::::UPDATE - I have changed the proposed APP cap at Garfield from 90 to 110.:::::
Let's not kid ourselves. The District is going to do something about Garfield and what they are going to do is limit APP access to the school. The full weight of reducing the overcrowding at Garfield will fall on APP. Even though the growth of APP has had almost nothing to do with the enrollment explosion at Garfield.
This was their intent from the start and it is the reason that they drew the Garfield attendance area as they did. They want to break up APP because the District improves school test scores by re-arranging the distribution of high performing students - not by actually improving outcomes for students.
So what do I think they will do? In the constrained universe that begins with the presumption of capped APP enrollment at Garfield, here's what I think would be the best possible outcome:
The District staff will recommend that high school APP be split and the Board will concur. They will claim - absurdly - that it will improve access and choice in the program. Seriously. The only question remaining will be the number of target schools, which target schools, and how they will mandate the split.
First, APP enrollment at Garfield will be capped, probably around 110 students per class (440 total). Historically, APP freshman enrollment at Garfield has exceeded 110 only during the past three years.
Since there are slightly more than 440 high school APP students (455 currently) and for the past three years there has been more than 110 freshmen APP students at Garfield, the District will have to identify additional "APP Pathways" through high school. We have already heard of one, accelerated IB at Ingraham. Of course, if there can be accelerated IB at Ingraham they can offer it at Sealth as well. They could also identify STEM as an "APP Pathway" - with or without acceleration. They don't need to do this, but it might help draw a few more APP students to STEM and boost the test scores there, which would further burnish the claim of a "turnaround" at Cleveland. Further, it would cost nothing and be easy to identify The NOVA Project as a liberal arts "APP Pathway" to balance the one at STEM. So there could be anywhere from two to five "APP Pathways".
APP students coming out of Washington will get a default assignment to an "APP Pathway" based on their home address. They will get a default assignment to Ingraham accelerated IB if they live in the Ingraham or Hale attendance areas - possibly if they live in the Ballard attendance area as well. If STEM is part of the deal, students will get a default assignment to STEM if they live in the Franklin or Rainier Beach attendance areas. If accelerated IB at Sealth is part of the deal it will be the default assignment for APP students living in West Seattle. Garfield will continue to be the default assignment for the remaining APP students.
Families will, of course, be free to choose any school during Open Enrollment, but once Garfield APP is full, it is full and they will have to accept assignment to another "APP Pathway" high school or another school altogether.
That's how I would do it if I were they. There are some elements of this scheme that, frankly, just make too much sense for the District to ever actually adopt it, so I expect that the real final decision will be some sub-optimal version of this.
Certain elements are sure to be present, however. The APP enrollment at Garfield will definitely be capped - hopefully at no less than 110 per class. Other schools will be identified - at least by designation - as "APP Pathways". Students will get default assignments to a pathway based on their home address but will, of course, be free to choose another pathway (on a space available basis). Whether there will be anything distinctive at these schools for the APP students or not is unclear. They will probably only get usual advanced placement that they already get in math, science, and world language because they already took the 9th (and possibly 10th) grade level classes in middle school.
Note to avert an inevitable comment - The District could justify putting another West Seattle attendance area elementary into the Madison/West Seattle zone if they make Sealth an APP pathway school. That way they will be doing it in response to an action they were taking instead of doing it in response to community demand.