High Ability

Mission Statement:

The mission of the Twin Lakes School Corporation is to provide learning opportunities within a safe and enriching environment that will prepare our students to accept their responsibilities as productive citizens and to be prepared for lifelong learning.

In regard to the High Ability Program we believe:

  • Some students perform at or show the potential to perform at an outstanding level of accomplishment in the core academic areas of language arts and mathematics

  • These students are found in all socio-economic, cultural, and ethnic backgrounds.

  • We must identify such students through systematic, on-going procedures.

  • Our high ability program will provide a supportive learning climate that will enrich and maximize student academic potential.

Definition of High Ability Students

Twin Lakes defines a high ability student as one who performs at, or shows the potential for performing at, an outstanding level of academic accomplishments in math, language arts or both when compared to other students of the same age.

Multifaceted Student Assessment

Twin Lakes School Corporation has a comprehensive student assessment plan which includes measures of aptitude or potential, achievement or performance and qualitative indicators, such as teacher recommendations. Students are considered each year for high ability designation.

Elementary, K-5

For young children, measures of aptitude or potential are very important. Children coming from impoverished or second language backgrounds may not have had enriching experiences prior to attending school; therefore, their scores on achievement tests may be low, despite their advanced potential.  Measures of aptitude that are less dependent on experiences and more dependent on reasoning will better enable us to find students with advanced potential.  Therefore, students’ aptitudes are measured at three different grade levels to record patterns and accuracy of scores. The CogAT is given to every kindergarten student and select second and fourth grade students.

Norm –Referenced achievement measures or other evidence of ability to perform above grade level are also given.  In grades K-2 the STAR Early Literacy test is given. Grades 2-5 use I-Ready ELA data and Math data.

In addition, qualitative indicators provide additional valuable information for high ability identification.  Kindergarten and first grade teachers rate the top 25% of their students using a checklist for identifying gifted students. Teachers in grades K-5 have the opportunity to nominate students who they feel should be considered for high ability placement near the end of each school year.  

A committee recommends kindergarten students for purposeful placement within first grade classes.  Students entering second through fifth grades are recommended for high ability identification and for placement in the cluster program. 

Middle School, 6-8

Counselors, teachers, and students use student files, ILEARN, PIVOT and CogAT scores, grades, and teacher recommendations to recommend placement in accelerated reading, language arts, math, and algebra.

High School

At the high school level students begin to take a more active role in self-selecting courses.  Counselors use student files, previous test scores and other relevant information to recommend placement in honors and AP courses. 

Curriculum and Instruction

Kindergarten and 1st Grade – Purposeful Placement

The continuum of options within the general education classroom include:

  • General classroom enrichment

  • Discovery, inquiry, and problem based learning

  • Enrichment Clusters of inquiry

  • Differentiation

  • Integrated Technology


Grades 2-5 – Cluster grouping

Options within grades 2-5 include:

  • Enrichment clusters of inquiry

  • Differentiation

  • Integrated Technology

  • High levels of abstract thinking

  • Faster pace of instruction for basic skills and standards

  • Acceleration

Middle School, grades 6-8

The middle school program consists of the following:

  • Cluster grouped for Language Arts and Math and differentiated within the classroom in 6th and 7th grades

  • Accelerated Language Arts and Algebra in the 8th grade

Within these classes teachers strive to provide:

  • Higher levels of abstraction earlier

  • Longer periods of work time for in-depth study

  • Faster pace of instruction

  • Exposure to multiple viewpoints and many subject areas

  • Concept-based curriculum with interdisciplinary connections

High School, grades 9-12

Honors and AP classes include:

9th Grade

  • Honors Biology

  • Honors Geometry

  • Honors English

  • AP Computer Science Principles

10th Grade

  • AP World History

  • Pre AP English 10

  • Honors Algebra II

  • Honors Chemistry

  • Honors Geometry

  • Honors Earth & Space

  • AP Computer Science Principles

11th Grade

  • AP US History

  • AP Spanish

  • AP English Language & Composition

  • AP Statistic

  • AP Psychology

  • Honors Chemistry

  • Honors Integrated Chemistry/Physics

  • AP Chemistry

  • Honors Earth & Space

  • AP Computer Science Principles

12th Grade  

  • AP Spanish Language & Culture

  • AP Computer Science Principles

  • AP English Lit & Composition

  • AP Biology

  • AP Calculus AB

  • AP Statistics

  • AP Psychology

  • AP Chemistry

  • AP Micro Economics

  • Advance Speech & Communication

  • ITCC English

  • ITT Sociology

  • AP Government & Politics

  • Honors Earth and Space

  • AP French

  • ITCC Math

Dual credit classes are available.

Diplomas offered include Academic Honors, Technical Honors

Appeals Procedure

An appeal process is in place in the event the identification team does not place a child in services and a teacher, parent, or other person close to the child challenges this decision.  The following steps clarify the appeal process:

  1. The petitioner contacts the building principal who provides an appeal request form.

  2. Appeal request form is completed and delivered to the high ability coordinator.

  3. Coordinator reviews student profile and request alternative assessments which may include:

    • Alternative aptitude measure

    • Approved classroom work samples

  4. The identification team reconvenes to consider new data.  This meeting may include an interview with the student and/or petitioners.

  5. Identification team reports results to coordinator.

  6. Coordinator reports results to petitioner.

Exit Procedure

If a student, parent, or teacher believes a high ability placement for services is no longer appropriate, he or she may:

  1. Arrange a conference with the parties involved, including the parent and the teacher providing services.  This conference may be a telephone conference.

  2. Parent, student, and teacher examine issues of concern and discuss interventions that may be implemented.

  3. Participants agree on a probationary period not less than one semester to implement interventions.

  4. At the end of the probationary period, the parent, student and teacher meet to review progress and determine whether or not the student should exit services.

  5. If an exit is deemed appropriate, the parent signs permission to “de-flag” student for high ability placement and services.

  6. Parent permission for exit and documentation of meetings/ interventions are sent to the high ability coordinator.

  7. High ability coordinator removes high ability flag from student database.

Professional Development

·        Assessments/Identification

·        Appropriate curriculum and instruction

·        Guidance and counseling

Twin Lakes Multifaceted High Ability Identification Plan


Grade Levels


Selection Procedure

Norm –Referenced Aptitude Measures - Cognitive Abilities Test





2nd and 4th


 New Students in 2nd and 4th







120 (SAS) score

95%tile or higher (using local norms and with consideration of the standard error of measure)

 95%tile with teacher recommendation





Records review of past test scores – if available

95%tile or higher (using local norms and with consideration of the standard error of measure)


95%tile with teacher recommendation


High School


Use AP Potential tool to generate list of students likely to earn 3, 4, 5 on AP exams

Norm-Referenced Achievement Measure – or other evidence of ability to perform above grade level











STAR Early Literacy



I-Ready ELA


90% Percentile Rank/Spring
See STAR Cut Scores Below


Above Grade Level (GREEN) 




Above Proficiency in ELA and/or Math

See ILEARN Cut Scores Below


High School

AP Course Assessment


95% or Higher

Score of 4 or 5

Qualitative Indicators


High School

Teacher or Self Nomination
Parent/Teacher SIGS (Scales for Identifying high ability Students.


Supporting evidence