to the State of Florida criteria for gifted, students must score at
least two standard deviations above the mean on the individually
administered standardized test of intelligence to be considered for
the gifted program. In addition, a student must demonstrate a majority
of the characteristics of a gifted student according to a standard
checklist and show a need for programming beyond the regular
Classroom teachers, school personnel, guidance counselors or
parents may refer students to the school team for screening.
The student is then evaluated through a screening process using
the Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test (K-BIT). Those students who
demonstrate outstanding potential are further referred to the school
psychologist for an individual psychological evaluation using the
Stanford-Binet IV or the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children,
Third Edition. (Source:
Pinellas County Schools website)
Frequently, families are confused about procedures and
unaware of their options.
The following information has been provided
by Cheryl Koon, President, Gifted Association of Pinellas County. It is
not a story or a lecture, but a list of answers to some
frequently asked questions from parents concerning the Gifted
as a parent, have the right to obtain private testing for your
child. The results will be accepted by the school system as
long as the testing source meets their standards. Check with
them prior to scheduling your testing.
have the right to know your child's test results and what they
have the right to be a pushy parent if "pushy" means
exercising your rights and advocating for your child.
signs that your child is not having his/her needs met:
claims to be bored or hates school; pretends to be sick to avoid
going to school; says he/she doesn't like the teacher; says he/she
isn't learning anything; falls asleep in school; claims to finish
work early and "there's nothing to do"; is bringing
homework that is "simple, repetitious "busy work";
learning what he/she already knows; starts having self-esteem
problems; shows perfectionist tendencies; grades start to lower;
mentally "drops out" or becomes an underachiever;
teacher sends home reports that child is not working up to
in mind the term "peer" does not refer only to people of
the same age, but refers to individuals who can interact at an
equal level around issues of common interest.
gifted kids find it hard to get along with children their own age.
Their vocabularies are more advanced, and their interests are more
sophisticated and diverse. THEY ARE NOT SOCIAL MISFITS. They
can and do form close, meaningful relationships. They may
need adult help finding the right people and developing social
of the hardest battles is convincing your gifted child that
perfectionism is never a good thing. What's good is the
pursuit of excellence. They are often confused about this.
Perfectionist means you can never fail, you always need approval
and if you come in second, you're a loser. The pursuit of
excellence means taking risks, trying new things, and sometimes
expect your gifted child to be gifted at everything. A four
year old that reads at a 4th grade level is still a preschooler.
A six year old who wants to save the whales will still lose her
backpack on the way to school. A three year old who does
math problems in his head might not be able to button his coat.
Gifted kids often seem out of sync with what seems age
appropriate. They seem mature, but lack judgment because of
lack of life experience. Many times their lack of motor
skills frustrate them to the point of explosion. If a
parent's expectations are too high, it only intensifies the
frustration the child feels.
"G" word. Should I tell her she is gifted?
Some degree of labeling is essential if gifted children are to
grow up understanding how and why they experience the world
differently from others. Keep things in perspective-don't
share your child's test scores with them, but explain they have a
special gift that allows them to be able to learn at an
accelerated level, if they choose to learn.
responsibility as a parent: Learn what the gifted
programming terminology means. ACCELERATION/GRADE SKIPPING; CLUSTER
CLASS/GROUP; COMPACTING CURRICULUM; CONTINUOUS PROGRESS;
DIFFERENTIATION; EARLY ENTRANCE; ENRICHMENT; FLEXIBLE GROUPING;
INDEPENDENT STUDY; MAGNET SCHOOL; MENTORSHIP; PULL-OUT PROGRAM;
your child gets into the gifted program, that's where he should
stay. Children don't become "un-gifted". If
your child is dropped from the gifted program, find out why.
Being identified as gifted one year and not the next is very
confusing for a child, plus it can cause serious frustration,
anxiety and loss of self-esteem.
of elitism are foolish. This nation fosters a sense of
elitism when it comes to sports or the entertainment industry.
Certainly there needs to be no apology for those who wish to
nurture the minds of bright young students.
you a parent whose child attends a public or private school?
Are you a home school parent? Or are you a parent of a
precocious preschooler trying to decide which is best? Every
child is different. We will explore each option as it applies to
gifted children. Only you can make the choice that's best
for your child.
These topics were included in a round table discussion led by
Cheryl Koon at Parent University 2004.
Parent University is an award winning, one-day parent
education program offered by PTAs, PTSAs, educational professionals
and the community for parents, guardians, grandparents, teachers,
childcare providers and everyone who cares about children and teens.
To learn more about Parent University 2005, visit www.tampabaykidsnet.com/parentuniversity.htm.
Gifted Association of Pinellas:
Pinellas County School Gifted Program:
Hillsborough County Schools Gifted Program:
(This article was originally published in February 2004)