Equity in Gifted/Talented (G/T) Education

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Parents and family members have a unique ability to observe a child’s characteristics, abilities, and attitudes across many different environments. Although there is no single assessment of giftedness, there are certain characteristics shared by many gifted learners. Below is a list of some general traits to watch for if you believe your child might be in need of gifted services. Keep in mind that not every gifted learner will display every one of these characteristics, and giftedness may manifest itself through traits not listed below.

General Characteristics:

  • Grasps concepts quickly and easily
  • Becomes frustrated with other children who do not grasp concepts as easily
  • Is more sensitive to colors, sounds, beauty, injustice, and/or emotions than peers
  • Prefers talking to adults over talking to age peers
  • Is unusually curious
  • Is able to concentrate on a topic of interest for long periods of time
  • Has the sense of humor normally expected of someone much older

Advocating for Your Child

Contact your child’s school counselor to nominate him/her for consideration for gifted services. In order to determine the appropriate educational placement for your child, an evaluation must be made. Each school district’s evaluation process is slightly different, and many school districts post their procedures on their websites.

Questions for the School

  • What is the nomination process?
  • Will my child be assessed in his/her preferred language?
  • If my child has a need for gifted services, how can I be sure he/she receives support for giftedness, as well as support for language acquisition?
  • What can I do at home to support my child?
  • Are there support groups in the school/district for parents of gifted children, parents of English language learners, or both?

Web Resources

The following are some websites that offer free resources, strategies, and tips for helping your child succeed in school:

¡Colorín Colorado!

Texas Association for Bilingual Education Recursos para padres

In Culture Parent

National Association for Bilingual Education Resource Center

A Parent’s Guide to 21st Century Learning (available in English and Spanish)

Celebrate Your Child

TELPAS is an assessment program for students in Texas public schools who are learning the English language. The letters in TELPAS stand for Texas English Language Proficiency Assessment System. The Texas Education Agency developed TELPAS to meet state and federal testing requirements. Texas assesses English language learners annually in listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Students learning the English language begin participating in TELPAS in kindergarten and stop participating when their language proficiency assessment committee (LPAC) determines that they are proficient in the English language.

Teachers and other educators use TELPAS to help them plan effective instruction for children. It is a measure of how well children are learning English and is not used to assign grades.

TELPAS Resources from the Texas Education Agency

TELPAS free online student tutorials