Frequently Asked Questions:
Junior High Registration
- What scores count for “Gifted” placement in each junior high class?
Students are registered for Jr. High classes according to their strength area scores on the Cognitive Abilities Assessment. A verbal score of 97th percentile or above will place a student in both English and Social Studies. A score of 97th percentile or above in either the quantitative or non-verbal section will place the student in advanced coursework in both Math and Science. A detailed document is available for your review on the MPS Gifted and Talented website.
- What about students who are not on the "list" to test? Is there a way for them to get into these classes?
Any student in 2nd-8th grade may request testing on the Cognitive Abilities Assessment as a first step, as long as it has been one year since previous testing has occurred. Parents may contact the elementary Gifted and Talented teacher or the Jr. High School counselor to receive dates and times for testing.
- Will there be room in Honors classes after "qualified" students are placed in these junior high classes?
Other students may also be co-registered for classes through a collaborative teacher decision-making process. Students who score in the 90th-96th percentile range on the Cognitive Abilities Test will have additional data gathered from two sources. Our district data warehouse, entitled DASH, stores multiple years of assessment history on our individual students including AIMS, Acuity, district testing or other benchmarks. We also include current teacher feedback regarding leadership ability, task commitment, problem solving and more in order to support student placement.
- If a student tested last year and was just a point or two short, how might he/she test again?
In order to maintain this national test’s validity and reliability, we follow the guideline of giving this assessment to a student once in a calendar year. Although it may seem like the percentile scores have a one point differential, missing the cut off by one or two percentile points does not mean a student missed the cut off by only one or two questions. A number of mathematical scoring conversions determine a student’s percentile.
- Will schools allow a straight "A" student into the classes even though the student may not be a "out of the box thinker"?
MPS wants to support all students learning in a challenging environment that best services their need. If a student follows the steps in the eligibility process, and is dissatisfied with course placement or services, an appeal may be submitted. This appeal is processed through the Gifted and Talented Department.
- Are the junior high classes ELP or AP or Honors?
Junior high core classes will carry the name of “Honors.” As a bridge from the K-6 program and a link towards the high school program all classes from K-8 are shifting curriculum and teacher training to include both thinking skills and increased academic rigor. At the 9-12th grade, class offerings are referred to as Honors, Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate. Individual students choose these services according to desire and long range goals. The new title of our Extended Learning Program for 2012 will become the "Gifted and Talented Program."
- How can I find out more about the junior high registration process?
Each junior high school has teacher advocates and a counseling department that know specifics about their site opportunities. In February, most junior highs offer transition activities for the new students who will attend in the next school year. There are additional links throughout the Gifted and Talented website or feel free to call the department office @ 472-7248 for clarification on any Gifted and Talented service.