NKSD AGATE program not expanding

Schools will have their own Highly Capable programs

Correction: The North Kitsap Herald previously reported that AGATE would be expanding to other schools. Actually, it will be phased out in two years and other schools will have their own Highly Capable programs.

A program for gifted and talented students that was exclusively at Suquamish Elementary School will be phased out in coming years in favor of offering services for highly capable students in their own neighborhood schools.

The North Kitsap School District offers a range of programs for students who are identified as academically gifted/talented or highly capable in grades K-12. The Academically Gifted and Talented Education (AGATE) Program was designed for third- through fifth-graders who qualify for highly capable services and are selected through a screening process.

For years AGATE has been run exclusively out of Suquamish Elementary, and students currently enrolled in the program such as incoming 4th graders will be able to continue in the program, but by the 2023-24 school year the program will be phased out.

Incoming third-graders who have been identified as highly capable will receive services in their own neighborhood schools.

“Highly capable services are currently provided for students in grades K-5 in all elementary schools. These services include providing differentiated instruction – focusing on enrichment and extension for students based on their individual needs,” said Jenn Markaryan, Communications and Community Relations for NKSD. “Whenever possible, Highly Capable students are clustered together in classrooms so they can continue to work with other Highly Capable students.”

By phasing out the AGATE program the district hopes to provide more equitable, accessible and quality services for highly capable students regardless of where they live and attend school.

Additionally, this will allow students to continue their relationships with peers with less disruption to their school day and reduce hardships on families with multiple children attending different schools allowing for more engagement in their neighborhood schools.

“We are working to transition our identified elementary students to receive services in their neighborhood schools over the next two years,” reads a district news release.