Initial third grade placement
During their second grade year, all Issaquah students are tested using three different measurement tools:
- The Stanford 10 achievement test
- The CogAT cognitive abilities test
- The Structure of Intellect creativity test (SOI)
The tests are administered in the child's regular classroom between February and April. The exact schedule can be found on the District Assessment Calendar.
Scores from all three tests are considered when determining placement for the following school year. Typically, students who score in the top 2 percent or above qualify for MERLIN, and those who score in the top 4 percent qualify for SAGE. All students who qualify for MERLIN automatically qualify for SAGE.
A multidisciplinary selection committee of qualified District personnel (WAC 392-170-055; 392-170-070) reviews test results, approve selections for the programs, and review placement appeals. They meet in early fall and late spring to determine placement, consider appeals in August, and review students new to the District. Students who enroll in the District mid-year can submit assessment results from their previous district to the Executive Director of Elementary Education and the Director of Assessment.
Students qualifying for SAGE will be notified of their placement for the following school year.
Based on the multidisciplinary selection committee recommendation, students not qualifying outright for placement into SAGE may be placed into the program on a provisional basis. For students entering the program on provisional status, continued participation in the program is dependent on the student's success in meeting program expectations and requirements. As long as the student is functioning well in the placement, they will remain in the program through 5th grade.
Placement after third grade
Students not placed into the SAGE program by third grade still have the opportunity to qualify for their 4th and 5th grade years. Every spring, each 3rd and 4th grade student's Measurements of Student Progress (MSP) results are screened to determine if they qualify for retesting. A student would need to score in the top quartile of Level 4 in both Reading and Math to be considered. In addition, the student must be one of the first 40 students on the rank ordered list. Students meeting these qualifications will be invited to take the CogAT and SOI the following September. Students who qualify will be placed into the program when testing results are known (typically in October).
Students who move into the Issaquah School District from another district during the school year who had been served by a gifted/highly capable program in that district will be given an opportunity for CogAT testing at least once during the school year outside of the fall testing window.
The District will test a student for the SAGE program a maximum of two times.