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/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.

This year we have made some exciting changes to the Advanced Learning Referral and Eligibility Testing Process:
  • The referral window has been expanded from May 15, 2017 – Sept. 22, 2017 (please see Summer Schedule Announcement for planned system outages and their impacts on Advanced Learning Online Referrals)
  • Parents will be able to schedule their child’s testing appointment online
  • Current teachers will be able to recommend students for referral

Summer Testing for families moving or relocating to Seattle

(Eligibility is for school year 2017-2018)
Summer Testing Referral forms are now available.
Please print out
the packet and return by August 11, 2017.
Please note: Persons with disabilities who need assistance completing this form should contact Stephen Martin at or call 206.252-0130


2017 - 2018 Key Dates

The following are the Key Dates for the 2017 – 2018 Advanced Learning Eligibility Referral and Decision Process for students in kindergarten through 8th grade.

Student Referral Acceptance Period
(Eligibility is for the 2018-2019 school year)

Seattle Public School Students: May 15, 2017 – Sept. 22, 2017
Please see the Summer Schedule Announcement for planned system outages and their impact on Advanced Learning Online Referrals in July and August.

Non-Seattle Public School Students: May 15, 2017 – Sept. 15, 2017
Non-SPS students must have initial referral and fees submitted by September 15

Student Screening and Testing Period
September 9, 2017 – Dec. 9, 2017 (Last testing date 2017)

2018-2019 Eligibility Decision Notification Date
January 31, 2018
Appeals must be made within 3 weeks of receipt of Eligibility Notification.

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 Learners/Spectrum

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, Robert Eaglestaff 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 in 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:

News & Announcements

  • 05/30/2017

    Advanced Learning's Online Referral Summer Schedule

    Due to planned End of School maintenance of the district student data, the Seattle Public Schools Parent and Student Portal, the Source, will be down for a period of time over the summer months. The following is a schedule for the outage -and the impacts that this will have on the Online Referral process for enrolled SPS students, non-SPS students, and pre-registered SPS students for the 2017-2018 school year.
  • 05/15/2017

    Referral Form on the Source Access Restored

    Seattle Public Schools Department of Technology has restored access to the Advanced Learning Parent Referral Form on the Source. If you are still having access issues please contact
  • 05/12/2017

    Referrals Begin May 15th

    Advanced Learning referrals for the 2018-19 school year of students currently in kindergarten through 7 grade will be accepted online beginning Monday, May 15, 2017
  • 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.


SPS Policy No.2190

SPS Superintendent Procedure 2190SP

SPS Superintendent Procedure 3130SP

WAC Governing Highly Capable

RCW Governing Highly Capable


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