Gifted and Talented

Texas Administrative Code 29.121: A gifted and talented student is a child who performs at or shows the potential for performing at a remarkably high level of accomplishment when compared to others of the same age, experience, or environment and who exhibits high-performance capability in an intellectual, creative, or artistic area; possesses an unusual capacity for leadership; or excels in a specific academic field.  The process for identifying such students include a needs assessment for the purpose of placing students into educational programs designed to develop their potential (Reichert, 1997)


Student playing with numbers

Gifted and Talented (G/T) Services  provide extensions to classroom content for students 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;

  • Possesses an unusual capacity for leadership; or

  • Excels in a specific academic field. (Texas Education Code §29.121)

  • Students receiving gifted services demonstrate skills in self-directed learning, thinking, research and communication.  G/T students develop innovative products and sophisticated  performances that reflect individuality and creativity and are often targeted to an audience beyond the classroom.

Qualification for gifted services is demonstrated via a combination of performance on standardized aptitude and achievement tests, as well as G/T Characteristic scales, classroom planned experiences, classroom observations and work produced.

GT services are designed to meet the needs of G/T students by developing the capacities of self-awareness, communication, creativity, critical thinking, research and problem solving. All teachers who serve G/T students will have additional training to recognize the unique attributes of giftedness children may exhibit and how to extend curriculum using depth and complexity to promote and develop the above mentioned capacities.

In 1990, the State Plan for the Education of Gifted/Talented Students was adopted by the Texas State Board of Education and revised in 2009.  The most significant revision was very simple. Instead of qualifying students for a GT Program, students now qualify for GT Services.  The State Plan forms the basis of GT services and accountability at Cityscape Schools.

Students who participate in services designed for gifted/talented students will demonstrate skills in self-directed learning, thinking, research, and communications as evidenced by the development of innovative products and performances that reflect individuality and creativity and are advanced in relation to students of similar age, experience, or environment.  

At Cityscape Schools, our goal is that G/T students continuously seek out challenges to develop self-awareness and social consciousness, critical thinking skills, creativity and effective communication skills.

  • Become aware of his or her own unique potential and learning style in order to develop these abilities for the betterment of self and society.

  • Utilize higher level thinking skills to develop intellectual curiosity in critical, creative and productive thinking.
  • Understand and apply the problem-solving process in a cooperative group setting through analysis and evaluation of a real life situation.

  • Develop reference skills for using multiple concepts and resources in synthesizing an advanced product.

Our Guiding Documents for the Gifted and Talented Program at Cityscape Schools are available and attached below:

Texas State Plan for the Education of Gifted & Talented Students

Texas State Plan for the Education of Gifted & Talented Students (Spanish)

TEA Equity in Gifted Education

Evaluation and Referral Process

Student teaching

Evaluation and Referral Process

 Students with gifted and talented abilities often display advanced characteristics, as compared with students of the same age.   If several GT characteristics are observed on a regular basis over time, Gifted and Talented testing might be considered in order to identify possible educational needs and provide appropriate services.

 How do I start the GT identification testing process?

 Referral forms are available through classroom teachers or GT Facilitators on each campus.  You are encouraged to schedule a conference to discuss testing procedures on each individual campus.

What are GT Characteristics? 

Students with gifted and talented abilities often display some of the following characteristics:

A gifted student often uses advanced language when compared to peers. They may enjoy telling detailed stories. A gifted student may have a large storehouse of information and an extensive vocabulary. Gifted students are often expressive in more than one way (art, language, music, dance) and often deepen connections by making comparisons that are more complex than same age peers.

Gifted students often have a high level of problem-solving and reasoning skills. They are often more aware of their internal and external environment. A gifted student observes his or her surroundings intensely and is attentive to details in the environment. They typically understand complex ideas and thoughts and see patterns. A gifted student thinks deeply.

G/T students are curious. They ask questions to make sense of rules and relationships. They often generate original solutions to problems. They are persistent in their areas of interest. They often create unique products and innovative designs or solutions to problems. They make unexpected connections across disciplines.

A G/T student often understands different points of view. They may be particularly insightful. They understand the concept of justice and they value fairness. A G/T student often sees the “bigger picture.” They are creative when solving problems or looking for solutions. They demonstrate complex perspectives in their work.

Gifted students understand and use subtle nuances of language. They are often highly creative, fun loving, and witty. They may experiment with language figuratively for humorous effect and demonstrate an unusual imagination.

G/T students are often empathetic. This may cause them to internalize others’ feelings and emotions. Gifted students may show awareness of problems that others may not recognize. They may exhibit more concern for world issues than typical peers. They care deeply about things and have an extensive memory about people and conversations.

Gifted students often learn quickly, although not all gifted children excel in all subjects. They may have a large storehouse of information, particularly about topics of interest to them. They may have an awareness of and may see patterns in procedures, experiences, and ideas. They may see logical and common sense answers. Many gifted students perform better with more challenging or complex tasks.

It is important to note that not all gifted and talented students excel in all subjects, and they are often academic underachievers. G/T students may have learning disabilities or other conditions that affect their ability to demonstrate some of their abilities in a traditional way. These students are referred to as “twice exceptional.” Many gifted students struggle to perform in a typical school environment. It is our goal at Cityscape Schools to provide gifted and talented students with instruction that inspires and enriches them, while addressing their academic and social needs.


Students may be nominated or referred for GT testing at any time by teachers, counselors, parents or other interested persons.  Testing criteria is specific to the State of Texas definition of gifted and talented, and shall ensure fair assessment of students with special needs, such as those who are culturally different, economically disadvantaged, and students who are twice exceptional (may have a disability as well as giftedness)..

Data is collected through both objective and subjective assessments.  Assessment tools may include but are not limited to, the following: achievement tests, intelligence tests, creativity tests, behavioral checklists completed by teachers and parents, student/parent conferences, and available student work products.

GT Services are designed to develop critical and creative thinking skills, problem-solving skills, and reference skills for students demonstrating abilities that are above the level of same-age peersf0.  The specific services each student receives may vary, depending on the student’s placement recommendation and emerging educational, social, and emotional needs.