Fort Sam Houston ISD

Gifted and Talented

A gifted and talented student describes a child who performs at or shows the potential for performing at a remarkably high level of accomplishment when compared to others of the same age, experience, or environment and who exhibits high performance capability in an intellectual, creative, or artistic area; possesses an unusual capacity for leadership; or excels in a specific academic field.

Nominations:  Each campus will accept nominations once each semester and evaluate students for services provided in the gifted and talented program.  Nomination periods will be posted on the campus websites.  Nominations may be made by teachers, counselors, parents or other interested persons.  Criteria will ensure the fair assessment of students with special needs, such as the culturally different, the economically disadvantaged, students with disabilities and students with limited English proficiency.

Parental Consent:  Written parental consent shall be obtained before any special testing or individual assessment is conducted as part of the screening and identification process.  All student information collected during the screening and identification process shall be an educational record.  

Selection:  A selection committee shall evaluate each nominated student according to the established criteria and shall select those students for whom gifted program placement is the most appropriated educational setting.  The committee shall be composed of at least three professional educators who have received training in the nature and needs of gifted students and shall be established at each campus.  

Assessment:  Data collected through both objective and subject assessments shall be measured against criteria to determine individual eligibility for the program.  Assessment tools may include but not be limited to the following:  achievement tests, intelligence tests, behavioral checklists completed by teachers and parents, teacher nominations based on classroom observations, conferences and student work.  Students shall be assessed in languages they understand or with nonverbal assessments.  

Identification:  Elementary students, kindergarten through fifth grade are identified in the area of general intellectual ability.  Middle and high school students are identified in the four core areas of the curriculum and participate only in areas of their particular strength or interest.  Both qualitative and quantitative measures are used to identify students in grades 1 – 12.  Kindergarten students are assessed in January of each year and must receive services by March 1.

Notification:  Parents and student shall be notified in writing about selection of the student for the gifted program.  Participation in any program or services provided for gifted students is voluntary.  The District shall obtain written permission of the parents before a student is placed in a gifted program.  

Reassessments:  The District shall not perform routine re-assessments.  Once a student is identified for services in the gifted and talented program, they remain in the program unless they are exited.  

Transfer Students:  When a student identified as gifted by a previous school district transfers into the District, the student is accepted into the program.  Student records from the previous school will confirm gifted identification.  Parents will be asked to complete a parent permission and differentiation form for secondary students.  

Furlough:  Students who are unable to maintain satisfactory performance within the structure of the gifted and talented program may be placed on furlough by the selection committee.  The purpose of such a furlough is to provide the student an opportunity to attain performance goals established by the selection committee.  A furlough also may be granted at the request of the student and / or parent.  A student may be furloughed for a period of time deemed appropriate by the selection committee.  At the end of the furlough, the student’s progress shall be reassessed, and the student may re-enter the gifted program, be removed from the program, or be placed on another furlough.  

Exit Provisions:  Student performance in the program shall be monitored.  A student shall be removed from the program at any time the selection committee determines it is in the student’s best interest.  If a student or parent requests removal from the program, the selection committee shall meet with the parent and student before honoring the request.  

Appeals:  Parents or students may appeal any final decision of the selection committee regarding selection for or removal from the gifted and talented program.

Program Evaluation:  The gifted program shall be evaluated annually, and evaluation information shared with site based decision making committees.  Improvement of services will be included in FSHISD District and Campus Improvement Plans.

Professional Development:  Teachers who provide gifted and talented instruction and service must have a minimum of 30 hours of professional development that includes the nature and needs of students, assessment of student needs, and curriculum and instruction for gifted students.  Teachers without the required training will complete the 30-hour training within one semester.  Professional development provided at Advanced Placement conferences may count for required gifted and talented training hours.  Six hours of annual training is required for teachers who provide instruction and series for gifted students.  Administrators and counselor who have authority for program decisions must have a minimum of six hours of professional development that includes nature and needs of gifted students and program options.