Gifted and Talented Identification Process
Roaring Fork School District follows established procedures for the identification of gifted/talented students that align with state guidelines and the Exceptional Child Education Act (ECEA). Both formal and informal data are used in the collection of a body of evidence over time to substantiate a student’s talent in specific areas. Ultimately, the process guides programming for each identified student. Identification is an ongoing process that is facilitated by the PEAK Coordinator in each building. Nomination forms can be found below.
Purpose: To find gifted students whose aptitude or competence in abilities, talents, and potential for accomplishment in one or more domains are so exceptional or developmentally advanced that they require special provisions to meet their educational programming needs. ECEA Rules, revised in 2015, specify the areas for gifted identification in Colorado. A student may be identified in one or more of these domains (areas):
* General or Specific Intellectual Ability
Intellectual ability is exceptional capability or potential recognized through cognitive processes (e.g., memory, reasoning, rate of learning, spatial reasoning, ability to find and solve problems, ability to manipulate abstract ideas and make connections.)
* Specific Academic Aptitude
Specific academic aptitude is exceptional capability or potential in an academic content area(s) (e.g., a strong knowledge base or the ability to ask insightful pertinent questions within the discipline). All academic areas should be considered.
* Visual Arts, Performing Arts, Musical, Dance, or Psychomotor Abilities
Visual arts, performing arts, musical, dance or psychomotor abilities are exceptional capabilities or potential in talent areas (e.g., art, drama, music, dance, body awareness, coordination, and physical skills).
* Creative or Productive Thinking
Creative or productive thinking is exceptional capability or potential in mental processes (e.g., critical thinking, creative problem solving, humor, independent/original thinking, and/or products).
* Leadership Abilities
Leadership is the exceptional capability or potential to influence and empower people (e.g., social perceptiveness, visionary ability, communication skills, problem solving, inter- and intra- personal skills, and a sense of responsibility).
Review Team Process
Assessments data is reviewed by a team to identify gifted students. The team uses a body of evidence (BOE) upon which to base the determination. The evidence includes identification assessment results, parental input and multiple types of measures and data sources.
The review team examines the body of evidence and may make one or more of the following determinations:
* Move to formal gifted identification
* Identify student for a talent pool*
* Select new tools to collect additional data
* Determine data does not support identification at this time
* Determine a student may need to be referred for special education assessment in addition to his/her gifted identification (twice-exceptional students)
* A talent pool is defined as a group of students who demonstrate an advanced or even exceptional ability in a particular area, but at this time do not meet the criteria for gifted identification. Often students in a talent pool are provided advanced or gifted programming services. As students are presented with additional levels of challenge and rigor, increased achievement may occur. A student may meet the criteria for gifted identification at a later date.
The Roaring Fork School District follows the identification process recommended by the Colorado Office of Gifted Education:
Collecting a Body of Evidence for Identification
Multiple sources and tools allow children to reveal their exceptionalities or potential. A variety of assessment tools are used to collect information on a student whose background or talent area makes him/her unique from others.
A body of evidence consists of quantitative and qualitative measures to determine if a student meets the criteria for gifted identification and to build a student profile of strengths and interests. Quantitative assessments provide numerical scores or ratings that can be analyzed or quantified. Qualitative assessments provide interpretive and descriptive information about certain attributes, characteristics, behaviors or performances.
While some of the data in a body of evidence will be used to meet the criteria* for gifted identification, other data or information may be used to build a learner profile for the purpose of developing appropriate programming options.
* Criteria are the rules for evaluating a level of exceptionality for identification assessment. The 95th percentile ranking and above describes the rule for demonstration of exceptionality on a norm-referenced standardized test. Distinguished/advanced performance levels may describe exceptionality on qualitative tools, portfolios, performance assessments, and criterion-referenced tests.
Early Access: General Information
Colorado House Bill 1021 provides the legislation necessary to allow highly advanced gifted students who are age four by October 1st to begin kindergarten, or age five by October 1st to begin first grade, if it's found that the student qualifies as both highly gifted and developmentally ready to begin school early. Please note that this option pertains to a small percentage of gifted students who score in the top 2% on both achievement and cognitive tests and require grade level acceleration. The early access process includes a portfolio and interview stage, and if appropriate, the administration of achievement and cognitive assessments.
State law: "Highly Advanced Gifted Child" means a gifted child whose body of evidence demonstrates a profile of exceptional ability or potential compared to same-age gifted children. To meet the needs of highly advanced development, early access to educational services may be considered as a special provision. For purposes of early access into kindergarten or first grade, the highly advanced gifted child exhibits exceptional ability and potential for accomplishment in cognitive process and academic areas. The Colorado Department of Education's list of guidelines regarding this process notes that "early access shall not be an acceleration pattern recommended for the majority of age 4 or age 5 gifted children who will benefit from preschool gifted programming that responds to the strength area. The purpose of early access is to identify and serve the few highly advanced gifted children who require comprehensive academic acceleration."
Parents may appeal a decision by asking for the reconsideration of the body of evidence using the Dispute Form below. Parents should submit a letter to the Principal and/or GT Director outlining the nature of the concern, and with supporting documentation attached. The parent must provide evidence that the child‘s knowledge, skills, and abilities are superior to age and grade level peers. Testing from an outside source will be considered, but RFSD is not responsible for any costs incurred if a parent chooses to obtain information this way. The Principal and/or the Director of Gifted Education will convene a meeting with the parent/guardian, and the appeal committee to review the appeal request. The Principal will issue a written final decision within 30 days of the appeal. This written notice will include the reason(s) for the decision. The decision of the appeal committee is final.
Forms for Gifted and Talented Identification Process