Who do I contact if I have Questions?
We highly recommend that you contact the school and ask to speak to the AIG teacher. The front office personnel should be able to direct you. If you'd like to contact the program coordinators, testing specialists, or acceleration specialist email the AIG department at email@example.com.
If you have questions over the summer, it may be helpful to review the FAQ section on this page. Email all inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Helpful Resources Available for Download:
Sometimes just having some specific information makes all the difference. Each of the recommended links below were created in partnership with our AIG Parent Advisory Council (PAC). The Handbook on Parents' Rights & Responsibilities is meant to be a one-stop shop for making the decision about whether or not gifted services are appropriate for a student. The identification criteria lay out the school-board approved requirements of identification. The AIG glossary is to help navigate some commonly used terms by educators.
- Handbook on Parents' Rights & Responsibilities in Gifted Education (English) (Spanish)
- UCPS Identification Criteria (English & Spanish)
- AIG Glossary
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
1. What kind of program does the Union County Public Schools have for gifted children?
Union County Public Schools provides a complete K-12 continuum of gifted services. Beginning in grades K-3 all students are served within their classrooms by the classroom teacher and are not formally identified. If a student is performing above the level of the classroom grouping, achievement and aptitude testing can be done to determine correct placement. This could result in advanced subject grouping (where a kindergarten child, for instance, would go to a first grade class for reading or math) or a complete grade advancement, where the student would be advanced to a first grade classroom full time.
All students in grades 3 and 6 are screened and evaluated for giftedness in math and/or reading using a universal screener. The 4th - 8th grade program provides an AIG class in reading and/or math taught by a gifted education licensed teacher. Advanced subject grouping and grade advancement are also available at these grade levels. The replacement curriculum in the AIG classes is accelerated and based upon gifted education best practices. In grades 4-5 math, we are currently using Singapore Math as the core program and supplementing it as needed to completely address the North Carolina Standard Course of Study. The language arts curriculum includes usage of materials from the College of William & Mary Center for Gifted Education and the Great Books Foundation. At the high school level, Honors and Advanced Placement courses are offered, along with a variety of additional experiences which vary by school.
2. Which schools offer gifted programs in UCPS?
All schools in Union County offer gifted services.
3. My child is in the gifted program in their current school. Will they be placed in the gifted program when we transfer to Union County?
Every district in every state has their own set of local criteria to establish the parameters of qualification for gifted services. We want to provide the best options for matching services provided at the previous school so an AIG screening process will take place to determine an appropriate placement and/or further recommendations once enrolled. During the school year the screening process is handled by AIG teacher at the child's school. If enrollment occurs over the summer, contact the AIG Department via email at email@example.com. More information about our screening and testing link.We highly recommend that families bring the child's most recent report card, standardized test results, and previous identification paperwork when enrolling at UCPS. Request an AIG screening when completing the paperwork.
4. How does a student qualify for gifted services in Union County?
Every student must meet the UCPS identification criteria in order to qualify for services.
5. How do I get my child screened for gifted services?
See our screening and testing link.
6. How do students withdraw from the AIG program if it is no longer a good fit?
If a student is not appropriately placed, the parents and AIG teacher should meet to discuss the concerns and options available for the student. The parents may make the final decision to remove the student from the program during this conference by signing a new Differentiated Education Plan (DEP) or Individualized Differentiated Education Plan (IDEP) denying AIG services. Once removed from the area of service and/or the AIG program, the student must re-qualify for gifted services.
7. How does UCPS define Academically and/or Intellectually Gifted (AIG)?
As stated in Article 9B of the North Carolina General Statutes:
Academically or intellectually gifted students perform or show the potential to perform at substantially high levels of accomplishment when compared with others of their age, experience, or environment.
Academically or intellectually gifted students exhibit high performance capability in intellectual areas, specific academic fields, or in both intellectual areas and specific academic fields.
Academically or intellectually gifted students require differentiated educational services beyond those ordinarily provided by the regular educational program.
Outstanding abilities are present in students from all cultural groups, across all economic strata, and in all areas of human endeavor.
8. When are UCPS students screened for the AIG program?
See the screening and testing link.
9. I have an EC child. Can they still qualify for gifted services?
Yes. Many EC students are considered 'dual-exceptionalities' or twice exceptional. The process for qualifying is the same. Testing modifications, if described in the child's IEP can only be accommodated on some standardized tests.
10. What type of curriculum is used in the gifted program?
The North Carolina Standard Course of Study Standards are the foundational curriculum for all students in the general education and gifted program. Teachers with licensure in gifted education develop lessons using a replacement curriculum that incorporates above grade level materials, critical and creative thinking strategies, and other best practices in gifted education. In grades 4 and 5, we use Singapore Math which becomes the foundation in which to accelerate mathematics instruction into high school level courses by 8th grade. The language arts curriculum is incorporates an integrated curriculum with a wide variety of strategies intended to stretch, challenge, and expand critical thinking, problem solving, and intellectual abilities of gifted students. Schools utilize language arts materials developed by the College of William & Mary's Center for Gifted Education, Great Books Foundation, and Michael Clay Thompson Language Arts Curriculum.
11. How can I help prepare my child for AIG testing?
The best preparation is a good night's sleep, breakfast in the morning, and a positive attitude. There is no advantage to trying to review or otherwise study for these tests. It is much better for the student to be relaxed and focused, rather than nervous and worried.
12. What is the process for appealing the placement decision?
The appeals process is explained in the Handbook on Parents' Rights and Responsibilities in Gifted Education (English) (Spanish). The handbook includes a section on due process. The handbook is provided when a student qualifies for AIG services or when the parents sign an AIG 2 (permission to test form) granting permission for the AIG department to further evaluate a student.
13. I am interested in early kindergarten for my preschooler. What is the process?
Under certain circumstances, a four-year-old can be admitted to kindergarten early. The process is fully described in the process and application documents (North Carolina Early Entry to Kindergarten Application and Process).
14. What is the difference between Intellectually Gifted (IG), Academically and Intellectually Gifted (AI), and Academically Gifted (AG, AM, AR)?
All students who are assessed by the AIG department are considered for qualification for services via multiple pathways before being identified. Each of the different combinations of student data meet different criteria which creates different kinds of identification; therefore, the best services are recommended for students based on their data.
Intellectually Gifted (IG)
IG indicates that a child’s intellectual abilities and potential are so outstanding that the child’s educational performance may be adversely affected. The IG student has high aptitude scores for both the total/full scale score and in a subtest area (verbal or/and mathematics); however, they do not have the grades or achievement test scores necessary to qualify for Academically Gifted (AG, AM, AR) services. The student needs additional support to be successful in school and to reach their full potential. The school-site AIG team will determine service options. The IG student will receive an Individualized Differentiation Education Plan (IDEP) based on the recommendations of the school-site AIG team.
Academically and Intellectually Gifted (AI)
AI indicates that a child’s intellectual and academic abilities are highly advanced compared to their peers. The AI student has high aptitude scores for both the total/full scale score and in a subtest area (verbal and/or mathematics). They also have high achievement test scores and an “A” average in the same area. These students need additional support to remain successful in school and reach their full potential. The school-site AIG team will determine service options. The AI student will receive an Individualized Differentiated Education Plan (IDEP) based on the recommendations of the AIG team.
Academically and/or Intellectually Gifted (AG)/Math Only (AM)/Reading Only (AR)
AIG students can be identified in one area of service such as math (AM) or reading (AR), or in both areas of service (AG). The AG/AM/AR students have three out of the four qualifying criteria. These students will have a combination of high aptitude scores for total/full scale score, high aptitude subtest area score, high achievement test scores, and/or high grades. These students are homogeneously grouped into a gifted class. The AG/AM/AR student will receive a Differentiated Education Plan (DEP).
15. What websites do you recommend for parents?
The following list is in no particular order. We highly recommend visiting the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) first as the organization has many resources for parents and educators.
- The National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) is an organization of parents, educators, other professionals and community leaders to address the unique needs of children and youth. Membership includes a subscription to Parenting for High Potential, a magazine with articles geared to the development of talent.
- The North Carolina Association of Gifted and Talented (NCAGT) is our state organization of parents, educators, and community leaders to advocate and support the unique needs of gifted and talented students.
- The National Research Center on Gifted and Talented (NRC/GT), sponsored by the U.S.. Department of Education, investigates, develops, and disseminates new methods for identifying and teaching gifted students.
- The Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) is the largest international professional organization dedicated to improving educational outcomes for individuals with exceptionalities, students with disabilities, and/or the gifted.
- The Association for the Gifted (TAG) organized in 1958 by The Council for Exceptional Children, helps professionals and parents work with gifted children.
- The Association for the Education of Gifted Underachieving Students (AEGUS) provides a forum for ideas and interventions aimed at helping twice-exceptional students reach their full potential.
- The Davidson Institute for Talent Development has extensive resources for highly gifted students (and their parents).
- The Davidson Young Scholars program provides free services designed to support highly gifted students and their parents.
- Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted (SENG) focuses primarily on the adults (parents, educators, etc) in the lives of gifted children. SENG provides information on identification, guidance, and effective ways to live and work with gifted individuals.
- Hoagies' Gifted Education Page is a resource guide for the education of gifted children with links to many gifted education resources available on the Internet.
- Gifted-Children.com: Identification, Encouragement, and Development (GCC) is an on-line parents' newsletter with networking and information dedicated to making a difference in the education of children with special talents and abilities.