Saturday, May 30, 2015

IBx at Ingraham High School end of the year wrap up

A reader asked "The first IBx cohort is graduating from Ingraham on June 8. I would like to hear from the parents about how they feel about their and their child's experience. This cohort took a chance and I want to say that I appreciate the students and the amount of support I have received from the parents."

Let's expand that a little bit. For anyone in any of the cohorts not just the seniors feel free to add how the year went. I remember there was a bit of  angst over the English pathway at the beginning of the year. Did that end satisfactorily?


RosieReader said...

I don't have a student in the cohort, but my daughter's friends have loved the North Seattle College classes that were offered in Literature and __________ and were taught at Ingraham. Both educators were terrific, at least from all comments I've heard around the breakfast and dinner table.

Also, the predictions by several vocal parents that the students who opted for the North Seattle College classes would be torpedoing their chances of getting into good colleges/universities proved completely unfounded.

Some of the students who chose not to take the NSC classes chose instead to take an on-line English class that I believe covered many works that they had all previously studied. I don't know 1) what they thought of that class; and 2) whether they continue to believe that their college admissions chances were improved by opting for the on-line class and against the NSC classes. I'd be interested in hearing how that went.

Anonymous said...

Word from last night's APP/AC meeting is that the IBX program may be going away (meaning they will have an IB only pathway??). Anyone in the know have more information?

Anonymous said...

Anon above - please everyone use a simple name so that we can refer to past posts

Knock me over with a feather.

Seriously? I have a current APP 8th grader and I have had multiple conversations THIS YEAR with AL regarding APP IBX and wanting a guarantee that the program would be there for the four years of my child's high school. Call me super paranoid about the district (split at Lowell, last minute move to Lincoln, another split in 8th), but I wanted to hear directly that this wouldn't happen again. I have emails from various staff of AL telling me there are "no plans" to do anything with/to IBX and acting as though I was insane to be so concerned. I guess their out is "no plans" means that they can do whatever they want, whenever they want.

Thank goodness we went private for high school because I just couldn't bring myself to trust them.


RosieReader said...

With two cohorts having now completed IB in their sophomore and junior year, it makes sense to assess whether the program has been meeting everyone's needs. And so there are definitely discussions at Ingraham about whether accelerating IB is actually the best way to proceed, but it's clear that that option will remain available for those entering the school in September.

A lot of the students just aren't ready to take full advantage of the IB program starting sophomore year. There's a lot of maturing that happens between sophomore and junior year, and for many kids, regardless of their intellectual capacity, the IB program is a much richer experience when they start it junior year. My understanding is that several/many current freshman have chosen to wait to start the program until they are juniors. Others will be starting IB next year as sophomores.

So yes, there are discussions about what's the best way to move ahead, and the ultimate path isn't 100% clear right now for the future. But again, for incoming 8th graders the current option will remain in place for those that may want to choose to accelerate IB.

It would be great if some of the parents of current freshman who weighed accelerating or not would chime in. My understanding is that there has been much thoughtful discussion all around.

Benjamin Leis said...

That's interesting. There's actually a middle years IB program that formally precedes the diploma program. Are they talking about implementing parts of that in the first two years or doing something else before the junior year begins?

Anonymous said...

Rosie -

I want to be clear on what you posted above. Are you promising that this year's 8th graders will 100% be able to enter and finish in IBX as it is now? I am not sure you can do that because the IBX program doesn't start for these kids until 10th grade, so the district has an entire year to change the rules on these kids.

I know the district can and will do such things. They are talking about closing a small high school program right now for next year. I personally wouldn't count on this if it were my kid. Fool me once and all that. The district couldn't care less about kids or their families.

Ben - IB has costs associated with it. IB does have a middle years program, but I don't see the district adding anything more that costs money in the current climate. They also don't need to do anymore to attract families to Ingraham since all the HS are full, so there is no upside for the district now.


Anonymous said...

I think it's good they are having discussions about student preparation or fit for IBX, but think the discussion needs to include the decline in the middle school program. Are some students struggling in IBX because of the poor preparation in middle school, or is it a maturity issue, or both?

Before thinking about all the hypotheticals (how would they transition and deal with uneven enrollment in IB classes, which classes will it impact, what about those students for whom it is a good fit, will Ingraham continue to be a pathway for HCC, and so on), I sure would like more concrete answers as to what's on the horizon. I would not trust anything a parent told me. We've been through too many unforeseen changes and moves with lots of broken promises. I need to hear it straight from the horse's mouth.

RosieReader said...

Uncle, I am delighted to hear that your student got into a private school that works for you and your student. That's great. Because of course I, a parent in SPS, cannot promise you anything. But you knew that when you posted.

Ben, I have not heard anything about a middle years program.

Anonymous said...

IBX and IB are exactly the same except for when kids start (10th grade for IBX and 11th grade for IB). The actual classes are filled with both IB and IBX students. So the district wouldn't save any money by closing IBX - it just means those kids would start a year later. Although I'm generally suspicious of the district, I'd be surprised if it was the district driving any changes vs. staff at Ingraham.

My daughter is in 9th grade at Ingraham and will start IBX next year in 10th grade. Some of her friends have decided to wait until 11th grade to start (and some of her friends made that decision coming out of Hamilton APP into Ingraham). My daughter does a good job staying on top of her homework, managing her work, etc. so we decided to have her start the program in 10th grade. Two reasons - when she's a senior, her load will be lighter which will free up time to deal with the whole college application process. And already having her IB diploma in hand might make her a more competitive applicant. However, if she'd wanted to wait until 11th grade that would have been fine with us. Our son doesn't have our daughter's organizational skills so we may very likely make a different decision for him.

9th grade IBX Mom

Anonymous said...

IBX freshman take specific honors level courses in preparation for IB courses in 10th grade. There is less of a planned pathway for those waiting until 11th grade to start the IB program. The IB program itself is the same whether you start it in 10th or 11th, but you need to think about the two non-IB years and how they sequence with the IB classes, given that HCC students have already accelerated in math and science.

Anonymous said...


I am probably the person who could provide the closest thing to a "guarantee". Current 8th graders will be able to complete the ibx program as it is now. Some of our ibx students are deciding to start the ib program at 11th grade. We feel that this flexibility will enable us to better meet the needs of the HC community. We review our programs every year but we will not doing a bait and switch. Like any program, there may be changes in the future but those changes would be announced before students choose schools at the 8th grade.

Martin Floe
Ingraham Principal

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Principal Floe!

Anonymous said...

A real live SPS principal publicly answering a blog query? 3 cheers for Principal Floe.

Anonymous said...

Principal Floe-

Thank you for your response. I appreciate your answer and that you appear to understand how important a warning of changes is to families. If only the people running SPS understood it.

May I suggest that you inform families of 7th graders of any impending changes? As the rules are now, a kid needs to be enrolled at an APP/HCC school in 8th grade in order to access Garfield for 9th grade. If you make changes for APP qualified kids who decided to stay at their neighborhood middle school (and with the north APP middle schools lacking, it may be the better choice) because they knew they were going to choose Ingraham, those 8th grade kids miss their ability to choose Garfield.

We decided, along with our child, that risking another upheaval was not the right choice for our family - three is plenty.

As I previously posted above, our family has already cried


Anonymous said...

...assuming it is Principal Floe. It sounds as though there will be changes starting with this year's 7th grade cohort, and uncle makes a good point that even with assurances to current 8th graders, current 7th graders had to essentially decide this year if they wanted to join the cohort for next year. If 7th graders did not go through testing this school year, because they were planning on joining IBX in 9th (and testing in 8th), they are now left in limbo. It's too late to join for next year, and it's unclear what program and pathways will be available. Do we even know if Garfield will continue to be a pathway? Not really.

Anonymous said...

Why are you assuming that there are changes for this year's 7th graders? This is what I am reading that Mr. Floe said...

"Like any program, there may be changes in the future but those changes would be announced before students choose schools at the 8th grade."

To ask him to tell 7th grade families about changes when he hasn't even said there will be any is how rumors get started. You also make the assumption that students could no longer join the cohort in 9th grade if there are changes... when it wasn't even indicated that there will be changes or what those changes would be.

I am curious as well, as I have a 6th grader in HCC, but I think we should take the message from Mr. Floe at face value rather than reading so much between the lines.

Anonymous said...

I have a sophomore in the IBx program at Ingraham. I like the flexibility that students can decide to certificate or do running start if they decide that IB doesn't fit them as well as they had hoped. I had heard from friends who teach IB in other schools that maturity can make a difference in success in the program. For my kid it has been a very good experience. The classes are engaging & have depth. The homework load is really reasonable, 1-2 hours a night. The best part is the teachers & staff. Very encouraging & supportive, really committed to their students. I do not care if my child continues the diploma path or certificates, but so far we are on the diploma path. My child looks forward to having flexibility senior year whether that is running start or taking more electives at Ingraham or a mix.

Anonymous said...

Maybe I was a bit vague. I didn't mean that there WOULD be changes for upcoming 7th graders, I was just trying to make the point that families in 7th grade would also be affected IF changes were made in the future, however far off that may be.

I wanted to point out that there are ramifications for kids not only in HCC but also HCC kids not currently in the program.

I have been around long enough that I don't take anything at "face value." You always have to be on alert with this district.


Unknown said...

No comments from current IBX seniors or their families?


Anonymous said...

I have child in the senior IBX class and one that chose the regular IB track. The IB curriculum is awesome -- deep thinking and exactly the right material for gifted students. But it doesn't matter that much of they start in 10th or 11th grade.

Success in IB is as much about maturity and organization as intellectual horse power. I have seen several very bright students "blow out of IBX" because they lacked the maturity in 10th grade to handle the workload. They ended up feeling badly about themselves whereas if they had waited a year, they would have done fine.

In fact, after watched multiple students through, I think only a handful of students truly benefit from starting in 10th grade. Those are students with strong maturity and self-discipline who KNOW they want to use the freedom of the senior year for an internship. Otherwise, why finish the IB early and just take extra classes your senior year.

Also, from what I can see, IBX status wasn't necessarily a huge bonus for college applications. There are regular IB students that got into great schools and some IBX students who were disappointed in their acceptances. Seems it was the student's overall record, not the IBX status, that made the biggest factor.

I would recommend that accelerated entry to IB become an "Opt IN" choice at the end of 9th grade rather than an "opt out" choice. Current approach leaves too many students who feel on the border needing to go with IBX just to be with their friends rather than the program that is the best fit for them.

Anonymous said...

Parent of IBx senior, thank you for your reflections. I have a question. Why do you think it is more valuable to spend time senior year doing an internship than doing an internship in the summer?

-IBx parent

Maureen said...

Thank you senior parent. I think your summary is spot on. As an incoming IHS PTO co-president, I'm trying to follow the issue as closely as I can. It does seem that the administration is working hard at communicating with 9th grade IBX families to make clear that they have options other than accelerating into IBx and are trying to assure a meaningful 10th grade year for those that choose to wait to enroll in IB until 11th grade. I'd be happy to listen to other stories from the early IBx cohort.

Anonymous said...

How's orchestra at Ingraham, vs. Ballard?


Lynn said...

Do HCC students have a guaranteed seat at Ingraham if they're not going to do IBX?

Anonymous said...

Lynn, my understanding is that, since no decision is made about whether or not they will do IBx until they register for sophomore year (even then they can change their mind in the fall)the HCC 8th graders still have a guaranteed seat at IHS (and GHS and their neighborhood school). I have not heard it suggested (and I have asked) that 10th graders would lose their seat at IHS if they decide not to do IBx (and none of the students who have made that decision have lost their seat.)

I'm not sure what the implication is for a student who already knows when they register for 9th grade that they won't do IBx and announce that. My understanding is that the school doesn't have any desire or mechanism to turn them away, so it would be up to the District to do that and I don't think they actually ask the students what their plan is. Maybe someone from the HCC office knows if there is a rule or policy about this?


Anonymous said...

Given the discussion around possible changes to IBX, I'm not sure what guarantees anyone can give. I would say the school is generally supportive of doing what's best for an individual student, which means allowing HCC students to wait until 11th grade to begin the IB diploma. Currently, the IBX program includes specific 9th grade classes in preparation for IB in 10th grade. When enrolling for 10th grade, there is an informal option for HCC students to delay IB until 11th grade. Because it is not a planned pathway for IBX students, however, the class choices are somewhat unclear. What math and science do you take?

Perhaps the bigger question is: What will be available to HCC students choosing Ingraham in future years? Will they formalize multiple pathways for HCC students, with both an IBX and an IB option? Will they continue to offer the 9th grade pre-IB classes?

Anonymous said...

Martin Floe is super accessible and if anyone has continued questions, just call him. Our daughter will be an IBx senior this coming year. I echo previous posters who state that the IB classes are exactly the same whether accelerated or not-- true. It turns out that dual skills were needed to complete IB, which our daughter has done with high scores. ORGANIZATION, ORGANIZATION, ORGANIZATION being the most important skill. Ability to analyze and make deep connections the other. Our daughter and friends designed a flashcard and outlining system and practiced material HOURS every night. When setting up the flashcard system they used what they had learned in IB psych about long-term memory and made sure the material was reviewed visually and auditorially, the re-wrote it if it was tough to recall because the brain research they were aware of stated that handwriting inserts material into long-term memory..... Jeez, I just messed around in high school myself. We opted for younger sib (not the same personality type) to attend a different HS because we knew at outset that level of organization and ability to delay gratification were not going to be a strong suit.

Diploma time!