Wednesday, May 10, 2023

Minutes from 4/4/23 Meeting


HiCap Parent Council Meeting
April 4, 2023

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

1.      Austina – Based on her research, there is a cultural divide between families in EAP and not in EAP, often EAP kids excluding non-EAP kids but sometimes the other way around. Elitist. Some parents are very upset about this.

a.       Teachers, administrators and principals are concerned about whether EAP is worth it because of this dynamic.

b.      Primary an EAP issue it seems vs AAP.

c.       School structure impacts this if EAP students never mix with other classes.

d.      Will this improve with more schools hosting EAP?

e.       Putting kids on the playground together does not necessarily help kids meet each other. Need something more intentional.

f.        Bear Creek previously implemented “families” that brought together kids from different classes and grades. Also used at Shelton View and Canyon Creek in the past.

g.       Parents are generally the problem in terms of creating an elistist attitude among kids.

h.      Getting parents to get outside their circle is difficult.

i.        Playdates could be a good time to talk to families about these issues.

j.        Bothell HS actually split kids during curriculum night and gave academic overview to HiCap and clubs and other activities to non-HiCap. Should not be either/or.

k.      Why do many HiCap parents feel their kids are better off if not in a GenEd classroom? And what does that say about parents whose kids are still in GenEd?

Discussion Topic – Raising Lifelong Learners Podcast: Episode 86 All About Anxiety

2.      Would have been nice if it had discussed how to recognize your child actually has anxiety, not just assume you already know.

3.      April 27 – Online talk about anxiety


Amity Updates

4.      Multi-disciplinary selection team for appeals

a.       Only 42 appeals vs 100+ in previous years

b.      Good appeals within reason. Sometimes scores just don’t match up among tests.

c.       Granted 7 re-tests

d.      Positive MST experience, helped by having the Consolidated Program Review (audit) happen recently and good presentations that answered many questions.

e.       Staying within letter of the law and meeting student’s diverse needs regarding service delivery can be a very emotional process.

f.        Are we identifying too many students? Pressure could come from parents or teachers and administrators. Could do better with math for multi-lingual kids.

5.      Transition into our four new schools

a.       Slow in the beginning but uptick in parent concerns, often from rising 3rd graders who previously moved to a new school and are now being asked to move back. Parents are requesting waivers to stay in current school, even though many parents are happy to come back. Will grant waivers in the next week or two, but difficult to predict staffing especially given budget deficit.

b.      Most waiver decisions are made based on enrollment issues, not necessarily HiCap. Have to make sure there is space in all buildings for kids within boundary and trying avoid changing boundaries again.

c.       Transportation will end when kids are in 5th grade for waiver kids because their home school will eventually have a 5th grade EAP class, so will not transfer a waivered 5th grader to a different school if their school has EAP. Not a huge number of kids affected, but that does not matter to those individual parents.

6.      Waivers

a.       Now accepting waiver requests.

b.      Choose to waiver because of test scores from a particular elementary school or word-of-mouth about the school. Sometimes friends or school schedules.

7.      Service Delivery

a.       Biggest challenge right now.

b.      Questions about 2-8, so middle school is not immune.

c.       No more back-filling in middle schools, meaning non-AAP kids will not be placed in AAP classes in any middle school next year. Problem if they are then put back into non-AAP classes afterwards.

d.      In part this deals with the emotional argument about being in HiCap, which is a bigger issue this year than in previous years, particularly with skimming in middle school.

e.       New EAP schools are likely to use walk-to model for math. Some existing EAP schools may implement walk-to for 2nd graders. This may mean EAP kids are no longer in a separate classroom, just separated for math and/or reading. Could help alleviate EAP vs non-EAP tension. But more work for teachers and may not be the solution. That’s why this is just a pilot.

f.        Doing a better job identifying kids from marginalized communities. Identified may more students who qualified for FRPM than last year. Part of that was reaching out to families and encouraging students to actually take the test, and having a multilingual assistant speak to parents. But still large gaps between kids identified for HiCap vs percentages of their representation in district. Asian students are over-represented in HiCap relative to percentage of student population.

g.       Dealing with service delivery during a teacher bargaining year also adds to the challenge.

h.      School board meetings are good for learning more about the challenges and drama. HiCap identifications have increased 400+ percent since universal screening began.

8.      Based on direct feedback, high school students care a lot about block days, marginalized students, clubs and adulting. Talked about professional development for teachers, communication about special programs, Naviance, drug-use and even how teachers handle racial slurs in the classroom.

9.      Testing in fall – Naglierri does not yet have national norms. No decision yet on any changes. Plus budget considerations if need to pay for both IOWA and Naglierri since IOWA charges same amount even if only do math or reading, and not both. Naglierri results do not correlate well to IOWA Math, but do to iReady.


Council Questions / Updates

10.  How was middle school registration?

a.       SkyView did not have HiCap course numbers listed, only GenEd and Challenge. Told HiCap kids to write it in and indicate they are HiCap-qualified. Not always space to specify HiCap. Worked correctly in StudentVue, but paper forms were confusing.

b.      Schools could automatically register HiCap kids for their appropriate HiCap classes to avoid mass chaos at registrar.

c.       Will need to adjust 4th and 5th grade EAP math to match what middle schools are doing for 6th and 7th grade math -- taking pre-algebra 1 and pre-algebra 2 so all kids are ready for algebra by 8th. 4th grade will now do 6th grade math and part of 7th. 5th grade will have the rest of 7th and 8th grade. 4th graders are already doing 6th grade math, so it’s just about adding some 7th grade math too.


Council Business

11.  HPC Budget Treasurer’s Report - How is fundraising going? Are we able to pay for the insurance now?

a.       $533.50 in the bank

b.      Received donations from some families and TimberCrest PTA

c.       Not enough to purchase insurance yet and make it thru rest of year

d.      Expecting some matching money, but has not arrived yet.

e.       Request to comment on Facebook post about fundraising so that it ranks higher in FB’s algorithm.

f.        Suggestion to sell Brown Bear Car Wash tickets as a fundraiser. But not many Brown Bears in district.

g.       Could do a restaurant partnership – easy but often do not raise much money. Will be organized by Lynn.

12.  Rebuilding websites and needing approval

a.       Do not currently pay for hosting at BlogSpot.

b.      Cost of hosting is $3 per month. Five different companies to choose from.

c.       One benefit is that site will no longer flip from to . Could pay BlogSpot to change the domain forwarding.

d.      But would require manual html since there would be no content management.

e.       Council does not currently have the budget to take on new expenses, especially without a volunteer to manage the site. Could look into enhancing the current BlogSpot site.

13.  Are we planning to do Spotlight Awards again?

a.       If so, need to do now.

b.      Probably not going to happen.


Ongoing Questions / Concerns

7.       MailChimp Subscription - is there a more cost effective option

o    How is Steven’s project to build this going? – Quick demo of what Steven built so far. Should meet HiCap needs.