Middle School Continuum Services
Experiencing the Secondary Highly Capable Program
As part of the Issaquah School District Highly Capable Program for secondary students, we offer a variety of options to meet the needs of students. Within these program options, our goal is to provide students with academic acceleration and rigor. These options include, but are not limited to: Honors classes, International Baccalaureate (IB), Advanced Placement (AP), Running Start, College in the High School, and online courses. In addition to these options, secondary students also receive additional academic and targeted social/emotional support from school counselors.
To develop the special abilities of each student by offering appropriate instructional programs to meet the needs of the Issaquah School District’s most highly capable students.
Goal 1: Intellectual/Academics
To expand academic attainments and intellectual skills, stimulate intellectual curiosity, independence and responsibility, and provide opportunities within the course offerings for students to develop originality and creativity.
- Middle School Objectives: Students will self-select classes with counselor support. Academic options include, but are not limited to:
- Advanced Language Arts
- Math classes with compacted content and pacing
- Two different science pathways
Fifth grade MERLIN and SAGE students who would like to take CC8/Algebra 1 in 6th grade take the Exceptional Placement math test in the spring of their 5th grade year. See all middle school course and program options and more information on the Exceptional Placement math test here: Secondary Options Letter Spring 2022
- High School Objectives: Students will self-select classes with counselor support. Options include, but are not limited to:
- Advanced Placement (AP) classes
- Honors classes
- International Baccalaureate (IB)
- College in the High School
- Running Start
- Online courses
- Dual Credit Courses with Renton Technical College
Goal 2: Social/Emotional:
To develop a positive attitude towards self and others and to counseling support for social/emotional needs that may be specific to secondary students with a highly capable designation.
- Objectives: Students will:
- Engage in annual student driven goal setting
- Partake in an annual survey to determine academic and social/emotional needs
- Attend check-ins with school counselors
- Take advantage of targeted support as identified
Qualifying for the Secondary Highly Capable Program
Students who were selected for Highly Capable services in 3rd-5th grade (beginning in the 2013-2014 school year) continue to be able to access Highly Capable Program options and do not need to be re-referred.
Referral At the Secondary Level
Students may be referred for Highly Capable Program consideration during the referral window.
Students who enroll after the referral window may be referred within ten (10) business days from the enrollment date.
Last Updated Spring 2022
Dear Families of Issaquah School District Highly Capable Students,
Secondary students in the Issaquah School District Highly Capable Program can choose from a variety of academically accelerated and rigorous programs and courses. In middle school, these options include Advanced Language Arts and several math and science pathways, and World Language. In high school, these options include, but are not limited to: Honors classes, International Baccalaureate (IB), Advanced Placement (AP), Running Start (for Juniors and Seniors only), College in the High School, CTE Dual Credit, and online courses.
The opportunity for choice in the course request process allows students to select the level of learning that they feel is most appropriate for their own academic goals. Course request choices in middle and high school also provide the opportunity for self-actualization, the fulfillment of one’s talents and potentialities, and the chance to expand friendships through interactions with students who have different backgrounds and life experiences.
Each spring, typically in March, families have the opportunity to attend family nights at their student’s middle school, high school and/or the district office that provide information about all course options available. We have provided additional information, including links to more detailed descriptions on our district and school websites below.
While we do our best to meet the needs of our students, on occasion, some of our students identified highly capable may need different types of support and options. In these cases, parents should work directly with their school principal and/or counselor to discuss their student’s needs.
Secondary Counselor Support
Issaquah schools provide in each building. In addition to a selection of advanced courses, secondary students identified as highly capable may also receive additional academic and targeted social/emotional support from school counselors. In the fall, secondary counselors check with students identified as highly capable either individually or in small groups. During this check-in, counselors generally review student schedules, administer a student survey and engage the student in individual goalsetting in Xello, the District’s new tool to support High School and Beyond Planning. Based on the survey results counselors may invite students to targeted opportunities, which could include lunch groups, small group instruction, career exploration, or presentations on a social/emotional topic. In the spring, counselors provide a final individual or small group check in to follow up on individual goal completion in Xello, and review student course requests for the following school year.
In considering student needs, it is important to understand that options/resources available are not limitless and access to accelerated learning and enhanced instruction through the program for highly capable students does not constitute an individual entitlement for any particular student.
As you and your student embark on this exciting journey into secondary education, we hope you find this resource helpful in assisting your student in navigating the Middle School and High School course request process.
Susan Mundell, Executive Director of Elementary Education