Follow Up from High School Advanced Learning Community Engagement

Dear Families,

Last month we surveyed families of students currently in grades 5-12 about improving access to Advanced Learning opportunities in high school; thank you to the many families who provided feedback. In response to three open-ended questions, the top 20 ideas from each school community were analyzed and grouped thematically by an outside evaluator. We also held home language focus groups in Spanish, Vietnamese, Chinese and Somali.

We heard overwhelmingly that families want increased and equal access to advanced courses offered closer to home. We also heard questions and concerns about timing and grandfathering options. To view top-rated themes for each question, examples of specific participant’s thoughts and differences between types of schools, please view the Advanced Learning Engagement Presentation on the Community Engagement page.

Multiple solutions and ways to address community feedback were explored. A preferred recommendation was shared with the School Board’s Operations Committee on Nov. 2.  The preferred recommendation is to develop regional Highly Capable (HC) pathways for students entering 9th grade beginning in 2019-20. Students in a high school HC pathway in 2018-19 will be grandfathered in their current pathway school. The suggested regional pathways are based on students’ attendance area high school.

Ballard Ballard and Ingraham
Franklin Franklin and Rainer Beach
Garfield Garfield and Lincoln (opening 2019)
Roosevelt Roosevelt and Nathan Hale
West Seattle West Seattle and Chief Sealth

Next Steps: The School Board will determine any changes to the high school HC pathways. The preferred recommendation, as part of the Student Assignment Plan (SAP) update, will be introduced to the School Board on Nov. 15 and staff anticipate the Board will act on Dec. 6. Adjustments to the draft high school boundaries will be made to accommodate the final advanced learning service model decision. Once HC pathway schools are confirmed by the School Board, district and school staff will work with university partners, students, and families to discuss advanced learning services, including course offerings, at each identified school.

Background, updates, and frequently asked questions can be found on the SPS homepage news feed.

If you have questions about the recommended changes to High School Advanced Learning services and HC pathways, please email Comments may also be sent directly to the School Board at