Friday, April 1, 2016

April Open Thread

Open issues I'm monitoring

  • The tail end of the testing season.
  • Capacity decisions related to Hamilton, Cascadia and Garfield.
  • The West Seattle HCC Pathway
  • SBAC Testing season.

Articles

A high level analysis of the outcomes for students where tracking is more prevalent. 

http://www.brookings.edu/blogs/brown-center-chalkboard/posts/2016/04/04-math-class-tracking-equality-sablich
"The second section investigates whether tracking in eighth grade is related to Advanced Placement (AP) outcomes in high school. Tracking, the practice of grouping students into different classes based on ability or prior achievement, is a controversial topic. Critics argue that tracking creates or reinforces social inequities. Middle school is when students first experience tracking, typically in mathematics. In eighth grade, the tracking question currently boils down to whether high achieving students who are ready for a formal algebra course will get one—or whether all students will take the same general math course.
Is middle school tracking related to either AP participation or test scores? State-level tracking data from 2009 and AP data from 2013 are used to tackle the question. States that had a larger percentage of eighth grade students in tracked math classes produced a larger percentage of high-scoring AP students four years later. The heightened AP performance held across racial subgroups—white, black, and Hispanic. There was no relationship between tracking and AP participation. Taken together, these findings suggest the heightened performance was not a result of increased selectivity into AP.  "

Update on Robert Eagle Staff Middle School:


As work continues on the new Robert Eagle Staff Middle School, we are excited to announce that Marni Campbell has been appointed as the new principal who will lead the final year of planning and the opening of the school in September 2017. Since this new school will draw students from multiple programs throughout the Seattle Public Schools northwest region, as well as a few schools in the northeast region, we are sending this announcement to families in both regions.
Throughout the coming year, Ms. Campbell will work with students, families, community and staff to build a vision for the new middle school, hire the core administrative and instructional team, meet with students and families of the schools feeding into the new middle school to ensure a smooth transition, and closely monitor all aspects of the construction and opening of the new building.
Ms. Campbell is returning to Seattle Public Schools, having served as the executive director of instruction and innovation for Highline Public Schools since 2013. During her time with Seattle Public Schools, she served as an assistant principal for Mercer Middle School, principal for Eckstein Middle School and Nathan Hale High School, and as an executive director and assistant superintendent supporting the Teaching and Learning and Special Education Departments.
A current doctoral candidate at the University of Washington, Ms. Campbell holds a master’s in teaching and learning from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education, a master’s in English literature and a bachelor’s in English from Brigham Young University.
Ms. Campbell brings a constant emphasis on equity to her work. She has a clear understanding and dedicated focus on Special Education, English Language Learners (ELL) and Advanced Learning programs. Ms. Campbell’s attention is on all students, not just some students. She has a strong desire to connect the students, school and community to the legacy of Robert Eagle Staff and the lands the school will occupy.
We will set up opportunities for building staff, students and families to meet your new principal. Thank you for the high expectations you set for every student, and for all you do.
Please join me in welcoming Ms. Campbell to Seattle Public Schools and the McDonald International Elementary community.
Sincerely,

Stephen Nielsen, Deputy Superintendent
Seattle Public Schools

Teaching and Learning Oversight meeting

The slides for the upcoming teaching and learning board meeting have quite a few Advanced Learning pieces


Opportunities Slide:
  • Increase efficiency in eligibility identification process
  • Increase program and process accessibility 
  • Meaningful services that meet the academic needs of Highly Capable students available at all attendance area schools 
  • Opportunity to identify and serve students who are Highly Capable in a single domain 
  • Streamline and condense the eligibility testing window
  • Facilitate secured parent/guardian access to student information and progression through identification process 
  • Increase equity and diversity through the approval of the proposed modifications in 2190 SP
Risks Slide:
  • Continuing dependence on outdated, antiquated and unsustainable data systems
  • Inconsistent achievement data collection
  • Turn-around and accuracy of score reports from testing provider
  • Equity and diversity initiatives hampered by inability to update 2190SP
  • Existence of Spectrum identification diverts energy from Highly Capable identification and services
  • Time and resources used to address, often repeatedly, misinformation disseminated throughout the community
  • Potential Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act violations
I will comment that after this years events in my opinion the departments inability to understand and follow regular procedures for updating policy are the real block to making any changes to 2190SP.  Likewise, poor communication on their part is the primary reason for most discrepancies or misinformation. 


What's on your minds?

125 comments :

Benjamin Leis said...

Added the update on the planning principal for REMS.

NorthEnd Parent said...

Hello All—

Is it true that presently placed HCC students are required to take the SBAC in order to stay in the HCC program?

NorthEnd Parent

pm said...

NorthEnd Parent--

No. At present, identification as HCC is permanent as long as you remain in Seattle Public Schools.

NorthEnd Parent said...

Ok, that had been my understanding. But what about this:

" Please note: Those who opt out of District achievement testing are also opting out of Advanced Learning eligibility."

Is that only for new students?

Will an HCC child in the North End still be eligible for Garfield (assuming space, etc.—Garfield's not really our choice right now), or will they need to re-test?

Anonymous said...

NE Parent-

Is your child in HCC now? The rule has been that a child MUST be in the HCC program in 8th grade in order to be eligible for Garfield. If your child is in HCC now, and stays in through 8th grade, they will be able to go to Garfield. As you mentioned, Garfield can't handle this much longer.

You cannot test into Garfield for 9th grade.

-oldie

Anonymous said...

Ms. Campbell...has a clear understanding and dedicated focus on Special Education, English Language Learners (ELL) and Advanced Learning programs.

Wow, she has a dedicated focus on all three of those? Does anyone know to what extent that's true re: Advanced Learning? None of the schools mentioned in her leadership experience have an HCC program, and Nathan Hale is all about inclusion and de-tracking. How exactly is that a good fit for HCC? Will she be allowed to build a vision for the new middle school that abandons the cohort model? This should be interesting...

Hmmm

NorthEnd Parent said...

Oldie—

"Is your child in HCC now?"

Yes; child is now in HCC, 6th grade.

Bigger Boat said...

In scanning the board agenda for special meeting on 3/31 (Board Acton Report:E) and now April 6 (intro items #8), on I see there are 2 portables listed for purchase & placement at HIMS for Fall 2016 so seems like they are moving forward with that option...
https://www.seattleschools.org/cms/One.aspx?portalId=627&pageId=9232815

Anonymous said...

With the charter school bill now law....


What about a HCC focused charter with strong curriculum?

Lynn said...

NorthEnd Parent,

That line was added to the Advanced Learning website as an attempt by staff to reduce the number of achievement tests they administer in the identification process. It was not intended to apply to students who are already identified.

The superintendent has confirmed (in the March 11th Friday Memo) that it cannot be a requirement for students who are nominated for referral.
Assessments – As reported at the March 9th work session, Smarter Balanced assessments are beginning in March with most of the testing in April and May. We will again be sending a memo to parents. Board members have raised questions about use of the assessments for gifted selection. We will try to parse that wording carefully. SBA results are not required (you could be recommended by a teacher); however you may not be screened into the initial process if you don’t take the test and you aren’t recommended by a teacher. If you are recommended by the teacher you still need to take an approved test (at added district expense) to meet the standardized portion of the selection requirement.

He neglected to mention that students can be nominated for identification by a parent - state law requires this. In short, there is no advanced learning-related reason to take the SBAC. The approved test he refers to will not be the SBAC - as that can only be administered in the spring.

Lynn said...

Anon @ 11:29,

By the time a new school could be designed, approved and operating, the new charter law will most likely be in court again.

Additionally, charter schools are not allowed to use cognitive or achievement test scores to screen applicants.

I do think Seattle families could (and would) fill a couple of new private middle schools for gifted students.

NorthEnd Parent said...

@Lynn—

Many thanks. This was also clarified by the Head of School. But the language on the website sure is unhelpful.

Lynn said...

I saw this in Garfield's November 2015 PTSA meeting minutes:

Athletic update: We currently have 1724 students at GHS. The Superintendent wants us to stay 3A, but in order to do that the bldg. needs to stay under 1200 students. Considering grades 9/10/11, we are at 1300, which would push us back to 4A. GHS, Roosevelt and Ballard are in the conversations; we may be the only bldg. going to 4A. Class time, transportation, and going to the Eastside to compete all come back onto the table. This would be in effect 2016/17. To Flip Herndon, Mr. Howard has said: “Cap us.” State goes off the account called “Cedars.” Ted is looking at is it from the perspective of class-time closely. We have over 1000 kids in sports; this would be too big of an impact on students, missing half of 5th and 6th period.

It figures that Ted Howard is so out of touch with the capacity crisis in the district that he believes Garfield enrollment can be capped at 1,200 students.

And again in January 2016:

IV. Principal’s report, Ted Howard: We are finally at a place to have a recording studio created in Quincy Jones Performance Hall. The State has ideas about class sizes K-3 and 9-12, and in 9- 12 they are saying 29 students max. We’re at 32 and we have over-enrolled our teachers, so the nuts and bolts are of interest to him [Mr. Howard]. If we drop under 1500, as we should, what our building would be re-configured to look like is exciting. At SPS there is a new Enrollment Director, and he is in communication with her. Mr. Howard is interested in the October 1 count; and in every major metropolitan city there is a relationship with business partners and schools—SPS just ended the relationship with Alliance for Ed—he wants to figure out how are we going to establish this relationship again. Mr. Howard doesn’t like the unpredictability of enrollment numbers; it is challenging. He is on Michael Tolley’s calendar to talk with him and the Chancellor of the CC system about getting more community college in the high school for students, as well as having students have a guaranteed spot at a comm. college—to have an established pathway for GHS grads. Mr. Howard also had a meeting with Ani Marie Cauce and the Mayor, and she is willing to help create pathways for our students.

Anonymous said...

The most recent #s from the Cascadia principal indicated that they are planning 31 classrooms for next year. Does anyone know the predicted student numbers? It is true that at the 31-classroom size, Cascadia can fit at the W-P site with portables?

Cascadia mom

Anonymous said...

Anyone receive a decision on your child's appeal yet?

If so, can you also tell me if the Source Advanced Learning tab has been updated?

Thanks!

-Hoping the wait is almost over1

Anonymous said...

I'm frustrated about middle school math placement. The past several years there have been solid score cutoffs and also an algebra readiness test if only one of the two scores was met, this year they are going only on teacher recommendation as far as I can tell, and my child who met the old map score cutoff in 3rd grade wasn't recommended. She is very disappointed as her brother faced a different set of rules.

-frustrated

Anonymous said...

As a parent, I would question a middle school math placement process that was not more transparent - is it coming from the district math department, or her future middle school? There should be some objective measures beyond a teacher recommendation, and there should be some consistency among schools. You still have a few months before the school year is over. If you want to challenge the placement, find some like minded parents that can join forces with you to seek appropriate placement (you are probably not the only one frustrated by the process).

Anonymous said...

I agree with your assessment, I hope anyone else here having a similar issue will speak up.

-frustrated

Benjamin Leis said...

@frustrated - I had a thread in the fall about the new policy:

http://discussapp.blogspot.com/2015/12/official-6th-grade-math-placement-policy.html

Its actually a fairly flexible policy this year. You should be able to opt-up one level to algebra even without a teacher recommendation. Check on the math page on SPS and if there isn't a form there yet I'd email the district.


Anonymous said...

The opt-up letter states that you may not opt up beyond Math 8, here's the link:
http://www.seattleschools.org/UserFiles/Servers/Server_543/File/Migration/Departments/Mathematics/Contracts/6th/6th_math_pathways_e.pdf

I'm starting to wonder if they will be phasing out 6th grade algebra altogether?

-frustrated

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting the old December thread. The new placement policy may offer some flexibility for current HCC students, but could really limit students coming from non-HCC elementary schools. I'd agree with suggestions to consider advancing once in middle school, rather than leapfrogging too much from 5th to 6th. Starting in 7th grade math in 6th, then advancing to Algebra in 7th, can work for students that haven't had as much advancement in elementary, but are capable of doing more advanced work. It may require some summer supplementation for missed topics, but it's doable.

Anonymous said...

The high school teaching staff and high school principals largely do not think advanced math algebra in 6th grade is appropriate for the vast majority of kids and that includes HCC kids. They believe 6th graders pass it but don't go deep enough and that it is a disservice to them. They also seem to think that the vast majority of kids taking 6th grade algebra aren't math wizards at all but rather progeny of over achieving parents. In no way do they think anything beyond calc in high school is necessary for even the most rigorous and competitive college STEM fields. How do I know? Because I have listened to these discussions in multiple times at multiple schools and in the downtown offices.

From what I can glean, then, 6th grade algebra is offered mainly because no one downtown has bothered to make it a priority to review and revise, not because of a belief that there's any true reason for offering it. My bets given the social studies and LA changes over to depth not acceleration is a change in math pathways at some point too. Then again given the dysfunction of teaching and learning in the downtown HQ one never knows what might happen in any area of any student segment.

fly on the wall

Anonymous said...

They believe 6th graders pass it but don't go deep enough and that it is a disservice to them.

That's hilarious. So it's the students, not the curriculum, that's to blame for this? Right....

Benjamin Leis said...

@frustrated - I don't think any of the math pathway page - opt up form included has been updated recently. So I've sent a mail out to see if I can find out more. Best case: this is just a stale form. Don't depend on me in the meantime. Definitely make your own inquiries. I'd also have a conversation directly with your math teacher. Your best path is to convince them to recommend your child directly.

Anonymous said...

About 6th graders in algebra 1:

"They believe 6th graders pass it but don't go deep enough and that it is a disservice to them." What??? So first of all, the alg 1 that 6th graders are taking is EXACTLY the same thing that all the rest of middle schoolers have the possibility of taking. Are the HS principals and math teachers only complaining about 6th grader performance in algebra 1? It doesn't sound like it from what you're saying, fly on the wall (BTW, I'm not shooting the messenger - I'm angry at the HS math teachers and principals). Also, anecdotally, those 6th graders who get into 9th grade algebra often are making the highest grades in their class and, until recently, also took the EOC and had to pass it. At any rate, no student in Alg 1 in middle school is to blame for not going deep enough! That's a curriculum issue if they are, indeed, passing the class. So moving along from blaming the 6th graders, let's now focus on their "pushy parents." WHAT??? Those 6th graders had to qualify for Alg 1 (qualification is a moving target for sure, but that's not student or parent's fault). Show me the data! Are students who take algebra 1 in 6th doing poorly compared to other students who take it at different points? Are those students fairing priorly in the following years?

UGH

Anonymous said...

Lots of concerns about Marni Campbell, new Eaglestaff Principal.
http://saveseattleschools.blogspot.com/2016/04/marni-campbell-to-lead-robert-eagle.html
Why, oh why?

Anonymous said...

I think it's hard to generalize from past experience in this case, because the target has been so moving. It is also probably a case of difference between schools, and some of the difference probably depends on how supportive the building is. The JAMS principal seems very supportive, and her background is high school (Roosevelt), so she generally has an eye on high school when she makes these pathway decisions, and the teacher has spent significant time on fundamentals because she has heard that exact thing from high school teacher peers (she has gotten guff for going too slow because of it, though. Can't please everybody. And they are a bit ahead of the other algebra classes now.). So I'd feel better about my kid taking it there than other places, though I do think it will still be a little bit of a black mark to future math teachers. I think the parents of children who take algebra do not have a great reputation, some deserved, some not, and sometimes kids who have had a very easy time with arithmetic concepts think algebra is going well and complain of boredom/not enough rigor when they are not actually getting it yet(have familiarity but not mastery or the ability to apply well), because these are more abstract concepts, which maturity can help with. I have heard professors at the UW complain that students who accelerated in this way are not as good at math by the time they get to college as students who stayed on the regular but accelerated path-whether this is because they had to miss years of rigorous math at the end of high school when the pathway ran out or because they actually didn't understand well enough I think is impossible to say. And that would have been such a tiny pool of kids(that college professors would know now) who had to qualify in a different way (or just skip on their own?) than the kids taking it today. Very hard to compare.

Anyway all that to say I mostly agree with you, UGH, that it's poor behavior on the part of high school principals and math teachers to sneer at kids who just want to take on more math in 6th grade (and I am sure you are right, fly on the wall. I'm also not generally sure that these kids are more "wizard" like than the kids in math 8, but really why do they need to be? They just need to be willing to do the work.), but...I don't think it's 100% unfounded. 95% unfounded, maybe.

Our student is taking algebra this year in 6th, and we are happy with the decision, but it is not without drawbacks. I do hope downtown leaves it as an option, and though I think parents are flawed as decision makers this way- so are teachers. There's not a perfect option.

NewJAMSparent

Anonymous said...

"There will not be a meeting in April for the Highly Capable Services Advisory Committee. The next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, May 3 at Ingraham High School Library at 6:30 pm."

I wonder

- why?

Anonymous said...

If your kid is truly, truly ready to take Algebra in 6th (and I'd use an objective readiness test to be sure they have all the pre-Algebra concepts down cold, because there's no point in going forward with a shaky foundation), then the SPS curriculum is going to be ridiculously shallow for them. Actually, that applies regardless of which grade the child is in. If your kid really wants to understand math, go in another direction.

AOPS fan

Anonymous said...

@ AOPS fan: What is another direction you would recommend? Another district? Private? Extra curricular?

I've seen a cohort of HCC parents dissatisfied with middle school math curriculum and delivery, and I've seen a cohort frustrated with LA, and one parent talk about a great tour of JAMS and parents seeming very excited when they left. I'm trying to wrap my head around all of the comments and figure out if this is a group of "generally disgruntled, never to be satisfied with the rigor" parents, or if there truly is a problem with HCC middle school and we need to save our pennies for grades 6-12. Any advice out there on how SPS HCC compares to other districts, especially for the middle school years?

Newbie HCC

NorthEnd Parent said...

My child is in math 8 in JAMS. My child was not in HCC prior to year 6, but rather an independent school with "advanced" curriculum in math—perhaps it was "advanced," but my child was never challenged there, and it was perhaps a year advanced. The fact that they were never challenged through grade 5 should have alerted me.

Anyway, placed into math 8. The first couple months were a bit of a stretch for them, because a few concepts were entirely new. I admit to being a little worried that maybe math 8 was too advanced—and frustrated by the fact that such a strong math student was finding it a rocky adjustment. And wondering if I should have been more vocal about pushing for challenge at the 5th grade level. Even when they were given the 6th grade book to work through it was too easy. I just let it be easy. Had I don't the wrong thing?

Two months into 6th, and the math became quite easy. I am confident that my child *could* have done Algebra in this year but only IF they had been in HCC prior. As it was, the placement was the right one—too much material that just hadn't been covered prior. I am frankly fine with having the situation they are in right now. Because it's likely that my child will go fairly far in math, I'd rather a bit of extra review now rather than pushing to jump up to Algebra at 6th—but this is only for my child. Yes, sometimes kids who are accelerated a bit too quickly *can* handle it, but end up later with significant weaknesses at college level. Obviously not all kids. But it does happen.

@Newbie HCC: we have done extra curricular math work w/ my child since 4th grade, I think. They were just too bored w/ the curriculum. It has been pure mathematics—taught by mathematicians, one a PhD—rather than any sort of formal algebra or anything, but it allowed them to get their extreme Math Nerd on with very high level math thinking. So, not really tutoring (they didn't need it) or attempted advancement of topic so much as higher level more abstract mathematical concepts that have helped feed their brain.

I'm also a new JAMS HCC parent (JAMS). Am I happy? Generally, yes. Is my child being as challenged as they could be? Not be a long shot, in any regard. Are they doing academically and socially well, are they generally happy, are they enjoying learning and learning how to extend things for themselves in challenging and creative ways rather than wait for teachers to set a bar, or just stopping at the bar that's set? Yes. Have they ever been corrected or held back when engaging in such self-led extension, even when it has gone explicitly against a teacher's instructions? No. Have they learned how to advocate for themselves, and have teachers been responsive? Yes.

And although we don't really need the after school programs or clubs, JAMS has some very good ones, including rocket club, Latin club, and some sports and I think theater and arts. Many of the clubs (I don't mean the paid activities, which are run through the YMCA, but are good) are very parent-driven and parent-supported.

I think the JAMS principal is very good. I generally like the teachers and the school vibe.

NorthEnd Parent

NorthEnd Parent said...

... Continued from NorthEnd Parent:

In terms of rigor and looking far forward to university preparation and preparedness, I am satisfied. I'm also a university professor, and know a few handfuls of university colleagues w/ kids at JAMS and HCC, and all of us uptight professors both seem generally satisfied with the rigor and generally aware of the fact that many of these kids will continue to need out-of-school enrichment to keep them challenged and engaged. That is just a part of the whole package. I have never expected a school to provide everything my child needs to be challenged, engaged, and happy.

Anecdotally, I have a colleague whose profoundly gifted child went to The Evergreen School through 8th. We've compared the work there to the work my child has been given (our children are very different, but commensurately strong in core areas), and this colleague has said they see "no difference" in curriculum (and from what I can tell, I agree). This colleague's daughter is now in SPS, and they (the colleague) has said that as far as they are concerned, good teachers and curriculum in a good HCC school certainly rival if not surpass those in at least one of our local "gifted" schools.

I don't want to say "don't be disgruntled!" Disgruntled is my middle name. But when put into perspective, I think that JAMS, at least, is doing Ok. I'm not worried about my child's performance, and I do not stay up at night fretting over the fact that they could be challenged more, and doing more. Of course they could. But for now, they are pretty happy, developing good study and research and analytical skills, and have even made one or two friends.

It's a slog. But so far, not a bad one.

NorthEnd Parent.

Anonymous said...

AOPS stands for Art of Problem Solving. See: www.artofproblemsolving.com. Its only a home enrichment option around here but highly recommended.

Anonymous said...

People's kids are really different, Newbie, and their expectations of school are really different. I am unhappy with LA, but nothing else(and I have expertise in writing, so my expectations are naturally higher in that area), and generally happy with our middle school experience and am very glad we chose JAMS over private school or our neighborhood school. I think that is a pretty normal opinion, but I don't think the people who are unhappy are never satisfied people. We were unhappy with our previous school, and there was nothing wrong with it. Plenty of people love it. They/we just want something else. Maybe that is private school, but many of the complaints(acceleration, certain curricula choices) are not ameliorated by private school. "What is education" is just a really big question without a really good answer, and public school has the dubious distinction of needing to be all things to all people.'

And this may be too meta, but- the way to make things better/get more in public schooling is to complain, publicly, get a group to lobby with you. I have heard(and seen on tours) the same as NorthEnd about many of our local private schools- much of what is there is the exact same, but packaged to sell to families instead of baseline to lobby from.

NewJAMSparent

Anonymous said...

@Newbie HCC
You can homeschool math and opt your kid out of math at middle school. They can be scheduled for a 5 or 6 period day, without math. That's what we've done with AOPS. AOPS and what they get at SPS are as different as night and popsicle. But it's not for everyone. It is tough, although the teachers (one online session per week) are funny and good. I wouldn't want to have to harangue my child to do the work...my kid is a self-starter like I never was, and while there were tears of frustration at first, she now can stare down most any problem and live with it if after a serious effort (over an hour on a problem, sometimes) she still can't get it. She is absolutely fine with not being at the top of the class in AOPS. There are some really scary smart kids in there. She nailed the ISEE HS math exam and will enter grade 9 in private HS at honors Alg 2. We didn't even have to ask for an advanced placement. I'm not a tiger mom. She's been pulling on the leash and I am just trying to get her what she wants, and what will make HS math easier for her, and keep career doors open. Math is her favorite subject....she loves it.

If you think your kid would like it, use the free Alcumus problem sets at AOPS.com to see how it sits with them. They have videos for Pre-Alg through Algebra, I think, which I like way better than Kahn videos. You can select the topic in Alcumus (I think it's Pre-Algebra through Geometry at this point) and even be more specific within the topics. You can also set the problems to be easy, normal, hard, and insane. The software adjusts the difficulty so that the student is missing ~25% of problems, as they believe that is the sweet spot of the challenge spectrum. It's a fun and engaging interface. No, I don't own stock. :)

A friend of mine taught at the UW and told me the reason students have trouble with college Calculus is that they don't really understand Algebra. So there's that.

I don't know what we'd have done with her if we were in SPS for HS. Try to get her placed in Alg 2 honors, I guess, but I have serious doubts about the curriculum. Get her into Running Start math ASAP, I guess.

AOPS fan

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know the total number of classrooms at the WP elementary site, and how many portables they can add?

Port-adia?

Anonymous said...

Just an FYI - we got our Advanced Learning appeal response back today in the mail on April 7th! Keep an eye on those mailboxes!

-Lis

Benjamin Leis said...

I'm planning on doing an SBAC thread soon. If anyone wants to write a pro or con statement please contact me.

Methylgrace said...

Two issues to discuss (I have a 6th grader):

1) HIMS Portables due to capacity issues. The principal's letter was a bit long-winded, but included "First: we are projected to have 77 more students next school year than this." "We expect to use every classroom, every period of the day next year." and "And because it will be as tightly scheduled as possible, the school district has started the process to add temporary classrooms on our outdoor play court. " Sounds like IF is a bit more like WHEN.


2) Lack of IB funding and support for an HCC-type of curriculum. Getting to Garfield will be impossible for us, since we live near Carkeek Park, so we were counting on Ingraham being as rigorous as possible. [http://www.seattletimes.com/education-lab/seattles-ib-schools-are-national-outliers-in-lack-of-support-from-district/]

Discuss. Pros/Cons? Things we need to know? Positive things to do about it?

Anonymous said...

1) The HIMS situation reminds me of Lowell when they had plans of altering some spaces to make it work just one more year, but ultimately other plans were announced on the last day of school. I can't imagine portables on the already too small play court at HIMS. Ask the nurse how many injury reports she has to file from kids bumping into each other or hitting the ground.

2) By the time your child is considering high school, Garfield may no longer be a choice. As far as IB, at least it has a defined curriculum.

Anonymous said...

When do we see how many APP kids choose Madison? I bet it won't be many.

Anonymous said...

I think you're right. The one family I know with a current APP student at Madison is transferring him to WMS next month.

I wouldn't take a chance on the first year in a new program if it's not required. On the other hand, I'm not a fan of the principal at WMS. She had quite a history of poor management skills at her last school in the states.

Anonymous said...

Just a quick note to say we got the results of my child's appeal today

Benjamin Leis said...

I just received this update on the math opt-in forms:

"Hi there. Thanks for passing this along. The web folks at the Stanford center were surprised a family could still get to this link. We are still working on making in accessible. Attached is a better version. Feel free to share it broadly with my apologies that families aren’t seeing it on the site. And of course let me know if you have any feedback."

This should be on SPS site soon in the mean time here's my copy:
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B6oYedIeLTUKSVNzUjkxLXQ2XzIwdS1mOTR4dmlybFREREVB

Anonymous said...

Appeal letter received, 2nd grade, submitted on 3/4.

Thankful that the wait is over.

SE mama

Anonymous said...

Re: the middle school math placement contract:

1. Where are you supposed to find out what your student's recommended 6th grade math course is?
2. Are you only allowed to opt up one year? So if you're at a school that doesn't have Spectrum or ALO or doesn't do walk to math, so your 5th grade teacher recommends Math 6, are you stuck with Math 7 as your highest option, even if you've been supplementing at home, since Math 5 clearly was way too easy? Do you need to quickly pull your 5th grader from elementary math and start officially homeschooling math, so that the placement will be based on your own recommendation?
3. What are the official criteria 5th grade teachers are supposed to use to determine the recommended math placement? Or does it vary teacher by teacher, in which case the whole recommended placement thing is a joke?

Anonymous said...

Related to #3, I have heard the Cascadia 5th grade teachers are using a data-driven approach. What data do they use? Do they reference the 4th grade SBAC result at all? Do Cascadia 5th graders take Amplify math tests?

Cascadia parent

Benjamin Leis said...

I added a brookings research report on math tracking in middle school.

Nelson said...

When do we find out the school assignments? Our child is currently in private school and as we live in West Seattle, we requested Fairmount, but I believe Thurgood Marshall is the default. We're moving from private school, so I'm a little unclear on certain processes. Any info would be appreciated.

Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Per the SPS website, "results of Open Enrollment will be available online on April 15, 2016."

Then again, to access that info online you probably need a Source account, and according to the SPS, one of the things you need to have in order to get that account is the school your child attends! But maybe that's not the case, as long as you have the other info. I'd suggest trying to set up your Source account now, just in case. Here's the SPS page with info on The Source.

Nelson said...

Unfortunately, I cannot get a Source account as my child is not currently enrolled at SPS. I have a student ID number, but I'm guessing since my child is in private school, that's not the same as currently enrolled.

Pickle said...

Nelson, last year there was an "assignment lookup tool" that required just the student id, no source account.

Lynn said...

The assignment lookup tool will be available on the enrollment webpage this Friday the 15th.

Anonymous said...

The Robinson Center at the UW is looking for an Associate Director to replace Maren Halverson, who is retiring. The AD oversees the Transition School and the Center's K-12 outreach programs. The position description is available here:

https://uwhires.admin.washington.edu/eng/candidates/default.cfm?szCategory=jobprofile&szOrderID=131658&szCandidateID=0&szSearchWords=robinson&szReturnToSearch=1

This would be a great opportunity for a Seattle-area educator with experience in gifted ed. Please share with anyone you know who might fit the bill...

TS Mom

Ken said...

Nelson,
How did you get your student ID? We are also private moving to public. We did the enrollment registration forms in March, but we never received any info about our child's student ID...

Anonymous said...

If you have received any communication from the district about your student, it should be on there. Alternatively you can call enrollment tomorrow morning, and they should be able to give it to you.

Ken said...

We receive our Advanced Learning test scores (twice for some reason), but no student ID on it. But thanks for the tip. I'll call the enrollment office tomorrow.

Nelson said...

Ken, we called them when we appealed and received our student ID numbers then.

Anonymous said...

Assignment Lookup Tool supposed to be up as of today for 2016/17, but it's not.

- FT

Anonymous said...

Today's update from SPS:

The assignment lookup tool for 2016-17 will be available starting at 3pm on April 15, 2016.

Anonymous said...

And most likely the system will crash sometime between 3:01-3:05 pm....

Pickle said...

It's up. It has my kid (HCC eligible by appeal) in our second choice/gen ed school.

Anonymous said...

Just checked and our child's info is incorrect - correct school, but Gen Ed assignment instead of HCC. I was able to speak with someone in enrollment and ask for a correction, though I'm not sure how long it will take for the update/correction.

Unfortunately, this is not the first time this has happened...

Anonymous said...

Similar situation as "Pickle"---child had a successful AL appeal (Spectrum), yet still assigned to gen ed at current school for next year. The Enrollment staffer said child's AL status was not yet entered into the central database, so they cannot doing anything with choice forms/enrollment because they don't have the child's AL status. They said to keep contacting AL until they update the child's status, and then that will give them the ability to get the child into a program or waitlist. So, it sounds like AL may be granting appeals yet not entering this information into the system.

Anonymous said...

It can be a real problem if your child does not get placed in the appropriate classroom or course because the AL status is incorrect. When do schools make classroom assignments and schedules?

Anonymous said...

Ben, there's a lot of unhappiness with admissions to HS. HC students do not have a guaranteed spot in Ingraham and they are finding out the hard way: waitlisted and admitted to Gen Ed in their neighborhood school.

Anonymous said...

That's odd... Last year the HCC 8th graders had a default assignment to Garfield (instead of the neighborhood school) so when mine was waitlisted at our first choice (Hale), he was assigned to Garfield instead. Is this a policy change this year?

NWParent said...

HC students do have a guaranteed spot at Ingraham if they request it, at least that is what I was told when I inquired in January..."you will be guaranteed a seat if you complete a school choice form for Ingraham HS IBX during the open enrollment period."

Anonymous said...

For those that requested Ingraham HCC, and were assigned to IHS for next year, does the online Lookup Tool show "Highly Capable Cohort" for the program?

Anonymous said...

Yes, it shows "HCC" on the online Lookup Tool. Super frustrating. NWParent, that's what we were told as well -- and the SPS website, and all communication from IHS and HIMS principal indicated the same. I know it's in the fine print somewhere that it's on a 'space available' basis, but it still came as somewhat of a shock.

Frustrated

Anonymous said...

My son's assignment, as of last night was still his gen ed school from this year, but I looked again just now and it is now listed as Thurgood Marshall HCC. So, maybe look again?

SEMama

Anonymous said...

Assigned hcc on appeal. Assignment lookup tool shows Cascadia as expected.

Ned

Benjamin Leis said...

My instinct is that the new assignment tool was in error for the high school assignments and that this will be fixed as families talk to the district since the decisions contradict policy. If anyone hears otherwise I'll open up a new thread.

Anonymous said...

HIMS HCC parent here: I've spoken with both enrollment and Ingraham today. There is clearly a problem with current HCC students requesting Ingraham HCC and not being assigned there. My understanding is that Ingraham is working with enrollment to resolve the issue, but enrollment also claims that the HCC pathway to Ingraham is not guaranteed. Clearly, there is some confusion. I do think it will all get worked out, but it may be messy until it is fixed.

Anonymous said...

Switches to Cascadia or to your reference school used to function through September 30th, but now they say it is May 31st for Cascadia. Does anyone know where that is written out in policy?

Also, if you are assigned somewhere besides your neighborhood reference school, like Cascadia, do you still have until September 30th to go BACK to your reference school? Or is that deadline shifted to May 31st this year, too?

Elem parent

Anonymous said...

For those not getting a requested assignment to Ingraham HCC:

1) contact district admissions

enrollservices@seattleschools.org
252-0760

2) email Advanced Learning

advlearn@seattleschools.org

Although Ingraham is aware of the situation, it seems to be in the hands of Enrollment and Advanced Learning to fix the assignments. Contacting Admissions will open the inquiry for your student. It could take 5-10 days to get a response, but there is no guarantee of Ingraham HCC assignment until they agree with Advanced Learning, and their very own enrollment FAQs, that:

"The IBX (Accelerated International Baccalaureate) program at Ingraham High School is currently available to all students identified as HC. Eligible students who wish to exercise this option, need to complete a school choice form during Open Enrollment, but not later than May 31st. Students who apply during Open Enrollment, are guaranteed seats. They may also apply after Open Enrollment; however, in this case, assignment would depend on space availablility. If a student applies for this program and is not assigned, the student’s default assignment will still be in effect (unless they apply for and are assigned to another school)."

https://www.seattleschools.org/students/academics/advanced_learning/open_enrollment_information/

Be proactive, parents. Your student can't enroll in classes until they are properly enrolled in the school.

Anonymous said...

For 8th grade HCC students who selected Ingraham HCC and expected to be in automatically based on statements on the Advanced Learning website and from the principal at Ingraham in person and in print, enrollment tells me that this was a "miscommunication" and that HCC students are only guaranteed Garfield HCC. So, I would indeed suggest contacting enrollment, advanced learning and maybe the district ombuds to protest this because families cannot be told that widely presented information on the district's own website and from Ingraham HS is actually incorrect after open enrollment is over.

Ahana Roy said...

Do you guys think maybe APP @ Lincoln (Cascadia) might turn into HCC high school after Cascadia moves out of the building?

Anonymous said...

"Miscommunication?" Really?! Parents need to elevate this beyond Enrollment and AL.

Benjamin Leis said...

Also to confirm I think the enrollment issues are confined to the ~30 families on the waitlist at Ingraham. Has anyone had an issue with assignment to Garfield?

Stephanie said...

Ahana, it may be that the Garfield HCC pathway is split or that it all moves to Lincoln. Or maybe nothing, and it will just be a neighborhood school. The adults on here have ideas, but this is just pure guesswork. No one can really say. Current 6th graders would be 10th graders when that happened.

Stephanie

Anonymous said...

No, the issues aren't confined to the circa 30 families on the waitlist at Ingraham. There are current HCC students who requested Ingraham HCC during open enrollment and who were placed in their neighborhood high school, rather than Garfield HCC, and were not put on the waitlist for Ingraham HCC.

Anonymous said...

I Sincerely doubt the district will devote the first new"ish" high school in forever exclusively to the Highly Capable Cohort. The visuals would not be good. The lowest, by far, FRL in the district, the fewest, by far, number of African American students in the district. My money would be on a mix, like there is currently at GHS and IHS. It works, and provides opportunity for kids not enrolled in HCC, but who are smart and driven, to have a challenging high school experience. And it's good for HCC kids to meet and befriend kids not in their selective bubble. They like it!

Anonymous said...

A dedicated HCC high school - thanks for the laugh! I needed to relieve some of the stress of the whole Ingraham HCC assignment fiasco.

Anonymous said...

I don't have a dog in this fight, but it seems like someone will need to pressure the district to send a notice to all current 8th grade HCC families to explain the snafu and have them verify their assignments. Not all parents are paying attention to things like school assignment right now, so they can't rely on parents checking the assignment lookup tool and alerting them to errors. Or maybe they can get a preliminary assignment list out to all the 8th grade counselors ASAP, so they can review it with their students?

Whatever the case, JSCEE screwed up and they need to be proactive in getting the word out and fixing it.

NWParent said...

I agree - high school counselors are coming to schools this week (at least to HIMS) and students are being divided up by their school assignments and selecting courses. 8th grade counselors were supposed to receive their lists, but now they are likely incorrect.

Anonymous said...

Enrollment told us that students can't enroll in classes unless they are on the school's "notification list." Enrollment staff could only promise a response (not an appropriate assignment) within 1-2 weeks. Students can ask counselors for the appropriate course selection sheet, but they are going to be in limbo until it gets resolved at the district level. What a mess.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if the district isn't in chaos over the HCC assignment issue because of these numbers

HCC total enrollment has increased from 1514 in 2010 to 3198 in 2015.
HCC enrollment at Garfield was 427 in 2014-15, 544 in 2015-16 and projected 712 in 2016-17
HCC enrollment at Ingraham was 249 in 2014-15, 290 in 2015-16 and projected 338 in 2016-17

This year's 11th grade HCC class is 167, 10th 238, 9th 262, 8th 324, 7th 419

2016-17 is the first year the huge classes in HCC are going to hit high school (they've been getting larger every year, but this year's 8th grade class is nearly double this year's 11th grade class). One of the reasons the program has grown so much is that people liked the location north of the ship canal. For the same reason, I'm sure the demand for Ingraham IBX is higher this year than in previous years.

Everyone knew this was coming but not a single thing was done about it. And it is only going to get worse until Lincoln opens to relieve some of the pressure. Easy to keep loading up Cascadia Lincoln where there is room, although not ideal. There was room to maneuver for middle school with Jane Addams, but there is no wiggle room at high school and the whole capacity crisis is coming to a head.

Anonymous said...

...but of all the high schools, doesn't Ingraham have one of the lowest enrollments? They have to go somewhere, and Garfield is bursting at the seams. The percent of the cohort choosing Ingraham may not be too different from the previous years - I'm not sure it's more "popular" so much as the number of students has simply grown district wide.

Anonymous said...

I know of a couple of families who decided for IBx because of the uncertainty of remaining at Garfield.

The kids that are moving to high school right now have seen the split of Lowell, the move to Lincoln/Cascadia, the split to Jane Addams, so another split during HS was something they had to consider. How unfortunate that these kids now also have to endure the uncertainty of their HS assignment.

When will they stop being the District's guinea pigs?

Even if your child isn't affected by this, you should write to the board. My family isn't affected now, but who knows down the road?!

Anonymous said...

I believe the poster asking about Lincoln as an HCC high school is herself a middle schooler, so probably we should cut her some slack. She is probably just wondering if she might go to high school there. And she might!

Stephanie

Anonymous said...

Isn't there a correlation between the growth of the program and the need to find new real estate to house it? It is mushrooming and the district has to split it so it will fit into the buildings they have. Which came first, the growth or the split? I believe it was the growth? Unless it was a nefarious scheme by Maria Goodloe-Johnson, which would be plausible. But it has doubled in 5 years, so there needed to be some kind of change/split/move just to accommodate the numbers. Perhaps they should tighten the entrance requirements and the problem will be solved.

Anonymous said...

One of the problems is that parents and education advocates had told the district (and the board) about the growth/bubble whatever you want to call it, YEARS before it was a problem, but the district closed schools and ignored the numbers. So, no scheme here, just plain incompetence.

Anonymous said...

And the watering down of Spectrum hasn't helped in keeping HC numbers small.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps they should tighten the entrance requirements and the problem will be solved.

Huh? And where exactly do you think those kids would all go? The neighborhood schools are mostly full too...

Lynn said...

The only high schools that aren't full are West Seattle and Rainier Beach. There are 23 HCC 8th graders in these schools's attendance areas this year. Sending HCC students back to any other neighborhood high schools isn't possible.

Maureen said...

If you are contacting the board and district about getting your student into IBX, please also ask them to fully fund the IB programs so they do not continue to siphon funds from the Gen ed programs at those schools. (IB requires a coordinator, teacher training and one extra teacher per every 150 students to teach TOK. At IHS that amounted to about $250K last year and will increase as the cohort grows.)

2nd grader said...

How does the Advanced Learning waitlist work? My kid is already enrolled at the school, so the headcount is already there in the other subjects. The only difference will be Walk to Math.

Anonymous said...

What school is this, 2nd grader? I would talk to your principal. I know there have historically been wait lists for Spectrum seats at certain schools, but to be on a wait list just for access to WTM seems pretty ridiculous. I also thought that schools were moving away from using the AL designation to determine where students are placed in the WTM hierarchy (using classroom assessments instead).

2nd grader said...

Our school is View Ridge. I read somewhere that there is no priority for students already enrolled at the school.

Anonymous said...

I got the new 6th grader letter from JAMS today with yet ANOTHER algebra policy. They require 2 out of 3 of teacher recommendation, 4 on SBAC, and an algebra readiness test proving mastery of 7th and 8th grade concepts. Why not just have ALL the kids take the test? That's the only way to make it a fair or data driven process.

-frustrated

Anonymous said...

The algebra readiness test? If my kid was not ready to or interested in taking algebra, I would be kind of peeved that they had to take an algebra readiness test anyway. I don't like to give them tests to do poorly on for no reason. This actually makes some sense to me, and I think I like that teachers are involved in the recommendation, and that if you have a teacher who is really against kids taking algebra, but a kid who really wants to take algebra, you can prove it through tests. I hope they keep this system, but I am sure they will monkey with it again.

New JAMS parent

Benjamin Leis said...

Added a top line section for the upcoming T&L board meeting. There are alot of advanced learning slides to digest.

Anonymous said...

Just to add, that my newly identified HCC student was not assigned the first choice HCC school even though I submitted paperwork during open enrollment. I talked to enrollment and they did receive the choice form but wasn't informed by AL that my child was eligible for HCC. This is after the fiasco of not being given full CogAT scores and told not eligible for AL, then after questioning that, Got the scores and he was eligible without appeal! He is confirmed on the Source and got a letter. Too much comedy!

Will the saga never end!

Anonymous said...

To Anon 5:44 - how did you make contact to confirm new school choice? Email? Phone? I fear I need to take care of this, too as the assignment lookup is still showing our old school.

-Lis

Anonymous said...

Not sure how anon@5:44 handled it, but you can call enrollment at (206) 252-0760 (be prepared for a long wait), or email:

enrollservices@seattleschools.org

Updates to the Lookup Tool are supposedly done nightly, so there is a lag time between resolving an assignment and seeing confirmation on the Lookup Tool.

Anonymous said...

I was the anon who posted yesterday about my child's school choice for HCC being wrong. I called and spoke to Amy, and it's been fixed now once she snatched AL. Amy is awesome and is a bright spot at JSCEE!

Saga may be ending (I hope)

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Saga and 12:43! I'll give a call tomorrow. I keep checking the assignment lookup tool every night and nothing has changed yet. Glad to hear you got the resolution you were looking for by calling.

-Lis

Anonymous said...

My daughter is in K and easily qualified for HCC for next year (99 on cogat screen and 99s on MAP). We want to send her, but now she has made friends at her current neighborhood school and is telling us she really wants to stay there. I can tell she is not learning much that is new this year. She doesn't seem to mind, however. I really think that once she gets to HCC she will love it, but I'm dreading a summer of her asking me why she has to leave her school.
Any advice out there from those who have dealt with this?
-New to HCC

Anonymous said...

I have several thoughts. They may be worth what you pay for them...

First it is fine to not learn much in K. Learning to be in school and how to navigate social situations and hear some cool stories is great. Most schools pick up considerably in first grade. That said it is often not enough for HCC kids, so even when it does pick up she might be bored, and sometimes it's harder when they start the academic stuff, because it's boring to be in class listening about things you already know about. It's not boring to hear another story or talk about spiders, you know?

I would not take the social connections of a kindergartener into account, for the most part. These things usually change very quickly, and she will both change friends over the next few years at her current school and also would make friends at HCC very quickly. Most kids don't like change. You can help her smooth this out. It's easier if they want to switch, but that's not why you should or shouldn't, at that age, I don't think.

My last thought, though, is that if it is Cascadia, I would consider leaving her where she is for next year. The move is going to be very tumultuous, and she may be split off from friends she makes next year again. It's a huge, huge school, and making community is already challenging. Extra awful to get ripped apart from the community you do make. Win-win, really. She gets to not move right now, but you have a plan for her for second grade. If it's TM or FP, I'd probably go ahead and do it.

-sleeper

Anonymous said...

I also have a K child eligible for HCC and we are waiting one more year for this same reason. Two moves in two years will be stressful for my kid who is very happy at her neighborhood school.

-New to HCC #2

Anonymous said...

I concur with Sleeper


3inAPP

Anonymous said...

I am really tired hearing about the move being tumultuous, etc, etc. Good god people it is not that big of a deal. The kids get to go to a brand new school which will be fun and exciting. The administration and teachers are all moving to the new school. I think people who are waiting a year to move their kids because of "THE MOVE" are doing their kids a disservice. It really is not going to be traumatic for anyone. If moving to a brand new school is traumatic then we lead very sheltered lives. Also, classes are completely mixed up every year, so your kid will likely have to make new friends every year anyways.
-Don't wait for HCC

Anonymous said...

To 4/21 Anon - if your long-term plan is that you want your child in HCC, I would move her now. It's only going to get harder the longer she is at her current school and makes more friends. I'd also say it's easier moving to a school like Cascadia where lots of kids are also transitioning in - so it's not like you're the only new kid.

My son is very resistant to change and did not want to change schools. However, he adjusted very well. 3 years later, he no longer remembers that he didn't want to change schools.

I also don't think the move from Lincoln to Cascadia will be a big deal. Moving to a new building with all your same friends, teachers, principal is not hard - because they are still with their friends, teachers, etc.

Catherine

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the newsflash, Don't wait. When did you find out that the kids all get to go to a brand new school which will be fun and exciting and the administration and teachers are all moving to the new school?

When will the district, and even Cascadia school admin, at the very least clearly state that the future of the "Cascadia" program is unclear and lay out what they see now as the possibilities? Couldn't they at least do that? I am shocked at how many first and second grade Cascadia parents are completely oblivious to anything post-spring 2017.

Anonymous said...

Did I miss something? Is the program not potentially going to be split, Catherine @ 9:50?

New to HCC #2 said...

Yes I am also concerned about the split (in regards to moving my kid into HCC now vs to wait one more year). If the program doesn't split, the new school is going to be SO overcrowded.
How long will they wait to tell the community the 2017 plans?

Anonymous said...

Yes, to be clear it's the potential split I am talking about, and especially starting whichever school is deemed "new," from scratch- new principal, probably mostly first year teachers, low/no supplies(we didn't have musical instruments for several years, no library books, etc.) I was around during the move out if Lowell, and that first year was stark, even without an intra-program split.

It might not split. The other tumult I mean, though, is the infighting to decide whether and who splits. I was *also* around for the jams split out of hims, and that, too, sucked. Hopefully I am wrong, and things will go smoothly this time. No, a planned, simple move to a new building with all your friends and the same staff and administration is not a problem. That is fun. I just don't think it is likely to be that easy.

-sleeper

Anonymous said...

Maybe a future split, which seems necessary, will go better than it did in 2011, but for those parents who weren't around then, the decision to move APP out of Lowell happened in July 2011 - 2 months before school resumed. Not a lot of notice!

Parents knew as soon as open enrollment had ended that Lowell couldn't handle the numbers, but it took a few months for downtown to admit it and make a decision.

What will be interesting to see is what happens next spring. If a lot of this year's newly qualified kids stay put next year but decide to opt in for the 2017-18 school year, next spring could be Lowell all over again with a need to scramble to make it all work in 17-18.

The sad thing is, no one knows what's going to happen. We just know that the track record isn't good. The best parents can do is take it one year at a time and make the best decisions they can for their child's social, emotional, and academic needs. Moving to HCC now, despite the large numbers and possible future split, is probably still be the best course for a child who isn't thriving and challenged in their current school.


-history



Anonymous said...

Having been through both splits (Lowell/TM and HIMS/JAMS), plus the move to Lincoln, yeah, it's rough. My child still misses friends that left Lowell as part of the Lowell/TM split. Parents invested enormous amounts of time and energy to make the transitions more seamless for students. As a parent, it was draining. If I were in the position of choosing HCC for an elementary student, knowing a split and move were imminent, I would be considering:

1) How is school for your child now? Are they happy? Do you know what is in store for them next year if they stay at their current school? Good teachers? Walk to math? We thought one more year at the neighborhood school would be fine and it ended up being one of the worst years ever. Looking back, I regret not moving our child, but it's hard to say if a different teacher would have made all the difference.

2) Will the HCC status and assignment rules be the same in a year? Will the district throw another curve ball to families? Every.single.year it's something new. What is the SPS plan for AL/HCC? What is going on with AL leadership?

If it were just a matter of the school packing up and moving to a brand new building, together, it would be a much easier choice. It's the likelihood of a split, and the current absence of AL leadership, that would make the decision harder.

Anonymous said...

You can't complain about the school being too big (nearly 900 1-5 is enormous!!) and complain about being split. It has to split, possibly splinter. Not because the district is against HCC, but because Lincoln Cascadia is nearly the size of a high school, and while it works in a building meant for a high school, it is not the best environment for little kids, which is why they don't build elementary schools (and this one is only 1-5) for 1000. Too big. And we need Lincoln for a high school!

Anonymous said...

What's the actual Cascadia enrollment this year? We "graduated" a few years back. Last I heard, thought it was like 750 this year. Is it really nearly 900 or is that what is projected next year?

thanks

Anonymous said...

Sure we can, 1:36. It is too big, so we should split. Also I don't trust the district to do it well, and it could be hard while it happens. It's like this- if I dislocated my shoulder, I would want someone to put it back, even though that hurts- a lot. But if all I had access to was a terrible doctor(the district), I would be worried about the procedure, no matter how necessary. My advice is just to avoid that whole process if you can. But I certainly agree with the above that if school is going terribly now, it might at least be better than terrible! And hey, it might go off without a hitch and just be a smooth move to the new building, and maybe enrollment will shrink. Could happen.

It is about 750 this year. There are projections on the sps website that have been pretty accurate so far. I believe it was slated to be 880 for 2017-2018, and keep growing after that.

-sleeper

Anonymous said...

Regarding having kids take the algebra readiness test, is this the test that only 2 kids passed last year?

Anonymous said...

More than 2 kids passed last year. Several of the kids we saw just at our test are in my kid's algebra class.