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Highly Capable and Racial Equity Services Advisory

ALTF 2018-19

Advanced Learning Task Force (ALTF)

Final Report and Recommendations

The primary responsibility of the ALTF was to provide Seattle Public Schools with parental and community perspectives on advanced learning programs and highly capable services.

During their 18-month term, the ALTF embarked on a journey that would include a re-examination and re-envisioning of how Seattle Public Schools serves students who bring the aptitude, potential, and ability for above and well above performance against state standards. This work was anchored in, and built upon, our commitments as set forth in state law and Board policy.

Additionally, our Strategic Plan: Seattle Excellence, provided key priorities to which the work of the task force and subsequent outcomes and recommendations would need to align.

Read the ALTF Final Report 2018-2019

Task Force Background

The superintendent of Seattle Public Schools established the Advanced Learning Task Force (ALTF) in September 2018 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 task force’s work was to 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 was 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 carried 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 was to be representative of our Seattle Public Schools, students and families. The task force was 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


Email Kari Hanson, Director of Student Support Services


Orientation: Thurs, June 28, 2018

Fri, Aug 10, 2018
Sat, Jul 20, 2019
Tues, Aug 20, 2019

Regular Meetings:

ALTF Meeting materials and documents

Tues, Sept 18, 2018
Tues, Oct 16, 2018
Tues, Nov 20, 2018
Tues, Dec 18, 2018
Tues, Jan 22, 2019
Tues, Feb 26, 2019
Tues, Mar 5, 2019
Tues, Mar 19, 2019
Tues, April 16, 2019
Tues, May 7, 2019
Tues, May 21, 2019
Tues, June 11, 2019
Tues, July 9, 2019
Tues, Aug 13, 2019
Tues, Sep 17, 2019
Tues, Oct 22, 2019
Tues, Nov 19, 2019
Tues, Dec 3, 2019
Tues, Dec 10, 2019

Please check our meeting materials webpage for additional documents.