High Ability Policy & Procedures


White River Valley Schools

High Ability Policies and Procedures

Updated:  August, 2019



White River Valley Schools follows the recommendations of the Indiana Department of Education to identify students with high abilities. According to the IDOE, Indiana Schools shall identify students with high ability in the general intellectual and specific academic domains and provide them with appropriately differentiated curriculum and instruction core content areas, K-12 (refer to IC-20-36-2-2). The primary focus of the identification process is Language Arts and Mathematics. However, the identification process may be expanded to include science, social studies, and the Arts in some circumstances.


The Indiana Code defines a student with high abilities as one who:

· Performs at, or shows the potential for performing at, an outstanding level of accomplishment in at least one domain when compared to other students of the same age, experience, or environment; and:

· Is characterized by exceptional gifts, talents, motivation, or interests (IC 20-26-1-3). In a typical annual assessment cycle, all students in Kindergarten through grade 9 will be administered the NWEA test and students in grades 6 and 8 will be administered the nationally normed CogAT.


Clear and deliberate steps are then followed to analyze the students’ performance data and to take further actions in the identification process though teacher/administrator input.


There are several pathways available for students to be identified as high ability. Identification tools to be administered: Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) and NWEA testing.

1. On the CogAT, for students who score in 96-99%ile in Verbal (reasoning with language) and/or Quantitative (mathematical reasoning), they are automatically identified as high ability in one or both of the domains.

2. For students who score in the 94-95%ile in either or both areas on the CogAT, classroom teachers will make recommendations to a panel regarding classroom performance.

3. For students who score in the 80-95%ile on the CogAT in one or both Verbal/Quantitative domain(s).   For those students who score in the 96-99%ile on the NWEA, a teacher/administrative panel will review scores and classroom performance for relevant identification.