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Program Identification and Eligibility Criteria

Definition and Identification


The State of Florida defines a gifted student as “one who has superior intellectual development and is capable of high performance.”  Schools have an obligation to identify and provide services for gifted students. A student may be referred for screening for gifted by a parent/guardian, a teacher or other staff member, the student themselves or any other individual with knowledge of the student.

Palm Beach County School District currently universally screens second-grade students for gifted with the CogAT in 33 schools.  

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Students are eligible for the Gifted Education Program through Plan A if they meet the following criteria:

  • A need for the program as demonstrated by evidence of a majority of characteristics of gifted students as scored on a District Checklist; and
  • A score of 130 or higher on an individually administered Intelligence Quotient (IQ) Test.

Students qualify under Plan B if they meet the Eligibility Requirements as outlined in the Gifted Handbook and/or the SP&P, “District Plan B for Underrepresented Populations.” Underrepresented Populations are defined as low socioeconomic status students that qualify for free or reduced lunch, or defined as English Language Learners (ELL).


If you believe that a student meets the above criteria for Plan A or Plan B eligibility, the parent, guardian, or teacher should contact the Exceptional Student Education (ESE) Contact at the homeschool to refer the child for screening and evaluation. If gifted services are not available at the homeschool, students eligible for the gifted program are transported to the assigned gifted center. Schools serving gifted students are listed on the Feeder Patterns, which are listed below in the DOCUMENTS section.


Characteristics of Gifted Students

and Overview of Program

Characteristics of the Gifted Student

Gifted children typically display some, but not all, of the following characteristics:





Program Options


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Elementary Schools

Elementary gifted students are offered a range of programs from part-time to full-time. These programs, strategically located throughout the district, are provided through the Resource Room Model or The Gifted Center Model. If the home school does not have a Gifted Program, students are transferred to the home school ’s receiving Gifted Center. Students at schools with Part-time Gifted Programs are given the option of remaining at the homeschool or being transferred to the home school’s receiving Gifted Center.




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Middle Schools

Middle School students may choose appropriate gifted education courses from those available at their home schools. If the home school does not provide gifted services, the students are transferred to the gifted Middle School Center that is geographically closest to their home.




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High Schools offer a number of options for high-ability students. Gifted education classes vary among schools. Advanced Placement and Honor Level classes are also available throughout the county. Magnet programs such as International Baccalaureate, Math-Science-Engineering, Pre-Medicine and Allied Health, Pre-Law and Teacher Academy are also available. The rigor of some of these programs present educational opportunities for the gifted learner.




Curriculum and Instruction

How do we accommodate to meet the needs of gifted students with varying needs and ability levels?

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Students identified as being eligible to receive gifted services each have an Educational Plan (EP) that is developed to foster both their strengths and areas of need.  This plan is developed at the conclusion of the consent for eligibility meeting, with the parent, teacher of the gifted, and ESE contact, and is updated to reflect the successful completion of goals or to express the need for continued support in specific areas.  Goals may include both academic and social and emotional objectives for the gifted student.


To provide appropriate and challenging educational experiences for gifted students, differentiation of instruction is implemented.

Differentiation may include:

  • in-depth study
  • a high degree of complexity
  • advanced content
  • variety in content, process, and student products

Varying the pace of instruction

A qualitatively, differentiated curriculum for gifted students consists of carefully planned, coordinated, learning experiences that meet the specific learning needs of the student. Appropriate differentiation allows for an increase in difficulty and depth in the level of abstraction and complexity of the curriculum, responding to the learner’s needs.

Curriculum Compacting

Curriculum compacting is used continually to negate repetition of material already known and understood by the student.


Acceleration is also implemented, on an individual basis, when necessary to meet the needs of a gifted learner.

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Gifted Endorsement

for Teachers

The Florida Department of Education requires fifteen additional semester hours of course credit to add an Endorsement in Gifted Education to a teaching certificate. Palm Beach County offers the necessary courses for endorsement to teachers employed by the district free of charge and for a fee of $300 per course for charter school employees seeking to earn the credits toward the Gifted Endorsement in the form of five 10-week module courses.


The five required courses are each worth 60 in-service points and include the following course titles:

Module 1:  Nature and Needs of Gifted Students

Module 2: Theory and Development of Creativity for the Gifted

Module 3: Guidance and Counseling of Gifted Students

Module 4: Education of Special Populations of Gifted Students

Module 5: Curriculum Development for the Gifted

For those starting the gifted endorsement coursework, the courses must be taken in sequential order.  

To enroll in the gifted endorsement courses, login to PeopleSoft>My eLearning> Search ALL LEARNING for the appropriate course> Enroll (All enrollment must be approved by the Gifted Program Planner and is contingent on the amount of spaces available in that course.)  Once enrolled in the course, participants must launch the course for eCampus via the link provided in eLearning.


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Powerpoint Presentations,

Documents, and

Digital Media



Procedural Safeguards for Exceptional Education Students Who are Gifted (.pdf)

Gifted Education Brochure (.pdf)


Feeder Pattern by Elementary Gifted Center 2018-2019 (.pdf)


Feeder Pattern by Elementary Homeschool 2018-2019 (.pdf)


Feeder Pattern for Middle School 2018-2019 (pdf)


Gifted Handbook (pdf)


Frequently Asked Questions (pdf)




District Gifted Personnel

Michelle R. Martin - Gifted Program Planner

561-434-8369 PX 48369

Theresa Thomas - Gifted Instructional Specialist

561-434-8734 PX 48734



Exceptional Student Education

Regional Coordinators:

Central: Theresa Padro-Morel


Glades: Amy Brown


North: Janice Coe


South: Ana Gomez




Parent and Teacher Resources:


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Florida Association for the Gifted


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National Association logo

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National Center for Research for Gifted logo