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
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.
- Secondary students are evaluated by their NWEA & ISTEP scores, along
with a strong academic record.
- At the elementary and middle school 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.
- 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 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.
- ALPHA Timeline - Coming soon!
The ALPHA Parent Group is
comprised of parents who have children in the High Ability ALPHA Program. The ALPHA Parent
Group and SACS administrators meet during the school year to discuss
issues involving the high ability program at all age levels. We provide input to administrators,
school board members, and legislators.
Have More Questions?
Call your Building Principal
or call Dr. Lynn Simmers at 431-2020.