Sunday, March 18

High Ability Identification


I. Identification/Screening:

Step I. Pool Formation:

GCCS utilizes universal CogAT kindergarten screening.  Students who score at the 80th percentile or higher at the local level on one or more of the qualifying subtests – verbal, quantitative, and/or composite non-verbal and quantitative move forward to the full CogAT Test.  Those students who score two standard deviations above the norm on the full CogAT  are identified as high ability students. Their performance on these tests is used for appropriate placement. At all other grade levels, identification is ongoing and takes place throughout the school year.  Students may be referred by a teacher or parent at any time for testing; however, one full calendar year should expire before a child is retested.  Teacher nomination based on a checklist of high ability characteristics, the most recent standardized achievement scores, and parent input are utilized as first-level identification tools for referral/initial screening. Students whose SIGS scores indicate testing is in order, will be tested by psychologists from School  Psychological Services when parents have given signed permission. Please check with your  building administrator for procedures for referral.

Step II. Testing:

    • Kindergarten students who score at the 80th percentile move forward to the full CogAT test, and placement will be based on scores two standard deviations above the norm on this test. Students who score at the 96th percentile on the 10th-grade PSAT or 11th-grade ACT  are identified as high ability.
    • For all other grades, students may be referred for individual testing. The school psychologist will administer the WISC V which provides two sets of subtest scores in verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and fluid reasoning. Other tests may be given if judged appropriate. Students who score in the IQ 130 range will be identified as high ability. Parent questionnaire and information from classroom instructor are also collected.

Appeal Process

An appeal process is in place in the event the identification team does not place a child in service, and a parent challenges the decision. The following steps clarify the appeal process:

      1. The petitioner contacts the advanced program coordinator for re-evaluation.
      2. The petitioner completes and delivers the re-evaluation form to the high ability coordinator.
      3. A school psychologist reviews the student profile and selects an appropriate battery which may include further individual cognitive assessments, parent questionnaire, and work samples.
      4. The psychologist compiles results for the parent and coordinator in a written report.
      5. The coordinator and psychologist meet with parents/teachers to determine an appropriate educational plan.

II. Placement:

Identified elementary high ability students are clustered in groups of up to eight in one classroom in their corresponding grade level in their neighborhood school. Based on assessment results in the very superior range,  students at 2nd-grade and above who qualify for the High Ability Program are also supported by pull-out, enrichment programming facilitated by a retired teacher tutor/consultant.

III. Program:

High ability retired teacher consultants plan and implement accelerated enrichment activities, including preparation for off-site seminars, for identified students. The consultant will send progress reports twice a year to parents. Advanced program consultants may assist the cluster teacher in providing challenging materials and experiences for the student as well.

Emphasis is also be placed on the social and emotional needs of these students with activities in the affective domain.

IV. Exit Procedure:

If a student, parent, or teacher believes a high ability placement for services is no longer appropriate, he or she may:

    1. Arrange a conference with the parties involved, including the high ability coordinator, parent, and the teacher providing services. This conference may be a telephone conference.
    2. Parent, student, and teacher examine issues of concern and discuss interventions that may be implemented.
    3. Committee participants will agree on a reasonable probationary period to implement interventions.
    4. At the end of the probationary period, the student, teacher, and parent meet to review progress and determine whether or not the student should exit services.
    5. If an exit is deemed appropriate, the parent signs permission to “de-flag” student for high ability placement and services.
    6. Parent permission for exit and documentation of meetings/interventions are filed in the student’s file.
    7. High ability coordinator removes high ability flag for student in database.


*V. Detailed GCCS Plan

For the detailed GCCS plan and/or specific policies in regards to high ability/advanced programming, please go to the Detailed Plan  and Bylaws and Policies.