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Edmonds School District

Frequently Asked Questions - Challenge Grades 1-6




What is the program’s philosophy?


The Highly Capable (Hi-Cap) Program provides learning experiences in an atmosphere in which talents will be nurtured and new talents will be acquired. We recognize and target students’ multiple intelligence's, and work to assist students in extending their learning and increasing their skills. The advanced pace of the curriculum allows us to have more time to focus on projects and in-depth individual assignments, the emphasis is on the quality of work rather than quantity. We assist students in developing accountability for their learning through time-management practices.

Will my child receive the grade level curriculum?

Using the strong, standards-based, regular Edmonds curriculum, we offer enriched and accelerated content in all subject areas. Students are challenged when demonstrating mastery in an area and are given remediation when gaps in understanding of content or skills are present. We provide an environment which allows students to identify and solve complex problems, explore concepts in greater depth and complexity, and to develop and create unique products. Students in the program are one math level ahead of their same grade peers, therefore they will have skipped one grade level of math during the summer. They can access the math level that they will be skipping via the Think Central website that is part of our Expressions Math Curriculum. Please do not cover two grades of math over the summer.

What are the grading requirements in the Highly Capable Program?

Students in the Highly Capable Program will be graded on grade-level content at an enhanced and enriched level. In mathematics where the base content is specifically one grade-level above, students will also be graded at an enhanced and enriched level. Homework requirements in the self-contained program are appropriate to the age and ability of the student and vary by grade level. Grades are standards-based just as they are with the general education classrooms. 

What are the differences between the general education and the Highly Capable Program curricula?

The main difference between the Hi-Cap Program and a general education classroom is the pace and complexity of the curriculum. Students in the Hi-Cap Program are challenged by studying topics at a faster rate and also get the opportunity to study specific concepts more deeply. Students in the program are one math level ahead of their same grade peers.

What are the classroom configurations?

In the Hi-Cap Program, we use the same staffing formulas as the general education classrooms. Highly Capable Program class sizes vary year to year but are similar to general education class sizes. Therefore, it is possible that students in the Hi-Cap Program may be in a split class for at least one of their years. There is no limit to the amount of students accepted into the program so numbers vary from year to year.

What are the homework expectations?

Our homework expectations are similar to the expectations of the general education classrooms: up to an average of 10 minutes of work for each grade level (i.e. 40 minutes for 4th grade). However, depending on the student’s ability to time manage long-term projects; some nights may exceed this standard. How students use their class time will definitely impact the amount of time spent on schoolwork. In-class work time is often encouraged and available in order to practice, with guidance, time management skills and strategies.  Additionally, students in all grades are expected to spend time reading each night.

How long before my child makes the transition from the general education classroom to the Highly Capable Program classroom?

Each child is unique and adapts differently to transitions. Most students have the hardest time during the first few months in the program and then usually settle in for the rest of the year. Academically, students in the intermediate grades have a wider academic gap initially, students may be surprised to not know all the answers. Students also report a freedom to make mistakes and to no longer be the smartest person in the class. Hi-Cap Program teachers are aware of issues associated with transition and have tools available to help students through this process.

What kind of integration goes on between the Highly Capable Program and the general education classrooms?

We offer a different form of instruction in the Highly Capable Program and try to integrate our students with neighborhood classes through buddy classrooms, field trips, etc. Students in the Highly Capable Program attend the same lunch, recess, assemblies, sixth-grade camp and graduation as the other students. Additionally, we encourage students and families to get involved in the school community. Students can attend after school clubs and classes such as Chess. Parents are invited to join the PTA, become a Watchdog, volunteer in the library, assist with small groups, and photocopy along with other parents in the school.