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Rep. Brandon Vick legislation to strengthen identification of highly capable students receives public hearing

Bill would require the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction to confirm each school district has policies and procedures in place to identify children who are highly capable

Legislation to help identify highly capable students received a public hearing in the House Education Committee on Mon., Jan. 29.

House Bill 2927, sponsored by Rep. Brandon Vick, would require the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) to confirm each school district has policies and procedures in place to identify children who are highly capable.

“School districts are handling the identification and policies surrounding our highly capable students differently, and in some cases not at all. This legislation would get districts on the same page and provide assistance and resources where needed.” said Vick, R-Vancouver. “We need to make sure those who are highly capable are being identified and are not missing out on an opportunity to further or accelerate their education.”

The legislation would:

  • direct OSPI to require school districts to implement systems and procedures for highly capable programs;
  • establish new professional development requirements for teachers, principals, counselors, and others;
  • direct OSPI to disseminate guidance on referral, screening, assessment, selection, and placement best practices for highly capable programs; and
  • establish new data collection, staffing and monitoring requirements for OSPI related to highly capable students and programs.

Vick is familiar with highly capable student programs. As a third-grader, he tested in the Vancouver School District’s Challenge Program, the school district’s version of a highly capable program at the time, and stayed in the program until the 8th grade, when the program concluded.

“The increased rigor and demand allowed me to thrive in a system that was not testing or challenging me. I want to make sure other students are afforded the same opportunity I was in school,” Vick said.

Dozens of citizens and education organizations traveled from around the state to Olympia to testify in favor of the bill. The bill has bipartisan support.

The House Education Committee has until Fri., Feb. 2, the policy committee cutoff date, to vote on the bill.

Information provided by Washington State House Republican Communications.

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