Wednesday, August 5, 2015

August Open Thread

The new school is starting to get closer.  I'm sure there are some questions bubbling out there. Also if anyone has any resources they'd like posted I'll add them here. What's on your minds?

Info for the new year

Bios for the new staff hires at JAMS: newstaff
Lincoln School Supply List: supplies

Reminder: please use an alias if you post anonymously.

67 comments :

Anonymous said...

Is it time to stop saying "Lincoln" when we tell people what school our child attends? It has always felt a little off to me, since our program does not have tabs on the Lincoln building, but I understood why parents phased out of saying "APP AT Lincoln".

I wouldn't mind saying Cascadia at Lincoln if that's accurate. I just feel like we need to get families on the same page.

Done with "Lincoln"

Anonymous said...

Seems premature to me. Many of the kids at Lincoln now will graduate before Cascadia is built and opened. And given the growth in APP, it's possible that by the time Cascadia does open if won't fit everyone anyway, so they might decide to open another APP site elsewhere. History suggests boundaries and assignments and program placements can change at any time.

Megan Hazen said...

Regarding the name change:

The administration of the school has been informed that our name has been changed to Cascadia as of this year. (In other words, Cascadia is not just the name for the new building, but also for the HCC program currently housed in Lincoln.) The SPS website reflects this, because the listing of schools lists Cascadia, not APP@Lincoln. (The link still takes you to APP@Lincoln, but this appears to be because of logistics, not policy.)

I have always preferred to say "Lincoln", or "SNAPP", because I feel like APP@Lincoln puts too much emphasis on the special program in many environments. However, this year I will have a second child at Lincoln in the Licton Springs School, so I've taken to saying long winded things like 'the other elementary school program in the Lincoln building'. I am hoping that, with the opening of the school year and the completed migration of the website, the new name will become more comfortable, because Cascadia would be far preferable to me when I need to name a program. I do think that all evidence so far suggests we can start using that name.

(Additional thoughts: The other schools that are on the move, such as Hazel Wolf, Licton Spring, Olympic Hills, are all referred to by their school names, not their program names. Since HCC@Lincoln acts as a school, it seems reasonable that it should get a school name, not a program name, and Cascadia is the most likely choice as a school name.

I do wish the school district would be more open (or at least demonstrate that they have any thought at all) about how the population will be managed when the new building opens. It seems clear that the current attendance level won't be supported on the new site. However, it appears that the party line remains that Cascadia is the new home of HCC in North Seattle, and can be used as the new name for the current school.

Benjamin Leis said...

This is a little bit late but I received this email from Paula Montgomery. I originally had asked about the asst. principal leaving and the transition process.
I think its of general interest given the amount of info.

"Thank you for reaching out about parent questions. We have had a few administrative changes and office staff changes here at Jane Addams and a few challenges as we transition to a new website. Attached is some information that we just posted to our website about our new hires, and below is a timeline for our schedule distribution. Please don’t hesitate to contact me about additional information.

Our website is addamsms.seattleschools.org

Schedules are in great shape, all but one teacher is hired, and we have a plan for schedule distribution:

· Counselors and admin team are currently reviewing schedules to ensure that all students have complete and accurate schedules

· We will mail home schedules on August 21! Yes, we are mailing home final schedules



· Counselors will be available on the following dates for schedule adjustments:

o August 27 (9-1pm)

o August 28 (1-5 pm)



· Counselors are assigned by grade level

o Mr. Bilides, grade 8

o Ms. Lucas, grade 7

o Ms. Sieg, grade 6



· Additionally, Special Education Case Managers will be available after September 1.

o Mr. Espin-White, grade 8

o Ms. Schenck, grade 7

o Ms. Bowers, grade 6

o Ms. Huckabee, SM2

o Ms. Diederich, SM2i (Access)

o Mr. Barnes, SM3

o Mr. Smidt, SM4



Our schedule is very complex and electives are not guaranteed! Counselors will prioritize adjusting any mistakes in core academic classes. We prioritize the scheduling of our core academic classes and reading and math support classes to ensure that all students are in the appropriate courses.

We cannot accommodate teacher choice. We will do our best to honor student elective choices, but 8th graders have first priority in electives. Semester electives are especially limited due to the resources allocated to World Languages and Music.

Thanks for all of your help with communication. I know that everyone is excited for school to begin. We are too!

Sincerely,

Paula"

Anonymous said...

I have a hard time with the name switch because I doubt my second grader will see Wilson Pacific since we live in the NE(natural choice to get split off) so it would mean 3 school names. Lincoln(just changed from Lowell at Lincoln), then Cascadia, then whatever she gets sent to when Wilson Pacific opens (HCC at Decatur? Somewhere else? And so she'll be kicked out of her school, if we insist on starting to call it "Cascadia" now? Can't it just stay "Lincoln," and then when they splits to some kids will go to Cascadia, and some to X?). Lincoln at least keeps some consistency , and if you mean Licton Springs you say Licton Springs, so it's clear what Lincoln means. Those other programs(Hazel Wolf, Licton Springs) aren't going to be split up the same way.

2nd grade

Anonymous said...

Any idea how WMS works for incoming students? My child is entering 6th grade and we missed the tour in Feb. Not sure when elective choices are made or how music works. I know there's a new student orientation the friday before school, but so far that's all I've got.

Any help is appreciated!
New to WMS

Anonymous said...

to New to WMS -
Welcome to WMS!

At WMS, the kids don't get their schedule until 1st day of school. If your child is coming from one of the normal "feeder" schools, then you should have gotten info on signing up for electives. If not, touch base with the grade level counselor. Not sure who is 6th grade this year, but here is the link to that page.
http://washingtonms.seattleschools.org/cms/One.aspx?portalId=12671&pageId=67467

Post if you have more specific music questions - if your child is just starting on music, it is pretty straight forward. If they are further along, the director (Barr or Fortune, depending on your child's instrument) will want to hear them play to place them in the right level group.
cheers
WS@WMS

Anonymous said...

2nd grade, my thoughts exactly. We are in first grade in the NE.

It feels disingenuous to rename the school Cascadia when it is known but not acknowledged that the entire program won't fit in the new building and there is some group of kids that will never be part of "Cascadia". Feels like we are heading towards another unfortunate name like Cascadia @ Decatur.

C@D

Anonymous said...

Question for Lynn,

You posted enrollment projections by grade last year, but the link doesn't work anymore. (See this thread)

http://discussapp.blogspot.com/2014/05/app-enrollment-for-2014-15.html

I'm curious about grade projections for this year. But, Enrollment doesn't seem to think they've ever broken projections down by grade at individual schools. Any idea where to find some old data like this for reference?

Anonymous said...

I'm curious about enrollment projections for JAMS and why this year's schedule is moving from 3 lunch periods down to 2 when enrollment is only increasing (around 900 projected?).

Anonymous said...

Projected enrollment for JAMS is 883. I also wonder how they will have only 2 lunch periods. I hope they don't end up adjusting the lunch schedule repeatedly like they did last year.

Projections by school: http://sps.ss8.sharpschool.com/UserFiles/Servers/Server_543/File/District/Departments/Enrollment%20Planning/Projections/2015-2016%20Projections.pdf

Projections by grade: http://sps.ss8.sharpschool.com/UserFiles/Servers/Server_543/File/District/Departments/Enrollment%20Planning/Projections/2015-2016%20District-Wide%20Grade%20Projections.pdf

lcp

Anonymous said...

Thanks lcp, but what I'm talking about is projections for Lincoln by grade.

Newbie HCC mom said...

Historically, when do you get bus info for Lincoln/Cascadia? We have an incoming first grader and don't know how this works. And, are we still looking at 2.5 first grade classrooms?

Thanks!

Anonymous said...

FYI, note that those enrollment projections are only as of 5/29. You'd think they'd have a lot better data by now--actual enrollment, not projections!--but this seems to be all the Enrollment Planning office has or is willing to distribute. I asked for more current data and was told it would be available after they report it to OSPI, presumably after they have those October counts. I hope principals are getting better enrollment data somewhere!

Anonymous said...

Did you notice that Dr. Joe Powell is moving from WMS to JAMS? Watch for a (sometimes arbitrary) tightening ship with regard to discipline.

open ears

Anonymous said...

If I remember correctly we got bus info a week or so before school started. And the last I heard there were no split classes at Lincoln for the coming year - but I don't think anybody can say for sure until school actually starts!

2boysclub

Megan Hazen said...

Notes:

1. Bus assignments usually come via mail in the week or two before school. It usually take a few weeks after school starts to get the buses running smoothly.

2. Whatever the fears of second grade parents, it sounds like the Cascadia name is moving forward.

Anonymous said...

It's still going to be Cascadia @ Lincoln for now(like those other programs technically are), though, so it sounds like Lincoln will also stay, and our t-shirt will still work.

Our family has already experienced getting kicked out of a school. It hurts the kids. They get over it, but why create obstacles unnecessarily? No need to make it happen for more kids when there is another great option. I get that this would be slightly more convenient for you in conversations with strangers, but please consider using a few more words in conversation so a couple hundred kids don't have to be excluded in 18 months when you get your awesome new building, and we get split off.

2nd grade

Benjamin Leis said...

Consolidating for the above poster:

"How crazy would it be to propose a solution like Grades 1 and 2 in Decatur, and Grades 3-5 in WP/Cascadia? Would it be too hard for families with kids in different grades to be spread between those two sites? With everyone in the program getting transportation, it seems to me it could work. " First Grade Parent

Anonymous said...

Consolidating for the above poster:

"How crazy would it be to propose a solution like Grades 1 and 2 in Decatur, and Grades 3-5 in WP/Cascadia? Would it be too hard for families with kids in different grades to be spread between those two sites? With everyone in the program getting transportation, it seems to me it could work. " First Grade Parent


Isn't that the same idea that was proposed by the District (and loudly dismissed by families) when Lowell was over capacity? In the end, all of Lowell APP was moved to Lincoln.

old timer

Lynn said...

To Anon on August 10th at 11:57

Last spring was the only time I've seen that information about APP enrollment published. (I think it was related to concerns raised during the growth boundaries process.) I asked Advanced Learning for the info this week and they suggested I contact enrollment services. Have you done that?

Anonymous said...

Hi Lynn,
I did, and they won't be posting those numbers this year.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I have a daughter entering K this fall. Her reading has really taken off this summer. Yesterday she read a book (and seemed to understand it well) that is listed as a "J" level. (I actually don't understand how this leveled reading is used in schools.) I think she may be able to read books that are at a higher level. She also seems to do well with the 1st grade math books that we have. I wonder if there will be lots of other kids in kindergarten who are reading at this level? Will she be bored? How did all of you "more experienced" parents supplement at this age? Do the teachers really differentiate in kindergarten? Or is kindergarten mostly play?
-New to this

Anonymous said...

We have two children in advanced learning.

Our kids had a great kindergarten teacher and were not bored. But I imagine it really depends on the teacher and the school which influences the makeup of the rest of the class. The schools use Readers Writers workshop so the kids are individually leveled and assigned appropriate books. Our older child read all of the Magic Tree House books during K and Rick Riordan in first. But be sure to monitor, because teachers have lots of kids to keep up with.

Our k teacher also provided supplemental math workbooks that the kids could do during independent work time. Kindergarten is new, so if you’re in a decent school with a good teacher the odds are it won’t be boring. In our experience, definitely not just play.

My one piece of advice, that I know is not universally shared, is if you’re thinking about HCC, you may want to look into what your child will be tested on with the CoGAT (i.e. Bright Kids Cogat practice test). Many of the kids scoring in the 98/99 percentile are not taking it blind. The CoGAT measures learned reasoning abilities, and the kinds of questions that I’ve seen on practice tests were not taught in our kids early classes. For example, being a great reader doesn’t mean they will able to answer a verbal analogy question, something I don’t believe our kids were ever taught in K.

Anonymous said...

One big reason dividing by grade into different sites is a nonstarter is teacher collaboration.

The teachers do work with other teachers up and down the grade level. This was very apparent, for instance, when Lincoln was working to adopt and purchase its own math curriculum prior to the district-wide change (and the 4 and 5 graders still use non-district math). A couple teachers at all grades field-tested it in class, and there was a lot of work put in at every grade level to get a fit so that it would be consistent as children aged through the program.

Teachers also find that they move from teaching one grade to another as time passes, for a variety of reasons - and all grades being in the same building makes that easier.

They deserve a professional environment that fosters their own growth as much as possible, which is to our children's benefit, and being shut away without the range of grade bands probably isn't the best for the teachers. Likewise, remember - the smaller a school gets, the less pull it has. Absolutely with a 250 - 300 kid school (younger grades in Decatur), you get less that zip from central office. That will be no nurse, .5 PE teacher, probably no librarian or .2 librarian (one day a week), and probably .5 of one other art/music, if that. Nothing. Seriously. Remember, APP gets the lowest per student funding from SPS - so the only way to get librarian, nurse, counselor, etc is to have enough sheer numbers of kids to equal that standard, or to PAAAAAY for it by PTA.

So, while we're out of APP elem at this time, experience and understanding of budgeting makes me recommend to people still there to absolutely fight to stay together as long as possible. Don't let a small group be peeled out by themselves into Decatur b/c they'll get nothing in terms of resource support. While division may be inevitable (don't get me started on bad planning from central), becoming a 250 kid school in a tiny run down building is not a good end state for that portion.

PM said...

Re: Anon at 12:47

Please do not prep for the test. Prepping invalidates the test. Enough said.

--PM

Anonymous said...

Yes, please do not. The idea of the test is to see how quickly the child solves new problems, to show that they will maintain an accelerated pace of learning. If you prep, you don't know. We have danced around this on here before- but it's cheating. It just is. It is not worth cheating to get your kid into this program.

Whether your child will be bored will depend on your teacher and school. In two of my children's kindergarten classes in the NE, your child sounds like they would have been about average in math, and slightly above average (but still in one of the middle groups) for reading. In the third they might have been one of the best readers in there. There is some variation. I doubt that level of achievement will be outlying enough to affect her kindergarten experience, but it might be worth testing (WITHOUT PREPPING) so you have options in the spring. Things can change quickly with kids, and not that outlying right now could turn into very outlying in the spring. Or maybe your school will be unwilling to support even basic advanced learning. You don't know yet, so don't turn down options before you have them.

2inapp

Anonymous said...

Yeah. Do you want your kid to be that one who is always half a beat behind the other HCC kids? The one the teachers ask each other at lunch "how did HE/SHE get in the program?", the one that after a couple of years of not quite fitting, slips quietly back to the neighborhood school and does fine? There seem to be a few every year.

open ears

Anonymous said...

Per David Lohman, author of the CoGAT,

“For a long time, test users have ignored the effects of practice and minimized the larger effects of coaching by keeping secret the contents of the tests. Aside from rare instances of cheating, children approached the test with no special preparation. This is no longer the case. The internet has lifted the veil of secrecy that once shrouded ability tests.”

What may have been true ten or twenty years ago is not true today. Today, the CoGAT is normed nationally against many students that have studied for it. Today, it’s not against Seattle District rules to study for it. Today, even the CoGAT author advocates providing “free practice activities for all student” to help level the playing field.

PM said...

Anon@9:13

To me, that sounds like a way to justify having prepped your kid. There are many kids out there who don't cheat by prepping and are admitted to the program. If your child is from an underprivileged background, then prepping might make sense. Otherwise, no.

Anonymous said...

These conversations are always quite interesting...is it "cheating" to prep for SAT exams? And PM said, If your child is from an underprivileged background, then prepping might make sense. Otherwise, no. Really? So it's not cheating if you are from an "underprivileged background," but it is cheating for anyone else? Prepping may help students get familiar with the format of questions (is that a bad thing?), but once students are taking the test, they are on their own. What they can do is what they can do. Qualification is also based on achievement scores. By the above logic, it is also cheating to support your child with math and reading at home.

As a parent, I'd hope other parents only consider the program because they feel their child truly would thrive with more challenge or advancement. If it turns out not to be a good fit, then I'd hope they'd be supported in finding a solution. I would not presume students leave the program because they had somehow "cheated" the system. Students may struggle for other reasons, and some leave because there is not enough challenge. I also would not assume students are only getting 98/99 scores with preparation, as suggested by another parent.

The irony of course, is that come middle school, the HCC program is really not that advanced. Math and science may be a year or two ahead, but the demands of the program are somehow not as high as the bar set for entry. All the energy spent on testing (this topic comes up every year), would be better spent advocating for a truly challenging and appropriate program. The program is actually poorly suited for those students that are off the charts, and whom you'd assume need no exam prep. Classes are also being blended with Spectrum qualified students, so HCC qualification is not even necessary for entry into some HCC middle school classes.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Anon at 9:21 that the middle school HCC program is not that advanced and that the program's demands are lower than the bar set for entry. I also agree 100% that the program is poorly suited for very highly gifted students--students who are likely to score off the charts without any exam prep.

Now that I've come to accept that the program is NOT going to serve Seattle's most gifted students well--and that the district has no interest in doing so--I've also adjusted my thinking on HCC testing. Why not study a bit? If your kid is in range of qualifying, and needs more of a challenge, it makes sense to give it a shot. HCC, at least in middle school, seems to be geared toward what many think of as smart, high-achieving kids. Some kids have to work harder than others to succeed in it, but those who test in (with or without prep) are usually able to manage. Middle school HCC is NOT, however, designed to meet the unique needs of highly gifted kids. Some very gifted students may do well in the program and make it work, but it's not really designed for them. It's a highly capable COHORT, not a HC-tailored curriculum or approach. The same is true with HC-designation in high school, aside from possibly the IBX program at Ingraham.

So if Seattle's HC services are not really intended* to meet the needs of very highly gifted kids but is instead intended to serve a broader group of high achieving kids who capable of working at a slightly more advanced level, I don't see the great harm that would come from some additional kids taking a practice test to get exposed to the materials beforehand. It's not likely to have a big impact on rigor, as the level of rigor is probably about right for the bulk of students in the program now, and it's probably never going to be right for that group of kids who finds it too easy.

HIMSmom


*I"m referring to intent within SPS. The legislators behind the requirement may have had other ideas.

Benjamin Leis said...

@New to this - My anecdotal experience is that a significant number of kids come into Kindergarten as early readers especially among the girls. In our first K experience I will never forget seeing a girl come to our son's class carrying her copy of Harry Potter. The teacher's I've personally experienced did a good job with varying reading levels as a result.
However, general environments and the relative number of advanced learners varies fairly dramatically from school to school. If you can tell us the school you're entering it's quite possible someone will have more specific information. Also be aware that K takes a while to ramp up. The public library is great for finding appropriate reading material if you find yourself a bit impatient at the start.

Pm said...

Anon @ 9:21

No, it's not cheating to prep for the SAT because it is an achievement test. There are generally two types of tests that are used for admission to gifted programs: IQ (e.g. WISC-IV, WPPSI, DAS, COGAT --although COGAT is not a pure IQ test) and achievement (e.g. MAP, woodcock-Johnson, ITBS, SAT, ACT, Explore). For the achievement tests, prep is absolutely fine. For IQ tests, prepping is cheating because the tests are designed to examine how you problem-solve WITHOUT previous exposure to the problems.

Anonymous said...

Is the SAT just an achievement test? The original SAT - the Scholastic Aptitude Test - was about measuring aptitude, it was an IQ test. Some of the original sub tests are not too different from the CogAT - number series, classification, etc. And, according to the PBS Frontline discussion, "Each candidate received a practice booklet with samples of all tests one week before the examination to become familiar with the tests." It was an IQ test developed for the Army, and later used for scholarship opportunities at Harvard. "[Harvard President] Conant liked the test because he thought it measured pure intelligence, regardless of the quality of the taker's high school education."

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/sats/where/1926.html

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/sats/where/history.html

Anonymous said...

Most people consider cheating on a test to be breaking the rules. In fact, several Seattle area private schools clearly state that if a student has been found to prep for certain entrance exams, they will be disqualified. That’s not the case with Seattle Public Schools and the CoGAT; it is not against the rules to take a practice CoGAT and Seattle Public Schools will not disqualify a student for having done so.

Twenty years ago before the Internet, things were different. But today, to call taking a practice test “cheating” when even the author of the CoGAT advocates doing so is nonsensical.

I’ve had this discussion with the Advanced Learning department and they are well aware of the problem. Personally, I’ve encouraged them to provide free practice as soon as possible because current policy is prejudicial against the economically disadvantaged who can’t afford to buy the practice materials. I believe they are well-intentioned and want to provide equal access. But at this point, it’s a district problem.

Those that don’t like the current situation should show up at an HCC advisory meeting and do something constructive about it, or otherwise direct their concerns to district leadership. In the meantime, another great resource for verbal and non-verbal reasoning is the series called “Building Thinking Skills” by the Critical Thinking Company. It’s available online or you can check it out at the Math-n-Stuff store in Seattle.

Anonymous said...

To Anon at 11:16:

What Seattle private schools dq people for prepping for entrance exams?

Both the ISEE and SSAT, and all the private schools that require one of them that our family knows, encourage taking practice tests. The ISEE and SSAT actually make a fair amount of money selling their practice booklets and the schools put on their websites that test-takers should practice under timed test conditions and be familiar with the tests.

-- Took it

Anonymous said...

To Anon at 11:16:

Oh, maybe you meant private elem schools were against practicing?

I was talking about MS/HS entrance exams.

-- Took It

Anonymous said...

PSAT. Not cheating.

Testing more than 1 year?

K was dreadfully boring for my kid.

You need reading and math advancement for APP.

Not Cheating.

Allison Ellis said...

*Looking to speak with IB students & families*

Hello-
I am a parent of an incoming 3rd grader at Cascadia @ Lincoln, and also a freelance writer working on upcoming feature story for the Seattle Times'"On Course" education section. It's all about the ins & outs of IB - how does the program work, what should parents and students know ahead of time, what are some common misconceptions, etc.

I'm looking to speak with students who are currently enrolled in the program, and also a few parents. Interested? Contact me at allison@allisonellis.com or 206-240-7159. Please feel free to forward this on. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

@ Allison Ellis, are you talking about IB, IBX or both? You're likely to get mostly IB parents on this blog...

Allison Ellis said...

Thanks for clarifying. Right now the focus is just on IB.

Again- feel free to pass this message on. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

JAMS families - is math club part of YMCA afterschool enrichment? There is a "mathletes" class listed in the Fall program. Is this the competitive math club for JAMS, or is there another club in addition to the YMCA class?

Benjamin Leis said...

This hasn't been getting much attention from the media but we're on the cusp of a teacher strike.

http://www.komonews.com/news/local/Seattle-teachers-prepare-to-picket-as-threat-of-strike-looms-323860651.html

We'll find out tomorrow and I'll setup a thread if something comes to pass.

Anonymous said...

Wondering if any Garfield parents have advice about kids at GHS being denied Spanish. Our freshman didn't get it and was told not to bother with a change form because the class was full. We submitted a form anyway. The other language choices don't make any sense to us in the modern world (yes, we know Latin is great here, but we're not wanting four years of it, and we understand colleges expect four years of foreign language, preferably the same language). I know that kids didn't get Spanish 1 or Spanish 2, so apparently they are oversold at both levels. Seems like they are chronically short in this department from what I have heard. How is this acceptable for kids who are tracking from an "international" middle school and who have already been studying the language?

-- Por favor

Anonymous said...

Following up on por favor's comment, we've now been informed that two of our three children attending Garfield in the HCC program will not be able to take Spanish because the classes are full. Is anyone else facing this problem? This seems problematic for an HCC program.

Anonymous said...

The full classes are an SPS issue and yes, it's a problem, but not HCC specific. All kids at SPS high schools should be able to continue their language progression. Access to Spanish teachers seems to remain a particular problem. Are you new to SPS? This sounds like the typical rude awakening. Welcome. On the bright side, they will learn how to be resilient & flexible - in spades.

- South End

Anonymous said...

As a GHS Senior parent - I understand your frustration with the Spanish placements. Apparently this year was particularly bad with the majority of freshman not receiving their language choice. The freshman class is HUGE -- we have heard 525+ - so that is likely one of the reasons. I haven't heard that we lost a Spanish teacher, so not sure what else the issue might be.

FYI - our kid decided not to take AP Spanish this year because she really couldn't stomach another year with a particular teacher so she is heading into college with three years of language (not including middle school) and not finishing out the highest level. Her sanity was worth more to her than the painful year of AP Spanish. The majority of colleges just want 3 years of language - even the most competitive schools - so unless your child is planning on majoring in a language I don't believe that it will really hurt them with regard to college apps based on the conversations that we have had with admission counselors.

GHS will be packed to the gills this year - as we graduated about 400+ seniors and are fitting in 500+ freshman - so it will be an interesting year. Next year will be even worse as we have heard that the class of 2020 will also be 500++ and the current senior class is only 375.

That being said - welcome to GHS - it really is a great place for the kids to experience a very well-rounded public education. We are excited about the next step for our senior and have to say that a big reason for that is the feeling that she is 200% prepared for college coming out of Garfield.

GHS Parent







Anonymous said...

This freshman class is the first of the really huge APP classes at Hamilton (and Washington and Jane Adams), all of those APP students having preferential access to Garfield. Before the split, the APP classes coming out of Washington had 100-125 kids entering Garfield, for years. Those numbers are much higher now, reflecting the growth of APP. Garfield has room for 1600. Two entering classes over 500 students is going to max the place out of control. Something will have to give.

Historian

Anonymous said...

Thank you GHS Parent for that advice. We learned today that not only is Spanish full, but also Latin and French. So the only option for a world language is Japanese. We are now considering the online courses approved by OSPI; if anyone has advice about that path, I would be interested.

South End- We have been in the SPS with several kids for a combined total of 35 school years, and our kids didn't always get the choices they wanted. In fact, one of the reasons we are struggling now is because the middle school also denied our kids their requested language classes when they were too full. Your comment was not helpful and offered none of the advice we were seeking. We are looking for practical approaches to this chronic, and now also severe and widespread, problem.

- Por favor

Lynn said...

Why isn't Ted Howard hiring another Spanish teacher (or two?)

Unknown said...

por favor, can you clarify? You said kid is coming out of an "international school" but is looking at Spanish 1 ( or 2)? That's no different than a WMS or JAMS grad I believe? Ingraham may have been a better fit for language if that was a priority since they accomodate HC and non HC kids from Hamilton. You chose Garfield so language wasn't your priority I guessing. It is nice to have two or three guaranteed HS seats, but even so, we can't have everything.

IBX Watcher

Anonymous said...

I know a super motivated GHS student who opted to complete the 3 years of language at Seattle Central in one summer. Three 4 week long intensive classes back to back, hours every day. That student wanted to participate in both orchestra and jazz and was highly directed and motivated. Quite exceptional. But it worked and for reasons well beyond completing the language requirements, college acceptances were beyond most students wildest dreams.

Historian

Unknown said...

por favor, can you clarify? You said kid is coming out of an "international school" but is looking at Spanish 1 ( or 2)? That's no different than a WMS or JAMS grad I believe? Ingraham may have been a better fit for language if that was a priority since they accomodate HC and non HC kids from Hamilton. You chose Garfield so language wasn't your priority I guessing. It is nice to have two or three guaranteed HS seats, but even so, we can't have everything.

IBX Watcher

Anonymous said...

The UW also offers summer intensive language classes. Summer classes of all kinds are open to high school students beginning the summer after the 9th grade.

Anonymous said...

For anyone considering UW summer classes next summer, note that the UW summer "A" session starts 6/20, prior to the end of SPS's regular school year (last day 6/23, barring any snow days or strike rescheduling).

Anonymous said...

For IBX diploma candidates, a student needs to be in the 3rd year of a world language by sophomore year in order to take an IB world language junior year. This means continuing with the language started in middle school, or taking a summer intensive. Maybe this forces an appropriate language placement (but you may have to be more flexible on your 2nd elective, even if it means no music), whereas Garfield has no such requirements. On the other hand, class options are generally more limited on the IB pathway. More options at Garfield, but fewer guarantees, vs fewer options at Ingraham, but perhaps better likelihood of getting requested classes.

That said, world language is a basic requirement for college admission. To not provide a pathway for 3-4 years of the same world language, at any high school, especially for Spanish, does not seem like something with which students should just have to "deal." We've dealt with a lot of @#$% in this district, so our expectations have truly lowered, but come on, are you seriously chiding a parent for expecting a high school would provide world language? Seriously?

-new low

Anonymous said...

It's not a new low, it's an old low at Garfield. Our son, now graduated from college, was part of a very large freshman class at GHS back in 2007 when Garfield was at Lincoln for the remodel. Spanish was full, he had to choose between Latin and Japanese. He chose Latin, hated it, and switched to Japanese sophomore year. Same story. Nearly 10 years later.

Historian

Anonymous said...

And then there was the year, I think 2009, that they cancelled French. All the kids who had been taking French were left high and dry. After much parent lobbying, French was reinstated the following year, but it left every French student with only 3 years of French who had suffered through the year of no French. Go Bulldogs. I guess it does build resilience.

Old low.

Historian

Anonymous said...

World Languages take a hit in the school budget process because it is not technically a high school graduation requirement. It's always on the chopping block for that reason. Schools can't just hire 2 more Spanish teachers when they are at their FTE capacity. They have to have enough math, science, LA, history and PE teachers (mostly - though I know some kids that had to do US history at Seattle Central one year because the Garfield classes were full).

Historian

Anonymous said...

Historian, that is the message we're picking up. It's disappointing to see a supposed HCC pathway high school not adequately addressing college admissions issues; these are kids that are clearly going to have their eyes on college prep. It's doubly disappointing because it has been such a perennial issue. I went to public school, my parents were both professional educators, and I really want to support SPS, but this is the first time I've thought we might have been better off private.

Disappointed

P.S. Thanks for all of the comments about alternative learning opportunities.

Anonymous said...

How about a new thread on scheduling at GHS and IHS?

-please

Anonymous said...

"these are kids that are clearly going to have their eyes on college prep"

As opposed to which other kids? The non-HCC kids at Garfield or the non-HCC kids in the whole rest of the district. This kind of elitist and condescending crap makes all HC families look like jerks.

Donald

Benjamin Leis said...

Ok - I setup a new thread for discussing the course selection at the high schools.

Anonymous said...

It's maddening to hear the District negotiating for a longer school day when the need for more teachers and more classrooms is so great.

Anonymous said...

I agree that the wording "disappointed" is using is troublesome. This is an HCC blog, but all parents are free to read it and care should be taken to think about how things sound.

Garfield and Ingraham are pathway schools for HCC kids but those kids do not, and should not, get priority over kids not in the program. Every 9th grader, regardless of program, should be able to continue their Spanish classes in high school. I am amazed and sad that Garfield is unable to meet the needs of something so basic. This school district is so poorly managed.

-rover

Natalie Singer-Velush said...

Is there anyone here who understands what is happening next year to some of/all of the Spectrum sites? My 3rd-grade daughter is enrolled in Whittier Spectrum, qualified APP/HCC. I have heard our principal is closing the Spectrum program next year, even for students mid-stream. I have had a hard time getting information over the past couple of years, and I need to understand what my choices will be. Last year we implemented a walk-to-math program. If Spectrum is killed, I am wondering 1) How will my then-fourth-grader learn fifth-grade math, or will she be repeating curriculum (fourth grade, what she'll be doing this year); 2) If there is no more Spectrum for her to be enrolled in, I don't believe we'll be able to move her to APP/HCC Hamilton for sixth (our reference school is Whitman). Does anyone know what is happening more broadly or site-specifically for these kids?