Gifted Education

Gifted Education

The Phoenixville Area School District is dedicated to providing educational programs that inspire and prepare all students for success by ensuring they are engaged in unique learning opportunities that address their needs, allow them to realize their potential, and instill in them a desire for lifelong learning.

Definition for Gifted

The Pennsylvania Department of Education defines “Mentally gifted” as outstanding intellectual and creative ability the development of which requires specially designed programs or support services, or both, not ordinarily provided in the regular education program.
The term mentally gifted includes a person who has an IQ of 130 or higher or other factors (listed below) that indicate gifted ability. Gifted ability cannot be based on IQ score alone. If the IQ score is lower than 130, a child may be admitted to gifted programs when other conditions strongly indicate gifted ability.
The other factors to be considered include:
  • Achievement test scores that are a year or more above level
  • Observed or measured acquisition/retention rates that reflect gifted ability (how quickly a child learns new concepts or information, and how long he or she remembers it)
  • Achievement, performance or expertise in one or more academic areas that demonstrates a high level of accomplishment
  • Higher level thinking skills
  • Documented evidence that intervening factors are masking gifted ability 
Procedure for Screening and Referral of Students thought to be Mentally Gifted

Phoenixville Area School District conducts a screening of all first grade students in an effort to identify those who are thought to be gifted and in need of specially designed instruction. In addition, teachers and parents may individually refer a child for an evaluation if they suspect the child may be gifted and in need of specially designed instruction. The process seeks input from, multiple sources: teacher recommendations, ability as well as achievement scores, and parent recommendations. A permission to evaluate is sent home for parental consent.   
Gifted Multidisciplinary Evaluation
The Gifted Multidisciplinary Evaluation (GMDE) is an in-depth process of gathering relevant information for determining if a child is mentally gifted and in need of gifted education services. A team of education professionals and the parents have the responsibility of contributing information to the evaluation that is relevant to the child's academic functioning, learning strengths and educational needs. Information is gathered through observations, interviews, and assessments are administered a certified school psychologist. 
Gifted Written Report
The Gifted Written Report (GWR) compiles the information and findings from the evaluation concerning the student’s educational strengths and needs. The report makes a determination as to whether the student is gifted and in need of specially designed instruction, indicates the basis for the determination, and includes programming recommendations. If the student is found gifted and eligible for services, a GIEP team meeting is convened.

The Gifted Individualized Plan

The Gifted Individualized Education Plan (GIEP) is a strength based document describing the education provided to a gifted student. It is comprised of three parts: Present Levels of Educational Performance (PLEP), Goals and Outcomes, and Support Services. The PLEP contains multiple measures that provide evidence of performance levels. The GIEP Goals are based on student’s learning needs and the Outcomes are the steps needed to achieve the goal. The Support Services are the services a student may need to benefit from gifted education. The GIEP team reconvenes annually to review the GEIP or sooner at the request of a GIEP team member.
Educational Placement
Educational Placement decisions are based on the student’s gifted needs. The Notice of Recommended Assignment (NORA) identifies the educational program and placement for the child. The district must have a NORA signed by the parents indicating their approval before the child can be placed in a gifted program. 

Notice of Parental Rights for Gifted Students
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