Seattle Public Schools

Highly Capable/Racial Equity Services Advisory

Advisory Description and Charge

Highly Capable/Racial Equity Services Advisory 2023-2026

Utilizing the recommendations of the Advanced Learning Task Force (ALTF), the HC/RESA will convene to advise the district as the AL department and a diverse Practitioners Work Group implements and improves department practices for advanced learning identification and services, aligned with the SPS Strategic Plan and the Advanced Learning Vision, Mission, and Commitments.

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 in February, 2020.  This committee advised the district as they began the design and implementation of equitable access to advanced learning.  The HC/RESA has come to the end of the 3-year commitment and will transition with new membership, beginning in the 2023-24 school year. 

The committee is tasked with advising the Advanced Learning Department as they continue the implementation and continuous improvement of new systems, processes and supports to align with the SPS strategic plan and the Advanced Learning Vision, Mission, and Commitments. The HC/RESA is committed to advising the department as they transform 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.

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

  • Embrace the role of advisors to the district as they implement and continuously improve the systems, structures and resources designed to meet the needs of students with advanced learning needs;
  • Understand the work of the AL 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 AL department and their Practitioners Work Groups as they implement and continuously improve identification and services aligned with the ALTF commitments and recommendations;
  • Advise the AL department regarding next steps of implementation and continuous improvement;
  • Monitor progress and outcomes of recommendations implemented and,
  • Serve as a two-way conduit of information with 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 as the implementation phase continues in the HC Neighborhood School model and recognize disproportionality in education and in all aspects of its administration,
  3. Collaborate with the AL 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.

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 of the Highly Capable/Racial Equity Services Advisory (HC/RESA) is to include input from individuals who represent SPS’ diversity. This group will also provide valuable insight and perspective regarding services, identification, and eligibility practices for SPS students receiving advanced learning services.

The  committee members will bring an open mind and a passion for ensuring educational and racial equity for all students. They will also have a willingness to engage in inquiry, meaningful dialogue, and collaboration throughout the advisory process.

The Advisory will include up to 25 members appointed by the Superintendent or designee including the following:

  • One (1) current SPS high school student.
  • Fourteen (14) Parent/family members whose student(s) currently attend SPS. (Preference shall be given to individuals who reside within the district.)
    • Four (4) from Southeast Region,
    • Four (4) from Southwest Region,
    • Two (2) from Northeast Region
    • Two (2) from Northwest Region
    • Two (2) from Central Region
  • Two (2) Community Partners
  • Two (2) Central Office Support Leaders representing:
    • Department of Racial Equity Advancement (DREA),
    • Family Partnerships Department, and/or
    • Schools & Continuous Improvement
  • Five (5) Seattle Education Association (SEA)/Principals Association of Seattle Schools (PASS) representatives, one from each region.

Qualification and Selection Criteria: HC/RESA members will be committed to supporting the implementation and continuous improvement of the Highly Capable Neighborhood School model. They will also ensure to center the voices of our families furthest from educational justice.

Staff Representatives: Staff representatives may include, but are 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.

Applications and nominations are due by Friday, July 28, 2023, 5 p.m.

Applications and nominations will be 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 Services
    • Executive Director of Schools
    • Program Specialist
    • Representative from Department of Racial Equity Advancement (DREA)
    • Representative from Strategy and Partnership division

Review committee will give recommended appointees and alternates to Superintendent Jones by Tuesday, August 15, 2023.

  • Invited appointees will be notified by email by the end of August, 2023. Invited appointees will accept or decline a seat on the HC Advisory by Friday, September 15, 2023.
  • Remaining seats will be filled by alternates.
  • Membership will 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/RESA. 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.

The 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 one calendar year (September to September) with an option to reapply each term. A schedule of staggered change in membership will be developed to support the on-going work of this committee.

Responsibilities of HC/RESA members:

  • Attend all scheduled meetings
  • Adhere to the agreed upon norms
  • Prepare for meetings by reviewing materials prior to each meeting
  • Contribute to the group’s work
  • Communicate the work of the advisory to families in your region