It is clear that Garfield High School will be impacted by changes to the current Student Assignment and Transition Plans in an effort to stem continuing overcrowding at the school. During last Wednesday’s School Board Work Session the two main solutions presented by staff were redrawing Garfield’s attendance area boundaries or creating additional high school pathways for the students in the Accelerated Progress Program (APP). School Board member Kay Smith- Blum also asked the staff to assess how a possible expansion of Nova’s proposed Geographic Zone (the area where students live and receive preference for attending an alternative school) boundaries could impact the over enrollment at Garfield.
Currently all APP Students are guaranteed an assignment to Garfield if they choose to go there. Garfield’s current enrollment is about 1780 and approximately 455 are APP students, while the capacity of the school is about 1680. Remember a portion of the APP students also live in the Garfield assignment area and that not all APP students choose Garfield. Neither of these numbers was available and either solution will profoundly affect many students living in the current area and those who attend programs in the area. *(Please see below for some explanation of the APP Program vs AP, Advance Placement classes which are taught according to nationally recognized curriculum.) Other options that were offered included giving Garfield area students priority to other high demand schools, limiting transfers to Garfield and open choice seats, and using other nearby community facilities to add classrooms. Generally the Board seemed more disposed toward adding pathways for the APP students compared to redrawing boundaries.
Nonetheless, a 9-page document of possible changes to the boundaries was presented. Some proposals involve redrawing the Franklin High School boundaries to move the current areas assigned there to Rainier Beach to prevent overcrowding at Franklin if the portions of the Garfield area were to be reassigned to Franklin, including Thurgood Marshall, Beacon Hill and part of Leschi. Like any puzzle one piece affects others. Another assigns Montlake area students to Roosevelt. This may have been proposed since the current Roosevelt assignment area has fewer resident students than had been projected. Yet, another shows the Lowell attendance area folding into Ballard high school. These last two would be especially provocative, as both attendance areas are much more convenient to Garfield than to either of the other high schools, especially true for the Ballard assignment. What happened to keeping students close to where they live?
Please see the details:
This is the link to the Power Point presentation:
Central District families and residents should review these, prepare to comment or ask questions regarding the various ideas that were put forth, and attend the community meetings. While the timing with November and December holidays may seem not to bode well for authentic community engagement, remember the plan was developed to ensure a predictable, equitable and easy to understand assignments for families and that this work it part of creating the continuing Transition Plan for 2011-2012 and future phasing-in. It is worthwhile to make an effort to attend the meeting or to communicate with the Board members.
A draft plan will be formally introduced to the Board (as an introductory agenda item) on January 5th, 2011 and the Board will vote on it on January19th.
For full listing of the meetings and descriptions go to:
“Consult and Involve” meetings are intended to be meetings where parents and community members can drop-in and interact with District staff one-on-one regarding any of the data:
Thursday, November 18, 1:30 PM to 3:30 PM, Room 2700
Tuesday, December 14, 6:00 PM to 8:00PM
“Inform and Consult” meetings are general community meetings in different areas of Seattle for the 2011-2012 Transition:
Garfield HS on November 15, 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM (Central District Meeting)
Those not able to make a specific regional meeting, may attend any of the meetings listed:
Nov. 8, 6:30-8 p.m,.SE region meeting, Rainier Beach HS
Nov. 10, 6:30-8 p.m.,NE region meeting, Roosevelt HS
Nov. 15, 6:30-8 p.m., Central region meeting, Garfield HS
Nov. 16, 6:30-8 p.m., West Seattle region meeting, West Seattle HS
Nov. 22, 6:30-8 p.m., NW region meeting, Ingraham HS
Nov. 18, 1:30-3:30 p.m., Drop-in session, JSCEE Room 2700
Dec. 1, 4-8 p.m., School Board work session, JSCEE Auditorium
Dec. 14, 6-8 p.m., Drop-in session, JSCEE Room 2750
Jan. 5, 6 p.m., School Board meeting –Transition Plan introduction JSCEE Auditorium
Jan. 19, 6 p.m., School Board meeting –Transition Plan vote, JSCEE Auditorium
Among other topics included in the discussion will be development of geographic zones for option schools. The “geographic zone” will provide a tiebreaker for students who live within a defined area in proximity to the school. Option schools include STEM@Cleveland, NOVA, The Center School and AS#1 high schools; Jane Addams, Salmon Bay, TOPS, Pathfinder, Orca and South Shore K-8 schools; and Thornton Creek and Queen Anne elementary schools
Proposed drafts of Geographic areas:
*The APP Program ends after 8th Grade and all students who attend Garfield have access to the Advance Placement classes. All nine of Seattle’s comprehensive high schools offer AP classes, some more than others. A school must
have a large enough number of students ready for these classes to drive a good number AP class. There are many very bright students who opt into Running Start at the Community Colleges rather than taking AP classes.
Yes, due to numbers this cohort does drive a greater number of AP classes to the highest levels for Garfield. If this cohort was to be dispersed among all the high schools the number of classes available would definitely decline.
APP classes grades 1 through 8 are generally at the top range of the legally allowed student to teacher ratios and the same is generally true for the AP classes at Garfield. Yes, due to numbers this cohort does drive a greater number of AP classes to the highest levels for Garfield.
To see the District’s description of APP and the students it serves go to: http://www.seattleschools.org/area/advlearning/program_app.h
“The Accelerated Progress Program (APP) is the Seattle Public Schools Advanced Learning program that serves the needs of students who are academically highly gifted.
The program provides a rigorous, accelerated curriculum in language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies that challenges students to apply complex thinking skills when working with core skills and concepts. The curriculum is presented at a significantly accelerated learning pace and focuses on grade level expectations that are significantly above the students’ assigned grade level with a significantly advanced level of complexity and depth.
Service delivery is through a self-contained program during grades 1-8. A cohort-based model is available at the high school level during which students enroll in honors courses and Advanced Placement courses in grades 9 through 12.”