Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Minutes from 2/4/20 Meeting


 HiCap Parent Council Meeting
with Amity Butler and Angie Hancock
February 4, 2020

10:00 am – 12:00 pm


  1. Amity – Struggling with messaging around various pathways.
    1. 79 students qualifying in area of low income and active ELL across district, qualifying with alternate pathway.
    2. Not yet public. Haven’t specified on the website what the alternate pathway is. (Alternate pathway is state-required.) Letter home does state it was via an alternate pathway but does not specify which, just “sub-group.”
    3. Concerns because parents share stores, but do not want to “out” alternate pathway families. Willing to answer over the phone, but not in an email which can easily be posted to FB. Email response seems evasive.
    4. Discussion about whether to ask parents in the future to not share their child’s scores.
    5. Did not have data this year about how students are performing this year who were admitted based on alternate pathways last year. Hoping to have that next year.
    6. Alternate pathways are state-required and because tests do not treat low-income and ELL fairly. Not about lowering the threshold, but a correction factor for the tests that provides an alternate way to evaluate these students.
    7. What about 504 and IEP students? Results are 504 students are represented in HiCap proportionately based on numbers within district. Not same for IEP though. We expect to be under in IEP since receiving an IEP designation is difficult to achieve, so they often get 504 designation instead.
  2. Final numbers of newly qualified students (not yet published):
    1. Summary by grade of newly qualified students
    2. How many kids took/passed screener based on ELL, 504 and IEP. And how many qualified.
    3. 5.2% of kids in district have 504, 5.1% qualified. ELL is 8% in district and 4.3% qualified, but making progress.
    4. Significant growth in qualified students across 504, low income, IEP and ELL from 2015, especially in 2019 and 2020. But based on kids current qualification and ideally ELL designation is temporary, so unclear if they were ELL prior to qualifying.
    5. Chart with summary on how kids qualified: NNAT3, WAKids, IOWA, HC Qual 2nd subject, subgroup threshold, SBA or SBA+IOWA.
    6. Would be interesting to know how many newly qualified kids are new to district vs identifying kids who were not previously qualified. Last year was 25% new to district.
    7. Chart with qualification criteria by grade based on screeners, dual qualifiers and single qualifiers.
  3. Portfolio reviews
    1. Parents can request, but any outside testing are inherently biased.
    2. “Edge cases” receive a special letter of kids who are 5 points below cutoff in SBA. But they could have used IOWA or a number other than 5. So inherent issues in criteria.
    3. MST was not willing to just allow kids to be qualified without any approach.
    4. Reached out to parents of Edge cases to tell parents to request a portfolio review.
    5. Only 11 kids this year are Edge Cases. So not a significant number.
    6. But should we require a parent to request a portfolio review instead of just doing it anyway?
    7. Appeal is something went wrong with the test. Portfolio review is we just want to take another look.
  4. Is SBA delivered consistently across the district: school to school, teacher to teacher, etc.? Testing environment may not be consistent based on what kids are told about how important/serious the test is., the actual classroom condition, etc.
  5. Are most appeals kids who single-qualfied and but parent ask about dual? Or did not qualify for either? Many times, kids are not even close to cutoff by any measure. Portfolio review is best option for these kids. Sometimes they are doubly gifted and no test will be a good indicator.
  6. District did tons of make-up tests this year for kids who were sick, test malfunctions or kid who had other issues during the test, e.g., medical.
  7. Process for acceptance – go online and click acceptance. It does not work if sent the link and they are not qualified. (Evidently parents share the link.) Acceptance is due 2/14 for all grades. They encourage people to accept their placement even if they may change their mind later.
  8. EAP meetings on 2/10 at NPAC and 2/12 and NSD board room at 7 pm. Robocall going out today or tomorrow.
    1. Suggestion for a 10-minute overview that will likely answer a lot of questions beforehand. Presented by Amity.
    2. Huge step that doing in partnership with district as opposed to past years.
    3. Should kids be allowed on the panel? Most kids are not really ready to answer questions in real time. But they could prepare a statement ahead of time to read. One or two students who can speak for 2 minutes at beginning but probably not answer questions.
    4. Goal is to have all schools represented at both nights.
  9. EAP sites for next year
    1. There is a plan, but has not been publicly released. Close to finalized as of yesterday. But need to speak with principals who may be getting more kids than originally planned.
    2. Fernwood, Moorlands, Lockwood, Sunrise and Canyon Creek are definite EAP sites.
    3. A few sites have been added to the list too, but not yet public. Unlikely final location decisions will be made before the 2 meetings.
    4. Recommendation from district is to accept since it helps them plan. Easier to withdraw.
    5. Can accept designation but choose to stay in home school. Deadline on 14th is about accepting the designation, not just about reserving a spot in EAP.
    6. PACE parents also have a deadline before knowing the location, but they can just accept both.
    7. Also sent letters to parents who are dual-qualified but not in EAP. Gave them option to continue receiving services in home school or switch to EAP.
    8. District preference is for students to go back to their home o. r closer school if it gets EAP. Parents can request waiver to stay at current location, but would probably have to provide their own transportation.
    9. Survey results suggest majority would prefer to move closer to their home school. Results were considered by district when assigning EAP locations.
  10. Survey – Big request was a transition day for newly qualified students.
    1. No district efforts yet to make that happen. But need to coordinate to avoid SBA testing and other conflicts.
    2. June would probably work best since SBA testing often happens in May.
  11. Amity has after-school meetings today at Wellington and Moorlands with PTA about middle school registration.
    1. Concerns by parents, especially immigrant parents, who are unfamiliar with middle school.
    2. Concerns about what classes to register for, particularly regarding HiCap like algebra readiness.
  12. Thoughts on eventual clustering in elementary schools:
    1. Concerns about changes to urban growth boundary which could cause huge growth in our district.
    2. Current EAP model is not sustainable if massive growth.
    3. ArrowHead had experimented with clustering, so they are going to evaluate that.
    4. Concerns about finding spots for all kids.
    5. Clustering is generally split-level classes but does not have to be.
    6. Not doing it this year. But concerns in the future.
    7. Small pilot at Wellington for single-qualified students.
    8. Concerns about whether staff would accept training to support clustering. And whether kids will still receive the accelerated services they deserve?
    9. Cluster-based differentiation models have not been very successful across the state.
    10. One option is to cluster HiCap kids teacher at each school. Growth in HiCap program means there may be enough volume to do that. Would likely require more staff though.
    11. Split-classes require 2-hour para-educator, primarily intended for math. That will cause a budget issue, so single-grade classes are preferred.
  13. High School issues
    1. Would be nice if each high school would schedule their parent information night and put it on calendar. But that does not reach parents of 8th graders.
    2. North Creek
      1. Registration details for HiCap classes.
      2. Discussion about AVID at high school for ELL students. System for execute functioning. It’s a class that students are evidently automatically registered for.
    3. Inglemoor
      1. Different than North Creek. Each high school is different.
      2. Grouping 9th grades into a cohort.
    4. Question about what is the safety net for any kid who enrolls in a difficult class, but must fail instead of un-enroll and switching to an easier version.
    5. Question about whether the 2-year Capstone class is considered an English class by colleges or whether they have to take English and Capstone.
    6. Access to syllabus – if course descriptions were better, then people wouldn’t want earlier access to syllabus. But not available until fall. The syllabus does not change too often though, so could look at previous years.
    7. Disconnect between 9th grade AP classes and 8th grade HiCap English classes. No communication or continuity so that students are properly prepared and have read the appropriate background. An issue with other classes too.
  14. EAP Parent meeting
    1. Goal to have panelist from each school at each meeting
    2. Need to pass out clipboards for parent HiCap registration
    3. Panelists should arrive by 6:40
    4. Carson is organizing Monday and Steven on Wednesday.
    5. Need to follow up with council members who say they will find reps from each elementary school.