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Highly Capable Frequently Asked Questions

What is a cluster classroom?

A cluster classroom consists of a group of 3-8 students identified for services through the district Highly Capable Program who are placed in general education classrooms with students of other achievement levels. Teachers differentiate curriculum and instruction for the advanced learners in the clustered classroom based on students’ individual strengths and needs.

How do you qualify for hicap services?
Referrals to the HiCap program are accepted every year at the end of November.  Anyone - parent, staff, or community member - may refer a student by completing a referral packet.  The form may be completed online or filled out in the school buildings. Students only need one referral to be tested.  All students who have been referred will take the CogAT test in January. A selection committee will review all referrals and test scores to determine students who qualify for the program.

What hicap services are provided?
Kindergarten - 2nd grade:  Students will be placed in cluster groups at their home schools, and will receive a Student Learning Plan each year.  

3rd - 5th grade:  Students will either be placed in cluster groups at their home school or in the self contained classroom at Emerald Hills Elementary.  Placement in the self-contained program requires a separate evaluation process and is subject to availability.  A Student Learning Plan is completed for each Highly Capable student every year. 

6th - 8th grade:   Highly Capable students in middle school attend their home school where they will be placed in honors and/or accelerated courses with their Highly Capable Cohort.  They will receive challenging coursework in Math and/or English Language Arts.  This prepares them for the rigorous coursework available in high school.   

9th - 12th grade: Advanced Placement (AP) courses are available at Bonney Lake High School. The International Baccalaureate (IB) program is available at Sumner High School.

Does a student need to test every year once they have been accepted into HiCap?
No.  Once a student has qualified for services the student will continue to receive services through 12th grade.

Can I have my child tested independently?
Private or outside testing is not accepted for admittance to hicap services.

Does my child get transportation to Emerald Hills if that isn't their home school?
Transportation is provided for students to the self contained program at Emerald Hills if the family lives in our school district boundaries.  Please contact SBLSD transportation for more information on bus routes and times.