Duneland School Corporation
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601 West Morgan Ave.

Chesterton, IN 46304

Phone: 219-983-3600

Intermediate (5th & 6th Grade) Program Description:

Liberty Intermediate School (LIS) offers high ability math and language arts classes for both fifth and sixth grade students.  The number of classes offered at each level is determined by the level of students entering into that grade any given year.  Westchester Intermediate School (WIS) offers two ELA and two math high ability classes at the 5th grade level. At the sixth grade level, students are organized into either honors or gifted/talented math.  A high ability reading/language arts class is also offered at sixth grade, either by whole class or by using differentiated instruction.  (WIS has two HA ELA classes, one honors math, and two GT math classes.)  Sixth grade students can be enrolled in either one or both of these subjects. Students must maintain a "B" average to remain in these classes.  

Intermediate (5th & 6th Grade) Identification and Placement

It is important to keep in mind that cognitive growth is not always consistent, and consequently, such placement is not necessarily permanent. Students are systematically evaluated for instructional placement in fourth grade for intermediate school placement.  All placement decisions may be modified in accordance with changes in students’ learning profiles as they progress through intermediate school.

At the intermediate level, students are identified for high ability or having the potential to be high ability in math, language arts, or general intellectual (both math and language arts).  A combination of the following criteria may be used to identify our high ability students:

  • Potential-based (aptitude) Measure:  InView/Cognitive Skills Index (CSI)-- (taken in 4th grade for Intermediate)
  • Performance-based (achievement) Measure:  NWEA (end of the year scores)
  • Other Measures:  Teacher nomination/observation, projects, and rating scales

Students will be considered for high ability in fifth grade based upon data collected in 4th grade.

At the end of 4th grade, inView scores are used for identification data for placement from elementary to intermediate level.   The selection committee will meet in the spring to analyze the data for identifying students for the following school year.

In addition, all students take Northwest Evaluation Association Tests (NWEA) three times during  the school year (beginning, middle, and end of the year). For identification, the end of the year NWEA scores are used. Fourth grade students who meet the end of the year benchmark of 95% or higher on NWEA for the end of the year may be identified as high ability or the potential to be high ability for 5th grade.  At the end of 5th grade data from the end of the year NWEA will be revisited for appropriate placement in 6th grade.

Finally, teachers complete a teacher observation form for each student meeting the criteria in the screening pool. The selection committee will meet in the spring to begin analyzing the data for identifying students for the following school year.

New students will be considered at the time of enrollment pending information from their previous school, teacher observations, and data collected. Students must meet local criteria for program placement. Identification for program services at a prior school does not automatically qualify the student for services at Duneland School Corporation. 

Intermediate (5th & 6th grade) Exit Procedure

A child may be removed from the program at any time by a parent by providing the building principal with a written request.  If the teacher has a concern about a child’s placement in High Ability, additional data will be collected.  All students will be monitored through the Response to Instruction (RtI) building process.  Students, who are identified as struggling as evidenced by RtI data, will be discussed in RtI meetings for potential removal from the program.  These students will exit the program as a result of a joint decision between the school and the parent.  Should a parent/guardian, principal or classroom teacher request discontinuance of program services due to poor performance or for any other reasons, the following protocol shall be followed:

  1. A conference will be held with the student and his/her parent or guardian addressing concerns.
  2. A trial period will follow allowing time for the student to modify his/her performance.
  3. A second conference will be held to evaluate the student’s further participation in the program.
  4. Provided the family still wishes to discontinue their child’s participation in the program, a written letter from the student’s parent or guardian stating reasons for discontinuance must be submitted to the classroom teacher who will then forward the letter to the building principal and Director of High Ability.
  5. If the request for discontinuance in the program was made by the HA instructor or classroom teacher, and the student does not make reasonable progress during the trial period, a committee (including the building principal and/or Director of HA, classroom teacher, HA teacher/instructor and the child’s parent/guardian) will meet to evaluate the student’s lack of progress and make a recommendation to continue or discontinue High Ability program services.

Intermediate (5th & 6th Grade) Appeals

Parents/Guardians of a child who requests reevaluation of their child’s eligibility must submit in writing an appeal form stating the reasons they believe their child should receive high ability services. At the intermediate school level, all appeals go through the guidance department.  After review by the Honors Cadre, the guidance department will inform the parent/guardian of its decision. Appeal forms are available on the Duneland School Corporation webpage.  Appeals will be considered from August 1st-September 30th.  No further appeals will be considered after September 30th.  

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