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High Ability ALPHA Program

Actualizing Learning Potential Through Heightened Awareness

What is ALPHA?

In Southwest Allen County Schools, the program for high ability students is called ALPHA, an acronym for Actualizing Learning Potential Through Heightened Awareness. The ALPHA curricula are aligned with the district's general education curricula and Indiana Academic Standards, but are offered at a depth appropriate to the students' abilities. The program is designed to meet the educational needs of high ability students through instruction of appropriate pacing and complexity, developing creative and critical thinking, and encouraging the utilization of research skills. In some subjects, students will receive an accelerated, more complex curriculum since high ability students are able to master basic academic skills and to develop thinking processes more rapidly than their classmates. In subjects that are not accelerated, the ALPHA curriculum will consist of processes and products that are qualitatively differentiated from those found in non-ALPHA classes.

How Does My Child Qualify for Self-Contained ALPHA? How is ALPHA Structured?

  • Achievement scores in the 96th percentile or above of the Winter NWEA tests will be used to identify students for a SSS meeting (Strategies for Student Success).
    • Following the SSS meeting, referred students, grades K-4, will take an online aptitude test (CogAT) with parent/guardian permission.
  • All 2nd grade students take the CogAT.
  • Students new to SACS will be considered for ALPHA based upon results from SACS approved tests such as the WISC V or Stanford Binet Full Scale IQ tests administered by a licensed psychologist at the parent/guardian's expense. Outside testing must be submitted to the Assistant Superintendent's office for consideration.

Dr. Lynn Simmers, Assistant Superintendent
SACS Administration Building
4824 Homestead Road
Fort Wayne, IN 46814

K-4 students scoring in the 9th stanine on the CogAT qualify, with parent permission, for the Self-Contained ALPHA Program at Aboite Elementary for the following academic year.

  • K-4 students who score in the 8th stanine on the CogAT may be further evaluated by an educational team that makes up the building ALPHA committee and may be given additional assessments such as the SIGS (Scales for Identifying Gifted Students) Home Rating Scale and School Rating Scale to determine possible placement in the Self-Contained ALPHA Program.
  • K-4 students who score in the Superior range in Verbal, Quantitative or Non-verbal on the CogAT will qualify for ALPHA services in that specific domain in their neighborhood school through differentiation in the classroom.
  • At the elementary level, students who score 96% or above in Language Arts, Reading or Math on the Fall NWEA test automatically qualify for Neighborhood High Ability services in their home school in that particular domain. This is an annual assessment and eligibility may change from year to year.
  • At the middle school level, high ability students are encouraged to pursue a rigorous curriculum through Honors classes.
  • At the high school level, high ability students are encouraged to pursue a rigorous curriculum through Honors, AP, PLTW, Dual-Credit, and/or Vocational classes.
  • Students at Homestead may also develop a mentorship - a program that offers an individually designed, semester-long project of an educationally challenging real-life experience.

Have More Questions?

Call your Building Principal or call Dr. Lynn Simmers at 431-2020.