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Intellectual Ability/Academic Aptitude

General Intellectual Ability  is exceptional capability or potential recognized through cognitive processes (e.g., memory, reasoning, rate of learning, spatial reasoning, ability to find and solve problems, and the ability to manipulate abstract ideas and make connections). Intellectual ability is demonstrated by advanced performance, 95th percentile and above, on standardized cognitive tests. Gifted students typically represent 5% of the population. 

Specific Academic Aptitude is the ability to perform at an exceptionally high level in one or more specific academic areas.  A specific academic aptitude is demonstrated through a trend of advanced level achievement over time, above the 95th percentile, on standardized achievement tests.  

Twice-exceptional (2e) students are gifted students with disabilities. Twice-exceptionalities are sometimes difficult to identify and support because students possess the characteristics of gifted students and the characteristics of students with disabilities. Gifted characteristics may mask disabilities, or disabilities may mask gifted potential; either students' strengths, disabilities, or both may not be identified. The Advanced Academic & Gifted Services department (AAGS) has a collaborative partnership with the Student Support Services (SSS) department to make every effort to meet students' needs regardless of formal identification. For more information and resources, please visit the CDE Parent Page

Talent Pool students have been identified as high potential learners. High potential learners frequently require special extension and/or enrichment opportunities to remain educationally challenged. They often exhibit one or more characteristics of gifted students; however, under state regulations, students are not formally identified as gifted until they have completed a qualifying body of evidence, which includes achievement trends, cognitive assessments, and behavior scales. The purpose of the Talent Pool is to provide appropriate opportunities for students within the overall framework of general education. In Adams 12, we view the Talent Pool as a method of inclusion for gifted services, providing academic and social-emotional programming. Students identified for the Talent Pool are included in gifted programming services but do not have an Advanced Learning Plan (ALP). Gifted students typically represent about 5% of the total student population whereas Talent Pool students represent about 15%. 

Evidence of General Intellectual Ability and/or Specific Academic Aptitude (Spanish)

Students in the Intellectual/Academic area of strength are usually identified in either:

  • Reading and/or Writing: Students who are identified as gifted in reading and/or writing have great talent with words and language.  These students are usually highly proficient readers, writers, and/or speakers.  They tend to see relationships between elements of language and ideas expressed in words in a way others cannot.

  • Math: Students identified as gifted in mathematics are masters of numbers, calculations, and number relationships. Mathematically gifted students are usually adept at solving problems using numbers, can often calculate quickly, and may be able to easily see how mathematical concepts apply to the world.  

  • Adams 12 is in the process of phasing in gifted identification pathways in the academic areas of science, social studies, and world language that align with the criteria set by CDE, which includes advanced level performance and an achievement trend above the 95th percentile. For world language considerations, a student must be fluent (reading, writing, speaking, and listening) in two or more languages. Please contact your GT Coordinator for more information. 

Identification Process for Intellectual Ability / Academic Aptitude:

  • Your child’s school will likely offer one testing date per academic school year. Please contact your school’s GT Coordinator for this information.

  • The gifted identification process begins with either a recommendation from the parent, teacher, or student. The parent will download, print, and complete the GT Identification: Parent Form (Spanish). The completed forms will then be submitted to the school’s GT Coordinator. In order to be tested on the school’s testing date, the student is required to have a completed parent form, which serves as the permission to test. Parents and students have the opportunity to provide more input through the Parent-School Partnership (Spanish) and the Student Interview (Spanish). 

  • The GT Coordinator will collect a complete Body of Evidence (BOE) for each student being recommended for gifted identification. The BOE may include achievement data, cognitive assessment scores, behavior scales, work samples, or other evidence of advanced performance in the Academic/Intellectual Domain.  

  • Once the testing is complete, the Advanced Academic & Gifted Services Department (AAGS) will review the complete BOE and make a gifted identification determination. Based on the BOE, the student may be identified as gifted in one or more specific academic strength areas or General Intellectual Ability (GIA). The student may also be placed in the Talent Pool, which means more data needs to be collected over time. The AAGS Department may determine that the student is not gifted at this time.

  • Once an identification determination has been made, a letter is sent home to families. If the student is identified as Gifted, an Advanced Learning Plan (ALP) will be created in Infinite Campus (IC). For more information on ALPs click here.