2018-19 Challenge Program

Anacortes School District

Challenge Program Important Dates


January 30th, 6:30-8:30 pm Parent/Guardian Informational Meeting for Prospective Applicants of the Challenge Program

February 9th, 2018 Challenge Referral Forms Due (link here)

February 15th-23rd, 2018 Challenge Testing (specifics below)

Challenge Program Prospective Applicant Informational Meeting

Tuesday, Jan. 30th 2018 at 6:30-8:30pm

Anacortes Middle School Library

RSVPs are enabled for this event.

Thank you for your interest in the Anacortes Challenge Program

Challenge Testing Schedule

Thursday, February 15th (5th grade am & pm)

Tuesday, February 20th (1st & 2nd grades)

Wednesday, February 21st (3rd & 4th grades)

Thursday, February 22nd (6th & 7th grades)

Friday, February 23rd (Kindergarten)

The Challenge Testing and Evaluation permission form must be filled out and turned in by Friday, February 9th (form at the end of this newsletter) in order for your child to be assigned a test session.

Testing Location: West Conference Room in the District Office at the Anacortes Middle School

Goldfish snacks will be provided and children are welcome to bring their own snack as well.

Please be on time. Please make sure your child has had a healthy breakfast and is well rested.

No transportation to/ from testing is provided. Parents are responsible for transporting their children to/ from the testing site.

There will be no additional Anacortes School District sponsored testing dates provided for the 2018-19 season.

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Challenge Program Information

We provide a continuum of services for the most highly capable students in grades K-12.

Highly capable students are students who perform, or show potential for performing at significantly advanced academic levels when compared with others of their age, experiences, or environments. Outstanding abilities are seen with students’ general intellectual aptitudes, specific academic abilities, and creative productivities within a specific domain.

Students selected for this program typically rank in the top one to five percent of students as measured on standardized assessments (95th-99th percentile).

Students who are highly capable may possess, but are not limited to, these learning characteristics:

(1) Capacity to learn with unusual depth of understanding; to retain what has been learned, and to transfer learning to new situations;

(2) Capacity and willingness to deal with increasing levels of abstraction and complexity earlier than their chronological peers;

(3) Creative ability to make unusual connections among ideas and concepts;

(4) Ability to learn quickly in their area(s) of intellectual strength.

(5) Capacity for intense concentration and/or focus.

A multidisciplinary selection committee meets to select the most highly capable students in the district. The district uses multiple objective criteria for the identification of students. We develop a matrix of the multiple objectives for the identification process. During the identification process, we do not use student names.

If you have a child who demonstrates many of the characteristics above, please complete the referral form.

The online referral form is linked to this flyer below. Forms are due by Friday, February 9th, 2018.

Elementary Challenge Program

The Challenge Program provides the most highly capable students in the Anacortes School District with a comprehensive accelerated program to meet the unique social, emotional and academic needs of our students. Our program challenges students to perform one or more years above grade level in Reading, Writing and Math. Through collaborative learning, the use of technology, and the integration of self-selected projects, we nurture the personal and academic interests of each child. Students attend classes with P.E. and Music specialists weekly. Our 3rd-5th graders also learn with a Science specialist three times per week.

We strive to provide an academically rigorous, developmentally appropriate program that prepares students for demanding coursework in the future. Our Challenge Program encourages students to pursue their passions and explore new interests, having fun and making friends along the way.

Middle School Challenge Bloc program

The 2018-2019 Challenge Bloc will involve two class periods each day devoted to the integrated subject areas of world history and culture (Eastern Hemisphere), world literature, and language arts, with an emphasis on writing and reading in all subject areas. Technology and art, as well as many other tools, will be used extensively to enhance learning.

Humanities/World History:

The class will focus on civilizations and their development from 600 A. D. (the birth of Islam) through the Renaissance, and also touch on current civilizations. Through the study of these cultures, we will learn about world religions and geography. With most major units of study, the students will create a comprehensive project that reflects their learning and will be worth a large percent of their grades for that quarter. The humanities portion of this bloc class will often provide a framework for what will be learned in the literature and language arts portions.

Language Arts:

Writing will be used throughout the subjects, mainly for narrative, informational, and argumentative purposes, and students will be asked to write creatively from time to time. Students will study many different methods of writing and will be expected to work through all of the steps of the writing process. In addition, there will be a focus on language mechanics, including vocabulary (from history and literature texts), Latin roots, grammar, usage, and possibly spelling. All of these language arts strands will be integrated as closely as possible with the study of history and literature.


As students study history, they will frequently read and analyze literature selections related to the time period and/or location studied. Literature selections will often provide the models for students’ original writing, both analytical and creative. In addition to an emphasis on writing skills, the literature curriculum will involve the skill strands of reading comprehension and critical thinking skills. Also, students will be expected to read independently quite a bit throughout the week from genres assigned monthly and reflect on their personal reading in projects and journals.

Annual Notification

· Anacortes American announcement for two weeks

· Email to all parents and staff

· Mail to families without email address

· Posted on district website: www.asd103.org

Referral and Permission

· Anyone may refer a student to the program

· Parents must provide written permission to assess their student

· Forms are available at every school, at the district office and on the district website

Assessment Process

A matrix is built with multiple criteria for each student to identify the most highly capable. Students must perform in the top 1—5% in multiple criteria to be considered among the most highly capable.

Academic Achievement Assessments including but not limited to:

· Math Progress for Primary Grades K—1

· Math Measures of Academic Progress Grades 2—8

· Reading Measures of Academic Progress Grades 2—8

· Washington Comprehensive Assessment Program Data Grades 3—8

Intelligence and/or cognitive ability assessments including but not limited to:

· Naglieri Non-Verbal Ability Test Grades K—8

· Torrance Test of Creative Thinking Grades K—8

·Qualitative assessments including but not limited to:

· Parent input: “Things My Child Likes to Do”

· Teacher Observation: “Gifted Rating Scales”

Multidisciplinary Selection Committee

· Challenge Classroom teachers

· Principals

· Psychologist/other qualified practitioners with the training to interpret cognitive and achievement test results

· Certificated administrator/coordinator responsible for the program

Selection of Most Highly Capable

The following guidelines have been developed to assist the Multidisciplinary Selection Committee in determining eligibility. The most highly capable students demonstrate more than one of the following indicators:

· Qualitative data indicative of highly unusual ability or achievement (from a teacher and parent/guardian) may be completed by a designee with principal approval if the parent is unable to complete the form.

· A score at or above the 97th percentile on at least one nationally normed assessment

· A score at or above the 95th percentile in academic achievement in math and reading

· Kindergarteners scoring at the highest levels (98th percentile and above) will be provided differentiation in the kindergarten classroom

All Applicants notified of eligibility at the end of May 2018.

Appeal Process

Parents/legal guardians have the right to appeal the Multidisciplinary Selection Committee’s decision. Individuals appealing the selection committee’s decision must submit a completed appeals form or letter requesting review of selection/placement decision.

The written request must include reasons for the appeal and, to support reconsideration, must provide additional evidence of significantly advanced cognitive or academic levels and/or outstanding intellectual, academic, or creative abilities.

The appeal request and supporting evidence must be submitted to the Director of Teaching and Learning within two weeks of the Multidisciplinary Selection Committee’s decision notification.

Members of the district’s Multidisciplinary Selection Committee will review the student’s file, assessment profile data, and additional evidence provided in the request for appeal.

The decision of the Multidisciplinary Selection Committee may include:

· Upholding the original decision of the Multidisciplinary Selection Committee

· Reversing the decision of the Multidisciplinary Selection Committee

Challenge Program Probation/Exit Procedures

Students may be exited from the Highly Capable Program. Indicators that may suggest exiting include but are not limited to:

  • Student no longer ranking in the top1%-5% in multiple criteria
  • Student no longer exhibits the learning characteristics of a highly capable student
  • Student struggles with the pace of the class

Step 1: Teacher conferences with the parents and explains observations and/or data.

Step 2: Teacher explains what information will be collected during a specific time frame, including assessment data.

Step 3: A second teacher/parent conference is held to discuss information identified in step 2.

Step 4: Teacher recommends student remains, exits, or retests and be reconsidered by the multidisciplinary committee.

Step 5: If parents disagree with the teacher recommendation, the parents may request a review through the multidisciplinary selection process. The Multidisciplinary Selection Committee will determine if the student is most highly capable.

The Multidisciplinary Selection Committee may request additional evidence of students capabilities and/or willingness to participate in the program.

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Notice of Equal Opportunity and Non-Discrimination

The Anacortes School District does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or age in its programs or activities and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups. The Anacortes School District offers classes in many careers and technical education program areas under its open admissions policy. Specifically, the Anacortes School District offers admissions based on selective criteria in the Challenge Program, some competitive athletics, etc. through a separate application process that is non-discriminatory. For more information about the application process and particular course offerings, contact the school or district office at (360) 293-1200. English language proficiency is not an element of the admissions and participation requirements for career and technical education classes. This notification can be provided in the appropriate language for communities of national origin by contacting (360) 293-2166.

Anacortes School District complies with all federal and Washington State rules and regulations and does not discriminate in any programs or activities on the basis of sex, race, creed, religion, color, national origin, age, veteran or military status, sexual orientation, gender expression or identity, disability, or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups. The following employees have been designated to handle questions and complaints of alleged discrimination (see below).

Anacortes School District is a drug, alcohol, and tobacco-free workplace. Anacortes School District is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Inquiries regarding compliance and/or grievance procedures may be directed to:

Cynthia Simonsen, Title IX/RCW 28A.640

Director of Teaching and Learning

2200 M Avenue, Anacortes, WA 98221

Phone: 360-293-1214


Connie Martin

Section 504 Coordinator and ADA Coordinator

Director of Special Programs and Services

2200 M Avenue, Anacortes, WA 98221


Phone: 360-293-1216

Challenge Program Forms Needed for Testing

Please complete the two forms found below.

Challenge Referral Form: "Things My Child Likes to Do"

Click here to print this form. Please submit this form to Carrie King at cking@asd103.org or mail to Carrie King 2200 M Avenue Anacortes, WA 98221. Questions? 360-293-1212