How Do I Know When to Refer?

The decision to refer a student for gifted screening is a very individual one, so it is impossible to give a hard-and-fast rule about when to do so. In general, though, if you have a student you believe is a candidate, this checklist should help you with the decision:

  • Review the lists of gifted characteristics in this kit. Does the student demonstrate any of them? (No student will have them all, so even a student who only exhibits one or two might be worth looking at more closely.)
  • Have you completed a Teacher Nomination Form to seek out other less obvious candidates?
  • Have you developed differentiated lessons with the student in mind? How well did s/he succeed at the more challenging ones?
  • Have you considered pretesting the student (or your whole class) to identify content that might be skipped?
  • If you pretest regularly, does the student often demonstrate mastery of a particular subject before you do the instruction?
  • Have you consulted with the parents about your observations? Do they agree with your appraisal of the child? How do they feel about screening?
  • Have you asked the gifted support teacher to observe the student?
  • Have you asked the gifted support teacher to do some enrichment lessons so that you can observe the student more closely?
  • Have you spoken with other teachers, aides or specialists who have worked with the student to get their opinions?

If after this review the student appears to be in need of more support than you are able to provide in the classroom, then a referral would be appropriate. You may find that some students stand out more quickly—if it is clear to you that a student is exceptional, please do submit a referral to the SST teacher right away.