Sunday, January 22, 2023

Minutes from 11/1/22 Meeting

HiCap Parent Council Meeting
November 1, 2022

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

1.       National Association for Gifted Children

a.       Coordinator Award to Amity Butler

b.       Administrator Award to Dr. Reid

c.       Conference is next week in Indianapolis. Amity and Austina will be presenting.

Discussion Topic – The Myth of Average

2.       Where did they get the stat that 4% of dropouts are gifted?

3.       Technology is not always the solution

4.       Universal design is used well for products, but not for schools, meaning schools do not adapt well to individual needs.

5.       A lot of learning is designed around testing. Testing is about measuring.

6.       Interesting concept that a program designed for the edges will also get the middle.

7.       System assumes that most will succeed, but others cannot. Some must fail.

8.       High schools have gotten better at offering higher math so kids do not run out of options.

9.       Author advocates for restructuring college away from simple seat time to get a degree. But removes group work.

10.   Misunderstanding of what colleges are looking for. No longer looking for well-rounded kids, but rather “spiky string” (deep focus) on an area. Message is not getting thru to high school counselors, parents or even students.

11.   Shift in homework requirements at high schools, including Woodinville. Some high schools are focusing on minimizing homework, but North Creek does not. They do suggest not taking more than 6-8 AP courses throughout high schools. (But top colleges do not abide by this theory.)

12.   Different cultural attitudes about academic rigor and homework, particularly from Asian immigrants who are used to more competitive environments.

13.   How does teaching community feel about universal design? About half of district has had professional development on it. Most administrators have, pre-covid. It is a good thing, but not much different from previous efforts. Just a new name. Inclusive practices and having more student choice would be great, have made progress, but not quite there yet.

14.   Allowing choices enables kids to develop a spiky string. Kids should have opportunities to explore to figure out what they like and what they don’t like.

15.   It should be relatively easy in elementary schools to give students choices of what the output is.


Amity Updates

16.   Updates on testing and how is proctoring going

a.       Going well so far. A few holes tomorrow and Friday at Canyon Creek and Skyview.

b.       Issue with kids not starting at same time, is that kids want to know how long they have left.

c.       Skyview has testing on Friday and needs people.

d.       NorthShore Middle on Thursday has 3 people and could use a fourth.

e.       Problem in non-teaching classrooms with turning around desks because the back bar is too long for taller kids.

f.        Minor problems with Sensory kids (at Lockwood) and other kids who do not yet have official accommodations.

g.       If there are issues, do not argue with students, parents, teachers or administrators. Just make a note of it and let HiCap department deal with it.

h.       Makeup students – Will try, but depends on proctor availability. Would be great if schools could do their own screening without proctors since usually just a few students.

i.         Screenings of 1st and 5th is mostly done. All students moving onto IOWA in 1st and 5th have received a robo-call. Will send notices to students who qualify purely from NNAT3 later this week.

j.         Start screening early primarily for middle school registration. There are deadlines for transportation, hiring teachers, EAP placements and parent decisions.

k.       Very early for testing some 1st graders, whereas January is when they really start to pop. Is that too early to ask parents to make a decision? But PACE has an early deadline too and binding decision. Also deadlines for private schools.

l.         Issues with early deadline for parents, some of whom later forget that they responded already. Or too early for some to make a decision.

17.   WAETAG Conference

a.       Was a great conference. Presented many issues regarding highly capable services very well.

b.       A bunch of middle school teachers attended, including a Timbercrest teacher who presented.

c.       Amity paid for substitutes if the school paid for registrations.

d.       No district-wide debrief of the conference for teachers. Cannot be required for teachers.

e.       Learned about professional development in surrounding districts, including Kent which has TOSAs -- teachers on special assignment -- who coordinate hicap teaching. NSD previously had a TOSA who left and was not replaced. Could hire one but would have to take it out of HiCap budget.

f.        Cannot post videos to public site because that would violate the WAETAG rules.

g.       Kent focuses on depth, which is a core request about enrichment instead of just acceleration.

18.   High school summer work update

a.       Ideally there is not supposed to be any.

b.       Choir, band and other classes that require summer work – can add a sentence to the catalog

c.       Being behind before you show up – Thought this was eliminated district-wide. Might be that principals did not get the message.

d.      Not even a good central place to look to even find if there is summer work

e.       If summer work is required for kids to be successful, then perhaps it’s ok if communicated properly. But generally not necessary.

19.  WSDA conference: WA Schools Director Association

a.       Around November 18

b.      Amy Cast and Sandy Hayes are joining with Pasco, Summer/Bonney Lake about implementing universal screenings so other school boards are not afraid to do it too because of complication or expense.

c.       Universal screening actually simplifies things and is cheaper.




20.   I-Ready update

a.       Tests reading up to 12th grade and math up to Algebra II. Lessons stop at Algebra.

b.      Kids still have to take i-ready for algebra II. Good to know if we are growing our HiCap students even if above grade level.

c.       I-Ready has both lessons and assessments. Some teachers use the lessons more than others. All use assessments. (Not necessarily bad.)

d.      SBA vs I-Ready. Completely different tests. I-Ready is more frequent. Also more babyish / cartoonish.

21.   Proctor Training for IOWA: Tuesday, November 15, 10 am – 11:30 am


Council Questions / Updates

22.   Can we move council meetings to evenings, after work?

a.       We have done parent-only meetings in the evening, but avoided them in general because of district personnel preferences. Amity is willing.

b.      Too late for December, but perhaps evening meeting in January

23.   NNAT3 Update -- will try to get makeups done right away

24.   Lockwood Issues:

a.       Admin was encouraging teachers to do the referrals, not the parents. How can we make this more transparent to parents, and make sure that parents are aware of HiCap? School has limited capacity regarding gen-ed, PACE and HiCap. Are those challenges specific to Lockwood or in general?

b.      Proctors have seen parent pressure for their kids to qualify for HiCap. Teachers hate that if the child freezes or stresses out because of it.

c.       Kids perform better on the tests if they are prepared for it, at least having seen the question format ahead of time so familiar with it.

d.      Lockwood has a particularly difficult numbers game due to disparities in class composition. It is a focus of union leadership.

e.       Perceived lack of equal resources for each group.

f.        Many parents knee-jerk reaction is to drop special programs and put everyone in Gen-Ed. But that is a horrible solution that does not meet the needs of all students.

25.   Related discussion about placing single-qualified students into EAP classrooms

a.       Single-qualified kids getting put into EAP classrooms — often done to avoid having split class. Ok if pulling in single-qualified math students, but not single-qualified reading students because difficult to keep up with accelerated math.

b.      How does that affect GenEd students who are “left behind” with students who may not care as much about education? Important issue, but complicated.

c.       Kids put into EAP one year but not the next year — generally kids are not kicked out of EAP the next year. Middle school Math qualifies for math and science. Reading for english and social studies.

d.      Assumption that HiCap kids are good role models, but they generally are not especially if the HiCap child’s abilities are way beyond a typical child. Too intimidating. Need a role model that is within reach of the child.

e.       If leave HiCap kid unchallenged in GenEd classroom and they perform perfectly without effort, that is not a good model for typical students. Teaches children they should be able to perform at same level with no effort.

f.        Also a disservice to the HiCap kid to not challenge them since they won’t know how to rise to a challenge later in school/life.

g.      NSD does more than any district to identify HiCap kids regardless of socio-economic situation.

26.  Insurance for events

a.       Just the one company: AIM. All PTAs generally use the same insurance company.

b.      Is the HiCap coordinator personally liable? No one knows.

c.       We may need to fundraise to pay for insurance policy.

d.      $1M of coverage = $180 per year for the basics.

e.       Need media policy if have Facebook or other social accounts.

f.        If organized by district or have staff member, then district insurance covers it

g.      KP and Monique volunteered to help with fundraising for insurance.

h.      Goal is $1600. $2000 for annual target to build in a cushion.

i.        Could raise gobs of money and provide grants to teachers like in some other districts.

27.  Teacher spotlight -- should start planning for this in December/ January