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Highly Capable Programs

Highline Public Schools provides many rigorous opportunities for students. Highline's schools offer programs for students who want a more challenging academic experience.
 
The Elementary School Program is designed for students in grades kindergarten-6th who are academically advanced or demonstrate high intellectual capability. Students receiving highly capable services are often independent learners who thrive on progressively challenging opportunities and utilize advanced problem-solving, in-depth study and presentation of curriculum matched to their demonstrated skills and capabilities.

The Middle School Program is designed for 7th and 8th grade students who are academically advanced or demonstrate high intellectual capability. Students receiving highly capable services are often independent learners who thrive on progressively challenging opportunities and utilize advanced problem-solving, in-depth study and presentation of curriculum matched to their demonstrated skills and capabilities. 
 
The High School Program includes intentional course pathways that continue students’ accelerated trajectory toward success in college-like coursework (AP, IB, and Running Start).  Students will be encouraged to take these college-like courses as early as possible in high school and continue the learning trajectory by taking the highest level courses available either at their school or at local colleges through Running Start. 
 
Contents:  
  • Mission
  • Overview 
  • Identification Process
  • Highly Capable Services for Identified Students
  • New to Highline Public Schools?
  • Private School Student Information
  • Appeals Process 

Mission
 
The goal of Highline's Highly Capable Program is to provide opportunities for students to achieve a greater depth of knowledge, and in some cases, to accelerate their learning to reach their full potential as scholars. 

Overview of Highly Capable Services

Did your child start reading at an early age? Is he naturally curious, have a surprisingly rich vocabulary and/or prefer to spend time with older children or adults? Does she get antsy when things don’t move fast enough? If you have recognized these traits in your child, she or he may be a good fit to receive highly capable services and for the Challenge program.
 
Below is an outline of Highline's Highly Capable program identification and testing process.

Identification Process

Notification to Families about Testing
In December a letter will be sent home in the backpacks of all kindergarten- 2nd grade students notifying families of the program and the process for testing and selection.  3rd-6th grade students may receive a letter in February if, after district screening, they are identified as a student who may be eligible for highly capable services who we want to learn more about through testing.
 
Nominations and Referrals
All students in grades K, 1, and 2 in Highline Public Schools are nominated  to receive highly capable services and for the Challenge program. We think this is critical in the early years because brain development is so rapid and variable at young ages, and intelligence does not always present itself in traditional ways, especially for students faced with the challenges of learning English or living in poverty. 

Students in any grade (including K-2) may be referred to the program by their parent/guardian, teacher, principal, other staff member, other students, or a community member by calling or e-mailing the Student Advancement department at any time until the testing process begins. If a student is referred to the program and their grades/test scores are generally proficient, she/he is brought in for testing. The Student Advancement phone number for nominations is (206) 631-3045. The email address is student.advancement@highlineschools.org.

In grades 3 and higher, a student may be nominated for the program by the Student Advancement team after a review of assessment results. Students may also be identified by school teams as they conduct regular data summits.
 
Screening and Identification
After the nomination and referral process Highline screens all students for highly capable services.  The screening process varies depending on the grade the student is in.  The table below shows the assessments that are used to screen students.
 

Highline Benchmark Assessment

Fountas & Pinnell

SBA, EOC, state tests

CogAT 7 Screener

WELPA

Classroom / Unit Assessments

Grades

K

 

X

X

1-2

X

X

X

X

X

3-6

X

X

X

X

X

X

7-12

X

X

X

X

X

 
Once the screening data is collected, students’ scores are shared with the Highly Capable Selection Committee who review the data and make recommendations about which students will be given further testing. Families of students who are recommended for further testing are sent a letter asking for permission for the student to take an additional test to determine eligibility to receive highly capable services. Families may also call or email the Student Advancement Office to find out their student's screening results. The Student Advancement number is (206) 631-3045 and the email is student.advancement@highlineschools.org.
 
Assessment and Selection 
All 1st-6th grade students who qualify for the 2nd round of testing take the full CogAT as the 2nd round test. This assessment has three sections: Verbal, Quantitative and Nonverbal. This assessment gives us more information about students’ cognitive processing ability in areas that inform literacy, math, and general problem-solving.   
 
After the 2nd round of testing the Highly Capable Selection Committee will use the test scores to determine which students will be invited to receive highly capable services and placement into the Challenge Program. All families of students who took the 2nd round test will receive a letter letting them know their student's results.
 
Please check back here in November 2015 for information about specific dates for testing for the 2016-2017 school year.
 
Highly Capable Services for Identified Students
 
Highly capable services and the Challenge Program are designed for students who are academically advanced or demonstrate high intellectual capability. Students receiving highly capable services are often independent learners who thrive on progressively challenging opportunities and utilize advanced problem-solving, in-depth study and presentation of curriculum matched to their demonstrated skills and capabilities.

Students receiving highly capable services and in the Challenge Program will be called upon to utilize progressively higher-level thinking skills such as synthesis, analysis, creativity, inference and evaluation. Within a given classroom or setting, students may demonstrate a varied level of advancement relative to reading, math and written language.  Our goal is that Highline's highly capable services meet each student's needs and capabilities, and help students cultivate habits of learning that will contribute to student success in school, college, career and life. 
 
Elementary School 
Students in kindergarten and 1st grade who are identified for highly capable services will receive these services in the student’s home classroom, with teachers providing extensions during literacy and math blocks.
 
Students entering 2nd-6th grade who are identified for highly capable services and invited to the Challenge program will attend either Shorewood or Parkside Elementary. Students in the elementary Challenge program will be in a class that will take into account each student's needs and capabilities.
 
Middle School 
Students entering 7th grade who are identified for highly capable services and invited to the Challenge program will attend Chinook or Sylvester Middle School.  Students are in the Middle School Challenge program for 7th and 8th grade and take their math, language arts, science and social studies classes with other students who are receiving highly capable services.
 
High School 
High School highly capable services for 9th-12th grade students include intentional course pathways that continue students’ accelerated trajectory toward success in college-like coursework (AP, IB, and Running Start).  Students will be encouraged to take these college-like courses as early as possible in high school and continue the learning trajectory by taking the highest level courses available either at their school or at local colleges through Running Start. 
 
School Placement
If a student is accepted to the Challenge program he or she is assigned to the Challenge school based on where he or she lives in the district. Students who live in the north end of the district are assigned to Shorewood Elementary School for the elementary school program and Sylvester Middle School for the middle school program.  Students who go to the following elementary schools are assigned to the north end Challenge schools: Beverly Park, Cedarhurst, Gregory Heights, Hazel Valley, Mount View, Seahurst, Shorewood, Southern Heights or White Center Heights.

Students who live in the south end of the district are assigned to Parkside Elementary School for the elementary school program and Chinook Middle School for the middle school program. Students who go to the following elementary schools are assigned to the south end Challenge schools: Bow Lake, Des Moines, Hilltop, Madrona, Marvista, McMicken Heights, Midway, North Hill or Parkside.
 
 
New to Highline Public Schools?

If you move into Highline Public Schools after the highly capable testing period please talk to your student’s new school about the opportunities that the school provides for academically accelerated students. All schools provide differentiated instruction and have programs and opportunities for students at all academic levels.

Highly Capable testing happens in the winter of every school year so students new to the district will have the opportunity to test during the next testing period.

Testing for Students Attending Private School 

Highline tests students who attend private school for highly capable services and the Challenge program.  Check back here in fall 2015 for information about testing during the 2015-2016 school year.
 
Appeals Process
 
Highly capable services and the Challenge program are designed for students who show high academic potential in several academic and cognitive domains. All students should receive academic challenge at their neighborhood school as well, so we ask that your first step in the appeals process be to meet with your child’s teacher or principal. If you still believe that the Challenge program would be the best fit for your child, please follow the steps below. 
 
1. Meet with your child’s school principal or teacher. Ask them to describe how your child is performing and what challenging opportunities are provided on a daily and weekly basis for your student in the areas in which you think she/he is advanced.
 
2. After meeting with the school, if you still determine that the Challenge program would be the best fit for your student, complete the appeals form and submit it to the Student Advancement Department. All appeals must be received within three weeks of the date of the notification letter. Send the appeals to:
 
 Student Advancement
Highline Public Schools
15675 Ambaum Blvd. SW
Burien, WA 98166

3. The Challenge Selection Committee will review all appeals and communicate their decision in writing to the parent/guardian. If your child is not selected for the program this year, she/he will have another opportunity to be considered for the program next school year.

Click here to print the Challenge Program Decision Appeals Process form.

Contact the office of Student Advancement at (206) 631-3045 for more information. 

Contact

Rachel Klein
Director of Student Advancement
 
206.631.3045