High Ability Program
WLCSC recognizes that we have many high-achieving students in addition to those who meet nationally-recognized criteria for giftedness. WLCSC student test scores on the ILEARN and SAT/ACT achievement tests of state standards regularly rank us among the top-performing districts in the state. The typical expectations and instructional levels in a WLCSC classroom are already high, and our curriculum is already both enriched and moving at an accelerated pace with differentiation for those above and below grade-level standards.
Our philosophy in WLCSC is to use formative assessment thoughtfully to match appropriately-challenging curriculum and experiences to every child, consistent with his or her abilities and leading to maximum growth. If that should ultimately lead to a high ability designation for a child, that is only one of many avenues to ensuring continuous progress and challenge. We have many others, including using technology as a resource for presenting advanced content grouping for instruction within classrooms, differentiation, additional enrichment projects and resources, leveled and guided reading groups, curriculum compacting, independent learning, student-driven inquiry on projects of choice/interest, and differentiation to meet needs involving other school professionals, adjustment of pace or materials, etc. It is not uncommon for parents to envision that the only way to meet a child’s needs is through testing and special placement. In fact, we meet the needs of highly-able students in WLCSC in many different ways as unique as each child who comes to us on a daily basis. In order to meet the needs of those students whose performance is consistent with nationally-recognized criteria for giftedness, we must provide them with advanced experiences beyond grade level curriculum—through acceleration and/or enrichment of the curriculum. We also must provide them with opportunities to interact with their intellectual peers.
WLCSC uses a multifacted identification process through the administration of the Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT®) and NWEA assessment. Other factors, such as teacher observation, parent observation, and student performance levels are considered during the identification process. The process of identifying students is multi-faceted and takes into account multiple measures. An identification team (experienced teachers, administrators, high ability licensed educators, etc.) considers all factors in a student’s profile before making a determination of placement. All students in grades K-7 are eligible yearly for consideration in the process. Students who are identified do not need to re-qualify from year to year unless concerns about performance or best fit arise.
Please click here to read more information about our district's High Ability Plan.
Resources for Parents
- High Ability and Enrichment Remote Learning Resources from IDOE
- High Ability Math Resources K-5
- Indiana Association for the Gifted
High Ability Coordinators
Amber Targgart, Principal
West Lafayette Elementary
Margaret Psarros, Principal
West Lafayette Intermediate