Friday Open Thread

The Board will be spending all day considering who to make an offer to for the superintendent position (this was the reason the survey deadline was 9 pm last night).  I have a call in to ask when the Board will be making an announcement - they are scheduled to discuss a contract offer at the Board meeting next Wednesday, April 4th.  I don't know if that means an announcement on Monday or Tuesday.  I have a call in to ask.

Parents here's an an alert - there's a vaping device that looks like a USB drive.  From KIRO news:

The Washington Poison Center is warning parents and teens about the new vaping device Juul, which could be easily mistaken for a USB drive.

It is small and easy to hide, but it's what is inside that has health officials so concerned.

The Juul device is marketed as a way to get adults off of cigarettes and so it offers a stronger nicotine content.

Students at Ballard High School say "Juuling" is popular. Olivia Budick says she doesn't have one but many of her friends do.

Wylie Soltes says he had a Juul. "You can pull it out, you can have it anywhere. To smoke a cigarette you have to hit the bus stop. You want a Juul you hit the bathroom, it's easy." His Juul was taken away at school. 
Director Community Meetings
Director Betty Patu at Raconteur, 5041 Wilson Ave S from 9:30-11-00
Director Eden Mack at Magnolia Public Library, 2801 34th Ave W from 1:00-3:00 pm

 What's on your mind?


Anonymous said…
I heard Graham Hill Elementary is proposing to combine their Montessori and Contemporary Programs into one program. I believe there is a meeting at the school sometime in April to explain why. Does anyone know if a school can just end a program and make this change at the school level or would this require a school board vote?

-Curious Parent
Anonymous said…
Congrats to the Ballard High School Robotics team! They are invited to attend the World Championship this year in Houston.

Ballard High became the first team in the Pacific NW to EVER win the World Championship last year in 2017, competing with over 400 teams and countries from around the world including China, Israel, Turkey, Canada and many others. It is a major accomplishment and was featured in multiple news outlets last year.

They are team 2928 and are fundraising to cover fees. For anyone interested, please consider donating at:
BHS parent
Anonymous said…
OT, but I'm not watching KOMO news anymore. Their new owner, Sinclair broadcasting is requiring them to run Sinclair-produced pieces and editorials supporting a right-wing viewpoint, whether the KOMO folks want to or not.

And Times reporter Mike Rosenberg's tweet this am:
Local TV news chain Sinclair literally hired someone from the Russian propaganda outlet RT to produce a story on "the Deep State." It ran on Seattle TVs during the KOMO 6 o'clock news. (Sinclair owns KOMO).

Again, Sinclair owns local TV stations in 40% of U.S. cities

Anonymous said…
@curious parent - Over the past few years, there has been a definite push to end any programs that create separate classes within schools: they moved away from Spectrum self-contained classes, created HFA at Garfield (over the summer, after new families had enrolled), essentially ended the IBX program at IHS - no Board action required. Yeah, a school can just end or change a program.

nothing new
Anonymous said…
Public comments on Swift's possible move to SPS don't sound encouraging. Should we take them with a grain of salt, like Seattle Times comments?

"Please, take her. Besides that....LOL! Hope there is no racial achievement gap in Seattle. Swift has totally failed in addressing that long standing failure within A2...she was too busy picking the low hanging fruit."

"Seattle deserves her!"

"Maybe if she leaves, we’ll get high school grad ceremonies BACK in A2."

not encouraging
Anonymous said…
She used the same quote about "our children being postcards to the future" when she applied to Ann Arbor. More here:

Off to

inquisitive parent
Well, I have some very different comments from the school board president in Ann Arbor; I’ll do a write-up soon.
Michael Rice said…
Nothing New wrote: urious parent - Over the past few years, there has been a definite push to end any programs that create separate classes within schools: they moved away from Spectrum self-contained classes, created HFA at Garfield (over the summer, after new families had enrolled), essentially ended the IBX program at IHS - no Board action required. Yeah, a school can just end or change a program.

I can't speak for Spectrum or Garfield. IBx is still a viable and thriving program at Ingraham. All that has happened is that it is no long the default choice. Experience has taught us that not all students are ready to begin the IB diploma program as a sophomore. It takes a certain level of time management skills, intellectual and emotional maturity that not all sophomores have. The extra year makes a huge difference in not only how they perform in IB classes, but also how they view the whole IB experience. We can way more about student success than anything else and our counselors and IB coordinator can tell story after story of students melting down in their office because the demands of the program was too much for them as 10th graders. We want to do away with that.
Outsider said…
While we are off topic, I would recommend the study of history, especially the type no teacher would tell you to study. It's much more amusing than you would think.

For example, within living memory there was a time when (really, I am not making this up) the progressive left were the main critics of the deep state. They also ridiculed red scare hysteria and promoted detente with the Russians. Now forgotten are things like the Church Committee, Salvador Allende, J. Edgar Hoover (no, not the inventor of the vacuum cleaner), Dr. Strangelove. Back in those days, it was law-and-order, cold warrior right wingers who defended the FBI and CIA as defenders of our freedom, and were certain a Russian under ever rock was plotting to end our way of life.

Now strangely it's all flipped. Progressive leftists now praise the alphabet agencies as a bulwark against a sinister, omnipresent network of Russian agents trying to end our way of life, while right wingers advocate detente with Russia and complain about the deep state.

The flip-flop is much more interesting than what any of these people actually say. An ounce of actual history is worth a ton of blah blah.

I am planning to crowd-fund a new movie -- "Dr. Strangelike, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Like Fake News." Who's in?
Anonymous said…
Notice how the Seattle times has zero stories about Easter today. Instead they once again run the race flag up the pole. The vanishing CD? Really that's a story. MLK assassination?, old news.

Stoke Stoke Stoke Stoke

Call you senator tomorrow and ask them what they have done for YOU lately. Not much I bet.

Anonymous said…
Do IB programs help schools or only those students who participate in IB? The overall test scores from SPS IB schools show scores falling for non-IB students. Why is that?

Anonymous said…
@ Croux, where are those data reported?

Anonymous said…
Some kids do well in IBX. But for many HC students regular IB or the AP model works better than IBX which is why majority are not enrolled in IBX. It is not because the program has died. Many are delaying and doing regular IB so they have 4 years of high school. The downside is no real acceleration until 11th.
With AP, they can actually begin taking a couple of AP classes in 10th, combined with honors courses without committing to an entire IB program that demands much more organizational skills. AP also allows for more focus on activities and clubs (band, newspaper, robotics etc) outside the classroom than IB in which students can develop other skills. In addition, in contrast to IBX in which kids finish in 11th, they have access to four years of advanced coursework via AP classes.
Another perspective
Anonymous said…
A couple comments on IB vs IBX. First, they are exactly the same classes - and the classes themselves have kids who are IB, IBX and kids who are taking IB classes but not doing the full program. The only difference is whether you take the IB program in 10th/11th grade or 11th/12th grade.

My daughter is a senior at Ingraham and did the IB program in 10th/11th grade (i.e. IBX). Again, her classes were a mix of kids (I'm emphasizing this because there's this weird perception that somehow IBX kids are completely separate from the IB kids). For my daughter (and her friends), doing the IB program in 10th/11th grade was a great option. It also gave her a little breathing room her senior year when she was applying to colleges. I can't imagine doing the second year of IB and working on all the college applications at the same time (although lots of kids do this). For her senior year, my daughter has been taking a mix of classes at Ingraham as well as some advanced math and physics classes through Running Start which has worked out really well. I would note that a number of her friends who also finished IB junior year are taking a full slate of classes at Ingraham. My daughter just wanted the chance to spread her wings a bit.

Ingraham mom
Anonymous said…
Another perspective - I wonder why you think IB kids do activities outside the classroom? My daughter did IB, played multiple sports, and did community service. As did her friends. IB is definitely rigorous but I don't know that it's harder than taking a full slate of AP classes.

Ingraham mom
Eric B said…
Also, IB and AP are not mutually exclusive. Ingraham has a number of AP classes that are also open to all students. If students have room in their schedules, there's no reason they couldn't take AP classes in any open slot in the student's schedule regardless of whether they are in IBX, 11/12th IB, or just taking some IB classes. I know several students who took/are taking AP classes at the same time as the full IB diploma.

One minor drawback to IB is that colleges tend to give a little more credit for AP classes than IB classes. They don't tend to give credit for the 1-year IB SL classes, while many give credit for 1-year AP classes, both assuming good scores.
RosieReader said…
Hi Eric. I'm 90% sure that the Washington Legislature changed this in the last session, so that, going forward, Washington public colleges and universities will give IB Standard Level classes (which take 1 year) the same level of credit they give for AP.
Anonymous said…
IB was used at first as a capacity management scheme. When a IB program enters a school the disruption is very noticeable. Teachers and students soon are divided in to US and THEM.

I wish people could just be honest about this.

Anonymous said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said…
@ PP, when ANY capacity management solution is implemented, disruption is noticeable. If they added a bunch of HC students who wanted AP classes, those not wanting AP classes would be upset. If they bus students in from far away, those not getting buses are upset. If they add students from one demographic, those of others are upset. It's not simply an IB thing. There are lots of ways to create us-them situations when you have very diverse students and needs.

I'm not saying more can't be done to minimize disruptions and divisions, but don't place all the blame on IB.

Anonymous said…
Many IB students can choose not to do the full diploma with all its requirements. But if they are HCC I would wonder if other classes are appropriate & if they have enough to choose. There are a few AP classes, but definitely not many at Ingraham. To be clear, Garfield, Roosevelt & Ballard all offer much more as far as academic and other electives, activities and clubs than Ingraham.

Many HC kids at those schools DO find it easier to participate in AP classes in which you can take as many or few as you like without being in a program with requirements. IBX can be great, but it is not a default option for all HCC. Far from it.

Only 22% of the HC population is at Ingraham & we know many kids who switched schools later realizing it was not a good fit. It is true, kids were sent there originally for capacity reasons and it was not popular at the time, for those old timers who remember how hard it was to get them to change pathway from Garfield.

More than 3/4 of HCC are at neighborhood schools or Garfield. Taking IB early in 10th is not appropriate for many HC kids who have not yet developed the organizational skills. This is why so many are not doing IBX or IB early.
RHS mom
Anonymous said…
Re the AP vs IB discussion, we moved from an international school (IB) to Garfield (AP) for 9th, and ultimately it is up to my child whether to return at 11th to do the IB or stay and continue with AP at Garfield. With this in mind, last summer I asked a college admissions counselor (from U Chicago) specifically if there is an admissions advantage to either pathway and she told me NO, admissions counselors do not weigh IB vs AP since most high school students do not have the choice. Rather they want to see a high school student challenging themselves to the highest level offered at their high school (makes sense) and she did explicitly say if a high school offers the IB Diploma, they really want to see the full Diploma attained.

As we are also considering universities abroad, there are clear admissions requirements outlined for both: typically one needs either the full IB Diploma OR three AP courses, with exam score thresholds for each posted in advance.

(Personally, with our kids having attended French/Int'l schools their entire lives until this year, I don't see any advantage in doing the IB early.)

Anonymous said…
Ingraham is an IB school first and has only a handful of math based AP courses - AP Calc, AP Stats, and AP CS. When IBX was created, it was designed (or envisioned, not all of it came to fruition) as a 4 year option program to alleviate crowding at Garfield. HCC students took honors LA/SS courses that were supposed to better prepare them for starting IB in 10th, and the plan was to offer post IB LA/SS courses in 12th (CIHS courses), along with additional IB courses. IBX is now more of a grade skip option than a program. Students have the option of pursuing the IB diploma beginning in 10th, but 12th grade is more of an unknown. This year's IBX cohort is fairly small (they are encouraging most students to start IB in 11th) and they may be left with Running Start as the best option for a full course load in 12th.

Over the last few years, students have chosen Roosevelt and Ballard in higher numbers (over Garfield and Ingraham). While IB offers a different approach and some students are ready for the challenge, it can be rigid, and the diploma requirements make it difficult for students wanting to remain in band/orchestra or some other non-IB elective for 4 years. I'd guess most HCC students choosing IHS in the last year or two are from the Ingraham, Hale, or soon to be Lincoln draw area.

another parent
Anonymous said…
"Over the last few years, students have chosen Roosevelt and Ballard in higher numbers (over Garfield and Ingraham). While IB offers a different approach and some students are ready for the challenge, it can be rigid, and the diploma requirements make it difficult for students wanting to remain in band/orchestra or some other non-IB elective for 4 years. I'd guess most HCC students choosing IHS in the last year or two are from the Ingraham, Hale, or soon to be Lincoln draw area."

I concur with another parent's summary. It also explains why out of the 28% of HCC students at Ingraham (districtwide HC at Ingraham is 22%) only 1/3 HCC at Ingraham (9%) a very small number, are now pursuing IBX.

Contrast that 9% number with the majority of HCC who are taking AP classes.

As the original plan was to alleviate overcrowding and most HC are taking regular IB or at AP schools, when Ingraham adds seats in 2019 (and if Lincoln gets going as an HCC pathway school) I suspect the HC population may no longer receive any priority enrollment.

I suspect all of north end students would have real choice option for Ingraham's IB program.

North End
Anonymous said…
Did Ingraham get rid of a bunch of AP classes when they added IB? Or did IB just expand advanced options at the school?


Anonymous said…
@HF. I don't think Ingraham has offered AP. Ingraham has offered their IB program to the general population for over 20 years.

In recent years, they lured some of the HC students away from Garfield by trying to create an optional pathway (but capped numbers so the overall enrollment is only 22% of HC) due to overcrowding issues with the promise of IBX an accelerated version of IB.

Now a majority of HC students (2/3) who do choose Ingraham are choosing regular IB, which is strongly favored by the administration who has data that the IBX model is not a great fit for many HC kids who have not matured in organizational skills/executive functioning. The smaller HC population takes classes alongside the majority general population pursuing IB at Ingraham.

There are other issues as well that are leading to a decline in IBX and IB being more popular. Parents and the school have also learned IBX is not preferred over IB for college admittance. Colleges want to see two difficult years of coursework junior & senior year.

Many HC students in recent years have been choosing strong neighborhood schools that offer as many AP courses as Garfield, especially those who want flexibility for band/orchestra and a wider range of electives etc.
Anonymous said…
P.S. I don't think it is a coincidence that RHS and BHS were chosen to participate in the Essentially Ellington Jazz competition at Lincoln Center in NYC this year. Both of those schools have very strong music and other programs as well, and have become two of the best high schools in the state. They also have loads of high achieving and spectrum and in recent years HCC qualified kids. Makes sense for many north end HC students to choose a closer neighborhood school that has alot to offer.

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