An IEP is an Individualized Education Program written specifically for a student's unique needs. The IEP describes the student's present level of functioning and includes goals that guide the unique cognitive and affective needs of a gifted student. Students and parents are included in the IEP planning process, offer input to the IEP, and approve the content written in the document. Gifted education is a part of special education in Kansas and as such it must comply with the laws set forth in IDEA 2004 (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act). Each parent is provided with a copy of the "Parents Rights in Special Education," also known as the procedural safeguards, which describes the legal aspects of the IEP process.
Intellectual giftedness is someone who is capable of high performance in many areas due to a set of individual characteristics, such as persistent intellectual curiosity, considerable depth of knowledge in multiple areas, high level of critical and abstract thinking, concern for world problems and/or fairness, and an unusually high intensity and/or depth of feeling.
On the other hand, academic talent is a specific aptitude in one or more academic areas due to an innate understanding and/or highly developed practice. For instance, a student may be academically talented in math or writing.
First, the SBST attempts to meet the child’s needs in a regular classroom. Observations of the student are made and the team will determine if further testing is necessary based on various pieces of evidence. The school psychologist contacts the parent(s) to get permission to test. Once permission is given, a testing session(s) is scheduled to give the appropriate intellectual test to determine the IQ. The team then reviews results and determines if the child meets eligibility requirements for gifted services in Andover. Parents, school psychologist, classroom teacher, administrator or designee, and gifted facilitator make up the IEP team to determine placement. The student can also be part of this team.
Testing is completed as part of the comprehensive evaluation on an individual child. The gifted program is part of special education. If the Student Based Support Team (SBST) determines that a child could benefit from ELP (Extended Learning Program), the school psychologist administers an individual intelligence test provided by Butler County Special Education Cooperative. The State of Kansas requires that to be identified as “gifted,” a student must score in the 95th percentile rank or higher on an achievement test and have a composite score at the 97th percentile rank or higher, on the intelligence test. The classroom teacher will also complete a gifted characteristics checklist and a product rating for the child.
Once identified as gifted, the child may remain in the program until graduation. Each year, a student’s needs will be determined and an Individual Education Plan will be written to reflect the needs of the child.
Because the definition of giftedness varies from state to state and district to district, the school’s Student Based Support Team will evaluate the past record of any student who has been identified as a gifted learner in another district. Placement decisions will be made on the basis of the identification process established by Andover Schools.