Parents and teachers can recommend that a student be screened and evaluated at any time to determine his/her eligibility for gifted services by contacting their school counselor. The school counselor can provide information regarding the gifted program and can then initiate the screening process. The Pennsylvania Department of Education Chapter 16 regulations define “mentally gifted” as:
“outstanding intellectual and creative ability the development of which requires specially designed programs or support services, or both, not ordinarily provided in the regular education program. The term mentally gifted includes a person who has an IQ of 130 and other factors (advanced achievement, exceptional rate of acquisition and retention, demonstrated expertise, higher level thinking skills) that indicate gifted ability. Gifted ability cannot be based on IQ score alone. If the IQ score is lower than 130, your child may be admitted to gifted programs when other conditions strongly indicate gifted ability.”
A student that is identified as being gifted must also demonstrate the need for specially designed instruction. This means that the regular education program and curriculum can not meet his or her instructional needs and a Gifted Individual Educational Plan (GIEP) is needed to enrich or accelerate the student's instructional program.
Gifted Services Notification Announcement
In order to consider multiple criteria as specified in the regulations, the district has adopted a three-tier process including assessment of cognitive ability, academic achievement, and behavioral characteristics, all of which contribute to the eligibility determination. All second graders will be screened for possible eligibility for gifted services through our universal data collection protocol. Students in other grades can be referred to the school counselor for screening by parents and/or teachers. School counselors also review the records of all new students to the district to determine the need for Academically Talented screening. The following is our process.
Phase I - Universal Data Collection
School counselors under the direction of the principal collect Phase I Data on all students in second grade.School Ability Assessment
Second Grade students will take the Otis Lennon School Ability Test (OLSAT), Eighth Edition, in October of each school year. This is a group administered test. Students in other grades, who are referred to the school counselors for AT screening, will be given the OLSAT.
Second-twelve grade students will take the Group Mathematics Assessment and Diagnostic Evaluation (GMADE). Kindergarten and first grade students will be given the Wechsler Individual Achievement Test (WIAT-III).
Kindergarten-second Grade students are given the Fountas and Pinnell reading assessment. Third-twelve grade students will take the Group Reading Assessment and Diagnostic Evaluation (GRADE).
Phase II - Parent and Teacher Surveys
If a student meets the criteria in Phase I he/she will move to Phase IISchool counselors under the direction of the principal collect Phase II Data.
- Parents complete the Parent Inventory for Finding Potential (PIP)
- Teachers complete the Teacher Inventory of Learning Strengths (TILS)
- Both surveys are taken from the work of Karen B. Rogers, Ph.D.
Phase III - I.Q. Testing - Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-WISC IV
If a student meets the criteria in Phase II he/she will move to Phase III.A school psychologist completes the testing, compiles the data, and reports to the parents and the school team the evaluation results.
The results of the I.Q. test as well as the data from the other phases are considered in the final determination of a child’s need for gifted services in our Academically Talented program.
For more information, contact your school counselor