Selection Process

Final Selection of Students
 

Per WAC 392-170-070, the District’s Multidisciplinary Selection Team (MST) makes the final selection of the most highly capable students for a district’s Highly Capable Program. Members of the MST must include a program teacher, psychologist, certificated administrator responsible for program supervision, and additional professionals the district deems desirable.
 
The assessment process must include multiple objective criteria to identify those students who are among the most highly capable, per WAC 392-170-055. The MST is charged with reviewing student data portfolios to establish thresholds for Highly Capable qualification.
 
The thresholds for Highly Capable qualification are below.

The MST created thresholds specifically for low income and English Language Learners, in accordance with RCW 28A.185.020. The intent of this is for all students, regardless of race, income, culture, special needs, or support program, to be considered within their unique developmental process and content access. These were the only subgroups for which an alternate threshold was created.
 
For further information regarding WACs and RCWs that guide the Highly Capable Special Service Program, visit the webpage of Washington State’s Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction.


Northshore’s Highly Capable (HiCap) Eligibility Process is conducted annually for students in Grades K-12.

At Grades K-7, the Highly Capable Eligibility Process includes two steps – (1) Universal Screening and (2) Assessment. The process for Grades 1-7 is explained in detail below.

  • To learn more about the eligibility process for Kindergarten, please visit the HiCap Department’s website: Kindergarten Qualification.
  • At Grades 8-11, a portfolio review is conducted.  Information about this process can be found on the HiCap website: Eighth Grade and Beyond.


Step 1 – Universal Screening
Universal screening is conducted for all students and is the first step in the two-step process of Northshore’s HiCap Eligibility Process. During screening, at least two data points are collected and analyzed for each student.  The instruments used for screening vary by grade level.  

One common screening instrument used between all grades is the Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test (NNAT3). Additional instruments for each grade level may include Individual Reading Record (IRR), Star Assessments (Star), and/or Smarter Balanced Assessments (SBA). Further information regarding the screening tools used by Northshore, for each grade, is located on the HiCap website: Instruments.

For the 2018-19 school year, the screening instruments used for grades 1 through 7 were as follows:

Grade Level

Screening Instrument

1

NNAT3 or IRR

2

NNAT3 or IRR

3

NNAT3 or STAR

4

NNAT3 or SBA (ELA or Math)

5

NNAT3 or STAR

6

SBA ELA or SBA Math

7

SBA ELA or SBA Math

 


Students move forward to Step 2/Assessment if they meet the threshold set for any one of the screening instruments for that grade. For 2019-2020 students, the screening thresholds are:

Screening Instrument

Threshold (Grades 1-7) for 2019-20 Students

NNAT3

86th percentile and above 

IRR

2 grade levels above current grade level

Star Reading

86th percentile and above

SBA ELA

90th percentile and above

SBA Math

90th percentile and above

 

Step 2 – Assessment
The Iowa Assessments (IOWA) are Northshore’s assessment instrument. IOWA data is used alongside screening data to create a data portfolio for each student. Washington State’s annual achievement test, the SBA, is an additional instrument that the HiCap Department uses within the eligibility process, specifically, collecting ELA and Math content data. 

 

Qualification Decision Process
Final qualification is determined by a student’s data portfolio, which is a collection of scores gathered during Assessment.  Because HiCap students are entering academic-focused programs, standardized academic achievement data such as IOWA and SBA are critical instruments for analysis and eligibility thresholds.

The District’s Multidisciplinary Selection Team (MST) is charged with analyzing the collected assessment data and employing that analysis to set the District’s threshold for eligibility. 

As of May 21, 2019, Northshore’s eligibility thresholds for services beginning 2019-2020 for Grades 1 through 7, as set by the District’s MST and District leadership, are:

Grade

IOWA

OR

SBA

1-7

95th percentile or above

95th percentile or above 

 

Understanding Percentile Ranks: 
A percentile rank (PR) is the percentage of students in the same grade who obtained a lower score than your student. Percentile ranks between 25-74 are in the low average to high average range. A percentile rank above 75 is in the above-average range. 

The percentile cutoff values for the SBA came from the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC). The 95th percentile for each grade level is displayed below. For the complete table, visit their website at this link: SBAC Percentiles.

  95th Percentile
17-18 Grade

ELA

Math
3

2566

2560

4

2612

2603

5

2651

2639

6

2670

2678

7

2701

2702


Per RCW 28A.300.770, HiCap eligibility decisions must be based on multiple pieces of evidence. The IOWA Assessments and Smarter Balanced Assessments served as the primary sources of reading and math achievement data for the overwhelming majority of students. In the rare cases where neither of these data points were available, other sources of data - for instance, Star Reading, iReady, and IRR - were used in conjunction with the student's Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test (NNAT3) score. 
 
If a student did not have an IOWA or SBA score, they could potential qualify for services via these pathways: 

  • An i-Ready score in the 98th percentile
  • A Star score in the 98th percentile and a NNAT3 score in the 95th percentile
  • An IRR level two grades ahead of their current grade and a NNAT3 score in the 95th percentile
  • A Star score in the 98th percentile and a current HiCap Math designation
  • An IRR level two grades ahead of their current grade and a current HiCap Math designation


Next Opportunity for Potential Qualification

The Highly Capable Eligibility Process is required annually by state law. Students’ next opportunity for potential qualification is Winter of the 2019-2020 school year. 

The Highly Capable Program Plan is created each fall. It will identify the instruments to be used at each grade level during the 2019-2020 year, and qualification will be for the 2020-2021 school year. Details about the Plan are released upon review and approval from the State of Washington; this information is subsequently posted on the Highly Capable Department’s website.