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Austin ISD Gifted and Talented Program Testing

Austin Independent School District – Austin TX

Gifted and Talented Program

All schools in the Austin Independent School District offer gifted programs for students in K-12th grade. There are two options students may be eligible for, the Gifted and Talented program and the Talent Explore program. (Talent Explore is for students who do not qualify for the GT program, but show potential to perform above grade-level.)

To be considered for placement into either program, students must be referred by their parents or teachers. Any students in K-12th can be referred for consideration. Screening is done for both the GT and Talent Explore programs using the same tests and classwork.

The CogAT is used to screen English-speaking students. It is given in three sections, Verbal, Quantitative, and Nonverbal. The score used is the Age Stanine score. Students scoring in the 8th or 9th stanine are considered for the GT program. (The 8th stanine begins at the 89th percentile.)

The NNAT2 is used to screen English Language Learners. It is a nonverbal test that eliminates any language barriers for the student. The score used is also the Age Stanine score. Students scoring in the 8th or 9th stanine are considered for the GT program. (The 8th stanine begins at the 89th percentile.)

The CogAT or NNAT2 is used in conjunction with classwork from a student’s portfolio, and either the Student Common Assessment (K-5th) or the Student Voice & Choice Assessment (K-12th) to determine if a child should be placed in either the GT program or the Talent Explore program.

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Students who are placed in the Gifted and Talented program stay in the program until they graduate. Talent Explore students can be re-evaluated each year for placement in the GT program.

Each grade level has a plan that provides options for students in STEM (science and mathematics) and the humanities (language arts and social studies) each semester.

Students in K-5th (Elementary) are put into cluster groupings within the regular classroom. These are small groups of 4-7 students that the teacher works with by providing modifications or extensions of the curriculum. Some Elementary schools may also offer pull-out programs for GT students.

Students in 6th-12th (Middle and High School) participate in an accelerated curriculum and advanced courses. These students have the opportunity to apply to Magnet schools within the district or receive course credit by exam. High school students have the opportunity to enroll in Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) programs.

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