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    Advanced Learning Task Force

    The superintendent of Seattle Public Schools will establish an Advanced Learning Task Force (ALTF) to review and make recommendations to the Superintendent and School Board related to the policies, procedures, and practices of advanced learning programs and highly capable services. This task force will support the district’s work on equitable access to advanced learning as directed in School Board Resolution No. 2017/18-10.

    The work ahead will prioritize our district Commitments to Ensuring Educational and Racial Equity (School Board Policy 0030, Seattle Public Schools) to equitable access and to ensuring a barrier-free environment for all students to experience high quality instruction that results in growth and achievement for the highly capable, advanced and potentially advanced learner. The significance of this work and the subsequent recommendations put forward by this Task Force will provide our Superintendent and School Board information and guidance for decisions that will impact policy and procedures governing every elementary, middle and high school across Seattle Public Schools.

    Role of the Task Force

    The role of the task force is to review state laws, district policies and commitments, examine research and current best instructional practices befitting the advanced and highly capable learners, consider new and innovative approaches to identification, testing, assessment and eligibility and make recommendations for necessary steps toward establishing highly effective practices befitting students and their families. Our goal is to rethink and re-examine our practices to ensure all students receive the high-quality instruction necessary to grow and achieve, across all of our schools. This Task Force will focus on the identification, support, services, operational systems and practices necessary to meet the academic, social, emotional and behavioral needs of highly capable and advanced learners.

    The task force will carry out four phases of work

    1. Adopting a Mission and Vision for Advanced Learning in Seattle Schools: The task force will review existing policy and laws and draft a clarifying mission and vision statement to be proposed to the school board for approval and inclusion in policy 2190. This statement will guide clarification, improvement, and future development of Advanced Learning programs and Highly Capable services and practices.
    2. Defining and/or re-developing Advanced Learning Programs and Highly Capable services: The task force will review high quality research and best practices about specific program elements and student services, which include clear expectations and guidelines, that will be provided within neighborhood schools and/or within a Highly Capable Cohort setting.
    3. Ensuring Equitable Identification and Access: The task force will review the district’s existing identification, testing, assessment and eligibility procedures, current research, and best practices and outcomes from peer districts. Policy, procedure, and practice recommendations will be developed to align district systems and ensure equitable access to high-quality instruction for advanced learners.
    4. Districtwide Implementation: Considering the outcomes from Work Areas 1-3, the task force will provide recommendations regarding implementation across the district, including specific feedback on community engagement messages and outreach methods, potential areas of risk, professional development, resource and central office support needs, and schedule milestones.

    Advanced Learning Task Force Membership

    The goal is to be selective of applicants to ensure there is a balance of perspectives and backgrounds. This task force will be representative of our Seattle Public Schools, students and families. The task force will be comprised of teachers, principals, parents/guardians, community members, and staff members from various departments at our central office.

    Family/Community Representation

    Seattle Public Schools is committed to a high-quality education for all children. We are dedicated to providing a learning environment that inspires and supports all of our students. We know that the meaningful involvement of parents and supportive community agencies is a very important part of attaining that level of excellence. Stakeholder input may be gathered prior to, during, and following decisions and activities.

    Our goal is for the task force to include parent/guardian, family, and community members who represent the diversity of Seattle Public Schools and who can provide valuable insight and perspective regarding the future of services, testing and eligibility practices for advanced learners in Seattle Public Schools.

    The family and community members on the committee should bring an open mind, a passion for student learning, and a willingness to engage in inquiry, meaningful dialogue, and collaboration throughout the task force process. We are especially interested in people who have not had a chance to participate in past task force or committees sponsored by Seattle Public Schools.

    Responsibilities of Task Force Members

    • Attend all scheduled meetings
    • Assist in reviewing materials
    • Contribute to the group’s work

    Expected Time Line for Task Force Meetings

    The work of the Task Force will begin on or before June 30, 2018.

    • The tentative target date for completion of recommendations is June 30, 2019 however time may be extended to December 2019 depending on progress toward desired outcomes.
    • Orientation Meeting is scheduled for Thursday, June 28, 2018 from 12 – 4 p.m.
    • Dates and times of future meetings will be determined at orientation. Members should anticipate meeting one or two weekdays per month, and for two full days to occur during the Summer 2018

    Questions?

    Email Kari Hanson, Director of Student Support Services
    klhanson1@seattleschools.org

    Meetings

    Orientation: Thurs., June 28

    Retreat: Fri., Aug. 10, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. (Click here for agenda)

    Please check our meeting materials webpage for additional documents.