Hamilton Southeastern Schools is committed to inclusive and equitable practices for all students, and this extends to our high ability identification and service plans. These practices include:
Robust Instruction for All
It is the intention of our school corporation to infuse rigor, differentiation, and enrichment into all classrooms to meet the needs of all students. All students may expect challenge and support each year, whether or not they have been identified for high ability services.
All students are considered for identification for high ability services through the use of a universal screening system. Universal screening increases the representation of all student groups in high ability education because students do not require a nomination to be considered.
Multifaceted Identification Strategy
Students are screened for high ability services each year.
Students whose strengths are seen in only one area may be identified, as students are considered for high ability services in math, reading, or both.
Students participate in formal identification in grades K, 2, and 5 through a process that includes multiple pathways for identification. Students may qualify for services through the achievement pathway (measured by NWEA), through the cognitive/reasoning pathway (measured by CogAT), or through the observational pathway (measured by Scales for Identifying Gifted Students).
Utilizing a multifaceted identification strategy ensures students are not just considered based on performance in one area, or on one assessment, or considered only once in their schooling.
Nationally Normed Objective (NWEA/CogAT) & Subjective (SIGS) Measures
All measures used for high ability identification offer extensive statistical and research support. Using standardized and norm-referenced measures ensures all of our students are afforded the same opportunities to be considered and eliminates the subjective nature of teacher and family referrals. Though the families and teachers who love and support our students play a vital role in their education, using norm-referenced measures maintains a fair and equitable identification system for all students.
English as a New Language and Twice Exceptional Learners
Students with dual exceptionalities may receive support through both high ability services and exceptional learner services (such as an IEP). School staff work together with one another and families to help these students thrive. Students with English as New Language may be identified for high ability services by demonstrating rapid language acquisition and achievement through growth on WIDA assessments.
In order to maintain an inclusive and equitable process for all of our students, individual exceptions may not be made for high ability identification.
We do want every student to be placed in a setting where he/she will learn, grow, and be challenged! The best resource for appropriate challenge and instruction that meets your student’s needs is the classroom teacher. Our teachers are experts in aligning instruction with student needs. We encourage you to open dialogue with your student’s teacher to share your goals and hopes for your child!