High Ability

In keeping with the mission of Carmel Clay Schools to effectively meet the educational needs of all students, rigorous programs are provided for high ability students whose general intellect and academic achievement are significantly beyond their peers.  These programs provide differentiated curriculum and instructional strategies especially designed to help high ability learners meet their individual potential.

Multiple delivery systems meet a variety of student needs ranging from specific academic strengths to general intellectual giftedness. Students may receive differentiated instruction within the regular classroom for subject specific strengths. In Middle School, Honors courses in English/Language Arts and Mathematics are designed for students with content specific academic strengths that are two or more years above grade level. Advanced Math placement is also available to qualified students in grades Kdg-8.  Carmel High School offers Honors, Advanced Placement, Advanced College Project, and International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme courses to accommodate a variety of needs among high ability learners.

The elementary program, Advanced Math, and middle school honors courses require formal identification procedures, but high school students may self-select Advanced Placement, Advanced College Project, and International Diploma Baccalaureate Program with advice from a teacher or guidance counselor.

Elementary School

All 11 Carmel Clay elementary schools offer services to provide a rigorous academic experience for high ability students. These services provide the following opportunities to maximize individual potential:  

  • Basic skills compacted to eliminate unnecessary repetition
  • Accelerated pacing and advanced materials
  • Hands-on investigations and research
  • Choice/options of differentiated learning activities
  • Emphasis on creative/critical thinking skills

Throughout elementary school, language arts instruction is differentiated within existing literacy curriculum to meet a wide range of student abilities and needs. 

Kindergarten Math Explorations and Advanced Math in grades 1-5 provide differentiated instruction in mathematics for high ability learners through accelerated and enriched math experiences, aligned with above grade level mathematics standards and expectations. 

To be identified as high ability, students must earn the required score on an achievement, ability, or qualitative assessment.

Middle School

Honors English/Language Arts

Honors English/Language Arts courses offer differentiated curriculum, materials, and instructional methods and focus on advanced content, problem solving, and critical thinking.

To qualify for Advanced/Honors courses students must earn the required score(s) on achievement, ability, and/or qualitative assessment(s).

Mathematics

Advanced Mathematics

An Advanced Mathematics sequence of study is offered for students who have mastered their grade level standards and are prepared to be accelerated to the next course (one year above grade level). Students in this sequence of study complete Algebra I in eighth grade and earn high school credit. To qualify for Advanced Mathematics courses, students must earn the required scores on a standardized achievement assessment, such as NWEA, district end-of-course assessments and course grades.

Honors Mathematics

Honors Mathematics courses are designed to accelerate and enrich high ability students whose instructional level is at least two years above grade level. Honors Mathematics courses offer differentiated curriculum, materials, and instructional methods and focus on advanced content, problem solving, and critical thinking. Students currently enrolled in Advanced Math may qualify for Honors Math by earning the required scores on a standardized achievement test, such as NWEA, and district end-of-course assessments. 

Most students in the Honors Mathematics sequence of study complete Honors Pre-Algebra, Honors Algebra I, and Honors Geometry, although a few may complete additional courses as commensurate with their ability. Students earn weighted high school credit for Honors Algebra I and Honors Geometry.

Secondary Mathematics Course Sequence

The following flow chart demonstrates the typical progression of mathematics courses at the three middle schools and Carmel High School.  This sequence can vary somewhat depending on the needs of individual students. Important points about the math sequence:

  • Indiana’s graduation requirements mandate that students take four years of high school level math during high school.  Thus, enrollment in middle school advanced and honors math courses does not enable students to take less math courses during their high school years.
  • All three math sequences provide students with the opportunity to earn an Academic Honors Diploma.
 

Progression for enrollment in Grade Level Math

Progression for enrollment in Advanced Math Progression for enrollment in Honors Math
6th Math 6 Advanced Math 6 Honors Pre-Algebra
7th Math 7 Advanced Pre-Algebra Honors Algebra I
8th Pre-Algebra Algebra I Honors Geometry
9th Algebra I Geometry Honors Algebra II
10th Geometry Algebra II Honors Pre-Calculus/Trig
11th Algebra II Pre-Calculus/Trig AP Calculus
12th Pre-Calculus/Trig Finite, some level of Calculus, Math Studies, and/or AP Statistics Multi-Variable Calculus

High Ability Identification

High Ability Identification

CCS High Ability Identification Process

 

CCS DEFINITION OF A HIGH ABILITY STUDENT

In accordance with Indiana Code, Carmel Clay Schools defines a high ability student as one who performs or shows the potential for performing at an outstanding level of academic accomplishment in math, language arts, or both, when compared to other students of the same age, experience or environment; and is characterized by exceptional gifts, talents, motivation, or interests.

IDENTIFICATION TIMELINE

  • Early First Semester – Parents of Kindergarten students that qualify for Kindergarten Math Explorations notified.
  • Second Semester – Communication sent to parents of 1st-7th grade students who are recommended for high ability programming for the following school year.
  • Late Second Semester – Deadline for 1st – 7th grade parents to file an appeal to have their child considered for high ability services.
  • Summer – Testing for students new to Carmel Clay Schools and students requiring further testing or additional data to qualify for high ability programming.

HIGH ABILITY IDENTIFICATION OVERVIEW

The following procedures were established to guide decisions on how to best meet the instructional needs of students. Students who meet the criteria possess a skill level and knowledge that is significantly beyond that of their peer group and require a unique educational experience to develop their full potential. Since no assessment can perfectly pinpoint a student’s aptitude or achievement, all decisions take into account the “standard error of measurement,” which indicates the degree to which a student’s test score reflects his or her true ability.

Kindergarten Math Explorations

Selection Process:
  • All kindergarten students will be considered for Math Explorations based on their performance on classroom assessments, including the NWEA MPG Math assessment.
Placement Criteria:
  • Kindergarten students who earn a score in the 90th percentile or higher on the fall NWEA MPG Math assessment are eligible for placement in Kindergarten Math Explorations. Students who participate in Kindergarten Math Explorations do not automatically proceed to Grade 1 Advanced Math.  At the end of the school year, Kindergarten Math Explorations data will be reviewed to determine whether placement in 1st Grade Advanced Math is appropriate.

Elementary High Ability Identification

Identification Process:
  • In the spring, parents/guardians of 1st-4th grade students who are eligible for high ability programming as a result of the current year’s achievement data will be contacted regarding placement into a grade level classroom with students of similar potential for the following school year.
  • Students already placed into high ability programming will continue with a similar placement for the following year.
Placement Criteria:
  • Students who score at the 98th percentile or higher on the NWEA MAP Growth Reading assessment or perform within the standard error of measurement at the 97th percentile.

1st – 6th Grade Advanced math

Selection Process:
  • Based on performance on the NWEA Math assessment, students enrolled in grade level math will be recommended to enroll in Advanced Math
  • Pending adequate progress, students enrolled in Advanced Math will automatically continue in Advanced Math the following school year.
Placement Criteria:
  • Students in 1st - 5th grades who score in the 96th percentile or higher on the NWEA Math assessment or perform within the standard error of measurement at the 95th percentile.

7th and 8th Grade Advanced math

Selection Process:
  • Based on performance on the NWEA Math assessment, students enrolled in grade level math will be given the opportunity to take an End of Course Assessment for placement in Advanced Math.
  • Pending adequate progress, students enrolled in Advanced Math will automatically continue in Advanced Math the following school year.
Placement Criteria:
  • Students in 6th or 7th grade who score in the 96th percentile or higher on either the fall or winter the NWEA Math assessment are eligible to take an End of Course Assessment for placement in Advanced Math.

6th Grade Honors Pre-Algebra

Selection Process:
  • Current 5th grade students who are in Advanced Math (Math 5-6) and score in the 98th percentile or higher on the NWEA Math assessment may take the Pre-Algebra Readiness Assessment near the end of their 5th grade year in order to be considered for 6th grade Honors Pre-Algebra. 
Placement Criteria:
  • Students who demonstrate adequate knowledge of prerequisite content and skills necessary for success in Pre-Algebra will be recommended for placement in 6th grade Honors Pre-Algebra.

7th Grade Honors Algebra I and 8th Grade Honors Geometry

Selection Process:
  • All students participate in classroom assessments that provide data to inform placement decisions. Parents of students who show exceptional achievement or ability in math will be contacted by the math teacher and/or math department chair to discuss the opportunity to test for Honors Math.
  • Parents of incoming 7th and 8th grade students interested in having their child be considered for placement in 7th grade Honors Algebra 1 or 8th Grade Honors Geometry may request a data review.  This request will include additional testing and is to be submitted to the math department chair in the spring.
Placement Criteria:
  • Incoming 7th grade students who demonstrate adequate knowledge of prerequisite skills and content on the Pre-Algebra End of Course Assessment will be recommended for placement in 7th grade Honors Algebra.
  • Incoming 8th grade students who demonstrate adequate knowledge of prerequisite skills and content on the Algebra End of Course Assessment will be recommended for placement in 8th grade Honors Geometry.

Incoming 6th-8th Grade HONORS English Language Arts

Selection Process:
  • Early in the second semester, parents/guardians of 5th-7th grade students who are not currently in a high ability placement and who are eligible for the Middle School Honors ELA program as a result of the current year’s achievement data will be contacted regarding placement in the Honors ELA program.
  • Students who are currently placed in high ability programming for English/Language Arts or Middle School Honors ELA will automatically continue in Honors ELA pending adequate progress.
Placement Criteria:
  • Students in 5th-7th grade who score at the 96th percentile or higher on the NWEA MAP Reading assessment or perform within the standard error of measurement at the 95th percentile

New students to Carmel clay schools

Parents of new students may request for their child to be considered for high ability programming upon enrollment.

New students who enroll during the summer

Parents who wish for their student to be considered for high ability programming should contact the attending school’s front office.  Parents should provide documentation of previous participation in an accelerated or enriched curriculum or identification as high ability along with any prior standardized achievement and/or ability tests information. Upon review, parents will be notified if placement can be made based on the documentation submitted. If additional testing is required for placement, parents will be notified of time and location of testing.

Advanced/Honors Math
  • New students MUST provide documentation of a previous accelerated/enriched math course and demonstrate adequate progress in order to be placed directly into Advanced Math. 
  • New students who have not previously participated in an accelerated/enriched math course may request to test for Advanced Math. 
  • New students entering 6th - 8th grade may test for Honors Math and must provide documentation of previous Advanced Math placement.
New students who enroll during the school year

In order for students to be considered for high ability programming, parents must provide documentation of previous participation in an accelerated or enriched curriculum or previous identification as high ability. Parents should also submit standardized achievement and/or ability test information to the school at enrollment.   If a new student cannot be placed based on the documentation provided, then procedures for placement of current Carmel Clay Schools’ students would apply.  If a new student enrolls after winter NWEA assessments are administered, then summer testing procedures would apply as indicated above.

REQUEST FOR APPEAL

In accordance with Indiana Code, Carmel Clay Schools defines a high ability student as one who performs or shows the potential to perform at an outstanding level of academic accomplishment in math, language arts, or both, when compared to other students of the same age, experience or environment; and is characterized by exceptional gifts, talents, motivation, or interests.
Parents who feel strongly that a student’s non-placement does not truly reflect his or her capability may request an appeal. This process provides the opportunity for school staff to conduct a multifaceted review of supplemental quantitative and/or qualitative data regarding achievement and/or potential.

The appeal process may include any existing data or result in administration of any or all of the following:

  • Consideration of recent achievement data or other existing ability testing data
  • Consideration of recent classroom performance
  • Administration of a Scales for Identifying Gifted Students (SIGS)
  • Administration of an ability subtest

Parents may request an appeal after receipt of the winter NWEA assessment results.  To begin the appeals process, parents of 1st – 5th grade students should contact their child’s classroom teacher, school counselor, or building administrator; parents of middle school students should contact the ELA Department Chairperson at their school.

The school will conduct a thorough data review and a thoughtful decision will be made on a case-by-case basis that is in the best interest of the student.  Parents will be notified if additional testing is necessary to make an informed decision.