Nomination, Identification, and Placement Guidelines
Act 445 of 1983, the Quality of Education Act, established minimum standards for accreditation of public schools and authorized the State Board to appoint a committee to recommend regulations and minimum standards.
The Standards and Accreditation of Arkansas Public Schools of 1984 included a provision that all districts must provide a program for gifted/talented students.
The State Board of Education approved rules and regulations, known as Gifted and Talented Program Approval Standards, in 1987.
The Arkansas definition of Gifted and Talented students serves as a guide in providing services and opportunities for students identified as gifted and talented in Arkansas. This definition follows:
Gifted and talented children and youth are those of high potential or ability whose learning characteristics and educational needs require qualitatively differentiated educational experiences and/or services.
Possession of these talents and gifts, or the potential for their development, will be evidenced through an interaction of above average intellectual ability, task commitment and/or motivation, and creative ability.
A comprehensive identification plan for the Benton School District is based on the research and recommendations of experts in the field and the guidelines found in the Gifted and Talented Program Approval Standards.
The purpose of identification is to find and serve those students who need special programs to develop their exceptional abilities.
- Beginning in 2002-2003, the Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test will be given to each first grade student. Test data will be used to assist in nominations and screening. Prior to 2002-2003, the Otis Lennon was given to each first, second and fifth grade student for the same purposes.
- Nominations are accepted from students, parents, teachers, counselors, and administrators.
- Students may nominate themselves.
- All nominations are sent to the parent or legal guardian for final authorization of nomination.
- Students are assigned an individual identification number to maintain confidentiality and impartiality.
- All first and second grade teachers complete a Kingore Observation Inventory on each child in their classroom.
- Teachers and parents of nominated students complete a modified version of the Renzulli-Hartman Behavioral Rating Scale.
- National percentile scores and proficiency scores are obtained from the most recent administration of norm-referenced and criterion-referenced tests.
- Parental permission is obtained initially before any testing of nominated students.
- All nominated students are administered the Torrance Test of Creative Thinking – Figural or a comparable creativity test.
- All nominated students are given the Otis Lennon School Ability test or a comparable test to measure potential intellectual ability.
- All student data is confidential. Records on all nominated students will be kept for a minimum of five years or as long as needed for educational decisions.
- Parents may request to review their child’s assessment data.
- Data is collected. All information is placed on a student profile sheet with the student’s identification number. This provides anonymity and impartiality for all students.
- A selection committee of at least five members comprised of the G/T coordinator, counselors, classroom teachers, and gifted specialists studies individual data and makes suggestions for placement.
- Once an initial impartial decision is made, the committee looks at folders of those students for which additional information is needed to make a placement decision.
- If additional information is still needed, parents are contacted for permission for further appraisal. Additional information may include individually administered intelligence tests, biographical inventories, past academic performance, observations, and a portfolio of student products.
- Multiple criteria are used in identification. No single cut-off score is ever used to include or exclude a child from the program.
- Procedures used in the identification are non-discriminatory with respect to race, cultural or economic background, religion, national origin, sex, or handicapping condition.
- Letters of notification are sent to all parents regardless of placement decision.
- A Permission to Place form is sent to the parent/guardian of those identified by the committee for the program. This must be signed by the parent/guardian and returned to the G/T coordinator before services can be rendered.
- Should a parent/guardian/student disagree with the selection committee’s placement decision, this should be communicated to the G/T coordinator.
- If the coordinator cannot recommend a satisfactory change to the selection committee and the parent/guardian/student is still in disagreement with the decision, the dissatisfied party will be asked to make a signed written appeal that contains the following: a short statement of their disagreement and any additional information which might be useful in a review of the placement decision.
- A selection committee meeting will be scheduled within ten school days of receiving the written appeal.
- If the parent/guardian/student remains in disagreement with the committee after it has reviewed the placement decision, he/she should appeal, in writing, to the Superintendent of Benton Public Schools for a final decision.