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FAQs for EXISTING HSE Families

FAQs about High Ability Services
 
Hamilton Southeastern Schools is prepared and excited to meet the needs of all of our students and provide them with rich learning experiences every day!  Some students may require a different level of instructional services known as high ability programming. 
 
Q: How does the identification process work for high ability services? What assessments are used?
A: Please see the Identification Plan (linked here) and the Identification by Grade Level (linked here) documents on our website. 
 
Q: When will I receive notification about my child’s test results and identification information?
A: The identification process is scheduled to be completed near the end of the school year.  Letters containing score reports and identification information will be emailed in early summer.
 
Q: I did not receive a letter with my student’s score report in my email.  Why?
A: Many families will not receive emails because their students will be continuing with the same educational plan as previous years.  
 
If your student is in kindergarten, second, or fifth grade (and does not already receive high ability services), please expect an email notification regarding your child’s assessment results in early summer. 
 
If your student is in first, third, fourth, or sixth grade, you will only receive an email if your child has been identified for new services for next year. 
 
If your student already receives high ability services in both math and reading, all services will remain in place for next year so you will not receive an email.  
 
If you have questions, please contact your school or visit the resources on our website.  Most importantly, please know we will be ready to meet every student’s needs in every classroom! 
 
Families of students in the following grades should expect an email in early summer:
Kindergarten (Formal Identification Year) 
All students will receive an email letter regarding assessment and identification. 
 
2nd Grade (Formal Identification Year) 
All students, except students who are already HA qualified in both areas, will receive an email letter regarding assessment and identification. 
 
5th Grade (Formal Identification Year) 
All students, except students who are already HA qualified in both areas, will receive an email letter regarding assessment and identification. 
  
1st, 3rd, 4th, 6th Grades 
Only students who will have a change to HA services (adding high ability reading services, adding high ability math services, or adding two year advanced math in grades 5-7) will receive an email letter regarding assessment and identification. 
 
Q: My student has qualified for high ability services.  What should I expect?
A: Students who qualify for high ability services present a continuum of needs and service design may vary by student need and school service design.  Best practice for high ability students includes thoughtfully placing students together.  You can expect your student to be grouped with some other students who receive high ability services by your school’s leadership team.  This does not mean that all students in a classroom will receive the same services. 
 
Your child’s teacher will have the most relevant and specific information about what to expect from instruction and assessment this year.  Please see below for general descriptions of each designation.
 
High Ability Services for Reading – If your student qualified for high ability services in Reading only, you can expect greater depth, challenge, and acceleration with an emphasis on critical and creative thinking in your child’s Reading and Writing workshops.  Your student’s report card will denote Advanced in both Reading and English, and he/she will be assessed by the teacher on standard indicators from the following grade level. High ability services will continue each year in Reading and Writing.
 
High Ability Services for Math – If your student qualified for high ability services in Math only, you can expect greater depth, challenge, and acceleration with an emphasis on critical and creative thinking in your child’s Math workshop.  Your child will be issued the textbook for the grade level above his/her actual grade level (i.e. Third graders in Advanced Math will receive a fourth grade math text.) Your student’s report card will denote Advanced Math, and he/she will be assessed by the teacher on standard indicators from the following grade level. High ability services will continue each year in Math.
 
High Ability Services for Both Reading and Math – You can expect everything detailed in both Reading and Math above.  High ability services will continue each year in both areas.
 
General Education – Hamilton Southeastern Schools invests in the growth of all students.  It is the intention of our school corporation to infuse rigor, differentiation, and enrichment into all classrooms to meet the needs of all students.  Some students may demonstrate the need for high ability services that offer greater depth or acceleration.  At this time, our review indicates your student’s educational needs will be best met in a general education setting.  You can expect your child to be challenged and grow in this setting!
 
Q: How do I prepare my child for high ability services?
A: If your student has been identified for high ability services, he/she has already demonstrated readiness.  No extra preparation is necessary.
 
Q: Will my student stay at the same school?
A: Yes, all students remain at their home schools to receive high ability services.  Students are thoughtfully placed together by school leadership teams.
 
Q: We do not wish for our student to participate in high ability services.  How do we decline?
A: To decline high ability services, please email Curriculum Coordinator, Annette Miller, at armiller@hse.k12.in.us with your student’s name and school.
 
Q: My student qualified for high ability services in a past year.  Do students have to requalify each year?
A: No, students do not need to requalify each year.  Once a student has been identified for high ability services, those will continue each year.  If only qualified in one area (reading or math), it is possible for your student to qualify for high ability services in the other area during a different school year.  For example, if your student only receives high ability services in reading, he/she could qualify for math services at a later date.
 
Q: Is there an additional fee to participate in high ability services?
A: No.  Your student’s textbook fees will indicate which resources they receive, but there is not a higher cost associated with high ability services.
 
Q: My student did not qualify for high ability services, but I see a need for challenge.  What should I do?
A: We 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 child’s needs is the classroom teacher.  Our teachers are experts in aligning instruction with student needs.  Please reach out to your child’s new teacher when school starts to share your goals and hopes for your child!
 
Q: My student’s scores appear close to the qualifying numbers.  Can HSE or our school make an exception?
A: It is important to remember that your student’s scores are reported as a national percentile, rather than a percentage of questions answered correctly.  The percentile rank indicates that the student scored as well as, or better than, that percentage of students nationally. Each percentile band contains thousands of students.  We have hundreds of students in each percentile band here in Hamilton Southeastern Schools.  The Indiana Department of Education oversees our identification process, and individual schools may not make identifications.  An exception for your student would require an exception for every student scoring at that percentile across the district.  We are confident we can meet the needs of your student in the general education setting and provide rigor and challenge!  If you feel an error was made or have evidence that suggests a different conclusion than what was determined through the identification process, you may use the appeal process detailed on this website.
 
Q: I do not see a CogAT score on my student’s score report.  Where is it?
A: The only students who participate in CogAT testing are students in grades K, 2, and 5 who have not already been identified for high ability services.
 
Reasons your student may not have a CogAT score on the email letter you received:
 
-Your student is not in kindergarten, second, or fifth grades.  These are the only grades in the formal identification process.
 
-Your student has already qualified for high ability services in both reading and math.  There is no need to take CogAT or requalify.
 
-Your child was a virtual student this year and did not come to school to participate in CogAT.
 
-Your child took only the screener.  Participating students in grades K and 2 took three subtests of the CogAT test, which are collectively called the "screener.”  Any student who scores in the 80th percentile or above proceeds to take the full test.  If your child’s screener score was below the 80th percentile, he/she did not need to complete any further testing.  A score for the full CogAT would not be available.
 
Q: My student is starting kindergarten this year.  Will my student receive high ability services?
A: We are thrilled to welcome your kindergarten student to HSE Schools!  It is very important to all HSE kindergarten teachers that we match each student’s level of readiness when they come to kindergarten!  Students will receive appropriate levels of challenge and differentiation from their kindergarten teachers throughout the year.  Formal testing for high ability services will take place during second semester. 
 
Q: I have a question that was not answered here.  Who should I ask for further help?
A: We are happy to help!  The following would be your contacts for questions:

1. Your child’s teacher

(This is your best contact for personalized answers related to your child’s instruction, needs, and placement.)

2. Your school’s high ability coordinator (see High Ability website for listing or check with your child’s teacher)

(This person can help you understand high ability services in your building and specifics related to your child’s placement.)

3. Your school’s Counselor, Assistant Principal, or Principal

(This person can assist with questions regarding the high ability identification process and placement of your child for next school year.)

4. The district High Ability Coordinator

(Erin Mohr emohr@hse.k12.in.us can support you in understanding district-level questions regarding the high ability assessment and identification process.)

 

Hamilton Southeastern Schools

  • Central Office
  • 13485 Cumberland Road, Fishers, IN 46038
  • Office Hours: M - F 7:30am - 4:30pm 
  • (317) 594-4100  (800) 905-6665
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  • HSE Schools wants to hear from you! To send a general inquiry to the District Administration Office, click here. 

Our Mission

Hamilton Southeastern Schools, as a forward-thinking school district, provides educational opportunities to ensure the success of each and every student, to become a responsible citizen and to positively influence an ever-changing world community.