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Highly Capable Learners

FWPS Highly Capable Program

HCP Office Hours: Monday-Friday: 8am – 4pm

Address: Educational Service Center; 33330 8th Ave South, Federal Way, WA 98003

HCP Director: Liz Drake

HCP Secretary: Angie Rabina

2014-2015 HCP contact list


Liz Drake
Director of HCP, Advanced Programs, and GEAR UP

liz pic

Liz took over the role of Highly Capable Program Director at the beginning of August.  She has worked in the Federal Way School District for five years, most recently as principal of Thomas Jefferson High School.  Her goal is to work with all key stakeholders in Federal Way to further develop and refine the Highly Capable Program K-12 in the Federal Way School District.

Her priorities are to create seamless communication between our state, district, schools, and families so that everyone is aware of the services and processes that exist throughout the Federal Way School District.  Liz is forming an Advisory Committee with parents, teachers, principals, and district administration.  Key topics such as assessment, teaching strategies, and devising effective ways of monitoring student success will be topics of discussion.

Liz has visited every elementary school seeing first-hand Highly Capable classrooms and gaining an understanding of the strategies used and the learning taking place.  She is also visiting secondary schools to gain an understanding of the advanced programs available for identified Highly Capable students.


Highly Capable Program Brochure

Highly Capable Program Policy 2190P

Read about HCP Instructional Strategies

Federal Way Public Schools believes that students who show the attributes of highly capable learners need a learning environment that provides acceleration, rigor, and differentiation. The district concurs with the rich research regarding the multitudes of children of poverty and cultural diversity who have been or can be unidentified as potentially gifted learners.

The FWPS Highly Capable Program is transitioning into a K-12 service model.  A self-contained Highly Capable Program (HCP) class is offered in each elementary school in FWPS.  The Director of the HCP Program is Liz Drake. You can contact her at Questions about individual school programs should be addressed to the school principal or the HCP teacher at that school.

The HCP provides creative and cognitive enrichment in reading, writing, math, science, social studies, and the arts. Students are encouraged to engage in curriculum that enhances their abilities and interests. In order for this to be effective, teachers need to know students well. Therefore, the district provides a multi-age program model that includes self-contained classes for grades 2-3, 4-5 and 3-4-5. The HCP classroom focuses on the development of higher-level thinking skills for students. Cognitive skills taught include:  finding evidence, cause and effect, goal setting, main idea, classifying, predicting, inferring, comparing and contrasting, sequencing, summarizing, detecting bias, determining importance, fact and opinion, finding patterns, observing, problem solving, multiple points of view, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation.

Opportunities in Secondary School

For more information regarding Advanced Programs, please contact Liz Drake or Diana Graddon.

The Highly Capable Program includes services for identified students K-12. FWPS provides academic challenges through a variety of advanced secondary programs that are available in both middle and high schools. Students who completed the elementary Highly Capable Program have opportunities to participate in Advanced Placement classes, International Baccalaureate courses, and the Cambridge Preparatory program.

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