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Gifted Learner Identification

2020-21 Identification Process Update

We are consulting with state and district leaders about effective use of large scale assessment during the COVID-19 pandemic and are researching considerations to ensure a safe and equitable identification process. We are committed to providing flexible and inclusive services. Gifted Education services through enrichments and extensions in all classrooms are available to all students based on learning needs and do not require a formal identification to participate. Details about our district’s identification plan for this year will be shared as soon as they are available.


833 Gifted Services Identification Process:

833 Gifted Education screens and identifies students annually for gifted services. We conduct universal screening to find students who are demonstrating outstanding abilities and are capable of higher performance when compared to others of similar age, experience and environment. We use multiple criteria in the process for identification of gifted and talented students. 

  • In grade 2, all students enrolled in 833 are universally screened for gifted services.
  • Students in grades 3-7 who are not previously identified but are demonstrating outstanding abilities may be screened for gifted services. Achievement data, including MAP is reviewed annually and teacher input is given to determine students for further screening for gifted services. Students in grades 3-7 may also be referred by a parent or guardian. 

Identification for gifted services in the 833 schools considers the following multiple measures criteria:

  • Ability: The CogAT (Cognitive Abilities Test), an academic ability test is administered to all grade 2 students to learn more about students academic abilities in verbal, quantitative and nonverbal areas. 
  • Achievement: MAP (Measures of Academic Progress) in the areas of Reading and Math.
  • School data: EL and SPED data is gathered. 

What support provided once a student is identified for gifted services?

  • Students identified for gifted services are placed in Cluster Classrooms with a teacher trained to meet the unique needs of gifted learners in the next school year. All Elementary schools and Middle Schools have Cluster Classrooms in grades 3-8.
  • A student does not need to be formally identified as a gifted learner to receive support for their high academic and learning ability and/or high achievement needs. Gifted services are provided based on formative and ongoing assessment of student needs in the classroom based on the content and standards being presented at that time through enrichments, enhancements and extensions in the classroom.  

Gifted Services will accept IQ testing administered by a licensed psychologist.

Once the test scores are received by Gifted Education and additional achievement and school data is gathered, you will be notified if your child is identified for 833 gifted services.

Gifted Identification in Prior District

If your child was identified for gifted services in their prior district, after enrolling your child in District 833, please send the results of the ability and achievement data used for placement to Danielle Menard, Gifted Education Support Specialist at dmenard@sowashco.org or

Gifted Education Services
7362 E. Point Douglas Rd. S.
Cottage Grove, MN 55016


These school ability tests may include the Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT), an Otis-Lennon School Ability Test (OLSAT), a Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test (NNAT), or an intelligence test, such as a WISC, administered by a psychologist.