Elementary (K-4th Grade) Program Description
The High Ability Program for students in grades kindergarten through fourth grade consists of pull-out services. Students will leave their general education classroom to receive services in high ability instruction. Units created by the Indiana Department of Education will be utilized for Language Arts and Reading instruction. Mentoring Mathematical Minds through Kendall Hunt Publishing will be used for math instruction. In addition, K-4 grade teachers use differentiated instruction in their classroom to meet the diverse needs of all of their students.
Elementary (K-4th Grade) Identification and Placement
At the elementary level (K-4), students are identified for high ability or having the potential to be high ability in math, language arts, or general intellectual (both math and language arts). A combination of the following criteria may be used to identify our high ability students:
● Potential-based (aptitude) Measure: Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) K & 2
● Performance-based (achievement) Measure: NWEA (end of the year scores)
● Other Measures: Teacher nomination/observation, projects, and rating scales
Kindergarten, 1st grade & 2nd grade:
As a part of high ability identification, initially all kindergarten students take the CogAT screener. Students scoring 77 or higher on the screener will take the complete CogAT assessment. Students meeting the benchmark (age stanine of 9) on the complete CogAT assessment in kindergarten, shall be identified as high ability or having the potential to be high ability for the remainder of kindergarten, 1st grade and 2nd grade. Kindergarten students are officially identified using CogAT prior to the fourth grading period. Services for identified kindergarten students will begin during the fourth grading period.
Another part of high ability identification includes using scores from the Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA). Kindergarten students take NWEA three times a year (beginning, middle and end). Students meeting the benchmark of 95% or higher on NWEA on the end of the year assessment shall be identified as high ability or the potential to be high ability for first grade. With that being said, after the end of the year NWEA benchmark assessment, additional kindergarten students may be identified for 1st grade. At the end of 1st grade, scores from the end of the year NWEA assessment will be revisited for appropriate placement in 2nd grade.
Finally, teachers complete a teacher observation form for each student meeting the criteria in the screening pool. The selection committee will meet in the spring to begin analyzing the data for identifying students for the following school year.
3rd & 4th grade:
As a part of high ability identification, initially all 2nd grade students take the CogAT screener. Students scoring 77 or higher on the screener will take the complete CogAT assessment. Students meeting the benchmark (age stanine of 9) on the complete CogAT assessment in 2nd grade, shall be identified as high ability or having the potential to be high ability for 3rd and 4th grade.
In addition, all students take Northwest Evaluation Association Tests (NWEA) three times during the school year (beginning, middle, and end of the year). For identification, the end of the year NWEA scores are used. Second grade students who meet the end of the year benchmark of 95% or higher on NWEA for the end of the year, shall be identified as high ability or the potential to be high ability for 3rd grade. At the end of 3rd grade, scores from the end of the year NWEA assessment will be revisited for appropriate placement in 4th grade.
Finally, teachers complete a teacher observation form for each student meeting the criteria in the screening pool. The selection committee will meet in the spring to begin analyzing the data for identifying students for the following school year.Elementary (K-4th Grade) Parent Notification
Every effort will be made to let elementary families know whether their child met the criteria for high ability as soon as possible. This notification will also serve to notify parents/guardian that the identified child shall participate in HA services during the designated grade level.
Should a parent/guardian prefer that their child not receive HA services, then written notification must be provided to your child’s teacher and/or principal. The letter will be forwarded to the HA department.
Elementary (K-4th Grade) Exit Procedure
A child may be removed from the program at any time by a parent by providing the building principal with a written request. If the teacher or the high ability teacher/instructor has a concern about a child’s placement in high ability, additional data will be collected. All students will be monitored through the Response to Instruction (RtI) building process. Students, who are identified as struggling as evidenced by RtI data, will be discussed in RtI meetings for potential removal from the program.
Should a parent/guardian, the high ability teacher/instructor or classroom teacher request discontinuance of program services due to poor performance or for any other reasons, the following protocol will be followed:
Elementary (K-4th Grade) Appeals
- A conference will be held with the
student and his/her parent or guardian addressing concerns.
- A trial period will follow allowing
time for the student to modify his/her performance.
- A second conference will be held to
evaluate the student’s further participation in the program.
- Provided the family still wishes to
discontinue their child’s participation in the program, a written letter from
the student’s parent or guardian stating reasons for discontinuance must be
submitted to the classroom teacher who will then forward the letter to the
building principal and Director of High Ability.
- If the request for discontinuance in
the program was made by the HA instructor or classroom teacher, and the student
does not make reasonable progress during the trial period, a committee
(including the building principal and/or Director of HA, classroom teacher, HA
teacher/instructor and the child’s parent/guardian) will meet to evaluate the
student’s lack of progress and make a recommendation to continue or discontinue
High Ability program services.
Parents/Guardians of a child who requests reevaluation of their child’s eligibility must submit in writing an appeal form stating the reasons they believe their child should receive high ability services. The High Ability Cadre will review the student’s records and make a determination. In some cases, the administration of a parallel test of ability or achievement may take place. The principal or high ability teacher will notify the parent/guardian of the decision. Appeals will be considered from the first day of school until September 30th. No further appeals will be considered after September 30th. Appeal forms are available on the Duneland School Corporation Website.
- A conference will be held with the student and his/her parent or guardian addressing concerns.