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Gifted Services


Rockdale County Public Schools recognizes the need to provide every student with an education based on individual needs. Under Georgia Board of Education (GBOE) Rule 160-4-2-.38, a gifted student is one who “demonstrates a high degree of intellectual and/or creative abilities, exhibits an exceptionally high degree of motivation, and/or excels in specific academic fields, and who needs special instruction and/or ancillary services to achieve at levels commensurate with his or her abilities.”

Rockdale County Public Schools provides all stakeholders information about gifted services, policies and procedures through a variety of communication formats, including, but not limited to, the system information website, available electronic and hard copies of the gifted administrative procedures manual/handbook, the annual system parent handbook, school-based faculty and staff meetings/presentations, and organized parent meetings. Community and parent involvement is encouraged by all teachers of gifted and parent meetings are held at least annually by individual schools to build relationships and support for the students and services.


Students will be screened annually for consideration for gifted services using current standardized achievement scores and/or mental abilities scores. Students who meet specified criteria on system-wide tests of either mental ability or achievement will be automatically referred. Students may qualify for initial eligibility using standardized test scores or through a multiple criteria assessment by meeting three of the four criteria of mental ability, achievement, motivation, or creativity.

A parental consent for evaluation services will be on file before any child is evaluated for services, and Parental consent for services will be on file before services are provided. Parents of students who meet eligibility requirements will receive a copy of gifted education services description and sign the continuation and probation policy.

A differentiated curriculum appropriate to the identified gifted student’s strength(s) is provided. This curriculum may be differentiated through content, teaching strategies, and/or expectations of student mastery appropriate for gifted students.


A student who transfers into Rockdale County from a gifted program in another accredited Georgia public school system is considered eligible for gifted services in Rockdale County and must meet the continuation and probation policy of this county. A student who transfers into Rockdale County from a gifted program in another state will need to meet the criteria established by Rockdale County in order to receive gifted services.

Rockdale County Public Schools (RCPS) believes that within the total student population, there are gifted students who show potential for performing at exceptionally high levels compared to others of their age, experience, or environment. These students are found in all ethnic, geographic, and socioeconomic groups and need differentiated instruction to achieve at levels commensurate with their abilities. It is to be expected that a gifted student will acquire the higher levels of thinking -- to apply and synthesize knowledge to new situations, to organize thoughts, and to give value to new and challenging ideas. 

Rockdale County provides special programs and service options for the student identified as intellectually gifted and/or talented that provide experiences which will help each student develop as an independent learner, aware of his or her own worth and the worth of others. Each phase of the program will give participants an increasing responsibility to set goals, to gain the skills necessary to work systematically toward these goals, to develop and maintain a love of learning, to learn from failure, and to gain skill in realistically evaluating their own efforts; therefore, reaching their maximum potential as responsible, productive citizens and lifelong learners. The successful attainment of this goal is dependent upon the collaborative effort among community, educators, and parents.


Goals and Objectives for Gifted Education Services

• Advanced Research Skills: Students in the academic rigor program will conduct authentic research on a variety of topics in different subject areas, selecting, using and reporting findings with the appropriate research methodology.
Skills include: organizing, asking questions, planning, analyzing, data reporting, and citing references.

• Creative Thinking and Creative Problem Solving Skills: Students in the academic rigor program will develop and apply creative thinking skills in order to generate original ideas and solutions.
Skills include: flexibility, fluency, originality and elaboration in thought, divergent and convergent thinking, brainstorming, and risk taking.

• High Order/Critical Thinking/Logical Problem Solving Skills: Students in the academic rigor program will use higher order thinking skills to further develop their understanding of the concepts and practice the skills of critical thinking.
Skills include: predicting, inferring, questioning, defending decisions, evaluating and adjusting decisions, and developing intellectual empathy.

• Communication Skills: Students in the academic rigor program will develop advanced communication skills through the creation of products that utilize new techniques, materials, and formats and are presented and critiqued by real audiences.
Skills include: presentation skills, debates, speeches, non-verbal communication, and technology integration.

• Understanding of self and interactions with others: Students in the academic rigor program will participate in activities that will allow for interaction with others of gifted ability and learn to deal effectively with concerns and issues facing themselves and their peers, in order to provide a foundation for self-understanding and leadership ability.
Skills include: group discussion skills, group dynamics, questioning skills, identifying, varying perspectives, and selecting means of communication.

Qualifying for Gifted Services

•  Option A: Students in grades K-2 must score in the 99th percentile or above on a nationally-normed mental ability test and score in the 96th percentile or above on a nationally-normed achievement test.  Students in grades 3-12 must score in the 96th percentile or above on a nationally-normed mental ability test and score in the 96th percentile or above on a nationally-normed achievement test.
•  Option B: Students in grades K-12 must qualify in three of the four categories: 96th percentile or above on the Total Reading, Total Math, or Complete Battery of a mental ability test; 90th percentile on a nationally-normed achievement test; 90th percentile on a nationally-normed creativity assessment; or 90th percentile or above on a motivation assessment.

Referring a Student for Gifted Testing

Students may be referred for gifted testing through several means.  Parents and teachers may refer a child for gifted testing.  Students will also be referred based on performance on system-wide screeners, such as the CogAT or ITBS.  Students may also refer themselves for gifted testing.

There are two referral windows.  Students referred prior to October 1st will be tested during the fall testing window.  Students referred between October 2nd and March 1st will be tested during the spring testing window.

Once a child has been referred for gifted testing, the school's Gifted Support Team, which consists of the Gifted Lead Teacher, an administrator, grade level teachers, and the counselor, review all available data on the child, including the gifted screening form completed by one of the child's teachers. The team then determines whether or not to move forward with testing the child. 

If you would like to refer your child for gifted testing, please contact either your child's classroom teacher or principal at your child's school.  

Contact for Elementary Gifted Program:
Stacie Gillespie
Lead Teacher, Program Challenge
Email:  [email protected]

Contact for Secondary Gifted Program:
Beth Gillis, Ed.S.
Advanced Academics Coordinator
Email: [email protected]

Gifted Services by Grade Level

Elementary Gifted Services
High School Gifted Service
Middle School Gifted Services
Parent's Page

Gifted Services Links

AP Central
Davidson Institute
Georgia Department of Education - Gifted Education
Georgia Association for Gifted Children
Gifted Education Press