High Ability Program

The MSD of Lawrence Township is excited about the expansion of our High Ability Programming options for families over the past few years.  In 2014, a High Ability Study Team was commissioned by the Superintendent to engage in an assessment of the High Ability programming that was available in our schools, and the team then made recommendations to the Superintendent and the School Board.   
The High Ability Grades 1-6 Program is housed at Crestview and Mary Castle for west side students, and Amy Beverland and Oaklandon for east side students. Students’ home addresses are used to determine which site they will attend.  The identification process works to ensure that the number of students in each grade level mirrors the district averages.
Students in grades 7 and 8 who are achieving at advanced levels will be scheduled into Pre-AP classes for language arts, math, science and social studies.  In addition, Algebra I, Honors Biology, French I, Spanish I and II are all available for high school credit to students who qualify.   Students in grades 9-12 who are achieving at advanced levels will be scheduled into Honors, AP, IB and dual credit courses.

Click here to request high ability testing for K and 2nd grade students outside of MSDLT schools for the 2020-2021 school year. (The deadline to submit a request is January 6th.)

MSDLT High Ability Program - Schedule for Testing  - 2019 - 2020
November  18th  - Dec. 6th  CogAT Screener and 1st Planned Experience given to all MSDLT 
  Kindergarten and 2nd grade students.
December 9th - January 6th Registration window for students in grades K and 2 that reside in 
  the district but do not attend MSDLT schools
January 13th - January 31st 2nd Planned Experience given to all MSDLT Kindergarten and 2nd
  grade students. 
  Full CogAT given to all students that score above the 77th
  percentile rank on CogAT screener
January 16th Full CogAT given for District and 2nd grade students
  who reside in the district but do not currently attend
  MSDLT schools
January 7th to January 24th Registration for parent request of high ability testing open
  on website for grades 1,3,4,5
February 18th Testing for students in grades 1, 4 from 3 - 6 p.m. at LECC
February 20th Testing for students in grades 3, 5 from 3 - 6 p.m. at LECC
March 16th - March 31st Window to requests appeals
April 8th Appeals Testing from 3 - 4 p.m. at LECC
Week of April 20th Building High Ability Family Meetings


Explanation of Tests

Identifying High Ability Students
All students in Kindergarten and 2nd grade will be tested each year.
The following three items are considered for identification:
Measuring Academic Achievement Measuring Cognitive Potential Measuring Characteristics of Giftedness
Normative data from the STAR test is used to identify high academic achievement for students in reading or math.  The STAR test is an adaptive test that provides progress scores as well as national norms. A percentile rank between the 94th and 99th percentile is one indicator that a student qualifies to receive high ability services. Students in grades K and 2 will take a CogAT screener.  Scores at or above the 77th percentile on the CogAT screener will qualify for the full CogAT.
A score between the 94th and 99th percentile on the full CogAT is one indicator that a student qualifies to receive high ability services.
The Kingore Observation Inventory (KOI) will be given to all students in grades K and 2.  The KOI allows teachers to gather data through specific planned experiences.  These experiences are high-level, open-ended activities that have proved responsive to under-represented populations in demonstrating gifted potential. Scores are given on a 4 point rubric.

Cluster Grouping Information

One recommendation of the 2014 High Ability Study Team was that we look for ways to expand our ability to meet the needs of high ability students.  Our School Board and Superintendent voted to include cluster grouping as one method to increase the services we offer to high ability students. During the 15-16 school year the district had pilot cluster classrooms at Harrison Hill, Sunnyside and Winding Ridge.  During the 16-17 school year we entered into a partnership with Purdue University and Dr. Marcia Gentry for Total School Cluster Grouping.  The 16-17 school year was a year of study with the support of Purdue University.  Total School Cluster Grouping classrooms have been developed for the 17-18 school year at Forest Glen, Harrison Hill, Indian Creek, Mary Castle, Skiles Test, Sunnyside and Winding Ridge.

Cluster grouping is a method of organizing a heterogeneous grade level by purposefully placing academically talented students with similar abilities in classrooms so that they may be provided with a more rigorous and differentiated instruction program. Cluster grouping classrooms will offer instruction with a peer group of students who have a small instructional range and talents within a general education classroom setting. Comparable to, but not synonymous with the Pre-AP program at the middle school, students will benefit from opportunities that enrich and challenge them throughout their elementary school experience. 


Moving into MSD of Lawrence Township

Families of students who enroll in MSD of Lawrence Township, whose child/children have been in high ability classes in other school districts, must either provide a copy of their CogAT scores or other current, related testing data to be enrolled in High Ability classes. If unable to provide the appropriate data, the student will need to be tested by Lawrence test administrators to assure that placement in High Ability is the most appropriate placement.
Additional Parent Resources

Indiana Association for the Gifted

National Association for Gifted Children

Mensa International

Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted

Davidson Institute for Talent Development  

Center for Talent Development  

Contact Information

For more information: Contact Carla Johnson, Director of Elementary Academics, 423-8278.