Thursday, October 13, 2022

Minutes from 10/4/22 Meeting

 HiCap Parent Council Meeting

October 4, 2022

10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Hybrid: In-person & Zoom

  1. Discussion – Rethinking how we identify gifted students

    1. Often no differentiation between HiCap class and non-HiCap class, except maybe for requiring more work

    2. Biggest benefit of dual qualified is social aspects more than academic, being with like-minded kids

    3. Concerns about bullying of HiCap kids in non-HiCap classes, particularly 2E kids

    4. EAP teachers get training if they opt into it. Are there opportunities for middle school teachers?

      • There are sometimes barriers to this, including that teachers who teach the HiCap sections change.

      • Funding and time are other barriers.

      • Not a big Professional Development budget and no requirement that teachers participate.

      • Pandemic made this difficult. Still coming out of it. It can be worked on, but haven’t had time yet.

      • Could ask Northshore Schools Foundation for funding but don’t want to ask unless they know teachers actually want to participate.

      • Some middle school teachers are great at giving HiCap students more options, but need to get them talking to each other across the schools.

      • Amity does not necessarily know who all of the AAP teachers are since they don’t just teach AAP.

      • Wednesday early release days:

        1. iDays – Individual direction for early release 

        2. Team Days – Meet with their PLC. They can choose which of their teams to participate with: elementary grade level, middle school department, etc.

        3. SDLT – Site team days

        4. Principal days – principal-directed professional development

        5. District days – district directed PD

      • Shortage of substitute teachers makes it difficult to pull teachers out of class for PD. Trying to operate after hours as much as possible.

    5. The district could be more effective in communicating the aim of the HiCap program to parents, in part to avoid conflict between EAP and GenEd families.

      • HiCap reps at PTA could help with this, but sometimes tension with PTA.

      • Don’t know how deep to go in just a few minutes at a PTA meeting – just focus on one topic at the meeting, and maybe a different topic at the next meeting

      • Could meet with principal periodically to ensure inclusion of all kids

      • Easier to explain EAP in elementary because it is accelerated. Some kids need this, but not all. But there is no clear line in middle school since not always a difference between Challenge and AAP.

      • Heard misconceptions from non-HiCap parents about what HiCap is, particularly parents new to middle school.

Amity Updates

  1. Rethinking iReady (K-8)

    1. Is in schools most days and has had opportunities to have conversations about iReady

    2. Amity has a need for iReady because many grants require a district-wide system for collecting data. iReady is the only system-wide data point right now.

    3. iReady also systematically shows whether are or are not making gains for students.

    4. If child has tested out, what is the purpose of iReady?

      • If tested out in EVERY area particularly for ELA, difficult to ask them to continue with iReady. Otherwise, iReady does fill holes.

      • Requires teacher who knows how to use iReady well. Need to ask for as a parent so they know their child’s progress.

      • Important at 8th grade level and above. Goes higher for reading than math.

      • Can test until 12, but does not provide additional materials beyond 8th. Can show growth until 12th though.

      • Not using iReady in high school though, probably in part because it is childish (cartoonish).

      • High schools use different measures of progress than iReady, such as on target for graduation, AP classes, etc.

      • New iReady liassons at elementary schools to help with iReady implementation to help each school learn how to use iReady better.

      • iReady could potentially be more useful than was previously assumed since it was used as a diagnostic, but has other benefits too.

  2. Referral window open until October 15

    1. Most of the kids who qualify via SBA have not been referred. They must be referred though and parents are not informed about this.

    2. Parents who are interested in HiCap need to refer their student.

    3. Suggestion that elementary and middle school reps inform PTAs about the referral requirement.

    4. Should point parents to website about the various ways a student can qualify for HiCap: NNAT3 for 1st graders, IOWA, SBA, etc.

    5. Concern about informing parents who are not native English speakers.

    6. Primary concern is just the 4th graders since 5th graders all take SBA. Worst case, they will get caught in 5th grade. Plus math double jump from 4th to 5th is big vs a newly qualified 6th grader could take 7th grade math instead of double-jumping to 8th grade algebra.

  3. Classrooms already screened -- 6 school grades so far

  4. Proctor training for NNAT3 – Friday, October 7

    1. Some proctors are doing hearing and vision screening

    2. Easier test to administer than IOWA since no verbal instructions to students

  5. WAETAG – various schools sending teachers. Supporting the cost of guest teacher. WAETAG = Washington Association Educators of the Talented and Gifted.

    1. Saturday – SENG (Supporting Emotional Needs of Gifted) has a conference in Bellevue

    2. Oct 17-22 – Equity in HiCap Education Week for WA state. Week of programming put on by the 3 HiCap state organizations. Could invite legislators into classrooms. (NW Gifted, WAETAG and one other.)

Council Questions/Updates

  1. Insurance for playdates – PTA can’t cover?

    1. Groups where not everyone is involved and not voted on by PTA probably would not fall under most PTA insurance policies. Each PTA would need to call and ask.

    2. Could also be tension between HiCap and PTA, especially given Lockwood issue.

    3. We did not have time to address this in the spring before summer events. Should resolve this issue before next spring.

    4. Perhaps HiCap Parents Council needs to purchase own insurance, between $600 - $1000 per year. Would require additional fundraising.

    5. Should use this as opportunity to build community with PTAs, but sometimes PTAs are not always willing.

    6. If HiCap rep is a PTA board member, does that make it covered by insurance? Does it have to be an official PTA-sponsored event?

    7. Could PTAs purchase additional insurance specifically for these events as an add-on?

    8. But if HiCap is running an event, is it really a PTA event anyway?

    9. Can buy spot insurance for an individual event for about $100 per event.

    10. Could be included as “Additional Insured” within the policy.

  2. Summer work for high school classes

    1. Woodinville did not require any summer work, but some AP classes and College in the High School at other schools do often require summer work.

    2. Marching band often requires week-long band camp. But not specified in course catalog.

    3. North Creek – Pre-Calculus says it requires summer work, but does not say how to get it. Catalog does not say a Physics class requires summer work even though some do.

    4. No consistent process for communicating summer work to students ahead of time.

    5. Not just a HiCap issue. District-wide issue. Different for each high school.

    6. Course catalog needs to reflect and communicate to families all requirements, particularly families new to district or high school.

    7. But since schedules are not confirmed until just before school starts, how does a student even know they are in the class?

  3. How does HiCap work for NFP, NN and NOA?

    1. Different for all and depends on individual students

    2. Most NFP students – their parents are really involved with level of acceleration that they serve their student with. Parents have to set goals and check in with the district.

    3. NorthShore Networks – Classes that students come in to and they have a case manager that helps them. Not entirely clear how it works yet.

    4. Northshore Online Academy – Main platform is Edunuity. They are getting served for Math.

    5. Should invite Ross Baker to meeting to discuss in more detail. But they are getting access to the acceleration. Not sure exactly what the mechanism is for each.

Minutes from 6/14/22 Meeting

 HiCap Parent Council Meeting

June 14, 2022

12:00 pm – 2:00 pm

  1. Appointing new council members for 1 year appointments:

    1. Hollywood Hill EAP – Stephanie Morgan

      1. Motion by Lyn Trier. Seconded by Liz Smith. Passed unanimously.

    2. Kokanee EAP – Ramesh Chundru

      1. Ramesh ran for Woodinville feeder pattern. Bylaws allow us to make an exception and appoint him even though technically he is not eligible.

      2. Motion by Terri Kashi. Seconded by Liz Smith. Passed unanimously.

    3. Choice HS – Megan Montano

      1. May have to withdraw later if kids are not in school because of Covid.

      2. Motion by Lyn Trier. Seconded by Liz Smith. Passed unanimously.

  2. Reading discussion – High Achieving vs Gifted. Is there a distinction? (

    1. Terri – Unfair to kids who work hard but just missed qualifying for HiCap

    2. Austina – Should program be only for kids who have high IQ instead of achievement? Our district is based more on achievement, but some are based more on IQ. Attitudes across the country are all over the place. Larger national community is beginning to believe IQ is an artificial restriction and is used often to deny services to minorities, poor students, English learners, etc

    3. Carson – IQ tests can be taught, so not a good indicator.

    4. Rebecca – Label of “are you gifted” is cruel and unfair.

    5. Imen – Highly capable does not necessarily mean high achiever.

    6. Austina – Does our HiCap program serve gifted students, high-achieving students or both?

    7. Lyn – Really depends on the teacher and subject. But overall, more geared to high achieving.

    8. Imen – More geared to high achieving. Several teachers are unwilling or unable to differentiate within a non-EAP classroom.

  3. Introductions of members (for Amity’s benefit)

  4. Amity updates: implementing a new EAP reading curriculum.

    1. Amity - Teachers are being trained now and end of summer. Students will be integrating reading and writing together, which Is different than In the past. They will be given one grade level above, but may be graded at grade level. Still having discussions about that. Called “Into Reading”. Looks promising so far.

    2. Austina - More aligned with science of reading, including for dyslexic students. More phonics, which is a positive step.

    3. Amity – More language learner components too. Will take some time for teachers to implement and perfect. Fills some holes for writers that have been lacking as they enter middle school. Feedback is welcomed during the year.

    4. Austina – Teachers writing more explicitly than previous curriculums. The big question is how well it works.

  5. Amity update: Screening & Assessment – 

    1. Pretty much constantly screening and assessing throughout the year. Finishing tomorrow.

  6. Amity -- Surveys – Some responses from high school senior survey. Waiting for more.

  7. Amity – Parent satisfaction survey will be sent later this week.

  8. Amity – Council brainstorming list was appreciated. Always more to do. Online program is her baby. It’s not perfect, but it’s a way to get accelerated math to students who otherwise would not receive it.  Some of the students using it flourish. Many positive comments, although some negative as well.

    1. Austina – Parent survey will tell if parent satisfaction has increased for single-subject qualifiers.

  9. KP Wang – Is it possible to implement new EAP reading curriculum for students who are dual qualified but chose to stay at home school? Can parents get access to these resources online?

    1. Temorah – Into Reading is all K-6, not just EAP. Every classroom in district will get access and can online access to any level they want. But they only get printed materials for their grade. Every teacher should be differentiating by student level.

    2. Amity – Teachers are learning and implementing new curriculum, which is a huge task to learn even just a single grade level. But may be too much for teachers to also grant access to higher levels for students. Don’t want to over-promise what teachers can handle, especially in the first year of teaching new curriculum.

  10. Austina – 5 open positions still on the Council.

  11. Summer Events

HiCap Parents Council Meeting (Zoom)

June 14, 2022 10:00 am-12:00 pm

Steven leaves for Field Day and Carson continues the notes:

  • We still have open positions for Bear Creek Campus, Ruby Bridges, Wellington, Inglemoor Feeder Pattern, and North Creek Feeder Pattern

    • Try to recruit for open positions (especially Ruby Bridges for summer EAP playdates)

    • Candidate only needs to send a statement to council and we can vote on appointing them at the next meeting

  • Summer events/playdates

    • Process to reserve school playgrounds (per Vanessa Greek, Ashley did it right so you can talk to her)

      • Contact: Building Principal, Elizabeth Williamson (, and Vanessa Greek (  as she knows of any reservation, construction, etc. conflicts

      • Reservation and Insurance checklist

        • Reservation requires insurance, but this is not something that the HPC has

        • Might work around this by having building staff or maybe if done in partnership with the PTA (so we use the PTA’s insurance)

        • In the past it has tacitly been done under the district’s insurance; if no longer the council may need to find (and fundraise to pay for) insurance

    • Expect every EAP school to host at least 1 summer event

      • The best time to host the event is the time that you can make it happen, bonus points if you have 2

      • No date or time will be perfect, there will always be conflicts. The families who most want the playdate will usually find a way to be there

      • The EAP rep doesn’t need to be there (they are allowed to delegate), but it is nice to have the rep there to answer questions 

      • Austina wants HCP & Elizabeth to share info about the playdates

      • Playdates are particularly important for 2nd graders and students entering an EAP class for the first time

      • Playdate essentials: Nametags for kids and parents plus writing utensils

      • Nice if you can have some teachers and/or principal show up and talk to the new families

      • It is great to host playdates at the school, where possible, because at least students and families get to see the playground

      • Karishma shared that she chose to have her playdates on the weekend with one in the morning and one in the evening

      • Karishma also has the Bingo template that Carson shared last year (see end of document for image)

    • Middle school playdates: Do we do them? If so, what has worked?

      • Canyon Park hosted an event at a Menchies; if you filled out a Bingo sheet (each person could only sign a sheet once), you got a piece of candy

      • Might not be a great mingling event as it might not help new people meet others

      • WEB Day (Where Everyone Belongs) on the first day of school is good to help introduce new kids

    • We are open to a rep wanting to host something for a group that hasn't been represented

      • Less worried about Wellington as they don’t have new students

      • Really need to get Ruby Bridges covered

    • Is there a way to get to know your community for high school?

      • Could send info to Elizabeth (about an event) and she can send it out to the appropriate families

      • The district cannot send us a list of families for privacy reasons

      • We can encourage people to get on the HPC list and could also create a Google Doc of names if they want to sign in

    • We get ONE message from Elizabeth, so get it all together and do it right

    • How do we deal with expenses and reimbursement of expenses for playdates?

      • Must have name tags and pens, also good is some kind of food item that has few allergy issues (like Otter Pops)

      • We previously discussed a cap of $50; Carson shared that that was more than enough for the nametags and two 100 ct boxes of Otter Pops she got for the playdates for Canyon Creek last year

      • Lyn prefers to handle reimbursements electronically; email her at

      • Lyn has not yet met with Lauren to receive the treasurer stuff and Lauren is about to go to Europe for 3 weeks

  • New reps need to get a photo (headshot) to Ashley 


    • Ashley and her child will get together with Qing to handoff the website info and then Ashley’s kid will update the website

  • Spotlight update

    • Spotlight recognitions were announced via MailChimp

    • Austina also sent a message individually to each teacher and cc’d their principal and Amity with a note of congratulations

  • Meeting times

    • Austina and Amity checked the calendar for the next school year and the 1st Tuesday of the month from 10 am-12 pm seems to work consistently

    • This schedule will start on September 6th, 2022

    • There was recognition of how much time Austina will save not having to ask everyone to vote on a meeting time each month

    • Will meetings be in-person or hybrid or Zoom

      • Hybrid can be hard for the person online and is often not as pleasant

      • We would need a room for approximately 20 people if we meet in person and Amity need to reserve the room

      • Austina conducted a straw pole of opinions (in-person vs. hybrid) using Zooom reactions

      • Also acknowledged that meeting format is also dependent upon what the district is able to supports

      • Amity proposed that we have a purely virtual meeting on September 6th (after travel and all of the summer and to see how things stand with corona in the community) the have a hybrid meeting on October 4th after which we can look at attendance, and the experience with both and make a decision and we all agreed to do this

  • Asked Amity if it is possible to put a link to the HPC on the district hicap page (much as elementary schools would have a link to the PTA page)

    • Amity said yes

    • Angie can make this happen

  • Request for any committees to share if they have something to report

    • Myriam with high school (common course catalog/equal rigor)

      • We need to figure out what is next if anything

      • We had been working on creating a common course catalog for the comprehensive high schools (Bothell, Inglemoor, North Creek, Woodinville)

      • We have not done much for the last few months, but we need to be acting soon before the catalogs “go to print”

      • Request for others who are interested in this work (beyond the high school reps) to contact Myriam to join the group

        • Encourages people with kids in elementary and middle school to help

        • Progress is slow so if you want the change in place when they get to high school, start now

      • Where are we on the effort to standardize names or change offerings?

        • Started more about content and rigor, e.g. some US history courses have finals and others do not

        • Later, focus became on what the course content is

          • Want to leave teachers freedom to choose material 

          • Also want to make sure that kids all discuss for example a Shakespeare play

        • Desire to have course descriptions be less generic and more specific

          • This might reveal differences between the high schools (in content or rigor)

          • Hopefully, this leads to positive change, e.g. all schools should teach all topics covered in an AP course before the AP test in May (this is not currently the case)

      • There was an effort to review courses across buildings, anything new?

        • Nothing new to report

        • Most energy has been on transition (superintendent)

        • Michael Tolley (interim superintendent) is aware that the committee has met since he was part of it

      • Might need to sit down and look at which goals are currently realistic

        • Common course catalog had seemed achievable

        • Progress in this area has been hard and slow

        • Need to make catalogs clearer, especially for families without prior US high school experiences; content of the course helps them understand since they can relate to that

        • Review AP courses across subjects and buildings

          • We can ask for these results to be shared

          • In the future, we should add a question to the senior survey along the lines of: “Were you well prepared by your teacher for AP exams or did you have to study some topics on your own?” The answers to this could help reveal differences in experiences across buildings (or even within)

    • Observation that most of the people working on curriculum for science and social studies rolled off the board (and for the subtopic of professional development as well

    • Professional Development (PD) with Carson

      • Teachers, counselors, and staff need a baseline of what is normal for hicap students

        • Counselors at two middle schools have said that 504s are only for students who struggle; one school said they weren’t needed because teachers provide accommodations to everyone anyway

        • Struggle seems to to be defined as poor grades, not by medical disorder or need (to not work twice as hard to achieve good grades)

        • Intelligence may be hiding hicap students’ struggles, but does that make them less qualified to receive accommodations?

      • Austina shared a reframing of ADHD from her graduate school studies: It is not that people with ADHD cannot focus, bu that they can focus on somethings

        • They cannot always control their focus

        • General assessment of people with ADHD 

          • They struggle when things are: rote, repetitive, or too easy even if it is very, very, important

          • They succeed when things are: interesting (what is interesting is very personal), novel, new to them, challenging, or urgent

          • It isn’t fair or nice to require a fire drill (urgency) to get things done

        • Carson shared learning from a podcast (

          • Adhd behaviors are symptoms

          • Behavior is an expression of the disorder like sneezing is an expression of an allergy

            • Just as you wouldn't ask a kid with allergies to control/reduce their sneezing, you cannot ask/expect a person with ADHD to control/reduce ADHD symptoms

            • When pollen count is high, you might expect a person with allergies to sneeze more; similarly when stress or anxiety are high, you can expect to see more ADHD behaviors

Sources for the discussion at the beginning of the meeting:

Our discussion reading for this meeting will be:

(The popular “gifted vs bright/high achieving” chart this article referring to is found all over the place, and even showed up on the NSD hicap website about a decade ago. A few examples: