Areas of Gifted Identification
According to both federal regulations and the Ohio Department of Education, a child can be identified as gifted in superior cognitive ability, specific academic ability in the area(s) of reading, math, science, and/or social studies, creative thinking ability, and/or visual performing arts in the area(s) of dance, theatre, art, and/or music.
Academic Qualifications for Gifted Identification
Again, according to both federal regulations and the Ohio Department of Education, a child will be identified as gifted in superior cognitive ability if the student scores in the 95th percentile or above on an approved nationally normative referenced cognitive assessment, and a child will be identified as gifted in a specific academic content area if the student scores in the 95th percentile or above on an approved nationally normative referenced content assessment.
"Nationally Normative Referenced"
The only qualifying assessments for gifted are nationally normative referenced. The assessment must rank the student against all grade- or age-level peers on a national scale, which is reported as a national percentile rank, or NPR. It is this number we use for identification purposes. Currently, our district administers the TerraNova InView in 2nd and 5th grades, which is an approved cognitive assessment, along with the Iowa Test of Basic Skills in science and social studies, an approved content assessment for those areas. Throughout elementary school, we also administer the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) assessment, which is an approved content assessment, in reading and math; however, we only use the fall and spring scores for gifted identification. Additionally, any time a child takes an approved, nationally normative referenced assessment throughout middle and high school, such as the PSAT, SAT, or ACT, we also use those scores for identification purposes. Classroom grades, OAA or OST scores, participation in academic extra-curricular events, camps, etc., are not approved assessments for gifted identification.
Academically Advanced Versus Academically Gifted
A child can perform very well in class and on Ohio's State Tests (or previously on OAAs) and never qualify as gifted. As an example, classroom assessments measure student performance on grade-level standards. In theory, any child can master grade-level standards, even if they are not strong in math. Hence, scoring all As in math for an academic year equates to mastery of grade-level standards, not giftedness in math. The same is true of OAAs and OSTs, which measure grade-level performance. Gifted students are the top 5% of mathematical thinkers and problem solvers nationwide. That will by default be a very small number of a class population. If Miamisburg has an average number of gifted children, only 5 out of every 100 students will qualify for gifted identification in a particular academic area.
Challenger Math Program Inclusion
The Challenger Math Program is an elementary gifted math program and is the only pull-out gifted service offered within our district (all other services are provided within the regular classroom setting through differentiation and cluster grouping). District guidelines for inclusion in this program require a child be identified as gifted in math (score in the 95th percentile or above on an approved normative referenced assessment) and have a cognitive skills index (correlates to IQ) of 115 or above on an approved cognitive assessment. These guidelines make the Challenger Math Program a truly elite service. Only 5% of students will in theory qualify as gifted in math, and only 15% of students will in theory meet or exceed the program's cognitive requirements; however, students included in the program must meet both criteria. Currently, about 3% of the district's elementary population qualifies for inclusion in Challengers.
Current district retesting guidelines follow:
- A student enrolled in Miamisburg City Schools will be retested for possible gifted identification in a specific academic area if he or she scores in the 94th percentile on a norm-referenced assessment.
- The student, the student’s parent/ guardian, the student’s teacher, or another school employee may request retesting if the student scores in the 90th percentile or above on a norm-referenced assessment and has maintained an “A” average in the specific content area of suspected giftedness for both the current and previous academic years.
- The student, the student’s parent/ guardian, the student’s teacher, or another school employee may request retesting if the student scores in the 85th percentile or above on a norm-referenced assessment and has a cognitive score in the 85th percentile or above, regardless of the student’s classroom average in the suspected area of giftedness.