Gifted and Talented

Gifted & Talented Education Program Identification Process

All students in Ridgway School District, regardless of socioeconomic, linguistic or cultural backgrounds and/or disabilities, have an equal opportunity to be screened for our Gifted & Talented Education Program.

For Early Access to Kindergarten a specific process is followed, including nomination forms from the Preschool and/or Kindergarten teachers; the student’s parents complete a social/emotional checklist; a classroom observation of the student’s social attributes is conducted by an Early Childhood Specialist. The WISC IV or WPPSI test shall be administered for consideration of IQ and learning strengths/needs. The body of evidence results are discuss for formal evaluation by the Early Entry Committee team members consisting of the Elementary School Principal, School Counselor, GT Coordinator, and Grade Level Teachers, as well as the members of the team which gathered the student’s evidence.

A  Student Profile of data is gathered on all students being considered for GT identification. All third and sixth grade students are given the CogAT (Cognitive Ability Test), as well as students for which a referral has been made by a teacher or parent. The CogAT is administered to explore the students’ verbal, quantitative and nonverbal abilities. In order to be considered for GT, students must score at or above the 95th percentile on at least one battery of the CogAT test. In addition, the student’s data on the PARCC assessment must be in the Advanced Category for at least their strength area, but preferably in many areas of the Colorado Academic Performance tests. Although PARCC assessments are helpful in determining a student's strength area, they are not used to determine gifted eligibility. Qualification also includes scores on the Fall and Spring NWEA tests. Students must score at or above the 95th percentile on the NWEA tests. If a student is referred by a teacher or a parent, grade level teachers are given a Scales for Identifying Gifted Students (SIGS) to help indicate their social and emotional behaviors and performance levels within the classroom, and a parent version of SIGS is completed by the student’s parents to indicate observations noticed by the parents. These two documents are added to the student’s body of evidence. 

For students at the middle school and high school levels, the Student’s Profile will also include the EXPLORE tests taken in 8th and 9th grades, and the PLAN test, for 10th graders. PSAT, ACT, and SAT (if taken) test scores are part of the 11th and 12th grade requirements. Scores at or above the 95th percentile will be used as one piece of qualifying evidence (or criteria) toward gifted identification.

Some students may have strong evidence of superior abilities that require further testing and are monitored for additional data. Students in the visual and performing arts may also be considered for GT if a rubric of progressive information has been kept by their teacher(s), and/or if they have been given a standardized test in the specified arts area by their respective teacher(s).

Those students from underrepresented or underserved populations are identified using the same criteria as above, or in certain cases if language proficiency should be in question or is a barrier, other measures may be used through referral to the UnBOCS (Uncompahgre Board of Cooperative Services) for further testing. Examples of the use of other measures could apply to English Language Learners or students with exceptional needs such as speech, hearing, vision, etc.

Once a student qualifies for identification, a team consisting of the student, the student’s parent, the student’s teachers [including area of strength(s) and other teachers that have an impact on the student’s achievement], the student’s grade level Advisor, the School Counselor, the School Principal, and the GT Coordinator, all meet to formulate the student’s Advanced Learning Plan (ALP) for that school year. It is then revisited and updated annually by the same team, except the next year’s grade level teachers and Advisor may change.

Gin Randolph - GT Coordinator