• Selah’s Highly Capable Services

    Frequently Asked Questions Spring 2018

    Selection and Appeals Processes, Services and Exit Procedures

     What is the referral, screening, assessment and qualification process for Highly Capable Services, Kinder through Grade 2?

    All K-2 students at JCP are considered referred and screened (Oct.-Nov.) with district assessments (WAKids, STAR 360 in Early Literacy, Reading and Math) to determine additional Highly Capable assessment. Once student assessment profiles are screened, families are notified of Highly Capable testing with the full Test of Cognitive Abilities (CogAT). Results from the full CogAT and each student’s assessment profile are reviewed by the Highly Capable multidisciplinary team (Highly Capable Services Coordinator, building principals, counselors, school psychologist, classroom teachers and the Executive Director of Teaching and Learning). Families are notified of scores and selection decisions. If students qualify for Highly Capable services, a permission to participate letter is included and must be returned before students receive services.

     What is the referral, screening, assessment and qualification process for Highly Capable Services, Grades 3-11?

    Each year, referrals are accepted during the referral window (Oct-Nov). Referrals are screened using state and district assessments before notices are mailed home inviting students to take a screening assessment (CogAT screener). Once students have taken the screening assessment, families are notified of results and recommendations for next steps which will include additional testing with the full CogAT. Results from the full CogAT are reviewed by the Highly Capable Services multidisciplinary team (Highly Capable Services Coordinator, building principals, counselors, school psychologist, classroom teachers and the Executive Director of Teaching and Learning). CogAT testing results and placement recommendations are then mailed home. If students qualify for Highly Capable Services, a permission to participate letter is included. Notification will take place by the end of the school year.

     Do students need parental permission to test for and participate in Highly Capable Services?

    YES! All students who test for Highly Capable services must have a written parental/guardian permission form before any testing. If your student has been referred, screened and invited to take the screening test, a permission form is included with the testing invitation letter. Contact Kay Smith (kaysmith@selahschools.org), Highly Capable Services Coordinator if you need an additional permission form.

    As students qualify for Highly Capable services, participation requires parental permission. A permission form is included with the notification letter. This is the only permission form required for the duration of your child’s school career through graduation.

     What data does the district use to determine qualification for Highly Capable Services?

    • Cognitive Test of Abilities or CogAT (K-11). See http://cogat-test.com/ for more information.
    • Results on most recent state (Smarter Balanced Assessment), district and school assessments (STAR 360 in Early Literacy, Reading and Math)

    Once a student meets Highly Capable qualification, they may participate in any challenging services the district offers for the duration of their K-12 school years.

     What services does the district offer for my Highly Capable student?

    • Grades K-8 John Campbell Primary, Selah Intermediate School and Selah Middle School all provide a menu of options to meet the academic, social and emotional needs of highly capable students. Such options may include cluster grouping, core content acceleration, curriculum compacting, and/or tiered (differentiated) instruction.  Services are designed to address the unique learning needs of each student and therefore, may vary from one student to the next.
    •  Grades 9-12 Selah High School provides a menu of services in grades 9-12 that include Advanced English classes in grades 9 and 10, and accelerated math opportunities for students who have completed Algebra in grade 8.  Advanced Placement and College in the High School courses are offered in multiple subject areas.  Running Start is also an option for Highly Capable students.

     Is there an appeal process if we don’t agree with the team’s decision?

    Yes! Appeals must be submitted within three weeks of notification of placement decisions. It is recommended that parents/guardians meet with the Highly Capable Services coordinator and building principal to discuss the appropriateness of an appeal and the items that might be included in the process. Contact the Highly Capable Services coordinator, Kay Smith 698-8037, kaysmith@selahschools.org  to set up an initial meeting time.

    Appeal items should include:

    • Letter of support from the parent/guardian providing compelling information that demonstrates that the scores determined by the CogAT, SBA and district assessments are not representative of your student’s abilities.
    • Copies of progress reports/report cards/additional appropriate assessments from the two years previous to testing.

     If necessary, a second meeting may be held with the Highly Capable Placement team to discuss the appeal. If a consensus is not reached in regards to placement or non-placement, an appeal may be made in writing to Jennifer Kindle, Executive Director of Teaching and Learning, jenniferkindle@selahschools.org.

     Can my student take a break from participation in HiCap services or must they exit? How does this affect their HiCap qualification?

    All reasonable efforts are made to keep participants in services.  Parents may request a pause or break in participation in a service, K-12 for any reason. A pause or break does not affect the student’s qualification as Highly Capable. However, at Grades 11 and 12, a pause in participation may impact class scheduling and college credit if the student is participating in College in the High School or attending Running Start.

     If exiting is requested by either the parent and/or a teacher, reasons for the request must be made in writing with supporting data included. A conference will be held with parents, teachers, school counselor and the school’s principal to discuss concerns, evaluate the problem, and consider service options for the student. The parent's decision to exit the student from services is final.

     What are the Highly Capable Services referral and testing periods for 2018-2019?

    Referrals for all grade levels will be received up until December 3, 2018. All referrals will be screened using district assessments. Once referrals have been screened and it is determined that further testing should take place, notice of CogAT screening testing and/or full testing will be mailed home to families in December 2018 with the actual screening testing taking place in January. Families will be notified of screening results and recommendations regarding further testing. Testing with the full CogAT for eligible students will take place in February/March 2019. Notification of 2019-2020 Highly Capable qualification will take place before the year of the 2018-2019 school year.

     Does the State of Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction offer any resources regarding Highly Capable programs?

    Absolutely! Please check out OSPI’s website: http://www.k12.wa.us/HighlyCapable/default.aspx

     Who are the Selah School District Highly Capable contacts?

    Kay Smith, Highly Capable Services Coordinator (kaysmith@selahschools.org), 698-8037
    Jennifer Kindle, Executive Director of Teaching and Learning (jenniferkindle@selahschools.org), 698-8003