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Highly Capable Program Overview

The Sumner School District Highly Capable Program provides a continuum of services to eligible students in grades K-12. Highly Capable Program Services are different at various grades as the services offered are responsive to student needs as well as district capacity. Information regarding the continuum of services for each grade level are provided below.

Kindergarten students are served at their home school in their currently assigned Kindergarten classroom. Early Learning research supports the idea that Kindergarten students best opportunities for growth and learning occur when they are placed in typical Kindergarten classrooms with all different types of peers. Kindergarten teachers are responsible for providing enhanced and/or accelerated learning opportunities for their Highly Capable students.  These enhanced and/or accelerated learning opportunities can take many different forms, below are a few examples of what this MAY look like; flexible grouping for reading, math and/or integrated projects, opportunities for students to  explore their interests through academic choice activities as well as focusing on creative, critical and evaluative  thinking.  Kindergarten students are nominated in the fall of their Kindergarten year and begin services in the Winter of that same school year.

new The period for referring Kindergarten students into the Highly Capable program is September 30 – October 15. Complete the Kindergarten Referral Packet below and return to your child's teacher no later than 1:00 p.m., October 15, 2015.

green star bullet Kindergarten Referral Packet

1st & 2nd grade students are served at their home schools.  Schools that have 3 or more qualified Highly Capable students at each grade level will serve students using Cluster Groups.  In Cluster Groups, 3-8 qualified Highly Capable students are placed together in the same classroom.  Schools with fewer than 3 qualified Highly Capable students per grade level will use differentiated instruction presented by the classroom teacher.

3rd-5th grade students are served in a "self-contained" all day program at one of our elementary schools with transportation to and from that school is provided.  Students who choose to stay at their home school instead of the self-contained all day program, will be placed in Cluster Groups (see above) or will receive differentiated instruction from their classroom teacher.

Middle School
6th-8th grade students are served in an all day program at Lakeridge Middle School that includes challenging programs in social studies, language arts, math and science content areas. Students who choose to stay at their home school will be placed in math and language arts classes in Cluster groups of 3-8 Highly Capable students who are grouped together in the same math and language arts classes.

High School
9th & 10th grade students are encouraged to participate in Honors classes that are offered at both of our High Schools.
11th & 12th grade students are encouraged to participate in our Advanced Placement classes at Bonney Lake High School or our International Baccalaureate classes offered at Sumner High School.

What identifies a child as Highly Capable?

The identification of students who are among the most highly capable is done by testing their cognitive abilities, academic abilities and academic achievement levels.  Two qualifying areas are required for the Highly Capable Program:   

1st Qualifying Area
Academic Achievement- Measurement of Academic Progress (MAP), students must achieve in Math OR Reading.

2nd Qualifying Area
Cognitive Abilities Test - measures cognitive ability. Students must achieve a 90% or higher.

green star bullet 2014-2015 Highly Capable MAP Target Scores

Characteristics of Highly Capable Children: “Bright Child vs. Highly Capable Learner”

Observing Highly Capable characteristics is often difficult when dealing with obviously bright children.  The below document is helpful in recognizing the subtle differences between the bright child and the highly capable learner.

green star bullet Characteristics of Highly Capable Children

If you have questions about the program, qualification criteria, or selection process, please contact Tari Littlefield at 253.891.6035.


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English Language Learner

Highly Capable/Gifted Programs

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