Friday, May 4, 2018

May '18 Open Thread

We're heading towards the end of the year.  Last night I attended the STEAM fair at Jane Addams which was very impressive. There were a ton of exhibits by students especially from the Stem/Mesa classes. This  has extra resonance for me since I know many of the kids now through a variety of outlets including the ones who have done Math Club with me.

What interesting things are happening in your building?


The Advanced Learning Task Force page is back up again and the process seems to be restarting.


Anonymous said...

Mark your calendar! Wed, May 30th, 6-8 pm The Ballard High School Robotics team will be hosting an Open House/Ice Cream Social for current 8th graders/incoming 9th graders and their parents who are interested in joining our award winning FRC team.

Event will be held at Ballard High/ Room NW204 / Engineering Workshop. Parking is available in the lot behind the school; we’ll have student greeters or signs marking where to enter. Questions? Contact Sharon at

Anonymous said...

If your current high school does not have an active First Robotics team, you can request to join the team at Ballard.

Anonymous said...

Or better yet start a new one. There are lots of models to follow and other students who are potentially interested. Plus its a great chance to demonstrate leadership.

Anonymous said...

The issue is not student interest, the issue with operating at the level of First Robotics FRC (or First Tech FTC) is funding support. Also, my understanding is that FRC also requires alot more funding than FTC. At Ingraham for example, the FTC club which was active, is now not currently active due to funding. If there are kids interested but without enough support for this next year, some may be interested in joining Ballard's team for the moment. Also there are kids from Nova on Ballard's team. I assume because Ballard has a much higher enrollment, it generates more support.

Anonymous said...

Nova students could join Garfield's First Tech robotics team across the street, or no? Super convenient and Garfield's team advanced to the world championships this year.

Garfield Parent

Michael Rice said...

The main reason FRC is not active is more due to timing than anything else. You only have 6 weeks to get the robot designed, built and tested starting in mid January. Most students in robotics are IB diploma candidates and they cant make the time commitment to FRC. We have a strong and thriving FTC group, where there is more time to get the robot built and it happens during 1st semester.

Benjamin Leis said...

There's a 2E meeting tonight 5/14 at 7PM in the Cacadia E.S. Library:

"Hello 2e Seattle Families!

A reminder about our meeting in the Cascadia Elementary School library tomorrow.

Our guest speaker will be Corin Barsily Goodwin, Board President and Executive Director of the Gifted Homeschoolers Forum (GHS). In Corin's words: "she has been involved in raising awareness and support of twice exceptionality as an actual thing for over 15 years. She has presented in all the venues, published in all the publications, and really dislikes talking about herself. She is 2e, her husband is 2e, her biological and extra kids are all 2e, and even her cats are 2e." :)

Corin earned her undergraduate degree in Urban Studies (public policy) from San Francisco State University and did her graduate work at Georgetown University's McCourt School of Public Policy. Her early career included stints in policy analysis and in communications/social media at KPMG Peat Marwick, 3Com, Steelwedge, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and as a consultant. After becoming a parent to two twice exceptional children, she served as the Gifted/Special Needs Advisor for the HomeSchool Association of California and co-chaired their Legislative Committee. Corin founded GHF in 2004 to address a growing need for support and advocacy. She has been presenting workshops on giftedness, learning differences and homeschool related issues for many years.

About 61% of GHF's community self-identifies as homeschoolers and the rest are families currently using the school system, as well as education & medical professionals and others who care about twice exceptional children. GHF also works on outreach targeted at Gifted Cubed communities, which is where giftedness and twice exceptionality intersect with issues of race​ and​ class. "

Anonymous said...

@Garfield Parent - First Tech at Garfield could be great for Nova kids and I am sure there are kids from Nova and other schools at Garfield. Perhaps the students at Ballard (from Nova) wanted to be on a First Robotics Team or maybe the students live nearby.
Ballard has a First Robotics Team, not First Tech. Different size team, compete in different competition etc.
Also, Ballard also advanced to the world championship this year & won the world championship (out of 100 teams) last year. More info here on the differences between the varipus levels of teams
Anyway I think bottom line message from posting is that if your school is not currently offering a team for whatever reason, you may join a team at another school.

Anonymous said...

@Garfield Parent- My student did First Lego, First Tech and is now in First Robotics. FRC teams are a harder to find at the high school level. They are different. First Tech FTC designs smaller robots, smaller playing field, less $$ needed than First Robotics clubs. Both target high school kids, but First Tech also includes middle school kids. This link describes differences.

Anonymous said...

put a fork in hcc. this really started a few years ago when the hcc ac became a feckless sps stodge. should have known after the last tf. none of the recommendations signed into policy in '14, happened. oh well. devin bruckner's false statements crowding out others. this lead to dewolf saying hcc is 90 white (never corrected - must be, right?) and geary saying self contained is proof of industrial racism (even though she sent her kid to ibx - hs self contained classes and the only self contained hs classes for hcc) only a hypocrite would do that, right? or at least one with limited ethics.

why is that date the failure point? because hcc parents are given up or moved on. fool me once shame on you. fool me every chance you get, shame on the district. call me racist and my kids racist c'mon. the district did nothing to support this program. why? michael tolley has had a seemingly inexhaustible attack on hcc.

oh and there used to be a there, there. but s. martin just let it go. now it is a mix of honors for all in the south of the sc because there really is an equity issue once you get south of the ship canal (unless you are in qa and magnolia) but that also means you get a golden transfer north of the sc. martin was given real recommendations from the tf to make the delivery of hcc better. he did nothing. nothing. nothing. nothing.

martin could have pushed to support the program. instead he ate the poison apple of devin bruckner (board speaker stuffer and issue conflator). godspeed on that. there really isn't an equity problem with hcc. it is the equality issue. not enough blacks in classes in the south and none in the north. so the south is racist in comparison to the other classes there. that is just what prior board sup mgj and michael tolley wanted. appartheid right? bring on the divide and conquer. we started with 3 schools. there are now 12. yet there are only twice as many kids in the hcc. and they are talking about splitting rems, too.

no caps

Anonymous said...

@no caps

Please know that many others in history have felt your pain:

“Our poor country has fallen a prey to the conqueror. The noblest cause ever defended by the sword is lost. The noble dead that sleep in their shallow though honored graves are far more fortunate than their survivors. I thought I had sounded the profoundest depth of human feeling, but this is the bitterest hour of my life.”

Colonel John Singleton Mosby

Melissa Westbrook said...

I put in a public disclosure request to the district around some HC topics. Apparently it has generated a large volume of information that I will see in batches. Here's my blog post on the first installment.

Anonymous said...

Interesting on SBAC: There are no above-grade questions in math except in grade 3 (4 questions), grade 7 (5 questions) and grade 8 (3 questions). See for example Table 33 and Table B2 (page 61). So basically, when they say it's adaptive they mean it gets easier but not harder.

Anonymous said...

You can see the distribution of scores for a given test in a given grade by viewing the Washington State Report Card and clicking on "SBAC" in the green menu bar, then clicking "scale" by the go button. There seems to have been a more pronounced ceiling in the 2014-15 exam (was the 1st year not administered in an adaptive version?). Some of the results from 2015-16 and 2016-17 are suppressed (?).

Anonymous said...


Did you apply to the AL Task Force? Not that you're expected - just curious.

The year-long commitment is causing me to hesitate, yet, I know it's important.


Anonymous said...

Reminder the newest ALTF application deadline is on noon on this Thursday, May 24, 2018.

Please complete the following brief application form for consideration to this task force:

The superintendent of Seattle Public Schools will establish an Advanced Learning Task Force (ALTF) to review and make recommendations to the Superintendent and School Board related to the policies, procedures, and practices of advanced learning programs and highly capable services. This task force will support the district’s work on equitable access to advanced learning as directed in School Board Resolution No. 2017/18-10.

Applicants will be notified by email, if possible, or by phone no later than Friday, June 8, 2018.