Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Parent Proposal

[I received this write up in the mail from a parent. I thought it would be a good conversation starter.  Full confession, I have not made up my own mind completely yet and I definitely welcome other submissions with different ideas if you email them to me.]

Problem: Garfield is over capacity and cannot continue to serve all HCC students in the long term.

Neighborhood schools option
: The district, as a way to reduce overcrowding has suggested sending all HCC students back to their neighborhood schools. In my opinion this option presents great challenges in serving students at all high schools. Some high schools are bound to have low enrollment in AP courses and thus those courses will be very expensive to run. In addition, it will be very difficult for students at schools with limited HCC students and limited AP courses to make their schedules. Also, what would happen to HCC taking IB/IBX at Ingraham in this scenario? Will they also have to return to neighborhood schools?

: Some members of the district/board have mentioned placing a north end HCC pathway at Lincoln. However, some HCC parents have expressed that it will be hard to build a school that offers analogous AP classes and sections as Garfield in such a short time frame. In addition, the district is moving forward with a plan to offer the dual language immersion program at Lincoln and for it to be a neighborhood “innovation” high school. Some have suggested this means more of a “project based learning focus” and not an AP focus. This means the focus of Lincoln may not be congruent with a focus on advanced learning. In addition, as Garfield would continue to serve south end and W Seattle HCC pathway students, they will be offering a different (AP courses) advanced learning pathway program.

Roosevelt or Ballard option
: It might make much more sense for parents to advocate a "north end" HCC pathway that expands AP sections at either Roosevelt or Ballard. Both schools already are established and have an array of AP courses. They would need to add more sections (like Garfield offers) to allow full access and accommodate scheduling. Under this plan, Garfield would continue to serve the South side of the district.Given the number of students, it probably makes sense to pick one of the two schools rather than both so there will still be a viable cohort and critical mass. Boundaries will also need to be drawn big enough for Lincoln to pull in enough neighborhood students to fill Lincoln.

Numbers and projections and boundary scenario’s will also have to be developed by the district to see if this option is viable and doesn't force too many neighborhood students out from Ballard & Roosevelt to Lincoln to make room for an HCC cohort at either school.

Ingraham option
: Another idea is to simply send all north end HCC students to Ingraham to take IB as Ingraham will be adding additional 500 seat capacity in 2019. This could also be an attractive alternative option.

However, IB is different than AP and one or the other are often mentioned as a better fit for students. Also, would it also be inequitable for students to have different HCC pathway programs serving north versus south end, as south end would still have access to multiple AP sections at Garfield. In addition, Ingraham seems to be moving away from serving HCC pathway students with the discussed potential elimination of IBX. In addition, Ingraham has capped the number of HCC students and 40 HCC students were turned away this year.


Anonymous said...

Re: whether or not IB/IBX students would get pulled and sent to neighborhood high schools, the answer should be no. Students outside the neighborhood got in via "choice," and according to district assignment plan/enrollment policies, once you get in via a choice/option assignment you get to stay for the duration.

Re: the "Ingraham option", IB is more expensive, not well supported by SPS, not a good fit for all students, and often does not earn you as many college credits. Students also need to take an additional course after school, so they are forced into a longer school day and more intense experience. Offering only IB as the north-end HCC pathway option would be very inequitable.

While the "Roosevelt or Ballard option" may sound good to many HC parents, it seems to have some major flaws. For one, both schools are already overcrowded, so adding hundreds of HCC pathway students would mean removing an even larger number of neighborhood students (since the boundary re-draw will seek to fully populate Lincoln and thus reduce overcrowding elsewhere). Kick GE students out of their neighborhood school so HC students can take their spots? Not good optics. Two, those GE students have just as much right to access AP classes, which are open to all. Sending them to Lincoln because it doesn't have the AP classes HCC students need suggests that non-HCC students don't have a need, desire or right to take those classes, which isn't the case. Three, if there's concern that a "start-up" high school can't get up to speed quickly enough for HCC students, why do we think it can do so for everyone else? It comes across as saying it's good enough for them, but not for us. For these and other reasons, this option really makes me squirm. I don't think I could support it.

Realistically, Lincoln seems to make the most sense. Scrap the PBL--it's not too late--or implement that in addition to everything else, so that the GE program uses a PBL approach but the school also has a nice array of AP options. There's no reason it can't do both, if people demand it. It currently seems like there's an anti-HCC train rolling there at Lincoln, but if the SAP revision makes it clear that it will be an HCC pathway, parents will be empowered to jump in and stop/reroute that train. If Lincoln makes the most sense as an HCC pathway, parents need to push hard and soon to make it an appropriate school. The most likely alternative, to me at least, seems to be dismantling HCC pathways altogether, but that would be very bad news for students. Don't let that happen! Access to AP courses would surely decrease, because the district doesn't have the funding or political will to support them if attendance is low. We need that critical mass (not to mention the fact that students need a critical mass of students who are similarly outliers).


Anonymous said...

+1 to the excellent points on the Roosevelt/Ballard solution raised by DisAPPointed. And I agree with this as well:

"If Lincoln makes the most sense as an HCC pathway, parents need to push hard and soon to make it an appropriate school."

MS parent

Anonymous said...

"The most likely alternative, to me at least, seems to be dismantling HCC pathways altogether, but that would be very bad news for students. "

Sending HCC kids back to overcrowded Roosevelt & Ballard presents the very same issues as making either school an HCC pathway. There are many issues with the neighborhood school approach. This option also impacts south end & w seattle students & Garfield.

Parents to whom I have spoke, as well as myself, have major doubts that Lincoln will be able to open to rival Garfield (or Ballard or Roosevelt etc) in AP offerings, sections, band/orchestra, clubs etc. I suggest HCC parents don't advocate for their children to be the experiment.

It seems unfair to move HCC students (yet again) to "seed" the new school (bound to be issues) while everyone else can attend their neighborhood high school.

Some might argue well....they can go back to neighborhood schools. But that is an unfair assertion! HCC students are not served a basic education at their neighborhood high school, where they would be unable to put together a schedule with the advanced sequential classes they need. Especially if the amount of HCC kids attending neighborhood schools grows and sections do not.

Also, what is the deal with HCC kids not being given priority to take advanced classes, when it is basic education and sequential for them? So a general ed kid can bump my kid, skip ahead classes, and make my kid repeat a class? That sounds absurd.


Benjamin Leis said...

I want to push back on two points.

1) "everyone else can attend their neighborhood school". The opening of Lincoln is going to have a significant impact on the entire North End not just HCC students and will involve sending students some already at all the other high schools to the building. Families are going to have deal with new clubs, orchestras etc. You can certainly advocate to not be part of the process but realize that a large number of our community are going to bear the burden of helping startup the new school.

2. AP Classes are typically just as sequential for everyone. If the next math class you need to take is AP Calculus or the next science class is AP Chemistry being told there is no space is just as impactful. Or as another example, if you want to take an AP Economics class in your Junior before college applications, being denied
has the same cost. Generally, I think its more productive to focus on increasing sections of AP as opposed to fighting a zero sum game over the existing slots.

Anonymous said...

Is there a possibility of doing the transition incrementally? Or grandfathering?
Honestly the class of 2019 and 2020 are tired of being shuffled around.
These APP/HCC kids saw their friends move to Thurgood Marshall, then were sent to Lincoln, started MS in Hamilton were moved to JAMS and now you want to move them to Lincoln to start (yet again) a new school?!
Call me bitter, but enough is enough.
Can anyone even considered that such lack of consistency/continuity is also detrimental to their emotional (and academic) development?


Anonymous said...

@Ti-red- I sympathize. I know they have moved kids it seems without much regard. Especially HCC. But, they will need enough kids at Lincoln to successfully open Lincoln. They will need enough students enrolled in all programs.

If Lincoln is an HCC pathway school, they will also need a critical mass. Think of the kids who will be at Lincoln if the school is far under-enrolled. Not good for anyone. They may not move 12th graders, which means they will need to move all kids in other grades.

In the case of HCC kids moved to Eaglestaff, they will likely have a much better opportunity for AP class scheduling & sections, if they are at a school with critical mass. In addition, many of their friends will moving. Just another perspective.

Regarding sequential class scheduling and priority, in college not all classes are open to everyone. If it is not the case (have no idea) think the same should hold in high school. There are classes that are taken prior to other classes. So an HCC 9th grader might take science class alongside a general ed 11th grader. Both should have equal priority in registration. But an incoming general ed 9th grader should not be able to bump an 11th grader or HCC 9th grader who needs the class. Is this not the case?


Anonymous said...

JP said: Sending HCC kids back to overcrowded Roosevelt & Ballard presents the very same issues as making either school an HCC pathway.

I disagree. Same issues in that they need to make room for them and will need to revise boundaries, yes, but they are going to have to revise boundaries regardless. It's not the same, though, in that pushing out GE kids to make room for HC kids, who somehow have a claim on the GE kids' school just because it's more established, is a totally different ballgame. Shrinking current north end HS boundaries a little (or likely more than a little) to accommodate the new school has an air of fairness to it. Shrinking them a LOT in so that HCC students can displace them doesn't.

In other words, the same issues are there regardless, but the Roosevelt/Ballard option adds a bunch of ADDITIONAL problems as well.


Anonymous said...

Before they address pathway changes in 2019, they need to address overcrowding at Garfield ASAP. Here are two low-impact things they can do now that will organically pull students out of Garfield next fall:
1. Guarantee any HCC 9th grader a 4-year seat at their neighborhood school, grandfathered when boundaries are redrawn in 2019.
2. Guarantee any northend HCC 9th grader a seat at Ingraham if they want it, with the expectation that IB will have more capacity by the time they are ready to start working on the diploma.

About an RHS or BHS HCC pathway in 2019:
>>A northend HCC pathway to either school would make it very white, very high achieving, and very rich, especially once Lincoln absorbs the Hwy 99 corridor. That looks bad in our current climate, and could end up being worse for self-contained HCC than integrating into neighborhood high schools would be.
>>Neighborhood boundaries of the chosen school would have to shrink even more to accommodate their resident HC kids plus another 300 or so from the other attendance areas.

About Ingraham:
>>Even without IBX, IB is a challenging, rigorous course of study and is an excellent option for many HC students. IBX was poorly implemented. Discontinuing support for IBX doesn't mean they're moving away from serving HC students.
>>I agree that Ingraham is not a fit for all students. However, of the 198 northend HC students who currently attend Garfield, 78% of them live in areas that have a strong, AP-focused alternative at their neighborhood school (Roosevelt & Ballard)l. 8% of them come from Ingraham, and 14% come from Hale. HC students in these two areas could opt to take selected IB courses at Ingraham without getting an IB diploma. Some of them may prefer the wholistic approach NHHS offers. Some of them would not be served well, so I agree this isn't an ideal pathway.

I lean toward Lincoln as the north HCC pathway, with my second choice being Ingraham.

good fit

Anonymous said...

Lincoln seems to be the best fit. I don't know that there's anything beyond rumor about Lincoln having much significant related to immersion. Sure it's where immersion kids feed into, but there's no big consensus that parents want their immersion kids getting lots of their high school classes via another language. Maybe that will be a minor piece of Lincoln, not a major focus taking away from other programmatic/theme options. I doubt the innovation concept will take over the whole school. There are too many kids who need AP and other traditional classes.
2 cents.

NESeattleMom said...

Students can't go to Ballard or Roosevelt if they don't live in that zone. For my kid, it would be Hale.

Anonymous said...

Bringing a couple of maps into the discussion to help illustrate the problem.

This first one shows how many SPS 9-12 graders live in each attendance area this year, and building capacity numbers. It helps to illustrate just how over capacity some of these buildings would be if HCC pathways disappeared and boundaries weren't redrawn.

Map of HS Residents Counts:

Of course the boundaries will be redrawn, so here's another map. This one shows possible boundaries for Lincoln. Ballard is still 100+ over its building capacity. If pathways go away, it will need to shrink smaller than shown here. If it becomes an HCC pathway school it would need to shrink significantly more to accommodate Roosevelt's many HC kids. Also of note, this map shows only 843 residents within the Lincoln boundary. All capacity documentation that I've seen for that school shows 1600, but that's probably high.

Lincoln Proposed Boundary and Resident Count:

good fit

Fairmount Parent said...

There are enough students north of the ship canal to place cohorts at three schools. It's not ideal but it's reasonable. I looked back at old enrollment reports and noted that Garfield's APP cohort was around 400 students before 2010.

Here are the number of HCC students in 6th grade living in each attendance area last year:

Eckstein 77

Whitman 88

North Central
Hamilton 71
McClure 59

Washington 63
Aki 8
Denny 9
Madison 40
Mercer 23

Anonymous said...

I think three is spread too thin, but maybe not if non-HCC students are spreading their wings/stretching and taking the more advanced classes despite not being tracked two years ahead early on. Does anyone have the Advanced Learning Advisory Committee recommendations from years ago about minimum cohort size for viability of the program and appropriate class offerings?

Gayle Force

Anonymous said...

I'm a little wary of any posts suggesting what should or shouldn't be at Lincoln. Doesn't it seem like most people suggest ideas that would make it so their own kid then wouldn't have to go there?
Self interest disguised as suggestions?

Anonymous said...

Wary, this is the HCC blog and most of the posts above are from people who want to make Lincoln the HCC pathway. So with maybe one exception everyone here has stated an idea for Lincoln that would make it so their kid WOULD go there.

Gayle Force, I believe those minimums were for middle school self contained HCC, when they were talking about splitting Hamilton. Pretty different in HS, where kids just continue along the math/science pathway and take higher level courses mixed with plenty of bright and capable kids who may or may not have come from HCC.

Anonymous said...

Would they move HCC back to neighborhood middle schools also, or only end the pathway at high school?

Anonymous said...

@DisAPPionted & MS parent-- I am the parent who sent the ideas to Benjamin to post that I have been hearing.

To be clear, the intention of the Ballard or Roosevelt option being talked about was not to displace neighborhood kids. I heard it in the context "in the event" the new boundaries being drawn pull alot of kids from Ballard or Roosevelt and create room in the process.

There was a previous proposal floating around (at one time) amongst parents and others to move HCC into Whitman. This was before it was decided HCC would move to Eaglestaff. Some were concerned about the HCC cohort being too big at Eaglestaff. I believe it was a similar idea that Whitman would have room after Eagelstaff opened. But it really all depends on the numbers.

I do envision drawbacks and people who will be against all proposals, including Lincoln becoming an HCC pathway.


Anonymous said...

@Fairmount Parent-- I was also wondering if the north end could handle more than one HCC AP pathway. Perhaps at Ballard and Roosevelt. But not certain with Ingraham in the mix. It would be great if the district would somehow be able to give an assurance schools would have enough AP sections for scheduling. It can be tricky.

Anonymous said...

Hi Everyone-- The parent who send Benjamin the original post here. I just received this document from a board member from yesterday's meeting. It shows projections and might help inform us better. Please see page 90 which lists high school projections.



Anonymous said...

Look at the latest maps, folks. September 28 meeting notes of the High School Boundary Task Force.

Anonymous said...

Posting Sept 28th High School Boundary Task Force meeting notes.


P.S. The page 90 projections below are if Lincoln opens as a 9-11th. As high school boundaries are being finalized, I am thinking projections are also a moving target.