Evergreen Public School District


EXCEL - Programs for the Highly Capable

What is EXCEL?

EXCEL is Evergreen School District's program for meeting the unique academic, social, and emotional needs of highly capable students in grades K-12.

Program Options

Parents may request a program preference from program options once eligibility is determined.
(Please refer to Identification and Selection Process regarding program placement.)
Transportation is provided by the district for all the program options.


Grades K-1: Identification and Classroom-Based Differentiation:  All services in K-1 are home classroom based.  We will not be bussing students in these grades to a district based magnet program.  Kindergarten classes are given classroom enrichment activities that make it possible for teachers to observe and screen for gifted characteristics.  The CogAT Screener is given in the spring of the year.  The highest scoring students will then be served through classroom based differentiation and referred to test for EXCEL in first grade. 

Grades 2-5: EXCEL Pull-Out: Students may be placed in one-day-per-week classes held at Evergreen Flex Academy. They are bused to FLEX on that day from home and returned to their neighborhood school before the end of the day. Students interact with others from the same grade level across the district in activities designed to respond to the needs of  highly capable learners by strengthening communication, research, interpersonal, and leadership abilities, with a focus on critical and creative thinking processes. This is an enrichment option and does not accelerate the academic areas of Language Arts, Math, and Science, which are taught in the regular classroom. Pull-Out students are also cluster grouped in their regular classrooms with differentiated instruction when feasible.

Grades 3-5: EXCEL Full-Time: Students placed in the Full-Time Program are bused, based on their residence, to their designated magnet school, either Image or Illahee Elementary schools. Students admitted to this program must demonstrate high academic achievement of at least one year above grade level. The faster pace and greater depth/complexity is designed to meet the needs of academically gifted learners. Successful students exhibit persistence, strong motivation, and task commitment, as well as the need and readiness for an accelerated and differentiated curriculum.


Grades 6-8: EXCEL BlocksEXCEL students placed in EXCEL Humanities block. All 5th graders are assessed and placed at the appropriate levels for math instruction seperately from their EXCEL placement. For questions regarding math placement, contact the district's Assessment Office at 360-604-4015. Students attend their residential middle school’s EXCEL program.


Grades 9-12: Advance Placement CourseworkHigh School EXCEL students are served through the AP program and occasionally programs such as Running Start. 


The EXCEL curriculum for students in the elementary Full Time and middle school EXCEL Blocks follows the district’s curriculum frameworks and the state’s academic learning requirements at an accelerated pace.

All EXCEL classes emphasize:

  • critical and creative thinking processes
  • communication, organizational, study, research, and quality production skills
  • group processes
  • decision making
  • problem solving
  • affective/emotional development
  • self-direction and accountability

Identification and Selection Process

This is a six-month process, during which anyone (parents, teachers, media specialists, friends, family, acquaintances, members of the community, cohorts, etc.) may refer a student for testing.  The process is twofold, including 1) eligibility, and 2) placement.  Selection and placement is made by the Multi-Disciplinary Selection Committee (MDSC).  The MDSC, made up of administrators, teachers, and program staff, reviews test data and first determines eligibility. 

They subsequently determine placements based upon test scores and space available, as well as teacher recommendation, parent preference, and any supporting data supplied. Students living outside of the Evergreen Public Schools boundaries are not normally considered for program placement.  Exceptions are made on a case by case basis, depending upon program space availability.  Students may also be placed through the Appeal Process, in which the MDSC examines documentation for students whose test scores did not meet the criteria but for whom other evidence exists of high ability, a need for program placement, and a high probability of success. Retesting for eligibility purposes is available, although currently identified students will not be retested annually to maintain eligibility.  Additionally, eligible students cannot be retested solely for the purpose of increasing their ranking score.  The criteria for retesting are:  1) at least 6 months between testing sessions; and 2) testing at the next higher grade level.  Private testing results, as well as testing information from other school districts, are accepted for review. The State of Washington requires both mental ability (IQ) and achievement testing.

Eligibility & Placement Requirements:

  1. Above the 90th percentile in the mental ability composite score, or
  2. Above the 95th percentile in the achievement composite score and any mental ability subtest in an academic area above the 90th percentile.
  3. Private testing: IQ above the 95th percentile.


  • Placement is made by the MDSC using the Washington Administrative Code (State Law).
  • Elementary offers two programs, and parents may request a program.
  • Students meeting the placement eligibility criteria are ranked through a process which combines achievement and mental ability scores.  The HCP is unable to use, for ranking or identification purposes, scores from achievement tests which do not include reading, language, and math subtests.
  • Students are ranked and placed until the class enrollment cap is reached.  Students are then ranked in the same manner on waiting lists.  An invitation to participate in an alternate program is extended if space is available.
  • The MDSC uses rank scoring, parent requests, teacher recommendation and other supporting information to place students.
  • Students are placed in the appropriate school based upon their residential address.
  • Occasionally placements for a student are not a good fit and a change is made in placement. Changing more than once between programs is discouraged and requires available space and MDSC approval.


Appeals are considered annually by the Multi-Disciplinary Selection Committee and are based upon a review of the documentation received.  Please see the schedule under Identification for deadlines.  Contact the HCP office for forms and information.  Students may be appealed more than once.

2014-2015 SCHEDULE


Pull-Out classes begin September 15, 2014. The last day of EXCEL Pull-Out is June 8, 2015.


Classes begin and end on the same days as regular classes.


Fall Testing for placement in 2014-2015: Testing is limited to students new to the district since November 2013.

Registration Opens                            Aug. 1, 2014

Registration Closes                           Sept. 11, 2014

Testing                                            Sept. 13, 2014 (Saturday)

Notification of eligibility/placement       Sept. 26, 2014

Winter Testing: Grades 1-11. (For placement in the 2015-2016 school year).

Testing notification                            Oct. 1 - Nov. 17, 2014


All referrals for testing & eligibility are done online. Click on the clipboard icon in top right corner to create account and then select "refer for testing." 


Deadline for Online Referrals           Nov. 17, 2014


Testing Schedule mailed                      Dec. 12, 2014

Testing will be done in neighborhood schools during regular school hours January 6-February 12, 2015.

Test results mailed by                                   March 18, 2015

Appeals opens
(Contact the HCP Office)                           March 18, 2015

Appeals Deadline to HCP Office                       April 3, 2015                                                 

Notification of Placement                                May 8, 2015


Gifted learners need a faster pace and greater depth/complexity than is offered through the standard curriculum. They also need interaction with their intellectual peers. With this in mind, the goals of the EXCEL Program are:

    • To identify students who have high intellectual, academic, and creative thinking ability.
    • To provide differentiated instruction appropriate to the needs of gifted learners.
    • To place students among their intellectual peer group.
    • To develop in students a sense of self, life-long learning, quality production, and critical/creative thinking abilities.
    • To engage in ongoing evaluation of students' progress and placement.
    • To provide appropriate staff development opportunities to maximize teaching effectiveness in providing for the academic and social/emotional needs of gifted learners.
    • To engage in ongoing program evaluation and revision.


The Highly Capable Programs Advisory Committee is a representative group of parents, teachers, and administrators which advises the district about HCP matters and acts as a liaison between parents, program personnel, and the community. If you would like to be considered for membership on the committee, call the Highly Capable Programs office at (360) 604-4001.

EXCEL PTO is a group of parents that once per year invites donations.  EXCEL PTO meets quarterly and disburses funds to support EXCEL classroom district-wide.  For more information, contact EXCELPTO@gmail.com or visit the PTO webpage at https://sites.google.com/site/excelpto/home.  To donate fund, checks payable to EXCEL PTO may be mailed to PO Box 87543 Vancouver WA  98687.

Further Information:

For questions regarding test scores, placement options, referral for testing, etc., please contact your students’ teacher or your school’s HCP Liaison. The following are HCP building liaisons:

Burnt Bridge Creek  Susan Payton
Burton  Patty Dugger
Columbia Valley  Rene Elliott
Crestline  Wendi Sumner
Ellsworth  Sherri James
Endeavour  Rhonda Walton
Fircrest  Lara Alford
Fisher's Landing  Kristie Wall
Harmony  Lynne Johnsen
Hearthwood  Kristina Parmenter
Evergreen Flex Academy  Brenda Lillie
Illahee  Marci Hay
Image  Heather Majewski
Marrion  Elizabeth Christina
Mill Plain  Laurie Treosti
Orchards  Diane Quinn
Pioneer  Janet Dondelinger
Riverview  Mary Demert
Sifton  Lindsey Kralj
Silver Star  Amberlynn Lane
Sunset  Karen Morley-Smith
York  Stephanie Land
Cascade  Adrianne Campbell
Covington  Helen Hafer
Frontier  Heather Love
Pacific  Brad Riggs
Shahala  Natalie Ferber
Wy'east  Kim Wanke
High Schools  Contact Counseling Center

View a school list with phone numbers


Grades 2-8 EXCEL Testing Registration and Referral is now online! 


Winter Testing Registration is open October 1 - November 17. 

EXCEL Testing Registration and Referral 

If you have a student who is in grades 9-12 who performs or shows potential for performing at significantly advanced academic levels when compared with others of their age, experiences, or environments, and has not been identified as Highly Capable, and you would like to have them tested, please contact the Highly Capable Office for testing. 

Elisabeth Harrington, Manager, Highly Capable (EXCEL) Programs

Staci Reinebach, Secretary, Highly Capable (EXCEL) Programs



 EXCEL Materials