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Saturday, August 01, 2009

APP/Spectrum Issues

A thread was requested for APP parents to discuss APP/Specturm issues and education. Please, this thread is for the purpose only, not to debate the merits of gifted education. If you want a thread to discuss the merits of gifted education, I'll create a thread for that but we have had this discussion elsewhere.

18 comments:

Sahila said...

Melissa - I dont have an address for you, so am asking here...

Would it be possible to start a thread discussing various thinking on education... what roots/philosophy our education system is based on, what other thinking is out there eg Socrates, Dewey, AS Neil, Waldorf/Steiner, Montessori, Buckminster Fuller, Robert Theobald, Denham, Senge etc...

It might also be of value to find out what the Gates and Broads of the world base their thinking on...

I think it would be an interesting exercise and maybe something that might lay the foundation for the future if we had a look at what thinking underpins the education system we are in now, and how we might best go forward into the rest of this century...

Know what we have, where it came from, identify alternatives, maybe make some choices...

ParentofThree said...

Middle School Spectrum

What is it? And will every MS really have it? And will it be the same at all the MSs? I hear Washington has a great Spectrum and that McClure is cutting their program back to just Math in 7th/8th grade, arguing that Writers Workshop provides the rigor that you would find in Spectrum. And we all know what happened up at JA with that fake Spectrum offering.

Robert said...

I am curious why families wanted Lowell APP verses their asigned Marshal APP. We were very glad director Carr added the walk zone into Lowell because I can continue to walk both my daughters to school... But we feel the teachers/admin were split fairly and Marshall may have been a nice option as well.

Skeptic said...

I didn't try to keep my kids at Lowell even though I wish we lived closer and might have had a chance. Why would people want to? Well, for starters, with APP numbers as small as they are at Marshall, the district's promise of a "robust APP cohort" has gone right out the window. There will only be one first-grade APP class at Marshall this year, for instance. What are parents supposed to do if that teacher is a bad match for their kid? And I think that some parents are worried that the two APP elementaries simply won't be equal: one is bigger, one is smaller; one may or may not have some version of a silly dress code, one won't. What other disparities are parents going to discover once the school year starts?

ParentofThree said...

"What are parents supposed to do if that teacher is a bad match for their kid?"

Use it as a teaching moment:
That's life and someday you will have a boss or a co-worker that you do not like, the earlier you learn how to work with, not against people, the better you will be in life!

We all get a teacher now and again that is a bad match, this is not an APP issue.

TechyMom said...

Does anyone know how to find out what the after school offerings will be at Lowell in the fall?

I'm trying to figure out if we need to sign up for YMCA care, or if there will be after school classes until 4:30 every day? There were an hour of after school classes every day last year, but since many of them were parent-taught, I'm wondering if that will still be true after the APP split. Does anyone know how I can find out? The Lowell web site still talks about February tours and has a list of last year's after school classes.

ArchStanton said...

Does anyone know how to find out what the after school offerings will be at Lowell in the fall?

My insider knowledge (albeit limited) is that after-school offerings haven't been decided, yet and it may be a while before that is settled due to shifting needs of the student population as well as the change in start times. Who knows? - we might see more before-school options...

The Lowell Link has been on summer break like the rest of us, though a few tweaks have started appearing. The Communications and Tech folks are gearing up to clean up the database and get ready to add incoming students. I expect it will be a bigger job than usual with half of APP leaving for Marshall and being replaced with students from Minor and other schools.

My advice is to check in periodically and cut 'em some slack in light of increased load they are facing.

TechyMom said...

I hope that didn't sound like I wasn't cutting them slack...
Actually, I'd be happy to help. Arch, you wouldn't happen to have contact info for the folks doing Lowell link, or the after school program?

Robert said...

I know that they are continuing with karate but other than that I am not sure... I do know there was an emphasis for continuing after school programs as well as the Y after care program.

ArchStanton said...

TechyMom, I meant it more preemptively. As the summer winds down, I expect everyone (myself included) is going to start getting anxious about getting their schedules put together. I imagine it will be more challenging than in the past because of all the changes.

For Lowell Link; the names I am getting email from are Brian Hatch and Keith Scully.

For after-school activities, I believe Rena Behar will continue to coordinate.

I don't want to post their emails here, but they should be on the Link.

Sahila said...

If there isnt one already, maybe APP/Lowell folk would find it useful to start a school/program listserv and ask their after school questions on that?

If there is one, maybe it would help new APP people if the veterans could publish the listserv address for them and organise that they be invited to join...

ArchStanton said...

Sahila, We have the Lowell Link. I suggested that TechyMom and others contact people there.

Are you the arbiter of what is appropriate to discuss in this forum?

Please do not start stalking me in the threads.

Sahila said...

Dont flatter yourself, Arch....

MadronaGreen said...

The district made a number of promises at the time of the elementary and middle-school splits.

Normally, one would expect a board to hold its management team accountable.

How can we hold them accountable to keep all the promises they made?

Melissa Westbrook said...

MadronaGreen,

First, define "them" - is that the management team (staff) or the Board?

You have a couple of options:

- write to those on the staff management team and cc the Board and go over - point by point - every step of the way about what was promised. If the promise had a deadline, name it. If there was something physical promised that isn't there, name it. Put, in specific, who said what and when. If you were sent a letter from the district, mention it.

- picket Board meetings, repeatedly, as well as any committee meetings where it might be discussed. Do it often and enough and they will pay attention.

- boycott the WASL. It's your right and in large enough numbers, will definitely get - their - attention.

- explain to the Board that this is an issue that you will remember during election time, both for levies and their elections. Again, it's an aggressive move but you have nothing else but your vote with the Board. The next vote is coming up with the School Board elections and the BTA levy in Feb. 2010.

- suing the district (this could be a last stand for APP parents) if you can find an RCW that applies that is in violation.

Do it alone or with a group. Quantity and consistency is what will win the day.

Charlie Mas said...

In addition to Mel's list I suggest filing a complaint. There is a District form and a District process for making complaints. At each stage of the complaint, if you are not satisfied with the resolution, you can take it to the next higher level.

It is a bureaucracy, and you will have to fill out your forms correctly if you want to beat it.

Stu said...

The Lowell Link has been on summer break like the rest of us, though a few tweaks have started appearing

Since "APP" is a specific program, regardless of whether it's at Lowell or Thurgood Marshall, should the "Lowell Link" be made the "APP Link" instead? That way, the entire APP community can continue to advocate for the APP program.

After all, we're one big happy family, aren't we?

- Stu

MadronaGreen said...

Thank you both for your advice.