Highly Capable

Purpose & Program

The mission of the Monroe School District Highly Capable Program is to identify and serve highly capable K­12 students by providing a consistent, challenging and supportive educational environment within the resources of the district. We address the significantly higher learning needs of highly capable students through a continuum of service models that span from Kindergarten through 12th grade. We provide instruction, activities, and services that accelerate learning, and offer a unique academic challenge for young learners identified as highly capable. 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.

Monroe School District has one self-contained classroom, Excel, and it currently serves the highest performing highly capable students in 4/5th grade. It is located at Salem Woods Elementary and, if offered to your child, transportation will be provided for those families accepting placement.

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.

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-out" of receiving services.

Timeline for the 2020-2021 Screening & Identification Process

Referral Window

Fall, 2020

  • Referral window opens for current Monroe students in grades K-11. Referrals accepted from staff, families, students and community members. Parent permission signature on the referral form is required to assess.
  • A referral triggers the screening process and a review of the data.
  • Second and fourth graders do not need a referral.

Data Survey & Parent Permission

Winter, 2021

  • 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.

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

Winter, 2021
  • 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.

Notification of Screener Results

Early March
  • Parents receive notification of the results via USPS.


Winter, 2021
  • The CogAT Post-Screener is administered to those students who performed in the top 10% of their student group on the CogAt Screener.

Data Review

  • The district's Highly Capable Multidisciplinary Selection Committee reviews data for all 2nd and 4th grade and referred students who took the Post-Screener.
  • The committee determines highly capable eligibility.. 

Notification of Post-Screener Results

April 15
  • Parents receive notification of results via USPS.
  • Appeals process is outlined within this notification.

Appeals Window

April 15 - May 15
  • Parent/Guardian submits a written appeal to the decision made by HCMSC. 
  • 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 before May 20, 2021. 

Data Review #2

Early May
  • The district's Highly Capable Multidisciplinary Selection Committee determines services/placement of eligible students for the 2021-22 school year.

Notification of Recommended Services

May 15
  • Parents receive notification of recommended services/placement via USPS.
  • Included is "Permission to Deliver Enrichment Services." A student is not considered highly capable until we have permission from the parent/guardian.

Deadline to Accept Services

June 5
  • "Permission to Deliver Enrichment Services" with parent/guardian signature is due to your school or to the District Office, Kim Ross.

School-Based Placement

June, 2021
  • Updated Hi-Cap school rosters are provided to building administrators for placement consideration of the 2021-22 school year.


Download the Highly Capable Program Parent Handbook for more information.

If you have questions, please contact:

David Paratore

Chief of Student Services
(360) 804-2609

Chris Cronas 

Director of Categorical Programs
(360) 804-2558

Sandra Monson

Teacher on Special Assignment
(360) 804-2617