SPS Proposal for HCC HS Assignment Plan

October 20, 2017 – District Representatives attended the October Garfield Community PTSA Board meeting and presented information regarding the high school boundary changes in 2019 and the possible impacts on Garfield. This meeting was one of many taking place across the district, including the five community open houses planned in the different school regions, where the District is providing the same information to all parents.

After the meeting, the District took the questions we had asked and sent back answers to share with our families. We will update this page with more information as it is provided.

October 19, 2017

Dear Garfield High School Families,

The district is in the process of updating the 2017-18 Student Assignment Plan (SAP) and developing new high school boundaries for implementation in 2019-20.

One area of this work under review is how we serve our high school advanced learners. Given the opening of Lincoln High School in 2019, development of new boundaries, and the upward trend in the number of students who are eligible for Advanced Learning services, we have been seeking input on how to improve access to high school Advanced Learning programs and courses across the district.

Additionally, as part of this review we have been examining the projected Highly Capable (HC) enrollment at Garfield High School. Currently, HC seats at Garfield are reserved for any student who has participated in the Highly Capable Cohort (HCC) in eighth grade. Within a few years, the majority of Garfield’s student body will be students who have participated in the HCC program, limiting neighborhood student enrollment and access. Garfield will struggle to meet HC capacity needs while also maintaining strong neighborhood student enrollment.

Over the past month, the Student Supports Division has been actively engaging families about possible solutions and supports needed if changes to HC pathway(s) are approved. Initial recommendations will be introduced to the School Board on October 25.  Any changes made would not go into effect until the 2019-20 school year when the new high school boundaries are implemented.

The Advanced Learning Department met with the Garfield PTSA on this topic. Below are questions provided by the Garfield families and the district’s response.

If you have additional questions, please contact advlearn@seattleschools.org

Questions and Answers:

Q: How could the proposed changes in the student assignment plan influence enrichment course offerings at Garfield?

A: Garfield will continue to offer a full range of Advanced Placement classes to meet the needs of all students prepared to take them.

A: Courses such as band, choir, orchestra and other core academic courses will continue. The district may look at new models for serving accelerated musicians etc. and would do so in partnership with teachers and families.

Q: Will there be a grandfathering of students identified as Highly Capable currently attending Garfield? 

A: If changes are made, we will recommend to the Board that all HC students attending Garfield during the 2018-19 school year be grandfathered. Incoming HC freshmen in the 2019-20 school year will not be guaranteed a seat at Garfield unless they live in the neighborhood boundary. Students not in the GHS attendance area may be assigned to other pathway schools yet to be determined.

Q: What proposed changes in access to advanced learning courses will be provided to all students at Garfield and other high schools?

A: Courses for advanced students (Honors, Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate) are open to all students. There is no eligibility requirement to participate in these courses and this practice would continue.

A: Over the last few weeks, the Student Support Services Division has been engaging families. The data analysis of family feedback is close to complete and will be presented to the School Board on October 25. High-level themes from the community will be shared with the Board and public. If any changes are made to the SAP regarding HC pathway(s) they won’t be implemented until 2019-20, providing time to build an implementation plan with more specificity.

Q: In the proposed expansion of a list of advanced learning courses at the comprehensive high schools, what is the district doing to ensure rigor and quality courses?

A: Newly assigned AP teachers are provided the opportunity to participate in training offered by the College Board each spring and fall.

Q: How will families comprised of limited English speakers be allowed to provide input on this process and get updated information?

A: Information sessions have been conducted in the Chinese, Somali, Vietnamese, and Spanish speaking communities. In addition, updated information will be posted on the Advanced Learning and Enrollment Planning websites. The district has and will continue to provide translation services to families who require them, and will work with our school based Instructional Assistants and community partners to get information out to families. Invitations to the SAP and High School Boundary meetings have also been provided in home language.

Q: What is the timeline for the proposed changes to the Student Assignment Plan?

A: If changes are made to the HC pathway(s) they will be reflected in the 2017-18 Student Assignment plan but won’t be implemented until 2019-20.

Questions about high school boundaries may be sent to growthboundaries@seattleschools.org

Questions about the Student Assignment Plan (SAP) may be sent to enrollmentplanning@seattleschools.org

Questions about Advanced Learning may be sent to advlearn@seattleschools.org

To learn more about Advanced Learning visit www.seattleschools.org/advlearning