How are students identified?

Selection Criteria

All students in grades three through eight are considered for formal placement each year. Students meeting the following cutoffs on the ISTEP or CTBS are placed in a "talent pool" for further consideration.

Cognitive Skills Index (CSI) of 125 or higher.

Achievement scores in reading, language, math or total composite scores of 85 normal curve equivalent (NCE) or the 95th percentile.  Science and social studies scores are also examined. Records are examined for the past three years for students meeting the selection criteria,. For example, if a student new to the corporation scored 136/141 on the CSI and at least two achievement scores were 95 or above, that student will be placed. However, if the most recent scores are in the 120-130 range and/or the achievement scores are in the 90-95 range, previous records will be examined and several previous teachers may be requested to make recommendations.

Students placed as third graders need to re-qualify prior to grade four and fifth graders need to re-qualify prior to formal placement in EXCEL before going to the middle school. Students placed as sixth graders remain in EXCEL through the eighth grade.Teachers, parents, and students may appeal a decision.

EXCEL students with disabilities such as autism and attention deficiencies have modifications made to assist with their classroom adjustment.

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