Monroe County Community School Corporation

Engage. Empower. Educate.



 

Top of Form

 

MCCSC

HIGH ABILITY IDENTIFICATION AND PROGRAMS



Throughout the MCCSC, students are provided with differentiated instruction and opportunities for acceleration. These opportunities are not restricted to students who are formally identified as high ability. Individual teachers and building principals work to develop the most appropriate educational experience possible for each student, including flexible ability grouping in math and language arts and inquiry based learning. For students in grade four to eight who demonstrate exceptional academic and intellectual ability, the MCCSC offers the Accelerated Learning Program for Students or ALPS.

 

Elementary School High Ability Services

The Accelerated Learning Program for Students (ALPS) offers academically and intellectually identified high ability fourth, fifth, and sixth grade students the opportunity to participate in academic activities and experiences that are uniquely designed to provide the challenge and rigor that they require. ALPS students complete grade-level requirements as well as appropriate enrichment and acceleration activities in all areas of the curriculum. ALPS students attend art, music, and physical education classes, and they have lunch and recess periods with their age-level peers. They receive instruction in English/Language Arts, mathematics, science, and social studies in the self-contained ALPS classes. In their classes, ALPS students routinely engage in thematic reading and writing activities, are required to use critical thinking skills, and are encouraged to develop as independent, self-directed learners.

 

The MCCSC elementary school Accelerated Learning Program for Students (ALPS) serves the entire MCCSC district through one self-contained class at each grade level, 4-6, and is housed at University Elementary School. Transportation is provided.

 

The challenges of the ALPS program require both students and their families to make a commitment of time and energy. Students and families who elect to participate in the program agree to work together to ensure that the student:

  • Produces work of high quality and submitted on time
  • Actively and meaningfully participates in class
  • Participates for a full academic year in the assigned placement
  • A continuous desire to work at a level above and beyond what is explicitly taught in the

     classroom

In addition to the self-contained ALPS classes, individual elementary schools offer program options for identified high ability students. These options may include grade level high ability cluster groups, subject grade skipping, flexible ability grouping for math and language arts, and inquiry based instruction.

 

 

Consideration for Elementary School ALPS and Other High Ability Services

Early in each academic year, the In View cognitive abilities assessment is administered to all third grade students in the MCCSC. Using the results of this test, qualifying students will take the NWEA math and/or reading achievement assessments. Based on In View and NWEA assessment scores, students scoring in the 9th stanine, 96-99% on both verbal and nonverbal subtests, will be mailed an application packet inviting them to apply for the elementary ALPS program. The qualifying scores may be on the In View or NWEA or a combination of both. If your student is not formally identified as general intellectual high ability and not sent an elementary ALPS application, they may also apply for placement in the ALPS program. Families interested in this opportunity should speak with their child’s teachers or principal and may also contact the Office of High Ability Education. A specific identification/application timeline will be provided each school year.

 

Identification for Elementary School ALPS

A student's potential to benefit from participation in the ALPS program is assessed through a variety of measures which are collected in individual application portfolios. Portfolios are stored by the Office of High Ability Education for each student applicant. In addition to standardized test scores, the Coordinator of High Ability Education solicits the following to be included in the student’s portfolio:

Applicant provides:

  • A completed Parent Referral Form;
  • One example of the student’s written work that he or she selects.

School provides:

  • Student writing sample from in class writing prompt;
  • Teacher Referral Form from the student’s third grade teacher(s);
  • Copies of report cards for first semester of third grade;
  • NWEA Student Report

 

Selection of Elementary School ALPS Students

Members of the Elementary Identification Committee review each student portfolio to identify students who are most likely to benefit from participation in the ALPS program in elementary school. Participation in the elementary ALPS program requires that a student be formally identified as general intellectual high ability by the identification committee. Members of the identification committee are experienced and licensed in gifted/talented education. Historically, students placed in the elementary ALPS self-contained classes have achievement and cognitive verbal and nonverbal test scores in the 9th stanine, 96-99 percentiles.

 

In addition to the self-contained ALPS classes, individual elementary schools offer program options for identified high ability students. These options may include grade level high ability cluster groups, subject grade skipping, flexible ability grouping for math and language arts, and inquiry based instruction.

A timeline for the elementary high ability identification process is provided each school year and will include parent meeting dates, the deadline for submission of application materials, and deadline for submitting appeals of placement recommendations. Notification of placement decisions will be sent to parents and schools.

Alternative Admission to Elementary School ALPS

Elementary school students who are new to the MCCSC or those who did not apply, did not qualify, or opted not to accept an invitation to the ALPS program at the end of third grade can submit a portfolio for review by the Identification Committee during their fourth, fifth, and sixth grade years. Alternative admission applications are considered by the Identification Committee at the end of the current school year. Placement is offered based on the recommendations of the Identification Committee.

 

Middle School High Ability Services

All MCCSC middle schools offer self-contained ALPS classes, advanced language arts instruction, and advanced math classes (algebra and geometry) for students formally identified as high ability. The Accelerated Learning Program for Students (ALPS) offers academically and intellectually identified high ability middle school students the opportunity to participate in an advanced block of classes (science, language arts, and humanities/social studies) in both grades seven and eight. Students in all high ability classes can expect an enriched and accelerated curriculum as well as assignments that are more rigorous. Placement in advanced math classes is a separate identification process based on a student’s current math level and achievement that takes place in May. Middle school high ability students also enroll in additional classes to meet the curricular requirements of the State of Indiana.

 

Identification for Middle School ALPS or High Ability Language Arts Classes

Early in each academic year, the In View cognitive abilities assessment is administered to all sixth grade students in the MCCSC. Using the results of this test, qualifying students will take the NWEA math and/or reading achievement assessments. Based on In View and NWEA assessment scores, students scoring in the 9th stanine, 96-99%, on both verbal and nonverbal subtests will be sent a letter offering placement in the middle school ALPS program. Students only scoring in the 9th stanine, 96-99%, on verbal/reading subtests will be offered middle school high ability instruction in English/Language Arts. The qualifying score may be on the In View, NWEA, or a combination of both. A specific identification/application timeline will be provided each school year, including appeals for placement recommendations. No application materials are required for students recommended for high ability services based on the test scores mentioned above, unless placement recommendations are being appealed.

 

The challenges of middle school high ability classes require both students and their families to make a commitment of time and energy. Students and families who elect to participate in high ability classes agree to work together to ensure that the student:

  • Participates for a full academic year in the assigned placement
  • Class work and assignments will be of high quality and submitted on time
  • Class participation will be active and appropriate and students will come prepared to class
  • A minimum  grade of “B” will be maintained in each high ability class

If your student is not formally identified as general intellectual high ability (ALPS program) or high ability language arts based on the assessments listed above, they may apply for placement in high ability English language arts classes and/or the middle school ALPS program. Families interested in this opportunity should speak with their child’s teachers or principal or may also contact the Office of High Ability Education.

 

Portfolios are stored by the Office of High Ability Education for each student applicant. In addition to standardized test scores, the Coordinator of High Ability Education solicits the following to be included in the student’s portfolio:

Applicant Provides:

·       Completed Parent Referral Form;

·       One example of the student’s writing that he or she selects.

School Provides:

·       A copy of the student’s writing prompt from the ISTEP+ test and ISTEP Student Report;

·       Student NWEA Report;

·       Teacher Referral Forms from the student’s sixth grade teacher(s);

·       Copies of report cards for first semester of grade six.

 

Members of the Middle School Identification Committee will review applying student portfolios to identify students who may benefit from participation in middle school high ability services, including advanced English/Language Arts instruction and the middle school ALPS program. Members of the identification committee are experienced and licensed in gifted/talented education. A timeline for the middle school high ability identification process will include parent meeting dates, the deadline for submission of application materials, and the deadline for submitting appeals for placement recommendations. Notification of placement decisions will be sent to parents and schools.

 

Alternative Admission to Middle School ALPS

Middle school students who are new to the MCCSC or those who did not apply, did not qualify, or opted not to accept an invitation to the ALPS program at the end of sixth grade can, at the recommendation of their counselors and teachers, submit a portfolio for review by the Identification Committee for their seventh and eighth grade years. Alternative admission applications are considered by the Identification Committee prior to the end of first semester of seventh or eighth grade or the end of seventh grade. Placement is offered based on the recommendations of the Identification Committee.

 

Middle School Advanced Mathematics Classes

The middle school math placement process is a separate identification process that will take place in May. All MCCSC middle schools offer algebra and geometry classes for identified high ability students. Advanced math placements are based on a student’s current math level and achievement. Students in the middle school algebra and geometry classes may elect to have the grades from these courses placed on their high school transcript and be included in the calculation of the high school grade-point average. Students will be given a high school credit option form to complete at the end of second semester of eighth grade.

 

High Ability Options for High School Students

High ability classes are self-selected at the high school level and available to any student who meets the course pre-requisites. Bloomington High School North, Bloomington High School South, and The Academy of Science and Entrepreneurship offer honors level classes, Advanced Placement courses, and Advanced College Project courses in many content areas. The high schools also provide release time for students to attend classes on the Indiana University and Ivy Tech campuses.

 

For More Information

A student may self-nominate or a parent or teacher may nominate a student for high ability identification. For information about high ability identification, contact the guidance department or a building administrator. You may also contact the Office of High Ability Education at (812) 330-7700, ext. 51029; kwilliam@mccsc.edu.

 

 

  

Guiding Principles of High Ability Education in MCCSC

At its January 24, 2005 meeting, the Broad-Based Planning Committee approved a set of four principles that should guide the identification of students to be served by the High Ability program in MCCSC.  These principles are:

  1. Equity:  The process must be structured to ensure that every high ability child in MCCSC is considered for and given the opportunity to participate in the High Ability program without regard to or influence by his or her family.s education level, stability, influence, motivation, economic status, or political savvy.
  2. Consistency:  The process, factors or elements considered, and, when possible, the criteria used to make identification decisions must be clearly defined, defensible, and applied consistently to each eligible student.  When questions arise about decisions made for particular students, we must be able to demonstrate exactly how the identification process was applied and how or why the student.s placement came about.
  3. Legitimacy:  The factors that are considered in making identification decisions must be legitimate or valid and must be viewed as such by those outside the process.  Complete agreement will never be reached about exactly what should be considered, but we must be clear about and able to justify to others how we arrived at the operational definition of .high ability. that we apply.
  4. Significance:  The decisions that result from the process should result in meaningful differences in the types of educational experiences and challenges that students receive.  While differentiated instruction throughout the district should allow every child to receive instruction that is appropriately tailored to her or his particular needs and abilities, being identified as a participant in the district.s High Ability program must mean that a child is experiencing something genuinely different than students not participating in the program.
 

Broad Based Planning Committee (BBPC)/High Ability Task Force

Indiana Administrative Code 511 requires that the Broad-Based Planning Committee (BBPC) includes diverse representation from the following groups:

  • Educators
  • Parents
  • Students
  • Community members
  • Other stakeholder groups  

The function of the High Ability Task Force/BBPC is to .design and monitor the continuous development and implementation of the levels of services program for high ability students. (511 IAC 6-9.1-2, Section 2, Part (e)).

Since the development of a high ability program more than 20 years ago, the MCCSC has continuously maintained a Broad-Based Planning Committee that has served to provide guidance to the program and to support the Coordinator of High Ability Education. New state legislation in the area of high ability education went into effect in July 2007.  Indiana Code for High Ability Education states that "the school corporation shall develop and periodically update a level of services program to provide educational opportunities to encourage high ability students to reach the highest possible level at every stage of development".  In the fall of 2007, the High Ability Task Force was established and charged with the responsibility of developing and implementing a comprehensive K-12 program of services for all high ability students over a three year period. This K-12 continuum of services will be based on best practices and will include professional development and parent and student support.

During the 2015-16 academic year, the BBPC/High Ability Task Force for Monroe County Community Schools consisted of 28 members:

·        

T        Two high school students (one each from North and South)

·         One elementary principal (Unionville Elementary School)

·         One middle school principal (Tri North)

·         One high school principal (North)

·       Three parents (elementary, middle school, and high school)

·         Three elementary school teachers

·         Three middle school teachers

·         One middle school counselor

   Three high school teachers
 

          One high school counselors (North)

·         Director of Adult Education

·         One school psychologist (district)

·         Two community representatives

·         One school board member

·         One other stakeholder

·         Three central administration (one is chair)

 

High Ability News from the MCCSC

HA Task Force/Broad Based Planning Committee Minutes

Other High Ability Education Sites

Resources

  • Humanities and Geography

 

  • Language Arts

  • ERIC Clearinghouse on Reading, English, and Communication
  • Other ERIC Sites on Reading, English, and Communication

 

  • Mathematics

  • The Math Forum: A center for Math Education funded by the National Science Foundation
  • Math History: Annotated Bibliography of Mathematics History Web Sites

 

  • Museums

 

  • Science

 

 

  • Other Interesting Sites

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For More Information:

More information about high ability programs provided by the MCCSC can be acquired by contacting the Office of High Ability Education at:

kwilliam @ mccsc.edu

 

 
315 E North Drive

Bloomington, Indiana 47401 

(812) 330-7700, Ext. 51029

CLOSE