White Oak Elem. REACH Program

Gifted Testing Information

Gifted Definition

"A gifted student is one who demonstrates a high degree of intellectual and/or creative ability(ies), exhibits an exceptionally high degree of motivation and/or excels in specific academic field(s) and needs special instruction and/or ancillary services to achieve at levels commensurate with his or her abilities.

- State Rule 160-4-2-.38

This site is designed to assist parents who are interested in gifted testing. It is organized by the most frequently asked questions (in red). Please Note: All information applies to the Coweta County School System which abides by the gifted standards set by the state of Georgia.

Characteristics of giftedness

  • highly curious
  • beyond age peers
  • discusses in detail, elaborates
  • gets mentally and physically involved
  • doesn't just know the answers, asks the questions
  • shows strong feelings and opinions, is intense
  • already knows the content
  • only needs 1-2 repetitions for mastery
  • comes up with abstract ideas
  • prefers adults
  • able to make inferences
  • creates a new design
  • enjoys learning, not just school
  • inventor
  • thrives on complexity
  • keenly observant
  • highly self-critical

Referral Periods

1st - 5th Grades - August 4th-16th Referral Window - If your child is in 1st through 5th grade, you may request a referral for testing. You must complete a referral checklist and return it by the deadline for your child to be considered for testing.

* Contact Paula Corley or your child's teacher if you are interested in referring your child!

See below for the steps in the referral process.

1st - 5th Grades - January Referral Window - If your child was not tested in the fall, you may refer him or her for gifted testing during the month of January (even if you referred in August and they did not move on to testing, you can refer again). See below for the steps in the referral process.

Kindergarten Referral Window - March 1st - 31st - students will not be served until August 2019. See below for the steps in the referral process.

** Please note that referring does not mean testing is guaranteed, in the state of Georgia we must show a need for testing based on the data collected by the school.

Steps in Referral Process:

Steps in the Referral Process

  • Parents request testing by contacting Mrs. Corley.
  • Parents return referral checklist (15 characteristics) sent home by Mrs. Corley.
  • The school eligibility team reviews the child's data and determines if testing is recommended at this time. (i.e. STAR Test, STAR Math, Milestones, etc.)
  • Mrs. Corley sends home a letter stating the eligibility team's decision.
  • IF your child is not recommended for testing, you may refer again in January.
  • IF your child is recommended, takes all the tests, but does not qualify for REACH, you may refer again the next school year.

Testing Frequently Asked Questions

Was my child tested for gifted?

The Coweta County School System does use a screener in each grade level to determine if gifted testing is recommended.

☻ If your child has been in the Coweta County school system, the county has evaluated your child using grade-level wide assessments like Milestones, STAR Reader, and Benchmarks, just to name a few.

☻ Your child can only be tested once recommended by the school committee, based on data already gathered, and once you have given written consent for testing.

Please Note: If your child is in any grade and was not tested for gifted last year, then you can refer him or her for testing this year.

What scores does my child need to qualify?

Understanding qualifying scores is not a simple process. Below, you will find an overview of eligibility in the simplest terms possible.

Students are tested in four areas: mental ability, achievement, motivation, and creativity.

The following tests can be used to test students in these areas. The test selected is determined by the student's grade level.

Mental Ability: CogAT (Cognitive Abilities Test)

Achievement: Woodcock-Johnson (K-2) or ITBS (3-5)

Motivation: Interview

Creativity: TTCT (Torrance Test of Creative Thinking)

Students can qualify for gifted in two different ways. The majority of students qualify under Option B that is listed below.

Option A: Student has 99%tile in mental ability (K-2) or 96% in the composite score in mental ability (3-12) and a 90%tile in total math or total reading in achievement.

Option B: Student has 3 out of the 4 qualifying scores.

96%tile or higher in any area in mental ability

90%tile or higher in total reading or math in achievement

90%tile or higher in motivation

90%tile or higher in creativity

When can my child be tested again?

When a child is tested for gifted, these test scores are valid for two years. This does not mean; however, that the school committee will wait two years to recommend testing again. You are free to refer your child as many times as you wish; however, the committee's recommendation to move forward with testing will be based on current data. To be tested for gifted, a child should exceed state standards and display a need, just as with any program, and if your child is meeting grade-level standards and doing well in the classroom, then the child's needs are being met and no additional services are needed.

My child was in gifted in another state / county, won't he be in gifted here?

Students coming from out-of-state are not automatically eligible for gifted in Georgia. There is no reciprocity between states. We will have to wait to get records from your child's previous school and then we will have to use the most current test scores from that state, if available. These may not be the scores that initially qualified your child in that state. We will then do additional testing if test data is missing in any of the four areas required by the state (mental ability, achievement, motivation, and creativity). Georgia's requirements abide by national guidelines but may be higher than your previous state so your child may not be eligible here. He or she will have to meet all of the eligibility requirements in Georgia to receive gifted services.

Students coming from another county in Georgia who have previously qualified for gifted are still eligible for services in Coweta County. However, for your child to receive services, we will need to have his or her qualifying gifted scores from the previous school on file as well as signed consent for placement from you before he or she can attend REACH.

My child makes straight A's, doesn't that count toward gifted eligibility?

No, elementary schools cannot use grades as a referral or qualifier for the gifted program. In fact, just because a child gets all A's does not necessarily mean they will qualify. Some students are really great students and are extremely bright, but are not gifted. They will still excel in everything they do, even though they do not qualify and are still extremely good students regardless of their test results for gifted!

Middle schools and high schools can use grade point average as one qualifier for gifted, so please keep that in mind when your child enters those schools.

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