Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Advanced Learning is looking for Feedback on Procedure Change

"The Advanced Learning office has been soliciting community comment regarding proposed revisions to Superintendent Procedure 2190SP, Seattle Public Schools Highly Capable Services and Advanced Learning. Read the superintendent procedure.pdf icon
Comments on the proposed DRAFT can be sent to advlearn@seattleschools.org with the subject line 2190SP. 
The proposed DRAFT will be reviewed by the Curriculum and Instruction Policy Committee at their meeting on Monday, August 15, 2017. Please send your comments in before July 31 to assure it will be reviewed prior to the meeting."

The most substantive changes here are related to Thurgood Marshall and blended Social Studies.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this! I don't think the "most substantive" change is related to Thurgood Marshall. That proposed change affects no other current HCC school. It would only authorize TM to apply for a waiver of the requirement that an HCC pathway school must offer "self-contained" instruction in social studies.

Yes, TM would be likely to get the waiver, but notice that math, English Language Arts and science are not touched by this.

This policy change is tiny step toward improving social studies at TM by bringing together Gen Ed and HCC students. As a TM parent, I fully believe the Principal and teachers when they say the added classroom diversity (socio-economic, ethnic, national origin, religious and more) will create a deeper, more complex social studies experience for all of the kids.

What's more substantive in the set of 2190SP changes? I'd look at the new looser leash for middle schools seeking to bring together HCC, Spectrum and Gen. Ed. for core academic classes.

- TM 4th-grade parent

Anonymous said...

Can you say more about the added classroom diversity? Are the kids expected to be ambassadors for their religion or race during discussions? I am not opposed to the blending of social studies, but I would like to know how teachers plan to integrate the added diversity witnout making yhe gen ed kids feel like tokens. Serious question, not trolling.

Soon-to-be TM mom

Anonymous said...

My son's been at TM for 2 years now in HCC. The HCC kids in my child's class are high energy, I'll be amazed if the teacher can engage the all kids in a meaningful way rather than spend half the time on classroom management. The Gen Ed kids are super smart, really nice, and fun to be around. I don't think any teacher would ask a young child to be an ambassadress for his or her culture. I think it'll be a traditional class going over traditional curriculum and we will be lucky if the kids sit still for half hour.

-Reality at TM

Anonymous said...

Can someone tell me if I understand these two sections, correctly, please?

At the bottom page 5/top of page 6 the draft doc says: "For 9th grade students who are enrolled in the 8th grade HC Cohort will be assigned to attend an accelerated AP pathway at Garfield or they may submit a School Choice form to attend an accelerated IB pathway at Ingraham. Placement at Ingraham is subject to space availability."

But then further down on page 6 the draft doc says: "Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program are available at all SPS comprehensive high schools. All comprehensive high schools offer either AP or IB courses in multiple subject areas that allow Highly Capable students to accelerate and/or deepen their learning. The courses provide challenging academic material at the college-level for all students who have taken the prerequisite courses"

Setting aside the grammatical oddities in this text, does this mean that there is AP/IB available in all high schools, but there is *accelerated* AP and IB at Garfield and Ingraham exclusively?

7th grader HCC dad

Anonymous said...

I agree with 'Reality' that no teacher will force the "ambassador" situation. But re high-energy kids: they can be in any classroom, and it's a challenge for Gen Ed and HCC alike.

More about the tokenism issue. First: based on posts on other blogs, some people may think that Thurgood Marshall's HCC population is nearly 100% white kids from wealthy families. That's not true, even though there's not as much diversity as there would be if HCC better reflected the District. The social studies idea is not trying to address the much bigger questions surrounding how kids qualify for HCC.

Second: On their own, neither the HCC population nor the Gen Ed population reflects the the demographics of the District. However, TM as a whole is very similar to the District socio-economic and racial proportions. That's unusual among Seattle elementaries. There are A LOT of segregated schools. You can see the 2014-15 TM and District numbers at http://www.seattleschools.org/UserFiles/Servers/Server_543/File/District/Departments/REA/school_reports/2014-15/ThurgoodMarshall.PDF

Third: So, if the social studies "blend" is successful, kids will be able to share and compare a broader variety of family experiences than if Gen Ed or HCC were separate. There will be deeper understanding of what's being studied. And, some social barriers and misperceptions will be broken down.

- TM 4th-grade parent

Anonymous said...

What's confusing, 7th grade dad, is p. 5 of the revised document states "Students in grade 8 will automatically be enrolled in 9th grade at their pathway high school. If a student chooses not to attend the pathway high school at any time, enrollment in the pathway school is not guaranteed."

Further on, it specifically refers to Garfield, in a grammatically awkward sentence. It is a Superintendent Procedure, not a Board procedure, so revisions can be made at a later time, without board approval. Was the intent to name Garfield, or leave the reference vague so the pathway could be changed (in the assignment procedure) as capacity dictates (am I overly paranoid?)?

Interesting what's been changed:

original document-> "This self-contained, K-8 program provides a rigorous curriculum in language arts, social studies, mathematics, and science...and requires students to work significantly above grade level."

revised document-> above wording removed

Anonymous said...

7th Grade Dad, it really should say "Advanced Placement (AP) OR International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program are available at all SPS comprehensive high schools." IB is available at Ingraham, Rainier Beach & Chief Sealth. Only Ingraham offers the accelerated IBX option, which is the IB program, just a year earlier. I think SPS views AP/IB as rigorous enough to accommodate the learning needs of HC students no matter where they go to school.

I also think "accelerated AP pathway at Garfield" is misleading. My understanding is that Garfield used to have some AP classes that younger students could access, but that they don't anymore. They do have more AP classes than other schools. And there are enough advanced students to offer higher level classes.


Anonymous said...

Small clarification to my comment above: Ingraham also offers some AP classes in addition to IB.

Anonymous said...

2HC- "They do have more AP classes than other schools." That is the issue. It is not a question of rigor. We know AP/IB classes are rigorous. Garfield has many more AP classes and sections (to make scheduling work) for HCC students who otherwise will not have enough classes/ curriculum to access. Unless they choose another school to offer just as many AP classes & sections, there will be issues. They will need to have enough students to run those classes. They will cancel classes that are not completely full.
SPS mom

Anonymous said...

I'm confused: did TM get the waiver? If not, what is the decision-making timeline around this?