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While there is not a single test for giftedness, there are characteristics that parents and teachers should look for in children.
Gifted is different, not better. Labeling is identification and information, not destiny. The name implies unmerited, not arrogance. The knowledge of it is power, not an easy path.
Nominations are available in the first month of each school year. Our department accepts nominations from parents, teachers, and students themselves. When a student is nominated, a complete review of their educational testing is completed by the Gifted Services Department and next steps are determined. Our department typically assesses over 1,000 students per year.
In addition to nominations, SVVSD routinely reviews district data for students scoring at an advanced level. A review of each student’s data is completed by the district coordinators. Typically, students are administered a cognitive ability test and achievement tests. We also gather information from teachers and parents. A body of evidence is required for each student. A letter from the school is sent to parents after a testing cycle is completed. Students must meet state criteria for identification. Students who are close to the 95th percentile but do not have enough data to be identified are entered into a talent pool called “program and monitor”. This group of students receives advanced services and their data will be reviewed annually for possible identification.
The Advanced Learning Plan (ALP) documents strength based programming over time for identified students. The ALP supports other plans for a student and is used to guide advanced instructional programming and decisions. Advanced Learning Plans are always generated or reviewed each fall for identified students. Newly identified students will receive an ALP within 30 days of identification. The ALP is intended to be a fluid document and can be changed or updated to meet the student’s needs.
SVVSD offers a suite of options to serve students. Each school provides differentiation, enrichment, and acceleration. The programs or approaches will be different in each building. Please refer to the “schools” tab for information on individual buildings and their programming.
Programming for identified learners looks different in every building and level. Best practice includes one or more of the following: classroom differentiation, pull out programming, enrichment, interest based electives, honors courses, Advanced Placement (AP) courses, International Baccalaureate (IB) courses, or concurrent enrollment in college. In addition, many students benefit from content or grade level acceleration. Depending on the needs of the student, one or more of these strategies can be used to support their progress.
SVVSD has worked with the Colorado Department of Education to build the capacity of teachers, administrators, and professionals to understand the needs of 2E students. Twice Exceptional refers to students who are identified in a gifted area and also have a documented learning or mental health need that necessitates a 504 plan or an Individual Education Plan.
If parents have questions or concerns, please start by talking with the GT representative in the building or the classroom teacher. Each GT representative has been trained in best practices for gifted learners and can connect you with resources. Should you need additional assistance, please call your district coordinator.
If your child was identified in another district, testing and necessary paperwork needs to be submitted to the Gifted Services Department. We will review data and determine next steps. Portability of identification applies to Colorado districts if identification criteria is met. Students identified in other districts/states are included in our talent pool and provided access to advanced programming and differentiation. This protocol is followed to ensure a continuum of services for students new to our district. While identification often transfers, programming options in SVVSD may be different.
SVVSD hosts robust training opportunities for educators. GT representatives are trained in state law, best practices, and social/emotional components of gifted learners each month. The Gifted Services Department offers annual courses for SVVSD teachers and counselors.
Please consider joining one of our popular Parent Nights. Each year we provide opportunities for parents to learn more about topics relevant to raising gifted children. SENG groups (social emotional needs of gifted) are offered twice a year. These book study groups support the social and emotional needs of gifted children. Groups fill quickly.