Thank you for your interest in Sarasota County’s Gifted programs. Both the community and the school district are proud of the quality of programming options offered for our students. There is a continuum of services to meet the individual academic needs of gifted students. For the school year, gifted magnet programs are located at Pine View School, Fruitville Elementary, Booker Middle, Sarasota Middle, Venice Elementary, Laurel Nokomis School, Toledo Blade Elementary, and Woodland Middle School.
For general information regarding gifted eligibility and programs, please call (941)927-4177 or contact your district school directly. For information regarding magnet programs for gifted, contact one of the above-listed schools directly.
Gifted Screening/Evaluation Timeline 2020-21
All students are referred for screening, either by parent or teacher. Students that pass the screening will be referred to the School Psychologist for an evaluation.
All items (See Gifted Magnet Programs section below) must be received (not postmarked) by 5:00 pm on or before the date specified. The following is the calendar for gifted screenings and other required data and assessments for entry into a gifted magnet program for the fall of the 2021-22 school year:
Deadline to request a gifted screening, evaluation and/or rating scales*
February 5, 2021
Deadline for submission of all required documents for gifted magnet consideration
May 7, 2021
(Students that meet criteria for gifted magnet programs must enter on the first day of school of a given school year. Entry after the first day of school is not available.)
*A gifted evaluation has 3 parts in order to determine program eligibility: Intellectual Assessment, Gifted Rating Scales, and evidence of a need for gifted services. Parents have the option to seek out a private psychological evaluation (intellectual assessment) at their own expense, BUT a request for Gifted Rating Scales must be made to the districted school BEFORE the stated deadline.
Gifted Service Delivery Models
Magnet Program (Accelerated) – Students receive instruction in a classroom with all gifted students taught by a teacher qualified to work with gifted students. This program option focuses on an accelerated curriculum - grade ahead instruction in English/Language Arts and Math. Gifted students considered for this program must meet additional eligibility criteria entry for the 2021-22 school year (see Gifted Magnet Programs below).
Advanced Work Classroom (Full-time) – Students are placed in a classroom with other gifted children and a teacher qualified to work with gifted students. The class also includes students who are not identified as gifted but excel academically. This program option focuses on enrichment activities as well as instruction in grade level curriculum.
Resource - Students are pulled from the general education classroom to receive specialized instruction from a teacher qualified to work with gifted students. This program option focuses on enrichment activities.
Consultation – A teacher of the gifted works with the general education teacher(s) to assist them in meeting identified needs of the gifted student. Materials and other resources are made available to the general education teacher by a teacher qualified to work with gifted students.
Please note that not all services are available at every school.
Gifted Magnet Program Referral Process for entry at the start of the 2021-2022 school year
Referrals for Gifted are generally made by classroom teachers or by parent request.
Parent/Guardian(s) interested in beginning the referral process for any Exceptional Student Education program must be residents of Sarasota County or other counties in the state of Florida. Student files cannot be processed without proof of residency in Florida. Proof of residency requires written proof of address: a signed lease, electric bill, or water bill which includes your name, address and current date.
All student referrals for gifted evaluations must be processed at their zoned district school. If you live in Sarasota County and your child attends a public school, private school, or is home-schooled, contact the Exceptional Student Education (ESE) Liaison at your home zoned school and request that your child be referred for a gifted evaluation. (If your child currently attends a charter school, contact the ESE Liaison at the charter school). If you reside in Florida outside of Sarasota County and your child is NOT currently eligible for gifted, you must contact the public school in your home district to request a gifted evaluation. There is a timeline that Sarasota County district and charter schools follow for gifted referrals and evaluations. Applications for students that reside outside of Sarasota county in the state of Florida will be processed by the gifted magnet school site.
Any Sarasota County student may be referred for a gifted screening to determine the need for further evaluation. Students who meet the minimum score of 130 on an intelligence screening instrument may be referred for a full evaluation. Any student with a current psychological evaluation that reports an intelligence quotient (IQ) that meets the IQ portion of the state criteria for gifted is exempt from gifted screening and may be referred by the school for gifted eligibility determination. Screening activities are available for Sarasota County residents and students attending private schools in Sarasota County.
Gifted Eligibility Determination
The following three (3) items are the minimum required information according to the State of Florida that is needed before gifted eligibility may be determined:
1. Standardized Test of Intelligence This instrument must be administered by a certified/licensed psychologist. Criteria for eligibility requires an IQ score of two (2) standard deviations or more above the mean.
- Examiners must utilize the most current version of the IQ test.
- On the WISC-V the Full-Scale Intelligence Quotient (FSIQ), General Ability Index, Verbal (Expanded Crystallized) Index, Expanded Fluid Index (EFI) and Nonverbal Index are the only Index Scores that will be considered.
- Clinical justification, including a significant and unusual discrepancy (.15), in accordance with the test publisher's criteria, is required in those rare cases where a score other than the Full Scale/Composite score is being recommended for eligibility determination.
- The 90th percent confidence interval on the FSIQ or Composite Intelligence Index (CIX) can be considered. The evaluator must cite the confidence interval in the written psychological report and must specifically recommend its use in order for it to be utilized for eligibility.
- All assessment results must be presented in a written signed psychological report.
- For students under the age of 7 on the date of the evaluation, the intellectual assessments must be current within one year.
- For students 7 years of age and above on the date of the evaluation, the intellectual assessment must be current within three years.
2. Gifted Characteristics ScalesThis document is to be completed by at least one of your child’s current academic teachers. Your Sarasota County districted school will provide your child’s teacher with this document. A majority of gifted characteristics are required in order for the student to be found eligible.
3. Evidence of Need for ServicesNeed is established by a review of student report card, effort, scores on state and district testing, scores on individual achievement testing, review of social/emotional needs and scores on the gifted characteristics scales.
Students may receive gifted services if they have:
1. A current Individual Education Plan (IEP) or Educational Plan (EP) which indicates gifted eligibility and services
2. Enrollment data verified by paperwork or by a phone call to the sending district’s ESE department verifies the student was identified and eligible for Gifted Services.
Additional Sarasota County criteria must be met in order to access a Gifted Magnet program such as Pine View.
If a student who had a gifted plan that was in effect in a previous school district in another state transfers to a Florida school district and enrolls in a new school within the same school year, the new Florida school district (in consultation with the parents or legal guardians) must provide the student with services comparable to those described in the student’s gifted plan from the previous school district. Students who transfer with gifted eligibility from another state do not need to meet the requirements for continued services.
Additional Sarasota County criteria must be met in order to access a Gifted Magnet program such as Pine View. Residency in the state of Florida must be established by the deadline date listed above.
Gifted Magnet Programs
Entry Requirements/Criteria – all applicants must be a Florida resident AND have evidence of gifted eligibility (#1 and #2) PRIOR to applying for gifted magnet consideration. Any documents submitted without this evidence WILL NOT BE PROCESSED.
1. Florida Resident- Residency must be established in the state of Florida prior to the deadline date for submission of documents listed above. Documents for Florida residents that outside of Sarasota County must be submitted directly to the gifted magnet site. Documents for students that reside inside Sarasota County are submitted to the districted school based on home address. Documents for Sarasota private school students are submitted to the district public school that is closest to the private school.
2. Evidence of State of Florida Gifted Program Eligibility – This could include a gifted EP from any district in the State of Florida, gifted eligibility documentation from any district in the State of Florida or a gifted plan from out-of-state. An out-of-state gifted plan could include documentation from the previous school district in another state that the student was determined eligible for gifted services in accordance with the applicable requirements of that state and was receiving gifted services.
3. Test of Individual Academic Achievement - Entry into magnet programs, cluster sites as well as Pine View School, require individual academic achievement testing. The most current version of the Woodcock-Johnson Test of Achievement, the Wechsler Individual Achievement Test, OR the Kaufman Test of Educational Achievement must be administered reporting age-based standard scores. Any exceptions regarding the use of these assessments MUST be approved by the School Psychology Department Chair. (minimum score of 127 in both reading and math could meet entry criteria along with minimum grade requirement below - plus teacher and counselor recommendations)
- Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Achievement-Fourth Edition: the examiner must report standard scores for the Broad Reading Composite (subtest #1 Letter-Word Identification #4-Passage Comprehension and subtest #9 Sentence Reading Fluency) and the Broad Math Composite (subtest #2-Applied Problems, subtest #5-Calculation, and subtest #10-Math Facts Fluency).
- Wechsler Individual Achievement Test-Third Edition: the examiner must report standard scores for the Reading Comprehension and Fluency Composite (subtests: Reading Comprehension and Oral Reading Fluency) and the Mathematics Composite (subtests: Math Problem Solving and Numerical Operations). PLEASE NOTE: The WIAT-III can be utilized for students in second grade and above to obtain the appropriate composite scores. Administration of the WIAT-III must occur on or before 7/31/21 for the purpose of magnet consideration.
- Wechsler Individual Achievement Test - Fourth Edition: the examiner must report standard scores for the Reading Composite (subtests: Word Reading and Reading Comprehension) and the Mathematics Composite (subtests: Math Problem Solving and Numerical Operations).
- Kaufman Test of Educational Achievement, Third Edition: for students in kindergarten, the examiner must report Reading (Letter & Word Recognition subtest #3 and Reading Comprehension subtest #9) and Math Cluster (Math Concepts & Applications subtest #2 and Math Computation subtest #4). For students in 1st - 12th grade, the examiner must report Reading Understanding Cluster (Reading Comprehension subtest #9 and Reading Vocabulary subtest #14) and Math Cluster (Math Concepts & Applications subtest #2 and Math Computation subtest #4).
- To avoid a test/retest policy violation, an alternative academic achievement test must be administered if a reevaluation of a student’s academic skills is conducted within 12 months of the previous evaluation. Both academic areas (reading and mathematics) must be reevaluated in order to provide a current assessment of the student’s academic profile. The most current reading and mathematics scores will be used in determining if the student meets entry criteria for a gifted magnet program.
- If for some reason, the reading and math subtests cannot be administered in one session they should be administered within a commensurate time frame (i.e., no more than 2 weeks apart).
- Academic assessments must be current within one year.
4. Report Card Grades- UNWEIGHTED grades are required for English/Language Arts and Math. Submit report cards that cover the most recent grading periods that span one year. Only traditional (letter) grades may be submitted. If not available, the student's current school must convert their grades into letter grades. (5 As and 3 Bs could meet entry criteria along with the minimum achievement score above plus teacher and counselor recommendations)
5. Recommendation from core-curricula teacher - At least two current core subject-area teachers must make a recommendation to support the need for an accelerated curriculum. The document should be dated and signed and include a supportive statement
6. Recommendation from certified school counselor - The student's current school counselor must make a recommendation to support the need for an accelerated curriculum. The document should be dated and signed and include a supportive statement.
Out of district Gifted Magnet program applicants
- Please contact the Sarasota County School Psychology Department if you have any additional questions. Telephone number: 941-927-9000.
- All individual intellectual and academic evaluations will either be completed or reviewed by a Sarasota County School Psychologist.
- Private evaluations may be obtained at the parent/guardian’s own expense.
- Private psychologists must submit assessment results presented in a written report when used for eligibility consideration. Reports from psychologists in private practice are subject to review and verification by Sarasota County School Board staff prior to gifted eligibility determination and magnet program consideration.
- Files for Sarasota County residents are processed by the Exceptional Student Education (ESE) Liaison at your child’s district or charter school. Your district school is determined by your Sarasota County address. Contact the School District office if you need assistance determining the location of your district school.
- Only complete files with proof of residency that are submitted to your district school by the deadline date indicated on the evaluation Timeline, will be accepted for eligibility determination and magnet program consideration.
- If a student meets the criteria for a Magnet Program, the parent will be given the Gifted Program Options form to complete and sign.
It is the responsibility of Sarasota County Schools to collect all the required documentation if the student is enrolled in public school. If the child attends a private school, is home-schooled, or is a transferring student, the parent is responsible for submitting all the required documents to their zoned district school by the dates indicated on the Evaluation Timeline.
Academic Requirements for Gifted Magnet Programs
Continued Participation – Student must continue to demonstrate a need* for an accelerated curriculum to remain enrolled in a gifted magnet program.
Re-Entry to a Gifted Magnet Site – Student must demonstrate a need* for an accelerated curriculum. Student may return on the first day of school in August of any given school year for which the student meets criteria and county deadline dates for re-admission.
Entry after a delay (greater than a year after initially meeting the magnet entry criteria) – Student must demonstrate a need* for an accelerated curriculum. Student may enter on the first day of school in August of any given school year for which the student meets criteria and county deadline dates for admission.
*Demonstrating a Need:
The student demonstrates a need for a gifted accelerated curriculum by showing consistent above grade level performance across the core curriculum.
Criteria to be considered:
- Unweighted GPA of 2.5 or higher as determined by the three most recent grading periods
- For Re-Entry to a Magnet site OR Entry after a delay: Unweighted GPA of 3.0 or higher as determined by the three most recent grading periods
- GPA based on the following:
o Gr. 2 & 3 – ELA, math
o Gr. 4 & 5 – ELA, math, science, social studies
o Gr. 6-8 – ELA, math, science, social studies, foreign language (for HS credit only)
o Gr. 9-12 – ELA, math, science, social studies, foreign language
- Most recent state testing level 4 or above in reading and math (or scores at the 90%ile on other reading and math norm-referenced group achievement tests)