Friday, December 18, 2015

Ingraham IBX Program News

IBX update from Ingraham High School

The Ingraham community has been discussing program changes centered on what we can do to meet a wider range of HCC students. We are happy to report that beginning with the next incoming 9th grade class Ingraham is expanding the program to include the following: 
- The IBX program will still be at Ingraham in its current form as an opt-in program.
- We are adding a 4 year option for those that would be better served by a 4 year option.
- Students will be able to decide in their 9th grade year the option that is best for them.
This is a continuation of Ingraham’s mission to provide flexible options for students. If you have any questions, please email me at

Martin Floe
Ingraham High School

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Official 6th Grade Math Placement Policy

Here is the text I finally received. This is not up on the web site yet but will be there soon. 

  • This is generally an improvement for HCC students going to Algebra over being required to take a test at the district headquarters or using 4th grade data,
  • I'm not sure if this is a change for kids coming from an ALO school and if they used to be able to opt up 2 years for instance and go straight to Math 8.
  • The language on scheduling discretion may be a codification of what has been happening (see McClure Middle School) but it would be nice to see a stronger guarantee of a pathway.
  • I'd prefer more outreach to families and an official policy rather than text on the website and an informal situation.

"Due to some changes in testing, the current middle school math placement plan has been reconsidered. All SPS students will be recommended to take the next math course in sequence in grade 6. That is, if a student was taught grade 6 standards in grade 5, the student will be recommended for grade 7 as a sixth-grader. The math program manager will work with the elementary schools to identify the current standards being taught to grade 5 students so the middle schools know what math course is next for students. In an effort to reduce barriers to advanced courses, the option for students to “opt up” of one course beyond the next in sequence will remain. Families will be guided to make this decision based on:
·         Standards mastered
·         The student’s willingness to be challenged and perhaps even frustrated in a course that is well beyond the next in sequence
Ultimate placement decisions remain the right and responsibility of the middle school and may be made based on a variety of factors at that school"

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Tour Information + a Testing Update

Testing Update

This is from the AL Office:

Two testing dates have been added. Two additional Saturdays have been added to the Advanced Learning Eligibility Testing schedule: Jan. 9 and 16. Both of these will take place at Thurgood Marshall ES. Our original testing make-up date, Jan. 23 at Cascadia@Lincoln, will still occur for families who were unable to attend earlier testing dates. 

If you have not heard from Advanced Learning regarding a testing date by Wednesday, Jan. 6, please contact us at

No changes are planned for the Appeals Process during the current testing cycle. We have heard that some families are confused because updates have been proposed to the Superintendent Procedures 2190, Highly Capable Services and Advanced Learning Programs. If finalized, these changes were intended to take effect during next year's testing cycle - not this one. Regardless, for now the action has been postponed to allow new board members time to transition. The updates had been scheduled for presentation at the Dec. 14 Curriculum & Instruction Policy Committee meeting, but we now anticipate reintroducing the updates in February.

School Tours

I also received this update from the HCS Advisory group:

Below is a list of information about Highly Capable Cohort sites/pathway schools for 2016. This list includes the information we have so far. Please consult the individual schools or websites for additional information. (Sorry some dates have already passed by)
Thurgood Marshall Elementary 
Principal Katie May and the Thurgood Marshall PTA will be hosting school information sessions and tours on the following days.  Except where noted below, they will begin with an information session with Principal May, followed by tours guided by PTA volunteers.  Tours will conclude at 10 am with a brief group Q&A session.
Please check in at the Main Office when you arrive and proceed to the Library on the second floor.  No RSVP is necessary. 
Tuesday, January 13, 9:15 am - Tour Only
Thursday, February 12, 8:45 am
Monday, February 23, 5:30 pm HCC Information Session, 6:30 School Tour (classroom observation not available), 7-7:30 General Information Session
Thursday, March 5, 8:45 am
Wednesday, May 20, 8:45 am

Washington Middle School

Evening Information Sessions:
Thursday, December 3, 6:30-8:00 pm OR
Thursday, February 116:30-8:00 pm

Location:  Washington Middle School's Cafeteria

School Day Tours:
Friday, December 117:45-9:15 am OR

Friday, February 197:45-9:15 am

Location:  Meet in Washington Middle School's Cafeteria

Tours and Info Sessions are open to all 4th and 5th grade parents and students. 
Please contact Bridget Backschies ( or Tasha Irvine ( with any questions.
Jane Addams Middle School

Tour for prospective parents and student
February 11, 6:30 pm

Garfield High School

Tuesday, January 26 and Thursday, January 28, 20169:00-9:45 meet in the QJA (preferably) or the Gym (if necessary); 
9:45-10:30 – building tours
Thursday, February 11, 20166:00-8:00 – presentation in the Commons followed by self-guided tours with ASB/Link Leader support (department heads and program staff)
Ingraham High School
Shadow Visits will begin on Dec 1st - until February 25th, we will shadow on Tuesday, Weds and Thursdays from 7:50 AM - 11:55 AM. Parents can call to register their student for a shadow visit beginning on Nov 23rd - 206-252-3889 - Maria Medina
Ingraham Open House 2016 for incoming students 
February 3rd – 7:00 PM – Ingraham Auditorium
This is a general information night open to everyone - Mr. Floe/Principal and the Ingraham Staff will answer any questions about academics, sports, clubs and student life at Ingraham. 

Ingraham High School IB Information Night 
February 10th – 7:00 PM – Ingraham Library
This is an information night for parents and students going into the IB Program. 

Ingraham High School Day Time Tours 
February 3rd – 8:00 AM – 9:30AM
Tour begins in the school Auditorium - parents must accompany students on the tour

Ingraham High School Day Time Tours 
February 10th 8:00 AM – 9:30 AM
Tour begins in the school Auditorium - parents must accompany students on the tour

Questions? Call the Main Office #206-252-3889All tours are for parents and students. No need to RSVP for tours or the night open houses. 

KUOW in the process of writing a piece on minorities and AL programs

I'm looking for families of color who have considered - or enrolled in - gifted/highly capable programs in Seattle Public Schools. I'm working on a story for KUOW Public Radio about the reasons behind the lack of diversity in the district's gifted classes, and I'd like to hear your experiences. Email - and feel free to share this request with anyone you know! Thanks so much

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

December Open Thread

I'm home from the latest HCS  Advisory Committee meeting and have more notes than I expected to transcribe for a later entry. In the meanwhile its time for a new monthly open thread.

  • It sounds like the math placement policy is out. I have not seen all the details yet but talking with  one of the teacher's tonight it sounds like there is an automatic placement to 8th grade math and with a parents opt-in and teacher approval you can access sixth grade algebra. I'm still waiting to find out how skips would work for advanced learners in non-HCC schools. I'll update once I find out clarifications.
  • I will mention 2 highlights from tonight. The appeals process changes are postponed for this year.  Also for those awaiting the final step of the testing process, the K-2 second part will occur in January.
What's on your minds?