Friday, October 11, 2013

APP Growth Boundaries Open Thread

Let's hear your thoughts (I haven't read them yet.)

Please note; be useful/polite or be deleted.

112 comments:

Lynn said...

I'm not surprised to see an APP IB at RBHS mentioned. This will be the district's answer to providing services to newly identified High School Students in the SE and SW.

Not surprised - but annoyed. Anyone want to guess how long it'll take to get 25 to 30 8th grade students to sign up for this?

Beacon Hiller said...

Also, there is now an optional APP pathway for the SE from Wing Luke to Aki Kurose.

Anonymous said...

Would make more sense to make an optional WS APP pathway to Sealth with an addition of IBx since IB already exists. We have no intention to go to Garfield, and likewise won't choose to commute to Rainier Beach for APP from WS in this plan. Doesn't fit with the district's intention of access to APP in more neighborhood service areas. It shouldn't be too much to ask for SSD to have an APP level pathway in West Seattle through HS.

-Balk

Steve said...

I can't tell...are current 5th graders in APP @ Lincoln who live in the Hamilton MS reference area now going to Hamilton for 6th grade APP next year? So not to Marshall or staying at Lincoln?

Marly said...

@Balk
That's what not mentioned any where, additional HS APP pathways.
It's guaranteed to APP kids to go to three High schools for now, Garfield, Rainier Beach and Ingraham as well as their reference school, if different. With so many north end kids coming down the pipe, where's the new capacity going to be? They can't all go to Ingraham.





Anonymous said...

Is this correct?
2014-15 – current APP from Lincoln and newly qualified APP who live in HIMS service area go to APP at HIMS
2014-15 – current APP from Lincoln and newly qualified APP who live in Whitman service area go to HIMS
2014-15 - current APP from Lincoln and newly qualified APP who live in NE (Eckstein and JAMS) go to JAMS

The split to three northend APP middle cohorts comes in 2016-17 when they put the Wilson Pacific Middle (gened and APP) at John Marshall.

I don't see that they've said anything about moving any current APP at HIMS out of HIMS.

Right?

Reader

Lynn said...

APP students will be guarabteed a seat in one or two program sites. For the north end - Ingraham available to all, Garfield available to those enrolled In APP for 8th grade. For the south end - RBHS will be the APP IB option, Garfield only for those enrolled in the 8th grade. Still no APP cohort with AP classes for those who join in 9th grade. Plus - south end kids will lose access to Ingraham.

Lynn said...

Reader,

I think you're correct. The first change for APP would be 6th graders in JAMS and Eckstein attendance areas going to JAMS next fall.

Lynn said...

Last year 323 of the 1,613 students living in RBHS's attendance area chose to attend RBHS. How many do you think will choose to leave Garfield, WSHS, Sealth and Franklin for RBHS?

Charlie Mas said...

I don't expect a lot of folks to choose Rainier Beach over Garfield. IBX by itself is not enough of a draw to outweigh other considerations.

However... if the IB and IBX classes are very small, as they might well be, that could tip the scales. It wouldn't be hard to imagine class size of 15 or so. That has a lot of appeal. It's not uncommon for an IB student to have IB classes for four - or even five - of six periods. Math, science, language arts, social studies, and world language could all be IB.

But wouldn't this create even a worse "apartheid" situation than the one that generates such complaints at Garfield? Especially since the IBX classes are self-contained. How is that consistent with the District's goals?

Charlie Mas said...

Just stating the obvious:

For the northeast, Eckstein should have been chosen as the APP middle school site instead of Jane Addams. Nearly all of the students live in the Eckstein walk zone. Almost none live in the Jane Addams walk zone.

Lynn said...

Yes to Eckstein. I read the public comments - and one of the most self-centered was a flat "No APP at Eckstein." The best though was the person who suggested families should have to pay to be in APP. They were generous enough to suggest there could be some means testing.

Lynn said...

Charlie,
I don't think they expect anyone to choose the program at RBHS. It's their answer to the requirement to provide services to students new to APP in the 9th grade. Now they can say they've offered something. I wonder how they'll get around the 'variety of services' requirement?

Anonymous said...

Charlie,

Once again you show your true colors of being an antagonist when you suggest Eckstein bc most of the kids currently live nearby. I do not know what the right answer is but I do now solving todays issue is not the goal. The goal is to set up a long term solution for the district. You will need to come up with another reason for Eckstein. Your usefulness as a true problem solver for the district is long gone as proven in this Eckstein comment.

-Ted

Lori said...

Ted, I think Charlie is factually correct. What's antagonistic about stating the obvious?

If in fact the district wants to put APP closer to where kids live, JAMS isn't much of an improvement for a lot of us over HIMS. I am exactly equidistant between the two schools; one is 3 miles west, the other is 3 miles north. It's a really easy walk to Eckstein though! For Lincoln families who live south of me, HIMS is actually closer to them than JAMS.

This decision isn't about proximity and walkability. Nothing wrong with calling that out.

Anonymous said...

Lori, This is a long term solution they are trying to find. Kids move around. Looking at today's kids is short sighted and not looking at the long picture.

-Ted

dj said...

Ted, one aspect of planning for programming where kids live is that you cannot force kids into programming. If Eckstein is desirable, and the APP-qualified kids (and/or their parents) decide that a desirable school near home is better for them than more needs-specific programming father away, they stay in Eckstein and overcrowd it anyway.

I don't know enough about geography in th north to comment about the specific district plan, but north APP grew quite a bit when it got specific north-end campuses, which suggests to me that parents are sensitive to geography when enrolling their kids.

Anonymous said...

Eckstein is already overcrowded. Making it an APP site would only exacerbate that problem. This capacity problem isn't just about APP - it's about all of our kids.
RR

Lori said...

RR, I can't speak for Charlie, but I wasn't saying that I think it should go at Eckstein. I don't think anyone is advocating for that. Just pointing out that the current plan doesn't align with their guiding principles!

GreyWatch said...

@ Charlie - IBX classes are not self contained. IBX is the same program as IB, but you start in 10th grade, instead of 11th. Classes are the same, so 10th grade IBX students will be in some of the same classes as 11th graders.

Not everyone who starts with IB classes continues on the IB diploma path, former APP included.

I think for the 9th grade year, APP students end up having a lot of classes with their middle school cohort, but not all.

Not a parent of APP/IBX, so this could be wrong, but it's what I've observed at Ingraham.

Anonymous said...

No Charlie, APP at Eckstein is not the obvious choice. In the new district plan there are 3 feeder schools to JAMS (to make room for APP) and 6 feeder schools to Eckstein. I assume you are proposing the opposite with 3 feeder schools to Eckstein plus APP and 6 feeder schools to JAMS. So Sacajawea, Wedgwood, View Ridge would feed to JAMS instead of Eckstein? That would not improve overall walkability.

- Sounder

Charlie Mas said...

Ted, what makes you think that the future will be so different from today that the obvious solution for today would be inappropriate for the future?

"You will need to come up with another reason for Eckstein."

The reason for Eckstein is because it is the placement that is compliant with the governing policy, 2200. Jane Addams would not be compliant with the policy. The policy says to place the programs close to where the students live. The vast majority of middle school APP students in the northeast live south of Eckstein. That makes Eckstein the correct placement for the program for those students instead of Jane Addams.

Sounder, you are correct that I'm proposing that more elementary schools feed to Jane Addams instead of Eckstein if Eckstein were named as the APP site. The schools that would be re-directed to Jane Addams would be Sacajawea and Wedgwood, which are both within the walk zone for Jane Addams. There would be no reduction in walkability. Remember that nearly all of the APP students would get a walkable school instead of needing transportation.

Greywatch, thanks for the information on IBX.

Po3 said...

IBX is open to all incoming 9th graders who qualify. There are a handful of 9th graders at IHS this year who entered IBX and were not enrolled in APP in 8th grade. They were tested in 8th grade to qualify for the program.

I think IBX at both Sealth and RBHS would make sense as more students would be able to attend school closer to home.

Anonymous said...

No Sounder, Charlie is saying that the district should absolutely everything it can for APP. "Put it at Eckstein, so that APP students may walk to Eckstein. So what if 3 feeder schools have to be moved elsewhere? It benefits APP so it's good." Of course, it's also ridiculous because Eckstein is already popular enough without APP. And plenty of APP qualified kids will choose APP anyway.

-Another Reader

Lynn said...

I do wonder how many students at RBHS will be working toward the full IB diploma. Those classes are likely to be pretty small without pulling in some students from outside of the attendance area.

I wonder if it will be possible for students zoned for T. Marshall to get a seat at Lincoln and the WP elementary though open enrollment. What is the APP capacity at Lincoln?

The Wing Luke/Aki pathway makes no more sense than a West Seattle pathway.

Anonymous said...

@Po3, I agree.

-Balk

Anonymous said...

So 600 north-end elementary students get a brand-new, stand-alone school while the 300 south-end elementary kids get dispersed across three separate, co-housed schools?

I'm all in favor of the north-end kids staying together and finally getting a real, permanent school building after getting shuffled around for years -- god bless -- but how can we at the same time ague for this and that south-end kids should be in cohorts so small, it's not even clear they'll be able to maintain self-contained classrooms? If we want to build an APP program that looks like it favors the wealthy and white, this is the way to do it.

And are there really enough middle schoolers in the north or south to provide sufficient cohorts for three middle schools in EACH region? 550 in the north, 350 in the south: clearly not anytime soon.

- Doesn't Add Up

Lynn said...

another reader,

You are saying that APP kids should have to choose between their attendance area school and the services the district is required by law to provide? And this is because they live near a popular school? If the APP students near Eckstein choose to enroll there, the district would then have to redirect Wedgwood and Sacajawea students to JAMS. Why bus APP kids north to JAMS when they could walk to Eckstein and Sacajawea and Wedgwood students could walk to JAMS? Isn't there something else we could do with that money?

Way to arrange everything for the benefit of families who want to attend Eckstein and don't live quite close enough.

Melissa Westbrook said...

"The best though was the person who suggested families should have to pay to be in APP."

They do pay - it's called taxes.

Lynn said...

Doesn't Add Up,

I agree. South-end APP could fill a school on it's own if we stay together.

I think when it's time to split north end APP middle school there will only be enough students for two sites. Their projections give too much weight to the 7% of north end 6th grade students who were newly enrolled in APP this year.

Lynn said...

Melissa - in case it wasn't clear - that 'best' was sarcasm.

Anonymous said...

I disagree Charlie. Your plan would have to include View Ridge as well to balance the capacity numbers. Wedgwood and View Ridge are much closer to Eckstein than JAMS. The districts plan improves walkability for all NE. Your plan only improves walkability for APP.

- Sounder

Anonymous said...

For APP/IB (IBX) at Ingraham, APP students are self contained in 9th Grade in English, World History, and Chemistry (all honors) and then start the IB program in 10th grade, where most of their classes are 10th APP/11th and then the following year, 11th APP/12th. However, while in the IB program, they all take the same Literature and History courses so it is similar to Garfield's model but with far more equal distribution of students in a class across only two grade levels. From what we've heard, our child will also have two self contained College classes in 12th grade. Also, the IB director at Ingraham says that all children in the IBX pathway have to do the full diploma and if they want to do the partial program, they have to do regular IB.

Ingraham Family

Lynn said...

Sounder,

To make room for 360 APP students at Eckstein, you'd have to move 720 attendance area elementary students out of the middle school assignment area. Wedgwood's capacity is 425 and Sacajawea's is 300. You wouldn't have to move View Ridge.

Anonymous said...

After the initial draft plan, a lot of people seemed concerned about the north end APP split at middle school, and the ability to maintain program. The new plan has a 3-way split. Maybe a way to make people feel better if they go back to "just" two?

Terrible to hear what is going on with south APP. South Seattle also needs a cohesive program with a critical mass of kids. Is there some geography issues w/connectedness of West Seattle?

version 3 please

Lynn said...

There are families in West Seattle who would prefer to trade self-contained classes for less travel time.

Melissa Westbrook said...

"No Sounder, Charlie is saying that the district should absolutely everything it can for APP."

No, Charlie has never said anything like that. He is arguing for the policy the Board set forth for boundaries. He has always arguing for following policies because otherwise, why have them?

As for the North cohort being together versus the south cohort, well, there's again that lack of consistency. I don't believe this makes sense at all and will weaken APP in the south. Or maybe, with it being at more schools, parents will be okay with perhaps a closer neighborhood choice.

Anonymous said...

What Charlie is saying makes sense to me. If the Board is going to claim that they are following policy by making APP more accessible to the families enrolled, then by all means they should make Eckstein's SA smaller, route at least Sac and Wedgwood to JAMS, and put the APP kids in at Eckstein, closer to where most of them live.

If Sacajawea, Wedgwood, and View Ridge were routed to JAMS, there would be no reason to artificially "enhance" the JAMS FRL percentage by busing in APP kids.

-North-end Mom

Anonymous said...

I'm not a fan of splitting APP into 3 separate middles schools in each the north and south. While phasing the north end APP splits (NE next year, NW in 2016) at least allows more time to get each program up and running, it also reduces the economy of scale in terms of training new teachers on the middle school "curriculum." From what I've heard, Washington MS APP teachers are exhausted after all the additional work it has taken to finally get HIMS APP in decent shape, and they are likely not looking forward to doing that again...and again. The HIMS APP program is not yet strong enough to take on that role of trainer, either, as there continue to be a lot of new-to-APP teachers. What kind of alignment and consistency can we reasonably expect from all these different APP middle school sites when there isn't a clear program to replicate?

HIMSmom

Charlie Mas said...

Help me out, another reader.

Why are APP students less deserving of an assignment within walking distance to their homes than other students?

Anonymous said...

With this current plan, from a purely capacity point of view, the only thing that would seem to make sense would be for 100% of APP to go to JAMS until WP opens.

There just isn't going to be room at Hamilton or Eckstein any other way.

- north seattle mom

Anonymous said...

@north seattle mom

Do you mean all of APP plus the JAMS 6th graders? Otherwise, how does moving all of APP to JAMS help Eckstein?

- North-end Mom

Maureen said...

Why are APP students less deserving of an assignment within walking distance to their homes than other students?

I don't agree with Another Reader's tone (or content), but it seems pretty clear to me that APP students have a choice. It makes more sense for them to be bused than kids who HAVE to attend their neighborhood school (just like families who choose Option schools). I think it just makes sense to locate APP and Option schools in buildings that it's difficult to walk to or have a small number of kids in the area .

Anonymous said...

The SE pathway for APP (including APP/IB at Rainier Beach) needs to be taken off the table. Absolutely no one from T. Marshall or Washington wants this to happen and all of us from the SE who are eligible already send our kids there. Plus Julie has spent so much time building a community at T. Marshall and now APP will be forced out by ending a bunch on beacon Hill students there who want and should stay at their existing language immersion school. I am also not sure on the West Seattle option, there is no APP without the cohort and with a larger Fairmount Park AA, I see little room for APP. Sometimes a longer commute is worth it... Our family would know.

SE Parent

Lynn said...

Maureen,

Why doesn't it make sense to assign students who attend the elementary schools closest to JAMS to that school? Why bus kids north past Eckstein to JAMS so that Wedgwood and Sacajawea families can avoid being drawn into JAMS's attendance area? Elementary schools have to be reassigned when new middle schools open - even if people really like the old middle school.

Lynn said...

SE Parent,

My guess is that not enough families will register for the SE and SW optional pathways and they'll never get off the ground. I'll be a distraction and a waste of time and energy - but nothing will actually change.

Anonymous said...

For 5th grade APP students living in NE Seattle, would they go to Jane Addams Middle School next year? And does that school exist now? Will it be located at Jane Addams next year? Would there only be 6th graders there next year?
Thanks! NEMom

Anonymous said...

Lynn,
To me (and I have an APP kid still at Bryant) the reverse of your question makes more sense. Significant portions of the Wedgwood and Sac reference areas are in very close proximity to Eckstein. Why bus them to JAMS so that APP, which comes from a larger geographic region than either WW or Sac, can go to Eckstein?

H

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Lynn said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
dw said...

Balk is unfortunately talking like an APP newbie, whether or not s/he is actually a newbie.

I hope that's not the case for WS APP and we can create a strong optional path for those of us with kids who do not want or need self-contained APP

What you're talking about is NOT APP. If you do not feel that your child/ren have the need for a self-contained program, no problem, that's your call for your kids, but that means you do not want or need APP, it's as simple as that. Don't wreck it for others by further diluting what little is left of APP at this point. That is what certain SPS administrators want, to dilute the program down until it's merely nothing more than differentiation in every building around the city, and from firsthand experience over many years, APP parents will tell you that for (the vast majority of) APP kids, THAT DOES NOT WORK!

If you really, truly do not want self-contained for your own kids, what you should be pushing hard for is real (supported and enforced) ALO programs, rather than the mish-mosh of unsupported, unsustainable, undefinable crap that occurs in many buildings, if at all.

I understand your mindset, I was once there myself. But it's wrong, and it helps those who are working hard to destroy the program. Sorry, but someone's got to say it.

Charlie Mas said...

H asked "Significant portions of the Wedgwood and Sac reference areas are in very close proximity to Eckstein. Why bus them to JAMS so that APP, which comes from a larger geographic region than either WW or Sac, can go to Eckstein?"

Of the 360 APP middle school students living in that part of the city, over 300 of them live south of Eckstein. The Sacajawea and Wedgwood attendance areas are within the walk zone for Jane Addams Middle School. Those students will not be bussed there. The APP students do not live in the Jane Addams walk zone and would have to be bussed there.

Students living in the Sacajawea and Wedgwood attendance areas would not have to pass Eckstein on their way to Jane Addams as the APP students would.

Regime Change said...

It's incredibly frustrating that the PTA at Lincoln only seems to represent families in the NE part of town. The worst part of the proposed 3-way split is for the current 3rd graders in the Whitman APP service area. If the NE Moms were facing the prospect of being part of only 2 classes at John Marshall for their kids' 6th grade year, there would be OUTRAGE! Instead, the PTA President says, if this passes, let's work together to make JANE ADAMS the best it can be. So much for speaking for all Lincoln kids. Yes, I know their big push right now is for all kids at Wilson Pacific, but, again, the premise behind it is to benefit the kids in the NE. There has been ZERO mention of concern for the Whitman kids stuck alone at John Marshall for their 6th grade year or the teeny tiny co-hort that will make-up APP at Wilson Pacific.

Anonymous said...

"...the PTA President says, if this passes, let's work together to make JANE ADAMS the best it can be"

I caught that too. We've got some strong parent leaders from the NE, and on balance I think they've served the whole community well. But I'm worried that most of the leadership energy and focus would be diverted to the NE pathway, rather than maintaining a commitment to ensuring all kids leaving 5th grade APP in the north end (or opting in for 6th grade) have a strong program to enter. I'm guessing many families assigned to Hamilton may keep their head down, and that leaves the northwest with not only a very rocky pathway but likely without a viable cohort even once the program is "established".

NW mom

Anonymous said...

The district seems to be relying on a assumption that the West Seattle APP pathway will take all kids currently assigned to Thurgood Marshall from West Seattle and have them choose Fairmount Park. I can tell you from experience that the majority of APP qualified students not enrolled at Lafayette Spectrum go to Thurgood Marshall IF their children actually need APP. Accelerated work is not APP at all. If the board gives the district approval to create a non-self contained pathway, the justification for such an existence elsewhere will not be continued. Even with current projections, Thurgood Marshall will still accommodate all APP students plus the existing neighborhood boundary. If anyone noticed, the Washington projection went down from previous estimates to 509 which gives plenty of room at Washington to accommodate it and 3 or 4 other elementary feeders. The South APP community really needs to rally hard to avoid the optional pathways from being created, and if you complain about the commute, if your child needs APP as many do, you will send them there.

WS Mother

Anonymous said...

I second both dw's and Regime Change's comments. The 6th grade only idea for WP kids sucks. Initially, there was concern about the split to two groups. The district has made the few staying at HIMS happy for now - that happiness may fade as they find that the smaller cohort reduces necessary choices, the NE APP parents are caught up in their own location issues, and the NW WP/Whitman APP kids are left to twist. Hands down, they get the worst deal. And the district has very effectively implemented their divide and conquer plan. Really, we should be advocating for a vibrant, central, single north end APP location. And, for that matter, a single elementary to middle school track for the south end. The strength of the program is in the cohort. If you don't need a cohort, you don't need APP, you can stick with ALO.

-uncertain

Lori said...

What are you talking about, Regimen Change? This new plan just came out Friday night. It is now Sunday afternoon. There has been no official communication from the Lincoln PTA on any of this yet.

I have no doubt that our many thoughtful parents, both those volunteering on the PTA and those who aren't, will consider all the permutations and ramifications as we all get our heads around the latest version of the proposal. Let's not jump the gun hear and distort what is being said.

Lori said...

I love typos! I don't know what a "gun hear" is but it sounds interesting.

Anonymous said...

Regime Change,

I completely agree 100%, those of us who live in the proposed Whitman or Wilson Pacific AA's with children in APP at Lincoln are on the bad end of the stick. We will be placed in a school where from the forefront, we will be the afterthought among a heavy non-AL community. Now I have children on both sides of this debate, and for neither would the outcome be positive. I would rather have my child stay at Wilson Pacific Elementary than try to survive in the small dilution that is Wilson Pacific Middle School. Besides the SNAPP PTA, the JAMS neighborhoods have not been very positive about having APP at their school. Plus our children will, every 5th grade year, be spilt 3 or maybe 2 ways to middle school. There is no reason why APP should not all be at Wilson Pacific Middle School. We should began reaching out to HIMS neighborhoods and JAMS neighborhoods to support an outcome that leaves space for their students in their neighborhood schools and allows APP to thrive for all students at WP.

APP in Limbo

Regime Change said...

Lori - Our PTA president posted the exact thoughts I mention on our "non-school" (but really it is the school's) Facebook page. Is she not the PTA president when she posts on the "non-school" facebook page, but she is the PTA president when something "official" comes out from the PTA?

Really, they have divided us. Unfortunately for the minority, our PTA is not made-up of folks in all North APP areas leading to non-representation for some of us. The only way to fix this is to split north app into NE and NW. NW needs Queen Anne and Magnolia included in NW to have a voice that will be heard equally to the voice of the NE.

Furthering that thought, elementary APP should be split into two - right down I-5. NE APP could go to Wilson Pacific due to capacity crunch on that side of town, and NW APP could go to the new Loyal Heights seats that SPS is creating strange boundaries to fill. We should have two APP middle schools, as well. NE could go to Wilson Pacific, again to help capacity over there, and NW APP could go to Hamilton by removing a few schools and adding them to WP.

ALL APP kids should stay at Hamilton (or in a Lincoln annex) until ALL APP kids can be placed in their new homes.

Until I hear the PTA president say we are united against ANY roll-up, she does not speak for the entire population. Currently, all she has said is (paraphrasing) "we must fight for all kids to go to Wilson Pacific to help keep NE kids out of JAMS. If that doesn't work, we need to work to make JAMS the best we can". There was NO MENTION of concern for kids in the Whitman service area.

You can say it's not official communication, but it's official in my mind once she posts on Facebook. Make it the official school facebook page or get the PTA to stop posting there. It is PLAIN WRONG to have it "both ways" (when it comes to that page).

Melissa Westbrook said...

Well, I have heard about issues at the Lincoln PTA before - this doesn't really surprised me. More on that later.

Anonymous said...

Can someone tell me what the expected numbers for JAMS will be next year? If APP is split and we go to JAMS, I don't think the numbers will be very high. I think it's erroneous for a few 3rd grade APP parents to be saying they will get the short end of the stick and it's divisive. The fact is that APP being split will be tough on both JAMS and WP APP communities because they will have to start up programs from scratch. I don't agree with all that is being said by the SNAPP PTA either but it's not helpful to color all NE APP families with the same broad brush stroke and it certainly does not help the APP community. I am going to hold out hope that this is not the final draft. I think the 5th graders will absolutely get the short end of the stick if the NE has to go to JAMS while the rest (WP and Hamilton) go to Hamilton where the program is more established. No matter what, there are going to be difficult times ahead for APP.

kp

regime change wants a 2-way split said...

Melissa,

I'd love some advice on how to fight for our kids in the Whitman APP service area since we clearly are not being represented by the PTA (and we are such a small number). I wish I could have made my argument as eloquently as a few people who posted right after me, but they may have gone unaddressed.

Unlike our leadership, morally I could never fight for anything that would leave part of our population dealing with a 2 class roll-up at John Marshall!

Sorry, Lori, I hope you are right for my kid's sake, but I am incredibly doubtful given what I've seen from this NE group over the several years I've had kids in APP.

regime change wants a 2-way split said...

kp, thanks for being civil to my somewhat uncivil comments. I don't support that idea (current 5th graders going to JAMS). However, the difference would be that it would be a full, albeit new, middle school on day 1. You'd have all grades (6,7,8), you'd have a comprehensive middle school at an actual comprehensive middle school location on day 1. The current 3rd graders in the Whitman APP service area would go to John Marshall for one year as a cohort of about 50 kids. Then, we'd be moved to WP as the oldest grade of the roll-up.

The situations BOTH STINK, but the Whitman APP kids have it much, much worse than any other group.

Anonymous said...

I guess I'm missing something because I did not read that JAMS will hVe a comprehensive MS from day 1. 7th and 8th graders at Eckstein would get to stay so I think there will be primarily 6th graders at JAMS and that number seems to be between 150-300 but I'm not sure. That's why I'm wondering about the numbers. I think APP will be fairly small too so I would say it will not be comprehensive unless the district is willing to provide the classes albeit smaller.

Kp

Anonymous said...

JAMS is not starting with full 6th, 7th and 8th grades - 7th and 8th grade will be limited to those that opt in or are new to the district. Current Eckstein students can opt in for 7th and 8th, as well as JAK8 7th and 8th graders. At least that's what's written in the plan as of Friday. Next year's 6th graders are the only ones being assigned to JAMS for 2014 (and potentially APP students - we haven't yet seen the interim plan).

NEparent

Anonymous said...

Wait, what? How is it full-nobody gets pulled out of Hamilton. It's a roll up at JAMS too. Or are you including the k-8? That is...not a pro for me. It's a third program crowding the building, not really help making jams viable. I think this is one of the most pernicious effects of a split-split leadership. I don't know what anybody said on a FB page, but I would expect anyone to be focused on the new middle school they will have to start more than a new middle school someone else would have to start. I know they are always begging for help at the beginning of the year, and I'd it's true thAt more NE families volunteer, then it's going to be that much harder training leaders from the nw to start a new school.

I still find an app middle school split more damaging than an elementary one, and think the district app growth projection numbers at the middle school level ate insane, and i don't believe them. It's not going to be big enough for two, let alone 3.

-sleeper

Anonymous said...

The district is planning for APP growth, when they should be focusing on improving Spectrum and ALO in order to reign in APP growth. Yet, here we are. An AL task force will be meeting after the votes on the Growth Boundaries plan.

backwards

Anonymous said...

backwards, I agree. "we should be advocating for a vibrant, central, single north end APP location. And, for that matter, a single elementary to middle school track for the south end. The strength of the program is in the cohort. If you don't need a cohort, you don't need APP, you can stick with ALO."

How do we get there?

-uncertain

Unknown said...

@regime change--

I think you might be referencing my FB post on the SNAPP FB group page, and I think you might have misunderstood the various statements everyone was putting out there in fast succession yesterday. There are 66 comments on that post notifying everyone that the new plan was out.

I also personally posted a comment about the concern for the WPMS roll up at JM in 2016.

And what I read from all of the posts was that we should continue to challenge this, but if the JAMS splits is inevitable it would make sense to start working collaboratively now to try to make sure that a decent offering existed next year.

I'm personally very sorry if you feel like your interests aren't being represented in all of this.

I care and I believe that many others that are working on this do as well. More in a minute.
Eden

Anonymous said...

The projected numbers for north end middle school APP are almost enough to fill a stand alone middle school. Does the McClure reference area currently feed to Washngton or Hamilton? If Washgton, switch it to the north end and make APP a stand alone program at middle school like they plan for elementary. Wilson Pacific is pretty geographically central for the north end--if it works for elementary, it'll work for middle school, won't it?

I went through the APP program in the 80's, when we wereIPP, and we were co-housed at Madrona and Washington with neighborhood programs, and there was plenty of tension. I believe co-housing is a bad idea. The whole point of APP is that it's self-contained, so what is the benfit in co-housing it besides a shorter bus ride for some kids, and maybe the benfits for families with one sibling in APP and one not? Neither of those are about academic outcomes, they're about convenience and cost. And I think we should build programs based on academics.

APP Alum

Unknown said...

All--

I had a quick e-mail exchange with Tracy Libros yesterday and asked her specifically what is meant to happen to the APP kids that live in the WPMS feeder zone (i.e. Whitman/Ballard) before the 2016 roll up.

And she said (I don't know that she would mind me quoting her):

"This board action (Growth Boundaries for Student Assignment) addresses the boundaries, feeder patterns, and option school geozones.

A separate action (Intermediate Capacity Management Plan to Support Implementation of Growth Boundaries and BEX IV) will address implementation in conjunction with capacity management. The Board agenda (October 16, 2013) notes that this will be posted no later than Monday, October 14."

They have not release the Interim plan yet. It is not yet defined in specific. No ONE knows if they really are planning for a 6th grade roll up of at JM for the WPMS kids (both AA and APP).

the details in the Attachment B refer to some possibilities, but there are a ton of holes and the district isn't sharing the details with us until tomorrow.

And, I do think that this plan that came out was a big surprise change for all. I know I was surprised.

All of this process (or lack of it) is really taxing on people feeling like they understand the issue and can respond. I spent untold hours pouring over the plan to understand it, to model it, to talk with lots of people that have been working on this stuff for every, and to meet with district staff and board members with information for discussion and data to back up the arguments.

Please, please, Please, can we stop the finger pointing and in fighting. Maybe I am naive, but no one is out to get anyone, and we all want the best for our kids. And we can do that if we work together.

I'd rather spend energy on figuring out what we all do want and how to work toward our common goals.

More in a minute about the analysis I did this morning.
Eden

Anonymous said...

Re Regime Change:

You asked what are they going to do with the new space at Loyal Heights and proposed APP?

Have you noticed that they have portables at LH, packed to the gills? And that they're on the list to get 4 Self-contained SpEd classrooms (which is about a 100 seat capacity loss)? Did you know that before you started posing Loyal Heights as a "solution" for APP placement?

So between losing the portables and the 100 seats to SpEd, guess what -- Loyal Heights will be full. Did you ask LH about their school's ability to absorb 200 kids? Bet you'd be shocked - they won't want APP any more than Olympic Hills did.

I'll be brutally frank since the timing is short: don't weigh in on where kids should "go" b/c YOU think "there are seats" if you don't fully understand SpEd calculations and placement, how seats/capacity at schools are calculated, how many portables are at a current school and will be removed by an addition and thus have to replicated as classrooms, and whether the building capacity numbers you used to make your calculation are the district's "with portables" number or "without portables" number.

EXAMPLE: if the district is using the building capacity w/o portables as the "before" construction number, but the school is already using 2 or 4 portables, for instance, and those are lost in the addition - guess what ... 60 to 100 of the "new" seats already have existing kids in them who will be coming from the portables and are not "new" capacity, merely seats that are now being counted inside the building and weren't previously counted.

Yeah, that's how messed up SPS is. I understand that FACMAC worked over a year to try to daylight those numbers but they still pull their hair out over how numbers are used for schools willy-nilly.

Just guessing that there are going to be "a lot of seats" somewhere is bull. And wrong. And EXACTLY the piss-poor planning and counting that got SPS into this mess.

Ditto Bagley - getting 4 SpEd rooms, so losing about 100 seats from its projected final after construction. And they have portables going away.

As a basic starting point, look at the list of SpEd locations for 4 class pullouts before posing solutions, and maybe ask that neighborhood school if they want APP, okay?

Signed: Math Counts

Unknown said...

Ok, so about the numbers.

I've shared previously on this blog that my husband (long time analyst for capacity related problems at Amazon) and I were running an analysis to show the impact of the proposed plan on enrollment and capacity.

we did that. and we consulted many people on the assumptions and data and so forth. and we met with district staff and others and validated the model and shared our findings.

If you are on the SNAPP FB group, you can find the post where I shared this with our whole community. I also shared my letter to the district and the recommendations that I came to based on modeling the data and trying all of the different possibilities. If you find it, PLEASE keep in mind all of the background and assumptions of the model and ask me if you have any questions. My e-mail and phone are there. Additionally, we modeled ONE alternative, and there are others that could work too. I'm happy to explain the rational behind this scenario, so PLEASE call or e-mail before drawing conclusions about the rational.

the goal is to create less churn for ALL kids in the North end, and keep APP going strong.

(Oh, to back up a second, what we've done is build a data model that shows exactly what happens when elementary schools feed into middle schools in the North end. Because of the way we built the model, we have the flexibility to run the model using basically any scenario that can be presented.)

So, this morning I went through the new plan and modeled north end middles school enrollment and capacity at all of the buildings based on what is currently described.

I'm happy to share that picture with anyone that is interested.

Using our model, the plan that came out late on Friday will result in:

• Wilson Pacific MS is ALREADY full with only the AA kids starting in 2017 and over capacity in 2018 if the building is built to 1000 kids capacity. APP doesn't fit there in this plan. The AA kids fill it up. If the building capacity is built to 1250 as it was originally speced it could work, though, maybe. Maybe.

• Eckstein is still overloaded (by hundreds of kids. Someone's statement about Sacagawea and Wedgwood needing to feed to JAMS are in fact correct, from a number stand point. (I'm not familiar with the geography/demographics or walkability)

--JAMS is not utilized fully even with the NE APP kids being assigned to JAMS next year. there aren't enough schools feeding to it, and NE APP doesn't make up the 500 kid difference.

• Hamilton is still going to be overloaded, just a little bit in the interim and longer term even with pulling out the Whitman area APP kids to WPMS/JM in 2016 or 2017.

the bottom line is that the North end middle school building capacity is simply not enough now, and BEX4 is not going to bring the buildings on line fast enough to manage.

IMHO, this plan is better in some regards than the draft, but it still is problematic.

Splitting out the Boundaries decision from the interim plan decision, which is interesting from a process stand point.

I personally believe we need to keep APP together and strong. In the north end that means keeping the elementary school self contained. It is a night mare to managed the pyramid that is APP elementary capacity (6 5th grades, 3 1st) with AA schools. It is better for everyone to let APP elementary live in a location NOT shared with AA.

On the middle school side of things, APP has always shared with AA. One, two or three sites for APP from a capacity perspective isn't terrible. In fact, I think that it actually reduces the possibility that APP would get kicked out again if it is in 3 of the 5 North end MS.

HOWEVER, the equity of program delivery, maintenance of the right size cohorts and so forth are still a major factor in this discussion, as well as how the transition is managed.

Please let me know if you have any questions, and lets continue to talk about how to ensure that APP and all kids in North Seattle are provided a great education, in spite of the capacity crunch.
Eden

Melissa Westbrook said...

Anonymous regime change wants a 2-way split said...(first of all, a two-word moniker please).

Second, write to me at
sss.westbrook@gmail.com. Clearly explain the situation - Whitman's makeup, the attitude of the principal, teachers, PTA, your numbers and maybe I can think of things to do.

I have to tell you - Whitman is that faraway outlier middle school. It has been overlooked for a long, long time. Do I think that will get better? No. But there may be some ways to get Whitman on someone's radar.

Thank you APP alum because yes, Madrona (back in the day) WAS a mess. John Stanford himself said APP should not be co-housed.

Eden said:

"Maybe I am naive, but no one is out to get anyone, and we all want the best for our kids. And we can do that if we work together.

I'd rather spend energy on figuring out what we all do want and how to work toward our common goals."

Okay, I'll agree - no one is out to get anyone. That's not really the issue.

The issues are two-fold (and right in your remarks):

- the district isn't particularly interested in working with parents. They have been dragged to this point and it sure took a long time.
- "We all want what's best for the kids" is kind of like the old line that the district staff used to use "it's for the kids!" to excuse anything.

So what is best for the kids? Your kid, or someone's kid in the south end or Magnolia? Because if we are at such a point where the district cannot make distinctions, then we are going to have a very narrow and aligned district.

And don't get me wrong. I actually wouldn't mind that (for awhile) if it meant they could actually get a grip on running our district.

Understand that facilities is the tailing wagging this district's dog and has been for long time. And, for where we are, looks like that'll continue to be the case.

Again, what are those common goals? Are we all in step with the Strategic Plan? Can any of us name 3 points from the Strategic Plan? Could you stop 3 staff members going into any school or JSCEE and could they tell you 3 of them?

I'm not challenging this idea that we will get this boat moving, in a good direction and quickly, if we all dip oars together. But which way is that and who knows if that's the best thing for the most children?

I don't.

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Unknown said...

Melissa--

I'm with you on the facilities wagging the dog aspect and many other great points you bring up.

Just a quick response to the questions about whose kids and which goals.

Personally, my goal is that all of SPS kids would receive a great education. and when it comes to the capacity/facilities questions, all kids need access to great schools and programs.

The goals stated in the growth boundary work by way of the guiding principles are all laudable.

What they leave out, though, is Perhaps the goal of reducing the disruption to the greatest number of schools and kids by way of minimizing moves and splits is also very important. Moving schools either for a whole program, half of a program, or for just a portion of the kids is disruptive to the stability of the educational environment.

the analysis that my husband and I have been working on is simply a look into how to spread the enrollment across the facilities in the most "smooth" manner. The alternative that we identified in our model that appears to do this in the least disruptive way to the most kids is similar to this new plan, but there are a few key differences.

This plan on the table now leave APP MS split in 3 with arguably not enough of a cohort in each school, AND I believe it leaves Eckstein severely over crowded and JAMS not fully utilized.

I think there is a way to meet basically all of the goals and guiding principles, though we have to look at the system holistically.

And I personally am thinking of this not only from an APP perspective, but from a more holistic perspective. I might not be accounting for every single variable and factor, but I'm also not just focusing on only one group or another.

Eden

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Anonymous said...

I am very concerned about the proposal to split north-end APP middle school into 3 different schools. I don't think there are enough middle school APP kids to maintain 3 co-horts. The district is assuming that north-end middle school APP will go from 549 kids to 989 kids from 2013 to 2022. That's an 80% growth rate - which is totally out of line with the 20% growth rate the District is assuming overall or the 15% growth rate the District is assuming for north-end elementary APP.

The District is assuming that because north-end middle school APP grew by 7% in both 2012 and 2013, it will continue this same 7% growth rate for each of the next 9 years (leading to an 80% increase by 2022). Rather than looking at it as a one-time increase as Hamilton became an attractive option (and Spectrum was gutted) that will then level out. I continue to be concerned that the District is significantly over-projecting the number of north-end APP middle-school APP. A 7% annual growth rate in APP middle schools for 9 years just doesn't seem realistic to me.

Just as bad is the District's plan to do a Wilson-Pacific roll-up of 6th grade only at John Marshall in 2016. That's 50 APP kids (based on District data that shows APP kids by middle school service area). There will be some Gen Ed W-P kids too - but I don't think there will be that many. I don't see how the District will provide band, orchestra, after school sports and programs for only 50+ kids.

Catherine

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new option said...

JAMS is going to have lots of capacity for a number of years. Why not roll all JAMS/ Eckstein/ Whitman/ Wilson-Pacific APP into JAMS next year? This would also help the program get off the ground running, with a larger cohort. Keep Hamilton as the APP option for Hamilton and McClure districts. The program already exists and is strong. It can serve as a model for the new JAMS.

Reassess capacity in 2017 when W-P opens as an AA MS. Then, if numbers support it, divide the North end APP cohort into its 3rd site at Wilson Pacific in 2018...

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Anonymous said...

The interim plan is up:
http://www.seattleschools.org/modules/groups/homepagefiles/cms/1583136/File/Departmental%20Content/school%20board/13-14%20agendas/101613agenda/20131016_InterCapMgmt_Attachment1.pdf

Thinking about the north end APP middle school situation:
Looks like JAMS and WP at John Marshall turn out to be a similar boat of around 250 students to start. I doubt they'll have a lot of takers for the 7th and 8th grades at JAMS, but if they do that will be an advantage of JAMS in the beginning over WP at John Marshall (as having 7th and 8th graders would help make it a little more of comprehensive middle school and means the district would have to commit more resources).

Does anyone know how many of the 250-ish students at JAMS next year and WP at John Marshall in 3 years will be APP? I’m guessing a lower # of APP kids at WP.

What strikes me about both of the new north end middles is that they are lower income (Eckstein and Whitman is having lower income elementary feeder schools peeled off). APP adds a higher income group to the new middles.

I have a child in APP and one in gened, BTW.

Analyzing

Lynn said...

Shocked,

Your child probably is well-prepared for school. She's also smarter than (or has better problem solving skills than) 98% of the children her age. Did anyone explain to you what the testing was all about? It sounds though like you're assuming previous posters believe that makes her a better or more valuable person. I think you're misreading that.

Do you have any concerns about changes to APP placement arising from the Growth Boundaries project?

Welcome to the discussion.

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former dragon said...

Does anyone else think that it is weird that there are so many posts complaining about the fact that this thread is focusing too much on APP, and not enough on Gen Ed when the title of the post is APP GROWTH BOUNDRIES OPEN THREAD.

Seriously, Melissa started an open thread regarding every single area of the district, and also SpEd.

Are we not even allowed to talk and problem solve APP issues in a thread about APP issues? You people with an axe to grind about APP really confuse me, and ruin the conversation from actually being constructive and informative. I come to the blog for information, and everytime APP or AL comes up, it turns into a fight and endless justifications about how my kid's very existence is damaging your kid, and that my student has no right to an appropriate education. Please just leave us alone and let us talk among ourselves in our own thread and take all your vitriol to your own district's thread.

Sheesh.

Anonymous said...

Our own districts thread? As far as I know we are all part if the same school district. Am I missing something ?

Gen Ed Mom

Julie said...

former dragon obviously meant district area..

Anonymous said...

The comments on my area thread are at least half about APP.

Gen Ed Mom

Julie said...

Personally speaking, I am grateful that the district has decided to keep the elementary school cohort together at WP elementary- though I am not sure if we will actually get that new building as there seems to be much antipathy against APP getting ANYTHING. Some of the commenters here seems to say: "Just shut up and take whatever they give you because that's what others are doing!"

It may have been better if we had gotten an older building that nobody wants. Heck, I would have been very happy with a Lincoln wing.

As for APP middle school being split three ways, that seems unfortunate but I think I understand why it was done.

What I still find missing in the new BEX is the high school planning. When are they planning to address this?

Julie said...

Gen Ed Mom,

I am sorry that your area thread was hijacked by APP parents. They should have been sent here.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Gen Ed mom, let me know your area and I can delete those. It's not a problem but I don't know which area.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Wait a minute - I hadn't clearly perused this thread and this is about APP BOUNDARIES.

So I now have to go back and eliminate every comment that is off-topic because some came here to argue about the program?

If you are not here to talk about APP Boundaries and their effect on students, transportation, etc. , then do NOT comment. Geez

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Anonymous said...

GEM, yes, boundary decisions should be based on what's best for the majority of kids--regardless of what program them are in. The boundary decisions should look to do the least harm/disruption across the district. That does not mean one group should be prioritized over another because it is the largest. Things are not always about majority rules. That's why we have legislation to protect some groups, right? Saying the district needs to make it's decisions based on what's best for gen ed because they are the majority is wrong. That doesn't mean decisions should be made based purely on any other group, but that all need to be taken into consideration.

That's also why the NW Boundaries thread involves discussion of APP. Those kids are part of each region, and there are regional issues as well as cross-regional issues when you talk about splitting/moving APP. It's not always easy to talk about them outside the context of the region involved. (And if you go back and look closely at the NW thread, you'll see the APP comments are often in the context of something like "Wilson-Pacific attendance area and Whitman APP kids"--which is how the group rolling up at John Marshall was defined by the plan. That's hardly an example of APP taking over the NW thread.)

HIMSmom

Anonymous said...

@ Melissa, as you know, APP doesn't exist in isolation. These kids live within neighborhoods, regions. Furthermore, the district likes to use APP to balance capacity in schools, regions. So it's only appropriate that APP be mentioned in region-specific threads. There are also cross-regional issues, like a 2-way vs. a 3-way split. I'm sorry that GEM feels the NW thread was hijacked by APP folks, but I just went back and read through it and I definitely do not see that to be the case. Is APP mentioned? Of course. Because the district's proposal lists various and different options for AA and APP kids. For example, if someone says the new Wilson-Pacific MS will be a roll-up W-P attendance area 6th graders and Whitman area APP 6th graders, that's not a matter of someone pushing an APP agenda. It's just the reality of trying to discuss the district's plan for the region. Or another example is Hamilton: How is the district managing overcrowding there? Primarily by moving pieces of APP out, in phases. The size of those pieces, the timing of the moves, the locations and plans for what happens to those kids, etc--those are all completely valid things to discuss in the context of a regional boundary plan thread, aren't they? But yes, they do involve those dreaded three letters, the ones that tend to get people riled up whenever they see them.

Maybe we need a set phrase to use--kind of like a "safe" word--for whenever the APP program merits are called into question? Something to the effect of "This thread is not about the merits of the district's APP program. Please save your thoughts as to its pros and cons and whether or not we need it until there is a thread explicitly devoted to that issue." If everyone just repeats something like that each time APP is mentioned, perhaps there won't be such a need for folks to get defensive. :)

HIMSmom

Anonymous said...

@Melissa. It's clear that in your mind, "open thread" means "open according to your rules." How sad. You clearly oppose (i.e. delete) any dialogue that doesn't fit your agenda. You removed my comment when part of my post did address a boundary issue. Obviously, when you say, "Let's hear your thoughts," you're really saying, "I only want to hear your thoughts if they fit my amorphous rules." What a joke.

dw said...

Some anonymous commenter said: @Melissa ..... How sad. You clearly oppose (i.e. delete) any dialogue that doesn't fit your agenda. You removed my comment when part of my post did address a boundary issue. Obviously, when you say, "Let's hear your thoughts," you're really saying, "I only want to hear your thoughts if they fit my amorphous rules." What a joke.

Well Mr. smarty pants, I'm surprised this comment lasted as long as it did, because apparently YOU CAN'T READ THE RULES! Pick a name or nickname, else your comments will be deleted. Sheesh.