Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- What is Giftedness?
- How Do I Know If My Student is Gifted?
- Can Parents or Guardians Refer Their Student for a Gifted Screening?
- How is Gifted Identification Affected by Military Mobility?
What is Giftedness?
As a parent/guardian, we all believe our children are “gifts” and possess very special traits that make them unique and extraordinary. However, in the education world, the term “gifted” has come to mean children who demonstrate high performance in specific areas or domains, or who have the potential for exceptional performance. At this time, gifted education is not mandated by the federal government. Therefore, you will find states throughout our nation vary greatly in how they identify gifted students and the programming opportunities provided to meet the unique learning needs of these children. The state of Colorado defines gifted children as:
Those persons between the ages of four and twenty-one whose aptitude or competence in abilities, talents, and potential for accomplishment in one or more domains are so exceptional or developmentally advanced that they require special provisions to meet their educational programming needs. Gifted students include gifted students with disabilities (i.e. twice exceptional) and students with exceptional abilities or potential from all socio-economic, ethnic, and cultural populations. Gifted students are capable of high performance, exceptional production, or exceptional learning behavior by virtue of any or a combination of these areas of giftedness:
- General or specific intellectual ability
- Specific academic aptitude
- Creative or productive thinking
- Leadership abilities
- Visual arts, performing arts, musical, or psychomotor abilities
How Do I Know If My Student is Gifted?
There are many characteristics and traits gifted children often demonstrate. Parents and family members are obviously the first to observe these traits early in their student’s life. Here are some of the possible characteristics you may have observed in your student:
- Reasons well, is curious and is good at solving problems
- Very observant and curious
- Learns rapidly and has an excellent memory
- Learned to read before entering school and is an avid reader
- Is good with numbers and puzzles, can solve math problems innately
- Is intense, sensitive and has a high degree of energy
- Is a perfectionist and has a long attention span
- Highly creative and a keen observer
- Often prefers older peers or adults
- Advanced sense of humor
- Nonconforming, stubborn and self-critical
- Messy and bored with routine tasks
Can Parents or Guardians Refer Their Student for a Gifted Screening?
YES!! We believe that family members know their student best. Family can certainly inform us if your student is demonstrating gifted behaviors at home that we might not have had a chance to observe at school. If you would like to refer your student for a gifted screening, please download the Parent/Guardian Referral form on the Parent Resource Documents page. Complete the form and return it to your building principal. A team of educators will review your form, your student’s assessment data and classroom performance. If your student meets the criteria established by Fountain-Fort Carson School District 8 and the state of Colorado for gifted identification, you will be notified of the identification. A parent referral does not guarantee gifted identification.
How is Gifted Identification Affected by Military Mobility?
Because gifted education is not federally-mandated, each state determines their own criteria for gifted identification and outlines how programming is provided to support gifted students. However, the Military Interstate Children's Compact Commission has created policies to address students' educational needs as they transition to new schools. One of the considerations outlined in the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children is the need for students to continue receiving similar programming in the new academic setting. If a student has been identified as gifted and receiving services for this identification, placement in a similar program will be initially honored in the new educational setting based on assessment results from the sending state. The receiving school may administer subsequent assessment or perform additional evaluations to ensure appropriate placement of the student based on the receiving state's criteria for gifted identification.