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Gifted & Talented Service Identification Process


The Orono School District uses multiple criteria at all levels to identify students for inclusion in direct service. This data is updated periodically using a variety of assessments. This allows for flexibility and accountability as students grow and change. A wide range of data is collected on student performance and individual skills within Orono. This data is used to identify current student performance as it relates to need for classroom differentiation plans, and/or participation in short-term service, long-term service, or enriched and advanced sections.

Data used usually includes measures of achievement, aptitude, and performance. Information can come from standardized test data, a teacher, a parent, support staff, past school districts, or other sources. Standardized testing takes place each year for students in Grades 2-8.

When reviewing student needs, we look for students who would benefit from more rigor or challenge in one or more areas of the curriculum. As a result of the identification process, students may receive Tier 1, Tier 2, or Tier 3 Service.

Identification Data Points

In Orono, we consider multiple pieces of data in regards to our students. We examine measures of performance, aptitude, and achievement. Over time, data may include:

  • standardized test scores (NWEA in 2-7, Explore in 8, Plan in 10)
  • recommendations and data from past and/or present teachers
  • assessments provided by Orono Gifted Services (curriculum based assessments, challenge placement tests)
  • any anecdotal information that might be available (portfolios, records, past scores)
  • response to current curriculum
  • information provided by former school districts

Currently, our standardized test data is provided through administration of the MAP test, Measures of Academic Progress. This test is given each year in grades 2-7. We do not use state testing (Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments and Basic Standards Tests) when identifying students for gifted service.

In general, students who score in the 95th percentile or higher nationally on standardized tests administered by the Orono Public Schools are considered possible candidates for Tier 2 or Tier 3 Service. When actually placing students in Tier 3 Service, we usually require that a student score in the 98th percentile or higher nationally in the curricular area of consideration. Classroom performance, various Challenge assessments, and teacher rating scales are also considered equally with the standardized test data.

The identification decision-making process is outlined in detail in our Identification Flowcharts.

Students in Kindergarten and First Grade do not appear on these Flowcharts. Children in these grades who display outstanding abilities in a curriculum area are offered Challenge services, but standardized data is not part of the identification process. These children are identified through curriculum based measures, challenge assessments, and classroom performance.

Students Transferring from Other School Districts

Participation in a gifted program in another school district does not necessarily qualify a student for gifted service in Orono. Orono provides a rigorous curriculum to meet the needs of our students. We evaluate a new student’s needs in the same way we evaluate the needs of all other Orono students. We review all relevant information forwarded from previous districts to aid in making placement decisions.