Friday Open Thread

Great article about the need for civics from an article at Crosscut about the visit of Justice Sonia Sotomayor. 

Addressing a crowd gathered at the Westin Hotel in downtown Seattle on Tuesday afternoon, Sotomayor said: “No one is born a citizen. You have to be taught what that means.”

Sotomayor was in town to support the Council on Public Legal Education, a nonprofit whose mission is to promote public understanding of the law and civic rights and responsibilities. Sotomayor launched the localized version of the national online iCivics curriculum, a program that was founded in 2009 by former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. Washington is only the second state in the country to tailor the curriculum on how government works to the local level.

Two school districts are already putting a new emphasis on civic education: Franklin Pierce School District and Sunnyside School District.
From SPS:
The Family Leadership Training which was scheduled for Sat., Jan. 27, will be rescheduled. The new date will be determined soon. Please stay tuned for details. 

Also from SPS:
Important information for parents and guardians with a Source account created prior to August 2017. Source accounts parents and guardians set up prior to August 2017 with a username that does NOT match the email address on their student’s school record will be disabled on Sat., Feb. 3, 2018.
Please contact your student's school to update your email address if you are a parent or guardian with a Source account that is:
  1. not an email address
  2. have been using an email address that is not on your student's school record.
After the school updates your email address, the email address on record with the school will be your Source username.
Director community meeting tomorrow, the 27th, wit Director Patu at Raconteur, 5041 Wilson Ave S, from 9:30-11 am.  (Just to note from the last Board meeting, Director DeWolf said he will have a community sometime in March.)

What's on your mind?


Anonymous said…
Finals week it is.
But it is not the same everywhere. Students at Hale and Roosevelt get early/late dismissals and three days to take exams. Students at Garfield have two days and no early/late dismissal.
Who decides how exams are given to students?
Anonymous said…
Justice Sotomayor also spoke to students at Washington Middle School that day. It was very well-received and some students were allowed to ask her questions. What a great opportunity.

The Crosscut article also mentions her praise for the Youth Traffic Court, which is a project of Garfield High School, Seattle University School of Law, and Seattle Muni Court. Shout-out to the Bulldogs working hard to make Youth Traffic Court successful!

LM, probably the principals, given the leeway that the district has decided they have.
Anonymous said…

Guess what? More guns are the answer to school shootings!

Violence in 2017 from Syria to

Anonymous said…
Thanks, Melissa!
Good for the principals of Roosevelt and Hale.
Hope other high schools are giving their students enough time to take the exams.
Anonymous said…
Welcome email from Director Mack, p1/3 And sorry I don't know how to do the links she included.

Thank you for writing about high school boundaries and/or pathways. I’m writing this note to everyone today to hopefully respond to questions and concerns and to let you know where the decision making process is at this stage. I apologize for not being able to write a personalized note. Please do respond back if your particular issue or concern is not addressed here.

The school board will be voting on THIS Wednesday January 31, 2018 on several items related to high school boundaries and pathways to prepare for the re-opening of Lincoln High School in 2019-20.

I am excited about the opportunity for us to create an amazing, diverse and meaningful high school educational experience at Lincoln High School. This is the first comprehensive high school the district has opened in many decades. We still have many capacity and facilities challenges to address next year and in future years, but opening Lincoln in 2019-20 will help relieve overcrowding in our high schools.

District staff posted an update yesterday, as well as the full agenda for the board meeting. Re-drawing high school boundaries and pathways is a complicated endeavor, and I know that there are still many questions and concerns. Nothing will be finalized until the school board takes action on Wednesday, and I would encourage you to continue to write to and/or sign up to testify at the board meeting to share your support or opposition for items on the agenda.

School Choice: In order to choose a high school (and/or clarify your students’ choice) for NEXT YEAR the 2018-19 school year, please sign up during Open Enrollment which is open now and will end on February 16, 2018. District staff will be following up with concise details about the results of Wednesdays vote by the end of this week so that you will have complete information about the 2019-20 high school boundaries and pathways. Students have the ability to apply for a “choice” assignment to a school that is not their attendance area high school, and student ALWAYS have a guaranteed assignment to their attendance area school. Pathways (i.e. Dual Language immersion DLI or Highly Capable (HC)) are guaranteed assignments for students designated DLI or HC if chosen during Open Enrollment, but are not required. Other choice assignments are based on space available.

This list of high schools is helpful if you want to see what else is available within Seattle Public Schools. Center, Cleveland, Nova, Middle College, Skills Center, Interagency, and South Lake are non-attendance area high schools that you may not be aware of but may be something to consider for your student. Additionally, many attendance area high schools currently are providing advanced course work even though they are not designated an HC pathway.
Anonymous said…

Here are some of the main details and hopefully additional clarity of the current boundary and pathway proposals:

Lincoln HS will open with 9th and 10th grades (current 7th and 8th graders) only in 2019-20. The board and staff have been sensitive to the difficulty of students moving schools in the 11th grade. Current high school students will not be moved when the new boundaries are implemented. The upper grades will be added to Lincoln as the students move up and will be a full 9-12 in 2021-22 school year.

The currently proposed boundary map (VF4.3 on page 13) and “challenge areas”: There are several areas labeled A, B, C, and D (page 15) that were still under consideration for being moved in or out after our last work session. At this time, there is only one amendment that would make any changes to map VF4.3. Amendment 2 proposed by Director Burke and myself, would keep Area B (“is bordered by 3rd Avenue NW to the west, then NW 70th street to the north, then Greenwood Ave N then Phinney Ave N to the east, then NW 46th St then NW Market St then NW 50th street to the south”) in the Ballard HS assignment. Unless another Director makes an amendment to any of the other areas and if this amendment and the main motion passes, the final boundary map would be VF4.3 with area B going to Ballard.

Changes to Dual Language Immersion (DLI) Pathways starting in school year 2019-20: Director Burke and I have proposed Amendment 1 to “Move the North-end Dual Language Immersion high school pathway from Ingraham to Lincoln in 2019-20 and Develop a Southeast Dual Language Immersion Pathway.”

Changes to Highly Capable (HC) Pathways starting in school year 2019-20: Currently Garfield is the HC pathway high school for the entire district. The proposal is to add Lincoln HS (for students in North Seattle), West Seattle HS (for students in West Seattle) and maintain Garfield (for student in South and central Seattle).

The vision for equitable access to advanced coursework in all high schools: Directors Pinkham and Patu and I have proposed a SUBSTITUTE resolution that would direct the district to:

implement, by school year 2019-20, more equitable identification practices for advanced learning and highly capable services;
engage in a collaborative planning process to develop the specific scope and sequence of advanced courses that will be provided at all high schools and accessible to all students; and
produce a report by the Fall of 2019 that will detail the comprehensive plan for increasing advanced learning in all high schools and, if appropriate, will make recommended changes to student assignment that prioritize equitable access to programs and services and minimize disruption to all students, for implementation in school year 2021-22.
The SUBSTITUTE resolution would not yet make any changes to HC assignment rules for 2021-22, as the currently proposed resolution would do. If the SUBSTITUTE resolution passes, the HC pathways to Garfield, Lincoln and West Seattle would remain until/unless the board decides to make changes in future years, AND in the District will be implementing more equitable identification practices AND develop the comprehensive plan to ensure that every student has access to advanced coursework in high schools by 2021-22.

Assigning 9th graders and 10th graders to Lincoln in 2019-20 and Grandfathering exceptions: In order for Lincoln to open with a sufficient cohort of students, the proposal details how students will be assigned on the attachment N (page 29). In short, all 9th and 10th grad students that are in the new Lincoln boundaries will be assigned to Lincoln and Students in HC entering 9th grade may opt in to the new pathway schools (Lincoln or West Seattle). The
Anonymous said…

“High School Grandfathering Plan” proposed for when the new boundaries and pathways take effect in 2019-20 is:

All students in the Highly Capable (HC) pathways at Garfield and Ingraham will be grandfathered.
All 11th and 12th graders in fall 2019 will be grandfathered.
All 10th graders in areas that have a changing attendance area assignment, but not to Lincoln High School, will be grandfathered at their existing assignment.
Again, any student may apply to another high school through school choice, though seats are based on space available. There is also one amendment proposed (material not yet posted) that would impact ~18 students from West Seattle, but there are no additional grandfathering amendments currently proposed.

Thank you for your engagement and support for Seattle Public Schools! I hope that the above helped clarify the current proposals, what amendments I’m co-sponsoring and responds to your e-mail.

We have significant capacity and facility challenges all across the district, even though our facilities team has done an absolutely amazing job of renovating and building since 2013. There is much planning work to be done, and I appreciate you support Seattle’s schools and for each and every student.

Best regards,

Eden Mack, Director District IV

-Ty Directors
Anonymous said…
Stonewalling access to HC services for all students at their neighborhood schools as manifested in the Mack, Patu, Pinkham substitute resolution is manifest denial of academic opportunity for the total high school student body in Seattle. This is a deliberately timorous approach that will promulgate inequity and contribute to denial of academic resources for many, particularly those students who face the greatest systemic discrimination.

If this resolution is accepted, then it’s time for the city to step in as the board will have proved itself incapable of extending opportunity to all.

For progress (the original)
Anonymous said…
All students don’t need access to HC services though any more than all students need access to special education services or ELL services.

Fairmount Parent
NE Parent said…
I think it most telling that both Directors Patu and Pinkham support the "Substitute" proposal that postpones the decision on eliminating the HCC high school pathway until more analysis is done on what that will exactly mean for equity.

Director Pinkham has long been an advocate for Native American equity. Patu has also long been an advocate for minority equity. Both are minorities themselves.

On the other hand, Director Geary wants to eliminate the pathway in the name of equity. The problem is that Director Geary represents some of the richest neighborhoods in the city such as Laurelhurst. And she represents a high school, Roosevelt, which serves some the richest students in the city. Even without a pathway, Roosevelt will have a significant number of HCC students and already has a large number of advanced classes.

Should there be an HCC pathway? I don't know. But I think it will be ironic if the white board members vote to eliminate the HCC pathway in the name of equity, and the minority board members vote to postpone such a decision, also in the name of equity.

I hope Director Geary and others change their minds and support Patu and Pinkham.

Anonymous said…
Yes! I was pleased to see the substitute proposal, for all the reasons you state.

SE parent
Anonymous said…
but all schools do need hc services, ne p. this is the only proposal that will offer that. but yeah, sure we agree.

progress is not segregation, racial inequity or teaching hc kids. please go back to fwiw. because we know what is worth.

Anonymous said…
Can someone help me with this formula?
We live on Queen Anne.
We have an hcc 8th grader who will go to Ballard next year.
We currently have a 9th grader at Ballard.
Will our older child (who will be in 11th grade when Lincoln opens) provide sibling preference for our 8th grader so that he can remain at Ballard in 10th grade?

I haven't seen mention of sibling assignments anywhere.

Thank you,
Eric B said…
QAMom, the answer to your question is probably. Your older child will remain at Ballard in 11th grade. Your younger child will receive an automatic assignment to Lincoln as part of the geosplit. The younger child can then apply for a choice seat at Ballard.

Thanks to Directors Mack, Patu, and Pinkham for this alternate resolution. I think the best part of it is the request to diversify the HC pool by increasing testing in ways that reduce barriers for disadvantaged students (testing during the school day, testing in native languages). Also, I always think it's a good idea to plan before making a change. Changes to HC as a whole would happen the same year as in the Geary-DeWolf proposal, but they'd be thought through before deciding what to do.
Anonymous said…
If the HC bill passes, this proposal will be redundant in terms of barriers.

It makes it sound like the board is proposing something groundbreaking and conscience-driven, when it will likely be required by law soon to do more than what they are vaguely proposing.

Gee, thanks, board! Way to take the bull by...

Its Horns
"Stonewalling access to HC services for all students at their neighborhood schools .."

Wrong, wrong, wrong because according to ALL the high school CSIPs, they do provide services. You can check.

NE Parents, good points I hadn't considered. The sub resolution does not stop the change; it makes it wait for a plan in Fall 2019 (a real date) in order to make sure everyone is on the same page for the best way forward. That's real action, not PR.

Anonymous said…
@ shizzzz-9, designating a school a pathway is not the same as providing services. That's why none of the directors have proposed making all high schools HCC pathways now--because schools can't provide the options that would be necessary. There's no plan for why they would be better able to do so in a couple years, either--that's why the substitute plan is needed. It will take significant resources, in terms of money, teachers, and space. Without a comprehensive analysis to see what's needed at each school, and without a plan and budget that respond to that analysis, HC services just aren't feasible at all schools.

HC services are only needed if there are HC students. If there is one HC student in a school, is a school required to offer them a slate of advanced classes? No--the law makes it clear that feasibility is a consideration. They have to serve them, yes, and make the case that they are doing so appropriately given the conditions, but there's nothing specific they have to do. Calling something a pathway doesn't change that.

Maybe you are actually referring to advanced learning services as a general term, more along the lines of the survey the district sent out asking if people wanted more advanced learning options closer to home. If so, yes, by all means, schools SHOULD provide more advanced options if there are enough students who want them. There's nothing preventing schools from doing so now. If principals are stonewalling on access to advanced learning, parents and students need to call them out.


Anonymous said…

@ Its Horns, you sure know your "bull."

If the HC bill passes, this proposal will be redundant in terms of barriers. It makes it sound like the board is proposing something groundbreaking and conscience-driven, when it will likely be required by law soon to do more than what they are vaguely proposing.

Uh, no. This substitute resolution proposes a lot of key and essential things that are not in the proposed HC legislation. Things like:

-implementing more equitable identification practices for advanced learning and highly capable services--which wouldn't really be required under the law, because (a) it isn't specific about local norms (we could choose to use Seattle norms, which would likely need to be relaxed to national norms--which is what we're already using); (b) it doesn't specify the types of assessments to be used, just that you can't exclude someone on the basis of a single test; and (c) the universal screening isn't likely to have a big impact if they aren't changing cut-off scores for target groups, which isn't necessarily required.

- developing the specific scope and sequence of advanced courses that will be provided at all high schools and accessible to all students - 100% necessary but not addressed at all in the bill

- producing a report by the Fall of 2019 that will detail the comprehensive plan for increasing advanced learning in all high schools - which goes above and beyond services for only HC students, and is apparently in line with community wishes, and which requires thoughtful analysis and planning to address, since if it didn't we would be doing this already if people really wanted it so badly...

- and, if appropriate, making recommended changes to student assignment that prioritize equitable access to programs and services and minimize disruption to all students, for implementation in school year 2021-22-- because the proposed law doesn't address service locations or pathways or anything like that. The state, and the proposed state law--don't dictate the service delivery model.

This board resolution actually goes way beyond what the proposed state HC legislation proposes, and covers issues that need specific attention in SPS. So yeah, way to go board!


Anonymous said…
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Anonymous said…
With increasing "equity" being SPS's highest priority goal, can readers help me understand the following?
1. What is SPS' definition of equity?
2. How is equity measured?
3. How will we know when we've achieved equity?

Any metric used to guide an organization's actions needs answers to each of these three questions, and I'm clueless about them.

Anonymous said…
@ Slow Down, that's an absurd conclusion to take from that article. Did you even read it?

For one, the big problem with overprescribing was in the South, not West Coast areas like Seattle. But more importantly, the article's premise was that part of what's behind it is low test scores--that the over-diagnosis is borne out of the need to increase test scores (or exclude the test scores) of the lowest scoring students in this era of school accountability. HCC students--who had to score very high on those very tests in order to be identified as HC in the first place--are very clearly not the target for such efforts. The article is completely unrelated to HCC and HC students.

Obviously, you simply wanted to push your personal opinion that HCC is about parents pushing kids too hard. It's not. Your opinion is not only unsupported by HCC data (are rates of ADHD a lot higher in SPS's HCC population?), but it also does a disservice to kids who legitimately have, and struggle intensely with, ADHD and/or anxiety.

Want to know what caused the greatest anxiety and/or physical and emotional distress for a couple of my own children? NOT getting enough challenge in school (my HCC student), and untreated ADHD (my 2e student). Proving much more challenge for one, and meds for the other, were incredibly helpful. Maybe even lifesaving. I know many other parents who feel exactly the same.

Think Fast!
Eric B said…
QAMom, After thinking about this overnight, I think I'm overstating your chances of your younger child staying at Ballard. There will be lots of kids with sibling preference and probably not a lot of slots for choice, as they want to make sure Lincoln opens pretty full. So your child will probably be in the top priority group, but there will be a lot of kids in that group competing for few if any slots.
Anonymous said…
Autism and air pollution.

Anonymous said…
@QAmom- I would be careful as the way it stands a 10th grade HC student enrolled in Roosevelt or Ballard that is in a change area of Lincoln in 2019 might get sent to Lincoln and not have any services. They are not stating Lincoln will open with 10th grade HC. Only 9th grade HC in this plan thus far. If you choose Garfield or Ingraham might be safer if you don't want child moved to a school without services.
Anonymous said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said…
Eric B and Anonymous at 1:49--
I was afraid of that-- in spite of Principal W @ Ballard telling me that he thought the chances would be good because of SPS's "interest in keeping siblings together." It must be frustrating for staff and educators at the schools to have no better information than parents when it comes to this whole mess. (In fact, the parents on this blog are better informed for the most part than anyone I've spoken with at Hamilton, Ingraham or Ballard.)

I wonder if they will be considering the sibling question at Wednesday's vote? Any idea?

Thank you both for your thoughtful responses.
kellie said…
@ QAMom,

I concur with Eric. Because Lincoln will only open with 9th and 10th graders, this means that both Ballard and Roosevelt will still be significantly overcrowded in 2019, and unlikely to have any choice seats.

A lot of the 2019 scenarios will depend on 2018. Next year is going to be nuts for high school. It is going to be hard to predict how many families will just leave the district rather than hunker down for what is certain to be a very impacted year.

Each school will be getting at least 4 additional portables.

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