Glossary of Acronyms
This is a partial list of frequently asked questions and answers provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.
|CBA||Curriculum Based Assessment|
|CER||Comprehensive Evaluation Report (pre-2001 Chapter 14)|
|FERPA||Family Education Rights and Privacy Act|
|GIEP||Gifted Individualized Education Program|
|GMDE||Gifted Multidisciplinary Evaluation|
|GMDT||Gifted Multidisciplinary Team|
|GWR||Gifted Written Report|
|IDEA||Individual with Disabilities Education Act|
|IEP||Individualized Education Program|
|PDE||Pennsylvania Department of Education|
Frequently Asked Questions
- Criteria for Gifted
- General FAQs
- Gifted Individualized Education Program (GIEP)
- Gifted Written Report (GWR)
The GIEP team makes the decision whether a student is gifted or not gifted and requires specially designed instruction. The Notice of Recommended Assignment (NORA)documents the decision of the GIEP team.A student who is not gifted does not receive a GIEP.
In unusual circumstances the GIEP team may conclude that the student is gifted but the educational needs are met outside the school district’s instructional setting.
The Notice of Recommended Assignment (NORA) should be provided to the parentswith an annual GIEP or anytime a significant change is made to the GIEP. A NORA provides the parents with formal opportunity to agree or disagree with the identification, evaluation, educational placement, or the provision of gifted education as written in the GIEP.
The regulations do not require a signature on the GIEP; however,the GIEP document has a place to list the names and positions of the GIEP team participants.
Yes. The purpose of the 10 day period is to provide parents the opportunity to reflect on the process. If the parents wish to move forward before the end of the 10 day period, the school district may honor the parents’ request.
Yes. The Chapter 16 regulations providethe 5 calendar days wait so that parents have an opportunity to change their minds after thinking about the provisions of the GIEP. School districts may honorthe parents’ request to move forward, but the parent may again have a change ofmind during the remaining days in the 5 calendar days.
Yes. The level of intervention is not required on the GIEP.
Objective Criteria would set the level, standard, grade, performance, the percent of mastery or completion expected.
Benefit meaningfully means accomplishment of or significant progress toward the GIEP annual goals. A gifted student would have meaningful benefit when their rate of learning results in a rate of achievement. For example: A student is determined to need an acceleration rate that is 1 1/2 times faster than the average, that is the student would be expected to learn 1 1/2 years of newmaterial in one school year. Meaningful benefit for that student would be achieving 1 1/2 years academic growth for one year spent in school.
The Chapter 16 regulations do not require signatures on the GWR. The GWR is a compilation of information from the Gifted Multidisciplinary Team (GMDT). The GWR contains information provided by the school district, by the parent, and/or anyone with information concerning the student’s educational needs and strengths. This information is used by the GIEP team to determine if a child is gifted and needs specially designed instruction. Parents and other GMDT members can still express disagreement/agreement at the GIEP team meeting. By regulation the proper place for formal parent agreement/disagreement with what is being proposed by the school district is the Notice of Recommended Assignment (NORA)issued to the parent by the school district.
Yes, provided that the achievement test was a nationally normed and validated test. Group achievement test scores should be only one piece of achievement information. Individualized achievement or ability tests, book or unit tests,end of the year tests, curriculum based assessments or other testing may be needed to identify the instructional or academic functioning level of the gifted student.
No. Classroom observation is not required for the GWR.
It is preferable to write a statement such as “the evaluation does not indicate intervening factors”.
Yes. The GWR is the accumulation of information regarding the student. A GIEP team meeting must be held to consider the information in the GWR andto make a decision regarding eligibility for gifted education and programming. Following a GIEP team decision, a Notice of Recommended Assignment (NORA)must be given.
Yes, all of the information on the state promulgated formats must be included, but additional items may be added.
The psychological evaluation may be put into the “Ability and Achievement Scores” section of the Gifted Written Report.
Yes. The GWR includes Ability and Achievement Test Scores under Findings & Assessment of Academic Functioning. This allows for the knowledge level of gifted students to be sufficiently addressed to meet the requirements of Chapter 16.
The Bureau of Curriculum and Academic Services will provide assistance with Chapter 16 complaints as it does with Chapter 4 complaints. Call 717-787-8913.
Yes, affiliate groups and/or attorneys can file requests for assistance with Pennsylvania Department of Education. However, requests for assistance in regard to the GIEP of a specific child must name that child.
No. Each school district must establish procedures for determining whether a student is mentally gifted through a screening and evaluation process that meets the requirements of Chapter 16. Chapter 16 defines the term mentally gifted as “including a person who has an IQ of 130 or higher and when multiple criteria indicate gifted ability.” A person with an IQ lower than 130 may be gifted when other educational criteria in the child’s profile strongly indicate gifted ability. The matrix used the the school district may not be more restrictive than the requirement of the Chapter 16 regulations.
The multiple criteria indicating a student may be mentally gifted include:
- A year or more above grade achievement level in one or more subjects as measured by nationally normed and validated achievement tests.
- An observed or measured rate of acquisition/retention of new academic content or skills.
- Demonstrated achievement, performance or expertise in one or more academic areas as evidenced by excellence of products, portfolio, or research, as well as criterion-referenced team judgment.
- Early and measured use of high level thinking skills (Guilford/Bloom’s Taxonomy), academic creativity, leadership skills, intense academic interest areas, communications skills, foreign language aptitude or technology expertise.
- Documented, observed, validated or assessed evidence that intervening factors such as English as a second language, learning disability, physical impairment, emotional disability, gender or race bias, or social/cultural deprivation are masking gifted abilities.
Subject results means sub-tests of achievement tests should provide results that can be used to determine placement in academic instruction in all academic subject areas.
Rate of acquisition is the rapidity or speed at which the student is able to acquire, understand, and demonstrate competency or mastery of new learning. Rate of acquisition and rate of retention of new materials/skills can be defined as how many repetitions the student needs before the student masters new information/skills and can use the information/skills appropriately any time thereafter. This data can be obtained by simple procedures such as Curriculum Based Assessment (CBA), direct observation, and reporting from parents, teachers or supervisors. The Gifted Guidelines includes a copy of the Chuska Scale for Rate of Acquisition and Chuska Scale for Rate of Retention for use by Pennsylvania school districts.
Evaluations by a professional staff or an expert in the particular academic area would be used to report “demonstrated achievement, performance, or expertise in one or more academic areas as evidenced by excellence of products, portfolios, or research, as well as criterion-referenced team judgment”. The following examples could be a way to document achievement:
- Student A is a member of the high school debate team and has qualified for the state finals in grades 9, 10, & 11.
- Student B loves to write poetry and has a folder of many unpublished works.
Early and measured use of high level thinking skills could include checklists, inventories, and anecdotal notes. It could also include documentation of developmental milestones that are reached earlier than average students reach the milestone. For example:
|Language Development||Months for Average||Months for Gifted|
|Says First Word||7.9||5.5|
|Babbles with Intonation||12||8.4|
|Vocabulary of 4-6 Words||15||10.5|
|Names an Object||17.8||12.5|
|Vocabulary of 20 Words||21||14.7|
|Uses Simple Sentences||24||16.8|
The above details were taken from Harrison (1995) pp 24 & 33, with Harrison attributing her information to Hall, EG & Skinner, N (1980) Somewhere to turn: strategies for parents of the gifted and talented children. New York: Teachers College Press.
Using a “checkpoints for progress” chart, you could show that a student has mastered skills beyond that child’s age level. These types of charts often accompany grade level texts.
- The average kindergarten student uses symbols and letters to represent words.
- The average third grade student uses a variety of sentence structures.
- The average sixth grade student writes effectively using standard grammar, punctuation, capitalization, and spelling in a final draft.
A kindergarten student who is able to spell common words correctly, make appropriate and varied word choices, and/or understands common capitalization and end punctuation would be demonstrating achievements that are a result of early and measured use of high level thinking skills.
A child who could speak before age one or read before kindergarten would be other examples.
Achievementmay bemeasured through the short-term learning outcomes. The short-term learning outcomes are written as steps to reach the annual goal and are measurable.
Yes. Section 16.21 indicates that a person with an IQ lower than 130 may be admitted to the gifted program when other educational criteria in the student’s profile strongly indicate gifted ability. IQ may not be the sole criteria for identifying a student as a gifted student.