Highly Capable Program
As part of a multi-tiered system of support, Orting School District will provide appropriate programs and services to create educational opportunities for highly capable students which will maximize their individual potential.
How do we define “highly capable?”
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/or creative productivities with a specific domain. These students are present not only in the general populace, but are present within all protected classes.
What learning characteristics would a highly capable child demonstrate?
The Orting School District referral form lists several characteristics common to highly capable children. The person filling out the referral should check all that apply. In general, learning characteristics of highly capable students are defined as (WAC 392-170-036):
- Capacity to learn with 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
What is the process for identifying highly capable students using referrals?
The process begins with a referral. The referral window for students is opens in late January to consider placement for the following year. After a referral is made, parents/guardians will receive a letter explaining the process and asking for consent to test. If parent(s) agree, students will take a two to three hour cognitive abilities test at school during the school day. Teachers will be asked to fill out a survey which assesses gifted traits. A multi-disciplinary team will review these and other data points to identify the most highly capable children for which there is clear evidence of need of service and that would benefit most from inclusion in the program. All 2nd and 5th grade students will be taking a “screener” which will identify the students who should take the cognitive abilities test described above, so referrals for those students are not necessary.
How will the district communicate the process/timeline with parents/guardians?
The Orting School District Teaching and Learning website has been updated with forms and process information. In addition, we will:
- emailing all families
- post a message on the reader board
- make an announcement Facebook
- work with teachers/counselors/administrators members to help update newsletters
- send hard copies of the referral form and information to each school site for display in the main office
If a parent/guardian has a question about the program, who is the appropriate person to contact?
If the question is about process and testing, please contact Steve Rabb, Executive Director for Teaching, Learning and Assessment at 360-893-6500 x226. If the question is about delivery of services at a school, please contact your child's school.