Friday Open Thread

The big news is that the City of Seattle announced three new homeless encampments to be established in early 2017 and one of them is right by the Wilson-Pacific complex that will be home to Robert Eagle Staff Middle School, Licton Springs K-8 and Cascadia Elementary.  The location is 8620 Nesbit Avenue North and it will have up to 50 tiny homes, serving 60-70 people (Nesbit is one block east of Aurora.) The other new encampments are down in Georgetown and White Center.  (The one in White Center will also be near an elementary school but with enough distance that it's not the issue that Wilson-Pacific campus is.)

I think we can all agree that the homeless crisis in Seattle is a major issue.  But I am shocked the City would choose a location in an area that is already problematic AND has so many school children nearby. As I previously reported, RESMS planning principal Marni Campbell announced at a community meeting this week that the City is giving the district $1M grant to improve safety in that area. Well, this would appear to be one reason why that happened. 

The district tweeted out a story from Mind/Shift from KQED about West Seattle High School and a program to reach students who may learn in different ways.
“How do we make the system fit the child instead of trying to make the kid fit the system?” she asked. Teachers at her school are exploring this question in a variety of ways, including through a pilot advisory-type program that began with a cohort of 25 tenth graders.
As I tweeted back to the district, this is great but how come they didn't announce this themselves?

Hey DFER (Democrats for Education Reform) WA is looking for a new director.    Just to note, DFER has endorsed the nomination of Betsy DeVos for Education secretary in the Trump administration while simultaneously criticizing Trump.  It does not mention DeVos love of vouchers but supports her love of charter schools.    From Diane Ravitch:
The reformers are in a pickle. They can’t claim fealty to Trump, because they pretend to be Democrats. But Trump has embraced the reformer agenda, lock, stock and barrel. This statement is one way of handling their dilemma: embrace DeVos–a figure who finances the far-right and wants completely unregulated, unaccountable choice, and simultaneously chide Trump for his hateful rhetoric. Pretend to be Democrats while saluting her.
Not so coincidentally, DeVos gave money to DFER. From ed blogger, Mercedes Schneider:
Well, because DFER already has a relationship with both a DeVos’ nonprofit as well as a DeVos-chaired nonprofit– a financial relationship.
There is a meeting tomorrow about Robert Eagle Staff Middle School at Northgate Elementary from 11 am to 12:30 pm.  

Need to do some holiday shoppingThe Stranger has a great list of fairs/shops to buy locally made gifts.

There are no director community meetings tomorrow as the Board has a retreat at JSCEE from 10 am-3 pm.  The agenda reflects discussion around the following:

- the 2017-2018bbudget (recap of discussion and/or decisions - if any- to date), compilation of recommendations from stakeholders and staff, discussion of additional/new information, recommendations and consensus for pessimistic and optimistic budget scenarios
- eliminating opportunity gaps
- discussion of work of Community Engagement Task Force
- assignment of Board Committee assignment preferences (the Board will be voting in new officers soon)

Based on the worrisome budget next year, I think I may be buying this holiday gift for the Board and Superintendent.

What's on your mind?


Anonymous said…
I'm shocked this city would place a homeless camp so very close to a school.

What is going on in this city!

NESeattleMom said…
I like the little houses in organized encampments much more than tents anywhere and everywhere. At least they are managed encampments.
Anonymous said…
Even more shocking was this gem included in the Seattle Times article:

"The Licton Springs site will have minimal entry requirements in order to better serve people suffering from substance-abuse disorders and behavioral disorders, Murray’s office said."

So, not only is it a homeless encampment, which maybe I could live with if it was actually managed properly, as NESeattleMom indicates, but would be the only one that would be open to substance-abusers and those with behavioral disorders. So they are essentially placing a location that will certainly have illegal drug use (no matter how well managed) this close to a school--The NE corner of the property is less than 1000 feet away from the Eagle Staff, 1000 feet being the required distance for Marijuana dispensaries (which are legal!). And that's not even to mention that what comes with a population that is dependent on illegal drug use is the means to obtain such drugs--which would certainly be happening at least in part off site--the city is essentially dropping a drug market (not that it perhaps isn't already there, but certainly making it worse) on the door step of its brand new middle school.

Maybe I'm overreacting, but I really don't think so. This is a major health and safety risk to our students and the community, and $1M cannot make this safety risk go away.

Fed Up
Anonymous said…
Have you ever closely inquired about what goes on around those sites. There ends up being many unscrupulousness people lurking around the fringes. In this case the fringe will be the new schools. There will be drug use and defecation going on in each and every hidden courtyard on the new school site.

Most of the inhabitants of these camps are beggars/scavengers and will no problem approaching students and asking for money.

There's dumb and then there's Seattle dumb.

Anonymous said…
Any updates from the SAP meeting at Ingraham last night?

Fix AL
Anonymous said…
Tent City 3 was one block away from Seattle Waldorf School (preschool-8 campus) and it worked out pretty well with the kids working with the camp. But that was a pretty tightly managed camp. If the camp going in near the new schools was a managed camp I don't think it would be a problem, but a camp with limited management? No way.

Anonymous said…
The area is already very seedy, this will just be the coup de gras.

What a mess, just wait and see!

--another parent
Anonymous said…
The behaviors described by Dumbfounded were happening at Wilson Pacific prior to demolition, though mostly after hours. I'm assuming the new buildings have been designed with improved security, but it's hard to believe the city did not take into account the proximity of the camp to the WP campus.

-a reader
NESeattleMom said…
I agree with you wholeheartedly. I was very wary of the location of that school in the first place. I, personally, disagree with the city tacitly allowing the illegal activities that go on up and down Aurora, including right there a block from Wilson Pacific. I think there are a lot of dangerous people doing business on Aurora. They may be different than the people who will occupy an encampment. If they do allow drug use and drug addiction people there, and they don't have strict policies of behavior, then the city is really crazy, in my opinion, and is putting our middle schoolers at risk. One of the risks, in my opinion, is the access to drugs. At Ballard High School a couple of years ago, there was a guy selling to the high schoolers on 15th NW, two blocks from the school. There, I think a neighbor tipped off the police. But on Aurora, I don't think anyone would notice anything.
Anonymous said…
On Dec. 7, the SAP proposal will be presented to the School Board for Introduction (Board vote on Jan. 4). Are the SAP community meetings presenting the info that will be introduced on Dec. 7? Should parents brace for some yet to be announced change? It just seems to be the district MO to drop bombshells right before a break.

Anonymous said…
Student assignment plan. Rules for who gets assigned where(grandfathering, programs, tiebreakers), besides boundaries basically.

Anonymous said…
Student Assignment Plan
The plan for 2017-18 continues most of the assignment rules in effect during 2016-17, but some highlights and changes are:

Opening Cedar Park Elementary, Meany Middle, and Robert Eagle Staff Middle (attendance area) schools;

Truncating grades at Madrona - this school would become a K-5 instead of a K-8;

Establishing a GeoZone for Licton Springs K-8;

Modifying Highly Capable Cohort pathways;

Adding Chief Sealth as the southeast dual language immersion pathway high school;

Removing conflicting assignment guarantees for new to the district 6th-8th grade students;

Moving the date when waitlists are dissolved from August 15 to August 31; and

Updating school and program names and locations.
I did attend last night's SAP meeting. Not happy and I'll write about it this weekend.
Anonymous said…
Everyone is right! The Mayor is the perfect person to help with capacity management issues in north Seattle!

Careless Reckless
Anonymous said…
When do we vote Murray out of office?

Anonymous said…
The SW corner of JESMS site is 587 feet from the NE corner of the proposed homeless camp. I feel sorry for my friends at ProSki.

Anonymous said…
Regarding the proposed changes to the SAP...
They are also proposing to change Nova from an option school to a service school designation. I think this is so kids can enter year-round, and not just during open enrollment.

-North-end Mom
Anonymous said…
"I feel sorry for my friends at ProSki."

I have no sympathy for people who profit off non-essential recreational activities when they are so many who have to do without a roof over their head.

Anonymous said…
Yes! Everyone stop skiing until the world is perfectly fair and just. in fact, stop all pleasurable activities! And stop making money, too! just stop everything, right now, I mean it!

Get real
Anonymous said…
I think the Licton Springs homeless camp location is not a terrible idea because there is a good deal of homelessness/drug use in the area right now and has been for many years. We were at Homeschool Resource Center at Wilson Pacific prior to new construction and camping/drugs/waste/etc were a near daily occurrence.

A social service delivery point nearby might serve to draw some activity away from new school and give school admins a close-by partner to work with.

Anonymous said…

Sexual Harassment: Not in Our School! -- an online video and action plan -- came out this week. Has a Seattle history. Many national legal and education experts interviewed by a high school club.

They suggest group viewing with a presentation guide . It's for middle and high school students and K-12 parents. The credits list funding from American Association of University Women community grant.

middle school aunt
Outsider said…
It's funny to think of the people who own those cute condos next to the homeless camp. I am sure they are very progressive, and have stiff upper lips (and "Seattle stupid" tatoos somewhere below the belt line), but I wonder if they still have to pay high property taxes on places that just dropped by half in value.
Outsider, how is that comment helpful?
Anonymous said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Another NW said…
There is a link on the SPS Student Assigment page to the presentation given at the Student Assignment Meetings:
Anonymous said…
According to the SAP presentation linked by Another NW, Eckstein area elementary HCC students will be assigned to Decatur. No numbers were presented, but that seems like a large number of students...

Map of HCC density (Gr 1-5):

-a reader
Anonymous said…

According to 2015-16 data, the Eckstein area had 270 HCC students 1-5, and the Hamilton/Whitman/Jane Addams service areas had 371 HCC students 1-5. Numbers are likely much higher this year and will be even higher in 2017-18 and beyond. The boundaries of Eckstein will be changing in 2017-18, and it's not clear how much that will impact HCC numbers at Decatur.

-a reader
Parent of soon-to-be squished middle schooler said…
I am also concerned about the homeless shelter, but there is another issue that didn't get a mention in the RE Community Meeting slides or meeting descriptions. How is the REMS building going to accommodate Licton Springs, area attendees, and HCC? Did I miss a resolution to this or are they going to pretend they didn't know about this till all of the students show up?
Anonymous said…
See above - The proposed pathway for Grades 1-5 Eckstein area HCC students is Decatur, which is about 40% of the north end elementary HCC cohort.

-a reader
Anonymous said…
The Decatur building for HCC is ONLY for the Eckstein service area and they will overfill the building immediately. The plan is very poorly thought out.

Families in the JAMS area (only a few blocks away) will be shocked when they find out that they will be bussed to Cascadia, not Decatur. Additionally, families in the Greenlake area, may be equally surprised to be bussed to Decatur when Cascadia is nearby.

- bad planning
Anonymous said…
@ a reader, I think soon-to-be-squished was asking about middle school, not elementary. I've been asking the same thing, but no answers...


Echoing Halls of Whitman said…
Dear Parent of soon-to-be squished middle schooler,
Don't worry, there will apparently be a lot of extra room at Whitman Middle School. So if kids want to be unsquished, I guess the families just have to move closer to the sound?
Anonymous said…
Isn't most of the Greenlake area now assigned to Hamilton, which means they would go to Cascadia? I really can't keep up with the changes...

a reader
Anonymous said…
Green Lake does not entirely go to Eckstein, though. It's split, so the hcc kids would be too.

Anonymous said…
Has the district ever released the updated enrollment projections for middle schools based on the anticipated new HCC pathways (HIMS and McClure HCC to HIMS; REMS and Whitman HCC to REMS; JAMS and Eckstein HCC to JAMS)? If so, where can we find it? (And if not, WTF?)

What about a version that assumes rising 8th graders get grandfathered? And a version based on Whitman students of any grade level being able to stay there if they want?

They make all these plans and promises and suggestions and options, yet never seem to have any clue how they'll play out. Given all that's under consideration, what is the likely enrollment at each of these middle schools this fall?

Anonymous said…
No new projections will be provided unless they are needed as part of a Board-submitted SAP amendment (according to Ms Davies at the Hale SAP meeting).

-North-end Mom
Another NW said…
Apparently at the Ingraham mtg last night staff was pushed for #'s again. This was posted on the Friends of EagleStaff FB page:
"At last night’s SAP community meeting at Ingraham, Enrollment Director Ashley Davies promised to daylight the underlying numbers comprising the 666 projection for Eagle Staff in 2017. She said they could make it available — probably on the SPS website — in the next few days. She said the 666 includes an HCC projection of 296. So that leaves 370 to be explained"

It sounds like all Whitman students who want to stay at Whitman will be able to - which isn't really a geo-split. If they don't grandfather the incoming 8th graders from Hamilton they'll be the only 8th graders at REMS, which is concerning. If I'm remembering correctly from watching the last board meeting, it's 70 HCC 8th graders that would be moved from Hamilton. No confidence they will be able to offer a comparable social experience & peer group (much less appropriate language, music, sports) with so few 8th graders.
I was there and I'll write about it but again, not good.
Anonymous said…
666 is the projection? Bad omen?
Lynn said…
The student assignment plan has been posted as an attachment to the agenda for next week's board meeting. Staff's comments on Director Peters's suggested amendment to grandfather current 7th graders next year are very negative. They've calculated huge costs based on mitigation required to provide a comprehensive middle school experience to very small numbers of 8th graders who would opt to attend the new middle schools. Why not just require them to stay at their current schools and offer only 6th and 7th grades at REMS and Meany next year?

The staff has slipped in a change to the HCC pathway for West Seattle students requiring them to attend Madison rather than Washington. I haven't seen this mentioned anywhere before today. There are not two full classes of HCC students in any grade when you combine Denny and Madison. This isn't a sufficient cohort and will require either mixed grade classes in ELA, social studies and science or blended classes with Spectrum students. Neither meets the requirements of the board policy and the superintendent's procedure.
Anonymous said…
Lynn, where are the very negative staff comments you refer to? Do you mean the fact that costs are listed in the amendment, or are there separate comments somewhere? Staff are most likely to understand many of the complexities and implications for the idea of grandfathering 8th graders—impacts on the new schools, on the schools keeping the 8th graders, and on the families who may otherwise take the move in stride. It would be good if those staff assessments and opinions were made public along with the amendment.

On the idea of requiring 8th graders to stay, there are both mitigation and programmatic costs to opening new middle schools without enough students. There are also additional transportation costs to sending HCC students out of the same neighborhoods to two different middle schools, to sending grandfathered REMA-area students back to Whitman, and additional financial and programmatic costs for ramping up 8th grade hiring and a jump in school population the second year. The long-term impact of a slow start for the new middle schools--as opposed to a full startup with all 3 grades from the first year, with all the dollars, staffing, parents energy, and strong start of robust programs that follow--are also being ignored.

I agree that the establishment of any middle school site for HCC without a sufficient cohort to start is not a good idea, whether that be Madison or REMS.

NESeattleMom said…
My 8th grader is excited to go to Garfield next year. I just told him about the new higher number of credits. He's excited about having world language plus two music classes. Will there be a 7 period day next year?
Anonymous said…
There seems to be very little support by families to move their children from Whitman to RESMS and that was before we found out about the new homeless shanty town right next door to RESMS. Most of the current 6th or 7th graders will choose to attend Whitman for the next 2 years, not RESMS.

Whitman parents are wondering why Scott Pinkham isn't listening to the desires of parents and students in the NW corner of the district and fighting for them on this issue. He could be, but there is no visibility.

Parents are going to demand that all current transportation routes remain in place for Whitman until 2019-2020 school year.

I don't think the district needs another fight, but so be it.

Whitman parent
Anonymous said…
CheckYourSnowWhitePrivilege = CUNT
Anonymous said…
"Why not just require them to stay at their current schools and offer only 6th and 7th grades at REMS and Meany next year?"

I agree with Lynn. The geosplit from HIMS to JAMS was extremely difficult for the 8th graders. There were many issues with matriculation for HCC students and a budget cut despite promises. Many issues were mitigated by a site based decision from the principal. She had to utilize her professional development and supply budget to make very small math, foreign language and other classes happen in a 40% free and reduced lunch school! Who knows if these same issues will be handled the same at Eaglestaff. If I was an HCC parent of an 8th grader I would demand grandfathering for all 8th graders.
-NE parent
Anonymous said…
"It sounds like all Whitman students who want to stay at Whitman will be able to - which isn't really a geo-split. If they don't grandfather the incoming 8th graders from Hamilton they'll be the only 8th graders at REMS, which is concerning. If I'm remembering correctly from watching the last board meeting, it's 70 HCC 8th graders that would be moved from Hamilton. No confidence they will be able to offer a comparable social experience & peer group (much less appropriate language, music, sports) with so few 8th graders."

Another NW. I agree. Another good point on why those 70 HIMS HCC 8th graders should be grandfathered. They should open Eaglestaff as a 6th and 7th grade roll up.
Anonymous said…
P.S. However, I don't believe Whitman foreign language aligns with the language classes at HIMS. At HIMS classes are daily for a full year. So HIMS and Whitman kids would likely be in different language classes. The 70 HCC kids would also be in different core classes. So that leaves sports and band/orchestra.
Jet City mom said…
The land for the project in Licton Springs is owned by the Low Income Housing Institute, according to an article in the paper.
However, as Scott Morrow of SHARE has a poor rep, it doesnt bode well.

From wiki.
"The incorporation of LIHI as an organization in 1991 resulted from the leadership of three founding board members: Frank Chopp of the Fremont Public Association, Michael Reichert of Catholic Community Services, and Scott Morrow of SHARE. LIHI filled a void in the community for creating self-management and developing innovative housing solutions.

The Fremont Public Association merged its Housing Development Department with LIHI in 1994 to create a dedicated housing development and management organization. LIHI became an affiliated program of FPA, and Sharon Lee was named the Executive Director."
Anonymous said…
What happens to the REMS 7th graders who would have accessed higher level classes with the 8th graders if there are no 8th graders?

Anonymous said…
I hope the board approves the grandfathering amendment. After moving here, we were lucky to find HCC for middle school, we’ve been satisfied with the program but may have to consider private school before being forced to move to a new school without a great music program and in a seedy location. It is a headache having to think of private school at this point and I’m considering an address move if necessary. I’m glad that Director Peters understands the needs of HCC 7th grade families. 

Lynn said…
I wonder if the principal at Madison will choose to overcrowd general education classes in order to provide HCC students with self-contained classes as the policy requires.
Anonymous said…
Reposting for Anonymous at 8:17 in case it gets deleted:

"What happens to the REMS 7th graders who would have accessed higher level classes with the 8th graders if there are no 8th graders?"


Also, NT said: "They should open Eaglestaff as a 6th and 7th grade roll up” and "The 70 HCC kids would also be in different core classes” However:

As stated at the Nov 16 board meeting, the number of 8th graders reassigned next year to REMS would be 113 from Hamilton (73 of those HCC), and 11 from Eckstein and 9 from JAMS (some if not most of those HCC), and 102 from Whitman (though some Whitman families will likely opt back into Whitman, especially some who live in Greenwood).

Foreign language, math, and music classes are a mixture of grades, meaning it’s better to have more kids to populate classes at all levels, and justify hiring full-time teachers. Whitman has full-year language classes in 7th and 8th grades. And the core academic HCC classes would include more students than just the HCC students moving from Hamilton, as noted above.

Parent energy would be best spent trying to make the new school the best it can be, rather than various groups trying to keeping their own kids from having to move, and undermining the new school's success in the process. It’s a downward spiral the district has started by making an opt-back promise to Whitman families and considering grandfathering 8th graders. The school board decision to start JAMS as a fully-enrolled comprehensive middle school from day 1 is looking wiser and wiser by the day.

Anonymous said…
@ NESeattleMom,

No, I don't think the district is planning to move to a 7-period high school day next year. It doesn't sound like they are making any effort to deal with the new 24-credit requirement this coming year. I heard from a teacher that maybe the district will implement changes for the following year, or the year after that. Since current 8th graders are first group to be hit with this new requirement, if the district delays things several years this cohort will really feel the squeeze. There won't be much wiggle room to fail classes, and students will need full schedules--which many schools have had trouble providing due to overcrowding. Things could get ugly.

The 24-credit task force actually recommended moving to a 3x5 schedule ( three trimesters of five periods) instead of a 7-period day, but it's a poorly thought out recommendation. There was a lot of discussion here when the report and recommendations came out, so you might want to look for that. A 3x5 schedule doesn't seem to be feasible for IB programs, and it creates a ton of problems for AP classes, too (e.g., if they are only 2 terms they have significantly reduced hours to cover the material, which means increased homework loads, classes ending before the exam studying, etc., but if they are 3 terms much of the term occurs after all the material and the AP exam, and students who take AP classes are essentially penalized because these classes take up more of theoretical credit options than similar 2-term versions.) It's worth thinking about how your son's schedule might play out under the various schemes, as it looks like taking two music classes and a foreign language won't be possible unless he does some classes outside of HS. Music classes are ikely to be a particular challenge under a 3x5 schedule, since they would probably be year-long.

It's all quite messy, and the district is being slow (or secretive) in its planning efforts. The problems with the 3x5 schedule were immediately apparent to many of us, but the task force had apparently not bothered to look very deeply. (They did mention there needed to be research into the feasibly of that approach--but why recommend it if before that?)

Good luck with high school. This cohort may be in for an extra bumpy ride!

Reality bites
Another NW said…
Fireside - "Parent energy would be best spent trying to make the new school the best it can be, rather than various groups trying to keeping their own kids from having to move, and undermining the new school's success in the process. It’s a downward spiral the district has started by making an opt-back promise to Whitman families and considering grandfathering 8th graders."

I completely agree with you - BUT since the Whitman students have already been given essentially across the board grandfathering the wheel is in motion to start a 6th/7th grade roll-up. I was on board to put my energy towards the new school if ALL kids were being moved via a geo-split. I was at HIMS during the JAMS split and it was a true geo-split from the start. However, since the 102 from Whitman aren't coming that changes things for everyone.

I am going to the Eaglestaff planning meeting today because if my 8th grader gets moved there - I will put all my energy into making it the best for everyone. I have heard the planning meetings haven't been well attended and that makes sense with all the uncertainty but doesn't make for a good start either. More clarity, earlier decisions would have helped.
Anonymous said…
My family has 6 years invested in Whitman and live in North broadview. The gerrymandering of the attendance area for REMS seems obvious and many families will fight to stop this stupidity.

It's moronic for the district to expect no resistance when it's asking for many children to attend 3 different schools in 3 years.

We are willing to sue the district if they try and force the move.

I have asked the Seattle police dept for the crime activity report for the RESMS area and I try and post the data once received, but when speaking with the community service officer he commented the area is not safe for children now and will only become worst with the inclusion of a homeless camp.

The good news is there will be plenty of classroom space available at Whitman and it would take a major change in behavior by the district to deny families Whitman as a school choice.

If the district acts arbitrary and capricious come February we will be prepared.

Stay Whitman
Josh Hayes said…
Thanks for the comments about dealing with the 24-credit situation, reality bites. It appears that LWSD, across the lake, is strongly considering moving to the 3x5 trimester model with a modified block period for the larger high schools in the district (Juanita, Redmond, Eastlake, and Lake Washington) for the 2018-19 school year (i.e. not next year, but the year after). They say they're collecting input from stakeholders, but it's my (admittedly limited) experience that by the time ANY administrative organization seeks input from lower levels, they've pretty much made up their mind and are seeking posterior-coverage.

In my area of instruction (science) this is definitely going to be an issue, for the reasons you enumerate above: it's already quite difficult to cover AP curriculum with the current 6x2 modified block structure (for instance, AP Chemistry is apparently brutally fast) and will be well-nigh impossible in two trimesters, each of which gives up about 6 hours of instructional time compared to the comparable semester model. Moreover, we're trying to align our standard course sequence to the NGSS, which is, um... "interesting", I guess.... and losing that instructional time is very hard to accommodate at the same time as hitting those standards.

It's the collision between the top-down Core-24 demand and the bottom-up insistence that we maximize graduation rates -- so what do we do? We redefine what a "credit" is. Does that serve our students' needs? That's really the question we all have to answer - and this may also be coming down the pike for SPS as well (my kids will both have exited the system by then, but of course it still matters to me).

I don't speak for LWSD in any way, of course! All I have is scuttlebutt, and I could well be totally wrong about what's coming. Your mileage may vary! Later, rinse, repeat! See a doctor if your school day lasts more than 24 hours!
Josh's last paragraph for the win. Ha!
Anonymous said…
I am not sure what this refers to and I'm not going to scroll through 59 comments and find out-- but no matter what, it's inappropriate and does not belong in this dialogue. Keep it civil please even if you are mad and feel wronged.

Go High
Go High,

I have no idea what you are talking about but the last comment above mine was Josh's and I was commenting on his funny last paragraph. You don't have to read all the comments but don't make remarks if you haven't.
NESeattleMom said…
Thanks, reality bites and Josh for input on 24 credit graduation requirement changes. I had read at the time about the 3 x 5 idea, and it would not work for music either, because if my kid did music and world language all year he would be short on core requirements, as well as the AP scheduling. I wish there could be 7 periods. That would free things up.
Anonymous said…

I think go high was referring to a comment on 12/2/16 at 10:45 am which does seem out of line with this blog. I will not repeat it here.

CapHill Parent
Anonymous said…
@ NE Parent wrote: "Many issues were mitigated by a site based decision from the principal. She had to utilize her professional development and supply budget to make very small math, foreign language and other classes happen in a 40% free and reduced lunch school! Who knows if these same issues will be handled the same at Eaglestaff. "

I certainly hope things won't be handled this way at Eaglestaff or Madison. Shorting professional development for teachers and raiding the supply budget to provide small boutique classes for a limited number of students in a high poverty school doesn't sit well with me and was a poor choice. - Caphill Parent
Anonymous said…

I was very surprised to find out just today about this blog and the "SAP". I had no idea until reading a PTA email that explained we now may have to send our son to the Robert Eagle staff middle school that currently being build on 90th and Stone way.

My son is active in sports at his current school and is very upset about possibly leaving his current school. I have reviewed the Robert Eagle staff site plans and noticed there is not a dedicated soccer field like at Whitman. There's going to be contention for using the field between softball, baseball, lacrosse, soccer and Frisbee.

It's also looks like the new school is missing an auditorium? Is this true? Whitman has a very large auditorium.

We will be looking into options. I hope the new school the best of luck, but not at my family's expense.

Kate @whitman
Josh Hayes said…
Hi NESeattleMom, I do know that at a lot of schools, music - especially orchestra, symphonic band, and jazz band - are offered in zero period or 7th period. I assume with the 3x5 arrangement there'd still be zero period, and there'd now be 6th period for the after-school stuff.

I will say that I have the utmost admiration for both the teachers and the students who have the stamina to show up for orchestra in zero period at my school, which starts at an eye-watering 6:30 AM. Holy moley! But that's not a solution, of course. I think the idea of the 3x5 is that even with the regular ol' schedule, after 4 years a student will have had the opportunity to accumulate 30 "credits" (at 7.5 each year, compared to the current 6), but music/performance classes really need to be pretty much continuous if one wants to attain any kind of mastery. Of course, after-school periods are no picnic either (I've taught those. Kids are generally too exhausted to be really focused, at least in a science context.)

As is always the case, there is no perfect solution. We muddle through the best we can given the constraints placed on us from above and below.
Anonymous said…
Research study on the impacts of early start times on elementary students:

Anecdotally, how's it going for SPS elementary students? Is your child crankier or more tired in the afternoon? No difference? Are teachers noticing a difference?

Anonymous said…
@Kate - Most schools do not have fields dedicated to a particular sport - we just share the fields. -NP
Anonymous said…
If Whitman is not currently over capacity, wouldn't students designated for the split be able to select Whitman during open enrollment (just as some Eckstein students were able to do)?

Unlike the opening of JAMS, which was not a fully renovated building, REMS will be brand new - up to fire and earthquake code, no asbestos, no lead in the paint or drinking water. After years of having my kids in school buildings with actual health and safety risks, I think I would have been glad to have them in a brand new building. Not to diminish the other shortcomings and issues, but wow, a brand new building!

As to the WP sports field (not fields?), won't Lincoln also need to use the space? What is the plan for Lincoln HS sports? With the opening of REMS and LHS, there will be more schools and teams vying for the same limited number of fields.

Anonymous said…
I doubt the district will impose a 3X5 schedule on every high school, but if it did, I would advocate phasing out IB at Ingraham. As I've explained elsewhere at length, the 3X5 schedule would restrict students' choices of classes to the point that I could no longer recommend it as a program.

David Edelman
1) Kate @Whitman, we have discussed here that RESMS opens without a true auditorium (it will be a "cafetorium" and those are notorious for bad sound.) Many of us advocated for one but to no avail.

2) Lincoln will need some place with field access. Whether that is Lower Woodland or RESMS remains to be seen. I think it will probably be RESMS because Lower Woodland fields are already in almost constant use and to displace those people would cause a lot of unhappiness.

3) To David's point about IB at Ingraham, I can only say that I wish, wish, wish, that JSCEE spent some time talking to teachers about these issues and not just principals. My feeling is always that the people on the ground know more than people in a faraway building.

And, isn't this something the Executive Directors should be addressing in their work?
Anonymous said…
Whitman is a fine school in a great location. Whitman might not be new, but it has great sports fields, a huge auditorium with great acoustics on top of the great staff. I never worry about my child walking home from school, there are no issues with traffic or drug dealers or drug users users.

Unfortunately the city of Seattle is more than willing to risk the safety of its students by building a high risk homeless camp around the corner from Robert Eagle Staff middle school.

Staying @Whitman

Anonymous said…
Without IB at Ingraham, what would be the service plan for HCC? Would the school suddenly have AP options in lieu of IB? How, exactly, would that transition work for teacher/student scheduling and curriculum planning? And why then wouldn't Roosevelt and Ballard HCC students just stick with their established neighborhood schools? Is that the ultimate plan of SPS? Who knows?! I'm not sure if the post above is truly from an IHS teacher, but it sure would be nice to know if there was a movement by Ingraham teachers/IHS to phase out IB *BEFORE* students chose the school for the IB program.

At a recent IB info night, a parent asked IHS staff a pointed question about the future support for IB/IBX and the answer wasn't exactly forthcoming. It makes one wonder what conversations are happening around IB/HCC at Ingraham.

As far as the 3x5 schedule - it would be problematic for *BOTH* AP and IB pathways, in addition to severely limiting elective options.

-what's next?
Anonymous said…
what's next,

I truly am an IHS teacher, and I am speaking only for myself. For the record, I don't think IB is sustainable at any high school forced to adopt the 3X5 schedule. As I've argued elsewhere (, the 3X5 schedule would signal the end of IB in Seattle Public Schools.

That's why I don't believe the 3X5 schedule will be imposed on all Seattle high schools. But if it were . . .

David Edelman
Anonymous said…
So what's happening on the 24-credit front? The district had s task force, and if released its report some time ago. But since then, crickets. Is anyone working on this, and if so, what are they doing? Or are they just ignoring the issue and hoping it goes away--or hoping they get jobs elsewhere before they are forced to deal with it? I don't understand the silence in the wake of the recommendations report.

Reality bites

Lynn said…
The latest information I've seen was in this presentation (beginning on page 49):

There won't be any changes in the 2017-18 school year.
Anonymous said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Being a moderator takes some degree of alchemy. Some things, while disagreeable, are not offensive. Some comments I strike because they are there just to be unkind or cruel and are pointless.

I do leave many comments that are critical of me and others but I'm not going to allow abuse of myself or anyone else.

I do not claim to get it right every time but that also doesn't mean I'm going to have foul or abusive language here.

If you don't like my editing or standards, there are many other places you can be.
Josh Hayes said…
Let me emphasize that what I was saying above about the 3x5 schedule was only as it applies to Lake Washington Schools, not SPS. There's no question that the Core24 thing is supposedly live and applicable to students currently in our high schools, though, and each district is going to have to determine how it will address that state-mandated requirement. Obviously there are opportunities to recover credits, or to generate credits to satisfy particular categories (online classes, summer school, zero- and seventh-period options), so it's not as though schools must make dramatic changes to the schedule.

Honestly, I'm something of a newbie in the classroom, with a combined four years of teaching experience at the high school level (and a few years of tutoring before that), so someone like David Edelman no doubt has much more insight into this than I do, but I'll echo Melissa's comment above: all too often this stuff gets handed down like it's engraved on a tablet or something, and we in the classroom - teachers and students alike - wind up having to interpret the scripture to meet our own situation. Different levels have different priorities, but I wish that at ALL levels we'd be thinking about what's best for the students. The whole POINT of schools is the students. Sometimes I think some folks forget about that in their zeal to make things run smoothly, or meet some sweet spreadsheet organization, or match up with some neato-keen program they heard about at a seminar in DC.
Anonymous said…
Education and Society Film Series: Starving the Beast
WHEN Monday, Dec 5, 2016, 7 – 9 p.m.
CAMPUS LOCATION Kane Hall (KNE), University of WA
EVENT TYPES Lectures/Seminars, Screenings
EVENT SPONSORS University of Washington College of Education Master in Education Policy program,
Tom Halverson,
Some of the most pressing issues facing America's educational systems will be discussed during the "Education and Society" documentary film series. Watch "Starving the Beast" and join a conversation about the funding of public higher education.
Examine the ongoing power struggle on college campuses across the nation as political and market-oriented forces push to disrupt and reform America’s public universities. The film documents a philosophical shift that seeks to reframe public higher education as a value proposition to be borne by the beneficiary of a college degree rather than as a public good for society.

The event is free and open to the public.
Anonymous said…
I am assuming you mean you don't anticipate a change to a 3x5 schedule for next school year. There will be changes to the schedule next year due to the early release and extended day. Let's hope reason prevails and the 3x5 schedule idea does not take hold, for all the reasons mentioned previously. I'm tired of the patronizing "change is hard" line following poor district choices.

-super tired

Anonymous said…
Is anyone in the know about procedures for material and textbook purchases within SPS? I'm trying to understand how one teacher can have fully stocked shelves of novels to lend out and another teacher has their students buying their own books (for assigned reading). Same course, different teachers. Do teachers generally buy their own classroom set of books? Are new teachers left without funds to cover basic sets of materials? Is it a principal decision to skimp on textbook/material purchases? How much of a PTA's budget goes toward basic materials and textbooks? Why does Cascadia purchase their 4th-5th grade math textbooks with PTA funds? Shouldn't textbooks be part of the school budget? It's all a mystery to me, and the inconsistency from school to school and classroom to classroom is boggling.

Anonymous said…
caphill parent "I certainly hope things won't be handled this way at Eaglestaff or Madison. Shorting professional development for teachers and raiding the supply budget to provide small boutique classes for a limited number of students in a high poverty school doesn't sit well with me and was a poor choice. - Caphill Parent"

Yes, AND most 8th grade students are choosing to stay at Whitman. Between what everyone learned and what actually happened to 8th graders at JAMS, and the fact that this is NOT a geosplit, I am more and more in favor of a 6th and 7th roll-up. Parents who are arguing against this issue (& do not have 7th graders) are ignoring facts related to matriculation issues for 8th graders. There are kids who started algebra in 6th who will be 3 years ahead. I highly doubt the small amount of 8th grade HCC kids will be able to continue with certain math classes, levels of language (immersion) band/orchestra (chamber etc) classes that don't align etc.
-NW dad
Anonymous said…
NW dad, don't some of your arguments also apply to 7th graders moved to RESMS? If a 6th grader is taking Algebra, then plans on taking Geometry in 7th (typically an 8th grade class for HCC students), but there are no 8th graders, then would Geometry even be offered? Unlikely. They will be told to part-time homeschool. What about the levels of band/orchestra? They will be limited because, once again, no 8th graders. Sports? Clubs? Fundraising and parent participation will also be limited because you have fewer families at the school. The move to JAMS was just as hard on 7th graders as 8th graders. While I understand the desire to grandfather 8th graders, a 6th/7th roll up will create issues as well. What teachers and classes will be in place for those rising RESMS 8th graders? It will be like starting from scratch two years in a row for those students.

my 2cents
Anonymous said…
Hale already requires 23.5 hours to graduate. Maybe they will leave the 24 credit issue up to the individual high schools. My kid graduated with 25 credits.

Anonymous said…
Most of Whitman's current 6th and 7th graders will most likely remain at Whitman through 8th grade. I predict SPS will end up funding the Whitman transportation routs that exist today for those years.

I expect there is going to be a huge fight over the attendance area of Whitman, you can bet on it. I expect the movers and shakers in Broadview will thoughtfully convince SPS of its mistake around the attendance boundaries for RESMS and things will soon return to as they where before the huge mistake.

North end parents where not notified of the change until last week which has pissed off just about everyone at Whitman.

I do not believe we need RESMS as a traditional middle school, so please use the entire building as Licton Springs or some other alternative school. Maybe the bureau of Native Indian affairs can use the whole complex and get federal funding to run and maintain it. I think that would be a fantastic form of reparation to our area's deserving native population and also set SPS apart from the rest of the country.

SPS Nation
Anonymous said…
I can almost guarantee that the Robert Eagle Staff school will not have a music program anywhere close to Whitman's. It takes many years to build up the synergy,support and student talent like they have at Whitman. That alone will insure only non-musicians if anyone will jump from Whitman to Robert Eagle Staff school.

--Whitman music
Anonymous said…
@HP, looking at Hale's unique schedule--with the reading and mentorship and reflective scholarship periods woven into the days, it appears they award more credit for fewer minutes in class.

That's certainly one approach SPS could take--simply redefine things so that whatever we call a "credit" now becomes 1.5 credits instead. A semester-long class becomes 0.75 credits instead of 0.5. We'd then have 36 credits possible, which should be plenty of wiggle room for getting to the 24 required. The state removed the instructional minutes requirement, so this would be an allowed "solution." SPS could even try to justify it by saying classes are longer than before, if they add a couple minutes to each period once that 20-minute longer day kicks in next year.

(Of course, this approach doesn't make it any easier to get all the classes you'll need to get into a good college, but the 3X5 proposal doesn't do that either--in fact, in some cases it makes it harder.)

reality bites
Anonymous said…
SPS Nation said: I do not believe we need RESMS as a traditional middle school, so please use the entire building as Licton Springs or some other alternative school. Maybe the bureau of Native Indian affairs can use the whole complex and get federal funding to run and maintain it.

Uhhh, have you looked at the enrollment projections, or the state of current overcrowding at Hamilton? Where exactly would you put all these middle school students instead, if things were to go your way (which they won't--we ARE getting this middle school)?

reality bites
Anonymous said…
Reality bites-- Kind of interesting that they did not pull the students from Hamilton instead of Whitman a school not at capacity! Instead they pull students from Whitman a school not at capacity. Makes zero sense. The school could have been an HCC middle (next to Cascadia an HCC elementary) plus add more rooms for Licton Springs. But is likely too late for change.
-other ideas
Anonymous said…
Ok, so the problem is Hamilton is over crowded? Ok then send students from Hamilton there and leave Whitman students alone.

Licton Springs and Hamilton can share the building.

Problem solved?

SPS Nation
Anonymous said…
The best thing for RESMS is to make it into an option school. Why are kids that live 30 blocks away attending Hamilton in the first place.

Like someone mentioned, it's a nice new shiny thing just what millennial parents think is best and all you have to do is add in a totally social justice focus, Prius only parking and there will be a never ending wait list for all the little millennial-me.

Kangaroo bicycles
Anonymous said…
@ other ideas, they DID pull kids from Hamilton. HCC kids in the Whitman and REMS areas currently go to HIMS, so making REMS a new HCC site relocates a lot of those kids from HIMS to REMS. As I understand it, they had also promised the Wilson Pacific community that the school would also have a large neighborhood component, so that's why they pulled from local feeder schools. I agree that they pulled from too many feeders though, which doesn't seem to make sense. Pulling ALL the HCC kids from HIMS would have left HIMS underenrolled, so a split probably makes sense (even though it's hard, there's no program fidelity, etc.).

reality bites
Anonymous said…
@SPS Nation, just a warning--when SPS opens new neighborhood schools, boundaries get shifted all over the place. Sounds like you have a current middle school student, so heads up that there will be lots of high school boundary changes coming soon, since Lincoln reopens in 2019. If you're this upset now, just wait till that you know-know-what hits the fan!

Anonymous said…
The most upsetting thing for my kid will not being able to go to Dick's drive in on the way home from school.

I should have guessed.

-- Taylor
Anonymous said…
@reality bites: "Pulling ALL the HCC kids from HIMS would have left HIMS underenrolled, so a split probably makes sense (even though it's hard, there's no program fidelity, etc.)."

Pulling all HCC kids from HIMS does not leave the school under-enrolled. It would leave the school with more students than Whitman's 485 next year!

@mytwocents- Pulling 8th graders from HIMS who will AGAIN be pulled in 10th grade to open Lincoln is not cool without an option to grandfather. In contrast next year's 7th graders are not in that position. They will be entering 9th grade when Lincoln comes online AND when Ingraham adds 500 seats.

-multiple perspectives
Anonymous said…
WOW! Ingraham is adding 500 seats? If so I'm glad to know this now so we can plan an alternative like start saving for private school high school.

Where are you going to get 500 more students for Ingraham from? Is the district going to clamp down on address cheats? So they want to slam 1700 plus kids into Ingraham but leave Hale at 1100? I understand Ballard is at 1700 due to all the families getting out of Ingraham and people using false addresses.

The bigger the school the more kids fall through the cracks. Ingraham will become a more dangerous mess.

Anonymous said…
@ Thanks - Is Ingraham a dangerous mess? A bad school? I thought it was good. -NP
Anonymous said…
@multiple perspectives, did SPS seem to care that some HCC students split to JAMS had already gone through a split and move in elementary? Not really. Do they care that some of the geosplit students sent to JAMS from HIMS and Eckstein will also be potentially geosplit their senior year of high school? That would make 4 splits/moves for some students, in addition to the MS and HS transitions. All without changing their home address. It's lousy, but seems like the new reality.
Anonymous said…
There have been many problems with students from Ingraham and burglaries, break-ins and shop lifting. It was about this time a year or so ago when a group of Ingraham students attacked the cashier at a nearby store smashing then snatching wine. It seems like the police are at Ingraham everyday dragging someone out in handcuffs. I wish parents could see this type of data supplied by the school instead having to fish around online to find what goes on there. I guess if you really want to know what goes on ask a student. Of coarse these kids come and go every year' but I can't remember the police ever coming to my high school, boy oh boy times have changed.

Anonymous said…
It seems like the police are at Ingraham everyday dragging someone out in handcuffs.

Seriously? Where do you come up with this stuff?
Anonymous said…
The police are at Ingraham everyday? what, Wrong! I would say couple times a week for sure, but not everyday.

dix a
Anonymous said…
@ Thanks and @IHS - just wow. Talk about spreading unhelpful and inflammatory rumors.

Do either of you have kids at Ingraham? I have 2 kids there, and am there often after school. I have neither seen nor heard about police arresting a student on a daily basis. I have no basis of comparison, but I am sure the police show up at most of Seattle's high schools for something (not necessarily and arrest) or another on a weekly basis It is not a dangerous or bad school - if it were, would so many out of area students be trying to get in? Students are not fleeing IHS for Ballard.

The 500 seat addition will include new spaces, and will make IHS approximately the size that Ballard and Roosevelt are now. Just how is that going to make it dangerous? Hale doesn't have room/land to grow nearly as much without a major remodel.

- Stop Fearmongering

Anonymous said…
Well I think if people would bother to use google or talk to the security office for Albertsons or check with the Seattle police dept. You would see that problems are decreasing at Ingraham. I think the district was smart to use IB to manage the rift raft out of the school, it's working.

2013-14 I admit was a bad stretch, but all those students are gone and there's much less trouble now.

As for the good old days, people are hypersensitive and weapons are very prevalent, I think those two together means schools tend not to take chances and are more prone to calling 911.

My2 Cents
Wildcat said…
I hope the parents commenting here about the crazy boundaries for REMS and Whitman are actually writing to the Board and SPS. No one has yet offered any amendments to fix the situation! When you write, please think beyond your own kid and say no to grandfathering or opting back into the school. Instead, tell them they need to be creating boundaries that make long-term sense for all north-end middle schools. Things like keeping Broadview Thompson and Greenwood at Whitman, or putting NW HCC at Whitman. Whatever your passion, please write about Whitman needing a long-term, balanced solution not a band-aid.

Anonymous said…
Yes, we need Whitman left just how it is. SPS go play gerrymandering somewhere else.

At this point I'm looking for a asian buyer to pay me 50%+ over market for my view home in NB area. I'm sure it won't be long before every home is demolished and replaced with high rise condos.

As Steve said,

take the money and run.

Follow Steve

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