Review Agenda Item
Meeting Date: 6/11/2021 - 7:00 PM
Category: Teaching, Learning and Leadership
Type: Info
Subject: Updated Talented and Gifted Screening Procedures for the 2020-2021 School Year
ACPS 2025 Strategic Plan Goal:
Goal 3: Student Accessibility and Support
ACPS will ensure students have equitable access to and engagement with programs and supports that reduce barriers to learning.
Policy: IA - Instructional Goals and Objectives
Funding Source or Fiscal Impact (where applicable)
File Attachment:
Agenda Item Summary: The purpose of this brief is to explain modifications to the 2020-2021 talented and gifted (TAG) screening procedures. The Gifted and Advanced Academic Programs office have made these changes due to inequitable access to testing for all 1st and 3rd-grade students. The plan was shared with all elementary and middle school principals, Mr. Chris Suarez, a school board member and TAGAC board liaison, the Talented and Gifted Advisory Committee (TAGAC), some assistant principals, and the central office administrators, and TAG designees. Various stakeholders provided feedback during the process.

1. The changes are to pause General Intellectual Aptitude (GIA) universal screening for all students in 1st grade who have not been referred for services during the 2020-2021 school year. The continuation of universal screening for all current 1st grade students will occur when they are in 2nd grade during the fall.

2. The changes include pausing all 3rd grade Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) testing for students who have not been referred for services during the 2020-2021 school year. We will resume CogAT testing for current 3rd grade students when they are in 4th grade during Fall 2021.

3. The changes also include that all current 3rd grade students, regardless of having a CogAT score, will go through an oversight eligibility committee to determine Specific Academic Aptitude (SAA) services for 4th grade Language Arts and Math placement in Fall 2021. The oversight eligibility committee, which will meet at the end of June, will review information from previous ability test scores (Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test - NNAT), new achievement test scores, gifted rating scale scores, work samples, and report card grades and determine eligibility for services.
Background: In the fall of 2020, ACPS adapted the gifted identification procedures for this school year because the universal screener of nationally normed, in-person ability testing was not an option at the beginning of the year. A memo was released and posted to the ACPS TAG website explaining that teachers would create a work-sample portfolio for all students in the 1st and 3rd grades instead of using testing as the universal screener. The portfolios included samples of the student work that both the teachers and students selected to showcase the student's strengths. The work samples were screened throughout the early spring to determine if a more detailed screening process was needed. In addition to universal screening, parents and staff members still had the option to refer students.
At the end of April 2021, the TAG screening committee looked over the portfolios' data and determined that additional information was needed to be more equitable and complete the screening process. Given the limited timeframe, multiple test windows open, and test resources, access to universal testing became limited, which pointed to a need to adapt the screening procedures for this school year. Below is a chart outlining the final screening procedures for the 2020-2021 school year. Please note, the only changes occur in the 1st and 3rd grades. Next year, our screening timelines will revert back to CogAT and NNAT testing in Fall 2021, with screening portfolios being completed following the typical non-Covid year timeline. In addition, next year, we will implement a checks-and-balance system to manage the portfolio screening process.
Recommendation: The Superintendent recommends that the School Board review the information within this brief.
Recommended By:
Signed By:
Dr. Terri H. Mozingo - Chief Academic Officer
Signed By:
Dr. Gregory C. Hutchings, Jr. - Superintendent