Monday, April 21, 2008

Urgent - Unused Garfield APP Assignments Needed

There is an APP student from Washington who wants to enroll in Garfield APP, but the student's enrollment form was misplaced or mis-routed somewhere in the process. Consequently the student did not get an assignment to Garfield APP.

It's not too late.

The student can get into Garfield APP if we can find three students with a Garfield APP assignments who won't be using them. Maybe the students will attend a private school instead, maybe they are moving out of the district, maybe they just decided that they want to go somewhere else.

So if there is anyone with a Garfield APP student assignment who won't be using it, please let me know right away.

40 comments:

SPSParent said...

SUPER URGENT SEATS NEEDED!

Asperger students...currently assigned to Cleveland, living near Roosevelt and Ballard in need of seats in the Asperger's program in either school.

Please let us know if you can help.

Charlie Mas said...

The APP student looking for a seat at Garfield got the three names needed to secure the assignment.

Is there anyone else looking for seats in programs like this?

SPSParent said...

How dare you use this forum to secure seats in the APP program.

This posting should be deleted ASAP!

Beth Bakeman said...

Why? I'm confused SPSParent about what is upsetting you in Charlie's post and comment.

anotherParent said...

Duhhh. Because, you'd think his request, urgent as it is, is soooooooooooooo much more important than all the other kids on waiting lists all over the city. There are AP classes at almost every high school. And sniff, sniff, poor Sally, she won't get to be with her friends. And don't get started with all the reasons poor Sally absolutely has to go to Garfield. I mean, you'd think she was disabled or something, being in APP an all!

Charlie Mas said...

Ah, so we are now prioritizing some students needs over other student's needs, are we?

So every student who isn't the most needy student should just be quiet and take whatever happens to them. Each of us should refuse to advocate for any student other than that one most needy student.

If there is some other student that needs some help getting into their school or program of choice, they have access to this thread as well.

Charlie Mas said...

Is the spsparent who posted the need for the Asperger program assignment the same one who demanded the deletion of the thread?

How is it okay to use the blog to find a seat in a special needs program for one student, but shocking and inappropriate to use the blog to find a seat in a special needs program for another student? Is it because one student is in the Asperger's program and the other is in APP?

Why the animosity towards APP?

dan dempsey said...

This is really peculiar that a public forum should be attacked for being a public forum.

Public for some ideas but not for others.

Could those who are offended by this action of Charlie's please post a list of the rules for public comment? Then I will be able to know which students and causes are worthy of public comment and which are not allowed.

Ad hoc said...

I think the resentment is not aimed at you Charlie, but rather at the district due to the lack of capacity in our popular and special needs programs in SPS. There are kids all across the district that have been denied access to schools that they want and need.

Two hundred students didn't get into Roosevelt, several of whom probably needed the strong band program, the award winning drama program, or the vast array AP courses that Roosevelt offered. Saying a kid needs band doesn't seem that urgent, but if you have a student that has played an instrument for 5 years (2 in elementary and 3 in MS), and has played in Eckstein's award winning bands, it is a backward step to put them in a school that only offers beginning band. What will this student do while the rest of the class learns to read music? The students in the NE who don't get in to Roosevelt generally wind up at Hale which doesn't offer band, drama, or AP anywhere near the level that Roosevelt does.

And, how about all of the kids who qualified for, but didn't get into Spectrum due to lack of capacity? We should be screaming and kicking over this one. Why do we allow this?

I'm sure there are many other programs with the same lack of capacity issues that I'm just not familiar with?? Perhaps ELL, special ed inclusion and non inclusion?? Anybody care to comment?

It's kind to reach out to a family in need, and we should all support this family and all of the other families that don't get access to programs that they need. In other words this family isn't more important than other families, but just as important as every other family. We should all advocate for more access and capacity to popular and special needs programs. Especially when half of our school buildings are sitting around half full.

Let's advocate for enough capacity in special ed, HS's that offer advanced learning IB/AP, HS's with special programs like drama and music, Hs's with special academies like bio-tech (if it's popular reproduce it), Spectrum, and yes, APP too!

Charlie Mas said...

Here, here, ad hoc! I heartily agree.

The capacity should be set to meet the demand. Whether for instrumental music programs, CTE programs, AP, IB, Asperger's inclusion programs, specific special education programs, bilingual programs, Spectrum, or whatever.

We should be kicking and screaming over inadequate program capacity and inappropriate program placement.

I intend to do exactly that. In fact, I'm working on just such a situation right now. For the present, I've given my word that I will work quietly and discretely with the decision-makers. I'm confident that they will alter their decisions without any need for community action.

In the meantime, the community can rally around any student or family in need of help getting an assignment. And any student or family needing help to get an assignment can request that help.

classof75 said...

I didn't realize that APP was a high school program- isn't that just for 1st through 8th grade?

The requirement for enrolling in AP classes is not the same procedure as enrolling in programs for Aspergers.
Basically anyone can enroll in honor or AP classes at Garfield or as far as I know at other Seattle high schools.
Garfield also does not offer the most AP classes
I can understand about wanting to enroll in the school with the newest building however, that was sure a boost for Ballard a few years ago.

SPSParent said...

I posted the SUPER URGENT SEATS needed to point out that their are high school students other than APP students who need seats in a program, and their needs far outweigh any APP high school student, plain and simple. Come on, URGENT SEAT needed for a for highly capable high school student who was not even able to check online to ensure thier paperwork was received ontime and print out a copy of the page. (We did.)

Should this blog turn into a broker for seats? If so, how will you communicate to ALL parents looking for seats in a program that this service is available? Or will it just be for the folks who read this blog.

I still believe this thread should be deleted.

Beth Bakeman said...

SPSParent, I am not deleting this thread. The goal of this blog is to get parents from all across the city talking and working together to improve Seattle Public Schools.

This thread fits within that purpose.

classof75 said...

I think it is fine that there is some sort of message board available to help parents negotiate conflicts with school assignment or programs/problems in schools.

However- I will add that when trying to find out more info about APP program I did notice some troubling facts- despite " increase in attention paid to race related issues in the district" I see that the numbers of African Americans enrolled as an APP student at Garfield, is lower than the percent enrolled at Washington middle school over the same time period.

In 2000-2001 school year
the % of Caucasians in APP @ Garfield made up 71% of the students in the program, Asians made up 17% during same time period.
In 2004-2005 school year APP had 72% Caucasian students @ Garfield, Asians 19%.

Since Garfield is situated in historically a diverse neighborhood, including long time African American residents, I was wondering if the district has tracked where the AA students who attended Washington middle school in APP, have gone to high school, since they all are apparently not attending Garfield.

Denise Gonzalez-Walker said...

I'm confused--I thought I had read before on this blog that there was no separate APP program in high school... are APP kids still somehow tagged differently in the enrollment process? And why did three students who were not planning to attend need to be found to cover one kid who wanted in? I'm just curious--so much of the enrollment process totally mystifies me.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Ad Hoc, not to toot my horn but I would tell you - gently - about the advocacy and work that Charlie and I have done for years for many programs including highly capable and the entire assignment plan. It has been more than 10 years since I first raised my voice about Spectrum, accessibility and equity (you can see how far I have gotten but still). I have repeatedly advocated that when the assignment plan is changed that there be lotteries for schools that have special programs (like band, drama, biotech, etc.)

Class of 75, yes APP is a 1-8 program but APP students, already in the program, get a special in to Garfield because it does have (as far as I know) the most AP classes and to continue their cohort.

I don't consider this blog to be a cold, sterile place where we discuss education issues of the day. I have no problem with Charlie's post.

classof75 said...

I don't attend APP meetings or even school board meetings so I am not up on latest info, but historically, attending the APP program at Washington middle school, has guaranteed students a seat at Garfield, I assume since Washington is the middle school ( it was a junior high when my mom attended), that is closest to Garfield.

While students from the APP program can take Advanced placement classes at Garfield, so can other students & they are in fact encouraged to do so.

dan dempsey said...

I think it is perhaps a testament to our extremely poor and ethnically discriminatory most State aligned and proven ineffective math curricula that you may find a disproportionate number of non-Asian minority and low income students enrolled in the gifted end of things.

Look at Project Follow Through when you use the worst materials and methodology available, what is to be expected?

I think any disproportional results seen may be the result of current culture and a failing k-8 system and who it fails the most. Check the widening acxhievement gap in Math for openers. There is lots more indication that despite lots of talk there is little coherent or rational action to support children's learning.

passivist said...

"And sniff, sniff, poor Sally, she won't get to be with her friends. "

I wasn't going to say anything on this post, because the very notion that people are angry about, that APP students don't deserve the same rights as other students with needs really boils my blood. Especially since Charlie, in particular, works tirelessly (well, maybe he gets tired) and constantly to advocate for everyone in this district, with more passion and class than people like some of these posters here. HOWEVER, this "sniff sniff" comment is ridiculous. Are you trying to say that when you were in 8th grade, moving on to high school with your friends was NOT a priority???? I don't believe you. I would say friends would come before academia for this age set about 95% of the time. If this child has been in APP for 8 years, then by all means they should be concerned about staying in school with their friends.

Again, THANK YOU Charlie, for doing all that you do.

parentX said...

I find it troubling that APP parents like Charlie Mas have some special "in" at district enrollment. As I recall, he wasn't elected for anything. Denise, yes there isn't a special APP program for high school... which is why it's so ridiculous to say it's "URGENT" when a former APP student doesn't get to sit with their friends at Garfield. That cohort is soooo important, but not anybody else's. And wow. What a crisis.

classof75 said...

I don't think that Charile was saying that it was OK for an APP student to get help being assigned to the school that work best, but it wasn't OK for another student to get help to assignment of a school that would work best for him.

He actually has brought forward a lot of information about that process that can help all students and families, its' just that he probably knows the most students from APP

parentX said...

PS. Did anybody know that 35 elementary students with disabilities go NO PLACEMENT at all? 0. When they finally do get a placement, will it be somewhere their parents have never seen. Proabably across town. Any cohort they had, also gone. Why aren't others entitled to a cohort? Oh, I got it, let's put them all at AAA, and Cleveland. There's lots of room and opportunities for them there! Don't worry. Urgent problem solved!

Ad hoc said...

"Any cohort they had, also gone. Why aren't others entitled to a cohort?"

Who in the heck said that kids with disabilities do not deserve to be with their cohorts??? Certainly nobody on this thread. You are conjuring up things that were never said or even insinuated. If you want to advocate for your group to stay together, by all means do so. If you want help doing it, by all means call on the blog readers to speak out with you. Call on CEASE, or CPPS, or any number of advocacy groups around this city. Unlike yourself, there are people who will advocate on behalf of groups that they may have no personal interest in.

Melissa: I hope in my earlier post, you did not think I was insinuating that you or Charlie do not advocate for all children in the district. Quite the opposite, I acknowledge and thank you both for all of the work that you do on ALL OF OUR BEHALF.

Charlie Mas said...

Wow, a lot of weird perceptions out there.

The needs of APP students are no greater a priority than the needs of other students. Nor are they any less a priority. I haven't indicated that they are more of a priority - that bias came from the readers who chose to find it.

The call was urgent because the names were needed before May 1 - just nine days away - when open enrollment begins and students are assigned to classes.

APP is a 1-12 program and - officially - has been for years. While that has been the official truth, and what the District reported to the OSPI on their annual grant application, the effective truth has been something else - until lately. The current principal at Garfield has acknowledged the presence of the program and the students in his school and is working to address their academic needs.

While it is true that there are no self-contained APP-only classes at Garfield, the District contends that there is a program there. They call is a "cohort" program. In short, they keep the cohort together there and the cohort creates the learning community to support themselves.

Washington APP students used to be automatically enrolled at Garfield, but starting a couple years ago they had to actually enroll in the program. While they are guaranteed access if they enroll on time they are not guaranteed access if they do not. APP students come from all over the city and the distance tie-breaker would keep a number of them out of Garfield if not for the preferential enrollment opportunity extended to students in the program.

In case you're wondering, the presence of the APP cohort at Garfield does not preclude neighborhood students from having access to the school. The Garfield distance tie-breaker circle last year was over four miles in radius.

The enrollment system is a human system, and so mistakes will be made. There are at least a couple of cases I know of in which students were not enrolled as they should have been. It is appropriate for us to work to correct those mistakes regardless of who made them. I can assure you that it was not the student who made the mistake.

Finally, all students at Garfield are encouraged to take AP classes, and Garfield has more African-American students taking AP classes than any other Seattle high school.

Could an APP student be appropriately served at a school other than Garfield? Sure. My daughter is an APP student and she has enrolled at NOVA.

Nevertheless, the District and the school have the program there for these students. If you don't think the program is all it should be, than by all means advocate for a greater effort. If you think the program should be eliminated, then let's have that conversation. But let's not suggest that an error in the enrollment process - no matter who committed it - should keep a student out of a program that would serve them. That's just mean.

And parentx, I do not have any special "in" at district enrollment. I can't even imagine what gave you that impression. Everything I know about this case was told to me by the student's family. They got the information from the school's principal. Please don't presume more than is in evidence. Also, you're wrong about there being no APP at high school - what is your source for that incorrect statement? Certainly no official source. And besides those grotesque mistakes, stop being such a dick. Seriously, get some help with those anger issues. If you have a beef with APP, then write about that and the reasons for it. Your snide muttering isn't constructive.

Charlie Mas said...

parentx wrote:

"PS. Did anybody know that 35 elementary students with disabilities go[t] NO PLACEMENT at all?"


No, we didn't. Thank you for telling us. Who are these students and who at the District is making the decisions about their assignment? We can't help them until you tell us about them. Are you interested in helping them or just waving their misery like a flag?

"When they finally do get a placement, will it be somewhere their parents have never seen. Proabably across town. Any cohort they had, also gone. Why aren't others entitled to a cohort?"

Um... I don't know. Who suggested that other than you? Are these students together in a cohort right now?

"Oh, I got it, let's put them all at AAA, and Cleveland. There's lots of room and opportunities for them there! Don't worry. Urgent problem solved!"

Why would anyone put elementary students at Cleveland? Is there some reason to think that the AAA will be a good match for them? Does this really solve the problem as far as you're concerned? Or are you just being sarcastic? Why are you choosing to be sarcastic instead of choosing to work to solve the problem?

We can't help if we don't know that people need help.

You're not helping.

Ad hoc said...

I have heard paramedics and fire fighters say "If I could save just one life it makes it all worth it"

Doesn't the same apply to SPS families. If we could help one family, shouldn't we? If this one child gets into the program the need isn't that worth it?

Ad hoc said...

The AAA is a choice school, you can't be placed there. Cleveland is a High School so these children can't be placed there either. Sounds like your worries are over.

zb said...

I preferred to read Charlie's statement as a generic plea for everyone who isn't planning on "using their assignment" to inform their school/district. Actually, any advice to offer on this -- if you're a parent of a child with an assignment at a school with a waitlist, and your kid won't be attending, what should you do? I believe we sent the form back, but in the future, should we do anything else? Call the school itself, for example? (I think we did, but for a different reason).

also, Classof75, I suspect that some of the loss of AfAm students from Washington would be through their movement to private programs, which are doing what they can to recruit african-american students.

SE Mom said...

In response to ZB:

Since schools handle their own wait lists, I think it would be helpful for families who are not returning to their school to let them know directly.

We are on the wait list for Spectrum at Washington and it would be terrific to know if we could get in this school year rather than in August or later.

I think anyone who needs help or support for any school related issue should ask for it via blog. One person getting assistance for an issue does not mean that there is not space for others to do the same.

So, anyone not returning to 7th grade for Spectrum at Washington, please let the school know your plans!

Melissa Westbrook said...

That's right SE Mom; if your child got into a popular school with a waitlist, please call the school as soon as you know your child won't be attending. It really helps and for parents and students who are in limbo through the summer.

Karen said...

Beth, Charlie et al,

Sometimes this blog comes off as a cabal. Why are you being deliberately obtuse about the point spsparent is making.

Yes, as humans with free will you have the right to post anything you want. Those with advantages have the right to grab more.

But the ethical point spsparent was making is the irony of an APP parent looking for a seat at the same time some kids right in our schools (surprise!) are looking for a decent meal, place to rest their heads tonight and someone to believe that they can read and write. They're looking for people to covet them, and not their school building.

Doesn't mean APP parent is wrong. Doesn't mean Charlie you shouldn't help. But I just sometimes wonder why you play dumb and pretend all things, all kids are equal when you know that is not true. Some kids need more help than others and yes, they become the priority. When funds are limited, we help the most needy. This is what food banks do, hospitals do it and the moral compass of our nation is built on it. Why do schools like Madrona get some a bad rap for putting the most neediest kids first.
Maybe this should have been a new post and I apologize in advance.

Ad hoc said...

Karen: Why should a student looking for a seat in an APP program not do so because there are other kids in the district facing hardships not even related to program placement? That just doesn't make sense to me. It's like saying the US should drop it's space program because Kenya does not have a national airline. Or that US children should not go to school because kids in Ethiopia have no access to education. It's like saying that science should not pursue a cure for cancer because they have not found a cure for AIDS yet. It just doesn't make sense to me.

How does a student gaining access to the APP program, hinder the child who doesn't have a meal?

Charlie Mas said...

This is not a zero-sum equation.

There is not some limited, finite amount of space on the internet. So devoting some of it - any of it - to child A does not deprive child B of anything.

Someone came to me and asked me for help. I relayed that call for help to a wider audience. Where is the wrong in that?

I'm not being obtuse. I am fully aware that there are other children who need help - much more fundamental help. What does that have to do with this?

I don't doubt that some kids "are looking for a decent meal, a place to rest their heads tonight and someone to believe that they can read and write. They're looking for people to covet them, and not their school building." This, however, is not the place for them to seek help with those problems. I sure that people desperately need food, but that doesn't mean that every store should sell food. Don't expect to be able to buy apples at the office supply store and don't expect this blog to solve hunger and homelessness. That's not what we're about.

Review all of the posts and comments in the long history of this blog. Very very few of them are about getting kids food, beds, and caring families. But only now, with this thread, do you complain that we don't focus on those concerns. Hmmmm. Why is it that you raise this complaint now? Why is this moment so opportune?

Could it be the connection with APP? Could it be the connection with Garfield? What is it that set you off?

I must say that I don't care for the tone in the assertion that "Those with advantages have the right to grab more." Please speak plainly. Are you suggesting, through the use of the word "grab" that someone is usurping something they don't deserve? And what advantages are you referring to? How did they acquire these advantages? Did they work for them? Although you suggest that these people have a "right" you seem to begrudge them that right. Do you actually disbelieve in the right? Am I obtuse, or is your meaning unclear. I don't have time to guess what you mean; please write more plainly.

No one, by the way, is getting "more" of anything. I assure you that this student will have only one seat. Do you think that the seat for this student is somehow more than the seat that some other student gets? How is it more? Is the class smaller? Help me to understand your perspective. Honestly, I'm not being obtuse; I think you're being obscure.

I'm not hiding here. I'm not anonymous and I don't use an alias. I'm pretty sure that if you click on my name you can see my profile with a link to my email. I'm not hard to reach. If someone contacts me for help, there's an excellent chance that I'll extend it. I'm really not very hard to get along with.

I would be very happy to make this blog a tool for families in resolving enrollment problems, but I can't help people who I don't know about and I don't think it is incumbent on me to seek them out.

If you know someone who needs some help, and you think we can provide that help, then by all means let us know. Otherwise, I don't see the benefit in complaining about the people who do seek and receive our help.

Maureen said...

Clearly Charlie has the right to post what he wants. This one did give me a twinge, in part because of the "Urgent" (ok so there was a deadline) but also because I know he posted the same thing on the Spectrum/APP Yahoo Group , which seems like a much more appropriate and focused venue (and since the need was met quite quickly, it looks like that would have been sufficient).

I guess I would have preferred that he had thought to make a more general post here. Something to the effect of: If you are enrolled in any program with a waitlist, please let the school know if you won't be using the spot. I'm asking this because.....

But, ya know, none of are perfect, not even Charlie!

Beth Bakeman said...

Karen, I don't understand why SPS Parent wants to delete the thread. That's what I don't understand.

I completely understand and share your frustration with the "haves" and "have nots" in our schools and in our society.

And I don't read anything on this thread as pretending that "all things, all kids are equal."

That is certainly not my approach. Read How the Middle Class Negotiates and Justifies School Advantage.

SE Mom said...

Perhaps an underlying issue in this discussion is the lack of action and concrete change that takes place for the many issues talked about on the blog.

We spend much time indentifying and
processing issues affecting the district and families. I think there is a shared experience of powerlessness here. All talk and no action - not because we don't care but because the issues are complex and large and we don't have clear avenues for actually doing something about them.

So, when an APP family gets assistance in finding an open seat,
it can appear that other fundamental needs for other families are still going unmet.

Beth had started a thread about math which I understood to be focused on actually having people meet in person to work on action oriented agendas? This seems like a step in the right direction.

Charlie Mas said...

Actually, I think the underlying issue is that some people hate APP.

Ad hoc said...

"Why do schools like Madrona get some a bad rap for putting the most neediest kids first."

This is a very polite way of saying why should Madrona get a bad rap for having a racist principal that is driving white families away from her school. The better question is why shouldn't Madrona get a bad rap? The school has space for the neighborhood (white) children, so it's not like the neighborhood kids for whom Madrona is a reference school would be driving away the "most needy kids". I mean it is after all a public school. And what were the horrible things that the neighborhood (white) families would have done to the school. Donate money, volunteer time, advocate for more programs like foreign language, gardening, art? How would that hurt anybody? Is diversity only valued when "needy students" want to get into high performing middle class school? Or, do we no longer value diversity at all?

Melissa Westbrook said...

Karen,

Could you explain your cabal remark? Because I am mystified; what is the underlying unspoken goal(s) that Beth, Charlie, I and the other bloggers are after? It's a fairly loaded word so I'd be interested to know why you chose it.

This might be an interesting topic for another post because clearly there are differences of opinion about what the role of public school is in society and what our schools should be doing.

SE Mom, well, it would help if people attended some of the many meetings that we post about it. If the Board heard (and saw) many more parents speaking out about the directions this district should go in, then things would change.

If the district had 500 people show up at every single strategic plan meeting, that would certainly say something. When only the same people show up, it allows staff to believe they can control the discussion. There needs to be large numbers of people showing up at meetings or communicating with staff/Board members so that they feel the depth of our concerns.

This is not to say that the Board or staff believe that the people they hear from are the only people out there. We all know that many people - for whatever reason - don't make their views known but are still concerned about the district.

Central Mom said...

To continue on Melissa's point, it would help not only if parents and community members went to the meetings, but even more so if they stuck with the issues despite both meeting and topic fatigue.

One way to do this would be to organize a group of like-minded citizens to gather around ONE issue(really, given the complexity of many of the District's problems it's best not to bite off more than the group can chew) and then make the commitment to pursue it to the end. Knowing that meeting attendance, input and follow-up might (no...in all probability absolutely will) take years.

Pick your topic and go for it. I know this can work because I just had satisfaction on a particular issue after 5 years of doggedly using my time and asking for that of my community's to advocate to the staff and board members of the district.

Many parents have been following issues for far longer.

But despite the gritted teeth of district staffers, the turnover at the board level and the rotating superintendent position, it is possible to make change happen. You have to be willing to accept that timeline and also to understand that even if an issue is resolved too late for your own personal gain, you will be helping your greater community. Even better, you can have both by looking ahead and starting now on issues that might affect your own kids 5 years down the road.

Go get 'em.