Identification Process

Selection Process Diagram

Identification Process

Research supports a set of specific procedures for identifying students with high abilities in an equitable, fair, valid, and defensible way. High ability manifests itself in different ways in different cultures or socioeconomic groups. Multiple criteria are used including student achievement, student ability, and parent and teacher observations. In the MSD of Wayne Township, a seven step process is followed to guide the identification of students as "high ability."


  1. Initial Screening for High Ability placement
      • All students in grades 2 and 6 take the full CogAT assessment.
      • All students in grade 6 complete the Iowa Algebra Aptitude Test
  2. Teacher recommendations are collected.
  3. Second Screening
      • Students scoring in the top 25% on the initial screening OR received a teacher recommendation take:
        • Iowa ELA and Math (2nd grade)
        • Iowa ELA (6th grade)
  4. Blind Data Review
      • For students in the talent pool, all acquired information is entered into a database. Data is also entered for nominated students, those with unique circumstances or those new to Wayne Township.
      • All student names and identifying information are removed for blind scoring.
      • All data is reviewed by a selection committee.
      • The Placement Committee is composed of district and building administrators, classroom teachers, and counselors. The committee reviews all blind data and information to guide their decisions regarding placement of students into the high ability program.
  5. Parent Notification & Placement
      • Parents receive notification of placement. Following notifications, parent meetings will be held to inform parents of the Horizons' program, and allow for them to accept or decline placement in the program.
      • Placements are finalized and schools are notified. All schools receive all of the testing information on their students.