Should I Have My Child Tested for the Highly Capable Program?


What is the program? 

Washington State defines highly capable students as those “who perform or show potential for performing at significantly advanced academic levels 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 education populace, but are present in all protected classes. . . ”

You can find more information in the Parent Handbook.

But how/when do children get into the program? 

2nd Grade

If you have a child in 2nd grade in the Oak Harbor School District, they will complete a screening version of the Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAt) in January. The results are used to recommend students for further testing and an online referral window opens to begin the formal identification process.

The referral window for second grade will open on January 22, 2018. You can refer them here.

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3rd-6th grade

If you believe your 3rd-6th grader would benefit from the program you can refer them online. The window opens up on February 12, 2018. 

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Once my child is recognized as Highly Capable, what's next?

There are different kinds of placement options and opportunities:

Cluster Classroom Placement, Grade 3-4

In this placement, eligible students are served in their home schools through the use of cluster classrooms in which a group of other highly capable students are placed together. Their classroom teachers use a variety of methods to provide continuous learning progress, challenge, and enrichment. Examples include, but are not limited to: special projects, online math problem-solving, and small group instruction.

Self-Contained Classroom Placement, Grade 3-4

Two self-contained classrooms, located at Broad View Elementary, serve eligible students in grades three and four. In this placement, Washington State’s standards-based curriculum has been modified to provide in-depth learning experiences through the use of advanced math and language arts instruction, problem and project-based learning, simulations, Socratic Seminars, technology integration, and challenge in all areas of the curriculum.

Provisional Placement, Grade 3-4

When the selection committee meets to determine eligibility and placement, students are selected for a cluster classroom based on scores that trend between 90 and 94 percent. Sometimes students score above 94 percent on a portion of the CogAT and at the same time, have other measures that show strength in both language and math. When we have seats available in self-contained classrooms, we offer it those students on a provisional basis. Additionally, there is a provisional cluster placement for students who demonstrated high potential on the Cognitive Abilities Test, but who did not meet eligibility requirements. Both provisional self-contained and cluster students need to test again the following year to reassess placement.

Advanced  Classes, Grade 5-6

Oak Harbor Intermediate School, where students in grades 5-6 attend, provides advanced level classes for academic areas. In both grades, math is accelerated by at least one grade level. The advanced literacy classes are writing intensive and incorporate techniques and strategies that challenge, extend and enrich the curriculum.


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