Definition & Overview

  • Highly capable students perform or show potential for performing at significantly advanced academic levels when compared with others of their age, experiences, or environments. Outstanding abilities are seen within students' general intellectual aptitudes, specific academic abilities, and/or creative productivities within a specific domain. Students who are highly capable may possess these learning characteristics (among others):

    1. Capacity to learn with unusual depth of understanding, to retain what has been learned, and to transfer learning to new situations
    2. Capacity and willingness to deal with increasing levels of abstraction and complexity earlier than their peers
    3. Creative ability to make unusual connections among ideas and concepts
    4. Ability to learn quickly in their area(s) of intellectual strength 
    5. Capacity for intense concentration and/or focus.

    Spokane Public Schools offers a variety of appropriate services to students who participate in the program. A continuum of services is provided to identified students in grades K-12. 

    SPS keeps a description of the educational programs provided for these students on file, and reviews them annually to ensure the services are appropriate. SPS offers highly capable students the following programs, which include accelerated coursework, classroom grouping, independent study, enrichment, and college partnerships:

    • Tessera is a one-day-a-week “pull out” service for highly capable students, identified in two or more areas, in grades 3-6. They are bussed from their home school to the Libby Center.
    • Odyssey is a full time option for highly capable students, identified in two or more areas, in grades 4-8. Odyssey is housed at the Libby Center.
    • Building-based services are available for highly capable students who decide not to attend Tessera or Odyssey, or who are only identified in one area. Every school offers building-based services. These can include: in-class differentiation, cluster grouping, acceleration, enrichment, honors and AP courses.


student doing math