Assessment

  • GATE Referral and Identification Process

    • Beginning in the 2015-2016 school year, the WCSD Department of GATE Programs shifted to universal cognitive screening with selected grade levels with the Cognitive Abilities Test, Form 7 (CogAT 7).  This change in policy has allowed GATE to screen several thousand students annually and increase the equity and diversity in GT identification. In an attempt to further improve identification rates across student subgroups, the Department of GATE Programs is piloting an additional test for the 2017-2018 school year. The Naglieri Nonverbal Abilities Test, 3rd Edition (NNAT-3) will be used in the district’s universal screening of 2nd graders. The logistics of administering both the CogAT 7 and NNAT-3 will be coordinated through the GATE Assessment division. In addition to the universal screening for selected grade levels, GATE will field school-based GATE referrals throughout the school year. GATE referrals will be screened during specific testing windows in the 2nd and 4th quarters. 

    • The referral process for students begins with the site MTSS team. After the Student Nomination, Teacher Checklist, Parent Authorization, and MTSS Referral  forms are complete, they are to be submitted to the GATE office. Students whose referral packets are received and processed by the Administrative Review Team prior to the referral deadline for a respective testing window will be included. Those received after this point will be held onto until the next available opportunity.

    • Students will be automatically screened for gifted and talented eligibility twice throughout their elementary school grades. In addition to this, students may test at one other time, whether in response to a school site-based MTSS referral or a parent appeal. In either case, students may be tested for a maximum of three times during their WCSD student careers.  In no case will a student be considered for a re-test with the same test within 12 months since the last test administration due to testing practice effect.

    • The WCSD Department of GATE Programs also considers intelligence test results from licensed clinical psychologists using the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children, Fifth Edition (WISC-V), Stanford-Binet, Fifth Edition (SB-5), or, where appropriate, the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale, Fourth Edition (WAIS- IV). In lieu of standardized achievement test measures administered by the WCSD, standardized achievement results from the Wechsler Individualized Achievement Test, Third Edition (WIAT-III) and Kaufman Test of Educational Achievement, Fourth Edition (KTEA-IV) will similarly be considered by the GATE Administrative Review Team if administered by a licensed clinical psychologist. However, the results of repeated attempts of any of these individually administered tests within 12 months of a previous attempt will  not be used for the purpose of (re-) determining GT eligibility status.

    • Students scoring at or above the 98th percentile rank of cognitive ability (i.e., on an IQ test), will automatically be eligible for GATE services. Students performing between the 95th and 97th percentile ranks inclusive will be scored according to a State approved eligibility matrix. According to this instrument, students may be awarded points based on a combination of cognitive, achievement, and other State identified factors. Students meeting the criteria for “highly or profoundly gifted” at the appropriate grade level will be extended an invitation to attend SWAS in the following school year. Students eligible for GATE (or comparable) services outside WCSD will be considered for eligibility according to the Administrative Review Team. These students will be required to meet the same eligibility criteria as other students. All students found eligible for GATE will begin receiving services (pending parent authorization) immediately.

    Identification of Profoundly Gifted


    According to NRS 388C.030, a “Profoundly Gifted Pupil” is defined as one who’s intelligence quotient or performance on an aptitude or achievement test falls at or above the 99.9th percentile rank. The WCSD GATE Department seeks to identify profoundly gifted students by providing in-depth cognitive testing with students who are shown to perform at the 99th percentile rank from the CogAT universal screener. Out-of-district students enrolling in WCSD and applying with comparable data will be treated similarly. Students testing at the 99th percentile rank on standardized measures of achievement (e.g., MAPs, ACT) may also be considered for additional testing. Parental consent for testing of these students will be sought and students will be provided one-on-one testing with the WISC-V by a GATE psychologist. However, this additional testing will not be offered to students who have already been given the WISC-V within 12 months. Students performing within the profoundly gifted range will be classified for the purposes of departmental documentation, providing information to parents, and the provision of additional services as available and appropriate.

  • The Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test (NNAT)—Third Edition


    The NNAT is a nonverbal measure of cognitive ability and reasoning resulting in national standard scores based on age and used in the identification of gifted and talented students. Test items are pictorial and require no spoken or written language, making it an excellent choice for use with assessing students who are English language learners or have limited academic skills. Students answer visually based challenges requiring nonverbal reasoning through a set of progressive matrices, flexible enough to be used at any grade level.

    Infinite Campus shows two scores for the NNAT. These scores are two different ways of viewing your child’s overall performance:

    1. The “National Percentile Rank” refers to your child’s percentile rank (ranging between 1 and 99). This number represents the approximate percentage of same-aged (i.e., within one month) peers your child out-performed across the country. For example, a child who took the test at the age of 6 years and 4 months of age who scored at the 56th percentile rank scored better than about 56 out of every 100 peers who were within a month of being 6 years and 4 months of age from across the country. Students who score from the 25th to the 75th percentile rank are considered to be in the “average” range. Students who score at the 98th percentile rank qualify for Gifted and Talented services. The table below gives additional information.

    2. The NNAT “Standard Age Score” is a representation of how your child scored in which 89-111 is considered average. The table below gives additional information.
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    The Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) Form 7 Universal Screener


    The CogAT appraises the development of students’ reasoning abilities using verbal, quantitative, and nonverbal cognitive tasks. The reasoning abilities assessed by the CogAT have been consistently shown through research to be linked to the same skills required for successful learning and problem solving. The ten levels of CogAT cover ages 5 through 17 and beyond. The CogAT represents an evolution of the Lorge-Thorndike Intelligence Tests first published in 1954. In its newest edition, the CogAT 7 features improvement measurement capabilities for the abilities of English language learners (ELLs), higher ceilings of ability measured, and updated national norms.

    Infinite Campus shows two scores for the CogAT. These scores are two different ways of viewing your child’s overall performance:

    1. The “National Percentile Rank” refers to your child’s percentile rank (ranging between 1 and 99). This number represents the approximate percentage of same-aged (i.e., within one month) peers your child out-performed across the country. For example, a child who took the test at the age of 6 years and 4 months of age who scored at the 56th percentile rank scored better than about 56 out of every 100 peers who were within a month of being 6 years and 4 months of age from across the country. Students who score from the 25th to the 75th percentile rank are considered to be in the “average” range. Students who score at the 98th percentile rank qualify for Gifted and Talented services. The table below gives additional information.

    2. The CogAT “Standard Age Score” is a representation of how your child scored in which 89-111 is considered average. The table below gives additional information.
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    Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children, Fifth Edition (WISC-V)


    The WISC-V is an individually administered intelligence test for children between the ages of six and sixteen inclusive that can be completed without reading or writing. This test may be used to generate composite score indices in specific areas of cognitive functioning, including in Verbal Comprehension (VCI), Visual Spatial (VSI), Fluid Reasoning (FRI), Working Memory (WMI), Processing Speed (PSI), and others. It may also generate composite scores reflecting global cognitive functioning, including the Full Scale Intelligence Quotient (FSIQ), the General Abilities (GAI) and Non-Verbal (NVI) Indices.

    Briefly, the VCI measures verbal reasoning, understanding and concept formation, in addition to a child’s fund of crystalized knowledge. The VSI measures a child’s nonverbal reasoning and concept formation, visual perception and organization, visual-motor coordination, ability to analyze and synthesize abstract information. The FRI measures a child’s quantitative reasoning, classification, and spatial ability, knowledge of part-to-whole relationships. In essence, it assesses one’s ability to solve novel problems independent of previous information. The WMI evaluates a child’s ability to sustain auditory attention, concentrate, and exert mental control. The PSI measures how quickly and accurately a child is able to process information. The GAI provides an estimate of general intelligence that is less reliant on working memory and processing speed ability, relative to the FSIQ. The FSIQ is the most comprehensive measure of intellectual ability though also the least descriptive by specificity The NVI is a measure of general ability that minimizes verbal expression. It is therefore the most culturally-fair and language-free global score of cognitive ability available through the WISC-V.