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 Level of Screening for High Ability placement

      • All students in grades 2nd and 6th take the full CogAT assessment.

      • All students in grade 6th complete the Iowa Algebra Aptitude Test

  2. Parent and Teacher recommendations are collected

  3. Second Level of Screening

      • All students in 2nd and 6th grades take the NWEA Math, Reading, and Language Usage assessments in the fall and winter.

  4. All data are compiled and prepared for blind data review

      • Data includes CogAT, Iowa Algebra, and NWEA results; parent and teacher recommendations; and those who may be new to Wayne or with unique circumstances

  5. Blind Data Review

      • 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.

  6. Parent Notification & Placement

      • Parents receive notification of placement. Following notifications, parent meetings will be held to inform parents of the Horizons' and HONORS programs, 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.