• A touching article written by Stepanie Tolan compares gifted children to a cheetah.  In it she writes, "If a cheetah has only 20 mph rabbits to chase for food, it won't run 70 mph while hunting.  If it did, it would flash past its prey and go hungry! ... when given only rabbits to eat, the hunting cheetah will run only fast enough to catch the rabbit."

    Unfortunately, this is the case for many gifted children in today's classrooms. With the capability to achieve brilliance, gifted children may easily never achieve their full potential if they are not presented with the opportunity to pursue their brilliance.  Harris County schools are dedicated to fostering the potential greatness of our gifted children. We believe that it is imperative that our children, like the cheetah achieving their top speed, achieve their highest potential.  We thank you for visiting this site, and hope that you will find it useful in helping us to create the best possible environment for greatness!

  • What does it mean to be gifted?

    Posted by:

    The federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act defines gifted and talented students as "Students, children or youth who give evidence of high achievement capability in areas such as intellectual, creative, artistic, or leadership capacity, or in specific academic fields, and who need services and activities not ordinarily provided by the school in order to fully develop thos capabilities." Title IX, Part A, Definition 22 (2002).

    It is important to note and remember from the definition that a child may show gifted capabilities in one specific area. This means that a child may not show high achievement in areas outside of their recognized of giftedness.

    Comments (-1)
  • How does a child qualify for gifted services?

    Posted by:

    Gifted program assessment and eligibility options according to SBOE Rule 1160-4-2-.38 EDUCATION PROGRAM FOR GIFTED STUDENTS are as follows:

    • Information shall be collected in all four data categories of Mental Ability, Achievement, Creativity, and   Motivation.  At least one of teh creteria must be met by a score on a nationally normed standardized test,  any data used in one category may not be used in any other category.  Assessemnt data must be current within two years.

    As practiced in Harris County in accordance with SBOE Rule 1160-4-2-.38, initial eligibility may be determined in one of two ways:

    • A student must (a) score at the 99th %ile (grades K-2) or in the 96th %ile (grades 3-12) on the composite of full scale score of a standardized mental ability test, AND (b) meet one of the achievement criteria - score greater than or equal to the 90th percentile (%ile) by age or grade on -total Reading, total Math, or total Battery OR score greater than or equal to 90 on a scale of 1-100 as evaluated by a panel of 3 or more qualified evaluators.
    • A student must qualify through a multiple-criteria assessment process by meeting criteria in any three of the four data categories listed above.
    Comments (-1)
  • How may gifted children be served?

    Posted by:

    There are many educational options for gifted learners.  "In most cases, the decisions about the range of services offered are made locally, and may include pull-out programs, advanced classes, varied grouping strategies, acceleration, differentiation of curriculum and instruction, dual enrollment, magnet schools, and specialized, self-contained schools (e.g., high schools for performing arts)." (NAGC wesite-FAQs) 

    Every year the HCBOE is increasing the amount of teachers who are certified to teach gifted education so that Gifted/Advanced Placement classes may be offered on each grade-level and subject area on the Middle and High School levels.  We currently provide the Odyssey program for our young, gifted learners.  We strongly encourage all of our students to participate in extra curricular activities that will enhance their learning experience such as the Math Team and Academic Bowl and foster opportunities to compete in local and state competitions like the Social Science Fair and Technology Competitions.

    Check out the article link below that discusses more options for gifted learners:

    Educational Options for Gifted Learners 

    Comments (-1)
  • Why is it important to serve the needs of gifted children?

    Posted by:

    There are so many misconceptions that both parents and teachers may have about gifted learners that makes developing the talents of these children so important.  For example, many parents and teachers are under the impressions that gifted learners will succeed no matter what type of instruction they receive. Also, the idea that children who are gifted should excel in all of their classes is very common.  As stated in the answer to the first question, it is important to note and remember from the definition that a child may show high achievement capabilities in just one area, and so may not show high achievement in areas outside of their giftedness.  It is important to serve children based on their specific area of need. 

    Not providing the kind of instruction that would allow a child to thrive would be a great disservice to any student.  These students are just as likely to be overlooked or drop out of school.  If a child who exhibits exemplary potential is not able to develop their talent, it may lead to depression, resentment towards learning, and even dropping out of school.  On the upside, a child that is able to develop and polish their particular talents could lead to the next great mind contributing to the advancement of our world.

     The Document Manager page provides essential  information to better understand the importance of serving these children.  Check out Myths of the Gifted and Talented powerpoint and profiles of the gifted and talented article link.

    Comments (-1)
  • What can parents do to support their gifted child?

    Posted by:

    The best way to help your child is to know your child.  Become aware of your child's abilities and how they express their giftedness.  Help them edevelop and enrich their talents by making connections in their everyday activities to their academics. 

    See parent reources page for articles and websites providing more parenting tips.

    Comments (-1)
  • I think my child may be gifted. What should I do?

    Posted by:

    A parent is a child's biggest advocate to what's best for their education.  It is important to notice learning patterns as well as behavior patterns of your child.  Below are some characteristics that a gifted child may exhibit:

    • discusses in detail, elaborates                                        
    • shows strong feelings and opinions
    • beyond the group                                                           
    • draws inferences
    • prefers adults                                                                
    • is highly curious
    • 1-2 repititions for mastery
    • manipulates information
    • thrives on complexity
    • constructs abstractions
    • is highly self-critical  
    • plays around, yet tests well
    • good guesser
    • already knows
    • is keenly observant  
    • has wil, silly ideas

    The next step after noticing any patterns would be to contact the school to set up a conference with your child's teachers to compare their observations and opinions with your own and to determine whether your child would need further testing to appropriately identify their giftedness.

    For more information on what to do if you think your child is gifted, visit the links under the Parent Resouces page.

    Comments (-1)
  • What are some resources out there for teachers to better serve gifted children in the classroom?

    Posted by:
    See Teacher Resouces page
    Comments (-1)