Advanced Learning Opportunities
Advanced Learning Opportunities
For students who aspire to achieve the highest academic level, Chief Sealth International High School offers options at all grade levels.
Freshmen and sophomores have the option of earning honors designation in Language Arts, Social Studies and Science classes. This designation involves academic work that is rigorous and requires application in higher-level thinking skills above and beyond the standard level of content acquisition. Rigor is defined as complex, provocative and personally or emotionally challenging material. Students who earn honors exhibit superior performance in all of these aspects. They typically are students who demonstrate curiosity and intellectual interest and have a high level of intrinsic motivation. These students strive to produce work that exemplifies the highest quality of performance and they engage themselves fully in the learning experience.
All freshman and sophomore classes (honors and non-honors) are taught in a blended format in the same classroom. Teachers use differentiated instruction to meet the needs of all types of student learning styles and abilities. At Chief Sealth students learn best when they make connections between their own diverse interests and experiences and the curriculum. The greatest learning occurs when students are pushed just past the point where they can work without assistance. That point varies for different students, whether below, at, or above grade level. All students engage with topics within the classroom by developing specific thinking and reasoning skills sometimes referred to as “Habits of Mind”. Students who choose to pursue the honors designation engage with the Habits of Mind at a deeper, more rigorous level than the average student.
Since both the honors and the non-honors students are in the same classroom, it is important to note how the honors student differs from the non-honors student. Generally, the honors students are (and their teachers will expect them to be):
- Committed to learning and curious about a wide variety of topics and issues
- Lifelong learners and able to take access information from various sources as needed
- Confident they can do the work, even if they are uneasy at first about a class, an assignment, or a teacher
- Willing to do the work, even if it is challenging or involves a commitment of time beyond the norm
- Willing to communicate their needs and seek help as needed
- Willing to acknowledge and take risks and to tolerate others as they challenge themselves in risky situations
- Willing to accept and respond to constructive criticism
- Willing to use and to develop further their skills at collaboration
- Content to find a place in a community of learners, working with and for others
- Critical thinkers, eager to ask questions and listen to others
- Eager to make connections among topics in their classes, world, and personal lives, to see the big picture of education and life
- Creative, enjoying the new patterns that emerge from old ideas
At the 11th and 12th grades, students continue to be challenged through enrollment in International Baccalaureate (IB) classes. There are IB classes offered in Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Music, Art, Japanese, Spanish, Chinese, Economics, and Psychology. Students can enroll in the IB classes of their choice. Every 11th and 12th grader at Sealth will be enrolled in IB Language and Literature either at the standard level (SL) or the highest level (HL) – rigorous courses that encourage students to question the meaning generated by language and texts. Using both literary and non-literary texts, students work to understand how a wider cultural context can shape meaning. Students may take the IB exam in May of their senior year and, depending on their score, can earn college credit.
International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma
Diploma Program (DP)
This rigorous academic course of study is offered to students during their junior and senior years of high school. The DP curriculum is made up of six IB subject groups and the core: theory of knowledge (TOK), creativity, activity and service (CAS, 150 hours), and an extended essay. Open to any student, the DP is widely accepted at four-year universities in Washington State and around the world. Colleges and universities may waive undergraduate credits depending on the examination scores the student achieves.
Juniors and seniors at Chief Sealth International may opt to take any of the core IB courses (except TOK) and the accompanying exams in May to earn an IB certificate along with their Sealth diploma. The IB Coordinator will have more information on this path.
Career-related program (CP)
This challenging career-oriented course is offered to students during their junior and senior years of high school. The CP curriculum is flexible and prepares students to enter either employment or study in higher education. The CP curriculum includes two IB subject groups and the core: Personal and Professional Skills Couse (PPS), community and service (50 hours), language development (50 hours minimum), and a reflective project (40 hours in and out of class). A career academy is also attached to this program. Colleges and universities may waive undergraduate credits depending on the scores the student achieves in the examinations.
Running Start Program
The Running Start Program at all the community colleges provide juniors and seniors with at least 10 high school credits the opportunity to enroll in college level courses. Students can earn both high school and college credits. Tuition is free at Seattle community colleges. Students are responsible for purchasing their own books, paying lab costs, and providing their own transportation to the campus. To qualify, students take the Compass assessment test (the test is offered regularly at each community college.) Successful test results and a Running Start application must be submitted to the student’s counselor. They will guide course selection that will satisfy Chief Sealth’s graduation requirements. The Compass test and registration should be completed by mid-May.
NOTE: To determine eligibility to walk at commencement ceremonies in June, seniors may use Running Start credits earned through winter quarter of their 12th grade year.
Seattle Vocational Institute (SVI)
SVI, a division of the Seattle Community College District, is located at 21st and South Jackson. Like Running Start, SVI offers juniors and seniors the opportunity to pursue vocational training in a number of areas. General areas of study include medical assistant, dental assistant, medical administrative specialist, cosmetology, computer based accounting, administrative office professional, network technician, and pre-apprenticeship in construction trades. These programs are most appropriate for students who have an idea of the specific trade that they want to enter. Students will receive instruction in the skills specific to that vocation. The deadlines for application are similar to those of the Running Start program. Visit the College and Career Center for brochures and, if interested, discuss the program with your counselor.