Identification

A multidisciplinary committee made up of teachers, principals, a school psychologist, and district Highly Capable program staff determines eligibility for Highly Capable program services. In accordance with state requirements, the committee makes identification decisions for services using multiple objective criteria to identify students who are among the most highly capable. Identification is based on review of cognitive abilities assessment results, achievement data, and teacher input.

*Students not currently enrolled in UPSD may opt to substitute scores from a different nationally normed achievement test for the GMADE or GRADE. These tests must be approved by the Assessment Office prior to a Final Testing and Score Evaluation.



Steps to Identification:





2019-2020 Highly Capable Program Overview




The University Place School District provides a continuum of services for students identified as the most highly capable. These are students who perform or show potential for performing at significantly advanced academic levels when compared with others their age, experiences, or environments. Students identified as highly capable by the University Place School District typically demonstrate achievement at or above the 95th percentile and have assessed abilities at or above the 98th percentile.



PROGRAM SERVICES


Kindergarten – Fourth Grade

As determined by the specifically identified strengths of the student, service options on the continuum may include:

  • Placement in the regular classroom with the parent/guardian requesting no services be provided at this time.
  • Placement in the regular classroom with special attention to the need for differentiation and extension activities within specific lessons.
  • Placement in the regular classroom with special attention to the need for differentiation and extension activities within lessons in one or more subjects.
  • Participating in selected lessons with students in another classroom or grade.
  • Regularly participating with students in another classroom or grade in one or more subjects within the school.
  • Placement in a Challenge classroom with other highly capable students in third and fourth grades only.



    The Challenge option for third and fourth grade students identified as highly capable is an academic acceleration program housed at Chambers Primary School. Based on the needs of the highly capable group, students may be provided instruction in grade-specific or mixed-grade classes. For example, students may be mixed by grade for one or more subjects depending on the students’ needs.



    Fifth – Seventh Grade

    As determined by the specifically identified strengths of the student, service options on the continuum may include:

  • Placement in the regular classroom with the parent/guardian requesting no services be provided at this time
  • Placement in the regular classroom with special attention to the need for differentiation and extension activities within lessons in one or more subjects
  • Participating in one or more enrichment activities or clubs offered after school
  • Placement in a Challenge classroom with other highly capable students for one or more subjects



    The Challenge option for fifth through seventh grade students identified as highly capable is an academic acceleration program housed at Narrows View Intermediate. Based on the needs of the highly capable students’ within the school, students may be provided accelerated instruction in one or more subjects.



    Eighth – Twelfth Grade

    Students at the junior high and high school do not need to be identified as highly capable to take advantage of accelerated learning opportunities. We encourage all students to take advantage of accelerated courses whenever they demonstrate the skills and ability to do so. It is the district’s goal to provide as many opportunities for acceleration as possible for students identified as highly capable. In most cases, students identified as highly capable will be enrolled alongside high performing students who may not be identified as highly capable or who may be from different grades.



    At the secondary level, a continuum of accelerated opportunities is provided, but students and parents must make scheduling choices. We anticipate that highly capable students will be successful on an accelerated trajectory in a particular subject or course they choose. We will evaluate each student’s performance and placement as they plan their schedule for the next year. If the staff or administration believe a highly capable student would be better served on a different path, counselors or administrators will notify the parents and invite their input. In some cases, accelerated courses require either an existing skill set or students to have taken a prerequisite class.



    8th Grade – Honors English 8, Honors Science 8, Honors US History 8, Geometry

    9th Grade – Advanced Art, Honors English 9, Algebra 3/4, a variety of performing arts, Honors Science 9, Honors World Studies

    10th Grade – 12th Grade – English Honors 10, AP English 11, AP English 12, Advanced Drawing and Painting, Advanced Ceramics, a variety of performing arts, AP Calculus A/B, AP Calculus B/C, AP Statistics, AP Photo, AP Computer Science, Advanced Culinary Arts, AP US History, AP Government and Civics, AP Psychology, Honors Science 10, AP Biology, AP Environmental Science, AP Chemistry, AP Physics



    Even with all of these accelerated options, an individual student identified as highly capable may require additional assistance in registering for these or other classes to meet his/her needs. Counselors are prepared to meet with students and/or parents to discuss the individual’s unique needs and provide an appropriate placement.



    Assessments

Stage 1-Math and Reading Achievement Tests

GRADE-Reading Achievement (Kindergarten-7th Grade)

The GRADE is a normative Group Reading Assessment and Diagnostic Evaluation (GRADE). This assessment allows teachers and administrators to understand students' abilities, teach according to their needs, and evaluate student (and group) progress. GRADE is based on highly reliable scientific research, providing elements needed to correctly and efficiently access diagnostic information on students' vocabulary and comprehension. In the identification process, UPSD has determined that students scoring at or above the 95th percentile are most successful in our highly capable program. The 95th percentile indicates that the student performed the same or better than 95 out of 100 of their age or grade-level peers.

GMADE-Math Achievement (Kindergarten- 7th Grade)

The GMADE is a normative Group Mathematics Assessment and Diagnostic Evaluation (GMADE). Based on NCTM mathematics standards, this assessment allows teachers and administrators to understand students' abilities, teach according to their needs, and evaluate student (and group) progress. GMADE is based on highly reliable scientific research, providing all of the elements needed to correctly and proficiently assess all mathematical competencies. In the identification process, UPSD has determined that students scoring at or above the 95th percentile are most successful in our highly capable program. The 95th percentile indicates that the student performed the same or better than 95 out of 100 of their age or grade-level peers.

Stage 2 - Cognitive Abilities Test 7 (CogAT 7)

The CogAT Form 7 is the assessment used by UPSD in Stage 2 of the Highly Capable identification process. The CogAT 7 reflects the most up-to-date research on how best to measure cognitive abilities and learning styles. Lead author Dr. David F. Lohman, an internationally recognized abilities assessment researcher and winner of the National Association of Gifted Children's Paper of the Decade, has built on the strengths of the test by introducing a variety of enhancements, including new item types and a reduced language load to make the instrument even more appropriate for ELL children.

Verbal Battery

The Verbal Battery is comprised of three subtests: Picture (Verbal) Analogies, Picture (Verbal) Classification, and Sentence Completion. For the Primary Edition, the Picture Analogies and Picture Classification subtests are comprised of all picture-based items which tap into verbal reasoning processes without tying items to a specific administration language. The Sentence Completion test is the only test that requires teacher-read prompts. On this subtest, children listen to the teacher read a question and then choose the picture that best answers the question. The new picture-based item formats on Picture Analogies and Picture Classification reduce the language load of the tests. For the Multilevel Edition, the student must read individual words on two subtests of the Verbal Battery (Verbal Analogies and Verbal Classification) and a sentence on the third (Sentence Completion).

Quantitative Battery

The Quantitative Battery is comprised of three subtests: Number Analogies, Number Puzzles, and Number Series. The three subtests have been adapted for young students by couching quantitative reasoning challenges in engaging and accessible formats for young students. The Number Analogies task for primary children relies on picture-based quantitative concepts rather than numeral representation. The Number Puzzles task presents equations as trains which much carry the same number of objects. And, finally, the Number Series task is presented as an abacus toy where students search for patterns. All of these formats have been extensively tried out with students and have been found to be engaging and to tap into important quantitative reasoning skills.

Nonverbal Battery

The Nonverbal Battery is comprised of three subtests: Figure Matrices, Paper Folding, and Figure Classification. The three subtests at the Primary level are just like those at the Multilevel and did not require much adaptation for young students. The Figure Matrices subtest contains three figures in an analogy (A→B: C→⟨) that the student must complete. Paper Folding requires the examinee to determine how a folded, hole-punched paper will appear when unfolded. Figure Classification presents three figures in the stem, and the examinee is required to determine a fourth figure that belongs to the set.

Students who qualify for Highly Capable program services and also qualify for either special education services or a 504 plan are often referred to as twice-exceptional students. It is important that staff from both programs collaborate when planning for students who are eligible for multiple services. Additional data available for students with IEPs may be used in the identification process, as well, when relevant to determining a need for highly capable program services.

In addition to ability and achievement assessments, for students with a first language other than English, the Washington English Language Proficiency Assessment (WELPA) is used to evaluate the student's ability for rapid language acquisition which can be a characteristic of highly capable learners.


Special Education
Students who qualify for Highly Capable program services and also qualify for either special education services or a 504 plan are often referred to as twice-exceptional students. It is important that staff from both programs collaborate when planning for students who are eligible for multiple services. Additional data available for students with IEPs may be used in the identification process, as well, when relevant to determining a need for highly capable program services.


English Language Learners
In addition to ability and achievement assessments, for students with a first language other than English, the English Language Proficiency Assessment for the 21st Century (ELPA21) is used to evaluate the student’s ability for rapid language acquisition which can be a characteristic of highly capable learners.


Exiting the Highly Capable Program

University Place School District, in compliance with WAC 392-170-047, has the following two procedures in which to exit students from the highly capable program.  

District Initiated Exit Process:
The exit process may be initiated by district staff to determine whether a student continues to benefit from Highly Capable Services.  District staff will follow office protocol for discontinuation of Highly Capable Services with permission from student or parent and principal.

Parent Request to Withdraw:
A parent/legal guardian may request that the student be withdrawn from receiving Highly Capable Services at any time.  Request will be made to building teacher or administrator.  Office protocol for discontinuation of Highly Capable Services.


Program Review

The UPSD Highly Capable Program plan and description is submitted annually to the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction. Additionally, a program evaluation committee reviews this plan and program annually to make recommendations for modifications in the program services and/or qualification process. The UPSD Board of Directors approves this plan and any substantial modifications annually.



















The University Place School District complies with all federal and state laws, rules, and regulations and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin (including language), sex, sexual orientation including gender expression or identity, creed, religion, age, veteran or military status, disability, or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability in student education programs, co-curricular activities, and employment practices. The district is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer encouraging application of qualified minorities, women, and disabled persons for employment and other opportunities. University Place School District is committed to providing access to all District programs and activities and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups. For elevator access at school sites, contact the principal’s office. The University Place School District is a drug-free/smoke-free work place and educational setting. Direct inquiries regarding compliance, grievance, or appeal procedures, or concerns involving students, should be made to the District Affirmative Action Officer/Civil Rights Compliance Coordinator/ Title IX Officer/HIB Compliance Officer, Executive Director of Secondary Education, Lainey Mathews, lmathews@upsd83.org; or Section 504/FAPE/ADA concerns should be made to Executive Director of Special Services, Kelly McClure kmcclure@upsd83.org. Both can be contacted at (253) 566-5600, 3717 Grandview Drive West, University Place, WA 98466.