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High Ability Program Eligibility


We believe outstanding abilities are present in children from all cultural groups, across all economic strata and in all areas of human endeavors. We are committed to meeting the diverse needs of all children through providing an array of service options. These options are designed to maximize the student’s opportunities to develop and show high ability behaviors. We encourage continuous staff development and collaboration among teachers, parents, administrators, and community members to better meet the needs of high ability students.


The Indianapolis Public Schools defines High Ability students as children with outstanding abilities who perform at or show the potential for performing at remarkably high levels of accomplishment when compared with other students of the same age, experience or environment. Students can be high ability in language arts, mathematics or general intellectual abilities. IC 20-19.15.1-2

High Ability Identification

Selection Procedures

Assessment measures may include, but are not limited to:

  • CogAT (Cognitive Abilities Test)
  • PSAT/AP Potential Tool
  • Terra Nova
  • NWEA
  • Teacher Rating Scale

Testing may be requested for students in any grade. Students in grades 1 and up will be tested in the fall semester. Kindergarten students are tested in the spring semester.

Transfer Policy

IPS will consider scores on comparable tests completed at other schools or from a psychologist. Identification committee will discuss scores and acceptability for admission into the IPS high ability program. If additional testing is needed, the identification committee will make that decision. A score submission form must be completed as well.

High Ability Service Options

Elementary and Middle Grades

  • Service options for students identified as having high ability – general intellectual: Students identified as having high ability in the general intellectual domain have the option of attending a self-contained classroom at Sidener Academy, pending space and grade available, or on the waiting list if all available spots are taken. Sidener Academy is available for grades 2-8. Those students may also choose to remain at their home school and receive high ability services in a general education classroom.
  • Service options for students identified as having high ability in one domain of math or language arts: Teachers will differentiate curriculum so that all identified students can receive an accelerated and enriched articulated education in math or language arts according to their identification.

High School

Students who are identified as having high ability are encouraged to take honors courses, Advanced Placement courses, International Baccalaureate and Dual Credit.