• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • You already know Dokkio is an AI-powered assistant to organize & manage your digital files & messages. Very soon, Dokkio will support Outlook as well as One Drive. Check it out today!


Best Practices in Gifted Education: Site Visit Preparation

Page history last edited by Mary Schmidt 9 years, 10 months ago


Contact Information

Rosanne Malek, Gifted Education Consultant

Iowa Department of Education



Mary Schmidt, Gifted Education Consultant

Heartland AEA

515.270.0405 ext. 14375

800.255.0405 ext. 14375


General Information 


     Site Visit Tips

     Ten Things All Administrators Should Know About Gifted Children - Joyce VanTassel-Baska

     Iowa Code and Funding

     Document Review Checklist

     Chapter 12 Matrix for Gifted

     Site Visit Documents

     Chapter 59

     Chapter 98

     Perry GT Plan

     Designing Services and Programs for High-ability Students is one of the best sources for guidance in the development of high quality comprehensive gifted and talented programming.



     Vision: What we aspire to

     Mission: Why we exist; our purpose 

     Beliefs: Those statements that identify the core principles to which we adhere

     Commitments to Action: What we will do because of our beliefs




The purpose of identification for gifted and talented services is to find students with unmet educational needs in order to provide programming that fills that gap. Identification procedures must be in place K-12 but will not necessarily look the same at all grade spans. Ask "Which children are significantly discrepant from age peers (above the norm) in a given area?" 

     "If We Identify Gifted, We Must Support Them" - Teach a Gifted Kid blog post

     "A Practical System for Identifying Gifted and Talented Students" Joseph S. Renzulli

     A simple procedure for combining ability test scores, achievement test scores, and teacher ratings to identify academically talented children. - David Lohman and Joseph Renzulli

     Identification Checklist

     Purdue Academic Rating Scales (secondary)

     Identifying Gifted and Talented English Language Learners - Iowa Department of Education and Belin-Blank Center

     Gifted and Talented Identification Packet - a publication of the New South Wales Department of Education and Training

     Identifying Gifted Preschoolers

     Characteristics of a Gifted Preschooler

     Iowa Early Learning Standards

     Identification in Primary Grades - from Idaho Dept. of Education


Differentiated Program

A differentiated program is designed to meet student needs "beyond the regular school program." This means that when the regular curriculum and instruction provided for the majority of students is insufficient to meet the needs of gifted students, programming (curriculum and instruction) is provided that meets their needs.

     "Differentiating for Gifted Children: It's All About Trust"  Dorothy Knopper and Carol Fertig

     "Differentiation for Gifted and Talented Students: Principles and Practices"  Dr. Tracy Riley

Documenting Programming

      Colfax-Mingo example

      Continuum of Services Plan Sample


Program Goals

Program goals

  • are written at the program level and are different from student goals/outcomes
  • ensure the district is providing quality programming and services consistent with best practices across all grade spans
  • are specific, measurable, and attainable
  • may be both long-term (written more like a standard - "CSIP-ish") and short-term (think annual improvement goal)

Performance Measures determine

  • what success looks like
  • how we know when we get there
  • how good is "good enough"


NAGC Standards

Sample Program Goals


     District 196


Sample Student Goals

     Sample 1

     Sample 2


Inservice Design

The word "design" implies a carefully developed plan for meeting the professional learning needs of teachers of gifted, classroom teachers, counselors, administrators, and parents and community regarding gifted and talented. That plan should address the nature and needs of gifted children, specifics of the district's programming and services (including strategies for meeting the learning needs of gifted children), and ways gifted "fits" in the bigger scope of building/district professional development.

Chapter 98 of Iowa Code (categorical funding rules) says that the gifted and talented funds may be used for professional development for teacher(s) of gifted.

     Inservice Design template


Staff Qualifications

All teachers and/or coordinators of gifted are required to hold the State of Iowa Talented and Gifted Endorsement. This 12 credit hour program is offered through five institutions of higher learning in the state: Drake, University of Iowa, University of Northern Iowa, Viterbo, Buena Vista, and Morningside.



Program Evaluation

Program evaluation is undertaken to improve programming and ascertain its effectiveness for the students served.

     Self-Audit/Reflection Tool

     Arkansas Evaluation Initiative

          large district

          mid-sized district

          small district

     Borland Evaluation Table - This is a way to evaluate attainment of program goals.

The focus of Gifted Academy III is program evaluation.



Funding for gifted and talented programming and services is categorical funding. Each year on July 1, the funds for the current fiscal year are placed in the gifted and talented budget along with any carry over from previous years. These funds are used to meet the needs of identified gifted and talented students "beyond the regular school program." The district's gifted and talented budget amount is public record and may be accessed on the Iowa Department of Education Website. Click here for the FY15 budget by district in Iowa. According to Su McCurdy, Iowa Department of Education, because these funds are categorical, they are not affected by any across-the-board budget cuts the state may experience. Chapter 98 addresses rule for allowable expenditures of categorical funding. See page 6 of the document (link above) for specifics regarding g/t funds. Any gifted and talented funds remaining in this budget line at the end of the fiscal year are carried over and must remain in that budget line. These monies may only be expended under the same Chapter 98 guidelines referenced above..

Any gifted and talented budget questions not answered in Chapter 98 should be directed to

     Su McCurdy, Administrative Consultant

     Iowa Department of Education

     Division of School Support and Information

     Finance, Facilities, and Operation Services

     Ph: 515.281.4738


Comments (0)

You don't have permission to comment on this page.