Plano ISD Gifted and Talented Testing
Plano ISD’s Gifted and Talented program is built upon PACE, the Plano Academic and Creative Education experience. The PACE program serves students in K-10th grade. The curriculum is designed to cover multiple years of a student’s education. It focuses on academic experiences and personal development.
Consideration for acceptance into the program begins with a referral. Parents, teachers, and students can refer a student for consideration. After a student is referred, they are tested and the teacher completes an observation checklist. Testing for K-5th is done late in the first semester and services begin in January. Students in 6th-8th are assessed in the spring and services begin the following year. Ninth-grade students who are new to the district are assessed at the beginning of the year and services begin immediately.
To qualify for the PACE program, Plano ISD students must test (or show promise to eventually test) in the 98th percentile or above on standardized tests. The tests used by the district are usually CogAT, MAP, and STAAR. However, the district sometimes uses a variety of other tests including the WISC (Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children), the NNAT (Naglieri Nonverbal Intelligence), the ITBS (Iowa Test of Basic Skills), and the WIAT (Wechsler Individual Achievement Test).
When the CogAT is used, it is given in three batteries and each battery has three segments. The Verbal Battery includes verbal analogy, sentence completion, and verbal classification. The Quantitative Battery includes number analogies, number puzzles, and number series. The Nonverbal Battery includes figure matrices, paper folding, and figure classification.
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In K-5th, the PACE program is used in the classroom with small clusters of 4-10 students and in a pull-out program. In the classroom, students receive differentiated instruction and advanced math and language arts. The pull-out program utilizes an individualized curriculum based on each student’s needs and attributes. The length of the pull-out program begins at 30 minutes for kindergartners and goes up to three hours for 4th-5th graders.
In secondary school, 6th-8th graders take a daily Social Studies course that embeds Humanities into it. The 9th-10th graders take a 2-year humanities course that combines pre-AP English I and AP World History. The PACE program is not available to students in 11th-12th grade. Instead, they are encouraged to take AP (Advanced Placement) and IB (International Baccalaureate) classes.
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