2019-20 Challenge Program

Anacortes School District's Highly Capable Services

Challenge Program


For questions regarding the Anacortes School District's Highly Capable Challenge Program please contact K.C. Knudson.



Thank you for your interest in the Anacortes Challenge Program

Challenge Testing Schedule

Monday, March 18th Fidalgo Elementary

Tuesday, March 19th Mount Erie Elementary

Wednesday, March 20th Anacortes Middle School

Thursday, March 21st Island View Elementary

Friday, March 22nd Whitney Elementary

The Challenge Testing and Evaluation permission form must be filled out and turned in by Friday, March 8th (form at the end of this newsletter) in order for your child to be assigned a test session.

NEW THIS YEAR----Testing Location: At your student's respective school during the school day. Specific times still TBD.

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

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

No transportation to and from the testing will be necessary as your student will be tested at their school.

There will be no additional Anacortes School District sponsored testing dates provided for the 2019-20 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. A matrix with multiple criteria is built for each student to identify the most highly capable students. 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, March 8th, 2019.

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 2019-2020 Challenge Bloc will involve two class periods each day devoted to the integrated subject areas of United State History, American 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.

American History:

Students will learn, study, and write about American History this year. Initially, we will explore the causes of the Revolution, and then we will move forward through history up to 1900. We will also study this same time period in Washington State History. Some of this study will be in simulation form. The history portion of this bloc class will often provide the backbone for learning in the Literature and Language Arts portions.

Students will undertake a major research project related to a major theme in history and create an interactive presentation of their findings for The National History Day Competition.

American Literature:

As students study history, they will frequently read and analyze literature selections related to the time period 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 and reflect on their reading in various genre-based book projects.

Language Arts:

Writing will be used throughout the subjects, in explanatory, argumentative, and creative styles. 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 Greek roots, grammar, and usage. All of these language arts strands will be integrated as closely as possible with the study of history and literature. Students will study many different methods of writing in the workshop model and will be expected to work through all of the steps of the writing process.

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 online at the district website under the Department of Teaching & Learning Challenge Program: tab:http://www.asd103.org/departments_and_programs/teaching_and_learning/challenge_program___highly_capable_learners_

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 students in need of services.

Academic Achievement Assessments including but not limited to:

· Math Measures of Academic Progress Grades K—8

· Reading Measures of Academic Progress Grades K—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: “Referral Form”

· 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 are used by the Multidisciplinary Selection Committee to determine 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

All Applicants will be notified of eligibility at the end of May 2019.

Appeal Process

Parents/legal guardians have the right to appeal the Multidisciplinary Selection Committee’s decision by submitting a completed appeal form or letter requesting review of the 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 Assistant Superintendent and received by the District Office by June 15th, 2019.

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 ranks 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.

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

Connie Sheridan, Title IX/RCW 28A.640

Director of Human Resources

2200 M Avenue, Anacortes, WA 98221

Phone: 360-503-1221


Fran McCarthy

Section 504 Coordinator and ADA Coordinator

Director of Special Programs and Services

2200 M Avenue, Anacortes, WA 98221


Phone: 360-503-1216

Spanish translation available upon request.

Challenge Program Highly Capable Referral Form Required for Testing

Please click on and complete the Referral Form found below so that we may test and evaluate your child for Highly Capable Services.

This is the only form required for testing and evaluation.

Friends and family members may fill out this form to refer a child for highly capable service evaluation, but a parent or guardian will also need to fill it out to give consent prior to testing. BE SURE TO CLICK SUBMIT AT THE BOTTOM OF THE REFERRAL FORM.