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 PhilosophyKearney 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 & ObjectivesThe 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:
5412 Board Policy                                                                                              


 High Ability Learners

 The Board of Education recognizes that the student population includes students with exceptional academic abilities.

 Learners with high ability shall be identified in the academic areas of math, language, and reading. Identification of learners in grades 3-8 with high ability in the specified areas shall be based on the criteria listed below. Students meeting any one of the following criteria shall be identified as high ability learners.

  •  97th percentile or above on the Spring Mathematics assessment administered by the district.
  • 97th percentile or above on the Spring Reading assessment administered by the district.

A listing of students who meet the district criteria for learners of high ability and their area of high ability shall be made available to classroom teachers, by school district administration, within the first thirty (30) days of each school year. New students to the district will be accepted into the district’s (HAL) program after providing evidence of scoring at the 97th percentile or higher on the previous district’s summative assessment in previous years.  New applications for the (HAL) program will be reviewed with acceptance or denial into the program communicated by district administration.  Final determination will be made by the Superintendent and/or his/her designee.

 Within the first thirty (30) days of each school year, the school district administration shall notify parents or guardians of identified high ability.

 The administration shall implement the district wide plan for learners with high ability, as such plan is modified from time to time, in accordance with applicable laws and regulations.

 Legal Reference:           Neb. Rev. Stat. §§ 79-1106 to 79-1108.03

 NDE Rule 3