Identifying Gifted Students from Private Schools

Families of students currently attending a private school may be interested in the District 54 screening process for identifying gifted students. Only students currently in grades 2 through 6 are eligible for gifted screening. Screening takes place during the current school year to qualify for services given the following year. It is critical for families to contact their local District 54 school as soon as possible if they are interested in having a child screened. Screening is available to students who reside within District 54 school boundaries. The gifted teacher/enrichment coach will facilitate the process for the student. What appears below gives a general idea of the process. Should the student qualify, the student must be enrolled and attending the public school full time, in order to receive services.

  • Parents must first register the student at their local District 54 school. Registration requires proof of residency and an original birth certificate. Contact the school for more details or if you have further questions. All private school students must be registered for testing between September 15 and November 1. No late registrations will be accepted.
  • The reading and math sub-tests of the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) and an online cognitive skills test are used to determine screening and eligibility for gifted services available at the local school. Students must achieve a score of 95% or above on the reading and math sub-tests on the MAP. For these eligible students, an online cognitive skills test is administered in January. Parents are notified about the test results and eligibility in the spring in a letter sent by US mail.  Eligible students begin participating the following school year.
  • The MAP test will be administered during District 54’s winter MAP window. The exact date and location for MAP testing will be communicated to families by the neighborhood school. There are no makeup dates available. The test measures academic achievement. For further information regarding MAP testing visit the MAP website. Students being tested must be brought to school for the sessions and picked up afterward. Only those students registered by the November 1 date will be screened. Please call your neighborhood school to register.
  • Students who achieve a score of 95% or above on both portions of the MAP test will be scheduled to take the cognitive skills test at the local school. The gifted teacher/enrichment coach at the school will contact the parents with the exact dates and times. Students being tested must be brought to school for the session and picked up afterward. Session times vary by age and test.
  • To be eligible for screening for the magnet program, currently housed at Campanelli Elementary School and at Mead Junior High School, students must first qualify for the building resource services and have minimum achievement scores of 98% in both the reading and math sub-tests on the MAP. Initial testing is conducted at the local school as described above. Those students who meet the testing criteria to be considered for the magnet program will receive notice from the school district.  These students will take an additional test administered by the school psychologist. Results will be shared with parents. The magnet program is designed to meet the needs of profoundly gifted children who are in the top two percent cognitively as measured by a standardized intelligence test.

While we are pleased to test applicants, the tests are challenging and time consuming. It is in the best interest of the student to balance test requests against the disappointment that may occur should the child not qualify. The current school can be helpful in advising whether the student is a strong candidate for screening by providing standardized test scores or other appropriate feedback. Generally, scores in the 95% nationally in reading and math are considered strong, with scores even higher necessary for consideration of Magnet testing. No outside private evaluations will be considered for District 54 gifted services or programs.