Determining which students should be referred for highly capable: 

Students who perform or show potential for performing at significantly advanced academic levels when compared with others of their age, experiences, or environments qualify for Highly Capable identification. (WAC 392-170-035) A student who is highly capable might possess a number of learning characteristics.  Please see the Highly Capable Program services referral form for more about the traits of highly capable students.

Who refers students for highly capable: 

  • Teachers
  • Families
  • Community members
  • Students in 6th-11th grade may also self-refer. (WAC 392-170-045).

Bellingham Public School students in grades K-11 may be referred by completing the Student Information and Referral Form.

Students may be referred for services in the Highly Capable Program once per 12 month period.


All referral forms must be submitted to the secretary supporting the Highly Capable Learners.

Referral Steps:

1. Referral is submitted by teacher, family, community member or student in 6-11th grade. (See below for 2nd grade specific information)

2. Referrals must be submitted within the referral window (November 12 to December 12, 2018) to be considered for the 2018-19 school year qualifying assessment.  (Referrals received after the referral deadline must be resubmitted for testing in the subsequent year.)

3. A portfolio of evidence will be collected for referred students. This may include, but is not limited to, previous assessment data, parent survey responses, teacher input and new assessments. be invited to participate in more formal testing.

Second Grade:  In an effort to provide equitable access to qualify for Highly Capable identification, Bellingham School District screens all second grade students. Referrals for second grade students are not necessary.