Advanced Learning

Highly Capable Services and Advanced Learning Programs

Welcome to Advanced Learning! We are here to support our Highly Capable and Advanced Learners and their families.

Seattle Public Schools offers Highly Capable Services for students who have been evaluated for and designated as Highly Capable. SPS also offers Advanced Learning Opportunities/Spectrum for students who have been evaluated for and designated as Advanced Learners. To learn more about the Advanced Learning Office, please view Our Vision and Mission statements, or read more about our Programs and Services.

2016 - 2017 Key Dates

The following are the Key Dates for the 2016 – 2017 Advanced Learning Eligibility Referral and Decision Process for students in kindergarten through 8th grade. Eligibility is for the 2017-18 school year.

Student Referral Acceptance Period
Sept 7, 2016 - Oct 6, 2016
The 2016 - 2017 Referral Period is now closed

Student Screening and Testing Period
October 2016 - January 2017
To learn more about the Screening and Testing Process, click here.

Eligibility Decision Notification Date
February 10, 2017
All Eligibility Decisions have been posted to the Source

Appeals Process Period*
Begins February 10, 2017
Over 80% of all Appeal Decisions have been made and posted to the Source

*Note: Appeals must be made within 3 weeks of receipt of Eligibility Notification.

Current high school students: Applications for 2017-2018 eligibility are now available.

Early Entrance to Kindergarten (EEK): EEK is a program which allows a small number of unusually advanced and mature four-year-olds born between September 1 and October 31 the opportunity to enter Kindergarten early for a trial period of four weeks at the beginning of the school year. Children who successfully complete the four-week trial period may continue for the full year. The application window will begin on March 20, 2017 and will end on April 17, 2017. Application for EEK 2017-2018 now available. Testing occurs in May.

Our Vision and Mission

It is the Vision of the Advanced Learning Office that each and every student in Seattle Public Schools will have access to academic experiences differentiated to their specific needs. The Advanced Learning Office will provide thoughtful, research-based support that will help schools successfully address the specific academic, social, and emotional needs of Highly Capable Students and Advanced Learners throughout our diverse school communities.

The Mission of the Advanced Learning Office is to provide thoughtful, research-based services for students who are or become eligible as Highly Capable or as Advanced Learners, their families, and the faculty who teach them, so they have the opportunity to achieve their highest potentials during their Seattle Schools career. Students who are identified as Highly Capable and Advanced Learners come from all cultural, linguistic, and socio-economic backgrounds, and have diverse abilities and achievement profiles.

Highly Capable students are identified so that they may receive the interventions necessary to best serve their needs. They typically need differentiated programs and services provided in environments that encourage and nurture inquiry, flexibility, and critical and creative thinking. Highly Capable designated students can receive services at their reference area schools, through the self-contained classroom service model (Highly Capable Cohort sites offered in grades 1-8,) or by participating in Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, or Accelerated International Baccalaureate classes (offered in grades 9-12).

The Advanced Learning office will:

  • Continue to research and adjust our identification processes to provide equitable access for all students to be considered for Advanced Learner/Highly Capable designation, with a special focus on under-identified populations;
  • Define, coordinate, and support a continuum of options for Highly Capable and Advanced Learners;
  • Provide professional development that aligns with the best-practices in Highly Capable education, with a particular focus on differentiated instruction; and
  • Continue to adjust and modify methods and processes to align with state law, district policy, and current research.

Advanced Learning Programs and Services

Advanced Learning Opportunities

Grades served: K-8
Eligibility testing: Required

Enhanced, enriched and/or accelerated curriculum in reading or mathematics.

Flexible grouping opportunities to better serve individual student needs. Students are district identified or teacher identified and are supported in classrooms at the elementary and middle school levels.


Grades served: 1-8
Eligibility testing: Required

Enhanced, enriched and/or accelerated curriculum in reading or mathematics.

Flexible grouping opportunities to better serve individual student needs. Students are district identified and are supported in classrooms at the elementary and middle school levels.

Highly Capable Services

Grades served: K-12
Eligibility testing: Required
Portfolio required for high school students.

Significantly accelerated curriculum in reading, math, science, and social studies based on student need. Students are district-identified as highly capable and are eligible to be served in self-contained programs at the elementary and middle school levels.

Advanced Learning Program Information for High School Students

  • Eighth grade students designated as Highly Capable students who are enrolled in the HCC at Hamilton, Washington, Madison or Jane Addams middle schools' are currently automatically assigned to Garfield High School.
  • Highly capable eighth grade students enrolled at any school may apply (assignment subject to seat availability) for the Accelerated IB program at Ingraham (IBX).
  • Other eighth grade students may test for entry into the Accelerated International Baccalaureate program (IBX) at Ingraham but there is no eighth grade testing for entry into Garfield. Placement in IBX is subject to space availability.

Advanced Placement Courses

Grades served: High school
Eligibility testing: Not required

Rigorous high school curriculum administered by the College Board that can lead to college credit. Classes are available to all interested students.

Advanced Placement Curriculum Sites

  • Offered at all comprehensive high schools except Chief Sealth and Rainier Beach. AP course offerings vary by site. See individual high school course catalogs.

International Baccalaureate Program

Grades served: High school
Eligibility testing: Not required

Rigorous high school curriculum based on an internationally developed and reviewed curricular program that can lead to college credit.

International Baccalaureate Curriculum Sites

  • Offered at Ingraham, Chief Sealth, and Rainier Beach high schools.

Accelerated International Baccalaureate Program (IBX) at Ingraham

Grades served: High school
Eligibility testing: Required for eighth graders not already designated as Highly Capable

An accelerated IB program (which is an option only) that leads to the completion of the IB Diploma in grade 11 allowing seniors to explore their academic interests by participating internships, college classes, and further electives.

Accelerated International Baccalaureate Program Curriculum Site

  • Offered at Ingraham High School.
  • Based on seat availability

Important Additional Resources for the Advanced Learning Eligibility Decision Process:

Enrollment Information
Submitting a Referral
Appeals Process
Contact Advanced Learning

children in class

Contact us

Advanced Learning contacts

Or, email us (for quickest response) at:

Advanced Learning Program Sites


SPS Policy No.2190

SPS Superintendent Procedure 2190SP

SPS Superintendent Procedure 3130SP

WAC Governing Highly Capable

RCW Governing Highly Capable


SPS provides Equal Educational Opportunities and Equal Employment Opportunities

The district does not discriminate based on race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation including gender expression or identity, creed, religion, age, veteran or military status, disability, or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability.

News & Announcements

  • 03/24/2017

    UPDATE: Appeal Decisions Available on the Source

    Access to the Source was restored this morning. All Appeal Decisions made by the MSC (to date) are currently available on the Source via the Advanced Learning button.
  • 03/10/2017

    Update: Source Access Restored

    Seattle Public Schools' Parent and Student portal, the Source, is currently down. The timetable for restoration of service is unknown at this time..
  • 02/16/2017

    Advanced Learning Eligibility and Decision Process Update

    Due to the high volume of applicants, Advanced Learning eligibility decisions will be shared in two phases. Advanced Learning eligibility decisions have been made for 95 percent of applicants, over 4,900 students.
  • 01/13/2017

    Math Placement Process

    All SPS students will be recommended to take the next math course in sequence in grade 6.

  • 01/03/2017

    Advanced Learning Test Scores and Eligibility Update

    Test scores and eligibility for the 2017-2018 Advanced Learning Testing Cycle will be posted on the Source ( in time for Open Enrollment, which begins in mid-February 2017.  Non-Seattle Public Schools families (including Private School and Home School families) will receive a letter via USPS.  (For issues logging into the Source, please email directly.)

  • 11/07/2016

    Advanced Learning Testing Schedule Update

    Except for students needing accommodations, an initial Test Date Email has now been sent to every family.

    We initially hoped to have all tests scheduled and families notified by the end of the day Tuesday, November 1. However, our timeline has been extended because of recipients' email issues.

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