As defined by the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), highly capable students are those who perform or show potential for performing at significantly advanced academic levels when compared with others of their age, experiences, or environments. The mission of the Camas School District (CSD) is to identify and serve highly capable students with challenging instruction grounded in depth and complexity. CSD addresses the unique needs and aptitudes of our highly capable students through a continuum of services from kindergarten through grade 12.
For highly capable students in grades kindergarten-two:
Students demonstrating high cognitive potential will receive differentiated instruction to nurture and promote continuous growth in kindergarten through second grade. An observation protocol based on children’s literature is used to elicit high-level thinking and gifted behaviors in primary-aged students. Data is collected and transferred to the next year’s teacher for continued observation. These services will occur in the general education classroom at the child’s neighborhood school. Second graders demonstrating knowledge and skills 1-2 levels beyond their current assignment will be referred for testing and further consideration for the Highly Capable program.
For highly capable students in grades three-five:
General Education Classroom: Highly capable students are clustered in small groups in the general education classroom with a teacher who has completed required training in meeting the needs of highly capable learners. Clustering enables students in the Highly Capable Program to be with others who think the same way they do as well as receive instruction that is appropriate to their individual intellectual levels. Strategies to meet the needs of highly capable learners at this level include curriculum compacting, differentiated instruction, and opportunities for critical thinking through depth and complexity. The cluster model allows students to stay in their neighborhood school, fostering connections with peers. In the Camas School District, cluster grouping is provided in every elementary school. Students may also choose to participate in extra-curricular enrichment activities such as Science Olympiad, Robotics, and Math is Cool.
Pull out Services: A project-based learning experience is available to students identified as verbally gifted. This experience is for highly capable students who would benefit from the opportunity to go deeper into science and language arts standards. This 6-week, pull-out experience happens in either the fall or spring trimesters. Students will be pulled out of class for 2-hour sessions once a week. During the winter, students identified as highly capable in math participate in pull-out math extensions once a week for approximately 10 weeks. Pull-out classes offer students the opportunity to work with highly capable peers under the direction of a Hi-Cap Teacher (Hi-Cap TOSA).
For highly capable students in middle school:
Middle school students who qualify for the Highly Capable Program (HCP) will be placed in an HCP math and/or language arts course or cluster with a teacher who has completed required training in meeting the needs of highly capable learners. Clustering enables students in the Highly Capable Program to be with others who think the same way they do as well as receive instruction that is appropriate to their individual intellectual levels. Instruction will address the Common Core Standards at an appropriate pace and greater depth and complexity. Seventh-grade students interested in taking Algebra as an 8th grader have the option to take Math 8 as a year-long elective. Only students who complete the coursework for math 8 will be registered for Algebra. Students may also choose to participate in extra-curricular enrichment activities such as Science Olympiad, Knowledge Bowl, and Robotics.
For highly capable students in high school:
At the high school level, Camas provides over 20 Advanced Placement (college level) courses. These courses are open to enrollment by students who are interested in learning at the level of rigor, breadth, and depth AP classes provide. In addition, students are encouraged to take the end-of-course AP tests, which provide opportunities to earn credit or advanced standing at most colleges and universities. The forecasting process for eighth to ninth grade includes information and guidance for students and parents interested in this program, so students are set up for success. Also, to prepare for the 8th-grade to 9th-grade transition in mathematics, highly capable students who have been working 1-2 grade levels beyond the standard mathematics pathway will be scheduled into the next appropriate course.
Camas High School also offers a Math, Science, and Technology (MST) magnet program. All students must go through the application process as this program is not a continuation of the Highly Capable Program. More information about student characteristics, eligibility, and the application process can be found on the Camas MST webpage at http://schools.camas.wednet.edu/mstmagnet/.
In addition to the HCP program, Camas School District offers many extended learning opportunities for students to explore a broad range of interests, expand their learning, and engage their creativity. Some of these opportunities include:
- Science Olympiad
- Knowledge Bowl
- Mock Trial
- Model UN
- Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA)
- F.I.R.S.T. Robotics
- Math is Cool
- Sports Medicine Club
- CamTech (Skills USA)