How to Qualify for Gifted Services

Results from ITBS and CogAT should be delivered by now. Here’s what you need to know about qualifying for gifted services.

History
In the 1958, Georgia became the first state to pass legislation that requires all public school systems in Georgia to offer programs for gifted education students.  In 1994, Georgia added subjective measures to its gifted evaluation process to provide an additional path for students, especially minority students.

Resources
.pdf link icon Georgia Resource Manual for Gifted Education Services 2014 – 2015
.pdf link icon Georgia State BOE Rule 160-4-2-.38 – Education Program for Gifted Students
.pdf link icon DeKalb Schools Gifted and High Achievers webpage
.pdf link icon DeKalb Schools Program for Gifted Brochure
.pdf link icon OCGA § 20-2-152. Special education services

Programs
Elementary students participate in the gifted program for a minimum of 225 minutes per week and are supported by a certified teacher of the gifted.  Middle and senior high school gifted students are taught at least one period per day in a content-based program by a certified teacher of the gifted. In high schools, gifted students may also participate in advanced placement (AP), directed-study courses.

Eligibility
To be eligible for gifted education services, a student must meet the criterion score on a norm-referenced test and either have observational data collected on his or her performance or produce a superior product as described below.  Students in grades one, three, five, and seven go through a district-wide assessment process (gifted identification testing cycle). This process usually begins with a mental ability assessment (CogAT) and an achievement test (ITBS) during the fall semester. A creativity and motivation assessment is provided during the first week in November.

Eligibility Criteria
To be eligible for gifted services, students must qualify in three of the following four areas:

  • Mental Ability – Minimum score of 96th percentile (or higher) in at least one sub-test area
  • Achievement – Minimum score of 90th percentile (or higher) on the total reading, total math, or complete composite
  • Creativity – Minimum score of 90th percentile (or higher) on an assessment for creativity
  • Motivation – Minimum of 90th percentile (or higher) on an assessment for motivation (Grades K-12)

-OR-
Grade point average of at least 3.5 on a 4.0 scale, using an average of core grades over the previous two school years in English, math, science, social studies, and foreign language if applicable (Grades 9-12)

Assessment Scores

  • A qualifying score on a nationally normed test is required to meet the criteria in at least one area.
  • Any data used to establish eligibility in one area shall not be used to establish eligibility in another area.
  • Assessment scores are valid for two years.
  • Private test data may not be used to determine eligibility; it may be used as a referral for further evaluation.
  • Assessments administered outside of the district-wide gifted identification testing cycle are inadmissible.

Continuation Policy
All identified gifted students are given a Continuation Policy form that must be reviewed and signed by the parent and the student. All Gifted Students must maintain a minimum 80% or higher in the gifted class and regular classes.

Probation Policy
If students receiving gifted services fail to maintain a minimum of 80% or higher in the gifted class and regular classes, the student will be placed on probation for a period of one semester.

Models for Gifted Programs
The State of GA requires schools to service gifted students using one of the following classroom models:

Resource Model (K-12)

  1. Students are “pulled out” for a minimum of 225 minutes per week.
  2. Teachers are gifted certified.
  3. The teacher/student ratio is 1:23 for elementary and 1:27 for middle and high school.
  4. Lessons are interdisciplinary, enrichment and extension activities.

Cluster Grouping (K-12)

  1. Twelve or fewer gifted students may be served in a regular classroom setting.
  2. Gifted endorsed teacher.
  3. Differentiated curriculum in content, process, product and/or assessments.

Advanced Content (K-12)

  1. Minimum of one core content class.
  2. Gifted endorsed teacher.
  3. 1:25 teacher/student ratio.
  4. Accelerated curriculum emphasizing process skills, problem-solving activities, research projects and other higher order thinking skills.
  5. Advanced Placement (AP) classes is included as long as the teacher is AP certified and has completed ten clock hours of the Nature and Needs of Gifted.
  6. Some IB and Advanced courses may be used to provide gifted services.

Resources for parents in the Atlanta Metro Area

Find your school district below and follow the link to find out how your child can be considered for gifted programs in your area.

One response to “How to Qualify for Gifted Services

  1. Any plans/discussion on ways to improve the Gifted Services for students? I’ve been frustrated with the implementation of gifted services for my children. And applying for the High Achievers Magnet programs is not the answer. Entry into a program based on luck leaves many children disadvantaged.

    We need to have a program for those students who are profoundly gifted; I suggest portfolio based admissions system (like DSA) into a REAL gifted program.