TM Survey WMS TAF 12.11.19
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Which program and/or supports is your student currently receiving?
How would you assess the level of information that has been shared with you regarding the STEMbyTAF program proposed at Washington Middle School? (Scale of 1-5)What additional information, if any, would you like to know about the STEM by TAF model proposed at Washington Middle School?A small group of parents/guardians will attend TAF@Saghalie tours in December (tour dates are unfortunately already full but we are working to find out if tour attendees are willing to share their observations with other families). What information, if any, would you like the tour participants to share out to other families?From what you know so far, do you feel that STEMbyTAF will be a good fit for your child/student's educational needs? (Scale of 1-5)Do you have any concerns about the STEMbyTAF model that you would like the district to address? If so, what are they?(For current 5th grade students only): Have you begun planning for 2020-21 school enrollment and if so, what is your top choice for 6th grade if STEMbyTAF moves forward at Washington Middle School?Comments if OtherDo you have any other comments or information you would like to share with Seattle Public Schools, or with TAF?
13Scholars / General Education0I read the report on how the proposed blended classroom would address the wide range of math abilities and the very different math concepts that different students will be ready for. HOWEVER, this document did not explain in any convincing way that a student who is ready for Algebra (for example) would actually be TAUGHT algebra. It sounds like they will be taught whatever the whole class is learning and somehow be given extra work to go beyond. That does not sound like the student will be taught algebra. Please explain this better. It is not convincing. It sounds more like the advanced student will be held back in their advanced learning.How well are teachers actually able to accommodate a wide range of learning, in order to keep advanced students engaged and moving a head (instead of being expected to teach other students who are behind).1I am very concerned about a STEM focused school being my student's neighborhood option. What if my student is not at all inclined toward STEM? As a parent, I would not want to force that on them.Not sure yetThe school district has thus far shown no ability to provide differentiated learning in my student's classroom, when there are so many other more pressing problems of students misbehaving, swearing at the teacher, wandering around the classroom bothering other students, not sitting and doing their work. I do not believe TAF will be any better at pulling off the differentiation that the district has always promised and never delivered.
24AC Scholars / HCCY1If TAF at WA happens, would my kid would be assigned to his local non-hcc middle school?1how does it handle special education and IEPs? What about advanced learning students with IEP?What does the ideal student body look like for the TAF program?
3K-2Scholars / General Education0Not enough information has been given regarding the details of how teachers will be robustly trained in the TAF model. I heard something about 2 days of training?? Shouldn't it be something more like full weeks of training and ongoing education?I don't know where Shaghalie is or what the tours are about. I didn't hear about the tour possibility. I hope there will be more efforts to get all of this information out. I would like to know how the kids and families who aren't particularly interested in a STEM focused education are faring under the system.0The district needs to first finance and figure out how to REALLY do differentiated education within a single classroom before throwing out AC Scholars.Not sure yetI am disappointed but not surprised that the first school in the district where the HCC program is being thrown out is in the South End where most families of color (furthest from academic justice) are located. Why not throw it out of the North End first and see how the white folks like it?
45AC Scholars / HCC01) What classes will be listed on the transcript of an HC student in the TAF program? (what course credit will they receive compared to an HC student and will it be the same as the course credit for a student in an HCCohort at a north end school?) 2) What % of actual classroom instruction time will be spent on teaching content in the HC continuum/curriculum (for example, 8th grade math for qualified 6th graders)?1) If able to talk to math teachers, what is the range of math levels within their classroom?
2) What are the class sizes?
3) What methods are teachers using to differentiate, and in particular how are they keeping students challenged who are unusually advanced in a particular subject area?
0How will course credit work, and can the district commit to providing the same course credit, advanced instruction, and high school AP course readiness for HC students at WMS as students who are in the HC cohort at other SPS schools?Other (please share more details in the comments below)We are reluctantly applying to independent schools and feel that would be our best option. Our backup plan is Meany (our neighborhood school).STEMbyTAF is, according to their website, intended for schools where "Students’ standardized state test scores are consistently below the state and district averages." This obviously does not apply to SPS's Highly Capable students. Stop trying to force fit TAF into a student population that does not match its mission and model.
55AC Scholars / HCC0Who would lead the school. Will teachers be retained. Will music program continue at same level. What foreign languages will be provided and for what grades. How is physical education handled. Will a PTA be allowed. What will happen to existing PTA reserves.How do the teachers handle grade learning differentiation. What is the teacher student ratio. Are there extracurricular activities (sports, etc . . . )1Can HCC and TAF co-exist in same school?Other (please share more details in the comments below)Private school or different middle schoolIs it true that Supt. Juneau gets a bonus if she can get TAF into WMS?
65AC Scholars / HCC0Will my child have a guaranteed spot at Washington if TAF arrives? If no, somewhere else besides our neighborhood school? Will we know #s of incoming advanced learners into neighborhood schools to feel more confident that they will not be lost in the shuffle? We are concerned the numbers will be much smaller at Aki Kurose Versus Meany. What about the high school pathway?How well does differentiated teaching work with so wide a span? Our current HCC teacher has a tough enough time in her class, expanding to across 7 (or so) grade levels while still providing the more advanced students real learning is a tall task!1Why isn’t this program going into another middle school better aligned with the TAF mission? For example, Aki Kurose. A board member publicly claimed that TAF only wanted Washington. I spoke with Trish from TAF after that meeting and she noted that they were open to any location, that Washington was all SPS would offer up. This disconnect around narrative is alarming!Not sure yetI am disgusted by how SPS has attempted to sneak this change through and has allowed school employees (particularly on social media) to ‘cancel’ contrary opinions.
75AC Scholars / HCC0How math (and all subjects, really) will be differentiated effectively in blended classes. I know they’ve said they can do it but I still don’t understand how, especially considering they don’t seem to have experience with this much range (up to 4-5 grade levels in one classroom).Aside from info about differentiation, I’m curious about the actual classroom setting. I heard 1-to-1 computer to student ratio, which makes me very concerned that the kids are just in front of screens all day instead of being taught by actual teachers.1The program seems fine, maybe even great - but it should be an OPTION school, not a neighborhood school. The HCC issue aside, not every kid wants/needs a STEM-focused education! It’s nuts that the district would force this on families.Not sure yetWe do have the option to go to Meany if there is critical mass to create a de facto cohort.
85AC Scholars / HCC1(1) How will TAF realistically provide education in math for students across a minimum of four different grade levels (6th - 9th) in a single classroom with 1 teacher and 1 assistant; (2) will the span of different math levels lead to students learning primarily on screens?; (3) how will the students different math levels be reflected on transcripts?; (4) For science, will students have access to all of the same advanced learning options available to current WMS students and to other SPS students?; (5) Will students qualifying for more advanced science see that credited on their transcripts?; (6) If teachers are unable to teach at all students levels, what will TAF do to remedy the situation?What they observe and are told about the ability of TAF to serve the needs of students at different learning levels in a single classroom.2All of the above. And: How will SPS continue to provide the same HC services they provide to non-WMS students? What options will be available if TAF is unable to meet the needs of HC students at WMS?STEMbyTAF at WMS
94AC Scholars / HCC1Specific information about how TAF will serve all learners given the wide range of levels that students will be entering at (rather than generalized reassurances). Also specific details about the non-STEM part of the program, as the information this far has been VERY limited. Humanities should be more than just learning how to write persuasive essays.Information about what has worked, what has not worked, and how that program is different then the seattle program, so that we understand how our program has to be differentiated.2Are there additional resources that would be required of the district to allow TAF to serve the blended style, and if so, how will Seattle public schools fund those resources?I am not opposed to the TAF program entirely, but I feel like this is being rushed in a quick process, when it could benefit from one more year of discussion and finalization. I am also very disturbed that the south end is getting this program and the north end is not, because it is untested for our schools, and that presents a risk of disparate impact. Frankly, this level of private management of a public school feels like an end run around charter schools.
104AC Scholars / HCCY1More information on proposed class sizes, how teacher(s) will split time between levels of curriculum, how WMS staff will be trained in PBL model and TAF tenants, how TAF staff is trained regarding HC education and 2e needs, how are special education services delivered in this modelInsights about engagement in class, arts/literature experience, class size and how class time is spent regarding projects and expectations regarding independent work, how special education needs are met3The biggest concern is respect to the impact on HC Cohort in the south end- stem by TAF seems like it should be an option in central or south seattle, where there are more children of color, and it seems to potentially be a good one, but the district has created a false dichotomy between maintaining the HC cohort and TAF.
115AC Scholars / HCC0How the math program will work. WITH DETAILED INFORMATION on how EXACTLY students will be supported in a group that may have up to 5 different grade levels of math instruction needed.I would like to know how much support students on the upper end of the group are supported. Are they expected to teach themselves and/or others? Or are they given appropriate instruction by the teachers?3Why was WMS chosen? And since it was, why not move HCC to Meany so that the students who are the target demographic for STEM by TAF (underserved students of color) have more of a chance to attend?Other (please share more details in the comments below)We are considering a number of options including 1) private 2) Meany and 3) moving out of district. If we can actually get details out of TAF on how the instructional model works, we will also consider WMS. We just don’t have enough information yet.This entire roll-out has been executed dismally. There could be a lot of positive buzz and a lot more buy-in if only families had been included and informed.
125AC Scholars / HCC1How will TAF accommodate possibly 4-5 different grade levels of math in one classroom with only one teacher and an aide? Will the current WMS teachers be staying? Why is TAF combining social studies and language arts? What does it mean when they say they will only have the students read/study "relevant texts"? (quote from the Oct. 19 open house at WMS)Are electives studied for their own merits or are they studied only for how they serve the "project" in the project-based learning model? (Thinking specifically of art and foreign languages) What does class management look like? Discipline? Are all of the students engaged or are there some off in the corner doing their own thing?0In their presentation materials, STEM by TAF looks like a technical vocational school. This seems more appropriate as a CHOICE school for high school. STEM by TAF feels like job training for the tech sector; it does not feel like a well-rounded education.Other (please share more details in the comments below)Meany middle school although it is not our neighborhood school, and they probably would not allow us in. In the end, we will probably go with WMS, supplementing with home schooling.HCC families have already done the "blended classroom" model. Our kids were literally told by their teachers, and I quote: "I don't have time for you." As a classroom volunteer, I watched as the advanced learners, bored with the extra worksheets (covering the same material they had already done) either checked out and refused to engage, or worse yet, banded together to cause discipline problems for the entire classroom. This is why we came to the cohort model. Without an explicit and considerable commitment from the school district of extra funding and teacher training, sending the advanced learners back to their neighborhood schools is setting both the students and those classrooms up for failure. The responses from TAF regarding differentiation within their classrooms are not convincing.
13K-2Scholars / General Education0How they will differentiate within a grade level and keep kids used to an accelerated curriculum sufficiently challenged.What does a typical class look like, are kids challenged at their level1How they'll address accelerated learning
145AC Scholars / HCCY1Concrete plans for how STEM by TAF will teach current HCC students at their level in core subjects. ("The teachers will teach all levels to all students in the same classroom" is an aspiration, not a concrete plan.) Also, does "project-based, student-led learning" mean "lots of small group work"? If so, my child's disability requires specific additional supports; that's info we'd need before IEP time this spring, not after school starts in the fall.Does the STEM by TAF model involve lots of small group work? In group work, are all students engaged with their group? (not necessarily speaking all the time, but engaged) Are classrooms quiet or loud? Do students working above grade level in core subjects receive teacher instruction at their level, or just different worksheets? What's the character of mottoes etc posted around the school? ("Respect others" or "Follow your dreams" or ???) Other impressions of school culture?1I'm concerned about how STEM by TAF will support HCC students. It's not clear to me why there's a conflict between TAF and HCC. Couldn't TAF have chosen some other site, that wasn't one of a very small number of HCC program sites?Neighborhood middle school (please indicate which one in the comments below)MeanyFixing equity in HCC in Seattle Public Schools is important. Creating this conflict between HCC and TAF does nothing positive to address equity, and has the potential to lock students out of meaningful advanced learning opportunities based on where they live--that sure doesn't look like equity to me. If TAF has awesome results, learn from what they do and offer it to all Seattle Schools students, not just Washington MS.
155AC Scholars / HCC0Impact on HCC moving forward2HCC plansOther (please share more details in the comments below)depends entirely on plans for HCCThis is way too late to attempt such a sweeping change at WMS for 2020 and at this point we are not at all in support
165AC Scholars / HCC11) how exactly would TAF model ensure/support differentiated math levels; 2) what happens for HCC eligible students when they reach high school after attending TAF@WMS? 3) if SPS would open another HCC middle school in SE Seattle for HCC eligible students to attend- level of rigor re: curriculum (math, language arts, scoence) - examples of projects students work on via TAF model - ability of teachers to provide support/attention to students2n/aSTEMbyTAF at WMSSPS needs to take responsibility to prove clear and detailed communication about plans for WMS.
Rather than making unilateral decisions for families/students, the superintendent and her leadership team needs to authentically engage in dialogue with HCC parents about their concerns rather than putting the blame on is for putting up barriers. They are conveniently pitting parents against TAF rather than addressing their own lack of planning.
17K-2Scholars / General EducationY2How it would benefit gen ed kids.Did the kids there seem to enjoy the program? Did the teachers look like they enjoy teaching?5I feel like I need a little more information. All I hear about is it's ending HCC. What about all the other kids the program would impact? Has it been found to be good for kids who aren't as white and privileged?The school district needs to hear more from scholars families. It is VERY frustrating that HCC families take up all the airtime in the world to protect the cohort. For scholars families to even ask questions, it is intimidating when there is such a loud contingency being angry that the district is somehow taking away a resource (which they're not, it is just not in a cohort). The district can't do anything to silence them (and I'm not asking for that), but please see to it that you are hearing from a proportionate number of student families. Thank you for reading.
185AC Scholars / HCC2How much does it cost compared to keeping HCC but making testing available to all students? Essentially, if HCC grows, what is the cost comparison?Can they teach to differing levels to accommodate HCC kids and how will they do so?4How will current HCC kids keep the higher math level going within TAF?STEMbyTAF at WMSI do not think that running both HCC and TAF is feasible. I’m ok with doing away with HCC as long as there is additional support available for this group of kids within TAF.
19K-2AC Scholars / HCC10Put funding in screening in a racially equitable way for HCC and do not take away special education for our students.Other (please share more details in the comments below)
20K-2AC Scholars / HCC1Not clear how kids will be challenged at their needed level and school will be challenging and fun.Class model, curriculum, students experiences0The project based education does not provide a wide range of general education that is appropriate for elementary school. The kids don’t need to be prepped for cubicles starting at 1st grade, nor technology needs to be their primary focus. It is demonstrated that general education in a wide variety of subjects forms well rounded individuals.
214AC Scholars / HCC0Can taf be operated separately from hcc? Can taf model their curriculum 2 years ahead to maintain a Self contained cohort group?How do introverts fare? Do kids seem left out, or irritated to have to work with peers? Can you guess which students have special needs by which kids aren’t being readily included in work groups?0I am concerned that my 2e student will not be understood nor served well in a group model. I want my student to be allowed to work alone and not be forced to socialize. I need to know that my HCC student will be taught at the level currently being delivered in HCC.SPS, do the math. You can’t afford to send HCC kids back to neighborhood schools and even when there were “Advanced Learning Opportunities”, there weren’t. Why should anyone expect anything differently?

SPS, here more teachers of color.


SPS, automatically enroll students that qualify to the HCC cohort. They can opt out during open enrollment.

SPS accept low income students on a sliding scores scale to the HCC program.

SPS, don’t tell black and brown families you want them included; show them that you want them included. A thousand times over.

SPS, I don’t trust you.
225AC Scholars / HCC0Will 6th grade HCC kids that have completed 7th grade math as 5th graders at TM get to continue on in 8th grade math as 6th graders? Or will they have to repeat prior math they already have mastered? How will differentiated math learning be accomplished? (Given there will be a spread of at least 4 grade levels of ability: 1 yr behind, at grade level, 1 and 2 yrs ahead of grade level)How does differentiated learning occur? Are there multiple teachers in the classroom?0My child was very tuned out/depressed when not challenged through 2nd grade at neighborhood school. He was given no advanced work and sat in a corner by himself as others struggled to get work done. How will his needs be met to remain engaged and challenged in this model?Neighborhood middle school (please indicate which one in the comments below)MeanyWhat plans do you have for maintenance of HC services at TAF or neighborhood schools?

I am concerned about psychological/emotional effects of moving kids back 2 years in math especially. How will you deal with the large burden of HC kids that develop frustration/depression/anxiety/act out/are bullied when they don’t receive level of challenge to which they have grown accustomed to over past years in elementary? How will you support the teachers in this endeavor?
235AC Scholars / HCC1How multiple levels of math (ranging 6th grade-algebra) are going to be effectively taught to next year's 6th graders. I would expect evidence-based plans to be proposed if multiple levels are to be taught in the same classroom (based on models already used in other locations--not just "sounds like it will work" ideas), with measurable metrics for evaluating the success of any new model of distribution. I would also like to know if and how the model might still prepare students for Garfield High School. Additionally, I want to know how the approach to science will meet the district's science education requirements for high school graduation. Clear description is needed of how the students will progress into high school from this model and how it will prepare them to meet high school graduation requirements as well as how it will affect their ability to meet common university admissions requirements. None of these questions could be addressed by the TAF representatives I have talked with and have not been clearly addressed on the district's FAQ page (last time I checked).Anything they would like to share.3I am not convinced they are prepared to teach all levels of math (6th-algebra) for our incoming 6th graders. A successful model to teach all those levels of math in the same class (or including geometry the next year) seems unlikely since the topics, material and curriculum differ substantially between some of those classes (geometry does not overlap much with algebra). Additionally, if HC students are included in the classes, a small subset will include students who learn math at a substantially quicker pace than is typical. It is inappropriate to force them to repeat material they have already mastered at the pace of another student who may need additional practice, and it is absolutely inappropriate for students who need more time to master mathematical concepts to feel pressured by students who have already mastered those topics. My biggest concern is that the approach to math is being slapped together by educators who are not specialists in middle school and high school math (and in teaching math to fast learners).STEMbyTAF at WMSWMS--unless they botch the math model, then we will consider MeanyTAF sounds like a fantastic project-based educational approach similar to some of my older children's' best classroom experiences. Without more careful thought about the delivery method, however, I think teachers and students will have a rough time the first couple of years. I also worry that the currently proposed approach for leveling 4+ different levels of math in the same classroom has not been shown to work in other locations for such a large number of students. It seems unethical to experiment upon this class of students without more evidence-based planning. The TAF model has been shown to be wonderfully effective for certain groupings of educational needs and levels; it appears that it has not been shown to be able to effectively handle such a larger spread of needs for math as is being proposed for WMS. For science and language arts, I think TAF would probably be a great model (it sounds a lot like what WMS was already doing 6 years ago). SPS needs to clearly delineate how these TAF middle school classes will relate to the current high school curriculum and graduation requirements because many students will probably go on to GHS, even if WMS turns into a 6-12 school.
243AC Scholars / HCC1Are WMS teachers supportive and excited? Is the WMS Administration supportive and excited? How much training will staff have? How does all of the Social Studies work WMS staff done fit into this new model?What does student voice look like and sound like at TAF?3Training for staff on differentiation, appropriate funding. For them to take ownership over what they created at TM, WMS by their own doing, instead of blaming families and students.
253AC Scholars / HCC0How will it differ from other comprehensive middle schools in Seattle? How will HC services be provided (will they meet the state mandate of "acceleration", not require my student to repeat content, and prepare my student adequately to be on track for advanced courses at Garfield that are college entrance requirements in STEM fields)? What percentage of TAF's teachers teach outside of their subject area endorsements? Will TAF's family engagement improve from how it has been so far?Are there really classrooms where 6th grade math through algebra are all taught effectively at the same time? How does math work?3How will students in the south end access HCC services? Will there be an alternative pathway to a school north of the ship canal, and transportation?Other (please share more details in the comments below)If TAF does not offer appropriate math or an adequately challenging curriculum, or if it isn't welcoming to HCC students and families (as has so far felt the case), our kid will probably go to private school. If most of the cohort goes to Meany and appropriate classes are offered then that is an option for us as well.
263AC Scholars / HCC1How will advanced math and science be provided for HCC kids at TAF? How will TAF teachers be trained to teach HCC kids in the same classes as non HCC kids?How does TAF@Saghaile mange advanced math?1Why is the district treating TAF and HCC as an either or? SE Seattle needs to retain an HCC program. TAF would also be a great addition. Why do the two have anything to do with each other?Do the work to invest in universal testing for HCC and grow the cohort.

TAF Is a great idea that should be evaluated independently from advanced learning.

If the district wants to use WMS for TAF simply move HCC to Meany.
275AC Scholars / HCC2District plans for pathways and curriculumthe experience for gen ed kids as well as HCC. How excited are you to send your kids to this program (cuz I am super excited to send my HCC kid there- no joke)5This seems like a repeat of earlier question. Pathway and curriculum plans, please.STEMbyTAF at WMSKeep going, this is the best most innovative thing I have seen to fix what we all know is a broken system. All the other options are status quo or more studies and fact finding missions. Keep up the great work and know that you have support.
283AC Scholars / HCC1Specific plans for supporting students at a variety of levels, including HCC, in a single classroom. Also, how many hours of a typical school day will the children spend using computers/screens? What is the benefit of using this technology so predominantly? I’m aware of the reasons it is not good.Examples of where they saw the program working and where they saw room for improvement1I don’t like so much computer use in the classroom at this age.
29K-2AC Scholars / HCC0Everything! Not only providing a description of the model, outcomes but also why is this being impemented. What is the problem that the district is trying to resolve with this program? Why WM?Anything that they can. Right now there is a vortex around this and any information needs to be shared with people2Clearly concerned about the rapidity of what they are trying to do without adequate communitation. As a HCC parent, I do not understand why it has to be one program or the other. The district has also been exceptionally disparaging to HCC children in public saying that they are a cohort that is not wanted in any school (response to whether the cohort could move to Meany). The district created this cohort as a model to serve these children yet they have painted them in an incredibly negative light and it is hurtful to hear how these children (I reiterate, CHILDREN) are being talked about. How does the district think that these children are going to interpret what is being said; they have ears, they will understand what is being said - how is it permissible to speak about the cohort publicly in such depreciating terms.Many of the children in HCC are neurodiverse and need an alternate model for education. Decades of research has pointed to cohort and acceleration as being the best option for these children. Moving children ahead grades has been shown to be more challenging given the emotional-social differences; children who are younger than their peers may also feel outcasts and not ask questions for fear of further exclusion. There have been task forces and outside consultants who have all been brought in to help with recommendations to make the HCC more equitable - yet none have been enacted? Why? Why is the advice of countless people being ignored? MTSS has not been demonstrated as a model that works for HCC children, there appears to be no additional funding from SPS to ensure that this model would be successful even for general education. With the recent outcomes of the elections in 2019, it appears that there will be even less money for SPS; coupled with the "sounding of the alarm" each year from the district that there are not sufficient funds to cover even basic services, how will there be any funds to roll out this new model? I understand the district wants to improve reading scores, especially of African American Males, how about the district actually training teachers in how to teach reading. It would be more beneficial to look at the primary research published over decades pointing to phonics as the solid scaffolding for reading. SPS should look to other districts who have provided this training for teachers (very few undergrad/graduate teaching programs have courses on how to teach reading). This type of teacher support would appear to be of far greater benefit to all students. Maybe reach out to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania school district to get their feedback on how they were able to turn around the reading levels.
304AC Scholars / HCC0More details about how curriculum will be taught; how students will move through the model; information about what will be taught; how humanities and art classes will be taught and what would be taught; will HCC identified students be able to take math and reading classes at a similar level as they are currently;Everything! We know almost nothing about the program (even though we attended the TAF meeting at WMS and any other meeting that has been advertised - information was puzzling and lacking) or how our child would be educated. More information, particular to HCC students, is needed.0SO many concerns! For starters: WMS staff do not seem to support TAF, why is the program being put in this school? Why is this program leaving no HCC program for students south of the ship canal bridge? How will this program support students in advanced math and reading to prepare them for AP classes at Garfield? How and what languages are being taught? Strong music program?We are outraged by the district's (superintendent) lack of parent/kids/community involvement in the TAF/WMS decision! This push to implement the program feels like a politically backed move that rushes a "solution" at the expense of our children's education. I am dismayed at the pitting of HCC kids/parents against TAF and wish that TAF could have space at another program in the SPS school district before it is used to dismantle the HCC program. Shame on the SPS admin!
314AC Scholars / HCC0What is happening to the AC Scholars? How will accelerated math work in a project based setting? Will teachers be able to teach what could be more than 5 grade levels of math in one classroom setting?0I want the district to share why it chose WMS to house TAF rather than any other school in the SE. There are other middle schools with higher numbers of black students, if that is the genuine concern in prioritizing educational justice, that do not concurrently house the HCC program. Instead, this appears to a heavyhanded scheme to eliminate HCC, which is all the more galling when you consider that the northend HCC students still have a nonblended program. Why doesn't the district care to expand the program? Why not identify more students in the SE? Why not make TAF an option school?
325AC Scholars / HCC0How it serves HC students/advanced learners if they are not grouped in a cohort. How the teachers will be trained to differentiate. What examples they have of serving HC kids in other areas.Their impressions and their opinions of how well this model would serve the HC cohort from Thurgood Marshall.2How it serves HC students/advanced learners if they are not grouped in a cohort. How the teachers will be trained to differentiate. What examples they have of serving HC kids in other areas.My daughter was identified as HCC in kindergarten. We kept her at our neighborhood school through 3rd grade, by which point the differentiated model was not meeting her needs. She was not challenged enough. As part of the HC cohort at Thurgood Marshall for 4th and 5th grade, she has thrived. It is inspiring to see how much she and the other kids are learning --and loving school -- with a teacher who has a classroom of comparable learners.
I worked as a tutor in our neighborhood school and think very highly of it and the staff but also saw the impossibility of a teacher meeting the needs of learners across such a wide spectrum in one large classroom. The students at both ends were ill-served. We are very disappointed that the district seems intent on disbanding the south end HC cohort. This is a tremendous disservice to the south end advanced learners, as they will not reap the benefits of being challenged by and with one another, and guided by a teacher who can get the most out of them because they share a comparable level. I have seen from my daughter's experience the difference it makes.
It would be easier to believe you are trying to solve a problem of inequity in HC if you were disbanding the cohort model across the district, including the north end schools. Instead, it appears you are trying to solve one set of problems - the need to better serve non-HC students at WMS and students underrepresented in HC (particularly students of color) and a desire not to continue systemic inequities -- by applying a solution that doesn't match.
I agree the HC system needs to be improved so that it serves all advanced learners. I support the idea of testing all students by 2nd grade, making sure to reach students of color, and continuing the anti-bias work to make sure that all advanced learners are identified and can be served. Your proposal of disbanding the HC cohort does not address those issues.
Please keep the south end HC cohort intact while you work on the other issues. I had been confident that SPS could provide my daughter a good middle school education. Now I am not sure.
One other comment for SPS: you have some amazing teachers and staff in the south end schools, who are doing great work with students and families on social justice and equity, in addition to the other things they are teaching.
33K-2AC Scholars / HCC1It sounds like an amazing program. I hope that they are able to implement it. I really want to know why TAF and the HC program cannot coexist. The majority of racial minority HC students in Seattle go through Washington Middle School and just eliminating the HC program there would do a disservice to them.Why TAF can't coexist with HC learning.1No, sounds like a great program.
34K-2AC Scholars / HCC0Show all scenarios in detail, including the the option of running TAF and HCC together. It is an AND world. OR choices are weak solutions. Describe what is being done at the elementary schools to improve learning and preparing students for middle school.Results in Federal Way are inconclusive, and not a good model for a much larger district. Look at Northshore in Shoreline or Miami Dade for real solutions that scale well.0The district is not addressing the root cause of the concerns at middle school, namely the learning that is occurring (or not occurring) at the elementary schools.Other (please share more details in the comments below)Private school or moving to Mercer Island or Bellevue.The plan does not seem ready yet, rather a rushed chaos at a solution. Put more time into planning it and roll it out across the entire district once it is ready.
355AC Scholars / HCC0How can WMS, its the staff and teachers, tasked to implement this program, become ready and prepared by fall 2020 - given the seemingly short time line remaining? Is STEM by TAF supported by the teachers and staff who will need to implement the program? In what ways has TAF proven they can meet the needs of a broad academic base of students in each classroom - as in how do they approach differentiation and what strategies do they employ that show evidence of success? How are the ARTS and Music affected by the adoption of STEM at TAF? Will my child be allowed to attend WMS with her peers, if it is not our neighborhood assigned school - since we are in HCC and that has been her designated middle school? Why has WMS, or a representative of WMS, not been participating in community meetings to field questions - they are an integral piece in this negotiation and yet they have remained silent - why?Regarding STEM by TAF specifically - read answer to previous question (#4)3Refer to answer provided previous question #4STEMbyTAF at WMSI am very concerned that the time remaining, prior to Fall 2020, does not allow sufficient time for WMS to become fully prepared to handle an incoming class under the STEM by TAF model. Given the instability of WMS in the last several years, I question whether this proposal has support by existing (newly appointed) principal, teachers and staff - as they have not yet approved the plan and otherwise have remained silent on the matter... If WMS supports this and can implement a plan to prepare sufficiently for the incoming class we feel that would be the best outcome for our child.It would be helpful to understand why this program at WMS is being considered before the ALTF has provided their findings? Why is the SE school district being singled out for a "test model", rather than part of strategies that should be implemented throughout the whole district? If there is reason in this pathway/choice - it would be helpful to understand what that is. Are there other ideas the district is considering to modify and improve the HCC racial disparities, districtwide? What are they? Is this plan between TAF and WMS part of a larger plan? Why has the information submitted to the community only been to those in the neighborhood of WMS? We are not in the neighborhood boundaries of WMS, but because we are in the HCC program it is our pathway middle school - why are we being left out of correspondence to the community?
365AC Scholars / HCC2I would like to see the curriculum and a plan on how my child will still receive HC services in a blended model.How is the curriculum taught? How are HC services addressed?3I’m really excited about the potential of STEMbyTAF and the blended model but want to make sure my child still receives advanced learning services.STEMbyTAF at WMSWe are excited to give it a chance and be part of the big change.
375AC Scholars / HCCY3I'm going on a tour!4STEMbyTAF at WMSTAF would be awesome for my son.I would love to hear that the district is also planning to desegregate classrooms at TM. Racially segregated classrooms hurt all of our students and our community at large.
385AC Scholars / HCC1How will TAF keep students in the current curriculum equivalent grade level (i.e. 2 years ahead in math)? Will south Seattle HCC students enter high school with the equivalent placement in math as students coming from north end HCC programs? Will HCC students be repeating subject matter they have already mastered?Their general thoughts on what they thought really worked well and what adaptations (if any) they believe are needed if the blended model proposed by the district is implemented.2I believe TAF is a proven model where it has been implemented previously. The district has done a poor job explaining how it will work with two differently tracked cohorts coming together and ensuring HCC students don't "lose ground" compared to their north end counterparts. If there is a difference in preparation for advanced math and science classes freshman year of high school between north and south end HCC students, that would unfair and geographically discriminatory. The lack of communication leads me to believe the district has no plan to implement TAF in a different way than previous iterations in other districts.Other (please share more details in the comments below)Currently looking at independent schools but I am coming to the meeting with an open mind and can be swayed to send our child to WMS.
39K-2AC Scholars / HCCY1How the District will respond to parent and community questions and concerns. So far this has been an abysmal failure.What the district will do to preserve the HCC pathway through WMS, and if not, what specific funding, training, support, and staffing will be provided to support this student population. Specifics please. If TAF is refusing to engage on this issue, and is leaving it to the District to solve it, when please explain the these hidden costs that the school and parents are to bear, in addition to the contributions in the public-private partnership.0The apparent leveraging of support of TAF and the need to address equity issues school wide, and how TAF is being used by the district to achieve a different end, that being, the elimination of effective teaching of highly capable students.I think it is sad that TAF is being set up for failure by both the superintendent and some members of the Board, by trying to leverage competing priorities through a haphazard and non transparent implementation process that seeks to "convince" parents and not listen to them.
403Scholars / General Education0Student performance under this model. We believe this should be an option school.Class sizes0The reasons why WMS was selected as a school.Please listen to the community and staff who said they would not like to be forced to implement this change.
415AC Scholars / HCC1I want to hear concretely how TAF would provide HCC services. So far all I have heard is "TAF has experience serving advanced learners." I want to understand what will actually happen in the classrooms. For example, in a math class with kids learning 4th grade math, 5th grade math, 6th grade math, 7th grade math, 8th grade math and Algebra, how will the 2 teachers allocate their time? Will they split the class into 6 groups and each spend a third of the class teaching a lesson to one of those groups? Or will the students all sit through a lesson on 6th grade math but then work on different things during work time? Or will students work at their own pace on computers?Concrete examples of what kids are actually doing and learning in class. For example, what books are they reading in LA/SS? Are they working on writing paragraphs or essays? What topics are they writing on? What labs are they doing in Science?0From what I have learned so far, TAF is a great program that is a very bad fit for most kids in HCC. I would like the District to address why they made this into a zero sum game where TAF eliminates HCC rather than figuring out a win-win where South Seattle can have both TAF and HCC.Other (please share more details in the comments below)Private schoolThese are hard, complicated issues we're dealing with. The District should stop pretending it's simple, and stop assuming that all HCC parents are acting in bad faith. HCC parents in South Seattle care deeply about ALL the students in our school.
425AC Scholars / HCC0If it’s happening! What is happening with HCC - how it can be blended/IF it can be blended!I am going on a tour and will do my best to give info to other parents.1It looks like an amazing program for kids who do not have opportunity! I think it should happen. I am concerned that it isn’t a good fit for my daughter bc it doesn’t seem like there are humanities. She loves reading and writing. Also- I worry about screens all day. We have worked so hard in our family to keep our kids off screens. Now to put her on them all day long seems counter to everything we’ve been working on. Really want her connecting with others instead.Not sure yetUnsure and concerned for daughterTAF seems like a wonderful program! It’s the School District That has failed to communicate/consider our kids’ needs.
434AC Scholars / HCC2How robust differentiation is supported in the classroom.0
444AC Scholars / HCC0Why was Washington Middle School chosen and how do we know it is the right fit? What is the timing of the rollout of STEM by TAF and how will affect the current students enrolled in HCC? What will happen with music and foreign language programs?2I do not have concerns about the STEM by TAF model. My questions are more related to the school board's thought process to identify the first Seattle school for its introduction. There is also no plan (and little foresight) that addresses current students enrolled in the HCC program.
454AC Scholars / HCC0Who hires the teachers? How will advanced learning students be served? What is the highest level of math that will be offered? How will the music programs be incorporated into the schedule? What additional resources will TAF bring? How will the smaller class sizes be funded?General observations that they believe are important, not just that the school is great, but specific observations.1Many. Who is in control of the school? Will the district still be accountable? Since the original memo indicated a 6-12, what is the future plan. Who hires the teachers? Who will pay for the smaller class sizes? Mercer Middle School seems to have a better record of serving all the categories of diverse students than TAF. Why is TAF being brought to WMS?
463AC Scholars / HCC1How teachers will be trained and resourced to provide differentiated instruction for HC kids. Also, why can't TAF serve gen ed kids and leave HC intact?Are teachers happy with the curriculum? Do all students look engaged? What are the stats on discipline?0Can students who need HC or who don't want TAF (we live in the attendance area) be able to get spaces and busing to other schools?Why is TAF not going to an options school instead of a neighborhood school?
473AC Scholars / HCC0Why can it not offered conjunction to hcc program2
484AC Scholars / HCCY0Exactly how all students will be served, how classes will be determined, the effectiveness of the program (the data from Federal Way suggests it is no more effective than non-TAF schools in Federal Way), how much funding they will be bringing, how that funding will be spent, and if that funding will be maintained consistently for every class through the duration of the program, how much extra funding SPS will need to invest in WMS, how special education students will be served in the TAF model, if the plan is to roll up to a high school and if so if TAF middle school students will be able to go to Garfield instead of continue at TAF, why the district is not considering another school option to enable HC students to continue in their pathway especially when TAF explicitly states that their goal is to serve underserved students, why TAF would want half of the kids in their program to be HC kids when their leader has disparaged HC families and the program is not set up to serve cognitively atypical studentsHow many students per class, what exactly does the "humanities" block teach kids, what kinds of books are the kids reading, are there reading and math specialists available, are the special ed kids in the same classes as everyone else or are they separated, what kinds of grade level gains are the kids making and how are these measured, how many kids actually go to 4 year colleges (not just apply and/or get in), how many kids get academic scholarships to college0Why didn't the district recommend placement of TAF at a school with a higher population of the students TAF purports to want to serve? Based on the Math information sheet TAF provided, they do not seem to understand what it means to teach a student to their cognitive ability, and the way it was worded sounds like they will be empowered to determine what level to place a student in Math when in the past that was determined prior to a student entering middle school. Will the district guarantee that students will be taught at the level of their cognitive ability? Why has the district continually attempted to end-run the work of the ALTF? Why has the district stalled or not provided the ALTF with the materials they have requested in order to complete their work? Why is the district seating an "advisory" group on AL and Race instead of allowing the members of the ALTF, who have become experts on AL in SPS, to assist with implementation work? Why is the district willing to turn over a school to a private entity? How will the district ensure that all kids get an appropriate education and that none are left behind? Why isn't the district looking at WMS feeder schools and providing kids with more supports in elementary so we don't end up with middle school kids that are 2+ grade levels behind in middle school?Other (please share more details in the comments below)4th grade. Already looking at alternatives. May attempt to get into Meany but that isn't our neighborhood school.This whole process has lacked transparency. Attempting to end run the work of the ALTF was disturbing. I wish the district would just admit that the reason why they selected WMS for TAF was to kill the HC pathway. If it truly was to serve kids furthest from educational justice, they would have selected a school with a larger population of those kids.
The district needs to put some intense focus onto feeder middle schools to WMS to support kids before they get to WMS. Expecting WMS to "fix" kids challenges after their elementary school failed them is not ok.
493AC Scholars / HCC0The specific method in which an accelerated, specifically the 2 year advance, math program will be taught to the students who are at that level. How will teachers learning an entire new curriculum and teaching method be able to cater to each students learning abilities with the spectrum in a single classroom.0Why is the district implementing a program in a school that the teachers themselves do not want. Why does this program need to be tested in a middle school that has an "incompatable separate classroom" HCC cohort when it could be forced on any other neighborhood school without this program. Why are you removing HCC from the south end middle school and not the north end schools?The list of reasons not to implement this program is lengthy, with very little in the way of answers to how and why. To begin, at the very basic level, most teachers at Washington Middle School oppose its' implementation. The teachers are going to be given only four days to learn and adjust to implementing an entire different curriculum as well as teaching that different curriculum and method to a very broad array of learning levels in the classroom.

The district touts being given a grant to cover costs of implementing the program, yet, that $500,000 is only enough to cover four staff, which is fewer staff than is shown will be needed at the school in the program presented. So the program is going to cost the school/district plenty when funds are already at a shortfall.

This isn't even mentioning the disarray being set upon the HCC program and the students included in it. Over and over, HCC parents are told that a differentiated lesson will be given to students based on their ability. It seems to forget that the sole reason many of these students are enrolled in the HCC program is that as a parent I was told by my neighborhood school that they COULD NOT ACCOMMODATE an differentiated curriculum for our student. There was no possibility to help our student learn math at a level appropriate for them. The entire reason our student does not walk the one block to our neighborhood school with all their other friends is because they could to provide for them the learning they needed. And yet, the board wants us to believe that suddenly with four days of training, Washington Middle School using the TAF program will be able to magically solve this problem. I highly doubt it. The slide presentation shows a 6th grade project based around a community space planning mission where the math section will focus on ratios and scaling. The problem will be is that incoming HCC 6th graders will be far beyond that math work. So how are they to be integrated into a ratio and scaling project when they are supposed to be working on Function, Geometry and Statistics, the 8th grade curriculum?

And it then begs the question, Why Washington Middle School. Why does the amendment allow the other HCC middle schools to operate as is, leaving the WMS students behind. Why does the South end get left behind in this regard. If HCC is not being dismantled district wide, why is this being forced upon this particular school. It would seem that there are other middle schools the program could be forced upon and not upset the pathway all of these students have been put into the HCC program.

Time and again, I find myself asking myself, who is this benefiting. It isn't the teachers. It won't be the students when the teachers are ill prepared and not excited to adopt the program. It isn't going to be the school district itself when it ends up costing significant amounts of money to maintain. It would seem there are a few who will benefit, and whatever they are getting is worth more than our children's education.
505AC Scholars / HCC21Not sure yetI'll keep my student in HC cohort, where ever that may be.If the HC cohort is dismantled at WMS, there should be another HC feeder middle school for Thurgood Marshall.
515AC Scholars / HCC3How will students achieve prerequisites for 9th grade courses at Garfield in math and science.Their impressions generally. How does project based learning account for the different levels that students may be at academically, for example, in math? How well are teachers able to meet individual needs4See question above re high school prerequisites. It would be absolutely unacceptable for my daughter not to be qualified for algebra 2 in 9th grade but for a north end HCC student to be so qualified.STEMbyTAF at WMSAssuming the District does not abdicate its responsibility to provide advanced LearningNo
523AC Scholars / HCC01. Why this experiment is being run on my community's children. 2. Who is running the statistical design of this experiment. 3. How will the results of this experiment on my child be reported back to me. 4. How do I opt out of this experiment and continue with the existing HCC model?1. Why this experiment is being run on my community's children. 2. Who is running the statistical design of this experiment. 3. How will the results of this experiment on my child be reported back to me. 4. How do I opt out of this experiment and continue with the existing HCC model?21. Why this experiment is being run on my community's children. 2. Who is running the statistical design of this experiment. 3. How will the results of this experiment on my child be reported back to me. 4. How do I opt out of this experiment and continue with the existing HCC model?1. Why this experiment is being run on my community's children.
2. Who is running the statistical design of this experiment.
3. How will the results of this experiment on my child be reported back to me.
4. How do I opt out of this experiment and continue with the existing HCC model?
535AC Scholars / HCC1How are they guaranteeing proper challenges for all students? Will differentiation go beyond independent learning?Na1Why is this STEM program not at an option school like the other programs already in place. STEM is not for everyoneNot sure yet
544AC Scholars / HCC1How they handle different learning needs in one classroom/curriculumHow the process to be adopted as a TAF school went there. The similarities and differences in the concept/structure of Thurgood Marshall vs Saghalie2Being able to teach to different needs, as well as having some students serve (carry burden?) as teachers to others much of the time while they do not feel challenged.For TAF: Your model may need to be tweaked some to serve needs of this particular school given its history and to meet the legal requirements of Seattle’s district mandate to serve all learning needs.
555AC Scholars / HCC1How differentiation for advanced students works. Which math and science classes students will be prepared to take in 9th grade.0This should be an option school. Highly Capable students in the central and southeast regions should have access to a cohort program. Meany would work.Neighborhood middle school (please indicate which one in the comments below)Meany
565AC Scholars / HCC1how they will meet the needs of both hc students and those w ieps2how to individualize learning
573AC Scholars / HCC1Funding required to support STEM by TAF and what the SPS commitment is to providing it. Professional development plan for WMS educators. Commitment to offer higher level math course credits, even if offered in a class with students taking different math courses (eg Math 8, Algebra, Geometry).It would be great to also visit a school that is doing STEM by TAF, not only the school TAF operates.3I would like the district to address the readiness of the school to take on an effort like STEMbyTAF given low levels of visible staff and leadership support for this.
584AC Scholars / HCC1How would STEM by TAF improve HCC student. Is there any study showing TAF works for HC student specifically.We would like to see any study showing TAF is effective on HC student. TAF helps under average student but not for HC.0Why Washington Middle School? Not all schools?Other (please share more details in the comments below)Move to other school where supporting HCCAre WMS teacher trained or ready for TAF?
594Scholars / General Education25My primary concern is that they won’t implement it.
605AC Scholars / HCC0What is the plan for educating this population. Stem by TAF clearly has no plan for how to manage Washington Middle School and no experience in a similar middle school.How is the suburban TAF@Saghalie experience applicable to Washington Middle School which has a population that is much more diverse in background and is performing at a much greater range of academic levels. How is putting TAF in charge of Washington anything more than a random shot in the dark with how little experience TAF has in managing schools (one choice high school and one suburban middle school for 3 years).2Yes. Clearly there has been very little planning for how to adapt the model to Washington Middle School. STEMbyTAF has very little experience running schools having only run one choice high school and one middle school in a suburb for a short period of time. With this little planning, I think the program will be bad for the HCC students, but horrible for the students furthest from educational equity.At a minimum, this plan should be delayed a year. There is no plan in place to effectively manage WMS. STEMbyTAF has very little experience running schools and no experience running a city school with this much diversity of cultural background and this great a range of academic performance. This is playing roulette with our kids and it is unlikely to be effective.
61K-2AC Scholars / HCC0Why was WMS, over all others with similarly excellent opportunities, chosen for this program? And why only WMS?How the program proposes to address the 4 grade dynamic range of reading and math levels in a given class.0Equity? If this is the model for the future of middle school, why only WMS? Why is Stem by TAF mutually exclusive with the current accelerated curriculum - i.e. why couldn't they coexist!Other (please share more details in the comments below)PrivateIn this experiment, the ones who seem to stand to lose the most are Southside HCC students, particularly those dependent on the public system. Those students are being involuntarily pulled into a program that has no evidence of being able to meet the state requirements for their educational needs.
625AC Scholars / HCC01. What will happen to the HCC classrooms at Washington? 2. What will happen to the entire HCC cohort of students at Washington? 3. What will happen to the HCC program at Washington? 4. How does the STEM by TAF math and science curriculum compare to the current HCC one?How does the STEM by TAF math and science curriculum compare to the current HCC one?1The main concern is that the HCC classroom is being dismantled, which is unfair to the HCC students.Not sure yetFigure out a way for the TAF model to coexist with HCC at Washington
635AC Scholars / HCC1How it will be applied to the HCC cohort and how the HCC program will be affected?We want to know what the qualifications are for teachers to teach the HCC students.0The unanswered questions revolve around how TAF and the HCC programs will co-exist at WMS. The HCC program cannot just be dissolved in the south end.Other (please share more details in the comments below)HCC PROGRAM - will we be offered the right to attend another location to continue services?We want to know what is happening to the HCC program. Advanced learners are not served in their neighborhood schools which is why pur students changed schools and left their peers. TAF seems a good program but it is not a replacement for the HCC program and the two topics need to be decoupled. Please host an info session on what HCC will look like at WMS next year. The district will not/is not answering questions about HCC.
644AC Scholars / HCC0The details presented on implementing such a huge program change in a short amount of time with minimal training for teachers at WMS are hazy at best. Additionally, STEM by TAF has not shared any concrete ideas or information on how they would provide HCC services in their instructional model.Their observations on program implementation, and whether/if there is differentiation provided in the classroom for students at various levels in their cohort.1I am concerned about the proposal to eliminate HCC from the South end in order to make room for the STEM by TAF program. Taking the program away (instead of integrating it into STEM by TAF or relocating it to another area middle school) effectively eliminates advanced learning opportunities for students in South Seattle.
654AC Scholars / HCC4How can we receive an HCC education without a STEM focus?1How can we support HCC students who are interested in other subjects besides STEMHCC ≠ STEM
665AC Scholars / HCC0Additional information would mean I already have the basic information which I don't. I have only second hand information and rumors to go on at this point. I want clear strategy on who this curriculum is for and how it will be implemented.I want data showing how students are benefiting from this curriculum1Will this be challenging enough for my child? Is it all online based learning? I try to keep screentime at a minimum. Our kids are still young and need limited screentime.Other (please share more details in the comments below)We are considering independent schools given how WMS has been managed the last 2 years.Improve your communication with parents when it comes to major changes such as this.
I am concerned with the ongoing inequity of south end vs north end schools. Decouple TAF and HCC
675AC Scholars / HCC0How will adequate support be provided to cover the range of learning levels, particularly in math?All information0How will the same level of highly capable services be provided to students in the south end as the rest of Seattle? I feel that this proposal is being rushed and that the school district was trying to sneak this in.Other (please share more details in the comments below)Independent schoolSPS: more community outreach needed
TAF: have you considered another middle school?
685AC Scholars / HCCY0How will differentiation in the classroom be handled? Will there be different classes set up to handle the potentially 4 different grade levels of math? Will students have the pre-reqs required to take AP classes in High School? What is security of TAF funding as it has been mentioned that much of the funding comes from grants and donations? What % of funding comes in large contributions and what happens if those contributions are lost?Information regarding how differentiation is handled in the class room.1I am very concerned about how differentiation will be handled across potentially 4 different grade levels in classroom with 25 or more kids.Not sure yetFor the first time in my students career we are looking at private school options even though this will be a financial strain for our family
694AC Scholars / HCC3will students of multiple ability levels be in the same classroom together?their thoughts and opinions of the program2we have had a negative experience at an ALO school previously, and if students of multiple ability levels will be in the same classroom together, the situation sounds like it will be similar to that ALO experience and will not meet all students' educational needs.Please be thoughtful and take your time in making changes to existing programs.
705AC Scholars / HCC22Neighborhood middle school (please indicate which one in the comments below)Washington Middle School
713AC Scholars / HCC0How will the new model work with kids who are in HCC and ASD? How do they work with 504 plans?
The limited information on the curriculum (and I don't see anything about the blended model), includes a lot about project based curriculum. It's unclear if these are group or individual. If group, do they know how they'll work with kids that have 504 plans (or otherwise)?
And, the description of the math curriculum with one highschool certified math teacher per 80-90 students. Is that correct? If so, how do they manage different levels?
What has been the involvement of the current school teaching staff in developing the curriculum? In particular the HCC teachers?
see above - to the extent these questions could be asked…1Many of our concerns are in the answers to number 4. But, to reiterate:
1. it's unclear they are set up deal with kids how have different learning styles, who are "twice exceptional."
2. Ratios for math teaching seem way too low.
3. Obviously, lack of communication with parents, and a somewhat exasperated, adversarial response to HCC concerns and questions.
4. Privatizing curriculum to outside entity
5. How does TAF deal with 504s and other plans in other schools? Worried that their measures of success will make them not inclined, nor set up to work with these students.
6. The blended curriculum is not well explained, and I worry that it's on the fly.
I absolutely agree that something radical must be done about the school district's approach to advanced education, and the need to focus on kids of color. The proposed changes may be wonderful, but the communication and process has been contentious and lacking in some transparency, which as you know increases anxiety. It's unclear to me why a targeted universalism model isn't being considered. Why not affirmatively assess EVERY kid in the school district utilizing more measures on capability (not just the testing), such as teacher recs, creativity, etc? Using this model, the district should target kids of color affirmatively for HCC. I don't believe getting rid of an exclusive program for kids are highly capable is the right route for gap closing.
724AC Scholars / HCC1Curriculum details; teacher training necessary to follow the TAF model; concrete plan for implementing the TAF model (phasing, timeline, connection to elementary schools feeding WMS); why is WMS the only proposed site in the school district;How does the TAF program / curriculum support differentiation across 3+ grade levels? Could the TAF program be co-located with a more traditional accelerated program (such as HCC) as side-by-side programs? What other metrics of success does the program measure besides college acceptance rates?2What is the schedule for phasing in the TAF program? How will elementary schools that currently feed the HCC program feed into a TAF program? Does the program support differentiation across 3+ grade levels in subject areas such as math? Why is WMS the only school being asked to adopt the TAF model? What other metrics of success besides college acceptance rates are measured by schools that support the TAF model?
733Scholars / General Education3Nothing. TAF and the school district have provided extensive information online, in handouts, and through numerous presentations.Any observations they can share that doesn't violate the privacy of students, would be great.5No. I support Washington Middle School adopting the STEMbyTAF model.I strongly support the district bringing the STEMbyTAF model to Washington Middle School with Highly Capable students learning in integrated classrooms. When I moved to Seattle in 1999 to work as a software engineer, I was dismayed at the lack of diversity in the technology industry. I discovered Technology Access Foundation (TAF) and spent 12 hours a week volunteering in their after school program in the Central District throughout the entire 2001-2002 school year. I know first hand that TAF can achieve educational excellence and equality. I am excited that my children may have the opportunity to attend a TAF school.
743AC Scholars / HCC1I thought the board voted it down at the last meeting, so confused why it is still being presented. Is this for 2021 implementation?How well/poorly are HC learning levels addressed in the classrooms?3Their solidified plan to offer HC programming - maybe not in a cohort, but how they will achieve that level of instruction.Generally more messaging needs to be sent out/seeded that tells people that taking grade level math/reading is actually totally fine and to be celebrated. People not in HCC are not behind - they are where they should be educationally. There is too much frustration out there that HCC is making people feel bad. HCC should just be positioned as a place for some people who can handle math at a slightly above current grade level program - but it's not something people need to aim to or compare to. If you are in 7th grade, doing 7th grade math - you are absolutely on track! That messaging needs to be implemented/supported/repeated to all kids, teachers and parents out there!
753AC Scholars / HCC3I'm very excited about this model coming to WMS for all students, including my own. I am curious what models for differentiation within the blended classroom are being seriously considered to adapt to the new context of WMS - e.g. how will the teachers and support specialists work with students who will come in at many different places in the curriculum? Will there be like groupings within the classroom for Math? In other subjects? Would any student be able to walk to another grade's classroom for subjects at which the current grade classroom is not meeting him/her where he/she is at?STEMbyTAF seems very connected to the big tech companies, relying on them for funding, mentoring, teaching, and giving "real world" exposure. Will the WMS students also get exposure to other types of industries - e.g. small businesses, non-profits, educational, etc... - so they can see how they can use their education to give back to other communities around Puget Sound besides big tech?4I am curious what models for differentiation within the blended classroom are being seriously considered to adapt to the new context of WMS - e.g. how will the teachers and support specialists work with students who will come in at many different places in the curriculum? Will there be like groupings within the classroom for Math? In other subjects? Would any student be able to walk to another grade's classroom for subjects at which the current grade classroom is not meeting him/her where he/she is at? How will students continue to develop skills in humanities and the arts (not just digital arts)?I support TAF coming to WMS, not only because of its exciting STEM and Project-Based Learning model, but especially because of its mission of equity esp. for those "furthest from educational justice." I hope that SPS and TAF will work hard at formulating and communicating how this STEMbyTAF model will adapt to the new context of WMS with its very diverse population of neighborhood and HC students, and work to clearly communicate information that will help everyone get excited about and assure them how the STEMbyTAF model will be able to meet each student academically and socio-emotionally wherever he/she is at.
76K-2Scholars / General Education2While the emphasis should be on supporting under-performing students, it would be helpful to learn more about the benefits for ALL students.Highlights4Don't really know enough about it to have any concerns. I just know that the current system is not equitable and so would appreciate attempts at something else.Please be mindful of hearing the voices that might not always be at the table. At these meetings, there seems to be a lot of opinions expressed by HCC families while Scholar and PEACE families aren't always as heavily represented. That doesn't mean we don't care... it could mean a lot of things including the fact that we are tired of begging/fighting/asking for our kids to have a solid educational experience as well and so may disengage from spaces that feel toxic!
775AC Scholars / HCC5None. More about HCC future2How will they integrate the HCC students? Will they continue accelerated learning? What are the teachers certifications for teaching HCC qualified studentsOther (please share more details in the comments below)Continuing HCC at another program site.Please do not break parents into two groups on Thursday. Especially if you are separating the AC scholar parents and the HCC parents. It would be valuable for everyone to hear all points of view.
784Scholars / General Education1How does the program address students who will not pursue careers in Technology?

Why not expand access to and testing for HCC services which has been successful, instead of TAF? It would be less disruptive to HCC families and beneficial to more students. Right now, many people of color are just not aware of testing opportunities or cannot get to testing locations.

How much will it cost compared to the current model?

How much will it cost vs. expanding HCC?

How much of the cost goes to administration vs students in HCC current, expanded HCC, and TAF scenarios?

What is the rush? I understand the Advanced Learning task force’s work is not done yet.

Can we wait for the Task Force results to get an even fuller perspective before deciding on TAF?
1The rationale is not clear. We have successful programs in place which could just be expanded