The Moon Area School District operates a gifted support (Challenge) program that is available for all eligible students. Chapter 16 Special Education Regulations for Gifted Students in Pennsylvania defines a “mentally gifted” student in the following manner:
Outstanding intellectual and creative ability, the development of which requires individually designed programs and/or support services not ordinarily provided in the regular education program. This term includes a person who has an IQ of 130 or higher when multiple criteria, as set forth in the Department Guidelines, indicate gifted ability. Determination of gifted ability will not be based on IQ score alone. A person with an IQ score lower than 130 may be admitted to gifted programs when other educational criteria in the profile of the student strongly indicate gifted ability. Determination of mentally gifted ability, along with the need for gifted support is based on the following criteria: the teacher(s) recommendations; the parent recommendations; a student’s recent group achievement test scores; brief IQ assessment/group IQ; recent individually administered ability (IQ) test scores; rates of acquisition and retention; performance, expertise in one or more academic areas; specialized skills, interests, aptitudes (such as high level thinking skills, academic creatively, leadership skills, intense academic interest, communication skills, foreign language aptitude, and technology expertise); and/or other criteria indicating eligibility and need. Determination of mentally gifted shall also include an assessment by a certified school psychologist.
To gather all relevant information prior to determining a student’s eligibility, a Gifted Multidisciplinary Evaluation (GMDE) must be completed within 60 calendar days of the district’s receipt of the parental permission for initial evaluation. Upon completion of this process, a Gifted Written Report (GWR) will be developed and presented to parents. The GWR will include information related to the student’s strengths and needs as well as make recommendations as to whether the student is gifted and in need of specially designed instructions.
If a student is identified as being mentally gifted, a Gifted Individualized Education Plan (GIEP) team, including the parent(s), must convene in order to develop a GIEP within 30 days of issuance of the GWR. The GIEP will outline the planned instruction to be provided for the gifted student. The GIEP is reviewed at least annually for its appropriateness and will include annual educational goals and short-term learning outcomes to help the student achieve the goals. Upon completion of the initial GIEP, parents are presented with a Notice of Recommended Assignment (NORA) with which they can elect to agree or disagree with the district’s proposed program. If agreement between parents and the district cannot be reached, parents may request mediation or an impartial due process hearing.
To obtain additional information about the gifted support program, contact your child’s building principal.