High Ability

Last Updated: 11/20/2020 7:24 PM


The MSD of Pike Township is committed to meeting the needs, abilities, and interests of its academically gifted students. Through trained professional teachers and a qualitatively different approach to learning, the HA Program is dedicated to offering the best possible program to its High Ability Program participants.


Effective July 1, 2007, Indiana schools shall identify students with high ability in the general intellectual and specific academic domains and provide them with appropriately differentiated curriculum and instruction in core content areas, K-12 (refer to IC-20-36-2-2).

The Indiana Code defines a student with high abilities as one who:

1. performs at, or shows the potential for performing at, an outstanding level of accomplishment in at least one domain when compared to other students of the same age, experience, or environment; and:

2. is characterized by exceptional gifts, talents, motivation, or interests (IC 20-36-1-3).

The High Ability (HA) Program of the Metropolitan School District of Pike Township seeks to provide our most academically talented students with developmentally appropriate, enriched, and accelerated experiences to actively engage them in learning. The richly differentiated curriculum is well integrated and solidly based on tenets of critical thinking. The ability to think critically is imperative to prepare students to acquire the skills and passion to be life-long learners who accept the challenges and the responsibilities of a global society.

High Ability programs are offered in grades 1-5 at Guion Creek Elementary, Eagle Creek Elementary, and Fishback Creek Public Academy, in grades 6-8 at Guion Creek Middle School, Lincoln Middle School, and New Augusta North, and at Pike High School through Honors, Advanced Placement (AP), and the Internationale Baccalaureate (IB) Programme. 

Testing for High Ability placement occurs during the year prior to placement in the program. For a complete testing schedule, contact your child's schools in the fall. Students moving into Pike from another district's HA Program will be required to submit test scores and grades for consideration for a Pike HA placement. In addition, new students may be required to participate in further testing. Students who reside in Pike Township but attend a non-public school that are interested in testing for the High Ability Program in Pike will need to contact Lori O'Malley at 317-387-2216 for information and dates.

For more information regarding the HA Program or the identification process call the office of the Director of Curriculum and Programs K-12 at 387-2216.

Cluster Grouping 
Cluster grouping is a method of organizing a heterogeneous grade level by purposefully placing academically talented students with similar abilities in classrooms so that they may be provided with a more rigorous and differentiated instruction program. Cluster grouping classrooms will offer instruction with a peer group of students who have similar abilities and talents within a general education classroom setting. Comparable to, but not synonymous with the Honors program at the middle school, students will benefit from opportunities that enrich and challenge them throughout their elementary school experience. High Abilities testing data will determine students that qualify for Cluster Classroom placement. 

Cluster Identification
Student assessment data will be used to identify students for Cluster classrooms and HA classrooms. Students interested in a self-contained High Ability or Cluster classroom must qualify for and participate in additional testing during the annual testing identification process. This formal identification process will be used to select students for both the HA and Cluster grouping.

Honors Middle School Program (Grade 7 & 8 only)
In order to meet, challenge, and motivate high achieving students to take the appropriate AP/IB courses and seek an Academic Honors Diploma in high school, accelerated courses in grades 7 and 8 are referred to as Honors courses. Students must meet certain prerequisite criteria in order to participate in these courses. This shift enhances vertical alignment between the middle and high school as well as better prepares students for the rigor of high school and post-secondary pathways.

Please reference the High Ability Handbook for additional information about the MSD of Pike Township’s High Ability Program.