Monday, February 1, 2016

February Open Thread

Its February and we're in the midst of the final phases of testing and the beginning of open enrollment.

Articles

I saw this interesting article two days back in the NYTimes on whether we're stifling creativity with the values we choose to accentuate: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/31/opinion/sunday/how-to-raise-a-creative-child-step-one-back-off.html?_r=0

"The gifted learn to play magnificent Mozart melodies, but rarely compose their own original scores. They focus their energy on consuming existing scientific knowledge, not producing new insights. They conform to codified rules, rather than inventing their own."
I just found a followup interview with the column's author: http://techcrunch.com/2016/02/02/wharton-professor-adam-grant-on-creativity-and-the-first-mover-myth/?ncid=rss

On a totally different note, this piece on extra curricular math just came out. I'm familiar with most of the groups mentioned and its a great read if you didn't know about some of them already. I wish we had a version the Proof School in Seattle (that didn't cost an arm and a leg to attend).

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2016/03/the-math-revolution/426855/


West Seattle HCC Pathway Information Night

    Thursday, February 25th, 7-8:30
    at Madison Middle School Library

    Next year Madison Middle School will become an HCC (Highly Capable Cohort formerly known as APP) pathway option school, an exciting next step in West Seattle’s advanced learning options that began with the opening of Fairmount Park Elementary last year.

    This event provides an opportunity to learn more about the new middle school pathway in West Seattle and the preparations underway for its successful launch in the fall. Topics include course offerings, class structure, and the options following middle school, along with any questions you may have. Speakers will include representatives from the Advanced Learning Office, Madison administration and faculty, and both West Seattle High School and Chief Sealth International High School.

Eagle Staff Middle School Update

From SPS:
In September of 2017, a new middle school will open in the NW Region.
Robert Eagle Staff Middle School will serve students from Greenwood, Olympic View, Northgate, Broadview-Thomson, Daniel Bagley, and Cascadia schools.
Meetings to discuss the hiring of the planning principal for this new middle school will be held at four sites. Parents of current 4th and 5th grade students are invited to attend to hear more about the hiring process and the planning that the new principal will lead during 2016-2017 to ensure a successful launch of the new school.
Parents of 6th grade middle school students at Whitman and 6th grade HCC students at Hamilton, whose reference school is one of the schools named above, are also invited to attend.
Meetings are scheduled on the following dates and times:
•February 17th at Bagley Elementary (6:30PM - 7:30PM)
•February 18th at Northgate Elementary (7 PM to 8 PM)
•February 24th at Greenwood Elementary (7PM to 8PM)
•February 25th at Cascadia Elementary Auditorium (6:30 PM to 7:30 PM)
All meetings will take place in the lunchroom unless otherwise noted at the school site. Spanish language services will be provided at Northgate and Greenwood.
Learn more about the new school on the Seattle Public Schools' Building Excellence Program website.

Ballard PTSA Meeting on Lincoln High School February 4th

Have you wondered how Seattle is going to continue to deal with the growth in the North End of Seattle? What new schools are opening in the next few years? Are you concerned about how the boundary re-draw is going to impact your neighborhood or your school? What grade levels will Lincoln High School open with in 2019? Will Ballard and Roosevelt students be forced to move to Lincoln? Do you have concerns about the impacts that the late start will have on athletics and field use? If any of these questions apply to you, attend tonight’s Ballard High School PTSA Meeting at 7:00pm in the BHS Library and hear from the person who will ultimately be in charge of these decisions, SPS Associate Superintendent of Facilities and Operations, Flip Herndon.
Please feel free to forward this to any friends at other schools that would also be interested in this conversation.
Keven Wynkoop
Ballard High School
Principal

HCS Advisory Committee meeting

Today - Tuesday, February 2, 6:30 - 8:00 PM

Garfield High School Library
400 23rd Ave

Quick Blog Roll:

 I'd like to get a rough idea of where our readership is to aid in picking topics, vote multiple times for multiple children:


What school does your student atttend?

Cascadia
Thurgood Marshall
Fairmount Park
HIMS
WMS
JAMS
Garfield
Ingraham
polling


What's on your minds?

85 comments:

Anonymous said...

Many of the comments I've read on this site are quite negative about the Spectrum program.

Is it pointless to put a Spectrum qualified child into the designated Spectrum school? (Lawton, in our case). My Kindergarten daughter isn't getting a great education where she is as the curriculum is moving too slowly for her, but from reading the comments on this site I'm not sure moving her will make much of a difference?

Thanks --

Coe parent

Lynn said...

The first problem is that Lawton is over capacity - so your child will not be able to transfer. In a school where Spectrum students aren't in a self-contained class, seats are offered to students from outside the attendance area only when space is available.

The quality of a cluster-grouped Spectrum program is dependent on the ability and willingness of your child's teacher to differentiate instruction and the make-up of the classroom that year. This is exactly what you'll get in your neighborhood school. I don't think it's worth moving even if you had the opportunity.

Might she qualify for APP?

Lynn said...

Ben,

Isn't there an Advisory Committee meeting tonight?

Benjamin Leis said...

@Lynn - yes there is. I've added a note on the topline. If anyone wants go and send me notes I will probably not be there this time.

Anonymous said...

I'd suggest the author of the NY Times essay has a narrow view of creativity and an even narrower view of success. I'd add more criticisms, but the numerous commenters on the NY Times article beat me to it.

Anonymous said...

@Lynn -- thanks so much for the information. She may still qualify for APP (she took the full cogat last weekend) but I'm trying to figure out our plan B if she doesn't. Sounds like Lawton isn't an option and even if it were it's not a better option. Sigh.

--Coe parent

Anonymous said...

Why isn't Madison Middle School on this list?

Lynn said...

Maybe because there are no kids currently enrolled in HCC @ Madison? There are a few highly capable students there - but most schools have a few.

Anonymous said...

Every day in SPS kids are sitting in desks who have been tested and tutored to within an inch of their lives and they haven't yet reached 4th grade. Every day in SPS I see parents and teachers equating "good behavior" in classrooms with "smart student". The How to Raise a Creative Kid article has a certain point and IMHO it needs to be absorbed by the overachieving set of parents in SPS, many who read this blog. Rote and rigid is not going to cut it in the adult life nor the adult work of today's students. Innovation, flexibility, diversity, disruption is their future.

Seen it

Benjamin Leis said...

Note: please use a pseudonym especially if you're asking questions. It makes it much easier to follow the conversation.

My thinking for this poll was just to check on current HCC sites. Re:West Seattle I'm just going to infer readership based on the Fairmount Park numbers. I'm already finding the results (and obviously this is not very scientific) very interesting. We do have TM and Fairmount Park readers which is awesome.

Anonymous said...

Does Coe have walk to math? Isn't that kind of all you get from Lawton in Spectrum these days? It's been awhile for us so I hope someone with more recent experience will comment.

asdf

Anonymous said...

What type of advanced work have Bryant ALO students received?

- New to Bryant

Anonymous said...

I wish there was an option for a creativity-focused 'gifted' program in SPS. I attended a mediocre public school, but the saving grace was a pull-out program that was not simply advanced academics but enrichment with a high degree of creativity and opportunity for self-initiated projects and research. This cohort of students formed strong bonds and had the opportunity to do many 'outside the box' kind of projects that I don't see happening anywhere in SPS.

-Missing the creative approach

Anonymous said...

So are there any Spectrum or ALO schools that anyone thinks IS doing a good job meeting the Advanced Learners needs?

NB Parent

Anonymous said...

NB Parent - My son is at Lafayette Elementary, which still has self-contained Spectrum (although who knows how long that will continue). He's only in first grade, so we don't have a lot of experience with Spectrum yet, but this year they are covering both first and second grade curriculum so they will be ready for third grade work next year. If they decide to get rid of self-contained classes, we'll be first in line to switch to Fairmount Park.

-Lafayette Mom

Lorraine F. said...

Anyone with an HIMS student in HCC with ADHD? Can you share your experience? We're getting thru 5th grade at Cascadia with a 504 that is barely implemented. thanks.

-Lorraine

Anonymous said...

My HCC qualified child has attended both Coe and Lawtom. Coe has an excellent ALO program. There is a math specialist doing daily year ahead math for 1st and 2nd and there is walk to math for 3-5. The ALO literacy teacher begins in 2nd. Spectrum at Lawton is much less challenging. I am regretting our move to Magnolia.
Former Coe parent

Anonymous said...

@Former Coe parent. Thanks for your comment. That's interesting. Do you mind if I ask why you didn't put your child into Cascadia? Are you going to as you are unhappy with Lawton?
--Coe parent

Anonymous said...

It used to be that Bryant was one size fit all and the ALO program meant an occasional extra worksheet in the homework. This year they're trying to differentiate a little more seriously. There's talk of a year of growth for every student. My second grader has an embryonic walk to math once a week (but not for 3rd grade math) and they do a walk-to reading group by level as well. There's been some experiments with blended math learning earlier this fall. Overall, most advanced learners leave Bryant over the math and that still is not as good as options at other schools. We'll see if they add more next year.

Anonymous said...

There is more talk about advanced learning lately at Bryant but for whatever reason it doesn't seem that they are able to implement any meaningful changes. They had attempted to fund a staff position that would take on some of the administration of walk to math and other extensions but without it, the staff has not moved beyond a very skeletal version of basic programs that other schools (see Coe above) are able to implement without extra staff. My feeling is that there is something about the building and staff philosophy that is contrary to implementing a meaningful structure for work above grade level and that isn't likely to change. They do have both the resources and the student capabilities despite their protests.

Anonymous said...

From Save Seattle Schools Tues open thread- following on from posts about lead paint/water quality/asbestos - all of which are concern at an old school like Lincoln.....
I am also concerned about asbestos since my kid pointed out the "danger, asbestos" warning signs all over various parts of the Lincoln auditorium/small auditorium. I realize this is only considered a problem if it is damaged (or removed, disrupted during repairs), or if it has deteriorated to the point that it is friable. But who is checking and are they sufficiently trained to assess it - some looks in dubious condition at a quick glance but I'm not an expert. I saw a ceiling tile with a have hole torn it is (is this an asbestos tile?). Kids are spending a lot of time in these areas - rehearsing for plays, doing after school classes. Not to mention teachers/staff - what about occupational health/safety? I would hate to think students and teachers and class providers are breathing in asbestos particles that will cause serious health ramifications in the future. But what to do? So many SPS buildings (not just this one) are old, in disrepair, and have these sorts of issues. Funds are limited, and district management is so poor, that I have trouble believing these sort of problems would ever be identified and addressed appropriately. Don't get me started on earthquake safety...

Worrier

Anonymous said...

NB parent-- You will find that parents all have differing opinions about how well their child's needs were met in spectrum & ALO schools. My child attended Loyal Heights, an ALO school. It was awesome for her, not one bad teacher or experience. But you will hear from others who will complain their child was not challenged. Granted my kid is highly self motivated. She was a stand out student, but it built her confidence and identity as a "smart" kid. Solid walk to math program. Great to be at a neighborhood school, great kids. I felt she was very well prepared for HCC in middle school. She did stellar on the private school admission test, which affirmed our confidence that she received a solid education. We have never done any tutoring or subject supplementing outside school. She was offered admittance to Lakeside for 6th, but we chose HCC instead.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if anyone can point me to literature that explains how school testing can be so different from private testing? We privately tested our child and the results qualify for HCC. The school tests didn't even get a call back for the full CoGat. I trust the private results, but I am nust curious what researchers mught same about the discrepancies.

Puzzled

Anonymous said...

Depending on the age and temperament of your child, the differences can be significant. From personal experience, when my son was tested in Kindergarten he was hungry and tired, but not allowed a snack or a break. So he quit working on the test altogether and got a low score. I took him to private testing and sent small snacks with him and the psychologist gave him breaks in between tests where I took him outside and had him run around for a few minutes. That testing gave the score that I expected, and that score has proved true with him for the last 9 years.
The school testing is given in a group and there is a lot less latitude for children's behavioral, emotional and physical needs, partly because they are rushed to get all the testing done. If you have a compliant, mature child that could work fine. If they are "bouncy", easily distracted or have other physical needs during the test, it might not result in an accurate score.
Momof2

Kids need real playgrounds said...

Heard anything new about the old Decatur/Thornton Creek bldg becoming NE elementary HCC?

Anonymous said...

I'd say that the NYT article shows the damage that our HCC is doing to children.

Anonymous said...

How so?

Lynn said...

Puzzled,

Consider the difference between group and individual tests. In a group test, the questions are written and fixed, and designed for the average person to answer. This might be no problem for an average student, or even a moderately gifted student, but the gifted student sometimes reads more into the questions than intended. For example, let's say the test asked which one of these did not belong, and offered three fruits and a vegetable. Most students would pick the vegetable. But say that 3 of the 4 names of the items, including the vegetable, were 6 letters long, and one of the fruits had a 5 letter name. Then which one should the gifted child pick? To further complicate the situation, 3 of the 4 are grown in sub-tropical climates outside the U.S., while one fruit grows in the cold northwest. Now which should the gifted child pick as the "odd one out?" While this isn't a real test question, it is not unusual for gifted kids to struggle with the seemingly simple questions on a group intelligence test, because they see so many more options and details than the average child. And on that group test, when the child gives an "unusual" answer, the tester is not there to prompt, "Why did you choose that?" or "Which one do you think the average student would select?"

Consider also the difference in distractions in a group situation. The student next to you finishes first, and you aren't even on the last page yet - you panic. Or you've finished the whole test before the rest of the class. Or the proctor is walking around, or turning pages, or snoring. There's a class on the playground outside the window... or a plane... or a beautiful spring day. The scratching of the other kids' pencils is loud and distracting. And while it is true that all the kids taking the test are exposed to the same distractions, consider... The nature of the gifted child is that she takes in knowledge at a faster rate than her peers. But it is not just knowledge - she takes in everything faster, deeper, with more feeling. Even her senses deliver data to her brain faster - hearing, touch, sight. Those classroom distractions are more distracting to her than they are to her classmates.

For all these reasons, group tests tend to underestimate the gifted, more than the average child.


http://www.hoagiesgifted.org/tests_tell_us.htm


Anonymous said...

Thans, Lynn. This passage explains my kid.

Puzzled

Anonymous said...

I fully agree with Lynn.

Additionally, from the Cogat questions I've seen, I would be hard pressed to say it is a measure of intelligence. It is definitely a measure of something.

South Dad

Anonymous said...

Thanks for that info Lynn. I think it relates very closely to the original post.

From the NYT article:
"The gifted learn to play magnificent Mozart melodies, but rarely compose their own original scores. They focus their energy on consuming existing scientific knowledge, not producing new insights. They conform to codified rules, rather than inventing their own."

Something tells me those gifted kids who DO compose their original scores and produce new insights and invent new rules are not the ones who do well on a group CogAT.

Is it HCC damaging our children or is it the identification process that excludes the most creative thinkers?

Food for Thought

Ken said...

IMO the article over-exaggerated and made some incorrect statistical inferences. For example, the NYT comments noted that 8 Nobel Prize winners out of 2000 is a pretty incredible number. What if I told you the current class at Garfield High would produce 6 Nobel Prize winners? We'd have scientists coming to study its curriculum.

Additionally, those who do produce new insights typically have consumed existing scientific knowledge already. People like Feynman, Tao, Wiles are unquestionable experts in their spaces. There is a romanticization of genius that insight comes out of thin air -- whereas the reality is that it builds on the great work of many others (to paraphrase Newton) -- and knowing the work of others is useful.

Interestingly I've gone full circle on this. I was quite good at math growing up. And I always was a big proponent of not having kids do things like grill and drill for math -- you could just do it on a calculator. Concepts were far more valuable. And while I still believe concepts are more valuable, since raising my own child I see how important grill and drill is. Having instantaneous access to basic facts makes building more complex thoughts so much easier to do. And until you have a child, it sometimes doesn't click that not everyone can do 26 x 13 instantly in their head. And it turns out that when you're building mathematical intuition around new concepts, you often build out models in your mind where you do a lot of calculations very quickly (mostly not involving raw numbers, but the concept of the calculation remains similar).

My summary, the article is useful to read, but I think goes too far. Our education should be diverse.

Anonymous said...

"Something tells me those gifted kids who DO compose their original scores and produce new insights and invent new rules are not the ones who do well on a group CogAT."

OK, kids can and often do perform poorly on the group Cogat in the early grades. It is not necessarily so loaded with implications about profound giftedness or creativity. It is not very likely that all of these large discrepancies between Cogat and private tests are because the kid is too gifted for the test or they are the most creative. In fact the nonverbal portion is very good for creative/visual spatial thinkers.

These issues are much more likely to be related to the issues Momof2 described. And that many kids that young do not understand or misinterpret the methods needed to answer the questions. That is an issue the publisher has addressed, there is even a list of common misunderstandings by young students about things like the figure analogies. The fruits/vegetable example in Lynn's comment is not likely to occur frequently enough to cause large discrepancies for the number of students you hear about scoring significantly lower than expected. The quantitative sections are not subjective. They require flexibility of thinking and thinking it through. A problem in the young grades is that this is a foreign experience that is quite demanding, and kids may sit down and feel confused or run out of stamina for applying these foreign rules to answer every single question in this very long test. Of course they will do better in a one-on-one situation. The problem is that not everyone can be tested in that fashion. The Cogat does select for the kids that have the stamina and maturity to get through it. It is not a perfect system and its unfortunate that the difference of a point or two on an imperfect test carries so much weight. Another thing to note is that the SPS does not use above level tests, so kids who are older for their grade have much less leeway for missing a question because they are nearing the point at which they essentially have to be close to perfect to achieve the needed score.

Anonymous said...

The article doesn't really address what's taught in schools, does it? Sure, we could promote more creative thinking in our schools, and should. But the article seems to target parents, not educators, and seems to focus on extracurriculars and private tutoring and lessons and pressure to excel in various areas. The basics are still a good--and important--building block. As the previous posted said: There is a romanticization of genius that insight comes out of thin air -- whereas the reality is that it builds on the great work of many others (to paraphrase Newton) -- and knowing the work of others is useful.

I'm still unclear on the link people are making, that somehow this supports the idea that HCC is doing harm to our children. Care to explain?

Benjamin Leis said...

I added a top-line note about the meeting tonight at Ballard HS. For anyone interested in Lincoln High School, this looks like it will be quite interesting.

Anonymous said...

There is this update to the FAQ on the AL website: 1st and 2nd grade students who score between 87 and 93 this year have the potential to be identified as Spectrum/AL eligible without the need for further cognitive testing. Students who score below 87 will continue to be considered for identification as Advanced Learner/Spectrum eligible by the Multidisciplinary Selection Committee (MSC). There is no CogAT “cut score” for either AL or HC identification. The MSC uses at least 5 different data points during the eligibility process for each and every student.

Ken said...

I found that "no cut score" comment very interesting. I guess you really do just have to wait until the eligibility emails come out. No specific test score has you in or out of any given program...

Anonymous said...

Ha! Who believes there is not a "cut score?"

Anonymous said...

Exactly. I find it hard to believe they don't just recycle the parent and teacher recommendations. With private tests too. It doesn't matter if the teacher recommendation is poor or the test is from preschool. It goes the other way too, haven't many tried to appeal with a 97 and been denied?

Anonymous said...

What would the 5 data points be?

Reader

Anonymous said...

Math achievement
Reading achievement
Teacher rating scale
Parent rating scale
CogAT or IQ score

Anonymous said...

How can there be "no cut score" when the language on the website says there is just that?

Say what?

Anonymous said...

Is the idea that a 98% (with requisite achievement scores) is no longer a guaranteed acceptance? The website has multiple callouts that 98 is "required", but they've also added words like "possibility" and "potential". The website is all over the place.


"My child took the CogAt Screening form, but was not called back to take the full CogAT battery. Is he/she still considered for Advanced Learning eligibility?

Only K-2 students who scored 94%+ on the CogAT Screening form were notified to take the full CogAT battery.

This year, Advanced Learning is using the CogAT screening form for initial testing of all referred students in grades K-2. (See FAQ #1) Students who score at or above 94% will be given the opportunity to take the full CogAT, with the possibility that a score of 98% would indicate potential for HC eligibility.

1st and 2nd grade students who score between 87 and 93 this year have the potential to be identified as Spectrum/AL eligible without the need for further cognitive testing. Students who score below 87 will continue to be considered for identification as Advanced Learner/Spectrum eligible by the Multidisciplinary Selection Committee (MSC). There is no CogAT “cut score” for either AL or HC identification. The MSC uses at least 5 different data points during the eligibility process for each and every student.


Anonymous said...

But there is this:

Highly Capable criteria have not changed: Students must still reach the 98-99th percentile in cognitive abilities on the full CogAT, and 95th percentile in reading and math achievement.

Anonymous said...

I know, I'm wondering if they are reserving the right to withhold admission based on other factors such as the crappy way you filled out your parent rating scale.

Pm said...

https://newrepublic.com/article/128980/arent-black-students-identified-gifted

Ken said...

Thanks PM, that's a good article. In an ideal world, teacher perception of a child's race, would be a non-issue, but study after study shows it is a major factor in everything from child achievement, gifted placement, and discipline.

A lot of people still wonder why we need racial diversity initiatives in education. Unfortunately, it is because race still impacts how people are treated (and I suspect in most of these cases, the teachers aren't "racist" -- the bias taints everything we see).

Betty said...

Has anyone received their HCC acceptance/denial letter yet?

Anonymous said...

Calling Garfield Orchestra alumni:

We are collecting short recollections of Tsut’s 30 years at Garfield, and are particularly interested in video vignettes - personal anecdotes or memories on video. If you have a memory that you are willing to share (photographs and written stories are also welcome!), email memories@garfieldorchestra.org. Ideally, audio and video submissions would be under one minute, and written stories approximately 200 words maximum. Cell phone camera videos are absolutely good enough! Deadline for submissions: February 21, 2016.

sidneyd

Benjamin Leis said...

Don't forget to vote on the levies by tomorrow.

Ken said...

Betty, we've received no word yet. I have no idea even when we should expect them.

I feel like we're in a bind where we don't want to go to Cascadia, but also don't want to attend our neighborhood school. Yet am worried that we won't make it into any other school. I guess we should've thought more about the school before we bought our house. :-\

Anonymous said...

@Ken -- why don't you want to go to Cascadia?

--Coe parent

Benjamin Leis said...

I added the recent info on Eagle Staff meetings to the topline as well as a link to
a great math article I just found.

Ken said...

Hi Coe Parent,

First, I should be clear that I am not adamant against going to Cascadia, just not a top choice.

Also my 1st grader is a strong reader, but doesn't love reading books. He loves to read SI kids, but not Harry Potter. I'm more a proponent that he enjoy reading more than "growth" in reading, as I think he is already in great shape there. And I'm always reminded of Seth Green saying how when he was younger everyone said to him, "Wow, you're such a good reader!" But no one says that to him anymore. My fear here is that Cascadia would push him to dislike reading more.

But for math he does love it and I think it is something where accelerated learning has strong long-term benefit. So a program that does have Walk-To-Math or other similar accelerated math would be great. We'll probably supplement any school math at home with math games and such anyways.

Lastly, I have some concerns about diversity too. I look at something like HWK8 and the diversity numbers look really good, and more of the environment that I think would benefit him.

So in summary -- nothing specifically bad about Cascadia. Just not a fit for the things that we value.

Anonymous said...

For advanced learners in schools that do Walk-to-Math or math extensions programs, especially in the NE, how are the groupings determined? Does HCC eligibility have any relevance? Are assignments based on performance on a pre-test? Do the groups change with every unit, requiring 100% on each pre-test to be the advanced group? Or is an advanced group established early in the year and then allowed to move faster/into an accelerated curriculum?

Math questions

Benjamin Leis said...

@Math Questions - There is no consistency between buildings. Is there a particular school you wanted to know about?

By coincidence I have this note from Bryant. So this is one model. Although I don't believe any of the grades discussed are doing above level work.

"Dear Families,

It's been a great start to 2016 with our Intervention and Extension Program at Bryant Elementary. I am excited to say that at the beginning of January we took teacher input and needs to help redesign our schedule for both interventionists and tutors so that we are serving all students with equity as our framework. Targeting students with greatest need both at the intervention and extension levels has been a flexible, fluid, and most importantly, collaborative effort. In our intermediate grades, several teams have a near daily Walk to Math model happening, which has inspired our primary grade teams to follow suit with modified models.

The Kindergarten and 2nd grade teams are now working with a once-a-week shared math block that mixes students and is formed around pre-assessment data from common formative assessments. Each teacher, along with interventionists and tutors, take small groups of students to zero in on skill practice and strategy sharing.

The 1st grade team continues to work on developing checkpoints that mirror their end of year targets. After reviewing data as a team, we are able to form instructional groups in which our Intervention/Extension team can highlight learning goals for specific units and deepen understanding. Currently, we are holding extension summits twice per week with our 1st graders. Again, we use data and continually benchmark to ensure all students are granted access and opportunity.

It's an exciting time to be at Bryant Elementary as we are setting the stage for other schools to follow our path.

Warmly,

Leah Kumar
Math Specialist"

Anonymous said...

"...we are setting the stage for other schools to follow our path."

We also got this today, and I can't understand by reading it what the path actually is? Unfortunately it's not made clearer by having a student at the school. I know Bryant wants to improve math for advanced learners, but typically "deeper" means there is no work above grade level.

Also Bryant

Anonymous said...

Another AL update. Wow, this is confusing.
Because of the approaching Open Enrollment dates, the Advanced Learning Office is scheduling the last round of cognitive testing for students who have not taken the CogAT (3rd-8th grades; approximately 2.5 hours) or CogAT Screening Form (K-2nd grades; approximately 45 minutes).

• Emails were sent yesterday to all students who have not taken the CogAT (3rd-8th) or the CogAT Screening Form (K-2nd)
• This is NOT referring to K-2 students who may need additional CogAT testing because of Screening Form scores.
• If you DID receive an email, please respond directly to that email

If you did NOT receive an email, we are offering the following dates/times for your child to test.
Appointments available: (Please be advised that these are the only options available)

1. Saturday, February 13, 2016 @ Cascadia ES (4400 Interlake Ave N, Seattle 98103)
2. Wednesday, February 17, 2016 (4pm and later) @ JSCEE (The District Office @ 2445 3rd Ave S, Seattle 98134)
3. Thursday, February 18, 2016 (4pm and later) @ JSCEE (The District Office @ 2445 3rd Ave S, Seattle 98134)
4. Saturday, February 20, 2016 @ Thurgood Marshall ES (2401 S Irving St, Seattle 98144)

Please email advlearn@seattleschools.org by February 18th with the following information: To schedule your child,

Student name
SPS Id#
Student’s current grade
Testing Date preference - 1st, 2nd and/or 3rd choice

Eligibility decisions are being made and notification letters are sent out by U.S. mail. No scores will be given over the phone or by email.

Anonymous said...

Anyone else have a kid who has MAP scores that are all over the map? (haha) My 2nd grader has scores in the high 90s and his winter map reading score is 76. Meanwhile, we had him privately tested for achievement and his reading was in the 99th percentile. Just curious what to make of it all, and how AL will interpret these.

Anonymous said...

This is on the AL website: Eligibility decisions are being made and notification letters are sent out by U.S. mail. No scores will be given over the phone or by email.

So maybe they are sending out some eligibility letters this week before the long weekend?

Anonymous said...



Anon, I found out my 1st grader had his Fall MAP at 3pm, on a Friday! Is it any wonder his scores were a little lower? Boggles the mind how that was allowed to happen. If the district is going to use those scores in determining placement it seems there should be some common sense involved in administrating them.

NB Parent

Anonymous said...

Early School Choice via email option is up now at SPS website. I sent my form in via email, but wonder if I should follow-up with a call or email in a few days to make sure it arrived? In the past, I have walked it in, with an extra copy that I had stamped. Also, for some reason, the "click here to email" button didn't do anything, so I saved the PDF and sent it as an attachment.

Anonymous said...

About the five different data points being used by the MSC...does anyone have any insight into how important the teacher recommendation will be? Has it been used in the past and does it have a new role this year?

Thanks.
AB

Anonymous said...

I was told that teacher comments might pull a student with close but not quite qualifying achievement scores into the program - and that this was a new thing in the last couple of years. This came from the psychologist who administered private testing to my child and who is on the district list.

Anonymous said...

And similar question, how did parents fill out the parent rating scale? All 7s, ha ha? Really, does it count for anything?

Anonymous said...

Are part-time students still required to follow the district attendance policy - specifically, that only unplanned absences such as illness or injury are excused?

- Considering P/T

Anonymous said...

Yes, the attendance policy still applies.

Anonymous said...

We received our eligibility decision yesterday by US mail.

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous @8:54. Did your child take the full CoGAT? What grade is he/she in?

Anonymous said...

full CoGAT, 4th grade, tested in October..

Anonymous said...

Was the letter basically the same as previous years? Also, just saw an AL update with Janine Madaffari listed as the interim Advanced Learning Supervisor. Is Stephen Martin still there?

Tc

Benjamin Leis said...

@TC - That sounds like it - I'll send an email in to see if I can find out a confirmation of that / any details.

Anonymous said...

I am not surprised. Could the identification process be any more screwed up than it was this year? Every page on the AL website includes information that is contradicted on another page. The implementation of unapproved policy changes most likely contributed to whatever is going on.

Anonymous said...

@Anon 12:13, what do you mean implementation of unapproved policy changes?

Waiting patiently

Anonymous said...

Has anyone else received an eligibility letter yet?

Ken said...

I haven't received word yet. I will post when I do though.

Anonymous said...

Still waiting for our letter. Should I wait to hear, or go ahead and submit the appeal? My kid is in 2nd grade, and wasn't called back for the full test, so we know we need to appeal for HCC.

2nd grade mom

Anonymous said...

It probably doesn't matter either way, 2nd grade mom. It might be better to wait for the letter so signals don't get crossed. Or you could try emailing (an actual address in AL, not just the generic AL) to ask.

Good luck.

Benjamin Leis said...

Re: Stephen Martin. I have a confirmation as well that this is just a temporary leave of absence. I'm going to respect his privacy and go no further on this.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, BL. I hope all is well with Dr. Martin.

Tc

Anonymous said...

http://www.seattleschools.org/cms/One.aspx?portalId=627&pageId=8967862

348 advanced learning letters mailed to wrong address, halting result distribution.

-sleeper

Anonymous said...

OMG. Every time I think it can't get worse....

Anonymous said...

You've got to be kidding.

TC

Benjamin Leis said...

@Wedgewood Mom and any others - the blogger platform doesn't automatically allow comments on older threads (they're flagged as potential spam). I also don't really think its a good idea because so few people see or expect to respond to any comments on a post older than a month. So I recommend posting on the current open thread for any questions etc. that don't fit elsewhere.

Benjamin Leis said...

Added a late entry about the meeting to discuss the new West Seattle pathways tonight at Madison Middle School. You've have about about an hour to plan if you want to go. Hopefully there are more of these sessions.