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Middle School Highly Capable Services
The application for highly capable services is now closed.
The highly capable in-person testing window closes on December 17. Online students who met the screening criteria will receive an email the first week of January with assessment information for January exams.
All of the data will be reviewed by the Multi-Disciplinary Selection Committee and families will be notified of eligibility via email in mid-February.
Highly capable services are designed to meet the unique needs of students beyond general education.
For sixth grade students, Middle School Quest consists of one period each of language arts, science, social studies and math. This schedule leaves students two periods for required and elective classes.
For seventh and eighth grade students, Middle School Quest consists of one period each of language arts, social studies and science. Students are placed at the appropriate math level for one other period. This schedule leaves students two periods for required and elective classes.
Middle School Quest emphasizes advanced academic thinking skills and strategies, strong communication and collaboration skills, and an increased awareness of local and global citizenship.
- Students in grades six through eight attend a self-contained core content classroom five days per week with highly capable peers
- Students are provided services at identified middle schools based on neighborhood school boundaries
- Assigned middle school becomes student's primary school
- Services begin at the start of the school year
- Compacting and acceleration of math and reading
- Enrichment/differentiation of social studies, science and writing
- Advanced academic thinking skills and strategies
- Strong communication and collaboration skills
- Integrated learning opportunities
- Curriculum based on Common Core and NAGC (National Association of Gifted Children) standards
- Opportunities to participate in interest-based electives dependent on assigned school offerings
Middle School Quest programs are currently located at:
- Evergreen Middle School, Redmond
- Kamiakin Middle School, Kirkland
- Redmond Middle School, Redmond
- Timberline 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 MSQ placement, please view the feeder pattern:
LWSD offers limited bus transportation for students enrolled in the Middle School Quest programs. For more information on MSQ bus schedules, view the Middle School Quest Bus Schedules.
Cognitive and academic assessments will take place between October 4, 2021 through December 17, 2021 for LWSD students attending in-person school. Assessments will occur during the school day at your child's assigned school. Private/home school students will follow the same timeline, and assessments will take place either at the assigned LWSD school or LWSD Resource Center.
- Information on assessment timelines and for students attending Online School will be updated when available.
- Updates for all applicants will be sent via email.
Students who meet the screening criteria will receive communication from the Accelerated Programs Department about next steps in the eligibility process.
Timeline for 2021-22
- September – October: Screening
Screening emails sent out to all applicants, first graders and outreach families
- October – December: Cognitive and academic testing
- February: Notification of eligibility to families via email
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
- An application in a language other than English
- Assistance uploading documents
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.
The district uses multiple objective criteria (K5HC Kindergarten | K5HC Math and/or K5HC Reading | Pull-out Quest | Full-time Quest | Middle School Quest grades 6-8) to identify students who are among the most highly capable. Private testing results are not accepted.
LWSD has revised the screening process beginning September 2018. All applicants will now participate in district administered academic assessments as part of the multiple objectives for screening. Report card grades will no longer be used to screen out a student from consideration.
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-5HC 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.
- Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT)
- Naglieri Non-Verbal Ability Test (NNAT)
- Iowa Assessments
- FastBridge (Beginning of school year)
- Smarter Balanced Assessment (SBA) (grade 4)
- The CogAT provides a measure of a student’s learned reasoning abilities. Subtests are Verbal, Quantitative and Nonverbal
- It is a norm-referenced test and the national average is the 50th percentile
- Typical threshold of those students identified for services: CogAT Composite SAS between 132-160 (98-99 Age Percentile Rank)
For more information about the CogAT visit: https://www.riversideinsights.com/solutions/cogat?tab=0
The NNAT3 is a nonverbal measure of general ability. The Highly Capable Department uses the NNAT3 to predict student’s cognitive potential, irrespective of their verbal ability, primary language, or time spent in school. The NNAT3 is a 30-minute online test that will be administered during the school day. When used as a screening instrument, it can be administered to entire classrooms, in the classroom, and proctored by the classroom teacher. When used during the assessment process, trained proctors will administer the NNAT3 at a predetermined location and time of day, within the student’s school.
The score obtained from the NNAT3 is called the Naglieri Ability Index, which ranges from 40 to 160 with an average of 100.
Typical threshold of those students identified for services: Age Percentile Rank (APR) of 98th to 99th percentile.
- 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.
- They are norm-refernced nationally standardized tests to allow comparison of each student's performance to that of students across the nation. The national average is the 50th percentile.
- Typical threshold of those students identified for services: Total Reading score at or above 98 percentile and Math score at or above 95 percentile OR Math score at or above 98 percentile and Total Reading score at or above 95 percentile.
For more information about the Iowa tests visit: https://www.riversideinsights.com/
- Typical score range of those students identified for services: Level 4 in SBA ELA and Level 4 in SBA Math
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 based upon a specific criteria related to the screening/testing conditions, or to a misapplication or miscalculation of the scores. Appeals outside of this criteria will not be processed.
- Appeals must be submitted to the Accelerated Programs Office in writing within 10 calendar days of notification of results using the online LWSD Highly Capable Program Appeal Form.
- The decision of the appeal Multi-Disciplinary Selection Committee (MSC) is final.
- If you do not have access to a computer, please contact the Accelerated Programs office at 425-936-1238 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 1. How do I know if my student is a good candidate for the Quest program?
- 2. When is the application period?
- 3. Do Pull-out Students need to apply for Full-time Quest and Middle School Quest?
- 4. How do I get an application?
- 5. Can out-of-district students apply?
- 6. Can we observe Quest classrooms?
- 7. How can I talk with parents of students in the program?
- 8. Are there any screening requirements for testing?
- 9. Can my child still take the assessments for Quest without standardized test scores?
- 10. Does everyone who completes an application get assessed?
- 11. My child is in a private school or is home-schooled. What should we do?
- 12. When are the assessments for highly capable programs?
- 13. How and when will I know if my child meets the screening criteria?
- 14. What if my child is sick and cannot take an assessment on the scheduled date?
- 15. What if we have a family emergency and my child cannot take the test on the scheduled date?
- 16. I had my child privately tested. Can I submit these results with the application?
- 17. Can I appeal the results of the screening or eligibility decisions?
Highly capable services are designed to meet the unique needs of students beyond general education. 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
For more information on traits of highly capable students, see Traits of Giftedness.
The highly capable application is submitted online. 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. If you need assistance uploading required documents, please contact the Accelerated Programs Office.
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, provides parent information and support and maintains a GEAC Facebook page.
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 highly capable 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 four to seven, standardized test scores are a part of the screening and identification process. Private school students should submit report cards and scores for the standardized tests administered at their private school. If the school does not give report cards and/or standardized tests, please submit a letter from your child's school on school letterhead stating that the school does not administer any standardized tests.
For students in kindergarten and through third grade, please upload the following documents when you complete the online application:
- Proof of Residency – Residency Verification Form with two documents listed on the Residency Checklist. These documents must be for the location where the student resides.
- Proof of Age – a copy of your child’s passport or birth certificate
In addition, for students in Grades 4 to 7, please upload the documents listed above when you complete the online application and:
- Standardized test results (such as the SBA or other state assessment or the Iowa Assessment) from the previous school year
- If your school does not give any form of standardized testing such as state testing or the IOWA, please submit a letter from your school on school letterhead, stating that the school does not administer any state or standardized testing to your child.
- Please make sure you have all of the documents assembled before you begin the application. If you have any trouble uploading required documents, please contact the Accelerated Programs Office.
Testing dates for assessments are generally determined and announced before the application window opens.
For the 2021-22 school year, assessment dates will be posted as an update on the Accelerated Programs main page when determined.
Appeals will not be considered for illness. Please email email@example.com 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 makeup date within the assessment window. 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.
Appeals will not be considered for a family emergency. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org before the test begins if your child is going to miss a scheduled test due to a family emergency. Students who are not feeling well on the date of the original test are given one opportunity to test on the makeup date within the assessment window. 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.
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 using the online LWSD Highly Capable Program Appeal Form. If you do not have access to a computer, please contact the Accelerated Programs Office at 425-936-1238 or email email@example.com. Appeals must be based upon a specific criteria related to the screening/testing conditions, or to a misapplication or miscalculation of the scores. Appeals outside of this will not be processed. The decision of the appeal review team is final.
Students who transfer or are returning to Lake Washington School District and were enrolled in a highly capable or gifted program in their previous school may apply to Accelerated Programs as a transfer student. Students must reside in LWSD boundaries and must meet highly capable acceptance criteria. Transfer students are not automatically enrolled in the Highly Capable Programs. Students must be enrolled in the LWSD to apply for services. Call the Accelerated Programs office at 425-936-1238 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about the transfer process.
Transfer application process for students in grades 6 through 8
- Register your student at your neighborhood LWSD shool
- 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 LWSD or 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 Residency Verification Form with two documents listed on the Residency Checklist.
- Submit state assessment results
- Meet the Middle School Quest screening and assessment eligibility criteria for admittance into the program
- Submit a completed Permission to Assess form
- 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.
LWSD Highly Capable Programs Change of Service Request
Current LWSD Highly Capable Students: 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 attending a LWSD school may receive differentiated instruction in their LWSD classroom and will remain identified as highly capable in LWSD regardless of participation. Students opting out of Full-Time Quest may request participation in either Pull-Out Quest or K5HC services. Students opting out of Pull-Out Quest may request participation in K5HC services.
If a family wishes to have their student return to highly capable services, they may submit a Change of Service Request. All Change of Service requests to return to services will be reviewed by the Multidisciplinary Selection Committee.
Deferment of Services: Newly identified highly capable students may opt to defer services from originally offered start date. Students will remain identified as highly capable. Students attending a LWSD school may receive differentiated instruction in their LWSD classroom. After deferring highly capable services, parents who wish to begin previously offered services may complete a Change of Service Request.
Returning LWSD Students: Students who return to LWSD after moving out of district boundaries and who previously received highly capable services in LWSD should complete the Transfer Form found on the Accelerated Programs webpage for review by the Multidisciplinary Selection Committee.
- 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 email@example.com.
Please contact the Accelerated Programs Office by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 425-936-1238 for more information.
Accelerated Programs Staff
Becky Kadrmas, Director
Laura Morgan, Administrative Supervisor
Amanda Olson, Administrative Professional
Allyson Dowden, Administrative Professional
Britt Galen, Accelerated Programs Psychologist
Crystal Batlle, Instructional Specialist
Erin Fleshman, Instructional Specialist
Ryan Smith: Instructional Specialist
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.