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DVUSD Gifted Services. State Mandates Characteristics of Gifted Students Our Models Testing Procedures DVUSD Resources. Summary of Mandatory K-12 Services for Gifted Education in Arizona.

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DVUSD Gifted Services

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dvusd gifted services

DVUSD Gifted Services

State Mandates

Characteristics of Gifted Students

Our Models

Testing Procedures

DVUSD Resources

Summary of Mandatory K-12 Services for

Gifted Education in Arizona

  • Gifted students must be provided with special education services commensurate with academic ability and potential
  • Curriculum for gifted students must be differentiated in content, process, product, and learning environment from standard classroom curriculum
  • Services must be provided to students who obtain a 97% or higher on any of the verbal, quantitative, or non-verbal subtest of a state approved test
  • Teachers of the gifted must hold or be working toward obtaining a gifted endorsement
  • Professional development (of characteristics, learning needs, instructional strategies, social & emotional issues and support) must include: administrators, teachers (all certified staff), counselors, and school psychologists
  • Services must be provided as anintegrated, differentiated part of the regular school day
  • Gifted Scope and Sequence must be approved by the governing board


A “Gifted Child” is defined as any child of lawful school age who, dueto superior intellect, advanced learning ability, or both, is not afforded an opportunity for otherwise attainable progress and development in regular classroom instruction and who needs appropriate gifted education services to achieve at levels commensurate with the child’s intellect and ability.ARS 15-779.2


The primary role of the gifted student is learner, not instructor, tutor, clerk, or role model.

who is gifted
Who is Gifted?

Work with your table group.

  • Discuss and sort the characteristics into two groups:

The Bright Child


The Gifted Child

2. Compare your lists with others at your table

3. Checkthe key

Are you surprised? Discuss.

giftedness is
Giftedness is…

• Having an ability or aptitude at a level

significantly above what is expected

at a given age.

• The potential for high performance.

top 10 characteristics of gifted students
Top 10 Characteristics of Gifted Students
  • commonly learn basic skills better, more quickly, and with less practice
  • have a mature sense of humor (i.e., understands satire)
  • have well-developed powers of abstraction, conceptualization, and synthesis
  • often display a questioning attitude and seek information for its own sake as much as for its usefulness
  • good guessers and can readily construct hypotheses or “what if” questions
top 10 characteristics of gifted students1
Top 10 Characteristics of Gifted Students
  • elaborative thinkers, producing new steps, ideas, responses, or other embellishments to a basic idea, situation, or problem
  • often skeptical, critical, and evaluative; quick to spot inconsistencies
  • fluent thinkers, able to generate possibilities, consequences, or related ideas.
  • flexible thinkers, able to use many different alternatives and approaches to problem solving
  • original thinkers, seeking new, unusual, or unconventional associations and combinations among items of seemingly unrelated objects, ideas, or facts.
in addition
In Addition…

Gifted Students have:

• Unique Learning Characteristics

• Unique Social and Emotional

  • Characteristics
  • Learning
social and emotional characteristics common to gifted students social and emotional
Social and Emotional CharacteristicsCommon to Gifted StudentsSocial and Emotional

• Strong sense of justice and fairness.

• Self- confident.

• Asynchronous development.

• Tendency toward perfectionism.

• Self-critical and critical of others.

• Emotionally intense/highly sensitive.

• Underachievement/lack of motivation

risk factors of gifted students
Risk Factors of Gifted Students
  • Difficulty with social relationships
  • Refusal to do routine, repetitive assignments
  • Inappropriate criticism of others
  • Lack of awareness of impact on others
  • Lack of sufficient challenge in schoolwork
  • Depression (often manifested in boredom)
  • High levels of anxiety
risk factors of gifted students1
Risk Factors of Gifted Students
  • Difficulty accepting criticism
  • Hiding talents to fit with peers
  • Nonconformity and resistance to authority
  • Excessive competitiveness
  • Isolation from peers
  • Low frustration tolerance
  • Poor study habits
  • Difficulty in selecting among a diversity of interests

(Silverman, 1987)

gifted kids at risk who s listening patricia a schuler link to article
Gifted kids at risk: Who's listening?Patricia A. Schuler (link to article)

“Educators, reexamine your own attitudes and beliefs about gifted children and adolescents… All school personnel need to understand the differentiating characteristics of gifted individuals, related needs, and possible concomitant problems. Teachers need to open the lines of communication, and LISTEN, really listen to what bright kids are saying -- about themselves, their values, their interests.”

dvusd gifted service models
DVUSD Gifted Service Models


Cluster Classrooms

SAGE (Grades 3-6)

Renaissance Academy (at Highland Lakes and Canyon Springs)


Renaissance at HLS

Advanced middle school classes, high school honors classes at all schools

International Baccalaureate Middle Year Program at Paseo Hills

High School:

AP and honors classes at all high schools

International Baccalaureate Diploma Program at Barry Goldwater

Choice focus at all high schools

our models gifted clusters
Our Models- Gifted Clusters
  • Full day service model- all content areas
  • The school has one Gifted Mentor or Instructional Coach, and a “Cluster Teacher” at every grade level
  • The cluster teacher and mentor/coach work together to plan and implement an integrated, differentiated curriculum in all content areas
  • Can service all grades that have identified gifted students
our model common language
Our Model:Common Language

“Gifted Cluster Classroom”

A designated class with a specific percentage of students at each academic performance level that typically includes up to 8 identified gifted students. Curriculum is differentiated with an intentional focus on gifted students’ needs.

our model common language1
Our Model:Common Language

“Gifted Cluster Teacher”

A teacher who…

understands, respects, and appreciates the unique strengths and needs of gifted students

has or is pursuing a gifted endorsement

participates in cluster teacher meetings and professional development

Plans and teaches collaboratively with gifted specialist or instructional coach

This role can rotate among qualified teachers.

our models sage content replacement
Our Models: SAGE(Content Replacement)
  • The school has one SAGE teacher
  • Students receive instruction in reading and/or math each day in the SAGE classroom, and spend the rest of the day in a general education classroom
  • Services grades 3-6
  • The SAGE teacher may offer support to cluster teachers and other staff as needed
our model common language2
Our Model:Common Language

“SAGE Teacher”

A teacher who…

  • understands, respects, and appreciates the unique strengths and needs of gifted students
  • has or is pursuing a gifted endorsement
  • meets with students daily for reading and/or math outside of the general education classroom
our model common language3
Our Model:Common Language

“SAGE Classrooms”

There is one SAGE classroom at the school where identified gifted students receive instruction during math and/or reading. Students are guaranteed a minimum of one year acceleration.

our models renaissance academy
Our Models: Renaissance Academy

Highland Lakes- Music Academy

Canyon Springs- STEM Academy

  • Highly gifted students (must qualify and apply)
  • Self contained
  • Application process
  • Grades 1-8 at HLS, 1-4 at CS to expand through 8th grade
  • Curriculum is accelerated a minimum of one year in math, two years in ELA

“Renaissance Teacher”

A teacher who…

  • understands, respects, and appreciates the unique strengths and needs of gifted students
  • has or is pursuing a gifted endorsement
  • has students all day in a self-contained classroom.

Our Model:Common Language

gifted identification
Gifted Identification

Cognitive Abilities Test

  • Verbal
  • Quantitative
  • Non-Verbal

97% or higher in any area qualifies as gifted

95%-96% DV places student “provisionally”

This is a reasoning test…not an achievement test! Students cannot “study” for it.

renaissance placement
Renaissance Placement
  • 97th percentile or higher in 2 out of 3 areas
  • 90th percentile in 3rd area
    • Application submitted by parents to Gifted Services at the District Office by April 25, 2014
    • Other criteria are included when making the final placement determination
    • Any DVUSD teacher may be asked to complete a “Gifted Characteristics Profile” as part of the application process. Always return these directly to Gifted Services, never to the parent.
placement using a matrix
Placement using a Matrix
  • Used to increase the identification of underrepresented populations (ELL, Title 1, Twice exceptional)
  • SAGE teacher or the school’s gifted contact fills out the matrix and submits to Gifted Services at District Office
  • Gifted Services determine the final placement decision
  • Placement on the matrix is provisional
  • Student progress is monitored at the school level at the end of every semester to ensure that the student is thriving and placement is appropriate
underrepresented populations
Underrepresented Populations
  • ELL, CLD, and Low SES

Among students who qualify for gifted services in 2nd grade and do not receive gifted services, 44% will no longer qualify as gifted by 5th grade (NAGC).

  • Underrepresented student populations can be identified for gifted services using a matrix (piloted in 6 schools in 2012-13, and used district wide in 2013-14).
nominating for gifted testing
Nominating for Gifted Testing
  • Nominations can come from parents, teacher, or any qualified staff member
  • You may want to use the following forms to help you decide who to nominate (available from your school’s SAGE teacher or your Gifted contact):
    • Differences Between the Bright Child and the Gifted Learner
    • Characteristics of Gifted Students
    • Teacher’s Class Screening Form
  • If you are uncertain about whether or not to nominate, ask your SAGE Teacher, a Cluster Teacher, Gifted Coach, or Instructional Coach
  • Fill out the electronic Homeroom Teacher-Nominations For Gifted Testing form
  • Gifted Teacher will provide Parent Permission to Test forms to be sent home
testing procedures
Testing Procedures
  • Testing takes place 3 times per year (fall, winter, spring)
  • Students cannot be tested more than once per calendar year
  • Testing takes place on campus and is administered by the Gifted Services teacher
  • Spring testing is the “BIG” one for next year’s class placement decisions
  • K-2 students should wait until spring; all grade levels have access to spring testing!
  • Spring test results will be back in time for class placement
  • Summer testing takes place at the district office, typically only for out of district students

How can I learn more?


DVUSD Gifted Services Handbook

Located on the Gifted page of the DVUSD website

National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC)

Join us…

DVUSD offers ongoing professional development for free! Consider adding a gifted endorsement to your credentials. Ask your Gifted Services teacher or email Kim Lanese for more information.