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High Ability Program


The mission of the Washington Community Schools High Ability program is to recognize and to develop the unique talents and diverse qualities of students with high academic, intellectual, creative, and/or artistic ability. Each child will be challenged to achieve his or her full potential through a K-12 continuum of services. Our mission will be accomplished through:

  • a partnership of students, home, school and community
  • a clearly defined criteria for identification of high ability students from poverty, Limited English Proficiency, and all ethnic groups
  • curriculum development and measurable standards of student performance
  • staff development specifically related to teaching and identifying high ability learners
  • rigorous, broad-based and diverse educational opportunities


Students with high ability perform or show the potential to perform at remarkably high levels of accomplishment when compared with others of their age, experience, or environment in at least one domain. These students are characterized by exceptional gifts, talents, motivation or interests.

Program Goals

  • Identify all students who qualify for curriculum modified to meet the needs of the high ability population.
  • Objective: Establish a set procedure and committee for selection processes and exit processes.
  • Objective: Implement a multifaceted, on-going identification plan and procedures to select students, grade K-12, who qualify for high ability programming.
  • Provide appropriate curriculum for high ability students.
  • Objective: Beginning to focus curriculum differentiation in the areas of mathematics and language arts.
  • Focus on the emotional needs of high ability students.
  • Objective: Have counseling services available for high ability students.
  • Objective: Integrate acceptance, understanding, and appreciation for giftedness into the school atmosphere.
  • Provide training opportunities for staff on how to identify and meet the needs of high ability students.
  • Objective: Encourage teachers to take classes toward High Ability Licensure.
  • Objective: Provide local in-service training for faculty.
  • Objective: Provide state and regional training for faculty.
  • Establish a process for informing parents and community members about the High Ability program.

Who will be served?

  • All students who have been identified as high ability in general intellectual ability, K-12
  • All students who have been identified as high ability in mathematics and/or language arts, K-12.
  • All students who have been identified as high ability in creative & performing arts, K-12.

Complete High Ability Identification Plan

  • Norm Referenced Aptitude Measures (CogAt):
  • K, 2, and 6
  • Students scoring above 96th percentile (or other standard we set locally) on either the verbal, the quantitative, or the quantitative/nonverbal partial composite would be identified for language arts or math respectively
  • Norm Referenced Achievement Measure (Iowa Test):
  • Anyone scoring between 80th to 96th percentile on CogAt would take Iowa Test the next semester. Students at or above 96th percentile on Iowa Test will be identified.
  • Anyone that falls short of cutoff on Iowa Test, but within the standard error of the cutoff (94th or 95th percentile) could have teacher input through a SIGS rating tool to be identified.
  • High School students taking PSAT - results will be analyzed if they are already not identified.

What types of services will be offered?

  • Differentiation
  • Dual credit
  • Honors classes
  • AP classes
  • Cluster grouping
  • Grade and/or subject skipping

Where will services be provided?

  • Regular classroom
  • After School program
  • Distance learning
  • Area colleges and universities

When will services be provided?

  • During school (main form of services)
  • After school (creative & performing arts)

Who is responsible for implementation?

  • High Ability Coordinator
  • Classroom teacher
  • Administrators
  • BBPC

What accountability system will be used?

  • Classroom teacher surveys
  • Annual reports
  • Student achievement
  • Stakeholder feedback