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Appeal Process

The Issaquah School District, in compliance with the Washington State rules for Highly Capable Programs (WAC 392-170-076), has an appeal process. Appeals of the selection decision are accepted on the Selection Decision Appeal form. These forms are found on the district website. The deadline for submission of appeals is (10) ten business days from the date of notification of score results. 

Screening decisions, and/or program placement decisions are not subject to appeal. Appeals are accepted for selection decisions and may be filed based on one of the criteria below. Please refer to the "Definitions" section below for a more detailed explanation of the difference between screening, program placement and selection decisions.

  1.  The suspicion of an error in the administration of the assessment.
  2.  A misapplication, miscalculation or misinterpretation of the scores.
  3. An extraordinary circumstance occurred during the testing period (such as a death in the family or extreme physical ailment) that may negatively affect the validity of the test results.  Notification to the district in writing within two weeks of the end of district testing window is appreciated to support the appeal process.

All appeals go before the Appeal Review Team. Notification of the decision (i.e., either approved or denied) will be sent by mail.  No in-person hearings will be held by the Appeal Review Team.  The purpose of the Appeal Review Team is to consider individual circumstances based on one of the criteria above, that may have impacted your child’s evaluation data. It is the goal of the Issaquah School District to provide all of our students with appropriate academic services.


Highly Capable (gifted): Highly capable students perform or show potential for performing at significantly advanced academic levels when compared with others of their age, experiences, or environments. Outstanding abilities are seen within students' general intellectual aptitudes, specific academic abilities, and/or creative productivities within a specific domain. Highly Capable services are provided to students who are residents of the Issaquah School District and have been identified as in need of services through the ISD referral process. Students who are highly capable may possess these learning characteristics (among others):

  1. Capacity to learn with unusual depth of understanding, to retain what has been learned, and to transfer learning to new situations.
  2. Capacity and willingness to deal with increasing levels of abstraction and complexity earlier than their peers.
  3. Creative ability to make unusual connections among ideas and concepts.
  4. Ability to learn quickly in their area(s) of intellectual strength. 
  5. Capacity for intense concentration and/or focus.

Screening decision: The district may screen students to determine if full testing will be offered.  Screening can be done through the use of standardized screening tools such as the CogAT Screener Test or the review of existing data collected during the teaching process. 

Multidisciplinary Selection Committee (MSC): The MSC makes final selection decisions.  The committee consists of  the following district staff representatives 1) a special teacher, 2) a psychologist or other qualified practitioner with the training to interpret cognitive and achievement test results, 3) a certificated coordinator/administrator with responsibility for the supervision of the district's program for highly capable students, and 4) such additional professional the district determines.

Selection decision:  The district uses multiple objective criteria to identify students who are among the most highly capable. A selection decision is when the district Multidisciplinary Selection Committee reviews the student's assessment data and determines that the student meets the district's criteria and is eligible for Highly Capable Program services.

Program placement decision: After the MSC makes selection decisions, it makes placement decisions about which program students are eligible for: PEP, SAGE Reading and/or SAGE Math, MERLIN, Secondary Reading and/or Secondary Math.

Appeal examples and non-examples:

Examples of Appeals

(These are usually documented by the proctors)

Non-Examples of Appeals

Fire alarm went off during the test at my child’s school.

External factors such as lack of sleep, hunger, family stress.

School-wide power outage that interferes with the testing process.

Per state law, classroom teacher recommendations are not considered.

Incorrect date of birth/name/grade.

Typical classroom activity and noise levels are to be expected during testing.


Family/teacher/student expectations do not align with the student’s scores.


Student self-report of the testing experience does not align with the out-come (student days they don’t think they missed any questions).


Requesting recalculation of scores based only on the fact the student scores did not meet thresholds.


My child was ill at the time of testing.


Our family was on a trip during the time of testing.


NOTE:  Private school and Home-Based families should select the neighborhood school in the appeal form.