Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Tuesday Open Thread

Sorry so tardy; I have a big personal project.

Here are the results for Seattle School Board:

District IV: 
Eden Mack       85.97%. (which I believe is a record for a Board election)
Herbert Camet 14.03%

District V:
Zachary DeWolf   61.17%
Omar Vasquez.     38.83%

District VII
Betty Patu        64.11%
Chelsea Byers. 35.89%

As you might expect, I'm quite happy.  I have confidence in all three of these newly-elected Board members and I believe it is a very strong Board.

The election of Jenny Durkan as mayor leaves some uncertainty about what her interaction will be with the district.  I think one idea that might be good for the new Board to consider is including her in the selection of the new superintendent in some manner.

What's on your mind?


Anonymous said...

I haven't missed the irony that the 45 is about to flip. Fingers crossed!! Good news for education funding.

Go Manka

Anonymous said...

Wow. I can finally discard my what just happened jar from last year. Mack/Dewolf win and Blandford is gone. And Patu retains her very reasonable role on the Board. I believe the big switch is district 5 and removing a ideologue and thankfully not electing a charter school shill. Those facebook ads worked for cheeto but not for mr. charter schools. Oh so sad. NOT

Oh and Wow. 9 point win in VA for a progressive governor.


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

I'll just note that my record for picking winners for School Board races is pretty damn good. Future candidates, I am available for consulting (recalling one recent candidate who asked me, "What's it going to take to win this race?") ;)

Leonard said...

Both Vasquez and Byers supported privatization of public education. They were funded by those that seek to privatize education, as well.

Once again, Seattle voters gave a resounding thumbs down to those that seek to privatize education. Hopefully, at some point, those that seek to privatize education will take their efforts- elsewhere.

HCCrent said...

I went to the HCS AC meeting last night. First, we were told the 5 pathway plans was not the only plan the Directors would see. Odd. Right? That was from staff! There are four plans they would propose. Stay tuned. Only one was put through operations committee? And that is after none were even explored publicly as the ThoughtExchange had ZERO proposals. ZERO. Change is coming to all who have a kid in SPS. Not HCC kids. ALL kids. What if they did the same to SpEd? What would you like to see with changes coming to SpEd? This is asinine.

It turns out that staff got the answers they wanted from Thoughtexchange: people wanted equity (no real understand how that very finite word is being used; where is Charlie when you need him) and close to home (again close may mean not 2 metro bus stops away or walking distance). Both of these answers are useless. USELESS.

They both are relative to any who may SEEK them. They are also based on questions without true query behind them. They also talk of AL as it relates to education when in fact we are talking about HCC. Minor point? NO.

The "district" also said the principals will have to do what they are told by staff. When has that ever been the rule? I know in the south that WMS, GHS and TM have done whatever they wanted when it comes to AL. JAMS and Hamilton as well have completely disregarded established classes/"curriculum." As I have watched my kids progress through the classes they have become less and less and later and later on subjects. Even math surprisingly.

If you have a kid in SPS you need to let the Board know that this rush to boundaries and pathways is self inflicted. The only hurry is because staff chose to make it so. We have all known there is a new school coming. Hurray! Staff have chosen to make that a way to get rid of HCC HS services.

When you go from neighborhood middle school to neighborhood high school you go with your friends at the prior school. Not in this plan for HC. You go from WMS to GHS or Franklin (with 30 other kids who have historically chosen GHS). So no cohort. No established program. A parent said that it will be tough for those kids but we have to look long term (in the context of equity!!!). And yet the district is springing this on us in less than a month. Folks there is no MS=HS link in this plan. When cohort is really the only social/emotional component to HC and one that every kid has in their neighborhood pathway, what the heck is going on here.

In addition, HC pathways were addressed in the Advanced Learning Task Force and it was recommended to only make changes that have a minimum disruption of the cohort and that with splits to middle schools should be large enough to have three classes of 30 kids at least. A couple of years later they opened Madison MS as a pathway with just 30 kids. No questions asked. Now they wanted to do the same for every high school. Currently it is down to 5 schools but perhaps that is not what they will propose to the Board. Perhaps they are back to all high schools. But why should we be involved, they chose another task force to get the answers they were looking for (with no understanding of the complexity they were proposing) and have the Thoughtexchange data (bogus and a waste of time) they think to storm forward.


Anonymous said...

Congrats to Mack, DeWolf & Patu!!!! I am so happy they all won seats. This board will work great together.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for that depressing, though somehow not surprising in any way, summary. For those whose kids have been moved and split again and again, it sounds like it will just be more of the same. Moved in elementary. Moved in middle school. All to be left with Running Start as the most viable option for a 4 year high school pathway. Too many transitions and schools to count. And each change brings AL in SPS closer to zero.

The cohort will be too small at each school to offer the more advanced language, LA/SS, math and science classes that make a 4 year pathway for HC students. Rather than increase AL opportunities, it sounds like they are focused on methodically reducing them across the board.

downward spiral

Melissa Westbrook said...

The "district" also said the principals will have to do what they are told by staff. When has that ever been the rule?"

No kidding.

Well, parents should push back if there are 4 plans. Because that is NOT what was stated at Ops at any time. I think staff is planning to distract and confuse both the Board and parents to get what they want.

Don't fall for it.

Anonymous said...

Why would we want Durkan involved in the selection of a superintendent? She'll want a Broadie, someone like MGJ or Tolley.

We now have 7 of 7 seats on the school board. That's great! But that also means it's time for them to deliver. They will now own any and all problems with this district. And no more excuses about the failure to fire bad staffers or hold people accountable. No more letting the staff get away with whatever they want.

The people of Seattle have spoken: they don't want ed reform. But they do want change. If our board doesn't deliver, then the wrong people may be celebrating on election night in 2019.

Delridge Dad

Anonymous said...

For HC students, EQUITY means access to accelerated learning and enhanced instruction. That's why there's a law that says essentially that.

When we start asking the majority how THEY think the minority should be treated, we're in real trouble. Asking all families with students grades 8-12 how they think AL and highly capable services should be delivered is absurd. Should we do the same for ELL, SpEd, or other services, too?


Anonymous said...

@DisAPP-- Yes and why is there are state laws everywhere around the country that essentially say that as well. In many places HC also falls under special ed.

"When we start asking the majority how THEY think the minority should be treated, we're in real trouble." Yes agree and that thought also crossed my mind. They WOULD NOT ask the majority how ELL and SpEd should be offered.
-the resistance

Eric B said...

Stephan Blanford won the general election in 2013 with 88.9% of the vote. Admittedly, his opponent was a terrible human being who had no business running for anything. Still, that's a higher percentage than Mack got.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Delridge Dad, optics, not decision-making.

Eric, thanks for checking; I thought it was in the low '80s.

NNE Mom said...

New vote count will be released at 4 p.m. today. Mack got my vote and it didn't go out in the mail until yesterday afternoon, so there's no way it's been counted yet. She may beat Blanford's record yet!


Thanks for all your vetting efforts, Melissa!

Anonymous said...

"The people have spoken?" Most people have no clue about Seattle school board. Most people in Seattle do not have children in Seattle public schools. Most people with children in Seattle public schools pay no attention to the school board.

So while the very small minority think the world revolves around Seattle public schools the truth is that most people couldn't care less.


Robert Cruickshank said...

I fully expect Eden Mack to increase her vote count over the next few days, and wouldn't be surprised if she breaks 90%. Congrats on a big win for her, for Zachary DeWolf, and for Betty Patu!

Anonymous said...

People who don't care about SPS do so at their own risk. The state of the district's schools influences hiring, jobs, city economics, city crime and the city's future. I haven't met a single parent in the SPS who doesn't care about the board.


Anonymous said...

"I haven't met a single parent who doesn't care about the board." Oh you mean at your PTSA meeting?


Melissa Westbrook said...

BJC, when I checked the vote totals last night, I was quite surprised to see the mayoral race nearly the same as board races. Somebody cares. And, given that Seattle voters okay school levies of all kinds, Seattle does care about public education.

Anonymous said...

BTW, thanks Melissa for your suggestion, way back when, to donate to Manka Dhingra's campaign. I took your advice and donated!


joanna said...

25.68% voter turnout is disappointing.

Unknown said...

Hi. I feel like I’m bathing in but was looking for a good local site to help.
We are considering a move to Seattle. Would prefer Seattle or west. I think? I’ve never even been to the state of Washington so doing as much research as possible ahead of time.
Can I find guidance here or do you have any recommendations for online research?
Schools are the most important part of where we land. Currently have 4th and 6th grader.
Thank you!!!

Eric B said...

@Liz, I think the #1 thing to think about is where you are likely to work. Traffic in the Seattle area is awful and getting worse as people move in. If you're going to work in Tacoma, the answers to your questions are a lot different than if you're going to work in Redmond or Seattle.

Another Name said...


I agree with Eric. Traffic is awful. Consider commuting times. You may want to check out OSPI's web page. OSPI (Office Superintendent of Education) will provide lists of schools. You can do additional research by going to the web pages of each school and look for educational offerings etc.

Anonymous said...

Can someone tell me how to obtain records the school district has not been forthcoming with? Does it go by dept.? Is there information that is not allowed for release,(other than personal information of course)?

Upton Sinclair

Unknown said...

Thanks. No job yet. Hoping for public transport and city living. If that helps at all..
Will check the links you mentioned. Thanks.
After living in NY & LA traffic doesn’t intimidate us. Lol.

Anonymous said...

Having lived in both those places, Seattle is worse. We are decades behind the east coast in terms of mass transit, and so much denser than LA that really short in miles commutes are unpredictable and often over an hour. Heed the advice to live close to potential job sites!


Melissa Westbrook said...

Uptown, write to publicrecords@seattleschools.org.

Tell them you are making a public disclosure request. Be specific - "from this date to this date", including key words/names, all possible documentation including memos, emails, etc that you want to see.

Unknown said...

Yikes. Ok thanks.

Anonymous said...

Washington State is a beautiful place. If quality of public education is THE most important thing, however, I'd advise looking beyond Seattle proper. If affordability is a concern, you should be aware the average rent of a 2 bdrm in Seattle is somewhere around $2700/mo.

another transplant

Unknown said...

So - you don’t recommend SPSD?
Which suburbs would you recommend for a family of four? We are pretty typical. Walk ability is high priority. As is commute and schools.
We are basically looking for city life, public transport or close enough to ride bike to work, food, culture, nature and decent schools. I don’t need the best EVER. My kids don’t have anything super special going on. But I don’t want ghetto either.
Affordability is not a huge issue. We realize it’s expensive. We paid $3100/mo rent in LA. In CT & NY we owned. We are hoping to rent as we get to know the area but ideally when it’s tike to buy the kids would not have to switch schools.

Lastly - THANK YOU for letting me hijack this post. I appreciate your feedback immensely.


Anonymous said...

I think calling neighborhoods "ghetto" is problematic and is often used to stigmatize areas with a lot of POC. The unevenness of transit coverage in the city makes it almost impossible to advise about commute without knowing where the workplace will be. Welcome to the area!


Anonymous said...

Liz-check out Bryant, Ravenna, Roosevelt for good schools, shops, restaurants, Burke Gilman trail access, light rail at UW and soon to come in Roosevelt. Wallingford is also great, but nearly impossible to find a place. Ballard or Queen Anne are awesome, but hard to access.

Schools are better in Bellevue, Kirkland and Shoreline (especially middle school) but Seattle has a lot to offer.
Good luck!

Wishing Well

Unknown said...

Thank you!

Reminder said...

I see that a board member and the VP of SEA are fired-up because the board wants a superintendent search in the middle of contract negotiations. Not sure why the chair of King Count Dems has inserted himself into this situation.

Wasn't Nyland part of the reason SEA went on strike last time? It was also Nyland that tried to close down option schools during SEA negotiations.

Reminder said...

Clarification President of SEA are fired - up...

Anonymous said...

@Liz-- My dad referred to where he grew up in the S Bronx (he was very poor, white, mom on welfare) as ghetto. He was in gangs and the neighborhood was very unsafe. My grandmother also lived in an area they referred to at times as ghetto. Denial of using the term ghetto is also denial that we have areas in this country that are largely segregated and also poor.

Anonymous said...

We don't need the mayor to have any input into our superintendent search at all. Mayoral control is bad for public schools (just look at Chicago). We don't need to voluntarily provide a stepping stone to start that process, beyond what we have already done.

My 2 cents.

Anonymous said...

"I think calling neighborhoods "ghetto" is problematic and is often used to stigmatize areas with a lot of POC."
The term historically has been used (in NY) to describe neighborhoods that were largely ethnic, poor, that's what they had in common and segregated from wealthier areas. They housed waves of "poor" immigrants not only who we consider POC today, but also Jews, S Italians, Puerto Ricans, Poles etc.

Poor immigrants lived in these neighborhoods for several generations, many left when they could afford to move elsewhere. I actually think the term "slum" sounds more derogatory than using the term ghetto. Both my parents grew up in a tenement building in a "ghetto". I did not.

P.S And I have a child in HCC!
- former NY

Anonymous said...

@Liz, not sure why you want to move to Seattle, but have you considered Portland? It has a lot of what you are looking for and is still relatively affordable.

Anonymous said...

We love West Seattle. There are great elementary schools--Alki, Genesee Hill, Fairmount Park, etc. Madison Middle School has an excellent music program. West Seattle High School has a new and highly respected principal. The neighborhood is very walkable. It is less expensive than some neighborhoods, although prices are increasing.

Outsider said...

Liz, don't do it. Seattle is terrible. It rains all the time, and the snails will give you a brain disease. I would recommend crossing Seattle off your list.

Anonymous said...

P.S. Not only immigrants, but ethnically or racially segregated could be blacks or Puerto Rican etc. I think the term ghetto though has evolved (ex a "Jewish ghetto" etc) through the years. Some people use the term as in "that is ghetto" used as a derogatory term, which is probably why it seems more offensive a term nowadays. People are trying to be sensitive to those in poverty. But ghetto's also exist in their original historical meaning and are written about and referred to also in this way.
-former NY

Anonymous said...

I'm not totally sure why people assume I have a problem with the word because I don't understand about the history of the term or that I don't understand issues of violence or poverty. I have often heard people or clothing described as "ghetto" and I find if problematic, just as I find "white trash" to be problematic and disrespectful to people living in poverty.

I don't have a problem with people picking whatever neighborhood they feel good about, but I feel like it's my responsibility to point out blind spots to other privileged people like myself. My kids are in HCC too, although I'm not totally clear how that's relevant here. Liz, if this kind of back and forth isn't your thing, I would recommend a different city ;). If you like growing and learning about this stuff, c'mon over.


Anonymous said...

Liz, In scouting your move, you might investigate Olympia, WA.

Schools are fairly good in Olympia SD.

The Nova School is a private 6,7,8 middle school, which might be worth a look.

-- Dan Dempsey

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

I received the letter below from SPS
Dear Families,

Last month we surveyed families of students currently in grades 5-12 about improving access to Advanced Learning opportunities in high school; thank you to the many families who provided feedback. In response to three open-ended questions, the top 20 ideas from each school community were analyzed and grouped thematically by an outside evaluator. We also held home language focus groups in Spanish, Vietnamese, Chinese and Somali.

We heard overwhelmingly that families want increased and equal access to advanced courses offered closer to home. We also heard questions and concerns about timing and grandfathering options. To view top-rated themes for each question, examples of specific participant’s thoughts and differences between types of schools, please view the Advanced Learning Engagement Presentation on the Community Engagement page.

Multiple solutions and ways to address community feedback were explored. A preferred recommendation was shared with the School Board’s Operations Committee on Nov. 2. The preferred recommendation is to develop regional Highly Capable (HC) pathways for students entering 9th grade beginning in 2019-20. Students in a high school HC pathway in 2018-19 will be grandfathered in their current pathway school. The suggested regional pathways are based on students’ attendance area high school.


Anonymous said...

part 2 of above letter




Ballard and Ingraham


Franklin and Rainer Beach


Garfield and Lincoln (opening 2019)


Roosevelt and Nathan Hale

West Seattle

West Seattle and Chief Sealth

Next Steps: The School Board will determine any changes to the high school HC pathways. The preferred recommendation, as part of the Student Assignment Plan (SAP) update, will be introduced to the School Board on Nov. 15 and staff anticipate the Board will act on Dec. 6. Adjustments to the draft high school boundaries will be made to accommodate the final advanced learning service model decision. Once HC pathway schools are confirmed by the School Board, district and school staff will work with university partners, students, and families to discuss advanced learning services, including course offerings, at each identified school.

Background, updates, and frequently asked questions can be found on the SPS homepage news feed.

If you have questions about the recommended changes to High School Advanced Learning services and HC pathways, please email advlearn@seattleschools.org. Comments may also be sent directly to the School Board at schoolboard@seattleschools.org.

(The pathway part didn't copy properly but on this blog we have discussed what they currently are).


Anonymous said...

Went to the WSHS pathway meeting 20+ people around the HC table. None to one around the others. Stephen Martin and Kari Hanson are real troupers. Kari has taken the brunt of the blowback. I truly respect their commitment to our kids. I believe they have now heard it in all the meetings. Yet they say they have no influence on the process. Contact the Board.

So contact the board ASAP as of this post they want to have less than 30 freshmen per class at FHS and WSH. Nowhere enough to have have a robust offering. LHS will have to bus to GHS when there is BHS and RHS there for them to follow.

The cohort is the only social and emotional support currently supported by SPS. You are 3x more likely to commit suicide if you are HC and not getting any services. They have nothing to support these kids. High schools have denied additional counseling. HS have denied them the basic continuation of their course work out their principals .... principles.

A lot more thought should be done to this but as of right now... the fan is hitting the shit and it is hitting every HCC family from Shoreline to Renton. And if you are all hcc agnostic. You wont be very shortly.

APP Classes priority
are Seniors (for graduation)
HCC Kids
anyone else

So the magical cup is moving so fast you don't see it. If there are 30 kids who need AP XXX and there are 30 kids who are in HC that AP class is now gone for your kid too. Spectrum kids who once filled that class can't get in. No program for you. Staff has an easier way to deal with enrollment. TL would have sorted it out.
TLtoosoon :-(

NESeattleMom said...

Liz, Columbia City; Phinney Ridge; Maple Leaf; etc. There is a problem with finding affordable housing in Seattle. People who live in houses are settled. To move, not so easy. If you are renting, be sure to ask apartment leasing agent about their affordable units, if you may qualify. Older housing is being torn down everywhere and replaced with expensive townhouses. Consider Shoreline.

NESeattleMom said...

Liz, the first three places I mentioned were ideas to consider

Anonymous said...

@annon1:30am--thanks for posting, haven't heard much from HC families who would be sent to Franklin and W.Seattle. I wonder if Tolley/Wyeth/Herndon figure those 60 voices will get lost in the noise. Gotta figure RHS and BHS families are at least pacified, and QA/Mag families typically get the eye roll for being rich/privileged if they get worked up about any injustice.

This is in the hands of a board in transition, with an anti-HC ops team. It is up to Patu, Peters/Mack and Burke to make sure those voices don't get lost in the noise and I hope they demand proof of complete and consistent master schedules at any pathway site that is equal or better than the current Garfield class selections. They can't do it.

Anyone have time, energy, skills to run a survey for the HCC families that captures actual data and doesn't delete fodor inconsistent with a pre-planned direction?


Anonymous said...

Liz, we raised our kids in Queen Anne, which is very close to downtown Seattle and a lovely neighborhood. Magnolia is another beautiful place near large Discovery Park and offers a quieter local center. Both of these areas are in high demand.
We did a combination of private and public schools. The high schools we chose were public and offered very good teachers. Our only complaint was the math instruction. Seattle used reform math curricula which was subpar. I believe the district is phasing this out but it is something to look at carefully. Good luck!
S parent

Anonymous said...

Hello Liz, if you haven't noticed already, Seattle is Super PC, so the east coast slang and LA cool doesn't resonate as well. Have lived in one the big cities in N.E, and L.A., and the traffic, while poor, isn't as bad here. No one does 2 hour commutes to find affordable housing like in L.A./Orange County. What lacks is good rail transit, and the bus service is OK if you find a home and job on the bus line. West Seattle seems to hit a lot of your desires, lots of parks and beaches, good schools, and a very strong community feel. WS is like its own island, and its very common to run into neighbors, school friends and good people. There are many neighborhood pockets to choose from based on location and price. Check out the West Seattle Blog for more info. Also, many local neighborhoods have local blogs, so do a search on that specific area of the city. Good luck, and bring some of that NYC charm, it's missed!

WS Dad

Anonymous said...

Liz, if "schools are the most important part of where [you] land," I'd be hesitant to recommend Seattle. We moved here from CA, and it's been a disappointing experience educationally. The district is dysfunctional, and there's a lot of pitting of one group against others. It feels like one long, constant fight. If your kids are "typical" in most ways if may be fine, but if they are academically gifted or disabled or have special learning needs or may have something not yet diagnosed, I'd think twice.

Traffic can be bad, but it depends on where you are what you're doing. Many kids end up playing "club" sports (e.g., competitive soccer) or are in specialized activities like dance , and in such cases you can end up with long, painful, and frequent commutes. I spend several hours a day in the car shuttling kids about, plus often end up sitting in the car waiting (or finding a random place to hang out) during practices because it's too hard to get home and back in time for pick up. There often aren't a lot of good options for extracurricular activities close to home, so many people end up in similar situations.

Re: housing, the neighborhoods are all quite different. It's hard to know exactly what you mean when you say you're looking for city living, but to me Seattle only kind of feels like that. Many of the family-friendly neighborhoods people have mentioned have a bit of a suburban feel to me. They're walkable to an extent--if you're not too far from that neighborhood's core--but that core can start to feel small after not too long. When I think of city living I think of being able to jump on a bus/train and get anywhere easily (not the case here); being able to walk to a wide variety of cheap ethnic eats (you can find all types in Seattle, but most individual neighborhoods are more limited in offerings); and being able to experience all sorts of cultural diversity and events (Seattle isn't all that diverse, and most of the neighborhoods being suggested are very white--and while you can find culturally rich experiences, you'll generally need to go out of your way to get there). Some neighborhoods suffer from a shortage of park space, making it almost impossible to find a good place to throw a frisbee around on a nice day (we've had days where we had to jump in the car and drive around for quite a while to find a free spot). My own neighborhood is very walkable (for groceries, drug store, bank, etc., but I often get tired of the dozen or so restaurants, and if I need to do any shopping for clothes or gifts or something interesting I also need to look elsewhere. It often feels like my walkable, city neighborhood is just a place to sleep before doing the rest of my life somewhere else.

I don't know if this makes sense, but I thought I'd share anyway. It's a big decision to move to Seattle, and I'd say it's been a mixed experience for us. Education is very important for us, too, and we gave up great schools for a disappointing experience here. After many years of not getting kids' needs met, we ended up in private schools--something we NEVER would have thought possible given our strong commitment to public education. But you have to do what you have to do, right?

Best of luck in your move, whenever and wherever! If there's any way to come visit for a few weeks before you go all in, I'd recommend it.

here now

Anonymous said...

30 students does not make a viable high school cohort. This 5 pathway (really 6 pathway with IHS) plan will eliminate access to the most advanced coursework, and not just for HC students

- First, students do not take classes as a monolithic block. Once in high school, students branch out and may be on different pathways for world language, math, science, etc., even within the HC cohort. This is not middle school. IBX, for example, has had a cohort of around 100 students each freshman year, yet they have only one section of advanced 12th grade LA offered this year. One section. In a given year, perhaps only one section of students is on a pathway to take the most advanced IB or AP math or science course.

-A master schedule cannot be built with single section courses. Teachers are limited in how many unique courses they can teach (3?) and creating a workable student schedule with single section offerings becomes nearly impossible. If the master schedule creates scheduling conflicts, a student is SOL, even if that class is a core class.

-Schools are not going to prioritize AP or other more advanced classes. They are going to prioritize getting students to graduate. This plan will truncate offerings to the most basic of AP classes and most likely eliminate more advanced math and science offerings (Calculus based AP Physics, AP Calc BC, AP Chemistry...). Schools will tell them they can go to Running Start or take the non-honors/non-AP offerings. Who knows what will happen with world language offerings.

-Students in a high school HC pathway in 2018-19 will be grandfathered in their current pathway school.

It's my understanding the only official HC pathway is Garfield, as IBX is an option. Does that mean only Garfield students will be grandfathered?

Once HC pathway schools are confirmed by the School Board, district and school staff will work with university partners, students, and families to discuss advanced learning services, including course offerings, at each identified school.

University partners? Does that mean Seattle Central, North...in other words, Running Start?


Anonymous said...

Running Start also has out of pocket costs for families. Fees can be over $100/Qtr for full-time students, with books adding another several hundred dollars.

not free

Anonymous said...

Running start is a fantastic program keeping students in school.

Expand RS

Anonymous said...

Running Start can be a good option for many students - I don't think there is any disagreement - but the key word is "option." Should SPS move in the direction of it being the only option, kind of a forced option, for students who run out of coursework with the proposed "expansion" of HC pathways? If a significant number of students feel RS is the only option for accessing advanced coursework and they leave SPS, won't neighborhood high schools still limit the number of advanced courses they offer? Will there really be increased access to AL, as SPS suggests?

questionable plan

Anonymous said...

Should SPS be known as a remedial and grade-level only type district, not for advanced students? Do we really need to outsource our advanced offerings because we're unable or unwilling to provide them?

@Expand RS, how does RS keep students in school? Doesn't it just transfer them elsewhere? And were you suggesting that the students who take RS classes are the ones in danger of dropping out?

not likely

Melissa Westbrook said...

Expand RS, it is a good program but some irony on saying it keeps kids in school.

I’m actually surprised the district is pushing this b/c they lose money on students not in their classes.

Anonymous said...

I know of 6 students from Ballard and Ingraham who would have most likly dropped out, but RS changed their minds. Do you even know any students in RS?

Expand RS

Anonymous said...

@expand RS, yes, I do. The students I know who did RS did so to access advanced courses they couldn't otherwise get. I'm interested to hear how RS keeps other kids in school though, so if you wouldn't mind sharing more about this, it might help with understanding. I was asking serious questions, not being sarcastic.

Not likely

Anonymous said...

@Liz-- Liz - I moved from NY years ago and have lived all over Seattle. We love Ballard. Ballard is one neighborhood that has access to a ton of amenities nearby. North of 65th is zoned single family. It can be more affordable than NE Seattle, except along waterfront areas which have views. The elementary schools, middle and high school are among the best in the city. There is a great community feel and the downtown is very walkable & has a great Sunday market. Golden Gardens Beach and Carkeek Park are nearby. It has a small town feel within a big city. If commuting to downtown via bus, it is a straight commute 15th to downtown over the Ballard bridge, but there is no light rail yet.
NW mom

Anonymous said...

@Egads-- Wow good catch. Yes university partners....this would likely mean Running Start.

So basically they are stating that if a school does not offer AP classes or enough sections etc. access to Running start is the "advanced learning service". I am not so sure this would meet legal requirements, because they are not providing for them within the district.

Basically the truth is, they are dismantling a program that better ensures identified HC kids can access services (Garfield) and dispersing these students without a plan to service them at the 5 schools.

When they could easily instead propose to expand the program and continue to offer it at fewer sites where there would be enough students.

Anonymous said...

Agree with KL--expanding access is their supposed motivation, so keep a site at Garfield and add a site or two in the northend. Minimum cohort threshold of 90 per grade with more students in pipeline should drive decisions to open new site.

Fix AL

Anonymous said...

There's "keeping kids in school," as in keeping them from dropping out entirely, and "keeping kids in [SPS] schools."

Providing the option of Running Start certainly keeps kids in school, and they can pursue a 2 yr degree which may lead directly to a job or provide transfer credits for a 4 year degree. It's a great option for some students. I think the objection is about forcing kids out of SPS schools and into Running Start to access more advanced high school level classes - courses that in years past have been offered in SPS high schools by having a critical mass of students at selected pathway schools. Without a critical mass of students, more students will be left little choice but to leave their SPS high school and enroll in Running Start. Had SPS plans started with the assumption of a minimum freshman cohort of 90 HC students for a designated pathway, would they have put forward a 5 (really 6) pathway plan? It does not seem like Franklin and West Seattle (or even Garfield, Ballard, and Roosevelt after the split to Lincoln) will have a large enough HC cohort to offer a 4 year continuum of coursework.

questionable plan