Deer Park High School’s Highly Capable Page
At Deer Park High School, we are committed to keeping our students challenged and engaged at school. We are passionate about finding exceptional ability and nurturing the needs of all our students at their level by providing an appropriate education to those who need more depth and rigor during the school day.
Our philosophy is to meet each student at the point of best learning for their ability, no matter where on the educational spectrum they fall. High school age students can present a particular challenge simply because they are older and have busy schedules with a lot of varied commitments. Additionally, possessing accelerated ability can be hard when you’re trying to map your way to your future.
That said, it is exciting to be able to offer these students opportunities to nurture their advanced skills at Deer Park High School as well as the very capable staff of teachers, guidance counselors, mentors and coaches who are committed to serving all students as well as enlarging the gifts of each individual.
Washington state law stipulates that student who are identified as gifted/highly capable must receive those services during the regular school day. As such, classroom teachers employ a variety of measures to ensure students are engaged in the complexity and rigor they require to advance at their level. Examples of these strategies are differentiation of curriculum, flexible cluster grouping, advanced content, taking accelerated courses (like Algebra for high school credit), curriculum compacting, honors courses, Running Start, College in the Classroom, customizable independent study options, and out-of-grade-level courses.
Additionally, after school options are offered year round for high achievers at each grade level. We hire coaches and advisors to run these groups, teams, clubs and leadership opportunities that engage top students and challenge them even further. This includes state-of-the-art equipment and career industry-standard assessments, as well as pathways for apprentice-able trades like welding, woodworking and metal shop.
All students are given measures such as the iReady and SBA as well as various classroom based assessments at key points during the year. Additionally, teachers, administrators and parents are encouraged to submit an Observational Checklist (hot link) if they believe a student exhibits the need for advanced educational learning opportunities.