Highly Capable Program

  • The Lakewood School District’s Highly Capable Program serves students in grades K-12 who perform or show potential for performing at significantly advanced academic levels, demonstrate superior intellectual ability and/or display unusual creativity when compared to others of their age, experiences, or environments.

    This program is designed to help students explore learning through activities or courses that target their unique skills and abilities.

    All 2nd graders and 5th graders will be screened and assessed this year. If your student is not in those grades, and you would like us to assess them for the Highly Capable Program, please complete and return the Student Referral for Evaluation form (see forms on this page) to your child’s school office by January 31, 2024.

    DEFINITION OF A HIGHLY CAPABLE STUDENT

    As defined by the state (WAC 392-170-035), 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. Outstanding abilities are seen within students' general intellectual aptitudes, specific academic abilities, and creative productivities within a specific domain.

    PURPOSE

    The Highly Capable Program is designed for students who demonstrate a significantly higher academic performance in specific academic areas compared to their grade level peers.  The Highly Capable Program is designed to address the significantly higher learning needs through a continuum of service models that span from Kindergarten to 12th grade.

    The program offerings for Highly Capable students vary depending on the grade level of the child. Options range from differentiation and enrichment projects based at home, to clustering models that allow full-time placement depending on the grade level. This program is designed to help students explore learning through enhanced activities that target their unique skills and abilities.

    K-12 SERVICES

    Highly Capable students who have been identified as significantly higher in both reading and math will be served through the range of services listed below.

    Kindergarten & 1st Grade- Walk to reading and math or Differentiated instruction in-class

    2nd & 3rd Grade- HiCap “cluster” at home school

    4th & 5th Grade-  HiCap “cluster” at home school

    6th & 7th Grade-  English Language Arts (ELA) – HiCap students plus other advanced learners to fill the class
    Math – classes that fit student needs

    8th Grade- ELA HiCap "cluster", Math – classes that fit student needs

    9th - 12th Grade- Honors; College in the high school; Running Start, Math – classes that fit student needs

    • Screening, Referrals, and Identification

    Identification procedures are conducted in accordance with state law and district policy, and include standardized assessments of ability, achievement, and creativity. All students who meet the screening criteria will be offered an opportunity to be assessed for possible inclusion in the Highly Capable Program.

    Step One – Referrals and Screening

      • See information below for information on specific grade bands.

    Step Two – Parent Consent

      • For students who are eligible for assessment, consent for assessment will be requested from parents.

    Step Three – Assessment

      • Assessment will take place in each building during the regular school day.
      • Classroom teachers may be asked to supply examples of curriculum-based assessments and student work samples.

    Step Four – Identification and Notification

      • The Multi-Discipline Team (MDT) will make decisions regarding the eligibility of students for services. The MDT team is often made up of a school psychologist, a counselor, a special education/resource room teacher, and a district administrator.
      • Results of the MDT are mailed home to parents and communicated to teachers and building principals.
      • Parents sign and return Consent for Placement form.

    • Grade 2 & 5

    Students will be identified through multiple measures. All students in 2nd and 5th grade will be screened using a nonverbal test of ability (NNAT-3), Those initially identified through the screening process will be further assessed by the Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT) using:

      • Fall & winter STAR assessments
      • District Assessments and the NNAT-3 scores
      • Teacher input
      • Parent input

    • Grades K, 1, 3, 4, & 6-12

    Any student in the Lakewood School district may be referred for Highly Capable screening and testing by a parent, staff member, community member or by self-referral each January.  Referred students will be screened using a nonverbal test of ability (NNAT-3).  Those initially identified through the screening process will be further assessed by the Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT) using:

      • Fall & winter STAR assessments
      • District Assessments and the NNAT-3 scores
      • Teacher input
      • Parent input

    Appeals

    Parents or guardians may appeal the decision of the MDT in writing to the Executive Director of Teaching and Learning within five days of notification of the decision. The written appeal request and previous assessment information will be reviewed by an appeals committee. This committee will be appointed by the superintendent or the superintendent’s designee. The committee will decide to place the student in the program or to deny placement of the student in the program. The committee may request additional assessments or other information prior to deciding. Parents will be informed in writing of the final decision. The decision of the appeals committee is final.

    Exiting Procedures

    MULTI-DISCIPLINARY TEAM

    Students may be exited from the program if parents have opted to place their highly capable students in non-designated classrooms.  The Director of Teaching and Learning will notify relevant staff and the building principal.

    STUDENTS

    Students may voluntarily exit the program with parental consent.  Written parental consent to withdraw the student from program services must be sent to the Director of Teaching and Learning.

    PARENTS

    Parents may withdraw their child from services at any time with written notification to the Director of Teaching and Learning.

    TEACHER

    If a student is refusing to participate in the accelerated and enhanced learning opportunities planned for them, then the following steps will be initiated:

    1. The teacher will investigate possible reasons why the student may be unwilling to participate, considering such factors as medical issues, unidentified learning disabilities and motivation.  The teacher will suggest referrals as needed, meet with the previus or current teachers of the student to obtain ideas and otherwise seek support and advice.  
    2. Should the difficulty continue, the teacher, student and parent shall meet to discuss the perceived barriers to the student's success in the program.  A collaborative plan of assistance will be generated because of this meeting and dates shall be set for future communication regarding the plan's effective implementation.
    3. If the student continues to be unwilling to participate in accelerated or enhanced learning opportunities after the plan of assistance is implemented, then the teacher will notify the Director of Teaching and Learning.  The student shall then be exited from the program.
    4. The parent and student shall be informed in writing of the student's withdrawal from the program services by the director.  Appeals of this decision may be made to the superintendent within 5 days of receiving notice of this decision.