The Winter PTSA General Meeting was held on:
Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2017
7 - 8:30 PM
During the business portion of the meeting the membership voted to approve changes to the Standing Rules, including: 1) Black Student Union included in PTSA Board, 2) Treasurer shall provide account balances at each board and general meeting, 3) Time to provide advanced written notice of changes to Standing Rules shortened from 30 to 14 days, 4) Large Grants (>$5K) recipients asked to provide feedback on how they are meeting their goals, and 5) PTSA president(s) is spokesperson in speaking to the media, and letters to the editor by PTSA board member using that title must be authorized by executive committee. Pleased find the full Updated Standing Rules above.
Topic summary for "Curriculum Road Map": The course selection deadline for next year is coming up shortly, and registration will start Feb. 9, with forms due Feb. 17. The catalog is long and full of many choices. At this meeting, learn how your student can make the best of the Garfield High School experience.
Do you know what your student needs to meet graduation requirements? How many years of math, language arts, science, history and electives? What is the sequence of courses? What are the options for electives? Can anybody take an honors class or AP class? What is a balanced course load? Learn the answers to these questions and more, as Garfield teachers and counselors demystify the course selection process for you.
Head counselor Daniel Lee, along with all of the core academic department heads will be at this general PTSA meeting to present their course pathways and requirements for taking their offerings. Questions? Email Sharmila Naidu Williams at email@example.com.
Meeting handouts, slides and notes below.
Tonight we'll cover the 4 core academic departments, Science, Language Arts, History, and Math. Electives might be covered in a future meeting.
Please refer to the Seattle Public Schools Graduation Requirements page:
Class of 2017, Class of 2018, Class of 2019, Class of 2020. Be aware that starting with the class of 2021, students will have to meet a new 24-credit requirement. Also see the Academics page and the College and Career Center page on the Garfield website.
Registration packets for 2017-2018 come out Feb. 9 and forms are due back Feb. 17. They will include info. on classes, how to sign up and a request sheet. New 2017-2018 Course Catalog will be available online Feb. 9.
1 Semester Health Requirement: Mr. Lee recommends this be taken in 9th grade so students can get the information early in high school and get the requirement out of the way. There is an option to take Health online for those, for example, in World Languages and Music who can't fit it in their schedules. To sign up for online classes, students should schedule a meeting with the coordinator, Ms. Alston, in the counseling office. Signups are at the start of each semester, space is limited so plan ahead. Online classes are not held over the summer. Cost is $200 (bring cash to main office).
PE Waivers: There are 5 categories of waiver (refer to waiver form). For an academic waiver a student must carry a full academic load with no TA periods, early dismissal or late arrival. Academic waiver requests will be reviewed starting 1st semester of 11th grade by Ms. Lee, room 209. The PE requirement is 3 semesters so 3 waivers are needed. If the waiver is approved, the counseling office will record that on the student's transcript, and a copy will be provided to the student. If the waiver is denied, the counselor will contact the student to explain why. If a student is on a GHS sports team, PE waivers are granted automatically (1 per season). Club sports like ultimate frisbee do not receive automatic waivers—refer to the waiver form to see requirements for these sports.
AP Classes: There has been a big increase in anxiety and stress in students taking multiple AP classes. A student intervention team meeting discussed adding to course descriptions and request sheets the number of hours of homework required for each AP course so students can balance that with their other activities. An AP Advising Night will be held 6 - 7:30 PM on Wednesday, Feb. 15 for students, parents/guardians (especially of 10th graders), teachers, and counselors. A too-competitive environment "can be toxic;" often HCC students feel peer pressure from cohort to take AP classes.
AP and Running Start classes are weighted on a 5.0 scale ("A"=5.0, "B"=4.0, etc.) in determining class rank, but not in GPAs that are reported to colleges. Similarly, Honors classes are weighted on a 4.5 scale.
Middle School Course Credits: Credits from middle school courses covering high school content, such as Physical Science or Biology, may be used for high school credit but will be clearly marked with an "M" on the transcript, so it is not recommended to carry these credits over.
Occupational Education Requirement: 3 semesters of Occupational Education are required. Some classes are "cross-credit" qualifying for either Oc. Ed. or other types of electives.
Please see Counseling Reference sheet, 2016-2017 Course Guide (this school year), and Graduation Checklist below for more information.
Registration Guide and Course Descriptions 2016-17
Garfield's course list and descriptions change each year. Please click on the link to see a pdf of the current guide. For department specific questions, please contact the department chairperson.
Science Requirement: Currently 4 semesters (2 years) of laboratory Science are required for high school graduation, but that might change to 6 semesters in future. Colleges typically require 8 semesters, so Science is an important subject.
Science Course Offerings: There is no one pathway, or recommended pathway for Science. Classes should be tailored to student interests and aptitudes and balance with other classes and activities.
The starting course is Physical Science, which some students have taken in middle school. Next school year, Physical Science will consist of 1 semester of Physics 1 PS and 1 semester of Chemistry 1 PS. After Physical Science, students take (Honors) Biology. After Biology, students may take (Honors) Physics, Marine Science or (Honors) Chemistry. The math requirement for Physics is Algebra I, and for Chemistry it is Geometry. After (Honors) Chemistry, students may take AP Chemistry, AP Physics, AP Biology, and AP Environmental Science. Please see Science Course Offerings handout, below, for chart.
Next Gen. Science: In 2 years a shift in the Science department will occur towards Next Gen. Science standards. They are working on new course scope and sequence to be more interdisciplinary and thematic. The Biology ECO (end-of-course-exam) will be discontinued. A new NGSS test will be used instead. So current 9th graders may take this test in 11th grade even though they haven't had the new curriculum. But the district and state are aware of this and ideally will grandfather in the Biology EOC. There may be a grace period on the results of the NGSS test where it will be used only to collect data.
AP Science Classes: Middle School Biology classes are similar to the class at Garfield but AP Biology picks up where 1st year Biology leaves off and is much more in-depth, rigorous and faster paced. The AP exams give college credit, although this is becoming less common, or allow you to skip intro-level classes. They provide a known standard and look good on your transcript. But be aware they are a lot of work and students who take too many may suffer. It is important to maintain life balance to thrive.
Marine Science: This class no longer earns UW credit because of inconsistencies in teaching it at high schools (not necessarily at Garfield). This course has a long tradition here. Marine Science is not an AP course, it is a broad option covering earth and space science, which other classes don't cover.
The chart below shows the different Science course offerings and their prerequisites.
Language Arts Requirement: 8 semesters (4 years) of Language Arts are required for high school graduation.
9th Grade Honors for All Language Arts: 2-3 years of planning and research and an "immense amount of work" by smart, committed teachers went into this effort; they are very happy with and excited about the results. It is showing great promise this year. 9th grade Language Arts and History classes now reach a range of students. In 10th, 11th and 12th grades there are still 2 levels of LA, with 80% of 10th graders opting to take Honors. There are no plans to de-track these higher grades in the near future.
Language Arts Course Pathway: Careful coaching from teachers is needed to choose courses (regular, Honors or AP). The school is working on formalizing global policies on course choice. Titles for courses are the same district-wide. In 10th grade students take World Literature, in 11th grade American Literature and in 12th grade Comparative Literature. In 10th grade there is Honors or regular, in 11th and 12th there is AP or regular (no Honors options in 11th and 12th grades). About 75% of 11th graders and 70% of 12th graders take the AP class. The 11th grade AP test focuses more on close textual analysis (skills emphasis); the 12th grade AP test more on literature (content emphasis). Colleges will credit only 1 of these courses so some students opt not to take both AP tests. See Language Arts Course Offerings slide, below, for chart.
Language Arts Electives: Yearbook and Newspaper (The Messenger) qualify for Occupational Education credit. Intro. to Journalism is an LA elective and may become prerequisite for Yearbook and Newspaper (Advanced Journalism). Check with Mr. Martin. Other opportunities include Writers in the Schools, PEN Literary Journal, ACT Playwriting
The chart below shows the different Language Arts course offerings by year.
Social Studies/History Requirement: 6 semesters (3 years) of Social Studies/History are required for high school graduation.
Social Studies/History Course Pathway: 9th graders take World History (all are in Honors at Garfield), 10th Graders can take 1 semester of regular World History or 2 semesters of AP World History, 11th Graders take 2 semesters of regular, Honors or AP US History, 12th graders take 1 semester American Government, AP American Government or 2 semesters of Project Based AP American Government. Garfield teaches 4 semesters of AP World History spread out over 4 semesters in 9th and 10th grade. This gives enough time to make it project based. Project Based AP American Government is a year long to allow 6 rotating projects done in groups.
Washington State History Requirement: Usually satisfied in middle school, but can be taken online if needed.
Social Studies/History Electives: Contemporary World Problems, AP Macro and Micro Economics (cross-credit Oc. Ed. or History elective).
The chart below shows the different Social Studies/History course offerings by year.
Math Requirement: 6 semesters (3 years) of Math including Algebra II are required for high school graduation.
Math Course Pathway: Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, Precalculus, Calculus, AP Calculus AB & BC. Non-AP courses have Honors option. Statistics (regular Precalc. prerequisite) and AP Statistics (Honors Precalc. prerequisite) are also available. Statistics involves more reading and is less intense than AP Calculus. Calculus is more useful for science and computer science, Statistics more for business, psychology, sociology. Next year a new Statistics class will be available with an Algebra II prerequisite rather than Precalc.
Issue with No Teacher for Honors Geometry This Year: If your student had subs for Honors Geometry this year while a new teacher was being hired, they should have no problem in Honors Algebra II next year. The subject matter of Geometry is not related to Algebra II.
"Scholar's Math" Combined Algebra I & Geometry: 32 students get a double Algebra I period 1st semester followed by a double Geometry period 2nd semester to do both classes in one year. Acceleration can also be done in summer school.
The chart below shows common Math pathways and their prerequisites.
May 23 - PTSA General Meeting, GHS Commons @ 7 - 8:30 PM
May 24, 25, 26, 27, 31 & June 1 & 3 - Spring Musical "In The Heights," Quincy Jones Center @ 7 PM
May 29 - No School, Memorial Day
June 1 - College Essays & ACT vs. SAT Presentation, GHS Library @ 6:30 - 8 PM
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