Services for Students who are Mentally Gifted
The definition of giftedness comes from the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) Special Education Rules and Regulations under Chapter 16 and states that a student who is mentally gifted demonstrates outstanding intellectual and creative ability, the development of which requires specially designed programs or support services, or both, not ordinarily provided in the general education program. This term includes a person who has an IQ of 130 or higher or when multiple criteria, as set forth in Chapter 16 Regulations and the North Allegheny School District Multi-Criteria Screening and Identification Process of Gifted Students. Determination of gifted ability will not be based on IQ score alone. Deficits in memory or processing speed, as indicated by intellectual ability subtests, cannot be the sole basis upon which a student is determined to be ineligible for gifted special education. A person with an IQ score lower than 130 may be admitted to gifted programs when other educational criteria in the profile of the person strongly indicate gifted ability as outlined in the North Allegheny School District Multi-Criteria Screening and Identification Process of Gifted Students. Determination of mentally gifted must include a full assessment by a certified school psychologist.
Once a student meets the screening requirements, a Gifted Multidisciplinary Evaluation (GMDE) is conducted. The GMDE must be sufficient in scope and depth to investigate information relevant to the student’s suspected giftedness, including academic functioning, learning strengths, and educational needs. The Gifted Written Report (GWR) brings together the findings from the evaluation or reevaluation concerning the student’s educational needs and strengths. The GWR must make recommendations as to whether the student is gifted and in need of specially designed instruction, which are considered by the GMDE Team in the development of the Gifted Individualized Education Plan (GIEP). At the conclusion of the GIEP meeting, a Notice of Recommended Assignment (NORA) is issued.
Parent(s)/Guardian(s) have the right to obtain an independent educational evaluation at their own expense to share with the District. The results of the independent evaluation must be considered by the District in any decision made with respect to the provision of a gifted education.
Parent(s)/Guardian(s) of students who are mentally gifted have the right to request a special education due process hearing or to file a compliance complaint with the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Details concerning the procedures governing hearing requests may be found on the website of the Office for Dispute Resolution at odr-pa.org. For additional information, please contact the Supervisor of Special Education and Pupil Services at 412-635-4130.