Monday, January 30, 2017

February '17 Open Thread

It's open enrollment and school tour season. See: https://www.seattleschools.org/admissions/school_choice . The key dates are:  Open Enrollment for the 2017-18 school year is Monday, Feb. 13 - Friday, Feb. 24. I'll try to update with tour information as I find it.

  • http://cascadiaes.seattleschools.org/cms/One.aspx?portalId=1927&pageId=32452 2017 School Information Evenings will be on Thursday, February 2 and Monday, February 6 from 6:00-7:30 p.m. in Cascadia's Lunchroom.
  • For those with students going to Jane Addams Middle School next year, this from the JAMS Newsletter:
    February 7 – JAMS Daytime Prospective Parents/GuardiansTour- 9:00 AM – call the school to be added to the guest list – (206) 252-4500
    February 7 – Evening Prospective Parents/Guardians AND Student Tours – 6:30 PM - all welcome! Reservations not needed!
  • Attention any possible future Ingraham families: Please come to the Ingraham RamFans Parent Social next Wednesday, February 8, 6:30-8 PM at the Blue Ridge Community Center (upstairs), 10040 15th Ave NW. The RamFans Social is an opportunity to meet other Ingraham
    parents who support Ingraham athletics and are interested in
    making your student’s high school experience the best it can be.
    The Blue Ridge Community Club is the same place as the pool, just north of Swanson’s Nursery on 15 th Ave NW
    (Parking in the lot is limited. Street parking is fine. Please don’t block driveways.)
    FOR MORE INFO ABOUT THE INGRAHAM ATHLETIC BOOSTERS CLUB, CHECK OUT IABC Home
    If you've been looking for a low-key way to meet some parents, this is one. We've got kids in sports, but other things too. (i.e. we have some perspective, hopefully)
    INGRAHAMATHLETICS.ORG
  • Ingraham High School: February 2nd open House for all incoming students
    February 8th. International Baccalaureate open house -7:00 p.m.
    Roosevelt High School Open House: February 2nd. – 7:00 pm.
  • Hamilton Middle School Open House:  January 31 2017 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM


    Feb. HCS Advisory Meeting

    February 7,  6:30 PM Washington Middle School Library

    Discussion

    Since  the interminable discussion about HCC and equity continues elsewhere online I'm reposting a link to my editorial from earlier this year: http://discussapp.blogspot.com/2016/08/editorial-where-is-program-going.html  None of the facts have changed since then,


    What's on your minds?

62 comments :

Ingraham IBx Student said...

Ingraham also has daytime tours on February 8th! See Ingraham webpage for details.

http://ingrahamhs.seattleschools.org/cms/One.aspx?portalId=10767&pageId=15399728

ghs said...

What's up with AP classes at Garfield?

The school is having a meeting next week to try to scare kids into not taking lots of AP classes. Notice went out today. Rumors are swirling that students might be limited to only 3 AP classes for junior year. Does anyone have something more reliable than rumors on this? It doesn't seem right that an HCC school would be limiting higher-level courses arbitrarily.

Anonymous said...

From Garfield:

Due to demand, we have added a THIRD prospective student daytime tour date!

Thursday, February 16th from 9:45 a.m. -10:40 a.m.

Students and families will start in Quincy Jones Auditorium on Thursday 2/16 with student panelists and specialists, and then have student-led tours. RSVPs are not required but can be done online through google forms: https://goo.gl/forms/bjZvDD3l6eHXbEPr1

*Geared toward students, but parents/family members/guardians can attend.

Benjamin Leis said...

I added a top link with info on the upcoming UW Robinson Center equity summit.

Anonymous said...

"those historically disenfranchised within the system by race, ethnicity, culture or language."

They left our "class", a really big one BTW, which would include poor whites of varying ethnicities and asians.

-BN

Anonymous said...

ghs - We have not heard the rumor you refer to about Garfield limiting kids to three AP classes next year, and 10th graders have been meeting with their counselors about class registration for next year with no mention of it. When asked specifically about it today, a counselor said they had not heard of anything like that. Hope that's just a rumor. Sure wouldn't make sense for a lot of kids.

- Bulldog Parent

ghs said...

Thanks bulldog.

The text of the notice is unusual.

- Are you considering enrolling in multiple Advance Placement (AP) classes next year?

- Have you heard stories from other students about the craziness of 11th grade?

- Are you interested in learning more about workload, time management and stress from AP Teachers, current students, and counselors?


This is a first at Garfield, and while it could be a very good thing to lay this out for the students (junior year can indeed be a crazy workload for some kids), it's strange that an event that sounds like it's designed to discourage kids from loading up on AP classes is now happening at the same time as Honors for All (or none) is being forced upon freshman. Coupled with rumors that the kids are spreading (where would they have heard this?) about hard limits.

I hope you're right, and there are no limits. If the school truly is trying to rein things in, we might see something in the middle, like "encouraged limits", or perhaps "schedule constraint limits". In other words, rather than opening up more sections of AP to meet demand for a given class, just hold the number of sections lower. Let's hope that doesn't happen.

ghs said...

Thanks bulldog.

The text of the notice is unusual.

- Are you considering enrolling in multiple Advance Placement (AP) classes next year?

- Have you heard stories from other students about the craziness of 11th grade?

- Are you interested in learning more about workload, time management and stress from AP Teachers, current students, and counselors?


This is a first at Garfield, and while it could be a very good thing to lay this out for the students (junior year can indeed be a crazy workload for some kids), it's strange that an event that sounds like it's designed to discourage kids from loading up on AP classes is now happening at the same time as Honors for All (or none) is being forced upon freshman. Coupled with rumors that the kids are spreading (where would they have heard this?) about hard limits.

I hope you're right, and there are no limits. If the school truly is trying to rein things in, we might see something in the middle, like "encouraged limits", or perhaps "schedule constraint limits". In other words, rather than opening up more sections of AP to meet demand for a given class, just hold the number of sections lower. Let's hope that doesn't happen.

Anonymous said...

Maybe they suspect that Honors for All isn't likely to have the intended effect of inspiring more underrepresented students to take AP classes, so they need to find some other ways to reduce the gap? Not only would limiting AP classes help reduce the gap, but playing up the issue of how it's so crazy hard to take many AP classes it allows them to subtly make the case that HCC students really aren't so smart after all.

ghs said...

Yes anon, that's exactly the kind of thing that would seem to be in line with the current movement at Garfield, unfortunately. If Bulldog Parent above is right, and there isn't going to be a hard limit, there are still a lot of ways to limit students indirectly, and without official policy changes.

I'm yet to feel convinced that there won't be official changes. A very common scenario is that things get floated quietly in back channels, rumors spread, reactions are gauged, plans are fluid until the last minute, them whammo, something gets thrown at families with little to no warning, and no recourse. This is SPS in general, and Garfield has been an exemplary example over the years.

I don't want to make this sound like Garfield bashing, because there are still many great teachers at Garfield, and many great students that make the school what it is. Opportunities exist for greatness in a wide variety of classes, clubs, teams, etc. It's just disappointing how we need to keep fighting constantly to keep it that way.

Anonymous said...

Wondering why the Seattle School board HCC oversight meeting in Oct presented data only focused only upon lack of African American students in HCC. Data was not presented regarding disproportional enrollment of low income kids of all races, including white and asian ethnic groups. The Seattle data was focused upon race alone & quite possible middle and upper income African Americans are not represented in HCC as they are lured away to private schools. Nationwide there is under-representation of low income kids of all races in advanced learning programs and the strongest variable is related to income. Data suggests this over and over again historically. Does not seem like an equitable focus.
-PL

Anonymous said...

Sorry to see that the post didn't have the tour information from the websites of HCC schools south of the Ship Canal. None of the schools requests an RSVP, and students are welcome.

Washington Middle School
Final tour - Wed., Feb. 8, 8:30-10 a.m. (No RSVPs asked.)
No more of the separate Info sessions, but the Principal's slides are available at http://washingtonms.seattleschools.org/cms/One.aspx?pageId=20016860

Madison Middle School
Tours: Tues., Feb. 7, 9:30-11 a.m. & Thurs., Feb. 16, 6:30-8 p.m. (No RSVPs asked.) See http://madisonms.seattleschools.org/cms/One.aspx?pageId=18641458

Thurgood Marshall ES
Tues., Feb. 7: HCC info + Q&A, 5-5:45 p.m.; Tour, 5:45-6:15; Gen. info + Q&A, 6:15-6:30.
Info session & tour: Wed., March 8, 8:45-10 a.m.
School website is not updated often, but the PTA website is: http://www.tmlink.org

Fairmount Park ES
HCC Specific tour: Wed., Feb. 15, 8:15 a.m.
General school tour: Thurs., Feb. 16, 8:15 a.m.
See http://fairmountparkes.seattleschools.org or http://fpepta.digitalpto.com

- TM parent

Benjamin Leis said...

Note: if you were going to an event today 2/7, its probably best to check if it has been postponed or not.

Anonymous said...

ghs - That rumor you heard about limiting kids to three AP classes reportedly was stated by a teacher today. Now we are very concerned. We will be following closely. Supposedly the teacher said there could be exceptions made, but we have no idea what would be the permissible reasons for exceptions or who would grant them.

- Bulldog Parent

Anonymous said...

My child reported that three AP classes would be the limit, and students would need to request a waiver if they wanted to take more than 3. No details about if waivers would be granted, what are the reasons that would be accepted, etc. The teacher stated that other schools, like Lakeside, limit the amount of AP's a student can take. That said, my child has been planning on taking 4 AP classes next year and didn't seem concerned about this being a problem from what was said by the teacher. Not sure if that's going to be the reality or if space in AP classes will be limited. I find it a curious and worrisome development, especially when other SPS high school aren't doing this. It's really a shame that yet again Garfield can't just come out with a proper announcement to families about this change. We're left going off of what our kids say and what we read on blogs.

North Seattle parent

Benjamin Leis said...

I added a link to the Ballard PTSA meeting notes. Note: depending on interest I may open a thread on AP classes at Garfield.

Lakeside parent said...

North Seattle Parent--
Lakeside doesn't even offer AP classes. Classes are supposed to cover more material than AP classes and anyone can sign up for as many challenging classes as they would like to take. Students select the AP tests that they want to take. There are no limits on the number of AP tests that can be taken.

Anonymous said...

What the? It's the default pathway school for HCC students, and they are attempting to limit access to AP classes? The comparison to Lakeside is laughable. While Lakeside does not offer AP courses, the intensity of our program meets or exceeds AP material. Students still take AP exams and subject matter tests. "Accelerated Calculus AB" prepares students for the AP Calc AB exam, for example. "Computer Science III" prepares students for the AP Computer Science exam.

Michael Rice said...

There are no limits on how many rigorous classes a student can take at Ingraham. We encourage students to take as rigorous a schedule as they feel prepared for. The IB Diploma program will challenge and inspire even the most prepared student. The IBx student who comments here will confirm that.

Benjamin Leis said...

To some extent we're all in this together. Policy decisions at one building can and do ripple across to the others. That's why I think its important to focus on decisions like this even if you've ruled out Garfield for whatever reason or to pick another example why the rollout of HCC in Madison M.S. is still important even if you don't live in West Seattle.



Lynn said...

Speaking of HCC @ Madison, what's causing the delay in placing HCC @ McClure? That would provide some relief at HIMS.

Lynn said...

The board is having a work session on highly capable services this afternoon. One curious note I saw on the agenda is the fact that Thurgood Marshall isn't the only school with a waiver. Apparently Garfield has one too. This is odd because there is no provision in the Superintendent's Procedure for a waiver for high schools.

Anonymous said...

What does the text of the Garfield waiver say--and how does it square with what's written in the district's Highly Capable plan? Did they get a waiver from the STATE, so that they no longer need to provide access to accelerated learning and enhanced instruction in 9th grade?

HF

Anonymous said...

Lynn, has there been prior discussion about placing HCC at McClure? And Hamilton will get relief with the opening of RESMS this fall.

HF

Anonymous said...

I'm curious how does Lakeside compare to Ingraham or Garfield?

Anonymous said...

Compare in what way? It's a lot more expensive, for one!

Anonymous said...

Re: comparing Lakeside to Garfield/Ingram. That is a big question with lots to unpack: Price, culture, curriculum, peer group, opportunity, diversity, teacher quality, support systems, convenience, ROI, pressure, schedule and class availability, tech/science, writing, extracurriculars, arts, music, international programs, citizenship.

What matters to you?

DMC

Lynn said...

HF,

The word agenda in my post is a link to the document. Page 23 of the PowerPoint includes a mention of the waiver at Garfield. That's all I know about it.

No, I haven't heard of any plans to provide HCC at McClure. Why would the district comtinue to bus kids from Magnolia and Queen Anne to HIMS? With the program at Madison becoming the pathway school for West Seattle we now know that one classroom per grade is an adequate cohort for the program.

Molly said...

So testing scores came out today - My daughter (kindergartener) has composite scores of 97/97/96/97 - but map scores of (reading)99 and (math)88. does that seem worth it to appeal? 97 on almost all of her scores means she would be the very top of spectrum, but with west seattle schools pretty much abolishing spectrum programs, it means she would be gen ed for the most part. I know she can retest next year, so maybe it's not worth it, but it just seems such a shame to be so close yet so far. But the appeals process seems like it would take a lot of time and might involve retesting.... I am so torn.

SusanH said...

Molly, that's a bummer. We also were so, so close. If you decide to appeal, it doesn't take a lot of time, but it does involve privately retesting. That's the only thing Advanced Learning cares about: if you make the 98%+, you are in. We did it, and it wasn't bad. It was around $350 and took 3 hours, then when we got the results we attached a cover page saying, "here you go," and that was that. If you are free/reduced lunch, I hear the district will pay for the private testing, but I'm not sure what the process is.

I guess it also depends on your daughter. Is she happy and engaged at her current school, with good friends? Maybe then you just see how the next year or two goes, and then maybe test again if you feel she needs a different environment?

Anonymous said...

Ugh... Also with scores for my kindergartner today and questions.

Mine has 94/99/92 and a composite of 98. However, her MAP testing was 80 for reading and 96 for math.

So, she's not even eligible for Spectrum math?

I think she's gifted and the CogAT scores seem to support that. We haven't pushed her in reading and I am happy that she is reading at grade level (or a bit above that).

Older child is HCC, but enrolled in local school. Logistically, I would like to keep them at the same school. Also, I don't want younger to have a rough math year next year (our school will pull all the spectrum kids aside, and the remaining kids will have a slower pace -- which might be hard for a kid with such high quant scores).

Thanks for any advice.

Dory

Lynn said...

There is no point in appealing unless you have qualifying private test scores or are entitled to free individual testing through the district.

Though there isn't supposed to be a cut score for identification, in reality this is what the district does.

Lynn said...

Dory,

You can get an outside reading test. It will be less expensive than cognitive testing so may be worthwhile. Alternatively, could you speak to your principal now and ask if they'll advance her in math based on her scores? That is a reasonable request for differentiation based on achievement and should not require advanced learning identification.

Anonymous said...

@ Dory and Molly, if it were me I'd just let it ride for a while. Unless you have a child who is miserable where they are and clearly crying out for more challenge, what's the rush?

A child who scores 99s across the board might really, really need something sooner rather than later, but for many smart students, the local school will work fine for now. They are young enough that it's pretty easy to provide enrichment at home without much trouble at all. You might find that they need something more later, or they may be fine where they are.

depends

murray said...

Does anyone know what the screener cutoff score was for the call back for the full CogAt? Just curious and I can't seem to find the information anywhere.

thanks!

Lynn said...

That's a reasonable answer if the local school is committed to differentiating based on student needs. Dory's school requires Spectrum identification for acceleration in math.

This is how neighborhood schools caused the huge increase in HCC enrollment.

Anonymous said...

The screener cutoff was 94.

Anonymous said...

My 5th grader's scores (going into middle school):
Composite scores 99/99/99/99
SBA math 98.9
But...SBA reading 63.6
What does this mean? That he's bright but his reading skills are poor? I am thinking of private testing but to get up to 87 that's a big leap. Or would he be better off in general ed for a year?
He's in the language immersion program learning Japanese. There is no advanced learning (reading or math) at his school. Does anyone have any input on whether dual language learning could be factored into an appeal? I was thinking that I could attach an essay written in Japanese to show that, although his english skills may be average (or below!), he has partially acquired another language at SPS. Any advice is appreciated.

Anonymous said...

It doesn't make sense that the screener cutoff would be 94 -- since the test is also supposed to identify spectrum students (who are 87th).

Also, thanks for the advice.

Dory

Anonymous said...

Dory, according to the SPS website, Spectrum eligibility for K-2 is based on the CogAT screener score (87th+ percentile). So not all Spectrum-eligible kids took the full CogAT test.

https://www.seattleschools.org/cms/One.aspx?portalId=627&pageId=1560872

Central District Parent

Anonymous said...

We haven't received our notification yet, BUT we're in private school and ours are going to be mailed. What is the score they need to get to be accepted into the HCC program? 98 composite score seems like it would get you in. Does it need to be 99 or above? That seems impossible. Thanks for any input.

Anonymous said...

http://www.seattleschools.org/cms/One.aspx?portalId=627&pageId=1560872

98-99 on 2 out of 7 CogAT scores AND 95th percentile in math and reading achievment.

@Central District Parent - Thanks, I didn't understand that.

Dory

Anonymous said...

The chart on the SPS Advanced Learning site says the eligibility criteria for HCC is 98-99th percentile "on 2 of 7 CogAT scores" (plus 95th+ percentile on reading & math achievement tests). Based on the CogAT results posted on the Source today, it looks like the seven scores are:

1) verbal
2) quantitative
3) nonverbal
4) V-Q composite
5) V-N composite
6) Q-N composite
7) V-Q-N composite

Elisa (formerly Anonymous) said...

Thanks, Anonymous! They had the private school kids take the ITBS -not full CogAt for our second exam. So, I really don't know what they'll be using to evaluate our Kindergartner. There were 6 other kids that tested the ITBS with him, so at least I know other children will also be evaluated by the same metrics. It's not totally clear on that chart that was posted, since they don't mention ITBS. Hmmm.

Anonymous said...

Are the percentiles for the CogAt based on national norms or local norms? Are they age-based or grade-based?

Big disparity between WISC And CogAt scores for my son who is particularly strong in the visual-spatial realm

-SmartOrNot?

Lynn said...

CogAT is nationally normed and age-based. WISC scores are likely more indicative of ability because they are not multiple choice tests (so no false high scores) and are administered one on one in a less distracting environment (which would reduce false low scores).

Anonymous said...

Elisa: I wonder if they scheduled the ITBS in order to get achievement scores (i.e. as a replacement for the MAP testing done for K-2 at SPS)? If your child took the CogAT screener but NOT the full CogAT, I think they'd still need achievement test scores to qualify for Advanced Learning/Spectrum, so that may be where the ITBS comes in. But I don't know much about how it works for private school students!

Central District Parent

Elisa (formerly Anonymous) said...

Central District Parent - that's exactly it - CogAt screener for 1st test, then the ITBS for the second. They only tested for reading and math, so that totally makes sense that the test would replace the MAP testing done in SPS. Just wondering why they didn't also schedule a full CogAt. Guess we'll find out the details when we receive our letter (they aren't notifying us via email). Thanks for your help, I feel like I have a better understanding now.

Anonymous said...

I haven't been able to attend the Eaglestaff planning meetings. Has HCC been discussed? What will the program look like? Which classes are self-contained and which aren't? Trying decide whether to move my current 6th grader there or not...Thanks.

Kimberly

Anonymous said...

If your child receives HCC eligibility, how long is it for? For example, if our child is happy at their current school could we keep them there for another year before deciding to enroll in the HCC program?

Lynn said...

Your child retains HCC eligibility through the 8th grade. They retain highly capable identification until graduation.

Anonymous said...

Of note, if you leave the district for one year, you will lose HCC eligibility. If you leave and return in less time, you will still have it, though we had to argue with the district to reinstate ours after we were gone for 4 months (the eventually did).

Anonymous said...

Can anyone comment on the Middle School Spectrum experience at JAMS, Eckstein, Hazel Wolf, or Hamilton? I am wondering if Spectrum still exists in middle school, what the curriculum is like, and what (if any) additional requirements are necessary to be in accelerated courses besides Spectrum status.

Thanks,
-PotentialPublicSchoolParent

Benjamin Leis said...

My apologies - I mistakenly kicked this thread back to draft mode. That's now fixed.

Anonymous said...

My kid qualified for HCC, is going into 3rd grade, and Hazel Wolf would be our school if we take that route (he's currently in private). I'm curious what the program/curriculum looks and if anyone has had a kid in the HCC program at Hazel Wolf.

Thank you!

Anonymous said...

While there are HC qualified kids at Hazel Wolf, there is no HCC program there. It has a good Spectrum program. However, its also popular and HC designation does not guarantee you a spot there unlike the pathway schools.

Anonymous said...

We had a kid in the first grade Spectrum program at HW, but found it very lacking. He ended up getting no enrichment or acceleration at all and we left the school and went back to private this year.

-YMMV

Anonymous said...

My 3rd grade son tested 99% in all areas of the CogAt, but he scored 79% and 83% on the ITBS. He's currently in private school so this was the first time taking an achievement test. We had a private tester administer the WISC-IV and he also scored 99%. He is solidly two grade levels ahead (at least) in math and language arts, and is academically successful at school so I see no reason why he wouldn't perform well on the ITBS, and my son reported that the test was easy and fun. I'm not sure if it pays to privately test using the Woodcock-Johnson or other test. His results are really surprising to us and his teachers, and I don't know if he would score differently. Something seems amiss; is it possible there is a scoring error? Any advice about how to appeal beyond what's posted on the AL site? Thanks!

Anonymous said...

For the screening CogAt, all I received was one number. Is there anyway to get more specifics on the score breakdown for the different areas?

-Uno

Elisa said...

Anonymous - with the 3rd grader. I would appeal - with 99% on the WISC-IV, you should have no problem getting your appeal approved. We are still waiting on results of the ITBS for my kindergartner - but he also said the test was "easy, for him". He is also a solid 2-3 grades ahead on reading and about 2 grades ahead on math. Very curious to see what final results are.

Judkins Park Dad said...

I have the same question as Uno. The result for my child says "CogAT Screening Form: 33" so I'm left scratching my head... if that's percentile, there must be a mistake since my child's MAP score puts her in the 90+ percentile, yet she wasn't accepted into any of the advanced learning programs.

Does anyone know what the CogAT Screener score means?

Thanks!

Judkins Park Dad said...

Update: got an email from the district...

"Test results: All scores are reported as percentiles. All CogAT Screening scores were confirmed. The CogAT Screening Form provides just one score. There is no breakdown into different areas."

So that "33" score on my child's CagAT is a percentile and there's obviously been an error since it's incongruous w/ her MAP scores. On to the appeals process!