HiCap Assessment Process
Washington state law requires school districts to identify students for Highly Capable program services using multiple objective criteria. In the Kent School District, this includes cognitive ability test results and achievement tests. Teacher and parent input is also considered.
English Language Learners
In addition to ability and achievement assessments, for students with a first language other than English, the Washington English Language Proficiency Assessment (WELPA) is used to evaluate the student’s ability for rapid language acquisition which can be a characteristic of highly capable learners.
Special Education Students
Students who qualify for Highly Capable program services and also qualify for either special education services or a 504 plan are often referred to as twice-exceptional students. It is important that staff from both programs collaborate when planning for students who are eligible for multiple services. Additional data available for students with IEPs may be used in the identification process, as well, when relevant to determining a need for highly capable program services.
Cognitive Abilities Test 7 (CogAT 7)
CogAT Form 7 reflects the most up-to-date research on how best to measure cognitive abilities and learning styles. Lead author Dr. David F. Lohman, an internationally recognized abilities assessment researcher and winner of the National Association of Gifted Children's Paper of the Decade, has built on the strengths of the test by introducing a variety of enhancements, including new item types and a reduced language load to make the instrument even more appropriate for ELL children. Kent School District uses the CogAT Screener Form. This test measures students’ learned reasoning abilities, or aptitudes, in verbal analogies, number analogies, and figure matrices.
Independent Reading Level Assessment Framework (IRLA)
The Independent Reading Level Assessment (IRLA) is a unified standards-based framework for student assessment, text leveling, and curriculum and instruction. The IRLA includes every Common Core Standard for Reading, both in literature and informational text, as well as those Language standards key to reading success, for students in grades PreK through 12. The IRLA establishes a baseline proficiency level for each student and determines the rate of growth.
i-Ready Diagnostic Assessment
The i-Ready Diagnostic Assessment is an adaptive reading and mathematics test given to students in kindergarten through twelfth grade districtwide. The i-Ready Diagnostic assesses student performance across the key domains in reading and math, providing a valid and reliable measure of student growth with detailed diagnostic results and individualized next steps for instruction. The i-Ready Diagnostic adapts to each student, providing easier or harder questions depending on students’ answers to previous questions. By adapting across grades K–12, i-Ready Diagnostic helps teachers understand the root causes behind student challenges.
Teacher & Parent Input
Teacher and parent input is considered in the selection process. Teachers complete a Gifted Behavior Rating Scale, which is a norm-referenced rating scales based on current theories of giftedness and federal and state guidelines regarding the definition of gifted and talented students. The parent questionnaire is sent out with all referral forms.
English Language Proficiency Assessment (ELPA21)
The English Language Proficiency Assessment (ELPA21) determines student eligibility for English language development (ELD) services. The ELPA21 annually assesses growth in English language development by the state’s English language learners. This assessment tests listening, reading, writing, and speaking knowledge and skills.