Highly Capable Program Information

  • Federal Way’s Highly Capable Program is the District-level work we do in identifying scholars who may need additional supports in the classroom through Highly Capable Services.

    Those needs appear not only in assessment scores, but in a variety of academic and social-emotional indicators such as creativity, leadership, critical thinking, and collaboration. Federal Way’s Highly Capable Program strives to look at the whole scholar as part of our commitment to a culturally diverse program that is representative of our district.

    School Board Policy 2190

    School Board Procedures 2190P

Highly Capable Services

  • At the elementary level, services are provided in a cluster model where 3-6 scholar identified for Highly Capable services are clustered together in a homeroom. This allows identified scholars to work with both grade level and like-ability peers and so the teacher can provide individualized and small-group instruction as needed. Each identified scholar also has a Highly Capable Student Learning Plan outlining their academic goal for the year and the specific differentiated supports they will receive. Additionally, we perform universal screening at 2nd grade each year, where we review each scholar in the grade level for possible identification.

    Middle school provides a transition from elementary to high school services with each building having an individual service model (from continuing cluster grouping to introducing advanced programming course options including International Baccalaureate (IB) and Cambridge) while maintaining an accelerated math pathway available at each school.

    At High school, each of our buildings provides advanced programming options such as Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), or Cambridge available to all scholars, including scholars identified for Highly Capable services.

Highly Capable Program Vision

  • In Federal Way Public Schools, we strive to:

    Program Diversity  Recognize the learning differences, developmental milestones, and cognitive/affective characteristics of highly capable scholars, including those from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds, and identify their related academic and social-emotional needs.

    Design appropriate learning and performance modifications for scholars that enhance creativity, acceleration, depth and complexity in academic subject matter and specialized domains.

    Outcomes  Select, adapt, and use a repertoire of evidence-based instructional strategies to advance learning for scholars.

Highly Capable Characteristics

  • Below is a list of characteristics that may be indicators your child may need additional supports in the classroom through Highly Capable services:

    Intellectual Characteristics 

    • Intense absorption in listening, observing or doing
    • Varied interests and likes to spend time beyond the ordinary on things of interest 
    • Self-initiated learner OR nothing is ever good enough and can't finish because it isn't correct 
    • Makes profound observations and asks provocative questions 
    • Excited about discoveries and is eager to tell others 
    • Boldness of ideas; original and unusual; has clever responses 
    • Shows initiative; eager to do new things OR shows little interest in what is to be learned 
    • Learns quickly through experience OR shows reluctance to do some assignments because s/he already "knows" 
    • Retains and uses ideas and information well OR plays around and tests well
    • Resourcefulness; ability to solve problems by clever methods

    Academic Characteristics 

    • High mathematics ability; one to two years above grade level in mathematics 
    • Reads one to two years above grade level 
    • Enjoys reading and reads a lot 
    • High levels of verbal ability; strong language skills; advanced vocabulary 
    • Excellent memory OR good guesser
    • Draws inferences 
    • Enjoys learning 
    • Needs one to two repetitions for mastery

    Creativity Characteristics 

    • Likes to invent new things
    • Imaginative story telling; language rich in imagery 
    • Shows interest and/or ability in fine arts (music, art, drama, dance) 
    • Imagination in thinking 
    • Originality and creativity in thinking 
    • Mature or keen sense of humor; may have difficulty relating to peers due to sophistication of humor 
    • Shows relationships among apparently unrelated ideas; uses analogies OR difficulty staying focused due to random thoughts and ideas 
    • Resourcefulness; ability to solve problems by clever methods; offers unusual, unique, clever responses

    Social/Emotional Characteristics 

    • Shows strong feelings and opinions 
    • Is highly self-critical 
    • Displays leadership ability in peer group 
    • Early onset of idealism and a sense of social justice 
    • Can conceptualize about many emotions he or she hasn't yet experienced 
    • Heightened sensitivity to expectations and feelings of others 
    • Awareness of his or her own differences 
    • Displays non-conforming behavior OR behaves in a way that is unique or different from peers 

Contact Us

  • For immediate assistance, please contact your school

    For district level questions, contact:

    Doug Ouellette
    Director of Highly Capable, Advanced Learning & Categorical Programs