Policy Details Page
Tacoma Public Schools is committed to breaking down barriers and increasing equitable access to college-level course enrollment, as indicated in Policy 2406. Rigorous courses must align with teaching and learning standards, research-based strategies, and inclusive practices. This regulation accompanies Policy 2406 and provides implementation expectations for automatic advanced course enrollment.
Advanced Course Student Enrollment
Course offerings such as Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), Running Start (RS) or College in the High School (CHS) can vary from school to school depending on Master Scheduling and program offerings. In order to promote opportunities to our diverse student population, any student meeting or exceeding the standards on any one of the state assessments will be automatically enrolled into the next most rigorous course in the corresponding subject area, unless opted out as described below.
Additionally, one or more of the following from the previous two reporting periods are considered for student enrollment into advanced program courses.
1. College Level Courses – Student has engaged in and previously demonstrated potential for advanced course success l as measured by the PSAT AP Potential report or earned C+ (2.3) grade or higher for College Level courses.
2. Grade Point Average- Student demonstrates a consistent 3.0 or better GPA (cumulative or non-cumulative) in the past two reporting periods in any specific content area or combination of subject areas.
3. Advancement Via Individual Determination- Student currently or previously demonstrates success in the AVID elective college and career readiness course.
4. Self-selected opportunity- Student possesses an academic desire to engage in advanced courses.
Students who meet the above criteria should enroll in 1-2 advanced courses or more. All students enrolled in advanced courses are required to engage in the corresponding exams.
Student Academic Support
Teachers present, model, unlock and build a plan for students to access resources. Resources include but are not limited to ongoing formative assessment/progress checks, instructional videos, collaborative study groups, tutoring, and other academic supports to enhance their understanding and engagement with advanced course content. Students need access to support services during the school day and extended learning opportunities. There are no additional fees for students to receive support resources.
School-based resources and plans for academic support will be communicated to the public, parents/guardians, staff, and students annually at the beginning of the school year in their home language. The ongoing, periodic formative assessments will determine how often supports are needed to establish and maintain student success. Tacoma Public School is committed to working with approved youth-serving organizations to enhance student success in all courses.
Instructional & Program Fidelity
Students in Tacoma Public schools have the right to a quality learning experience. Students should feel confident the advanced course depicted on their transcript adequately prepared them for college, career, and beyond. To provide the appropriate level of rigor for Tacoma Public School students, teachers undergo formal and informal training and have access to both teacher and student resources to support student learning.
Each advanced program offered in Tacoma Public Schools strongly emphasizes critical thinking skills, cross-disciplinary approaches, and emphasis on multiple perspectives through accompanying texts and lessons. Therefore, educators teaching advanced courses should be proficient in culturally responsive teaching practices, model inclusive and equitable classroom practices, and allow for high student engagement, inquiry, collaboration, and student discourse as intended for college-level work.
Components of Culturally Responsive Teaching or Culturally Relevant Teaching are not strategies or programs but a set of teaching principles. Culturally responsive teachers do the following:
- Foster a growth mindset within themselves and their students.
- Recognize and understand their own cultural beliefs and biases.
- Realize the need to develop relational capacity with their students.
- Create a learning environment that is safe, supportive, and respectful.
- Maintain high expectations for all students.
- Embrace the importance of equity in meeting the needs of students.
- Provide support through scaffolding and differentiation.
- Bridge connections between home, school, and community.
- Consistently evaluate their teaching practices and adopt a willingness to change approach to address student learning using formative assessment data.
- Foster learning courage and provide effective feedback when students make mistakes.
Teachers use assessment data to create and monitor specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, time-bound, inclusive, equitable goals and facilitate the goal-setting process with their students. For example, teachers set goals for each unit of study, using embedded formative assessment tools to monitor conceptual understanding, increasing the level of achievement from pre to post-assessments.
Tacoma Public Schools recognizes additional financial supports may be needed for some students to consider participation. College in the High school students are generally responsible for their tuition fees.
Tacoma Public Schools provides the following additional financial supports:
- All regular testing fees for AP and IB exams
- Grant-based fee reductions for CHS when applicable and available
- Approved textbook related fees for AP and CHS courses
The purpose of Tacoma Public Schools Academic Acceleration and Rigor Policy is to provide inclusive access to advanced courses leading to college readiness and potential college credit-earning opportunities. Opportunities expand across grade levels and school programming choices. Therefore, students who choose not to engage in advanced courses for which they meet automatic enrollment must complete the opt-out process, which includes the Academic Acceleration opt out form, consultation with a trusted/caring adult, staff member, academic coach or counselor, and submit required documentation and signature from a legal guardian permitting the school designee to unenroll student from advanced courses.
Administrator or Designee Ongoing Implementation Steps and Oversight
A building-level administrator or designee should meet with the District Advanced Programs Director and Director of Schools on enrollment progress, curriculum updates, extended learning needs, and goals for recruitment and retention. The building principal or designee should collaborate with district and school personnel on the following tasks.
Exam Support for Advanced Courses
Advanced course exam participation plays a critical role in student learning, instructional feedback, and college readiness, including providing students with an opportunity to earn college credits. Building-level administrators shall support their staff to coordinate logistics before, during, and after an exam administration window by:
- Reviewing/developing training, scheduling, and communication plans
- Monitoring exam registration and ordering to ensure that all students are registered according to their advanced course enrollment status before deadlines
- Ensuring that implementation plans include accurate student counts, and that full consideration is given to approving and fulfilling student accommodation requests
- Verifying student exam participation and billing information
Approval Date: 1/04/2022
- accelerated programs