Monday, October 17, 2016

Upcoming Events to Get on Your Calendar

Besides this being #ClosetheGaps week for Seattle Schools, it is also DiscoverU week.  What is DiscoverU?

DiscoverU is an exciting week for our community to come together and support students in exploring career and college options. Through fun activities in school and in the community, students throughout Seattle and South King County will have opportunities to explore their futures. DiscoverU puts student interests at the center and helps connect their aspirations with the many pathways to get there.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

I would strongly encourage ALL North End parents and PTSA representatives to attend the 10/27 Lincoln HS meeting as its reopening will have ripple effects across the North.

To give this new high school the best shot at success, the district needs to invest NOW in a top-notch principal who can chart a clear, coherent path and hire great teachers. My understanding is that when the district opened JAMS, parents successfully lobbied to have a principal in place one year prior AND get start-up funding. Can any JAMS parents chime in here and offer advice for parents concerned about giving Lincoln the best start possible?

I agree with Melissa that the writing seems to be on the wall that this will likely be an "international" high school. What does that mean? The other two existing "international" high schools in our city--Chief Sealth and Ingraham--both have International Baccalaureate programs (IB) in place. When I recently attended an IB night at Ingraham and spoke to the staff there, they said there is no way Lincoln HS could open with an IB program in place in 2019 because it is a 5-year process to become accredited as an IB site.

So what happens to 8th graders now who go to Ingraham next year, declare for the IB program their sophomore year (and take recommended courses to prepare for the IB curriculum in their junior and senior years) and then Lincoln opens in their then-junior year of high school? Will those students be grandfathered at Ingraham? Or will they be sent to Lincoln because it will then become the "international school pathway"?

Thoughts?

Concerned Hamilton parent

Po3 said...

Lincoln isn't the only new high school in the works. City in talks w/ SPS on a new high school at the Seattle Center. Seems like this also needs to be part of the conversation.

Also, SPS needs to define what international means at Lincoln. Is it IB offerings or is it language immersion or is it something new? Then HIMS needs to align to that program definition. If IB, then they need to start offering the 6-8 IB classes, if immersion then they need to bring back the language immersion program they dismantled. If something new then HIMS needs to be part of that also.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Po3, that one at Seattle Center is a long ways off and more likely to affect Ballard. But yes, that should be kept in mind.

Also, good point on the use of the word "international."

Anonymous said...

No way will Lincoln offer IB if downtown can avoid it. Cost of program is a dealbreaker from its perspective. RBHS, Sealth, Ingraham barely holding on as it is and that's with outside grants supporting it.

DistrictWatcher

Anonymous said...

Just to be clear, the Hamilton-to-Lincoln pathway is only a part of the equation. With such a large percentage of Hamilton's students being HCC, many come from neighborhoods that will likely continue to be in the boundaries for high schools other than Lincoln. Additionally, many of the HCC students will opt for an HCC pathway high school, assuming they still exist.

This all means that Lincoln will be filled by kids coming from a lot of other middle schools besides Hamilton, so programming from all the feeder schools will need to be taken into consideration, not just Hamilton.

HF

Anonymous said...

Unless, of course, they make Lincoln an HCC pathway school, too. Then Hamilton could pretty much fill it. With an average of about 400 students per grade at HIMS now, that would perfectly fit the 1600-seat capacity planned for four grades at Lincoln.

HF

Po3 said...

I don't think a new high school is a long way off. We have a mayor very who is very interested in education--and very quickly got some preschools up and running. They recently moved the principal of the Center school out, which does not seem like a coincidence to me. (Anybody know who the new principal is?) I think there is space around the Seattle Center that could be used as interim classrooms while they build out a new school. There are also open seats at the Center school due to its declining enrollment. So, seems to me like it is poised for expansion. (or a charter takeover with Nylands and the mayor's blessing?)

I would like to know (sooner than later) what SPS and the City are thinking about who would go to this school and what kind of school would it be. I think it could cast a much wider net than just Ballard as an all-city draw or could actually be the new QA/Mag high school and exclude Ballard completely.

It's the absence of information that concerns me most and would like to see the conversation about Lincoln include plans for the new school at the Seattle Center.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Po3, very good points. I'd like to see SPS actually do this but I have my doubts.

Anonymous said...

"that one at Seattle Center is a long ways off and more likely to affect Ballard. But yes, that should be kept in mind."

Yes, am interested when that would happen. I have been thinking it would open well after Lincoln in 2019. But has the district given any indication?
-NW

ConcernedSPSParent said...

Concerned Hamilton parent, my son is at JAMS and has been there since it opened as a middle school. Prior to that it was a K-8 and the re-purpose did require some remodeling so I am not sure the situations are quite the same. However yes, the Principal who is still there started a year before the school opened. There is a great deal to do to get a school up and running and we were very lucky to have Ms. Montgomery to lead the change. Without the year to ramp up I think it would have been a failure (this was Sherry Carr's recommendation...). From my perspective one huge hurdle the district put in our way was a refusal to give a student count in advance. This directly effects funding which in turn effects the services/programs the school can offer.

Maureen said...

I can see how "International School" and "International Baccalaureate" and "language immersion" would all seem to go together, but it doesn't really seem to me that the IB program is any more suited to immersion students than a non IB school that actually used immersion during the school day. I think that Lincoln (and Hamilton) could probably serve the immersion students better than an IB program because they would have more flexibility in teaching additional classes in Spanish and Japanese. No HSs (or MSs) do that now, and from what I understand, the immersion student cohort at IHS isn't necessarily big enough to even maintain acceleration in those languages through their senior year. I believe language tops out at Spanish and Japanese HL, which students can accomplish with only one year of MS language (and not immersion.)

Anonymous said...

I agree with Maureen, the current language immersion students at Hamilton are no more fit to do IB than non-immersion students, other than they know more of a language. I haven’t seen how Hamilton is any more international in its focus than other middle schools, so I’m not sure what it means for those McDonald and JSIS students to track to Lincoln, other than perhaps more advanced language classes or maybe eventually, gasp, a few other classes taught in Japanese or Spanish.
Opening Lincoln - having been in on the first years of opening McDonald from scratch, many of us could write a pretty useful list of things parents will want to stay on top of and advocate strongly for. We only had a principal assigned to the effort from late Spring forward (and she was a principal at her other school through June) and that wasn't nearly enough, particularly given how much more complex everything will be for a high school. It's also critical to know what the programming will be and who the families in the school will be early on. It takes so much staff and parent involvement to open a school well (parents set up the PTA, try to raise money, help set up clubs, sports teams, etc), and we won't get parent buy-in until it's firm who's really attending.
I bet many of the McDonald parents who started McDonald (and QAE and other from-scratch new schools) are still suffering from PTSD and won't want to take the lead on this 2nd new school effort. I know I am. The hard work isn't just to start the school, but the first couple years are full of still setting up systems, hiring more teachers, building relationships, developing the programming, and lots more, that staff in other schools already have in place so they can focus more time on academics. Lots of lessons learned by those of us who have gone through it before.
-What fun

Anonymous said...

Will any of you who have gone through this before with helping support/start a new school attend the Lincoln HS meeting on 10/27 to share your experiences and hard-earned wisdom?

And as to language immersion students being more "fit" to do IB than others, I don't think "fitness" factors into the equation, other than having to be at a Level 3 level in a foreign language to take on the IB as a high school junior. I was simply making the point that the existing international high schools all offer the IB option so it would be a departure to create an international high school that did NOT offer IB.

Concerned Hamilton parent

Anonymous said...

Denny and Sealth have begun teaching content courses in Spanish for students who are heritage speakers of Spanish or who have sufficient Spanish from previous education. The success of students in these classes has prompted a group of Somali parents to organize to request similar offerings in Somali.

Kelly

Anonymous said...

@ Maureen, while the immersion cohort at IHS might not be big enough to maintain acceleration in languages through students' senior year, it's better there than anywhere else. The IHS catalog shows languages through level 6. Immersion students may start high school in level 3 or 4, which means they could have at least 3, possibly four years of the language in high school. At any other high school, it would be less.

A possible complication--one that I have not seen mentioned--is that right now IHS is the pathway school for both immersion and HCC, and at Hamilton, there is significant overlap between those two populations. By creating pathways that divert immersion students who are not HCC to Lincoln, while immersion students who are HCC could go to IHS, it will reduce access to the most advanced languages classes at both schools. The pool of students ready for 6th or 7th year language classes is small, and if that pool is split between two high schools it seems that both will fall short.

kitty