Archive for December, 2016

Selection of Gifted Children for Gifted Services

Part 3 of 3 of the Gifted Nomination, Gifted Screening, and Selection for Gifted Services

As was mentioned in the previous post, students who scores a 129 or higher (Superior Cognitive Abilities) are automatically placed in gifted services. If a student falls into the Creative Thinking Abilities category then we have to further test.

In our district we use two different checklists that the State of Ohio allows us to use. The first is the GATES (Gifted And Talented Evaluation scale. The GATES is a checklist done by the classroom teacher(s). The score for this must be 83 or higher to be placed in a gifted program. We also use the SRBCSS (Scale for Rating and Behavior Checklists of Superior Students) to help screen students. The SRBCSS checklist is also done by the classroom teacher(s) and to qualify for gifted services a student must score 51 or higher.

The gifted department will test 100% of the students in 2nd and 5th grade, but the additional screening will only happen generally to about 25% of the students. This additional screening is always based on their CogAT test scores.

Once the gifted department gets all the scores parents are notified if their child has qualified or not for gifted services. There is also a letter that goes out to indicate there needs to be more testing. Then final list of students who qualify for gifted services a letter goes out to parents and teachers to let them know their child/student has qualified for gifted services.

If you have a question about the whole process of how a student gets into a gifted program please let one of the gifted intervention specialist know. They can answer all your questions.

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Screening of Gifted Students

Part 2 of 3 of the Gifted Nomination, Gifted Screening, and Selection for Gifted Services.

Once all of the nomination process is complete, the second phase begins. The second phase is the screening. In our district we test every 2nd and 5th grader. We use the CogAT test. According to the CogAT website:

The Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) is a group-administered aptitude test for grades K-12 used to estimate students’ reasoning and problem solving skills. Unlike assessment tests which measure what a student has already learned, aptitude tests are designed to measure intellectual ability, focusing on analytic and problem solving skills rather than specific knowledge.

Once we have the test results from this we get a print out of all the students scores. The gifted department then goes through the scores to find students who have screening scores above 111. Students will fall into 2 categories:

  • Superior Cognitive Abilities (CogAT screening score of 114 and an identification score of 129 or higher)
  • Creative Thinking Abilities (CogAT screening score of 113)

The idea of the whole grade screening is to find as many gifted children as possible since the nomination of individual students can be hit and miss. This way two whole grades are tested, and we have data on several hundred students.

When an individual student was nominated for gifted screening we use one of two other testing materials. We will use either the Otis Lennon School Ability Test (OLSAT), or the Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test (NNAT2). We use these tests because they are the best fit our children. Both tests are based on patters, pictures, and probabilities which children in urban settings do best with. If a student scores a 126 or higher on the OLSAT and a 126 or higher on the NNAT2 then the student falls into the Superior Cognitive Ability category. If a student scores 110 -125 on the OLSAT or a score of 109-125 on the NNAT2 the student falls into the category of Creative Ability. The selection process will be the same for these students as the ones who take and qualify with the CogAT.

If you have any questions about the screening process please feel free to contact your gifted intervention specialist.


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Nomination of Gifted Children

Part 1 of 3 of the Gifted Nomination, Gifted Screening, and Selection for Gifted Services.

When starting the process of finding gifted children for gifted services you start with the nomination process. The nomination process is an important aspect of gifted education. There are a few ways a student can be nominated for gifted testing:

  • Parents can ask regular classroom teachers, gifted intervention specialists, or school psychologists to have their child tested if they believe they see some gifted characteristics in their children.
  • Teachers can ask gifted intervention specialists, or school psychologists to have their students tested because they feel that student or students are achieving above other students, or they feel they that student is learning faster than the average student.
  • Students can nominate themselves if they feel they need to be tested for gifted services. This is called self-advocacy.

All students who exhibit some, or little gifted tendencies should be considered for gifted services. Every student has the right to be tested for gifted services. Students from every group, and subgroup should have access to gifted education nomination for testing. Students in regular education and special education should be included. This process can be started any day of the year, and for every grade.

Just as a side note: every year in our district we test every 2nd and 5th grader in order to find students who would be able to qualify for gifted services.

Here is a great resource (below as a .pdf file) for testing and identification  from the book Identifying Gifted Students: a practical guide by Susan K. Johnsen: office-for-civil-rights-checklist-for-assessment-of-gifted-programs.

Research shows that parents are the resource when trying to identify gifted children. They know their children, and see them in multiple settings where they can show their giftedness. The next best resource is the regular education teacher. Research shows when regular education teachers have professional development on the characteristics of gifted children they are twice as likely to nominate children for gifted services. (Which is why the gifted department is trying to help educate regular education teachers on gifted education.)

When a student is nominated the instruments used should be fair and culturally appropriate. To be culturally appropriate means that the instrument ensures the student understands the purpose and nature of the test; minimizes language; include practice items; and present novel problems instead of narrow school related information.

Finally when nominating a child for gifted testing it is good to use as multiple sources. Teachers should be getting information for their own curriculum through tests, and quizzes; from parents who see their students acting differently from the school setting; and from the student themselves. Let the student tell the teacher some reasons why they feel they need to be tested for gifted services.


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