District Highly Capable Procedures

  • Definition

    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 student's general intellectual aptitudes, specific academic abilities, and/or creative productivities within a specific domain. These students are present not only in the general populace, but are present within all protected classes. 

    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 their chronological 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. 

    The following procedures will be employed to nominate, assess, and select students to participate in the program:


    Referrals are permitted and accepted based on data or evidence from teachers, other staff, parents, students, and members of the community during the Identification Period, normally scheduled near the beginning of the school year. Nominators will use the district’s referral form to refer a student to be considered for admission in the program.

    1. Print/Fill out this form : Referral Form
    2. Turn into office or email form to: Eric Erickson at eerickson@wishkah.org


    The district will screen each nominee to identify students who qualify for further assessment. Screening criteria/tools may include assessment scores, report cards, and teacher input.


    The district will obtain written parental permission prior to conducting assessments to determine eligibility for participation in its Highly Capable Program (HCP).

    Nominees identified for further testing through the screening process will be assessed using multiple objective criteria. The assessment process shall be based upon a review of each nominee's capability as shown by multiple criteria, from a wide variety of sources and data, intended to reveal each nominee's unique needs and capabilities. The assessment criterion consists of both qualitative and quantitative instruments and may include:

    • Grades from classes;
    • Standardized assessments; and
    • Projects submitted by student.


    A multi-disciplinary selection team composed of: a district administrator, psychologist or other individual who can interpret cognitive and achievement test results, a teacher, and additional professionals if any, that the district deems desirable, will review data that has been collected for each of the nominated students. The multi-disciplinary selection committee will evaluate individual student assessment profile data and make the selection decision based on:

    1. A preponderance of evidence from the profile data demonstrating that a student is among the most highly capable; 
    2. Evidence of clear need for highly capable services; and
    3. Determination of which students would benefit the most from inclusion in the district's program.  

    ​A single assessment score or indicator will not prevent a student's selection for the Highly Capable Program; however, individual pieces of evidence, if strong enough, can indicate that the student would benefit from these services. If properly validated tests are not available, the professional judgment of the qualified district personnel shall determine eligibility of the student based upon evidence of cognitive and/or academic achievement. 


    The district will: 

    1. Notify parents of students who have been selected. Parents will receive a full explanation of the procedures for identification, an explanation of the process to exit a student from the program, the information on the district's program and the options that are available to identified students. 
    2. Obtain parental permission to place identified students in the program before any special services and programs are provided to the student.

    Process for Appeal 

    Parents/legal guardians have the right to appeal the Multi-Disciplinary Selection Committee's decision. Individuals appealing the selection committee's decision must submit a completed appeals form or letter requesting review of selection/placement decision. The written request must include reasons for the appeal and, to support reconsideration, provide additional evidence of significantly advanced cognitive or academic levels and/or outstanding intellectual, academic, or creative abilities. 

    The appeal request and supporting evidence must be submitted to: Eric Erickson, Highly Capable Program Coordinator, within 10 school days of the Multi-Disciplinary Selection Committee's decision notification. 

    The district's appeals committee (Multi-Disciplinary Selection Committee) will review the student's file, assessment profile data, and additional evidence provided in the request for appeal.

    The decision of the Multi-Disciplinary Selection Committee may include:

    • Upholding the original decision of the;
    • Reversing the decision of the Multidisciplinary Selection Committee; 

    A decision will be made by the Multi-Disciplinary Selection Committee within 10 school days after receipt of written request for reconsideration. The parent/legal guardian will be notified of the decision in writing. The decision of the Multidisciplinary Selection Committee is final, but the decision may be appealed to the Superintendent and the parent’s will be notified within 10 days of this decision.

    If a resolution to the appeal cannot be reached between the parties, an appeal can be made to the parent(s) may appeal this decision to the Board of Directors.

    Exit Process

    The exit process may be initiated for students who no longer demonstrate a need for highly capable program services. A request may be made by a teacher or program administrator for highly capable student identification and placement discontinuation. The Multi-Disciplinary Selection Committee will convene a meeting to review the student’s profile to determine if the student qualifies for program services based on assessment data and selection criteria. The multi-disciplinary selection committee may request additional evidence of student capabilities and/or willingness to participate in the program.  If the committee determines that the student no longer qualifies for highly capable program services, it may be recommended that the student be exited from the program. The parent will be notified in writing of the committee’s decision and of the appeal’s process.

    A parent/legal guardian may request that the student be withdrawn from the program or a student may voluntarily withdraw from the program.  A meeting will be convened by the Highly Capable Program Coordinator/Director to discuss the request. If the parent/legal guardian desires to withdraw the student from the program, the student will be exited from the program. The multi-disciplinary selection committee will determine if identification procedures are necessary for students wishing to reenter the program in the future.   

    Program Design

    The district will make a variety of appropriate program services to students who participate in the program. Once services are started, a continuum of services will be provided to identified students in grades K-12. The district will keep on file a description of the educational programs provided for identified students. The district reviews services annually for each student to ensure that the services are appropriate.    

    The district will offer highly capable students the following programs: 


    • Accelerated learning opportunities
    • Highly Capable Program during genius hour
    • Differentiation
    • Leadership opportunities
    • Flexible Grouping
    • Supplemental Projects


    • Specialty online course or courses
    • Accelerated learning opportunities
    • Leadership opportunities
    • Independent study
    • Academic competitions
    • Running Start
    • Mentorship 


    Identified students will be assigned the appropriate CEDARS Gifted value(s) in the district's student information system for the end-of-year reporting activities. 

    The superintendent or designee will provide an end-of-the-year report to the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) which includes:

    • Number of students served by grade level K-12
    • Student demographic information
    • Data to determine if students who are highly capable met the goals set and if the programs provided met the academic needs of these students;
    • Number and content of professional development activities provided for special teachers and general education staff;
    • Program evaluation data and, if needed, program changes that will be made based upon this information; and 
    • Final Fiscal report that reports on activities and staff funded by this program.

    View/Download a .pdf of the information on this page.