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Gifted & Talented

Gifted and Talented Sections

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.

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.  TCPS utilizes 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 (NNAT-3).  In third grade, students are assessed with the Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT).  Students with superior scores, on either assessment, are identified for the TCPS Gifted and Talent Program.

The TCPS GT team has been gathering data annually 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, MCAP 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 MCAP 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.

Talent Development & Services

The GT Identification Process begins with Primary Talent Development in PK-2nd grade and the administration of the NNAT-3 in Kindergarten.  

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 in 1st and 2nd grade that are identified through the NNAT3 will receive specialized pull-out instruction throughout the school year with specific skills to build upon spatial reasoning skills.  

Talent Development 3rd-5th Grade

In grade 3, the Gifted and Talented Identification process continues with the administration of the CogAT.  In addition to those previously identified on the NNAT-3, students identified on the CogAT will receive GT pull-out services in grades 3-5.  GT teachers will implement specific curriculum and best practices to provide an appropriate program that will challenge gifted students.  These programs promote advanced work in interdisciplinary units, utilizing William and Mary curriculum.

Talent Development 6th-8th Grade

A dedicated Gifted and Talented course is available for students in grades 6-7.  These courses balance aspects of advanced math, applied sciences, research, technology use, and engineering.  Students engage in algebraic concepts, environmental mysteries (6th) or medical mysteries (7th),  and exploration through research and the scientific method through the flipped classroom instruction approach.  

Students who were identified as GT through the NNAT 3 are encouraged to take Project Lead the Way (PLTW) courses in lieu of the GT course to build upon spatial reasoning and hands-on strengths. These classes are available for all students in grades 6 – 8.

Advanced/accelerated math is also available for students in 7th Grade.  8th Grade GT Students may also qualify for advanced coursework in Algebra I and Spanish I to earn high school credit. 

Talent Development 9th-12th Grade

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

Advanced Placement

Talbot County Public Schools offers 19 Advanced Placement (AP) courses for students in grades 10-12.

These courses are developed by College Board and taught by certified AP teachers. By taking AP courses, students have the opportunity to earn both high school and college credit with a passing score on an AP exam. Scores accepted for college credit vary by post-secondary institution and/or program. These courses are weighted on a student’s high school transcript.

For more information, please contact your student’s school counselor.


Career and Technical Education and Apprenticeship Opportunities

The Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs at Talbot County Public Schools provide students valuable and in-demand skills, while also giving them hands-on training for 21st-century business and/or career challenges that require strategic thinking and informed decision-making.

TCPS CTE courses cover a variety of challenging fields in diverse subject areas that are constantly evolving due to the changing global economy. TCPS offers the following career clusters:

Carpentry, Marketing, Agriculture, Interactive Media Production, Pre-Engineering, Culinary, Cosmetology, Automotive Technology, Health, Business, Teacher Academy, Firefighter, NJROTC, and Computer Science.

These courses provide students with the career-related skills necessary to earn industry-recognized credentials and/or participate in an apprenticeship or internship prior to high school graduation.


Dual Enrollment

Juniors and seniors may complete dual enrollment coursework for an opportunity to earn both high school and college credits. These courses can be taken during Fall and/or Spring terms only. Not all courses offered through dual enrollment will transfer as high school credit and students should prioritize meeting graduation requirements prior to registering for dual enrollment courses. 

For more information, please contact your student’s school counselor.

Summer Centers and Camps

Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth and other organizations offer summer programs in partnership with public and nonpublic agencies to provide Maryland’s diverse gifted and talented students with advanced, rigorous, experiential learning opportunities that nurture these students’ talents and abilities within unique learning environments.  

For more information, visit Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth


For more details on the information listed above, please review Resources & Documents.
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Contact Information

Kristen Tilghman, Gifted & Talented Education Supervisor