Is my child considered "gifted"?

Gifted characteristics may include, but are not limited to:

  • advanced problem solving capabilities
  • rapid learning
  • strong memory for detail
  • extensive vocabulary
  • intense concentration
  • avid reader with greater comprehension
  • unusual sense of humor and creativity

The Exceptional Children's Educational Act (ECEA) defines "gifted" children as:

Those persons between the ages of 4-21 whose aptitude or competence in abilities, talents, and potential for accomplishment in one or more domains are so exceptional or developmentally advanced that they require special provisions to meet their educational programming needs.

Children under five who are gifted may also be provided with early childhood special educational services. Gifted students include gifted students with disabilities (i.e. twice exceptional) and students with exceptional abilities or potential from all socio-economic, ethnic, and cultural populations.

Gifted students are capable of high performance, exceptional production, or exceptional learning behavior by virtue of any or a combination of these areas of giftedness:

  • General or specific intellectual ability
  • Specific academic aptitude
  • Creative or productive thinking
  • Leadership abilities
  • Visual arts, performing arts, musical or psychomotor abilities

How do I get my child in Gifted and Talented programs?

This process starts by filling out the referral form, which collect informations about characteristics and behavior, intellectual ability, demonstrated performance, and achievements. Your form will be reviewed by the appropriate staff and you'll be alerted to next steps. 

* Students are identified as gifted because they meet the criteria for identification as outlined by The Exceptional Children’s Educational Act (ECEA)as students whose aptitude or competence in abilities, talents, and potential for accomplishment in one or more domains are so exceptional or developmentally advanced that they require special provisions to meet their educational programming needs. Students can be referred by school professionals, parents, in some cases self-referral, and by other individuals familiar with their advanced characteristics. The procedure for referral begins with contact being made with the appropriate Gifted coordinator(elementary/secondary). Referrals for gifted identification occur through the universal screening process or through ongoing open referrals. Universal screening occurs in both the 2nd and 6th grades for all students. Once a referral has been made, the Gifted coordinator will then collect a Body Of Evidence (BOE) including Cognitive assessments, including the CogAT and NNAT, as well as district and state achievement data, and teacher and parent observations. The body of evidence must include at least one piece of data in the 95th percentile or above on a standardized nationally normed test or observation tool, or a rating on a performance assessment that indicates exceptionality compared to age mates. Additionally, the BOE must also contain at least two pieces of data that support identification in a specific strength area. The body of evidence is then brought to the RTI  identification team where an identification decision is made.  Potential candidates may be re-evaluated at a later date if they do not meet the criteria during the initial screening. These students are usually put in the “Talent Pool” and receive programming very similar to officially Gifted students while under observation for more evidence. All students identified as Gifted have an Advanced Learning Plan (ALP), which is individual to the student’s needs and interests. Goals are collaboratively written by the students, parents, teachers, and administrators and reviewed twice a year. 

* For any dispute resolutions, please visit SJBOCES

* Differentiation in the classroom is the primary method of programming. At the elementary school level, the gifted education teacher facilitates curriculum needs by working with staff members to differentiate assignments, as well as provides sessions that address the social and emotional needs of gifted students. At the secondary school level, students are placed in advanced-level or concurrent classes that challenge them in their area(s) of giftedness.

For our English application, click here to print.

For our Spanish application, click here to print.

Once you have filled out the referral form, return it to your school secretary or email it to the appropriate staff member for your child's grade (listed below).


Liza Eschallier

Elementary PE & Elementary Gifted and Talented Teacher

Louis Horton

K-12 ELL/DAC/6-12 GT