Highly Capable

Definition of a Highly Capable Student

As defined by the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), highly capable students are those who perform or show potential for performing at significantly advanced academic levels when compared with others of their age, experiences, or environments. Outstanding abilities are seen within students' general intellectual aptitudes, specific academic abilities, and/or creative productivity within a specific domain. Learn more about the characteristics of a highly capable student here.

Program Purpose

Our Highly Capable Program is designed to address the significantly higher learning needs of highly capable students through a continuum of service models that span from kindergarten through 12th grade. While the program offerings vary depending on the grade level of the student, the intent is to help students explore learning through enhanced activities that target their unique skills and abilities.

Screening Process

Students in grades 2 and 4 are screened annually to determine potential eligibility for highly capable programs. In addition, any parent, staff member or professional who works closely with a child may submit a Highly Capable Referral form (English form | Spanish form). In alignment with OSPI's equitable identification, the top 4% of students in each student group ("racial, ethnic and socio-economic population present in the public school population") are identified as eligible for highly capable services. Parents of students identified as highly capable will be notified and have the right to "opt-in" to receive services.


Oct. 28th - Nov. 8th

  • Referral window opens for current Monroe students in grades K-11. Referrals accepted from staff, families, students and community members.
  • A referral triggers the screening process and a review of the data.

Data Survey & Parent Permission

Beginning after Nov. 9th

  • Learning & Teaching Department compiles most recent data from the district/state assessments (STAR, Interim assessment, Fountas & Pinnell, evaluations, Smarter Balance Assessment, etc.) to identify students for possible screening as well as data for the Data Review Committee.
  • Parent permission to test forms distributed and collected for referred students.

All 2nd and 4th grade & referred students are screened

Jan. 27th - Feb. 7th

  • The first portion of the Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) screener is given to all 2nd and 4th grade students and any referred students from other grades who have parent permission.
  • The second portion of the CogAT screener is then given to those students who performed in the top 10% of their student group on the first portion of the screener.

Data review for students who took the screener

Week of March 11th

  • District Highly Capable Review Committee (HCRC) reviews data for all 2nd and 4th grade and referred students.

School-based placement & appeals process

May 11th - 28th 

  • Lists of eligible students with consent on file sent to principals
  • Parents Notified of their student possible eligibility for the Highly Capable Program. Building level HC teams meet to determine services/placement of eligible students.
  • Parent Consent Letters will be sent after Building HC Teams meet.
  • Appeal window
  • Appeal data processed; additional assessment administered as needed
  • The committee's final decision will be sent in writing to the person filing the appeal. If a student is determined to be eligible via appeal, a letter and request for consent will be sent to the parent/guardian.


Program Description & Structure

  • Modified/differentiated instruction within the general education classroom
  • Before and after-school enrichment programs (i.e. coding, robotics, STEM, etc...)
  • Highly Capable clustering (groups of Hi-Cap student placed together in one general education classroom)
  • Self-contained 4th/5th grade Highly Capable placement (currently at Salem Woods Elementary)

If you have questions, please contact:

David Paratore (360) 804-2609