Middle School Highly Able Learner (HAL) Program Identification Process
All rising 6th graders and students who transfer to FCPS schools during the middle school years are considered for placement in the Highly Able Learner (HAL) Program through the articulation and enrollment process. Using a variety of available performance data as well as information from previous teachers, the middle school Math, Literacy, and Advanced Academics Specialists work collaboratively to make placement recommendations.
The HAL program provides the flexibility to have students formally identified in all four content areas (Language Arts, Mathematics, Social Studies, and Science) or just one, two, or three. This allows for students to access advanced content and extension in their domain-specific areas of ability and advanced performance.
Students who are formally identified for the HAL Program are placed in a cluster group within a classroom taught by a teacher who has been trained to meet the unique needs of gifted and highly able learners and who has specialized resources to support the curriculum. Because the program is grounded in ongoing pre-assessment, any student in the classroom who demonstrates readiness to access higher level content and instruction will have access; therefore, students who are approaching readiness for formal HAL Program identification are given opportunity.
Parents are notified of their child’s placement in the HAL Program by April 1. If a child is not selected for the HAL Program, but parents wish to share further information, the parent may appeal in writing to the middle school principal.