Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Work Session on High School Boundaries

Here's the link to both parts of today's Work Sessions; the first on high school boundaries and the second on the budget for 2018-2019.  Currently, the high school boundaries discussion is first, starting at 4:30 pm.  The Budget portion starts at 6 pm, with an Executive Session (closed to public), starting at 7 pm.

In case you missed it, here are the two options for HCC pathways:
At the January 3, 2018 School Board meeting, the Board asked staff to look at updated boundary scenarios based on two Highly Capable (HC) pathway models that would begin in 2019-20.

– Option 1: Three guaranteed pathways and one optional pathway long term: Lincoln as the North Pathway, Garfield as the South Pathway, West Seattle High School as the West Seattle Pathway, and Ingraham as the optional pathway.


– Option 2: Three guaranteed pathways and one optional pathway as outlined above for two years beginning in the 2019-20 school year until the 2021-22 school year. HC students would be served in all attendance area high schools beginning in the 2021-22 school year. 

I have not heard it stated out loud as such but 2018-2019 would be, what? Status quo or Option 1?  Anyone?
There are a number of maps, starting with a heat map of where HC eligible high school students come from. It is very heavily tilted towards the lower north, above the ship canal.   Most of the students are in Ballard (329) and Roosevelt (387) while Garfield has (182).  I'd say returning that number of students to their regional high school will definitely shift things.   
I see no numbers attached to Center School or Cleveland which I find odd.  As well, Ingraham, with 98, gets no shading at all but West Seattle HS, with 96), gets shading.  Since it says, "HCC eligible", I'm not sure why that is.

The Scenario Fv4.2 map shows that some schools would "right-size" themselves but some, like Franklin, would be way over their capacity.  Hale would be well-under their capacity as would WSHS.  I'm a little confused why Hale gets to stay so small; I thought their remodel brought them up to about 1300.

In the HS Scenario Comparison Table, page 15, I see these items:

For 2018-2019, Ballard's population would soar to over 2,000 (and I believe that is a record for modern-day SPS). Garfield would get about 1900 before it, too, starts its slide down. Ditto for Roosevelt. Chief Sealth will see a slow modest rise of about 200 students by 2021-2022. Ingraham would see the biggest rise, though, from 1342 to 1793. 
Page 18's map Attendance Area High School Proximity Polygons is fascinating because it shows the right size capacity of each comprehensive high school versus the number of 2016-2017 9-12th grade SPS residents (and I assume that does not include those in charter or private high schools).

The numbers are striking. RBHS has 1773 residents and 1176 capacity. Their enrollment is 721. WSHS has room for 1215 and yet only 700 residents. Ballard has capacity of 1607 and residents of 2027.


Here's the timeline from here on out for Enrollment but there is surely much more work in all directions after a decision is made:


• January 10, 2018–Board Work Session
• January17 , 2018–Board Introduction
• January20 , 2018–Admissions Fair for School Choice • January 31, 2018–Board Action
• February 5-16, 2018–Open Enrollment
• September 2019 – Changes implemented 
I probably will not be attending this meeting but I'll put up an Open Thread tomorrow for anyone who does and can give us feedback on the discussion.

As far as the Budget Work Session, I see a few red flags like the Formula for Success budget at $3M.  I attended the Curriculum & Instruction meeting yesterday where this program was discussed (as well as the HCC resolution) - I'll start a separate thread on that issue.

But on page 32 (of the link - it's page 13 of the PP), I see some hope, based on recommendations by school level.  The district wants to (slightly) lower class sizes for grades 9/10 and middle school by at least 1 student, from 30 to 29 plus have a .5 House Administrator for restorative justice/MTSS. 

For elementary/K-8, here are the "top 4 thoughts":


– Smaller class sizes
– Split reduction
– Counselors
– Assistant Principals

102 comments:

GLP said...

2018-2019 is status quo. No changes until 2019-2020 when Lincoln opens and the new addition at Ingraham.

Eric B said...

WSHS is around 1150 without portables. Jill Hudson says she would like 1250 or so to maintain current programming.

On the proximity polygons, the number of residents is the number where that school is their closest school. In WSHS's example, there are a lot of kids in the WSHS assignment area that are closer to Sealth.

Anonymous said...

The HC eligible heat map shows where eligible (not HCC enrolled) students live. There are not 329 Ballard students at Garfield. 126 of them attend Garfield and many attend Ingraham. 155 of Roosevelt’s HC eligible students attend Roosevelt.

On the FV2 map, Franklin’s attendance area population is very high compared to it’s capacity because if includes much of the area that would be assigned to Cleveland if it weren’t an option school.

The High School Proximity Polygons show the number of students for whom each school is the closest. It explains why every student who lives closer to Ballard than to Ingraham can’t attend Ballard. Those lines are not the current or proposed boundaries. For example, there are 956 students currently living in the West Seattle HS attendance area.

Fairmount Parent

Shocked Dad said...

The maps staff has provided are using 2016 numbers for students currently in grades 9-12!!!!

Um? Hello? Do they believe the same number of children are born each year and that the number of families with school age children moving to Seattle is a constant year after year?

Anonymous said...

Maybe they're planning for the mass exodus to private and charter schools, which SPS seems to be encouraging with all of their latest plans (let's change the schedule! let's change the science sequence! let's just end HC programming! let's change something, anything, to feel like we're doing something!).

cynical longtimer

Anonymous said...

Very late to the conversation and apologies if this is a stupid question.

Is it settled that Lincoln will only open in fall 2019 with only freshmen and sophomores, or might that change?

momster

Another NW said...

Great they want to lower class size in middle school but how about we get to the current target ones in the first place? My 8th grader at REMS currently has 35-40 kids in almost all her classes.

Anonymous said...

In Fv6, projections for Lincoln HS for 2021-2022 are 1893 students assuming three HC pathways (plus Ingraham) and 1821 students assuming decentralized HCC. That's 200-300 students more than the stated Lincoln HS capacity of 1600. That makes Fv6 an absolute no-go in my opinion.

In Fv4_2, Lincoln is also filled beyond capacity by 2021-2022, but "only" by 13-90 students. All other schools are also right with a maximum of ~100 students above capacity (Ballard HS and Ingraham HS).

Wallingford Mom

Anonymous said...

Someone who attended tha most recent High School Boundary Task Force meeting posted that the task force preferred F4.2 over F6.

Fairmount Parent

Anonymous said...

momster - nothing has been settled yet.

Fairmount Parent

kellie said...

I am thrilled that the geographic resident maps are included in this packet. That is a critical part that has been missing from the conversation.

Schools and students are simply not geographically convenient. Therefore, you either need to place programs at the geographically inconvenient schools to pull students in or you draw boundaries that place neighborhoods into the next closest school.

Just like during the 2009 boundary process, Ballard is once again the most geographically convenient school with over 2,000 students that live closest to Ballard. This map makes it very clear that not every student who lives closer to Ballard will be assigned to Ballard. This was the reason that Crown Hill was drawn into Ingraham the last time and most likely will remain in the Ingraham zone this time.

Likewise, this map also makes it clear that Ingraham's boundaries were already greatly extended into neighborhoods (like Crown Hill) that are not very close to Ingraham and make it clear why the further extension of Ingraham's boundaries make very little sense. Particularly when Ingraham already has a very attractive program than can fill the school.

This map also makes it very clear that Lincoln is very geographically inconvenient. There are only 1,000 students for whom Lincoln is the closest school. Most of the families in the QA, Wallingford and Fremont areas have been expecting Lincoln as their assignment school because it is their closest school. The question then becomes do you place a program at Lincoln or do you extend the boundaries into areas that are closer to other schools. (Magnolia, Greenlake, Phinney, University, Montlake, etc)

At least now, the trade off is very visible and the board can make an informed decision.

Anonymous said...

Just to clarify, I think Jill Hudson is the current principal at Hale, not West Seattle High School. She used to be the principal at Madison Middle School in West Seattle, but was moved to Hale when the district (finally) placed Spectrum at Madison during the MGJ years. Hudson has a long history of opposing any type of advanced learning.

Brian Vance is the current principal of WSHS. He used to be at Roosevelt, and was popular and well-respected there. He's also well-liked at WSHS, and seems to be supportive of all students, including advanced learners. If WSHS become an HCC pathway, I believe he'll work hard to make it a success.

-Seattle parent

kellie said...

I just attended both work sessions. I have to say that these were two of the best run meetings I have ever attended, in or outside of SPS.

Director Burke created his own powerpoint and lead all of the directors through a beautiful summary of all the various change areas and the mitigating factors. The conversation was thoughtful and on target.

There was one bizarre tangent about the Language Immersion Pathway at Lincoln. It is an absolute no-brainer to put the pathway at Lincoln as over 90% of the LI students live in the future Lincoln attendance area. Superintendent Nyland said that the other pathway issues around Beacon Hill and South Seattle need to be address before the board can deal with Lincoln. It made no sense at all. So you need to make the boundaries for Lincoln larger so that the families who live mere blocks from the school can go to Ingraham? And the board can't address this?? This decision is supposed to be made next year.

The budget meeting was also spectacular. There was consensus around changes to the WSS that will result in approximately 180 additional teachers for the 2018-19 school year. They approved a $9M increase to the high school WSS to support 24 credits. That amount of money is sufficient to be able to provide a robust high school master schedule so that all students should be able to get six credits. There still needs to be the addition of a zero period of some sort for credit retrieval. But hopefully that is more than enough money that the ridiculous 4x2 schedule can be abandoned alongside its cousin the 3x5 schedule.

kellie said...

There is a big challenge with this new money.

2018 was going to be a very challenging year for high school capacity. This additional money is the right thing to do but ... already capacity constrained Garfield, Ballard and Roosevelt will be bursting at the seems. My rough estimate is that this will add 3-5

I would interpret last week's cryptic remarks about portables to indicate that there will be portables on the fields at the most crowded schools. IMHO a much better solution would be to add a zero period at the crowded schools. However, I suspect that there are most likely BLT issues and that the staff would need to vote on this issue.

I hope the issue is pushed to the buildings, sooner rather than later. In my experience, when the building faculty are asked to solve a capacity problem, they tend to find creative and student focused solutions.

Anonymous said...


"uh, how can we talk about hum a north pathway without first settling the beacon hill elementary school pathway. "

thanks lord larry but that isn't really an issue right now. blandford's kid is ok. don't worry your large forehead over that. would be nice to settle enrollment pathways while we are settling enrollment pathways.

good job board.

nc-17

joanna said...

Polygon maps were interesting and helpful. I just want to remind all that distance is not the only measure of convenient location and neighborhood identity. Crossing the ship canal and transportation makes Garfield most convenient for Montlake. Lincoln could be more convenient for the Eastlake area. Topography affects the idea of convenient locations in many areas including Wallingford and Fremont. There are nuances to be considered.

A bit off the subject is that Seward (TOPS) is more conveniently located and accessible for Wallingford and the U District than it is for the Montlake, Capitol Hill and especially the CD.

Another NW said...

The presentation from Directors from work session is now posted as well.
https://www.seattleschools.org/cms/One.aspx?portalId=627&pageId=31314318

kellie said...

I would encourage everyone who has been following the boundary process to review the presentation from Directors posted above.

The Director's prevention does an excellent job of laying out all the elements of the problem and does a very good job of recreating the institutional memory in the process by laying out the priorities from all the previous boundary processes.

The presentation also does a very good job of basic project management where the problem is clearly defined.

Anonymous said...

Another NW, thanks for posting.

Sorry to beat a dead horse, but noting bullet on last slide "Lincoln geo-split, opening as 9-10", was anything discussed in work session to suggest this is still an open switch?

Note: I do know that until a vote is taken, nothing should be assumed - any district/board follower knows this :)

momster

kellie said...

@ momster,

The primary comment was that starting as a 9-10 will require substnatially more mitigation funds than starting as a 9-11. The conversation sounded like everyone involved has already committed to the plan for 9-10 and the mitigation funds.

As we all know, until the vote is final, anything is possible. However, from the tone of the conversation, it was clear that the full plan for precisely who will go to Lincoln needs to be in place before open enrollment and everyone was on board for that plan.

The driver for that clarity was the SPS needs to hire over 200 new teachers for next year and that district wide hiring needs to start asap and hiring can't start until after the vote.

I could be wrong but I do not think anyone wants to delay this timeline and re-opening the conversation to change to 9-11 would most likely delay the entire process.

GLP said...

Momster,

I agree with Kellie's take. When I sent an email to growthboundaries@seattleschools.org this morning, the automatic reply included some info about the boundaries timeline and also had the following in it: "Staff is recommending that students who are juniors and seniors in 2019 be grandfathered at their current high school." It's also on the FAQ page about Lincoln (https://www.seattleschools.org/cms/One.aspx?portalId=627&pageId=28994469 -- note, the pathway info is out of date here).

There are so many pieces to figure out still -- final maps (some areas could still go either way), grandfathering, language immersion, etc -- and so little time, that I don't see the Board pushing back on the staff recommendation here.

-GLP

Anonymous said...

kellie and GLP - very helpful; many thanks!

momster

James Wagar said...

@Kellie — thanks for the informative commentary.

What is your take on the universe of maps up for discussion on December 17th?

Do you think there will be only one, or more than one?

Do you think the map or maps presented will be derived from the latest Fv4.2 and Fv6 maps? Or is it possible we'll see earlier maps or something radically new that we haven't seen before?

Thanks in advance for sharing your thoughts.

Best,

James

KP said...

James- I was at the work session yesterday as well, so I'll jump in here. My take is that the map for intro on 1/17 will be a combination of Fv4.2 and Fv6, except for possibly the three areas on slides 10, 11 & 12 of the Directors' PowerPoint. These areas are E. Green Lake + U District, Ballard/Phinney, and North Green Lake. I'm not sure how they will present these three as it seemed they could go either way (Fv4.2 or Fv6), or perhaps some new variation. However, I don't *think* the decision on any of these areas would have a domino effect anywhere else. It may be that staff create one map, but then include further analysis with data on number of students in these areas. I've reached out to the communities around Green Lake and encouraged them to give input right away. I spoke to a parent from Ballard/Phinney after the meeting who was going to do the same thing in that area.

My impression is that all previous maps are off the table at this point.

-KP

Anonymous said...

Adding to Joanna's comment about distance not being the only measure of convenient location - the polygon maps, while very helpful, fail to take into account transportation options. A student near Lake City Way, for example, may have a single bus trip option to Hale, but have very limited options for getting to Ingraham, even though they may be a similar distance away from each school as the crow flies. Taking the Hale and Ingraham boundaries below 85th and flipping areas between Hale and Ingraham seem like they will create transportation issues for students. This level of analysis seems well beyond what SPS is going to do, however.

transportation woes

Anonymous said...

It seems like it would make sense to leave the U district at Lincoln since these kids are in the John Stanford boundary. This way if there is a strong language program, they can continue from Hamilton to Lincoln.

Helen

Anonymous said...

Thanks, KP. When the previous boundaries were drawn, there were intentional amendments from Carr related to the Green Lake area/U district area. Weren't portions intentionally assigned to Eckstein, not Hamilton or Eaglestaff, even if they fractured elementary cohorts? The area has very clear physical barriers with Green Lake, I-5 and Lake City Way that make HS assignment less straightforward than ES.

transportation woes

Anonymous said...

Makes sense to keep kids on east side of I-5 from having to cross over, but right now a small area of the U district is in the John Stanford and Hamilton boundary so might be nice for the kids to go to Lincoln, although their other option is Roosevelt which is great, too.

Helen

kellie said...

@ Helen,

Most of the kids on the east side of I-5, go to Greenlake and then Eckstein, not JSIS or Hamilton. The ones that do go to JSIS then go to Hamilton via the LI pathway. It make more sense to just have the LI pathway at Lincoln and send the neighborhood Roosevelt.

The powerpoint noted that there were "easy crossings" at 40th, 45th and 50th. Those crossings are not-that-easy and at multiple times in the day, they are impenetrable. East-West crossing in Seattle are challenging.

KP said...

Transportation Woes - It was decided yesterday that there will be no changes to the Nathan Hale boundary (no flips between Ingraham and Hale). That was the one challenge area slide where there was a decision made based on the amount of community input that has already been given. So, NE Seattle will look like F6 (minus the pink change area -- they won't be making that change).

-KP

kellie said...

@ James,

Such a simple question that unfortunately does not have a simple answer. I concur with KP and I believe all the previous maps are effectively off the table and people should be referencing the maps in the Directors comments presentation as the areas still as part of the conversation.

At the end of the meeting there was a quick summary that staff will produce a hybrid map as part of the BAR. The board will then prepare amendments for any additional changes to the map that is in the BAR.

There are still multiple areas at play but based on the tone of the meeting, I think a few things are more solid than others, mostly with regard to Ballard. The polygon maps clearly show that there are more students who live closest to Ballard than Ballard can handle. Therefore, there will ONLY be areas taken away from Ballard and other areas are NOT being added back to Ballard. There seemed to be significant push back on the idea that Crown Hill could be added to Ballard when so many areas are being removed.

There also seemed to be pretty widespread support around Magnolia to Ballard and Queen Anne to Lincoln.

Finally, it was also pretty clear that the area south of 65th and west of I5 is going to Lincoln. The areas between 65th and 85th are still in flux. Those areas are the same areas that were drawn into Eagle Staff so I suspect people are being extra thoughtful with that zone.



KP said...

Transportation Woes - Yup, Sherry Carr was the driving force behind Green Lake Elementary's enormous attendance area boundary (containing not one, but two language immersion option schools). It’s so large, going all the way from the ship canal up to Maple Leaf/Roosevelt, that what makes sense for one end of it doesn’t for the other. So, middle school assignment it is split between Hamilton and Eckstein. The line where it splits is the boundary line that was drawn between Green Lake Elementary and McDonald when McDonald first opened as an attendance area school. When McDonald changed to an option school this became the upper boundary of their geozone. This same line is now what you see in map F4.2 dividing Roosevelt and Lincoln (from eastern edge of Green Lake, under I-5, and following Ravenna Blvd). (This line has had a lot of implications over time. It also divides the HCC middle school kids between JAMS and Hamilton.) I don’t know if this is necessarily the right line for the high school boundary (this weird little arbitrary line through the neighborhood), but I definitely don’t think I-5 is. I-5 is not a barrier in this part of the city, with 65th being a major arterial going under the freeway. Roosevelt High School is very walkable from the eastern side of Green Lake and I know lots of current students who do it. That side of Green Lake and Roosevelt/Ravenna feel like one community. People walk to restaurants on either side. Green Lake Elementary has walking field trips to see performances at Roosevelt High School a couple of times a year. Roosevelt really feels like the local school for that area.

Thinking about how large Green Lake’s boundary is – Roosevelt High School is in Green Lake’s attendance area. And Lincoln High School is one block outside of Green Lake’s attendance area.

-KP

NE Parent said...

Did they mention anything about HCC pathway?

James Wagar said...

@KP and Kellie,

Thanks very much for sharing your thoughts.

Best,

James

Anonymous said...

The Carr amendments were a good thing, and illustrate why tying ES, MS and HS boundaries together just may not make sense for some areas.

another oldtimer

kellie said...

Staff's presentation had projections for the maps with

1) Staff's proposal - HCC pathways at WSHS, Lincoln and Garfield, starting in 2019 and continuing onwards.
2) Geary/DeWolf planned amendment - HCC high school pathways eliminated in 2021 - this is only high school pathways, no change to either elementary or middle HCC.

The numbers for 2021 are very similar in both scenarios so the charts are very hard to follow without some of the conversation at the meeting. Staff was very clear that they are unable to do projections accurate enough for boundary adjustments, 5 years in the future.

Note that the 2016 enrollment numbers are being used for all of these decisions. So none of the scenarios are already incorporating the rather substantial 2017 increase in high school enrollment. By 2021, all north end high school will once again be at or over capacity. Therefore any change to the HCC pathways in 2021 will cause the need for substantial boundary adjustments.

If the Geary/Dewolf plan to eliminate high school pathways in 2021 does come to pass, then one can reasonably expect, there will need to be another round of high school boundary changes in 2020. Since geography does not change it is pretty easy to extrapolate the implications. All of the various far flung change areas that are hot potatoes will be sent to further schools. You can reasonably expect that the boudaries for both Roosevelt and Ballard will be pretty darn close to the doors of the school.

kellie said...

I find the whole focus of the high school HCC kind of baffling. I understand the frustration around self contained HCC in general. But high school HCC is not self contained and so the elimination of a high school pathway does nothing on the equity front.

Ending high school pathways is a capacity nightmare, essentially destroys the access to high school choice seats for general education students, has the unintended consequence of making high school even more segregated (not less) and intensifying concentrations of poverty.

There are better solutions that create more equity and I hope the resolution evolves to focus on a solution that focus on more AL opportunities at more schools, rather than shuffles students. With all the new money that the board just allocated for high school, that is a real possibility now.

Anonymous said...

Kellie. I completely agree. Thank you for stating it so clearly. HCC in the high school is essentially AP, IB or other specialized programs. They are offered at every high school (in some form or other). Students usually need to apply, but there is not need for an actual pathway. -TeacherMom

Unknown said...

There is need for a pathway to create critical mass at a few schools. This is so they can offer enough sections of AP classes so that the kids who need these classes can get them. Some kids like music. Some languages. Some art. If they want to take these classes and the AP classes they need to continue their education in core subjects, then these ap classes need to be offered multiple periods during the day. To have enough kids to fill those classes and make them affordable, then you need the pathway.

Unknown said...

Sorry, mom of 2 above.

NNE Mom said...

The focus of the board on high school HCC pathways makes little sense. Especially since it is taking place largely in the absence of attempts to SES information to create more SES variety within each of the high schools AND in the absence of any noticeable attempt to strengthen or support advanced learning in general anywhere in the district.

The focus of parents commenting and asking questions about HCC pathways makes a lot more sense to me. Families who live in those change zones between high school assignment areas are involved and vocal. Whether they're threatening to sue or signing petitions or arranging meetings with board members or emailing the board, families in those change zones are continually suffering from uncertainty. People care where their children go to school. So, if you find yourself living in a change zone, it makes good sense to me why you'd be more likely to be speaking up right now. And having a child in HCC in this district is like living in the biggest change zone you never knew was there.

SusanH said...

TeacherMom: you actually don't agree with Kelli at all. You two are saying opposite things. Kelli said there IS need for an HCC pathway, to ensure adequate sections of classes for these students, and to provide much needed consistency in attendance areas. Why go through the effort of carefully drawing these maps, then in two years throwing them out the window to move hundreds of HCC kids into already-crowded Ballard and Roosevelt?

Anonymous said...

IMO they are approaching their activism backwards. It makes more sense to me to aim to dissolve elementary pathways but retain high school pathways. I'm not in favor of that (I'm well aware of the stated advantages of an elementary cohort and social-emotional peers) but at least it would make more sense from an equity AND logistical standpoint to aim to provide in 2021 meaningful services and supports for highly capable kids in every elementary regardless of SES or neighborhood or PTA funding. Retain pathway high schools where kids have concrete, granular needs for an extended sequence of classes.

Backwards

Melissa Westbrook said...

Unknown, so if you build it, they will come? Because every single high school has AP and yet, in only a few cases, has it grown. If, for whatever reason, mostly HCC kids access AP classes in those schools where it is traditionally not popular, what then?

Do I think the district will pay for underfilled classes? I don't.

Melissa Westbrook said...

The Board seems to want to not have unintended consequences and yet this all seems to be thinking on the surface.

NE Parent said...

Here is why I care about HCC pathways in HS. We live in a low SES area, with an HCC child. You can’t compare the variety and abundance of AP, IB... options at our neighborhood school (Hale) vs Ballard, Roosevelt and Garfield.
Realistically, even with lots of funding, they won’t be equal.
So I’m hoping my child, and others in this same circumstance, will have the same options as the rest of his current classmates.

Anonymous said...

What is SES? I thought it was South East Seattle but you're talking about it being near Hale which is North East Seattle.

HP

NW mom said...

SES - Socio-Economic Status

Anonymous said...

SES is social economic status

Not hp ,,?

Anonymous said...

SES = socioeconomic status

kellie said...

Seattle currently has 18 high schools and Lincoln will become high school number 19. Seattle has a network of high schools with a wide variety of programs, focuses and options.

The reason why I find the whole obsession with eliminating pathways so frustrating is because pathways are the key to getting any benefit from running a network. Otherwise, you are dealing with the mythology that every high school can do everything for everyone.

The State of Washington funds high school on a small town model. It is funded as if there is only 1 or 2 high schools in the district. As such, there is no money for inefficiency in the system. One high school does everything and if you can't get your needs met, there is Running Start. That is the funding model.

But Seattle will be running 19 high schools and as such, small inefficiencies in each schools master schedules begins to add up to big bucks across the network. Pathways are the foundation of a networked system. The Pathways for HCC enable enough students who move from one geographic area to another area with a high degree of efficiency, that then allows for multiple unique programs across the system.

Seattle will never be able to offer IB at every school. Three schools is about right for the size of this district. Three IB schools in the network give access to this choice for all students. HCC at three schools is also about right. The moves enough students around that the student who move to these "other programs" vacate seats that can then be filled by other students who would like to access a different school. It is a game a musical chairs and the more students who move, the more choice seats there are.

IMHO, the reason I think this really matters is CTE (Career and Technical Education). College is not the right fit for every student in the district. Right now Seattle has a good foundation of CTE classes and there has been some substantial effort to expand these options. But there just hasn't been the capacity. Opening Lincoln provides a real opportunity to provide more CTE across the entire district.

But once again, it is simply not fiscally possible to provide Auto-shop and specialized medical and vocational tech programs at every high school. There isn't the space for the infrastructure needs and the demand varies pretty widely across schools.

The bottom line is that you either have a district with pathways across the network and specialized and unique programs or you have no pathways. IMHO, no pathways is a disaster for students. The elimination of pathways will eventually result in the end of all the unique district programs.

Seattle has to run a network of schools. So why not run a great network that provides the most opportunities.

kellie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
kellie said...

There is an additional problem that is specific to Seattle about dissolving the notion of pathways. Because of the long history of red-lining in Seattle and profound disparity in housing patterns. The removal of pathways reinforces the historical redlines and will have the unintended consequence of reducing diversity in our schools even further.

Here are just a few examples. If there are no pathways of any sort, there will need to be substantial boundary re-draws to shuffle several hundred students. The areas on the edges of attendance areas tend to have very different demographics than the area immediately near a school.

The Hawthorne Hills and Sandpoint area would most likely need to shift from Roosevelt to Hale.
The Eastlake and Montlake neighborhoods would most likely need to move to Roosevelt and/or Lincoln.
Magnolia to Lincoln

Those are some pretty dramatic, unintentional shifts and I think it is really a tad extreme to obligate everyone to these types of shifts without any maps to show the consequence.

kellie said...

Here is an article on how overly rigid attendance area assignment plans reinforce segregations.

https://www.vox.com/2018/1/8/16822374/school-segregation-gerrymander-map

Anonymous said...

@kellie, Your comments here are much appreciated.

Your 5:15 post made me wonder this...Do the most recent boundary maps work only for a transition period--either for the transition to long-term HC pathways or to the end of HC pathways? Based on the board's Jan 3rd request, I had expected ONE map to show a noticeably smaller attendance area around Lincoln for HC services strong enough to pull a sizeable number of HC kids from north-end neighborhoods schools. And ONE map with the larger neighborhood boundaries that reflect the scenarios you described above.

What do think?

Thank you!
AS

kellie said...

@ AS

The Geary/Dewolf motion has been posted along with the rest of the intro materials for boundaries. Here is the link to the motion.

https://www.seattleschools.org/UserFiles/Servers/Server_543/File/District/Departments/School%20Board/17-18%20agendas/20180117/I03_20180117_HC_Resolution.pdf

I suspect that the motion will pass because there are no maps to show the implications of this motion. It is a very lofty and very vague concept with drastic impacts. If this motions pass, the effect is this.

* The BAR voted on now will set boundaries for the 2019 school year and the 2020 school year ONLY.
* In 2020, there will need to be another boundary adjustment, to make space for HCC at all schools.
* In 2021, there will be no pathways and the new boundaries will be implemented.


This is just like how the 2012 board insisted that they needed to draw the 2017 boundaries for Eagle Staff in 2012. Despite the fact that staff repeatedly stated that the projections were just not accurate enough to draw boundaries that far in the future.

So I guess folks learned something. This time the are not drawing theoretical boundaries that won't work. Instead they are mandating a change that will require boundary changes and pushing that work onto a new board and most likely new staff and the process will need to start from scratch.



kellie said...


Here is the full BAR with maps for the board introduction this week. Please note that this reads almost exactly like the powerpoint of the director's comments posted earlier in this thread.

This is introduced this week and will be voted on in two week. The Geary/Dewolf motion is a separate motion and will most likely be voted on after this one.

https://www.seattleschools.org/UserFiles/Servers/Server_543/File/District/Departments/School%20Board/17-18%20agendas/20180117/I04_20180117_High_School_Boundaries_and_Pathways.pdf

Anonymous said...

Could this also mean a new board could nullify ending pathways, in your opinion?

Curious SEnder

Anonymous said...

@kellie, Thank you very much for all the helpful info.

I attended the boundaries portion of Wed's work session. If a second set of boundary adjustments was mentioned, I totally missed it.

I think even those following the issue closely would be surprised to find the following at the end of the Geary/DeWolf resolution...

RESOLVED, the district will analyze and review high school capacity projections in the Spring
of 2020 and recommend adjustments for school board approval for any needed adjustments to
high school boundaries to implement the “localized assignment model” for school year 2021-22,
in order to provide the community adequate notice.

AS

kellie said...

@ Curious SEnder.

IMHO it will be practically impossible for a new board to change direction if this resolution is passed.

The primary reason I still blog occasionally is an attempt to preserve some institutional memory for the current round of advocates. Most people start their advocacy because they see some "X" that just looks "crazy" and they think a little community organizing can fix things. Sometimes it can. But other times, once the train has left the station, it takes an incredibly long time to change course.

The 2003 School Board decided that the best response to the 2002 "accounting problem" was to close schools and sell property. It was the 2008 board that actually closed many schools but this was after Seattle had been the fastest growing city in the US for multiple years and there was no longer a need to close schools.

The 2012 Board decided that all new 2017 schools needed boundaries. They learned a lesson from the school closures and added Amendment #12 to include a review process. But ... in the meantime, there was all new board, all new staff and the oversight committee was disbanded.

This current process is no different. The boundary process unequivocally showed the tremendous carnage that would be caused by sending HCC back to all high schools. Therefore, the 2019 boundaries process can not eliminate pathways. So rather than deal with the once again real lack of operation soundness and the real lack of money and capacity to do something, this mandate will be passed and the train will leave the station and in 2020, a whole new group of advocates will try to slow it down.

James Wagar said...

@Kellie and AS,

Thanks very much for the dialogue on the Geary/DeWolf resolution and what the implications might be.

@Kellie – are you aware of any data that shows eliminating HC pathways would cause carnage from an enrollment/capacity perspective?

We are very interested in this issue and would appreciate if you could point us in the right direction.

Thanks again for the commentary.

Best,

James

kellie said...

@ James,

I think the simple fact that staff wanted to eliminate pathways in 2019 and that this resolution is happening instead ... the shift from HCC everywhere to HCC pathways at Lincoln, Garfield and WSHS was based on capacity and boundary disruption.

A simple example is Magnolia. If HCC were going to Ballard, then Magnolia would be at Lincoln.

kellie said...

@ AS,

Yes, I also attended the work session and there was no DIRECT conversation around the need for a second 2020 boundary adjustment. I am very grateful that the resolution is including the information that this triggers a boundary adjustment.

The conversation was much more nuanced and indirect and focused on how there wasn't enough TIME to dissolve all HCC pathways for 2019. However, time is not the only problem. The problem is far more intricate.

IMHO, the bottom line is pretty simple. You either have a flexible model with some choice or you have an inflexible model with no choice. The unintended consequence of eliminating pathways is losing the system flexibility.

For example, it is very probable that this resolution would trigger the loss of Cleveland Option status so that Cleveland could be part of the HCC assignment process. The point is that the consequences are real but not known.


kellie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
kellie said...

Director Geary is having a community meeting today:

January 13 2018 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM
Location: Montlake Community Center

If anyone attends, it would be great if you can report back. I honestly just don't understand how this creates equity. I'm certain there is a reason, I just don't follow it.

I'm a systems engineer so I focus on the system aspect of the changes.

Anonymous said...

High school boundaries need to be set for the long term. The best long(er) term solution would require that a few students who have already opened Robert Eaglestaff Middle School ALSO open Lincoln High School. These students should be allowed to opt out of opening yet another new school, allowing them to choose assignment to an existing school. Ingraham is likely the best choice in terms of available space and the location of these students (north of Greenlake). -sixwrens

Anonymous said...

It seems that no matter how you slice it, there are more HS students needing seats than SPS can provide, even with the opening of Lincoln. University Prep has plans for expanding, and Lakeside is experimenting with another campus, but even private schools are limited in how much relief they can provide in terms of capacity. No matter how boundaries are drawn, they don't seem sustainable. I'd share Kellie's concern that the plan to eliminate HC pathways (besides being questionable academically) means a loss of system flexibility.

CP

Anonymous said...

Folks, I think most people will read the resolution language see the word "equity" and not go much deeper. Most people will have no idea how capacity issues would be impacted in 2021, boundaries redrawn, loss of equity for kids who live in low SES neighborhoods, more economic and racial stratification etc. They also will likely not have programmatic understanding in budget, or how courses might be needed and implemented etc. Too many details for the average person. All you have to do is state we are doing this for equity and most people without background would take it surface level. Unfortunately many know the intended consequences will not do a darn thing for equity, but I guess it provides some sort of symbolism for some. I personally don't have the skill to explain it all without getting lost in detail and people's eyes start to glaze over. It is a true skill and hopefully Eden can share the impacts of this policy decision well.
rambler

kellie said...

I think "rambler" has summarized the problem perfectly and highlighted something I didn't see before.

There are a few more consequences to the Geary/Dewolf resolution that effectively turns the high schools boundaries into a two-year-only plan. It is one thing to ask families to invest into a long term school. It is quite another to ask families to invest in a two year plan with a guarantee that the long term plan is something else entirely.

I strongly suspect that this resolution will cause all families in the Roosevelt, Ingraham and Ballard areas to completely avoid the pathway. Thereby ensuring that Lincoln does not really have a "robust attendance area." Multiple Directors used that phrase repeatedly during the work session.

I concur that a robust attendance area is critical for Lincoln to launch. As there are less than 1,000 families for whom Lincoln is the closest school, it make a lot of logistical sense for Lincoln to also be the home of multiple pathways. However, if Lincoln will not have long term pathways, then people need to honest about this and produce the actual map required to fill Lincoln with no pathways.

That map will most likely need to include every change area that has been in the various scenarios, that are no longer in the boundaries BAR. This would include Greenlake, Magnolia, University District and University Park. This effectively has the boundaries for Lincoln going to the doors of both Ballard and Roosevelt.


kellie said...


I strongly hope that there is a way for this resolution to receive significant daylight in the South End. The current boundaries plan actually leaves the south end is pretty good shape with a variety of strong program and options.

West Seattle will have Sealth as the IB school and WSHS as the HC school.

South and Central Seattle will have Beach as the IB school, Cleveland as the STEM option school, Garfield with a modest HC cohort, and Franklin with the strong academy focus.

The resolution to end pathways will mean that all of these schools will need to provide services for an HC cohort and there will be dramatic changes, especially at Franklin to make that happen. I say this because a specific part of the resolution highlights that "once started" services must be continued.

My best guess it the Cleveland's option status will end and there will be all new boundaries for South Seattle.


Anonymous said...

Maybe the Board is reluctant to place LI at Lincoln because they're worried about the appearance of favoring Wallingford over other neighborhoods. When McDonald was opened as LI there were many people very upset that Wallingford got both LI schools in the North end. There might also be a logistical problem if they plan to start Lincoln as 9-10 only, then roll up. The LI kids have been taking Spanish and Japanese since K, they will need very advanced classes, Lincoln would have to offer 9-11 levels of each language, that would not be cost efficient for only two class grades. The kids who are not in LI might have to start with 1st or 2nd year of Spanish/Japanese, and the LI kids will need much higher level classes. The only way they can offer all these classes would be to start Lincoln as 9-12, which would mean pulling 2019-20'Juniors and Seniors from their current schools.

Could be that they will place LI at Lincoln once the school is fully functioning with all 4 grades.

Of course if they choose Lincoln as one of the HCC pathway schools then there will not be enough room for LI kids there. My children are in LI and HCC, and we have been expecting and resigned to the fact that they will have to trek up to Ingraham, which has been the LI path way for many years, but if SPS opens the possibility of Lincoln becoming an international school,perhaps with IB, then I believe many LI parents will demand it, and then there will be a problem with making it an HCC school, especially if the district want to relieve Ballard's overcrowding by placing Queen Anne /Magnolia kids at Lincoln.

CCA

Anonymous said...

If they can't do it for 2019, how can they do it for 2021? What will be different then? How will we know we are ready (i.e., what needs to already be in place to indicate that we are)? Or will we make that change regardless of whether we are then ready?

WHEREAS, district staff believe that several years of planning and preparation are necessary to provide advanced course offerings in all neighborhoods in a manner that fulfills state regulatory requirements for a “continuum of services”

and

RESOLVED, the School Board desires that this change shall be implemented in an inclusive manner that provides a sufficient variety of services to meet the statutory requirements for highly capable students and provides access to advanced coursework and creative educational opportunities for all students at every attendance area high school

Why not add a "RESOLVED' statement that also covers the need to determine whether or not they actually CAN implement this in an inclusive manner, just like they are including a RESOLVED statement regarding the boundary redraw issue? Something like:

RESOLVED, the district will analyze and review high school advanced learning class availability and course participation data for each high school in the Fall of 2019 to determine whether or not all high schools can equitably serve advanced learners in their assignment areas and provide state-mandated access to accelerated learning and enhanced instruction for highly capable students, and will recommend, prior to the high school boundary adjustment analysis that will be done in Spring 2020, adjustments or modifications for school board approval for any needed adjustments or modifications to this plan to implement the “localized assignment model” for school year 2021-2022, including a revised timeline if all high schools are not on track to sufficiently implement the localized assignment model, in accordance with targets to be established in Fall 2018 so that schools can begin implementing necessary changes for 2019.

A mouthful, yes. They could break the key components into different pars, of course.

The point is, don't resolve to do something that isn't now possible if you don't know if will be possible later. Be realistic--provide an out so they can delay it if needed. If they are so resolved that they want to do this and plan to do the hard to work to make it happen, they won't need the out. But if things don't go as planned--or excuse me, as hoped--then the out will come in handy. For equity sake.

CYA

Anonymous said...

@ CCA, "favoring" Wallingford? By not letting us have input into the principal selection process? By trying to shove a project-based learning approach down our throats? By providing a HS that has no fields for student athletics, and that will screw over a lot of community members if LHS gets to use our already overcrowded Woodland Park fields for school sports? By pulling Wallingford high school students from their current high schools for 10th grade? If they're trying to make up for past decisions (which were based on logistics, not favoritism), they may be going overboard.

Overboard

kellie said...

@ CCA and Overboard,

The Language Immersion question at Lincoln is truly a mystery at this point. Here are a few aspects that are factual.

* At the work session it was stated that the board had received overwhelming support from the neighborhood to place LI at Lincoln.

* The white paper made by the LI task force a few years ago recommended Lincoln as the pathway school. At that time, Superintendent Nyland stated this should be easy to do at very little cost. Essentially LI at Lincoln was a done deal, until quite recently.

* The LI students are already in the projections for Lincoln, so there is PLENTY of space for LI students at Lincoln. If LI will not be at Lincoln, the projections need to be adjusted asap and once again boundaries will need to be larger. No LI pathway really means that all 4 of the change areas in the BAR need to go to Lincoln.

* Mitigation for LI at Lincoln would be very Inexpensive, if it costs anything at all. Lincoln will already have to hire Spanish and Japanese teachers because of the large number of general education students at Hamilton who already take these languages. You only need to add more sections and more levels, which is the ONLY thing that either Ingraham of Roosevelt offer. The other aspects of LI that could be expensive have NEVER been implemented.


Frankly, the curious part is that this is even an issue at all. Under all circumstances, Wallingford was always going to Lincoln. By making this a problem, the real consequence has been to alienate the community that was most likely to be highly invested in Lincoln's success.

Anonymous said...

@CYA "The point is, don't resolve to do something that isn't now possible if you don't know if will be possible later. Be realistic--provide an out so they can delay it if needed. "

So incredibly logical. They need to review where they are at in 2021 after Lincoln is opened and they have current data. Making a decision now without that data is irresponsible at best. CYA, write the board and tell them your reasoning.
Rambler

kellie said...


@ CYA,

Your analysis is pretty spot on. As such you have answered your own question.

The resolution is BECAUSE, there was no practical way to implement this action NOW. There is no reason to suspect that in two years there will be a practical way to implement then.

If there is an out, then people will take it. This is written without anyway to avoid the resolution, on purpose. I am very pleased that Geary and Dewolf are at least being honest about the implication and including the boundary review information directly.

kellie said...


This question about equity and AL in high school is a great question and one worthy of a real answer.

What is curious to me is that AP options and Running Start participation go hand-in-hand. Garfield has the largest RS population. Quickly followed by Ballard and Roosevelt and then Franklin and Ingraham.

This limited data suggests that redistributing students will have zero impact on creating more offerings at any school. It suggests that the schools with the MOST AP options, also have the greatest SHORTFALL of offerings.

Looking back on the closures, there is a curious parallel. There was legitimate excess space at SPS that triggered the closure process. However, the excess space was not distributed in a way, where school closures was a good answer to the problem. A better answer would have been to fill those pockets of space with community partnerships and better program placement.

There is a legitimate problem with AL in high school. This resolution does NOTHING to create more opportunities but it is very likely to pass.





kellie said...

Rambler said this perfectly. "They need to review where they are at in 2021 after Lincoln is opened and they have current data. Making a decision now without that data is irresponsible at best."

The deep irony is that the current plan for Lincoln, WSHS and Garfield as pathway schools has a really great chance at creating more opportunities for students. Killing that plan before it starts ... is very bad governance.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Okay, so a few updates.

The resolution by DeWolf and Geary was discussed at the last C&I meeting. I'll try to get a thread up by tonight on that. I will note that the resolution makes a statement about how this will provide more opportunities for access to rigor which I believe should be struck from the resolution.

I should have said this out loud before but I thought it was obvious; the Geary/DeWolf resolution sets up a two-year plan and, then in 2 years,you'll be doing a lot of this again. Maybe just some tweaking but I suspect a lot will need addressing.

Director Patu has repeatedly asked about what this all means for the SE where they are largely doing nothing with those boundaries. However, I have never heard one staffer tell her that they are considering changing Cleveland back to an attendance area school. I'm not sure she knows that.

CYA, I will send your additional resolution paragraph to the Board. I think everyone should.

Anonymous said...

The connection between offering lots of AP courses and high Running Start participation makes sense. Most parents want their children to have access to AP (or IB) courses. That makes schools that offer them very popular, which causes overcrowded schools and leads to difficulty in getting the particular classes a student wants. Also, AP classes and RS are both suitable for high achieving students. Some schools don’t offer many AP courses because their students aren’t prepared for them. Those students are also unlikely to be prepared to be successful in Running Start.

West Seattle is interesting because it appears that the former principal purposefully limited access to advanced learning. There are many high achieving students in the attendance area and you’d expect the school to be a smaller version of Ballard or Roosevelt. Instead it has 200 empty seats. I think the private school and option school attendance rate in WSHS’s attendance area are higher than the city average. That may change if the new principal chooses to increase advanced learning opportunities. In this case, increased access would be the result of a principal change rather than sprinkling the HCC magic fairy dust on the building.

Fairmount Parent

Anonymous said...

How does the resolution address this issue? "WHEREAS, despite best efforts from school staff to close this gap, Garfield High School exhibits an undeniable and unacceptable division within its classrooms along racial lines, with students from many communities of color underrepresented in advanced course offerings"? Garfield already HAS the advanced offerings they want to sprinkle around, so there's nothing to suggest adding these options elsewhere will result in increased participation by communities of color at Garfield, and it's very possible that they'll see the development of those same "unacceptable" divisions and disparate participation rates elsewhere as they (theoretically) ratchet up advanced offerings.

unclear

Anonymous said...

Also, AP classes and RS are both suitable for high achieving students.

Are you equating "high achieving" and "highly capable?" Having a child who has experienced Running Start, I'd say the suitability is very course dependent. Course options are limited and vary significantly in level of rigor. RS students may also lose the opportunity to continue with world language/band/orchestra/arts/clubs - you know, the parts of high school that provide some level of well roundedness and normalcy to high school. RS should truly be an option, not a forced alternative.

reluctantly RS

kellie said...

I have gotten a few questions off-blog about why am I so convinced this resolution will impact Cleveland.

My conviction is steeped in how the long cycles of bureaucracy move and the silo'ed nature of work at SPS, and I am hoping a few of the old timers on the blog can back me up on this because this is an old one.

The closures made very little sense to all of the schools swept up in the process. Why were "these schools" in the target zone and not "other schools"? The closure process only makes sense in the light of the 2003 transportation analysis. The 2003 transportation analysis was done to determine which schools did not have "walkable" communities and therefore would ALWAYS need busses. These identified schools spent the next decade in the middle of the closure process.

Thurgood Marshall and Cooper were two of these schools. These two school, among others, were schools that were going to need busses, regardless of programming. In the case of Cooper, because of the geography and many arterials, busses would be needed, despite there being lots of neighborhood demand. In the end, Pathfinder, as an option school was moved to that building because of transportation and West Seattle got some very strange boundaries because there was this huge area without a neighborhood school. For TM, the arterials and proximity to other schools, also meant busses. It was originally proposed that TOPS be moved to TM and when that failed, then the HC option program was placed at TM.

Both of those decisions were eventually made because of that transportation analysis. Once the train leaves the stations, something happens and it is not always easy to connect the dots.

I was shocked to learn that the High School Boundary Task Force was charged with Cleveland's option status and south end boundaries. I sincerely doubt that when community members applied for this task force that the south end was expecting boundary changes as a result of the opening of Lincoln in the north end.

It has been my experience that once things like this start, they tend to wind up in odd places. Now that Cleveland's option status is a "legitimate question" in the context of equity and boundaries, that question will continue to pop up like a bad penny.

Anonymous said...

@ reluctantly RS, I'm not surprised. Even 100- ad 200-level (and sometimes higher) classes at the University level are often not challenging for highly capable students. I would expect community college classes to be significantly less so. I would not be surprised if community college classes were often easier than advanced high school classes. But at least there are options to take further classes if you top out in SPS.

max

kellie said...

@ Fairmont Parent,

That is one possible interpretation of the data. It is impossible to really know without speaking to the counseling offices and collecting some more data but I suspect that AL has very little to do with school popularity, advanced offerings and preparedness and much more to do with how the master schedule is assembled.

The three most over-crowded schools continue to be the three most "geographically convenient schools." The three schools where there are hundreds more students who live closer to those schools than any other school. While that creates a picture of popular, the basics of supply and demand paint a more accurate picture. I believe "popular" is a term best reserved for school with wait lists. Nathan Hale has had a wait list for many years now and is very popular in many ways and does not have an AL focus.

I would also say that the data does not really support a direct connection between preparedness and what a school offers. Ultimately, I think that is why this motion is getting so much traction, despite any evidence of efficacy.

There truly is a problem regarding AL at high school. My argument is this entire conversation has been mired in dogma and conjecture, without any real attempt to highlight the actual data or even do some basic testing to see if proposed solutions can even pass a basic sniff test.

Anonymous said...

Unclear, is your post quoting from the Geary/DeWolf proposal?

As far as I know, neither Geary nor DeWolf has attended a Garfield PTA meeting or engaged in any outreach to current students or parents. Do any GHS parents, students or faculty reading this thread have different information?

Do others find it troubling for two directors to single out a particular school community this way?

Ruthie

Anonymous said...

@Ruthie, it is from the Geary/DeWolf proposal. Sorry I forgot to specify. It would appear they are basically saying "there are too many white kids taking advanced classes at Garfield and not enough students of color doing so, so we need to throw out a lot of those white kids and have them take their advanced classes elsewhere so it doesn't look so bad a Garfield. For equity!"

unclear

Doctor Hu said...

"Seattle School District #1 Board Resolution

Resolution No. 2017/18-10

A RESOLUTION of the Board of Directors of Seattle School District No. 1, King County, Seattle, Washington to establish an equitable vision for advanced coursework in all high schools by replacing highly capable pathways at the high school level with a localized assignment model by 2021-22.

WHEREAS, Seattle Public Schools is committed to providing an excellent education for each and every student in the district; and
. . . .
WHEREAS, despite best efforts from school staff to close this gap, Garfield High School exhibits an undeniable and unacceptable division within its classrooms along racial lines, with students from many communities of color underrepresented in advanced course offerings; and
. . . .
NOW THEREFORE, BE IT

RESOLVED, that the Seattle School Board of Directors states its intention for student assignment that, beginning in the 2021-22 school year, students entering 9th grade designated as highly capable will be assigned to their attendance area high school . . . ."

But there are no self-contained classes or for that matter any other self-contained services for any high school students designated as highly capable. As unclear points out, at Garfield and every other Seattle high school all course offerings, including all AP courses and all other advanced course offerings, are equally open to all individual students, and to all communities of color. There is no division within Garfield classrooms along racial lines; to the extent that any communities of color are underrepresented in advanced course offerings, the explanation is because those students have chosen not to enroll in those available elective classes.

The above-quoted whereas recital is accordingly highly misleading and provides no true rationale for the proposed school board action -- "students entering 9th grade designated as highly capable will be assigned to their attendance area high school." That redundant whereas recital should therefore be struck from the draft Geary/DeWolf resolution before any school board vote on whether to replace highly capable pathways at the high school level with a localized assignment model.

The proposed Geary/DeWolf resolution offers no explanation "[a]long racial lines" how replacing highly capable pathways at the high school level with a localized assignment model will establish an equitable vision for advanced coursework in all high schools. If race and equity K-12 are the concern, why not begin by simply replacing voluntary screening for highly capable services so that all interested families must opt in, with universal screening for highly capable services so that instead all uninterested families must opt out?

Anonymous said...

Thanks, @unclear and @Doctor Hu.

I strongly suspect that every high school in SPS could be said to "exhibit an undeniable and unacceptable division within its classrooms along racial lines, with students from many communities of color underrepresented in advanced course offerings".

It is irresponsible, and inconsistent with good governance, for two elected Directors to propose a resolution which singles out one high school community and creates the impression that racial inequity is unique to this school. That's what the Geary/DeWolf resolution does.

Racial inequity is a *real problem throughout SPS* which deserves *real attention* from the Board, not the kind of posturing and virtue signalling we're seeing from some Directors.

Ruthie

Anonymous said...

Universal testing still requires parental permission.

WAC 392-170-047 Parental/legal guardian permission.
permission shall be obtained in writing before:
(1) Conducting assessment(s) to determine eligibility for participation in programs for highly capable students;
(2) Placement in the district's highly capable program before any special services and programs are started for an identified highly capable student;
Parental permission notice shall include:
(a) A full explanation of the procedures for identification of a student for entrance into the highly capable program;
(b) An explanation of the appeal's process;
(c) An explanation of the procedures to exit a student from the program; and
(d) Information on the district's program and the options that will be available to identified students.


parent

Anonymous said...

Amen, Ruthie.

I can't believe the other directors are falling for this sort of thing. It's so Trumpian, exacerbating divisions instead of trying to find solutions. Clearly the solution needs to start in earlier grades, not high school. This is a completely backwards approach. As well, the resolution itself is internally inconsistent.

If THIS part of the resolution is true:

WHEREAS, despite best efforts from school staff to close this gap, Garfield High School exhibits an undeniable and unacceptable division within its classrooms along racial lines, with students from many communities of color underrepresented in advanced course offerings

then how does THIS part follow?:

WHEREAS, providing a sufficient number of advanced course and creative education offerings in all neighborhood attendance area high schools would meet the desires of the community, create an inclusive learning environment, promote identity safety among all students, and signal high expectations to each and every student?

They are saying that advanced classes are indeed available at GHS, but students of color aren't taking them in sufficient numbers, even though the school has been working hard to change that. Then the go and suggest that by making more advanced classes available at other schools that will create inclusive learning environments and promote identity safety...when their own example, Garfield, was the poster child for how that didn't happen. Isn't it the example of the problem they say is created by the solution they propose?

It's illogical. You would think that some of our more logical board directors would at least see that.

unclear

Anonymous said...

Universal testing also won't solve the problem. It might even make matters worse, by identifying larger numbers of "undesirable" students (a.k.a. whites sand Asians). To solve the problem of underrepresentation they will need to revise the qualification criteria, making lower cut-offs for FRL, ELL, and other target groups. If the cut-offs only need to be lowered slightly to get the numbers desired, great. But if they need to be lowered significantly, they will also need to provide support services to those students for some period of time to ensure they can catch up with their HC peers, who are already working at higher levels (as evidenced by meeting the higher cut-offs on achievement tests). To significantly decrease the cut-offs for underrepresented groups without also providing additional supports to help these students succeed in HC would be educational malpractice--institutional racism that flies in the face of "equity." Equitable access to HC means providing disadvantaged students with the additional supports they are missing so that they can participate in HC.

As we've seen with Garfield, this is not a case where "if you build it, they will come." We need to help them get there.

unclear

Anonymous said...

After Geary's bid for Jessyn Farrell's vacant seat in the 46th last June (after a whopping 18 months into her term), I cannot ignore the populist, but ill-conceived nature of her amendment, which she's unlikely to experience the repercussions of. She and DeWolf are advocating re-segregation of the entire district's High Schools because of rumors and innuendo about Garfield's "two schools under one roof" reputation. Truth be told, Garfield is about 5 schools under one roof, when you add theater, art, music and sports to the equation. But that's what allows it to offer such diversity overall, and function as a safety valve against district overcrowding. Theoretically, every neighborhood school could someday offer enough equivalency to serve kids in their neighborhood HS, but I've heard that since MGJ said it in 2007, and it remains an illusion. I would hope Geary & DeWolf would realize their folly and withdraw their amendment themselves. But failing that, the rest of the Board needs to wake up, smell the coffee and reject this terribly regressive amendment, despite it's populist "equitable" facade, when it will result in the exact opposite of it's intent. WSDWG

Anonymous said...

Geary's opportunism wouldn't be an issue if she were doing your bidding.

Counton It

Anonymous said...


who's bidding is she doing? not those brown kids choosing to not to go to franklin high but wanting to go to ghs so they can get the classes next in line. now their younger siblings won't get that. nor will they get it at hale. down the line.

she is an opportunist. dewolf is perhaps one too. we will see. neither care about how their grandstand affects kids. if she was she wouldn't be talking about how bad ibx is when that is where she sent her kid.

patu really needs to listen the other board members as she is going to lose the south's opportunity gap successes in a blink.

as has been said repeatedly in this thread, this is the most disingenuous attempt towards equity i have ever experienced. it offers none and for most it erases the subtle gains that have been made.

no caps

Anonymous said...

Stop pretending to be looking out for the interests of "brown kids" when you are simply all about keeping your share of the pile.

Be honest. There's nothing wrong with that.

No need to get into contorted reasoning.

no hats

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Anonymous said...

Also, DeWolf's outlook is not "folly."

He outsmarted the status quo here because he was the foil to the charter school "villain," Vasquez.

Just like the Garfield faculty outsmarted you with "Honors for All." That hurt: You want your kids' teachers to be smart, but not so smart that they're smarter than you.

DeWolf is forward thinking and ambitious, not caught up in promoting his own children like the majority of people who comment here and incessantly write to the board to get what they want for their own.

no hats

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Anonymous said...
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Melissa Westbrook said...

I'll end this thread here but I remind readers that you need to follow the guidelines of this blog and be civil.