Elementary » Highly Capable Program

Highly Capable Program

Highly Capable Programs

Highly capable students are 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 exhibit outstanding abilities within their general intellectual aptitudes, specific academic abilities, and/or creative productivities within a specific domain. These students are present both in the general populace and within all protected classes. 


Students who are highly capable 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 other 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. 


The district will employ the following procedures to refer, assess, and select students to participate in the program:

The district accepts referrals based on data or evidence from teachers, other staff, parents, students, and members of the community. Persons referring a student for consideration for admission into the program will use the district’s referral form.


The district will obtain written or electronic parental permission prior to conducting assessments to determine eligibility for participation in its Highly Capable Program (HCP).


District practices for identifying the most highly capable students must prioritize equitable identification of low-income students.

The district must base the assessment process upon a review of each referred student's capability as shown by multiple criteria, from a wide variety of sources and data, intended to reveal each referred student's unique needs and capabilities. The assessment criterion consists of both qualitative and quantitative instruments and may include :

  1. CogAT7
  2. State Assessment
  3. STAR Reading/Math
  4. Classroom Based Assessments

The district must have identification procedures for their highly capable programs that are clearly stated and implemented by the district using the following criteria:


a) Districts must use multiple objective criteria to identify students who are among the most highly capable. Multiple pathways for qualifications must be available and no single criterion may disqualify a student from identification;
(b) The district must base highly capable selection decisions on consideration of criteria benchmarked on local norms, but the district will not use local norms as a more restrictive criterion than national norms at the same percentile.
(c) The district will not use subjective measures, such as teacher recommendations or report card grades to screen out a student from assessment or to disqualify a student from identification. However, the district may use these data points alongside other criteria during selection to support identification; and
(d) To the extent practicable, the district must give screening and assessments in the native language of the student. If native language screening and assessments are not available, the district must use a nonverbal screening and assessment.

The district will record test results in the student's cumulative file.



A multi-disciplinary selection team composed of a district administrator, psychologist, or other individual who can interpret cognitive and achievement test results, and a teacher will review data that has been collected for each of the referred students. The multi-disciplinary selection committee is composed of: a special teacher (however, if a special teacher is not available, a classroom teacher shall be appointed); a psychologist or other qualified practitioner with the training to interpret cognitive and achievement test results; a certified coordinator or administrator with the responsibility for the supervision of the district's highly capable program; and additional professionals if any, that the district deems desirable. 

 The multi-disciplinary selection committee will evaluate individual student assessment profile data and make the selection decision based on:

  1. A preponderance of evidence from the profile data demonstrating that a student is among the most highly capable;
  2. Evidence of clear need for highly capable services; and
  3. Determination of which students would benefit the most from inclusion in the district's program.  

 A single assessment score or indicator will not prevent a student's selection for the HCP; however, individual pieces of evidence, if strong enough, can indicate that the student would benefit from these services. If properly validated test are not available, the professional judgment of the qualified district personnel shall determine eligibility of the student based upon evidence of cognitive and/or academic achievement. 

The district will: 

  1. Notify parents of the students selected. Parents will receive a full explanation of the procedures for identification, an explanation of the process to exit a student from the program, the information on the district's program, and the options that are available to identified students.
  2. Obtain parental permission to place identified students in the program before any special services and programs are provided to the student.


Process for Appeal 

Parents/legal guardians have the right to appeal the Multi-Disciplinary Selection Committee's decision. Individuals appealing the selection committee's decision must submit a completed appeals form or letter requesting review of selection/placement decision. The written request must include reasons for the appeal and, to support reconsideration, provide additional evidence of significantly advanced cognitive or academic levels and/or outstanding intellectual, academic, or creative abilities. 

 Parents/ legal guardians must submit the appeal request and supporting evidence to Rachel Gwinn, HCP Coordinator, within 3 school days of the Multi-Disciplinary Selection Committee's decision notification. 

 The district's appeals committee will review the student's file, assessment profile data, and additional evidence provided in the request for appeal. The Appeals Committee is composed of: Principal, School Counselor, Classroom Teacher, and School Psychologist.

 The decision of the appeals/multidisciplinary selection committee (district specifies which is used) may include:

  • Upholding the original decision of the Multidisciplinary Selection Committee;
  • Reversing the decision of the Multidisciplinary Selection Committee; 


The Appeals Committee will make a decision within 2 school days after receipt of written request for reconsideration, and will notify the parent/legal guardian of the decision in writing. (If no other appeal is available) The decision of the Appeals Committee is the final decision.



Adoption Date: 10/30/14

Updated: 8.29.18

School District Name: Pomeroy School District

Revised: 04.08; 12.11, 4.19