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Highly Capable

The Tukwila School District offers a highly capable program that for qualifying students in grades K-12 that helps them:

  • Expand academic attainment and intellectual skills;
  • Stimulate intellectual curiosity, independence, and responsibility;
  • Develop a positive attitude toward self and others; and
  • Develop originality and creativity.

A variety of program services are available to highly capable students. At elementary, students will participate in the Schoolwide Cluster Grouping Model; at middle school, students will participate in an Honors program; and at high school, students will participate in the College Board’s equal-access Advanced Placement program and Running Start.

Who qualifies as highly capable?

Highly capable students are students who perform or show potential for performing at significantly advanced academic levels when 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 populace, but are present within all protected classes.

Students who are highly capable may possess, but are not limited to, these learning characteristics:

  • Capacity to learn with unusual depth of understanding, to retain what has been learned, and to transfer learning to new situations;
  • Capacity and willingness to deal with increasing levels of abstraction and complexity earlier than their chronological peers;
  • Creative ability to make unusual connections among ideas and concepts
  • Ability to learn quickly in their area(s) of intellectual strength; and
  • Capacity for intense concentration and/or focus.

Selection methods

  • Nomination: Referrals are permitted and accepted based on data or evidence from teachers, staff, parents/guardians, students, and members of the community. Nominators will use the district’s nomination form to refer a student to be considered for admission in the program.

  • Screening: The district may screen each nominee to identify students who qualify for further assessment. Screening criteria will include the following: Kingore Screener at elementary school and/or student work pertaining to the tasks observed by the person nominating the student.

  • Assessment: The district will obtain written parental permission prior to conducting assessments to determine eligibility for participation in its Highly Capable Program (HCP). Nominees identified for testing may be assessed using the NNAT2. The assessment process shall be based upon a review of each nominee’s capability as shown by multiple criteria, from a wide variety of sources and data, intended to reveal each nominee’s unique needs and capabilities. The assessment criterion may consist of both qualitative and quantitative information. NNAT2 results will be recorded in the student’s cumulative file.

Selection process

A multi-disciplinary selection committee composed of a district administrator, psychologist or other individual who can interpret cognitive and achievement test results and a teacher will review data that has been collected for each of the nominated students. The multi-disciplinary selection committee is composed of: A special teacher (provided that if a special teacher is not available, a classroom teacher shall be appointed); a psychologist or other qualified practitioner with the 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 additional professionals, if any, that the district deems desirable.

The multidisciplinary selection committee will evaluate individual student assessment profile data using a blind (no name) process. The selection decision is based on:

  • A preponderance of evidence from the profile data demonstrating that a student is among the most highly capable;
  • Evidence of clear need for highly capable services; and
  • Determination of which students would benefit the most from inclusion in the district’s program.

A single assessment score or indicator will not prevent a student’s selection for the HCP; however, individual pieces of evidence, if strong enough, can indicate that the student would benefit from services. If properly validated tests are not available, the professional judgment of the qualified district personnel shall determine eligibility of the student based upon evidence of cognitive ability and/or academic achievement.

The district will:

  • Notify parents of students who have been selected. Parents will receive a full explanation of the procedures for identification, an explanation of the appeal process, an explanation of the procedures to exit a student from the program, the information on the district’s program and the options that are available to identified students;
  • Obtain parental permission to place identified students in the program before any special services and programs are provided to the student;
  • Schedule a meeting of all such parents; and
  • Conduct an annual parent meeting to review each student’s educational plan.

Process to appeal

Parents/legal guardians have the right to appeal the Multi-Disciplinary Selection Committee’s decision. Individuals appealing the selection committee’s decision must submit a completed appeals form or letter requesting review of selection/placement decision. The written request must include reasons for the appeal and, to support reconsideration, provide additional evidence of significantly advanced cognitive or academic levels and/or outstanding intellectual, academic, or creative abilities.

The appeal request and supporting evidence must be submitted to the school principal or designee within 10 school days of the Multi-Disciplinary Selection Committee’s decision notification.

The Multi-Disciplinary committee will review the student’s file, assessment profile data, and additional evidence provided in the request for appeal.Procedure 2190P The decision of the Multi-Disciplinary Committee may include:

  • Upholding the original decision.
  • Reversing the decision.

A decision will be made by the Committee within 14 school days after receipt of written request for reconsideration. The parent/legal guardian will be notified of the decision in writing. The decision of the Committee is final.