Sunday, January 22, 2023

Minutes from 1/10/23 Meeting


HiCap Parent Council Meeting
January 10, 2023

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

Amity Updates

1.      Zoom meetings for new dual qualifiers set

·         January 24 @ 5 pm for 1st grade students

·         January 31 @ 5 pm for 2nd-5th grade qualifiers

·         Separate because often different sets of questions based on age

·         Max 300 attendees, but usually not a problem

·         Will be recorded so people can watch later

·         Discussion about Council providing a slide with website and rep contact information

·         Do not notify parents at schools about the meetings to avoid people from joining a meeting they were not supposed to -- not dual qualified, especially 1st grade session only.

2.      Family notification week of January 16 by email only

3.      February 18 is date we are asking for highly capable decisions

4.      Makeup Testing

·         Already been rolling out. About half way thru.

·         Not advertising makeup dates or listing them online.

·         Goal is all make-ups by end of January


Council Questions / Updates

5.      EAP Open Houses

·         It has been several years since schools had open houses, but was appreciated by students, especially for more anxious students

·         High value

·         Goals are meeting peers, teachers, seeing school/classroom, learning about clubs and other after-school options, seeing playground

·         Too late for it to be part of decision, but could be part of transition. And can always opt out if not happy after the open house.

·         Would be nice if could be done prior to decision.

·         How to handle if some teachers choose not to participate. Plus concerns about parents coming to foreign classrooms given security and covid concerns.

·         Amity – During the day would be almost impossible just based on transportation requirements. Becomes an equity issue. Plus the idea of providing EAP tours but not for other programs will create tension, including among non-EAP parents at EAP schools. Principals would likely say no to the disruption. Would support having conversation about having open houses in spring, after hours. Don’t want teachers to feel like they have to answer oodles of questions from EAP parents.

·         Many more schools host EAP so far fewer kids have to switch schools unlike the old days, where most kids had to switch schools because there were only 2-3 EAP schools.

·         After school hours: invite teachers to stay, ask older kids to volunteer, invite PTA.

6.      High School Math

·         No plans at Bothell for triple-jump math kids.

·         Multi-variable calculus at North Creek this year because there are enough students, but other high schools will start next fall.

·         Course catalogs for all high schools are not online yet, so unknown whether other schools are offering advanced math options.

·         There is a Calculus IV course, which is different than Differential Equations.

·         Inconsistency among high schools about description, pre-requisites of Calc III, including titling III vs 3.

7.      Algebra

·         Council should provide guidance/feedback to families about Algebra registration for EAP kids transitioning to middle school.

·   Amity would like to see the draft and then consider how it could be delivered logistically.

·         College requires 4 years of math

·         District knows that 8th graders in algebra are more likely to struggle than 6th graders

·         If a student does not love math, taking algebra in 6th grade puts them on trajectory to advanced math classes in high school, which may be something they want. Hard to leave that track without repeating a math class.

·         Amity suggests EAP teachers explain to parents why they recommend for/against Algebra for a particular student.

·         Kenmore and Timbercrest are piloting a model of targeting all 8th graders for Algebra, which may require re-adjusting for EAP. Would be a systemic change that begins in elementary. Pre-algebra I and II in 6th and 7th.

·         We should make middle school counselors aware of paths thru high schools.

8.      Schedule for February meeting

·         Consider inviting curriculum and racial equity departments from District

·         Who at district should we talk to that can actually implement changes? We have met with principals, regional superintendents, etc. to no avail.

·         Wednesday, February 8th from 5-7 pm.

·         Ruby Bridges principal will be invited, but would probably prefer daytime meeting.

·         Suggestion of a separate meeting with high school reps and district about course catalog about high school math options.

·   Meeting or just find out the status of the math options?


Discussion Topic – Austina De Bonte’s EAP Transition Survey Research

9.       Parent anticipatory worries were fairly low. Had some concerns about transitioning schools and socially, but not academically.

10.   No statistical difference in parents who are satisfied initially vs later among elementary grade, but there was some difference among middle school students

11.   For most kids, by the first 2 weeks, they have transitioned well.

12.   Slightly more than half of kids had to change schools

13.   Similar results to previous HiCap surveys

14.   70% did no test preparation

15.   20% of kids moving into district moved in with the intent to do HiCap


Council Questions / Updates II

16.  Casual meetup for Neurodiverse and 2E Families at The Hangar in Kenmore. New NSD Facebook group.

17.  WA State Hi-Cap Parent Group Leader Meeting

·         5:30 pm on 1/10

·          Carson, Austina and Lynn plan to attend meeting tonight. Myriam will attend unless someone else wants to. Limited to 4 per district.


Ongoing Questions / Concerns

18.  Insurance for events – via email from Kung-Pern Wang

·         Has several parents willing to donate money

·         Some parents want to be sure 100% of money is used for the insurance, not just general donations.

·         Some have concerns about in-person fundraising due to covid

·         Suggestion of using GoFundMe, which enables people to see donation progress.


Minutes from 12/15/22 Meeting


HiCap Parent Council Meeting
December 15, 2022

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

Discussion Topic - How Can So Many Students Be Invisible? Large Percentages of American Students Perform Above Grade Level

1.       Reminds of Seattle Times article about how Accelerated models work well for all learners

2.       Frustrating for parents about teaching to least common denominator

3.       Gap between kids gets wider as kids get older

4.       Differentiation is possible, but requires effort by teacher and support from principal

5.       Footnote – Myths of Giftedness. Differentiation is akin to separate gifted program and that teachers can effectively differentiate within the classroom.

6.       Myth that do not have to differentiate within a gifted classroom

7.       Conclusion – “Not surprising math percentages are not as high as reading.” Could we dig into our SBAs to determine if we are doing better in having math students test higher? – We often test low on SBA because kids are so accelerated, they need to review earlier lessons prior to SBA.

8.       Is every child getting what they need when they need it? Aspirational goal, and definitely the goal, but difficult to achieve.

9.       Conversation about home schooling and how it meets individual child’s needs, but not in a scalable way. And why parents will and will not test if in NFP, unless they are planning to transition back into public school.

10.   At 4th and 5th grades, there is a large jump in students who are performing at least 1 grade ahead. Does NSD see a similar jump and do we capture it? How do we discover them? For 5th graders, via SBA.

Amity Updates

11.  Testing update

a.       For 4th and 5th graders, twice as many qualifying via SBA as IOWA. In 6th grade, qualifying via IOWA and SBA are about the same.

b.      Thank you to proctors! Superhuman, flexible and driven from one end of the district to the other. Requested feedback from proctors regarding potential improvements for next year.

c.       Makeup testing at middle schools is getting scheduled. Not many students, but a few are Naglieri which needs to get done the first week after winter break.

d.      No IOWA testing the first week after winter break, especially since some schools have kids who will still be in India.

e.       Need more proctors for Wellington tomorrow.

f.        Trying to fill in gaps so that kids who are already qualified are not mistakenly sent for testing – or not supposed to take the test.

12.  Naglieri Q

a.       Have not brought up before.

b.      Opportunity for test Naglieri General Abilities Cognitive Test.

c.       Going to pilot test with 4 schools, 1 in each region. Just with 1st grade students who qualified to take IOWA. Small sample.

d.      New math, non-verbal math test. Looking for test that is not dependent on content and curriculum they have had. Focus is on thought processes and mathematical thinking.

e.       Have only seen more than a few questions so far.

f.        Limitations are can only be used for younger students because of the way we accelerate HiCap students. Does not require younger students to have been exposed to specific content skills.

g.      Sending letter to parents saying it is not being used at all this year. Just for comparing how students do relative to how they performed on IOWA. Parents will not see the scores. Looking to close gaps among marginalized students being identified.

h.      IOWA math requires a lot of reading. This tests math without the reading requirement.

i.        Testing will happen at end of January at: Shelton View, Kenmore Elementary, Ruby Bridges and Woodin.

j.        30 minute test

k.      Not a screener. It would potentially replace the assessment phase, i.e., IOWA math, for grades 1-2 and maybe 3. Unlikely to use in higher grades.

l.        Asking parents to opt out instead of opt in. 110 students so far – some did not give permission and some qualified via NNAT3 so they did not take IOWA.

m.    Test provides its own test tickets! (Way too much enthusiasm about this.)

13.  Beast Academy Pilot

a.       Art of Problem Solving is created by a bunch of math gurus/geeks.

b.      Very small pilot with online 4th and 5th grade (fewer 5th than 4th) single qualified students being served by Lisa Wong, online delivery of Edunuity. And one teacher at Hollywood Hills. (She has capacity because her partner teacher is handling new ELA curriculum implementation.) Most teachers do not have time to implement this and ELA.)

c.       Could be something that eventually supplements, not just for EAP but also a bridge for students who accel in math throughout the district but have not qualified yet. Could encourage them to test or just provide challenge to high-achieving students who need it.

d.      Must more engaging for kids.

e.       They have a 1st grade curriculum now, but did not used to. So if/when pilot goes well, could potentially provide to 1st grade teachers (pre-EAP).

f.        Kids will have access at home too.

g.      Focus is problem solving, deep thinking and logic. Not on rote math skills.

14.  East Ridge – FYI only

a.       Families are interested in having EAP return to East Ridge from Sunrise.

b.      Lots of factors involved in making such a decision: demographics, transportation, school size.

c.       Enrollment Demographics Task Force (EDTF) is meeting tonight and will discuss it.

d.      Strong growing desire across district for all kids to be served in their neighborhood schools. District is not opposed, but lots of factors make this difficult – building capacity being a leading factor.

e.       If all students at Sunrise returned to East Ridge, there would probably be enough kids at East Ridge for an EAP class at each grade level.


Council Questions / Updates

15.  Would be nice if HiCap had public community events at elementary and middle schools since most parents are not aware of HiCap Parents Council, HiCap options in general within the district, 2E, etc.

a.       HiCap reps should also do casual presentations within their school’s PTA.

b.      Parents like hearing from parents, not just the administration. Like hearing pro’s and con’s, especially when it comes to their child switching schools.

c.       Amity cannot visit every elementary school, but could do by region. Too many people to do all in one night. Could use Admin Board Room. (Contact Ingrid.)

d.      January event would be for families who have to make a decision to accept an EAP placement. Fall meeting would be educational about HiCap program and testing process in general.

e.       In-person meetings are preferred over virtual, but could record the meeting for people who cannot make it.

16.  Should we post the high school course catalogs again? Should we be more proactive about this?

a.       Online catalog came about thru work with District trying to create a common course catalog and have more course consistency among the high schools.

b.      Yes, general agreement that the catalog is useful, albeit not necessarily HiCap related, and that we should implement the catalog.

c.       How can we communicate about it to the NSD community?

d.      More user-friendly than PDF.

e.       Easy to see options available at other schools.

f.        Could publicize thru middle/high school PTAs and Northshore Council.

g.      District will likely not be willing to host outside-generated code but otherwise should not be considered controversial.

17.  Posting the Inglemoor HiCap guide to the website.

a.       Danielle Bird Voeller and Brenae Brix

b.      Will be posted to HiCap website.

c.       Should also submit to Inglemoor Facebook page.

18.  Is there a support group for 2E parents? Is this something we’d want to start?

a.       Not all parents want to be public about their child’s 2E designations.

b.      Community-building parent group for parents of 2E kids who feel isolated.

c.       Could be a parent support group, but not necessarily labeled as for 2E. Could include other sub-groups as well: dyslexia, autism, ADHD, etc.

d.      Existing Facebook group could serve some of those needs. (But not all parents use Facebook or are willing to post personal issues publicly.)

e.       Agreed there is a need for such a group. But is anyone willing to make it happen?

f.        Will follow up with parent who requested this to get more details on exactly what they have in mind, and whether they are willing to commit to organize it.

19.  Schedule for February meeting: evening? What times/days work for Amity? (January meeting will be in the day and Cathi Davis is planning to come to give us an update on how HiCap works at Ruby Bridges.

a.       Cathi Davis needs it to be during the day.

b.      February 14 is a daytime meeting. No support for Valentine’s Day meeting at night. Could move to Wednesday, February 8, 4-6 or 5-7.

20.  MailChimp Subscription

a.       Need a list of requirements to determine our needs

b.      We have some complexity about organizing groups.

c.       May not be worth changing, especially if not substantial savings.

21.  Who is responsible for responding to emails to the council? How do we want to handle this going forward? Do we want to change to designating a person who is responsible for sending an initial response?

a.       If someone replies, should Reply To All in general

b.      If relates to a particular school, that rep should answer

c.       If you know the answer, you are welcome to respond

22.  Austina is in final stages of graduate program. Next step is actually writing a dissertation. Will be a case study on the District. Will be interviewing people in administrator and leadership, but also focus groups with principals and teachers. Goal is to capture a snapshot of HiCap state of the world in the district, including how HiCap influences the district. Looking for ideas on questions to ask.


Ongoing Questions / Concerns

23.  What goals do we have for improving the situation for hicap students?

24.  Insurance for events

a.       AIM – Association Insurance Management

b.      Hiscox