Thursday, February 4, 2016

Flip Herndon talk at Ballard High School on Capacity Issues

Another evening, another adventure in a Seattle Public Schools building I haven't been inside yet. I found myself tonight in the packed library at Ballard High School.  At first the evening started with a normal PTSA meeting. There were minutes to be approved and budget items to discuss. You could sense the anticipation in the room through all of this. The principal Keven Wynkoop even joked that while usually his speech was the highlight of the night, he knew the everyone was really waiting for Flip Herndon to speak, While Flip, the assistant superintendent in charge of facilities  was being introduced, the PTSA officer mentioned that Flip's own children attend Ingraham which I hadn't realized. It always makes me feel a bit better to find out the central staff are also parents.

His talk started with a brief mention of the general capacity issues and how all the high schools are full with the exception of Rainier Beach. For those in the SE Quadrant, he also gave a shout out to the IB program there and its successes which one could interpret as an official sign of administration support.

Onto the real meat of the talk:


  • Assuming the current BTA and Operations levies pass, we will build the 500 seat addition to Ingraham High School.
  • Lincoln will have an additional 1600 seats which when completed in combination with the above space will just meet the immediate needs in the next few years for the north end.
  • The district actually still needs one more comprehensive high school which they really want to place near Queen Anne. The current first choice is to build on the Memorial Stadium site in the Seattle Center. However, this is governed by a covenant with the city that will have to be renegotiated. (And the city really wants the land back)
  • There are no decisions yet on the boundaries or a rolling start vs. an immediate geo-split. This was probably the most emotional topic for the crowd since many were worried about having to move their kids potentially even in the Senior year to the new high school.  The district wants to have these decision made 18 months prior to opening and will start planning this 10-11 months from now.
  • Interestingly Flip has gone back to the 1970's boundary maps as a starting point back when the district still had 12 high schools and ~75000 students vs. our current ~54000.
  • The total cost of the renovation of the Lincoln building is now around 75 million dollars.
  • In the meantime all the overcrowded schools including Ballard, HIMS, Garfield are just going to have deal with being overcrowded. There's no interim plans to help out at least for now.
  • There was also a discussion about the fields spaces. The district is renegotiating its master agreement with the park department. That includes discussion on the use of lower Woodland Park for Lincoln High School. For those worried about crumb rubber fields the district has heard parent concerns but is apparently waiting on more definitive research, They also have not put out bids yet for the work on various sites and so may still change their ultimate decision. Unfortunately, I didn't find out if that included the Wilson Pacific site.
  • Flip gave the first official confirmation that I've heard that Cascadia may be split due it being too large to fit on the new site. This decision will be made sometime this Spring and there is no idea about what other sites could be used (mostly because everywhere is full).
  • I also asked at the very end about the Decatur Building. Currently there is no plan yet for how it is to be used.

On a lighter side before the meeting started I was able to see some video from the recent Ballard High School production of Carmina Burana. It was very impressive.  I definitely encourage you to take a look at:  https://vimeo.com/149092851


Note: The capacity crunch tend to produce the most heated discussions. Please keep the conversation constructive. 


55 comments :

Anonymous said...

Lincoln will have an additional 1600 seats which in combination with the above space will just meet the immediate needs in the next few years for the north end.

What? How can Flip possibly say that Lincoln will meet the immediate needs in the next few years, when it won't even open for 3 1/2 years? It might--just--meet the needs that exist at that time, but the needs in the meantime are nearly as large. Unfortunately, there's no plan. Oh wait, there IS a plan:

In the meantime all the overcrowded schools including Ballard, HIMS, Garfield are just going to have deal with being overcrowded. There's no interim plans to help out at least for now.

Nice. And this guy gets paid a bunch of money to be the Ass Supt of Facilities & Operations? Shouldn't it be his job to help develop some interim plans?

Titanic

Anonymous said...

So Flip essentially acknowledged that the current students at Cascadia@Lincoln will not be moving over together to Cascadia@WP, citing a split or a change in the delivery model as the two options on the table? Benjamin, did you hear him say this about changing the delivery model? (I guess it could have been a poor choice of words to describe tightening the appeal process, but is that all he meant?)

I just read the Lafayette principal's letter on the "differentiation" they will be offering instead of Spectrum. We got a dose of a similar philosophy at our neighborhood school (going deeper = writing your own word problems instead of learning any math for an entire year) which is why we are so thankful for Lincoln's "delivery model."

TC

Benjamin Leis said...

Yes there was a small comment on delivery model changes perhaps shifting the projected numbers. That could mean anything from appeal process changes, to delivery model shifts, for example only do self contained for 3-5 etc. However, he also said he hadn't heard of any of those changes being discussed internally and this falls under Michael Tolley so I left that out in my summary.

Anonymous said...

I was at the meeting an can confirm that Flip said that not all of Cascadia students will be going to the new building. He said that it was made clear at the district level when Cascadia (at the Wilson Pacific site) was chosen to house elementary HCC for the north that it would hold 650 students. And if there were more than 650 students enrolled in the program when the new building opens that only 650 would go there and that another site would need to be found for others. People tried to question Flip which other was school/site was being considered, would it be a geo-split, would their be grandfathering,etc. He said that Facilities is going to start conversations with Advanced Learning this spring to figure this out. He doesn't know what it will look like, if it could be a split, a brand new delivery model, or what.

The other thing he talked about was the opening of Lincoln as a high school and who would populate it. The school will hold 1600 students and 1100 will be there on day one. When asked who will fill it, he said that boundaries will be re-drawn and it could include students from Ballard HS, Roosevelt, Ingraham, and Nathan Hale. It could include Queen Anne and Magnolia students who currently attend Ballard. He didn't mention Garfield but he did talk about how Garfield will have around 2200 students at that time, so you have to imagine they'll be looking at some/all of HCC at Garfield. He said historically there have been some pretty crazy boundaries and he is looking a what's been done in the past.

People talked about how impactful it will be to pull kids from the high school that students have chosen, some have chosen them for very specific reasons or programs which can't necessarily be replicated at Lincoln and how pulling students mid-stream can be very impactful on the trajectory that students have planned. This year's 8th graders will be starting their senior year when Lincoln opens and they could potentially be pulled and sent to Lincoln. He acknowledged that this time will be hard, that there are no easy answers, we are in a serious capacity crunch, they can't make everyone happy, etc. He said changes are hard at first but people eventually settle in to the new reality. Flip said his goal is to have the re-drawn boundaries decided 12-18 months in advance of the school opening. But yes, students will be pulled from high schools to populate Lincoln. I think he gets how hard this will be on kids, but basically it is what it is.

Northend mom

Anonymous said...

Would people at Cascadia prefer a split between NE and NW or a grade-level split (first and second at Cedar Park or Decatur or Webster and third-fifth at Wilson Pacific)?

Another northend parent said...

Was there mention of an HCC split of HIMS kids once Eaglestaff opens - like the JAMS split?

Another northend parent

Anonymous said...

I would vastly, vastly prefer a NE-NW split. The kids are already getting split at middle school away from each other- I would prefer a pathway with the same basic boundaries for 1-8. And the grades now are way to big to be able to form meaningful school communities, especially since it's not a neighborhood school, which can help with that. I hope if we get in ahead of this, we can also help choose a principal who is supportive of advanced learning.

Pro-split

Anonymous said...

Bryant-Cascadia mom here. We're new to the HCC program with a 2nd grader at Cascadia. From our vantage point we would prefer a NE-NW split so the pathways are established early and there is an opportunity to create a sense of school community with kids remaining together during grades 1-8.

I would also like to see the ALO schools provide access to HCC curriculum so schools like Bryant are more likely to retain children who would be interested in staying but need more challenge. We would have loved to stay at our neighborhood school and prioritize neighborhood connections & community over the need for a HCC cohort during these early years, but the math curriculum at our ALO school was not cutting it for our kiddo.

Little minds with big hearts

Anonymous said...

OK, if you prefer the geographic split, and I do: Where would the NE kids go?

Thornton Creek and Olympic Hills are both shiny new buildings opening with a capacity of 660 and room to spare based on their current enrollments. So could you put 400 HCC-NE kids at OH? It seems like the answer is rightfully no given what is going on with the Cedar Park boundary.

Then there are the small (sub-par) building associated with both schools: Decatur and Cedar Park. Don't both of these buildings max out at 300? With all the kids that come from the NE, how could you contrive a split that worked? A location at Decatur would probably only grow the number of kids who opt in from the NE. Aren't there already several hundred kids from the Eckstein/JAMS attendance area at Lincoln? There would only be room for 1 class at 1st and 2nd and three classes at 3-5 in a building with 300 seats.

Geosplit

Benjamin Leis said...

I'll start with a caveat that this is all highly speculative so take this with a huge grain of salt. That aside, larger cohorts offer more flexibility to group kids and vary the teaching. However, some of the sites discussed above are very far on the edge of the cluster and that means the transportation burden is quite high for families if you say wanted to bus someone from Magnolia to Cedar Park.

Anonymous said...

Regarding opening of Lincoln, I think they could do a compromise in terms of roll-up: Seniors who live within the new Lincoln boundaries should be able to stay at whatever high school they are at since it does not make sense to switch schools for one year, especially not the very last one. But kids entering 10th or 11th grade could be moved since they would still have 2+ years at Lincoln. That would allow Lincoln to start as 9-11 in 2019 and be a full 9-12 school in 2020.

Just my 2 cents.
- Another northend parent
(with an 11th grader in 2019, likely to be in Lincoln zone)

Anonymous said...

@ Another northend parent 12:02, yes, Flip specifically said that Eagle Staff would take the pressure off of HIMS in 2017. In the context of Eagle Staff and Lincoln HS, he said they would try to grandfather as much as they could in these new schools but that in some cases a geo split is unavoidable if there is a need for immediate relief. Official word on geo-split vs roll-up is "We will have to address it as we get closer."

also there

Anonymous said...

I wish they could have managed to tighten the appeal requirements this year. Occurring next year, it will be too late to have a meaningful impact on the planning this spring. Two years of lesser growth might have been able to stop the split. There is so much vibrancy associated with the program as an all-north draw. Yes 800 is too big, but 300 is awfully small.

Anonymous said...

Screw the kids who don't perform well on group tests - right?

Anonymous said...

GEosplit, I would not split the cohort evenly. There are about 800 kids, right? I would put ~225 at Decatur (old building, not new- the new one will be full almost immediately. They are just not pulling kids out of other schools in the upper grades, but rolling up a 4-up. Plenty of kids try to move in the older grades- this could happen very quickly. It is now a 3-up, which is much more than the old building can handle, even with the giant portable village in what used to be the parking lot. I think they tried to get it as big as they could before the new, big building, but the old building is just small). Or maybe Cedar Park, but I feel like I would need to know more about that building, with a guaranteed enrollment that shifts a lot more year to year than neighborhoods do. Small is fine. Small can be great, and I know a lot of teachers would prefer the autonomy over having to exactly match with 6 other teachers' curricula so the next year's classes are all on the same page. TC teachers do not like having after school activities in their classrooms, so they are trying to make the old building into a NE "enrichment" building. I think that is hogwash in the current capacity crisis, and they should let after school activities use their rooms. And let HCC kids go to school in the run down old building near their neighborhood.

Another northend parent, I was even wondering if they could move just 9th and 10th graders. 11th grade is the crucial year for college applications, and honestly more important than senior year, I think. Of course that might mean they would be more aggressive about pulling hCC kids to ease capacity elsewhere, which puts my then HCC 10th grader squarely in the cross hairs.

Pro-split

Anonymous said...

Assuming they shrink the program by changing the appeals process, NE HCC could fit at Decatur (it's sized for 325 not counting portables). In my mind that would be the politically safer choice, but it does seem like they have their sights on Olympic Hills for something other than neighborhood programming, based on odd boundary choices lately (see save seattle schools for a recent discussion).

Anonymous said...

A 9-12 roll up would only work if the District committed to providing advanced courses more typically taken by seniors, since some of the kids would need them (e.g., calculus, high level foreign language, etc). Although if HC and immersion pathways remain elsewhere, that might not be so necessary?

Anonymous said...

@pro-split, hogwash indeed, when people are losing before and after school care in other buildings! An entire building set aside for enrichment will never fly.

Anonymous said...

another northend parent-- Regarding your question, I had inquired with Thomas Redman at SPS recently and was told:
My understanding is that the north end may possibly have 3 pathways: Jane Addams Middle School, Hamilton Middle School and Robert Eagle Staff Middle School. With enrollment on the rise, we are not yet sure how big the cohorts will be, but if the advanced learning service delivery model stays the same, having three pathways is the most likely outcome. Right now, we are not sure where the cohort lines will be drawn between Hamilton and Eagle Staff, as well as between Jane Addams and Hamilton There are conversations about advanced learning and international schools that will occur this spring. We plan to have community meetings in the Fall for the phasing in of boundaries for the 2017-18 school year.

Anonymous said...

I think a roll up at high school is harder because you also need enough variety of kids to populate full extracurricular programs, which are so much more important by that time. We also probably need significantly more capacity release than can be afforded by just moving one grade at a time over. I don't even know if 9-10 is enough.

12:40, I have a lot of experience in that building, and I don't think that 325 number is accurate. Especially not if the class size mandate goes through, but also if we are going to allow an art room and a resource(special ed) room. Maybe that is splitting hairs. But there won't be any room for portables with the new building next door, so any capacity flexibility has to come from in-building. That might be an argument for Cedar Park. Is NE HCC 325 kids now, or projected to be in 2017? Does anyone know?

Pro-split

Anonymous said...

http://www.seattleschools.org/UserFiles/Servers/Server_543/File/District/Departments/Enrollment%20Planning/Reports/Annual%20Enrollment/2015-16/Section%209.pdf

Ah, I see on here it is 335 from the JAMS and Eckstein service areas in 1-5. Shoot, that is big. Oly Hills might be the only place that would fit it, though I know that is so contentious. If it shrinks once they get rid of appeals maybe there would be more options, but we won't know until next spring, when we already need to have decided. I really, really, really hope they are keeping good data this year.

Pro-split

Anonymous said...

Me too, Pro-split. Thanks for looking up the numbers and for insight on Decatur. I just can't imagine a geo-split into a building that small for the NE cohort, if it had all 5 grades.

Geosplit

Anonymous said...

I am wondering if anyone has addressed capacity and fire and safety codes in overcrowded building with capacity meant for far fewer students? I am thinking about the safety of adding even more students. When the kids change classes hallways & stairwells are beyond crowded and swamped. Imagine if a fire or emergency? Anybody have any information or have any conversations with the fire marshal?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 1:09pm: I have wondered exactly the same thing. I have a child at HIMS and would be worried for all of them to get out in case of emergency given the overcrowding. Perhaps fire code is something to ask the principal (or building manager if he/she exists) about?

HIMS

Anonymous said...

Lots of ideas about how to split by geography, but any ideas regarding what he could have meant when he said "other delivery methods"...?

NE Cascadia

Anonymous said...

Titanic--- I completely agree with you. HIMS (meant for 850) has nearly 1100 this year. Next year are expecting at least another 100 for a total of approx 1200. Several classes are at 35/36. Principal says they have funds to add teachers, but had no classroom space this year to reduce some classes. Principal also said at Nov PTSA meeting, expect another 100 students next year but this "cannot happen". Last we heard he was looking into an annex for HIMS students at Lincoln for next year. He said this could happen if Licton Springs (150 kids?) is moved. I am also wondering about capacity and fire & safety codes.

Anonymous said...

@pro-split, that Decatur number (325) comes from this document, p 187, showing capacity numbers by building for 2020. I don't know if they've been adjusted for new class sizes, and I agree, it's a very small building without portables.

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

Anon 12:40

Anonymous said...

Since we are nearing emergency capacity status, why couldn't the city help by letting SPS use University Heights Center as an additional temporary site until adequate space is available at the new or renovated Lincoln, Thorton Creek, WP, and property is identified for a new Downtown/Queen Anne/Magnolia option school?

drastic measures

Anonymous said...

You know what would help with capacity? Pulling out all the current students in the program who got in via appeals.

Anonymous said...

Anon at 2:17

Great idea (not). I have two kids - one got in via school testing and the other got in via appeals (after being given the Cogat in K in a loud and crowded classroom). My kids get virtually identical scores on standardized testing (in the olden days when I allowed them to do it) and my appeals kid actually gets higher grades than the other kid.

I am excited and interested to see your proof that appeals kids are any less deserving than SPS tested kids. Please link to documentation. Also, please let me know what percentage of kids are there via private testing. Of course, there are some non-ethical parents that test over and over (really, how many can afford this?), but to suggest removing appeals kids would relieve overcrowding is ridiculous.

I am tired of hearing that appeals kids are there because their parents gamed the system - yawn. This trope must die.

-bored

Anonymous said...

What a stupid things to say. There has been no indication that students who get in on an appeal don't need the services. Oh and there is no where to go anyhow.


Little minds with big hearts, EVERY school is supposed to support HC kids at their school. This is in Sup's procedures. Make a stink if they don't comply and I would go back to Bryant. Cascadia is going to be split.

This is what they should do is place another program at Lowell and have Capitol Hill, Montlake, QA and Magnolia go there. North going to WP and south goes to TM.

been around

Anonymous said...

I don't think that person was serious but was rather stirring the pot.

Would the program you describe at Lowell (Cap Hill, Montlake, QA and Mag) have a critical mass of kids? I haven't heard that plan before and it seems worthy of consideration. All of those sites are central enough and right sized for the areas they serve.

Anonymous said...

I was not stirring the pot but pointing out that there was no negative reaction to the posts at 12:40 and 1:01 advocating that new appeals be limited. Decreasing access to appeals reduces access to services for kids who need them. If you believe that, it is unethical and selfish to support a limit merely because it eases capacity problems for kids already in the program.

Anonymous said...

Strongly prefer NE NW split. Co-hort continuity and local community are enhanced with this option vs. grade split.

- Yet Another NE Mom

Anonymous said...

3:30, don't misunderstand me. I'm not advocating for new appeals to be eliminated. I just think that's what the district means by "change the delivery model." Doesn't mean I like it. I don't.

There's also a ripple effect. Pull kids out of HCC, and their neighborhood schools are over capacity.

12:40

Anonymous said...

That would be a change in identification. A change in delivery model would be deferring the cohort model until the third grade.

Anonymous said...

Is all of HCC at Hamilton moving to WP/Eagle Staff?? Or will some HCC stay behind at HIMS? THank you!

Anonymous said...

Nobody knows yet.

Anonymous said...

Would TM have critical mass with only the South? I don't think so.

Anonymous said...

Not sure if this deserves its own thread, but I wanted to be sure this information in available. It was sent to Whitman parents recently.

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.

Northend mom

Anonymous said...

sure TM would; might have to have a split here or there but that has always been the case. I would also funnel QA and Magnolia through to WMS not north to wherever. WMS is going to be bare once Meany reopens.


Been Around

Anonymous said...

WMS is not only going to be bare it is going to be racially and economically bifurcated. Problem now, worse in 2 years. HCC delivery model and placement needs to change and I say this as a parent of an advanced learning student.

Planning ahead

Anonymous said...

Are you an HCC parent?

I agree that placement needs to change. The service delivery model works and is best practice in gifted education.

Anonymous said...

@ Planning ahead, "HCC delivery model...needs to change" to WHAT exactly??? You have a better idea?

Anonymous said...

To serving HCC kids at every middle school guaranteed and filling in cohorts with spectrum students by lottery. It's already happening at JAMS at MS level and it is fine. It happens at high school and it is fine.

Planning ahead

Anonymous said...

I would not say it is fine at JAMS. At least I would not say the humanities education is adequate. I have no idea if the watering down has anything to do with spectrum students, but nobody there is getting a humanities education suitable for an advanced student(well, I hear one history teacher does). They could try making the classes actually advanced, and then we could see if spectrum vs HCC makes any difference.

JAMS parent

Anonymous said...

@ Planning ahead, so you mean having HCC-specific classes at all schools, but then filling in with some Spectrum-eligble kids? Meaning all schools and all grades would have HCC-specific classes, and some lucky Spectrum kids might also get in, but those Spectrum kids not lucky enough to win a spot in HCC would be stuck in gen ed instead?

Anonymous said...

Yes that is exactly what I mean. That is what used to happen with self-contained Spectrum - lottery. If multiple walk to math tracks are happening in middle schools separate from the HCC delivery then all kids at all levels are getting 'just right' math anyhow. Spectrum-eligible students would be given access to "honors" social studies and LA as possible within each facility.

This would at least keep Spectrum alive to some degree in middle school. As it is now I expect we are an administrator or two away from downtown group-think to killing the program altogether. There is no will for it in most school buildings and in most of downtown.

This solution would potentially also keep the program from such strong "elitist race and class" criticisms that parents hear and educators-administrators believe.

Planning ahead

Anonymous said...

Planning Ahead-

Your proposed "solution" is naive. This "solution" would do nothing to: "keep the program from such strong "elitist race and class" criticisms that parents hear and educators-administrators believe." You are still separating kids and your "solution" will do nothing to keep the comments of elitist at bay - why isn't every child in *that* classroom? For some reason, people refuse to understand that getting an education at one's level is not a benefit or reward, it is supposed to be part of basic education. I think a lot of people are fine with advanced kids getting no education at all if it means that they don't see any "elitism" in their midst. That most people don't seem to know the difference between equal and equitable is sad.

Your "solution" will water down the program even more. The changes to instruction in an APP/HCC classroom in the last nine years have been amazing, and not in a good way. We currently have a program that many kids don't find challenging, and your "solution" will only exacerbate this problem.

I will leave the spectrum lottery idea alone. OMG!

-Thanks but no thanks

Anonymous said...

Perhaps it is also a misnomer to assume that general ed students are "getting an education at one's level." We already know the rampant problems inherent in the process that dictates whether one is gen ed or AL.

My AL kids have spent many years in general ed classrooms and I find Gen ed to be inadequate for ALL children. I don't see it serving anybody well. I think Spectrum/HCC allows some students a way out but there is no way out for other students for whom it is an equally bad match. To me, this seems to be where the tension between the have's and the have not's lies.

I can't help but notice that decreasing quality appears to be happening at every educational level? HCC and Spectrum and General ed (and SpED and ELL...) At least at the elementary level. As the floor drops in Gen ed, so the floor drops in HCC. They seem to be following parallel paths. As Gen ed gets worse, the pressure (and frantic scramble) to get out and get into HCC increases. Raising the bar in Gen ed, alleviates some of this?

Are Gen ed, Spectrum, and HCC all in the same boat?

South Dad

Anonymous said...

The charges of elitism ring hollow at HIMS where the neighborhood kids are more affluent than the all-northwest draw of HCC to the site. So what is the beef about self-containment there? Who are the "have's and the have not's" (sic).

What are the HCC kids allegedly getting that the locals aren't? They certainly have tracked classes in music and World Languages there at the "International" school, and that's OK with everyone. Why should kids with a few years of Spanish have to sit in class with beginners? But if you do it with LA/SS or science, that's somehow elitist. And if you do the same thing at WMS, then it's apparently racist too.

open ears

Anonymous said...

They could try making the classes actually advanced, and then we could see if spectrum vs HCC makes any difference.

You have to wonder by what measure JAMS is considered "fine." Grades? Grade level assessments? I need to keep telling my child to hang in there, that it really does get more challenging in high school.

-another JAMS parent

Anonymous said...

The humanities do not get more challenging at Garfield until 10th grade (AP World History) and 11th (AP English). I don't know about Ingraham.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure what comparison is being made by Anonymous at 8:56 (please use a pseudonym or name, people!). More challenging than what? I think the kids are learning a lot in the 9th grade Garfield world history class and working hard. The teachers are also great. I assume AP WH will be a greater challenge than this class, but this isn't a fluff course.
- 9th grade parent

Anonymous said...

9th grade parent - another JAMS parent has been promising their unchallenged JAMS student that classes will improve in high school. I was warning that this is not true across the board. The honors world history class is engaging - my child enjoyed it too. The 9th and 10th grade English classes my child took were not challenging. (Vocabulary assignments that might be appropriate for a middle school student.)

The trouble you find in high school is generally in your child's area of greatest strength. If English is your thing, it's harder to deal with an unchallenging course in that subject.

Senior parent