Plans are in work to expand highly capable programs
Plans are in the works to expand Highly Capable programs
Posted on 01/31/2018
Plans are in the works to expand Highly Capable programs

Increased district enrollment and a commitment to provide access to highly capable services for those students who need advanced learning opportunities has prompted the district to create a plan for expanding the QUEST and PAGE programs.

Chief Equity Officer Gerald Denman reported to the Puyallup School Board last October of an ongoing effort to expand access to the Highly Capable programs. The board voted to support the expansion of QUEST and PAGE and to continue efforts on a regionalization model.

As the student population has increased due to growth throughout the district the need to provide greater access to highly capable programs has risen.

Higher enrollment in the programs will begin with the 2019-20 school year. There will be location changes based on a regional model. Students will be able to attend programs closer to their neighborhood schools. This will provide access to highly capable services for students who need advanced learning opportunities. 

During the 2016-17 school year the district began testing all second grade students for access to the QUEST program. Parents are individually sent information regarding the testing and program details in order to consider having their child tested for the program.

“As a result of QUEST testing changes, the number of students who qualified went up and we placed more underrepresented students in the program. This resulted in a more diverse group, better representing Puyallup’s demographics,” said Denman.                                                                                                                                   

Local access to the PAGE program will help families and increase attendance opportunities for more students. Students will attend a school within their region and reduce travel time.

“By moving to a regional model, we will give more students an opportunity to participate in our highly capable programs. In order to do this we need to cast a wider net in the district and search for students who may be qualified, but perhaps parents aren’t aware of program,” said Denman.

Highly Capable programs
The Puyallup School District offers a continuum of services for highly capable students in grades K-12. The programs include Young Scholars (grades K-2), QUEST (grades 3-6), PAGE (grades 7-9), AP courses, Capstone, and College in the High School.

The Highly Capable programs are designed to provide a challenging, accelerated and enriched curriculum through a broad range of accelerated instruction, services, and experiences.

Students in the QUEST and PAGE programs perform, or show potential for performing, at significantly advanced academic levels when compared with others of their age, experiences, or environments.

The QUEST program currently serves 414 students in grades 3-6. The self-contained classrooms feature specialized curriculum and instruction for highly capable students. The QUEST curriculum provides increased intellectual rigor, accelerated pacing, an expectation of early content mastery, greater depth, and exploration of content with structured inquiry. Students experience a two-year rotating curriculum designed for a highly capable learner at least one year above grade level. 

There are 389 students enrolled in the PAGE program this school year. Honors and Pre-AP coursework is offered in English/language arts, social studies, science, and mathematics. PAGE is the Puyallup School District’s acceleration program currently housed at Kalles Junior High. Students are chosen for this program by a multidisciplinary selection committee.

 “Access to rigorous curriculum and ensuring post-secondary opportunities for each of our students is THE primary mission of our district. We are committed to expanding access to more of our students to the learning that will be required.” Chief Equity Officer Gerald Denman