Portfolio Reviews

What is a portfolio review? 

In a portfolio review, families submit copies of their student's achievement data to the Highly Capable Department. A Multi-Disciplinary Selection team convenes monthly to review portfolios and determine if the student is eligible for Highly Capable Services. 

Who can submit a portfolio review?

Portfolio reviews may be submitted by enrolled students who enroll in Northshore School District after October 18, 2019. Our district is unable to test students who enroll after this date, but we will accept portfolio reviews from these students beginning in spring of 2020. Qualification as a result of this process is for services beginning in fall of the 2020-2021 school year.

Step 1: Northshore School District Registration

In order to be considered for Highly Capable Services, families must first enroll their student(s) in their neighborhood school. Please contact your Northshore neighborhood school with questions specific to registration.

Step 2: Highly Capable Portfolio Review Request Form

Upon enrollment, families may submit a portfolio of student achievement to the Highly Capable Program. Admission to the Highly Capable Program may be granted following this comprehensive analysis process. The Highly Capable Portfolio Review Request Form should accompany all portfolio documentation submitted by a family. Incomplete portfolios will not be processed.

What to Include in a Portfolio

Grades K-3

  • Most recent report card.
  • Most recent standardized assessment results (STAR, IRR, i-Ready, etc). 
  • Results of previous Highly Capable tests (e.g., NNAT3, CogAT, TTCT, IOWA).


Grades 4-12

  • Report card from previous year. 
  • State testing results (e.g. Smarter Balanced) from previous year.
  • Results of standardized assessments administered by your student’s previous district (STAR, IRR, etc). 
  • Results of previous Highly Capable tests (e.g., NNAT3, CogAT, TTCT, IOWA). 

What if I don't have the required documentation?

If your student's school does not provide report cards, please submit a letter from their previous school (on the school's letterhead) indicating that the school does not issue report cards.

If your student chose not to participate in state testing, please submit a letter from their previous school (on the school's letterhead) indicating that your student did not participate in state testing.

If your student is coming from a district with a Highly Capable program, but they did not participate in Highly Capable testing last year, please submit a letter from your prior school’s Highly Capable Program (on the school’s letterhead) indicating that your student did not participate in Highly Capable testing.


What happens after I submit my portfolio?  

The Highly Capable Program will begin reviewing portfolios in spring. Upon completion of the portfolio review, communication regarding eligibility status will be sent to the adult who filed the Portfolio Review Request Form approximately five (5) business days following the review. Students demonstrating unique and advanced learning needs will be offered Highly Capable qualification and services beginning in the following school year. Enrollment in Elementary Advanced Placement (EAP) and Advanced Academic Placement (AAP) is dependent on capacity.

How will Northshore decide if my student is eligible for Highly Capable Services? 

Beginning in spring, a district team convenes monthly to review submitted materials. The team applies Northshore’s eligibility criteria and looks for evidence of high cognitive potential and high academic ability. 

Communication regarding eligibility status upon review will be sent to the mailing address on file for your student. Please check with your student's school to make sure that your contact information is up-to-date. 

May I submit the results of private testing? 

No. Northshore School District and the Highly Capable Department will only accept tests that were administered by a public or private school. Tests administered by outside agencies will not be accepted.

We submitted a portfolio and have received a decision. Could you send the portfolio back to us? 

By law, Northshore is required to maintain records of its eligibility process. Any materials submitted as part of a portfolio review become property of the district. We strongly recommend sending photocopies of test scores and documentation, rather than the original versions. 

May I email my portfolio to the Highly Capable Department? 

No. Please mail or hand-carry your portfolio to the department. This ensures that your portfolio can be processed in its entirety, and in a timely manner.

If a student is offered a Highly Capable designation after a portfolio review, do they need to participate in further testing to keep their designation? 

This depends on grade level. All Northshore first-graders are re-assessed at the end of first grade. This reassessment may or may not result in continued HiCap qualification. A Highly Capable designation received for a student's 2nd grade year or later will follow them through the end of high school. 

All students in HiCap programs are expected to maintain good academic standing in order to remain in the program. The Exiting the Program page has additional information on how we monitor student progress. 

Why isn’t the HiCap Department administering tests to this group of students?

As part of Northshore’s ongoing commitment to equity in assessment, we want to ensure that all students are held to similar standards for HiCap qualification. For HiCap testing, we administer the NNAT3 and/or IOWA Assessments to enrolled students. As one example, the IOWA Assessment is administered at one grade above the student's current grade level. This gives us an indicator of the student's potential to complete advanced academic work. In order for this interpretation of IOWA scores to remain valid, we need to administer all the IOWA tests within a relatively short time frame. If a student takes the IOWA later than his/her same-grade peers, it will be difficult to make the same conclusions about his results. 

My student currently attends a local private school. May I refer them for Highly Capable Program assessments in Northshore School District?

Northshore does not administer assessments to private school students. If your child is enrolled in a private school, you may submit a portfolio application after enrolling in Northshore.