Highly Capable Program

Tacoma Public Schools works every day to develop the special abilities of each student. Our Highly Capable services are designed to meet the needs of gifted students at all grade levels and are available across the district.

Evaluation Schedule

Highly Capable screening and referrals happen throughout the school year, following  the schedule below.

Universal Screening Winter Referral Spring Referral

Screening notification sent to second-grade parents in September

​Deadline first school day of January

​Deadline first school day of April

​All second grade students screened in November (make-ups in April)

​Screening in February, if needed *

​Screening in April, if needed *

Eligibility for Services Decision Mailed within 60 School days Eligibility for Services Decision Mailed within 60 School days Eligibility for Services Decision Mailed within 60 School days
​Appeals must be made within 15 school days of dated non-eligible letter ​​Appeals must be made within 30 school days of dated non-eligible letter ​​Appeals must be made within 30 school days of dated non-eligible letter
​Appeal decision by district mailed within 30 school days of parent appeal Appeal decision by district mailed within 30 school days of parent appeal ​​Appeal decision by district mailed within 30 school days of parent appeal

* Referred students with a cognitive ability score on file will usually not be re-screened. The multidisciplinary selection committee (MDSC) must approve any re-screening.

Universal Screening

Tacoma Public Schools screens all 2nd grade students using the NNAT screening. The screening takes place in November with program placement the following school year. If you wish to opt your child out of screening, send an email to hcservices@tacoma.k12.wa.us, stating that you wish to opt out. Please include your child's name and school in the email.

New​​​ Students

For students new to the district, please place a referral and then contact the Highly Capable office to arrange for screening. For new students entering Tacoma Public Schools in September, screening is offered by appointment during August. Contact the Highly Capable office to schedule an appointment.

Transfer​​​ Students

Students that qualify for highly capable in another district or state are reviewed for eligibility in the Tacoma Highly Capable program. The Highly Capable team works with parents on a case by case basis to gather information and place transfer students into the appropriate highly capable services. Call 253.571.1120 for more information, email official identification documentation to hcservices@tacoma.k12.wa.us, or FAX official identification documentation to 253.571.1189.​

Appeal FormTo file an appeal, fill out the form, print and sign, and submit to Highly Capable with the required supporting documentation.  

Online Referral Form

Students can be referred by their parent/guardian, teachers, community members, or through self-referral. The information from the referral is considered along with a cognitive score and other assessments. 

Exit/Opt-Out Form

Complete this pdf form to withdraw from Highly Capable services for the current year or permanently.