Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Open Thread - How Was the First Day of School?

The last "first day" of school for my house, sniff. Oh well, they have to grow up sometime.

How was it for you?

96 comments:

adhoc said...

My son started at Hale today. He went to Kellogg in Shoreline for middle school, where he has had a stellar experience. I was VERY nervous about coming back to Seattle for high school, but Hale is across the street from our house, and our son has many friends going there, so we are willing to give it a try. So far we've been impressed with their communication and organization. Everything seems in order despite major construction, new portables, and classroom moves. My son says his first day was great. He likes his teachers, and says the kids were very nice. Still, we are playing it by ear, and cautiously optimistic. Will report back when we are settled in and have some meaningful feedback.

My younger son started 6th grade at Brookside Elementary in Shoreline last week. He loved it from the first day and so did we. His class is at camp Orkila as I write - what a great way to start off the year! We had really hoped that he would attend Eckstein, but he didn't get in. We like Brookside so much that at this point we really don't care whether he clears the Eckstein waitlist or not.

I'd say a pretty good first day and first week all in all!

StepJ said...

My girls started in the half day K, and extended day LASER program at Laurelhurst today.

It is a school a bit out of our area so in that regard a bit of a culture shock.

Other than that the girls were great -- happy going in, and happy coming out. They love their teachers and are starting to make new friends.

Overall, overwhelming gratitutde to the wonderful, supportive and engaging teachers. They hit the ground running on day one. So far it has been a great experience for our family.

Josh Hayes said...

As many readers here know, we're at AS1. My daughter (4th grade) came home today and announced, "I made five new friends today!" with a big grin spread across her face. For me the best part was, these five kids were all new to the school. I'm glad she was able to welcome them with her sunny disposition.

My son (7th grade) was a little worried about having a new core teacher, but he told me when he got home, "Dad, she's a pro: she really knows what she's doing."

Apparently, that's a good thing in his book. At any rate, they're both happy, ready to work, and all of us are happy with our new bus stop, which involves crossing NO streets. Lucky us!

I have my fingers crossed for the school: I hope we can get out from under the administration's microscope.

Lisa said...

My fourth grader had a wonderful first day at Daniel Bagley. She loves her teacher, no surprise since teacher quality there is overwhelmingly high. One shock: 30 kids in her class. Last year she had 25.

jamie said...

Any word on how the new Jane Addams school is going?

Charlie Mas said...

Good day at Washington for my daughter in the 8th grade. She loves her schedule. She was a bit concerned about having both Washington State History and Language Arts with Mr. Schmitz, but she says that she likes him because he was so clear about his rules.

I didn't get a report on the first day at NOVA, but my older daughter has been going there nearly every day for the past week either to work on the move or to serve on committees. They are very excited about having a gym and are thinking of starting a sports team. But what other high school is going to have a roller derby team?

TechyMom said...

First day a Lowell went well. My daughter likes her teacher, found some girls she had met at socials over the summer, didnt cry when we left, and had a good day. There are 23 in her class, which seems huge after her pre-k class of 5, but is better than we had expected. The teacher seemed to be doing a good job if controlling them.

When they added the second K, they moved the wait list and had room for some early entrance K kids, so my sumner baby is not the youngest.

The population in K looks a lot more like Stevens than like TT Minor, not really surprising since it's so close to Stevens physically and the distance tie-breaker was a factor. It will be interesting to see if thus is still true when they draw the attendance boundaries next year. Broadway is pretty mixed.

The school is HUGE! They had everyone on the field to find teachers in the morning, and that was one full field. I'm still not sure I like the size, but it does help with having enough kid to support the wide range of after-school classes that I like so much.

dj said...

My daughter had her first day at Thurgood Marshall yesterday. Her likes: her small class size, her teacher. Her dislikes: hall passes and lining up in the hall (neither of which she had at Lowell).

Sahila said...

We went from AS#1 to Room 9 in Shoreline, which started last week... so far, so good... have to drive my son, but was doing that to AS#1 anyway because the bus stop was too far away to walk to, so no real impact, except we get to start school at civilised time that suits his biorhythms better...

Transportation first day in SPS... close friends have daughter who goes to Olympic View... kids stranded at school in the afternoon yesterday because the bus didnt show up... report from Olympic View parent) says no bus/no driver available, and no notification to school/parents that problem likely to occur...

Wondering how transportation worked out at other schools...

SPS computer systems dont talk to each other... have done the paperwork to transfer out of District almost two weeks ago, but transportation still has us on their books.... got in the mail on Tuesday - the day before Seattle schools started - a notice about bus stops and pick-up/drop-off times for my son going to AS#1...

How much time, energy and money does this IT issue cost the district?

Robert said...

We didn't get our transportation letters for either of our children so was s/w relieved that they were expected. Lowell was a sea of parents and kids. Both like their teachers!

agibean1958 said...

dj, it must vary by teacher, because my daughter says her teacher used both hall passes AND made them line up in the hall at Lowell, so it didn't even register when that happened at TM yesterday.

She has a teacher she calls "awesome" and enjoyed meeting new kids from both of last year's "other classes", as well as new TM kids.

The mood at the parents' breakfast was upbeat, bus was exactly on time this morning for pick up, and I am optimistic about this year.

hschinske said...

I remember at least some of my kids' teachers at Lowell having the kids line up in the hall. Not sure about hall passes.

Three good first days at Garfield, Nova, and Hamilton here, apart from some schedule problems that we hope to get ironed out soon (e.g., my son signed up for orchestra and Japanese, but is in PE and Spanish).

My son found his way around Hamilton all right (he's pretty good with a map), but said he had an "athletic" schedule, going, if I remember correctly, from 3rd floor to 1st floor to 4th floor to the gym in the building next door.

Charlie, my daughter at Nova is already brainstorming fundraising for roller derby. I wouldn't have thought it was her thing, but you never know! Garfield daughter is jazzed about marine science and going into a higher orchestra chair.

Weltering in school forms as usual. I should have known it was a cruel, cruel joke when I had to read "The Paperless Society" back in grad school.

Helen Schinske

Mercermom said...

Good day at Thurgood Marshall and WMS for my kids. I was pleased with the message of cooperation and enthusiasm communicated by the newly joined PTSA leadership at TM, who have been working together on the transition. WMS seemed orderly and welcoming to me, although it is a big transition for the 6th graders. My one complaint is that parents only find out which math class their child has been placed in on the first day of school, and even then I found it impossible to find clear information about what the class exactly is. I.e., what is "6th-Grade Pre-Alegebra" and how does it fit into a math progression? If that information about the available math levels is available somewhere online, I couldn't find it. I was able to ultimately get my question answered with an individual inquiry; but surely this is information that should be easily accessible to parents. (And it would save administrators from having to answer individual questions.)

Beth said...

First day at JA was great for us! I have a 7th grader, and she seems to like the teachers, classes, atmosphere, etc, even though it is a big change from the alternative school she attended before.
I found the school to be surprisingly organized considering they added 75-100 new students to the school last Friday!
Everyone seems to be on their best behavior because it's new for everyone, so we'll see what it's like when the "honeymoon" is over.
One thing that did make me a little down was hearing that the lunchroom worker was wondering if the district was sending anyone to help her. In past years she had always had Summit high schoolers as assistants. It was just another reminder that that community is gone.

jamie said...

I'm a member of the rat city rollergirls, let me know if I/we can be of any assistance to the Nova kids!

kymmi said...

Mine started her full day K at the new South Shore building. All went well, the building is beautiful and the staff - as always- was stellar. I'm always so impressed with how the older kids treat the young ones. They warmly greet them and call out their names, it's amazing to see.

Looking forward to a great year.

h2o girl said...

First day of 7th grade at Salmon Bay went well, after abandoning the school bus after waiting forever for it. First bell is at 9:05, we live just outside the walk boundary so the bus is supposed to pick her up at 8:42, we waited until 8:57, no bus. So we drove her (I wanted to take her the first day anyway, but she insisted on riding the bus). Bus brought her home fine, although about 25 minutes later than the schedule said. Today she pleaded with me not to wait with her, (not cool in 7th grade) so hopefully the bus came relatively on time.

Was impressed with the teachers on her "team" at the orientation last week (and thankful that they had one). Salmon Bay groups the 7th & 8th graders together for all classes except Math and you have the same homeroom teacher for two years. My daughter was impressed that they were filming a movie at the school last weekend (something about raccoons and Tobey McGuire[??]) and her homeroom teacher apparently got a part as an extra.

Her team (1/2 the 7th & 8th grades, 120 kids) is going to camp the week after next on Lake Wenatchee. It's nice they do this so early in the year, a great bonding experience for the kids.

Mum o 2 said...

My son started Kindergarten at Bagley yesterday and had a pretty good day! He catches a bus from his before-school care place on Phinney and that bus never showed up! So after waiting a while my husband drove him in and he unfortunately arrived late for morning circle in his K-1 class. Oh well - he told me his day was better after that. He did tell me that all he had for lunch was chocolate milk and requested that we pack him a lunch this morning. So it seems that something about getting hot lunch did not work for him. I am anxiously awaiting new this evening about his second day! I was VERY impressed by the teachers and staff and how well they kept the first day of school chaos to a minimum. I think this is going to be a great school for us.

LynneC said...

My ninth grader had a good day at Roosevelt yesterday. He's back in the public schools after three years at a private middle school and is very enthusiastic about the energy of a big public high school. He seems to have lucked out with his schedule and likes his teachers, and he was pleasantly surprised that last night's math homework in his honors geometry class was challenging. Gotta love that, a kid who is happy to have hard math homework! Some of his classmates have not been as lucky with their schedules. Many have been assigned to history with the dreaded Mr. ______, who shall remain nameless but who seems to have a uniformly bad reputation at the school and apparently lived up to it yesterday. Another troubling thing is my son's friend who has been shut out of taking French 2 as a freshman. The family is being told that with budget cuts there are only two French 2 classes, each of which is over-subscribed with 35 kids. It's a shame, because French is her favorite subject, she's taken it for years and is working towards fluency, but it appears that there is nothing to be done about it. It's her family's first experience with SPS after 9 years in private school and unfortunately not a good start.

Deidre said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
adhoc said...

Lynne, I'm glad your 9th graders Gemoetry homework was challenging last night. My son started 9th grade at Hale this year, and his Geometry homework last night was to make a book cover for his math text book. No homework from any other class either. I hope this was just a gentle, transition day, and not a sign of what's to come. He is coming from a very challenging Shoreline school and we were a bit taken aback last night. We'll see how today goes.

Any other Hale parents out there? Is this typical? Or am I over reacting? It was only the first day after all.

Patrick said...

My 3rd grader in Jane Addams was very enthusiastic about yesterday.
She liked her teacher, liked that they will get lockers, made friends with some of her classmates.

seattle citizen said...

Yea! Lots of positive stories!

I'm sure many SPS employees are glad things seem to have started in an apparently up-beat way (for the most part!)for many students and parent/guardians.

Warm tea, glad backslaps and huzzahs all around! (that last one is to satisfy the Melissa Provision)


hschinske, your daughter might be interested in a movie coming based on roller derbies (the new kind!). I know nothing about, saw an ad, but I'm sure she could goolle it, uh, look it up using the search engine of her choice!
Might be some way to tie in a grand opening or something, who knows! RatCityRollers roll on!

seattle citizen said...

Beth,
You lament that the loss of student kitchen helpers "was just another reminder that that community is gone."
Nova used to have its own little Kitchen down in the basement, perfectly non-code, and everybody lent a hand at cooking lunch...

Ach. What the law hath wrought.
And now what the dollar (or lack thereof) hath wrought.

On a positive note (Melissa!), soon cafeteria employees will have an easier job, because they won't have to spend as much time carefully overseeing the preparation of food for the li'l ones a'tall: It's all to be manufactured according to the best modern theories of mechanization, production line automation, macro-mini-mighty-money-management and other fine technologies.
Ach, I used irony! THAT'S not hugs and butterflies!

hmm. Those that are left still love.

Sahila said...

2nd day of school, and Olympic View parents have no idea where their first grader is... 5.00pm and bus still hasnt arrived, no reply at the school and on hold to transportation....

seattle citizen said...

Hey Jamie, I wrote my exhortation to Rat City Roller Girls before I saw your comment! Rat City Roller Girls rock!

zoooom!

wseadawg said...

First couple days at TM have gone great for my kids. But we're already experiencing the pain of everyday math.

How much time and opportunity to teach children real math, by exercising their brains while performing actual calculations will we surrender to this ridiculous, failed, supposed self-esteem building nonsense called everyday math?

This stuff is a load of sh@#, and there's no way the district doesn't know it full-well. It's not math. It's playing with numbers in a way that's supposed to make a kid feel good about themselves, akin to potty training. This crap has to go.

Megan Mc said...

Quote from my daughter when I picked her up, "I hope Paul (her new teacher) had as great a day as I did because it was perfect!" Both my daughters are in 3rd grade at AS#1. They've had the same teacher for K-2nd grade so this was a big transition for them. They are very excited about all the new kids at school.

I've been trying to reach transportation for over a week to change our drop off location to a different after school care site and haven't been able to get through. Luckily, the old stop is down the street from the community center so the girls have been walking themselves over. I have no idea what we would do if their old stop was far away.

Robert said...

wow u r lucky k-2 kids walking themselves to the bus... not up here in cap hill

Robert said...

oops: i mean to the cc from the bus...

h2o girl said...

Wow Sahila, that's horrifying. Any update on the story?

adhoc said...

Ahhh...math homework from Hale last night!

mom of 3 said...

My Hale senior had over two hours of homework both nights. I think the first week of ninth grade is all about creating a new community - more necessary in a school where the kids have come from all over town than when they've all moved up together from the middle school down the street. Ad hoc, unless your son has a really different teacher set than we experienced, I'd expect the homework to increase quite a bit.

adhoc said...

Thanks for the info mom of 3! I'm looking forward to my son having a great year at Hale. And I expect that it will surpass my expectations which are that it be challenging, rigorous, and fun.

Sahila said...

h2O girl....

apparently the first grader was put on the wrong bus....parents finally got to talk to the despatcher & bus driver, and arranged that the driver would take her back to school, where they picked her up around 5.45pm...

This is second hand from the parent of the Olympic View child (we were visiting when this was going on)...little kids are supposed to have an older bus buddy who picks them up in their classroom and puts them on the bus... kids also are supposed to be issued/wear a sticker with their bus number on it, so the teacher and bus driver can check they are getting on the right bus...

None of that happened yesterday, apparently... and all the 6 year old could tell her parents was that "a lady with a bird in a cage told me to get on the bus"...

Patrick said...

Poor kid! My daughter was on a bus that had to turn around and go back to the school to drop someone off who got on the wrong bus once. Not as bad as being on the wrong bus, but it did make them very late to after-school care.

LynneC said...

Victory for my son's freshman classmate at Roosevelt who wasn't going to be able to take French! The school has decided to add another section of the class, so she will be able to take French 2 after all. Dispiriting situation turned into good story about a school being responsive to its students' needs. Put this down as one of Melissa's good things.

BL said...

My son loves kindergarten at Lowell.

I'm not hearing anything about academics, but he loves riding the school bus, eating the cafeteria food, and having (sharing) a locker in the hallway.

The week was very fun and exciting.

Stu said...

Anyone know what's happening with all the Garfield Japanese language students who were dropped from the program 'cause they didn't have space? I heard that half of them won't be able to take Japanese this year, even though they were all taking it last year, because they were cutting the number of spaces available.

(I'm guessing that it's MUCH harder to learn a language if you have to keep starting over with a new one every year. )

So, if a school drops half the students, but still offers the program, I'm assuming they don't waive the language requirements, do they?

Our son doesn't hit Garfield for a couple of years --that's assuming, perhaps stupidly, that they don't split APP high school into North/South and, therefore, make him metro it to someplace like Franklin...for the "North" program of course -- but it would be nice to know that once students start a language, they get to continue it. (I am making a distinction between a language that's no longer offered vs a language that they've decided, quite suddenly, in which to limit participation.)

Just curious if anyone's at Garfield who knows about this?

stu

gavroche said...

I don't know about what's happening at Garfield, Stu. That certainly doesn't sound fair. Meanwhile I have heard that there's a brouhaha brewing at Thurgood Marshall over the principal or District's alleged plan to allow walk-overs from Gen ed/ALO to APP for science class. This is problematic for a number of reasons (and may require a separate post as details emerge).

Meanwhile, and speaking of APP, I don't see this date on the official SPS calendar, but October 8 is the deadline for submitting the official Parent/Guardian Permission form if you want your child tested for possible qualification in the District's Advanced Learning options (Accelerated Progress Program or
Spectrum).


The test is free and is administered by the District
in the fall to kids as young as kindergarten age. But parents/guardians need to request it.

Downloadable Permission form can be found here:

http://www.seattleschools.org/area/advlearning/forms.htm

More info here:
http://www.seattleschools.org/area/advlearning/index.xml

from the SPS site:
Testing for Eligibility as Academically Highly Gifted or Academically Gifted
Testing for eligibility as Academically Highly Gifted or Academically Gifted is necessary for enrollment in the Accelerated Progress Program (APP) and/or the Spectrum program. The deadline to apply for the 2009-2010 fall/winter testing cycle is October 8, 2009. For nomination forms see Forms. Eligibility results from the fall/winter testing cycle will be available in January 2010 in time to enroll for the 2010-11 school year.

Stu said...

Meanwhile I have heard that there's a brouhaha brewing at Thurgood Marshall over the principal or District's alleged plan to allow walk-overs from Gen ed/ALO to APP for science class. This is problematic for a number of reasons (and may require a separate post as details emerge).

Well, if this is so, it not only violates the program guidelines but is another "guarantee" that's been pissed away. If we search around one of these boards, I'm sure we can find the quote stating that "APP classes will remain APP only."

This is not a matter of kids being smart enough to take APP classes; this is a program that you're required to test into and, if they allow non-APP students to participate, then the program becomes another ALO.

Of course, since MGJ has shown that she doesn't like APP, this is a perfect opportunity to continue dismantling the program.

stu

TechyMom said...

I'm not surprised by this. Julie was talking about it as a possibility at tours last year.

agibean1958 said...

What if the child in question DID test into APP but chose not to go, for whatever reasons? Would you still want them kept from walking over to APP classes? Not that I know anything about which kids, if the rumor is even true, but I do know that there are at least a couple of kids already going to TM who qualified for APP but remained where they were.

Personally, I don't see a problem with any kids who can do the work being allowed to sit in on an APP class. I don't see how it dismantles anything by allowing a bright kid to participate with other bright kids in a class that they can handle. Montessori schools do this all the time. It's the only thing that kept my oldest sane growing up in a state where there was no gifted ed.

G said...

Could it be that there are kids in the Thurgood Marshall general ed / alo population who are just as "bright" as kids in APP, possibly tested at the same level as kids in APP through district testing, but who have families that did not have the money to buy the private testing to secure the correct numbers required to clear the APP hurdle? Perhaps walkovers are the most equitable thing that could happen for some kids in the TM community on both sides of the "bright" fence.

SPS mom said...

For APP appeals, the District provides additional testing at no cost to low income families.

adhoc said...

If we are going to look at TM non APP kids walking over to join an APP class from a purely equitable point of view, then we have to look at the kids all across the district who test into "APP" but don't choose to join the "APP" program. How could you offer "walk to APP" at only one school (T Marshall) in the district?

If you are going to offer a program (APP) that requires "testing in" then you should either:

A) only offer that program to those kids who do indeed "test in"

OR

B) Make exceptions to the "test in" policy available to all students district wide.

Personally, I don't agree with "testing in" to any program. I think it stinks. I think every kid who has the ability, desire and motivation to do the work should have access to advanced learning. I have written before about how Shoreline middle schools offer honors classes to all students who want to take them. No testing. All you need to do is select the honors class and maintain a grade of 75%.

And honestly, I have seen many kids that are not "gifted" but are highly motivated do much much better than some of the obviously "gifted" kids who lack motivation.

agibean1958 said...

Actually, Adhoc, I thought of your experiences when I saw the concerns posted about letting ALO kids walk over. I do think that the best option would be to offer that kind of option here in the SSD, especially in middle and high schools, but I am not sure how it would work at the elementary level district-wide, where there are not advanced classes in every school.

To be fair, you'd need APP-level classes all across the district, but that's EXACTLY what many APP families DON'T want, if the response to the split last year is any indication.

I belong to a few mailing lists for bright kids' families, and from what I can tell, Seattle, even with the split, has a much better program than anything offered in other states for gifted kids. Most parents are left to be happy with an hour or two of pull-out time, skipping their kids a grade after much fighting with the district, or having no options at all, resorting to homeschooling. They seem to fare only slighty better by going private, and even there, often encounter administrations who can't/won't deal with learning differences, including advanced kids.

TechyMom said...

APP is designed to serve exactly the highly gifted kid who is bored and unmotivated by regular school. A hard-working kid of average or slightly above average intelligence will usually do better in school than a highly gifted kid. The highly gifted not only learn more quickly, they learn differently, are frequently isolated and bullied, and, as they grow up, have high rates of alcoholism, suicide and depression. Because of these differences, not because of test scores, highly gifted students usually do better in classes with similar students. That's what APP is for: reaching those unmotivated super-smart kids who don't fit in or do well in regular school.

However, these issues drop off rapidly as you move toward the 90th percentile, and the argument for a separate Spectrum program isn't nearly as strong. I'd be completely in favor of replacing middle-school Spectrum with honors classes like what they have in Shoreline. I think AP and IB sort of follow this model for high school, and that's a good thing. It's harder in elementary school, as pull-outs can have social costs. I'm interested to see how the ALO at Lowell and TM works out, as I think ALO might be closer to the honors model than Spectrum is. I might even support replacing Spectrum with ALOs. Unless they screw it up, which is, of course a distinct posibility.

I don't think there's anything wrong with walkovers at schools with APP or Spectrum programs, but I do think there's a big problem with the idea that we have to spread the APP kids around the district, away from the first place many of them have had friends, in order to make access to walkovers equitable. If that's the end result, then I wouldn't support walkovers.

Ben said...

"Spreading APP around" is code for "ending APP."

In my son's kindergarten cohort, 3 kids tested into APP (and all went to Lowell for first grade in '08/'09). In other words, out of approximately 85 kids, 3 took and passed the test.

Let's say there were another 3 kids who would have passed the test if they had taken it.

So, out of a kindergarten cohort of 85 kids, you'd have 6 kids in APP. Now imagine that spread throughout every grade and every school.

In every classroom, you'd have 5 or 6 kids capable of doing the work that is now done in APP classes. Do you think those kids will get the attention and instruction they need in a regular, general ed classroom? Or will they be separated and isolated and told, "Oh, just, um... Just read chapter 4 also"?

I'll keep APP.

Stu said...

I have written before about how Shoreline middle schools offer honors classes to all students who want to take them. No testing. All you need to do is select the honors class and maintain a grade of 75%.

Adhoc,

The Shoreline school district has a self-contained Highly Capable Program, with a population separate from the regular education.

Although I am in favor of the separate APP program, for all the reasons that have been stated over and over again about learning style, my concern isn't primarily the status of APP. I do believe that the district will eventually sacrifice the APP program because of politics and it'll become the same diluted thing that the unsupported Spectrum program has become. However, my initial concern is that, if the TM walk-over story is true, it's incredibly unfair to other "smart" kids in the district who can't even get into Spectrum 'cause the programs aren't offered of full, it changes the very nature of the self-contained program, it goes completely against the promises that were made with the split, and violates the statues. It's more than a slippery slope, it's another broken promise and, instead of trying to increase access to a great program, by perhaps duplicating it in other schools, it waters it down.

stu

This from the Shoreline Schools Site:
The self-contained Highly Capable Program in the Shoreline School District is currently offered at two elementary schools: Ridgecrest and Meridian Park. Students who live on the east side of I-5 attend Ridgecrest. Students on the west side of I-5 attend Meridian Park. Students who are out-of-district boundary exceptions are placed based on space availability in the appropriate classroom.

gavroche said...

agibean1958 said...
What if the child in question DID test into APP but chose not to go, for whatever reasons? Would you still want them kept from walking over to APP classes?


I'm not sure what you mean by this. If a Thurgood Marshall student tested into APP and now has the program at her/his school, why wouldn't s/he simply switch to APP entirely? That would be perfect.

My understanding of the "walk-over" concept is that it only applies to some subjects and some kids, in this case, science, and the walk-over kids would not need to have been tested for APP in order to participate.

Some kids may well be particularly strong in one subject, so yes, they should be given the opportunity to be challenged at the appropriate level. The question is, are walk-overs to APP the right, fairest, best way to do this?

I believe that every child in the District should be offered classes that challenge her/him at the level the child needs. But here are some of the problems that could arise from this walk-over idea:

Which kids get to walkover and which ones don't?

Who determines this, and how?

Equity issue: What about all the kids in the District who have tested into APP but opted not to go because Lowell (and now Thurgood Marshall) was too far away -- how is it equitable to them if other kids at Thurgood who didn't test in are allowed to join the program simply by virtue of being on-site?

Or what about those kids in other schools who took the advanced learning test and just barely missed out on qualifying for APP but don't get the benefit of these walk-overs?

Or the many more (hundreds of) kids throughout the school district who have been identified as Spectrum students but are getting little to none of the extra academic challenges that they need? How are these walk-overs fair to all them?

In an alleged quest for "equity and access," the School District is potentially creating at another kind of inequity at Thurgood Marshall (and possibly Lowell).

Access issue: One of the (many changing) reasons the Supt. and District gave the APP community for splitting the school in half was to offer "access" and "equity" to more students (though this was never clearly explained). Walk-overs would provide "access" for a select few kids at Thurgood but certainly no "equity" for all the other advanced learning kids throughout the District who are not at Thurgood.

Basic logistics: APP class sizes at Lowell and I believe Thurgood are already pretty big this year -- close to 30 kids a class in some cases. If you add extra walk-over kids, where will you put them?

(continued on next post)

gavroche said...

(continued from previous post - Concerns about Walk-overs):

Academic rigor: If somehow Principal B. and the District can figure out a way to do this that doesn't leave out some kids or deprive others of equal opportunity and all is balanced, fair, the next question is: Can she and the District ensure that the academic standard and pace of the APP class will be upheld and not slowed down or diluted at all to accomodate walk-over kids who might be struggling?

I'm all for increasing access to challenging work for more kids who need it, but if that comes at the price of diluting the APP curriculum, then that's ultimately a loss for everyone.

Credibility issue: As Stu mentions, the District made a number of promises to the APP community before, during and after the split decision. The community was ultimately told that walk-overs would not happen. So if Principal B. is pushing for them again, then yes, this is another lie (word of the moment!) to the APP community.

Like others on this thread, I want to point out that APP is a strong, successful program the District should be proud of. I believe that it serves a specific and important purpose (please see www.appinseattle.org for some info and parent testimonials on this).

As Techy Mom pointed out, highly capable kids are not simply kids who are especially eager to learn or for whom learning comes easily -- they have certain aptitudes, quirks, academic needs, and challenges of their own. Highly capable kids are often intense, can be very sensitive, and have a higher rate of suicide than other kids. Programs and teachers who are familiar with these kids and their needs, teaching them together as a community (cohort) have proven to be the best model for meeting these kids' needs.

The concern with the split and any weakening of the program is that if the District ultimately, through intent or bumbling, ends up with a less rigorous or poorly defined program, this group of kids -- and there are hundreds of them in the District -- would lose a crucial and up till now, successful, program.

I believe that APP families have good reason to be concerned about any efforts to tweak the program, create short cuts that aren't available to all kids, bend the rules for some and not others, or diminish the rigor of the program.

Julie B. may well have hinted at or promised walk-overs during school tours as a way to lure Gen ed families (and APP families w/ Gen ed siblings) to Thurgood Marshall. I believe she or the District may have been concerned that not enough Gen ed (or APP) families would choose TM, the "new" untested APP location, instead of the established, familiar APP school (Lowell). I think about 200 gen ed kids eventually enrolled at TM and only 100 or so at Lowell.

Both TM and Lowell's Gen ed programs have been designated ALO -- Advanced Learning Opportunities -- but what does that term mean? It seems a pretty nebulous concept. Why don't both schools offer AP classes within the ALO classes? I think the principals and District need to figure out what ALO means and give the ALO families something meaningful for their kids -- and not some back-door promise of walk-overs for just a few kids that may ultimately create more problems than it solves.

By the way, I heard about this issue from two separate sources, a parent at Lowell and a parent at TM.

adhoc said...

"The highly gifted not only learn more quickly, they learn differently, are frequently isolated and bullied, and, as they grow up, have high rates of alcoholism, suicide and depression. Because of these differences, not because of test scores, highly gifted students usually do better in classes with similar students."

This is interesting data that I was not aware of, and am sympathetic to. However, I do not agree that APP or any advanced level model (Spectrum/ALO) should be used to isolate or separate students who may have social or emotional issues. I think that advanced learning classes should serve all kids who can do advanced level work, including "non gifted" but highly motivated students. APP is not a social service provider, and it should not be used as such.

adhoc said...

Stu, I was referring to Shoreline middle schools. They have opt in honors classes, unlike Seattle middle schools that still have test in programs (APP and Spectrum). In Shoreline there are no prerequisites and there is no testing in to honors. All you need is the desire to do the extra work, and the ability to maintain a grade of 75% or higher (if you don't you are bumped back to a regular class). In addition you can pick and choose the subjects that you want the challenge in. You can take all honors classes if you'd like or you can take only one or two. Your student may be a gifted writer, but struggle in math. They could take an honors LA class, and regular math class.

Isn't that how it should be?

agibean1958 said...

"I'm not sure what you mean by this. If a Thurgood Marshall student tested into APP and now has the program at her/his school, why wouldn't s/he simply switch to APP entirely? That would be perfect."

Well, no, it wouldn't be "perfect". SOME parents who have thier kids test for APP, and whose kids PASS, still are not convinced that an environment of isolated learning is the "perfect" solution, so they keep their kids at local schools with their friends and the cultural diversity they desire, then work with the school administration so that their kids get the education they need.

This is the case for some families that I know, including one at TM. I'm sure there are others around the district. Not everyone is convinced that isolating APP kids from everyone else is the perfect solution. It's not just about academics, as it's been pointed out many times. But that means that the celebrated APP "cohort" isn't the perfect cohort for all APP-capable kids.

TechyMom said...

Well, adhoc, we'll just have to disagree on that point. I'm pretty sure that this need is EXACTLY what IPP, and its decendant APP was designed for. The highly gifted are special-needs kids. The emotional problems are caused by the different way they think, and the way that age-peers react to it. The simply bright are not special-needs kids. The two groups have different needs. For the simply bright, and for the average-but-hard-working, the honors/ALO model works very well.

I'd actually like to see Spectrum made opt-in, and APP moved back towards the old IPP model (98th percentile and self-paced, rather than 95th percentile and 2-year acceleration). Does anyone know the history of why IPP was changed to APP?

gavroche said...

agibean1958 said...
To be fair, you'd need APP-level classes all across the district, but that's EXACTLY what many APP families DON'T want, if the response to the split last year is any indication.

Agibean -- For the record, the APP community's "response" to the announced split was a response to an out-of-the-blue decree from the District that their academically strong nurturing and well-functioning school of highly capable and Special Ed children was to be closed, all kids evicted, split in half and sent farther south into two other schools (Thurgood Marshall and Hawthorne), with Special Ed left in the lurch with no place to go.

Parents were only given a few weeks during the holidays to make their case and fight to save their school and their program. (The announcement came just before Thanksgiving and parents were told the Superintendent would make her final decision just a month later.)

And then the Superintendent announced she also wanted to split APP at middle school as well. Again, with no warning or community input or sound rationale.

The entirely legitimate confused and angry response of the APP community was to the District's many changing rationalizations for the split, and the promises made by the District (Lowell would be less crowded after the split, both schools would be equitable, there would be no walk-overs, etc etc) that were very quickly broken.

The response was to the District's disregard of the very audit it commissioned that said not to split APP that way, and the District's disregard for the past failure of the last APP cohousing experiment at Madrona which a previous Superintendent said should never be repeated.

The response was to the Superintendent and Board breaking a promise and violating their own policy that stated the District would create a North end and a South end location in the event of a split. Instead, Lowell, Thurgood Marshall and Hawthorne are all very south of the ship canal.

The community's response of sadness and anger was to School Board members who said that APP was split for "political" reasons. It had nothing to do with what was best for the APP, Special Ed or General Ed kids of Lowell, Thurgood Marshall, T T Minor or Hawthorne.

Any school community in this District that is treated by this Superintendent and Board and District this way would be and would have every right to be as angry as the APP community has been.

APP is not the same as Advanced Placement classes. There is a reason the solid, strong cohort model is what is recommended and works best for these kids.

I do believe that advanced classes and Spectrum should be real and offered in every school, but the APP cohort should be kept together.

Ben said...

How are APP kids "isolated" any more than non-APP kids?

If your kid tested into APP (indicating that your child is capable of doing the work in an APP class), but stayed in general ed for fear of becoming isolated, hasn't the kid become "isolated" in a general ed classroom and program? (A program that might be suitable for his or her abilities, learning style, or whatever.)

At Marshall, there are 2 APP second grades (the only grade I'm at all familiar with) and 1 general ed 2nd grade, and (I think) one mixed-grade gen ed room including 2nd graders. In what sense is the general ed classroom inclusive and, um, roomy?

Ben said...

"(A program that might be suitable for his or her abilities, learning style, or whatever.)"

This was SUPPOSED to say (A program that might NOT be suitable for his or her abilities, learning style, or whatever.)

Oops.

TechyMom said...

gavroche, I largely agree with your arguments, but have a nit to pick... Lowell is not "very south of the ship canal." It's at the north end of broadway, only about a mile and a half south of the ship canal.

Stu said...

Gregory King (Lowell Principal) wrote:

"At Lowell, the APP and ALO programs are self-contained."

I'm waiting to hear about Thurgood Marshall.

By the way, I don't accept the argument that APP is exclusive; I propose that it's an inclusive program for those who qualify under a specific set of guidelines. If you want to change that parameters, fine; if you want to add additional means to identify "qualified" students, fine; make those changes and INCLUDE different groups of students. The program is what the program is and, if someone tests in but chooses not to go, for ANY reason, that doesn't change the nature of the program. As I've written many times before, there are all sorts of things that need to be considered when focusing on your own child's needs. If the program, as a whole, is designed to take a group of students and teach them two years ahead of the regular education students of the same grade, I don't believe you can just have non-APP students coming in and out of various classes without some sort of compromise. No matter how advanced a 4th grader might be in math, he can't just walk into a 6th grade class and achieve at that level. The purpose of accelerated learning is to keep accelerating.

You can choose to opt out of the program but, as it stands now, you can only test in.

stu

gavroche said...

Agibean -- All right, fair enough-- "perfect" was the wrong word. Clearly nothing seems to be perfect for anyone when APP is the topic of discussion.

Your initial comment was: "What if the child in question DID test into APP but chose not to go, for whatever reasons? Would you still want them kept from walking over to APP classes?"

And my response was intended to convey: Of course that child should not be kept from joining APP classes. In fact, that child should have access to the entire program, especially now that it has been brought to his/her school.

But now you seem to be saying that some parents with an APP kid would still keep their kid from joining the APP program even when it's moved into their building.

If so, that undermines one of the District's last standing reasons for the split.

Stu said...

largely agree with your arguments, but have a nit to pick... Lowell is not "very south of the ship canal." It's at the north end of broadway, only about a mile and a half south of the ship canal.

Techymom,

The district pretended that the split was to increase access to the program and all recommendations, if the program WERE to split, said to split it North/South. Our son's bus ride to Lowell last year, and we're nowhere near the north end of the district, was over an hour each way. The data showed that MORE North kids who tested into the program did not go because of the proximity issue and yet the district initially tried to place the program in Thurgood Marshall and Hawthorne, both school FARTHER south than the self-contained program at Lowell. (Remember, they also said they HAD to move it 'cause the HAD to close the horrible Lowell building. Notice that, once they determined the building could stay open, they still HAD to split the program.)

I know it sounds nit-picky but the district refuses to look at it's own data when making decisions. This isn't about access and it isn't about equity; it's strictly politics. As talked about on another thread, board members are on the record as saying that they had to close North schools 'cause they were closing South schools, even though they now want to spend millions of dollars opening North schools.

stu

gavroche said...

TechyMom said...

gavroche, I largely agree with your arguments, but have a nit to pick... Lowell is not "very south of the ship canal." It's at the north end of broadway, only about a mile and a half south of the ship canal.


Yes -- delete the "very." I meant that all three APP elementary locations that were in the mix during the Capacity Management deliberations were south of the ship canal: Lowell, TM and Hawthorne.

In the initial plan to move APP to TM and Hawthorne, that would have placed both APP locations farther and farther south.

So the Superintendent asked the Board to rescind the District Policy that required a true north end location.

Main point: There is (currently) no true "north-end" location for elementary APP. And the APP split to Hamilton marks the first time in SPS history, to the best of my knowledge, that APP has ever been located North of the ship canal.

TechyMom said...

Though, to be fair, TM isn't a true "south-end" location either. It's north of I-90, though I will grant, only by a block or so and not 1.5 miles.

Ben said...

Yes, TM is virtually on top of I-90. The park immediately to the south of the school is built on the I-90 lid.

TechyMom said...

Hawthorne would be a true south end location. TM isn't. Both Lowell and TM are in Central Seattle, neither north or south, and long drive for those at the city limits. That made sense when there was one location, less when there are two. I know this was done partly because there's no room in the north end. I don't really know why TM was chosen over Hawthorne or another true south end locaiton, as there is plenty of room further south. I'm guessing it has to do with TM being so close to the freeway and easy to get to, but I don't really remember the reasoning.

Sahila said...

Call me a cynic, but I think that APP was kept more 'central' than 'south' because of racism....

I hve a feeling there was a discussion about what would happen if you proposed puting a population of mostly white (am not being racist here - there have been complaints on this blog from non-white APP parents and APP-eligible families that APP is not very diverse), mostly middle class families down 'south' - in a geogrpahical area with the problems that RBH experiences for example?

As someone pointed out, there is plenty of space in the south end to accommodate an APP programme there....

Its part of the same reluctance to put Spectrum and ALO in south end schools...

Rose M said...

I have friends who have sent their children through the APP program. I have friends who have kept their APP qualified children in their general ed program. I choose to keep my APP qualified children in the general ed program. I don’t think we should attack parents for either decision. I think that parents get defensive about their choice, because they are attacked so frequently. My children did not need a special social/emotional environment. They were never picked on. APP is a good answer for some children. I don’t think you can assume that it is the best answer for all children who qualify. I have always been completely supportive of my friends who choose APP. Generalizing about families who choose the program or families who are not in the program seems to be very hurtful around this sensitive subject. Everyone is trying to do the best for their children.

TechyMom said...

I completely agree Rose. I just feel very strongly that such an option should be available for those who need it. I knew too many kids growing up who did need it and didn't get it, and whose lives didn't turn out so well.

Ben said...

Just curious:

Why do parents have their kids tested for APP, but then opt not to put their kids in APP? That is, if you don't think APP is right for your kid, why bother taking the test?

SPSMom said...

To put into a different perspective, how many kids in each grade are we actually talking about walking over for a subject or two? Three? Five? Fifteen? 20? Are there kids waitlisted for APP currenlty?

If it is just a few students, I highly doubt the entire program is down the drain.

On the otherhand, if it is half a class, then there is a valid argument.

Bottom line is: If you test in to APP you get a seat, if the class is full then no other students can "walk" over.

Once the classes are filled there will be no walk overs. And maybe this year allowing a few kids to "sit in" may actually end up in additional testing and more APP qualified kids.

Ben said...

The 2nd grade APP classes at Marshall are TINY.

My son's class has 17 kids in it!

My real problem with the walkovers is it's a broken promise that makes me wonder what's next. We APP parents (if I may presumptuously speak for all of them) feel jerked around already. I would say that most APP parents were unhappy about the split and suspicious of the district's shifting rationales for it. So now, not two weeks into the school year, we see (or might be seeing) one of their guarantees vanishing.

That stinks.

Ben said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Stu said...

Are there kids waitlisted for APP currently?

There's no such thing as an APP waitlist. All who test into the program are guaranteed a seat. That's one thing that makes it different than other programs and is another reason why the program needs to be centrally located; it draws from the whole city and can not turn students away.

That said, there's a lot of nitpicking about whether TM or Hawthorne are truly "south" or if they're central. The point is not whether or not the buildings are a block or two away from some district line, the point is that one of the primary reasons given for the split was access and, if that were truly the case, the split would have placed the program in both the southern and northern areas of the city. What they did was political. They tried to place the program in lower-performing south-ish buildings so that, even though they weren't changing the parameters of the program, they could call it more diverse. Yes, the "buildings" are more diverse than before; the program isn't.

stu

Melissa Westbrook said...

Adhoc, APP is a different animal from Spectrum or Honors. I agree that kids should be able to get into a class if they want to do the work there.

But APP IS a group of highly capable kids who do not just need acceleration. And APP does not exist to meet their social/emotional needs; it exists to meet their academic needs. That it also serves the purpose of helping kids who may have had social/emotional problems because their academic needs were beyond a regular ed classroom is secondary.

Ben, many parents choose to test their children because, well, hey, it's a free test that they can use to say "My kid tested in the XX percentile." It is sad when parents who have no intention of transferring their kids to either Spectrum OR APP take the test (and waste those Advanced Learning dollars). The largest part of the AL program budget is testing and would likely be far less if only parents who truly wanted to be in the program used the testing. Of course, you need to test to determine if you can be part of the program but some people test every year. (I know this because of past discussions I've had with Dr. Vaughn, the current head as well as past heads.)

agibean1958 said...

Ben, you asked why a parent would have their kid tested, then not move to APP if they qualify?

I can't speak for everyone (on ANY topic, but some of the reasons I have been given from parents who did just that are: after testing, parents thought it over and decided against it because 1)they wanted to keep siblings together. 2)the APP-tested kid wanted to be with friends he already knew and 3)concerns about the lack of racial diversity.

Now in all these specific cases, the parents were willing and able to advocate for their kids in their own schools to get more challenging class work, and had pincipals and teachers who were willing and able to accommodate them. I would guess that's what happens with far-north end parents who remain winth neighborhood schools instead of going with APP because of distance.

For ME, and I speak ONLY for myself, I would like to see "cluster" or neighborhood APP or APP-like classes so that NO ONE has to travel far to get them. Also, I think this would give kids whose families want them to remain with siblings or friends that chance. In some locations, it would also offer more diversity.

I think that you WILL see more reluctant parents move their kids into APP over time because of this split. If "APP Johnny" and his sister "Susie" can go to school together, parents might choose APP instead of staying with "School X". If "APP Peter" and his tight group of buddies can remain together at the APP/gen ed school, parents might choose it. If "APP Anna" will be able to see kids from her church at recess and lunch at say, TM, her parents might make the switch. Are you following?

It's not going to happen overnight, and I figure a parent at TM with a 4th or 5th grade ALO kid might not bother to see about APP. But, a 1st or 2nd grade parent or 3 just might, and I think that was partly the reason for the split. But that's just MY opinion.

Ben said...

But the only thing that will create more diversity in APP is for a more diverse group of kids to take the test and for their parents to opt to move them into APP.

And I can't even imagine what a "neighborhood" APP program would be. How many kids in a "neighborhood" would qualify? Talk about isolating!

hschinske said...

"I'd actually like to see Spectrum made opt-in, and APP moved back towards the old IPP model (98th percentile and self-paced, rather than 95th percentile and 2-year acceleration). Does anyone know the history of why IPP was changed to APP?"

The cutoff for APP is still 98th percentile for cognitive testing. Most grade-level achievement tests don't provide enough information to rank students accurately above 95th percentile anyway (that's the whole reason behind talent search testing). (The WASL, of course, doesn't even have true percentile scores at all, so 95th, 98th, who cares, it's all meaningless anyway.) The "two years ahead" language has been floating around for a great many years; at one point it was completely disavowed, at another it was embraced in the form "up to two years ahead," and so forth. In reality, as one might expect, the degree of actual acceleration has varied by teacher.

The changeover from IPP was a long time ago, and I don't know what the entry standards were at that time or what changed. Dr. Nancy Robinson (professor emerita at the UW) would be the one to ask. It was originally planned as a program for students more like four years ahead, not two, though. See http://www.davidsongifted.org/db/Articles_id_10020.aspx and http://www.davidsongifted.org/db/Articles_id_10022.aspx.

Helen Schinske

ArchStanton said...

Ben said: The 2nd grade APP classes at Marshall are TINY. My son's class has 17 kids in it!

Compare that to my daughter's 2nd grade APP class of 28 at Lowell.

I know that APP as a whole expects some variation year to year, but how will this play out between the two programs? How will it affect the equitability of the two schools? I envy your smaller class size, but not necessarily your smaller cohort. I don't know whether to complain or not.

adhoc said...

I agree with Helen. Expand and strengthen Spectrum and make it an opt in program. And make sure it's available to EVERY kid who is motivated to try it.

Though I'm not fond of "test in" programs, APP does seems to be working as it is, so perhaps nothing should change there.

hschinske said...

"I agree with Helen. Expand and strengthen Spectrum and make it an opt in program."

TechyMom said that, not me.

Helen Schinske

Stu said...

Expand and strengthen Spectrum and make it an opt in program. And make sure it's available to EVERY kid who is motivated to try it.

It seems to me that one of the major ongoing complaints on these boards, after the accountability problems and the constant lying by the district, is the issue of inequity. In terms of APP, while it might be a pain to get to the APP schools, the program itself offers equal access to every single student in the district. In fact, it's the only program that's playing on a level field; if you test into the program, you are guaranteed a spot from beginning to end. Pretty clear cut!

On the other side of the coin you have Spectrum, languages, language immersion, science programs, IB, ALO, etc., etc., etc. Participation in these programs depends entirely on lottery, location, and luck. So APP gets targeted as this mansion on the hill that has everything; the instinct, unfortunately, is to tear that building down instead of building more mansions.

EVERY school should have ALO, that's a no-brainer;
EVERY student who tests in Spectrum should have a seat in Spectrum. I mean, why bother to test if it's only to say "hey, look how smart you are . . . it's too bad we don't have a seat for you."
Language, art, music, sports . . . these shouldn't be dependent on individual PTA groups. These things are an integral part of education and should be available throughout the district.

So where do they start? Well, first of all, I would have left APP alone but that's neither here nor there.
FIRST - ALO in every school. I mean, how difficult is it to have an overachieving kid go to the next level math or writing class? You got the class . . . walk 'em over;
SECOND - Spectrum Access. It's an absolute sin, and comes from a string of broken promises, that there isn't a genuine, clearly-defined, Spectrum program in every single cluster, with guaranteed seating for all who qualify;
CHOICE - Schools like John Stanford, which offer language immersion and other programs, HAVE to be available to every student in the district. Making JSIS an assignment school is an insult to everyone who doesn't live within walking distance;
QUALITY - I don't know why this one seems so hard. EVERY high school needs to offer AP classes OR every student who wants/needs those classes needs to be guaranteed an assignment to a school that does offer them. The district can talk about overcrowding and neighborhood assignment all they want to; they've created a demand and then refused to supply the product.

And all of this on the "How Was Your First Day Of School" thread . . . sorry 'bout that, I felt like venting this morning. I got a little pissed off at reading some comments, on another blog, that just want to tear apart the programs that succeed because of the programs that don't. It seems like such a counter-productive direction. We should emulate what works, we should lift the programs that aren't educating, and we should honor those who've found a way to keep their schools relevant and successful.

stu

ArchStanton said...

Since it seems like there's plenty of interest in discussing various aspects of APP, I'd like to make a pitch for someone to start a new forum or take over the Elementary APP blog http://discussapp.blogspot.com/ from last year.

There's a little discussion of where it stands at the bottom of the first thread.

Hopefully the right person will see this before it falls off the main page...

wseadawg said...

I was informed that the combined class (vs. Walk-Overs) was because both the Gen Ed and APP kids are using the same Science Kits. That's way beyond walk-overs for ALO kids. That's combining two different groups at different academic levels.

I share others' concerns about broken promises, but the larger concern is how to teach to both groups without short-changing one or the other. The differentiation is huge in that case, and smacks more of experimentation than education. How is it fair to either group to put them into an environment with another group that ostensibly is two grade levels above or below the other? Sure we want all the kids to engage, share and get along, but is this about those things, or about learning science?

I don't see what's wrong with kids working with other kids at the same or a similar pace. That's ultimately better for both groups' self-esteem than trying to bridge huge gaps in ability inside the classroom.

I trust the Teachers will let us know if its working or not. But will its effectiveness (or lack thereof), or politics rule the day? I'm very skeptical.

Robert said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Robert said...

I agree with ArchStanton; An app blog is sorely needed especially now with all the split issues.

Stu said...

...the Gen Ed and APP kids are using the same Science Kits...
.... but the larger concern is how to teach to both groups without short-changing one or the other...


Theoretically, neither is being short-changed. The APP classes and the Gen Ed classes are supposed to be getting the same material. It's just that the APP kids are getting it a couple of years before the Gen Ed kids.

stu

hschinske said...

As far as I know, the science kits are being used at the same grades for APP classes as they are in the regular program, and always have been since we started using those kits. There is no formal science acceleration in elementary APP. The level of discussion may be higher in APP, of course, and I think generally is.

Helen Schinske

geri said...

I believe they have now adopted different materials for APP than Gen Ed/ AOL in many areas were as it was previously just reading and math.

hschinske said...

Still just reading and math per http://www.seattleschools.org/area/advlearning/program_app.htm.

"The program provides a rigorous, accelerated curriculum in reading and mathematics that challenges students to apply complex thinking skills when working with core skills and concepts."

As recently as last year, the elementary NSF science kits were in use through 5th grade.

Helen Schinske

Stu said...

Anyone every get any solid response about the combining of APP and Gen Ed students at Thurgood Marshall? Gregory King, principal at Lowell, has written that the two populations do no mix in any classes but there's been nothing from TM yet.

stu

PS - This particular post isn't to discuss the pros/cons of mixing the programs, though I've obviously made my opinion known. I think it's important to keep track of broken promises by administration officials and to continue to pressure them for the accountability they're constantly advertising.

Ben said...

Remember all those APP parents spouting all that nonsense about equity between the two APPs?

Except for class size, class make-up (all the mixed-grade classes at Lowell), and blending gen ed and APP at Marshall, everything's the same!

Robert said...

Full day Librarian at TM half day at Lowell. Vice principal intern at TM only one principal at Lowell with a lot more students (though from my take he is doing a great job).

Stu said...

Full day Librarian at TM half day at Lowell. Vice principal intern at TM only one principal at Lowell with a lot more students (though from my take he is doing a great job).

It's incredibly important to demand between the programs. Not just 'cause it was guaranteed, but because if we don't, these inequities will become the norm. Five years from now, optimistically believing that there'll still be some sort of APP available, you can just imaging the "that's the way it's always been" argument being bandied about.

Also, if one APP population has less than another, and the "have not" population still achieves, it'll be ammunition for " hey, let's split the program some more . . . they don't need more resources!" dicussions.

stu

Stu said...

That was supposed to read "demand equity between the programs." Accidentally left out the "equity."

stu