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Middle School Quest Highly Capable Services

Middle school Quest students at the Capitol for Project Citizen.

The Highly Capable Programs Application period ended on October 27 at 4:00 p.m.

Overview

Students conducting an experiment.The Middle School Quest program allows the most highly capable students to engage in rigorous and challenging curriculum with their academic peers. The program meets the needs of students who have been identified as having exceptional cognitive and academic ability by accelerating and enriching the district curriculum. Classes include greater breadth and depth of subject matter and a wide variety of learning processes and teaching methods. There are high expectations for student work and achievement.

Middle School Quest Parent Information Night Presentation

For sixth grade students, Middle School Quest consists of a two-period integrated language arts and social studies block, one period of science and one period of math. This schedule leaves students two periods for required and elective classes.

For seventh and eighth grade students, middle school Quest consists of a two-period integrated language arts and social studies block and one period of science. Students are placed at the appropriate math level for one other period. This schedule leaves students two periods for required and elective classes.

The learning pace is faster than in the regular education program. Students are expected to perform work that exceeds grade level standards by at least one grade level. Middle School Quest also emphasizes advanced academic thinking skills and strategies, strong communication and collaboration skills, and an increased awareness of local and global citizenship.

Middle School Quest programs are currently located at:

  • Evergreen Middle School, Redmond
  • Kamiakin Middle School, Kirkland
  • Redmond Middle School, Redmond

The district assigns a student to attend a Middle School Quest school based on his/her home address. School assignment is subject to change. For more information on Quest placement, view the Middle School Quest Feeder Pattern:

Transportation

LWSD offers limited bus transportation for students enrolled in the Middle School Quest programs at Kamiakin Middle School, Redmond Middle School and Evergreen Middle School.

For more information on Quest bus schedules, view the Middle School Quest Bus Schedules.


Selection Process

Two girls working on an assignment. Application process for current fifth through seventh grade students for highly capable services in the 2018-19 school year. All dates are subject to change.

  • September 25, 2017: Online applications open.
  • September 28, 2017: Parent Information Night for parents of current students in grades 5 through 7. Attendance is not required in order to apply.
    7:00 - 8:30 p.m.
    Lake Washington High School Performing Arts Center
    12033 N.E. 80th St.
    Kirkland, WA 98033
  • October 27, 2017: Online applications close at 4 p.m. (Late applications are not accepted.)
  • December 2, 2017: Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT)
  • December 9, 2017: Iowa Assessments
  • Spring 2018: Notification of Placement
  • Fall 2018: Services Begin

Makeup Dates

Applicants who have a documented illness or a documented family emergency on their regularly scheduled test date must notify the Accelerated Programs office in writing before the testing session begins to be eligible for a makeup exam. Students who miss their regularly scheduled assessment and the makeup date will be withdrawn from the application process for the current school year.

  • The makeup date for the December 2, 2017 CogAT is December 12, 2017.
  • The makeup date for the December 9, 2017 Iowa is January 23, 2018.

Visit Washington Administrative Code Chapter 392-170 and Revised Code of Washington Chapter 28A.185 for information on Washington state regulations for highly capable services.

Nomination Process

Students playing a board game they created.Students are nominated for Highly Capable services by parents, staff or community members by filling out the application form. To nominate your child, parents of students in grades five through seven must apply for their student to be considered for highly capable services for the following school year. To apply, fill out the online application form. Please contact the Accelerated Programs Office at 425-936-1238 if you need a paper copy of the application or if you need an application in a language other than English. Please note: Students must reside in the LWSD boundaries to apply for and participate in Highly Capable programs.

Scroll to the top of this page to find the Highly Capable Programs application form.

If your student currently attends private school or home school, submit the Application Supplement in addition to completing the online application form. The Application Supplement will require parents to submit proof of residency and additional documentation as needed. All supplemental documents must be submitted to the Accelerated Programs Office by October 27.

If your student currently attends LWSD in grades 5 to 7 and did not attend LWSD for the 2016-17 school year, submit the Application Supplement in addition to completing the online application form. The Application Supplement will require parents to provide additional documentation as needed. All supplemental documents must be submitted to the Accelerated Programs Office by October 27.

Screening Process

The district uses multiple objective criteria to identify students who are among the most highly capable. Students are screened using end-of-year report card grades from the previous year and Smarter Balanced Assessment (SBA) results from the previous year. For students in grades 5 and 6, the typical report card range to qualify for further assessment is between a 3.5 and a 4.0 mean in all strands of language arts and in all strands of math. For students in grade 7, the typical report card range to qualify for further assessment is B+ or higher in language arts and in math. Students are expected to score at Level 4 in SBA ELA and in SBA Math. Private school students and students who did not attend LWSD schools in the 2016-17 school year are expected to demonstrate equivalent results on state or standardized tests. Note: Private test results are not accepted.

Assessment Process

Applicants who meet screening criteria will be assessed using multiple objective criteria.

Note: Students who have been previously enrolled in Pull-out Quest or K-3HC at the elementary level are required to apply and qualify for the Middle School Quest Program. Students who are finishing 5th grade in the Full-time Quest Program automatically transition into the Middle School Quest Program. All students remain identified as Highly Capable students regardless of program participation.

Evidence of need for highly capable services is determined by a Multidisciplinary Selection Committee. Members of the committee include, at a minimum, a school psychologist, a teacher and the Director of Accelerated Programs. All decisions are based on the body of evidence to provide a clear picture of each student’s ability and to determine whether the data indicate a need for services beyond the scope of the general education classroom. The body of evidence includes the results of the CogAT and Iowa Assessments, along with the report card and SBA scores from the end of the previous school year. No weights are assigned to data points. Private testing results are not accepted.

Middle School Quest Identification Criteria

Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT)

The CogAT provides a measure of a student’s learned reasoning abilities. Subtests are Verbal, Quantitative and Nonverbal.
  • Typical score range of those students identified for services: Two subtest scores between SAS 135-160 (99 Age Percentile Rank) OR CogAT Composite SAS between 135-160 (99 Age Percentile Rank)

CogAT Standard Age Score Conversion to Percentile Ranks

Standard Age Score (SAS) is a normalized standard score, with a mean (average) of 100. Standard Age Scores of 89-111 are all within the average range. For example:

  • A student with a SAS of 100 has the rate and level of development of reasoning skills that are typical for his/her age group.
  • A student with a SAS of 125 has a faster rate and higher level of development of reasoning skills than the typical student in his/her age group.
  • A student with a SAS of 132 or above has an exceptional rate and level of development of reasoning skills that are considered to be in the highly capable range for his/her age group.
Standard Age Score Percentile Rank
Standard Age Score Percentile Rank
Standard Age Score Percentile Rank
100 50
112 77
124 93
101 52
113 79
125 94
102 55
114 81
126 95
103 57
115 83
127 95
104 60
116 84
128 96
105 62
117 86
129 97
106 65
118 87
130 97
107 67
119 88
131 97
108 69
120 89
132 98
109 71
121 91
133-134 98
110 73
122 92
135-160 99
111 75
123 92


View information on CogAT and Iowa Assessment Forms and Levels.

Iowa Assessments

The Iowa Assessments provide a measure of a student’s achievement across a continuum of rigorous learning standards. LWSD administers the Reading, Vocabulary and Math subtests.
  • Typical score range of those students identified for services: Total Reading score at 99% and Math test score at or above 95% OR Math test score at 99% and Total Reading score at or above 95%
View information on CogAT and Iowa Assessment Forms and Levels.

Report Card

Report cards provide a classroom-based measure of academic performance.
  • Typical score range of those students identified for services:
    • between a 3.5 and a 4.0 mean in all strands of each of the following: language arts and math (Grades 5 and 6)
    • B+ or higher in language arts and math (Grade 7)

Smarter Balanced Assessment (SBA)

SBA, Washington state's mandated assessment, provides a measure of a student’s skills and knowledge based on our state learning standards in reading, writing and math.

Appeals Process

Highly Capable assessment criteria are applied equitably to all applicants. Appeals for reconsideration of students who have not met the assessment criteria are reviewed by the Multidisciplinary Selection Committee after notification of screening results and after notification of the Multidisciplinary Selection Committee placement decision. Appeals must be submitted to the Accelerated Programs Office in writing within 10 calendar days of notification of results. Appeals must be based upon a specific criteria related to the screening/testing conditions, or to a misapplication or miscalculation of the scores. The decision of the appeal review team is final.

FAQ

FAQs

What is the Quest program?

Lake Washington School District provides a continuum of services to meet the learning needs of highly capable 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/or 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 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 highly capable children:

  • Unusually large vocabulary for their age
  • Ability to read earlier than most children
  • 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

When is the application period?

The application period for the next school year's program is held in the fall of each school year. It is open to students in first through seventh grade applying for the Quest program. Check the Accelerated Programs website for dates.

Do Pull-out Students need to apply for Full-time Quest and Middle School Quest?

Students currently in Pull-out Quest will need to apply if they wish to be considered for Full-time Quest. Fifth grade students currently in 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 Pull-out program.

How do I get an application?

The Quest application is submitted online. Any supplemental documents must be sent to the Accelerated Programs office. If you do not have access to the internet, or need an application in a language other than English, please contact the Accelerated Programs 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.

Can we observe Quest classrooms?

Parents are not allowed to observe Quest classrooms. Visitors can be a distraction to any classroom so it is important to keep visits to a minimum.

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. GEAC holds monthly general meetings, has a parent representative at each Quest school and maintains a GEAC Facebook page.

Does LWSD offer Quest in the high schools?

A goal of the Highly Capable Services Continuum is to provide maximum choice at the high school level to enable students to tailor their program of advanced studies as much as possible based on their post-secondary goals. To that end we offer a variety of rigorous options at the high school level that our highly capable students can participate in including Advanced Placement (AP) course options, Honors Courses, Choice Schools and programs, Running Start and Early College in the High School. Each of our high schools provide accelerated course enrollment options. This approach ensures that students are not required to attend school at a specific location to participate in accelerated learning options.

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. Visit Washington Administrative Code Chapter 392-170 and Revised Code of Washington Chapter28A.185 for information on Washington state regulations for highly capable services.

Can my child still take the assessments for Quest without report card grades and standardized test scores?

For applicants in grades two through seven, report card grades are part of the application screening process. Private school students should submit report cards and scores for the standardized tests administered at the private school. If the school does not give report cards, contact the Accelerated Programs Office for a Report Card Supplement. Have your child’s current teacher complete the form and return it to the Accelerated Programs 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. 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 kindergarten and first grade, applicants will be screened using the CogAT.

My child is in a private school. What should we do?

The Accelerated Programs 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 Accelerated Programs 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?

An energy bill with your current address, lease agreement, or mortgage statement can be used as proof of your address within our school district. These documents must be for the location where the student resides.

When are the assessments for Quest?

Testing dates for the Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) and the Iowa Assessments are determined and announced before the first day of school.

How and when will I know if my child meets the screening criteria?

If your child meets the screening criteria and is scheduled for assessment, you will receive an email with the date, time and place of assessment. Applicants who do not meet the criteria will receive an email notification stating that their child does not qualify for highly capable services.

What if my child is sick and cannot take the CogAT or Iowa Assessments 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 a documented illness. Students who are not feeling well on the date of the original test are given one opportunity to test on the makeup date. Only one makeup date will be scheduled for each test. The district sets the date for that makeup test. Applications for students who miss a regularly scheduled test and the makeup 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 a documented family emergency. Your child will be given one opportunity to test on the makeup date. One makeup date only will be scheduled for each Quest test. The district sets the date for the makeup test. Applications for students who miss a regularly scheduled test and the makeup test will be closed.

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 eligibility decisions?

Highly Capable screening and eligibility assessment criteria are applied equitably to all applicants. Appeals to screening and eligibility determinations will be scheduled and addressed by the Multidisciplinary Selection Committee. Appeals are considered based on specific criteria related to the testing conditions, or to a misapplication or miscalculation of the score. The decision of the appeal review team is final and may not be challenged.

Transfer Students

Students who were enrolled in a highly capable or gifted program in their previous school may apply for Middle School Quest when they transfer into LWSD. Transfer students are not automatically enrolled in Highly Capable programs. Highly Capable services are not an entitlement in Washington as they are in some states.

Transfer application process for students in grades 6 through 8

  • Complete and submit a transfer form
  • Submit report card (for most recent end of semester)
  • Submit proof of participation in a highly capable or gifted program (from school last attended) or submit proof of acceptance into a highly capable or gifted program within the last six months
  • Submit standardized achievement test results with national or international norms
  • Submit standardized ability test results with national or international norms
  • Submit proof of residency within LWSD boundaries
  • Submit state assessment results
  • Meet the Middle School Quest screening and assessment eligibility criteria for admittance into the program
Notes:
  • Private testing outside of the student’s school district sanctioned testing cannot be used to substitute for district testing
  • Letters of recommendation are not considered in the review
  • Transfer applications must be complete with all documentation submitted

Notification/placement process for grades 6 through 8 transfer students

The Accelerated Programs office will notify the parent(s)/guardian(s) of the student’s eligibility status after reviewing the applicant’s file. If the student is not eligible and the student is currently in grade 6 or 7, he/she can apply in the fall.

 

Contact Accelerated Programs

Phone: 425-936-1238
Fax:
425-936-1325
Email:
quest@lwsd.org
Website:
lwsd.org/HCP

Accelerated Programs Staff
Heather Sanchez, Director
Diane Durant, Supervisor
Suzanne Hurd, Administrative Secretary
Britt Galen, Accelerated Programs Psychologist

Mailing address:
Lake Washington School District
Accelerated Programs Office
P.O. Box 97039
Redmond, WA 98073

Location:
Lake Washington School District Resource Center
16250 N.E. 74th Street
Redmond, WA 98052

For a complete list of Accelerated Programs staff, please visit the Highly Capable Programs Staff Directory.

Gifted Education Advisory Council (GEAC)
Gifted Education Advisory Council is a parent-led committee that supports the gifted education program in Lake Washington School District.