Visual & Performing Arts Gifted Identification

  • Each year, there are two opportunities to refer students for gifted identification in the visual or performing arts.

    How are students identified as Gifted and Talented in the visual and performing arts?
    Columbus City Schools follows the state of Ohio mandate for identification in the visual and performing arts. Students are identified in five arts areas; vocal music, instrumental music, theater, dance and visual art. To be identified, students must demonstrate ability and obtain an acceptable score on an Ohio Department of Education rubric in combination with a qualifying score on a state approved checklist of behaviors related to the specific arts area.

    Who identifies students as gifted and talented in the visual and performing arts?
    Visual art teachers, music teachers, and physical education/dance teachers at each school use a two-phase process for identifying students in the five arts areas. During Phase One, in the fall evaluation window, all students in grades 5 and 8 are screened for ability in the visual and performing arts. Once parent permission is received for further assessment, the visual and performing arts teachers complete a checklist of artistic behaviors for each screened student. If students earn a qualifying score on the checklist, they are invited to a performance audition, or for visual art, a portfolio evaluation (Phase Two). Students who earn a qualifying score on the state-approved performance rubric in combination with the checklist of artistic behaviors, are formally identified as gifted and talented in a specific area of the arts.

    In addition to the whole grade screening at grades listed above, any educator, parent, or student may refer any K-12 student for assessment during the visual and performing arts identification process. Referral forms may be downloaded here or obtained from the Gifted & Talented office or Gifted Resource Specialist. They should be returned to the Gifted & Talented office.

    How and when are parents notified?
    If a child is newly identified in any area of the visual and performing arts, parents/guardians will receive an identification notification letter through U.S. mail in the spring of each school year.

    How can I learn more about services available in elementary and middle school?
    Parents are encouraged to communicate with the visual and performing arts teachers in the schools to become informed about enrichment opportunities offered at each building. The identification letter can also be shared with classroom teachers. Additional opportunities for enrichment can be found here.

    How can parents and students meet other students who are gifted in the arts at their school?
    Parents and teachers should encourage identified students to become involved in the arts opportunities at their school and in the community. Parents can also attend monthly PACE meetings. PACE (Parents for Academic Challenge and Enrichment) is the Gifted and Talented parent advocacy group of Columbus City Schools. The PACE website is

    Does the Gifted and Talented team offer direct service to gifted students?
    At this time, the state of Ohio only mandates gifted identification in the arts. Official service is not provided by Columbus City Schools. However, opportunities for identified students do exist throughout the district.

    • Students identified as gifted in the arts are eligible to apply for selective enrollment to Duxberry Park Elementary, Arts Impact Middle School, and Fort Hayes Arts and Academic High School. Students will receive a selective enrollment letter in early January of each year.
    • To view information about Unified Arts opportunities in the district, visit the Unified Arts link on the Columbus City Schools website.