Gifted Services FAQ

Recommendation and Referral

  • What is the process for recommending a student to be evaluated for gifted services?

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    CSD has a three-step process before gifted evaluation: Recommendation, Review, and Referral. The first step is to recommend the student for gifted review. A parent, teacher, staff member, or student can recommend a student for review. If you would like to recommend a student, please click here to print our new Recomendation for Review form or ask your school's gifted specialist for a copy. Recommendation forms must be submitted to the school's gifted specialist by October 10th. The Gifted Specialist at each school will determine which recommended students do not have CogAT results current within two years. These students will take the CogAT as screening prior to the Gifted Review. If a student already has CogAT results current within two years, then those scores will be used for Gifted Review purposes and an additional CogAT will not be given.

     

    The school Gifted Specialist and District Gifted & Talented Coordinator will review all recommended students to determine which students meet the criteria for further evaluation. The criteria for further gifted evaluation are EITHER a CogAT component or composite score at or above 96th percentile AND/OR three consecutive MAP scores at or above 90th percentile in math or reading. If a student is referred for further gifted evaluation, parents must sign a consent to evaluate before evaluation can take place. 

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  • Should I recommend my student for gifted review, or will my student's teacher recommend him/her?

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    Parents, teachers, staff, and students can recommend students for gifted review. Only one recommendation is required for a student to be reviewed. Please do not ask your student's teacher to recommend your student. If you are unsure of whether or not your student's teacher is recommending your student, and you would like for your student to be reviewed, then please submit a parent recommendation.

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  • Can I recommend a student who is in kindergarten for gifted review?

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    Yes, but a decision-making team consisting of the regular education teacher, gifted specialist, and parents must meet to discuss interventions and modifications in the regular classroom prior to recommending a student in kindergarten for a gifted evaluation. Kindergarteners will be referred for gifted evaluation only after all of the following has occurred:

    1. Parents/guardians have a discussion with the kindergarten teacher about the student's needs.

    2. Teachers implement interventions/modifications in the regular classroom to address the students' needs.

    3. Progress monitoring data is collected on specific skills that have been identified for intervention.

    4. The decision-making team meets to further support the student. The decision-making team will recommend evaluation if appropriate and needed.

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  • What is automatic screening and referral?

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    If a student has a current CogAT score (less than two years old) at or above the 96th percentile, and his/her most recent MAP reading or math score is at or above the 90th percentile, then he/she already has evidence of potential in two areas and will automatically be referred for a full gifted evaluation without additional recommendation or review. Parents will be contacted and asked to sign consent for a gifted evaluation prior to starting the evaluation.

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  • What if my child was identified as gifted in another Georgia public school?

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    If your child was in a Georgia public school last year and/or the year before:

    • Please submit a copy of your child’s state of Georgia gifted eligibility report to Christen Gibbons, District Gifted & Talented Coordinator, at cgibbons@csdecatur.net or 125 Electric Ave., Decatur, GA 30030.
    • The Gifted & Talented Coordinator will confirm your child’s eligibility within our state record system and send you a consent form to place your child in our gifted program. Please send this form back as soon as possible so that we can indicate your child’s gifted status in our school system.

    If your child was previously identified as gifted by a Georgia public school, but your child was in a private school or homeschooled for more than one year:

    • If your previous eligibility form or testing data is older than two years, your child will need to be reassessed. Please contact Christen Gibbons, District Gifted & Talented Coordinator, at cgibbons@csdecatur.net or 125 Electric Ave., Decatur, GA 30030.
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  • What if my child was identified as gifted in another state or in a private school?

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    If you are new to Georgia public schools and your child was identified as gifted by a public school in another state or by a private school (regardless of state):

    • There is no reciprocity between states for gifted education. Your child will need to be reviewed based on the state of Georgia's gifted eligibility criteria.
    • If you have a gifted eligibility form from another state or private school, or testing data from within the last two years, please submit them for review to Christen Gibbons, District Gifted & Talented Coordinator, at cgibbons@csdecatur.net or 125 Electric Ave., Decatur, GA 30030.
    • If your previous eligibility form or testing data is older than two years or does not meet Georgia criteria, your child will need to be reassessed. Please contact Christen Gibbons, District Gifted & Talented Coordinator, at cgibbons@csdecatur.net or 125 Electric Ave., Decatur, GA 30030.
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  • May I submit private testing results?

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    Gifted eligibility is determined based upon the findings of City Schools of Decatur evaluation and approved assessments. Private testing or evaluations can be submitted as evidence of potential with recommendations for gifted review but will not be accepted to establish eligibility for gifted services in CSD.

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Evaluation and Eligibility

  • My child was referred for a gifted evaluation. What happens now?

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    Students who are referred for evaluation will be evaluated only after written parental consent is obtained. Further data collection or assessment may be needed in the areas of mental ability, achievement, creativity, and/or motivation. To determine eligibility, test scores must be current within two calendar years. The most recent scores will be used.

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  • How often can my child be evaluated for gifted services? How many times can my child be evaluated?

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    No student will be evaluated more than one time in a two-year period, as test scores are valid for two years. Additionally, because we do not want to discourage our high achieving students or have them engage in testing again and again for the purpose of gifted identification, a child may be evaluated to consider gifted eligibility a maximum of 3 times in his/her K-12 school career in CSD.  Exceptions will be made only upon the recommendation of the district wide appeal committee. Children from demographic groups currently underrepresented in the gifted program may be evaluated one additional time.

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  • What are the criteria for gifted eligibility in Georgia?

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    A student may qualify for gifted services in Georgia under the following conditions:

    a. Scores at the 99th percentile (K-2) or at or above the 96th percentile (grades 3-12) on the overall composite or full-scale score of a mental ability test AND at or above the 90th percentile on the total battery, total math or total reading section of an achievement test, OR

    b. Meets multiple criteria in any three of the four areas evaluated in Georgia: mental ability (at or above 96th percentile), achievement (at or above 90th percentile), creativity (at or above 90th percentile), or motivation (at or above 90th percentile).

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  • What is automatic eligibility?

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    After system-wide testing (CogAT in grades 1, 4, and 6, MAP in grades K-10), has been completed in the fall semester, the gifted specialist or gifted coordinator will review current standardized test scores on file to identify students who are automatically eligible for the gifted program by scoring at the 99th percentile (K-2) or at or above the 96th percentile (grades 3-12) on the overall composite or full-scale score of a standardized mental abilities test using age norms and at or above the 90th percentile on the total battery, total reading or total math section of an achievement test. The gifted coordinator will notify parents of students who are automatically eligible and will request signed consent to serve the student in the gifted program and to obtain rating scale data for the student in the areas of creativity and motivation. Creativity and motivation data will be for informational purposes only in order to complete a state eligibility form.

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  • How is mental ability evaluated?

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    a. If Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) data from system- wide testing (grades 1, 4, 6,) is less than two calendar years old, those scores will be used.

    b. If the CogAT or other provided mental ability testing data is more than two years old, another CogAT will be administered as part of the screening process prior to referral for evaluation.

    c. If a student has testing accommodations documented in a 504 or IEP that cannot be met in system-wide CogAT administration, an individual test of mental ability will be administered by a psychologist (e.g. Wechsler Intelligence scale for children Fifth Edition (WISC-V) or Differential Abilities Scale, Second Edition (DAS-II)).

    d. If the student is from one of the currently underrepresented populations in gifted education, and the student demonstrates evidence of strength in nonverbal skills, a test of nonverbal intelligence (e.g. TONI-4 or UNIT) may be used as a second measure of mental ability.

    e. If a student scores between the 93rd – 95th percentiles on a first measure of mental ability, and if the student has qualifying scores in at least two other areas of eligibility (achievement, creativity, and/or motivation), then a second measure of mental ability will be given (such as CogAT, DAS-II, WISC-V, or TONI-4, dependent on student’s first measure).

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  • What is a qualifying mental ability score?

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    Scores at the 99th percentile rank (K-2) or at or above the 96th percentile rank (3-12) on the composite or full-scale score of a mental ability test are qualifying scores.  Also, if a student meets multiple criteria in any three of the four areas, mental ability at or above 96th percentile rank is a qualifying score (K-12).

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  • How is achievement evaluated?

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    a. An individually administered test of academic achievement (ex. KTEA-3, WIAT-3, or WJ-IV) will be administered for kindergarten students.

    b. Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) scores will be used for both math and reading for students in grades 2-10. Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) scores will be used for math for students in first grade.

    c. The reading sections of the Iowa Assessments will be administered for first grade students. MAP reading scores cannot be used for first grade students due to the fact that the entire reading section is read aloud to the students in first grade.

    d. For students in grades 10-12, if a MAP score is not available or is older than two years old, then PSAT or SAT scores will be used. If PSAT or SAT scores are unavailable, then an individually administered test of academic achievement will be used (ex. KTEA-3, WIAT-3, WJ-IV). 

    e. If a student’s academic achievement testing score is at or above the 90th percentile rank in reading and/or math, it is a qualifying score.

    f. If at student does not meet eligibility criteria in the area of achievement but meets eligibility criteria in two other areas (mental ability, creativity, or motivation), then the student’s MAP scores will be monitored for the next year as additional measures of achievement.

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  • What is a qualifying achievement score?

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    If a student's academic achievement testing score is at or above the 90th percentile rank in reading, math, or on the total battery, it is a qualifying score.

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  • How is creativity evaluated?

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    a. The Gifted Specialist will distribute Gifted Rating Scales (K-7) or Gifted Evaluation Scales (8-12) to a minimum of two teachers who have worked with the student in the past year. These will be filled out individually, not as a group with shared information. Teachers’ names will not be shared, and their identity will not be revealed to parents. The highest score of the two rating scales given will be used as the student’s score.

    b. If a student scores at or above the 90%ile, it is a qualifying score.

    c. If the student’s score is between the 80%ile and the 89%ile, OR the student is from a group underrepresented in gifted services, AND the student has qualifying scores in two other areas (mental ability, achievement, or motivation), then the Torrance Test of Creative Thinking (TTCT) figural version will be administered as a second measure of creativity.

    d. Georgia does not allow rating scales to qualify a student in both creativity and motivation. If a student has scores at or above the 90%ile for both motivation and creativity on a rating scale, and the student does not already qualify with mental ability and achievement scores, then the Torrance Test of Creative Thinking (TTCT), figural version will be administered as a second measure of creativity.

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  • What is a qualifying creativity score?

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    A score at or above the 90th percentile on a measure of creativity is a qualifying score.

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  • How is motivation evaluated?

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    a. The Gifted Specialist will distribute Gifted Rating Scales (K-5) or Gifted Evaluation Scales (6-12) to a minimum of two teachers who have worked with the student in the past year. These will be filled out individually, not as a group with shared information. Teachers’ names will not be shared, and their identity will not be revealed to parents. The highest score of the two rating scales given will be used as the student’s score.

    b. If a student scores at or above the 90%ile, it is a qualifying score.

    c. If the student’s score is between the 80%ile and the 89%ile, OR the student is from a group underrepresented in gifted services, AND the student has qualifying scores in two other areas (mental ability, achievement, or motivation), then a standardized motivation interview will be administered as a second measure of motivation. A panel of three trained raters will evaluate the student’s responses using a standardized rubric.

    d. Georgia does not allow rating scales to qualify a student in both creativity and motivation. If a student has scores at or above the 90%ile for both motivation and creativity on a rating scale, and the student does not already qualify with mental ability and achievement scores, then a standardized motivation interview will be administered as a second measure of motivation. A panel of three trained raters will evaluate the student’s responses using a standardized rubric.

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  • What is a qualifying motivation score?

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    A score at or above the 90th percentile on a measure of motivation or a score of 90 or above on a 100-point scale on a measure of motivation is a qualifying score. 

     
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  • Can I appeal for additional evaluation after receiving the gifted evaluation and eligibility results

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    Appeals for additional evaluation may be made to the System Appeals Committee via the Distric Gifted & Talented Coordinator within 30 days of receipt of gifted evaluation results. Parents, teachers, or administrators may appeal for additional evaluation (a second measure) if they present compelling evidence that renders a particular measure invalid and there is compelling evidence of giftedness in two of the other three areas assessed. Examples of evidence that might render a test invalid include: a doctor's note confirming the child was not well on the day of testing, teacher observation of illness during the test, or documentation of family trauma the week of testing. The System Appeals Committee will carefully consider appeals.  This committee is chaired by the Superintendent of Schools and includes the Executive Director of Curriculum & Instruction and the District Gifted & Talented Coordinator.  This team will decide what additional measures will be administered if the appeal is granted. If an appeal is granted, parents will sign consent before any additional evaluation. The evaluation that follows will be considered one of the three times a student may be evaluated for the purpose of gifted eligibility.

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Services

  • If my student is found eligible for gifted services, when will he/she begin receiving services?

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    If eligible for gifted services, the student will be placed at the next appropriate grading period. Placement in the middle of a grading period may only occur when entering the class at that time is desirable in light of evaluation and scheduling. If mid-semester placement will be disruptive to the student or the class, placement of the student will occur at the next appropriate grading period.

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  • What gifted services will my student receive?

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    Identified students with parental consent will receive a minimum of 5 segments of gifted service per week or the yearly equivalent. Service models in CSD currently include resource service (K-8), cluster grouping (K-10), collaborative teaching (K-10), advanced content (6-12), and directed study (9-12). Service is need-based, so not every student will participate in every service delivery model. Efforts will be made to match student's learning needs and interests (as documented by assessment results) to available programming options. Please refer to your child's service notification form and the school's gifted brochure of services for information specific to your child. These documents are sent home during the first term of the school year. If you have additional questions, please contact your school's gifted specialist or gifted lead teacher.

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  • Who do I contact about gifted services at my child's school?

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    If you have specific questions about gifted services at your child's school, please contact the appropriate gifted specialist (K-12) or gifted lead teacher (9-12) for the school. Gifted contacts are found on the right side of this webpage.

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  • Once my student is eligible to receive gifted services, will he/she always receive service?

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    A student may continue in the program if he/she meets the following criteria at the end of each school year:

     

    ELEMENTARY (K-5):

    1. A student must meet ONE of the following criteria:
    • Achieve a grade of Satisfactory on the end of year gifted resource report card, or
    • Maintain achievement at or above the 85th percentile rank in at least one identified area of strength on one of the two most recent Measures of Academic Progress (MAP), or
    • Demonstrate a pattern of grades exceeding expectations (scores of 4) in at least one identified area of strength on his/her final report card, or
    • Score as Distinguished in at least one identified area of strength on the most recent GMAS (3rd-5th)

    MIDDLE (6-8):

    1. A student must meet ONE of the following criteria:
    • Achieve a final grade of 4 or higher in gifted resource Connections (if taken), or
    • Maintain achievement at or above the 85th percentile rank in at least one identified area of strength on one of the two most recent Measures of Academic Progress (MAP), or
    • Achieve an IB score of 6 in at least one identified area of strength, or
    • Score as Distinguished in at least one identified area of strength on the most recent GMAS

    HIGH (9-12):

    1. A student must meet ONE of the following criteria:
    • Maintain achievement at or above the 85th percentile rank in at least one identified area of strength on one of the two most recent Measures of Academic Progress (MAP), or
    • Achieve an IB score of 4 or higher in an advanced content class (AP, IB, accelerated) in at least one identified area of strength, or
    • Achieve an IB score of 6 or higher in a general education class in at least one identified area of strength

     

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  • What happens if my student does not meet the annual continuation criteria?

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    If a student does not meet continuation criteria at the end of the school year, the parent will be notified that the student will be placed on probation for one year. During that probationary period, the gifted program teacher and regular education teachers will develop an Academic Improvement Plan (AIP) in conjunction with student and parents. If after one semester on probation the student is not demonstrating improvement (e.g., growth on MAP testing, grades improving, effort improving), then a conference will be held with the district gifted coordinator to put additional interventions in place. A student must demonstrate improvement by the end of the year to remain in the gifted program. If after one year that student on probation does not demonstrate improvement, that student shall not continue in the gifted program.  As long as growth is evident, the AIP and probation in the gifted program may be continued. The student will be reinstated into the gifted program in good standing once he/she meets requirements of the regular continuation policy.

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