The Juniata County School District has adopted a process and eligibility matrix to increase the objectivity of the gifted evaluation process. In order to meet eligibility for Mental Giftedness one must have an IQ of 130 or higher or meet multiple criteria indicating gifted ability, as indicated by Chapter 16 Regulations. The multiple criteria considered are the following:
A year or more above grade achievement level for the normal age group in one or more subjects as measured by Nationally normed and validated achievement tests able to accurately reflect gifted performance. Subject results shall yield academic instruction levels in all academic subject areas.
An observed or measured rate of acquisition/retention of new academic content or skills that reflect gifted ability.
Demonstrated achievement, performance or expertise in one or more academic areas as evidenced by excellence of products, portfolio or research, as well as, criterion-referenced team judgement.
Early and measured use of high level thinking skills, academic creativity, leadership skills, intense academic interest areas, communication skills, foreign language aptitude, or technology expertise.
Documented, observed, validated, or assessed evidence that intervening factors, such as, English as a second language, disabilities, gender, race, socio/cultural deprivation, are not masking gifted abilities.
The Juniata County School District Gifted Program focuses on accelerating and/or enriching students based on their aptitude, interests, talents, needs, and goals. The Sequential Tests of Educational Progress (STEP) Series II test is given to students once they are determined eligible for the gifted program. The STEP test is a series of achievement tests developed by the Center for Talented Youth, at Johns Hopkins University. They were designed to evaluate student learning in the areas of reading, math, English, and science. Programming recommendations for enrichment and/or acceleration are based upon the student’s performance on the STEP test. Enrichment activities that are offered to students are intended to supplant regular classroom work with more challenging assignments in their area of talent. Students are encouraged to use science and to explore technology through enrichment activities. Acceleration in reading, math, and English is done at the elementary level with the support of the gifted support teacher and Blended Schools, when necessary.
Teachers and parents may also make referrals for a Gifted Multidisciplinary Evaluation. Parents may request an evaluation of their child at any time, but requests may not exceed one time per school year. Once the parent request is received, the school will issue a Permission to Evaluate, within 10 days, for the parent to sign. From the date the parent’s signed Permission is received by the school, the school will have 60 calendar days to complete the evaluation and present the parent with a written report of the evaluation results.