Gifted and Talented Program

According to the National Association for Gifted, the federal definition of "gifted" is: students, children, or youth who give evidence of high achievement capability in areas such as intellectual, creative, artistic, or leadership capacity, or in specific academic fields, and who need services and activities not ordinarily provided by the school in order to fully develop those capabilities."

Gifted instruction contains specific instructional strategies tailored to the needs of the gifted learner. This differentiated instruction must foster higher-level thinking, allow for greater student expression, consider individual student strengths and weaknesses, and provide a variety of learning experiences to challenge students.

Students at Little Red participate in a resource model program where we pull them out for a minimum of two hours per week so they can receive the support of a highly qualified certified teacher of the gifted.

What Is Included in Our Gifted and Talented Program?

Our gifted and talented program at Little Red emphasizes higher order thinking and reasoning skills such as:

  • Creative and critical thinking
  • Problem-solving strategies
  • Verbal, spatial, and mathematical reasoning

Sample lessons and activities include Hands-On Equations, Blokus, SET logic puzzles, architek blocks, Socratic seminars, and social studies and science units.

Identification Procedures

Santa Cruz Elementary District #28 uses the Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT), testing all students to identify gifted and talented learners. The CogAT measures reasoning and problem-solving skills in three areas: 

  • Verbal (word sequences)
  • Quantitative (number sense)
  • Nonverbal (pictures and geometric shapes)

We consider any student who scores at or above the 97th percentile in any one area "gifted" by the state of Arizona. 97th Percentile means that a student scored higher than 97% of the students in his/her age group. Little Red also identifies "talented" students. Any student who scores at or above the 92nd percentile in any one area will also receive services.