Gifted Services Overview
In accordance with ARS 15-770, initial identification for gifted services is determined by a score in the 97th percentile in verbal, quantitative, or nonverbal reasoning abilities on a state-approved test (we use the Cognitive Abilities Test). Testing is offered at the beginning of the year, then again during second semester. The next testing period will be Thursday, August 25th from 2:30 until 4:15 p.m.
At the middle school level, gifted services are provided in two areas. In the mathematical area, students who demonstrate competency based on a grade-level assessment may be accelerated one or more years. Placement is handled by the math department, and information gained from aptitude tests is given to math teachers to assist them in determining appropriate placement of students. Students do not need to take the Cognitive Abilities Test to be eligible for gifted services in math.
In the area of Language Arts, a student who is identified as gifted is recommended for one of three placement options. This recommendation is based on information from a variety of sources, including aptitude, achievement and performance tests, and classroom performance.
Ø Students recommended for “Regular Classroom Differentiation” are placed in a class with students at varying ability levels, and the teacher provides opportunities for differentiated learning based on demonstrated performance in that class.
Ø Students recommended for placement in a “Classroom Cluster” are placed in a class with approximately 6-10 other students who demonstrate similar ability. The rest of this class is of mixed-ability levels, and the class is taught by the gifted specialist (7th and 8th grade).
Ø Students recommended for placement in a “Cluster Classroom” are placed in a class that is taught by the gifted specialist. The focus of this class is to move students beyond proficiency in the grade level measurement topics with major focus on critical reading skills as well as writing.
Students who have participated in gifted programs in other districts may submit testing information if the tests from the former district are state-approved and were administered within the last two years.
Parents who want their students to be tested must fill out and return Parent Referral and Student Data Forms prior to the testing date (forms can be picked up in the office). If you have questions, please contact Brian Bindschadler at 209-8246 or by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org).