Thursday, January 28, 2016

Choosing between Garfield, Roosevelt and Ingraham for High School

This thread comes from a parent request

Middle school has been an extraordinary experience for my kid (she’s at JAMS) largely because of the extraordinarily mature, talented, and learning-focused cohort of APP kids who surround her.
In choosing a high school, one of our chief aims is to try to continue to live among this very strong and mature cohort of kids. In decades past, this APP cohort, I believe, tended largely to go to Garfield rather than Roosevelt or Ingraham. Is that still true?  Does anyone know where we can find numbers?

For the numbers part of the question, I happen to have data on hand for Roosevelt HC enrollment. It ranges from 25-12 kids per year which is similar to what is occurring at Ballard HS as well. All other non-HCS high schools are generally much lower.  Currently most of the cohort is continuing onto the pathway schools.  *Caveat: this data was not even collected until the last year or so the accuracy is a little bit questionable esp. the 11th and 12th grade numbers.

However, I thought I'd broaden the topic a little and let folks discuss how they are making their high school choices.

82 comments :

Lynn said...

This might be helpful information:

There are 80 HC freshman in Roosevelt's attendance zone - 25 of them are at Roosevelt and the other 55 at other schools. In total there are 241 Roosevelt-zone highly capable high school students. 69 of them attend Roosevelt. There are 66 Roosevelt students at Garfield this year and 153 at Ingraham.

Sources: HCC enrollment data

Annual Enrollment Report (see page 32)

Can we talk about how people are making middle school choices too? There are 35 HCC fifth graders at Fairmount Park and it sounds like Madison is expecting them all to choose Madison over Washington.

Anonymous said...


It might be helpful to leave this a high school post and do middle school in a separate thread. The reason that I say that is - has anyone seen at the Garfield capacity numbers? I heard that Garfield will be nearly 1000 kids over capacity by 2020 (when next year's freshmen are seniors). I'm assuming this will mean a geo-split, right? I assume that also means that 8th graders making decisions should predict that they will be elsewhere (reference school? Lincoln? where?) by senior year. Or am I wrong? The district certainly has no problem pulling kids out of schools midstream (i.e. Hamilton kids and Eckstein kids to JAMS in 7th and 8th grades).

I know that this blog skews younger, but it would be great to hear what people know about the high school situation!

Thanks,

Worried About Things I Can't Control

Anonymous said...

The growing numbers in HCC are very apparent in the HCC enrollment numbers linked in Lynn's post above. The enrollment in this year's 6th and 7th grades are very large. 460 in 6th grade. Not too long ago, presplits, the average APP/HCC class at GHS, the only APP/HCC location, was 125.

Anonymous said...

For those that stayed on the Garfield/Ingraham pathway, the HCC enrollment data linked above shows 60-65% of students have chosen Garfield, 35-40% have chosen Ingraham (past 4 years).

One thing that stood out on the tours so far - the GHS principal was not present to introduce the school during the daytime tour. Disappointing.

(I would add Ballard the list of choices.)

Anonymous said...

Here's the link to to capacity projections that came out in October. It shows Garfield at 2,446 by 2019.

http://sps.ss8.sharpschool.com/UserFiles/Servers/Server_543/File/District/Departments/Enrollment%20Planning/Projections/Five%20Year%20Projections%202015%20to%202019.pdf

Lynn said...

Something I find concerning is that the five year projections show Ingraham's maximum HCC enrollment at 360. If they're really only going to take 90 HCC freshman next year, there could be 245 HCC students coming into Garfield. The outgoing senior class in comparison has only 83.


Anonymous said...

I don't have anything to add to the numbers, but I have a freshman at Ingraham doing pre- IB-- not in IBx, but has a lot of classes with kids in the cohort. Really solid academics. Really great principal that supports advanced learners and who seems to be really accessible and level-headed. Definitely planning on sending my younger kids there, including the HCC qualified one.

Ingraham parent

Anonymous said...

Lynn, I wonder about those Ingraham numbers too. Seems like they should (must) take more. Especially now that they are offering both IBX and IB to HCC students. And the numbers feeding to Garfield are staggering.

I went to the Roosevelt info night tonight and confirmed that HCC students coming in wouldn't have to repeat anything. The principal said "APP students here feel challenged and part of the community." But I also got the impression it's unchartered territory. None of the student speakers had come from HCC. And my question about whether there are enough sections of AP classes for everyone who wants them went unanswered.

Anonymous said...

I would like to bring up one issue at Garfield. My 2e student (ADHD, anxiety, panic disorder) has been very poorly served. The school expects these issues to be dealt with outside of school and we were refused much-needed accommodations. The prevailing attitude here is that the parents of APP kids should not expect the school to provide special supports to their privileged kids.

She has had some really great teachers here and there is a wonderful student community. For a student who has no special needs, I expect it's an excellent school. The trouble is you don't always know when your child is in the eighth grade how their high school years are going to roll out.

We think she will graduate, though it's not a sure thing. We will likely not send our younger kids to Garfield.

Benjamin Leis said...

Editorial note: I obviously don't control which way the conversation turns but I'd prefer to not go off track and discuss the West Seattle Pathways here. I promise I will open other threads on the subject. That said I wonder how many of the prospective Madison MS students are represented here.

Anonymous said...

Garfield is complicated.

It is the most diverse school in the city - so you take the good (exposure to many different cultures/viewpoints, strong Black Student Union, good in-class discussions, 100% student-directed clubs/activities, too many service trips to count, academic and social preparation to hit the ground running at college) with the bad (ineffective administration, racial issues (which are societies issues - not limited to Garfield), problems with student-directed activities (unsupervised issues w/field trips), attitudes towards the APP kids/families charging elitism, inability to give each students individual attention, some of "we have bigger problems here - can't be bothered with the rich, white kid" even though that label doesn't apply to every white kid in the building).

Both of our kids have gone through Garfield and have had tremendous success - meaning they LOVED it and felt totally prepared for college and attribute a lot of that to the culture and exposure to a "real world" environment there.

It certainly isn't for everybody however, and HCC kids have many more options than the typical student. I would research your attendance area school, Garfield and Ingraham thoroughly and go with what your STUDENT wants. In my opinion, parents should not be forcing a choice on high school students. If you tour the schools, they likely will know which one fits them best.

Good Luck!

-GHS Mom

Anonymous said...

There are two big questions at play in this decision. What is a good fit for my child, and where will my child actually, literally fit?

Here's one more document I uncovered today that might be helpful for the second question -- shows "right-sized" 2020 capacity projections for each school, prepared in 2014.

http://www.seattleschools.org/UserFiles/Servers/Server_543/File/Migration/General/01%20VOLUME%20I%20REPORT%20V5.pdf

Comparing these capacity numbers with the 5-year projections, Garfield will be overenrolled by 853 students in 2020, supporting the theory that they'll have to split off north end HCC some time in the next few years.

Here is where the north end space will be in 2020:

Lincoln
projected enrollment: 1093
capacity: 1600
empty seats: 507

Roosevelt
projected enrollment: 1274
capacity: 1707
empty seats: 433

Nathan Hale, Ingraham and Ballard projections look to be close to target.

Obviously all projections and capacity numbers are from a questionable source (SPS), but it might give us an idea of what the plans are.

I am Anon at 1/28, 6:47 PM and 9:08 PM. I guess since I am officially joining this conversation I will come up with a proper sign-off,

Good Fit

Anonymous said...

My daughter went to Hamilton and is now in 10th grade at Ingraham and is doing the IB program. She's in her first year of the IB program. Overall, her experience has been really good - both academically and socially.

My anecodotal sense is that about 2/3 of her 8th grade class from Hamilton went to Ingraham and about 1/3 went to Garfield. The kids I know from Hamilton that picked Garfield over Ingraham either wanted to participate in band at Garfield or lived on Queen Anne (I think from Queen Anne, it's easier to get to Garfield than Ingraham).

We had our daughter tour both schools and let her choose. They are both great options and we felt lucky to have such good choices. As others said, pick the school that is the better fit for your kid - whether that's based on commute, academics (some kids might like AP classes better where others might prefer IB), music, sports, or all of the above.

Jane

Anonymous said...

One of the questions at last night's Roosevelt open house concerned the opening of Lincoln - would students be split from their existing neighborhood school with the opening of Lincoln (which would happen in senior year for the Class of 2020)? The principal could not offer any definitive answer (who can?), but given the way JAMS was populated with forced splits, you have to think it's possible. Wouldn't a high school need to be started with the full range of grades?

We have the same thoughts as @Good Fit: What is a good fit for my child, and where will my child actually, literally fit?

After the splits and moves that this cohort has experienced, we want a place where there is some hope of stability for the next 4 years. Capacity issues are certainly on our minds when we consider our choices.

SusanH said...

Although we love the idea of IB at Ingraham, we live in the Rainier Beach area, so the commute is just too daunting. The default for our 8th grader is thus Garfield, although he is also applying to Aviation. Pros/cons for each of these options.

Anonymous said...

Anon at 12:58 brings up a good point. Because of where Lincoln is located, HCC students in the southern part of the north end face a particularly tough decision. If they go to Garfield, they could potentially be pulled midstream if/when north end HCC moves. If they go to their neighborhood school, they could potentially be pulled out senior year for Lincoln.

Good Fit

Anonymous said...

When does Open Enrollment end this year (and why can't I seem to find it on the district website)?

Anonymous said...

February 17 - March 1st

It's pretty well hidden but I found it here: http://www.seattleschools.org/cms/One.aspx?portalId=627&pageId=1855434

Anonymous said...

It doesn't seem like there are any safe bets when it comes to avoiding a senior year relocation. Any north end HCC student is potentially at risk of a move in 2019.

Anonymous said...

I expect Ingraham will be a safe bet. They are planning to add another 500 seats there if the BTA levy passes.

Anonymous said...

I will have to make the west Seattle middle school choice in a couple years. As things stand now I will not send my kid toMadison. I don't get the impression they really want HCC kids.
West

Anonymous said...

Safer, but not a sure thing. Those possible 500 seats at Ingraham won't be available until after Lincoln opens, and we don't know who they'll use to populate Lincoln.

Anonymous said...

West, trust your hunch.

Madison has no clue. There is a small committed group of teachers willing to build something, but the school as a whole is not welcoming HCC with open arms. Did we learn nothing from the treatment of the kids at HIMS in the first few years after the split? Even if all was rosy at Madison from the start, the rigor of the program would pale in comparison to what Washington offers, and I don't just mean music. Washington HCC still offers integrated, cohesive, blocked humanities, which the other sites do not, and three world languages, which Hamilton "International" Middle School does not. Washington is actually far more international, simply because of its vibrant mixed student body. And all that grows up into the amazing aware student body that GHS mom alludes to above.

open ears

Anonymous said...

SusanH - why wouldn't you consider Rainier Beach? My husband is an IB graduate and doesn't see much benefit of the IBx model over standard IB. Are you concerned there aren't enough choices before hitting the IB track? My kid is currently in 6th, but we're planning on sending her to RBHS. Continued support for the IB program is my only concern, but it seems as if with capacity constraints they are going to have to figure out how to address HCC in neighborhood schools. We can't all fit at Garfield, and I lean towards IB over AP.

Also South End

hschinske said...

The notice from Seattle Schools about the levies says that there is an addition planned for Ingraham that will add the capacity for 500 more students. Obviously that is not a short-term solution even if it gets funded, and part of what I like about Ingraham currently is its more manageable size.

Helen Schinske

Anonymous said...

Also South End,

I would not choose RBHS for my children because I want them to have a peer group of academically successful students.

Here are RB's test scores from last year http://reportcard.ospi.k12.wa.us/TemplateDetail.aspx?domain=SBAC&schoolId=1106&reportLevel=School&year=2014-15&gradeLevelId=11&groupLevel=District&waslCategory=1&chartType=1

Anonymous said...

To each their own, but there are 27 juniors on track to complete the IB diploma. For a school with 163 juniors enrolled, that seems like a strong cohort of academically successful students. I like that RBHS has treated IB as not just diploma seekers, but a program for everyone. It's a hard task, but they've done great work this season.

I hope I don't come across as arguing - I'm just impressed with what they've accomplished.

Also South End

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know why the RBHS IB students who finished all the coursework last year did not get IB diplomas? Is there a similar story at Ingraham?

"Twelve Rainier Beach seniors are taking the heavy courseload necessary to earn an I.B. Diploma. Last year, 7 students finished all of the courses they needed, though the organization that oversees International Baccalaureate did not say their work merited receiving diplomas."

http://www.kplu.org/post/numbers-rainier-beachs-international-baccalaureate-programs-continue-grow

--SE HCC Parent

Pm said...

SE HCC Parent--

In order to receive a diploma, a student needs to reach certain score thresholds on the exams. My guess is that they missed the cut-offs on the exams.

Anonymous said...

This is why the fact that 27 juniors are candidates for the full diploma is not very meaningful. They were enrolled for the first semester in at least three (but probably more) IB classes. They aren't necessarily passing those classes or likely to pass the exams.

This is a great thing for those students and for RB to have accomplished. It is not evidence that RB's IB classes would be appropriate for a highly capable student.

Maureen said...

SE HCC Parent, virtually all IHS diploma candidates (around 90 in recent years) earn the diploma. I expect RBHS program will do better with time.

Anonymous said...

I also have a 2e student finishing middle school, so I appreciate the one parent's comment about Garfield. Middle school HCC at our school hasn't been great for 2e support for my student either. Anyone else have comments about support for 2e students at either Ingraham or Garfield (or elsewhere)? 2e kids often seem invisible to the district.
2e continues

SusanH said...

Also South End:

Just catching up here. Yes, that's it. I feel there aren't enough advanced classes for 9th and 10th grades. I feel like even the "honors" classes would be a big step down after Washington Middle School. Plus, he'd miss out on the cohort of geeky kids he's friends with; kids with common interests and quirkiness.

I did tour RBHS last week, though, and was impressed by what I saw! We are seriously considering it for our 7th grader (who is not in APP). I feel like the honors classes would be just right for her, and the IB program would be great. We are hopeful about RBHS's continued growth and success.

Anonymous said...

I have a 2e kid in IBx at Ingraham. Teachers & staff have been very responsive, supportive & accommodating. For example all teachers knew about the accommodations at the beginning of the year. First time that has happened. Also teachers are very flexible on accommodations & trying to find what works best. Teachers willing to spend extra time at lunch or after school with student. SDI has been minimal. IBx is a 6 or 7 period day so it is difficult to schedule time out of the classroom with a sped teacher. Sped teachers don't often come into IB classrooms. We have managed with doing SDI at break or lunch or when my student wants to leave class to visit the sped teacher. Also SDI has been given to some extent by gen ed teachers. The best part is that gen ed/IB teachers want to teach my kid & they believe in a successful outcome; they work for that instead of thinking it is somebody else's problem. I think the culture is focused on meeting students where they are and helping them succeed.

I would talk to some IHS teachers about your situation at the information nights.

-IHS Parent

Nearly done with SPS said...

I've had a kid at both Ingraham and at Garfield. The schools have a different feel, and, as other posters have noted, you need to think about your kid as an individual and what will be right for him/her. Don't underestimate the need for a strong cohort of HCC learners though. Both kids point to that as the most important piece in their education, even though they went to different schools.

Ingraham struck us as still pretty excited about having HCC kids, and much more willing than Garfield to work with the kid (and us) to make sure there was sufficient challenge and interest. Garfield doesn't seem particularly interested in supporting their HCC kids--the attitude seems to be "we're Garfield and we do it right, so shut up and leave us alone." Having said that, the kid at Garfield has ultimately, we think, had overall better teachers and a more rigorous curriculum than the kid at Ingraham. Still, Ingraham was absolutely the right place for the one who went there. Much stronger community and a better vibe throughout the school (much less of the tension between the various elements of the school than at Garfield). And, even though the curriculum was not as rigorous, he's gone off to a competitive university and is doing very well.


Anonymous said...

Very difficult environment at garfield for app students with 504s. Lots of teacher bias against 504s, no counseling or administration support, constantly changing and unsupported 504 coordinator (is there even one now?), antagonistic SIT team, etc. If your student needs a supportive infrastructure and supportive teachers & IHS has that, I'd absolutely lean that way.

Anonymous said...

Need to chime in here. My 2E kid has a 504 at Garfield and I've been pleasantly surprised at the level of accommodations he's receiving. The new 504 coordinator is great and took care of everything including adding a couple more items to his list. No push back, no questions. Significantly different experience than we had at HIMS.

Teachers are also completely willing to accommodate. Now I will admit, his accommodations are very easy to do (using assistive technology in class for all work/test/assignments) but the teachers also give him his test electronically via USB so he can fill it out and then turn it right back in.

I would suggest making an appointment with Ms. McBride (the 504 coordinator) and speaking with her about your child's needs.

LH

Anonymous said...

LH, yes, those are pretty easy accoms. I take it add/adhd is not in the mix? That's when teachers get huffy, like, you look normal so act normal kind of thing.

Anonymous said...

Yes, my favorite suggestion was your daughter should be more organized/turn in her assignments on time if she wants to be more successful academically.

Anonymous said...

Nothing else in the mix except dysgraphia. So, yes, definitely easier...sometimes. In middle school (HIMS) we got "your child just needs to fail so he'll work harder...he's just lazy" when we asked for no penalization for spelling/capitalization with on-demand assignments (common dysgraphic issue). That's why we are so pleasantly surprised with GHS.

I'm actually surprised at that organizational comment--for add/adhd that's a standard accommodation I've heard is for executive function issues. Even HIMS allowed for that one. I really think with the new coordinator things are better at GHS.

LH

Anonymous said...

LH,

My student is at Garfield now, had a full SIT meeting and that was the result. Be more organized (don't have ADHD), ask for informal classroom accommodations (they are denied because she was not allowed a formal 504 plan). Sure, maybe the testing coordinator is great at coordinating 504 plans - but the principal, vice principals, counselors, special education staff have not changed and failed my child.

I am sincerely happy your child is getting what they need. I feel though that you are denying the very real problems my child is experiencing.

Anonymous said...

You all realize that the IB program at RBHS is at risk for funding after this year. So unless you are planning serious fundraising efforts this program will go the way of the others that came before and there have been many.

There will be a new Principal (permanent in fall right now its an interim with a retired former principal as VP) so there will be more churn and burn with admin and staff. Not again unheard of at the Beach.

With funding by our legislature at risk this program like others may be gone.. Ingraham has committed long term, Sealth is also an IB school but there is no data there about diplomas or its longevity. They have many issues there as well they need to deal with other than IB so who knows.

Good luck

- Disrict Watcher

Anonymous said...

Also of note re RBHS, the IB program does not serve students until Junior and Senior year.

Reader

Anonymous said...

To Very Real Problems and others,
If you will be at Garfield for any amount of time, consider hiring an attorney to help you advocate for an appropriate 504. It is your child's right to have appropriate accommodations to access the curriculum. Check avvo for education/family lawyers. Unfortunately, instead of offering training for teachers and counselors, SPS waits to respond until they hear from an attorney.

Also if you are considering Garfield, check out the reviews of AP teachers on ratemyteachers. In our experience, spot on. And remember you do not have a choice of teachers, nor will you be able to switch teachers if you are stuck with one who will not accommodate your student.

afraid this is the reality -

SusanH said...

District Watcher and Reader:

Yes, we all know that SPS expects funding for IB to be taken over by the parents, like at Ingraham. Yes, that will be much harder for the current student body at RBHS to achieve. The IB coordinator there assures me he's not going anywhere, and that he is 100% dedicated to making this program work. He outlined several grants he's juggling, along with other possibilities.

All schools suffer through changes in principals; always an adjustment, but we will hope for the best. I know they are recruiting nationwide.

Yes, the IB program starts in Junior/Senior year. But one of the history teachers explained how the curriculum for 9th and 10th has been tweaked to lead smoothy into the IB classes. At least there are honors offerings those first two years.

Our family - and everyone else in this school cluster - are trying to stay positive and do what we can to make our neighborhood school better. Yes, we've heard all the bad things, the uncertainties, the challenges. We've been talking about it ad nauseam for years. But the fact is, if we all sent our kids there, and worked hard to fundraise and get involved, the school would be a very different place. And with the overcrowding at so many Seattle high schools, it would benefit everyone if more people embraced RBHS.

Anonymous said...

SusanH - RBHS honors classes for freshman and sophomores? Hmmm, are you sure about that? I heard that it's all co-mingled in regular ed.

SusanH said...

Yes, I'm sure. We visited an honors 9th grade history class on the tour last week. There were only 16 students! But I'm not sure exactly which subjects are offered. Language Arts for sure. Math? Maybe not, since you'd just take the next class up...

Anonymous said...

For special ed/504 lawyers, also check this list from OSPI:

http://www.k12.wa.us/SpecialEd/pubdocs/legal_referral_list.pdf

Worth it! SPS lawyers know all of them from experience!

Anonymous said...

So what's with the leadership/administration at Garfield. Seems like they treat 504 plans and IEPs as aspirational?

Anonymous said...

I think you probably saw a sophomore "honors" class in LA at RBHS. They don't have honors courses for freshmen. Too bad.

Anonymous said...

Here are the good points of GHS as offered by several freshmen who came from HIMS: Generally they think their teachers are good (with just a few exceptions). The workload seems less intense freshman year in comparison to Ingraham, based on what they hear from friends there. (Yet it seems pretty rigorous to me, other than Spanish). The clubs are good (wide variety of student-driven activities). The orchestra and band are both great. Kids are having generally good experiences with sports, though we know a kid who had a bad experience with football. Negative point: Some kids didn't get their first choices for classes, especially languages (though the good news is they and the district are trying to address some of the issues with world languages; there's an upcoming meeting on that with staff from both HIMS and WMS as well as GHS teachers planning to attend). In general they said it is a lot like HIMS in the good ways.

My additional input:
The administration is not great with communication.
The diversity in the student population was a big plus for me.
The needs of the student population are significant, as 175 out of 1725 are homeless.
The school is a leader in adopting new approaches to student discipline.

Recently Dr. Nyland spoke at GHS and was asked about the plan to address enrollment at GHS (that is, what will be done about the long-term projection that predicts enrollment will reach 2500). He mentioned that Lincoln could help (though wasn't specific as to how). He also talked about trying to put a school at Memorial Stadium (they are exploring options with the city), the Madison APP pathway, a pathway in West Seattle, some more career and technical options (like Aviation HS), and some small partnership with health care services where students could graduate with a certificate of some kind (he mentioned LPN or similar). I know that Flip Herndon is scheduled to speak at a Ballard PTSA meeting on Feb. 4 about plans for Lincoln (including roll up vs. starting with all four grades), so I am hoping that someone will provide more information after that meeting.

- Pluses and minuses

Anonymous said...

Yes, Ballard HS PTSA meeting attendees, please do relay what flip says re: Lincoln tonight! The district keeps using Lincoln as the solution, but it doesn't open until Fall 2019. However, according to the recent 5-year projections, Garfield will have aver 2200 students in 2018--something like 500 more than now! Roosevelt and Ballard are each projected to have a couple hundred more, too. Can those schools really absorb all those students? Nyland's laundry list of potential solutions won't come soon enough. Nor will the Ingraham expansion potentially funded by the pending levy. So what is a FEASIBLE plan? Is there room for more portables?

You might also ask Flip if they are considering split schedules (AM vs PM tracks) or alternative calendars (year round, with multiple tracks). You could also ask if they are considering sending HC (APP) students back to their neighborhood schools--which would alleviate the pressure on Garfield, but create even more crowding at north end neighborhood schools. And what would that do to Ingraham's IB program?

HF

Anonymous said...

I am also very curious to hear what Flip Herndon has to say. I agree HF, they are going to have to solve Garfield's capacity issue at least a year before Lincoln opens, if not two years.

I've gone over and over these projections and capacity numbers (see links above). Things look ok in 2019-20, but in the year or two before that it's too crowded. Even if the levy passes and we get 500 seats at Ingraham, I don't see that being completed in time. Not counting neighborhood HCC, Ballard will be almost 400+ over capacity and Roosevelt will be 98 over capacity at the peak (2018-19). Neither of them has much room for portables. So having the schools take in their own HCC will cause a new problem.

Both Ingraham and Nathan Hale have room for portables. Ingraham could open more IB/IBX slots to take half of the overflow, and Nathan Hale could start up a Garfield-style AP cohort for the other half. Or a school at Memorial Stadium could be a solution, but they would have to do it right. Because whatever they choose to do with HCC, it has to be appealing to families. If it's not, we will stay in our neighborhood schools and those will break.

Good Fit




Anonymous said...

I'm the parent who posted about my struggling 2e child at Garfield. I think NOVA might be a preferable solution for 2e kids if a large enough group of them enrolled together. Bright, creative kids who don't fit easily into the traditional high school structure but are passionate about learning would benefit from a school without grades where students have the autonomy to direct their own learning. As an added benefit, there are about 200 empty seats in NOVA's beautifully renovated building.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know how many of the high schools force HCC students to retake science they've already taken (i.e., physical science and biology)? Many of the catalogs indicate something to the effect that "all 9th graders take x," but some blog posters have reported in the past that this isn't always the case. If parents of current 9th graders who went left HCC for a non-HC pathway school would please report, that would be helpful. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to know the opposite, if your kids repeated the science classes were they different in high school?

Anonymous said...

At the recent Roosevelt Open House, it was stated that students that had taken Biology could start 9th grade in Chemistry. It's my understanding most students (going to public or private high schools) should expect to take biology again - IB Biology, AP Biology, or even an honors level Biology prior to a more advanced class - because the 8th grade biology is not considered comprehensive enough. My child reports the first year IB Biology class covered much more than they covered in middle school biology.

Anonymous said...

So HCC students who go to Roosevelt can skip Physical Science and Biology and go straight into Chemistry, while those who choose to go to Nathan Hale have to retake both? It doesn't make sense. This whole thing is making my head spin. And the course catalogs are no use, because they don't clarify these exceptions.

I, too, have heard that HS Biology is more comprehensive than HCC middle school Bio. However, that doesn't mean these kids need a repeat of basic gen ed Bio before they'd be ready for a more advanced Bio class. Most should be plenty ready for AP Bio or IB Bio.

Anonymous said...

Hale requires that students retake Physical Science and Biology? What? I'd check with the principal. For LA and SS they may have no choice, but for math and science they should be able to take the next course in the sequence.

Anonymous said...

Should be, yes. But according to "Hale Fan" at 2/5/16, 3:19 PM on this Seattle Schools Blog thread, that's not the case, and incoming HCC 9th graders will indeed have to retake both 9th grade Physical Science and Biology.

Anonymous said...

Hale has a very odd schedule for ninth graders in which they are in blocked English/History and Science/Health classes for the first several hours of the day. For tenth grade they have created a curriculum that integrates English, history and biology.

Lauren Marshall said...

My daughter chose Center School for 9th after APP at Hamilton. She was able to go into chemistry (and 11th grade class) and skip physical science and biology. She loves her chemistry teacher. The only disadvantage is she's one of two 9th grader in a course up upper classmen, which would be fine if your child is socially mature; my daughter isn't.

maze runner said...

I think it's interesting how quickly this thread veered off of Roosevelt as an option for HCC kids. My kid is coming out of Evergreen, choosing between Ingraham and Roosevelt, which is where we live. He is into music and film, so Roosevelt seems like a good fit, but a strong HC cohort? Seems like it will not be found at Roosevelt. True?

Cristina

Anonymous said...

@Cristina—

My worry as well. My son is in 6th grade HCC at JAMS, and save a few bumps (not w/ his HCC teachers), it's going well.

I'd like him at Roosevelt because we live very close to there, and they have an excellent Latin program. But I am not convinced by a long shot that HC kids will find a strong cohort there, and right now keeping him w/ a like-minded cohort. He's into music (this is a problem w/ JAMS), but not band music, really. He's very into math and science, but also excels at languages (hence the Latin interest, from him). I'd love Roosevelt to work, but I'd love more to hear from parents.

Not Yet Roosevelt Parent

Unknown said...

I think it depends on what you mean by HCC cohort. In my experience*, there are plenty of well prepared academically oriented kids (who probably did or could have tested into APP at some point) at RHS. That said, I don't think you would find what people seem to imply by HCC cohort i.e., kids whose parents felt like they needed a cohort at some point. I tried to write a description that didn't devolve into needy, quirky, .... and that's what I came up with.

*both kids were APP eligible at one point. One went to RHS, the other to IHS.

Unknown said...

Sorry, didn't mean "needy" in emotional sense, meant needing specific academic advancement and social environment.

Unknown said...

Sorry, didn't mean "needy" in emotional sense, meant needing specific academic advancement and social environment.

Anonymous said...

Really, being into music is a problem at JAMS?? My child spends lunches in the orchestra room playing classical music with her friends and just hanging out with the orchestra teacher, has been inspired to practice hours at home and seek out classical music concerts with those friends, and I understand Senior Jazz was just invited to the Monterey Jazz festival, pretty impressive for a school in its second year of existence. I actually thought it would be hard to be at JAMS without being into music, the culture is so strong there. I think it is harder to get into the upper levels of orchestra as a 6th grader than into junior/senior band but that seems pretty normal for those two music group types.

I don't mean to just Pollyanna- LA is a joke, and there seems to be no movement to make it a real class that could teach them something. It's not been a perfect experience. But we have found the music to be very strong, with a very musical child.

NewJAMSparent

WedgwoodMom said...

I am curious as to what you mean by LA is a joke? We are trying to decide between JAMS and Eckstein for my HCC qualified daughter (in 5th at Wedgwood). She is strong in LA so if it is a joke, I would be inclined to send her to Eckstein which she can walk to.

maze runner said...

To Unknown commenting on Roosevelt above, I totally understand what you mean by needy, quirky, etc., and "parents thinking they need a cohort"

I can't speak for all, but by "HC Cohort", "academically oriented kids" is exactly what I mean. Roosevelt seems geared towards athletics and arts. The SPS method of siphoning gifted kids and shipping them to another school perplexes me, so that is why I feel lost.

You had two APP kids at two different schools--what was the criteria or picking between IHS and RHS? That is the type of information I am dying for but haven't found on this blog until now. Please illuminate me!

Anonymous said...

Not very much writing, low standards. It is less(work, writing, and instruction) than what my 4th grader is currently doing at Cascadia, and much less than what most of the kids need to move forward- and I would say that generally, hcc tends toward math oriented kids(harder to differentiate that in elementary, so people move), not LA, so I think it must be particularly weak. From what you have said, I would send her to Eckstein. My kid is math and science oriented, in addition to being musical (both schools are great for music), so JAMS is the right place for her, but if you are not going to access the advanced math and don't need advanced science, it is probably not worth the hassle. We also live in the Eckstein are and know have many kids who have gone through Eckstein and are now. The LA does not sound substantially different, although I couldn't say 100%. If she likes drama, Eckstein has a spring musical, and JAMS does not (and does not seem to have plans to any time soon).

I should add that World History is very good, if that matters to you.

NewJAMSparent

Anonymous said...

@NewJAMSParent:

"Really, being into music is a problem at JAMS?? My child spends lunches in the orchestra room playing classical music with her friends and just hanging out with the orchestra teacher, has been inspired to practice hours at home and seek out classical music concerts with those friends, and I understand Senior Jazz was just invited to the Monterey Jazz festival, pretty impressive for a school in its second year of existence. I actually thought it would be hard to be at JAMS without being into music, the culture is so strong there. I think it is harder to get into the upper levels of orchestra as a 6th grader than into junior/senior band but that seems pretty normal for those two music group types."

I don't want to get into details here, but yes. I will talk about this more fully when my child is no longer at JAMS.

Anonymous said...

Oops—That was from Not Yet Roosevelt Parent.

Not Yet Roosevelt Parent.

Anonymous said...

"I can't speak for all, but by "HC Cohort", "academically oriented kids" is exactly what I mean. "

—My child is having trouble finding an academic cohort even at JAMS. So although there are things I very much like about Roosevelt, I have concerns about the school in terms of academics and general environment (as an athletics school, etc.).

I'd judge JAMS HCC LA as adequate. Students are allowed to work at their own level. They were being taught a writing technique that my child already knew was not a good one, so I wrote to the teacher, who responded immediately that if my child had passed that need, they should ignore it and write as they wished. I've found some flexibility.

Again, the music program I see as a weak link, but that is the only significant quibble.

Not Yet Roosevelt, etc.

Anonymous said...

We have an HCC child at JAMS and have been happy with it, including music. Our child is in band and absolutely loves it. I'm not sure 6th grade LA was challenging enough, but 7th grade has been more challenging (probably teacher-dependent, to some degree). We too live in the Eckstein neighborhood, and what I think you get at JAMS that you don't get at Eckstein is the cohort, so even if the LA class was exactly the same at both schools in terms of what is taught, I think you might get a deeper/richer experience in the HCC classroom at JAMS. Also, I have heard Eckstein will no longer have "Spectrum" LA classes starting next year, but I don't know if this is just rumor or truth = does anyone else know?

We will have the same issue in 9th grade - RHS vs. either Garfield (if still available) or Ingraham and would love to hear more on this thread from people who have made that choice, especially if you went from HCC middle school to RHS.

Wedgwood Mom said...

Thank you for this great feedback about Middle School, despite the topic of this thread! I am very interested to know if Spectrum LA will not be at Eckstein next year. I will try to find out tomorrow. Although self-contained Spectrum was quietly wiped out of Wedgwood without letting parents know until after open enrollment so who knows if I can get a straight answer!

Anonymous said...

I'm curious, Not Yet Roosevelt - what writing technique was being taught?

Anonymous said...

@I'm curious, Not Yet Roosevelt - what writing technique was being taught?

—It was the "Five Paragraph" model. It's just a pretty typical writing model that ends up disastrously once kids get to the higher levels. It's fine for kids who don't read a lot or can't order thoughts logically, but for typical HCC middle schoolers, this is a bit behind their learning curve (or should be).

But as noted, when I contacted the teacher, they were very receptive about my concerns.

Again,generally very happy w/ JAMS HCC.
—Not Yet Roosevelt

Anonymous said...

It was the silly "5 paragraph model" thing. And of course no real instruction in actual research or citation.

But I found the teacher really excellent in our communications, and my child was given clearance and support to write properly and research according to standards.

—Still Not Yet Roosevelt.

Maureen said...

@maze runner, I'm the "Unknown" above (generally sign my name, but got lazy!)

You had two APP kids at two different schools--what was the criteria or picking between IHS and RHS? That is the type of information I am dying for but haven't found on this blog until now. Please illuminate me!

This is pretty long, and just my experience, but you asked!

Note that my kids were APP eligible, but we never moved them for the cohort (they went to TOPS K-8, it was great for them.) Kid 1 is very socially savvy and versatile--no need for a particular social cohort-but also works harder if his friends are working so that was a consideration. Kid 2 is in some ways the more stereotypical HCC kid (cut all of the labels out of her clothes-you know!) but not as academically even (does what she likes!)

Kid 1 would have been great at Garfield, but that wasn't an option. We chose RHS over BHS/IHS for him because he was more of a math/science oriented kid (If Biotech at BHS was guaranteed with admission (or even based on quality of application), we would have tried for that, but it was a lottery, and by no means certain.) RHS let him test out of freshman science (last year that was possible) so he got Bio/Chem/Physics and then BioChem/Organic as a senior and B/C Calc. Lots of well prepared kids/academically oriented in his classes. Math was traditional and strong. Down side was that there was no separate Honors LA/History and class discussion/projects were weak (expectation was that kids did outside work to be designated Honors. Teachers didn't make that easy to do, mostly girls signed up to jump through the hoops. RHS has a great pre-engineering class/track that lots of nerdy kids love so not all sports and drama. Drama tech is also good for that. Probably music too. (Not my kid, but some of his friends.) IB at IHS would have made him crazy-all of the structure and requirements. I am sorry he couldn't access the diversity at GHS.

IHS is a great fit for Kid 2. IB is pretty stressful, but the kids are all stressing together (I would not have signed either of my kids up for IBx- I think it's a rare kid who is developmentally prepared for that at 15, maybe more who were red shirted?) Smaller school. Fun nice kids who care about academics and aren't as materialistic/privileged as the average RHS kid. Science is not particularly strong, but IB offers Psych HL and tons of chances to write and analyze literature. Extracurriculars aren't as exclusive as at some of the other schools so easier to do without devoting your life to them and easier to start something new. Definitely access to the HCC cohort type of kid there, which has generally been good for my kid--they all sort of slide together, so you don't always know who was HCC.

Over simplistic view: RHS was better for a math/science kid (this may have changed by now) who was socially flexible. IHS better for a writer who is less socially oriented. YMMV!

Anonymous said...

I also had one APP qualified student at RHS & one at IHS. RHS had a strong cohort because that class came from the days when most NE APP qualified students did not move to APP, so they continued to together through Eckstien & Roosevelt. It could be different now students are moving into APP at a higher rate.

I think the both RHS & IHS have equivalent math opportunities. LA & History are more rigorous at IHS because IB is more critical thinking/writing & less memorizing than AP. Science is a mixed bag at IHS & poor at RHS because good science teachers seem to be scarce. Foreign language is strongest at RHS. At IHS, if you do the diploma, much of the rigor will be humanities because of the way IB works.

My RHS kid loved the LA honors options, partly because they are somewhat independent, so they can be very creative & demanding.

The real difference is AP vs IB program. I think most kids would do better in one or the other. Also the EC's are extremely different, much lower key & more open to different abilities at IHS, more demanding & competitive at RHS.

One other difference is the school culture. RHS is bureaucratic & inflexible, cliquey & competitive. IHS is more student focused & flexible, inclusive & laid back. RHS has some rock star teachers but IHS has a more solid staff overall.


-Just my opinion

Maureen said...

I agree with Just my opinion's opinions. I should make it clear that kid 1 graduated four years ago, so things may be very different now.