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Gifted Education FAQ's

What is giftedness?

The National Association for Gifted Children defines giftedness as:

“Gifted individuals are those who demonstrate outstanding levels of aptitude (defined as an exceptional ability to reason and learn) or competence (documented performance or achievement in top 10% or rarer) in one or more domains. Domains include any structured area of activity with its own symbol system (e.g., mathematics, music, language) and/or set of sensorimotor skills (e.g., painting, dance,and sports).”

 

Characteristics of a gifted child may include:

• Thoughtfully interrelating complex knowledge from multiple subject areas

• Having exceptional insight to themes and generalizations

• Demonstrating sophistication in learning and applying new information to tasks

• Asking provocative questions which probe and analyze problems

• Giving diverse, thought-provoking responses which lead to innovative solutions

• Insightfully evaluating information and ideas

• Creating products that synthesize ideas from a variety of challenging sources

• Initiating and going beyond required assignments


What is the difference between a bright child and a gifted child?
Although each child is a unique individual and does not fit exactly any generalized description, the following information is provided to help parents/guardians understand the difference between a bright child and a gifted child.
 

Bright Child

Gifted Child

Knows the answers

Asks the questions

Is interested

Is highly curious

Is attentive

Is mentally/physically involved

Has good ideas

Has wild, silly ideas

Works hard

Plays around, yet tests well

Answers the questions

Discusses in detail; elaborates

Top group

Beyond the group

Listens with interest

Shows strong feelings and opinions

Learns with ease

Already knows

6-8 repetitions for mastery

1-2 repetitions for mastery

Understands ideas

Constructs abstractions

Enjoys peers

Prefers adults

Grasps the meaning

Draws inferences

Completes assignments

Initiates projects

Is receptive

Is intense

Copies accurately

Creates a new design

Enjoys school

Enjoys learning

Absorbs information

Manipulates information

Technician

Technician

Good memorizer

Good guesser

Enjoys straight-forward, sequential presentation

Thrives on complexity

Is alert

Is keenly observant

Is pleased with own learning

Is highly self-critical

 

By: Janice Szabos - Gifted Child Quarterly

What are gifted services for students identified in Hanover County Public Schools (HCPS)?
Grades K-5

Program Services for identified students may include:
• Cluster grouping 
• Advanced curriculum with emphasis on 21st Century skills delivered by the classroom teacher
• Extension activities that correlate with the Standards of Learning (SOL) through the advanced curriculum delivered by the classroom teacher or the Elementary Gifted Resource Teacher
• Enrichment activities that reinforce and extend SOL skills and concepts delivered by the classroom teacher or the Elementary Gifted Resource Teacher
• Weekly consultative/support services provided by the Elementary Gifted Resource Teacher
• Opportunities to apply for Math/Science Innovation Center Saturday Enrichment Classes 

Grades 6-12
Program Services for identified students may include:
• Advanced/accelerated curriculum emphasizing 21st Century skills for Grades 6-8 delivered by the classroom teacher
• Honors/Advanced Placement/Dual Enrollment/International Baccalaureate Program/Advanced College Academy courses for Grades 9-12 delivered by the classroom teacher
• Enrichment classes/seminars emphasizing 21st Century skills for Grades 6-8 delivered by the Secondary Gifted Resource Teacher
• Consultative services for Grades 6-8 delivered by the Secondary Gifted Resource Teacher
• Summer Governor’s School Academies for Grades 6-12
• Emerging Leaders Program 12th Grade (by application only)
• Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School 9-12 (by application only) 
• Accelerated Credit Option

Who may be screened for gifted services in HCPS?
Gifted identification is a multistage process designed to determine if a student attending a HCPS program is eligible for service options through the HCPS gifted education program. This process is implemented in grades K-12 and is designed to identify students from various backgrounds.

What is the HCPS Gifted Identification/Placement Process?
Gifted identification is a multistage process designed to determine if a student attending a HCPS program is eligible for service options through the HCPS gifted education program. This process is implemented in grades K-12 and is designed to identify students from various backgrounds. The multiple stages are screening, referral, and gathering of multiple criteria for the gifted identification/placement process that concludes with the determination of eligibility by the school level Gifted Identification/Placement Team. Screening is conducted continuously for K-12 in the areas of General Intellectual Aptitude and Specific Academic Aptitude. 
In order for a student to be considered for the Gifted Program, he or she must first be 
referred for evaluation. A referral can be initiated by: 
• a parent 
• a teacher 
• a peer 
• a community member 
• the student

An Initial Referral/Permission for Evaluation form MUST be completed and submitted by the 
testing deadline (10/15 or 1/31), which is obtained through the Gifted Resource Teacher. Testing CANNOT begin until the Gifted Resource teacher has a signed permission form. All referrals that come in after the deadlines will be held until the next scheduled testing period.

How is the screening process different from the referral process?
Screening is the process of reviewing existing data for all students to determine whether students should be referred for the formal identification process. The referral process is the direct procedure that enters a student into the formal identification process.

What student information is reviewed during screening?
Hanover County uses multiple criteria to identify students for the Gifted Program. Students are 
screened by: 
• reviewing student records 
• response lessons 
• test data 
• progress reports 
• teacher observations 
• reviewing an optional parent portfolio 

Once the Initial Referral/Permission for Evaluation form has been received from the teacher or parent, the Gifted Resource Teacher administers the following assessments: 
• an ability test 
• a test for divergent thinking (creativity) 
• a language-based performance assessment 
• a mathematics/logic-based performance assessment 
The classroom teacher and/or Gifted Resource Teacher will collect work samples that have been created independently by the student at school and submit them as part of a portfolio.

What is included in the optional Parent Portfolio?
Parents are invited to submit an optional parent portfolio from home in support of a Gifted 
Referral. Some suggestions include: 
• a parent narrative, which provides information about your student at home 
• up to 3 student work samples, no larger than 8.5 x 11, of independently created items 
such as a story written at home 
• photographs and an explanation of of larger projects, 3D objects, or posters 
The optional parent portfolio will be reviewed by the Identification Committee. 
Should you choose to submit the optional parent portfolio, please adhere to the following 
deadlines: Fall Window: November 1 and Spring Window: February 15

Who Decides if My Child is Eligible for Gifted Services?
Once the testing is completed and the portfolio components are collected, the Gifted Identification/Placement Committee meets to review the student portfolio data to 
determine if the evidence supports identification in the areas of General Intellectual 
Ability or Specific Academic Aptitude. Each school maintains an Identification/Placement 
Committee, which may include the HCPS Gifted Coordinator, designated building administrator, school psychologist, guidance counselor, gifted resource teacher, classroom teacher who works with the candidate, and any other teacher who works directly with the candidate in content areas.. Parents will be notified in writing of the committee decision.

What areas of Giftedness are identified in HCPS?
In HCPS we identify students as gifted in the following areas:
• General intellectual aptitude. 
• Specific academic aptitude in mathematics and Language
• Visual or performing arts aptitude.

Who Do I Contact if I Have Additional Questions?
You can find general information online at the district website; however, specific questions should be directed to the gifted resource teacher within your school. 
HCPS Gifted Website: http://hanover.k12.va.us/instruction/Gifted%20and%20Talented/g&tprogram.htm

 

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