The Georgia Board of Education defines a gifted student as “a student who demonstrates a high degree of intellectual, creative, and/or artistic ability(ies), possesses exceptional leadership skills, 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.”

DeKalb County School District’s gifted program brings gifted children together to experience a variety of challenging activities, supports teachers in the area of educating gifted children, and provides guidance for the parents/guardians of gifted students.


The gifted program is part of the Division of Curriculum and Instruction and is funded by the State of Georgia. The procedures for identifying and placing students in the gifted program are governed by the Georgia Department of Education as indicated by the SBOE Rule 160-4-2-38. Gifted instruction shall focus on developing cognitive learning, research and reference, and metacognitive skills.

DeKalb County School District serves gifted students using one or more of the following gifted models:

Resource Model (K-12)

  1. Students are “pulled out” for a minimum of 225 minutes per week.
  2. Teachers are gifted certified.
  3. The teacher/student ratio is 1:25 for elementary and 1:29 for middle and high school.
  4. Lessons are interdisciplinary, enrichment and extension activities.

Cluster Grouping (K-12)

  1. Twelve or fewer gifted students may be served in a regular classroom setting.
  2. Gifted endorsed teacher.
  3. Differentiated curriculum in content, process, product and/or assessments.

Advanced Content (K-12)

  1. Minimum of one core content class.
  2. Gifted endorsed teacher.
  3. 1:25 teacher/student ratio.
  4. Accelerated curriculum emphasizing process skills, problem-solving activities, research projects and other higher order thinking skills.
  5. Advanced Placement (AP) classes are included as long as the teacher is AP certified and has completed ten clock hours of the Nature and Needs of Gifted Learners course.
  6. Some IB and Advanced courses may be used to provide gifted services.


An automatic referral is conducted through a district-wide assessment process for all students in grades K-10.

A reported referral may be made by teachers, counselors, administrators, parents/guardians, peers, self, or others with knowledge of student’s academic abilities. An eligibility review will be conducted by the local school’s Eligibility Review Team, and the district-wide assessment process will be followed.


The DeKalb County School District’s gifted identification process begins with the achievement category using the Northwest Evaluation Association Measures of Academic Progress (MAP). The student must earn > 90% Reading and/or > 90% Math to be considered for further evaluation in the areas of mental ability, creativity and motivation.

To be eligible for gifted services, students must qualify in three of the following four areas:
Minimum score of 90th percentile (or higher) on the total reading, total math, or complete composite
Mental Ability
Minimum score of 96th percentile (or higher) in at least one sub-test area
Minimum score of 90th percentile (or higher) on an assessment for creativity
Minimum of 90th percentile (or higher) on an assessment for motivation (Grades K-12)
Grade point average of at least 3.5 on a 4.0 scale, using an average of core grades over the previous two school years in English, math, science, social studies, and foreign language if applicable (Grades 9-12)

If a student qualifies for the gifted program, parents will be notified.

  • A qualifying score on a nationally normed test is required to meet the criteria in at least one area.
  • Any data used to establish eligibility in one area shall not be used to establish eligibility in another area.
  • Assessment scores are valid for two school years (August – May), not calendar years (January – December).
  • Private test data may not be used to determine eligibility; it may be used as a referral for further evaluation.
  • Assessments administered outside of the district-wide gifted identification testing cycle are inadmissible.
  • All identified gifted students are given a Continuation form that must be reviewed and signed by the parent and the student. All gifted students must maintain a minimum 80% or higher in the assigned gifted class(es).
  • If students receiving gifted services fail to maintain a minimum of 80% or higher in the assigned gifted class(es), the student will be placed on probation for a period of one semester.

New Students

New students to the DeKalb County School District can be referred by parents, teachers, and administrators for an eligibility review conducted by the home school’s Eligibility Team. Standardized test scores that are within a two-year period may be used as a referral for further evaluation.

Transferring within the DCSD
If a student in a gifted program is transferring within the DCSD, he or she will automatically become part of the receiving schools gifted program.

Transferring within the State of Georgia
A student already participating in a gifted program in another Georgia school system will be eligible to participate in the DeKalb County School District’s gifted program upon receipt of a gifted eligibility report confirming gifted services from the sending school.

Gifted Students from Out-of-State Programs
Students who enroll from an out-of-state gifted program must meet Georgia requirements in order to be placed in the DCSD’s Gifted & Talented Program. Assessment scores from other states are not accepted. Students will follow DeKalb’s process for eligibility beginning with the Northwest Evaluation Association Measures of Academic Progress (MAP).

Reciprocity will be granted to students whose households include a member of the United States uniform services according to laws O.C.G.A. 20-2-2140 through 20-2-2180.