Highly Capable Cohort (HCC) Eligibility and Assignments

Highly Capable Cohort Eligibility and Assignments

Please review the Superintendent's Procedures for Student Assignment, the Student Assignment Transition Plan for 2016-17, and Superintendent Procedure 2190 for more information. These three documents serve as the integrated guide for assignment of Highly Capable Cohort students in Seattle Public Schools.

From Superintendent's Procedures for Student Assignment 3130 SP approved by the Board, December, 2015:

Students must be determined by the Advanced Learning Department to be Highly Capable. Once qualified, an HC-eligible student must apply (opt in) for the Highly Capable Cohort (HCC) program; students are not initially automatically assigned.

Students may opt into HCC in grades 1-8. For students who are eligible for HC in grades K-8, their designated school/program is the General Education program at their attendance area school; their alternate designated school/program is the HCC program at their HCC pathway school.

Once assigned to the HCC program, students are continued in their HCC pathway schools through 12th grade. For HC eligible students in grades 9-12, their designated school/program is the General Education program at their attendance area school.

HC students may not opt-in to Garfield HC after 8th grade, so there is no alternate designated school for HC-eligible students in high school. However, Advanced Learning does test 8th graders for HC if they want to apply for HC at Ingraham only; they will not be eligible for Garfield HC. 

Note: Students assigned to HCC in 8th grade are automatically continued into Garfield HCC for 9th grade (and then subsequently grades 10-12) as a choice assignment, but it is not their alternate designated school.

Students entering HC in grades 1-8 who apply during the period from Open Enrollment through May 31 will be guaranteed assignment to their HCC pathway school for next year, based on where they live.

  • Students who live in the Eckstein, Hamilton, Jane Addams, Whitman, or McClure service areas will be assigned to Cascadia Elementary, Hamilton, and Garfield pathway.
  • Students who live in the Washington, Mercer, Aki Kurose, Madison, or Denny service areas will be assigned to the Thurgood Marshall, Washington, and Garfield pathway.

Students entering grades 1-8 who become eligible after May 31 (through late testing or other evaluation) will also be guaranteed assignment to their HCC pathway school for the school year for which they are eligible at that time, even after school has started if the request is to the designated HCC pathway school.

: Advanced Learning must alert Admissions when a student has become newly eligible.

HC-eligible students may apply for HCC, Advanced Learners/Spectrum, or any other program; all standard assignment rules and timelines apply. HC-eligible students may apply for an HCC site that is not in their HCC pathway, and assignment will be made based on available choice seats. If assigned, the assignment type will be “choice.”

Moves (HCC)

Students assigned to the HCC program are subject to standard move rules. For students with a designated assignment to HCC, they must change schools next year only if they move outside of the HCC pathway area. In that case, they may be reassigned to either their designated school (General Education program) or their new alternate designated school (HCC program at their HCC pathway school). Students who are reassigned may apply to their previous school, according to standard timelines, but assignment will be based on available choice seats and standard transportation rules apply.

Opting Out of HCC

A student assigned to HCC (an ‘HCC student’) may opt out of the HCC program at any time. If an HCC student opts out, they remain at their current school but are reassigned to the General Education or the Advanced Learners/Spectrum program if it is available in the current school. These reassignments are not subject to available seats for new choice assignments, and are not subject to standard reassignment deadline of May 31.

If an HCC student with a designated assignment opts out, and as a result their designated school is not the current assignment, their assignment type is changed to "choice." If an HCC student who opts out wants to change schools for this year, they are subject to standard reassignment rules and timelines. A student with a choice assignment type who does not live in the school’s service area or linked service area (i.e. they are not eligible for transportation) may get a new assignment to the General Education program at their designated school at any time, for this year or next year, even if they have not moved.

Students who opt out of HCC may also choose available seats according to standard reassignment rules and timelines (e.g. only through May 31 for this year assignments), or may apply during Open Enrollment for next year. Any new this year assignments are subject to standard continuation rules for next year. If an HCC student wants to get reassigned to their designated school for next year, they are subject to standard rules for changing to a designated school (see Changing School Assignments, page 22). The eligibility for HC is not changed at the time the student opts out of the HCC Program, but is continuing through graduation.

Important Additional Resources for the Advanced Learning Eligibility Decision Process:

Enrollment Information
Submitting a Referral
Appeals Process
Contact Advanced Learning
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