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?


Benjamin Leis said...

I added info on tonight's HCS AC meeting.

Anonymous said...

It would be nice if AL showed how they train staff and principals new to HCC in what HCC is, what giftedness is, and the advocacy, training, and budgeting they need to implement in order to meet the legal and professional requirements of the program. This would create more harmony between staff and between staff and admin if everyone was on the same page for the basics.

Mr. Theo Moriarty

Anonymous said...

I agree with Mr Moriarty. Thank you Theo. Board directors, Advanced Learning if you are reading these comments...

Anonymous said...

Out of curiosity, what exactly ARE the "legal and professional requirements of the program"? I wasn't aware there were professional requirements, and the legal requirements seem to be pretty vague... For that matter, how SPS defines "the program" is also pretty vague. It's certainly not replicable...


Anonymous said...

Cascadia uses Math In Focus until grade 3 (5th grade level) then moves to something else. Reviews to share on 4th and 5th grade math at Cascadia and insights into what to expect for the next two years, and how to prepare or support a student who has been doing fine so far?

3rd grade parent

Mixed-up Math said...

I despise Glencoe Math (Cascadia 4th/5th). They don't have any extra books so you don't get to see them, can't check one out, etc. They didn't even hold one up at the curriculum night. Because money is an issue they didn't buy the online activities that go with the program or the manipulatives.

As is probably typical of many 4th/5th graders at Cascadia, my child has had the jerkiest, most inconsistent math experience I can imagine at SPS:
Kindergarten: Everyday Math/discovery math
First grade: accelerate one year, walk to second grade math, Everyday Math/discovery math
Second grade: walk to third grade math, Math in Focus/Singapore math
Third grade: start Cascadia, accelerate one year to fifth grade Math in Focus/Singapore math
Fourth grade: at Cascadia sixth grade math with Glencoe Math

Glencoe is a valid math curriculum. The shortcoming is that since there are no books or web site or even a table of contents, it's all a mystery to parents what the year will cover. The homework feels like all random xeroxs. And it's tough sometimes to even have a sense of what the current chapter is covering. It would help my child a lot if there were a book or web site we could look at at home that would contextualize the bigger picture.

I loved Math in Focus and hope the district picks that for middle school math. My child's experience with Math in Focus is that it truly does build savvy about how to estimate and how to solve a problem from multiple approaches. It was noticeably better than Glencoe.

Lynn said...

Mixed-up Math - You can probably buy a copy of the Glencoe book on Amazon.

Fairmount Park uses enVision for math K-5. I sure wish we had the opportunity to use Math in Focus.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, mixed up Math. We have enjoyed Math in Focus, so bracing ourselves for what's next. I thought I heard at a recent PTA meeting that with the new school(s) comes all new text books. Maybe this addition of materials will help.... If Glencoe isn't great, does it make sense to follow along with Math in Focus 6 next year for our soon to be 4th grader? Why did Rina & and team decide to go with Glencoe?

3rd grade

Anonymous said...

Thoughts on the new math center opening near Roosevelt?



Anonymous said...

HCC Waitlist numbers as 5/15 (5/1 numbers if changed):

Cascadia - 7 (8)
Decatur - 15 (14)
Fairmount Park - 2
TM (Gr3) - 1
HIMS - 46 (45)
JAMS - 5
RESMS - 5 (2)
WMS - 13 (1)
Garfield (Gr 12) - 1
IHS (Gr9) - 44

Lynn said...

I am guessing the students on the WMS waitlist were assigned to Madison. If so, they won't get in as they're needed to drive resources to Madison.

Anonymous said...

My Lowell/Lincoln/Cascadia student also had a potpourri of math texts:

K: Everyday Math (hated it)
1: reThink /homebrew FABULOUS! (particularly great teacher)
2: MyMath REALLY REALLY HATED IT - it was awful, even though it was the 4th grade text book, we couldn't believe how low it was, nor how distracting and poorly written
3: Math In Focus (singapore) - good
4: Glencoe Math -- LOVE IT!
5: Glencoe Math -- LOVE IT!

We love Glencoe Math - clear, direct instruction, examples, stretches, practical applications, logical progression, LOTS of options for extra support - on line teachers manual that is great, etc. Fantastic homework modules that the teachers hand out. And, you can purchase the book to have at home, for about $10 (it is soft cover and consumable), which allows for extra practice and mastery if needed. It does a good job of both conception of abstract and of mastery of skills. We have volunteered in the classroom both during instruction and during work time, and, we see many different types of learners supported with this text suite.

Dig deep into the professional reviews of it, and, you see they too credit its strength in the important categories, and, the criticisms are for things that really don't align with what I consider problems ("concrete, clear instruction disallows student to do discovery or original derivations, for example)

I would like to see all families have access to a positive text like Glencoe Math so that their students too could gain mastery and not be hampered in their academic progression by problems in maths.

CMP3 is as bad as CMP2, which is horrible.

New schools (Meany and Eagle Staff) should get to go with something that will support learners, not harm them. If this district pays money for CMP3, then we should all fail the levy for being so utterly wasteful with our tax dollars.

Maths matter

Anonymous said...

Do college in the high school classes typically require students to pay a course fee, unlike Running Start classes? I was surprised to hear senior IBX students are being asked to register for a college in the high school class as their only LA option, and it will cost $150/Qtr ($300 total) plus the cost of books. They have no other LA option.


Anonymous said...

My understanding from teachers I've heard is that you only pay the fee if you want the credit. If you're just taking it for graduation or college prerequisites, and don't want the credit, you don't sign up for that piece. But a minimum number of kids per class must be enrolled in the College in the High School option for it to qualify. I think it's pretty low, though, like 5 students. But again, if it's the class your child wants to take, and there are some pretty cool ones offered around the school, you aren't denied because you don't want to pay the money! I can imagine the cost goes to UW administrative fees and getting teachers trained to qualify to teach those courses, as they are held to pretty high standards as it's consistent from school to school. I assume there is a cost for Running Start courses as well. Could be wrong about that.

Roosevelt Parent

Anonymous said...

Anyone else irritated that they placed kids in JAMS math classes without SBA test scores? Would have opted out but was told placement depended on that score. Maybe a way to get kids to take the tests even though they don't matter? Also, did teachers actually place kids in anything other than Math 8? (Curious about higher OR lower.)

Frustrated in 5th

Anonymous said...

Sounds like initial placement was done according to the standard SPS policy: into the next grade level up from what is on the report card. It is the opting up part(for Cascadia 6th graders into JAMS algebra) that requires the SBA scores. I agree that if the Cascadia teachers are not going to recommend any students for algebra, they should tell JAMS to remove that piece from the policy because right now it's featured as one of the main criteria for getting into the class.

Anonymous said...

Are new Cascadia and Decatur being considered option or AA schools under this new waitlist policy?

Option Schools Waitlist moves at option schools will continue through August 31 based on current school staffing and available seats in classrooms. Admissions will continue to notify families when a seat becomes available.

Please make sure that your contact information is up to date. Families have 48 hours to accept or deny a seat once contacted by the Admissions Department.

Attendance Area Schools Waitlists at attendance area schools will not move until district staff review updated spring staffing allocations in mid-June. Waitlist moves at option schools may have a cascade effect and allow for additional movement of attendance area waitlists.

Once updated staffing has been determined in mid-June, families granted a seat at an attendance area school will be will be notified directly.