• Gifted Education Referral Process

    Referrals to the Gifted are generally made by classroom teachers or by parent request. Students that pass the screening will be referred to the School Psychologist for an evaluation. 
    Parents/guardians 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, electricity 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 districted 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 the gifted program, you must contact the public school in your home district to request a gifted evaluation. There is a timeline that Sarasota County Schools and charter schools follow for gifted referrals and evaluations. The gifted magnet school site will process applications for students that reside outside of Sarasota County in the State of Florida. 

    All students are referred to (in writing) for screening by the parents or teacher. Students that pass the screening will be referred to the School Psychologist for an evaluation. 

    Gifted Screening/Evaluation

    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 the 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 evaluation has three parts to determine program eligibility:  


    Standardized Test of Intelligence *Parents have the option to seek out a private psychological evaluation (IQ) at their own expense. 


    Gifted Rating Scales  


    Evidence of need for gifted service 


    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 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 Scales   This document is to be completed by at least one of your child’s current academic teachers. Your Sarasota County District 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 Services Need   This is a review of a student’s 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. 

    4. Students must meet the criteria in all three parts for eligibility.

    The gifted eligibility process must be complete or have evidence of gifted eligibility before the gifted magnet application process can be started. Please refer to the gifted magnet section of the website for deadlines and criteria.  


    Florida Department of Education

    FLDOE Frequently Asked Questions- Gifted

    FLDOE Gifted Process & Procedural Safeguards for Gifted