Identification Process Overview
The gifted identification process is undertaken each year, and involves the evaluation of data for students already in our gifted education programs as well as those who have not yet received services. As noted on the Gifted & Talented Homepage, we use multiple measures such as gifted behavior checklists, standardized screening tests (CogAt) and student performance within their normal coursework. Parents may also complete a nomination packet on behalf of their child that will be examined by gifted education faculty. This data is then used to score the child on a rubric (teacher jargon for a scoring table) in order to create a composite score for each child. Next, each child in the grade is compared by their composite score and the top 10% (approximately) are eligible to receive gifted and talented services.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can NJSLA (PARCC) scores be used for gifted identification?
They can. Beginning in the 17-18 school year, PARCC scores for ELA and Math will be used as part of our identification process. Jefferson Township utilizes NJSLA (PARCC) scores to increase the number of criteria on an identification rubric which already includes multiple measures. These scores help provide a more comprehensive understanding of a student's academic ability.
My son or daughter received straight A's but they did not get into the gifted program. How is this possible?
Report card grades make up only one category used for the identification process. It is possible that your child may not have faired as well in the other areas.
My child's teacher told me that they would recommend them for the gifted program. Why were they not admitted?
Teachers can fill out a gifted behavior checklist when they feel it is warranted. The checklist asks them to rate the child with a score of 1-4 based on a series of questions. In the end, a composite score from the checklist is used with the identification rubric. Even though a teacher may choose to fill out the form, your child might not have scored high enough in comparison to their grade level peers. It is important to note that it is not appropriate to contact your child's classroom teacher with the intent of interrogating them about scores given on the gifted behavior checklist as this undermines the integrity of the process.
How can I get my child into the gifted program?
As parents, we all want what is best for our child and it can hurt when we see them not attain something they wanted, or we wanted. It is important to understand what being gifted means in order to grapple with this. You cannot necessarily study or work your way to becoming gifted, nor should you or your child agonize over not being labeled as such. Academically gifted and talented students in this country make up approximately six to ten percent of the total student population, so by its very nature, only a small portion of students will be eligible for services.
Being labeled as gifted is the equivalent of saying that the normal curriculum your child experiences is not meeting their needs. Just as special education students receive accommodations and modifications to meet their needs, so to will gifted students. For non-gifted students, the normal level of differentiation in the classroom is appropriate and challenging.
How can I learn more about the rubric format, my child's scores and the gifted behavior checklist?
Our gifted education faculty in your child's school will be happy to explain and assist you in understanding the process and the outcome. Should you reach an impasse, please contact the department supervisor, whose information is found at the top right side of this web page.
I have a friend whose child... I know someone who... How come...?
By law we cannot and will not discuss other students. Moreover, it is counterproductive. Please trust that our identification process has been thoroughly vetted, evaluated and revised as needed. Our gifted faculty has the utmost professionalism and holds high standards of integrity and confidentiality.
Supervisor of Gifted Education