Frequently Asked Questions for the Highly Capable Program:

What are some common characteristics of a highly capable student?


  • Ability to comprehend material several grade levels above their age peers
  • Surprising emotional depth and sensitivity at a young age
  • Strong sense of curiosity
  • Enthusiastic about unique interests and topics
  • Quirky or mature sense of humor
  • Creative problem solving and imaginative expression 
  • Absorbs information quickly with few repetitions needed 
  • Self-aware, socially aware, and aware of global issues

When is the referral window for the 2024-25 school year?

The referral window for the 2024-25 school year is Nov. 1–Dec. 31, 2023. Students in second and fifth grades during the 2023-24 school year do not need to be referred, as they will participate in the Universal Screening.

What happens if my student is sick on their evaluation day?

Your student will be given a makeup date. Please reach out to the district staff coordinating the event to let them know. 

My student was identified as Highly Capable in a previous district, why are they having to test again when transferring to Tahoma School District?

In Washington State, all districts determine their criteria for student placement into Highly Capable Programs based on local norms. We need to compare new students with our current students to ensure they meet the eligibility parameters of their peers. We invite transfer students to our testing events to determine if they qualify for Tahoma’s Highly Capable Programs.

If one of your children qualify for the Discovery class and their home school is not a Discovery school (Lake Wilderness or Cedar River), can a sibling attend the same Discovery school as their brother or sister?

For a non-Discovery sibling to attend the same school as their brother or sister, the parent must request and complete the Tahoma School District waiver documents. If a sibling is granted a waiver, the family must transport the sibling to the Discovery school privately. For more information about this process, please visit the Student Transfer and Waiver Process page.

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