Gifted and Talented

   TCPS GT Goals                 GT Identification                 PK - 2nd Grade          

 3rd - 5th Grade                 6th Grade                                 7th - 8th Grade              

9th - 12th Grade               Resources                                  Contacts                         


Maryland State Definition of Giftedness

The Annotated Code of Maryland § 8-201 defines a gifted and talented student as "an elementary or secondary student who is identified by professionally qualified individuals as having outstanding talent and performing, or showing the potential for performing, at remarkably high levels of accomplishment when compared with other students of a similar age, experience or environment."

TCPS Program Goals

  • To provide services to challenge students who demonstrate advanced learning capabilities and nurture those who show potential for high levels of performance.
  • To ensure equitable access for ALL students, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic status, and physical or learning disability.
  • To provide staff development for all personnel who work with advanced students including administrators, teachers, and school counselors.

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TCPS Gifted and Talented Identification Process

According to COMAR, districts are to utilize three data points in the identification process of Gifted and Talented (GT) students.  Districts utilize scores from behavioral assessments, cognitive assessments and achievement indicators. From PK to 2nd grade, all students engage in Primary Talent Development (PTD) lessons, taught by the GT teacher.  Students are observed for specific learning behaviors, such as creativity, resourcefulness, and persistence.  Universal screening begins in Kindergarten with the administration of the Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test (NNAT3).  In second grade, students are assessed with the Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT).  Students with superior scores, 90th percentile and above, on either assessment, are identified for the TCPS Gifted and Talent Program.

The TCPS GT team has been gathering data for over 3 years that has enabled us to identify student profiles that are successful in our problem-based, cross-curricular, program. It has been found that there is a correlation between CogAT performance, PARCC scores, and behavioral/performance scales. Students who do well tend to have scored well in each of the three areas, with an exception in one way. Students who score below a superior rating, along with high scores on PARCC and behavioral/performance scales, have been able to perform in the curriculum, but with struggle. Students who entered the program through referrals and have scored far below a superior rating on the CogAT, and/or have lower scores in the other two areas, have had difficulty in the curriculum by 5th/6th Grade.

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Talent Development PK-2nd Grade

The GT Identification Process begins with Primary Talent Development in PK - 2, the administration of the NNAT3 in Kindergarten and the CogAT in 2nd Grade.  

GT Teachers will deliver Primary Talent Development lessons.  Classroom teachers and GT Teachers will observe all students and identify students who are demonstrating advanced capabilities with respect to Analytical Thinking, Creativity, and Task Commitment.  

Students identified on the NNAT3 will receive specialized pull-out instruction several times a year in 1st Grade.

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Talent Development 3rd-5th Grade

Implement specific curriculum and best practices to provide an appropriate program that will challenge gifted students. Students participate in a pull-out program during science and/or social studies, which promotes advanced work in interdisciplinary units, utilizing William and Mary curriculum.

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Talent Development 6th Grade

A dedicated Gifted and Talented semester-long class that balances aspects of advanced math, applied sciences, research, technology use, and engineering. Students engage in algebraic concepts, environmental mysteries, and exploration through research and the scientific method through the flipped classroom instructional approach.

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Talent Development 7th-8th Grade

A variety of Gateway to Technology classes are offered, including, but not limited to, Automation and Robotics, Design and Modeling, Medical Detectives, and Pre-Engineering.  Students in grades 7-8 may qualify for advanced courses in Algebra I and Spanish I. These courses are taken for high school credit. Opportunities exist for students to pursue interests in theatre and the arts.  

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Talent Development 9th-12th Grade 

Talbot County high schools provide programs for advanced students in a variety of academic subject areas.

Advanced Placement courses are offered in a variety of subject areas. Advanced Placement courses are challenging and rigorous studies comparable to college-level work. They provide opportunities for students to take national exams and receive advanced placement in college, college credit, or both.

Career and Completer Courses: Programs including Biomedical Science, Pre-engineering, Interactive Media Production and Curriculum for Agriculture Science Education are offered. Students completing the curriculum sequences may earn college credits.

Internships: Pre-professional students may participate in their junior and senior year. Placements might include but are not limited to, veterinary science, medicine, law, education, and biological sciences.

Dual Enrollment: Juniors and seniors may take courses at Chesapeake College. Students earn both high school and college credits. Certain restrictions may apply. Program information is available from high school counselors.

Each school implements a procedure consistent with Talbot County Public Schools’ guidelines for talent-spotting students. Multiple criteria are used, which include standardized test results, a variety of rating scales, and teacher and/or parent recommendations. Teachers and school-based grade level teams consisting of the school counselor, principal or designee review data each spring to determine student needs for the following school year. Students are assigned to cluster groups which are part of the heterogeneously-grouped classroom and provide an opportunity for students to work with others who have similar needs. Students may be accelerated through total grade advancement, or by grade advancement for a specific subject. (See Board policy 9.31)

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CogAT Test Explanation   

 Davidson Institute 

Mensa for Kids     

MSDE Gifted and Talented

National Association for Gifted Children

National Research Center for the Gifted and Talented 

National Society for the Gifted and Talented 

NNAT3 Test Explanation 

Supporting the Emotional Needs of the Gifted

William and Mary School of Education


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Sherry Sutton, Ed.D,  Supervisor, Gifted and Talented


Kim Beers, GT Teacher 

Easton Elementary (Dobson Building), Saint Michaels Elementary, Tilghman Elementary


Colin Stebbins, GT Teacher 

Easton Middle, Saint Michaels Elementary, Saint Michaels Middle-High


Christopher Stecklair, GT Teacher 

Easton Elementary School (Moton Building)


Vanessa Sullivan, GT Teacher 

Chapel District Elementary, White Marsh Elementary


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