Highly Capable

Sultan School District offers a Highly Capable Program for students in grades K-12. Identified Kindergarten through 5th grade students will be provided instructional options that meet their specific needs at both elementary schools.

Students in grades 6-8 will be served in accelerated literacy or math classes, as appropriate.

High school students will be offered a number of diverse options, which may include Honors or AP courses.


Students who are highly capable may possess, but are not limited to, these learning characteristics:


  • Capacity to learn with unusual depth of understanding, to retain what has been learned, and to transfer learning to new situations;
  • Capacity and willingness to deal with increasing levels of abstraction and complexity earlier than their chronological peers;
  • Creative ability to make unusual connections among ideas and concepts;
  • Ability to learn quickly in their area(s) of intellectual strength; and
  • Capacity for intense concentration and/or focus.


Nomination Forms:

Click the link to download

Nomination Form: English 

Nomination Form: Spanish



Students are referred for highly capable services through either review of district data or through observations. Once referred via observation or data, students will proceed to the assessment phase of the identification process. The outcome of the assessment phase will be selection or non-selection of students for program services.

Tentative Timeline for Highly Capable 2020-2021

October 19 --        Nomination and referral process opens for teachers and parents

November 4-6 --  Referral information given at conferences

December 4 --      Deadline for referrals and nominations

January 11- Feb 12  --    Screening, testing, make-ups

February/ March  -- Compile scores, review data

March 22 - April 2  -- Multi- Disciplinary Committee meets to review data

April / May --        List for each school on file and any appeals during this time         


Referrals are permitted and accepted based on documented evidence from teachers, other staff, parents, students, and members of the community. The referring party will use the district's referral form to refer a student to be further assessed for possible qualification for program services.


The district will periodically review available district-wide academic assessment data in order to locate the district's most academically accomplished students. Periodically, the aptitude of all students in 3rd grade will be measured using the Cognitive Abilities Test Screener 7 in order to locate students with the highest measured cognitive ability. Students found to be among the district's most highly capable in achievement or aptitude will be referred for further assessment.


The district will obtain written parental permission (WAC 392-170-047) prior to conducting assessments to determine eligibility for participation in its Highly Capable Program (HCP).

Students referred for further assessment as an outcome of the screening process, will be assessed using multiple objective criteria. The assessment process shall be based upon a review of multiple criteria intended to reveal each referred student's unique needs and capabilities. The assessment criterion shall consist of both qualitative and quantitative instruments that may include instruments such as:

  • Test of cognitive ability such as the Cogat-7 Screener....
  • Academic measures such as i-Ready assessments, SBA, DRA, BAS, and classroom work samples.
  • Observation plus evidence from educators using a research-based Teacher Rating Scale...
  • Observations plus evidence from Parents and Community Members....
  • Awards and Accomplishments....
  • Interviews....

Assessment scores and identification decisions will be recorded on the student's Profile of Strength. The Profile of Strength will be shared with the parents of the student and a copy will also be placed in the student's cumulative file.


The multi-disciplinary selection committee will evaluate individual student assessment profile data. This committee shall be comprised of: a special teacher (provided that if a special teacher is not available, a classroom teacher shall be appointed); a psychologist or other qualified practitioner with the training to interpret cognitive and achievement test results; a certificated coordinator or administrator with responsibility for the supervision of the district's highly capable program; and additional professionals, if any, that the district deems desirable. The selection decision is based on:

(1) A preponderance of evidence from the profile data demonstrating that a student is among the most highly capable;
(2) Evidence of clear need for highly capable services; and
(3) Determination of which students would benefit the most from inclusion in the district program.
The selection process consists of a holistic review of all available information about the student. The professional judgment of the qualified district personnel shall determine eligibility of the student based upon evidence of cognitive ability and/or academic achievement.

Once a determination has been made, the district will provide written confirmation of the committee's decision along with an explanation of the procedures for identification, appeal, and exit.

If a student is found to be eligible, written permission will be obtained from parents/guardians before providing services. If a student is found ineligible, that student may be referred again during another school year.

If you feel that you know a student or have a child who may fit the above listed criteria please fill out the referral form in its entirety. This form is available on the district website, each school's website, or may be picked up in your child's school or at the District Office. Referral forms can be submitted to your child's school counselor, the district office, or mailed to the following address:

Sultan School District

Highly Capable Program
514 4th Street
Sultan, WA 98294


For questions regarding the Highly Capable Program, please contact our Highly Capable Coordinator: 
Michael Merrin
(360) 793-9801 ext. 1046| melissa.mcnaughton@sultan.k12.wa.us