High Ability

The High Ability Program is a result of the expressed interest of the community, school board, school administration, and teachers to ensure that every child will receive the appropriate services in meeting the diverse needs in their area of high ability.

If you have questions about the program, please contact your child's building principal, and s/he will direct you to the information you need. 


 

Goals of the High Ability Program

2015-16

 

It is the goal of the High Ability Committee to communicate with all stakeholders by continuing communication that exhibits uniformity for all HA services provided by MSD of Decatur Township.

The High Ability Committee will assist teachers in the implementation of differentiated strategies learned during Professional development opportunities.

The High Ability Committee will also continue to enhance the High Ability selection process to ensure all students are equitably selected for High Ability designation.

*Note: The goals of MSD of Decatur Township's High Ability Grade K-12 will be reviewed each year by the Broad-Based Planning Committee to ensure the goals are consistent in meeting the diverse needs of high-ability students.

HIGH ABILITY IDENTIFICATION

Grades 2 and 5

Towards the end of first semester students in Grades 2 and 5 throughout the district will take the CogAT Screener online.  The CogAT is a measure of potential that looks at general thinking and problem-solving skills of students, and indicates how well the student uses these skills to solve verbal, quantitative, and nonverbal problems.  The top 20% of each grade level district-wide will then take the IOWA Test of Basic Skills reading and math portions.  The IOWA is an achievement test which provides a comprehensive assessment of student progress in the major content areas.  Using data from both assessments, the High Ability Committee will use an anonymous process to determine which students qualify for the program based on their data.

Grades 1, 3, 4 & 6

Students in grades, 1, 3, 4 & 6 are nominated by their classroom teacher.  Nomination forms are reviewed by the High Ability Committee and those chosen are given the CogAT Screener, paper/pencil version.  The CogAT scores, along with NWEA winter assessment scores are used during the selection process to determine if a student will be placed in the High Ability Program.

Kindergarten

All kindergarten students will be given the CogAT Screener.  The CogAT is a measure of potential that looks at general thinking and problem-solving skills of students and indicates how well the student uses these skills to solve verbal, quantitative, and nonverbal problems.  The High Ability Committee will then ues an anonymous process in the spring to examine the data from the test and their classroom assessments to “flag” students with exceptional abilities for a provisional admission to the High Ability program.  Students admitted to the program will be placed with a ‘cluster’ of students who have similar needs and aptitude next school year.  When your child is in 2nd grade s/he will again take the CogAT screener and the IOWA test of Basic skills to determine official placement in the High Ability Program. 

In mid-April, students who qualify for the program will receive a confirmation letter with the determination if the student will receive services for English/Language Arts, Math or both.

Resources for Parents

High Ability FAQ

Web Sites for Gifted Education

National Association for Gifted Children  http://www.nagc.org

Indiana Associaiton for Gifted Children  http://www.iag-online.org

Hoagies' Gifted Education Page  http://www.hoagiesgifted.org

Books/Publications/Games

  • Sylvia Rimm On Raising Kids by Sylvia Rimm, Ph.D Apple Publishing Company, 1994
  • How to Paretn so Children Will Learn by Sylvia Rimm, Ph.D. Three Rivers Press, 1996
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  • Math Pentathlon Games  http://www.mathpentath.org