Gifted and Talented Screening Process and Services
Austin I.S.D.'s Gifted & Talented Program
Each school district in Texas is expected to follow the compliance requirements of the Texas State Plan for the Education of Gifted/Talented Students. All campuses in Austin ISD provide screening, identification, and services for Gifted and Talented students. The process and criteria for screening and identification is outlined below as well as the provision of services.
Gifted and Talented Screening Process:
In order for a student to be identified as Gifted and Talented (GT) in Austin ISD, data from several quantitative and qualitative criteria are collected over a four-week period and reviewed by the campus GT Decision-Making Committee with no single criterion being weighted more than the other since ability and performance are equally important for the success of students receiving GT services. Quantitative criteria consist of the Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Non-Verbal Reasoning age stanine scores on the Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT). Qualitative criteria include a parent survey, a student survey, teacher observations, and a student product demonstrating student voice and choice. Students may be identified as GT in one or more of the following content areas: mathematics, language arts, science, and social studies. This screening process is in accordance with the Texas State Plan for the Education of Gifted/Talented Students.
The Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) measures learned reasoning and problem-solving skills in three different areas: verbal, quantitative, and nonverbal. Reasoning skills develop gradually throughout a person’s lifetime and at different rates for different individuals. CogAT does not measure such factors as effort, attention, motivation, and work habits, which contribute to school achievement as well.
The qualitative criteria seeks to find patterns and trends within each criteria and across each criteria demonstrating depth and complexity in academic performance in the content areas of mathematics, language arts, science, and social studies through the use of surveys, observations, and student work samples. The qualitative criteria are important because students identified as Gifted and Talented are expected to perform at high levels in the content areas of mathematics, language arts, science, and/or social studies.
GT services include instruction by a teacher with the appropriate GT Foundations training within a cluster grouping model (small group of identified GT students within the general education classroom) which allows for opportunities for curricular tasks that include greater depth, complexity, and pacing while working independently and with other GT students as well as students not identified. These services are in accordance with the Texas State Plan for the Education of Gifted/Talented Students.
Gifted and Talented education services provided to GT students in the classroom will include some of the following: