RISD Gifted Referral Process
Kindergarten - 6th grade
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Introduction and Intended Outcomes
The Texas State Plan for the Education of Gifted/Talented Students
Is there a difference between "gifted" and a need for "gifted services"?
Because a school district is tasked with educating students, gifted services are provided to students who have instructional needs beyond the scope of the general education classroom. Sometimes that means having more complexity or rigor added to the core curriculum like extending a science lesson or unit. This is called Core+. Sometimes students have such a need that they receive additional services in a different setting with an Advanced Learning Teacher. These Pullout lessons last about two hours each week. Finally, some students need acceleration of up to two years in all the core areas of instruction and they may need Responsive Acceleration Pathways to ensure they are challenged appropriately.
What do we assess?
- The verbal section measures a child’s ability to remember and transform sequences of words, to understand them and to make inferences and judgments about them.
- The quantitative section measures a child’s understanding of basic quantitative concepts and relationships.
- The non-verbal section measures reasoning using pictures and geometric shapes.
Capacity can vary by person, topic, subject, or skill. We all have different capacities to learn. For example, I may have a larger capacity to grasp complex concepts in math than I do in other areas like English or art.
Ability Vs Achievement
Now, for just a moment ask yourself this. What if you had his coach? Would you have Olympic gold medals? Maybe, but I can tell you I wouldn't. I don't have his capacity, his ability, to swim so having his coach would not be needed. I would never be an Olympic swimmer. We can apply this to some of the high achieving students we have in our schools who do not qualify for gifted services. They do not have the demonstrated need.
What supports Multiple Pathways for qualifying for gifted services?
The Texas State Plan and the RISD Equity Policy support Multiple Pathways of Identification. The State Plan includes the following:
1.11 For any standard of service for which the district is out of compliance, develop a written plan specifying actions and timelines for achieving compliance.
2.25 The population of the gifted/talented services program is closely reflective of the population of the total district and/or campus.
The Equity Policy includes the following:
E. The District will equitably distribute resources, opportunities, transportation, facilities, supports, and teachers/staff, to meet the identified needs of a campus, even if carrying out the commitment results in differentiated resource allocations.
J. The District will use disaggregated qualitative and quantitative data to monitor and address practices that could result in disproportionality in student success and achievement, including the use of assessments and assessment data, which could lead to overrepresentation of students of color in areas such as, but not limited to, special education and discipline, and their underrepresentation in programs such as, but not limited to, Gifted and Talented and Advanced Placement.
Qualifying for Gifted Services Through Multiple Pathways.
- Two domain scores of 130 or higher of national norms
- Two domain scores in the top 5% of their campus
- Two domain scores in the top 5% of allowable subpopulations
WHAT IS A STANDARD AGE SCORE?
How do I refer my child?
- For English, click HERE or this link: https://bit.ly/GTParentReferralRISD.
- For Spanish, click HERE or this link: https://bit.ly/GTParentReferralRISDSpan .
- Fill out the form. You must have your child's 6-digit ID number. It is not their lunch number. Any incorrect information may delay or invalidate the referral.
- Submit the form.
- Ensure you receive a copy at your email address. Please check that your primary contact information in Focus is accurate and up to date.
You will need your child's student ID number. This is a 6-digit number and it is not their lunch number. If you do not know your child's student ID, you must visit the school to get it. You also can look at your child's g.risd.org email as it contains the ID number.
You will provide information in a questionnaire about your child. You will have the opportunity to write a paragraph about your child's learning characteristics at the end. It is best if you prepare for this before you start the form.
What kind of information is important to share in the referral?
What kind of information is not helpful to share in the referral?
"Thinking Outside the Box"
This term has lost meaning because it has become so overused.
Just like the previous example, the term creative has lost meaning because it has been overused or incorrectly used. A better way to share about your child is to say, "My child shows creative thinking when she or he..." and then give concrete examples.
Some children may be artistic but we do not provide services in the arts.
"Makes good grades" or "Has high test scores"
Families often share that their child needs gifted services because they make good grades or they have high test scores. However, many students beyond the expected range of students who would need gifted services perform in that range.
"Has won awards"
Also, some share about their child's awards for leadership, character, or even sports. None of those examples help identify a student who needs our services.
"Qualified for Duke TIP"
While it is commendable for having high levels of achievement, the qualification standards for Duke TIP are not the same as those to qualify for gifted services. They use achievement information such as STAAR scores which are not the same as ability.
"Makes good grades" or "Has high test scores"
"Has won awards"
Families share that they feel their child would thrive in gifted services or that the teacher has suggested there may be a need.
Or they share that their child would benefit from the services. However, while the students may thrive or benefit, the services are designed for students who have demonstrated a need for them.
"Is bored in class"
This statement is one of the more common that we hear from families. While bored is a term children often use to describe various feelings including disengaged, overwhelmed, or even disinterested, those do not indicate a need for gifted services. We recommend reaching out to the classroom teacher to discuss these concerns.
"Is bored in class"
What is the timeline for referrals, testing, and results?
Frequently Asked Questions
- What happens if my child is absent on the day of testing? We will schedule makeup testing as time is available. Contact your campus Advanced Learning Teacher.
- Does my child need to be retested if they are already receiving services? Your child does not need to be retested once they have qualified for services; however, we do retest in 2nd for updated scores to determine if the child needs Responsive Acceleration Pathway and in 6th to determine secondary courses. Regardless of the scores, students are not removed from services.
- My child did not qualify last time they were tested. Can they be tested again? Yes, students have annual opportunities to be referred for gifted services. In deciding if you should refer your child multiple times, consider the child's instructional needs and their response to potentially testing and not qualifying. Sometimes students internalize this as a failure because they do not understand the nature of this kind of assessment and process.