Tuesday, May 31, 2016

June Open Thread

The last few weeks of school are finally here and summer vacation is nipping at our heels.

Items I'm Tracking

  1. District plans for 24 credits to graduate High School.
  2. Social Studies related changes instigated at Thurgood Marshall.
  3. The Cascadia Elementary split.
  4. IB Program Funding.
  5. West Seattle HCC program at Madison Middle School.

HCS Advisory Meeting

The June meeting for the Highly Capable Services Advisory Committee will take place tonight/:

Tuesday, June 7, 6:30 - 8:00 pm
Garfield High School Library
400 23rd Ave 98122

The agenda will include:

- Assistant Superintendent Flip Herndon talking with us about capacity issues and the Highly Capable Cohort

- Report from the Advanced Learning Office

Lincoln High School Community Outreach

Seattle Public Schools Logo.png      Seattle Public Schools invites you to a Community Meeting
      for the Lincoln High School BEX IV Project

      Date: Thursday, June 236:30-8:00 p.m.
      Location: Lincoln High School Auditorium, 4400 Interlake Ave. N., Seattle WA

Dear Lincoln High School community:
Seattle voters approved the Seattle Public Schools Building Excellence IV (BEX IV) Capital Levy in February 2013, which includes the project to modernize and open Lincoln High School. The meeting will be presented by representatives of Seattle Public Schools BEX IV capital projects team and Bassetti Architects and will include information about the project’s early design progress.
You will be able to learn more about the project scope, schedule, existing conditions and design exploration. You will be able to ask questions and give us input and feedback. We hope that you will be able to join us! For more information, please visit http://bex.seattleschools.org

The Seattle Public Schools BEX IV Capital Projects Team

Summer Course in Data Analysis

Data Analysis Academy is excited to announce its intensive, week-long summer course for rising 11th and 12th graders called Seeing the Big Picture: An Introduction to Investigation Through Data. The course aims to introduce students to techniques used across a variety of fields in a way that sparks their interest in data analysis and amplifies their future education in quantitative fields.

The Data Analysis Academy believes anyone can use data to inform and refine their critical thinking skills in an increasingly numbers-driven world. The curriculum reflects a data-centric approach to solving business problems honed by the former Managing Director at TGG Group, the quantitative consultancy formed by the world's leading economists, including Freakonomics author Steven Levitt and Nobel Laureates Daniel Kahneman and Gary Becker.

The application deadline is June 30th. To find out more, visit https://dataanalysisacademy.org or contact the program Director, Janet Moehring, at janet@dataanalysisacademy.org.

I'm also probably going to stop and reflect about the state of this blog in an upcoming post. In the meantime what's on your minds?


Rising 6th said...

Hamilton capacity for next year. I am worried SPS really under-projected enrollment and we will get a summer surprise.

Anonymous said...

Future high school pathways for HCC. Would Ingraham add an AP pathway (not just for HCC students, but as a non-IB option for neighborhood students) as they expand?

Benjamin Leis said...

Re:HIMS the last I heard (which was admittedly secondhand) the portables were almost finished being approved for next year. Does anyone have more definitive information?

Anonymous said...

When does Cascadia get initial SBAC results?

No 3x5 said...

Between this blog and Save Seattle Schools, readers have shared many excellent arguments against the proposed 3x5 high school schedule. I combed through several threads and compiled a long list of the issues with this plan, which I just posted on that blog. Here's a link to the first post (It continues on in three posts): https://saveseattleschools.blogspot.com/2016/05/is-district-moving-quickly-on-24-credit.html?showComment=1464835244365#c6308581524649794763

Please take a look, copy and paste whatever you find useful, and email the board! They need to know this plan is so terrible it takes multiple posts just to list out its problems.

Anonymous said...

The 3x5 schedule is the worst idea of recent memory.
8th grade parent

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure when the schools get the SBAC results. The utterly useless SBAC report that our child brought home was around October, could have been November. Not sure what they will do this year.

It's awful that this test will be used for middle school algebra placement and entrance to HCC. We will definitely be opting out once the algebra placement is done. For children it is a loss of valuable instruction time and unnecessary stress. It is also ridiculous that these are not timed. Children have to sit there until everyone done. Usually that means it's the whole morning or the whole afternoon.

Thank you to Director Peters and the other school board members for staying on top of this issue.


SPS Mom said...

According to a soup for teachers tweet from the board meeting yesterday, about 1/2 of the SBAC scores should be available before the end of the year. BUT, my guess is that because they only seem to be available on paper reports, I'm assuming schools won't distribute until fall.

No 3x5 said...

Director Burke responded to my lengthy email and said they will be discussing the 3x5 schedule at the board work session this Wednesday, June 8, from 4:30 - 6:00 PM. Now is the time to write the board and voice your concerns. Also consider attending the work session.

Anonymous said...

The students don't have to "sit there until everyone is done." I'm not saying there is instructional time but that statement is not true. This test would be even more ridiculous if it were timed because of the lengthy typed responses necessary even in math.

The schools get computerized reports before the end of the year but I don't know that the context is evident. Have 5th grade families been notified of their status for algebra placement? The third grade families just finished last week.


Anonymous said...

I should clarify that my child reads a book while sitting in the lab in front of the computer.


Anonymous said...

Hi, My child will start 9th grade in 2019, the year Lincoln High School will open/reopen. We live in Greenwood and are currently in the Whitman / Ingraham zones but my kid will be attending Hamilton HCC next year. What I am trying to puzzle out is whether or not she will end up in Ingraham or Lincoln at this point? Does anyone know what the difference will be between those two schools besides location? Mainly I want to know which high school information and details I need to be paying attention to in the coming years because until now I had assumed she'd be going to Ingraham and now I wonder if she'd end up being put in Lincoln instead.

Clueless Mom

Lynn said...

We are all clueless at the moment. I'd guess Ingraham will remain your neighborhood school. The models the district has done so far pull kids from Ballard and Roosevelt to fill Lincoln. If there is still an HCC high school pathway in 2019, I expect it will be Lincoln for the north end.

Anonymous said...

Do you know which parts of Ballard Lincoln is supposed to pull from?

Lynn said...

The board will have to approve the boundaries, but the notes on the current five year projections say this: Lincoln High School is based on three year residents at either Ballard or Roosevelt High Schools, as a percentage of each grade. The following 2015 elementary attendance areas were used to approximate the historic Lincoln High School boundary: Green Lake, B.F. Day, West Woodland, Bagley, and Greenwood.

You can find the projections at the bottom of this page: http://sps.ss8.sharpschool.com/cms/One.aspx?portalId=627&pageId=741840

Anonymous said...

I just received an email that at tomorrow's Highly Capable Services Advisory Committee meeting (6:30 - 8:00 pm, Garfield High School Library) Flip Herndon will be talking capacity issues and the Highly Capable Cohort.

Hmmm. Was this planned, or is it time for a June surprise?

If anyone is able to make it and report back, that would be greatly appreciated!


Benjamin Leis said...

I added a mention at the top that tonight is another HCS advisory meeting. It should be interesting since Flip Herndon is coming. Unfortunately, my son is sick so I can't go myself. If anyone takes notes please forward them to me and I'll put them up.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry you have a sick child, Ben, your meeting notes are always so informative. I won't be able to attend and I'm interested to learn what is discussed. Does the meeting host post notes to a public location? My understanding is there is a representative from each school, but I do not know how the communication is shared within Cascasdia. Does anyone know how to find notes from the Cascadia rep?

I'm not expecting anything new from this meeting because Flip said as recently as last month that nothing will be discussed until Fall, and they are in the recruiting stage of forming a parent committee to five input on capacity planning decisions.

Quite honestly, I have heard different messages from Flip at the last four meetings I have attended and I am losing enthusiasm for attending community meetings. I assume they are planning to check off the "community engagement" box and possibly recruit one or two HCC parents to the capacity planning committee.

-sailing instead

Anonymous said...

Meeting notes for the HCS-AC (hard to keep up with the name...) used to be either posted online or emailed to those on the list serve. I was not able to find notes from this year's meetings - does anyone know where they might be posted? There are notes from the recent task force, but not the HCS-AC.


Thank you, Benjamin, for posting a meeting recap when you attend. If anyone attends tonight's meeting, I would be interested if the 3x5 schedule is on AL's radar.

Anonymous said...

@ sailing, When you said "I'm not expecting anything new from this meeting because Flip said as recently as last month that nothing will be discussed until Fall, and they are in the recruiting stage of forming a parent committee to five input on capacity planning decisions" were you referring to the Lincoln HS process? If so, that makes sense given the timeline they've indicated.

But then why is he coming? Is it to talk about things that he can't really speak to yet? Or is there something new to discuss? Now that they presumably have better HCC qualification and enrollment numbers for fall, is there a problem? Do they need to move some HCC students at the last minute? It's not like they haven't done it before...

If the agenda said he was coming to talk about Lincoln HS planning, that would be one thing. Instead it says he's coming to talking to talk about capacity planning and the HCC. It could be long-term planning (but then again, this is SPS), or it could be short-term crisis management. Who knows?

Benjamin Leis said...

For some context: Jeanne the committee chair invited Flip to come speak several months ago and this is the first time he could make it.

Anonymous said...

https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/sps-hcs-ac is the repository of emails sent regarding HCS AC unfortunately they are behind on the meeting notes. I understand as they don't have a secretary.


Anonymous said...

Lynn those projections were fascinating. Thanks for the link.

Anonymous said...

Did anyone attend the meeting yesterday? I'm guessing they didn't reveal anything new, but you never know.

Anonymous said...

Has there been any discussion of altering the SPS policy for online learning to allow more access to advanced courses in middle school? The current policy states, "The online course or program must not conflict with or disrupt the student's schedule. At the middle school level this includes the first and last class periods of the day; at high school a student may have late arrival or early dismissal, and therefore online work could include those periods." The current policy forces middle school students to part-time homeschool, with a late arrival or early dismissal. The policy allows high school credit for middle school courses taken online, but online courses can't be taken at school. In terms of meeting the new HS 24-credit requirement, the online learning policy could be revised to add more flexibility for middle school. Wishful thinking?

Lynn said...

The Curriculum and Instruction Committee will be reviewing a new superintendent procedure for Highly Capable Services and Advanced Learning Programs on Monday June 13th.

The revised procedure begins on page 295 of the agenda and the changes are summarized on page 312.

Agenda: http://www.seattleschools.org/UserFiles/Servers/Server_543/File/District/Departments/School%20Board/committees/C&I/2015-16/June%2013%202016%20CI%20Agenda.pdf

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Lynn.

Some highlights:

- AL will no longer be administering achievement tests
- AL eligibility will be based on district administered achievement tests
- HC eligibility based on 98% in two CogAT subtests and 95% math and reading achievement (originally proposed 99% CogAT and 97% achievement)
- Single subject qualification for middle school LA has been added to the language
- Appeals will continue to consider privately administered test results

Some language that was not clear to me:

"Eligibility continues for students identified as Advanced Learners or Highly Capable from the time of identification, as long as the student remains in SPS and in his/her pathway schools." [bold added]

Further on, it states, "students identified as HC in grades K-7 may choose to join the HC Cohort at any grade, one through eight."

Do they mean a student can join the cohort at any time, but then must remain with the cohort to maintain eligibility? The wording could use some clarity.

Anonymous said...

One question about the AL process - what is the district administered achievement test for K-2? MAP? MAP K-2 was considered unreliable, so what is the plan?

Anonymous said...

Also struck from the language (words in brackets crossed out): AP and IB Diploma Program are [District supported high school courses] available at all comprehensive high schools. Read what you want into that. Shouldn't they be district supported?

Anonymous said...

Ha! So this is funny (in a so-out-of-touch/things-are-in-a-bad state kind of way) - On p. 280 of the doc (p. 1 of E14.04 Research Activity and Test Administration), the District refers to AP (as in the College Board's Advanced Placement tests) as "Advanced Placement Program (c)," with the copyright sign and all. So evidently the District itself doesn't know the difference between its own (former name) advanced learning program and a copyrighted College Board testing program. This gives us all hope.

From the doc:
"For example, students or their parents/guardians or both should be informed
that the AP Exam is the Advanced Placement Program® (AP®) Exam...."

-So glad to be almost done

Anonymous said...

The changes to 2190SP remove social studies from the list of classes that must be self-contained in elementary school and make Ingraham a choice option rather than a guaranteed assignment.

For social studies, this amounts to an admission by the Superintendent that SPS has failed to provide an appropriate social studies curriculum for HCC students. The only reason they can combine classes is that the principal says the classes are essentially identical except for the students HCC status. While this is likely to only affect Thurgood Marshall this fall, the change is not limited to one school. If Cascadia is split or co-housed with gen ed kids, social studies classes will likely change there too.

The Ingraham change formally adopts what SPS tried to institute without notice this spring. You have to gamble if you want IB at Ingraham, and if you lose, you don't go to Garfield, you go to your neighborhood school.

--Pay Attention

Anonymous said...

This change is not limited to elementary, it includes middle school also. The principal at Washington just broke up the self-contained Spectrum classes. I expect she'll add HCC students to the mix in social studies classrooms next fall. That will be as academically motivated as Katie May's change at TM.

Anonymous said...

You have to gamble if you want IB at Ingraham, and if you lose, you don't go to Garfield, you go to your neighborhood school.

When did that change? I thought it defaulted to Garfield, and waitlisted to Ingraham, since HCC students were assigned to Garfield for high school. According to a footnote in the latest assignment policy (described as a "living" document), "students assigned to HCC in 8th grade are automatically continued into Garfield HCC for 9th grade...as a Choice assignment and may choose the new program at Ingraham, but neither school is their alternate designated school."

Wow. I had no idea.


The social studies change extends to high school - no separate honors classes for 9th grade history at Garfield next year.

Anonymous said...

The change to the Ingraham wording already happened in November when they approved the transition student assignment plan for 2016-17. The SAP also says if a child is wait listed at Ingraham, they will be assigned Garfield unless otherwise requested:

"HCC: Students assigned to HCC in 8th grade will receive an initial assignment to Garfield. They may also apply for the HCC/IBX program at Ingraham; assignment to Ingraham depends on space available and tiebreakers. If not assigned to HCC/IBX at Ingraham they retain their seat at Garfield (unless they apply for and are assigned to a higher ranked choice). High school students who do not currently have an HCC assignment but have met district standards for Highly Capable students are eligible to apply for 9th grade in the HCC/IBX program at Ingraham. Assignment depends on space available and tiebreakers."

Current SAP: http://www.seattleschools.org/UserFiles/Servers/Server_543/File/District/Departments/Enrollment%20Planning/Student%20Assignment%20Plan/Student%20Assignment%20Transition%20Plan%20for%202016-17.pdf


Anonymous said...

Parents need to be contacting the school board about this - in particular about the lack of community engagement.

Anonymous said...

Hmm...during this year's choice process, weren't several HC students waitlisted at Ingraham with an assignment to their neighborhood high school, not Garfield, even after they received an initial assignment to Garfield?

Anonymous said...

@2HC, good catch. Apparently, I should have been paying closer attention. Did this change to the SAP pass unnoticed or was there discussion that I missed?

My comment about what would happen to kids who submit a choice application for Ingraham was based on parent reports on this blog regarding what happened this year. Sounds like SPS just didn't update the language on the website or the enrollment computers to track the language in the SAP. I assume they will be able to fix this in the future.

--Pay attention

Anonymous said...

The initial failure of HCC students who chose Ingraham to get their guaranteed assignment was because Enrollment apparently never agreed with AL that it was guaranteed and it was all a "misunderstanding". Enrollment won that round in that the language about guarantee was dropped by AL (although this year all students were let in).

The failure of students who were waitlisted because of this but not assigned back to Garfield was an error that should be fixed in the future.

This was the message about the Ingraham assignments on the AL website


There has been some confusion regarding assignment of Highly Capable Cohort (HCC) students to Garfield or Ingraham High School IBX based on student choice, not on space availability. The confusion was reinforced by language on the Advanced Learning website conflicting with that of Admissions. This impacted HCC students who, while guaranteed a seat at Garfield as their default pathway HC school, wanted to attend IBX/HC at Ingraham (which is an option only), but were told they would be waitlisted.

Once this discrepancy was brought to our attention, the 29 students who submitted Choice Forms to attend Ingraham during the Open Enrollment period, ending March 1, have been moved from the waitlist and enrolled. The Advanced Learning website has been updated to mirror the language in Superintendent’s Procedures 3130SP (Student Assignment).

Anonymous said...

@pay attention, I dug into the SAP in April when all that was going on. At that time, the SAP said "space available," and it was written that way in the previous SAP as well. In April the SP 3130 did not say "space available." So "The Advanced Learning website has been updated to mirror the language in Superintendent’s Procedures 3130SP (Student Assignment)" is not entirely accurate until they make the edit proposed today.


Benjamin Leis said...

I just added information on the upcoming 6/23 Lincoln H.S. Community Meeting. If you're interested in the planning process this might be a good opportunity.

Anonymous said...

There's a note on the SSS blog that Cascadia will be losing one FTE based on the updated headcount. Anyone know if that makes splits more likely? Or is there a grade band where it's easy to lose a classroom? For example, going from 3 to 2 first grade classes, or from 7 to 6 fifth grade classes?

Cascadia mom

Anonymous said...

It probably makes a 1-2 split more likely, but if they are cutting it this rasor thin it must depend on 1-2 kids here or there. So it could be anywhere (including a 4-5 split, which would be especially bad, given the class sizes and middle school curriculum they use). Cascadia also typically adds many kids over the summer when kids move into the district or decide late, since it is a guaranteed placement. I wonder if that means it's not final, or whether doing this now means they are stopping all movement, and we'll get no new students from here on out.


Anonymous said...

A 4/5 split sounds pretty bad, given that it's hard to get math differentiation in the upper grades even without split grades.

@sleeper, there are no more late deciders. This year the deadline was 5/31. Could still add kids via summer testing, though.

Anonymous said...

Hey, I was googling "Seattle public school board" trying to find the location of the last board meeting docs and I ran into this link, http://watchingspsboard.blogspot.com

There's not much content there right now, it looks like a work in progress.


Benjamin Leis said...

I added a listing at the top that was sent to me for a summer program that may be of interest to 11th and 12th graders.

Anonymous said...

I'm wondering how much SBA scores are expected to rise from year to year? Has the ceiling effect seen in last years data been raised? It appears that the upper limit scores are outside the range published for last year. Aren't we supposed to be able to compare scores from year to year?