FAQ's - Hi-Cap Program Questions

  • Highly Capable Program FAQs

    Answers to Frequently Asked Questions


    General information

    Edmonds School District provides a continuum of services to meet the learning needs of highly capable students residing in our district. We offer the Elementary Challenge Program housed at Terrace Park for highly capable students in first through sixth grade. This program is a self-contained, full-time program and provides an accelerated curriculum.

    Gifted Middle School is for highly capable students in the seventh and eighth grade, which offers accelerated classes in English, Social Studies, and Science. All students will be placed in math according to testing and/or completion of the previous curriculum. These students will demonstrate higher reasoning ability and perform well above their chronological grade level in reading and math achievement on standardized tests. This program is housed at Brier Terrace Middle School.

    Gifted High School students will have the opportunity during their 8th-grade year to choose placement in one of the following 9-12 Accelerated Program options:

    1. Enroll at Edmonds-Woodway High School to pursue the International Baccalaureate Full Diploma.
    2. Enroll at Mountlake Terrace High School to pursue the STEM Magnet Program.
    3. Enroll at their neighborhood High School to pursue Honors in grades 9-10, and be guaranteed enrollment in available accelerated options including Advanced Placement (AP) and College in High School. Students will also be provided access to Running Start.


    Is there a fee to have my child tested for the program?

    No. The Highly Capable Program is fully funded by the state as Basic Education.


    How do I know if my student is a good candidate for the Challenge program?

    The Challenge program serves some of the most highly capable students in the district. One way to explore if this program would be a good fit for your student is to discuss your student’s academic abilities and performance with their teacher. Aside from high academic performance, here are some typical intellectual characteristics of gifted children:

    Unusually large vocabulary for their age

    Ability to read earlier than most children, often before entering school

    Greater comprehension of the subtleties of language

    Longer attention span, persistence, and intense concentration

    Ability to learn basic skills more quickly and with less practice

    Wide range of interests

    Highly developed curiosity and a limitless supply of questions

    Interest in experimenting and doing things differently

    Tendency to put ideas together in ways that are unusual and not obvious (divergent thinking)

    Ability to retain a great deal of information

    Unusual sense of humor


    When is the referral period?

    The referral period for the following school year's program is held in the fall of each school year from September through November 30th and is open to all students in kindergarten through seventh grade residing in the Edmonds School District Boundary.


    How do I get a referral?

    Referrals will be made available on the Highly Capable website beginning in September and remain through the referral deadline on November 30th. Referrals will also be available at all elementary and middle schools in the district, as well as some private schools in our district.


    Can out-of-district students apply?

    No. Applications are only accepted from students who reside within Edmonds School District boundaries. To reside in the district means that the student lives at an address within the school district.


    We don’t live in Edmonds School District, but we are thinking of moving. Can we apply?

    No. Applications are only accepted from students who currently reside in the district.

     

    Are there any screening requirements for testing?

    No. Only the completed referral packet with report card needs to be submitted prior to the deadline of November 30th.

     

    Can my child still take the CogAT test without report card grades and standardized test scores?

    Yes, but they are very helpful to the Multi-disciplinary Selection Committee and should be submitted if at all possible. Private school students should submit report cards and standardized test scores for those administered at the private school. All referral materials must be submitted by November 30th.

     

    Does everyone who completes a referral and turns it in by the deadline along with report card grades get assessed?

    Yes.

     

    I had my child privately tested. Can I submit these results with the application?

    No. Due to equity for all students, the district does not accept private testing results. All students must go through the district’s identification process to be eligible for Highly Capable programs.

     

    My child is in a private school. What should we do?

    The Highly Capable office reviews academic performance on your student's most recent report card and achievement or state test results if available. Along with the completed referral packet, submit copies of your child’s end of year report card, achievement or state test results along with proof of residency to the Highly Capable Program office before November 30th. Letters of recommendation from your student’s teacher(s) are not necessary but are helpful to the Multi-disciplinary Selection Committee.

     

    What documents do I need to provide proof of residency in Edmonds School District?

    Current acceptable proof of residencya PUD, gas, or garbage bill; homeowner's statement or insurance policy; lease or renter's statement or receipt of payment; renter's or homeowner's insurance policy. The proof of residency must show the parent/guardian's name and address.

     

    If my child attends an Edmonds School District school, do I need to provide proof of residency?

    No. Only those families that are currently attending private schools need to show proof of residency.


    When are the tests given for the Highly Capable programs?

    The Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) will be given to all students that have turned in a referral packet by November 30th. Testing is on Saturdays in December and January. Testing dates are announced on the Highly Capable Program website as soon as they are determined, usually in late spring. Please save the date on your calendar as soon as possible as there will only be one make-up testing day for those students that fall ill during their testing day. Being on vacation or out of town is not an acceptable reason to miss the regularly scheduled testing date; your child will not be given a make-up test opportunity.

     

    How and when will I know if my child is scheduled for testing?

    If your referral packet has been received by the deadline, your child will be scheduled for testing and you will receive an email with the date, time and place of testing no later than the first Monday in December. If you do not receive an email by the first Monday in December, contact the Highly Capable office immediately to verify your child’s referral has been received.

     

    What is the testing process?

    Students will be tested in a group setting unless they have an IEP or 504 stating otherwise. Grades kindergarten and 1st will be untimed but paced by the test administrator, they will also have the questions read to them and will mark their answers in the test booklet. Second-grade students will be timed and they will read the questions themselves and also mark their answers in the test booklet. Grade three and higher will be timed and will read their own questions, they will mark their answers on a separate answer sheet. All students will have the test directions read to them.

     

    What if my child is sick and cannot take the test on the scheduled date?

    Students that are unable to attend testing due to illness, with a doctor’s note, will be given one opportunity for a make-up test as determined by the district. The make-up test will be scheduled during the school day. Parents must contact the Highly Capable office (via email or voicemail) prior to the beginning of the test on Saturday in order to add their child’s name to the make-up testing roster. If a student is unable to test on the district scheduled make-up day, they may test the next year during the regularly scheduled winter testing cycle for potential placement the following school year.

    If your student is ill and is absent from school the Friday prior to testing, contact the Highly Capable office and do not bring the child to testing.

    We ask that families prioritize posted testing dates; therefore, make-up testing will not be offered in cases of personal scheduling conflicts or students arriving late for their testing appointment.

     

    What if we have a family emergency and my child cannot take the test on the scheduled date?

    Students that are unable to attend testing due to exceptional, unforeseen circumstances will be given one opportunity for a make-up test as determined by the district. The make-up test will be scheduled during the school day. Parents must contact the Highly Capable office (via email or voicemail) prior to the beginning of the test on Saturday in order to add their child’s name to the make-up testing roster. If a student is unable to test on the district scheduled make-up day, they may test the following year during the regularly scheduled winter testing cycle for potential placement the next school year.

    We ask that families prioritize posted testing dates; therefore, make-up testing will not be offered in cases of personal scheduling conflicts or students arriving late for their testing appointment.

    How will we be notified of the results of the CogAT?

    You will receive a Summary Letter in US Mail during the last week of January. This letter will include the CogAT result along with the recommendation of the Multi-disciplinary Selection Committee. If your child was recommended for placement into the Challenge program you will also receive an invitation to attend the Prospective Family Tour usually the second or third week in February. When dates are known, they will be made available on the Highly Capable website. No score results will be given over the phone. Written requests for emailed or faxed results will not be considered until the second week of February.

     

    Can I appeal the results?

    Decisions of the Multi-disciplinary Selection Committee (MSC) can be appealed only in the spring of the same school year in which the student was tested. Appeals may only be made based upon one of the following conditions:

    1. An extraordinary circumstance occurred during testing that may have negatively affected the validity of the test results (i.e., traumatic event or an illness preventing completion of the test).
    2. A misapplication or miscalculation of the assessment data by the selection committee due to an incorrect birthdate or grade level used in calculating the student’s score.

     The decision of the appeal review team is final and may not be challenged.

     

    Can we observe Challenge classrooms?

    Parents are not allowed to observe the Challenge classrooms. Visitors are a distraction to any classroom, so it is important to keep visits to a minimum. In February, after placement recommendation letters have been received by families, there will be group tours for those that have been recommended for placement in the program. These tours will be during the school day and prior to the deadline for submitting the decision letters.

     

    How can I talk with parents of students in the program?

    The Challenge Parents Association (CPA) is a good source of information about the Challenge program, especially from the perspective of parents. CPA holds monthly general meetings, has a parent representative at each school and maintains a website www.challengeparents.org.


    We are moving into the Edmonds School District and my child attended a gifted program at their last school, do we need to wait until the winter testing cycle to have them assessed?

    No. Once you move into the Edmonds School District, contact the Highly Capable office to have your child tested before registering them at your neighborhood school. Usually, testing can happen rather quickly so it shouldn’t delay getting your child into school.


    My child was attending a highly capable program in their previous school and we moved into the district during summer break, who do we contact and when?

    The Highly Capable office is open year round, just contact our office once you are living within the district boundaries to set up testing.


    My child was attending a gifted/highly capable program in their previous school district and we moved into the Edmonds School District mid-semester, what do we do?

    Contact the Highly Capable office as soon as you are living in the district to set up testing.


    What documentation do I need to have my student tested outside of the annual testing window?

    (This option is only for students previously placed in a gifted/highly capable program.)

    • We will need proof of residency in the Edmonds School District (PUD bill, Rental or Homeowners Insurance, Lease or Mortgage Statement).
    • Copies of the previously administered CogAT scores or other cognitive abilities test
    • Standardized test scores
    • Most recent report cards
    • Letter of placement into previously gifted program

Becky Cass  < K-12 Highly Capable Program Specialist > 425-431-7157

Last Modified on May 11, 2017
7157

Website by SchoolMessenger Presence. © 2017 West Corporation. All rights reserved.