Pupil Support Services

Gifted Services

Thank you for your interest in Sarasota County’s Gifted programs. Both the community and the school district are proud of the quality of programming options offered for our students. There is a continuum of services to meet the individual academic needs of gifted students.
For general information regarding gifted eligibility and programs, please call (941)927-4177.

Gifted Screening/Evaluation Timeline 2016-17
All students are screened on a referral basis, either by parent or teacher. All items must be received (not postmarked) by 5:00pm on or before the date specified. 
The following is the calendar for gifted screenings, evaluations, and eligibility:

Deadline to request gifted screening.......................................................... Friday, January 27, 2017

Deadline for gifted evaluation referrals to Psychologists........................... Friday, March 3, 2017

Deadline for submission of all required documents for gifted eligibility... Monday, May 1, 2017

Note:  Establishment of residency in Sarasota County must precede or equal the date of an action requested from the district.

Gifted Service Delivery Models

Magnet Program – Students receive instruction in a classroom with all gifted students taught by a teacher qualified to work with gifted students. This program option focuses on an accelerated curriculum. Gifted students considered for this program must meet additional eligibility criteria (see Gifted Eligibility Determination).
Advanced Work Classroom – Students are placed in a classroom with other gifted children and a teacher qualified to work with gifted students. The class also includes students who are not identified as gifted but excel academically. This program option focuses on enrichment activities as well as instruction in grade level curriculum.
Resource - Students are pulled from the general education classroom to receive specialized instruction from a teacher qualified to work with gifted students. This program option focuses on enrichment activities.
Consultation – A teacher of the gifted works with the general education teacher(s) to assist them in meeting identified needs of the gifted student. Materials and other resources are made available to the general education teacher by a teacher qualified to work with gifted students.

Please note that not all services are available at every school.

Gifted Education Referral Process

Referrals for Gifted are generally made by classroom teachers or by parent request.

Parent/Guardian(s) interested in beginning the referral process for any Exceptional Student Education program must be residents of Sarasota County. Student files cannot be processed without proof of residency in Sarasota County. Proof of residency requires written proof of address: a signed lease, electric bill, or water bill which includes your name, address and current date.

All student referrals for gifted evaluations must be processed at their zoned district school. If you live in Sarasota County and your child attends a public school, private school, or is home-schooled, contact the Exceptional Student Education (ESE) Liaison at your home zoned school and request that your child be referred for a gifted evaluation. (If your child currently attends a charter school, contact the ESE Liaison at the charter school). There is a timeline that district and charter schools follow for gifted referrals and evaluations.

Gifted Screening

Any Sarasota County student may be referred for a gifted screening to determine the need for further evaluation. Students who meet the minimum score of 130 on an intelligence screening instrument may be referred for a full evaluation. Any student with a current psychological evaluation that reports an intelligence quotient (IQ) that meets the IQ portion of the state criteria for gifted is exempt from gifted screening and may be referred by the school for gifted eligibility determination. 

Gifted Eligibility Determination

The following three (3) items are the minimum required information according to the State of Florida that is needed before gifted eligibility may be determined: 

1. Standardized Test of Intelligence This instrument must be administered by a certified/licensed psychologist. Criteria for eligibility requires an IQ score of two (2) standard deviations or more above the mean.

  • Examiners must utilize the most current version of the IQ test.  
  • On the WISC-V the Full Scale Intelligence Quotient, General Ability Index, and Nonverbal Index are the only Index Scores that will be considered.
  • Clinical justification, in accordance with the test publisher's criteria, is required in those rare cases where a score other than the Full Scale/Composite score is being recommended for eligibility determination.
  • All assessment results must be presented in a written signed psychological report.
  • For students under the age of 7 on the date of the evaluation, the intellectual assessments must be current within one year. 
  • For students 7 years of age and above on the date of the evaluation, the intellectual assessment must be current within three years.

2. Gifted Characteristics Scales  This document is to be completed by at least one of your child’s current academic teachers. Your Sarasota County district school will provide your child’s teacher with this document. A majority of the gifted characteristics are required in order for the student to be found eligible.

3. Evidence of Need for Services Need is established by a review of student report card, effort, scores on state and district testing, scores on individual achievement testing, review of social/emotional needs and scores on the gifted characteristics scales.

Additional Sarasota County Criteria Requirements for Gifted Magnet Programs

4. Academic Achievement Testing Criteria Entry into magnet programs, cluster sites as well as Pine View School, require additional academic achievement testing. The most current version of the Woodcock-Johnson Test of Achievement OR the Wechsler Individual Achievement Test must be administered reporting age-based standard scores (see Magnet Criteria form). Any exceptions regarding the use of these assessments MUST be approved by the School Psychology Department Chair.

  • Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Achievement-Fourth Edition: the examiner must report standard scores for the Broad Reading Composite (subtest #1 Letter-Word Identification #4-Passage Comprehension and subtest #9 Sentence Reading Fluency) and the Broad Math Composite (subtest #2-Applied Problems, subtest #5-Calculation, and subtest #10-Math Facts Fluency). Assessments administered through June 30th, 2016 that include the Reading Comprehension Composite will be accepted.
  • Wechsler Individual Achievement Test-Third Edition: the examiner must report standard scores for the Reading Comprehension and Fluency Composite (subtests: Reading Comprehension and Oral Reading Fluency) and the Mathematics Composite (subtests: Math Problem Solving and Numerical Operations). PLEASE NOTE: The WIAT-III can be utilized for students in second grade and above to obtain the appropriate composite scores.
  • To avoid a test/retest policy violation, an alternative academic achievement test must be administered if a reevaluation of a student’s academic skills is conducted within 12 months of the previous evaluation. Both academic areas (reading and mathematics) must be reevaluated in order to provide a current assessment of the student’s academic profile. The most current reading and mathematics scores will be used in determining full-time gifted program eligibility
  • Academic assessments must be current within one year.

5. Report Card Grades - Grades are required for reading and math. Submit report cards that cover the most recent grading periods that span one year. (see Magnet Criteria form)

6. Magnet Program Criteria Form - Achievement scores and report card grades are entered on this form to determine if the student meets the district criteria for a gifted magnet program. This form is completed by the district zoned school ESE Liaison. Grades and achievement results should support the need for an advanced and rigorous curriculum.

Please note:

  • Please contact the Sarasota County School Psychology Department if you have any additional questions. Telephone number: 941-927-9000.
  • All individual intellectual and academic evaluations will either be completed or reviewed by a Sarasota County School Psychologist.
  • Private evaluations may be obtained at the parent/guardian’s own expense.
  • Private psychologists must submit assessment results presented in a written report when used for eligibility consideration. Reports from psychologists in private practice are subject to review and verification by Sarasota County School Board staff prior to gifted eligibility determination and magnet program consideration. 
  • All files are processed by the Exceptional Student Education (ESE) Liaison at your child’s district or charter school. Your district school is determined by your Sarasota County address. Contact the School District office if you need assistance determining the location of your district school. 
  • Only complete files with proof of residency that are submitted to your district school by the deadline date indicated on the evaluation Timeline, will be accepted for eligibility determination and magnet program consideration. 
  • If a student meets criteria for a Magnet Program, the parent will be given the Gifted Program Options form to complete and sign.

It is the responsibility of Sarasota County Schools to collect all of the required documentation if the student is enrolled in public school. If the child attends a private school, is home-schooled, or is a transferring student, the parent is responsible for submitting all the required documents to their zoned district school by the dates indicated on the Evaluation Timeline.

Academic Requirements for Gifted Magnet Program

These requirements are effective for the 2015-2016 school and subsequent school years.

Continued Participation – Student must continue to demonstrate a need* for an accelerated curriculum to remain enrolled in a gifted magnet program.

Re-Entry to a Gifted Magnet Site – Student must demonstrate a need* for an accelerated curriculum. Student may return on the first day of school in August of any given school year for which the student meets criteria and county deadline dates for re-admission.

Entry after a delay (greater than a year after initially meeting the magnet entry criteria) – Student must demonstrate a need* for an accelerated curriculum. Student may enter on the first day of school in August of any given school year for which the student meets criteria and county deadline dates for admission.

*Demonstrating a Need:
The student demonstrates a need for a gifted accelerated curriculum by showing consistent above grade level performance across the core curriculum.
Criteria to be considered:

  • Unweighted GPA of 2.5 or higher as determined by the three most recent grading periods
  • For Re-Entry to a Magnet site OR Entry after a delay: Unweighted GPA of 3.0 or higher as determined by the three most recent grading periods
  • GPA based on the following:
    o    Gr. 2 & 3 – ELA, math
    o    Gr. 4 & 5 – ELA, math, science, social studies
    o    Gr. 6-8 – ELA, math, science, social studies, foreign language (for HS credit only)
    o    Gr. 9-12 – ELA, math, science, social studies, foreign language
  • Most recent state testing level 4 or above in reading and math (or scores at the 90%ile on other reading and math norm-referenced group achievement tests)

In-State Transfers

Students may receive gifted services if they have: 
1. A current Individual Education Plan (IEP) or Educational Plan (EP) which indicates gifted eligibility and services
2. Enrollment data verified by paperwork or by a phone call to the sending district’s ESE department verifies the student was identified and eligible for Gifted Services.

Additional Sarasota County criteria must be met in order to access a Gifted Magnet program such as Pine

Out-of-State Transfers

Students transferring from outside the state of Florida may or may not be eligible for the gifted programs in Sarasota County. Florida has a program for intellectually gifted students only. Many other states have programs for academically talented students which may not meet Florida requirements for eligibility. Students who have been identified as gifted from another state may need additional assessment before eligibility can be determined.

Pupil Support Services
Sonia Figaredo-Alberts, Executive Director

Julie Zarling, Administrative Assistant

Phone: 941-927-9000, ext. 31109
Fax: 941-927-4052
1960 Landings Boulevard
Sarasota, Florida 34231
Green 3rd Floor

Exceptional Student Education
Tammy Cassels, Supervisor

Ana Montero, Administrative Assistant

Phone: 941-927-9000, ext. 34226
Fax: 941-927-4014

Student Services
Debra Giacolone, Supervisor

Sally Dean, Administrative Assistant

Phone: 941-927-9000, ext. 34754
Fax: 941-361-6157 

School Health Services 
Suzanne Dubose, Supervisor

Phone: 941-927-9000, ext. 34765
Fax: 941-927-4108

Florida Department of Health Sarasota County 
Linda Glover, Supervisor
Phone: 941-927-9000, ext. 32101 

Alternative Education, Discipline & Dropout Prevention
Bethany King, Supervisor

Patty Woods, Administrative Assistant
Phone: 941-927-9000, ext. 31113 

ESOL and Migrant Education
Jamie Rodriguez, Supervisor

State & Federal Projects
Jane Mahler, Supervisor

Betsy Hooper, Administrative Assistant
Phone: 941-927-9000, ext. 34061 

Staff Listing

1/23/2017 - Restorative Strategies Training for Middle School Counselors

1/23/2017 - IB Night - RHS

1/24/2017 - STEM Fair Judging Schedule (grades 3-5) at Robarts Arena

1/24/2017 - 2nd Annual Sarasota County STEM Fair Expo at Robarts Arena

1/26/2017 - Sarasota Middle Showcase

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