High Ability Plan
Wabash City Schools Mission Statement
Wabash City Schools provides a relevant and rigorous education, founded upon relationships, to ensure every student is college and career ready for success in the global community.
Definition of Giftedness (IC 20-36-1-3)
The Indiana definition is: “High ability student” means a student who:
performs at, or shows the potential for performing at, an outstanding level of accomplishment in at least one (1) domain when compared to other students of the same age, experience, or environment; and
is characterized by exceptional gifts, talents, motivation, or interests.
Broad-Based Planning Committee (IC 20-36-2-2-1)
A broad-based planning Committee is required by Indiana Code 20-36-2-2-1. The broad based planning committee should meet periodically to review the local education authority's (LEA) plan for high ability students. The committee must have representatives from diverse groups representing the school and community. This will include parents, teachers, and administrators.
High Ability Program Goals and Objectives
Goal #1: Appropriately identify all students in need of high ability services regardless of socio-economic status and ethnicity.
Objective #1: Use reliable, norm referenced quantitative data in conjunction with qualitative data to identify high ability students.
Objective #2: Provide ongoing professional development on the use of both quantitative and qualitative measures for identification purposes.
Goal #2: Provide differentiated curriculum, instruction and social-emotional support for high ability students.
Objective #1: Provide a range of program offerings to meet the intellectual needs of high ability students. This may include, but is not limited to, cluster and ability grouping, acceleration, differentiated instruction, and advanced courses.
Objective #2: Ensure the social-emotional needs of high ability students are met by providing support that includes, but is not limited to, handling anxiety, organizational skills, study skills, growth mindset and persistence.
Objective #3: Provide professional development for all teachers to meet the academic and social-emotional needs of high ability students. All teachers need professional development on how to effectively differentiate instruction for all learners including high ability learning (deeper work not more work).
Goal #3: Provide parental support to parents of high ability students.
Objective #1: Develop a quarterly parent newsletter to give parents assistance and ideas on how to support high ability learners.
Objective #2: Provide learning opportunities for parents to help them address anxiety, organizational skills, study skills, growth mindset and persistence in their high ability learners.
Students identified as high ability learners in elementary will be provided differentiated instruction within the regular classroom. Students at O. J. Neighbours will also pull out instruction aimed to accelerate and enrich the high ability students' learning experiences.
Wabash Middle School provides advanced and honors courses to meet the needs of high ability learners. These courses offer rigorous instruction based on state standards and challenges students to utilize high level thinking. High ability students are offered the opportunity to take high school courses and earn high school credits while still in middle school.
Wabash High School provides honors, dual credit and AP courses to meet the needs of high ability learners. Dual credit and AP courses offer rigorous instruction that lead to opportunities to earn college credit while still in high school. These courses are offered through partnerships with Ivy Tech and IU Kokomo.
All students will be assessed in spring of kindergarten and 2nd grade using CogAT (Cognitive Abilities Test). Students scoring in the 95 percentile will be identified as high ability in math or language arts. Students scoring in the 95th percentile in both categories will be identified as general intellect.
Students scoring between the 85th and 94th percentile may be identified as high ability. Normative data from NWEA will be used in the determination. Students that score in the 95th percentile on NWEA in math or reading will be identified as high ability. Teacher observations and recommendations as well as parent observations may also be considered using SIGS-2 scale scores.
All 6th grade students’ NWEA results will be reviewed as a universal screener. Any 6th grade student that scores in the 95th percentile or above will qualify for high ability services in math, language arts, or both.
Sixth grade students scoring between the 85th and 94th percentile may be identified as high ability. WCS will seek parent permission to complete the CogAT. Students scoring at or above the 95th percentile will be identified as high ability in math and/or language arts. Teacher observations and recommendations as well as parent observations may also be considered using SIGS-2 scale scores.
Once identified in elementary or middle school, a student does not need to requalify for high ability services. Advanced courses, including high school credit courses, and honors courses will be offered as high ability services in the middle school.
At the high school level, NWEA scores and PSAT scores will be reviewed to determine if data suggests that a student should be newly identified.
Students from Other Schools
Students may enter WCS with a high ability identification that was determined using different methods and cut-scores than those used by Wabash City Schools. This includes schools throughout Indiana as the state regulations allow for districts to determine their own procedures.
Curriculum, Instruction and Guidance
High ability students in Wabash City Schools are exposed to curriculum that is challenging and promotes higher order thinking. Instruction builds on basic knowledge required by Indiana’s Academic Standards. Differentiated instruction in classrooms and enrichment opportunities offered through pull out instruction at the elementary level and honors/advanced courses at the secondary level allow high ability students to grow and develop academically, socially, and personally.
Guidance counselors will provide differentiated support to meet the diverse needs of high ability students. This will be done through individual and group meetings as well as various parent events.
Wabash City Schools will provide yearly professional development to all faculty and staff members on how to recognize the characteristics of high ability learners and how to better meet their needs. These training sessions will be offered on our Staff PD Days. Outside professional development opportunities, such as webinars and conferences, will be offered when available to administrators, teachers, and counselors.
Appeals Process/Off-Level Nominations
Universal screening for high ability is utilized by Wabash City Schools. This is done through NWEA in grades K - 10 as well as CogAT in grades kindergarten and 2nd grade. This data is reviewed annually, eliminating the need for parent requests or teacher referrals for high ability identification.
If a parent or teacher has evidence that supports off-level testing (i.e. administering CogAT in 3rd grade), this evidence will be considered by the building principal and superintendent. Grades and ILEARN performance alone will not be considered sufficient evidence, as both demonstrate performance at grade level.
To request additional testing or pursue an appeal, parents must submit evidence and a written letter stating the rationale for the request to their building principal. See appendix for Appeal Form.
Students who are not successful may be exited from the high ability program at any time. This process may be initiated by the school or parent.
Before exiting from the program, a building team will be created that includes the principal, counselor (if applicable), at least two teachers (one of which must be providing high ability services), and parents. This team will develop a Student Improvement Plan. This plan will list interventions that may assist the student in being successful in the high ability placement. The plan will also include a timeline for completion and a date to reconvene to determine the effectiveness of the Student Improvement Plan. If improvements have been made, the student will continue in the high ability program with the aforementioned interventions. Additional interventions may also be added at this time. If improvement has not been made, the student may be exited from the high ability program.
A yearly evaluation of Wabash City Schools High Ability Program will be conducted by the Broad Based Planning Committee, building principals, teachers providing high ability services and the superintendent. This will be completed by August 1st of each year for the preceding year. This team will utilize the Indiana Department of Educations High Ability Program Evaluation rubric located below.