Allen ISD Gifted & Talented Testing (AIM, GEMS, and Phoenix)
The Allen ISD offers a K-12th Gifted and Talented program. The ALLEN ISD Gifted & Talented Programs are the AIM, GEMS, and Phoenix programs.
AIM (Activating Inquisitive Minds) is for students in K-6th and includes a pull-out program and GATE Academy. GEMS (Gifted Education in Middle School) is for 7th-8th grade students. It is a two-period Humanities class that focuses on English/Language Arts and History. The High School program is called Phoenix and includes special Gifted and Talented classes and Advanced Placement courses.
Testing for Allen ISD AIM and GEMS
Testing for the Gifted and Talented program takes place in two phases. During Phase I, all Kindergartners and referred students take the CogAT. Students who score in the 97th percentile and above qualify for Phase II testing.
Students who score in the 94th-96th percentile can request an alternate review to qualify for Phase II. These students take the NNAT (nonverbal aptitude test), ITBS (reading and math sections), and a creative/critical thinking exercise.
Phase II includes a parent inventory, critical/creative exercise, and the ITBS reading, math, and/or written expression sections. The K-2nd critical/creative exercise is a critical thinking portfolio. Students in 3rd-11th are given open-ended discussion prompts.
Qualifying scores for students in K-5th are 97th percentile or above in reading or math and a score of 4 on the critical thinking task and/or the parent inventory. Scores for students in 6th-12th are the 97th percentile or above in reading or written expression and a score of 4 on the critical thinking task and/or parent inventory.
Students are allowed to test for the program once per year. When a student is identified as gifted, they stay in the program through 12th grade or until they request to exit the program.
Testing Mom offers a comprehensive online program with practice test questions, one-on-one expert tutoring sessions, and group classes that cover all the concepts on the CogAT, ITBS, and NNAT.
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What is the Allen ISD AIM Program?
The AIM program for K-6th grade is a pull-out program. Kindergartners receive service one hour per week beginning in March. 1st-3rd graders receive services 2-2.5 hours per week. 4th-6th graders receive services four or more hours per week. The pull-out program is STEM-focused and integrates language arts, social studies, science, and math. Students focus on using logic, problem-solving, and critical and creative thinking strategies.
An alternate program for students in 1st-6th grade is the GATE Academy at Vaughan Elementary. Students are placed with peers at each grade level. They learn the core curriculum with extension opportunities geared toward their unique abilities. Entrance to the academy is via lottery.
What is the GEMS Program?
The GEMS program is for 7th-8th grade students. It is based on a two-period GEMS Humanities class that is taught by a Gifted and Talented-trained teacher. The 7th graders focus on ELA and Texas history and Leadership through Literacy. The 8th graders attend the same class, but instead of Texas history, they focus on US History. Students may also take GEMS Science.
What is the Phoenix Program?
The Phoenix program is for students in 9th-12th grade. There are several options for high schoolers. They may enroll in gifted classrooms where subjects are taught by Gifted and Talented-trained teachers, take Advanced or Advanced Placement English, and/or enroll in the International Baccalaureate program. All of these classes group students with peers who have similar abilities and levels of thinking.
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