Archive for the ‘Professional Development’ Category

Services for Highly Capable students are a required part of basic education.

As the new school year begins, OSPI has begun implementation of the revised WAC for Highly Capable Programs and regards the 2013-2014 school year as transitional, one in which districts are to design their HC Programs for the following year. You can find the WAC at http://apps.leg.wa.gov/WAC/default.aspx?cite=392-170

As part of this transition, the Educational Support Districts are scheduling training for administrators and teachers on the identification and needs of gifted students and sessions on differentiation and critical and creative thinking skills.

If you are a teacher in the area of an ESD with training scheduled, you may wish to check on this. If you are a parent, you may wish to check with your district to see if they are sending teachers for the training.

Each ESD makes its own schedule and these are the ones we know of right now. Contact your ESD for more information on when, where, costs, etc.

ESD 101 in Spokane

Sept. 25, October 22 and January 16


ESD 105 in Yakima

9/18; 10/16; 10/30; 11/12


ESD 112, Vancouver

October 24 Overview for Administrators
November 7 Nature and Needs of Highly Capable learners
November 21 Developing your Hi-Cap Program
January 23 Screening and Identification Workshop
April 24 Differentiation for HC learners

Capital Region ESD 113, Tumwater

No dates listed but go to http://www.esd113.org/Page/1012 for contact information to get details.

Olympic ESD 114, Bremerton

October 9 9:00 amNature and Needs of Highly Capable Students
October 9 1:00 pm Creating a Quality Program for Highly Capable Students
November 16 Differentiating Instruction for HC students Part A
January 11 Differentiating Instruction for HC Students Part B

ESD 123 in Pasco

10/17 Nature & Needs of Highly Capable Students
11/7, 12/5, 1/16 Differentiation for Highly Capable Learners
2/19, 3/6 Critical & Creative Thinking Skills

North Central ESD 171, Wenatchee

October 11, Nature and Needs of HC students
January 20, Differentiation
February 14 Integrating Critical and Creative Thinking in the HCP curriculum

ESD 189 in Anacortes

November 2 Nature and Needs of HC students


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In 2009, Washington State passed legislation that made highly capable programming part of the state’s definition of basic education.  The change was part of a package of reforms that were to be phased in between 2009 and 2018.  In 2011, the highly capable programming reforms took effect.  Many districts were unsure of how they were to proceed, however, because the regulations governing highly capable programming had not yet been updated.

Members of the State Gifted Advisory committee worked with OSPI to revise those regulations, and in early April of 2013, the revisions to the Washington Administrative Codes (WACs) took effect.  All districts will now be required to have a highly capable program, and that program is expected to offer a continuum of services for students from K-12.  OSPI has made available a webinar and a slideshow to explain some of the most important implications of these changes.  You can access both through the Highly Capable page on OSPI’s website at  http://k12.wa.HighlyCapable.

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If you’re reading this, you are a key advocate for gifted education in Washington State. Your active advocacy is greatly needed during this upcoming campaign season. For the sake of your gifted children and the other 100,000 gifted children in Washington, please plan to undertake the activities we describe here.

Primary and General Elections are Coming Up

If you take a look at the list of candidates for state legislature, governor and superintendent of public instruction (https://wei.sos.wa.gov/agency/osos/en/Pages/CandidateFilings.aspx or this attached pdf file) you will notice there are a lot of open seats due to retirements and redistricting. As well as a new governor, there will be many new legislators in the next session so it is vital that we start the work of educating them about highly capable NOW and not wait until January.

Please attend candidate forums and presentations for both the primary and the general election and ask key questions about the candidate’s support for Highly Capable Programs. As HB 2261, Sec. 708 stated: for highly capable students, access to accelerated learning and enhanced instruction is access to a basic education.

The following are some key points to be made when questioning candidates.

Washington is on the cutting edge in establishing a quality education for Highly Capable students. We are the first state to make it a part of basic education.

To retain the educated business community and their families, we need to provide a high quality education system for children who will be our future leaders.  Support for Highly Capable Programs is an opportunity to move forward in raising standards and promoting economic growth in Washington.

Three important pieces are now in place:

1.  Effective with the school year 2012-2013, Highly Capable Programs are part of basic education for students in K – 12.

2.  Highly Capable Program Technical Work Group was given the mission to recommend changes to standardize state-level procedures, including definition, identification, and criteria for programs. This task is completed.

3.  Special Endorsement – Washington State now offers educators a special endorsement in gifted education.

The challenge is to insure that districts have the support needed to implement highly capable programs K-12.

Tell candidates that we need them to:

Support legislation or policies that provide educators with access to appropriate training and/or professional development in identifying highly capable learners and serving their divergent educational needs.

Support data collection and out of level testing to help measure growth for these students and to assist in determining success of programs.


Advocacy for maintaining highly capable programs is about giving highly capable learners an appropriate education. As HB 2261, Sec. 708 stated: for highly capable students, access to accelerated learning and enhanced instruction is access to a basic education.

Highly Capable students are found in all populations – rural, urban, socio-economic levels, ethnic groups.  Approximately 50,000 students receive services but another 50,000 will be able to have these services with K-12 implementation.

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Dr. Nancy Hertzog, Director of the Robinson Center for Young Scholars at the University of Washington, will be teaching a new course this fall for educators of highly capable students.  The course will be offered on Saturdays to make it more accessible.  For more details, including dates and times of the class, see the attached flyer.

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