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Middle School Plus Programs Screening and Selection

In the PLUS program screening process, a variety of data points are evaluated to determine whether there is a need for the PLUS program.  A matrix is used to analyze data in these areas.  A committee of administrators from across the district reviews the individual matrix of each student who is screened.  Qualified students are invited to join the program for the following year.

Both the quantitative and nonverbal CogAT scores are reviewed.  Students are generally in the 95th percentile and higher in both of these areas.  Students' math scores on the objective portion of the SLMA (district math assessments) for 3rd through 5th grade, both spring and fall, should all be at or above 95%. 

During spring testing, students are administered 3 above grade level tests, two of which were designed by Johns Hopkins University (the SCAT and the STEP).  Students who are accepted into the PLUS program have at least two scores (generally 3) on the matrix.  Additionally, these scores are not only on the matrix, but often on the extreme high end.  

Students would also be accepted upon successfully “testing out” of the prior grade level content standards.  Students must earn a 78% or higher to move to the next level math.  This is consistent with the practice at the high school level for credit attainment.

For language arts, verbal CogAT scores are reviewed.  The SLRA (the district reading assessment) scores from 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades (both fall and spring, and both narrative and expository) should all be at or above 95%. 

During spring testing, students are administered two above grade level tests, designed by Johns Hopkins University (the SCAT and the STEP).  Students who are accepted into the PLUS program have both scores on the matrix.  Additionally, these scores are not only on the matrix, but often on the extreme high end.   

Assessments Used for Plus Screening

The South Lyon School Testing Program includes:

  • Grade 1 - 7 - South Lyon District Achievement Assessments (95% or higher)
  • Grade 2 - Cognitive Abilities Test (88th percentile or higher)
  • Grade 3 - 7 - ELA/Math M-STEP, previously MEAP (high advanced range)

For the purpose of screening for placement in the Academically Talented Programs, the following assessments may be used:

  • Assessments from Johns Hopkins University, SCAT and STEP (80th percentile or higher) 
  • District-created above grade level assessments (78% or higher)

The students for the Plus program are identified using multiple criteria. Each spring a list of student names is compiled through five possible pathways. A child may qualify for screening in any of these ways:

  • ability test scores
  • achievement test scores
  • teacher recommendation
  • parent recommendation
  • special nomination (previous year teacher, counselor, principal, etc.)

Screening for the Academically Talented Plus Program begins in January of each school year.

Parents and teachers may nominate students for screening.  Students may also be nominated by scores on previous district and state tests.  Most students who demonstrate a need for this program will be nominated by their teachers or via high test scores. The teacher will inform parents if he/she is nominating their child or if their child has been nominated due to high test scores.

Parents may also nominate their child for screening.  Please note that entering a child in the screening process does not mean parents are accepting placement in the Plus Program or that all nominated students will be screened.  The screening only identifies whether or not the child has a need for the program. Students who qualify for and whose parents accept placement in the program will attend Millennium Middle School the following school year.

Parents that are interested in nominating their child should confer with the child’s teachers to determine if their child is functioning above grade level and may have a need for the program.

The 2016 Sixth Grade Plus above grade level testing occurs in the evenings on January 11th and January 19th with one weekend make-up date on January 23rd. Notes with more specific information on the screening process and testing dates will be sent home with all 5th graders in December of 2015.

Click to view the 6th grade language arts and mathematics testing timeline.

Students who are in 6th or 7th grades may also be nominated and screened for the following year’s 7th and 8th grade Language Arts Plus or 7th grade Math Plus classes.  Data is collected, a preliminary review is conducted, and qualified students are then administered above grade level tests to determine if there is a need for the program. This screening takes place during April and May of each year, and more information will be sent in a Skylert message to all parents of 6th and 7th grade students in January and March of 2016. 

Students who move into the South Lyon district during the school year or during the summer are evaluated separately. The procedure varies depending upon when the student registers in the district and previous coursework taken by the student.

Students who are new to the district may be screened based upon prior academic experience. Placement in the program is dependent upon results of the screening.  Students who move into the district during the school year will only be evaluated for placement if they are coming to us from an academically talented program in their prior district.  Students moving to our district who did not attend an academically talented program in their previous district may be nominated for spring screening for the following school year. 

The following data is considered when determining program placement:

  • academic ability
  • achievement
  • classroom performance and the behavioral characteristics of learning, creativity, and motivation

Please direct all questions to the appropriate program administrators: 

Plus Program:           Kelly Gallagher, MMS Principal          248-573-8200

Screening Process:  Kelly Bell, Academically Talented testing Facilitator,     248-573-8200 x 2385