Monday, May 25, 2020

EAP sites realigned to middle schools for 2020-21 school year

Prior to the 2020-21 school year, where a student was placed for EAP depended on the year when they were identified. Students from the same home school and same grade might be found at different EAP sites if they were identified in different years. Also, students were bused from around the district to attend EAP sites with students with whom they may not attend middle school. For the 2020-21 school year, EAP sites have largely been aligned with middle school feeder patterns (with the exception of the Canyon Park Middle School elementary feeder schools all of which lack space to host an EAP site) and already identified EAP students are being reassigned to EAP sites in the new alignment.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Minutes from 5/12/20 Meeting

HiCap Parents Council Meeting
via Zoom with Amity Butler and Angie Hancock
May 12, 2020
12:00 pm – 1:25 pm

  1. Amity – General updates: not a lot.
    1. Staffing on one side of district
    2. Living in very odd instructional world
    3. Sending out new information on grading practices
    4. End-of-year celebrations
    5. Transitional events
    6. Discussion of which elementary schools have had orientations for EAP parents
  2. Hollywood Hills orientation
    1. Short, 30-45 minutes total
    2. Welcomed everyone
    3. Introductory video about school
    4. Video about teachers, who they are
    5. Changes at the school including EAP and sensory
    6. Who the teachers are and grade splits
    7. Questions about grade splits, teacher was there, answered questions
    8. Lots of questions about grade split
    9. Open questions, including a few general EAP questions
    10. Offered to send PowerPoint to parents
    11. Bear Creek’s principal also showed up for a few minutes
  3. Amity – Parent Survey
    1. Sitting with Dr. Reid and Lisa Youngblood Hall, communication specialist
    2. Would like it go out within the next 2-3 weeks, before end-of-school events
    3. Parents fill it out once for each student
  4. In-school HiCap
    1. Not there yet, but making gains
    2. One of the biggest areas with room for growth, but schools have made progress
    3. Every school is working with what they have and working thru the difficulties, especially the numbers
    4. Need to continue accelerating a math child after initial acceleration.
    5. Starting with focus on 5th grade since that is the easiest grade to start with
    6. Will likely take a few more years for full impact
  5. Austina - Elections are underway
    1. Ballots went out last night
    2. Already 100+ votes
    3. Only 2 positions are contested
  6. G-Word published video of NSD
    1. Austina is delighted she did not look stupid, which was her goal
    2. Dr. Reid and NSD looked like rock stars
    3. Should think of ways to get it out to community beyond just Facebook
  7. Last official meeting of old council
    1. 2 transition meetings: parent only in meeting to orient new council. Scheduled for Thursday, May 28, 7-9 pm
    2. Need June council meeting date with Amity with new and old council members: Thursday June 4, 10-12 ( previously scheduled meeting anyway)
  8. Thank you to members rolling off the council
  9. Reflections on the past year
    1. Lauren – More flexible than last year. Got a lot done. Made progress on high school HiCap documents
    2. Austina – Amity did a great job transitioning into a difficult job
  10. Amity – Bear Creek teachers are in a sensitive / tumultuous situation this week.
    1. This is when they are finding out about available EAP spots for next year.
    2. There is a chance an existing EAP teacher will not get an EAP placement next year.
    3. But not a better way to handle the teacher shifts. Cannot kick existing teachers out of schools that newly have EAP.
    4. Hoping people will all land in good spots for them.
    5. There are a lot of displaced teachers, not just EAP.
    6. All will have employment. Just a question of where.
  11. Austina – What has gone well?
    1. Jennifer – Testing. Results were back sooner and less chaos, even considering Covid.
    2. Carson – Testing went smoothly. People could find out when their child would be tested. Communication has been good – people have a better idea of what is going to happen and the timeframe, even if the timeline changed, especially compared to previous years.
    3. Lauren – Made headway at high schools and with building admins who are more willing to work with us. Also having Angie to work with us, especially since she has previous HiCap experience.
    4. Jennifer – Orientation at playground before school started
    5. Carson – Communication with parents of new EAP kids went well, particularly the 2nd session where parents wrote their questions ahead of time
    6. Austina – Amazing how little pushback we heard about new EAP school assignments, especially on Facebook
      1. Amity has fielded a few comments from parents who were unhappy
      2. Austina - Parent survey was time well spent to help people think thru the transition ahead of time.
      3. Carson – Fewer people who stunned at the time of the announcement, especially since Covid happened around the same time
  12. Carson – Announced to Canyon Park that they will be dropping block schedule based on staff feedback. Plus principal is leaving. Is that happening at other schools?
    1. Lauren believes that all middle schools are changing the scheduling.
    2. Jennifer said contract with union changed and it gave schools the opportunity to make a site-based decision. Staff was not happy about block schedule.
    3. Austina – Block schedule was part of how moving middle schools to 6-8 was sold to parents to the benefit of 6th graders
    4. Amity – Not sure what impetus was behind the school from a block schedule. The block schedule can be very effective, especially in her old high-poverty district. But it requires professional training to make it effective.
  13. Amity – What is general survey response rate? Austina, 20-30% of community respond to a normal survey.
  14. Game day
    1. Austina had full group for her talks
    2. Made money from game day
    3. Lauren – Had to do some refunds. Will have a P&L document for June meeting
    4. Austina – Official financial check-in should be part of June agenda
    5. Bonnie – Definitely made money. Will go back to emails and look at the numbers. Will do a write up in case someone wants to organize it next year. Jasmine will still be there anyway.
  15. Bonnie – How do we plan for kids switching schools, especially given Covid
    1. Nobody has any idea what school looks like next year
    2. District is presumably planning for all different scenarios
    3. Amity – Trying to get end-of-year celebrations planned. Have read about what they have advised for other states. Cannot predict what will happen. Surreal to start without having established relationships with new teachers.
    4. Lauren – Dr. Reid said it would be difficult to handle transportation for hybrid model if kids go on different days. State is supposed to release a plan by mid-June.
  16. What could we do better next year?
    1. Carson – Talking to parents at Lockwood to make binding decision earlier about PACE before EAP assignments. Should EAP testing get done sooner so they can know EAP decision before having to accept PACE?
      1. Brenae – It would help to coordinate the timing, especially since EAP testing and assignments got done much earlier this year than in previous years. Usually heard around end of year.
      2. Amity – Only missed PACE deadline by about a week. They became aware but not soon enough to change the timelines.
    2. Lauren – Better messaging about who does algebra readiness testing. Not necessarily HiCap issue.
      1. Tamorah – Any child who qualifies the year of should be allowed to take the test. Only kids who were already in program could take the test, not newly qualified.
      2. Amity – “Good luck with that battle.” She does not disagree. It is not necessarily a HiCap test, but HiCap should probably take control of test. Can of worms. Not sure she wants to take control of it though. Have convinced Eric it should be done online instead of paper/pencil, since it is a quicker process.
      3. Austina – Thought we were already testing kids for algebra readiness
    3. Carson – Is there a new data point for first graders beyond i-ready? Amity – No.
    4. Alternative to WA Kids for kindergarten?
      1. Amity - Would like to educate families that K is not a qualification year. It is a screening year, looking at child potential. Goal is to take notice of children and put forth challenging curriculum in front of students. If can articulate that to parents, then families don’t feel we take something away from them if they do not formally qualify in first grade.
      2. Austina – Need consistent names for each program where only EAP has a formal definition. EAP, HiCap, in-class, holistic, etc. Amity agrees and should define better next year.
      3. Is 1st grade also a child development year?
        1. Amity - Weak spot to provide meaningful services for 1st graders. Can identify 1st graders soon enough in the year that they could provide services during 2nd half of year.
        2. Austina – Teachers are not notified if a 1st grader qualified. So no change.
        3. Carson – At best, they get extra packet, which can be a busywork punishment.
        4. Tamorah – Teachers are notified immediately at Fernwood and they try to provide enhancement. But no formal program or guidance from district, which makes it difficult.
      4. Austina – Could build and supply curriculum pieces to teachers for in-school enhancement.
    5. Discussion about whether kids should be expected to do transition coursework over the summer, particularly in math, to be ready, especially for double-jump math or newly qualified EAP students.
    6. How to schedule summer playdates if kids cannot physically meet. Should probably meet over the summer to figure this out.