Highly Gifted

Highly gifted program logo

Welcome to the Highly Gifted Program!

Welcome students and parents to the Highly Gifted Program.  For the past 11 years I have worked at West as the counselor and coordinator for the Highly Gifted Program.  Each year I look forward to bringing in a new class of 9th graders and I love the excitement that goes along with assisting students on their path of college and career searches. The best part of my job is seeing the excitement on the seniors’ faces when they are accepted to their first-choice school!  As I write each letter of recommendation, I enjoy recalling the growth I have seen from the time they entered 9th grade until the time of their graduation!  I hope you enjoy these years during your high school experience, as much as I enjoy working with each of you.  


Mrs. Friar


Highly Gifted Program

Students in the Highly Gifted program are offered the opportunity to access a differentiated curriculum that challenges a student to further explore their interests.  Upon entering 9th grade students will be scheduled into the following clustered classes: HG English I, HG Social Studies, and HG Biology. Additionally, they will take math, as recommended by their middle school math teacher, and two additional electives.


In 10th grade students will be clustered into HG English II only and will work with their counselor to schedule their other 5 classes.  At the end of 10th  grade the student will work with the program coordinator/counselor to plan the last 2 years of high with the focus on graduation, college admissions and possible career choices.  Selecting AP coursework or selecting the coursework for the IB Diploma will also be decided at this time. I am committed to providing each student with an academic plan that meets her/his unique educational needs and strengths. 


Program Philosophy

The Highly Gifted Program is committed to providing every student with an academic plan that meets her/his unique educational needs.  Students in the Highly Gifted Program (HG program) are offered the opportunity to access a differentiated curriculum allowing flexibility in coursework selections during their four-year plan of study.  This rigorous program yields an impressive number of National Merit Scholars as well as Presidential Scholar candidates. These students are college-bound, ready, and excited to work within a "progressive" educational track.  Homework given in the HG Classes is primarily used to reinforce concepts taught and to promote further investigation of subject matter.


Eligibility for the Highly Gifted Program

The eligibility process begins in Fall of the student's 8th grade year. Every middle school throughout the Anchorage School District has a gifted contact person who brings forth the names of students who are eligible to apply to the HG Program at West. The criteria are as follows:  98th percentile or above on tests evaluating cognitive ability and academic achievement tests, with the achievement score current within 3 years of entering high school.  Additionally, a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.5 for the first 3 semesters of middle school.


Parents of qualified students are invited to an informational meeting in November.  For those students who have all the qualifications, who wish to be placed in the HG Program, the parent must attend the mandatory meeting on February 1st, 2018 at 6 pm in the West auditorium.  At this meeting, we will go over all the details of the program and hand out the application packet. Every student who wishes to enroll in the HG program must turn in their application packet to West within the 2-week window.   Announcements of acceptance into the program will be notified within 2 weeks of the application due date.