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Gifted Identification

Gifted Identification Overview:

The formal District Gifted Program, approved by the Kirkwood Board of Education and the State of Missouri, begins in second grade. The goals of the District Gifted Program are to ensure a transparent, fair and equitable gifted identification process, to provide an environment that enriches and develops talent and to foster an understanding of a strong sense of self and of one’s unique capabilities.  
As stated in the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) Guidelines for Gifted Programs, a gifted program is: “not designed for the typical superior student who is frequently an excellent scholar, can earn grades, and achieve academic honors. The educational needs of these students should be met by existing school programs. [A gifted program is] reserved for the students who are as far from the superior student in potential as the superior is from the average student. The task is to identify these students and to provide educational opportunities that will challenge and develop their abilities.”

Gifted Identification Process:

Universal Screening Process

During second grade, all students will participate in a universal screening process. The Naglieri General Ability Tests (NGAT) are brief, verbal, nonverbal & quantative measures of ability. In addition, all students will receive additional instruction in thinking and reasoning skills prior to and during their second grade year.

Examination of data and further assessments, both formal & informal, are conducted throughout the school year. Universal screening results at the 80th percentile or higher result in progression to the next step of eligibility.

Testing for Gifted Identification​ 

Students meeting the criteria to participate in the identification process will be administered the assessments that align with the categories established by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) Gifted Education Program Guidelines.  All norm-referenced percentiles stated in the identification process are the minimum score. A student may test twice for the District Gifted Program while in elementary school grades 2-5. Students may be tested once during middle school. Please note: IQ assessments may not be administered using the same tool within an 18-month time period. Evaluations more than 2 years old are considered invalid for initial eligibility consideration.

Most students will be identified to participate in the District Gifted Program, by ​meeting the target scores in three of these four categories.

Cognitive Ability:

  • Performance in the top 5 to 10% compared to others in the district


  • Test of Creativity score at the 85th%

Problem Solving:

  • Reasoning skills in the top 5 to 10%

Gifted Characteristics:

  • Demonstrate a high number of gifted characteristics on a gifted characteristics assessment.

Alternative Eligibility Consideration:

Kirkwood has developed additional eligibility criteria to recognize the multiple ways giftedness manifests in our students. As a further commitment to equity, all students of promise  from traditionally underrepresented and underserved populations in gifted programs (racial/ethnic subgroups, low income students, twice exceptional, English language learners and students from varied geographic locations such as rural and inner city) can be identified outside of the above described criteria by the gifted specialist team when specific alternative criteria are met. When appropriate, this alternative eligibility criteria will be used by the District Gifted Program team of Specialists to determine eligibility.

Evaluations Conducted Outside of the District​:

The KSD District Gifted Program will accept comprehensive testing from an accredited education institution that conducts a complete multidisciplinary evaluation. (e.g. UMSL) Please note: IQ assessments may not be administered using the same tool within an 18-month time period. Evaluations more than 2 years old are considered invalid for initial eligibility consideration.

Communication of Gifted Identification Process Results​:

Following the gifted identification testing process, parents will receive written communication informing them of the student’s identification test results and eligibility for inclusion in the District Gifted Program.

Appeals​ to the District Gifted Identification Process​:

If a disagreement about a student meeting the minimum criteria for gifted services exists, a District Appeals Committee is available to accept evidence and provide further consideration for a student to be identified to the gifted program. A parent/guardian of the student can submit a written appeal detailing their specific questions and concerns to the office of the Assistant Superintendent of Student Services whom also serves as the Gifted Coordinator for the Kirkwood School District. The parent/guardian will have the opportunity to present information to the Gifted Coordinator, MTSS Coordinator, and any other participant at the request of the parent/guardian for consideration in decision making.