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High Ability / Saturday Enrichment

How we identify high ability students

In Indiana, students can be identified as high ability based on achievement or aptitude. We are required to give nationally normed tests to test for high ability. We use the NWEA tests to measure achievement and the CogAT tests to measure aptitude.


We have selection committees that determine which students are high ability. The cut-off scores for kindergarten are 97%ile on the NWEA tests and 95%ile on the CogAT tests. For grades 1-5 the cut-off score for NWEA is 95%ile and the CogAT cut-off is 95%ile.


Because young students change and grow, there are three times in the elementary experience that we formally identify students who have high ability: kindergarten, second grade and fifth grade.


The following documents outline the process:

  • Kindergarten high ability identification process

  • Second grade high ability identification process

  • Fifth grade high ability identification process

  • Beginning in March parents may request test reports/results by emailing Anne Marie Reininga at areininga@phm.k12.in.us.

  • Grades 1,3 and 4-These are informal years for high ability identification. Students only do winter/spring achievement testing if they are nominated by a teacher. Nominated 3rd and 4th graders will be given the NWEA test or tests in February. Nominated 1st graders will be given the NWEA test or tests in May. Note for 2020-We will be unable to do first grade high ability testing in May since the schools are closed. Current first graders will be tested in second grade since it is a formal identification year.
  • Letters were sent to the parents of the newly identified high ability students on April 22 and should arrive in homes by April 25.


Identifying students who are new to the Corporation  Please send recent achievement and aptitude test reports to your child's school so that the correct placement is made for your child. Principals are in charge of the placement of all students.


Placement of high ability students in elementary schools  All placement decisions are made by building principals. Identified high ability students will be placed with other identified high ability students. This allows students to be educated at their instructional level. All high ability students are serviced in neighborhood schools.


How we serve high ability students


Students that are identified as high ability in math will practice on- and off-grade level math standards in a variety of ways:  projects, centers, small groups and worksheets.


Students that are identified as high ability in language arts will be utilizing many enriching materials including the following materials:  Reading Street reading series, Lucy Calkins writing program, Junior Great Books, Problem Based Learning, leveled readers, Storyworks or Scope Magazines (grades 2-5) and the high ability units from the Indiana Department of Education.


Anne-Marie Reininga is the high ability coordinator for K-5 students. You can reach her at (574) 271-0055, option 5 or click here to email Ms. Reininga(areininga@phm.k12.in.us). 


Saturday Enrichment 

Eligibility Requirements for participating in Saturday Enrichment (Grades 3-8)
  • Grades 3, students who scored in at least the 90%ile on a second grade NWEA test
  • Grades 4- 5, students who received an above proficiency on the Spring 2019 English or Math ILEARN are  invited to attend
  • Grades 6-8, students who attended a Saturday Enrichment session during the last school year or requested an invitation for the winter session
Middle School Students and Invitations to Saturday Enrichment
Due to low middle school enrollment, we will be sending out fall enrichment invitations only to all qualifying sixth graders and seventh and eighth graders that participated in the enrichment sessions during the past school year. These invited students have the following options:
  • If they would like to enroll in fall enrichment, they need to complete the enrollment form and turn it into their school office. They will continue to receive invitations and will be enrolled in one of the fall classes.
  • If they are not interested in fall enrichment but would like to continue to receive invitations, then they check the box at the top of the enrollment form and turn the form into their school office.
  • If they are not interested in participating in future enrichment sessions, they do not return anything, and they will not receive invitations to future enrichment sessions.


Anne-Marie Reininga directs the Saturday Enrichment programs. She can be reached at (574) 271-0055, option 5, or click here to email Ms. Reininga(areininga@phm.k12.in.us)