Sunday, November 17, 2013

Board Meeting Ramps Up

First, there will be a meeting - called by the Superintendent - for discussion around renovating T.T. Minor to be the new home for World School.  The meeting is tomorrow night, Monday the 18th, at JSCEE at 5:30 pm.

I'm not sure what form the discussion will take.  The issue is two-fold.  One, World School has been consistently ignored by the district and the Board (or takes a backseat to almost every other program, take your pick).  At one point, their BEX III money had disappeared.  When it reappeared, it was less than had been allotted with no explanation.

But the concern is that T.T. Minor may not end being their permanent home.  Data indicates that the Central Area growth will need that space.  At the Work Session last week, it was suggested if that happens, the district would be able to add a wing to Bailey-Gatzert.  This may be true but for two issues.

One, B-G is not in the same place as T.T. Minor - it seems like this would add more transportation costs.  Two, where would this capital money come from? If the enrollment grows in the next 3-5 years, that might indicate BEX IV money might have to come from somewhere to fulfill this need.

Next, there will be a rally in support of the Native American community at 3:30 pm on Wednesday before the School Board meeting.  Wear a red shirt in support.  They seek:

- revitalization of the Native Heritage program
- rename Indian Heritage as the "Robert Eaglestaff" school  (as previously promised)
- preserve the murals at Wilson-Pacific
- address why 30% of youth are in Special Education
- address the issue of failing to comply with IEPs and 504s

Last (and a huge shout-out to Tracy Libros and her staff), information on the APP pathways plus a bonus of info on the amendment process.
What may be confusing people is that there was a lot of discussion about APP (particularly APP middle school) at the Board Work Session on November 13. Directors DeBell and Martin-Morris proposed locating APP at Hamilton, Jane Addams and Wilson-Pacific Middle Schools. APP pathway assignments would be formed by aggregating elementary attendance areas, instead of middle school service areas.

After Board discussion of the attached “MS APP Alternatives” information, they withdrew their proposed amendment and replaced it with Alternate 2 in the chart. This keeps APP at Hamilton, Jane Addams and Wilson-Pacific Middle School as they originally proposed. However, they eliminated the component that would have formed APP pathways by aggregating elementary attendance areas instead of middle school service areas.

Their amendment is now on the Board Agenda for Wednesday’s meeting as Amendment 4. This is the only amendment currently proposed regarding APP middle school.

As I’m sure you know, what will happen at the Board meeting is that Board Directors will propose their amendments one at a time. Each proposed amendment that is seconded will then be considered and voted up or down. The amendments that are approved will become part of the main motion. Then, the Board will vote on the main motion as amended.

After Board discussion of the attached “MS APP Alternatives” information, they withdrew their proposed amendment and replaced it with Alternate 2 in the chart. This keeps APP at Hamilton, Jane Addams and Wilson-Pacific Middle School as they originally proposed. However, they eliminated the component that would have formed APP pathways by aggregating elementary attendance areas instead of middle school service areas.

Their amendment is now on the Board Agenda for Wednesday’s meeting as Amendment 4. This is the only amendment currently proposed regarding APP middle school.

As I’m sure you know, what will happen at the Board meeting is that Board Directors will propose their amendments one at a time. Each proposed amendment that is seconded will then be considered and voted up or down. The amendments that are approved will become part of the main motion. Then, the Board will vote on the main motion as amended.

57 comments:

Lynn said...

The problem is the main motion is silent on the issue of APP - so this amendment is adding to the motion, rather than changing it. As Eden noted earlier, if the amendment doesn't pass (absent action at another board meeting) there will be no change to APP next year.

They've left lots of space at JAMS for APP and under the current proposal, those seats will remain empty.

Amendment 4 makes no sense. It only directs the school board to assign all 6-8 students in the new Jane Addams attendance area to JAMS next year - and to assign all 6-8 students in the HIMS zone to HIMS next year. It doesn't specify any other changes, and makes no reference to the attachment which actually shows what Director DeBell wants to happen with APP. If the amendment passes as written, next fall JAMS would open with 6-8 general education and Spectrum students - and 82 APP students. Eckstein, Whitman and HIMS APP students would remain at HIMS.

Amendment 3 moves three areas (A, C and D) into Madrona's assignment area. Students in Areas C and D are grandfathered at their current schools, but not those in area A.

Joe's ITCM BAR asks the Board to authorize the plan in Section VII. That palm includes placing APP at Eckstein and Whitman. Tracy's BAR doesn't leave room for this.

Who wrote these?

Anonymous said...

It is so confusing!

I was at the Board Work Session, and heard the decision for the HMM/MDB amendment to switch from their aggregate scheme to version 2 of the staff APP scenario (with both JAMS and Eckstein APP kids at JAMS), but that is not clearly stated anywhere in the current wording of the HMM/MDB amendment.

As a prospective JAMS parent, I find it incredibly-frustrating that it is three days before the vote, and the JAMS constituency is still pretty undetermined.

When Wedgwood was put in JAMS, I was happy (sorry, Wedgwood), because that meant that JAMS would have a decent-sized cohort of Spectrum-level advanced learners to support the smattering of advanced learners still at our neighborhood schools (lots of advanced learners have been sucked into the JA K-8 in recent years).

Now I'm wondering how (or even if) those kids will be supported, as cohort size matters for Spectrum, too, not just APP.

In the original post to this thread, Tracy states that HMM/MDB's amendment was going with the staff version 2, which has both JAMS and Eckstein APP at JAMS, along with John Rogers, Olympic Hills, Sac, and Cedar Park). The version 2 proposal is now attached to the HMM/MDB amendment.

The projections for the version 2 proposal show JAMS maxed-out in just 4 years (2017-18), and the other north-end middle schools, including Eckstein, are under-enrolled in 2017-18).

Will they just be moving all the Eckstein portables up to Jane Addams?

Also, I noticed that the Pinehurst-related amendments had been moved to the Pinehurst closure action item, so now the GB amendments have been re-numbered...adding to the confusion!

- North-end Mom

Carol Simmons said...

Yes, the World School has been moved around disgracefully and ignored. It is about time the District is responding.

The Issues around Native Education are many, including the following:

Preservation of the Murals in their original state.

Over representation of Native Students in Special Education Programs.

Revitalization of The Indian Heritage School (as was promised) with resources provided.

Returning Indian Heritage School to its home at the Licton Springs (Wilson-Pacific)site.

Naming the buildings at the Licton Springs site after Robert Eaglestaff.

Anonymous said...

When Wedgwood was put in JAMS, I was happy (sorry, Wedgwood), because that meant that JAMS would have a decent-sized cohort of Spectrum-level advanced learners to support the smattering of advanced learners still at our neighborhood schools (lots of advanced learners have been sucked into the JA K-8 in recent years).

Spectrum students at Wedgwood (and View Ridge) come from all over the NE, not just the Wedgwood or View Ridge assignment areas because these are the Spectrum schools for the NE. So the above statement doesn't make sense. Wouldn't Spectrum qualified students in the JAMS reference area (that qualify for Spectrum at Wedgwood or View Ridge) still feed into JAMS? Hasn't Wedgwood's Spectrum also lost some students to APP due to their change in Spectrum delivery - those students may then feed into JAMS as APP middle school students.

-confused

Lynn said...

Here's a map that shows where 6-8 Spectrum Eligible students live.

Anonymous said...

@confused

Yes, there are Spectrum students at JAMS who live in the JAMS attendance area (John Rogers, Sac and Olympic Hills, at least for now) who go to Wedgwood (or View Ridge), and those kids will be assigned to JAMS. There are probably some at other NE schools too, who entered during the era of choice. They will be eligible for a feeder pattern tie-breaker to Eckstein, so who knows if they will actually show up at JAMS?

If I had a kid in Spectrum, I would want to be sure that there was an adequate cohort size. I think without that assurance, these families will go private if they don't get a feeder pattern tiebreaker to Eckstein.

The JA K-8 Spectrum program has been very popular, and I suspect that more neighborhood kids are going there for Spectrum now, than to Wedgwood or View Ridge.

What concerns me is the long-term stability of the Spectrum-level cohort.

How can you have long-term stability without a robust Spectrum feeder school? There will always be a handful of Spectrum-level kids at the ALO schools feeding into JAMS(John Rogers, Sac, and Olympic Hills), but it seems unlikely that there are enough kids to form a large-enough cohort for differentiated instruction, course scheduling, etc...

- North-end Mom

Anonymous said...

Life vests are on sale at Big 5. Both kids and adults sizes. Hang on everyone!

-Capt Stubing

Anonymous said...

Isn't LA/SS the only Spectrum specific class in middle school? Math is ability based, so you have Spectrum eligible students, plus any students that aren't Spectrum qualified, but do have the math scores and can accelerate in math, in addition to the APP cohort. Right now, aren't some JAK8 middle school students able to walk to Hale for math? That goes away with the relocation, but if they were to stay at JAMS they could access appropriate level math at JAMS. How much of JAK8's appeal is its current location, and how many families (with Spectrum middle school students) will simply stay at JA when it becomes JAMS? Isn't that the key question? Maybe it's a "if you build it they will come" type of scenario.

-observer

Central said...

It sounds like they are going with this amendment regarding north-end APP middle school, but what is happening with south-end APP middle school? Are they still planning to split those 350 kids among 3 sites? And the 300 south-end APP elementary students among 3 sites as well?

Central

Melissa Westbrook said...

I appreciate this discussion but it only points out the vagueness of what is going on. That we can't clearly from the amendments what the outcomes will be says something.

Meg said...

the World School has been treated very badly. And both options available are pretty lousy:

1. Take TT Minor, spend the capital money, and probably get moved out within 5 years. In the next move, there might not be capital money to improve the location.

2. Take an interim that might work, commute-wise for the majority of their students, but be absolutely miserable for some. Locate a permanent site (which could take a couple of years), and improve it with the capital money.

Neither option is desirable. And we can talk all we want about a wing on Gatzert, which raises questions of its own, but long-term, (the city estimates 300-500 new elementary students from Yesler Terrace), the district will need TT Minor AND a wing on Gatzert.

Maybe there's a third, much better, option for the World School. I hope so - but I don't see one.

Anonymous said...

@observer
Yes, math placement should be based upon ability level. I've spoken to the JAMS planning principal, and she seems very on top of it, and I don't think math will be a problem.

The JA K-8, with its jumbo-sized 6th grade (180 kids?) was able to offer "honors" LA/SS this year for 6th grade. There hasn't been much in the way of honors or Spectrum LA/SS there for the previous years at the middle school level, due to insufficient cohort sizes.

It's possible that a lot of the Spectrum/honors kids will stay in the building, at JAMS next year, but what about subsequent years?

"If you build it they will come" might work, but it sounds kind of risky.

- North-end Mom

Anonymous said...

@ Melissa

I took another look at the DeBell/Martin-Morris amendment, and though the actual proposed action report is not clear, it looks like the attachments were updated (with the titles switched, by the way), and the attachment with the assignment info states that APP students living in both the Eckstein and JAMS attendance areas will be assigned to JAMS.

There's never been any meaningful discussions about APP or anything else program-related...if these discussions happened, the neighborhood families were not invited to participate. When we've asked to have these discussions (about JAMS programming), we are told we have to wait until we know who will be assigned to JAMS.

They put a Spectrum school into the feeder pattern, then took it out, leaving parents to wonder if they have to start looking into Shoreline or private schools to support their advanced learner currently at a neigbhorhood ALO school.

It is nuts!

- North-end Mom

Anonymous said...

Where does it say that APP feeds "differently" via aggregated elementaries instead of traditional 'feeder patterns' like everyone else?

Traditionally, the APP middle school pathway is composed of middle schools (eg, Hamilton currently is fed by Whitman, McClure, Eckstein and Hamilton).

Now, instead of 1 northern pathway, they are pretending there will be three: Hamilton (fed by Hamilton and McClure plus WP until WP is open) and Jane Adams ( fed by JAMS and Eckstein) and WP (fed by Whitman and WP). In about 2 years, Hamilton will collapse - and WP is suppose to start in the Marshall building.

So how does anyone get from this it is not Middle school - but a whole seperate scheme just for APP that is directly based on elementaries - where is the wording that makes this policy?? Charlie, Melissa, please, please answer.

Because, if that is the case, it is different than every other student, and because they'd cap it - which is what MD and HMM wanted to do, it means they would pull and yank and shuffle elementaries every year to avoid going beyond their caps. Like flying standby while everyone else loads on the plane.

A new low. And the fact that they said at the work session they withdrew that scheme, and now somehow it's back? Only it is not clear, and, only the blog authors are calling it out so that it might be detected?

DeBell sold schools, gave Maria Goodloe Johnson a raise, adopted Singapore materials to complement Every Day Math (which NEVER happened), let capacity get so bad the District places more than 30 portables a year, has utterly failed Special Ed, has pushed World School around, and now is capping APP, stealthily so?

Clearly, he is a guy who has no political ambitions whatsoever, because he is never going to be able to escape the mess he has made and is bequeathing to the new Board and to SPS families. His 'swan song' is leaving things a mess. Polarizing would be putting it mildly.

-clear as mud

Lori said...

North-end Mom, Is JAMS going to offer Spectrum? I think I know the answer ("we don't know yet"). If it doesn't officially have Spectrum, don't all Spectrum kids in the NE get a spot in Spectrum at Eckstein?

I'm pretty sure Spectrum is guaranteed at the MS level but not at the elementary level. So even if Wedgwood were drawn into the JAMS area, the Spectrum kids might still be going to Eckstein. Plus, the Spectrum kids at OH and JR could choose Eckstein too, right?

Anonymous said...

@clear as mud

You might be looking at an old version of the DeBell/Martin-Morris amendment? Here is a link to their post-work session amendment:

http://www.seattleschools.org/modules/groups/homepagefiles/cms/1583136/File/Departmental%20Content/school%20board/13-14%20agendas/112013agenda/20131120_Action_Report_AmendmentMDBHMM.pdf

To me, this reads (in the attachment) that they are going by middle school attendance area, not aggregates, with Eckstein and JAMS APP kids feeding into JAMS.

The feeder patterns they are apparently using are those is alternate 2 from the attachment, where the feeder patterns for JAMS, Hamiton, and Eckstein are the same as in the Growth Boundaries BAR.

- North-end Mom

Lynn said...

Lori,

Every middle school is required to provide a Spectrum program. JAMS-area Spectrum students will not have an option to attend Eckstein.

Anonymous said...

@Lori
We were told that ALL comprehensive middle schools offer Spectrum, so that would include JAMS. It is part of what makes a comprehensive middle school "comprehensive," right?

It is my understanding that if you live in the JAMS attendance area and your kid qualifies for Spectrum, then JAMS is your Spectrum school.

From what I can tell, beginning next fall, all kids living in the JAMS attendance will lose their assignment to Eckstein, including Spectrum kids (except for kids who may need special Sped services provided at Eckstein, but not at JAMS). I'm pretty sure this includes any Spectrum 7th and 8th graders pulled off by the geo-split.

Incoming 6th grader Spectrum kids who live within the JAMS attendance area, but attended Wedgwood or View Ridge for elementary Spectrum would be assigned (by address) to JAMS, but could apply for a feeder pattern tiebreaker to Eckstein, since they went to elementary school at an Eckstein feeder school.

Spectrum kids who attend the Jane Addams K-8 (for elementary) will be able to stay at JA K-8 for middle school (they don't automatically go to JAMS, they will have to chose JAMS during Open Enrollment if they want to go there).

My point, is that, even if there are enough Spectrum kids pulled out of Eckstein or staying in the JA building from the K-8, for long-term stability, it is crazy to say that JAMS will "offer" Spectrum, but then not back that up by having a Spectrum school feeding into JAMS. If they eventually put Spectrum in at Olympic Hills, or somewhere else in the feeder pattern, that would be great, but we are years away from those kids entering JAMS.

- North-end Mom

LN said...

North-end mom, Don't worry about it. The guaranteed spectrum in middle school is a joke anyway. Whitman just scrapped the entire program after open enrollment ended last year. So, the Board and District might say there's guaranteed spectrum seats for all middle schoolers, but the Principals can just eliminate it if they choose. Nice guarantee.

The most important things are a strong principal and teaching staff. If you have good teachers but no spectrum program, your kid is better off anyway.

Anonymous said...

Going back to a comment by North-end Mom at the top of the thread...I don't think advanced learners have been "sucked into" JA K-8 in recent years. I think those families have chosen to go to JA K-8 because their neighborhood schools weren't offering sufficient advanced learning for their kids. With Wedgwood and VR full with attendance area kids under the NSAP, even in their Spectrum programs, JA K-8 has been the only available option for many families, such as my own, whose neighborhood school didn't offer anything in the way of ALO even, when we were looking at schools for kindergarten.

-ML Mama

Anonymous said...

LN -

Good point, but it's rather depressing, isn't it, that Principals can just scrap these programs? But then, Spectrum has become a joke anyway, it seems to me.

-ML Mama

Anonymous said...

@ML Mama
ALO is well-supported at my kid's school (John Rogers), but we have noticed a decline in advanced learners since JA K-8 opened (1/2 mile away). Maybe it is a perception thing (Spectrum- vs - ALO), or what works for one kid doesn't work for the other, I don't know.

A lot of it has to do with resources, for example, as a small school, we haven't been able to afford a math specialist (one year, our principal taught an advanced math group, in the hallway!), and for the past two years, our PTA has been covering the counselor through grants.

I understand that families will do what they think will be best for their child when looking for a school for their child, some go to the JA K-8, and some are well-served at the neighborhood assignment schools.

On a previous thread, it was reported that there was something like 15 spectrum-qualified kids, school-wide, at John Rogers compared to over 130 at the JA K-8. Those K-8 Spectrum kids may chose to stay with the K-8, or possibly go to JAMS. Either way, I think there has to be a more robust feed of Spectrum-level learners at JAMS to have a large enough cohort for the JAMS Spectrum kids to be served.

- North-end Mom

Anonymous said...

North-end Mom,

It's great that JR has a robust ALO program. I wish all schools had that (and I really don't understand why they don't)!

When we were looking at our school choices, OV (our assignment school) didn't offer anything (not even WTM) and we got the impression from the then-Principal that he wasn't supportive of advanced learners, so we didn't feel we had a choice, since we didn't want our kid to be bored in school. I gather things have changed a bit at that school since then, but I still hear of new kids coming over to JA K-8 from OV for Spectrum. I do agree that JAMS needs to have the right mix of feeder schools and that's why I think it's such a shame that WW gets a free pass to stay at Eckstein. I suspect a lot of the JA K-8 kids who came as elementary kids for Spectrum will want to stay at JA K-8 because they already know the staff etc, but it's so hard for anyone to make decisions with no information about the JAMS programming. This really has to be known before Open Enrollment to be fair on 5th grade families (not just at JA K-8, but at all the NNE schools).

-ML Mama

ben said...

Generally speaking if you build a good advanced learning program, the kids have always appeared. That's the case with Ingrahan and JAK-8. And I think that can also be the case with JAMS. Right now its an unknown quantity which makes it harder to imagine but the principal is supposed to be supportive. Going back to JAK-8 if you do some rough math, take the 130 kids split over 8 years and you get only ~16 kids per year. It doesn't spread out that evenly but even with that small of a cohort per year the program has worked out well for the parents in it. As long as the middle school has an honors track with enough kids for one class per year that can be enough to meet everyone's needs. (I'm hopefull that it will end up being much more than that of course)
Ben

Ben

Anonymous said...

@Ben
One "honors" class per year?

Seriously? Are you proposing that middle school kids (who are taking any number of elective combinations, including advanced math, band, language, etc...) will be able to manipulate their schedules to take honors LA/SS if there is only enough kids for one LA/SS class? How can the schedules for those 30 kids magically gel so they can take LA/SS during the same periods?

Help me out, middle school (and former middle school parents), is this feasible???

I hear APP parents talking all the time about how 270 is their minimum cohort size. Do any of you AL people know how big a Spectrum cohort needs to be viable at a comprehensive middle school?

Eckstein's Spectrum program is pretty healthy, since it has two large Spectrum programs feeding into it (Wedgwood and View Ridge), so I'm sure there are ample numbers there, but what about at other schools?

- North-end Mom

Anonymous said...

Keep fighting the good fight, North end mom! You are right, of course, that middle school Spectrum is very different than elementary school, and requires cohorts because of scheduling. I have heard at least two classes per grade, but of course that depends on how big the school is overall. Since APP is still slated to go there, there will also be the additional wrinkle of advanced math- not ALO dependent, but highly correlated with APP and to a lesser extent Spectrum. Would hate to have half the spectrum cohort having to pick between spectrum LA and advanced math, all because the district wouldn't put together a decent cohort.

-sleeper

Anonymous said...

@ sleeper

Thanks.
BTW, I've heard that the Registrar is the most important staff person at a middle school. I am beginning to understand that now. I hope JAMS lands a good one!

- North-end Mom

Kim said...

Is Spectrum dead? My read on Whitman, and I would love to hear from parents there, is that LA honors is guaranteed to Spectrum kids and is also available to others who are at that level in LA. Math is placed by ability and parental request without regard to Spectrum status, whether it's one, two or three years ahead. There are no classrooms of LA honors partially full of only Spectrum kids anymore. That's really the only change.
Is that correct?

Anonymous said...

Well, I guess if there is a slim Spectrum cohort at JAMS, and a large APP cohort, then Spectrum kids could be lumped in with the APP kids for LA/SS, and maybe Science? Math, of course, would be by placement?

- North-end Mom

Anonymous said...

No, APP is self contained for LA/SS and science. Spectrum is only self contained for LA/SS, and it is a different class. I do think there would be a good math pathway for Spectrum students who are math oriented going there, if the scheduling works out. Gah, this is a lot of moving parts going into one school. It's almost like it would be better if one of them wasn't there...

These Spectrum numbers look quite small to me. I would want some assurances the district intends to keep it self contained (the classes would be small- how would that affect the rest of the populations? At other Spectrum schools the spectrum classes are the largest, and gene d is smaller). If it intends to disperse it, I'd assume that would be yet another thing sending Spectrum families clamoring to get into Eckstein.

-sleeper

Anonymous said...

I thought Spectrum was "dead" at Eckstein...is that not the case?

Ant

Anonymous said...

From what I've heard from Whitman parents, kids have to test into advanced math regardless of Spectrum status. All Spectrum kids take the advanced LA class, although it's not in a self contained class for 7th and 8th Grade. I'm hoping the advanced LA arts is available to everyone who needs it regardless of Spectrum status, having a kid who will really benefit from that when she hits middle school next year.
Crown Hill Mom.

Anonymous said...

Just to be clear...I'm advocating for support, in the form of an adequate cohort size, for all Spectrum-level learners, not for self-contained or officially tested in Spectrum students only.

Advanced learners at ALO schools, such as the JAMS feeder schools, don't necessarily take the AL test to qualify for ALO. Those kids won't have an official Spectrum designation, but they should still be served at their ability level. Still, it seems like you need a good-sized cohort of students capable of advanced work to make even non-self-contained classes work.

- North-end Mom

Anonymous said...

I think the APP cohort helps for math, but not for other subjects, in that case, NE mom. I don't know enough about the ALO programs at the feeder schools to know if those additional kids add up to a robust cohort for the currently identified Spectrum kids.

-sleeper

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
erik tanen said...

How many kids are there in the World school at the present location. My understanding is that they have about 120 kids. TT minor can house 400. Why would the district promise a small program a school that can house three times the number.when the district is facing a coming influx of kids from the Yesler Terrace developement.
Madronna is a K-8 that appears to have a shrinking enrollment and could accommodate the world school population at no cost. It seems simple.
Don't even want to bring up the issue that the kids who are going to go to Meany could then be housed at TT minor until Meany is done. This would help Washington, Madronna and the world school with a lot less cost than projected. It keeps TT minor free to be used for the growing need that will be there in a few years.

Anonymous said...

Whitman does not have Advanced LA. The school does mixed-ability classes where everyone is blended together. They got rid of Spectrum last year so don't be fooled that Whitman still has Spectrum of any kind when all that is really offered is ALO. According to their website:

"By moving to a cluster grouping model, Spectrum-identified students will be integrated into mixed-ability classrooms with rigorous instruction and teachers who will provide appropriate differentiation opportunities for any students who need them. Differentiation will occur as teachers modify the curriculum and their instructional strategies to meet the needs, strengths, learning styles, and interests of individual students so that ALL students will have the opportunity to learn to their full potential."

The only reason that this mixed ability grouping isn't done in 6th grade is because the principal eliminated Spectrum after open enrollment last spring and incoming 6th grade parents were upset at the bait and switch. So for this year it is only being done to 7th and 8th grade students. But you can bet that next year it will be school-wide no real Spectrum. Let's call it what it is, ALO, but it ain't Spectrum.

You also can test into any math but Whitman doesn't make it easy. They administer a beginning and end of the year placement test. Who came up with this test? Not sure anyone knows. This test isn't given at any other Seattle middle school, it's just something that Whitman cooked up. From their website:

"Accelerated math placement at Whitman has been an ongoing concern. Experience shows that even if they are recommended by the District for advanced math, students who don't have a strong foundation in sixth- grade math concepts have difficulties being successful in Whitman's accelerated math program. 40% of last year's sixth- graders placed into accelerated math by district recommendation did not pass the year-end placement test or receive teacher recommendations to continue in accelerated math, and are now repeating the seventh- grade math curriculum. Prior to the district recommendation process, over 90% of all accelerated math students at Whitman passed the year-end placement test on a consistent basis."

To pass this end of the year test, you have to score a 92% or higher to move on to the next level for the next school year. If you score lower than 92% then your child will be repeating math the following year. Doesn't matter if you got good grades all year. Get a 91% and you will repeat your math class. Awesome.

This isn't a Spectrum issue, this is a lack of district oversight issue.

NorthBallard

Meg said...

Madrona does currently have space, but odds are, Madrona will fill, too. And then does the World School get bounced again? I would like to see their program get a long-term space.

And discussing just capacity doesn't address whether or not co-housing a K-8 and a 6-12 is best for the kids in either program.

TechyMom said...

Why does world school need to stay 6-12? There aren't any other 6-12 schools in SPS. Could the 6-8 part be at a middle school (Meany?) or Madrona, and the 9-12 part at a high school? Franklin would be a good spot for an all-city draw. Or, maybe the services could be offered at each of the three international high schools?

It seems like setting aside a whole building for 120 kids isn't really workable in a district as crowded as this one. I know promises were made, but they were made at a time when we had lots of extra inventory and a choice system. Services are getting spread out for AL and SPED too. The world has changed.

TechyMom said...

Totally off the wall idea... Could SPS buy the old Islamic School next door to Mann/NOVA and renovate that for World School? It's small, and might be just the right size for this small program. It's also across the street from Garfield, so World School students could take some classes at Garfield or NOVA.

erik tanen said...

In regards to World school,
Combine the budgets for the Mann renovation and World school buil out and build an addition, or seperate building at the Mann building site for the World school. Then the World school and Nova would continue their connection that they currently have. This would allow the World school students to be able to have access to the resources of Nova and Garfield.

erik tanen said...

Even better

Lynn said...

I asked this question recently and was told that there are many students who could be best served by World School who are currently not enrolled. The district intends to grow it to 600 students or so. (I think that's the number I heard.)

Anonymous said...

Lynn, that plan for the World School's growth is PURELY aspirational. They serve about 185 high school children now. No guarantee that it would be accepted and embraced by parents to stay once there children's English has been scaffolded. The parents get to choose the education most appropriate for their children, and they may choose Garfield, or Cleveland, or Ingraham, all excellent institutions. The district has no way of knowing or even influencing this scenario. We hard-working and committed advocates for the World School can't decide it either. So, the much lauded growth and vision for World School remains totally up in the air. Whereas, their continuous instability is not in question. They deserve a stable future for the model they do have.
-185, not 600

Central said...

I agree with Erik that TT Minor makes most sense for Meany kids starting ASAP (taking the pressure off Washington and giving Meany a viable roll-up location) and as a neighborhood elementary in 2017 when Meany is completed and as central elementary demand grows. I think Smith-Blum proposed something along these lines.

World School need a real home, not someplace they'll get shuffled out of again and again.

Central

Anonymous said...

If I understand correctly from the above quote, there are students that have taken 7th grade math as sixth graders, and because they did poorly on a year end test, they are repeating the 7th grade curriculum? Is it their 6th grade skills that are weak due to skipping the material? So they could have done 6th grade math, 7th grade math, then potentially tested into Algebra in 8th grade, but instead they are taking 7th grade math twice. And for 8th grade? Sounds pretty messed up.

As far as a placement test, it is valuable to have a test other than MAP in which you can check performance on specific skills. MAP scores can't tell you if a student is struggling with dividing fractions or multiplying decimals. So beginning and end of year tests are valuable, I just question their use as a single determinant in placement.

From the district:
In early spring, schools will receive placement recommendations for students based on each student’s current math course, grade in that course (for 8th grade students), teacher recommendation, most recent state test scores, and MAP data.

Is it the use of MAP that is misidentifying students for placement?

-parent

Anonymous said...

Two posts about the World School to add to the discussion:

The inequitable distribution of hope
http://nonprofitwithballs.com/2013/11/18/the-inequitable-distribution-of-hope/
(this one mentions the potential amendment to move TWS to SE Seattle)

New immigrant students find comfort at a school all their own
http://www.seattleglobalist.com/2013/11/12/new-immigrant-students-seattle-world-school/17742

Ann D

Lynn said...

There's a new Attachment B for the Growth Boundaries BAR.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Lynn

I was able to see it from your link, but strangely I can't seem to find it on the link to the agenda.

Did it go away again or? Are you still seeing a revised agenda with a link to the updated BAR?

At any rate, B is not actually in the motion that was there the last time I looked, so unless they changed it to read that both Attachments A and B are approved, I'm not sure how these rules get accepted. I guess that the "optional" assignment to a "program" alleviates the need for board approval of student assignment rules.

Expect that Option schools have geozones, so that doesn't follow. What are the rules for student assignment for the optional APP programs?

Anyway, this does not actually mention North APP at all, so I think there is STILL NO NORTH APP boundaries or pathways up for approval in this BAR. Am I missing something somewhere?

"ACCELERATED PROGRESS PROGRAM (APP)
 Current south end APP pathways remain in place, with eligible students guaranteed pathway assignments at Thurgood Marshall, Washington, and Garfield.
 APP will be offered as an option for eligible students at Fairmount Park in West Seattle
beginning in 2014-15 (and subsequently at Madison). This will be a different service delivery model, which is why enrollment is optional. It is anticipated that this will serve students who live in West Seattle who may not have participated in APP previously because of the distance to their pathway schools.
 APP may be offered as an option in Southeast Seattle in the future if eligibility and enrollment increases warrant additional sites. There are no plans to implement additional such sites at this time."

Eden

Melissa Westbrook said...

I know promises were made, but they were made at a time when we had lots of extra inventory and a choice system. Services are getting spread out for AL and SPED too. The world has changed.

The world has not changed that much.

First, World School is the middle/high school for recent immigrant students. It would be very difficult for some to just walk into a regular middle or high school.

Two, oh, so when do we decide which promises we keep and those we don't?

It's ironic that you say "the world has changed" and I'm sure that's exactly how the students and parents of World School feel.

The Islamic School idea might be good. There is no room to build on at Mann so that's not an option.

It is entirely credible to say that World School could easily grow to 300-400 IF they had the right programming and services. That's not aspirational. We hear this discussion about JAMS and its growth.. ALL parents want their students at schools that can serve their needs.

Lynn said...

Eden,

I still see the new attachment on the Agenda found here.

I don't think you're missing anything. If DeBell's amendment doesn't pass this week, the Superintendent can decide anytime before open enrollment where middle school APP is placed.

Lynn said...

I don't even really care about the student assignment rules for the optional APP site. I want to know what a blended model of APP with Spectrum looks like. This will be the second Spectrum elementary school in Madison's attendance area.

Anonymous said...

And what does a "blended" model of spectrum look like? Is it just "walk to math"? What about reading?

--definitions please

Anonymous said...

Will "blended" at Fairmount Park mean APP & Spectrum mixed? That could be a real asset to kids who are numerous years ahead in math but not LA or the opposite. It could be an opportunity to offer a model that works for some APP kids mixed with Spectrum (and even Gen ed who are advanced in one area) and for those who need self-contained APP no matter how far away, TM is the answer. One thing I am really optimistic about is at FP there is an opportunity to hire a principal and staff who want to support AL and don't just have it thrust upon them. Just as STEM @ Boren was able to hire a principal and staff who were enthusiastic about building a unique, innovative program there. If it isn't done right parents will opt into TM or something else. I know TM has been a godsend to some, but riding on a bus for two hours a day does not work for some kids and families especially in the lower grades and not everyone qualified for AL has been able to get into Lafayette in the past. I hope this program isn't going to dilute the TM program, rather it will provide a option for WS kids who are not in APP because of the distance and who can't get adequate AL services at their schools in WS. -WSKparent

GooseGander said...

Interesting how the talk about "Bex IV says" , "the levy says", "voters voted", "my tax dollars", etc is not a part of the discussion about TT Minor/World School as it was with Mann/NOVA.

Selective enforcement of "the law" or justice for all?

Melissa Westbrook said...

So Goose, I'm not quite following your point. Could you expand on that?

Charlie Mas said...

All characterizations of delivery models for advanced learning programs are meaningless and unenforceable. It is a waste to time to discuss existing ones, let alone hypothetical ones.