Friday, February 19, 2016

Robert Eagle Staff Middle School Principal Hiring Meetings

Here's an update from a parent on the new middle school. Note: there are still 2 more meetings coming up next week on the hiring process as well.  I expect enrollment choices i.e. rollup vs geosplit to be made about 12 months prior to opening.
"Long story short, the Robert Eagle Staff Middle School (opening Fall 2017) is expected to serve

      1)     ALL students who live in the newly established Robert Eagle Staff service area (Greenwood, Olympic View, Northgate, Broadview-Thomson, Daniel Bagley).  This includes students who want to take part in the HCC program as middle schoolers.

      2)     And ALSO all students who live in the Whitman Service area who want to take part in the HCC program as middle schoolers.

All families of students grades 4, 5 and 6 who might meet this description are welcome to attend the Principal Planning meetings.


Robert Eagle Staff Middle School Principal Hiring Meetings - UPDATED!

In September 2017, a new middle school will open in the NW Region.

Robert Eagle Staff Middle School will serve all students from Greenwood, Olympic View, Northgate, Broadview-Thomson, Daniel Bagley attendance areas as well as middle school students who are enrolled in the HCC program and who live in the Whitman service area.

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. These meetings are intended to address the hiring of a new principal and will not address questions regarding enrollment, boundary questions, and so forth. Those issues will be addressed at meeting to be scheduled at a later time.

Parents of 6th grade middle school students who live in the areas served by the elementary schools listed above are invited to attend, as are parents of 6th grade HCC students who live in the Whitman service area.

Meetings are scheduled on the following dates and times:
Thursday, Feb. 18 at Northgate Elementary (7 PM to 8 PM)
Wednesday, Feb. 24 at Greenwood Elementary (7 PM to 8 PM)
Thursday, Feb. 25 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. These meetings will be hosted by Jon Halfaker, the Executive Director for Schools in the NW Region.

Learn more about the new school on the Seattle Public Schools' Building Excellence Program website"

58 comments :

Anonymous said...

This may be discussed somewhere else on the blog. But it would be great for JAMS HCC parents to share how things went for their kids after switching schools from HIMS. I have a student who will likely be moved to Robert Eaglestaff for 8th grade. We are bummed about having to move for one year and then again starting a new school (high school) one year later. I am concerned about there being an appropriate continuity of classes. Any suggestions on how parents were involved to ensure the process went smoothly? Anybody in our position (switching last year of middle) have a positive experience?
thanks,
concerned.

Ballard parent said...

We *just* enrolled our fifth-grader in Hamilton's HCC program for next year. This will mark his start with HCC. We've been very excited about joining the program as well as attending Hamilton in general.

Our initial elation now is being tempered by the many variables surrounding a possible transition to Robert Eagle Staff. While the announcement that went out today suggested that the school zone has been defined, we were under the impression that the boundaries won't be established for some time. We feel like our area of Ballard, which currently attends HCC at Hamilton but otherwise is in the Whitman pathway, is a bit of a grey area, so we were surprised by the definitive nature of the statement. Also, it's been unclear whether our then-sixth-grader will have any chance of staying at Hamilton for seventh and eighth grades. Finally, reading the Robert Eagle Staff construction page a bit more closely, I noticed that they describe the student body as having a "small" cohort of APP/HCC students. What will that mean in terms of the range of class offerings?

Lots of questions are spinning around us... If anyone has insight, please fill us in!

Anonymous said...

@Concerned,

I have a current 8th grader at JAMS. He was at HIMS for sixth and then moved via the geosplit. It was very sad for him to leave friends at Hamilton, and to this day he still wears his Hamilton sweatshirt. However, the move to JAMS was made better by the fact that so many other friends also went with him.

JAMS is pretty good. I think that any new school takes time to ramp up, and that has been the difficult part. The language program, for instance, is less developed. My kid basically had to re-do a year of Spanish. Athletics have been much less developed. The policies and procedures and traditions have been slow to emerge. However, there have been bright spots, too. Some classes have been great! The teachers seemed to be, for the most part, carefully hired.

We went to all the planning meetings, and the administration was very clued into the fact that kids were being yanked without consent from their schools. The principal met with the displaced kids before school started, which made them feel better. You also have the "luxury" of having some time to get used to the idea of the geosplit. We did not.

I would say, for all of you who are pissed off about this move, be sure to look ahead to the high school situation! We are going to be moved mid-stream (anyone in the class of 2020 and under) for high school, which sounds TERRIBLE to me. Continuity is so important for kids who plan to go to college. Think about college counseling, teacher recommendations, clear academic pathways, etc. THIS is the issue that all HCC parents of middle schoolers should be talking about NOW -- and ADVOCATING loudly for smart decisionmaking at the district level.

--Burned Before

Anonymous said...

Ballard parent-- I have a HCC 6th grader also from Ballard at Hamilton. She will be starting 8th when moved. If there is any consolation it will be that a huge majority of the kids currently in HCC at Hamilton come from the Whitman service area & Ballard. "Hotspot" maps on the districts website that show where a majority of HCC kids live. So I suspect a good amount will be moved as a cohort over to Eaglestaff. I spoke with a JAMS parent. Her kid's experience worked out o.k. great teachers etc. She stressed parent involvement in the district meetings really helped. I guess it will be up to us to be at those meetings and advocate best we can. Another positive note is that Eaglestaff will hopefully mean less crowding etc. Hamilton is way, way beyond capacity (1100 this year!) & 100 more are expected next year. This is in a building meant for like 850 kids. No class below 32. One of my kid's classes has 36! The hallways are so incredibly crowded, she has gotten knocked over twice.

Anonymous said...

My advice (I was on the JAMS Steering Committee) is to remind the district that school starts on X date in September, so please have books and other classroom supplies BEFORE that date. We didn't have LA books until mid-year. Ridiculous.

The rest of this is reading like a laundry list...but please learn from our experience.

Set your PTSA up as soon as you can. You will need members, $$ etc...to get things off the ground. Silly things like t-shirts for the students so they can feel a part of the school community. Summer socials, music booster group (work early with FOMAHI to grant some $$ over to Eaglestaff), sport coaches (so you can have "C" no-cut teams).

Set up a website to post information and get folks to sign up for an email list. We used that exclusively because the district site will not populate until the first day of school, so getting information out to parents is very challenging. Plan on at least one or two 'snail mail' campaigns in conjunction with the school. Figure the school won't be 'done' until the last second so you might not be able to have functions there.

I'm sure there's more--hopefully other members of the JAMS team can chime in.
LH

Anonymous said...

Part of the mix up with texts was the similarity in school names - Jane Addams MS vs Jane Addams K8. Supposedly downtown didn't process all JAMS orders because they thought they were duplicate orders for JAK8, not JAMS. It wasn't just LA texts.

Another thing that should be worked out before Day 1: the daily schedule. Advocate for a schedule similar to HIMS - 6 periods a day, every day, with HR at lunch. JAMS went through so many schedule changes that first year. It was maddening for the kids. They had formed lunch groups, only to be shifted around multiple times.

Anonymous said...

There isn't really a curriculum for HCC middle school LA or SS--the old Board said they needed to adopt one when it approved opening JAMS as a new site, but it never happened--so what books are they supposed to order? Dos anyone know what JAMS got for each grade in LA and SS, and how closely these are aligned to what WMS and HIMS use? Who will determine what RESMS will use?

Curricu-what?

Anonymous said...

They supposedly developed a curriculum, but it doesn't have to be followed...there is effectively no set curriculum, as the teachers do whatever they want, same as before. The recent middle school social studies adoption did not review different materials for HCC - they are expected to use the grade level history texts.

Does anyone know what JAMS got for each grade in LA and SS, and how closely these are aligned to what WMS and HIMS use? - good question for the principal.

Anonymous said...


Does the Readers Writers workshop model continue in middle school? I wonder if that is part of the problem for Language Arts.

A friend recently switched over to the Bellevue school district and reported that for Language Arts the follow they gifted curriculum from the College of Williiam and Mary. They really like it and found it superior to the Readers Writers workshop model. Also their work gets edited by the teacher instead of the peer editing that seems to happen in SPS.

-nh.

Anonymous said...



I should clarify that Bellevue uses the gifted curriculum from college of William and Mary for language arts in elementary. I don't know what they do for middle school.

-nh

Anonymous said...

I don't think JAMS uses a formal curriculum. Everything is Common Core aligned, but teachers have considerable autonomy over readings and what goes on in class. They're not using Readers Workshop or the College of William and Mary (which my son had in Spectrum elementary and found mind-numbingly dry).

I don't think that the different HCC sites spend time aligning things. My son was at Hamilton in sixth, and that LA teacher did her own thing (which was fabulous, btw). I don't see the sixth grade teachers at JAMS using the same methods or nookd that she did.

At JAMS, HCC Language Arts is pretty much regular Language Arts with a separate cohort. What goes on is very teacher dependent, which is great when the teacher is good. But if you're expecting some sort of super special gifted Language Arts, it's not that.

K.C.

Anonymous said...

But isn't it supposed to be advanced/accelerated? Isn't that the main point of the program?

Anonymous said...

Anon @7:23,

Yes.

K.C.

Anonymous said...

I think K.C. is correct. At JAMS, HCC LA & SS are grade-level CCSS in a cohort. My understanding is this is the case at Hamilton and Washington as well, but I would like to hear from other parents there. From what I have been told, only Science is officially accelerated for middle school HCC students in SPS, with students completing 9th grade Biology in 8th grade. Beyond that, acceleration is based on Math and Foreign Language placements (Year 3 at JAMS is equivalent of HS French or Spanish 2A and 2B, so a 9th grader can enter HS at 3A).

My child was lucky enough to start JAMS as a 6th grader. For the older kids who were geo-split, many of the ones I've spoken to are positive about it. It really helped when their parents were involved in making it a positive transition vs a battle.

And speaking of that High School situation and battles, Burned Before is right. It isn't pretty. Remember APP@Lincoln got pulled out of Lowell over the summer.

Food for thought

Anonymous said...

Also, Ballard Parent, re: the "small" cohort of APP/HCC students at RESMS, SPS has been using that phrasing since the split from Hamilton, so almost 3 years now. At that time they announced there would be 2 HCC middle schools in North Seattle, and if they had enough students for a third cohort, then they would split it off to WilPac. In the meantime, it's become pretty clear they DO have enough HCC students to warrant that, and it won't be all that small.

Food for thought

Anonymous said...

Yes. According to the 5-yr projections, Eagle Staff will open with 700+ students, about half of whom will be HCC. Hamilton will keep a large HCC cohort as well.

Eagle eye

Anonymous said...

Eagle eye-- Where did you find the data that 350 of 700+ students will be HCC? Can you please link? Is there a larger group expected for 6th or about equal split per grade? Any data on many HCC will stay at Hamilton?

Anonymous said...

Not sure about Eagle eye's info, but some HCC numbers were posted on an earlier thread:

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

Anonymous said...

Enrollment Planning has projections data posted, including the most recent five-year projections (2015/16-2019/20). These are just projections, of course, but may give some idea what SPS is thinking.

For 2017/18, when Eagle Staff opens, they project enrollment will be 709. Hamilton is estimated at 896, down from a projected 1172 next year.

On page 6, they provide "APP" numbers. (Apparently someone didn't get the memo that the name was changed, what, a couple years ago?) Eagle Staff is projected at 343, HIMS 374. These are similar to JAMS.

While you're perusing the projections data, take a look at those high school numbers. Scary.

Eagle eye

Anonymous said...

Very interesting...how were the Ingraham/Garfield projections calculated? They project Ingraham numbers holding somewhat steady, which would seem to underestimate IHS enrollment and overestimate GHS enrollment. The projected Garfield numbers - wow.

From the linked document on APP enrollment
2014-15: 63% GHS, 37% IHS

% of HCC enrollment at each location from projected numbers:
2015-16: 65% GHS, 35% IHS
2016-17: 68% GHS, 32% IHS
2017-18: 73% GHS, 27% IHS
2018-19: 77% GHS, 23% IHS
2019-20: 80% GHS, 20% IHS

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 9:41, one thing to keep in mind is those numbers for IHS were posted back in the fall. Since then, IHS has announced it will begin offering the choice of the standard IB program to HCC students, making this program a fit for more students. Also, the levy passed adding 500 seats there. I suspect both of those moves are ways to pick up some of the slack from GHS. A drop in the bucket though, really.

Good Fit

Anonymous said...

The projections include this comment: For Highly Capable Cohort (HCC, formerly APP): These rates are calculated by historic
growth rate, and removing these students from their attendance area schools.


Does anyone think the growth rate in HCC will remain constant? If that were true, eventually the entire district would be enrolled in HCC. I suspect our (new to the district) head of enrollment planning doesn't know the history of the north/south APP split and its effect on program growth.

Anonymous said...

Those 500 additional seats are a long way off still, aren't they?

Anonymous said...

Eagle Eye,

Looking at Garfield & Ingraham HCC projections, for planning purposes wonder if they are projecting as if all HCC students will enroll in these pathways. While in reality, some HCC will choose neighborhood high schools instead. Thus far less HCC actually enrolling in Garfield & Ingraham & more enrolling in neighborhood high schools. Also, wondering how many on average leave HCC after middle school for private high school & whether that % is taken into account on these reports as well.

Anonymous said...

Anon at 7:46AM, I think their projections are based on historical HCC pathway opt-in rates and students who stay in SPS (or who come to SPS for high school, from private ES and/or MS, as many who prefer the small school experience for younger grades want all the opportunities that come with a large comprehensive high school). These aren't projections of how many will test in, but how many they anticipate in each spot.

Pathway opt-in rates might decrease as overcrowding in pathway schools intensifies, although overcrowding at most of the neighborhood schools will offset this to some extent. The still somewhat more limited advanced options at neighborhood schools will also continue to drive people to the pathway schools, as long as the pathway exists. I expect they will eliminate the high school pathways within a couple years, though, and assign everyone to their neighborhood high schools, even if it can't really meet their needs.

Eagle eye

Anonymous said...

Anon at 7:46 - Please use a name.

I can't image HCC kids leaving for private HS would have much of an effect on overall numbers. There just aren't that many private school options and none of them take solely HCC kids. For instance, there are around 140 9th graders at Lakeside, but they are not all from HCC. From the numbers I have heard, it's fewer than 10 9th grade kids total there from HCC (from all three HCC middle schools combined). The HS pathway is so overcrowded that a few missing kids here and there isn't going to be noticeable. Plus, if people survived MS (we are currently experiencing HIMS), the public HS are going to be much better and they're free.

-rabbit

Lynn said...

Here's some data on HCC high school enrollment:

The Annual Enrollment Report shows us the number of students who leave the HCC after 8th grade. (This year's net decrease was 49 (out of 311) students.)

Current HCC details show us where those kids who attend other schools end up. (Mostly Ballard and Roosevelt with less than ten at Franklin, Hale, Sealth and West Seattle.)

Anonymous said...

Yes, the 500 seats are a long way off. For once, SPS seems to be taking a long view, which is good, but the immediate future is in a messy situation.

If fewer students enroll in GHS/IHS and choose neighborhood schools, it is not a solution. Ballard and Roosevelt are too full to absorb more students. And even so, the small numbers of HCC that might opt for neighborhood do very little to address the staggering overage at Garfield.

Also of note, 75% of Garfield's students are from its own attendance area this year. And 75% fit quite nicely in the building until it becomes just a little squeeze in 2018. The idea that HCC is going somewhere else isn't a new one. They seem to be working on a West Seattle path, there's IB at RB, and the IB/IBX program at Ingraham.

North end is interesting. This year, 505 north end students go to HCC pathway schools from another attendance area. That number doesn't include IHS attendance area HCC who stay at IHS. And it also doesn't specify how many of those are Gen Ed students who opted in from out-of-area. IHS has 560 students enrolled or rising into IB/IBX this year. Based on those numbers there appear to be enough IB/IBX seats at Ingraham to accommodate North HCC and still house the 826 that attend from within Ingraham boundaries. (see links below)

By adding the 4-year IB option to the HCC pathway, it becomes more accessible to a broader range of HCC students and, on paper anyway, can solve this capacity problem. 505 north-end HCC students fit into 560 seats. But in reality there are still problems and questions:

>Will they be able to continue to offer IB to non-HCC kids who currently have access to the program? Are they prepared for a political mess if they don't?
>Will IB/IBX draw enough HCC kids away from neighborhood schools to take the pressure off of Ballard and Roosevelt?
>Will SPS impose an AP-focused pathway on Nathan Hale, where it would be a possibly-unwelcome cultural shift?
>Will they manage things the way they plan to at Ballard and Hamilton next year, eliminating pathways and managing overcrowded neighborhood schools with reactionary measures until Lincoln opens?

I fear the last option the most. Which is why I really think it's important to keep this discussion on the table.

sources:
http://sps.ss8.sharpschool.com/UserFiles/Servers/Server_543/File/District/Departments/Enrollment%20Planning/Reports/Annual%20Enrollment/2015-16/Section%204.pdf

http://bta.seattleschools.org/assets/Uploads/documents/20150701-2016LeviesReport.pdf

Good Fit

Anonymous said...

I'm not understanding your interpretation of the IHS numbers, Good Fit. Are you saying there's room for 500 more now?

EE

Anonymous said...

No, it's coincidental that the 500 seats added in the levy, the 505 north-end students who attend pathway schools outside of their attendance area, and the current 560 IB/IBX students are all similar numbers.

I am saying the current 505 north-end students who go to pathway schools fit in the current 560 IB/IBX seats, very likely displacing some gen-ed students with HCC. The 500 levy seats come later.



Good Fit

Benjamin Leis said...

At some point when I find the time I should setup a permanent page with the current capacity related facts.

Anonymous said...

@Good Fit asked, Will they be able to continue to offer IB to non-HCC kids who currently have access to the program? Are they prepared for a political mess if they don't?

What? Isn't IB available to every enrolled IHS student that has passed the needed math, science, and language classes? Why would that change? The IB program was created at IHS before a Garfield-relief pathway was created in IBX.

If anything, wouldn't an AP pathway at Lincoln be used to alleviate crowding at Garfield, Roosevelt, and Ballard? Plus, HCC has so much experience starting at new schools...

Anonymous said...

Somebody mentioned recently that when Flip attended a meeting at Garfield he mentioned that Lincoln would be used to help alleviate over-crowding at Garfield. Apparently Flip did not state "how" Lincoln would help alleviate overcrowding, but it seems like a hint toward a new AP pathway for HCC. I believe he also said that schools will be dealing with the additional overcrowding until Ingraham seats are added and Lincoln opens. So it does not seem like they have an interim plan. Maybe someone who attended the meeting can add more information.

Anonymous said...

Lincoln could just as easily help with overcrowding if it were a neighborhood school. It's premature to assume Lincoln will become an HC pathway school. It also doesn't fit with the five-year projections, which mention the neighborhood boundary for Lincoln and which show the populations of the other north end schools shrinking significantly when Lincoln opens. When you consider that things will likely get to a breaking point BEFORE Lincoln reopens, the "solution" will probably come sooner. I know the Advanced Learning office is open to the idea of eliminating pathways and having everyone go to their neighborhood high school as a way of dealing with the capacity challenge, and although I hate that plan, I wouldn't be surprised if that's what happens.

Anonymous said...

Except that many current students have Ballard and Roosevelt as their neighborhood schools, and they have capacity issues as well.

Anonymous said...

I'll eat my hat if the decision to simply send HCC kids to their local high schools doesn't emerge in the next 2 years. It's so clear that is where staff is headed.

Veteran

Anonymous said...

Veteran -

I agree, and I think they have actually said as much, although in vague terms.

They are already breaking up Spectrum by saying each child will be taught to their needs within every classroom (I know, it doesn't happen). Since APP/HCC doesn't exist in high school anyway (it is a cohort, not a program), I think the district is definitely going towards eliminating the high school portion.

-The end

Anonymous said...

Yet APP/HCC has long been used as a moveable program to shore up low performing or under enrolled schools. Remember attempts to place APP at Eckstein, which is the neighborhood school for many students placed at JAMS?

Anonymous said...

Sorry--- A statement about Garfield was made by Nyland (not Flip) on the Save Seattle Schools Blog. http://saveseattleschools.blogspot.com/2016/02/ballard-meeting-with-flip-herndon.html
See poster 2/5/16 @ 2:06PM
There was talk of a new HCC pathway likely opening. Here is what poster wrote Nyland said:
"Superintendent Nyland also visited Garfield's PTSA meeting where he shared that Garfield is not expected to house 100s more students. Several efforts are underway that should limit the upward enrollment. Lincoln will be reopening. A new HCC pathway will likely open..

Garfield is expected to be almost 700 students over capacity the year before Lincoln reopens. Where is this new pathway and when will it open?"

Anonymous said...

February 24, 2016 at 11:12 AM, I don't know if there is a cap on IB/IBX enrollment numbers at IHS. That is an important question. Is there funding for an unlimited amount as long as they are enrolled in the building?

Martin Floe indicated he thinks the program will be able to grow with increased demand.

Good Fit

Anonymous said...

One possible scenario is the district eliminates the GHS pathway, and the citywide pathway to Ingraham. But they don't eliminate pathways altogether, allowing north-enders to choose between Ingraham and neighborhood schools.

In that scenario, Ballard and Roosevelt would be very very full before Lincoln opens. It will be interesting to see how things go at Hamilton and Ballard next year, because we could very well see more of that same kind of reactionary interim space management in the next few years. I worry about split shifts, one of the few ways to manage a capacity situation AFTER it has gotten out of hand. If they can just keep ahead of it a little more, anticipate and plan, maybe they can avoid that. They need to be doing something now for 2017.

Anon at 1:18 PM, I'm fairly certain Nyland was referring to the long-term plan there when he says "Several efforts are underway that should limit the upward enrollment." (Lincoln and 500 new seats at IHS from the levy). Does not address the immediate problem though.

Good Fit

Anonymous said...

The End, I would go further to say that in HS, HCC is not even a cohort. It's a pathway, to a school that meets the criteria of state law RCW 28A.185.020 "The legislature finds that, for highly capable students, access to accelerated learning and enhanced instruction is access to a basic education."

Ingraham keeps kids in a cohort for a few classes in 9th grade. Only HCC students can enroll in IBX, so by default that continues to be a cohort. If they choose IB, they are mixed.
At Garfield, there is a critical mass, but no classes with a cohort. Kids are mixed in classes.

Anonymous said...

Anon above at 3:30 - I wish people would use a name. Just make something up so that others can reply to posts!!!!

I know that kids in all programs are mixed at Garfield. But, because there are large numbers of HCC kids going to GHS (a cohort), they are able to offer more AP classes than what they have at some other schools. Roosevelt has a large number of AP classes, but other high schools have fewer. If the district does end the high school pathway, they will need to ensure that AP classes are spread equally throughout the district. It is not fair for one HS to have more options than others. We still have a crazily competitive college entrance requirements, so AP classes are important. The cohort also helps kids to find peers and to not feel "weird," but neither of these issues is part of the law.

-The End

Anonymous said...

If the district does end the high school pathway, they will need to ensure that AP classes are spread equally throughout the district.

They'd also need to ensure that there's some consistency in terms of access to an appropriate course sequence. HCC students who end up at one school shouldn't have to retake Biology, for example, while others get to move ahead.

EE

Anonymous said...

The End, Anon at 3:30 is right. The only obligation the district has is to follow the letter of the law, providing access to accelerated learning and enhanced instruction. Bare minimum at high school I think that's 1) not having to retake classes (like EE mentioned) and 2) access to any AP or IB or running start classes at all. AP class equity for HCC students? We are the "privileged" and the last in line for any sort of equity from SPS. Not that I think that's right, but unfortunately that's our reality.

As we gear up for this change, it's important that we keep something in mind. Our kids don't get to take AP/IB classes because they are more deserving of getting into competitive universities someday. They get to take them because that's the kind of learning and instruction our HCC kids require to thrive.

good fit

Anonymous said...

good fit:

I have no idea what you are talking about. I agreed with anon - I only added the detail that there are more accelerated classes offered at GHS because of the cohort that is currently sent there. I didn't at any point suggest that HCC kids shouldn't have their needs met - my kid has been in the program for about 9 years. I know what APP/HCC used to be and what it is now, and I expect it to continue its steady decline.

You quoted part of the WA law regarding G&T: "access to accelerated learning and enhanced instruction." I assume you noticed how vague the law is? The program doesn't need to look like it does now in order to provide "access" (extra books in the corner?) or "enhanced instruction" (computers in the corner?).

There is no pollyanna regarding HCC in this house.

-The End

Anonymous said...

Apologies if I misunderstood your intent, The End. I agree with you, AP at GHS is incredible and it will be a loss if we don't have access to it anymore. It is certainly worth advocating for fair distribution of AP classes if we do it right. In the current climate we will get farther if we make it clear that the reason our kids need access to a variety of quality learning opportunities is because the way their brains work requires it. Not because college admissions are competitive and things aren't fair. I don't mean to single your post out. It's something I hear quite frequently from HCC parents. But when we put that message out there we get called elite and privileged and our kids' needs aren't taken seriously.

Good fit

Anonymous said...

Good Fit-

Are you fairly new to the program? I ask because you still seem to believe that anything an HCC parent advocates for has the possibility of happening.

Our family has been through a program split, a sudden move and another program split. I am long past believing that anyone in the district cares one bit about what I have to say.

As for the elitist stuff, as long as an HCC parent is advocating for their child, we get hit with that. Other people are able to advocate for their child, but HCC parents are not because the kids are already seen has having "enough" so you are selfish if you want more, even if it just means you want your child to learn anything during a school year. I am also long past caring about what other parents think. They are going to think I am elitist no matter how I phrase what I say, so I can't be bothered with trying to figure out what way I can say something in order not to offend someone looking to be offended.

This elitism issue is far larger than Seattle, IMHO. Look at who one of the presidential candidates is. A lot of Americans don't like smart.

-The End

Anonymous said...

No, I'm not new. I've been involved since Lowell and just as jaded as anyone. Not that it really matters. First grade parents at Cascadia don't have it so great either.

I'm not sure how anything I've written would make you think that I believe we can ask for whatever we want and make it happen. What I do know for sure is HCC families WILL advocate for something, because we always do.

RESMS parents on this thread have an opportunity to shape their kids' middle school experience. Those on this thread looking ahead to HS also have an opportunity to figure out a realistic solution the district might actually be open to and push for it. Whether we get what we want is another story altogether, but sure, let's try.

People will hear what they want to hear. I 100% agree with you that people think we have "enough." But I do think there's a way to advocate for our kids that would maybe not alienate even more people.

good fit

Anonymous said...

Good Fit, Veteran & The End,

I agree, neighborhood schools (already overcrowded) are where things are heading for HCC. I was at one of the Eaglestaff parent meetings this past week hosted by director of NW schools. He brought up Garfield projections and "said he could not imagine" it continuing to be an option for all HCC. He said "it made sense years ago, but not now as kids can take the same courses at their local high school". Only a couple of Hamilton parents at this meeting. A parent brought up only Garfield offers a full array of AP plus multiple sections needed to put together a schedule for HCC kids. He seemed to disagree. On a related not, he also stated that district does not want HCC or any one program to be more represented at Eaglestaff as want to be comprehensive middle school. Oct 2015 5 year projection has Eaglestaff opening at 700 with 343 HCC. Seems district is not happy about that number & boundaries will be changing. He said people will not be happy, boundaries may seem weird.

Mom of 3 said...

Anon at 8:25,

Could you elaborate on Halfaker's Eaglestaff comments? What was the suggestion for fixing the "problem"? Getting more gened kids there? Reducing the number of HCC kids? Splitting HCC 4 ways? Will the HCC sites no be equal in number?

Any thoughts? How can they remedy the situation with the k-8 taking up a wing of the building?

It is sad that the District clearly has a plan in mind for all these kids (HCC, GenEd combined), but isn't sharing with us so we are left to speculate.

Anonymous said...

For as long as we've been part of this district, the focus seems more about trying to engineer the make up of school populations, rather than ensuring each and every school is providing a solid, appropriate education.

Anonymous said...

Right, REMS is the tiniest of the middle schools with HCC, because they plopped a k-8 in the building, taking up a couple hundred seats. And now they are mad that 300/that total is a bigger fraction than at the other, bigger program sites? And think the entire NW region should have its boundaries redrawn around that decision? This is such a perfect example of the cascade of problems that stem from optics/politics based decisions instead of data driven ones.

Similarly, HCC at the high school level is a diversifying tool. There are no self contained classes- it just increases the rigor available to students at the school, because class offerings have to be based on student needs(so population driven, vs at the elementary level when curriculum is top down- district level driven). If HCC leaves Garfield, what will the FRL percentage be? It's 40% now. Assuming HCC is low frl, it would bump up to about 70%, creating a blighted school out of a currently diverse one. How rich and white will Roosevelt and Ballard be if you send kids back? Right now anyone can test in and get sent to a more rigorous high school. That has problems, but going to a 100% neighborhood model means you literally only have access to rigor with the right zip code.

I know I'm preaching to the choir, but this is so frustrating. Hey, we're zoned for Roosevelt(and far away from Lincoln), which if he gets his way will probably have the most advanced classes in the city, and obviously anyone who fights this is going to be publicly maligned as elitist. It's hard to muster the energy to fight. But what a terrible idea he has.

-sleeper

Anonymous said...

Mom of 3-
He said boundaries may have to be re-adjusted to draw in more neighborhood kids. He threw out the number of around 275 HCC when it opens, but said "he did not know. He stated he was not leading the boundary committee, it is Flip. But he frowned when someone pointed out that Oct 2015 5 year projections had Eaglestaff opening with 343 HCC within 700 total. His response was the intention of Eaglestaff is to be a comprehensive middle school with ELL, special ed, general ed etc, so they may have to re-adjust boundaries. He said some people will not be happy & boundaries may seem odd.

Anonymous said...

Future Eaglestaff parents- Only a couple of Hamilton parents were at the meeting I attended & it was a small group total. I heard he said only 60 parents total attended within the 4 meetings. Someone told me there were only a small handful (7?) of parents at the Cascadia meeting last night & not all Hamilton. He had expected a large crowd & it was in the auditorium. He is currently taking the names of parents who are interested on being on hiring committee.

zella917 said...

I think there is still little awareness among parents that their kids will be affected by whats going on with this new school, at least at the elementary level. And i dont think these meetings were very well publicized either. I sent a message to our parent email list at Daniel Bagley about them before we received official notice from our school about it. i do hope the word is getting out more now from the parents who did attend a meeting; i know I"m talking with folks I know. HCC or not, we all want the new school to be ready to meet our kids' needs so they can have a good middle school experience.

Anonymous said...

Last Friday memo from Larry Nyland to the school board directors was on the SaveSeattle Schools blog:
http://www.seattleschools.org/UserFiles/Servers/Server_543/File/District/Departments/School%20Board/Friday%20Memos/2015-16/February%2019/20160216_Friday_Memo.pdf

"HCC pathways are being considered for expansion". We are told that Cascadia (650 capacity) is not expected to house all the HCC kids coming over from Lincoln. Combined with the comment from director of NW seattle schools that "no one program including HCC will predominate in representation at Eaglestaff" and yet very large HCC middle school projections.... I think this means more HCC splits folks coming very soon.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure how much we can read into this. We have known they are intending to "expand" HCC in West Seattle for a long time now. Probably yes, they are considering additional expansion. But it's possible he was just referring to what they are doing in WS. http://saveseattleschools.blogspot.com/2015/04/seattle-schools-planning-new-pathway.html

good fit