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    What’s Next?

    Per the Washington Administration Code (WAC), provision of accelerated or enhanced instruction is considered basic education for a student identified as Highly Capable. Services for students determined as eligible for Highly Capable (HC) are provided in neighborhood schools as well as in regional Highly Capable Cohort (HC PATHWAY) Schools.

    Service Option One: HC Services in Neighborhood Schools:
    For the 2018-19 school year, over 1100 students eligible for Highly Capable services were served in their neighborhood elementary, middle and K-8 schools. For students who elect to remain in their neighborhood school, services are provided within the designed programming provided at the school.  A variety of evidence-based practices occur at each school, are based in student data, and are monitored by the teachers and leadership at the school through professional learning communities, data teams, and Multi-tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) Leadership Teams. A variety of instructional practices occur within classrooms to meet the varied needs of our students. For delivery of advanced content to students demonstrating they are ready for advanced learning include but are not limited to modification of outcomes, adjusted pacing, problem-based learning, project learning, and flexible/fluid grouping of students for one or more subjects, and acceleration. Your child’s school can provide information about the current plan for addressing the needs of students eligible for Highly Capable Services.

    Service Option Two: Highly Capable Services in the HC Pathway School:
    The Highly Capable Pathway School known also as the Highly Capable Cohort (HCC) offers a model of advanced instruction in both reading/ELA and Mathematics and is most beneficial for students who are currently performing significantly above standard in both academic areas. Advancement of two years in mathematics and up to two years in reading/ELA for some students is a researched-based model and can be very effective for students who benefit from acceleration.

    As parents and guardians make decisions regarding remaining in a neighborhood school or transferring to the HC Pathway School, we encourage you to consider how well your child will benefit from participation in the accelerated learning environment including:
    • Some students flourish in the environment; others may feel overwhelmed with the learning environment, pacing and/or requirements. How does your child respond to significant challenge? Is he/she able to respond positively to rigorous acceleration? Could perfectionist tendencies be a possible barrier to engaging in significantly accelerated content and learning expectations?
    • How comfortable is your child working independently in a whole class learning environment monitored only by the classroom teacher? Is your child able to work with a strong level of independence?
    • Instruction is accelerated up to 2 years in both mathematics and reading/ELA. Is your child ready for such an acceleration, and has accelerated teaching and learning been recommended for your child? Does your child demonstrate the basic and foundational skills needed to jump ahead in both content areas?
    • Is your child currently experiencing a sense of belonging in his/her neighborhood school? Does he/she have groups, outside activities, or enjoy the social, emotional and other activities provided by your current school?
    • Have you explored the academic and instructional options provided at your current school to determine how the school may adjust practice to best respond to the social, emotional, behavior needs as well as academic needs of your child?
    • If concerns with your school are present, have you shared these concerns and worked with the school to address the needs of your child?

    Choosing to transfer to an HC Pathway School:
    • Students eligible, but not enrolled as HC Pathway, are not automatically assigned to their HC Pathway school; they must apply during Open Enrollment through May 31.
    • If the application is received during Open Enrollment through May 31, students will be assigned to their HC Pathway school for the upcoming school year.
    • Assignment to the non-pathway school depends on space available; tiebreakers apply during Open Enrollment.
    • If your child is not currently enrolled in Seattle Public Schools, you must submit a complete Seattle Schools enrollment registration first.
    • Choice applications that are received after February 16 are late and do not receive tiebreaker priorities.
    • The results of Open Enrollment will be available online in mid-April. Students who receive a choice assignment will be notified by mail at the end of April.

    For more information on School Choice visit:

    Admissions School Choice webpage

    Open Enrollment Information
    • The Open Enrollment period for the 2019-20 school year is February 4-15, 2019. This is the best time to apply for the school you desire for next fall. If you have not yet received an Advanced Learning eligibility decision, or if you are appealing that decision, you should still apply for the school and program you hope to attend.
    • Choice assignments to your designated Highly Capable pathway are guaranteed through May 31, 2019.
    • Rising 8th grade students who are not in an existing designated middle school HC Pathway do not have a guaranteed HC pathway, and will be assigned to their neighborhood school if no action is taken during Open Enrollment.
    What is an HC Pathway
    As students enter the accelerated learning environment provided in an HC Cohort School, a pathway to middle school and high school is offered to ensure a continuation of appropriate instruction.
    • Choice applications that are received after February 15 are late, do not receive tiebreaker priorities, and are much less likely to result in your student being assigned to the school and program you desire.
    • The results of Open Enrollment will be available online in mid-April. Students who receive a choice assignment will be notified directly by mail with a new assignment letter.

    Note to families new to SPS: If a student new to the district enrolls after the testing deadline has passed and enrolls from another public school district, they will need to show document of comparable eligibility and participation in a comparable program for students designated as Highly Capable in the state of Washington and Seattle schools. Eligibility is determined by the Advanced Learning department and applies to all grades.

    For more information about Open Enrollment, making a choice for a new school, deadlines and other information regarding enrollment practices and policies within Seattle Schools:

    SPS Admissions Website