Elementary 4/5/6 Highly Capable Program

  • Information and dates regarding the 2024-2025 4/5/6 Highly Capable Program will be available January 2024.  

    Beginning in the 4th grade, those students who apply and qualify are placed in the 4/5/6 Highly Capable Program. This program is offered at each elementary school and is a multi-age, full-time class that emphasizes abstract thinking, complexity and depth. Differentiated instruction within each classroom may include one or more of the following strategies: pre-assessment and tiered lessons, open ended questioning strategies and higher level thinking skills. There are opportunities for students to make independent choices when appropriate in content, process and product. 

    Snohomish School District students who will be in the 4th through 6th grade next year and are invited to participate in the district’s 4/5/6 Elementary Highly Capable Program which provides learning opportunities around depth, complexity, and acceleration. If interested, the below dates and information are important. Students currently enrolled in the 4/5/6 Elementary Highly Capable Program do not need to complete the referral process.

    Questions can be directed to Linda Varner at 360-563-7296 or linda.varner@sno.wednet.edu and Belinda Kelly at 360-563-7258 or belinda.kelly@sno.wednet.edu.

    Placement Procedures
    For a student to be considered for placement in the elementary 4/5/6 Highly Capable Program, the following steps are required: 

    Referral Packet

    Included in the referral packet:

    • Referral form
    • Testing schedule
    • Testing sites

    Initial Screening
    Students arrive at the testing site at the scheduled time to take the Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT). Schedules are listed on the referral packet. Students who are on an IEP or 504 may have an individual or small group testing time on another day. The Highly Capable Program office will contact parents to set up testing time and location.

    Testing Dates

    CoGAT testing will take place on ------- at the following times:

    • From 8-10 a.m. at Central Emerson Elementary (Emerson Campus at 1103 Pine Avenue in Snohomish)
      • 3rd graders from Cascade View Elementary, Cathcart Elementary, Central Emerson Elementary (Emerson Campus), Riverview Elementary and Seattle Hill Elementary 
    • From 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at Central Emerson Elementary (Emerson Campus at 1103 Pine Avenue in Snohomish)
      • 3rd graders from Dutch Hill Elementary, Little Cedars Elementary, Machias Elementary and Totem Falls Elementary
    • From 2-4 p.m. at Central Emerson Elementary (Emerson Campus at 1103 Pine Avenue in Snohomish)
      • All 4th and 5th grade students

    Students need to wait in their cars until 15 minutes before their test time and to line up on the marks on the sidewalk outside the building for social distancing. Those being tested must wear a face covering. A health questionnaire will need to be completed and students will have their temperature taken prior to entering the building. All testing materials are provided. If your student is unable to attend his or her scheduled testing time, or needs an alternative testing date contact the Highly Capable office prior to the test date at 360-563-7258. Please note: Late arrivals will not be admitted due to disruption of the testing procedure. Please call 360-563-7258 or 360-563-7296 if transportation is an issue.

    Multidisciplinary Selection Committee
    Placement is based on the student’s performance on the CogAT Abilities Test, STAR reading and math achievement tests, student self-evaluation, essay, and the information contained in the completed parent and teacher forms. Placement decisions are made by a multidisciplinary selection committee comprised of school psychologist, principal, highly capable teacher and highly capable specialist. Decisions shall be based on professional judgment as to which students will benefit the most from inclusion in the district program and also on a selection system that determines which students are the most highly capable, as defined under WAC 392-170-055, and other data collected in the assessment process.

    Notification of Recommended Assignment
    Once the multidisciplinary selection committee meets and makes a recommendation for placement, a letter is sent directly to parents/guardians on -------.

    Appeal Process
    Parents/legal guardians have the right to appeal the multidisciplinary selection committee's decision. Individuals appealing the selection committee's decision must submit a letter requesting review of selection/placement decision. The written request must include reasons for the appeal and any outside standardized assessment data that represents evidence of significantly advanced cognitive or academic levels and/or outstanding intellectual, academic or creative abilities. The appeal request and supporting evidence must be submitted to the highly capable program specialist by -------.

    The district's appeals committee will review the student's file, assessment profile data, and additional evidence provided in the request for appeal. The appeals committee is composed of: the highly capable program specialist, two administrators, a highly capable program teacher, and a psychologist or other qualified practitioner with the training to interpret cognitive and achievement test results.

    The decision of the appeals/multidisciplinary selection committee may include:

    • Upholding the original decision of the multidisciplinary selection committee.
    • Reversing the decision of the multidisciplinary selection committee.
    • Request for further testing.

    A decision will be made by the appeals committee within ten school business days after the final due date of written appeals. The parent/legal guardian will be notified of the decision in writing. The decision of the appeals committee is final.

    Exit Process
    The exit process may be initiated for students who no longer demonstrate a need for highly capable program services. A request may be made by a teacher or program administrator for Highly Capable student identification and placement discontinuation. A multidisciplinary selection committee will convene a meeting to review the student’s profile to determine if the placement and services are appropriate for the student, based on academic, social/emotional, behavioral and/or attendance information. The multidisciplinary selection committee may request additional evidence of student capabilities and/or willingness to participate in the program. If the committee determines that the student no longer qualifies for highly capable program services, it may be recommended that the student is exited from the program. The parent will be notified in writing of the committee’s decision and any steps to appeal the decision will be provided.

    A parent/legal guardian may request that the student be withdrawn from the program or a student may voluntarily withdraw from the program. A meeting will be convened by the highly capable program specialist or school administrator to discuss the request. If the parent/legal guardian desires to withdraw the student from the program, the student will be exited from the program. A multidisciplinary selection committee will determine if identification procedures are necessary for students wishing to reenter the program in the future.