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Highly Capable and Racial Equity Services Advisory

Advisory Description and Charge

Highly Capable and Racial Equity Services Advisory (HC/RESA) Description and Charge


Seattle Public Schools (SPS) created the Superintendent’s Highly Capable & Racial Equity Services Advisory (HC/RESA) to support the development and implementation of procedures and practices for advanced learning. This committee will advise the district as they design and implement equitable access to advanced learning. The committee is tasked with addressing the segregated system of programs and services currently in place and with advising the Advanced Learning Department in the development and implementation of new systems, processes and supports to align with the SPS 2019-2024 strategic plan and the Advanced Learning Vision, Mission, and Commitments. The HC/RESA is committed to transforming current practices at a systemic level to eliminate disproportionality in advanced learning. These efforts require a long-term commitment from our advisors which includes both making recommendations and staying engaged as our work progresses over time.

Scope of Work

Utilizing the recommendations of the Advanced Learning Task Force (ALTF), the HC/RES Advisory will convene to advise the district as the Advanced Learning Department and a diverse Practitioners Work Group designs and implements a model (or models) for advanced learning identification and services that are aligned with the SPS Strategic Plan and the Advanced Learning Vision, Mission, and Commitments.

The purpose of the Highly Capable & Racial Equity Services Advisory (HC/RESA) is to:

  • Embrace the role of advisors to the district as they develop and implement the systems, structures and resources designed to meet the needs of students with advanced learning needs;
  • Understand the work of the Advanced Learning Department and Central Office Leaders as they present revisions to District policies to the School Board and procedures related to advanced learning equity practices and systems to the Superintendent;
  • Understand the recommendations of the Advanced Learning Department and their Practitioners Work Group as they develop a model/models for identification and services aligned with the ALTF commitments and recommendations;
  • Advise the Advanced Learning Department regarding next steps of development and implementation;
  • Monitor progress and outcomes of recommendations implemented and,
  • Serve as a two-way conduit of information to SPS families and community members.

The Highly Capable & Racial Equity Services Advisory (HC/RESA) will:

  1. Represent diverse voices and perspectives across the education system and community on advanced learning needs,
  2. Address authentic concerns with the current system in advanced learning and recognized disproportionality in education and in all aspects of its administration,
  3. Collaborate with the Advanced Learning Practitioners Work Group and Advanced Learning Department staff;
  4. Work with the district to ensure effective implementation of the Ensuring Educational and Racial Equity Policy as well as committee recommendations, as appropriate, and
  5. Participate in the Advanced Learning Communication plan with families and community members.

Highly Capable & Racial Equity Advisory Committee will not serve for the purpose of decision-making. Decisions regarding policy and procedures will remain with the Superintendent and School Board.

Policy Considerations and Guidance

Guiding documents include:


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

The goal is for the HC/RE Services Advisory to include parent/guardian, family, community members, and staff who represent the diversity of SPS and who can provide valuable insight and perspective regarding services, testing and eligibility practices for advanced learners in SPS.

The family and community members on the committee should bring an open mind, a passion for ensuring educational and racial equity for all students, and a willingness to engage in inquiry, meaningful dialogue, and collaboration throughout the advisory process. We are especially interested in people who have not had a chance to participate in past task force or committees sponsored by SPS.

Number :

The Advisory will include up to 26 members appointed by the Superintendent or designee. The balance of members includes the following:

Five (5) school-based teams that include one (1) teacher, one (1) school leader, and one (1) parent

  • Two (2) Elementary neighborhood schools
  • One (1) Elementary Highly Capable (HC) cohort school
  • One (1) Non-Pathway Middle School
  • One (1) Non-Pathway High School

Three (3) Community Partners

Three (3) Central Office Support Leaders representing:

  • Department of Racial Equity Advancement (DREA)
  • Family Partnerships Department
  • Special Education/ELL Departments
  • Schools & Continuous Improvement

Three (3) Seattle Education Association (SEA)/Principals? Association of Seattle Schools (PASS) representatives

  • One (1) SEA Rep
  • One (1) PASS Rep
  • One (1) Rep from SEA Center for Racial Equity

One (1) Researcher in Giftedness with expertise in the following areas

  • Differentiated Instruction
  • High Engagement/Enrichment Strategies

Qualification and Selection Criteria: The goal is to create a balance of demographics matching the district racial demographics of SPS students:

Parent/Family Members on School-Based Teams : Parent/family members who have a student currently attending SPS. Preference shall be given to individuals who reside within the District.

Staff Representatives : Staff representatives may include, but not be limited to certificated teachers, building administrators, Educational Staff Associates and Central Office staff/administrators.

Community Organization Representatives : Community representatives may hold positions in educational, service government or not-for-profit organizations/associations with an interest in and knowledge of Advanced Learning. A representative of the organization should be nominated by the executive director or senior manager of the organization.

Selection Process

Applications and nominations were due by 12 p.m., January 8, 2020.

Applications and nominations were reviewed by the review committee.

Members of the review committee will be appointed by the Assistant Superintendent of Student Supports and is likely to include:

Parent and Community Representative(s):

  • PTSA President or designee
  • Community Based Organization Representative
  • School-based Race and Equity Team participant

Central Office Staff:

  • Assistant Superintendent of Student Support Services
  • Director of Schools
  • Program Specialist
  • Representative from DREA
  • Representative from Strategy and Partnership division

Review committee recommended appointees and alternates to Superintendent Juneau in January 2020.

Invited appointees were notified by email in January 2020 and the first meeting was scheduled for February 2020.

Subsequent meetings are scheduled every 4-6 weeks in collaboration with the HC/RES Advisory.

Invited appointees accepted or declined a seat on the HC/RES Advisory in January 2020.

Remaining seats were filled by alternates.

Membership is posted on the District website.

No one may serve on the Advisory who has a financial interest in the outcome of the recommendations made by the HC/RESA.

Manner of Notification: Notice of Nomination Process

The District shall provide public notice to individuals and organizations that may reasonably be interested in serving on the HC/RES Advisory. Notice shall include the following activities:

  • District Website
  • Direct written notice to active community organizations which may have an interest in participation
  • Direct written notice to all Parent Teacher Student Associations (PTSAs) at all school sites

Discussion of Consideration and Efforts

Members will be selected and appointed in accordance with School Board Policy 4110: Family & Community Advisory and Oversight Committees, and the accompanying Procedure 4110SP.

Duration of Task Force and Terms of Office

The Highly Capable & Racial Equity Services Advisory (HC/RESA) is established as a committee to run for three full years and may extend due to needs and progress of the work.

Initial term of office is set at two calendar years (January to January) with an option to reapply. A schedule of staggered change in membership will be developed to support the on-going work of this committee.

Responsibilities of HC/RES Advisory members:

  • Attend all scheduled meetings
  • Adhere to the agreed upon Norms
  • Assist in reviewing materials
  • Contribute to the group’s work
  • Communicate the work of the Advisory Committee to families in your region


Meetings occur on Tuesdays, every four to six weeks from 4 – 7 p.m. The first meeting will be convened, on February 4, 2020 from 4:00 – 7:00 p.m. at the John Standard Center for Educational Excellence.