Gifted and Talented Education


The Harmony Public Schools is committed to implementing a program that meets the unique social, emotional, and intellectual needs of gifted and talented students through the collaboration of students, educators, parents and community members that ensures opportunities for maximum growth and development for lifelong success.

Definition of Giftedness

“Gifted and talented student” means a child or youth who performs at or shows the potential for performing at a remarkably high level of accomplishment when compared to others of the same age, experience, or environment and who:

  1. (1) exhibits high performance capability in an intellectual, creative, or artistic area;
  2. (2) possesses an unusual capacity for leadership; or
  3. (3) excels in a specific academic field. (Texas Education Code 29.121)


The primary goal of HPS GATE Program is providing students with a student-focused approach to meet specific needs in a selected academic/non-academic curriculum. The gifted student will

  1. 1. develop a realistic concept of self and work cooperatively with peers and adults.
  2. 2. develop the higher level thinking skills of knowledge comprehension, synthesis, application, analysis, and evaluation in order to solve problems.
  3. 3. create original projects that reflect critical and creative thinking skills as supplemental learning to the regular classroom curriculum.

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Student Assessment

How Does the Identification Process Work?

Identification Process

The identification process, conducted at Harmony Public Schools (HPS) meets state requirements (§29.121 & TAC 89.1) and has been designed to ensure the identification of any student who demonstrates educational need for the services of the program under the established guidelines. The process consists of three steps:

  1. Referral
  2. Screening/assessment
  3. Placement

1. Referral

Students may be referred by:

  • Parent(s)
  • Teacher(s)
  • Peer(s)
  • Campus staff
  • And/or themselves

  Referral forms must be completed by the individual who refers the child. Parents must give written consent that the student can be screened, assessed, and evaluated. Any testing and identification will be completed according to the Harmony assessment and identification schedule. No student may be denied access to Gifted and Talented (G/T) Programs on the basis of race, creed, or handicapping conditions.

Harmony Public Schools have two referral windows each year: September and January

Fall referral month for NEWLY enrolled and Kindergarten studentsSpring referral month for ALL students

HPS G/T referral announcements will be posted on the campus websites. For more information about the screening and identification process, parents may contact the school's GT coordinator or GT coach/teacher.

Referral Form (English) Referral Form (Spanish)

2. Screening/Assessment

Students seeking admission to Harmony Public Schools Gifted and Talented Program are screened based on the following criteria:

  • Quantitative data:
    • School Abilities Tests, Verbal and Non-verbal, such as (not limited) CogAT (Cognitive Abilities Test), IQ, and NNAT
    • Achievement Tests, Verbal and Non-verbal, such as (not limited) NWEA MAP, STAAR, SAT, ACT, AP - measures the level of acquired knowledge.
    • NWEA MAP scores may be used as a preliminary criterion for CogAT testing.
  • Qualitative data:
    • Parent rating scale – Parents rate their children while filling in the referral form
    • Teacher rating scale – Teachers rate the referred students
    • Other/Anecdotal Information
  • Testing may take place during the school hours, after-school, and/or weekend.

3. Placement

Student’s percentiles and/or scores from the assessment instruments are plotted on the student profile. Each student’s profile is individually evaluated by the campus GATE Committee. A student clearly qualifies for GATE services if the evidence on the profile meets the district criteria. Parents are notified in writing of the GATE Committee's decision.

Identification Timeline

  • Fall Referral- September
  • Fall Testing- October
  • Fall Parent Notification-December
  • Spring Referral-January
  • Spring Testing-February/March
  • Spring Parent Notification-March/April

Students can only be assessed one time within the same school year. Kindergarten students can be assessed twice (in both testing windows), or once (in any testing window) at the discretion of the campus GATE committee.

Service Design

Students in HPS GATE Program are offered the following services, based on the needs of each campus at the discretion of GATE Committee:

  • Core Subject Differentiation
  • Pull-Out Services
  • Custom Day Services
  • GATE sections
  • Summer Camps/Internships
  • Advanced Academics/PBL
  • Independent Study
  • Push-In
  • Cluster Grouping
  • Extracurricular Activities

For more information, review the GATE handbook Pages 5&6

GATE Hanbook

Summary of GATE Modules offered by Harmony campuses

A flexible system of viable service options provides a research based learning continuum that is developed and consistently implemented throughout the district to meet the needs and reinforce the strengths and interests of GT students.

  • K-5 Modules
    1. In Class GT extensions/enrichment activities/differentiation             
      • GT Centers (K-2)             
      • Co-teaching during regular instructional time
    2. Small group instruction scheduling - "8th Period"
    3. GT cluster grouping
    4. Pull outs
    5. Independent Study
    6. Acceleration
  • 6-8 Modules
    1. In Class GT extension/enrichment activities/differentiation
    2. GT cluster grouping
    3. STEM Electives
    4. Pull outs
    5. Independent Study
    6. Acceleration
    7. Advanced authentic practice and research
    8. Mentoring (Counseling/support)
    9. Pre-AP courses
  • 9-12 Modules
    1. GT College and Career Counseling
    2. Advanced authentic practice and research
    3. Acceleration
    4. Independent Study
  •  Module Boosters
    1. Academic clubs and competitions after school
    2. Service learning opportunities
    3. Volunteer opportunities
    4. Summer programs and camps
    5. Leadership roles on campus


According to HPS Student Handbook, Harmony Public Schools uses examinations and guidelines established by the State Board of Education to offer credit and acceleration by exam.

Kindergarten Acceleration

In order to qualify for Kindergarten Acceleration, the student must meet the following qualifications:

  1. The student must be 5 years of age on or before September 1st of the academic year.
  2. The student must be registered for Kindergarten for the academic year in Harmony Public Schools.

If qualifications above are met, then a parent/guardian may request that his/her child test for grade acceleration by the end of first quarter. After the written request received from the parent/guardian, a committee composed of parent(s), principal’s designee, and teacher(s) considers the following criteria to determine if testing for acceleration is the best option for the student.

  1. Scores on readiness tests or achievement tests including but not limited to NWEA MAP and TPRI. (NWEA MAP scores should be above 90th percentile for both Reading and Mathematics)
  2. Recommendation of the Kindergarten or preschool the student had previously attended.
  3. Chronological age and observed social and emotional development of the student.
  4. Effect of skipping a grade level on the student’s overall educational experience.
  5. Academic rigor of first grade.

Please review HPS Student handbook page 50 for more information.

Acceleration in Grades 1-5 (Credit by Examination Without Prior Instruction)

A student in grades 1–5 will be accelerated one grade level if he or she meets the following requirements:

  1. The student scores 80% or above on a criterion-referenced test for the grade level to be skipped in each of the following areas: Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies;
  2. A School representative recommends acceleration; and
  3. The student’s parent gives written approval for acceleration.

Please review HPS Student handbook page 50 for more information.

Acceleration in Grades 6-12 (Credit by Examination Without Prior Instruction)

A student in grades 6–12 will be given credit for an academic subject in which he or she has had no prior instruction if the student scores 80% or above on a criterion-referenced test for the applicable test. Credits obtained through CBE (without instruction) will not be calculated for GPA and class rank.

Please review HPS Student handbook page 50 for more information.

HPS Student Handbook
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