The Identification Process

  • I think my child may need gifted services, what do I do?

    • Talk to your child’s teacher regarding your child’s performance, achievement, and behavior in the classroom
    • Talk to the Gifted Resource Teacher in your school
    **The gifted resource teacher can provide additional information to students previously identified in Stafford or other divisions to receive gifted services; this includes the process related to the Military Compact.
    The Gifted Referral Process

    Beginning in the fall of 2018, all SCPS 2nd graders will complete the CogAT online screener to target potentially gifted children.
    However, a K-5th-grade child may be referred for Gifted Identification by any one of several people:
    • The classroom teacher
    • The Gifted Resource Teacher
    • The student himself or herself
    • Another student
    • The student's parent(s)
    Any of these people may contact the Gifted Resource Teacher at your child’s school to initiate the referral. A referral may be made any time in the school year before February 1st.

    The identification procedure takes 90 workdays (3-4 months) to be able to gather a complete picture of the student’s performance and how the needs of the student can best be met.

    Students may be found in need of services in grades K-12 when they are found to be significantly above grade level in verbal/reading skills, AND/OR in logical/mathematical skills. 

    *Focus Art is available for referral for students in grades 6-12.

    My child has been referred for Gifted Services, now what?

    The parent will receive a letter from the K-12 Facilitator of Gifted and Secondary Programs. The letter will briefly explain the procedure for gifted identification. It will also contain:
    • a permission slip – allows the Gifted Resource Teacher to begin the identification process
    • a parent survey   – one or both parents will complete the survey

    Please send the permission slip and the questionnaire to your child’s school.  The permission slip and questionnaire may go to:

    • the Gifted Resource Teacher, OR
    • the classroom teacher who will forward it to the Gifted Resource Teacher. 

    The Gifted Resource Teacher will:

    • Schedule testing times with the classroom teacher
    • Give the classroom teacher the rating scale, the portfolio, and the deadline for completion
    • Arrange for an interview and/or classroom observation of the student
    • Gather any other pertinent information (such as previous test scores, assessments, etc.)
    • Schedule the identification decision meeting at the school
    The classroom teacher will:
    • Complete a rating scale that gives details of observed characteristics in the classroom setting.
    • Collect samples of student work that show the student’s performance and achievement in the classroom.

    The Gifted Identification Process

    1. CogAT Assessment (a group-administered K–12 assessment intended to estimate students' learned reasoning and problem-solving abilities through a battery of verbal, quantitative, and nonverbal test items)
      • Looking for the 90th percentile and higher (the assessment is administered by the Gifted Resource Teacher)
    2. Teacher Observation 
      • The rating must show that the student is consistently displaying characteristics of a gifted student.
    3. Student Portfolio
      • Work samples are evaluated by two of Stafford’s Gifted Resource staff members who have not met the child.  
      • The rating must reveal that the student consistently exceeds grade-level expectations.
    4. Resource Teacher Observation / Interview – as observed in-class lessons and/or an interview completed by the Gifted  Resource teacher. It must show that the student is significantly exceeding grade-level expectations.
    5. Parent Survey - completed by parent(s)/guardian(s) and returned to the Gifted Resource teacher at the school.
    6. Monitored Students Only ( optional) 
      • Achievement Testing (may include IOWA)
      • Looking for the 90th percentile and higher for specific academic identification 

     Criteria for Identification to receive Gifted Services

    The student should score as significantly exceeding grade-level expectations in at least 5 out of the 6 components.  A committee comprised of an administrator, the classroom teacher(s), and the Focus Resource Teacher will evaluate the data and make a determination of the services needed. One of the following three decisions will be made:

    • The student’s needs are currently being met in the classroom through differentiation.
    • The student is in need of gifted education services
    • The committee needs more time to determine the needs of the student (monitor).

    The parents will be notified of the decision through a letter sent in the mail from the K-12 Facilitator of Gifted & Secondary Programs. Services will not begin until the signed permission letter is provided to the Gifted Resource teacher. 

    If at any time, you have questions about the Gifted Identification Process, please contact the Gifted Resource Teacher at your child’s school or the K-12 Facilitator of Gifted and Secondary Programs.

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