Monday, September 13, 2021

Minutes from 08/26/21 Meeting

 HiCap Parent Council Meeting

via Zoom
August 26, 2021

1:00 pm – 3:00 pm


  • Votes passed to appoint new members to council for a one year term

  • Need to have a conversation about new programs at Kenmore Elementary and Northshore Virtual Program (NVP)

    • Hillarie has a student attending the new Kenmore EAP program and can help there as well but is also actively trying to recruit a dedicated rep from among the parents in the 2nd/3rd grade split class there

    • NVP will have highly capable programming: Do they get a rep beyond alternative programs? Do they need a rep? Or multiple reps?

      • Terra is okay helping, but thinks it would be better to have a rep who has children in the program

      • Believed that elementary and secondary are different enough that each should have a separate rep

      • Prefer a rep who is committed to the whole year at NVP

        • Motion:

        • Seconded:

        • Approved

    • Council will send out an email requesting people to fill these positions (who?)

  • Amity updates

    • Kenmore has a new 2nd/3rd EAP split class; some students may leave Lockwood to return to home school

    • NVP

      • Program grew from about 200 students to 1,355 in two weeks

      • 323 students are committed for the full year

      • 1,032 students are committed for part of the year

      • Not sure if the program will continue past COVID, but it might if there is still interest

      • About ⅓ of NVP signups have a HiCap designation

      • Elementary program: ~900 total students, 375 of whom are EAP

        • Will look similar virtual offerings last year; 70% synchronous/30% asynchronous with breaks

        • Basis is Edgenuity, but there will be a lot of teacher input

        • There will be an EAP class at every grade level (or as close as possible with class numbers)

        • Amity will help Megan Bernicchi make classes when the numbers stabilize

      • Secondary program: ~300 total students, 150 of whom are HiCap

        • Secondary instruction is more different from last year

        • Students will have instructors through Edgenuity

        • Transfers back to in-person learning will cause most schedules to change, therefore the best time to return is at the end of the semester

      • Students (especially secondary) are asked to move back to in-person model only at learning breaks (i.e. end of the quarter/semester)

      • A lot of out of district students have joined

        • Amity is working to “transfer” those who qualify to EAP/AAP

        • NVP closed to out of district waivers on August 19th (In-district closed August 23rd)

        • Lisa Lewis is working to help answer NVP emails; report that they are getting 30-40 email requests daily from all over the state asking to join the program

        • NVP is now creating a wait list

    • Northshore SD lost fewer students during 2020-21 school year than ANY other district in WA

    • HiCap enrollment numbers on the chart Amity shared included students who are dual-enrolled with NVP

    • Question about students who might be single subject qualifiers but placed in an EAP classroom to help balance numbers: Amity clarified that this flex only happens if the student is qualified in math because it is easier to differentiate reading lower but they do not want to set an ELA qualifier up for failure with the math acceleration/jumps

    • New EAP programs (e.g. Wellington, Shelton View, Kenmore) are committed to sustaining these students through 5th grade

    • Amity appreciates the North region’s efforts to serve students in their home school buildings and hopes it continues to support single subject qualified students as well

    • Multi-Tiered Systems of Supports (MTSS) {This is part 3 of goal 2 of the district’s Strategic Plan}: Parents can and are encouraged to ask what the school’s plan is for highly capable students

      • MTSS includes HiCap (not just LAP, ELL, Special Needs, etc.)

      • It makes a difference when parents ask these questions

    • Middle school update: all students at all schools are appropriately registered with HiCap students NOT clusters of 3-5 HiCap students in a challenge class

    • Transportation update

      • Forms are no longer needed to request transportation to an EAP program (Amity confirmed this with Transportation)

      • Instructions to find bus info from HiCap page

        • Service models → EAP→ Find instructions below school assignment

        • Instructions are also available on the FAQ page

      • No answers on bus waivers

      • Transportation “infrastructure” will change next year, so we need to just suffer through this year

      • There will be more information on transportation on Friday’s update from Dr. Reid

    • High school

      • We have a confirmed meeting with the Regional Area Superintendents (RASs)for September 29th regarding common course catalog

        • Meeting still needs an agenda

        • If interested in the meeting and not a High School rep, contact Austina offline

POINT OF ORDER: we are allowed to delegate a stand-in if we have to miss a meeting (notify council 24 hours in advance

  • New issue: Inglemoor IB course catalog says you can take AP Stats in grades 9-12 but they won’t let it happen

    • Family that raised the issue (Steven) was given a list of reasons why triple jump student who had completed Algebra II/Trig should not be allowed to take course: people don’t want to do it; won’t let them skip SL math I; kid probably wasn’t well prepared due to virtual learning last year; counselor said that it was a scheduling problem (but didn’t allow them to see what trade-offs were required to select that course)

    • Amity will look into this issue

  • Council members recalled assignments (in all secondary) where it listed the requirements for HiCap, Challenge, and General Education on the same paper. Others mentioned teachers saying lack of motivation made them think the student was advanced in math without cause. 

    • Asked for members to submit copies of assignments that were printed this way as it is antithetical to the stance that HiCap students receive different rather than more work as well as making for an awkward situation for all students

    • Also brought up desire for more professional development and to know what Amity plans in that regard

  • Screening/Testing for HiCap in 2021/22

    • Plan is to return to 2019-20 SY test schedule 

    • Referrals are open now until 4 pm on October 15th

    • NVP students will be tested online like last year (this seemed to work well, and let in about the same number of students as prior years of in-person testing)

    • 2nd-7th grades will be back to testing in schools

    • Testing assessment calendar is out to schools (website still lists last year’s schedule and says to check for this year’s schedule soon)

    • Testing should be done at the end of January

    • Amity will reach out and request permission to test students who have single subject qualification

    • Amity will try to follow up with those who did not complete testing last year

  • Update on summer playdates

    • Many EAP programs had several meetings

    • The majority of programs met on school playgrounds; programs that met offsite usually met as part of a larger planned offsite playdate already planned for their whole school’s population

    • Early meetings (in July) helped relieve stress

    • Concern about the timing of meeting raised again (meeting needs of families who work or have other conflicts) and Austina reiterated that no meeting time/date will fit with every family’s schedule and it is best to have something that the rep can handle rather than nothing at all

    • Didn’t hear reports of any secondary programs having summer gatherings

    • Likely due to the pandemic, many families elected to defer joining an EAP class and returned to home school this year; it was harder to overcome the stress of transition without tours and more in-person gatherings

    • Recalled time (last time was in 2016) where EAP hosted prospective families; hope to be able to bring this program back to ease decision and transition

      • The meeting occurred before the response deadline (then in April)

      • There was a meeting with the principal followed by a brief school tour

      • Students and families visited the next year’s classroom with current students providing a brief presentation on what it was like to be in EAP and prospective students could ask questions of current students and teacher

      • Students were dismissed to play with current EAP students on the playground while parents/guardians remained behind in the class where they could ask questions of the teacher

      • Whole program lasted between 60-120 minutes

  • Austina led council through brainstorming goals/priorities and recognizing wins/successes

    • Possible Goals/Priorities for the Coming Year

      • Common High school course catalog, alignment between high schools in course content, course have same name, description, etc.  Equitable offering across all high schools.  (Make sure high level math course gets decided)

      • Writing curriculum at all levels (elementary, middle, high school)

      • Single-subject qualifiers social support, share with each other, connecting parents & kids

      • Single-subject qualifying for reading – better support. Teacher just expects kids to reach 4 on rubric, rather than giving more instruction/depth.

      • Elementary libraries – better support for HiCap readers in school libraries, remove grade limits on which books kids can read

      • Clustering students in a building, clustered in the same classroom

      • More in-depth curriculum for social studies

      • More in-depth curriculum for science 

      • Check in with middle schools to make sure they are really doing hicap courses as hicap

      • Professional development for administrators and teachers. Clear expectations of what to expect from HiCap students. (they don’t all get 4s)

      • Issues with curriculum. What does it mean to be hicap? Is it breadth? Is it depth? Get clarity on what it is. Especially for social studies and science.

      • Survey for middle schoolers, get feedback from kids

      • Trouble with certain middle school teachers, how best to address this?

      • Kindergarten/first grade teachers – better professional development, guidance for supporting HiCap students, some sort of real curriculum/programming for HiCap students, not just challenge packets 

      • Converting elementary HiCap math curriculum to Beast Academy

      • Highlighting programs that are going well.

      • Awards program for HiCap teachers that are doing well. (EAP, in-school, AAP, high school)

      • Do something about iReady. Parents don’t like it.

    • What’s going well?

      • Identification has improved a lot. Universal screening.

      • Flexibility in testing. Testing during the school day. Make-ups. Scheduling retakes when there is a problem.

      • Criteria is clearer, multiple pathways.

      • We test as little as possible. Naglieri in 1st grade, no need for Iowa.

      • Many more EAP sites, closer to a student’s home school

      • Offering math acceleration for 4th & 5th grade for ALL math qualified students not in EAP (Edgenuity, walk to math)

      • Full bus transportation

      • EAP sites that go to the correct middle school

      • EAP sites more stable

      • Triple jump math option (most HiCap math kids are taking algebra in 6th)

      • District has committed to a high level math course for triple jumpers

      • Survey for graduating high school seniors

      • EAP teachers mentoring other EAP teachers 

  • Last year we began reading about different topics and opening our meeting with 15 minutes of discussion on the resource reviewed 

    • Council found this helpful and wanted to continue

    • New topics suggested: Executive Function, Organization tools/tips, Motivating the underachiever

    • Austina will send us a reading on executive function

    • Council members charged to make a list of organizational tools/tips and executive function tools that we have used to share for next time

Amity and Angie finished and left the meeting

  • Review of HCP’s financial status

    • All looks good with current funding and should make it to end of the year

    • Looking for anyone on the council who is interested in fundraising: with additional money we could further our reach, e.g. grants to HiCap teachers, social gatherings for families/students

  • Review of Bylaw changes proposed in June meeting and written up by Gavin

    • Questioned previous thought of adding 4 at-large members based on having just added reps for Wellington and Shelton View and looking to appoint one for Kenmore Elementary and 2 for NVP

    • Also questioned hamstringing ourselves by adding timing deadlines to bylaws instead of making them less formal operational procedures which can flex when things change perhaps for a personal emergency

    • After some discussion decide to table vote until next meeting and personally review proposed changes here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1rgqb0CrqYGv7vbxaC_HlcAuB5ekDOV4hfhRACe6Fwus/edit

  • Miscellaneous further discussion

    • Look for a doodle poll in the first week or so of September to pick a date at the end of Sept for our next meeting (once Amity’s schedule is more set)

    • Send Qing (dongq9099@gmail.com) your photo and email address to get added to the website (hcparents.org) - if your picture is not on the website, she needs you to send one