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?

54 comments :

Anonymous said...



Very helpful information and welcome news. Thanks BL!


-Do it

Lynn said...

What is the reason for postponing the change to the appeals process?

There are several statements on the AL webpage that conflict with the published procedures (and with the plan filed with the state.) Was there any discussion of postponing these other changes?

Anonymous said...

Is the district now requiring all HCC students to do all district testing or lose HCC eligibility? This page seems to say that: http://sps.ss8.sharpschool.com/cms/One.aspx?portalId=627&pageId=1560872 (under the chart and at the bottom of the page)

I saw this being discussed on the Seattle Schools Community forum https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=28765366&postID=7855994750839805944&bpli=1

This needs to be clarified.

Momof2

Benjamin Leis said...

@Momof2 - I'm fairly sure based on the proposed actual policy, some conversations as well as my reading of the statement "Advanced Learning eligibility." that we're talking about eligibility for admittance to the program and not continued status. Three things to consider here. 1. This is part of the postponed policy that hasn't been updated yet on the website to match the current status (so its nonbinding this year). 2. Its the actual policy that matters and its clearer. 3. Definitely send mail to advanced learning to have them clarify there website pages and/or the board members about any feedback you have on the policy changes.

Mirnada said...

I hope the community here doesn't mind my posting. We're relocating our family to Seattle soon, and I've become overwhelmed trying to learn about the Seattle public schools (after just almost comprehending Boston schools). I've managed to learn about HCC, Spectrum, and ALO (but I still don't quite understand the distinction between Spectrum and ALO). I also found out about Cascadia @ Lincoln.

My question is this: has anyone had good experiences firsthand - or heard good things - about any of the public school ALO offerings in Seattle proper? My son is only 3, shows signs of being gifted - or advanced, but it's of course too soon to say that a place like Lincoln will be a good fit or that he'd test in. I've read that many public schools have ALO offerings on paper, but that in reality there's not much offered to gifted children. Are there any schools that do this well? Do you know of any public schools you'd recommend for a strong-willed, independent, curious, engineer in the making?

I'm grateful for any help you can offer.

Thanks,

Miranda, who's clocked in a LOT of hours online lately researching schools.

Anonymous said...

Miranda-

I think it's very hard to respond to your question because you have no idea what part of the city you will live in. The housing market here is nuts, so even if you pick a school, you might not be able to buy a house in that school's area. The majority of public schools here have very strict geographic zones, so you don't get much choice. Your address dictates your school, except there is an option school in each area, which may or may not be a good fit for your specific kid, and your kid is not guaranteed access. Some option schools are very popular and in high demand.

Your child is too young now to test for GT (at least this district will not accept results of testing of a three year old because the results will be too old), so it's not known if HCC is an option.

Generally speaking, ALOs are lame, except for a school here and there. Spectrum will likely be fully dead by the time you enter school. Schools can change so much in two years - principals leave all the time and schools can change drastically, or stay pretty much the same, you don't know.

I hope this helps. I don't mean to be negative, but I am trying to be honest about choice here. We are currently helping a relative of ours move back to the area, so we have been talking a lot about where they should try to live for the best school options for their kids.

-long-timer

Mirnada said...

Long-timer,

I really appreciate your input. I knew that the schools were geographically determined - which is actually an improvement over Boston, where you can't even automatically go to your neighborhood school, but have to enter a lottery. One school I was looking at was West Woodland Elementary. I saw on their site that they at least had a specific description about their ALO offerings, but I guess that doesn't necessarily mean much. I figured many of the ALOs would be kind of lame. Which are the very few that seem less so?

Since we'll be buying in Seattle and have a child too young to test for HCC, I was hoping to tease out which were the least bad options to live near in case HCC doesn't end up being a possibility.

Again, any tips or inside info - negative or not - is greatly appreciated.

Anonymous said...

look at Greenlake area, near John Stanford ES. Which is a language immersion school. Or near beacon hill es if you desire more diversity.


2 cents

Anonymous said...

Beacon has better test scores. ;-)


Ha

Anonymous said...

I have never had a kid at West Woodland, but many HCC kids came from there and/or had siblings there when my kid was in HCC elementary, and families were pretty positive about the school. With the housing market as it is now in Seattle (insane), it can be hard to buy a house in a small area. I know that in my neighborhood houses are selling within days, with multiple offers over asking price.

I can tell you about ALO schools now, but there is no guarantee that it will be the same in two to three years when you need it. Principals are allowed to change their schools at a whim and without notice to the community. The district will not stop the principal from doing this and it has been done. I would personally ignore the ALO designation and look instead at the quality of the school.

If it were me, I would look at NE Seattle (Viewridge, Thornton Creek), Wallingford/Phinney Ridge (West Woodland, language immersion schools MacDonald and John Stanford), Queen Anne (John Hay, Coe, and QA El), Capitol Hill (Topps is popular). I am naming mostly north schools because you mentioned Cascadia, so I am assuming you are looking at north Seattle. I know there are other schools people would recommend, but I am listing ones where I have personally known happy families.

Good Luck.

-long-timer

SPS Mom said...

We've had a really good experience with our APP/HCC qualified child at Hazel Wolf K-8, which is an option school with spectrum. The program will be moving into their new building next Autumn just north of Northgate. Should definitely be available for families in the Jane Addams MS service area. Not sure if it will be linked to the Eagle Staff MS or Eckstein MS service areas in the future. A lot can change in the next couple of years.

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Re Hazel Wolf for Miranda:

It's a limited enrollment (so is Topps and the JS Language Immersion program) b/c it's an option school, so you're not guaranteed enrollment - it's a lottery, basically. Hard to get into these schools at the K/1 level, but then there are often a few openings in later grades for transfers - the schools want to keep full complements of kids for funding. So if you think an option school is a good fit, make sure you also like your neighborhood school or are willing to go for private.

Also - lots of people like Shoreline, as it's a well run district and housing is cheaper. Don't know what the commute destination will be for you - Seattle? Eastside? There are differences in Shoreline elem. schools, just like in Seattle - my hairdresser just switched her kid between 2 Shoreline schools due to a move, and was amazed at the difference (in a positive way), so that's another thing to research.

And yes, forget about Spectrum - the only place in the north that I think still has a real, functioning program is Hazel Wolf. And unfortunately, there's a lot of instability in the HCC/APP Cascadia at Lincoln = it's all the same thing = program. Good program, but like a giant pulsing exploding star - really unstable.

Good luck! Glad I'm coming out the far end, not just starting the school journey.

-- almost done

Mirnada said...

I just want to make sure I understand - can you enter the lottery for a school like Hazel Wolf even if you don't live right next to it? Also, are you guaranteed a spot at an HCC school (or highly likely to get one) if your kid tests into it? Hypothetically speaking, if we looked somewhere around North Seattle proper near West Woodland Elementary, could we enter the lottery for Hazel Wolf even if we weren't right near it?

I really appreciate all the help. Since the schools influence where we want to look for housing, I feel like I need to get on top of things sooner rather than later. The only upside is that we're moving from a neighborhood where the housing has also gone nuts.

Also, it looks from their site like Hazel Wolf keeps moving around (I was surprised to see that several Seattle schools change locations). Do they change regions dramatically - suddenly make it impossible to attend that school?

Thanks again!

Anonymous said...

Very confused about appeals for those testing now. Are we reverting to last year's process? And why? Thank you.

Newly tested

Anonymous said...

I see the need for appeals with private test scores but I think they should stop the practice this year of blindly allowing any private score of 98 to completely override things like teacher recommendations/placements/classroom evidence of achievement. At least in cases free from issues of SES status, ELL, twice exceptional.

Northy

SPS Mom said...

Any family can request HW during open enrollment, but it isn't guaranteed. What you won't get, if you're outside of the middle school service area for a given option school, is transportation provided by the district, so you might be on the hook for transporting your child.

HW will be landing in a permanent site north of Northgate next year. We were moved from the Jane Addams building to make way for a middle school there but needed to be at Marshall as an interim site while the permanent building was built. After Fall 2016, should not have to move again.

Re: Spectrum at HW - it isn't self-contained but there is walk to math (one year ahead, with the possibility of getting 2 years ahead by the end of middle school by condensing 7&8th grade math into one year for students capable - at least that is the current plan - which would allow students to get through geometry in 8th grade).

For the rest of the time, AL students are grouped into homeroom a with at least 4 AL kids, so there is a cohort to whom the teachers can differentiate. That being said, they do try to mix and match kids year-to-year so kids don't have the same classmates every year. Short answer is that class placements have been done very thoughtfully, in my opinion.

Mirnada said...

Thanks so much!

Ok, forgive my extreme ignorance, but north of Northgate is North Seattle - near Pinehurst? On their site, it seemed like HW was now just East of Greenlake. How can they move a school community that far? Am I getting this wrong?

Thank you all so much for your patience and help. I know I'm taking the conversation a bit off-topic. If anyone knows of another site/blog/community where I can learn more about ALO and HCC offerings and the better/more recommended public schools, I'll go there.

Another question - can a student be allowed into HCC or AP tracks for high school if they're coming from a private middle school? One possible coping plan I had was to try public elementary and go to private just for middle school. It seems middle school is when things often get really dicey.

Thanks again!

Anonymous said...

HW moved because their building was needed for a middle school. They are in a temporary building near Greenlake while their building is being built. It should be ready by Fall 2016 at 117th and Pinehurst (Google maps has the construction at street view). As an option school, it can get moved around, although it's being promised this new building for the foreseeable future.

Kids can go from a private middle school to HCC tracks in high school, but there are some limitations to their guaranteed spots if they're not in a HCC program in 8th grade. But in 10 years, that will probably have changed, so check back then.

If a child tests to be eligible for HCC, they are guaranteed a seat in an HCC program.

Hope that helps,
Momof2

Anonymous said...

Many people in Seattle want to put their kids in private for middle school and there are not enough spaces. Public middle schools are really hit and miss here, and there are some pretty bad ones. Private schools are actually very popular in Seattle and they are all full. Ones aimed at "gifted" (Seattle Country Day, Evergreen and Lakeside) all have more applicants than they can take and are very competitive especially Lakeside.

Any kid can take AP classes in high school, no matter their AL status. Entrance to Garfield right now is only guaranteed if you are in HCC in 8th grade. You can currently test into Ingraham HCC for 9th grade for their IB program, but you MUST retest. The district will give you a one-year sabbatical from HCC, but you can't "hold" the status for three years as you attend private school.

All of this will change by the time high school is here for your kid. I understand what you are trying to do, but Seattle schools are going to be hugely overcrowded starting next year and massive changes are coming. I bet Garfield won't even be an option after another year or two. There just won't be the space. You cannot plan out as far as you want to with this district. I would find an elementary school you like and worry about the rest later.

-felicity

Anonymous said...

I agree with felicity. Things are changing so rapidly and any effort we make to answer your specific questions is not really going to serve you by the time your kid is in school. Affluent areas are likely to have high concentrations of HCC kids and therefore those neighborhood schools will at least be somewhat cognizant of advanced learners needs, or at very least you won't be the only one asking. Thus, Queen Anne, NE Seattle (Bryant and View Ridge), etc are going to be the best bet you can make.

Good luck

Anonymous said...

Stevens in Capitol Hill and then Montlake and Madison Park have strong communities and our neighbors with younger kids are pretty happy there. All of these schools have strong contingent of Advanced Learners. Right now, you would have access to the HCC community at Thurgood Marshall if your child tested in, and feedback from that HCC elementary school is much more positive than Lincoln. That being said, these areas are also some of the most expensive to live because they are very central and you don't have to cross a bridge to get downtown so commute time is less and people are willing to pay for that. These are also the areas that naturally feed into Garfield and a large portion of the southend HCC kids live in these communities. They are also opening Meany Middle School as the feeder for these three elementaries. The HCC kids will (right now) still go to Washington, but I foresee either option being a good one for Advanced Learners. I also don't see these areas being written out of the Garfield zone - there isn't any other place to put them other than the Northend and that isn't likely to happen with Northend overcrowding.

-Good Luck!

Anonymous said...

Miranda,

A couple of thoughts:

1) Northeast Seattle in general as others have noted have some very good public elementary schools including Wedgwood, Viewridge, Bryant and Laurelhurst. The middle schools and high schools they feed into are also decent. And there are lots of enrichment, athletic, and summer programs as well as proximity to the UW.

2) Spectrum at Wedgwood means walk-to-math one grade level advanced. As others have noted, Spectrum and ALO very much depend on the principal as Advanced Learning has very little if any say over what the programs at each school entail. Rather, the Advanced Learning department acts like a testing service providing the results to the schools. Historically there were Spectrum self-contained programs which are now mostly all gone which were defined as one year ahead. So that definition for math still lingers.

Anonymous said...

Saw this on saveseattleschools blog. Good reading and interesting comments.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/freedom-learn/201506/how-early-academic-training-retards-intellectual-development

Maureen said...

Interesting that posters all seem to be reading Mirada as Miranda. I would be interested to know if s/he is most interested in academic challenge, child directed learning or socio-economic diversity for their child. Also price point for a house (guessing >700k from Boston.)

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 8:33pm

Fantastic article. What a breath of fresh air!

S Dad

Maureen said...

Aack I missed an n myself! I'm not blaming autocorrect, just old eyes and small phone!

Mirnada said...

I signed my original post as "Miranda", but my google sign-off is "Mirnada". Either is fine.

I'm interested in academic challenge, most specifically differentiation in the classroom. I would prefer a diverse environment for my child, but my primary interest is that my kids be stimulated and excited by school and not become bored. My son especially is a combination of bright, strong-willed, and very independent. My concern is that, in a large class where he's not engaged and interested, he'll quickly become a bad kid and will learn to dislike school. My parents sent me to public schools in LA just after busing was started. They were passionate believers in public school and diversity, but I think naive about what the reality of the education would be like. If possible, I'd like my kids to be engaged, interested, and challenged, without growing-up feeling that they are special. A pipe dream, right?

I imagine that 700 is about our cap, but we don't know for sure yet. We can rent for awhile while we wait and watch for the right place. So, we're not in a place to be able to afford ANY private school or neighborhood we want, but I'm aware that we have much more choice than many. At least we have SOME control in Seattle, where here in Boston there's no saying what school you'll end up with.

Thanks again for all the help. I really appreciate you all taking the time. I was curious about what schools were thought of as "good" even when the test scores didn't look so great. I know a lot goes into making a functional, thriving school environment.

Spruiter said...

Hi Mirnada,

Welcome to Seattle!

Regarding option school enrollment, you can opt in from anywhere, but there are a series of tiebreakers that are used for enrollment. The first is sibling - so siblings of currently enrolled students get the first seats. The second is geozone (each school has a geozone identified by the District - you can see the maps on the District website, under the Schools tab). After that, it's a lottery. So if you are interested in a popular option school, if you buy a house within the geozone you'd have a very safe bet of getting a spot. For Hazel Wolf, the geozone goes from Northgate Way to NE 125th, and Lake City Way to I-5. That neighborhood, Pinehurst, is a little more affordable than many parts of NE Seattle, but also has fewer amenities like sidewalks. If you can rent for a little while to get the lay of the land and visit some schools (most offer tours during Jan-March), you can hopefully find a few schools and neighborhoods that feel like they would be a good fit for you.

If you are interested in connecting directly with some Hazel Wolf families, take a look at the school website and facebook page - the website is a bit out of date right now, but has some parent contact info on the PTSA page. The Facebook page has more current info.

I would also, like others have said, caution you against planning any further out than a few years - the one constant in SPS seems to be change, and there is a lot of change on the horizon with new schools opening that has the potential to shuffle boundaries, feeder patterns, etc.

Best of luck with the relocation! It's definitely a different culture here than in Boston, but there are a lot of us East Coast transplants out here!

Anonymous said...

So can someone please clarify...
Can private testing be used to appeal the results of the public tests if necessary?

Thanks

Anonymous said...


yes. the proposed changes have been walked back due to uproar. might resurface next year though I doubt it considering the new board.

Hoping said...

Miranda, a side note with a different opinion.

We live in the University District/Roosevelt area which is also in the McDonald International geozone. Pretty much everyone in the McDonald geozone was able to get a spot at McDonald (including us). However, we decided to send our child to Hazel Wolf for first grade and got off the waitlist in June, even though we don't live in the geozone. There are two different waitlists for regular track and Spectrum, and it seemed like the Spectrum waitlist moved faster although I imagine that changes from year to year.

So far, I have been very disappointed with the level of challenge available to my Spectrum student at HW. The Spectrum designation seems meaningless as far as opportunities in the classroom and our child has basically been repeating the curriculum from his private kindergarten experience.

If I had to do things again, I probably would have sent our child to McDonald rather than HW.

-Hoping things will improve next year

NE parent said...

Doesn't the Spectrum designation at Hazel Wolf allow kids to do Walk to Math? (one year ahead) Is that not happening at Hazel Wolf?

SPS Mom said...

Yes, HWK8 does do walk to math one year ahead and it starts with K kids. Some of the older grades walk up to 2 years, but that is being phased out as the younger grades come in (I think the youngest kids to walk up two years are now 4th graders walking to 6th grade math). The kids walking 2 years are going to continue to do so until they age out.

Providing walking 2 years ahead really isn't sustainable in the long run, although the MS teachers and principal have set forth a plan that capable students will be able to do 7th and 8th grade math in one year when they hit MS, so students can still leave HW at 8th having had geometry (2 years ahead). The program is pretty new, and it's a new strategy, but we'll see how it plays out in the next few years.

Anonymous said...

But no, being in Spectrum doesn't get you that, I don't think. It is a separate placement test. I believe at Hazel Wolf what being in Spectrum gets you is being placed in clusters in one of the two classes with other Spectrum kids(or maybe that is just APP, and Spectrum kids are placed in all 3 classes?). Please correct me if I am wrong! I may be, and would like to know.

HW is one of the schools that used to keep an unusually high number of APP kids(along with West Woodland), but now it is more average in terms of retention(also along with West Woodland). Which is to say many kids stay and many kids go. I saw Thornton Creek mentioned as well, and it, too, does not keep nearly as many kids as it used to. But that is actually not really for the same reason as WW and HW (crowding, really; I hear a lot from incoming Lincoln families about the walk to math shift- which I completely understand; advanced learning is more difficult in every school when it fills up. That certainly happened in all the neighborhood schools in the south NE.). Instead, the demographics of TC changed dramatically when the district started using it primarily to deal with crowding in Wedgwood and View Ridge (with the geozone), and those families are more likely to send their kids to Lincoln than to want the specific type of program that TC offers(which is not especially advanced, so there wasn't a lot of advancement to lose through crowding, which it certainly has plenty of. But it is a specific pedagogy).



-sleeper

SPS Mom said...

At HWK8, the make up of kids in each grade band is looked at and distributed accordingly, with no fewer than 4 AL kids into a classroom (so if there are 7 AL kids, they'd all be in the same classroom, but if there are 11 AL kids, the'd be split between two classrooms), so there isn't a rule about AL kids being split among 2 or 3 classrooms - it depends upon the demographics yearly in each grade band. The rule is that the cohort should never go below 4.

There is some effort to keep even those WTM kids grouped by ability so the APP-eligible kids are often kept together as a group, but this hasn't held true consistently. Some of the parents actually asked the school to mix and match a bit more year-to-year so that their kids aren't in class with the same students every year. I feel that the principal, who takes a LOT of input from the teachers, has done a good job at meeting both the academic and interpersonal needs of the kids.

Also, students who haven't tested into AL are still able to walk-to-math if they have the ability to do so. It isn't limited to AL qualified students. The default for spectrum kids is that they would walk to math, but the staff are still assessing the kids on an on-going basis.

Anonymous said...

A compacted 7th/8th grade math class for middle school - which is what 6th grade math used to be for APP - makes sense. It's a means of accelerating without skipping content. It should really be an option for all middle schools as a means of having Algebra in 8th (or 7th), even if those students have not been accelerated in elementary.

Possible math sequences would be:

6th - 6th grade math
7th - Combined 7th/8th
8th - Algebra

or

6th - Combined 7th/8th
7th - Algebra
8th - Geometry

Anonymous said...

Thanks, SPS mom. I heard a parent say their kid qualified for spectrum but was not placed in WTM because of the placement test- could be she did not understand something. (I have had parents tell me their kid is APP qualified when what it turned out they meant was they scored over 95% on one MAP test. Great but not the same, and the rules are so fuzzy you might not know if you weren't actually trying to use the designation for something.)

I know that the rule used to be APP kids were with at least a certain number of other APP kids, so functionally it was never more than 2 classes out of the 3, at last for the APP kids. I would not know if that had changed, nor would I know the Spectrum numbers(would assume they would be bigger) to know if those dictated just some in each class.

Good luck Mirnada- I do think the general advice that this will all be different in 3 years is true.

-sleeper

Anonymous said...

For those of us who haven't gotten a testing date yet, are we testing on January 23rd? How can we know whether we qualify to take the remainder of the Cogat by January, then?

Anonymous said...

I'm wondering how kids who pass the Cogat screener will have time to take the full test and get results by open enrollment. My kiddo just took it a week ago and open enrollment is the last week of February.

Anonymous said...

Cascadia has their 2016 enrollment info up and it looks like evening information sessions only this year -- no school-day tours. Also, it reads like potential students MUST be signed up during Open Enrollment this year.

Cascadia mom

Benjamin Leis said...

Please use an alias especially when asking questions. That makes it much easier for everyone to read.

In general, the AL office thinks it will finish the full cogAT testing for those who passed the screener in time for open enrollment. If that shouldn't happen what has occurred in the past is that parents were advised to signup for the HCC school anyway and then the scores were applied when available.

Anonymous said...

@ Anon at December 8, 2015 at 10:39 AM said:

"A compacted 7th/8th grade math class for middle school...makes sense."

"It should really be an option for all middle schools as a means of having Algebra in 8th (or 7th), even if those students have not been accelerated in elementary."

Now don't go getting all logic-y on us! There's clearly no place for that kind of thinking in SPS scope and sequence or curriculum discussions.

CouldaWouldaShoulda

Anonymous said...

In regards to late assignment to HCC you are directed regardless of appeals or not to enter the HC program in your pathway and if qualified you will get the placement, if not you go to the next choice, or stay put if not looking to change.

app

Anonymous said...

Miranda,

My HCC qualified child had a great experience at Loyal Heights Elementary in NW Ballard. The majority of her teachers did a good job challenging her. She was known as a top student, but she also gained alot of self confidence. She worked one level ahead via the walk to math program. The readers/writers workshop curriculum fostered differentiation as well. We feet quite confident she received a great education and was well prepared for middle school. In fact, she was offered admittance to Lakeside for middle school, but we chose Hamilton HCC instead. Good luck in your search.

Anonymous said...

Anon above - can everyone please use a name? You were able to respond specifically to a comment because they signed with a name.

You must be having a far different experience at HIMS than we did. We couldn't get out of there soon enough (we did not stay for the full three years), and I would NOT recommend it as a good option now. The quality of the education was so low that I don't believe it worth traveling for. If we lived in the area, I would send them to HIMS (what choice would I have?), but I would not take them out of their neighborhood school for it.

Our experience may be different because my child started in APP/HCC in 1st grade, and maybe that explains the differing opinions of the quality of HIMS. We found the elementary HCC experience to be far better than the middle school. My child was bored in most academic classes at HIMS - the music program was great.

I would continue to watch the quality of the HCC program as a whole because the district seems intent on continuing to chip away at it.

-racoon

Lynn said...

There's a Curriculum and Instruction Committee meeting on Monday and I saw something concerning attached to the agenda. It's a list of possible new initiatives for C&I, created by Michael Tolley and Marty McLaren and includes this:

Concerns about 2190 SP (Superintendent Procedure): Is it equitable? (Re 2190: Should we be looking at a model other than the cohort model for Highly Capable students?)

You can find the list on page 30 of the agenda.

Anonymous said...

Well apparently the AL dept has suggested that all comprehensive high schools should become HCC sites for their attendance area, so maybe SPS is going forward with that and wants to officially get rid of language that stresses the importance of the cohort. "Equity" seems to be their rationale for most any decision they want to make. But is it equitable if gen ed kids get to be surrounded by kids working at their level, while AL-qualified kids don't? Looks like they are once again confusing equity with equality.

Apparently a smattering of AP courses in high school will be good enough, even in schools that don't have many HC students. And if the cohort is no longer important in high school, what's to stop them from eliminating it everywhere? Well, aside from capacity, that is. So for HS, capacity will mean we don't need the cohort, whereas for elementary, capacity issues make the moveable cohort a necessity. I wonder which way the wind will blow re: middle school?

DisAPPointed





Anonymous said...

Wait, didn't they already have a committee discuss the cohort model and agree it was the best model to serve HC students? They even changed the name from APP to HCC, Highly Capable Cohort. So they took away the program (APP), and now there are discussion of not having a cohort model? What would be left?

Anonymous said...

I think the thing Lynn posted is from last December (2014). Maybe the dates weren't updated?

I am sure they would like to get rid of the cohort, but they need the cohort to be able to move around MORE at high school than at elementary. As overcrowded as Garfield is, Roosevelt is more so, and couldn't take that number of kids back. Used to be you could just move Hale's boundary down to send more there, but now Hale is full too. No room at any of the inns where the hcc kids come from anymore.

-sleeper

Anonymous said...

Hello
We are moving to Seattle and thinking about HCC for our kids (middle and high school ages). I just read this interesting article in the NYT and was wondering what people in this forum thought about HCC regarding these points, and if HCC is moving towards a less-homework model.
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/03/opinion/sunday/is-the-drive-for-success-making-our-children-sick.html

Thanks!
George

Anonymous said...

Can anyone direct me to SPS's Declaration of Intent to Provide Home-Based Instruction form? I can't seem find it on the district's website. My internet search turned up one for last year, as well as one for this year but that seems to be specific to Cascade Parent Partnership. Isn't there still a generic SPS version, that one would use for part-time homeschooling (1-2 classes) if not going through CPP?

Thanks!

Benjamin Leis said...

@George - Seattle in general is a relatively decentralized district and that goes for the HCC programs at well. Its very rare that you can say the program as a whole is moving in in any direction. Most changes occur at a building by building level. I'd add that while I've not seen a consensus here on the subject of rigor or overworking kids that most vocal concerns have not been about too much work.

Anonymous said...

The "Declaration of Intent" form linked on CPP's site is what you submit - it is the generic SPS version. It gets mailed to Cascade Parent Partnership because they keep the forms on file for the district.

http://cppp.seattleschools.org/cms/one.aspx?portalId=3831&pageId=67729

Just make a note on the form that you are part-time homeschooling for subjects [ ] and [ ]. It's pretty informal. The other requirement is that your child takes an approved, standardized achievement test (or progress is assessed by a certificated person) at some point during the school year. The district administered SBAC would count, as would the SAT.

Anonymous said...

Thanks!