Gifted and Talented

Last Updated: 9/29/2020 2:53 PM



Across all grade levels, kindergarten through grade eight, multiple measures are used to identify students as gifted and talented/twice-exceptional.


Criteria for Consideration

At the elementary grade levels, assessment measures for gifted and talented include foundational literacy assessments, reading benchmarks, mathematics screeners, state testing scores, report card indicators, teacher recommendations, and educator observation and rating scales.  At the middle school level, assessment measures include state testing scores, mathematics placement exams, report card indicators, teacher recommendations, educator observation and rating scales, and the Otis-Lennon School Ability Test.  These data are evaluated by administrators at the start of each school year between the months of July through October, depending on the data element and grade level.  Data is reevaluated throughout the year based on educator recommendation for gifted and talented services.  All students, including those receiving special education services and those identified as English Language Learners, are considered in making determinations regarding gifted and talented/twice-exceptional status.  Once a student is identified as being gifted and talented/twice-exceptional, the parents/guardians of that student are notified of the identified strengths and instructional modifications that will be provided.
District Board of Education Policy 2464 outlines the process for identifying students as gifted and talented as well as the types of services that may be provided. 


Types of Services Provided

Across all grade levels, kindergarten through grade eight, students identified as gifted and/or twice-exceptional are provided with instructional modifications in order to support and encourage student learning beyond the grade level standards.  Such modifications include alternative lesson structures, peer and independent learning experiences and enrichment, small-group instruction on higher-level concepts, and scaffolded activities moving beyond grade level standards.  Students in grades three through five who are identified as gifted and/or twice-exceptional are also encouraged to participate in Dorchester’s Passion Project, which supports students in pursuing their individual interests and areas of giftedness across curricular areas through a project-based approach focusing on innovation and creativity.  In grades six through eight, students who are identified as gifted and/or twice-exceptional are invited to participate in the middle school Gifted and Talented course, facilitated by a certified gifted and talented teacher.  Students identified as being gifted in mathematics are also provided with the opportunity to enroll in higher-level math courses.  Educational support personnel are provided in instances in which students identified as twice-exceptional require such support in order to participate in the aforementioned gifted programs.  The district also provides students with opportunities to participate in academic competitions, such as the annual geography bee and spelling bee.