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Advanced Learning

Identification and Eligibility

Advanced Learning Identification Process Begins Fall 2022

We are committed to transforming SPS Advanced Learning services, so every student, particularly Black, Brown, and Native American students, has access to opportunities that help them thrive. This includes changing how we decide who is eligible for Advanced Learning services and when we are sharing eligibility information with families.

Eligibility decisions will be completed for students in grades 1 8 in late February/early March for Kindergarten students in late March/early April 2023

Advanced Learning Referrals are Closed

The Advanced Learning referral window was November 1-30, 2022.


Universal Screening

SPS will continue to honor and support the brilliance of every student in the 2022-23 school year. One-way SPS does this is by ensuring that students have access to Advanced Learning services. To do this, the Advanced Learning Department refers all students to participate in their Universal Screening to determine potential eligibility for services.  

Although the Advanced Learning department will conduct the Universal Screening to identify students who should be assessed to determine eligibility for Advanced Learning or Highly Capable services, by law WAC-392-170-045 referrals are also accepted from teachers, other staff, parents/guardians, students, and members of the community.

Advanced Learning services provide support for student achievement and growth. This includes more assignments and activities in classes that are at a higher level.  

The Universal Screening will occur in December 2022 and February 2023. The following data will be used: 

  • Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) reading and/or math at the 85-99 percentile; and/or  
  • DIBELS to illustrate reading at 75-99 percentile: and/or  
  • Demonstrated Performance Tool (DPT) completed by teaching staff showing a student’s ability to work above grade level in reading and/or math 
  • Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) growth – reading and/or math at the 85-99 percentile; and/or 
  • DIBELS – reading at the 75-99 percentile; and/or
  • Demonstrated Performance Tool (DPT) completed by teaching staff showing ability to work above grade level and reading and/or math 
  • Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) growth – reading and/or math at the 85-99 percentile; and/or 
  • Historical DIBELS to illustrate reading at 75-99 percentile: and/or  
  • Demonstrated Performance Tool (DPT) completed by teaching staff showing ability to work above grade level and reading and/or math 
  • 2022 spring Smarter Balance Assessments (SBA) – English and/or math at the 85-99 percentile; and/or 
  • Demonstrated Performance Tool (DPT) completed by teaching staff showing ability to work above grade level and reading and/or math 
  • 2022 spring Smarter Balance Assessments (SBA)– English and/or math at the 85-99 percentile; and/or 
  • Demonstrated Performance Tool (DPT) completed by teaching staff showing ability to work above grade level and reading and/or math 

Students in eighth grade are only considered for Highly Capable services. Advanced Learning is not offered in high school.

  • 2022 spring Smarter Balance Assessments (SBA)– English and/or math at the 85-99 percentile; and/or 
  • Demonstrated Performance Tool (DPT) completed by teaching staff showing ability to work above grade level and reading and/or math 

Advanced Learning also considers:  

  • Ability to gain language proficiency faster than most students (English Language Learner students). 
  • Academic assessment data evaluated during the special education process resulting in eligibility for Special Education services. 

*Subjective data (Qualitative data is information that cannot be counted, measured, or easily expressed using numbers.)  

**Objective data (Quantitative data is information that can be measured and observed.) 

If Universal Screening results indicate your student has the potential to be eligible for Advanced Learning or Highly Capable services, you will receive an informational letter and a parent/guardian permission to assess form. You will need to sign and return the completed form to the Advanced Learning Department.

Important Dates

Important Dates 2022-23

October 2022

  • Notification to K-8 families about Eligibility and Identification Process 

October-November 2022

  • Demonstrated Performance Tool completed by Teaching Staff for 1-8 grade students
  • Referral window for K-8 students (Nov 1-30) 

December 2022

  • Universal Screening for 1-8 

January 2023

  • Permission from parents/guardians based on Universal Screening Results only (1-8 grade level students)  
  • Demonstrated Performance Tool completed by Teaching Staff for kindergarten students 

February and March 2023

  • New eligibility decisions for 1-8 grade and notification to parents/guardians 
  • Universal Screening for kindergarten students 

March 2023

  • Appeals for 1-8 students only 

March and April 2023

  • New eligibility decisions for kindergarten students and notification to parent/guardians 
  • Appeals for K-8 families  
  • Permission from parents/guardians based on Universal Screening Results only (kindergarten students) 

April 2023

  • Appeals for kindergarten only 

April – June 2023

  • Summer Eligibility process  

Advanced Learning Eligibility Decisions

  • Students are working well above the grade level curriculum.
  • Their assessment scores are in the range of 95-99 percentile in both Reading and Math.
  • In addition their Demonstrated Performance scores are at Level 4 (above Grade Level).
  • Students in need of AL services also perform above grade level curriculum.
  • Their assessment scores are in the range of 88-94 percentile in Reading and/or Math.
  • In addition their Demonstrated Performance scores are at Level 4 (above Grade Level).
  • These students show a need for extended learning opportunities in their neighborhood or option schools.

Students who were previously identified as Advanced Learners and in this eligibility process continue as Advanced Learners.

Students either did not have enough data for an eligibility decision or their data did not show a need for Advanced Learning services at this time.


How are eligibility decisions made for K-8 students?

  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. 
  1. There are two cycles of revision of data/information from students, during Universal Screening and standard identification and eligibility process. 
  1. After a thorough review, the committee will decide which students are eligible for Advanced Learning or Highly Capable services. 
  1. Eligibility decisions will be emailed (or mailed to those without email) to families. 
  1. Results can be only be appealed during the appeal period in April 2023. More information will be available on the  appeals webpage by April 2023.

How are eligibility decisions made for grades 9-12?

High School students are referred using a portfolio process. Details coming soon.

Please note: Students DO NOT need to obtain a Highly Capable eligibility to access Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), or dual credit courses in high school (except for students wishing to apply for early entrance to the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program at Ingraham HS). All AP, IB, and dual credit courses are open to all students regardless of HC or AL eligibility.

HC Pathway High Schools

  • Garfield High School
  • Lincoln High School
  • West Seattle High School

International Baccalaureate (IB)

The IB Diploma Program at Ingraham High School remains as an optional pathway. Eleven of our comprehensive high schools offer a wide range of advanced courses.

Learn more about all the High School Advanced Placement Courses  

Learn more about other high school dual credit course options