Southeast Community Meeting

Last year, when the District rolled out the School Reports, there were Community Meetings in every region of the City. I don't know if they are doing that again in every region, but there is a meeting of some kind this week in the Southeast. For some reason, it is not on the District calendar.

IB @ RB?
Find out about exciting developments at Rainier Beach High School.Southeast Community Meeting with Seattle Public Schools

Tuesday, November 29, 6:00 pm
Rainier Beach High School

Join Executive Directors Brianna Dusseault and Michael Tolley to review the District's vision and work plan for the Southeast, see newly disaggregated 2010-11 student performance data, and learn about the upcoming IB (International Baccalaureate) program at Rainier Beach High School. 

We hope our families and community can join us as we work together to build high-achieving, vibrant schools in our Southeast neighborhood.

The IB opportunityThe International Baccalaureate program at Rainier Beach High School will be an inclusive, challenging, and flexible program that will provide our students in Southeast Seattle with a great opportunity. The IB program provides excellent college preparation and a well-rounded education. The IB program helps students explore their strengths and obtain the academic training they need for success in college.

Rainier Beach High School is a candidate school for the Diploma Program, pursuing authorization as an IB World School. We anticipate IB courses for juniors and seniors will be offered beginning September 2013. Candidate status gives no guarantee that authorization will be granted.


speducator said…
I certainly hope the IB program is successful at Rainier Beach. I've heard the enrollment there is currently 250. Does anyone know if that is accurate?
Anonymous said…
"... Candidate status gives no guarantee that authorization will be granted....."

Is there a target date when we'll know whether or not authorization has been granted?

-Southend Parent
Charlie Mas said…
Total headcount enrollment at Rainier Beach High School, as of Novemeber 1, 2011 (adjusted): 367.

AAFTE: 347.12

Look here for enrollment reports.
Jet City mom said…
There are 231 students in the regular program at RB. How many classes need to be offered in order to be able to offer students an IB diploma ( or even a certificate) ?
Charlie Mas said…
Further analysis of RBHS enrollment:

Grade 9: 94
Grade 10: 89
Grade 11: 74
Grade 12: 110
Total: 367

ELL: 98 - 26.7%
43 of the 98 ELL students are in grade 12, 55 are in grades 9-11.
ELL in grade 12: 39.1%
ELL in grades 9-11: 21.4%

SpEd: 42 - 11.4%
Charlie Mas said…
I would remind emeraldkity that students with IEPs and ELL students are general education students as well.

There is no reason to believe that ELL or SpEd students wouldn't also take IB classes.

The IB diploma requires seven classes, an extended essay reflecting independent study, and some creative, active, or service work outside the classroom.
Charlie Mas said…
Let me ask another sort of question.

Is IB at Rainier Beach intended to improve the appeal of the school, to better serve the students there, or some combination of the two?

If it is to attract new students, then I have to ask if students were leaving Rainier Beach in pursuit of IB or something similar? Don't Rainier Beach attendance area students choose Franklin more than any other school? They aren't going to Franklin for IB or a large selection of AP classes, are they? Since they are looking for IB, why believe that IB will attract them?

If it is to better serve the students already at Rainier Beach, then how does IB serve them better than the AP classes that Rainier Beach already offers? Have they been asking for IB? Is there an unmet demand for IB at Rainier Beach? Are the students calling for it? Is IB what the Rainier Beach students need? Is that what is missing from their education?
anonymous said…
I thought that I heard the RBHS PTSA was advocating for IB? Wouldn't that mean the current RBHS community wanted IB?

I recall that when the RBHS community did not want TAF at their school they protested pretty loudly. I haven't heard any protests against IB.

As Seattle now has limited choice RBHS has an obligation to serve it's entire community, not just the 367 students currently attending the school. It should be able to attract and serve students who want an academically rigorous program, just as it should be able to serve the struggling students currently attending the school, and every other student in between. And it should serve them in a safe, secure, environment.

I would think families choose Franklin over RBHS not because of any particular "program" but because they perform far better than RBHS, there is less threat of violence, and a lower suspension and drop out rate. That would certainly attract me to the school.

Jet City mom said…
I agree that students who are listed under SPED or ELL , may benefit from taking AP/IB classes.
However, since the enrollment figures don't report what levels of service a student requires to be successful, we don't know if those students are likely to be taking AP classes.

This is really the first I can remember reading that they were trying to put an IB program in RB. It is an expensive program & since universities often don't give comparable credit for IB test scores the way they do for AP, I wonder how well this decision has been thought out.

Oh. right.
SolvayGirl said…
I am assuming that the theory is that IB at RBHS will make it as popular as it did Sealth. It might work, as the perception that RBHS is not as rigorous as other schools is definitely a factor in its low enrollment.

My biggest issue with IB is that it doesn't really kick in until junior year, so there's no guarantee that rigor will be increased for freshman and sophomores. I would assume so, but it's hard to know.

This will definitely be a chicken/egg scenario with many parents taking a wait and see attitude. I know it took Sealth at least a couple of years before enrollment started to increase—but that was under the old choice plan. Maybe it will kick in faster for RBHS since there won't be a lot of options for families within its assignment area.

I know the PTSA did want it, so there must be a fair number of current students that are looking for the rigor. Wish Michael Rice was still teaching there so we could have an insider's view. What about the PTSA mom that posts sometimes? Any first-hand info?
Jet City mom said…
I know it took Sealth at least a couple of years before enrollment started to increase

I agree that enrollment could increase, it is a big building for such a small student body.
However, is that program really for the students who are there now, or do they just want to replace the student body with one that is more successful & in that case where do the original RB students end up?

We have various programs to give students a chance to earn college credit in high school, but how many vocational programs are there?
Metal shop, composites, wood shop? Do they even exist?

College students are graduating with astronomical loans and a weak economy.
Jobs are going begging and employers are looking elsewhere because we don't have workers.
The governor wants to improve vocational education in our high schools- are we even interested in that?

Are all the votech classes through the community colleges?
I don't mean to go off track- but my H works in composites at Boeing and there is a real need for workers- good jobs that aren't seasonal like in construction-and I don't see a lot of opportunities for students to even be exposed to the trades.
I don't see AP/IB serving students who are not on track to graduate high school.
anonymous said…
Sealth and Ingraham were unpopular schools for years. It wasn't until they implemented the IB program that they became so desirable to families. They've been so popular that this year they both had waitlists for 9th grade, and the district couldn't offer the 10% set aside seats at Sealth. If IB is what families want (and judging by what happened at Ingraham and Sealth I'd say it is) then why not give it to them?

EmeraldKity IB isn't mandatory. At Sealth and Ingraham students choose between "regular" classes and IB classes. Students who want to pursue the IB diploma take IB classes and those that don't want the IB diploma don't. There is no reason struggling students could not be served along side of advanced students. It's not reasonable to serve one population, either one, over the other. Especially with limited choice.

Solvay, though there are some exceptions most high schools restrict AP classes to juniors and Seniors. Freshmen and Sophomores take honors classes. Pretty much the same as IB.

Jet City mom said…
AP classes you can take one at a time- & if you earn a 4 or a 5 on an AP test you can earn college credit.

You aren't likely to earn college credit in the IB program unless you have an IB diploma. Even my niece who graduated summa from Colgate & attended Interlake, wasn't able to earn an IB diploma or gain college credit through that program.

It seems an expensive want, in this economic climate.
Anonymous said…
to, Emerald: There are vocational courses and "Academies" in the high schools, e.g. West Seattle HS has Carpentry, Culinary Arts, Auto Repair. Check the website and Course Catalog for each high school to see what's offered. Students can also take Running Start classes at vocational and technical schools while attending any high school.

from, a Reader
Jet City mom said…
thanks- I didn't realize that non college ( transfer) credit courses were available through Running start at the community colleges.
Neither of my kids did running start so I am not that familiar.
I hope students take advantage of the running start classes, once they graduate, Seattle community college could be expensive since they don't participate in the federal student loan program.
Woaw, I can't believe what some of the comments are implying...So IB is too good for those non-gifted, non-higly capable , just average RB students??? They shouldn't dream to go to college but instead get a technical job?? Not that there is nothing wrong with that, but how about letting the students choose what they want to become? Because this is what is missing here in the SouthEast, CHOICE!
The argument about the dire economical situation doesn't really make sense to me... A lot of programs are expensive ( Spectrum, APP,..) doesn't mean we will cut them right? The students at RB are as bright and capabable as any other students, let's just give them more opportunity to shine..
I think IB would be a great program for all the presents and futures students at RB!

A Mom
Another Mom said…
A Mom, I had the same reaction as you have to these comments, especially the implication that RB students might be better served by technical programs than anything intended for higher education.

Was it a former RB teacher, Michael Rice (?) who posted last year about a good number of RB seniors last year were going on to college?

I personally know a RB area student who transferred to Sealth's IB program after getting the rigor she needed at Beach in her first two years. Obviously the prep for IB is already THERE.

I HATE HATE HATE the continued assumptions on this blog and by other well-meaning people who do not know or have children at RB who seem to think the kids there don't want and aren't capable of challenging courses.

As a parent of a young child who might one day be assigned to RB, I applaud the coming changes. I just hope that well-meaning people won't try to "help" by forcing her to take vocational courses because they think that's all she can do.
IBTeacher said…
"You aren't likely to earn college credit in the IB program unless you have an IB diploma."

This is not true - it really depends on where you choose to go to college. UW says on its website that it typically gives 5 quarter credits for scores 5 or higher (out of 7) on IB subject tests.

"There is no reason to believe that ELL or SpEd students wouldn't also take IB classes."

To support Charlie's point, I would add that the majority of IB students worldwide take their IB exams in a second language.

"I hope students take advantage of the running start classes, once they graduate, Seattle community college could be expensive since they don't participate in the federal student loan program."

I worry when parents pressure their kids to take Running Start classes in high school to earn the college credits. At UW, students are finding that they can't get into the intro-level courses they want to take because they already have similar credits through RS, especially now that seats are scarce as a result of budget cuts. My advice to students who want college-level courses - take IB or AP and if you do well, you'll get the credits. Also, the goal shouldn't be to graduate college FASTER, it should be to learn as much as you can. So, if you are talented enough to earn an IB diploma, maybe you can get 2 majors in your 4 years instead of just 1.
kellie said…
I am really glad that they are hosting an open meeting. It would be wonderful for IB at Rainer Beach to be as successful as it has been at Ingraham and Sealth. Sealth can not be expected to grow any larger and many more students want access to this type of program.

I hope there is some plan to share resources amongst the three IB schools. IB takes time to grow and it would great for that process to be as supported as possible. I would love it if all three IB schools were able to offer the advanced IB program as well.
Jet City mom said…
I worry when parents pressure their kids to take Running Start classes in high school to earn the college credits.

I was speaking of the vocational classes that are available at the community colleges.
Both running start & AP test credit have enabled a lot of kids to continue their education because it can save them a lot of money.
Sure it would be nice if every student could attend college for 4 years.
It also would be nice if every student could afford to .
Charlie Mas said…
Elenoid wrote: "Woaw, I can't believe what some of the comments are implying...So IB is too good for those non-gifted, non-higly capable , just average RB students???"

I don't believe it either. Of course, I don't believe it because I don't think that's what anyone was implying.

Maybe I'm just dense. Help me out, Elenoid and another mom. Point out the bits that implied that message.

Elenoid writes: "I think IB would be a great program for all the presents and futures students at RB!"

I don't think IB is a good choice for students who have not been adequately prepared for the class. There are students at Rainier Beach who are not adequately prepared for those classes, just as there are students at EVERY high school who are not adequately prepared for those classes.

I don't think IB is a good choice for students who have no interest in taking the classes. There are students at Rainier Beach who are not interested in those classes, just as there are students at EVERY high school who are not interested in those classes.

It just seems goofy to write that IB is "a great program for all". It's not.
dan dempsey said…
Let us consider the Dwindling Power of a College degree.

...hope for “folks who grew up believing that if they played by the rules . . . they would have the chance to build a good life.” But these days, many workers have lost a near guarantee on a decent wage and benefits — and their careers are likely to have much more volatility (great years; bad years; confusing, mediocre years) than their parents’ ever did. So when did the rules change?.....

IB is not for everyone .... nor should it be.

The SPS continually avoids making any positive moves based on evidence to close achievement gaps.

IB may be a good idea ... but what about so many others .... where is the adequate k-8 preparation?

.... we are becoming in many ways a dumb-down nation. .... USA has shortest school day and shortest school year. Teachers have little planning time in comparison to most other academically surging nations........

So what is the Plan? Change nothing but go for the Common Core State Standards and evaluate teachers based on Value Added Measures..... This is a complete farce ... we are in a Education leadership vacuum.

So Enfield brings in TFA ... go luck Southeast and good luck nation.
dan dempsey said…
The plan of differentiated instruction and social promotion and providing few if any effective interventions has created bizarre expectations.

We have the State Board of Education thinking that Advanced Algebra competence would be a good idea as a graduation requirement. ....
Meanwhile Statewide only 60.7% of students that took algebra I last year could pass the End of Course assessment. ..... for Seattle 9th graders make that 48.8% and for low income Seattle 9th graders make that 38.5% and for Rainier Beach 9th graders make that 7%.

We have a state filled with bobble-headed politicians believing that raising expectations will produce better results ..... the evidence is just not there to support these bizarre wishful thinkers.

Systems need to be in place to support students in meeting increased expectations .... and so far the State is peddling backward .... while trying to convince the public it is moving forward.
anonymous said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
anonymous said…
IB is definately not a program for all.

According to the IB counselor at Ingraham:

Students seeking the full IB diploma should be academically motivated and willing to do the extra work. They should take as many honors classes as their schedules will permit as freshmen and sophomores. Then as juniors and seniors students seeking the full IB diploma take COLLEGE LEVEL classes in all core subjects and can expect 2-3 hours of homework a night and even more on weekends. And lastly, they suggest IB students not hold a job as they find that students do not have the time to both work and study.

When we began looking at high schools for my son he was doing fairly well and working at grade level in all classes except math where he was a year advanced. But he was not very motivated academically. And he was not ready to take honors and college level classes in all core subjects in high school.

I'm glad that we have IB as an option for those kids who want and need it, but it is definitely not for everybody, nor should it be. There is nothing wrong or shameful about kids taking standard, grade level classes in high school. In fact most kids need and thrive in standard, grade level classes. Those that don't, who seek advanced work, should have access to IB, but it should be a personal choice, not an expectation for all.

Anonymous said…
"universities often don't give comparable credit for IB test scores the way they do for AP." Not true, check university websites including UW which offer comparable credit for IB as for AP.

And why would you think that Seattle Community Colleges don't participate in the Federal Student Loan Program? Of course they do.

SolvayGirl said…
Well said Charlie. IB is certainly not for everyone, and neither is college—especially considering the cost of tuition.

I too would like to see students offered more career options. We're in the college search process right now and it is definitely daunting. Found a great website called where you type in a general course of study—chemistry or graphic design for example. Then it gives you a list of the types of professions that require a degree in Chemistry (or whatever you put in). It's definitely helpful.

And I agree with emeraldkity that we need to offer more vocational courses. I'd love to see some way we could offer students a more varied selection of career options, including vocational training.
However, I'd also like to see our high schools give students more education in some of the soft sciences: sociology, psychology, etc.,; and basic economics (including how to understand compound interest, balance a checkbook, create a budget, etc.). Life Sciences should be a required field of study as far as I am concerned.

We need tradespeople for sure, and many can make a very good living without starting life with crippling loans. But we also need all of our HS students to be able to think deeply on a variety of subjects, regardless of their degree or profession. Since our structure of governing is democratic, having an educated populace is essential. Voters need to be able to formulate their opinions based on a certain degree of intellectual reasoning rather than be swayed by a slick ad campaign. As Jackson Browne noted in his still pertinent song "Lives in the Balance," They sell us our presidents the same way they sell us our cars.

This is probably the main reason I'm still fighting to have a quality public education system—our democracy depends on it.
Anonymous said…
This is great news. Once IB is established at RBHS, I think it will attract more families to stay in the neighborhood for high school.

After years of broken promises by SPS administration, IB offers families a reliable honors option. Unlike AP, IB classes you counted on can't be cancelled at the political whims of SPS. Advanced AP classes were cancelled at Garfield, for example. SPS' insane textbook adoption process won't affect IB.

The IB program is certified by an outside agency. Teachers have ongoing IB training. Textbooks must be approved by IB.

The IB program is a comprehensive and interdisciplinary curriculum. This is superior to AP which are single courses. IB courses can be taken individually, as well.

The IB program is global and standardized. You get the same quality IB program at every IB school throughout the world.

Many teachers prefer IB because of its depth and international focus. IB emphasizes analysis over memorization. Some teachers complain that AP is "a mile wide and an inch deep."

As far as students being prepared to take IB? Scores for 9th and 10th graders at Sealth have improved since IB went in. I think IB gives the school incentives to get their kids ready. Let's work to strengthen academics at Aki Kurose next, by growing the Spectrum program there.

-Hopeful and Enthusiastic
Jet City mom said…
Unlike AP, IB classes you counted on can't be cancelled at the political whims of SPS. Advanced AP classes were cancelled at Garfield, for example. SPS' insane textbook adoption process won't affect IB.

Very good point- & if the RB PTSA is more representative of the community than the Seattle PTA is, then I would be supportive, especially if they have funding to pay for subject tests for students & for the extra teacher training.
Jet City mom said…
PLEASE NOTE: South Seattle Community College does not participate in Federal Stafford Loan (subsidized or unsubsidized) or PLUS (parent loan) programs. See the information about student loan web page.

COmmunity college loans
SolvayGirl said…
As far as students being prepared to take IB? Scores for 9th and 10th graders at Sealth have improved since IB went in. I think IB gives the school incentives to get their kids ready.

This data point can't be diagnosed without some information on who earned these scores. Does anyone know if these scores are broken down by "who" these students are? As many have noted in prior threads, it's relatively simple to "improve test scores" in a school by changing the population. Did the scores at Sealth improve because:

a) more motivated students (already higher scoring) enrolled to access the IB program

b) rigor was increased at the school across the board to prepare students for IB in the 11th grade

c) some combination of the above?

Without this knowledge attributing an increase in scores to anything is just speculation. That's the problem with using test scores in a vacuum to make assumptions about a program.

It is very important to look deeper into test scores so we can truly evaluate what is working and what is not.

BTW...good stuff on KUOW on SPS right now with some specific info on Sealth.
po3 said…
IB @ RBHS will also provide a way to relieve overcrowding at GHS by offering WMS APP students a seat in the program, which at IHS starts Freshman year for these students. Worked well to fill IHS, no reason why it won't work for RBHS.

Anytime you increase rigor in a building all students benefit, regardless of whether they enroll in the program.

I hope it works for RBHS, they just cannot continue to run the school at this level of capacity; with so much staff.
mirmac1 said…
I hear what Ekitty is saying AND Elenoid and A Mom. Frankly, the RBHS PTSA is one of the best things going for that school. And to the extent they have gottent the word out that they are DONE with the SE and RBHS being ignored or starved, then more power to them.

This blog works for everyone to chime in and let their opinions be heard. I don't think anyone here would disagree that the COMMUNITY should have the biggest say about their neighborhood school. To let SPS decide on its own has been shown to suck eggs.

As a professional in the engineering/construction biz, I say Ekitty is right to point out that there are good, high-paying jobs that do NOT require a college diploma. We all want our children to have sound, rigorous classes - with supports to help bring kids up to, and beyond, grade level.
RosieReader said…
emeraldkity, I think both AP and IB function similarly in terms of obtaining college credit. You have to take an end-of-year test in a particular subject matter, and depending on how well you do on the test, many colleges offer some amount of credit. Not all colleges, they set their own rules, but many certainly do.

At Ingraham, students can take IB classes individually, and many many do. In fact, I think close to 50% of the seniors have taken at least one IB class. The number of students who choose to pursue the IB diploma is smaller.
SolvayGirl said…
po3 said: which at IHS starts Freshman year for these students.

Is this true? It's not at Sealth. Freshman and Sophomore are offered Honors Classes, but no official IB until Junior year. Do you have kids in the IB program at IHS? Are freshman who choose to be in official IB classes?

And I also second the hurrah for the RBHS PTSA. They are definitely doing a great job of getting the District to pay attention to the needs of current students AND the surrounding neighborhood.
Dorothy Neville said…
SolvayGirl, Po3 is talking about the school within a school, the exclusive IB early program for kids who were in APP in 8th grade and elect to attend Ingraham.
suep. said…
Just to respond to a few points from Elenoid/A Mom,

IB at RBHS sounds like a potentially good idea, especially if the community wants it.

As for Spectrum and APP, how are they "expensive"?

People often repeat that claim, but it's not true.

Just as I agree with those who say people should not perpetuate false information about RBHS, I also believe people should not make assumptions and false claims about Spectrum and APP.
SolvayGirl said…
Thanks Dorothy. Does that mean RBHS's IB program would function more like Sealth's at this point. I am assuming so.

Is there a possibility the District could set up a similar program at RBHS to the IHS APP IB offer for southend APP HS students in the future? I would think so as the District still needs to ease the load on Garfield.

I know the new principal at RBHS was chosen for some background with IB. It sounds like the PTSA is having a very good influence as they helped choose him.
Jet City mom said…
rosiereader thanks for the update on IB credit- I am glad that more colleges will give credit for those not pursuing the diploma, than they did 5 years ago.

I think at Ingraham they have pre-IB courses- does anyone remember how long it took Ingraham to increase academics/enrollment?

I also am not clear on why Seattle community college do not participate in the federal loan program- but it is something to be aware of.
Anonymous said…
For those of you surprised, it is very true that many community colleges throughout the US do not choose to participate in federal student loan programs. The reasons are varied and complicated, and if you're interested in knowing more, read this: (starting on page 7)

UW staffer
Anonymous said…
RE Running Start:

It's not actually free anymore due to budget cuts.

I believe tuition is still covered but the student must pay for all additional "fees", books, etc.

I know promising students who had to drop out of Running Start due to the increase in cost.

Marion said…
I just have to wonder what the IB program will do for the roughly 30% of RB students who don't graduate.

Oh wait, those are the kids we just forget about...
"Worked well to fill IHS, no reason why it won't work for RBHS."

Ingraham and RBHS are two different schools. To perceive IB will play out in the same way is not really reasonable. It might but to say "no reason", well, I could think of a few.

I agree; the community should weigh about what would make them want to send their child to RBHS and what it would take to convince their child (drama, arts, special program like Legal/Law Enforcement which had been their own proposal awhile back).
Anonymous said…
I hope the 2 EDs will discuss both Cleveland STEM and RB's proposed IB along with their feeder schools' status. What goes on in ES and MS greatly affect the success of this proposed IB program and STEM. If there is a place where we can get the district's take on what they have done right, done wrong, and where they have not done much for the SE community, this would be a great place to start that conversation. It certainly would add more information for parents and their children who will be affected by the district's plan of action. It would add more confidence for parents to get more details about how the district will go about obtaining "the academic training for success in college" so that these graduates are not stuck in college remedial classes. The other big question is safety. How will they use some of the Mayor's Ed Levy $ (I'm assumng there's $ there) to provide safety and reduce truancy and drop out rate?

Seeking details
po3 said…
Well, STEM filled Cleveland, why wouldn't IB fill RBHS, especially if they replicate the same model they did at IHS?

And it appears that this is a community supported program, lending to even more probability of success.

On the otherhand, if IB at RBHS does not work to attract students and fill the building, then the district will need to think about closing it.
SolvayGirl said…
I am not getting that the IB at RBHS will be just like the one at IHS. I haven't heard anything about making it an option for southend APP students—though it could be a good idea. And I'm not sure SE APP would voluntarily flock to RBHS until the program is in place for a while (as the program was—at least for Juniors/Seniors at IHS).

There are a number of factors that will determine how successful IB at RBHS makes the school as far as enrollment is concerned. It could work if executed and promoted well. I'm glad there is a community meeting on this so potential families can weigh in and here the plans. That's a big plus.
anonymous said…
I wish the district still had the "where they come from" maps online. They showed where students in any particular school came from. I remember looking at Ingraham several years ago and being shocked at how many SE Seattle families were sending their kids all the way north to Ingraham. It was something like 25% of the school coming from S Seattle. I'd think that many of those families would be very happy to get IB@ RBHS, and not have their kids bus an hour each way to IHS - especially since they've been squeezed out of Ingraham after APP moved in last year.
I bet IB@ RBHS will also draw some families from the Franklin service area as well as some families from other parts of the city that can't get into Sealth or IHS any more now that they are both over crowded now.

I hope the RBHS principal and staff are on board with IB and if they aren't I hope SE replaces them with people who are. That will make a big difference.

As for IHS and the super IB program, only APP kids get to take advantage of it. All general ed students take honors classes freshmen and sophomore year, and IB junior and senior year. If RBHS doesn't add the super IB APP option I don't think it would be detrimental to the IB program overall. I'd look at Sealth as an example - it is thriving without the APP IB program.

I'm very excited for SE Seattle. Between Cleveland STEM, Franklin, IB @ Rainier Beach, and the options of Center and NOVA, SE families finally have some decent, and very viable choices.

anonymous said…
We've also seen some good additions to elementary schools in S/SE Seattle with the 2 international schools, Montessori, New School, and APP at Thurgood Marshall. Still more work to be done in this area, but at least some progress.

Now I hope the district does something to ramp up Aki. That will be a big and final piece of the puzzle.

RosieReader said…
Frankie, what's your support for the statement: "especially since they've been squeezed out of Ingraham after APP moved in last year?"

Yes, there was a 9th grade wait list at Ingraham this year, but I don't think, ultimately, anyone who wanted into the school did not get in. Do you have different information?

My understanding is that the APP kids will have a couple of classes that are "cohorted" next year when they start taking IB classes at Ingraham, but most IB classes will include both APP students and other students who wish to take the IB class. Again, what causes you to believe that the APP students squeezed out others who wanted to take IB?

From my perspective, the Ingraham community became richer by adding this program. Of course, I speak as a parent, not as a student or an educator.
Anonymous said…
But Frankie! They brought in TFA. Nuff said!

Anonymous said…
emeraldkitty & UW: The high default rate is why SSCC doesn't participate in the FSLP. That's what I was told 2 yrs ago. Lucky for me I qualify for grants.

SSCC Student
Anonymous said…
IB test fees are higher than AP fees. You take these exams knowing there is NO guarantee of college credit. YMMV depending on the college of choice. IB isn't the end all/be all. There's some dispute on whether a school can properly support both programs under the same roof. My advisor told me that an IB certificate would put me on equal footing with students in other countries, where academic expectations are higher.

SSCC Student
Anonymous said…
One more thing. California has a test reimbursement program. Income qualified students pay $5 for AP and IB tests. (I graduated from a California high school.)

SSCC Student
SolvayGirl said…
There certainly seems to be a lot of confusion about exactly how the IB program works at IHS. Does anyone have some definite info? Dorothy talked about an exclusive early IB program for APP-qualified kids (frosh/soph years). I don't think those are open to all as RosieR suggests. I do believe she's correct about everyone being able to take IB once their juniors. I assume there are honors classes for non-APP Frosh/Sophs to take.

But, at every school, there are only so many spots in any given classroom. Will APP-qualified Jr/Srs at IHS get preference over those who are not?

Once again, SPS has a variety of programs all delivered in different ways. The quality of AP classes is not equal from HS to HS. Is there any reason to believe the quality of IB will be? I know IB has more rules to safeguard the integrity of the curriculum, so that is probably a big help.

WV: exprep HMMMM...
SolvayGirl said…
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anonymous said…
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Po3 said…
Here's a document that describes IB/APP

Basically, APP students stay together in 9th grade; they do the IB program in 10th and 11th. Senior year they take IB electives and college classes.

Non-APP student take honors 9th/10th grade and then IB 11th/12th.

The only reason to offer the APP/IB option at RBSH would be to take the pressure of GHS. It would also mean that there are APP would have equitable programs in post-split. Right now HIM/APP students have two options to choose from WHMs only have the one.

Honestly, I don't understand why this is not up for serious dicussion at the moment.
anonymous said…
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SolvayGirl said…
I agree Po3. How the IB shakes out at RBHS could make a huge difference to how well it succeeds. I assume this is the type of thing that will be discussed at the community meeting. I sure hope so.

As I have often noted on this blog, RBHS needs to serve a very diverse group of students if it truly wants to be a neighborhood school. There is a huge range of income levels and, I assume, academic levels. There could be kids at risk as well as over-achievers, and possibly APP qualified. The Rainier Valley is incredibly diverse and RBHS could reflect that diversity if the District and the school community gets behind a plan to support kids on both ends of the spectrum and in between.
anonymous said…
Rosie, I made the statement that S/SE students are being pushed out of IHS because Hamilton always had excess space and S/SE students got yellow bus service to the school. Coincidentally the bus service stopped two years ago, the same year that APP moved in to the building. As you know Hamilton is the feeder school for IHS, so if fewer S/SE students go to Hamilton then fewer go to IHS too. Hamilton went from being an under enrolled school to an over enrolled school within the first two years of APP moving in - and now the same thing is happening to IHS. IHS has been historically under enrolled. In fact last year they had over 230 open seats in the building. But this year the 9th grade class is full with a waitlist, and coincidentally it is the first year that APP moved into the building. Knowing that fewer S/SE students are coming from Hamilton to IHS, and APP has taken a couple hundred seats in the building, and neighborhood kids and APP students get assignment preference, and the 9th grade class is full for the first time ever that I can remember I am assuming that S/SE kids are being squeezed out. So I will defer to you Rosie, how many S. and SE Seattle students got into 9th grade at IHS this year? In the past about 25% of their student population were S/SE students. Is 25% of the 9th grade class from S/SE Seattle this year? If so, I'm wrong. If not, then APP is squeezing them out.

As for IB classes, the IHS website clearly says that 9/10th grade students take honors classes to prepare for the IB program which starts in 11th grade. The APP IB program may work differently, but for general ed students it's 10th and 11th grade for IB at IHS, unless their website is wrong.

Anonymous said…
Frankie: Is it the Cooper kids' fault that Lafayette is overcrowded, when the district took their school and tossed them out? I'm not sure about the tone of your post, but it seems you're tossing APP under the bus for things they didn't choose.

The fact is that the district simply has too many bodies for it's buildings, now that it implemented the New Student Assignment Plan. As a result, people are squeezed into numerous over-capacity buildings throughout the district. Not just Hamilton or Ingraham.

I think it's exceedingly unfair to suggest that APP is squeezing anyone out anywhere. The district did the splits, come hell or high water, while the APP community fought them every step of the way.

Solvay: A few APP kids transfer to the standard IB at Sealth already, so there'd likely be some kids in the SE who would choose IB whether accelerated or not. It's a very popular program at Sealth, with lots of APP-eligible Spectrum and non-Spectrum kids.

The Ingraham Accelerated IB was offered to relieve pressure at Garfield solely from the APP cohort this year, piggy-backion on an already solid program. I believe they would install the program and season it a few years before doing any acceleration. But, it could still relieve pressure at Garfield and Franklin, appealing to both APP and non-APP kids.

I'm really proud of the RBHS community and PTA and stand behind whatever they want. With all the district tinkering, half-hearted efforts, broken promises and meddling over the years, they've had to wait far too long to be listened to and respected for what they want. WSDWG
Anonymous said…
Why would it make sense for S/SE students to go to Hamilton and IHS anyway, actually? Doesn't it make more sense to strengthen the schools in the S/SE so no one wants to go so far north?

- puzzled
Anonymous said…
Well said, WSDWG. APP was moved - it would be unfair to say they pushed anyone out.

IB is expensive for families-the tests do cost a lot-but my son received a yar of credit at any Ivy Leaugue school, so it did pay off. He was also incredibly well prepared.

IHS parent
Charlie Mas said…
I have been thinking that the APP Pathway needs to be expanded.

Right now the high school options are Garfield and APP IB at Ingraham. I would like to see some additions to that list. I think that IB at Sealth, IB at RBHS, STEM, and NOVA are all legitimate APP pathways.
basically said…

APP did not push anyone out of anywhere, not Hamilton, and certainly not Ingraham. The NSAP pushed the Southend kids out of the Northend schools. SPS's plan to make everyone go to the school within the boundaries they drew, and no longer supplying busses pushed those kids out. Stop blaming kids who had nothing to do with it, get your facts straight.
anonymous said…
No WSDWG I'm not throwing APP under the bus, and was not using a negative tone. Of course it isn't APP's fault that there is no longer room for SE kids at Ingraham, and I never suggested that it was. Rosie asked me a question and I was answering her and giving her some enrollment history. My original point was, and is, that SE Seattle families will likely be happy to have IB in their neighborhood school (RBHS) since they no longer have predictable access to the programs at Ingraham or Sealth.

anonymous said…
"Why would it make sense for S/SE students to go to Hamilton and IHS anyway, actually? "

It doesn't make any sense. But you have to remember that several years ago SE Seattle families had a choice of Cleveland or RBHS, two under enrolled, floundering schools plagued with violence, high drop out rates, and off the chart low academic performance. There was no STEM back then, and there was no talk of IB or AP classes at RBHS. Families who wanted rigor, advanced classes, and a reasonably safe environment had no choice but to send their kids to out of neighborhood schools.

Despite all of our complaints about SPS, I'd like to acknowledge how far we've come just since my child was in Kindergarten. When he started school there were no Montessori schools, there was no John Stanford Immersion school or any other immersion schools, no STEM schools, No IB at ANY SPS HS, no Environmental Science K-8, and no New School. These are all fairly new options, and I'd like to acknowledge how far we have come in the last 10-11 years.

Anonymous said…
Fair enough Frankie. I wasn't sure if you were. or not. It's a sensitive subject because the district wanted APP to grow when they split it, and it has, which led many APP parents at the time to say, "B-B-B-BUT, then you'll be crowding neighborhood kids out of their own schools, which will only make APP the bad guys," which was met with "La-la-la-la-la-la-blah-blah-blah" (fingers in ears) - I'm not listening to you, from staff and Board Members alike. APP saw this coming, and tried to avoid this scenario. Just ask Meg, who did everything but grab a club and beat board members over the head with it, to no avail.

But, alas, this is about RBHS, and I would love to see an IB program there, especially if they are asking for it. I know many happy Sealth IB families and it's had a lot to do with turning Sealth into a great school overall. WSDWG
basically said…

Sorry I guess I misunderstood when you said:
"I'd think that many of those families would be very happy to get IB@ RBHS, and not have their kids bus an hour each way to IHS - especially since they've been squeezed out of Ingraham after APP moved in last year. "

I thought you were saying APP squeezed out Southend kids.

That's how I interpreted that sentence.
anonymous said…
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anonymous said…
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anonymous said…
Basically -you interpreted my sentence correctly. The fact is that the addition of APP to IHS and Hamilton did squeeze out South end kids, but that doesn't mean, and I never said that anyone was at fault or wrong to house APP in those schools. North end families have been asking for a north end APP site for years, and the district finally listened. In my opinion that's a good thing. And, FWIW, I think APP is a great addition to IHS. But the fact remains that the addition of APP created a domino effect at Hamilton MS and IHS- App moved into those buildings and now the buildings do not have the excess space they once had. Without the excess space they they can not accommodate as many south end kids as they used to.

Hello Everyone,

Thank you for having an open conversation about Rainier Beach High School. To set the record straight on a few items. The PTSA and The District have been collaborating for over a year to bring the IB Diploma/certificate program to the school. In November of 2010 the PTSA hosted a community meeting and surveyed current, prospective, and past parents of their wishes for programs at RBHS and IB was the #1 choice followed by a Law Magnet, Sports Medicine and a more extended Technical/apprentice program i.e. CWEST. So yes the PTSA supports the IB Program coming to RBHS. This program will not only benefit our current freshman class but will bring us to a competitive level to allow parents an option to send their students to RBHS. When surveyed parents stated #1 reason students chose other schools instead of RBHS was because the lack of programs. Even though RBHS offers smaller classes, AP classes and a support system through Viking Visionaries, Danna K. Johnston Foundation and many others they still chose to go to crowded schools i.e. Franklin, and Ingrahm.

Let me shed some light on a few things...RBHS 2011 class had approximately 42% of its graduating class, and the 2010 class had approximately 45% of its class go on to higher education. But because the way the district reports its numbers and have to account for the cohorts the numbers do not give the accurate story. At RBHS we receive the highest numbers of students not ready for High School but turn out the highest number of students ready for higher education. And this is not only through our sports program either.

The problem with RBHS low enrollment primarily has to do with the fact that RBHS does not have a program to tout about i.e. Cleveland, Chief Sealth, Garfield, Franklin. To be more accurate the enrollment center also does a pretty good job on sending students to other schools instead of RBHS. I ask you why is Franklin and Garfield OVER enrolled and RBHS under enrolled? HMM...still do not have an answer on this one.

For more information please come tonight to hear from the District and PTSA. We will be present and ready to answer your questions.

Carlina Brown
PTSA President
IB Ambassador
Anonymous said…
I look forward to seeing what IB can do for RBHS. Am I right in thinking that one of its advantages is that in order to be an official IB school there will be an outside body (IB?) requiring that the school offer a certain set of courses? If so, I see a possible gain in the requirement to offer those classes even if they are underenrolled.

Hasn't that been part of the issue at some of the SE schools? That offering an AP calculus class is bandied about, but dropped when the class will only have 10 people in it? I do think that was one of the draws at Ingraham -- that students who came there for the advanced classes would have them, even if there was "insufficient" demand.

dj said…
Frankie, I agree that all of those new programs are great things, but the neighborhood assignment program means that most of us who do not live in the assignment areas for those schools cannot access them. My kids have exactly the same access to language immersion as they would have had fifteen years ago (which is to say, zero access).
dj said…
Also, assuming that the RBHS community is open to IB, and given the popularity of IB at Sealth and Ingraham, I think it is a great idea for RBHS. I wouldn't count on it as a huge lure for APP kids, only because the APP kids in the "southend" tend to cluster closer to Garfield than Ranier Beach -- it isn't comparable to Ingraham, where the northend parents wanted a northend school.
hschinske said…
One more thing. California has a test reimbursement program. Income qualified students pay $5 for AP and IB tests. (I graduated from a California high school.)

So does Seattle, last I heard (certainly for AP tests, and I think for IB as well). I've posted about it before.

Helen Schinske
Anonymous said…
Yes, you are right DJ, all families do not have access to all programs. The system is far from perfect, but I'd still say we have far better options today than we did 10 years ago when these programs didn't even exist.

Today a family can hope for one of the 10% choice seats at any high school in the city (assuming the district keeps its promise). That's far better than the old SAP/choice program where only families that lived within a mile or so of a popular school had any hope of getting in.

Today all families have access to STEM and Jane Adams, two schools that didn't even exist 10 years ago. They also have access to a host of alt schools, Center, and NOVA. And for awhile they will have access to IB at RBHS. And North end families now have APP in the north end for MS and HS.

I wish Montessori and Immersion were choice schools and I hope that someday they will be. But for now at least we are watching the district grow and replicate these programs fairly rapidly.

It's not all bad.

SolvayGirl said…

The 10% hold-aside at high schools was pretty much dropped this year due to over enrollment at the most popular schools like Garfield, etc., so the District has already broken its promise on that one.
Anonymous said…
Solvay the set aside seats were only dropped at two schools, Sealth and Garfield, and it was a one year suspension, it was not indefinite, and the district took a lot of heat over it. Hopefully we will see the 10% set aside seats at all schools this year.

As I think I mentioned in my post "if the district keeps its promise".

SolvayGirl said…
I hope that is the case Frankie. Thanks.
Anonymous said…
People are forgetting that to draw off substantial numbers of the higher achieving students(be they APP, Spectrum, TOPS...), you'd better have a stellar music program in place. That's one reason the APP IB was palatable to families - they already had a small but good music program, ready to incorporate some very accomplished musicians. Without that, most would not have given up GHS.

open ears
Frankie, I think you have that 10% thing wrong. What I understood is there were only set-asides at West Seattle, RBHS and Ingraham available. I'll have to ask Tracy Libros but I find it hard to believe that there were set-aside seats at Ballard and Roosevelt given they are as large as Garfield.
anonymous said…
Melissa Charlie posted a thread on this blog on March 25th 2011, that listed the set aside seats at each school.

Here is the link:

It was only Sealth and Garfield that did not offer the 10% set aside seats for 9th grade in 2010/11. Ballard offered 5%, and all other schools including Roosevelt offered the promised 10%.

Charlie Mas said…
Frankie, the Board did, in fact, completely do away with the 10% set-aside. They have completely replaced it with "space available". They tried to retain the words "10% set aside" in their new version, but the version is, in effect, space available.

The 10% set aside promise was broken and replaced. Only a commitment from the Board can bring it back. The old Board never would have done it. I can't say what the new Board will do. They may have a a different view on keeping commitments to students and families. The old Board followed the District culture which makes promises to communities to suppress dissent. Once the dissent is suppressed, the promise is forgotten.
anonymous said…
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anonymous said…
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anonymous said…
I had not heard about that Charlie. If it is true it is inexcusable. Where can I find out more information about that decision? I'd like to read the wording. I checked the SPS website but didn't find anything about it, except for this excerpt from the NSAP:

"Each attendance area high school will have Open Choice seats available for students from other attendance areas who are applying for assignment to that school."

It confirms that ALL high schools WILL offer choice seats, but does not specify 10%, or any other number. Very vague.

Jan said…
Frankie and Charlie: The language Frankie quotes is from the main SAP. Here is the open choice language from the Transition Plan for 2011-2012:

The number of Open Choice seats for 9th and 10th grade students from outside of the attendance area is calculated as follows:

Set target enrollment for 9th and 10th grades based on 25% of each school’s functional capacity.

• But, if projected 11th and 12th grade enrollment is more than 50% of functional capacity,
reduce 9th and 10th grade targets accordingly.

If the grade or school’s projected enrollment is:

• 90% or less of the target (based on functional capacity), the minimum number of Open Choice
seats will be 10%.
– There will be more Open Choice seats added (above the minimum) if attendance area enrollment is
less than 90% of target enrollment.

• 91% ‐100% of the target (based on functional capacity), the minimum number of Open Choice seats will be less than 10%.

• More than 100% of the target (based on functional capacity), there are no Open Choice seats.

Students in 11th and 12th grades who live outside of the attendance area may also apply during Open
Enrollment and through September 30. Assignment is based on space available and tiebreakers.
Elementary and middle schools do not have designated Open Choice seats. Assignment of non‐
attendance area students is based on space availability and tiebreakers.

Here are my "Charlie" questions -- first, to my knowledge the Board hasn't spoken (yet) about the conflict that will happen in 2012-13 in the overcrowded high schools. Do you know anything to the contrary, Charlie? If I am correct, they will either have to come up with another "tweak" -- like the one for this year, or they will proceed under the main SAP language that Frankie quotes, and then either ignore it, or have some de minimus number (like 1 or 5 or 10) spots in schools that have no room.

Second question -- do we know definitively which schools this year had NO spaces, or less than 10percent, under the transitional rule? I know GHS had none, and I thought Sealth also had none (or there was something that gave preference for choice seats to a specific area.
Anonymous said…
My question do we know how many out-of-assignment-area students get into a high school as compared to how many applied. Since enrollment numbers jump around, how can we even know what a hard 10% ever is/was/going to be?

Anonymous said…

The APP IB at IHS totals fewer than 60 kids. There was plenty of room there for SE kids. APP did not squeeze out IHS kids. Don't scapegoat APP for problems caused by NSAP.

open ears
mirmac1 said…
Let's see, what is the topic of this thread? Oh right, IB at RBHS. Can we focus on the inequities in the SE please?

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