Sunday, November 12, 2017

District Updates on Boundaries (and a Survey)

Update 2 (from yet another reader who noticed this about the survey):

An FYI in case you didn't know...  Your post today about boundaries and the survey includes several tracking URLs.  i.e. the survey link looks like it's a direct link to survey monkey (www.surveymonkey.com/r/SPS_HSBoundaries), but if you hover over the link in your browser you can see that it's actually a tracking link that ties to your schoolmessenger/email account.

And indeed that seems to be the case. Hmmm.

End of update

From from a reader from a previous thread:

I went to the HCS AC meeting last night. First, we were told the 5 pathway plans was not the only plan the Directors would see. Odd. Right? That was from staff! There are four plans they would propose. Stay tuned. Only one was put through operations committee? And that is after none were even explored publicly as the ThoughtExchange had ZERO proposals. ZERO. Change is coming to all who have a kid in SPS. Not HCC kids. ALL kids. What if they did the same to SpEd? What would you like to see with changes coming to SpEd? This is asinine. 

It turns out that staff got the answers they wanted from Thoughtexchange: people wanted equity (no real understand how that very finite word is being used; where is Charlie when you need him) and close to home (again close may mean not 2 metro bus stops away or walking distance). Both of these answers are useless. USELESS. 

They both are relative to any who may SEEK them. They are also based on questions without true query behind them. They also talk of AL as it relates to education when in fact we are talking about HCC. Minor point? NO. 

The "district" also said the principals will have to do what they are told by staff. When has that ever been the rule? I know in the south that WMS, GHS and TM have done whatever they wanted when it comes to AL. JAMS and Hamilton as well have completely disregarded established classes/"curriculum." As I have watched my kids progress through the classes they have become less and less and later and later on subjects. Even math surprisingly. 
End of update

This is a missive the district sent out to parents on Friday about boundaries and it includes a very brief and uneven survey.

I'll just say upfront - yet ANOTHER district effort that is scattershot, vague and leaves parents worried and confused.  I hope the Board doesn't give them much credit for this sad effort.

There is now yet another survey about the boundaries.  I suspect - as others do as well - that the district is getting loud and widespread blowback on what they have put forth to parents.

And who can blame parents?  None of what is being said is clear.  These community meetings saw parents wander from staffer to staffer and sometimes getting less-than-clear or even conflicting information.  As well, that information is NOT backed up in writing so staff can easily later say, "I didn't say that" "It was misunderstood."

If it's not in writing, it's not real.

I took the survey.  It first asks for demographic info.  Then it asks you to rank order seven items.  Two of them shouldn't even be in there.


1) Equity making sure changes "don't unfairly impact students with higher needs."  I find this a flawed way of stating the need for equity.  It somehow makes a parent choose to impact a kid with higher needs.  I think it should have been stated, "making sure changes give equitable access to programs and services for higher need students."

2) Proximity to schools, walk zones and transportation.  Shouldn't be in the list because, of course, the district should be using this info and I don't think parents' rankings should matter because it affects all students.

3) Using data - enrollment counts/projections, capture rates, etc. to inform decisions.  Again, shouldn't be in the list.  This is district info that should be used, no matter what.  Also, this question presumes that all parents know what a "capture rate" is.

4) Create high schools of "optimal size" for diversity of programs and services.  Again, what does "optimal size" mean?  I'll bet if you asked 10 parents, you'd get at least five different answers.

5) Minimize disruption to existing boundaries.  A fair item but do all parents know where the boundaries current are?  I doubt it.

6). Align high school boundaries with middle school assignment patterns.  Again, if you don't have a map of the middle school patterns, that's not an easy question.

7) Minimize fiscal impact.  This one came in number seven for me.  Sorry, if you are radically changing where students go to high school and what programs/services/activities they can access, I'm not sure I'm going to put fiscal impact at the top of my list (except for transportation maybe).

Then they ask for "additional feedback."

From SPS Communications:

Dear Seattle Public Schools Families,
Seattle Public Schools will open Lincoln High School in September 2019. Lincoln will be an attendance area high school serving students based on where they live. This requires drawing an attendance area for the new high school and reassigning students from other high school areas.
Ingraham High School will also have a significant capacity increase in 2019 with the construction of an addition. This is also being considered as new high school boundaries are drawn.
Thank you to the many families who attended regional open house meetings to talk about the boundary change process. We are continuing to seek feedback as we make additional adjustments to the boundaries before bringing a proposal to the School Board for approval.
This survey is an opportunity for you to share your top priorities as we make adjustments to the current boundary scenarios and provide any additional feedback that should be considered by district staff and the School Board. The listed priorities include those developed by the High School Boundary Task Force and values shared by families, staff and students at the recent community meetings. The survey will close on November 27.
Adjustments will be made to the boundary scenarios based on feedback from families via email, the survey, open house meetings, and other channels. Adjustments will also be made in response to any School Board approved changes to the Highly Capable (HC) pathways. If changes are made to high school HC pathways they will be implemented in the 2019-20 school year in alignment with the opening of Lincoln High School.
Next Steps: It is anticipated that a proposal will be presented at the School Board Operations Committee meeting on December 7, 2017 and final approval of the boundary changes will take place on January 17, 2018. For more background information on the high school boundary change process visit our High School Boundary Changes webpage. A Lincoln High School Frequently Asked Questions document is attached to this email.
For questions or comments please email growthboundaries@seattleschools.org
Thank you.
Enrollment Planning 



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88 comments:

kellie said...

There are so many things wrong with this survey.

As Mel notes the Equity item is deeply misleading. As we are dealing with a zero sum situation, what does Equity really mean? There is a fixed number of FRL students in the move scenarios. If you don't move FRL students as part of a boundary change, then you inadvertently increase the percentage of FRL students at the other school.

I would strongly encourage all parents to high rank proximity as part of the survey. As Mel notes, this shouldn't even be a question. However, it is on the survey because of how many parents raised these concerns at the open houses and via email.

I would also strongly recommend that middle and high school boundary alignment be ranked as low as possible. There unintended consequences of that alignment will be devastating to high school choice and will re-segregate the city even further.

kellie said...

The criteria "optimal size" only makes sense if you have been following the high school boundaries task force.

One of the criteria given to the task force it is the notion that 1200 is the ideal minimum size for a comprehensive high school. This is a key part of the rationale for converting Cleveland from an option school to an attendance area school. The argument was that as an attendance area school Cleveland would be more full, as they have requested.

This is some of the worst circular reasoning I have ever seen. Cleveland is under-enrolled not because of in-sufficient demand but because enrollment is not enrolling all the students who apply. So changing the status, would just mean that enrollment would need to do what they should already be doing.

I would also recommend putting "optimal size" as far down the list as possible because the unintended consequences of that criteria are enormous.

kellie said...

The FAQ for Lincoln High School has a lot of interesting information that should have been included in the survey ... but apparently, those decisions have been made and no more input is required.

The FAQ notes that Lincoln will start with 9th and 10th grade only. That is not great as it will require a lot more mitigation dollars but I suspect that decision was made to have fewer angry parents. By grandfathering the 11th graders, there are a lot fewer eyeballs on this process.

It also states that the decision to not include Language Immersion at Lincoln is complete. I think that is insane. They have basically declared that the students who live in walking distance for Lincoln will not be served at Lincoln. Seriously?

The FAQ also makes the 6 HCC pathways sound like a done deal and explains that HCC qualified students will go to Garfield - not Lincoln, not Ballard and not Roosevelt.

IMHO, most of the items on the FAQ, should have been part of the survey. I strong suspect that the families in the soon to be Lincoln attendance area would vastly prefer for Lincoln to look as similar to Hamilton as possible, since those schools are blocks apart. However, the powers that be have clearly decided that there will be ZERO continuity of services from Hamilton to Lincoln, without any explanation.

Lynn said...

Thanks for creating a thread about this! By sending two separate emails, one for HCC changes and one for boundary changes, they are either ignoring or hiding how inter-related the two pieces are. It also isn't clear that the HCC enrollment changes are being considered in regards to the boundaries.

- Other Lynn

Anonymous said...

“Actually, It would be REALLY interesting to see the actual data of where the CURRENT kids attending Garfield live from past couple of years. Is this available?” Anonymous on HCC Blog, 11/7 @ 1.23 pm
Yes! This actual data can be reconstructed in complementary ways from two published sources:
(1) the home middle school service areas of every HCC enrolled high school student enrolled in the Garfield pathway or in the Ingraham IB option; and
(2) the non HCC specific home high school attendance areas of every Garfield and of every Ingraham high school student.
The Annual Enrollment Report for 2016-17 records 890 HCC students enrolled altogether between the all-city Garfield pathway and the Ingraham IB option (almost double the 494 HCC high school students reported six years earlier in the 2011-12 Annual Enrollment Report).
In an earlier post, I offered preliminary estimates of the size of each proposed new HCC pathway based on those official SPS sources. Now here is a more complete summary (rounded to the nearest 5) of that actual data regarding all the proposed new HCC pathways.

HCS ADVISORY 2 + 1 PLAN:
North HC Pathway 710 - 300 HC IB = 410 students 9-12
South HC Pathway 370 - 15 HC IB = 355 students 9-12
Ingraham HC IB Option 315 HC IB
2016-17 figures: 575 + 190 HC eligible + 315 HC IB = 1080 students 9-12

SPS STAFF 5 + 1 PLAN:
Ballard Regional HC Pathway 270 - 130 HC IB = 140 students 9-12
Roosevelt Regional HC Pathway 290 - 170 HC IB = 120 students 9-12
Franklin Regional HC Pathway 140 - 3 HC IB = 135 students 9-12
West Seattle Regional HC Pathway 135 - 2 HC IB = 130 students 9-12
Garfield Regional HC Pathway 325 - 10 HC IB = 315 students 9-12
Ingraham HC IB Option 315 HC IB
2016-17 figures: 575 + 265 HC eligible + 315 HC IB = 1155 students 9-12

Doctor Hu said...

From the counts of non-attendance area high school students at Garfield, subtract open choice assignments because those are not HCC pathway assignments. In contrast, counts of non-attendance area high school students at Ingraham are overinclusive because they also include non-HCC IB students. Annual Enrollment Report Table 6-C, "High School Open Choice Assignments by Home Attendance Area, notes: "*Garfield is an HCC pathway (designated) school so HCC students are not included as choice students. **Ingraham includes HCC choice students, who are considered as new choice assignments." The October 2017 monthly enrollment report also includes this notation: “High Schools only: the Total Student Count includes full-time Running Start students.”

Here are the home middle schools of all HCC enrolled high schoolers, and the home high schools of all students attending Garfield and Ingraham.

HCS ADVISORY 2 + 1 PLAN:
North Seattle Pathway proposed by HCS Advisory Committee, from 2016-17 Annual Enrollment Report:
* 62 McClure + 171 Whitman + Eagle Staff + 89 Hamilton + 137 Eckstein + 61 Jane Addams > 520 high school HC students including HC IB grades 9-12
* 75 Ballard + 16 Ingraham + 81 Roosevelt + 27 Nathan Hale + Lincoln > 199 high school HC students at Garfield grades 9-12
* 129 Ballard + Ingraham + [137?] Roosevelt + [31?] Nathan Hale > [297?] high school IB students at Ingraham grades 9-12

South Seattle Pathway proposed by HCS Advisory Committee, from 2016-17 Annual Enrollment Report:
* 71 Mercer + 32 Aki Kurose + 74 Madison + 22 Denny + 171 Washington + Meany > 370 high school HC students including HC IB grades 9-12
* 87 Franklin + 42 Rainier Beach + 73 West Seattle + 22 Chief Sealth + [171?] Garfield > 395 high school HC students at Garfield grades 9-12
* 4 Franklin + 2 Rainier Beach + 2 West Seattle + 1 Chief Sealth + 9 Garfield > 18 high school IB students at Ingraham grades 9-12

SPS STAFF 5 + 1 PLAN:
Ballard Regional Pathway proposed by SPS Staff, from 2016-17 Annual Enrollment Report:
* 171 Whitman + Eagle Staff > 171 high school HC students including HC IB grades 9-12
* 75 Ballard + 16 Ingraham > 91 high school HC students at Garfield grades 9-12
* 129 Ballard + Ingraham > 129 high school IB students at Ingraham grades 9-12

Roosevelt Regional Pathway proposed by SPS Staff, from 2016-17 Annual Enrollment Report:
* 137 Eckstein + 61 Jane Addams > 198 high school HC students including HC IB grades 9-12
* 81 Roosevelt + 27 Nathan Hale > 108 high school HC students at Garfield grades 9-12
* [137?] Roosevelt + [31?] Nathan Hale > [168?] high school HC IB students at Ingraham grades 9-12 [ie, 151/79/230 - 62 [?] Ingraham HC]

Franklin Regional Pathway proposed by SPS Staff, from 2016-17 Annual Enrollment Report:
*71 Mercer + 32 Aki Kurose > 103 high school HC students including HC IB grades 9-12
*87 Franklin + 42 Rainier Beach > 129 high school HC students at Garfield grades 9-12
* 4 Franklin + 2 Rainier Beach > 6 high school IB students at Ingraham grades 9-12

West Seattle Regional Pathway proposed by SPS Staff, from 2016-17 Annual Enrollment Report:
*74 Madison + 22 Denny > 96 high school HC students including HC IB grades 9-12
*73 West Seattle + 22 Chief Sealth > 95 high school HC students at Garfield grades 9-12
* 2 West Seattle + 1 Chief Sealth > 3 high school IB students at Ingraham grades 9-12

From 2016-17 Annual Enrollment Report, the proposed SPS Staff Garfield Regional Pathway:
*171 Washington + 89 Hamilton + 62 McClure + Meany > 322 high school HC students including HC IB grades 9-12
* [171?] Garfield + [142?] Lincoln > [322?] high school HC students at Garfield grades 9-12
* 9 + Lincoln > 9 high school IB students at Ingraham grades 9-12

Doctor Hu said...

For those who are curious, here is a more detailed summary of all the above proposed HC pathways.

Figures based on 2016-17 HCC Enrollment

CURRENT PLAN
All-City Pathway 575 (+ 315 IB) = 890 total HCC

HCC High School Home MS Services Out of Garfield (+ Ingraham) AA
HCS ADVISORY 2 + 1 PLAN:
North Pathway 223 (+ 297 IB) + 190 HC eligible 199 (+ 297 IB) + 190

South Pathway 352 (+ 18 IB) 395 (+ 18 IB)
890 total HCC = total 575 (+ 315 IB) + 190 = 1080 total 594 (+ 315 IB) + 190

HCC High School Home MS Services Out of Garfield (+ Ingraham) AA
SPS STAFF 5 + 1 PLAN:
Ballard Regional Pathway 42 (+ 129 IB) + 99 91 (+ 129 IB) + 99
Roosevelt Regional Pathway [30?] (+ [168?] IB) + 91 108 (+ [168?] IB) + 91

Franklin Regional Pathway 97 (+ 6 IB) [+ 39?] 129 (+ 6 IB) [+ 39?]
West Seattle Regional Pathway 93 (+ 3 IB) [+ 37?] 95 (+ 3 IB) [+ 37?]
Garfield Regional Pathway 313 (+ 9 IB) [313?] (+ 9 IB)
890 total HCC = total 575(+ 315 IB) [+ 266?] = 1156 total 745 (+ 315 IB) [+ 266?]

These are my sources so that you can find all this published actual data for yourself. Please post your question if you need to verify any step of my methodology.
Sources:

2017-18 Middle School HCC (formerly APP) Pathways Map

2019-20 High School AA Task Force Scenario H version 2 Map

Grades 9-12 HCC Students by Home Service Area and Grade, Annual Enrollment Report: 2016-17 data, Table 9-C

2016-17 Student Density: Enrolled in HCC Grades 9-12 Map

2016-17 Student Density: Eligible for HCC Grades 9-12 Map

Students in High Schools by Attendance Area: Summary, Annual Enrollment Report: 2016-17 data, Table 4-D

All Choice Assignments by Home Attendance Area Grades 9-12, Annual Enrollment Report: 2016-17 data, Table 6-C

Reader post, Anonymous, 11/7 @ 9.47 am & 12.18 & 12.26 pm, reporting Advanced Learning email stating Ballard has 99 and Roosevelt has 91 HCC eligible but not enrolled students. These 190 HCC eligible students enrolled in Ballard and Roosevelt are about one third of approximately 600 HCC eligible students currently enrolled in non-pathway schools. For Franklin Regional Pathway and West Seattle Regional Pathway I estimated 39 and 37 HC eligible students respectively at 40% (for Garfield and Ingraham none).

Doctor Hu said...

Melissa That first of three posts above, 11/12/17 at 1.53 pm was mine, apologies for no signature, please do not delete, thanks!

Anonymous said...

Why do parents put up such a fight for an exclusive education for their students and make zero effort to advocate for a more inclusive environment for ALL students?

Where are the plans to make all schools a place where the gifted can excel?

99.9 % of the comments here are about defending the cohort system or attacking it as unfair.

Other districts have shrunk their gifted programs to the extreme outliers and returned the gifted to regular classrooms with good results, but here in Seattle it seems separation is seen as the only answer for a pretty good sized chunk of the students.

What gives?

Rocky

Anonymous said...

It’s a small subset of people who want an exclusive HCC cohort, served separately. The vast majority of the city (and it’s not only “parents,” whose voices matter) want the most equitable structure possible because it produces the best academic outcomes and the city at large benefits from that, both economically and socially.

It’s time

Melissa Westbrook said...

Rocky, define "exclusive" and "inclusive." Otherwise, we may not all be on the same page.

It's okay if you don't believe in the cohort model. But much of gifted education literature does, whether it's a separate classroom or not.

As well, you cannot believe how many parents want their "cohort" - of neighborhood kids - to travel from elementary to middle to high school at all costs. Is that important?

The"plan" to make schools a place where gifted kids can excel is to try to beef up AP and other offerings and send many of these kids to Running Start. Past experience has shown that if there are NOT enough kids for an AP class it won't happen. Hence the cohort model to both keep those kids together AND save the district money.

What other districts are you speaking of?

Anonymous said...

@ Rocky, really? What are all these examples of districts that have done this with good results? And in any of those results, to do they ever look at the impact on the subset of gifted students, or just the overall impact on the schools (e.g., graduation rates)? If you have examples to share, please do.

"Exclusive" and "inclusive" are loaded terms. You make it sound like the cohort model is exclusive in the fancy way, with kids getting something special and better. That's not correct--the same material is covered, the same curricula are used, and there are still kids with a wide range of abilities, behaviors, needs, etc. The goal is to make it easier for gen ed teachers--by removing the need to direct focus away from students at and below grade level and toward students working various levels above--by providing narrower ranges of material to cover.

When you suggest a more inclusive model for all students, do you really mean all students? All grades, lumped together? That would be inclusive! Or do you mean by grade, which is based on age? Why should inclusion be by age, specifically? Why not ability? What's the value of age-based inclusion, and how is it better than ability-based inclusion? Or a combination of age- and ability-based inclusion? If you have high school students reading at the 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, and beyond grade levels, how can a teacher effectively teach and challenge all students in a single class? It sounds like a nice idea, but our teachers aren't magicians.

If the top few percent of students needs something else, who the hell really cares? If the vast majority of students don't need something else, how does it impact them if a minority ends up getting something else? If HCC is for those scoring at/above the 98th and 95th percentiles, that means there are still a whole lot of very smart and high achieving and above average students left in schools. Look at a bell curve draw a line at the 98th percentile. There are lots of kids at the 94th percentile, even more at the 93rd, even more at the 92nd, and so on. Lots and lots of smart kids outside of HCC to provide whatever benefit you think their presence provides to the general population. But those 98th-99th percentile kids (smaller in number) aren't going to provide a lot of extra benefits by just being around. They will require more teacher attention (because their needs are so different), or they will get ignored (causing other problems). Look at Ballard and Roosevelt as examples--they don't seem to have suffered much over the years by losing most of their HC-identified neighborhood students to Garfield and IHS. They did just fine, and had many advanced offerings, by serving primarily non-HCC students.

Speaking of fairness, how exactly is it fair to put an HC student in classes that are too slow-moving, too shallow, or that don't cover anything they don't already know just because those classes are at the right level for other students? Where's the equity in that?

HCC has its problems, and most HCC parents freely admit it. The district does need to do a better job at finding FRL and ELL students. It also needs to do a better job of working to help create these students (e.g., provide additional support to help them bridge the gap and get up to qualifying speed), since you can't find students if they aren't there. But REMOVING the options that HC students need is not the way to make things fair, nor is it the path to equity. Equal is not equitable if the needs are different.

MM

Anonymous said...

@ It's time (wink wink), what is "the most equitable structure possible", and how do you define equity? Or do you mean the most equal, as in one-size-fits-all?

Equitable is a relative term, based on needs and conditions. We've all see the model with the tall, average and short kids looking at/over the fence, right? Equity means you give the short kids a big boost and middle kids a small boost, but you still let the tall kids watch the game over the fence, too. Your suggestion of the most equitable, however, seems to be to dig a hole for the tall kids to stand in, so they are staring at the same fence as everyone else.

Here's another example: you're going to build a health clinic to serve poor people. Putting it in the suburbs where white people with cars live wouldn't be very equitable, since the poor people it's designed to serve often don't have cars and it would be more challenging for them to get there (if they even learned about it). Putting it in the city where it's more accessible by public transit is more equitable, because people from the suburbs can still get there (cars). They don't have the same transportation barrier.

What it this "most equitable structure" to which you refer to for education, and how, specifically, is it equitable? How does it promote learning for all groups--or does it only do so for some?

MM

Anonymous said...



www.surveymonkey.com/r/SPS_HSBoundaries

Should work as untracked as well, I believe. I imagine the one above list Melissa's messenger account and would have some anonymity as well for those who are concerned about those things.

Little

Anonymous said...


what a failure. here is how it went down. they made 80% of the important decisions as we are getting ready to add 2,000 seats in the north and left it up to "feedback" to fix their contradictory decisions.

items decided without feedback that are contradictory to surveyed goals:

1./ proximity: lincoln hcc kids metroing to ghs, not close. immersion kids metroing to ihs, from hims, not close. a high percent of wshs/rbhs/fhs hcc kids chose to metro to ghs. lhs kids have developed a defaulted pathway in high percentages to chose to walk to bhs and rhs.

2./ equity: lincoln hcc kids metroing to ghs, not equitable. wshs and rbhs having far fewer kids than north pathways' cohorts, not equitable. wms students split from their pathway cohort to go to fhs, not equitable.

3./ ms to hs links: wms students split from their pathway cohort to go to fhs, not linked. as been stated before this a ridiculous idea anyway. hs should be about choice like the 10% set asides that we can finally have.

4./ optimal size: i agree that should be the plan if you think they need a large enough cohort to make this happen than yes. anything less than 60 kids per grade will not work. that is what is being defined currently at fhs and wshs. there are local ib programs as well in those neighborhoods if they wanted proximity and rigor.

5-7./ data, impact and cost: if they truly looked at the data they would know this is the most costly, disruptive and short sighted plan possible. data says that a north and a south pathway school and ibx would suffice. and that north school should have been lincoln. period. right!?!? it is obvious they drew the maps and then thought what about hcc. no matter they don't have services after 8th grade let's just disband it. no problem right? after being rebuffed; let us set up more than half our comprehensive high schools to serve 10% their populations when in the past that has been shown that is far too few for a hcc program.

that said, now that we are here and as rhs and bhs are centrally located in the north. i would say keep them as hcc pathways and divide lincoln into them too. they do have the most of the needed infrastructure, as well. in addition, i would completely scrap fhs and wshs as they have no where near the items in place and too few kids for cohort support. for this to work, even with unlimited resources, which we all know will not be the case it would be a complete make over to the school. not likely with site based administration. look at ghs and its struggles even with the proud decades of success.

no caps

Anonymous said...

As a Ballard parent I hope the cohort is not assigned to our school. Nothing against the kids or parents, but we don't need the hassles and negative attention that surrounds the program.

I'd rather do away with the whole program save for a small one like the original IPP program which was designed with the help of the Robinson Center and focused on the needs of students working four years ahead.

The program we have now is divisive and according to many parents who post here, not very effective.

YY

Melissa Westbrook said...

YY, so only outliers should be helped?

And who made this program divisive? Not effective?

Lastly, out of sight, out of mind. Just better for all, right?

Anonymous said...

"And who made this program...Not effective?"

According to the parents who have children in HCC, the problem is mostly with the variety of levels and how their child is being held back due to a slower pace than their child needs.

Do theMath

Anonymous said...

well yy you are already a pathway and because of that your offerings are in par with ghs the only pathway this year.

some other benefits of racial and capacity pressures at ghs are the national robotics championship for bhs. rhs has won mostly ellington as well. all coming since a north end ms pathway was developed. enjoy it as you seem to be oblivious to some dramatic changes to your kids school. seems you are too out of touch to claim any involvement in bhs.

no caps

Anonymous said...

But let's be sure Lincoln doesn't get too strong too fast. Send anyone who wants something besides lock in step with common core crap to GHS or Ingraham, at least for now....

Optics Suck

Anonymous said...

yeah every year less and less and slower and slower. all the district's attempt to offer less to anyone. hcc has had a steady onslaught of changes to hcc most of them like all hs are pathway or that tm is the north elementary school. obviously designed to eliminate app/hcc.

in addition, at nearly every venture they disregard the altf and hcs ac's recs. second class students unless they need to sort out capacity issues.

finally to say you are adding bhs/rhs in the wealthy north; and making kids go to wshs/fhs in less wealthy south... for equity is laughable.

no caps

Anonymous said...

The district e-mail says once HC pathways are confirmed by the Board, district and school staff will discuss course offerings.

I'm confused about why course offerings & Running Start are going to be discussed AFTER the board confirms the pathway. Why not BEFORE as part of a robust decision making process?

While the survey prioritized values and the boundary maps showed numbers of students, that doesn't tell me anything about how all of this will be translate to actual course offerings.

Why didn't the district prepare an estimate of how many and which advanced courses would be offered for each school by grade modeled on current enrollment? How many would have to enroll in Running Start for each option by school by grade?

People may have voted differently if they saw data that illustrated how all this impacts students on a course offering level.

/Maybe

Anonymous said...

"And who made this program divisive? Not effective?"

From the district's point of view, it is impossible for the program to be effective, in the sense of achieving the desired results on some measure, because NOTHING gets measured and there is NO stated goal to be reached.

Parents who like what the program offers their students think it is (at least somewhat) effective, people with students who have different needs think it is not so effective, but nobody will be in a position to argue that the district is achieving any of its goals until there IS some goal.

Irene

Melissa Westbrook said...

"According to the parents who have children in HCC, the problem is mostly with the variety of levels and how their child is being held back due to a slower pace than their child needs."

Not an answer. I didn't ask what the problem was - I asked who created and enacts these programs.

Good thoughts, Irene.

And I note that Rocky said a number of things that many of us questioned and then disappeared. When that happens, I'm usually sure it's about wanting to stir the pot, not find solutions.

Anonymous said...

@Doctor HSU-- Thank you for posting. People seem to think Ballard & Roosevelt will have more HC students than Franklin or W Seattle in the 5 pathway plus Ingraham plan.

HC numbers are actually similar for all of those schools & all will have VERY SMALL numbers. Ingraham draws HC students from Roosevelt & Ballard which your stats illustrate.

Ballard, Roosevelt, W Seattle & Franklin will all have small cohorts (120-140 total in school, so ONLY 25-30 kids per grade).

Where you see the largest concentration of HC kids in the 5 pathway proposal is Garfield. But it will still be a fraction of what currently exists and course sections will be very limited.
-K

kellie said...

The one thing that everyone seems to agree on is that better outcomes for more students is a good thing. How that is created is open to a wide variety of opinions.

The reason that I continue to comment on this topic is pretty simple. There are very few either SPS employees or parents activists who have institutional memory on this topic. As such, a lot of time is wasted re-inventing the wheel and going in directions that will have consequences that will be "unintended" to the new folks, but entirely predictable to the folks that have done this a few times.

My students will soon be out of SPS. I am not impacted directly by any of the decisions in this round. But these decisions will decide the fate of high schools students for at least 10 years.

This issue at hand has incredibly little to do with gifted education or even equity. The issue that keeps getting lost in the shouting is that BOUNDARIES is how CHOICE is part of the Student Assignment Plan for high school. Period. That is the entire story for high school and choice. It is all about the boundaries.

There has been lots of comments about the 10% set aside at high school for choice seats. Many staff members say this NEVER existed, but it did. The MANNER that it existed is now lost in the technical details of managing boundaries and the SAP.

When high school boundaries were created in 2009, the boundaries were drawn intentionally smaller at schools with historic waiting lists. This was INTENTIONALLY DESIGNED to keep some flexibility in the system by including THREE CHOICE high schools. The PLAN was that the "swirl" created by the choice high schools would cause enough slack in the system that the ensuing game of musical chairs would empower some choice seats at all high schools.

Capacity problems and the lack of support downtown for Nova, Center and Cleveland eroded the flexibly that was built into the system.

The current plan is designed to REMOVE any remaining choice. The decision about a cohort for HCC or a distributed model is ultimately a decision about choice for ALL high school students. Do you want more CTE? Do you want access to IB? Do you any flexibility for a student who just needs to get away from a situation that isn't working? Do you want less segregated or more segregated schools?

A cohort model for HCC at high school is what causes choice for all the other students. The distributed model will cause an intensely more segregated district. A cohort model at high school does not look anything at all like the cohort model at elementary school. It also does not look like AP classes either.

I continue to comment because boundary decisions will impact every single student in the district, in ways that are very predictable but are not being communicated to the community.

Anonymous said...

If a cohort model at high school is what is needed, why not do a magnet school with awesome offerings and eligibility determined by lottery? That would draw people away from over crowded schools, lead to flexibility and choice, and not have as many equity issues as currently exist (rightly or wrongly) with HCC.

-NP

kellie said...


To be extra clear about this. High School capacity is a game of musical chairs. High School capacity is zero sum. A lot of this has to do with the master schedule but there is a fixed number of courses that are offered district wide.

The PLAN, as part of the 2009 NSAP, before things were over run by capacity issues, was that students who elected HCC seats either at Garfield or Ingraham, would then be vacating an attendance area seat, that could be used as a choice seat for a different "attendance" area student.

IB at Ingraham was a cornerstone of this plan. As Ingraham is located in the far NW corner of the district, very close to the boundary with Shoreline, it is IMPOSSIBLE to draw a boundary to fill Ingraham. If you made the boundary go all the way to the doors of both Hale and Ballard, there would still be extra capacity at Ingraham.

The opening of Lincoln and the addition at Ingraham is adding 2,000 seats back into the game of musical chairs. These seats can either be used to create more swirl and more choice, or they can be used to lock everyone into zones.

All of these pragmatics are being lost in the screaming match. The dynamic of this swirl is left out of the conversation. EricB and I have both testified multiple times about how this swirl works to benefit everyone, both students and the district budget process.

kellie said...

@ NP, that is precisely what was built in to the system and has been ignored and/or lost.

Lincoln is another school where it is almost impossible to draw reasonable boundaries. It is simply located too close to both Ballard and Roosevelt. Lincoln is an ideal location for a magnet school. But yet, downtown has decided that BOTH Language Immersion and HCC will not be placed there, making the school the opposite of a magnet school.

That's not part of the survey, it is just part of the FAQ. I find this logic defies description. The Language Immersion elementary schools are IN the attendance area. All of the boundary maps show that Lincoln will have the highest concentration of HCC qualified students living in that boundary.

It would be so simple to make Lincoln both LI and HCC and give the school a very attractive set of offerings and still have a significant number of choice seats, that would then be open to all students.

This is the point that so many people keep trying to make - when you place a cohort of anything at a high school, the offerings that are created for the cohort are then AVAILABLE TO ALL STUDENTS.

The language immersion cohorts create advanced classes for native speakers that would not exist otherwise. The HCC cohorts create math and science classes for all students that would not be available otherwise. There is a big push for more CTE programs and these programs will depend on a cohort.

My greatest concern in this whole mess is that this distributed model for HCC will have the unintended consequence of sabotaging the plans for CTE expansion.


SusanH said...

Sorry, Kellie, what's CTE? I googled it and am only coming up with a type of traumatic brain injury. :)

Thanks!

Anonymous said...

We bought a home in Seattle in the Garfield zone specifically for the kids to attend Garfield, and I appreciate that the large number of AP courses offered there has decades of HCC cohort to thank. My own Garfield freshman is GenEd because we moved from out of state at high school (too late for HCC) but on transcripts/ERBs is indistinguishable from an HCC-identified student. My concern then with the HCC cohort shrinking at Garfield is shrinking availability of higher level classes for ALL students, like kellie points out, because there are plenty of non-HCC kids who count on them too. (Truthfully, I'm more concerned for my 7th grader entering Garfield in 2019, potentially HCC but no results yet.) Are data available showing the AP participation rate among HCC v. GenEd students at the local school level? With the neighborhood around Garfield so changed from even just a few years ago, I wonder if surging local demand for higher level classes might help retain them. Foolish?

FNH

kellie said...

CTE = Career and Technical Education

Anonymous said...

CTE = Career and Technical Education

parent

kellie said...

I think most people are aware that we live in a significantly segregated city.

As such, very rigid boundaries will create more segregation. This has been one of the primary complaints of the NSAP, particularly for new advocates.

We have very rigid boundaries at elementary school and disparity is striking. There is a deep irony that on the macro level the TOTAL number of high poverty schools is greatly reduced from 10 years ago. The disparity is less than it used to be but it is still there. The underlying patterns are deeply entrenched.

The introduction of 2,000 high school in 2019 will have deep impacts on equity, but not in the ways that are being discussed. The natural attendance area for Lincoln matches Hamilton middle school very nicely. The notion that HCC and LI will INCREASE diversity at Lincoln should tell you the baseline of the attendance area as well as something about the divides across Seattle.

As part of the 2013 Growth Boundaries process, it was proposed that HCC be placed at Whitman and Eckstein, not Eagle Staff and JAMS. This proposal was most likely based on the same reasoning for selecting Ballard and Roosevelt. Eckstein and Whitman were closer to where students lived and those schools already had some advanced offerings.

This proposal was scrapped once the analysis was done that showed that this was going to deeply intensify segregation in North Seattle. IIRC, JAMS and Eagle Staff would have been over 60% FRL while adjacent Whitman and Eckstein would have been under 10%.

I understand that many people truly believe that this distributed approach for HCC will cause all boats to rise but this plan just won't do that. There are plans could do that but this isn't one of them.

Anonymous said...

@kellie

Isn't the level of poverty lower in Seattle than 10 years ago?

Aren't the schools that have FRL even more impacted because of NSAP?

When did actual, as opposed to on-paper,"choices" for middle and high school stop happening after the NSAP was enacted? Two years?

Why have you been a strong advocate for the NSAP until this latest iteration, even though the inevitable effects have been what you just described--entrenched segregation--from the get-go?

Inquiring Minds

Anonymous said...

@FNH--I think that is the premise upon which the regional HCC linked schools is built: there are already as many or more non-HC students taking AP courses at these schools. The concern is that this is only true at RHS, BHS and GHS, and the data hasn't been shared and vetted enough, and they are basing decisions on already old data, rather than looking at grades 5-8.

Titanic

kellie said...

@ Inquiring mind,

The level of poverty has been pretty consistent Seattle wide for decades with some modest variation, but the SPS poverty number shifts dramatically. City of Seattle's poverty level has been around 20% for the last two decades but the SPS number has varied from mid 30's to high 50's.

The NSAP started in 2010. There was a fair bit of choice for a few years. I think it really stopped with Tracy retired and the institutional memory was lost. When Tracy retired, the staff member who managed wait lists also retired.

I am still a strong advocate for the current assignment plan, as it is a good compromise document. The current plan was crafted with a tremendous amount of community input over years. Nothing is perfect. This current SAP isn't perfect. But if you compare district snapshots, over decades, the current version has a lot going for it.

Your last statement is not an accurate reflection of my comments. I am opposed to the current round of changes because these changes will magnify and entrench already existing segregation. I completely disagree that the current NSAP "entrenched segregation from the get-go"

That point of view reflects the profound loss of institutional memory in this conversation. Some of the strongest advocates of the current plan were from the poorest areas of town. These advocates wanted their kids off long bus rides and more focused resources in their communities. The current middle school feeder patterns was the result of that advocacy. The dramatic improvement at Mercer really reflects those desires.

The current SAP, as written, could be used to either soften segregation or entrench it. If the choice elements of the current plan were being fully respected, we would be seeing more softening.

A great example of this is Cleveland. Under the old plan Cleveland was over 80% FRL. As part of the current plan, that number is down to 65%. If the district had continued to honor the plan and fully enroll Cleveland, I suspect that number would have dropped down to 50%. Cleveland is in an incredibly diverse area. The artificial enrollment caps just drive people with means to other choices.

Anonymous said...

Please keep the cohort away from Roosevelt. We also have a nice inclusive community and do NOT want the divisiveness of the HCC program. I know many parents at Ingraham and some at Garfield and the stories are not pretty. I would go into detail but I don't want to malign any parents, students or staff.

Let's just say that the many references to a "school within a school" ring very true with parents I know and I don't want that scene at Roosevelt.

Ruffwriter

kellie said...

Ultimately I am a pragmatist. This means I tend to frustrate and annoy a wide variety of advocates and staff.

The old "choice" assignment plan looked great on paper. It had lots of lofty goals and a hefty transportation budget to provide "door-to-door" transit in support of those ambitions. However, final impact was a public school district that did not look at all like the City of Seattle.

Under the old plan, there were first choice schools with long wait lists and incredible stability in terms of budget and staffing. These schools had a degree of stability and predictability that is hardly imaginable under the current plan. The price of that stability for a few schools, were dozens of schools with near zero stability for staffing, budget or enrollment.

High FRL schools are significantly LESS impacted under this current plan, than they were under the old plan. The long list of schools of distinction are a direct result of the stability created in the new plan. Most of the schools on that list were trapped in a downward spiral under the old plan, as well as regularly threatened with school closure.

Anonymous said...

Oh, please give me a break Ruffwriter. You know the HC kids in your neighborhood and they would not be shipped in to create a school of wealthy kids within a school of poor kids. It would be one big rich white smart high achieving school, all happy in your greatness together.

Fair Trade

Anonymous said...

Roosevelt demographics as of 2016-2017 (OSPI):

Race/Ethnicity (October 2016)
Hispanic / Latino of any race(s) 7.2%
American Indian / Alaskan Native 0.4%
Asian 11.6%
Black / African American 4.4%
Native Hawaiian / Other Pacific Islander 0.1%
White 68.6%
Two or More Races 7.7%

Special Programs
Free or Reduced-Price Meals (May 2017) 11.3%
Special Education (May 2017) 8.6%
Transitional Bilingual (May 2017) 2.7%

The attitude expressed by @Ruffwriter is not too dissimilar from that expressed when Eckstein was proposed as a new HCC middle school pathway (before it ended up at JAMS).

I suppose it's okay for HC qualified students to enroll at Roosevelt as long as it's not an official pathway and they don't identify themselves as HC? That's what Ruffwriter seems to be suggesting.

SPS reality

Melissa Westbrook said...

Inquiring Minds, not sure about your tone towards Kellie. You need to watch that.

Ruffwriter, you think there are no HCC kids at Roosevelt? There are. As for "keep them away" - I warn you of tone. I do not want to see any group of students denigrated here and you are getting close.

And Roosevelt is "inclusive?" I know past students who would greatly disagree. ALL high schools divide out into groups and that's a fact. Inclusivity is sometimes in the eye of the beholder.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Inquiring Minds, not sure about your tone towards Kellie. You need to watch that.

Ruffwriter, you think there are no HCC kids at Roosevelt? There are. As for "keep them away" - I warn you of tone. I do not want to see any group of students denigrated here and you are getting close.

And Roosevelt is "inclusive?" I know past students who would greatly disagree. ALL high schools divide out into groups and that's a fact. Inclusivity is sometimes in the eye of the beholder.

Anonymous said...

Ruffwriter here,

I don't want the "program" feeding into Roosevelt, I welcome all students cuurently there with HC status as they have forsaken the cohort and these current HC students are there by choice, not because the cohort is there. Those students' families, for whatever reason have decided to avoid the cohort, maybe just for high school, maybe they dropped it t some other point, maybe they never entered.

Conflating the HCC/gened divide at Garfield and the IB/gened divide at Ingraham to cliques and groups within Roosevelt as it is currently constituted, is inaccurate and misleading.

The school within a school feel, which you may or may not acknowledge, has been spoken of repeatedly here and even in the press. My opinion is that it is unhealthy, do we all forget the hazing rituals at Garfield which were reported to be mainly involving HCC kids?

The cohort model is causing so much acrimony, please reread the posts on both sides of the argument.

The constant attacks leveled on those who merely call for more under-served students in the cohort, not to mention the flood of justifications and recriminations towards anyone who dares suggest returning some of the students to gened schools is hard to dismiss.

I know lots of families in the cohort and lots of kids and I don't have a problem with them at all. The made their choice and I totally respect it. They are using a program the district offers and there is nothing wrong with that. It's the program that is the problem, not the students or their families.

Clear enough?

R

Anonymous said...

I welcome all students cuurently there with HC status as they have forsaken the cohort and these current HC students are there by choice, not because the cohort is there

So it's like a purity test? They are okay because they forsake the cohort?

interesting

Anonymous said...

That is silly. They "forsake" the cohort because there is no cohort in highschool, just a pathway that offers enough kids interested and needing certain classes in a sequence to make it possible for the high school to offer those classes. The number of HC-qualified students in the northend has grown enough, so now RHS and BHS have enough of a critical mass to offer the selection of courses HC students need. Some HC-qualified students decide RHS is a fit or convenient, or whatever, others decide GHS is a more appropriate fit. Again, THERE IS NO COHORT in highschool, just a pathway merging a bunch of previously cohorted kids into the same location to create a critical mass for enough classes to be offered at the advanced level.

It is divisive to say HC-qualified kids who go to RHS are opting out of the cohort because they ...whatever your fill in the blanks BS made up speculative reason is for saying they selected RHS.
Bottom line: RHS (and BHS) already have many of the same offerings as GHS, so if a couple of classes of HC students are assigned from GHS to RHS or BHS the difference to those students will be negligible, thus making it a...

Fair Trade

Anonymous said...

@ Ruffrider, the "school within a school" feeling at Ingraham (to the extent it exists) is likely because SPS shipped in a higher FRL group and provided options not available to all. At Garfield, they again shipped in higher FRL students from outside the neighborhood, and while they don't get access to special classes than others, they do tend to take more advanced classes than other students want. At Roosevelt it'll mostly be the same types of kids as are already there, with kids taking many of the same classes. Yet still you don't want them.

It's pretty rich for you to complain about the recriminations toward anyone who dares to suggest returning these kids to gen ed schools while you're simultaneously saying you don't want them st your school. If nobody wants these kids in their school, is any wonder if there is a feeling of separateness?

You do realize that having a bunch of HCC students there is not that different whether it's a cohort or not, right? Right now you are shipping some away, but that likely won't continue. Whether the neighborhood kids stay there because it's their neighborhood or their pathway makes little difference. It'll be the same kids, wanting the same classes.

It's heartbreaking to see a public school parent so comfortable saying certain students are unwanted on their premises.

For shame

Melissa Westbrook said...

Hazing at Garfield was mostly HCC kids? Where did you read that? Not here.

Fair Trade makes a good point; those Roosevelt HCC parents would not have their kids there if there were not enough higher level classes.

For Shame, I agree with your statement to Ruffwriter on talking huffily about "recriminations" and yet he/she doesn't want HCC labeled kids at Roosevelt.

Ruffwriter, my point is that most people slamming HCC do NOT want to offer solutions to find more kids of color for the program who could benefit. They just want to end it. There's the dilemma about people using "equity" when really it's about something else.

Anonymous said...



hazing has been erased at ghs. it was also mostly ghs and not mostly hcc. at least that is what i have been told and am being told. but this is a distraction.

folks the district is not playing fair here. they have made the most devastating decision to make lhs not a hcc school. many kids come from lhs boundaries now to go to ghs. they also go to rbs and ghs because who wants to spend hours on the bus each day.

they choose this and now they are asking for input. two surveys. first was mind-numbing complex and without any credibility. as stated above they said al and not hcc. they said change is coming what do you think about that change? no description of anything. then they cooked the books to say all the respondents wanted equity and proximity. ok then why are kids in the north getting established pathway like schools and why are the kids in lhs being asked to now "bus across town." when they have not been doing that anyway.

the second was so shamelessly self serving it should have been offered with a roy moore cut out to tell 16 year olds what's good for them. all i heard was "we made it, ok. now get in the back of my car kids south of the ship canal cuz we are staff and if you talk back we will hurt you." that is what is happening here. southend kids are being unserved (nicest way i can put it) because of equity and proximity. ok so those southend kids have been traveling to those schools that are the closest ones that have a chance to serve them. but because of equity and proximity they will need to go to schools that have never proven to be able to serve basic advanced kids.

staff also says that principals don't need to be on board. oh yeah they do. this won't work. look at ghs as this turns on hcc. it is becoming more and more adviseral. my oldest did not feel this separation.

staff also says they will add the resources to make sure this happens. first all this said is rich. but there are so many voiced promises that never make it. there is no way in this district we can insure that fhs, wshs and ghs are going to be a long term program. yeah ghs is going to fail if it is just them and those from lhs as they will go to lhs. they will both be new schools in practice and one will have a chance to have a full cohort of kids.

this isn't about equity it is about staff simplicity. they wanted to make all schools hcc schools. naive. if they truly wanted little cost and disruption for 2,000 new seats they would have made lhs a hcc pathway school. i am guessing geary didn't want it. so shorted sighted, worst vote for me ever.

no caps

kellie said...


While Inquiring Mind's tone was definitely a touch leading and pointed, I do think the underlying questions are really valid and important.

Most school advocates look at the system from their point of view and the timeline from their point of entry. I remember when I first started getting involved in capacity related issues and both Mel and Charlie as well as dozens of other advocates, most of who have long since moved on, would share pieces of institutional memory and about how, the "problem" I was testifying about, was both "not new" and "more complicated."

The NSAP is almost a decade old and the vast majority of current advocates just are not familiar with how the current plan and is really different from the old plan. Additionally, there really hasn't been any macro analysis done, to determine is the "changes expected" with the plan change "actually happened." I can respect that from their point of view, the NSAP is the problem that is causing segregation.

I also don't follow things as closely or as proactively as I used to. I tend to only respond to questions both on this blog and when contacted directly by the current generation of advocates.

Until "Inquiring Minds" asked those questions, I hadn't made the connection between how many schools with deeply entrenched and seemingly unsolvable problems, under the old plan are now "schools of distinction." If you compare and contrast Hawthorne and Thurgood Marshall, you get a very crisp picture of the places where the NSAP has succeeded.

The plan during the closures and under the old plan was to "fix" both of these schools by placing HCC at those schools. Under the old plan, program placement like that was really the only way to change a school. That was a terrible plan at the time. Advocates fought it powerfully, but it happened anyway.

Fast forward today and Hawthorne is a school of distinction with a waiting list. I was at the board meeting where Hawthorne's staff testified about their transformation. They are a very impressive team. The stability of the NSAP enabled more stable staffing and enrollment and the building level staff really did the hard work to make it happen.

And TM, has turned out exactly as predicted.

Anonymous said...

Hawthorne did not get an APP cohort and was not made the south end (south of the ship canal) pathway. It was fought because that is ridiculous. Instead TM was the south and Lowell was the north.

So not getting your point at all. Unless you are saying District staff throw stupid ideas out all the time and see if they stick. Putting APP in TM was a travesty for all involved and against the UVA study of gifted placement.

Crazy Eyes

Anonymous said...

Yes, she's saying TM has gone poorly, as she would have expected, and Hawthorne has been able to do well, by using the NSAP instead of placing APP at it.

-sleeper

Anonymous said...

Families with students in K-8s, or those considering K-8s, need to read the latest version of the Transition Plan for next year (to be introduced at this week's board mtg). Students wanting to switch from a K-8 to an attendance area MS for 6th grade will be admitted on a "seat availability" basis. They have no guarantee they can enroll in their neighborhood MS, even when enrolling during Open Enrollment.

heads up

Anonymous said...

"The plan during the closures and under the old plan was to "fix" both of these schools by placing HCC at those schools. Under the old plan, program placement like that was really the only way to change a school. That was a terrible plan at the time. Advocates fought it powerfully, but it happened anyway."

Seems clear that she thinks APP was placed at Hawthorne. But if you say so...

Crazy Eyes

Melissa Westbrook said...

Heads up, I thought that issue got cleared up. Are you sure.

Anonymous said...

Continuing Assignments

The following students will automatically receive a continuing assignment to the same school, as long as the school offers the grade and services the student needs:

...Students at a K-8 school rising to 6th grade


Then,

C. Students Entering 6th Grade

Students Currently Attending a K-8 School

Students entering 6th grade and attending K-8 schools will be assigned to continue at their current K-8 school for 6th grade, as long as the school offers the services the student needs.
 If they apply for their attendance area middle school during Open Enrollment through May 31, they will be assigned to their attendance area school, as long as the school offers the services the student needs. This is subject to seat availability (unless they apply for and are assigned to a higher ranked choice).


This [area MS attendance] is subject to seat availability.

In some places they say "during Open Enrollment through May 31" and in other places they say "on-time Open Enrollment period." Does "during Open Enrollment through May 31" include "on-time Open Enrollment period," or is it meant to refer to the Open Enrollment period AFTER the close of on-time enrollment, but BEFORE May 31? Couldn't tell you. The way it is written, it's not clear and it reads as if MS assignment is subject to space availability for K-8 students.

heads up

kellie said...

Reader is correct.

I am clear APP was NOT placed at Hawthorne. That was my point. We only have the opportunity to compare and contrast these two schools because one received APP and the other did not.

I suspect that had TM been left alone and APP remained at Lowell that TM would also be a school of distinction.

Anonymous said...

@Kellie--didn't staff also try to put APP at Olympic Hills when they were opening the new building? This was fought off by both communities and now OH is winning some awards. The school within a school thing is real and it's a bad idea. Research and local examples back this up. Not sure why staff don't care or don't get it.

Titanic

Anonymous said...

Isn't the school of distinction award based on improvement? Improvement is terrific but you can't possibly fault schools not winning this type of award which have less room for improvement to begin with. Or maybe I'm misinterpreting some posts here.

FNH

Melissa Westbrook said...

John Stanford said APP (now HCC) should not be placed as its own program within another school. I agreed with him when made that statement and I still do.

kellie said...

@ FNH,

The question that I was directly asked was about high FRL schools before and after the NSAP. I think that is a great question.

That question made me realize that while staff seems to be incredibly eager to drop the "transition label" as part of the assignment plan, that staff has not done a comprehensive analysis of the NSAP to measure whether or not the stated goals were achieved or not.

The person asking the question was of the decided opinion that high FRL schools are more severely impacted under the current plan. Part of my answer was the there are multiple schools that are now schools of distinction, an award based on improvement, that would never have achieved this distinction under the old plan.

The old plan was based a carrot and stick model. Under the old plan, most of the schools that are on the current list of schools of distinction, were routinely threatened with closure, rather than supported. Under the current plan, these schools have had enough stability in terms of budget, staffing and enrollment to make measurable gains.

Anonymous said...

I've set up Survey Monkeys and there used to be an option that limited responses to ONE per device.

So far I've been sent the survey link 3 times. Using those links, plus the links included here, I've taken the survey 5 times.

How is this survey valid?

SPS = iincompetence.

jane doe

Anonymous said...


They will throw out all those that are not identified through messenger or are duplicates through messenger. You cancelled out your votes I am pretty sure. Now that all said I do accept the premise there is incompetence abounding through that survey but the messenger thing is pretty diabolical. Give you a sense of anonymity when it is just the opposite (fully tracked). Same with the thoughtexchange. Truly a candor crusher.

HCCer

Anonymous said...



Are they introducing pathways tonight or is that delayed until it goes back to the Operations committee in December? Seems odd to introduce if their survey is good until 11/27.

Confused?

Anonymous said...

I am a parent and I fully support the revised HCS AC recommendations for HC pathways. Ballard, Roosevelt, Garfield. Work on Franklin & W Seattle adding AP offerings prior to moving kids. The rationale for the points made sense. The data provided in the email of HC kids already attending those schools was informative. http://discussapp.blogspot.com/
-JK

Anonymous said...

Dear HCC community,

Last month the HCS AC sent an email to the District and Board of Directors regarding the high school boundaries as part of the Student Assignment Plan for the 2019-20 school year. The District then shared its proposal to create five pathway schools for the Highly Capable Students.

In response, following discussion at our November 7th HCS AC meeting and subsequent feedback, we revised our statement and sent it to the Superintendent and the Directors today in advance of any Board discussion (please see below). Final votes by the Board continue to be slated for January 2018 with implementation in Fall 2019.

We strongly encourage the HC community to participate in the Boundary Meetings and provide immediate feedback to the District regarding any potential changes to the HC pathways. Emails can be sent to schoolboard@seattleschools.org - superintendent@seattleschools.org and growthboundaries@seattleschools.org.

To: Superintendent Nyland and Directors
From: Highly Capable Services Advisory Committee
Date: November 15, 2017
Re: Proposed Highly Capable High School Pathways/Student Assignment Plan for 2019-20
Dear Superintendent Nyland and Directors Blanford, Burke, Geary, Harris, Pinkham, Patu, and Peters,
In light of the recent District proposal regarding highly capable pathways for high school and the upcoming Board vote on the Student Assignment Plan, the Highly Capable Services Advisory Committee (HCS AC) would like to voice its concerns and support for aspects of the proposed increase of the number of pathway schools to five. In particular, we:

Understand the rationale for the selection of Ballard and Roosevelt as HC pathways schools;

Are concerned about the selection of Lincoln attendance area students being assigned to Garfield as their pathway school;

Recommend that Garfield remain the only pathway school for the Central, Southeast and Southwest in 2019;

Suggest that the District first build up the AP and rigorous course offerings at Franklin and West Seattle first, then revisit the idea of making those schools HC pathway sites; and

Urge the District to grandfather current high school students and eighth graders into their current high school or pathway.

The HCS AC is comprised of teachers and parents at the elementary, middle and high school levels whose collective experience with highly capable students in our District spans several decades. We have reviewed the numbers of HC students in each of the proposed pathways (see attached) and considered the equity issues that currently and could potentially exist. Please consider our recommendations on the District proposals, rooted in the following analysis and supporting rationale.

Part1

Anonymous said...

Dear HCC community,

Last month the HCS AC sent an email to the District and Board of Directors regarding the high school boundaries as part of the Student Assignment Plan for the 2019-20 school year. The District then shared its proposal to create five pathway schools for the Highly Capable Students.

In response, following discussion at our November 7th HCS AC meeting and subsequent feedback, we revised our statement and sent it to the Superintendent and the Directors today in advance of any Board discussion (please see below). Final votes by the Board continue to be slated for January 2018 with implementation in Fall 2019.

We strongly encourage the HC community to participate in the Boundary Meetings and provide immediate feedback to the District regarding any potential changes to the HC pathways. Emails can be sent to schoolboard@seattleschools.org - superintendent@seattleschools.org and growthboundaries@seattleschools.org.

To: Superintendent Nyland and Directors
From: Highly Capable Services Advisory Committee
Date: November 15, 2017
Re: Proposed Highly Capable High School Pathways/Student Assignment Plan for 2019-20
Dear Superintendent Nyland and Directors Blanford, Burke, Geary, Harris, Pinkham, Patu, and Peters,
In light of the recent District proposal regarding highly capable pathways for high school and the upcoming Board vote on the Student Assignment Plan, the Highly Capable Services Advisory Committee (HCS AC) would like to voice its concerns and support for aspects of the proposed increase of the number of pathway schools to five. In particular, we:

Understand the rationale for the selection of Ballard and Roosevelt as HC pathways schools;

Are concerned about the selection of Lincoln attendance area students being assigned to Garfield as their pathway school;

Recommend that Garfield remain the only pathway school for the Central, Southeast and Southwest in 2019;

Suggest that the District first build up the AP and rigorous course offerings at Franklin and West Seattle first, then revisit the idea of making those schools HC pathway sites; and

Urge the District to grandfather current high school students and eighth graders into their current high school or pathway.

The HCS AC is comprised of teachers and parents at the elementary, middle and high school levels whose collective experience with highly capable students in our District spans several decades. We have reviewed the numbers of HC students in each of the proposed pathways (see attached) and considered the equity issues that currently and could potentially exist. Please consider our recommendations on the District proposals, rooted in the following analysis and supporting rationale.

part2

Anonymous said...

Another important consideration is the issue of underrepresentation in the Highly Capable Cohort. For decades, the District and this Committee have wrestled with the highly problematic fact that the Highly Capable Cohort does not reflect the demographic makeup of our district either racially or socio-economically. We believe that the place to address these problems is with testing and identification and with talent development for those students who show potential but do not yet have the achievement piece. Finding solutions at the pre-K and elementary levels is expected to bring results over time. It is important that we serve the needs of every child, including the highly capable cohort. Splintering current HC south-end students into three high schools would not solve the disproportionality problem.

For these reasons, we strongly urge the District to pause with the idea of splitting the HC students up among five high schools. The two schools in the North--Ballard and Roosevelt--already offer an array of AP courses along with robust arts programs, and the addition of more HC students at these schools would have negative impacts only if there is not capacity to accommodate them. Conversely, splitting HC students in the south across three high schools raises many questions and concerns about implementation and equity while only creating a fraction more capacity at Garfield (244 seats).

We strongly support the increase in AP offerings at Franklin and West Seattle. The District should commit the resources and work with those schools to create those opportunities first, then, in two more years (2019) look at whether the split of SE and SW HC students to those schools in 2020 makes sense. Changes of this magnitude to the HC model should be part of a larger plan for these students. We should not be looking at High School separately from the program as a whole.

Finally, we would like to reiterate our request for grandfathering of HC students at any of their current schools. Changes at the high-school level have significant implications for college entrance and any student or family who has committed to a particular high school should be allowed to continue down that road until graduation.

Thank you for your consideration.

Respectfully,

Highly Capable Services Advisory Committee

frayed knot

Anonymous said...

There's a big middle chunk of the letter missing, as pasted above. After the first section ending with "Please consider our recommendations...supporting rationale." and before the last section, beginning "Another important consideration ..."

are two sections (must be posted in two diffferent comments, due to length):

Proposal for North End

Support: The redirection of Northeast and Northwest area HC students to north-end high schools alone would dramatically reduce the number of HC students at Garfield, easing Garfield’s capacity issue and providing an equitable experience closer to home for north-end students. Selecting Ballard and Roosevelt as pathway schools makes sense and aligns with trends: Many HC eligible students already choose their neighborhood school over Garfield (129 at Ballard, 155 at Roosevelt). Pathway changes diverting north-end HC students from Garfield would add about 300 HC students to both Ballard and Roosevelt, creating cohorts of 400-500 HC students at each. This would allow for effective delivery of counseling, meet their social emotional needs, and provide robust AP and elective offerings beyond the already-robust selection of courses (16 and 18 respectively) at both high schools.

Concern: We struggle with directing Lincoln-area students to Garfield for two reasons: commute challenges and prioritizing services closer to home. 1) The trip to the Central District is much more difficult than the trip to Ballard, particularly taking public transportation (Metro) in our city’s geography. In fact, this drives many families from Wallingford, Magnolia and Queen Anne to choose Ballard or Roosevelt over Garfield. 2) Lincoln-area families should have a north-end HC option. Under the current plan, if area HC students choose not to attend Garfield, they would be limited to a neighborhood school (Lincoln) which lacks access to the higher-level HC math and science classes they need, because Lincoln is a roll-up school with limited grades and associated classes in its first years of operation.

------
For the record

Anonymous said...

(second chunk of letter that's missing, following the chunk pasted just above)

Proposal for Central, Southeast and Southwest

Concern: We strongly stand by our recommendation that Garfield remain the single HC pathway school for students in the Central, South and Southwest areas and not split for several reasons: resulting disparity in number of students, as well as impacts to course offerings, cohort size, and finances.

The splits would create a significant imbalance between the north and the south. Garfield has 428 HC students total, very similar to the potential number of HC students at Ballard or Roosevelt. Here is the current breakdown: 184 students from the Garfield area, 95 from Franklin, 41 from Rainier Beach, 32 from Chief Sealth, and 76 from West Seattle, totaling 428 students. The proposed splits would distribute HC students as such: Garfield, 184, Franklin, 146, and West Seattle, 145. This creates significantly smaller HC cohorts at these three high schools than at the two high schools in the north end, where Garfield, Franklin and West Seattle would have HC populations of 15% or less, compared to north-end HC populations of 30%.

No guarantee of course offering parity at Franklin and West Seattle. Currently, Franklin offers 10 AP classes and West Seattle offers 12. These schools would need to significantly increase their offerings before 2019 to align with Garfield, Ballard and Roosevelt. Despite District assurances--and we do support increased advanced learning options at all high schools--limited District resources and fewer Advanced Learners at Franklin and West Seattle would not be sufficient to drive a master schedule for these courses. West Seattle parents have voiced these concerns, and Franklin faces problematic programming of repetitious Physical Science and Biology courses in 9th grade when HC students would already have taken those classes in 7th and 8th grades. This raises many questions about whether the District could guarantee that HC students at Franklin and West Seattle have the same (or similar) offerings as students at Ballard, Roosevelt and at Garfield now, as well as what the process would be to address the scenario if parity did not come to fruition:

Would honors LA and SS options be offered in 9th grade as now at Garfield? Would Franklin require HC students to repeat Science as at Nathan Hale? Would Franklin adopt a new model, and would it be desired? What would the reduced number of HC students at Garfield mean for their ability to sustain current advanced learning offerings?

West Seattle parents have expressed a variety of opinions about a local high school pathway. Some support a HC pathway closer to home, while others are concerned that the smaller cohort size would make it challenging to expand the number of AP offerings at West Seattle High School.

Significant demographic changes could affect financing of Garfield activities. Currently 42% of Garfield are HC students and 38% of the school are Free-Reduced Lunch (FRL); this proposal would reduce the Garfield HC population to about 10%. For better or worse, the number of affluent students would drop significantly, thus affecting PTSA fundraising and music, drama and science fundraising that happens at Garfield. Whether the Garfield community regards these as positive changes is something that should be factored into the equation as well.

-------
For the record

Anonymous said...

>>>> For better or worse, the number of affluent students would drop significantly, thus affecting PTSA fundraising and music, drama and science fundraising that happens at Garfield.

What a great case, For the Record. Be sure to present it to the board. We can’t let this happen! We must cluster our resources at Garfield. We should do everything we can to make sure that our donations aren’t squandered at other high schools. Does W.SH or FHS even have a band or music program to contribute to?

#Gifted Lives Matter
GLM

Anonymous said...

What happens to Magnolia HCC students in most plans? I thought HCC was going to be offered at every school so I thought my kids would go to Lincoln.

But did I misunderstand? Is Lincoln going to be the one high school without HCC?? So my kids would be assigned to Ballard??

Mag mom

Anonymous said...

It looks like Magnolia gifted students would remain at Garfield. Since the “neighborhood” high school for Magnolia is Lincoln, the HCC pathway is Garfield.

GLM

Anonymous said...

GLM I think the concern is more for Garfield. They will lose PTSA, music, drama and science funding. Schools are better off if the FRL size does not get too large. If HCC is reduced dramatically at Garfield, those dollars are going to flow to WSHS and FHS.

HP

Anonymous said...

The 38% FRL figure at Garfield is from 2015; by 2016 it was 30%, a significant drop. I suspect my family is representative of new students actively moving into the Garfield zone vs. relying on HCC transfers - educated, affluent, with high-scoring GenEd kids enrolled under the "highly selective university" plan. The location is simply too attractive for the long-term trend to reverse, even with north end HCC students attending elsewhere. I don't think the future for Garfield is as dire as some predict.

FNH

Anonymous said...

@GLM-- In addition, WSHS & FHS would not be able to provide a basic education for those identified kids as defined by state law. Sorry, but there is that darn state law. Therefore, they need to first work on adding AP courses to WSHS & FHS. And yes, their lives do matter, whether you like it or not. I cannot believe you are making that analogy to having students needs met. You are making a rude analogy that does not fit the situation. These kids did nothing to you or anyone else. It is bullying behavior. I care about all kids having their needs met. So should you.
-caring parent

Anonymous said...

@Mag Mom-- Lincoln you closer reference school will not offer HC services. The current SPS proposal sends your child commuting further away to Garfield. The HCS AC proposal email posted in this thread keeps you at an HC service school (Ballard) closer to your address. However, if you want that to be the outcome I suggest you and others support it by writing SPS and the board.
-P

Anonymous said...

Wow. So let me get this straight. HCC cohort is getting smaller because all kids are going back to their neighborhood school, EXCEPT Lincoln? I thought Garfield thought HCC was APParthied and wanted HCC gone? Won't they be upset kids from Magnolia are still being bussed over? And why is Lincoln the one school without HCC? This plan couldn't be more convoluted if it tried.

Mag mom

Anonymous said...

@Mag mom: you're right, Garfield doesn't want kids bussed in and your students are being used. Lincoln should be a pathway (the) but the district staff really wants to spread out the access to advanced learning to more than one northend school. It likely will eventually have plenty of advanced classes, but they currently say it will start as a 9-10 school, so there wouldn't be enough kids for the higher level classes. Magnolia kids should go to Ballard, it's silly to send them to Lincoln or Garfield with the terrible traffic in Seattle. Not that RHS kids want to go to GHS, but with light rail their commute will be much easier than any east-west commute.

Hard Choices

"Central" said...

That HCSAC letter listed Lincoln as a central area school. That doesn't make any sense. Is there a water taxi over lake Union? How in the world is Lincoln "central"? The other "central" area high school is Garfield, which is by I-90 and, indeed, right in the middle of Seattle in a North/South sense. Lincoln is central in an East/West sense, but getting from anywhere in the proposed Lincoln assignment zone to Garfield is kind of insane.

I hope the survey they took shows that families care about walkability and distance when it comes to high schools. Because people sure cared that high school was going to get out slightly later in the afternoon and that was going to wreck students' abilities to have afternoon jobs and participate in after school activities and babysit younger siblings and get their homework done. And you know what will mess with those things even worse? Trying to get to Garfield from much of the city at rush hour twice a day. Nuts!

Anonymous said...

@FNH,

The poverty rate for students living in the Garfield attendance area was 46% last year. See page 98 of this report http://sps.ss8.sharpschool.com/UserFiles/Servers/Server_543/File/District/Departments/Enrollment%20Planning/Reports/Annual%20Enrollment/2016-17/Section%2011.pdf


Fairmount Parent

SusanH said...

@MagMom: no, Lincoln would not be the ONLY high school without an HC pathway. Also Rainier Beach, Chief Sealth, Center School, Cleveland, Nova, and Hale.

I think it would make so much more sense to keep one pathway in the South (Garfield) and make one for the North (Lincoln). It seems that would help with cohort size and also with boundaries around Lincoln.

Anonymous said...

@“Central” said: "I hope the survey they took shows that families care about walkability and distance when it comes to high schools.”

@ Mag mom said: "Wow. So let me get this straight. HCC cohort is getting smaller because all kids are going back to their neighborhood school, EXCEPT Lincoln?"

Yes, traffic is terrible. But there are tradeoffs. As far as I know, any kid will be able to choose their attendance area school if proximity to home or jobs is their priority. But for decades, high school students across the city have found it worth it to travel to Garfield as the highly capable pathway school. And many kids still do that today, by choice, via metro, even from some pretty inconvenient areas. If it’s worth it, they go.

Having any north-end pathway high school at all will be huge progress only to the extent that the north Seattle pathway(s) can actually offer something close to what Garfield has offered to students all these years. Calling any north or south Seattle high school a new HCC pathway--without actually having a critical mass of students and offering something comparable to what Garfield has historically offered--is just window dressing.

@Mag mom, I’m not sure if you were exaggerating for effect. So, just to clarify: No changes to boundaries or to pathways are a done deal yet. Lincoln could yet be designated an HCC pathway school. But it’s neither the district’s recommendation right now nor, it would seem, the recommendation of the HCS Advisory Committee. That could change. But making every high school a pathway school is pointless. And making a lot of schools pathways schools is pointless. Lincoln could make a lot of sense as the single north-end pathway longer term, but there’s no point in having 3 north-end pathway schools plus Ingraham IB. Then again, starting Lincoln as an HCC pathway school in 2019 is problematic if it only starts with 9th and 10th graders. It's a conundrum.

-Jigsaw

Anonymous said...

Just curious ... what classes would Lincoln need to offer 9th & 10th grade HCC students? Do HCC students start taking AP classes in 9th grade? It seems short-sighted to not place HCC at Lincoln - a new school that needs to be filled - when the district could use mitigation money to offer the classes needed.

N by NW

Anonymous said...

Thanks Susan H & Jigsaw.

I've been trying to keep up and it feels like there are too many ideas and they keep changing. I think every/many HS being HCC really waters down the program. But I thought that was the latest plan. All HCC kids back to their neighborhood school. That's why no HCC at Lincoln was surprising. Anyway, based on our location I'd definitely prefer to go to Ballard.

Mag mom

Anonymous said...

Realistically, what AP classes would SPS offer to 9th/10th graders at Lincoln -without- having 11th/12th graders at the school? Anyone thinking ZERO? Yeah, quite a conundrum. Some students take AP Calc in 9th or 10th, but it's only possible because 11th and 12th graders need the class as well.

APless

Anonymous said...

I assume there are some non-HCC students who take Algebra 1 at HIMS as 6th graders. Those kids would be ready for AP Calc in 9th or 10th, but they won't have the HCC pathway route open to them. How will SPS ensure they get their math needs met? Would they have to repeat a year of math at Lincoln?

Math Error

SusanH said...

I have a 10th grader at Garfield. He didn't take any AP classes in 9th grade. Even the kids who took Algebra 1 in 6th grade took Pre-Calc in 9th, followed by AP Calc in 10th. The only AP classes anyone he knows took in 9th grade were language classes (AP French or Japanese), and that was just a few people.

Then in 10th, there are quite a few AP classes in play. My son is in AP World History (along with most of his friends). He is in AP Chemistry; other 10th graders take AP Bio or AP Environmental Science. So yes, for the 10th graders, I think Lincoln would need to offer a selection of AP courses, mainly sciences and languages (which would benefit this language immersion cohort that could be a great fit at Lincoln as well!).