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Hillsborough County Public Schools Gifted Program

What is the Hillsborough County Public Schools Gifted Program?

Gifted students in Hillsborough County Public Schools (HCPS) in Tampa Bay have access to an array of programs that provide an enriched, individualized curriculum to develop their unique strengths and talents. 

Further details about the Hillsborough County Public Schools Gifted Program

For students in grades K-12, the gifted program provides a differentiated curriculum specifically designed to meet the social, emotional, and academic needs of gifted learners. Programs for elementary students include pull-out gifted classes and all-day gifted programs. 

Modifications to the curriculum are designed to encourage students to address more complex tasks, emphasize multiple perspectives, expose them to a broad scope of information, provide a faster pace of instruction, as well as to emphasize the development of higher order thinking skills and advanced products and performances. 

Each student’s curriculum in the Hillsborough Gifted Program is determined by their Individual Education Plan (IEP) The IEP is developed by endorsed gifted teachers to provide students with growth opportunities for the student based on their strengths and present performance levels. Curriculum goals for each student are determined by the IEP to focus on recognizing opportunities to extend the present program. 


Parents/guardians can refer their children to the gifted program through the school’s guidance counselor to initiate the process of identification. 

Eligibility requirements as defined by a Floridian State Board Rule defines eligibility for the gifted program in that the student shows: 

  1. a need for a special program 
  2. a majority of characteristics of gifted students according to s a standard scale or checklist 3. superior intellectual development according to an individually administered standardized test of intelligence, scoring 2 standard deviations greater than the mean 

The school’s Child Study Team screens and evaluates students for eligibility in the program. 

Tests for the Hillsborough County Public Schools Gifted Eligibility

A full scale IQ test of 130 or above classifies a student as gifted in the Hillsborough County Public Schools Gifted Program. Students are tested with IQ tests such as the Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test II (KBIT-II), and may be subsequently tested, if they score in the 98th percentile or higher, with a different IQ test such as the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC-IV) or the Reynolds Intellectual Assessment Scales (RIAS). Parents may also submit their children for testing by a private psychologist. 

If a student scores at least 130 on an IQ test, their teacher will typically complete a gifted checklist identifying traits of giftedness in the child. These traits may include: 

  1. High levels of curiosity 
  2. Extremely verbal 
  3. Well-developed powers of abstraction, conceptualization, and synthesis 
  4. Quickly and easily sees relationships in ideas, objects, or facts 
  5. Fluent and flexible thinking 
  6. Elaborate and original thinking 
  7. Excellent problem solving skills
  8. Learns quickly and with less practice and repetition 9. Unusual and/or vivid imagination 
  9. Enjoys learning new things

Are you ready to start preparing your child for the Hillsborough County Public Schools Gifted Program? Testing Mom has all the resources you need to begin, including expert tutors, engaging test prep, and a dedicated parent success team. Download our 100 Free Questions today!

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