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ALTF 2018-19

Task Force Description and Charge

Advanced Learning Task Force Description and Charge

I. Charge

The Superintendent of Seattle Public Schools will establish an Advanced Learning Task Force (ALTF) 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.

II. Scope of Work

The Advanced Learning Task Force (ALTF or task force) provides a District-recognized forum for the parent community and agencies that support the learning needs of the Advanced Learner, including Highly Capable. The primary responsibility of the ALTF is to provide Seattle Public Schools with parental and community perspectives on Advanced Learning programs and Highly Capable services, including shared goals, mission and vision, understanding of historical and current operation, and future plans regarding programs and services, identification, testing and eligibility.

The work of the ALTF will serve to re-examine and re-envision how Seattle Public Schools serves students who bring the aptitude, potential, and ability for above and well above performance on state standards. This work will be anchored in and build on our commitments as set forth in state law and Board policy. The task force will consider and develop recommendations based on historical and current practices, student data, and will evaluate innovative and creative approaches to meet the academic, social, emotional and behavioral needs of students for the future. In addition, ALTF recommendations will inform Seattle Public Schools guiding documents, including our Formula for Success, Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) Whole Child Framework, and Student Assignment Plan.

Task force working processes are intended to be public, dynamic, incorporating expertise from task force members, anchor documents such as State Law, District policy and guidance, work product from prior advisory committees, SPS Research and Evaluation Department, and additional outreach as-needed and determined by the task force, to develop high quality and equitable recommendations. Student voice shall be incorporated into the discussion through some combination of surveys and in-person engagement with students. Additional parent, community and stakeholder group input may be gathered prior to, during, and following programmatic decisions and activities.

The task force will review and make recommendations in four (4) specific areas:

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 and accompanying Supt. Procedures. 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) Promote 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 recommendations 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, capacity needs, and schedule milestones.

Work from the Advanced Learning Task Force (ALTF) will be presented its findings, recommendations, and opinions to the Superintendent and School Board by means of communication from the Chief of Student Support Services, throughout the period of time the Task Force convenes and will publish Agendas and Minutes on the website. A final report will include a review of all projects and activities, as well as all recommendations of the task force. The Advanced Learning Task Force will not serve for the purpose of decision-making. Decisions regarding policy and procedures will remain with the superintendent and School Board.

III. Policy Considerations and Guidance

Guiding policy documents include (links):

IV. Membership

A. Number

The task force will be a minimum of 20 members appointed by the Superintendent or his / designee. One third to one-half of the members will be parents of children currently designated as Advanced Learner (AL) or Highly Capable (HC) the balance of the council will include: parents of non-identified Advanced Learners and non-identified Highly Capable children, students, staff representatives, agency personnel, civic groups, and college or university personnel who have an interest in advanced learning and highly capable services for students in Seattle Public Schools. The selection committee will work intentionally to balance this task force to ensure we have enough expertise to address the questions facing us.

B. Qualifications and Selection Criteria

The goal is to be selective of applicants to ensure there is a balance of perspectives and backgrounds. This task force will be representative of our Seattle Public Schools, students and families. The task force will be comprised of teachers, principals, parents/guardians, community members, and staff members from various departments at our central office.

Parent/Family Members

Parent/family members who have a student currently attending Seattle Public Schools.

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.

Appointments to the task force will be made so that collectively the group will represent the diverse population of Seattle Public Schools in terms of ethnicity, language, race, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, type of family (two parent, single-parent, foster care/kinship, etc.), geographic location within the city, and school level (pK-12).

C. Selection Process

1. Nominations due by Thursday, May 24 at Noon

2. Nominations reviewed by the review committee: between May 29 and 31, 2018.

3. Members of the review committee will be appointed by the Associate Superintendent of Teaching and Learning ?with intention to invite and include:

* Parent and Community Representative(s)

  • Member(s) from the current Highly Capable Advisory Team;
  • School-based Race and Equity Team participant(s);
  • Seattle Parent Teacher Student Association (SPTSA) President or designee;
  • Families of students served through Special Education or a representative of Seattle Advocacy and Advisory Committee (SEAAC)
  • Community Based Organization Representative (Rainier Scholars, UW,);
  • School Board Member

Central Office Staff:

  • Chief of Student Support Services
  • Director of Student Support Services
  • Advanced Learning Supervisor
  • Student Support Services Consulting Teacher/Program Specialist
  • Representative from the Strategy and Partnership division

4. Review committee will work in accordance with a specific rubric to recommend appointees and alternates to the Superintendent

5. Invited appointees notified by email, no later than Friday, June 1, 2018 with the first meeting scheduled to occur on Thursday, June 28, 2018.

6. Further meetings will be scheduled in collaboration with the task force members.

7. Invited appointees to accept or decline a seat on the task force by Friday, June 8, 2018.

8. Remaining seats will be filled by alternates

9. Membership will be posted on the District website

No one may serve on the task force who has a financial interest in the outcome of the recommendations made by the task force.

D. 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 Advanced Learning Task Force. Notice shall include the following activities:

1. District Website;

2. Publishing in the Principal Communicator with direction to share with BLTs and PTSAs;

3. Direct written notice to active community organizations which may have an interest in participation;

4. Direct written notice to all Parent Teacher Student Associations (PTSAs) at all school sites;

5. Known subject matter experts; and,

6. News release to news outlets, including community and ethnic newspapers

E. 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.

F. Duration of Task Force and Terms of Office

1. ALTF is established as a task force to run for one full year and may extend due to needs and progress of the work.

2. Initial term of office is set at one calendar year (June 2018 to June 2019).

V. Operations

A. Staffing

1. The Advanced Learning Task Force (ALTF) will operate fully on the work of its members and volunteers.

2. School District resources may be used for the following activities at the discretion of the Associate Superintendent of Teaching and Learning

* Scheduling meetings;

* Distributing agendas, handouts and posting on website; and,

* Preparing and distributing minutes and posting on website.

B. Orientation

An orientation session will be held to begin the work of the newly-appointed members. Implicit Bias Training (review of Video) is a requirement.

C. Responsibilities

Task Force members will be expected to attend monthly meetings (dates and times to be decided) and an initial orientation training. Missing three consecutive meetings ? automatic opt-out of committee participation.