- To identify students who are performing at significantly advanced academic levels when compared with others of their age, environment, and experience.
- To provide a continuum of program services for identified students in grades K-12.
- To provide appropriate and relevant professional staff development opportunities that maximizes instructional effectiveness for highly-capable learners.
- To engage in ongoing program evaluation and revision.
Goals for students identified as highly capable learners include:
- Expansion of academic attainments and intellectual skills by pressing for high-level mastery of Washington State Learning Standards and depth of knowledge
- Development of critical and creative thinking processes
- Development of the ability to understand and work through complex tasks
- Analysis, synthesis and communication of information at a deeper level
- Engagement in goal setting specific to a student’s own intellectual, social and emotional learning
- Development of collaboration and lifelong learning skills
- Development of leadership skills and a growth mindset
Kindergarten through grade two:
Students demonstrating high cognitive potential will receive differentiated instruction to promote continuous growth in kindergarten through second grade. These services will occur in the general education classroom at the child’s neighborhood school.
Grades three through five:
Identified Highly Capable students in grades three through five are currently served through two program service options. In both program service options student receive differentiated instruction designed to accelerate, enhance, and enrich learning.
Differentiated instruction can be defined as a way of teaching in which teachers anticipate and respond to a variety of student needs in the classroom. To meet students’ need, teachers may differentiate by modifying the content (what is being taught), the process (how it is taught), and the product (how students demonstrate their learning).
Option 1: Differentiated instruction in the general education classroom
In this service option, students remain at their neighborhood school and receive differentiated instruction in the general education classroom. There may be other students in the general education classroom who are also identified as highly capable. This model allows the student to receive instruction designed to meet their needs while participating with other students within their neighborhood school community.
Option 2: Self-Contained classroom at a designated elementary site
In this service option, students attend one of two designated elementary sites to receive differentiated instruction in a self-contained classroom. This model allows the student to receive instruction designed to meet their needs while participating in a classroom where all students have been identified as highly capable. This service option is on a space available basis.
Per current school board procedure (P2190), if your child is receiving instruction at an elementary self-contained classroom site AND the site is NOT your neighborhood school, parents are responsible for transportation to and from school. If hardship circumstances would prevent parents from transporting their child to a self-contained setting, they may contact the school principal to discuss hardship transportation options.
Students in grades six through eight attend their neighborhood middle school and take Honors level English/language arts courses which incorporate Pre-Advanced Placement and Pre-Baccalaureate instructional strategies. Students who meet placement criteria may take advanced and accelerated mathematics courses and have opportunities to begin earning high school credit in mathematics, world language and science.
Note: Students will need to apply to carry high school credit earned in middle school forward onto their transcript once they are enrolled in high school.
At the high school level, students can continue their High School and Beyond Plan by taking advantage of options for advanced coursework that give both high school graduation credit and the potential for earning college credit at the same time. School counselors can give students information on the following programs:
- Advanced Placement courses are offered at Hudson’s Bay, Fort Vancouver, Skyview, iTech Prep, Flex Academy and Vancouver School of Arts and Academics. Students taking these courses can take AP exams in the spring. State-sponsored colleges and universities have criteria in place to grant college credit for exam scores of 3 to 5 (score criteria vary by institution—check their websites for more information).
- Columbia River High School offers the International Baccalaureate program. Through participation in this program, students can earn an IB diploma, which is recognized by universities in 102 countries as a valid means of earning entry to postsecondary study. In addition, many North American colleges and universities also offer advanced placement for appropriate scores on IB exams (check their websites for more information). Students must apply for admission to the International Baccalaureate program.
- College in the High School is a program that allows high school students to earn credit for passing a course on a VPS campus that is co-sponsored by VPS and a post-secondary institution. This program is offered at some of our high schools in specific course content areas.
- The Running Start program allows interested students to take college-level courses on the Clark College campus tuition-free. Students earn college credits and high school graduation credits at the same time.
The instructional core curricular resources are aligned with current Washington State Learning Standards
. Where appropriate, students employ research techniques; assimilate information; and report or present findings, conclusions and/or solutions in topical areas of their interest. Selected core and supplementary materials are used at all grade levels. Instructional practices emphasize:
- Depth and breadth of learning
- Critical- and creative-thinking processes
- Real-world applications of learning
- Collaborative learning and effective decision-making
- Stimulation of intellectual curiosity, independence and responsibility
- Goal setting and reflection
- Responsible citizenship
- Interpersonal communication skills
During the fall trimester, Vancouver Public Schools reviews current data in the areas of language and cognitive development for all kindergarten students to determine if students are currently performing at significantly advanced developmental levels. These students will receive differentiated instruction in the general education classroom during Kindergarten and Grade 1.
Every school year, Vancouver Public Schools screens ALL students in grades one through four to identify which students qualify for further assessment for Highly Capable services. District identified screening assessments will take place in all 21 elementary schools during the fall and winter trimesters and will be administered by the classroom teacher during the school day.
The Highly Capable Services office will review district screening data in the mid-fall for grades two through four to identify which students are possible candidates for further screening for Highly Capable services. District screening data for grade one is reviewed mid-winter to identify students for further screening. Once students are identified as a candidate for further screening, a letter of invitation for further testing will be sent to the student’s parent or legal guardian.
Generally, parents do not need to submit a completed referral form to have their child assessed for Highly Capable services. However, referral forms are available for:
- Students who are currently attending a private school AND live within VPS district boundaries
- Newly enrolled students in grades 1-4 who have started school after the district wide fall screening assessment window
- Students in grades 1-4 who did not receive an invitation letter for further testing and demonstrate significant advanced academic performance levels
Referral forms are available from Oct. 1 through January 31 each school year. Referrals received after January 31 will be included in the testing process the following school year.
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Download was expired on January 31, 2020 11:59 PM
Download was expired on January 31, 2020 11:59 PM
Download was expired on January 31, 2020 11:59 PM
Any additional assessments for highly capable identification purposes will take place with signed parent permission during the winter trimester and be administered during the school day by qualified district personnel.
Students identified for further testing will be assessed using multiple objective criteria to determine the selection of students eligible for Highly Capable services during the following school year.
Students in fifth through seventh grades are identified by teachers, counselors and administrators at each individual building to forecast for advanced-level courses at their neighborhood middle school in English language arts, mathematics, world language and science during the following school year.
Identification is based on specific course placement criteria, prior coursework completed by the student and multiple pieces of state and district academic performance data over time for the student. Prior completed coursework and student academic performance data give an overall indication of the level of academic preparedness for advanced-level coursework.
Students in eighth through 11th grades work with teachers, counselors, administrators and their parents at each individual building to forecast for advanced-level coursework opportunities in alignment with their High School and Beyond Plan during the following school year. Participation is based on specific placement criteria, prior coursework completed by the student and multiple pieces of state and district academic performance data over time for the student. Prior completed coursework and student academic performance data give an overall indication of the level of academic preparedness for advanced-level coursework.
The following students are eligible to participate in the district’s screening process for Highly Capable Services.
- Students who are currently enrolled in a school within VPS district boundaries and reside within VPS district boundaries have the opportunity to be assessed for VPS’ Highly Capable Program services.
- Students who are currently enrolled in a VPS school on a boundary exception and reside outside of VPS district boundaries are eligible to be assessed for VPS’ Highly Capable Program services.
- Students currently enrolled in a school outside of VPS boundaries are not eligible to be assessed for VPS’ Highly Capable Program services.
- Students who are currently attending a private school AND live within VPS district boundaries have the opportunity to be assessed for VPS’ Highly Capable Program services. These students would take the cognitive assessment at their neighborhood elementary site during a school day in the winter.
Students in grade one through grade four who are identified as candidates for further testing will be given the Cognitive Abilities Test.
The Cognitive Abilities Test is a series of tests that measure a student’s learned reasoning abilities in the three areas most linked to academic success in school: verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning and nonverbal reasoning.
District Wide Fall Screening
All students in grades one through four are assessed every school year using district screening tools administered in the fall. The Highly Capable Services office uses the district data collected to determine which students are eligible for further testing for Highly Capable Services.
Eligibility criteria for further testing for Highly Capable Services for Grades 1-4:
- 70th percentile or above on classroom administered fall diagnostic assessments in the content area of English Language Arts and Mathematics
- Additional district data is also considered when inviting students for further testing
Comprehensive Cognitive Abilities Assessment
Students meeting the criteria for further testing will take the Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT). The areas of Verbal and Quantitative Reasoning have the most direct correlation to academic success and parallel the elementary Highly Capable Services provided in the district. Students meeting the 2 qualifying scores criteria listed below are eligible to receive Highly Capable Services.
The criteria for the Cognitive Abilitie Test (CogAT):
- 90th percentile or above in the area of Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning
Alternative Option for Eligibility
Students who have one Qualifying score in either Verbal or Quantitative Reasoning on the Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) have an alternative option in which they could meet eligibility criteria to receive Highly Capable Services.
In these cases, the district will gather and review more information on the child before determining their eligibility for Highly Capable Services. The child’s parent/guardian and the child’s classroom teacher will be asked to complete a Scales for Identifying Gifted Students (SIGS). The SIGS is a norm-referenced rating scale designed to assist school districts in the identification of students needing Highly Capable Services.
In addition to the SIGS information, the Multi-Disciplinary Team may also review past and current district assessment data in English Language Arts and Mathematics for the child. The analysis of current and historical information provides the team with a broader perspective about the child in order to determine their need for the Highly Capable Services.
Vancouver Public Schools may identify a student as highly capable who has transferred from another district in which he/she was identified to receive Highly Capable services given that the services the student received are equivalent to the services that Vancouver Public Schools provides.
The student’s parent/legal guardian will need to provide the Highly Capable Services office with the following documentation from the student’s former school district before a determination is made regarding specific program services for the student.
- Documentation of the student’s enrollment in the Highly Capable program
- Description of the Highly Capable program and placement criteria
- Student assessment data that qualified the student to receive Highly Capable services
- Any additional current student data that may be helpful
Parents/legal guardians have the right to appeal the multi-disciplinary selection committee’s decision. In accordance with WAC 392-170-076, the process is as follows:
Individuals appealing the selection committee’s decision must submit a letter requesting a review of the selection decision. The written request must include reasons for the appeal and, to support reconsideration, provide additional documented evidence of significantly advanced cognitive or academic levels.
The appeal must be based upon one of the following conditions:
- A condition or circumstance believed to have caused a misinterpretation of testing results; e.g., incorrect birthdate or grade level used in calculating the student’s score.
- An extraordinary and temporary circumstance that negatively affected the validity of the test results; e.g., a traumatic event or extreme physical distress immediately preceding the test.
The appeals review will take into consideration whether or not the assessment results are consistent with existing student performance data over time.
The appeal request and supporting evidence must be submitted to the Highly Capable services office within 10 days of receiving notice that the student has been determined not eligible. The appeal request shall be mailed to:
Vancouver School District
Highly Capable Services
c/o Curriculum & Instruction Department
P.O. Box 8937
Vancouver, WA 98668-8937
Appeals are reviewed by an appeals committee that is composed of a classroom teacher with training and experience in teaching highly capable students, a psychologist or other qualified practitioner with training to interpret cognitive and achievement test results, a certificated coordinator or administrator with responsibility for the supervision of the district’s Highly Capable Program and any additional professionals whom the district deems appropriate.
The district’s appeals committee will review the student’s file, assessment profile data and additional evidence provided in the request for the appeal. The committee will look for evidence that the results of the testing are not a true representation of the child’s abilities.
The decision of the appeals committee will include one of the following recommendations:
- Identification of student as highly capable and eligible for Highly Capable Program services
- Not eligible for Highly Capable Program services
Parents/guardians will be notified in writing as soon as possible but not longer than 30 school days after the receipt of the written request for reconsideration. The decision of the appeals committee is final.
District Initiated Exit Process:
The exit process may be initiated by district staff to determine whether a student continues to benefit from Highly Capable Services. District staff will follow the Highly Capable Services office protocol for discontinuation of Highly Capable Services.
Parent Request to Withdraw:
A parent/legal guardian may request that the student be withdrawn from receiving Highly Capable Services.