Seattle Public Schools

Highly Capable and Racial Equity Services Advisory Application

Summary: Help ensure SPS services are equitable and accessible for ALL students — apply for the Highly Capable Racial Equity Services Advisory!

The Advanced Learning department is pleased to invite new members to serve on this Advanced Learning Department advisory group.

Highly Capable/Racial Equity Services Advisory (HC/RESA) 2023-26

The goal of the Highly Capable/Racial Equity Services Advisory (HC/RESA) is to advise Seattle Public Schools (SPS) on ways to ensure all SPS students have equitable access to advanced learning services.

One main objective is to gather feedback while the Highly Capable neighborhood school model is implemented. The Advanced Learning Department will use this information to make sure the new model is more inclusive, accessible, and culturally sensitive for every K-8 student.

SPS is Committed to Educational Equity 

SPS is committed to a high-quality and equitable education for all children. We are dedicated to creating a learning environment that inspires and supports all students. Meaningful involvement of families, staff, and community members is important to achieving excellence at SPS.  

HC/RESA members will:

  • Bring an open mind and a passion for ensuring educational and racial equity for all students.
  • Have a willingness to engage in inquiry, meaningful dialogue, and collaboration throughout the advisory process.
  • Advise the AL department regarding next steps of implementation and continuous improvement.
  • Serve as a two-way conduit of information with SPS families and community members.

The HC/RESA is established as a committee and will run for three years. The committee may extend due to needs and progress of the work.


2023-24 Meetings

Note: The Jan. 29 meeting has been rescheduled to Feb. 12, 2024.

Meetings will take place on the following Mondays at 5-7 p.m.

Past meeting agendas and materials

Visitor Guidelines

Community members are welcome to attend and listen to the work of the HC/RESA. As a visitor, your role is to observe the work of the HC/RESA. The following guidelines will support you as you enter the space to observe the work:

Welcome visitors! The Highly Capable/Racial Equity Services Advisory (HC/RESA) is a team of dedicated individuals who are coming together to do the following:

Scope of Work

Utilizing the recommendations of the Advanced Learning Task Force (ALTF), the HC-RESA will convene to advise the district as the AL department and a diverse Practitioners Work Group implements and improves department practices for advanced learning identification and services, aligned with the SPS Strategic Plan and the Advanced Learning Vision, Mission, and Commitments.

The purpose of the Highly Capable-Racial Equity Advisory (HC-RESA) is to:

  • Embrace the role of advisors to the district as they implement and continuously improve the systems, structures and resources designed to meet the needs of students with advanced learning needs;
  • Understand the work of the AL department and Central Office Leaders as they present revisions to District policies to the School Board and procedures related to advanced learning equity practices and systems to the Superintendent;
  • Understand the recommendations of the AL department and their Practitioners Work Groups as they implement and continuously improve identification and services aligned with the ALTF commitments and recommendations;
  • Advise the AL department regarding next steps of implementation and continuous improvement;
  • Monitor progress and outcomes of recommendations implemented and,
  • Serve as a two-way conduit of information with SPS families and community members.

The HC/RESA meetings are packed with information and processes for centering the work of the district on Racial Equity.

As a visitor, your role is to observe the work of the HC/RESA. These guidelines will support you as you enter the space to observe the work:

  • Please read the agenda that you will find on this site;
  • You are invited to add your information in the Connections section of the agenda. Please state that you are a visitor;
  • Please reserve your questions to the chat, and they will be reviewed by the AL department at a later date (the agenda is priority in each meeting);
  • When the Members go into breakout rooms, visitors will be in their own breakout room and we encourage visitors to complete the same task being completed by the small groups of members;
  • All tasks will be shared to the entire HC/RESA and will be added to the minutes following the meeting (individual member names will be removed from the saved document;
  • Minutes of each meeting will be shared on the HC/RESA page within 2 weeks of each meeting. Thank you for your interest in the work of the HC/RESA.

Guiding Documents

The following recommendations to SPS School Board Policy #2190 were approved unanimously by the Advanced Learning Task Force (ALTF) on August 20, 2019.


HC/RESA Members

The advisory will include up to 25 members appointed by the superintendent or designee including the following:

1 current SPS high school student

  • Sooyoon Hong

14 Parent/family members whose students currently attend SPS.

  • 4 from Southeast Seattle
    • Mandy Fiechtner SPS, substitute and Self Employed, educational consultant
    • Patanjali de la Rocha Hummingbird Indigenous Family Services; Program Director
    • Ursula White-Oliver King County
    • Cynthia Rainwater
  • 4 from Southwest Seattle
    • Jennifer Jackson SPS Sub
    • Michelle (Shelly) Crisologo SPS, Occupational Therapist, OTD, OTR/L
    • Nichelle Keatley Self-employed
    • Catherine Hynds
  • 2 from Northeast Seattle
    • Jennifer Koch
    • June Nho Ivers self-employed, Filmmaker
  • 2 from Northwest Seattle
    • Diana Gosnell Sound Transit Vertical Transportation Coordinator
    • Jennifer Lee Dorsey and Whitney, Senior Immigration Paralegal
  • 2 from Central District
    • Laura Mayeda University of Washington Medical Center, physician
    • Leyla Fiorito

2 Community Partners

  • Kaila Davis Nsimbi, Rafael del Castillo
  • Liz Huizar

2 Central Office Support Leaders

  • Barbara MacDougall
  • Halima Gulaid

5 Seattle Education Association (SEA)/Principals Association of Seattle Schools (PASS) representatives, one from each region

  • Central Evie Taylor (Livingston) SPS Principal at WMS
  • Southeast John Michael Wheatley SPS, Elementary AP-Maple
  • Southwest
  • Northeast Gina Sams Olympic Hills, Teacher
  • Northwest Sonja Mitchell Sped IA-Roosevelt HS

Learn more about the advisory and their responsibilities.

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