Appeal Process

Families of students who have have been deemed ineligible for Advanced Learning services and programs may appeal the decision in some circumstances. Please read carefully, and note that we do not offer appeals of appeals.

Appeal Process for the Testing Cycle 

If your student participates in Advanced Learning eligibility testing, you will receive results in late winter reporting the decision of the Multidisciplinary Selection Committee. You have the right to appeal the decision of the MSC. Complete appeal documentation is due within three weeks of the date of notification. (We have eliminated the requirement to provide notice of "intent to appeal" within five days of receiving notification of eligibility.) 

Also please note that if your student is deemed ineligible, you may refer the student again for retesting each year.

If you choose to appeal, the appeal may provide additional information, such as support letters describing the student’s achievement in the classroom or additional achievement and/or cognitive assessments (from a private provider or free to families who qualify for free or reduced-price lunch). Appeal documentation MUST demonstrate that a student’s cognitive abilities AND reading and math achievement skills are at the levels described in the eligibility chart. Submitted materials are not returned. Appeals must include a signed parent/guardian statement explaining the reason for the appeal.

Appeal Guidelines

An appeal should include a signed statement from the parent/guardian with the student's name and ID number. You will need to provide compelling evidence demonstrating that the decision of the MSC should be reconsidered.

What could you include?

Results of additional assessments.

  • Qualifying fall or winter achievement scores in math and reading when available may be used to support an appeal. There must be a documented math and reading score at or above the 87th percentile from nationally normed achievement tests no older than spring of 2015. 
  • Additional assessments must cover all areas needed for the desired eligibility category. Depending on the test scores in your eligibility letter, parents may consider providing cognitive tests and/or reading and math achievement tests. List of private providers. Private assessments from a provider not on this list should include a copy of the practitioner's license.
  • Seattle Public Schools will provide in-house appeals testing for families who qualify for the free or reduced lunch program. Questions? Contact Roger Daniels 

Written teacher comments. Teacher comments can be compelling when they provide data and specific information about your child's exceptional performance such as specific skill levels in reading and math and the results of recent classroom assessments.

Evidence of classroom work that demonstrates exceptional achievement. Classroom work may include: writing samples, lists of books read, and/or examples of problem solving in math. (See page limit below.)

How to submit: We do not accept emailed or faxed appeals. Submit no more than 10 pages, no larger than 8 1/2" by 11", no notebooks, plastic covers, plastic sleeves or fasteners. Submitted materials are not returned.

Mail appeals to:
Advanced Learning
MS 32-936
PO Box 34165
Seattle, WA 98124-1165

The following table below details the information needed if providing additional assessments for an appeal.

Eligibility Criteria for an Appeal
(Private providers are required to furnish a copy of their current Washington State license)
Eligibility Category
Grade When Tested
Full Scale IQ or GAI. Please send complete report including all scores from nationally-normed intelligence test.*
Broad reading and math standard scores on a nationally-normed achievement test**
Enrollment Options
Highly Capable
K-8
98/99th percentile
95th percentile or higher
Highly Capable Services (Grades K-8), including Highly Capable Cohort (HCC) (Grades 1-8)
Spectrum (Grades 1-8)
IBX at Ingraham (Grade 9)
Advanced Learning

K-7

87th percentile or higher
‚Äč
87th percentile or higher
Advanced Learner/Spectrum
(Grades 1-8)

*Approved Intelligence tests include the WISC-IV, the Stanford-Binet V, or the WPPSI. The Appeals Committee will consider results from privately administered intelligence tests that have been completed within the last three years. Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning scores from the ERB if done in a school setting no earlier than the previous March will be considered for an appeal.


**Approved standardized achievement tests include the Woodcock-Johnson III Achievement, Form B (Grade Norms), the WIAT-II, WIAT-III, and the KTEA-II. ERBs, MAP, and other standardized nationally-normed reading and math achievement tests done in a school setting may also be submitted. Only achievements tests that have been completed no earlier than the previous March will be considered. 

Most Common Reasons for Unsuccessful Appeals


There are three common reasons for unsuccessful appeals.

Reason 1: The additional testing information submitted did NOT demonstrate performance levels in ALL areas needed for program qualification. (The most common error is to only provide cognitive/intelligence test assessments when both cognitive AND reading and math achievement tests are required. Please review your child's test scores and read the chart above carefully.)

Reason 2: The evidence provided was insufficient to support a decision change.

Reason 3: No evidence was provided beyond a cover letter asking to appeal the original decision resultingin insufficient information to support a decision change.

Eligibility notification with test scores will be emailed in winter. Appeals deadlines are included in this notification.

We recommend that you enroll as if your appeal will be successful, ranking your choices in the desired order.If your appeal is not successful, those choices for which your child is not eligible will be dropped automatically by the Admissions office. See the Admissions website for Enrollment forms.

Appeals decisions are final; there are no appeals of appeals.

Private assessments are not accepted as the basis of initial eligibility; all students MUST participate in the district testing cycle.

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