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Highly Capable Brochure 2023-24 

The Mukilteo School District’s Highly Capable Program develops the special abilities of highly capable students by fostering academic excellence through a range of instructional practices based on student needs. This process begins with rigorous and relevant core academic instruction at the student’s grade level. In addition, it includes differentiation, enrichment, challenge activities, grouping with academic peers, or accelerated, compacted, integrated, and enriched curriculum.

The state defines highly capable students as those who perform or show potential for performing at significantly advanced academic levels when compared with others of their age, experiences, or environments. Outstanding abilities are seen within students' general intellectual aptitudes, specific academic abilities, and/or creative productivities within a specific domain. These students are present not only in the general populace but are present within all protected classes (RCW 28A.640 and 28A.642) (WAC 392-170-035).

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

    • Capacity to learn with unusual depth or 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 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.
  • Highly capable services are designed for those students identified with exceptional cognitive and academic abilities along with superior academic performance. A continuum of services provides a challenging, integrated, and enriched experience. These program services include the following:

    • The Learning Enrichment Achievement Program (LEAP) provided in the student’s home school and general education setting (K- 5)
    • The Summit self-contained program (3-8)
    • Opt-in Honors English Language Arts and advanced math course offerings in middle school (6-8); and
    • Advanced course offerings in the high school such as Honors, Advanced Placement, College in the High School, and Running Start (9-12).

    Each student identified as highly capable shall be provided educational opportunities which considers a student’s unique needs and capabilities (WAC 932-170-080).

  • Annual notification for parents and students regarding highly capable services will be made via school and district publications such as the parent handbook, school newsletters, the district website, and brochures available at school locations.

    Parents/guardians of students who enroll after the initial testing cycle will be notified of the opportunity for their child to be assessed at the next identification period.

    Universal Screening and Referrals (WAC 392-170-045)
    Each year the district will screen students to identify those eligible for LEAP services.  Identified students will be invited to participate in further assessment for placement in the Summit program.  Grade bands will be screened and will be determined by the district and communicated annually.

    The district will notify parents/guardians of the screening process and will provide families with an opportunity to decline screening for their student.  Results from the screening process will be documented and shared with the student’s parent/guardian.  Results from the screener are final.  There is no appeal process for the screening results and decisions.

    Referral Process
    Students, parents/guardians, community members, teachers, or other staff members may refer a student to be considered for the Highly Capable Program by contacting the Highly Capable Program office (WAC 392-170-045) by October 6. The Highly Capable Program office will contact the parents/guardians of the student with an invitation to register for screening if the student has not already been screened or assessed that year. Parents/guardians may refer their student by registering for testing during the annual identification period. For students to be considered, their referral form must be submitted by the established deadline. The referral form is published annually by the Mukilteo School District.

  • If additional testing for cognitive abilities is warranted beyond initial screening, parent permission will be obtained. Students will be screened and tested by qualified district personnel. Results from outside testing agencies will not be accepted.

    Parent/Guardian permission will be obtained in writing prior to:

    • Placement in the highly capable program and before any special services and programs are started for an identified highly capable student

    Parent/Guardian permission notice shall include:

    • A full explanation of the procedures for identification of a student to receive highly capable services
    • An explanation of the appeal process
    • Information about the district’s program and the options that are available to identified students
    • An explanation of the procedure to exit a student from the program
  • Assessments used to determine eligibility services for students may include:

    • District Screeners in reading and math,
    • Smarter Balanced Assessments in English Language Arts and math (when available)
    • Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT).

    It is important that parents DO NOT send their child to school if he or she is ill when testing is scheduled. Parents should notify the school principal or dean immediately to have their child tested during a makeup session that will be offered at the school. Appeals to retest for the Highly Capable Program due to illness during testing will not be considered.

  • A multi-disciplinary selection committee, composed of the following district staff, is responsible for selection decisions:

    • A special teacher: 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 administrator with responsibility for the supervision of the district's program for highly capable students
    • A building principal
    • Such additional professionals, if any, the district deems desirable.

    The committee reviews assessment data to determine if a student performs or shows potential for performing at significantly advanced academic levels when compared with others of their age, experiences, or environments. Multiple objective criteria are used to identify students who are among the most highly capable (WAC392-170- 075).

  • Students who qualify for highly capable services demonstrate or show potential for outstanding achievement at the highest levels. Assessment scores obtained during the annual screening and testing window will be considered each year to identify new students for services. A continuum of highly capable services is available for K-12 students.

    Once a student is identified for services in reading and/or math they remain eligible for those highly capable services. However, parents of students who would like their student identified for additional services in either reading or math, or want their child tested for a change in placement such as Summit, must re-test each fall.

    Identification for Learning Enrichment Achievement Program (LEAP), Grades K-5

    • Students may be served in reading and/or math. LEAP students are identified based on multiple assessments which include achievement, cognitive abilities, and teacher feedback.
    • Students identified to receive highly capable services through LEAP will be served in their home school and general education setting. These services will be offered at all elementary schools.
    • LEAP students are automatically placed in Honors English Language Arts or advanced math courses for their identified area in middle school.
    • Placement in LEAP services will take place the following school year.

    Identification for Summit Program, Grades 3-8

    • Placement in the Summit program is based on results from multiple assessments obtained during the annual screening and testing period each year.
    • Students identified to be served in the Summit self-contained program for grades 3-8 will be identified by the selection committee as the “most highly capable students”.
    • Placement in Summit will take place the following school year.
  • If a student does not meet eligibility requirements for any highly capable services, parents have the right to appeal.  Appeals must be submitted in writing and sent to the Highly Capable Committee within 15 business days of receiving notification. Send to: Highly Capable Committee Mukilteo School District, 9401 Sharon Drive, Everett, WA 98204.  Specific reasons for the appeal must be identified in the letter and must be based upon one of the following conditions:

    • A condition or circumstance believed to have caused a misinterpretation of the testing results (e.g., incorrect birthdate or grade level used in calculating the student's score).
    • An inequitable application of the identification procedures (e.g., the applicant's proficiency with the English language).
    • An extraordinary and temporary circumstance that negatively affected the validity of the test results

    (e.g., a traumatic event or physical distress immediately preceding the test).Exit Procedures

    Once a student receives highly capable services, that student will continue to receive those services unless it is evident that the student is consistently having difficulty. School staff members and parents will meet to discuss student progress and support. Placement for highly capable services will be reviewed to determine if it is in the best interest of the student. The decision to exit a student will be based on data demonstrating that the student is consistently struggling to meet highly capable standards.

  • Learning Enrichment Achievement Program (LEAP) Services, Grades K-5

    Students in grades K-5 who are identified to receive LEAP highly capable services in either reading or math will be served at their home school in the general education setting. Services will include a variety of strategies that include differentiation, challenge, and enrichment activities, grouping with peers of similar ability, project-based learning or activities that extend learning. Services will be based on student needs and achievement in one or more subject areas, such as reading and math. The program seeks to stimulate curiosity, problem solving and develop higher-level thought processes at the student’s academic level. Middle school students who are identified as LEAP students are automatically placed into honors or advanced classes for sixth grade.


    Summit Self-Contained Program, Grades 3-8

    Elementary and middle school highly capable services are provided through a self-contained Summit program. Students are enrolled in a self-contained classroom all day, five days a week. Transportation to and from school is provided to students in Summit. Students who are identified as exceptionally gifted require comprehensive and substantial modification to the general education curriculum that challenges students to apply complex thinking skills when working with core skills and concepts. The curriculum is presented at an accelerated learning pace and focuses on grade-level expectations that are above the student’s assigned grade level with an advanced level of complexity and depth. Students can master learning objectives more quickly, allowing for in-depth extensions of the curriculum and creative expression. Self-contained Summit classrooms are different from traditional classrooms because of their intellectual rigor, accelerated pace, self-paced learning, greater depth and breadth of content, and structured inquiry.


    Advanced Course Offerings, Grades 6-12

    Course offerings in middle school and high school vary from school to school. At the middle schools, students are automatically placed into honors and advanced courses for reading or math. In addition, all other middle school students have the choice to opt into an Honors ELA and advanced math courses if interested. High schools offer numerous course offerings for students to choose from including Honors, Advanced Placement, College in the High School, and Running Start. Examples of advanced courses may include, but are not limited to, English/language arts, mathematics, science, and the arts.

Mukilteo School District does not discriminate in any programs or activities based on sex, race, creed, religion, color, national origin, age, veteran or military status, sexual orientation, gender expression or identity, disability, or the use of trained dog guide or service animal and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups. The following employees have been designated to handle questions and complaints of alleged discrimination: Civil Rights Coordinator and Title IX Coordinator Simone Neal (425-356-1319),, Section 504 Coordinator Becca Anderson (425-356-1277),, and the ADA/Access Coordinator Karen Mooseker (425-356-1330), moosekerkw@mukilteo.wednet.eduAddress: 9401 Sharon Drive in Everett, WA. Inquiries regarding ADA/Access issues at Sno-Isle TECH Skills Center should be directed to Wes Allen, Executive Director (425-348-2249), Address: 9001 Airport Road in Everett, WA 98204.


Revised 9/2023