicrous. Every school should at least offer Spectrum.

Anonymous said...

As I suspected that he wouldn't test well in a big-group setting, I'd paid for private testing in December. On that CogAT, he tested 99th in all category but one, and his GAI was 99.6th %ile.

I'm hoping CogAT is a slip here, and the private testing was actually on another instrument. Repeat testing on the same instrument isn't supposed to be done so soon.

Bewildered in South Seattle said...

We received a denial of appeal for HCC today that leaves us bewildered. Our son's scores were 95th percentile Broad Reading, above 99th for Broad Math, 99th Full Scale and above 99th GAI. Can anyone see any reason for a denial? Advice?

Lynn said...

Oh no! I would be bewildered too. I would email advanced learning and tell them you've received your letter and do not understand the result. If you ask for help understanding it, they should realize they've made a mistake.

(Attach the letter they sent you that included the scores.)

If that doesn't work - is your child's principal or teacher likely to be willing to contact advanced learning?

Anonymous said...

@ April 13, 2015 at 6:29 PM—

That's very weird. Why wasn't he placed in HCC to begin with? What did you submit for the appeal?

If the appeal was denied, then it *should* have listed a reason.

It could be an administrative error. My son was first misplaced in Spectrum in part because they recorded a 99th in reading as 92nd.

Good luck. I don't believe that with those scores, if they are all on valid tests (as I'd assume) he *can* be denied.

Anonymous said...

@ April 13, 2015 at 11:55 AM

"I'm hoping CogAT is a slip here, and the private testing was actually on another instrument. Repeat testing on the same instrument isn't supposed to be done so soon."

—Sorry; shorthand (and careless typing). I meant the test that generated his cog scores and GAI. It was not the CogAT used for SPS, but rather the cog test that provided the scores to satisfy SPS AL cog score requirement. As above, the crowded-room SPS test produced unrepresentative scores, as I suspected they would, which is why we paid for private testing.

Bewildered in South Seattle said...

Thanks for the response. The scores are from private testing, his SPS testing had him on the cusp. The listed reason for denial was reading but his score matches the listed requirements. The other component reading scores were all 97-99 percentile. The testing was through an SPS approved psychologist, appeal was turned in on time. Hopefully our email to Advanced Learning will clear this up.

Anonymous said...

@ Bewildered in South Seattle:

"The scores are from private testing, his SPS testing had him on the cusp."

—Similar for my son (in re the SPS CogAT). Actually, as soon as he came out of the CogAT and I asked him how it went ("fine," but he hadn't realized that time was an issue and is a methodical thinker, so hadn't hurried and hadn't finished it all), I realized that his scores would not be accurate. I'd already talked to a fellow parent about a private tester, and contacted one shortly thereafter.

I received his WISC-V scores the day after testing, and the confirmed what I had already known would be the case, w/ a GAI of over 99th%ile (like your son).

When the SPS CogAT came back, he was right on the cusp (97th) in two categories, but others were lower than that–-confirming, as I had suspected, that it wasn't a representative test.

"The listed reason for denial was reading but his score matches the listed requirements. "

—My son's preliminary placement in Spectrum had his ITBS reading listed at 92nd %ile, whereas he received a 99th. Just an entry error. When I pointed this out, and supplied the private scores, the appeal was unproblematic.

I would reckon that his was a case of administrative / data entry error, and hope your email clears this up quickly.



KB said...

s anyone know of a private tester that tests reading achievement using the ITBS or another test. Looking for one that does not factor in reading fluency as part of the score.

Anonymous said...

Tested in the low to mid-90s on cogat. Private tested for several reasons. incl. knowing our child and vociferous teacher recommendation.

Private testing scores (WISC-IV and WJ achievement) were 99.5% - 99.9%+ pretty much across the board.

Submitted in mid-March. Received notice of successful appeal around April 8th or so.

Anonymous said...

The KTEA II does not take fluency into account and is on the list of allowable tests for appeals. As I recall, the test cannot be given before first grade - so if your child is in K, it won't work. In any case, call the testers on the list and tell them what you need.

NEMOM said...

We submitted appeal on March 26th and got notified on April 9th for HCC that the appeal was successful. Our COGAT scores were in the HCC range, and the appeal was based on achievement scores.

NEMOM

(No Longer) Bewildered in South Seattle said...

Received an email today indicating the denial letter we received was in error. Our son's test scores were recorded incorrectly. Phew!

Anonymous said...

@Bewildered in South Seattle

Keep us posted on what happened! It would be really disconcerting to hear that all your numbers were correct, appeal submitted on time and you didn't get accepted. Never heard of that.

Unknown said...

@ April 15, 2015 at 7:26 PM:

My son was first placed in Spectrum. Although it's true that his SPS-administered CogAT was just below the cut-off (his private scores were 99th+), SPS *had* in fact misrecorded (by 7 points!) his ITBS scores, and that was part of the stated reason for denial to HCC.

That correction, plus his private scores, made the appeal no big deal. But I was a bit disarmed to see such a large typo.

Waiting on an appeal said...

Anyone else still waiting to hear on an appeal? Ours should be smooth sailing, but would love to have this one in the books! I can't imagine there being too many appeals to review at this point.

Anonymous said...

Heard back from Advanced Learning that it's too late to appeal for APP if we provided qualifying achievement scores, so I guess we're stuck on the Spectrum waitlists. Should have gone ahead and done the testing earlier, but I'll know better for next time.

Anonymous said...

@ April 20, 2015 at 11:35 AM

—I believe that one needs to indicate an intent to appeal within 5 days of receiving an allocation either to Spectrum or Gen Ed. I was so nervous about this that I'd prepared the entire appeal packet "just in case" before I'd even heard back from SPS.

It's a very nerve racking time, I know!

Anonymous said...

@April 21, 2015 at 5:28 AM

We did appeal in 5 days, but for spectrum as we had cognitive results but we hadn't gotten achievement testing done yet. I had some hope that my son would place into a spectrum program, but they all seem to have waitlists so the chance of getting into one seems small.

Anonymous said...

We submitted an appeal to the APP/HCC program on April 13 with qualifying test scores for our kid with private testing (we had previously submitted, within five days, a letter with intent to appeal). The office did not specify a deadline for an appeal, but we got it in as soon as we could after scheduling a new test - is that too late for them to consider? Waiting to hear.... thanks for any thoughts!

Also waiting said...

Anon @7:08 - so long as you got in the intent to appeal within 5 days and told them about pending testing, you should be fine. There was no specific testing deadline, though I know they want to be done with appeals. We sent ours in on 4/9 and have yet to hear but know they are looking at it now.

Anonymous said...

Hello thanks, @10:33 a.m.! We got a letter today from HCC/APP that our kid got in (based on test scores). My major issue with this program is that it is an accelerated program and not an in depth program. My kid is not a fast thinker or particularly engaged student- I think an in depth program would engage her and challenge her more, and an accelerated program may overwhelm her. She has not picked up basic handwriting skills yet - poor instruction - and this may cause her to fall behind. All kids are different! This forum has been helpful, appreciate the comments from all the parents. Many thanks everyone.

Anonymous said...

We applied to HCC but after the test, we received the results showing my son qualified Spectrum instead. On the test he missed the cut off for APP by 2 points for reading achievement. We sent a notice we were going to appeal but we had to wait for an appointment to have the achievement testing done privately.

Well, today we got a letter saying that my son does qualify to HHC. So it seems SPC has reviewed the test results and decided that my son does qualify to HCC afterwall. Great news all around and I am relieved we wont have to pay for the private testing after all.

Anonymous said...

Anon @6:51 p.m. - Beware that Adv. Learning sent out some acceptance letters incorrectly. I would definitely follow up on it as if SPS realizes its error and you don't have the test scores to show your child should not be in there based on current data, you could potentially get booted. Be careful!

Anonymous said...

We finally heard on our HCC appeal this weekend. It was submitted 4/9. Went through successfully just as expected.

Anonymous said...

Can someone help?! I'm reaching out to the advanced learning office but they aren't clear about specifics I'm asking. I have not yet send appeal info because I'm so confused but I need help asap. Here's my two dilemmas:

1. Private testing came back higher than expected. My son can qualify for HCC/APP. However for Open Enrollment (slapping my forehead) I only selected Spectrum. Is there any way around this? Or is open enrollment basically set at this point?

2. If open enrollment is set and we can only get him into Spectrum next year, can he move up to HCC/APP the following year? He doesn't have to stay in Spectrum does he?

Thanks, Annie

Anonymous said...

Annie,

You're fine. You can apply for APP any time through September. Just call enrollment and tell them you want to have your child put in APP. You may have to fill out a form, but you shouldn't have any problems. If you'd done the opposite and enrolled for APP and only got Spectrum and hadn't filled out a choice form, you'd be in trouble. Take a deep breath. :)

Anonymous said...

*correction

Once you get the successful notice of your appeal back, you can enroll in APP/HCC. Just get it to them soon and request your child be eligible for HCC.

Anonymous said...

Hm. General question (just transitioning into SPS for 6th grade, from independent school)—

I'd indicated our HCC school at open enrollment, and my son indeed qualified for HCC. Do I need to do anything further, or will he be automatically placed in this school (or even our second choice, which was another HCC)?

I can email them to ask… but living abroad w/ son right now, so calling would be more difficult.

Anonymous said...

Anon @12:08 a.m. That should be all you have to do. To double check, look on the SPS website. If you put in his SPS# and birthdate, you should be able to see what the current assigned school is. If you don't have that info, just call enrollment services.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Anonymous (April 27 4:57 PM) for your help with my navigating through the appeals process.

After a frustrating back and forth with his school, I finally find out today they didn't administer the MAP testing in Fall of last year since it became optional. So I have no scores for math or reading to submit for HCC/APP. His school's website said they administer it twice a year so I expected them to do it, and thought it was odd I never got results.

So if we actually want our kids to take the MAP during the optional seasons, are we supposed to now ask our teachers?

- Annie

Anonymous said...

Annie,

Do you have qualifying Spring 2014 MAP scores? Those would also work. If not, you'd have to pay for private math and/or reading testing.

If you don't have the scores for the current appeal process, remember that your private IQ scores are good for three years.

Anonymous said...

Anon @ May 1at 2:14 PM,

I asked them about using our upcoming Spring May MAP results since his teacher is about to administer it, but they told me it's only valid for 2016-2017 eligibility. Also I guess the appeals process is closing this Friday so it will be too late. Thanks! I will get him in Spectrum and try next year to move him up. He's definitely needing the challenge in class.

- Annie

Anonymous said...

Anon @ May 1at 2:14 PM,

Oh sorry I see now you wrote Spring 2014 MAP results. He's in Kindergarten so he didn't have any testing done in pre-K. It would have been nice to have those test scores done in Kindergarten in the spring since we probably couldn't afford additional private testing. Thanks again for your help!

- Annie

Anonymous said...

Annie,

Do you qualify for free or reduced price meals? If so, the district provides individual math and reading testing. If not, the private math and reading testing is less expensive than an IQ test.

Anonymous said...

Anon @ May 4 12:36 PM,
No we don't qualify for free/reduced meals. Good to know the private math/reading is not as expensive. We'll look into this if we choose to do for our other son!
-Annie