Thursday, January 04, 2018

Overview of High School Boundaries from Director Eden Mack

 I wrote to Director Mack simply asking her to clarify my understanding of the two scenarios the Board suggested at last night's meeting.  Here is her reply:


Thanks for your question this morning asking for clarification on the scenarios requested at last nights board meeting for the changes to high school boundaries and pathways for 2019-20 and the opening of Lincoln High School.  We are getting lots of e-mails with confusion about where we are in the process and what exactly is being considered at this time. This is completely understandable because the timeline for introduction to the board and action by the board has shifted from the original expectation, and the maps and data that match the scenarios requested last night are not yet ready.  



First, for clarification here is the current timeline of the decision making process:

  • Board discussion to clarify specific scenarios to be considered:  January 3rd (board meeting video on line)
  • Board Operations Committee discussion of plan for January 10th work session:  January 4th 4:30, board conference room, John Stanford Center
  • High School Boundary Task Force (a Superintendent Task Force) discussion of Board specified scenarios (and hopefully maps and data):  January 5th,12 to 2 pmConference Room 2750 at the John Stanford Center
  • Board Work Session with expected presentation of scenarios with maps and data:  January 10th, 4:30 in John Stanford auditorium
  • Introduction of the preferred scenario to the Board:  January 17th, 4:15 (start of meeting)  John Stanford auditorium
  • Board action:  January 31st


Each of these meetings mentioned above are open public meetings, though only the school board meetings on January 17th and 31st are filmed and have time allotted for public comment.
As you know, boundary processes are complicated and we are moving quickly at this stage to have a decision in place by open enrollment this year. There are many factors that need to be balanced. 

As a reminder to you and your readers, the board guidance in policy in the 2009 Student Assignment Plan, Section III, pages 10-11:
"The process of developing attendance area boundaries requires balancing various factors. Factors to be considered in the development of attendance area boundaries include those shown below. Data on factors such as these contribute to the determination of where attendance area boundary lines are located. These factors are not weighted, since multiple factors must be balanced.
· Proximity of students to schools
· Safe walk zones
· Efficiency of school bus routing (elementary and middle school boundaries)
· Metro transportation routes (high school boundaries)
· Demographics, including anticipated changes in enrollment
· Opportunities for creating diversity within boundaries
· Physical barriers (water, etc.)
· Balanced target enrollment for each middle school and its feeder elementary schools to create predictable feeder patterns from elementary to middle school
· Availability of Open Choice seats at all attendance area high schools for students from other attendance areas to enroll through school choice
Each attendance area boundary is an intact geographic area; there are no non-contiguous geographic areas comprising an individual attendance area boundary. Each attendance area boundary line abuts the boundary line of adjacent attendance areas. This results in every address in the District being included in an elementary school boundary, a middle school boundary, and a high school boundary.
Additionally, the impact of various Pathways (Dual Language and Highly Capable, for example) on the enrollment projections at each school need to be balanced when drawing boundaries. This is why the board is considering both high school boundaries and pathways together.
At last night's meeting the board had discussion to clarify that the two boundary and HC Pathway scenarios that we want to see maps and data for at the January 10th work session.  The high school boundaries need to be balanced considering the above factors, and adjusted for appropriate enrollment capacity.  At the moment, we have multiple high schools (including Garfield, Roosevelt and Ballard) that are projected to be far over their capacity and the boundaries and pathways need to be set such that we have reasonable assurance that enrollment capacity will be balanced when Lincoln opens and beyond. 



The scenarios that were requested from the board last night to have "optimized" boundary maps which balance enrollment and all of the factor listed above as well as considering existing community feedback are:



1. "Localized HC” providing HC services in all attendance area high schools starting in 2021. Transition pathways for HC in 2019 and 2020 requested are Garfield (HC Students from the South), Lincoln (HC students from the North), and West Seattle (HC students from West Seattle), with Ingraham IBX continuing as an HC Optional site.

2. “Regional Pathways” which increase the number of HC pathways to provide regional access across the city. The pathways for HC in 2019 would become Garfield (HC Students from the South), Lincoln (HC students from the North), and West Seattle (HC students from West Seattle) with Ingraham IBX continuing as an HC Optional site.


Essentially the first is drawing boundaries with the expectation that in 2021 HC students would start being assigned to their neighborhood school and pathways would be dissolved, with grandfathering of current 2021 students expected.   

The second is drawing boundaries expecting that there would be 3 pathway sites indefinitely.  The HC pathway sites are the same, though.


I have faith that we can determine reasonable boundaries that create the least amount of disruption and balance enrollment with a scenario that will respond to the majority of the concerns and comments raised thus far, and that we can open Lincoln strong in 2019.  It is really exciting that we will be opening a new high school for the first time in decades.  


I would encourage all who are interested to attend the work session on January 10th, and/or find the material on the website.  And continue to write the board with comments, thoughts and questions.  Thanks you for your engagement in supporting Seattle's students and families!

39 comments:

Anonymous said...

now that is how you make sound decisions. proud of our board right now.

no caps

Anonymous said...

This sounds like a decent plan, although it would seem that "transition pathways for HC in 2019 and 2020" under the "Localized HC" option means NEW maps/boundaries will need to be developed for 2021. I can't imagine following the big 2019 boundary shift with yet another big shift once students are "returned" to their neighborhoods. But if they DO go with that option, I hope they include in their approval language that the change to the localized model is contingent upon successful demonstration that all HC students, regardless of high school, have, and will continue to have, access to the state-mandated acceleration opportunities they need, as well as a reasonably sized cohort of intellectual peers necessary for their social/emotional development/well-being.

DisAPP

GLP said...

Thank you Director Mack -- for this write up of the current status and for all you are doing to right the ship on the HS boundaries process!

-GLP

NEP said...

Are the above two scenarios, the only two scenarios the board is considering? Or are other scenarios still under consideration but already detailed out?

Eric B said...

DisAPP, my understanding is that the map for Option 1 will be targeted to projections for the decentralized option in 2021-22. In the meantime, it probably won't be ideal but it will be better than nothing.

NEP, I believe that other options are currently off the table. The previous 4 regional pathways (Ballard, Roosevelt, WS, Garfield) requires to much disruption because Ballard and Roosevelt zones would have to shrink an awful lot. I'm not sure why the Garfield-Ingraham option went down, but I think it's likely that there's enough demand that there needs to be 2 HCC sites in the north.

Watching said...


Magnolia lawyer threatens to sue over boundary issues:

http://www.myballard.com/2018/01/05/magnolia-lawyer-suggests-suing-over-ballard-high-school-boundaries/comment-page-1/

Ed Cummings said...

The current HCC north side 8th graders still seem to be left high and dry. They can't go to Lincoln, capacity is not guaranteed at Ingraham (and that program is problematic in other ways), and if they go to their local high school, we are told, they lose their HCC eligibility. Has anyone heard any guidance from the District for this group?

Anonymous said...

@Ed Cummings- Write to Eden Mack and the rest of the board to express your concerns regarding this group. I agree that their options a the moment are extremely unclear. Many parents will be unaware of consequence at open enrollment.

It is also unclear if they will get grandfathered at Garfield or Geosplit to Lincoln if that becomes a pathway in 2019.

If they choose neighborhood school of BHS or RHS in 2018 and their neighborhood school changes in 2019 to Lincoln they could get pulled into a school without 10th grade HC & thus right curriculum.

But this is also unclear as opting out of Garfield or Ingraham may be considered a "choice assignment" in 2018 which under current plan allows students with choice assignments to remain at the school.

No 10th grade student (including general ed & spectrum who will need advanced math etc) should get pulled into Lincoln without the proper curriculum or number of peers needed to offer them the right coursework.
unclear

Anonymous said...

I'm still confused. What are the boundaries for BHS? I saw one map that had students living at 15th and 65th (literally the corner of BHS) going to Lincoln. What about Phinney Ridge/Greenwood families? -TeacherMom

Anonymous said...

They don't loose HCC identification. They can also go to GHS just like now until they graduate.

HCC is not the issue it is opening 2000 seats in the north and trying to do that with the least amount of disturbance.

HCC community should avoid conflating geosplits with HC pathways. Yeah you may have thought you could choose between RHS or BHS/GHS and potentially IB/IBx . Wow, it was too good to be true. Sorry.

SPS has proven they can't serve HCC at the local school and your neighborhood school seems to be a geo new school. But your choice has zero to do with HCC and I believe the Board is trying to make that the case against across the booard.

APPrent

GLP said...

TeacherMom - Nothing has been decided yet. The Board is asking for new maps by their January 10th work session next week. One would think that at least option #1 that the Board has requested, with Lincoln serving HC students in the north, would result in less disruptive changes to Roosevelt and Ballard's boundaries. But, it remains to be seen what the district will come up with.

-GLP

Melissa Westbrook said...

Watching, that's an interesting article about a lawsuit from Magnolia. I note a comment that is allegedly from City Attorney, Pete Holmes. I have a call into his office to find out about that.

Anonymous said...

Did anyone go to the task force meeting?
Lincoln Zone

Melissa Westbrook said...

Lincoln Zone, I asked that in the Friday Open Thread and I'll put up a thread if someone did.

juicygoofy said...

Melissa, the comment allegidly from Holmes reads to me as coming from a sarcastic troll (at least, I hope it is.)

juicygoofy said...

@APparent, I agree with Ed Cummings. My NW HCC friends do not consider Garfield a viable option, with or without grandfathering because of the unreasonable commute. The majority of students I know have been choosing Ingraham, if they can get in, but go to Ballard as a runner up. If boundaries move down to 80th, then we’ll have current 8th graders waitlisted at Ingraham, going to Ballard in 9th, and then getting moved to Ingraham for 10th, but not on the HC track. To make matters worse, these are the SAME students who were just moved to Eaglestaff.

kellie said...

I did not attend the meeting. Meeting documents were posted with lots of new maps and new scenarios.

https://seattleschools.org/cms/One.aspx?portalId=627&pageId=29628240

Anonymous said...

kellie's link is going to old meeting materials. Here's the URL for today's mtg:

https://www.seattleschools.org/cms/One.aspx?portalId=627&pageId=30514191

(Thanks, kellie, for the heads up!)

DisAPP

Anonymous said...

...although, there don't seem to be any maps/scenarios there. Huh?

@ kellie, did you actually find new 1/5 materials somewhere? If so, do you mind reposting the link?

DisAPP

Anonymous said...

King 5 has a section about the two (favored?) maps that were discussed today. They are very hard to see though. I've tried zooming in, and still can't figure out the latest edits:
http://www.king5.com/article/news/local/seattle/2-boundary-plans-for-north-seattle-high-schools/281-505301392

Whitman Family

BananaBread said...

I'm sorry, but hasn't the principal at Lincoln maintained that it will be a project-based school and been dismissive of HCC placement at Lincoln? Is she onboard with the idea of becoming the North-end HCC pathway school?

Anonymous said...

Yeah nothing burger there. Who would have known.

Future's bright

Anonymous said...

I see the need to minimize the number of students being moved from RHS and BHS by having an HCC student pathway in the north end be the new Lincoln HS. However, does the district have the money to provide what HCC students would need at Lincoln (rhetorical - the answer is no)? How will Lincoln, with only 9th and 10th grades initially, serve HCC students who come in 2-3 years ahead in math 2 years ahead in science, LA, and SS? The breadth of classes that Lincoln will need will be much broader than those needed for 9th and 10th grade (and even more if lang. immersion neighborhood students attend Lincoln). Either those students won't be served or the district will have to pay for additional classes that may be small.

I am very happy that Eden Mack is on the board because I know that she knows what the various trade-offs are.

Vent: that ridiculous survey sent out to parents from Wyatt Jessee's office. The one that didn't define "advanced learning," but found that parents were like, "yeah - more advanced learning at my neighborhood HS!" Woo-hoo - "more advanced learning" at RHS and BHS means that the Lincoln boundaries have to be drawn so large (to accommodate neighborhood HCC students who will then go to their neighborhood HS) that RHS and BHS are no longer the neighborhood schools of the parents who said yeah to more advanced learning.

When the district hears complaints like mine, I'm sure they feel frustrated because they also get complaints for more opportunities for involvement in decisions/more opportunities for parent/guardian voices to be heard. However, TOO OFTEN in SPS, the downstream implications of survey questions are not given. Maybe SPS doesn't think through the long term implications/doesn't care/is waiting for Kellie to figure them out - ?!

Things like the petitions from Magnolia or Ballard parents looking at some of the maps give me pause (and not to pick on them – I recall a similar petition/protest from neighborhood families living close to Eckstein – etc.). Especially when the petitions themselves use language that pit neighborhoods against each other (it’s not QA/Magnolia’s fault that they don’t have a HS close by – of course, it’s also not Ballard’s fault that they are upset when the BHS/IHS boundary comes 2 blocks away from BHS). The bigger issue for me, though, is the ripple effects of arguing a boundary change for your/my kids that pulls on boundaries all over the city. In prior years of having kids in SPS (11 years now), I felt like I had to get a PhD in various issues before I would advocate for something that was good for my kids' neighborhood school because, particularly with things like boundaries, every tweak that I may want in the north end might mess things up for someone in the south end. Who has time for getting a PhD? Instead, people become NIMBY because it’s easier to figure out what would be better for my kids/my neighborhood/ ME. Also, it gets frustrating very quickly to invest such time and energy and know that you know more than the decision makers.

Which is all to say that I’ve always hungered for an SPS and board that could listen, but also keep the big picture in mind. Balance the needs, be transparent about what those needs are, and what the trade-offs will be. All due respect to upset Ballard and Magnolia parents, but someone needs to balance their loud voices with the needs of all students in the district.

E


Anonymous said...

Was there any more follow up on the comment:
Anonymous said...
I'm still confused. What are the boundaries for BHS? I saw one map that had students living at 15th and 65th (literally the corner of BHS) going to Lincoln. What about Phinney Ridge/Greenwood families? -TeacherMom
The very first item on the list of considerations listed by Eden Mack is
"Proximity of students to schools"
So why would a boundary on the very site of BHS, on the sound and east sides, have kids going to Lincoln?

alexalex said...

I have a very specific question.

My son is in HCC at Hamilton. He’s a serious musician in the jazz band. Can he go to Garfield next year and stay there through graduation?

James Wagar said...

@Melissa Westbrook – I setup and participated in the KING 5 interview that resulted in the My Ballard article about a possible lawsuit.

The notion that our Magnolia4BHS group is considering a lawsuit over boundaries is categorically false. Margaret Cerrato-Blue's comments were directed only at grandfathering of her existing BHS student.

She sets the record straight here: http://www.myballard.com/2018/01/05/magnolia-lawyer-suggests-suing-over-ballard-high-school-boundaries/#comment-579017

Also, Magnolia4BHS supports boundary maps that have both Magnolia students and students living between NW 80th and 85th attending BHS.

We are reachable via our Facebook page: facebook.com/magnolia4bhs

Anonymous said...

@E In high school, HC looks different:

SS/LA--classes with other 9th graders
Math--not part of middle school HCC, so it’s possible that HIMS neighborhood kids need pre-calc in 9th too. Plenty will be ready for algebra 2
Science--since 9th graders can take bio, HC kids are just a year ahead of some here

I think the immediate need specific to HC kids at Lincoln will be science classes. Is there anything I’m missing? Maybe it wouldn’t be so prohibitively costly after all?

This is a serious question...do you have a boundary/pathway recommendation? Your point may have been to express the hope that the board can look at the big picture, making decisions that serve the most as best as possible. I’ll second that.

TY

Watching said...

Ingraham has capacity. It seems to me that lifting the cap at Ingraham would help alleviate Ballard and give Magnolia/Ballard families a choice.

Grateful for Director Mack's leadership!

Anonymous said...

Agree to lifting the cap at Ingraham for HCC, also allow Ingraham choice for any students from BHS & RHS, to alleviate overcrowding.

The staff surprise reversal on waitlist policy this year, just made things worse. Hopefully the new board will rein them in.

-HS Parent

Anonymous said...

@E, TY is right--HCC high school students are not nearly as ahead as you think, and thus won't really need much more than what will already need to be provided at Lincoln. LA and SS are the ssme for all, and there will likely be non-HCC students who need as advanced math. Science is the only issue, and they are really only a year ahead (based on most high school sequences). That suggests it wouldn't be all that costly after all--it might even be cheaper, since they would better fill the advanced classes.

All types

Anonymous said...


alex,

if they are currently 8th graders they can graduate from ghs. if younger, you are going to have to hope that things develop quickly at lhs for jazz band (as they did at hims) or that an open seat is available at rhs or ghs down the road.

no caps

Melissa Westbrook said...

One ray of hope for some parents - if your kid is a star basketball player, he can go to any school he wants. I just can't get over how easily these basketball players can transfer from school to school.

Anonymous said...

Alex
Actually your student could get geosplit to Lincoln from Garfield in 10th. Many of us think that may be a likely scenario.
North

Anonymous said...

>>>Blogger Melissa Westbrook said... if your kid is a star basketball player, he can go to any school he wants

If your kid is less than a star academically, he can still get a rarified academic experience by simply endlessly retaking the admission criteria for HCC or by paying for the right doctor to certify it. PSATs don’t lie though. At least the basketball star doesn’t make the team with a doctor’s note.

Dr. Trump

Anonymous said...

oh sure license is put in jeopardy to get a few extra bucks. really the logic is faulty. a failed test is another chance next year to double up the money. game theory would make you think greater than 5x normal cost for false score risk and lost future income. and then you would have to find the dirty doc. so you would have to be known out there as well as this is as widespread as you state. who are these docs then?

sps has yet to share data that says certain certified test are not delivering as described in student results. in fact, i believe the head of al has said for years there is no difference in private test students versus school only. so no you are wrong based on many levels.

all tweaking hc private testing does is mean more people who need those services are denied them. i think with 95 reading/writing and 2 stn dev iq really make ours one of the more difficult programs to get in, especially if you are 2e.

no caps

Anonymous said...



Alex
Actually your student could get geosplit to Lincoln from Garfield in 10th. Many of us think that may be a likely scenario.
North


not likely, if staff can be trusted, current 8th graders will be grandfathered.

no caps

Anonymous said...

@ All Types and Ty - maybe you are right that it would require less mitigation money than I think -- I hope you are right. (BTW, I have an HCC qualified student in HS right now who is in our neighborhood, not HCC pathway school.) Ty, my primary plea is for well-informed leaders who look at the big picture and communicate clearly (thanks for caring! ;) In terms of maps, I like the idea of HCC at Lincoln because, looking at the big picture in as much as my brain can, it appears that it keeps more neighborhood students at their neighborhood schools, so moves fewer students (I just wish the district could offer mitigation funding if needed).

E

Anonymous said...

If there's mitigation that needs to be done primarily because of the course needs of HCC students, could the district use some of that additional HC funding the state provided starting this year? Some of it will go toward identification of not historically underserved HC students, but I think they about doubled the funding. Or maybe the city could step up and help? Or Lincoln boosters? Or???

All tupes

Anonymous said...

@ E - Thanks for the response! As far as I can tell, I think HCC @ Lincoln makes the most sense, too.

In terms of cost, in an ideal world, SPS would compare it to an estimate of the potential cost of NOT serving HC kids. For the two new maps, combined HCC receiving & eligible is around 25%. Plus, many students are coming from HIMS, an academically strong school. Demand for rigorous classes is high in that neighborhood. There are costs (financial & otherwise) when those kids go elsewhere to have their needs met. I cringed when Mr. Jessee said he was “very, very, very nervous” about opening a comprehensive high school and putting down high quality honors and AP classes right off the bat (Dec 6th board meeting, part 2, 2:46:30ish). Does he know his customers? Does he want empty seats at Lincoln? I wish staff knew how to sell their product. Lincoln’s image already needs an overhaul and it hasn’t even opened yet. I think designation as an HC school should help remedy this. If they are not short sighted about the $$, Lincoln has the potential to become a very attractive high school.

Best of luck to those caught by surprise in potential changes areas and those facing uncertainties about grandfathering.

TY