Programs & Services

Highly Capable Program

Accelerated Learning

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Highly Capable Program Overview

McCleary School District recognizes that Highly Capable students need opportunities to meet their individual and collective needs. In order to determine if a student would benefit from Highly Capable Services, an annual nomination and assessment process is conducted. To enter the selection process for the Highly Capable Program, the student must currently be enrolled in the McCleary School District.

Students who qualify for the McCleary School District Highly Capable Program receive appropriate curriculum and instruction to meet their academic needs through differentiation in the regular classroom. Identified students have access to accelerated learning opportunities such as independent projects, tiered assignments, supplemental materials, flexible skill grouping, compacting, and higher-level questioning in area(s) of strength.

Highly Capable Definition (RCW 28A.150.220)

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.

  1. Students who are highly capable may possess, but are not limited to, these learning characteristics:
  2. Capacity to learn with unusual depth of understanding, to retain what has been learned, and to transfer learning to new situations;
  3. Capacity and willingness to deal with increasing levels of abstraction and complexity earlier than other peers;
  4. Creative ability to make unusual connections among ideas and concepts;
  5. Ability to learn quickly in their area(s) of intellectual strength; and
  6. Capacity for intense concentration and/or focus.
Assessment and Identification Procedures (WAC 392-170-055)

The following procedures will be employed to refer, assess, and select students to participate in the program:

Universal Screening

McCleary School District universally screens all 2nd-grade students. Our program does not require parent permission to screen students. However, there is a very short turnaround time between the end of screening and the beginning of assessment. Because of this, we encouraged all parents to give permission before screening. This way, if your student moves to the assessment phase, we already have your permission to administer the CogAt. You may fill out the Permission form to allow your student to be assessed if and when that may be needed.

*For students who are not in 2nd grade, you will need to follow Referral/Nomination Process

Referral/Nomination Process (WAC 392-170-045)

The process begins by completing the nomination forms. These forms are available at the school office and on the McCleary School District website.

Anyone may refer a student in grades K-7 to participate in Highly Capable testing and assessment. Referrals may come from parents, guardians, teachers, school specialists, friends, family, or community members.

Parent Permission is Mandatory (WAC 392-170-047)

Parent Permission is required for the student to be tested/assessed for Highly Capable services.

Assessments & Selection (WAC 392-170-070)

A Multidisciplinary Selection Committee (MSC) will review all data and make final selection decisions based on multiple objective criteria.
Data collected may include, but is not limited to:

Ability test scores:
  • Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) 7. (More information on the CogAT is available on the district website)
    • Verbal, Quantitative, Non-Verbal
    • Provided in student’s native language if possible
  • Achievement test scores
    • SBA data
    • Common grade-level assessments

    Items that can support placement in program, but cannot exclude a student (RCW 28A.300),
    may include but are not limited to:

    • Rating scales, recommendations
    • Report cards, student work samples
    • Portfolio of evidence

    Parents/Guardians will be notified by mail as to whether or not a student is determined to need specialized services at this time. If a student is identified as qualifying for services as a Highly Capable student, parents will be notified as to the services recommended. Test results from the CogAT-7® will be sent home after the MSC meets to determine Qualifications.

    Appeals (WAC 392-170-076)

    Students who do not qualify for Highly Capable Services may have their results appealed. The appeal process is strictly defined and will be included in the notification letter. If a parent disagrees with a decision that is made as a result of the selection process, he or she may appeal the decision in writing within ten days of the notification letter.

    Exit Process

    The exit process may be initiated for students who no longer demonstrate a need for highly capable program services. A parent/legal 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 Director to discuss the request. If the parent/legal guardian desires to withdraw the student from the program, the student will be exited from the program.