Advanced Learning

Highly Capable and Advanced Learning Services

Welcome to Advanced Learning

On Wednesday, May 5, 2021, the Seattle School Board approved revisions and an amendment to Policy No. 2190, Highly Capable Services. The school board’s historic approval is a bold step toward ensuring educational excellence for every student.

SPS is committed to ending systemic and institutional racism. The Advanced Learning (AL) department must eliminate racial disparities in our program which cause harm to our students. We believe each student deserves access to high quality services in their neighborhood school.


The Advanced Learning Department actively disrupts institutional racism and other systemic inequities that limit access to advanced learning opportunities. Ensures that students who show potential to benefit from enhanced and accelerated instruction within, and across disciplines are served according to their unique strengths and needs.

Significant policy changes open the door for the elimination of racial disproportionality. Design of services and processes to remove barriers to accessing advanced learning services.

About Our Services

Highly Capable (HC) Services/Opportunities for eligible students in grades K-12. Provide differentiated practices unique to each building. Read more about Seattle Public Schools Highly Capable Services.

Highly-Capable Cohort (HCC) Program for eligible students in grades 1-5. Students who are advanced well above their peers in both Reading and Math.

Advanced Learning (AL) Services, for students in grades 1-8 who demonstrate high academic achievement, but who do not meet the definition of Highly Capable, are served in their neighborhood schools. Read more about K-8 Advanced Learning Services and Opportunities.

Identification and Eligibility Process

Per the Washington Administrative Code (WAC), students are referred to participate in the eligibility evaluation process. Read the WAC 392-170-080 for Highly Capable Services. All students in grade K-8 will be referred by the district for consideration beginning in the 2021-22 school year. Students in grades 9-12 are referred using a portfolio process. Please contact for information.

Delivery of advanced learning services includes students with disabilities (twice-exceptional students) and students with exceptional abilities or potential from all social-economic, ethnic and cultural populations.

Exiting Services or Programs

Students may exit from Highly Capable Services if the services are no longer appropriate. A meeting of the parent/guardian, teacher, administrator, a representative from the Advanced Learning Office, and the student (at parent/ guardian discretion) shall precede such a service delivery change.

Announcements and Updates

Two students stand together outside wearing masks in front of a school

Advanced Learning Referral Process for 2021-22

The Advanced Learning Department, in alignment with the task force recommendations, and the department’s antiracist work, is making some changes to the referral process for the 2021-22 school year.

Read the referral process update