CHALLENGE/HONORS: A Program for Highly Capable Learners
What are the Challenge/Honors programs?
Challenge is Vancouver School District’s program for meeting the unique learning needs of students with demonstrated intellectual ability and/or potential in terms of cognitive capacity, academic achievement, and/or exceptional creativity.

Qualified students in grades 1-8 attend one of the six Challenge schools where they participate in a rigorous curriculum designed to maximize individual potential. Teachers regularly participate in professional activities related to differentiating instruction to meet the needs of all students.

The magnet school becomes the “home school” for the child and his/her parents.

The Challenge Program curriculum is aligned with Washington State's Essential Academic Learning requirements and Grade Level Expectations. For highly capable students in grades 1-5, teachers apply the principles of critical and creative thinking in reading, math and language arts in a full-day, self-contained classroom. In middle school the same principles are applied in language arts and social studies. Student placement in benchmark or advanced math courses is based on performance data. Where appropriate, students employ research techniques; assimilate information; and report or present findings, conclusions, and/or solutions in topical areas of interest to the student. Selected supplementary materials are used at all grade levels. Instructional practices emphasize:
• depth and breadth of learning
• critical and creative thinking processes
• real world applications of learning
• goal setting and reflection
• collaborative learning and effective decision making
• responsible citizenship
• interpersonal communication skills
• personal motivation and life-long learning

Program information
In addition to regular instruction with their cohort, Challenge students are integrated with other students for part of the school day, as appropriate. Honors classes are available to all students who demonstrate the capacity to be successful.

The elementary program serves grades 1–5 in three schools: Eisenhower, Roosevelt and Truman.

There are three Challenge/Honors middle schools: Discovery, Jason Lee and McLoughlin.

In high school, students may participate in multiple rigorous learning opportunities:
Advanced Placement and Pre-AP courses
Pre-B and Diploma Programme courses as part of International Baccalaureate at Columbia River High School
Science, Math and Technology magnet at Skyview High School
Vancouver School of Arts and Academics
Medical Arts and Legal magnets at Fort Vancouver High School
Careers in Education at Hudson’s Bay High School
Habitat Planning and Civil Engineering at Hudson’s Bay High School

Parent participation
All parents are encouraged to take an active role in both the educational program and activities of their child's school. Parents who help with study routine, volunteer in the classroom, and assist with projects and schoolwide events provide valuable and appreciated support.

The Challenge Advisory Committee meets three to four times a year and is a representative group of parents that advises the district about program matters and acts as a liaison between the parents and program personnel.

Referral and testing
Referrals may be submitted to the Challenge/Honors office at any time throughout the year, yet the screening of students takes place in January for placement the following school year. Additional screenings in the spring and summer may be necessary in the event that openings become available. Students may be referred by their parents(s), teachers(s), or any other adult. Parents and teachers may call 313-1360 for referral and testing information. In addition to the referral process the district may identify students through academic performance data that is available on the district's Learner Profile portal.

Students new to the district are considered for placement in the Challenge/Honors program with documentation of prior participation in a comparable highly capable program or with qualifying scores on approved district measures of cognitive ability, academic achievement, and/or exceptional creativity.

Test scores and other pertinent referral information are evaluated by the Multidisciplinary Committee, composed of the program's coordinator, instructors, and counselors and/or psychologists.

Challenge Program Referral Form
Challenge/Honors information
For information about the Challenge/Honors program, please contact Gail Paice.
Jim Parsley Center
2901 Falk Road
Vancouver, WA 98661

Challenge/Honors program sites
Eisenhower Elementary School
Principal, Doug Hood
9201 NW 9th Avenue
Vancouver, WA 98665

Eleanor Roosevelt Elementary School
Principal, Karen Leary
2921 Falk Road
Vancouver, WA 98661

Truman Elementary School
Principal, Darci Fronk
4505 NE 42nd Avenue
Vancouver, WA 98661

Discovery Middle School
Principal, Chris Olsen
800 E. 40th Street
Vancouver, WA 98663

Jason Lee Middle School
Principal, Susan Cone
8500 NW 9th Avenue
Vancouver, WA 98665

McLoughlin Middle School
Principal, Richard Reeves
5802 MacArthur Boulevard
Vancouver, WA 98661

Challenge Program Meetings
Challenge/Honors Parent Advisory Committee Meetings 2008/09

Challenge Programs Minutes
• October 2008