Eligibility Procedures for Gifted Programming

When a student is referred for the next round of screening, parents/guardians are notified.  Next, a review of records is conducted, feedback is received from parents/guardians and respective teachers regarding the appropriateness of gifted programming, as well as the administration of a brief cognitive and achievement measure.   These sources are synthesized by the school team (i.e. school counselor, teacher, and school psychologist) to determine if further evaluation is warranted to determine eligibility of gifted programming.  In the event the school team does not recommend further evaluation,  but parents/guardians disagree, a full evaluation will occur.

The full gifted evaluation consists of the administration of a comprehensive cognitive and achievement assessment to the student by a certified school psychologist.  Selected instruments are individually administered and developed with a normative sample that is culturally, racially, and linguistically appropriate to minimize any systematic bias in test interpretation.   Results are reported in a Gifted Written Report (GWR).  If the (a) cognitive assessment yields a score in the top two percentile and (b) the students’ educational performance indicates academic needs that cannot be addressed through differentiated instruction in the general education setting, a recommendation of eligibility to participate in gifted programming is made. 

The Pennsylvania School Code indicates that students found to be mentally gifted demonstrate a Full Scale Intelligence Quotient (FSIQ)  of 130 or demonstrate a variety of strengths based on multiple factors if the FSIQ is not 130 or higher.  South Middleton's School District’s procedures to determine eligibility through multiple criteria include the consideration of one's FSIQ that approaches the  130 threshold when error is taken into consideration in the area of either (a) broad intellectual ability, (b) ability to reason with verbal information, or (c) ability to reason with nonverbal information.   For instance, a student with a FSIQ of 126 may have an interval score of 122-130; therefore, since it reaches 130, the student would be considered as mentally gifted and then academic need is considered. 

To determine areas of strength, local assessments and individually administered assessments are used to indicate present levels in the areas of reading comprehension, math application, and written expression.  Scores that demonstrate academic strengths above grade level (i.e., percentile rank, reading level, math level, etc.), are applied to a matrix that leverages multiple sources to indicate need.   In addition to direct assessments, parent and teacher rating scales are also used to determine the extent of mental giftedness and need for academic enrichment and/or acceleration.