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Frisco ISD Gifted and Talented Program Testing

Frisco ISD in Dallas – Ft. Worth, Texas offers gifted and talented services for students in Kindergarten through 12th grade. They have a kindergarten acceleration program, a differentiated and pull-out program for students in K-5th grade, an Integrated Language Arts curriculum (as well as optional advanced math and science courses) for 6th-8th grade, and advanced placement courses including Humanities I and II and American Studies for 9-12th grade.

FISD Gifted and Talented Testing

Frisco ISD administers two tests for admission into their Gifted and Talented program: the CogAT Form 7 and the Iowa Test of Basic Skills. They universally screen all students in the 2nd and 5th grades who are not already in the program. (Once a student is admitted into the program, they are in for the duration unless they opt-out.)

In addition to the universal screening, FISD allows students to be referred to the program for testing. The referral can be done by parents, teachers, counselors, community members, or peers. FISD has four referral windows. The approximate dates are:

  • August 13-26 for children in 1st-12th grade that are new to FISD. Testing is in September.
  • December 2-16 for children in Kindergarten. Testing is in January.
  • January 7-21 for children in 6th–11th grade. Testing is in February.
  • February 22 – March 5 for children in 1st-5th grade. Testing is in April.

In the universal screening program, students in 2nd grade take the ITBS first. If they qualify based on their score, they are then given the CogAT. The opposite is true in 5th grade. Students begin with the CogAT and then are administered the ITBS if they qualify.

For testing during the referral periods, children are given both the ITBS and the CogAT. The testing dates are on consecutive Saturdays.

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The Kindergarten Acceleration program is for children who will turn six years old by December 31st and whose parents would like them to skip Kindergarten and be enrolled in first grade. Testing is done in the spring and consists of two phases. A child must pass the first phase of testing to qualify for the second phase.

During phase one, students take the Iowa Test of Basic Skills and must score at or above the 85th percentile. If they do, they will move on to phase two. Phase two uses three tests, a reading assessment (students must read at a level 10 or above on the Developmental Reading Assessment), a math test (a passing score is 21 out of 24), and a writing test (students must score an 8 out of 10).

FISD Gifted and Talented Program

Gifted students in elementary school will receive differentiated instruction while in a general education classroom. Differentiated instruction means the classroom teacher has been specially trained to adapt and change assignments based on the gifted students’ needs. Students can move at a pace that is appropriate for them. Once a week, they are pulled out of their classroom for instruction using a skills-based curriculum that has students use complex reasoning and questioning and challenge-based discovery and projects.

Gifted students in middle school are automatically enrolled in Integrated Language Arts. This course challenges students to develop higher-order thinking skills and fosters social and emotional growth. The course focuses on skills used in advanced reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Students also have the option to enroll in advanced math, science, and/or social studies classes.

Gifted students in 9th-10th grade are enrolled in Humanities I and II. This is a two-year track that uses World History and Pre-AP English as an overarching curriculum. Specific areas of study under this curriculum include literature, visual arts, writing, and fine arts.

Gifted students in 11th-12th grade are enrolled in American Studies. This is a 2-class period study that integrates Language and US History. The focus is on composition, literature, architecture, music, and theater. Students may also take advanced courses in language, math, science, and social studies.

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