HIGHLY CAPABLE STUDENT PROGRAM
The Highly Capable Program serves students in grades K-12 in the Bremerton School District who have been identified as a Highly Capable learner and completed the identification process. Once a student is identified with the unique learning skills sets, they will be matched with one of the following district services to meet their needs:
- Support at the elementary school the student attends;
- Services in a self-contained program at Kitsap Lake;
- Support and services at their secondary school with AP and Honors classes (this may include clustering Language Arts Social Studies Learning Block)
To determine whether this program would be a good fit for a student, it is important for parents to discuss academic abilities and performance with the child’s teacher(s). In addition to high academic performance, highly capable children often exhibit the following characteristics:
- Capacity to learn with an unusual depth of understanding, to retain what has been learned, and to transfer learning to new situations
- Capacity and willingness to deal with increasing 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
- Capacity for intense concentration and/or focus
Student Referral/Nomination Procedure
- A Student Referral Form may be submitted at any time; however, and most assessments are conducted January - April. Student Referral Forms, Permission to Test Form, and Parent Checklist of Creative and Cognitive Characteristics are available online (www.bremertonschools.org), in school offices, at the District Office, or through email request via the Highly Capable Secretary.
- The form may be returned to your school office, scanned, or emailed to the Highly Capable Secretary at firstname.lastname@example.org, or faxed to 360.473.1040.
- In addition to year-round referrals, all 2nd-grade students are screened using the CogAT Screening Form.
- Any referrals received after spring testing will be scheduled for evaluation later in the school year or during the summer.
Student Assessment Procedure
Students must go through the District’s assessment process in order to be considered for the Highly Capable Program. Applicants must:
- Be residents of the Bremerton School District
- Have a completed Student Referral Form submitted
- Demonstrate high academic achievement and cognitive ability
- Demonstrate creativity and problem-solving skills
Multiple measures are used to consider a student for services. The assessment process will include cognitive and academic achievement assessments, parent and teacher rating scales, state assessment results when available. To get a well-rounded assessment of a students eligibility, the following multiple measures are considered:
- iReady for reading and math;
- Smarter Balanced Assessments for ELA/Literacy and Math;
- ELPA 21 (if applicable);
- Wa-Kids (kindergarten only);
- Classroom-based assessments;
- COGAT - All eligible students Grades K-12
- Parent and Teacher Creative & Cognitive Characteristics Surveys and/or work samples
- A typical candidate qualifies for services with a combination of high verbal, quantitative, and/or non-verbal CogAT scores.
- iReady scores in reading and/or math.
- High Level 4 scores in Reading and/or Math state assessment (for placement in 4th-12th grade)
By Washington State law and District policy, the District Multidisciplinary Selection Team (DMST) reviews student data to establish eligibility for highly capable services. The DMST reviews the following information contained in individual student profile packets:
- Achievement Scores – State and district assessments
- Aptitude Scores – Cognitive Ability Test (CogAT)
- Classroom-based assessments
- Parent and Teacher Rating Scales
The DMST reviews and discusses student recommendations. The team consists of:
- School psychologist or other qualified person to interpret cognitive and achievement test results
- Teacher with special training in highly capable education
- Certificated coordinator/administrator
- Other professionals, such as a learning specialist, counselors, classroom teachers, and building coordinators
- The DMST reviews individual student recommendations based on eligibility criteria and all available data.
- The team discusses each student and comes to a consensus about a student’s eligibility for highly capable services.
- The Committee recommends one of two determinations and provides that recommendation to parents in writing:
- The student qualifies under the criteria to receive Highly Capable services.
- The student's data does not qualify them for placement in the Highly Capable program.
The number of applicants for the Highly Capable Program varies each year. The program for each student will be determined by a Multi-Selection Committee; based on testing information and, where possible, teacher feedback.
Families have the option to enroll in the self-contained Highly Capable program or work with their school Highly Capable Coordinator to develop an individualized Student Learning Plan.
Appeals for reconsideration of students who have not met the assessment criteria are reviewed by the Superintendent and an appeals review team. All appeals must be submitted in writing and should include new data/rationale to support the appeal. The appeal request must be submitted within 10 days of the Multi-Selection Committee decision notification.
Evaluation of the Highly Capable Services/Program
Highly capable data is reviewed at least annually to ensure under-served populations are reviewed to determine if we are reaching all students. This information is shared with principals and HiCap coordinators at the building level and efforts are revised using an equity lens. As a result, buildings and the District revise their outreach methods.