Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Minutes from 3/21/23 Meeting


HiCap Parent Council Meeting
March 21, 2023

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

Discussion Topic – Topics about 2e: Gifted Support Group Getting to the Root of 2e: Beyond the Usual Suspects

1.       Identified a lot of great issues

2.       Auditory and vision can both manifest as headaches

3.       Ear filter simply delays input to even up the timing. Does not filter sound.

4.       When transcribing audio recordings, led to fewer mistakes.

5.       Made wrong the first time up to 20% of the time. If sensory issues persist,  ask them to make a new one.

6.       Can work great for sensory kids – if they are willing to try it.

7.       Create a mold via a local audiologist, and then send to company in CO.

8.       Auditory issues is often the problem when kids are having problems concentrating, focus, paying attention, etc. that nothing else seems to solve.

9.       Glasses can also help with headaches even if child has no vision issues.

10.   Focus on kids being high-functioning at expense of not realizing they may have other problems.

11.   Similar struggle with kids getting 504 plans in middle schools if kids doing well academically.

12.   The answer is individualization, but implementing that is not possible.

13.   There is no single resource that covers what was in the talk. Bits and pieces are covered in dozens of different resources.


Amity Updates

14.  4 new EAP school sites next year, mostly to help with enrollment demographic issues. Will add 4/5 as kids age, so will eventually have full EAP.

a.       East Ridge – full 2nd and 3rd.

b.      2/3 split at Arrowhead – need to keep school from losing enrollment so they don’t lose teacher resources (PE, library, etc.) because many go to Moorlands

c.       West Hill – full 2nd and 3rd. Will provide some relief for Canyon Creek

d.      Frank Love – full 2nd and 3rd. Puts some relief on Lockwood.

15.  No boundary changes necessary

16.  Crystal Springs stays at Canyon Creek because no room at Frank Love or Crystal Springs.

17.  3rd graders will be moved back to home schools unless waiver to stay at current school. They are the only impacted students. They have already been notified. (Process was to notify school board, then teachers union, then affected parents.)

a.       28 kids shifting back to East Ridge

b.      16 going back to West Hill from Canyon Creek

18.  4th and 5th grade students will continue at current site.

19.  There is not an ability to make sure each new site has at least one experience EAP teacher, but will have professional development to help with that.

20.  HiCap is a hot topic as a bargaining topic, for better and for worse.

21.  This is not a cost-saving measure for the district unless moved all kids back to their home schools at one time. But it was a cost-neutral measure. Will eventually be a cost-saving measure in 3 years once all kids are back at their home schools.

22.  Pilot Testing Updates

a.       Having difficulty finding correlations between IOWA and Naglierri. Do not have national norms for Naglierri or local norms for IOWA. iReady math is only correlation with Naglierri. Do not necessarily need to have a correlation though.

b.      Raises possibility that kids who have early math exposure are not necessarily the kids who qualify.

c.       No decision on whether to move forward. Would we find a different group of students? What is the purpose?

d.      Very conceptually rigorous test

e.       Test is not proctored. No waiting period. Kids go at their own pace. No vocabulary. No word problems.

f.        Test does not have instructions since tests believes it is not necessary. But it might actually require instructions.


Council Questions / Updates

23.  Summer homework: It's listed in the course catalog -- how to verify if they have to do it and what the district policy is?

a.      Very different across schools

b.      We have asked it to be listed consistently in the course catalog.

c.       AP exams are in May, but NSD does not start until September. Many schools in other states starts in August and give AP in May. That is one argument for summer work, at least for AP courses.

d.      Homework policy is not consistent across high schools.

e.       Equity issue, not HiCap issue.


Cathi Davis Update – Principal at Ruby Bridges

24.  Updates on their original pre-opening plan to implement walk-to for single-qualified students.

25.  Difficult to get started since first year opened was COVID and 2nd year was post-COVID.

26.  Experience a rich environment of belonging

27.  More responsive to single-qualfied students and ensure students all get the same experience

28.  As an inclusive school, working to ensure all students get what they need when they need it.

29.  Implemented consistent schedules across each grade band.

a.       2/3 and 4/5 each have similar master schedules for Math and ELA. Delineating between core and acceleration learning times.

b.      Intervention and acceleration times happen 4 times per week.

c.       Core master schedules build more structure, which allows more flexibility

30.  Benefit is flexibility to engage students in areas where they have needs, but also accelerate them where appropriate.

31.  Intervention is different for 2nd and 3rd graders than for 4th and 5th graders, especially for math where they are jumping grade-levels.

32.  Above district average and iReady for percentage of growth for students in reading and math. 122% as a building, but 230% for HiCap reading and 199% for HiCap math.

33.  Students have social-emotional opportunities for peer friendships since with different groups of students, not just the same class all day, every day.

34.  Connection between universal design for learning as an access tool, regardless of whether in HiCap or not. Depth and opportunity is important. Not just one way.

35.  Heterogeneous homerooms, but walk-to for math and ELA.

36.  Encouraged as this is capable of being more responsive to changing student demographics. Looking at it holistically at each grade level.

37.  Expects data to be better this year and last year. Getting better at managing this, not just getting lucky.

38.  Q – How does movement transition work when kids are switching classrooms?

a.       Building is flexible

b.      Has capacity among teachers/staff to teach different levels

c.       Each room is themed to dispense with labels, which are not conducive to fostering a sense belonging

d.      Sometimes just split kids into groups within the same classroom

e.       Groups are re-done every 6 weeks to be responsive to kids’ needs

39.  Q – K-1?

a.       Similar model in terms of intervention and acceleration

b.      K: 2 groups in each classroom. Can be more responsive to kids despite lack of HiCap designation.

40.  Q – What are barriers to rolling out this program (other than covid) and resistance from staff?

a.       Parents want to know how any change will impact their child. Barrier beliefs around ways that students can receive acceleration, special services, disability-related issues.

b.      Needed to prove the model, which benefited from support from Amity and superintendent.

c.       Challenge to build a culture, especially starting from scratch as a new school.

41.  Q – Is this more time-intensive for teachers? No, just different time. Shift to a whole-grade level team is less isolating than being responsible for just one class.

42.  Does not have more staff in the classroom than a normal school. But have flex spaces.

43.  Not always just the hicap kids that are pulled out to a different room to avoid labels.

44.  Q – Could the model be rolled out to other schools? Yes, but takes time.  Cathi is teaching other principals about master scheduling. Complex system to implement, which includes buy-in from parents and teachers.

45.  Ruby Ridges was not explicitly built to do inclusive things. Standard building, albeit with interior hallways. Not a huge open concept. Rooms that are extra space exist because of the way the building is run, not because there are more rooms than other schools. Interior hallways make it easier to implement a walk-to model, but not absolutely required.

46.  Q – Does having master schedule create issues with specialists like music and PE? Sharing specialists across schools makes it possible to have multiple specialists at a single school at the same time.


Council Business

47.  HPC Budget - How is fundraising going? Are we able to pay for the insurance now? 

a.       We have $274 plus $150 raised today.

b.      No budget for insurance.

c.       Need to reach out to PTAs for funding.

d.      Best option for quick fundraising is to reach out to parents directly

48.  Donation Link for Council Webpage -- the giant donate PayPal button is a bit confusing, but the smaller one above works.