** Thank you for your referrals. We will be testing the students who were referred during our 2013 referral period during the test period in January 2014.
Referrals for our next placement period will be accepted until November 20, 2014. Please submit a referral form
(required for testing), a parent information form
, and/or a Teacher/Community Member form
for all students who meet highly capable screening criteria
. We accept referrals from parents, teachers, students, and community members or others who have reason to believe a student should be screened for highly capable services.
Community Advisory Team:
Thank you to those of you who attended our CAT introductory meeting on October 22. We will have another meeting on January 28, 2014 at the Central Administrative Building board room. The public is welcome to attend and learn more about our TPS Highly Capable Program.
CAT members learn about what’s going on in our program and offer feedback on new policies, procedures, events, and more and are a voice for the community in partnership with the district.
ABOUT HIGHLY CAPABLE SERVICES IN TACOMA:
Children who demonstrate exceptional ability, exceed grade level standards in literacy and math (or have the potential to do so if challenged and supported,) demonstrate exceptional creativity, and possess strong motivation to excel are good candidates for the Highly Capable Program.
For Highly Capable students in kindergarten through second grade:
The primary elementary program is based on differentiated learning opportunities in home room classes where students have options for how they can show their understanding and in-depth studies of particular learning goals and curriculum topics. Teachers are encouraged to use their knowledge of highly capable characteristics and needs in order to individualize learning plans for students who are ready to accelerate or who have specific learning needs that are different than the general grade-level curriculum.
For Highly Capable students in third through fifth grade:
The intermediate elementary program includes JAWS (pull-out enrichment), SAIL (full-time self-contained) and GATE (multi-age classroom).
JAWS (Joining Ability with Subject Matter) pull-out enrichment classes for students in 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade.
The JAWS classroom is designed to meet the needs of students who have exceptional ability by offering challenging and enriching learning experiences through differentiated instruction. Challenge comes from an advanced content, interaction with intellectual peers, and projects and activities that create a need for organization, and study skills. Teaching strategies include an emphasis on problem-solving, critical thinking skills, creativity skills and the development of research skills.
Students attend their home school four days a week and their JAWS learning enrichment classroom one day a week. The JAWS enrichment classrooms are located in several elementary schools throughout the district. Bus transportation is provided from the student’s home school to their JAWS site. Students are bussed back to their home school before the end of the school day.
JAWS enrichment pull-out classes are currently located at the following schools:
- Browns Point
SAIL (Self-contained Advanced Individual Learning) full-time self-contained classrooms serve students in 4th and 5th grade.
Students are enrolled in a self-contained classroom all day, five days a week. The full-time program is designed to meet the needs of students who have exceptional ability by stimulating curiosity and developing higher-level thought processes. Basic learning objectives found in the regular classroom are compacted, allowing for in-depth extensions of the curriculum and creative expression.
The curriculum in the full-time class includes:
- Social studies
SAIL classrooms are differentiated from a traditional classroom by:
- Intellectual rigor
- Accelerated pace
- Autonomous learning
- Greater depth and breadth of content
- Structured inquiry
Students who are placed in a SAIL class must enroll full-time at their assigned SAIL school. Those students who reside within district boundaries are provided district transportation to their SAIL school site. Students residing outside the district must provide their own transportation. SAIL classrooms are housed at the following district elementary schools:
- Pt. Defiance
- Browns Point
GATE (Gifted and Talented Education) Program, multi-age classroom serves students in 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade.
A school centered highly capable service model is offered as part of the Highly Capable program in Tacoma Public Schools. It is called GATE (Gifted and Talented Education). This program has many benefits:
- Recognition of the talents of children beyond what the current assessments for SAIL and JAWS reveal about our students.
- It is housed in student’s neighborhood school.
- The educators who know our students well are the ones who make the final selection regarding placement.
- Students will benefit from working with the same teacher for up to three years. They will study thematic units on a variety of topics, and the teacher will encourage the liberal use of the arts.
The GATE service model is at Downing Elementary, Sherman and North East Tacoma Elementary at this time. Information about application and placement can be obtained by calling the main office. The decision for placement is done by the individual school and appeals will not be accepted at the Tacoma Public School Administration Highly Capable office. Contact Downing at 253.571.7100 or North East Tacoma at 253.571.6933 for more information.
For Highly Capable students in 6th-12th grades.
At the middle and high school levels, highly capable support services generally include differentiation in all classrooms, great elective offerings at each school, and adaptions to the general curriculum or acceleration as needed based on learning plans created with the school staff. In the middle and high schools all teachers are encouraged to use their knowledge of highly capable characteristics and needs to best support their students. Teachers are encouraged to use an interdisciplinary curriculum developed around higher order reasoning, constructing meaning through inquiry, advanced content and concepts, and relevant issues and themes. Many cognitive learning models are employed, such as concept mapping with literature and vocabulary webs.