K-12 High Ability Program


Marion Community Schools Mission Statement

The purpose of Marion Community Schools is to prepare all students to achieve their greatest potential, and to participate productively in an ever changing global society.

Marion Community Schools High Ability Program Belief Statement

High ability students come from all cultures, socioeconomic backgrounds and races. Marion Community Schools will identify high ability students in grades K-12 through systematic methods and will offer services to develop their intellectual talents and will offer support to meet their social and emotional needs. 


  1. Marion Community Schools will use a multifaceted identification system to find all students who perform or have the potential to perform at outstanding levels when compared to other students of the same age, experience, and environment. 
  2. Instruction and materials are differentiated for high ability students to provide opportunities for higher levels of critical thinking, problem solving, and creative extensions.
  3. The program will focus on high ability students’ social and emotional needs and provide opportunities for personal growth. 
  4. Professional development for educators will focus on how to best meet the needs of high ability students.
  5. The high ability committee will review the high ability program annually to evaluate the growth and achievement of our high ability students, and make changes as needed.

Culturally responsive identification process

Based on specific criteria using multi-faceted quantitative and qualitative measures:

  • Offer multiple entry points to high ability programming.
  • Local and subgroup norms will be developed to identify students’ potential for advanced study and honor students’ cultural backgrounds and languages.
  • Use assessment data to look for patterns of performance that indicate upward trajectories and rapid growth or improvement within subgroups.

Differentiated curriculum and instructional strategies

Continuum of services that provide differentiated curriculum and instructional strategies designed to help gifted learners meet their individual potential:

  • Infuse rigor, differentiation and enrichment into all our classrooms to meet the needs of all students.
  • Nurture talents and deliver meaningful enrichment opportunities.
  • Develop critical thinking skills.
  • Develop the academic abilities of students so that they will be able to master new and difficult curriculum challenges.

Focus on whole-person learning

Social and physical opportunities that encourage students to become well-rounded individuals.

  • Incorporate culturally responsive teaching practices and opportunities for students to understand their identity as a learning and contributing member of a diverse community.
  • Implement practices to help students understand their own emotional intelligence and self-awareness.
  • Provide learning environments that offer the level of challenge necessary for intellectual and personal growth.
  • Expose students to cultural experiences to center them within our community and connect them with the wider world.

Broad-Based High Ability Planning Committee

The Broad-Based High Ability Planning Committee is a diverse group of stakeholders organized to review the continuous development and implementation of the services and programs for high ability students. The Committee is not a decision-making group; it is an advisory board to review smart goals, policies, services, and outcomes. 

The Committee meets at least two times a year to review Marion Community Schools’ high ability programming and plans for: 

  • Multi-faceted student assessment 
  • Curriculum and instructional strategies 
  • Counseling and guidance 
  • Professional development 
  • Systematic program assessment 

The Committee will be made up of educators, parents, students, community members, and other stakeholders. Members should have an interest in advocacy for high ability education. The Committee should include some decision-makers within the corporation. 

The Committee will:

  • Be an appropriate representation of the community
  • Review plans and provide input
  • Review program goals, implementation, and results
  • Maintain a collaborative relationship with school staff
  • Serve as ambassadors for high ability services in the community

The Marion Community Schools High Ability Coordinator keeps a record of official members (including contact information), meeting dates, and agendas/minutes.

The high ability team will evaluate Academic achievement data to help guide any changes or modifications to the program. The data will be used to help develop program goals.

>> Click here for information about our High Ability identification process