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Gifted Identification Process and Enrichment Experiences

The Bedford Central School District is committed to addressing the needs of all students. Our mission statement indicates that, “We are dedicated to academic excellence, inspiring creativity, and the realization of one’s full potential through equal access to educational opportunities for all students.” Inspiring and Challenging Our Students is a lofty goal, but it is one we are striving to reach in every classroom. This requires that we know our students and how each learns, and that we continually manage and monitor progress. It also requires that we operate with flexibility and offer services that match students’ needs, as opposed to matching students to existing services. At the elementary level, the district engages in two distinct sets of practices as part of this approach:

1.      Identification of gifted students.

2.      Development of our continuum of enrichment experiences for all students.


Step 1. Identification of Gifted Students

Identification of gifted students is a requirement of both NYS Education Law and district policy.

NYS Commissioner’s Regulations- Title 8, Parts 117 & 142

BCSD Board of Education Policy- 4322 Programs for Gifted & Talented

We use the Otis Lennon School Ability Test (OLSAT) as our screener in the gifted identification process. Students who score in the 9th stanine (96%ile or higher) on the OLSAT on the verbal, non-verbal and/or total score portions of the test are identified as "gifted" in our process.

We recognize that every student should have an opportunity to achieve and maximize his/her full potential and talent. There are students with extraordinary capabilities and exceptional potential, as characterized by one or more of the following: high intelligence, academic excellence, a rapid rate of learning, and varied forms of creativity. These students, regardless of race, socio-economic status, ethnicity, disability, or language, must receive equitable consideration for access to specialized programs and educational opportunities to support their needs. Programs and opportunities will be offered within a continuum of learning experiences that are appropriate for the diverse attributes and needs of all learners, including those identified as gifted.

Step 2. Development of our continuum of enrichment experiences for all students.

It is important to understand that an identification of giftedness does not result in entry to a specific school program or service. We are committed to addressing the needs of all students. As a result, academic enrichment is provided to all students along an increasingly specific and targeted continuum of services. A team of educators in your child’s building meets throughout the school year to develop a plan of instruction that takes his/her needs into account, including special gifts and talents. We describe this as a “tiered approach”, consistent with the literature and with our philosophy statement. The tiered approach describes an increasingly intense level of service depending on the identified needs of individual students.

Important Documents

Electronic Resources on Gifted Education

Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development


This site contains articles on differentiation and provides information on products that can be used to assist educators as they design differentiated activities for all learners. The topic of differentiation can be explored by typing the word--differentiation--in the search box or by selecting “Education Topics” and then clicking on the link to “Differentiating Instruction.”

ERIC Clearinghouse on Disabilities and Gifted


The ERIC Clearinghouse provides information on a wide range of gifted education topics. The site includes links to digests and fact sheets about curriculum, differentiated instruction, identification, dual exceptionalities, cluster grouping, etc.

Genius Denied


This site offers articles, book listings, a newsletter, discussion groups, and much more about gifted education for parents, teachers, students, and other professionals.

Hoagies’ Gifted Education Page


Hoagies’ Gifted Education Page offers resources and links in the area of gifted education for parents, educators, counselors, administrators, and other professionals. This comprehensive site contains insightful articles, information on programs and schooling options for gifted children, a parent discussion forum and other links of interest to parents of talented children.



HOTT LINX is an innovative effort to bring quality differentiated curriculum and instruction into classrooms nationwide. The site provides educators with information about differentiation and access to differentiated curricular materials.

KidSource Online


This site provides information about gifted and talented education, including activity resources, parenting tips, and educator resources.

A Nation Deceived: How Schools Hold Back America’s Brightest Students


The Nation Deceived report provides teachers and parents with a review of the research on acceleration. It includes information about early school entrance, grade skipping in elementary school, the Advanced Placement program, and early entrance to college.

National Association for Gifted Children


NAGC is a non-profit organization of parents, teachers, educators, other professionals, and community leaders who unite to address the unique needs of children and youth with demonstrated gifts and talents as well as those children who may be able to develop their talent potential with appropriate educational experiences. The site contains information about the organization’s publications, membership, etc.

National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented


The work of The National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented (NRC/GT) is guided by emerging research about the broadened conception of human potential and the need to develop "high-end learning" opportunities for all of America's students. The site includes an overview of research studies conducted by the Center as well as electronic links that provide additional information about the field of gifted and talented education. The site includes information about materials that may be ordered from the center (research monographs, brochures, videotapes) and online resources for researchers, teachers, parents, administrators and others interested in gifted children.

Northern Kentucky University: Resources for Parents, Teachers, and Gifted, Talented, Creative, and Promising Mathematics Students


This site contains resources that provide challenging activities for students who love mathematics as well as curriculum support materials for teachers.

Parenting for High Potential


Designed for parents, but written by educators, this publication provides information on issues for guiding gifted children at home, in the community, and at school. This NAGC quarterly magazine is available with the purchase of a NAGC membership.

SENG (Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted


SENG is an organization that seeks to inform gifted individuals, their families and the professionals who work with them, about the unique social and emotional needs of gifted learners.

2e Twice-Exceptional Newsletter


This newsletter is for parents, teachers and professionals who seek information on twice-exceptional children, i.e., children who have a combination of two exceptionalities, such as ADHD/gifted.