Gifted Evaluation and Programming Information
Parents or educators may request a gifted education evaluation when they suspect that their child/student may be gifted. Parents may make requests to professional employees of their child’s school. Upon receiving a referral, the professional employee forwards the request to the school’s guidance counselor.
The guidance counselor coordinates the paperwork necessary to initiate a gifted evaluation. Within 10 days of an oral or written request for evaluation, a Permission to Evaluate form and Parent Questionnaire for Gifted Program form are provided to the parent. The parent is asked to complete these forms and return them to their child’s school. When the Permission to Evaluate is received by school personnel, a 60-day timeline within which the gifted evaluation must be completed begins. The 60 days include every calendar day from the first day of school through the last day of school. Timelines are suspended over the summer break.
In addition to sending the forms to the parent, the guidance counselor concurrently works to compile a gifted referral packet. This packet includes a teacher input form and teacher rating scale that are completed by the child’s teacher(s). The teacher is asked to comment on characteristics of the student that suggest he/she may be gifted, subject areas in which the student performs well above standards, the child’s ability to acquire and retain information and concepts, and medical conditions or other issues that may mask a child’s gifted ability. The teacher also rates a student’s characteristics in the categories of ability, task commitment, and creativity. In addition to the teacher input form and rating scale, existing achievement data is compiled. Depending on the student’s grade level, this may include report cards, benchmark scores, PSSA scores, other achievement test scores, and guided reading levels.
The completed referral packet, including the Permission to Evaluate is forwarded to the Pupil Personnel Services office, where the evaluation is assigned to a certified school psychologist or school psychologist intern (under the supervision of a certified school psychologist). The psychologist reviews the referral information and chooses an appropriate measure of intellectual ability. The child is then scheduled for the individual testing portion of the evaluation. Completion of an intelligence test generally takes about 1 to 1.5 hours of time with the psychologist. After completing the test, the psychologist obtains the child’s IQ score and considers the score along with all of the referral information.
The Quakertown Community School District has adopted the use of a Gifted Identification Matrix in determining whether or not a child qualifies as gifted and in need of specially designed instruction. A child may be considered a gifted student if he/she obtains an IQ score of 130 or higher OR when he/she demonstrates through multiple criteria that he/she has gifted ability. An IQ score of 130 or higher is obtained by only 2 to 3% of children. Eligibility through multiple criteria is determined by using the identification matrix. Points are assigned in the matrix for IQ testing results, teacher input and ratings, parent input, grades, state testing results, benchmark testing performance, and reading levels. After completing the evaluation, the psychologist summarizes all of the evaluation data into a Gifted Written Report, a copy of which is provided to the parents. The psychologist also contacts the parent to discuss the results of the evaluation and the conclusion regarding eligibility for gifted support.
If a child is deemed eligible for and in need of gifted support, a team meeting will be held to develop a Gifted Individualized Education Plan (GIEP). Gifted programming can be either enrichment, advancement, or both. Decisions about individual programs are mutually agreed upon with parents as part of the GIEP process. Although gifted students have individualized goals and plans, common components of gifted programming are found at each school level. At the elementary level, gifted students typically participate in the Special Interest program. This is a pull-out, enrichment program taught by a gifted support teacher. At the middle level, students identified as gifted will meet as a group during WIN (Strayer) or Resource (Milford) for enrichment opportunities based on their GIEP. At the high school level, students participate in a writing seminar and honors and advanced placement classes are available to all qualified students in all academic departments.
Additional information about the district’s gifted program may be obtained from Mr. Lenny Greaney, Director of Pupil Services. Mr. Greaney may be reached at (215) 529-2014, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additional gifted education information can be accessed by clicking here.