Highly Capable Community Meeting Fact Sheet

March 10, 2023

Elementary Advanced Program services at four elementary schools to support student enrollment growth and provide neighborhood service delivery

In response to an increase in enrollment due to construction infill and program growth, beginning in the 2023-2024 school year, the Northshore School District plans to provide highly capable services to students at Frank Love, Arrowhead, East Ridge and Westhill in grades 2 and 3 while continuing to provide legacy students services in their current locations (Lockwood, Moorlands, Sunrise, and Canyon Creek respectively) for highly capable services in grades 4 and 5. The following year (2024-2025), the programs will grow their services by one year until they provide services in grades 2 through 5 for all their neighborhood students. 

We will provide professional development for staff at our new locations as well as support throughout the school year as they work to begin EAP services for students. We are excited to be able to work to serve more of our students at their neighborhood schools. 

Transportation will continue for students through grade 5. Younger siblings, however, whether receiving services or not, will need to enter their neighborhood school unless they go through the District waiver process and provide their own transportation. 

Families of newly qualified students entering in grades 4 and 5 who qualify for highly capable services will need to decide if they would like services delivered in their neighborhood school in a general education setting or in an Elementary Advanced Program (EAP) setting. Service delivery may differ depending on the site. 

Families who may have students in both settings (a second grader and a fourth grader) and both qualify for highly capable services may apply for a waiver into the EAP school where the fourth grader attends. The waiver will be approved on a space available basis with our student services department. 

Highly Capable Community Meeting Fact Sheet

What is the definition of a Highly Capable student?

Highly capable students are students who perform, or show potential for performing, at significantly advanced academic levels when compared to others of their age, experiences, or environments. Outstanding abilities are seen within a student’s general intellectual aptitudes, specific academic abilities, and/or creative productivities within a specific domain.

What is the procedure for Highly Capable testing?

For the 2017-18 school year, all students in Grades K-8 will be screened in January 2018 for cognitive potential. Those students meeting or exceeding the percentile threshold on the Naglieri (85th percentile) will move on to the second step of the eligibility process – Assessment.

The procedure follows these steps:

  1. Administration of a screening tool to all students in identified grade levels (first phase).

    Northshore’s screening tool is the Naglieri (NNAT3), which is administered in an on-line format to all Grades K-8 students.

  2. Scoring of the screening tool. Students who meet or exceed the 85th percentile on the Naglieri screening tool move on to step two – Assessment.

  3. Family notification and obtaining permission to assess for potential Highly Capable eligibility.

  4. Administration of the Highly Capable eligibility assessment tool(s) (second phase). Northshore’s assessment tools include the Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS) and Torrance Test of Creative Thinking (TTCT).

  5. Scoring of assessment tool(s).

  6. District-level Multidisciplinary Selection Team (MST) convenes to determine and apply eligibility criteria.

  7. Notice of Highly Capable eligibility and acceptance process to families.

  8. Notice of Highly Capable acceptance to building administrator(s) and current teacher(s).


What is a “screener”?

A screening tool is typically brief, conducted with all students at a grade level, and followed by additional assessment to create a holistic picture of a student’s advanced learning needs.

What screener does Northshore use for placement in the Highly Capable Program?

Northshore’s screening tool is the Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test (NNAT3), which is administered on-line. The Naglieri is a cognitive measure of potential, and is culturally and linguistically accessible by diverse populations.

What percentage on the screener will advance a student to the Assessment step?

Students scoring at or above the 85th percentile will move on to the Assessment step for potential Highly Capable eligibility.


What are the instruments (tests) administered for students who have qualified through the screener to move on to Assessment?

Northshore School District uses the following assessment instruments:

  • Iowa Test of Basic Skills (academic achievement)
  • Torrance Test of Creative Thinking (creativity)

When will my student be scheduled to assess?

Highly Capable Department continues to schedule and assess students. Scheduling is completed one grade level at a time across 26 schools. In general, students in the primary grades are assessed in late February-March. Students in the intermediate grades are assessed March-April.

Will make-ups be provided to students not at school on the day of testing? When will those be conducted?

Make-ups will be scheduled and provided for any student absent from school during testing. Make-ups will be conducted in mid- to late-April.

When will I know my student’s assessment scores?

Following assessment administration, tests are sent in for scoring. Scoring takes 4-6 weeks. The district level Multidisciplinary Selection Team will then convene to conduct their work.

How will those scores be communicated?

All parents will be notified by U.S. mail and e-mail of their student’s collected Highly Capable assessment profile. This includes scores from the Naglieri, ITBS, and Torrance. We expect that mid- to late-May family notifications will be prepared and sent. Notifications will include the school site for a qualifying student who is offered EAP not currently available programming their neighborhood school.

Determining Eligibility

Who determines Highly Capable eligibility?

By law, a district-level Multidisciplinary Selection Team (MST) must convene for the purpose of determining Highly Capable eligibility. Administrative Procedure, 2190P, summarizes the responsibility of the MST. (See 2190P.) Additional guidance is available in WAC 392-170. (See 392-170.)

What information will the MST be provided?

The MST will be provided Naglieri, ITBS, Torrance, state, district, and classroom-based assessment data. The team will also be provided program data that is specific to individual students, such as ELL yearly assessment data. The MST will not be provided student names or ethnicity information.

What are all of the data points that will be considered for Highly Capable eligibility?

Highly Capable eligibility will be determined through analysis of a wide range of standardized and local assessment data. This includes cognitive, academic, and creative achievement measures, as well as state, district, and classroom-based assessment data as appropriate and when available. State, district, and classroom-based assessment data includes reading and/or math achievement data such as IRR, STAR, and/or Smarter Balanced Assessment, as well as English Language Learner (language acquisition) data.

Will a high Torrance percentile qualify a student for Highly Capable services?

Torrance data alone will not qualify or disqualify a student from Highly Capable eligibility and resulting services. Torrance data will be paired with high academic achievement data from the ITBS and/or state, district, and classroom-based assessment data.

Does Northshore School District have a quota for student eligibility?

No. Northshore School District does not implement a quota for any program, including Highly Capable eligibility. All students, regardless of race, economic status, first language, etc. will be offered eligibility when a student’s scores meet the eligibility threshold.

Is there an appeals process?

There is no appeals process for universal screening. The Northshore School District, in compliance with the Washington State rules for Highly Capable Programs (WAC 392-170- 047) has an appeals process for final eligibility. If you do not agree with the selection decision and you wish to appeal, you will be asked to submit a detailed written explanation regarding why an appeal is being filed, including specific new information that might impact the decision by the Multidisciplinary Selection Team. Any additional assessments must be initiated by the MST. Assessments not conducted by Northshore School District will not be considered by the MST. The Highly Capable Services K-12 Appeal/Review Request Form can be obtained from Northshore’s Highly Capable Program website (Appeals Process), www.nsd.org/hicap, or by e-mailing a request for the form to hicap@nsd.org.

September 30, 2020

In Spring of 2020, the HiCap Department conducted a survey of parent satisfaction regarding the screening and assessment process and the delivery of HiCap services to students. The link below will take you to the results of this survey.

2020 Spring Parent Satisfaction Survey