Monday, May 22, 2017

If you could interview the school board candidates...

What questions would you like answered? I'd like to come up with a set of questions that I could email to the various candidates and see if we can get responses. Anything school board related is fair game but I'd especially like questions relevant to Advanced Learning.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Full Disclosure

I'm trying something new next year and joining the BLT (Building Leadership Team) at Jane Addams Middle School.   This is my first official PTSA position and I'm fairly excited to see what can be done in the role.   On consideration, I do not think this will interfere in anyway with this blog.  I always try my best to maintain an official editorial tone and I will note any specific posts about JAMS with a disclaimer about my involvement there. Likewise, I don't intend to comment on any non-public information that I might happen to hear while involved with the school.

In the meantime, this seems like a good opportunity to ask if anyone is interested in becoming another co-moderator. Its always good to have more people involved.

Music NorthWest Youth Camp 8/15-19

This was a late notice from a reader

18th Annual Youth Chamber Music Camp Five days of inspired chamber music rehearsals and classes for music students—with outstanding Northwest coaches August 15-19, 2017

Although it says "auditions "are over, it's absolutely possible for a child to sign up, simply a matter of sending along a quickie tape or video clip to ask the student to comparable players.

This is an outstanding Summer Camp for instrumental orchestra, the really neat thing is that it's chamber, so individual efforts really shine brightly.

Plus, the legendary Marcus Tsutakawa  is faculty, he of Garfield fame! "

Friday, May 5, 2017

Middle School Math Adoption Materials

Seattle Public Schools invites all families, staff, and community members to review the instructional materials under consideration for use in grades 6-8. This will be the first of two rounds of public review. The input you provide will help the middle school math textbook adoption committee narrow the choice of materials for the second round of review and a classroom pilot.
Give Us Your Feedback Between May 3 and May 23
Materials are available for review in two ways:
  1. To view the materials in person, visit the professional library of the John Stanford Center for Educational Excellence at 2445 3rd Ave. S, Seattle, WA 98134 and fill out the feedback form.
  2. To view and evaluate the materials online, visit this page for instructions. After you review the materials, use this feedback form to provide your review. The feedback form is also available in SpanishSomaliVietnameseChinese and Amharic.
What Kind of Feedback Can I Give?
Even if math was not your strongest subject in school, you can still provide valuable feedback. The feedback form will ask six general questions like “will the resources provided help me support my student” or “does this book contain racist or sexist content?” It’s not necessary to be an expert in math to help review the materials. There is also an open comment section where you can provide additional thoughts for the adoption committee to consider.
Materials Review Open House with Translators
On Thursday, May 11, Seattle Public Schools will hold an open house from 5-7 p.m. at the John Stanford Center for Educational Excellence for families, staff, and community members to learn more about the instructional materials that are being considered for adoption.
The open house will display materials that have been submitted as potential middle school math curriculum. Families, staff, and the community will have the opportunity to examine the teacher and student materials and provide feedback. This feedback is essential to the process of selecting the best materials to recommend for the second round of the review and field test process.
By policy, publishers will not be in attendance; however, there will be SPS staff along with translators available to support participants in the process.
For more information about the middle school math adoption, please visit the adoption webpage.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

New Initiatives out of the AL Office

There was some interesting news out of the HCS AC meeting tonight.

  • The referral window for the program will open on May 15th this year. Current teachers will be invited to submit students.
  • The teacher rating scale has been simplified.
  • Parents can schedule their own date, time and location for testing in the fall. Sites will include Thurgood Marshall, Whitman, Decatur, Pathfind and Muir.

  • Universal Testing of 2nd grader students in Title 1 schools (29% or higher) is going on this week.
  • No summer testing will be needed and the students will be tested on site in their schools

  • Data (presumably SBAC or MAP) will be analyzed and letters sent out to families in under represented groups inviting them to test to enter the program.

[Update: I now have copies of the handouts]

Monday, May 1, 2017

May '17 Open Thread

Article    What is the underlying value of AP tests?
"If we look at the 2008 scores for Calculus AB and BC, we see that the minimum passing score for AB is 39/108 or 36%. 48% correct awarded students a 4, and 63% was the minimum for the top grade of 5! In most normal classes, 63% would be considered a D!"

Two Tier Scheduling

Although its hard to find an official link yet on the SPS web site, the city of Seattle has come up with the missing funds to move to a two tier bus system.

"Pending the review board’s approval, the start times for the 2017-18 school year will instead be 9 a.m. for all middle and high schools. Most K-8 schools would join that later schedule, with the exception of Broadview-Thomson, Madrona and South Shore PK-8 starting at 8 a.m. All but four elementary schools would start at 8 a.m. Concord International, Decatur, Lowell and Loyal Heights would start at 9 a.m."

Parent Question about Ballard H.S.

"Can you please start a thread to learn how HCC kids have found Ballard high school? My child is interested in robotics and they have a pre-engineering pathway. However, have no clue how well these courses align coming from HCC. I am aware the Biotech program does not align as they would have completed Bio already in 8th."

I hope another reader has some feedback to share.


“Putting Together the Puzzle of the Gifted Family: 
Assessing Gifted Intensities,
Addressing Ongoing Conflicts, Applying Creative Strategies”

Come join us for an interactive and inspiring workshop where you will learn key tools to help your gifted family thrive. This one-day workshop will apply SENG concepts at a deeper level focusing on the whole family. Specific tools include: 1) measuring certain gifted traits in family members, 2) examining how different patterns can cause ongoing conflicts and misunderstandings and 3) identifying some strategies to help address those challenges. Participants will leave with uniquely crafted strategies to help their family live together in a more cohesive and harmonious manner.

Date: Saturday, October 8, 2016
Time: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Location: The Good Shepherd Center, 4649 Sunnyside Avenue North, Room 202, Seattle, WA 98103
Cost: $175 for 1 parent, $245 for both parents
Presenters: Anne van Roden and Gloria Sandford – both experienced parents of gifted children and licensed mental health professionals who specialize in  working with gifted families in the Seattle area.

Space is Limited to 40 Adults!

How are things going at your school?