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Elementary Highly Capable Programs

Young Scholars Overview (Grades K-2)

K-2: Young Scholars is for highly capable students in kindergarten, first, and second grade. Identified students at each elementary school participate in a multi-age group for two 30-minute sessions each normal school week. The program is available in each elementary school.

The learning activities in the Young Scholars Program are designed for highly capable students. The activities extend basic skills and supplement regular classwork. In the Young Scholars Program, students study patterns in language and learn about the world around them through science topics. The activities help students develop a rich vocabulary and encourage them to think deeply. The multi-age grouping gives students a chance to work with other students who have similar learning needs.

Young Scholars Application (testing current Kindergarteners) Deadline is October 6, 2023

If you are interested in the Young Scholars program, current kindergarteners, please apply online by the October 6, 2023 deadline for possible placement in the 2023-24 school year. If your 1st - 2nd grade child is new to the district for the 2023-24 school year, please complete the highly capable online application in July 2023.  We will contact you with a testing date in September 2023.  Kindergarteners new to the district will test in October 2023 for possible placement in January 2024.

We continue to meet with our current kindergarteners, 1st and 2nd grade Young Scholars in small groups throughout the district at each elementary school.  

2023-24 1st and 2nd grade students who participated in Young Scholars in the 2022-23 school year do not need to reapply or retest

2nd grade testing for Young Scholars

The Multidisciplinary Selection Committee will review the results of the full CogAT and district assessments (STAR and Math Computational Screener) to determine placement in QUEST for the 2023-2024 school year.  Those eligible second grade students who took the CogAT with evidence of high academic performance (STAR Reading and STAR Math scores of 80 percentile or above) may appeal the decision of the Multidisciplinary Selection Committee by submitting a completed appeal form. Reasons for the appeal and additional evidence must be included. Send the appeal form to by April 7, 2023. 

Spring Kindergarten - First Grade Identification

Identification steps for students currently in kindergarten:

  1. Interested parents complete a Highly Capable Application online by October 6th 
  2. Students with applications on file are given ability and achievement tests at the Kessler Center on a school day. Parents provide transportation.
  3. Additional information about the student is provided by the teacher.
  4. The data is reviewed by a selection committee.
  5. The committee decision is based on:
    1. A preponderance of evidence from the profile data demonstrating that a student is among the most highly capable;
    2. Evidence of clear need for highly capable services; and
    3. Determination of which students would benefit the most from inclusion in the district’s program.
  6. The assessment results and placement decision are mailed to parents.
  7. Identified students begin Young Scholars in late September.

QUEST Program Overview (Grades 3-6)

Highly capable students in grades 3-6 find their unique learning needs addressed in regional classrooms located at one of 8 host schools throughout the district.  Specialized instruction and curriculum are designed to promote higher-level thinking and provide a variety of learning experiences to challenge students.  Students gain a deep understanding of content and strengthen basic skills in a full-time, highly capable environment.  Intellectual peers provide social interaction and motivation to excel.

QUEST Host Schools and Feeder Schools

Carson, Dessie F. Evans, Firgrove

Edgertonn, Hunt


Ridgecrest, Wildwood

Shaw Road
Karshner, Stewart

Fruitland, Maplewood, Meeker, Waller Rd

Mt. View


Students in the QuEST Program have access to activities and specialists, such as music, P.E., and library, at their QUEST host school.  Participation in band is strongly encouraged for 5th and 6th graders. 


Transportation to the QuEST host school from the feeder school is provided, and transportation back to the feeder school in the afternoon is provided. Parents must arrange for their child to get to the feeder school in the morning and from the feeder school to home in the afternoon.


For students currently in grades 3-5, an application must be completed by the parent/guardian.  Once the application is received, the student’s achievement scores are screened to determine eligibility for further testing; achievement scores should fall in the range of 80 percentile and above.  Students identified for further testing through the screening process are administered the Cognitive Abilities Test at the Kessler Center. Parents provide transportation for testing.  

No application is required for students currently in grade 2.  All second-grade students will be screened using district achievement assessments.  Students with scores at 80 percentile or above will be invited to take the Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT).

The assessment data is evaluated by the Multidisciplinary Selection Committee to determine placement in the QuEST Program.

Report Card Extensions for QUEST

Third and Fourth Grade QuEST Report Card Extensions.

Fifth and Sixth Grade QuEST Report Card Extensions.


2023-24 Highly Capable Application

The application will take approximately 6 minutes to complete.

Please click on the button below and complete if you would like your student to be considered for Highly Capable Program services. 

Highly Capable Application