Highly Capable services: Planning for our future

What Are Highly Capable Services?

VPS Highly Capable services provide a continuum of accelerated learning services to identified students in grades K–12 who are performing at significantly advanced academic levels when compared with others of their age, environment and experience.

Why look at making a change to highly-capable programming?

Highly-Capable Identification Process Limiting Diversity

Part of our continued evaluation and improvement of our highly-capable program has involved reviewing our identification process for students who qualify for highly capable services. This review and improved identification process has led to an increase in the number of students who qualify but have historically not been represented in these programs — especially students who have diversity in:

  • twice exceptional learners (students with exceptional ability and a qualifying disability)
  • language
  • ethnicity
  • race

The increased number of students qualifying for highly capable programming has challenged us to review current programming and develop recommendations for how to best serve each of our students moving forward.

Share your thoughts
“The Highly Capable Advisory Committee meets through February 2023. We’d like to hear your thoughts on VPS Highly Capable services.


Please take a minute to share your opinion.

The school board has asked staff to lead a review process this year with the following outcomes:

  • Develop and utilize a process to gather stakeholder input

  • Reflect on best practice research

  • Deliver a recommendation on the most impactful way to deliver grade 3-5 highly capable programming district-wide.

  • Investigate the success of different types of service models in other districts — specifically those that provide opportunities for excellence and access to a diverse set of learners.

We know teachers need support with meeting a wide range of student needs, assets, and abilities so we will also explore how we can equip all teachers with professional development opportunities, specifically around:

  • grouping students based on multiple criteria

  • developing highly engaging and culturally responsive classrooms


Current Highly Capable services

This is a brief overview of our current highly capable services but you can also learn more about our current offerings on our highly capable services webpage.

Elementary school

  • K–5 are served through differentiated instruction in their neighborhood school by classroom teachers, or
  • 3–5 students have a choice for services in a self-contained classroom*

Middle school

  • Honors English*
  • Advanced mathematics*
  • World Language courses*
  • Environmental Science (8th grade)*

*Denotes services only available at some schools or for some students. Services are not automated.

HiCap Highly Capable
Clustering Grouping students by an identifier
Self-contained HiCap Classrooms that only contain HiCap students
Underrepresented groups Multilingual learners, students receiving Special Education Services, and students in the free and reduced lunch program
Typically represented groups Students not in underrepresented groups mentioned above
Twice-exceptional (2e)/Thrice-exceptional (3e)
Students who are both highly capable and differently able in learning (e.g. students with ADHD, dyslexia)

Frequently asked questions

The OSPI funds districts based on 5% of total enrollment, regardless of quantity of students served in Highly Capable programs.

The formal process must include:

  • Communication
  • Identification
  • Services

Districts are required to use and communicate practices that identify underrepresented students.