Gifted Evals. -Everything You Need to Know

Gifted Evaluations- Part 2 of 2

For more information about gifted evaluations within my practice please read Part 1 of the Gifted Evaluations Series  Click here

Gifted Education Referral Process

A parent or teacher can request a gifted screening. Students who pass the screening will be referred to the school psychologist for a full evaluation. Screenings are usually an abbreviated version of an intelligence quotient (IQ) assessment which indicates whether spending the time and resources on a full assessment would be necessary. Students who meet the minimum score of 130 on an intelligence screening instrument may be referred for a full evaluation. Any student with a current psychological evaluation that reports an IQ that meets the state criteria for gifted is exempt from gifted screening and may be referred by the school for gifted eligibility determination. All student referrals for gifted evaluations must be processed at their zoned district school. If you live in Sarasota County and your child attends a public school, private school, or is home-schooled, contact the Exceptional Student Education (ESE) Liaison at your home zoned school. (If your child currently attends a charter school, contact the ESE Liaison at the charter school). There is a timeline that district and charter schools follow for gifted referrals and evaluations. Referrals for students that reside outside of Sarasota county in the state of Florida will be processed at the district ESE Department. Deadline to request gifted screening…………………………………………………….. Friday, January 25, 2019 Deadline for submission of all required documents …………………………………… Friday, April 26, 2019

Gifted Eligibility Determination

The following three (3) requirements are needed before gifted eligibility may be determined:
  1. Standardized Test of Intelligence- Administered by a certified/licensed psychologist. Criteria for eligibility requires an IQ score of two (2) standard deviations or more above the mean. Examiners must utilize the most current version of the IQ test. The 90th percent confidence interval can be considered. The confidence interval must be cited by the evaluator in the written psychological report.
For students under the age of 7 on the date of the evaluation, the intellectual assessments must be current within one year.  For students 7 years of age and above on the date of the evaluation, the intellectual assessment must be current within three years.
  1. Gifted Characteristics Scales– This document is to be completed by at least one of your child’s current academic teachers. Your Sarasota County districted school will provide your child’s teacher with this document. A majority of the gifted characteristics are required in order for the student to be found eligible.
  2. Evidence of Need for Services- Need is established by a review of student report card, effort, scores on state and district testing, scores on individual achievement testing, review of social/emotional needs and scores on the gifted characteristics scales.

Gifted Service Delivery Models

There are a variety of services to meet the academic needs of gifted students. Below are the 4 primary models of gifted services.
  1. Magnet Program (Accelerated) – Students receive instruction in a classroom with all gifted students taught by a teacher qualified to work with gifted students. This program option focuses on an accelerated curriculum – grade level ahead instruction in English/Language Arts and Math. Gifted students considered for this program must meet additional eligibility criteria (see Gifted Magnet Programs below). 
  2. Advanced Work Classroom (Full-time) – Students are placed in a classroom with other gifted children and a teacher qualified to work with gifted students. The class also includes students who are not identified as gifted but excel academically. This program option focuses on enrichment activities as well as instruction in grade level curriculum.
  3. Resource – Students are pulled from the general education classroom to receive specialized instruction from a teacher qualified to work with gifted students. This program option focuses on enrichment activities.
  4. Consultation – A teacher of the gifted works with the general education teacher(s) to assist them in meeting identified needs of the gifted student. Materials and other resources are made available to the general education teacher by a teacher qualified to work with gifted students.
Please note that not all services are available at every school.

Gifted Magnet Programs

For the 2018-19 school year, gifted magnet programs are located at Pine View School, Fruitville Elementary, Booker Middle, Sarasota Middle, Venice Elementary, Laurel Nokomis School, Toledo Blade Elementary, and Woodland Middle School.

Entry Requirements/Criteria

  1.  Gifted Education Plan from the State of Florida or gifted plan from out-of-state A gifted plan could include documentation from the previous school district in another state that the student was determined eligible for gifted services in accordance with the applicable requirements of that state and was receiving gifted services.
  2. Test of Individual Academic Achievement Entry into magnet programs, magnet sites as well as Pine View School, require individual academic achievement testing. The most current version of the approved Achievement tests must be administered reporting age-based standard scores. (minimum score of 127 in both reading and math could meet entry criteria along with minimum grade requirement below – plus teacher and counselor recommendations)

To avoid a test/retest policy violation, an alternative academic achievement test must be administered if a reevaluation of a student’s academic skills is conducted within 12 months of the previous evaluation. Both academic areas (reading and mathematics) must be reevaluated in order to provide a current assessment of the student’s academic profile. The most current reading and mathematics scores will be used in determining if the student meets entry criteria for a gifted magnet program. Academic assessments must be current within one year.

  1. Report Card Grades– UNWEIGHTED grades are required for English/Language Arts and Math. Submit report cards that cover the most recent grading periods that span one year. Only traditional (letter) grades may be submitted.
  2. Recommendation from core-curricula teacher – At least two current core subject-area teachers must make a recommendation to support the need for an accelerated curriculum.
  3. Recommendation from certified school counselor – The student’s current school counselor must make a recommendation to support the need for an accelerated curriculum.
  4. Florida Resident– Residency must be established in the state of Florida prior to the deadline date listed above. Documents for students that reside outside of Sarasota County must be submitted directly to the gifted magnet site. Documents for students that reside inside Sarasota County are submitted to the districted school based on home address.

Please note:

  • The information included in the blog is pulled directly from the Sarasota County School Board Website
  • Please contact the Sarasota County School Psychology Department if you have any additional questions. Telephone number: 941-927-9000.
  • All individual intellectual and academic evaluations will either be completed or reviewed by a Sarasota County School Psychologist.
  • Private evaluations may be obtained at the parent/guardian’s own expense.
  • Private psychologists must submit assessment results presented in a written report when used for eligibility consideration. Reports from psychologists in private practice are subject to review and verification by Sarasota County School Board staff prior to gifted eligibility determination and magnet program consideration.

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