Friday, November 3, 2017

November '17 Open Thread


The pathway plan made it out of the operations committee yesterday. If I read the timeline correctly, there are now a few weeks before the real vote (assuming this is considered part of the transitional plan). So now is the time to contact Director's with your concerns.  

Interesting Math Story

"A New Zealand maths exam for high school students has been criticised as “impossible” with even the brightest students left despondent and in tears at the difficulty of the questions."
I had fun looking at it and maybe others would appreciate showing it to their geometry students.


Here's a deeper dive from JoLynn Berge at the district on the HCC budget:

"1. How much HCS money is expected this year, compared to previous years? 
$1.1m in FY17-18 (which includes the increased funding from the 2017 legislative session of about $600k); prior year was $524k.

2. What is the state HCS money being used for, exactly? (Parents hear it goes to buses and testing, and nothing else!) 
Here is an object summary for program 74 – HC for the 17-18 budget:
0 Debit Transfer 3,100
2 Cert. Salaries 546,549
3 Class. Salaries 228,515
4 Staff Benefits 272,002
5 Supplies/Materials 166,525
7 Purchased Services 55,000
8 Travel 10,200
9 Capital Outlay -
Total 1,281,891
Most of the expenses within our Advanced Learning department surround testing students for eligibility as Advanced Learners or Highly Capable (e.g. materials, proctors, contracts for grading, etc.) and supporting professional development for teachers on accelerated or differentiated curriculum (e.g. Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate teachers).

3. Does the SPS master budget show HCS line items (personnel, curriculum development, transportation, etc.)? I recognize that the Advanced Learning office is responsible for more than HCS, and so I’d guess that some salaries and expenses accrue to more than one purpose.

Yes, the budget book on page 44 shows revenues (without the increased state revenue which came out too late for us to include in this) and budgeted expenditures are shown on page 54. We will still be subsidizing the program out of our M&O levy, but to a smaller amount in 17-18.

In the Buildings

Finally how are things going on the ground? On that topic, I thought I'd share a picture of my personal triumph for the season: the first Math Club Bulletin Board at Jane Addams.


Owler said...

Cert. Salaries 546,549
Class. Salaries 228,515
Staff Benefits 272,002

Maybe others have a better idea of what this budget means, but without knowing how many people are covered by this and their duties, it's just a generic list of numbers.

Benjamin Leis said...

I added a blurb for the SEFW 7th Annual Fall Forum to the top.

Benjamin Leis said...

Reminder: The first meeting of the Highly Capable Services Advisory Committee will take place tomorrow, Tuesday, November 7, at the John Stanford Center Auditorium, 6:30-8:00 pm.

The agenda will include a discussion of High School Boundaries as they affect Highly Capable students.

Amy said...

I received an email from the Advanced Learning Office on Thursday. They have changed the criteria for admission to HCC for students trying to appeal results of the district’s testing. In a nutshell, private appeals (individually administered IQ AND academic tests) scores must now be ABOVE the 99th percentile. In addition, the district is saying even if the scores meet this extraordinarily high threshold, they might not grant admission. I am concerned that they have changed these rules well after this school year’s test cycle has begun and it is not clear if they are notifying parents to let them know. If parents don’t regularly check the advanced learning website to see if things have changed, they won’t know. Many students have already gone through the private testing and are assuming their child will qualify for HCC. I will encourage the Advanced Learning Office to notify all families who have applied but please pass this information on if you know of people who are in the process this year. I am cutting and pasting the info I was sent, including a link to their appeals web page:

Advanced Learning has made some changes to the information regarding private testing to support appeals of eligibility decisions. Please review the updated information at Our office will begin posting Advanced Learning eligibility decisions in early December, and plan to complete the process, including appeals, by early February.

Anonymous said...

WAC 392-170-076 Process for appeal
Each district shall have a clear and written procedure for appealing the multidisciplinary selection committee's decision and disseminate this procedure to the public.

- When was the appeals procedure changed? When submitting the form for testing referral, did parents sign a form referencing a different appeals policy? There is no "updated on..." date.

- Will they also require a 99th percentile threshold for those appealing through district testing?

- Does the 99th percentile hold just for the areas being appealed? If the threshold was met for math achievement, for example, and private test data is submitted for reading achievement only, is it only the reading threshold that must meet the 99th percentile?

- And, what the??

Anonymous said...

Does the SPS website constitute "a clear and written procedure for appealing?"

SPS Superintendent Policy 2190SP has only this to say:


Parents/Guardians of students who participate in cognitive testing will receive results later in the Winter and prior to the SPS Open Enrollment period. If unsatisfied with the eligibility results, parents/guardians may appeal the decision. Appeals must be filed as soon as possible so that decisions can be made for enrollment purposes. Appeals should contain all of the information required by the Advanced Learning Office. Specific information on how to appeal is included in eligibility letters and is also available on the SPS website. Appeals will only be successful if compelling information provided during the appeals process demonstrates that the test scores in the student’s eligibility letter are not representative of the child's abilities.

For families who qualify for the free or reduced lunch program, SPS will provide inhouse testing during the appeals process. In order to assist these families in their appeal, the Advanced Learning Office must receive support letters and/or classroom work that demonstrate exceptional achievement by the date indicated in the eligibility letter.

Appeals decisions are final; there are no appeals of appeals.

Anonymous said...

My kid has taken the full Cogat, but we have not been notified to schedule ITBS for the achievement portion of the testing. I have e-mailed the AL office but got only the standard reply. When I log into the Source, there's nothing there about needing the ITBS. I only knew about it from checking the AL website. Is everyone else getting notice to do ITBS testing? I wonder if she scored on the lower end of the screen, and maybe that's why we haven't been advised to schedule ITBS?


Benjamin Leis said...

I put a link to an interesting math story at the top. Mostly this reminds me, I really need to do a Fall Math Thread at some point.