Saturday, January 27, 2018

2018 Open Enrollment Questions (Which school should I choose?)

Open enrollment starts on February 5th.   There's obviously a great deal of uncertainty about the high school pathways.  I feel really bad for all the families stuck in the middle of this process and I promise I'll have a post 1/31 thread to discuss issues related to those changes once we have some clarity.

[Update: see for the final h.s. boundaries decisions]

In the meantime, what questions do you have for other parents at any of the various schools (elementary, middle or high school)?


Anonymous said...

Note that at community meeting with board members this weekend it was clarified that pending board vote, it is anticipated Lincoln would open to include both 9th and 10th HC. There would be a geosplit of HC from Garfield in 2019 (current 8th) and Lincoln attendance area HC would also fill the school.

In addition, it was clarified that HC (current 8th) who will be enrolled in neighborhood schools of BHS, RHS etc. in the north end in 2018 would also likely have a guaranteed pathway to Lincoln in 2019. This is pending board approval and vote.

In my opinion, given the BHS, RHS and other high school science pathway issue etc. the HC pathway schools may be the better option for current 7th and 8th (over neighborhood schools) for ensuring an adequate concentration of students needing same coursework for continuity of curriculum.

Regarding HC younger grades, we need to see if amendment will pass to send to neighborhood schools in 2021. Hopefully not without a clear and solid plan in place.


Anonymous said...

So why make the trek to GHS for 9th, just to be split to Lincoln in 10th? Why not start at RHS or BHS, if closer to home, if you anticipate your 10th grade pathway would still be Lincoln?

Will non-HC pathway schools offer a full year of Chemistry for 9th grade HC students, or will they only offer that option at HC pathway schools (how much have they really thought this through)? Then what science is offered for 10th?

Anonymous said...

Did anybody go to the Garfield info night last week? Was there any talk about how easy or hard it is to get electives?


Anonymous said...

The science pathway for HC students is no longer clear, so it's impossible to know how any high school--whether HCC pathway or not--will deal with it. It's all still TBD, may vary by school, by student (depending on what their prior school covered or not), etc. It's a big mess, an extremely poorly rolled out change. There's a lot of discussion of the new science sequence on the other blog.

Fremont Mama said...

Does anyone have personal experience with The Center School? We are thinking about enrolling our HCC 8th grader next year. We went on the tour last week and liked what we saw. The small size of the school and the art focus really appeal to our child and the principal seems open to working with HC students to make sure they are not repeating courses. We expect to do running start for parts of junior and senior year.

NESeattleMom said...

Fremont Mama,
It is very small. The two people I know who went there both had socializing conflicts. They were not HCC kids, and my sample is not scientific. I was excited for the child of friend to go there, but it did not work and that person transferred out. The second person told me themself that they couldn't stay there for a social reason. There may be reasons they chose that school that meant it wouldn't work anyway, nothing to do with that particular school. Anyway, if I were choosing, I would try to check it out really well by trying to have a "shadow" day, etc.

Benjamin Leis said...

I'll add a question of my own (that came up recently): At Nathan Hale what is the highest level Math class a 9th grader can take (and actually has been taken in the past)?

Anonymous said...

Qualitative information about Center: Know a number of kids who have gone there, including kids currently there. They love it. Great school back in the day. Then weak principal and weak downtown support brought it down. Newer principal, grudging leave it alone from downtown, though still less autonomy and money sadly than a decade ago, have it back to a school that those who like its vibe embrace. It is small, it does attract an artsy set and it is rigorous. No idea why so many HCC families sniff at it. Maybe it's because they are hardcore STEMers, which is not Center's MO. As would be expected the only student I know who went there and did not have a good experience was the one kid forced to go there by parents when he was sold on a different type of school. Kids entering high school do have opinions and if they aren't the same ones as parents it's surprising and tricky to work through but it should be at minimum a strong consideration. Good luck on the selection process. We criticize SPS a lot but at the end of the day its high schools are probably the strongest part of the K12 experience. It's nice to have great options.

Seen It

Anonymous said...

My child, a ninth grader at Garfield, got all desired electives in 9th grade. It may be more difficult in later years, but then again, when Lincoln opens, it may get easier.

I would look at the single year classes in Garfield vs. RHS/BHS. At Garfield in 9th grade, my child took Honors Algebra II, Honors Chem, Spanish III. Next year, the plan is Honors precalc, honors physics, AP Spanish, AP World History, honors-for-all LA, band. Not sure what the freshman classes would be without HCC. They may not be set up to offer the advanced science class freshman year.

Also, when we were choosing, we mapped the bus routes. Garfield was about an additional 20 min compared to our route to RHS.

Garfield supporter

Anonymous said...

My child attended the open house at Garfield and we attended the tour. It is really, really great school. It reminds me of Hamilton in all the positive ways, but even better. In the classes we witnessed, it was apparent the students were engaged. Were told class sizes are not past 30. How could that be even with overcrowding? We are BHS neighborhood and prior to the visit almost disregarded Garfield. I am really glad we actually visited. Really good vibe. The commute is biggest drawback, but apparent HC have really strong community at that school.

Anonymous said...

@anonymous Jan 22 3:39- "So why make the trek to GHS for 9th, just to be split to Lincoln in 10th? Why not start at RHS or BHS, if closer to home, if you anticipate your 10th grade pathway would still be Lincoln? Will non-HC pathway schools offer a full year of Chemistry for 9th grade HC students, or will they only offer that option at HC pathway schools (how much have they really thought this through)? Then what science is offered for 10th?"

We are also trying to figure that out as well. Garfield overwhelmingly has more HC peer community, that is apparent. But as you mentioned distance. For the long term, if grandfathering at Garfield not an option, we think a pathway school will be best bet for ensuring adequate peers for curriculum given all the changes. If Lincoln becomes the north end HC pathway school in 2019 for 10th HC, we will likely follow that path.

SusanH said...

I can add comments to a couple of these:

1. Garfield. I have a 10th grader there. He's never experienced any trouble getting his requested classes. The only electives I've heard scheduling problems about are Spanish classes. There always seems to be a shortage of Spanish teachers. That seems to be district-wide. There are frequent scheduling glitches during the first week of school, but the counselors are great at sifting through everything and assigning the right classes, and it generally works out fine.

2. Center. I have a 9th grader at Center. She's not HCC, and on-level classes are perfect for her, but I could see that some HCC kids would avoid it because it doesn't offer a ton of AP classes. But if your child is thinking of filling in with some Running Start, that could work. We love the new principal, and I think the school is really moving into a positive, healthy direction. I was a little surprised at first that it tends to attract a lot of students who have anxiety, or IEPs for certain things, but I think that's just a case of people specifically seeking out a small school environment. My daughter doesn't have those needs, but she LOVES the school, and has made friends. So far so good. A lot of people get Center and Nova mixed up. I feel like Center is much more of a traditional school (you take the standard curriculum); it's just filled with a lot of artsy people.

Anonymous said...

Would love to get clarity on how the new 24 credit schedule works & how it will impact course sequencing/timing. Sounds like we will barely hear about that in time to include in decision process.

-8th heading (hopefully) to Garfield

Anonymous said...

@ 8th, to be clear, it's the 24-credit requirement, not the 24 credit schedule. The schedule--how SPS decides to make it easier for students to all obtain those 24 credits--is still up in the air. The current schedule at most high schools is 6 periods per day, which results in 24 credits max if you have a full schedule of HS classes all 4 years. There was an earlier recommendation to adopt a 3x5 schedule (3 trimesters of 5 classes/day), but it had a lot of problems and after parents (and maybe administrators?) highlighted the challenges it quietly went away. Now there is apparently a proposal to move to an 8-period schedule (presumably alternate days of 4 classes per day), but there has been no public engagement on that proposal either--and it, too, has some challenges that merit discussion. Options such as summer school for credit retrieval or addition of a 7th period for those who need it or requiring Running Start (you can earn more credits faster) are all other ways to potentially promote 24 credits, but as far as I know the district hasn't considered them.

Which is all a long way of saying that MANY of us are in the same boat as you--we would love to get clarity on this issue!


Anonymous said...

An 8 class a day schedule does not add up to enough credit hours for AP class requirements with AP classes in one slot, so they need two slots, is how it was explained to me. So you can take at most 3 AP classes and 2 other classes(graduation requirements). Its a problem for HC students because they tend to be taking math and science AP classes just in the progression their junior and senior year, and then they only have one slot left, and so have to choose between language, language arts, or social studies. I am curious about how Ingraham intends to deal with the new 24 credit requirement. IB also has instructional hour requirements.


Anonymous said...

Does anyone know how well Eagle Staff serves advanced learning/Spectrum kids? We have one kid in HCC there and really want our second kid to have the same experience, but he keeps barely missing the HCC cut-off. I realize I don't even know....are Spectrum/HCC classes combined? Thanks.


Owler said...

My friend said her Spectrum-level daughter is not in the HCC level classes. It's a bit of a disappointment for them.

Anonymous said...

SL @ January 22, 2018 at 3:15 PM

"In addition, it was clarified that HC (current 8th) who will be enrolled in neighborhood schools of BHS, RHS etc. in the north end in 2018 would also likely have a guaranteed pathway to Lincoln in 2019. This is pending board approval and vote. "

Was there any discussion of students who are identified as "HC" but are not in the HCC cohort in 8th grade? Would they be able to enter the Lincoln program? Now, those students are not guaranteed any HC option and will, according to the school fine print, "Students Identified as Highly Capable in grades 9-12 Students found eligible for the Highly Capable designation in grades 9-12 will receive HC services at the high school in which they are currently enrolled or in their attendance area school." (Reading this blog, I know that many are, to understate, dubious about "will receive HC services at . . . their attendance area school.")

Also, looking at the numbers of HC-identified students in the various high schools (Roosevelt, Ingraham, Garfield), we noted a jump at Roosevelt last year. I was guessing, because the limit at Ingraham meant that some students ended up at their neighborhood school, Roosevelt. How are those students being accommodated at Roosevelt?

I am deeply appreciative of all of you who remain engaged and clarify information here at the HCC blog. I know that our concerns might be a niche -- but will update if we learn anything in our research.


Anonymous said...

The jump at Roosevelt was families opting in, not families who did not get into Ingraham. I believe those families tended to go to Garfield instead. We are finding it to be a good experience with a solid array of courses, though we are a bit wary of changes the new principal is considering making. My understanding is that those are district driven. So far the academics are identical to what he would have taken at Garfield, only with a shorter commute, and I believe it will remain this way.


Anonymous said...

The jump was also noticed at BHS as well and was also due to an overall increase in student population in the north end schools. We have an overall enrollment bubble and HCC bubble right now. The numbers was around 53 HCC freshman at BHS and around 71 or so at RHS. Still lower though than the overall HCC numbers at Garfield or Ingraham. Garfield has the most HCC kids.

Anonymous said...

@spinning " Was there any discussion of students who are identified as "HC" but are not in the HCC cohort in 8th grade? Would they be able to enter the Lincoln program? Now, those students are not guaranteed any HC option".

No that was not discussed. Seems like they should be able to opt in and receive services.

LEVM said...

This year’s incoming 9th grade is supposed to be the last to grandfather into Garfield- per a board member. Hoping to see that in writing after this eeek’s meeting.

Anonymous said...

@LEVM, I believe the final page of this document has now captured that "in writing".

Anonymous said...

IB options or anyone with a student already taking IB at Ingraham question for you. What other options are there if an HC student does not want to do the entire diploma? We are concerned about the huge level of homework we are hearing and stress, as compared to Garfield's AP route. It sounds like the kids have little to no time for after school activities.

NEmom said...

If a student doesn't want to do the full IB diploma, they can still take individual IB classes, the same they might take AP classes.

Anonymous said...

Dear NE, IB options, Ingraham parents- Are you (or anyone else with a kid on that track) aware if that significantly changes the amount of homework and stress level of IB? We have heard the hours spent on homework are much more significant with IB and the kids are under alot of stress in comparison. For those with high anxiety HC kids who spend alot of time on homework already in middle school (3 hours), trying to see if it is appropriate.
Thanks in advance

Anonymous said...

@anonymous 11:29 AM-Thank you for the link. For reference, here's the grandfathering language that's included in Amendment N:

High School Grandfathering Plan
Staying in Current Assignments: When the new boundaries and pathways take effect in 2019-
• All students in the Highly Capable (HC) pathways at Garfield and Ingraham will be
• All 11th and 12th graders in fall 2019 will be grandfathered.
• All 10th graders in areas that have a changing attendance area assignment, but not to
Lincoln High School, will be grandfathered at their existing assignment.
Changing Assignments: When the new boundaries and pathways take effect in 2019-20:
• All 10th graders attending Ballard or Roosevelt in 2018-19 as their attendance area
school and residing in areas that have a changing assignment to Lincoln High School in
the fall of 2019 will be geo-split, meaning they would start 10th grade at Lincoln High
Incoming 9th Grader Assignments: When the new boundaries and pathways take effect in 2019-
• All 9th graders in fall of 2019 will be assigned to their attendance area high school based
on the approved 2019-20 boundaries.
• Students in HC entering 9th grade may opt into their HC pathway school.
• Any student may apply to another high school through school choice. Seats are based
on space available.

I think this will go to a vote during tomorrow's board meeting.

-Seattle parent

Anonymous said...

Also new amendment # 5 Burke & Mack. It would allow a small amount of HC 10th at Lincoln. I would be concerned they will have enough HC students as 10th will be grandfathered at Ingraham, Garfield, but I assume they will allocate mitigation funding. I am also wondering if this means HC 10th also have an option to remain at Ballard & Roosevelt if their area changes to Lincoln. They are a transition group.

Amendment 5 to Approval of the 2019-20 High School Growth Boundaries Plan and High
School Highly Capable Pathways for 2019-20 and 2020-21: Provide 9
th and 10th grade highly capable students in the new Lincoln pathway area the option to attend Lincoln, and allow all 9th grade highly capable eligible students district-wide to attend their pathway school.

Benjamin Leis said...

The amendments are certainly changing quickly. I found this one to be confusingly titled but reading the actual language:

1) It allows any HC qualified 8th grader to enter an HC pathway high school even if they didn't attend an HC pathway middle school.

2) It also allows a one year window to do a guaranteed transfer to Lincoln in 2019-20 for north end HC qualfied students.

There is no language about remaining in Ballard/Roosevelt if you are in the boundary zone. We're really close to the actual vote and so far that type of grandfathering has not been proposed.

Ingraham IBX Student said...

For anyone with questions about Ingraham and IB, I highly encourage you to attend either the Ingraham Open House (Tuesday the 6th at 7 PM) or the Ingraham school day tour (Thursday the 8th starting at 8:55 AM). There will be many people there (including myself) ready and willing to answer questions!

Anonymous said...

Ingraham IBX student- Thank you. If you are reading this blog, may I ask how many hours on average do you spend on homework per night, what year are you & are you taking the hardest HL classes in IB or some easier HL courses/more of a balance?

NEmom said...

Hi. I had heard that SPS was going to lift the cap on HCC enrollment into Ingraham this year. In response to my email inquiry to confirm they said: "There will be additional seats added at Ingraham for IBX/HCC students above the 90 student cap used in previous years because of capacity issues at Garfield. We anticipate that the cap will be raised by enough to accommodate the number of HCC students who were waitlisted last year. Last year we had approximately 40 students left on the waitlist for IBX/HC at Ingraham.


Enrollment Planning"

Ingraham IBX Student said...

Hi 8th. I am an IBX senior, meaning I finished the full IB diploma program last May and am now taking electives / other classes that I didn't get to take during IB. When I was in the IB program, I HLed in Literature and History (required as HLs at Ingraham, though I did choose Literature over Language and Literature) and Biology. For my SLs, I took Math, Japanese, and Philosophy. (Let me know if that makes sense - IB has a lot of strange acronyms!)
The amount of homework per night really depends on what classes you're taking and where you are in the program. My sophomore year / the first year of IB was fairly mellow - there was a larger increase in work for me between 8th and 9th than between 9th and 10th/first year IB. However, by second year, the work load had gone up significantly. The second year of IB is a tough one, unavoidably. Time management and organization make a huge difference here. That being said, it's not undoable. I know people who were active in sports and the arts and still managed to score highly on their exams. I myself have a part time job that takes up a lot of my time, but through prioritizing and scheduling was definitely able to make it work.
Hope that helps. Let me know if you have any more questions. Hope to see you at Open House or tours!