Unfortunately, the proposed procedure is very bad. Beyond that, it fails to meet the requirements of the policy.
Here's what the policy says about services for Highly Capable students:
The variety of instructional programs or services for students identified as Highly Capable will include pathways to sites with adequate cohorts of Highly Capable students in order to provide peer learning and social/emotional opportunities for these students, teachers with experience and/or professional development on the academic and social/emotional needs of these students, appropriate curriculum, appropriately differentiated instruction, deeper learning opportunities, and accelerated pacing.Here's what the policy says about programs and services for Advanced Learners:
Advanced Learning instructional programs will include differentiation, content acceleration, and deeper learning opportunities. Delivery mechanisms may include: differentiated instruction, groupings of Advanced Learning students to work together in subjects or on projects, self-contained classrooms, or accelerated pacing.The policy then says this about the superintendent's procedures:
The Superintendent is authorized to develop procedures consistent with state guidelines regarding referral, evaluation, and identification of Highly Capable students in order to implement this policy. The procedures will describe the programs and services available to students identified as Highly Capable as well as to those identified as Advanced Learners.All of that is just fine, but the Superintendent's procedure fails to meet the requirements of the policy. The policy says that the "procedures WILL describe the programs and services". There is no choice there. The procedures, however, do nothing to describe the programs and services. Seriously, no description at all. There are catalogs of possible delivery models, but those are hardly a description of the program or services.
Here's the closest they come for Spectrum and ALO:
Advanced Learning Opportunities (ALO) and Spectrum are for students identified as "Advanced Learners," as well as for those identified as Highly Capable. ALO and Spectrum are for students who perform well above average for their grade level and require differentiated instructional practices to provide appropriate challenge. These students are typically served within General Education classrooms through flexible grouping, acceleration, and/or interventions through the Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) model.
Spectrum is offered at all middle schools and at several specified elementary schoolsThat is NOT a description of the program or service. It is, at best, a listing of possible delivery models. The two are NOT synonymous. Moreover, the policy says that the "programs will include differentiation, content acceleration, and deeper learning opportunities" while the procedure does not assure those features.
Here's the closest the procedure comes to describing the HC program and services:
Highly Capable Cohort (HCC) service model is self-contained in Grades 1-5 in ELA, mathematics, and science, and may also be offered as self-contained in social studies. The HC Cohort service model is also self-contained in most core subjects in Grades 6-8. For 9th grade, students who were enrolled in the 8th grade HC Cohort will be assigned to attend an accelerated AP pathway at Garfield or they may submit a School Choice form to attend an accelerated IB pathway at Ingraham. Placement at Ingraham is subject to space availability.Again, this is NOT a description of the service, but a description of the delivery model for the service.
The superintendent's procedure says that Spectrum provides an advanced curriculum:
The District also supports Advanced Learning Programs, Spectrum/Advanced Learning Opportunities) in grades 1-8 for students identified as Advanced Learners to provide advanced curriculum in reading and mathematics. Spectrum/Advanced Learning Opportunities are open to students who have been identified as Advanced Learners, as well as to students identified as Highly Capable.So what is the advanced curriculum? No mention of it. Where is the advanced curriculum? There is none. So what does the procedure mean by "advanced curriculum in reading and mathematics"? Nothing. It means nothing. It's a lie.
The policy says that HC students should be getting "appropriate curriculum" but there is no curriculum for HC students. The procedure makes some reference to enhanced curricula, but there is no enhanced curricula, so what does the reference mean? It means nothing. It's a lie.
The Board has written a policy for advanced learning. The Superintendent is in violation of that policy. It is now up to the Board to direct the superintendent to comply with the policy.
To do so they must write curricula for Spectrum and HC and they must describe the services in the procedure. Not the delivery model, but the services. How is Spectrum instruction different from general education? How is HC different from general education? What makes a program or service Spectrum, ALO, or HC? What is taught that is different from general education?
When it is done right the teachers will know what to teach, the students will know what to learn, and the families will be able to distinguish between Spectrum and general education.