Sunday, December 05, 2010

Wednesday Work Session On Integrated Planning (Carry-over from Tuesday's)

(Did anyone attend Tuesday's? I think Dorothy said she did. I looked at the PowerPoint and there is a lot of stuff that I wish I had heard presented. I'll have to tease it out in another thread.

Here are my notes from the PowerPoint of the 2nd of last week's "integrated" work sessions (a mash-up of budget and transition plan). I did not stay until the end so help me out if you did.

All the Directors were in attendance as was Dr. Goodloe-Johnson. They started at page 45 of the previous day's work session.

They started talking about program placement and the new possible Accelerated IB program in response to the overcrowding at Garfield. It would be modeled after the program at Interlake over in Bellevue. (I'll just say here that I think it's done. The community would have to rise up, en masse, to prevent it. I just think there's way too much work already done for this to be just a "possibility." The question is whether it will be optional or mandatory.) There was also mention of an IB CTE (vocational center) at Ingraham but I honestly know nothing about what this means or takes to create.

It was claimed that all the APP student could fit at Ingraham even after the Ingraham remodel.

They next talked about AS#1. The claim was that AS#1 enrollment was continuing to drop despite established enrollment goals. Tracy said the AS#1 students could go to either Jane Addams or Thorton Creek.

Next was Madrona and Rainier Beach High School.

Madrona's enrollment has declined from 426 to 356 this year. In discussions with the community, the community expresses a desire for a music emphasis, engagement with community partnerships and basically, outreach to the neighborhood.

We can pause here to recall that several years back many in the neighborhood had wanted to engage with Madrona but were ignored or discouraged in their efforts by the then-principal. And, the district didn't act like the mediator that they should have. This should be a good school.

RBHS is at 425, down from 500 last year. Some of ideas generated were an IB at RBHS, a K-12 continum from Rainier View Elementary to Aki Kurose Middle to RBHS. The PTSA there has offered some other options like a legal/law enforcement focus. They want the needs of SE students addressed. The SE Executive Director was to meet with the PTSA but that meeting was postponed because of the snow.

Tracy then asked for questions.

Peter brought up AS#1. (My first thought was "good, it's one of the schools in your district".) What did you ask? Before it's closed, what would go in? He seriously asked this question without one word of defense or acknowledgment for AS#1. He said he wanted more info on this idea of Pre-K going in there, condition of the building and "internal" staff capacity to make the change. He also wanted the financials and noted if there was Pre-K, they wouldn't need a principal. Where would AS#1 students go?

Harium said he was concerned with the assumption that there would be somewhere for AS#1 students to go. He said Thorton Creek "had no more room at the inn" and Salmon Bay was nearly at that point. He expressed concern about the unpredictability heaped on AS#1 and that their dropping enrollment reflect that ( at least in part).

Kay said she wanted to see cost estimates for repurposing Pinehurst. She echoed Harium's concern over the unpredictability that AS#1 has faced. She said the district should look at the spcial qualities of the program and how they dovetail with other programs (outdoor leadership for example). Maybe they could be co-housed with another program? She said that the letter sent to 5th grade parents about middle schools did not mention option schools and specifically what was available in their region. "We did a disservice to K-8s."

Betty said she was worried about a closure. She asked staff to remember why AS#1 was created in the first place and how might we keep it.

Sherry said she could see both sides. She said that AS#1 enrollment had been in decline for a decade. She noted, however, that AS#1's 6-8 enrollment(72%) is higher than South Shore's (57%). Good point (and South Shore needs a long, hard look at how their program is doing 10 years out). She also said it was puzzled to be looking at pre-k seats when we need K-8/middle school seats.

Steve said the decision wouldn't be made in advance of the Program Placement Committee recommendations and when would that come back to the Board? Dr. Enfield said she didn't know but would let the C&I Committee know.

Michael said he was struck by the difference in how AS#1 is being treated, that there is no discussion of the program. He said he was looking for consistency in how we treat school communities. He said AS#1 is not the least underenrolled school. He said we need a baseline that we can justify and defend that applies to all schools (a series of steps to follow).

Kay said that Madrona is excited about the idea of an enhanced music program and that there could be synergy between Washington Middle and Madrona K-8. She said potential Madrona parents are interested in a foreign language immersion program or, if that isn't possible, a foreign language teacher. She said there was support from Broadway Bound for working with RBHS on their performing arts program.

(I would just interject here that it sure would behoove the district to find a grant from someone so that we can bring more foreign language instruction into our K-5s faster. It is clearly a draw and once brought on-line with grant money, would likely be sustained by the increased enrollments.)

Sherry seemed a little dismissive about the idea of a legal/law enforcement program at RBHS. She said they need to have programs for jobs for the future such as STEM. I would disagree. I think if you have strong math and science instruction at all the high schools, they don't all have to have that as a focus.

Betty said she wanted to let people know that one reason for that legal/law enforcement focus at RBHS is because an NBA player who went to RBHS is willing to fund it. (Then she congratulated the Super and staff for placement of programs at RBHS. No, I didn't get it.)

Tracy then, as I noted elsewhere, kind of rushed through the public program placement requests. The slide was up like 15 seconds. She said there were 12 but not much merit to them. One more came in late because of the snow. (I reviewed much of this elsewhere.)

End of coverage of the Powerpoint from the first work session. I'll start with the Powerpoint from Wednesday in another thread.


Jet City mom said...

It's puzzling to me that Ingraham is underenrolled. I know quite a few families who chose it over Ballard, and really liked what had to offer.
( of course their kids din't have to depend on the inefficient Metro routes)

He said we need a baseline that we can justify and defend that applies to all schools (a series of steps to follow).

& district cannot bend over backwards to throw money @ one program and tear apart another without clear goals and objectives that not only can be measured but WILL be.

Betty said she wanted to let people know that one reason for that legal/law enforcement focus at RBHS is because an NBA player who went to RBHS is willing to fund it.

Interesting choice- but questions re: community interest & what/how long would this be underwritten?
There certainly is a need for more perspective and education than what Microsoft would be interested in.
Id love to see a public policy/legal/law enforcement/civic engagement emphasis if the community supports it.

I can't address the AS#1 yet as it makes me ill- but I am firing off letters to board.

Garfield is also much more than a place where APP students go- if the numbers of 23 APP students more than in 2009 is accurate ( & I don't have any reason to think that it is not)
Why does anyone think moving APP is the answer?

Charlie Mas said...

If we are to consider closing AS#1 due to low enrollment, then, to be fair, Madrona and Rainier Beach should be held to the same standard.

If we are to relocate programs out of Garfield due to overcrowding, then, to be fair, elementary schools in the northern half of West Seattle should be held to the same standard.

It is, of course, absurd to think of fixing Garfield's problem of 200 extra students this year by placing the burden on APP, which grew by 23 students.

So much for any attempt at fairness or data-based decision-making in Seattle Public Schools.

Instead, they regard all non-attendance area programs as totally portable or expendable and all attendance area programs as if they enrolled every student who lives in the attendance area.

Susan said...

I'm puzzled by the emphasis at this meeting on the law/legal option for RBHS. Of all the ideas the PTSA presented, that was one of the more minor ones, I thought. The money the NBA player is donating isn't really that much ($5,000?), and it will go to create a mock courtroom set-up for mock trials. It seemed more like an after-school debate club to me. The other ideas: IB, STEM, Broadway-Bound performance arts program, all seemed to have more meat. Were these other ideas discussed at this meeting as well?

hschinske said...

It is, of course, absurd to think of fixing Garfield's problem of 200 extra students this year by placing the burden on APP, which grew by 23 students.

Yes. What about the non-APP out-of-area students? There are hundreds of them as well (on a previous thread, http://saveseattleschools.blogspot.com/2010/11/garfield-option-not-discussed.html, we came up with 600+, assuming the 984 students currently attending from the Garfield attendance area includes the 286 APP students in that area). Of the 796 out-of-area kids at Garfield, only 169, or about 21%, are in APP.

Assuming there are at least a few students supposedly in the Garfield area who in fact got in based on false addresses, the ratio of APP to non-APP out-of-area students is even lower.

If in fact APP students who live in the Garfield attendance area are not included in the 984 figure (which I think is unlikely), the number of out-of-area students who are not in APP drops to 510, but that raises the proportion of APP students in the whole population of out-of-area students to only 25% (169/(510 + 169)).

So, we can legitimately make this a talking point: only 20 or 25 percent of the five or six hundred out-of-area students at Garfield are in APP. How are they crowding the building more than the other 75 or 80 percent of out-of-area students?

Helen Schinske

Melissa Westbrook said...

Susan, I don't think Betty has a good feel for how a legal/law enforcement program would run - she heard there was money from this player and went with it.

To your question, one of the issues at Work Sessions is the enormous amount of information covered. It leaves very little time for discussion and questions relevant to the amount of material. And I wish Kay and Sherry would quit apologizing for asking so many questions. It's their right and it's a responsibility to their constituents and the public.

I believe both these Work Sessions should have had the budget aspects removed as it overburdened the whole discussion. They should have gone over all the Transition Plan, THEN had an "integrated" discussion.

Josh Hayes said...

Thanks for the notes about AS1, Melissa. I made a similar point to Harium about double standards: when he pointed out that AS1 is under-enrolled, I asked about the enrollment at Sand Point, McDonald, and Viewlands. He admitted they were low, but with district support they were expected to rise.

I said, "with district support, our enrollment will rise as well. Have them try it, and we'll see."

What's fair for the goose is fair for the gander, right? I hope so.

Josh Hayes said...

And one more thing about the proposal to house pre-schools and various other programs at Pinehurst: we had the head of the SpEd PTSA tour through the building and she was appalled at the idea, saying that it would cost millions and millions of dollars to bring the building to a minimally code-compliant level. I don't doubt that at all: it's a dump (but it's OUR dump!).

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

"They next talked about AS#1. The claim was that AS#1 enrollment was continuing to drop despite established enrollment goals. Tracy said the AS#1 students could go to either Jane Addams or Thorton Creek."

I didn't think Tracy was this clueless.

Did she, or anyone else, even acknowledge that AS1's enrollment is down due to parents fear of choosing the school because it has been slated for closure, what, 4 times now?

Send em to TC? Yeah, right Tracy. Remember that TC is full to capacity, with a large waitlist? And that it has a huge "guaranteed in" neighborhood geographic zone which will limit their openings even further? And the two schools are not even close to similar in alt philosophies?

JA? Another great option from Tracy. Send kids from a closed alt school (AS1), to a non alt school that is only guaranteed existence through 2012.

Good going SPS, and thanks Tracy.

Unknown said...

emeraldkity, the more I think/read/talk to parents, the more convinced I become that Ingraham is underenrolled because it's hard to get there. A student in Ballard can take 1 bus to get to Hale. It takes more buses/time to get to Ingraham, though it it at least equidistant, and possibly a bit closer.

Students on Queen Anne (the east side at least) can take 1 bus to Ingraham, but it's the 358. Some folks remain leery about putting their kids on that particular route.

seattle said...

I don't have a problem with North end HS APP being moved to the north end. In fact I have always believed that north end APP students should have a north end APP location. I just don't like how the district came to the decision to house APP at Ingraham. Any APP move should have been the result of plenty of research and community input to figure out what is best for that community. It should not have been driven by the over crowding at Garfield, or been placed in a building with poor Metro access.

Again, way to go SPS.

Maureen said...

I'm not sure about bus access limiting interest in Ingraham. I think the real issue was that with the popularity of Hale and BHS and RHS, the old Assignment Plan made IHS the school where north end kids whose parents weren't informed ended up. The NSAP means that those kids don't all end up at the same schools anymore, so I believe IHS will have a change in population and then popularity even without an accelerated IB program. And the 358 won't be scary to parents when it is full of IHS students (well, maybe it will be scary in a different way!).

Sarah said...

"I'm not sure about bus access limiting interest in Ingraham."

Parents are tired of "fixing" schools, and doing the district's work.

seattle said...

"the old Assignment Plan made IHS the school where north end kids whose parents weren't informed ended up. "

In addition to uninformed north end families winding up at Ingraham there were a lot of SE Seattle families. Those families perceived Ingraham as a better choice for their kids than Cleveland/Franklin/RBHS and consciously chose the school.

It was the only HS north of the ship canal that had space and SE families were easily able to get in (I guess bus service is OK from SE Seattle to Ingraham?).

If you look at one of the old "where they come from" district maps, it's quite surprising just how many kids bused up to Ingraham from SE Seattle. The district no longer posts those maps, but I can't see why it isn't still happening. There's plenty of space at Ingraham, so any SE Seattle students who choose the school would still get in.

Sarah said...

Last year, participants in IB program dropped. Not sure why.

Sarah said...

After the north-end assignment plan changed, many North Beach families left for private school

Let us face it- the district treats parents like $%#@* Many parents are "sick" of this district.

Charlie Mas said...

Families in the north-end, particularly those north of 85th, find the Shoreline schools to be a viable option.

Ingraham, as far north as it is, competes not only with Ballard, Hale, and Roosevelt, but also with the Shoreline high schools.

Similarly, the schools at the far south of the district compete with schools in the Highline and Renton districts.

hschinske said...

Seems to me there's a bilingual program at Ingraham that's historically drawn from outside the area, too. That may have included some of the SE families.

Good point about the Shoreline schools.

Helen Schinske

Anonymous said...

The number of APP students at Garfield might have grown by 23 students last year but the overall growth in the program as a whole has been 25% in 5 years. That will hit Garfield in the near future. Is that growth rate going to continue indefinitely? The district needs to plan accordingly.

Parent in Seattle

southmom said...

I am just outraged at the lack of firm plans for RBHS right now. Those of us with a mandatory assignment cannot believe we have not heard more. I appreciate that Garfield is challenged right now, but PLEASE, there are 1,000 students in the RBHS area scattered to the winds, going anywhere else they can. I mean, Ingram? Do you know how far away that is for SE Seattle families? I imagine the reason the IB enrollment dropped a bit at Ingram is because SE students also now have Sealth's IB program. It's also a total pain to get to - kids on my street need more than an hour by public transportation - but it's a good program. Where is the IB or AP program for the southend??? We don't need some funky law enforcement program. That will not attract local families, I'm here to tell you. It will not save that school. Families here want the same excellent, general, challenging academic high school programs that are in such abundance north of here.

Maureen said...

southmom, have you attended any of the meetings the RBHS PTSA has sponsored? I've been impressed about the way they seem to be reaching out to families from the elementaries that feed into RBHS. It seems like that sort of long term vision and advocacy could make a huge difference. The other important thing to do is to engage the staff.

Meg said...

AS#1's enrollment has declined, but it hasn't been over the course of the last decade. Check out their enrollment over the last decade

2000-01: 252
2001-02: 248
2002-03: 252
2003-04: 260
2004-05: 271
2005-06: 273
2006-07: 211
2007-08: 210
2008-09: 191
2009-10: 189
2010-11: 150

It was growing until 2005-06, when it dropped off sharply. Makes you wonder what happened, doesn't it?

I think (but haven't absolutely confirmed) that AS#1 was discussed as a possibility for closure in 2005-06. It didn't make the preliminary recommendation list, but by fall 2006, it was officially recommended for closure. And strangely, people aren't eager to sign their kids up for a school that looks like it could be closed.

As it happens, Summit's enrollment started to decline the same year. It didn't make it out of the 2008-09 closure round, but it was, I think, a good example of how threats from the district can hobble a school.

Anonymous said...

SPS figures that the criminals at RBHS might be improved if they learned a little about law enforcement while at school. Or maybe that the less dud-like students will grow up to be cops and/or models for the criminals. All pretty patronizing if you ask me.

SPS Parent

Jet City mom said...

I was wondering where the idea re: law enforcement came from- it has to come from the neighborhood- if they want students to BE from the neighborhood.

They have the Langston Hughes theatre- strong community support for the arts & dance programs @ Seward Park & Madrona- I'd like to see an arts focused school in Seattle- learning to perform can translate into skills that everyone can use, but the community needs to have a say.

I would agree is hard to get to Ingraham-unless you have a car, it would take 15min to drive but by bus from 8th NW it will take an hour- and two transfers according to Metro- - you could ride your bike in 38min- according to Google

southmom said...

Hi Emerald Kitty - Langston Hughes is in the Central Disrict, not south Seattle - it's really close to Garfield. 15 minutes to Ingram? From the U District maybe, not South Seattle - esp. at rush hour. More like 45 minutes or more by car - it's the furthest away high school I can think of. And what music and dance program at Seward Park - they just have a pottery studio there. And yes to the meetings - the neighborhood has been attending or emailing.

And ride a bike to Ingram from South Seattle? A child do that in the winter? It would take so long and be so dangerous, I sincerely hope that is just a jobe.

southmom said...

That should read "a joke."

Anonymous said...

Parent in Seattle,

Student population in the north end has grown by more than 25%. It is no surprise to anyone in this part of town that APP growth would be proportionate to that overall student growth. It is just a surprise to the district. The APP roll up numbers were just conveniently ignored when drawing the Garfield boundaries plain and simple.

- exhausted APP parent

kellie said...

To answer Meg's comment about AS1. In the 04-05 closure rounds, the district proposed the following.

AS #1, an alternative K-8 school, is located in the Pinehurst building in this region. This program is currently an all-city draw, but many of the students in the program come from the Northwest and Northeast regions. We recommend reducing the AS #1 assignment draw to the Northwest, Northeast, and Queen Anne/Magnolia regions. This will allow more regional students to access this program, and will also reduce transportation costs.

Here is the link to the NE region analysis that drove that suggestion.

Here is the link to the entire 04-05 plan.

Dorothy Neville said...

Ok, the problem with GHS right now is the boundary, not the immediate growth of APP. The gaping hole where Queen Ann High should be is the root of that. The determined failure to address that is the root of the current crisis at Garfield. (That along with bad boundaries that seemed like short term appeasement to get public support.)

Is APP growing? Can it and should it all fit into one high school in the long run? That's a different question. It appears APP is growing faster than general enrollment growth.

For the past three years, as a percent of the total elementary school population, APP elementary enrollment has been
08-09 2.68%
09-10 2.73%
10-11 2.94%

Same calculation using middle school enrollment
08-09 4.73%
09-10 4.48%
10-11 5.05%

And for High School:
08-09 3.10%
09-10 3.27%
10-11 3.41%

There was a huge jump from 7th to 8th grade this year, 14% increase from 155 t0 177 students (last two years showed 1% increase and 3% decrease respectively from 7th to 8th grade). I do not know which building the growth occured. However, this would seem to show that there really is more interest in getting into APP in 8th grade in order to get into Garfield. I predicted that with Hamilton being more convenient to the North End and now even there's a slightly later start time, along the NSAP causing issues with getting into other HSs, there would be just this sort of increase. So it would be Very Interesting to see who is applying in 7th grade? Of the 22 (or more) new students in 8th grade APP, what's their attendance area HS?

If anyone wants a copy of my spreadsheet with these figures, send me an email.

Dorothy Neville said...

Additionally, where there is always an increase in APP from 5th to 6th grade, the percent increase has gone way up.

Increase in size of 6th grade APP class as a percent of the previous year's fifth grade APP enrollment
08-09 12%
09-10 35%
10-11 43%

Charlie Mas said...

Here's a funny thing.

Growth of APP was a specific goal of the APP split. Now that it has happened (whether because of the split or for other reasons), the District acts all shocked.

Jan said...

Since APP (unlike Spectrum) has never been a program where the District can set capacity and cut off enrollment (i.e. -- everyone who qualifies gets a seat), expansion must mean one (or more) of the following:

1. Growth in overall SPS enrollment due to population;
2. Growth in highly gifted population only, due to either changes in Seattle demographics or change in relative percentages between private/public education of highly gifted kids;
3. Growth in the APP program due to the split/resiting of elementary and/or middle schools to TM and HIMS, respectively;
4. Change in the admissions protocols (either the testing requirements, the admissions percentage floor, or the evaluation/recommendation procedures for access to the program); or
5. Changes in the rates at which kids leave the program (either for private school, or for other public school options).

Those are all I can think of -- have I missed any? I am not aware of any changes in No. 4 above (other than the end of the program that allowed some very young children with limited access to the kinds of resources that would lead to accelerated achievement -- but maybe that was only a path to Spectrum?)

It sure would be nice to know which of the others (1 through 3 and 5) are in play. I feel that, with respect to high school APP, which is predicated not on closed classrooms, but on the size and identity of the cohort, we are being told that District-generated overcrowding demands that we make decisions without necessary data.
GHS overcrowding is sufficiently severe that giving northend APP kids an "option" of going to APP/IB at Ingraham will not solve the problem. In fact, even "forcing" northend APP kids to Ingraham (which I predict is just 1 year away) will not solve Garfield's problem.

If they want to "preserve" Garfield APP, because it has been good for GHS and good for the kids, they would build and staff a voluntary northend APP/IB program with really compelling curriculum -- starting in 9th grade for pre-IB, and regular IB at 10th grade, with a 12th grade option like the one in Bellevue. IF (as I suspect), a fair chunk of the growth is coming because more northend parents are willing to enroll their middle school APP-eligible kids in the program now that it is in the north end, AND Ingraham did LOTS of outreach at Hamilton to build a really solid bridge between those kids and Ingraham's program -- we could actually end up with a win-win solution (because if the program is cohort-based, but the cohort grows to the level that you can support 2 programs without significantly dropping the numbers, everyone wins (I think). Except maybe northend parents who really wish they had picked a more accessible northend location (which would mean boundary moves that, no matter how reasonable, would bring out all the APP haters -- again).

background said...

RE: AS#1 reduction. I believe 2006 also was the year the long time principal Ron retired and the school started to splinter internally. The district (mainly thru ruth medsker) began manipulating the brand new principal and many long time teachers and families left because the school leader had no will to maintain some of the program's vital components -active site based management w/ student, parent, and teacher participation, broad multi-age classes taught by teachers, parents, and community members.

The school also heavily drew from south Seattle where parents were happy to have a north end choice with bussing. Lots of AS#1's suppot and word of mouth reputation was in communities south oof the ship canal. The all city draw was great for mobile or split families who lived in different parts of the city.

The district killed the old AS#1 when they ended its all city transportation and assigned a new principal w/o community input and replaced half the staff and students. The district owes it to the familes who have chosen the school to restructure itself as a renewed alternative learning community focused on creating a truly equitable learning community.

Dorothy Neville said...

"4. Change in the admissions protocols (either the testing requirements, the admissions percentage floor, or the evaluation/recommendation procedures for access to the program);"

Over the past 10 years there have been quite a few changes to the admission protocols.

From 2000 to 2005, Lowell APP went from 14 classrooms to 19 classrooms and average class size went up. I do not recall any such overcrowding happening in other elementary schools at the time. The big increase in NE elementary schools started when? Around 2005?

Jet City mom said...

Langston Hughes is in the Central Disrict, not south Seattle - it's really close to Garfield.
I apologize I didn't get anysleep last night- I was thinking it was at RB- but that is the Paul Robeson performing arts center of course.

Anyway- bike suggestion- was just cause when I was looking it up on Google it gave that option- although when my daughter worked at Carkeek park she rode her bike from Fremont- however that was summer.
I was just using it to contrast with how long the bus took.
I didn't mean for anyone to take it seriously-our roads are not set up safely on many routes through the city for bikes.

Looking at the districts & at census data for neighborhoods- where growth in 5-18yrolds is occurring & is projected to occur is in the northend- especially in Northeast region.
However as that growth could be absorbed into Shoreline/private schools, is there anything we could/should be doing to retain it?

( although there was a time when the district considered Queen Anne the " south end". That was how they labeled it when Lincoln & Queen Anne high schools were closed- one in the " north" & one in the 'south")

Jet City mom said...

The big increase in NE elementary schools started when? Around 2005?

It was 2000 ( I am pretty sure) that Olchefske approached Summit K-12 with a request- to add a 6th grade section ( approx 30 seats) for a few years to entice students that didn't get into Eckstein.
Which they did- but the families that want Eckstein- were not likely to stay at Summit for high school, especially since support wasn't forthcoming from district to incorporate their interests into the Summit community ( and since the media was sympathetic to families who wanted the district to "reopen" the Jane Addams building, they remained hopeful.

Elementaries in the NE have been pretty popular for a while.

Lori said...

popular, yes, but overcrowding started with the 2007/2008 school year when a few NE schools had to add K classes to meet demand. The demand continued in 2008/2009, more K classes were added in the cluster, and so on.

It is today's 3rd grade classes that are larger than usual and will hit Eckstein in the near future. And the cohorts coming up behind them are actually larger.

Dorothy Neville said...

"popular, yes, but overcrowding started with the 2007/2008 "

Yes. I do not know overall district enrollment broken down by elementary, middle and high schools for previous to 2008-9 school year.

From 2000-2005, elementary APP grew 33%, from 366 kids in 14 classrooms to 485 kids in 19 classrooms. One of the new classrooms was a converted closet with a max size of 18 students. Other than that class, the average class size went up. During this time was the shift from ITBS to WASL, from a norm-referenced test to a criterion-referenced test. There were changes to CoGat thresholds as well.

This was before the surge in overall enrollment, as far as I can tell. Certainly by 2005 we hadn't had 33% growth in elementary city wide, did we?

north seattle mom said...

Lori - It is a popular mis-conception that the growth is now in the third grade. That cohort was the year that everyone ran out of space and things went from bad to worse.

Dorothy - The growth in the NE started around 2000. Take at look at this link from the very first closure round. The


It says:
There are eight neighborhood schools in the Northeast region (Bryant, Laurelhurst, Olympic Hills, Olympic View, John Rogers, Sacajawea, View Ridge, and Wedgwood) as well as one regional alternative school (AE II at Decatur) that provide a total of 3,190 seats for kindergarten through fifth grade students. AS #1 at Pinehurst and Summit K-12 at Jane Addams are also located in this region, but are not included in these capacity numbers, as these are all-city draw programs. Currently 3,662 of the elementary students attending Seattle Public Schools reside in this region. The number of resident elementary students attending Seattle Public Schools is projected to increase to 4,336 by 2014.

Currently there are 472 elementary seats needed; by 2014 we anticipate needing 1,176 elementary seats. Therefore we recommend not closing any buildings and increasing elementary capacity by adding portables to several sites.

Dorothy Neville said...

North Seattle Mom, that link does not show what I am looking for. What was the overall city wide enrollment for elementary school in 2000 to 2005? In order to assess whether or not APP grew significantly with respect to the overall enrollment, one needs that data, not just reports on how the NE started getting more crowded around then.

As I said, in those five years, elementary APP grew 33%. Did the entire elementary school population grow at a similar rate in those years? I haven't been able to find that information.

The information I provided on a previous comment shows that app is growing with respect to overall enrollment in the past few years. This is probably attributable to the splits and the NSAP, not changes in eligibility protocol. But the eligibility protocol did change a lot during that time. And now the ALO report card guarantees continued eligibility for elementary school kids to get into APP in middle school, at the same time the the district is moving toward requiring every elementary to have ALO. So no, I do not think that APP will grow without bounds, but I do not think we have enough data to suggest where it will stabilize.

north seattle mom said...


I am neither an enrollment expert nor an analyst, so I don't have comprehensive enrollment data. However, those reports have enrollment data for each of the old clusters. It was written during the 04-05 school year and it analyzes the enrollment time for the 5 years prior to that, which is the time you are questioning.

Someone who is actually an analyst can likely use that info to answer your question but not me. The only thing I really know is that I referenced this report about a million times when just one year later, Sacajawea was recommended for closure. I could not understand how the district went from "we need over 1,000 new seats in the NE" so we are going to repurpose Summit and add a whole lot of portables to any school that can take them to "we can close Sac in just six months." This was my first but certainly not my last experience of district manipulated data.

I also find this report fascinating because so many of the solutions presented were ultimately pushed through.

lendlees said...

I think part of the growth of APP is due to the fact that it is the only advanced learning option that guarantees a child a seat. Spectrum is variable at best, and waitlisted in many schools. ALO is a whole 'nother story.

So, if I were a parent of a Spectrum child that is shut out of my local program (or my local program is weak) I would push like crazy to get my child into APP where I'm guaranteed an advanced learning program.

My guess is there is a correlation between the large growth in the north end and the lack of Spectrum seats that can be attributed to at least part of the growth of APP. Just guessing though.

Dorothy Neville said...

So this discussion is to try to tease out the answer to the question: is APP growing? Perhaps also why it is growing, but mostly is it growing. I think that is important to know for the long term if one wants to plan ahead for pathways and high school issues.

Certainly overall enrollment in the district is growing, so one would expect APP to grow as well. But my analysis shows that it is growing faster than SPS enrollment, as broken down by elementary, middle and high school. I think there are good reasons to suspect that the recent growth is due to the splits and the NSAP.

Yes, there is less satisfaction with Spectrum, but there has never been a lot of satisfaction with Spectrum. The level of perceived quality in Spectrum does not seem to have changed since I have been around.

There were significant changes to eligibility protocol, especially when the WASL replaced the ITBS. I believe that that is a significant source of the growth as well, but I do not know for sure. Thus, the attempt to suss out better data for 2000-2005.

So that link with 2004-05 data, looking at all six regional reports, gives a combined elementary school population of 24,409 if I did the arithmetic correctly. Now the data I used to show the percent of elementary enrollment that are in APP used only grades 1-5 data, available here. So for this year, that is 19653. Add in the kindergarten figure of 4454 gives 24107, which is 302 fewer students. So, has elementary enrollment gone down since 2004 or are the numbers not trustworthy?

Overall, what's going to happen with GHS and APP and other solutions? APP can argue that it isn't the problem right now and they would be correct. But something is the problem. One cannot have a neighborhood assignment plan and have the boundary for a high school be as small as the distance tie breaker that was in effect 2009-10.

Where do all those out of area kids live and how did they get enrolled given the historic distance tie breaker? Would cutting the sibling preference and cutting option seats do enough to restore sanity? For the short term or for the long run?

hschinske said...

Another question, to which we are very unlikely to get an answer, given how poorly the district tracks APP-qualified students who aren't enrolled in APP, is how much of the growth in APP enrollment is due to more students being identified, and how much is due to more students accepting APP placement.

Helen Schinske