Thursday, November 30, 2017

Latest Board Agenda

The agenda for the November 29th board meeting contains some more updates on the High School Boundaries.

http://www.seattleschools.org/UserFiles/Servers/Server_543/File/District/Departments/School%20Board/17-18%20agendas/20171129/20171129_Agenda_Packet.pdf

There are four alternatives listed now (although the 5 pathway option is still preferred) showing some evidence of the pushback from parents.



50 comments:

GLP said...

This is from a packet at the Board Work Session yesterday. There is also a "briefing paper" about these options. I find this grid very subjective and the staff are definitely putting their thumb on the scale for the scenario they want.

Capacity Challenges for #3 -- "maintains current enrollment at Roosevelt". How is that OK?
Where is the data? Roosevelt has been overcrowded for years and this year they have their biggest freshman class since the 80s -- 535 kids. I just don't understand the idea of adding an HCC pathway at such an over crowded school. They will have to draw the boundary tighter, likely at the expense of neighborhood kids who live close by (sending them to schools further away).

And, I'm not convinced adding an HCC pathway at Roosevelt will increase access. If priority for AP classes is Seniors, followed by HCC identified students, will my Spectrum student be able to access these classes? Will there be space for her? How likely are they to add more AP classes once they are filled by HCC students?

-GLP

Anonymous said...

Funny nothing about the HCC AC recommendation. And no IHS is not a pathway... IBx is an option.

Benjamin Leis said...

@GLP - I generally agree the analysis is slanted to justify the preferred alternative. I have some additional reflections on the impact.

1. Since the HC population is already at the school in relatively large #s the marginal increase of having everyone in the cluster go there is probably on the order of another 70-100 kids per year. Capacity balancing will probably have to happen but its unclear whether the changes at the boundary with Lincoln will already provide this much slack or if they would need to adjust further to balance things out. Proper planning really should be explicit about this and I think is worth contacting the board/staff to request.
(That said the projected numbers even this year have been wildly off: see the huge change in the projected numbers at Garfield)

2. Access to AP classes is so closely tied to scheduling its really hard to predict impacts. This is mostly a zero sum game, the influx of hc students would affect the mix of classes requested and offered ending up with a substitution of ap classes for non-ap classes. In theory the numbers of AP classes offered would rise and more sections would provide more flexibility. You'd still have the edge cases (that exist today) where one section fills up entirely and there is no way to rejigger the schedule to find a free slot.

Anonymous said...

@GLP-- "likely at the expense of neighborhood kids who live close by (sending them to schools further away)."

So now HC are not neighborhood kids in their own neighborhood? Guess what...they are neighborhood kids too and have just as much of a right to be at their neighborhood school at anyone else. Think about what you are stating. It is not very fair.

For years equitable access to their education was effectively prevented (state law & policies violated) and they had to travel hours by bus or give up access to a seamless appropriate curriculum.

Will kids have to travel hours by bus to go from Roosevelt to Lincoln? I don't think so.
Neighborhood Parent

Anonymous said...

Benjamin-- "Capacity balancing will probably have to happen but its unclear whether the changes at the boundary with Lincoln will already provide this much slack or if they would need to adjust further to balance things out. Proper planning really should be explicit about this and I think is worth contacting the board/staff to request."

You make very good points that need to be heard loud and clear. I would suggest writing the concerns raised by GLP and and the points you made to the board. There are bound to be others who have similar concerns and it would help for people to understand all the data, including that large amounts of HC are neighborhood kids already at the overcrowded schools. That is a point not many not realize. Also, I heard from a counselor recently GLP that they actually plan to increase AP offerings at Roosevelt. From the proposal, it looks like that would be the plan at all sites. They probably will encourage as many general ed and spectrum kids to enroll as possible.
BN

Option 2.5 said...

I'm glad they appear likely to give up on the Garfield-for-All plan, because for that to be the only way for a student in Lake City to access their continuity of services is clearly B.S.

They should have an OPTION 2.5 on the list. It would maintain Garfield as the guaranteed pathway for SW, SE and the lower/eastern portion of central and would add a guaranteed pathway in the north for NW, NE and the upper/western portion of central.
1. This would fix the Equity in Access (Policy No. 0030) for SW and SE by continuing to give these students access to Garfield.
2. It would essentially divide HC access for the city at high school level in half, which would provide a continuum of HC services for students identified as highly capable.
3. It would fix Capacity Challenges by dramatically cutting the number of HC students sent to Garfield from NW, NE and the upper/western half of central. They could further fix these challenges by Moving Wait Lists so that students who want to get into schools (like Cleveland) actually can, etc. It would fix Capacity Challenges (if done right) in the north half of town by putting the northern guaranteed HC high school pathway somewhere (like Lincoln) where it will draw enough students away from overcrowded schools (Ballard, Roosevelt and Hale) to provide space for the students remaining at those schools. It would involve a far fairer transportation burden as most students could attend schools they live close to. The transportation burden of traveling to a farther school would fall on HC students traveling farther to get to Garfield or Lincoln (or wherever), but they would be CHOOSING to follow the pathway so the transit time would be a choice. We've already seen that this works because south end HC students already schlepp to Garfield and north end HC students have already spent years schlepping to Lincoln. It works.

Plus the district can't justify forcing students who happen to live in the Lincoln zone to attend a project-based-learning HS and students who happen to live in the Hale zone to attend a whatever-Hale's-pedagogical-approach-is-called HS. Specialized pedagogical approaches to HS should be options, not requirements. If the approach is not a good fit for a student, there needs to be a way out.

Anonymous said...

Oops. Option 2.5 I think you’ve assumed that staff is bringing up the Equity in Access Policy to express concern for highly capable students. They most definitely are not. They are trying to provide equitable access to AP/IB classes for non-HC students.

What really stinks about this plan is that they’re acknowledging that Nathan Hale and Lincoln’s principals will not provide these advanced classes. Why are neighborhood students forced to attend these schools if equity in access to advanced learning is a priority?

Spectrum Parent

Anonymous said...

@Spectrum parent-- In other parts of the document they make very clear that distance has been a barrier for HC students. You cannot reasonably expect a student to travel for hours on bus to access services of continuity of curriculum. It also presents barrier to the policy. They could be sued and the document outlines that fact. They ALSO want to increase offerings for spectrum and non HC students. It also states that OSPI told them IB and access to AP classes was not enough for HC students. Once again you argue that HC do not have curriculum needs protected by law, but they do. Read the document.
HC parent

Anonymous said...

Benjamin did not post the proposal in its entirety. It is clear they are focusing on expanding opportunities to non-HC, while also complying with state law for HC. They also state in the document that they will send teachers from Garfield to other schools, add more courses etc. They are fully aware of the NEED to not just place HC at Franklin, W Seattle (& BHS & RHS) and not just let things happen (as you suggest nothing "special needed for those HC students)...they will indeed need to support these students with the proper curriculum.

From the document:
"We are committed to ensuring the support and academic acceleration of each student and, as a school district, we are legally required to provide a “continuum of service” to students
identified as highly capable."
" State Law and Compliance: As the District investigates options to serve students identified as highly capable, we must take into account the compliance challenges that could potentially occur. State law for highly capable requires a “continuum of services”… for students…“from K-12”.

An argument could easily be made that Seattle Public Schools (SPS) is out of compliance if there was not an International Baccalaureate Accelerated (IBX) program and we ended the existing pathway to Garfield High School. OSPI made it clear that only offering International Baccalaureate (IB) and Advanced Placement (AP) courses does not fulfill that requirement. Any solution created needs to provide a HC pathway designation and continuum of service toensure compliance.
WAC 392-170-078: Program services states, “Districts shall make a variety of appropriate
program services available to students who participate in the district's program for highly
capable students. Once services are started, a continuum of services shall be provided to thestudent from K-12.”

And from option 1- The status quo of Garfield " Many students identified as highly
capable eligible (HC) aren’t provided equitable access (distance) and/or
“welcoming school environment” - Conflicts with School Board Policy 0030

HC parent

Anonymous said...

"...they will indeed need to support these students with the proper curriculum."

I wouldn't hold your breath on that one. Wasn't a MS curriculum promised with the first APP split to Hamilton? Do not delude yourselves.

Anonymous said...

There are upper level admin (actually quite a few) people who work internally for SPS too who have HC students. They understand the law. I anticipate HC students will receive curriculum services on par to what is provided at Garfield. If not, they will have a mess! I also welcome the idea of HC being able to receive an appropriate education closer to home. As long as they deliver on a "basic education" which is a advanced education for HC I have no issue. If adding HC can help provide additional advanced learning classes for all students at the school all the better. But we must not forget HC needs in the process... spectrum parent!
HC

GLP said...

@Neighborhood Parent - I didn't explain myself clearly. OF COURSE HCC students are neighborhood kids. Many of them live near Roosevelt. But some of them also live up north in the Nathan Hale attendance area.

I'm reacting to the lack of data to see the impact of this 5 school pathway plan, a lack of trust that SPS' next iteration of the boundaries map will be thoughtful, and the fact that the Board is being asked to vote on pathways without enough information.

In my situation, we live in Maple Leaf and in map H2 a slice of our neighborhood gets moved from Roosevelt to Nathan Hale. Students can walk from here or take an easy city bus to Roosevelt, but would have to walk, take a bus, transfer to another bus, and walk to Hale. Our neighborhood is already fighting this proposed change. So, my concern is if the HCC pathway is at Roosevelt, bringing students from north of us, will there be room for our area to stay? Will SPS move the boundary down to 75th? Cut out the area near Green Lake?

Also, I don't want anyone to have to travel hours by bus to get appropriate curriculum.

I wish we didn't have these capacity issues and there was room for choice and opting in, allowing families to continue at their neighborhood school despite boundary changes. The current situation and the plans SPS comes up with continue to pit groups against each other.

-GLP

Anonymous said...

@GLP- O.K makes sense. They do need to take a careful look at the data to see impact. HCC in the neighborhood are already at the school. HCC had been sent to the far reaches of the universe for years. Many want to stay in their neighborhood and also have a right to be served if their school can serve them, same as special ed or any other kids. That is why so many opted for Roosevelt already over Garfield. See Benjamin's post.
Neighborhood parent

Anonymous said...

@BN - It's great to hear that they plan to increase the AP offerings at Roosevelt. I find that reassuring.

And, on the one hand I see your point about remembering that large amounts of HC are neighborhood kids already at the overcrowded schools. But, the data that really needs to be looked at is current middle school kids, and even elementary -- What do those numbers look like? Where do the various populations live? What would this 5 pathway scenario look like in 2019, 2023, etc.?

-GLP

Anonymous said...

@GLP- P.S. 70-100 HC students is not that many additional in the context.
neighborhood parent

Option 2.5 said...

@Spectrum Parent, in the agenda packet, they expressly state that they are concerned because:
Many students identified as highly capable eligible (HC) aren’t provided equitable access (distance) and/or “welcoming school environment” - Conflicts with School Board Policy No. 0030


They are *also* concerned about equitable enrollment for HC student populations, uneven AP/IB participation across high schools, among ethnic groups, low income students, and English language learners, and limited course offerings for some students who would benefit from AP/IB courses at attendance area high schools. Among many other things. It's a big district with a lot of students. And they are rightly concerned with many different things.

I hadn't read Policy No. 0030 before (https://www.seattleschools.org/UserFiles/Servers/Server_543/File/District/Departments/equity_race/sps0030_ensuring_educational_racial_equity.pdf). It's from 2012. It's nice to see the section on Multiple Pathways to Success:
The district shall provide multiple pathways to success in order to meet the needs of the diverse student body, and shall actively encourage, support and expect high academic achievement for all students.

There are a lot of HC students (and hopefully even more in the years to come) who fall into the categories explicitly mentioned in Policy No. 0030 (race, class or other personal characteristics such as creed, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, age, economic status, gender, sexual orientation including gender expression or identity, pregnancy status, marital status, physical appearance, the presence of any sensory, mental or physical disability, or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability), so I would think that they would MOST DEFINITELY be bringing up the Equity in Access Policy to express concern for those highly capable students in their attempts to actively encourage, support and expect high academic achievement for all of those students (along with all the other students in the district).

Anonymous said...

I completely agree with GLP. Yes, there are HCC kids in the Roosevelt (or Ballard) neighborhood who should be able to access neighborhood schools. My issue is adding a program that will draw from outside the neighborhood boundaries, including Hale and potentially the many future Lincoln families who will are also advocating for a place at Roosevelt over Garfield. I do believe that this will push more Spectrum/Gen Ed kids out of their current neighborhood schools and into schools like Hale and Lincoln whose principals don't support advanced placement/gifted level classes, and have no requirement to ever do so. In fact, the schools that HCC families themselves don't want to attend! Many current attendance area kids coming from all over have the necessary requirements for AP math courses not offered at all schools. Also, world language and LA. In fact, there are no differences in LA prerequisites come Sophomore or Junior year because Garfield and Roosevelt offer the same freshman classes to all students.

The argument has been made that because SPS has advanced HCC students 2 years, that they should be guaranteed a place at a school with a variety of higher level courses for those students. But the same argument can be made for a student at a neighborhood schools like Eckstein who starts math 2 years ahead, for example. I also think it's wrong that priority is given for AP classes to HCC kids, when any student can perform well in the prerequisite classes and are equally prepared. My HCC student at Roosevelt is finding highly talented and challenging peers from many schools, and enjoying being in courses a variety of kids. Freshman are still entering from private school, out of district, and many students gifted in single subjects are thriving in higher level classes.

I'm not saying that all HCC kids shouldn't have access to advanced coursework. I believe every student should have access. But, placing a big program like HCC at two filled, popular schools like Ballard and Roosevelt seems backwards, over placing them at Lincoln where a priority could be made to offer a variety of AP coursework that actually could be a draw for some students who really want to stay part of this cohort for the social and academic reasons that drew many of us to that program to begin with.

RN

Anonymous said...

@BN, I'm skeptical that the district will be significantly increasing AP classes at all sites. Maybe all sites except Garfield, but it's hard to imagine Garfield won't lose AP classes. Maybe not right away--since the current HCC students will likely be grandfathered to stay, and the anticipated decreased HCC 9th grade cohort wouldn't be expected to take AP classes next year anyway--but give a couple years. With a much smaller number of HC students, it's simply not likely that they'll retain all the HC offerings. After all, if AP class supply isn't partially driven by HC students, then why haven't all those other high schools offered just as many AP classes as GHS all along? The fact is, distributing the kids means distributing the classes--so probably more at some schools, fewer at Garfield. Meaning overall, HCC kids will have fewer AP options.

reality bites

Anonymous said...

So Spectrum and HCC qualified parents in the North end want to avoid Hale at all costs. Seems like this plan will result in Hale having an even greater advanced cohort-drain leaving those HCC kids who are assigned there who don't want to commute to Garfield and the Spectrum cohort both that can't get into Roosevelt in a bad spot without academic peers.

Wilson the Volleyball

Benjamin Leis said...

I have a few scattered points.

You have to keep in mind the increasing numbers bubbling up of both entire grades and HCC cohorts. We're about to nearly double then total number of HCC high students in the next 3 years. So depending on how many students are pulled out of Garfield even it could remain at a steady state and that means its AP offerings might not necessarily shift dramatically.

Secondly, Roosevelt is in trouble from a capacity perspective already and unlike Ballard its not as directly slated for major adjustments in its reference zone. As I mentioned before its current freshman class at 537 is already too large for the building. The jump this year there was only half due to rising HC numbers the rest is part of the natural increase. There is not much likelihood potential Lincoln families for instance will have any sway gaining access after all these adjustments are done. But yes the current boundary zone reworking should really at a minimum be shown to produce stable school capacity scenarios for a few years out. The only thing worse than the current boundary fights would be to produce a situation which necessitated repeating the process again just a few years later.

Third as I said before I don't think access to AP classes is really going to pit large numbers of kids against each other. Most of any increase in HC numbers will be compensated by new sections of AP classes. The number of scheduling issues is more likely to be exacerbated by general over-crowding. That's the experience we're seeing this year already at many sites.







Ignored said...

I find it telling that not a single person from the Advanced Learning department was a contributor to the diagram. Its like Advanced Learning and the Advisory Committee Don't exist.

Anonymous said...

SPS believes their preferred regional pathways option meets the “Equity in Access” criteria. This may very well be true in the south and it may very well be the net impact for the district overall. If you just look at the north-end, however, I see decreased access to advanced learning opportunities for non-HC students.

Part of this results from placing pathways at RHS and BHS. AP offerings will be bolstered, but non-HC students will need to be moved out of the building to make room for HC regional students. Perhaps this will be a small number of students, as has been suggested.

The much larger decrease in advanced learning opportunities comes from NOT placing a pathway at Lincoln. If, as people are saying, Lincoln has no intention of prioritizing the availability of advanced courses, there will be 1000+ non-HC students stuck in a building that doesn’t offer these types of classes. The students filling these seats had been zoned for RHS & BHS where a decent selection of AP classes had been available to them. An HC pathway at Lincoln would maintain their access to these classes, while ensuring that the needs of the HC cohort are met.

-Fewer losers


Anonymous said...

Or just replace the Lincoln principal with someone willing to meet students where they are. Clearly the leadership is the issue, so why keep it before it even opens? Do we need two Hales? If so, make them option schools.

Chosen Leaders

Anonymous said...

The decision about where to place programs affects thousands of families and will have long lasting implications for boundaries once programs (and kids) are moved. It is insane that one principal can make a decision not to offer a variety of coursework that includes a healthy AP offering at Lincoln. That will have negative impacts on the students in the Lincoln boundary without an HC school option who deserve access to AP coursework. Not listening to the community about creating a place for HC or Language Immersion is terrible. What would happen if the Ballard or Roosevelt principal said 'NO' to adding the program to those schools? Or what stops any principal from creating their own definition of what is adequate at each school? Obviously we are seeing that principals seem to be able to do whatever they want. Lucky if you're at RHS or BHS, I guess. I'm not sure if there's any population that is eager to attend Lincoln. It is a wasted opportunity.

RN

Anonymous said...

@RN—not true, there are a few who want a neighborhood school with a common core curriculum and they believe if you want acceleration or special language courses you should travel or go private. I am not sure if they are making lemonade out of a lemon, or if that’s what they have always dreamed of for that building in their neighborhood. I agree—lost opportunity to provide classes appropriate for those currently attending Hamilton or already opting for BHS and RHS to avoid the hassles and unwelcome surprises of GHS.

Oh well!

Anonymous said...

@GLP-- " What would this 5 pathway scenario look like in 2019, 2023, etc.? " In the proposal the staff said the 5 pathway regional plan is transitional. The ultimate plan is to build up offerings so they can move HC to all high schools.
BN

Anonymous said...

In an ideal scenario (ideal) all HC kids would remain in their neighborhoods, all kids would have access to AP/IB courses, HC kids would have access to their seamless (remember defined as basic ed for them ) educational curriculum of advanced classes.

IB at Ingraham when they add 500 seats in 2019 can be a great option for Hale, Lincoln and any other students. IB should be made available to all kids as an option. It should not be so full (Ingraham) that only neighborhood kids or a limited cap of HC can access.

Reading the document, HC in all schools (so AP courses added to Hale, Lincoln etc?) is the ultimate goal. The proposal also makes clear there needs to be a seamless curriculum pathway or OSPI has said they will not meet state requirements. So this means enough offerings will have to be there. In fact OSPI said just offering IB or AP courses is not enough on its own. They need to show they have a pathway plan.

In my opinion, they are also transitioning from the former choice model to a new neighborhood school model simultaneously. Reading the proposal, this means the principals may not define what the school offers. They cannot continue to create an unwelcoming environment for some students (HC) where the district uses AP courses to meet the definition of a basic education of seamless curriculum for them. This means Hale and Lincoln's offerings will likely also change in time.
BN

Anonymous said...

@ Option 2.5-- If you are suggesting a single (did I understand you correctly) North end option (ex Lincoln) there is a big issue. NE & NW students will still have neighborhood access of choice to Ballard & Roosevelt. There are large factions of HC already attending those schools. In talking with other parents, none have expressed wanting to send the younger ones to Lincoln even if designated HC. So likely they will be unable to pull away those students from schools already serving them well, in their neighborhoods. I truly think the majority of parents all want their kids to be served in their neighborhood school as long as it can serve them. Lincoln won't offer a magic formula to lure them away.
-pragmatic

Anonymous said...

@RN " But, placing a big program like HCC at two filled, popular schools like Ballard and Roosevelt seems backwards, over placing them at Lincoln where a priority could be made to offer a variety of AP coursework that actually could be a draw for some students who really want to stay part of this cohort for the social and academic reasons that drew many of us to that program to begin with."

They are already there (like your kid) as most live within the boundary, making it designated HC would not add as much in the total scheme of things. Roosevelt overpopulation as Benjamin pointed out is mostly due to the overall gen ed increase. They need to pull kids into Lincoln no matter what. They are overcrowded no matter what. I also predict most HC would still choose Roosevelt (or Ballard) if their neighborhood school over Lincoln. The only way they will get HC at Lincoln is if HC has no other neighborhood option. Adjusting boundaries is the only way they can be sure to fill Lincoln.
perspective

Option 2.5 said...

@pragmatic--
It's funny to me in a sad way when you say "the majority of parents all want their kids to be served in their neighborhood school" because that's demonstrably not true for families of HC students. There's a reason so many people have traveled so far to get to Garfield or Ingraham. There's a reason why Ingraham's HC enrollment is full. Families do choose to send some HC students to some high schools other than Garfield or Ingraham, but not that many. Families are absolutely NOT wanting to send large numbers of HC students to Rainier Beach, West Seattle, Chief Sealth, Franklin or Hale.

So, when you say "the majority of parents all want their kids to be served in their neighborhood school" I call B.S. Families can send HC students to their neighborhood school right now. And how many do? Here's an estimated percentage of students who wanted to stay at their neighborhood school in 2016-17 by neighborhood school:
Hale 18%
Roosevelt 40%
Ballard 39%
Ingraham 81%
Garfield 99%
Franklin 9%
RBHS 2%
Sealth 30%
WSHS 23%

Roosevelt does the best of the schools without HC high school services, but 40% isn't really much of a vote of confidence. That means even at Roosevelt 60% of families thought their student would get a better education by traveling out of the neighborhood.

Lincoln could offer the magic formula to lure them away. All it takes to lure a Hale family is the promise that your kid won't have to repeat years of classes. All it would take to lure a Rainier Beach family away is the promise that there would be a single other HC identified student in the entire school so your student wouldn't be the only one. It's pretty easy to see from this blog that families want AP Calc BC or a science class with actual textbooks or really any school that doesn't plan on outsourcing students to Running Start.

Anyway, if you don't happen to live in the assignment zone for Garfield, Ingraham, Ballard or Roosevelt, chances are high that families DON'T want their HC students to be served in their neighborhood school. And even if you live in the Ballard or Roosevelt zones, only about 40% currently want their students to go to the local school.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand why the posters on this blog keep bringing up Lincoln. Haven't a large percentage of us in APP/HCC witnessed first hand what Principals who are hostile to advanced learning (AL) do to the program? My family certainly has. We had to change middle schools to access appropriate class levels due to inconsistent policies between HIMS and JAMS. If the Principal at Lincoln is not on board then advocating for placement of AL there would be a further death knell to AL in the district. Not all principals are hostile to AL. But this Lincoln Principal is on record as not on board with HC. That should tell you everything. The district abdicates all academic decisions to the Principals. I have an email from Tolley saying that very thing - that Principals have the final word on the administration of academic programs at each school - including access to AL classes. Short of replacing the Lincoln Principal with someone else, the district is actually doing HC a favor by placing it in schools with supportive Principals. I agree that it seems baroque but our personal experience has been that Principals have considerable, perhaps complete, leeway within their school to promote or destroy AL depending on their philosophical views. It seems time to....

MoveOn

Helen said...

Why all this rumor that Lincoln won't have AP classes? According the link on this posting, West Seattle HS has a healthy number of AP options. The current Lincoln principal spent years in charge of West Seattle. I've been to several of the Lincoln meetings and never heard it suggested that Lincoln would not have AP courses and a strong academic math/science leaning. Just wondering where fear of the new and reality meet up here.

Helen

juicygoofy said...

I personally think anonymous on 12/2 at 1:07 hit the nail on the head. Though it does make the best sense on paper, current HC students probably won't enroll at Lincoln, even if it were HC. With suitable options like Ingraham, Ballard and Roosevelt (as is), Lincoln will be a hard sell.

After suffering through the move from HIMS to REMS, my 8th grader has declared that she will never go to a start up school again, even if it means leaving HCC. Maybe Lincoln could be an HC school in a few years, after it has 4 full grades and current HC students (who went there for elementary) have moved on.

Go Lynxes? said...

I think the fear with Lincoln is not that the school won't offer AP classes, but more that project-based learning causes a lot of parents who were gifted back when they were in school to have nausea-inducing flashbacks of group work projects gone wrong. Project-based learning can be done well and it can be done not well. And for gifted students the potential pitfalls and benefits may differ from those of other students. What all the conversation about Lincoln has failed to instill in parents of HC students is confidence that their child will be educated well at Lincoln.

Will the content be advanced enough? Will the concepts dealt with be complex enough? Will connections between disciplines be pointed out and encouraged (instead of siloing)? Will students who have learned no study skills prior to high school (because their intellect allowed them to compensate without learning any) be taught how to deal with something that's hard if/when they hit a subject that the student finds hard?

Research about project-based learning (PBL) is promising, but parents don't know that because it's relatively new. Do students do well on standardized tests? Do they learn research skills? Can PBL students understand the subject matter at a deeper level than students taught by traditional methods? Are they more deeply engaged in their work? The majority of parents don't know the answer to these questions. And they don't know whether the answers are the same or different for gifted students. If the principal of Lincoln were communicating this to parents, it would help. She is not.

But beyond that, there is the even bigger problem that very few families know whether they'll be assigned to Lincoln or not. Who's going to go there or has the option of going there will affect who's going to care about what Lincoln offers. And since no one knows that, fear prevails.

Many Seattle families, particularly SPED and HCC families, have been through a LOT already. The district has left us feeling nervous. And if one-size-fits-all has not traditionally fit your student, especially leery.

Anonymous said...

If 40% of all HC Roosevelt and Ballard students attend their local school then the percentage of freshpersons is surely over 50%.

Benjamin Leis said...

If you look at the current numbers the answer is mixed (See: http://discussapp.blogspot.com/2017/11/high-school-pathway-demographics.html) . Things are fairly even distributed at Ballard (no class is over 50%) and spikier at Roosevelt with probably over 50% in the freshman class and generally smaller in all other years.

As I said before substantial numbers of kids (even just from the north end) are still going to Garfield (and Ingraham). In fact the system needs all of this to occur in order to keep the buildings from bursting and you could interpret some of policy moves as incentives to have families move around and balance things out.

If Lincoln came back on the table as an alternative, I think its reasonable to interpolate the numbers of families that currently stay on the pathway as evidence that you could create viable cohorts there especially with the reference area families from Wallingford/QA/Magnolia who would go by default.

My feeling also is there is a strong crowd/peer effect to the choices everyone makes and that pathways (even new ones) continue to draw because it takes more effort to opt out.

But none of this happens in a vacuum. You can adjust the incentives and rules of the system to achieve any distribution you want in the end. So for instance, on startup IHS offered self contained honor classes which I'm sure contributed to the strong demand to go there initially. Likewise, the rerouting of the 48 I'd guess also had a negative effect on Garfield.

Anonymous said...


The Board may likely vote on this on Wednesday. If you like being steamrolled by Staff with zero input do nothing. If not contact everyone you know and ask them to send this back to the Operations Committee.

UGH

Anonymous said...

@option 2.5 "Lincoln could offer the magic formula to lure them away." Not from Roosevelt or Ballard they can't. Why? Those schools are close and already serving HC students. In the past couple of years there has been a huge shift away from Garfield.
Agree with Move on, Juicy Goofy and the other posters on this blog.

But be aware there are other people/parents (without HC kids) pressing a movement to MOVE all north end students to Lincoln & make it an HC school, because they think it is one solution to help solve capacity issues.

But the outcome would likely not work as they cannot force HC to attend Lincoln even if they make it an HC option. I truly think this effort is midguided at this point. Especially since so many HC are already at the future north end regional pathway schools and those schools are working for them.

The only way they can assure Lincoln will truly fill is to move boundaries. Every single parent I know in the BHS, IHS & RHS zones said they would choose neighborhood school instead.
H

Anonymous said...

We wouldn't! We have a middle schooler, although not an 8th grader, and a younger one, and we would've likely chosen Lincoln if it retained enough of a cohort via the mechanisms Ben pointed out.

Another H

Anonymous said...

@H, parents aren't "pressing a movement to MOVE all north end students to Lincoln & make it an HC school, because they think it is one solution to help solve capacity issues." Making it an HC pathway school doesn't MOVE students. Students aren't forced to attend an HC school. If HC students who live in the Ballard or Roosevelt zones want to stay at those schools, they still could...provided, of course, they are still in those assignment zones once the boundaries are redrawn. Which also means the district doesn't have to "lure" students away from Roosevelt and Ballard, since they can just redraw many of them out. Like they will.

It sounds like we're going to end up with a situation whereby HC students in the Roosevelt and Ballard areas get to go to their neighborhood school which is happy to meet their needs, while HC students in the Wallingford area will need to go to Garfield--which will likely have reduced advanced offerings given the smaller cohort, and which is increasingly becoming more anti-HC--or Lincoln, which also appears to have little interest in trying to meet the needs of HC students.

reality bites

Anonymous said...

@ Option 2.5, I suggest you think a little more deeply about the issue you raised. You said:

It's funny to me in a sad way when you say "the majority of parents all want their kids to be served in their neighborhood school" because that's demonstrably not true for families of HC students. There's a reason so many people have traveled so far to get to Garfield or Ingraham. There's a reason why Ingraham's HC enrollment is full. Families do choose to send some HC students to some high schools other than Garfield or Ingraham, but not that many. Families are absolutely NOT wanting to send large numbers of HC students to Rainier Beach, West Seattle, Chief Sealth, Franklin or Hale. So, when you say "the majority of parents all want their kids to be served in their neighborhood school" I call B.S. Families can send HC students to their neighborhood school right now. And how many do?

I call BS on you. The answer is right there in the first sentence, with the key word being "served." Parents want their kids to be served in their neighborhood school. Served means that they can get their needs met. For many HC students, that means access to advanced classes that are not available--or sufficiently available--at their neighborhood schools. In those cases, kids are essentially forced to go to Garfield or Ingraham instead. Most parents and students would love it if their neighborhood school offered enough sufficiently advanced classes for their HC students, as well as a sufficiently sized cohort of HC students to (a) ensure ongoing class availability, and (b) ensure sufficient contact with other HC students, which is often essential for HC student social/emotional health. (It's not always so great for your mental health to be an intellectual outlier, you know. HC students need opportunities to connect intellectually with others.) Sure, kids can GO to the neighborhood school now, but in many cases that school won't really SERVE them well. For some kids, and some schools, it will. For other kids, who have different needs, not so much.

The percentage that stay/go doesn't say anything about the interests of parents. Rather, it says more about the ability of those schools to meet, or try to meet, students' needs. Some schools are clearly better at it than others.

all types

Anonymous said...

Exactly all types, I was thinking along the same lines of what you so thoughtfully articulated when I read 2.5's post. I also think that although parents might understand a neighborhood school to be less than perfect as compared to Garfield, commute time and our increased traffic have had a big impact on these decisions. In addition, there are many parents (RHS & BHS) who prefer their kids stay in the neighborhood, and just accept those particular schools can serve them reasonably well.

I do think they serve them reasonably well, although not as many HC peers, not as many honors and AP science classes/sections available, and advanced curriculum pathways not clearly articulated. But the flip side is I am hearing that honors classes at some schools (Ingraham ex) are not as rigorous as some of the regular classes at BHS.
TR
K

Martin Saxer said...

The school board rejected the proposed HS HC pathway plan at tonight's board meeting. What happens next is a mystery to me though it seems that the Garfield overenrollment problem is going to need to be solved soon.

Doctor Hu said...

"Amendment 2 -- Approval of this item would include language in the Student Assignment Transition Plan for 2018-19 stating that, starting in the 2021-22 school year, students entering high school from a highly capable program or with a highly capable designation would have a default assignment to their neighborhood school. (Directors Geary, DeWolf and Patu) (This item added on 12/6)" Last minute amendment to Board Agenda

"Update: my understanding is that by voting down the SATP, vote for the amendment to end HCC high school pathways is now void." Melissa Westbrook

Curiouser and curiouser. What a shambles this "process" has become . . . . 

Benjamin Leis said...

I have not seen the video from the board meeting last night or the votes yet so I'm delaying setting up another thread but after I have time or a get a clear story on where we're at I will do so.

Anonymous said...

Thank Michael Tolley, Wyeth Jessie, Karri Campbell as their idea of outreach was ram this whole thing down the boards throat. What a crock.

Then there are the equity crusaders a high and mighty. Too bad they can't rub two facts together and start a fire and burn down HCC. If they could they would especially FWIW as she conflates every fact... So why not conflagrate every fact.

Equity should mean one group doesn't need to bus one hour away because they are mostly white, right.

Now we are back to square one. A new series of thoughtexchange about nothing to parade as engagement? Or how about this. Start Lincoln as the HCC site. Take teachers from GHS. That would have been needed there but because of capacity won't now. Right this would be a zero sum gain.

Sheesh

Anonymous said...

The board's voting on an amendment (all but Eden) to send them to neighborhood schools by 2021
tells you the direction. Burke made comments about no pathways at all for all schools and they can be served by MTSS (Multiple Tiered Support Services). Patu spoke about Franklin principal not waiting HC pathway, no HC designation, students to receive no "special" services and will be treated the same as every other student (read same curriculum, no same age peers). HC designation is given by the state.
parent.

Anonymous said...

@Sheesh-- "Start Lincoln as the HCC site. Take teachers from GHS."
"Watch the board meeting and listen to all the directors. I doubt that will happen. That is not direction they are heading.
parent

Doctor Hu said...

For the record, the Seattle School Board votes on future HC pathways went down as follows:

Director Burke moved (& Director Harris seconded) Amendment 1 to the Staff Recommended 5 + 1 Plan (3S + 2N + 1IBXN) (Option #3), which would have removed all pathway language from the 2018-19 Student Assignment Transitional Plan (SATP), so that HC pathways would be determined together with 2019-20 high school boundaries:
aye: Harris, Mack, Burke
nay: Patu, DeWolf, Geary, Pinkham
Amendment 1 fails 3/4

Director Geary moved (& Director DeWolf seconded) Amendment 2 to the Staff Recommended 5 + 1 Plan (3S + 2N + 1IBXN) (Option #3), which would require that HC pathways be established at all attendance area high schools (10 + 1IBXN Plan) in two years by 2020-21 (5S + 5N + 1IBXN) (Option #4):
aye: Harris, Burke, Patu, DeWolf, Geary, Pinkham
nay: Mack
Amendment 2 passes 6/1

Director Geary moved (& Director Patu seconded) Amendment 3 to the Staff Recommended 5 + 1 Plan (5S + 5N + 1IBXN) (Option #3) as amended by the Geary Amendment 2 two-year transition to District Vision 10 + 1 Plan (5S + 5N + 1IBXN) (Option #4), which would remove Franklin High School from the Staff Recommended 2019-21 5 + 1 Plan (Option #3) thus turning the transitional two-year amended staff recommended 5 + 1 Plan into a proposed Geary transitional 4 + 1 Plan (2S + 2N + 1IBXN) (new option) to be followed in two years by the proposed Geary District Vision 10 + 1 Plan (5s + 5N + 1IBXN) (Option #4):
aye: Harris, Mack, Burke, Patu, DeWolf, Geary, Pinkham
nay: none
Amendment 3 passes 7/0

Director Burke moved (& Director Mack seconded) Amendment 4 to the new Geary 4 + 1 Plan (2S + 2N +1IBXN) (new option) as amended by Geary Amendments 2 and 3, which would also remove Lincoln High School (and potentially Roosevelt and Ballard High Schools) from the proposed Geary transitional 4 + 1 Plan (new option) thus turning the proposed Geary transitional 4 + 1 Plan (2S + 2N + 1IBXN) into a proposed Burke transitional 5 + 1 Plan (2S + 3N + 1IBXN) (new option). Chair Harris queried whether Burke Amendment 4 was out-of-order to which SPS deputy general counsel confirmed it was allowed:
aye: Mack, Burke
nay: Harris, Patu, DeWolf, Geary, Pinkham
Amendment 4 fails 2/5

Main Motion moved Staff Recommended 5 + 1 Plan as amended by Geary Amendment 3 4 + 1 Plan (new option) transitioning by 2020-21 to Geary Amendment 2 District Vision 10 + 1 Plan (Option #4):
aye: Geary, Pinkham
nay: Harris, Mack, Burke, Patu, DeWolf
Staff recommended 2018-19 Student Assignment Transition Plan (SATP) as amended by Geary Amendment 3 (4 + 1 Plan) (new option) and Geary Amendment 2 (District Vision 10 + 1 Plan in two years transitioning all high schools to future HC pathways) (Option #4) fails 2/5
SPS deputy general counsel advises that SPS will accordingly continue to assign students according to current plan.

Amidst all the surprise (tempered by preemptive directorial remarks before votes were cast), Director Pinkham smiled and chuckled with Director Mack, while Director Geary threw her head back in a Shakespearean gesture and stared at the ceiling.

Anonymous said...

Along the lines of what all types posted, I agree that having the socio-emotional needs of peers is super important for HC all the way K-12. I don't think the group needs to be exclusive though in the classroom, but their do need to be some peers to whom they can relate. My kid mixes well with other kids and works well in a group. We have always involved her in activities with kids from a range of backgrounds. But was really lonely until having the opportunity of meeting HC kids with similar interests in middle HC.

This is same for high school where I fear smart HC girls who are interested in (& underrepresented in) fields like engineering will not get peer support if not grouped with like minded peers. This is an unintended consequence of "sending kids back to neighborhood schools." Even at schools like Ballard, I noticed boys overwhelmingly tend to dominate these clubs etc. I can imagine how it would be for these girls at some other high schools.

Directors if you are listening, keeping pathways are important.
HIMS Parent