Gifted and Talented Information

  • Philosophy

    Rockwall Independent School District recognizes the individual differences in abilities, needs and interests of the school population it serves. A sound instructional program for Rockwall ISD students includes provision for gifted and talented students. Gifted learners benefit from instruction that develops and challenges their unique capabilities while fostering creativity and productivity. A quality service provides both cognitive and affective development. Students are challenged to develop their potential and be successful in an appropriate learning environment.

    Goal

    The goal of Rockwall ISD is to design a quality education for all students and support the needs of gifted learners.

    Objectives

    1. To provide a service where students are encouraged to reach their full potential and become self-directed, life-long learners.
    2. To receive instruction from properly trained educators who understand and respect the unique needs and modalities of the gifted learner.
    3. To encourage and assist students to formulate, analyze and solve real world problems dealing with local, state and world issues in order to become exceptional contributors to society.
    4. To help each student develop and maximize such research skills as collecting, classifying, analyzing, synthesizing and evaluating data.
    5. To encourage the development of products that use emerging technologies, techniques, materials and forms.
    6. To seek out and include students who demonstrate necessary abilities to be successful in a challenging learning environment regardless of cultural, ethnic, linguistic, and socio-economic barriers.
    7. To cultivate each students’ listening, written and oral communications skills.
    8. To involve students, parents, teachers and administrators in designing  gifted and talented services.

     

    Gifted Learners are served through

    • SAGE Selected Academically Gauged Education (Grades K-6)
    • Our Pre-Advanced Placement (Pre-AP) and Advanced Placement (AP) Courses (Grades 6-12)
    • Our International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program (Grades 11-12)
    • Our OnRamps courses through the University of Texas (Grades 9-12)

    Referral and Identification

    Of utmost importance to the success of the talented and gifted service is the identification of students who possess unusual potential or high ability in the areas of specific academic aptitude and general intellectual ability. Assessment includes qualitative and quantitative measures collected from multiple sources.

    Students referred in grades K-12 shall be assessed and, if identified, provided services. Data and procedures assure that all populations of the district have access to assessments. Students are assessed in languages they understand or with non-verbal tests.

    Students are assessed for gifted and talented services according to the following guidelines.

    • Teachers, counselors, parents, students or other interested parties may refer students to be assessed for Gifted and Talented services.
    • Written parental consent for assessment is required.

     

Gifted and Talented Identification Assessment Opportunities

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    Kindergarten Assessment

    Beginning in Kindergarten, Rockwall ISD considers all students potential candidates for gifted education services.   The campus Gifted and Talented Specialist (SAGE Teacher) will push into Kindergarten classes and will work alongside the classroom teacher to deliver planned experiences.  Planned experiences are sets of high-level, open ended activities designed specifically to elicit and diagnose gifted behaviors.  Planned experiences consider the performance and behaviors that are not able to be assessed through the use of standardized tests.

    In January, district SAGE teachers screen each kindergarten student individually and review data from planned experiences to identify those who meet initial criteria.  Upon parental approval, the campus SAGE teacher will conduct further evaluations.

    Students who meet the district gifted education service criteria will be recommended to receive SAGE services at their campus.  Services will begin the first week of March.

    If parents do not receive a letter of permission to assess for SAGE services from the campus, parents have the right to request an assessment.  Parent requests should begin by scheduling a conference with the classroom and SAGE teacher.  Testing requests must be made prior to the first week of March.

    Kindergarten students that are participating in Remote Learning for the school year 2020-2021 will be included in the screening process. Parents of Remote Learners will be contacted prior to the Winter Holidays to schedule the screening process which will take place in January on a designated Saturday.

    First Grade Assessment

    First grade students enrolled in Rockwall ISD will have an opportunity to request or be referred for testing in April.  Please contact your child’s classroom teacher and request a conference to determine a need for G/T testing.

    The testing window for SAGE services in First Grade will be in April.

    Second Grade Assessment

    All Second Grade students will be administered the CogAT (The Cognitive Abilities Test). CogAT is a multiple-choice K-12 assessment that measures reasoning skills with different types of verbal, quantitative, and nonverbal questions given in the Fall Semester. This test will provide data points to determine if G/T testing is needed. 

    If a student has a qualifier in the 97th percentile or above from the CogAT, additional assessment will follow per parent permission.

    The testing window for SAGE services in Second Grade will be following the CogAT results for students with CogAT qualifiers. If the CogAT is not administered due to COVID challenges- the testing window for Second Grade will be in April.

    Third Grade - Sixth Grade Assessmenth

    All  Fourth Grade students will be administered the CogAT (The Cognitive Abilities Test). CogAT is a multiple-choice K-12 assessment that measures reasoning skills with different types of verbal, quantitative, and nonverbal questions given in the Fall Semester. This test will provide data points to determine if G/T testing is needed. 

    All Third through Sixth Grade students will be administered the NWEA (NWEA's assessments are called Measures of Academic Progress (MAP®).The MAP tests will be administered three times during the school year.  This test is an achievement test that measures a student’s knowledge in Math and Reading and will provide data points to determine if G/T testing is needed. 

    The testing window for SAGE services in Grades 3rd - 5th will be in April.

    The testing window for SAGE services for Grade 6th will be in January.

    Secondary Assessment Grades Seven - Twelfth


    Currently Enrolled Rockwall ISD students in grades 7 -12

    Currently enrolled students may request or be referred for testing in January. Please contact your child’s counselor or Jennifer Leal, the district Gifted and Talented Coordinator. Jennifer.Leal@Rockwallisd.org

    Students Transferring from another School District Previously Identified for Gifted and Talented Services


    When an identified gifted student transfers from another school district, the student’s records shall be reviewed by the selection committee to determine if placement into the Rockwall ISD gifted and talented program is appropriate. 

    Rockwall ISD will honor test results from other districts provided they were nationally normed ability and achievement tests and are not more than two years old.  Rockwall ISD is unable to honor assessments conducted outside of a school environment such as that conducted by a private counselor or clinician. Students may request or be referred for testing in July/August or January. Please contact your child’s counselor or Jennifer Leal, the district Gifted and Talented Coordinator. Jennifer.Leal@RockwallISD.org

    Students in a Military Family Transferring from another School District Previously Identified for Gifted and Talented Services


    For student placement in Gifted and Talented services, without a delay, the Compact requires cooperation in the following education program placement:

    •  A receiving school district must initially honor placement based on the student’s enrollment in the sending state, provided the new school has a similar or equivalent program.
    • The new school may evaluate the student after placement to ensure it is appropriate, but the school may not put children into “holding classes” while they await assessment. 
    • The receiving school may allow the student to attend similar education courses in other schools within the district if the receiving school does not offer such courses.

    The Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children

 Jennifer Leal

Phone:

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

Jennifer Leal

Elementary Coordinator of Gifted and Talented
Click here to email 
972-771-0605 ext. 7077

Dr. Matthew Redman

Phone:

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

Dr. Matthew Redman

Advanced Academics/International Baccalaureate/Secondary Social Studies Coordinator
Click here to email
972-771-0605 ext. 7040