The School Board of Sarasota County, Florida
Exceptional Student Education (ESE)
1960 Landings Blvd. Sarasota, FL 34231
Gifted Identification Procedures for Parents
2014-2015 School Year
Updated information for the 2015-2016 school year should be available in December. Please check back.
Thank you for your interest in Sarasota County’s Gifted programs. Both the community and the school district are proud of the quality of programming options offered for our students. There is a continuum of services to meet the individual academic needs of gifted students.
Gifted Service Delivery Models
Full Time – Students receive instruction in a classroom with all gifted students taught by a teacher qualified to work with gifted students. This program option focuses on an accelerated curriculum. Gifted students considered for this program must meet additional eligibility criteria (see Gifted Eligibility Determination).
Advanced Work Classroom – Students are placed in a classroom with other gifted children and a teacher qualified to work with gifted students. The class also includes students who are not identified as gifted but excel academically. This program option focuses on enrichment activities as well as instruction in grade level curriculum.
Resource - Students are pulled from the general education classroom to receive specialized instruction from a teacher qualified to work with gifted students. This program option focuses on enrichment activities.
Consultation – A teacher of the gifted works with the general education teacher(s) to assist them in meeting identified needs of the gifted student. Materials and other resources are made available to the general education teacher by a teacher qualified to work with gifted students.
Please note that not all services are available at every school.
Gifted Education Referral Process
Referrals for Gifted are generally made by classroom teachers or by parent request.
Parent/Guardian(s) interested in beginning the referral process for any Exceptional Student Education program must be residents of Sarasota County. Student files cannot be processed without proof of residency in Sarasota County. Proof of residency requires written proof of address: a signed lease, electric bill, or water bill which includes your name, address and current date.
All student referrals for gifted evaluations must be processed at their zoned district school. If you live in Sarasota County and your child attends a public school, private school, or is home-schooled, contact the Exceptional Student Education (ESE) Liaison at your home zoned school and request that your child be referred for a gifted evaluation. (If your child currently attends a charter school, contact the ESE Liaison at the charter school). There is a timeline that district and charter schools follow for gifted referrals and evaluations.
Any Sarasota County student may be referred for a gifted screening to determine the need for further evaluation. Students who meet the minimum score (130) on the intelligence screening instrument may be referred for a full evaluation. Any student with a current psychological evaluation that reports an intelligence quotient (IQ) that meets the IQ portion of the state criteria for gifted is exempt from gifted screening and may be referred by the school for gifted eligibility determination.
Gifted Eligibility Determination
The following three (3) items are the minimum required information according to the State of Florida that is needed before gifted eligibility may be determined:
1. Standardized Test of Intelligence This instrument must be administered by a certified/licensed psychologist. The full scale or composite IQ must be included in this report. Criteria for eligibility requires an IQ score of two (2) standard deviations or more above the mean.
2. Gifted Characteristics Scales This document is to be completed by at least one of your child’s current academic teachers. Your Sarasota County district school will provide your child’s teacher with this document. A majority of the gifted characteristics are required in order for the student to be found eligible.
3. Evidence of Need for Services Need is established by a review of student report card, effort, scores on state and district testing, scores on individual achievement testing, review of social/emotional needs and scores on the gifted characteristics scales.
Additional Sarasota County Eligibility Requirements for Full-Time Programs
4. Academic Achievement Testing Eligibility for full-time programs, cluster sites as well as Pine View School, require additional academic achievement testing. The most current version of the Woodcock-Johnson Test of Achievement OR the Wechsler Individual Achievement Test must be administered. For the Woodcock-Johnson Test of Achievement, the evaluation must report standard scores (age based) for Reading Comprehension Composite and Broad Math Composite. For the Wechsler Individual Achievement Test the evaluation must report standard scores (age based) for Reading Comprehension and Fluency Composite and Mathematics Composite.
5. Report Card Grades - Grades are required for reading and math. Submit report cards that cover the most recent grading periods that span one year.
6. Full-Time Eligibility Form - Achievement scores and report card grades are entered on this form to determine if the student meets the district criteria for a full-time program.
- All individual intellectual and academic evaluations will be completed by a Sarasota County School Psychologist.
- Private evaluations may be obtained at the parent/guardian’s own expense.
- Intellectual Assessments must be current within three years and Academic Assessments must be current within one year.
- To avoid a test/retest policy violation, an alternative academic achievement test must be administered if a reevaluation of a student’s academic skills is conducted within 12 months of the previous evaluation. Both academic areas (reading and mathematics) must be reevaluated in order to provide a current assessment of the student’s academic profile. The most current reading and mathematics scores will be used in determining full-time gifted program eligibility.
- Reports from private psychologists may be submitted as part of the required documentation for gifted eligibility. All evaluations from psychologists in private practice are subject to review and verification by Sarasota County School Board staff prior to gifted eligibility determination.
- All files are processed by the Exceptional Student Education (ESE) Liaison at your child’s district or charter school. Your district school is determined by your Sarasota County address. Contact the School District office if you need assistance determining the location of your district school.
- Only complete files with proof of residency that are submitted to your district school by the deadline date indicated on the evaluation Timeline, will be accepted for eligibility determination.
- If the student is eligible the parent will complete the Full-time Gifted Program Options form.
It is the responsibility of Sarasota County Schools to collect all of the required documentation if the student is enrolled in public school. If the child attends a private school, is home-schooled, or is a transferring student, the parent is responsible for submitting all the required documents by the dates indicated on the Evaluation Timeline.
Students may be placed in a resource setting if they have:
1. A current Individual Education Plan (IEP) or Educational Plan (EP) which indicates gifted eligibility and services.
2. Enrollment data verified by paperwork or by a phone call to the sending district’s ESE department verifies the student was identified and eligible for Gifted Services.
Additional Sarasota County criteria must be met in order to access a full-time program such as Pine View.
Students transferring from outside the state of Florida may or may not be eligible for the gifted programs in Sarasota County. Florida has a program for intellectually gifted students only. Many other states have programs for academically talented students which may not meet Florida requirements for eligibility. Students who have been identified as gifted from another state may need additional assessment before eligibility can be determined.