Service Design


Once students are identified, a district must determine how they are going to deliver gifted/talented (G/T) services. Much will depend on the number of gifted students identified and the staff that is trained to deliver those services. A district must decide how to ensure an array of learning opportunities meet the unique interests and abilities of these advanced-level students. To be in compliance, a district must have an advanced program in at least the four foundational curricular areas; math, science, English language arts, reading, and social studies. Gifted students need to have the opportunity to work with other gifted students during the school day as well as with non G/T students and independently. Districts must provide opportunities for credit by examination and early high school graduation.

Districts have limited funds to accomplish this goal. Many times, the G/T teacher will have many different hats to wear. If a district chooses to serve its students in a pullout program, where students are pulled out of the classroom for enrichment and extensions, that person may also be the dyslexia teacher, counselor, assistant principal, etc. Districts often use the cluster model, where G/T students are clustered together and placed in one class with a G/T-qualified teacher. That teacher must have the training and expertise to differentiate for the advanced learners. A new model has emerged, a push-in model, where a G/T-trained teacher goes into the class where the G/T student is learning and assists with the enrichment and extensions for that student. The first two models are seen the most in school districts.

Forty percent of district personnel reported that G/T students were served in their district through pull-out programs. ESC specialists were also asked about how G/T students were served in their region. Over 80 percent of ESC specialists indicated “other” and in comments stated that G/T students were served through a combination of pull-out programs, cluster programs, and in-class support from the G/T teacher. These data are displayed in Exhibit 6.

Forty percent of district personnel reported that G/T students were served in their district through pull-out programs. ESC specialists were also asked about how G/T students were served in their region. Over 80 percent of ESC specialists indicated “other” and in comments stated that G/T students were served through a combination of pull-out programs, cluster programs, and in-class support from the G/T teacher. These data are displayed in Exhibit 6.

Resources

G/T Services Description K-12
This is a sample description of how a district is serving the needs of G/T identified students.

G/T Services Budget
This is a sample budget that reflects how a district might utilize its G/T funds.

G/T Interdisciplinary Studies/Mentor Seminar I-IV
This is a course description of an independent study class at the secondary level.

Suggested Steps to Begin an Independent Mentorship Program
These are steps to on how begin an independent study mentorship class.

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Links

G/T Interdisciplinary Studies/Mentor Seminar I–IV description Steps to Begin an ISM Class
Texas Performance Standard Project

School district allotment regarding accounting of G/T students
Student Attendance Accounting Handbook

School funding regarding G/T students
School Finance 101: Texas Public School Funding

Ways G/T Students are served

  • Pull-out program 40%
  • Cluster grouping 8%
  • In-class support by G/T teacher 24%
  • Other 28%

Based on Texas Performance Standards Project: Needs Assessment and Data Collection survey 2014

At the secondary level, some districts deliver G/T services thru a Pre-AP or AP classroom with differentiations for gifted learners. These classes are preparing students to work at the college level in their high school years. Virtual learning gives an advanced student an opportunity to enroll in an AP class. Another option for high school students is to attend college while in high school to earn dual or concurrent credit. Dual enrollment is earning high school credit by attending a college course; concurrent enrollment is being enrolled in a college to earn college credit while attending high school.

Independent study classes are another way to meet the needs of gifted middle and high school students. Using TPSP to guide the curriculum for this class helps students produce advanced, sophisticated products that are aligned to our state goal. This innovative course is called G/T Interdisciplinary Studies/Mentor Seminar I–IV.

For each identified gifted student, a school district receives an annual allotment. This is determined by multiplying the basic allotment that a district receives (Section 42.102 or 42.103) for each student by .12. No more than 5 percent of the district’s ADA is eligible for funding. So, if your district has more than 5 percent of students identified as gifted, the district must be committed to use local budgets for G/T programming needs. That is why the chosen service design must be cost effective.

From 2013–2014 Student Attendance Accounting Handbook p.279 (PDF, 1,725 KB)

Gifted/Talented — Weight 0.12

Gifted/talented funding pays for gifted/talented program staff salaries and resources. Funding is based on the number of students served through the gifted/talented program. The number of students eligible for this funding is capped for each district/charter school at 5 percent of the entity’s refined ADA.

From School Finance 101: Texas Public School Funding p.16 (October 2014) (PDF, 1.85 MB)

Gifted and Talented (G/T)

G/T programs provide educational experiences beyond those normally provided by the regular school program to students who have been determined to need them.

A district may not generate G/T funding for more than 5 percent of its students in ADA.

To calculate a district’s G/T allotment, the district’s AA is multiplied by 0.12 and then multiplied by the number of G/T students or by 5 percent of total ADA, whichever is less.

G/T allotment = AA x 0.12 x G/T enrollment

Fifty-five percent of this money can be spent on direct costs. This would include anything directly involved with gifted students such as testing materials, teachers, resources, and supplies. Forty-five percent of this money can be spent on indirect costs. This would include things that are indirectly involved with G/T students such as a building, a specialist with multiple responsibilities, etc.

(No more than 45 percent of state funds allocated for gifted/talented education is spent on indirect costs as defined in the Financial Accounting and Reporting Module (Financial Accountability Resource Guide). At least 55 percent of the funds allocated to gifted/talented education is spent on assessment and services for gifted students (19 TAC §105.11). State Plan – Service Design 2.5c)


Refer to the Texas State Plan for the Education of Gifted/Talented Students under the Recommended and Exemplary columns for guidance on best practices for service design. Generally speaking, those practices include a district servicing the needs of gifted students in a comprehensive, structured, and appropriately challenging program. Those services are directed by a highly qualified person and evaluated on a continuous basis.