Advanced Learning Policy Revisions Adopted

Advanced Learning Policy Revisions Adopted

On Wednesday, May 5, 2021, the Seattle School Board approved revisions and an amendment to Policy No. 2190, Highly Capable Services. The school board’s approval is a historic and bold step toward ensuring educational excellence for every student in Seattle Public Schools.

Over the next six years, the district will phase in necessary changes in highly capable services so all students that demonstrate the potential to perform at or are currently performing above standard will have equitable access to academically challenging and appropriate services.

These changes include redesigning identification, assessment, and selection practices, and implementing service delivery methods that prioritize the learning needs of student furthest from educational justice.

The revisions in this policy promote and authorize necessary changes to ensure that Seattle Public Schools stops upholding systemic and institutional racism, most specifically within the Advanced Learning (AL) Department. A summary of the policy changes are as follows:

  1. Renaming School Board Policy No. 2190 to read, Highly Capable Services;
  2. Redesigning identification, assessment and selection practices that ensure equitable access for students who are demonstrating potential to perform or currently performing above standard and who will benefit from services designed for accelerated and/or enhanced high-quality learning experiences as basic education;
  3. Identifying and selecting practices for delivery of services that prioritize the learning needs of our historically underserved children of color and students furthest from educational justice;
  4. Designing and delivering an array of highly capable (HC) services, within a tiered service model, aligned to student strengths, interests, and needs within neighborhood schools to replace the current segregated cohort program; and
  5. The sunsetting of the AL eligibility to align with state identification practices.

We are confident that our intentional and carefully paced implementation plan will allow our staff, students, families, and community members time to adjust to these changes. We will continue to engage with families and schools as we fine tune procedures and build accountability structures. We remain committed to providing robust professional development to our educators, and direct support to buildings during this transition.

We want to acknowledge and thank the many community members, parents, experts, and staff that have dedicated years of work to bring us to this moment.

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