REVISED: January 20, 2016
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.
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.