Monday, April 11, 2022

Minutes from 3/25/22 Meeting

   HiCap Parents Council Meeting

via Zoom

March 25, 2022

9:00 pm-11:00 pm

  • Reading/discussion today: Imposter Syndrome

    • Sources

    • Most only listened to the podcast

      • We identify with the podcast

      • Helped a parent to understand their high school junior and she shared the article with her son

      • It was new to some to see that perfectionism causes you to freeze and not start until the last minute

      • We were struck by the fact that when we compare ourselves to others, we only look up, not sideways or down

      • Liked the quote, “Great can be the enemy of done.” 

      • Two-minute mountain: the physical anxiety response lasts about 90 seconds and you need to grit your teeth and get through it

        • Seth Perler tip for starting homework: you can choose to do 1 problem, 2 problems, or 3 problems; regardless of what you pick, you have already committed to starting

        • Often when you get done with one problem it is easier to keep going; you have effectively gritted through the 2-minute mountain

      • Where does a kid get the idea that this is not enough and how do we combat that to get to 80%

        • Can come from social acceptance

        • We compare grades without even thinking

        • A student perspective: education here (vs. Denmark) is more focused on grades than learning

        • Here we focus so much on ranking and measurable data

        • ILHS’s recent Mastery Learning presentation: might be a good topic if it was recorded and we can view the recording

      • Podcast format seemed to work well, so we might try to focus on this format

      • It is nice to have a safe place to discuss the source of anxiety and pressure without the assumption that this pressure is always coming from parents

  • Amity Updates

    • Identification process update

      • MST letters are going out probably on Monday for appeals

        • All appeal decisions have been made

        • There may be 4-5 more if missed opportunities or are coming later

      • Don’t have final decisions on schools hosting EAP; HR and business are working on this

      • Will encourage schools to reach out to newly qualified students once decisions are made

        • We want this communication to happen at the same time for all schools/students

        • It is great to get even a small amount of communication from welcoming school

        • Lets families know that the school knows their kids are coming

    • Algebra readiness (this process is owned by Curriculum, but Amity still gets a lot of questions about this)

      • The Algebra readiness image below can be shared on Facebook and in school newsletters

  • Sent text and phone call to check email

  • Amity advised teacher to talk to families about their ability to reject Algebra placement where desired/appropriate

  • If students without previous acceleration want to take Algebra, they need to do 7th grade challenge math in summer school

  • We are the only district that allows and encourages kids to take Algebra in 6th grade

    • Example: Mercer Island Math acceleration

    • There is some smaller percent of students that might do better to slow the math acceleration dow

    • Remember and remind people that this is a family decision and that it is easier to make adjustments or repeat a course in middle school

    • You can also adjust your  choice in the first few weeks of middle school (in high school you have 10 days to change a course before it affects your GPA)

    • Accelerated experience includes: walk to math, Edgenuity, or schools where they have an accelerated math class in their school

  • Testing Results

  • Image accounts for all first-round, makeup tests, and appeals

  • Numbers are a little lower than last year and within 10 of the previous year

  • Qualifying requirements

    • 95th+ percentile in reading and/or math on IOWA

    • 95th+ percentile NNAT for 1st grade ONLY

  • Taking summer math does NOT confer a highly capable designation (even if these classes get students to the same level as the HC double/triple jumpers) whether or not parents say this

  • Interesting connection in NNAT3 Scores and Rapid Automatic Naming (RAN) testing used for dyslexia screening (some of dyslexia screening is through iReady and some is person to person)

    • RAN testing looks at color, objects, patterns, and numbers

    • We may be able to connect the RAN to the letters/numbers part of the NNAT to find kids who need support

    • The portion of iReady test that is used for the dyslexia screener is helpful as a screener

    • If students score high on the NNAT3 and low to middle on RAN this may be a sign of more stealth dyslexia

    • Testing rapid reading (rapidly reading letters, numbers, colors and objects off of a page) correlates to dyslexia (reversing letters/numbers does not correlate to dyslexia)

    • We are trying to better identify dyslexic kids who learn sight reading, but not phonics

      • We might see these students in elementary as terrible spellers

      • The struggle in middle school when they can’t sound out novel words

      • Decoding and encoding is the same core skill set that is affected by dyslexia

      • Goal is to find kids with hidden (or stealth) dyslexia in HC to help feed them into this early intervention

      • Dyslexia is not about vision

    • RAN is a proxy measure for phonological awareness

    • Test available on thepasttest.com

      • This is a totally free oral screener that directly measures phonological awareness

      • Works for ages 4-Adult

    • We might look more at students who display poor (middle to low) spelling to see if this is a sign of dyslexia

    • Dysgraphia may be diagnosed if the issue is really dyslexia (when the problems are seen in spelling skills)

    • Speech is maybe a sign of input issues, but there can be other output issues

    • Currently, dyslexia testing is limited to K-1

      • Will likely pull 2nd grade into screen process

      • This year, we needed to train staff, gather data, and figure out what to do with the data, so started with a smaller group

    • Dyslexia screening is done for the year

  • Amity spoke at a Canyon Creek General PTA meeting on 03/22/22

    • She is available to speak at other schools, but she needs to have an idea of what the goal of her talk will be

    • At Canyon Creek 

      • Amity talked about HC and why we serve these students

      • She also shared about LAP (Learning Assistance Program) and the Multi Lanugage programs (ML) for which she is also responsible

      • It was helpful to know that at most schools that house a hicap program the majority of the students who attend the program come from that neighborhood

        • This is why these locations are chosen

        • Amity has the numbers and can share them if requested

    • Overall,  kids are closer to their middle school feeder pattern

  • Council Updates

    • Updates on Council Priorities/Work groups

      • Imen & Terry: HiCap Teacher Spotlights

        • Will share an active link with everyone

        • After the spotlight requests are collected they will talk with people about compiling

        • How can we share the link?

          • Send an email on the HCP list

          • Share on NSD HiCap Discussion Facebook page

          • Could possible share via school/PTA newsletters

        • Spotlight process is also open to general education teachers who teach single subject qualifiers

          • We need to think about how this will be introduced

          • Specify at the beginning that this is not only for HC teachers


The following minutes are presented courtesy of past secretary Steven Rubenstein who filled in when Carson had to leave at 10 am.



HiCap Parent Councils Meeting
3/25/2022


Carson – Exit stage left

  1. HiCap teacher awards (Imen & Terri)

    1. Austina – Suggestion to drop Subjects the teacher teaches

    2. Agreement to drop grade

    3. Discussion about whether to drop “Other” option from teacher type

    4. Should we let people nominate anonymously? Decision: No

    5. Separate name and email fields

    6. Austina will work with Imen to make language more consistent

    7. Motion to move forward with teacher awards: Terri Kashi. Seconded by Terra Droney. Vote: Unanimous in favor.

  2. Combined: Writing curriculum at all levels

    1. Terra - We should discuss why we need and want a writing curriculum since there is no writing curriculum that works across all grades

    2. Terra - Should narrow the goal to make progress. Hillarie - Very deep. Difficult to make headway. Need to prioritize, probably by grade.

    3. Austina - New ELA curriculum for K-5. Should consider focusing on middle school where new elementary curriculum leaves off.

    4. Amity – That is all the elementary school will be able to do for a while as it will be the focus of professional development. Agreed with Austina’s suggestion to focus on middle school. Caveat: Higher up the grade, the more teachers are stuck on using their existing content and resistant to change.

    5. Should we be putting effort into writing curriculum at all given new K-5 curriculum?

    6. Amity – Grades 4-6 are core for writing development. Middle school Springboard is reading curriculum. Some parents have concerns about whether kids are writing enough in middle school. Middle schools not currently looking at new writing curriculum. Teachers may not have a formal writing curriculum.

  3. High school alignment, course catalog, etc. (Myriam)

    1. No updates unfortunately

    2. Math trajectory diagrams are still different for each school. (Visual is different too, not just content.) Bothell is same as last year. New district-wide math pathway diagram is not being used.

    3. Few changes to class descriptions

    4. Next step? Amity - Need to determine what is realistic. What are the barriers? Will do some research.

    5. Myriam – Many parents are not aware of equity issue and that class offerings differ across high schools.

    6. Austina – Main issue is some schools are not as rigorous as other schools. That is the core problem we are trying to fix. Perhaps there is another approach than focusing on course catalog.

    7. Terra – Expand upon online course catalog to make it easy to see differences among the high schools.

    8. Steven – Inglemoor person who creates catalog was unaware of our efforts. Should we just focus on raising Bothell?

    9. Amity – Opportunities in this district are immensely better than the district where her kids went. Yes, there is room for improvement, but appreciate how much better each high school is than others.

  4. Investigate: professional development (Audrey)

    1. Subcommittee met.

    2. Can reach out to building principals they know. Come up with a mini-survey or a few questions. Asking teachers their PD needs. Basically, in phase I: gathering information.

    3. Phase II: Use committee and council to help bridge gap between existing resources / knowledge and un-met needs.

    4. How can we promote HiCap PD with teachers?

    5. Also want to advocate for parents in addition to teachers. Newsletter, blog, facebook, etc. Goal is to communicate existing resources to parents.

    6. Terra – Have we ever discussed having HiCap website being referenced from NSD site like PTA sites are from individual schools?

    7. Amity – On a bunch of PD committees. Trying to figure out summer PD offerings. Will look into adding council link on NSD HiCap site.

  5. Summer welcome events

    1. Need to start thinking about it. No discussion on it though.

  6. Elections

    1. Let Austina know if you would like to continue if up for election

    2. If still have a year left and cannot / do not want to continue, let us know before elections

    3. Should we split Innovation Lab and NFP into separate positions?

    4. Will there still be a virtual program next year? If not, should get rid of position.

Meeting ended at 11:05 am.


Friday, March 25, 2022

Minutes from 2/16/22 Meeting

  HiCap Parents Council Meeting

via Zoom
February 16, 2022
12:00 pm-2:00 pm


  • Reading/discussion today:Talking about Giftedness: The Elephant in the Room

    • It is important to foster humility and empathy in our kids

    • Problematic when smartness is partnered with identity

      • Important to promote the value of everyone, all have their own strengths/weaknesses

      • Smart doesn’t mean “better”

    • Each gifted kid is unique; what works for some, in relation to giftedness, may not work for all

    • Be careful of imposter syndrome - will discuss this topic next time

  • Amity Updates

    • Testing and Notification

      • Testing make-ups are almost done

      • Probably complete by March 4, 2022

    • Question about site locations for next year for last year’s expansion schools (Kenmore El., Wellington, Shelton View)

      • Amity and Angie are getting ready for a staffing meeting the week after break

      • Meeting is earlier than they’d hope as testing and parent responses aren’t yet complete

    • High School Catalogs

      • Might not all be released, but they’re getting there

        • NCHS catalog has been published

        • WHS catalog has been published

          • Added a 2 semester long course for triple jump math

            • Aligned for CHS (College in the High School) credit

            • Courses are Calculus 3 and differential equations

            • Adds yet another new math pathway chart

      • Myriam asks which steps were taken to get to the current point with the catalog and who was involved, e.g. were teachers involved in writing descriptions?

        • Sounds like department heads were involved but maybe other teachers are not aware of this work

        • Fear of teachers not buying into the cultural change (to align the offerings at all comprehensive high schools and have catalog entries that accurately reflect the depth, content, and work required for classes) if they weren’t involved in creating course descriptions

      • STEAM: looking at new curriculums 

        • William and Mary math curriculum, Beast Academy, science curriculum

        • No mention of writing curriculum, but they gave Amity a list

        • Would explore curriculum for HiCap and others, especially to help those would come from disadvantaged backgrounds

    • Austina asked question of Amity and Nancy Johnson (Moorlands Principal): what is happening for dyslexia screening

      • Have completed screening for K & 1, but not 2nd grade

        • Letters for K-1 are getting ready to go out

        • Some 2nd graders for whom teachers or parents expressed concerns have been tested

        • Probably won’t test 2nd grade full scale this year

        • Plan is being implemented in stages

        • If parents have a specific concern, they should reach out to school

        • Nancy’s opinion: we are checking boxes and doing our best to make sure of our plan and we will grow the program next year

      • Austina reminded group that dyslexia is so hidden in the HiCap population and is often not caught until these students reach the “performance cliff” when academic talents cannot overcome the work required which often happens in middle or high school

        • HiCap kids will likely look average on these screens

        • Might need to consider scores along with something like Naglieri scores

        • HiCap kids will get whole words, but not the phonological awareness or nonsense words, though averaged scores will appear normal

  • Council Updates

    • Updates on Council Priorities/Work groups

    • Audrey on Professional Development (PD)

      • Going to try to meet on Friday morning 02/18/22

      • Watch for email verification

    • Terra on Curriculum

      • Need more volunteers to look at curriculum to review

      • Reaching out to 5 dyslexia pieces, but they are not as robust as hoped

      • Hillarie is looking more at science/social studies

      • Many are looking for a comprehensive curriculum, but don’t think this exists

      • Might reach out to larger community to get help with work 

        • Nothing says that work groups need to be made up only of HCP council members

        • What is important is council leadership to  report progress back to HCP

      • Questions on advancement versus enrichment

        • There seem to be more requests for enrichment

        • Enrichment is not usually found in a textbook

        • Suggestion to look at what PACE does for enrichment; sometimes PACE already shares these programs with the rest of the community of the schools at which they are based

      • There have been small efforts to have a specific HiCap curriculum

        • These were before Amity’s time

        • Junior grade books

        • Socratic technique in 4th/5th grade

        • There is a little in Middle School

        • Some of these stuck

    • Myriam on High school

      • Myriam asks for the help of middle and elementary school reps

        • It might seem that high school is very far away, but it isn’t

        • Myriam started trying to figure outh these issues when her oldest child was in 6th grade, largely because she went to school in another country

      • Request of high school reps

        • Go back to email thread of requests from 2-3 years ago and summarize the change requests for next year

        • No more changes this year as the catalog has “gone to print” and registration will begin after midwinter break

        • Suggestion to hold this update until we see BHS’s catalog and also have time to analyze exactly what has changed this year (with the new course descriptions)

      • Please reach out to Myriam if you want to join in with this work as we will need more new people to keep it going

      • If you go to NCHS website ➞ click on Academics ➞ click on Course Catalog  ➞ click on View Course Catalog it takes you to last year’s catalog: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1vPTzBpsUXnAKmFMARnSzMSxZWpbyosnvuPEiJb77f0U/editlast year you get the old catalog

      • Myriam went to Counseling  ➞ Course Registration ➞ Course Catalog on the side right hand side and was able to get the current course catalog: https://docs.google.com/document/d/191FEweWYAtUJzOIS7Z0HqMR213xuG0e5ioHYriNWRNk/edit#heading=h.2et92p0

      • (I was able to replicate both of these paths when trying to enter the previous two bullet points correctly on 02/28/22, so not everyone is seeing the correct course catalogs yet)

      • BHS Registration site says the catalog won’t be out until after registration is due

    • Financial update from Lauren

      • Balance $1,429.90

      • Usually spend about $110/month

        • May need more since we haven’t budgeted for teacher awards (see later discussion for details) 

        • May need to plan some fundraising in the fall

        • May want to ask PTA’s now ask they are thinking about next year’s budgets

          • This can happen if someone takes it on

          • Believe that individual reps should talk to their constituent PTA(s)

          • Veronica will dig up and update the PTA request letter that Jasmine Fry drafted last spring and share it with the council

          • Last year’s suggested donation was $50

        • How do we talk about gifted kids? How do we talk to our PTAs?

          • Ask for a HiCap liaison on the PTA board if there isn’t already one; add it to the letter with the donation request

          • Frame: welcome events to welcome hicap kids in our school community

          • Mention work done on high school common course catalog

    • For families who declinedEAP polacement for 2021-22: Whe do they get to change their choice for 2022-23?

      • Amity shared that they sent out a message 3 weeks ago via Blackboard email

      • They do ask families annually

      • Families were supposed to respond by last Friday (02/11/22), but they will still accept

      • If families are waffling on their decision, Amity requests that we advise them to say yes now because we need to know the maximum number of student that might join EAP to plan staffing for next year

      • Parent who asked the question hadn’t seen this email

    • HiCap Teacher Awards

      • Goal for meeting is to come up with a plan and vote to approve it

      • Feedback on the nomination form shared before the meeting

        • Would like to gather nominator’s email addres to avoid double submissions

        • You can select multiple rolse

        • Should include general education as an option for elementary

        • Why are 9 awards listed?

          • Doesn’t need this many but leaving options for discussion

          • Thought was to give list a list to help suggest qualities of teacher nominees

          • Do we even want to have nominators choose awards? May be better for them to just nominate and for council to assign the best award

          • Should be careful with complex language, e.g. pedagogy,  so that families who speak foreign languages or may have had less education are not excluded from the process

          • Austina suggested reducing awards to three categories

            • EAP Teacher Excellence Award

            • Elementary Neighborhood School HiCap Award

            • AAP Teacher Excellence Award

          • Others would like to see an award added for high school

          • Could give multiple people the same award if it feels right

        • Don’t want to infringe on existing PTA awards 

          • Golden Acorn, Golden Apple, Outstanding Educator Award

          • These awards are recommended by the Northshore Council PTSA, but not every PTA has to award them

          • To give a PTA award, PTA much donate money to State PTA and then they get SWAG or certificate or such to give the awardee

          • All the money that the PTA’s pay for the award is given to a scholarship fund

          • Some PTA’s might choose not to give these awards because of the financial requirement

        • Thought our award would just be for bragging rights

          • Might get a badge that could be used on Linked-in like the ones seen on credly.com

          • Might give a certificate

        • Administration concern (Nancy Johnson, Moorlands Principal, and Amity): we don’t want to creat an unintentional divide between the teachers of HiCap and teachers of general education

          • Veronica shared that she knows this divide exists and is even perceived by parents

          • Maybe instead, we should encourage families to share these kudos with teachers directly

          • Also have general education teachers who go above and beyond 

            • Does adding an award for them help with the concern over the divide?

            • If only HiCap families nominate, Nancy Johnson didn’t feel including gen ed teacher this way would prevent causing the rift

          • Intention of suggested award was really meant to be more like Dr. Reid’s highlights

            • Goal was to help information transfer of best practices

            • Nancy shares such stories/highlights in her staff newsletter, but they don’t get awards

          • Suggestion to instead survey parents and kids (rather than nominations) and present resultant output as a powerpoint + animation

          • Does it help if we change the wording from “award” to “recognition” or “spotlight”?

          • Concern that there is a perception that it isn’t good to be directing more resources to highly capable students

          • Suggested wording change: instead of “nominate”

            • “Share your story;’ this seems to lack power

            • What is the right word?

              • Recognize

              • Highligh

              • Applaud a teacher

            • Want to add “spotlight” as a question so people will read it and understand all of the categories

          • One teacher per submission

            • Thus, they really need to know what school the teacher is in

          • For high school: don’t need to limit to academic teachers but still want HiCap in the name of the award

        • Where we landed

          • Asking for a teacher who made a difference in your HiCap kid’s life

          • Award is digital badge and maybe a certificate

            • We don’t want to upstage PTAs

            • Symbolic recognition may be better than a physical award, e.g. gift card

          • How do we share this?

            • Send out an e-mail

            • Put it on Facebook

            • Amity might send it out to staff if that seems appropriate

          • How do we decide? Who decides?

            • We want a teacher who is currently teaching

            • Maybe a team from council?

              • Carson and Stephanie volunteered to help during the meeting

              • Others interested should contact Terri and Imen

            • Sort through stories

            • Present suggestions at a HCP meeting

            • Council will vote on the results

          • Motion to spotlight teachers as proposed in this section made by Lyn Trier and seconded by Audrey Kozel

          • Motion passed with caveat

            • Finalizing spotlight form to spotlight successes of staff

            • Final form will be shared and reviewed by HCP via email