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Kindergarten - 12th Grade Gifted and Talented
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Learn More about FISD’s Gifted and Talented Program


Definition: Gifted and Talented Students

Gifted and Talented students are those who perform at or show the potential for performing at a remarkably high level of accomplishment when compared to others of the same age, experience, or environment and who exhibit high performance capability in an intellectual, creative, or artistic area, possess an usual capacity for leadership, and/or excel in a specific academic field. Gifted and Talented students are also defined as those who excel in their ability to think, reason, judge, invent, or create to the degree that they need special facilities and/or educational services in order that they may have the opportunity to achieve their potential while making increased meaningful contributions to society. Students shall be identified through the use of multiple criteria as specified by the Frisco Independent School District. The District recognizes that students identified as gifted and talented can come from all races, socio-economic groups, geographical locales, and environments.



Gifted Education in Texas

In 1977, the Texas Legislature passed its first legislation concerning the education of gifted students. In 1979, state funds for providing services to gifted children were made available, but providing such services was optional for school districts. In 1987, The Texas Legislature mandated that all school districts must identify and serve gifted students at all grade levels. In 1990, The Texas State Plan for the Education of Gifted/Talented Students was adopted, and in 1999 the Texas Performance Standards Project for Gifted/Talented Students was created. Today, Texas educators are committed to meeting the unique needs of gifted students and to expanding the ways we do so.

Texas State Plan for the Education of Gifted/Talented Students



About the Gifted and Talented Program

The special qualities and abilities of gifted children create special needs. The Gifted and Talented program recognizes these qualities and attempts to meet the unique needs of gifted learners and is designed to enhance their social, intellectual, and personal needs. Strategies appropriate and essential for the gifted are implemented in each class in order to provide learners with the opportunity to reach their academic potential.

Elementary (K-5)

Gifted learners on the elementary campuses are served in cluster classrooms with a teacher trained in gifted and talented, as well as by a pull-out GT Teacher. Kindergarten students begin receiving services April 1.

Middle School (Grades 6-8)

Middle school students participate in G/T Pre-AP ILA (Integrated Language Arts) courses and in the Pre-AP math and science courses led by trained teachers.

High School (Grades 9-12)

The high school campuses provide trained teachers for their Pre-AP/AP/GT courses. Juniors and seniors are eligible to apply for participation in the Independent Study & Mentorship Program (ISM).

GT Humanities I will be offered in Frisco ISD beginning in the 2015-2016 school year and will begin with 9th graders who are identified as gifted and talented. GT Humanities II will be offered starting the following school year, 2016-2017. Both of these courses will be designated for students identified as gifted and talented.

Course Description

GT Humanities I / Pre-AP English I and GT Humanities II / AP World History are courses that provide gifted students with opportunities not available through regular or advanced classes. The courses combine Pre-AP English I with AP World History in a two-year interdisciplinary spiral. The basic content is a historical study of the commonalities of the fine arts, including literature, the visual arts, architecture, and music. Students will learn and practice the craft of writing through various products, including AP style writing. Literature from a variety of world traditions will also be a key focus. Beginning in 2016-17, ninth and tenth grade students will sit in the same class while earning credit in separate courses; ninth graders will earn Pre-AP English I credit while tenth graders will earn AP World History credit. At the conclusion of GT Humanities II, students can sit for the AP World History exam to possibly earn college credit.

GT Humanities Course Information and FAQs

GT Humanities Course Parent Meeting Handout



Frequently Asked Questions

I am new to Frisco, and my child was identified as being gifted in another state/district in Texas. Is he/she automatically placed into your gifted program?

Because each district/state establishes its own guidelines for identification of gifted students, they are not automatically placed in our gifted and talented program. Previously identified students are assessed using FISD’s criteria, and we strive to complete this assessment within the first six weeks of enrollment.

What kind of documentation do I need to provide to assist with the referral and screening process?

It is always helpful for parents to share any documentation with the campus GT Teacher. The teacher will verify that your child was served in a gifted program before proceeding with assessment. National, state, and district testing information, report cards that show gifted placement, and letters of acceptance into a gifted program expedite the screening process.

I am new to the district, and I want my child tested for the gifted program. What should I do?

District testing for the gifted/talented program is done annually. Contact the GT teacher at your child's campus.

How many students are accepted each year?

Identification does not involve a quota. We take all who qualify under the district guidelines.

Does my child have to re-qualify as he/she moves from elementary school to middle school?

In Frisco ISD, he/she remains in the gifted program from one grade to the next and from one school to the next unless the program is not meeting the needs of an identified learner.

My child was identified for the gifted program in Frisco, and we moved away five years ago. Now we are back, and I wonder if my child is automatically placed in the gifted program?

Identified gifted students who move away from Frisco and later return may or may not need to be re-assessed. They are not automatically placed back into the gifted program. If they have been gone less than two (2) years or their original testing is less than two years old, the student will be readmitted to the program. Otherwise, the student must be assessed and qualify again before being placed in the program.

How are elementary gifted students served?

Gifted learners on the elementary campuses are served in cluster classrooms with a teacher trained in gifted and talented education, as well as by a pull-out GT Teacher. These teachers work to individualize differentiated curriculum, instruction, and assessment for the students when it is appropriate or deemed necessary.

If I need information about how to refer my child for testing, who do I contact?

The GT Teacher on each campus may be reached by calling the school office or through email. Because all teachers are teaching classes during the day, your phone calls and emails will be returned as soon as time is available. Please refer to a listing of all the GT Teachers on this website.



GT Teachers



Referral and Screening

Referrals for the Gifted and Talented Program may be made by parents, teachers, counselors, community members or peers. Students may be referred each year, but the prior testing data may be considered valid for two years. GT teachers are available on each campus and may be contacted for answers to questions.

  • Elementary students in Kindergarten through fifth grade must meet the Phase I Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) criteria in order to move forward to the Phase II portion of the screening process. Phase II involves the Iowa Assessments Achievement test.

  • Secondary students will take both the Cognitive Abilities Test and the Iowa Assessments Achievement test.

  • The Cognitive Abilities Test is a nationally normed, standardized ability test published by Riverside Publishing. This assessment instrument involves a paper-based instrument designed to asses a student's reasoning and problem solving abilities relative to the national normative data. The instrument includes a Verbal Battery, a Quantitative Battery, and a Nonverbal Battery.
    Gifted Program CogAT Score Requirements:
    Students must receive a 126 SAS score or higher in two of the four sections.
  • The Iowa Assessments Achievement Test is a nationally normed, standardized achievement test published by Riverside Publishing. This assessment instrument involves a paper-based instrument designed to assess a student's current academic achievement level relative to the national normative data. The instrument includes the following sections: Reading/Vocabulary, Language/Written Expression, and Mathematics.
    Gifted Program Iowa Assessments Score Requirements:
    Iowa Assessments
    Reading /ELA Total
    ELA Total/EXT ELA
    Total Math
    Students must receive a 92% or higher in two of the four sections.

2014/2015 Gifted and Talented Program Referral and Testing Calendar
2015 8th Grade GT Referral & Humanities Meeting Flyer



Resources for Parents of Gifted Learners

Math Enrichment Resources

Art of Problem Solving's Alcumus offers students a customized learning experience, adjusting to student performance to deliver appropriate problems and lessons. Alcumus is specifically designed to provide high-performing students with challenging problems appropriate to their abilities. Site requires free registration.

The Metroplex Math Circle (MMC):

  • Meets on Saturdays (2pm-4pm) in room 2.201 of the Engineering and Computer Sciences building on the campus of the University of Texas at Dallas (corner of Rutford and Drive A). See current schedule on their website.
  • Exposes middle and high school students to exciting mathematics presented by research mathematicians, mathematics educators and internationally seasoned Olympiad problem-solvers;
  • Provides extracurricular opportunities to extend mathematical knowledge and skill well beyond the school curriculum;
  • Gives opportunities to students to meet and work with other students of similar or superior math abilities and aspirations;
  • Creates a forum for testing students’ math competition skills

Please visit for additional information and schedule of meetings.

MATHCOUNTS is one of the country's largest and most successful education partnerships involving volunteers, educators, industry sponsors and students. Often referred to as the MCP, the MATHCOUNTS Club Program is a fun, challenging and FREE program aimed at engaging a wide spectrum of students. The MATHCOUNTS Club Program provides schools with the structure and activities to hold regular meetings of a math club as well as free resources such as a problem of the week.

Science Enrichment Opportunities

STARS is primarily for science teachers, but there are opportunities now for students as well. (Science Teacher Access to Resources at Southwestern) was developed in 1991 to improve the quality of science education in North Central Texas. At that time, a partnership was formed to make available to middle and high school science teachers some of the vast educational resources of UT Southwestern Medical Center. Since its inception, the STARS Program has grown to serve over 6,000 teachers and 35,000 students in 2,000 schools in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. The scope of STARS has steadily expanded to include over 20 separate programs and projects ,which are available, free of charge, to teachers and students in the state of Texas.

Lyle Engineering Camp for Girls is a week-long, half-day program designed for girls entering 7th-12th grade in the fall of 2014. Girls explore engineering through hands-on, interactive projects which show how engineering is related to social concerns, community interest and individual development.

These math and science organizations and activities are provided solely as a resource. The list is not exhaustive, and inclusion on this website does not constitute an endorsement by the District in their quality or effectiveness. The District does not make any representation that any group or institution not on this list is not competent or qualified. Furnishing this list does not constitute a referral of the student by the District to any enrichment organization or activity. Neither the District nor any employee of the District endorses or recommends any of the organizations or activities listed. The District has not investigated the background, qualifications, licensing status, criminal record, abilities, fees charged, or results achieved by these organizations. Before taking their students to participate in these organizations or activities, parents should investigate and satisfy themselves in all particulars concerning these organizations and activities.

Please contact these organizations directly for current schedules and prices.