How are gifted children identified in Ohio schools?
Since 1984, school districts in Ohio have been required to identify gifted children. In 1999, the law was revised to require that identification procedures be standardized across districts using assessments and scoring criteria that are approved by the Ohio Department of Education. In most cases, these approved assessments are objective measures of student ability or achievement, and are scored based on national norms (OAGC, 2000).
Children in the Brown Local School District are identified using a variety of instruments, including ability and achievement tests. Because we recognize that students' abilities and needs change over time, the identification process is ongoing, and students are reviewed throughout their school careers for possible identification.
Information is collected on a Student Data Profile to create a comprehensive picture of student performance over time. This profile includes measures of cognitive ability, as well as achievement in specific academic areas. It is important to note that data from the Ohio Achievement Assessment, as well as subtest scores on other standardized tests, are not approved for identification purposes. However, this data may be used for screening and to inform the teaching and learning process.
For more information on gifted education in Ohio, download the following documents or visit the Ohio Department of Education Gifted Information Home Page.
In what categories may students be identified as gifted?
The State of Ohio recognizes the following areas of giftedness:
· Superior Cognitive Ability
· Specific Academic Ability
· Reading and/or Writing
· Social Studies
· Creative Thinking Ability
· Visual or Performing Arts Ability
In Brown Local, we currently identify students who fulfill state identification criteria for Superior Cognitive Ability and the four areas of Specific Academic Ability.
What are the steps of the identification process?
In accordance with Ohio rule and law pertaining to gifted education, the Brown Local School District use the Ohio Department of Education's three-part approach to screening, assessing, and identifying gifted students:
Step One: Pre-Assessment Data Review and Referrals for Screening (ALL STUDENTS)
· Gather and review relevant existing data on all students.
· Accept referrals from teachers, parents, and students.
· Examine data, determine eligibility for identification and the need for additional assessment.
· Some students are identified at this point.
Step Two: Screening (SOME STUDENTS)
- Conduct assessments
- Group assessments are routinely administered to all students in designated grade levels. (Parental authorization is not required for group assessments; however, parents may opt out of their children's participation in group assessments by submitting a written request to the gifted intervention specialist or building principal.
- If small group or individual assessment is indicated, parental authorization must be obtained prior to test administration.
- Gather and examine new data, determine eligibility and the need for further assessment.
- Notify parents of assessment results.
- Some students are identified at this point.
Step Three: Individual Assessment (FEW STUDENTS)
· Obtain parent authorization for individual assessment.
· Conduct individual assessments.
· Gather and examine new data, determine eligibility for identification.
· Notify parents of assessment results.
· Some students are identified at this point.
What are the criteria for identification?
The following is a summary of identification critera for each area of giftedness, as outlined by Ohio law. Identifications must be based on scores from approved assessments administered within the preceding twenty-four months. Furthermore, identifications must be made using age-based national norms whenever possible. Because the minimum required scores for identification already include a wide allowance to account for error, we do adhere closely to established criteria.
Superior Cognitive Ability:
Score two standard deviations above the mean (minus the standard error of measurement) on an approved intelligence or ability assessment.
Score at or above the ninety-fifth percentile on the basic or composite battery of an approved standardized achievement test. (Please note that the Terra Nova Battery used in our district is NOT approved for this purpose.)
Specific Academic Ability:
Score at or above the ninety-fifth percentile on an approved standardized assessment of academic achievement within the specific subject area. Students may be identified