Highly Capable Education

  • 2023-2024 Referral Windows for Highly Capable Programming
    Highly Capable Referral Windows:
    There are two times each school year when students may be referred for possible entry into our district’s Highly Capable program. 

    Fall Window, in October: 
    * For students new to our district (entering after April 1st, 2023)
    * The referral window is open for two weeks from September 29th - October 13th.
    * Parent/guardian or teacher can refer newly enrolled students in grades 1-12. 
    * Kindergarten students will have a referral window in February.

    Spring Window, in February: 
    * All 2nd and 5th graders will be considered for HC in this round; no referral is necessary.
    * Also, students in grades K-11 may be referred by parents/guardians or teachers if they were not new in the Fall. 
    * The referral window is open for two weeks in February. (Dates not yet determined)  

    How is a referral made?
    Please click on the link below to complete your referral and rating scale. Once you submit the form, you should receive a copy of your responses to the email address you provided. If you do not receive a confirmation email, it means that your responses were not successfully submitted. If this happens, please return to the form and resubmit it until you get a confirmation email.  For our Fall window please complete this form by the end of day of Friday, October 13, 2023.
    HC Nomination Form & Rating Scale
    Students from our Fall referral window will participate in CogAT testing during the week of October 23rd. After testing, the Multidisciplinary Team (MDT) will meet to determine the designation for those referred.  Parents should expect to hear results after winter break. 

    To learn more about CogAT, please watch this short video, “Getting to Know CogAT for Parents”


    The Highly Capable Education Program is subject to rules and regulations set by the district, state and federal government, and is annually approved by the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction and the BISD school board. Students in the program go through a very comprehensive identification process to make sure that they qualify as a Highly Capable student and that they have a continuous need for more challenge.   

    What is the definition of Highly Capable?

    Highly capable students (“HC Students”) are students who perform or show potential for performing at significantly advanced academic levels when compared to others of the same age, experiences, or environments. Outstanding abilities are seen within students’ general intellectual aptitudes, specific academic abilities, and/or creative productivities within a specific domain. These students are present not only in the general population but also within protected classes.

    HC Students may possess, but are not limited to, these learning characteristics:

    • Capacity to learn with unusual depth of understanding, to retain what has been learned, and to transfer learning to new situations
    • Capacity and willingness to deal with increasing levels of abstraction and complexity earlier than their chronological peers;
    • Creative ability to make unusual connections among ideas and concepts;
    • Ability to learn quickly in their area(s) of intellectual strength; and
    • Capacity for intense concentration and/or focus.

    Components of the Highly Capable Education Program

    We believe that every child in our district should be challenged and supported academically, emotionally and socially. You can learn more about our commitment to students and the Highly Capable program by reading BISD School Board Policy 2166 and Procedure 2190 on the BISD website within Departments/Programs. 

    For all levels K-12:

    • In order to provide a more cohesive program for identified students, several district-wide supports have been added or strengthened.
    • Whenever possible, highly capable students will be intentionally clustered in classrooms for instruction.
    • At each building, the case manager or counselor will serve as the point of contact for parents and students. They will also be responsible for assisting with the identification and assessment of students.

    Elementary (grades K-4):

    Students will be in their home school in a regular classroom. When possible, students in grades 1-4 will be clustered. This allows highly capable students to work with other highly capable students.

    Each elementary school has a Highly Capable Teacher who will:

    • Serve as the case manager for highly capable students at the school.
    • Provide both in class support and some pull-out services to identified students in grades K-2.
    • Provide enriched content area instruction focused on project-based topics for identified students in grades 3-4. This may be through pull-out services, push-in services, or a combination of both. 

    Intermediate and Middle Level (grades 5-8): 

    Starting in 6th grade, students/families have the choice to take an accelerated math course. Students identified in language arts will be clustered and participate in enhanced English Language Arts learning activities. Strategies may include advanced curriculum, higher order skills, accelerated pacing, and curriculum compacting.

    High School: 

    • The student's counselor will serve as the key contact for identified students. This counselor will assist with identification, parent communication, and support for highly capable students. 
    • Additional Advanced Placement (AP), honors, University of Washington in the High School and other classes have been added. 
    • The English 9 and English 10 have an embedded honors program. All students have the option of accessing the embedded honors model.
    School Coordinators for the Highly Capable Program:
    School Staff Email
    Blakely Elementary School Tessa Beckett tbeckett@bisd303.org
    Ordway Elementary School

    Laura Nelson

    Erin Graham



    Wilkes Elementary School Jill Queen jqueen@bisd303.org
    Sakai Intermediate School Bridget Lockett blockett@bisd303.org
    Woodward Middle School Patricia Beer pbeer@bisd303.org
    Bainbridge High School Cara Tebo ctebo@bisd303.org
    Eagle Harbor High School & Odyssey Multi-age Program

    Tricia Corsetti

    Dana Ashton



    Amii Thompson
    Assistant Superintendent