Dear Parents of Gifted Students,
I’ve been receiving a number of emails from parents, in the Colorado Springs area, asking how to go about getting their young ones (age 4-6) identified or tested as gifted.
I know how frustrating it can be to question your own parental judgement and continually wonder, “Is my child gifted or not?” So I want to make sure I answer this question correctly. I consulted with area gifted educators who provided the following guidance. Below is their reply. I hope you find this helpful.
All the best!
The Gifted Identification Process According to the Colorado Department of Education
We can not recommend or suggest private testing agencies for the purpose of gifted identification. If a parent is seeking assessment outside of a school system, it is important that they first ask the school district if outside assessment scores will be accepted for gifted identification. If outside assessments will be considered, parents need to ask the type of assessments that will be accepted. Typically, cognitive or IQ assessments administered by a licensed psychologist are accepted by some districts as long as testing occurred in the last 1-2 years. However, gifted identification also requires a body of evidence that typically an outside agency cannot do. For example, a norm referenced observation scale completed by a classroom teacher or norm referenced achievement tests.
Recommendation is for parents to talk to the district gifted coordinator to see what process is used in their district for identification. All districts follow the guidelines of ECEA Rules for gifted identification. Charter schools must also follow ECEA Rules for gifted identification.
As per ECEA Rule, a parent has the right to nominate their child for the gifted referral process. This referral then goes to a gifted identification committee who collaboratively determine next steps. Sometimes, this will include the administration of identification assessments. Now, this would be for students already enrolled in a district.
Some districts in our region have early access into kindergarten and first grade for highly gifted students. According to ECEA Rules, a district can decide if they will offer early access for highly gifted children. These districts have a process for an early access application. Typically, this process begins January 1 for the following school year. Parents submit a child’s portfolio of work and collects letters of recommendation. Then, an early access committee determines if the child will proceed to the next step of assessment. If the child demonstrates abilities in cognitive, reading, writing and math at the 97th percentile, the student may be admitted early to kindergarten (age 4) or first grade (age 5). However, this is only the case for districts who have early access. A list of early access districts can be found on the Gifted Education website as well as more information about early access. http://www.cde.state.co.us/gt/earlyaccess