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    Partnerships Support Access to Advanced Learning
    Posted on 05/03/2019
    Four Elementary School students posed in a classroom

    Increasing Access for Students at West Seattle Elementary and Olympic Hills

    For the 2019-2020 school year, teachers at West Seattle Elementary and Olympic Hills are working with Student Supports (the ELL Department and Advanced Learning) to increase Advanced Learning referral accessibility for families.

    Ritchie Garcia, teacher and interventionist at West Seattle, has been investigating advanced learning practices all over the district. His enthusiasm for challenge and engagement is contagious. You can see his commitment for serving all students wherever they are at in their academic journey.

    “Historically, our school has been one of the lower performing school in Seattle. As the data has started to change, we’ve noticed that our students are performing above standard,” Mr. Garcia says. “(This achievement) is one of the things breaking the barriers in perception of what our student population is capable of—many of our students now fall at, and above, standard.”

    Katy Pence, math interventionist at Olympic Hills, is passionate about math and about building community. In the past, she, and other staff at Olympic Hills, have helped families maneuver the Source for referral to Advanced Learning testing. We are working with Katy to streamline the process; to get information directly from central office to Olympic Hills; and to provide translated paper documents to families.

    Ritchie Garcia comments, “My principal (Principal Pamela McCowan-Conyers) always says that when we talk about racial equity it should go far beyond closing the achievement gap, we should have the perspective of every student as an advanced learner. We don’t look at our students from a deficit approach, we see them as talented as any demographic of students.”

    Advanced Learning is excited to work in partnership with the ELL Department and with West Seattle and Olympic Hills staff, families, and students. Thank you, Mr. Garcia and Ms. Pence for your commitment to students!

    If you are a family who needs support navigating our system, or you are a school interested in joining Olympic Hills and WSE to work directly with Student Supports, please contact Advanced Learning at 206-252-0130.