High Ability Program
HIGH ABILITY PROGRAM
Springs Valley Community Schools
The Springs Valley Community School District’s mission is to Inspire, Prepare, Achieve, and Succeed!
“A High Ability Student is one who performs at, or shows the potential for performing at, an outstanding level of accomplishment in at least one domain when compared to other students of the same age, experience, or environment; and is characterized by exceptional gifts, talents, motivation or interests.” (Indiana Code 20-36-1-3)
The purpose of identification is to provide appropriate services for all students. This is a complex process because some students enter school with more rich learning experiences and school readiness skills. Since all children develop at different rates, this developmental readiness plays an important role at the primary level with high ability identification. For example, other students may progress quickly and catch up in skills, surpassing those with an early advantage. In addition, cognitive growth is not always consistent, especially in the elementary grades. Therefore, high ability identification from one year to the next is not necessarily permanent. Placement decisions may be modified in accordance with changes in students’ learning profiles as they progress through elementary and middle school.
Students are screened for identification purposes regardless of socio-economic status, cultural background, underachievement, or disabilities. Students may qualify as high ability in one of the following areas: General Intellectual, Math only, or Language Arts only. All students are considered for High Ability identification during a “Pathway” year. The “Pathway” years are Grades K, 2, and 5 when all students participate in a reasoning-ability test and subsequent achievement tests, as needed. Qualitative measures are also collected as appropriate. If your child qualifies for high ability services, you will be notified via a Parent Notification Letter. This letter will need to be signed and returned so your child can participate in the available programs or services.
- To effectively identify all students in need of high ability services
- To differentiate the curriculum to meet the needs of high ability learners. This is accomplished through: emphasizing higher level thinking and problem solving skills, asking open-ended questions, encouraging collaboration, and promoting study skills.
- To provide enrichment and/or acceleration options at all grade levels
- To provide extracurricular academic activities and learning opportunities which transcend from the classroom
- To ensure interaction with peers having similar intellectual and academic abilities
Springs Valley offers a variety of service options for high ability students including:
- Differentiated curriculum (all grades)
- Pull out Enrichment Program (Grades 3-5)
- Future Problem Solvers Program International (Grades 3-5)
- Math Bowl (elementary and middle school)
- Spell Bowl (elementary and middle school)
- Honors courses (middle school and high school)
- Academic team competitions (middle school and high school)
- Advanced, Dual-Credit, and Career courses (high school)
If a student is new to the district and completed testing for high ability at the previous school, those assessment scores will be reviewed and utilized to determine placement. If the student did not participate in high ability testing at the previous school, the parents may request screening.
A formal appeals process is available to parents. Parents should complete the high ability appeal form to start the process. After the administration receives the form, the Broad-Based Planning Committee will review the student’s profile, academic history, and supporting evidence to make a decision regarding the appeal and then report the findings to the parents.
Students who are not successful with the high ability placement may be exited from the program at any time. This process can be initiated by the school or by the parent. A parent or student may voluntarily request a removal from the program at any time. In addition, other circumstances could result in the student exiting from the program. However, efforts will be made to retain the student in the program. Examples of interventions which may be implemented in an attempt to improve the situation could include contracts, behavior modification schedules, and conferences with students and/or parents. If the interventions have not assisted the student in being successful, then the student may be exited from the program. The Broad-Based Planning Committee will decide each student’s case on an individual basis. If a student is removed from the program, the parents will be notified in writing of that decision. Parents would then have the option of meeting to discuss the decision or filing an appeal.
Counseling and Guidance:
Certain character traits and issues, such as overexcitability, perfectionism, self-esteem struggles, and asynchronous development, seem to have a higher incidence among high ability students. Many of these are potential strengths, however, if these are detrimental to the student’s daily functioning, they may indicate a problem that needs to be addressed. Small group or individual counseling is available from the school counselor or social worker if needed. Additionally, at the high school level, the guidance counselor meets with students to provide them with pertinent college and career information and options.
Broad-Based Planning Committee:
A Broad-Based Planning Committee is available to assess and support the High Ability program. This committee consists of the high ability coordinator, the principal from each building, the superintendent, and counselor.