The state requires that districts choose one or more identification categories from the six described in AB 2313. The Los Alamitos Unified School District identifies gifted students in three categories:
1. General Intellectual Ability - defined as demonstrated or potential intellectual development exemplified by products or behaviors that exhibit excellence or acceleration in relation to chronological peers.
2. High Achievement - defined as students who score at a superior academic level in two or more areas on a standardized achievement test.
3. Specific Academic Ability - defined as those who consistently function at an advanced academic level in one particular subject area.
In addition to the formal identification of students in grades 4-12 in the above categories, the district also screens qualified students in grades K-3 into the High Potential Category. Students in this category appear to possess exceptional intellectual and scholastic capacity but need observation and long-range documentation of their performance before being recommended for formal testing in third grade. Specific guidelines concerning the K-3 High Potential Category are given to all K-3 teachers, principals, and GATE coordinators.
The Los Alamitos Unified School District Screening forms are used when considering third through twelfth grade students for screening and identification into the Gifted and Talented program. The screening forms assist school personnel or parents in focusing on the specific state criteria as they relate to the GATE youngster. Additionally, these forms ensures that the identification procedure is comprehensive. Before completing the forms, teachers are trained at the school site as to their use. They complete the forms only for those students for whom they feel there is a strong possibility of identification. The teacher will conference with the parents prior to assessing and identifying GATE students.
As the beginning step in the formal screening and identification process, the completed forms and screening information are reviewed by the GATE Coordinator at each school site. The Otis-Lennon School Ability Test (OLSAT) is scheduled by the Learning Specialist and administered to all students who appear eligible. When the OLSAT results are returned, the GATE Identification Committee meets to review all student data. The committee discusses supportive evidence, such as written examples of the student's work, anecdotal records, achievement records, and standardized achievement scores (e.g., CST). If the results of private testing are available, these will be considered as a piece of evidence, not as automatic admission to the program. The committee makes the recommendation for placement based on comprehensive screening data.
A teacher recommends a student for GATE testing after completing the screening form. A student may not be assessed on the same instrument more often than once every two years, whether inside or outside the district, unless the test is designed to be given more frequently (SAT 9, OLSAT). The assessment devices used are part of a comprehensive identification procedure. After all student data is collected and analyzed by the site-level GATE Identification Committee, the student's area of strength will be identified to determine the category in which the student qualifies for in the GATE program.
General Intellectual Ability: The Otis-Lennon School Ability Test (OLSAT) is designed to measure the thinking and reasoning skills that are most relevant to school achievement but not actually taught. Students scoring at or above the 98th percentile are then qualified for GATE participation in the specific category of "General Intellectual Ability". A student must score at least 15 points on the Multiple Measures Screening Summary.
High Achievement: A student must score at least 15 points on the Multiple Measures Screening Summary. As part of a comprehensive identification procedure, students will then be considered in the "High Achievement" category if they score at or above the 96th percentile in two or more areas of an academic achievement test (CAT 6; SAT 9; Woodcock-Johnson Passage Comprehension; The Key Math, Rev. 1988, Forms A and B; and/or another standardized achievement test).
Specific Academic Ability: A student must score at least 15 points on the Multiple Measures Screening Summary. The student then must score at the 98th percentile or above in one area of an academic achievement test (e.g., CAT 6; SAT 9; Woodcock-Johnson Passage Comprehension; and/or The Key Math, Revised 1988, form A and B) to be identified in the "Specific Academic Ability" category.