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FAQs about Gifted Services

classroom with students raising handsThis page provides parents and staff with answers to the most common questions asked about Gifted Education in the Dysart Unified School District.  Dysart Unified School District is committed to providing a quality program that offers challenging experiences and nurtures academic excellence for its gifted students.

1. What Does Gifted Mean?

According to United States Office of Education, gifted and talented students are those “who have outstanding abilities, are capable of high performance and who require differentiated educational programs in order to realize their contribution to self and society.”

2. How Is A Student Identified for Dysart's Gifted Program?

Students may be referred for gifted screening by the teacher, principal, or the parent of a K-8 student, at any time by completing a Referral Form.  Students may also nominate themselves.  Nominated students are then tested in verbal, quantitative, and non-verbal areas using a state-approved test.

Beginning in August, 2012, students receiving gifted services must meet the following qualifications:

Students who score at the 97th percentile or above in Verbal and Quantitative or Non-Verbal subtests of a state approved test of cognitive ability will be offered Notice of Differentiation (NOD) services following the School wide Cluster Grouping Model (Winebrenner and Brulles, 2008).

Areas of identification include:
  • Quantitative
    Student tends to think logically in terms of numbers and pieces of mathematical information.
  • Verbal
    Student has the ability to effectively use words and language.
  • Non Verbal
    Student tends to be highly skilled  in regard to spatial awareness and abstract thinking through the use of mental images.

Notice of Differentiation (NOD) services will be provided within the regular classroom by the regular classroom teacher.  Support for NODs are provided by the 21st Century Specialists and Gifted Instructional Technology Assistants.

New Students:
Parents must provide documentation of test scores on an Arizona approved test. A list of these tests is provided on the Arizona Department of Education (ADE) website.   Test scores will be evaluated by the ESS Coordinator responsible for Gifted Education or a designee to determine whether the student is eligible to  receive gifted services under the GATE criteria defined by DUSD Governing Board Policy.

3. When Does Gifted Testing Take Place?

Testing is offered three times a year: Fall, Spring and Kindergarten Testing.  The Fall testing is for students new to the Dysart School District and takes place in September.  Spring testing takes place in January and the Kindergarten/Gr. 1-8 testing is offered in April.  A calendar of testing dates is available on the DUSD website.
*Students may only be tested one time per calendar year.

Parents will generally receive notice of testing results within four weeks following  the closing of the testing window.

Parents must sign for permission for  their student to be tested for gifted services.

4. What Happens After A Student Is Identified?

Students will be serviced through a Notice of Differentiation (NOD) within the regular classroom at their home school.  Dysart utilizes the School-wide Cluster Grouping Model.

5. What Is Differentiation?

Differentiation is diagnosing the readiness level of each student and customizing instruction so every individual experiences continuous learning.  Curriculum may be differentiated in the following areas:
  • Content
  • Product
  • Process
  • Environment

6. What Kind of Program Is Provided For My High School Student?

At the high school level, there are many options for gifted students such as advanced placement or honors classes.  The International Baccalaureate Program at WCHS is an option to consider for gifted high school students.   When a student registers for his/her classes, the high school counselors will recommend a plan of study.

7. Where Can I Find More Information Regarding Gifted?

For additional information about Dysart's Gifted Services contact:

Exceptional Student Services
(623) 876-7022
Para información en español, llamen a 623 876-7073.