Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Tuesday Open Thread

KIRO tv will be airing a story on the ELL situation today.

There's a challenger for State Superintendent Randy Dorn and her name is Erin Jones.  Ms. Jones has taught in private schools and been an ESL instructor.  She is currently the AVID director for Tacoma School district.  She speaks four languages.  Her LinkedIn page says this:

I have worked in Caucasian communities, African American communities, and some of the most diverse communities in the nation. My 3 children have attended public schools in WA, from Tacoma to Puyallup to Spokane to North Thurston. Two of my children attend state colleges. The third is a senior in high school. My husband is a public school teacher. 

I am running for state superintendent because I want to leverage my vast experiences to serve my state in the most impactful way. What I hope to bring to the position:
1. Advocacy: I wish to advocate for educators at every level, so they are resourced at necessary levels to serve ALL students well.
2. An educator's lens: in whatever position I serve, I am always teacher. I am a practitioner who understands quality instruction and seeks to stay connected to those in the trenches to best serve them.
3. A collaborative practice: I have always engaged a variety of stakeholders in the work. Quality public schools must engage the community.
4. Systems alignment: Alignment will require my experience and connections with early learning, higher-ed, State Board, and PESB in order to ensure a clear pathway to post-secondary exists for all students.

I'll ding her for using "impactful" but she has wide and varied background including being named a Milken Educator of the Year and Champion of Change by the White House in 2013. 

The Board Work Session on HR tomorrow at 4:30 pm is indeed open to the public with a closed Executive Session starting around 6 pm. 

What's on your mind?


mirmac1 said...

Ms Jones has some concerning connections with Ed Reform groups, so I'm reserving judgment until I see more. Of course Dorn's got to go.

Anonymous said...

I noticed Randy Dorn’s editorial in the Times today. He presses for Common Core testing and Hail Mary classes for high school seniors to avoid remedial math in college.

Wouldn’t it be smarter to have fundamentally sound math instruction from elementary through high school to prepare students for college? The discovery methods of teaching math, entrenched by former superintendent Terry Bergeson, sure didn’t do our kids any favors.

The current school board did introduce better textbooks in Seattle elementary schools. Improved math curricula now needs to be expanded to middle and high schools.

Then we can avoid endless testing, expensive outside tutoring and last minute instruction for seniors in order for them to have success in college.

S parent

Anonymous said...

If they have waitlist numbers for next year published, shouldn't they also have the actual enrollment numbers by school as they stands now (or at least at the end of open enrollment)? I have been trying to find those figures on the SPS website with no luck. Does anyone know where to find them, or when they will be published? I would like to see the numbers, particularly for North End high schools.

Enrollment Curious

Anonymous said...

The ELL situation should have more public follow up by now. The Seattle Times article based on Melissa's story said the state was giving SPS until Monday afternoon to tell it how it was going to meet state mandated changes.

Monday afternoon was yesterday. Where is the update from our fearless administrators?


ConcernedSPSParent said...

I am just stunned the state has defined a model for ELL delivery and SPS went off and did their own thing!. How on earth did this happen?. Sherry Carr said her major achievement was governance - what an utter joke

dan dempsey said...

Speaking of remedial math at community colleges and the bizarre decisions that apparently will be made.....

Consider this thoughtful piece:

Is self governance possible?

Anonymous said...

@dan dempsey,

Not sure I agree with you that that article is all that thoughtful . The idea that colleges/universities are blindly accepting "college ready" SBAC scores as evidence remediation seems to be overblown.

C'mon. If it is actually true that colleges approved using level 3 scores without ever looking at the SBAC test instrument and cut points, it's probably because they aren't too worried about it. (Note: higher education faculty WERE involved in setting the SBAC achievement levels--reviewing test questions, etc.) Think about it--initial data suggest a minority of kids will test to Level 3 or above, thus eligible to avoid remediation. Many of those kids scoring 3 or 4 will actually want to take higher level math classes when they finally enter college, so they'll use AP or IB scores or take the placement test anyway. As a result, it may be a fairly small subset of students that use their SBAC scores to determine placement. Plus, since the SBAC scores will have been obtained more than 1-2 years ago (as 10th or 11th graders), most kids might want to take the placement test regardless. And if it turns out the SBAC placed them inappropriately, is it really that big a deal to these colleges? In WA, and probably elsewhere, this is a trial period--the colleges may back out in a few years if the results are so disastrous. It seems a pretty low-risk policy for the colleges. I'm not sure why the author is making such a big deal out of it.

You also mentioned the "bizarre decisions" that will be made re: college math. What's so bizarre about saying that kids who score pretty high (level 3) as 10th or 11th graders don't have to take remedial math if they don't want to?

Half Full

dan dempsey said...

Half Full,

What is bizarre is accepting an instrument that has not fully been developed and has no cut scores established.

Note the instructors who actually teach math at community colleges had this top down decision imposed on them. Zero input like most of CCSS and SBAC.

-- Dan

Anonymous said...

I just learned that Hamilton is going to have 1109 students next year. In case anyone was paying attention, that means that ONE YEAR after a painful geo-split and boundary re-drawing, Hamilton's enrollment will be at the exact same very painful spot AND I heard that enrollment only increases over the summer.

I don't know which part is more upsetting. The part that 1100 is dangerously over-crowded or that it only took one year for SPS to blow it again.

When Hamilton had 1100 students, this is my memory of what happened.

* there was zero in-class PCP space in the building and 100% of the classrooms were in use for all six periods.

* when spring testing season hit, there needed to be multiple all-grade field trips so enough people left the building that they could set up computers.

* there were ongoing daily discipline issues of just getting that many bodies through the building

* there were classes being held on the cafetorium stage all day and that the noise from those classes echoed throughout the entire building.

- former hammie

Anonymous said...

Dan, the cut scores for the grades 3-8 and 11 tests have already been set. Higher education faculty participated in the standard setting.

--- swk

Anonymous said...

When will the District get new math books for middle schools and high schools? The CMP and algebra and geometry books they're using are BAD.BEYOND.BELIEF!!! Mr Pounder uses his own notes, thank you Mr Pounder! What about the kids who don't get his notes?


Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Yup former hammie

And what was the fix? Geosplit

That was painful for both of the students who remained in Hamilton, and the students who got pushed out of Hamilton (and the Hamilton teachers who lost their positions).

What can be done NOW?

Simple, and, cost-neutral:

All rising sixth grade APP from Whitman middle school service area go to jams. That way, Hamilton is functional, and Hamilton will remain functional the year after next, Sept 2016. WITHOUT THIS FIX NOW, Hamilton is broken this year and in CRISIS the next, which will require an emergency geosplit.

Hamilton is 2 acres. Can't take a portable.

JAMS is 18 acres. It can take portables.

Hamilton has 3 middle school service areas assigned to it. 3 BIG ones.

JAMS has 2 middle school service areas assigned to it; one of which is tiny.

So let's review. Hamilton. 2 acres. Services 3 LARGE regions. JAMS. 18 acres. Services just 2 regions, one of which is tiny.

Flip Hendron? Hello? Hello? Anybody home?

Putting Whitma-resident 6th grade HCC kids into Hamilton now is truly stupid. Hamilton is on the cusp of breaking. It can't hold. Plus, that number 1109 will nudge up before September. It ALWAYS does. Four schools's worth of children will suffer because a non-geographic program (HCC) is over directed into the tiny building on the constrained 2 acres. Fix this now, by simply redirecting who goes where. NO GEOSPLIT now or in the future. Hamilton keeps all of its existing APP students AND continues to be fed fresh APP students (McClure and Hamilton), but will not get so many that it breaks, harming all of the Hsmilton students and staff.

Hamilton annex at Lincoln? Pure fantasy, can't happen. Lincoln is full. The only way to fix Hamilton is to redistribute enrollment sensibly NOW. 2 acres vs. 18 acres. This district is asleep at the wheel. This is not sustainable.

JAMS may still have construction that will happen in the summers, but that doesn't change the fact that it is 18 acre (and also a bigger building, 35,000 sq ft larger!!!)

(PS JAMS enrollment is 880 next year: that's 880 compared to Hamilton's 1109!)

I am shocked that the PTAs of the elementaries that geographically MUST go to Hamilton (JSIS, McDonald, BF Day, and burgeoning West Woodland) haven't figured this out and demanded a fix NOW so that kids aren't destabilized year after next and have to put up with unnecessarily overcrowding now.

Yes, change is hard, but better a small tweak now than Hamilton toppling over again and another partition happens to kids.

Planning = good!

Anonymous said...

I had also heard that JAMS can't take more students because there is construction in place all year. But who really knows when all there is, is rumor.

Wilson Pacific won't be starting until 2017. That has been confirmed that they won't be doing an interim school at Marshall because Marshall is already full of the schools that we supposed to go to Lincoln.

Is there any way, that the middle schools will hold together by then?

Does anyone know what the plan is???

- former hammie

Anonymous said...

JAMS construction happens ONLY during summer. Fact. Look it up on bex IV documents.

They are going to build state of the art science labs in what is now unused huge empty locker wings this summer.

Next, they are going to take existing classrooms are redo them, so that instead of the teaching wall making the classroom vertical, it will shift to the long wall so the classroom is 'horizontal'.

JAMS will end up big because it can: 18 acres. Next door to another campus that Is next door to a large park and community center. Hamilton is 2 acres and 135,000 sq ft. It will never grow because it is constrained.

Planning = good

Anonymous said...

Eckstein has room for portables, and has more building square footage than Hamilton or JAMS...

- just sayin'

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Read more carefully - it is only Whitman Area APP and only rising 6th graders to head to JAMS as a balancing planning approach. Not the Hamilton or McClure rising APP students nor the existing Hamilton students - they all stay. This is the strategy to avoid emergency geosplit that will surly happen that would likely affect more than just a few existing hamilton students. Geosplitting was a painful experience: not the end of the world, but still challenging emotionally and socially for the students pushed out and the ones left behind. Avoiding a repeat of that geosplit is worth it for all, no? Or do you prefer chaos and blundering into to obvious mistakes? Do you prefer purposefully letting down a bunch of adolescent vulnerable students? Middle school can be hard, making it harder is just plain cruel.

Planning = good

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Does anyone have any idea what' Eckstein or Whitman's enrollment for next year might be?? It is truly maddening how they classify basic public info like enrollment as if it was a top secret.

- former hammie

Anonymous said...

My 11th grader opted out of the SBAC because it is not useful to 11th graders. My 6th grade JAMS student said it was OK to take the SBAC--that it wouldn't be a big deal. He took the first segment yesterday in LA/SS and said it was super frustrating. In fact when discussing it, he ended up in tears. What was frustrating? He is a very mellow kid. He is very very used to computers and to laptops. The frustrating part was that he said the "pause" button was undependable during the demo session so for some people they lost their test when they hit pause. So he had to go to the bathroom but since he was almost done with the test, he was afraid to hit pause. Also, there were some parts where they had to listen to audio instead of reading a passage. He said if you didn't hear some part of it, you couldn't scroll back a bit, you had to start the whole audio over. That was frustrating to him. He has now begged me to opt him out from the math SBAC. He is several years ahead in math and I suggested that he just put up with frustration; that is when the tears came out. I can imagine it might be even more frustrating for a kid who is not as experienced in laptops. I can't believe they make kids use a mouse pad instead of a mouse. I remember when I first used a laptop how there was a lot of getting used to using a mouse pad. I'm not sure if those two things were the only frustrating things about the test, but I think they were just two examples.

Anonymous said...

As a parent, I'm appreciating real feedback about the SBAC experience. If I were in your shoes, I might give my child permission to end the testing right now. As students, they can refuse to take the test. You can write a letter of refusal, but they have that power as well. It just doesn't seem worth all the frustration. There are times you push through and there are times you say enough is enough.


Anonymous said...

Our family is encouraging our 6th and 8th grade students to take the SBAC, despite that many of their peers are opting out. (We figure they test ok so great kids to try it out, at least once.) At the dinner table tonight they both voiced frustration. Sixth grader was bummed that they all might have to retake test because of problems saving results, 8th grader mad that the LA portion was broken up between days, and thought it wrecked her continuity and train-of-thought, blaming JAMS "for doing it wrong" -- and said other schools were administering it all at once. They both also thought they "should be allowed to chew gum" during testing. That's about all we got from them...
JAMS Parent

Opting out said...

I'm opting my 7th grader out of SBAC. I figure Amplify tests are plenty. I'm looking forward to a report about other students taking this exam.

Alliance MOU said...

The Executive Committee will discuss the Alliance For Education MOU (again) on April 2nd.

seattle citizen said...

Amplify is a Rupert Murdoch product. Couldn't they have chosen to enrich a vendor who isn't making people more ignorant every time they switch on Fox?

Anonymous said...

My sixth grader at JAMS said the ELA SBAC was fine and not very hard. I offered both kids the option to opt out, neither took me up on it. He is happy there is no homework during the SBAC period. He reported at least one classmate just answered as quickly as possible to get through, knowing their zeroes wouldn't matter.


Lynn said...

Reassigning West Woodland to Whitman makes more sense. That's a much shorter bus ride than from the SW end of Whitman's assignment area to JAMS.

seattle citizen said...

Alliance MOU, did you mean the Gates Foundation Alliance? That Alliance? The one they use to act all helpful towards SPS while spinning a Web of astroturf around the district? The Alliance that created the laughable Our Schools Coalition to try to impact contract negotiations? That one? The one that a certain superintendent illegally gave student and staff info to, so they could give the info to OSC to conduct a pushpole? The Alliance that Gates gave millions to, to manage for SPS development of test systems ((MAP) and data management?

Who on earth would want SPS to have an MOU with THAT Gates puppet? Oh, right....

Melissa Westbrook said...

Alliance MOU, I assume you mean May 2nd?

Anonymous said...

Lynn, Whitman is FULL.

You know they have 14 portables right now (and will get more), right?

You know West Woodland is burgeoning, right? With 109 kindergarteners this year?

You know the district promised kids starting at Whitman this September get to finish there, right? (which is a great thing for protecting the student learning experience, because 3 buildings in 3 years with THREE DIFFERENT STAFFS would have been disastrous!)

Whitman is full.

And Eckstein is just below 900, but that doesn't help - you can't pull off a language immersion school - JSIS or McDonald - to Eckstein because those are international students who need the I in HIMS.

You can't pull BF Day - make those kids drive past Hamilton, cross I5, on the way to Eckstein? That's nuts. The bussing would be too long.

As it is, Greenlake who was suppose to go to HIMS, and whose SpEd students are linked to HIMS now, are still at Eckstein so as to protect Hamilton. The ONLY students that could balance off Hamilton are Whitman rising 6th graders. You can't pull geographically assigned kids away from their geographically assigned school. APP is non geographic.

The fact remains Hamilton is physically small - the District programmed it stupidly because it can't meet the enrollment demands from everything the District pointed at it. 2 acres are 2 acres. Period.

Eckstein could take back, say, Sacagawea, but really, why would one make that community pay for the Board's mistake? Remeber how Laurelhurst was pushed out of Eckstein for a few years into HIMS and now just pulled back out and shoved back into Eckstein? Did any school Board Director or Super apologize to them for bad planning? Leave Sac where it now is, but let Hamilton not drown. 2 acre are 2 acres, and, JAMS' 18 acres are 18 acres.

Planning = good

Lynn said...

Who suggested moving current Whitman students?

Your assumption that moving incoming 6th grade APP students is the obvious solution doesn't seem to be shared by many others. It would be less distasteful if it came from the parent of a Whitman region APP student.

Are you choosing to send your child to JAMS?

Anonymous said...

Here is the KIRO ELL story on needing to locate, test and possibly re-place students in differing schools. Interesting to me is that the potential of shifting a large number of kids from one school to another is not especially addressed. I continue to wonder whether this is a move the state wants to see prior to the next academic year or phased in. I agree with the earlier poster today that there should be a publicly available document on plans, since they were mandated by OSPI be sent to the state yesterday.


whitman mom said...

I'm a Whitman APP parent. Kid is in 4th grade at Linocln. I realize you are talking about rising 6th graders, but I'd jump at the opportunity to have my APP kid go to JAMS. Why? She's looking at changing schools and an interim location otherwise. My heart aches for what SPS admins and the Board have done to our kids.

FACMAC was right. HIMS should be mega-elementary, Lincoln a middle school and a high school should be built at WilPac. Anything else is a waste of precious land and money. It's a shame these huge egos can't ever be held accountable. Voting them out isn't really punishment for wasting $125M of tax payer money.

Anonymous said...

The Seattle PTSA's apparent primary order of business a few years ago was making sure poor poor Eckstein wasn't so crowded. So the kids were ripped out of Eckstein midcareer and sent to an undeveloped JAMS. And that PTSA head Lauren McGuire is now running for school board. Vegas odds say JAMS will be getting the castoffs from throughout the north. Wouldn't bet on Eckstein taking on more especially in an election year. After all, they've just gotten rid of us. Wouldn't want to rock the 65th street crowd and establishment McGuire voters by putting the portables back.

North of 85th

Anonymous said...

Dear Whitman APP parent. We live in Wallingford. You chose to send your kids away from Ballard, we chose to stay in our neighborhood schools. Please don't propose having our kids sent on the bus up to WP or send our kids to a 1,500+ MEGA MIDDLE SCHOOL and then a 2,000+ high school at WP so you can take over our neighborhood middle school. As if puberty and being in middle school wasn't stressful enough without being invisible widgets in huge schools! Also, how does it make sense to rip out all the new science labs and other MIDDLE SCHOOL facilities to make Hamilton into an elementary school? And the teachers and staff, are they supposed to teach K-5 instead or are they supposed to all go interview for new jobs? You ache for what SPS "have done to (your) kids", but you don't have a problem with displacing Wallingford+Greenlake+Fremont kids, teachers and staff? Have you had to switch jobs often because of other people's decisions even though you were hard working and good at your job?

Wallingford Family

Anonymous said...

Posted also to BEX thread:

So Queen Anne and Magnolia should go to Ballard HS and Ballard should go to Wilson-Pacific? Riiiiiggggghhhht.

QA Home

Anonymous said...

JAMS PTA officers:


Anonymous said...

Reposting for anonymous above.

JAMS PTA officers:


end of repost.

Yes, McGuire jumped on the opportunity to become president at JAMS as the demanded-by-SPS craziness of opening a new school was in full swing. Gotta burnish that resume. No, we're not all thrilled. Since the majority of us can't vote for or against her in the upcoming election let's just say we have our doubts whether school leadership has much to do with JAMS school protection. I mean general ed at JAMS of course. APP = the Ravenna Crowd which brings us back to McGuire voters.

For the record, those of us actually in the hood do welcome more general ed and APP students as the district boatlifts them our direction. We may not have the political muscle or the money but we do have neighborliness. We'll fit 'em in and do our best to support them and not try to punt them somewhere else. That's grassroots leadership. Not resume building.

North of 85th

Melissa Westbrook said...

NOrth of 85th, you can't vote in the primary for Board members not in your region but YES, you can (and should) in the General.

Anonymous said...

@ North of 85th

As the parent of an 8th-grader who was relocated to JAMS, I have to set several things straight:
1) First, to think that Seattle PTSA or Eckstein families had any clout over the School Board's placement of students at JAMS is ludicrous. I've never heard anyone else make that claim. Eckstein was dangerously overcrowded and overloaded with portables.
2) I'm thankful for Lauren McGuire's leadership at JAMS. There was a lot of work getting the PTSA up and running from scratch and the PTSA Board has done a great job.
3) I also know that PTSA leaders put considerable effort into recruiting PTSA Board members and volunteers from all the schools sending students to JAMS. There has been plenty of work to do and plenty of positions open for anyone who wanted to volunteer.
4) SPS usually puts the HCC into a school with a high FRL population and JAMS is no exception. Lauren McGuire and other Board members have worked hard to serve all the kids and families at the school. I challenge you to show where they have not done so.


Anonymous said...

@ Planning

This whole 19 acres -vs- 2 acres argument is annoying. The Jane Addams building is a sprawling, sort of l-shaped building. It was designed that way by Shoreline Schools back in the late 1940s. Yes, JAMS has fields and a parking lot, like a middle school should. I know that Hamilton lacks fields and parking. That truly sucks.

On the other hand, Hamilton and other schools with tight sites don't have to worry much about portable villages overburdening their schools' core facilities.

The 6th grade class at JAMS is over 100 students larger than the 7th and 8th grade classes, and the incoming 6th grade class is projected to be even larger than than this year's 6th grade. JAMS might not be completely full next year, but by the following year, the Jane Addams building will be over-enrolled (without taking on an additional cohort of kids).

If I understand your post correctly, you are suggesting that the HCC rising 6th graders who live in the Whitman attendance area be re-routed to JAMS. Do you have a ballpark idea of how many kids this would be? I would love to know, but don't have access to that information.

If adding these kids pushes the incoming 6th grade class to over 400 kids, then JAMS will be the next Eckstein in a few years time.

JAMS serves some high-needs kids. Is it really appropriate to assign them to an over-crowded school?

Would this be a temporary thing? Like only a year or two, until Wilson-Pacific MS (or whatever it ends up being called) opens up?

The reason why I'm asking is because, though the JAMS feeder pattern might look small on paper, it is growing rapidly, as is the NE HCC.

I know that desperate times call for desperate measures, which seems to be the mantra of SPS. I'm not saying that your proposal is bad. I would just like to see some actual numbers to back it up.

- North-end Mom

Anonymous said...

@ North of 85th

There was a nominating process for finding officers for the JAMS PTSA Board. The nominating committee was composed of parents from diverse school backgrounds. It was an open nomination process, with the call for nominations posted online.

Great pains were taken to nominate Board members who represented the diverse origins of JAMS, including parents of kids who had previously been at Eckstein and Hamilton, as well as John Rogers, Sacajawea, Olympic Hills, APP@Lincoln, and Jane Addams K-8.

- North-end Mom
(who also lives in the 'hood)

kellie said...

I just did a quick comparison of the information that was used for planning the boundary and feeder patterns in November 2013, with what actually is happening.

The projections for 2014 enrollment for North Seattle Middle Schools (JAMS, Whitman, McClure, Eckstein) were overall very accurate. It also looks like the overall 2015 enrollment is on target.

However, the where the enrollment show up has some significant deviations.

There are 137 more students assigned to Hamilton that expected and that has the bonus of nearly 150 students more than the school's capacity. That might not seem like a lot relative to some of the crazy capacity issues. However, please remember Hamilton was *designed* for 800 students. At 1100, the school is held together with duck tape and bailing wire. It is not pretty.

JAMS is also at least 100 students more than projected. So JAMS is growing much more quickly.

I don't have 2015 information for Eckstein, McClure or Whitman. If anyone else does, please share.

However, for 2014

McClure had a little more than projected.
Eckstein had a little less than projected.
Whitman had a whopping 150 less than projected.

There was significant feedback during the boundary process that the Hamilton boundaries were just too big. The enrollment data is proving that to be correct.

Anonymous said...

The NAACP has accused the Tukwila school board, which appears to be 100% Non Hispanic Caucasian with bad faith when it comes to hiring persons of color. The Tukwila school district is reported to be the most diverse district in the country, with less than 20% non Hispanic Caucasian enrollment and 37% of students qualifying for ELL. http://www.king5.com/story/news/local/2015/04/29/naacp-tukwila-school-board-diversity-teachers/26559225/.


kellie said...

One last big issue with North Seattle Middle School enrollment and Hamilton.

For Hamilton, it is scheduled to get worse, not better when Wilson Pacific Opens. When WP opens, then old attendance area for Greenlake, otherwise known as Area 207, or Greenlake's 2013 attendance area is scheduled to move to Hamilton .

At the moment, JSIS and McDonald are linked to Greenlake and are officially INSIDE the Greenlake attendance area. However, until 2017 when WP opens, the Greenlake attendance area is split in half between Eckstein and Hamilton.

So Hamilton is both currently over-capacity AND the transition plan has the attendance area growing rather than shrinking.

Watching said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Melissa Westbrook said...

Watching, my apologies. I accidentally removed your comment. I believe you were asking SWK a question about SBAC and validity.

Jet City mom said...

Why do we remodel facilities to serve fewer students at the same time the mayor is encouraging density?
( last year Seattle added over 7,000 housing units)
From history link"
The school was completed on January 28, 1927 and opened three days later. Beginning a new semester in their spacious new accommodations were 725 seventh and eighth graders from Interlake, Day, Latona, Ross, and McDonald. Principal George Austin moved from Interlake to head the new school. The following year the next class of 7th graders arrived and the school housed all three intermediate grades. That year enrollment reached 1,274, which remained the peak until the early 1950s when nearly 1,400 students attended the school.

Hamilton's building was designed for a large capacity and has changed little in its exterior appearance. A 1970 remodeling project added a new learning resource center, updated auditorium, physical education facilities, new lockers, and student services offices."

Anonymous said...

Jet City Mom,

Standards have changed over time. If you look at any classroom during the post World War II baby boom and population crush in Seattle, (the 1950's) it would have 50+ students in it. The classrooms resembled the economy section of a modern day airplane. Additionally, there are different standards for classrooms for self-contained special education, counselors, administrators, etc. Joe Wolf might be able to comment better.


Jet City mom said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jet City mom said...

I was mainly thinking of Ingraham high school and its recent remodel.
I'm confused by a district that knows it is crunched for space, but persists in making decisions that excerbate the problems.
Speaking of space, I'm also curious about how many schools are renting space to churches.( & other groups)
Does the money go to facilities? ( maybe for maintenance?).
I ask because a group of seniors who use the Ballard pool for therapy have been impacted not only by teachers/ students using the spaces designated for pool use, but on Sundays when the school is rented by a mega church, they still have difficulty using the lot.
( services begin at 10am, and the pool does not open until 10:30 am).
They sent a letter to the principal requesting he remind students not to park there, but the principal made it clear that it is none of his concern.
They are quite frustrated, because with local construction, there are no street spaces, and quite a few of them have difficulty walking.

Anonymous said...

@ Jet City Mom

I have heard stories of the Jane Addams building housing over 2000 kids, in overlapping shifts, as a junior high school, back in the early 1950s.

Just because its been done before doesn't necessarily mean that history should be repeated.

- North-end Mom

Anonymous said...

Good question about Ingraham. Hale, too. I don't think the full remodel there gained much capacity?

- North-end Mom

kellie said...

@ Jet City Mom,

The longer historical information is interesting but not necessarily relevant as the modern history as changed the building tremendously.

My tremendous clarity about the intention of the re-build is because the design phase of the BEX III re-build started in 2007 and the design process was in parallel with that round of closures. The facilities planning for the closures was established in 2004 and the parameters established the design for 800 student middle schools and that number was the foundation for the capacity calculations that triggered the closing of schools.

As the district was shrinking and would be shrinking forever more, the re-design was intended to create this intimate learning community AND create ample PCP space and specialized spaces for special education and medically fragile.

In other words, the building was designed to be RIGID in how many students it could hold. Unlike the older buildings that were designed with larger cafeterias and auditoriums and would be able to support some portables.

Madison Middle school was redesigned in a similar manner during BEX II, also during the era of closures.

whitman said...

Wallingford Family,

United we stand, Divided we fall. SPS's biggest success is dividing and conquering.

My heart aches for what SPS has done to ALL kids not just my kids. Unlike you, I'm not looking at this situation in a vacuum. Your post screams of 'leave my neighborhood and my own kids alone, but go ahead and mess with anyone else's'.

Our kids are ALL in a world of hurt no matter what happens to APP kids. I was simply responding to Lynn's questioning of another post of how APP parents of Whitman kids would feel getting sent to JAMS. If you remove the personal emotions and look at the numbers, you'll realize the numbers don't pan out for ANY school. FACMAC's solution would solve some of the capacity crisis. I was not sending a personal vendetta against your specific children during puberty. And, I assume you must be at JSIS or McDonald if you're not at Lincoln. You wouldn't be be anymore affected by FACMACs recommendation than anyone else since we will all feel major pain in middle school. And, in high school, you'd have a real high school with fields, modernization, etc. etc. Personally, I wouldn't want my kid sent to Lincoln for high school since they won't have the same experience as other high school student.

If you want to punch an APP parent to relieve some misplaced anger, I'll volunteer.

There's no room for anyone's kids anywhere. Remove APP kids from the situation and your life in Wallingford is still going to be in chaos due to bad decisions SPS has made. ALL OF OUR KIDS are impacted - SPED, Language Immersion, ELL, GenEd, Spectrum, APP, etc. etc.

Anonymous said...

Folks, Hamilton is also constrained in that the park is off limits to portables. Period. There is no realistic political feasibility in getting City Parks to change that policy because the neighborhood would never go for it. That does not make the neighborhood bad people by the way. This issue was worked through in 2007, as Kellie points out. It also exists at other schools who use parks as their own space. In reality, they are still public parks and cramming more students onto that public property via portables won't ever fly. TOPS in Eastlake using Rogers Park is another school where this is the case and I know there are others at least at the elementary level. I'd have to review my notes for actual names.

The question really is how many students can and will be crammed into the current Hamilton building as it stands now. There is no money for internal reconfigurations on a school that was 'redone' relatively recently. And as others point out, it is no longer acceptable to consistently hold services for SPED and ELL kids in hallways.

So there is space at Whitman. Space can be made at Eckstein. Space can by made at JAMS. Those are the options until Wilson P comes online.

Capacity Wonk

Melissa Westbrook said...

North end Mom, you mention Ingraham and "full remodel." That's a little secret about Ingraham. They, like Sealth and Rainier Beach, never DID have full remodels.

For whatever reason, Ingraham got piecemeal work done. They have been on every single BTA and BEX since the inception of the programs. So a full remodel might have created more space but that's not what they did. (Although they got all the math classes out of portables so that was a very good thing.)

Sealth, too, had several upgrades over the years. They would have been renovated but the district made the decision to move Denny and Denny got the new building and Sealth got an upgrade (and managed to shame the district into a couple million more for it). Funny, I never hear much about this great collaboration between Denny and Sealth.

As for RBHS, well, the district did give them a great Performing Arts hall in the late '90s but no performing arts program. The hall was largely unused for a long time. They had a couple of upgrades but the district was loathe to invest in such an underenrolled school. (Without remembering that Ballard - in the '80s - was also underenrolled and had a drive-by killing but when they got their shiny new building, it filled.)

RBHS could have been Cleveland but the renovation went to Cleveland. RB's building is no thing of beauty and naturally, that's real shame.

Whitman, that was a kind and thoughtful comment. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I was referring to Hale's full remodel.

- North-end Mom

Anonymous said...

Melissa: This is a quote from one of the commenters on Diane Ravitch's blog:

"I mean, come on. This isn’t a conflict? The Gates foundation is now paying reporters?

Can we at least get a disclaimer- “this reporter is paid by the Gates Foundation”?

*News is spreading that the Boston Globe is going to join the Seattle Times and BRIGHT in taking the “solutions” approach to education journalism, with funding from Gates and others. That’ll allow the newsroom to hire a second K-12 education reporter (not yet named) and let longtime Globe reporter James Vaznis to do more in-depth pieces.”

It’s not bad enough they purchased the US Department of Education, they now have to own local media coverage of public schools?"

Do you know whether the Seattle Times has permitted the Gates Foundation to pay for one of its education reporters? Did I just miss this somehow (it would explain a lot about the drecky stuff that passes for reporting in the "Education Lab" and the severely pro-ed reform slant of the ST, I guess -- but all that could exist even without direct Gates funding.

Anyone know what is up with the funding for ST education reporting? I am hoping (since this was just a commenter on the Ravitch blog and I know nothing of her sources -- that maybe she is misinformed).


Anonymous said...

Melissa -

Ballard was under-enrolled in the 80s and through the 90s (the drive-by was 1994) right up until the new building opened. There was a surge of students, across all grades, that wanted into Ballard, when the new building opened.

Rarely remembered in Ballard's revitalization was that when the school moved to Lincoln slightly less than half of the faculty did not move over. The school had a ton of long-tenured, older faculty, and they just flat out retired rather than move over and move back. By the time Ballard moved back to the new building, it was probably 65% new faculty versus the last year in the old school.


Melissa Westbrook said...

The Times "Education Lab" is funded - fully - by Gates. I would assume that means staff (at least partially).

The Gates Foundation has either funded/created groups of parents, teachers, reporters - they want public education to be in the mold they want and have thrown millions to get that.

Sometimes I even think Ed Week is suspicious in their tone.

Anonymous said...

FWIW, those with kids looking at colleges and beyond, here's a Brookings article with long list of 2 and 4 year schools from a "value added" perspective. Note loan payback rate and earning power of alumni.


consumer watch

Anonymous said...

Poverty is excoriating on children (on adults too, but, this is an education blog).

See scholarly article published in well-regarded peer-reviewed scientific journal: Nature Neuroscience, " Family Income, Parental Education and Brain Structure in Children and Adolescents" by Noble, Sowell et al. vol. 18, no. 5, May 2015

Poverty is not a learning disability, as we all know. But, the intense stress, trauma and toxicity that affects any and all children in impoverished circumstances, regardless of the child's demographics, must be addressed in our public schools.

School buildings with F&RL populations need more money to hire more teachers who can give as much individual attention as is possible to help mitigate the damaging effects of poverty. Teachers help children learn, help them thrive, and counselors help identify wrap-around services and other supports to help the family thrive. If the Super is serious about prioritizing the closing the achievement gap, it looks like the only answer is send MORE budget to Title 1 buildings to support student learning. Budget spent on more bodies in JSCEE won't help a child in crisis. Budget spent on MORE testing won't help a child learn. Budget spent on 'identifying the problem' or calling out 'failing schools' won't help a child learn. Parents are doing their best, teachers are doing their best, but they can't do it alone, they need more teachers now to care for students now.

Yes, the Legislator has underfunded education. But, children can't wait. The district must prioritize their needs. Now. Get rid of some suits in JSCEE and give a few extra teachers to buildings.

Do unto