Thursday, December 22, 2016

Test Open Thread

Commenting is set back to blogger defaults.

54 comments:

Benjamin Leis said...

Checking if this is working.

Anonymous said...

Appears to work.

Anonimus

SPS Mom said...

I'm happy about this.

Anonymous said...

Thank you! I'd love a thread about choosing high schools :)

Anonymous said...

I have still not heard back on my kindergartener's screening test. Have others gotten screening test results? I did receive the robocall from SPS, but it had no real information other than to keep waiting.

Anonymous said...

Anyone know why more people are switching from Hazelwolf to Cascadia than in the past? I thought they did a pretty good job with advanced learners, other than outliers. Is that not the case anymore?

Thinking ahead

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the newness or location of the building? less overcrowding? I don't have firsthand knowledge though.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know if HCC students at Roosevelt have to retake physical science and biology?

Anonymous said...

It's frustrating that parents even need to ask that question. Why is there not a consistent district policy around HS science placement? If students have taken Geometry in 8th, they can take Algebra 2 in 9th, so why is it not the same for science?

SPS Mom said...

RE: why more HWK8 kids are moving to Cascadia - I think the school has done more to clarify what they can do for advanced learners. Early on, there were a couple of grade bands where the numbers of HCC eligible students were high enough that they were able to accommodate kids two years up (especially in math.). Over the last couple of years, they've moved to a one year up model for walk to math for the younger cohorts. This is actually in line with their spectrum designation and more sustainable overall, but I think parents were still eager to try HW to see if it would work for their HCC eligible kid, especially with some of the overcrowding and uncertain future with the HCC program.

HW can still work for some HCC kids and believe it is a very good fit for spectrum kids. For math, specifically, the plan is that students can still end up 2 years ahead at HW by doing a combined 7/8 math in 6th grade and stepping into algebra in 7th grade with geometry in 8th, so this will provide some acceleration that most k8's don't provide...

All that being said, HWK8 isn't an HCC school and I think that as it has settled into it's identity (and being in 3 neighborhoods in 4 years), the school has become more solid in what it can provide consistently- a strong educational AND social-emotional environment for a range of diverse kids for whom the K-8 model is appropriate.

And - for those of you looking at HW, in my opinion (as a K8 parent of an HCC-eligible 6th grader who has been there since K, I believe for us that the k-8'ness of the school was the most important reason we chose the school. We've appreciated that there has been enough acceleration that the academics can work for our child and we were drawn to the environmental STEM focus, but the experience of the community and the K8 structure has been what has made the difference for us.

An interesting note - most would think that a K-8 would lose a chunk of students at 6th grade because families would opt out to go to either HCC or a comprehensive middle school but I heard that fewer than 5 sixth graders left this year.

So all this being said, HW is not an HCC school but can work for some HCC families, especially if those families value the K-8 experience and are wanting their child to be in a more diverse environment (academically, race, ethnicity, socio-economic, home language, etc.) I suspect that HW, now that it is settled in the Pinehurst neighborhood in their permanent home, will be working to build up a more diverse community after losing some diversity (especially ELL) during the building moves.

So, HWK8 might be a great fit for HCC families (especially if not all siblings are HCC), but it is a better fit for Spectrum families who value the K8 model and a diverse, inclusive community.

I hope this is helpful.

Anonymous said...

This is helpful, thank you. In your opinion, what is the benefit of attending a k-8 for middle school compared to a comprehensive middle school? Also, how do the little K-3 kiddos do with big middle school kids at the same site? I'm not familiar with the advantages of the k-8 model and I'm not sure we could get in since we are outside of the geo zone and I know the wait list is long, but for my 4 year old...I am...

Thinking Ahead

Anonymous said...

The advantage of a K-8 school in my opinion is the opportunity to avoid the pitfalls of a traditional middle school. The middle school years are emotionally and developmentally very challenging for many children and can lead to some very challenging behavior. Middle schools in Seattle are huge. Students are relatively anonymous for the first time in their lives and if they get into trouble due to bullying or poor choices of friends or substance abuse, it's possible this will go unnoticed at school. In contrast, at a K-8, a student's teachers from grades K-5 are around and are likely to notice these problems. Children don't feel anonymous either and this helps them to make better choices. Additionally, the presence of the younger students encourages respectful and supportive behavior on the part of the older students.

SusanH said...

On the other side of the coin, the advantages of a stand-alone middle school include a larger variety of classes (multiple world languages, for example, and more science and math opportunities). There are also greater fine arts and sports offerings as well. And then there's the excitement of getting away from the same small group of kids you've been with since Pre-K.

My kids went to a Pre K through 8th school, but both left for other middle schools (one for academic and one for social reasons). So, you never know exactly how things will go down, but K-8s do look great and nurturing when you have a kindergartener!

SPS Mom said...

Thanks to SusanH and anonymous, who are both correct - and reflect my experiences. I think the K-8 vs. Comp Middle School experience is very child-dependent. I just chose to start my daughter in a K-8 because that gave me the choice of keeping her in the same community for 9 years (although 3 different buildings, it turned out.) I think it is easier to be in a K-8 and choose to move the a comp middle school than move from a K-5 into a K-8 at middle school, although both can work.

I have been pleasantly surprised with the behavior of the 8th graders at the K-8. And I love the relationships that my daughter has formed with her K-5 teachers - and she loves going to visit them - and the teachers will call the tweens/teens on behavior that isn't appropriate. For my kid, it's a great way for her as a quiet, bright, introverted kid to feel seen and appreciated. I think she'd get lost (and quite possibly bullied) in a large comp middle school.

To answer your question about how the little kids do around the big kids - we've not had any problems with this on either end. The school is conscientious about setting up ways for the age groups to mix intentionally (buddy time, middle schoolers providing childcare at PTSA meetings, the school musical being for 4th-8th graders, etc.), but the middleschoolers' classrooms are mostly located in a different wing, so the kindergartners and 13 year olds aren't in the hallways, lunchroom and playground at the same time, usually.

We'll have to see what happens with the HW waitlist in the next year or two. With Cascadia/REMS opening up this year and other facility/enrollment changes, hopefully the list will go down, but I suspect those outside the geozone probably won't get in again. We'll see...

Anonymous said...

We went to HW with high hopes for our youngest. We hoped for both a diverse community and not giving up challenging work, but his class was so much whiter than our neighborhood school, and the work was not challenging at all. I understand that the school is working on diversity, but at this point our Cascadia classroom has more diversity than his HW class did, and the work is better. He only gets one k-5 experience, and we are doing the best we can. I wish HW had worked for us. The people with students in the older grade bands seemed very happy. I don't know what happened.

Anonymous said...

We attempted HW last year for our first-grader, but were likewise disappointed by his experience. There was plenty of racial and economic diversity, so that wasn't a problem, but the curriculum was substandard. Yes, they do more math and science projects but our son hardly did any writing whatsoever. Some of the teachers were very sarcastic with the students and there was a fair amount of yelling from the teachers, chaos in the classroom, and bullying on the playground. The teacher insisted on arbitrary rules which frustrated all of us, and told us after a month of school that our six-year-old son lacked any enthusiasm for learning. There was no semblance of advanced work or individualized instruction. We are at a new school this year and it was apparent from the first teacher conference that either our son had drastically changed personality or that the classroom environment at HW was ill-suited for him--his teacher this year specifically mentioned that he was bright and interested in everything.

Anonymous said...

I too would love a thread on choosing a high school. My specific situation is HCC 8th grader at JAMS trying to chose between RHS, GHS, and IHS. There are so many issues to discuss. What kind of wait list can we expect at IHS (for IBx), and how will it be determined? (Are HCC kids lumped together with all other out-of-area kids who are choosing IHS? Or is there a separate waitlist for HCC kids seeking IBx?) Will kids who follow the HCC pathway to GHS have to move to LHS when it opens their junior year (if they are from the northend)? What are the good/bad about IHS vs GHS and what kinds of kids do best where? How many HCC kids are choosing neighborhood schools like RHS and BHS, and what kind of experiences are they having? Also, what ever happened to discussions about the 24 credit requirement that kicks in with this group of kids (starting HS next fall), and how it might impact school schedules, etc?
Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure anyone knows the answers to IHS waitlists or future Lincoln assignments, which makes the decision process difficult, doesn't it? I can chime in anecdotally about IHS. Good - Friendly, easygoing atmosphere (except for IB stress), minimal schedule hassles (so far...), and enough clubs and sports for students to find something of interest. Being the international pathway school, there are also higher level world language classes available. Bad - Much of the stress around IB seems to be from an apparent lack of funding (students don't have IB aligned texts in some classes...we've finally wised up and purchased some resources on our own) and from some classes that aren't preparing students well for the updated IB exams and assessments (IB changed the syllabi for many classes, which means external IB exams have changed, but not all classes have adjusted coursework to reflect the content changes). There is more self guided learning/studying than we anticipated (with some students getting tutors for particular classes). The math department seems solid, but science has been a great disappointment. Experience may vary, but our child has not had one good science class. Was it just our child's particular mix of choices? These are core science classes we're talking about. I can't speak to how it compares to other schools, but in hindsight, we have mixed reviews of the IB program and wonder whether our neighborhood school with AP options might have been a better choice. Yet, our child didn't feel appropriately challenged by school until attending IHS. Our child was not interested in attending GHS for many reasons, commute time being one of them.

Anonymous said...

I agree that no one knows for sure about Lincoln, but having attended Rick Burke's meeting at Lincoln and several other community meetings, I will say it's foolish for any north end family to send their HCC child to Garfield and NOT expect to get pulled to Lincoln at this point. We have scratched Garfield off our list for that reason alone, though recent events have also made it a less good fit for our family. I am sorry to hear IHS has some work to do on science. That would be tough for our child.

NJP

Anonymous said...

@ NJP, not choosing Garfield doesn't necessarly get you off the likely-to-be-pulled-from-Lincoln list. Maybe if you're one of the lucky ones to get into Ingraham, but there will likely be a waiting list there. If you choose another neighborhood school like Roosevelt or Balkard instead, you're probably more likely to get pulled. Unless you live far from Lincoln, Ingraham is probably the only safe bet (but far from a guarantee).

Anonymous said...

You're right, 10:47. I do live in what is almost certainly the Roosevelt "safe" zone, so it was easier for us to scratch Garfield off the list than if we lived in south Green Lake. I have also been wondering if the Nathan Hale boundaries would move when Roosevelt gets emptied out (harder for me to figure out Ingraham with the HCC pathway there).

NJP

Anonymous said...

IHS will be under construction soon. I believe the 500 student addition is scheduled to open the same year as Lincoln. The question is what happens in the next two years before any high school capacity comes online. RHS, BHS, and GHS are over capacity this year.

Anonymous said...

According to the RFP for IHS: "The construction of the classroom addition is anticipated to begin by December 2017 and be substantially complete by June 2019. Additionally, this project will include seismic upgrades and a new roof installation above the existing gym and classrooms. It is anticipated the seismic and roof work will be scheduled and completed in the summer of 2018...This project is on a tight schedule, with a mandated completion of summer 2019 for the Fall 2019 academic year to address critical capacity needs. Careful scheduling, planning, bidding and execution of the work by the GC/CM to guarantee timely and quality delivery with minimal disruption during full occupancy of the campus are critical."

https://seattleschools.org/UserFiles/Servers/Server_543/File/District/Departments/procurement/RFP09616_GCCM%20Ingraham_10.13.16.pdf

Anonymous said...

Thanks for these comments so far! (I'm the one who posted the questions about HS choices.) We too are very safely in the RHS zone even after LHS comes on-line. However, I'm not convinced RHS is the best choice. I think my child would miss the HCC cohort. I'm disappointed to hear about the lack of good science classes at IHS (but appreciate having that info). I (and I'm sure others) would appreciate hearing more comments about the good and bad at IHS (IB or IBx) from other people, and also anyone who left the HCC middle school cohort to attend a neighborhood high school and what that experience has been like. Thank you!

Benjamin Leis said...

I will open up a High School sometime soon.

Anonymous said...

Oh, if only that were possible...

Benjamin Leis said...

Oops that was a Freudian slip. There will be a high school thread. I wish I could open an actual H.S. too.

Ingraham Student said...

I am a current student at Ingraham in my second year of IBX, and I would love to answer any questions people have about IHS. Ingraham also has tours coming up soon - a great way to get questions answered and talk to students.

Northwest Parent said...

I second Anonymous @9:21 that my 10th grader in IBx has not had a single good science course at IHS. That said, she likes her other classes and is challenged in them. She has friends and likes Ingraham and the IB program but science has been a bust.

Anonymous said...

My kindergartner took the CogAT screener but we haven't heard whether she qualifies to take the full CogAT--have other kindergartners been scheduled for the full CogAT already, or heard that they don't qualify to take it?
--K parent

Anonymous said...

Kindergartner parent here. We have not heard anything, yay or nay, either. We'll keep waiting.

Anonymous said...

My kindergartner took the screener as well, and we have not heard one way or the other either.

Another parent

Anonymous said...

This past Saturday (1/7) at Whitman Middle school, I saw about two dozen K kids getting tested. I presume it was for the full CogAT.

A Northend Parent

Anonymous said...

RE: K testing

From http://www.seattleschools.org/cms/One.aspx?portalId=627&pageId=18701220:

"As soon as a student is scheduled, it will show up on the Source and you can log in to see. Please continue checking as we will continue receiving results through mid-January!"

Either way, they should say yay or nay. My kid's Source account still has the old info, from September, no updated anything.

Anonymous said...

2 dozens kindergartners doesn't sound too right.

If I remember well, there were about 5 pages with approx. 7 kids/page on the testing day in October @ Whitman. Quite a few did not show up (a teacher said this is the norm). My kid had 5 testers out of 7 scheduled in that class. So 24 out of 35 is a very high number... but who knows?

Anonymous said...

At the testing day at Whitman in October, there were several time slots for testing throughout the day. My son's timeslot had about 35 kids total but that was just one of several timeslots. I don't have numbers but it stands to reason that well more than 35 kids were tested that day.

Megan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Megan said...

Right around WInter break our Kindergartener was notified of a test day to take the Full CogAT at Whitman -- which occurred this past Saturday (1/7/17). We received an e-mail from the Advanced Learning department. We were in the 11am time slot and I would say roughly 20 Kinders were in that time with him. There was another test wave at 2pm.

Parents who haven't heard back could check the Source -- click on the advance learning tab.

Anonymous said...

@Megan - did your kid test @ Whitman on October, or somewhere else? Also, when you say "right around winter break", was that before or after 12/16 (when the robocall came, aka the last day of scool)?

Also, can you please share how many kids were assigned per teacher this time around? Did they have any breaks?

Thanks!

Anonymous said...

My first grader took the CogAT screener on 10/22. On 12/16 (the same day as the robocall), we got an email saying he was scheduled to take the full CogAT on 1/7. The scheduling info for the full test showed up on The Source a few days after that, in the "Advanced Learning Parent Referral" section. We never got any score for the screener, just a scheduling notice for the full test.

We're in Central Seattle -- screener was at South Shore K-8, and full test was at Thurgood Marshall. For our test time (8am) there were two groups of 1st graders, with maybe 10-15 kids in each group. I think there was also one group of kindergartners and one group of 2nd graders for our session. The first graders took almost 3 hours to complete the test (Ks and 2s done sooner, from what I remember), and my son reported that they got a lot of stretching/bathroom/water breaks.

Central District Parent

Anonymous said...

To clarify, I was at Whitman during the 8am session on 1/7 and there were about 24 K kids tested. Seems to be at least two more sessions that day (11 am and 2pm)

(Had to check my emails to get the dates right) Like Central District Parent, my 1st grader took the screener on 10/29. Got notified on 12/16 about the full test on 1/7. Each group was about 12-15 kids.

A Northend Parent

Anonymous said...

Received an email/robocall that all K/1/2 students who had been screened and needed further testing had been contacted. Does anyone know when we might expect to find out the scores on our child's screening test?

-Looking for helpful news

Anonymous said...

So checked the source today and it says 'no further cognitive testing required'. What does that mean? I emailed advlearning and they said that we will only know the 'truth' on Feb 10 and that having no further cognitive testing required doesn't rule out that my child is an advanced learner. This is so confusing! Anyone else in the same boat?

Lynn said...

Sounds like your child took the screening form given for grades K-2. If they scored between the 87th and 93rd percentile in that and at the 87th percentile or higher on math and reading, they would be identified as an advanced learner (former Spectrum) and no further cognitive testing would be required. If any of their scores were lower than these thresholds, they would not qualify and no further testing would be required.

If you have scores that would qualify your child for HCC or believe that private testing would likely produce those scores, you should start preparing your appeal.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Lynn. We do have private testing scores of 98 percentile full scale IQ and that's why the results here were so surprising. Any recommendations on how to prepare the appeal? As in, what's needed apart from private testing scores and MAP scores?

Kate W said...

My daughter (private Kindergarten) has been scheduled to take the Iowa Test this Saturday, but no word on the full CogAT which I was expecting. Anyone else experience that? Of course no word from SPS on scores and I'm just curious.

Anonymous said...

Kate W, we are EIN a similar situation. My first grader took the cogat screen, and I called Advanced Learning when I hadn't heard anything. They said he didn't qualify for further testing. The Source was later updated to reflect this. To ight I received an email stating from the AL department stating he had a testing date for the ITBS. I am very confused as I am not seeing how this test is used to determine eligibility. He has not taken the full Cogat. He did complete the MAP test last year, with scores that would not qualify for AL. However, he was a young kindergartner and it was one of his first experiences using a mouse, so we tested again. Any insight would be appreciated.

Anonymous said...

Kate W, we are in a similar situation. My first grader took the cogat screen, and I called Advanced Learning when I hadn't heard anything regarding his results. They said he didn't qualify for further testing. The Source was later updated to reflect this. Tonight I received an email from the AL department stating he had a testing date for the ITBS. I am very confused as I am not seeing how this test is used to determine eligibility. He has not taken the full Cogat. He did complete the MAP test last year, with scores that would not qualify for AL. However, he was a young kindergartner and it was one of his first experiences using a mouse, so we tested again. Any insight would be appreciated.

Anonymous said...

New parent of Kindergartener here, need help. Our situation:

1. Kid went for CogAT screener, was not scheduled for full test. Saw the "No further testing is required" message on the Source, but have not been informed other way.
2. Today I see MAP Reading score of 96% on the Source. [I know they need (Math + Reading) MAP scores > 95% to be considered for HCC.]

I am a bit confused as to HCC eligibility. If kid manages a >95% for Math MAP, does that mean she will qualify for HCC? Or BOTH CONDITIONS (full CogAT >98-99% AND MAP > 95%) need to be met in order for the kid to qualify for HCC?

Thank you,

Confused Parent

Anonymous said...

I would love some insight from more experienced folks about our testing situation. My child took the CogAT screener, then full CogAT test, then I got a message with one week's notice saying he needs to take the ITBS test at 8 am on a Saturday at the John Standford Center. We haven't seen his CogAT score. Does anybody know if the notification about the ITBS test means anything about his score on the CogAT? This whole process has been much more difficult than when my older child took the test -- when the admins came to her school in the middle of the week. I imagine this must be creating significant challenges for some families.
- Wedgwood Mom

Lynn said...

Confused Parent,

Both conditions must be met.

Lynn said...

Wedgwood Mom,

Your child must have scored at the 94th percentile or higher on the screener - that's the criteria for taking the full CogAT. The ITBS would be required for either AL or HCC qualification (assuming your child has no MAP scores.)

Elisa Ruehlmann said...

We have a private school K student who was also scheduled for the ITBS instead of the full CogAT exam. Anyone know why? I have no idea how they are going to compare these two tests for admittance to HCC, as it's totally apples and oranges.

Lynn said...

Your student is being evaluated for Spectrum if they didn't schedule you for the full CogAT. They're not comparing the scores, they are both barriers to admission.