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Areas of Giftedness

Students identified for gifted and talented services are not selected as a reward for either good performance or model behavior, but because they have different learning needs. Therefore, the goal of the identification process, is to apply comprehensive and unbiased procedures to find students who possess superior abilities and/or potential in one or more of the following state-identified areas of giftedness:
  • General Intellectual Ability: demonstrated excellence in most academic areas
  • Specific Academic Ability: exceptional ability and performance in a single academic area
  • Creativity: exceptional ability to use divergent and unconventional thinking in arriving at creative and unusual ideas or solutions to problems
  • Leadership: exceptional ability to relate to and motivate others
  • Artistic - Performing Arts: ability to create or perform in music in a way that suggests exceptional talent
  • Artistic – Visual Arts: ability to paint, sculpt, photograph or arrange media in a way that suggests exceptional talent
CLICK HERE for a handout giving a more complete explanation of each of these areas.

Levels of Giftedness

To identify the appropriate level of services required to meet students’ needs, the district also identifies the level (tier) of student giftedness within each area.

Tier 1:
 the majority of gifted learners, are one to two years advanced and can generally have their needs met through the differentiated classroom.

Tier 2: these students are two to three years advanced. Depending on the area of giftedness, these students generally require additional curricular strategies, such as advanced coursework, cluster grouping per subject area, and/or workshops/competitions in the identified gifted and talented area.

Tier 3: 
these students are more than three years advanced. Generally speaking, this represents a handful of students. These students often require an individualized educational program, such as online coursework, problem-based learning projects with mentors, single subject acceleration, grade level acceleration, and/or dual enrollment in courses.

Identification Tools and Forms

To identify students, the Glendale-River Hills School District uses multiple, culturally sensitive criteria appropriate to each level of giftedness. Three types of data are used in the process of identifying a student as gifted:

1.Test Data: data from state assessments, district assessments, ability tests, Test of Mathematical Abilities for Gifted Students, etc.
2.Performance Data: grades, student work samples and recordings, grade level benchmark tests, etc.
3.Supporting Data: gifted and talented evaluation scales, parent, teacher, and student nomination forms, checklists, letters of recommendation, etc.

Nomination Form and Parent/Guardian Survey

Parents/guardians and students (self-nominations) can nominate SK-grade 8 students for consideration by completing a NOMINATION FORM. Complete and email the form to Ann Schroeder, GT Coordinator. Be sure to submit one Nomination Form for each area of giftedness.

Parents/guardians nominating a student must also complete a PARENT/GUARDIAN INVENTORY as part of the screening process. Complete and email this form to Ann Schroeder, GT Coordinator. Only submit one inventory, regardless of the number of nominated areas.

All nominated students will be screened for the area(s) indicated for consideration, with supporting documents brought to the GT Screening Committee for review.

Note that if your child has been identified previously, you do not have to renominate him/her.

Communication of Services

Tiers 1 and 2: COMMUNICATION

For students identified in Tiers 1 and 2, parents/guardians will receive a letter outlining the student's talent(s) and strategies that will be used to meet the student's needs.


For students who qualify at Tier 3, parents/guardians will be invited to attend a conference with the Gifted and Talented Coordinator and principal to develop a Differentiated Education Plan (DEP). The DEP will be placed in the student's gifted and talented portfolio and shared with teachers on a yearly basis.