• Highly Capable Services


    Vashon Island School District shall offer appropriate instructional services to address the unique needs of the most highly capable students of school age within the State funding allocation. Our framework for highly capable services embraces the following objectives:

    • Expansion of academic attainment and intellectual skill;

    • Stimulation of intellectual curiosity, independence and responsibility;

    • Acceleration of specific content to meet student learning needs; and

    • Development of a positive attitude toward self and others.

    The identification of highly capable students shall not violate federal and state civil rights laws, shall be based on professional judgment as to which students will benefit the most from inclusion in the district's program; and shall be based on an identification system that determines which students are the most highly capable.

    Definition of Highly Capable 

    Highly capable students are students who perform or show potential for performing at significantly advanced academic levels (top 2%) when compared with others of their age, experiences, or environments.

    Highly capable students generally possess the following characteristics:

    • Capacity to learn with unusual depth of understanding, to retain what has been learned, and to transfer learning to new situations;

    • Capacity and willingness to deal with increasing levels of abstraction and complexity earlier than their chronological peers;

    • Creative ability to make unusual connections among ideas and concepts;

    • Ability to learn very quickly in their area(s) of intellectual strength.

    Nominations for 2020-21
    The Vashon Island School District provides a continuum of services for students identified as the most highly capable in grades K through 12. During the nomination period (January 27th through February 3rd, 2021), any adult who knows the child may bring that student’s name forward by completing the Highly Capable nomination form (en español). Students may also nominate themselves. Nominations must be completed by 4 pm on February 3, 2021. Form submissions will not be allowed after the deadline. No students will be evaluated outside of the district's evaluation cycle.  
    New non-resident applicants, may choose to participate in our selection process this year or wait until the following year after they have been officially enrolled in our district.
    New students who have been previously identified in other schools or school districts are not automatically enrolled in highly capable services here in our district. Please speak with the designated building contact (see below) for more information.
    Please note:

    It is not necessary to nominate kindergarten students. We will use the WaKIDS fall assessment as the initial screener as part of our school district’s assessment practice. You may choose to opt your child out of the kindergarten WaKIDS assessment by completing the refusal form (en español). 

    It is not necessary to nominate 2nd grade students as we will conduct a universal screening test using either the CogAT or Naglieri screening test. You may choose to opt your child out of the 2nd grade assessment by completing the refusal form (en español).

    It is also not necessary to nominate students who were already designated for highly capable services in our school district. Once a student has been identified as highly capable by our school district, the student remains in the program unless exited by a parent.

    If you have any questions, please contact the highly capable coordinator at your child’s school:

    Chautauqua Elementary School: Jonathan Hodgson, Assistant Principal

    McMurray Middle School: Greg Allison, Principal

    Vashon Island High School, FamilyLink Alternative Learning or StudentLink Alternative High School: Danny Rock, Principal

    Identification Process
    We rely heavily on universal screening to identify potential students. Universal screening helps identify students who might not have been referred for services, but who are indeed highly capable. It ensures more equitable access to potential identification. Students in our district are all screened using the WaKIDS assessment in Kindergarten and the Naglieri in 2nd grade for our primary highly capable program. Additionally, students in fourth grade and above are screened using the state assessments to determine potential their eligibility for identification. Finally, any student may self-nominate or be nominated by a parent/guardian, staff member or community member. 
    Students will be evaluated based on cognitive and academic criteria. We pay special attention to students who are typically underrepresented such as English language learners or students who qualify for free or reduced lunch to ensure that they are not overlooked (another reason why universal screening is so important). Scores from WaKIDS, the CogAT and/or Naglieri are required components for the student evaluation and must be completed in our school district. All data/evidence will be evaluated by the identification committee.This committee will determine whether a student qualifies as highly capable or not. The process is "blind," all student identifiers are removed from the folders prior to the committee reviewing the data. All parents/guardians of nominated students will receive a decision letter at the completion of the evaluation. Please note the evaluation period may take several months to complete. 
    Information which will be considered during the evaluation process: WaKIDS, CogAT and/or Naglieri scores, state assessment results, academic performance, benchmark testing in mathematics, nomination forms, behavioral scales and other information pertinent to the individual student's needs. 
    Process for Appeal
    Parents/guardians have the right to appeal the committee’s decision. Individuals appealing the committee’s decision must submit a completed appeal form requesting review of the identification/placement decision. 

    The written appeal request must include reasons for the appeal and any supporting documentation. The appeal request and supporting evidence must be submitted to the Vashon Island School District Teaching and Learning Department within ten school days of receiving the Committee’s decision regarding placement in the Highly Capable Program. The student’s file, assessment data, and additional evidence provided in the request for appeal will be reviewed. A decision will be made by the Highly Capable Program Coordinator within ten school days after receipt of the written request for reconsideration. The parent/legal guardian will be notified of the decision in writing. The decision of the Highly Capable Program Coordinator is final. 

    Exit Process
    Students who are identified as highly capable remain in the program for the duration of their attendance in the Vashon Island School District unless removed by their parent/guardian. Parent(s)/Guardian(s) may remove their student(s) from the program by submitting a written request to the Director of Teaching and Learning.

    Interpretation and Translation Services

    Under state and federal law, all parents have the right to information about their child’s education in a language they can understand. Title IV Regulations | Chapter 28A.642 RCW | Chapter 392-190 WAC
    Please click here, for more information about this topic posted on the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction's website.