2190P Procedure - Highly Capable Programs

Definition
Highly capable students are students who perform or show potential for performing at significantly advanced academic levels when compared with others of their age, experiences, or environments. Outstanding abilities are seen within students' general intellectual aptitudes, specific academic abilities, and/or creative productivities within a specific domain. These students are present not only in the general populace, but are present within all protected classes.
 
Students who are highly capable may possess, but are not limited to, these learning characteristics:
1. Capacity to learn with unusual depth of understanding, retain what has been learned, and transfer learning to new situations;
2. Capacity and willingness to deal with increasing levels of abstraction and complexity earlier than their chronological peers;
3. Creative ability to make unusual connections among ideas and concepts;
4. Ability to learn quickly in their area(s) of intellectual strength; and
5. Capacity for intense concentration and/or focus.
 
The following procedures will be employed to nominate, assess, and select students to participate in the program:
 
Nomination
Referrals are permitted and accepted based on data or evidence from teachers, other staff, parents/guardians, students, and members of the community. Nominators will use the district’s nomination form to refer a student to be considered for admission in the program.
 
Assessment
The district will obtain written parental permission prior to conducting assessments to determine eligibility for participation in its highly capable program.
 
Nominees identified for further testing through the screening process will be assessed using multiple objective criteria from a variety of sources and data, including tests that measure cognitive ability, academic achievement, and evidence of exceptional creativity.
 
Selection
A multi-disciplinary selection committee will review data that has been collected for each of the nominated students. The multi-disciplinary selection committee is composed of: a special teacher (provided that if a special teacher is not available, a classroom teacher will be appointed); a psychologist or other qualified practitioner with the training to interpret cognitive and achievement test results; a certificated coordinator or administrator with responsibility for the supervision of the district’s highly capable program; and additional professionals, if any, that the district deems desirable. 
 
The multi-disciplinary selection committee will evaluate individual student assessment profile data and make the selection decision based on:
  1. A preponderance of evidence from the profile data demonstrating that a student is among the most highly capable;
  2. Evidence of clear need for highly capable services; and
  3. Determination of which students would benefit the most from inclusion in the district’s program.
A single assessment score or indicator will not prevent a student’s selection for the highly capable program; however, individual pieces of evidence, if strong enough, can indicate that the student would benefit from services.  If properly validated tests are not available, the professional judgment of the qualified district personnel will determine eligibility of the student based upon evidence of cognitive ability and/or academic achievement. 
 
The district will:
A. Provide parents/guardians with an explanation of the procedures for indentification at the time of nomination;
B. Notify parents/guardians of students’ program status (if they have been selected, not selected, or chosen as an alternate). Parents/guardians will receive an explanation of the appeal process, an explanation of the procedures to exit a student from the program, information on the district’s program, and the options that are available to identified students;
C. Obtain parental permission to place identified students in the program before any special services and programs are provided to the student;
D. Schedule a meeting of all such parents/guardians; and
E. Conduct an annual parent/guardian meeting to review each student’s educational plan.
 
Process for Appeal
Parents/guardians have the right to appeal the multi-disciplinary selection committee’s decision. Individuals appealing the committee’s decision must submit a completed appeals form or letter requesting review of the selection/placement decision. The written request must include reasons for the appeal and, to support reconsideration, provide additional evidence of significantly advanced cognitive or academic levels and/or outstanding intellectual, academic, or creative abilities.
 
The appeal request and supporting evidence must be submitted to the Teaching and Learning Department within 10 school days of the multi-disciplinary selection committee’s decision notification.
 
The district’s multi-disciplinary selection committee will review the student’s file, assessment profile data, and additional evidence provided in the request for appeal.
 
The decision of the committee may include:
  • Upholding the original decision of the multi-disciplinary selection committee; or
  • Reversing the decision of the multi-disciplinary selection committee.
A decision will be made by the multi-disciplinary selection committee within 30 school days after receipt of the written request for reconsideration. The parent/guardian will be notified of the decision in writing. The decision of the committee is final.
 
Exit Process
The exit process may be initiated for students who no longer demonstrate a need for highly capable program services. A request may be made by a teacher or program administrator for highly capable student identification and placement discontinuation. The multi-disciplinary selection committee will convene a meeting to review the student’s profile to determine if the student qualifies for program services based on assessment data and selection criteria. The multi-disciplinary selection committee may request additional evidence of student capabilities and/or willingness to participate in the program.  If the committee determines that the student no longer qualifies for highly capable program services, it may be recommended that the student be exited from the program. The parent/guardian will be notified in writing of the committee’s decision and of the appeal process.
 
A parent/guardian may request that the student be withdrawn from the program or a student may voluntarily withdraw from the program.  A meeting will be convened by the highly capable program coordinator/director to discuss the request. If the parent/guardian desires to withdraw the student from the program, the student will be exited from the program. The multi-disciplinary selection committee will determine if identification procedures are necessary for students wishing to reenter the program in the future.  
 
Program Design
To the extent possible, the district will make a variety of appropriate program services available to students who participate in the program.
 
The district will provide a continuance of services for highly capable students at the elementary, middle, and high schools levels.
  • In kindergarten through grade 3, the needs of highly capable students are met through differentiation and individualization in the general education classroom.
  • In grades 4-5, the needs of highly capable students are met through differentiated instruction in the general education classroom and/or placement in a full time highly capable program.
  • In grades 6-12, the needs of highly capable students are met through differentiated instruction in the general education classroom, subject and/or grade acceleration, and challenging course placement. Specific counseling support will be available for identified highly capable students in selecting appropriately challenging courses, such as PreAP, Running Start, Advanced Placement, and dual credit opportunities.
 
Reporting
Identified students will be assigned the appropriate CEDARS gifted value(s) in the district’s student information system for end-of-year reporting activities.
 
The superintendent or designee will provide an end-of-the-year report to the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), which includes:
  •  The number of students served by grade level K-12;
  • Student demographic information;
  • Data to determine if students who are highly capable met the goals set and if the programs provided met the academic needs of these students;
  • The number and content of professional development activities provided for special teachers and general education staff;
  • Program evaluation data and, if needed, program changes that will be made based upon this information; and
  • A final fiscal report that reports on activities and staff funded by this program
 
Date: 1/18/05
Revised: 9/9/08; 8/26/14