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    Advanced Learning Programs and Services

    Coursework Scope and Sequence 2020-2021

    In February 2020, families received an email regarding middle school course offerings for the 2020-21 school year. This information clarifies course options for families whose students attend Highly Capable (HC) Pathway Schools in response to some questions from the community.

    The class scope and sequences for elementary, middle, and high school HC Pathway Schools are listed below and apply only to the upcoming 2020-21 school year. Course offerings for 2021-22 have not yet been decided. Those conversations will be had within a stakeholder group that will be convened in the fall and winter of the 2020-21 school year. All decisions regarding course offerings for 2021-22 will be made prior to Open Enrollment.

    2020 – 21: Highly Capable (HC) Cohort Pathway Elementary Schools

    The four Highly Capable (HC) Cohort Pathway Schools are Cascadia, Decatur, Fairmount Park, and Thurgood Marshall. The HC Pathway schools offer:

    • One year accelerated English Language Arts
    • Two years accelerated Math
    • Grade level content with differentiated student learning Science and Social Studies

    2020 – 21: Highly Capable Pathway Middle Schools

    Highly Capable (HC) Pathway Middle Schools: Hamilton Middle School, Jane Addams Middle School, Madison Middle School, Robert Eagle Staff Middle School, and Washington Middle School (note that sixth grade students at Washington Middle School will learn in integrated classroom environments across all content areas in conjunction with theSTEMbyTAF model in 2020-21).

    Courses listed in italics are available for high school credit.

    English Language Arts

    • 6th Grade (2020-2021)
      • HCC Language Arts 6A &6B
    • 7th Grade (2020-2021)
      • HCC Language Arts 7A &7B
    • 8th Grade (2020-2021)
      • HCC Language Arts 8A &8B

    Social Studies

    • 6th Grade (2020-2021)
      • HCC World History 6
    • 7th Grade (2020-2021)
      • HCC World History 7; HCC WA State History
    • 8th Grade (2020-2021)
      • HCC US History 8
    • Integrating Ethnic Studies & Since Time Immemorial (STI) Curriculum is required in ALL social studies courses in middle school. NOTE: Some HC Pathway middle schools may integrate social studies courses.

    Math

    • 6th Grade (2020-2021)
      • One of the following: Math 6A & 6B, Math 7A & 7B, Math 8A & 8B
    • 7th Grade (2020-2021)
      • One of the following: Math 7A & 7B, Math 8A & 8B, Algebra 1A & 1B
    • 8th Grade (2020-2021)
      • One of the following: Math 8A & 8B, Algebra 1A & 1B, Geometry*, Algebra 2**
    • Please NOTE that students are enrolled in the next math course in the district’s established course sequence.

    * This course offering is contingent upon student enrollment

    **Only offered at some HC Pathway middle schools (Algebra 2 will sunset at the end of 2021-2022)

    Science

    • 6th Grade (2020-2021)
      • HCC Science 6A & 6B* 
    • 7th Grade (2020-2021)
      • Chemistry/Physics A
    • 8th Grade (2020-2021)
      • Biology
    • *Please NOTE that 6th graders at Washington Middle School will learn in integrated classroom environments across all content areas in conjunction with the STEMbyTAF model in 2020-21.

    World Language

    • 6th Grade (2020-2021)
      • No language offered 
    • 7th Grade (2020-2021)
      • One of the following: World Language 1A – both semesters*, World Language 1A & 1B 
    • 8th Grade (2020-2021)
      • One of the following: World Language 1B – both semesters*, World Language 1A & 1B, World Language 2A & 2B 

    NOTE: Language course offerings (Chinese, French, Spanish, Japanese) are dependent upon enrollment and staffing at each school. 
    *These single semester course offerings taught over two semesters will sunset at the end of 2020-2021 school year. Beginning 2021-2022, semester course offerings must be taught within one semester.

    NOTE: All HC Pathway Schools teach the adopted curriculum. Teachers engage and enrich grade level curriculum with additional material that is unique to each school and/ or teacher. For additional details contact your school counselor and/or your student's teacher.

    2020 – 21: Highly Capable Pathway High Schools

    Highly Capable services are offered differently at the high school level. While students identified in elementary or middle school as eligible to receive Highly Capable Services may choose to pursue most of their coursework as a cohort, students identified as HC-eligible in high school should not expect to continue with their cohorts. The K-8 Cohort model is not continued at the high school level, but all students can access advanced level coursework regardless of eligibility for Highly Capable (HC) services.

    Students DO NOT need to obtain HC or AL eligibility to access Honors (H), Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB) or dual credit courses in high school (except for students wishing to apply for early entrance to the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program at Ingraham HS). All Honors, AP, IB and dual credit courses are open to all students regardless of HC or AL eligibility.

    There are three HC pathway high schools: a North pathway at Lincoln High School, a Central/Southeast pathway at Garfield High School and a Southwest pathway at West Seattle High School. The International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program at Ingraham High School remains as an optional pathway. However, eleven of our comprehensive high schools offer a wide range of advanced courses.

    To learn more about all the High School Advanced Placement Courses at Seattle Public Schools, please visit our AP Courses webpage.

    To learn more about other high school dual credit course options, please visit the College and Career Readiness page.

    Highly Capable Services

    Per the Washington Administration Code (WAC), provision of accelerated or enhanced instruction is considered basic education for a student identified as Highly Capable (HC).

    Services for students with HC eligibility are provided in neighborhood schools as well as in regional Highly Capable Cohort (HC Pathway) Schools.

    What is Basic Education? A basic education is an evolving program of instruction that is intended to provide students with the opportunity to become responsible and respectful global citizens, to contribute to their economic well-being and that of their families and communities, to explore and understand different perspectives, and to enjoy productive and satisfying lives.

    RCW 28A.150.210: Basic education—Goals of school districts.

    What is an HC Pathway?

    As students enter the accelerated learning environment provided in an HC Cohort School, a pathway to middle school and high school is offered to ensure a continuation of appropriate instruction. Read more about Highly Capable Cohort Pathways.

    Service Option 1: HC Services in Neighborhood Schools

    For the 2019-20 school year, over 1,100 students eligible for Highly Capable services are served in their neighborhood elementary, middle and K-8 schools. For students who elect to remain in their neighborhood school, services are provided within the designed programming provided at the school.  A variety of evidence-based practices occur at each school, are based in student data, and are monitored by the teachers and leadership at the school through professional learning communities, data teams, and Multi-tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) Leadership Teams. A variety of instructional practices occur within classrooms to meet the varied needs of our students. For delivery of advanced content to students demonstrating they are ready for advanced learning include but are not limited to modification of outcomes, adjusted pacing, problem-based learning, project learning, and flexible/fluid grouping of students for one or more subjects, and acceleration. Your child’s school can provide information about the current plan for addressing the needs of students eligible for Highly Capable Services.

    Service Option 2: Highly Capable Services in the HC Pathway School

    The Highly Capable Pathway School known also as the Highly Capable Cohort (HCC) offers a model of advanced instruction in both reading/ELA and Mathematics and is most beneficial for students who are currently performing significantly above standard in both academic areas. Advancement of two years in mathematics and up to two years in reading/ELA for some students is a researched-based model and can be very effective for students who benefit from acceleration.

    As parents and guardians make decisions regarding remaining in a neighborhood school or transferring to the HC Pathway School, we encourage you to consider how well your child will benefit from participation in the accelerated learning environment including:

    • Some students flourish in the environment; others may feel overwhelmed with the learning environment, pacing and/or requirements. How does your child respond to significant challenge? Is he/she able to respond positively to rigorous acceleration? Could perfectionist tendencies be a possible barrier to engaging in significantly accelerated content and learning expectations?
    • How comfortable is your child working independently in a whole class learning environment monitored only by the classroom teacher? Is your child able to work with a strong level of independence?
    • Instruction is accelerated up to 2 years in both mathematics and reading/ELA. Is your child ready for such an acceleration, and has accelerated teaching and learning been recommended for your child? Does your child demonstrate the basic and foundational skills needed to jump ahead in both content areas?
    • Is your child currently experiencing a sense of belonging in his/her neighborhood school? Does he/she have groups, outside activities, or enjoy the social, emotional and other activities provided by your current school?
    • Have you explored the academic and instructional options provided at your current school to determine how the school may adjust practice to best respond to the social, emotional, behavior needs as well as academic needs of your child?
    • If concerns with your school are present, have you shared these concerns and worked with the school to address the needs of your child?

    Choosing to transfer to an HC Pathway School:

    • Students eligible, but not enrolled as HC Pathway, are not automatically assigned to their HC Pathway school; they must apply during Open Enrollment through the School Choice period, which continues through May 31.
    • If the application is received during Open Enrollment through May 31, students will be assigned to their HC Pathway school for the upcoming school year.
    • Assignment to the non-pathway school depends on space available; tiebreakers apply during Open Enrollment.
    • If your child is not currently enrolled in Seattle Public Schools, you must submit a complete Seattle Schools enrollment registration first.
    • Choice applications that are received after Open Enrollment are late and do not receive tiebreaker priorities.
    • The results of Open Enrollment will be available online in April. Students who receive a choice assignment will be notified by mail at the end of April.

    Read more about School Choice.

    Open Enrollment Information

    • The Open Enrollment window happens annually—typically in February. This is the best time to apply for the school you desire for next fall. If you have not yet received an Advanced Learning eligibility decision, or if you are appealing that decision, you should still apply for the school and program you hope to attend.
    • Choice assignments to your designated Highly Capable pathway are guaranteed through May 31.
    • Rising 8th grade students who are not in an existing designated middle school HC Pathway do not have a guaranteed HC pathway, and will be assigned to their neighborhood school if no action is taken during Open Enrollment.
    • Choice applications that are received after Open Enrollment are late, do not receive tiebreaker priorities, and are much less likely to result in your student being assigned to the school and program you desire.
    • The results of Open Enrollment will be available online in April. Students who receive a choice assignment will be notified directly by mail with a new assignment letter.

    Note to families new to Seattle Public Schools: Students new to the district who enroll after the testing deadline are eligible to be evaluated for Advanced Learning participation.

    For students who have already been participating in a public school gifted program in another district, please submit the following documents to the Advanced Learning office at advlearn@seattleschools.org for evaluation:

    • A description of the program
    • The eligibility criteria used
    • Recent achievement scores in math and reading

    Eligibility is determined by the Advanced Learning department and applies to all grades. Eligible students will be placed as soon as possible during the current school year.

    For students who have not previously participated in a gifted program, parents may refer their child for a testing opportunity in August. Students who are found to be eligible may begin services in September.

    Read more about enrolling your student in Seattle Public Schools.

    Advanced Learners

    Advanced Learner (AL) is an eligibility category granted during the eligibility decision process. A Seattle Public Schools student who is granted AL status retains that status for their entire tenure as a student in the district, unless the student retests and is found Highly Capable (HC) or they leave the district for more than one year. Students designated as AL are served in their neighborhood schools. 

    All Seattle Public Schools work to meet the needs of individual students, including the needs of our students benefiting from instruction at an advanced level. You may explore and learn about your school’s plan for delivering instruction for advanced learning by reviewing the school Continuous School Improvement Plan (CSIP).

    No additional enrollment steps are needed to receive services at your neighborhood school. Schools will be notified of eligibility decisions as soon as possible but may not be formally notified until decision-making concludes in February.

    Advanced Learners: 5th grade students enrolled as Advanced Learners will be assigned to their attendance area middle school for 6th grade; no application is required. Any student may apply for another attendance area school or K-8 school during Open Enrollment; assignment is based on space available and tiebreakers.

    Open Enrollment Information

    • The Open Enrollment window happens annually—typically in February. If you have not yet received an Advanced Learning eligibility decision, or if you are appealing that decision, you should still apply for the school and program you hope to attend.
    • The results of Open Enrollment will be available online in April. Students who receive a choice assignment will be notified directly by mail with a new assignment letter.

    Read more about Open Enrollment.

    Note to families new to Seattle Public Schools: If your child is not currently enrolled in Seattle Public Schools, you must submit a complete enrollment registration first. 

    Read more about enrolling your student in Seattle Public Schools.