Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Tuesday Open Thread

Operations Ctm agenda now available for their meeting on Thursday from 4-6 p.m.  Highlights include "growth boundary update" from Enrollment's Tracy Libros, "resolution that construction projects will not create or aggravate racial imbalance", and a resolution about the "sustainability and design and construction of high performance schools."  This is from President Smith-Blum and I believe she means it for greening of schools, not academic achievement.

A bill passed both chambers of our Legislature yesterday regarding the use of so-called isolation techniques.  From KIRO-tv:

According to state law, schools can isolate students in rooms without parental permission and are not required to notify the parents their child has been disciplined with isolation.

 But lawmakers in Olympia passed a new bill Monday which states:

 "The principal … must verbally inform the student's parent or guardian of the restraint or isolation as soon as possible, preferably on the school day that the restraint or isolation occurred."

Show the kids this one - Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield explaining what happens when you try to wring out a soaking wet washcloth in space.   (I believe this was based on an inquiry from two schoolchildren.)

What's on your mind?


mirmac1 said...

Regarding the bill passage, I want to call out parent Mary Griffin for her strong lobbying and advocacy efforts. Now, if only PD efforts were in place to ensure principals and teachers know about the laws governing restraint and seclusion, and the impacts of same. Otherwise this will continue to happen.

Eric B said...

Construction projects won't create or aggravate racial imbalances? How does that work in a city that is geographically segregated? For example, opening a new middle school at JA will aggravate racial imbalances at Eckstein. I don't think that's a reason not to do the JA project, or that anyone in decision-making positions wants this, but it will happen. It will also happen anywhere else a new or expanded school will take an area of diversity away from another school's assignment area.

It seems like the solution is more choice, but that's not the road we're on.

kellie said...

Do you have a link or a copy of the resolution? For a construction project to "not" do something, there has to be a clear definition of the "thing" it should do.

So to "not create or aggravate racial imbalances," there will need to be a definition of "racial balance" with corresponding metrics. Then all construction projects will be required to show the current "balance" and the change once project is complete.

I can't get my head wrapped around this one. Construction projects create seats, and seats do not have a racial designation.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
ws said...

any suggestions on how to help my child with reading pronunciation and sounding out words? Any workbooks recommended? My kid is in K and doesn't seem to get how the sounds work together.

Anonymous said...

Reposting no moniker anon comment:

"@ Kellie, seats might not inherently have a racial designation. But when you draw the boundaries. You can "cluster" groups. Just look at Sand Point's attendance area, I'm sure Bryant, Laurelhurst and View Ridge could have shared some of the low income population."

Similar to suggestions to have BF Day kids go to McClure instead of Hamilton to deal with Hamilton capacity. This would skewer future demographics of Hamilton and McClure. So it sounds like they are looking at sites: new ones, existing ones and rennovated ones and how to do so without concentrating high needs populations in one school if possible. Tinkering with consequences of NSAP.


Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry about this, but am not at all surprised, because SPS is using a VERY outdated reading methodology that doesn't actually teach children how to decode words. About 30% of students can figure out sounding out on their own, but the other 70% need more guidance. You are NOT alone in searching for help for your child- I might add that you're seeking help for something that should be the very foundation of all literacy instruction. Instead your child is being taught how to memorize sight words and guess words based on pictures. I'm sure your child's teacher will even tell him/her to sound out, even though they haven't actually taught them all of the digraphs and dipthongs one needs to know to sound out words.

As for how to help, I would recommend Reading A to Z. For about $80 a year you can get a site membership for it via http://www.readinga-z.com/members/index.php

The site has a phonics sub-section that includes lessons and dozens of downloadable/printable books, as well as assessments that will let you know where to begin. (be sure to use their phonics section)

There are lots of other sites, or programs out there I could recommend, but they can cost a lot more money and I've found Reading A to Z to be research based and very well designed for a parent who doesn't really know how to go about teaching a child to read. You can get a two week membership for free to try it out before buying.

http://www.starfall.com/ is a good free site for learning how to blend simple 3 letters words, but once your child moves beyond that level, it isn't much use.

Sound Reading Solutions is also very good, but is more pricey. There is less parent work involved (assembling books and such). http://www.soundreading.com/

BOB books are also very helpful. http://www.hand2mind.com/catalog/product?deptId=&prodId=65577&wotrl=froogle&gclid=CLPantnD4bYCFSjZQgod9EkAAQ

Good Luck

Anonymous said...

We found starfall interesting and useful when our kids were 4-6 or so. The BOB books (available at Amazon) and their ilk were also fun. But, I think I'd also say that K is not the time to get "worried" about reading. though offering opportunities is certainly great.


Anonymous said...

I also recommend the BOB books by Bobby Lynn Maslen. A nice follow up series to the BOB books is the Animal Antics series by Nora Gaydos.


Anonymous said...

The Bob Books are relatively amusing and seem to work well. My son enjoyed them. By all means, take some action on teaching your child, especially if you can make it a fun thing you do together ... but at the same time try not to worry. Some children who can't read in kindergarten are just not ready. I think my son was absorbing information like crazy in kindergarten, but he could not make the leap to actually performing the reading and writing tasks. When he finally got it around the middle of first grade, he almost seemed to turn around overnight. One day he couldn't do it, the next he could. Maybe a little less dramatic, but you get the idea. The teacher said it was common in her experience.

Maureen said...

I agree with zb about not worrying too much yet. The BOB books were great for my kids for about a month. Then they moved on, so I would recommend borrowing them from a friend or getting them from a used bookstore or consignment store. ( I got ours at Kids on 45th eons ago.)

The best advice I ever got about raising a reader is to be a reader yourself and to try and read with them as much as possible.

(Of course some kids definitely need extra help with phonemic awareness and I think all of them are empowered by being taught phonics. I just would avoid stressing over it with a five year old.)

Anonymous said...

Yes, I wouldn't worry about a 5 year old either, but remember, many of the current kindergarteners are nearing 6 1/2 at this point, and seeing as though the district expects the kids to be reading D level books by the end of K, I can totally understand why many parents begin to worry when they realize their children don't have decoding skills at the end of K. This is sample text from a D level book my K child brought home this year.
"I see trees when I go to the woods. I see big and little trees. I see a squirrel in the woods and it climbs up a tree. The squirrel sees me....."etc
That is the level kindergarteners must be reading at to meet end of year standards (and I've seen many D books that are much harder). Reading words such as tree, woods, climb and little (for example) can be challenging when you haven't been taught vowel combinations such as "oo" or "ee" and the list goes on. I tutor a lot of SPS students who come to me in 4/5th grade reading S/T level books, but they can't decode basic 3 letter nonsense words such at vot or fop. Without intervention they will fall apart in middle school because text books are riddled with multi-syllabic unseen words.
Good Luck

ws said...

Thanks everyone for your insight. I should add, that I'm not necessarily worried about him. Reading is a big deal in our house and DS wants to read. My thinking is if he wants to read but can't sound the words out (and he has memorized tons)we should be helping him get that instruction.

I think he would get a kick out of sounding words out. He seems to really want to.

Benjamin Leis said...

In Kindergarten I read the Bob books with my son every night for about 10-15 minutes for about 6 weeks. That worked to get him a basic phonics background. We did a little practice with refrigerator magnets during some meals as well. I also found making a set of flash cards of sight words based on a combo of what was done in class + the Bob books was helpful for the first 1-2 months.

I still remember how panic-inducing it was to see some Kindergartners coming in literally reading Harry Potter but I kept reminding myself how I didn't even start to learn to read until first grade.

Hang in there

Po3 said...

Bob books!!!

Anonymous said...

I read with my kindergartener a lot and I do get annoyed when I can tell she is guessing at the word by looking at the pictures, or when she forgets simple sounding out rules. I have to remind her "magic e" at least once a page as well as "when two vowels go walking. I can't wait for reading to become relaxing and enjoyable for her. Right now she concentrates so hard and gets frustrated easily. It doesn't help that the books at her reading level aren't really that interesting compared to what I read to her.

Anonymous said...

I cannot believe I am about to advocate a TV programme for reading but here goes. My son loved a show called Word World ( it was on PBS, I am sure you can find DVD's or you tube clips.) It does a lot of phonics based playing with words. He watched it once or twice a week. He was an emerging reader at the time and I think this approach really pushed him over the edge.
Also the BOB Books and the earlier Dr. Seuss books.


Melissa Westbrook said...

Just to add, my older son started reading, by himself, at 3 1/2. We had just read to him and somehow he picked it up.

The younger son, also read to, didn't really fully read until the end of 1st grade. I was frantic the first grade year but his wise teacher said, "It'll come but not if you pressure him. Reading is fun."

It'll come (but yes, good that you are aware of where she's at).

Melissa Westbrook said...

Just to add, my older son started reading, by himself, at 3 1/2. We had just read to him and somehow he picked it up.

The younger son, also read to, didn't really fully read until the end of 1st grade. I was frantic the first grade year but his wise teacher said, "It'll come but not if you pressure him. Reading is fun."

It'll come (but yes, good that you are aware of where she's at).

Charlie Mas said...

The language about racial imbalance is required for state matching funds for construction projects. The state has a set of metrics and benchmarks for it. I have looked it up in the past. So there are legal definitions for "racial imbalance" for the purposes of the law and the board motion.

A racial imbalance could be created if the new school pulls students of predominantly one race out of an existing school. Let's say, for example, if the new middle school at Meany were significantly more White than Washington and left Washington significantly more Black.

mirmac1 said...

I will say that:

1. Reading to my child seemed to be a waste of time. She did not engage or attend.

2. My child memorized many pages of text by 3 yrs of age (e.g. If I Ran the Zoo).

3. My child could read by 3.

My child has autism spectrum disorder. Her uneven development is indicative of this. Nevertheless, she is on Honor Roll and a good student. I love reading. Do I want my child to be a lifelong reader? Yes. But I invested equal, if not more, energies in ensuring she had the social skills, language, and other academic and life skills.

I quickly learned that knowing phonics by 2 did not mean she understood what she was hearing or reading. Counting to 100 by two did not mean she was destined for a career in engineering.

I'm just saying that (decent) curricula is one of many components to benefit development of the whole child. As we learn more about the many manifestations of autism spectrum disorder, we become more able to build upon the inherent strengths of ASD. Likewise, we learn to build support for those areas that need it.

Anonymous said...

The book Reading Reflex is a system of phono-graphic decoding from preschool through upper elementary, focusing most (as would be expected) on the emerging reader.

It explains how to tutor your child and points out what to look for in terms of errors in decoding.


ArchStanton said...

We're big readers at our house and both kids were/are early readers. We read to them a lot and we used Bob Books - I'm not especially fond of them, but the kids seemed to like them as early readers.

One thing we used a lot that I haven't seen mentioned are episodes of the original Electric Company. (Not the newer version of the show currently on PBS - I watched an episode of it and found it unhelpful for my preschooler) There are two sets: The Best of the Electric Company, Vol. 1 & 2, IIRC. Each has four discs with about four episodes each. I'm pretty sure Amazon has them and your local video store may, as well. Reckless Video in Maple Leaf has them. They may seem a little slow if your kids are used to watching more exciting modern programs, but our kiddos liked repeated viewings.

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to point out that using the pictures to read (I.e. using the pictures to "guess") and memorizing text are reading strategies for early readers! You don't want your 3rd grader relying on those strategies, but they are helpful when you are just getting going!

SPS curriculum is supposed to include word work (which teaches kids patterns in sounds, common patterns, how to put it all together, etc)...that is a part of balanced literacy. Unfortunately, what exactly people are supposed to be teaching within that idea of "balanced literacy" isn't the same from school to school.


Anonymous said...

So then Charlie, does SSD have to scrap *entirely* the New Student Assignment plan, as it is based on addresses which are obviously, within the context of neighborhoods, not racially balanced? So, new school to be built at Thornton Creek must somehow have boarders that make it 'racially balanced'? And what is the 'perfect' "racial balance"? And, who defines that (OSPI?) and based on what? The fact that Seattle, per the US 2010 census stats is 70% a particular race, does that mean every school should be that particular race at about 70%? What if the open a new school when New Holly is completed, if that school doesn't have it's minimum number of race 'x', does that mean SSD must, oh, I don't know, bus students in from somewhere else who happen to be the 'right' race to provide a corrective balance?

Didn't the Supreme Court, the Federal one, say that Seattle couldn't use race as a tie-breaker? But, OSPI implies SSD should, in order to achieve the 'perfect' racial balance?

Does anyone else here see an issue between reconciling a race-based student population grouping requirement and the NSAP address-based assignment? Seattle's neighborhoods are inherently 'unbalanced', neighborhood schools reflect the neighborhood. So the schools are 'unbalanced'.

There is only one standard for building schools; one set of benchmarks in terms of classroom square footage, gym size, etc. that is called the "Ed spec" and all new construction will be built to those standards. So, every child in the SSD system is treated equally. It is not like Capital treats children differently and builds 'different' schools in one part of the City vs. another part of the City.

It is disheartening that with do much really need for governance and for focusing on the education needs of at risk student or 'higher needs' student populist ions (homeless students, or ELL students, for example), the Ops Committee has to waste their time jumping through this kind of hoop.

And of course, my real fear is that school board Directors won't actually understand that this is window dressing, that if they really want to do something to help every student reach his or her potential, they could fo so by getting reasonable math text books NOW not in three years from now when they have 'studied the problem'.

-frustrated liberal

Anonymous said...

Wow. Interesting thread!

On the one hand - we hear about schools no longer being able to RESTRAIN kids secretly, and/or SECLUDE them - eg, stick them in closets for hours at a time - of course without telling parents. Most people think their friendly neighborhood school would NEVER do this, it's only something they do in the southend where the kids actually deserve it - but, indeed - it's so common everywhere it's not even noteworthy.

On the other hand... a bunch of people worrying about whether their little dear should read BOB books or look at pictures.

Doesn't that say it all about SPS? Or this blog?


kellie said...

@ Charlie,

Thanks for the background. I found the RCW and the
RCW is not about construction or seats, it is about the assignment policy that would go with the new construction.

WAC 392-342-025 - Racial imbalance prohibition — Definition and acceptance criteria

That makes far more sense as construction in and of itself is color blind. But boundaries and assignment policies can be much more subjective. So this resolution would mean that in addition to the capacity reports that show which school are over and under capacity, there will need to be a report about racial balance for every school.

A school is not balanced if minority enrollment is more than 20 percentage points greater than the district average. That is going to be a lot of schools.

Anonymous said...

@ frustrated liberal. I can see your frustration so bright you can power this city on that indignation alone. No worries, they are not bringing busing or racial tie breakers. Afterall, the neighborhoods are, in your words, "inherently unbalanced" and well that's just the ways things are here. Nothing you can do about it (but forgive those who will try to change that). And you put it so well, "every child in the SSD system is treated equally." Hallelujah, frustrated liberal, you got separate but equal. What can go wrong? Things are equal when they are separate right? No need for Brown vs. Board of Education, Civil Rights Act of 1964, IDEA, Title 9, etc.


Melissa Westbrook said...

"Didn't the Supreme Court, the Federal one, say that Seattle couldn't use race as a tie-breaker?"

Actually, they didn't. The Supreme Court ruled that SPS couldn't use THEIR race as a tiebreaker rule. Not that you can't use race in deciding who goes where. (But, the Court did not explain how to do it so I suspect most districts said forget it.)

Parent, I'll just say I don't care for your tone. This is an open thread, I put up a few items of interest to start (and they are wide-ranging) but people can talk about anything.

I'm glad that one parent got so much feedback about helping his/her child learn to read.

Carol Simmons said...

Returned to Seattle recently and just catching up.
Is it really true that 30% of our Native American students are in Special Education? Is it really true that Wilson Pacific school will be torn down and that the Indian Heritage Program will be affected? Is it really true that the Native murals will be moved from Native Land?

Will this be addressed and remedied in Committee Land?

Charlie Mas said...

frustrated liberal, you jump to a lot of conclusions.

No, SPS does not have to scrap the New Student Assignment plan. Please remember that the racial imbalance rule only applies when a district is seeking state matching funds for a construction project.

The new school on the Thornton Creek property doesn't need to be racially balanced in any way - it just can't create a racial imbalance as defined by the law.

The law doesn't say anything about seeking a 'perfect' "racial balance". Where did you get that?

If the district opens a new school when New Holly is completed, there is no requirement that the school have a minimum number of students of any race. Why don't you read the law instead of making absurd conjecture?

OSPI has nothing to do with the matching funds rule - they didn't write it - and the rule does not require school districts to achieve some sort of 'perfect' racial balance. Why would you invent - let alone spread - such a ridiculous idea?

No one else here sees an issue between reconciling a race-based student population grouping requirement and the NSAP address-based assignment because it's all in your head.

It is disheartening that with so many real issues you feel a need to invent fake ones to get worked up about and to get other people worked up about.

While you write about a "real" fear, none of your comment has any connection with reality.

Please try to be more reality-based in future.

Charlie Mas said...

I think the District could fail to meet the racial imbalance test when it comes to Meany Middle School.

The elementary schools that are likely to be in the Meany attendance area (Montlake, McGilvra, Stevens, and Lowell) are much Whiter than the schools that are likely to be in the Washington attendance area (Muir, Thurgood Marshall, Bailey-Gatzert, and Leschi). As a result, the creation of the new middle school at Meany could fail the test.

The consequence of failing the test would be a loss of state matching funds for construction at Meany.

None of the other construction projects will even be close to failing the test and even Meany might pass it depending on a few factors. It's a pretty hard test to fail.

Po3 said...

On a different topic. I have heard that some families that gained a seat at Ingraham through APP into IBx are not planning to actually enroll in IBx, but instead enroll in IB.

With the long wait list (presumably for an IB seat) I don’t think this is fair and not even sure how a student could switch from IBx to IB since it would seem that all the IB seats are taken.

I know if I was waiting for a seat in IB and found out that IBx students were taking them I would not be happy.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of reading. This is what happens when teenagers google Shakespeare. They get why Shakespeare makes you smarter:


But what really gets them reading is this one:



Maureen said...

Po3, that's interesting. I don't think it's surprising that some APP kids want to jump off the super fast track.

With the long wait list (presumably for an IB seat) I don’t think this is fair and not even sure how a student could switch from IBx to IB since it would seem that all the IB seats are taken

I don't think it will look like they are switching for freshman year. They aren't going to want to retake Bio (let alone 9th grade science) so they will probably enroll in IBx Chemistry. I expect they will stay with their cohort for LA/SS too and will place into whatever math they qualify for. It won't be until sophomore year that they "switch." I wonder what classes they plan to take then because if they aren't IBx, they won't be able to take any of the IB exams for the IB classes they enroll in (like IB Bio SL and IB math SL). Their sophomore year will look pretty weird. Actually, they may be setting themselves up to not be able to do the IB diploma at all, or to have to self study the exams a year after they have taken the classes. I hope they have thought all that through.

It's not that IB is full, (everyone except IBx is gen ed in 9th/10th grade), people slide in and out of IB classes/diploma status regularly. But if a chunk of IBx qualified kids ditch the program, the remaining IBx kids might have some really big (or small) classes and fewer options for their senior year. I've heard of a current IBx sophomore who wants to do Running Start next year instead of the IB diploma. The diploma requirements are really time consuming and rigorous. Not all APP qualified kids are up for that level of commitment I guess. It does seem like that kid should just go back to their assignment school and open up a Jr. year slot for someone who wants the program.

Maureen said...

I didn't mean to make it sound like there are a limited number of Jr. year IB slots. As far as I know, anyone who wants to can sign up for any of the IB classes and they just make room (or hire more teachers if they get above 45 or so!). But the District requires that there be room in the school to assign a kid there. There may be room for any Jrs who want to enroll, so the IBx kid I mentioned may not be keeping someone out, I'm not sure.

Anonymous said...

You were writing about kids and cameras the other day and I just read about a great website put up by the Canadian government to help when kids do mess up and get photos on line. It's:


They had a couple of girls take their own lives after pictures went around and set this up to show people how to get stuf removed and how to deal with it. They want everybody to read it and be aware.


Po3 said...

If an IBx kid switches at 9th grade to IB wouldn't that be where things would get messed up? I don't know enough about how these kids tracked in APP to understand what they should be taking in 9th grade.

There are also a cohort of newly tested APP students who got into IHS as IBx students and they may not be on the same track at the 8th grade APP students and so maybe they are ones who are going to try to switch from IBx to IB coming in the door.

I do know that there are a couple of Hamiliton Spectrum students who applied for IB and did not get a seat and won't be able to continue with some of their friends.

I think the district is going to have to take a good look at what is happening here, now that IHS has such a long wait list. They can't continue to allow APP from both Hamiliton and Washington and kids who test into APP as 9th graders into IBx because they obviously don't have enough seats for students who just want IB.

If they don't allow switching from IBx to IB in 9th grade that may force some students to think hard about signing up for the program.

Another solution is to enroll more students and make room for all who want IB and eliminate the waitlist.

Anonymous said...

So what is the difference between IBx and IB? Which is most like IB programs elsewhere?

I worked with a young man this summer who graduated from an IB program on the Eastside. He went directly into a top college in the UK. In the UK, you only go to college for 3 years. If you want to go there from the US, you have to graduate from an IB program or have enough AP classes passed equivalent to a fully year of US college.


kellie said...

@ Po3,

You have a very common misunderstanding of the capacity issues wrt to high school and APP. You are not alone in this. Frankly the capacity issues lack so much transparency, that for the most part, descriptions of capacity issues resemble far more the story of folks trying to describe an elephant from the one part of the elephant that they see.

The "issue" at Ingraham is not that APP is bogarting seats. The issue is that we are effectively out of capacity at high school as a district and that should begin to worry people. 7 of the 9 assignment high schools are FULL and over-full. That is what is causing the log jam at Ingraham.

The 10% choice seats is truly a misnomer. There is not logistical way to make those seats. Instead, in theory, the high school boundaries were supposed to be drawn smaller than the capacity of the school to leave some flex room. Then the "choice seats" at options schools would begin to trigger "swirl."

In other words, as students choose NOVA, Center School and Cleveland (and maybe the World School?) they vacate their assignment school spot. Those vacated assignment spots are really the choice seats.

APP is effectively the other creator of choice seats. As APP students move to program slots, they also vacate their assignment slot and help to create more swirl. In this game of musical chairs, since only WSHS and RB are not fully enrolled, students that leave any of the other 7 schools create swirl. So APP students from 7 of 9 schools create swirl that then leaves choice seats at Hale, Roosevelt, Ballard, Franklin, etc.

What is interesting to me this year is that Roosevelt at 1728 is projected to almost 100 students more than Garfield at 1629. Ballard is not far behind with 1605. Even WSHS while not fully enrolled is not very un-full either with over 900 students.

BEX is adding three middle schools but only one high school and that high school Lincoln is not scheduled to come online until 2017. High School choice seats are going to get fewer as the high schools get more over-crowded.

FWIW, with Ingraham at 1057, I think they should be required to move the wait list this year, even if it makes for a crazy large Freshman class. Moving the wait list will create more swirl which can only help to balance the challenges at Roosevelt and Ballard and Hale. Hale is going to get portables next year.

The high school capacity issue has the potential to dwarf the middle school issue.

Maureen said...

Regular IB students take IB classes and exams in the 11th and 12th grades. IBx students do the same program during their 10th and 11th grade years then will do internships or collegeish classes for 12th grade. They're both the same program but IBx is like skipping a (Pre IB) grade but then not quite graduating and hanging around for one more year before you go to college. (Huh, that doesn't sound as appealing when I put it that way!).

Maybe, if IBx kids decide they don't want to take the classes they need to complete the diploma program as 10th & 11th graders, they should have to reapply for a regular gen ed/pre IB spot at Ingraham. (Like any nonAPP kid from outside the attendance area would have to do.) If there is room, they'll get back in, if not they can go to their attendance area school. (This could backfire if kids held onto their IBx seat just to stay with their friends. I think it would be bad for the teachers and other IB students to force kids to do all that work if they don't really want to.)

Right now, it sounds like (from stuff I've read on the APP blog)the APP kids can chose to transfer back and forth between IHS and GHS at will. That seems really unfair. Also, if they are going to make space for anyone in particular at IBx, I think it should be for the newly identified kids--the APP enrolled 8th graders already have GHS and their neighborhood schools as choices.

Anonymous said...

An update on te STEM school in West Seattle:


Po3 said...

Is Ingraham completely filled with the 60+ waitlist or is there room. If the latter, then they need to fill it and eliminate the waitlist. Otherwise then it does appear that IBx students are in a way bogarting the seats.

Also, can you waitlist at more than one school? If so than maybe one student is waitlisted at two schools making it look like there is more demand.

And if true, that these APP students can move to/fro IHS and GHS - well that needs to end.

Maureen said...

I should clarify, I know that APP kids have moved from GHS to IHs, but there is no wait list at IHS in the upper grades, so that currently wouldn't require special status. I heard that someone moved from IHS to GHS and thought it was because of APP status, but that may be their assignment school.

One problem with just moving the waitlist at Ingraham is that they have to consider the kids who haven't registered, but can just show up in September and get a seat. Last Fall, something like 90 kids showed up that they hadn't counted on. IHS was able to hire three new teachers, but they didn't start until November. If the hiring process were more responsive, it might be safer to move the wait list earlier.

Unfortunately, one of the side effects of the NSAP is that there is no big incentive to let the school know you plan to show up. If your family moves around a lot (maybe over the border with Shoreline), you may not have any idea what school you will go to in September. I'm thinking this must be a really big problem in some K-5 schools. No one even knows if those 5 year olds exist until they show up. At least most SPS 9th graders were 8th graders somewhere in the District.

You can only waitlist at one school.

Ingraham16 said...

We are a current 9th Grade APP family at IHS and our child is beginning IBx next year. In our year, two transfered from Ingraham to Garfield two weeks into the year but I believe the "dropping out" being referred to are the current IBx sophomores, about four or five of which dropped out at the semester or will at the end of the year. We know about the Garfield transfer student who then dropped out of IBx at the semester. Transfering, especially to APP/IBx at older graders (10th, 11th, and 12th) should not be permitted as it is a multiyear program and the 9th Grade prep year is needed.

I know, from what we were told that all APP students have to take APP level classes at least for 9th grade and then (hopefully) at the beginning of 10th, if they can't do IBx, they can transfer to pre-IB classes in the standard pathway (running start students would do this). This however should not have an impact on the 9th Grade waitlist.

A friend of ours currently in HIMS APP 8th Grade just called the enrollement office and was told if they were to give up their Garfield assignment, they would get a seat at Ingraham APP, even at this point. So it seams they are trying to pack full the APP classrooms, supposedly at 90 students, maybe trying to get to 96so no one outside the program complains of small class sizes.

Maureen said...

Ingraham16, from what you know, do the APP students who transferred to Garfield live in the Garfield attendance area? (I believe you said there were two from your child's cohort and a few from the 2015 graduating class.)

Anonymous said...


I can answer your question re: class of 2016 as my child is a current freshman at Garfield. No - the students who transferred in from Ingraham are not in the GHS attendance area.

-GHS Parent

Maureen said...

So it seams they are trying to pack full the APP classrooms, supposedly at 90 students, maybe trying to get to 96so no one outside the program complains of small class sizes.

Or maybe they are trying to get the numbers to go from two classes of 45 to three of 32 so no one IN the program complains about large class sizes.

A parent of a kid impacted told me that there is a 9th grade pre IB science class that has had 44 kids in it all year. It's 'legal' because some of the teacher's other classes are small. My kid had 42 and 44 in her preIB SS and LA classes until November, it was actually surprisingly fine for her (the kids behaved very well). It must have been awful for the teachers.