About the Highly Capable Program

In accordance with state guidelines, students are nominated, assessed, and selected to the Highly Capable Program based on their demonstrated achievement or potential ability in terms of general intellectual ability, academic aptitude, and creative or productive thinking.

The program is based on the following objectives:

  • Expansion of academic attainments and intellectual skills;
  • Stimulation of intellectual curiosity, independence, and responsibility;
  • Development of a positive attitude toward self and others; and
  • Development of originality and creativity.

Students who are highly capable may possess, but are not limited to, these learning characteristics:

  1. Capacity to learn with unusual depth of understanding, to retain what has been learned, and to transfer learning to new situations;
  2. Capacity and willingness to deal with increasing levels of abstraction and complexity earlier than peers;
  3. Creative ability to make unusual connections among ideas and concepts;
  4. Ability to learn quickly in their area(s) of intellectual strength; and
  5. Capacity for intense concentration and/or focus.

Highly Capable Forms and Resources

Highly Capable Program Services K-12

On-Site Services K-4

Students identified as Highly Capable are served at the elementary schools in their general education classroom as part of the “Benchmark and Beyond” program. These services include opportunities for students to participate in differentiated and enhanced instruction by their classroom teacher designed to meet areas of strength. For more information about Benchmark and Beyond at your child’s school, contact your school’s principal.

Program for Advanced Learners (PAL) Grades 3-4

Students identified during second and third grade assessments, or nominated by teachers or parents and accepted, are offered full-time Highly Capable services through the self-contained Program for Advanced Learners (PAL) at Wide Hollow STEAM Elementary. This program serves 3rd and 4th grade students with teachers who have been trained to meet the academic, social, and emotional needs of highly capable students. It includes project-based learning, advanced pacing, and advanced curriculum.

For more information about PAL, contact the Wide Hollow STEAM Elementary principal. For more information, to nominate your student, or to appeal a decision in regard to the Highly Capable Program, please visit our resource library.

Middle Level Campus

Beginning in 5th grade, all students will have options for enrichment and individual choice through electives. Please note that some electives are only offered at certain times of the day, which may conflict with other advanced options.

  • 5th Grade: Identified students are placed in one of two Advanced Core classes with a teacher who has been trained to meet the academic, social, and emotional needs of Highly Capable students. These teachers will provide opportunities for students to participate in differentiated and enhanced instruction designed to meet areas of strength. Students will also participate in a 9-week Advanced PBL course for one of their electives.
  • 6th Grade: Identified students are placed in an advanced math class based on areas of strength. Other subjects will be served through differentiation and enrichment provided by the classroom teacher designed to meet areas of strength. Students will also participate in a 9-week Advanced PBL course for one of their electives.
  • 7th & 8th Grade: Some identified students are placed in Advanced Inquiry courses for language arts, science, and/or social studies based on their identified areas of strengths and performance on standardized tests. These courses will include project-based learning, advanced pacing, and advanced curriculum. Identified students will be placed in one of three algebra options based on their identified areas of strength and performance on the algebra readiness exam in the spring of 6th grade. Other identified students are served through differentiation and enrichment provided by the classroom teacher designed to meet areas of strength.

High School

At grades 9-12, options for services vary depending on the needs and interests of each student and include a wide array of enrichment opportunities and electives. Students may be served through Honors courses, Advanced Placement (AP) options, College in the High School (CHS) offerings, WV Futures Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs, and/or Running Start. For more information about the advanced options at the secondary level, contact one of the high school counselors.

Exit Procedures

A student may be exited from the program at the request of a parent or based upon the recommendation of a multidisciplinary team comprised of an administrator, teacher, psychologist, and the student’s parent(s). Efforts will be made to determine why the student no longer appears to be engaged in or need advanced or accelerated instruction. Reevaluation and retesting may be requested, and the decision of the multidisciplinary team is final.

Placement

Written parent permission must be obtained prior to placing a student in the highly capable program or beginning highly capable services. This is in addition to the written permission collected in order to test a student for the program.

Retesting

Once in the program, your child will not need to be referred or retested in order to continue receiving services each year, with the following exceptions:

  • Students qualified at a Level 1 who wish to be reconsidered for Level 2 services in all subject areas
  • Students qualified at a Level 2 who wish to be reconsidered for Level 3 services provided through the full-time self-contained program
  • Student exited from program and wishing to reenter
  • Reevaluation has been requested as part of the exit procedures (see above)

Final Eligibility

West Valley School District, in compliance with Washington State rules for Highly Capable Programs (WAC 392-170-076), has an appeals process. If a parent/guardian does not agree with the final eligibility decision and wishes to appeal, they are asked to submit a detailed written explanation regarding why an appeal is being filed. Appeals are reviewed and considered by the district's Multidisciplinary Selection Committee (MSC). The MSC is chaired by the Highly Capable Program Coordinator as a designee of the Superintendent. The MSC's final decision will be sent by mail to the parent/guardian submitting the appeal.

Appeals will only be considered for the following reasons:

  1. During the testing window, there was an extraordinary circumstance (e.g., a death in the family, an illness that prevented the student from completing the test during administration, or a traumatic event) that may have affected the validity of the test results.
  1. The birthdate or grade level listed on the student’s results notification is incorrect.
  1. The student has a 504 Plan or an IEP that has test accommodations, and these accommodations were not provided during Highly Capable Testing.
  1. A misapplication, miscalculation, or misinterpretation of the scores.

Submitting an Appeal

Appeal forms are mailed with the notification of score results letter and can also be found in our resource library. The deadline for submission of appeals is ten (10) business days from the date of the notification of score results letter.

Contact

For more information about the Highly Capable program, or if you have a transfer student you would like to be considered for the Highly Capable Program, please contact:

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Wendy Clark - Highly Capable Program