Students with outstanding talent who perform or show potential for performing at remarkably high levels of accomplishment when compared with others of their age require services or activities that may not be provided to the majority of their class.  

Essentially, research tells us that students who are gifted/talented are characterized by three interlocking clusters of ability, these clusters being above average ability, creativity and task commitment.  At CAS, we identify these students by using test score nominations (standardized, formative and summative), teacher referrals, and parental request for testing.  Students must be in the 94th percentile on a nationally normed achievement test and be an extremely high achiever academically, socially and intellectually. The school may request he/she undergo cognitive abilities testing.  

Our procedure for providing for our academically talented/gifted students is to evaluate to assess the students’ needs, provide a challenging and supportive learning environment, observe students responses to curriculum, consult with peers, parents/caregivers, teachers, and community, nominate and screen if appropriate, analyze information, plan appropriate to students’ needs and monitor the continuous cycle. 

Characteristics of a Gifted and Talented Student

  • Learns easily and rapidly
  • Thinks clearly, recognizes implied relationships, comprehends meanings
  • Reads on the average of two years above grade level
  • Retains what she/he has hear or read without appearing to need much rote or drill practice -Possesses a large vocabulary
  • Exhibits independence, individualism, and self-sufficiency
  • Demonstrates a curious and investigative nature
  • Asks penetrating, searching questions
  • Focuses intently on areas of interest
  • Produces original products or ideas
  • Prefers complex ideas

Student Files, Documentation and Record Keeping:

Every student who is identified as G/T within the school will have a confidential file documenting the need for services. The students’ file should include the following materials:

  • Referral/Nomination form/s
  • Assessment documentation, e.g., checklists, nominations, test reports, anecdotal information, portfolio rating scale, etc. üSummary of test results
  • Decision of the G/T SST
  • Development of a student enrichment plan (EP)

Assessment methods may include:

  • Evaluation of student responses to a range of classroom activities
  • Nomination by parent/caregiver, peer, self and teacher
  • Assessment of responses to challenging competitions
  • off-level testing
  • Standardized tests of creative ability
  • IQ tests and other culturally appropriate measures of ability
  • Observation and anecdotal evidence
  • Behavioral checklists
  • Interviews
  • Academic grades

Assessment Methods Explained:


The identification of gifted and talented students involves the collection of subjective information, usually via checklists, submitted by school administration, teachers, or school counselors.


Screening involves the use of a combination of measures of potential and performance.  It is more objective than nomination. Ability tests are useful for assessing potential, whereas achievement tests assess student performance in syllabus outcomes, and generally classify students into bands. Underachieving students with high intellectual potential may score poorly on achievement tests. Diagnostic tests are designed to identify specific areas of difficulty and do not identify students with higher abilities.


Teachers should ask the questions, “What is being observed?” and “How should the observations be noted?” Before beginning to formally observe students, teachers can develop preformats to aid in recording observations of students. This information can give a picture of students’ performances, interests, strengths, weaknesses and skills. 

Aptitude Testing

Students must obtain a composite score or a subtest score at or above the 93rd national percentile on a nationally normed aptitude test (cognitive Abilities Test-CogAT). A composite score of 96 or higher is acceptable as the sole criterion for placement. The assessment is administered during late October to early November. Two year old scores may be used.

Achievement Testing

Student must score at least at or above the 94th national percentile on a nationally normed achievement test (WRAT, Measures of Academic Progress-MAP) in reading comprehension and/or mathematical concepts and problem solving. The initial assessment of MAP of the current school year will be used.

Academic Performance Assessment

Students in grades 1-12 meeting the criteria in Dimension A or B, but not both must take grade leveled performance assessments.  For placement of Grades 6-12, an end of the year grade point average of 3.75 on a 4.0 scale in Math, Language Arts, Science and Social Studies may be used.

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