The Gifted Education Unit provides leadership and assistance to Arizona public schools in providing appropriate gifted education services K-12 for their gifted and advanced learners (approximately 8% of Arizona’s public school population), so they may develop and achieve according to their abilities and potential.
Arizona law requires that all public school districts must both identify gifted learners and provide appropriate educational programs and services for gifted learners. However, the law does not prescribe the models that district must use to serve their gifted learners.
No Cost Universal Screening Opportunity for All 2nd Grade Students in Arizona Public Schools (this opportunity has been extended from SY2021-2022)
The Arizona legislature again appropriated $850,000 to the Arizona Department of Education (ADE) to procure an assessment that Arizona public schools could choose to use to evaluate all their 2nd Grade students for Gifted Education programs at no cost during this school year (SY23-24). Participation in this new universal screening opportunity is available, and optional, for all Arizona public schools.
Following a competitive procurement process, ADE has identified the Cognitive Abilities Test™ (CogAT®), from Riverside Insights as the 2nd grade screening tool for this program.
Schools can choose to test their students using traditional paper/pencil versions of the assessment or an online testing option. Given that this program is funded through a one-year appropriation, all testing activities will need to be completed within this fiscal year, or by June 2023. ADE will be billled directly for testing materials ordered by participating public schools - so no monies will be required from LEAs to order and access testing materials for this opportunity.
Starting this year (SY2021-2022), students that score at or above the 97th percentile, based on national norms (age or grade norms), on a test adopted by the State Board of Education (which includes the CogAT® test for this program) will generate a new Group B add-on per-pupil funding weight – a new “G” weight. Qualifying pupils will generate the new 0.007 Group B add-on funding in FY 2022 and the corresponding funding will appear in payments and on payment reports later this year. More details about the new “G” weight may be found on our School Finance website.
A website hosted by Riverside Insights has been created for LEAs to order testing materials and access comprehensive training and technical assistance and support resources (https://riversideinsights.com/az-gifted):
Please Click Here for NAGC Resources for Educators & Parents During COVID-19.
Champion the academic, intellectual, social and emotional development of Arizona’s gifted and advanced learners through ensuring gifted learners in Arizona receive an appropriate gifted education commensurate with their abilities and potential.
"Gifted education" means appropriate academic course offerings and services that are required to provide an educational program that is an integral part of the regular school day and that is commensurate with the academic abilities and potential of a gifted pupil. "Gifted pupil" means a child who is of lawful school age, who due to superior intellect or advanced learning ability, or both, is not afforded an opportunity for otherwise attainable progress and development in regular classroom instruction and who needs appropriate gifted education services, to achieve at levels commensurate with the child's intellect and ability. ARS §15-779
Beginning in FY23, the gifted and talented needs are no longer included in the SUP10 and SUP11 reports. HB 2898 established a new Group B add-on weight for gifted pupils. The new “G” weight is limited to educational programs for gifted pupils who score at or above the 97th percentile, based on national norms (age or grade norms), on a test adopted by the State Board of Education. Qualifying pupils will generate the new 0.007 Group B add-on funding beginning in FY 2022 and the corresponding funding will appear in payments and on payment reports later this year.
The gifted program now has its own new AzEDS reports, the GIFT10 and the GIFT11:
The GIFT10 lists all students who qualify for the gifted program using your locally developed and approved criteria as specified in your LEA’s approved Scope and Sequence for Gifted Education. By reporting these students, you provide the ADE with an accurate count of students locally identified and served.
The GIFT11 breaks down those students to their individual gifted needs of Language Arts (Verbal) giftedness, Non-Verbal giftedness, Quantitative (Math) giftedness or Other giftedness. Students that score at or above the 97th percentile on a qualifying test should be reported using the need descriptors below. The exact descriptions might vary in different Student Information Systems (SIS), please contact your SIS vendor if you have questions about how to report the required values.
Quantitative (Math) Giftedness
Student participating in educational programs for gifted pupils has scored at or above the 97th percentile for quantitative reasoning on a State Board of Education-approved test for the identification of gifted students.
Language Arts (Verbal) Giftedness
Student participating in educational programs for gifted pupils has scored at or above the 97th percentile for verbal reasoning on a State Board of Education-approved test for the identification of gifted students.
Non-Verbal Reasoning Giftedness
Student participating in educational programs for gifted pupils has scored at or above the 97th percentile for non-verbal reasoning on a State Board of Education-approved test for the identification of gifted students.
Students that have at least one of the above need descriptors reported will generate Average Daily Membership (ADM) that is funded at the new 0.007 add-on weight for educational programs for gifted pupils. These reports can then be used in conjunction with the ADM reports to reconcile your data to the Gifted Group B funding data published by School Finance in the spring.
The student need descriptor Other Giftedness should be used to report all other students that have been identified by the LEA as gifted student, but do not meet the required identification threshold for Group B funding (97th percentile or above). These students will not generate Group B add-on funding, which is limited to students that have been reported using one of the other three descriptors after having scored at or above the 97th percentile on a test adopted by the State Board of Education.
The list of State Board Approved Tests is published on the ADE Gifted Education website.
To view the GIFT10 and GIFT11 reports, you must have the ADE Connect Role of AzEDS Coordinator – Support Program Reports. If you need assistance with the GIFT10 or GIFT11 reports, please submit a Help Desk Ticket and an analyst will be able to assist you.
1. Q. Are gifted education programs mandated in Arizona?
A. Yes. gifted education is mandated for all public school districts. All school districts must both identify gifted learners and provide appropriate educational programs and services for gifted learners that are an “integrated, differentiated learning experience during the regular school day” in all grades K-12. Charter schools are not required to provide gifted education services, though some have chosen to do so.
2. Q. Why are identification procedures, programs and services models for gifted education different from district to district? What is a “Scope and Sequence”?
A. Arizona law requires that all public school districts must both identify gifted learners and provide appropriate educational programs and services for gifted learners. However, the law does not prescribe the models that district must use to serve their gifted learners. The law does require each school district to create a local plan for gifted education programs and services – a “Scope and Sequence” for the identification process of and curriculum modifications for gifted pupils to ensure that gifted learners receive gifted education commensurate with their academic abilities and potentials (ARS §15-779.02). You may request to view your district’s local plan through contacting your local school district.
3. Q. We are moving into Arizona, or from one school district to another within Arizona. How will my child’s identification as a gifted learner be affected?
A. If your child was identified as a gifted learner through using a test from our State Board Approved Test List, and scored at the 97th percentile in any one of three reasoning categories (Verbal, Nonverbal or Quantitative Reasoning) – then your child must be identified as gifted by an Arizona school district within a timely manner, as soon as the district has verified eligibility.
4. Q. Why don’t gifted learners have IEPs (Individualized Education Plans) and other safeguards similar to special education learners?
A. Federal law has established policies and procedures for special education, such as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) – which requires IEPs for special education learners. Gifted education policies and procedures, however, are solely established through state law.
5. Q. What kind of training is required for teachers working with gifted learners?
A. Teachers who work with gifted learners must be provided with professional development support, based on a plan outlined within a school district’s Scope and Sequence for Gifted Education. Also, teachers whose primary responsibility is teaching gifted learners must have, or be working towards earning, an Arizona Gifted Education K-12 Endorsement.