Welcome to SAGE

SAGE (Special Approach to Gifted Education) is offered at each elementary school. Students are identified for services by subject area, either math or reading. SAGE Math students work with the SAGE teacher for approximately two hours per week on a variety of enriching, challenging, and creative math problem solving activities. SAGE math lessons often enhance general education class lessons. Many SAGE math activities are designed around hands-on cooperative learning strategies. SAGE Reading students work with the SAGE teacher for approximately one hour per week and are provided differentiated instruction by their classroom teacher who works cooperatively with the SAGE teacher to meet their reading needs. Guided reading groups provide students the opportunity to read materials and receive instruction on comprehension strategies based on their individual instructional reading level. 

Experiencing SAGE

SAGE students experience challenging activities designed to develop and enhance their problem solving, creative thinking, and process thinking skills. Students also develop their social/emotional skills in the areas of collaboration, confidence as a learner, responsibility, and quality of work. 

Qualifying for SAGE

Initial third grade placement

During their second grade year, all Issaquah students are tested using three different measurement tools:
  1. Iowa Achievement Test
  2. The CogAT cognitive abilities test
  3. The Torrance Test of Creative Thinking (TTCT)

The tests are administered in the child's regular classroom between January 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 two percent or above in ALL areas qualify for MERLIN, and those who score in the top two percent or above in either math or reading qualify for SAGE. Based on all Issaquah second grade students' scores, the district will identify its most highly capable students for selection into the program.

A multidisciplinary selection committee of qualified District personnel (WAC 392-170-055; 392-170-070) reviews test results, approves selections for program services, and reviews appeals. This committee, operating within the constraints of the Washington Administrative Code, strives to consider the learning needs of every student, reviewing data to get as complete a profile as possible for selection and placement. No decision about selection or placement in programming is made unilaterally. Decisions are made by a team of professionals who strive to ensure to the greatest extent possible fair and equitable consideration of all students in the Issaquah School District. They meet regularly throughout the year.

Students qualifying for SAGE will be notified of their placement for the following school year in June of their second grade year.

Referral for the Highly Capable Program After Second Grade

Students who did not qualify for SAGE or MERLIN in second grade may be referred during the September referral window of their fourth grade year. At that time all nominations will be screened using the Smarted Balanced Assessment results, those referred students with scores in the top five percent of all Issaquah School District students will be invited for eligibility testing. (Referrals are not accepted within a year of testing.)

Students who enroll after the second grade assessment window may be referred within ten (10) business days from the enrollment date.