In this post I will review the typical steps taken for identification and enrollment of a child into the Academically Gifted Program (AGP). The process can differ slightly from county to county so I will write this post in as general terms as I can. If you have more specific questions about the process and how I can assist your child, please call me directly at (813) 969-3878.
Step 1: Identification
The first step in the process is for your child to be identified as potentially Gifted. Your child’s teacher can make this identification, or a parent can identify on their own and request that their child be evaluated.
Step 2: Testing
Testing in the Public Schools
Generally, if left to the school your child will be screened with an IQ test such as the Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test II (KBIT-II) several weeks after they have been identified by their teacher as needing AGP services. If your child scores in the 98th percentile or higher, they are then tested again with a more robust IQ test such as the Reynolds Intellectual Assessment Scales (RIAS) or Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC-IV). Again, your child will have to make an excellent score in this test. The cut off is 130, or two standard deviations from the mean score of 100.
Parents often complain about their child having to take two IQ tests. I have heard many parents complain that the current testing process subjects their child to “double jeopardy” in that they have to make the cut off required on not one but two separate tests!
Further, the KBIT-II is a poor instrument for measuring IQ at high levels. This is due to the brief nature of the test. If a student experiences test anxiety, or has focus or attention difficulties, or becomes distracted, their IQ score will suffer. The WISC-IV is a much more robust test and allows some flexibility if a child “bombs” a portion of the test. A child can more than make up for poor performance on one subtest on the WISC-IV with superior performance on other subtests. There are also two ways to score the WISC-IV if certain criteria are met. The WISC-IV can be scored with the Full Scale IQ (FSIQ) or the General Ability Index (GAI). The KBIT-II is not built with this same level of flexibility.
Having your child tested by a private Psychologist is the preferred route many parents take. A private psychologist generally can test your child quickly and often can have your child’s test results back to you in just a few days after your initial call.
Additionally, if you go the private testing route you child can skip the KBIT-II as the prescreening tool. There is no double jeopardy with two separate IQ tests. Also, an experienced psychologist will take the time to match the student to the best test for them. Finally, parents often opt to have their child tested in their home which can potentially cut down on test anxiety and put the child at ease during the testing process.
A common question parents ask is, “Can you test my child for the AGP, we live in a different county than where your office is located.” The short answer is, “Yes!” Testing should be administered by a licensed school psychologist or clinical psychologist familiar with the testing requirements for Florida AGP’s.
Step 3: The Checklist
If your child scores a 130 or higher on the IQ test, the next step is usually for their teacher to complete a gifted checklist on your child. The teacher will be asked to identify traits in your child that are common to gifted students.
Traits on this checklist can include:
- High levels of curiosity
- Extremely verbal
- Well-developed powers of abstraction, conceptualization, and synthesis
- Quickly and easily sees relationships in ideas, objects, or facts
- Fluent and flexible thinking
- Elaborate and original thinking
- Excellent problem solving skills
- Learns quickly and with less practice and repetition
- Unusual and/or vivid imagination
- Enjoys learning new things
Step 4: Meeting with the Gifted Teacher
Generally the final step is for the parent or guardian to meet with the Gifted Teacher at your child’s school. During this meeting the Gifted Teacher will explain what your child will be learning in the program and will go over goals, objectives, and expectations of the program. Finally, you will be asked to sign a permission form allowing your child to participate and a confidentiality agreement.
If you are looking for written documentation that your child should qualify for your county’s Academically Gifted Program, please use the Contact Form or call Rice Psychology Group at (813) 969-3878. Rice Psychology Group has qualified numerous children in Tampa and the surrounding areas for AGP services. Rice Psychology Group can provide the testing, support, and guidance required navigate through the qualification process.