Friday Open Thread

Below is a roundup of information/stories from the (Southeast Seattle Education Coalition) SESEC e-mail update; they do a very good job in covering youth/ed issues in South Seattle.
The City of Seattle Youth Employment Program (SYEP) is an ongoing comprehensive internship program. Applications are currently open until May 2.

Seattle Opportunity Youth Fair for 16-24 year-olds not working or in school. Thursday, May 5. 9.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. All attendees must register online.

South Lake High School is seeking volunteers and donations for their 4th Annual Teen Parents Community Baby Shower on April 29 from 4.00-6.00 p.m.

Really good article on diversity in our neighborhoods from KUOW.
Starting on Saturday, national parks have free entry for a week for National Park Week from April 16-24th.  #FindYourPark and #EncuentraTuParque. The National Park Service is celebrating 100 years of service this year.  

Children can earn a junior ranger badge and take part in kids' programs on Saturday, National Junior Ranger Day. Volunteers are welcome to help out in the parks on Earth Day, April 22. 
There's a contest for a $100K fitness center for your elementary or middle school school from the National Foundation for Governors' Fitness Councils. Nomination form for Washington State (there will be three winners from our state.)  The deadline is May 31, 2016.
We welcome all public elementary and middle schools in Arizona, Ohio, Washington, and Wisconsin to participate in the 2016 National Fitness Champion campaign.  Schools are selected based on their level of need, creativity in fitness offerings, and community engagement.  If selected for the award, your school will receive a $100,000 fitness center.
 A judge in Connecticut denied a motion from gun manufacturers to throw out a lawsuit brought by 10 families of slain children who attended Sandy Hook school.  The judge still needs to rule on whether the case has merit to go forward.

In January, OSPI sent a letter to schools about Native American students wearing "items of cultural significance during graduation ceremonies."
The State concludes that a student wearing an eagle feather "should not be viewed as a violation of the graduation ceremony dress codes."
What's on your mind?


Anonymous said…
Assignment Lookup Tool? Not live yet.

Anonymous said…
Update from SPS enrollment:

The assignment lookup tool for 2016-17 will be available starting at 3pm on April 15, 2016.


Really? Tell the Board; they should know how frustrating this is for parents.
Anonymous said…
Glad to report the Assignment Lookup Tool is up and running. If only the assignment matched the actual request...

Oh, SPS.
Anonymous said…
So frustrated with assignment. All schools are not created equal and I feel like it's a civil rights issue if my child has to go to our neighborhood school and doesn't have access to programs that other students have access to because of where we live. So frustrated, as a tax payer, an SPS teacher, and a parent of long term SPS kids.

Still waiting

Anonymous said…
Wait list numbers:

there are some popular school choices. 153 student wait list?

- MemoReader
Anonymous said…
Does anyone have the links to data from last year that show how much the waitlists moved before they were dissolved? I can't find it.

Still waiting
Still waiting, can you give any specifics? What program did you seek for your child?
Anonymous said…
Wondering about high schools. We chose a high school out of our neighborhood- no special program - just much closer to our house than our "neighborhood" high school and with classes that my daughter is interested in that our neighborhood school doesn't have.

Still waiting
Anonymous said…
@Still waiting-

Our experience has been that the waiting list doesn't move at all. The schools are told by the district that only the district can move the list, and the district claims that the schools should move the list. Hence, no movement.

Then, the district claims that the schools with long waitlists are under-enrolled and should lose funding, even if there are 150+ kids on the waitlist.

A completely broken system. My son was #11 for Garfield last year, and the list never moved, even though the district then said that Garfield was under-enrolled and removed headcount for teachers, causing huge uproar and the removal of a very popular teacher, while my kid was waiting to enter.

I wish you good luck, but my take is that it's likely that your daughter will remain assigned to your "neighborhood" school. The district believes this provides a reliable assignment plan based on address, and that parents supposedly want this plan.

- Seattle parent
Concerned said…
Wondering about high school too...any idea whether Ingraham HCC (IB/IBX) has typically been able to move its waitlist? It's at 29 this year, and unfortunately my student is far down on it. Anyone know what type of waitlist they've had in the past, and whether it's moved? Really frustrated, but trying to figure out the lay of the land... Thanks.
Anonymous said…
I thought that was a guaranteed assignment,Concerned. I would call. Is there a reason they would be waitlisted?

Anonymous said…
I'll be glad to stand corrected, but I've seen virtually no movement in any high school waiting lists in the past couple of years.

From what I can tell, there is a complete disconnect between the district and the schools as to who has the authority to move kids. The schools want to move kids to advance the list and to boost enrollment, but the district has told the schools that only the district has the authority to move kids off the list.

As a result, the school does not make any list changes. At the end of the list change period, and the district states that no further list changes will be allowed, the student population is set, and X will occur, with X usually being a reduction in staff headcount and no kids let in off the waiting list.

-Seattle parent
Anonymous said…

You're guaranteed assignment at your neighborhood school as long as you submitted your forms on time and listed that as your first choice option. If so, there's no reason to call.

The issue is for kids trying to attend schools other than their neighborhood assignment school.

-Seattle parent
Anonymous said…
I thought for HCC students Garfield is the default, but as long as the forms are in on time ingraham is also a guaranteed assignment (because of overcrowding at Garfield, which seems logical. Wish they would use that logic to benefit other schools!).

Anonymous said…

Yes, for HCC students, Garfield is still the automatic pathway. My older son was Spectrum, not HCC, so was on the waiting list for Garfield. No movement on the list, even though headcount was later reduced because of "under-enrollment."

For Ingraham, I *think* that as an HCC student you'd have priority to that program. That's what I've heard, but since none of my kids has been in the position of testing that option, I'm not sure. We're in West Seattle, so that's a long commute that we're not willing to put our kids through.

-Seattle parent
Anonymous said…
My student is HCC, requested to go to Ingraham IBX and is wait listed there and assigned to neighborhood Gen Ed. Am I missing something? It says on SPS web "Advanced Learning Program Sites for Highly Capable Students

Eighth grade highly capable students enrolled at Hamilton, Washington, Madison or Jane Addams middle schools are currently automatically assigned to Garfield High School.
Highly capable eighth grade students enrolled at any school may opt for the Accelerated IB program at Ingraham (IBX). "

Now I am supposed to take a day off of work to talk to people who don't understand the assignment process. Once again SPS proves it's total disregard for families it is supposed to be serving.

-Frustrated Parent
Anonymous said…
@ Frustrated Parent, when you filled out the option form to go to Ingraham, did you put as your second choice Garfield or did you just put Ingraham down? When going into MS we were told to choose the "(then) APP default" as the second choice, otherwise it would go to the neighborhood school.

I don't recall Ingraham ever been a guaranteed assignment for HCC, when there was space it was easy to accept everyone, now that it's become popular, well... not everyone fits.

It's such a sad story, SPS and enrollment they always seem to get someone screwed.

Anonymous said…
Unsurprised, I was told NOT to put Garfield down by the person helping me at SPS. He had me put a line through Garfield HCC and initial it because he didn't want to "confuse anyone." He did copy the paperwork and hand me back the original. I will take it with me Monday.

-Frustrated Parent
Anonymous said…
Nathan Hale moves their waitlists. Not sure about other high schools. -NP
Anonymous said…
I don't recall Ingraham ever been a guaranteed assignment for HCC, when there was space it was easy to accept everyone, now that it's become popular, well... not everyone fits.

IBX was created as the relief valve for GHS. Many students choosing IBX at Ingraham have neighborhood assignments of Roosevelt, Hale, and Ballard - all overcrowded as well. To suggest that not everyone fits at IHS, well, where do they "fit?"
Anonymous said…
Our experience with SPS waitlists is that the central district waits for the Principal to inform them that their school has room and to start the movement of the waitlist. However, Principals we spoke to thought that waitlist movement originated with the central office. Since both entities are waiting on the other for notification - the waitlists will not move.

We had to find out for ourselves, as parents, if the school had room by contacting the Principal directly and then urge the Principal to notify the central office. The Principal did not know that she needed to do that but we called the central office and they informed us that they were waiting on word from the school. Then we told the Principal and, fortunately, she was proactive from that point on.

Welcome to SPS.

Anonymous said…
Last year was a first. All the northend high schools agreed to move only Hale's waitlist & none of the others, even though some high schools wanted to move their lists. Hale came in low & would have lost staff had their numbers not been supported by moving their list & not moving the other lists in the area. Principals negotiated this with the district, so they definitely know how it works. The HCC waitlist at Ingraham is a surprise. I would call the enrollment office & the school.

-HS Parent
Anonymous said…
HCC total enrollment has increased from 1514 in 2010 to 3198 in 2015.
HCC enrollment at Garfield was 427 in 2014-15, 544 in 2015-16 and projected 712 in 2016-17
HCC enrollment at Ingraham was 249 in 2014-15, 290 in 2015-16 and projected 338 in 2016-17

This year's 11th grade HCC class is 167, 10th 238, 9th 262, 8th 324, 7th 419

2016-17 is the first year the huge classes in HCC are going to hit high school (they've been getting larger every year, but this year's 8th grade class is nearly double this year's 11th grade class). One of the reasons the program has grown so much is that people liked the location north of the ship canal. For the same reason, I'm sure the demand for Ingraham IBX is higher this year than in previous years.

If your student is HCC eligible but not at an HCC middle school do you still get preference to GHS? I thought you had to be enrolled in an HCC middle school to get that benefit. And I thought Ingraham has always been on a space available basis.


Anonymous said…
@ Frustrated
SPS should give your child at Ingraham, if not then at Garfield. Wishing you and all the HCC parents a prompt response from the district. Start emailing the board members!
@ Anonymous 8:41
We all knew the bubble was coming to HS and we've been telling SPS and the board about it for years. But as usual, their response is coming a tad late with Lincoln.
Concerned said…
Yes, we are enrolled at a middle school HCC program (Hamilton), and handed in our choice form on time, selecting Ingraham HCC. The SPS website had said that we'd be guaranteed a spot at Ingraham (same passage that someone posted above), and all communication from the Ingraham principal and the HIMS principal indicated the same. I know it was in the fine print somewhere that assignment there was on a 'space available' basis, but I honestly didn't see it as a very real possibility (perhaps naive on my end, yes). I know that program is growing in popularity,and the IB/IBX open house was packed, so I suppose it makes sense. Sounds like the answer is to talk to the district, as well as the Ingraham principal, regarding moving the waitlist.
Please write the Board and tell them this. They need to be able to tell the Superintendent about these issues.
Concerned said…
I had to go back and look at the website just to make sure I'm not crazy about thinking my son would have a seat at Ingraham. Here it is, from the SPS website:

"The IBX (Accelerated International Baccalaureate) program at Ingraham High School is currently available to all students identified as HC. Eligible students who wish to exercise this option, need to complete a school choice form during Open Enrollment, but not later than May 31st. Students who apply during Open Enrollment, are guaranteed seats. They may also apply after Open Enrollment; however, in this case, assignment would depend on space availablility. If a student applies for this program and is not assigned, the student’s default assignment will still be in effect (unless they apply for and are assigned to another school)."

I don't know how that could be more clear -- "students who apply during Open Enrollment are guaranteed seats". Now I'm even more irritated that he's on a waitlist.
Anonymous said…
Are they eliminating the IBX program for next year and putting all kids on the regular IB track? There was talk of that in the fall, but I'm not sure what became of the idea. It did seem like there was consensus that maturity plays a large roll in successfully managing the large IB work load and many HCC parents did not disagree with waiting to start IB as long as there were challenging classes for their kids in 9th and 10th grade.

Sibling Tiebreaker Failed said…
I have three children at a K8 option school and my youngest entering kindergarten next year. I just found on the assignment lookup tool that my fourth child has been assigned to our neighborhood school, not the option school where his siblings attend (and he's not even listed as being on a waitlist!).

This is despite the fact that I turned in my choice form at the District office, I have the yellow copy, AND it has a big "KT" written on it, which I was told stands for "keep together".

Does anyone have a direct email address for someone with some power over there who can correct this? The website says to call or go to Admissions but I'm about to leave Monday morning to be a camp chaperone for the week!
Anonymous said…
I will offer the following based on my past eight years experience with Enrollment, Enrollment Planning, or Admissions.

Very often the programming of processing of Open Enrollment applications does not match the actual documented rules of what should happen. In the past, there was a huge manual effort to review the results and make manual adjustments prior to the results of Open Enrollment going live. Often there was a non understanding of enrollment rules by the people that answered the phone, but you could always appeal to Tracy Libros, who would set it all right.

Currently, there doesn't seem to be anyone that really understands all of the rules. And therefore, no big scrub of the results before they go live. You can still call Admissions and receive a few different answers, but there is no one you can appeal to who will set it all right.

This year is even more problematic as the wait list is set to dissolve only 30 days after families receive their Open Enrollment result letters. Thirty days is a very small space of time for distressed parents e-mails, phone calls, or any other attempt at contact to be ignored before the problem (distressed parents) goes away.

I would advise that if you received an admission result outside of the documented rules that you immediately lodge an appeal. I would also advise to contact all of the Board Directors and let them know what is happening. Ideally, your enrollment results will be resolved retroactively following the end of May to truly represent what your enrollment results should have been if the rules were followed.

I hope that the Board of Directors will demand a review of the Open Enrollment results based on policy, vs. just that of programming. What parents are reporting here is proof that the programming, advice given, and actual rules do not match.

Anonymous said…
A few folks above are saying the wait list is only open 30 days, which reminds me - I am very concerned that SPS is still saying May 31 for end of wait list on all posted and web material.

The board agreed upon SAP, at the end, had August 15 as dissolving date; they did say they would attempt to do all moves by May 31, but that's not the same thing.

- MemoReader
Anonymous said…
Hale was the only high school that had significant movement on their waitlist last year. Hale was allowed to admit 30 from its waitlist I believe because their enrollment numbers were down for 9th grade.

Anonymous said…
What happens to all the changes that go on over the summer? Families that move, decide to go private, just don't tell the district they are not enrolling for the fall, etc? Dissolving the waitlist so early seems misguided and way too rigid.

Anonymous said…

Will you please provide the link to SPS page about IBX at Ingraham being available to HCC students. I'd like to take as much as I can with me tomorrow to admin. I will also write school board and report back as to what I learn tomorrow morning.

-Frustrated Parent
I'd have to go back to my notes but one thing to keep in mind is that the district has to honor the application of anyone who moves to Seattle and needs neighborhood placement.

That said, the district can't just keep a lot of empty seats for that purpose.

I think Enrollment tries to manipulate who goes where using the waitlist (much to the frustration of schools like Cleveland.)
Concerned said…
Frustrated Parent,

That language is here, way down at the bottom:

Also, check out the Friends of Ingraham HS Facebook page -- there is a thread there on this issue. It sounds like it might have just been an error, and easily fixed with a call to Enrollment Services. I'm hopeful that is the case!!

Anonymous said…
So we filled out choice form for Ingraham, and got assigned to Garfield. Is Ingraham more crowded than Garfield this year? Should we even try to get Ingraham? I suppose we could apply to get in to Ingraham next year and go for the IBx then, but it's stressful to go through this again. Then it's the younger kiddies' turn. Sigh.

Any improvement on the Smarter Balance Tests this year? I'm wondering if I should opt my younger kids out. The older one has MSP science and EOC so we're not taking the SB tests, but we don't know if we should op the younger kids out also. Any repercussions if we opt out? If this has been discussed /answered here, please let me know which date. I'd appreciate the help, really swamped right now and can't look through the blog. Thanks.

On other topic, here's an article breaking down ESSA; take a look at the staggering amount $$$ charters get!! please feel free to delete if it's been posted already.

Anonymous said…
Ugh, here's the ESSA article

Sibling Tiebreaker, I would write to the Deputy Superintendent, Steve Nielsen, and ask him to look into this. That's obviously a mistake but one you need corrected soon.

On the SBAC, I understand that it is somewhat shorter but that your child can have as much time as they need. My take is that if you feel confident in your child's teacher to give you an honest appraisal of how your child is doing, skip the test.

Keep in mind, the district is still attempting to use it as a gate-keeper for HCC. I do believe there would be a work-around for that but fyi.

Thanks, CCA, I saw this and want to write about it.

If you are in 7th congressional district (as I am), please keep up on who runs for Jim McDermott's seat. I just got off the phone with someone from the Walkinshaw campaign about public ed. ALL the candidates - Walkinshaw, Jaypal and McDermott (Joe) - need to hear from you about this spending on charter schools.
spacemom said…
I submitted the open enrollment application and listed k-8 school was told that I have pretty good chance since I actually live in the geo zone. My daughter is assigned to neighborhood school and looks like she was entered as a lottery when the tie breaker actually should have been the geo zone. I email admission, no response, i emailed service center that got me automatic reply with "thank you for submitting your application" and I emailed enrollment services. No reply. Finally got a hold of a real life person in admission who was annoyed with me before I said anything, but by the end of the conversation was in agreement with me that I was in fact in geo zone but since my house is newly built was not used for this school assignment. I was asked to email enrollment planning (no phone number - I think it is super secret). I called Enrollment Services who was annoyed with me like the person from admission office was( althought I was the one who was on hold for 50 minutes) and at the end was in agreement that they can't even find my address - he told me to email enrollment planning and refused to give me a number because they should contact me. I have a feeling this will be a big push back and I won't even get to have a conversation with anyone from there.
Is there any particular person I can get in touch with? I really want to actually talk.

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