Open vision bar

Advanced Academic Programs: Eligibility

Last Updated: 8/28/2019 5:15 PM

Advanced Academic Program/Gifted Education Services

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

 

Why do we have special programs for gifted students?

Cherokee County educators are committed to the belief that education is a means by which each individual has the opportunity to reach his or her fullest potential. We believe that all students have a right to educational experiences that challenge their individual development whether it is below, at or beyond the level of their age peers. In accordance with this philosophy, Cherokee County schools provide educational programs that recognize and make provisions for the special needs of advanced and highly able learners through Advanced Academic Programs and Gifted Education Services.

 

How does the State of Georgia define a gifted student?

The definition of a Gifted Student “a student who demonstrates a high degree of intellectual and/or creative ability(ies), exhibits an exceptionally high degree of motivation, and/ or excels in specific academic fields, and who needs special instruction and/or special ancillary services to achieve at levels commensurate with his or her abilities.”

 

How is a student referred for consideration of Gifted Education?

Automatic referrals are made based on available data; Additionally, a student may be referred for consideration for gifted education services by any individual with knowledge of the student’s abilities. Following a referral, students are screened using current data to determine the need for further assessment. The screening of a student is accomplished by an Eligibility Team or designated staff member. As assessment data warrants, the screening process moves to an eligibility process with specific procedures followed by a school-based Eligibility Team. It is important to note that a referral does not always equate to assessment. Individuals wishing to refer a student for consideration should contact the gifted teacher at their child’s school.

 

Can private data be utilized in the eligibility process?

Assessment data gathered from a private psychometrician or private school will be considered as a screener in the Cherokee County School District gifted eligibility identification process.  Private data does not supplant data collected by Cherokee County School District. Rather, it enhances a student’s data profile for a more complete understanding of ability.

 

How are students identified as eligible for Gifted Education in the State of Georgia?

Student eligibility guidelines for gifted education services in Georgia may be found in State Board of Education (SBOE) Rule 160-4-2-.38 EDUCATION PROGRAM FOR GIFTED STUDENTS [Code IDDD(2)].

 

The eligibility criteria for gifted program placement are also provided in the SBOE Rule.  The Cherokee County School District’s Gifted Education Program follows these guidelines in its eligibility process.  The process outlines the four categories for assessment (mental ability, achievement, motivation and creativity) and the performance standards that must be achieved in each for a student to become eligible for gifted education services.  Once a student has been assessed in all four data categories, there are two ways eligibility can be established.

Option A, the Psychometric Approach:

 

  • The student may qualify on the basis of mental ability and achievement assessment results only (regardless of the assessment results in creativity and motivation).  No student may qualify on the basis of a mental ability or achievement test score alone.

 

Option B, the Multiple-Criteria Approach:

 

  • The student may qualify by meeting the standards in any three of the four data categories, at least one of which must be on a nationally normed standardized test.  Additionally, it is important to note that two rating scales may not be used to establish gifted eligibility.

 

Data Categories

Option A

Option B

Mental Ability

K-2:  99th percentile age composite

3-12:  96th percentile age composite

 

Assessments must meet CCSD and SBOE guidelines

K-12:  96th percentile age composite, component, or subcomposite

 

Assessments must meet CCSD and SBOE guidelines

Achievement

K-12: 90-99th percentile grade composite in Total math, Total Reading, or Complete Composite

 

Assessments must meet CCSD and SBOE guidelines

K-12: 90-99th percentile grade composite in Total math, Total Reading, or Complete Composite

 

Assessments must meet CCSD and SBOE guidelines

Creativity

K-12: Less than a 90th percentile on a gifted characteristics rating scale or assessment in the area of creativity

 

Assessments must meet CCSD and SBOE guidelines

K-12: 90-99th percentile on a gifted characteristics rating scale or assessment in the area of creativity

 

 

Assessments must meet CCSD and SBOE guidelines

Motivation

K-12: Less than a 90th percentile on a gifted characteristics rating scale, assessment or GPA of 3.4 or less

K-12: 90-99th percentile on a gifted characteristics rating scale in the area of motivation

 

4-8: 90th percentile on an assessment of motivation

 

6-12: GPA of at least 3.5 on a 4.0 scale in core academic subjects

 

Assessments must meet CCSD and SBOE guidelines

 

If a student has been identified as gifted in another county in Georgia, will he/she be eligible for a gifted program placement in Cherokee County?

A student who qualified and was served in a gifted education program in a public school system within Georgia has reciprocal eligibility.  This reciprocity applies at all levels, K-12.  Placement is based on written proof of eligibility from the former District.

 

If a student has been identified as gifted in another state, will he/she be eligible for a gifted program placement in Cherokee County, Georgia?

There is no mandated reciprocity between states unless the student is a dependent of military personnel as provided in O.C.G.A. § 20-2-2140 et. seq. However, many states’ definitions are similar, so every attempt is made to establish transferring students’ eligibility for gifted program placement here in Georgia with little or no additional testing. 

 

The most expedient way to refer an out-of-state transfer for gifted eligibility is to collect all assessment data from the previous school or District and present those assessment results to Cherokee County school officials at the time of registration.  Helpful documents might include:  original gifted eligibility reports, recent standardized test scores, and proof of gifted or advanced coursework.  Gifted program personnel in the receiving school can then evaluate the types of tests that were given, the dates of those tests, etc., and determine what additional testing (if any) may be required to determine eligibility under the Georgia guidelines. 

 

How long will the eligibility process take to complete?

The comprehensive eligibility process may take several months.  All efforts are made to proceed through the eligibility process in a timely fashion.  The gifted education teachers who assess students for possible eligibility are also those providing instructional services to already eligible students.  Many factors dictate the length of time it may take to proceed through the eligibility process.  These factors include, but are not limited to, the various grade levels needing assessment, district-wide testing schedules, the rate of return of testing results, and the number of students needing additional testing. 

 

If my child does not qualify for services, can he/she be reconsidered? 

A student’s data profile is reviewed annually.  An automatic referral occurs any time a student’s scores meet specified criteria.  A school-based Eligibility Team will use assessment data (mental ability, achievement, motivation and creativity) and Cherokee County guidelines to determine the process and procedures in each student’s situation. Please note, any test score used to establish eligibility shall be current within two years. 

 

What are the certification requirements for a teacher of gifted students?

Teachers of gifted students must meet the training requirements described in the Gifted Education Regulations included in the SBOE Rule 160-4-2-.38.  The Gifted Education Endorsement may be added to a professional teaching certificate by successfully completing a program of study that has been approved by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission.  Georgia Professional Standards Commission Rule 505-3-.21 GIFTED IN-FIELD EDUCATION PROGRAM describes the standards for approving a program that prepares individuals to teach gifted students.  This is usually a four-class endorsement including Characteristics of the Gifted, Curriculum Methods and Materials for Gifted Students, Assessment of the Gifted, and Gifted Curriculum Models and Program Design.

 

What services are available to gifted identified students?

Gifted identified students are served in one or more of the following courses: Gifted Resource (AIM), Cluster Grouping, Advanced Content, Accelerated Content, Advanced Placement, and/or Dual Enrollment.  Additionally, there are many enrichment opportunities which gifted students may choose to participate in, as well. They include, but are not limited to, academic competitions, clubs, and awards.