Thursday, November 21, 2013

FYI - per Jane Addams Middle School

FYI, a  JAMS parent reports this:

For any of you now interested in participating in a conversation about the design/programming of JAMS, there is a blog for that purpose at:


Anonymous said...

new FB group page for all families going to JAMS. One community at JAMS.


Anonymous said...

Can you please, please not start coordinating stuff on Facebook when there is already an open site already in place for discussions? (

We do not use Facebook, as many families do not, and you're blocking out people from reading and participating in conversations that should be open to everyone without requiring accounts. Please.


Anonymous said...

new2jams...sorry that you feel that way. Truly. This is all new and you're right that not every one uses FB. Not everyone reads these blogs. The will hopefully become more active and I think that will be the place for all the cooridnating stuff for getting JAMS up and running. I don't know the full intent of the FB page and I'll be sure to pass your message along (which is very valid so no disagreement there). I think the FB page will exist long after the planning phase as a community group. I don't think FB should ever replace or be the sole source of info but it can be a safe place to have conversations. In all sincerity, this is all new and folks who were so upset about the changes are beginning to feel better and are getting involved. The page is not my baby but will be sure to encourage using the other webpage for discussion to reach the masses.


Anonymous said...

That blog URL did not work. This is the right blog URL


Anonymous said...

I concur with new2jams and would urge people to use the existing blog as a way to communicate and build community. A FB page that only some can access or that forces people to get a FB account is counter-productive.


Anonymous said...

There is already maneuvering to dominate the narrative and access to the planning page. Cutting out Facebook because it's déclassé just cuts out the lower SES groups who will also be attending JAMS.


Anonymous said...

I'm not sure I understand how not using the Facebook excludes anyone. It seems like a blogspot is more accessible since there is no account needed and can be accessible via the internet from anywhere.


JAMS Local said...

Lemons, what on earth are you talking about? Déclassé? What a joke.

The point is to make information available to as many people as possible and allow N-way communication, without barriers like Facebook. At least so far, the jamsplans blog (which I have nothing to do with) appears to provide unmoderated conversation, no membership required.

I can't believe we're even discussing this, and that it could remotely be a point of contention. If people can't agree on something as simple as an open blog for communication, it doesn't bode well for agreeing on how to open a new school.

kellie said...

Most of the schools I know have both a website and a FB page. Don't see any reason why you can't have both.

Anonymous said...

I think of course there should be both. The more avenues the better. I think most schools have both, and honestly need both.

If you really do need explanation- many people will expect to see a page on FB, will only look there, and there needs to be something for them to find. Look at the JA k-8 one for example, which is a great example of how ours should potentially look once the school is up and running. A FB group is a great way for parents to talk slightly more personally before it starts, do a tiny bit of community building in a non-anonymous setting. The blog is great because it is open and able to anonymous. Both are very valuable, and chilling either one tamps community when we need to be building it by any means possible.


Anonymous said...

It begins....


JAMS Plans said...

Melissa, thanks for publishing the link to the JAMS Plans blog. This is a totally volunteer endeavor, not officially affiliated with JAMS. A few Sac and John Rogers parents had this idea months ago that it would be nice to have a place for parents to bounce ideas for JAMS off of each other. So we created a blog.

It hasn't had much activity until now because, simply put, no program planning could go forward until the Growth Boundaries stuff was settled.

Everyone is welcome there. You don't have to ask to join, and you don't have to use your name if you don't want to. The only comment moderation we plan to do is deleting abusive or off-blog-topic comments. The idea is to facilitate conversation, after all.

Others may prefer FB, and that's fine -- and, as Sleeper says, useful in a different way. Creating and running the JAMS Plans blog is how we've chosen to contribute to the process.

Anonymous said...

This is not the beginning of any particular difficulty, This is just a bunch of people trying to figure out how to do something very complicated, without leadership. There is leadership coming, now that the stakeholders are defined, and all these efforts are valuable, I really appreciate that someone started a blog, and will be checking it out. I also appreciate someone starting a FB page and will similarly check it out.


Social Media Services said...

Thanks for sharing that blog link.

Anonymous said...

I look forward to following the plans and discussions as we will be assigned to JAMS in a year or two.

I hope that the animosity towards having APP at JAMS quickly fades. I was bothered by the comments I've read on this blog by someone who stated that APP wouldn't be a good fit but Spectrum would. That seems to me to be disappointingly elitist and exclusionary. So, will my APP-qualified kid who's currently enrolled in Spectrum be unwelcome because of being APP and "one of THOSE kids" with special demands or will they BE welcome because as a Spectrum advanced learner, they help raise the standard and rigor of the school/student body? Surely I'm not the only one who can see the absurdity in these two conflicting positions?

If JAMS wants to set the right tone, it will be inclusive for all its students and families from the start. In doing so, it will show the other middle schools that are starting how to do it right. What a fantastic challenge!


Anonymous said...

Flib, why do you want to pull that rabbit out? I wouldn't latch onto one anonymous comment on a blog to sleep on.

You are part of JAMS. That means you get to set the tone just like the next person. It's your to control on this blog, the JAMS blog &FB, or the first day your child step into the school.


Anonymous said...


I think you misunderstood my comments on previous threads concerning Spectrum and APP.

First of all, Spectrum is offered at all comprehensive middle schools. It isn't a Spectrum OR APP kind of thing, it is a matter of how well Spectrum will be supported.

The success of the Spectrum program is dependent upon the leadership of the school, and teaching staff. The size of the cohort can also factor into how and how well Spectrum-level students are served. Course scheduling at middle school can be a nightmare, and larger cohort sizes mean that Spectrum-level classes can be offered more than one class period per day.

I was advocating for a Spectrum feeder school so that there would be a sustainable, solid cohort of students working one grade level ahead, so that those students could be best served.

As far as I know, and feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, all other Seattle middle schools have a Spectrum elementary feeder school. Eckstein has two large Spectrum schools, Wedgwood and View Ridge.

Currently, the only Spectrum elementary school in the JAMS attendance area is at the Jane Addams K-8. Since it is a K-8, not a K-5, those students may never enter JAMS.

All the feeder schools currently feeding into JAMS have ALO. Generally, kids served in ALO programs are working one grade level ahead. APP-qualified kids are generally not present in the JAMS feeder schools, as they are being served at either APP@Lincoln, or at Spectrum schools.

My concerns were primarily for support of the advanced learners who would be rising from the JAMS feeder schools. A Spectrum feeder school would be an asset for them, in that it would help maintain a strong cohort of kids working at Spectrum/honors level.

In the immediate future, there will likely be a large-enough Spectrum-level cohort, because there will be Spectrum kids joining JAMS from Eckstein and Jane Addams K-8.

From what I've heard, Olympic Hills may eventually be getting Spectrum, but probably not until their new building is ready (2017).

I'm sorry if you perceived any "animosity" towards APP. During the various concoctions of the Growth Boundaries JAMS feeder patterns, it became pretty clear that it would be an either/or kind of thing. JAMS either got a Spectrum feeder school (i.e. Wedgwood), OR the NE APP program, because these groups would contribute approximately the same number of students to the overall enrollment of JAMS.

JAMS will have an extremely broad range of learners, from those needing intervention to reach grade level, to those performing at the APP level. I have met Principal Montgomery, and I feel confident that she is dedicated to meeting the needs of all students so that they can achieve, regardless of ability, and I am also confident that she can help create a school culture where everyone is welcome.

- North-end Mom

Anonymous said...

parent -

I asked the question because it concerned me and I wanted to get clarity, right now, at the start of JAMS, now that the political wrangling over assignment is over (for now). And actually I'd read it on multiple threads here, over a lengthy period of time, and had heard it elsewhere too. It wasn't just one comment.

I'm glad I asked because I'm very pleased to read North-end Mom's response and to get clarity around the issue. I don't know if it was a mis-understanding by me, or unclear comments by others, or whether people have a different attitude now they know more about what the JAMS Principal plans, but it sounds like a good approach, and one that will be the basis for a strong school.


Anonymous said...

I feel strongly that key discussion and information should not take place on Facebook (unless this is also cross posted on an open website/blog. Facebook is an exclusive forum. Many folks choose not to join facebook and do not intend to become Facebook widgets, cos, in fact thats what all you FBers are (remember, if you're not paying for it, then you're not the customer - you're the product being sold!).
Discussion of important school/community issues should not be done on a facebook page if you really want wide and diverse representation.


Anonymous said...

A friend of mine told me that she was certain that Wedgwood was included in the JAMS feeder pattern, based upon something she saw on King 5.

I checked their website, and they have linked the Nov 6th maps to their story, so maybe that is the source of the confusion?

I can't fault them really, if they thought what was presented on the 6th would still be valid on the 20th.

- North-end Mom

Steve said...

There is free technology available that will take every single blog post (the RSS feed from the blog) and automatically post it on the Facebook account. You may miss some of the conversations going on on both platforms if you don't follow both, but at least the messaging is consistent over both platforms. You'll never be able to use one platform and get everyone to read it, but this helps.

(And, more people of parental age have email addresses than anything else, and PTAs and schools collect them. I think this is the most "democratic" form of online communication).

Look at Twitterfeed. Easy as pie to use.

Chris said...

As someone bringing an 8th grader to JAMS from Eckstein, the arguing already over something like Facebook vs. a blog isn't very encouraging. Yikes.

Anonymous said...

It's true, arguing over whether community engagement should be via Facebook vs open blog/website does seem a bit 'middle-school', but come to think of it - any community engagement that involves being facebook friends seems VERY 'middle -school'.
If there is a blog/website set up - I say use that. Use FB to get info out about the existing blog.....don't duplicate the discussions or turn it into the FB clique vs the blogspot gang or whatever.


Anonymous said...

I'm completely perplexed by SPS decision to not have any Spectrum feeder elems for JAMS. My child, who is in Spectrum at Wedgwood, will be going to JAMS next year due to where we now live. It seems he'll be one of only a handful of Spectrum kids at JAMS next fall for 6th grade. Is there any scenario in which I'm wrong?
I realize there are students currently in 5th grade at the feeder schools who have qualified for Spectrum but because their schools don't offer it, they are in Gen Ed classrooms.
How will that work with my son having been working one year ahead for most of his school career thus far? I'm trying to stay positive -- -and see many potential benefits of JAMS, however I have a hard time seeing how our particular scenario will play out very well.
Any feedback or corrections to my thoughts are welcome!
- Parent of 6th grade JAMS student

Anonymous said...

@Parent of 6th grade Spectrum student

Kids at ALO schools are in GenEd classrooms, though most schools have some form of Walk to Math, and some schools use small peer groups for reading, writing, etc...

Jane Addams K-8 has an integrated Spectrum program, and it is possible that some of those families may decide to stay in the building, joining JAMS.

The current 4th and 5th grade students enrolled during the era of choice, and before JA K-8 opened, offering a more local (and not full) Spectrum program.

There are probably more families like yours, with 5th graders in either the Wedgwood or View Ridge Spectrum programs who will be routed to JAMS.

My suggestion would be to meet with Principal Montgomery to find out how your child (and other Spectrum kids) would be accommodated.

Also, please write the School Board and Superintendent Banda with your concerns (if you haven't done so already). At least one School Board director (HMM) has said that creating access to Spectrum (at JAMS) will yield Spectrum students. Maybe your voice, as a Wedgwood parent will be heard.

- North-end Mom

dw said...

my2cents said: If there is a blog/website set up - I say use that. Use FB to get info out about the existing blog.....don't duplicate the discussions or turn it into the FB clique vs the blogspot gang or whatever.

Thank you for the abundant common sense!

Conversations behind a Facebook wall are not cool, but there should be a simple FB page that directs to the open blog to make sure as many people as possible find the blog and can be part of the conversation.

Using both locations for actual content is a really bad idea because:
1) Most people will not read both sites, leading to
2) Some people will needlessly miss out on information.
3) It's quite painful and a big waste of time reading redundant comments on two sites, as is the case with some of the other regional and programmatic discussion sites.

I certainly hope there is no objection to this model. Onward!

Anonymous said...

Agree with Chris who wrote, "...the arguing already over something like Facebook vs. a blog isn't very encouraging."

I totally understand and support those parents who avoid Facebook, as I realize there are parents who prefer communication by social media.

People use different tools, so I hope the new JAMS community will embrace cross communicating across platforms, instead of restricting engagement efforts to one source.

I hope the JAMS PTA will locate a communications volunteer who's savvy online and on paper, so everyone can be included.

Let's try to think of how we can satisfy most parents instead of trying to conform everyone.

ML Mom

Anonymous said...

FYI. Some preliminary info on JAMS programming has been posted on the JAMSplans blog:


Kudos to Principal Montgomery for taking the time to answer questions from the JAMS community!

- North-end Mom

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