Understanding the Gifted Identification Process

Students are identified as gifted and talented based on a combination of their aptitude (reasoning and problem-solving skills), an achievement on standardized assessments, and student performance in the classroom. To determine a student’s aptitude, we use the Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT). The CogAT is given to all 2nd and 5th graders as a universal screen and for 1st, 3rd and 4th graders at the request of a parent or the recommendation of a teacher. Standardized assessments include the Colorado Measures of Academic Success (CMAS) and iReady.
Student performance is determined using a unique body of evidence for each student. The body of evidence could include a student’s reading level as determined by their level on the Fountas and Pinnell Benchmark Assessment, math assessments, written pieces of work, student interviews, and much more. There is not a specific score or set of scores we look at to determine giftedness, but an overarching performance and achievement in the top 5% of their peers (national comparison, not within an individual school).
Once a student has been identified, we work with the parents and student to write an Advanced Learning Plan (ALP). The ALP formalizes the differentiation that the classroom teacher does in order to meet both the academic and affective needs of the student.