Seattle Public Schools

Advanced Learning Referral Process

Summary: The Advanced Learning referral process will change for the 2021-22 school year.

Advanced Learning Referral Process Update for 2021-22 

The Advanced Learning Department, in alignment with the Advanced Learning Task Force recommendations, and the department’s antiracist work, is making some changes to the referral process for the 2021-22 school year.  

These changes include

  • All K-8 students will be automatically considered for Highly Capable or Advanced Learning eligibility this year. 
  • Family referrals are no longer necessary, but all families will be given an opportunity to complete a survey to provide information about the cultural strengths of their child.  
  • Like last year, eligibility decisions will be based on the review of multiple kinds of evidence/data by the Multidisciplinary Selection Committee, which is comprised of staff from multiple departments, including educators and building leaders.  
  • Examples of evidence to be reviewed are student performance data, grades, teacher and community member feedback, and family input.  
  • Advanced Learning will not accept private outside testing this year for eligibility determination or the appeals process.    
  • Anyone may appeal the eligibility decision their child receives, but the appeals process will no longer include private, outside testing this year.   
  • Advanced Learning will notify families about eligibility in winter of 2022.  
  • This year Advanced Learning will pilot the Naglieri, a non-verbal ability screener, for all second graders. This pilot will not be used to determine eligibility decisions, but rather to assess the screener tool for value and potential use moving forward.   

We believe these decisions will remove barriers for families furthest from education justice, increase racial equity, and lead to more students of color being accurately identified for Advanced Learning or Highly Capable services.  

If you have any questions, please email Advanced Learning at  

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