Highly Capable Services

Who is a Highly Capable student?

Highly Capable students are those who perform at advanced academic levels when compared to their peers of the same age, in the same school, and who share similar experiences.

Students who are Highly Capable process information differently than other students and typically want to go into more depth on topics or bring different pieces of information together to come up with new solutions or answers.

Sometimes high achieving students are confused with highly capable students.

  • High-achieving students work hard in school and usually get good grades, typically have average reasoning ability, and can receive the instruction they need in a general education classroom.

  • Identification rates for highly capable students range from 5-7% of the population. 

Learn more about the differences between highly capable and high achieving students

How are highly capable students identified?

Eligibility is determined by a data review process that includes:

  • A non-verbal test that shows how a student puts information together

  • Historical iReady data

  • Teacher survey of characteristics of highly capable students

When are highly capable students identified?

Each school year all second and fifth grade students are screened for Highly Capable Services. 

  • Fifth grade screening occurs in the fall

  • Second grade screening is in the spring. 

When do Highly Capable Services begin?

Once the data review is complete, families will be notified electronically if the student has been identified as highly capable. Once a fifth grade student has been identified and the family has provided permission for services, the student will begin to receive Highly Capable services. For second grade students, services will begin in the fall of the following school year.

What is the identification process for other grade levels?

A kindergartener or first grader may be referred for services by completing a referral form. Referrals for K-1 will result in the student being placed on the highly capable monitoring list.

Third and fourth graders may be referred for services by completing a referral form. Referrals for third and fourth grade students will result in the student’s data being reviewed in the spring. 

Who can complete a referral form?

Any teacher, family or community member can submit a referral form each year between January 1 – May 31. Once the referral is received, the family will be notified electronically about next steps in the identification process.

Can the data review decision be appealed?

Yes. If families disagree with an eligibility decision, they can submit a written request within five business days of the date of the decision for an informal conference with highly capable staff. The informal conference will be held within ten business days of the request. 

If concerns remain unresolved after the informal conference, parents/legal guardians have the right to submit a formal appeal to the MDSC by completing an appeal form online or in writing within five business days of the unsuccessful informal conference. A minimum of three MDSC members will convene to discuss the appeal, review student data, and make a final recommendation. Families will be electronically notified of the final MDSC decision.

What do Highly Capable Services look like in VPS?

Highly Capable Services in VPS provides depth and complexity in language arts and math for students in grades K-12 who are identified as highly capable.

The type of services a highly capable student receives may look different at each grade level and in each school.

Highly Capable Services at each grade level:



P: 360-313-1360

F: 360-313-1021

Mailing address: P.O. Box 8937, Vancouver, WA 98661-8937

Physical address: 2901 Falk Rd., Vancouver, WA 98661

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