Highly Capable Program
Entiat School District is committed to identifying and providing for the unique educational needs of all of our students, and best preparing each and every one of them for college and career readiness. In an individualized educational program, the needs of all children are provided for according to their specific abilities, aptitudes, and levels of performance.Definition of a Highly Capable Student
Highly Capable (HC) students are defined as those 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 the student’s general intellectual aptitudes, specific academic abilities, and/or creative productivities within a specific domain. We have established general guidelines based on multiple objective criteria that set a very high expectation for HC designation.
Children who are HC may have, but are not limited to, these learning characteristics:
- Capacity to learn with unusual depth of understanding, to retain what has been learned, and to transfer learning to new situations;
- Capacity and willingness to deal with higher levels of abstraction and complexity earlier than their chronological peers;
- Creative ability to make unusual connections among ideas and concepts
- Ability to learn quickly in their area(s) of intellectual strength; and
- Capacity for intense concentration and/or focus.
It is important to note that HC students may not be high performing. It is estimated that 25% of school dropouts may be HC. We must consider the student who shows potential yet may be bored, “maxed out” within their class or simply not engaged with school.Description of Services
The expectation is that HC students will be given opportunities to work at an accelerated pace, and at a higher level of complexity. Ideally, HC students will be given opportunities to interact and work with their peers, which can help engage and motivate higher learning.
We will offer services from the following list of options, based on the specific needs and best interests of the student(s):Differentiation, where instruction, materials and resources are adapted within the regular classroom to provide work appropriate to that student;Independent Study, with a student allowed to pursue an area of interest, do intensive reading and research, and write (or even publish) a paper or project, under the direction of a qualified educator. This could also be considered as mentoring. Truly HC students may be able to articulate their own ideas, and propose projects that will engage and challenge them;Cluster Grouping, where kids of like abilities, and perhaps across grade levels, can work as a team on such projects and activities;Single-subject or Grade Acceleration in some cases may be indicated. This is research-proven to be effective in HC student retention and achievement.Running Start will be an option for Junior and Senior students who qualify and are accepted by Wenatchee Valley College for this program. Running Start provides an opportunity for advanced pace and complexity in every area studied, as well as earned credit toward college graduation requirements. Students must be mature, self-motivated and organized in their work.Notification, Assessment Tools, Screening, and Selection Procedures
I. Nomination Procedures
The Entiat School District community deserves and expects clear and timely communication about its students. The WAC now requires that we provide annual notification in the spring to the community both to announce the HC Program for the following year and to solicit nominations of candidates for proposed participation. Students may be nominated in all or specific academic areas. Nomination forms exist for Parent/Guardian/Community Member Nomination Form and other community members, as well as Entiat Staff and Faculty Nominations. School staff will be made aware of timelines and processes through email and staff meeting announcements. Public announcement will be made in our Tiger Tales newsletter in the spring, including an overview of the program and a deadline for submission of nomination forms. Our nomination forms are designed to give us a good overview of the qualities observed in that student. All forms mentioned in this overview are available from our school and district offices and online.II. Assessment Tools and Screening
The law requires school districts to use multiple objective criteria when identifying HC students. During the selection process, we will consider nomination forms as well as achievement on standardized test scores (such as MSP, NWEA, HSPE, and Smarter Balance), on class assignments, projects, and in-classroom testing. Feedback using our HC Screening Rubric will be solicited from every staff member who has worked closely with the student.
III. Procedures for Further Assessment
In some cases, we may require further evidence in determining a child’s potential as Highly Capable. We require written permission from that child’s legal parent or guardian prior to any exceptional or non-standard testing. The nature and purpose of such testing will be explained at the time of request.IV. Selection for and Acceptance of Services
If it is determined that the nominated student is Highly Capable in one or more areas, notification will be given and written permission will be required from their legal parent/guardian prior to delivery of services. Proposed services will be explained in detail at that time. Without such permission, no specialized services will be given.V. Notice of Appeal
In the event that the legal parent/guardian of the nominated student disagrees with any of the findings of our Highly Capable Committee and would like to appeal its decision(s), an Appeal Form is provided for that purpose. The parent/guardian is invited to bring additional evidence in support of their child’s nomination.VI. Exit from Program
The Entiat School District, in compliance with Washington State rules for Highly Capable Programs (HCP), has a procedure to allow students to exit the HCP. The HCP consists of a variety of models and services and therefore is dynamic and fluid. Students will be exited from the program for one of the following reasons:
Highly Capable MDTState law requires that selection will be based upon screening and assessment by a multidisciplinary committee of qualified district personnel. This committee will determine, in their professional judgment, and based on data collected in the assessment process, which students may benefit from inclusion in the district’s program, consistent with WAC 392-170-055.
- Parents/guardians request that the student no longer take part in the services. In this case the parents/guardians complete HCP Exit Form and send it to the district office. The form will then be placed in the student’s file, and they will be exited from services.
- The student no longer meets eligibility requirements for the HCP. Students who are identified as potentially HC are not guaranteed continuation of services. The district may provide an alternate service if the student is not successful.
In response to these changes, we have established a committee including district teachers, specialists, and administration representatives. Select members have received extensive training to gain necessary expertise. We have worked together to:
- Understand the legal requirements for these programs;
- Design a program to satisfy the WAC amendments for notifications, screening, selection and OSPI reporting, among other considerations;
- Develop a model that serves the most highly qualified K-12 students;
- Present a well-considered and complete proposal annually for board approval and submission to the OSPI
- Report annually to the school board and the community on program progress;
- Understand and attempt to work within current HC district and state funding allocations to prepare for and deliver services to our students.
Any questions, comments, or concerns may be addressed by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. This will reach representatives at every level of our program, and the appropriate party will respond to your inquiry as soon as possible. Written correspondence may be addressed to Highly Capable MDT at Entiat SD, and will be directed to the person best able to answer in a timely manner.