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Gifted

The state of Ohio defines a gifted student as one who “performs or shows potential for performing at remarkably high levels of accomplishment when compared to others of their age, experience, or environment.” (3324.03 of the Ohio Revised Code)

The state of Ohio identifies students in grades K-12 for gifted identification in the following areas:

  • Superior cognitive ability
  • ​Specific academic ability: reading, mathematics
  • Creative thinking ability
  • Visual or performing arts ability: dance, drama, music, and visual arts

Criteria for Identification by Ability Area

Superior Cognitive Ability: when a student scores two standard deviations above the mean, minus the standard error of measurement, on an approved intelligence test.  Highland Local Schools administers the Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) to all students in second and fifth grades.  

Specific Academic Ability: when a student performs at or above the ninety-fifth percentile in a specific academic ability field on an approved nationally-normed achievement test.  Highland Local Schools uses results from the iReady Reading and Math achievement tests, which are administered three times a year to students in second through eighth grade.  

Creative Thinking Ability: when a student scores one standard deviation above the mean, minus the standard error of measure, on an approved intelligence test and also attains a qualifying score on an approved checklist of creative behaviors. Highland teachers complete the creativity section of the Gifted and Talented Evaluation Scales (GATES) checklists for second and fifth graders who have met the ability test outcome of one standard deviation above the mean, minus the standard error of measure on the CogAT.  

Visual or Performing Arts Ability: when a student demonstrates superior ability in a visual or performing arts area through a display of work, an audition, or other performance or exhibition and also obtains a qualifying score on an approved checklist of behaviors related to a specific arts area.


Highland Gifted Services

Cluster Group Classroom 
Highland Local Schools provides gifted services to students using cluster grouping.  We deliberately place identified students in a cluster group in a classroom. Students with a superior cognitive identification or specific academic ability in reading or math will be clustered with like students with a teacher receiving ongoing professional development on the social-emotional and academic needs of gifted learners.  Cluster grouping of identified gifted students begins in grade 2 and continues through elementary school and middle school.  

Subject Acceleration: Math
Students with a superior cognitive identification or a specific academic ability in math will engage in enriched content in sixth and seventh grade and participate in above grade level testing beginning in seventh grade. Students with a superior cognitive identification and a specific academic ability in math will enroll in above grade level math coursework with corresponding above grade level testing beginning in sixth grade. See the Math Pathways chart for more details.  

Honors and Advanced Placement (AP) Courses
Students may select honors or AP courses at the high school. Highland High School offers an extensive selection of courses designed to challenge and enrich our students.


District Contact Information:
Amy Cruse
Coordinator of Gifted Services

330-239-1901 x1264
acruse@highlandschools.org