Volunteers with the Junior Achievement program taught third-graders at Margaret Mead Elementary School how a city functions.
Elementary Highly Capable Program Services
Updated information on Nomination, Screening, Assessment and Placement for Highly Capable Programs will be available by September 4, 2018.
Lake Washington School District (LWSD) offers two different Quest programs for students in grades two through five. The full-time program places students in a Quest classroom full-time, five days a week, while the enrichment pull-out program enables students to attend a Quest pull-out classroom one day a week. LWSD also offers school-based Kindergarten - 3rd Grade Highly Capable (K-3HC) services for students in those grades.
Full-time Quest Highly Capable Services
The Full-time Quest program provides our most highly capable students the opportunity to engage in rigorous, challenging, integrated, and enriched curriculum with their academic peers. The program is designed to meet the needs of students who have been identified as having exceptional cognitive and academic ability by accelerating and enriching the district curriculum. Students are enrolled in a self-contained classroom all day, five days a week. Full-time Quest classes are multi-aged with a 2nd/3rd grade or 4th/5th grade grouping of students. 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. In addition to the accelerated district curriculum, the Full-time Quest program emphasizes advanced academic thinking skills and strategies, strong communication and collaboration skills, and an increased awareness of local and global citizenship.
2018-19 Full-time Quest programs are located at:
- Alcott Elementary, Redmond
- Bell Elementary, Kirkland
- Blackwell Elementary, Sammamish
- Clara Barton Elementary, Redmond
- Einstein Elementary, Redmond
- Ella Baker Elementary, Redmond
- McAuliffe Elementary, Sammamish
- Redmond Elementary, Redmond
- Rosa Parks Elementary, Redmond
- Smith Elementary, Sammamish
- Thoreau Elementary, Kirkland
The district assigns a student to attend a Full-time Quest school based on his/her home address. School assignment is subject to change. For more information about Full-time Quest placement, view the 2018-19 Elementary Quest School Assignment Chart.
District transportation is available for elementary students from the neighborhood home school to and from the Quest school site. Parents/guardians are responsible for arranging transportation to and from the neighborhood home school. For more information, view the Full-time Quest bus schedules.
Pull-out Quest Highly Capable Services
The Pull-out Quest program provides highly capable students the opportunity to engage in challenging, integrated, and enriched project-based learning with their academic peers. The program is designed to meet the needs of students who have been identified as having exceptional cognitive and academic ability by enriching their elementary curriculum. Students attend their home school four days a week and the Pull-out classroom one day a week.
The Pull-out program focuses on project-based learning with an emphasis on integrated social studies and science themes. Projects focus on literacy and math, using higher level thinking skills, in-depth learning, collaboration and cooperation, and presentation skills.
2018-19 Pull-out Quest programs are located at:
- McAuliffe Elementary, Sammamish
- Thoreau Elementary, Kirkland
- Wilder Elementary, Woodinville
The district assigns a student to attend a Pull-out Quest school based on his/her home school. School assignment is subject to change. For more information on Quest school placement, view the 2018-19 Elementary Quest School Assignment Chart.
Fee-based transportation is available for Pull-out Quest students from the neighborhood home school to and from the Quest school site. Parents/guardians are responsible for arranging transportation to and from the neighborhood home school. View the Pull-out Quest Bus Schedules.
For additional information on the Pull-out Quest program, visit
Kindergarten – 3rd Grade Highly Capable (K-3HC) Services
K-3HC Services provide highly capable students in kindergarten to third grade school based enrichment in reading and/or math. K-3HC Facilitator/Teachers meet with students in small groups for 30 minutes on a weekly basis in the student’s neighborhood school. K-3HC services focus on critical thinking and reasoning, creativity, interpersonal relationships and leadership skills. K-3HC Teacher/Facilitators also provide resources and strategies to the student’s classroom teacher to assist the teacher with accelerating and differentiating instruction.
Application process during 2017-18 for services beginning in September 2018. All dates are subject to change.
- September 25, 2017: Online Applications Open.
- September 25, 2017: Parent Information Night for parents of current students in grades 1 through 4. Note: Both sessions are the same. Attendance is not required in order to apply.
4:30-6 p.m. or 7-8:30 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.)
- November 6-16, 2017: Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) Screening Form for LWSD students in first grade
- November 18, 2017: Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) Screening Form for private/home-schooled students in first grade
- Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) Full CogAT
- 1st grade: January 13, 2018
- 2nd grade: November 18, 2017
- 3rd-4th grade: December 2, 2017
- Iowa Assessments
- 1st grade: February 3, 2018
- 2nd-3rd grade: January 20, 2018
- 4th grade: December 9, 2017
- Spring 2018: Notification of Placement
- Fall 2018: Services Begin
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.
|Exam, Regular Test Date||Grade(s)||Make-up Date|
|CogAT Screening Form, November 18, 2017||1||November 28, 2017|
|CogAT Full Exam, November 18, 2017||2||December 12, 2017|
|CogAT Full Exam, December 2, 2017||3 & 4||December 12, 2017|
|CogAT Full Exam, January 13, 2018||1||January 23, 2018|
|IOWA, December 9, 2017||4||January 23, 2018|
|IOWA, January 20, 2018||2 & 3||February 13, 2018|
|IOWA, February 3, 2018||1||February 13, 2018|
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 two through four, and parents of first grade students who attend private school or who are home-schooled, 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.
Parents of first grade students who attend Lake Washington School District schools do not need to apply for second grade Highly Capable programs in October. All LWSD first grade students take the CogAT Screening Form at their home school. Students who meet the screening criteria will be invited in December to complete the online application.
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.
The district uses multiple objective criteria to identify students who are among the most highly capable. Private testing results are not accepted.
Students are screened using the CogAT Screening Form. The typical score range to qualify for further assessment is Composite SAS 126-160 (95-99 Age Percentile Rank) on the CogAT Screening Form. The CogAT provides a measure of a student’s verbal, quantitative and nonverbal learned reasoning abilities.
Students are screened using end-of-year report card grades and end-of-year DIBELS from the previous year. The typical report card range to qualify for further assessment is between a 3.5 and a 4.0 mean in all strands of reading and between a 3.5 and 4.0 mean in all strands of math. Students are expected to score at standard or above on DIBELS.
Students are screened using end-of-year report card grades and Smarter Balance Assessment (SBA) results from the previous year. The typical report card range to qualify for further assessment is between a 3.5 and a 4.0 mean in all strands of reading and between a 3.5 and a 4.0 mean in all strands of math. Students are expected to score at Level 4 in SBA ELA and in SBA Math (or equivalent for private school students and for students who did not attend LWSD schools in 2016-17).
Applicants who meet screening criteria will be assessed using multiple objective criteria:
- Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) (grades 1 to 4):
- Iowa Assessments (grades 1 to 4):
- DIBELS (End of previous school year) (grades 1 to 3)
- Report Card (End of previous school year) (grades 2 to 4)
- Smarter Balanced Assessment (SBA) (grade 4)
- Typical score range of those students identified for services:
- K-3HC: Two subtest scores between SAS 132-160 (98-99 Age Percentile Rank) OR CogAT Composite SAS between 132-160 (98-99 Age Percentile Rank)
- Pull-out Quest: Two subtest scores between SAS 132-160 (98-99 Age Percentile Rank) OR CogAT Composite SAS between 132-160 (98-99 Age Percentile Rank)
- Full-time Quest: 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|
View information on CogAT and Iowa Assessment Forms and Levels.
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
- K-3HC: Total Reading score at or above 98% and Math score at or above 95% OR Math score at or above 98% and Total Reading score at or above 95%
- Pull-out Quest: Total Reading score at or above 98% and Math score at or above 95% OR Math score at or above 98% and Total Reading score at or above 95%
- Full-time Quest: 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.
- Typical score range of those students identified for services: Level 4 in SBA ELA and Level 4 in SBA Math
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. No weights are assigned to data points. Private testing results are not accepted.
Students who are identified for highly capable services will be offered placement in one of the following services:
- K-3HC Math and/or K-3HC Reading
- Pull-out Quest
- Full-time Quest
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.
- 1. What is the Quest program?
- 2. What are K-3HC school-based services?
- 3. How do I know if my student is a good candidate for the elementary Quest program?
- 4. When is the application period?
- 5. Do Pull-out Students need to apply for Full-time Quest and Middle School Quest?
- 6. How do I get an application?
- 7. Can out-of-district students apply?
- 8. Can we observe Quest/K-3HC classrooms?
- 9. How can I talk with parents of students in the program?
- 10. Does LWSD offer Quest in the high schools?
- 11. Are there any screening requirements for testing?
- 12. Can my child still take the assessments for Quest without report card grades and standardized test scores?
- 13. Does everyone who completes an application and turns it in along with report card grades get assessed?
- 14. My child is in a private school. What should we do?
- 15. What documents do I need to provide for proof of residency in LWSD?
- 16. When are the assessments for Quest?
- 17. How and when will I know if my child meets the screening criteria?
- 18. What if my child is sick and cannot take the CogAT or Iowa Assessments on the scheduled date?
- 19. What if we have a family emergency and my child cannot take the test on the scheduled date?
- 20. I had my child privately tested. Can I submit these results with the application?
- 21. Can I appeal the results of the screening or eligibility decisions?
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.
Kindergarten-3rd Grade Highly Capable (K-3HC) Services support the most highly capable students in kindergarten through third grade. This program provides students enrichment in reading and/or math via 30 minute weekly small group sessions. General education teachers also receive support to enhance in-class differentiation for highly capable and high ability students.
During the first half of the 2017-18 school year, highly capable kindergarten students will be identified in reading and/or math. Services will begin sometime during the second half of the year.
Services will take place in the student’s neighborhood school during the regular school day. The K-3HC Facilitator/Teachers will provide resources and strategies to the student's classroom teacher to assist the teacher with accelerating instruction. K-3HC Facilitator/Teachers will provide math and/or reading enrichment services.A student who participates in the K-3HC program in kindergarten will continue services through fifth grade unless the student qualifies for another highly capable program, such as Pull-out Quest or Full-time Quest.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Appeals will not be considered for illness. Please email firstname.lastname@example.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.
Please email email@example.com 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.
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.
Students who were enrolled in a highly capable or gifted program in their previous school may apply to Quest when they transfer into LWSD. Transfer students are not automatically enrolled in the 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 1 through 5
- 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, if applicable
- Meet the Quest screening and assessment eligibility criteria for admittance into the program
- 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 1 through 5 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, he/she can apply and go through the district identification process in the fall.
LWSD Highly Capable Programs Change of Service Request
Parents of students participating in LWSD highly capable services may opt to withdraw from highly capable services at any time by submitting the Change of Service Request to the Accelerated Programs Office. Students will remain identified as highly capable. Students attending a LWSD school may receive differentiated instruction in their LWSD classroom. Students opting out of Full-time Quest may request participation in either Pull-out Quest or K-5HC services. Students opting out of Pull-out Quest may request participation in K-5HC services.
If parents wish to have their student return to highly capable services, they may submit a Change of Service Request. Students who have been away from highly capable services for less than 12 calendar months may resume the same level of highly capable services. For an absence of longer than 12 calendar months, parents may submit a written request to resume highly capable services and attach report card grades and evidence that the student has participated in accelerated learning; the Multidisciplinary Selection Committee will consider the request.
Parents of newly identified highly capable students may opt to decline services. Students will remain identified as highly capable. Students attending a LWSD school may receive differentiated instruction in their LWSD classroom. After declining highly capable services, parents who wish to begin previously offered services may complete a Change of Service Request. Students wishing to begin services within 12 calendar months of the original start date will be scheduled for the same level of service. Requests for highly capable services starting more than 12 calendar months after the original start date must be reviewed by the Multidisciplinary Selection Committee; submit a Change of Service Request along with report card data and documentation showing accelerated learning for review.
- Students must reside in LWSD boundaries to participate in LWSD highly capable services.
- School assignment and classroom placement are subject to change.
- Change of Service Requests (with any supplemental documentation) should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please contact the Accelerated Programs Office by email at email@example.com or by phone at 425-936-1238 for more information.
Lake Washington School District
Accelerated Programs Office
P.O. Box 97039
Redmond, WA 98073
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.