Monday, October 16, 2017

Student Assignment Plan Meetings including High School Boundary Meetings

From a reader:

This was in the Roosevelt Newsletter this morning.

2019 High School Boundary Update - To relieve pressure on Roosevelt and Ballard High schools, some RHS families will be moving to the new Lincoln HS opening in 2019, the Ingraham HS with a new addition also opening in 2019, or Nathan Hale HS. The High School Boundary Task Force voted to recommend Boundary Map H2 to the School Board at the November SPS Board Meeting.

SPS Community Engagement Meetings - The district will be hosting open house style meetings to share SAP updates, recommended adjustments to Advanced Learning and gather feedback on 2019 High School Boundary scenarios. This is the last chance to have input before the November SPS Board Meeting. The meetings are:

Eckstein Middle School, Northeast Region
Oct. 23, 2017, 6:30-8 p.m.

Ballard High School, Northwest Region
Oct. 26, 2017, 6:30-8 p.m.

McCLure Middle School, Central Region
Oct. 30, 2017, 6:30 – 8 p.m.

Wed., Nov. 8, 6:30 to 8 p.m., Cleveland High School, 5511 15th Ave. S.

Thurs., Nov. 9, 6:30 to 8 p.m., West Seattle High School, 3000 California Ave. SW

I think a lot of people are going to be very surprised by these boundaries as well as the extent of multiple geo-splits. Meetings at the every end of October for a vote happening in early November. I have been paying a lot of attention to this and I completely missed this.

End of reader update

I'll just add how odd it is that four (!) of the three meetings are AFTER the big, big Work Session on October 25th from 4:30-7:30 pm on this topic.  It was made clear at the last Operations Committee meeting that the district would be putting forth THEIR plan and not so much looking for input.



kellie said...

These are very extensive boundary changes, because these changes represent not only the opening of Lincoln but also the return of all HCC pathways students to their neighborhood high schools.

The board should have been given an opportunity to vote on these underlying changes separately from boundary changes that will then dictate programming.

NESeattleMom said...

Kellie, Where does it say that HCC students return to reference school?

NESeattleMom said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
NESeattleMom said...

Also, I wonder why the NNE boundary is going only to 85th instead of 95th as on previous proposed draft boundary map.

Anonymous said...

@NESeattleMom, it doesn't ever say that in so many words, as these are just maps. However, the numbers on which they are based show that HCC students are included in neighborhood schools, and most are excluded from Garfield. The size of the Lincoln boundary also suggests it is not going to be an HCC pathway. So... there you have it. Either they are completely clueless, or they are trying to sneak this major, major change in under the radar.


Anonymous said...

This is a classic example of why we need a new superintendent. This is poor quality planning and even worse public engagement.

Never Nyland

kellie said...

DisAPPointed explained it very well.

The student counts for each attendance area show all students for that area. That would be all students who pick an option school (Center, Nova, Cleveland) or follow a pathway (Garfield, Ingraham).

These are extensive boundary changes. The task force documents show the criteria they are using. I was quite surprised to see that “aligning middle and high school feeder patterns” as a criteria at all. High school are not located in a ways to make logical feeder patterns. Therefore this map shows the entire Eagle Staff area going to Ingraham and the Whitman area going to Ballard.

That is way too elaborate for a swiftly growing city. If K-12 needs to be completely aligned then any small boundary change at one grade band, has ripple effects for all grade bands.

If the board approved that criteria that was never part of the original assignment plan, I missed that change.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Kellie, they said - over and over when creating the 2009 SAP - there were NO feeder patterns from middle to high school. And now? Feeder patterns.

Anonymous said...

Which is making this "one of the last choice era SAP families" CRAZY! If I had ANY idea that this was the end game I would have sent my kids to their assignment area schools. Instead, I enrolled during the Choice SAP and had my kids at a different elementary school. My oldest then went to Whitman and now attends Ballard High School. My youngest would have had an assignment at Eagle Staff but we went with Salmon Bay thinking he would meet some kids who would then move onto Ballard. Instead, his H2 assignment is Ingraham ... he hasn't gone to either elementary or middle school with ANY of the students who will be assigned there.

We live 1.1 miles from Ballard, 2.4 miles from Lincoln, 2.8 miles from Roosevelt, and 4.3 miles from Ingraham.


N by NW

Anonymous said...

Also, who decides program placement? Why is a task force making decisions that will send all HCC kids back to their assignment area high schools? Are IB and IBX ending at Ingraham?

Too many changes ... too fast ... with too little thought!

N by NW

Anonymous said...

HCC is a service, not a program.

Flexible planning

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know where the SAP proposed changes is posted? There is no link on the HS Boundary Task Force page, nor the SAP and High School Boundary Change page, nor the Enrollment Planning page.


Anonymous said...

Okay ... so who decides which schools deliver services.

Is IB/IBX a program or a service?

I still think the task force has been tasked with too many decisions.

N by NW

Anonymous said...

Last I heard, someone reported (here?) that the board did NOT like the idea of ending the HCC pathway(s), as they understood it would be too challenging and too costly to try to offer appropriate levels of AP classes at all high schools, since there might not be sufficient demand. But the draft maps assumes that the pathways ARE ending.

So, is that a valid assumption? What's the order of operations around this? According to the district web pages for HS boundary changes and SAP changes, the SAP decisions will come first.

It says this re: the SAP process:

The anticipated timeline for School Board consideration of the Student Assignment Plan is below. Action by the full School Board will not occur before the regular Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017 meeting.
Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2017: Operations Committee of the Whole
Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017: Introduction to the full School Board

Then it says this re: the HS boundary process:

Dec. 7, 2017: Enrollment Planning team presents high school boundary options and recommendations to Seattle School Board Operations Committee. This committee decides if the options are ready to present to the full School Board.

Jan. 3, 2018: Expected date that recommendations will be presented to full School Board at Board Meeting.
Jan. 17, 2018: Expected date Seattle School Board will vote on the high school boundaries at the School Board meeting.

So...they are planning to introduce the SAP changes first. Which, theoretically, gives the board time to put the brakes on the whole HCC disintegration scheme, sending the demography/enrollment folks into a frenzy of new boundary-drawing to try to adjust to whatever pathways might still exist. It would be a problem of their own making (so no sympathy here!), but the end result would likely be insufficient community engagement, inadequately vetted boundaries, inefficient boundaries, etc. So business as usual, I guess.

Regardless, they seem to be sticking to their original plan to make sure everyone feels the pain. Why screw a smaller number of families when you screw more? SPS equity at its finest!


Anonymous said...

Technically, I guess the SAP decision doesn't necessarily come first. Just the introduction. But if they are introducing that more than a month before the HS boundary options, presumably they think they need to decide the SAP first.

Or am I thinking too logically here?


Frederica said...

It does actually clearly state that HCC pathways will return to the assignment high schools on the SPS web page about the SAP. They didn't state it front and center to obscure that this is their plan. It's alarming because they seem to be planning on divvying up the cohort such that only a dozen or so HC kids in 9th-12th will be attending some schools but 100+ will attend others. I don't think the school with 12 HC kids will be offering the same full slate of AP opportunities that the one with 100 will.

It actually is quite disheartening because some high schools already offer a true college prep curriculum, where others really just do not. For instance, looking at US News's College Readiness Index - which is just one of many measures one might use - Nathan Hale ranks only 27.4 whereas the district is 34, and Ingraham is 32, but Roosevelt is 62. That has to do in part with the wealth of the neighborhoods served, yes, and is problematic in all manner of ways, I admit. But regardless of the college prep measure du jour you'd like to consider, it's clear that college-bound kids will NOT have equitable access to the needed college prep curriculum at a school like Nathan Hale that kids at Roosevelt will have access to. World language courses vary high school to high school, highest-level math and science courses vary or are missing.

I'm worried that the district does not consider college prep to be one of the purposes of a high school education in this city, given how low the readiness is at most schools.

"Yes, but we will use MTSS to meet college prep needs," I can imagine someone saying. I urge all parents attending any public meeting where the term is mentioned to give an audible sarcastic laugh, or when staff mentions it, to raise one eyebrow and say, "Seriously?"

I have a growing sense of despair that my kids cannot be educated adequately to attend a good university by this school district.

Anonymous said...

Frederica, can you provide a link where they state the HCC pathways will return to assignment high schools? I went to the SPS web page about the SAP and I don't see that.

Anonymous said...

@ Frederica, I think there is a fair amount of debate about the validity of those college readiness rankings from US News and World Report.




Anonymous said...

We are distressed and unsettled reading through this news coupled with the prior data from the boundary discussion. It is not clear if the source of this distress is the uncertainty (we are right on a boundary that seems to change capriously with each version) or the actual assignment. School should be a comforting grounding home base with predictable next steps. Instead, between three kids spread among recent elementary, middle, and high school, we shift year to year due to capacity issues with the byline that this is a "temporary" change. Yet change has occurred every year, be it at a school, program, specific class, or individual teacher level. It feels easy to look at others' situation, saying if everyone is a little unhappy, then the frustration is spread out. It is another to live in sincere concern that I, as a parent, am intentionally sending a student to an environment, that while emotionally supportive, may not be able to provide the curriculum needed to "right" level coursework. Can going to these last minute meetings have a genuine...

Grassroots Effect

Anonymous said...

@Frederica, can you clarify what you saw that made you say that, and where? I can't find anything to that effect either...


Anonymous said...

NP, parsing the bourgeois mentality of those who fixate on the US News and World Report rankings is a matter for another time and place...but it bigly is. Just check out the fear and loathing concerning the poor SPS rankings over at the HCC/APP blog. Seems to be a status thing or something (but I admit that I could be wrong).

Getting back to this news break about boundaries: It sounds like the first domino has been knocked over.

"Kellie, I'm paging Kellie." Would you please tell our concerned parent-posters that you are sure that these address-hostage-to-the-SAP-schools are not "second-tier"--and that these said parents should have "no worries." You, the guru-in-residence, clearly declared that they shouldn't base their fears about school quality on advanced coursework offerings (or the lack thereof). Reassure them, Kellie.

Background: Folks, she schooled me a few threads back by saying I was "putting down" the students at these lower rated U.S. News and World Report schools. I didn't reference the magazine at the time, but I did express that the discrepancy in high school offerings among our SAP-driven high schools is (shall we say?) "problematic".

Kellie made clear that the SAP has been a great improvement over the old system. She also clarified that the master schedule is the driving force in high school offerings. (I'm so stupid that I thought demographics, parent income, and housing prices are driving SPS school offerings). I also discovered from Kellie and "sleeper" that many parents are clamoring for Hale and other lower-ranked US News and World Report schools. And, that the students at "Beach" (yes, Kellie is connected enough to the locals to call it "Beach") would be very offended that I am advocating for them...because it hurts their feelings. Who knew?

Let's see how long Hale continues its alternative school-like identity as Kumbaya High School. The only reason such a unbalanced system has been tolerated this long is because the most status-driven and "vocal" SPS parents (i.e. current HCC parents) have been getting most of their needs met--even as they played borderline victim most of the time as they laughed to the bank.

It has officially hit the fan, people.

Sure, Rainier Beach and Sealth will remain out of sight/out of mind. But do you really think HCC parents are going to tolerate the high school system that was okay before their own children were affected? I think not.

Looks to me that the district has done its own version of "daylighting" even though they are too incompetent to have done it on purpose.

Your status-quo/beneficiary types better hope they hire a Susan Enfield or local good ole boy type like Nyland. (He is just so dang happy that they are talking about equity. The fact that they are doing nothing about the glaring inequity seems to escape his grinning PNW born-and-raised radar).

Anyone of substance, from any other part of the country--including the deep south--will not abide the injustice mess in this district. They will actually be stunned, especially when they had formerly into the media accounts and expect to find "progressives" here--only to find what they will find.

About Time

Anonymous said...

And that would be "formerly fed"...

About time

Anonymous said...

...can you provide a link where they state the HCC pathways will return to assignment high schools? I went to the SPS web page about the SAP and I don't see that.

If you go to the SAP link on the main SPS page, click on the "High School Boundaries Webpage," then "Task force recommendations for community review and feedback." Under Scenario H v2 (preferred by Task Force), it states:

Advantages...Creates space at the attendance area school if Highly Capable (HC) students were to be served in all attendance area high schools.

Considerations...Makes no changes to Garfield's boundary. If the HC pathway remains at Garfield, Garfield would continue to be overcrowded.

For Scenario E:

Advantages...Reduces Garfield’s boundary, which will provide some relief if the HC pathway remains at Garfield.

Considerations....Impacts a higher percentage of minority and higher needs students by making the changes at Garfield.

...Regional community open houses are scheduled to answer questions and share information on high school boundary recommendations, as well as upcoming changes to the Student Assignment Plan including special education, school choice and advanced learning options in high school.

Sure reads like the preferred option is to eliminate HCC pathways.

-a parent

Anonymous said...

Two general concerns:

1) 2016 enrollment numbers are being used to plan for 2019 and beyond enrollment. It may be okay to guestimate demographics, but not total enrollment. Hale, for example, has a capacity of 1158, but the boundary redraw indicates an enrollment of 1278 (over enrollment even with 2016 numbers).

2) Families are asked to provide feedback on boundaries -without- knowing choice options, program placement (or service pathways, or lack thereof, or whatever you want to call it), or transition plans (splits, etc.)

just backwards

Anonymous said...

@About Time You seem upset. Maybe this will distract you. http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2017/10/16/558087458/studies-skewed-by-focus-on-well-off-educated-brains?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=npr&utm_term=nprnews&utm_content=2043

Losing It

Melissa Westbrook said...

"Nathan Hale ranks only 27.4 whereas the district is 34, and Ingraham is 32, but Roosevelt is 62. That has to do in part with the wealth of the neighborhoods served, yes, and is problematic in all manner of ways, I admit."

And you know that it has to do with the wealth of the neighborhood, how? Some of why Hale is probably lower - by whatever measure U.S. News uses - because of the path the administration and staff have chosen.

My main reason to not like the SAP and the boundaries is because of the dismal record this district has - and as recently as the opening of school this year - on enrollment projections.

Folks, my suggestion to you is to ignore About Time. He/She is not worth engaging.

kellie said...

Wow, About time,

You certainly feel free to take liberties about your interpretations of people who can be bothered to stand behind their words and use a name or moniker.

You are well aware that you are profoundly misinterpreting my words on purpose, rather than simply apologize for a very poor word choice on your part on another thread as you were the person that called schools second tier and I asked you to stop doing that and instead speak about you actual topic.

The simple statement on my part that high school is very different from K-8 because of substantial changes in funding mechanisms is still a true and factual statement. High school is the master schedule. I'm sorry facts are so inconvenient.

Poverty and segregation are real problems. So is funding a master schedule.

Anonymous said...

@ About Time, weren't YOU the one calling those schools "second tier" on a recent thread? Mmm-hmm. And it is because you DO think some schools are inferior that you are so worked up now. Pretty rich for you to try to flip things here and proclaim yourself the great defender of these schools. Nice crazy touch.

Deep down inside you surely understand that what HCC parents are concerned about is the likelihood of students not being able to continue on the academic pathway they are on--for example, not being able to take 4 years of math because some schools don't offer enough. They offer enough for the GE population that has been at the school (since GE students typically take Algebra 1 in 9th grade, or maybe 8th), but they don't offer enough for students who take Alg 1 in 6th or 7th grades, as most HCC students do. It's really not all that complicated, so your unwillingness to "see" that makes you look even more biased, stubborn....and outright mean, since you seem to take such joy in the idea that HCC kids might not get access to appropriate classes.

be nice

Anonymous said...

Agree with just backwards that if they are redrawing boundaries with the idea that 2019 numbers will be similar to 2016 numbers, then this is just moving the capacity problems around. And have a look at the equity issues involved.

Projected enrollment will fall short of capacity at the following schools:

Ballard (-270)
Garfield (-31)
Ingraham (-117)
Lincoln (-173)
Roosevelt (-288)
West Seattle (-259)

Projected enrollment will exceed capacity at the following schools:

Chief Sealth (+136)
Franklin (+544) -- WHAAAAAT?????
Nathan Hale (+120)
Rainier Beach (+222)

Hale is the most diverse of the Northend schools, esp in terms of SES, because it overlaps with the concentration of lower income census tracts that are concentrated in Lake City and Northgate. So this plan relieves crowding in the more affluant north end area schools, but creates it at Hale. Great. And I don't know WHAT they are thinking about Franklin. How does a plan that makes one school overenrolled by 500+ kids make ANY kind of sense? And how does a shift that leaves 3 of the 5 central/south end high schools overenrolled (Franklin and RB SIGNIFICANTLY so) while making just ONE of the five northend schools somewhat overenrolled reflect the district's equity goals?

Also the 500 new seats that will be online at Ingraham in 2019 don't seem to be included in that "right size" number. Maybe they have this as the "placate the angry advanced learning families" wild card -- deliberately underenroll Ingraham with neighborhood kids, which leaves seats open for those who want to choose IB (which many Hale zone families may do since the AL options at Hale are so limited.


Anonymous said...

I certainly did call them "second tier"--because they are! I stand by every word of it.

In re-quoting myself, I made it very clear that Kellie said they aren't "second tier" and corrected me by claiming that these "second tier schools" (again, my wording) are in fact as high quality as the Ballards and Roosevelt. In fact, she told me I was being disrespectful for claiming that there are tiers in this district (because those in the second tiers love their schools and will get their feelings hurt).

Here's the thread: What Will the District Do about Advanced Learning? from Sunday October 8th.

Almost Time

kellie said...

Let's start with some good news.

None of these maps include the option to change the status of Cleveland from an option school to an attendance area school. Therefore, it is reasonable to presume that none of the options that included drastic changes to south end school boundaries are being considered.

Cleveland as an option school is inside the Franklin attendance area, so that is why Franklin's numbers are so high, because there are at least 1,000 seats at Cleveland.

kellie said...

It might be helpful to cover some assignment plan basis. In many ways, the assignment plan is the heart of what makes a public school, public. This is why so many assignment plan conversations can become intensely political or charged fairly quickly.

Public school is a resource paid for by the public and for the public, that is universally true. The assignment plan varies from district to district and year to year. The assignment plan is HOW the public gets to access their resource. This is why assignment plan conversations are so critical. The assignment plan DEFINES how and what the public can access.

There is no such thing as a perfect assignment plan. There are many problems with the current assignment plan. There were problems with the old one and there will be problems with any new one.

What makes a quality school is up for debate. As such, ANY assignment plan will assign students to school that are considered to be quality and not quality schools. About time/ Over time / moniker of the day, is correct is that assignment plans do assign students to schools that are considered to be not quality.

IMHO, the problem with charter schools that claim to be public schools is the lack of public process in the assignment process. There are public charter schools with an application process so opaque, no reasonable person could navigate it.

I follow assignment plan issues because the assignment plan ultimately impacts every single student in the district.

Anonymous said...

Right, you are free to ignore AT, but why read a blog at all. If all you want is an APP handwringing echo chamber, why blog at all? Most staff and most families agree with AT and see the glaring inequity this program causes throughout the district. Much like charters.

But regardless of the college prep measure du jour you'd like to consider, it's clear that college-bound kids will NOT have equitable access to the needed college prep curriculum at a school like Nathan Hale that kids at Roosevelt will have access to. World language courses vary high school to .

News flash: schools are different! No school is 100% ideal for everyone, or anyone. There's isn't going to be Perfect Smartkid High School that will get your kid a ticket to Harvard. (Did even 1 APP kid even get into Harvard this year?). Most APP grads go to UW, most Nathan Hale grads go to UW too! But here the APPers think only they are entitled to college bound preparation! Let's segregate APP out so we can have all the great, advantage creating curricula- and leave those other high schools teaching caveman classes... because that's all they need (unlike smart people like us). We will never put a dent in the achievement gap if we don't provide equal access to advanced and varied high school courses.

And if schools offer substandard offerings, that problem should be born equally. Families should rally around fixing that problem... not escaping in a white flight to excellence. No district should support that.

Another Time

Anonymous said...

Hale will be whatever it wants for as long as it wants. I feel like you have maybe not met Jill Hudson. You should at least look up the Coalition of Essential Schools.

I am still gobsmacked that the plan is to use today's numbers. Didn't we just learn last year when opening RESMS that growth has not been even/as expected? Ballard in particular will probably be at capacity right at the start. Hale is over probably partly because Jill Hudson asked to have the 75 students north of 85th put back in. I believe that area has not so far grown as quickly as its projections (though wonder if that is just about to change, somebody count 5th graders and compare them to the number of current 9th graders when they were in 5th grade please).


Anonymous said...

Does anyone know when we will hear whether Lincoln will be 9/10, or 9/10/11? November, January, or no idea?

Trying to plan

kellie said...

@ Almost time,

You are well aware that I never claimed that any school is equal to any other school. You made a specious claim that "needed offerings" is code for quality.

I have made a distinction between "budget issues" and "assignment issues." Because of the manner in which the State of Washington funds high schools, high school funding is substantially less per student than other grade levels. Many other districts make up for this gap with levy funding. Our district does not.

There are many consequences to this funding model and one of the consequences is that high schools are DEPENDENT on having cohorts of students who are doing the same classes.

This BUDGET ISSUES then influences the Assignment Plan. Creating a functional solutions requires identifying the elements of the problem.

Anonymous said...

@ Almost/About Time, your comment comes across as mocking of students who may in fact love their "second tier" schools. Are you suggesting that they are fools? That they are too clueless to understand that the school they love really isn't very good, even though it seems to be meeting their needs and they feel like they like it? That they are foolish for liking it even though it doesn't have a lot of AP offerings that other schools do (and that they wouldn't take anyway)? Are you suggesting that these are somehow "second tier" students if they like their" second tier" school?

please, no

Anonymous said...

Right Kellie! So you're defending the practice of having a hugely rich and varied AP offering limited to a few kids, who have gotten absolutely every advantage to date? Who mostly pay to play. Who claim to "need" a college bound for themselves, unlike students at Hale for example. Let's not even talk about those schools like Franklin, where evidently nobody goes to college. AP classes should be equally available. Equally. If there aren't enough students who think they "need" these classes to fill them up, unlike the smart APP kids, then give them the push to fill those classes up. Roosevelt requires AP classes for all students. And their college ratings rose. Expand this. Yes. APPers hate this...but only because it levels the playing field. Look folks, nothing is stopping your kids from learning in high school- except their own motivation. It's public school, not an exclusive private school.

Another Time

kellie said...

I think it is self-evident, that I am not the defender of the SAP or of any particular practice.

A simple statement about how the State of Washington funds high schools and the complexities and lack of advanced offerings caused by State level funding, is simply that ... an illumination of facts and the problems causes by those facts.

For there to be true equity in advanced offering at every high school, that funding mechanism needs to be addressed. For AP classes to be equally available at every high school, the State of Washington needs to provide funding for those classes to be available. At the moment, the State of Washington only provides funding for the needs of a high school cohort via a master schedule, not the needs of individual schools or individual students.

Franklin does a great job of making students college ready and their admission rate at the UW is evidence of this. The UW knows that Franklin does excellent work.

Anonymous said...

It's public school, not an exclusive private school.

Ain't that the truth! Once again, you seem to be under the delusion that HCC is somehow like private school.

Look folks, nothing is stopping your kids from learning in high school- except their own motivation.

What a load of ----. Is that what you'd tell struggling students as well?

piling heap

Anonymous said...

AP classes are not necessarily better than regular classes and in some cases can be worse. Hale prepared my kid and many other kids very well for college. AP classes are not the be all end all for college prep. I am thankful for the well wounded inclusive education my kid got at Hale and it shows in the results they are getting in college.


Anonymous said...

With a return of HCCers to "home" high schools, the district needs to establish a baseline of AP, and/or honors, courses in all schools. This does not need to be "the world". This does need to be "x" number of courses across the cores of LA/Math/Science. (For the sake of brevity of this post, I am leaving IB out of the discussion, but how it fits into this baseline also needs to be addressed.)

In some schools, multiple sections of these classes may be offered. In some, perhaps just one or two. But that core must be articulated and offered in every comprehensive high school. This may mean the district loses money with not-full classes in some schools. The district will need to get over it. That's the price of working toward equity. In any case, AP and honors courses have never been limited to HCC participants. Principals in schools under-enrolled in baseline advanced classes should be encouraging all of their students to stretch. Any under-enrolled sections will be a nudge to do so. A coherent baseline of honors or AP offerings should not be up for discussion by individual school leaders.

On the flip side, a baseline of advanced coursework for all schools will mean some schools will have less diversity of honors or AP offerings than they would if all HCCers were tracked into their buildings. Staff and budget will be directed to other schools where the demand may be less but the mandate for excellence still applies. This too is a cost of working toward equity and a return of HCCers to home schools will not be perfect by any means. Expectations that every accelerated student should be able to find their "next" course within the walls of their home high school is unrealistic. Budgets, staffing, space is limited. Running start, online courses, independent studies, or choice of electives in other areas of interest will remain the answer for these SPS students in the same way they remain the answer for other districts' students as well as huge numbers of private school students.

The bottom line is SPS academic oversight needs to come out with baseline comprehensive high school honors/AP offering standards BEFORE high school students are moved to their new enrollment areas. Failure to do so will (further) harm the district's reputation, will inflame segments of the community against each other, and will shortchange students, who at minimum, at enrollment time should be able to see course offerings and plan their academic paths accordingly.


Anonymous said...

@Almost Time- "There's isn't going to be Perfect Smartkid High School that will get your kid a ticket to Harvard. "
By your reasoning you should also critique private schools who do not take and serve all students (like public school) but hand pick certain students. Some of these private schools (like Lakeside) can actually pretty much guarantee the best prep to be competitive to elite Ivy colleges. But they hand pick their students, have small classes and so much support.

In contrast, our public schools have "double the size" class sizes and it seems parents are very concerned their kids can even get classes without going to running start etc .

There is far more of a wealth and opportunity gap between the true wealthy elite who send their kids to these schools and the overwhelming majority of public school parents. I am wondering if you can see the big picture and that you are arguing with (mostly) the middle class?

Many HCC parents want their kids to not have to repeat classes they already took in high school. They are seeking a basic education. If this program/service is to end the district needs to do it earlier, not pull out the rug in high school, so that kids cannot get the appropriate next classes in their sequence.

In my opinion also, priorities should be a standard college prep curriculum offered at all high schools. The fact that some high schools offer alternative programs while others AP alongside a neighborhood feeder pattern does not seem equitable. People are bound to be unhappy if a neighboring high school offers something perceived as "different". This seems left over from the choice era and we have gone to a neighborhood school system.

Anonymous said...

You have misquoted me. That belongs to the "Another Time" poster. I did not write that.

--Almost Time

Anonymous said...

@EdVoter- "Expectations that every accelerated student should be able to find their "next" course within the walls of their home high school is unrealistic."

This statement goes too far. All children deserve the right to a "basic education" under the law. Courses in their sequence is a basic education. Having to leave the public school to find that basic education violates state law. Not providing for them is heinous. No, the district will have to provide for all its students.

Anonymous said...

When you have a system that allows principals to determine (or limit) class and program offerings, there will be no guarantees for students. As it is, advanced course offerings are the first to be cut. Even Garfield and Ingraham seem challenged to provide enough sections of advanced classes. Graduating students on time is the district's priority, not serving the needs of advanced learners. I would not believe any promises the district made to have neighborhood schools serve HC students. It will mean Running Start, even if that is not an appropriate environment for some students.


Anonymous said...

Magnolia good luck on that Lincoln commute.

Northwest Greenlakers surprise. You're headed to Ingraham.

Waiting to hear the outrage of parents who didn't bother...couldn't be bothered...didn't get the memo...don't understand. Boundary changes are the worst even when made with data and good intention.

I'm of mixed opinion on this most recent round of changes. It has to happen. SPS said it would happen. They did include parents and have done outreach. I think staff entered the process with good intention despite the enormous failure detailed in my next points. Not clear on strength of data used. Since its SPS I'll go with a C+. Rooted in reality though probably not as comprehensive or up to date as necessary.

But here's what will kill this newest boundary rollout, even without the drag of MGJ's 'leadership' debacle during school closures and the then-new SAP:

1: Only parents seem to have institutional history. e.g. high school boundaries were never meant to match up with middle school areas. High schools are not located in places to allow that. It was supposed to be a clear pathway from K-5 to 6-8, then simply based by address in high school. This was a sensible approach. Trying to align middle to high school now just adds another layer of complication when the previous layers are as difficult as ever. Staff is therefore trying to make sense of an enrollment pattern that was never in place to begin with. That's crazy. Which leads to 2:

2: Why this flippin' district never, NEVER can get its academic programs + services act together with its facilities planning and enrollment planning, I don't understand. It kills downtown every time. Every. Single. Time. Well over a decade I've now watched and the silos continue. SPS has to understand, explain, commit to program delivery BEFORE it solidifies its enrollment patterns. I'm grabbing my ginormous tub of popcorn as the angry meetings over equitable + accesible program offerings and-as ever- HCC cohort and SPED services and language paths and more- fail to align with the new enrollment patterns. It will be ugly. Guaranteed. That's on SPS-not parents- for never learning its lesson.

How's IB going to work in this new enrollment scheme? Language immersion pathways? Music?Hey, whatever happened to the 10 percent high school "choice" lottery promised to help at least some families find a strong placement when their local high school isn't a good fit? Lost with the last turnover of staff? Too bad. Parents have told staff over and over and over and over about institutional history. Just because promises were made before staff arrived doesn't mean the promises weren't made. When staff narrows meetings to their own ideas without hearing the bigger picture they deserve the reaction they are about to get.


Anonymous said...

HD, sorry, you are incorrect. A basic education in high school is offering four years of state-defined credits leading to state-defined graduation. (Leaving out Special Ed, re-entry, English language learner nuances here.) The state legislature has defined basic education and "next on my child's track" advanced classes is not part of it however much you or other families wish it were. Hey...I wish it were. But it's not.

What is defined is the need to serve HCC students, but how that happens is up to individual districts. Districts must be able to describe their plan and show that it is implemented, which SPS continues to do. SPS offers access to a counselor, prioriy enrollment in AP classes, and calls the HCC cohort in high school "good". And the state largely agrees. You will note that any state interest in the SPS HCC program currently revolves around identification of under-identified segments of SPS population NOT on the offerings within the program itself.

I am all for upping the number of high school rigorous classes offered to all students in all parts of Seattle. But shouting at SPS that they are shorting HCC kids by not offering a specific AP class isn't going to get them to listen. They'll just point to the law and go back to concentrating on issues that interest them more or for which they are under federal or state mandate to improve.

Getting SPS to commit to a baseline of "rigor" offerings in all high schools would be a huge improvement even if it does not immediately benefit my family. Perhaps in the future both funding and the expectations of families and staff will grow that list. But at least give us that baseline! All families in less wealthy and less white neighborhoods of Seattle should have the guarantee to access the same rigorous baseline within SPS comprehensive neighborhood schools that those with more means do.


Anonymous said...

No Kellie, the high schools needn't cost more to fund equity. Actually, as you have indirectly pointed out. it's cheaper. And transportation is reduced to 0. No more special APP buses from everywhere or complicated transfers to Ingraham. . They need to provide equal accelerated offerings differentiated to their given student bodies. Eg, the loathed Honors for All. Loathed because smart families wish to maintain their advantages at the cost of absolutely everyone else. How many times do we hear the howls of injustice of making the APP kids do more work than a less abled kid sitting next to him? I recall literally thousands of complaints about that. Piling Heap, that's what a lack of motivation looks like. "I can't do it unless Johnny does too. Why should I work harder than him?." And no, that isn't a struggling student, it's an unmotivated one. The idea that you can only do well if in a cohort of similar students, is incredibly unmotivated, not to mention racist. If students went and took a bunch of UW high school summer classes (I know a fairly ho hum student who did this at his parents insistence), and got themselves "ahead", that isn't an entitlement to anything. It isn't giftedness. It isn't a need. It isn't anything. If you then "top out", then by all means, avail yourself of Running Start. That's what basic ed looks like. Basic acceleration and variety available to everyone. If you go beyond, you can take it to Running Start or UW. Interesting that this has long been perfectly fine for high schools like BHS, RHS, NHHS, but suddenly it's a horror if Garfield students don't get pampered with a 10 kid class in some subject of their choosing? That is what private school looks like. HD, APP selects students too. Those who pay to play, get to play. It's pretty selective. At least at Lakeside- you aren't admitted with a doctors note. You've got to actually do the test well on the first try. But who cares? Private school is a fine thing, and solves a real public school capacity problem.

Nother Time

Anonymous said...

@EdVoter "What is defined is the need to serve HCC students, but how that happens is up to individual districts." Yup I know this as well. I thought I sensed a bit of animosity toward certain kids in your post. Maybe I was wrong. They will need to present a plan on how they are serving these kids.

I do think it is heinous not to offer all kids classes they need/are appropriate. All kids deserve to take the next courses in their sequence.Period. This is baseline. We don't progress as a society by holding back the middle class kids to appear to eliminate the "achievement gap". Sorry folks.
Forcing kids into situations where they repeat courses they have already taken, take inappropriate courses or have to leave the school is heinous. Their parents and all of Seattle pay taxes to support all the kids in public school.


Anonymous said...

@Nother Time- " Those who pay to play, get to play. It's pretty selective. At least at Lakeside- you aren't admitted with a doctors note. You've got to actually do the test well on the first try."

I needed to interject here, as I disagree. I really disagree. Caution: We are heading toward privatization of public schools in this country and if you REALLY want to see inequality in education, do some homework on various educational systems around the world, as well as the history and origins of public education in the US.

Unless ALL OF US who are participating in public education work together to maintain a system that works for all, the in-fighting over scraps will only help corporate interests in public ed. I promise you.

I know of F&R lunch qualified who were identified for HCC (what's that?) and qualified through DISTRICT testing. Would not consider Lakeside. The application process considered too arduous, ALSO includes testing via SSAT or ISEE, interview etc, student does not have the resources for (even) reduced tuition IF offered admission. IF...offered admission. HCC in contrast, takes all who qualify through its process.

Anonymous said...

Where is the data on Running Start students? How many students attend from each school, and how many FTEs? How is this being factored into capacity planning? Also, what are the plans for IB? Keep it or end it? If the plan is to have "equitable" offerings at neighborhood schools, how does IB fit in? Will it continue to be an option, and will they lift the cap on enrollment? There is such a vacuum of info on program and choice offerings. The Lincoln meeting left one with the feeling no one is really in charge and they don't know what the bleep they're doing.

just backwards

Anonymous said...

The UW program serves a very, very small number of students from across the Puget Sound area. It's really not a good fit for students who want a more typical 4 year high school experience. Running Start places students in classes with some significantly older students, also not the best fit for many students. They should be considered options of last resort, not the default plan for those students SPS has been able to serve with cohorted pathways.

A conference presentation years ago suggested that the quality of a school district can be gauged by how they treat their gifted learners. There's certainly some truth to that. We've told families considering relocating to the Seattle area to live anywhere but Seattle proper, because of the schools.

Seattle, you can do better.

-downward spiral

Anonymous said...

Funny. Almost no worry on this thread about the actual changes to north end assignment boundaries to neighborhood schools. Mostly HCC angst. Downtown will throw a bunch of resources to Lincoln to have a successful high school opening. Ballard, Ingraham, Nathan Hale. All are excellent high schools. Even if the HCC pathway to Garfield ends---nobody has said yet that it will---HCC students will be just fine. Students from all of these schools get into UW and selective schools out of state if that's the worry behind the angst. If it's just that a student might have to repeat a class or two or go elsewhere to get a high level class, life will go on. If that's the biggest problem of a child's high school career we should all be so lucky.

Count Blessings

Melissa Westbrook said...

"Getting SPS to commit to a baseline of "rigor" offerings in all high schools would be a huge improvement even if it does not immediately benefit my family."

Define that baseline, folks.

"Hey, whatever happened to the 10 percent high school "choice" lottery promised to help at least some families find a strong placement when their local high school isn't a good fit?"

I will put up a thread with a document that accounted for changes to SAP. But it includes that "open choice" junk and I told the Board office that it, too, needed to go. It has never been used to the best of my knowledge. And, once again, the Board office said, "It was never 10%." No, it wasn't in the SAP but was it advertised to parents as going to be that way? It was.

"They need to provide equal accelerated offerings differentiated to their given student bodies."

With MTSS? Pardon me while I laugh? What the district wants is the ability to SAY they have kids in their neighborhood schools where they get all they need. And the district has fewer headaches of all kinds and can save money.

It's a pipe dream, of course, but they are going to sell it hard.

"How many times do we hear the howls of injustice of making the APP kids do more work than a less abled kid sitting next to him?"

Never but show me where one person said exactly that. Because I think that's what you believe is the case. Two different things.

"Basic acceleration and variety available to everyone."

Except that the district saying "college and career ready." That's NOT basic education. And whatever "basic" means.

Anonymous said...

@Count blessings, how many parents are even aware of the proposed boundary maps? One thread with 50 some comments certainly doesn't represent the district.

just backwards

Another NW said...

High School boundaries are changing in Fall 2019 but are the advanced learning SAP changes they are considering for the 2018-19 school year? The messaging seems confusing...

Anonymous said...

Today's e-mail from the district does cover the 2018-2019 Advanced Learning opportunities in high schools:

Dear Families,
You are invited to a Student Assignment Plan (SAP) Open House where district staff will be available to answer questions about updates to the 2018-2019 SAP including Special Education, school choice and Advanced Learning opportunities in high schools.
Also at the meetings, families can review the recommended high school boundary maps and provide feedback. New high school boundaries will be implemented in 2019-2020 to accommodate the opening of Lincoln High School in Northwest Seattle and an addition at Ingraham High School. The top three boundary scenarios are posted to the High School Boundary Task Force Recommendations page for community review.
During the week of Oct. 30, all families will be invited to participate in a survey and provide formal feedback on the three recommended boundary scenarios.


Anonymous said...

Are they changing the assignments of hundreds of kids for next year? Will all the HCC high school students have to go back to their neighborhood school? What grades will have to go back? How will they fit that many students into Roosevelt - and others?


Anonymous said...

Well, what a disheartening thread. As usual, we have one group of parents fighting for an education that is appropriate for their children ("For highly capable students, access to accelerated learning and enhanced instruction is access to a basic education;" WAC 392-170-012), and then we have another group who, for whatever reason, want to deny such access. The would-be deny-ers proclaim their motivation is really "equity" (but by way of lowering the ceiling on one group, rather than raising the floor for another--that's whacked), and that "those HC students will all be fine anyway" (although research shows otherwise...but who really cares, right?). The blame is all on SPS here, but they'll get away with is as usual, and instead of serving all groups well they'll do like always and go for mediocrity. But parents will keep fighting each other, and SPS will be off the hook.

I am so, so glad we left SPS and HCC. My kids are in good places now--happy, thriving, learning to their potential, growing as individuals. SPS almost sucked the soul out of both--and almost drove me over the edge--but we managed to escape. I am truly sorry for those of you who are left, and I remain committed to gifted ed and will do all that I can to continue to support services for academically highly capable services in SPS. Those who don't have kids who need these services just. don't. get it. It's not about being valedictorian or getting into a certain college or bragging about your kid or whatever they imagine. It's about not crushing their spirits, preserving their self-worth, and letting them be themselves. But some people don't like certain things about them, so want to see them changed in their own image.

My condolences

Anonymous said...

An "open house" format is exactly what we do NOT need.

We need a coherent presentation from SPS about what they are proposing, why they are proposing it (with supporting evidence) and what explicit and implicit tradeoffs (academic, financial, capacity) are involved.

Transparency. Transparency. Transparency. This district just doesn't get it.

I urge families to contact the school board and district and respectfully request that staff present a written summary of the options under consideration with the academic, financial and capacity tradeoffs clearly listed for each option. We deserve that much as a community. This obfuscation is ridiculous and untenable.

--Concerned parent

Meg said...

In addition to providing money for testing and identification, the state provides transportation for gifted learners. A bus for HCC kids does not take away transportation from gen ed kids, because the state provides transportation money for every single HCC student. HCC transportation money benefits ALL students in SPS. The district has historically run to the positive revenue side on the "cost" of HCC buses.

The state used to provide this money IF districts had programs for academically gifted students. It was incentive, basically, for districts to provide programming, so that it didn't cost districts any additional money. Several years ago the policy changed. The state very clearly stated that for nerds, an accelerated education IS a basic education. With that, they provided HCC money (the extra money boils down to transportation and funding) to districts for every single HCC student, whether or not there was programming for that student.

I have lots of opinions about all of it, but mostly, it's really frustrating and sad that the district continues to pit groups against one another, fighting for the crumbs. HCC students aren't the problem. Gen ed students are't the problem. SpEd students aren't the problem (and if you want to talk about a group that gets the worst of it on a regular basis, there is a lot to talk about in how the district treats SpEd students and families). Not enough money, short-sighted and imprudent policy implementation, and terrible planning for use of existing and future space? BIG Problems.

kellie said...

Here is the link to the RCW for school funding, in case anyone is interesting in what the State of Washington Pays for.


The way this works at high school is that the State of Washington pays for one teacher for every 28.74 AAFTE high school students. There is a notation about paying for for lab science classes, however, I have need seen that money allocated at the building level.

The State funds high school based on Average Annual Full Time Equivalent (AAFTE) and this is average is based on prior years. This practice is stated to "inspire districts" to stop the drop out rate, by only paying based on average attendance and not paying for students who leave the district or "drop out."

In practice this means that even good school districts with higher than average graduation rates, still take a big funding cut. In Seattle the average means that 95% of high school students are funded and 5% are NOT FUNDED.

The net impact of this is that there is no specific class that is funded at high school. There is only one teacher per 30-31 students after AAFTE. This means that every 6 students generate ONE slot on the master schedule. That's it.

High schools master schedules live and die by the handful of classes like band where the teachers have more than 150 students. Those classes generate the small flexibility to have a few teachers with less than the contract ratio of 150. Any class that does not generate 30 students is just not really funded.

SPS can change this and fund high school so that there is wiggle room in the schedule for some greater flexibility in course offerings. That is a budget issue, not an assignment issue.

Please note that even with Core 24, there is only three years of math and three years of science required to graduate. 4 years of any math or science is already funded as an elective, not a requirement.

The net of this is that schools that are more homogenous, have more efficient master schedules. Schools that are very diverse have less efficient schedules.

Unknown said...

While it's important to provide HCC/APP/advanced learning students with the courses they need, it is equally important to provide "gen ed" students with the opportunity to take accelerated courses. The way HCC is set up, students must be advanced in both math and language to participate. Some kids are strong in math but not language arts. Other kids are advanced in languages arts but not math. Students who do not have the good fortune to be assigned to an HCC "tracked" school, do not have the same opportunity to excel as students in tracked schools. ALL of SPS students are part of our future. But once we talk about equity, we get into costs. When we get into costs, SPS determines that it can't afford equity, unless equity means an equally low standard. And so SPS only provides challenge when it is required - for HCC.

We have 7th and 9th grade kids. The district has been in a downward spiral this entire time. Its demoralizing. Where are the taxes on all these new million+ dollar homes going?


NESeattleMom said...

Thanks Mom of 2 for your careful reading,
If they are ending the HCC pathway in the year 2018-2019, it sure is late for implementation. Plus how could they do that without Lincoln open and without the boundaries changed? I think it is just their typical scare tactics from SPS. Either that or they screwed up. Maybe they mean the open house will talk about next year. Open houses are not particularly useful.

Anonymous said...

@Momof2-- I had read a recent district report, sorry I cannot remember the source. I believe an intention of the community meetings are another "outreach effort" to the entire community to gather feedback about proposed boundaries.

They likely also want to share information about what they consider to be advanced learning and other program options available at neighborhood schools.

IMO this is probably to "inform the community" about what the school already offers to make a shift to neighborhood schools seem less painful.

I also had read at some point (again sorry forget source) that changes will not be implemented until 2019 when they have more capacity. They cannot move students around by next Fall 2018 as there would not be the room as you mentioned. But plan for lots of students to move in 2019 when Lincoln opens.

Melissa Westbrook said...

"The way HCC is set up, students must be advanced in both math and language to participate."

But in high school, ANY student can take honors math/LA (if available) or AP or IB courses. Anyone. The exception is for some AP courses that require advanced knowledge(like languages).

"Students who do not have the good fortune to be assigned to an HCC "tracked" school, do not have the same opportunity to excel as students in tracked schools."

There are so many good schools that would challenge you on that one. Ask Mercer about their high math scores. You are making an assumption here about what HCC students get; it's acceleration. Not more or better teachers, not different curriculum.

"And so SPS only provides challenge when it is required - for HCC."

Again, not true. Roosevelt requires ALL sophomores to take an AP class. Same at RBHS.

Anonymous said...

Please do take the time to read the three boundary scenarios posted as a link later in this thread and via today's email to SPS families. The 3 scenarios provide more information than the "preferred" scenario that most of this thread discussed.

First, and I appreciate this, all three scenarios offer bullet points of pros and cons. It helps to understand the thinking of the Task Force and why they arrived at their preferred scenario.

Second, the other two scenarios provide very different boundary alignments. Magnolia goes to Ballard. Ingraham's boundaries stay farther north. Eastlake goes to Lincoln. Garfield's attendance area shrinks.

None of the 3 scenarios discuss a north end pathway for HCC to Lincoln. Instead, in all scenarios, Lincoln is "right-sized", either to provide a space for HCC if all HCCers attend local schools or if it is strictly local attendance and HCC pathway stays at Lincoln.

A north end pathway for HCCers at Lincoln appears to be a nonstarter.

Third, the SPS webpage says questions of equity come into play in not choosing the two alternates to the Hv2 "preferred" Task Force scenario. The other two options are noted to impact a higher percentage of minority and high needs students because Garfield's attendance area would change. Having watched the board and staff at work for many years, this label of "inequity" would seem to signal that there is little downtown support for these alternate choices.

Fourth, the Task Force considers alignment of enrollment paths from middle school to high school to be a "benefit". I'm with DistrictWatcher; this type of alignment was not the goal of the SAP...in fact it was quite deliberately NOT part of the plan as per enrollment guru Tracy Libros...dang I miss that woman...and if it became a goal of this new plan, that's news to me and probably much of the community. Families will no doubt have differing opinions as to whether this is a benefit depending on how each family is impacted. Even with "more" alignment in the preferred scenario, some areas will not be aligned, making those neighborhoods true oddballs. Further, in coming years when yet another high school, as currently planned, enters the system, these pathways will be thrown into disarray again. And at that point, with middle-to-high-school pathways established, there will be an even greater mess than trying to work through this boundary update.

Fifth. All three scenarios list "right sized" school capacity numbers on the map pdfs. We veterans know how those numbers change per Superintendent administration...and sometimes more often than that. They are highly manipulated. Still, it is interesting to see what the newest capacity numbers are. Write them down. We'll need this moment in time documented with the inevitable next round of changes in a few years.


Anonymous said...

Correction above. Sorry for the confusion. I meant to type Garfield, not Lincoln, in reference to the point about HCC. It should read as follows:

None of the 3 scenarios discuss a north end pathway for HCC to Lincoln. Instead, in all scenarios, Lincoln is "right-sized", either to provide a space for HCC if all HCCers attend local schools or if it is strictly local attendance and HCC pathway stays at Garfield.


Anonymous said...

I still don't understand why all the maps added 1600 seats at Lincoln but left off the 500 seat addition at Ingraham. Are those seats secretly being held for North end HCC?

Unused Ingraham seats

Anonymous said...

@ CapacityWonk, I agree those bullets of pros and cons are nice, but I hate how they always stack the deck in favor of the option they favor. Like the bullet that version H2 "increases walkability for those living closer to Lincoln with the opening of Lincoln." Well, duh--and don't all the versions do that, even though it only gets added as an advantage for this one? Then there's the bogus middle/elem alignment advantage, and the bogus claim (bogus based on their own numbers) that this version right-sizes all the high schools.

The change maps also present a bunch of demographic data on who is being moved, but since they include data for the change areas and not the areas that stay the same it's hard to interpret these. For example, four "receiving HCC" students are being switched from Ingraham's zone to Hale's. What about those who are already in the Hale boundary? How many of those are HCC eligible and how many receiving HCC services? In other words, how many HCC-eligible will there be at each school--and what kind of disparities might there be in those numbers?

It also seems to me that they are MISSING a key piece of the change data--the change in Garfield's demographics. Since all three scenarios assume HCC students will be at neighborhood schools, that means Garfield's capacity relief comes via kicking out a bunch of HCC students. What are the demographics of those leaving, and how will that impact Garfield's overall demographics?

The favored map doesn't right size all the schools, and it creates a whole lot of new academic programming--in inequity--issues. People who don't like HCC and think this is going to bring about more equity are going to be sadly disappointed.

Oh, and if aligning elementary and middle school feeder patterns with high schools is now a goal, that would suggest middle school and elementary HCC are on the hit list, too, wouldn't it?

F. Dupp

Anonymous said...

Unless ALL OF US who are participating in public education work together to maintain a system that works for all, the in-fighting over scraps ...

But when do we hear about the ALL OF US? 1000s of posts about HCC. The inequity. The entitlement. The victimhood. You'd think this was a disadvantaged minority from a third world country instead of the less than perfectly educated in an exclusive cohort complaining about getting their preferred electives. If you really care about ALL of us, then you'll need to do a whole lot more for something besides HCC.


Anonymous said...

@Meg "The state very clearly stated that for nerds, an accelerated education IS a basic education."

And the state is also now demanding that districts like SPS expand their definition of "nerd" (as you call it) to include the many FRL, ELL, Sped and historically underserved students who are currently excluded from getting needed services.

Not all gifted students are "nerds" either. That is a cultural construct that is likely keeping gifted students from being identified. That gifted kid who is verbal and argumentative and not following protocol is far from being a nerd--but is very gifted indeed.

Please don't use your own kid(s) as a prototype of what gifted looks and acts like. That has been part of the problem that the state is now being forced to address.

About Time

Anonymous said...

@About Time, "nerd" is just a shorthand occasionally used here on the blog, but nobody thinks it applies to all, and it's not part of the identification criteria, so no need to worry or let that distract us from the conversation, ok?

BTW, being verbal, argumentative and not following protocol does not necessarily mean one is very gifted. I have teenagers.


Anonymous said...

Back to the discussion at hand - high school boundaries - where is the analysis of transportation/walkability? It's one of the stated guidelines, but suggesting Lincoln improves walkability (kind of obvious for those within walking distance of Lincoln) without looking at the loss of walkability (or access to Metro) for each and every change makes me think the analysis wasn't done. For those in change areas, look at the availability of Metro routes. Some Ingraham students, for example, have limited Metro options (there's a reason they have shuttles for those traveling north in the AM). The boundary changes displace students from Roosevelt (where they can walk) to Ingraham where they may or may not be served by Metro. Where is the area by area analysis? Being able to get to school without parent transportation is kind of important...

It seems they should have some type of analysis for who can walk, who can take Metro, and who will need district provided transportation, both currently and under the proposed changes, to understand what additional costs may be involved and if there will negative impacts on walkability.


Melissa Westbrook said...

Nother, I think you are reading what you want to. I hear other voices and I also receive emails from other voices.

About Time, I don't think you are really in a position to tell anyone what to do.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand the "Does not realign elementary and middle school attendance areas to the high school attendance areas."

Why is that being done? The preferred scenario of the Task force seems to have a lot of unnecessary disruption. Keeping high school boundaries independent of elementary/middle school boundaries actually seems to make more sense in terms of flexibility and future changes.


kellie said...

@ data,

I concur with your questions. Where did this mysterious "align middle and high school boundaries" appear, because it is NOT in the SAP.

I know that some of initial boundaries for Lincoln were problematic because many of the boundary options had 4 or 5 feeder middle schools to one high school. In our current set up, there is a 1:1 relationship with middle and high school in West Seattle because of the Denny/Sealth co-location.

However, for all the other schools there is generally a split with two middle schools feeding a high school. This is a critical part of high school to have the ability to mix things up a bit and empower students to pick a school that works for them. A big part of the conversation about aligning the school in West Seattle was based on the notion that there was already a lot of fluid motion back and forth in West Seattle between WSHS and Sealth. As such, there was an expectation that even with the alignment, it would not be rigid.

This alignment boundaries are likely to cause nothing but trouble in the north end. We already saw last year, how challenging it was to fix elementary capacity problems when that impacted a feeder pattern. This plan will memorialize the current feeder patterns and make it nearly impossible to make sensible changes in the future, because every single change will have a K-12 ripple.

We all know that the boundary between Eagle Staff, Whitman and Hamilton has serious problems. Using that same boundary to align with high school then just creates more problems. I truly think the conversation last year would have gone very differently if it had been made clear Hamilton=Lincoln, Eagle Staff=Ingraham, and Whitman=Ballard.

This plan does not improve educational outcomes and decreases walkability for the entire north end.

Anonymous said...

The term “nerd “ is offensive and indicative of a narrow viewpoint in respect to students and learning. That anyone would regard children, more specifically their own children, in this light, is a cause of concern.

Arguing for HCC supports and sensitivity to special needs while using the cringeworthy slang of another era is beyond anachronistic and deserving of scrutiny.

Labelling hurts

Anonymous said...

Really Melissa? Are you able to count? How many posts are about the tragic situation of the HCC cohort? It's thousands. Many posts are more than 100. Several times a week. Same tragedy rehashed. HCC students get every imaginable advantage, including massively enhanced school choice (something you routinely scoff at for everyone else), and they complain that that can't have every single elective that they could possibly want in life. Special ed students don't even get to have lab sciences in high school. If they do wind up in Biology, it's only because it's a graduation requirement, and they aren't accommodated in the labs. Absolutely no other lab science is offered. No foreign language ever. What about all the music offerings? Never available to Sped.. Then these HCCers have the gall to say "We're special ed too." That's not advocating for the ALL OF US.


Anonymous said...

I did some more archives digging last night and this dovetails on Kellie's comment posted above:

Here is the link detailing the guiding principles of the Boundaries Task Force. It does have "align with current attendance area boundaries where feasible" as one desired outcome.

I would argue that aligning middle school to high school boundaries goes beyond the intent of that statement and far beyond the institutional background of the current SAP. I think the middle to high school alignment was pursued out of well meaningness. But, with seemingly no institutional staff knowledge, it was and is misguided. Was nobody in a position earlier to explain the SAP background? Was no outreach to former SAP plan designers done? Was it truly necessary to reinvent a wheel that took many many years to create?

Here is the link to the makeup of the task force by SPS, city, community title. Teaching and Learning did have representatives on the task force. This goes to the question of whether or not programming planning such as HCC was tied into these recommendations. Of course, this being SPS, the actual names of the task force participants is buried. Maybe someone else can find them. It's a bit too convenient to have tough decisions made via 'anonymous' committee members.

Oh, and the task force, by charter, disbands on Oct. 31. There will be no readdressing any of this at the Task Force level in about a week. SPS will point to the Task Force as this comes to a vote. The Task Force will already be disbanded. And so it goes. Get out to those final meetings and board members if you have any data-driven suggestions to changing the recommendation. This train is moving.


Anonymous said...

@Nother-- Your anger is misplaced. There are many parents, including HCC qualified advocating vocally for the district to better identify low income as well as minority children. Many of these parents volunteer, are active in the PTSA and also raise copious amounts of money for their kids public schools which benefit all the kids at those schools. Those schools would be much worse without those parents.

If you continue to disparage white and Asian of all income, low, middle and upper class families from public education because you resent them, our public education system will be a far worse system. Most of the very wealthy are not enrolled in public school. It is important that public school at least aim to serve a diverse society in its entirety. The people you are referencing whose kids attend public school and live in Seattle have an income gap that pales in comparison to the true elite. Also, many people have more in common than you might believe if you can get past the surface.

In fact the public education system was far far worse in educating minorities and immigrants in the past. There was a MUCH bigger gap in the past.
Read this article for example, http://www.epi.org/publication/webfeat_lessons20000202/


NESeattleMom said...

People who read the blog write in. Maybe those of you who want to read about other things should recruit readers or quit writing about topics that you don't like. For most parents, in my opinion, we are trying to address our kids' needs as we try to navigate life in the short time we have with them at home.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, CapacityWonk. Parents should push back hard on this point - aligning with elementary and middle school boundaries creates unnecessary disruption and was not part of the original SAP objectives.

Of course, "where feasible" is like "space availability." You and I might have a more straightforward definition, like space available means there is actually space available, but the district will have some specious reasons why it's not feasible.


Anonymous said...

Ok, so for folks going to boundary meetings, here are some general questions to ask:

- Where is the walkability/transportation analysis?
- Why are HS boundaries now being aligned to elementary/middle school, despite that not being an original objective?
- Where are enrollment projections based on 2019 and beyond numbers (not 2016 numbers... seriously?!)?
- What's happening with HCC/IB/IHS/GHS? (why do capacity numbers not include the 500 student addition at IHS?)

Please feel free to add on...


Anonymous said...

Has SPS published a list of the criteria used to evaluate proposed boundaries? I'm not aware of it. Without a set of agreed upon evaluation criteria, there is no way to say whether one option is better or worse than another. It all devolves into chaos.

Fed Up

Anonymous said...

Maybe the 500 Ingraham seats will be open to anyone by lottery? That would be a much more equitable way to distribute a limited resource.


Anonymous said...

Of course, "where feasible" is like "space availability." You and I might have a more straightforward definition, like space available means there is actually space available, but the district will have some specious reasons why it's not feasible.

Yup. Like "not feasible" = "I'm not gonna do it and you can't make me!"

foot stomp

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

Other questions to ask at the meetings:

- Why are boundaries being used to make academic service delivery decisions?
- Where's the feasibility and cost/benefit analysis re: providing HC services in every school instead of via pathway schools?
- How will the overall demographics of each high school change as a result of these boundaries, and how will the demographics compare across the district?
- How do they define equitable access to advanced learning, and will mitigation funds be available so that schools with less demand for advanced courses can still provide them?
- Is the district going to define a set of core advanced courses that must be available at all assignment schools? For example, since the district provides Algebra 1 to 6th graders, their HS sequence is Pre-Calc, AP Calc AB, then AP Calc BC and/or AP Stats. Since three years of math are required for graduation, and because "once services are started, a continuum of services shall be provided to the student from K-12" (WAC 392-170-078), it would seem that all high schools would need to provide not only AP Calc AB, but also one of the other two options. Making HC students repeat courses is not offering a continuum of services, and forcing them into Running Start is not providing the services K-12.


Anonymous said...

Re: Lincoln. Enrollment planning will make a recommendation to the School Board on December 7, 2017 re: opening Lincoln as 9 and 10 or opening 9, 10, and 11.

The final vote of the School Board re: Lincoln will be made in January with the final boundaries vote.

Please continue to give your feedback re: Lincoln enrollment to enrollmentplanning@seattleschools.org until Dec 7.

Too many issues

Anonymous said...

The Advantages/Considerations notes on the task force recommendations make it clear they find the following important:
1. Aligning with middle/elementary feeder patterns
2. Right size schools (especially Lincoln)
3. Capacity of Ballard and Garfield
4. Walkability
5. Impact to minorities/higher needs students

The public has added that the following are also important:
*Transportation available to the school
*4 years of math/science available at the school, with AP/IB options
*minimal disruption to families

Of the district's priorities, we've determined that aligning with middle/elementary feeder patterns was never a stated goal, so let's drop number 1
All of the maps right-size Lincoln, ranging from 1156 to 1427, so we can disregard #2
All of the maps will impact minorities and higher needs students. Maps E & F by shrinking the Garfield boundary; Map H2 by removing the HCC pathway and associated programing/PTA funds. They've presented this as an advantage in a misleading way, so while it's an important consideration, the way they've presented it in these maps leaves us comparing apples to oranges.

That leaves the following as things we can truly compare between maps:
Capacity at Ballard and Garfield (E helps by preserving HCC pathway, F helps a little )
Walkability (All maps improve walkability near Lincoln; H2 makes it worse in the NW)
Transportation available to the school (H2 makes it a challenge in the NW)
4 years of math/science available in high school (E makes room for a pathway, F & H2 don't)
Minimal disruption to families (F displaces 1156, E displaces 1313, H2 displaces 2001)

Looking at these data points, H2 is the clear loser. E moves to the front for me, because:
*It helps capacity at Ballard and Garfield
*It preserves walkability and transportation in the NW
*It keeps 4 years of Math/Science and AP/IB available in high school
*It disrupts far fewer students than H2

good fit

Lynn said...

We attended the "informational" meeting last week at Hamilton and specifically asked about considerations over public transportation for the current preferred H v2 boundary. The Lincoln principal completely stumbled over her answer and made it sound like they hadn't even thought about it. It was discouraging to say the least.

Anonymous said...

@good fit-- Looking at Map E,it assumes all of HCC are kept at Garfield in this scenario? What if HCC continue to Ingraham or more go to neighborhood schools instead? Seems like that balance could really shift enrollment projections. Ballard is maxed out in this scenario and could remain very overcrowded if the growth continues or if HCC from Ballard go to Ballard.

Anonymous said...

If the district hasn't done a transportation analysis, what the? Kids need to have a way to get to school, and the district should be planning in a way that maximizes students' ability to get to school in a safe and efficient manner without the need for the district to provide yellow bus service.

no words

Anonymous said...

@ good fit and NW, none of the three proposed options preserve the HCC pathway to Garfield. The numbers that comprise the projections for each school include the HCC students they anticipate will newly be there.

They have not provided any options that preserve the HCC Garfield pathway, or a pathway split or relocation. Just disbandment.


Anonymous said...

It's not hard to do Metro analysis. Choose a starting address and the receiving school. For instance, at rush hour, if the task-force-preferred boundary alignment is approved, many Magnolia students will need to plan 50 minutes, minimum, to Lincoln. Realigned NW Greenlake residents moved to Ingraham vs. Ballard would need to plan 10-15 minutes.

Most students under the preferred boundary alignment would be able to get to high school via Metro in less than 30 minutes. That's good. A lesser commute might be one good side of HCC being in local schools. I am not saying it's an overriding reason, but it is one positive.

As always, the lack of a QA/Magnolia high school will cause pain for families living far west. No upside to be found.


Anonymous said...

@DisAPP- On the E boundary it states this " Reduces Garfield’s boundary, which will provide some relief if the HC pathway remains at Garfield." It is unclear to me then if this option also included projections that keeps HC in neighborhood schools? Or were they taken out in this option?

Anonymous said...

If you look at the "change" maps, for each neighborhood school they include both HCC eligible and receiving HCC services counts. This suggests that HCC kids are included in the neighborhood total capacity projections. I suspect the "some" relief for Garfield is a reference to the fact that with the smaller boundary GHS would get a little relief--not enough, but at least some. Surely the boundary doesn't shrink enough to subtract as many kids as they are decreasing the projection by though...so who/where are all those departing kids? Looks like it's the HCC kids going "home".


Anonymous said...

These were listed as the "guiding principles" by the task force

These principles were used by the High School Boundary Task Force in developing their recommendations on high school boundary changes.

1. Equity: Use an equity lens to ensure that the changes don’t unfairly impact students with higher needs.
2. Align high school boundaries with elementary and middle school feeder patters as much as possible.
3. Use data, such as enrollment counts, enrollment projections, capture rates, student demographics, etc., to inform decisions.
4. Create high schools that are the optimal size so that there can be a diversity of programs and services for students at their schools.
5. Minimize fiscal impact.
6. Minimize disruption to existing boundaries.

Seems like H2 does not lead to minimal disruption, fiscal impact, or existing boundaries.

If E and F are less disruptive, Is there a way to improve upon the maps E or F to give more relief to Ballard for future growth?

Not too late (for a better plan)

Anonymous said...

I think map F is the least disruptive because Magnolia stays at Ballard and central downtown stays at Garfield.

What if we suggest reducing Ballard's numbers by making the North boundary 80th street instead of 85th on the west side of I5?

The other consideration is the addition of another high school which would pull all of Magnolia/Queen Anne out of North Seattle and reduce capacity at Ballard and Lincoln. When is that supposed to come on board? 2023? Can we try to plan ahead for boundaries 2019 and future shifts?

Voting for Scenario F

Anonymous said...

What is the typical lag period for posting enrollment numbers, say after the October 1 count? On curriculum night my 9th grader's advisor at Garfield said that the school had 200 fewer students enrolled than expected.


Anonymous said...

What is Ingraham's right size with 500 more seats coming on board in 2019? Is it 1694?

Where will those students come from? Obviously the southern border. Dropping that border into Ballard territory frees up additional capacity there. Looks like you could drop it to 80th for part, and 70th near Green Lake and move about 100 more students into Ingraham?

Maybe that gets Ingraham closer to 1300-1350 and Ballard to 1400?

Hopefully there is time for the committee to draft another scenario using community input before the end of the month.

Not too late

Anonymous said...

@voting for Scenario F- That's a good suggestion, I know Magnolia families are dreading the long Lincoln commute.

kellie said...

The choice elements for high school are missing from this conversation.

There is no real need to change the boundary at Ingraham to accommodate the extra 500 seats. Ingraham has a long wait list at every grade. The IB program there is very attractive and should be a choice option for all families.

It would be simple to set aside those 500 seats as choice seats and truly create greater access to IB for all students. This would then enable a few more choice seats as the lovely swirl effect of students changing schools.

There is simply no good reason to align middle school and high school. High school is different from K8. There has been little or no real choice at high school for the last few years due to capacity issues. The introduction of 2,000 new seats, creates a unique opportunity to re-introduce some elements of choice at the high school level. Many families and students would benefit from this increased flexibility.

The boundaries for Ballard were the most contentious of all the boundary decisions for high school and the NSAP. Dropping the boundary even a few more blocks would mean that families who live in the Ballard neighborhood would be bussed to a different school. This is unlikely to be appreciated in Ballard where many folks feel the boundary was already too close to Ballard.

The bottom line is that there is no need to tighten the boundary, if enrollment planning would simply allow more students that are already selecting Ingraham to attend Ingraham.

kellie said...

Here are some 2017 high school numbers. This is not the official Oct 1 count but these numbers should be pretty close.

Ballard - 1925
Sealth - 1066
Cleveland - 870
Franklin - 1276
Garfield - 1856
Ingraham - 1391
Hale - 1234
Nova - 309
Beach -756
Roosevelt - 1872
Center - 235
West Seattle - 1043

Eric B said...

The HS Task Force is not going to re-visit north end boundaries. Any further discussions need to be with the board and with staff. There is also no way in hell that any population prediction we make now will still hold up in 2023 or whenever the downtown school comes online. Drawing that boundary now is a recipe for disaster sort of like all of the K-5 boundaries that were drawn several years ago and now don't really make sense. On top of that, those K-5 decisions had vastly better data behind them than the current boundaries.

Moving the Ingraham-Ballard line to 80th would benefit me personally, but it would be a train wreck for most people and community engagement would show that. I don't think it is as bad as when the HS lines were originally drawn, but it still wouldn't be good.

Green Lake Parent said...

Eric B - How do you know the HS Taskforce will not be revisiting the north end boundaries? (Speculation? Or...?) I was wondering about this. They have a meeting on October 24th. It's after the first community meeting but before the rest. What will be on the agenda? I gave Ashley Davies some feedback about the small slice of Maple Leaf that moves from Roosevelt to Nathan Hale in map H2. She said she would take it to the HS Taskforce. I'm not holding my breath that anything will change without the Board involved, but at the same time wondering about the last Taskforce meeting.


I'm Lynn said...


Would you mind adding something to your name to avoid confusion on this blog?

Lynn said...

There are 300 empty seats in NOVA's building two blocks from Garfield. No matter what the plan is for future students, kids already at Garfield could be accommodated by using that space. It would be inconvenient for students but no worse than being forced into Running Start.

West Seattle High School continues to be underenrolled by several hundred students. Maybe future classes of HCC students from downtown and the SE and SW regions should be placed there. With a new principal, the school is likely to be more welcoming to them than Garfield has been.

Anonymous said...

DisAPP, the numbers aren't projections, but the actual resident counts from 2016. The maps show numbers within each proposed boundary, and we know what the attendance area school will be for those residents, but we don't know what building each one of those students will actually attend in 2019. The best example is if you look at Franklin, where the count far exceeds Franklin's capacity. That's because so many students within the Franklin boundary go to Cleveland.

So assuming some fluidity of those students, Map E leaves about 250 open seats at Garfield. They say in the document "Reduces Garfield’s boundary, which will provide some relief if the HC pathway remains at Garfield." It's not enough space for the entire cohort, but is enough for south end HCC, or city-wide choice assignments between there and Ingraham. This available space could end up being important for HCC students assigned to schools with limited options for them, and gives Ballard some breathing room.

Good fit

Anonymous said...

I live in SE Seattle, so maybe I am just not up on what is happening in the North End, but why couldn't Garfield remain the HCC school for students south of the cut, and then have an HCC school in the North? My HCC kids will be sent to Rainier Beach if this goes through, and given the small number of HCC kids in our attendance area, I anticipate zero attention will be paid to what happens (or doesn't) with respect to access to AP classes at RB.

-exploring our options

Anonymous said...

@exploring, I worry you are right, and other schools with small numbers of HCC students may be in the same boat. Garfield currently has about 200 south end students from outside their boundary. Map E is the only one that leaves an option for kids like yours to go there either by pathway or choice.
good fit

Anonymous said...

@exploring options-- That's what most of us were expecting. But the district has other ideas to send them all back to neighborhood schools under the guise of balancing enrollment. I am guessing the board can still put the breaks on this plan, but who knows what will happen. Also, RB has IB doesn't it? That's a great program.

Anonymous said...

@goodfit-- They probably are hoping more kids enroll in IB at RB. Also, My understanding is that all three maps do not leave room for an HCC pathway. So all kids would have equal shot for any open slots at Garfield. There would no longer be an HCC pathway, so not as many sections, but likely still some AP courses available.

Anonymous said...

There are different ways they could assign those last 250 seats at Garfield. Choice for all, south end pathway, HCC option (the way IBx is now), priority HC placement for schools like RB and Hale, etc. Map E is the only one that gives us the opportunity to then figure out "how." F and Hv2 both leave Garfield very close to capacity.

There are about 150 HC students living in the Garfield boundary now, so not so far off from that at Roosevelt, Lincoln and Ballard. I agree it's a far cry from the 550 HC students who go there now, so you're right the course offerings will probably adjust.
Good fit

Anonymous said...

@Goodfit-- IBX is pretty much being eliminated from Ingraham....There is no current info on the Ingraham website. They used to have an IBX plan posted, now just IB. I personally think this plan for elimination of HCC pathways has been on the horizon for longer than some people realize. I remember a comment from upper level SPS staff (with a son at Garfield) to this effect at a community meeting two years ago stating that Garfield was too crowded and that "neighborhood schools can serve HCC now".

NESeattleMom said...

Good fit, and exploring,
Do you think if SPS stops the HCC pathway to Garfield that Garfield will retain enough AP classes to make it a similar school to what it is now? All AP classes are open to all students at Garfield, but I don't know how many non-HCC kids take AP classes. I would guess that many would take at least one or two.

Anonymous said...

@ good fit, the way they came up with the 1352 projection for Garfield (under option E), assumes not only does the school shrink by the 211 students in the small area reassigned to Lincoln, but by also removing several hundred other (unidentified) students in the process, right? Subtracting 211 from GHS doesn't get its current 1850-ish population down anywhere near the 1352 projection. The only logical answer is that they are also assuming that 300 or so HCC students will not be coming to GHS, and will instead attend neighborhood schools. They are also planning to get Lincoln pretty near capacity without being an HCC pathway, so there doesn't seem to be room there for those north-end kids being removed from Garfield.

I suppose it's possible they are leaving things "open" to pathways, if you mean there's always a possibility that the board forces it or something. But they don't seem to be "allowing" for it in their calculations, as the actual numbers they are using suggest they are eliminating pathways. The one exception could be the mysterious use of pre-expansion numbers for Ingraham's capacity. If they are thinking of that as the fail-safe in case the board insists on HCC pathways, Garfield has room for south-end HCC and Ingraham would have room for north-end. That would be a HUGE ramp-up for Ingraham, though, all of a sudden taking in hundreds of students who need IB and AP classes. They'd need a lot more IB teachers, and would really need to greatly expand their AP offerings. I wonder if there's been any discussion with Ingraham about doing that?


Anonymous said...

I'm in the SE with an HCC kid as well. And while I find IB to be a great program, I find it irritating that SPS doesn't fully support it. There's always the worry that it will go away when the schools can't find their own funding source.


Anonymous said...

DisAPP, you're right, they've removed those several hundred students and counted them in their home boundaries. A lot of HCC kids would have decent options at their neighborhood school, but some of them would be in a bad situation. If SPS goes with E and there's extra space at Garfield, maybe they'd split a south/north pathway, but I agree with you it's not very likely. I think it's more likely they'd offer up some kind of HCC choice assignment (like they currently do at Ingraham).

Good fit

Anonymous said...

@DisApp-- I agree that it could be possible, but I really don't think that was in their plan. But who knows. Ingraham has been moving toward elimination of IBX as a pathway with their knowledge. I think this has been a district plan for awhile. It will be interesting to hear how they think they can serve students at all high schools. IB at Rainier Beach and other schools it sounds like need more community support. I think the plan is neighborhood schools and an opt into IB at various schools. We will see what happens with the board vote though, as I guess plans can get altered.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Folks, I don't care how much you disagree about any program with its accompanying group of parents. But NO one is going to call anyone else's child or a group of children names at this blog. You will be deleted so please watch that.

"Maybe the 500 Ingraham seats will be open to anyone by lottery?"

And then you know what would happen? "Why don't we have lottery seats at EVERY high school?" I think there should be but the district doesn't want to do it, even though it currently exists in the SAP.

"As always, the lack of a QA/Magnolia high school will cause pain for families living far west."

That continues to plague this district. But, it should not be used as an excuse to build a costly downtown high school.

Kellie, there is no way that Cleveland STEM's building couldn't handle more students than that. I call BS on that one.

"There is no current info on the Ingraham website. They used to have an IBX plan posted, now just IB. "

Sounds like Spectrum. Let's just gas-light people into believing it never existed by removing it from the website. Kind of cowardly, no?

"Do you think if SPS stops the HCC pathway to Garfield that Garfield will retain enough AP classes to make it a similar school to what it is now?"

No. Principal Howard has certainly made it clear that he just isn't interested in AP classes so if HCC goes, I'd bet that will change.

If the district committed to a renovated building for RBHS (as per the other high schools) and put HCC in there with a fully-supported IB program, I'll bet you'd solve a lot of problems for the district.

Anonymous said...

SPS does not seem interested in fully supporting IB.

The IB program is only as good as a school and district make it. Remember that. While the IB curriculum may be strong, if it's poorly taught (with SPS it's hit or miss) and poorly supported financially, then it may fall far short of its potential.


NESeattleMom said...

If you move to or live in a reference area for a high school, do you automatically get in if you sign up at the right time? When is the right time?

kellie said...

There are two ways to think about boundaries and advanced learning, as schools and students are NEVER conveniently located inside a school district.

1) Draw boundaries that make logicals sense based on where people live. This generally means trying to have as many students attend a school that is close to home.

This will then create a mis-match between the students in the attendance area and the building's capacity. You then backfill that mis-match with an attractive program that draws people to the school. Hence why HCC is used so often to backfill schools that would not otherwise fill with sensible boundaries. This system has the benefit of creating lots of options and choices for students, with no guarantee that any particular student will get their premium choice.

2) Draw boundaries that right-size the school. This means that you shape the attendance area based on the school's capacity without any attempt to create any special or unique programs. This is what the current maps do.

This will then create crazy boundaries that are jigsawed and gerrymandered and typically rigid with limited choice as the school is right-sized. This typically means that many students are not able to attend their closest school as they need to be bussed in order to create those right-sized schools.

Either option can work. A significant downside of option 2 (which are the only options being considered) is that option 2 profoundly limits any flexibility and tends to make segregated systems even more segregated.

kellie said...

@ exploring options,

Please send your comments to the board as they really need to hear people directly impacted by this not-really-a-plan, plan. IMHO, there is no good reason to not continue the cohort at Garfield for south end schools. Because of how high school is funded, there needs to be a critical mass of students working at the same level in order to provide accelerated coursework.

There most certainly will not be funds to support both IB and HCC at RB as both would require mitigation dollars.

kellie said...

@ Mel,

Regarding Cleveland. You are I were both involved in this process when Cleveland was converted to option status. The "promise" at that time was cohorts of 300 students per grade. So yeah, Cleveland can handle many more students.

Enrollment planning has been artificially limiting the enrollment at Cleveland for years. It is a terrible practice to deny students a choice that was promised. There is certainly the demand to fill Cleveland to 1200, which would give Cleveland a better infrastructure and resources.

However, as long as there is no daylight on how enrollment planning sets this mysterious "staffing capacity," I doubt anything will change.

The sad part about this is that the artificial limit at both Cleveland and Franklin is done in the name of supporting Rainier Beach. However, there is no evidence that these enrollment cap translate into support for Rainier Beach. The most likely scenario is that families that are not able to access Cleveland enroll elsewhere. Enrollment of Seattle Students in nearby districts is another missing piece of the planning here.

Anonymous said...

@Kellie- Hold on.... usually I agree with you but do you mean only a cohort at Garfield for the south end?? What about the Nathan Hale and Lincoln families who may also face challenges? Lincoln seems to be planning for a PBL school. In addition, if there is no designated cohort pathway in the north, what is the guarantee students (even at Ballard & Roosevelt) will also have enough sections at schools that do have AP classes? There needs to be enough sections for flexible scheduling.

Melissa Westbrook said...

NESeattleMom, do you mean right now? Kellie might know for certain; I'd have to rechecked but I think if you move with the boundaries, you're in.

Kellie, I think the cap on Cleveland is two-fold. They don't want more loss from Rainier Beach AND the costs of STEM. They give each kid a laptop; they had loss problems from that when they started and it can't be cheap.

AT, the MTSS will solve all our problems - didn't you hear? Who needs IB or AP?

NESeattleMom said...

Thanks, Melissa. I don't mean right now. I mean if the pathway ends, maybe rent out our house and rent for two years in a zone that provides classes and a regular school for my student.

kellie said...

NESeattleMom, If you move, you can remain at your current school only until the end of the school year or over to your new attendance area school immediately.

Mel, Good point on the laptops.

kellie said...

@ AT,

I hope this clarifies things. Because there is pretty limited data that has been released with the maps, there are something things that are just pretty squishy (technical term :) and some things that would be the same under any reasonable scenario.

Under any of the scenarios that have been released and under any reasonable variation of those scenarios, there is ample room at Garfield for a south end HCC cohort.

Under SOME scenarios, there would be ample room at Garfield for any HCC student who wanted that option. The some scenarios is heavily qualified because there are so many moving parts. But essentially, the majority of north end HCC students are not electing Garfield. The loss of the 48 bus, combined with the changes in start times, has really made Garfield a very challenging option for many parts of North Seattle.

As for Lincoln, having been involved in the opening of multiple schools, I can say with great confidence that there is one plan before the boundaries and geo-splits are decided and a very different plan after those decisions are finalized. HCC was not included in the early plans at either JAMS or Eagle Staff. However, after those pathways were established and the students were assigned, the plans were changed.

Under any reasonable scenario, Lincoln will have more HCC students living in the attendance area than any other high school attendance area. As such, Lincoln is going to have to provide those services one way or another. Lincoln is an ideal location for an HCC pathway for many reasons. Whether or not that happens is a different question entirely.

Melissa Westbrook said...

NESeattleMom, you are brave to say that out loud but I think that could happen. There will be apartments all around Roosevelt (a new building is opening very soon a block away) and I suspect other people might be thinking of this.

Anonymous said...

i define most of sps jsc staff action as: sneaky and underhanded, tone-death, arrogant, malicious, cya, short-sighted, deplorably inequitable, orwellian and mean.

how do i feel about this sneak attack on hcc within the guise of expanding access by killing the only part of the program that really exist at hs: the cohorts and the pathways. and to do this with zero meaningful notification and a laughable and flawed survey to boot. beyond betrayed and i don't even trust them.

anyone in hcc (or thinks that their kids may need this type of intervention down the road) should call their directors. in fact, contact all the directors. this is a hateful decimation of hcc for the convenience of the enrollment folks. and good luck al proving to ospi you have a program after that especially with building oversight trumping any best practices. see honors for none. see social experiment social studies. see spectrum. see jams. this is it folks this is really the last stand and either we call and email and protest this or it is gone for good. we can't let this short sighted, mean, inequitable program move to no more hs pathways or then there will be effectively nothing for these kids.

no caps

Anonymous said...

@Kellie, what do you mean by the "loss of the 48 bus" with regard to Garfield? Plenty of north end kids we know commute via the 48, and service recently increased.

Thanks for listing the enrollment numbers up above. Those look very similar to the projected numbers on the Seattle Schools data page, so if our Garfield advisor was correct in saying there are 200 fewer kids, I would expect Garfield's enrollment to be <1700 kids. I'm still curious about Meany's numbers as well, as in September the principal said there were more kids than expected. I missed this week's PTSA meeting unfortunately, if new numbers were mentioned.


NESeattleMom said...

The 48 used to start in Crown Hill around 32nd NW and NW 85th. My older student could catch it at RHS. Now it originates at NE 43rd and 15th NE, requiring a transfer for many more people who ride it to GHS, or driving in traffic to bus stop.

Anonymous said...

Ah, I see. Thanks. It is unfortunate that Metro reconfigured that major route to now include a transfer.


Anonymous said...

@Kellie-- "Lincoln is an ideal location for an HCC pathway for many reasons. Whether or not that happens is a different question entirely." I had thought they are attempting to make program pathway decisions in conjunction with boundaries prior to open enrollment. If Garfield does keep a south end pathway, Ingraham should also at least keep a north end pathway and not have a cap, but I am not so sure as Ingraham has been moving toward elimination of IBX in favor of IB.

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

@ FNH,

NESeattleMom answered the question. Before the change to the 48 bus's routing and the change to high school start times, you could quite reasonably commute between most of parts of North Seattle and Garfield in well under an hour. Both of those changes have separately contributed to the decline in HCC enrollment at Garfield.

The current commute is an hour under ideal circumstances and it can easily take two hours or more depending on where you live.

kellie said...

@ AT,

You are describing what "should" be happening. Pathways are a board decision. As such, the question of pathways should have been brought to the board, ages ago, so that the board could make an informed decision on pathways. Then the task force could have used that decision, to create these boundaries.

However, that did not happen. The task force ONLY examined scenarios where all HCC students were returned to their attendance area school. Moreover, there was a criteria regarding middle and high school alignment, that is in direct opposition to the current SAP, that was inserted into the criteria. As such, the board is being presented ONLY with boundaries that PRESUME that HCC pathways are ended.

So now the board is going to be put in the very uncomfortable position of sorting this out, as they are only being presented with ONE SIDE of the story.

kellie said...

@ new parent,

Hi. I am fairly new to the district. I have a first grader and having him stay with friends through jr. high and high school (scenario H2) seems like a plus. I don't quite understand why feeder patterns seem to be unpopular in comments. Thank you for any links or info so I can understand it more!

You will need to sign your post or it will be deleted.

I completely understand your question. I first got involved in these issues when my children were in preschool. They are now in high school. At that time, I shared your point of view and schools like Summit K-12 made a lot of sense to me. I did not understand why so many parents with older students kept testifying about the value of being able to mix things up and how intensely passionate high school parents were about setting students up for MORE choices in high school.

Now that I have older students, I completely understand. Student's needs just change over 13 years of school. I know that is not much of an answer for a family with younger students. That said, options and choice are going to matter in your future.

High school is about setting kids up for life. It is just not the same as K-8.

An example of this is CTE and skills center. CTE is critical service to offer. However, to get the critical mass of students for this to work, CTE needs to be offered at only a few schools. If we have a rigid K-12 system, then students will just lose this service entirely as it is just not economically feasible to distribute it equally across a dozen high schools. Ditto to IB.

A rigid K-12 alignment will result in the eventual loss of all unique programming.

kellie said...

@ FNH,

I have no idea why enrollment planning is so reluctant to be transparent about enrollment information. The enrollment report that I saw with those numbers, seemed about right, but there was no way to tell if those numbers were FTE or headcount.

Here is middle school

Denny - 834
Eagle Staff - 717
Eckstein - 967
Hamilton - 986
JAMS - 915
Madison - 879
Meany - 490
Mercer - 1134
Washington - 713
Whitman - 566

Anonymous said...

@Kellie--"So now the board is going to be put in the very uncomfortable position of sorting this out, as they are only being presented with ONE SIDE of the story."

I am wondering if they have a plan B ready to go if the board puts the breaks on their recommendations. Otherwise they will be creating more work for themselves.

observer said...


speaking of HCC pathways (or should we say bus routes) . . . in fairness to Metro, they did split the crosstown 48 route in half. Rather than eliminate it north of the Ship Canal, they renamed it the new 45 route with slight adjustments. Along with other significant bus changes, the idea was to make all bus routes terminate at the new light rail Link station at Husky Stadium so that people could typically ride the train. For north end Garfield High School students, the result is that most must now transfer from the 45 to the 48 in the University District or Montlake to get to school.

Anonymous said...

The 48 bus route was split into two lines this year. The 48 runs from South Seattle to UW (42nd and 15th NE). Those who want to go further North catch the 45 which runs from the UW Metro stop (near the hospital) to Crown Hill. I agree the transfer is a pain. Metro says they split the route to make for more on time arrivals and consistent scheduling.

Anonymous said...

So I emailed the Advanced Learning office last week about my 8th grader at JAMS and his high school path. Here is what they wrote back today...

"The Advanced Learning Office is not aware of a plan to move HCC pathway out of Garfield High School."  

Wedgwood Parent


Anonymous said...

@wedgwood parent--that could be the same staff who gave people a blank stare when they came in to the building trying to register their student at Decatur, claiming they didn't know about that school.