Areas of Gifted Identification

  • Superior Cognitive Ability

    Superior cognitive ability is general intellectual ability that is consistently superior to same age peers. This is measured through an individual or group intelligence test. The required score varies based on the test. The district administers the NNAT (Naglieri Nonverbal Abilities Test) to all students in grade 2, and the required score is 126.  The district administers the CogAT to all students in grade 5, and the required score is 128. Through alternative testing, students may be administered the Naglieri Nonverbal Abilities Test, which requires a score of 126 (K-4), 125 (5-7), 126 (8-10,) or 127 (11-12), or the Cognitive Ability Test, which requires a score of 128. On these tests, 100 is considered an average score.

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    Specific Academic Ability

    Specific academic identification refers to a child's achievement in a specific subject area that is consistently superior to the achievement of same grade peers. The district uses the i-Ready, an achievement test administered three times a year for grades 2 through 5, as well as optional, alternative tests throughout the year. Those tests include the Woodcock Johnson Test of Achievement or the Iowa Test of Basic Skills. Specific academic areas include reading, math, science, and social studies. A student must achieve the 95th percentile or higher in any of these areas to be identified as gifted. A score of 50th percentile is considered average.

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    Creative Thinking Ability

    Creative thinking ability includes consistent divergent thinking that results in unconventional responses to conventional tasks. As a screening measure, the district uses a score of 110 or higher on the NNAT or 112 or higher on the CogAT, which are state approved ability tests administered to students in grades 2 and 5. Students who score at this level on individually administered ability tests will also be further assessed for giftedness in creative thinking ability. Students must also earn a qualifying score on a Checklist of Creative Behaviors from the Scales for Rating the Behavior Characteristics of Superior Students.

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    Visual and Performing Arts

    Children who demonstrate consistent outstanding aesthetic production in visual art, music, theater, or dance can be identified as gifted in the arts. The first phase of identification occurs when the arts specialists in the schools or parents recommend students as potentially gifted in one or more of the arts areas. Next, a behavioral checklist is completed, in addition to a performance assessment, which is scored using an ODE rubric. 

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