Highly Capable Program Updates

In addition to the September referral window, the District will conduct three other testing cycles during the year. This year, parts of the process will be adjusted due to the fully remote nature of school and the fluctuating transmission rates of the COVID19 virus. Here are updates about each of those testing cycles:

  • Universal Screening of all Kindergarten StudentsScreening and testing of kindergarten students will be postponed until winter or spring and may include necessary adjustments to feasibly test students and to maintain safety per Washington State Department of Health guidelines for K-12 schools. Guidance from OSPI will be followed and communication will be forthcoming. The process will be regularly reviewed this fall in order to ensure the identification of highly capable kindergarten students this school year. In addition, the highly capable program teacher at each school will provide resources and guidance to teachers as needed.
  • Highly Capable Program 2nd Grade Referral Window Open January 13 – January 28In normal years, when all students attend in-person school every day, all second grade students are given a full battery of tests by their classroom teacher to determine eligibility for the Highly Capable Program (HCP). Testing usually occurs in January and March. The tests given are the CogAT, the Iowa Achievement Test and the Torrance Test of Creative Thinking. Of the approximately 1500 second grade students who are tested annually about 150 are determined eligible. This year, given the constraints presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, the second grade HCP eligibility process will look different. It will be modeled after the District’s referral process used successfully every year in September. The District will return to its standard practice of universal testing for all second grade students in the 2021-22 school year.

    Parents, teachers, and the District will have the opportunity to refer second grade students who are exhibiting characteristics of being highly capable. Referrals will be accepted online January 13 - 28.  Private and home schooled students living within the Issaquah School District boundaries are eligible to be referred. Guidance on how to determine if referral is appropriate and directions on how to complete a referral will be communicated to the community through district E-News the first week of January.
  • New Student Referral ProcessThis process will remain the same. Students new to the district (after the referral window closes on September 15) are welcome to submit a Highly Capable Program referral form. All referrals will be screened and if appropriate tested before the start of the following school year.


Other Program UpdatesAll teachers in the Highly Capable program will be teaching remotely at the beginning of the school year. They will follow all procedures designed and agreed to by the District and the teacher’s union. They have been planning and learning this summer and are eager to get back to work with the students and families. Note that the delivery model may vary during remote learning.