Supporting Elementary Students with Giftedness: A Tiered Intervention Approach

The tiered approach of intervention is “a systematic, sequential instructional approach that uses specific instructional interventions of increasing intensity to address students’ needs. It can be used to address either the academic or the behavioural needs of students who are having difficulty.”  (Special Education in Ontario: Kindergarten to grade 12, 2017)

There is no specific time requirement for each tier of intervention. Which interventions, as well as the length of time that they may be tried, are dependent on the individual strengths and needs of the learner; there is no one-size that fits all.

Classroom based supports (Tier One Interventions) for students with Giftedness in the regular classroom MAY include but are not limited to:

· Identification of strengths and needs

· Classroom observation and tracking

· Parent/guardian consultation/feedback

· Classroom assessments

· Differentiation of instruction, environment and/or assessment (e.g. ability grouping, visual supports, use of assistive technology)


School based supports (Tier Two Interventions) for students with Giftedness MAY include but are not limited to:

· In-School Team Meeting Referral

· Targeted, precise specific instruction to adhere to need (e.g. Critical and Creative thinking tasks)

· Development of Individual Education Plan (IEP)

· Educational Assessment (e.g. WIAT III)

· Specific differentiated supports in place for areas of strength and need (e.g. tasks based on increased depth and breadth, social skills building activities, leadership opportunities, organizational skill building)

· Continued parent/guardian consultation

· Consultation with other departments (i.e. Curriculum Services, Business and Learning Technologies, Facilities and Planning)


Other school based supports (Tier Three Interventions) for students with Giftedness MAY include but are not limited to:

· Cognitive Assessment (CCAT7 , WISC-V, or the Stanford-Binet)

· Counseling (social-emotional support as needed)

· Continued development of IEP

· Parent/guardian consultation/feedback

· Multi-Disciplinary Meeting/ Updated action plan (e.g. type of assessments used; use of technology; SEA application; further opportunities to work with other gifted/highly talented learners; student-centered project based learning opportunities; intensive school-based support strategies; specialized program class referral)


A student may be identified with an exceptionality of Giftedness and not placed into a Gifted specialized program class. In this case the student would receive support in the regular class setting. Following the implementation of tiered interventions, the school multidisciplinary team in conjunction with families may decide to submit a referral on a student’s behalf to a specialized program class. Referrals are received and reviewed via a central committee according to the following process.

Specialized Program Class Referral Process (internal candidates)


A referral to a specialized program class for Giftedness is determined by a central recommendation committee. Referrals will be considered throughout the year. OCDSB specialized program class referrals are coordinated through the multidisciplinary team at your child’s school.  Any questions relating to this process should be directed to your child’s current school. Once the central committee has made a recommendation for placement students may be placed at that time according to the geographic model. 


Specialized Program Class Referral Process (external candidates)

Referral forms and information can be provided by the OCDSB Learning Support Consultant with the Elementary gifted portfolio. Please contact the Board office to make contact.

Referrals will be considered throughout the year. Once the Gifted Program committee has made a recommendation, if space is available, a placement may be made at that time.  Referral documentation must be completed as a joint effort between parent(s)/guardian(s) and child’s current school.

Please note that preference for recommendation of placement is given to current OCDSB students who meet criteria.


Criteria for Elementary Specialized Program Class: Gifted Program


Existing Elementary Specialized Program Classes:

Regular English Program 

Grades 1-3; up to 20 students per class 

Grades 4-8; up to 25 students per class

Early French Immersion Program

Grades 5-8; up to 25 students per class


Elementary Cognitive Profile Requirements:

Primary (English grades 1-4) 

  • Assessed on the Canadian Cognitive Abilities Test (CCAT-7) with scores at the 99th percentile on two of the three scales and at least the 90th percentile on the third scale, followed by consultation with a psychologist or psychological associate; 


  • Identified as having a gifted profile in current psychological report based on individual assessment results from the WPPSI-IV, WISC-V or Stanford-Binet yielding a Full Scale (FSIQ) score or General Ability Index (GAI) score at least at the 99.6th percentile;

Junior/Intermediate (English or French Immersion grades 5-8) 

  • CCAT-7 with scores at the 98th percentile in two of the three scales and at least 90th percentile on the third
  • WISC-V or Stanford-Binet FSIQ and/or GAI score at least at the 98th percentile 

Required Documentation (Elementary) 

  • Psychological report or CCAT-7 
  • Educational assessment (WIAT-lll preferred) within the last 12 months (reading comprehension and math problem solving composites, writing sample demonstrating the student’s written expression skills);
  • Learning Support Services referral form detailing interventions at the Tier 1, 2 and 3 levels, to address the challenges and rationale as to why student needs may be better met in a specialized program setting

Additional Documentation (if available) 

  • Current report card or preschool report
  • Current IEP
  • Additional assessment reports (most recent medical, speech- language/communication, Intensive Behaviour Intervention (IBI), occupational/physiotherapy, social work) 
  • List of community agencies involved with student (e.g., Crossroads Children’s Mental Health Centre) 
  • Parent questionnaire
  • Anecdotal report (list behavioural, academic and social challenges; include a list of interventions)
Website by SchoolMessenger Presence. © 2022 Intrado Corporation. All rights reserved.