Academically Gifted & Talented Educational Program
The mission of Aiken County Public Schools' Gifted and Talented Educational Program is to maximize the potential of gifted and talented students in providing a program that will match the unique characteristics of the gifted learner.
What does gifted mean?
In accordance to South Carolina Regulation 43-220:
Gifted and talented students are those who are identified in grades one through twelve as demonstrating high performance ability or potential in academic and/or artistic areas and therefore require an educational program beyond that normally provided by the general school program in order to achieve their potential.
Gifted and talented abilities for these regulations include - Academic and Intellectual Ability: Students who have the academic and/or intellectual potential to function at a high level in one or more academic areas.
How are students identified?
Gifted and talented students are found within all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups. Identification is a multi-step process, established by the South Carolina Department of Education.
All second grade students are tested with a nationally-normed aptitude and achievement test in the fall. Students in other grades are screened based on any new data less than two years old. No private testing may be accepted for consideration, but may be used for referral purposes. Teachers, parents, and administrators may refer a student for screening at any time during the school year.
In order to qualify for placement in the academically gifted and talented program, a student must meet the eligibility criteria in two of the following three dimensions.
Students must score at or above the 93rd national age percentile on a nationally normed aptitude test,
- Dimension A –Aptitude
in one or more of these areas: verbal/linguistic, nonverbal, quantitative/mathematical, and/or a composite of the three areas.
Students at or above the 96th national age percentile on the composite score have automatic placement.
Students must score at or above the 94th national percentile on an approved subtest (reading and /or mathematical areas) on a nationally normed achievement test or score in the top 10% ELA or Math portion of the SC Ready Test.
- Dimension B – Achievement
This dimension is only applied if a student has already met Dimension A or B. For G/T placement in grades 3-6, a student must achieve an acceptable score on either the verbal or non-verbal sections on the STAR Performance Tasks Test, administered each March. Students considered for placement in grades 6-12 must demonstrate a grade point average of 3.75 on a 4.0 scale (93.75% average) to qualify in this dimension.Aiken County Public Schools also uses locally-established criteria to identify and serve students who are high-achieving in grades 3-8. Students qualify based on standardized test scores and academic achievement data.How are gifted and talented students served in Aiken County?Programming for Aiken County's gifted and talented education includes a variety of options, including acceleration, enrichment, and in-depth study of some curriculum. Teachers who work with these students are carefully selected and trained to work in the area of gifted education. In grades 3-5, students participate in rigorous coursework through deeper study of English language arts and accelerated curriculum in mathematics. In grades 6-8, students experience challenging coursework through advanced classes in English, math, science, and social studies. At the high school level, students participate in classes designated at the Honors or Advanced Placement level.
- Dimension C – Academic Performance
The Aiken County Public School District does not discriminate on the basis of ethnic or racial background, religious beliefs, sex, disability, economic or social conditions, alienage, national origin, immigrant status (except as limited or restricted by certain visa qualifications set forth in federal law) or by English-speaking status in, or employment in, its programs and activities. Inquiries regarding the nondiscrimination policies should be made to the Chief Officer of Administration (803) 641-2420.
Goals of the GT Program
- To ensure that all program components are carried out in accordance with law, regulations, and best practices in gifted and talented education.
- To provide a program designed to facilitate the effective delivery of services to meet the needs of gifted and talented learners.
- To enhance the curriculum for gifted and talented learners by adjusting the pace of instruction, the depth and breadth of content, and the complexity of intellectual processes and products.
- To provide a coherent written curriculum that will accelerate and challenge the gifted learner.
- To communicate program information effectively.
G/T Class Models
- The Aiken County Public School District uses models approved by the South Carolina Department of Education. Classes are taught by teachers with a G/T endorsement. GT classes have special class designation with a student to teacher ratio of 25:1.