Students are nominated for evaluation by the gifted and talented teacher at their school in one of several ways. They can be nominated by a classroom teacher, parent, other students, or themselves; or they can be determined to need further testing based on their scores on previously administered assessments like CMAS or the Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT).
The Colorado Department of Education has developed guidelines based on state rules for districts to use when qualifying students for GT programs, which includes collecting a body of evidence to identify students for services. TSD uses these state guidelines to identify students. Students must have three indicators in at least two separate categories in their strength area to be identified as gifted and talented in that area.
Categories are achievement, intellectual ability, behavior, and special talent/performance. An indicator could be a score of 95% or above on a standardized, norm-referenced assessment or behavior rating scale; distinguished on CMAS; or an "advanced" performance evaluation For non-academic areas, we rely on checklists of characteristics of gifted students (such as the Scales for Identifying Gifted Students – SIGS) and examples of advanced performance in the area as measured by a rubric. For example, to qualify as GT in Math a student could have a CogAT score of 96%, a distinguished score on math CMAS, and a 97% on the SIGS in math. Another example could be a student who won first place in a state art competition, has "advanced" on an art portfolio scored by an art teacher, and 95th percentile on the Performing and Visual Arts GES-3.
Generally, students are identified as gifted and talented beginning in third grade because of the availability of data needed to qualify students for programming and the lack of appropriate data before that time. However, students can be identified beginning in Kindergarten when data is available for a body of evidence. Students can be identified as gifted and talented in the following areas:
- Reading/Language Arts
- Social Studies
- World Languages
- General Intellectual Ability
- Visual Arts
- Performing Arts
- Musical Ability
- Dance Ability
- Psychomotor Ability
- Creative or Productive Thinking
- Leadership Ability
For more information, view the Gifted and Talented Parent Handbook here.