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Gifted Programs in Seattle area public schools



 
 
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  #1  
Old October 4th 03, 02:17 PM
T Murphy
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Default Gifted Programs in Seattle area public schools

Hi all,

I'm considering a move to the Seattle area and need
information about school districts to research where we
should consider living.

My oldest son is in 4th grade and is in his school's gifted
program. His skill and interest is math/science.

My middle son is in 1st grade and it too young to be in the
program. The director has told me that he strongly believes
this son will qualify when the time comes (they start
evaluating in kindergarten). This child's gifts are in the
liberal arts, but not, so far art/music.

I would like to hear about other families' experiences with
districts in the greater Seattle area. Good experiences are
preferred, but not-so-good are ok as well. Please give me
the school/district/city names as I'm just learning the area
and still don't know my way around. I've found the
Washington State School website, but it's all based on
district and school names.

I've already spoken to our district's program director and
he's given me some good info on what to ask once I find a
district I'm interested in, but I've got to figure out who
to talk to.

TIA,

T, T & T's mom

Please TAKEMEOUTOFHERE if you'd like to reply by email.





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  #2  
Old October 4th 03, 11:06 PM
Beeswing
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Default Gifted Programs in Seattle area public schools

x-no-archive: yes

T Murphy wrote:

I would like to hear about other families' experiences with
districts in the greater Seattle area. Good experiences are
preferred, but not-so-good are ok as well. Please give me
the school/district/city names as I'm just learning the area
and still don't know my way around. I've found the
Washington State School website, but it's all based on
district and school names.


I can give you an overview of the Seattle School District's gifted program. The
district has a two-tiered program for "advanced learners," as they call
"gifted" kids: APP and Spectrum. The program starts in the 1st grade with kids
who were tested in kindergarten. APP was designed to teach kids in the top 2
percent and is primarily based on an acceleration model of two year's
curriculum ahead. Elementary APP kids attend a separate school.

The Spectrum program is designed to teach those who are not accepted into APP
and are in the top 10 percent. These kids receive primarily enrichment
activities, although recently teachers have been pushed to accelerate
curriculum up to one year ahead. There is currently a variety of delivery
models being used (self-contained; Spectrum and "high achievers" mixed;
Spectrum pullouts) and controversy over how the Spectrum program should be
defined in the future. The original concept was that Spectrum would be a
self-contained class (filled entirely with kids who have tested into the
program).

Seattle School District is currently in the middle of the search for a new
superintendent. It's thought that the choice of superintendent could have a
profound affect on the future of the Advanced Learning program, especially on
the nature of Spectrum program.

For more information on Seattle School District's Advanced Learning program,
see http://www.seattleschools.org/area/a...ning/index.xml . The information
on the web site dates from a recent review of the program and suggestions made
to improve it. You may wish to keep in mind that the decisions documented on
the site have not necessarily been instituted. Right now, no single vision
exists for Advanced Learning in the Seattle School District.

From what I can tell, the APP program at Lowell Elementary School is very good,

although the school itself is getting overcrowded. The quality of Spectrum at
the elementary level varies by location. If your kids end up testing into
Spectrum, you'll want to get more information specifically about the school
they would be attending. I don't know much about Advanced Learning for middle
school students and above.

I hope this helps.

beeswing

  #3  
Old October 5th 03, 11:19 AM
Kevin Karplus
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Default Gifted Programs in Seattle area public schools

In article , Beeswing wrote:
T Murphy wrote:

I would like to hear about other families' experiences with
districts in the greater Seattle area. Good experiences are
preferred, but not-so-good are ok as well. Please give me
the school/district/city names as I'm just learning the area
and still don't know my way around. I've found the
Washington State School website, but it's all based on
district and school names.


....
From what I can tell, the APP program at Lowell Elementary School is very good,

although the school itself is getting overcrowded. The quality of Spectrum at
the elementary level varies by location. If your kids end up testing into
Spectrum, you'll want to get more information specifically about the school
they would be attending. I don't know much about Advanced Learning for middle
school students and above.


Based on my experiences of 2 years ago, when I had a 2-month
sabbatical in Seattle, there is no chance of getting into any of the
accelerated programs if you come in the middle of the school year.
You'll even have a hard time getting into your neighborhood school if
it is any good---it'll be full and they'll want to bus your child half
way across the city to a school that is not full (because it has
terrible test scores, usually). The schools near UW are all going to
be full.

We lived near Lowell Elementary, and I can say that it has a nice
playground and is adjacent to a nice park that was extensively
upgraded about 1 1/2 years ago (it was closed for that upgrade the
whole time we were there). If you arrive in Seattle early enough (in
the Spring) for your child to be tested, then you have a better chance
of getting into one of the accelerated programs in the Fall.

If you are not looking for an accelerated program, but a solid
academic program for an average kid, any of the schools near the
University are probably good choices. The John Stanford school has
bilingual education, but again, it is usually impossible to get in
mid-year.

We investigated several choices for kindergarten, including 3 private
schools, and ended up in Madrona Elementary school, which was
temporarily housed in Lincoln High School (they use that building for
temporarily housing whichever campus they are fixing up). We ended up
with an excellent kindergarten teacher, a diverse student body, and a
good 2-month experience. I'm not sure I'd have wanted to keep my son
there for several years, as the upper grades had rather feeble math
and science programs, and even basic literacy started falling apart
after the first few years. (Things may be different now---the
principal and assistant principal were making a valiant effort to
increase the academic standards of the school and the lower grades
were in much better shape than the upper grades, so it may have
propagated a couple of years as the kids got older.)

I'm interested in details of Seattle schools again, as I'll be doing
another sabbatical there in Spring 2004.

--
Kevin Karplus http://www.soe.ucsc.edu/~karplus
life member (LAB, Adventure Cycling, American Youth Hostels)
Effective Cycling Instructor #218-ck (lapsed)
Professor of Computer Engineering, University of California, Santa Cruz
Undergraduate and Graduate Director, Bioinformatics
Affiliations for identification only.

  #4  
Old October 5th 03, 05:49 PM
T, T & T's Mom
external usenet poster
 
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Default Gifted Programs in Seattle area public schools

In article ,
(Kevin Karplus) wrote:

In article , Beeswing wrote:
From what I can tell, the APP program at Lowell Elementary School is very
good,

although the school itself is getting overcrowded. The quality of Spectrum
at
the elementary level varies by location. If your kids end up testing into
Spectrum, you'll want to get more information specifically about the school
they would be attending. I don't know much about Advanced Learning for
middle
school students and above.


Based on my experiences of 2 years ago, when I had a 2-month
sabbatical in Seattle, there is no chance of getting into any of the
accelerated programs if you come in the middle of the school year.
You'll even have a hard time getting into your neighborhood school if
it is any good---it'll be full and they'll want to bus your child half
way across the city to a school that is not full (because it has
terrible test scores, usually). The schools near UW are all going to
be full.


Wow. That's info I didn't want to hear. But it's extremely
good to know. So, the entire district is overcrowded?


We lived near Lowell Elementary, and I can say that it has a nice
playground and is adjacent to a nice park that was extensively
upgraded about 1 1/2 years ago (it was closed for that upgrade the
whole time we were there). If you arrive in Seattle early enough (in
the Spring) for your child to be tested, then you have a better chance
of getting into one of the accelerated programs in the Fall.


I'm hoping they will accept the testing from our current
district.


I'm interested in details of Seattle schools again, as I'll be doing
another sabbatical there in Spring 2004.


At this point I continue to look into districts outside of
Seattle. I know the area is large and there are a lot of
other cities with their own districts. For my kids a two
month stint in a new school would be a nightmare, as one of
them is extremely slow to adapt. That's one of the reasons
why I'd love to find a district I can move right into while
renting for a year and then buy a house nearby. No school
switching is important to us.

Thanks for the info, both good and bad.

T, T & T's Mom

TAKEMEOUTOFHERE if you'd like to reply by email



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  #5  
Old October 5th 03, 05:50 PM
T, T & T's Mom
external usenet poster
 
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Default Gifted Programs in Seattle area public schools

In article ,
(Beeswing) wrote:

x-no-archive: yes

I can give you an overview of the Seattle School District's gifted program.
The
district has a two-tiered program for "advanced learners," as they call
"gifted" kids: APP and Spectrum. The program starts in the 1st grade with
kids
who were tested in kindergarten. APP was designed to teach kids in the top 2
percent and is primarily based on an acceleration model of two year's
curriculum ahead. Elementary APP kids attend a separate school.


Great info! Thanks.


[snip]

Seattle School District is currently in the middle of the search for a new
superintendent. It's thought that the choice of superintendent could have a
profound affect on the future of the Advanced Learning program, especially on
the nature of Spectrum program.


I've been reading the Seattle area newspapers online and saw
what was going on. Is there one candidate who is more "pro
AL" than others?


For more information on Seattle School District's Advanced Learning program,
see
http://www.seattleschools.org/area/a...ning/index.xml . The
information
on the web site dates from a recent review of the program and suggestions
made
to improve it. You may wish to keep in mind that the decisions documented on
the site have not necessarily been instituted. Right now, no single vision
exists for Advanced Learning in the Seattle School District.


I will surf through.



I hope this helps.


Yes, it does. Thanks much.

T, T & T's mom

TAKEMEOUTOFHERE if you'd like to reply by email



Need a new email address that people can remember
Check out the new EudoraMail at
http://www.eudoramail.com

  #6  
Old October 5th 03, 05:57 PM
Beeswing
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Gifted Programs in Seattle area public schools

x-no-archive: yes

T, T & T's mom wrote:

I've been reading the Seattle area newspapers online and saw
what was going on. Is there one candidate who is more "pro
AL" than others?


Yes, definitely. Dr. Evelyn Williams Castro did her doctoral thesis on gifted
education and was principal for 5 years at an elementary school for the
gifted.

beeswing


  #7  
Old October 6th 03, 11:10 PM
H Schinske
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Posts: n/a
Default Gifted Programs in Seattle area public schools

I just replied to this by email, but wanted to add publicly that the best
unofficial overview of APP I have seen is at
http://www.orgsites.com/wa/appparents/_pgg1.php3 , and there is also some
relevant info there about the Spectrum program.

--Helen

 




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