Friday, February 17, 2017

Friday Open Thread

Apparently this is the number one question that kids ask astronauts.  Science finds a way.

Fifth grade basketball teammates ban together; show your kids and ask what they would do.

A reminder about Director Burke's meeting tonight about Lincoln High School at Hamilton from 6:30-8:30 pm.  He also has a community meeting at Fremont Library on Saturday from 3:30-5:30 pm.

Question: I'm just wondering; are your middle schoolers/high schoolers asking you questions about the President?  Like "is this normally how it works?"  I'm just wondering how they see this unfolding administration, giving the high level of press coverage of flaws.  Or, are they just not interested?

On this Presidents Day weekend, fun trivia about our nation's leaders. Also, on Monday, another free entrance day to our nation's national parks.
During Presidents’ Day Weekend, Northwest Trek Wildlife Park is offering an unbeatable combination of outdoor experience, animal viewing and budget-friendly fun. This annual event will feature FREE admission for kiddos 12 and under, a 30-minute Discovery Tram Tour to spy on moose, bison, elk, and other herd animals roaming freely through a 435-acre natural habitat, plus self-guided walking tours, special story times, up close encounters with critters, crafts and more!  (Editor's note; up to four kids free with one paying adult - a pretty good deal.)
 What's on your mind?


NESeattleMom said...

My 8th grader is following the drama of the new administration just as actively as I am--he gets his info from different streams than I do, but the info is similar. 8th graders don't do FB. I believe the news causes some worries for young people regarding the environment especially.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Yes, I find young people to be particularly worried about the environment. I'm sure with the new EPA director, it will be even more alarming.

Anonymous said...

My 9th grader is riveted to the news every night. We've had some great discussions, it makes the info she is learning in World History more relevant to make the connections to other past cultures. My 5th grader can feel the "energy" of the current environmnet and wants to tune it out. He's worried for his immigrant and minority friends.

QA Parent

Anonymous said...

I was, frankly, disappointed that the other fifth grade team left rather than stay and scrimmage with the coed team. I disagree with, but understand, that the league might have rules about the gender makeup of a team and thus a forfeit was 'required'. That said, the other team should have stayed to play for fun and to show that while they would take advantage of the rule, they didn't actually think girls were lesser human beings not entitled to play. To just pack up and go home was petty and unnecessary and sent a horrible message.


Anonymous said...

uh oh. Isn't DeVos a creationist?



Anonymous said...

Sounds like he has been watching Game of Thrones.


Anonymous said...

Soooo... not to turn this into another HCC thread but I have a procedural question. We were notified and verified via the source Advanced Learning tab that our son qualified for HCC for 6th grade (scores are above threshold and there's a link that takes us to the Advanced Learning web page on how to enroll in HCC program).

Today, went to drop off the enrollment form for HCC middle school program and was told:
-- not in the system as HCC
-- won't be officially in they system as HCC until April 17th. He can get in then, if there's room.

Anyone else have a similar experience? We are waiting on private school decision as our neighborhood middle school has already said they won't accommodate his math needs. But private school responses are due are in March so if we say no and for some reason, HCC doesn't come through in April, we are SOL.

Any ideas?

New HCC Parent

Anonymous said...

If your child is qualified for HCC, then he has a guaranteed placement in HCC if enrolling during open enrollment. He should not be waitlisted or admitted on a space available basis. If you submit the form on time (bring a photocopy and get it date stamped by enrollment) and have proof of qualification (take a screenshot), then your son should be enrolled in the pathway HCC school. Open enrollment doesn't end until Feb. 24.

That said, of all the times we wish we had gone private, it would have been for middle school. We were pretty underwhelmed by the program.


Anonymous said...

I think our kids are worried about the new administration because they see us worried about the new administration. Outside the liberal bubble, kids in Trump country are excited about the new administration for the same reason. This isn't rocket science.

Let's get along

Anonymous said...

New HCC parent-- Your child should be guaranteed a spot at your HCC program school. To hear another voice, we had a child who qualified for HCC for 6th. Elementary in a north end ALO school was not challenging at all. We enrolled the child in HCC (Hamilton) and have had a terrific experience. This year in particular (7th) has been stellar. Has a rock star science teacher (newish to HIMS) & wonderful teachers for Spanish, LA/SS and orchestra. First year child has been truly engaged in science. Could not ask for better. Have heard similar from other HCC parents.
-another parent

Anonymous said...

New HCC parent-- P.S the 6th and 7th grade math teacher also have been excellent. YMMV may have had a different experience depending upon when child attended as teachers change and HCC has split at middle school in recent years. I have no first hand experience with WMS or JAMS, but have generally heard good things.
-another parent.

Anonymous said...

I live in the South Seattle and I'm considering the SPS Montessori program and I was wondering if anyone had any feedback on the SPS Montessori Programs (Graham Hill, Leschi and Bagley). I know the Leschi school has recently combined their "contemporary" and Montessori programs- has this helped improve the racial imbalance between the programs (http://www.seattletimes.com/education-lab/how-a-diverse-yet-divided-school-blended-segregated-classes/)? Have scores improved? Is the combined model a success? How are Graham Hill and Bagleys programs?

Southend parent

Anonymous said...

BREAKING NEWS: CHARTERS WIN! KC Judge Chun rules in favor of charter public school kids and families on all counts!


Melissa Westbrook said...

See my post on this ruling; the judge left the door wide open for future lawsuits (which I predict will come.)

Anonymous said...

Of course there will be future lawsuits. The WEA isn't going to take this complete defeat lying down.


Anonymous said...

I went to the cascadia info night and they said you don't have to turn in your form during open enrollment to get a spot in HCC.

Uh oh.

Anonymous said...

Arizona December 21, 2016

State Board votes to replace Common Core standards

Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas today supported the State Board of Education’s (SBE’s) decision to replace the Common Core Standards by formally adopting the second draft of the 2016 Arizona English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics Standards.

The federally mandated Common Core Standards were initially adopted by the SBE in 2010 without a thorough public review, which deeply frustrated many Arizonans,” continued Superintendent Douglas. “That lack of public input became an even larger concern as problems with the standards were identified, many of which were related to the resulting curricula. Thankfully, through this process I am proud to say that Common Core has at last been eliminated and that we now have excellent ELA and math standards developed by Arizonans for Arizona students. I look forward to using a similar continuous improvement process to ensure that all of our standards are updated as needed with extensive public input.”

Any word on CCSS and Washington State coming from Olympia?

-- Dan Dempsey

NO 1240 said...

It's only a matter of time before charter schools are defunded. Hold the champagne, Albert.

Anonymous said...

Charter schools defunded? How so?


Melissa Westbrook said...

Oh Albert, if you think this is just about the WEA, you are wrong. But that kind of "it's the union" talk serves to try to divide the issue in a simplistic way that is just not true.

Dan, many states have voted to "leave" Common Core but that's only because that name is tainted. They keep most standards and tweak them and give them a new name.

The money for 40 charter schools is not available in the current funding source (not unless you defund other things funded from it.) That point was clearly made in court and the defendants did not dispute it. So they may not be "defunded" but funding all of them seems problematic. Plus the Senate bill on McCleary would gain them access to levy funds that were not originally in the charter law.

Anonymous said...

If WEA members hold their collective breath long enough do you think the judge will give the election to Clinton?

Tick Tock

Melissa Westbrook said...

No, they'll just wait and watch the Trump administration implode. Doesn't look like it will take long.

Anonymous said...

While I like the ideas of common standards across the country (what Common Core was trying to do), Common Core was so developmentally inappropriate and poorly written that I could not take it seriously. -TeacherMom

Anonymous said...

Dream on. The only imploding will be the bank accounts of those who are attached to the handouts of federal educational funding.

Executive order

Josh Hayes said...

I'm curious about the connection between "Common Core" and the "Next Generation Science Standards", or NGSS. IS there a connection? In recent memory we taught our science classes to comport with the Washington state "Power Standards", which were adequate but hardly earth-shaking. There was room to work outside those standards as well. I am concerned about the breadth of the NGSS (considerable) and more importantly, the unevenness of them - it's not so much that they're a mile wide and an inch deep, but that the depth varies from an inch to sudden plunges to levels that no high school freshman is going to be able to handle.

I do know there's an NGSS-aligned test coming down the pike which will replace the biology EOC exam, since biology is rolled into the NGSS (although the life science standards have some startling, and gaping, holes - prokaryotes, for instance, are not mentioned. At all. 99% of life on the planet, not mentioned in content standards.), but we teachers have not yet seen it. I will be one of a few teachers in my school piloting a version of the exam this Spring, largely so that I can look over my students' shoulders and see what the heck they're being asked.

It's also entirely computer based: no paper and pencil versions. Equity issues apply, of course. It's all a concern for me, and for others in the same situation: we're supposed to be preparing our students to deal with this test, but we don't know what it looks like. If it's anything like the Biology EOC is, it'll be a low bar and students should sail over it comfortably most of the time, but I worry about those kids who struggle with science, or who are ELL, or who have learning disabilities of one sort or another. That this graduation requirement is looming, with so little state-wide preparation for it, raises a lot of red flags for me. Does anyone else have information, or thoughts about this?

Anonymous said...

@Josh-I'm not sure...just a parent, but searched around the internet and found this site: http://www.resa.net/curriculum/curriculum/science/professionaldevelopment/ngss-pd/lesson-plans-exploring-ngss/

Perhaps there are some lesson plans here that will help?


NO 1240 said...

I support your decision to close comments on the charter school thread.

Nice to know that some consider your blog a threat. Your blog prevents certain entities from controlling the message.

I await the day LEV allows free flow of conversation, too.

Cheers to the next million readers!!