Friday, November 08, 2019

Lincoln High School, Thoughts?

Some readers wanted to share thoughts on the opening of Lincoln High School.  The comments below are the opening ones.  (I note that two Lincoln High students made remarks at the beginning of the school board meeting on Wednesday.   I was very impressed.  They noted several clubs especially around minorities and LGBTQ and that since their school was largely white, they want more literature from writers of color.

Also to note, there is a very active Lincoln High Facebook page.
Lincoln High School has terrific leadership that has helped smooth the transition of opening a new school. There is true communication with families and advocacy for students at all levels - from students who need extra help to students who need accelerated opportunities. Perhaps because its a small program (600 total), nonetheless a very solid opening. Thanks to Director Burke for his vision for the school and his efforts over the past few years in having it come to fruition so nicely. And of course, tremendous thanks to the leadership and teachers. And the alumni and parents. It will be interesting to watch the rest of the roll-out of the school over the next few years.
I’m happy to hear that at least someone who thinks Lincoln is doing well. It doesn’t align with what I’ve heard from several kids/families. It would be nice to hear from more families about how their first couple months at Lincoln have been so far. I guess that’s all I’m going to say on a “Good News” thread.
Z. Can you let us know (in general terms) what other families' experiences have been? Mine is a single families experience (and also from my kiddo's friends), so clearly may deviate from the norm. Am very curious what others' concerns are. Thanks!
 Happy Mom
Good news: My kid has great teachers this year! Just went to curriculum night-open house and so happy to see my kid excited about a lot of her classes. Thank you to all teachers and the hard working people who serve middle school students.


Anonymous said...

The good is the committed teachers and administration. The building is very pretty with all the needed bells and whistles. Perhaps too small an indoor eating space (by design or an oversight?) - kids frequently eat in classrooms and the library. Laptop for every kid. Active and engaged music program. Engaged student body, supportive of school at home-coming game and at dance.

The bad is the limited class options (given smaller student body), limited accelerated classes. No upperclassmen means no advanced discussions with older mature kids. Access to and talk about drugs - but perhaps better than most high schools as there are no upperclassmen. Classes not very rigorous. Some sophomores still feel a little resentment at being pulled from their prior school.

Largely, though, its been a good start.


Anonymous said...

VERY positive experience so far. My son is part of the tiny sophomore class, and it suits him much better than ginormous Roosevelt last year. He's getting involved in extracurriculars and making new friends. Loving the project-based focus, too. Multiple thumbs up!

- Marceline

LeFemmeMonkita said...

I find it disconcerting that my daughter, an 8th grader at Hamilton in the "Moderate" SPED classroom (formerly SM2 and Focus) won't be going to Lincoln though we only live two blocks away. And I get it, too, I really do understand that there simply isn't enough demand for a SPED moderate program; but why on Earth will she and her friend who lives only .75 miles from Roosevelt going to be bussed all the way to Ballard?

z said...

My info comes through the kids’ grapevine, so treat it as such. My kid is at a different school, so what I’m getting is 2nd and 3rd hand at this point.

The thing is, it wasn’t the magnitude of the disappointment, but the ubiquity. What I heard was that pretty much everyone wasn’t very happy there. Granted, this is centered around one friend group, so there’s that to consider as well. Some of it has to do with advanced learning shortcomings, some is probably just the nature of being uplifted from either the school they were planning to attend or the schools they were actually attending, it’s hard to say.

When Jane Addams opened and all the kids got ripped away from their other buildings, friends, classes and teachers, there was a lot of resentment among the kids. It was pretty bad the first year, but I think it got better over time. Some of that will probably happen at Lincoln as well, but I’m concerned, as are the kids, about lack of rigor compared with some of the other high schools. Time will tell with that part, but the trends aren’t good.

Anonymous said...

Z: To get to your point, I'm not sure there is lack of rigor compared to other high schools. But there is certainly some lack of rigor for the top half of kids in that its an integrated honors system - there is only so much acceleration that can be done when you have kids in the same class that span 6 grade levels in ability/achievement. Don't think this is any different than integrated honors ('honors for all') at other schools. And all other high schools are now (or will be in the next year) on the integrated honors system for 9th and 10th grades (except for IBx). There is nonetheless AP Physics, AP Calculus, AP Spanish, and AP computer science, all for 10th graders (and some 9th graders), so not too shabby. And while the school does not offer AP World History, there was interest in this class by students, so one of the teachers will offer an AP World History study section. Testament to the commitment of the teachers and the flexibility and 'thinking outside of the box' attitude of leadership. Next year, as AP classes become available in Language Arts and US History, there will be some additional rigor in the humanities as well.

Any school has shortcomings, but it seems that at Lincoln, the teachers and administration put students first.


z said...

Regarding “integrated honors”, or “Honors for None”, as it’s been labeled by many.

Yes, this is mostly likely the rigor issue I was hearing about. I think most of the kids that I was hearing about are coming from HCC, so “integrated honors” is going to be a significant step down in rigor and challenge for those kids.

It’s good to hear that there are some teachers willing to think outside the box, though there’s only so much one can do when, as you say, students in a single class can end up “spanning 6 grade levels in ability/achievement”.

Another thread was just talking about this issue, but I’ll say this from my 15 years in the district. Many teachers simply aren’t interested in putting in the effort to even try to make their classes work for kids working multi-years above grade level. The payoffs are very small compared to getting kids to standard, and frankly getting kids to standard needs to be priority number one.

But even when teachers are interested - and bless those that are - there’s only so much they can do. In secondary classes teachers have around 150 students every single day of every week. With only a couple exceptions that I’ve seen, their lofty goals end up being swept away by the tides of reality.

Anonymous said...

Once again we see a school, with plenty of space, turning away Sped so it can serve the ever growing HCC? And nary a peep on the blog about that. Here we have a million posters, complaining or wondering how they can squeeze every drop out of a school and school system, while we have another neighborhood kid who can’t even have a seat in their own school... and not a word. Everything for one group of kids while others get literally nothing. The district has promised for more than a decade that it will serve all students with disabilities in all regular secondary school. And they lie that they already do this, to deny other students a seat at a non local school. A student in “Moderate” special ed (formerly called SM2, Focus, L2, Generic self contained, ...) is not a rarity. She is a kid in need of a finite number of services that can absolutely be met in any comprehensive high school. La Femme. Definitely stand up for yourself and demand your rightful seat at Lincoln. You get it that there aren’t enough kids? Utter bs. File an OSPI complaint. OSPI has told SPS a million times to fix the program baloney it clings to in special ed.

Utter bs

Anonymous said...

Dear Utter BS,

Lincoln is a high school and does not have an HCC segragated group. It is a pathway for HCC kids instead of having them go to Garfield but it is all kids from the northend. Secondly, the school is only Freshman and Sophomores and will be twice as big after two years as new classes are added. Lincoln is expected to be as large as Roosevelt, Ballard and Garfield in the end.


Anonymous said...

@ Utter bs, I'm sorry to hear that LHS is not providing the sped services you think they should, but aren't special ed services determined and placed by the district, not schools? I doubt Lincoln has the power to turn away a sped student because it does not want to serve them. It sounds like your beef is with the district.

People post about what they know. If they don't know about a specific problem with sped, how do you expect them to post about it? Parents seem to be damned if they do, damned if they don't when it comes to sped posting--if you post, you're attacked for not having all the info correct, but if you don't have the info and don't post, you're accused of not caring. No many wonder parents steer clear.

double damned

Anonymous said...

@Utter BS Roosevelt, Ingraham, Ballard and Hale are currently enrolling more than half the HC students in the north end. Garfield mostly has the remainder except for this year's 9th grade at Lincoln. There are also actually very few HC students in 10th grade currently at Lincoln because most were grandfathered at Garfield or went to RHS, BHS & IHS. Most of the HC students we know who went to Lincoln for 9th and 10th also have a neighborhood school of Lincoln.


Anonymous said...

"There is nonetheless AP Physics, AP Calculus, AP Spanish, and AP computer science"

Which version of AP Physics and AP Computer Science, as LHS originally proposed what are considered the "AP lite" versions? College Board offers AP Physics 1 (algebra based) vs AP Physics C (calculus based), and AP Computer Science Principles vs AP Computer Science A. The "lite" versions may provide a good foundation for the next level AP course, or for RS classes.

For comparison, credits UW grants for each:

AP Computer Science Principles - CS 120
AP Computer Science A - CS 142

CS 142 is comparable to Computer Programming 1 through Running Start, and is part of the CS sequence for CS majors at UW.

AP Physics 1 - Physics 114 (general physics)
AP Physics C - Physics 121 (engineering physics)

just curious

Anonymous said...

Algebra-based physics is what's currently offered at Lincoln as only 1 kid had already completed calculus in 9th grade. They likely will no longer offer this and move to calculus-based physics with subsequent classes.

Re Sped programing, do almost all other high schools offer this? Is Lincoln an aberrancy in not offering this? Or is Lincoln one of several schools not offering this? I'm trying to understand why the Sped concern has been linked to HCC. Thanks!


Melissa Westbrook said...

Utter BS, most parents don't have a special needs child and they don't know where those services are located. I think the PTAs at each school should know what services are offered and be able to help all the parents in the school advocate for those services. But the district does - as you well know - yank services around so it is hard to track them if you are not directly involved.

And this:
Everything for one group of kids while others get literally nothing."

I am sorry you feel this way but it's just not true. HCC students don't get "everything" but yes, their program is easier to manage than the many layers of Sped.

I will have a post on "hoarding resources" but I don't think that's the case here.

LeFemmeMonkita said...

@Melissa, you wrote: "Most parents don't have a special needs child and they don't know where those services are located. " Heck, most SpEd parents don't know where services are located for their children, especially when these services keep moving every year.

Look, I personally am not pointing fingers and separating out the "haves" versus the "have nots". All I want is a decent education for my daughter -- and it's frustrating to think that she will be spending two hours a day on a bus when that is time she could be spending learning (and yes, folks, my SpEd daughter has the ability, and right, to learn). It also strips her of the independence she's building by not being able to walk to and from school -- an independence she has relished since she started at Hamilton. Maybe UtterBS has ruffled some feathers here, but it's nice to know someone knows how I feel about my frustration with the District. I never would have thought to file a complaint with OSPI, so in that regard, I'm thankful for someone speaking up.

@Melissa, you also wrote: " I think the PTAs at each school should know what services are offered and be able to help all the parents in the school advocate for those services." Interesting. I never knew that because in all of the schools we've attended with both of our kids, and one school in which I was on the PTA, no one ever discussed services for SpEd students. There's clearly a disconnect there if that is the case.

Before Lincoln opened, I had a chance to chat with LHS principal Ruth Medsker who actually has a solid background and passion in SpEd. She told me about the things she did for West Seattle HS -- having an academic track as well as a life skills track for SpEd students to choose from. I was so impressed and excited that she was on board with these ideas at Lincoln. And then plans changed. Do I blame her? Of course not. It wasn't her choice to exclude SpEd, I'm sure. This has to do with enrollment numbers. But I have no recourse other than to file a complaint against the District and hope to be heard. And my daughter, who actually bought a Lincoln sweatshirt last year (only to be told later by a teacher that she wouldn't be attending Lincoln after all) is crestfallen.

Anonymous said...

LaFemme, don’t be crestfallen , do something. Make a stir. File complaints. Or just threaten to. That’s what it takes. Principals absolutely, 100%, do have an impact on the programs that wind up in their buildings. So do all these parents who complain and complain and complain and complain about not getting this or that extra thing. Principals make deals all the time with these same parents to get special things for their kids and not for years, in return for volunteer hours or extra PTA cash. Principals want to stay on good terms with their community. Unfortunately, that doesn’t include you or any other kid with a disability.Your kids should absolutely have a seat at Lincoln and she will if you persist. I guarantee it. Sorry you have to suffer for it. Parents have made that happen many many times. You can too.

Utter BS

Anonymous said...

That is, principals make deals with all these loud mouths: for their kids, not yours. Lucky for you, you have guaranteed due process and procedural safeguards.

Utter BS

suep. said...

@ LeFemmeMonkita, that's appalling and sad. I'm sorry you are having to deal with this apparent shortsightedness on the part of the district. It's been a constant battle to get the district to assign SpEd students to their local schools. I recommend you take this issue up with the new board. That would include Lisa Rivera Smith who is currently a LHS parent and PTA member. She seems conscientious and empathetic. You could also go to Dir Burke's final community meeting. Maybe he'd have some insights or advice, since he's been heavily involved in and committed to the successful reopening of Lincoln. Also, since the school will steadily grow in size in the next two years as new grade levels are added, surely there will be enough resources to serve SpEd students as well. Lastly, I don't understand the legality of SPS not offering SpEd services at every high school. Surely that can't be allowable. Good luck.

Sue Peters

Anonymous said...

@ Utter BS, you're suggesting she complain, then refer to those who do as "loud mouths"? Interesting approach to giving advice. :)

As for PTAs, I doubt that many know much about SpEd services in the school, but that's not to say they would not look into it. Melissa wrote "I think the PTAs at each school should know what services are offered and be able to help all the parents in the school advocate for those services." I think the operative word here is "should," and if you brought it up at a PTA meeting that it would be good for the PTA to work with the school to compile a list of SpEd programs and services available on site--or heck, even ALL special programs and services available on site--that could be a great resource to parents and the overall school community. It would also give the PTA itself a more comprehensive overview of the school, for consideration in their efforts, funding, outreach, etc.


Melissa Westbrook said...

HF, yes, all programs should be disclosed to parents, both as a reference and to grow understanding about the entire community.

Anonymous said...

Equity of access, the battle cry of those opposed to HCC (yet literally EVERYONE can access HCC provided that their test marks meet the 3 required benchmarked minimums) is NOT available to all students when it comes to high school.

Case in point: Lincoln. Our kid 10th grader takes AP Calc b/c and AP Physics C at RHS. Could do the same at BHS. Can’t do that at LHS or GHS (they’ve deleted AP Physics C from their course offerings).

We know 3 groups of 10th grade kids at LHS. Several forced out of RHS. Not one of them happy. One forced out of BHS. He is not happy. And one who lives in Wallingford who opted into LHS out of GHS because GHS was not meeting his needs academically and they saw the direction GHS was going and thought it might be better to spend 3 years at LHS vs GHS.

So, equity of access is a lie. One LHS student was going to take AP Calc B/C but CAN’T because it is not offered there. If that student was at either BHS or RHS they would be taking it right now. LHS does have AP Calc A/B and it has 2 students enrolled in it.

LHS is situated in a very expensive neighborhood between BHS and RHS which are very academically high performing schools that have amazing performing arts programs. Eventually, the community pressure and demands will evolve LHS to have similar offerings. But it is not there yet, and so lynxes who need those offerings right now have to do without.

And, not having SpEd SM2 there now? That is vile. To exclude parts of the community is inexcusable and disgusting. SpEd kids can be much more vulnerable than their typically developing peers, they can’t just change schools at the drop of a hat because the district decided to open up those services there. This district seems to have no limit to how they’ll hurt kids. It is revolting. This stuff is so basic, so fundamental, start a school with the SpEd resources built in, and yet SPS chose not to do so. They should be rebuked for violating civil rights. SpEd students are general ed students first and too.


Anonymous said...

HCC drives sped out of every building they enter. It’s a collective of resource hoarders by intent and design, and they don’t care how a single other kid is impacted. No sped? Other kids lumped in a dump in the basement? Other kids don’t get a gym, a classroom, a seat in the building? Fine with HCC. AP everything, 10 years of foreign language, advanced you-name-it, 3 jazz bands they deserve it. Other kids? Not so much. App did its best to drive sped out of Lowell, even as the district had invested millions in specialized rooms for disabilities accessibility. App didn’t care. They wanted to stick together for maximum self service no matter the cost to others. They drove resources out of Garfield and Washington for a decade or more. Garfield had no SM4 self containment, nor inclusion program. When HCC loved Washington, there was no inclusion there either. (Now that it’s in the doghouse and not providing a range of extra perks, lo and behold, suddenly there’s enough room for Access. No surprise.). Robert Eaglestaff had no SEL Sped program, (maybe it does now, I don’t know). Those neighborhood sped kids also sent packing. They have overrun the building next door, Licton Springs, as well. Sped there is out in the hallway thanks to HCC. So is math. Oh. They also can’t even share the brand new gym.

And what happens to all those sped kids who get driven out of those HCC entitlement enclaves? They are shipped across town to OTHER schools. Is it good for Ballard high or Laurelhurst or McClure or Licton Springs to disproportionately serve special education students because HCC has driven them out like at Lincoln? (Yes, the district even forces sped students into option schools against their will, so you may have your option of an ideal pathway.) Is it good for students like Femmes daughter to be broken from her cohort. and her neighborhood just so HCC can get theirs? HCC does not care. Do HCC parents ever once consider the impact on other kids of their program? No, of course not. That is what resource hoarding looks like. Shipping responsibility onto others, to be implemented at their cost in terms of both capital, facilities, and quality of services.

HF, right. Students in special ed are entitled to mandatory due process and procedural safeguards precisely because districts across the country have not been responsive to the needs of students with disabilities. Loud mouthed entitlement seekers are loud mouthed precisely because it works despite of no existing entitlement. Show me the AL court case awarding the right to due process or the right to self containment. Crickets. It’s actually a huge problem that SPS continues to require such desperate advocacy on the part parents like Femme who are asking very little. Her needs are not extraordinary. SM2 was called generic at one time.

info, “equity of access” does not mean every kid gets the perfect science class. It means all kids get a science class. Right now, many sped kids get 0. Literally.

Utter BS

Melissa Westbrook said...

Info, it would be good to tell the Board those thoughts. They should know.

It’s a collective of resource hoarders by intent and design, and they don’t care how a single other kid is impacted."

I will be having a post about "hoarding" but that "intent and design?" That's on the district. "They don't care"- who are you speaking of, the district or the parents?

"AP everything"

Uh, no, see the comment above. While all the comprehensive high schools have AP, the offerings vary.

"10 years of foreign language, advanced you-name-it, 3 jazz bands they deserve it."

How do you think that the foreign language classes are not open to all? I never saw any requirement to get in. As well, those jazz bands? Started decades ago, supported by parents and are not all HCC kids. Just not true.

"App did its best to drive sped out of Lowell, even as the district had invested millions in specialized rooms for disabilities accessibility."

That is not what I saw/heard. The kids at Lowell were really happy about the Sped program because it offered both groups the ability to interact with a variety of students.

You sound incredibly bitter and frustrated. But to think that HCC is the cause of all the movement of Sped is not true and I invite you to show the data on that. The district has ALWAYS treated Sped as a moveable feast (and, to a lesser extent, HCC).

I urge you to write to the Board. Especially about science because that is a requirement. I will note that HCC does not have separate science classes so what "perfect" means, I don't know.

suep. said...

@Utter BS. False. The district tried to drive Sped out of Lowell. Those of us who fought the closures in 2008-09 fought to keep the school open not just for the APP kids there but for the Sped kids for whom aspects of the facility were specifically designed, and for the sake of their stability. A few years later, when the district claimed Lowell was going to be too full again and there was talk, by district admin, of dividing up Sped classrooms to make more room for non-Sped students, a number of us opposed that plan and instead supported the uncertain but less destructive option of APP leaving Lowell for Lincoln. I can guess how you might spin that but the truth is, I always regretted the splitting apart of the APP and Sped communities at Lowell. But I was glad Lowell's Sped community was allowed to remain at the school and have the facilities and stability they needed. There were no good choices. The district has a hard time creating win-win situations. As for Lincoln I see no reason why local Sped students can't have access to that school. It's outrageous.

Btw, there are hundreds of families who comprise the HCC/APP community. They are not a monolith so your generalizing about all these children and parents is inaccurate. There are bad apples in every group, but there are also people who truly do want a district that cares about and serves all students of all needs. If we could all work together instead of battling amongst ourselves we would be in a better position to counter the divisive actions of the district.

- Sp.

Anonymous said...

Just look in this post alone, you will see complaint after complaint that AP physics xyz is missing, “only” AP physics abc. AP computer science perfect isn’t offered, only AP computer science runn-of—the -mill. Many sped students at Garfield are offered repeat math classes.... like Algebra 1, or General Math, repeated endlessly to count as hs math “credits”. Good for YOU, for them? Not so much. How many science classes are ANY students in self contained special ed offered at any secondary school? Hardly any. Whether or not those APs are offered to those beloved “other students too” is so totally not the point. How many HCC parents were up in arms because of their entitlement to a Jazz band when Hamilton didn’t offere it? Tons. As if Jazz was their god given right. So what that others can join?. Can Femmes kid join the Jazz band? Crickets. That some other kids “are allowed in” Jazz, totally misses the point. Only HCC believe it is their entitlement.

Perhaps you knew those happy sped kids at Lowell. Yes, some were. Some didn’t like the pet status, nor the teachers who refused even 1 minute of inclusion for simple things like story time. Because that was also a complaint. It was the insatiable desire for more seats and more resources by HCC that nearly had sped driven out of their own custom building. And that’s totally on a collective of entitlement mentality.

If you want data, go look for it. All those APP buildings served the absolute minimum of sped students and had minimal sped programs. Garfield at one point was as low as 4%, same with Washington. Eaglestaff, Washington, Garfield... all have or had gaping holes in Sped programs. Sorry too bad. Go look it up. Year by year. Those kids all get foisted off on other schools. And that has an impact. It’s not sharing the responsibility to educating all students.

Calling Sped families “bitter” is like calling black families “angry”. Observing factual history is not a sign of bitterness or anger. It’s simply fact. Own your responsibility.

Utter BS

Melissa Westbrook said...

"Can Femmes kid join the Jazz band?"

What the hell does that mean? Because if it means what I think it means, well, I'll let you answer, Utter BS.

I concur with Sue Peters; Lowell was a better school when it had both HCC and Sped and I don't believe HCC drove anyone out. And obviously, then, HCC got taken out it.

Correlation is not causation. Unless you have other data,that's not provable.

You think what you say is factual and then you provide no backing data.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Also, I just remembered - this thread is about Lincoln High. And you know who started that? Utter BS.

We need to get back to the topic.

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Melissa Westbrook said...

I think we are done with this topic. Thank you to all the Lincoln parents and prospective parents.

Utter BS, I think you should read the guidelines of the blog. You will not be disrupting another thread.