Considering HCC

To better shape the discussion, here are a couple of documents you might have missed:

Results from the Advanced Learning Survey from ThoughtExchange (I note that there is no mention of Spectrum which is odd considering the district still advertises it like it exists.)

Overview questions:

1.What are the most important things for us to understand as we consider changes to our high school advanced learning services?
2.What are some things we could put in place to increase high school advanced learning opportunities for more students?
3.What questions do you have about these possible changes?

The top 20 thoughts from each school were examined, and thoughts with an average star count of 4.0 and above were themed.

Question 1
  • Equal Access  “AP should be available to all students, not just those in the ‘AP/HCC track’.”
  • Availability of Advanced Education  “HS students need access to a diversity of challenging classes, including a variety of AP offerings. For HCC pathway students who have experienced years of acceleration, and in order to grow they need to be challenged in HS, which requires depth of AP”
  • Support Advanced Learners  “That you continue to place a priority on meeting the educational needs of advance learners at high school. At times, advanced learning is considered by some to be an "extra." It is about providing an appropriate education for all students.”
 Question 2
  • Equal Access “Let all students know all students can take advantage of advanced learning if they want to be in those classes and have a good work ethic. All students should have access to advanced learning” 
  • Availability of Advanced Education“More AP Classes at more schools. More accessibility to classes will increase learning opportunities”
  • Eligibility Testing  “The district should implement universal screening for advanced learning The standard process for identifying gifted students, based on referrals of parents & teachers, misses many qualified students” 
Question 3
  •  Information and input  “How will we hear what concrete options are being considered? It would be very helpful if parents were provided with concrete pathway options that are the "finalists," once things are narrowed down” 
  • Timeline and planning  “What would be the rollout plan for moving students to Lincoln? Families are clearly concerned about the change to their student's school assignment” 
  • Grandfather policy  “Will current Garfield High School students be grandfathered? Changing schools well into high school careers is a lot to ask, particularly as many advanced learning students have been through several splits/moves” 
If you look at page 22 of the document, where parents of color were asked questions, I find some answers striking.

Spanish - Each region should have at least one school with the HC program. One elementary, middle and one high school per region.

Vietnamese - Build an additional HC HS school

Chinese - Not enough seats at Garfield

Across all groups - Every school should offer advanced learning programs

And that is supposed to be happening via ALO.  Is it? No.  Why not?  I don't know but clearly, not a priority at JSCEE.

Also, I find the long list on page 24, from Chinese families, to be interesting and telling. "More discipline, more homework."

Another telling point is how, across the groups, they complain about not getting information at school.  What is the disconnect between the decisions made at Central versus when/what parents learn about it?  What is the school's role in getting information about opportunities out?

I find a pattern here of people with children not in the program seeming to think that the only place to get rigor is in an AL-type class and that if you only have more at more high schools, that solves everything.

"All students should have access to advanced learning” 

But, at the high school level, they do.  And whose fault is it that more parents and students, especially those of color, don't know this?  It's the district's.  It's the principals'.  That's their job.

The other document I received has some of the same but some entirely different comments from parents. 

Merely offering some AP courses at one HS does not equate to dedicated Advanced
Learning Services (ALS) offered at another HS. Just because a high school offers AP courses
does not mean our students will receive the same high quality of education as at a HS with
dedicated ALS.

Advanced Learning opportunities should be available at every high school, in the school
itself (not just Running Start).

For HCC pathway students who have experienced years of acceleration, and in order to grow
they need to be challenged in HS, which requires depth of AP.

With the 24 credit requirement it is important that there are in depth, meaningful, rigorous
classes available for students throughout high school.

HCC's magnet school approach provides a free public option and critical mass for a large
group of high-achieving, motivated kids

Accommodate academically bright students and offer AP and acceleration in all high
schools, while offering specialized instruction at some.

Make more opportunities available to all and specialized opportunities (arts, woodworking,
welding, sports, STEM) for some to reduce HCC frenzy

More advanced course offerings, particularly in science. Most neighborhood schools do not
offer four years of science courses for HCC students.

Kids improve at different times. When you actively look for more high-achieving kids, you
will find more.

Some capable students may not have the parental support and involvement - teacher support
can ensure they receive AL testing and opportunities.

And multiple comments that testing should be done on all students in 1st grade.  I agree.

What will it take to get more kids in the rigor door (given that in high school there is no testing for HC)?  I suspect it will take more teachers/counselors spotting bright kids and trying to get them (or their parents) to sign them up for higher level classes.  That takes more support services to get that done.  Plus the costs of opening new AP courses at some schools even for a small class.   

The district MUST understand that putting HC students at their regional schools means MORE AP classes.  That costs money.  They cannot run away from that.  That Budget's JoLynn Berge was pushing back on more teachers at Lincoln tells me that they don't want to face this fact.

Surface change for a PR reason won't make academic outcomes better for anyoneIt has to be backed up with action.  I wish every single Board member would say those two sentences out loud  to staff and mean them. 

What will they do if that does not happen in a timely manner?


Anonymous said…
If we don’t provide acceleration opportunities early on, no amount of “rigor” and access to AP classes in high school will move the needle - the kids won’t be prepared. And it seems too many kids are not being given those opportunities for advancement/enrichment early on. If we don’t, we’ll continue to see in general, kids from more affluent families filling those slots. Those are the kids getting the enrichment they’re lacking at school at home. And this can be kids as extreme as someone testing in the 97% COGAT, 99% reading and 86% math (or the opposite) - that kid is eligible for nothing per SPS and entirely at the mercy of their school and home situation, but could almost certainly handle significantly accelerated language arts or math.

I really doubt we’re missing many kids across any groups in HCC if we take the criteria as is. If we do, why not look to test scores first vs parent or teacher referral. Just take everyone who scores in the 87%+ in both reading and math and give them the COGAT. I think you’d add more to “Spectrum”, but not many more to HCC, but those who might qualify, but currently haven’t been tested should be fairly easy to find. The district could reach out to those parents specifically. You could reduce qualifying criteria for certain groups, but that may or may not make sense if kids aren’t actually prepared to accelerate so quickly. That said, there’s many other ways to provide enrichment that may also be good for many gifted learners, with acceleration done more on a walk-to basis facilitating advancement for more kids who are ready.

NE Parent

Anonymous said…
More learning early in the neighborhood schools is the way to go. Stop underestimating our kids.

Fix AL
Sigh said…
The survey didn't make clear what all the terms referred to, so I don't think there was any value in it. "Advanced education" is very nonspecific. Although maybe looking at the school by school responses tells the district who hates advanced learners the most. That would be useful. Then maybe SPS could reeducate that principal and do a better job with outreach that school community.
Anonymous said…
NE Parent,

The district can’t give the CogAT without parental permission.

WAC 392-170-047

Parental/legal guardian permission.

Parental permission shall be obtained in writing before:
(1) Conducting assessment(s) to determine eligibility for participation in programs for highly capable students;
(2) Placement in the district's highly capable program before any special services and programs are started for an identified highly capable student;
Parental permission notice shall include:
(a) A full explanation of the procedures for identification of a student for entrance into the highly capable program;
(b) An explanation of the appeal's process;
(c) An explanation of the procedures to exit a student from the program; and
(d) Information on the district's program and the options that will be available to identified students.

Fairmount Parent
Anonymous said…
Where can I find a chart with a cost benefit analysis showing the difference in budget between paying for 4 years of HC-level classes at all highschools vs at pathway schools? I understand Garfield wouldn’t need to add, and maybe not much adjustment at IHS, RHS and BHS, but there must be tremendous costs involved in adding the HC sequence to all highschools. I can’t seem to find this data anywhere. Where is the analysis?

$$ analysis
Anonymous said…
NE Parent nailed it in my opinion! Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Anonymous said…
Other districts have an Opt-Out option instead of requiring Opt-in as SPS does and screens all students in early grades.

Shoreline this year has done a lot of training and emphasis on Hicap for all teachers and has made it very clear in policy that Hicap identified students who choose to remain in their neighborhood schools will receive and are expected to receive appropriate academic opportunities (helping address the equity issue for minorities who would rather stay in their neighborhood schools). They still offer self-contained for those families who feel that is best for their learners. What has SPS done exactly to ensure Hicap students who remain in neighborhood schools get advanced learning? Why does SPS make it so much harder than it needs to be?

NW Parent
Anonymous said…
@NW parent-it’s not just minority students who want to stay at neighborhood elementary schools and receive appropriate (or any) HC services. Look at the 30% (??) leave rate at Bryant, a wonderful ALO school practicing the model Tolley/Wyeth envision for the Spectrum is everywhere and nowhere approach....I would argue many of those families would prefer to stay local but that hot bed of advanced learners has a school that doesn’t accelerate beyond grade level, at least not consistently in a sequence across grade bands, last we checked.

Pipeline First
Anonymous said…
The survey given parents and community members was a hot mess that violated myriad norms of reliable measurement. Terms were undefined so responders didn't know what they were in fact responding to and options were posed as either-or. To base any major policy or program decisions on this ridiculous survey would be complete folly and educational mispractice.

Concerned Parent
Doctor Hu said…
"The problem that needs to be solved is opening Lincoln High School. To open Lincoln you need to move approximately 1600 students from Garfield, Roosevelt and Ballard, in roughly equal amounts. Notably, Garfield, Roosevelt and Ballard are the only schools dealing with desperate overcrowding. ... If you dissolve the HCC pathways then Garfield has already shifted their 500 students. The problem then becomes that Ballard and Roosevelt need to shift 800 students to Lincoln."

kellie, not quite! If you dissolve the HCC pathways, based on current 2017-18 numbers, Garfield will shift only about half that number, 262 HC enrolled students to Lincoln or any other north end high schools. Won't that mean that both Ballard and Roosevelt will need to shift closer to 700 students EACH to Lincoln in order to fill its 1600 plus new seats?

Because so many north end HC students already choose Ingraham IB/IBX option or their own attendance area schools Ballard, Roosevelt and Hale, all those students will be largely unaffected by this new HCC pathways decision. Only students who would otherwise be enrolled in the Garfield HC pathway will move north.

During the current 2017-18 school year, there are 1407 HC qualified high school students in Seattle:
652 HC enrolled in Garfield pathway (83 ft RS)
379 HC enrolled in Ingraham IB/IBX option (48 ft RS), and
376 HC eligible in several other Seattle high schools (296 ft RS) including
Roosevelt 155 HC eligible (30 ft RS)
Ballard 126 HC eligible (51 ft RS)
Hale 21 HC eligible (44 ft RS)
West Seattle 20 HC eligible (59 ft RS)
Chief Sealth 13 HC eligible (50 ft RS)
Center 12 HC eligible (14 ft RS)
Nova 10 HC eligible (0 ft RS)
Franklin 9 HC eligible (0 ft RS)
Cleveland 9 HC eligible (22 ft RS)
Middle College at Northgate 1 HC eligible (0 ft RS)
Rainier Beach 0 HC eligible (26 ft RS)
1407 Total HC enrolled + HC eligible (427 Total ft RS)

Of students enrolled in Garfield HC pathway, while SPS has not released exact numbers, approximately:
390 HC enrolled from south Seattle school attendance areas including
Garfield 170? HC enrolled
Franklin 85? HC enrolled
West Seattle 73? HC enrolled
Rainier Beach 32? HC enrolled
Chief Sealth 30? HC enrolled, and approximately:
262 HC enrolled from north Seattle school attendance areas including
Roosevelt 109? HC enrolled
Ballard 97? HC enrolled
Hale 36? HC enrolled
Ingraham 20? HC enrolled
652 Total enrolled in Garfield HC pathway

Of students enrolled in Ingraham IB/IBX HC option, while SPS has not released exact numbers, approximately:
361 IB/IBX HC enrolled from north Seattle school attendance areas including
Roosevelt 118? IB/IBX HC enrolled
Ballard 104? IB/IBX HC enrolled
Ingraham 76? IB/IBX HC enrolled
Hale 63? IB/IBX HC enrolled, and approximately:
18 IB/IBX HC enrolled from south Seattle school attendance areas including
Garfield 9? IB/IBX HC enrolled
Franklin 4? IB/IBX HC enrolled
Rainier Beach 2? IB/IBX HC enrolled
West Seattle 2? IB/IBX HC enrolled
Chief Sealth 1? IB/IBX HC enrolled
379 Total HC enrolled in Ingraham IB/IBX option

Because about
361 north end students already HC enrolled in the Ingraham IB/IBX option and another
303 north end students already HC eligible at various north Seattle schools, there are only about
262 north end students currently HC enrolled in the Garfield pathway
926 Total north Seattle students currently HC enrolled + HC eligible

Because about
18 south end students already HC enrolled in the Ingraham IB/IBX option and another
73 south end students already HC eligible at various south Seattle schools, there are only about
390 south end students currently HC enrolled in the Garfield pathway
481 Total south Seattle students currently HC enrolled + HC eligible

1407 Total students HC currently enrolled + HC eligible (427 Total RS)

So based on current 2017-18 numbers, Garfield can shift only about 262 HC enrolled students to Lincoln or to any other north end high schools. Both Ballard and Roosevelt will need to shift close to 700 students EACH to Lincoln in order to fill its 1600 plus new seats.
Anonymous said…
Are the RS numbers total RS #s for each school, or just HC qualified in RS? Or is it FTEs in RS, which could mean even higher actual number of students in RS, either FT or PT?


Anonymous said…
@ $$ analysis - you are right, it would be helpful to know the cost difference between hcc pathway high schools and having to add advanced classes to every HS. BHS and RHS, though, do not have the same amount of AP and honors classes as GHS, though. GHS has many more advanced science offerings. RHS has only 1 AP science class (physics) and a student can do extra work in biotech to get honors credit. GHS has honors bio and AP bio, honors chem and AP chem, honors physics and AP physics, and AP environmental science. BHS has AP bio and physics. Also, GHS has many more sections of all of these classes, which makes a big difference.

I suspect all this advanced learning at every HS is BS and only about returning HCC qualified students to their neighborhood high schools.
Anonymous said…
GE/$$ analysis - I suspect you can’t actually know the demand for advanced classes until you look at what classes the myriad kids enrolled in Running Start take. They’re taking something and are likely doing so because the courses they want aren’t offered due to # students, inadequate schedules, etc.

We had 4 or 4 BC Calc classes in my smaller district high schools 20some years ago, and that was when most of us took Algebra 1 in 8th...I find it hard to believe there’s only 5 classes needed here across the district with HCC being way more accelerated and the other kids who should be accelerated at least a year to a standard college curriculum path. But they may be invisible with Running Start.

NE Parent
Anonymous said…
Fairmount Parent - yes, I wasn’t clear. SPS can’t automatically run the COGAT, but they can identify who is academically eligible and real help out to their parents and it should be fairly easy to do.

NE Parent
kellie said…
@ Dr. Hu

Those are some pretty interesting numbers. My quote is a tiny bit out of context. I was attempting to state that there really only two ways to fill Lincoln and manage over-crowding. With the point that the task force is extremely over-reaching with these scenarios that domino into Nathan Hale and Ingraham.

1) Fill Lincoln as a geo-split from Roosevelt, Ballard and Garfield. Thereby both filling Lincoln and managing the over-crowding at three schools.

2) Fill Lincoln as a geo-split from only Roosevelt and Ballard. Solve the over-crowding at Garfield by dissolving pathways and returning HCC to attendance areas, rather than geo-split Garfield to Lincoln.

The logic puzzle for Lincoln is pretty straightforward. There are three over-crowded schools that need to shift the over-crowding to Lincoln. If you are doing a straight problem solve, then each of the three schools needs to split 400-600 to fill Lincoln.

The theory from downtown and the maps on the HSBT seem to suggest that one solution for Garfield's over-crowding is dissolving HCC pathways. Your numbers indicate that there are 653 HCC students at Garfield. If HCC pathways are simply dissolved, then it is reasonable to assume that Garfield has then redistributed about 500 students "district wide" and the Garfield problem is solved.

A consequence of this solution is larger geographic boundaries for Lincoln as Ballard and Roosevelt are then accountable as the only two school geo-splitting to Lincoln.

What's interesting about your numbers is that Garfield still does need to reduce by at least 400 students. Your analysis indicates that despite popular conceptions, ONLY 1/3 of Garfield HCC is from the north end. That may explain why there has been so much pressure to open WSHS as a pathway. That may be the only way to manage Garfield's capacity to a reasonable number.

Otherwise, they will need to geo-split downtown and Eastlake to Lincoln in order to reduce Garfield sufficiently.
Anonymous said…
For those interested, the Friday Memo (pg 6 of 27) contains the opinion from legal re: the Geary/DeWolf resolution.

@kellie and Doctor Hu, thank you so much for that exchange. The picture is getting clearer.

Anonymous said…
pg 17 of the Friday Memo discusses the new science alignment.

The course sequence would go as follows:
Grade: Current required > Proposed

9th: Physical Science > Physics A and Chemistry A (the memo says Chemistry B, but I'll assume that's a typo)
10th: Biology and Biology B > Biology A and Biology B (no change)
11th: -- > Physics B and Chemistry B or HC, AP or IB science Physical Science is being renamed "Physics A and Chemistry B" and they are eliminating any honors, full-year physics and chemistry courses?? Students would jump into AP science without having a full year of either chemistry or physics? Or would they be somehow blocked from any AP courses until senior year because they wouldn't have been able to take a full year of either chemistry or physics? According to the memo, they have piloted the "Physics A and Chemistry A," but there is no mention of curriculum for the "Physics B and Chemistry B." Really? And they are just going to move forward with it? Also, what is "HC" science?

Anonymous said…
@ Doctor Hu & kellie- What the data does not show is the migration to the north end schools in recent years. More of the older kids at Garfield may come from the north end. At least the past couple of years or so (was on discussAPP thread) north end schools Roosevelt, BHS & Ingraham, have all seen a bigger increase in north end HC for entering 9th grade. Example, 53 HC 9th at BHS this past year, and I think was around 70 or so for RHS not a huge amount in relation to the large student population at both schools, but much larger than years past.

Kids have been choosing their neighborhood schools and Ingraham over Garfield some I know (NW) due to increased traffic, transportation challenges and elimination of direct buses etc. Our traffic has hit a critical point I think for many with commutes taking longer.
Anonymous said…
@ gahhh, thanks for pointing that out. I wonder if HC science refers to what "highly capable" students would take? Although the divergence wouldn't suddenly occur in 11th grade (it's more likely in 9th and 10th than 11th), and surely they aren't suggesting that only HC students can access those AP/IB classes... It does seem to suggest that the second semester of physics and chem aren't required, though...maybe?

At Garfield, AP Chem currently requires completion of Chem 1 and 2. Does that mean AP Chem is off limits for GE students until 12th grade? AP Bio and AP Physics both require "Chemistry" (but it does not specify full or half year)--are those also reserved for senior year under the new scheme?

If HCC students have taken physical science and biology in middle school, what requirements does that fulfill in addition to that 10th grade bio requirement? What do students coming in from HCC take in 9th and 10th?

Also, how does this get phased in for HCC students, since they've already taken some of these "high school" classes?

Anonymous said…
@ NWC, I think Garfield-related factors are also part of the reason many HCC families are choosing their AA schools--factors like reductions in rigor (e.g., honors for all), inability to get a full class schedule/students being forced into Running Start, and a general sense that school admin isn't committed to serving HC students.

If people were convinced it was a great opportunity for their kids, they might be more willing to make the difficult commute. Some people are and do, but others are


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