High Ability Programs

District High Ability Definition:

A high ability student is defined as “a student who performs at, or shows potential for, performing at an outstanding level of accomplishment in at least one domain when compared to other students of the same age, experience, or environment and is characterized by exceptional gifts, talents, motivation, or interest.”

The students in the High Ability Program will: maintain an appropriate level of basic skills, maintain a high level of performance during curriculum acceleration, demonstrate a competent level of higher order thinking skills, exhibit a competent level of research and independent study skills, and exhibit a competent level of task commitment.

District High Ability Program Mission Statement:

Nineveh-Hensley-Jackson United School Corporation commits to providing educational opportunities that encourage high ability students to reach the highest possible level at every state of their development through appropriately differentiated curriculum and instruction in the core academic subjects as well as leadership and social/emotional experiences.


Nineveh-Hensley-Jackson United School Corporation uses a multifaceted identification process to identify students who match the definition of a high ability student in grades K-12 at Indian Creek Schools. A multi-faceted assessment plan includes Quantitative (numerical score) and Qualitative (narrative descriptions or norm-referenced scales) measures to assess both student performance (achievement) and potential (ability). Each spring students in Kindergarten, 2nd, and 5th grades are included in the identification process that begins by using achievement data from NWEA MAP reading and math testing. Students are placed into an identification pool by teachers/administrators using this achievement data, and parents also have the ability to include their students into the identification pool, as well. Once the identification pool is determined, the students are administered the Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT). All of the achievement data, cognitive (ability/intelligence) data and qualitative data is gathered to identify High Ability students. Students may qualify as High Ability English Language Arts (ELA), High Ability Mathematics, or High Ability General Intellect (both ELA and Math). The purpose of identification is to provide appropriate academic placement and services for all students. This is a complex process, especially in the primary grades because some students enter school with many rich learning experiences and strong school readiness, while others may not.

Why the CogAT?

The Cognitive Abilities Test™ (CogAT®) measures learned reasoning and problem-solving skills in three different areas: verbal, quantitative, and nonverbal. Reasoning skills develop gradually throughout a person’s lifetime and at different rates for different individuals. Reasoning abilities are good predictors of success in school and are important outcomes of good schooling. CogAT does not measure such factors as effort, attention, motivation, and work habits, which also contribute importantly to school achievement.

Teachers use CogAT scores to help students learn more effectively. For example, if a student’s score profile shows an uneven pattern of relative strength and weakness, the teacher can provide challenging opportunities for the student to do the kind of thinking he/she does best (building on the student’s strength). The teacher can also support aspects of new tasks that rely on a student’s relative weakness. When the student has established a foothold in an area, the teacher can guide her/him to develop the relatively weaker reasoning skill by applying this skill to the familiar task (strengthening the student’s weakness).

How Do the Three Batteries of CogAT Differ?

The Verbal Battery measures flexibility, fluency, and adaptability in reasoning with verbal materials and in solving verbal problems. These reasoning abilities play an important role in reading comprehension, critical thinking, writing, and virtually all verbal learning tasks.

The Quantitative Battery measures quantitative reasoning skills; flexibility and fluency in working with quantitative symbols and concepts; and the ability to organize, structure, and give meaning to an unordered set of numerals and mathematical symbols. These reasoning skills are significantly related to problem solving in mathematics and other disciplines.

The Nonverbal Battery measures reasoning using geometric shapes and figures. To perform successfully, students must invent strategies for solving novel problems. They must be flexible in using these strategies and accurate in implementing them.

Overview of CogAT for Parents

The students in our KG-2nd building are identified High Ability through the use of the COGAT 7 Testing component and teacher recommendation.

Once the students are identified as High Ability, the teacher in the classroom uses a differentiated curriculum based on Indiana State Standards to challenge the students at the level in which they are currently working.

Indian Creek Elementary teachers have gone through training, working with differentiated curriculum to ensure that all levels of learners needs are met.


The students in our 3-5 Building are identified High Ability through the use of the COGAT 7 Testing component and Teacher recommendation.

Once the students are identified High Ability, the students are clustered into classes that have other High Ability students.

Emphasis on problem solving, critical thinking, and applying content through real life projects will be the areas of study throughout the year. The goal is to meet the students at their ability level and push them to think and work at least a grade level above the standards for their grade. Students in High Ability programs are pushed to move into the High Ability / Accelerated Classes at Indian Creek Middle School.


The students in our 6-8 Building come to us identified High Ability or are assessed using the COGAT 7 testing and teacher recommendation.

Language Arts

Students in the High Ability Program have the opportunity to participate in the 6th, 7th, 8th Grade Accelerated Language Arts Class where their curriculum is done at the grade level above their designated grade. The work done in this class pushes the students to achieve on a more challenging level. Students that complete the process will have the opportunity to participate in the English Honors 9 Class at Indian Creek High School which is a weighted class for grade point average accounting and will allow for an extra college class to be taken when they reach the High School.


Student in the High Ability Math Program have the opportunity to receive High School Credit for Algebra during the 8th grade. The students in the 6th and 7th grade are placed in advanced math classes that work at one grade level above their grade level peers. Students upon completion of the 8th Grade Algebra class have the opportunity to move into advanced math classes at the High School.


Students at the 8th Grade level have the opportunity to take Spanish I. This will allow for five full years of Spanish by the time they graduate from Indian Creek High School and allow for the possibility to receive college credit for the Spanish course work.

All Subjects

All teachers at Indian Creek Middle School have been trained with materials and provide differentiated instruction within their content areas.


High ability students that come to Indian Creek High School have multiple opportunities to challenge themselves with classes that are eligible for Indian Creek High School credit, Advanced Placement credit or even college credit through Indiana University or Ivy Tech Community College – all for little or no charge to the student.

For specific information, click on the following headings:

  • Advance Placement Courses
  • Dual Credit Courses
  • Honors Courses – English, Mathematics, and Science

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