Highly Capable


The Highly Capable Program provides learning opportunities for qualifying students in grades Kindergarten through 12th. The purpose of the Highly Capable program is to meet the unique needs of students who demonstrate exceptional ability, academic achievement and creativity.


Each year in February, all second grade students in the Ellensburg School District are screened to determine eligibility for further testing and possible placement into the District’s Highly Capable program. No referral is needed for second grade students.

Kindergarten referrals are accepted until December 1st. For other grades, Highly Capable referrals are accepted each year from September through the first week of March.

If you believe your daughter/son is a candidate for the program, please contact your child’s teacher.

To obtain referral forms, ask the secretary in your building, or phone Sue Foy at Special Services, (509) 925-8117. If you have additional questions, please contact Theresa Anderson (K-2 Discovery) or Marlene Hughes (3-5 Challenge) at Mt. Stuart Elementary.

The referral form should be submitted to the district by March 6, 2020.

Referrals will be screened. Permission to test forms, along with the parent and teacher surveys, will be sent out if the student meets the screening criteria.


The Cognitive Abilities Test and the ITBS are the assessments used, along with teacher and parent surveys.

Second grade students are screened using the Cognitive Abilities (CogAT) Screening Form. This Screening Form helps identify academically talented students who will be evaluated further for placement into the Highly Capable Program.

Remember that no multiple choice test is perfect and your child may have gifts that are hard to identify on a test! The CogAT is, however, one of the best and most current tests available.

Please check the district’s website for additional information about the curriculum, policies, and procedures. (Policies and procedures are 2190 and 2190P, under Learning Programs and Supports.)