Gifted Learner Identification

Update on the Gifted and Talented Identification Process for 2020-2021 

Due to the circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, South Washington County Schools (SoWashCo) will delay screening and assessment for gifted identification until the 2021-22 school year. Gifted Education services continue to be available to all elementary and middle school students through enrichments and extensions for those students who need it. Students do not need to be identified as gifted to participate in enrichment opportunities and to receive differentiated instruction for their advanced learning needs. Students who are currently identified for gifted services in SoWashCo will continue to receive those services through gifted education. These include cluster classrooms in grades 4-5 and 6-8 and the Gateway Program.

2020-21 Gifted and Talented Identification Process 2021-22 Gifted and Talented Identification Process 2022-23 Gifted and Talented Identification Process
Screening for Gifted Services Formal gifted identification for students in grades 2-7 is delayed until the 2021-22 school year due to the challenges of the learning models of hybrid, distance learning and the Virtual Learning Academy.

Universal screening for all students in grades 2 and 3 for gifted identification, including taking the Cognitive Abilities Assessment (CogAT) in fall 2021.

Some students in grades 4-7 will take the CogAT and be screened for gifted services*

All students in grade 2 are universally screened for gifted identification, including taking the CogAT in fall 2022. 

Some students in grades 3-7 will take the CogAT and be screened for gifted services.


*Students in grades 4-7 (2021-22) or 3-7 (2022-23) who are not previously identified but are demonstrating outstanding abilities may be screened for gifted services. Achievement data, including MAP testing is reviewed annually and teacher input is given to determine students for further screening. Students in grades 3-7 may also be referred by a parent or guardian. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Gifted Services Identification Process:

South Washington County Schools (SoWashCo) Gifted Education screens and identifies students annually for gifted services. We conduct universal screening to find students who are demonstrating outstanding abilities and are capable of higher performance when compared to others of similar age, experience and environment. We use multiple criteria in the process for the identification of gifted and talented students. 

  • In grade 2, all students enrolled in SoWashCo are universally screened for gifted services.
  • Students in grades 3-7 who are not previously identified but are demonstrating outstanding abilities may be screened for gifted services. Achievement data, including MAP is reviewed annually and teacher input is given to determine students for further screening for gifted services. Students in grades 3-7 may also be referred by a parent or guardian.