Gifted Information

Liberty Pines Academy Gifted Services

Parents who want further information on students in grades 4 – 5 taking grade 6 – 8 courses through SJVS/FLVS, should consult acceleration information on page 19 of the St. Johns County Pupil Progression Plan.

Liberty Pines Academy will offer gifted academic blended classes for students in grades two through eight. Gifted identified students will be clustered with their intellectual peers and with academically talented students for the purpose of instruction in language arts, science and social studies. Non-gifted students in grades 2-5 will be selected by lottery and final decisions as to blended student placement are made by administration. Parents do not need to take action. Students will be instructed by a Gifted certified teacher in the areas of critical thinking and real world problem based learning according to the gifted benchmarks. Gifted students will receive differentiation according to their Educational Plan.

A Gifted Intent Form for the 2015-2016 school year will be available on the district web site for students who wish to receive gifted services at their home-zoned cluster site. This paperless online process must be completed prior to the listed time line. You do not need to complete this form if you would like your child to remain at Liberty Pines Academy. Students who wish to attend Cunningham Creek Elementary and Switzerland Point Middle School must submit the Intent Request Form by the due date. Transfer requests are considered on an individual basis. Parents may contact our guidance counselors for additional information.

Time Lines In order to ensure that sufficient classrooms and gifted endorsed teachers are hired, the district is instituting a deadline for submitting intent to attend a gifted academic program at a cluster site. All students who declare intent to attend a cluster site program by the deadline will be admitted. To ensure that all gifted students are identified prior to the deadline for submitting intent, the district will be screening every 2nd grade student (and any other student referred by parents or staff by the deadline) and district school psychologists will complete evaluation of all students passing the screening. In order to stabilize class assignments prior to the start of school, any student who is identified as gifted after the deadline or a gifted student who moves to the district after the deadline will receive gifted services (resource or consultative) in their home-zoned school until the following school year. Gifted services are provided at all schools in the district and cluster sites are available for elementary and middle school. Please contact the Gifted Program Coordinator at 547-7692, to answer any questions about the referral procedure and gifted services. 2015/2016  timeline


Is my child gifted? The District’s gifted program is designed to develop the individual potential of each student. In order to help our parents understand the process, this information will focus on common gifted characteristics, how to determine if a child shows these characteristics, and how to pursue placement when necessary. As parents, it is important to encourage and foster the potential we see in our children. However, sometimes it is difficult for a parent to tell if the natural ability we see in our children is truly exceptional. An academically bright student who loves school and learns very easily is certainly an exceptional student but is not necessarily gifted. So, how can we determine if our child is gifted? At the school level, a multi-faceted process with several important steps; helps in identifying gifted children. If we find that a child has gifted qualities, and the appropriate intellectual ability; it is then necessary to determine if the child’s learning needs are being satisfied in the regular classroom setting. When any special class placement is being considered, we must demonstrate the need for a change in the child’s current placement. These decisions are highly individualized and are always meant to meet a child’s specific learning needs. Even if a child is intellectually gifted, a change in regular class placement may not always be in their best interest. It is important to realize that the process focuses on the whole child – taking into consideration not only their ability but also their temperament, motivation, and learning style when determining the best academic “fit”. Here is a list of some of the common gifted characteristics. A gifted child may:

  • Be highly motivated
  • Be very curious
  • Have a good memory
  • Use advanced vocabulary
  • Be a good problem-solver
  • Be creative and imaginative
  • Have many hobbies and interests
  • Have clear learning goals
  • Have a highly developed sense of humor (Frasier, 1997)

If you recognize some of these characteristics in your child, does that mean your child is gifted? The comparison chart on the next page clarifies the difference between characteristics observed in academically bright children with those exhibited by gifted children.

A Bright Child: Know the answers Is interested Is attentive Has good ideas Works hard Answers the questions Top group Listens with interest Learns with ease 6-8 repetitions for mastery Understands ideas Enjoys peers Grasps the meaning Completes assignments Is receptive Copies accurately Enjoys school Absorbs information Technician Good memorizer Enjoys sequential presentation Is alert Is pleased with own learning A Gifted Learner: Asks the questions Is highly curious Is mentally and physically involved Has wild, silly ideas Plays around, yet tests well Discusses in detail, elaborates Beyond group Shows strong feelings and opinions Already knows 1-2 repetitions for mastery Constructs abstractions Prefers adults Draws inferences Initiates projects Is intense Creates a new design Enjoys learning Manipulates information Inventor Good guesser Thrives on complexity Is keenly observant Is highly self-critical

Next steps: How do you go about having him/her considered for the program? A parent or teacher may request that a child be “screened” for the program through the guidance department. A screening test will be administered to provide a “snapshot” of the child’s IQ. While this is not an official IQ score, it does provide an accurate indication of a child’s intellectual functioning level. If the child scores within the targeted range on the screening instrument, he/she if referred for formal testing by our school psychologist to obtain a full scale/composite IQ score. (Criteria for eligibility require an IQ score two standard deviations above the mean.) A referral is a request for an individual evaluation. The referral process collects information about a child’s learning strengths and needs, behavioral characteristics, along with academic and intellectual performance information. It is this information that is used to make decisions about whether a child is gifted and eligible for gifted services. After the evaluation is completed, an eligibility meeting is held. An eligibility team meets at the school district level to determine whether the evaluation data indicate that the child is eligible for gifted services. A child is only eligible when he or she meets the criteria listed in the State Board of Education Rules. In addition, the school district does accept psychological evaluations administered by properly licensed private psychologists, as long as the evaluation meets the district’s criteria for assessment. It should be noted, however; that a referral packed still must be completed by school personnel before eligibility for the program can be considered.

Questions or Concerns? Contact Helen DiMare, Gifted Program Coordinator at 904-547-7692 or email her at [email protected]