Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Seattle School Board Meeting, December 6, 2017 - Part Two

Part Two of the December 2017 School Board meeting covers one item - approval of the Student Assignment Transition Plan for 2018-2019.  Get a cup of coffee because this will be a long thread.  I have truncated some remarks as spoken so they will seem somewhat choppy at time (most people don't always speak in complete sentences).  I also note that a few directors really went to the mat for high schools in their region.

What was fascinating is how many people on the dais and staff at the microphone said:

- they welcomed discussion
- thought it should be a long discussion (the Superintendent said that he hoped to have a two-hour discussion - well, he surely got his wish)
- lamented that this discussion should have happened sooner (and that came from Board directors).

They are absolutely right.  These in-depth, multi-layers, intertwined issues should have been gone over much sooner and in a methodical manner.

I would fault both the previous Board for not pushing this harder and staff for their usual lack of full information to both the Board and parents and then getting to a "gotta get it done" place.

I will also cite the curious case of how HCC placement completely dominated the discussion and has dominated all discussions.  The number of HCC students, proportional to the overall student population, doesn't warrant that kind of status and yet both staff and Board made it so.  I have never seen it happen in other assignment plans to this level and I think there's has been a movement to elevate it in order to dismantle it.

FYI, here's the five-school pathway plan:

If you go to Ballard or Ingraham, it would be Ballard.
If you go to Franklin or Rainier Beach, it would be Franklin.
If you go to Garfield, it would be Garfield and Lincoln.
If you go to Roosevelt, it would be Roosevelt and Hale.
If you go to West Seattle, it would be WSHS and Chief Sealth.

I can't find the Options for boundaries (unfortunately, not in the BAR).  Anyone?

The BAR for this item had three amendments.  Per Robert's Rules of Order, the amendments were considered first, one by one, in order.

Amendment One came from Directors Burke and Harris:

Approval of this item would amend the Student Assignment Transition Plan for 2018-19 to delete assignment pathway changes scheduled for implementation in 2019-20 and combine them with high school boundary approval to be implemented in 2019-20.

Basically, combining the boundaries work with the assignment plan to "provide better clarity for families in their school enrollment planning."

Sounds good to me. 

The Superintendent weighed in, saying he wanted it voted down.  

There are a lot of moving parts here and putting them off is frankly, bigger challenge than we have now. I would really appreciate if we have the discussion, not having any understanding of where the Board is coming from (but there has been discussion). Words fail me. Too many options to go thru for boundaries. 

Question: who created those options?  I believe it was staff.

The Board then gave Ashley Davies, Student Enrollment, Flip Herndon, Facilities and Wyeth Jessee, Special Services, 15 minutes to cover the issues.

The number one request from staff was for "clarity" - over and over, they stated they had no idea what the Board wanted.  That may be true to some degree but I have been at committee meetings where the Board very clearly asked questions and asked for data in order to give that clarity and hadn't received it or it was incomplete.

Mr. Jessee stated that they had received 5,000 comment cards from the community meetings and summarized  the overall tone this way:

Parents want equitable access and we do have services at every single school. “I think we don’t always tell our good story. But we are at a place where our story needs to continue to shift.”

I have said this, over and over - the district does provide services at every single high school.  Saying they don't will not make it true.

The explanation of community engagement in the Assignment plan begins on page 49 of the BAR. 

Mr. Jessee started doing something that other staff members also did - he would make a blanket statement like "our story needs to continue to shift" without saying why.  The district rarely can tell a complete story and this meeting, this issue showed that off well.

He said that Garfield could not handle any more students and that there were over 4,000 students IDed for services in high school (and I believe he meant HCC but he was not clear).  He also said there were heat maps of where students are but, of course, were those in the BAR? No.  (I think someone asked and Nate Van Duzer of the Board office said they had been in a Work Session document but were not part of the BAR.  The Superintendent helpfully suggested parents "Google" it if they want to see them.

Side note: sometimes the Board but especially staff go on autopilot when they are speaking and expect the average person to keep up.  Even for someone like me who is fairly well-versed, I sometimes cannot follow the discussion.

He did bring out the oft-stated point that 90% of students in SPS AP/IB classes are not HCC.  I'm not sure what the big surprise here is - that there are many students who want to access rigor?  A good thing, one would think.  And, those classes are open to all which is also a good thing.

There was mention of "segregation" and that to sunset the pathways for HCC in 2021-2022 would be a "win-win for equitable access and opportunity" and then "work all smaller granular details with community and stakeholders."

Let that sink in.  One minute it is stated that the overwhelming majority of high school students in AP are not HCC and yet it's still not equitable.  And, let's eliminate pathways for HCC students and just have access to rigor in all high schools to the level needed as put forth by the State.  But, the details?  We'll figure that out later or as we go.  Sure, that's one way you could do it.

Comments/Questions from the Board


Super excited for more AL opps. Concerned referencing Jill and labelling and setting pathways. Just 5 schools as pathways and it may bump out neighborhood kids for AL kids. 

She said she felt she hadn't received enough data like info on Running Start.

I think she raises a good issue.  The district knows where HC students live and what neighborhood schools they will be returning to.  Where is that data so that principals will know how many identified HC students are in their schools AND how many would be returning if the district makes every high school a pathway?  Because while Mack is right about possibly bumping out neighborhood kids, other kids who may have entered a school that is not their neighborhood high school, could get bumped out as well.

Of course, this all begs the question - If HC pathways are gone, will the district grandfather everyone who has started at one high school but now should go to another?  I don't even think that could be possible except for seniors.

Director Burke was exceptionally on his game at this meeting and his remarks reflect that.

Pathways versus tracking. Pathways get on or off. That’s a destination. Don’t want pathways as a district because I think of high school experience and alt learning, skills center, Running Start, if you narrow focus of students because of label.

We have legal obligation to HC students and we also have MTSS. We should be able to build out and provide those social-emotional supports and interventions and not have it explicitly tied as a mandate (even though it is).

I see potential unintended consequences. Roosevelt would grow 305 students under this plan. Then shift boundaries to accommodate that.

Some communities don’t feel engaged with plan. Principals are part of team but wish we/communities had been engaged. Lincoln will be awesome and pair Lincoln with Garfield, and HC go to Garfield.

I hear what you’re saying and I’m concerned about Lincoln. Difficult to redirect HC families to roll-up school. Between grandfathering this massive shifting and the adding of AP and many high schools have more robust AL options, to try hard to wrap around options. We can’t tell parents where to go. No certainty in the choices there are going to make.

So while I do understand we are a city that loves info and all options, the reality, we can’t satisfy public engagement with everybody.

Public engagement we have done “to some degree” make up your mind

With roll up and grandfathering, if we’re heading to all in schools by 21/22, it may be for naught.

Don’t push this off. 

Wait, what?  We can't tell parents where to go?  Yes, you can - it's called the Assignment Plan.  Now parents have some choices of where but the district can and has limited that in the past.   She also first says there was a lot of public engagement and those "community meetings" were more like open houses and had no options for real discussion that would help those who attended.  But then she says it was done "to some degree."


Thinking about AL, if we had it in south end schools. Franklin has no special programs and is successful and RBHS has IB and what if HCC and Cleveland, I feel that the programs are quite sufficient for schools we have. I would love HCC but how it connects with existing programs.

Kids are already advanced and how would it help our schools?

We have programs in 3 high schools that are raising bar for students and Franklin that doesn’t want special programs. Principal doesn’t want and wants all students to be treated the same way. We should use Franklin’s model for other schools.

How will benefit or advance students in SE? 

I was fairly disappointed in Patu's performance this meeting.  She seemed to know little about other high schools, kept calling HC "a program" and even Jessee corrected her "it's a service."  How would HC help SE students?  I would suggest she go ask the RBHS principal about how IB has benefited that school.  More rigor helps more kids.  HC kids help drive rigor.

On the agenda, the third amendment - Directors Geary, DeWolf and Patu - would take Franklin off as a pathway school because their principal doesn't want it.

This brings up yet another trend - powerful high school principals.  I would say that in all the time I have been an advocate, I have never seen high school principals with so much control over their schools.  I find it troubling.  Yes, every school community is different BUT without consistency in offerings, foundational issues, etc., you have a recipe for autocratic schools where parents don't get why one high school can have a very different curriculum/schedule/day than another.


Reconcile the fact, something I’m grateful for, that I come in with different perspective and not steeped in work, no kid in district, etc.

Policy 0030 – sticks out multiple pathways to success. Equitable access. How to achieve. How long to wait? 2011 Stranger article, parent said, two districts, one north and one south. Garfield as slave ship.

Some comments that came though Thought Exchange, equal access. We have a vision for racial equity – (what is that?)

It was good of Director DeWolf to acknowledge his greenness on issues because it was certainly on display.  To quote one parent from one article and believe that to be the truth is not a good thing for a director.  

There had been a 9th grader from Ballard who spoke this evening about wanting her sibs to also be able to go to Ballard.  Directors asked about this issue and Ms. Davies said current students would be able to finish where they start.  She said nothing about siblings so clearly that may be coming for some families.

Echoing Jessee' comment about changing the pathways and then getting the granular work done to support that:

Guarantee to community that we are moving in that direction. Serve students in assignment school and commitment that “we will get here.” 

I have to smile at that comment. What guarantees has this district ever made and kept? I can think of just a handful.  I think it hard to say to parents who had an idea of how their district-identified student accessing a state-required program "trust us." 

The queen of wonk made a solid comment at this point.

Policy we have that is confusing. 2190 addressed HC services, state mandated. Context and definition being offered to HC students. They need services and we have a policy and that adequate cohort size and other services in that. What does that mean? Take it out of policy for cohort.

Policy conflicts with amendment.


My understanding that sufficient cohort is IDed and Jessee can sufficient to plan around. My discussion with district is that number is satisfied.

We have to meet the policy and to the State for approval so if not, then we will have to 21-22, redirect resources or overall review. 

How to identify and then broaden it and will see more kids and racially proportionate and that cohort will be larger. 

What is confusing here is that no staff came forward to say that comment about the cohort is true.  I found that odd that didn't happen.  But it will be interesting to see what OSPI will say to this plan.  If rejected, that certainly could throw a monkeywrench in the boundaries planning.

I also think she mistakes the number of HC-identified students in a school for a cohort.  If the cohort doesn't have a baseline of classes together - as many gifted programs do - then I'm not sure you can call it a cohort.  I'd have to ask the State what that looks like.

Also, the community engagement, across languages, seems to reflect that parents see the need for the cohort. 

I'll pause here and point out one point that I will cover in a future thread.

Where's the change, the plan to make her last statement happen?  Where's her advocacy and action for that? Why does board after board decry the program and yet, nothing changes.  Former director Sue Peters had a great Work Session presentation from a noted expert with solid, doable changes and.... nothing.  Certainly no superintendent has undertaken this work and if the Board doesn't direct that, I have to wonder about the sincerity of the words.

She then said this:

Franklin doesn’t want it and it would be culturally inappropriate.

When is it "culturally inappropriate" to provide rigor to a high school?  I'm not sure I understand exactly what would happen at Franklin given they already have HC students there.  I suspect the school wouldn't be all that different, given that the number of HC students would be diffused going to five different pathways.

I also wonder why it would be okay for Roosevelt and Ballard - two very overenrolled schools - to have to take this on.

Super uncomfortable. Arm-chair quarterbacking. What I heard from staff – they want clarity on long-term vision.

Amendment 2 aligns with Option 4.

His concern with Amendment 3 if we pull Franklin, Id like to pull Ballard and Roosevelt out.

A discomfort with Option 3 is Amendment 1. Can we have two weeks to overlay that and consider Franklin and others removed. Can we build out HC at Sealth and Ingraham via IB. 

Burke brought up a point that other directors echoed - could they have overlap maps to see, "if this, then that?"  There are a lot of moving parts here.


We saw options but not amendments, at last work session.  Not enough discussion around pathways.

Believe Amendment 1 is value add.  In Operations and via community engagement;we have to work it out in the next month.

If student is HCC but doesn’t go HCC pathway, are they no longer HCC?
Davies – They still retain eligibility.
Pinkham labels on students, seems like if HCC student in that area school doesn’t have what they need and can’t go to Garfield, is that a violation of policy?

Do all high schools have AP classes ?  
Daviesall do have AP courses (Editor clarification: all comprehensives have AP classes)
From moment a student is eligible, they need services at their attendance area school, if that is where they are enrolled.
Pinkham conversation with Jessee and one native program at Sealth/Denny, how to incorporate tie-breakers for them?

Do Ballard and Roosevelt have special programs in their schools?   

JesseeHC is a service not a program. Designation, not a cohort. 2190 policy. AP and IB and accessible to every student. 

Just to interject, the district DID use to have a cohort model and it would have been useful to remind directors of that change.  

Patu Do both have HC?

JesseeNot HC.  In north end 50% stay at high school.  They get individual schedule but not a cohort. 

Patu Honors and advanced learning classes?

Franklin doesn’t want HC, if they don’t want it, why push into a school that doesn’t want it?

Jessee(Principal)Wiley does have HC students and serve them.  Doesn’t want to “track” – travel on their own and not matriculate with other students. 

Patu Franklin treats all kids the same way and look at that school as an example.  Such a separation because of branding.  “serving kids all the same way”

JesseeThat’s what we are trying to reverse.  Policy 2190, it’s dated and needs revision.  0030 are not aligned. We want to integrate that and we are top quartile in the nation urban districts for IEPs and students in advanced courses but not for students of color.

That last point was one I did not know about IEPs and students in advanced learning.  
Pinkham (seemingly frustrated)

Where they (HC students) go to school, once they get in , they will be HC but no cohort but if we are satisfying requirements at schools , then why did we do pathways?  How did we get here?

Again, if staff had explained the former cohort model, then it might have made more sense to Pinkham.


Garfield has able to accelerate a couple of years ahead and there are not entirely the same offerings at other schools.

HC designation is outlier and we have a lot of these 2E students and their needs are not the same thing and not same population of kids. They are not just studious smart kids and I don’t want that to get lost. We have a law for a reason.

District set-up has compounded situation. Not to take away needed services from HCC students in this process.

Not understanding how 5 pathways as an interim does that for all high schools.

Incentivize HC to make different choices. We have IB and space at Ingraham.

Struggling with worrythat give pathways don’t get to Option 4 but move backwards or sideways. High concentration aofstudents that are HC identified and overlay another structure and it’s moving where we want to be. Can’t support transition plan but Amendment 1 helps. 

Harris points out at this point, they have been discussing this for over an hour.

How do we regard this one. Great fear is we leave and talk and then don’t act.  We have been doing moving piece and they are all moving and you and I have talked to staff about CSIPS and making sure that HC offerings are outlined and not one-year growth.

Staff is working on and hone and refine. 
CSIPS are the gold standard for what schools offer?  The reality is not there for that belief.
She mentioned the thinking of high school principals.  Why didn't Executive Directors go to the high school principals in their regions, ask about these boundary issues and deliver a report to the district?  I don't know but it would seem to be helpful.

She spoke of “Cultural safety” and at Franklin, it would impact kids of color should that track be pushed in. 

What is interesting is that there seems to be a narrative about HC that is coming from from some on the speakers list and aligning with some on the Board.  Here's what one speaker said:
There should be "peer teaching where all academic tides rise” and "I believe in the ability to relate to my peers of many backgrounds versus assimilation pressure into homogeneous group in order to have access to higher education.” And the need for “holistic AP.”

First, I have no problem with kids interacting with each other on projects. However this idea that HC students should be student teaching is wrong.  Those students are there to learn as well (and yes, teaching can reinforce learning but why does their learning need to be different from others?)

Next , that sentence about "relating to peers" is a pretty loaded one and one that is based on assumptions that the speaker could not possibly know for certain.   (Another speaker said, "More than 90% of families want more inclusive program."  I asked how the speaker knew that and he said he "heard it from some families."  Well, that does not make 90%.   

Sometimes I wonder how directors take statements like these.

Making one of the few jokes of the night - "It's hard to keep my mouth shut and maybe that's why I was elected president."

Real concerns about polarization of this and dealing with redlining in this city which is 30+ years old. 

All services at all schools? Yes but can we afford it?

There's a GREAT question.  If the district wants to just do away with pathways, there will be a cost.  Like they must provide an AP class even for eight students if those are HC students.  No whining about cost because the district is making the choice end pathways so schools will have to have near the amount of AP or Honors or IB that other former HC pathway schools have in order to fulfill that promise.

I think there are cultural and attitudinal issues. We don’t keep our promises historically in this district and setting up 5 pathways is too big a leap and do it at a less sharp angle.

Distressed to get amendment this afternoon that talks about WSHS and nothing to me. Like to see us perhaps take a look to IBX at Ingraham, Chief Sealth, RBHS as pathways. Applaud Dr. Wiley for her candor to the Board. Disturbs me that she was advised of these pathway changes late in the game.

Engagement doesn’t feel good.

I understand parents that fear their kids be at top of college arms race. Raising the bar for their children.  But I understand hearing at community meetings in my district, "Principal Vance fellow did a great job at RHS with a strong, rigorous program but I’m not going to sacrifice my child" -  that language is distressing. 

I cosponsored Amendment 1 because this should be in boundary changes and reframe our conversation and whatever we do keep pressure on for momentum and being fair for all students. 

I disagree and I think it will alleviate pressure.  Not a leap but a move.  No more delay.  We were elected to make tough decisions.  

Davies Last comment.  Good conversation and we are glad to hear from you.  Think about the conversation around boundaries. It is critical for staff to get guidance from the Board to narrow down the pathways definitively tomorrow and not look at this separately.  

I am worried that putting the HC pathway conversation with boundary conversation, pitting communities against each other, because we will be looking at geographics that are influenced by HC populations.  As a staff person working really closely with this, there’s a lot of data and I don’t want you to feel overwhelmed.  I don’t want our families to feel overwhelmed and so I want us to be really really careful about what may come if we don’t to start to provide and whatever you need, time with us to hone in and clear with families on where we are heading.

Too late, I think families who know about these are overwhelmed and for those who have no idea this is going on, will not be happy.

I will end Part Two here, realizing that I have more than 13 more pages of notes to write up.


Anonymous said...

I think parents, especially in the north-end, should be able to see the high school maps that will result from a 5-school pathway for HCC. They need to know how it's going to affect hundreds of non-HCC students - that it will push many students out of their closest school and into Lincoln and Ingraham, much farther away. There's nothing wrong with Ingraham, except if you live a few blocks from Ballard. Lincoln will not have its own fields for any sports.

Both parents and the board members need to have concrete information. These discussions sound very theoretical and do not show the very real costs of the decisions - either in budget, in reassignments, and in walkability/transportation.

Each of the choices has real downsides and it is always easier to swallow when the process has been transparent and no one is blindsided by unexpected losses after the decisions have been made.


Anonymous said...

The "let's dissolve HC pathways and figure it out later plan" sounds like a disaster. If students get dispersed, the district simply can't deliver on a promise to serve HC students needing a 9-12 pathway of classes. I will channel Kellie: "high school is the master schedule." Even if the district supported small classes for upper level AP courses (unlikely), it would be nearly impossible to create a workable schedule of several single section courses.

be wary

Anonymous said...

tolley and jesse are like corrupt butchers with their fingers on the scales of public opinion. i would think a foia request might lend to a different answer than what they have pronounced with the cards and idiotic thoughtexchange.

the star headed cult from tm wants nothing but no more hcc. the board is meeting on how to keep hcc going forward based on the states mandate. did sps pay for the apparthied stickers? does the board know that geary is total collusion with this group that baggers their members to speak at board meetings even if "equity" isn't on the agenda?

no more ap 9th grade ghs
honors for none ghs
social engineering social studies
no hs hcc
almost no hs hcc

all of these have been endorsed by the star headed warriors. tolley and jesse pay them to say these things. or at least pay them.

why do they have a grant!

groups have worked for zero pay why do they get paid? geary repeats their untruths. ugh. patu thinks fhs shouldn't have hcc forced on them but votes to do just that. if only i had a brain.


Eric B said...

Momof2, take a look at maps for the Dec 14 HS Boundaries Task Force meeting here:
https://www.seattleschools.org/families_communities/committees/high_school_boundary/updates/december_14__2017_meeting_documents from F2-F5 and H3. Maps E and F are here: https://www.seattleschools.org/families_communities/committees/high_school_boundary/updates/august_22__2017_meeting_documents

For the north end, the 4 pathways data is about the same as 5 pathways, since the changes from 4-5 happen between Garfield, RBHS, and Franklin. For that option, the only boundary maps that do not grossly overload* one or more high schools are F2, F3, and F5. F2 overloads Lincoln and Roosevelt by 100-150 each while underfilling Ingraham. F3 overloads Garfield and Roosevelt by about 100 each while underfilling Lincoln. F5 overfills Garfield by 120 while underfilling Lincoln.

For the totally decentralized model, F3, F4, and F5 do not grossly overload any one school, although Hale is a little higher than I'd like for F3.

For HCC at Garfield/Ingraham only, with Lincoln in Ingraham, E, F, and H3 nominally work, although all three have Ingraham and Ballard higher than I am comfortable with and H3 is a complete nonstarter politically because the boundary goes literally to Ballard's doorstep. E and F could be tweaked to work by shuffling some of Ballard and Ingraham's students to Lincoln and some of Lincoln's students to Roosevelt. Of the two, I think E is healthier for Garfield's enrollment long-term.

For HCC at Garfield and Lincoln, with an option to Ingraham, none of the options presented work.

Also note, all of this discussion above is assuming that kids are widgets. I know that's not true, and there are some other issues that would need to be addressed in all of the maps.

* I'm using a definition of more than 200 students over capacity in 2021-22 for "grossly overload".

Anonymous said...

Eric B, thank you for the links.

Why do you say that none of the options presented work if HCC is at Lincoln and Garfield, with the option for Ingraham? Is it only the options presented that are unworkable, or do you think it's unworkable to have those three?


Anonymous said...

To those including Eric B and Kellie who have looked at the maps and numbers more: Am I wrong in seeing that they're using current high school population numbers for these maps? We know that there is a large increase in students currently in middle school (is that primarily) the north end), so should expect the high schools to have hundreds more students than they do now. Are they accounting for them?

My concern is that many parents of non-HCC parents may be advocating for (or not objecting to) HCC decentralization under the impression that it's more "equitable". However, they may be shocked at how negatively that will affect hundreds or thousands of other students who are pushed out of certain neighborhood schools like Roosevelt and Ballard by returning/staying HCC students.

I would want all parents to have accurate information so that they can lobby the Board appropriately and not be surprised after the decisions have been made.


Melissa Westbrook said...

Momof2, and I made that point in the thread. Make HCC students stay in their neighborhood and watch that ripple through the entire school population.

Anonymous said...

@Momof2- Schools remain overcrowded in all scenarios because we have a massive growth of kids in the north end. I think that some are pushing a specific agenda with other statements to the contrary. HC are also already significantly enrolled in the north end schools in their neighborhoods, about half choose their neighborhood schools already. Boundaries will change no matter what. I don't think you are completely understanding or open to understanding what Eric B has demonstrated.

Anonymous said...

If staff wants to discontinue the practice of relieving north end overcrowding by sending HC students to Garfield, they’ll have to identify another group they can push south. Who will it be? Queen Anne students? Laurelhurst students?

Fairmount Parent

Eric B said...

I don't think that Momof2 has misinterpreted anything I said. Numbers above are based on the High School Comparison Table PDF that is posted at the first link I sent above, which has 5-year projections. I believe it is accurate that the maps only show last year's HS resident students.

I believe that the maps presented so far are unworkable, not that there is no way to draw a workable map for Lincoln/Garfield + Ingraham. The maps presented so far make the Lincoln and/or Ingraham zones too big, so those schools are grossly overloaded. As a consequence, Ballard and Roosevelt are seriously underenrolled. If I had to draw up an acceptable Lincoln/Garfield map, I would probably do one of the following:

Base map F2
Move ~50 students in Eastlake, some of South Lake Union, and maybe some of Downtown from Lincoln to Garfield
Move ~200 students from Lincoln to Roosevelt
Move ~250 students from Ingraham to Ballard
Probably move a few students from Ingraham to Lincoln to clean up the north boundaries of Lincoln and Ballard

Base map F4
Move ~100 students from Garfield to Lincoln, likely from SLU and north Downtown
Move ~200 students from Lincoln to Roosevelt
Move ~300 students from Ingraham to Ballard
Again, a few students moved to clean up north boundaries of Lincoln and Ballard

Both of these options could be made a little easier by moving the Garfield/Franklin boundary a little further north to move ~100 students from Garfield to Franklin, but that raises some pretty serious equity issues in pushing neighborhood kids out of Garfield to make room for HCC kids. I would not propose that myself, but I would not be surprised to see it proposed.

A more acceptable way to reduce pressure on Garfield would be to go to a 3-site model with West Seattle High picking up HCC students from WS and Chief Sealth. Those students have difficult Metro options to get to Garfield right now and WSHS has a fair amount of space.

There is *just barely* enough room in the N End high schools for the 5-year projections. I do not know whether growth in HS is expected to level out after 5 years.

Eric B said...

Also note above that when I say to move students in or out of Lincoln, they may or may not be actually changing schools. The students moved out of Lincoln to Roosevelt, for example, are currently at Roosevelt. Likewise, some of the students moved from Ingraham to Ballard are currently in the Ballard zone. The changes above would generally reduce the total number of students impacted by boundary changes.

Anonymous said...

K said, "HC are also already significantly enrolled in the north end schools in their neighborhoods, about half choose their neighborhood schools already."

This is a very recent change. In years past, most HC students followed the pathway to Garfield. With GHS overcrowding and the creation of the IBX pathway, some students chose IHS (mostly north end students) over GHS, but the majority still chose either GHS or IHS. Only in the last few years have a growing number of HC students chosen neighborhood schools over GHS and IHS - and even then, which schools? In the north end, BHS and RHS.

Why the change? The district will tell you parents want their students served in their neighborhood schools, close to home, but how is it that students were willing to make the trek all these years past? Have the programs changed? Are some neighborhood schools better able to serve HC students than in years past (is there enough of an academically advanced cohort, HC identified or not?)? IBX seems to have little district support (and IB...so many extra requirements), whereas GHS continues to send messages that they don't want to support HCC. Add to that changes to metro routes, making the trek to GHS even longer.

big picture

Melissa Westbrook said...

So Eric, I'm interested in your thoughts on another high school after Lincoln, probably downtown.

It does not seem Lincoln will be enough but if Cleveland became a neighborhood high school and/or Rainier Beach gets a new building and continuing support for IB, is that enough?

I'm not so much against a downtown high school (because Magnolia and Queen Anne have long deserved one) but I'm against the mega-expensive one that staff seem to want so much.

Anonymous said...

@Big Picture- Buses were also eliminated from some north end neighborhoods (ex NW) to Garfield and add to that the horrible traffic which has added commute time year after year and keep getting worse. HC Kids in NW at least overwhelmingly seem to enroll at IHS & BHS at least past couple of years.

Eric B said...

Melissa, I honestly don't know. It depends a lot on data that I don't have right now. We have 5-year projections that say that Lincoln is enough. There's enough room to jam in some more students for a few years, especially if staff are willing to tweak waitlists to balance load. Say that's 5%-10% more we could add.

If the north end in general or Magnolia-Queen Anne-Wallingford-Ballard in particular are seeing 1st grade enrollment now that's 10%-15% more than it was 5 years ago and it's flat or still heading up, then I think we need a new high school. If we're not, then the picture is a lot muddier.

Anonymous said...

@Eric B, in the most recent maps where you're seeing still overcrowding even after Lincoln, have they finally adjusted the Ingraham number up by 500? I know we're overcrowded, but it's hard to see how adding 1600 seats at Lincoln and another 500 at Ingraham doesn't do the trick for a little while.


Anonymous said...

@ Eric B, there is no reason that HCC at Lincoln and Garfield (with IHS option) has to be unworkable--it's simply that the maps they decided to draw might have made it so. Regardless of the number of pathways chosen, the number of students to be distributed and the number of high schools in the district is the same--so they just need to change the boundaries to make whichever scenario work. Their task was to come up with workable boundaries for each scenario, so the Board could see what kind of boundaries they'd be considering. Their task was not to come up with a mix of possibly workable but mostly unworkable assignment scenarios that fit some theoretical boundaries that are still open to change.

If there's a way to make a 5-pathway scenario work numerically, there should also be a way to make a 2-pathway scenario work. You just have to shift more or fewer or different students. They really need to start with the idea "how could we make x scenario work best" as opposed to their apparent MO which is "how can we demonstrate that scenario x (which we don't like) is a bad idea?"

same ol'

Eric B said...

@Seats, the numbers for today and 2021-22 for all high schools Garfield and northwards are as follows:

8027 students (I believe this is headcount, not FTE)
7274 capacity

9665 students
9374 capacity

The Ingraham addition just barely digs us out of the hole we're already in. Lincoln handles growth. The 2021-22 scenarios vary a little bit based on which HCC students might go to Garfield, but it's all within a few hundred.

For SE and West Seattle but not including Cleveland, those numbers are:
3990 students
5073 capacity

4344 students
5073 capacity

That "excess capacity" in the south end is largely at Rainier Beach and is why I think that shifting the Garfield-Franklin boundary north may go on the table. If you ignore everything but numbers, it seems really attractive.

CBA said...

The district is moving towards an Honors for ALL model for 9th grade Math, LA and SS. This model will roll up to 10th grade the following year.

Some schools will have 8 periods to accommodate Core 24. Student teacher ratios are dependent upon teacher contract. One proposal recommends 1 teacher: 180 students.

One teacher can not provide appropriate differentiation for 180 students.

Geary needs to assure the needs of advanced learners are being met. Oversight.

Anonymous said...

8 periods? What happened to the 7 period scenario? And wasn't the plan to have all high schools on a similar schedule?? 180:1? Good luck with that. Anyone else anticipate an uptick in teachers leaving for other districts?


Anonymous said...


What 9th grade math class? 9th graders are placed in Algebra I, Geometry or Precalculus.

Fairmount Parent

Anonymous said...

@Eric B- "If I had to draw up an acceptable Lincoln/Garfield map, I would probably do one of the following:"

Thank Eric. Although some students might remain in their current schools, there are STILL significant amounts (perhaps just as many) of students who would likely move under a plan that makes this option work. According to your interpretation of data it looks like there would still be a huge shift of students in the north end, even if HC was placed at Lincoln. That's important information and another valid perspective. Thank you for sharing.

The disruption of students is an important consideration that needs to also be balanced with students ability to access appropriate curriculum as well. There is also state law the district needs to follow to be in compliance, considerations for special populations such as HC. Alot to be considered.

Anonymous said...

I don't think this is correct at least for math. How could they offer one class for several levels of math? Also to which two high schools (moving toward this model next year) were you referring to in the other thread?

Anonymous said...

Maybe you mean they are eliminating honors math classes at certain schools. Example, BHS and RHS might have Algebra I honors and Algebra which they might be collapsing into a single class?
My understanding is that few high schools actually offer honors classes as a separate class. Example, RHS offers LA/SS with an honors option if you do extra work. IHS offers honors classes, but I heard from friends with kids at the school at least some of the classes were not really honors quality. In general I hear honors classes are teacher dependent for rigor no matter the school and some general classes can actually be more rigorous.

Eric B said...

HJ, No matter what, there will be major disruptions in the north end. That's an inevitable result of a major boundary change. We're adding 2100 seats to an area that had 7200, so you can expect that ~20% of the students in the region overall are going to have to move. The Garfield/Lincoln option is probably the least disruption since that makes the Lincoln boundary the smallest.

SPS should definitely consider the disruption effects, but on an apples-to-apples basis of how many students have to move based on the new plan.

CBA said...

It is my understanding that honors math would be eliminated. High school students have the capacity to take classes with older students.

Get ready: There will be an attempt to increase student: teacher ratio to 1:180. As previously mentioned, the district is in the process of moving towards integrating Honors and Core classes. I don't believe a single teacher has the capacity to meet such a wide range of need; especially with large case loads.

CBA said...

It is also true that some LA and SS honors/core classes are combined. Advanced students are assigned an extra book to read etc. My point: An Honors class should truly be an honors class. As I see it, the only opportunities for advanced learning is through AP classes.

Anonymous said...

Sigh...even then, @CBA, the academic challenge in an AP/IB course is teacher dependent. The teacher may or may not teach to a level that adequately prepares students for the external exams. Yes, an honors level course should truly be an honors level course. It's not just a matter of taking classes with older students, but having a class that moves at a faster pace and covers more advanced skills and material. Take Garfield for example - they have (or had?) two versions of AP Gov. One was taught in a semester (typical for many schools) and one was taught over the course of a year, with a project based focus. Maybe some teachers can pull off an Honors for All class and provide appropriate challenge for most students, but it seems that it would be the exception, not the rule.

@CBA, where are these changes being discussed? The Core 24 committee?


Melissa Westbrook said...

Wondering, your comments make it clear that what is happening school to school is uneven. There should be consistency in what "honors" is. I would agree that there are teachers who have Gen Ed classes that are very challenging (I saw this at RHS). Surely, the district could get that coherency/consistency because universities/colleges tend to know which high schools have rigorous classes.

The district knows how many students there are in each high school and whether they are in their neighborhood school and can figure out what that return to neighborhood schools will look like. When Director Mack worries about pushing out neighborhood kids for HC kids,well, some kids who got into a non-neighborhood high school may find themselves pushed out for returning HC kids.

I also think that the district will grandfather current high school students but not their sibs. I think that will make some people very unhappy but I don't see how it is possible to do anything different.

Anonymous said...

CBA said: It is my understanding that honors math would be eliminated. High school students have the capacity to take classes with older students.

Well, yeah, they have the capacity to, because those classes will be easy and simplistic. Basic math classes, whether geometry or algebra or whatever, are still basic intro math classes, even if you take them a year or two or three ahead of what's typical. They are slow moving and don't go into a lot of depth. That's the whole reason for having honors classes--to provide more challenging versions of the "same" classes.

For example, here's what the Garfield catalog says re: Geometry A/B:

Write definitions of geometry terms and figures; perform geometry investigations by observing common features or patterns; learn inductive reasoning; learn to use deductive reasoning; learn about vertical angles; learn about transversals; learn about geometric constructions using a compass, straightedge, patty paper; explore points of concurrency in triangles; discover relationships between the sides and angles of triangles; learn about triangle congruency; study properties of polygons and relationships among their angles, sides and diagonals; discover basic properties of transformations and symmetry. Discover properties of tangent lines; learn relationships among chord, arcs, and angles; learn how to calculate the length of an arc; discover area formulas for basic polygons, circles, and other shapes; use area formulas to solve problems; explore Pythagorean Theorem and use it to calculate the distance between two points; explore three-dimensional solids; discover volume formulas for prisms, pyramids, cylinders, cones, and spheres; discover shortcuts for similar triangles; learn about area and volume relationships in similar polygons and solids; learn about ratios in special right triangles.

Honors classes also connect deductive reasoning to paragraph proofs and two-column proofs; learn to make conjectures; learn about applications of special polygons; create tessellations; prove circle conjectures; find surface area of prisms, pyramids, cylinders, and cones; use Pythagorean Theorem to solve problems; learn how density is related to volume; derive formula for the surface area of a sphere; use similarity to solve problems; learn about ratios in special right triangles; look at geometry as a mathematical system; review a number of proof strategies.

So I guess if students just wouldn't get to learn that last paragraph worth of material anymore? If that's the case, it's an incredibly stupid decision. Talk about dumbing down the curriculum.

Or wait, I suppose they'll just make it honors for all, and now suddenly the basic level classes will magically be able to cover all the extra material they previously couldn't? Yeah, I thought not.


Anonymous said...

In case you haven't noticed, this blog has become an almost complete echo chamber since disagreeable posts have become increasingly likely to be deleted.

The good news is that the school board and staff are well aware of this fact, and have mostly taken the approach of "consider the source" in terms of this blog.

When a post become the topic of a "Gong Show" type of query to the like-minded majority: "Readers, should we delete this one or not?" then you know we are not in a place of open discussion.

Delete Me

CBA said...

Plans and changes are being discussed with district administrators, principals and teachers. The content falls under the category of providing more credit opportunities and the manner in which high schools help struggling students who have low skills and don't have IEP support.

Each Director should be aware of the changes that are being proposed in their respective high schools.

Melissa Westbrook said...

I think asking readers want they think is a good idea.

The fact that my readership has gone up and I’m now seeing some threads with nearly 1000 hits tells me someone is reading. I think whether staff or the Board believe what I write, they know me to be a person of integrity ( plus these last three threads are 90% what the staff and Board said at a meeting).

Anonymous said...

Oh please, @Delete Me. MW can run her blog any way she darn well pleases. It's still the best open forum for what's happening in SPS.

whine much?

Anonymous said...

Nobody said the board and staff don't believe what you write. There is a serious issue of fairness in perspectives when there is a strong pattern of deleting posts that you don't find agreeable.

You didn't respond to the actual issue that was raised: this blog has increasingly become almost entirely an echo chamber. The few unpopular posts that are allowed to remain are usually ridiculed by a mob mentality.

Good for you that your readership numbers are up.

Delete Me

Anonymous said...

@ Delete Me, those "disagreeable" posts that get deleted tend to include a lot of hate spewing, lies, unfounded statements, etc. If Melissa wants her blog to include factual information, reasonable interpretations, and civil discussion, that's her prerogative. There's a difference between "disagreeable posts" and "posts that disagree." Nobody needs the former, but I'm sure Melissa (and readers) are very open to the latter. Convey your points without name calling, veiled threats, misinformation, and general obnoxiousness and I'm sure they won't be deleted. There are plenty here willing to engage in genuine "discussion" on important issues.

Half Full

Anonymous said...


There have been many factually based posts that were deleted that completely followed blog rules. There are many opinions and ventings (including name calling) that are not deleted because they echo the status quo mentality of this blog.

Case in point of a "no problem" post (that hasn't been deleted and breaks several blog rules) in the past few days:

"mw tg is truly a knave. delete them. their post is invalid. oh and we know who they are. but they choose to use a new moniker every post so we have to struggle through their swill to realize that they are liars."

Does that adhere to your concept of "genuine discussion"? This poster gets a pass every time because the message agrees with the blog status quo.

Melissa used to condemn Chris Korsmo for deleting posts that were against the echo chamber. She seems to have decided to emulate her in full force.

This is censorship pure and simple. It's "Melissa's Blog" for sure, but it's false advertising to claim this blog is open to those who follow blog rules.

The good news, as I stated earlier, is that the word is out: "Consider the source."

Delete Me

Anonymous said...

any board member who posts here should be brought up on ethics charges as this blog routinely attacks and deletes valid opinions that the moderators find disagreeable.

Also the attacks by blog official charlie mas are incredibly harsh and rude, not to mention unfounded, yet never receive the faintest criticism from westbrook.

board members will be reported in the future as i believe it illegal to post on a blog that is moderated for political views.

expecting deletion

Anonymous said...

Families are genuinely trying to find out information about the course and direction of their children's education.

Melissa gives a glimpse of transparency when the "public" school district tries to keep to the shadows.

Paid trolls that don't give a whit about education of children continually post false statements to try to distract families from the truth. They only care about the money they are earning. They don't care about our children.

I do wish that the troll comments be deleted so the original intent and integrity of the blog be maintained.

There is a difference between posting false inflammatory statements or posting an opinion that is different than most of the posters. Reasoned, logical statements are not cause for deletion. We can share information in a reasoned way and agree to disagree when necessary. That is completely different than posting the same word vomit over and over again just to try and stir up controversy. Paid trolls go away. And Melissa, please delete their filth.

In one sense it is a tribute to the success of this blog that so many that disagree with public education are trying to sabotage the forum.


Anonymous said...

And yup - I too have fallen to troll bait.

The best response is no response. Sorry.


Anonymous said...

There are actually paid trolls who post here with racist and eugenics crap.

Wake up on that one.

Delete Me

Anonymous said...

dog whistle lead paint eating etc. poor kid low iq stuff is fine on this blog and i can dig up tons of it.

That's another reason directors will be subject to ethics complaints if they continue to post here.

they can email the entire parents population if they want, they should not use this biased and frequently veiled pro white platform.


Anonymous said...

Poverty affects the growth of children’s brains. http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2015/03/poverty-may-affect-growth-children-s-brains

The 30 million word gap. https://www.aft.org/sites/default/files/periodicals/TheEarlyCatastrophe.pdf

Lead exposure. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23327265

Sorry that science makes you so angry.

Had Enough

Book Recommendations said...

I stand by my recommendation that educators might find the books G is for Genes (by Kathryn Ashbury and Robert Plomin) and The End of Average (Todd Rose) interesting. Neither of the books discusses race at all. Todd Rose also presents his as a TED talk if and it's also worth listening to (it's what inspired me to read the book):

"Delete Me" (although you called yourself "for progress"), you accused me of "eugenics" for recommending the books, which showed that you haven't read them, have no idea what you're talking about, and are prone to freaking out in an unproductive way.

I wasn't paid to make the comment. I don't earn anything from the sale of the books. Seattle Public Library has 6 copies of the Rose book and although they don't have the other one yet, you can request that they buy one here:

Much like the article on the effects of poverty linked to above by Had Enough (who is a different person from me, although I'm betting he/she was also not paid to comment), the authors of G is for Genes come down strongly in favor of measures to alleviate poverty. And that's where I come down, too. And I suspect a lot of educators are with me, which is why I mentioned it in response to Melissa's question at the end of one of her open threads, "What's on your mind?"

Anonymous said...

@enuff, "lead paint eating etc. poor kid low iq stuff" is not racism or eugenics. Where does it say race? It refers to poverty, not race. If poverty is the problem, how about we focus on that? Address the poverty problem and we'll see the educational disparities shrink.

Poverty sucks

Melissa Westbrook said...

"There is a serious issue of fairness in perspectives when there is a strong pattern of deleting posts that you don't find agreeable."

In your opinion. We do have guidelines and as well, I'm not here to be insulted. And Jesus, the Chris Korsmo thing...again. And again, LEV allows no open discussion so yes, I do think I stand on firmer ground than they do. But hey, go and comment on their stuff and see if it gets published.

"any board member who posts here should be brought up on ethics charges as this blog routinely attacks and deletes valid opinions that the moderators find disagreeable."

Really? Guilt by comment? And who would bring these "charges?" We do not moderate on political views. I am pretty clear that I think Trump and his ilk are the bane of the U.S. right now but again, I have left plenty of comments that are from conservatives.

"they can email the entire parents population if they want, they should not use this biased and frequently veiled pro white platform."

I do find it kind of charming that some people try to give themselves other names and yet their writing betrays them.

Also, you can call be biased but "pro-white" is complete BS. You clearly don't know my heritage or upbringing nor my volunteer work nor what I have written about here for a long time.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Deleting all messages from " enuff/Expecting Deletion/Delete Me/For Progress/FWIW" is the best solution, since she continually engages in trolling at all times of day and night for all the years I've read this blog.

Enough Already

Anonymous said...

If it makes you feel better to conflate all comments that are a threat to the status quo into one person, so be it. Also, calling someone with whom you disagree "a troll" (who must be banned from the blog) is a bit precious.

It's clear by the direction that this district and school board are taking that more than one poster has different views from yours. The tide has definitely turned during "all the years you have read" this blog. Big time.

Anyone with basic literary criticism skills would know that the posters you listed are different people, but that's your issue, not mine.

Melissa, this blog has become like LEV because you routinely delete and abet attacks on disagreeable posters. You might not like the comparison, but you have earned it. The proof is in the pudding. This blog is now a virtual echo chamber, with a few token posts allowed (always followed by a litany of allowed ad hominem attacks by the status quo). Calling this an attack or insult to you, by simply having the facts stated, demonstrates some thin skin. What's interesting is that you haven't denied that you have increasingly deleted many postings, for no other reason than you disagree.

As far as school board members go, notice how none of them has posted here since the the comment about an impending ethics complaint was made several weeks ago. They got the message loud and clear. Expect the no comment trend from board members to continue.

Delete Me

Anonymous said...

When SPED teachers teach non-sped students, that is stealing from SPED because students NOT in sped, are not supposed to be funded with IDEA funds. Not even for a second. That happens all over the place. If a SPED teacher is teaching AP class and there are a handful of SPED students in the class, that is absolutely still stealing from SPED because no SPED is being delivered when there is a single teacher teaching a whole class. Isn’t teaching AP anything a full time job? And any advanced learners, HCC or not, are stealing from SPED when that happens. Yay for kids with disabilities in AP. Boo for stealing from SPED to pay for it. Special ed students ARE regular ed students, all day long. And regular ed teachers are funded to teach sped students. When HCC or other students enjoy vastly reduced sized classrooms for exotic extras, while students with special needs are languishing in overloaded classrooms, that is stealing from SPED. And you can bet your bottom dollar, that every advanced learning subject in secondary schools with fewer than 32 students, is funded by SPED. There simply is no other place to get those funds for free. Yes. It happens everywhere. It is called stealing.


Anonymous said...

Here's the issue as I see it.

Melissa makes a claim regarding her racial background as a Mexican-American, which we all have heard before, someone quotes Malcom X and one of his opinion in regards to race, and it's deleted.

That's the problem: If a comment offends one person, the moderator, poof!

What "rule" was broken with the Malcom X quote?

I find everything Malcom wrote or said to be instructive.

He said some harsh things about white people and black people, to be sure, but to censor him seems inappropriate.

Maybe you could explain the rules again.

small potatoes

Anonymous said...

No, SPED is not obviously underfunded. Go to any school. You will find sped staff, particularly IAs being extremely unproductive. And lots of them. Lots of thumb twiddling and socializing. SPS has way higher staffing rates for SPED than anywhere else around. But pilfering the sped staff for regular ed, and for running school operations means that the SPED funds are simply drained away. And quality and focus is nonexistent. Spending more on Sped, will not improve it. SPED is the only subgroup with 0 academic goals. The district does not track or measure the academic achievement gap for sped at all. Clearly not a priority. And since Sped is a historic dumping ground for minority students, and continues to be disproportionately filled with minority students, failure to address the achievement gap in Sped means no other achievement gap will be fixed either. It is the gating factor. And truly, the onus is on regular ed to teach all students, including those with disabilities with the ASSISTANCE from special ed.


Anonymous said...

I don't have a special ed student but know some and some parents. My impression is that special ed kids are not integrated into schools as much as they could be. Mainly the non-academic areas.

I recently attended my first Unified basketball game. I thought it was an excellent program.

I look across at the pep band and see a problem. No opportunity for special ed involvement.

I think we need more programs like Unified basketball.


Anonymous said...

"Special ed students ARE regular ed students, all day long. And regular ed teachers are funded to teach sped students. When HCC or other students enjoy vastly reduced sized classrooms for exotic extras, while students with special needs are languishing in overloaded classrooms, that is stealing from SPED."

and hcc kids are regular ed kids, too. and they routinely are in over crowded or split grade classes. did I just hear you mind blow? I have over 20 years of kid app hcc experience and I have never had a small class or exotic extras. Our kids have had four split grade elementary schools. Funny couldn't say a bad thing about any family but it is fair game on any family in hcc.

Anonymous said...

There are plenty of advanced middle school math classes that routinely have fewer than 15 students. It’s all fine and good except that is is SpED that funds it. The only students who come with funding for reduced class size, are those in SPED and not those in resource room SPED either. A 12 studentmiddle school geometry class is stealing funds from someone else. I can tell you for certain that happens routinely. High schoo AP classes are often reduced size as well, especially science classes. Split classes are the norm everywhere. Lots of people like them. The martyr narrative is not compelling. HCC was not even mentioned here, as these classes are available to more than HCC.


Anonymous said...

So if people are angry about small numbers of HC students in higher classes, why are they supporting the plan to spread these students out across all neighborhood high schools? How is that a good use of resources? Seems fiscally irresponsible to me.

Fix AL

Anonymous said...

Exactly, @Fix. Pathways help optimize class sizes. Only by limiting advanced course offerings will a dispersion to neighborhood schools "work," despite the belief that AL opportunities will somehow increase. Schools are likely to pare back on the variety of offerings (as compared to current offerings at HC pathway options), because there won't be enough students at a given school needing some of the more advanced courses.

The district should have numbers on courses and class sizes, yes? Despite what @S claims, our experience has been one of classes routinely at or above 32. A school is more likely to overstuff an advanced/honors class and pay the teacher overage (or just decide not to offer the class - that's happened as well) before they'd have a class under 20. Was this not a complaint about Hale? Limited and overstuffed AP courses?

Show us the numbers, SPS, by school. We need numbers, not anecdotes.

numbers please

Melissa Westbrook said...

And any advanced learners, HCC or not, are stealing from SPED when that happens. Yay for kids with disabilities in AP. Boo for stealing from SPED to pay for it. Special ed students ARE regular ed students, all day long."

Wait, what? First of all, NO kids are stealing anything from any other student. The district has set this system up and your beef is with them, not HCC.

Second, if Sped students are Gen Ed (and I agree they are), then how is one teacher to divide up the time between Sped and Gen Ed students in a single class? I'm unclear about not wanting Sped students separated in their own classes and yet getting mad that when they are placed in Gen Ed classes, they have to share the teaching time. (I note that the district still has to provide those needed services to the Sped students.)

Letter to Delisle said...

Inclusion MEANS including SPED students in gen ed and HCC classes. There are SPED students in schools that don't offer Access. There are SPED students who take AP classes. Some SPED students take a lot of AP classes. There are teachers in gen ed classrooms with specialized training in SPED who teach gen ed and SPED students together in class every day. There are gen ed classes with SPED students who just come for math or a single subject. There are gen ed classes in which SPED students are full members of the class. The thing is, parents generally have no idea about this. SPED status and learning disabilities and medical histories are private information. Classmates aren't informed and often have no idea about this. It's not like SPED students in gen ed or HC classes wear a sweatshirt that says "I'm in SPED!"

See this memo from the Dept. of Education to state directors of special education:

In spite of the guidance provided in Letter to Delisle, we continue to receive letters from those who work with children with disabilities with high cognition, particularly those with emotional disturbance or mental illness, expressing concern that some local educational agencies (LEA) are hesitant to conduct initial evaluations to determine eligibility for special education and related services for children with high cognition. In transmitting OSEP Memo 15-08, I am requesting that you widely distribute Letter to Delisle to the LEAs in your State, and remind each LEA of its obligation to evaluate all children, regardless of cognitive skills, suspected of having one of the 13 disabilities outlined in 34 CFR §300.8

And here is the Letter to Delisle (https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:0rNSbham5yQJ:https://www2.ed.gov/policy/speced/guid/idea/memosdcltrs/13-008520r-sc-delisle-twiceexceptional.doc+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us):

Which states, "Therefore, it would be inconsistent with the IDEA for a child, regardless of whether the child is gifted, to be found ineligible for special education and related services under the SLD category solely because the child scored above a particular cut score established by State policy.

and, "In the Analysis of Comments and Changes in the 2006 final regulations implementing Part B of the IDEA, the Department, in responding to public comments, recognized that there will be some students who are gifted but also need special education and related services. See 71 Fed. Reg. 46540, 46647 (Aug. 14, 2006) (“Discrepancy models are not essential for identifying children with SLD who are gifted. However, the regulations clearly allow discrepancies in achievement domains, typical of children with SLD who are gifted, to be used to identify children with SLD.”).

Plus, even if the schools are being run in an illegal manner, that is not the fault of students.

Oversight Needed said...

"Second, if Sped students are Gen Ed (and I agree they are), then how is one teacher to divide up the time between Sped and Gen Ed students in a single class?"

Let's look at this in relation to Honors for All classes. I'm not confident the Honor for All structure will help special education students. It seems to me that Honors for All may prevent some special ed students from entering general education classes.

I look forward to Geary and DeWolf's plan.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

@Pverdight Needed, why do you think HFA would prevent some SpEd students from entering GE classes? Are you assuming HFA classes are more challenging? I don't think that's the case.


Melissa Westbrook said...

So I will be ending comments at this time. A few spoil it for all.

I will again state a couple of principles that I believe:

- providing services to one group of children doesn't mean less for others.
- people seem to not know/forget that I have a special needs child (who was also HCC identified). So to say I don't care about SPed kids is wrong. I routinely put up notices both about Sped PTA meetings as well as other special events, both here and at the Facebook SPedPTA page. I would not both to do so if I didn't care.

I hear Sped parents; it is very frustrating. But I believe your ire towards other parents is very misplaced. You should direct that to the district (and the State and the Feds).