The information below reflects our current Highly Capable Program. In accordance with revisions to RCW 28A.185 and WAC 392-170, Aberdeen School District redesigned the program so that it targets identified students in K-12.
The goal of the Aberdeen’s School District’s Highly Capable Program is to meet the unique academic, social and emotional needs of intellectually gifted students in grades K-12 through enhanced and accelerated learning opportunities.
Students in K-6th grade will be served in their classrooms/schools using developmentally appropriate approaches that may include clustering, differentiation and single subject acceleration. Junior high students will be served in their area(s) of talent in honors or advanced/accelerated classes, when available, or in the general education classroom using differentiation, clustering and telescoping. High school students in grades 9-12 will receive services in their talent area(s) through options such as Honors, AP, Running Start and online/blended classes. Enrichment activities through ESDs or in conjunction with other districts may be offered for students in their area(s) of talent when and if available.
Each school will have a Highly Capable Liaison responsible for the design of an individual learning plan for each identified Highly Capable Program student in the school. The teacher, liaison, parent and student, where appropriate, will collaboratively create the individual learning plan. This plan will be reviewed and updated regularly to reflect the needs of the student.
The process begins by completing the nomination form. These forms are available in the main office at each school and in the district office. Anyone may nominate a student for program consideration. Referrals are encouraged from parents, teachers, friends and the community. While nominations will be accepted at any time, these will be actively solicited in the spring of each year for 1st grade and up and in the late fall for kindergarten. All nominations have an initial screening. Those who are recommended for OLSAT testing will have a minimum of two MAP scores over the 90th percentile. OLSAT testing will take place each year during the fall semester.
Notices Sent Out
Approximately three weeks before testing, a notice is sent to the student’s parents informing them of upcoming program testing and requesting their return of the “Parent Consent for Evaluation”.
District-wide testing of students takes place during the fall semester using the OLSAT (Otis Lenin School Ability Test). MAP, Measures of Academic Progress, is a district-wide academic assessment given in the fall, winter and spring of each year. Results from this test provide additional information for the placement team. Results from the state assessment, if available, are also used to provide data. A Teacher Rating Form is sent to the appropriate classroom teacher requesting pertinent information about the nominated student.
A Highly Capable Student Placement Committee reviews testing data and decides program eligibility. The student placement team is composed of:
The Student Placement Committee determines if the assessment results from the OLSAT, MAP testing, state assessments, teacher rating forms and other data provide evidence that the student demonstrates the state and district required characteristics and makes a recommendation for placement in the program or not. Students who are most highly capable should score in the 90th percentile on a minimum of two MAP assessments and over the 95th percentile on the OLSAT. A single assessment score 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.
The Department of Teaching and Learning will send a letter to the students’ parents and the school regarding the test results and students’ eligibility.
If a parent or teacher disagrees with a decision that is made as a result of the selection procedures, he or she may appeal the decision by contacting the Director of Teaching and Learning or the school principal. An Appeal Form, available on the district website and at the Department of Teaching and Learning, must be submitted outlining the rationale for the request, including supporting documentation, details and data. Appeals must be initiated within 15 days of receiving the placement decision letter from the Committee.
The Highly Capable Committee that consists of teachers, principals, a psychologist and the Director of Teaching and Learning reviews appeals. All submitted documents are carefully scrutinized. The Committee will determine one of the following based on the data: Change of status to qualified; Denial of appeal; Request for further testing; Request for further information and/or data prior to a final decision. The parent and/or teacher will be notified in writing of the Committee’s decision. The decision of the Committee is final.
All placements in the program are provisional and will undergo periodic review including assessment/testing data to ensure that each student is demonstrating consistent academic progress. Teachers are to inform the Highly Capable School Liaison in writing of those students whose continued placement might not be appropriate and include artifacts that support the concern. When there are issues in regards to a specific student, the school liaison will schedule a meeting with the student, teacher, parents, school principal and the Highly Capable Program Director to discuss these concerns, to formulate a student plan of improvement for the remainder of the grading period, and to determine possible alternatives. If a student does not make adequate progress, exiting the program may be appropriate. A decision to have the student re-enter the program at a future time will include the data from the exiting procedure. If there is adequate information to indicate that the student could be successful in the highly capable program, this data shall not preclude re-entry.
A parent/legal guardian may request that a student be withdrawn from the program or a student may voluntarily withdraw. A meeting will be convened by the Highly Capable Program Coordinator to discuss these requests. If the parent/legal guardian desires that the student withdraw from the program, the student will be exited. The Committee will determine if identification procedures are necessary for students wishing to reenter the program in the future.
Newly Enrolled Highly Capable Programs Students from Other Districts
Parents of students new to the district who participated in a highly capable program at her or his previous school should inform the school principal or Highly Capable Liaison who will contact the Department of Teaching and Learning. Documentation of participation in a highly capable program, previous cognitive and academic testing scores and other pertinent information will be requested. If no cognitive test has previously been taken, the student will be assessed with the OLSAT. Placement will be determined by the Highly Capable Committee and based on comparison data of currently enrolled program students.