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Quest - Highly Capable Program FAQs
Answers to frequently asked questions about the program

General questions about Quest

Can you tell me about the Quest program?
Lake Washington School District provides a continuum of services to meet the learning needs of students residing in our district. Quest offers two elementary program options for highly-capable students in second through fifth grade: a one day per week program which provides additional enrichment through pull-out services and a self-contained, full-time program which provides an accelerated curriculum in literacy and math. Quest offers a Middle School option for highly capable students in sixth through eighth grade which offers accelerated classes in Language Arts, Social Studies, Science and Math. Quest programs serve students who:

  • Demonstrate reasoning ability well above their chronological grade level
  • Perform well above their chronological grade level in reading and math achievement on standardized tests
  • Demonstrate the creative characteristics of highly capable students

How do I know if my student is a good candidate for the elementary Quest program?
The Quest program serves some of the most highly capable students in the district. One way to explore if this program would be a good fit for your student is to discuss your student’s academic abilities and performance with his or her teacher(s). Aside from high academic performance, here are some typical intellectual characteristics of gifted children:

  • Unusually large vocabulary for their age
  • Ability to read earlier than most children, often before entering school
  • Greater comprehension of the subtleties of language
  • Longer attention span, persistence and intense concentration
  • Ability to learn basic skills more quickly and with less practice
  • Wide range of interests
  • Highly developed curiosity and a limitless supply of questions
  • Interest in experimenting and doing things differently
  • Tendency to put ideas together in ways that are unusual and not obvious (divergent thinking)
  • Ability to retain a great deal of information
  • Unusual sense of humor

Why are you no longer testing kindergarten students?
Cognitive measures of ability are not well developed for students in Kindergarten.  It is difficult to determine which students are “highly capable” students and which students are simply more knowledgeable about subjects measured by the test.

When is the application period?
The application period for the next school year's program is held in the fall/winter of each school year, and is open to students in first through seventh grade applying for the Quest program. Check the Quest website for dates.
 
Do Pull-out Students need to apply for Full-time Quest and Middle School Quest?
Students currently in Enrichment Pull-out Quest will need to apply if they wish to be considered for Full-time Quest. Fifth grade students currently in Quest Enrichment Pull-out Quest will need to apply if they wish to be considered for Middle School Quest.  These applications will not negatively impact their continuing status in the enrichment pull-out program.
 
How do I get an application?
The Quest application must be submitted online. Any printed documents must be sent to the Quest office. If you do not have access to the internet, please contact the Quest office for an application form.
 
Can out-of-district students apply?
No. Applications are only accepted from students who reside within Lake Washington School District boundaries. To reside in the district means that the student lives at an address within the school district.
We don’t live in Lake Washington School District, but we are thinking of moving. Can we apply?
No. Applications are only accepted from students who currently reside in the district.
 
Will there be an information meeting for parents?
Quest parent information night for both elementary and middle school Quest programs will be held in the fall. All other information about Quest is available on the school district website. Printed information is available in schools and at the Quest office.
 
Can we observe Quest classrooms?
School tours for students who have qualified for Quest may be scheduled during times that are pre-determined by the school office.
 
How can I talk with parents of students in the program?
The
Gifted Education Advisory Council (GEAC) is a good source of information about the Quest program, especially from the perspective of parents. Aside from regular meetings, GEAC has a parent representative at each Quest school.
 
How do I get more specific information about Quest?
Information about the Quest program is available on the school district website. There are also printed materials in the schools and at the Quest office.
 
Questions about prerequisites for testing
 
Are there any screening requirements for testing?
Yes. Screening requirements vary by grade level, so read the application materials very carefully. All applicants must meet the screening requirements to be assessed for the Quest program.
 
Can my child still take the assessments for Quest without report card grades and standardized test scores?
Report card grades are part of the application screening process. Private school students should submit scores for the standardized tests administered at the private school. If the school does not give report cards, contact the Quest office for a Report Card Supplement.  Have your child’s current teacher complete the form and return it to the Quest office before the application period closes. All application materials must be submitted by the deadline.
 
Does everyone who completes an application and turns it in along with report card grades get assessed?
No, not necessarily. For students in grades two through seven, the application will be reviewed based on the screening criteria to determine if your child will be scheduled for assessment.  For students in grade one, the screening criteria do not apply.
 
Why is the screening criteria not applied to first grade students?
Students this young develop very rapidly and kindergarten report cards may not be a good indication of a child’s abilities.  LWSD believes that all first graders residing in district boundaries should have the opportunity to be considered for Quest.  As students mature, report card data and state testing provide a more clear picture of the student’s readiness for an accelerated program.
 
My child is in a private school. What should we do?
The Quest office reviews academic performance on your student's most recent report card and achievement/state test results if available. Submit copies of your child’s end of year report card and achievement/state test results along with proof of residency to the Quest office before the end of the online application period. Letters of recommendation from your student’s teacher(s) are not reviewed or considered in the application process.
 
What documents do I need to provide for proof of residency in LWSD?
A driver’s license, current utility bill, lease, or purchase and sale agreement can be used as proof of your address within our school district.  These documents must be for the location where the student resides.
 
Questions about the testing process
 
When are the assessments for Quest?
Assessments will be given to all student applicants who meet the screening criteria. The schedule for the first round of assessment, the Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT), are announced on the Quest website and Facebook page in late summer. Testing dates for the second round of assessment, the ITBS and Renzulli Scales for Rating the Behavioral Characteristics for Superior Students are also determined and announced in late summer.
 
How and when will I know if my child is scheduled for assessment?
If your child meets the screening criteria and is scheduled for assessment, you will receive an email with the date, time and place of assessm
ent. Applicants who do not meet the criteria will also receive notification.
 
What if my child is sick and cannot take the test on the scheduled date?
Appeals will not be considered for illness. Please email
quest@lwsd.org before the test begins if your child is going to miss a scheduled test due to illness. Students who are not feeling well on the date of the original test are given one opportunity to test on the make-up date. Only one make-up date will be scheduled for each Quest test. The district sets the date for that make-up test. Applications for students who miss a regularly scheduled test and the make-up test will be closed.
 
What if we have a family emergency and my child cannot take the test on the scheduled date?
Please email
quest@lwsd.org before the test begins if your child is going to miss a scheduled test due to family emergency. Your child will be given one opportunity to test on the make-up date. One make-up date only will be scheduled for each Quest test. The district sets the date for the make-up test. Applications for students who miss a regularly scheduled test and the make-up test will be closed.
 
How will we be notified of the results of the CogAT?
The purpose of Quest testing is to assess students for program eligibility only.  You will be notified by email if your child is eligible for further testing. 
 
I had my child privately tested. Can I submit these results with the application?
No. The district does not accept private testing results in place of the Quest identification process. All students must go through the district’s identification process to be eligible for Quest programs.
 
Can I appeal the results of the screening or assessment?
Quest assessment criteria are applied equitably to all applicants. Appeals to assessment determinations will be scheduled and addressed by an appeals review team after application screening, after round I and after round II. Appeals are considered based on specific criteria related to the testing conditions, or to a misapplication of miscalculation of the score. The decision of the appeal review team is final and may not be challenged.
 
What if there is not space in the program for my child?
Placements are also made on a space available basis and information is not available until all testing and enrollment projections have been completed. Students who do not qualify for the program are encouraged to apply in a future year, if appropriate. No student should feel badly for not qualifying. Parents can help by encouraging a positive student attitude toward testing and by not putting undue stress on students to be accepted into the program. Almost all students who apply to Quest are bright, do well in school and will continue to do well, whether or not they get into Quest.
 
My child has been on the wait list all year. What happens next year?
Families of students on the wait list will be contacted to see if they wish to remain on the wait list.
 
Questions related to students enrolled in Quest
 
Is there bus transportation for Quest students?
LWSD provides bus transportation for students for Quest students based on their Quest program.
 
Enrichment Pull-out Quest Transportation: LWSD offers fee-based bus shuttles for students enrolled in the Enrichment Pull-out Quest program which transport students between their home school and their Enrichment Pull-out School. The shuttle fee is $175 for the school year. After parents complete the transportation forms including payment information, students will be issued a bus pass for the shuttle. The Enrichment Pull-out bus schedules will be available on the LWSD website in late August for the coming school year. You can view the Enrichment Pull-out Quest bus schedules here. NOTE: Bus schedules may change before the start of school as well as during the school year, so please check the schedule regularly.
 
Full-time Quest Transportation: LWSD bus schedules identify bus stop times and locations for students choosing to ride Quest buses. Full-time Quest students ride the Purple bus. Routes for the coming school year are updated in late August. Bus schedules are mailed to parents in late August by the Transportation Department. You can view bus schedules, after they are updated for the school year, at http://www.lwsd.org/Schools/School-and-Bus-Finder/Pages/Bus-Route-Schedules.aspx. Click on the full-time Quest school your child attends and scroll through the bus routes to find the Quest route. NOTE: Bus schedules may change before the start of school as well as during the school year, so please check the schedule regularly.
 
Middle School Quest Transportation: LWSD offers limited bus transportation for students enrolled in the Middle School Quest programs at Kamiakin Middle School and Redmond Middle School. (Students attending Evergreen Middle School Quest ride the Evergreen bus routes which map to their home address.) Quest bus schedules for Kamiakin Middle School and Redmond Middle School will be available on the LWSD website in late August for the coming school year. You can view bus schedules, after they are updated, at http://www.lwsd.org/Schools/School-and-Bus-Finder/Pages/Bus-Route-Schedules.aspx. Select the link for the Quest school your child attends and select Route 66 for Kamiakin Quest bus and Route 35 for the Redmond Quest bus. NOTE: Bus schedules may change before the start of school as well as during the school year, so please check the schedule regularly.
NOTE: These bus schedules are subject to change. Check this page regularly for updates.

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