Sunday, February 12, 2023

Minutes from 2/8/23 Meeting


HiCap Parent Council Meeting
Feburary 8, 2023

5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Hybrid: In-person & Zoom

1.       Discussion about whether evening meeting is better for people than day-time meeting

a.       Problem for many parents with kids’ evening activities / dinner.

b.       Good for parents who work and cannot attend meetings during the day.

c.       Difficult to schedule far in advance because school evening events schedule is not always planned in advance, such as music concerts.

d.       Overlap with PTA meetings.

e.       Would more working parents sign up at reps if we have evening meetings?

f.        Generally evening meetings are just the Council without district administration.

g.       Night meetings might work better if later.


Amity Updates

2.      Next meeting moved from March 7 to March 21 from 10-12. (Originally scheduled for

3.      30 kids left to test across the district. Hope to finish next week. IOWA testing was today for NorthShore Networks. Have been very flexible accommodating vacations.

4.      Will be conducting a testing experiment on Friday with using Google Translate for one child from Turkish language. Question about whether it works out and how long it takes. Worth trying because it’s a middle school student, not elementary.

5.      Qualifying 1st grade students:

a.       Math-only: 155

b.      Reading-only: 76

c.       Reading & Math: 495

d.      Total: 726

6.      Qualifying numbers seem to be consistent each year, not including a covid spike. Not a huge 5th grade spike anymore since students are often captured along the way.

7.      Other Qualifiers

a.       5th grade: 169

b.      4th grade: 140

8.      How students qualified:

a.       Most students qualified by taking IOWA.

b.      A few via SBA in grades 4 & 5.

c.       Some via both IOWA and SBA.

d.      Just 2 via SBA, IOWA and Local Norms.

e.       262 1st graders just via NNAT.

f.        Total of 1708 students qualified.

9.      Demographics:

a.       Over 50% of NSD is white. Second highest demographic qualifying is Asian, but don’t distinguish within “Asian” further.

b.      745 white students qualified

c.       2 or more demographics: 166

d.      113 hispanic/Latino

e.       6 unknown

f.        23 African American

g.      4 American Indian / Alaskan Native

h.      156 multi-lingual

i.        89 with IEP

j.        114 from low income

k.      90 with 504 plans

l.        Can be in more than one category

10.  Qualification status letters should go home after mid-winter break, if not before. Depends on whether graphics office is working over mid-winter break.

11.  Need to finalize wording of the letters, which includes scores whereas emails do not include scores to prevent mistakes. Some parents of non-qualifying students are offended by the wording of the letters.

12.  Discussion about whether there is an opt-out for parents who do not want to be notified about screening results, particularly for special education students who did not know ahead of time they could opt out of the testing.

13.  February 18 – District asks parents to decide who have already been notified. For those who have not yet been notified, the request is to decide within a few weeks after being notified.

14.  Kindergarteners are just assessed, not screened. State best practice.


Council Questions / Updates

15.  Choosing between EAP and other programs (Chinese, Spanish, PACE)

a.       Sunrise has a Chinese program, but would like to participate in EAP too

b.      Not a true immersion program, but more like a language class. Some parents are not happy with the immersion program because of that.

c.       Not a possibility to do both though

d.      This issue was explicitly discussed when the Chinese immersion program was begun.

e.       One option is to offer after-school foreign language classes for EAP kids.

16.  High School Math Course for triple jumpers…

a.       Inglemoor – quasi differential equations course because of IB where first semester is Calculus B/C review. Inglemoor was already offering a 3rd year calculus class, but could be redundant for students from Woodinville and Bothell.

b.      Woodinville does not have enough triple jumpers to offer anything, but will take it at North Creek and/or Inglemoor. Probably 1st or 7th period, in part because of band students.

c.       About 1 dozen kids in each school this year. Will be more next year. And not all are planning to take this class. Could take AP Statistics, Physics, College in High School, etc. So district is looking at synergy across schools, including potentially online.

d.      North Creek will offer linear algebra.

e.       All schools will have a course after next year when there are many more students in this situation.

f.        Trying to coordinate with Transportation to ensure equity.

17.  High School Registration

a.       There are info sessions for incoming families

b.      Woodinville is doing pre-sessions for HiCap, Spec Ed and Multi-lingual.

c.       Inglemoor -- IB Info session on 3/2 at 7 pm for current 8th graders

d.      Bothell High School is doing info session at Canyon Park at 3/2 as well. Problem for BHS students who may want to consider IB.

18.  NSD Neurodiverse Families meeting

a.       Not just a 2E group

b.      Had 15 people at meeting

c.       5 people asked about whether they could do an evening meeting instead of daytime

d.      Some HiCap families with IEPs

19.  What options are there for a rising 6th grader to accelerate math if they didn’t qualify for hicap (via testing or SBAs)? Is it possible to request an algebra readiness test?.

a.       Could take summer math courses that the district offers

b.      Take 6th grade math over the summer and then take 7th grade challenge math

20.  District document that discusses algebra readiness screening.

a.       Has nothing to do with HiCap

b.      Screening based on existing district data: grades, SBA & i-Ready

c.       Confuses (and upsets) parents


Council Business

21.  HPC Budget

a.       Filed 990, so up to date.

b.      $489 in the bank as of end of January

c.       Spend $130 per month: Survey: $55. MailChimp $88.

d.      Need donations before run out of money

e.       Cannot currently afford insurance

f.        Will be getting $300 donation for employee volunteer matching from Nordstrom thru Benevity.

g.      Income from Amazon Smile, about $200 this year, but that is ending.

h.      Can ask PTAs again to donate

i.        Should ask community for donations, including for insurance

22.  Donation Link for Council Webpage – Fixed

23.  AIM - Association Insurance Management Inc

a.       Need $1M liability: $225

b.      Suggestion to add Directors and Officers Liability: $75

c.       $255 per year for these 2 coverages. Others are un-necessary.

d.      Most playdates costs are paid for by donations for HiCap reps who plan them. Maybe $30 - $40 when asked for reimbursement, but no one requested reimbursement last year.

e.       Motion from Lyn to purchase insurance – once we have the money to cover it. Seconded by Karishna. No objections. Ayes: 8 in person, 5 online. No’s: none. Motion passes unanimously.

f.        Karishna volunteered to draft an email to HiCap mailing list requesting donations

24.  Volunteer to redesign website to make it look nicer. Could buy an off-the-shelf template for $50 with offer to donate the money for it. Simple html requirements. $6 per month for hosting. Current webmaster (high school student) would be willing to do the grunt work.


Discussion Topic – Neurodiversity: The Future of Special Education?

25.   Austina took a class by this author in her grad program.

26.   Author is not a gifted expert or even 2E expert, but is out-of-the-box thinker about what to do with Special Education kids.

27.   Saw unicorns and rainbows and structural system that is not designed for unicorns and rainbows.

28.   Dovetails nicely with end of average ideas. We are capable of doing more than we think if we don’t focus on all following the same timeline.

29.   Problem if supporting worthiness of special needs students as a moral obligations, but not HiCap students.

30.   If support Special needs students and do not frame their needs as a negative, that may negatively affect fundraising and other efforts by interest groups.

31.   Just because a student can fit in a general ed program does not necessarily mean getting their needs met.

32.   Universal Design for Learning (UDL) -- Neuro-diversity strength based standards means letting students use their personal strengths (artistic, oral, etc.) to determine how to meet project requirements. Not quite there in the district, but some teachers do currently encourage that.

33.   Challenge with this approach is that both teachers and parents get worried when kids are allowed to not do the hard thing that they are not good at. While it may grow their strengths, it does not address their challenges and get them to grade level for a particular skill. Would need to convince parents especially that developing a kid’s strengths is better for them long term.

34.   What is the balance between letting kids develop their strengths and working on their weaknesses?

35.   Is there too much focus on identifying and fixing problems (deficits) instead of focusing on their strengths, and they will be more engaged since they are interested and working on things they enjoy and are good at.

36.   Works really well for 2E kids to focus 100% on their strengths

37.   Could some of this be incorporated as best practice, not just in HiCap classrooms but all classrooms? Flexibility in assignments could be relatively easy for a teacher to support. But again, parent and teacher expectations are a critical factor. Would require parent education so parents are not concerned their kids’ weaknesses are not being addressed.