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What is a gifted student?

Gifted and talented children are students between the ages of three and 21 whose abilities, talents, and potential for accomplishment are so exceptional or developmentally advanced that they require special provisions to meet their educational programming needs. Gifted students include students with disabilities and students with exceptional abilities or potential from all socio-economic, ethnic, and cultural populations.  

 Gifted students are highly capable in at least one of these areas: 

  • General or specific intellectual ability
  • Specific academic aptitude
  • Creativity
  • Leadership
  • Visual, performing or musical arts
  • Psychomotor abilities


How do we identify gifted students?

Equitable Access  

Since WPS enrolls a high proportion of students of poverty (72% FRL) and English learners (40%), it is especially crucial that we put non-discriminatory, yet rigorous, eligibility and identification policies in place.  In doing so, our district utilizes a tiered approach that pulls together a variety of student data and information that provides a holistic picture of the child’s strengths, interests, and curiosities. Data includes both quantitative and qualitative measures including, but not limited to, a variety of assessments (state, local, achievement, intelligence), observation scales, student portfolio assessments, and student interviews.  Assessments are offered in multiple languages and interpretations are available as needed. 

Eligible PEDAL Students  

Once found eligible, the school’s PEDAL Advocate will make a personal phone call to the families to notify them of the child’s eligibility.  Families are invited to the school to collaborate in the development of their child’s Accelerated Learning Plan (ALP). A formal letter of eligibility is then mailed as a follow-up to the phone conversation. Once ALPs are developed, copies are sent to the family and all pertinent licensed staff of the eligible student, including the mental health provider if such services are needed from the plan.

Want to refer a student for PEDAL Identification?  Contact your PEDAL School Advocate.  

For additional state resources, please go to the CDE Gifted and Talented Identification Website.


The WPS Gifted Identifications Process


WPS PEDAL Identification Process-A Two-Pronged Approach 

Prong I

In order to screen for students that may have very high academic aptitudes, we utilize our district’s Alpine Achievement database to select each student that may warrant further review by our PEDAL team for the purposes of eligibility.  Students with high achievement on district and state tests may not necessarily result in PEDAL eligibility. Only when a student obtains a robust body of evidence do they become eligible.

Prong II

For all other students that may be eligible for PEDAL in a non-academic area (e.g., general cognitive ability, leadership, performing and creative arts, etc.), referrals are made by parents or teachers based on data and information already in their possession (e.g., CogAT screeners, recitals/stage performances, community leadership activities, etc.), which would trigger a formal referral and the collection of a body of evidence.

PEDAL Student Referral Process

  1. The teacher, families, or any other stakeholder completes a referral and sends it to the PEDAL Department using our Google PEDAL Referral Form.  
  2. The PEDAL Department will review the referral and determine the next steps on the PEDAL Referral Form Responses and notify the school-level PEDAL Advocate.  
  3. The PEDAL Advocate will pull together a body of evidence that supports identification in a student’s area of strength (Talent Aptitude or Academic Aptitude).
    • PEDAL Advocate includes a body of evidence on a Google Spreadsheet. 
    • The school team and PEDAL leadership will collaboratively determine identification for PEDAL or Talent Pool
    • Families will be contacted to provide additional evidence to support eligibility.  
  4. The PEDAL Advocate is encouraged to notify families by phone when a student is identified as PEDAL or will be added to the Talent Pool list.

All student information is confidential and protected under FERPA.