The district accepts referrals, screens and identifies, or screens and reassesses students who perform or show potential for performing at high levels of accomplishment in the areas of superior cognitive ability, specific academic ability, creative thinking ability, and/or visual and/or performing arts. Referrals can be made by a review of student’s data history, a teacher, a parent or guardian, the student, or any individual. The district must follow policy and procedures established in Ohio Administrative Code 3301-51-15. These rules specify that assessment instruments must come from the list approved by the Ohio Department of Education.
Whole Grade Screening
Students in grades 2 - 8 will be screened using the Measure of Academic Progress (MAP) in reading and math two to three times per year. Notification of new gifted identification will occur in October, January, and June. Students in grade 11 will take the ACT. Students in grades 2 and 5 take the InView in November to screen for superior cognitive ability. Students who score high on the InView will also be screened for creative thinking. Scores are sent home within thirty days of receiving the scores.
Any student in Grades K-12 may be referred for testing in superior cognitive, specific academic, or creative thinking abilities for up to two opportunities per year for testing (including whole grade screenings). Students referred by October 1st will be tested between November 1st and January 1st. Students referred by February 1st will be tested between March 1st and May 1st. Students referred by June 1st will be tested between June 1st and August 1st. Students referred after June 1st will be tested in the fall. Scores are sent home within thirty days of receiving the scores. Testing cannot be performed unless a permission form is on file.
Out of District Testing
Any student in grades K – 12 may submit to the Coordinator of Gifted Services testing done by a licensed psychiatrist or psychologist if the assessment is on the State of Ohio’s approved vendor list, and the assessment was given in the last twenty-four months. Common testing includes the ACT, SAT, or PSAT. Results of the assessment review will be sent home within thirty days of receiving the documents.
Performing Arts Assessment
The assessment process for arts gifted identification is a multi-step process. Individual referrals of students in grades K- 12 are accepted between August 1st and October 1st and again from December 1st through March 1st. Parent permission is obtained shortly after the window closes with teachers completing the checklists in October/February and eligible students finishing the process with their audition or display of talent in March/September.
The State of Ohio forbids the use of state testing (OST) for gifted identification or placement in gifted services. The state tests measure a student’s achievement in grade level standards and do not assess if a student has mastered above grade-level standards.
Testing Results for Gifted Identification
To be identified as gifted in superior cognitive ability, a student must score two standard deviations above the norm on any approved assessment. To be identified as gifted in a specific academic area, a student must score 95% or higher on any approved achievement assessment.
Gifted identification in another Ohio public school district may be recognized by Southwest Licking Local Schools. Families should provide documentation of identification from the previous district when enrolling the child. Students identified as gifted by a district outside of Ohio may be identified in Ohio if the tests used are less than twenty-four months old and are on the Ohio Department of Education’s approved list of instruments. If the testing does not meet the criteria, the student may be referred for testing within ninety days of enrollment at family request.
Identification and Placement Appeal Process
In the event of a concern, parents or guardians should contact the Coordinator of Gifted Education. However, if the concern remains, the family may file an appeal regarding identification or placement. The appeal must be submitted in writing within 30 days of parent notification of identification results or a placement decision. Appeals should be mailed to the Assistant Superintendent at 927 South A Street Pataskala, Ohio 43062. The Assistant Superintendent will issue a written final decision within 30 days of the appeal.