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Dallas ISD Gifted and Talented Testing

Dallas ISD has two options for Gifted and Talented students. Students can attend their neighborhood school and receive gifted instruction there or they can apply to attend one of the eight Gifted and Talented magnet schools in the district.

Students in Kindergarten through 5th grade who choose to attend their neighborhood school receive a minimum of two hours of instruction per week in a gifted and talented classroom. Teachers will utilize a project-based format and focuses on complex thinking skills and academic challenges.

Students in 6th-8th grade take at least one pre-advanced placement (Pre-AP) course with other students who are at a similar achievement and interest level as them.

Students in 9th-12th grade take at least one Advanced Placement (AP) course or International Baccalaureate (IB) course with other students who are at a similar achievement and interest level as them.

Gifted and Talented Testing

Neighborhood Schools

Students who achieve a mastery level or above in reading, math, and/or English or Spanish are automatically referred for testing into the G/T program.

All other students can be referred for assessment by teachers, parents, self, peers, or mentors. The district recommends that children who exhibit one or more of the following characteristics be referred for testing:

  • Critical thinking
  • Creative thinking
  • Problem-solving
  • Questioning
  • Leadership
  • Motivation
  • Social/emotional characteristics

DISD uses the STAAR and TerraNova/SUPERA tests to determine eligibility for Gifted and Talented programs. The district does not publish the scores needed for admittance to the G/T programs. However, they do publish the scores needed to be able to apply for the magnet schools which gives an idea of the score range they are looking for. Those scores are listed in the Magnet School section below.

Students who qualify in the reading, math, and English or Spanish portions of the tests are placed in the program. Students who qualify in two of these three areas are retested in January. Students who qualify in just one area are not eligible for the program.

The district has two testing dates for the G/T program. In October, nominated students in 1st-5th grade are tested. In January, kindergarten students and older students who qualified in two of the three areas are tested.

Testing Mom offers a comprehensive online program with practice test questions, one-on-one expert tutoring sessions, and group classes for all of the tests that DISD uses to assess eligibility for the gifted program.

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Magnet Schools

Students can apply to attend one of the Gifted and Talented magnet schools in the district. The window for applications is generally November to January, with on-site testing being done after all required documentation has been submitted. (See the district’s website for exact dates.)

Scores necessary to be able to apply to the schools are:

  • High School – 70th percentile score in English and Math on most recent tests (8th grade MAP, 7th grade ACP in reading and math, or other approved tests) and an 80% grade point average in Reading/Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Studies.
  • 2nd-8th Grade – either a 70th percentile score on ACP Reading and math OR a 70th percentile score on beginning of the year MAP Reading, MAP Math, AND an 80% grade point average in Reading/Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Studies.
  • 1st Grade – an 80% grade point average in Reading/Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Studies. There is no test score requirement.

On-site testing includes a critical-thinking assessment, math assessment, and completing an essay from a writing prompt. Some schools require the student take the Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test (NNAT). The NNAT is a 30-minute timed test that evaluates problem-solving and reasoning abilities of a child without relying on their language skills. Some schools also require an in-person or written interview.

GradeMagnet School
1st-5thMark Twain School for the Talented and Gifted
1st-8thTrinity Heights Talented and Gifted
4th-7thK.B. Polk Center for Academically Talented and Gifted & Fine Arts Vanguard
4th-8thSudie L. Williams Talented and Gifted Academy
4th-8thSchool for the Talented and Gifted in Pleasant Grove
4th-8thWilliam B. Travis Talented and Gifted Vanguard and Academy
6th-8thAlex W. Spence Talented and Gifted Academy
9th-12thSchool for the Talented and Gifted  at  Yvonne A. Ewell Townview Center

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