HAL (High Ability Learners)

HAL (High Ability Learners)

Norris Mission Statement
The Norris Public Schools, in collaboration with its communities and families, shall provide the best possible learning experiences and opportunities to assure that all students have the capability to become responsible, productive citizens and life-long learners.

The purpose of the HAL program is to assist in attaining the highest level of achievement possible in their unique talent area to enhance the student’s social responsibility and development.

Operational Definition of High Ability Learner
A learner with high ability means a student who gives evidence of high performance capability and who may require accelerated or differentiated curriculum programs in order to develop those capabilities fully.

Program Goals
Norris Public Schools will provide a program of educational experiences designed to meet the individual needs of high ability learners by:
Assessing and identifying students of high academic ability in grades K-12.
Provide services for identified high ability learner (HAL) students which incorporates curriculum modifications/accommodations, teaching methods, activities, and/or instructional materials designed to meet the needs of HAL students coupled with the consideration of the students’ social/emotional developmental level.
Communicating the various aspects and successes of the program for high ability learners to staff, students, parents, and the community.
Evaluating HAL program goals, activities, materials, and procedures.
Recognizing and nurturing educational excellence of individual learners.

Program Objectives
Develop awareness about the nature and needs of high ability learners.
Design and implement an organizational structure that will facilitate curricular, extracurricular, and social/emotional experiences for high ability learners.
Allow flexibility in learning environments so students can pursue individual interests and advanced study.
Provide stakeholders with opportunities for professional development in the area of high ability learner education.
Make information available to parents and staff about specific areas of programming; such as student identification, curricular and instructional options, and program evaluation procedures.

Identification Procedures for High Ability Learners
Students in Grades 1 through 9 must score in the 96th percentile or above on Spring NWEA Reading or Math. Spring scores will be utilized for student placement during the summer as well as for the design of programming.
Each Spring, teachers in Grades K-11 may fill out a screener assessment such as the HOPE teacher rating scale for teacher nominated identification purposes.
Students will be reevaluated for HAL identification annually.
New students will be assessed during the next administration of the NWEA assessment for identification purposes.

Program of Continuum for HAL:
The district provides services for students based on the philosophy of prioritizing experiences within the general education classroom or least restrictive environment with consideration for similar age and ability peer interactions. For identified students, program decisions will be made on an individual basis.

The high ability learner education program may be based on one or more of the following program services:


Grades Applicable




  • K – 12th

Differentiated curriculum shall mean an adjustment of the regular program as appropriate for the individual learner in terms of content, process, and/or product within the classroom setting.



  • K - 12th

The provision of in-depth and/or multidisciplinary exploration of content or courses and/or experiences beyond those provided in the general curriculum.


  • K – 12th

Specialist employed by the school district who provides expertise in specific areas for high ability learners.



  • 6th - 12th

Activities and interest clubs, academic teams and other offerings available for all students.


  • 7th – 12th

Secondary students take university level courses for which cooperating college grant credit and/or advanced standing is awarded.  


  • 9th – 12th

Students may be enrolled in college courses while attending high school classes. 

All parents/guardians and teachers of students identified as High Ability Learners will be notified of their student’s selection within the first thirty (30) school days of the school year. Parents/guardians may appeal the identification or non-identification of high ability learners using the recommended channels of communication beginning with the building principal. The Assistant Superintendent and/or Superintendent of Schools will serve as an intermediary step prior to appealing the decisions of the building principal to the Board of Education.

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