Highly Capable Program

The Enumclaw School District offers a continuum of services for highly capable students K-12. (Policy 2190).

Highly Capable Testing

Referrals for testing for the Highly Capable Program are accepted year round, and the test is administered in the Fall and Spring of each school year.  Notification for testing will appear on the School District web page, the Courier Herald, in each school’s newsletter and front office. All referrals for fall testing are due by the first Friday in October, and referrals for spring testing are due by the first Friday in April.

Students who qualify in the fall begin receiving services the day following Winter break, and students who qualify in the spring begin receiving services the first day of the following school year pending written parent consent for services.

If you would like to refer your child for testing, please download and submit this referral form in English or Spanish to any Enumclaw School District school office manager. If you have additional questions that are not answered here, please feel free to contact our Highly Capable Program Facilitator or Director of Student Support Services.

Highly capable students are defined as “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 within a specific domain. These students are present not only in the general populace, but are present within all protected classes.” (WAC 392-170-035)

“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 areas(s) of intellectual strength; and
  5. Capacity for intense concentration or focus.” (WAC 392-170-036)

Instructional Program
“For highly capable students, access to accelerated learning and enhanced instruction is access to a basic education.”

  • All identified students in grades K-12 will have the opportunity to receive highly capable services that individually target their strength areas.
  • Identified students in grades K-2 and 6-12 will receive highly capable services within their general classroom setting through differentiated instruction and acceleration strategies.  
  • Identified students in grades 3-5 will be offered services that include a pull-out program located at Southwood Elementary School, as well as differentiated instruction and acceleration strategies in the regular classroom setting.  
  • Identified students in grades 6-12 will have the opportunity to qualify for accelerated instruction, or advanced placement courses, in addition to elective options and extracurricular options that target their interests and strength areas.

The identification of highly capable students is a multi-step process that takes in notification, referral, screening (optional), parent permissions, assessment, selection, and the procedures necessary to appeal a selection decision and exit a student.

  • Notification
    Testing windows will be posted on the district website, the local newspaper, and in the main office area of each school.
  • Nomination referrals
    Referrals for grades K-12 are taken throughout the year for Highly Capable testing.  Testing will take place at the student’s school during the fall (November-December) or the spring testing windows (April-May). Parents, teachers, students, and/or community members are eligible to nominate a student for Highly Capable Program consideration using the district’s nomination form.  The form is located in English and Spanish on the district website under Highly Capable Program (HCP). The form can also be picked up at your child’s school office.
  • Parental permission
    Written permission from a nominee’s parent or legal guardian is required before any evaluations are given or collected for inclusion in the student assessment profile.  
  • Screening
    All 2nd Grade students will be screened in the Spring using the CogAt 7 screener to identify potential need for further evaluation for the Highly Capable program. Parents or staff may refer 2nd grade students to take the complete CogAt battery by request regardless of screener results.  Written permission from the student’s parent or legal guardian is required before the full battery can be given.
  • Assessment
    The use of multiple objective criteria from a variety of sources will be considered to identify each nominee’s unique needs and capabilities. The student assessment profile consists of multiple objective criteria, both qualitative and quantitative and formal and informal,  such as, but not limited to, CogAT Testing, STAR, DRA, SBAC scores, report card, classroom work samples, Renzulli scales, and parent and teacher observation checklists. Referred students with CogAT scores of 96th percentile or higher and/or additional evidence that indicate the student is performing one or more grade levels above will be considered for services.
  • Selection
    As per (WAC 392-170-070), a multidisciplinary selection committee will review all data for each nominated student. The selection committee consists of a teacher, administrator, school psychologist and additional professionals who may provide content. The selection committee will evaluate the individual student assessment profile and make a decision on selections based on a preponderance of evidence that the student is among the most highly capable, a clear need for highly capable services, and that the student would benefit the most from inclusion in the district’s continuum of services. Parents will be notified regarding evaluation results through writing. Parents will receive an explanation of identification procedures, an explanation of the appeal process, and procedures for exiting the highly capable program. Before services begin, written parent permission for services to identified students must be obtained.

Process for Appeal
The Enumclaw School District in compliance with the Washington State rules for Highly Capable Programs (WAC 392-170-047) has an appeals process. If there is a disagreement with selection decision, an Appeal form needs to be completed. It can be found on the district website under School Board Policies 2190F.

The appeal must be based on one of the following conditions:

  1. A condition or circumstance believed to have caused a misinterpretation of the testing results (for example, an incorrect birthday or grade level).
  2. An extraordinary circumstance occurred during the testing period that may negatively affect the test validity (such as death of a family member or physical ailment).
  3. The suspicion of error in the administration of the assessment.
  4. A misapplication or miscalculation of the score by the selection committee.

The deadline for submission of appeals is 4 PM, August 15 (or the day before or after if it falls on a weekend). Appeals submitted for reasons other than above will be denied without further consideration. No outside testing is considered. The decision of the appeal review team is final.

  • Exit Process
    The exit process may be initiated for students who no longer demonstrate a need for HCP services.

°A written request may be made by a teacher or program administration for placement discontinuation.
°The selection committee will convene a meeting to review the student’s profile to determine if the student qualifies for program services based on current assessment data and selection criteria.
°A request for additional evidence of student capabilities or willingness to participate in the program may be made.
°The parent will be notified in writing of the committee’s decision to either continue services, place the child on probationary status, or to exit the child from the Highly Capable program.
°A parent or guardian may request the student be withdrawn from the program at any time. A meeting to discuss the request with the HCP Coordinator may be scheduled. Afterwards, if the parent desires to withdraw the student from the program, the student will be exited immediately.

Highly Capable Program Goals

  • To enhance academic opportunities tied to the core curriculum through differentiated instruction, academic investigation and acceleration strategies.
  • To strengthen relationships between the district and parents of the Highly Capable by providing opportunities for the exchange of information and ideas.
  • To assist teachers in differentiating instruction for highly capable and high ability students to be challenged within the core curriculum.
  • To stimulate problem solving skills, enhance critical and creative thinking and higher order thinking skills.
  • To track individual growth and achievement of identified highly capable students.
  • To improve student, parent, and teacher feedback of our highly capable program and the effectiveness of services.

Highly Capable Program Service Descriptions

  • Classroom Differentiation: Individual classroom teachers may enhance, enrich, or accelerate highly capable students through differentiated content, process, or products.  These types of differentiation are most commonly seen through flexible grouping, leveled reading books, tiered assignments, differentiated centers, higher-order thinking and questioning, allowing students to choose specific pathways based on their learning profiles or interests (menus and choice boards), or by challenging students with more abstract thinking or complexity within a given problem or concept.
  • Team Teaching, Co-Teaching or Coaching:  The Highly Capable Program Facilitator offers support in the regular classroom through team teaching, co-teaching or coaching to assist regular classroom teachers in instructional strategies for Highly Capable learners.
  • Nurturing Higher Order Thinking
    K-5 teachers have access to resources and materials to introduce and nurture higher order thinking, critical thinking, creative problem solving, and S.T.E.M. connected learning materials. These resources have been provided by a grant from the Enumclaw Schools Foundation and may be presented by the Highly Capable teacher, the classroom teacher or trained classroom volunteers.
  • Acceleration Strategies
    To meet the needs of individual students, the Highly Capable Program offers several acceleration strategies including, but not limited to, single-subject acceleration, Advanced Placement courses, and Running Start.

Questions should be addressed to:
April Drake
Highly Capable Coordinator
Gerrie Garton
Director, Student Support Services