Stratford Board of Education

Identification and Selection

Identification and Selection of Advanced Learners Grades 4-6

The selection process for the Advanced Learning Program (grades 4-6) is as follows:

1. A Selection Committee, chaired by the Coordinator of Pupil Services, will be formed late March with the following representatives:

  • Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction
  • Director of Pupil Services
  • Stratford Academy Administrator(s)
  • Stratford Academy School Psychologist
  • One ALP Teacher
  • District Data Specialist

2. The committee will assemble (with the help of the Data Specialist) the following assessment information:

  • Grade 3 Cognitive Abilities Test -  Verbal, Non-Verbal, Quantitative Batteries
  • Grade 3 November and January Degrees of Reading Power (DRP)
  • TIMSS (Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study) Math assessment
  • Grade 3 Mid-Year (Winter) Holistic Writing Sample

Students will be ranked by their scores on these assessments based on weighting the CogAT Verbal and Quantitative twice; all other assessments will be counted once (total of nine components of assessment).

After the top 10% of the students have been ranked by their assessment results, Grade 3 teachers will be asked to complete four rating scales (Math, Reading, Learning, and Motivation). The numerical average of these four rating scales will then be used to provide a tenth component of assessment. Students will be ranked again, and the results will identify the students for the program.

In the case that a student chooses not to attend the Advanced Learning Program at Stratford Academy, the student ranked next (#31, #32, etc.) will be offered the open seat. The Coordinator of Pupil Services will communicate with the families as indicated. Notification of parents and teachers:

3. Notification of parents and teachers:

All students whose classroom teachers receive a teacher rating scale will be identified as having “advanced learning ability”. Parents of these students will be notified and will receive information regarding the characteristics and learning needs of this type of student. Information on what parents can do to support their children, as well as suggested reading and activities, will be provided.

In addition, if a student is not selected for the Advanced Learning Program, that student’s fourth grade teacher will receive information on the advanced learning ability of the student. Documentation of the identification will follow the student in his/her cumulative file and in the district’s database (i.e., Power School and Inform). All teachers will receive professional development on the characteristics of these students and differentiation strategies for advanced learners.

4. Entry point at the end of the school year:

The Selection Committee will also be charged with assessing if there are any openings in grades 5 and 6 from students who move or elect to go back to their home school at the end of each school year. The identification of students to fill these openings is as follows:

  • The original third grade ranking (with the ten components of assessment) will be used. In addition, criteria will be developed (like the MS Honors Program) to provide current information. These criteria will include CMT scores, additional CogAT testing, TIMSS, current grade level DRP, writing sample, and Pre-Algebra test (only for incoming sixth graders). These additional, current assessments will confirm the original ranking.
  • If a new student moves into the district from another advanced program, all assessments should be collected and will be considered on an individual basis. Where CogAT is not available, a comparison will be made by the Coordinator of Pupil Services. The new student can be placed in the class as long as there is a vacant seat and as long as he/she meets the requirements. New students can be considered for the following year, provided a seat is available.

In June, parents may request consideration for their child’s identification of advanced learning abilities. These requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis only if there is a vacant seat. Upon this consideration parents will be reminded that their child is entering a class in which math is accelerated. This acceleration will require that the child be willing to attend extra before or after school sessions along with additional homework.


Note: The ALP Committee recommends that a rating scale be included in the packet of information sent to incoming kindergarten parents. This rating scale would be a guideline for parents to use to recognize a child’s advanced abilities.


Approved by the Stratford Board of Education – June 22, 2009