**Effective May 2016, the process within the school district for students to qualify for the HATS program (the school district Gifted program) has changed. In the past, parents and teachers made referrals throughout the school year. We will now be using "referral windows" during which students can be referred for testing to see if they qualify for the HATS program. Referral windows will be during the months of May and November each school year.
Many parents wonder what it means for their child to be gifted. All children are curious and capable of learning, but the Missouri definition of giftedness is “precocious development of mental capacity and learning potential as determined by competent professional evaluation to the extent that continued educational growth and stimulation could best be served by an academic environment beyond that offered through a standard grade-level curriculum.” Parents considering a referral for HATS testing may wish to consult with their child’s classroom teacher and/or consult other resources to check for evidence of academic talent. One helpful source is the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) website at www.nagc.org. Roughly five percent of children will qualify for HATS based on their test scores and Harrisonville teachers do an excellent job of differentiating within the normal classroom for children of all abilities.
Parents or teachers may make a referral by contacting the Director or Secretary to the Director of Academic and Student Services. As done in the past, parents/guardians will receive paperwork giving us permission to assess their student and they will be asked to sign up their student for a testing session on one of two dates in June or December (depending on the referral window).
Qualification involves a two-step testing process. The student will complete the SAGE-II assessment which includes Math/Science, ELA/Social Studies, and Reasoning sessions. If a student scores in the 95th percentile or higher overall, then the student will be contacted by one of our counselors who are certified to administer IQ tests. If the student scores in the 95th percentile overall or higher on this assessment as well, then he/she will be admitted into the HATS program. Students will enter into the HATS program in August if they qualify during June testing or in January if they qualify during December testing.
This change in format will be beneficial to our students who qualify as they will be able to join the HATS program immediately at the start of the school year instead of waiting for MAP results to be returned in September (which has been the process used in the past). This will also allow our counselors to focus on conducting their lessons and Guidance Programs in the school rather than being pulled out of the building for testing for the HATS program at random times throughout the year.
It should be noted that students can continue to request to be reassessed one year after an evaluation, and transfer students will be addressed on a case-by-case basis.
Should you wish for your student to be tested for the Gifted Program (HATS) during the month of June, the referral window is happening now. Please contact Mrs. Sue Manion, Secretary to the Director of Academic and Student Services by 3:30 pm on Friday, May 27, 2016 to receive paperwork at 816-380-2727, ext. 1225. All paperwork must be returned to Central Office, 503. S. Lexington by Wednesday, June 1, 2016.