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Thursday, October 14, 2010

October Enrollment Adjusted - THE OFFICIAL COUNT

Here is the October 1, 2010 Adjusted enrollment count.

Worth noting:

Garfield grade 9: 547 - times 4 = 2,188
Garfield total: 1,788

Franklin grade 9: 432 - times 4 = 1,728

***The size of the Franklin freshman class indicates that shifting the Garfield's southern boundary north will require shifting Franklin's southern boundary north as well. Otherwise, Franklin will be over-crowded.***

Cleveland grade 9: 233
Cleveland grade 10: 211

***STEM is proving popular. I look forward to learning where these students live.***

Chief Sealth grade 9: 338 - times 4 = 1,352
West Seattle grade 9: 291 - times 4 = 1,164

Denny grade 6: 284 - times 3 = 852
Madison grade 6: 249 - times 3 = 747

***We need to watch the imbalance between the North and South ends of West Seattle. Madison and West Seattle High have only four feeder elementaries. Denny and Sealth have six feeder elementaries.***

Rainier Beach total: 425

***The enrollment at Rainier Beach continues to be desperately low.***

Nathan Hale grade 9: 333 - times 4 = 1,332

***Hale needs to adjust to being a bigger school than it has been. Hale has other adjustments to make in the face of greater standardization requirements and academic assurances.***

Eckstein grade 6: 459 - times 3 = 1,377
Eckstein total: 1,213

***Eckstein is big and getting bigger. There are more students in the sixth grade at Eckstein than in all of Rainier Beach.***

John Stanford Int'l School K: 105 - times 6 = 630
John Stanford Int'l School total: 426

***How big can this school get? This is a neighborhood elementary school with more students than Rainier Beach High School. If JSIS were an Option school the District could cap enrollment and families would have more equitable access to language immersion.***

Lowell Elementary total: 545

***Half of APP was moved out of Lowell to relieve the overcrowding. How's that working out?***

Bryant total: 570
Bryant K: 123 - times 6 = 738

View Ridge total: 546
View Ridge K: 112 - times 6 = 672

***These are some very overcrowded schools with no relief in sight.***

Alki total: 363
Gatewood total: 462
Lafayette total: 526
Schmitz Park total: 414
Madison Service Area Elementaries total: 1,765
Madison Service Area Elementaries functional capacity: 1,551

***The District has recently closed two schools in this area. They have enough students over capacity to fill one of them.***

76 comments:

StepJ said...

Thank you for compiling this Charlie.

Some schools on the list I suspect might have continuing issues such as Garfield, JSIS, and Bryant. Just based on parent comments and families willing to move into these areas to attend these schools.

I am optimistic that this was the last large Kindergartern year at View Ridge -- just based on the incoming geographic boundaries for Thornton Creek (within the boundary for VR) and also the likely increased popularity of nearby Sand Point.

In other areas I don't know enough to comment.

Bruce Taylor said...

A train wreck is coming at Eckstein, which has a functional capacity of 1205 students. That's about 400 per grade.

Eckstein has 459 sixth-graders this year.

As of Oct. 12, here's how many kids are coming up through the schools in Eckstein's area (Bryant, Greenlake, John Rogers, Olympic Hills, Olympic View, Sacajawea, Sand Point, Thornton Creek, View Ridge, Wedgwood).

508 grade 5
499 grade 4
582 grade 3
657 grade 2
649 grade 1
699 grade K

There's some attrition each year. I don't yet know how to account for that.

However, that will be cancelled out to a degree because Eckstein picks up 25-30 students per year from Laurelhurst Elementary. LH is in the Hamilton service area, but LH draws about 40 percent of its students from outside its NSAP boundary (i.e. those students will go to Eckstein, not HIMS).

WV says: FATIO

ttln said...

we think 40 are out of area at madison. our future is grim.

seattle said...

"As of Oct. 12, here's how many kids are coming up through the schools in Eckstein's area (Bryant, Greenlake, John Rogers, Olympic Hills, Olympic View, Sacajawea, Sand Point, Thornton Creek, View Ridge, Wedgwood)."

Not all of these kids will go to Eckstein. Some will go to Jane Addams. Some will go to nearby alternative schools like TOPS, Salmon Bay and AS1.

And those kids who qualify for APP but didn't want to leave their NE neighborhood elementary school, may choose to join APP at Hamilton for middle school.

And then there is private school. Many families don't find a 1200 kid school appealing, and even the families who loved their public elementary schools may choose to go private for middle school.

Not sure if that will be enough to balance the numbers. My guess is it won't, but that's just a guess. Wonder if you should email these numbers to the SPS demographer and CC the school board and super.

SP said...

A train wreck is not "coming soon" in the north end of West Seattle, it has already crashed in two stations!

At the elementary level, all 4 schools are over capacity (functional capacity, 2009 SPS report), with as much as +90 students at Gatewood, or 25% over capacity! The 4 school average is +17% over capacity (by comparison, Garfield is 18.5% over capacity). This is a huge problem, and will stay a problem because of the school closures at Cooper and Fairmount. Out-of-area siblings grandfathered in also contribute to this bulge, but they most likely will end up at their default secondary schools, so the bulge will not help to fill Madison or WSHS.

The second train wreck has already happened at Madison/WSHS station, with the accumulative damage yet to be realized with just the entering 6th & 9th grades affected this year. The big picture (as Charlie also points out) is with the defective maps approved by the Board & the District- only 4 elementary schools feed into Madison/WSHS schools (with 1,515 total enrollment as of 10/01/10), whereas 6 elementary schools feed into Denny/Sealth schools (with a whopping 2,211 total enrollment).

That's 46% more students feeding into the Denny/Sealth reference area and yet the functional capacity at Denny/Sealth is almost the same as Madison/WSHS!

Don't get fooled by the District's recent announcement that concerns about "potential imbalance" in West Seattle were not borne out. They obviously did not look at the loss of 120 kids at WSHS (almost -10%) and 57 kid loss at Madison- and that's just year one in the implementation!

The district must be held to their own Capacity management Policy H13.00 and make adjustments for next year to turn these wrecks around before next year. Kids cannot wait years for a solution.

dan dempsey said...

So when will some boundary lines be redrawn?

Will Garfield be reconstructed for 2000 students?

Better yet when will Judge Laura Inveen be ruling on the appeal of the New Student Assignment Plan boundaries?

Two weeks has now become months and still no decision.

As usual District failed to provide certified correct evidence related to decision and this time also failed to take minutes of workshops and retreats at which the NSAP boundaries were discussed. So where is that decision?

SP said...

Oops, I forgot to include this from the District's projections for year 2015 enrollment:

Madison 661 (-245 from 2009)
WSHS 756 (-382 from 2009)
Total both schools 1,417
Functional Capacity total 2,180

Denny 930 (+226 from 2009)
Sealth 1,063 (+ 67 from 2009)
Total both schools 1,993
Functional capacity total 2,110

...and the District claims that "Concerns about potential imbalance between Madison/Denny and West Seattle/Chief Sealth were not borne out"?

Melissa Westbrook said...

Will somebody please alert the Board to these West Seattle numbers? It is important that the Board see them in black and white so they can ask Rachel Cassidy about them.

Charlie Mas said...

Melissa, the Board has been alerted about the situation in West Seattle. Other members of the board defer to Director Sundquist, who represents West Seattle, to take point on this concern. Director Sundquist, however, refuses to take action. The constituency he serves - as he has demonstrated time and time again - are those in the JSCEE, not those in West Seattle.

Charlie Mas said...

I've added some comments to the numbers to make the meaning of the numbers clearer.

Bird said...

he big picture (as Charlie also points out) is with the defective maps approved by the Board & the District- only 4 elementary schools feed into Madison/WSHS schools (with 1,515 total enrollment as of 10/01/10), whereas 6 elementary schools feed into Denny/Sealth schools (with a whopping 2,211 total enrollment).

Can someone explain the motivation behind this?

To someone completely ignorant of the West Seattle schools like myself, it makes no sense.

What did the district say about why they did this when the NSAP came out?

zb said...

So is anyone talking about split schedules for the over-enrolled schools? Garfield and Eckstein seem like potential candidates. I think the district was pretty clear that they weren't going to re-draw boundary lines on anything like a annual basis (since the shifting boundaries were one of the main complaints about the old SAP). But Garfield & Eckstein seem like systemic problems, not ones that will go away as the NSAP comes fully into play (i.e. grandfathered students graduate).

Garfield could see changes by removing the APP access (how many students might that exclude?). Eckstein by changing Jane Addams into an attendance area middle school.

Unknown said...

Until I read these reports, I hadn't realized just how many more boys than girls are in the District. If I'm reading the last page correctly, at the high school level, there are 550 more boys than girls. I suppose this is nothing to a demographer, but it was news to me.

Spruiter said...

At Tuesday's coffee chat, Goodloe-Johnson said that both redrawing boundaries and opening another comprehensive middle school were possible options for adjusting the NSAP for next year.

I can imagine the fights there will be if they redraw boundaries next year, especially if siblings aren't accommodated.

Charlie Mas said...

zb asked: "Garfield could see changes by removing the APP access (how many students might that exclude?). Eckstein by changing Jane Addams into an attendance area middle school."

There are about 400 APP students at Garfield. Moving half of them to a north-end location (Ingraham?) would reduce the enrollment by about 200). The District would have trouble finding a new location for the southern cohort. Franklin is full, Cleveland is an Option school and Rainier Beach, the operationally sound choice because it has the most seats, would be the politically worst choice.

The buildings available for use as a comprehensive middle school in the north-end are Wilson-Pacific, John Marshall, and Lincoln. Jane Addams would be a more difficult choice because it would require the District to find space for 280 K-5 students there. It would also represent a real public relations challenge.

Lori said...

Rosie, for what it's worth, there are actually more boys born each year in the US than girls. I remember learning this in a population dynamics class I took in grad school.

For every 1000 girls born, there are 1040-1060 boys born, and this trend has existed for as long as they've kept records. And, the ratio persists around the world (excluding countries that have a cultural preference for one gender over another where sex ratios at birth are skewed by abortion and infanticide).

There are a lot of theories about why this is the case, including an argument that humans have evolved to give birth to slightly more males to make up for the slightly higher death rate seen in young men relative to young women. How would this work? Sperm with the Y chromosome swim faster than those with an X chromosome, which gives a slight edge to conceiving a boy. That might not be a "fluke" but a result of evolution. I think that would be really cool if true!

SolvayGirl said...

Anonymom: There are rarely openings for 6th graders at TOPS. One, perhaps two, if any at all.

TechyMom said...

If I were queen of the world, this is how I would fix the high school issues: Create a high school Spectrum program, and locate it at Rainier Beach and Ingraham.

Pros:
Doesn't break Garfield, which is a wonderful example of an inner-city high school that works. (IMHO, moving APP would break Garfield, and so would allowing the current overcrowding to continue)

Since APP-qualified kids are also Spectrum-qualified, some who live at the far north and far south ends of the city might decide that Spectrum at RB or Ingraham is more convenient.

Provides additional seats for high-achieving kids in the South End, with enough of a cohort to entice those kids.

Draws kids to RB who are currently moving to the Garfield attendance area (or pretending to).

Helps fill RB.

Helps draw high-achieving north-end kids to fill Ingraham.

Spectrum students are likely to be successful with the challenging IB curriculum.

Ingraham, with Spectrum and IB, becomes an attractive option and relieves crowding at Ballard and Roosevelt.

Cons:
Could draw too many high-acheiving kids from neighborhood schools. I think this could be mitigated by making it an option program with limited seats and a lotter.

The district seems less-than-excited about Spectrum in general, and about magnet programs.

Fewer kids going to neighborhood schools? I think this is happening already, relying on fake addresses.

It seems like the pros outweigh the cons, but maybe I'm not thinking of somehting important?

BettyR said...

I think Jane Addams could work as an assignment area middle school, if they kept the reference area small enough to continue the option school K-5 program. Sadly, I think this would make the K-5 portion less attractive to some families. I think the families with elementary kids accept the MS program because we're all there by choice. I'm not sure they'd be so comfortable knowing that older kids are assigned there.
I do get the feeling that JA wants to grow into a mushroom model (like Salmon Bay), and I think their environmental science program is becomming stronger and more attractive to families every year.

Roy Smith said...

Things that could be done that might help relieve some of the pressure on the most crowded schools:

1) Remove the 10% set-aside at the high schools. At the popular schools, this just makes the overcrowding worse, and at the less popular schools it isn't needed.

2) Adjust the southern boundaries of Garfield and Franklin attendance areas north. Give priority enrollment to siblings in the areas affected by this change. This change also enlarges the attendance area for RBHS, which might translate into an increase in enrollment there. Or it might not. At any rate, it will help relieve some pressure on Garfield.

3) Make JSIS an option school, and divide its attendance area between BF Day and McDonald.

4) Make Jane Addams a comprehensive middle school. As Charlie points out, this will be a public relations nightmare, but I don't see how this can be avoided since they made it a K-8 in the first place when a bunch of people were screaming about middle school capacity. That chicken has come home to roost, and not opening another middle school in the north end is becoming an untenable position. The three other buildings available (Lincoln, John Marshall, and Wilson-Pacific) are completely non-sensical locations geographically for this purpose.

5) Reopen John Marshall as a K-8 option school. Maybe just move the whole environmental science program from Jane Addams to John Marshall.

6) Reopen an elementary school in West Seattle North. Adjust the attendance areas in West Seattle North to account for this, and give sibling preference in enrollment to those in areas that change schools as a result of enrollment area changes.

7) Accept that in a neighborhood school assignment system, popular schools are going to be either full or overcrowded, unless somehow we can keep people from selecting a neighborhood to live in based on what schools that neighborhood gives them access to.

All these changes could be made, I think, by the start of the 2011-2012 school year. The other thing that desperately needs to happen is that another attendance area elementary school needs to be added in the northeast, but I don't know that there is a suitable building to be had in this area, so that may be, at best, several years out.

seattle said...

If Jane Addams had a mushroom model middle school, like Harium originally said it would, that might help. The building holds almost 900 kids, and they currently only have 450 or so enrolled. That leaves a lot of empty seats in a building in a very over crowded cluster. That is just not sustainable.

JA has about 280 k-5 students. They could keep the k-5 population the same, but increase middle school capacity to 600 kids. That would relieve A LOT of pressure from Eckstein.

The big question is will families choose JA for middle school over Eckstein? It is not comprehensive. It is small. It doesn't offer the electives, or many other options that a large comprehensive school like Eckstein offers. Maybe if the MS had 600 kids, it would grow and have more to offer in the way of electives, after school programs, music, the arts, sports?

seattle said...

And I LOVE Roy Smith's idea to move JA intact to Marshall, and open JA as a comprehensive MS. That's the best idea I've heard yet!

seattle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JAKindergartenMom said...

As a JA kindergarten parent, I am fine with the mushroom model, but thinking that the enrollment will stay the same at the K-5 level is short-sited. The program is only in it's 2nd year. We have 60 k students this year. The 3-5 grades are not as full as they'll likely be in a few years as these K-1 cohorts move up. Last year's students were mostly assigned to the school. This year's is made up of all students whose parents CHOSE the school. With the good press and word-of-mouth the school is getting (and the overcrowding in some of the other NE schools (wedgwood, bryant), I would anticipate the K-5 enrollment to increase rather than stay where it is.
Being familiar with the school, I would advocate filling the top floor with grades 6-8, but leave the first floor for K-5. I think it would be hard to mix K-5 with 6-8 on the same floor.
Also, one thing that is really attractive in having a K-8 is the community that kids build over 9 years, common standards of behavior, the bigger kids mentoring the little ones, etc. I'm fine with bringing in middle schoolers from outside at 6th grade, but not so many that it becomes another huge middle school upstairs. I know my daughter is pretty intimidated with the "big kids" but had a great first experience with her "5th grade buddy" earlier this week.
I'm guessing that actually Thorton Creek K-5 students will be attracted to JA middle school mushroom and that seems to be a natural partnership.

Charlie Mas said...

If Jane Addams had two or three classes at each grade from K to 5 that would be about 450 kids. The school would then have room for about 450 middle school students - five classes at each grade. That's about 300 more middle schoolers than it has now. That would be perfect.

Eckstein has about 1,200 students and would ideally have about 900. I know that the younger classes are bigger so there are more students coming than are there now, but we know that Eckstein can easily stretch to 1,000 if it needs to.

Now the only question is: how do we convince an additional 300 middle school students to choose JA instead of Eckstein?

BettyR said...

It's my understanding that JA does want to grow into the mushroom model for the very reason Anonymom mentions; that with 600 or so kids, they will be able to offer more electives. Maybe with enough push from families in the overcrowded Eckstein area, we could get some support from the district to offer the classes one could find at a comprehensive MS.
I expect the K-5 part will continue to grow some, but how big should it be? I'm wondering if it will have the same attraction if it gets as big as Bryant.

Anonymous said...

A comprehensive school is needed in the N/NE. The superintendent is flat out saying it. District could have done a roadmap to get there last year. It didn't.

The issue with JA is that the district didn't do its duty and fully define the school, with a committed plan for its future. I remember Harium shockingly backing off promising JA a K-8 future right at the end of the SAP process.

As for AS #1, which served a great purpose and could have been strengthened, it has been damaged by the district, and allowed to languish, for many years in a row.

Three directors have populations converging and clashing for space in this part of the city: Harium, Sherry and Peter. Yet, as with a child watched by everyone, and thus no one, injury is about to happen.

I expect there will be a lot of angry, disillusioned families in this corner of the city at the end of the NSAP review when one of these 2 schools loses its program to the need for a comp middle school. The populations will have every right to furious. And then some.

Christa Ball

Anonymous said...

I don't know where anyone is getting those capacity numbers for Jane Addams.

According to this planning document from when Summit was re-purposed, the capacity was 835.
http://www.seattleschools.org/area/spsplan/schools/JAddams.pdf

Additionally, as Charlie is always pointing out when discussing South Shore a K8 loses about 25% of the capacity.

When they talked about moving Thorton Creek into the building, they kept talking about a 700 student K8 program. Jane Addams is not a huge building and it only has about 30 classrooms.

NE Parent

Patrick said...

Moving the Jane Addams program to Marshall seems like a terrible idea. Families choose Jane Addams in part because of its neighborhood location. Busing almost all of the kids going there now elsewhere in the city is counterproductive.

How about Marshall for an assignment area middle school? It's roughly equidistant from Whitman and Eckstein.

Jane Addams' preschool is new this year, and will feed another 20 kids into kindergarten starting next year.

Spruiter said...

We are also a Jane Addams kindergarten family. With the number of families currently choosing the school, I think the K-5 portion could easily grow to 450 within the next 2 years. The school grew at all grade levels this year - people are transferring out of other public, and private schools to come to Jane Addams. I think the mushroom model will work, but may need a little more time to get up to speed.

JA offers the only Spectrum choice for families in the north end of the NE cluster (whether or not you agree that the integrated spectrum model is true spectrum).

Right now it is a very attractive option for families in the north end of the Eckstein service area who might have otherwise gone private, or gone to Shoreline.

The idea of moving the school to John Marshal, while preferable to just shutting us down, would be disappointing to those of us who finally feel like we have a gem of a school in the underserved north part of the service area.

Charlie Mas said...

If I had the tiara and the scepter I would trade them in for a hardhat and hammer. Things need FIXING.

1) I would fix the overcrowding in elementary schools in the north-end of West Seattle by re-opening a school - probably Fairmount Park.

2) I would fix the overcrowding at JSIS and make access to programs more equitable by making enrollment in all language immersion and Montessori programs done as Option Programs. JSIS would be an Option school - as it always should have been.

3) I would bolster the language immersion programs at Hamilton and improve access to these programs by adding another north-end language immersion program and having it feed to Hamilton. Olympic View looks like a likely choice. That would also relieve Eckstein a bit.

4) I would fix the inequitable distribution of language immersion programs by placing one in a south-end elementary - probably Wing Luke - and have it feed to Mercer along with the one at Beacon. I would also place one in West Seattle Elementary and have it feed to Denny.

5) I would fix the imbalance in West Seattle secondary assignment by making West Seattle Elementary(except for the language program) feed to Madison.

6) I would fix the absurd placement of north-end elementary APP by putting it at John Marshall along with a neighborhood program. That will help take up the kids from the Latona area, the Olympic View area and the Bryant area.

7) I would fix the overcrowding at Eckstein by putting a program in Jane Addams that was so popular it would draw an additional 300 middle schoolers.

8) I would fix the inequitable distribution of other programs by placing a Montessori program at Roxhill. I would make Van Asselt at the AAA into a K-8 program because there are no traditional K-8s in southeast Seattle (though two alternative ones) and the school is in a building designed as a K-8. That would also make its proximity to Wing Luke a bit more tolerable.

9) I would fix the overcrowding at Garfield and Franklin by asking people what it would take for them to choose Rainier Beach High School and then providing it - regardless of cost.

That's all just capacity management stuff - opening schools, program placement, and enrollment rules. It results in the re-opening of two schools (Fairmount Park and John Marshall) but they are in areas where we need more capacity.

We need to find a better long-term home for the S.B.O.C. I'm thinking that the Van Asselt building could be fixed up for it.

Without the S.B.O.C. at Meany the building is too big for The NOVA Project alone. It would be tricky to find something else to go there. Maybe the Homeschool Resource Center or some of the programs now at Wilson-Pacific.

I might be tempted to shift around a few other programs as well, but these are the urgent fixes needed.

katie said...

Opening John Marshall as comprehensive middle school is not a good geographic decision but why would that stop anyone?

John Marshall is in the walk zone for both Hamilton and Eckstein and not very far from Whitman. Opening John Marshall would put three middle schools in the far south of the north end. While I think it is beyond unfair to the Jane Addams families, a middle school at Jane Addams would mean that there is a middle school in each corner of the north end and there is a chance at reasonable geographic boundaries.

As it is currently the Hamilton boundaries are pretty silly when you send families in the Greenlake walk zone to Eckstein and Laurelhurst families to Hamilton. However, this silliness is certainly not even competitive for the most bizarre NSAP boundary. Hey, maybe that is the title for a new thread - see which school can win the most illogical boundary or feeder pattern.

Dorothy Neville said...

Putting Homeschool resource center at Meany with Nova would be an excellent idea. Seems like there could be some synergy between the groups. At the very least, some sympathy and camaraderie.

Charlie Mas said...

I didn't say, but John Marshall, re-opened as an elementary for APP and a neighborhood program, would feed to Hamilton.

tim said...

How many millions would it take to reopen Fairmount Park? Anybody seen the inside recently? Is it possible to get it ready cheap and quick, or is it more like the Genessee building - which has to be razed. There is no saving that one.

katie said...

Pretty nice plan Charlie, except that Hamilton is completely enrolled at the moment and can't serve as relief for anything. Also the schools that feed into Hamilton are growing so that when they are fully enrolled which would be soon, then Hamilton would need a relief valve.

Moreover, it is also quite possible that Hamilton would need relief as soon as next year. The new building in addition to the stability of the international program and the app cohort is proving quite attractive to the neighborhood and I would fully expect them to get another increase in enrollment next year.

SP said...

Tim,
Fairmount Park is definitely usable, at least in the District's eyes. They offered it to Pathfinder (in 2007?) after the absurd "K-21" offer at the Delridge/Boren building collapsed.
It was too small for Pathfinder with their Middle School needs, but it was definitely a step up from the Pathfinder building as as far as building condition rating.

I thought it was going to be leased to a day care type organization, but don't know what happened. Is it completely empty now? Since the population is expected to grow more in the southern half of West Seattle, maybe it is in a good location to take up the slack. Really a shame for the people living in that neighborhood to be closed out of their school, only to be bursting at the seams in other schools like Gatewood.

seattle said...

"While I think it is beyond unfair to the Jane Addams families, a middle school at Jane Addams would mean that there is a middle school in each corner of the north end and there is a chance at reasonable geographic boundaries. "

I live in the north end and I totally agree. As unfair as it would be to move JA so shortly after it was opened, JA is an option school, not a neighborhood school, and it doesn't have a geographical connection to a specific location (though I acknowledge that many neighborhood families chose it because of it's location).

JA could easily be moved to Marshall which is in an extremely central location right off of the freeway, much better for a north end option school than the Jane Addams building in the far NE corner of the city.

That would free up the JA/Summit building for a comprehensive middle school. Which is BTW what that building was originally built to be.

wsnorth said...

A cynic might think the district has a vendetta against the northern part of West Seattle. An even Elementary, middle, high school split would have been so easy. Rational closures would have been even easier. PLUS, the "southern" Middle and High schools are International schools, that would potentially draw in out of area students, yet those are the ones that are being over crowded. Is it evil? Neglect? Incompetence? It's certainly not rational!

JJ said...

Charlie --

I agree with much of your list, especially with switching JSIS over to an option program.

But Marshall is only slightly East and a smidge North of Green Lake Elementary. I don't know if you could justify opening this as an neighborhood elementary when Green Lake is hardly bursting. And Greenlake is only a short walk from McDonald, a school with a whopping 57 students.

And since Green Lake feeds into Eckstein, I would think Marshall couldn't feed into Hamilton. It would have a reference area further north than Green Lake. Not to mention, Hamilton hardly has anymore room than Eckstein nowadays.

ttln said...

reason given last year for the WS imbalance: to support the Denny/ Sealth colocation.

Anonymous said...

Sand Point enrollment is at 79

McDonald enrollment is at 57

ken berry

bryant jean said...

Did I read right that Green Lake has 43 kindergarteners? It borders Bryant. Why didn't they draw the boundary east to shift more students to Green Lake from Bryant?

Charlie Mas said...

If JSIS is an Option School then the attendance ares for B F Day and, more than any other, McDonald, will have to be expanded to cover the ground. Green Lake and McDonald will fill. Also, with 225 APP students in John Marshall, there won't be much room for neighborhood kids, so the attendance area will have to be small.

seattle said...

Why does the district fail to see these easy, logical, fixes? What is the demographers role? Tracy Libros? It's frustrating.

Spruiter said...

Regarding an additional language immersion program:

Olympic View is a popular, crowded school, I don't think it makes sense as a language immersion school (did you mean Oly Hills?). What about Northgate for language immersion? It isn't as far north as Olympic Hills, and it's already 40% bilingual.

It is appalling to me that the language immersion programs are not option schools. I'm surprised there hasn't been a lawsuit.

Anonymous said...

Green Lake is filled to capacity this year.

SPS Capacity

seattle citizen said...

John Marshall:

Pros: central north location, capacity maybe 750. Had a good sound system in auditorium. Had a good science lab room (one)

Cons: No elevator for three floors. No play/sports fields, and really no way to put one in (Greenlake fields are nearby, but maybe a ten-minute walk each way, which would mean twenty minutes for a PE class, etc.) Building has had some work done, seismic retrofit (might need more) for one, but it needs boiler work and there are other serious condition issues. It has TWO gyms, both about 1/3 the size of a regular gym. No cafeteria, per se.

It would make a fine space for an alternative program that could be flexible with such things. As a "regular" elementary, it would have some difficulties unless it had an extensive remodel to address some of the issues.

It would make a fine "Ravenna Blvd Academy," with wrap-around services, K-12, a language immersion program, digital learning, remote learning, social services, adult learning...Oh, wait, didn't four staff members of the old John Marshall Alt submit a hundred-page business-plan type proposal for just that as a last ditch effort to save the school before it was closed in 2007? I wonder if that document is still floating around, and whether it could be reanalyzed?

Josh Hayes said...

Thanks for the notes, seattle citizen, and during the Summit closure I proposed co-locating Summit and AS1 into the Marshall building (like anyone would listen to a weird idea like that!).

I still think it'd be a terrific location for an alternative K-12, or even K-8, school, with Green Lake adjacent (10 minutes each way? What, are you crawling both ways? It's about 2 minutes!), great bus access to UW, downtown, NSCC, and so on.

The district, of course, is not interested in any non-traditional schools, although this could take some of the pressure off Salmon Bay, Eckstein, and Hamilton. I'm just sayin' - don't be calling me (WV) slased!

Unknown said...

TechyMom -- I don't know if this impacts your crystal ball, but Ingraham High School already uses the International Baccalaureate program to bring the higher motivated achiever to the school, and does it pretty successfully. While I'm not automatically against the idea of adding some other program targeting a slightly different set of higher motivated achievers to the school, you'd have to convince me that two quite different programs could co-exist without fighting for resources or students.

Maureen said...

Techymom, I believe your child is on the young side, so you have a different perspective, but for the parent of MS and HS kids, the idea of HS Spectrum makes no sense at all. HS APP doesn't even have a real program, it just provides the critical mass and peers to make sure a level of instruction appropriate for the top 2-5% is provided. Every comprehensive HS ( and MS)should be able to provide peers and classes appropriate for the top 15% of kids. We shouldn't have to skim those kids off and send them to a separate school. If we do, our HSs have huge problems that have to be dealt with. Rosie is right, IB is supposed to be providing the draw you are describing (and from what I hear, it does.)

Anonymous said...

Amen Maureen. It's really pretty surprising that people feel such a huge entitlement because their kid is 1 year ahead. (uno). With spiraling curriculum, that's even more meaningless. Furthermore, we've got the "private testers" who aren't really even in the top 15%... eg, the kids are really more like the top 30%. That is, they aren't even a single standard deviation above the norm. When the Lake-Woe-Begone effect hits spectrum you have nearly every white family either "Spectrum" or in special ed. There definitely is no place for a "spectrum high", as it would make even the small modicum of "advanced-ness" in spectrum unavailable to everyone else. We've got AP classes in all high schools. At some point, advanced learning needs to be the students' responsibility, and not an entitlement program. You think you're advanced? Then do the work. Take the hard classes. Challenge yourself. Take initiative. Of course students need support, but special rarified segregation... not.

SPS Parent

hschinske said...

Furthermore, we've got the "private testers" who aren't really even in the top 15%... eg, the kids are really more like the top 30%.

As I posted last year, "That is a very tired old canard, and I'm sick of having to post about it. The psychologists damned well do sometimes get test results lower than those needed for Spectrum or APP. You don't hear about it because no one wants to say their kid didn't test gifted. There are a *lot* of well-off families who've ended up sending their kids to private schools precisely because their kids didn't test in to Spectrum or APP. There are also a lot of families who have privately-tested kids in different programs."

"If you have any evidence that a psychologist is taking bribes, report them to their professional organization. It's a clear violation of their professional guidelines: they should lose their licenses over it."

Helen Schinske

Anonymous said...

Touchy, touchy. I've heard a figure of about 75% private testers into APP. I wonder what the number really is. Somebody should get that one out of the district and post it. One would hope the number privately testing into Spectrum would be a lot less, since the bar is lower. Most private secondary schools (middle and high school) require the ISEE, (independent school entrance exam), so a note from the doctor won't cut it.


SPS Parent

Charlie Mas said...

SPS Parent is reflecting a common belief.

It is a mistaken belief. The vast majority of students who enter Spectrum and APP do it on the strength of their district-administered tests without an appeal or private testing. There are only a few who get in on appeal each year. Those numbers have been made available in the past and are undoubtedly available now.

The suggestion that test scores are for sale is a slander on the highly qualified and professional folks who administer those tests.

Melissa Westbrook said...

"...every white family either "Spectrum" or in special ed."

What does that mean?

Charlie Mas said...

Our culture is a network of prevailing myths. One of them is a belief that we live in a time of increasing polarization. Political conservatives are getting more conservative while liberals are getting more liberal. The rich are getting richer while the poor are getting poorer. There are all of these bi-modal divides in which people are clustered at one end of the spectrum or the other with few in the middle or average. This a marked variance from the expected "normal" distribution which is the bell curve and has most results clustered around the mean, which is also the median and the mode, and with fewer incidence as you move away from the mean.

The prevailing myth suggests that, increasingly, families are either acting like super-parents with super-kids - over-scheduled kids raised by helicopter parents with a care previously reserved for racehorses and orchids - or, at the complete opposite end of the spectrum, vacant, urban, near-feral children raised by television or X-box by completely negligent families.

It's an interesting myth. Part of it suggests that the split is about 60/30/10, with the negligant families in the 60%, the super families in the 10% and the "normal" families (kids who go outside and play in the 1950's) as the shrinking 30%. The context of this myth suggests that you can practically guarantee access to Spectrum for your kids if you do the things that you're supposed to do with your young children. The top performing families read to their children when they are little, talk to them, encourage them, enroll them in pre-school, take them to the library for story time, take them to the zoo, count out loud when putting apples in the bag at the supermarket, and all of that stuff.

I hope SPS Parent feels that I'm giving the myth a fair recitation.

Since there can't really be 10% of these kids who are actually gifted with an abundance of intellect, the super-families go looking for a cause for their child's lack of excellence. A native lack of excellence isn't an acceptable explanation, so there must be some physiological problem/excuse. Look hard enough and you'll find it. Then slap a medical label on it.

It has been noted that certain maladies are diagnosed among children from affluent families at much greater rates than among low-income families. I'm just saying.

There are, of course, some kids who really are intellectually gifted - without any boosters - and there are some kids who really are impaired - without any exhaustive search for a malady. I don't mean you or your friends.

I am, however, skeptical of the whole idea of extra-strength Tylenol and the proposition that anyone can honestly suggest that their headaches are worse than yours.

Read The Human Zoo by Desmond Morris. It's still good. We need not only air, water, food, shelter and purpose to live, we need status. We need to have a role in our society. Hence the striving to be special in some way - any way.

This is the cultural or mythic context for this sort of talk. I don't know how much of this I think is true, largely true, or rarely true. There are very few cases of Munchhausen by Proxy. I wouldn't overemphasize them.

Sorry if this was harsh.

Anonymous said...

Charlie and Helen, some of the comments SPS parent made we have heard over the blended vs. self-contained spectrum discussion at our school. The segregation analogy was used to describe the self-contained model at one of the PTA meetings. It has been very divisive and difficult.

Spectrum kids are a small subset of the general school population so if you are spectrum parent, you are already in the minority. We had no idea we were entering a hornet's nest by having our children tested by the district. We did not realize the social cost by having our kids in spectrum.

toughing it out for our kids

Anonymous said...

Wow. Such incomprehensible blabbering, by a clearly defensive group. I wasn't saying anything so obtuse as suggesting "Munchhausen by Proxy" by large numbers of people. Nor commenting on helicopter parenting. I'm simply noting the well document trend away from the middle. Nobody wants to be average and seeks any opportunity to be a member of a special group. In education, advanced-giftedness designation is sought out if possible, especially by private testing if you can't make it otherwise, disabled if not. In my kids' mostly white elementary, 30% qualified for "giftedness" (spectrum or better) though we only had an ALO which was limited to spectrum qualification. Nobody was "sent" to this school for their "giftedness"; they sought it out. ALO was only available to spectrum+ qualified. We also had nearly 15% disabled. There you have it, nearly half of the students were too special to be served in a regular classroom. (ALO is pullout, so not really integrated) As evidence, when we also had a special services manager, Colleen Stump... she was responsible for a ridiculously large group of students... all special. I wouldn't say spectrum is a small subset of white students. It's pretty darn large.

And to bring the convesation back to where it began, the actual point, sans handwringing. It's absurd to have a "spectrum high". "Spectrum" isn't that advanced, and all high schools should be able to accommodate it. What other district has a special high school for the "one year ahead" crowd? None that I know of. In point of fact, the district will never provide a spectrum high, as they agree with this assessment. They're doing all they can to kill that program, integrate it into regular classrooms. Good for them.

SPSParent, also toughing it out

Bird said...

Indeed, my perception of Spectrum has a new shade now that I've seen the district's Map Data.

If you take a look at the scores broken out for first grade by ethnicity, you'll see that the average score in the white population appears to be at the cut-off for advanced learning screening (around the 87% percentile).

I don't know what the distribution is around this score, but one might imagine every other kid or so at some schools qualifying by MAP.

Looking at that data, it looks like these kids aren't so much "gifted" as simply "white", or more precisely, at root, middle class. It'd be interesting to see a school by school break out. 30% Spectrum qualified in some schools would be no surprise at all.

I'm not faulting people who want to get their kid into Spectrum however. I don't have a kid in Spectrum, but I'm not going to pre-suppose parents want the designation for it's specialness.
I think that's too ridiculous to be a motivator for most people.

It's more likely that they just want a more rigorous curriculum for their kid and don't feel like they can get it in their kid's general ed class.

Anyone know how many Spectrum kids there are in the district and how many Spectrum qualified kids?

I couldn't find anything about it on the SPS website which definitely gives the impression that SPS doesn't care a whit about the program.

Melissa Westbrook said...

SPS Parent, you didn't answer my question.

Also how do you know this?

"Nobody wants to be average and seeks any opportunity to be a member of a special group."

And what do you mean by disabled? Why would students who qualify for Spectrum need to be disabled?

"In education, advanced-giftedness designation is sought out if possible, especially by private testing if you can't make it otherwise, disabled if not."

And Bird is right; the district doesn't care about Spectrum and never has.

Lori said...

The slides from June 2010 about MAP results are basically meaningless. It bothers me enormously that the district does not seem to have anyone on staff who can analyze and effectively present data, yet they want to use similar data to assess teachers.

The slides with the average RIT score by grade level don't tell us much. First, we don't know if the scores were normally distributed, so using the mean instead of the median could be misleading. The average RIT for whites might be around 87%, but what is the spread? How much is that influenced by outliers at the high end? I want to know the standard deviations around these means for one thing. I think they're going to be fairly large.

And connecting each data point with a line? That makes no sense here. There is no connection between each grade level, and all that line does is create confusion. Whoever created this slide needs some serious education about interpreting and presenting data. It's sad that at this level in the district, this is the best they can do.

The appropriate and most informative way to show the data is with box and whisker plots so you can see the median, lower and upper quartiles, and outliers. Then you can see how/where different populations overlap. That would be a powerful and informative slide that people could then actually talk about.

I don't think these slides tell us anything about who's in Spectrum or what percent of whites qualify. Remember, if I go to a party with Bill Gates, the average income in the room rises astronomically. But, that doesn't suddenly make me rich.

Anonymous said...

Intersting discussion you guys are having. Bird, I think you are right. Spectrum will probably disappear in a few years and the district may put more effort in ALO. So SPS Parent, you don't have to worry about spectrum in H.S or anywhere else. I don't think most spectrum parents are looking for it anyway as there are already coursework if H.S. kids want the rigor as Maureen and Rosie mentioned via IB and AP programs.

The one thing I will disagree is the use of terms like "white kids, segregation, special designation, etc." . It is probably because I am old and know what it is like to live under the wrong side of segregation that when I hear people use these terms, it portrays something far different than what I am seeing in spectrum. (kinda like watching FOX TV trying to start a cold war between "socialist" Obama and Norman Rockwell americana.)

FOX watcher

hschinske said...

The average RIT for whites might be around 87%, but what is the spread? How much is that influenced by outliers at the high end?

I think likely it's influenced more by there being fewer at the very lowest levels, which is not surprising, socioeconomic differences being what they are. But that's just a guess.

Helen Schinske

Bird said...

The one thing I will disagree is the use of terms like "white kids, segregation, special designation, etc."

Unfortunately, the district data is only broken out by grade and race. There are, I'm sure, other more illuminating ways to break down the data. The racial data provides does, however, provide some additional, if quite imperfect, perspective on how Spectrum testing plays out in the district.

The more interesting data, I would think, would be broken out by school.

If say, one half of the kids in a school are eligible for Spectrum, I think but you can't but help question why the school can't accomodate those kids in the regular classroom. I'm not saying they do or don't now. I don't know anything about it frankly.

It's just that my perception of an advanced learning program that requires transporting and concentrating kids has always pre-supposed that those kids are relatively rare in a class.

If there is only one kid in a whole grade working at a certain level that poses special challenges for the teacher and can be isolating for a kid, making a program with a concentration of those kids a reasonable choice to offer.

If most of the kids in a class are advanced by the district measure then the kids are already collected together, there isn't much need to transport them to a different school, at least in the abstract.

In reality, there may be some validity to the practice. I don't know. I don't have a Spectrum kid, or a kid in a school where a lot of kids leave for Spectrum.

Bird said...
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Bird said...

The slides from June 2010 about MAP results are basically meaningless. It bothers me enormously that the district does not seem to have anyone on staff who can analyze and effectively present data, yet they want to use similar data to assess teachers

I agree that the data presentation in the slides is comically bad. I would think that we could do better.

Honestly, my hope would be that reasonably presenting such data is the sort of thing that would be taught high school. It seems a matter of basic literacy.

That district staff hired to analyze data can't get it right is disturbing to say the least.

Lori said...

I have a great project for STEM at Cleveland. Give them the raw data from MAP and have them learn how to analyze it and present it effectively. I'm not kidding.

Helen, I would guess the same as you about a small tail on the left of the curve. It wouldn't surprise me if the distribution were bimodal, with a tall peak in the 70th percentile somewhere, with a very small tail to the left, then another smaller peak up in 90s with a long tail. But who knows?! Maybe the kids at Cleveland will eventually tell us. :-)

hschinske said...

I think I found the source for the 75% figure that was quoted a little while back ("I've heard a figure of about 75% private testers into APP"): http://www.seattleschild.com/article/20081020/SCM02/310209998

What that article actually said was "In the 2007-08 school year, 406 students submitted appeals; of those, 306 or 75 percent qualified based on the strength of their appeals, says district spokesman David Tucker."

That's VERY different from saying that 75% of the students in APP are there on appeal. It's not even broken down by which appeals were to get into APP and which to get into Spectrum. It may well be that some who appealed wanted APP but qualified only for Spectrum, and that still counted as a successful appeal, as otherwise they wouldn't have been eligible for either.

Helen Schinske

Charlie Mas said...

It pains me to say it, but it has been my observation and experience that families seeking Spectrum programs for their children don't select it for the rigorous curriculum so much as the motivated peer group. Or, to put it another way, to escape peer pressure to under-achieve in general education classes.

Spectrum families aren't running towards Spectrum; they are running away from general education classrooms. They are running away from low expectations by the teachers. They are running away from disruptive kids wasting class time. They are running away from kids taking up class time with remedial lessons. They are running away from the class time wasted the third and fourth time the teacher explains the lesson for the kids who didn't get it the first two iterations. They are running away from in social influence of low performing students, they are running away from the potential bullying or peer pressure to under-achieve that they know is in the general ecudation classroom.

They don't want Spectrum so much as they want to get away from the elements of the general education classroom that they regard with fear and loathing.

That's why schools full of high performing students don't send a lot of kids to Spectrum programs - because there's nothing to escape.

It's also the reason that Spectrum needs to be self-contained. There's a special name for Spectrum programs that aren't self-contained: A.L.O.

Maureen said...

406 students submitted appeals; of those, 306 or 75 percent qualified based on the strength of their appeals....That's VERY different from saying that 75% of the students in APP are there on appeal.

But how many kids test into APP (and Spectrum?) in any given year in total? If it's 4000 then 7.5% get in on appeal. If it's 400 then 75% are there on appeal. It seems to me that 400 would be closer to the total number than 4000. I actually find that shocking so I hope I'm wrong.


Given 46000 kids, something like 4600 should be eligible for Advanced Learning, so at any given grade level that would be about 350 kids. Since lots of kids never test, 400 seems like a more reasonable number than 4000 to test in any given year. That would yield an equilibrium number of about 4800 kids in Advanced Learning at any given time.

Am I missing something? I can't find any current data on Advanced Learning enrollment (but I didn't look very hard.)

Anonymous said...

Charlie, would your description of Spectrum parents "running away from general education classrooms" also extend to APP parents? One cannot read this blog without hearing over and over again that APP kids truly have special needs and need access to their cohort, etc. No one accuses them of simply not wanting to be with the masses. The program is defended because overall, it works and pretty much seems to serve the nees of those kids.

Why so much antagonism, particularly from an APP parent, toward students in Spectrum? Why would my child, who is consistently working 3+ grade levels ahead but does not qualify for APP with a cognitive score in the 96th percentile be any less deserving of an appropriate education than any other child? Is it fine for him to be bored and miserable just because his cognitive score is 2 percentile points lower than this district's cutoff for APP? Is he less deserving of an appropriate cohort? Why is our family's decision to try to get a seat in a Spectrum school any different than transferring an APP qualified kid to Lowell?

Spectrum sure isn't great. The teachers at our school are actually limited to only teaching one grade level ahead in math - "if your child needs more he should be at Lowell." There is minimal acceleration and no enrichment. There are insufficient seats, and a chronic lack of district support. But many of us are making it work because it really is the only option we have. The disdainful dismissal of the program from an APP parent is simply not constructive.

RTK

kellycar said...

RTK- I didn't read Charlie's comment as a disparagement of Spectrum but rather as a comment on general ed and the culture of low expectations.
Everything I've read from Charlie has been in support of a self-contained Spectrum that actually meets the needs of it's kids and has enough seats for all who qualify.

hschinske said...

That's why schools full of high performing students don't send a lot of kids to Spectrum programs - because there's nothing to escape.

I'm not at all sure the stats bear you out on that, Charlie (don't fewer kids try for Spectrum or APP in low-performing schools?). In my experience it often goes the opposite way: parents find that the "school full of high performing students" is NOT enough after all. One of my daughters was in regular classes for years, and most were well run classrooms with well-behaved kids and lots of learning going on. They just weren't at the right level for her. Had there been any serious attempt at differentiation, maybe.

But we've gone round and round on this issue before.

Helen Schinske