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Understanding District-Wide Gifted Identification Communications

March 27, 2019—According to the Ohio Department of Education (ODE), approximately 15 percent of students in Ohio’s K-12 public schools have been identified as gifted students by their school districts. At Shaker Heights Schools, 20 percent of our students have been identified as gifted, based on standardized assessment scores taken this year or in previous years. Generally, the ODE benchmark for giftedness is a student who performs at or above the 95th percentile on an approved assessment.

Beginning this year, the District began whole-grade gifted identification screenings for all students in Grades 2 and 5 and, moving forward, will share consistent, District-wide gifted identification communication to our families. This year, this includes informing families whose students previously have been reported as gifted to the ODE. Please note: Students who have been identified as gifted in any area, at any time will retain their gifted identification throughout their academic careers at Shaker Heights Schools.

To that end, in the coming weeks, Shaker Heights Schools families may receive one or more of the following letters related to gifted identification:

  1. Previously reported to the state as gifted. Families with students who have met or exceeded the 95th percentile on a previous NWEA Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) assessment (grades 3 and above), will receive a letter that indicates the District has previously reported the student as gifted to the Ohio Department of Education most likely when the student was in grades 2 and/or 5. 

  2. MAP and Naglieri results to all families with students in Grades 2 and 5. Shaker Heights Schools performs whole-grade screenings in Grades 2 and 5 for specific academic ability in reading and math, superior cognitive ability and creative thinking. Families with students in Grades 2 and 5 will receive a letter which includes the results of their student’s Winter NWEA Measures of Academic Progress (MAP), which serves as the District’s achievement assessment and gifted identification for reading and math, and the Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test®-Third Edition (NNAT3), which serves as the District’s gifted identification for superior cognitive ability and creative thinking. A report of the NNAT3 also will be included. Students who meet or exceed the 95th percentile will be identified as gifted. 

  3. Superior cognitive ability and creative thinking re-screen permission letter for students in Grades 2 and 5. If requested by a parent/guardian, the District will re-screen students in Grades 2 and 5 for superior cognitive ability and creative thinking if their scores fall within the District’s established Naglieri (NNAT3) reassessment score range of 111-125. The ODE requires school districts to obtain parent/guardian permission to rescreen a student for superior cognitive ability and creative thinking. Districts also must use a new assessment for rescreening. Shaker Heights Schools rescreening tool is the CogAT, an extensive, four-hour assessment that will be administered during the school day. Principals are available to answer any questions you may have about making this decision. Families who would like the District to rescreen their student must complete the District’s online re-screen permission form.

  4. Records review indicates a student in Grade 2 or 5 is gifted. Shaker Heights Schools performs whole-grade screenings in Grades 2 and 5 for specific academic ability in reading and math, superior cognitive ability and creative thinking. The District automatically performs a records review for students whose most recent scores fall within the 91st through 94th percentile to determine whether the student previously scored at or above the 95th percentile. Families will receive this letter if a records review indicates that their student has achieved the 95th percentile benchmark on a previous MAP assessment.

Please note the following:

  • Families with students in kindergarten and Grade 1 will not receive gifted identification letters, as gifted screening at Shaker Heights Schools occurs in Grades 2-12.

  • Only families with students in Grades 2 and 5 who receive a superior cognitive ability and creative thinking re-screen permission letter and who want the District to rescreen their student should take action and complete the online re-screen permission form.

  • Families who receive a letter indicating that their student is gifted are not required to take any action. The letter serves as an official notification from the District that a student is gifted in one or more areas.

  • Shaker Heights Schools offers strong curriculum and enrichment opportunities for gifted students, including the rigorous International Baccalaureate Programme in Grades PreK-12 and advanced offerings for students in Grades 5-12.

  • The District’s acceleration policy includes whole-grade acceleration, individual subject acceleration, early admission to kindergarten and early high school graduation.

Please contact your school Principal or Rich Evans, evans_r@shaker.org, in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, 216-295-4263 with any questions.

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