Gifted and Talented Program at Bolton Academy

The Gifted and Talented Program in the Atlanta Public School System provides differentiated instruction for the intellectually advanced and creatively gifted student.  Gifted services are available for all eligible students in grades kindergarten through grade 12.  
 
According to Georgia Board Rule 160-4-2-.38, a gifted and talented student is defined as one who demonstrates a high degree of intellectual and/or creative ability(ies), exhibits an exceptionally high degree of motivation, and/or excels in specific academic fields, and who needs special instruction and/or special ancillary services to achieve at levels which commensurate with his or her ability(ies).  


2017-2018 Gifted Travel

Global Citizen Initiative

The Office of Gifted and Talented Education offers standard-aligned gifted student travel and enrichment opportunities aligned that develop a sense of community, a respect for our world, and foster global leadership.


About Our Gifted And Challenge Teachers

Ms. Ellen Powell

My name is Ellen Powell and this is my 28th year in teaching. A North Carolina native, I was educated in the Johnston County Public School System. I earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Family and Consumer Science from East Carolina University and taught on the high school level before making the decision to stay at home while my children were young. I earned a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Mercer University in Atlanta. I have been teaching in the Talent Development and Challenge program in the Atlanta Public School System for twenty-one years. I am excited about the challenge that comes with teaching the curriculum in Talent Development and Challenge classes. I look forward to participating in the educational development of your Scholar.

Please feel free to contact me at any time with questions or concerns.
Email: epowell@atlanta.k12.ga.us
Cell: 404-272-5146

Ms. Sharon Chatham

My name is Sharon Chatham and this is my 17th year of teaching. A Georgia native, I was educated in Cobb County Schools and eventually ended up teaching First Grade in Cobb for 13 of my 17 years in education. I earned a Bachelor's Degree in Early Childhood Education from Georgia State, Master's Degree from Kennesaw State, and a Specialist Degree in Educational Leadership from NOVA Southeastern. I have been teaching the Talent Development and Challenge program in the Atlanta Public School system for 2 years.

Blog: http://mrschatham.blogspot.com/2014/02/chatham-chatter.html
Email: smchatham@atlanta.k12.ga.us
Cell: 404-219-0255


Screening and Referral FAQ

Gifted and Talented Education in Atlanta Public Schools (APS) provides differentiated instruction for the intellectually advanced and creatively gifted student. Gifted services are available for students in kindergarten through twelfth grade who are actively enrolled in an APS school. Note that students residing in the city of Atlanta enrolled in private schools or home study programs are not eligible for APS gifted testing and services.

What is the process for having my child evaluated for the Gifted and Talented Education Program?

APS screens all students who are actively enrolled and attending an Atlanta Public School for referral. The screening and testing process is broken into two timelines:

  • “Second Look” screening is for students who were previously tested and have current test data available;
  • “First Look” screening is for students who do not have current data on record.

What is Second Look screening?

Second Look refers only to students who have been previously tested and found ineligible for gifted services with current data still available. These students will have their data reviewed by the local school eligibility team to determine if they qualify for alternative assessments that, if favorable, may make them eligible for gifted services.

What is First Look screening?

First Look refers to students who have not been previously tested and/or do not have current test data (less than two years old) available. These students are screened through the automatic, teacher, and parent referral processes.

  • Automatic Screening – The gifted eligibility team reviews test scores in October.
    • Students who score 90%ile or higher on district administered achievement assessments will be automatically referred for testing (Grades K‐11)
    • Students who scored 90%ile or higher (local norm) on the 2016 Georgia Milestones EOG will be automatically referred for testing (Grades 4‐9)
  • Classroom Screening – All school staff completes the Traits, Aptitudes, and Behaviors (TABs) Instrument to observe students for the demonstration of 10 gifted behaviors during the period of October 17 – October 28. Students receiving a minimum of 35 out of 50 on the TABs, and who have supporting data, will be referred for testing.
  • Parent Referral – Any parent within APS may refer their child for gifted and talented testing. Parents must complete the Gifted Referral and Parental Permission Form and submit to the local school eligibility team for review. The referral window is August 3 – September 30. Students of parents who make requests after this date will not be tested during the current school year.

If my child is screened for gifted testing, what happens next?

Students screened through second look or first look (automatic, classroom, or parent) are referred for gifted testing.  Once referred for testing:

When does Second Look screening/testing take place?

All students tested in the previous school year are screened as possible Second Look students and will have their data reviewed in August. Students who are referred for additional testing will be tested in September – October. It is important to note that many alternative assessments used with Second Look students may not feel like a “test” to the student. Parents will be notified of eligibility status by late October.

When does First Look screening/testing take place?

All students are screened through the automatic and classroom screening processes from August – October as outlined above. First look students who are referred for testing will be tested in the late December through early February time frame. All parents will be notified of eligibility by early May.

How long is the testing process?

Depending on the grade level of your child and the data which needs to be gathered, gifted testing will consist of approximately one hour sessions each day for one to seven days.

What if my child was identified as gifted in another state?

There is no reciprocity between states for gifted education. However, students with documentation of gifted eligibility in another state are referred for testing in APS for the next testing cycle. Prior to testing, students’ current test scores will be reviewed to determine if any can be utilized in determining Georgia eligibility.

Can my child be assessed before the start of the school year?

No. The screening and testing process will take place as outlined above.

May I provide results from private assessments?

Gifted eligibility will be determined based upon the findings of Atlanta Public Schools approved assessments. Private testing or evaluations will not be accepted to establish eligibility for APS gifted services.

Who do I contact about the gifted program at my school?

Each school in APS has a gifted eligibility chairperson and a gifted contact teacher. If you have any questions regarding the gifted program at a specific school, one of these individuals will be able to assist you.

What are the benefits of the gifted program?

Intellectually gifted and exceptionally creative students have unique learning characteristics, interests, personal needs, and capabilities. Gifted and Talented Education addresses these unique characteristics and needs by providing an opportunity for gifted students to interact with their intellectual peers as they participate in classes which extend and enrich the core curriculum.

If my child is determined eligible, how and when would his or her schedule change?

In elementary school, gifted students receive a minimum of five gifted segments each week from a gifted endorsed teacher. Students are served through a resource model, cluster grouping, and/or collaboration. Once determined eligible, students typically begin to receive gifted services.

Identification and Assessment of Giftedness FAQ

Gifted and Talented Education in Atlanta Public School System provides differentiated instruction for the intellectually advanced and creatively gifted student. Gifted services are available in all Atlanta Public Schools for students in grades K-12.

For any child who is referred for gifted testing, Atlanta Public Schools is required to gather information in the following areas:  Mental Ability, Creativity, Achievement, and Motivation. The instruments selected for each area meet the guidelines of Georgia Board of Education Rule 160-4-2-.38.

What testing instruments may be used to determine if my child is eligible for the Gifted Program? 

During the testing process, the Gifted Eligibility Team may request your consent to administer one or more of the following instruments:  Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT), Torrance Test of Creative Thinking (TTCT), Gifted Rating Scales (GRS) elementary grades and/or Children’s Academic Intrinsic Motivation Inventory (CAIMI) middle grades. The CogAT and TTCT are administered once every two years.  

What is the Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT)? 

The CogAT is a group-administered mental ability test, typically referred to as an IQ test. The test has three batteries:  Verbal, Quantitative, and Nonverbal. The Verbal Battery appraises the child’s verbal inductive and deductive reasoning skills as well as flexibility, fluency, and adaptability in working with verbal materials and solving verbal problems. The Quantitative Battery appraises high-level problem solving with quantitative symbols and concepts. The Nonverbal Battery appraises general inductive reasoning skills in using and adapting cognitive strategies. 

The CogAT is typically administered to the students over three days.  Each testing session is approximately one hour. The resulting score for each battery is reported to parents as a national percentile rank in the mental ability section on the gifted eligibility report. The national percentile rank allows you to compare your child’s results to others of the same age across the nation. The 96th percentile is the minimum qualifying score. 

What is the Torrance Test of Creative Thinking (TTCT)? 

The Figural TTCT is a group-administered creativity test requiring pictorial responses. It requires students to use their imagination, solve problems, think of new ideas, and elaborate on their ideas. 

The TTCT is administered in one 45-minute session. The resulting score is reported as a national percentile rank to parents in the creativity section on the gifted eligibility report. The 90th percentile is the minimum qualifying score. 

What is the Nationally Normed Achievement Test?

Achievement tests assess how well a student has learned objectives in academic areas. For gifted identification, total reading, total math, or complete battery (when administered) is reported in the achievement section on the gifted eligibility report.

Scantron’s Performance Series Computer Adaptive Achievement Series (CAAS) is a group-administered achievement test given to students in grades 2-5. Both the reading and math sections are administered in approximately one hour sessions each.  The 90th percentile is the minimum qualifying score.

The Iowa Test of Basic Skills is a group-administered achievement test given to students in grades K-1. Each area is administered in approximately a one hour session.  The 90th percentile is the minimum qualifying score.

What is the Gifted Rating Scales?

Gifted Rating Scales are norm-referenced rating scales based on current theories of giftedness; and meets state guidelines regarding the definition of gifted and talented students for students in grades K-7. The GRS is a rating scale, completed by a teacher, based upon a child’s motivational behaviors in an academic setting. The local school Gifted Eligibility Team will select two teachers to complete the scale who have known the child for at least one month. The Gifted Eligibility Team will utilize the highest score for the eligibility determination purposes. The resulting score is reported as a national percentile rank to parents in the motivation section on the gifted eligibility report.

The 90th percentile is the minimum qualifying score.  While a qualifying score is valid for two years, the GRS may be re-administered once a school year by different teachers only if the child is referred again for gifted testing.

**Motivation refers to a child’s desire to achieve a goal or complete self-selected tasks.  Motivation is not a type of giftedness but rather viewed as the energy that drives a child to achieve.

What is the Children’s Academic Intrinsic Motivation Inventory (CAIMI)?

The CAIMI measures the academic intrinsic motivation as defined as enjoyment of school learning characterized by an orientation toward mastery, curiosity, persistence, and the learning of challenging, difficult, and novel tasks. The CAIMI contains five scales, four in each of the academic areas and one general orientation scale.  Students in grade 8 will complete the inventory in a group setting in approximately 30 minutes. Scores are reported for motivation in reading, math, science, social studies, and general attitudes toward school and learning. The resulting scores are reported as national percentiles to parents in the motivation section on the gifted eligibility report. Students can complete the inventory once each calendar year and two of the five scores must be at or above the 90th percentile to support gifted identification.

How can I help my child prepare for these instruments? 

Knowledge or skills needed are developed as a result of all school and life experiences. These are not tests you can, or should, prepare for as they are meant to measure innate ability. Do not overemphasize the importance of these tests or act in a way so as to add to any test anxiety. Make sure that your child gets a good night’s sleep prior to testing and has a nutritious breakfast each morning before testing.

Why is my child only being recommended for some instruments and not all of them?                    

The Gifted Eligibility Team will use only one instrument for each category:  Mental Ability, Creativity, Achievement, and Motivation. Based upon previous testing experiences and/or classroom performance, some children may already have test data in their permanent record can be used in one or more categories. Children will not be tested unnecessarily. The Gifted Eligibility Team has more than one option of instruments for most categories. The team will use all relevant data about the student to select the best instrument at this time. The team will not exhaust all of its options in each category during any referral window.