Friday, April 21, 2017

Honors For All at Garfield

There was a request from a reader for information on how Honors for all is going at Garfield H.S. I don't have any updates myself to report. I'm hoping someone else with boots on ground has something to share with the community.

48 comments :

Anonymous said...

One might look at enrollment numbers - What percent of the HCC cohort kept their Garfield assignment this year, and how do numbers compare to previous years?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous@8:32PM- Do you mean the amount of students who left Garfield mid year for other schools? Or what percent of HCC cohort chose other schools initially over Garfield. The latter does not tell us how it is going. Is honors for all 9th grade LA only or also SS?
-D

JLardizabal said...

I am the parent of a 9th grader at Garfield. The Honors for All program applies to both LA and SS. Absolutely no data have been provided by teachers or the administration in order to evaluate program effectiveness.

Anonymous said...

JLardizabal-- What was the experience for your child?
-D

Anonymous said...

If, by word of mouth, the Honors for All is considered less rigorous, or signals less support for HCC students at Garfield, then I would think more families might opt out of Garfield. How is Garfield defining and gauging "success?"

Anonymous said...

For 2016-17, there were 424 8th graders enrolled in HCC. All we know from enrollment numbers so far is that 131 students selected HCC at IHS (enrollment cap of 90 + 41 waitlisted). Some of those students may be newly identified, but by rough calculation it's 30% of the 8th grade numbers. How many more opted out of the cohort and chose Ballard or Roosevelt or ?

Anonymous said...

That would be interesting to find out. I think this last year Ballard and Roosevelt each had somewhere around 25-30 HCC qualified 9th graders according to a SPS report I had seen.

Anonymous said...

I don't think what 8th graders chose is necessarily a refection of honors for all, we personally decided because we live where continuing at Roosevelt is fairly certain and getting moved from Garfield junior year seems like a real possibility. Also Ingraham just wasn't a fit,

8th grade

Lynn said...

The only information I've seen on the results of Garfield's experiment was in a Friday Memo last month. (Begins on the bottom of page 67.)

Anonymous said...

Thanks Lynn-- Would love to hear more from parents of students. Does anyone know if the plan is to expand honor for all classes to all grades?
-D

Anonymous said...

It's been fine. My son has enjoyed having two easy classes with an otherwise heavy load of academic classes and a full extracurricular schedule. Laughable to call it honors, though. Maybe for 6th graders. It's certainly not college prep.

9thBulldog

JLardizabal said...

Someone asked what the experience has been for my 9th grader at Garfield. He reports a wide variety of academic preparedness in his LA and History classes. His LA class, in particular, is moving very slowly. The beginning of the year had to focus on basic reading and writing skills. As a result, they have only read through half of the books that were listed on the syllabus so far. His friends in other LA classes are also confirming that they will not complete the freshman year honors English curriculum. His History class, with a very dynamic teacher, has apparently kept pace. In both classes, group work has been a challenge for him, as students contribute such vastly different quality of work.

The only "evidence" presented in evaluation of this controversial program has been anecdotal. Supportive teachers "perceive" that students are collaborating and that the learning environment is improved. We must insist on a comprehensive review that includes quantitative data about student performance.

Anonymous said...

Not exactly a ringing endorsement.

Anonymous said...

Very few of my HIMS 8th grader's friends had any interest in Garfield.

Lots of factors seem to come into play:
1) Garfield's perceived lower interest in HCC
2) The likely forced move from Garfield to Lincoln when Lincoln High re-opens
3) Improved course offerings at Ballard and Roosevelt
4) Ingraham IB is now well established
5) Increasing traffic congestion makes the commute to Garfield more onerous

Future Ingraham Parent

Anonymous said...

"The likely forced move from Garfield to Lincoln when Lincoln High re-opens"
@Future Ingraham Parent-- This is the case for Ballard, Roosevelt and quite possibly even Ingraham students. A friend told me recently that at a recent meeting at HIMS with the superintendent and Rick Burke kids being moved away from Ingraham (even in 11th) was mentioned.

Also, there may be improved course offerings at Ballard and Roosevelt. However this past year there were only around 25 HCC kids per grade. It concerns me that these schools do not have as many AP sections as Garfield, nor large amounts of HCC same age peers. A senior I spoke to (Ballard) who had attended Evergreen K-8 had stated some honors classes were no where near honors. His exact words "a joke". He had a negative experience with lack of gifted kids in classes. He said his younger sister would not be going to Ballard.
-GJ

Anonymous said...

Our 9th grader seems to be doing fine in Honors for All classes. Our student has some especially dedicated teachers, I think. Comparing it with our experience from last year (with our now 10th grader), I don't think it's wildly different. I certainly wouldn't base my enrollment decision on that factor. The other factors mentioned above (traffic, unwelcoming administration) are more significant. But the academics have actually been pretty good overall. There are a lot of teachers who care, and that compensates for some of the administrative shortcomings. For example, one of the World History teachers has been hosting after-school review sessions last week and this week. And Saturday the AP Chemistry teachers spent the entire morning at school doing a practice exam with students and going over the answers (which our kid's friend who is taking the same class at Ballard wanted to attend, since no similar review was offered at BHS).

- Bulldog Parent

SusanH said...

I have a 9th grader and agree with the above comments. LA is boring and slow moving (but our son has always hated English classes, so it's not a big deal to him). History has a great, interesting teacher, so that seems a bit better. There are no current plans to incorporate "honors for all" in any other grade levels (but, of course they did this 9th grade switch over the summer last year without parent input, so who knows). We just figured it's alright to have a little easier 9th grade year, while one is adjusting to high school, and before the AP classes start in 10th.

Anonymous said...

So it sounds like nobody really thinks these deserve to be called "honors" classes, even those whose kids are doing "fine" with them.

But, they'll go on transcripts that way, and factor into GPAs that way. Just another version of grade inflation. Is it fooling anyone? Is it really making kids who otherwise wouldn't have thought they were cut out for AP classes now realize (without justification) that they are?

Fake Honors

Anonymous said...

Can't speak from personal experience, but my neighbor's 9th grader said Honors Eng is laughable but sad. No honors - many of the kids struggling with very basic reading, rhyming words, etc. She likes school overall due to extracurriculars, but Eng is essentially a free period with no real work. Like others, she enjoyed having an easy A with no work so she could do other things that period. She remains an avid reader outside of school, but there has been no challenging reading (or much of any) in school.

-BummedFortheKids

Anonymous said...

I don't suppose anyone has an idea of how the Honors for All English compares with a freshman English class at Roosevelt or Ballard?

New Roosevelt Family

Anonymous said...

New Roosevelt Family-- Ballard has honors only English classes. Roosevelt does not offer honors English but offers extra projects for LA/SS "honors credit". Roosevelt and Ballard do not have anywhere close to the same amount of HCC kids enrolled, 16-29 historically HCC per grade. HCC kids take most AP classes and classes like foreign language, science, math with kids at least two years older. At Ballard seniors get priority registration for AP classes so an HCC kid may not get class they need, don't know about Roosevelt.
-K

Anonymous said...

Thanks K. I'm specifically interested in the freshman class comparison. I am aware that Roosevelt has many options for kids after that first year, but know that for both Garfield and Roosevelt, the kids are all put into the same classes regardless of what program they were most recently in, or what scores, etc. they may have on their SBAC. Sounds like Ballard has an honors and non honors option for freshman? How do they determine which kids get access? And how much do I wish the district could provide similar options to kids from school to school?


New Roosevelt Family

Anonymous said...

Hi all,
New thread suggestion?

Just keeping the eye on the prize.... Does anyone want to talk about where Senior HCC kids are going for college next year?!? Did the SPS education help or hurt? Any trends?

- Next up

Anonymous said...

K said: At Ballard seniors get priority registration for AP classes so an HCC kid may not get class they need, don't know about Roosevelt.

Well, according to the FAQs on the SPS website, that's not the way it's supposed to be. Here's what it says:

High school students evaluated and designated as Highly Capable get priority access to Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate classes available at their attendance area high school and for which they have met all prerequisites (except in cases where seniors need course as graduation requirement).

I seem to recall that same info was presented in some document a while ago, but I don't recall which... The SAP transition plan? The highly capable grant plan? Some AL procedures? It has to do with the requirement to provide continued HC services once a student is identified, regardless of their school.

Here's a link to the FAQs, in case you want to take a screenshot while the info is still there... :)
http://www.seattleschools.org/cms/One.aspx?portalId=627&pageId=14765

HF

Michael Rice said...

Next Up Wrote: Just keeping the eye on the prize.... Does anyone want to talk about where Senior HCC kids are going for college next year?!? Did the SPS education help or hurt? Any trends?

I teach AP Statistics and I had my students (which has a large HCC component to it) list every school they were accepted into. Here is the list:

Alma
American
Arizona
ASU
Barnard
Beloit
Boston College
Boston U
Bowdoin
Brandeis
Buffalo
Cal
Cal Poly
Cal State Fullerton
Carleton
Carroll
Case Western
Central Washington
Chapman
Clark
Coe
Colorado
Colorado School of Mines
Colorado State
Cornell
Denison
Denver
DePaul
Eastern Washington
Fordham
Fort Lewis
Gonzaga
Goucher
Howard
Illinois
Knox
Laurence
Lewis & Clark
Linfield
Loyola Marymont
Macalester
Middlebury
Minnesota
Montana State
Montana Western
Muhlenberg
Northern Colorado
Northwestern
NYU
Oberlin
Occidential
Oklahoma
Oregon
Oregon State
PLU
Portland
Portland State
Purdue
Redlands
Reed
Roanoke
Rochester
RPI
Santa Clara
Scripps
Seattle Pacific
Seattle U
Shoreline
Spelman
St. Olaf
Stanford
Texas State
Trinity
Tufts
Tulane
UBC
UC Davis
UC Irvine
UC San Diego
UC Santa Barbara
UCLA
Union
University of Pacific
UPS
USC
USF
UW Bothell
Vassar
Vermont
Virginia
Virginia Tech
Waterloo
Wells
Wesleyan
Western Washington
Whitman
Willamette
WSU

Anonymous said...

@ Michael Rice, no UW Seattle? That seems very odd. Is it potentially an indication that an SPS education isn't highly valued locally?

Anonymous said...

@HF-- I would question how scheduling works in practice given our capacity issues etc. Piecing together AP classes at a non-HCC school such as Ballard and/or Roosevelt is likely more tricky with fewer sections offered than a school like Garfield with many kids at same level needing same classes. Neighborhood schools are very overcrowded and predicted to get worse next couple of years. I suspect many AP classes will fill with seniors "who need courses to graduate" which will be priority. Add to that new graduation credit requirements. I wonder if HCC kids will get access to the AP courses they need for alignment at neighborhood schools.
-N

Michael Rice said...

Actually, I have more kids going to UW and UW Honors than anywhere else. I don't know how I missed that.

Anonymous said...

Good news for UW!!

-UWProfessor/parent

Anonymous said...

@N, I agree scheduling is tricky, especially when there are limited sections of AP classes and schools are overcrowded. However, seniors don't necessarily need AP classes to graduate, and the new graduation requirements don't apply to them--they'll apply to incoming freshmen.

SPS has made the decision that the way they will provide the required HC services at local schools is through AP courses, so they have declared that HC-identified students will have priority access. That doesn't mean AP courses will necessarily be scheduled at times that work for everyone, but HC students shouldn't be denied access to AP classes for which they are qualified if there are other non-HC students in those classes. If they need to add sections so that seniors can get the classes they need to, then they need to do that. The requirement that HC services be adequately served at their neighborhood schools might mean schools need to make some changes to what they offer.

I'm not suggesting that this is how it's currently done, but according to SPS that's how it's supposed to be done. I'm simply suggesting that anyone with an HC student interested in AP classes arm themselves with the relevant info in case they need to fight to get their priority access.

HF

HF

Anonymous said...

What are people hearing about a blended approach to HCC rather than self contained at the new Eagle Staff school? New thread maybe?

open ears

Lynn said...

The FAQ on the website says Students will be served, as they are in other schools, through HCC-specific courses in Language Arts, Social Studies, and Science, with learning opportunities emphasizing not just an accelerated pace but also deep, complex, inter-disciplinary thinking. Advanced math learners will be generally grouped by grade and skill level in order to meet their unique needs and the pacing of accelerated math students. We want to be sure that our students are challenged and growing. Students will be able to receive high school credit in Math and Science, in Algebra 1, Geometry, Algebra 2, Physical Science, World Language, and Biology.

Anonymous said...

HF - I appreciate the info you have shared. My HCC student will be at our AA high school next fall. I noticed that your link to the SPS website also included this:

"They also receive additional support regarding social/emotional and college/career planning issues appropriate for them as Highly Capable students."

I wonder what that means exactly?

--HCC Curious

SusanH said...

Ha ha. I'll bet that means nothing, in practice. (sorry, feeling cynical).

Anonymous said...

@ HCC Curious - I don't think it means much, but my guess is that it's a reference to some training the AL dept did for someone--maybe high school counselors?--re: highly capable kids a while back. I think the idea was that since they were going to be required to serve HC kids, they should get some basic information about what these kids needed. My recollection, however, is that it was optional, and who knows how good or effective it was anyway. It was probably more about checking a box. In any case, high school counselors don't really have much time to spend with kids anyway--HC or otherwise--so I imagine nothing has changed in practice.

HF

NESeattleMom said...

If students get high school credit for Algebra 1 and Algebra 2, would their middle school grade affect their high school GPA?

Anonymous said...

Yes, the middle school grade would go on your high school transcript. The downside is that it would be on the 4-point scale, whereas honors and AP classes earn you more points. If you expect high grades in honors and AP classes, and expect to take enough math and science in high school anyway, there's no real reason to get those middle school grades counted. As I see it, the only times it makes sense is if you're planning to graduate early or you don't want to take the required number of years of math and science in high school.

Anonymous said...

It doesn't change the GPA, since SPS does not weight grades for GPA calculations. It does change class rank, however, since class rank is where grade weighting factors in. A student who takes AP Calculus freshman year, and did not get high school credit for previous classes, will be ahead of other freshman in class rank, assuming they all have a 4.0. They could get an A- in the AP class and still be ahead in class rank. It's similar for those students choosing IBX over IB. They take the highest ranked classes sooner, so their class rank at the beginning of senior year (when applying for college) will be higher than those students taking IB classes on the traditional pathway (assuming they can maintain a high GPA).

Anonymous said...

Right, thanks. I forgot that it only affects class rank and not GPA!

NESeattleMom said...

Thanks for the responses. Sorry for repeating the question...
For my kid, if they got an OK but not great grade in Algebra 1, Geometry and Algebra 2 in Middle School, does it have any effect on their HS transcript?

Anonymous said...

Only if you request high school credit for those MS classes. Otherwise what happens in MS stays in MS...thankfully. :)

I suppose it could potentially impact the specific courses that later appear on the HS transcript, if, for example, a low grade in Alg 2 in MS resulted in a 9th grade placement in regular pre-calc instead of honors pre-calc. However, it sounds like most schools may let you opt for the honors version of classes if you want it, so I don't think HS transcripts will be negatively influenced by less-than-stellar MS performance.

Benjamin Leis said...

[This is my thread tidiness instinct kicking in.] H.S. credit for M.S. math is pretty far off topic for the subject of this post. To keep things sorted I'd ask you move the conversation over to the open thread.

The general answer to the last question is that by default none of the M.S. math classes including ones like Alg2 showup on the transcript.

Thanks

Anonymous said...

Thanks Benjamin. Would love to hear more about Honors for All.


SusanH said...

My son came home yesterday and - completely unprompted - said he was really lucky with his LA/SS classes. He said he has friends who are in classes with only 3 HCC students and a teacher with no classroom management skills, so they are basically wasted periods. So I guess the goal is to get a really even mix of highly capable and gen ed students, and more importantly, an experienced teacher who can make the magic happen where everyone can be interested and challenged, at whatever level they happen to be. I don't know if that's realistic.

GHSmom said...

Okay, I'm late to this thread. My son at GHS thinks he may be the only HCC kid in his history class. According to his friends, most treat these classes as breaks during the day, and don't mind that their freshman year has been easier than expected. Neither of his 'honors for all' classes are remotely comparable to what he did last year in middle school. He's figured out (he says) that if he just does *something* for every assignment, he'll get an A. It's been entirely demotivating for him this year, whereas history last year (WMS Schmitz) was tough but really captured his attention. Hopefully these kids will remember what they learned in middle school honors classes so they don't drown in AP classes next year.

Anonymous said...

Apparently you can find out how the teachers think it's going next week.

Tues., May 23 from 7–8:30 pm in the Garfield Commons

Join the Garfield PTSA for the final general meeting of the school year! Mr. Zimmerman (Language Arts) and Mr. Simoneaux (History/Social Studies) will be giving an update on the new 9th grade Honors For All program. Don't miss this important information! This is also a great meeting for incoming families to attend.

Anonymous said...

Our experience with "Honors For All" is similar to GHSmom & SusanH. All 3 years of middle school LA & H/SS were considerably more rigorous and engaging.
Was not able to make the PTSA mtg on Tuesday and wonder if someone would be willing to share what was discussed in regards to this experiment.
Thank you
WearyinWS

Anonymous said...

I hope that the parents who reported the stark contrast between middle school HCC rigor and honors for all are brave enough to give loud feedback to the administration.

I understand the idealistic goals behind the honors for all concept, but in practice it sounds like it is not working. The previous model of "opt in" honors makes alot more sense. I think Garfield would be better served encouraging more of their kids to take honors classes and providing the supports.

Administration tried to make comparisons to a high school in NY Southside "detracking" when making this change.

One cannot compare Garfield to Southside HS, a very wealthy, mostly white high school in suburban Long Island Rockville Center, NY that BTW DID NOT have opt in honors or AP courses (like Garfield) but actually had "tracking". Think Mercer Island high school as an analogy to demographic.
-reality