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Highly Capable & KOG

Encouraging exceptional ability

Highly Capable/Gifted students demonstrate exceptional ability beyond their age and grade level peers, exceed grade level standards in literacy and/or math, demonstrate exceptional creativity and possess strong motivation to excel. We offer opportunities for highly capable students in grades K-12 through school-based programs. Grades K-1 have advanced achiever options and grades 2-12 offer Highly-Capable (HI-CAP) cluster rooms and advanced placement courses, a full-time program (KOG) for grades 3-5, and a Young Scholars after-school program for grades 2-5 at Title 1 schools.

School-Based Highly Capable (HI-CAP) Programs

Grades K-5

Students currently in kindergarten through fifth grade may request consideration for the HI-CAP programs offered at their home school. Students can be referred after meeting the screening requirements of ≥ 90 percent on a variety of assessment options in either reading or math. The school-based HI-CAP program for K-5 is designed to meet the needs of students who have exceptional ability by offering challenging and enriching learning experiences through differentiated instruction. It is not a full-time gifted program. Challenge comes from an advanced content, interaction with intellectual peers and projects and activities that create a need for organization and study skills. Teaching strategies include an emphasis on problem-solving, critical thinking skills, creativity skills and the development of research skills. Students currently in 2-5 HI-CAP programs maintain their HI-CAP service options until no longer interested or successful in that setting. Schools with students who qualify for the Young Scholars Program meet after school for instruction in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) activities.

Kennewick Opportunities for the Gifted (KOG)

Grades 3-5

The KOG program serves students in grades 3-5 and is based at Vista Elementary School. The protocol begins with the standard screening and referral process for the second to fifth grade HI-CAP programs. Students meeting the screening criteria in both reading and math will be eligible for further cognitive testing for the program in early spring for placement in the program for the following school year. All of these scores will determine the rank order of selection into the KOG program. The KOG program typically serves students in the top 2 percent of the district academically.

Advanced learning options at all schools

Grades 6-12

All students identified as highly capable in the elementary school years continue to qualify until graduation. At any time, a parent, guardian or teacher may refer a student who demonstrates characteristics of highly capable learners by contacting a school counselor. The school counselor will work with the district’s HI-CAP director to facilitate the referral. Since students can self-select advanced courses and options in the high school, pursuing identification is not necessary. However, there may be a circumstance in which an underperforming student is assessed to help the student better understand his or her potential and to help reverse underachievement.


Screening and Referral for Programs (Steps)

Parent Permission to Test for Highly Capable

OSPI Washington State Highly Capable (Law, Guidance and Resources)

Forms & Documents

Program Contacts

Kevin Pierce
Director of Learning Supports & Programs
(509) 222-5896