Gifted & Talented Education

The School District of Philadelphia & Nebinger Elementary is committed to revealing the talents of all of our students and providing all students with a variety of options and activities to challenge their creativity and grow academically.

What does it mean to be Gifted?

Gifted can mean different things in different cultures. Gifted and talented characteristics may be expressed by students in many ways. The National Association for Gifted Children identifies gifted children as “…those who demonstrate outstanding levels of aptitude (defined as an exceptional ability to reason and learn) or competence (documented performance or achievement in top 10% or rarer) in one or more domains. Domains include any structured area of activity with its own symbol system (e.g., mathematics, music, language) and/or set of sensorimotor skills (e.g., painting, dance, sports).” The Pennsylvania Department of Education defines mentally gifted as possessing “outstanding intellectual and creative ability, the development of which requires specially-designed programs or support services, or both, not ordinarily provided in the regular education program.”

The District’s Gifted services are specifically afforded to those students who not only demonstrate highly intellectualized and exceptional academic and thinking skills, but who require specially designed instruction that is not provided in the regular classroom.

*Gifted Eligibility is NOT considered when applying to Special Admission/Magnet schools.

Evaluation Process:

The determination of gifted eligibility comes from a variety of sources. There is no one measure to determine giftedness. The IQ alone does not determine gifted eligibility.

The identification process includes a broad range of evaluation measures, including teacher recommendation, student-created portfolio, psychologist evaluation, checklist of giftedness indicators, and/or standardized test scores.

Step 1: Referral/Request for Evaluation

Parents may request that a student be evaluated for gifted services. The request is made in writing at your child’s school.

The evaluation process begins with an initial screening. During the screening process the student’s academic data is reviewed to determine if the student is working well above their grade level. What do we look for:  Academic data such as STAR,  iReady, or other nationally normed measures that range in the 95% range and above.

The Naglieri is used as an additional data point that reveals strong non-verbal abilities that might be masked by other measures. What we look for: 97% percentile range. The School District administers the Naglieri Nonverbal Assessment Test (NNAT3) to all current 2nd graders in the Spring. The NNAT alone does not determine gifted eligibility. It is an additional measure that adds to a more complete learner profile.

Data on the academic performance and characteristics of your student will be collected and reviewed to determine if further evaluation by a psychologist is appropriate. Evidence is gathered to determine whether your child is performing in the top 5% of his/her peers and is working at least a year above grade level in one or more areas.  All available tests, work samples, and assessments are included in combination with the characteristics of gifted children.

Step 2: If gifted criteria is met, your child is scheduled for a psychological evaluation.

You will be issued a Permission to Evaluate letter giving consent for the evaluation.
School psychologists conduct a psychological evaluation. The evaluation should be completed within 60 days of the school receiving signed consent. Following the evaluation the school team develops a Gifted Written Report (GWR) that indicates gifted eligibility or not.

Step 3: Notice of Recommended Assignment (NORA) and GIEP

If the team finds that the student is in need of Gifted Support Services, a Gifted Individualized Education Plan (GIEP) is written within 30 days. This personalized plan allows for differentiated instruction and support where needed. The plan will set an annual academic goal as part of the plan. The plan is reviewed every year so adjustments may be made if the student is not reaching their annual academic goal. Gifted services may be provided in a variety of ways.
Parents have 10 days to return the NORA. Gifted services cannot begin without a signed NORA.

Visit the SDP Home Page for Gifted and Talented for more information: SDP Gifted and Talented