Meeting highly capable students' needs

​​​​​​​​​​​​​Every student is an individual with unique talents, learning styles and needs. Tacoma Public Schools offers highly capable services to K-12 to students who perform, or show the potential of performing, at high intellectual levels when compared with others of their age and experience. Highly capable children are present in all student groups, regardless of gender, disability, English language proficiency, economic status, ethnic or cultural background.​ There are approximately 1,500 K-12 students who receive Tacoma Public Schools Highly Capable services.

Highly Capable News

We are halfway through the school year and excited to see the progress our Highly Capable students are making.

Our test proctor finished the initial second grade testing cycle in November and is currently doing make-ups for those students who missed the fall testing. We have identfied a number of students who will begin to receive services during the 2018-2019 school year. 

The winter referral cycle is closed and we are currently processing those referrals.  The deadline for spring referrals is the first school day in April.  See the Highly Capable Evaluation Schedule for more information.

Transfer Students for 2018-2019

If a student transferring into Tacoma Public Schools has been identified and serviced as Highy Capable in another district, contact the Highly Capable Office.  These students are accepted into our system as soon as we receive the test scores from the other district. 

Other transfer students can be tested for Highly Capable before the start of the new school year. Test dates are on August 22, August 29, and September 4. 

Testing will take about an hour and parents must remain in the office while testing takes place.

To request a test appointment, call the Highly Capable office at 253-571-1120.

Students must be enrolled in their neighborhood school prior to testing. Elementary schools open for enrollment on August 20.

Please note that these testing times are for out-of-district transfers only. Current or previous Tacoma Public Schools students will not be tested at these times.

Just the Facts

Did you know that 75% of every dollar spent for the district Highly Capable program is locally funded?

Highly Capable Services for 

The locations for the SAIL sites have changed for the 2017-2018 school year, based on transportation and capacity at school sites. 

With the phase out of JAWS, all 35 Elementary Schools in the Tacoma School District now provide Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) services.

See the chart below to see how Highly Capable Services are offered at your child's school.

2017 - 2018 SAIL Sites:
Browns Point - 1 multi-age (3, 4, 5) class 
Jefferson - 1 multi-age (3, 4, 5) class
Mann - 1 multi-age (3, 4, 5) class
Point Defiance - 1 5th grade class

GATE Self-Contained Classes: Downing, Edison, Fern Hill, Grant, Skyline.

Gate Grades 3-5, HC Services in the Regular Classroom: Arlington, Birney, Blix, Boze, Browns Point, Crescent Heights, Delong, Fawcett, Franklin, Jefferson, Larchmont, Lister, Lowell, Lyon, Manitou Park, Mann, NE Tacoma, Pt. Defiance, Reed, Roosevelt, Sheridan, Sherman, Stafford, Stanley, Washington, Whitman.

Montessori: HC Services provided via the Montessori Method in the regular classroom at Bryant and Geiger.

International Baccalaureate (IB): Highly Capbable services are provided via the IB Program in the regular classroom at McCarver, Whittier, Wainwright, Giaudrone, and Foss.

SAIL Teachers for 2017-2018

Welcome to our great SAIL teachers for the coming year. We have two teachers returning from last year and two teachers that are new to the Tacoma Schools Highly Capable Program.

    Browns Point: Molly Callender
    Jefferson: Christine Koukles
    Mann: Kris Furrer
    Point Defiance: Darrick Hartman