Tumwater School District highly capable students will have access to accelerated learning and enhanced instruction RCW 28A.185.020. Access to accelerated learning and enhanced instruction through the program for highly capable students does not constitute an individual entitlement for any particular student.
Definition of Highly Capable Student:
Specific Academic Achievement
These students exhibit high capability in intellectual and/or creative areas, possess an unusual leadership capacity, or excel in specific academic fields, thereby requiring services beyond the basic programs provided by schools. Outstanding abilities are present in students from all cultural groups, across all economic strata, and in all areas of human endeavor.
The term unique needs shall mean that identified highly capable students generally possess these learning characteristics:
1. Capacity to learn with unusual depth of understanding, to retain what has been learned, and to transfer learning to new situations;
2. Capacity and willingness to deal with increasing levels of abstraction and complexity earlier than their chronological peers;
3. Ability to make unusual connections among ideas and concepts;
4. Ability to learn very quickly in their area(s) of intellectual strength;
5. Capacity for intense concentration and/or focus WAC 392-170-036.
Goals of Tumwater School District Highly Capable Program:
1. To provide enriched and accelerated academic opportunities for students with high intellectual and academic abilities.
2. To offer a rigorous academic curriculum that will prepare students for advanced high school and college courses.
3. To offer an environment where highly capable students are encouraged to reach their full potential.
4. To address the social and emotional needs of highly capable students through teacher support, peer interaction and by fostering a sense of community.
Procedures for identification and placement of Highly Capable students WAC 392 170 047:
Parental permission must be obtained in writing before:
1. Conducting assessment(s) to determine eligibility for participation in Tumwater School District programs for Highly Capable students.
2. Providing initial special services and programs to an identified Highly Capable student.
Parental permission notice shall include:
1. A full explanation of the procedures for identification and program options.
2. An explanation of the appeal process.
In March nominations for potential Highly Capable students in grades 2nd through 7th will be accepted. Nominations may come from any source including teachers, staff, parents, other students, and members of the community. Students may nominate themselves. Anyone nominating a student shall complete a referral form and submit it to the student’s school counselor or District Highly Capable Coordinator (DHCC). The District Highly Capable Coordinator will notify parents of the nomination and obtain written permission for further assessing. These forms are available at the elementary schools, the district office, or district webpage.
· Grades 2-6 Teacher Referral Application
· Grades 2-6 Parent/Guardian/Other Referral Application
Multiple criteria are used to make any determination about a student's participation in the Highly Capable program. Assessment instruments are used that measure ability and achievement. Parent and teacher forms are screened for examples of exceptional creativity, including exemplary creative products, unusual problem solving ability, or other learning characteristics that indicate high intellectual potential.
All students nominated will be assessed in the following areas:
1. Achievement - Evidence that the student scores in the top five percent in one or more specific academic achievement areas as demonstrated on a standardized achievement test.
· Measurements of Student Progress (MSP) in grades 4-7
· District Assessments
2. Ability - Evidence that the student scores in the top ten percent in cognitive ability as demonstrated on a standardized ability test.
· Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT)
· Tests in Verbal, Quantitative, and Non-Verbal
· For more information about the tests: http://www.riversidepublishing.com/products/cogAt/details.html#tests
· Qualifying students score in the 97th percentile or above in at least one area or students score in the 90th percentile on both Verbal/nonverbal and Quantitative tests.
3. Exceptional Creativity - Evidence that the student demonstrates behavioral characteristics for exceptional creativity. Parent and teacher forms are screened for examples of exceptional creativity, including exemplary creative products, unusual problem solving ability, or other learning characteristics that indicate high intellectual potential. Evaluation criteria may include fluency, flexibility, originality, and elaboration of thought.
Multi-Disciplinary Selection Committee (MSC):
The role of the MSC is to determine the final selection of students to be placed in the elementary program according to WAC 392-170. The district Highly Capable coordinator will appoint MSC members. The MSC will be comprised of:
1. Classroom teachers with training and expertise in teaching Highly Capable students.
2. School psychologist/Assessment Coordinator with training
3. District administrator or designee with responsibility for the supervision of the district’s program for Highly Capable students.
4. Building principal
Selection Consideration for Exceptional Placements:
A case study approach is recommended for the selection of twice exceptional students. The selection will be made based on potential for success in the special program.
English Language Learners:
· The length of time in an English Language Learners (ELL) Program
· Scores on exit tests
· Strong teacher/school personnel recommendation
· One or more exceptional scores on assessment data
Special Education/504 Students:
· The least restrictive environment for learning
· Compliance with the Individualized Learning Plan (what is needed for success)
· Consideration for type of placement (full, partial, provisional)
· One or more exceptional scores on assessment data
Analysis and Reporting of Assessment Results:
An assessment matrix, designed by the MSC, will be used to document and summarize each student’s assessment data. Student profile information will be gathered and will include information on academic performance, creativity and other items of value in the assessment process. A summary report will indicate whether the student qualifies or does not qualify for the program. A copy of the assessment report will be placed in the qualifying student’s permanent file. A copy of all assessment reports will be sent to the school principal upon completion of the assessment process.
Students previously enrolled in a Highly Capable program outside the Tumwater School District will be screened to determine if they meet the criteria for enrollment in the Tumwater School District program. Previous test information in the student’s file will be considered by the MSC. Students will be placed on the waiting list.
All qualifying students will be invited to participate in the program for Highly Capable. Parents will complete the Permission for Placement Form prior to student being initially placed in the Highly Capable program.
Exceptions to the Criteria:
Exceptions may be made by the MSC for students whose test results do not meet the criteria because of special circumstances. For students showing potential, additional data may be gathered to determine eligibility for the program.
Notification to Parents:
A letter will be sent to parents with a copy of the assessment results and the MSC’s decision for placement in the program. Parents will be notified of appeal rights and procedures.
Decisions of the MSC can be appealed at any time. The following procedures are in place for an appeal:
1. An appeal form is available through the Highly Capable program in the district office, each school, or on-line.
2. Supporting evidence must be included in the information provided by the individual making the appeal.
3. The Appeals Committee will be comprised of the MSC and at least one additional professional who was not part of the decision being appealed.
4. The appeal will be reviewed by the MSC within 35 school days of receiving the appeal. A written summary of findings will be sent to the person filing the appeal, and a copy of the appeal and summary of findings will be included in the student’s cumulative file.
Annual review of performance will be conducted for all students selected for inclusion in programs. For students not meeting performance expectations, students and their parents/guardians will be notified by the classroom teacher when assessment of performance falls below the performance expectations for highly capable programs listed above. A meeting to discuss plans for student support will occur within thirty (30) days of the parent/guardian notification.
At that meeting, a written plan of improvement will be created that includes strategies for support mutually developed and reviewed with parents/guardians and instructional staff. The plan will be reviewed at the end of the next semester following its development to assess student progress. Should the student demonstrate program performance expectations, he or she will continue in the assigned placement. Should the student fail to make improvements in the identified areas of the plan, future options and exit criteria will be discussed with the parent/guardian. The MCS will make all final decisions when exiting a student from the program.
Learning opportunities shown by research and practice to be especially effective with highly capable students include, but are not limited to:
1. Accelerated learning opportunities;
2. Grouping arrangements that provide intellectual and interest peer group interactions;
3. Cooperative agreements between K-12 schools and institutions of higher education providing for concurrent enrollment, dual credit, and other advance and/or postsecondary options;
4. Programs designed to coordinate, combine and/or share resources, people and facilities within a district or building in order to maximize access to and utilization of available resources for supporting students' learning;
5. Mentorships and career exploration opportunities WAC 392-170-037.
Tumwater School District Programming:
Elementary Programs- Grades4-6
Highly capable students in grades 4-6 find their unique learning needs addressed in classrooms located at Black Lake Elementary. Specialized instruction and curriculum are designed to promote higher-level thinking and provide a variety of learning experiences to challenge students. Students gain a deep understanding of content and strengths basic skills in a full-time, highly capable environment. Intellectual peers provide social interaction and motivation to excel.