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Highly Capable Programs

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Highly Capable Students WAC 392-170-036)
Those students who perform or show potential for performing at significantly advanced academic levels when compared with others of their age, experiences, or environments. Highly Capable students may possess, but are not limited to, these learning characteristics:

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

Point of Contact:
Susan Heyer
Highly Capable/Professional Development Coordinator
Port Angeles School District
sheyer@portangelesschools.org

Highly Capable Programs and Continuum of Services (WAC 392-170-075/078)

Grades K-6
Highly Capable Services at Home/Neighborhood Schools
Advanced Potential/Academics in English Language Arts or Math
Each elementary school is independent of the Ridge Program (see description, below). Students who qualify for services in one academic area or both (ELA/Math),as an advanced academic student or a student with potential behaviors/characteristics of learning at a high capacity, will receive enhanced curriculum and/or specialized instruction in the general education classroom at their home school site. Teachers and administrators will analyze student’s instructional needs on a continual basis in order to enhance the growth, potential, and unique characteristics of Highly Capable students. A plan will be devised by the teaching team at the student’s school building. The plan may include, but not limited to, curriculum compacting, lesson differentiation, “walk to math/reading," subject- or whole-grade acceleration, independent projects, or flexible clustering as relevant to meet each student’s potential. In this capacity, the teachers will have the support of instructional coaches, the Highly Capable Coordinator, as well as access to a variety of professional development workshops.

Self-Contained
Grades 3-6 Ridge Program, Dry Creek Elementary School,
Highly Advanced Potential/Academics in English Language Arts and Math
The Ridge is a self-contained program based at Dry Creek Elementary focused on behaviors, characteristics, and high learning potential of gifted (highly capable) students who work at levels above their age- and grade-level peers. It is a multi-age setting for students who have qualified in all academic areas and/or with evidence of extremely high cognitive reasoning abilities, received recommendation by the multidisciplinary selection committee, and have received special parent permission to attend. A self-contained setting allows not only for academic growth, but also provides for the unique social and emotional needs of the gifted child, which, in unique circumstances, may include subject- or whole-grade acceleration as relevant to meet each student’s potential. Teachers of this program have received professional development in gifted education and will have the freedom to design program and curriculum options that will stretch and challenge each learner, including district approved curriculum. The teachers will have the support of instructional coaches, the Highly Capable Coordinator, as well as access to a variety of professional development workshops.

Grades 7 - 12
Teachers will analyze student’s instructional needs on a continual basis and will differentiate curricula in order to enhance the growth, unique characteristics, potential, and interests of Highly Capable students. In this capacity, the teachers will have the support of instructional coaches, the Highly Capable Coordinator, as well as access to a variety of professional development workshops. Students will have options to attend advanced academic classes such as Honors and AP classes, as available, and subject- or whole-grade acceleration as relevant to meet each student’s potential.

Notification of highly capable identification results will be mailed to parents and guardians during the first two weeks of May each year.