GATES Identification Process

The MSAD #6 Board of Directors commits itself to a policy of meeting the needs of the gifted and talented students and to help these students feel comfortable in their roles as creative productive individuals now, and in the future. The goal of the program is to enable students to understand, develop, and utilize their higher mental processes or artistic talents.

General Intellectual Ability, and Specific Academic Aptitude Gifted and Talented Education Academic Identification Overview According to Chapter 104, Education of Gifted and Talented Children in the State of Maine, "Each school unit shall conduct an initial screening and thereafter an annual review of the K-12 population to ensure that all children have an equal opportunity to be considered for selection and placement in the gifted and talented program."

Formal identification takes place during the spring for students in grades three, five, and eight. Students who have outstanding intellectual or special academic needs will be formally identified through this process. Objective and subjective data is collected on all students in grades three, five, and eight. See ID process for grade specific identification information.

The Child Study Team (CST), made up of GATES staff, guidance counselor, and district administration, meets in May/June. The GATES staff will present information gathered through the screening process to the Child Study Team. Students are selected as intellectually gifted or gifted in a specific academic area. Between approximately three to five percent of the grade level district population will be identified for GATES services. Parents will be notified by mail of CST's determinations. Written parent/guardian permission is required to participate in the GATES program. Parents may appeal decisions made by the CST. To begin the appeals process the parent completes a GATES Appeals Form (see Forms). The CST then considers all new information that the parent/guardian provides. The decision by the CST is final.


Identification Procedures for General Intellectual Ability and Specific
Academic Aptitude Grades 3 & 5


Screening and Identification Procedures

In the spring, students that score within the top 15% on the NWEA are selected to take the CogAT test in grades 3 and 5. Teachers and parents can also nominate students for the program based on other assessment data and/or classroom observation.

Classroom teachers will meet with the GATES teacher(s) to fill out the Twelve Traits of Giftedness: A Non-Biased Profile. Students who exhibit 7 or more of these characteristics meet the subjective criteria. 12-traits of giftedness

Parents may nominate a child for consideration by filling out the Parent Nomination Forms. These forms are available on the website and at the respective schools and are due by March 31.

The GATES teacher will review the Northwest Educational Assessment (NWEA) scores and the Cognitive Abilities Test (CoGAT) scores. Students who have a consistent test score of 95% and above on the NWEA meet the achievement criteria. Students who score at or above 95% on the CoGAT meet the criteria for cognitive aptitude. CogAt Test Explanation

Students who meet all three criteria are formally identified in the District.

General Intellectual Ability

  • CoGAT- Score of 95 percentile or above
  • NWEA- Consistent scores at/above the 95 percentile in both reading and math
  • Twelve Traits of Giftedness- Exhibits 9 or more of the 12 traits

Specific Academic Aptitude

  • CoGAT- Score of 95 percentile or above
  • NWEA- Consistent scores at/above the 95 percentile in reading and/or math
  • Twelve Traits of Giftedness- Exhibits 7 or more of the 12 traits

Students who meet only one of the criteria are not identified. Parents may dispute the Child Study Team (CST) decision by using the Appeals Process.

Students who meet two of the criteria go through another process to ensure representative data has been collected. One of the following is pursued, depending upon which of the three criteria was not met.

SUBJECTIVE - Parents will then fill out the Twelve Traits of Giftedness: A Non-Biased Profile.

COGNITIVE - An additional cognitive evaluation is completed and the student scores in the gifted range.

ACHIEVEMENT - Staff collects documentation of work that exceeds classroom standards.

  • Common Core Assessment Data
  • Developmental Reading Assessment (DRA) scores (2 or more years above grade level)
  • Portfolio (demonstrates exceptional work)
  • Everyday Mathematics (EDM) Assessments


Identification Procedure for Grade 8


In line with state regulations for the identification of gifted and talented students, all students are screened at the end of 8th grade. General intelligence, as well as specific academic or artistic achievement and aptitude, are considered. Measures include classroom performance, teacher observation, portfolio work, and standardized testing.

Teacher input is gathered through course-specific checklists of characteristics in the areas of creativity, motivation, and content-area skills and knowledge. Parent and self-nomination forms are also available under Forms. The identification process and BEHS program for GT are explained to all parents in a letter sent with 3rd quarter report cards.

A Child Study Team, made up of guidance representative GATES staff and administrators will meet in the spring to review information collected and to make decisions about which students may require services from Teachers of Gifted and Talented in high school. These services at BEHS may include:

  • Consultation with teachers for possible course modifications
  • Guidance in designing a program to meet their unique needs
  • Connecting students with opportunities such as mentorships in academics, college or online courses, or accelerated course sequences, direct instruction in advanced classes or directed study
  • Monitoring for progress, level of challenge, or underachievement
  • Mentoring for social/emotional needs associated with their talents, motivation, or other issues such as dual exceptionality

General Intellectual Ability Identification:

  • CoGAT School Ability Index at or above 95 percentile
  • NWEA scores at or above the 95th percentile in reading and math over the past 2 years
  • Conclusive demonstration of exceptional needs on teacher checklists in all academic areas
  • A history of strong recommendations by classroom teachers and GATES staff

Specific Academic Aptitude Identification:

  • NWEA scores consistently at or above the 95th percentile in reading or in math over the past two years.
  • Significant demonstration of exceptional need on teacher checklist in a given subject area.
  • Student interviews for new referrals

Specific Artistic Identification:

  • Visual Art Portfolio demonstrates exceptional skills and ability
  • Student interviews for visual art self-referrals
  • Music identification involves class-specific auditions
  • Significant demonstration of exceptional need on teacher checklist

Appeals Process: Parents may appeal decisions made by CST. The parent completes a GATES Appeals Form including any new information to be considered by the Appeals Committee.

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