Definition of Gifted

Intellectually gifted children and youth are those who perform at or have demonstrated the potential to perform at high levels in academic or creative fields when compared with others of their age, experience, or environment. These children and youth require services not ordinarily provided by the regular school program. Children and youth possessing these abilities can be found in all populations, across all economic strata, and in all areas of human endeavor. Gifted students may be found within any race, ethnicity, gender, economic class, or nationality. In addition, some students with disabilities may be gifted.

The Shelby County School System prohibits discrimination against any student on the above basis with respect to his/her participation in the gifted program.


The following Program Goals are outlined in the most recent Shelby County LEA Plan:

  1. To provide training for all staff on the procedures for referring and identifying students for gifted education services
  2. To continue working toward racial equity in the gifted education program
  3. To continue conducting Child Find Activities
  4. To ensure that there are comparable services throughout the system
  5. To work towards a true continuum of services for high-end learners
  6. To provide curriculum for gifted learners that is concept & problem based.

Gifted Education Services

  1. Consultation Services in Grades K-2
  2. Pull-out Services in Grades 3-5
  3. Gifted Education Content Class in Grades 6-8
  4. Indirect Services/ Advanced Courses in Grades 9-12

Referral Process Overview

Teachers, counselors, administrators, parents or guardians, peers, self, or any other individuals with knowledge of the student’s abilities may refer a student. Additionally, all second grade students will be observed as potential gifted referrals using a gifted behavior checklist.

For each student referred, information is gathered in the areas of Aptitude, Characteristics, and Performance. The information is entered on a matrix where points are assigned according to established criteria. The total number of points earned determines if the student qualifies for gifted services.

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