Overview

  • In accordance with WAC 392-170-055, the Shoreline School District uses multiple objective criteria for identification of students who are highly capable. Shoreline School Disrtict uses a Totality of Evidence model to determine eligibility for highly capable services. A Mutlidisciplinary Selection Committee (MDSC) made up of teachers, specialists, and administrators reviews multiple indicators of a student’s aptitude and achievement, not just test scores, to determine whether the student is eligible for the program. Elements reviewed include highly capable assessments, district and state assessments, teacher recommendations, and supplemental information submitted by families. Shoreline's highly capable services are designed to meet the academic needs of students determined through academic and cognitive testing to be in roughly the 95th percentile and above when compared to the general population. The committee looks for consistent scores and indicators of performance above the 95th percentile and/or work that is substantially above grade level in either area of eligibility (Math and ELA).

Assessments and Data Used in Eligibility Determination

  • Eligibility for highly capable services is determined based on multiple criteria, including scores obtained from the highly capable testing process (CogAT), as well as other information available on students within Shoreline. Examples of such data include district achievement scores (i-Ready, Reading Inventory, DIBELS), state testing scores (Smarter Balanced), teacher feedback, and report card data. If district achievement data is not available for students, they may be administered the Iowa Test of Basic Skills.

    Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT)-Screener

    The CogAT Screener is an abbreviated version of the CogAT Complete, with the first subtest of each of the three batteries. The Screening is completed on-line. Click here for more information on the CogAT Screener.

    Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT)-CogAT Complete

    The CogAT is an aptitude assessment with three sections or batteries - Verbal, Quantitative, and Nonverbal. The questions on the CogAT do not look like other reading or math questions students may have encountered and instead measures verbal and quantitative/mathematical reasoning in a more abstract way. The Nonverbal battery of the CogAT is the section of the test that research has found to be most highly correlated to giftedness and success in the highly capable program. This section measures logic and abstract reasoning and contains problems different from what students may have previously encountered. The Nonverbal battery measures reasoning using pictures and geometric shapes. The Nonverbal battery also appraises the student’s ability to use her/his cognitive resources in new situations.

    CogAT appraises the cognitive development of students from kindergarten through grade 12. The test measures student’s learned reasoning abilities. The questions on CogAT require students to demonstrate their verbal, quantitative, and nonverbal reasoning abilities.

    • The Verbal Battery assesses students’ abilities to use search, retrieval and comparison processes that are essential for verbal reasoning.
    • The Quantitative Battery assesses students’ abilities to reason about patterns and relations using concepts that are essential in quantitative thinking.
    • The Nonverbal Battery assesses students’ abilities to reason with somewhat more novel questions that use spatial and figural content.

    i-Ready

    i-Ready is Shoreline's district achievement assessment for Math (grades 1+) and Reading (grades 1-5). The assessments are administered three times per school year (fall, winter and spring). The i-Ready Diagnostic is a computer adaptive assessment that measures both student performance and growth. More information about i-Ready can be found here.

    Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS)

    The Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS or Iowa) is an achievement test and measures the reading/vocabulary and math that a student knows can can do. The ITBS is used to assess a student's educational progress in such areas as vocabulary, reading, math and science (note: Shoreline administers the Reading and Math portions of the ITBS only for highly capable assessment). The test is tailored specifically for different grade levels and was developed by the College of Education at the University of Iowa.

    The test is available at different levels for students at different grade levels. The batteries aim to help determine how prepared students are for academic instruction, what individual accommodations may be necessary, which students may require early intervention, and to determine each student’s individual baseline of achievement. 

Eligibility Guidelines

  • Students identified for highly capable services in Shoreline generally score at or above the 95th percentile on assessments of both cognitive aptitude and academic achievement.

    Note: For Primary Enrichment Program (PEP) services in Kindergarten and First Grade, students generally score in the top 10% for their school (90th percentile and above) on the CogAT Screener.

     

    Test Scores - National Percentile

    MDSC Determination for

    English Language Arts

    CogAT

    i-Ready or ITBS

    Verbal

    Non-Verbal

    Reading

    97th and above

    97th and above

    97th and above

    Most likely identified for highly capable services

    95th - 96th

    95th - 96th

    95th - 96th

    May be identified for highly capable services with support of additional information

    94th and below

    94th and below

    94th and below

    Not likely identified for highly capable services

     

    Test Scores - National Percentile

    MDSC Determination for

    Math

    CogAT

    i-Ready or ITBS

    Quantitative

    Non-Verbal

    Math

    97th and above

    97th and above

    97th and above

    Most likely identified for highly capable services

    95th - 96th

    95th - 96th

    95th - 96th

    May be identified for highly capable services with support of additional information

    94th and below

    94th and below

    94th and below

    Not likely identified for highly capable services

     

Common Questions from Families about HiCap Test Scores

  • Q. My student scored above the 95th percentile, why didn’t they qualify for highly capable services?

     

    A. Often when a family is asking this question, the student has scored above the 95th percentile on the i-Ready or ITBS, but not on the CogAT. Many of our students are high-achieving, but do not demonstrate the kind of abstract thinking and reasoning skills that indicate a student is gifted/highly capable and in need of different instruction than that provided in our general education program. The abstract reasoning assessed by the CogAT is correlated to giftedness and success in the highly capable program and students who are high-achieving are not necessarily highly capable.

     

    Q. My student scored lower than I expected on the CogAT. Should I be concerned?

     

    A. Reasoning skills, especially abstract reasoning skills, develop gradually throughout a person’s lifetime and at different rates for different individuals.  Many of our students in early grades have not developed these abilities yet. The CogAT measures this type of thinking as it is a good predictor of success in the highly capable program, but is not an achievement test and does not measure what students have learned.  The CogAT also does not measure factors such as effort, attention, motivation, and work habits, which also contribute significantly to school achievement.

     

    If your student is performing at grade level in other assessments or school work and teachers feel your student is learning well and making progress, your student is likely not in need of any support to succeed in the classroom.

     

    If you are interested in strengthening abstract reasoning abilities, providing visual or spatial puzzles, working on making connections between ideas, and recognizing patterns are all activities that help develop this type of thinking.

     

    Q. Why are my student’s scores so inconsistent? Why did they qualify in only one area?

     

    A. Many students have inconsistent score profiles. This indicates that students have a strength or aptitude in one particular area. This is not uncommon, and it is why Shoreline now identifies and serves students in a single area.

     

    For younger students, their cognitive development may be proceeding more rapidly in one area than another and may become more consistent as the student continues to grow and develop. Many of our younger student have higher scores in one area than in the other or have higher scores on academic achievement tests than on the CogAT. Developmentally, high-achieving students may just not have developed the abstract reasoning ability yet.

     

    Q. Should I appeal the testing decision? Should my student retest again next year?

     

    A. The appeals process is designed for families who believe that there was a specific circumstance that prevented their student from performing up to their ability during the testing session. Families receive information about appeals when they are notified of their student’s eligibility for services.

     

    Any family can choose to have their child participate in the Winter testing. Registration for this testing typically occurs in December and can be found on the Highly Capable section of the district website.

     

    Families of students with uneven score profiles or whose student qualified in only one area often retest the following year.