High Ability Learners




Cindy Cole oversees all HAL activities for students in grades 4-12. She works closely with building principals, administrators, and High Ability Learner Coaches to develop and coordinate programs and events for students throughout the school year. Mrs. Cole also plans and organizes summer camp offerings for grades 4-8 and recruits qualified teachers to lead the classes. Cindy assists with HAL policy and budget recommendations as well as HAL Steering Committee activities. She also provides input on HAL staff development opportunities for district teachers. Mrs. Cole received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Peru State College and has been a teacher for more than 30 years.


HAL stands for High Ability Learner.  According to Nebraska Rule 3, a High Ability Learner is defined as:


District 29 is dedicated to preparing all of our students to be productive and responsible citizens in an ever-changing world.  In keeping with this statement, our schools recognize the need for providing programming for High Ability Learners.  Summer camps, Saturday camps, off-campus activities, field trips, and competitions such as Math Counts and News Bowl will be available according to student interest, staff availability, and funding.


To be given consideration as a High Ability Learner, students must earn a percentile rank of 90 or greater in a major area of a standardized achievement test, have an ability score of 120 or above on the Cognitive Abilities Test (or other IQ test) or be nominated by a teacher. Once a student in grades 4 through 11 has been initially identified in one of those ways, their name is placed on a screening list and information is collected in the areas of achievement, ability, task commitment, creativity, and grades. Weighted scores are assigned to each area and a total score is calculated for each student. Those students who have a final score at or above the cut score are then identified as High Ability Learners. Once identified, students are considered High Ability Learners for their remaining time at Auburn Public Schools.


Auburn High School has implemented Bronze, Silver, and Gold Diploma programs for qualifying students. Contact the building principal or guidance counselor for more information.


Jacquelyn Kelsay, Auburn Public School’s elementary principal, can be reached at 274-4129. Parents of high school level students may contact Principal Vernon Golladay at 274-4328.