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Procedures & Resources for HiCap Identification

Referral/Nomination Process(WAC 392-170-045)
Anyone may refer a student once annually to participate in Highly Capable testing and assessment in grades K-12. Referrals may come from parents, guardians, teachers, school specialists, friends, family, community members, or even the student him/herself.

Parent Permission is required for the student to be tested/assessed for Highly Capable services.

Parent Permission is Mandatory (WAC 392-170-047)
If you would like your student to be assessed for identification as a Highly Capable student, please read the following items and complete the appropriate Parent Permission form:

  1. Referral Process & Timelines
  2. Common Characteristics of Gifted Individuals
  3. Referral for Highly Capable Identification and Overview - the Why and the How
  4. HiCap Permission to Test - Electronic Fillable FORM ONLY - Due Jan. 2022

Assessment/Identification Process (WAC 392-170-055) 

Program Entry Overview

Port Angeles School District recognizes that Highly Capable students need opportunities to meet their individual and collective needs. In order to determine if a student would benefit from Highly Capable services, we will provide multiple objective criteria to assess a student who has been referred either by the parent/guardian, self-referral, a teacher, or any other individual who makes the nomination.

The State of Washington’s Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) and the legislature established state law that determined access to accelerated learning and enhanced instruction is access to a basic education for students who are identified as Highly Capable. RCW 28A.185.020

Process for Identification

The Port Angeles School District conducts an annual nomination and assessment process (with the exception of “transfer students” – please see the section below).

2nd Grade students are provided the CogAT Screener each year during the last week of January; parents will be notified of this process. This tool has been tremendous in finding students with potential, underrepresented populations, twice-exceptional students, and students whose behaviors and classroom performances may not reveal their potential. The results of all students taking the screener benefit the teachers as another tool of getting to know all of their students better. Second grade students do NOT need to have parent permission to participate in the screener. When the results are reviewed, students who "bubble-up" in the top twenty percent of the Screener population are encouraged to continue with the CogAT full assessment and parents are notified; at that time, we must have parent permission to continue with the identification process. We will gather the necessary paperwork in the same method as the generic identification process used for all grade-levels of students.

The process for identification may include a cognitive test, an academic achievement test, and additional assessments as provided by the classroom teacher or parent/guardian, a characteristic assessment, as well as any other evidence that may be collected and used by the Multiple-Disciplinary Team (MDT) in order to identify a student who may benefit from specialized services.

One of the criteria we typically use to help determine the type of educational services and/or teaching strategies that might benefit a student is to use a cognitive assessment, the CogAT-7®. This assessment helps to determine reasoning and learning abilities; it is not an achievement test such as a math or spelling test, which asses what information a student has learned.

Students in grades K-12 who are NEW to the Port Angeles School District and would like to be assessed for Highly Capable services will need to complete the attached packet title:NEW to District – Parent Permission to Test Form. The packet is also available at each school site as well as by contacting the Highly Capable Coordinator, Susan Heyer. 

In order to insure identification of children who may need and benefit from special services, please familiarize yourself with the differences between whether a child is a bright, intelligent, hard-working student (who is being challenged effectively within his/her learning environment) or a highly capable child who would benefit from something beyond the level of their standard learning environment. Please review the attached characteristics prior to making a referral. No child will demonstrate all of the traits listed nor will they demonstrate them all of the time.

Notification
Parents/Guardians will be notified by mail as to whether or not a student is determined to need specialized services at this time. If a student is identified as qualifying for services as a Highly Capable student, parents will be notified as to the services recommended. Test results from the CogAT-7® will be sent home after the MDT meets to determine qualifications.

Appeals (WAC 392-170-076)
Students who do not qualify for Highly Capable services may have their results appealed. An appeal may be initiated by the parent/guardian, staff member, or by the student. Please refer to Appeals Process document and the required Appeals Form (available on the website under Forms) within two weeks of receipt of the child’s results. .Appeals are reviewed by the MDT and parents are notified once a decision has been reached.

Retesting
Students may re-test annually through the referral process given the following conditions:

  1. It has been over 6 months since the student last tested.
  2. The student has been making academic gains in their grade level since they last tested.