• Chesterton Middle School (7th & 8th Grade) Program Description:

    High Ability Program
    Gifted and Talented: Typically,  students identified as high ability are enrolled in the GT classes.  The level of difficulty and pace of these classes is more advanced than the honors program. These classes are for students with divergent thinking skills, those students who "think outside the box."  High ability students question why the information they are learning is important.  

    Honors Program: Typically, students considered high achievers, but did not meet the criteria of high ability are enrolled in the honors class.  These classes are for students who are schedule-driven and task-oriented.  Honors students do what is asked of them just as they are asked to do it.  The level of difficulty and pace of the program is less advanced than the gifted and talented program. 

    Chesterton Middle School (7th & 8th Grade) Identification and Placement

    At the middle school, students are identified for high ability in biology, 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:  InView/Cognitive Skills Index (CSI) (taken in 6th grade for middle school)
    • Performance-based (achievement) Measure:  NWEA (end of the year scores)
    • Other Measures:  Pre-requisite courses, teacher nomination/observation, projects, and rating scales
    Generally, a High Ability (HA) or Gifted and Talented (GT) student at CMS scores at the 95th percentile on a standardized test (NWEA) in math and/or reading.   Teacher Observation scores may also be considered.   

    Once students are identified, the students are provided with differentiated instruction in either an honors level course or a Gifted and Talented (GT) course.

    After final placement is determined for students in the fall, only a teacher may nominate a student for movement into a high ability class during the school year.  The Honors Committee will then review the student’s placement. 

    New students will be considered at the time of enrollment pending information from their previous school, teacher observations, and data collected. Students must meet local criteria for program placement. Identification for program services at a prior school does not automatically qualify the student for services at Duneland School Corporation.

    Chesterton Middle School (7th & 8th Grade) Parent Notification

    Students who have been nominated for high ability by a parent/guardian, teacher, or are currently in a high ability class in 6th and 7th grade will be evaluated for high ability placement in 7th and 8th grade, respectively.   Parents/guardians of students who have been nominated and evaluated will receive notification once placement decisions are made, stating the student’s placement in general, Honors and/or Gifted and Talented (GT) courses for the upcoming school year.

    Chesterton Middle School (7th & 8th) Appeals

    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. At the middle school level, all appeals can be submitted to the CMS High Ability Committee.  CMS will accept appeals by the Friday before the first day of school. The High Ability Committee typically meets on the Monday or Tuesday prior to school starting. After review by the High Ability Committee, the guidance department will inform the parent/guardian of its decision. Appeal forms are available on the Duneland School Corporation Website.