Gifted Program

Decatur County School District Program for Gifted Students



A student who demonstrates a high degree of intellectual and/or creative ability(ies), exhibits an exceptionally high degree of motivation, and/or excels in specific academic fields, and who needs special instruction and/or special ancillary services to achieve at levels commensurate with his or her abilities.


 Referrals. The consideration for gifted education services may be reported or automatic as defined in the GaDOE Resource Manual for Gifted Education Services.


Reported Referral. A student may be referred for consideration for gifted education services by teachers, counselors, administrators, parents or guardians, peers, self, and other individuals with knowledge of the student’s abilities.


Automatic Referral. Students in grades 3, 4, and 7 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 program services.

The Local BOE shall establish the criterion score needed on norm-referenced tests for automatic consideration for further eligibility assessment.

 The Local BOE shall ensure that tests or procedures used in the referral process and to determine eligibility for gifted education services meet standards of validity and reliability for the purpose of identifying gifted students and shall be non-discriminatory with respect to race, religion, national origin, sex, disabilities, and economic background.

Consent. The LEA shall obtain written consent for testing from parents or guardians of students who are being considered for referral for gifted education services. The LEA shall obtain written consent from parents or guardians before providing gifted education services to students determined to be eligible for services.

 Once a student has been referred, information is gathered to support the referral. This information generally includes:

·         Biographical information

·         Standardized test history (CRCT)

  • Benchmark Assessments

·         Appropriate examples of student’s work

·         Motivational and creativity rating scales

·         Observational records

The Eligibility Committee

After a student has been referred and appropriate information has been gathered, the information is reviewed the eligibility committee at the school. These reviews occur periodically throughout the school year and are generally held in the fall and spring.

The eligibility committee consists of a gifted teacher, the classroom teacher, and a school administrator. The role of the eligibility committee is to review a profile of the student through observational data, existing performance data, and a standardized testing history to determine appropriate instructional planning and placement for a student.

The committee examines the student’s information and will make one of the following recommendations:

·         A formal referral for further evaluation

·         A request for additional information

·         Continued monitoring of the student’s progress for possible future consideration

 Formal Evaluation

Formal evaluation will involve the use of rating scales and standardized tests. Parents are notified prior to this process and must consent for these additional evaluations to proceed.

Once formal evaluations have been completed and information has been collected in the areas of mental ability, achievement, creativity, and motivation, the student’s information is reviewed by the eligibility committee.

Parents are notified regarding the results of the process and provided an opportunity to review their child’s evaluation results.

Eligibility Criteria

Eligibility criteria for placement in this program is based upon State Board of Education Rule 160-4-2-.38.   Students are evaluated in the areas of mental ability, achievement, creativity, and motivation.  Students must qualify in three of the four areas in order to be eligible for gifted services.

Information shall be gathered in each of the four data categories.  At least one of the criteria must be met by a score on a nationally normed standardized test.  Any data used in one category to establish a student's eligibility may not be used in any other category.  Assessment data must be current within two years.



Program Philosophy

The gifted program supports the philosophy that education is a means by which every individual has the opportunity to reach his or her fullest potential. Basic to the philosophy of this program is the idea that no one teacher, resource or instructional method can meet the needs of gifted students. Education for the gifted is viewed as a cooperative endeavor characterized, facilitated and realized by the efforts of numerous individuals in the schools and community.

Program Rationale

The State Department of Education defines a gifted student as one who demonstrates a high degree of intellectual and/or creative ability, exhibits an exceptional high degree of motivation, and/or excels in specific academic fields, and who needs special instruction and/or ancillary services to achieve at levels commensurate with his or her abilities. Programs for gifted students assure that the educational environment provides students the opportunity to extend competencies in the areas of cognitive skills and metacognitive skills beyond the experiences of the regular classroom. It is the responsibility of this school district to provide a differentiated curriculum, which fosters the development of exceptional abilities beyond the basic school program.

Program Goals

The goals of the Decatur County Gifted Program are congruent with the guidelines set forth by the Georgia State Department of Education.

1. To identify at every level in every school those children who are gifted.

2. To provide an educational program which will enable gifted students to capitalize on their unique abilities, talents, interests, and needs.

3. To provide academic enrichment and acceleration for gifted students.

Program Description

Gifted services are available in grades K-12.  Gifted services are provided through the following models:



  • Pullout for identified gifted students
  • Enrichment
  • Content Based Curriculum
  • Emphasis on higher level thinking skills

Cluster Classes

  • Teachers hold gifted endorsement
  • Differentiation of content, process and product for identified gifted learners

Middle Schools

Advanced Content Classes

  • Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Language Arts/Reading
  • Teachers hold gifted endorsement

High School

Advanced Placement (AP)

  • Guidelines set by College Board
  • Teachers have special training from College Board, and/or gifted endorsed