Friday, September 08, 2017

Board Retreat Agenda Has Huge Issues

As I previously reported, the Board has one of its retreats tomorrow.  The agenda is chockful of interesting items.

10:00-10:15am       Agenda Welcome and Icebreakers 

10:15-11:15am       Board Professional Development: Serving LGBTQ Students 

11:15-11:30am       2017-18 Major Initiatives Preview

11:30am-12:00pm  Lunch

12:00-1:30pm         Student Assignment Plan 

1:30-2:00pm           Board Superintendent and Public Communications: Exploration of Alternatives 

2:00-2:10pm           Break

2:10-2:40pm           Board Code of Conduct

2:40-3:00pm           Board Community Engagement Goal Reports 
3:00pm                   Adjourn 

I hope to attend at least part of this event. 


Anonymous said...

Where the -- is Core 24 on the agenda? Madness. Look at the 1st day thread below and see how many overcrowded high schools aren't providing senior level courses let alone earlier grade courses in a sane manner IN THE SCHOOL. I'm sorry but shunting kids off to Running Start is a complete abdication of district planning. And that's before getting the kids who need remedial courses to catch up and graduate on time.

This year's freshmen are the first class burdened with state graduation regulations that SPS is not planned, staffed, budgeted to handle. It's a disaster. It falls on my child and thousands of others in our city. Where the -- is the urgency to address it?

North of 85th

Anonymous said...

So many kids in running start, they love it because it doesn't until the 25th and classes are more focused and there's less high school drama (not acting). Many running start kids are also taking red comet and skipping SPS buildings except for music or sports.

RS Parent

Anonymous said...

Looks like a good agenda. I believe the decisions will be made after the election, so new board members need to understand the ramifications of HCC pathways and high school capacity and culture. I'm not worried about Mack, but I don't know that DeWolf is up for the task. Too bad Helmsetter or Cooper didn't get the nod.

Big Decisions

Melissa Westbrook said...

Well, DeWolf is the only non-incumbent candidate who has been showing up for meetings lately so he is doing the hard work to be ready to serve.

Anonymous said...

Looks like the writing is on the wall about ending HCC pathways in high school and (theoretically) providing HC services at neighborhood schools instead. Unfortunately, it appears that even Garfield--the designated HCC pathway now--can't/won't provide enough AP classes to meet the needs of HC students, so how on earth we can expect that schools with only a handful of HC students per grade will do so in the future is beyond me. And with the focus on equity and HCC, I imagine it's not a stretch that they'll seek to reduce AP offerings at those schools that have greater demand, in the name of "fairness" (e.g., if High School A can only provide AP Calc AB, none should be able to provide AP Calc BC). This could get ugly.


Anonymous said...

Why don't they turn Lincoln into a 6-12 an international/HC school option school and open memorial stadium as the neighborhood high school? It has worked for Bellevue International, the top school in the nation.

Get Creative

Ghost Mom said...

HCC Enrollment by Home Attendance Area School based on 2016-17 actual enrollment (these kids are actually attending Garfield or Ingraham. This is just where they would be going if there were no HCC pathway high schools):
Ballard 175
Sealth 22
Franklin 88
Garfield 149
Ingraham 66
Hale 79
Rainier Beach 38
Roosevelt 199
West Seattle 74

The district can't seriously believe that Sealth, Rainier Beach, Ingraham, West Seattle, Hale and Franklin are going to have advanced enough course offerings for HCC kids. If you have 10 HCC juniors at a high school, that's not even enough to fill one class. What if some of them are sciency and some of them a mathy and some of them are Englishy and one of them is the next Mozart who doesn't really care about the academic subjects but just aces the tests effortlessly?

My personal opinion is that they have to offer north of the cut kids an HCC option that 1) they can get into and 2) will offer enough hard, advanced classes. I don't really care where they put it. But you can't be sending kids assigned to Hale to Roosevelt if there's no room for them there. You can't even be sending HCC kids who would be assigned to Roosevelt to Roosevelt if there's no room for them there.

Anonymous said...

The above numbers are only those enrolled in HC at either IHS or GHS. They do not include HC qualified students who remained at neighborhood schools.

For those enrolled (2016-17):
97% of HCC students enrolled at IHS (331 total) are from BHS/RHS/NHHS/IHS.
35% of HCC students enrolled at GHS (559 total) are from BHS/RHS/NHHS/IHS.

more numbers

Anonymous said...

Next year is too soon, Lincoln won't be open yet. The following year is when Lincoln will open and the new SAP will either carve off enough students to allow Roosevelt to absorb those 200 HCC students back into their neighborhood school, OR the SAP will tighten boundaries around Lincoln and put northend HCC there. I use Roosevelt as an example, but you can extrapolate from there for other schools. The sticking point is those schools with not enough HC students to create a class. What to do for those students so they have equitable access to learning opportunities.

One could argue nobody has equitable access now given how over capacity the schools are. We can only improve!

North HCwhere

Gets Better said...

I'm so glad to see that they're seriously considering the LGBTQ issue.

And glad to see that they had done the math in the board agenda info and said, "33% of adults who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, and/or transgender are people of color." It can be really extra hard on students to be members of more than one minority group simultaneously.

Not many studies have been done on gifted students who are also LGBTQ, but Sanford Cohn did:

Cohn, Sanford J. (2002) 'Gifted students who are gay, lesbian, or bisexual,' in M. Neihart, S.M. Reis, N.M. Robinson and S.M. Moon (eds) The social and emotional development of gifted children. Washington, DC: Prufrock Press, pp. 145-153.

These young people belong to a minority within a minority; their numbers are not large. In a group of 3,000 students one might find fewer than 10 who are both gay and moderately gifted. "The likelihood of such individuals finding one another or even feeling safe seeking others like themselves is minuscule" (p. 146) For GLBTQ students who are exceptionally or profoundly gifted, an even smaller population, it is more difficult still.

A recent study (Peterson, J. and Rischar, H. (2000) "Gifted and gay: a study of the adolescent experience." Gifted Child Quarterly, 44: 231-246.) that focussed on the high school experience of GLB students identified three themes:
1) being "twice different" increased the likelihood of depression and social isolation and students seemed to attempt to shed one aspect of their "difference" by denying either their ability or their sexual orientation.
2) many were subjected in school to psychological or physical harassment and sought to avoid this by over-involvement in extracurricular activities, dropping out of school or running away.
3) none of the participants reported turning to adults for assistance

I hope the board will this type of intersectionality into account.

HCC Parent said...

Would like for advanced learning to be added to an agenda. At some point, the board must make sure the district is truly providing advanced learning experiences. The state, after all, is providing additional funding for advanced learning.

HCC Parent said...

I've looked at DeWolf's campaign materials. It appears he will join his chief cheerleader (Geary) and gamble on the district's advanced learners.

What does an Honors class mean for one high school? It means that advanced learners are not permitted to take a test twice. Classes are comprised of multi grade students.

Eric B said...

Student assignment is purportedly going to be done before the election, or at least before the new board is sworn in.

Melissa Westbrook said...

To note, the Board is having a fairly short work session on high schools next week.

"Board Special Meeting: Work Session: High School Re-visioning from 5:15-6:15 pm."

Anonymous said...

@HCC Parent- "What does an Honors class mean for one high school? It means that advanced learners are not permitted to take a test twice. Classes are comprised of multi grade students."
For us parents with middle school kids who will likely take honors classes, can you please be specific as to which high school(s) you are referring? It would be helpful as we learn more about Seattle high schools.
-Middle school parent

Jet City mom said...

I am not sure why a test would need to be taken twice.
Electives are generally composed of multi grade students, arent they?

As far as having enough kids for a focused class, students who did not participate in advanced learning in middle school, may do very well in the IB program or in an AP course in high school.
I know quite a few students who took both AP and regular or remedial coursework, and went on to graduate with honors and do well in college.

Anonymous said...

@ Jet City,

It is now commonplace in "standards based grading" to allow students to take tests more than once. My middle schooler was expected to spend her lunch period retaking the math test as many times as she wanted if she wanted to get a better grade. It was a pretty maddening process as the teacher did not expect students to do well the first time and designed the test so that multiple retakes was the norm.

I suspect the HCC parent is referring to Nathan Hale. Hale is pretty famous for allowing students to re-test and/or re-schedule a test for when they feel prepared. I don't have a student there but I have a friend who teaches there and that teacher finds the amount of time she needs to spend accommodating testing ... maddening. She would rather spend that time teaching but the school culture regarding testing is very different from other schools.

I suspect that the "mentoring" class at Garfield this year was modeled on Hale. Hale's principal has been very active in the Core 24 committee and the new high school boundary committee. Hale is the high school that currently requires 24 credits so I suspect that rather that finding increased rigor at the other schools to meet Core 24, we will be to find Hale's strategies to achieve 24 credits to become more widespread.

- bulldog.

Anonymous said...

The test retaking is teacher dependent at Hale. Some allow it, some don't. My kid retook very few tests while at Hale.


Jet City mom said...

Expecting to retake a test seems like a hige waste of resources, both by the student and the teacher.

Its one thing if you become ill.
( For example my daughter vomited before a big test. We thought it was perhaps nerves, bit the next day she had a full blown case of chicken pox. She did not retake the test btw)

But if most kids dont seem to understand the material, that sounds like the test is not well designed, &/or the teacher does not have a good handle on their grasp of the material.

Now, I have heard about teachers who have students do over assignments, for instance a comprehensive research paper, until they master it.
That sounds like a better use of time, or course it doesnt fit into the state testing fetish.

Anonymous said...

In addition to test retakes, there are test "corrections"--an opportunity to fix the problems you missed to get back some of those points.

While I (sort of) understand the intent behind retakes and corrections--give kids another chance to learn the material and demonstrate that knowledge--at times it feels like it's just another form of grade inflation. Take as many tries as you like until you get a good score! Re: corrections, you don't really even have to know the material, since you can get help from someone else.

I'm curious to know whether HC students are treated differently than other students when it comes to test retakes and corrections. The impression I had from the earlier poster was that first scores "stuck" for HC students, but everyone else was offered retakes to improve their score? Does that extend to things like final exams, too? Does it happen in AP classes--when it does NOT on AP exams?


Anonymous said...

At Hale you can take any class for honors but you have to let the teacher know at the beginning of the semester. If you are taking the class for honors, then I don't think you are allowed retests. There are usually diminishing returns for retesting in that if you retake it, the test loses value so a test that was worth 100 points total might only be worth 90 points total the 2nd time you take it. Again, every teacher does it differently.