As the Highly Capable Program continues its mission of creating an equitable identification process, we produced an analysis of our 2017-18 eligibility process. This report was presented to the Northshore School Board at the September 24, 2018 meeting. Highlights of the data include:
- 15,000 students were administered a screener.
- 26% moved on from the screener to take a series of three assessments.
- 29% of our qualifying students were a member of at least one special population (ELL, low income, special education, or 504 plan).
- Male and female students were identified at equal rates.
- 2,300 students are currently enrolled in our Highly Capable Program. This a 20% increase in overall enrollment from last year, and nearly triple the amount of students from four years ago.
Recommendations for Next Year
Invest in Infrastructure
Last year's Highly Capable eligibility process involved the coordination of dozens of Northshore staff members, three different test centers, and thousands of students. This results in hundreds of thousands of data points coming in from a multitude of sources. This year we plan to develop a centralized database that can effectively organize our information.
Incorporate an Additional Screener
The population of students who passed the NNAT3 screener does not adequately reflect Northshore's student population. We are committed to having an equitable process that gives all students a chance to participate in High Capable assessments. Because of this, we will incorporate an additional screener that will ideally pull in more students from underrepresented groups.
Develop an Inclusive Definition of Creativity
We have not seen enough evidence to support the view that the TTCT is an effective measure of all types of creativity. Creative problem-solving can be demonstrated in domains like music, storytelling, athletics, and leadership. However, all the tasks in the TTCT involve drawing as many "unique" figures as possible. We would prefer to incorporate a measure that can recognize all the possible ways a student can be creative.
One of the High Capable Program's challenges this year was providing parents and schools with information regarding upcoming screener dates, test dates, and eligibility results. Because the eligibility process took place over just a few months, and because most of the program's communication was via email, the department was sending out a massive amount of emails per day. This year, we are redesigning the program website so that it answers the questions most commonly posed by parents, schools, and community members. We would also like to explore alternative methods of mass-sharing information with families, such as text messages and providing schools with information packets in multiple languages.