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Gifted Program (Gifted)

OCDSB > Programs > Special Education > Special Education Programs

Gifted Program

Required Documentation

Primary (Grades 1-4)

The following assessment documentation is required before a student may be considered for placement in the Gifted Program at the primary level.

• Students must be nominated by either their parent (s) or teacher. After nomination, and with parental consent, nominated OCDSB students are assessed using the Canadian Cognitive Abilities Test (CCAT). Results must include scores at the 99th percentile on two of the three scales and at least 90th percentile on the third scale.

• A student profile form and parent information form. Student Profile form has the majority of ratings in the Advanced or Unusually Advanced categories.

• Where available, a board psychologist will review individual assessment results as measured by one of these three standardized assessment tools: a) WISC –III, b) WISC-IV (Canadian norms) or c) Stanford-Binet. Results will show Verbal or Full-Scale scores at or above the 99.6th percentile in combination with a strong student profile form completed by the school, or alternatively a perceptual reasoning score at the 99.6th percentile or above and accompanied by a Verbal scale score at the 95th percentile or higher.

Junior/Intermediate (Grades 5-8)

The following pieces of assessment documentation are required before a student may be considered for placement in the Gifted Program at the junior and intermediate levels.

• A total of eight (8) profile points accumulated through the results of the Canadian Cognitive Abilities Test (CCAT) and, if necessary, the Canadian Achievement Test 4 (CAT4) or WIAT III. Please see the OCDSB Gifted Screening and Identification Manual for details.

• Where available, a board psychologist will review individual assessment results as measured by on of the following standardized assessment tools: a) WISC III, b) WISC IV (Canadian norms) , or c) Stanford-Binet. A total of eight (8) profile point accumulated through these results and, if necessary CAT4 or WIAT III.. Student profile form and parent information form. Students new to the OCDSB will follow similar assessment procedures as outlined above, whether or not they were previously identified as gifted by another school board.

Application Procedure

Entry into this program is based on both the student’s specific needs and the availability of space within the program.

Step 1 Application:

An application is submitted by the principal of the student’s community school. This application is completed in collaboration with the in-school team and in consultation with the multi-disciplinary team (school psychologist, speechlanguage pathologist, social worker and learning support consultant). The application must be supported by the student’s *parent (s).
* parent denotes custodial parent(s) or guardian(s)

Step 2 Central Recommendation Committee:

This committee a) reviews the student’s learning profile in relation to the program’s entry criteria, b) determines whether or not there is space available in the program, and c) decides on the location of placement based upon the age/grade of the student in relation to the ages/grades of current students within the program, the learner’s profile, and the distance between specific locations and the students’ home addresses. When placement is a possibility, the sending principal is informed of the recommendation. Within 48 hours parents confirm acceptance of this placement and their intention to proceed to an IPRC meeting. Student and parents are informed of implications of the program placement. The student and parents have an opportunity to visit the class location recommended by the central recommendation committee.

Step 3 Identification Placement and Review Committee (IPRC):

A meeting of the IPRC will a) formally identify the area (s) of the student’s exceptionality (ies) according to the categories and definitions provided by the ministry of education, and b) place the student in a specialized gifted program class.

Ministry Definition of

Giftedness Exceptionality

An unusually advanced degree of general intellectual ability that requires differentiated learning experiences of a depth and breadth beyond those normally provided in the regular school program to satisfy the level of educational potential indicated.

Gifted Program


The Student

A gifted child may exhibit some of the following common characteristics:

• Masters new skills and concepts quickly

• Advanced vocabulary

• Superior judgement and reasoning ability

• Strong sense of ethics and values

• Perceptive and inquiring

• Original, flexible and fluent thinking

The Program

This program is for exceptional students at the primary, junior, intermediate and senior levels. Students work toward gradelevel expectations as outlined in the Ontario curriculum. The aim of the Gifted Program is to provide enrichment rather than acceleration. The program is designed to encourage the development of complex thinking and problem-solving skills using extension activities. As well the program encourages cooperative work; peer and self evaluation tasks are based on criteria determined by both teacher and students. The program allows children of similar abilities and interests to work together.

Students have the ability to work through the curriculum at a faster rate, thus allowing more time to study topics in greater depth. An open-ended curriculum allows students to explore areas of interest and incorporate creative talents into their learning. Application of learning is emphasized after students have demonstrated mastery of basic skills.

Elementary Level

The OCDSB provides the following two delivery models within the Gifted Program at the elementary level:

• Gifted programming through an Individual Education Plan (IEP) within the community school

• Specialized classes in a) English (with core French classes) at designated schools (grades 1-8) and, b) Early French Immersion at designated schools (grades 5-8). Gifted Programming is based on the learning expectations outlined in the Individual Education Plan (IEP). The IEP is developed and coordinated by the special education program teacher in consultation with parent (s), Learning Support Services personnel, and subject-area teachers. The IEP is designed for each student according to their individual learning needs and strengths. The plan is developed, revised and updated based on the results of ongoing assessment and evaluation.

Secondary Level

The gifted program is offered at designated schools. Students in grades 9-10 have approximately 50 per cent of their courses in a specialized class. The percentage of specialized class content varies for students in grades 11-12.

Parent donates custodial parent(s) or guardian


The Classes

The Gifted Program classes are limited in size as outlined in the OCDSB’s Special Education Report. There are up to twenty (20) students in each primary level (grades 1-3) Gifted Program class. There are up to twenty-five (25) students in each junior and intermediate (grade 4-8) Gifted Program class. Classes are equipped with special education resources.

The Teachers

The Gifted Program is taught by teachers with special education qualifications (minimum of Part I). Learning Support Services personnel provide assessment and consultative services to the program teacher.

Evaluation and Review

Assessment is ongoing and evaluation occurs throughout the year. Student progress is formally reported as per the reporting structure of the OCDSB on the provincial report card and alternative report cards. The progress of a student, who has been identified exceptional and has a placement through an IPRC, is formally reviewed on an annual basis during an IPRC meeting.

Change in Placement

Criteria include the following:

• Has academic and /or social needs that could be met more successfully within a different classroom setting

• Evidence of on-going successful integration

• No longer benefits from specialized placement

Alternative Placements

The in-school special education team will meet with *parents to discuss alternative placements if necessary. Other special education placements may include the following:

a) regular classroom with monitoring from the Learning Support Teacher (LST) or the Learning Resource Teacher(LRT),

b) regular classroom with support from the LST/LRT, or

c) other special education placement if appropriate.

For Further Information

Please consult the OCDSB Learning Support Services’ Special Education Parent Guide and The Identification, Placement and Review Committee process Parent Guide. As well, you may contact the school principal or the OCDSB Learning Support Services personnel serving the school.

Criteria for Specialized Gifted Program