Gifted Magnet Program Referral Process for the 2024-2025 school year
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.
The following deadlines are for entry into a gifted magnet program for the fall of the 2024-25 school year. All items must be received (not postmarked) by 5:00 pm on or before the date specified.
Deadline to request gifted screening and evaluation for gifted magnet consideration completed by the districted school
January 19, 2024
Deadline to inform the districted school that a private evaluation will be submitted. This will allow the school to complete gifted rating scales and other required components by the submission deadline (for magnet programming only). Proof of Residency must be established.
March 22, 2024
Deadline for the Gifted Magnet Application and all required documents, including private evaluations, rating scales, grades, and letters of recommendation. Out-of-county applications go directly to the magnet site.
April 5, 2024
(Students that meet the 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.)
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 for submission of the documents listed above. Documents for Florida residents that reside 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 school district 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. Academic testing must be administered by a certified/licensed psychologist, school psychologist, or an individual with a graduate degree in education that includes training on the administration, scoring, and interpretation of the instrument. The current version of the Woodcock-Johnson Test of Achievement, the Wechsler Individual Achievement Test, or the Kaufman Test of Educational Achievement must be administered by reporting age-based standard scores. Any exceptions regarding the use of these assessments MUST be approved by the School Psychology Department Chair. (a minimum score of 127 in both reading and math could meet entry criteria along with a 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 Cluster (subtest #1 Letter-Word Identification #4-Passage Comprehension and subtest #9 Sentence Reading Fluency) and the Broad Math Cluster (subtest #2-Applied Problems, subtest #5-Calculation, and subtest #10-Math Facts Fluency).
- 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 Composite (Letter & Word Recognition subtest #3 and Reading Comprehension subtest #9) and Math Composite (Math Concepts & Applications subtest #2 and Math Computation subtest #4). For students in 1st - 12th grade, the examiner must report Reading Understanding Composite (Reading Comprehension subtest #9 and Reading Vocabulary subtest #14) and Math Composite (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 the 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 a core-curriculum 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 Application
- If a parent or practitioner has questions about assessments, please contact the Sarasota County School Psychology Department at telephone number: 941-927-9000. For any other questions, contact your child's districted school.
- 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 school district 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 – A 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 – A student must demonstrate a need* for an accelerated curriculum. A student may return on the first day of school in August of any given school year for which the student meets the criteria and county deadline dates for re-admission.
- Entry after a delay (greater than a year after initially meeting the magnet entry criteria) – A student must demonstrate a need for an accelerated curriculum. A student may enter on the first day of school in August of any given school year for which the student meets the 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:
Gr. 2 & 3 – ELA, Math
Gr. 4 & 5 – ELA, Math, Science, Social Studies
Gr. 6-8 – ELA, Math, Science, Social Studies, Foreign Language (for HS credit only)
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 90%ile on other reading and math norm-referenced group achievement tests)