Definition & Testing Information

What is "Gifted"? And how do I have my child tested for the program?

What is "Gifted"?
There are many different, often conflicting, definitions of gifted. The Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented notes "it is crucial to emphasize that being identified as gifted and talented is not a badge of honor, not a reason for bragging, nor a reward for good behavior. It is an educational diagnosis. And once diagnosed, the definition is essential in designing the services that permit G/T students to be appropriately challenged."
The chart below was posted by the Association of Gifted Individuals:
Bright Vs. Gifted
The links here are from the Texas Education Agency, defining Gifted and presenting the state plan for gifted education.
How do I get my child tested for the Gifted Program?
For students in grades 2-12, or 1st graders new to the district, referral forms are due by November 30 of the school year. If a parent is filling out the referral, they will also need to sign the parent permission for testing, as well as complete the parent observation checklist. All documents are part of the GT Parent Referral Packet (below).
Assessment and Identification for the Gifted Program

All Kindergarten students are tested mid-year and are entered into the program in Spring if they qualify. First grade students new to the district may be assessed at parent or teacher request during the Fall. First graders who did not qualify for the program in Kindergarten are not retested, as the test scores would have been obtained within one calendar year. Students in second grade and up may be assessed at parent or teacher request during the Fall.

Per state guidelines, students are assessed with a minimum of three criteria in a combination of qualitative and quantitative instruments. They may include nationally normed school abilities tests, nationally standardized normed achievement tests, and Teacher and/or Parent Rating Scales. These assessments are collected to create a student profile to identify the student's strengths and weaknesses. Each student's profile is individually evaluated by the Gifted Committee through a blind (no name) process. A student clearly qualifies for Gifted services if the majority of the evidence on the profile falls within the High and/or Superior ranges on the profile.
How does the testing work?
When a student is referred for testing, they are given three assessments: one is a non-verbal ability test to determine the student's ability to see patterns and make connections, one is a standardized math test, and one is a standardized reading test. Scores for each of these assessments are rated as a National Percentile Rank (referred to as NPR or %-tile), which compares scores among all students of that age/grade throughout the United States. It is NOT the percent of questions answered correctly. For example, a NPR rank of 85 means that the student scored higher than 85% of students in that age/grade who have taken that test. To qualify for the program, the majority of scores are usually in the range of 92 NPR (%-tile) or higher - meaning that the scores are higher than 92% of students across the country. In addition to the standardized tests, observation surveys are filled out by parents and teachers to describe characteristics of the student in question, compared with other children of that age. All scores are entered anonymously into a scoring rubric, and the campus Gifted Committee makes the qualifying decisions based on those scores in a blind (no names) process.
Rubric for GT Scores