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  • Please visit the Atlanta Public Schools Gifted and Talented website for more information. You will find answers to frequently asked questions about how we identify, serve, enrich, and support gifted students: https://www.atlantapublicschools.us/Page/20890.

    Gifted Screening and Referral FAQs (English)

    Gifted Screening and Referral FAQs (Español)


    Please CLICK HERE for a video orientation to gifted eligibility testing. Also review the APS Gifted and Talented Education homepage for more details.


    The parent referral form will be open each year during the referral window and posted on this page. Gifted eligibility testing will take place early in the spring semester each school year.


    The Gifted Testing Parent Referral Window for 2023-24 will be posted when information becomes available. Students of parents who make requests after the window closes will NOT be tested during the current school year. 


    The Georgia State Board of Education defines a gifted student as “...a student who demonstrates a high degree of intellectual, and/or creative ability(ies), exhibits an exceptionally high degree of motivation, and/or excels in specific academic fields, and who needs special instruction and/or special ancillary services to achieve at levels commensurate with his or her abilities.”

    Atlanta Public Schools provide services for identified gifted students at all levels.  The gifted program is designed to meet the very specific needs of these students and extend competencies in the areas of cognitive skills, learning skills, research and reference skills, communication skills, and metacognitive skills beyond the experience of the regular classroom.

    The Georgia State Department of Education governs the procedures for identifying and placing students in the gifted program.  

    Please review the Atlanta Public Schools information on Gifted & Talented Education for information about referrals, criteria, and more.AssessmentThe Gifted and Talented Program at Sarah Smith offers qualifying students an opportunity to develop the following:

    • Advanced Communication Skills (ACS):  Learners will express ideas clearly and effectively using advanced communication skills for a variety of purposes.
    • Creativity (CRT): Learners will generate and/or produce items, ideas, and solutions using creative thinking skills.
    • Creative Problem Solving (CPS) Learners will insightfully evaluate a variety of problems and arrive at innovative and reasonable conclusions.
    • Leadership (LEAD): Students will develop an awareness of leadership skills, analyze and evaluate components of leadership, and demonstrate an effective leadership style.
    • Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS): Learners will analytically critique a system or set of complex ideas, utilizing logic and reasoning skills in novel ways, to create and/or modify knowledge.
    • Global Citizenship (GCZ): Learners will develop an awareness of global cultures, connections and issues in order to become actively engaged citizens of the world, with respect for differing values and goals.
    • Advanced Research Skills (ARS): Learners will select and explore a topic, research using a variety of sources, analyze and evaluate the information.
    • Social Emotional Learning (SEL): Learners will develop an understanding of their unique social emotional needs as a gifted learner and develop their coping and social interaction skills.

    The APS Multiple Criteria Identification Process assesses students in four areas and requires that students meet minimum score levels in any three of the four areas in order to gain admittance to the gifted program. The minimum score requirements in the four assessment areas are:

    1. Mental Ability - a score greater than or equal to the 96th percentile on a standardized test of mental ability. An APS mental ability assessment must be given. Students must complete the entire APS identification process before any eligibility decisions are finalized.
    2. Achievement - a score greater than or equal to the 90th percentile in reading or math on a standardized achievement test or a score of at least 90 on a student generated product or performance as judged by a panel of qualified evaluators.
    3. Creativity - a score greater than or equal to the 90th percentile on a standardized creativity instrument or a superior rating on a student generated product or performance as judged by a panel of qualified evaluators.
    4. Motivation – 90th or greater percentile on a Motivation Rating Scale (K-8), or superior product/performance with a score of 90 or greater of 1-100, as evaluated by a panel of 3 or more qualified evaluators, or winners of academic competitions as determined by the Office of Gifted and Talented.

    Student Mental Ability and Achievement scores are valid for two years from test date; therefore, careful consideration should be taken before testing.