Highly Capable Learners
Federal Way Public Schools believes that students who show attributes of highly capable learners need a differentiated 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 are unidentified as potentially gifted learners. Read more »
The The HCP focuses on developing higher-level thinking skills, increasing depth of knowledge and applying learning through critical thinking. Students are given opportunities to practice those skills, through high yield strategies focused on academic advancement, high-expectations, relevance, and rigor. Read more »
Opportunities in Secondary School
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. The Advancement via Individual Determination Program (AVID) is open to students who are the first in their families to prepare for university.
Each HCP Program includes multiple ages and grade levels (multiaged). Students from 2-3 grade levels are grouped together in order to provide a broad range of academic opportunities. The goal is to meet the needs of highly capable children, in a rigorous and supportive environment.[Rather than basing instruction on standards for a specific age group, HCP students can work within their zone of proximal development (ZPD). This means that instruction is based on each student's academic range of abilities in math and reading. When a student is placed in a Highly Capable Program in FWPS, they remain with the same teacher and group of students for 2-3 years (depending on the program model). Eight of our schools have 3-4-5 multiage self-contained HCP Programs; the other fifteen elected to have both 2-3 and 4-5 self-contained Highly Capable Programs. The configuration is based on multiple criteria including administrative and staff decisions and the size of the school.
The selection process occurs each year in the spring. The process begins in March and ends in June, when candidates are notified regarding results. Read more »
The GATE Selection Committee is an important part of the placement process. The committee must be multidisciplinary and include representatives from different facets of the school community. Read more »
The curriculum, instruction, and assessment practices in the HCP Program are built around the FWPS required standards and learning targets. Read more »
The FWPS requires that the selection of students for the HCP Program reflects the diversity of the school (E & A Board Policy). A formal identification process using multiple criteria must be used. Read more »
For more information about the HCP program, please contact Judy Lemmel, K-12 Director for Teaching for Learning.