Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Choosing a High School

Open enrollment starting to get closer. So its time for the annual High school choice thread.
Ask all your questions here.


Michael Rice said...

If anyone has questions about Ingraham, I will be happy to answer them. If I don't know the answer, I will do my best to find out.

Anonymous said...

Just got the email that DD passed the cutoff for HCC as a rising 9th grader. She's zoned for Hale but we will probably try for an IBX seat at Ingraham since that gives her more options. Does the new construction/increased enrollment space at Ingraham likely mean all IBX requests will be honored? Not really inclined to consider Lincoln as the commute would be a pain....

Anonymous said...

Oh -- does anyone know what this means (from the transportation service standards):

"Ingraham students residing outside the Ingraham attendance area may receive supplemental District arranged transportation to augment ORCA cards as required."

One logistical issue for us with choosing Ingraham is that there is no cross-town Metro bus on 125th/130th. Just wondering if there might be standard yellow bus routes we could access, since there is a decent size HCC contingent in IBX.

LakeCityMom (forgot to sign the comment directly above -- that is mine, too).

Anonymous said...

Metro service to IHS is limited in the AM, so they have a few yellow bus shuttle routes. In the afternoon a bus takes students to Northgate transit center. There have been some issues with yellow buses arriving on time, especially since the start time flip.

Anonymous said...

Yellow bus shuttle also picks up on 85th. Call the office to confirm shuttle routes.

JLardizabal said...

We were very impressed by the West Seattle HS Open House: Strong course offerings, and a variety of wrap-around services to support students. We're hopeful this will become a great pathway.

Benjamin Leis said...

Posting for a viewer:

"I know this thread is very old but I hope to connect with some of you. My daughter just applied to TS. Very high ACT scores without preparation and 4.0 GPA in a very demanding program. I was very excited at first but now I am second guessing myself. She has the scores for IVY league schools. So I have been thinking, will it be better to wait and have her apply to such schools or do the TS if accepted? I know it's not a guarantee she would be accepted at an IVy league. So if we make her wait for that reason alone, we would end up at UW anyways. My daughter says it would be nice to be an IVy league student but she thinks she could do it at the grad school level. I do worry. What if she gets derail at UW? Will she succeed getting into her desired field? Will she make close friends? We moved here from NC this year and she has not made close friends. "

(Note: threads close automatically after a month or so and I don't usually let comments through since the chance of others seeing them is low)

NESeattleMom said...

What is TS?

Benjamin Leis said...

Ah didn't catch that: TS = UW Transition School.

Anonymous said...

If you want to leave college options more open or want to take advantage of merit aid opportunities, or just think a more gradual transition to college would be beneficial, Running Start could be an option. Students can take dual credit classes as juniors and seniors in high school for the cost of books and fees. Many credits can transfer to UW (or other public universities), potentially reducing the time and cost of undergrad. The course options are somewhat limited at the community college level (they also vary by location), but they generally have more advanced math and science options than SPS high schools, and it's likely other high school students will be in some of the classes.

Anonymous said...

To TS or not TS is a complicated question, and it really depends on the kid and family.

The merit aid issues mentioned by the previous poster can be an important consideration for some, as eligibility for many merit scholarships is limited to high school seniors. There are always other scholarship options once in college, but once you're there you're no longer such a standout, at least initially. Also as mentioned, if financial issues are a concern, Running Start--and, I'll add, AP, IB and CIHS classes--can earn college credits while in high school. You may be able to save a year or two of college tuition, whereas if you go the TS route you essentially add a year of UW tuition (since only one TS class counts for UW credit).

It sounds to me, however, as if the question of interest is really about status and getting into the best schools and majors. She may have the grades for Ivy League schools, but in reality, so do many kids--so you're right, it's not guarantee. Her chances might indeed be good when the time comes, but I have to ask--why the Ivy focus? And why does your daughter think it "would be nice to be an Ivy league student"? A lot of factors besides perceived prestige should probably go into one's college selection process.

You expressed concern that she might get "derailed" at UW. If you mean that she could get more involved in other things and lose some of her focus on academics (or a particular academic track), that's a risk in high school, too, when there are many more opportunities to get involved in clubs, sports, social life, etc. Some kids also burn out a little. In fact, one could argue that getting derailed from a singular focus could be a good thing, a part of growing up and engaging with the world...

If, however, you meant that the act of attending UW for undergrad might decrease her chances of ultimately ending up at an Ivy, that may be true in some cases. Think of it this way--as a high school senior applying to colleges, she'll be competing against other high school seniors. If she still has top grades, top scores, comes from respected school, has great extracurriculars and letters of rec and personal narratives, she'll probably fare pretty well in the process. As a UW senior applying for grad school, however, things could be a little tougher. For example, even if she has a great GPA, high GRE scores, great experience/letters/narratives, etc., she's still--potentially--coming from a weaker school. UW is a highly ranked school in some fields, not so highly in others, so her undergraduate major and desired graduate field could might come into play. If she's coming out of UW with an undergraduate degree in a field in which UW is strong (e.g., top 10 in computer science), that will be a positive in grad school applications. If she majors in a field in which UW is ranked much lower, she'll be competing for the much smaller number of graduate school spots against a lot of others who have undergraduate degrees in much higher ranked schools. Of course, school ranking is only a small piece of the puzzle--what you actually DO while in undergrad school is much more important. But getting recommendations from professors who have more of a "name" helps, and those highly ranked departments are also more likely to have other opportunities to help their students learn and develop (e.g., more money/resources, job/intern partnerships with industry, research opportunities, etc.).


Anonymous said...


The more important consideration, in my eyes, is what does your daughter want to do for the next 4 years? Will she be happy in high school, and is she likely to find sufficient challenge--and a social group--there? Why do you think she hasn't made close friends in middle school? If it's because she's intellectually out of sync with students her own age, that's not likely to change, and she may find more like minds in TS (although TS cohorts vary greatly from year to year in terms of their cohesiveness). If the idea of high school and proms and teams and clubs and all that--with maybe some college classes on the side and/or during summer--sounds fun, let her enjoy her childhood and see what happens with colleges down the road. There's no rush! But if high school sounds like it's likely to be an unpleasant experience and she "needs" the stimulation and opportunities of college sooner, consider TS. TS is no picnic and there are a lot of trade-offs in going to college early, but in some cases it can be the best bet. In some cases it's hard to know, and you just make the best decision based on the information available at the time. Also keep in mind that some kids decide TS isn't for them mid-year and they go "back" to high school. Some don't graduate from TS and end up in high school the following year. And even for those who graduate from TS, there is no requirement to move on to TS--you can always opt to return to the traditional path if that seems best.

Anonymous said...

TS is not the only early entry point. Robinson Center also offers the UW Academy - students apply as 10th graders and enroll as UW freshman in what would have been their junior year of high school. Some SPS students have gone this route.

Anonymous said...

True, but the "Academy" approach doesn't really solve the poster's dilemma, aside from delaying the fear-of-missing-out-on-a-potential-Ivy-League-education decision for a couple years. But maybe time would provide greater clarity in that regard. :)

Anonymous said...

Considering Garfield? Prospective students and parents are invited to tour next Wednesday morning, Jan 16th, from 9:30-10:30am:

Also there will be a more informal event the following evening (Thursday Jan 17th) for incoming 9th graders:

Go Bulldogs!

Simon said...

Questions about Ingraham and IB/IBX:

We have a current HCC middle schooler, and we are interested in Ingraham over Lincoln for IB/IBX, also because it's a more mature program and a better overall commute. So, here are some general questions:

1. What is the exact difference between IB and IBX? Is it just pacing/sequencing, or are there other differences? My understanding is you need two world languages to complete IB/IBX--what languages are the options? (We're already doing French.)

2. If you are an HC student trying to get into Ingraham for IB/IBX, with the additional seats, is that now pretty much guaranteed, or is there a wait-list?

3. If we don't get into Ingraham, do we lose our spot at Lincoln?

4. If we Ingraham through the HC-option school thing, would we be able to do IB, or would we have to do IBX?


Anonymous said...

1.) IBX is now called "early entry" IB. There is no difference except when a student can access IB classes. The IB curriculum requirements are the same for all students. With the traditional IB pathway, IB classes are available only in 11th/12th grades, but - and this is important - students can choose whether or not to pursue the full IB Diploma. The diploma requires taking 6 IB classes (which is really 9, as 3 of them are 2 year classes) over the course of two years, in addition to taking a zero period TOK class, writing an Extended Essay (EE), and submitting CAS (reflection logs for volunteer work, clubs, etc.). Or a student can choose to take mostly IB classes, but not pursue the full diploma.

If a student chooses the Early Entry IB pathway (IBX), they start the IB Diploma as a 10th grader and complete it as an 11th grader. This is the only way to access IB courses before 11th grade, and they have to commit to pursuing the full diploma. Senior year, however, is less defined and with the now smaller IBX cohorts, there may be fewer courses available for a rigorous full schedule. They also have the option of graduating early (after 11th, if they've completed the requirements for an IB Diploma) or going to Running Start.

Either way, students need to have had two years of the same WL (French or Spanish, I'd check with the school about Japanese) before starting the 2 year IB Diploma, as the IB WL exam is taken after the 4th year (students can also take the IB HL exam if they are in their 5th year of a WL in what is their 2nd year of the IB program).

2.) Who knows. It changes every year. SPS enrollment seems to control the numbers.

3.) Can't say. Read the latest assignment plan. I'd assume Lincoln would be guaranteed for 9th, if listed 2nd on school choice form and submitted on time.

4.) IB or IBX. Students make the choice in 9th. With the change in HS science, it's unclear what science options will be available for 10th grade (HC students have taken honors chemistry in 9th and general physics in 10th) - ask IHS what's planned.

Ingraham is an IB school, but they do have AP math courses - AP Calc, AP Stats, and AP CS. That said, AP Calc BC is only offered when they have enough students (similar to the situation you may face at Lincoln). When making the choice, I'd consider what activities your child wants to pursue outside of core classes. IB can leave limited time for outside activities, yet IHS has sports fields and a nearby pool, and robotics, rocketry, drama, band, etc.

Anonymous said...

RE: IB/IBX, more to help address your questions:

1. I don't think you need 2 different world languages, but rather that you need to have completed 2 high-school level years of the same language before entering the IB program. In other words, if your student is in French I in 9th grade, they would not be ready for IBX (early entry IB) in 10th grade (unless they maybe did an intensive program over the summer? UW has them...). If they take French 2 in 10th grade, they could then take French 3 and 4 during the regular IB program. However, if they took 2 years of middle school French (equivalent of one year of HS), they might be in French 2 in 9th grade, so they could do IBX (taking French 3 and 4 in 10th and 11th, assuming they are offered.) The goal is to demonstrate more advanced proficiency in one language, not a basic level of proficiency in two.

2. Last I heard, an HC-eligible student who wanted to opt into IHS IBX during the choice period was guaranteed a spot, but yes, things are never clear and often change...

3. I don't think you'd lose your Lincoln spot if you didn't get into IHS. Be very clear on your choice form, however, that you definitely want an HCC pathway of some sort, with preference 1 being IHS, and preference 2 LHS. (In the past I often wrote additional notes on my choice form before turning it in in person, so it was very clear to whoever read it. Often the boxes or spaces aren't all that clear, and I think the people who read and enter the data into the system can easily make mistakes. Having a form with asterisks and notes on it makes it look different, so they may pay closer attention and/or better understand what you want. If they do online submission now, however, that may not be an option.)

4. No, you don't have to commit to IB vs. IBX right up front. I don't think you even have to end up doing IB at all, though my impression is that most HC students who choose the IHS pathway do one or the other.

Decisions, decisions

Anonymous said...

One more thing to be aware about Ingraham is that in recent years they have been encouraging HC to take IB over IBX. Last I heard less than 1/4 of entering students (25 or so) were choosing IBX. If your child does not take IBX, accelerated courses will be either limited or not available for 9th and 10th grade. In contrast, all the other schools with large amounts of HC students including Garfield BHS, RHS and likely Lincoln students can start taking AP courses in 10th.

Also, BHS & RHS if they are a reference school choice for you, are actually not very much different than so called "pathway schools" in recent years due to the large numbers of HC students who have enrolled.

In fact, BHS has close to 92 HC 9th grade freshman this year which is somewhat akin to historical yearly entering freshman numbers (90) at Ingraham. RHS has 79 HC 9th.

For those who are interested, Ingraham had 125 HC this year and Garfield 177 HC. Both those schools had much higher numbers than average this past year. Many students knowing they would be rezoned to Lincoln (from BHS & RHS zone) were offered grandfathering if they chose Ingraham or Garfield. They did not want to move schools in 10th. We also have a bubble of HC kids at this grade.

Lincoln may end up drawing most HC in the future. I have no idea what we would do if we had a graduating 8th grader. However for those choosing high schools, if BHS & RHS are your neighborhood schools they currently have tons of spectrum students, kids taking math two years ahead, biotech students taking 1 year ahead science and students who might have qualified for HC at some point had they been tested. I would also check them out as they are established schools with some great programs and clubs.

Anonymous said...

Great, spot-on info on Ingraham above. As the parent of a student who started the IB diploma program in 10th grade, I’ll add one clarification. HCC kids in 9th grade are tracked into honors classes for literature and composition, history, and science, and math, so I don’t think it’s correct to say that access to accelerated courses is limited or not available. That may be more true for 10th grade, however, compared to schools with many more AP options for 10th graders.

I get the sense that many HCC students are waiting to start the diploma program until 11th grade either because they’re busy with extra curriculars and don’t want to feel rushed through high school and/or to allow an extra year to mature and make sure they’re ready to keep on top of things and succeed in IB. The program administrators seem to have pushed the message that waiting is usually better, in order to reduce the number of students who struggle.

For my student, however, it felt like 10th grade would be a holding year just waiting to move ahead, so they started the IB diploma program in 10th. It was definitely the right choice for my student.

An overview of the paths to the IB diploma program, per a pdf from Feb. 2018:

Anonymous said...

One caveat: When students follow the IBX pathway (starting in 10th), it's all or nothing. If they start it, they need to stick with it. They will not allow students to stay in their IB classes if they are not fulfilling IB diploma requirements.

Students starting in 11th, however, have the option of becoming certificate candidates rather than full diploma candidates. They take the IB exams for a given class, but don't fulfill the added requirements of CAS, EE, and TOK. They also have more flexibility in course selection since they no longer have to stick with the rigid course requirements laid out for the IB diploma candidates. While there are some honors courses available in 9th and 10th (and students can also take AP Calc or AP Stats as 9th and 10th graders if they are working ahead of the traditional HC math pathway), science seems to be the weak link. The 10th grade WH class is also a single semester, not year long.

Anonymous said...

Being labeled as honors does not mean accelerated. Taking an AP course in 9th or 10th grade is accelerated. Honors classes versus non honors classes are very hit or miss and parents should be aware that the label really means next to nothing. Some honors classes are sometimes much easier than subjects that may have an honors option at some schools.

The 9th grade honors classes at Ingraham are not cohorted or tracked any differently than other schools that also have some separate honors classes. Honors courses at Ingraham and elsewhere are open to all their population. We do not have a student at Ingraham, but have heard from someone with a child at Ingraham and another at RHS courses labeled honors are hit or miss. It is dependent upon subject and school and student demographics.

Schools have courses that have honors and non-honors options, or courses without an honors option, or at RHS many courses can be taken for honors credit. Honors for all 9th grade LA are also offered at some schools.

But the overall population of students taking those courses also vary from school to school. More affluent schools with very strong student populations also might not offer an honors version of a course because the general course version is so challenging, it makes no sense. It's often not a apples to apples comparison.

Anonymous said...

Next year Ingraham adds 500 seats. I have a hunch (we have not yet heard) those seats will be open to all students in north Seattle. It sure as heck won't be exclusively for HC students, as the grand district plan is to disperse the program to as many schools as possible. In fact I would not be surprised if they go back to the cap of 90 HC.

The IBX program really is a program at Ingraham developed for HC. It is a shame that program did not develop like the Interlake program. What the majority of HC students are currently taking (or being sold on) is really nothing unique for them.

And given the change in the past years of so many HC students attending neighborhood schools such as RHS, BHS over pathway schools what does the term pathway really even mean anymore?

It seems the term pathway is now a marketing term by the district to shuffle students where they want for them to "balance out" the population. They did not want Lincoln to become a pathway school, as the demographic will be too affluent. I would not be surprised if they eliminate the Lincoln pathway in 2 years.

Benjamin Leis said...

This is my periodic reminder to either use an authenticated account or sign each post with a handle/alias.

Anonymous said...

And given the change in the past years of so many HC students attending neighborhood schools such as RHS, BHS over pathway schools what does the term pathway really even mean anymore?

Please keep in mind that RHS and BHS are not representative of all high schools. For a student who would otherwise be assigned to a neighborhood school with few accelerated or advanced classes, the pathway can mean a whole lot—both academically and socially. It’s not just a marketing term.

While it does seem the district uses HCC to shuffle students where they want for them to "balance out" the population, I’m skeptical that the district “did not want Lincoln to become a pathway school, as the demographic will be too affluent.” Making it a pathway school likely does not make it more affluent, and it may even make it less affluent than if it were limited to Wallingford/Fremont/QA/Magnolia students.

As to your comment that you “would not be surprised if they eliminate the Lincoln pathway in 2 years,” I feel the same—but not for the same reason. I don’t think it has anything to do with neighborhood affluence, since removing the Lincoln pathway does nothing to address affluence. Rather, I think they may eliminate the Lincoln pathwY in a few years because they’ve stated their intent is to serve all HC students in their neighborhood schools, eliminating HCC pathways altogether. (But some board members do recognize how hard this would be, especially in schools with few HC students; there’s a reason we have pathways, you know. Critical mass.)

RHS/BHS bubble

Anonymous said...

@RHS/BHS bubble

The district does use HCC to shuffle students and historically HCC WAS intentionally placed at lower socio-income schools. I don't think we can deny that fact. I agree that some students who have neighborhood high schools who cannot offer them peers, access to the right courses etc. do need a pathway school. For that reason I highly doubt the district will be able to eliminate pathways altogether. However there are also many demonstrating that they do not who are intentionally choosing RHS & BHS. Regarding these schools in particular there does not seem to be much difference when you do have a critical mass, as well as a course pathway. In this regard the district has partially succeeded (unofficially in the north end) with their former plan (voted down by board) of offering more neighborhood pathways.


Anonymous said...

Honors classes versus non honors classes are very hit or miss and parents should be aware that the label really means next to nothing. ...The 9th grade honors classes at Ingraham are not cohorted or tracked any differently than other schools that also have some separate honors classes.

Since the poster seemed to be responding to my comment that HCC 9th graders were tracked into 9th grade honors classes at Ingraham but the poster doesn't have a student at Ingraham, I wanted to say that I agree “honors” doesn’t mean the same thing at all schools. And I also agree that at any school, classes and teachers can be hit or miss. However, I was specifically talking about Ingraham 9th grade honors.

As a parent, I had the sense that the 9th grade honors classes were the right next-in-sequence classes for students coming up from HCC in middle school (though I believe they are open to any academically strong students who meets requirements). In fact, teachers in most of my student’s 9th grade honors classes were quite clear in their presentations to parents that their classes were geared specifically toward preparing students for IB, and that they would give feedback on readiness by mid-year for any student considering entering IB in 10th grade.

While the meaning of “honors” may vary widely across the district, it’s hard to see how it will lose its meaning at Ingraham, given the need to prepare students for IB.

Anonymous said...

"While the meaning of “honors” may vary widely across the district, it’s hard to see how it will lose its meaning at Ingraham, given the need to prepare students for IB."

I would like to chime in here to respond to this statement, but am not original poster. First of all some honors courses labeled honors at Ingraham could "hardly be called honors" according to a couple of HC parents I know. There are some who do not agree and others who lament a lack of advanced options as compared to other schools especially in 10th grade if taking regular IB.

In addition, you are making assumptions that schools such as Garfield, RHS & BHS honors classes are not preparing those students similarly for their subsequent AP courses. Yet it sounds like you do not have a child at any of those schools.

This is the same at multiple other schools with large amounts of HC, spectrum and other academically strong kids. Some of those schools also have many more spectrum and otherwise strong students than IHS. Many of the honors, or regular if no honors option is offered, courses at those schools are preparation for AP classes. One example, BHS offers a year long (as opposed to Ingraham's 1 sememster) honors world history. The class is preparation for the subsequent AP world history class offered in 10th and covers the first half of the material. In addition some classes not labeled honors at BHS (Ex Chemistry, Spanish etc) are also often strong preparation for subsequent AP courses many students can access in 10th.

Honors classes may not be offered in a subject at a school because there is no need. The student demographic is very strong and the regular class is deemed hard enough and honors quality.

Anonymous said...

One parent I know on why her HC child did not choose Ingraham's regular IB, "did not want two easy years followed by two hard years which most IHS HC kids end up doing". Also did not want them to start IBX and commit to a rigid pathway in 10th and be finished in 11th. Instead wanted the opportunity for challenging and AP classes for all 4 years combined with adequate time for band, clubs and activities.

Ingraham is great for many HC students. But other schools are actually better for many HC students. Bottom line is parents do need to understand in detail options.

HS Options

Anonymous said...

...some honors courses labeled honors at Ingraham could "hardly be called honors" according to a couple of HC parents I know

It can be very teacher dependent, so it varies year to year, and class by class. @HS Options summed it up pretty well. I'd add that there has been a clear program shift in the last couple of years, which seems like a schoolwide push to go back to the pre-IBX days. Class options are focused more on students following the IB pathway, which can make 10th a weird gap for HC 10th graders (especially for SS and science) and leaves senior year an even bigger unknown for those who finish the diploma in 11th. That said, Lincoln is a big unknown as well. All north end schools will be undergoing shifts as Lincoln opens, teachers move, schools deal with changing budgets and enrollments, etc.

Benjamin Leis said...

I went out to the Lincoln HS Info night yesterday. Much of the presentation was similar to other high schools. Some very quick impressions of differences follow:

1) Everyone is required to take a modern shop class in 9th grade (Intro to design = shop + makerspace + graphic design"
2) A hybrid block schedule on the back end of the week.
3) Lots of talk about projects and "deep learning" for embedded honors classes but no real specifics or examples of what it means yet.
5) Odd slide about focuses which was all environmental / social issues but claimed to cover all possible careers.
6) For SS: there is a World Hist 1,2 and 3 unlike elsewhere. WH3 seems to be 1900+

Website: with a catalog and bell schedule on it.

Benjamin Leis said...

And one addition I forgot, there is a Japanese/Spanish immersion version of history for those on the language path.

Anonymous said...

I was also at the Lincoln Info Night last night. I spoke to one of the science teachers about the impact of the new science course sequence on kids who took Physical Science in 7th grade and biology in 8th grade. She said that in 9th grade, they would take ChemB/PhysicsB. I asked whether there was overlap between that course and the "old" physical science class. She told me that, at least as it was taught at JAMS, a lot of the subjects that will be covered in Physics B were already covered in Physical Science. She said they are aware of the issue and talking about how to deal with it. I asked whether they plan to assign kids based on whether or not they took Physical Science already so that the curriculum can be modified for them to make sure they cover subjects that were not covered in Physical Science. She said she didn't know, though she agreed that would make the most sense. She encouraged me to reach out to the counselor about this issue and I hope others will do that too.

In our case, my son also has an IEP and boredom is his worst enemy. If he is required to repeat material he already learned, well, it won't be pretty. And, physics is his favorite subject so this is very concerning to me.

I also thought it was odd that they aren't offering AP World History in 10th grade as Garfield does. I plan to ask about that too.

JAMS Parent

Anonymous said...

A few comments on IB math at IHS: SL math is a one year course that is generally taken after Algebra 2 or PreCalc. It covers precalc topics plus some calculus. Students can then take AP Calc AB or AP stats. HL math is a 2 year course that generally covers Calc 1, and includes some Calc 2 and 3 topics. For UW credit, however, HL math is only given Calc 1 credit if a student passes the IB HL exam with a 7/7 (not an easy feat). The same UW credit is given for passing the AP Calc AB exam with a 3/5 (much easier, and only one year of class). The UW does not currently give credit for SL courses.

HL may be more interesting to mathy students, as it moves at a fast pace (which can be a struggle for some) and covers a lot of topics. But even after 2 years of IB HL math, the next class in the sequence should probably be Calc 2. There used to be an IB Further Math class that was offered after IB HL math, but there are now probably too few IBX students taking HL math to offer a next class. Alternatively, if a student is not a diploma candidate, they can go four years without taking any IB math courses, and just stick with AP Calc/AP Stats.

Anonymous said...

Wait a minute...I thought the new science sequence still included a full year honors chemistry course as a continuum for HC 9th grade. Has this now changed? What are other schools offering?

Anonymous said...

BHS offers HC 9th grade students (as long as they qualify for Algebra II) a full year of Chemistry. It is my child's favorite class very challenging class & exceptional teacher who was trained by a beloved chemistry teacher who retired. They can also take a full year of Physics in 9th as long as they qualify for Algebra II. This could change in the future, but for now at least at BHS there is a ton of pushback from parents and teachers so may not happen.

" HSC3111/3211 CHEMISTRY 1/2
Length/Credit: Yearlong college preparatory course/ .5 credit each semester
Prerequisite: Successful completion of Biology 1/2 and Geometry
This is a traditional algebra-based two semester college preparatory course that is recognized by college acceptance offices nationally. The semester courses will take the students much deeper into the understanding of chemistry than they might get with Chemistry A (PS) or even Chemistry B (PS). These two semester courses will involve the mathematical and laboratory investigation of complex systems including gas laws, molecular structure, kinetics, equilibrium, organic molecules, acid-base interactions and electrochemistry. Students will be expected to complete an integrated project during one of the semesters. Students will also take the nationally recognized American Chemical Society National High School end of course exam.

They usually take AP world history in 10th at BHS as well as Garfield & Roosevelt. 9th grade is also a full year of honors world history and it is very challenging (even for HC students) no matter the teacher. 10th grade also offers multiple possibilities for additional AP courses at RHS, BHS & Garfield. I would think Lincoln should offer same and would be very concerned it they are not.

BHS parent

Anonymous said...

When considering Ingraham vs other northend HS, think carefully about the difference between AP & IB. They are very different kinds of learning. AP math & science classes are a lot of practice to gain familiarity, then see the same problems on the exam. IB math & science classes are a lot more proofs, investigations. AP History & English classes are a lot more like college 101 classes with tons of memorizing, lots of material. IB does deeper dives, more analysis, less memorizing. AP is more teacher delivered, IB is more student driven. (Every IB class has a significant amount of student designed research or projects.)

Also UW recently reviewed IB math & will be changing the scores required for credit. Many UW profs recommend retaking one level of calc class because AP does not cover all the same material & many UW students retake calc to pad their GPA for competitive majors, so the curves are harsh. Still if you want lots of credits you are better off with running start anyway.

-did both

Anonymous said...

Plus you can always take an AP test even if you didn't take an AP class. My IB friends say that AP tests are easy! (I would think that you'd have to pick up a review book to fill in. It might be harder for a high-memorization test like History.)

- another choice

Anonymous said...

My IBx student at Ingraham was able to take 4 years of IB science by doubling up senior year. Only tested in 2 of them because IB limits exams, but took placement tests at college (not UW) & placed out of all of them, actually more than that. The advantage to that was getting a lot of strong science classes in high school. We actually weren't concerned about credit as much as staying engaged, learning, and a building interest in science.

(At the time some of the other high schools had a limit of one science class per year. I don't know if they still do that, but it limited options for challenging science for my AP kid.)

Also placed out of Calc 1 & 2, based on IB math HL class. (And had credit for Stats, thanks Mr. Rice.)

-did both

Anonymous said...

A more general question - how do students manage schedules for part-time Running Start? How do they plan for both high school classes (schedule not known until right before school starts in fall) and RS classes, initially scheduled in spring for the upcoming fall semester, with schedules for winter and spring unknown? It seems they'd have to hope the high school classes they'd like are scheduled for the afternoon, since most RS classes are blocked in the morning or evening. Would Lincoln's hybrid block schedule make it harder to schedule RS classes?

Anonymous said...

My son is a senior at Garfield and has done part time Running Start last year and this year. He only takes one class at Garfield, which is always offered 6th period, AP Studio Art. Garfield also has a block schedule two days a week, but it isn't a problem as he's always finished with his Running Start classes by noon. He takes three classes per quarter at Running Start.

Anonymous said...

I thought the new science sequence still included a full year honors chemistry course as a continuum for HC 9th grade. Has this now changed? What are other schools offering?'

What other schools are currently offering may not be relevant for a couple reasons:

1. The new science scope and sequence takes several years to roll out, since you have to provide high school classes based on what kids took in 7th and 8th grades. You also need to have 10th grade options that work with what they took in 9th grade, which may vary by student. IF--and this is a big IF--the new scope and sequence is implemented with fidelity, HCC students who took ChemA/PhysA in 7th and BioA/B in 8th would take the new ChemB/PhysB class in 9th. I don't know that there are many (any?) who took that 2-year middle school series yet, so that may be why we aren't seeing ChemB/PhysB required in 9th yet.

2. A lot always seems to vary by school, regardless of what the "official" pathway is. Unfortunately, the Lincoln principal might be more inclined to go with the official pathway, which is less advanced.

3. As published, the new scope/sequence allows GE students to skip the ChemB/Phys B class (which they'd take in 11th) in favor of a full year of science, including AP. However, the published scope/sequence does not indicate that HCC pathway students can do the same--it says they have to take that ChemB/Phys B class, then they can take full-year, AP, and IB science starting in 10th grade. That essentially means they go from being 2 yrs ahead to only being 1 yr ahead. It makes absolutely no sense to decelerate these students and force them info a more simplistic class, but that seems to be the official plan. Hopefully schools continue to buck the system and allow more advanced replacement classes in 9th, but that doesn't sound likely for Lincoln based on what was apparently shared with "JAMS Parent" at the meeting.


Anonymous said...

"(At the time some of the other high schools had a limit of one science class per year. I don't know if they still do that, but it limited options for challenging science for my AP kid.)"

I don't know about policy at Lincoln, Garfield, Roosevelt or other schools that offer AP, but at Ballard that is not the case. I would suspect it is not the case at other schools either, but parents should do their homework. The science course choices and an excellent robotics club were some of the reasons my son chose BHS. My son took genetics (excellent class) the same year as AP chemistry. There are some really great IMO and challenging science course options. Both AP calculus courses were also exceptional, excellent teacher. I think for many years HC kids thrived with the AP Garfield model and remember hearing when many did not want to leave Garfield for Ingraham and IBx. I don't agree that HC kids can't do well in both. I think many would do well in either. I have heard for some IBX takes more maturity, but I think by the time they start IB in 11th they would have developed the organizational skills. The AP model has many starting AP in 10th, and some even do a full load of AP in 11th and 12th.

HC parent

Anonymous said...

Hamilton 8th graders this year were piloting the Chem A/Chem B classes last year. They are enrolled in Biology this year.

Lincoln is planning on starting with Chem B/Phys B for 9th grade students have have progressed through the HCC classes. I assume that 10th graders would be taking biology next year, although I am not sure of that.

The new science pathway is difficult to navigate if you are not planning on staying with SPS. We are looking at private schools for high school and the kid will most likely need to repeat both chem 'A' and phys 'A' because no other school breaks it up. It'll be a wasted year of science, in a sense, if we go private. (In another sense, it'll help with understanding of the material, so it won't exactly be wasted, but it is redundant).

Lincoln is now the kid-preferred school, in part so that the kid won't need to repeat.

Very frustrating, but I feel that Lincoln has to adopt the new science, otherwise the HIMS kids -- not a small percentage of the incoming 9th grade -- are going to be out of luck.


Anonymous said...

Boy, some of my above comments need editing.

1) Current HIMS 8th graders piloted the Chem/Phys classes last year.

2) "I assume that 10th graders would be taking bio next year, although I am not sure of that." Meaning: non-HCC-pathway 10th graders (currently in 9th grade) will take bio.
------But now that I think about it, that is the plan for incoming 9th grade non-HCC-pathway students (9th Chem/Phys A, 10th Bio, 11th Chem/Phys B) in the future and I don't know if it works for incoming 10th graders in 2019.

Sorry about that.


Anonymous said...


The last I saw HCC kids should be taking a full year of Chem in 9th according to the district's science progression. The Chem and Physics courses would be much more in depth, are algebra based, and are completely different courses from the new courses in terms of quality, college recognition etc. what I have heard from teachers. I also don't think the new science series has been officially adopted yet as there are some controversies surrounding it, bypassing board curriculum review etc.


Anonymous said...


My kid is at HIMS, enrolled in HCC 8th grade, and has been HCC for all of middle school. Kid took Phys A/Chem A last year in 7th grade. Kid is in Bio this year. If we end up at Lincoln next year for 9th, kid will be in Phys B/Chem B.

Perhaps this science sequence will not be approved, but many kids are already doing it. Lincoln is planning on it.


Anonymous said...

That’s the thing that doesn’t make any sense—to force HCC 9th graders into the hybrid “B” class, when other students can opt out of the hybrid class in favor of a more rigorous chem or physics class. It makes no sense.

Anonymous said...

At Garfield, HCC kids take either Honors chemistry or AP environmental sciences. Maybe AP ES could be offered the first year if they hear enough interest. If students then take AP Chem in 10th, AP physics in 11th, they will cover the material before the 11th grade assessment required for graduation.


Anonymous said...

Wishful thinking, perhaps, as course offerings seem intentionally limited as to not be HC only. The AP Physics being offered at Lincoln appears to be the "AP Physics 1: Algebra Based," not the calculus based AP Physics C. What AP Physics is offered at Garfield?

Anonymous said...

My kid is at BHS and came from the HC cohort at HIMS. They take their science dependent upon their math level, as their physics and chem classes are algebra based . They have not adopted the new science courses and I am not certain they will (if given a choice) in the matter. I believe the curriculum adoption is on hold for right now pending budget and other issues. The teachers and parents also do not support replacing courses with those that are not math based etc. I am guessing this would be similar at Garfield, Roosevelt and other schools. They are honors quality courses and challenging and it was determined for these courses in particular no separate honors courses made sense, hard enough. They can take either as long as they have the math. Otherwise if they don't have the math yet, we know kids who take botany or other courses in 9th.

BHS parent

Anonymous said...

Garfield is algebra based as far as I know, but their curriculum guide was taken off the website.


Anonymous said...

Garfield's Physics course offerings (beyond the required Phys/Chem sequence):

Physics 1,2 (algebra based)
Physics - Honors 1,2 (algebra based)
AP Physics C Mechanics (calculus based).