Gifted Advisory Committee

The purpose of the Gifted Advisory Committee is to provide input, recommendations, and feedback that align with the district mission and goals for all Gifted Programs offered in the Bellevue School District. The main advisory body is comprised of parent representatives from each of the Gifted Elementary School Programs, Gifted Middle School Programs, and the Gifted High School Program. As the committee plans meeting topics, teachers and administrators involved in the specific topics to be addressed are invited to join in the discussion.


The Gifted Advisory Committee is in need of parent representatives from the schools listed below.

# of Representatives Needed
Cherry Crest Elementary 1
Medina Elementary 2
Somerset Elementary 2
Spiritridge Elementary 2
Tyee Middle School 2

*Odle Middle School and Interlake High School currently have parent representation

If you are interested in representing your child's school and your child is currently participating in the gifted program, please complete an application. Applications are due by November 21, 2014. Email completed applications to or mail it to:

Bellevue School District
Attn: Gifted Programs
12111 NE 1st Street
Bellevue, WA 98005


In the Spring of 2011, the Bellevue School District Gifted Programs contracted with Dr. Joyce Van Tassel-Baska, from the College of William and Mary, to perform a comprehensive program review of the policies and practices of our gifted programs. The findings and recommendations from the review were presented in June, 2011. The purpose of the Gifted Advisory Committee is to provide input, recommendations, and feedback that align with the district mission and goals to the Gifted Elementary School Program Steering Committee and the Gifted Middle School Program Steering Committee and the central office administration. Read Dr. Van Tassel-Baska's full report here.


Updated October 14, 2013

Upcoming meeting dates:

  • October 15, 2013
  • December 3, 2013
  • April 15, 2014
  • June 3, 2014


Updated April 26, 2012

The Bellevue School District Gifted Elementary School Program held two Parent Information Nights. The first night was for families of newly-identified second and third grade students. Click here for the first night Parent Forum Presentation

The second night was for families of students currently receiving gifted services AND families of newly-identified fourth and fifth grade students. Click here for the second night Parent Forum Presentation

Updated April 23, 2012

For 2nd and 3rd graders in the 2012-13 school year,  the Cabinet elected to implement the programming option recommended by the Gifted Advisory Committee:

  • The CogAT Verbal domain, as our best indicator of reading and comprehension potential, will be used to assign students to homerooms for literacy, social studies and science at each school, since success in these subjects is most closely correlated with verbal ability. 

  • Students scoring the highest on the CogAT Verbal tests will be grouped in one homeroom to ensure these students are taught at the depth and pace, in the manner suited to their intellectual gifts, and with peers who are equally capable of learning at comparable levels.

  • For math, students will leave their homeroom as needed and walk to the class most suited to their quantitative abilities.

Updated April 16, 2012

Students living in the Enatai service area receiving gifted services at Spiritridge will stay at Spiritridge and not be moved to Cherry Crest. We had previously determined that identified students from the Enatai area would attend Cherry Crest, but in examining the data it was more reasonable for them to stay at Spiritridge.

Updated March 26, 2012

The District would like to thank parents who were able to attend the two community forums March 19 and 21 where some changes to our gifted programs (Update March 15-see below) were introduced and explained. It was a good opportunity to discuss some of the changes, share information, discuss the work of the Gifted Advisory Committee (also referred to as ‘GAC’) and hear feedback.

Forums of this kind are important for the opportunity to share accurate information in person directly with parents about what has been decided to date. Unfortunately, since the forums, some inaccurate information has started to circulate which could leave parents with false impressions. In short, no programming/curriculum decisions have been finalized. Also, no decisions have been made regarding how students will be grouped, or served. The Gifted Advisory Committee continues to work on these issues and any decisions will be centered on research and meeting the needs of students in the gifted programs. The committee continues to meet to review research of the best practices in delivering services to our gifted students and determine which such practices are best suited for students in our district. Final recommendations are expected by April 18.

  • Another purpose of the forums was to share information, listen to feedback and provide an avenue for parents to send input to the committee and district leadership about gifted programming and curriculum. As a result of feedback from the forums, the District has made several changes:
  • A Gifted image and headline is now on the front page of the district web site with a link to the Gifted Advisory Committee page so parents can access the information more quickly and easily.
  • The link for the committee page has been shortened to to ensure parents can easily find the page in any search for ‘GAC’. 

Comments and questions at the forum have been collected to develop Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for parents that will be posted by April 6. This feedback will also be shared with committee members and district leadership. The District continues to appreciate the passion and deep commitment of parents in our District and the positive results of a collaborative relationship in support of all students. Parents are encouraged to visit the committee web page for accurate, factual information and continue to promote polite, respectful, and collaborative dialogue which assumes positive intentions. Please feel free to contact Lora McHugh at as you have suggestions, questions or feedback.

Updated March 15, 2012

The Gifted Advisory Committee was notified on Thursday, March 15 that Cherry Crest will become a second Gifted Elementary School Program site for qualifying second through fifth grade students from Ardmore, Bennett, Cherry Crest, Clyde Hill, Enatai, Medina, Sherwood Forest, and Stevenson beginning next year (2012-13). The remaining elementary schools will continue to attend the Gifted Elementary School Program at Spiritridge. While the Gifted Advisory Committee is still finalizing the program delivery services, this will be a full-time placement program. Current 3rd and 4th grade Enrichment students (4th and 5th graders next year) will still receive services. Families of current 3rd and 4th grade Prism students (4th and 5th graders next year) wishing to remain at Spiritridge may submit application for a “transfer for cause” to Spiritridge but would need to provide their own transportation. The following year, the Enrichment Program will still be offered to 5th grade students ONLY. By school year 2014-15 all Gifted Elementary School Programs will be located at Cherry Crest and Spiritridge.

In the school year 2013-14, a second site for our Gifted Middle School Program will be opened at Tyee Middle School for grades 6-8. Spiritridge feeder schools for the gifted program will feed into Tyee’s program and Cherry Crest feeder schools for the gifted program will feed into Odle’s program.

The GAC invites you to attend one of the Community Forums on March 19 or March 21 at the Wilburton Instructional Services Center from 6:30-7:30. This will be an opportunity for the Gifted Advisory Committee to update you on our gifted programs and for you to provide us with input. An additional forum will be scheduled in late April to share program changes. If you have questions, please contact



Your questions, concerns, and suggestions are important to our work. Please submit your questions, concerns, and suggestions to