Gifted and Talented Identification Process 2020 - 2021
AACPS identifies gifted and advanced students through a universal screening process in grades 2, 5, and 7. A gifted and talented student, as defined by Maryland law, is “an elementary or secondary student who is identified by professionally qualified individuals as:
- Having outstanding talent and performing, or showing the potential for performing, at remarkably high levels of accomplishment when compared to other students;
- Exhibiting high performance capability in intellectual, creative, or artistic areas;
- Possessing an unusual leadership capacity; or
- Excelling in specific academic fields."
AACPS recognizes that achievement, ability, and potential play a role in identifying giftedness; therefore, multiple measures are used to identify students. In the fall, the Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) is administered to all 2nd grade students and those 5th and 7th grade students who were not previously identified as gifted in reading and math. Achievement is measured in reading and math by iReady or the Maryland Comprehensive Assessment Program (MCAP). The MSDE's Primary Talent Development portfolios are considered in the process for 2nd graders, while teacher rating scales contribute to the process for 5th and 7th grade students. Parent rating scales and additional student data may also be considered.
While the Annotated Code of Maryland (§8-201-203) directs Maryland school systems to identify gifted students, AACPS also identifies advanced students. Advanced and gifted students are similar in that they both need accelerated content, advanced learner instructional strategies, and an appropriate level of challenge to meet their academic needs. These needs are met through differentiated instruction, and/or Single-Subject (SS) Trails for English language arts and math. The Advanced Learner Programs (ALPs) office is committed to providing professional development to teachers to help them better recognize the difference between advanced and gifted students so that they can appropriately instruct and challenge both groups.