In accordance with WAC 392-170-055, the Bellevue School District uses multiple objective criteria for identification of students who are among the most highly capable.

Evidence of need for gifted services is determined by a district-level multi-disciplinary team.  All decisions are based upon multiple criteria to include State assessment scores, district-level achievement measures, teacher and parent rating scales, ability scores on the Cognitive Abilities Test 7 (CogAT 7), and achievement scores in reading and math on the STAR or IOWA Assessments.  The CogAT 7, STAR and IOWA Assessments assist the multi-disciplinary team by providing information about each students’ ability and achievement level in comparison with their peers nationwide.

The following assessments are administered in school and results are available to us through the district data portal. The teacher does not have to provide any of these items.

Test Grades Administered
Text Reading Comprehension (TRC) K – 2
STAR Math 2 – 8
STAR Reading 2 – 8
Washington State MSP 3 – 8
End of Course Algebra Assessment Administered to secondary students as they complete the Algebra I course

Please Note: There are no weights assigned to various data points, but many are utilized in order to provide a clear picture of each student’s ability.  Qualifying decisions are based upon whether the total package of data indicates a need for services beyond the scope of the general education classroom.


Cognitive Abilities Test 7 (CogAT 7)

The CogAT 7 has a median score of 100 with a standard deviation (SD) of 16, i.e., 52 = -3 SD, 68 = -2 SD, 84 = -1 SD, 100 = mean, 116 = +1 SD, 132 = +2 SD, 148 = +3 SD.  Sixty-eight percent of the general population will fall between -1 SD (one standard deviation below the mean) and +1 SD (one standard deviation above the mean).

Ninety-five percent of the general population will fall between -2 SD and +2 SD.  This 95% is typically served in the general education classroom with differentiation at either end.  Students falling below the -2 SD (2.5% of the general population) or above the +2 SD (2.5% of the general population) tend to receive specially designed academic services.

The Bellevue School District’s gifted programs are designed to meet the academic needs of students determined through academic and cognitive testing to be in the +2 SD and above, or roughly the 98th percentile and above when compared to the general population. The CogAT 7 tests a child’s cognitive reasoning ability and is scored based on a child’s birthday.


STAR Assessments (STAR)

For every STAR assessment, your child receives a scaled score (SS), which is based on the difficulty of the questions and the number of correct answers. Scaled scores are useful for comparing your child’s performance over time and across grades. STAR Reading and STAR Math scaled scores range from 0–1400. Some STAR scores compare your child’s performance to a specific criteria or to a standard (criterion-referenced cores). STAR reports also include scores which compare your child’s performance to other students who have taken the same test (norm-referenced scores). The criterion- and norm-referenced scores are based on the scaled score.


IOWA Assessments (IOWA)

The IOWA tests a student’s academic knowledge and is scored by grade level.  The grade percentiles on the IOWA designate the percentile of students on the Standard Curve of the same grade as your child who obtained lower scores.  The median is the 50th percentile; the highest score is the 99th percentile.


Current Score Range of Students Identified in Need of Gifted Services:

Kindergarten and First Grade

  • Academic grade level equivalencies in math and reading 2 years above grade level.
  • Other achievement data at or above 90% or Level 4.

GESP (Grades 2 – 5), GMSP (Grades 6 – 8) and GHSP (Grades 9 – 11)

  • Two of the three CogAT subtests (Verbal, Quantitative or Non-Verbal) scores at or above 132 SAS (Standard Age Score) and the third subtest score at or above 126.
  • CogAT Composite score at or above 132.
  • Achievement results on the STAR or IOWA Reading and Math assessments at or above 95%.
  • Other achievement data at or above 90% or Level 4.

Please note:  if your child is attending BSD on an inter-district transfer and is identified as gifted, gifted services are only provided through differentiation in the current school setting for which that transfer applies.


CogAT Standard Age Score Conversion to Percentile Ranks

Standard Age Score (SAS) is a normalized standard score, with a mean (average) of 100. Standard Age Scores of 89-111 are all within the average range. For example:

  • A student with a SAS of 100 on the Verbal Battery has the rate and level of development of verbal reasoning skills that are typical for his/her age group.
  • A student with a SAS of 125 on the Verbal Battery has a faster rate and higher level of development of verbal reasoning skills than the typical student in his/her age group.
  • A student with a SAS of 132 or above on the Verbal Battery has an exceptional rate and level of development of verbal reasoning skills that are considered to be in the gifted range for his/her age group.
Standard Age Score Percentile Rank
100 50
101 52
102 55
103 57
104 60
105 62
106 65
107 67
108 69
109 71
110 73
111 75
Standard Age Score Percentile Rank
112 77
113 79
114 81
115 83
116 84
117 86
118 87
119 88
120 89
121 91
122 92
123 92
Standard Age Score Percentile Rank
124 93
125 94
126 95
127 95
128 96
129 97
130 97
131 97
132 98
133-134 98
135-160 99