Friday, November 3, 2023

Minutes from 10/3/23 Meeting

NSD HiCap Meeting


  • Setting up an online gallery. 0:00
    • Unknown speaker discusses setting up an online gallery and says "hello" to someone.
  • Student readiness for accelerated content in elementary classrooms. 1:16
    • Unknown Speaker: "He has chosen to resign as representative...we will not send out a message...we can appoint somebody to fill it."
    • Unknown Speaker: "Research suggests infrastructural differentiation is difficult to us hard datum nationwide that many kids are ready for accelerated content."
  • Student achievement in Washington state. 6:25
    • Unknown Speaker discusses a research article on student achievement in Washington state, specifically in the Northshore School District, and how it relates to the district's reputation for its gifted program.
    • The speaker wonders how the data would change post-pandemic, considering remote schooling's impact on student performance, and if there would be a narrowing or widening of the gap between high and low achievers.
  • Special education identification and services in a school district. 10:24
    • Unknown Speaker discusses the challenges of identifying gifted students in Northshore School District, including the use of a 95th percentile cutoff and the impact of universal screening.
    • The speaker notes that the district has lowered the bar for gifted identification, but some families believe it has not changed.
    • The speaker presents an amendment to lower the bar to 5%, citing examples from other districts.
    • The speaker emphasizes the importance of providing services to gifted students, particularly those who are struggling or left behind.
  • Education system challenges and personal growth. 16:48
    • Unknown Speaker reflects on their 30-year career in education, highlighting the importance of personal experiences and reflective practice among teachers.
    • The speaker emphasizes the complexity of shifting a large system like education, noting that every change affects another aspect of the system.
  • Identifying and supporting highly capable students. 20:24
    • Unknown Speaker reflects on their experience as a highly capable education coordinator, sharing their learning curve and growth in understanding the needs of highly capable students.
    • The speaker emphasizes the importance of identifying and supporting asynchronous and twice-exceptional students, who do not fit into traditional categories.
  • Addressing social and emotional issues in schools. 23:52
    • District faces challenges with enrollment and demographics, social and emotional needs of students, and parental concerns about belonging and space in schools.
  • School capacity and parent-teacher communication. 26:11
    • Unknown Speaker discusses how parents created a conflict in schools by pushing for elite programs and creating a "us versus them" mentality.
    • The speaker acknowledges that they have struggled with their role in addressing issues in schools, feeling limited in their ability to go "whack a mole" issues district-wide.
    • The speaker shares a personal story about communication in a classroom, emphasizing the importance of parents working with teachers to address their children's needs.
    • The speaker highlights the need for compromise and finding a balance between serving students in different programs and fitting them into available space.
  • Communication between teachers and highly capable students. 31:58
    • Unknown Speaker reflects on the importance of believing children's truths and recognizing that their perceptions are valid, despite potential miscommunications or misunderstandings.
    • The speaker emphasizes the need for open communication and curiosity in understanding children's behaviors and what they are trying to communicate.
  • Teacher professional development and certification requirements. 34:42
    • Unknown Speaker discusses the district's professional development plan for teachers, including required training and the cost of hiring outside professionals.
    • The main cost of professional development is not the hiring of the person, but rather getting the teacher and paying for a substitute teacher.
    • The district offers clock hours for professional development, and teachers are encouraged to attend specific training to improve their skills.
    • The speaker mentions the importance of equity and STEM education, and how professional development can help teachers stay up-to-date on these topics.
  • School class sizes and staffing challenges. 40:45
    • Michelle Era shares insights on class size and staffing in Seattle Public Schools.
    • Class sizes are a concern, particularly in secondary grades.
    • Some schools have large class sizes due to scheduling and choice classes.
    • Shelton View Elementary has struggled with staffing and class size issues for years.
    • Parents have reported that some students were placed in classes without qualifying for them during the pandemic.
    • There is a lack of fairness in the implementation of class size policies.
  • Math and reading education in a school district. 49:55
    • Unknown Speaker discusses the transition to a new math curriculum, highlighting the importance of teacher training and the potential impact on students.
    • Emily shares an exciting initiative at Wellington Elementary, where a 1/4 grade class is doing a walk-through model for math, and discusses the reasons behind the choice of reading as the integrated portion of the curriculum.
  • Reading instruction and inclusive classrooms. 54:05
    • Unknown Speaker expresses concern about the ELA portion of an inclusive classroom, particularly the challenge level for students with lower skills.
    • Speaker mentions the importance of having a cohort of students with similar abilities to provide peer support and challenge each other in the classroom.
  • School scheduling and curriculum requirements. 57:57
    • Unknown Speaker discusses challenges with balancing ELA and math instruction in a school, particularly with limited time in the day.
    • Speaker expresses concern about fitting in all required subjects, including ELA, math, PE, library, music, and lunch, into an already packed schedule.
  • Education, AI, and accommodations for students. 1:01:00
    • Unknown Speaker: Teachers worry about lack of mathematical ability among elementary school staff, leading to potential gaps in pre-algebra and math instruction.
    • Speaker references research showing that writing is the slowest skill to develop for students, and discusses potential accommodations for students with varying skill levels.
    • Speaker discusses the importance of catering to extremes rather than averages in education, highlighting the potential benefits of AI and other technologies in assisting students with different skill levels.
  • Flexible teaching methods and Common Core challenges. 1:04:55
    • Unknown Speaker: Teachers need flexibility and accommodation, but it's hard to implement due to Common Core stumbling blocks.
    • Unknown Speaker: Effective teachers share their methods, but it's challenging to scale up for all teachers, especially with Common Core.
  • Math acceleration and course offerings in high school. 1:07:44
    • Unknown Speaker discusses concerns about terminology for accelerated math classes, specifically "double and triple jump," and seeks input from listeners on a new term.
    • Speaker mentions differences between college and high school calculus courses, including AP Calculus, and how some schools offer independent study for students who cannot take college-level math classes.
  • High school math curriculum and college credit. 1:11:12
    • Unknown Speaker discusses the typical high school math sequence and how it may not be suitable for all students.
    • The speaker mentions that North Creek High School offers linear algebra as an alternative to calculus for students who want to slow down their math progression.
    • The speaker notes that linear algebra is a useful branch of math for modern stuff, data modeling, and engineering, and that it does not require calculus.
    • The speaker acknowledges that some families have requested alternatives to calculus, and that AP Statistics can be a reasonable alternative.
    • The speaker mentions that linear algebra could be taken instead of calculus, but it may not be recommended.
    • The speaker notes that college credit may not be important for this group of students, who already have plenty of college credit.
    • The speaker concludes that implementing linear algebra as a fourth year math class is challenging due to certification issues in US colleges and high schools.
  • High school math curriculum and class placement. 1:21:28
    • Unknown Speaker discusses the challenges of navigating college course options, particularly for high-achieving students who may feel pressure to take advanced math and science courses.
    • The speaker mentions that not all students are interested in pursuing STEM fields, and that there should be more options available for students who want to explore other areas of study.
    • The speaker expresses concern about the lack of a clear plan for college coursework, particularly for students who may not be sure what they want to study.
    • The speaker suggests that mixing classes for group work can be beneficial, but should not be the sole approach for all assignments.
    • The speaker wants more information about the school's plan for providing appropriate coursework for students with varying abilities and interests.

Minutes from 9/19/23 Meeting


HiCap Parents Council

September Meeting

District Office

9/19/2023 - 10 AM - 12 Noon


In Person Attendance: Carson S, Katie M, Becky D., Ashley W., Lynn D., Lyn T., Holly M., Amity B., Elizabeth W., Angie M., Jen C., Jennifer S.,


Zoom Meeting Attendance: ________


Podcast Suggestion & Discussion -

     Carson - “No one should have to mask. And everyone should have an appropriate level of challenge for them.” This is an invitation to consider your why for joining the council.

     Discussion of perfectionism, the intersection with giftedness, and its avoidant side (ex. I’m not going to try because the outcome will not be what I want).

     This perspective is a shift for classroom teachers because so much focus is classroom management; how can teachers stretch accommodation now that rooms are more integrated?

     Not only do we need to work with teachers, but also with parents.

     Feedback received: Feels like EAP is a math acceleration program.

Amity Updates

     Kindergarten - Screening has traditionally been done, but (1) the children identified as potentially Hicap are then not receiving services and (2) they must be tested again in first grade to receive Hicap Designation and be eligible for services. Kindergarten students will no longer be given the Naglieri this year. First grade will be administered universally.

     How will screening referral process be? Every kid is 1 and 5th grade is screened, along with any kid that moves into the district 1-7. Refer to website 2-4 graders and older kids. Anyone can refer for those K (now), 2,3, 4, 6 and 7th graders (parents, teachers, friends, and adults).


     Training for elementary teachers

     Training for teachers is now mandated for teachers who have integrated classrooms. Some is direct (live or watching video), some is done by lead teachers at each school being trained and bringing it back to their teacher peers.

     Emily Kircher-Morris training in the summer was great and well received by teachers. About 100 for elementary level, and about 25 for older years. Her podcast is excellent.

     Amity’s office will check to see if HiCap Council can have access to this content. She has lots of free content available as well:


     NSD HiCap Website is currently being updated.


     Proctors: Request is out for new testing proctors. Many from HiCap Council serve. Referrals are also coming in.


     Integration update:

     Elementary level where schools have integrated: First place for anxious parents to start is with the teacher. Third grade is likely to be the most difficult transition point with Hicap students that are now integrated.

     Elementary schools where integration has not happened yet: It is planned to come to every school. It will likely start with 2nd or 3rd graders, but current students in EAP will continue moving through with EAP. Amity is willing to come out and speak at schools. Amity will be speaking at Hollywood Hill in November.

     Middle school: Decisions about integration are still ongoing. Current change is that classes have not been backfilled, so class sizes are variable and some students are unhappy.


     Data Plan: Kids in integrated classroom versus kids in separate classrooms. They are looking for growth over time. Additionally, all different kids will be pulled in for data.

     HiCap can help by providing information from the survey we created. Also, Amity may request help in creating parent surveys/distribution.


     Math Progression

     5th grade transitioning into 6th grade is where people have a choice. After this, your student is on a path through high school. A good question is, “Where do you want them to be as a senior?” Once you hit high school, there are very limited off ramps.

     Check out Pathway Flow Charts, not only for Middle School, but for High School:

     Note: Question about HS Science progression. This is not as strict. There are occasional prerequisites for a course (typically math or a traditional version of a science before the AP version); check your children’s associated high school course catalogue.



     Will continue to be 3 times per year for testing. This is valuable data for the district. The teacher should not continue using it for curriculum once the child tops out. It tops out in 8th grade.

     Summer work in high school

     Varies school to school. No consistency.

     Suggestion: Get together with members of council in your cohort and have smaller conversations. If something is or isn’t working in your school, when you learn what happens in others, it can make you a stronger advocate.


Additional Discussion


     Turn in receipts to Lyn T.

     Parking was an issue for some schools, so something to consider.

     Have them as early in the summer as possible to avoid smoke and to ease children’s stress, fear, and anxiety about new schools.

     In March or so, we will need to inquire about facilities fees and see if we can continue hosting at school.

     Relevance of playdates going forward is in question as integration continues. Might be regional playdates instead, etc.