Eligibility Determinations Policy for G&T Programs at MTES
Nominations and Testing
Nominations are collected each April from teachers and parents, with the call for nominations publicized via staff email and in several consecutive weekly bulletins. Nominated students participate in online self-adjusting skills tests in Language Arts and Mathematics, and their classroom teachers complete profile forms describing the students’ learning styles and classroom performance. In addition, standardized test scores are reviewed on a yearly basis, as these results become available. When exceptional test scores indicate additional nominations, these students take the online skills tests in September.
Based on skills tests, standardized tests, and teacher input, the preliminary data is discussed with administration and students who show a reasonable likelihood of G&T eligibility are identified as candidates. Parents of such candidates are asked to provide profile information and permission for their child to participate in qualifying tests, typically scheduled in mid-September. The qualifying tests require several small-group sessions, using an evaluation instrument specifically designed for this purpose.
If a child is determined to not meet eligibility criteria after participating in the qualifying tests, there is a two-year waiting period before these tests can be repeated. However, after a period of one year, the determination of ineligibility may be reviewed in light of new standardized test scores, which may provide sufficient cause for reconsideration.
Eligibility determinations are based on each child’s overall profile, which includes 75% objective data gathered from skills tests, standardized test records, and qualifying test results, and 25% subjective information as reported by classroom teachers and parents. Subjective information is scored according to set criteria. Eligibility is determined by total points accumulated across all areas, allowing for diverse strengths to be considered. All eligibility determinations are reviewed by committee, this committee consisting of multiple teachers and one administrator.
Final decisions are made by administration.
Nominations for the G&T Arts programs typically come from the arts teachers. These special area teachers are already familiar with the child’s abilities and are in the unique position of being able to identify what is truly outstanding among elementary students.
Note: The MTES Eligibility Determination process was reviewed at UConn Confratute by Dr. Mary Sullivan in July of 2009 (associate of Dr. Joseph Renzulli), and again by Dr. E. Jean Gubbins (Past President of National Association for Gifted Children) in July 2014. Our system was found to be reasonable and fair according to Best Practices recommended by Confratute faculty.
Our most recent revision was in 2018 when two of our assessment instruments were updated to reflect Best Practices for equity and SES representation.
Ms. Baker has shared this Eligibility Determination system through professional workshops at WCCSE, NJAGC and NJEA; numerous other schools have adapted the system for their own use.
Students who have previously been found eligible for the Gifted and Talented Program do not need to be retested to maintain eligibility. Successful participation assures continuing availability of services. Program participation may be customized to meet the needs of particular students.
Participation and Scope of Impact on Student Body
Mansfield's enrichment programs reach more than just the Gifted/Talented Identified population. Mansfield was commended on its high levels of GT/Enrichment participation at the time this study was released: