TAGD Program Overview

  • Click here for 2-page PDF parent letter (103018) with the following information.

    The School District of University City is dedicated to developing the potential of its students and transforming its programs to better meet the needs of diverse groups of learners. To this end, the District has made changes to the Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) program including program title, goals, service model along with screening and identification process.

    New Program Title

    The District is transforming the Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) program to the Talented and Gifted Development (TAGD) program to better support talent development of all students while meeting State of Missouri guidelines for gifted services to high-ability students in second-through twelfth-grades.

    TAGD Goals

    • Develop district-wide talent to expose all students to critical and creative thinking and allow them to apply these skills to their daily work.
    • Utilize best practices to identify students for services, including use of multiple measures given consistently throughout the district.
    • Screen all students for gifted services in second and fifth grade.
    • Screen for gifted services once in middle school and once in high school, if requested by a parent, guardian, teacher, or student.


    Service Model

    The TAGD  program is designed to support talent development while also meeting State of Missouri guidelines for gifted services. Please see the next section for screening and evaluation information.

    • All elementary students (kindergarten-fifth grade) will be immersed in opportunities to develop their thinking through a district-wide whole-group and small-group talent development curriculum delivered by TAGD resource teachers. Second- through fifth-grade students who qualify through the district screening and evaluation process will also receive gifted services.
    • At the middle school level, students who qualify through the district screening and evaluation process will receive gifted services. Students who do not qualify for gifted services will have opportunities to participate in talent development, and the TAGD resource teacher will actively seek students for these opportunities.
    • At the high school level, services for identified gifted students are consultative. The TAGD resource teacher is available during lunch periods and seminar to support students in a variety of ways. An independent study class is also an option for juniors and seniors identified for gifted services.


    Screening and Identification Process for Gifted Services

    • In October, all students in second and fifth grades will be given the Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT), which is an assessment that includes verbal, nonverbal and quantitative components. It also provides an ability profile and personalized instructional strategies which may be used by classroom teachers to better serve individual students.
    • Third and fourth grade students new to the district may be nominated for October screening by a teacher or parent. Once during middle school, and once during high school, a student can be nominated for an October screening by a teacher, parent or student.
    • Students who score in the 97th percentile or higher on the CogAT will automatically receive gifted services. The remaining students’ scores will be analyzed in a process called “local norming.” This allows us to identify the range of ability within the school district. Those scores, along with other data, will be placed on a matrix and gifted identification will be determined using all of the information available. This allows us to more deeply consider students who may not be able to demonstrate their ability in a single-testing event.
    • Once identified, a student receives services for their entire school career.

    If parents have questions, contact the TAGD Resource Teacher in the student’s school (see right hand column).