Definition of a mentally gifted student in need of Gifted Support
(Above 2% of the population)
A mentally gifted student has outstanding intellectual and creative ability, the development of which requires special services and programs not ordinarily provided in the regular education program.
The mentally gifted student needs enrichment or acceleration, or both, and without it will not receive an appropriate education. High achievement, conformity to expectations, a "good work ethic" or intense interest in a particular subject or hobby alone will not suffice.
In the Upper Darby School District, screening and evaluation procedures utilized to determine eligibility for the Academic Enrichment program include individual achievement test scores in reading and writing, student grades, cognitive testing using a standardized instrument and input from the referral source specifying areas of suspected mental giftedness.
Flexibility is employed to assure students with disabilities and/or multicultural backgrounds are afforded an opportunity to meet eligibility criteria.
The Pennsylvania Department of Education states that the local school district is primarily responsible for identifying all “children with exceptionalities,” meaning “children of school age who have a disability or who are gifted and who, by reason thereof, need special designed instruction exceptional children and developing educational programs to meet their needs” (24 P.S. 13-1371(1)). If a parent (in writing) or teacher requests an evaluation for an exceptionally high achieving student prior to the 1st grade and there is supporting evidence/data, the district will move forward with an evaluation. Otherwise, an initial general screening of all first graders shall occur. The first grade teachers in the regular classroom setting administer the Otis-Lennon School Ability Test (OLSAT) Eighth Edition. Children scoring in the 90th percentile or higher will qualify to receive the Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test, second edition (K-BIT-2). A gifted support teacher or a designated member of the school staff administers the K-BIT-2. The school psychologist will then administer a test of cognitive ability.
If a student is suspected of being gifted by school personnel a screening is completed prior to referral for a multidisciplinary evaluation. If a parent requests an evaluation, a screening process is conducted in where data is gathered, which includes, referral source input, grades and standardized achievement data and Benchmark data in order to determine the need for further assessment.