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Highly Capable Programs

K-12 Program Coordinator & Home Link Representative

Kristin Janson (email)


DPE Representative

Marlee White (email)

Arcadia Representative

Deb Paulson (email)

DPMS Representative

Stefany Hanlin (email)

DPHS Representative

Brandy Barton (email)

Welcome to Deer Park School District’s Highly Capable program.  We are passionate about serving the needs of gifted and potentially gifted students.  We are proud of our students’ academic potential and the bright future they represent.  Working together, staff, administration, students, teachers, and parents are collaborating to help these exceptional kids stay challenged at the appropriate level during their regular school day, as well as offering some after school enrichment and summer opportunities for continued depth and rigor.  We are committed to reaching all students by customizing learning opportunities that are optimal for their abilities.  Thank you for your interest and support!


It is our mission to identify and provide, through a variety of instructional strategies, for the unique intellectual, social, and emotional needs of our highly capable students to help ensure their college, career, and life readiness.


Highly Capable Services are designed for students identified as advanced learners through cognitive and/or academic performance. According to Washington State law, (WAC 392-170-035) students identified for Highly Capable Program services are those who “perform or show potential for performing at significantly advanced academic levels compared with others of their age, experiences, or environments. Outstanding abilities are seen within students’ general intellectual aptitudes, specific academic abilities, and/or creative productivities within a specific domain.

Combined with the commitment of our Board of Directors, administration, and instructional staff, state law ensures quality services are provided for eligible students. In Deer Park, we work continually to offer a responsive menu of Highly Capable Program services to meet the specific learning characteristics of highly capable students as defined in WAC 392-170-036.

Guiding Principles

  • Whole-child focus: Supporting academic, creative, and social-emotional development, fostering a growth mindset.

  • Different work, not more work: Developing innovative, creative, and critical thinkers through access to advanced learning standards with appropriate depth and rigor.

  • Customized learning: Qualified highly capable students have diverse needs and unique challenges, in addition to high cognitive capability and/or academic achievement. Often this requires the collaboration of teams across programs and grade levels to meet the needs of individual learners.

  • Equitable access:  Deer Park Schools is committed to providing all students equitable opportunity to qualify for highly capable services using culturally and linguistically accessible instruments.

Public Notice

Washington Administrative Code (WAC) 392-170-042 requires school districts to annually make public notification to parents and students before any major identification activity for Highly Capable services occurs. A student may be nominated for services at any time, although formal identification windows occur twice during the school year (fall and spring). Deer Park School District's multi-disciplinary team will engage in preliminary identification of those who may show potential for performance significantly above grade level. This helps us provide daily services within the regular classroom (including differentiation of instruction, special awareness regarding the social-emotional needs of gifted kids, and more). Secondly, it opens the opportunity for certain higher-performing students to participate in after-school enrichment programs. We have several grade-level opportunities available year round.

Some examples of criteria used to identify students are in-district assessments such as i-Ready, state assessments, curriculum or classroom based assessments, teacher recommendations and parent nominations. If you believe your student displays significant above average ability and may benefit from adjusted class instruction or more challenge and rigor, you may fill out a Parent Nomination form and submit it to Kristin Janson at the administration building.

You may submit these forms any time throughout the year. Contact Kristin Janson at (509) 468-3376 or kristin.janson@dpsdmail.org if you have questions.

Use the links below for access to Deer Park’s Highly Capable resources!


  • Deer Park Elementary

  • Arcadia Elementary

  • Deer Park Middle School

  • Deer Park High School

  • Deer Park Home Link