Highly Capable Survey Parent Comments
If your child was nominated and did not advance to testing or if your child went through testing but did not qualify for the Highly Capable Program did you understand the criteria for the decision?
I do not understand the selection process, have never heard of HC parent education, and am unaware of such a program existing at Sakai.
The testing last year was extremely poorly handled and the criteria was far too limited in scope and communication with parents was cryptic and vague.
Nobody called me back with the criteria for the decision. Also, we strongly feel that CogAT testing cannot inform us on the strengths of a person. A lot of emphasis cannot be placed it. -- parent of Sakai 5th grader and Woodward 8th grader
My son was tested in 3rd grade for language arts based on his CogAT (he is currently in 8th grade). We never received ANY follow up on the results of that testing.
It is confusing. My child has been identified as HC but I don't think she's in the program because she missed the cut off by 1%. She is very bored now in her current class and isn't being challenged.
Honestly it feels more like the district is trying to prove that they are not required to provide services, rather than identify those kids who could benefit from a more rigorous curriculum...my child was tested but not qualified, only 98% see what I mean...
I don't know. I didn't know there was a Highly Capable program , or what exactly it consists of. -- parent of Ordway 4th grader and Odyssey 8th grader
The criteria is arbitrary. She scored 94% on quantitative ability on the CogAT, and 99% on the non-verbal ability, but only the quantitative ability was considered. Interesting, since many math-related professions require the second ability.
Our daughter is an 8th grader at Odyssey. We were never notified of testing, other than through our child who told us she filled out the answer sheet wrong. She was told she would be given another opportunity to take the test and never was. One test at one grade level that determines your placement does not not seem like an accurate portrayal of children's capabilities.
My 5th grader has higher test scores than her brother who is in the HC program, from the same grade/season, and she is not identified as HC even though she continually scores at the top of the range on MSP and MAP, is one of the top performers in 3rd, 4th and 5th grade as well as the Friday morning math group.
My 4th grade son qualified in math, didn't qualify in reading. I understood the criteria but didn't feel that they were truly testing his talent in reading. He has consistently been at the top of the class-97-99% and didn't qualify. To my knowledge, there is no way for him to qualify now that he just missed making it based on a 3rd grade test. This is not appropriate because he reads at a very high level and loves to read.
I would have put my kids through the testing had I known this was an option. My senior is bored out of her skull, but we were told "all kids in Bainbridge Schools are gifted" which is unacceptable. Boo on you.
You no longer test all of the 3rd graders which I find bad practice leaving many children behind. My son was not able to test last year, and now he has missed ALL placement for Math Olympiad in 4th grade and going forward.
My 6th grader passed the first test in 3rd grade, but didn't qualify with the second test. I was told it was due to lack of resources, not because he couldn't handle the additional challenge.
One of our children was selected, but not the other, but they seem equal especially in language.
Please provide more explanations to parents. The whole process seems mysterious and shrouded. It is hard to get answers.
I understood the rationale that was explained to me, but did not "understand" it. I totally disagree with using the results of one test as the sole basis for granting the HC label. My son is consistently in the 99th percentile in MAP and MSP--third highest MAP score in his grade--but because his CogAT score was in the 90 something percentile he's not HC? It makes no sense to me. -- parent of Sakai 5th grader
My understanding is that the screening was based entirely on one test. The results that we received did not seem representative of our daughter's general school experience, but I didn't know where/how to request more information. I also didn't know what sort of program support she would receive so didn't follow up. -- parent of Blakely 4th grader
Having searched the BISD website, I could find no criteria other than generalizations. The letter from the school district, noting that my child did not meet the criteria, was similarly unclear about the actual process. After contacting the building coordinator, I was able to see the CogAT test scores. -- parent of Sakai 5th grader
We asked to have our son's CogAT looked at again. He missed the cut-off for HC by very few points and left several questions in a row blank. He said he did not think he was supposed to do several of the questions. We were unsatisfied with the review process at the school and level concern given to this issue. - - parent of Sakai 5th grader
Our older child tested and was tagged, but we never heard much about what was available for him as an HC. Luckily he had a terrific education through BISD. Our younger child is now in 8th grade at Woodward. She "missed" designation by one point, but she has had the same opportunities as her brother, so it does not appear there is anything really done for HC tagged kids. If you know how to play the game, and who to talk to, you can get into the right classes, right clusters, etc. Also, our younger child tested and entered first grade early, and she had a high IQ test, but then was told that she did not qualify for HC testing despite teacher support. It seemed that a random selection process was used. Finally, we insisted that she be tested for her age, but we were told she would be tested by grade, and she missed by one point. Our son (HC) did fine throughout Woodward and BHS, so we have faith daughter will do fine, too.
My older daughter was in an HC program prior to moving to BI; testing on BI did not occur as described, and when it did occur the results were not well-described or implemented.
I know they were tested. I don't know what the standards were.
Tested but did not qualify. Did not feel that the process was explained well nor valued. -- parent of Ordway 4th grader
My child in 5th grade reads at grade 12 level, is very intelligent and needs stimulation, but was not accepted though tested to HC program 2013. NO explanation whatsoever was given for this decision. Only a letter of "rejection".
The criteria were never outlined in the letter and appeared completely arbitrary after test scores (from one test - rather than years of teacher input, etc.) provided the first cut. We were tremendously unhappy with the process. -- parent of Blakely 4th grader and Mosaic 2nd grader
Not clear to me what is considered part of HC. Not clear about how this all works once a test has been taken etc. Not a lot of good communication or follow up (after daughter took some tests in either 3rd or 4th grade.) -- parent of Sakai 6th grader
I teach in the district so I have a stronger knowledge than I would if I were just a parent. I am not at all sure that parents understand the selection criteria for the HC designation.
I think it could be a positive process but our experience at another school w/in BISD, was sort of weird. He had apparently been evaluated without my prior knowledge. After that, I was repeatedly contacted to encourage me to allow him to take the next step. This made me feel pressured. Against my better judgement, I agreed to allow him to participate in the testing. The thing I feared happened, he didn't make the cut. It was an uncomfortable experience that ultimately wasn't great for my kid's self esteem. The vibe, combined with the fact that a component of the decision was based upon some sort of non-disclosed subjective criteria, made it seem kind of silly. -- parent of Ordway 4th grader
There is an almost total lack of information on HC in this district. It is surrounded in a cloak of mystery which seems pretty unnecessary. The District should hold itself to the same standards of transparency to which other government bodies hold themselves.
My understanding is that the threshold for qualifying is very narrow. My understanding is that decisions about HC happen in 3rd grade. Thus, if my child doesn't test well or have academic maturity, they won't be considered later when those skills develop.
Both 4.0 students throughout Sakai to BHS. Never identified, never tested, never considered for HC by District. Never knew why not.
My 5th grader tests very high in math (perfect score on 4th grade spring MSP) and is working independently during math time in her 5th grade class. We asked her teacher about opportunities for accelerated programs and she seemed to know little about it and could provide no clear info. I do not know if my child qualifies for HC and we have gotten no individualized communication from the school or district about opportunities available to her. If she is considered HC, communication is very poor.
I believe all students should be given the opportunity to test, and even those who are close (but not close enough to be considered HC) should get additional resources and appropriate material. -- parent of Wilkes 4th grader and Sakai 6th grader
My child never officially qualified for the program. He was at 98% on the CogAT rather than 99%. At Ordway they let him be involved with the advanced Math pull out taught by parents. At Sakai it was awful. He is a great and polite student. He was bored and received no different math. He did Math Olympiad, but that is not the same as keeping him challenged in Math. He was able to take Algebra as a 7th grader and now Honors Geometry as an 8th grader. He is receiving As. I think we need to have a more fluid line between where these cut offs happen.
We moved here from Seattle and our children were not put in the highly capable program because one did not qualify there (was in top 5 % but not top 1%) and our second child did not score quite high enough on the second test. I think the testing is TOO black and white. My son's Woodward teacher included him in highly capable program in her class because she thought he was and that he had a ILP. Some of my first child's high school teachers were shocked that he had not been in a highly capable track. Both boys are straight A's consistently too.
We moved into the district in fall '12 and were not given information on the program nor asked to test for it. Our 6th grader fell through the cracks on this. Then upon testing for 7th gr Algebra, she did well and was placed in the class but hadn't taken the 6th gr Pre-Algebra so struggled. We ended up moving her back into 7th gr math. I think our transfer into the district was handled poorly in this regard. She was in the GATE program in previous CA district but due to lack of funding, no differentiation was offered.
He qualified for Gifted education at his previous school in a different state based on IQ, but was tested here and did not qualify. I have no idea how it works here. -- parent of Ordway 4th grader
If your child is in the HC program, what is your level of satisfaction? If not satisfied, please explain.
Program - Communication
Poor communication. We received a letter that my son was accepted into the HC program, but then we were not provided any details about the program.
Offerings are not well communicated to new parents in the program, too much emphasis ONLY on STEM.
I thought the ILP was the HC program, so my comments are intended for both. If the HC program is in addition to/separate from the ILP program, then I have either misunderstood the structure, or it has not been well-explained.
Perhaps it's just bad publicity, but I heard nothing about HC offerings in middle grades, the only grades in which my student was in district classrooms.
My child qualified and was given an ILP but nobody has ever walked me through what it means. I've had to track down teachers (who really don't do anything) and principles to get some sense of what the district does.
If your child is in the HC program, what is your level of satisfaction? If not satisfied, please explain.
Program - What program?
There is no program that I can discern!
What program? There is no program. An ILP is not a program.
There is not a program. Clusters are not a program.
The HC program is not a real program. It just adds on a few sporadic activities to the standard curriculum.
I wouldn't call it a program, more like teachers making it up as they go along.
Lack of enrichment. Lack of a program period.
Very limited offerings.
It doesn't seem like there's a formal program. It's just whatever the individual teacher comes up with. Seems like the "HC" students are not well served.
I'm afraid I can't see there is much of a program. I realize that $$ is an issue but it seems to me the district relies on parents to step in and provide outside enhancements for their child instead of at school. This takes up even more of a child's free home time. Learning should be at school primarily!
There is nothing available for HC students beyond the chance to infrequently do EPGY. The HC students have to do the regular My Math, ST Math etc curriculum with the rest of the kids. As far as I am concerned, BISD does not have a real, functioning HC program.
The program did nothing.
We've received letters before that indicate he is "highly capable" in both Language and Math. Not sure how that was decided, and it didn't really go anywhere from there.
For my 7th grader the program was non-existent until 6th, for my Wilkes 4th grader he tested HC and we emailed twice to have him in it and heard from no one.
My high schooler was nominated, tested, accepted, but the accommodation she received was ineffective/ spotty. We chose to not have our 8th grader tested when it was his turn.
My daughter is in 8th grade at Odyssey. I don't think it's much of a program at all. Just a conference once a year, a few goals determined, etc. My daughter has been challenged, but mostly through efforts at home and work done in tandem with our help and support.
My child is in 5th grade at Sakai. There is no program. The pieces that are being created started very late in the school year.
Our son missed in 3rd grade, but was retested and qualified in 5th grade. This is our first year with a child HC designated. Honestly, I haven't seen much different. At P/T conferences they list the "extra" opportunities he gets, but he had all of them the year before due to our being proactive and making sure he had those opportunities. I guess it is nice the school now recognizes he should get them.
My son was not taught to his particular gifted talents.
A program should be available at 1-4 level. That's the problem area.
My child reads at a 5th grade level and is in 2nd grade. We need her challenged.
The HC program should be instituted at an earlier grade than grade 4. Our children have had to sit and "wait" through the earlier grades, while their teachers had no formal mechanism for recognizing or addressing their particular needs. As a result, and because they were "meeting grade level expectations," it was assumed they were doing "fine," and that was the end of the inquiry. In the Seattle Public Schools and in other districts around the nation, HC programs begin in the first grade. The ability to identify HC kids is there at this much earlier stage in their education.-- parent of Blakely 2nd grader and Sakai 6th grader
I was not at all satisfied with what happened at the elementary level, which was really just more busy work that didn't challenge thinking or allow creativity. At Sakai there have been many more opportunities to challenge thinking and work at a higher level.
Doing "extra projects" that are chosen outside of/in addition to the standard curriculum does not constitute an HC curriculum and is not an effective way to create a learning cohort.
It might be changing, but my kids were far too isolated from other Highly Capable peers in the lower grades.
It is difficult for a 5th grader to be responsible for challenging himself through optional projects. Having more of a peer group to work with would be more stimulating and a much better experience for him.
Little opportunity for enrichment with the HC program.
Students need more direct instruction rather than to be just given independent learning opportunities.
The only enrichment we've been part of is through Bainbridge Independent.
Not enough differentiation and not enough ability to MOVE through curriculum.
The teachers seem so maxed out with regular kids that when it's time to focus on HC kids, they don't have much more time or energy to give. They do their best, but it appears to be "one more thing" they have to do, and therefore they're not terribly enthusiastic.
The teacher is completely inept/apathetic at preparing; designing and administering the program for my daughter. I am very displeased - we are pulling our daughter out of BISD as a result.
My kids are not interested in more work. They get bored in class and have a hard time focusing.
My kids do not need extra stuff to do. They need to be engaged in class.
Since early elementary my children have been recognized as highly capable. They have ILPs and are given options for doing more. But they are not and have never been interested in doing MORE work. I have pleaded with their teachers to just give them more APPROPRIATE work.
When my son was in the HC program at Sakai and Woodward, his only choice for the HC program was to do extra work/homework. He did not want to do more homework at that time. So the HC program did not work for him. Therefore, I do not think he was sufficiently challenged.
Getting better. Happy to see the high school Robotics and Rocket Clubs. Not much of an HCP program compared to other schools. My son usually just got additional homework as a highly capable student.
This was some time ago, but she didn't benefit from clustering, mostly had to pay the "smart penalty" of doing extra work rather than different work.
The lack of depth of understanding about what it means to be "gifted" has been frustrating.
This was a complete joke for my children.
ONLY when he got to high school was he challenged in the area of math, K-8 was a total disappointment.
The options for additional enrichment were outside school, for an additional cost, and not applicable to what was happening in the classroom. ie. Centrum/$500/missing school for a week.
There does not appear to be any accommodation. Acceleration is not the same as enrichment. -- parent of Odyssey 7th grader
I understand that resources are limited, but it would seem that at least a part time pull-out program (for math and language arts) with a gifted-certified instructor might help the situation.
Not enough pull-out. The child has to sit through stuff that's not challenging. -- Parent of Sakai 6th grader
My daughter withdrew from the HC program because she became extremely anxious about the expectations placed on her.
My son has a good teacher this year and is receiving quality instruction. That said, I have seen no discussion (or additional support) of his qualifying area.
I feel that the school district is too fearful to have a clearly defined highly capable program for fear that parents will complain that their kids aren't in it. This does a disservice to the kids who belong at that level.
If your child is in the HC program, what is your level of satisfaction? If not satisfied, please explain.
Program - Mathematics/Quantitative Domain
There is not a set curriculum for the Math, too hard to teach and they feel on their own.
EPGY is okay, but a little dry.
There was no program other than the staff advising him to do Math Olympiad (which I coached and I am NOT qualified math teacher). It was a fun group, and they did some math together, but it was not an HC "program" with appropriate curriculum and teaching staff.
The program is run by volunteers...not teachers. How ridiculous. I was one of those volunteers, and I felt ill-equipped to provide any math instruction. I love math, but I have no education training. Just think how far our highly capable kids could go if they had educators supporting them!
The only meaningful enrichment that has taken place has been because I came into class and led special groups. It is very, very difficult to get advancement to happen, particularly in math.
No challenges until 5th grade math, and the 5th grade math challenge is being done mostly from home and not in school.
My son was identified as HC in math yet he does very little math and it seems like nothing in addition to his normal class math activities. He is even upset and says he hardly ever has math to do that is the least bit challenging.
My daughter was apparently placed in a Highly Capable Program at Sakai, but I never heard anything further about it other than she was placed in an advanced math class.
The ILP appeared to add little actual individualized learning opportunity until grade 6. At this point, our child was at least provided some optional "extensions." Otherwise, there were a few supplemental options, in the form of parent-led Math O/math wizards, book clubs, etc. -- but to the extent that these depended on volunteers, they were frequently cancelled, and tended to get rolling late/wrap up early in the school year. Worse, these programs were often provided before/after school, making them impossible to attend unless a family could afford to have a parent not working or otherwise hire transportation. To make financial means of this sort a prerequisite to accessing the ILP/HC offerings is unfair and questionable ethically. -- parent of Blakely 2nd grader and Sakai 6th grader
Sakai says they do not honor ILPs.
If there is a plan it isn't being implemented well, especially in Math. Very little of what we were told would be provided for my child has been. He is losing interest and wasting most of his time in work he's already accomplished without adding any depth to his knowledge or skills.
The TOSA has been pulling the Ordway math HC 4th graders out for math differentiation 2-3 days/week, and his work with the group is wonderful and very much appreciated. My daughter looks forward to the days with the TOSA and dreads the "boring" days when she is not pulled out and needs to sit through the regular class lesson.
I'm not seeing anything extra for my son. Although, his math teacher is just now offering problem solving from a new book and has broken kids into groups. This is challenging my son more and seems to be good.
Honestly I'm not sure. It was discussed at the first parent teacher conference that she would be offered greater challenges in math. I don't know how that panned out in the classroom. There don't seem to be any checkpoints or communications for this program specifically. Report card time would be an obvious checkpoint - it would be a logical addition to the report card, or issued as a supplement.
The only real advantage seems that he qualified for 7th grade math as a 6th grader. Otherwise, there does not seem to be much difference.
In math, I feel that there isn't a curriculum for the class based work other than EPGY. EPGY is great. However, what he really needs is about 2 levels higher in the new MyMath curriculum. Instead, he did 3 months of very simple math until they finally let him get out of it. That's 1/3 of the school year.
One of the reasons we didn’t enroll our 6th grade HC son in Algebra 1 this year is because we weren’t keen on sending him to WMS ahead of his (social) peers.
If your child is in the HC program, what is your level of satisfaction? If not satisfied, please explain.
Program - Reading/Language Arts/Verbal Domain
She has an ILP in language. Hardly anything done, no follow up.
The language arts teacher in 7th or 8th grade didn't want to differentiate for highly capable.
It's basically different books and a different math class.
Language Arts HC opportunities at least at 4th grade level seem basically non-existent.
The HC program provides little or no follow up on the part of the teacher. For language arts, the prescription is more reading. Our child naturally reads on her own.
My son needed more challenges with Language Arts.
My 6th grade daughter is being challenged in 7th grade math, but she is not being challenged in 6th grade language arts.
My daughter's ILP for language arts seems to have offered her minimal challenge or differentiation beyond what the high level reading group in the regular classroom is doing. She completed the ILP noted "Climb the Classics Challenge" for the year before the December break, and I'm not sure what/if anything else is planned for the rest of year. We do our best to offer challenges at home, but again, I wish that the district could do more to ignite the unmet potential of the children in this group.
My daughter is now in 5th grade. She was selected for HC Language Arts, but I'm not sure she was doing anything in school that was challenging with respect to Reading/Language Arts. We were both further disappointed when her original AR goal was set extremely low compared to her voracious abilities. She has far exceeded her AR goals twice so far this year.
My daughter is in 6th grade at Sakai. I don't see anything different this year with her ILP in Language Arts. Last year she had a writing group she was pulled out for and a book club. However, math last year was not challenging. This year she is challenged in 7th grade math but not in language arts. There is no consistency. You can not leave this up to the individual teachers to develop and mange. There needs to be a more centralized approach so that all kids with ILPs for Language Arts are in a writing group/book club, etc.,
He was nominated for being Highly Capable in Reading. There are not any specific "reading" opportunities at Sakai. As far as I am aware, Sakai 6th graders do not participate in Accelerated Reading. He gets the language arts/social studies form each year. Most of the opportunities on this list do not involve reading. He doesn't like to write and will not pursue it on his own.
How satisfied are you with the Individualized Learning Plan (ILP)?
Plan - What Plan?
It's a joke.
Basically a piece of paper and two meetings - its nice but not really a plan, just a list of suggestions.
It's a one page form that takes about a minute to fill out.
Appears inconsistent as to how it is implemented.
"Enrichment" activities were optional and useless.
We were not provided information regarding the ILP.
The ILP is just a piece of paper. It makes no difference to what the students are taught.
No individual plan provided
I don't think I've received an ILP for my student. -- parent of Wilkes 4th grader
At Sakai the ILP plan is just paper; I can't see that anything is being implemented for my child, especially in 5th grade math.
The ILP is simply a boilerplate. There is not really any meaningful guidance and interaction, ESPECIALLY as kids head into Woodward and BHS.
As far as I can tell, the ILP just says something generic about answering questions in more detail...very unstructured.
It is just a piece of paper to be agreed to by the parent. There is little opportunity for HC work, except through regular class options taken earlier.
Ours has been explicitly ignored at Sakai - despite repeated attempts to get something on there that offers my kid challenge, it essentially says he'll do grade-level classwork and home school anything else. Needs accountability for seeking challenge and staying engaged. Telling kids you don't care about anything except increasing the number of them who 'pass' state tests is training pre-adolescents to check out and give up working to their potential. They can recover with flexible-pace-tracking after Algebra, but losing them in these middle years is really sad.
My daughter has a reading ILP, but very little has been done with it. She continues to be assigned reading materials that are well below her level, and she is not pushed to develop more sophisticated reading and writing skills through her ILP.
Our 12th grade daughter was identified as high capable in 3rd grade. It seemed the only "highly capable" attention she received was the effort the teachers had to spend documenting and getting our signatures every year. I didn't see anything happen except offering her "extra" worksheets which were the equivalent of busy work.
The specialized learning plan is not discussed in parent/teacher meetings. Not even sure if he is doing one.
It was sort of vague and casual, sort of a general promise to offer challenges.
A lot of time spent giving lip service to the program. In reality it seems to just take up a lot of staff time to fulfill a requirement with little follow through. I was told that staff are so busy with the special needs kids that they do this because they have to.
I strongly believe in ILPs when the teachers care and are aware of how to prepare and administer them. Our daughter's experience has been horrible thus far. She will go to private school next year.
The ILP should have fit my daughter's learning strengths; instead it was too focused on her weakest subject - math.
Doesn't seem very individualized; seems pretty cut & paste.
I felt she got more teacher attention due to parent meetings than to her ILP.
They want work that is at their level. This year, my daughters were presented with several options for doing extra homework. Both refused. Mathcounts was the one option where my daughter could actually leave her regular math class to go to her HC program... but she still had to turn in her regular homework! Par for the course with BISD. I actually went to Bainbridge Schools in the 70's and 80's. Back then we had REAL differentiated learning. I was pulled out of class for report-writing in 4th grade, for poetry all through middle school, for Centrum classes in 5th and 8th grade, etc. etc.
It's really saying, "She's on her own." We get little reporting on what is going on, what goals she is to achieve, or how she's doing.
I feel like the ILP isn't anything at all. They have offered EPGY and some Math Olympiad problems instead of MyMath homework. My son was even told that they would prefer him to do ST math instead of EPGY. Only when I questioned it did he go back to EPGY. I feel that there is no real plan for highly capable kids. Too often, they are doing work that is too easy because there isn't a plan for something different.
Arbitrary, not comprehensive, piecemeal, no flow year-to-year.
Very little seems to actually take place. Nice ideas, no follow through.
At Sakai the ILP has been more specific and tailored to my child. In elementary, it was a joke.
Our daughter is self-motivated and really has not needed an extra plan.
At least the designation forces the teachers to think about ways to offer additional challenges.
I like the opportunity to talk with the Odyssey middle school teachers about how to challenge my child. However I am not sure she is truly challenged through these ILP goals. Also I feel the burden of pursuing the challenge is on my family's shoulders. The teachers try but they have many other students to watch and teach.
The ILP is basically meaningless, just words on paper.
My 5th grade son has been in the "program" for two years, but I'm not sure what the Individual Learning Plan is.
What plan? We never saw a plan for our son. (He was HC in BISD, and he recently graduated from high school)
Our son is in 7th grade at Odyssey. We have not been supported in creating an ILP.
The ILP is generic, not individualized at all.
It seems at Sakai there is a difficulty in understanding what HC kids even need. It seems there is a worry to provide these kids with a true ILP in case it upsets parents of kids without the HC designation. This is a special need- just like a child who needs help with reading.
The ILP was not addressed as far as I could tell. All students were given some open-ended assignments on which they could write as well as they liked and were capable of, but this was not extra instruction or encouragement.
My Blakely 4th grade daughter's ILP has been mostly inactive. She is capable of doing far more challenging, complex work, engaging texts in much more sophisticated ways, but her ILP is not offering those opportunities.
Not much to it but doing some extra credit.
Nothing has ever been offered to us or designated b/c he also has an IEP, which gets more focus b/c of learning strategies infrastructure. There is no equivalent support for ILP implementation to my knowledge.