How to Qualify for Gifted Services

Last month DeKalb students started taking MAP assessments.

As discussed in DeKalb’s New Assessment Tests the Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) assessments will replace the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills (ITBS), components of the the Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT), Renaissance’s STAR Early Literacy, STAR Reading and STAR Math.
Lisa Martin is DeKalb Schools’ new Chief Academic and Accountability Officer.  Knox Phillips is the Director of Research, Assessments, and Grants at the DeKalb County School District. Lisa Martin and Knox Phillps help us understand “How to Qualify for Gifted Services”.
How to Qualify for Gifted Services

Lisa Martin

Will NWEA MAP be used to qualify students as gifted?
Dr. Lisa Martin: The DeKalb County School District (DCSD) will utilize the Northwest Evaluation Association Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) as the initial assessment towards gifted identification beginning with the 2016-2017 school year for students in grades K-10. Students who score > 90% RT (Reading Total) or > 90% MT (Math To-tal) on the nationally norm-referenced assessment (MAP) will take additional gifted formal evaluations.
Can we get NWEA MAP and Qualifying for Gifted Services into the new website?
Dr. Lisa Martin: The communication plan includes publishing the information on the District’s website, sharing the gifted eligibility process via Outlook 365 with school leaders and teachers, and sending information to parents/guardians through local schools.

Knox Phillips

Dr. Lisa Martin mentioned MAP is the initial assessment towards gifted identification. What is the rest of process and timeline for gifted identification?
Knox Phillips: The process and timeline is included both in the [below] flowchart as well the [timeline below]. The Renzulli Tool will be used by teachers to assess both creativity and motivation.
Does MAP evaluate cognitive abilities?
Knox Phillips: MAP does not evaluate cognitive abilities. Students who meet the criteria via MAP assessments for norm-reference performance will be indi-vidually assessed for cognitive abilities via the CogAT assessment with parent contact and consent – CogAT and Renzulli are components of the Gifted Formal Assessments illustrated in the flow chart.
Map assessments will end on Sept 13, 2016. After K-10 students complete the MAP assessment, local schools will analyze the data to identify students who are eligible for further evaluation. Each student’s MAP Score Report, applicable notification letter, and supporting documents will be sent to parents/guardians on or around these dates
• Sept 19 – 23, 2016: Identify students who are eligible for further evaluation by scoring > 90% RT (Reading Total) and/or > 90% MT (Math Total)
• Sept 19 – 23, 2016: Identify students who are eligible for gifted services
• Sept 26 – 30, 2016: Send MAP Score Report, appropriate notification letter, and supporting documents to parent/guardians
MAP-Gifted Referral and Eligibility Process Chart

7 responses to “How to Qualify for Gifted Services

  1. All the above evaluation and eligibility information does not address how the evaluations are administered to early elementary children, esp. via computer.
    Please address that specific issue.
    If young children are evaluated by sitting at a computer, using a mouse, regardless of exposure, skills, developmental abilities or age appropriateness, then all test results are invalid. School systems test all, if not most, children via computers. Children who have no access to computers at home, limited use of computers at school, no keyboarding classes taught in schools…and if they are children in POVERTY, those kids continue to test below the children with proficient tech skills.
    That should be a no-brainer! But, it is not.
    Sad to say, but only the final scores are reported and used to make placement decisions.
    Highly experienced and trained testing & measurement professionals are now rare.
    “Children are more than a test score”

  2. How do very young children take a test on a computer? – There is audio that walks the student through the test and gives them aural questions. The feedback I have received thus far is that most young students can do this. However, some young students have a difficult time with their attention spanning an hour and require the attention of the test administrator. In theory, students who need more attention to complete the assessment get more attention to complete the assessment … in theory. I encourage you to have an in depth conversation with a teacher or principal and report back your findings.
    I’ll ask my 4th grader for his anecdotal thoughts …
    Last year you took the ITBS, this year was the computerized MAP test. What did you think? “MAP is so much better than ITBS, it’s so much shorter. It’s different cause it’s on the computer. It took us weeks to do ITBS. We can do this test in a couple days.”
    Did you understand what to do? “It was easy to follow”
    Frustrating? “No”
    Was there a writing component? “No, it was all done with a mouse”

  3. What will the eligibility requirements for applying to the magnet program now be with the elimination of ITBS and use of the MAP assessment?

  4. I don’t believe the eligibility requirements for high achievers has changed. Granted, I’m having a hard time locating those requirements on the new website. I’ll see what I can dig up. You can also ask your principal/assistant principal as well.

  5. High Achievers
    Only MAP testing will be accepted for high achievers eligibility this year.
    Current DSCD Students – Your child took the MAP test in school in August or early September. Contact your child’s school for the results.
    All applicants must have all of the following to be considered eligible for the Kittredge lottery:
    • 75th percentile or higher MAP Reading score, fall 2016
    • 75th percentile or higher MAP Math score, fall 2016
    • 3.0 GPA or higher from 2016 fall semester report card
    • DeKalb County residency (zoned to a DeKalb County school)
    Lottery Application
    The school choice lottery application typically opens in January of each year. Check this site frequently for updated information:
    Kittredge Parent Tours
    Tour dates will be posted soon and will be held in January 2017. – See more at:

  6. I am a home school parent, new to the school system too in Dekalb County. Is it too late to do the MAP test to be eligible for the Magnet School Lottery next year.

  7. I believe so. Confirm with your teacher and principal.