Gifted Terms and What They Mean
This glossary was developed by Henrico County Public Schools (HCPS) Gifted Education Department. January 2020
Gifted Education Glossary
Ability Test–A test that measures a student’s thinking abilities (reasoning, perception, problem solving, memory).
Acceleration–Moving through content at a faster pace than average classmates. Students who are accelerated usually don’t need as much practice as an average student. Students may be able to accelerate in some subjects but work at an average or slower pace in other subjects.
Achievement Test–A test that measures what has been learned. These tests ask questions in the areas of language, reading, math, science, and social studies. They help teachers know what students have learned and what has not yet been mastered.
Advanced Placement (AP)–Students in high school can take courses which allow them the opportunity to test through College Board and potentially place out of general entry level college classes. Students do not need to be identified gifted to enroll in Advanced Placement Classes.
Age Equivalent Score (AE)–A score given on a standardized test that shows how students compare with other students who are the same age throughout the United States. Ability tests often give both an age equivalent score and a grade equivalent score.
Chronological Age (CA)–The age of a child according to date of birth.
Cluster Grouping–Intentionally placing groups of students with similar gifts and talents in the same mixed-ability classroom.
Compacting–Adjusted curriculum based on determining what a student has already mastered. Time gained by not completing introductory, practice, and drill materials is able to be spent diving deeper into content via project or differentiated assignment.
Differentiation–Meeting students’ needs by modifying, enriching, and/or compacting the curriculum being taught. Modifying instruction by varying the product, process or content of an assignment.
Early Bird Math–A course for fifth grade students who excel in the area of mathematics. Early Bird math students take an accelerated math course which covers the Standards of Learning for grades 5, 6 and 7.
Eligible student–A student who has been identified as gifted by the gifted identification/placement committee.
Enrichment–Programs or lessons that add to or go beyond the curriculum; can be done in a pull-out program or in the classroom.
General Intellectual Aptitude (GIA)–Indicates that a student has been identified in both language arts and mathematics.
Gifted–Students in public elementary, middle, and secondary schools in grades K-12 who demonstrate high levels of accomplishment or who show the potential for higher levels of accomplishment when compared to others of the same age, experience, or environment. Their aptitudes and potential for accomplishment are so outstanding that they require special programs to meet their educational needs.
Gifted Education Advisory Council–A HCPS advisory council comprised of parents/guardians, school counselors and teachers, administrators, gifted programs support staff, community members, and identified gifted students. The council meets a minimum of five times yearly. Meetings are open to the public, though only advisory members may vote.
Gifted News for Parents Page–A web page produced by HCPS containing the most recent information about local enrichment programs as well as articles of general interest for parents of gifted children. https://sites.google.com/henrico.k12.va.us/giftedparent
Gifted Young Scholars Academy (GYSA)–A middle school program for gifted students who have been identified in both language and math. Students who qualify complete an application. Selection is made by lottery.
Grade Equivalent Score–A score given on a standardized test that shows how students compare with other students who are in the same grade throughout the United States. Ability tests often give both an age equivalent score and a grade equivalent score.
Grouping–Placing groups of students together based on ability for math or language instruction. Groups may be long or short term.
GT or G/T, TAG, or GATE–gifted and talented
Identification–The multi-step process of evaluating students for gifted services.
Identification/Placement Committee–The committee comprised of the school’s Gifted Identification Coordinator, Gifted Resource Teacher, School Counselor/Classroom teacher, and School Administrator/designee who reviews gifted portfolios, determines program eligibility and recommends program placement.
International Baccalaureate (IB)–An application-based program for middle and high school students that provides an internationally recognized curriculum and assessments. A student does not need to be gifted to participate in the IB program.
Jacob’s Ladder–A non-profit organization that supports gifted students from underserved populations. The organization provides direct support to students over a period of years.
Math 5/6 Class–An accelerated course which covers the Standards of Learning for both fifth and half of sixth grade math curriculum in a single year. Students who are identified as gifted in math by the end of fourth grade will participate in this course. Additional students, not identified gifted in math, are selected to participate using a rubric provided by the HCPS Math Department.
Mentoring Mathematical Minds (M2 or M3)–Math units designed at the University of Connecticut for use with gifted math students. Two units are used each year with fourth and fifth grade students in the zone/center-based classes.
The National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC)–An organization that offers resources and information for teachers and parents of gifted students.
Navigators–Language Arts units developed at the College of William and Mary. Students in the fourth and fifth grade zone/center-based classes work through two navigators each year.
PBL–Used to describe a variety of types of problems: Project, Passion, Performance or Problem Based Learning, are projects and/or activities that provide students with authentic, open-ended learning opportunities and outcomes.
Passion Project–A type of PBL that allows independent topic selection.
Problem Based Learning–Students are provided or self-select an open-ended problem and are asked to analyze the problem, design a solution, test the solution and make modifications as needed.
Project Based Learning–An authentic, open-ended learning opportunity which provides for students to use the skills they have learned to design and complete a project to demonstrate what they know about a topic.
Pull out–When gifted students are taken out of the homeroom class in order to receive instruction from the gifted education resource teacher. Most pull out takes place during the Intervention block, so students should not miss core instruction.
Referral–The formal and direct process that parents/guardians, teachers, professionals, students, peers, self, or others use to request that a K-12 grade student be evaluated for gifted education program services.
School-Based Center (HCPS)–Gifted programs available in schools that have large numbers of identified gifted students. Identified students are placed in self-contained fourth and fifth grade classes where they receive advanced curriculum opportunities, work with gifted endorsed staff, and spend their day with other identified GIA students.
Screening–The active search for students who may be referred for the formal gifted identification process. Nationally normed test scores, student grades, and teacher checklists are part of the ongoing screening process in HCPS.
Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted (SENG)–A non-profit organization that empowers families and communities to guide gifted and talented individuals to reach their goals: intellectually, physically, emotionally, socially, and spiritually. The web page for SENG contains articles about how to support the emotional needs of gifted students. SENG also produces frequent webinars for parents and teachers about topics pertaining to the needs of gifted individuals of all ages.
Talented and Gifted (TAG)–Another way of saying gifted and talented.
Twice Exceptional (2e)–This means that a person has been identified gifted and has a learning disability diagnosis.
Underachievement–When an intelligent student performs poorly on academic tasks. The student demonstrates cognitive ability, but for some reason actual achievement is not strong. The student has the ability to perform at a much higher rate than currently demonstrated.
Universal Screener–The use of an ability test to screen an entire cohort of students. HCPS currently utilizes a universal screener in the fall of a student’s second grade year.
VAgifted–An organization that supports gifted education in the state of Virginia. Conferences which include informational sessions for parents of gifted students are held regularly.
Window–The dates within which students in a particular grade can be referred for gifted evaluation and take part in the identification process. HCPS releases the referral window dates in the fall of each calendar year.
Visual and Performing Arts Aptitude (VPA)–Students who demonstrate or have the potential to demonstrate superior creative reasoning and imaginative expression; persistent artistic curiosity; and advanced acquisition and mastery of techniques, perspectives, concepts and principles beyond their age-level peers in visual and/or performing arts.
Zone Center Program (HCPS)–A program currently housed at three designated schools (Ward, Trevvett, and Three Chopt Elementary) serving the schools within the zone areas who do not host their own school-based center. Students who are identified gifted in both language and math are eligible to participate. Students who qualify will receive information about the programs in the spring. Participating students receive advanced curriculum opportunities, work with gifted endorsed staff, and spend their day with identified GIA students.
The idea for developing the HCPS list of terms and definitions came from Mensa “Gifted Terms and What They Mean” by Jamie Uphold.