Enrichment Programs and Opportunities in Virginia
Local Definition of Giftedness
“Gifted students means, those students who demonstrate high levels of accomplishment or show the potential for higher levels of accomplishment when compared to others of the same age, experience, or environment. Their aptitudes and potential for accomplishment are so outstanding that they require special programs to meet their educational needs (Attachment A, Regulation Governing Educational Services for Gifted Students, definitions p. 2).”
Essex County Public Schools defines giftedness as the manifestation of high levels of ability and achievement at the 85th percentile or higher relative to other high-functioning individuals of the same age, experience, and background. Gifted learners demonstrate higher levels of academic achievement, task persistence, and are able to work at increased levels of complexity when compared to other learners. Gifted learners demonstrate intellectual aptitude and performance potential such that enrichment and differentiated learning opportunities are needed to foster continued academic growth.
Students who are identified with General Intellectual Aptitude (GIA) exhibit superior reasoning skills; demonstrate rapid understanding of many topics and rapid mastery of facts; offer original responses; are inquisitive; ask relevant questions; seek out challenges; and are self-directed learners. These students score at or above the 85th percentile on nationally-normed ability and/or achievement tests, and receive above-average ratings on teacher and parent behavioral rating scales.
Students who are identified with Specific Academic Aptitude (SAA) demonstrate rapid understanding and mastery of facts within a specific discipline (English/Language Arts, Mathematics). Within the identified discipline, students exhibit superior reasoning skills; demonstrate rapid understanding of many topics and rapid mastery of facts; offer original responses; are inquisitive; ask relevant questions; seek out challenges; and are self-directed learners. These students score at or above the 85th percentile on discipline-specific portions of nationally-normed ability and/or achievement tests, and receive above-average ratings on teacher and parent behavioral rating scales.
The goals of the Essex County Public Schools’ Gifted Education Program are:
• To identify gifted students in grades K-12
• To increase opportunities for teachers to provide differentiated instruction to gifted students K-12
• To enhance student learning by providing opportunities for differentiation, higher-level thinking, and creativity
• To increase awareness of identification and services for gifted learners
• To identify all eligible students from a variety of cultural and ethnic backgrounds
• To increase stakeholder awareness and participation with the gifted program.
Screening may be conducted at any time during the school year. Mass screening of students occurs for second grade students in November using the Naglieri Nonverbal Test 2. Students who score at the 85th percentile (local criteria) or above on the NNAT2 will be referred for further evaluation.
Referrals are to be submitted to the gifted coordinator. Referrals received prior to October 15 are processed during the fall testing window. Referrals received between October 15 and February 15 are processed in the spring. Referrals may be made by a teacher, parent, administrator, or counselor. Forms are available at each school. Transfer students identified in another school system may be provisionally placed in the program until evaluations and eligibility is determined by ECPS criteria.
Click this LINK to access the Gifted Program Referral Form.
Identification of gifted students includes a teacher rating scale, a parent/guardian rating scale, ability assessment, achievement assessment, creativity and fluency measures, and a writing sample. A score of 85% or higher must be attained on the standardized ability and/or achievement tests.
Services for Gifted Students
Services for gifted students include:
• Differentiated classroom instruction
• Enhanced level of practice
• Emphasis on Higher-order thinking skills
• Differentiated homework assignments
• Small group instruction
• Class placement with cluster groups
• Course selections (HN, DE, etc.)
• Governor’s School
• Middle Peninsula Regional Summer Governor’s School
• Odyssey of the Mind
Gifted Education, College of William and Mary
Talented Youth, Johns Hopkins University
Thinkers Around the World, Johns Hopkins University
Institute for Talent Development
Association for Gifted Children
Consortium for Specialized Secondary Schools in Mathematics, Science, and
Emotional Needs of the Gifted
Association for the Gifted
for Gifted Children
this link to the Local ECPS Gifted Plan.