• Screening for Gifted Services in CPS

    Qualifying Non-public school students are invited to sign-up and screen for gifted services by appointment. 

    You can make an appointment by contacting the Center for Gifted Education.

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    Additional Frequently Asked Questions

    How are CPS students identified as being eligible to receive services through the elementary EEE program?
    Columbia Public Schools is committed to a systematic process for the identification and selection of gifted students at all grade levels. A variety of sound measurement tools offered at multiple high-yield times during the elementary years, along with opportunities for re-evaluation based on family or teacher requests and are designed to identify all gifted students.

    What does the screening process look like?

    Universal Screening 
    In March, every Kindergarten and second-grade student in CPS takes a screening assessment called The Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test (NNAT3) The NNAT3 is a brief, nonverbal assessment of general abilities relating to reasoning and problem-solving. It measures a student's ability to look at patterns, see relationships among parts of patterns, and explain those relationships.

    Unlike achievement tests which measure what a student has already learned, abilities tests are designed to measure a student's aptitude, focusing on analytic and problem-solving skills rather than specific knowledge. Children complete the screening on their own computer devices, at their own school, along with their classmates. It is typically conducted by school counselors and takes approximately 30 minutes to complete.

    What about new CPS students?
    Students who are new to CPS, and do not fall within a screening grade level, are also administered the screening tool. District benchmarks and standards determine student eligibility for further assessment. Naglieri3  Percentile Rank  Scores within the high 80th and 90th percentile range =  Eligibility for further assessment.

    How Are NNAT3 Scores Calculated?
    The NNAT3 uses three methods to evaluate student abilities:

    1. Raw Score: This score is simply the number of items answered correctly. For example, if a child correctly answered 20/48 questions, their raw score is 20/48.
    2. Naglieri Ability Index (NAI): The raw score is then converted using the Naglieri Ability Index (NAI) score, which compares your child to other children in the same age group who took the NNAT3. The maximum NAI score is 160 and the average score is 100. NAI scores are normalized so that 68% of students in the general population receive a score between 84 and 116.
    3. Percentile Rank: This score is used to compare a student's performance to that of a national sample of students of the same age. For example, if a five-year-old student has a percentile rank of 70%, this means the student scored as well or higher than 70% of five-year-old students who were tested nationally. Percentile Rank ranges from 1-99.

    Can my student be tested for Gifted Identification?
    Permission to Test: Upon achieving district benchmarks and standards on the NNAT3 screening assessment, the Gifted Center notifies a student's family of their child's eligibility to participate in further assessment and will be asked to read and sign a permission form. Once permission to test is secured, a measure of cognitive abilities is administered to the student by a qualified examiner. Such testing is individual, strictly standardized, typically takes place at the student's home school, during the school day, and takes about one hour to complete. Non-public students will test at the Center for Gifted Education. 

    What measures are used for the test?
    The Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children – 5th Edition (WISC-V) is a robust, efficient way to measure the verbal comprehension, fluid reasoning, and visual spatial abilities of children aged 6 to 16. The WISC-V is one of the gold standards used to identify exceptional children across the country. In line with evidence-based research including recommendations from the National Association for Gifted Children, the sections used to generate the General Ability Index (GAI) of the WISC-V are administered for the purposes of identification. The GAI provides a reliable estimate of general intelligence that is less reliant on working memory and processing speed.

    What are the criteria for eligibility?  
    When a student meets the criteria for gifted services, families receive written notification of their child's eligibility and information about the EEE program. Our criteria for entry into EEE is a base score of 130. Reasonable variances may be made for students who demonstrate a statistically significant and unusual difference between the verbal and nonverbal indexes that comprise the GAI.

    What is the typical timeline?
    The Fall identification cycle runs from September through November. ALL Step 2 qualification notifications will be sent to families by December.   The Fall cycle is dedicated to students new to CPS, those students lacking a former Kindergarten or second-grade screening and qualifying referrals.

    The Spring identification cycle runs from March through June.  ALL Step 2 qualification notifications will be sent to families by July.   The Spring cycle is dedicated to ALL Kindergarten and second-grade students, students new to CPS, and qualifying referrals.

    Can my student be re-evaluated or referred? 
    Families or school personnel may request, through their school counselor or the Gifted Center, for a student to be re-evaluated through our identification process.      

    The following must be true before scheduled:

    • A minimum of 6 months have passed since the student's last NNAT screening
    • A minimum of 12 months have passed since the student's last WISC test 
    • After a third evaluation process is completed and placement decisions have been determined, the opportunity for additional evaluation for elementary gifted services is closed. 

    What is the policy for transferring students?
    The Transfer Student Policy for Columbia Public Schools will follow DESE Guidelines for Gifted and Talented Programs. The DESE Policy for Transfer Students is, "Students who transfer to a school with a gifted program shall be placed in the receiving district's program if all of the following conditions are met:

    • The student must previously have been placed in a gifted program in a Missouri school.
    • The areas address by the two programs must be similar: i.e., both are general academic programs; both are fine arts programs; or both are specific academic programs.
    • The student meets or exceeds the selection criteria established by the receiving school for placement in its gifted program.
    • The student and parents agree to such placement."

    What about out-of-state transferring students?
    Students who transfer from out of state will be evaluated on an individual basis. There is a possibility out of state transfer students will need to participate in the district screening and testing process. If your out-of-state student was not previously identified as gifted, transfer students will participate in the gifted screening and testing process/schedule, according to their current grade.