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    Posted on 06/20/2019

    Advanced Learning Task Force Update June 2019

    The Advanced Learning Task Force (ALTF) was commissioned to research, review data, and explore solutions to address the lack of diverse student representation in Advanced Learning services. The task force has been meeting monthly since December 2018 and will continue to meet through Fall 2019.

    The future of advanced learning services will be determined based on review of historical and current practices, student data, take into account the ALTF’s recommendations, and innovative and creative approaches to meet the academic, social, emotional and behavioral needs of students.

    The work of the ALTF is to re-examine and re-envision how the district serves students who perform, or show potential for performing, at significantly advanced academic levels, while affirming our vision of equitable access of opportunity. This work has considered and, builds off of some of the strategies and recommendations put into place by the Advanced Learning Task Force of 2013-14.

    Summary and Status of 2018-19 ALTF Work to Date

    The task force has been assigned four phases of work, below are updates associated to each.

    1. Adopt a Mission and Vision for Advanced Learning in Seattle Public Schools
      The task force developed a vision and mission that captures the beliefs of the district regarding equitable access for all students, upholds the tenets of research and practice befitting the needs of these learners, and communicates a commitment to the needs of each child in every school. Draft versions were presented to the superintendent and school board for input and feedback. This feedback has been incorporated into an official recommendation which will be provided to the superintendent in June 2019.
    2. Define and/or Re-Develop Advanced Learning Programs and Highly Capable services
      The ALTF spent the 2018-19 fall and winter conducting a deep review of current highly capable practices and programs, the history of current district programming, and have examined data to understand the disparities across the system in regard to under-representation of students of color who are furthest from educational justice. Members have developed an understanding of Washington state law, district policy, and procedural guidelines including expectations from OSPI, characteristics of the advanced or ‘gifted’ (highly capable) learner, as well as needs of the twice-exceptional (students receiving special education and highly capable services) and dual qualified (highly capable English language learners) learners.
    3. Ensuring Equitable Identification and Access
      Task force members have participated in training on the application of a racial equity lens to policy and program decisions; this emphasis and focus occurs as part of every meeting. Members have also conducted research on state and nation-wide gifted services and practices that support barrier free, representative, and equitable access to advanced teaching and learning for all students.
      The ALTF will continue this work and provide recommended revisions to Board Policy 2190PDF icon and Superintendent Procedure SP2190PDF icon that guide and inform school services and align to the District's new strategic plan.
    4. Policy Revisions, Adoption, and Districtwide Implementation
      A revised Policy 2190 will be introduced through regular board approval process beginning in October 2019.

    The community is welcome to attend the meetings of the ALTF. The schedule with dates, time, and locations is posted on the Advanced Learning Task Force page. For those that can’t attend, full meeting reports are published following each meeting.