Talented and Gifted Screening and Referral Process
The Talented and Gifted program in Fulton County School System provides enriching experiences for the intellectually advanced and exceptionally creative student. Gifted services are available in all Fulton County Schools for students in kindergarten through grade 12. All procedures for identification and service of gifted students meet guidelines of Georgia Board of Education Rule 160-4-2-.38.
What is the process for having my child tested for TAG?
The Fulton County School System screens all students for eligibility for gifted services twice a year.
I. Automatic Referral- Students who score at specified levels on a norm-referenced test as defined in the GaDOE Resource Manual for Gifted Education Services, for further assessment to determine eligibility for gifted services. At the beginning of the school year, TAG teachers review existing test scores from the student record.
• Standardized Achievement Tests
Students must have minimally a combination of > 85th percentile and > 90th percentile in two of the three areas: Total Reading, Total Math, and Complete Battery. Supporting data is needed.
• iReady Assessment – (Fall 2019 administration)
(Grades K-8) Students must score 90% or greater on system’s iReady assessment for Mathematics or Reading. Supporting data is needed.
• Acceleration Assessments –
(Grade K-3 ) Students must score 80% or greater on system’s Acceleration Assessment for English/Language Arts or Mathematics. Supporting data is needed.
• Georgia Milestones End of Grade Assessment
Students must score minimally at the Distinguished Learner achievement level for English/Language Arts or Mathematics. Supporting data is needed.
• Grades (Grades 10-12)
Students must have an overall cumulative average of 95 or greater. Supporting data is needed.
II. Classroom Screening - Local schools select a periodof ten consecutive school days in the January or February to review all students in their school (K-11). Classroom teachers use the Characteristics Instrument for Screening Students (CISS) to identify students with superior abilities in five or more of the following areas: motivation, interests, communications skills, problem-solving abilities, memory, inquiry, insight, reasoning, creativity, and humor. Parents may request to view their child’s screening results.
III. Reported Referral- All reported referrals are completed through the two system- level screening and referral processes each year. All referrals are first reviewed by the local Eligibility Team to consider if existing information warrants a formal testing for eligibility.
Students meeting either the automatic screening OR classroom screening criteria AND having supporting data gathered from test history, products, and/or advanced content levels are referred for gifted testing. Once referred for testing:
▪ Parent receives Parent Notification for Testing Consent Form
▪ Student tests for the gifted program.
▪ Parent receives test results. If state eligibility is determined, students are placed in the TAG program.
When does screening occur?
The Automatic Screening will take place in August- September. Students referred for testing will be tested during the Fall semester. All parents will be notified of eligibility by December. The Classroom Screening will take place for a two-week period from January – February. Each school will select the two-week period that best fits the overall school calendar. Students Identified for testing will be tested January-March. All parents will be notified of eligibility by the end of the school year.
How long is the testing process?
Depending upon the age and needs of the student, testing will require one to five days of one hour sessions. Once tests are administered, eligibility will be determined and parents notified by the local school within 6 weeks.
What tests are administered?
For any child who is referred for gifted testing, Fulton County Schools is required to gather information in the following areas: Mental Ability, Creativity, Achievement, and Motivation. The grade level and former testing experiences of a child determine exactly which instruments will be administered. During the testing process, the TAG Eligibility Team may request your consent to administer one or more of the following instruments: Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT), Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test (NNAT), Torrance Test of Creative Thinking (TTCT), Stanford Achievement Test (STAT-10), and/or Gifted Rating Scales-Motivation (GRS-M). Each specific test is only administered to the student once every two years. For a more detailed description of each instrument, please see the Q&A entitled “Talented and Gifted: Testing Process”.
Can my child be tested before the start of the school year?
No, TAG teachers will begin the school year by completing the automatic screening process. Teachers are not contracted during the summer to administer tests for gifted services.
Who do I contact for information about the TAG program at the school?
Each school in Fulton County has a TAG teacher. If you have any questions regarding the TAG program at a specific school, s/he will be able to help you.
What are the benefits of the TAG program?
Intellectually gifted and exceptionally creative students have unique learning characteristics, interests, personal needs, and capabilities. The Fulton County Schools TAG program addresses these unique characteristics and needs by providing an opportunity for gifted students to interact with intellectual peers as they participate in classes that extend and enrich the basic curriculum. Through participation in TAG classes, students will develop advanced research, advanced communication, critical thinking, and creative thinking skills.
If my child were determined eligible, how and when would his or her schedule change?
In elementary school, gifted students leave their regular classroom one day a week and receive instruction from the TAG teacher on units that extend and enrich the social studies and science curriculum. Once determined eligible, students will begin gifted services in the first semester of the school year. In middle school, gifted students attend one to four advanced content courses each day. The exact courses for a student are determined by past classroom performance, nationally normed achievement test scores, and teacher recommendations. Once determined eligible, students will begin gifted services at the beginning of the next report card period. In high school, gifted students have a variety of options. The student attends advisement conferences with a TAG teacher each year. Options for the gifted student include seminars, individual projects, select Honors courses for 9th and 10th grades, Advanced Placement courses, Directed Studies, career internships (11th and 12th grades only), and International Baccalaureate courses. Once determined eligible, students will begin gifted services at the beginning of the next report card period.