What are the requirements for placement into a gifted program?
The current standards to be eligible for placement into a gifted program in South Florida include a Full Scale IQ Score of 130 or greater on a standardized and accepted IQ test for children. In addition, in Palm Beach County, a child must also score in the 90th percentile on either the math or reading portion of the achievement tests. Once the child meets these criteria, his or her current teacher will complete a gifted behavioral checklist. The teacher must indicate that the child demonstrates the need for an advanced curriculum. The final decision for gifted placement rests with the school committee who reviews the test data and other information on the child.
Program Eligibility Criteria
Students are eligible for the Gifted Education Program through Plan A if they meet the following criteria:
A need for the program as demonstrated by evidence of a majority of characteristics of gifted students as scored on a District Checklist; and
A score of 90th percentile or higher on either the math or reading portion of an individually administered achievement test; and
A score of 130 or higher on an individually administered Intelligence Quotient Test
– Information obtained from http://www.palmbeachschools.org/ese/gifted.asp
What tests are used for Gifted Testing?
I only use the tests for gifted children that are highly recommended and most commonly used. The most widely used for IQ test for children under 6 years of age is the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scales of Intelligence Fourth Edition (WPPSI-IV). The IQ test for kids who are 6 years old and older is the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-Fifth Edition (WISC-V), and the child’s mathematics and reading abilities are assessed using the Woodcock-Johnson Fourth Edition Tests of Achievement (WJ IV).
Here is a link to the Gifted Handbook for Palm Beach County:
Procedural Safeguards for Gifted Children:
What is a gifted curriculum as compared to the regular program?
A gifted program covers the same information as a regular program, but moves at a quicker pace and goes deeper into the material. Because children in the gifted program can work at a faster pace, they can also cover additional material. It is therefore crucial that children are correctly placed. Programs vary from school to school, and may offer a part time or full time gifted program. In some instances, specific schools are designated as gifted centers. A parent may have the choice as to which type of program best suits their child. Since gifted programs fall under the umbrella of Exceptional Student Education, each student who is eligible for placement receives an Educational Plan (EP), specifically designed to meet the needs of that student.
Palm Beach County Gifted Brochure:
When is the best time to test my child?
Most children are most alert and therefore, perform their best in the earlier morning or mid morning. It is fine for them to go to school once testing is complete. I offer Saturday morning appointments only for psychological testing by request.
For children entering Kindergarten, I will only test your child for gifted placement from January of the same school year that your child will be entering kindergarten. In addition, it is recommended that your child be as close to 5-years-old as possible or at least 4 years, 6 months. Please contact me to determine the best time to schedule your appointment. For all other children (kindergarten through high school), testing may take place at any time. Again, I will help you to make the decision of when to test your child based on your individual circumstances.
How long does gifted testing take?
The gifted evaluation for children under 6 yrs old using the WPPSI-IV usually takes 1 hour. For older children (6 yrs and above), the gifted evaluation will take 1-1½ hrs using the WISC-V and the WJ IV achievement testing (reading and math). The time will also depend on your child and his or her working style. These are average times. However, some children work faster or slower than others. I am flexible with timing. If your child needs additional time, I will work with you and your child. The accuracy of the results is of the utmost importance and no child can put forth his/her best effort if feeling stressed.
What do I tell my child about why he or she is taking this test?
Children are very perceptive. If you are anxious, then your child will be anxious as well. For this reason, I suggest that parents limit what they share with their child. Avoid the use of terms such as “testing” or “pass and fail.” A better approach is to tell you child that he or she will be meeting with Dr. Silverman and will be doing some different activities that will help us make a good decision about school for the following year. You could say, “I want to see who the best teacher will be for you next year.” I also recommend that you wait until the day before testing so that your child does not have time to think too much about it.
How should I prepare my child for gifted testing?
Make sure that your child is well rested and has a healthy breakfast the morning of testing. There is no more you can do to prepare for this test.
My child is shy. Am I allowed to be present while my child is being evaluated?
You are not allowed to sit in the same room as your child while he or she is being evaluated. Parents are expected to wait in the waiting room. I have private waiting rooms available by request. Your child will perform better without you there. I will spend time with your child, helping your child to relax and feel comfortable prior to starting the evaluation. How well your child does without you there is provides a more accurate picture of how your child will perform in school. Third, the testing data and information on psychological tests is confidential and it is my duty as a psychologist to protect the information on these tests. It would be unethical for me to allow a parent in the same room as the child while testing.
When can I expect to get the results?
Your results will be available either immediately or shortly after the evaluation. However, I will not give out any scores with the child present. We will schedule a follow-up session within 7 days of testing. During this session, you will receive a comprehensive report and we will review the results and my recommendations. I will also offer you the opportunity to discuss the best school placement options for your child based on his or her performance.
What if my child does not meet the criteria for gifted placement?
Your child can be bright and not test in the gifted range. Many factors impact school and occupational success. Your child’s IQ score does not equate with overall success. This testing helps you understand how your child learns. After the testing is complete, you will have a better understanding of your child’s learning profile, strengths and weaknesses, learning style, and how your child performs in various situations. As long as we use the information gained to help the individual child and place the child accordingly, then your child will be just fine. I will help you to determine the best placement for your individual child.
What is the cost for a gifted evaluation?
For children under 6 years old, the cost is $500 for the evaluation. For children 6 years and older, the evaluation is $600. This is because testing at older ages is more in depth. Fees include the testing session, scoring and interpretation and report writing.
What if I need to reschedule or cancel my appointment?
Please understand that I block off approximately 1 – 1½ hours for your child’s gifted testing in order to give your child all the attention needed, including time to feel comfortable prior to testing and time for a bathroom or snack break. For this reason, if you need to cancel or reschedule your appointment, please contact me within 48 hours of your appointment.
I understand that there are situations that are out of our control. If there is an emergency and it is the first time you are canceling your appointment the day of, there will be no penalty as long as you reschedule your appointment. There will be a full charge for canceling the day of your appointment the second time. Please be considerate of other parents who are trying to schedule testing for their children and would have been able to use that time.
Why choose Dr. Silverman for this evaluation?
I have my doctorate in clinical psychology with specialized training in psychological testing. In addition, I have many years of experience evaluating children in a wide range of settings and have worked with the majority of the schools in this area, so I am familiar with the Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade school system. Having taken specialized courses and completed specialized training in giftedness, I understand both the requirements for a gifted program and also the types of children who will benefit most from a gifted curriculum compared to the regular curriculum. Most importantly, I consider the whole child in making recommendations for school placement. I do not believe that a child is just an IQ score. For this reason, I will meet with you for a feedback session after I have considered your child’s scores and needs. I have an excellent reputation in the community and local schools systems as an ethical and warm psychologist.