Identification and Testing FAQ's
Q: Are gifted education programs mandated in North Carolina?
A: Yes. According to North Carolina Department of Public Instruction: Article 9B, "Academically or intellectually gifted students perform or show the potential to perform at substantially high levels of accomplishment when compared with others of their age, experience, or environment. Academically or intellectually gifted students exhibit high performance capability in intellectual areas, specific academic fields, or in both intellectual areas and specific academic fields. Academically or intellectually gifted students require differentiated educational services beyond those ordinarily provided by the regular educational program. Outstanding abilities are present in students from all cultural groups, across all economic strata, and in all areas of human endeavor."
Q: Why are identification procedures, programs and service models for gifted education different from district to district?
A: North Carolina law requires that all public school districts must both identify gifted learners and provide appropriate educational programs and services for gifted learners. However, the law does not prescribe the models that districts must use to serve their gifted learners. The law does require each school district to create a local plan for gifted education programs and services. You can view Cabarrus County the identification and service model for Elementary Schools at the Continuum of Elementary AIG Services and the service model for Middle Schools at the Continuum of Middle School AIG and Advanced Course Services.
Q: We are moving to North Carolina from another state or from one school district to another within North Carolina. How will my child’s identification as a gifted learner be affected?
A: Your child must meet Cabarrus County’s AIG requirements on nationally normed, standardized tests for your child’s grade level. See the Cabarrus County Schools AIG Identification Pathways, and contact your school’s AIG Chair for more information. Getting current test score records to the AIG chair at your new school can really help the process. Use the AIG Transfer Request form to communicate up-to-date performance data with your child's new school.
Q; What is the difference between a percentage and percentile?
A: Percentage refers to a fraction of a whole that is expressed as parts per hundred. For example, a student who correctly answered 5 out of 10 questions on a test would have 50% correct. Percentile refers to a student's rank in comparison to other students when their scores are arranged in ascending order from lowest to highest. For example, a child who sores in the 85th percentile is doing as well as, or better than. 85 percent of the students who took the same test.
Q: How does a student become a candidate for identification?
A: Starting in the primary grades, gifted specialists consult with classroom teachers about students showing characteristics of giftedness. Differentiation is the first intervention initiated, and this is done by the general education teacher. The results are documented for review to see if this intervention is adequate or not enough. In the second case, more intensive intervention, such as a limited number of sessions in the gifted education classroom to gather more data, may be started. This is all part of a process called LIFT.
Q: Once a student is a candidate, what happens?
A: The next step is data gathering from numerous sources. Classroom teachers submit student observation and assessment data. The child's overall academic records are reviewed. The gifted specialist notes how the child is performing in the LIFT classes and his or her work products.
Q: Why are the score requirements for AIG identification so high in Cabarrus County?
A: As a whole, students in Cabarrus County Schools have high academic functioning. The goal is to identify the top 3-7%, which is statistically shown to be those who function at the gifted level.
Q: So, who makes the final decision?
A: The school's AIG program team review the student's file and assessment data, and makes the final decision. The team includes the school's AIG specialist, a school counselor, an administrator, and classroom or lead teachers.
Q: If my child fails to qualify at any point, is that permanent?
A: Not necessarily. The child will continue to receive differentiation in the classroom whenever needed. At a future time, if conditions warrant it, the nomination process may be reinitiated. For emotional concerns, repeated annual testing is not highly recommended.
Q: If a child is a high achiever in one subject area (math or reading), can they be identified for the AIG program?
A: Yes. Students must score and perform at a high level on either a math or reading achievement test. Students who perform highly in one area are only considered academically gifted in that area. Regardless of area of identification, students will receive the same instruction in the AIG Resource classroom as these lessons are intended to benefit all students with high aptitude. Classroom differentiation and enrichment may be geared only towards the child's area of academic giftedness.
AIG Program and Services FAQs
Q: What happens after my child is identified?
A: Parents/Guardians will receive a Consent for Service form to sign to initiate AIG Resource services. The AIG teacher will contact you to set up an initial meeting upon AIG placement, and will overview the services offered to your child. Parent meetings will be held annually to overview the AIG services offered each year in grades 3-8. An AIG DEP (Differentiation Education Plan) will be completed annually and reviewed by parents and classroom teachers for each identified AIG student. AIG students in grades 3-5 will receive a progress report at the end of each semester regarding performance in the AIG Resource class.
Q: Will the Elementary School AIG Resource Teacher instruct above grade level in math and reading?
A: No. The AIG Resource classes will enrich and extend all areas of curriculum through integrated, concept based units of study. Units are designed to grow and develop all students with high aptitude through project and problem based learning, 21st century skills, career readiness, and integration of the CCS AIG Curriculum
. In middle school however, AIG students may qualify to take advanced Math and English Language Arts courses. Gifted high school students self select their course schedules with the assistance of their high school counselor.
Q: What kind of training is required for teachers working with gifted learners?
A: Elementary AIG Resource teachers have Gifted Education Add-on Licensure from an accredited college or university. Also, classroom teachers working with gifted learners, are encouraged to complete the Cabarrus County Gifted Local Endorsement Course (GLEE) in grades K-12. See the Gifted Local Endorsement Tab on the AIG webpage to find a complete list of GLEE-endorsed teachers at your schools.