Monday, October 2, 2017

October '17 Open Thread

Well its a month into the new year and we're definitely in the thick of things already.

Testing and Identification

The testing season has started and we've often had questions about the process in the past.

Here's old link I had for info on the Cogat Test: CoGat7 Info:

Also the general cutoffs used by the district are found here:

For parent's involved this year, how is it going?

West Seattle

I'm not sure how many readers we have  in W. Seattle, but this is the 1st year of W. Seattle being the pathway, given the overall situation I'd love to hear any status updates.

Math Contest

"The USA Mathematical Talent Search (USAMTS) is a free mathematics competition open to all United States middle and high school students.

As opposed to most mathematics competitions, the USAMTS allows students a full month, or more, to work out their solutions. Carefully written justifications are required for each problem. The problems range in difficulty from being within the reach of most high school students to challenging the best students in the nation. Students may use any materials - books, calculators, computers - but all the work must be their own. The USAMTS is run on the honor system - it is an individual competition, whose competitive role is very secondary. (Although we do give prizes.)

Student solutions to the USAMTS problems are graded by mathematicians and comments are returned to the students. Our goal is to help all students develop their problem solving skills, improve their technical writing abilities, and mature mathematically while having fun. We wish to foster not only insight, ingenuity and creativity, but also the virtue of perseverance, which is equally essential in scientific endeavors."

There are sure to be other H.S. threads so what other topics are on your minds.


Megan Hazen said...

Registration, via the Source*, is much less painful than it has been in the past. The personal rating of your child is less, and it is quick and convenient to schedule your child's test from a few dates and locations.

While my query about results to the initial screening was blown off by the advlearn people, I did get a notification in about a week to schedule the next round. This was just as easy to schedule, from about 6 times and 2 locations.

I am cautiously optimistic.

*I am curious about what happens for non-technological parents. Can schools help them register? This is great for me, but, I sit at a computer all day.
It also does still require making it to a testing facility on a weekend day, at least twice. I think this is also problematic for some families.

Ghost Mom said...

I agree. It was much easier to nominate at our leisure in the spring than right away first thing in the fall. The child's teacher last year had time to get to know the child and bring up the subject of advanced learning testing with us.

Sign up on the Source was easy and it was convenient to be able to pick the screener date. It was wonderful for the screener to be at a more child-friendly location (as opposed to a middle school across town or at school during the school day but requiring child to stay in testing during recess as had been the case at various points in the past ). And we received notification from advanced learning to schedule the full CogAT within 1-2 weeks.

I feel good knowing that all students at title one schools will be screened. Now I just feel bad for kids who would qualify if they went through the process but for any number of reasons won't make it through the multiple steps required.

Benjamin Leis said...

I added a request from Ingraham for Calculus textbooks.

Anonymous said...

The mainly spring registration seems like a positive for 1st+ graders. It will be interesting to see what happens in 1st at HCC schools since it will almost certainly only parents who are technologically savvy and knew to self refer. I doubt many K teachers were in a position to refer kids within the first two weeks of classes. That probably works for some kids, but my guess is will lead to more kids tuning out and/or being behavioral issues because of in class boredom.

NE Parent

Anonymous said...

LEADPrep, a private, alternative middle and high school that "allows for diverse learners, including gifted or learning challenged, to thrive" is now enrolling. New Seattle location in Greenwood.


Anonymous said...

Woodinville Montessori graduated its first senior class from new high school. Only 3 seniors, but two of the three were Commended Scholars with average ACT score of 30 and awarded over a million in merit scholarships.


Anonymous said...

@ s, good on them, but those numbers look off. Over a million dollars in merit scholarships for those three students? Not likely.

The article reads: "All three students received merit awards for excellent academic achievement. The class scholarship awards total $1.088280 million over four years. Their average scholarship award is $22,673 per student per year."

$22,673 x 4 yrs x 3 students = $272,076. Looks like they accidentally multiplied it by 4 an extra time.

double checker

Anonymous said...

I think one can be awarded scholarships at multiple schools, but then you are only really able to use the ones that apply to the school you attend.

Anonymous said...

I have a lot of fear about the West Seattle pathway. West

Anonymous said...

When schools report scholarship money (the graduating Class of 2017 received...), they total all offers received, not just those the students accepted. Full ride scholarships can be valued over $200,000 per school. It is not inconceivable that between 3 students, there were 5 full ride scholarship offers, or other significant incentives, totaling $1M. College is not cheap!

...but what is the point of mentioning that here?

Anonymous said...

Re: West Seattle - currently have a HCC 10th at GHS.
We looked very hard at trying to make WSHS work academically for 9th. Even though they weren't an official pathway, I could see the writing on the wall. However, after attending open houses and speaking with teachers/dept heads, it was clear that it wasn't going to work. The master schedule just didn't seem to support it. I will say, they were very welcoming about signing up for whatever class was needed next for academic progression.....if available & could be worked with the schedule. It also seemed that there would primarily be 11/12th students in those level classes, so definite loss of peer cohort. GHS has positives & negatives, but for now it is still the best fit. We reevaluate every year.

Anonymous said...

Can someone provide info on private testing resources in seattle.

Anonymous said...

I'd suggest a good night's sleep and a healthy breakfast as the best preparation.

Ghost Mom said...

Testing for access to advanced learning has to be done by Seattle Public Schools. The dates when referrals for testing are accepted changes every year. Last year it was between mid May and mid September. Referral paperwork is available from any school office or online (see the advanced learning page).

Private testing is only useful if appealing the results of the testing done by the schools, so test with the school first. Private testing for an appeal can be arranged for free for families who are F/RL (email

Private testing is also covered by some health insurance plans as intelligence is integral in reaching certain health diagnoses (e.g. intellectual disability) and can also be related to qualifying for certain federally mandated educational considerations under IDEA/504.

I think there's a list somewhere to SPS recognized testers, but unfortunately I don't have a link for you.

murray said...

Does anyone know when we will should expect to hear about additional Cogat testing (My Grade 1 daughter took the screener in September)? Also, is anyone clear on whether or not they will send the screener score (regardlesss of eligibility for further testing)?

Somehow I was able to find this info out last year (she was one point away from further testing) but I must have called bc it is not listed on the source and I have no email record. It would be nice to know just for future reference

Anonymous said...

Murray -- we received notification to schedule the full Cogat about a week after my son took the screener. No screener score included.

Ghost Mom said...

At the screener session, the representative from the AL dept. said we would all be contacted within one to three weeks with info on whether the child should take the full CogAT. We were contacted one week later. No screener score included.

JLardizabal said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JLardizabal said...

RE: Private testing resources in Seattle
(Anonymous on October 3 at 11:02 am)
Seattle Country Day School is a private school for "gifted children." They maintain a list of psychologists who administer cognitive testing.

Anonymous said...

Apparently Soup for Teachers Facebook page is reporting there is an RFP search for a new superintendent. Nyland was pulled out of retirement for the job & SPS is seeking a permanent new person.
- rumor

Anonymous said...

West Seattle. Not ready for students with disabilities in honors or ap classes. Unfamiliar with the concept of students with disabilities having the right to let alone the brain for advanced learning.


Anonymous said...

Benjamin or anyone else are you aware if IBX is still an option at Ingraham for incoming students beginning 2018? I looked on the website and saw a four year plan which included accelerated math, science & honors classes for HCC kids. It looks great to us quite a demanding program and we prefer this option (after talking with IBX parents), but wondering if they did indeed phase out IBX.

Anonymous said...

There does not seem to be an official word on IBX, though they limited class options for this year's senior IBX cohort (only 1 section of post IB, college in the high school LA was section...even though the cohort started at some 90 students?) and they have strongly, strongly discouraged newer cohorts from the IBX pathway. I'm not sure about the numbers of 10th graders following the IBX pathway this year - I'd randomly guess at most 50% - and it looks like they will have limited class options come senior year because their cohort has essentially been split (again) by discouraging IBX. There really are no guarantees of a full schedule for senior year - the IB diploma meets state graduation requirements, so they can say they aren't really required to offer much beyond a 4th year of LA (even that was problematic this year).

Some issues with a non-IBX pathway: the odd math pathway that results, and the limited science options. Students cannot take IB classes until 11th grade, unless they are on the IBX pathway, and it is a stretch to call the honors science classes honors. They also are limited to a 1/2 year of world history in sophomore year. They will end junior year with only 2 1/2 credits of social studies. Odd, huh? For math, they essentially end up taking pre-calculus twice (or 3X) - they can take AP Calculus (or AP Stats) as sophomores and go backward to retake pre-calculus heavy IB Math SL as juniors (or take the more challenging 2 year IB Math HL, which will have few students, and hence limited sections) then take AP Stats senior year (they may or may not have AP Calc BC available) OR they take pre-calculus sophomore year then IB Math SL junior year and choose either AP Calc AB or AP Stats senior year.

With IBX, students can take more advanced science senior year, either an IB science class or Running Start (ask current parents about why), have a more logical math pathway if already accelerated (IB Math SL sophomore year, then AP math junior and senior year), and are more likely to have 4 full years of social science (seniors can potentially take IB Psychology, or IB Business, for example, if they haven't already taken the classes).

Based on the Lincoln discussions and changes around HC high school options, along with rumors about a 7 period day, it's not clear what in the world will be happening in 2018 and beyond.

Anonymous said...

Hi Benjamin-- Thanks for the math and other information. It was my sense last year at IB night that IBX was being phased out in favor of an honors class plus IB pathway.

I am curious as to what is advised by the math dept regarding a math pathway for very strong math students entering 9th ready for Algebra II. It seems strange to take AP calculus in 10th before taking pre-calculus in 11th (IB SL course). Wondering if the 2 year IB math HL is the better route.

Yes also lots happening around HC high school options, so we will see what happens with IBX. I can visualize the district offering HCC pathway students access to IB (not IBX) programs in various locations, as alternative options to neighborhood schools. But who knows. It's a complete guess.

I do remember the Ingraham principal last year mentioning IB and incompatibility with (I think) the 3x5 schedule. It sounds like 3x5 might no longer be on the table as various principals had issues. I forget if anyone asked him about IB and the new 24 credit requirement. I don't know anything about a 7 period day discussion...would that negatively impact IB?

Snoopy said...

A study was done in Minnesota to look for what percentage of gifted students also had a disability:

When they began looking, they found that 14% of gifted students had a disability:
Attention Deficit Disorders -> 7%
Emotional/Behavioral Disorders -> 3%
Autism Spectrum Disorders -> 1%
Specific Learning Disabilities -> 3%

The article includes strategies for identifying "twice exceptionality" and for addressing their distinct learning differences. We have about 3000 identified HCC students so if 14% of them were 2E that would be more than 400 students.

Benjamin Leis said...

@wondering fyi I always post under my account. So you should really thank whomever the anonymous commenter was. This is probably a good time to remind everyone to at least use handle in the interest of minimizing confusion.

Anonymous said...

How early are families being notified about further testing after the Cogat screen? If we haven't heard anything in 3 weeks, does that mean our child scored <95%?

Anonymous said...

This might address questions for many. Auto email from Adv. Learning, edited to most relevant sections:

CHANGING OR CONFIRMING A TEST SCHEDULE: Please log on to your Source account to make changes to the test schedule. If you are having trouble accessing your Source account, please contact Source Support: Please include your child’s full name, grade, school, and SPS ID# (if you have it) in your email. Remember, you may make schedule changes using the Source as often as you like, up to three days prior to the scheduled date AS LONG AS THERE ARE OPTIONS AVAILABLE. Students who do not show up for their test are WITHDRAWN from the 2018-2019 school year cycle. The dates available are shown. We cannot arrange testing outside the available dates.
If you have more than one student who has been referred, you may not be able to arrange their tests at the same time/date/location. This is because not every test is offered at every location or on every date or because the particular time/date/location is filled.

TEST SCORES/RESULTS WILL NOT BE RELEASED UNTIL ELIGIBILITY IS POSTED (INCLUDING PRELIMINARY OR SCREENING FORM SCORES.) Test scores/results will be posted when the eligibility decision is posted, prior to Open Enrollment. This may be as early as the first week of December, but may be as late as mid-February (although we anticipate it will be sooner.) All scores, results, and eligibility notification will be posted at the same time via the Source. We will not provide scores or interpretations prior to the official notification, nor will they be provided by phone, email, or USPS. We understand that many families were given erroneous information that their child’s CogAT Screening Form results would be available within 2-3 weeks. THIS IS NOT ACCURATE. We HOPE to have them back to our office within that time, but that doesn’t change the information about when they will be provided to families.

IF YOUR CHILD REQUIRES FURTHER TESTING, you will receive an email directing you to the Source to schedule it. If you receive notice that “no further cognitive testing is required,” that refers only to cognitive testing. We are not able to answer questions about the CogAT Screening Form results or provide them early. ALL SCORES AND RESULTS will be posted when the eligibility decision is posted. This is an on-going process. If your child’s classmate has been invited for further testing it does not have any bearing on whether your child will or will not be. Even if your child took the test prior to the classmate! Please watch for emails and check the Source for updates.


Anonymous said...

New HCC family looking for some perspective from families who have been in HCC/APP awhile. We left a school where community ties were easily established and we’ve started to glean that this component is more challenging at Cascadia for a variety of reasons. The parents and kids seem just as wonderful, but we have not found any opportunities to connect with families with any regularity (just an event here and there). As the cohort expands with each grade level, we’re wondering if this leaves some kids/parents feeling disconnected. Perhaps this is less of a priority given the academic program, however, we are feeling a bit like we exchanged community for academics and are wondering if private is our only hope to have both?

Is It Just Us

Benjamin Leis said...

Our personal experience at Cascadia was that it took longer to make friends and connections than at our prior school but that after several years they did come.

This was mostly because everyone was so spread out and busy. It should be somewhat better at new Cascadia since its draw zone is a bit tighter.

I'd take advantage of any opportunities to have conversations with other parents and maybe try bringing it up with the PTSA if you have any ideas for social events.

I hope this helps

NESeattleMom said...

Do they still have the international potluck dinner? That was fun. Also chaperoning field trips and volunteering. Not possible for everyone whose work schedules are not flexible. Do they still do bingo night? We were there when the school was smaller.

murray said...

My daughter took the CogAT screener in mid-September...up until last night we had not heard anything leading us to assume there would be no call for additional testing. However, I received an email for additional testing- achievement test (ITBS)- she is a first grader.

I'm confused, aren't students required to take the full CogAT for consideration? I am not aware of any reason why she would be asked to take achievement but NOT full CogAT. Such a confusing process- my son did this is 2013 before the process changed- all done at school so much easier (and he was asked to take the ITBS but after taking the full CogAT only- never used to do the screen).

Anyway, thanks for the information.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if she scored high enough on the screening Cogat to qualify for ALO but not high enough for HCC? And the ITBS is the achievement part. So if she scores >90% on that, she will qualify for ALO services.

Anonymous said...

I also just received an email directing me to schedule my daughter (kindergartner) for further testing in her Source account, but the email does not specify which type of testing she needs. When I log in to the Source, there is no info about any further testing required. It just says "No Further Cognitive Testing Required."

Does that mean that I received the email by mistake?