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Advanced Learning

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How are eligibility decisions made?

  1. Objective and subjective data/information details will be shared with the Multi-Disciplinary Selection Committee (MSC), which is made up of trained educators and other professional staff such as counselor, teachers, and district leaders. 
  2. There are two cycles of revision of data/information from students, during Universal Screening and standard identification and eligibility process. 
  3. After a thorough review, the committee will decide which students are eligible for Advanced Learning or Highly Capable services. 

What is the difference between AL and HC eligibilities?

  • Highly Capable (HC) – Students must have at least two data points for Reading and two data points for Math in the range of 95 percentile or higher in order to thrive in accelerated content with the HC eligibility.   Every student currently enrolled in a HC cohort is continuing on their existing path.
  • Advanced Learner (AL) – Students must have at least two data points for Math or Reading in the range of 88 percentile in order to receive the AL eligibility. Advanced Learners in grades 1-8, who demonstrate high academic achievement, but do not meet the definition of Highly Capable are served in their neighborhood schools.

How will I know that my student is receiving Advanced Learning services?

  1. Each school will share their differentiation strategies for their school in the fall of 2022.  Services could look like flexible small groups within classrooms based on need or interest. They will not look like different classes or different curriculums. 
  2. Over the next few years, a new model of differentiated services at every school will be implemented. 
  3. The new Neighborhood School model is designed to serve the whole child. New types of instruction will be flexible enough to provide advanced lessons where appropriate and, at the same time, address that same student’s need for grade level help in other areas, if needed.
  4. Up to 10 schools will pilot the new model for grades K-2 in the 2022-23 school year. 
  5. All K-2 classrooms will implement the new model in 2023-24, while grades 3-5 pilot the new strategies. 
  6. Middle and High School classes will be provided with Professional Development in Talent Development and differentiation strategies for blended classrooms.   

What do services look like at my student’s school?

Questions about opportunities at the school level can be directed to school administrators, counselors, and teachers. Each school will share their differentiation strategies for their school in the Fall of 2022.     

What are the steps I need to take to access Advanced Learning services?

Families do not need to initiate testing or evaluation. All K-8 students are included in the eligibility decision making process. Opportunities to opt-out are provided beginning in the fall. Once eligibility decisions have been communicated, next steps will be provided in your student’s Eligibility Notification Letter.  

Is everyone eligible?

All K-8 students are evaluated for Advanced Learning eligibilities (either Highly Capable or Advanced Learner). Not all students are found eligible for these services. Opportunities to appeal are provided during each Eligibility season. 

How is my student evaluated?

Historically, the Advanced Learning department utilized outside cognitive testing. Instead of utilizing testing that we know perpetuates bias and inequity, students are evaluated through a Whole Child identification process. Standardized test scores, teacher feedback, family surveys, grades, and additional supporting documentation are all included in the multiple criteria of evidence utilized for eligibility decisions.   

How long do we have to wait for a decision?

Eligibility decisions are made on a rolling basis. The Multi-Disciplinary Selection Committee (MSC) will begin to collect data for eligibility decision purposes in the Fall, with eligibility decisions communicated to families via email on record with the district in Winter 2023.

Is there a cost affiliated with these services?

No, there is no cost affiliated with these services.  

How will this impact my student’s learning? What are the benefits to receiving AL services?

Our new model will ensure equitable access to advanced learning services for every student — in their neighborhood school. New types of instruction will be flexible enough so that teachers can provide advanced lessons where appropriate and grade-level support in other areas. The approach offers three tiers of service for students depending on individual needs, delivered in a way that honors individual cultures and backgrounds.  

How long do eligibilities last?

Advanced Learners will retain their eligibility though grade 8. Highly Capable eligibilities are retained through grade 12. Students will retain these eligibilities for one year away from the district.  Read more about identification and eligibility. Go here to read more about Summer Eligibility for families wishing to re-instate Highly Capable eligibility after one year away from the district.  


Contact Advanced Learning

Contact us

Phone: 206-252-0130
Fax: 206-252-0131

Mailing Address:
Advanced Learning
M.S. 32-936
P.O. Box 34165
Seattle, WA 98124-1165

To drop off materials in person:

Advanced Learning drop box is in lobby of the John Stanford Center.

Street Address:
2445 3rd Avenue South (corner of 3rd Ave S and S Lander St)