Definition of Gifted
Intellectually gifted children and youth are those who perform at or have demonstrated the potential to perform at high levels in academic or creative fields compared with others of their age, experience, or environment. These children and youth require services not ordinarily provided by the regular school program. Children and youth possessing these abilities can be found in all populations, across all economic strata, and in all areas of human endeavor. Gifted children may be found within any race, ethnicity, gender, economic class, or nationality. In addition, students with disabilities may be identified as gifted.
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2nd Grade Child Find
Recently Alabama began looking at the criteria for the identification of potentially gifted students. OCR found that Alabama has an under-representation of minority and economically disadvantaged students in gifted programs. They asked that school systems consider every student as a potential gifted referral at some point in their school career. Second grade was chosen because that is when most referrals are generated and assessment becomes more valid and reliable.
During the first semester of 2nd grade, each student is observed as a potential gifted referral. The purpose of this requirement is to ensure that students from all populations and socio-economic groups, as well as students with disabilities and students who are limited proficient are given the opportunity to be considered for gifted services.During this process the classroom teacher and the gifted specialists look at aptitude, characteristics and performance indicators. (student work samples, STAR Diagnostic Reading scores), characteristics (the TABs Classroom Observation Checklist) and the NNAT-2 (a nonverbal aptitude screener). By looking at all these indicators, teachers should be able to make accurate decisions regarding student selection for gifted referrals.
This is not the only time a child can be referred. It is just ensuring that every child has been considered at some point in his/her school career.Second grade child find referrals follow the same process and eligibility criteria as standard referrals.Second grade child find referrals do not have to follow the 90 day rule concerning referral to placement; however, all 2nd grade child find referrals must be complete in the fall before gifted services can begin.
Standard Gifted Referrals
A student may be referred for the gifted program by teachers, counselors, administrators, parents or guardians, or other individuals with knowledge of the student's abilities. To initiate a referral, the person making the referral should complete the Request for Gifted Referral form and give it to the Gifted Specialist. Upon receipt of signed consent for gifted screening, the gifted specialist will initiate the gifted referral process.
During gifted screening, information is gathered in the following three areas:
- Aptitude. Assessed through a group test of non-verbal intelligence and administered by a gifted specialist or full scale SAI (OLSAT) scores may be used.
- Characteristics. A behavior rating scale designed to assess gifted behaviors is completed by a classroom teacher.
- Performance. At least three indicators of performance at a gifted level such as achievement test scores, grades (gr. 3-6 only), products, work samples, and/or portfolios.
The scores from the assessment/items used are entered on a matrix where points (1-5) are assigned according to established criteria.
A GRST team which is comprised of three individuals (gifted specialists, principal, classroom teacher, administrator, etc.) meet to determine the total number of points earned and if the student qualifies for gifted services, additional testing is needed, or if the student does not pass gifted screening.
Tests and evaluative materials selected are sensitive to cultural, economic, and linguistic differences and administered by qualified personnel under the supervision of Montgomery Public Schools. Tests not administered under the administration of an LEA cannot be used for gifted eligibility. Once all testing is complete, a GEDT (Gifted Eligibility Determination Team) meets to determine final eligibility. The referral to placement process can take up to 90 days for a standard referral.
Pickens County Schools complies with the Alabama Act 106 that mandates school systems identify and serve gifted students. Pickens County Schools follows the guidelines set forth in the "gifted" section of the Alabama State Department of Education-Administrative Code-Chapter 290-8-9-12 for: Referral, Consent, Evaluation, Eligibility Determination, Placement and Service Delivery Options, Gifted Education Plan, Administration, Caseload, and Procedural Safeguards.
The Pickens County Board of Education shall prohibit discrimination against any student on the above basis with respect to his/her participation in the gifted program.
For more information on Gifted Education in Pickens County, please contact the Gifted Specialist Gene Tilley or the Office of Special Education at 205.367.2080.