Monday, November 2, 2015

November Open Thread

Call To Action

  1. Don't forget to vote on the school board candidates by tomorrow.
  2. Please read the previous post:  about the surprise assignment plan changes that were proposed on Friday. If you agree that this is not good policy, write to the school board as soon as possible before the Wed. board meeting.
  3. The next HCC advisory committee meeting is 6:30 tomorrow Tue. 11/3 at Lincoln .


I've been following this blog for a while. Mike is this amazing father who has been home schooling his sons in math up until this year. Now they are back in school and he is enriching after hours. I can't imagine finding the time to produce so much interesting material.

Summer Math Camp:
Information on the upcoming summer Epsilon camp is now out.   This is for ages 7-12 and will be at Washington University in St. Louis from 7/24-8/7.  I haven't met anyone yet from our area who has gone but  this has a great reputation.

Since its been several months since I took over I thought that I would ask if If there's any direction you'd like to see the blog going.  Otherwise as always feel free to discuss anything that's on your mind.


3 in APP said...

Thanks Benjamin doing a great job.

Benjamin Leis said...

Here's some early election results:

Seattle School District No. 1 Director District No. 1
(Precincts ( 963/ 963 ) 100.00
Michael Christophersen NP 24825 33.65%
Scott S. Pinkham NP 48597 65.87%
Write-in NP 355 0.48%

Seattle School District No. 1 Director District No. 2
(Precincts ( 963/ 963 ) 100.00
Laura Obara Gramer NP 15480 20.72%
Rick Burke NP 58982 78.96%
Write-in NP 241 0.32%

Seattle School District No. 1 Director District No. 3
(Precincts ( 963/ 963 ) 100.00
Jill Geary NP 44392 59.43%
Lauren McGuire NP 30041 40.22%
Write-in NP 265 0.35%

Seattle School District No. 1 Director District No. 6
(Precincts ( 963/ 963 ) 100.00
Leslie Harris NP 55538 74.51%
Marty McLaren NP 18744 25.15%
Write-in NP 255 0.34%

Anonymous said...

Not seeing any friends of HCC on that list.
Looks like more of the same for our community.

HCC dad

Anonymous said...

Has anyone had success finding out the answers to these questions about the new K-2 qualification process?
1. When will K-2 students receive notice of their screener score?
2. At what point in the process will students be removed from the testing pathway? A) will students with high screener scores but non-qualifying MAP scores (<95%) still be allowed to take the full Cogat? B) will students with non-qualifying screener scores be notified of their scores with time/opportunity to appeal for the chance to take the full Cogat?

Benjamin Leis said...

I actually chatted with Stephen Martin a bit about this on Tuesday. They're not super organized but it sounds like the second round won't start including notification about scores until all of the first round testing is finished. So that works out to a few months away from now.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Benjamin. Given the scheduling issues with the first round of testing, and with the new appeal process, I am anxious about the mess we'll encounter in February.
I still am wondering about the second questions, as there are several different scenarios for appeal that I can imagine for the K-2 students.


Laurie Clark Klavins said...

Hi 2e families,

At our upcoming November meeting (Monday November 9, 2015, 7:30PM, at the Lincoln High School library in Wallingford), we will be airing the new documentary film *2e: Twice Exceptional* by Tom Ropelewski.

2e: Twice Exceptional "follows the personal journeys of a unique group of high school students in Los Angeles who have been identified as “twice exceptional” – gifted or highly gifted individuals with learning disabilities or differences. They are geniuses, mavericks and dreamers – Malcolm Gladwell’s budding “outliers.” Featuring illuminating and thought-provoking interviews with students, parents, teachers, psychologists and therapists, 2e: Twice Exceptional is produced and directed by Thomas Ropelewski (Child of Giants: My Journey with Maynard Dixon and Dorothea Lange)."

The film will begin at 7:30 PM. It is about an hour long, which should give us a little time to debrief/share our ideas about it afterward. If you are planning on coming please send me a return email to that effect--that will help me know how many chairs to round up.

Hope to see you there!

Laurie Clark Klavins
2e Parent Support Group leader

Anonymous said...

Regarding K-2 qualification, does anyone know who is responsible for the timing of MAP scores being posted on the Source? In our experience it's been everything from the same week they were taken, up to two months later. When it takes longer, is it schools holding them up, individual teachers, or the district?

It's been over a month since my youngest child was tested and no scores.

Benjamin Leis said...

This was forwarded to me:

Tuesday, November 10
Magnolia Library, Seattle
* Resources and Issues * Teens and Parents

We want to listen to you, what are your experiences and
struggles with giftedness and LGBTQ? Please RSVP or direct any questions to

Exploring Our Options said...

Does anyone know how to homeschool for middle-school math and opt back into APP math for 7th grade? I've been reading the old posts from 2011, 2012 and 2013 and they are not encouraging. Is there any current policy about End-of-Course or MAP (I mean SBAC) test scores and how a homeschooling parent can get access to them to measure progress?


Anonymous said...

For part-time homeschooling, I would talk to the principal at your school, but go in with a clear plan. Are you homeschooling for pre-algebra, then enrolling in Algebra the following year? That is the typical APP/HCC math pathway, so it should not be too much of an issue. As I understand the law: public schools are required to treat homeschoolers as they would private school students when it comes to enrollment and course placement (high school is a little different, because you are dealing with HS credit, but this is middle school, so somewhat more straightforward). You, as the teacher, recommend the 7th grade math placement, and if the course is available, your child should be able to enroll in Algebra for 7th grade. The school has the right to recommend another placement should your child not perform up to standard in the assigned class. The proof of competency should be in the student's performance once they are re-enrolled in math at school. Your child will be required to take a standardized math test, during the homeschool year, which could be the SBAC, but that wouldn't tell the school much about above grade level work. The state no longer administers the Algebra or Geometry EOCs to middle schoolers.

I think they required test scores in years past, but that was actually not allowed under state law. For enrollment, they can't require something of homeschoolers that wouldn't be required of private school students. Private school students wouldn't have taken the EOCs or state assessments. It was mostly an issue for students wanting to accelerate beyond the APP math pathway and take Algebra in 6th grade. It seems HCC schools are now allowing 6th graders to take Algebra (it was not always the case), so I'm not sure this is much of an issue any more.

If your child is enrolled in other HCC classes, they retain their HCC status. Part-time homeschooling does not change that. They may come up with a new math placement matrix, with some new hurdles, so that would be the unknown. Also, it's good to notify your school registrar of the plan in spring so you can request a schedule with an early release or late start.

Benjamin Leis said...

I've made some layout changes.

Added: the most recent comments (to hopefully get more answers to questions)
An event calendar.

Slighly widened the display so this all shows up.

Removed: The folowers list.

Exploring Our Options said...

Thanks, Anon, I'll look into it!

Anonymous said...

Anybody care to comment on Roosevelt High School for gifted kids? Compared to the IB program at Ingraham? Thanks.

--Maze Runner

Anonymous said...

Do all HCC get invited to apply to UW's early entrance program?
Anyone here with experience with it?


Benjamin Leis said...

After my periodic inquiry with the district Mathematics department, I've been told the new sixth grade placement policy will be out next week. Although this already past the first deadline I was given so we'll just have to see.

Anonymous said...

UW Robinson Center started doing outreach to HCC a couple years ago, I think. Not sure if it's to all or just some, but I don't think it's unusual to get the letter. If you're intrigued, definitely go to the relevant informational session. They have two programs--one that allows you to start college after 10th grade, another that substitutes a year of Transition School for all of high school. They are great options, for the right kid.

One of my kids did Transition School recently and is now a full time UW student. For this kid, high school was going to be miserably easy and boring. HS was also going to be a logistical challenge, involving a mix of HS and college courses to get the appropriate levels. Early entrance provided quicker access to college level work, and perhaps more importantly, academic peers. But be warned--that Transition School year is a killer. Much harder than typical undergrad classes. Lots of stress, little sleep. And there are no guarantees, either--of the 16 that started in my kid's cohort, only 12 made it all the way through and moved on to UW. You have to very committed to this very alternative experience.

Anonymous said...

The Transition School/ Early Entrance Program is once again considering applicants from the Seattle area and far afield to join the long legacy of the program, which has been providing young students with University-level learning opportunities since 1977.
How it works, in a nutshell:
Students in 7th or 8th grade (or between 12 and 14 years old) submit an online application, which lets the Robinson Center know you’re collecting the required materials to be considered for a TS interview. Once your ACT scores, transcripts, and teacher recommendations are submitted, the review committee will let you know if you qualify for an interview. Around 16 of the interviewed candidates will be welcomed to the Transition School, where they will hone their skills for one year before joining the University of Washington’s freshman class.

Eager for all the details of the Transition School and Early Entrance Program? Visit the Transition School page and come to one of our Winter Information Sessions, to be held December 1 and January 7, 6:30-8:00 PM in Foege Auditorium 060.

Have questions? Email us at or call 206-543-4160.

Important Dates:
December 1: TS/EEP Information Session (FULL)
January 7: TS/EEP Information Session (RSVP now)
February 12: Early Decision Application Materials Due
March 21: ALL Application Materials Due
Early Decision Letter Mailed
June 10: Acceptance Letters Mailed

Anonymous said...

The University of Washington’s Academy for Young Scholars is a competitive early entrance program for highly capable and motivated high school students. A select cohort of approximately 35 students is admitted to the Academy each year, becoming a part of the Robinson Center’s vibrant early entrance community. Students apply to the Academy during the 10th grade, and if accepted, withdraw from high school at the end of the school year and enroll as full time UW freshmen in Fall.

Eager to learn all about the UW Academy? Check out the UW Academy page under the Programs tab of our website. Additionally, come to one of our Information Sessions, to be held November 17th and January 14th, 6:30-8:00 PM in Foege Auditorium 060 on the UW Seattle campus. (Click here for a map of the building.) We are also holding an Off-Campus Info Session on December 5th, 1:00-3:00 PM at Franklin High School in South Seattle.

Questions? Email us at or call 206-543-4160.

Important Dates:
November 17th: UW Academy Info Session (RSVP here)
December 5th: UW Academy Info Session (RSVP here)
December 28th: The deadline to register for the January 23rd SAT test date, The latest date to take the SAT to be considered for 2016 Admission to the Academy
January 8th: The deadline to register for the February 6th ACT test date, The latest date to take the ACT to be considered for 2016 Admission to the Academy
January 14th: UW Academy Info Session (RSVP here)
March 10th: Complete Applications due to the Robinson Center by 4:30pm
April 22nd: Decision letters mailed to all applicants

Benjamin Leis said...

Added a link to the Epsilon Summer Math Camp onto the post.

Anonymous said...

Thanks B. Leis for moderating.

Can we get an open thread on JAMS HCC soon? Cascadia fifth graders will be heading to middle school soon and I'd like to know what to expect. (I have an older child but he wasn't in the APP/HCC track.)

Specifically now that students have been at JAMS for over a year, how is it going for kids? What are strengths and challenges? Is there a good advisory program? Is there fun and social time? What, if any, discipline problems are there at the school?

Is the principal getting enough support that she'll stay in the role? (20% of Seattle Schools principals leave the district each year. Difficult job b/c principals must abide by rigid District policies and budgets while trying to make the school great.)


Middle School Bound

Benjamin Leis said...

From the SPS website:

This is an important update for families who referred a child for Advanced Learning by the Oct. 8 deadline:

Some families have encountered difficulties with the test scheduling process this fall. A testing calendar – by school – was posted to the Advanced Learning Testing page in October. Families initially were told to plan ahead for those dates, and indeed, most families received or will receive an emailed reminder by the Wednesday before their school’s designated Saturday testing date – confirming time, date and location.

However, shortly after the Advanced Learning Office posted the calendar, staff learned that an existing district database that had been expected to aid scheduling could not be used. As a result, staffers were required to create a new database, entering all referral forms by hand. This unanticipated process has caused some scheduling delays. Additionally, a district server glitch inadvertently blocked a number of notification emails before the first October testing date. For these reasons, not all families could receive the email notification of their school’s testing date in time.

If this is the case for your family:

Your child will receive a new test date. Any families missed on their school’s designated testing date will be rescheduled.
Look for an email by Wednesday. When a new date is scheduled for the student, families will receive a reminder email no later than the Wednesday before, listing time, date and location.
Missed rescheduled tests can be made up. We recognize that this is short notice, so please know that if your family has a conflict for any reason, Jan. 23 is the test makeup day for all students. We are committed to ensuring that ALL students referred by the Oct. 8 deadline are tested.
Also, please know that the deadline to receive Teacher Rating Scale Forms has been significantly extended due to the database-related delay. Families do not need to contact teachers; Advanced Learning staff will send forms to teachers for each referred student.

Anonymous said...

Benjamin, do you know if Saturday sessions will be scheduled for K-2 students who need to take the full Cogat? At the testing, AL staff said that K-2 students would receive results in the mail at the end of Feb, but I was unclear if that meant just the screener results, or if families would be notified of further testing before that (either at school or on a Saturday).

K-2 mom

Benjamin Leis said...

Thanks for the tip from another parent I added a calendar entry for:

EDx Rainier, Sat. 11/21, Dan Finkel at math4love

The TEDx talk is this Saturday, 11/21! The event is sold out, but you can see it live at here.
Dan is number 7, and should be starting his talk sometime between 11 and 11:15 on Saturday.

Dan is really great, if you're interested math this would be worth trying to watch.

Lynn said...

The most recent Friday Memo includes an update on the advanced learning office's efforts to reduce disproportionality, the testing delay, math placement process, and middle school math adoption.