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Highly Capable Program


February 1, 2024

The Yakima School District is accepting referrals for Highly Capable Program services at all grade levels. Parents, guardians, teachers, students, and community members can refer students. Referrals must be completed by 3:00 pm on March 15th, 2024. There will be no exceptions for late submissions. Paper copies of the referral forms are available at all schools or online at the links below.

Informational Flyer

About Highly Capable

Highly capable students are students who perform or show potential for performing at significantly advanced academic levels when compared with others of their age, experiences, or environments. Outstanding abilities are seen within student's general intellectual aptitudes, specific academic abilities, and/or creative productivities within a specific domain.

YSD makes a variety of services available to students who participate in the Highly Capable Program (HCP). Services such as: differentiation, flexible grouping, independent study, enrichment, independent projects, supplemental instruction in area of interest, content acceleration, and supplemental materials in the area of interest.

Referrals for student selection into the program can be made by school staff, parents, students, and members of the community. Please review the information provided under the Program Forms section of this page if you would like to refer a child to the program.


Highly Capable Data

In compliance with RCW 28A.185.050, please click here to view data that includes a comparison of the race, ethnicity, and low-income status of highly capable students compared to the same demographic groups in the general student population in the Yakima School District. 

Characteristics of Highly Capable Students

Not all highly capable students will demonstrate every characteristic.

Learning Characteristics

  • Has quick recall and mastery of information.
  • Uses advanced vocabulary for age and grade.
  • Demonstrates the ability to think critically (to make generalizations, to analyze information, to identify similarities/differences).
  • Has rapid insight into cause-effect relationships; tries to discover the how and why of things.
  • Reads a great deal, usually preferring adult-level books; does not avoid difficult materials; may show a preference for biography, autobiography, encyclopedias, and atlases.
  • Can support beliefs with data.
  • Strives toward high quality in written and oral work.

Motivational Characteristics

  • Becomes absorbed and truly involved in certain topics or problems; is persistent in seeking task completion. It is sometimes difficult to get student to move on to another topic.
  • Is easily bored with routine tasks.
  • Prefers to work independently; requires little direction from teachers.
  • Likes to organize and bring structure to things, people, and situations. 

Creativity Characteristics

  • Displays a great deal of curiosity about many things; is constantly asking questions about anything and everything.
  • Generates a large number of ideas or solutions to problems and questions; often offers unusual, “way out,” unique, or clever responses.
  • Is a high risk taker; is adventurous and speculative.
  • Displays a good deal of intellectual playfulness; fantasizes; imagines (“I wonder what would happen if…….”); is concerned with adapting, improving, and modifying institutions, objects and systems.
  • Nonconforming; does not fear being different.

* Adapted from the Parent Inventory for Finding Potential by Karen Rogers 2000.