• Are gifted education programs mandated in Arizona?

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    Yes. Gifted education, ARS §15-779.02 is mandated for all public school districts. All school districts must both identify gifted learners and provide appropriate educational programs and services for gifted learners that are an “integrated, differentiated learning experience during the regular school day” in all grades K-12. 

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  • What kind of training is required for teachers working with gifted learners?

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    Teachers who work with gifted learners must be provided with professional development support based on a plan outlined within a school district’s Scope and Sequence for Gifted Education. Also, teachers whose primary responsibility is teaching gifted learners must have, or be working towards earning, an Arizona Gifted Education K-12 Endorsement.

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  • Why are identification procedures, programs and service models different between districts?

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    Arizona law requires that all public-school districts must both identify gifted learners and provide appropriate educational programs and services for gifted learners. However, the law does not prescribe the models that district must use to serve their gifted learners.

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  • We are moving from another Arizona district, how will my child's gifted identification be affected?

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    If your child was identified as a gifted learner through using a test from the state board approved test list, and scored at or above the 97th percentile in any one of three reasoning categories (Verbal, Nonverbal or Quantitative Reasoning), then your child must be identified as gifted by an Arizona school district as soon as the district has verified eligibility.

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  • Why don’t gifted learners have IEPs and other safeguards similar to special education learners?

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    Federal law has established policies and procedures for special education, such as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), which requires IEPs (Individualized Education Plans) for special education learners. Gifted education policies and procedures, however, are solely established through state law.

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  • What test was used to evaluate my child in PUSD#11?

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    The Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT), approved by the State of Arizona to identify students for gifted services, measures a student’s ability to reason using words, numbers, and shapes/patterns.  It does not measure content the student has learned, so it is not a test for which one may study.  To meet the state definition of giftedness, a student must earn a score of 97% or higher in at least one of the three areas-verbal, nonverbal, or quantitative reasoning.

     

    **A student qualifies as gifted in PUSD #11 with a score at or above the 97th percentile.   To be considered highly gifted, a student has to score at or above the 97th percentile in at least two areas of giftedness.

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  • What do the CogAT scores mean?

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    The scores mean that, out of a hundred children within three months of your child’s age and being tested in the same grade at the same time of year, your child scored better than that number.  Therefore, a score of 50% would mean your child scored better than 50 out of a hundred children, which is average, and a score of 99% would mean that your child scored the highest of 100 children his/her age. 

     

    The verbal test measures a child’s ability to reason using words, vocabulary, understanding the subtle differences between similar-meaning words (such as cute/beautiful/handsome), choosing the best words to put into blanks in sentences, and understanding analogies.  If your child is strong in the verbal area, he/she is probably an advanced reader for his/her age, has an extensive vocabulary, can express his/her ideas well, and understands plays on words.  This ability does not mean he/she is a good speller, however, and he/she may often leave out words when writing.  This child needs a library card and opportunities to read a variety of self-selected, above grade level books.

     

    The quantitative test measures a child’s ability to solve problems using numbers, sequences, and mathematical operations.  A high score in this area indicates that the child understands math concepts and has a pronounced ability to solve problems using logic and sequential steps.  This student may also be quite talented at music and science, which use related skills. 

     

    The non-verbal test measures a child’s ability to solve problems using shapes and patterns.  A high score in this area indicates a child has exceptional ability to make connections, see patterns, draw inferences, and visualize the world in a 3-D way.  This child can find the car in the parking lot for you, comprehend maps and graphs, build Legos and puzzles, and think logically.  He/she might excel at sports, dance, art and/or drama.  Although this strength is not specifically taught in school, it is useful in creative writing, science, math, art, P.E., and seeing the connections in history and literature.

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  • My child didn’t qualify for gifted services. What now?

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    There are many reasons why a child might not test in a way that reflects his/her true ability, including rushing through the test, lack of concern, embarrassed to ask clarifying questions, test anxiety, answering incorrectly on purpose (so as not to be given more or harder work.)

     

    Even though your child did not qualify at this time, his/her area(s) of strength will still be met in the regular education classroom.  The classroom teacher can arrange for advanced math/ELA placement if appropriate based on standardized test scores and student performance.   Students who did not automatically qualify for gifted services through their scores on the Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) but scored a 94%, 95%, or a 96% percentile and are highly creative, and/or motivated, are welcome to petition for an Administrative Review. Please contact your child’s principal or assistant principal for how to proceed with an administrative review. 

    For test validity, we must wait 12 months before testing again.  Re-testing is not recommended on a yearly basis.

    Testing forms are available in the school office.

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  • My child qualified for gifted services. What now?

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    Your child will receive gifted services at his/her school site during the school day.  Your child will automatically be placed in the K-8 muli-age gifted pull-out program for a minimum of 90 minutes a week.  This program focuses on problem-based learning opportunities, thinking skills, social and emotional lessons, and enrichment in verbal, quantitative, and nonverbal reasoning skills.  The classroom teacher can arrange for advanced math/ELA placement if appropriate, based on standardized test scores and student performance.  Please contact your child’s principal or assistant principal for specific information on how your child will receive gifted services.

    In addition, gifted students may be eligible to attend one of our Gifted Signature Programs at Copperwood or Apache Elementary School.   

     

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