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Advanced Learners


Travis Reiman

Assistant Superintendent of Academic Services



Dayle Spitzer

Assistant Superintendent for School Performance



Ted Zehr

Executive Director of Secondary Schools



Becky Kingsmith

Coordinator of Secondary Teaching and Learning



Brooke Vilante

Coordinator of District TAG Programs



Maggie Sainz-Farro

Executive Assistant



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Our district's mission is to engage and challenge all learners to ensure academic excellence, and our strategic objective is for all students to graduate with career- and college-readiness skills.


We really do mean ALL.


We don't expect that simply because advanced learners are doing well in their courses, or that because they may not be as vocal as other students in their classes, that they don't need as much from their teachers. Our core values include standards-based, career- and college-readiness expectations for all students, meeting the needs of diverse learners through differentiation, and the heterogeneous grouping of students within the instructional environment. (See Board Policies IA: Instructional Goals and IE: Organization of Instruction.)


Rigor and Standards-Based Teaching & Learning

The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) require students to read, write, speak, reason, analyze, problem-solve, and explain at a higher level. In looking at how we help students reach those standards, it is clear that our advanced curriculum most closely aligns to these higher standards. In order to teach to those standards, all of our Mathematics and Language Arts courses must look more like what some schools have designated as "advanced" or "accelerated" courses in the past. Our elementary and middle schools are already teaching to those standards, which means that more of our students are coming to high schools ready for this challenge. We believe that all of our students will benefit from participating in courses of a higher rigor, as long as we build in supports for those students who are struggling to reach this level. We also understand that some students will need to have opportunities for acceleration and/or to learn the material at greater depth. Our goal is to effectively differentiate and provide opportunities for those students to learn at their appropriate rate and level as well. For students who are consistently exceeding their grade level standards, we would encourage them to take AP/IB or dual credit coursework.


What follows is a Q&A that attempts to capture and provide responses to some of the most common questions we have been receiving from students, teachers, and parents over the past few weeks. Please review them and let us know if you have other questions by filling out the form to the left.

Frequently Asked Questions

Click links to show answers, click again to hide.


TAG Programs

What is the District’s TAG plan?

How many TAG students are in the Hillsboro School District?

Can kids get “retested” for TAG?

How do we learn about TAG options for our students in and out of school? Who is the TAG coordinator at my student’s school?

Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards

Why is/was HSD considering changing its course offerings?

How do we raise the level of rigor for everyone and help our most advanced students not just “do more” but have different opportunities?

Who decides on curriculum materials and when and if courses are going to change?

What is the research behind heterogeneous (mixed ability level) instructional settings?

Accelerated and Advanced Courses, Honors Options, and AP/IB/Dual Credit

The proposed elimination of the last few advanced/accelerated classes at Glencoe and Century was just the last straw--parents were already unhappy that the number of those options was declining over the past few years. How can we get all the advanced/accelerated classes back that we used to have and will you try to take them away again next year? What will the process look like from here?

Why do Hilhi and Liberty High Schools not offer students the option to take accelerated/advanced classes?

How does the model work for “honors options” for students?

What if students choose not to challenge themselves?

Is the “honors options” model transcripted?

How do honors options impact a student's diploma?

What about math? What are the pathways to the most advanced math courses?

What is the difference between AP, IB and Dual Credit Courses? Why is the District pushing them? Does the District get money for offering more of them?

Transcripts, College Admissions, and Scholarships

Are students going to be at a disadvantage applying for college if they take fewer courses titled “advanced” or “accelerated”?

What are weighted grades?

Classroom Experience, Differentiation, and Cooperative Learning

How will we support teachers to meet these diverse needs for learners?

Isn’t it unrealistic that a teacher can differentiate for students with classes of 30, 40 or 50 students?

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Hillsboro School District (map)
3083 Northeast 49th Place
Hillsboro, OR 97124
(503) 844-1500

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