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Gilbert Supporters of the Gifted

Advocacy Toolkit

Gifted Testing

Interpreting the Numbers

Gilbert Public School District

State of Arizona

The Common Core State Standards and Gifted Education

Federal

Our Response to the new GPS Strategic Plan






Gilbert Supporters of the Gifted

Click here to view and download an informational pamphlet on our organization. Please freely give this pamphlet to those who are interested in and may benefit from knowing more about giftedness and gifted education - parents, teachers, school and district administrators, school board members, etc. You may consider giving a copy to your gifted child's Scout leader, coach, or even Sunday School teacher.

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Advocacy Toolkit

Your ability to advocate for your gifted child will increase the more you know about giftedness and the gathering of data. First, review the resources found at our Gifted 101 tab. Read one of the recommended books. Review the "Building Bridges" presentation below as it will guide you in your journey.

  • Advocacy Presentation: Building Bridges


  • The National Association for Gifted Children has advocacy tools on their website:


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    Gifted Testing

    Gifted testing is objective information on your child and is a critical component of appropriate advocacy. Also necessary is subjective information. These two types of data are described in the brief presentation below.

  • Presentation: Advocacy for Gifted Children A Parent Perspective on Testing

  • After reviewing the "Parent Perspective on Testing" presentation, obtain two file folders to help you organize the records on your gifted child. Label one of the folders Objective Assessments. Label the other folder Subjective Assessments. Print this listing of Sample Objective and Subjective Assessments and tape the appropriate list into the appropriate folder. DO NOT think you need to gather everything on the list! A comprehensive list was generated so that you are able to choose the assessments that are most accessible to you and that also that most appropriately represent your child.

  • Below are forms that you are invited to download to begin gathering subjective information on your gifted child:
    Regarding the gathering of objective information, the question is sometimes asked, "When should I seek for outside gifted testing for my child?" There are a variety of situations that may give cause to seeking outside testing, including, but not limited to:
    • If you have missed the opportunity for gifted testing in your district and you do not wish to wait for the next availability.
    • If the district's gifted testing results do not match your gut feelings about your child.
    • If the district's gifted testing results do not match teacher recommendations or the caliber of work your child produces.
    • If your gifted child approached the ceiling on the district's test and they are struggling in school.
    • If your gifted child is receiving gifted services yet is struggling academically, socially or emotionally.
    • If you wish to obtain additional documentation of your child's giftedness in order to qualify for specialty programs.

    The book Academic Advocacy for Gifted Children: A Parent's Complete Guide by Barbara Jackson Gilman has helpful information on gifted testing. It is available for check-out from the Mesa Public Library and the Gilbert Public Schools District Office, Gifted Education Department.

    Once you have decided to seek outside gifted testing, the next question is, "Who should I get to test my gifted child? My highly gifted child? What psychologists are in my area and familiar with the ceilings on the commonly administered individual IQ tests?" (Like the Wechsler (WPPSI-III or WISC-IV) and Stanford-Binet (SB-5).)

    Below you will find three links that will help you in your search for a mental health professional/gifted tester:
    Below are two lists for your reference of Phoenix area professionals who do gifted testing. Gifted testing may or may not include IQ testing. Gilbert Supporters of the Gifted does not endorse any individual, but does provide this information for your resource. These listings are not intended to be a recommendation or identification of competency. We encourage you to join our Facebook Page (See our subscription page for details) and ask our members regarding referrals.

    To better understand test results, scroll down below to the next section, Interpreting the Numbers.

    Once you have determined from the test results that you have a highly gifted child, you may wish to explore the opportunities and free resources offered through the Davidson Institute's Young Scholars Program.

    Continue to scroll down below to see what test is used by Gilbert Public Schools and what additional tests are recognized in the state of Arizona.


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    Interpreting the Numbers



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    Gilbert Public School District


    • Click here to learn more about the GPS elementary gifted programs.



    • GPS Gifted Education for secondary students - Honors Program.

      Junior High Curriculum - The Junior High School Course Description offers a booklet that lists courses by subject and specifies which courses include an offering of honors classes.

      High School Curriculum - Within the Honors Program at the high school level there are additional options for acquiring class credits -– Advanced Placement courses, Dual Credit courses, and Distance Learning via online options -– to name a few. Students interested in learning more about these options are encouraged to meet with their high school counselor. Below is a brief synopsis of these options. For a listing of what AP and DUAL classes are available at GPS high schools, see the Gilbert Public Schools High School Course Description where a descriptive booklet can be found at the GPS web site.

      • Advanced Placement – AP classes are college-level courses and exams offered at the local high school. Teachers of AP classes are highly skilled, dedicated, and inspiring teachers. Students who enroll in these courses will have the option to take a test at the end of the year.
        CREDIT: Students will receive university credit depending on their score and the college or university to which they apply. Accepted at most universities nationwide.
        COST: Test fee. For more information, see the College Board website.

      • Dual Credit - Maricopa Community Colleges and GPS have designed a cooperative program in many fields of study that allows students to earn both high school and college credits. These classes are held on the high school campus as part of the regular school day and are offered if a qualified teacher is available. Students may also need to pass the AccuPlacer test.
        CREDIT: Students earn college credit if they receive a "C" grade or higher. Accepted at most in-state universities and colleges. If going to a university out of state, students are encouraged to check with the out-of-state university for transferability of credit.
        COST: Community college tuition. The registration and tuition payment process will be handled in the individual courses. Source: Gilbert Public Schools High School Course Description Book, p.VI. For more information see: http://www.maricopa.edu/dual/

      • Additional Credit Options - If a student desires to pursue alternative means of earning credits -- college courses, online instruction, collaborative credit, summer school, etc. -- the student is encouraged to speak with their high school counselor. High school credit may be granted to students who satisfactorily complete college courses away from the high school (known as CONCURRENT ENROLLMENT). Students must complete a collaborative credit form and secure permission from the administrator in charge of registration prior to taking the college course if they wish to receive high school credit. Source: Alternative Credit Options, Gilbert Public Schools High School Course Description Book, p.V.

      • Students may also check transferability of their courses to in-state universities by visiting https://www.transfer.org/uselect/index.htm.


    • The Gilbert Classical Academy offers an exclusive honors curriculum that is both rigorous and rigid for 7th-12th graders. GCA does not require testing for admintance, therefore classes are of mixed ability. A limited number of AP classes are offered though dual credit classes currently are not. Applications are accepted in the month of October for the following school year. For more information, visit the GCA course catalog on the GPS website.


    • Online Learning - To see if your child is a good candidate for online courses, you may wish to review the learning style surveys found in the book Re-Forming Gifted Education: How Parents and Teachers Can Match the Program to the Child by Karen B. Rogers, Ph.D. This book is available for check-out from the Mesa Public Library and the Gilbert Public Schools District Office, Gifted Education Department.

      • GPS Global Academy - This online academic experience is designed to provide a realistic educational option to the students and parents of GPS and students of other districts who are seeking alternative methods of satisfying promotion requirements. Currently, no Honors nor AP classes are offered. For more information see: GPS Global Academy.

      • Paradise Valley School District - Offers online general education courses, honors courses, dual credit courses and AP courses. Visit PVonline to learn more and to see a complete course listing.




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    State of Arizona

    Arizona has fallen from its ranking! Previously ranked at category 4 of 5, Arizona has fallen to category 3 due to the current state budget crisis. Gifted Education is no longer funded in Arizona!

    Contact your legislative representatives and encourage them to restore funding for Gifted Education. Click here to find the contact information for your representative.

    To see a map and funding data comparing Arizona to other states regarding gifted education, click here: Gifted Education Policies by State


    The mission of the Arizona Department of Education is to nurture academic excellence and improve student achievement among all students. To this end, the Legislature of the State of Arizona has established this mandate for students who are gifted:

    • The Governing Board of each school district shall provide gifted education to gifted pupils identified as provided in A.R.S. 15-779.

      "Gifted education" - Appropriate academic course offerings and services that are required to provide an educational program that is an integral part of the regular school day that is commensurate with the academic abilities and potential of the gifted pupil.


    • “Gifted pupil” - A child who is of lawful school age, who due to superior intellect or advanced learning ability, or both, is not afforded an opportunity for otherwise attainable progress and development in regular classroom instruction and who needs appropriate gifted education services, to achieve at levels commensurate with his/her intellect and ability.

    • Powers and duties of the school district governing board are outlined in A.R.S. 15-779.01. - The Governing Board of each school district shall provide gifted education to gifted pupils; The governing board shall modify the course of study and adapt teaching methods, materials and techniques to provide educationally for those pupils who are gifted and possess superior intellect or advanced learning ability, or both, but may have an educational disadvantage resulting from a disability or a difficulty.


    • Gifted pupils; scope and sequence; annual financial report - A.R.S. 15-779.2. The Governing Board of each school district shall develop a scope and sequence for the identification process of and curriculum modifications for gifted pupils to ensure that gifted pupils receive special education commensurate with their academic abilities and potentials. Programs and services for gifted pupils shall be provided as an integrated, differentiated learning experience during the regular school day.


    • Additional assistance for gifted programs - A.R.S. 15-779.03. School districts that comply with section 15-779.01 and that submit evidence that all district teachers who have primary responsibility for teaching gifted pupils have obtained or are working toward obtaining the appropriate certification endorsement as required by the state board of education may apply to the department of education for additional funding.

      School districts shall conduct evaluation studies of their programs for the gifted and submit information to the department of education regarding the results of their studies. The department shall develop evaluation guidelines, reporting forms, procedures and timelines.

      Monies distributed pursuant to this section shall supplement and not supplant monies from other sources.


    • Powers and duties of the state superintendent of public instruction regarding gifted education are outlined in A.R.S. 15-779.04.


    • State Board Approved Test List for the Identification of Gifted Students in Arizona - A gifted student is defined as any student who receives a composite score at or above the 97th percentile on national norms on any test from the State Board approved list.


    • AZ Dept of Gifted Education


    • Click on this link to see An Inventory of Tests from hoagiesgifted.org.


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    The Common Core State Standards and Gifted Education

    What of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS)? How will they support gifted and talented students?

    • Right click here to be directed to the homepage for the Common Core State Standards.
    • Statement from the National Association for Gifted Children - "It has been stated by some that the CCSS core does not require any special differentiation for the gifted, and may obviate the need for gifted education services since the standards are already high level. Unfortunately, although the Standards are strong, they are not sufficiently advanced to accommodate the needs of most gifted learners. As the CCSS developers have noted, some students will traverse the Standards before the end of high school, which will require educators to provide advanced content for them. Beyond accelerative methods, however, there is also a need to enrich the standards by ensuring that there are open-ended opportunities to meet the standards through multiple pathways, more complex thinking applications, and real world problem-solving contexts. This requires a deliberate strategy among gifted educators to ensure that the CCSS are translated in a way that allows for differentiated practices to be employed with gifted and high-potential students."
    • At this link, the National Association for Gifted Children answers questions about the CCSS as they relate to Gifted Education


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    Federal

    • Former U. S. Commissioner of Education Sidney P. Marland, Jr., in his August 1971 report to Congress, stated:


      • Gifted and talented children are those identified by professionally qualified persons who by virtue of outstanding abilities are capable of high performance. These are children who require differentiated educational programs and/or services beyond those normally provided by the regular school program in order to realize their contribution to self and society.

    • The Jacob Javits Gifted and Talented Students Education Act (Javits) was originally passed by Congress in 1988 as part of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act to support the development of talent in U.S. schools. The Javits Act, which is the only federal program dedicated specifically to gifted and talented students, does not fund local gifted education programs. In fact, in 2011 the Javits Act was defunded.

      • For more information regarding the Javits Act, including its primary components, positive outcomes, and history of congressional funding, click here.

    • The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, signed into law by President Bush on Jan. 8, 2002, was a reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, the central federal law in pre-collegiate education. No Child Left Behind legislation created a new, achievement-based definition of giftedness; however it does not mandate that states use its definition:

      • The term “gifted and talented”, when used with respect to students, children, or youth, means students, children, or youth who give evidence of high achievement capability in areas such as intellectual, creative, artistic, or leadership capacity, or in specific academic fields, and who need services or activities not ordinarily provided by the school in order to fully develop those capabilities. (Title IX, Part A, Section 9101(22), p. 544)

    • The National Association for Gifted Children will keep you appraised on gifted issues at the federal level. This includes the newly introduced TALENT Act - "To Aid Gifted and High-Ability Learners by Empowering the Nation's Teachers Act." The TALENT Act would replace the Javits Act and has four key emphases:
      • Changes to Assessment and Accountability Systems
      • Emphasis on Classroom Practice
      • Focus on Underserved Populations
      • Emphasis on Research and Dissemination

    • Click here to learn more about the TALENT Act

    • To find out the name and address of your U.S. Representative, click here: www.house.gov


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    Our Response to the new GPS Strategic Plan


    Gilbert Public Schools published their Strategic Plan January 2012. Gilbert Supporters of the Gifted published February 2012 Points for Consideration on Gifted Education for GPS Strategic Plan Implementation.





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