J.L. Lomax Elementary School

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Gifted Services » Gifted


Teacher: Dr. Whittaker     lwhittaker@gocats.org
Gifted Evaluation Process

Assessments used to evaluate students for gifted services in the Valdosta City School System adhere to the rules and regulations established by the Georgia Department of Education. There are four steps in the process of identification and placement of students into the gifted program: nomination, referral, assessment, and determination of eligibility.

The four steps in the referral process are:

  1. Nomination of students as possible candidates for formal evaluation.
  2. Review of parent/teacher nominations by eligibility team to determine if referral for formal evaluation is warranted OR review by designated professionals for automatic referrals.
  3. Identification by formal evaluation of students who meet the state criteria for placement. Students are assessed in four areas: mental ability, achievement, creativity, and motivation. Instruments include nationally normed tests, rating scales, and other approved measures. All assessments comply with state rules and regulations.
  4. Generation of information about the academic and/or creative strengths of students who have been formally evaluated for gifted identification.

Determination of Eligibility

Eligibility may be established in one of two ways:

Option A: A student must meet eligibility requirements in both Mental Abilities and Achievement.

  • Mental Ability: 99th percentile (K-2) or 96th percentile (3-12) on a standardized test of mental ability - Composite Score only
  • Achievement: 90th percentile

Option B: A student must meet eligibility requirements in three of the four following areas:

  • Mental Ability: 96th percentile
  • Achievement: 90th percentile
  • Creativity: 90th percentile
  • Motivation: 90th percentile

 Transfer Students:

  • In-State Transfers: Any student who meets the eligibility criteria for gifted education services in Georgia is considered eligible to receive gifted education services in Valdosta City Schools upon verification of records.
  • Out-of-State Transfers: There is no mandated reciprocity between states for gifted eligibility. Outside data will be considered when determining eligibility but does not automatically supplant school-generated data.

 K-5 Gifted Services: CATalyst Program

Elementary gifted students in our CATalyst Program are provided a unique learning experience through differentiated thematic curriculum units. Curriculum objectives focus on developing critical and creative thinking, higher order reasoning, and advanced research and reference skills.

Gifted services are provided to eligible students Kindergarten through Grade 5 and students are served a minimum of 5 segments per week. Delivery models for Kindergarten through Grade 5 are resource and cluster grouping.

Our school has a gifted lead teacher certified to meet the academic needs of our gifted students and is available to answer questions regarding gifted programming options specific for their school. A copy of the VCS gifted curriculum is available. Please contact Dr. Whittaker for more information.