High Ability Learners

Kearney Public Schools
High Ability Learner Program


Nebraska, Rule 3 Definition

“Learner with High Ability means a student who gives evidence of high-performance capability in such areas as intellectual, creative, or artistic capacity or in specific academic fields and who requires accelerated or differentiated curriculum programs in order to develop those capabilities fully.”


Kearney Public School Mission Statement 

Kearney Public Schools will provide a safe, supportive learning community that empowers students to become problem-solvers, engaged citizens, and compassionate people who own their future.


PK-12 HAL Philosophy

Kearney Public School recognizes that each student is a unique individual, and is committed to providing a program to meet these needs.  The purpose of the High Ability Learner program is to provide opportunities to students so that they can broaden and extend their learning process and enhance their social responsibility.  Therefore, the district is committed to providing these students with options that are integrated with the regular school program. The High Ability Learner program is designed to identify students in grades 3-8 who exhibit high-performance capabilities.  Appropriate services shall be provided to these students.


HAL Program Goals & Objectives

The goal of the HAL program is to provide a differentiated program that will meet the needs of our districts’ high ability learners.  The program will strive to:

  • Identify students who demonstrate potential abilities of high performance in recognized areas of giftedness.
  • Provide education services that meet the needs of all high ability learners.
  • Provide professional development opportunities to staff in order to promote a better understanding of the needs of high ability learners, and the services available to meet those needs.
  • To meet the students’ intellectual, social, physical, and emotional needs.
      • Within the regular classroom a variety of instructional techniques including but not limited to compacting, alternative assignments, advanced placement, contract learning, differentiated curriculum, and independent studies will be used as necessary.
      • Within the regular classroom flexible grouping, including but not limited to ability, achievement, cluster, and cross-age grouping will be provided as necessary.
      • Enrichment programs will include but are not limited to within-class enrichment, whole class enrichment, before and after school enrichment, field trips, school-wide enrichment, learning centers, extracurricular programs, community sponsored programs and competitions.
      • The counselor will be available to assist teachers and students in meeting individual needs.
      • To evaluate student program option choices on an individual basis at the discretion of the classroom teacher in conjunction with the HAL coordinators.


HAL Screening Process:

All students Kearney Public Schools will be screened in grades 3-12 for our district’s high ability services based on the following: 

      • SPRING MAP Reading and/or Math Achievement test scores of 97th percentile or higher.