Advanced Learning Programs
Seattle Public Schools offers several programs for students who require a rigorous and accelerated curriculum. See below for program descriptions. See Program Sites in menu at right for program locations. See Application and Testing Steps for eligibility testing.
Accelerated Progress Program | Advanced Learning Opportunities | Spectrum | Advanced Placement & International Baccalaureate
Accelerated Progress Program (APP) 1st-12th Grade
The Accelerated Progress Program (APP) provides a rigorous, accelerated curriculum in language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies that challenges students to apply complex thinking skills when working with core skills and concepts. The curriculum is presented at a significantly accelerated learning pace and focuses on grade level expectations that are significantly above the students' assigned grade level with a significantly advanced level of complexity and depth.
Service delivery is through a self-contained program during grades 1-8. A cohort-based model is available at the high school level during which students enroll in honors courses and Advanced Placement courses in grades 9 through 12 at Garfield High School or in an accelerated International Baccalaureate program at Ingraham High school (see APP/IB at Ingraham).
APP serves students who are academically highly gifted (98/99th percentile range in cognitive ability and the 95th percentile range or above in both reading and math achievement). Students who are academically highly gifted present significantly different learning styles, learning pace, and curricular needs that require comprehensive and substantial modification to the general education curriculum and classroom experience to achieve educational benefit.
Eligible students enrolled in the program are expected to: (a) demonstrate mastery of grade level expectations in all areas; (b) work toward mastery of expectations significantly beyond grade level in reading and mathematics (typically, two grades or more above current grade assignment); and (c) demonstrate mastery beyond grade level expectations in social studies, writing and science.
The program is guided by four principles:
- Provide a rigorous and accelerated curriculum in language arts, mathematics, social studies, and science.
- Support student social/emotional development as well as academic development.
- Move students through the program as a cohort.
- Provide instruction by teachers familiar with the needs of students who are academically highly gifted.
Advanced Learning Opportunities (ALO) 1st-8th Grade
Advanced Learning Opportunity schools (ALO)s are district-supported programs that serve students who demonstrate skills and readiness for participation in an accelerated, rigorous, and enriched curriculum.
Service delivery is typically through an inclusive approach in the general education setting with an emphasis on differentiated instruction and flexible grouping. Within heterogeneous and inclusive learning groups and settings, ALO schools provide an accelerated standards-based curriculum that presents learning at a pace, depth, and intensity that meets students' intellectual needs and motivational levels. ALO programs are for students who are academically ready and have the motivation for an extended curricular challenge.
ALO schools serve two primary student groups: (a) students who are district-identified as academically highly gifted or academically gifted, and (b) teacher-identified students who demonstrate skills and readiness for participation in an accelerated curriculum that is based on Spectrum curricular guidelines. Students participating in an ALO program are expected to (a) demonstrate mastery of grade level expectations in all areas and (b) work toward mastery beyond grade level in reading and mathematics (typically one grade or more above current grade assignment in reading and mathematics).
The program is guided by four principles:
1) Provide a rigorous curriculum.
2) Accelerate reading and mathematics curriculum utilizing flexible grouping strategies.
3) Provide differentiated instruction within heterogeneous, inclusive classroom settings.
4) Provide instruction by teachers familiar with the needs of advanced learners.
Spectrum 1st-8th Grade
The Spectrum Program provides a rigorous and accelerated curriculum that challenges students to apply complex thinking skills when working with core skills and concepts. The reading and mathematics curricula are presented at an accelerated learning pace, are focused on grade level expectations that are above students' assigned grade levels in reading and mathematics, and emphasize an advanced level of complexity and depth.
The Spectrum program serves students who are district-identified as academically gifted or academically highly gifted. Spectrum students have different learning styles, learning paces, and curricular needs that require daily and systematic modification to a general education curriculum and classroom experience to achieve educational benefit.
The program is guided by four core principles:
1) Provide a rigorous curriculum.
2) Provide an accelerated curriculum that focuses on student proficiency in grade level expectations and one grade level beyond or more in reading and mathematics
3) Bring district-identified students together through self-contained or cluster-grouping strategies to form classroom rosters.
4) Provide instruction by teachers familiar with the needs of students who are academically gifted.
Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate 9th-12th Grade
Seattle Public Schools' high schools offer Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) courses for students who are motivated and ready for a challenging college-level course experience. Testing by the Advanced Learning office is not required to register for high school AP and IB courses.
Nine high schools offer Advanced Placement courses. AP courses follow the College Board's curriculum and present high school students the opportunity to master college-level curriculum while still in high school. Registration for AP courses is done at the schools when registering for high school classes. During May of each year, the Seattle Public Schools' Advanced Learning office coordinates the administration of AP examinations. High school students register and pay for AP exams in March at their school and should contact their high school counselor or AP teachers for more information.
Two high schools, Ingraham and Sealth, offer the International Baccalaureate program (IB). The IB Diploma Program is a demanding college prep series of courses and exams developed for academically ambitious juniors and seniors. It follows a two-year comprehensive program that incorporates the best elements of college prep programs from a number of countries. Students study topics in 6 core academic areas, take a special Theory of Knowledge course, write 16+ page researched essay, and participate in community service. IB exams are administered by school staff and graded by a combination of internal and external evaluators. A dedicated IB coordinator at each school oversees the administration of the program.
More than 90% of college and universities in the United States and Canada, as well as colleges and universities in twenty other countries, have a policy granting incoming students credit, placement, or both, for qualifying AP and IB Exam grades. To learn more about the College Board's Advanced Placement program, see the College Board website. To learn more about the IB program, visit the International Baccalaureate Organization website.
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