• GeniusGifted: The term "gifted and talented" when used in respect to students, children, or youth means students, children, or youth who give evidence of high performance capability in areas such as intellectual, creative, artistic, or leadership capacity, or in specific academic fields, and who require services or activities not ordinarily provided by the school in order to fully develop such capabilities." (Federal definition, P.L. 103?382, Title XIV, p. 388)

    How is 'giftedness' defined in Pennsylvania?

    The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania lists the following criteria which defines gifted students:

    • An IQ of 130 or more
    • Achievement test scores

    Students with lower IQ scores may be admitted to gifted program if they demonstrate gifted ability.  These include:  

    • Demonstrated achievement performance or expertise in one or more academic areas.
    • High level thinking skills, academic creativity, leadership skills, academic & communication skills, foreign language aptitude or technology expertise.
    Outstanding intellectual and creative ability, the development of which requires special services and programs not ordinarily provided in the regular education program. This term includes a person who has an IQ of130 or higher and when multiple criteria as set forth in Department Guidelines indicate gifted ability. (Section 342.1, Rules and Regulations).
    (Source: Pennsylvania Department of Education)  

    Is giftedness simply defined by an IQ score?

    The Department of Education's rules and regulations concerning giftedness states that "Determination of gifted ability will not be based on IQ score alone. A person with an IQ score lower than 130 may be admitted to gifted programs when other educational criteria in the profile of the person strongly indicate gifted ability. Determination of mentally gifted shall include a full assessment and comprehensive report by a public school psychologist specifying the nature and degree of the ability. (Section 342.1, Rules and Regulations)."

    What are some signs of giftedness?

    The following are common signs of giftedness in children:

    • Abstract reasoning and problem-solving skills
    • Advanced progression through developmental milestones
    • Curiosity
    • Early and extensive language development
    • Early recognition of caretakers (for example, smiling)
    • Enjoyment and speed of learning
    • Excellent sense of humor
    • Extraordinary memory
    • High activity level
    • Intense reactions to noise, pain, or frustration
    • Less need for sleep in infancy
    • Long attention span
    • Sensitivity and compassion
    • Perfectionism
    • Unusual alertness in infancy
    • Vivid imagination (for example, imaginary companions)

    (Source: Council for Exceptional Children)    

    What should I do if I think my child is gifted?

    Students are not generally tested for giftedness until the second grade (preferably third grade).  If a teacher or parent believes that the student is demonstrating unusually proficient skills or talent, it might be suggested that the student be evaluated. Parents must first sign a 'permission form' provided by Derry Township before the school can conduct a Gifted Multidisciplinary Evaluation (GMDE).  The evaluation will assess the child?s educational needs and strengths as shown by educational performance levels, assessment results, classroom observations, and information from the parents.  Parents are also provided with information pertaining to their rights in securing an effective education for their child's educational needs. 

    What services are offered by the Derry Township School District?

    Derry Township School District makes every endeavor to ensure that gifted students are provided with various activities, enrichment experiences and competitions to keep their active minds engaged.  The Hershey Project at Hershey high school is designed to do just this.  A multitude of activities, programs & competitions are offered.  Please remember to check the calendar or online newsletter for the latest updates.

    Where can I get more information?

    Students and parents are provided a myriad of opportunities for enrichment and learning via The Hershey Project. The following sites are also very good in providing more information on giftedness, organizations, summer camps, scholarships, competition and opportunities.  The extent of these opportunities is up to your own research and determination. 

    Hoagies Gifted Education Page (A GREAT place to start!)

    Pennsylvania Association of Gifted Education (PAGE)

    The National Association of Gifted Children

    Summer Institute for the Gifted

    Prepared by Colette Silvestri, Gifted Support Teacher
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