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Advanced Learning is instruction catered to the intensity of a student’s needs for learning opportunities that broaden, deepen, or stretch beyond grade level expectations. While the classroom teacher is the main point of contact for communication and progress monitoring, Advanced Learning Specialist Maureen Mensing provides supports to teacher teams in their instructional planning and contacts parents regarding inquiries, timely announcements, and reporting on the reviews of the instructional plans of support.

How are Advanced Learning supports delivered?

The majority of advanced learners need differentiation, enrichment, or talent development in the classroom. Differentiation in the classroom is tailoring classroom instruction to meet the student’s needs by adjusting what is learned and how it is learned. Enrichment is a change or addition to the opportunities for learning. Talent development is to encourage students toward advanced learning by providing the differentiation and enrichment in ways that nurture more intense motivation and higher achievement.

A small number of students whose needs are mostly above grade-level have more intense needs that may require supplementation and/or intervention. Supplementation may involve different content and/or  opportunities. Interventions are more formalized for more intense needs that are also monitored by the Advanced Learning Specialist (ALS).

Opportunities at Kennedy

Advanced Learning opportunities outside the classroom offered at Kennedy have been the 5th Grade Science Cohort trips to the UW Discovery Building for laboratory work with scientists, a competitive 4th and 5th grade Math Fest on campus and with Eastside schools, and NaNoWriMo (novel writing).


MMSD and the AL Department not only believe that it is critical to identify and support students who are already achieving at high academic levels, but also students who have the potential to do so when provided with both support and opportunity. This includes prioritizing supports for all underrepresented student groups as a student with Advanced Learning needs may also be a twice-exceptional learner or an English Language Learner.

Find more information at or contact Maureen Mensing, ALS, at