Gifted and Talented Services

Region 17 Education Service Center

The Texas State Plan for the Education of Gifted/Talented Students (State Plan)

The State Plan provides requirements for and guidance to districts as they meet the unique needs of the gifted/talented population in Texas.

Gifted and Talented Frequently Asked Questions

The Texas Education Agency recently updated their FAQ page to reflect changes in the new state plan as well as issues surrounding COVID-19.

This guidance only applies to the 2020-2021 school year and may include updates to guidance provided in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting school closures during the 2019-2020 school year.

Big picture

Texas Performance Standards Project

The Texas Performance Standards Project (TPSP) comprises a set of performance standards, curricula, and assessments for differentiating instruction and deepening academic learning. TPSP enhances gifted/talented (G/T) programs from kindergarten through high school.

Contact Greg Reeves to discuss ways to implement the Texas Performance Standards into your Gifted and Talented Services.

House Bill 3 Requirements

The G/T program requirements for school districts under HB3 are:

  1. Each district shall adopt a policy regarding the use of funds to support the district’s program for G/T students.
  2. Each district shall annually certify to the commissioner that the district has established a program for G/T students as required by rule and it is consistent with the Texas State Plan for the Education of Gifted/Talented Students (State Plan) under Texas Education Code Section 29.123.
  3. Each district shall report to the commissioner regarding the use of the funds on the district’s program for G/T as provided by the State Board of Education rule.

To assist your district in the implementation of the law, the following resources:

District Level Indicator Code Information

Follow the link to a Power Point that explains how to appropriately code your districts' G/T services:

G/T Estimated Funding

Use the following link to see your district's estimated G/T funding:

Need 30 Hour Qualification Training?

Online 30 Hours

The Texas State Plan for the Education of Gifted/Talent Students (G/T State Plan) requires teachers who provide instruction and services for gifted students must have "a minimum of thirty (30) clock hours of professional learning that includes nature and needs of gifted/talented students, identification and assessment of gifted/talented students, and curriculum and instruction for gifted/talented students" (5.1).

"Teachers without required training who are assigned to provide instruction and service that are part of the district’s defined gifted/talented services are required to complete the

thirty (30) hour training within one semester" (19 TAC §89.2(2)).

For the summer, the Region 17 Education Service Center is offering the Online Gifted and Talented 30 Hours Foundation Course . The course opens June 1 and runs through September 6th

Teachers may register here:

Face-to-Face 30 Hour Seminar Series

June 7th: G/T 30 Hour Seminar Series Day 1 - Nature and Needs of the Gifted, Register at:

June 8th: GT 30 Hour Seminar Series - Day 2 - Identification & Assessment of the Gifted; Register at:

June 9th: G/T 30 Hour Seminar Series - Day 3- Models of Differentiated Instruction/ Texas Performance Standards; Register at:

June 14th: GT 30 Hour Seminar Series - Day 4 - Engaging Gifted Students by Adding Depth and Complexity; Register at:

June 15th: GT 30 Hour Seminar Series - Day 5 - Creative and Critical Thinking; Register at:

G/T Resources

Texas G/T Program Implementation Resource

In this resource you’ll find:

  • Implementation strategies for gifted/talented (G/T) programs with information for various roles on the campus and in the district
  • Customizable templates and resources for implementing G/T programs
  • Best practices related to the five sections of the Texas State Plan for the Education of Gifted/Talented Students

Ian Byrd's Differentiator

Ian Byrd's Differentiator is an outstanding tool to develop objectives for differentiated instruction .Developeveloping your learning goal by choosing a level of Bloom's Taxonomy and a thinking skill. Then move on to your content, resources, finished product, and student grouping. As you work through the tabs, the sentence at the top of the screen changes to create your objective.

His article on How To Differentiate Objectives for Gifted Learners discusses how every lesson needs an objective and every objective should have four clear parts:

Thinking Skill: The verb – what students will be doing with their brains

Content: The content – what students will be learning (often comes from your standards).

Resources: Where students will get information.

Product: The result – what students will make to show their learning off

Equity in Gifted/Talented Education

As the state grows and the population changes, educators need to continually evaluate how best to serve all learners, including those who need G/T services. Ensuring equitable access to G/T services is a critical charge for Texas educators. G/T students come from a variety of cultural, linguistic, and socio-economic backgrounds and might also be twice-exceptional, both G/T and learning disabled. These factors need to be considered in assessing if G/T identification processes include or exclude nontraditional students.

Many nontraditional G/T students can be overlooked when traditional assessments provide the sole basis for placement in G/T programs. Despite adoption of the State Plan in 1996, Texas school districts have made little progress in achieving the goal of section 1.6E. Discrepancies still exist between the percentage of underrepresented populations in the total student population versus the percentage of underrepresented populations identified for G/T services.

The goal of the Equity in Gifted/Talented Education project is to encourage equitable representation of student populations in G/T programs throughout the state. This site provides tools and resources for districts that can be used to inform local policies and assess and modify current services to meet community needs. Texas school districts can provide learning opportunities that build bright futures for all students through assuring access to G/T assessment, identification, and services for students from diverse populations.

Mensa for Kids - Ted Connections

Mensa for Kids' TED Connections are short, easy to use guides that help teachers, parents and youth use TED talks in a classroom or home setting.

Rather than a lesson plan format, they have a list of discussion questions, all at higher levels of thinking. Included are a variety of levels of questions and extension opportunities so that the TED Connections can be used by students at a wide range of grade levels.

Meet Our Gifted and Talented Team

Sabrina Blankenship - Gifted and Talented Specialist - Online G/T Services

Debbie Trigo - Gifted and Talented Support