Elementary Program

Elementary Grades

Grades Kindergarten, one and two

In grades one and two students are assigned to “Cougar Classrooms” in their home schools where one to four students are clustered in the class. Teachers have received training to promote differentiation for this group of students. Also HiCap students have the opportunity to learn alongside other highly capable students within their classrooms.


Grades three, four and five

Self-Contained Program

The self-contained Discovery program is a full time service model designed to meet the needs of exceptionally intelligent, high achieving students whose needs cannot easily be met in the general classroom. The program serves students in grades three through five. The curriculum addresses the district’s standards and extends into accelerated instruction appropriate for intellectually gifted children.

Students in the full time Discovery program work at accelerated levels to match their unique developmental needs. Pacing is more rapid, activities are more rigorous, and students are expected to demonstrate high level qualities of independence. The program is designed to reflect challenges most suited for exceptionally gifted students with very high intellectual levels of achievement.

Selection for the Discovery program reflects state guidelines for identifying highly capable students. Criteria includes achievement and ability tests as well as observation of student characteristics and creativity. We carefully select students who clearly have unique intellectual needs and strive to meet these needs through a curriculum that emphasizes differentiation. Typically these students are at the top 5% -7% of their grade level in a variety of measures.

The self-contained programs are housed at Cedar River and Lake Wilderness Elementary Schools. Transportation is provided to students on regular home to school routes and may involve transfer buses from the students’ home school.


What are "Cougar Classrooms" (i.e. Cluster Group Model)?


The Cougar Classrooms serve highly capable students within the general education population. Students in grades 1-5 are identified as highly capable in specific areas and/or have the potential to be highly capable are “cluster grouped” with 1-4 highly capable students in each classroom. The teachers receive specific training in how to serve highly capable students through differentiation opportunities and strategies.

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