Gifted Education

The Altoona Area School District is committed to providing the best educational opportunities for all students.
The Definition of a Gifted Student:
  • Outstanding intellectual and creative ability the development of which requires specially designed programs or support services, or both, not ordinarily provided in the regular education program.
  • IQ 130 or more.





  • Learns quickly and easily.
  • Readily comprehends things.
  • Often reads above grade(s) level.
  • Good memory and retains what is heard or read.
  • Bores with routine tasks, doesn't usually benefit from drill and repetition.
  • Vocabulary and linguistic ability is often quite advanced.
  • Natural curiosity, make inquiries.
  • Can be very assertive and hang tight to their own beliefs
  • Depending on the level of interest, can have a long attention span.
  • Good sense of wit, imagination and creativity.
  • Prefers complex ideas and activities of an investigative nature.
  • Can conceptualize and generalize thoughts and ideas with ease.
  • Reaches levels of abstract thought at an earlier age and is interested in cause-effect relationships earlier than peers.
  • Often exhibits a wide range of interests.
  • Can be very task-committed, goal-oriented, and self-directed when the activity is within their area of interest.
  • Can become totally absorbed in certain areas, focusing all attention intensely on those areas.
  • Needs to be engaged and will become frustrated with inactivity or boring and or repetitive tasks.
  • Can be a perfectionist.
  • Can be quite sensitive.

Evaluation - How do I go about getting my child tested?


  • Contact the guidance staff, your child's teacher, building principal, or Special Education Office and put your request in writing.
  • A psychologist will send a letter to you requesting your written permission to evaluate your child.
  • A psychologist will distribute an information sheet to teachers.
  • A psychologist will evaluate the child on the criteria.
  • Contact will be made to discuss the findings.
  • If necessary, a GIEP meeting is scheduled.




Chapter 14:  Regulations regarding student with disabilities in Pennsylvania.

Chapter 16:  Regulations and rules regarding gifted students in Pennsylvania.

Gifted Student:  A student who is exceptional under section 1371 of the School Code because the student meets the definition of “mentally gifted” and needs specially designed instruction beyond that required in Chapter 4.


Gifted Multidisciplinary Evaluation (GMDE):  A systematic process of testing, assessment, other evaluative processes, and information that describes a student’s academic functioning, learning strengths, learning problems, and educational needs and used by the GIEP team to make a determination about whether or not a student is gifted and needs specially designed instruction.


Gifted Individualized Education Program (GIEP):  The plan written by the GIEP team that specifically describes the education to be provided a gifted student.


Gifted Written Report (GWR): A written report that brings together the information and findings from the evaluation concerning the student’s educational needs and strengths.


Gifted Multidisciplinary Team (GMDT):  A team of educators, other professional individuals, and the child’s parents that reviews all formal testing of a child and all other evaluation material.  The GMDT must issue a written report recommending whether the child is gifted and making suggestions about the programs and services needed.

Gifted education is the shared responsibility of the Bureau of Special Education and the Bureau of Teaching and Learning Support. The integrated approach commits both Bureaus to providing support for Chapter 16.  
Title 22 Education, Chapter 16: Special Education for Gifted Students regulations, the Parent Guide to Gifted Education, the Basic Education Circular Special Education for Gifted Students and the Gifted Guidelines reflect Pennsylvania's commitment to gifted students as "children with exceptionalities" and therefore in need of specially designed instruction. 
Pennsylvania Department of Education - Gifted Education