Saturday, February 18, 2017

Lincoln High Open Thread

Wanted to throw this up for anyone who attended Director Burke's meeting Friday evening to discuss the reopening of Lincoln High School.   Please weigh in if you attended.

52 comments:

kellie said...

Overall, it was a good meeting. Director Burke presented the information that was available. This included an overview of the timeline for boundaries and program placement decisions. Boundaries will be decided as part of the November 2017 Growth Boundaries vote and Program Placement will be finalized the subsequent year. He noted that this was not optimal and not what the audience was hoping for but that was the default timeline.

He also announced that the district will announce pretty soon, the formation of a high school boundaries task force. I am delighted by that piece of news as this will be the first opportunity for the community to give meaningful input to the Lincoln plan. I am hopeful that this task force can daylight the need for program placement to be done alongside the boundaries.

Director Burke is also hoping to get a planning principal in place sooner rather than later. A planning principal is the most critical piece of this puzzle. A dynamic principal will inspire confidence and attract great teachers. Until there is a leader in place, it is almost impossible to create momentum.

Director Burke has really stepped up and taken on the role of the defacto leader for Lincoln High School. I am very grateful for this as I suspect that without Director Burke's infectious enthusiasm to be able to represent a high school, the timeline for boundaries and community engagement may have been even later.

Anonymous said...

How many folks showed up? Curious. Really unhappy that my kid is likely to be yanked from his school partway through high school and district did no advance outreach and planning to let families know this is coming. I see the writing on the wall but most parents do not and the whole north end plus likely Queen Anne, Magnolia, North Capitol Hill, Montlake, Eastlake, in sum close to half the district at minimum is likely to be impacted, right? It's the last straw for our family. We've made contingency plans. Most families are not as informed or have as many options and I truly feel sorry for the community for whom chaos and bitterness is headed their direction. And who would want to sit on a boundaries taskforce that is going to take the brunt of the anger of all these families because Seattle public schools did not do this work at least a year ago so kids going to high school during the reboundarying could make plans about where to attend?

Northender

Melissa Westbrook said...

Well, and the district is famous for asking people to give of their time and efforts, only to NOT listen to them. I'd never be on another taskforce again.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the update, Kellie. It is good news that boundaries are targeted to be done this year. How many people showed up? Burke is doing a great job of leading the issue but having the meeting on the Friday night of winter break is challenging. Were there handouts or a link to handouts?

Northender - I don't think it's been decided yet if it will be a roll-up or geosplit model. Have you heard that was finalized?

QA Parent

Anonymous said...

No way could it be a roll up model. There wouldn't be the students or staff to support a comprehensive high school and the parents of the reboundaried 9th graders will not have it. There was enormous pushback on the concept of roll-up for middle school openings and high school is all those issues on steroids.

As Kellie and I discussed in another thread, watch large portions of HCC be remanded to Lincoln, too. It can't be any other way, really. Roosevelt is too white and rich. Ingraham has IB. Nathan Hale's principal doesn't want it and there's no room anyway. It's not hard to read the tea leaves. As we said in the other thread, through, it is going to be a painful process for many families.

CapacityWonk

kellie said...

There were about 150 people. Once again, there was quite a bit of surprise at the extent of the turnout. The room was originally set up with about 12 tables for small groups. This quickly increased to about 24-28 tables.

There were also several SPS staff members in attendance, including Michael Tolley, Jon Hafaker and Lucy Morello.

Dir Burke had a nice presentation with various project timelines. I don't know if there is a copy of this anywhere.

Lincoln High School will definitely be a geo-split. The current options are 9/10 or 9/10/11. They are not considering a 9th grade rollup, because it is both too expensive and it is not comprehensive.

They are also not seriously considering moving seniors. I suspect this is also because of mitigation costs. Seniors have very specific graduation and college readiness requirements and when you geo-split students from Ballard, Roosevelt and Garfield, there are just too many specialized programs between these three schools, for them to successfully replicate and the mitigate for graduation requirements.

At the moment, SPS seems to be leaning heavily towards a 9/10/11, because they believe a 9/10/11 will be more cost effective than a 9/10. I suspect this conversation will continue for a while and my best guess is that they will settle on the 9/10/11.

I suspect that it will be 9/10/11 because you need some of the upper grade students to make the school comprehensive and run a newspaper and a yearbook and a variety of other specialty classes that are dependent on the upper grades.

kellie said...

There were lots of questions about program placement and Director Burke was very clear that the timeline for finalization of Program Placement would be during the vote on the Student Assignment Plan for Lincoln, currently scheduled for 2018.

That said there are a few conclusions that are very easy to reach.

Staff testified at the last board meeting that opening Lincoln High School would provide significant relief for Garfield High School. While some portions of the Garfield attendance area (Belltown, South Lake Union, Eastlake) are much closer to Lincoln than Garfield, it has been clear for quite some time that there simply is not enough room at Garfield for all of high school HCC and Lincoln is a natural choice to become the home for North-end HCC.

The Language Immersion Task Force officially recommended that Lincoln High School, become Lincoln International High School and the pathway high school for the JSIS and McDonald language programs. This is a near certainty as the vast majority of LI students live in the Lincoln walk zone.

And based on the attendance and questions in the room, many folks are expecting to see Lincoln International High School with HCC.

Anonymous said...

So if I've got a current 9th grader at Ballard, who will be a senior when Lincoln opens up, do you think they'll move her?

Confused

Anonymous said...

It was a great meeting. Very polite and very informative. Maybe HCC could have the 500 spots opening at Ingraham.

Helen

Anonymous said...

Nathan Hale's principal doesn't want it [HCC] and there's no room anyway. It's not hard to read the tea leaves.

Wait, isn't Hale's principal the planning principal for Lincoln? And what happens to IHS without the international pathway? The IHS addition (500 seats) will open the same year as Lincoln. I am troubled by boundaries being decided without program placement being more clear. How do they plan on right sizing the boundaries?

questions

kellie said...

@ Confused,

There are no promises. Just an "indication" that at this point, they don't want to move 12th graders and they won't do a 9th grade roll up.

@ Helen,

It is incredibly unlikely that the Ingraham seats would go to HCC. My understanding is that the Ingraham expansion is to provide choice seats for any student who wants IB. Guaranting those seats to HCC would mean that there wouldn't be choice seats for general education students.

Anonymous said...

@ kellie, is that vote on program placement scheduled for early in 2018, or just sometime in 2018? Current 8th graders start high school in the fall, and it's likely many will be pulled from their current high school for 11th grade. If they are at Ingraham and planning to do the IB program, they won't have started it yet so could be pulled. It they are HCC students opting for the IBX option, however, they'll have started that in 10th grade and it likely wouldn't be feasible to pull them. Does that seem like a good guess? I'd hate to see students opt for IBX when they aren't really "ready," just to maximize their chances of being able to stay at Ingraham... Hopefully the district can provide them with some clarity as to their options, PRIOR to spring of 2018, when they will need to plan their 10th grade schedules. Do you think the district is on track to have things cleared up by then?

Also, I know you've said before that those who get into Ingraham via an "option" route won't get pulled, but those who get in via a "pathway" seat could, if the pathway changes. It sounds like the LI pathway is likely to move to Lincoln. How would the geosplit rules apply to Ingraham students who are both LI and HCC? Would it depend purely on which factor was used in their assignment, or would it be based partly on their academic program at that time? For example, if a joint HCC-LI student selects Ingraham and indicates LI pathway on their application (so they are guaranteed placement, vs. the HCC space-available placement), and then they plan to do IB/IBX, are they still subject to being pulled if the the LI pathway moves? Would they be treated differently if they had opted for IB vs. IBX, with the IBXers allowed to stay since they were mid-program (even though they were there on a LI pathway originally), but the IB crowd forced to move since they hadn't started yet? It's all so complicated, but kind of seems like applying via the HCC route means they aren't guaranteed a spot, but if they get one they can stay, whereas applying via the LI route means they ARE guaranteed a spot, but they might not be able to stay. Is that a reasonable assessment of the rules?

muddy

kellie said...

@ questions.

Dr. Hudson is the planning principal for the facilities portion of Lincoln remodel. Her role is strictly limited to the design of the building. It has been made very clear that she is not the point person for any questions about what will happen once the building opens.

Ingraham will remain an IB school. At the moment language immersion students who attended JSIS and then Hamilton are guaranteed a seat at Ingraham if they want to continue with the language immersion pathway at high school. McDonald students are included in this guarantee but the first language immersion students from McDonald have just started at Hamilton this year.

kellie said...

@ muddy,

Yes, it is very muddy!

You raise a lot of good questions that will all require thought and planning. In addition to the LI/ IB challenge, there is the Ballard Biotech program, which is done via lottery. Students enrolled in that program could easily be in the geo-split zone of Lincoln.

One parent asked if there would be "waivers" of any sort for students with some special academic path or varsity sports or something that was only at the current school. Dir Burke indicated that those questions were the exact type of questions he was hoping to highlight and collect with community engagement, but that there are just no answers at the moment.

Director Burke made a number of comments about how the first potential Lincoln graduating class of 2020 started school this year and that the longer it takes, the greater the uncertainly. He seemed pretty aware that the future Lincoln juniors are picking schools now. He sounded hopeful that program placement could be resolved sooner, but that would likely depend on a lot of community feedback requesting it is done sooner.

All that said, my understanding of the Student Assignment plan rules matches your assessment. The assignment rules state that students who get a choice seat, is able to stay through the highest grade at the choice school. If a students gets a choice seat at Ingraham they get to stay. If they get a pathway seat, they will be geosplit.



Anonymous said...

My son is an 8th grader in HCC at Hamilton. Our reference high school is Roosevelt, but his HCC pathway is Garfield. When Lincoln opens, it's likely to become our reference school.

My question is whether we should choose Roosevelt or Garfield now in order to try to prevent him from being switched to Lincoln midway through high school. Or, is Ingraham the only option that would prevent him from being moved mid-stream?

-SPS parent

Anonymous said...

SPS Parent-- I think likely your child could be pulled from either Roosevelt or Garfield. Maybe less likely from Ingraham and IB as likely Lincoln will not offer IB. However, if IB is not right for your kid keep in mind there will be many kids in same situation needing course alignment coming from Roosevelt and Garfield. There may be just as many AP courses for 11th at Lincoln as Roosevelt and Ballard offer, and maybe even close to Garfield if Lincoln is made an HCC pathway school. Both schools will be very overcrowded. Maybe I am too optimistic but I think they will be careful to offer alignment for incoming 11th graders coming to Lincoln without 12th graders, as they will want the opening of Lincoln to be a success.
-another SPS

Anonymous said...

This is just one ancedote, but I was part of a geo-split for a new high school many years ago in a school district far away, and it was actually a good experience.

In my case, the new high-school opened with a 9th and 10th grade geo-split and an option for 11th graders to choose the new school. As a rising junior, I chose the new school along with a sizeable cohort from my school. We chose the new school because it was significantly closer to home (we drove by it on the way to the old school) and because our old school was massively overcrowded (6000 students, grades 7-12).

As 11th graders in the new school, we were able to start new clubs, be the yearbook/newspaper editor, be a team captain, etc. We also had input into creating school traditions. In fairness, some of the sports teams did not do well the first few years, but the school did offer a full complement of school sponsored sports teams. In the drama club, we had no "stock" of scripts/props/costumes/set pieces to pull from, but found local families, businesses and other local high schools were generous with help.

We were fortunate that most classes that were available at the old school were also available at the new school- fewer sections, maybe, but available. There were a few upper level classes that were not offered the first year of the school, and some people took a 1st period class at our old school and then finished the day at the new school. Others who were planning to take more upper level classes stayed at the old school through graduation.

A significant number of teachers and guidance counselors transferred over from our old school (since that school was losing about 25% of its students), so there were people that had known you for 3-4 years when it came time to write college recommendations. The state universities were all experienced with our school system and there did not seem to be any concerns about applying from a new high school. I don't know what the experience was for those applying out of state or to private universities, but my friends got into a variety of schools.

Was it perfect? No. But it had upsides to counter the downsides, and I would still choose the new school if I had to do it over again.

-DMR



kellie said...

Director Burke had a number of sign up sheets for people who were interested in either meeting notices or taking a more active role in building the new Lincoln High School.

My advise would be for the Hamilton PTSA to take a very active role regarding Lincoln asap. While there will be students from other middle schools at Lincoln, the vast majority of Hamilton's graduates will be at the future Lincoln.

The hiring of the planning principal is the key to successful community building. The JAMS community was very active in the selection of Paula Montgomery and her leadership made JAMS work. Planning principals can be funded from the capital budget so this means that there is money to hire a planning principal, even with the levy cliff.

Melissa Westbrook said...

"One parent asked if there would be "waivers" of any sort for students with some special academic path or varsity sports or something that was only at the current school."

I would say no to that. Lincoln has to accommodate all students academically. As for sports, again, no. As we see from the Hale example in basketball, your child could be participating in a sport in freshman/sophomore year, only to have students imported to be on that team. There are and cannot be any guarantees in being on a sports team. (That said, the district should be obliged to have the same kinds of teams at each high school.)

DMR, 6,000 kids! Wow. Your example is one I would gently ask parents to consider. Attitude about change is a big gift you can give/teach your child. Life IS change (no matter how much we try to fight that). You can plan and plan and whoops, there's something you couldn't control.

Of course, you have to feel somewhat sure that the district is truly following thru on reopening Lincoln so that students DO see the good sides for themselves as DMR did.

I also repeat that Lincoln is reopening but NOT as a new school. They have an active alumni association who I believe will embrace this reopening and the students who are the new Lincoln. It's a good thing.

Anonymous said...

DMR-- "We were fortunate that most classes that were available at the old school were also available at the new school- fewer sections, maybe, but available."

Lincoln will most likely offer comparable courses for kids on a typical pathway coming from Ballard and Roosevelt. But this is where it gets tricky when you are trying to serve students who come from different programs and/or have different courses needed for alignment in one school. This is for example why Garfield has been the default pathway for kids in HCC.

If Lincoln also takes away enough of the HCC students from Garfield, hopefully they will offer enough courses and sections of courses to make a schedule work for alignment. Otherwise kids will run out of classes to take, repeat classes and there is no alignment etc.

Unfortunately it sounds like students and families will not know the plan for programs until sometime in 2018.

-BN

Anonymous said...

"One parent asked if there would be "waivers" of any sort for students with some special academic path or varsity sports or something that was only at the current school."

Melissa said: "I would say no to that. Lincoln has to accommodate all students academically."

To which I say yes, in theory, but what if they can't? If they start with 3 grades (say 350 students/grade), that's only 1050 students. I suspect there will be some limitations on what they can offer the oldest students, both in their junior year and senior year. For most students, it probably wouldn't be a big deal. For students coming from HCC, or language immersion, or Ballard's 3-yr biotech program or..., things will likely be more complicated.

Will they be able to offer AP Calculus BC that first year, even though if they don't have seniors?

Will they be able to offer AP foreign languages that first year, even if they don't have any seniors?

Will they be able to offer enough AP classes for a junior to take a new AP science class that they didn't take in 10th, and then another new one their senior year? Since kids will enter having taken a different combination depending on where they started, Lincoln might need more options than they otherwise would.

It would be great if Lincoln were able to provide all the rigor any student needs, but how realistic is that really, when they aren't staffed up? A lot of mitigation funding might do the trick, but isn't mitigation funding one of the casualties of our budget crisis? (Plus, can you imagine the outrage if the most advanced students were allowed to have a few smaller classes that first year, when there weren't enough advanced students to fill them?)

Note the similarities to DMR's situation: "There were a few upper level classes that were not offered the first year of the school, and some people took a 1st period class at our old school and then finished the day at the new school. Others who were planning to take more upper level classes stayed at the old school through graduation." That's what waivers could do.

muddy

Anonymous said...

Agreed on the waivers. I've got a 9th grade violin player already looking at scholarships for college orchestras. A move away from Ballard senior year to an ambiguous start-up music program has real implications!

Confused

Anonymous said...

One of the things we learned this year is that Hale now has a nationally ranked basketball team because the coach attracted star players, in addition to being a talented coach.

Ballard, Garfield and Roosevelt all have extensive music programs. There is the possibility that a great principal could attract a world class band and/or orchestra teacher that wants to build a competitive program out of the students split from these schools. For the right person, it would be a unique opportunity to build a new program but with known talent.

It could happen. But it will only happen if there is a planning principal in place early enough in the process to start finding the right department heads. Does anyone know how JAMS got the process started or how to get a process started to get a planning principal for Lincoln.

- kt

Anonymous said...


Lincoln High School has to pull in 11th graders, otherwise there will be insufficient numbers of students, which means insufficient operating funding and inadequate staffing to run a 24 credit comprehensive program.

It is that simple.

And, Garfield's problem is not HCC, it is that fact that Franklin has spare seats, Nova is literally half empty, and Rainier Beach is empty.

The boundaries in the south are not drawn well: they clearly are not drawn big enough for Rainier to get its share of students, if they were, then, Franklin's could also be adjusted too, so that it would be filled and Garfield would be less crowded.

And, by the way, Roosevelt is the high school with by far the worst overcrowding, but, it is functioning.


You have got to wonder why year after year, Teaching and Learning does nothing for Rainier Beach. It is not a facilities problem, or really, a problem of location. If a school is *amazing* with *amazing faculty*, *amazing courses*, an *amazing principal*, an outstanding reputation, and, a bevy of national merit scholars, then the place would have to beat off enrollment with a stick. IB is not enough, clearly.

As Kellie says on this blog, the most expensive space in a system constrained by capacity is unused space. Why does the district allow so much unused space in the south and then manufacture a problem at Garfield that only the north, e.g., Lincoln, can "fix"? Could it be they want to manipulate HCC? Break it down, further? Then, after program placement, and only then, turn their attention to Rainer Beach? That is deeply unfair to Rainier Beach students, who deserve the best right now! But, it tells you about the district's true priorities, which are clearly not about fixing any achievement gap if the focus is on pulling apart HCC rather than attend to students in high-poverty schools.


Just like Lincoln should be started with the 11th grade so that it has students numbers that will come with budget dollars to make for a reasonable program, Rainier Beach deserves the same consideration right now! Give it the boundaries that will fill it so that it too can have a student body of 1,1 00 so that those kids also get a shot at a comprehensive education and full course offerings.

Isn't equity the big word around SPS? How is it equitable to ensure the kids of Wallingford and Queen Anne and Magnolia land at a high school that will have 1,100 students so that those kids get access to good education, but, the kids in the south have to make do with a school that has been perpetually underfed for a decade? I am surprised Betty Patu hasn't demanded that the super get enrollment to address this and ensure that Rainier Beach has at least 1,000 students. That is not hard to do, but, it will make a big difference for the depth and breadth of offerings possible.

Skeptical

Anonymous said...

Skeptical-- I agree that it would be better if Rainier Beach could enroll more students. But one caveat, there are far more kids in the north end. We also now have a neighborhood assignment process. We have alot of kids from the North end, QA and Magnolia going south to Garfield right now. It is a long commute on public transportation which has gotten much worse in recent years and takes them out of their neighborhood.But these students make the commute to get the available sections/courses they need for alignment that only Garfield offers. If they push kids who live near Garfield or Franklin south to Rainier Beach, they are also pushing more of those kids away from their own neighborhood.
-BN

kellie said...

Skeptical has a great point and I think that is the point that is going to win in the end.

Nearly everyone in this conversation is for seniors remaining in place because that is likely BOTH the most cost effective and most educationally sound option. By contrast, geo-splitting the juniors is the only way to ensure that there is enough dollars to run a true 24 credit experience. I suspect that argument is going to carry the most weight in the end.

I am certain that there are no 8th grade families that will read that as "good news." However, there is a piece of good news that does goes with geo-splitting three grades, instead of two. This means that there will be a significant reduction in staff at Ballard, Roosevelt and Garfield of at least 10 teachers per school. Therefore, you will likely see a fair number of teachers from these schools at Lincoln.

Of course, that is all dependent on the quality of the planning principal. The opening of a new high school is a rare opportunity for someone to become a department head and have the ability to build and shape that department. There will be a signifiant number of teachers interested in this opportunity. However, the ability to create a department will depend on the principal.

All roads lead to the planning principal. Until the search process starts, all we will have is conjecture and innuendo. I hope that some of the neighborhoods and schools that are "highly probable" to be in the Lincoln zone can start to organize around starting the hiring committee for the planning principal.

Principal selection for new schools has been eclectic to say the least. NE community groups were very active in the selection of both Debbie Nelson at Hazel Wolf and Paula Montgomery at JAMS and that early involvement was critical to support and community building of those schools.



kellie said...

@ skeptical,

While one can argue both sides of the HCC at Garfield capacity problem quite effectively, the simple fact is that there is no way to "reasonably" redraw SE boundaries to more effectively take advantage of the empty space at Rainier Beach.

Aside from the simple fact that it would be beyond politically untenable to push central area students further from their homes to make room for HCC at Garfield, Rainier Beach's current boundaries are very large and more than enough to fill the school.

Betty Patu has been a constant support to Rainier Beach and has really pushed the issues for the SE. Betty was the "voice" of Rainier Beach during the years of the closures and she is familiar with all of the nuance of the issues. The simple fact is that when people want to avoid a school, they will find a way to avoid that school. There is a pretty large number of folks who simply go of out of district, rather than RB.

Much of the "empty" space at Franklin at Cleveland is direct result of the district artificially capping those schools rather than allowing more students from RB to attend. This has really not had the desired effect. IMHO, it has simply pushed more students out of district.

As this relates to Lincoln, should be painfully clear. If the information vacuum continues around Lincoln, people will invest their energy into avoiding Lincoln, rather than building the school. This will then re-create the "most expensive" space phenomenon.

kellie said...

BN also has a really good point. Changes made to metro, have has a huge impact on the attractiveness of Garfield. The 48 bus used to travel from Crown Hill to Garfield. That one bus made Garfield extremely accessible to many north end students. That bus route is gone.

Lincoln's location could be a big draw for families. But the lack of any solid information, will continue to be an insurmountable obstacle to building enthusiasm.

Anonymous said...

Rainier Beach needs a facilities overhaul. Maybe if they put some money into the building, they would attract more families there. Ballard got a big boost in interest when it was remodeled.

HP

Anonymous said...

@ Skeptical, don't make this out to be a north vs. south or rich vs. poor issue when it's not. "How is it equitable to ensure the kids of Wallingford and Queen Anne and Magnolia land at a high school that will have 1,100 students so that those kids get access to good education, but, the kids in the south have to make do with a school that has been perpetually underfed for a decade?"

In case you haven't noticed, a lot of SPS high schools are overcrowded. Garfield, included. You could have asked: "How is it equitable that kids in the central district get a nice full school like Garfield?" Or is it ok for them, just not ok for kids who live north of there?

Or maybe we could ask "how is it equitable to ensure that kids in south Seattle have plenty of access to high schools in their neighborhood, but kids in north Seattle have to make do with schools that are overcrowded or put up with long commutes to Garfield?" The equity lens goes both ways.

Adding seats where we need them makes sense. Geographically, we need more seats in the north end. Adding seats where we have facility space also makes sense, and we have an old high school building at Lincoln. The only alternative would be to shift everyone southward for high school, which would mean displacing a bunch of students who live near Garfield so that north end students can have their spots. Do you really think that's a better option?

why so





kellie said...

Rainier Beach is on the short list for BEX V projects. I suspect the project will likely be slotted into the first half of the timeline for both political and practical reasons. RB is way past due for a full facilities update.

Anonymous said...

I think they should put northend HCC and language immersion at Lincoln and fix up RB and put southend HCC there, or maybe to Franklin or Sealth. Let Ted Howard and his unwelcoming staff have their neighborhood school.

Move on

Anonymous said...

Kellie or anyone else who attended when in 2018 is the vote for the student assignment plan? Would it be early in 2018 prior to open enrollment? Or later in the year in Dec 2018?
-planning ahead

kellie said...

Director Burke had a slide with the timeline on it. I could not read it from where I was sitting so I had hoped that someone else would be able to fill in the detailed timeline. This is my best guess based on the pattern that was discussed that night. If someone has better detail, please correct me.

The basic timeline without any modifications
Nov 2017 - Growth Boundaries for 2018 opening schools.
Jan 2018 - Student Assignment Plan for 2018-19 School year, with program placement information.
Nov 2019 - Growth Boundaries for 2019 opening schools, including Lincoln.
Jan 2019 - Student Assignment Plan for 2019-20 school year, with program placement information.

Director Burke then announced there would be a task force soon to address the boundaries so that Lincoln's boundaries would be settled in the Nov 2017 vote, rather than the Nov 2018 vote.

He then said that currently, there hasn't been a change to the program placement timeline and that the official timeline for Lincoln program placement was the Jan 2019 vote. Several parents commented on how unsettling it was to have program placement for Eagle Staff voted on so late in the process and that it would be good to learn from that problem and settle the program placement in Jan 2018. Dir Burke commented that this was exactly the type of feedback that was needed and helpful.

Another parent commented that it would be better to have program placement settled before hiring a planning principal so that the principal knew what programs would be there when hired.

Anonymous said...

@ kellie, I assume that's a typo in your second Nov date, and should be 2018, correct?

So, in Jan 2018 they will determine which programs will be placed at Lincoln, then in Nov 2018 they can finalize the boundaries.
Where, if anywhere, does the decision re: which grades will be at Lincoln in yr 1 happen? It doesn't seem like it's part of either the SAP or the Growth Boundaries...

The Jan 2018 decision around program placement will allow the planning principal to start fine tuning the course offerings. It seems logical that they would reach out to counselors at both Garfield and Hamilton to see what sort of classes students will need, whether in 9th or 11th grade. How many staff is Lincoln likely to have on board for that Jan-Jun 2018 period? Is it typically just a planning principal and that's it? How early can they start hiring department heads and the like? Lincoln is going to need to hold Open Houses in Dec/Jan of 2018, and they'll need to have a lot of information available for students and families by then.

muddy

Anonymous said...


"He then said that currently, there hasn't been a change to the program placement timeline and that the official timeline for Lincoln program placement was the Jan 2019 vote. "

Wait, what???

They are suggesting to not let people know until a couple weeks before open enrollment--and likely AFTER all open houses have been held--which programs will be there?

And how would Lincoln be expected to adequately plan the course offerings if they don't know who is going to be there? They're going to need to reach out to counselors at Garfield and Ballard and Roosevelt and Hamilton and possibly elsewhere to figure out the right mix. Then they're also going to need to visit all those schools in the spring to help students select classes for the fall. It's going to be way more complex that JAMS, since students will be coming with more diverse academic backgrounds and high schools have many more electives to offer. Plus, the whole 24-credit requirement....

Is this cluelessness or denial on the part of SPS as to the level of complexity involved with starting a high school, or am I imagining things to be more complicated than they really are? I've never started a high school before so am willing to concede that I could be off base in my assessment, but then again, when's the last time SPS staff opened a comprehensive high school with multiple special programs and new graduation requirements?

muddy

kellie said...

@ muddy,

Yes, that was a typo. 2018, not 2019. Nov 2018 would be the "scheduled" time for Lincoln boundaries. Thankfully, that has been pulled forward to this upcoming November 2017 and isn't going to be pushed out until 2018.

The geo-split of JAMS was determined during the boundary process. The geo-split for Eagle Staff was determined during the SAP vote. So I guess, it could be either or the board could even address this independently.

If Dir Burke addressed this question, I missed the answer. As for your other questions, they are excellent questions without any answers at the moment. Opening a new high school is a big process and it hasn't been done in "institutional memory." Until there is a planning principal in place, there just won't be any answers.

IMHO, we really need two full years of a planning principal. Paula Montogomery was hired over the summer and was embedded into Hazel Wolf K8 for the entire school year before Hazel Wolf moved the next summer and JAMS opened in the Fall. She was very busy that entire year, because it was the first new comprehensive school. She needed that entire year to build community and confidence and attract high quality staff and work with the central office on the budget for all of the questions you listed.

The planning principal can easily be embedded at Ballard as the bulk of the future Lincoln will clearly be carved out of Ballard, which is currently the most crowded school.

Frankly if the plan to launch Lincoln is dependent on the geo-split students actually going to Lincoln, a planning principal working in the community that will be split, is the ONLY practical way to instill students and families with the confidence to make the shift. If either the current Ballard or Roosevelt principals was planning to take the job, I think the entire feeling around Lincoln would be completely different.

It is this information vacuum that is the biggest problem. There isn't even a place to email comments, question or concerns.

Anonymous said...

@kellie, I'm curious why you say the bulk of Lincoln's population will be carved out of Ballard. Hamilton has 1200 students (over only 3 grades), so is comparable in size per grade to the future Lincoln. Given the geographic proximity and the likely program overlaps (e.g., HCC, LI), doesn't it seem like many of the HIMS students will end up at Lincoln? Most, however, don't end up going to Ballard now, do they? Most HCC kids go to Garfield or Ingraham; LI has a pathway to Ingraham; and many GE/Spectrum are in the Roosevelt zone.

Are you suggesting that the Rosevelt zone might not shrink much, and that the bulk of the "remaining" space (after accounting for anticipated HCC, LI, and other placements) would be filled by adjustments to the Ballard boundary instead?

Muddy

Melissa Westbrook said...


"Another parent commented that it would be better to have program placement settled before hiring a planning principal so that the principal knew what programs would be there when hired."

Well, here's an issue. They need to hire a principal who BACKS said program. Because here the example of the DISTRICT making a program placement decision and then expectingthe long-term principal to support it at the school.

However, this flies in the face of their current so-called "site-based management" where principals are allowed to ignore program structures and even end them at their schools. Hmmm.

Anonymous said...

Garfield will be most crowded. Ballard second most crowded.If Garfield will lose north end hcc planning principal should connect with Garfield staff as well as Ballard and/or Roosevelt. School could end up one third HCC pathway.
TS

kellie said...

@ Muddy,

When I said the "bulk of Lincoln" and I was referring to Lincoln's attendance area, not its population.

Here is the current high school map. I think when you look at the map, it becomes pretty clear that about 1/3 of the Ballard attendance area is closer to Lincoln. Queen Anne and Fremont are nearly certain to be in the future Lincoln attendance area.

The parts of Roosevelt and Garfield that move to Lincoln are much less obvious and therefore likely to be more contentious. Hence, my initial recommendation of Ballard, because a significant portion of Ballard is already expecting the move. Clearly there will be students from Ballard, Garfield and Roosevelt in the mix and the sooner this process starts, the better it will go for everyone. Because, until there are some actual facts, all we have is conjecture.

https://www.seattleschools.org/UserFiles/Servers/Server_543/File/District/Departments/Enrollment%20Planning/Maps/boundarymaps/2016-17/District/AA_ALL_20160919/SPSDistrictMap2016_20160915_AAHS_color.pdf

kellie said...

I had an influence on this situation (which I don't), I would be pressing that the upcoming task force on Lincoln's boundaries, included hiring the planning principal, so that the task force was assigned both tasks.

I think that combo may be the only way to get a planning principal, with community input, in place two years in advance of Lincoln's opening. Between the facilities construction, building community, planning the master schedule, learning the community and special programs at multiple schools and recruiting department heads, this person will have a real job.

Melissa Westbrook said...

That will be quite interesting to watch the evolution of Garfield if HCC is gone.

Anonymous said...

Melissa-- I was under the impression that Garfield likely will still have HCC pathway students living in south end, but will be split with north end and Queen Anne/Magnolia HCC students will go to Lincoln. Am I wrong?
-SL

Anonymous said...

I suspect Garfield would likely continue as an HCC pathway, although the number of HC-identified students would be greatly reduced. This would likely impact access to advanced courses, although Garfield admin seems to be moving in that direction regardless...

Re: the Lincoln task force looking at boundaries, I agree with kellie they should push HARD for hiring the planning principal, too. In addition, I hope they are ALSO considering program placement decisions, since you can't reasonably draw boundaries in the absence of information on program placement. When there are enough HCC students to fill half the new school, they can't possibly draw boundaries without that information. (Well, shouldn't.)

muddy

Anonymous said...

Muddy-- Agree. Considering the volume of students involved, it would be detrimental to keep so many students (perhaps 1/3-1/2 of future Lincoln) in the dark by waiting on program placement decisions. Program placement should be done alongside boundaries. People need to bring provide feedback to the board and bring to their attention.
-SL

kellie said...

When you reverse engineer the timeline it becomes very clear why so many parents want this done sooner, and significantly sooner than the Eagle Staff timeline.

Sept 2019 - Lincoln HS doors open and needs to be ready to provide a 24 credit experience for about 1,000 students.

Summer 2019 - A lot happens over the summer with high school. Athletic practices start weeks before school and team captains typically run their own practice as well. Many classes have summer assignments. Some AP or advanced classes include a full summer homework packet with a big test on the first day of classes.

Spring 2019 - Students work with their guidance counselors to pick their classes, etc. This means that the guidance counseling team needs to be in place by Spring as well as a process for working out all the various contingencies with moving students from at least three very different high schools.

Feb 2019 - Open enrollment starts. The master schedule needs to be worked out and department heads completely in place prior to open enrollment. This is not middle school. For middle school, you can build the master schedule with or without department heads because the range of class offerings in middle school is very limited. This simply can't be done in high school.

Jan 2019 - The regularly scheduled Student Assignment Plan vote with program placement. The full budget for Lincoln is going to need to be in place before this vote, otherwise, there is no way to build a master schedule. But without program placement, you can't even estimate a budget.



Anonymous said...

Is the Center School likely to remain open for the next 6 years? Long time to forecast but I have a 7th grader who might be a great fit.

asdf

Anonymous said...

Language immersion students like my current 8th grader at Hamilton are headed to Ingraham on the immersion pathway. They sign up for IB in spring of sophomore year. Every other international high school in SPS offers IB. Lincoln will not and cannot, at least in its initial years as it is a multi-year certification process and requires a great deal of staff training.

It is incumbent on parents of CURRENT 8th GRADERS headed to Ingraham in the fall to advocate that students be allowed to continue the program they selected this year via open enrollment. SAP clearly states that students are entitled to stay in a choice placement (versus reference school) through the highest grade of that school. This is the rule under which SPS is having parents make choices NOW. If they start to mess with that moving forward, it's on us parents to fight back and ensure Rick Burke understands the implications.

Concerned parent

Anonymous said...

And if they yank 11th graders from the Ingraham IB program to populate Lincoln, what happens to the Ingraham IB program? That's a problem for Ingraham, too, coming in the same year that Ingraham is slated to add 500 students to its population. Why would they yank kids from Ingraham when they are building capacity there?


Concerned Parent

Anonymous said...

Kellie,

Are there any actions / advocacy you recommend we start taking now?

Thanks,

Anonymous said...

Any documents to share from that meeting? Burke had said he would create a dedicated site for Lincoln HS, but I don't see anything. Anyone have a link?

Concerned parent