Gifted Learner Program
Gifted Learner Program

Dr. Andrew Kutscher
Supervisor, ALP

Angela Wilson
Consultant K-12

Tracy Matthews
Consultant K-12

Ruth Leddin

The Gifted Learner Program provides services for identified gifted students at all grade levels. Gifted services are designed to meet the specific academic needs of gifted students by emphasizing the following competencies:

  • Critical and creative thinking
  • Higher order reasoning
  • Extensive and advanced research skills
  • Advanced and accelerated academics

The requirements for identifying and placing students in the gifted program are governed by Georgia State Department of Education Rule 160-4-2-.38.

Please contact your local school for specific information about available gifted program services.

Gifted Evaluation Process

All gifted assessments in the Cobb County School District adhere to the rules and regulations established by the Georgia Department of Education. There are three steps in the process of identification and placement of students into the gifted program: referral, assessment, and determination of eligibility.

The referral process is the first step of the gifted services eligibility process. A referral may come from teachers, parents, students, or as the result of system wide testing. Referrals are reviewed by each school’s eligibility committee to determine whether further assessment of a student for gifted eligibility is appropriate.

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. Once assessment is completed, the data is evaluated for determination of eligibility.

Determination of Eligibility
Eligibility may be established in one of two ways:

  • Option A: The 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 in total battery, total reading, or total math section of a standardized achievement battery
  • Option B: The student must meet eligibility requirements in three of the four following areas:
    • Mental Ability: 96th percentile on a standardized test of mental ability –approved component or composite score
    • Achievement: 90th percentile in total battery, total reading, or total math section of a standardized achievement battery
    • Creativity: 90th percentile / 90 percent on a creativity assessment or rating scale
    • Motivation: 90th percentile / 90 percent on a motivation evaluation or rating scale OR for grades 7-12 only, a GPA equivalent to a 3.5 on a 4.0 scale

               NOTE: A rating scale can only be used to establish eligibility in one area.

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 Cobb County upon verification of records.
  • Out-of-State Transfers: There is no mandated reciprocity between states for gifted eligibility. Outside data must be considered when determining eligibility but does not automatically supplant school-generated data.

Delivery Models

All schools may not offer all options listed below - contact your local school for more information on course offerings and placement requirements.

  • Resource Class - All students are identified as gifted according to Georgia State Board of Education criteria. Examples: ES Target, MS Resource class, HS gifted electives
  • Advanced Content / Honors - Students are homogeneously grouped on the basis of academic performance/achievement in a specific academic content area. Classes include gifted and highly-able students who have demonstrated exceptional ability and motivation in a particular content area as determined by criteria.
    • Elementary Advanced Content courses in reading/ELA and math are available at concept schools for the 2015-16 school year.
    • Middle and high school advanced content/ honors levels courses are available in core content areas. High school courses taught in the middle schools are also considered AC/ Honors level courses.
    • High schools may offer honors classes, Advanced Placement/AP classes (9th - 12th grade) and/or International Baccalaureate/IB classes (11th and 12th grade).
  • Cluster Grouping – Identified gifted students are placed as a group (recommended 6-8 students) to in an otherwise heterogeneous classroom, rather than being dispersed among classes at that grade level.
  • Collaborative Teaching (K-12) - A maximum of eight identified gifted students are placed as a group into an otherwise heterogeneous classroom. Direct instruction is provided by the students’ regular classroom teacher who collaborates with a designated gifted teacher.

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