Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Minutes from 10/22/19 Meeting

HiCap Parent Council Meeting
with Amity Butler and Tamora Redshaw
October 22, 2019
10:00 am – 12:45 pm

  1. Enrollment numbers chart.
    1. Not broken down by race or ethnicity. Kindergarten is the only grade that matches the demographic for HiCap. Concern about “capturing the kids and keeping them.” No easy answer.
    2. Enrollment numbers have practically doubled in the past year. 4138 HiCap kids out of 23,284 total enrollment, or 17.80%.
    3. Amity spoke with EL students at all grade levels. Most were happy and thought it was a good experience. But question about how to not overlook kids who are quiet and well-behaved.
  2. District did a robocall to single-subject qualifiers last week to request permission for testing. Will call people who have not given permission. Will talk to principals about scheduling dates and rooms after have final numbers for kids in each school. Discussion about whether parents whose kids did not qualify will get notified as well. And how that message should be sent – email via Synergy, robocalls, notice sent home with child. Need to ensure parents understand percentage cutoffs and their child’s score.
  3. Does not want to use i-Ready unless necessary. It’s a diagnostic tool. She does not want kids to use it at home and get ahead but ignore the instructions. It’s only used if a 1st grader is sick and misses every opportunity for testing. It is just a backup, last resort tool. Plus there is an equity issue since not every school completed the paperwork to get the instructional tools as part of the i-Ready program.
  4. Kindergarteners will know nothing until January so they do not freak out. WA Kids deadline is October 31, so that is a bigger priority. Will notify kindergarten parents in late January.
  5. November 8 -- screening ends for 1st and 5th graders.
  6. Elementary – Mentors for new EAP teachers. Concerns about the new Lockwood 5th grade EAP teacher. Open to any teacher that wanted mentoring. Split-classroom teachers especially wanted mentors.
  7. Curriculum pilots starting at elementary level. Possibly doing a small pilot at Wellington and Bear Creek. Focused on math. Goal is to figure out how to better-serve single qualifiers. Slow process. Need to be cautious to make sure it’s successful. Involves tech working in the back of the classroom. Currently considering Edunuity (all computer) and Beast Academy (books & computer, books optional). Very different programs.
  8. EDTF meeting about Bear Creek neighborhood projections – November 4 is next meeting. No predictions at this point. Hoping next meeting will be more productive. Decision on GenEd is basically made, but no decision on EAP.
  9. Middle School – All registration forms are supposed to look like Leota’s. All kids should be able to choose between GenEd and Challenge. Should be distinct AAP courses.
    1. HICap kids are spread around middle schools. It’s a struggle to get middle schools to come to 5th grade EAP schools with the proper registration forms.
    2. Some principals don’t even know which middle schools their kids are even attending.
  10. They do have some AAP teachers interested in piloting new curriculum. Science first. Probably not math yet. Then will move into ELA.
  11. High school principal meetings – had a meeting with all 4 principals. They need to talk to their staff about ELA. Social studies curriculum is set by state. ELA, especially English 9, that principals will talk to their staffs about proposals to make it more attractive to HiCap students. Need to vet thru staff – different curriculum vs different in-class options.
    1. Pre-AP English is difficult at Inglemoor and North Creek, but easy at Woodinville. Concern about whether it is too difficult for GenEd kids since there is no separate GenEd curriculum. The goal is to challenge all kids and offer appropriate support where they would do better than in a regular GenEd class.
    2. Concern about whether the results are being monitored and evaluated. North Shore is trying to pilot de-tracking because it is very inequitable for kids who are not identified.
    3. GenEd concerns are outside the scope of the HiCap board though.
  12. Suggestion to bring high school counselors on board into registration process since there is a disconnect between what counselors are telling the kids and the reality of what kids can take. There needs to be a district document so that parents know. Will also help with the equity issues. Families need more time before registration. Perhaps counselors could meet with each student after registration to review the decisions, but not sufficient time before. Probably impossible for counselors to have a relationship with each kid.
  13. Info Night – Amity spoke at Fernwood PTSA. Did not feel prepared back in September. Answered a lot of questions from parents and teachers.
    1. Amity is Happy to speak at elementary schools. Would be nice if schools had combined meetings to avoid 20 meetings.
    2. Dr. Reid did not want a few large events where there are space issues and too many parents to ask questions.
    3. At Fernwood, parents sent in their questions to teachers ahead of time and sent to Amity so she knew the most common questions, topics and concerns.
    4. Downside to smaller events if HiCap board used to collect a lot of names at the big event.
  14. Curriculum concerns from HiCap Board:
    1. For English classes in middle and high school, almost all books that kids read have death as a theme. As we look at new books, can we find more uplifting books?
    2. New curriculum pilots creating a guide for single-qualified kids. There are Challenge questions from the Math Expressions book. Goal is to make it available to single-qualified kids.
    3. How to ensure teachers are aware of single-qualified kids in their classroom. How is it possible a teacher does not know? It is in Synergy and is impossible for teachers to not know.
    4. Advanced math classes in high school for triple-jump math classes – There are no math options for 9th graders because they will run out of math by 12th grade. Need to inform parents that there will be an option in 12th grade.
  15. Website still says student ID is required, but the form is fixed.
  16. Website says is single qualified, that qualification stays with you “as long as you stay in good academic standard”. That phrase should be removed.
  17. Concern from a parent about whether EAP status could be revoked because they were accepted on an appeal. The only way to lose their EAP status is if their child un-enrolls in the district or parent explicitly requests it.
  18. ParentVUE – “Holistic” designation does not show up for kindergarteners as a designation or special service. Different qualifier than HiCap or EAP designation because “holistic” is a different designation. There is no curriculum difference and “holistic” is not a subject they get graded on. But State requires identification of HiCap K’s and holistic is basically HiCap designation. So it should be reflected.
  19. EAP sites for next year
    1. Woodmoor will be losing EAP in 2 years. All parents at Woodmoor want to stay at Woodmoor. Parents were very appreciative about being heard.
    2. Bigger issue affects lots of individual schools – can we survey families to let parents be heard? How can we make transition easier? Do you want to move? If you have to move, what would help? Make parents aware of tradeoffs. Transportation is a big issue.
    3. Is it worth surveying parents if their responses may not actually be considered in the decision?
    4. EDTF should survey HiCap parents (and was supposedly going to, but didn’t) about their preferences, especially about transitions and tradeoffs.
Amity leaves at 12:00 pm.
Other post-Amity business items:
  1. Board Game day – BrightWater donations did not meet costs. Zulu’s was well-attended, but limited to 25 people and could not interact. Should try again at BrightWater since now HiCap is a non-profit. Jasmine and Bonnie will co-organize.
  2. Taxes – Austina will file 990N. Fiscal year goes thru December. No November deadline.
  3. Minutes – Approved minutes from August and September meetings with modifications to remove inaccurate statements.
  4. iReady discussion –
    1. Some schools are doing nothing. Some kids come home with scores. Kindergarteners are not using until January. Consistency and equity issues. District will be going out to schools and training the schools. Everyone has access though. Not all schools have it evidently. Some use at school and some use at home.
    2. Original point was lightweight monitoring in advance of SBA. Can be used for HiCap which is a bonus. But Amity does not believe the data is robust at recognizing HiCap kids.
    3. Confusion about what the score actually means since there is no explanation.
  5. Is the district concerned about the high numbers of HiCap kids as a percentage?
  6. Are we still identifying and serving under-represented kids who are traditionally not identified?
  7. Is cutoff next year 85th percentile still?
  8. Discussion about merits of professional development vs curriculum development. Curriculum is probably more important, but there is generally not a district-wide set curriculum.
  9. Can we gather data on kids coming into AAP who were not part of EAP? Not an easy transition, especially if kids are held to a higher standard than GenEd kids who have never been held to a higher standard.
  10. Not a lot of emphasis on writing ability, particularly for high school kids. And not just in English, but also Science and other classes that require lots of writing. Concern that HiCap kids may be held to a higher standard for writing despite lack of difference in curriculum. Also concern that just going into more depth is not a different curriculum, so it does not matter to colleges. That doesn’t mean it’s not serving the kids though.
  11. Discussion about having an evening meeting with just the HiCap Board. Previous years, the group would meet with the district every other month.