Detailed Summary of HCS AC Highly Capable and Advanced Learning Service Delivery Survey Results

Thanks to each and every one of you who provided direction and feedback in our October survey about the state of HCS in SPS. We greatly appreciate the time you took to express your opinions and support. After reviewing roughly 140 respondents’ text comments, the summary breakdown follows (a complete set of responses will be provided upon request). It is worth noting, many respondents shared concerns about the direction of the HC services with the numerous cohort splits and unsupportive administrators. In addition, we have included the summary results from the 239 non-text queries that showed the majority of respondents were not confident that the District is prepared to offer equitable rigorous curriculum,  cohesive cohorts and appropriate building sites and that 44% who contacted the District or Board regarding concerns received no response. Please let us know your thoughts after you’ve looked over these materials – we would like to include you in upcoming updates and planning efforts for advocacy.

Top-line takeaways

9 Percent of the respondents stated support for continuing the cohort model.

12 Percent of the respondents stated concerns about the disparity of services delivery (especially north versus south of the ship canal).  

17 Percent of the respondents stated concerns about Washington Middle School administration.

25 Percent of the respondents stated concerns about systematic HC services dismantling.

Other common themes were:

  • Support for single domain “HC” services.
  • Support for universal testing across all schools.
  • Concerns about continuing cohort splits.
  • Need for neighborhood schools to offer meaningful HC services.
  • Need for more racial diversity.
  • Concerns about Fairmount Elementary services being discontinued.
  • Concern that the current Advanced Learning Task Force does not have enough HCC families/staff represented.
  • Concerns about services being delivered  without necessary rigor and an established curriculum.
  • Concerns with the lack of District engagement while making wholesale changes.

Notable quotes (extracted and redacted):

My daughter has graduated 201X was not super affected by the changes luckily. She was one of the students from underrepresented  population. I am vocal about more inclusion for sure. I have noticing that SPS has been breaking up the cohorts. The resources do not seem to be the same at north and south. It almost look like they want to dismantle the program.  From my experience, my child needed the academic challenges at HCP. Without it, she would been bored and not been prepared for selective colleges. This is an important program especially for underrepresented students to be more competitive to get into good colleges and receive scholarships/ financial aid from colleges. I am not sure if SPS understands the importance of this program.

SPS appears to be slowly dismantling HCC. There is an apparent attitude, that I heard directly from a school board member, that HCC kids don’t have needs beyond the basic education classes. No one would dare say that about any other population, whether it’s a minority population, a Special Ed population, or any other population with exceptional needs. Every kid deserves a classroom environment that meets their needs…

The changes have been confusing, and as a parent, hard to understand. It seems that the district wants to do away with the HC cohort, but doesn’t have a good plan what to do after. Superintendent Juneau needs to get out of the JSCEE bubble/dogma and talk to a diverse range of AL/HC families about how best to meet our kids’s needs.  Equity is not just about race. The HCC program at Washington Middle School is seriously comprised this year. I do not think my daughter is receiving anything near acceptable instruction in math and science in particular followed by ElA.

The Highly Capable Services Advisory Committee (HCS AC)


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