The DMPS Gifted and Talented Department screens students each year in the fall for possible identification and subsequent gifted and talented programming and services.
All elementary schools administer a blanket Test of Cognitive Development to incoming 2nd graders. Building norms are used to determine outliers 2 standard deviations from the norms in verbal, quantitative and non-verbal areas. While CogAT is well-suited to help educators make important student placement decisions, such as serving as a single indicator in identifying students for Gifted and Advanced Learning programs added to multiple criteria for determination, exclusive features such as the Ability Profile Score can be used to expand the educational opportunities of all students.
Overview of Identification Protocol (September-May)
A request for screening by the gifted and talented department may be submitted by a parent, teacher, school counselor, the student him/herself, the building GT consultant, or a school administrator. A formal “Request for Screening” packet includes the official request form, an observation form completed by the nominator, as well as any supporting data he or she wishes.
Once the nominator has submitted the request form and any supporting evidence, other sources of data are collected by the classroom teacher and/or the building GT consultant to create a portfolio supporting the screening of students for possible gifted and talented identification. The more comprehensive a profile submitted for screening, the better each building committee is able to understand the student, assess each student’s unique strengths and needs, and recommend appropriate programming options.
The portfolio is designed to provide a holistic look at each student’s strengths and needs, based upon on the age and grade of the student, the school the student attends, and the preferences of the instructional leaders in the student’s school. The screening committee in each school then meets to examine all submitted portfolios, determines which students’ needs are already being met in the regular classroom, and which students should be recommended for further assessment by the school’s assigned district GT consultant.
Those students the committee refers for further assessment are interviewed by the building consultant, and are administered those standardized and non-standardized assessments supported by gifted education research which the consultant believes will most fully reveal each student’s strengths and needs. At the conclusion of all testing building consultants communicate with parents, administrators and classroom teachers regarding the results of the identification process and recommendations when identifications are made. In all cases, programs and services are determined by need and potential benefit, not merely the identification.