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    Highly Capable and Advanced Learning in Secondary Schools

    Advanced Learning services and opportunities are offered at all Seattle Public Schools elementary, K-8, middle and high schools, based on each school's Continuous School Improvement Plan (CSIP).

    Highly Capable Pathways and Assignment

    Enrolling in Highly Capable Pathways Schools

    Students K-7th grade who become eligible to receive Highly Capable (HC) services and wish to join an HC Pathway School (also known as Highly Capable Cohort or HCC) for the upcoming school year must enroll during School Choice. Parents and guardians are encouraged to enroll during the Open Enrollment period each February. If a student receives the eligibility decision for HC after the Open Enrollment period, the student will still be assigned to their HC Pathway school.

    Read more about the Student Assignment Plan.

    Students Entering 6th and 9th Grade

    Students eligible, but not enrolled in an elementary HC Pathway school, are NOT automatically assigned to their HC Pathway Middle School. Students entering 6th grade from any K-5 SPS school are assigned to their neighborhood middle school unless there are the following exceptions:

    1. If a student eligible for highly capable services is enrolled at an HC pathway elementary school, then the student is automatically assigned to the closest HC pathway middle school based on the student’s home address.
    2. If a student eligible for highly capable services (who already attends an HC Pathway elementary school) does not wish to attend the designated HC pathway middle school, then families must apply for their attendance area middle school or another choice school or program during the Open Enrollment period. Application during the open enrollment period to their attendance area school is guaranteed; selection to another school or program is subject to availability.
    3. If a student eligible for highly capable services wishes to attend an HC Pathway middle school, but is not enrolled in an elementary HC Pathway school, then families must apply to attend the closest HC pathway middle school during the Open Enrollment period. Assignment is guaranteed to HC pathway based on student address.
    4. If a student eligible for highly capable services wishes to attend an HC Pathway middle school site that is outside of the student’s designated HC pathway (based on student’s address), then the family must apply to attend their choice HC Pathway middle school during the Open Enrollment period. However, acceptance into an HC Pathway middle school site that is outside of the student’s HC Pathway is subject to availability with no guarantee.

    Upcoming HC Pathway changes for the 2019-20 School Year

    Students entering 9th Grade in 2019 will notice some changes in their HC pathways for high school beginning in the 2019-20 school year.

    • Beginning in 2019-20, there will be three HC pathways: a north pathway at Lincoln High School, a central/southeast pathway at Garfield High School and a southwest pathway at West Seattle High School. The IBX program at Ingraham High School remains as an optional pathway.
    • All students currently in the HC pathways at Garfield and Ingraham will be grandfathered. HC students from West Seattle who are currently in 6th and 7th grade at Washington Middle School can continue to Garfield instead of moving to the new southwest pathway.
    • Additionally, HC or HC-eligible students entering 10th grade in 2019-20 may opt into Lincoln if they are at Garfield or at their attendance area school and live within the Lincoln HC pathway, even if they were not in HCC in 8th grade.

    Read more about the High School Boundary Changes and the Student Assignment Transition Plan.

    High School Options for Highly Capable and Advanced Learning Services

    While students identified in elementary or middle school as eligible to receive Highly Capable Services and pursue much of their coursework as a cohort, students identified as HC-eligible at SPS should not expect to continue with their cohorts as they transition to SPS high schools. While the k-8 Cohort model is not continued at the high school level,  students that receive HC and Advanced Learning (AL) services will continue to have access to advanced level coursework through the four pathway Service Options described below.

    IMPORTANT NOTE: Students DO NOT need to obtain HC or AL eligibility to access Honors (H), Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB) or dual credit courses in high school (except for students wishing to enroll in the IBX program at Ingraham HS). All Honors, Advanced Placement, IB and dual credit courses are open to all students regardless of HC or AL eligibility.

    Service Option 1: 8th grade students who are HC-eligible and are currently attending an HCC Pathway Middle School (Hamilton, Washington, Madison, Robert Eagle Staff or Jane Addams middle schools) will have continuing assignment to their designated HC pathway in Garfield HS, Lincoln HS, or West Seattle HS depending on the student’s home address. Families do not need to apply during Open Enrollment period.

    a. Beginning in 2019-20, Garfield, Lincoln and West Seattle High Schools will offer advanced placement course progression recommendations for students eligible to receive HC and AL services.

    Service Option 2: 8th grade students who are HC-eligible but are not attending an HCC Pathway Middle School will have a guaranteed seat at their HC pathway high school (Garfield HS, Lincoln HS, or West Seattle HS). Families must submit a Choice Form during the Open Enrollment period.

    Service Option 3: 8th grade students who are HC-eligible may wish to enroll in the Accelerated International Baccalaureate (IBX) program at Ingraham High School. Acceptance into the IBX program at Ingraham is based on limited space availability. Families must submit Choice Forms during the Open Enrollment period.

    Service Option 4: 8th grade students who are eligible to receive HC and AL services may select to remain at their attendance area high school or attend another high school. Students can still enroll in the advanced courses available at that high school. Families must submit a Choice Form during the Open Enrollment period.

    Read more about Open Enrollment.

    Read more about enrolling your student in Seattle Public Schools.

    Contact Advanced Learning

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    Key Dates

    See our calendar webpage for upcoming dates and general referral and testing windows.

    Advanced Learning Updates