Friday Open Thread

What a week.

Note to self; don't call anyone in any kind of government/school office on a Friday (even before 3 pm), they are all gone.  I have a ton of calls into City Hall and SPS and there's nobody around.

Thanks to a reader for this heads up from My Ballard/KING 5 about a Magnolia parent has suggested the district is legally wrong about threatening to sue the district over access grandfathering her child at Ballard High School where he is already a student.  The article is also notable because someone purporting to be City Attorney Pete Holmes weighed in at the comments.
One parent who is also an attorney, Margaret Cerrato-Blue told KING 5 that Magnolia parents have yet to receive any formal notification from the district, which she believes is a violation of due process.

“If we have to go to court, you will stay at Ballard because it’s the legal and right thing for them to do,” she said.

Most agree that the boundary debacle stems from the city’s lack of a high school in either Magnolia or Queen Anne, two neighborhoods with a combined population of about 44,000 people. The omission is intensified by Seattle’s population growth and traffic woes.

“Just give them a school,” explained a Seattle Times editorial back in 2008. “This idea isn’t new. It just has been ignored.”
 No kidding and look where we are now.

The Times has a tepid article about the issue with Green Dot charter schools and their need for a departure from zoning laws from the City.  My article has a lot more meat and information to it.  And then they immediately have another article from the head of the Washington State Charter Schools Association.  But the Times likes charters so that's no surprise that they want to shore up what they like and ignore real news in their reporting.

Director DeWolf has put out an ask to the SPS community:

Friday, January 26th is Count Us In, King County’s Point-in-Time Count for all populations. Count Us In takes place on Friday, January 26th from 2AM to 6AM. On Friday, January 26th, volunteers will be asked to work in teams of 2-3 to conduct a visual count of individuals experiencing homelessness across King County. Teams are comprised of community volunteers and expert guides (individuals currently/previously experiencing homelessness), who will walk/drive all over their assigned routes beginning in the early morning hours (specific times to be determined). Volunteers are expected to have a cell phone, and and to walk approximately 2-3 miles if necessary. Volunteers with cars will be asked to help transport their team members on the day of the count. 

Great story from the South Seattle Emerald - How a Mother’s Fierce Love is Transforming Community and Family Engagement Practices for Somali Parents in South King County School Districts.

The Baltimore teachers union is calling for all schools to be closed due to lack of heating.  Seeing kids zipped up in their coats and huddling around for warmth doesn't seem conducive to learning.

Baltimore is home to some of the state’s oldest school infrastructure, and Santelises said “too many of our buildings have outdated heating systems, poor insulation, and aging pipes as a result of years of inadequate funding for maintenance and facilities improvements.”

I have to say, I tutor in an older building and it is chilly sometimes.  Hard to imagine what it could be like with frigid temps.

Anyone attend the Friday meeting of the High School Boundaries TaskForce?  Let me know and I'll start a separate thread.

There are no director community meetings on Saturday.

What's on your mind?


Grouchy Parent said…
No one being around on a Friday afternoon is exactly why parents wanted early release day to be on Friday. Ugh.
personal accountability said…
I hope while they're counting they will also take the time to pick-up any of the trash the homeless leave all around.
Anonymous said…
Today was apparently the deadline to submit the Data Verification form. This is our first year in SPS and for the life of me I couldn't figure out what the purpose of it is at this time, in January. I've already submitted all of the information requested, multiple times, so admittedly in exasperation I didn't submit any verification forms for my kids. Does it matter at all, or is the sole purpose merely providing a digital version of the information SPS already has? Why then did I waste my time filling out all the forms in the first place?

Anonymous said…
The Magnolia parents need to read the PICS v SSD decision. So long as SPS isn’t using race as a tie breaker, there is no guarantee of access to a school of preference and there is no due process property right to attend any specific school other than to have the right to have the assignment plan applied correctly.

kellie said…
Mel, Can you please start another thread with this High School Boundary meeting update per your request on the Open Thread.

The task force was told that the new maps would be posted by end of day Friday. This pretty extensive update was posted but the link to the meeting documents with the maps is still blank.

There are multiple problems with this update. Primarily in that rather than following standard project management protocol and trying to identify and solve problems, this is now turning into a "let's reinvent high school" party.

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.

All in, it is a pretty straightforward process, in that this process should only have been impacting these schools, in discrete ways. But rather than solve the real problem at hand ... the task force had to waste so much time on

* Cleveland as an option school (NO)
* A Downtown High School (won't open before 2025 - drawing boundaries is ridiculous)
* Expanding Ingraham's boundaries (ZERO need to expand Ingraham's boundaries). Ingraham already has very large boundaries and anyone who was involved in the last boundaries understands how carefully those were drawn. Ingraham has a waitlist at every grade and the school will easily fill those seats.

The final insult to this crazy process is the curveball of dissolving HCC pathways. I wish someone would be honest and simply layout the problem. To open Lincoln Ballard, Roosevelt and Garfield each school needs to shift approximately 500 students to Lincoln.

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. And rather than students being shifted ONLY TO Lincoln, students will be shuffled all across the north end, requiring a minimum of 3,000 students moved in order to land everyone in the new schools.

Anonymous said…
@Thanks Kellie for your summary of the issue and proposed solution. I agree. " The final insult to this crazy process is the curveball of dissolving HCC pathways. I wish someone would be honest and simply layout the problem. To open Lincoln Ballard, Roosevelt and Garfield each school needs to shift approximately 500 students to Lincoln".
Anonymous said…
King 5 has a section about the two (favored?) maps that were discussed today. They are very hard to see though.

Anonymous said…
But what do the maps assume about program services and HCC? Families still don't know who is going where, who gets grandfathered, etc.

What doesn't compute for me is that the new space - Lincoln and the IHS addition - won't be fully utilized from Day 1. With the roll-up plan, it will take an additional 2 years to have Lincoln fully utilized. Likewise with Ingraham. They've been capping choice enrollment at IHS, so what happens when the 500 student addition opens? Are they suddenly going to enroll an additional 500 students?

plain baffled

Anonymous said…
Any more on the two groups of JAMS students who were mugged near school? I understand the principal sent a letter home.

James Wagar said…
@Melissa Westbrook – I setup and participated in the KING 5 interview that resulted in the My Ballard article about a possible lawsuit. Stating anyone is threatening a lawsuit is inaccurate and misleading at this point.

The suggestion that our Magnolia4BHS group or any one individual is considering a lawsuit over boundaries is also categorically false. Margaret Cerrato-Blue's comments were directed only at grandfathering of her existing BHS student.

She sets the record straight here:

Also, on a related note, Magnolia4BHS supports boundary maps that have both Magnolia students and students living between NW 80th and 85th attending BHS.

We are reachable via our Facebook page:
Anonymous said…
These are also some of Margaret's comments listed on the thread.

I agree that 7th and current 8th graders starting at BHS or RHS or Garfield need to know if they will enter or may be moved in 2019.

They need to get out the word extremely well prior to open enrollment.

This includes any geosplit that might affect the HC 10th at Garfield. They have a history of notifying those families at the last minute of impending moves after the fact which should not apply in this situation.

"It is shocking to me, and I believe it would not be legally valid, for SPS to remove students already attending BHS and send them to Lincoln. Regardless of which boundary is chosen, no student at BHS from any affected neighborhood should be forced to leave their teachers, coaches, sports teams, academic pathways and more, during a very crucial time in their lives. These kids will be preparing for college, careers. The SPS cannot uproot them and risk seriously undermining that. It can gradually populate Lincoln, starting with 9th grade and students who choose to leave BHS. This is how other school districts have done this elsewhere in the U.S.

I also mentioned due process to King 5. The SPS should have done their work in time to individually notify affected students and families prior to beginning at BHS. They could have done this, but they have not. They cannot, because they still don’t know who will be affected. If they decide soon, they can then notify current 7 th graders that they will be starting high school at Lincoln in 2019.

As well, worse than overcrowding, which so far has had NO impact on my children’s time at BHS , BHS, and its teachers, varsity sports, three-year Biotech program, etc, would be seriously impacted by the loss of hundreds and hundreds of students all at once in 2018, in 10th-12th grades, and by the addition of the same number in upper classes all at once.

I have asked the SPS General Counsel and the Board to commit to grandfathering the students at BHS. As James Wagar pointed out, the SPS student assignment plan (SAP) guarantees this, but for some reason the Task Force is ignoring this. It is causing a lot of stress and insecurity for students and parents like me. Believe me, I have no desire to resort to legal action. It should not be necessary, it would cause me, other parents and the SPS to spend precious time and resources we don’t have, But we still don’t have a commitment on grandfathering.
Anonymous said…
The SAP doesn’t guarantee grandfathering. Some specific transition plans have allowed for grandfathering at specific schools.

The GC can’t commit to anything. The District is the client, the GC has to do what the client wants.

Mr. Wagar, I saw your updates at the My Ballard story and will amend my thread.
Anonymous said…
sorry this seems a bit old news to me as a hcc parent. we have been geo-split several times without grandfathering. never popular but a constant with app/hcc. not saying it isn't right. meany was just geo split from wms. cascadia was promised no geo-split. and they were geo-split. (with one going to a self contained program therefore not racist and the other split building so inherently racist).

i would optionally geo-split ghs into lhs. i would also pull 2019- 9-10 rhs/bhs in the lhs zone into lincoln. i would also transition staff from ghs to lhs just like they did when they opened hims and jams. lhs is a great option for hcc kids. walkable, new energy and not 500 kids over capacity.

i wholeheartedly agree with kellie. just craziness to disrupt all high schools with forced change when we are adding 2,000 seats and should be looking at more choice. fools foley, is a nice way to put it. incredible overreach is another. who are these people anyway and how are they coming up with such grandiose bs.

unless it is michael tolley and wyeth jesse spoon feeding them this crap. funny how they had to get it through operations when blandford was still there. a hcc hater.

no caps
Anonymous said…
How would you geo-split Garfield into Lincoln? Shift the Eastlake or downtown regions? We are a current Garfield family and truthfully we haven't yet met any family at Garfield who doesn't want to be there. That includes the HCC students from the north end! Much is made online about the long commute, but in real life the students we know who are commuting seem not to mind and indeed they quite enjoy it. The families we know with younger siblings express worry that their children will be denied Garfield.

Add Lincoln as an HCC pathway option for the north end while retaining the current pathways at Garfield and Ingraham, and allow incoming students to choose between Lincoln, Ingraham or Garfield for the first 2-4 years. Roll up those students and then close access to Garfield from the north end except for siblings, a demand which will diminish naturally.

I do get irritated with the excessive consideration of and frankly preoccupation with the HCC cohort. ALL students deserve access to advanced and appropriate coursework. My freshman is Gen Ed but is taking the exact same slate of honors, advanced courses alongside other HCC freshmen, and despite being patently qualified for the HCC designation, my child is ineligible having arrived to SPS as a high schooler when HCC differentiation ends. So yes, I do get defensive when people casually suggest Garfield be sacrificed for the good of HCC - and let's face it, for the good of north end HCC students only since Garfield will continue to be an HCC pathway school for the south end. Funny how no one is saying that experienced staff should be pulled from north end schools, hmm.

Bulldogs Biting Back
Future Hale said…
From a safety and wealth perspective it's sad in Scenario F Version 4.2 to see the Ingraham/Ballard division and the Hale/Roosevelt falling largely right along the sidewalk line at NE 85th. On the other hand, it's nice to see relatively decent walking zones around each of the north end high schools.
Eric B said…
BBB, as I understand it, the geosplit would be all 9-10 HCC students living in the north end (Ballard, Hale, Ingraham, Lincoln, Roosevelt assignment areas) would be geosplit to Lincoln. Just like all 9-10 Gen Ed students in the new Lincoln zone would be geosplit to Lincoln.

You may not see this, but Garfield is in pretty dire straits. Ted Howard said that he can't fit any more students in. There are 125 more students coming next year. Something has to give, even if it's a year later.

The waitlists ended with ~20-30 students assigned to Garfield who didn't want to be there.
Anonymous said…
@ Eric B

Could you provide the source for this assertion: "The waitlists ended with ~20-30 students assigned to Garfield who didn't want to be there." Thanks.

Capitolhill Parent
Anonymous said…
They updated new boundaries:

It’s becoming more clear my kid will go to Lincoln no matter how this rolls out. I’m becoming more worried about the principal’s desire to make it a PBL school. I want nothing to do with another PBL school. We left our option school after 3 years of my child “self-directing” her learning in an SPS option school with a PBL/SEL focus, which for us, meant very little direct instruction/learning. She had lots of fun, and was quite happy there, but she was also two years behind when she arrived at our neighborhood school. It took three years for her to catch up, Maybe it would have been better if SPS had supported PBL training for staff, or if class sizes had been smaller, but we all know that won’t happen at Lincoln either. Opening a high school is hard enough, and the focus should be on creating a solid academic program, not joining a fad, just because that is what the principal wants. We just want a strong traditional high school, nothing more. Nobody should be forced into an alternative program.
Worried Mom
Anonymous said…
That is probably the Ingraham HCC waitlist. There were about 40 kids on the waitlist when it dissolved, most of whom ended up at Garfield. I am not sure what sacrifice of Garfield you are talking about. Staff will leave when it shrinks- of course they will! As it should be. The only people from the north end I know considering Garfield next year are in difficult positions- accelerated students, otherwise going to Hale, with a principal who requires them to repeat many years of coursework, or would otherwise be split to Lincoln in 10th grade to a school and principal unwilling to provide the next course in the sequence. It is principal power- specifically the unwillingness of many of them to provide advanced classes though there is sufficient demand- that is the problem. Not parents.

James Wagar said…
@Melissa Westbrook - thanks for the update/correction!


Anonymous said…
If I'm interpreting the district's enrollment data correctly, Garfield is already staffed at a lower ratio than the other overcrowded schools that will be losing students too. Only Franklin is staffed at a lower ratio. Look at the numbers below, north end high schools are almost ALL staffed at higher ratios than schools in the south end. How can this be explained? It's pretty galling, actually, unless I'm missing something.

December enrollment TOTAL/P223 TOTAL/P223 TOTAL FTE Ratio

Roosevelt: 1865/1837/1791.39 .975
Ballard: 1916/1864/1811.75 .972
Nathan Hale: 1210/1166/1126.32 .966
West Seattle: 1015/952/917.91 .964
Rainier Beach: 725/698/665.89 .954
Ingraham: 1369/1320/1258.56 .953
Chief Sealth: 1058/1008/953.62 .946
Cleveland: 865/844/795.40 .942
Garfield: 1841/1757/1654.53 .942
Franklin: 1280/1280/1199.29 .937

Garfield Parent

Anonymous said…
Isn’t high school staffing based on how many students finish or something as opposed to how many go to the school? Maybe Garfield gets fewer teacher hour due to students who leave before graduating (like to Interagency or Running Start or wherever?)

Anonymous said…
^^^ I thought that was represented by the difference between the Total enrollment and the Total P223 enrollment numbers. I used the P223 enrollment numbers for the ratio.

Garfield Parent
Anonymous said…
Number of SPED students and related staffing would need to be considered as well. I would hesitate to jump to any conclusions based on numbers above. Just not enough info.

another parent
Anonymous said…
I think Running Start students are particularly unclear in the enrollment reports. Kellie can probably explain this better, but here's one of her previous posts:

"IMHO, the problem is that the official enrollment reports, do not include any Running Start information and therefore nobody is watching this piece of the puzzle. The enrollment reports have been showing the high school enrollment has been relatively flat for 6 years, despite the simple fact that the increases in the Kindergarten cohort started with the K class of 04, aka the graduating class of 2017."

Since Garfield is the current HCC pathway and has the highest number of HC students, I would expect that they may also have a disproportionate share of students forced into Running Start. From another @kellie comment:

"Simply put, the priority for the master schedule has to be ... graduation requirements, all remediation to get students to their graduation requirements, and then anything over and above. This is why advanced and/or honors courses are often the first thing to vanish when the schedule gets tight."

it's complicated
Anonymous said…
ELL and SPED students are included in these counts, and scrolling to the very end of the report confirms that Running Start students are the difference between the Total and P223 counts.

I WANT to hesitate jumping to conclusions but a simple ranking of FTEs for each high school reveals a north-south pattern that is difficult to un-see. Do the FTE numbers include PTA-funded positions? That may be one explanation, although not necessarily one that is acceptable.

Garfield Parent
Eric B said…
CapHill Parent, The source for the data is a spreadsheet of waitlist data provided to me by SPS as of 8/8/17. That showed 37 students on waitlists who were currently assigned to Garfield. I don't think I can upload a spreadsheet to the blog comments, but they break down as follows:

School students is waitlisted for, grade, program: number of students
Ballard, 9, Gen Ed: 2
Ballard, 9, SEL: 1
Ballard, 12, Gen Ed: 1
Cleveland, 11, Gen Ed: 1
Franklin, 9, Gen Ed: 1
Franklin, 11, SM2: 1
Ingraham, 9, Gen Ed: 2
Ingraham, 9, HCC: 16
Hale, 9, Gen Ed: 1
Hale, 10, Gen Ed: 2
Roosevelt, 9, Gen Ed: 7
Roosevelt, 10, Gen Ed: 1
West Seattle High, 9, Gen Ed, 1

Some of these waitlisted students made it in to other programs through swaps. I don't know exactly how many, so that's why I say 20-30. Very few if any of the Ingraham HCC students moved via swaps.

Anonymous said…
Garfield Parent,

How are you determining that Garfield is staffed at a lower ratio than other overcrowded schools without using the number of staff?

The numbers you provided tell us that there were 1,865 individual students registered at Roosevelt last month. 28 of them are enrolled in Running Start full time, leaving 1,837 on campus. Those students in total are registered in 274 classes less than a full load. ((1,837-1,791.39) x 6 classes = 274. They could be part time Running Start students or just taking a free period.

The ratios you calculated tell us the extent to which schools are able to provide a full schedule for their students.

Fairmount Parent
Eric B said…
If any of you missed the link to the maps presented at the HS Boundaries Task Force meeting, here it is:

In regards to the boundaries in F4.2 and F6, staff have received the following comments at the HSBTF meeting:

F6 overloads Lincoln in both the decentralized and Garfield-Lincoln-West Seattle-Ingraham option (GLWI) HC models. The Lincoln area will need to get smaller, especially because Lincoln can't add portables.

F4.2 has a number of swaps between Ingraham and Hale so that the new boundaries follow middle school boundaries. It would be far less disruptive to not do those swaps (or the small carve-outs from Roosevelt). If Hale needs enrollment relief, part of the pink area on the change areas map could be moved from Hale to Ingraham.

F4.2 works surprisingly well for both the decentralized and GLWI models. I didn't it was possible to do both, so a good job to Ashley's team.

Hale should be kept up over 1200 students, which is the agreed threshold for a comprehensive high school.

One other notable thing: staff said that they were considering lifting the cap on Ingraham HC enrollment entirely to try to offload students from Ballard, Roosevelt, and Garfield. After the Ingraham addition opens, the limit may be put back at 120 students/year.
kellie said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
kellie said…
High school is dramatically under-funded and very few people track this issue. IMHO, this is the number one equity issue in the district.

The State of Washington funds high school based on the Average Annual Full Time Equivalent (AAFTE). The "theory" behind this funding model is that it is supposed to inspire school districts to stop the drop out rate, by NOT funding students who do not finish the school year. But the reality is that teachers are simply not funded where they are most needed.

Simply put, the average attendance of high students is funded NOT the October 1 headcount. IMHO, this practice is barbaric and the implication is that school districts need to pay teachers for a full school year, but the state does not pay for a teacher for the full school year.

This is the PRIMARY reason why the high school master schedules are so tight.

At Roosevelt 97.5 out of every 100 students are funded.
At Garfield 94.2 out of every 100 students are funded.

District wide, approximately 5 out of every 100 high school students receive ZERO DOLLARS from the State of Washington. This is why cohort matters. The high schools with the least variation from the standard schedule are able to manage with this lack of funding.
kellie said…
Thank you "it's complicated"

You quoted me very accurately and you just made my day to know that someone reads my very geeky comments.

kellie said…
If anyone wants to calculate the Running Start Numbers you can use this report.

The Total Student Count shows all students assigned to a high school. The Total Count remove the full-time running start students. The FTE number is the FTE percentage after all the part time Running Start Students are subtracted. Garfield has the largest Running Start enrollment by far.

Anonymous said…
@ Garfield Parent, it appears that what you calculated had nothing to do with staffing, as the FTE figure refers to student enrollment. So basically, Garfield has more part-time students.

Total: 1857 students
With F/T Running Start removed: 1774 (so 83 f/t RS)
FTE: 1667.68 (so that means 106.32 FTE students worth of additional students doing p/t. That could be ~200 students doing half time @ GHS, ~400 students doing 3/4 time @ GHS, etc. Hard to know, since it's just totals.)

Thinking about this more, I have some concerns.

About 60 GHS seniors are doing F/T RS--is that by choice? Another 50+ worth of students are doing part-time RS, so that could be 100+ doing half time at each, or maybe 200+ doing RS for only a class or two. With a total senior class of 460, it's conceivable that HALF of them are doing Running Start to some degree. I have a hard time believing that such a high percentage of families would choose that voluntarily, given the hassle of transportation, schedules that don't align, vacations that don't align, kids wanting to be with their friends, etc. What percentage of kids at each high school are being forced out, and which kids are these?

Ironically, @Garfield Parent's initial post that suggested there was some north-end inequity here might be correct, but in the opposite direction suggested. If it's the more advanced students who are being forced out (since "advanced and/or honors courses are often the first thing to vanish when the schedule gets tight"), the north-end students at Garfield would seem to be disproportionately impacted by this inability to provide for students.

I would love to see the Board ask for some good, clear data and meaningful analysis on this Running Start issue, including follow-up with students re: why they "chose" that option. (If doing the follow-up is too much work, they could collect these data prospectively by including a question or two on whatever forms students need to submit to their counselors to get RS approval.)

it's complicated

Anonymous said…
@ EricB, thanks for the maps. Since you seem to have looked at the numbers carefully, can you explain to me why the Lincoln numbers go UP and the Roosevelt and Ballard numbers go DOWN in 2021 under the "3-pathway 2019, decentralized in 2021" plan? It seems like if LHS is going to be a temporary HCC pathway, that upon decentralization many of those students would be "returning" to LHS and Roosevelt. Did they mess something up in their model?

it's complicated
Eric B said…
@It's Complicated, I have not looked deeply at the numbers and the trens, so I don't really know. I have two guesses:

Ashley's team put the numbers together in about 24 hours, so there's a higher chance of mistakes. If so, it should hopefully be corrected at the work session on Wednesday.

It's also possible that this is related to students rolling up and out and/or Lincoln having 4 full grades. I don't really know which it is, but it would be a good thing to highlight to the Board so that they can ask about it if the effect is still there at the work session.
Anonymous said…
People asked about this at the task force meeting. Ashlee said it was because 2021 is the first year of 4 grades in Lincoln, and the hc pathway change would be a roll up. So a few more hc 9th graders would be at Roosevelt and Ballard (and a few fewer at Lincoln), but that is more that offset by the Ballard and Roosevelt to Lincoln change area 12th graders now being at Lincoln.

Anonymous said…
I think I see what’s happening there. HCC students aren’t going to be pulled from Lincoln in 2021. The change will only affect incoming 9th grade students.

As an example, if there are 600 students in the area that’s changing from Ballard to Lincoln, in 2019, Ballard’s enrollment would be reduced by 300 because students in just two grades would be moved. In 2020, Ballard enrollment would be reduced by another 150. In 2021 Ballard enrollment would be reduced by another 150 for a total reduction of 600. This would also be the first year that incoming 9th grade HC students living in the remaining Ballard attendance area would be automatically assigned to Ballard. It appears they’re assuming that would be less than 150 students.

Fairmount Parent
Anonymous said…
*Ballard and Roosevelt change area 9th-12th graders. Argh. Sorry. Just that is adding a whole other grade, while RHS and BHS are all more right sized at all grades. They'll still be enormous in 11 and 12 in 2019.

Anonymous said…
@ Eric B - Thanks for explaining your wait list #s

Caphill Parent
Anonymous said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said…
For Progress is not me.

For progress
For Progress, you need to cease and desist from using others' monikers. I will delete any comments that are not from those who had the original name. (Yes, I have my ways.)
Anonymous said…

Why does SPS insist on evaluating race versus FRL and ELL when FRL/ELL are a much better indicator of probable achievement on standardized test. In addition the state has asked them to increase outreach regarding FRL/EL and submit their for these.

In addition, this would be really serve the same group with over 80 percent being FRL SPS being black and over 25 percent of the hispanics, blacks and native americans being eligible for bilingual services.

Basing all our attention on race, which is something that doesn't really factor in my opinion in SPS, instead focusing it towards the real factors of FRL and ELL would great diminish the divisiveness. Why can't we all work together on identifying those individuals in those groups who need more assistance to get the HC services they most likely need.

(This blog seems to be running out of names.)

Progressive SPS-18

RS Numbers said…
OK, I've followed Kellie's instructions and done the math. Here are the running start numbers for Seattle's high schools from largest to smallest.
School Name—Full Time Running Start—(full time equivalent of) Part Time Running Start
West Seattle—59—38.48
Rainier Beach—26—31.29

So, if we add the full time Running Start students to the FTE part time Running Start students, I assume we get a total picture of the FTE number of students who have chosen or been forced to resort to Running Start:
Garfield 189.32
Ingraham 112.09
Ballard 105.79
Sealth 104.11
Franklin 103.59
West Seattle 97.48
Hale 89.34
Roosevelt 74.84
Cleveland 71.27
Rainier Beach 57.29
Center 28.89
NOVA 6.76

So, for the whole district, that's a total of 427 full time Running Start students, 613.77 FTE part time Running Start students, for a combined (full time + FTE of part time) of 1040.77 students.
Anonymous said…

ouch. what a drain. i know we were encouraged more than once to consider running start. really our counselors only real interaction. too bad.

no caps
GLP said…
Have you seen this? A parent has created a visualization tool for the hs boundaries. You can select each scenario and a school year to see the impact on capacity at each high school. (Look at it from a computer. The drilldown options didn't show when I looked at it on my phone.)

Anonymous said…
@ RS numbers, I don't think they add up quite like that. Your sub totals look right, but you can't just add the full- and part-time numbers to get the total number of students.

The Garfield 106.32 FTE part-time students doesn't represent 106.32 students--if it did, they would be full-time RS. For example, if the FTE were only 1, it could be two students going to GHS half time, or three going 1/3 time, four going 1/4 time, etc. but it. Couldn't be one going f/t or they wouldn't be in that column. This means the actual number of individual students in RS cannot be determined from this, although we know it has to be larger than what you came up with.

It's complicated
ConfusedParent said…
I would love to hear more about Running Start from families with firsthand info. I had no idea that many students participated!
kellie said…
The Running Start program is effectively the LARGEST high school in Seattle and the lack of transparency around RS is why the vast majority of the boundary scenarios are nonsensical.

RS Numbers has correctly calculated and labeled the FTE for running start. FTE is full time equivalent. There are over 1,000 FTE of Running Start Students district wide. As Running Start is just a two year program for juniors and seniors, this is the equivalent of over 2,000 in a four year school. Ouch.

It's complicated is also correct in that SPS does not release any detailed information on program participation and it is impossible to know the number of unique student involved from public information. My best guess is that about 2,000 unique students participate in running start as either part time or full time. Again that is a huge number.

As these numbers have been increasing annually, in 2014, it was only about 700. It is reasonable to assume that many both many students want to do running start as their first choice AND many students are being pressed into running start for capacity reasons.

The reason this matters is because the projections are based on 5 year averages. The five year averages blunt the impact of the sharp year over year cohort growth in North Seattle. The most likely scenario is that students who would have been pressured to take Running Start in 2019, will think they can remain because Lincoln opened. A sharp drop in RS participation at Ballard and Roosevelt would have a big impact on the projections.

It is my understanding that because RS is a guaranteed program, that is why SPS dropped the geo-splits for 11th graders. There was no way to enforce the geo-split as every 11th grade student would have the option of either RS or Lincoln.

Anonymous said…
I'm using FTEs as proxy for staffing since it IS the budget allocation metric the district uses. I don't claim it is a perfect proxy for staffing, fair enough and I welcome explanations such as part-time RS students, but it is absurd to assert that it is has nothing to do with staffing. Of course it does as funding and staffing are intrinsically linked! Kellie put it in a way that perhaps is easier for some to understand - Garfield receives funding for 94.2% of students compared to Roosevelt's 97.5%, after removing the full-time RS students from the count. Can the difference be attributed to part-time RS students then? Do part-time RS students explain the budgeting disparity between all the north v. south schools?

Garfield Parent
kellie said…
Frankly, IMHO, I wish the district and the board had learned from the dramatic over-reach during the 2013 boundary process. Growth is happening so swiftly in Seattle that growth simply outpaces the projections methodology. If you did a simply analysis of what downtown thought would have happened in 2017 for middle school and what did happen, the numbers were dramatically off.

Pushing 2,000 high seats into the system in 2019 is already complicated enough and out the outer edge of what the projection methodology can handle. Trying to embed a major program change for 2021 on top of this is over-reach, plain and simple.

Bottom line: Opening Lincoln is going to cause some profound ripple effects. Between Running Start and over 70% of high school families having two legitimate addresses already, there is just no way to reasonably have enough certainty around 2021 enrollment to make a decision based on 2016 enrollment data.

It would be far better for everyone involved if SPS could just focus on one thing at at time and doing that thing well. Focus on opening Lincoln and don't over-burden the process with a second change two years.
kellie said…
@ Garfield Parent,

I share your feelings on this topic. I learned all about this budget practice the year downtown wanted to cut staff at Garfield, despite the simple fact that Garfield had over 100 homeless students and 87 students who were unable to get a full schedule.

Please direct your concerns to the board and to the budget office and your elected officials. Our elected officials truly believe that because the students "aren't really attending school" because of the drop out rate, there is no reason to pay for teachers based on enrollment. That does mean that Garfield is staffed with fewer teachers than Roosevelt BECAUSE Roosevelt has a higher graduation rate and a lower RS participation rate.

The notion is that those students really aren't at "Garfield." The circular nature of the argument is lost on most people. Because there are fewer teachers because of AAFTE, there are more students pushed into RS. Go figure. I truly believe this is the real equity issue at Garfield.

Anonymous said…
Our next door neighbor is one student I know in Running Start, a Garfield junior who is taking two RS classes by choice. He is quite happy doing it, I asked him directly - he likes the classes and he is taking them alongside a friend also doing Running Start but attending another high school. Living in the Garfield zone transportation is not a concern.

Garfield Parent
Anonymous said…
Thank you for your insight, kellie.

Garfield Parent
Just to note, the district loses money with every student who takes Running Start (either full-time or just a class).
It will be interesting to see if the new plan for HC at every high school - therefore bringing in more rigor that ALL students can access - will change those numbers.
Anonymous said…
Our child is very reluctantly doing full-time Running Start as a senior, and would much rather be at school with friends for the last year of HS. Our child could not get a full schedule of appropriate level classes and the scheduling of core senior classes made it near impossible to do just part-time RS in the morning. Plus, with RS, you don't know when the courses you want will be offered. Sure, you know for Fall quarter, but Winter and Spring are unknowns, and by then you are locked into your HS schedule.

The level of rigor in RS varies. Even though courses get the same weight as AP/IB courses, some courses are incredibly basic. I wouldn't consider it the best option for HC students, yet RS may be the only way to get calculus based math and science courses that are more rigorous than some high schools offer (I am seriously skeptical of the SPS plan to disperse HC students in 2021). And a student can get more courses in with RS (3 per quarter, for 9 total) vs only 6 with a typical HS schedule. They can take the equivalent of 2 years of HS math in one year of RS. Another upside is not being tied to the later MS/HS bell schedule.

MLK Gifted said…
Oh, but Director Geary is focused on only one thing: forcing HC students to attend high schools with principals who ask not to be pathways for them, may not be interested in taking steps to meet their basic educational needs, and in some cases seem to vaguely disapprove of them as human beings. Director Geary sat back and watched while Spectrum suffered colony collapse and she and the board showed no sign of caring about rigor then. Parents know: school board members who don't care about rigor for kindergarten through 8th graders don't suddenly start caring about it for high school students.

Our school board is running a large school district. Let us ask them this; Does rigor come from schools or does it come from students? Because if rigor comes from the schools, schools can step up their rigor right now. What are schools waiting for? If ALL students want access to rigor, and rigor comes from the schools, why wait until 2021?

Director Geary, however, seems to believe that rigor comes from students, not teachers. She seems to think that highly capable students are like pixie dust- sprinkle them around and rigor will magically blossom around them.

If the district sprinkles highly capable students on Hale and Rainier Beach and Interagency and South Lake High School, would those schools suddenly become more rigorous??? If their test scores increased, would this be a reflection of teachers suddenly doing working harder or more effectively??? Would this be because schools are suddenly imbued with rigor that ALL students can access??? Would anything at the schools have changed??? Or just a few of the students? Did you just sprinkle human beings like pixie dust on a building with no attention to providing students with a basic education???

Martin Luther King Jr. day is next Monday. Martin skipped two grades in school and started college at age 15. That was the state of the art in gifted education in the 1940s and it appears to be the SPS plan for highly capable students today as well, accelerate students two years and then ship them off to college early via Running Start. I wish we could move beyond what was state of the art in the 1940s.
kellie said…
The Geary / DeWolf plan will only result in more Running Start, not more rigor.

High School is the Master Schedule, plain and simple. Advanced classes go on the schedule LAST. This plan does not add one more penny to high school and if you are not adding more money, you are not adding more classes. Classes cost money.

People seem to think that high school works like elementary and if you have 30 kids that all need the same thing, you can get a class for those kids. Geary seems to think that by sending six kids that need Calc BC to Hale that suddenly Hale will offer Calc BC and other kids will be able to take that class.

It doesn't work like that. For a school to offer Calc BC, you more likely have over 40 students who need that class and only the lucky 30 whose schedule line up for the time slot get the class and the rest get running start.

It is no a coincidence that the school with the most Advanced offerings is also the school with the highest Running Start enrollment.

The Geary/Dewolf motion is what you have when dogma takes the place of real data and logical thinking.

MLKGifted, thanks for those insights; I didn't know that about MLK, Jr.

Kellie, I'll put up the resolution on this issue but yes, there is not clear thinking here. It's a lot of magical thinking and no one who knows this district can believe it will happen.
Anonymous said…
I don't know if anything will come of it, but HB 1046-2017-18 reintroduced and retained in its present status.

Watching said…
HB 1959 was just sent to the Appropriations Committee. The intention of the bill is to Delay the implementation of revisions to the school levy lid.

I hope we aren't held hostage, again.
Watching said…
Wrong information. HB 1059 was just sent to the Appropriation Committee to delay the implementation of revisions to the school levy lid.
ConfusedParent said…
Thanks for all the Running Start info, this is all news to me and really informative. I think MLK Gifted hit it on the head: "it appears to be the SPS plan for highly capable students today as well, accelerate students two years and then ship them off to college early via Running Start." Ugh. While I can see this would be a great opportunity for some, it's definitely not the high school experience I had in mind for my kids.

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