How are gifted students identified?
The definition of students eligible for gifted education services in Georgia may be found in State Board of Education Rule (SBOE) 160-4-2-.38 EDUCATION PROGRAM FOR GIFTED STUDENTS [Code IDDD(2)]:
Gifted Student - a student who demonstrates a high degree of intellectual and/or creative ability (ies), exhibits an exceptionally high degree of motivation, and/or excels in specific academic fields, and who needs special instruction and/or special ancillary services to achieve at levels commensurate with his or her abilities. (SBOE Rule 160-4-2-.38, p. 1)
The eligibility criteria for gifted program placement are also provided in SBOE Rule 160-4-2-.38. The Rule describes the four categories for assessment (mental ability, achievement, creativity, and motivation) and the performance standards that must be achieved in each for a student to become eligible for gifted education services. Once a student has been assessed in all four data categories, there are two ways eligibility can be established:
Option 1, the Psychometric Approach:
The student may qualify on the basis of mental ability and achievement assessment results only (regardless of the assessment results in creativity and motivation). In this case the mental ability test score must be a composite or full-scale score. The composite score must be at the 99th percentile for students in grades K-2. The composite score must be at the 96th percentile or higher for students in grades 3-12. In addition, students (grades K-12) must meet at least one of the achievement standards described in the SBOE Rule 160-4-2-.38: 90th percentile Total Reading, 90th percentile Total Math, 90th percentile total achievement test battery, or superior product/performance assessment. No student may qualify on the basis of a mental ability test score alone.
Option 2, the Multiple-Criteria Approach:
The student may qualify by meeting the standards in any three of the four data categories, at least one of which must be on a nationally-normed standardized test. Component scores (e.g., Verbal Ability), as well as full scale and composite scores may be used in the area of mental ability. However, component scores must meet the criteria specified in the Gifted Education Regulations. Currently, only component scores on the Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) and subtests on the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC IV) meet these specifications.
How are students nominated for possible gifted program placement?
Nominations are often made by classroom teachers; however, any responsible person who has knowledge of a student’s intellectual functioning may nominate that student for further consideration. Additionally, an automatic referral procedure is described in SBOE Rule 160-4-2-.38. Each local board of education must establish a score on system-wide norm-referenced test results as the automatic referral level. Students scoring at or above this level are automatically considered. For specific information on the nomination procedures, parents and educators should contact their local school system.
What special programs are offered for gifted students?
The State Board of Education requires and authorizes each local board of education to develop curriculum for their gifted students in grades K-12, following the guidelines in SBOE Rule 160-4-2-.38. The approved delivery models for gifted education services are described in gifted regulations, but the exact nature of those services is decided at the local level. To find out more about specific program offerings for gifted students, parents should contact their student’s school.
If a student has been identified as gifted in another state, will he/she be eligible for gifted program placement in Georgia?
There is no mandated reciprocity between states; however, the school system should immediately take steps to see that the advanced learning needs of a student transferring to their system are being met while the Georgia gifted eligibility is being determined. The following documents should be presented to the student’s new school: a current eligibility report, recent standardized test scores, work samples, and recommendations from teachers.
During the 2009 session, the Georgia General Assembly enacted several laws relating to the education of children of military families that impact the gifted education reciprocity of students whose households include a member of the United States uniform services. The goal of the legislation is to maximize a student’s educational continuity despite the frequent movement across states and school districts. These laws are codified at O.C.G.A. 20-2-2140 through 20_2-2180. Eligible students are school-aged children whose household includes at least one of the following:
An active duty member of the uniformed services.
A member or veteran of the uniformed services who is severely injured and medically discharged.
A member of the uniformed services that died on active duty or as a result of injuries sustained on active duty.
Nothing in this Code section shall preclude the school in the receiving state from performing subsequent evaluations to ensure appropriate placement of the student.
What are the certification requirements for a teacher of gifted students?
Teachers of gifted students must meet the training requirements established by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission (PSC). Georgia PSC Gifted In-Field Endorsement approved programs are also listed on the PSC Web site.