AGATE - Arkansans for Gifted and Talented Education

Gifted and Talented (GT)

The Deer/ Mt. Judea School District offers a curriculum for gifted and talented students that provides: 

*A program that meets the needs of students K-12 by serving a variety of types of giftedness. Differentiated to accommodate divergent thinking and higher-level thinking skills. 

*In-depth enrichment in areas of student interest emphasizing research, communication, and study skills.

District Contact: Rachel Hasty

                           Phone: (870) 428-8121

                           Email: rachel.hasty@dmj.k12.ar.us

K-12 Gifted and Talented Programs:

Kindergarten - 3rd Grade Enrichment

The G/T classes in elementary provide services in kindergarten, first, second, and third grade by whole class enrichment  The focus is to identify advanced language skills, analytical thinking and accelerated learning.

The purpose of the program is to challenge, enrich and nurture the talents of students. Students work in the curriculum areas of creative thinking, critical thinking, communication, and research skills.

 4th- 6th Grade

The Pull-Out program designed for 4-6 Grade. The curriculum is based on Curriculum Frameworks and Benchmarks. The curriculum also includes teaching critical and creative thinking skills, problem-solving skills, research skills, and self-awareness skills.

The objective is to improve research, thinking and communication skills in students, by providing a flexible curriculum that is qualitatively different and that extends above and beyond the standard school program.

Gifted and Talented Nominations

  • A student may be nominated by one of the following procedures: 
  • Parent referral
  • Teacher referral
  • Self or Peer referral
  • Participation in a GT program in another school district

All referrals should be given back to the GT teacher for the identification process to continue for the student. All student placement decisions are based on the collection of multiple data and no single criterion or cut-off score is used to include or exclude a student. All pertinent forms are included in the appendices for the student.

All placement decisions are made by a committee, which includes the GT Teacher and/or GT Coordinator, a building administrator, teachers, and/or counselors. Identified students transferring from other GT programs whose criteria is equivalent to Deer/Mt. Judea School District may be immediately placed. Students who are identified, but who decline placement at the time of identification, may reactivate his/her option to participate by filing a new referral. The student's folder will be updated and re-evaluated. A student, who leaves or is removed from the GT Program, may re-activate their option to participate by filing a nomination form for re-evaluation.

Placement Appeal

Parent/Guardians may appeal placement decisions through the following process:

  1. Requesting a conference with the GT Teacher
  2. Request a re-evaluating of the identification data
  3. Providing for inclusion of additional data.

If a satisfactory resolution is not reached from this informal effort, then a written appeal can be filed by the parents/guardians. An appeals committee comprised of teachers and administrators will evaluate all data and make a recommendation regarding placement.

Removal From the GT Program

Although attention is given to carefully placing students in the program due to evidence that they need qualitatively differentiated educational services, situations may arise when placement in the program no longer seems to be in the best interest of the student. Emphasis will be placed on meeting the needs of the student. As with determining placement in the gifted program, multiple criteria will be used in determining if exiting the program is in the best interest of meeting the student’s needs. One factor will not cause a student to be excluded from the program. (7.05) A student with signed parental permission to no longer participate in the program will be allowed to exit the program without a committee decision.

When determining if an exit from the program may be in the best interest of the student, a conference will be held in an effort to address areas of concern and facilitate improvement. Those present at the conference may include the student, classroom teachers, GT teachers, parents, administrators, counselors, etc. An action plan will be developed and a timeline will be set. The plan will be in writing and the student, parent, GT teacher, and any other involved parties will sign that they are informed of the plan. This action plan will not change the student’s placement. If there is no improvement, the student may be exited from the program. If the exit was initiated by the school, then all pertinent data (including at least two objective and two subjective measures) will be compiled and presented to the identification committee of at least five professional educators, chaired by the gifted specialist. The identification committee will review the data and make a decision about what is in the best interest of the student.

Parents and/or classroom teachers may appeal the exit decision. Procedures for appeals of placement decisions will then be followed.


NOMINATION - Students may be nominated for the gifted and talented program at any time by teachers, counselors, and parents, or other interested persons.

CRITERIA IDENTIFICATION - Criteria to identify gifted and talented students and approval of all programs shall be established by the Deer/Mt. Judea Board. The criteria shall be specific to the state definition of gifted and talented and shall ensure the fair assessment of students with special needs, such as the culturally different, the economically disadvantaged, and students with disabilities.

PARENTAL CONSENT - Written parental consent shall be obtained before any special testing or individual assessment is conducted as part of the screening and identification process. All student information collected during the screening and identification process shall be an educational record.

SELECTION - A selection committee shall evaluate each nominated student according to the established criteria and shall select those students for whom gifted program placement is the most appropriate educational opportunity. The GT committee shall be composed of at least three professional educators who have received training in the nature and needs of gifted students and shall be established for each school.

ASSESSMENTS - Data collected through both objective and subjective assessments shall be measured against the criteria approved by the School Board to determine individual eligibility for the program. Assessment tools may include, but not be limited to, the following: achievement tests, intelligence tests, behavioral checklists completed by teachers and parents, teacher nominations based on classroom observations, student/parent conferences, and student's work.

  • Referral: Students may be referred for Gifted and Talented assessment by school staff, parents, or themselves. Referral forms will be available at each campus. Ongoing assessment for GT eligibility will be implemented through the recommendation of the GT Committee.

NOTIFICATION - Parents and students shall be notified in writing upon selection of the student for the gifted program. Participation in any program or services provided for gifted and talented students is voluntary. The School district shall obtain written permission of students and the parents before a student is placed in a gifted program.

REASSESSMENTS - The School District shall reassess students to determine appropriate program placement. Parents shall be notified of reassessment at least five school days prior to administering an individual assessment or gathering data.

TRANSFER - When a student identified as Gifted and Talented by a previous school transfer into the Deer/Mt Judea School District, the student shall be reviewed for placement.