Gifted education

Children are identified as gifted when they demonstrate cognitive, creative or leadership ability that is significantly above average for their age. In Stark County, schools provide tailored curriculum and programming to help support and challenge these gifted students. Find more information about gifted education in Stark County.

Approach to gifted education

Under Ohio guidelines for teaching gifted children, instruction and assessments for gifted students are structured differently than traditional classrooms. There are three common approaches to gifted curriculum in Stark County:

  • Development of advanced skills using grade-appropriate content
  • Teaching grade-level skills using above-grade-level content
  • Building advanced skills and using above-grade-level content


Learning accommodations

Typically, when developing an education program for gifted students, teachers formulate a Written Education Plan (WEP). This document includes information about the student’s interests, learning styles and mental/emotional functioning as well as recommendations for the following classroom strategies:

  • Acceleration: Assigning material and assignments typically reserved for higher grade levels.
  • Compacting: The process of streamlining content that students have already mastered to reduce material repetition.
  • Concept maps: A tool for assessing the depth and complexity of a gifted student’s knowledge of a topic.
  • Problem-based learning: Teaching style that motivates students of various skills and abilities through the use of lessons rooted in real-life problems.
  • Pull-out programming: Specialized learning environment outside of the traditional classroom where gifted students cover more advanced material.
  • Teacher training: Supporting teachers and staff with the strategies they need to provide high-level instruction for gifted students.
  • Tiered assignments/stations: Classroom differentiation to provide lessons and activities for small groups of gifted students within a regular classroom.


Gifted identification

In order for a child to be identified as gifted, they are typically required to go through the following process:

  • Nomination & identification: Parents, teachers or guidance counselors submit a nomination for gifted testing if they believe a student requires instruction that exceeds the difficulty of the general education classroom.
  • Screening & selection: Students often take an intelligence or achievement test to determine if gifted programming is a good fit for their education needs. These test scores are then combined with an assessment of the student’s grades, standardized test scores and teacher observations.
  • Placement & referrals: Once they are identified as gifted, students will either receive specialized instruction in their regular classrooms or spend time in a designated gifted learning environment.

Parents who do not agree with the results of their child’s gifted assessment may request an appeal. Within 30 days, the superintendent and building administrators will schedule a meeting with the parents to come to a final decision.


Helpful links

National Association for Gifted Children

Find information for parents, teachers and school administrators to help support the needs of gifted students.

SPARCC Technology Integration Resources

Online programs and resources for gifted students in Stark County.